THREE SERMONS: TWO OF THEM APPOINTED FOR The SPITTLE, preached in St. Pauls Church,

BY JOHN SQUIER, Vicar of St. Leonards Shoredich in Middlesex:

AND JOHN LYNCH, Parson of Herietsham in KENT.

LONDON, Printed by Robert Young for Humfrey Blunden, neere the Castle Taverne in Corne-Hill. 1637.

To the Right Honourable, Sir Ed­ward Bromefield KNIGHT, Lord Maior of London.

SIR,

WEe are Brethren both by nature and affection; but (in this) to­wards your Lordship especial­ly. Wee desire to set out these Sermons, as some small signi­fication thereof. Your Call did cause the Preach­ing of them, we crave that your Countenance may further the Printing of them. The Defects in either of them, shall bee acknowledged by either of us, to be our owne. But if there bee in them ought worth the owning, by the approbation of the charitable Reader; that shall be readily ascribed to our Incourager, by

Your affectionately devoted in all humble and hearty service, JOHN SQUIER.
For the Spittle, 163 …

For the Spittle, 1637.

ECclesiastes 12.10. doth shew the direction of The Preacher to all Preachers: he did, we should seek out acceptable words. But Quis ido­neus ad haec? what Preacher can preach in this maner? Peradventure no Preacher, This Preacher cannot performe it without all per­adventure. I hope (by Gods gracious assi­stance) to prepare for my Honorable & Hono­red guests, [...], food which shall be whole­some; but [...], that it shall be Toothsome, I doe not say it, I dare not say it. No Christian Sermon can be like the Jewish Manna (accor­ding to that Jewish Legend,Aug. Retract. 2.24. to savour unto all men according to their severall appetites. Your Preacher is far from that faculty of St. Peter in his Sermon upon The Whitesunday, Acts 2.6. to speake to every hearer [...], in his own Idiome & proper language, Acceptable words. If my words be Accepted, nay if they be not Excepted against, it shall bee both a­bove my deserts, & beyond my expectation.

[Page 2]If I pitch upon a point of Poperie, I know learned men who would have all Controver­sies confined to the Chaire, not once to ap­peare in the Pulpit: ne Sutor ultra crepidam, that rurall Ministers should not climbe a­bove the Spheare of their Activity, but keep themselves within the compasse of the Cate­chisme, or of Cases of Conscience at the high­est. If I preach for Peace in the Church, and Conformitie to the Discipline of the Church, this discourse, doubtlesse, will displease the Disciplinarians. If I call upon you to render unto Caesar what belongeth to Caesar, Luc. 20.25. to submit your selves to the supreme Authoritie, some will whisper, this is ambitious Flattery: and if I exhort the Countrie to write after that Copie which is set them by this Citie, and to imitate the workes of charity and piety per­formed by many worthy Londoners, others would condemne me for as pernicious Po­pularitie. If my Text should lead mee to a­vouch the dignity and authority of the Su­periours in our Clergie, I should not escape that brand, [...], be­hold a Time-servant, and a Man-pleaser: and if I plead for the Liberty of the Inferiour Mini­stry, I may sinke under the censure of that [Page 3](which my soule abhorreth) favouring or savouring of Schisme and Disobedience. If I perswade the Duty Of Ministers, some will say, I lay a burden on my Brethren, which neither they nor their Fore-fathers were ever able to bear: and if I plead for the Duty To Ministers, I know the aspersion, that I am an excellent Advocate in mine owne cause, and that we take too much upon us we Sonnes of Levi.

If I should pray you (with Saint Peter) that you would become a chosen people, Zealous of good workes, the Antinomians would be Antagonists, my Adversaries; say­ing, that all sound preachers edifie the hearers by preaching points of Faith, and doe not dwell upon the Workes of the Law, which are not pertinent to Good Christians, and to Men grown in Religion. If I should shew what sort of Good workes I would per­swade you principally to practise, namely all, but especially those of Piety to the Church, I suppose some expert Linguists would tran­slate that Greeke sentence, [...], in the words of their Apostle, Ad quid perditio haec? all Cost is Lost which foolish Prodigals cast a­way on workes of that nature. Or finally, if I should instance in an Individuum, in a [Page 4] Particular object, which my perswasion did propose unto your Piety, as that Church which is consecrated to the Service of God by the memoriall of St. Paul; there want not Auditors who will avouch, that this ex­hortation is superfluous, where a Pleropho­ry of practice is already precedent; that the bagges for that Building are like to the Pitch­ers at the Marriage of Cana, [...], Full to the Brim; that there is no room for the Rich to cast in their gifts, no not for the poore wid­dow to thrust her Mite into the treasurie for the building of the Temple. O, sit Veritas in ore Prophetae! O, may my Exhortations bee al­waies answered by such a True Anticipati­on!

But now, since the words of your Preacher are but wind, and that out of what Corner of his mouth soever they shall blow, some hea­rers cannot, or will not saile according un­to them, how shall I steere betwixt Scylla and Charybdis, without striking upon the Sand or the Rocke? I have a Cynosura, a Star to lead me, which [...] Ecclesiastes, the grand Preacher doth point to, to all Preachers, Luk. 4.23. Physician heale thy selfe.

Certainly there is no Patient but will bee [Page 5]patient, when hee shall see his Physitian sup up that bitter potion, which he was afraid had beene prepared for his queasie and relu­ctant stomacke. I will therefore lay my fin­ger upon mine owne sore, your infirmities shall be a Noli me tangere, I will not touch them. I will preach To you, but Of my selfe, This way, if any way, I shall not offend. And if this way any benefit shall arise from you to me by the action, or from me to you by the reflection, then for you and me, I shall blesse my God and your God, with unfained thanksgiving from the bottome of mine heart. Heare therefore (right Honourable, right Worshipfull, and right dearly beloved in the Lord) the word of the Lord with re­verence and attention.

LUKE 18.13.‘God be mercifull to me a sinner.’

MY Text is a Prayer: a Publicans Prayer, so it was; a publike Pray­er, so it is, so (I am sure) it should be: a Catholike Prayer, every par­ticular Christian should have a personall share therein, every one should also pray, God be mercifull to me a Sinner.

For God is the Father of All, Sin is the Qualitie [Page 6]of All, Mercie is the Desire of All, and Me should be the Application of All. Therefore, [...], let All men pray as One man, as This man, God be mercifull to me a Sinner.

Againe, here we have the universall Object of pray­er, God: the universall Subject of prayer (all men im­plyed in one man) Me: the universall Necessitie to pray, Sin: and the universall Motive to pray, Mer­cie. Therefore Hujus ad exemplum totus componitor orbis, let this One man be a Tutour to the whole World; all should pray as here he doth pray, God be mercifull to me a Sinner.

This is a Generall Prayer, and a Speciall Prayer. It is Generall for all Times, and for all Actions; but it is most Speciall for This Time, and for This Action a­bove all other. Because of our concurrence and con­fluence in this holy action of Speaking and Hearing Gods holy word, now Specially are we bound to use this Prayer, God be mercifull to me a sinner.

I presume that you will permit the Speaker to Speake this phrase; considering that I am a man of polluted lips, and an unpolished tongue; of a shal­low judgement, and a short memorie: yea, [...], I feele that within me which may justly dismay me from delivering this Embassage, from Speaking For God, and Before God. Therefore Vae mihi si non Evangelizavero, vae mihi si non Oravero: Woe be to that Preacher which maketh not This Prayer a Preface to his Sermon, God be mercifull to me a Sinner.

God be mercifull to MEE; yea, God be merci­full to YOU Sinners also. I conceive this transition [Page 7]to be no transgression: for, Hom [...] sum, & nihil Hu­manum à me alienum esse puto: yee are Men, and therefore also Subject to Humane Frailties.

Notwithstanding this godly goodly appearance, may not some appeare in this place with Partialitie to the Cause, or Prejudice to the Person? May not some Zelotes be Prodigall in Hearing, and but Spa­ring in Practising? Nay, Ille alter ego Sosia qui sum domi: Is it impossible for an Hearer to have his Eare in the Church, and his Heart at his House, or in a worse place, in the same season, and at the same Ser­mon? Jam sumus ergo pares. Well may we there­fore all concurre to elect this Prayer of the Publicane to be our Prolocutor to that High House. Here we are in the Sight of God to Speake and Heare the Word of God; in the Speaking and Hearing where­of, God be mercifull to Me, God be mercifull to You, yea, God be mercifull to us All miserable Sinners.

The Object of our Prayer must be the Subject of my Sermon, I meane of the first part thereof. Prayer is Peculiar unto God. We may conceive this truth, if we consider these three Properties, which are Pecu­liar both to God, and to the Proper Object of Prayer. He is Enter, Potenter, Praesenter: God is Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipraesent. God Knoweth all Things, Rules all Men, and Filleth all Places. God is All in All; per essentiam, because in him We live, and move, and have our being; per potentiam, because whatso­ever God Will, that he Doth in Heaven and in Earth; & per praesentiam, because there is no creature which is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked, and opened to the eyes of him with whom we have to doe. In [Page 8]a word, God is in all places, with all persons, at all seasons, and therefore the Absolute and Onely Object of our Prayer.

If you would have it yet more plainly, No Man can say more in his Sermon, than every Child doth speak in his Catechism. God is Pater Coelestis, our Hea­venly Father: a Father which Will, and an Heavenly Father which Can heare and help us. This is his Pro­pertie, Soli ac Semper, Proper to him alone, and to None but him. God therefore must be adaequatum Objectum Orationis: Invocation is his Roialtie, and whosoever doth trench into this Prerogative, he is guiltie of High Treason against the Heavenly Mo­narch. Give therefore unto Caesar that which belon­geth to Caesar. Let our Prayers be directed to the right Object: God be mercifull to me a Sinner.

We must Pray to God, but not as the Athenians did, Sacrifice to God, [...], to the Unknowne God. Wee must not be Samaritans to worship wee know not what, but we must be Israelites, we should Know what we worship. For the attaining of this Know­ledge, as the Eye of our Bodie is to the Sun, so is our Understanding the Eye of our Soule to God. If the Eye of a man shall Directly looke upon the Sun, the Sun will dazle it, and blind it: but cast downe your Eye into the Water, and therein you may see the Shape of the Sun. So God doth inhabit, [...], God is a Light man cannot looke upon: but reflect our cogi­tations to the Waters, to his Creatures, to that Sea of Glasse, to his Scriptures, in these we shall See our God Shadowed unto us, in these shall we See that which will be Sufficient for, and Efficient of our Happinesse [Page 9]in generall, and our Holinesse in this particular, in the performance of this worke of pietie; when we goe to Speake Of and before God, by Preaching: and To and with God, by our Prayer and Invocation.

I shall not take Gods Name in Vaine, if I use it to this purpose, by it to shaddow out Gods majestie to our apprehension.

Gods Name, according to the Hebrew, hath two roots, signifying one, but implying three things; [...] Jehovah is derived of [...] or [...] both signify­ing to Bee: because God is,

  • 1. The Being,
  • 2. Giveth Our Being,
  • 3. Maketh his Promises to Bee infallibly; without any Variablenesse or Shadow of Turning.

1. The Name of God Jehovah, signifying Being, by the change of three letters, doth imply God to Bee the Being, according to the threefold distinction, of time, or Being. From his Name Jehovah, with­draw the letter Jod; and it signifieth the time Past, Fuit, he hath been: Change in the same Name, ano­ther letter, Camets into Cholem, and it signifieth the time Present, Ens or Existens, he that is now Being: and Jod, and it is the Future, the Time to Come, Erit Hee that Will Be. Hence God himselfe said that his Name was [...] Ero, which the Septuagints tran­slate [...], and Plato doth terme [...], the Person or Thing which hath a Perpetuall Being. St. John more cleerely, [...], He who Was, Is, and is to Come. To which that inscription of the Egyptians in their Temples, to their God, is answerable, [...]: I am (saith God) He that ever Was, that Is, and Ever Shall be. By Name Je­hovah: The God of Eternall and everlasting Being.

[Page 10]2. From [...] to Bee, God is called Jehovah; be­cause he Giveth Being to All, [...] The Lord made all Things, and formed Thee from the Wombe. The Egyptians emblematically expresse him by an Egge: that as all Fowles are bred of it, so all Things are made by Him. Hee is our Father, Hee is our Jehovah, in him we live, and move, and have our Being.

3. From [...] to Bee, God is called Jehovah, be­cause hee doth give a Being to All his Promises, and maketh them All Yea and Amen. He is known to us, not onely by the Name [...] of God Almightie, but also by the Name Jehovah, that is, he who Pro­miseth us Deliverance from Egypt, and Pharaoh; from the Spirituall Egypt, and Eternall Pharaoh; both from the Sinne of Man, and from That Man of Sin. And his Promises are like the Capitol, built upon im­mobile Saxum, a stone that will never shrink: like the Center, they are immovable: like the Lawes of the Medes and Persians, they can Never be Altered: like the Angel to Sarah, at the Time appointed they will come: and like the Law, not [...] nor [...], not one Jote or Title of them shall fall. In thee O God (Jehovah) doe wee put our trust: O Lord (Jehovah) let us never be put to confusion.

Here in the Greek, he is called [...], God; of [...] to Run, or of [...], Feare▪ because in our Feare, wee must run to Him; He will be our Asylum, our San­ctuarie; none can pluck us out of his hand. If God be on our Side, we will not feare what man can doe unto us.

The Latins terme him Deus, of Dedit hee Gave, [Page 11]because hee Gave all things to all men. Man is made by God; like that Woman Pandora; all indowments are his Gifts. From the Haire on our Heads, to the Bloud in our Hearts; from the latches of our shooe, to the Inheritance of our Ancestors; from the Labour of of your Hands, to the Studie of our Minds; from the Policie of Statsemen, to the Simplicitie of Christians: both the Spirit of Wisedome, and the Wisdome of the Spirit; of All, we must say, what that Prophet did of his Hatchet, Alas it is but Borrowed: Deus Dedit, God is the Fountaine of all our Abilities.

In our owne language, his name is God, because he is the Efficient of all Good. God doth feed us with his Good Creatures, guard us with his Good Angels, instruct us with his Good Word, comfort us by his Good Spirit, and preserve, prevent, sanctifie, and save us by his Good Grace. This is our Good, this is our God. O my soule rest and rejoyce in him.

Since then, God is Jehovah; hee who is all. Be­ing Originally in Himselfe, and Derivatively to all Persons, by his Promises: Hee is [...], to whom we must run, in all our feares, and afflictions: He is Deus, the Giver of all we have, and Are: And fi­nally, hee is our Good; all the Good our head can looke after, or our heart can long after: oxternall, in­ternall, eternall: Certainely we should Pray, and Pray perpetually, to that Person, proposed here in our text; God, yea God be mercifull to me a Sinner.

Now this God, this Jehovah is One, or rather very Onenesse, and meere Unitie, having nothing but is selfe, in it selfe, and not consisting (as things doe besides God) of many things. Howbeit this One, is Three: [Page 12]One Substance, Three Persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; Co-equall, and Co-eternall; the Unitie in the Trinitie, and the Trinitie in the Unitie, to be worshipped and glorified.

If any would know more; know moreover, that God being a Pure Act, is most knowable in Himselfe; yet least knowable to us: because he must be known to us, by our Intellect or Understanding; but the Object, to be Understood, by its excellence, doth exceed our Facultie of Understanding. As the Sunne is Visible in it selfe, yet it maketh it Selfe to bee invisible, and not to be seene or looked upon by Bats, and Owles, by the lustre and excellent Light thereof: So, both because of the Abstrusenesse of the Object, and Obtusenesse of the Subject; it is impossible that there should bee a perfect knowledge of God in Man.

I remember, I have read that Hiero the King, de­manded of Simonides, the Philosopher Quid est Deus, what is God? That learned man Petebat Diem, craved a Day for to shape him answer. The second day hee demands the second time; Quid est Deus, what is God? He begg'd Biduum, two dayes to answer him. The third Day, Three Daies: till in the conclusion he in­genuously confessed, that the More hee studied, the Lesse he was inabled to declare, What God it.

And indeed, according to the Vision of that Fa­ther, it is easier for a Child to take up the Ocean in a Shell; than for any man to comprehend in his Scull, What God is.

Tu es interior intimo meo, & superior summo meo, said the holiest of the Fathers. God is more inward than our most inward Cogitations: God is more high [Page 13]than our most high Speculations. The God of Peace, is like the Peace of God; Hee passeth all Understan­ding.

Wherefore our safest eloquence concerning God is silence, when we confesse without confession, that his goodnesse is inexplicable, his greatnesse above our capacitie and reach. He is above, we upon earth: there fore it behoveth our words to bee warie and few.

I soare too high, I will be [...], I will stoope to the Ground; and build the conclusion of this point upon the Grounds of Religion, upon the Principles in our English Catechisme. Quid Deus, what is God? God is our Father, which is in Heaven: God is the Al­mightie maker of heaven and earth. O Father in hea­ven, O Maker of heaven, O God (yea) God be merci­full to mee a Sinner.

Here we may cast both our eies, on two notes: yet neither shall bee able to discerne, whether is most noteable. Our incomparable Necessitie To Pray, and our incomparable Commoditie, if we Doe Pray. Both these are inferred from this; that God is the Object of Prayer, or the Person which is onely to be Prayed unto. But let this Isis and Thame, fall into one Thamisis: let this Jor and Dan, fall into one Jor­dan. Let both these notes bee handled in one: that their confluence may make the fuller fountaine, strea­ming out the more plentifull instructions.

The ground worke whereof I suppose bee, and so propose this proposition; Jovis omnia Plena, our God is in everie Place: and therefore our Prayer should be so also.

[Page 14]1 Our Prayer should bee as our God is, in temple Cordis, & in corde Temple, both in the Temple of our Heart, and in the Heart of our Temple. In our Heart God is inthroned, tanquam Rex in Throno, like a King in his Tribunall, where each oppressed Subject ought to exhibite his Petition, with all submissure supplication. This place the Church is [...] and, [...] here it t [...] chiefest part of Gods People, and the chie­fest part of Gods Temple: here then we should espe­cially indeavour to make our Prayers ascend like in­cense, and the lifting up of our hands to be as the Eve­ning sacrifice.

2 In your Journies from the Church to your hou­ses, or to any place from your houses, he who is Via, the Way, cannot be out of your company: your duty therefore is to crave [...] to bee [...], to Pray God to be your Guide, and to Blesse you in all your underta­kings.

3 If your Callings call you into the Market, con­ceive that he who is Veritas, the Truth, cannot be ex­cluded out of your presence, although he may bee abu­sed in his owne presence. Let Prayer therefore open thy heart, that God may open thy mouth, that thou maist nor Lye nor Sweare in thy buying and selling.

4 If you glance an eye into a Shep (as you pro­ceed) it is not impossible to suppose that you see our invisible God, even there also. Hee that is Vita, Life it selfe, must give [...] Maintenance to their life, if any Thrift grow in that Garden. Their pain there­fore would not be much more, nor their gaine much lesse, if Tradesmen should blesse their labour with a short ejaculation, Prosper thou the works of our hands [Page 15]upon [...], O Lord; O Lord prosper Thou our handy worker.

5 When you arrive at your owne House, know that Domus Tua is Domus Dei: that if God had not built thy house, their labour had beene but in vaine that built it. Know moreover, that if he be not everie moment the grouncell, beame, and buttrice to support it, the next minute should not see one stone upon another. If therefore Thine House bee Gods House, use Gods phrase, Domus men domus Oration is vocabitur, My House shall bee called an House of Prayer. Prayer should be Seranoctis; hee who shutteth up the Eve­ning without saying Prayers, hee doth Bolt out God, and let in the Devill; a fearefull Sojounar. Prayer should be Clavis diei, he who speaketh to God by Prai­er in the Morning, is sure of [...] good morrow. At Meals, have Grace before [...] grace after meat: and let gracious discourses be the salet, sauce, and salt to season your banquet; that Cibus mentis may seem more savourie to thy Soule, than Cibus ventris to thy appetite. Happy is that Feast where God is a Guest, there cannot but be a blessing at such a meeting. Pro­ceeding from your repast to your Rest: thy Chamber should be to thee as Bethel was to Jacob; Surely God is in that place, though some men doe not know it. O, may Prayer then (be your Caduceus) close your eies! happy is that man who so goeth to Bed, that God is in his Bed-chamber, and Prayer his Bed-fellow. Final­ly, honest Alipius, powred out his holy Prayers, in a more homely Place: knowing that the Sunne can shine on a Dungbill, without contracting any thing that is unsavoury to the impassible Beames thereof.

[Page 16]Thus the first word of my text doth shew what must be the first word in our Prayers: Wee have the Publican for our Precedent, and he Prayed thus, God be mercifull to me a Sinner.

5 To returne and review all these Places and Pray­ers, ordine retrogrado; first of the last. Some need not be daintie of their devotion, no not in that place, as though the Place did pollute their Prayers, when it may be feared that their Prayers pollute the Place. If not the Prayers, yet the Thoughts of some men are more foule than the [...], the very Draught into which they disburden the Filth of nature. But as­cend we to the Chamber, there peradventure we shall meet with [...], some foot-print of Prayer. Alas it is suspected, that even when they go to Sleepe, the Husband is like Tyrannous Lamech, and the Wife like querulous Zipperah: Hos Deus conjun­xit? Can such Dreame of God, when the Divell cau­seth them to Sleepe in such unseemly contention? From the Bed descend unto the Bord: there indeed we shall heare formall Prayers, both before and after meat; but the Interim is oftentimes interlarded with such discourses and disgraces, with such censuring and judging, as if they indevoured that their Tongues should teare the names of the absent into smaller pie­ces, than their Teeth can their Meat in their mouths. Surely if God bee Charity, God cannot bee present at such uncharitable eating.

4 When they arise and walke, egredientem armat Oratio? regredienti occurrit Oratio? Doe some by their prayers say so much as God speed to their Jour­ney? If there be no invocation, how can there be any [Page 17] expectation of Gods blessing upon their going out, or comming home againe.

In the Market, that Old lying Legend hath a true morall, of an old Devill lying on his elbow fast asleepe in the Market place, because (said he) temptations in this place are superfluous. For such Buyens and Sel­lers, such Lyers and Stealers, will to Hell [...], of their own good nature and prompt inclination, with­out any externall or infernall provocation.

[...] And some say the same of some Shep keepers, that they concurre in the same kinde also, by way of Retaliation. Because Christ did once whip the Buyers and Sellers out of the Temple, therefore Buyers and Sellers doe now every day whip Christ out of their shops and markets. O unchristian dealing! what ad­vantage will it bee for a man to gaine the whole world, and to lose his owne soule?

1 But our meditations being come hither, we can­not but conceive here, etiam faciem Dei vider, God to be present in a more illustrious manner. For if in any earthly place, where can we look to finde the Lord of the Temple, if not in the Temple of the Lord, in our congregations and Churches: But alas, posteriora tantum, his glorious presence is infinitely eclipsed by our infinite infirmities, admitted even in these holy meetings. God indeed is here speaking in our Ser­mons, hearing in our Prayers, seeing in both: but our behaviour acknowledgeth his presence in neither, we have so little baring of the Head at the one, and ben­ding of the Knee at the other. I have seene as much Reverence (and more) performed by servants to their Mastar, at his Table, and in his Kitchin, than by, pro­fessors [Page 18]to their God, in his Temple. Now I perswade my selfe, that if we were perswaded that God were in­deed present amongst us at our meetings in our Churches, we would signifie it by a more reverent gesture.

Finally, Gods residence is in the Sanctum sancto­rum, in our Heart no qu [...]stion. Blessed is the Heart which knoweth it so. Blessed is that man which can speake that language, My Heart is prepared, my Heart is prepared: in utrumque paratum, both for Hearing and Praying. Then should we not feare such Detra­ctions for our Sermons, nor you feele such Distracti­ons in your Devotions. But I feare our Heart doth know that God is not, and God doth know that our Heart is not alwayes present in these holy places, at these holy exercises.

To contract all our omissions into one compendi­um. Thus we see, that from our Bed to our Boord, from our Shops to our Markets, from our Houses to our Churches, from the Action in this Place to the Affection of our Persons, God and Prayer are too of­ten Absent from us.

Surely that in all these things we forget God, we are most miserable: but if in all these God did forget us (to be Mercifull) we were more than most mise­rable. Let therefore our solid Hearts be like the hollow Mountaines, Echoing out One word, the first word of my Text, God, God, yea God be mercifull to us miserable Sinners.

Here conceive me aright: I doe not prie to spie a Mote in your Eye, and winke at a Beame in mine own Soule. I ingenuously confesse I doe but see but the Shadow of these Sinnes in you by my Contemplation, [Page 19]but I feele the same, or some such, in my selfe, the Bo­dy of Sin, in my Conversation.

Diogenes conculcabat Platonis fastum, at fastu majori: I trample (said Diogenes) on the Pride of Plato; but (replied Plato) with a greater Pride. I acknowledge I would trample downe these your Sins, forgetting of God to be alwayes Present, and forgetting of Your Selves, that You are so Irreverent at your Prayers in his Presence, but with a Greater Sin.

I confesse that I have not that awfull apprehension of Gods dreadfull [...], of his Perpetuall Pre­sence in my Church, in my Chamber, in my Closet and closest Conclave, not in my Heart, which is due to our Great Jehovah.

I confesse Prayer doth dwell with me as St. Peter did with the Tanner, [...], it doth but Sojourn with me, and God knoweth it is too often Absent from me.

I am not to that holy Devotion as Saint Peter was to Tabor: bonum est nobis esse Hic: I doe not de­light to Dwell there. I doe not say, alas, I cannot say, Faciamus tria Tabernacula, O let us build three Ta­bernacles one for God, one for Prayer, and one for Thee, O my Soule, that we might Dwell perpetually together, as St. Paul once perswaded the holy Thessalonians.

Alas, from my Studie to my Church, from my Studies to my Employments, in my Vocations and Re­creations, alone and in company, by Day, by Night, I have little acquaintance with those holy and heavenly soliloquia & colloquia, sudden short Ejaculations, and solemne Invocations, [...], persevering in Prayer, with Watching and Fasting, which were so familiar with the blessed [Page 20]Saints, now at rest from their labours.

Here, here is [...], I indeed am that Physician who have prescribed to you, but can­not heale my selfe; yet that I may yet search out [...], a Medicine to heale me in neglecting Pray­er, and [...], a Cordiall to strengthen you in affe­cting Prayer, I will have recourse to Luke that belo­ved Physician, who prescribeth unto us a most sove­raigne medicine by the mouth of this Publicane in my Text, the Balme of Gilead, the mercy of God, God be mercifull to me a sinner.

Abyssus Abyssum invocat, one Deep calleth upon another.

The Object of Prayer, God, which is Infinite, doth direct my discourse unto the Necessitie to Pray, which is Infinite in like manner: God be mercifull to me a Sinner. That Sin is Infinne, we may conceive, if we consider the Denomination, Description, Divi­sion, Object, Attribute, and End thereof.

1 [...], a Sinner in the concrete, hath neere affinitie with the abstract Sin, [...]. The Etymolo­gists pronounce [...], as it were [...], a stray­ing or wandring. [...] is to goe the right way, and [...] is to goethe wrong way.

This Denomination of sin declareth the Nature thereof. It maketh men Cains, Fugitives, and Vaga­bonds, Jewes, coeli ac soli sui profugos, Stragglers which have no home nor house to put their heads in. Sodomites smote with blindnesse, which cannot hit the Doore to Heaven, though they should wearie themselves to find it. And Gentiles, sitting in dark­nesse, and in the shadow of death.

[Page 21]Now a solicarie person straggling in the wide Wil­dernesse, among the Wild Beasts, in the darke, and out of the way, having neither Light nor Guide, how would such a poore wight be perplexed? The same is the perplexitie of every Sinner. He doth [...], Wander amongst the Dangers of the World, indeed a­mongst a World of Dangers. It standeth him the re­fore in hand to pray that God would send him a Guide in so desperate a pilgrimage, that God would be mer­cifull to him a Sinner.

2 Next, [...], is [...],Sin is the transgression of the Law: so that [...], sin, maketh a Sinner [...], an Out law or Rebell.

Sin maketh the Sinner to be to God like Absalom to David, he may not dare to see the Kings face. And like David, Sheba, and Joab, not his owne House; no Citie, nor Sanctuarie, may shield him from the sword of the Executioner.

Thinke now how a guiltie Traitour, a Bandido, a proscribed and proclaimed Rebell, how he fleeth from the Citie to the Countrey, from the Townes to the Fields, and from his House to some Cave: if he remaineth, he starveth; if he returneth, he dieth with torment and ignominie. And in that breathing time before Death he Dieth a thousand times, he quaketh at every shadow, as if it were an Officer, and star­teth at every Wind, as if it were an Hue and Crie.

Thinke I say, on this amazed wretch, and withall thinke on the amazement of every wretched Sinner. No meane Necessitie to make men Pray, God be mer­cifull to me a Sinner.

3. Sin is factum, dictum, cogitatum: either infused [Page 22]to our thoughts, or effused by our Words, or diffused in our Deeds. Our Hearts are Hives; if examined, they containe examen, a Swarme of sinfull Cogitations: and withall a Master Bee, a Bosome Sinne, which trumpetteth out, We have no inheritance in the Son of Jesse. The Sinnes on the lip of a Man, are like the Sands on the lip of the Sea, ( [...]) infinite and innumerable: yet must every one of us give an account for every one of them. And all our Deeds also, which we have done, either like Absolom in the sight of the Sun, or like Sarah behind the Doore: all our actions Publike or Private, are registred, and must be remembred. All these Sinnes therefore conside­red, our Thoughts, our Words, our Deeds: it may be concluded, that a Sinner should be like Stentor, hee should Have a Voice; or rather like the Night-Bird, that he should Bee a Voice: that he should Pray, nay Cry, God be mercifull to me a Sinner.

4 Moreover, which is yet more fearefull, all these Sinnes, all these Thoughts, Words, and Deeds, are acted, uttered, and effected against God, an infinite Majestie; which doth inferre an infinite Iniquitie: wee use it as a proverb, Peccatum Minimum, est Maximum, quia in Maximum. The least Sinne may be termed an infinite Sin, because an infinite Person is offended by it. But some Sins we may pronounce infinite both extensivè, and intensivè; both in regard of their Object, and Subject also. The Desires of the Covetous, are as Broad as the World; of the Libidinous as Long as Eternitie; of the Ambitious, as High as Heaven; and of the Malitious, as Deep as Hell. The Heart of an habituated Sinner, is like the Mare Mor­tuum; [Page 23]though whole Rivers of profits, pleasures, preferments, and passions fall into them, they are not one jot the fuller; but have a [...], an insatiable appetite to swallow more, if either God, or the De­vill would exhibit them. Therefore such infinite sinnes, against so infinite a God, cannot but cause an infinite necessitie, (if it were possible) even to an in­finite prayer: Who can now silence the Publicans petition? God be mercifull to me a sinner.

5 Thus we see that sinne is an heavie case: yet one attribute doth add to the weight thereof. It is ter­med a Burthen. A burthen over the head, by holy David; and a burthen over the heart, by Saint Paul: The burthen of Dumah, the burthen of Ammon, the burthen of Moab: indeed every sin, to every sinner, is an heavie burthen.

Three sorts of waies is sinne said to be a burthen, to three sorts of Persons. It is a burthen to God, to Man, and to God and Man: Sin is a burthen to God, onus displicentiae & indignationis, a burthen of wrath and indignation. To Man it is a burthen, onus reatus & miseriae, a burthen of guilt and condemnation. And unto God and Man, [...], to Jesus Christ our sin is an heavie burthen, onus supplicii & satisfactionis, of affliction and satisfaction.

Sinne being such a burthen, let the phrase put us in mind of those miserable Malefactours; who our of a sudden obstinatenesse, in their apparent and impenitent wickednesse, refuse to bee tried by the Countrey. These Caitives, having a sharp stone under them, and a great plugge over them; Their crying and roaring will tell us that they feele a burthen: and [Page 24]yet, as a Pound weight is to a Talent of Lead; such is the burthen of their Bodies, compared to this burthen of our Soules. Al [...] then, what will betide us under such a Load? Certainely, Come unto me all yee that are laden, saith Christ. And let everie Christian goe unto him, in the voice of this Publicane, saying: God be mercifull to me a Sinner.

6. Finally, the end of sin is paine without end: a double paine: Poena sensus, & Damni: both a paine privative, and positive.

The privative, is (Solemè mundo) to lose the sight and light of him, who is a thousand times more illustrious than the Sunne, when the beames thereof are a thousand times multiplyed: Sinners shalbe cast By God, and from God into outer Darknesse.

The Positive is both of Body and Soule in Hell; and both of them suffering two strange Extremities, and Contraries; extreame Heat, weeping: and ex­treame Cold, gnashing of Teeth.

Now, if the sight of the Rack (to which Hell is like Nebuchadnezzars Furnace, compared to the stinging of a Gnat) will constraine Rebels to confesse and repent their Rebellion: certainely the very ima­gination of those infernall, eternall tortures, will ex­tort a [...]: though we were Tongue-tied like the sonne of Croesus, or Tongue-lesse like the Easterne Confessours, it will compell us to speake, and in the language of this Publicane, God be mercifull to mee a Sinner.

To run over all these particulars, with a generall review. Since sin doth make us straggling Vagabonds, Traiterous Rebels, in thought, word, and deed, [Page 25] [...] perpetually fighting and smiting against God Almightie, as a Body and unsupportable Load, sinking both bodies and soules to the bottome of Hell: Therefore wee may Pray, God bee mercifull to Us Sinners: Yea, God bee mercifull to us all Miserable, Miserable Sinners.

But now! What aylest thee, O my Soule, Appl. and why art thou So disquieted within me? Nay, What aylest thou, O my Soule, that thou art no More disquieted within mee? Shall Sheba bee in Abel, and shall not the inhabitants thereof bee in a confusion? shall Sin dwell in thee, O my soule, and shall not thy thoughts be confounded? Dost thou not feele these sinnes? O quid miserius est misero non miserante seipsum? What is more miserable than a sinner that is unsensible? Can Aetna lye on thee, nay, fry in thee? Dost thou sinne, and yet feele neither the weight nor heat thereof? Do not the wounds vexe thee as a thing that is raw, which thou hast so oft received from that old Serpent cal­led Satanas, from that Amphisbaena ore trisulco, with a threeforked sting? Art thou not inveighled by, if not intangled with Voluptuousnesse, Covetousnesse, Ambi­tiousnesse? Doth not thy hand reach after Pleasure? Did not thy heart long after Profit, and thy head looke after Preferment?

1. As farre as thy Meanes will permit, dost thou not tread that path, wherein Dives did travell be­fore thee: Rurple to thy Backe, and for thy Belly, deliciousnesse? Excesse both in food and apparell, both in the quantitie and qualitie thereof? In rayment to rejoice in the excrements of dumb dead creatures: In diet to delight in that which perisheth with the Using, [Page 26]nay with the eating: A true Ad quid Perdi [...]io h [...]? This might have been sold, and given to the poore. Thy superfluity might have supplied their necessity: but that thou darest not displease Isis and Osyris, those grand Egyptian (in truth, English) Idols, thy backe and thy belly. Yet all the carnall Indulgences are but [...], the pleasure of sin for a season: and thou knowest not how soone the Worme will come, & then thy Goodly gourd will w [...]ther in a moment: Galen, Pa­racelsus, no, Aesculapius himselfe cannot prevent it.

2 Moreover, hast thou not taken care, not onely what thou shalt put on thy back, & put in thy belly; but also what thou shalt put up for thy Posterity, that thou mightest have much goods, laid up for many yeeres, for thy selfe, and for thy Children? For thy [...]: for thy Children, yea for thy Chil­drens Children after thee, to the third and fourth ge­neration? Vah parvum est: To thousand thousands in them thou wouldest provide for by a perpetuated in­taile of an uninterrupted inheritance, so long as the Sun and Moon should have indured. Spurr'd on by the pro­mises, if God had not put his bridling Grace into thy mouth, by this time thy desires had galloped as farre as Ophir or India: where thou hadst beene Bagging up Gold and Silver, and piling up one Bag upon ano­ther, betwixt thee and thy salvation, till thou mad'st the Way to Heaven as narrow as the Eye of a Needle: And verily a Camel laden with Gold, cannot enter at that Port of the new Hierusalem.

3 Finally, did never the Prince of the Ayre prompt thee to build castles in the Ayre, to climbe after that peremptoriam altitudinem, that perillous promotion, [Page 27]which (not seldome) draweth the ambitious higher, to hurle him downe lower? But if thou hadst been sure to have had such fast footing and hand-grasping, that thou shouldst never have slipped from the Ladder of preferment; yet so much as thou hadst added to thy honours, thou hadst added to thy Stewardship also: Et quicquid tihi impensum est, exigetur à te qualiter expensum est, every mite, every minute, every title, every tittle of dignitie must bee accounted for. Thy ambition would have added to thy accounts a thou­sand for one, when thou shouldst not have been able to answer one for a thousand. Good men do save them­selves and those that heare them; Great men doe ac­count for themselves, and for those that serve them. Honours being atchieved, if Maximus and Optimus could meet in one man, yet even Hee shall bee glad, while he liveth, to use this prayer of this Publican, God be mercifull to me a sinner: and when hee dyeth, to pray as a great and good man of this kingdome did pray dying, Lord forgive me Mine-Other-mens sins.

Now all these groundlesse, boundlesse, endlesse, fruitlesse, unlawfull, unlimited, sinnefull desires of pleasure, profits, and preferment, whither did they, doe they, would they lead thee O my miserable soule? to be a Cain, Homicida, a killer of a man? to bee an Absalom, parricida, a supplanter of thy father? to be a Baanah, regicida, a rebell against thy King? yea yet more execrable, to be one of those [...], to fight against thy God.

For what is all this, but an aversion from the Crea­tor, and a conversion to the creature? a trampling on the instruction of his precepts, a spurning at the dire­ction [Page 28]of his providence? To resist Jehova my Maker, Jesus Christ my Redeemer, and the Holy Ghost my Paraclete, my Sanctifier, and blessed Comforter? Oh ure, seca in hoc saeculo, ut parcas in futuro: nay, Ure, seca in hoc saeculo, ne peccem de futuro; Lord wound, burne my body, so that my soule may not sinne: lay upon me obscurity, infamy, ignominy, poverty, weake­nesse, sicknesse, death, any thing but sinne and hell; but sinne the cause of hell, and hell the effect of sinne.

If now that eternall Judge should injoine me [...], not [...]. but [...], an eternall silence for my eternall demerit, I would begge but one word, to be left to the liberty of mine utterance, which should never be out of my mouth, nor out of his Eares.

PECCAVI, I have sinned: Peccavi, I have sin­ned, against heaven and against thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy sonne: Peccavi, I have sinned, Lord I have sinned, and these sheepe what have they done? Peccavi, I have sinned, but Propitius peccatori, God be mercifull to me The sinner.

By this second point I have shewed sinne to bee a burden, indeed Such a burden as neither wee nor our Forefathers were ever able to beare. Howbeit, hither­to I have onely touched that Burden with my little fin­ger. In the third point, following, I will set my shoul­der to it, and then my heart shall tell you how I feele the weight of it.

Wee see thus, that sinne is a burden, yet ordinary sinners feele it not. For (where sinne is growne into a custome) Mulus mulum scabit, the sinner reacheth a cushion to the divell, and (by a reciprocall courtesie) the divell reacheth a cushion to the sinner. The sinner [Page 29]biddeth the divell take his ease, and spare his tempta­tion; the divell biddeth the sinner take his ease, and feare no damnation: for sinne must bee freely and se­carely committed.

Your Urinatores, expert Swimmers, being under water, feele not the weight of a full fraighted ship, of a thousand runnes, riding perpendicularly over the ve­ry head of them: But so soon as they put their heads above water, the least touch of the least part of the ship will stemme them, and tumble them headlong into the bottome of the Ocean. So whilest misera­ble men swimme in the custome of any pleasing or profitable sinne, they are insensible of the burden of a­ny crime, though it be as bigge as a Carrick, or as one of those vaste Sea-carts at Lepanto: But so soone as they shall begin but to lift up their heads out of the Ocean of their habituall offences, but to looke to­wards heaven, they will be ready to sinke with feare to be drowned in despaire, at the very apprehension thereof.

This applicative phrase, Mihi peccatori, to Me a sinner, will instruct us to ponder this point. Here I propose My selfe Your looking-glasse. The sight of my frailties may reflect to you your infirmities, either the very same or some very like, shadowed by this example. Irrideant me arrogantes, ego tamen confite­bor tibi dedecora mea, in laudem tuam: although confession to God produce derision from man, yet will I say, Mihi peccatori, to Mee the sinner; and let mee have the shame, God the glory, and you an Item for your conversation.

To looke backe to the very Aest of my Nativity, [Page 31]and lower also: I was a sinner before I was, I was borne in sinne, and my mother conceived mee in ini­quity.

In my swadling clouts, those cradle-cryings, and in­articulate complainings, were the actuall froth pum­ped from the dregges of my originall pollution.

Afterwards, being but Infans, Mendaciis Paedago­gum fallebam, & pomorum furta faciebam: being not able to speake plainely, nor to goe strongly, yet then I had a tongue to tell a lye for feare of the rod, and an hand to plucke other mens fruit, for the love of my palate. These little sinnes shewed, that being but a little childe, I had too little regard (or knowledge at the least) of our great God, and his holy commande­ments.

My carefull parents putting me to Schoole, how did I play away that price lesse Treasure, my Time, [...], how often did my sports add feathers to those nim­ble houres? and afterwards, how faine would I have clipped the wings of those birds, which (God know­eth) were then flowne away too farre from being caught againe?

At the University, I had no lips to kisse those hands which clothed and fed mee there. I did not onely want a purse, but (which is worse) an heart also to be sufficiently thankfull to those instruments (now with God) which gave me that blessed education.

Being chosen Fellow in our Colledge, and taking Pupils, I gave them too much libertie, and tooke my selfe too little paines: I was an Heli, when I should have been a Gamaliel; I considered not that University Tutors should bee like the Latine Tutores, Tuitores, [Page 30]Defenders of younglings against barbarismes in their language, and barbarousnesse in their lives: I conside­red not that the inde fatigable industry of vigilant, di­ligent Tutors, should make every Colledge both like Athe [...], which taught men to know well, and like La­cedaemon, which taught men to doe well.

When the University had fitted mee for the Mini­stry. I entred that Calling with joy and hope, fastning my expectation on the Honos, rather than the Onus; on the honour of the Ministers, rather than the labour in the Ministrie: but since I have found that the best man which breathed since the Apostles, did weepe when hee entred into Orders, as truely sensible of the truly insupportable burden.

In that Calling, too long, too oft did I too much repine atomy maintenance, that I fed other mens soules plentifully, but they fed my body too sparingly: that a little wages was an unjust proportion to my great la­bour: A foule fault, perhaps overvalewing the one, and undervaleming the other; but without peradven­ture forgetting the worke that God will doe, that hee will reward his labourers; and the work which Gods children should doe, If they cannot have meanes accor­ding to their mindes, then to frame their mindes accor­ding to their meanes.

But of all, in the discharge, and for the discharge of my Calling, when, because of my industrious, inge­nuous, and impartiall labours, I felt my selfe whipped on both sides; by the Rapists with scourges, and by o­thers (who professe themselves Professours) with scorpions: Etiam tu fili! even Israelites to smite inno­cent Jeremy with the tongue! I want a tongue to tell [Page 32]you what a swarme of discontents did sting my soule with impatient cogitations. O poore pusillanimity! and farre from the Heroicall patience of those Wor­thies, who being whipped for speaking in the name of Jesus, departed from the Councell Rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his Name.

Besides my publike, in my private Calling also, in my poore cottage, in my small Family, what great rivers of omissions have passed unseene by the eye of the poore man that is the Head thereof? At home in defect, nothing so carefull for the soules, as every Mamonist is for the bodies of their servants, of their children especially: abroad in excesse, using my friends kindnesse, and Gods creatures too plentifully, when as it may be others of Gods children, more du­tifull than my selfe, wanted that surplusage for their extreme necessity.

Nay my splendid a peccata, my best actions, in my preaching and hearing, my praying and fasting, my giving and forgiving, yea in the composing of this ve­ry Sermon, I have beene sensible of my affections, in­fections, imperfections, yea interfections, that I need a Sursum corda, one to cry continually, Lift up thy heart in thy devotions.

And I professe it, Verebor omnia opera mea, I am a­fraid of All my actions, that either superbia or desidia, either pride of them, or sloath in them, will bee a worme to make them rotten at the very core.

My life past I have somewhat spent in reading bookes; if the remnant of my mortality I should em­ploy onely in writing books, I ought to compose them onely of two kindes, after the president of that great [Page 33]man of God, onely Confessions and Retractations; onely to repent all my doings, and to recant all my sayings; I meane the infinite infirmities which doe twinne in the very birth of my best endeavours. Me me, adsum qui feci, I have sinned, Lord I have sin­ned, but these people what have they done? What you have done, your selves doe know, and your God doth know; therefore to your repentance, and to his indulgence I remit it.

But for my selfe, O that I had the Heart of this Publican, to pronounce the words of this Publican, Deus propitius esto mihi peccatori, God bee mercifull to Mee a sinner.

Yet you will say,Appl. but which is the greatest sinne in the catalogue of thy personall transgressions? I say, my first and greatest sinne is my sinne of thought; the second is like unto this, concerning my Calling: and upon these two hang all my offences.

Gods Grace (blessed be my God for his Grace) hath preserved me from presumptuous sinnes, that they have not got the dominion over mee: Qui facit peccatum ex diabolo est. God Grace hath prevented mee from do­ing those notorious sinnes, which make a man a ser­vant to the divell. Howbeit there is another kinde of sinne, which some call Limen Inferni, the very brink of Hell; this is the sinne of thought. Now this sinne of thought I thinke (nay I know) to be My sinne.

Whereas every Christian should bee, and many a Christian is, Nun quam minus solus quam quum solus, when they are most solitary, then are they best imploy­ed, in holy invocations, and heavenly contemplations; for my selfe, I finde my private cogitations to bee aut [Page 34]malae, aut otiosae: im [...] mulae quia otiosae: to bee either Evill, or Idle: indeed to be Evill because Idle.

My idle evill Thoughts are like Camomile, the more they grow, the more I trample on them; and yet the more I trample on them, the more they grow. Like that Serpent Hydra, when I out off one Head of an evill Cogitation, instantly two other sprowt up, nay, sprowt out in the place of it. Like the Second Beast in the thirteenth of the Revelations, my Thoughts a­rise our of the earth, Earthly cogitations. And like the First Beast in the same Chapter, although I give a Deadly wound to the Head of one of those Beast­ly Thoughts, yet it will not Die notwithstanding.

My Thoughts, like Davus in the Comedie, like Doeg in Souls Familie, and like the Materia Prim [...] in Philosophie, semper machinantur male fierum, they alwaies make some Mis-rules, and meditate some Mischiefe.

Than Thought can hardly be thought a more Ne­cessitating motive to perpetuate the Prayer of this poore Publicane in my Text, God be mercifull to Me a Sinner.

But now I shew you that Saul who would Hide himselfe, that Sin which is Higher than all my rest, by the shoulders upward, my Defects in my Calling, the Ministerie, so many in number, so mighty in na­ture.

The Ministerie. For the Matter thereof, we are conversant about the Word of God, both audible and visible, both the holy Scriptures, and the heavenly Sacraments. For the Forme, we doe it authoritative, [Page 35]we are Dispencers of them. Our Efficient instrumen­tall is the Church of God, and the Efficient principall is God Himselfe, who did Thrust me forth to be a la­bourer in his Harvest, when as some of my most foo­lish friends, and some of my more foolish fancies, did whisper me in the eare to divert me to some more profitable Vocation. And the end is, [...], a Great Reward, yea a greater than that, to save Soules; nay, the greatest of all, to be [...], to Doe service unto God, whether it be by being the savour of Life to the children of Obedience, or the savour of Death in those that Perish.

For the Effect. At these extraordinary times, we hope, when we cast our Bread upon the Waters, and deliver our Sermons amongst a Multitude of People, who are like many Waters, that through Gods extra­ordinarie grace, there may be one soule hungring and thirsting after Righteousnesse, which will vouchsafe to take one morsell of that we set before them. If not, we hope for an ordinarie blessing among the Flockes over which the Holy Ghost hath made us Overseers. If not so, but that in this time of Plentie we bring our Corn into the Market, but find it slighted both by Forreiners and Inhabitants, then [...], Poore despised Husbandmen, we will carry it home to feed our owne Families. Nay, if Pride, Idlenesse, and Ful­nesse of Bread should reigne under our owne roofes, though a Minister cannot have Curam animarum, yet if he can have but Curam Animae: if through my Foolishnesse of Preaching I have saved but one Soule, but mine Owne Soule: this certainly is a precious Effect of a most pricelesse Vocation.

[Page 36]Now, that in such a Calling there should be any such Defect, of Conscience, not to be instant ( [...],) in season, out of season: of Commoditie, not to conceive this Godlinesse to be great gaine: of Con­tent, since God hath said it, he will never Forsake us: or of Courage, God is on our side, we need not care what Man can doe against us.

That we should but from a corner of our eye cast but a glaunce upon the Riches of the Citie, the Ho­nours of the Court, the Reputation of the Lawyers, Common or Civill, the Esteeme of the Physicians, or the Quiet of the Gentrie. So that we should not commend this while we live, as the only Treasure to our Soules; and when we die, as the principall Lega­cie, Portion, and Inheritance to our Sons.

That we should not Delight to discharge this bles­sed Function with all our Heart, with all our Soule, with all our Mind, and with all our Strength; but that we should leave any crannie in our Hearts either for Discontent at home, or for Envie abroad; either for Wishes of Additions to our Temporalls, or for Feare of Opposition to our Ecclesiasticalls: that we should not be [...] & [...], alwayes [...], Content, and prompt, and provided to publish Gods truth by our preaching, pens, and protestation.

[...], I confesse and professe it before God, Men, and Angels; Here, This is My Sin, and herein God be mercifull to Me a Sinner.

4 Thus these three words minister to our notice two strange Extremes. more distant than the Antipo­des, or than the Xenith and the Nadir, than the most severed Paris of the Earth, or the two more con­trarie [Page 37] Points of Heaven, God, and sinfull Man. And the word remaining (Mercie) is the Communis ter­minus, is the Knot where these two termes doe meet.

Mercy is that miraculous Medium which doth alter the Colour, yea, and the Nature of the Visible Object. Sinfull man in himselfe is Red, red as Skarlet; but God, looking through Mercie, apprehendeth him to be White, white as the Snow in Salmon. God in regard of Sinfull man is a Judge and Revenger; but through Mercie, even sinfull man looketh upon him as up­on a Saviour, a Redeemer, yea, as upon an indulgent Father. This Collyrium cleared the dull sight of this devour Publican. Being himselfe, he did not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven; but through this Medi­um he durst looke God in the very face, saying, God be mercifull to me a Sinner.

Mercifull to a Sinner! Sin is the sicknesse of the Soule, and Mercie is the Medicine thereof. As a Me­dicine, so Mercie is Sanativa, Praeservativa, & Pro­motiva: it is a Purge to Cure Sicknesse, a Cordiall to Strengthen Weaknesse, and an Antidote to Anticipate Relapses. There is a Pardoning, a Preserving, and a Preventing Mercy: a Mercy pardoning our sinnes Past, preserving us against sinne Present, and preven­ting us from sinne to Come.

  • 1 The first the Woman had taken [...] in the act of Uncleannesse: I condemne thee not▪ goe, sin no more.
  • 2 The second God gave to Paul; My Grace is sufficient for thee, and, my strength is made perfect in thy weaknesse.
  • [Page 38]3. And the third, rejoyced the Heart of holy Da­vid: Blessed bee God, and blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou which hast kept me this day from aven­ging my selfe with my owne hand.

And this Publican desired, needed, hoped all these three: Mercie to pardon him for the time past, to preserve him for the time present, and to pre­vent him for the time to come. This threefold mercy, gave this prayer to the soule of the Publican; and the soule to this prayer of the Publican. Hence hee praied, God be mercifull to me a Sinner.

Those are lame Christians, who tread not in the foot-steps of this Publican: Parallel the particulars.

First look back-ward; Remember the mispending of our time, meanes, and callings.

  • 1 Our time was all from God. But to God what time have we returned? the seventh? the seventeenth? yea or the seventieth? What one here dare say, that in his whole life hee hath given but One whole imire yeere unto Gods service?
  • 2 Our meanes. God i [...] the Fountaine issuing forth those also. But returne we any Rivers, for the Oceans we have received? the tenth? nay the tenth of the tenth? How much, how much have we imploied on our selves? How little, how very little have wee set apart for our God?
  • 3 Our Callings. Have we used them as Gods talents? to Gods glory? Have wee not used them as Rakes to draw riches to us? or as Stirrups to raise us to pro­motion? What then would become of us, if it were not for Gods pardoning mercy: if God would not be mercifull to us miserable Sinners?

[Page 39]Next let us looke inward, indeed downward, and blush at the infinite frailties of our best abilities.

  • 1 Our Faith is sicut Luna, nunquam Una: in many Warnes, Cloudings, and Eclipses.
  • 2 Our Hope is like an anchor of reed, apt to bee torne up with every triviall temptation.
  • 3 And our Charitie like the Cypresse tree, very tall, but bearing little fruit. Our soules have need of a Cor­diall, of a preserving mercy: That God would bee Mercifull to us sinners, by his strengthning Grace, and gracious assistance.

Finally, let us looke forward, yea backeward, yea inward also: let all men, at all times, looke all waies. And if we can, let us turne our eye from some preven­ting mercie: which is the mercy of mercies.

  • 1 Full often shall wee, have wee, doe we swell with prosperitie; but that Gods mercy doth send us some moderate adversitie, to prick that windie bladder, and to prevent us from security.
  • 2 As often are wee dejected with adversitie; but then Gods mercie doth raise us with some prosperitie, to prevent as from impatience and blasphemie.
  • 3 Nature maketh us prone to superstition; but Gods mercie hath given us birth in a blessed Land (which is the kingdome of the Gospell, and hath the Gospell of the kingdome) to prevent us from Idolatrie.
  • 4 Company allureth us many times, to bestow Gods Day on their Societie; but Gods mercy, in giving us customarie Sabbath Sermons, doth draw us to Church for shame, and preventeth us from that too frequent, and publike profane impietie.
  • 5 Our people are apt enough to act the part of those Boyes of Jericho, to have a bald-head, some [Page 40]scornefull nick-name, for the Prophets of the Lord: but the mercie of the Lord hath a little prevented them, and a little touched their hearts (as he did the heart of Lidia) that they doe in some sort esteeme them to be the Horsemen of Israel, and the Chariots of the same.

Have we not beene angry too often, too suddenly, too much? And this is a prologue to Murder. But bles­sed be that mercie, which as often prevented us. Im­moderate diet, fantasticall fashions, too loose speeches, if Gods mercie prevented not, who dare say that they might not lead us to uncleannesse? Yee know our de­sires, cares, and indeavours to thrive our selves, and to raise our Posterity: if we doe this without covetous­nesse, admire Gods preventing mercy, indeed beyond admiration. Corrupt nature hath framed us with broad eares, and wide mouths, with a strange apt­nesse to speake of the absent, more than becommeth the innocent. Have we learned the lesson of holy Da­vid in any measure? so to take heed to our waies, that we offend not with our tongue? Reverence Gods preven­ting mercie, as our onely instructor in that singular vertue. And that our Bosome Aetn [...], our continuall concupiscence, if we can [...], quench those desires in any degree, that they Flame not forth into actuall Ambition, Covetousnesse, and Voluptuous­nesse; the voice of our Praise and Prayer, must as­cribe all this to Gods preventing mercie, in the phrase of this Publican: God is, ever hath beene, and ever may hee bee a God mercifull to us miserable Sinners.

The consideration of Gods mercy in generall, but of his preventing mercie in especiall, may incline our [Page 41]hearts, to treasure up this precious Praier, for our per­petuall practice. It were well, if like the Israelites, wee could write it as a select Scripture, in our Phy­lacteries and verges of our garments. It were well, if like that Emperour we could paint it as a choyce sen­tence, in our windowes and Walles of our houses. It were well, if like that Father wee could carry it as an Obvious Poesie, on our Tables and Trenchers. All this were well: but it were farre better, if with the blessed Virgin, we could Lay it up in our Hearts, [...], Written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in the tables of stone, but in the fleshly tables of the Heart. That Nulla dies sine linea, that every houre we may utter this Prayer; God be mercifull to Me a Sinner.

God be mercifull to us! Surely God Hath Been, Appl. and Is Mercifull unto us alreadie. That we are here, now met together at this time, in this place, it is the Lords mercy.

It is Gods mercy, that the substance of this Text, which is writ in this verse, was not written upon all our Houses, as it was upon some of our poore Neighbours: LORD HAVE MERCIE UPON US.

What am I, that I did not fall amongst those eight hundred which died this yeere in my owne poore Parish? and what are you, that you servive those eight and twentie thousands which were buried with­in the circuit of your famous Citie? That our eight hundreds arose not to eight thousands: and that your eight and twenty thousands did not multiply to eight­score Thousands: and that we were made but Cyphers [Page 42]among those numbers appointed to die: that the Lord swep us not All away with that besome of his indignation, the Plague: that they were scopae dis­solutae, that we escaped, this was Gods mercie, Gods great mercy.

That the Tower of Siloam fell upon eighteen, and upon no more of the Inhabitants of Jerusalem: it was Gods mercy unto them. That the Plague hath destroi­ed so many of the Inhabitants of London, but no more: this is Gods mercie unto us. Yea, Gods mercy was to us, as preferment should be to men of merit, Fugientem sequitur, it did follow us when we did flee from it. Stulti Stoici cum misericordiam quasi vitium devita­bant: when the foolish people did forsake their owne mercies, and did pluck down Lord have mercy upon us, from their Doores; even then God did write o­ver their Heads; Miserebor cujus miserebor, I will have mercy, on whom I will have mercy: and pre­serve many from the Plague. Gods mercy, Gods mira­culous mercie.

Nay, whilest our provoked Judge did destroy us with the plague, even then also hee shewed mercy in his Judgements. That in our parish, and in your Ci­tie, there dyed so many, it was too many, had not God designed it to bee so; but that there dyed no more, this was citra condignum, lesse than wee did deserve, Gods mercy: and that I and you were Titiones ab in­cendio, Brands snatched out of that fire, that wee dyed not of the plague, this was supra condignum, more than we did deserve, Gods gracious mercie. Carnall consultations, it may be, may conclude, that so many children died of the plague, this was a cruell affliction: [Page 43]But I say, Deus fecit nihil inaniter, nihil inhumaniter, that these judgements were not without wisdome, they were not without mercies. That Infants were destroyed, carnall men may call it cruelty, but it was crudelitas parcens, in verity very mercy. Although they did not know their right hand from their left, yet God (it may be) did know that they would patrizare, imitate the sinister dealings of their naughty Parents, and therefore to withhold them from a sinfull life by a timely death; this was Gods mercy: and wee who have escaped the plague, if we continue in our sinnes, it is misericordia puniens, to incurre greater judge­ments, if we be not prevented by Gods mercy.

But now, if the Lord would be pleased to say a Con­summatum est to our Crosse, to say of the plague, It is fi­nished, that our inhabitants might safely and securely return to their houses, follow their trades, and frequent their Churches, in the feare of God, without feare of one another: that we might no more be destroyed by the plague, devoured by poverty, afflicted for our friends, affrighted in our mindes, and (which is most misera­ble) hindered from comming to Church; this would bee the mercy, the tender mercy of our God, whereby from on high he hath visited us, and delivered us from that heavie visitation. Then, as the last yeere in the plague, the heart of every good Christian was like Ari­stotle booke, rasatabula, a Faire folio, wherein the let­ters of this text were written in text letters, God bee mercifull to mee a sinner: so this yeere, being freed from the plague, we should be [...], all of us should be one heart, to be one booke, that book of Ezekiel, scriptus intus & foris, written within and [Page 44]without, like Psalme 136. every line, For his mer­cy endureth for ever.

Now that God may cease plaguing, and that we may cease sinning, God be mercifull to us All for Evermore, Amen.

Finally, to make my Exordium my Conclusion, I may re-enforce this exhortation from this present occasion of hearing and speaking.

In hearing, if you have offended either in regard of your attention to the speaking, or of your intension to the practising of Gods word, give mee leave to bee your poore Oratour: God be mercifull to you sinners.

If in speaking your judgement doth apprehend or reprehend any errours in my discourse, I beseech you to intercede for mee to our great intercessour; that Christs mercy may pardon me what I have done, pre­vent me what I shall doe, and preserve me in all my do­ings of this nature.

O pray for Mee that I may pray for my selfe, in all my actions, but in my Sermons especially. God be mer­cifull to me a sinner.

[...]

PASCHA CHRISTIANUM; …

PASCHA CHRISTIANUM; THE CHRISTIAN PASSEOVER.

A Sermon appointed for the SPITTLE, but preached at St. Pauls on Wednesday in Easter Weeke, 1637.

BY JOHN LYNCH, Parson of Herietsham in Kent, and Chaplain unto the R. Reverend Father in God the Lord Bishop of SARUM.

Coloss. 2.17. The body is CHRIST.
August. contra Adiman. cap. 16. Non Signa & umbrae salutem dederunt, sed ea quae his significabantur.

LONDOM, Printed by ROBERT YOUNG, for Humfrey Blunden, 1637.

PASCHA CHRISTIANUM, THE CHRISTIAN PASSEOVER.

1 COR. 5.7.8.7 Christ our Passeover is sacrificed for us: 8 Let us therefore keep the Feast (or the Holy-day) &c.’

THe subject matter (if you note it) of this my text, here, is an Aposti­licall indiction (you shall finde) of a Feast; together with a specificati­on both of the cause why we must, as also a particular direction tou­ching the manner how.

The indiction wee have in these words, [...], Epulemur: that is, as it is in the text and margent of [Page 48]our English Version, Let us keepe the Holy-day, Let us keepe the Feast. Where I pray take notice by the way, how that this our Easter feast is not like that same heresie of the Acephali, a certaine blinde custome, brought in amongst us no man living can tell by whom: neither like those Feriae domesticae a­mongst the Romans, is it of private institution, of which kinde were those of the Cornelian family, ta­ken up onely by some few: no, it is Festum publicum (you see) & stativum, a feast that is founded upon the Word of God; and therefore S. Augustine telleth us in a certaine Epistle of his, viz. in his 119. ad Jan. how that by the expresse authoritie of divine Scrip­ture it is, that yeerely about this time we doe keep a feast.

Yea, but why now doe wee keepe a feast (you will say)? This my Text here will tell you why: Chri­stus Pascha nostrum immolatus est pro nobis, Christ our Passeover was now sacrificed for us. And all these cir­cumstances being duely weighed by us, have we just cause to keepe a feast now?

Yea, I trow; yea, and so to keepe it too, not as it shall seeme best unto our corrupt fancies, as they of Syracuse in Livie kept the festivals of their Diana, for three whole daies together lewdly addicting themselves unto nought but drunkennesse and all ex­cesse; as if for our parts so the feast be kept by us, we need not to passe (wee thinke) for the manner how: No, sancta sanctè and therefore, the feast we keepe now being the feast of Passeover, in such sort onely are we to keepe it, as with the nature of a Passeover shall be most sutable.

[Page 49]Would you know how? Why not with leaven then (as you may read in Exod. 12.) non in fermento veteri, not with that old sowre bread, which we usu­ally fed upon whilest we were in Egypt; no, Haud est conveniens Paschati iste panis: and therefore if wee will keepe this feast here, according to the prescribed rites thereof, wee must utterly exterminate from us all leaven: during the whole time of this festivitie of ours, we must not so much as harbour leaven in our houses; much lesse then (if we will keepe this feast a­right) may we knead and mould it up in our bread.

Yea, but if not with leavened, with what bread then is it St. Paul his will that we doe keep the feast? for with some bread or other we must needs keepe it (I am sure) if his meaning in earnest be that we doe keep it at all.

The truth is, a thing so necessary is bread to the substance of every feast, as that to imagine a feast to have no bread in it, is to imagine a feast to bee no feast. This St. Paul knew well enough, being him­selfe an Hebrew; he knew well enough, how that ab esu panis Hebraei totum convivium denotârunt, how that the Hebrew idiome it was under the tearme [Bread] to comprehend usually the whole banquet. This he knew, I say, and because he knew it, though he bars us one sort of bread, yet he allowes another; though hee restraines us from bread that hath any leaven in it, yet unleavened bread he allowes our fill. What say I? doth he allow it us doe I say? nay, to speake truth, he doth injoine it us: for this word (Let) here (you must know) in our English Version is not barely permissive, but imperative, and strict­ly [Page 50]bind us it doth, as to keep the feast, so though not thus to keep it, yet thus; though not in fermento, yet in azymis, though not with leavened bread, yet with unleavened.

Yea, but what then? Shall we untombe the Syna­gogue (you will say?) Shall we Deum colere per escas? And those very ceremonies, which for so ma­ny hundred of yeeres have lien buried, and are quite putrefied, is it St. Paul his will (may we thinke) in this my Text here, that wee should now rake them up a­gaine, and bring them in use?

Farre be it from us to have the least thought, that Saint Paul should play here the [...], that hee should prevaricate, say and unsay; or that hee should build anew what hee erst destroied: that hee should build anew here at Corinth, what hee destroied (wee read) at Colossi: or that hee should teach one thing here unto this people, and quite another thing there unto that. You must know therefore how that by this leavened and unleavened bread here spoken of, Saint Paul meaneth not the leavened or unleavened bread of paste: no, himselfe hath taught us how that Gods Kingdome is not Esca & Potus; Rom. 14.17. himselfe hath taught us how that it is not what wee eate that commendeth a man to God:1 Cor. 8.8. neither if wee eate such sweet bread are wee ought the better for it (can we say) neither if we eate such leavened bread are we ought the worse. It is the corruption (saith Isodore Hispalenfis) of the old man that is the leavened bread that is here spoken against. Againe, it is the conversation (saith hee) of the new man that is the sweet bread that is here called for: Let us keep the [Page 51]feast, not with leavened bread, i.e. not with malice (saith Saint Paul) and wickednesse: Againe, Let us keep the feast with sweet bread, i.e. with sincerity (saith Saint Paul) and truth.

As the Text consisteth of two Verses, so doe the Verses branch themselves into two parts, viz. into Beneficium and Officium, into a doctrine of faith, and a rule of life: into Beneficium or Credendum, a thing done for us on Good-Friday; and into Officium or Agendum, a thing to bee done by us now at Easter; yea not at Easter onely, but every day, during the whole seven daies of our life. The Beneficium wee have in these words: Pascha nostrum, &c. The Offici­um in these: Itaque epulemur. The thing done for us we have in the seventh Verse, Christ our Passeover is sacrificed: the thing to be done by us in the eighth, Let us therefore keep the feast.

In the Beneficium, which I call the doctrine, the Credendum or thing done, there are foure things which doe voluntarily offer themselves in severall to be observed, and all they too (if wee well consider them) of such singular moment and importance, as that even in severall they may afford us matter e­nough, every one of them to keep a feast for. Here of the first is Paschanostrum, that even wee Christians have also a Passeover. The second is Christus, that our Passeover is Christ. The third is Sacrificatus est, that Christ is sacrificed. The fourth and last is Prono­bis, that hee is sacrificed for us. Of these in order, and first of Pascha nostrum, that even wee Christians have also a Passeover; wee that are Abrahams seed by faith, as well as they that are Abrahams seed by [Page 52]flesh: we of the new Covenant Our's, as well as they of the old Covenant Their's.

1 Yea, but a Passeover! What is a Passeover (you will say?) A rite it is well worth the cleering; and the true meaning whereof (if you will but looke in Exo­dus, cap. 12. ver. 26.) it is Gods command (you shall find) that every Israelite so punctually should under­stand, as that if a childe (they say) were but once a­ble to eate so much bread as an olive, and were but of strength once holding his father by the hand to goe from Jerusalem gates unto the Temple, the father of that childe was bound to cause him to goe up that hee might there catechize him in this ceremonie. Where by the way, I pray tell mee, did God so strictly bind the Jewes to instruct and edifie their children in the grounds and principles of religion; and is it a matter (may we thinke) that he left freely unto the choice and liberty of us Christians, whether wee for our parts in these things will informe our children now or not? How commeth it to passe else (I would faine know) that some amongst us, who are past sucklings (I am sure) yea or weanlings either, yea or striplings either, being in truth many of them (we see) men growne, and therefore able (we may think) to eate more bread than comes to the quantity of an olive, and to goe further without a fathers hand than from Jerusalems gates unto the Temple, than from the street unto the Church (I meane) than from their owne houses unto Gods, how commeth it to passe (I say) that some amongst us, who are now altogether (I am sure) past children (unlesse you will make such children as the Prophet Isaiah doth,Isaiah 63.20. children well [Page 53]nigh an hundred yeeres old) are yet more grossely ignorant in most Christian principles, than are even the most ignorantly ignorant amongst the Roma­nists? But of this Obiter, and but by the by onely (as we say) [...], to our shame, to the end, that if possible, I might in these things provoke us of the Church of England unto emulation. To answer at length therefore unto the question, touching the sense and meaning of a Passeover.

The word Pascha here in the originall is by birth an Hebrew (you must know) not a Greeke; neither (as some Monkes have sung) doth it derive its pedi­gree from [...], to suffer: but sicut perhibent qui hoc sciunt (saith Saint Augustine) as men skilfull in that language have delivered, Ab eo dicitur quod transitur, it is deduced in Hebrew from the word Pasach, which is as much (you must know) in our native En­glish, as to fare, leap, or to pass over: & therfore some have thought how that even from this very root not onely [...] hath sprung amongst the Greekes, but even amongst the Latines also Passus, and here in our own country dialect a Pase. Now the transitus or passage here alluded unto by Saint Paul, is that which in the 12. chapter of the booke of Exodus wee doe find de­scribed to the very full: where the destroying Angel by Gods appointment being to passe quite through the land of Egypt, and to smite impartially all the first-borne in the land, even from man unto beast (e­ven from the first-borne of Pharaoh that sate upon his throne, unto the first-borne of the captive that was in the dungeon) he yet spared (we reade) Gods owne people, hee in mercy passed over them, God [Page 54]having appointed them to this purpose with the bloud of a certaine Lambe to all-besprinkle both the two side-posts, and the upper doore-post of their houses, that the Exterminator seeing the bloud thereon, might not passe in thither to destroy them. The remembrance of this destruction, thus pas­sing over them, were the children of Israel every yeer in most solemne manner to celebrate, both by the killing of a certaine Lambe, selected by them to this purpose, as also by performing duly certaine other rites prescribed unto them by God. This Lamb thus slaine by them in memory of what had once pas­sed them, did the Jewish people by a Metonymie call Pascha suum, their Passeover, and the slaying and the eating of this Lambe, the slaying and eating of their Passeover. Thou shalt sacrifice the Passeover at even (saith God, Deut. 16. ver. 6.) Where wilt thou (say the Disciple, Matth. 14.) that wee goe and pre­pare that thou mayest eate the Passeover? The Passeo­ver! that is, the Lambe, whereby the Angels passing over them was commemorated; it being no unusuall thing amongst sundry other kinds of sacramentall predication, to speake that of the thing signified, which is true most properly of the signe only, and to ascribe that againe unto the signe, which is due onely in truth unto the thing signified: and all this by rea­son altogether of that spirituall union and conjuncti­on which in every sacrament of either Covenant is betwixt the Relatum (as they call it) and the Corre­latum, betwixt the corporall substance and the spiri­tuall, betwixt the outward element, and the inward grace.

[Page 55]Well, you have seen by this time (I suppose) what a Passeover is, what in it selfe, what in its signe, what in rei veritate, what in significante mysterio; what in the truth of the thing done, what in figure also of that same truth. In it selfe, it was the passage (you have seen) of a destroying Angell over the Israelites; in it's signe it was a sacrifice offered in remembrance of that same passage: in the truth of the thing done, Israels first-borne you see were preserved; in figure of that same truth, a certaine Lamb, you see, was slain. Yea, but in the meane while, where is nostrum (you will say?) Where is that same Passeover which I said was Ours? For all this while have we been only in Israel, you know: and what is Israels, I am sure, is nought to us.

True, it is not (I must confesse:) but yet for all this have but patience (I beseech you) for a little time, and I nothing doubt but with Gods assistance to repay with interest, what erst I promised, and to make it cleare unto you how that, as well as Israel, even we Christians also have a Passeover, a passage over from as great an evill, a passage over to as great a good. For proofe hereof, I pray tell me what think you (I beseech you) of our soule? Is not that a thing we must needs grant every whit as deere unto us as our first borne? Yea, a thing in truth for whose salvation, for whose safe passage (I meane) from hence to Heaven, there is no man (I thinke) so devoid of reason, that will not give both first borne and all hee hath too. Againe, what think you (I beseech you) of Gods vengeance continually hovering over us, for our sinnes, and every houre, every moment ready [Page 56]to powre us downe to hell? Is not that a thing as much to bee dreaded by us, as that destroying Angell was by the Israelites: yea and by so much the more too, by how much wee are to feare eternall death, more than temporall? But now when by reason of Adams sinne we were all liable to condemnation, ex­pecting hourely when Gods justice should have ceazed upon our soules, that God in mercy was then pleased not to destroy us with the Egyptians: that is (as S. Paul phraseth it) not to condemn us with the world, but to passe over us, to spare us (as he did his own children some times the Israelites) not suffering the Exterminator to have any power at all upon us; that thus it was, what is more plaine (I beseech you) throughout the whole body of the New Testa­ment? Where read wee not (if you have observed it) in many places of our being delivered from wrath? 1 Thess. 1.10. Of our being freed from the Law? Rom. 8.2. Gal. 3.13. Ephes. 2.5. Of our being re­deemed from the Curse? Of being saved by Grace? And in the fift of St. John the 24. vers. (where wee have both the terminos of this happy passage of ours) reade we not expresly how that each true beleever is already passed from death to life?

Well then, that a Passeover we have, that is most certaine (you see) even we Christians, as well as the Jewes: yea and that such a Passeover in truth (if wee well examine it) as wherewith the Jewish Passeover must not compare: No, neither in respects of that evill which in either Passeover was avoyded, the evill in theirs being only a bodily danger, wheras it was a spi­rituall danger (you see) that wee escaped in ours: nor yet in respect of that good which in either [Page 57]Passeover was effected, the good in theirs being on­ly a temporall deliverance; whereas it was an eternall deliverance, you see, that was wrought in ours. What will you say now unto the meanes ordained by God in either Passeover for the effecting of this good, for the avoiding of this evill, for the working of this deliverance, for the escaping of this danger? Even in this respect too is not their Passeover far in­feriour (alas) to ours? even as farre as the earth is in­feriour unto the heavens? even as farre as the creature is inferiour to the Creator? Yes: for whereas the meanes in theirs was only agnus, as saith Saint Am­brose, irrationabilis naturae; behold in ours it was ag­nus divinae potentiae: whereas the meanes in theirs was only a lamb that was taken by them out of the fould; behold in ours it was that Lambe that descended for us downe from heaven, even that very Lamb which both S. Peter speakes of and S. John the Baptist points at, namely Christ; Pascha nostrum Christus est,1 Pet. 1.19.our Passeover, saith my text, is Christ.

2 And the truth is, if wee well consider with our selves what was to be done for us in our Passeover, what the state we were to passe from, what the state wee were to passe unto, wee must needs grant how that in all reason none could have been our Passeover, save onely Christ alone; none the meanes of our passage from the state of wrath to the state of grace; none the meanes of our passage from the state of death to the state of glory, save onely that Lambe, qui tollit peccata mundi, even that Lamb of God,Joh. 1.36. qui in sinu Patris est; that most holy immaculate Lambe Christ. For alas, alas, in the case wee were in, could [Page 58]any other lamb have served the turne, think you? could a lamb out of the stock have beene a sufficient ransome for a mans soule? for that which is of more worth than all the lambs in the whole world are? yea, in truth than the whole World it selfe is, or a whole world of worlds besides? Why, [...], (saith Proclus of Constantinople) [...]: the redempti­on of a soule is a greater purchase, than either the wealthiest Saint could have compassed, or the migh­tiest Angell; how much lesse then could a common lamb, trow you, have a considerable recompense, and counterprice, I say not for all the soules in this or that onely particular Kingdome, but even for all the soules of all the people in all the Kingdomes under Heaven? But now such a Lambe it was that wee wanted; such a Lambe that we stood in need of, even a Lambe by whose meanes and merit the destroying Angell might bee made passe over, not the soules onely of some few Israelites, in our little Angle only of the Land of Egypt; but over all the soules of all mankinde, that either are or have beene since the world began. Why, and blessed be God (and we have cause to feast for it I think) such a Paschal Lambe it is that we now have, God in mercy having so provi­ded for us, that even his onely Son, you see, should be our Lambe; for Pascha nostrum Christus est, our Passeover, saith my text, is Christ.

Christ (I say) and in very deed such a true Pas­chal Lamb is Christ, such a perfect Passeover our Passeover, such a compleat Passeover ours, as that to ours the Jewish Passeover was but as the shadow [Page 59]unto the substance, the Jewish Lambe to ours but as the type unto the truth. For proofe hereof, doe but see the Parallels, I beseech you, betwixt their Passe­over and ours, betwixt [...], as they call it, and [...], betwixt our crucifigible Passeover, and their legall one: and I pray tell me what think you? was there ought typified can we say in theirs, which in every respect, if we search the Gospel, was not fully verified (wee shall finde) in ours?

  • First, their Lambe was one of the flocke, wee read; in like man­ner so was ours, even [...], (saith Euse­bius Caesariensis) one that was made of a woman (saith St. Paul) that was true man.
  • Secondly,
    Gal. 4 4.
    Secondly, their Lambe was without blemish, wee read;
    Exod. 12.5.
    in like manner so was ours, even [...], (saith Proclus) one that knew no sinne, saith S. Paul, that had no guile.
  • Third­ly, their Lambe was to bee offered, we read; in like manner so was ours, Oblatus est quia ipse voluit, saith the Prophet; through the eternall Spirit, saith S. Paul,
    Heb. 9.14.
    hee offered himselfe.
  • Fourthly, and last of all, their Lambe, we read, was to be sacrificed; in like manner so was ours, Christus Pascha nostrum immolatus est, Christ our Passeover, saith my Text, is sacrificed.

3 The word in the Originall is [...], which is ren­dred by divers diversly: Mr Beza reading it, sacrifi­catus est, Christ our Passeover is sacrificed, whereas in the Vulgar Latine we finde it, immolatus est, Christ our Passeover is slaine. To speake properly, it is the word sacrificed that in my judgement doth here fit us best; that importing unto us not onely the slaying of a thing, but also the slaying of a thing offered; without either of which, in true proprietie of speech, [Page 60]Christ could never have bin a sacrifice, and therefore consequently never Pascha nostrum, never in all reason our Passeover. This is evident by that difference which hath been observed by the learned, betwixt what is offered, what is sacrificed, and what onely upon some common ordinary occasion is slain: because whereas a thing may be offered (they tell us) that is not slaine, as the first-borne were amongst the Israelites; and slaine that is not sacrificed, as the calfe was by the Witch of Endor: yet truely sacrificed they say a thing cannot be, unlesse both offered it be, yea and slaine too, either analogically or really, either in pro­portion or in truth. Christ was both, to shew in eve­ry respect the truth and veritie of his sacrifice, & ob­latus est, & immolatus, Christ our Passeover, I say, was both. In Isai. 53.3. there the Prophet tells us that Christ was offered: in Dan. 9.26. there the Pro­phet tells us that Christ was slain: again, in Heb. 9.28. there the Apostle tells us that Christ was offered: in Rev. 5.12. there the Apostle tels us that Christ was slaine. Oblatus est, he was offered, say Divines, in vita, in his life: Occisus est, he was slaine, say they, in cruce, upon the crosse. Oblatus est, hee was offered that his slaughter might be a sacrifice: Occisus est, he was slaine that his sacrifice might be complete. One thing I am sure of, so sanctified was Christ his slaughter by his being offered, and on the other side againe, so accomplished was Christ his sacrifice by his being slaine, as that not without cause it is, if we well consider it, that St. Paul saith not in this my Text here, [...], Christ our Passeover is offered, or [...], Christ our Passover is slain; [Page 61]no, but to make it plaine unto us how that slaine hee was, not [...], upon any common usuall oc­casion, but [...], in honour only of our God (which the learned observe to be the maine and only difference between [...] and [...]:) [...], therefore, [...], saith he, Christ our Passeover is sacrificed. Yea but to sacrifice is a Church-worke, you will say, not to be done but by some Priest onely; it would not bee amisse therefore to make enquiry here by what Priest it was that Christ was sacrificed.

Surely by none other Priest, save only by himselfe alone; it was himselfe onely that here gave himselfe to bee a sacrifice unto God now:Eph. 5.2. Heb. 9.14. Tradidit hostiam semetipsum, saith Saint Paul, Christ did offer up him­selfe.

Ipse semetipsum? did Christ sacrifice himselfe? why, [...] (as I have shewed you) what ever is sacrificed is destroyed; and did Christ destroy himselfe, you will say? did he semetipsum in­terficere, slay himselfe?

For answer: Though precisely necessary it be un­to every sacrifice that the thing offered be destroy­ed, yet it is no way materiall at all by whom de­stroyed it bee, whether by him that offereth it, or by some other, provided alwayes that the partie of­fering it, doe willingly yeeld thereunto his consent. But now that Christ consented to his owne death, at least wise that hee did not hinder it, neither potentiae obicem opponendo, nor objectum actui subducendo, this is so plaine, as that to doubt thereof is to doubt whether there bee a Sunne or no at noone-day. For proofe hereof, in Joh. 10. doth hee not lay downe his [Page 62]life (he tells us) of himselfe? yea, saith he not plainly, that no man taketh it from him whether hee will or no, but that freely, voluntarily, of his owne accord hee doth lay it downe of himselfe? Yea. Hence is it that through the eternall Spirit he is said to offer up himselfe. Neither wonder hereat, as at a thing un­likely, that in one and the same action, the same per­son, at the same time, should bee both sacrifice anc Priest too; for I will tell you more than this (and it is matter of wonder indeed) when Christ our Passe­over was now sacrificed, [...] saith Epiphanius, [...], that he might shew from hence­forth how that all other sacrifices were for evermore to be abolished, and that together with his, all other, with all appendices of theirs, were to expire their last. Idem & ipse Pontifex, saith Origen, idem ponatur & hostia: both the sacrifice was the Priest, faith Epi­phanius, and the Priest the Lambe, and the Lamb the Temple, and the Temple the Altar, and the Altar God, and God Man: [...]. Christ being made all in all things, and all purposely for us, sacrificatus est pro nobis, Christ is sacrificed, saith my Text, for us.

Well then, that wee have a Passeover, you have seen (as I suppose) and that this Passeover of ours is Christ: you have seen also how or when it was that Christ here was Our Passeover, viz. not as hee was slaine without being offered; nor yet as hee was offe­red without being slaine: no, but as hee was both slaine and offered too, and so sacrificed: Christ our Passeover (saith my Text) is sacrificed. The last cir­cumstance that now presenteth it selfe in this first part [Page 63]of my Text to be entreated of, is the finis cui, the per­son for whose sake it was that Christ was sacrificed; Sacrificatus est pro nobis, Christ was sacrificed (saith my Text) for us.

For us! Not for himselfe then: no, there was no cause of death (God wot) in him: Ipse non meruit si non pro pietate mori, even his very Judge himselfe being his witnesse, there was nothing worthy of death to be found in him. [...] (saith The­odoret in the person of Christ) [...]: hee that owed not a death, tooke death now upon himselfe, and hee sub­jected himselfe unto death here, over whom death in truth had not any right at all. And to speake sooth, well for us was it that Christ suffered not for him­selfe; well for us, yea very well that he was not sa­crificed for himselfe. For if the way of that old Ser­pent had been ever found upon this rocke,Prov. 30.19. if this our Lambe had had any spot in him, and so had deserved death in himselfe, could hee ever then have been a fit Passeover, to have now been sacrificed (as hee was) for us? No, Si ipse indebitam mortem non susciperet, (saith Gregorie) nunquam nos à debita morte liberaret: if Christ (I may say) in any respect had bin sacrificed for himselfe, impossible then had it been that in any respect he should have thus satified (as hee did) for us: but now so it is, that in this my Text here, Christ was sacrificed (we reade) for Us.

For Us! Not for Angels then: no, as not for him­selfe, so not for them neither; their nature he assumed not, their person hee sustained not, hee for them was not sacrificed, they by him were not delivered. It [Page 64]was for Us, for us men (saith our Creed) that the Son of God came downe from heaven, that he was incar­nate by the holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, that he was made man: for us men, for us it was that he was made lower than the Angels, quod expertus infir­ma, quod passus indigna, & quod demum per mortem crucis ad sua reversus; and that at the last he was thus sacrificed according to this Scripture. The truth is, had this my Text here been either penn'd or spoken unto us by some Angel, why then questionlesse as well for Angels as for Us might wee have said that Christ was sacrificed: but now the words (you know) are Saint Pauls, and Saint Paul (you know) was a man, why then for us men it was that Christ was sa­crificed (you see) for us men, I say, for us.

Yea, but Saint Paul (you will say) was a Jew, and if Christ was sacrificed for Jewes onely, very little (God knowes) will be the benefit that will arise from hence to us. True, he was so indeed, himselfe hath told us, how that hee was an Hebrew of the He­brewes: but here is the comfort yet, and without this, small heart should wee have to keep the feast now; here is the comfort (I say) that this Epistle of his, whereof this my Text here is a part & portion, is not beati Pauli ad Hebraeos, the Epistle of S. Paul the Apostle unto the Hebrewes; no, but ad Corinthios prima, his first Epistle unto the Corinthians. Now the City of Corinth stood in Greece (you must know) above seven hundred miles from Judea, and therefore questionlesse the people wrote to here were meerly Gentiles, no Jewes. Why, and so they were indeed, and because they were so, we may [Page 65]from hence gather therefore to our comfort, how that for us Gentiles it was that Christ was sacrificed, for us Gentiles, for us.

For us! [...] !Rom. 11. O the depth of the riches of the wisedome and goodnesse of our God! how unscarch­able are his judgements? how his waies past finding out? Could it ever have been beleeved that Christ should have been thus sacrificed (as he was) for us? for us sinners of the Gentiles? for us that were farre off? for us that were without God in the world, that the Son of God should be thus slain for us? Indeed, had it bin for the Jews only that Christ had died here, the wonder questionlesse had not been so great, for they were Gods inheritance, Gods chosen, the seed of Abraham Gods friend; and if for a friend a man may chance to die sometimes, why not sometimes then for a friends seed too. But now as for us, wee were not only abalienati à Deo, not only quoad sta­tum externum, strangers; but we were also (we must remember) hostes, quoad dissidium internum, enemies: yea, & that as well in an active as in a passive sense, as well directly as by interpretation, as well for that we rebelliously hated Gods rule over us, as for that we were in all things contrary unto his will: and is it not most strange and admirable (in this case we were in) that Christ should be sacrificed yet for us? the inno­cent for the guilty? the home-borne for strangers? the only Son for enemies? Christ for us? Yet so it was, and that now it was so, it was no more than was fore-told, no more than in Numb. 9. ver. 10.11. God himselfe had signified that so it should be. For be­sides that first Passeover there in the first moneth, [Page 66]reade we not also of a second Passeover (if you mark it) in the second moneth? of a Passeover allowed by God to be slaine purposely for those persons, who during the celebration of the first Passeover were in a journey a farre off)? Yes. But now, if you will but suffer S. Paul to unvaile Moses his face, if you will but expound the Law there by the Gospel, Num. 9. ver. 10. by Ephes. 2. ver. 14. you shall then find how that not without a mysterie it is, that the Hebrew of this word far off is observed by the learned for some speciall consideration to have extraordinary prickes over it; because by that second Passeover there per­mitted by God to those in a journey farre off, God did prefigure unto us Christ here sacrificed (you see) for us, even for us Gentiles in the flesh, strangers, for us who at that time were farre off, both from the kindred of the Jewish nation, and from the Cove­nants also of the promise, Sacrificatus est pro nobis, Christ is sacrificed (saith my Text) for us.

Well then Christ died not (you have seen) for himselfe here, nor yet for Angels; no, nor yet onely for Jewes neither: for Saint Paul writing (you see) unto Gentiles, saith, that Christ is sacrificed for us. For us he saith; not for some few of us, under such a Romane Prelate onely, or of such a faction: for us within the verges onely of the Romish Hierarchy, or for us of the Congregation onely in New England: No, sanguis Christi pretium est (saith St. Augustine) the Lambe here sacrificed (you see) is Christ; and therefore at too high a rate do they value themselves, and the bloud of Christ doe they prize too low, qui dicum aut illud tam parvum esse, ut solos Afros eme­rit; [Page 67]aut se tam magnos pro quibus solis illud sit datum: who being themselves (God he knowes) but a sorry handfull of men, if they compare themselves with the whole world, doe yet think that this common Passe­over of ours should bee slaine incommunicably for none but them alone. In Hebr. 2. ver. 9. Christ ta­sted death (we reade) for every man: in 2. Corinth. 5. ver. 14. hee died Saint Paul tells us for all: so that when in this my text here we do reade of Christ our Passeover, how that he was sacrificed for us, it is in effect (you must know) but the very same with that in Rom. 8. ver. 32. where God delivered up (we reade) his owne Son, pro nobis omnibus, for us all. Howbeit, I would not that you should here mistake mee, as if the benefit of Christ his passion (I thought) should redound to all men, and as if because in Heb. 2. Christ tasted death for every man, I might therefore hold, that every man should reap the fruit of it unto salva­tion. No, however it was that sufficienter (as wee say) and in respect of the dignity of the price paid, Christ was sacrificed, we may say very wel, for every one of us in the whole world: for, Tanti quid valet (saith Saint Augustine?) Quid, nisi totus orbis? Quid, nisi omnes gentes? what one worldly thing, except the whole world it selfe, could be worth the bloud-shedding of the Son of God? yet because the Jewish Passeover was never kill'd (if you have observ'd it) but for such onely as were made count of (as in Exo­dus 12. ver. 4. you may reade, if it please you, more at large:) for this cause therefore (I say) onely for them amongst us was Christ slaine efficienter (saith Estiu [...]) to purpose: I meane for them only simpliciter [Page 68](saith Topporus) for them onely with effect, whom God having chosen from before all eternity to bee Sons (as we may call them) of the society, shall now eate this Lambe in their severall families, shall apply Christ unto themselves by faith. So then the reason why all are not saved is not want of merit in Christ, but of faith and grace in them that perish. That thus it was, what is more plaine (I beseech you) than that in Galat. 3. ver. 27. where reade we not how that the promise of the faith of Jesus, is given to them only that beleeve? Yes: and therefore, Si non credis (saith Saint Ambrose) non tibi passus est Christus: never dreame thou (O man) that Christ was sacrificed for thee, in case it be so that thou doest not beleeve. The truth is, did Saint Paul write here unto an infidell people, not converted, some ground then might pro­fane miscreants have, to hope that Christ was sacri­ficed here for them: but the endorsement (if you marke it) of this Epistle runs, not unto all at Corinth without exception; no, but Ecclesiae Dei quae est Co­rinthi, unto them that call there on the name of Christ: now, Quo modo invocabunt in quem non cre­diderunt? how possibly can men invoke him in whom they have not as yet beleeved? Why then for Us be­leevers it was that Christ was sacrificed (you see) for Us beleevers, I say, for Us.

For Us (I say) and for such of us two waies may wee say that Christ was sacrificed: for us, for our good; and for us, in our stead: for us, for our be­hoofe; and for us, in our behalfe. First, for our good: for we must not thinke that Christ our Passe­over was slaine in vaine here; that the Sonne of God [Page 69]did dye gratis (as we say) that the soveraigne foun­taine of Christ his bloud was let out to run at waste: wee must not thinke that this boxe of ointment, farre more precious than that of Spikenard elsewhere, was broken, spilt, and powred forth here [...], to no purpose. The good questionlesse is most infi­nite that doth redound unto us from Christ his sa­crifice; yea so infinite, as that here in this life wee cannot perfectly conceive it, because (alas) here in this life wee doe not perfectly receive it; the greatest part of what we enjoy, being the least part of what wee expect: the greatest part of what wee have in re, the least part of what we have in spe. In­deed, wee may here meditate perhaps on some few particulars of what Christ hath gained for us by this his sacrifice, but the exact knowledge, as well as the full fruition of such benefits, being reserv'd especi­ally for the life to come, beyond the faculty it is of our best Arithmetick to recount the summe of them, to compute them all.

One thing I am sure of, the sole benefit that doth now accrue unto us by Christ his sacrifice, is not onely, as some fond miscreants have dreamed, our confirmation in the Gospell: no, if this were all, I would gladly know then in what one particular a­bove the rest, the death of Christ here doth more ad­vantage us than the death might have done of some other man? Doth not S. Paul tell us of himselfe, how that what he suffered was for Gods chosen sake, the Elect? that is (as it is Col. 1.24) for Christ his bo­die sake the Church? Well, but how for the Elect? how for the Church it would be knowne? Mary (as [Page 70]my Lord of Sarum cleeres it in that most excellent exposition of his) non pro illis redimendis, non expi­andis; not that he might satisfie for their sinnes, nor ( [...], St. Paul had not wherewith to pay his owne scores, much lesse then would his stocke hold out to defray the debts of other men) sed pro illis confirmandis & adificandis in doctrina Evangelica, but that by his sufferings he might confirme and sta­blish them in the truth and certainty of what he had preached; and that by this means they being streng­thened in the faith and verity of the Gospel, salutem consequantur quae est in Christo, they might obtaine that salvation which is in Christ.

But now did St. Paul doe this by his death,2 Tim. 2.10. and did Christ may we thinke no more by his? did the Disciple doe this by his death, and did the Lord, may we thinke, no more by his? nay, in truth did Christ here no more for us now by his death, than what by his miracles (if we doe but well bethinke our selves) he had done formerly (we shall finde) in his life time? and what very well hee might have done for us, though he had never tasted death at all? Why sup­pose, I beseech you, that after a long time spent a­mongst us here in this world, in all pietie, innocency, and demonstration of the Spirit, our blessed Savi­our at last, like the Prophet Eliah elsewhere, should have beene charioted up into heaven without death, and from heaven should have given a specimen of his power and majestie unto us on earth here: might not even this alone have been enough, we may think, to have established us in the Gospel? this alone have beene abundantly enough to have confirmed and [Page 71]strengthened us in the truth? Yes, I trow. Why then it is cleere, I thinke, how ever some heretickes have broached the contrary, that the good benefit & emolument which doth redound unto us by Christ his sacrifice, must surely in reason bee somewhat else needs, besides our confirmation in what h [...]e had taught.

Why and somewhat else also must it needs be, be­sides our institution in holinesse, and besides our in­struction by his example, in obedience, patience, and brotherly love. For, as St. Bernard sweetly, Quid prodest, saith hee, quod nos instituit, si non restituit? wherein are we profited by Christ his instruction, if wee bee not also rescued by him from destruction? Indeed Christ his crosse (I must confesse) was our co­pie, Christ his passion our patterne; and therefore St. Peter tells us how that Christ did suffer for us,1 Pet. 2.21. lea­ving us [...], an Example, ut nos vestigia ipsius insequeremur, that wee might tread in his steppes,Phil. 2.5. both incheerfully submitting our selves unto Gods appointments, and in enduring patiently all wrongs, as also (which St. John pointeth at) in effectually lo­ving one another, even unto the death.1 John. 3.16. Well, but if Christ his passion doth no way benefit us at all, but by way of patterne onely and ensample, what then shall we say of infants? very hard surely must it goe with them needs, little fruit, little profit will there from Christ his death here arise to them: for can they con­forme themselves unto Christ his death, who have never heard as yet of Christ his life? or can they imi­tate, may wee thinke, their Saviours vertues, who have never imitated as yet their first parents sinne? [Page 72]In all likelihood, pro qualitate vulneris allata est medi­cina; in all probabilitie, by the nature of the wound it is, that we can give the best ghesse at the plaister. But now sure I am some way else it was that Adam damnified us by his transgression quàm ex sola osten­sione peccati, than only by opening a gap before us unto all lewdnesse, and therefore questionlesse some way else it was that Christ did benefit us now by his passion quàm ex sola ostensione virtutum, than onely by chalking out a way before us unto all good­nesse.

Why and so it was indeed: for the truth is Christ our Passeover (we may say) was sacrificed for the remission of our sins, for our reconciliation with the Father, and, which followeth necessarily upon these two, for our redemption from hell. Whence else is it (I would faine know) that Christ his bloud in holy scripture, is stiled our ransome, our attonement and the propitiation for our sinnes? Is is not to make it plaine unto us, how that Christ his death here was as well expiatorie as exemplarie? and that Christ our Passeover was now slaine (we must know) as well ut daret justitiam, as ut doceret; as well ut infunderet charitatem, as ut ostenderet? pro nobis redimendis, or (as it is in one of our Church her collects if you have observed it) that he might be a sacrifice for sinne,2. Sunday after Easter. as well as pro nobis instituendis, that he might be an en­sample unto us of godly life?

But now if any shall question us how Christ his death here could be the expiation of our sinnes, and not rather intruth (being so execrable a sacriledge as it was) a further aggravation of our guilt▪ it cannot [Page 73]bee improbable, since God was so highly offended with our first parents, and in them with the whole world, only for the eating of that forbidden fruit; that he hath farre greater cause (we must think) in all likelihood to bee much more enraged now against mankind for this so horrid, this so inhumane a mur­ther acted upon the person of his only Sonne? For answer hereunto, know thus much, that Christ his death here, we say, was our attonement, not as out of malice and most unjustly it was procured by the Jewes, but as most obediently and in meere love it was taken upon him by himselfe, Christ his charitie being of more force, we are sure, to acquire and pur­chase for us Gods favour, than the spite & rancour of the whole world could be to incense against us Gods wrath. To this purpose what saith S. Bernard in his 119. Epist. against Abailardus? Mary, Non mors (saith he) sed voluntas placuit sponte morientis: it was not simply death that did here so please God, but the will of him that so freely died, and that by death did both unsting death, and work salvation, and restore righteousnesse, and ransack hell, & enrich heaven, and vanquish principalities, and subdue powers, & paci­ficantis omnia quae in coelo sunt & quae in terra, and that did gather together in one all things both which are in heaven and which are in earth.

By all this it is most cleere and evident, as I sup­pose, that Christ was sacrificed here for our good; yea for our good, not as some hell-bred hereticks have vented, of edification only and instruction, but of remission also, and of reconciliation, and of redemp­tion from hell. Yea but what then? is this all (you [Page 74]will say?) No marry is it not, you must know; this is not all yet: for what thinke you, I pray, of that in Virgil? Unum pro multis dabitur caput? Is it not a phrase, I beseech you, of the same force with unum multorum loco dabitur caput? What againe of that in Terence, I will marry thee for him? Is it not as much in every respect as if he had said in other words, I will marrie thee in stead of him? In the 9. to the Rom. St. Paul wisheth, that for his brethren he were cur­sed: for his brethren doth he say? pro fratribus? that is, fratrum loco, in his brethrens place. Againe in the 2. to the Corinth. S. Paul tells us, how that for Christ wee are ambassadours: for Christ doth hee say? pro Christo? that is, Christi vice, in Christ his stead. But the truth is, if in this my text here Christ were not sacrificed for us now in this sense, how commeth it to passe then that by one of the Fathers he is said nostro nomine suscipere supplicia? how, that by an other he is said nostra pro nobis luere debita? yea how commeth it to passe then that he is stiled [...], the pledge and hostage for our soules? Doth not all this make plaine unto us what himselfe hath taught us in S. Matthewes Gospel, viz. that he did [...]; stake his soule downe in the roomth of ours, and so by consequent that Christ was sacrificed, we may say very well for us? for us? that is, vice nostrâ, by way of commutation in our stead.

But now, that to be sacrificed in our stead, is more than to be sacrificed for our good, this is plaine, be­cause whereas hee that dieth for our good, may yet not die perhaps in our stead; on the other side he that [Page 75]dieth in our stead, cannot but die also for our good, we may be sure we have even 'the whole army of noble Martyrs bearing witnesse with us unto this truth, who all in their severall orders having died for our good, yet amongst them all, was there any one of them that ever died wee can say in our stead? No, acceperunt justi, non dederunt coronas: how precious so ever all their deaths were in the sight of their Creator, yet for all that (saith Leo in his 12. sermon upon the passion) nullius insontis occisio propitiatio fuit mundi: the very best of them all could never say, how that he died in the behalf of the beleeving world. Sin­gulares in singulis mortes fuerunt, each man of them in particular died in particular to himselfe alone. How rich so ever they all were in the gifts & graces of the Spirit, yet hand alterius quisquam debitum suo funere solvit, yet for all that could not any one of them un­dertake the ransome of his enthralled brother. It was onely Christ (saith one) amongst the sonnes of men, in whom all of us wee may say did suffer; in whom all of us we may say were crucified, in whom all of us wee may say did die; Christ onely, Christ in whom all of us wee may say were slaine, and of whom therefore we may say very well how that he was sacrificed here for us: for us? in our steed, as well as for us, for our good; for us, in our behalfe, as well as for us, for our behoofe.

Yea but why Christ thus for us (you will say?) why not we rather for our selves? Cum sis ipse no­cens moritur cur victima pro te? since wee men were they that had offended, why should Christ an inno­cent thus die for us?

[Page 76]Why? why not? If God had so determined, why not? Cum aliunde reatus, cur non aliunde justitia? since by another it was that we were ingaged, why by another also may we not be enlarged? An justitia justi super eum erit (saith Saint Bernard) & impietas impii non erit super eum? shall the righteousnesse of the righteous be upon him alone; and shall the wic­kednesse of the wicked be not onely upon him, but upon us too? It was by Adam (you know) that wee were made sinners, and why by Christ therefore may wee not be made righteous? It was by Adam (you know) that we were all addicted, and why by Christ therefore may wee not be all enfranchised? You will say, that Adam perhaps was our father: and what? was not Christ (I beseech you) our brother? or is it equall (doe you thinke) that that sonne who beareth the burden of his fathers sin, should yet be debarred from what ever benefit might accrue unto him from his brothers righteousnes? Assure your selves, there is as great an efficacy in Christ his bloud, as in Adams seed; in Christ his bloud to cleanse us, as in Adams seed to staine us; in Christ his bloud for our purgati­on, as in Adams seed for our pollution. Indeed, were there betwixt Christ and us no manner relation at all, somewhat improbable then might it seem unto humane reason, that by meanes here of Christ his sa­crifice, the wrath of God should bee made to passe from us. But now, besides the neernesse of Christ his conjunction unto us, naturâ, regno, vadimonio (hee being not only our brother, but even our king too; not only our king, but also our pledge:) besides this (I say) what saith the Scripture (I beseech you?) [Page 77]Mary, we are all in Christ (saith S. Paul) one body: so that there is as straight an union betwixt us and Christ (you see) as betwixt the members and the head. But now it being so common a thing in the body naturall to punish one member for another; for instance, to brand the forehead for the tongues la­vishnesse, and for the theft which the hand hath com­mitted to scourge the back: why should it seem un­reasonable unto us, that in the body mysticall Christ our head should die for us here? especially too, Christ being not only willing (we are sure) thus for our sakes to undergoe death, not onely able by his owne strength powerfully to raise up himselfe againe from death, but by death also to overcome death, to purchase a life for us which shall never end in death, and, to the endlesse praise of Gods boundlesse glory, to save us from dying who must have died for ever else?

Well, you have seen at length (I suppose) what Christ hath done: What! yea, and for whom too. What he hath done, doe I say? what he suffered ra­ther; for, sacrificatus est (you see) hee was sacrificed, and needs must he suffer (I trow) even to destruction, whosoever he is that shall be sacrificed. Why, and to make it plaine unto us that Christ did so, some translations read it therefore, He was slaine: Christus Pascha nostrum immolatus est, Christ our Passeover (say they) is slaine. Hee was slaine (I say) and that not for himself (I shewed you) innocent Lamb that he was, not for himselfe: no, nor yet for Angels, no, nor yet only for Jewes neither; but for Jewes and Gen­tiles together: for Us, for Saint Paul, for Corinthi­ans, [Page 78]for Circumcised, for Uncircumcised, for He­brewes, for Greekes, Christ is sacrificed (saith my Text) for us. For us, yea even for all of us, sub con­ditione (as wee say) & in causa: for albeit in Christ none but the Elect were redeemed, yet was the whole world redeemed (saith my Lord of Sarum) by Christ: but for Us of the faithfull, Gods children, simpliciter (I told you) & cum effectu: for us, by way of edification, nostro commodo, for our good: for us, by way of expiation, nostro loco, in our stead: for us, per viam confirmationis, for our profit and behoofe: for us, per viam surrogationis, in our person and be­halfe. Let us passe now from what was done on Christ his part, unto what remaineth to bee done on ours; from the Beneficium unto the Officium, from the dogmaticall part of my Text unto the practicall, from the doctrine of faith, the Credendum, Christ his bounty to us upon Good-Friday, unto the rule of life, the Agendum, our duty to him now at Easter; yea let mee tell you againe not at Easter only, but during the whole course here of this our life.

One thing I am sure of (however Dr. Kellison would beare the world in hand that wee teach the contrary) never the doctrine was it for ought I know, never the dreame (as yet) of any Church Pro­testant, that because Christ on his part hath done so much for us, we from henceforth therefore need doe nought on ours. No, even [...], wee have all been taught (I hope) how that Christ was as well a Pro­phet as a Priest,2 Tim. 3.15. as well [...], as well a Prophet to teach us our future duties,Heb. 5.1. as a Priest to satisfie for [Page 79]our passed debts: Even this my Text here doth e­vince thus much, where the Apostle having taught us (you see) how that Christ was sacrificed, yea and that he was sacrificed too our Passeover, to the end that the wrath of God might be made to passe from us; doth he now leave it (can we say) unto our selves alone, to make what use we list of this so heavenly a doctrine which he hath delivered? doth he referre it wholly now unto our owne discretions only to passe by this so infinite mercy of God in what sort wee please? No, that hee doth not: for as in the seventh Verse he hath shewed us what concerning this point we are to beleeve, so now in the eight Verse doth hee also informe (you see) how in consideration hereof we are to live: as before in the preceding part of my Text by way of doctrine hee hath taught us what in love to us Christ did suffer, so now in that which followeth doth hee by way of use teach us what in thankfulnesse unto Christ we must doe: viz. that in a gratefull acknowledgement of this his so un­speakable favour towards us, wee must from hence­forth solemnly keep a feast: Christ our Passeover is sacrificed, let us therefore (saith Saint Paul) keep the feast.

The word in the originall is [...], which as well bids an holy-day (you must know) as indicts a feast, and every whit as properly by Tremelius is rendered festum celebremus, let us keep the holy-day, as by the vulgar Latine and some others epulemur, let us keep the feast. Our last English version reades it both waies, and not but upon very good grounds too doth it so reade it, it not being unknowne unto us [Page 80]how that both these waies men did solemnize a Passeover of old amongst the Jewes: viz. Et festum celebrando, & epulando, both by making a holy-day, and by keeping a feast too. Why, and in the name of God both these waies let us Christians celebrate now this our Passeover; because Christ our Passeover is sacrificed, let us therefore keep an holy-day: because Christ our Passeover is sacrificed, let us therefore also keep a feast.

First, festum celebremus, let us keep an holy-day, & that by observing carefully an holy rest, as from sin every day, for never upon any day may we rest in that (Christ for us being not therefore slaine now, that we from henceforth might live in sinne) so upon all these and the like solemne holy-daies from all workes also of servile labour, from all worldly workes of what kind soever they be, which without notorious detri­ment cannot be well forborne. Besides what we may learne in this point even from very Heathens, whose severall holy-daies (we find) they did count polluted, if after notice once given thereof per praeconem, a man upon any such day was found at his worke: be­sides this (I say) I pray tell mee,B. Ely, Sab. pag. 222. doth not a learned Prelate of ours, in a late elabourate Treatise of his, a­mongst sundry other Kings lawes to this purpose, produce a law enacted by our owne Alured, that a freeman, if he wrought in quavis festa die, hee was either to be divested of this liberty, or to bee soundly fined for it; a servant either corium perdere, either to lose his skin, or to redeem it with his coine? And no marvell truly, for even Gods owne law it is in Levi­ticus 23. it is Gods owne law there (I say) that bid [Page 81]adieu we should unto all worldly affaires upon all ho­ly-daies, that upon all holy-dayes (as the very name may prompt us to doe) wee should forbeare to min­gle our selves with what belongs to earth.

Not that it is Gods will that we should now be i­dle (we may thinke) or passe the Holy-day away in doing nothing. No, qui nihil agit malè agit, he that doth nought must needs doe naught, we may bee sure. Even very heathen people have seene thus much, though they had the light onely, God knowes, of blinde nature: and therefore amongst the antient Romans the goddesse, it seemes, had no Temple al­lowed her within the City, but abroad elsewhere without the Wals, in some extreme parts of the Sub­urbs; intimating unto us hereby, how that idlenesse is a vice not tolerable in any State, as being indeed the undoubted mother of all ungodlinesse and sinne. But what now? will God suffer, doe you thinke, upon an holy-day, what is not to be endured, we may be sure, upon any day? or is it an idle rest, doe you thinke, that hee alwayes requireth at our hands, when upon such daies as these are he interdicteth labour? wherein then, I wonder, would this our rest differ even from the very rest of our jumenta? from our oxe his rest at the stall, and from our horses rest in the stable? for sure I am, as well as wee, even they are to rest al­so from all travell. It is recorded by Cato concer­ning one of the Scipio's, how that he was never lesse alone (he should say) than when alone: and, Nun­quam minus otiosus quam cum otiosus, never lesse idle than when he was idle. [...], (saith a Divine, whom St. Basil speaks of) [...], I know [Page 82]not what others may doe, but sure am I, saith he, that I am never more busied, than when I doe rest: why, and never more busied let us at any time bee, than when God doth call us, as here, to keep an holy-day; never more exercised, though neither in sinfull nor secular affaires, yet in all such workes as doe concerne the day.

Now what are they? Sure I am, not to madde and gad it up and downe the streets, to sir and smoake it in Tobacco shops, to roare and revell it in Tavernes, (and as it were in contempt of that destroying An­gel (whose sword as yet, you fee, is not quite shea­thed) to lay purposely aside all honest labour, that we may the more greedily prostitute our selves unto all leud excesse? No, there are both lawes Imperiall, (I am sure) and Ecclesiasticall, strictly restraining men from these exorbitancies; and that especially too up­on all such dayes, as for order and policie sake we doe call Holy. And no marvell truly, for, Haeccine so­lennes dies decent, saith Tertullran, quae alios dies non decent? or have we no other way, may we thinke, to make an holy-day, than by making our selves there­on the more unholy? Indeed, were they Liberalia which we doe now celebrate, were they daies dedi­cated to the god of Riot, unto drunken Bacchus I meane, on whose severall Festivals men might both speake and doe, it seemes, what ever they listed; then wonder I could not if that we did keepe these dayes now with farre more loosenesse than I hope we doe. But now, besides that he is a sober God whom wee are to worship now (as the Athenians said sometimes of their Minerva) a God who holds not libertie, I [Page 83]am sure, to be piety, or occasion of rioting to be reli­gion; neither ever did teach us, as yet, when we are to keep an holy-day, to expresse our publike joy by our publike shame. Besides this, I say, I pray be­thinke your selves, is not the feast we keepe now the feast of Passeover? Yes. But [...], saith Saint Gregory, [...], the word Pascha, saith hee, im­ports a passing, as of that destroying Angel from o­ver the Israelites, so of the Israelites themselves also from out of Egypt: why in the name of God then, if indeed your purpose be to keepe a true Paschall holy-day now, [...], yea and that too in such a fashi­on, as whereby Gods destroying Angel may bee made to passe at length from us, why let us passe then with all diligence from what ever courses heretofore we learned in Egypt, unto such workes onely and re­ligious exercises, as shall best beseeme (wee know) Gods own chosen Israelites, viz. [...], from workes of sinne unto workes of grace, à rebus inferioribus ad superiora, from workes of vanitie un­to workes of piety: and (that we may doe opiu diei in die suo, in it owne day the worke of the day) from the base drudgerie workes of the flesh and divell, un­to such as are true holy-day works indeed.

Would you know what these workes are? Why, doe but uncase the word (I beseech you) the Latine feriae (I meane) into its first swadling clothes, and you shall then finde, how that a right holy-day work is either ferire victimas, or ferre dona, you shall then finde how that a true holy-day worke, is either to slay our beasts for sacrifice, or to bring hither our gifts. One thing I am sure of, both these works did [Page 84]the Jewish people heretofore upon their holy-daies, as unto men versed any whit in sacred storie it is most evident and cleere. Why, and in the name of God (if we will keep the holy-day aright) both these works also let us doe on ours now: because S. Paul his will is that wee should keepe an holy-day, let us slay our beasts therefore now for sacrifice; because Saint Paul his will it is that we should keepe an holy-day, let us bring hither therefore now our gifts too.

First let us ferire victimas, slay our beasts for sacri­fice: not those beasts wee doe read of in the law; no, I doe doubt very much how willing many of us would be to part in these dayes with such beasts as those were; neither if we all were willing hath every one of us (can I thinke) any such beasts now to part with; neither if wee all had them, doth God now (I am sure) require any such beasts at our hands. What say I? doth hee not require them, doe I say? nay, to speake sooth, hee doth now reject them; for sa­crificia & victimas noluisti (saith David) as for all le­gall sacrifices (saith St. Paul) God will none of them now.Psal. 40.6. Heb. 10.5. Indeed a time once there was, I must confesse, when God required such beasts (not for that he him­selfe then had the least need of them; for the beasts of the forrest are mine all of them (saith God) and so are the cattell too upon a thousand hills; and therefore, as S. Justine Martyr rightly, we can never think that any thing can bee wanting unto him who is Lord of all things:) why but yet at that very time was the slay­ing and sacrificing of such beasts, only a ceremonie, no standing law; only a ceremonie, I say, which had only [...], as the name gives, no standing [Page 85]law which was to reach unto us.

No? Was it not so, will some say? Why, what are those beasts then, we would know, that must be slain by us now (you tell us) upon this our holy-day?

Surely not the beasts of our heards (you must un­derstand) no, but the beasts rather in our hearts, our unreasonable affections, our brutish lusts, these e­specially are the beasts which wee must now downe with: these beasts if we shall still stable in us, though slay whole Hecatombs wee should of those other beasts, yet when all comes to all, shall wee but keep a beastly holy-day (I dare say) a day no way pleasing unto him that was now slaine for us. These beasts therefore let us now to pot with, though they bee never so deare unto us, let not our hand spare them: no, whether the hot petulant goat of carnall lust it be, or the rash head-strong ram of unadvised anger, yea or that proud unruly beast either (which I am afraid to meddle with almost, so generally fostered is he (I see) both in towne and country, there being hardly that family amongst us in the whole king­dome where wee shall not heare him muttering and murmuring at some time or other either against Church or State:) would you that I should name him unto you? Why, if I shall not offend then in so doing, it is that stiff-neck'd Bull (I meane) of—Discontent.

Now all these beasts being thus slaine by us (as oh if it were Gods will that in truth they were) let us not by and by set up our rest here, as if the whole worke now (wee thought) of the day were done: no, he that here gave himselfe (yee see) to bee slaine our Passeover, doth expect oblations (wee must thinke) [Page 86]as well as sacrifices, and lookes that in celebrating unto him this our holy-day, wee should as well bring our gifts hither, as here slay our beasts. One thing I am sure of, as upon other festivals, so in par­ticular on this of sweet bread, Gods expresse or­der it was,Deut. 16.16. that there should not any man appeare before him with an empty hand. The people shall offer thee (saith the Prophet) in the 110. Psalme (speaking of these very times now under the Gospel) oblationes voluntarias, Ver. 3. free-will offerings, in die vir­tutis tuae, in the day of thy power; or (as Rivet and some others will have it) in die exercitus tui, in the day of thine army. But now in the whole compasse of the yeere, are there any daies, the daies so proper­ly (we may say) of Christ his power, yea and dies exercitus too, & copiarum ejus, the daies, in truth, of his hosts and armies, as are these very daies, when in the like places to this, the selected bands of Christ his Church doe troop together thus, solemnly to com­memorate that most stupendious act of Christ his power, in most powerfully raising up himselfe from the dead? In any case then let us not faile to manifest our selves a most willing people unto Christ now up­on these daies; upon these daies (I say) these solemn holy-daies, these daies of Christ his army, these daies of Christ his power. And that as by bringing hither unto him that [...], that which of all other gifts is indeed the best, the hallowed oblation of a good in­tention, offered upon the unstained altar of an honest heart (for the sacrifice of God is the heart (saith Da­vid) and what ever gift wee shall bring him without the heart, it will but prove ominous at length & pro­digious, [Page 87]as did that heartlesse sacrifice sometimes of King Pyrrhus;) so because the intentions of the heart are seldome reall (wee may be sure) where they doe not expresse themselves (when time serves) by the outward act; even by the word of the mouth when it hath meanes and opportunity so to doe, yea and when it hath meanes and opportunity so to doe, by the hand too: (for, for mine owne part I have ever held (I must tell you) their reasons to be as brainlesse, as their religion is heartlesse (I feare) who in excuse of their unbended knees, and unbared heads in Divine Service, doe alledge Gods acceptance onely of the heart:) for this cause therefore (I say) together with the incense of our hearts, let us bring hither the calves also of our lips, lauding and praising Gods name in this great celebrity of ours, as for that we do yet live, here to assemble our selves, when so many (you see) on either hand of us have this yeere bin swept away; so for that we can assemble our selves here to magni­fie him for his infinite mercies towards us in Christ Jesus, slaine of purpose that hee might be a Paschal sacrifice (you see) for Us, who never had one before, even for Us. This unvalued mercy of his, let us ne­ver cease to set forth, never at any time forget to speake of, especially not at this time, when to this very purpose (you see) we are to keep the holy-day, that as the word feriae imports, wee might fari, here speake of these things unto God his praise. Yea, but what then? Will it serve the turne (will some say) if we doe bring hither unto God our lips only? or may we put God off (may we thinke) with a bare lip-gift alone, as the King of Cowlam (they say) doth his Pa­god?

[Page 88]Beloved, Nequam verbum est (as hee in Plautus saith well) bene vult, nisi qui bene facit; and therefore because hee that accepts the will for the deed when nought but the will can be had, doth yet expect the hand with the lips, when men may give the hand; for this cause therefore (I say) let as many of you as God hath given hands unto as well as lips, present God now, as with the calves of your lips, so with the very best & choicest fruits also of your hands: imparting liberally [...], and according every man unto what hath been lent you by God, somewhat Aris Dei, unto the repairing and beautifying (I meane) of decayed Churches, Christ his mansions; somewhat Charis Dei, unto the reliefe and succour (I meane) of distressed Christians, Christ his mem­bers; and that as for his sake, by whose onely merit it is that we are already passed from wrath to grace, so for his service too, by whose only power it will be that wee shall hereafter passe from death to glory, there [...] (that I may speake in Damascens phrase) [...], there to keep with Christ an everlasting holy-day, throughout all eternitie in the heavens; whither he bring us all who hath dear­ly bought us all, even Jesus Christ the righteous: to whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be ascri­bed (as most due is) all honour, and glory, and praise, and power, and dominion, from this time forth and for evermore. Amen, Amen.

A SERMON, PREACHED I …

A SERMON, PREACHED IN S. PAULS CHURCH IN LONDON, BY JOHN SQUIER PRIEST, Vicar of Saint Leonard Shordich, in MIDDLESEX.

LONDON, Printed by ROBERT YOUNG, for Humfrey Blunden, 1637.

To the most worthy paire of most religious persons, Sir Alexander Saint-John, and his vertuous Lady.

THis Text and Sermon doth exhort to good workes. It is my riches, that even in my poore Parish there are some, who preach this exhortation better by their practice, than I enforce it by my preaching: of whom (be it spoken without either disparaging them, or flatte­ring you) yee are the chiefe. This hath been long prin­ted in my thought, and now my thought is printed: I account it a maine branch of my happy content, that I have two such chosen people, so zealous of good works, living under my ministery. And that you may long live So, and There, by the increase of Gods Grace, and to the increase of Gods Glory, is the perpetuall prayer of him, who is

Yours in our Jesus, JOHN SQUIER.

A SERMON PREACHED IN St. PAULS CHURCH IN LONDON.

MATTH. 5.16.‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good workes, and glorifie your Father which is in heaven.’

THat Citie of Antioch, Acts. 11.26. doth in some sort resemble this Text: from this place are the ser­vants of our Saviour first and prin­cipally called Christians. For how­soever as there was in Logicke, al­though there bee in Theologicke, a continuall contention betwixt the Realls and Nomi­nalls; yet doe I really side with, and ex animo sub­scribe [Page 92]to the former. Our talkative Christians, who are like the Nightingale, Vox & praeterea nihil, no­thing but voice, I deeme them and doome them fit­ter for the cage than the Church, sing they never so melodiously. But I hope and pray that we may learne Christ otherwise from this text. This text is Christ his Institution of a Christian, which consisteth in do­ing the deeds of Christianity. The deeds of Christia­nity are here described by the Matter and Forme thereof. The Matter of Christianity is here called

  • 1. literally, Good workes:
  • 2. metaphorically, Light.

The Forme of Christianity followeth, in following the metaphor, and that in three particulars: Good workes must shine, they must be seene, and they must be showne.

  • 1. Good workes being termed light, wee know that light, lucerna is of light esteeme if it be not lighted: my Text saith therefore that good workes must shine:
  • 2. a light that is lighted, and doth shine, yet it may bee kept in a closet, or put under a bushell: the Ubi or proper place of the candle is a candle­sticke; it followeth therefore, our good workes must shine before men, that they may see them.
  • 3. Though a candle doe shine before men, and men doe see it, yet if it bee so placed, that a man cannot see to write, or read, or worke that which doth principally concerne him, he is deprived of the principall benefit thereof: wherefore the remnant of my Text sheweth that a Christian must apply this Candle of his soule to the eye of his soule, that he may see to doe the grand worke of his soule, to Honour his God; that they may glorifie his Father which is in heaven.

Thus doth Christ instruct every one to be a Christian, how to doe Bonum, and [Page 93]that benè, thereby to become bonus. Our light must so shine before men, that they may see our good workes, and glorifie our Father which is in heaven. Now that God give us His grace, that wee may give him That glory.

Undertaking this heavenly worke of heavenly e­dification, consider wee first the Materials thereof, [...], your good workes. If Christianity bee not [...], that Christian is [...], an Idlesby in that building: because meere knowledge is to greater dam­nation, Luk. 12.47. and meere knowledge is in the damned, in the divell, Luk. 4.10. Omnes Grae cinorunt quid sit honestum, soli Lacedaemonii faciunt quod est honestum: All Christians Know, true Christians Doe Christianity.

The fruit doth shew the tree, Luk. 6.44. a good man like the good tree Psal. 1. doth bring forth his fruit in due season; like the tree of life, Rev. 22. in many sea­sons: yea like the tree in Alcinous his orchard, in eve­ry season. Aarons rod did not onely bloome. Philoso­phy saith [...], felicity is [...], operation, not speculation: and the Moralists, that their Art is not [...], but [...], not an affection but an action. Nature frameth men with ten fingers to one tongue: but wee invert it, Oraque centum, like Stentor, wee open our mouths wide, when wee should open our hands wide, Deut. 15.11. But surely they are no excellent servants who will onely weare the Livery; therefore, [...] Christ saith, Christians must doe the workes of Chri­stianity.

Such as are Christians must doe the works of Christi­anity: and good Christians good workes. What? abso­lutely [Page 93]good workes? No, I absolutely deny that. [...]: Sanctum non est quod geritur sanctum, nisi sanctè quod sanctum est peragitur: Dew attendit tum actum, tum affectum, saith St. Cy­prian. Where there are good works in perfection, there must be both a perfect action externall, and perfect af­fection internall. But quis idoneus ad haec? liveth the man that dareth say he can discharge it? Alas, alas, we have many commissions, more omissions: In the most vigilant Christian, Gregories two wormes will eat out the core and cor of his most hearitie action: su­perbia aut desidia, either sloath in them, or pride of them, will constraine the best Christian to ponder the terminus diminuens, remaining: opera bona Nostra, they are Our good workes, and therefore blemished in their goodnesse.

Christ doth, and Christians may call their workes, good workes: for they are wrought out of a good mat­ter, the holy Scriptures, 1 Sam. 15.22. by a good effi­cient, the holy Spirit, Joh. 15.5. and to a good end, to hallow Gods holy name, in my text for this day, and in our prayer for every day. Primitively, our workes are pure, are cleere in the fountaine; but derivatively muddie and dirtie in the channell and kennell of our performance. If once they be Our workes, Our God doth know it, and hath said it, All our righteousnesse is but as filthy ragges, Isai. 64.6. This is enough to vilifie our best actions, and to humble our best affecti­ons, that they are called bona opera Nostra, Our good workes.

Passing the dignitie, proceed we to the necessity of our good workes, [...], Let your light shine. Christ [Page 95]is Imperative, and Christians are Optative, that they may be Potentiall, and Indicative, manifestly and pow­erfully to stop the mouths of ignorant malitious peo­ple [...], by our good workes, and godly con­versation, 1 Pet. 2.15. I will not cramme your atten­tion with that Crambe, those common Scriptures for good workes, obvious to our Children and Catechists, to our [...] and [...] to our very Novices in Reli­gion: onely I will appeale to all your memories, that all the Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Disciples, Martyrs, Fathers, Confessors, and sound Professors, did ever strive to practise that opus sidei, that worke of faith, 1 Thess. 1.3. and to walke in that narrow way to heaven, which is paved with good workes. For my part, I am through, that those who goe not in this via, shall never attaine that patria. Though Ben­nard saw not A'll, yet hee saw enough in this point, and they are blinde Bayards, who be so bold as to gain­say it. I am transported with this point, and as it were translated by this point, into a pilgrimage to­wards heaven: like that of Jacob to Padan Aram, Gen. 28. me thinketh I have a vision of a ladder rea­ching to heaven, and a [...], a multitude of the ef­fects of good workes, as Angels ascending and descen­ding, as messengers to tell us, that we shall climbe the ladder, where God standeth at the top thereof.

1 At the foot, below the foot of that ladder, lieth Man: [...], yea, [...]. Before Hell was, we were prevented from Hell, and elected into Heaven in Christ Jesus. The [...], and Charter of our enfranchisment is in Gods Predestination: the [...] or counterpane thereof, is in our owne Conversation. By [Page 96] doing good workes, we may and must make our election sure, 2 Pet. 1.10.

2 In the fall of Adam, we, all Adamites, fell into Hell. Titiones ab incendio, out of which fire we are snatched by our blessed Redeemer: our good workes are the fruits and signes of that our blessed redemp­tion. For if we be the children of Abraham, we will doe the deeds of Abraham, Joh. 8.39.

3 As we were Titiones ab incendio, so that wee be not Titiones ad incendium: that wee doe not re­lapse to our ruine; but that we are assured that we are justified, and shalbe glorified. The evidence of this assurance is given by the Spirit Causativè, by way of operation: but it ariseth also from our workes, effectivè, by way of declaration. If wee keepe Gods Commandements, we dwell in him, and hee in us: and herehy we know that hee abideth in us, 1 Joh. 3.24.

4 That we are elected, redeemed, justified, yea and Glorified [...], according to the first fruits, and gracious fore feeling thereof. Wee must render our regale vectigal: our thankfulnesse must bee our tribute to God, for that wee are made Citizens and Subjects of his Kingdome. And our thanks must be by our deeds, we must gratias agere; gratias dicere is no phrase. Like Cinaetus to his King, we must say, [...]. When we have done what wee can, wee are but unprofitable servants, Luke 17.10: Though we shall be unprofitable, yet must we not be unthankfull servants: and by our good workes wee must declare it.

5 True thankfulnesse for our benefits, doth alwaies produce true love to our benefactour. Now this love [Page 97]must not be Gyges, to walke inconspicuous; nor an A­dombezech, to have no Fingers; nor like Logick, may it be clutcht-fisted, but like Rhetorike, it must be open handed. Love doth dwell at the signe of the open hand, and the motto is bona opera vestra, Your good workes. If we love Christ, we will keepe his commande­ments, Joh. 14 21.

No servant to Love: Love there fore is Obe­dient; and Obedience is the foundation of my Text. I am Obedient to my Creator, saith every Creature: Tu loquere, ut te videam. Shew it by thy works, saith Christ to us Christians; and we Christi­ans should answer our Christ, as the Israelites did Moses, All that the Lord hath spoken will wee doe, Exod. 19.8.

7 But our consciences, mille testes, a great cloud of witnesses, complaine to Us, of Us, that wee have not returned those thanks, nor imbraced that love, nor expressed that obedience to our blessed Creator. It standeth us then in hand to repent us of those notori­ous Omissions. But what is repentance? onely mor­tification, and vivification; a putting off the old man, and a putting on the new man, Ephes. 4.22. & 24. that is, the eschewing of evill workes, and the insuing of good workes. We say we repent, how doe we shew it? It is possible, that all our gestures, postures, sighs, prayers, and profession, may be but Domestici testes, partiall false witnesses, or vaine-glorious Pseudo-Mar­tyrs. Deus testis; that we doe truely repent (if wee be not rotten hypocrites) our good workes before God and man will witnesse it.

8 Next, no repentance! no faith. These twinnes, like those of Hippocrates, will thrive or pine to­gether. [Page 98]These [...], Day starres, will rise and set in the same minute. Like Ruth and Naomi, they will live and die together. A carnall neglect of good workes will kill them both. But for faith! a wording pro­fessour (as the Harlot used her Infant, 1 King. 3.16) doth smother it, and take away the breath of it. For as the bodie without breath is dead, so faith with­out works is dead also, James 2.26.

9 If our faith faile, it is fit that we should fall to our prayers: Lord increase our faith, Luk. 17.5. Our prayers are heavie, like Moses hand: wee cannot hold them up against braving Amalek, against our bold temptations: our goods workes are Hur and Aaron to support them. Our prayers are Sagittae Salutis, 2 King. 13.17. the arrowes of salvation: goods works, are our Elisha, to teach us to shoote. Good workes are the feathers to those arrowes, which make them flie as high as heaven; and, like Jonathans Bow, never to turn back emptie, but ever to bring a blessing with them. A voice was heard from Heaven, saying, Thy prayers and thine almes are come up for a memoriall before God, Act. 10.4.

10 Yea good works are not onely helps of prayers, but they are prayers also. I conceive prayers to bee vocall sacrifices, and sacrifices to bee reall prayers. Now good works are sacrifices: therefore prayers. I dispute not the distinctions, whether good workes be sacrificia propitiatoria, sacrifices to asswage Gods vengeance for our transgressions; by our pietie for our sacriledge, or by our charitie for our avarice: whether goods works bee sacrificia impetrantia, to beg a blessing upon our King and kingdome, upon our families and persons: or whether they be onely [Page 99] sacri ficia Eucharistica, the tribute of our thankfulnes. But this I know; our good workes are sacrifices, true sacrifices, sacrifices wherewith God is pleased, yea well pleased. For S. Paul saith, To do good and to com­municate forget not, for with such sacrifices is God well pleased, Heb. 13.16.

11 Hereunto will I be bold to annex a transcendent goodnesse of good workes. I must speake it truely, you must heare it cautelously. Good workes doe purge us from our sins. I transgresse little from the phrase, no­thing from the sense of S. Pet. 1. Pet. 1.22. We purifie our selves in obeying the truth. Indeed this property of purging sinnes, properly, by way of redemption, is peculiar to the prerogative of Christ: the blood of Je­sus Christ doth cleanse us from all our sins, saith S. Joh. 1. Joh. 1.7. but instrumentally, and by way of mortifi­cation, and repressing our concupiscence: as it is men­tioned by S. Paul to Col. 3.5. we may ascribe this good worke to good workes. By mercy and truth iniquitie is purged, Pro. 16.6. I will therefore presume to the best man under this roofe, under heaven, to come neer and say, Father, goe to Jordan, wash and be cleane. Cleanse your selves by good workes, and a godly conversation.

12 We are Gods servants; do our fraile appetites in­vite us be hirelings? will mercinarie motives make us to be good? to do good? our good works shall produce a good reward, a double reward, yea a treble, tempo­rall, spirituall and eternall, 1 Tim. 4.8. Doe not cen­sure, nor suspect this doctrine for Popish and imply­ing merites: no, out of my judgement, not affection, I abhorre all Popery, and of all Popery I abhorre this Heresie, that proud presumptuous point of Merits. But that good workes shall have their remard▪ it is [Page 100]Saint Pauls doctrine, Hebr. 11.6. and wee have Saint Pauls distinction to cleere it from Popery, Rom. 4.4. our reward shall be of Grace, not of Debt, [...], saith S. Basil: and S. Ambrose seemeth to speake the same sentence in Latine, Donum liberalitatis, non stipendium vir­tutis; a reward proceeding from the benignity of the rewarder, not from the dignity of the rewarded: hee can be no way meritorious. I have heard that power belongeth unto God, and that thou, Lord, art mercifull: for thou rewardest every man according to his worke, Psal. 62.12.

13 Moreover, the good workes of good Christians, shall have a reward according to the proportion of their goodnesse. He which soweth sparingly, shall reap sparingly: and hee which soweth bountifully, shall reap bountifully▪ 2. Cor. 9.6. They that be wise, shall shine as the brightnesse of the firmament; but they that turne many to righteousnesse, as the starres for ever and ever, Dan. 12.3. The patient Innocents which start not, and shrinke not at the groundlesse and endlesse bark­ing of black-mouth'd slaunderers; They are blessed, and commanded joyfully to expect the augmentation of their blessings. [...], a reward, even a great reward in the Kingdome of Heaven, Math. 5.11.12.

14 These many points are so many stems, spring­ing from one stalke, [...]: the love of our selves, to our selves. There remaine two maine motives; whereof the one is comparable to any of these, the other superlative to all of these: [...], and [...], our love to our brethren on earth, and our love to our Father in heaven; to edifie them, and to glorifie him, both in the Text. To draw men to Christ is Gods rov­all [Page 101] Prerogative, John 6.44. therefore to communicate this to Us, must be a rare priviledge for such mortall miserable creatures. But exempla trahunt mores, ex­emplary good workes are an adamant, very attractive, and they are (not iron) of a heavie disposition, who will not follow them. Good workes doe [...], draw men, [...], they make nolentem volentem, such as are backward to religion, to become forward in religion: Thus homo generat hominem, one good worke doth produce another. Good workes are necessary to bee done by good men, that by their example they may edifie their brethren.

15 These many fore-named motives to, and effects of good workes, are as so many starres, which impart light to us, and exercise their influence on us, to make our soules vegetative, to grow from grace to grace, to be fertile and fruitfull in good workes. Or like those starres, the septem Triones, they are brave directions to us towards our haven, our heaven: and happy are those holy Christians, who can steere thither through an ocean of good actions.

And this last, our exemplary piety, and charity to edifie our brethren, like the starre of the Epiphanie, it doth as it were stand over the house, and directly di­rect us to this command of Christ, as that starre did those Magi to the person of Christ. Or sicut inter stel­las Luna minores, like the Moone, it shineth brightly, that we may see the way to heaven, in this night of our ignorance, and imperfect understanding. And, as the Astrologers teach of the Moone, it doth rule the head, and imploieth the braines in holy meditations, to compasse an holy conversation.

But the motive behind is before them [...]ll in [...] [Page 102]incitement: like the Sunne, it doth obscure all these in a glorious lustre. It doth impart light and life to all who are called Christians, to walke worthy of their Vocations, since by our good workes wee shall glorifie our good God, that we shall doe good workes in the sight of the Devill, Job 1.8. and in despight of di­vellish men, [...], as Theophylact speaketh, that our very enemies shall approve us with their hearts, though they reprove us with their tongues. Had I the tongues of men and Angels, I could say no more to urge the necessity of good workes, than what is here said in this Text, in this part of my Text: Let our light so shine before men, that they may see our good workes, and glorifie our Father which is in heaven.

I will shut up this Sermon, drawing this one Do­ctrine into a double usefull Application: first, by way of apologie, for our Religion, secondly, by way of An­tilogie, against our Religion. In the one, I will pro­fesse the Doctrine of our Church to be admirable; in the other, I will confesse the practice of our professors not to be answerable.

1 Have I here any Auditors, who are Papists, or Po­pishly affected? If prejudice and partiality have not stopped both the eares of such persons, I crave but one corner to receive the true report of their false reports and forged calumnies, wherewith they charge our Church Reformed.

The Protestants doe neglect good workes, because they doe not hold them necessary to Salvation, saith the Jesuit who did occasion that rare Treatise ter­med, The way to the Church, sect. 40. Nil nisi Fidem requirunt. Lessius saith, the Protestants require no­thing [Page 103]but faith, de Antichristo, pag. 250. Suarez more fully and foulely too: Quocunque modo vivunt, per solam fidem gloriam sibi promittunt; & neque Mandatorum observationem, neque Poenitentiam esse necessariam praedicant: the Protestants preach (saith the Jesuite, Apolog. 5.10. nu. 11.) that it is no matter how men live, promising glory by faith alone, accounting both the keeping of the Cōmandements & Repentance Unnecessary. Legem ad Salutem nequaquam esse neces­sariam, impiè dicere non sunt veriti, their Trent Cate­chisme saith, pag. 339. we are not affraid to say impi­ously, That the Law of God is not necessary to Salvati­on. The same smoake ariseth from a cloud of like wit­nesses, Campian, Dowly, Malvenda, Ferus, Stella, &c. against which loud lewd Lie, we appeale to our God, to our Consciences, to our Bookes, to our Sermons, to this Sermon, to our Hearers, to our very Children in their Catechismes, who were never taught one sylla­ble of such a damnable doctrine.

But the best is, Bellarmine doth blush at these bold calumnies; Disertis verbis docent opera esse ad Salu­tem necessaria: non quidem necessitate Efficientiae, sed Praesentiae, de Justificat. 4. The Protestants (saith he) doe plainly teach, that good workes are necessary to Salvation, not in the act of Justification, but in the worke of Sanctification, without which there can be no Salvation.

Indeed we doe not, indeed we dare not avouch with that Jesuite of Rome, that at the last day wee expect Justum Judicem, a Just Judge, not misericordem Pa­trem, not a mercifull Father. Nor with those Priests of Rhemes, that Heaven is the value, worth, and price [Page 104]of our workes. For my part I professe, I can swallow no Pills, be they never so artificially gilded. No Me­rits will downe with mee, though wrapt up in the quaint phrase of curious Campian, Opera tincta san­guine Christi: or with the neat distinctions of Condig­nitie, Congruity, &c.

But if it can be proved, that the Protestant Church doth hold dogmatically, that good workes are not ne­cessary to Salvation, I will turne Papist. Againe, if we make it plaine, that they charge us with these pal­pable, grosse, shamefull and shamelesse lyes, onely to strengthen their desperate resolution in this damna­ble point of Merits; mee thinketh an ingenuous Pa­pist should almost be perswaded to turne Protestant: only S. Paul hath told us, and fore-told of them; there is a generation, who will not receive the love of the Truth: and therefore God hath sent on them strong delusion, that they might beleeve a lye, 2. Thes. 2.10, 11.

Concerning the remnant, a long Preface would bee requisite to mediate for that short conclusion. For my Mistresse Experience hath taught mee (her wise Scho­lar) that it is more offensive for a Preacher to reprove sinne, than for an Hearer to commit it. I hope there­fore and pray, that in this Congregation there bee none of Malchas his kinsmen, who have lost their right eares; nor none of Theophrastus his Scholars, who used none but their left hands, that whatsoever I reach them with a right hand, yea and heart too, they receive it with a sinister interpretation. Beloved, I begge an intelligent and charitable attention. I will speak in verity, in Gods holy name doe you heare in charity.

[Page 105] Good workes! Good God, where are those good men who doe performe them? some few onely excepted.

1 The idlenesse of the poore, dejected, unrewar­ded, unregarded Mercenaries; the lofty, lordly de­portment of others more plentifully maintained. The base flattering of great ones, and that more than most basest flattery of the base ones, the multitude, to the fomenting of faction, schisme, and disobedience. Are these the good workes of our Clergie?

2 The slow foot to the house of God, the stiffe knee to the worship of God, the shut hand to the members of God, the evill eye against the ministers of God, and (as it is feared) the schismaticall heart in the Church of God. Are these the good workes of your Laity?

3 The hyperexcessive prodigality upon hawkes, horses, hounds, drinking, dancing and dicing, and that incredible parsimonie towards the poore, the country, Church, nay their God. Are these the good workes of the Countrey?

4 The lying in shops, swearing in markets, equivo­cating in selling, ingratitude, nay persidiousnesse in borrowing, usury, nay extortion in lending; and that avarice is become an ubiquitary Inmate in this fa­mous metropolis. Are these the good workes of this City?

5 The incouraging and instructing of malitious quarrelsome Clients, the protecting and priviledging of debtors and malefactors; their antipathy to the Church-government, because of the Churches anti ju­risdiction, and the spinning out of Law-Suits with long and costly proceedings, oft times to the undoing of Plaintife and Defendant too. Certainly such Law­yers [Page 106]are no Papists, for they meane not to merit hea­ven by such good workes.

6 That a Gallant may not heare the lye, but that his sword must right it, and write it in the blood of his reproacher, or lose his owne in assaying it. That a Gallantresse may not see that woman, but that her foot or heart must presse before her: onely to Church and Heaven shee will give precedence to any. That Hee doth torment the Taylour, Shee the Sempster, both the Divell with inventing fashions: that both spend more time in cutting, curling, powdring, and plaiting their haire, than they doe in praying either in publike or in private; and that they make themselves mon­sters by their mishapen attire: I can hardly contrive these good works within the compasse of my text, and of the holy Scriptures.

7 That worke of our Nation is no good worke; that which maketh our Kingdome a scorne to our foes, a sorrow to our friends, a shame to our selves: That Noli me tangere, and Noli me nominare too; I dare not name it. But Christ doth name it, and curse it too, Luk. 11.17. That worke will bring this land to a spee­dy confusion, if God doth not shield it by his mercifull protection, and miraculous prevention.

8 But the Antipodes to all good workes, is that Se­minary of all bad works; that worke—which here­tofore hath beene hated of the Heathen, now practi­sed, patronised, yea purchased by Christians, by Pro­testants: Sacriledge and Church-robbing. What? be a thiefe to my God? Master is it I? every one will a­pologize for himselfe in the phrase of that innocent Apostle. I would to God there were no coine in my cot­tage, [Page 107]no bread in my cupboard, no bookes in my Study, no breath in my body, conditionally there were no sa­crilegious Church-robbers in this Kingdome.

The stones in their walls, the sheaves in their barnes, and the loaves on their tables, will cry sacriledge a­gainst many a man of worth in our nation.

This goodly, but drouping Edifice, if it should drop downe; and bury us, either talking in the Church, or praying in the Quire, we should be no Martyrs, who esteem [...], all cost lost, which might be bestow­ed on so religious a reparation; nay, so necessary a prevention.

That so many persons in too many Parishes are in want of spirituall bread under their temporall Tith-takers: wee need not glory in our merits, that wee sus­pend our assistance from those silly soules. The people may perish where prophecy faileth. Beloved, there is a positive, and there is a privative sacriledge. Cain was profane, though peradventure seventy times short of Lamech in profanenesse. To withdraw what the Church hath, and to withhold what the Church doth need: the later is sacriledge as well, though not as much as the former.

There is one, and but one salve for this sore, the re­demption of Impropriations.

Let not Impropriatours start, I plead not for im­possibilities; not that they should give them, but that wee should buy them: That every man should lay by him in store as God hath prospered him, till that his private charity might find opportunity, and (if God hath such a blessing in store for us) be enabled by pub­like authority, to concurre in the buying in of Impro­priations.

[Page 108]If Authority would open that Treasury for Gods house, the rich men would cast in their gifts, and the widowes would cast in thither their mites also. And the blessing of Jeroboam be upon that hand, which would be clutched in such a contribution.

This would be the accomplishment of this text, in one superlative particular. If wee should light that torch which Popery hath extinguished: Then, would our light so shine before men, that they would see That good worke, and glorifie our Father which is in heaven. Yea, for this present my meditations apprehend such a good worke to be our best Orator, to begge a blessing upon our kingdome; upon the Epitome thereof, the Honourable high Court of Parliament; upon the Head thereof, his Roiall Majesty.

As therefore we love our King, as we love our King­dome, as we love our Church, as we love our Soules: so in this point, Let our light so shine before men, that they may see our good workes, and glorifie our Father which is in heaven.

Frange Domine panem quidem tuum, manibus meis: I have delivered thy Message, to thy people; I have spoken to their Eares, Lord Jesus speake unto their Hearts.

FINIS.

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