SERMONS ƲPON Solemne Occasions: PREACHED IN Severall Auditories. BY HVMPHREY SYDENHAM, Rector of Pokington in SOMERSET.

D. Aug. Serm. 46. de Tempore.

Multa sunt ora ministeriorum, Sermonis gerentium, sed unum est os ministros implentis.

LONDON, Printed by IOHN BEALE, for Humphrey Robinson, and are to be sold at the Signe of the Three Pigeons in PAULS Church-yard. M.DC.XXXVII.

TO THE MOST REVEREND FATHER IN GOD, MY VERY GOOD LORD, VVILLIAM, Lord Arch-Bishop of CANTERBURY his Grace, Primate of all ENGLAND, and Metropolitane, and Chancelour of the Vniversity of OXFORD.


IN matters of Bounty or Benefit received, He that speaks thanks, Sigratum dix­eris, omnia dixcris. Sen. lib. de Ben. 2. commonly, Speakes all; The Divine not so, His profession requires aswell De­votion, as Gratitude; and what is onely Acknowledgement in others, should be Prayer in him. These have made [Page] way for this Ambition of mine (for so it will be censur'd) in seeking your Grace's Patro­nage; to which, by your former great Fa­vours and Incouragements, I have met with a double staire; The one, in my first admission to spirituall preferment; The other, in setling it, when it was disturb'd; Both these, here bound up by a thankfull and zealous obligation, in this Tender of my poore Endeavours: which, though I feare, will scarce hold waight in the Scale of your stricter Iudgement; yet, in that of your Charity, They may passe, perhaps, with a Graine or two, (as oftentimes light peeces doe) and so vindicate me from the impu­tation of that loose and lazie Ignorance, which the very Spirit of Ignorance would put up­on me; where Ʋociferation is cried-up for Industrie; and Faction for Holinesse; and a bitter and unbridled Zeale for sound knowledge. But notwithstanding the foaming of those muddie waters, Springs may runne cleare; and I doubt not, but Mine shall, if they finde a Current in your Graces Protection; with whom, though in the most Criticall and envious Eye, All things are cleare and [Page] pure, without the least taint or tincture of corruption (like waters in their own Source and Fountaine) yet the Waters of Marah have been round about you, and no doubt, but your Grace hath had a taste (no lesse than others of that Hierarchy) of their Gall of Bitternesse. Witnes their divine Tragedies and impudent Appeales; their late Curranto's, Acts 8.23. and Legends of Ipswich, and since (I know not by what poore Haberdasher of smal wares) Their Looking glasse for Lordly Prelates; In which they have not so much wounded the particular Honours of eminent and lear­ned men, as strucke through the sides of Religion it selfe, in blemishing the outward face of the Church, not onely by obtruding to her, her former Spots and Moles (as what Church was ever yet without them?) but over-spreading it with a kinde of Leprosie; And so, insteed of being blacke, Cant. 1.5. like the Tents of Kedar, They would make her uglie, like the Tent of Korah, thereby exposing her to the scornefull eyes of her enemies abroad; and (if possibly) of her owne Sonnes at home. Now, if bold men dare thus play with the very Beard of Aaron, Psal. 133.2. what will [Page] they doe to the Skirts of his Rayment? If the goodly Oake, and the Cedar be thus beaten on with their Tempests, what shall become of the slender Firre Tree, and the poore Shrub of the valley? If Schismaticall hands be catching at the Mytre and the Rotchet, how will they rend the contemptible Hood and Surplesse? Certainely, if the maine Pillars and Buttresses of the Church be once shaken, the weather-beaten Tiles and Rafters will be tumbling about their eares; However, in despight of the envious Basiliske, Psalm. 57.4 this poyson of the Aspe, and Gall of the viper, the speares and arrowes and sharpe Swords of these holy Libellers (O blessed for ever be the God of Heaven; and under him, here His God of earth, Ezra 7.6. a most Gratious Soveraigne!) Ezra is in high Favour, and The King hath grant­ed him all his requests according to the hand of the Lord his God upon him: So that, your Grace is still above danger, and shot-free of their Power, though not of their Envie; which; no doubt, is curst enough, but that her hornes are short; and if they were not, I might ap­positely enough bring home, That to your fatherly Care of the Church, here (a word [Page] onely or two exchang'd) which in the like case, S. Ierom did to the learned Bishop of Hippo, the great Repairer of the primitive Faith; In orbe celebraris, Canonici, Te, Epist. 57. D. Aug. circa si­nem. Condi­torem antiquae rursum Fidei venerantur; & quod signum majoris eft gloriae, omnes Schisma­tici detestantur; & Tuos, pari persequuntur odio; ut quos Gladio nequeunt, voto intersi­ciant.

Pardon this Digression, most Reverend Father. Obscure men may, without offence, deplore the miseries they cannot redresse; Those that are more eminent, may doe both. A Generall Harmony, aswell in Do­ctrine, as in Discipline is yet wanting in the publike practice of our Church, though not in the Principles thereof; which is the maine Anvile most of my Sermons ham­mer on; where, though you shall meete, belike, with much dust and rubbish, yet there is a way begunne to a richer Myne, which more elaborate and higher wits may dig after, if they please. And as in publike Vineyards, there are tàm Vvae, quàm Labruscae, here a wilde Grape, there a Greene one; yon­der a Third, in its full bloud, more ripened [Page] for your Palate; So it is in this mixture of my labours, according to the disposition of their severall Dedications; where, though every peece may finde an Incourager, None a Vindicator justly, but in a religious and learned Metropolitan, to whose Graci­ous hands are in all obedience offered, These and all the Powers of

Your Graces most obliged Honourer, and Servant, HVM. SYDENHAM.

THE WEL-TVNED CYMBALL. OR, A Vindication of the moderne Harmo­ny and Ornaments in our Churches. AGAINST The Murmurings of their discontented OPPOSERS. A SERMON, Occasionally preached at the Dedication of an ORGAN lately set up at Bruton in Sommerset. By Humphrey Sydenham.

PSAL. 150. v. 4, 5.

Laudate Dominum in Chordis & Organo, laudate eum in Cym­balis Iubilationis.

LONDON, Printed by IOHN BEALE, for Humphrey Robinson, at the Signe of the Three Pigeons in PAULS Church-yard. 1637.

TO MY HONOURABLE Friend, JOHN COVENTRY, Esquire, Sonne to the Right Honorable THOMAS, Lord COVENTRY, Baron of Alesborough, and Lord Keeper of the Great SEALE of England.


I Presume a musicall Discourse can neither bee improper, nor unseasonable for him, that hath so much harmony in himselfe, that holds such a consonancy with the practice of the Church he lives in. And this is both your happinesse and your ayme. Too many there are which im­ploy their wit and greatnesse a contrary way, and delight altogether in the jarring of the string, as if there were no Melody but in Dis­cords; but such are not within your finger­ing; [Page] nor, indeed, your fancie; knowing that a Song of Sion, is a Song of Peace; and he that keepes not time in the Hosannah below, shall hardly sing his part in the Hallelujah above. I could whisper something in your eare, but being in part a stranger, I may be thought to gloze; and therefore I will tell't abroad, where I am conceiv'd to be a little blunt, and therefore unapt to flatter. You have besides your accurate speculations both in Divinity and Arts, a way to sweeten them. an humble and courteous affability, by which you have given so much in­couragement to those more canonically devoted in our (commonly despised) Tribe, that you have made them even tributary, and captive; so that they equally study their owne thankefulnesse, and your honour; to which if these poore scrib­lings of mine may give either lustre or advance­ment, (you having beene formerly pleased to afford them not only the charity of your faire o­pinion, but the approbation also) I have done something to glory in; and amongst the Troop of your other Honourers and Admirers, shall persist as the most humble, so

The most Faithfull, HVM. SYDENHAM.

The first Sermon.

PSAL. 59.16.

I will sing of thy Power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy Mercy, in the morning, because thou hast been my defence and my refuge in the day of my trouble.

THe Text, though but a verse, is a compleat Psalme, having in it all the properties of a spirituall Song; where wee may finde the Parts, the Ground, the Descant, the Au­thour or Setter of it, the Time when 'twas sung, and the Occasion of the singing.

1 The Parts two, in two words; Potentia and Misericordia, Power and Mercy; and these voic'd alost, in a sacred and purer straine, fitter for a Quire of Angels than of men; and that in double Tue, Tua potentia, and Tua misericordia, Thy Power, and Thy Mercy; Thine, the God of men and An­gels; the God of all Power and Mercie.

2 The ground likewise in two words, Adiuto­rium and Refugium, Defence and Refuge; but these pitch'd lower, in a double-Meum, Adjutorium me­um and Refugium meum, my Defence and my Refuge; but, Meum, ATe, and Adte Domine; this My ha­ving Reference to, and Dependance from Thee; Thee, the God of Defence and Refuge: And therefore my Defence, because of thy Power; and my Refuge, because of thy Mercy.

3 The Descant, likewise, in two words, Can­tabo and Exaltabo, I will sing, and I will sing aloud; Here is singing onely of Gods Power; but there is singing aloud of his Mercy; as if his Mercy were more exaltable than his Power, and That reach'd the very Heavens; This, unto the Clouds.

4 The Authour or Setter of it; here singly expressed (not like the rest) in a naked Ego, but an Ego with a double Office and Appellation; I, a King and a Prophet, and not barely so; but I, David, a Singer too, the sweetest Singer in Israel: I will sing of thy Power, and I will sing aloud of thy Mercy.

5 The Time when 'twas sung; not Vespere, or Post Meridiem (as the custome of some Churches were, and are) no Afternoone or Evening-Antheme, [Page 3] when spirits are dull, and devotions sleepie, and voyces flatted; but in Matutinum, in the morning, when his Thoughts are brush'd and swept, the pipes, formerly obstructed, cleane; the Bellowes of his Zeale fill'd full with the breath of Gods Spi­rit; Then comes he with his Cantabo, and his Ex­altabo, then can he best sing of Gods Power, then sing loudest of his Mercy.

6 Lastly, the occasion of the Singing, open'd here in the Adverbe, Quia, Because; and this Quia being the occasion, looks narrowly to the Ground of the Song, to Adjutorium and Refugium, to God his Defence and his Refuge; and because he was so, and in the day of his Trouble too, therefore he would sing of his Power, and sing aloud of his Mer­cie: Nay, he will sing of his Mercy for ever; With his mouth will hee make knowne his faithfulnesse to all generations, for his Mercy shall be built up for ever, and his faithfulnesse establisht in the very Heavens: So he professes in his 89. Psalme, 1. and 2. verses.

Thus, I have shewed you a Modell of my Dis­course, where I shall not dwell punctually on each limbe and parcell of it, the time will not give way; no, not to touch on some: And seeing wee cannot well sunder the Descant from the Song, or either, from him that sings it, let's joyne all three together, and so begin, and so end, I will sing, and I will sing aloud.

TIs then most happy with the affaires of Gods people, when Kings are not onely Patrons of the Church, but Ornaments, [Page 4] such as can no lesse beautifie Religion, than propugne it. And this David did in a double way, of Ma­jestie and knowledge, being the prime piece in all, Israel, for Harmony and Eloquence, exquisitely endowed with the perfections both of Poetry and Musicke; In somuch, that some of the Fathers ei­ther to cry downe the vaunts of Heathens in their rarities that way, or else to rivall him with the fertile and richer Wits of their Times, have beene pleased to stile him Simonides noster, Alceus, Catul­lus, Flaccus, S. Ierome ad Paulinum. and Serenus; let me adde the Divine Orpheus, and Amphion, one that made Woods, and Beasts, and Mountaines; brutish, stony, and blockish dispositions to dance after his Harpe; and sometimes to sing with it in a Laudate Domi­num ipsi montes, ipsi arbores, ipsa jumenta, Praise the Lord ye Mountaines and little Hills, Trees, and all Ce­dars, Beasts and all Cattell, V. 10. Psal. 148. Herein per­sonating Christ himselfe, who was that Poeonius medicus (as Clemens Alexandrinus stiles him) the Spirituall Aesculapius, Ille Sanctus aegrotae Animae In cantator, The holy Inchanter of the sicke Soule, who first transform'd Beasts into men, reduc'd Sa­vagenes and Barbarisme into civilitie: Qui sevos, ut Leones, Clem. Alexan. paed. lib. 1. cap. 2. ad mansuetudinem; Fallaces ut Vulpes, ad sinceritatem; obscenes ut sues, ad continentiam revoca­vit: Cruelty, Craft, Obscaenitie (Hieroglyphi­cally shadowed under Lyons, Foxes, Swine) he translated to meeknesse, innocencie, temperance, causing the Wolfe to dwell with the Lambe, and the Leopard to lye downe with the Kid, and the young Lyon and the Fatling together,Isai 11.6. and a lit­tle [Page 5] childe leading them, Isai. 11.6. And although there be no Analogie betweene Truth and Ficti­on in respect of substance, let us make it up in re­spect of circumstance: TheyNugivendu­li Ethnicorum vates. by their dexterity in Musicke, and cunning on the Harpe, redeem'd some of theirs from the Gates of Hell; our Pro­phet, though by his heavenly touch and warble, that way caus'd not the Redemption of any from below; yet on his ten-stringed Instrument, hee sung sweetly the Resurrection; For so Saint Ierome tells his Paulinus, David Christum Lyra per­sonat, Ier. ut supra. & in Dechacordo Psalterio ab inferis excitat Re­surgentem.

But lets us not so resemble small things to great, that wee should dare compare those Poeticke Rhapsodies with his sacred Harmony, their sen­suall Elegies and Madrigals with his diviner Sonnets: O procul hinc procul ite prophani. 'Tis true, his verses consisted of number and feet as well as theirs, and he was as criticall in their Observati­on as the daintiest Lyrick or Heroicke, yet there was a vast disparitie, both for sublimity of mat­ter and elegancie of expression; Insomuch, that Petrus Damianus, the great adorer of Humane Elo­quence (and one whose very soule was charm'd with their prophaner Sonnets) was inforc'd at length to his Dulcius, immurmurat filius Iesse. The Thracian Harpe, and the Mercurian Pipe, and the Theban Lute, were but harsh and grating, when the Jewish Psaltery came in place; One touch of the sonne of Iesse, one warble of the Singer of of Israel, was more melodious than all their Fabu­lous [Page 6] incantations,Clem. Alexan. paed. lib. 1. c. 2. their Syrenicall fictions, which were but Iucunda quaedam auribus Raucedo, a kinde of plausible hoarsenesse, in respect of those sweet murmures of that heavenly Turtle. An Iliad of Homer, or an Ode of Pindarus, or a Song of Ana­creon, or a Scene of Aristophanes, have not the juyce, and blood, and spirits, and marrow; the acutenesse, elegance, vigor, majesty, that one of his sacred Ditties are ballac'd and fraught with­all: And God forbid that those Ventosae nugae, and Expolita mendatia, those Superbi errores, and Gac­culae Argutiae, D. Aug. Ep. 131. (as Saint Augustine stiles them to his Memorius) their garnished and beautifull lyes, their windy trifles, their vaine-glorious errours, their elaborate kick-shawes; their ingenious nothings should stand up in competition with one Michtam of David, his Jewell, his golden Song, farre above their buskin'd raptures, their garish Phantasmes, their splendid vanities; the Page­ants and Land-skips (if I may so terme them) of prophaner wits: And yet there have been some Hereticks of old, Gnosticks and Nicolaitans, which have rejected the Psalmes as prophano Sonnets, the births of humane fancie and invention, with­out any influence or aspiration of the holy Ghost, whereas the very Spirit of God, our Saviour him­selfe, and the Uni-vocall Consent of all the Apo­stles (nay the hallowed Quire of Heaven and earth, of Saints and Angels) have acknowledged, that God spake by the mouth of his servant Da­vid, that he was the sweet Psalmist of Israel, that his Word was in his tongue,Act. 4.24. 2 Sam. 23.2. he in Spirit calling [Page 7] him Christ the Lord, Mat. 22.43. Notwithstan­ding, he that hath a little traversed Primitive Re­cords, shall meet with one Paulus Samosetanus, Euseb. l b. 7. cap. 26. & 29. a branded Hereticke, and many other wayes infa­mous, who in open assemblies, inveighed against Expositors of Holy Story; Psalmes sung to the Honour of our Lord Jesus hee caus'd to bee ex­pung'd and raz'd out from the Church, accoun­ting them but the work-manship of noveltie, the forgeries of some Neotericks and Vpstarts in the Church; Instead whereof, in the body of the Temple, upon the high Feast of Easter, he subor­ned cetaine women (flickering and unstable crea­tures, whom he had moulded to his owne purpo­ses) to sing loud Sonnets of his praise. Though some favourers of the Heretick have been pleas'd to blaunch a little the foulnesse of his practise,Pol. Syntag. l. 1. c. 32. and would not have it thought a disparagement of the Psalmes of David, but of the Hymnes and holy Songs, which Christians in a religious vow and zealous endeavour made afterwards in the honour of Christ, and the commemoration of his Name. But were they religious Songs or Psalmes that had beene thus sacrilegiously debarr'd the inheritance of the Church; I stand not curiously to discusse, I am sure the custome was abomina­ble, to chant their loud Panegericks there, where onely should be sung Hosannahs to the Lord. For as Temples were first dedicated to the glory of God, so they were still continued to the worship of his Name; of his Name onely; except where Super­stition had interpos'd, Ignorance or Heresie taken [Page 8] foot; and so Apostates and Idols, nay Devlis them­selves have sometimes shar'd in that worship which was peculiar to the Lord of Hostes. Or else, perchance, the purblind zeale, or devout er­rours of others, who have erected their glorious Pyramides to the memory (and it were well, only to the memory) to the Adoration of some Saint or Martyr, which in their primitive institution were proper onely to the God of both.

And for this, Gods better Reverence and Ma­jestie in his Service, the Churches of old have generally mix'd Psalmes with their Devotions, and Melody, with their Psalmes; Melody, as well of Instrument as of Voyce; which, as it hath beene a gray-hair'd custome of most times and places; so not so obsolete, now, or super-annuated, that it should beburied wholly with that Law of Cere­monies; for besides the countenance and authori­tie which it found in the first ordinance, it hath been the practice of Gods best servants, in most ages of the Church, nay in most ages of the world, except that first age of Sacrifices, when we read of no publike Service, but by Holocaust; of no Church but the Tents of Patriarchs; no preaching of the Word but by Dreame or Vision; when Altars wore the tongue of Religion, and devotions were cast up by Incense, and not by Voice. But not long af­ter them, when there was not yet a Temple built, but an Arke onely (a mysticall porch or entrance to that Temple to come) we finde a Representative Cathedrall amongst the Iewes. Singing men, and Psalmes, and Instruments of Musicke, and all the [Page 9] Complements of a full Quire. 'Tis true, in the first rearing and forming of the Arke, wee reade onely of Priests and Levites, with their attendance and charge; of no Songs or Iestruments either prepar'd yet, or enjoyn'd, onely two Trumpets of Silver made by Moses at the command of God; and these the Israelites used, not meerely for the calling of Assemblies, and journying of the Camp, and the Alarums for Warre, but in solemne daies and times of Gladnesse, the Sonnes of Aaron were to blow them over their Burnt Offerings, and the Sacrifices of their Peace-Offerings (as if on speciall Festivals and times of joy, God could not bee prais'd sufficiently without this louder Harmo­ny) and therefore the Text sayes, It was to them for a memoriall before God, Numb. 10.10. But after­wards the Israelites setting forward in their jour­ney; when the Arke was to remove from the Mountaine of the Lord, wee finde a kinde of To Deum laudamus amongst the people,Numb. 10.35. Moses begin­ning a Magnificat to the Lord, Rise up Lord, let thine enemies be scattered, and let them that hath thee flee be­fore thee. And this Surge Domine, is by David afterwards (speaking of the removing of the Arke) voic'd into a Cantate Domino, Sing unto the Lord, sing praises unto his Name, extoll him that rideth upon the Heavens by his Name JAH, and rejoyce before him, Psal. 68.4. After this, I reade no more of the Arke of God, without some kinde of Musicke, whether in times of peace or warre, of triumph, or overthrow, except once when the Philistines to the disgrace of Israel led it captive, and brought it [Page 10] from Eben-Ezer unto Ashdox, where though it lost a while its former melody, it found a kind of observance from the Pagans themselves, who put it in the house of their God, and because it should not bee long there without reverence, Dagon himselfe falls on his face to worship it, as if hee had blush'd, that mettall, and wood, and stones (the substance belike of that false God) should acknowledge a true Divinity, where Barbarisme and Infidelity would not. But (it seemes) God was not well pleas'd with this kind of worship, but instead of a blessing, sends a disease; the Em­rods drive the Arke of God from Ashdod to Gath, from Gath to Ekron, from Ekron to Bethshemesh, from thence to Kyriath-iearim, where after some time of lamentation, David fetching it againe to Zion, prepares all manner of Instruments for the removall, and the whole house of Israel play before it with Harpes, and Psalteries, and Timbrels, and Cornets, and Cymballs, 2 Sam. 6.5. And after the Arke had rest, there being a place prepar'd, and a Tent pitched for it in the Citie of David, the chiefe of the Levites and their brethren were appointed to be their Singers with Instruments of Musick, sounding, by lifting up their voyce with ioy, 1 Chron. 15. v. 1.16.

And because this sacred melody might not breed confusion in publike services, speciall men are cull'd out by David for speciall Instruments, others for Songs, for the better raising up of mens hearts, and sweetning their affections to­wards God; Eleezer and Iehosaphat the Priests [Page 11] were appointed to sound with Trumpets conti­nually; Heman and Ethan with Cymballs of brasse, Zacharit and Maasiah with Psalteries on Alamoth, Maitathia and Azzacia with Harps on the She­minith to excell, Chenaiah chiefe of the Levites was for Song; for Song as well to instruct others, as to sing himselfe, so sayes the Text, Hee in­structed about the Song, because he was skilfull, V. 19, 20, 21, 22. 1 Chro. 15. Insomuch, that though our Prophet here seriously profest, that he himselfe would sing, and sing aloud, yet we understand it for the most part rather of his Pen, than of his Voyce; for though the greater bulke of Psalmes was com­pos'd by David, yet (as Saint Augustine ob­serves) hee sung onely nine in his owne person,Asaph, Eman, Ethan, Iedu­thun. D. Aug. de Tit. primi Psal. Reliqui dicti a quatuor principibus juxta titulorum in­scriptionem, the rest were sung, or at least comman­ded to be sung by one of those foure chiefe Mu­sicions specified in the inscription fronted to each Psalme; and these were men, Spiritu sancto mun­dati (sayes the Father) whom the holy Ghost had purified and apted for a sacred modulation, and hee that had the greatest measure of the Spirit for the present, he for the most part sung, and not onely sung, but sometimes prophesied, prophesied with instruments too (for so we reade) Asaph, E­man and Ieduthun were to prophesie with Harpes, Psalteries and Cymballs, and this custome was continued untill the dayes of Salomon, 1. Chron. 6.32.

Neither did it cease in the beginning of this wise Kings Reigne, but we heare an Eccho and [Page 12] resounding of it, at the Dedication of his glori­ous Temple, where we have a touch againe of this melodious Hierarchy, Priests, Levites, Nethynims, Singers, Trumpeters; the Levites with their Sonnes and brethren (which were Singers) being array­ed in white linnen, and having Cymballs, and Psal­teries and Harpes, stood at the East end of the Altar, and with one hundred and twentie Priests soun­ding with Trumpets, and the Trumpeters and Singers were as one, to make one sound to bee heard in praising the Lord God, 2 Chron. 5.12.

And this manner of Jubilation and magnify­ing of God aloft, continued (onely the time of Captivitie excepted) till the expiration of the Law, and though in the first seeding of the Gos­pell, it seeme swept cleane away with those Cere­monies of Israel (wee having no mention by the E­vangelists, either of vecall or Instrumentall melo­die, except in a solitary Quire, by a Song of Sime­on, or a Magnificat of Mary, or a Benedictus of Za­charias) yet some of the Fathers will tell us, that in the Iewish Synagogue, even in the times of Christ, there was a kinde of Diapsalma, a leaping into Dances; which though some jeering Mi­chals may account to be little lesse than mimicall or ridiculous, yet no doubt religious enough, if sin­cerely done, as we may see by the holy practices of David and Myriam, and many thousands more.

'Tis true, in the dawne and rising of the Primi­tive Church, we read of Spirituall Songs, Hymnes, and Psalmes; but these (it seemes) spoken only, not [Page 13] sung; or if there were singing then, no singing aloud. No Melody so proper then, as of the heart (and surely then, and now, that is the best private Melody). Speaking to your selves (saith Saint Paul) and making melody in your bearts to the Lord, Ephes. 5.19. And this was the loudest melody the Church could or durst make awhile, being yet but a hand­full of Apostles, with their Proselites or Catechu­meni, and these for the most part under the sword of persecution too; but not long after, this cu­stome of singing aloud began againe to revive in the Church, in the dayes ofEuseb. l. 3. c. 32. Socrat. lib. 6. cap. 8. Ignatius (that Igna­tius that trode so neere on the heeles of the Apo­stles, the Disciple of Iohn, and second, or as some would have it, third Bishop after Saint Peter in the Church of Antioch, M. H. Eccle. Chron. ad ann. 100. T. C. lib. 1. pag. 203. martyred in the time of Traian neere 100. yeeres after Christ) thoughEuseb. l. 3. c. 32. Socrat. lib. 6. cap. 8. some, who labour not onely to deface, but to cry downe Antiquity this way, derive the pedigree a little lower from the times of Constantius the Emperour 25 5. yeeres after, when this solemne custome bloom'd againe by the zealous endea­vours of Flavian and Diadore, men that stoutly propugn'd the Apostolike Faith,M. H. Eccl. Chren. ad ann. 355. against the Bi­shop of the same See, Leantius the Arrian; nay, lower yet 23. yeeres after to the times of Damasus in the Reigne of Valentinian, by Chronologicall computation 378. yeeres after Christ,Theod. lib. 2. c. 24. though it be evident, that this custome was on foot long before in the Greeke Church:M. H. Eccles. Chron. ad ann. 178. And for proofe hereof, a learned Idem ad an­num, 367. Antiquary quotes both the Au­thority and Practice of S. Basil, who first brought [Page 14] it into Caesarea, where hee was Bishop, and after­wards bequarrell'd by Sabellius the Hereticke, and Marcellus, who tooke occasion to exasperate the Churches against him, as being the Authour of Innovation, he alledgeth the examples of ma­ny Churches in this kinde,Sanct. Basil. Ep 63. those of Aegypt, Lybia, Thebes, Palestina, Tharabians, Phenicians, Syrians, Mesopotamians, &c. And after a voluminous quo­tation of Text and Fathers, the unparalell'd Hoo­ker (for I must name him, and I must name him so) concludes,Lib. 5. Eecl. pol. sect. 39. whosoever were the Author, what­soever the time, whencesoever the example of be­ginning this custome in the Church of Christ, the practice was not lesse ancient than devout, nor devout than warrantable, having had acquain­tance with the world since the first times of the Gospel above twelve hundred yeeres, even by the consent and account of those who have fifted the Antiquitie and manner of it to the Branne,T. C. pag. 203. not so much to know as to deprave; and yet at last are inforc'd tacitely to assent, that all Christian Churches have receiv'd it, most approved Coun­cels and Lawes ratified it, the best and wisest of Gods Governors applauded it; and therfore not only without blemish or inconvenience, but with some addition of lustre & majesty to Gods service as having power to elevate our devotions more swiftly towards Heaven; to depresse and tram­ple under foot (for the present) all extravagant & corrupter thoughts, rowzing & relieving those spirits which are drooping, and even languishing in a solitary and sullen, and (oftentimes) a de­spairing [Page 15] heavinesse; nay, the very Hammer that bruizes and beats into Devotion those dispositions which will not be otherwise suppled and made tender, but by the power and vertue of those sounds which can first ravish the affections, and then dissolve the heart.

And yet there are some eares so nice and curi­ous (I know not whether through weakenesse or affectation) to which this Harmony in the Church is no more passable than a Saw or a Harrow, which in stead of stroaking, dragg's and tortures them. Davids Cantabe is generally current, but his Exaltabe passes for Apochryphall; Singing in private families, or congregations, have a taste, questionlesse of Geneva; but singing aloud reli­shes too much of the Romish Synagogue; and though perhaps it doe, yet there can be no Plea here for those, who obtruding to us the use of Instruments by Pagans in honour of their Idols; or the moderne practice of some places, where Re­ligion lyes a little sluttish and undress'd, that therefore they are not warrantable, or at best but offensive in a reformed Church; for immediately upon the reigne of Ahaz, that idolatrous King, who made a molten image for Baalim, and burnt incense in the Valley of the Sonnes of Hinnon, where those lowder Instruments were in use for drowning the cryes of little children whom they barbarously forc'd through their cruell fires, to the worship of their God Moloch, the good King Hezekiah, labouring to restore Religion to its pri­mitive lustre as it shin'd in the dayes of our Pro­phet [Page 16] (and then questionlesse it shin'd without Idolatry) with the Rulers of Israel, goeth to the house of the Lord, and in a solemne Sacrifice sets there the Priests and the Levites with Cymballs, Psalteries, and Harpes, and this upon no particular or private fancie of his owne, but the Line and Rule of his uncorrupted predecessor, David; so sayes the Text, According to the command of David, 2 Chron. 29. And not onely so, but (that Kings may be knowne to rule as well by speciall revelation, as by prescription, or their owne will) by the as­sent of the Lord too, his principall Agents, Gad the Kings Seer, 2 Chro. 29.15. and Nathan the Prophet, in the 15. verse of the same chapter; and after this, when Manasseh his sonne revolted from the sincerity of his Father, and followed the abominations of the Heathen, whom God had cast out before Israel, building againe the high places that his Father had broken downe, making Groves and erecting Al­tars for all the Hoste of Heaven (when no doubt all the pompe and raritie of Musicke was in re­quest both to allure and besot the people) the im­mediate Successor after Ammon (the sonne of his Idolatry and witch-craft) the good Iosiah, when hee had demolished those Baalitish Altars, cut downe the Groves and carved Images, and their molten Gods, cinder'd and brayed into dust, repai­ring againe the house of the Lord his God, calls for the Sonnes of Merari and Zechariah and Meshullam, and others of the Levites that could skill of the Instruments of Musicke, and the Singers, the Sonnes of Asaph were in their place, according to the comman­dement [Page 17] of David, and Heman, and Ieduthun, the Kings Seer, 2 Chron. 35.15.

However, there are amongst us some anti-har­monicall snarlers, which esteeme those bellowings in the Church (for so they have bruitishly phras'd them) no better than a windie devotion, as if it cool'd the fervor of their zeale, damp'd the mo­tions of the Spirit, clogg'd the wheeles of their firy Chariot mounting towards Heaven, choak'd the livelihood and quicknesse of those raptures, which on a sudden they ejaculate; when, if they would but wipe off a little those wilfull scales which hang upon their eyes, they could not but see the admirable vertues and effects which me­lody hath wrought even in that part of man which is most sacred; Insomuch, that both Philosophers and Divines have jump'd in one fancie, that the Soule is not onely naturally harmonicall, but Harmo­ny it selfe. And indeed, the whole course of na­ture is but a Harmony; the order of superiour and inferiour things, a melodious Consort; Heaven and Farth, the great Diapason; both Churches, a double Quire of Hosannahs and Halleluiahs, Mag­nus Divinae Majestatis praeco, mundus est, saith the loftie Nazianzene, the world is the great Trum­peter of Divine Glory, Suave canticum, as Saint Bernard hath it, a sweet Song;D. Aug. lib. 11. de civit. Dei, cap. 18. or else Carmen pul­cherrimum (as S. Augustine will) a golden Verse; as if in Art and Consent both, it resembled both a Verse and a Song. Now Carmen in most languages is nothing else but laus; and therefore that Psal­modicall Tract, which we call Liber carminum, the [Page 18] Hebrewes call Liber landationum; So that a Song is nothing else but a Praise; and therefore the whole world being a kinde of Encomium, or praise of the glory of God, we may not improperly call it a Song also.

And as the greater world is thus a Song, so is the lesser too:Ephes. 2.10. Ipsius factura sumus (saith Saint Paul) wee are Gods workmanship, which some from the Greeke render Ipsius poema sumus, wee are his Poeme, his Heroicke Poeme: All creatures, men especially, being certaine luculent Songs or Po­ems, in which divine praises are resounded. Nay some of the Fathers have call'd Christ himselfe a Song (for so Clemens Alexandrinus) pulcherrimus Dei Hymnus est homo, P. ed. lib. 1. c. 2. qui in justitia aedificatur, the man of Righteousnesse is a most beautifull Hymne or Song, and so is his Spouse a Song too, and the love betweene both, Canticum canticorum, a Song of Songs, there being such a harmony betweene God and the World, and the World and the rest of his creatures there, that the one is like a well-set Antheme; the other as so many Singers and Choristers to voice and chant it: First, the Hea­vens, they sing, Isai 49.13. and then the Earth, that sings Psal. 98.4. the Mountaines also they break forth into singing, Isai. 55.12. the Valleys they laugh and sing too, Psal. 65.13. the Cedar and the Shrub are not without their Song neither, Isai 14.8. (as well theIsai 42.11. Inhabitants of the Rocke, as those that dwell in the& 26.9. dust) nay, those creatures that cannot yet speake, doe sing, The lame leapes as an Hart, and the tongue of the dumbe sings, Isai. 35.6.

Seeing then, that the whole course of nature is but a Song, or a kinde of singing a melodious concention both of the Creator and the creature: how can we conceive them to be lesse than pro­digies, who as if they distasted this generall har­mony, revile that particular and more sacred in our Churches, not considering what wonderfull effects and consequences Musicke hath wrought both in expelling of evill spirits, and calling on of Good.

Exagitabat Saul spiritus nequam, sayes the Text, An evill spirit troubled Saul, and with one touch of Da­vids Harpe hee is refresh'd, and the evill spirit departed from him, 1 Sam. 16. Elisha, V. 14.25. V. 15. when he was to pro­phecie before the Kings of Iudah and Samaria, call's for a Musician, and as he play'd, The Spirit of God fell upon him, 2 Kings 4. Mirum (saith S. Augustine) Daemones fugat, D. Aug. prol. in lib. Psal. Angelos ad adjutorium invitat. And yet 'tis not a thing so strange as cu­stomary with God to worke miraculous effects by creatures, which have no power of themselves to worke them, or onely a weake resemblance. What vertue was there in a few Rammes hornes, that they should flat the walls of Iericho? or in Gideons Trumpets, that they should chase a whole Hoste of Midianites? Digitus Dei hic, the finger of God is here, and this finger oftentimes runnes with the hand of the Musician: and therefore a moderne and learned Wit,M. Th. Wright. discoursing of the passions of the minde in generall, falls at length on those which are rais'd by Harmny, and dyving after reasons, why a proportionable and equall [Page 20] disposition of sounds and voices, the tremblings, vibrations, and artificiall curlings of the ayre (which in effect he calls, The substance of all Mu­sicke) should so strangely set passions aloft, so mightily raise our affections as they doe, sets downe foure manners or formes of motion, which occurre to the working of such wonderfull ef­fects.

The first is Sympathia, 1 a naturall correspondence and relation between our diviner parts and har­mony,Sympathia. for such is the nature of our soules, that Musicke hath a certaine proportionable Sympa­thie with them, as our tastes have with such va­rieties of dainties, or smelling with such diver­sities of odours. And Saint Augustine this way, was inforc'd to acknowledge, that Omnes affectus spiritus nostri, all the affections of our spirit, by reason of the variousnesse and multiplicity of them, had proper manners and wayes in Voyce and Song,D. Aug. lib. 10. coas. cap. 33. Quorum nescio quâ occultâ familiaritate excitentur, which he knew not well by what se­cret familiarity or mysterious custome they were excited and rouz'd up.

The second, 2 Providentia, Gods generall provi­dence; which,Providentia. when these sounds affects the eare, produceth a certaine spirituall qualitie in the soule, stirring up some passion or other, accor­ding to the varietie of sounds or voyces; For The imagination (saith hee) being not able to dart the forms of fancies, which are materiall, into the under stan­ding which is spirituall, therefore where nature wanteth, Gods providence supplyeth. And as in humane ge­neration, [Page 21] the body is from man, and the soule from God; the one preparing the matter, the other creating the form: so in Harmony; when Men sound and heare, God striketh upon and stirreth the heart; so that, where corporall mussicke is un­able of it selfe to work such extraordinarie effects in our soules, God by his Ordinarie naturall pro­vidence produceth them.

The third, more open and sensible, 3 is Sonus ipse, the very sound it selfe,Sonus ipse. which is nothing else but an artificiall shaking & quavering of the ayre, which passeth through the eares, and by them unto the heart; and there it beateth and tickleth it in such sort, that it is moved with sem­blable passions, like a calme water ruffled with a gale of wind: For as the heart is most delicate and tender. so most sensible of the least impressi­ons that are conjecturable; and it seemes that Musicke in those Cells, playes with the animall and vitall spirits, the onely goades of passion; So that although we lay altogether aside the consi­deration of Ditty or Matter, the very murmure of sounds rightly modulated and carried through the porches of our eares to those spirituall roomes within, is by a native vigour more than ordinarily powerfull, both to move and moderate all affe­ctions; and therefore Saint Augustine would have this custome of Symphony kept up in the Church, Vt per oblectamenta aurium infirmior animus in affectum pietatis assurgat. D. Aug. lib. 10. cons. cap. 33.

The fourth, 4 Multiplicitas objectorum, Multiplicitas objectorum. for as all other senses have an admirable multiplicitie of [Page 22] objects which delight them, so hath the eare: And as it is impossible to expresse the varietie of delights or distasts which we perceive by, and receive in them, so here varietie of sounds diver­sificate passions, stirring up in the heart many sorts of joy or sadnesse, according to the nature of Tunes, or temper and qualitie of the receiver. And doubtlesse in Harmony we may discover the misticke portraitures both of Vice and Vertue, and the mind thus taken with resemblances, falls of­ten in love with the things themselves; inso­much, that there is nothing more betraying us to sensuality, than some kind of Musicke; than o­ther, none more advancing unto God. And there­fore there must be a discreet caution had, that it be grave and sober, and not over-wanton'd with curiositie or descant. The Lacedemonians banished Milesius their famous Harper only for adding one string to those seven which he was wont formerly to teach withall, as if innovation in Art were as dangerous as in Religion: Insomuch, that Plato would make it a Law in Musicke that it should not be Multiplex & effeminata, V. de Osor. lib. 4. de Iustit. Regis. he using it to his Scho­lars, non [...] , sed [...] non [...] ; ut con­dimentum, non quotidianum pabulum; as sauce only, or a running banquet onely, not as a full meale.

The over-carving and mincing of the ayre either by ostentation or curiositie of Art, lulls too much the outward sense, and leaves the spiritu­all faculties untouch'd, whereas a sober medio­critie and grave mixture of Tune with Ditty, rocks the very soule, carries it into extasies, and for a [Page 23] time seemes to cleave and sunder it from the bo­dy, elevating the heart inexpressably, and resem­bling in some proportion those Halleluiahs above, the Quire and unitie which is in Heaven. And this glances somewhat at that story of Ignatius by Socrates, who tooke a patterne of his Church-me­lody from a Chorus of Angels;Lib. 6. cap. 8. which (as the Historian testifies) he beheld in a Vision extolling the blessed Trinity with Hymnes interchangeably sung. Or if this perchance prove fabulous, that of Saint Augustine will passe for canonicall, where he stiles this voycing of Psalmes aloft, Exercituam coe­lestium Spiritale Thymiama, D. Aug. Prolog. in lib. Psal. The Musicke of An­gels themselves, the spirituall Incense of that caelestiall Army. And as it is a representation of that Unitie above, so is it ofTotius Ec­cles. vox una. D. Aug. ibid. concord and cha­ritie here below, when under a consonance of voyce, we find shadowed a conjunction of minds, and under a diversitie of notes, meeting in one Song a multiplicitie of Converts in one devotion, so that the whole Church is not onely one tongue, but one heart. And to this purpose Saint Augu­stine againe, Diversorum sonorum rationabilis mode­ratusque concentus, concordi varietate, compactam bene ordinatae civitatis insinuat unitatem, in his 17. De civitate, 14. chapter.

And here I cannot but justle once more with those spirits of contradiction, which are so farre from allowing Harmony, an Embleme of unity in the Church, that they make it their chiefe engin of warre and discord: and that which doth as it were betroth others to those solemne services, is [Page 24] their chiefe motive of separation and divorce. A Psalme by Voyce barely they can allow, but not by Instrument, as if this were abrogated by the Cere­moniall Law; the other not, and yet if one, why not the other? And herein they not onely destroy the nature and propertie of Psalmes themselves, but cry downe the authoritie of the Psalmist too, in his laudate Dominum in Psalterio, Psal. 150. praise the Lord upon the Psaltery, an instrument first invented for the Psalmes, and used onely to it; and therefore call'd Psalterium a Psallendo: Insomuch that some of the Fathers have defin'd a Psalme to be nothing else but Modulatio per Instrumentum musicum, or Sermo musicus secundum harmoniae rationem ad Orga­num pulsatus, Vide Coq. in lib. 17. civit. Dei cap. 14. (so the Translator gives it me both from Saint Basil and Gregory Nyssen.) And what is this but our Prophets Landate Dominum in chordis & Organo? Psal. 150.4. Praise the Lord upon stringed Instru­ments and the Organ. The word of the Septua­gint there is [...] ; which, though it generally signifie any kinde of Instrument, yet that is most properly called so;D. Aug. in Psal. ult. v. 4. Quod inflatur follibus, saith Saint Augustine: And what other is that in use now in our Cathedralls? which like those of old is an Instrument of Exultation, Iob. 21.12. and had his originall (for ought I know) from the invention of Iubal himselfe, in the 4. of Genesis 21. But whether it had or not, doubt­lesse in many it doth sublimate devotion, sets their contemplation a soaring, as having a neere affinitie with the voyce of man; which lifted as it ought, resembles that of Angels, Et hoc [Page 25] fit modulatione quadam & delectabili Canore, D. Aug. prol. in lib. Psal. sayes that renowned African, by a kinde of modulami­nous and delightfull ayre, which insinuating strangely with the outward Sense, steales sub­tilely into the minde of man, and not onely in­vites but drawes it to a holy chastitie and imma­culatenesse, and therefore 'twas the wisdome of the Spirit (seeing mans disposition somewhat re­fractary to good, and strugling naturally with the Lawes of vertue, his affections more steepe and prone to the wayes of pleasure than the untrod­den paths of Righteousnesse) to mixe the power of Doctrine with that of Tunes, Vt dum suavitate carminis mulcetur auditus, divini Sermonis pariter u­tilitas inseratur, that whilst the eare was charm'd with the sweetnesse of the Ditty, the minde also might be rapt with the divinenesse of the matter, and so whilst others sing, we not onely heare, but learne too;D. Aug. prol. in lib. Psal. O verè admirandi magistri sapiens insti­tutum, ut simul & cantare videamur, & quod ad uti­litatem animae pertinet doceamur, the Father still. And yet, by the way let us take heed, whilst wee too much indulge this outward modulation, wee are not more transported with the melo­dy of the Tune than the sense of the Psalme; the singing, than the matter that is sung: Saint Augustine, when he did so (as he confess'd hee did so) confess'd likewise,D. Aug. lib. 10. conf. cap. 33. that he did Poenaliter peccare, and yet withall acknowledged, that in those sounds which Gods sacred Word did quick­en and inspire, when the voyce that was to chant them had both sweetnesse and art, Aliquantulum [Page 26] acquiesco, non ut haeream, sed ut surgam, cum volo, he rested a little, though hee stucke not there; and 'twas a wonder he had not, considering what a meanes it had beene formerly to his mortifica­tion, when after his conversion by Saint Am­brose, being baptiz'd at Millaine with Alipius and his sonne, hee confess'd, or sigh'd rather, Quan­tum flevi in Hymnis & canticis suavè sonantis Eccle­siae vocibus acriter commotus? when his head was a full Sea, each eye a fountaine, and every cheeke a channell, where teares did not so properly drop as flow, as if hee threatned one floud with ano­ther, a floud of transgressions with a floud of sor­rowes; notwithstanding, afterwards upon a new recollection of his spirits, and (as it seemes) his judgement, the devout Father was pleas'd to cen­sure some curiosities in the Church this way, and that from the authoritie of Athanasius, who would have the Reader of the Psalme to use such a slender inflection of voyce, Vt pronuntianti vici­nior esset, quam canenti, D. Aug. lib. 10. conf. cap. 33. that it should seeme rather utterance than Song; whereupon some have pre­sum'd to affirme, that singing at first in the Church was little more than a kinde of melodi­ous pronunciation, though it be apparent (and I can prove it so) that the Doricke Tone was in use even in primitive times, and for the gravitie and pleasantnesse of it Psalmes and Hymnes were then continually sung to that kinde of Harmony. And this had a double aime in the first institution; the one, for Novices in devotion, that where mindes but lately carnally affected (which na­ked [Page 27] words could not so easily bore and enter) the flatteries of Art, the insinuations of Musicke, might gaine a more plausible convoy and accesse for diviner matters; the other, for the spirituall refreshing and comfort of those that for Religion heretofore groan'd under the yoke of tyranny; when this kind of singing was first set up by Saint Ambrose in Millaine, according to the custome of the Easterne Churches,D. Aug. lib. 9. confes. cap. 7. Ne populus maeroris tae­dio contabescat, so that it was not only a speciall in ducement to the mortification of those which otherwise had been still secularly dispos'd, but a maine cordiall and solace for them also, which under the sword of Arrianisme were set apart of old for the Fiery Triall.

Some Philosophers are of opinion, that the Spi­rit knoweth and understandeth onely by the help and service of the Sences, Nihil est in intellectu, quod non fuerit prius in sensu, which if it bee generally true, our eares doubtlesse are as trap-doores to our mentall faculties, which as they are shut or open, so shut or open to their spirituall operati­ons. But Aristotle here was too much a Natural­list, and somewhat injurious to the soule, in so beslaving it and setting it a begging of the sen­ses, as if it had not vertue and wisdome enough of it selfe to exercise her functions without the speciall administration of outward Adjuncts, knowing that the Senses apprehend onely the simple Accidents, and not the Formes and Es­sence of things, much lesse the secrets in or above Nature, which are a journey and taske for our [Page 28] contemplative and intellectuall powers, and these also puzled sometimes in their inquisition, and well nigh lost in the windings and turnings both of metaphisicall and naturall speculations. And therefore doubtlesse in spirituall affaires (where the Soule chiefely is imbarqu'd) we are, or should be, more elevated to God by Reason than by Sense, when we ascend to him by serious Me­ditations, deepe Penetrations of his Word, Tho. Wr. ut supra. Maje­stie, Attributes, Perfections, which chiefely trans­port those that are truely grave, that are mortified indeed; when this overtickling of the Sense by the plausibility of sounds, this courting and com­plementing with the Eare by the elegance and raritie of some well-run-voluntary or descant, are for Punies in devotion; to whom notwithstan­ding they are as sensuall objects to ascend to God in Spirit, to contemplate his sweetnesse, blessednesse, eternall felicitie; though even in those also that are most pure and sanctified (to whom the most curious Ayre that ere was set, is not halfe so harmonious as one groane of the Spirit) doe not alwayes attend those deeper co­gitations, but now and then intermingle their devotions with this sacred sensualitie, which as a pleasant path leadeth to the Fountaine of spirituall joy and endlesse comfort. And there­fore let the Psalmist bee once more our remem­brancer, and as a remembrancer, an informer too, Laudate Dominum in Psalterio, Psal. 150.5. laudate eum in Cym­balis Iubilationis; let our outward praises of the Lord so runne with those within, that our Soule [Page 29] may magnifie him, and our Spirit rejoyce in him that sav'd us, and then no doubt wee may sing cheerefully of his Power, and sing aloud of his Mercy; so sing, and sing aloud, that our Psal­terie may bare a part with our Cymball, our heart with our tongue, our sincerity with our profession, our actions with our words.

Saint Augustine paraphrasing on that of the 104. Psalme, Sing unto the Lord, sing Psalmes unto him, makes a criticisme betweene Cantate and Psallite; Singing unto God, & singing Psalmes unto him, Verbo Cantat, Psallit Opere, hee sings to God that barely professes him, he Psalmes it that obeys him; the one is but Religion voyc'd, the other done; and 'tis this doing in spirituall businesse that sets the crowne on Christianity; Profession onely shewes it, and oftentimes scarce shewes it truly, like an hypocriticall glasse, which repre­sents a feature as it would be, not as it is; as it de­sires to seeme, not as it lookes. Againe,Psalterium pulsatur ma­nibus. D. Aug. ibid. Ore Can­tatur Manibus Psallitur, he that Sings, makes use of the mouth; hee that Psalmes it, doth exercise the hand, so that the mouth (it seemes) onely expresseth our faith, the hand our good workes, the one doth but tattle Religion, the other com­municates it. And therefore our Prophet no sooner mentions his Cantate and his Psallite, but immediately there followes a Narrate and a Gleri­amini; First, Sing unto the Lord, and sing Psalmes un­to him, and then in the next verse, Talke of his won­drous works, & glory in his holy name: So that belike, He that onely sings unto God (the vocall profes­sor) [Page 30] he doth but talke of his wondrous workes; but he that Psalmes it (the realist in Christianity) he glories in his holy Name. And to this pur­pose, the Father doubles on the Prophet, Psal. 67. Sing unto God, D. Aug. in Psal. 67. sing praises unto his Name. Cantat Deo, qui vivit Deo, Psallit nomini ejus, qui operatur in gloriam ejus, hee sings unto God that lives unto God, and hee sings praises to his Name that doth something for the glory of his Name: And hap­pie is that man that so sings, and sings praises, that both lives and does to the glory of GODS Name.

And how can Gods Name be better glorified than in his House? and how better in his house, than by singing of his Power and Mercy? his Mercy in so drawing us, that wee can live unto him; his Power, for inabling us to doe some­thing for his Glory. And 'tis well, that Those whom God hath enabled to doe, will doe some­thing for Gods Glory; for the Glory either of his Name of House. A President this way is but Miracle reviv'd; and the Thing done, doth not so much beget Applause, as Astonishment. 'Tis somewhat above Wonder, to see the One with­out Prophanation, or the Other without Sacri­ledge; I meane not (and I say I meane not to forestall the preposterous Comments of others, which sometimes injuriously picke knots out of Rushes) that Sacrilege, which fleeces the Reve­newes, but the Ribbes and Entrailes of a Church; defaces Pictures, and rifles Monuments, tortures an innocent peece of Glasse for the limme of a [Page 31] Saint in it; Razes out a Crucifice, and sets up a Scutchion; Pulls down an Organ, and advances an Houre-glasse; and so makes an House of Prayer, a fit den for Theeves. And indeed, this malicious dis-robing of the Temple of the Lord, is no bet­ter than a Spirituall Theft; and the Hands that are guilty of it, are but the Hands of Achan; and for their Reward, deserve the hands Gebazi. God is the God of Decency. And Ornaments either In his House, or About it (as they are Ornaments) are so farre from awaking his Jealousie, that they finde his Approbation. He that hath consulted with the Iewish Story, cannot want instance this way, nor illustration. The Law of old required the Altar cleane, the Priest wash'd, the Sacrifices without blemish; and this, when there was yet not onely a Temple not built, but not projected; but this once enterpriz'd, straightway stones must be choicely hewed from the Mountaines, Arti­ficers fetch'd from Tyre, Cedars from Libanus, Silver from Tharshish, Gold from Ophir, 1 King 6. & 7. 2 Cron. 3.4. 1 Chro 29.4 Silver and Gold in no small proportion, ten thousand talents at least, to overlay the walls of it; be­sides, the very beames and posts and doores o're­spread with Gold, Gold of Parvaim (no other would serve the turne) garnisht within with pre­tious stones and graved Cherubins, 2 Chron 3. Cherubins of Gold too [...]e Gold: (so sayes the Text) vail'd over with blue and purple and crimson and fine Lin­nen, nothing wanting for lustre or riches, for beautie and magnificence for the house of a God; the King would have it so, Salomon the wise King, [Page 32] and he would have it so for Ornament, and not for Worship, except for the worship of his God, and that his God approves of with a fire from heaven, 2 Chron. 7.1.

And now, my Brother, what capitall offence in the Image of a Saint or Martyr, histori­cally or ornamentally done in the house of the Lord? It invites not our knee, but our eye; not our Observance, but our Observation; or if perchance our Observance, not our Devotion: Though we honour Saints, we doe them no wor­ship; and though sometimes wee sing of, we sing not unto them; wee sing of their Sufferings, not of their Power; and in so singing, we sing unto God; Sing first of his Power, that he hath made them such Champions for Him; and then, Sing aloud of his Mercy, that they were such Lights unto us. And here, what danger of Idolatry? what colour for Offence? what ground for Cavill or exception? Our dayes of Ignorance and blind zeale are long since past by, but (it seemes) not of Peevishnesse or Contradiction: And cer­tainely, if Fancie or Spleene had not more to doe here than Judgement, this Quarrell might be ended without Bloud. We are so curious in Ty­thing of Mynt and Cummin, that we let goe the waightier matters of the Law; and whilst we di­spute the indifferencies of a painted roofe or window, we sometimes let downe the very walls of a Church: And I dare say, if a Consistory did not more scarre some than a Conscience, Temples would stand like those Aegyptian Monuments, I [Page 33] know not whether a Modell of Antiquity or De­solation. 'Tis a misery, when the life of Religi­on shall lye in the Tongues of men, and not in their Hands; or if in their Hands, sometimes not in their Hearts. The times are so loud for Faith, Faith, that the noyse thereof drownes sometimes the very Motion of good Workes; and even there too, where Faith is either begotten, or at least strengthened in the House of the Lord; That stands Naked, and sometimes Bare-headed, as if it beg­ged for an Almes; when our Mansions swell in pride of their Battlements, the beauty of their Turrets; and yet their Inhabitants still cry as the mad people did after the Floud, Come, Gen. 11.4. let us make Bricke, let us Build: But all this while, No noise of an Axe or a Hammer about the House of the Lord; Their project is to lift their Earth un­to Heaven, and it matters not though the Heaven here below lay levell with the Earth, they sing of a City and a Tower to get them a Name; They care not for a Temple to sing aloud in to the Name of their God: And hence it is, that this God makes that sometimes a way to their confusion, which they intended a meanes to their Glory.

I have observ'd three speciall sorts of Builders in our Age, and three sorts of singing by them. Some build up Babel with the stones of Jerusalem, (Adorne their owne Mansions by demolishing of Churches) and such sing onely Requiems to their owne name, and are so farre from singing unto Gods, that he cries out against them by his Pro­phet, Though you build aloft, Obad. 4. and nestle among the [Page 34] Cloudes, yet I will bring you downe into the dust of the Earth.

Others, build up Ierusalem, with the stones of Ierusalem, repaire one Church with the ruines of another; Take from that Saint, and Give unto this: And in this they thinke they sing aloud un­to God, but hee heares not their voice; or if hee heare, he rebukes it, Away with your sacrifices, I will none of your burnt offerings, Isa. 1.13. they are abomination unto me, saith the Lord God.

Others build up Ierusalem with the stones of their Babel (Repaire the ruines of Gods house, with their owne costs and materialls) and not onely repaire, but beautifie it, as you see; And such not onely sing unto God, but sing Psalmes unto him; Talke and doe to the Glory of his Name. And blessed is the man that doth it, doth it as it should be done; without froth of ostenta­tion, or wind of Applause, or pride of Singulari­ty; But from the uprightnesse and integrity of a sound heart,Psa. 69.9. can Sing aloud to his God; 'Tis my zeale to thy house, that hath thus eaten me up. And doubtlesse, he that is so zealous for the house of the Lord, the Lord also will be mercifull unto His; and hee that so provides for the worship of Gods name, God also will provide for the preservation of His; Deut. 28. Blessed shall he be in the City, and Blessed in the field, Blessed in his comming in, and Blessed in his going out; Blessed in his basket and in his store; Bles­sed in the fruit of his cattell, and the fruit of his ground. Gods speciall Providence shall pitch his Tents about him, the dew of Heaven from above, and [Page 35] the flowers of the Earth from below: Before him, his Enemies flying; behind him, Honours attending; about him, Angels intrenching; on his right hand, his fruitfull Vine; on his left, his Olive-branches; without, Health of body; with­in, Peace of Conscience; and thus:Psal. 25.12. His Soule shall dwell at Ease, and his Seed shall inherit the Land. And whilst he sings unto Heaven, Blessed be the Name of the Lord for his mercy endureth for ever. Heaven shall rebound to the Earth, and the Earth sing aloud unto him; Blessed is he that putteth his trust in the Lord, for Mercy shall incompasse him on eve­ry side. And now (O Lord) it is thy Blessings which we want, and thy Mercies which we beg; Let thy Blessings and thy Mercies so fall upon us, as we doe put our trust in Thee; Lord in Thee have we trusted, let us never be confounded. Amen.

Gloria in excelsis Deo. Amen.

The Chriſtian Duell, …

The Christian Duell, IN TWO SERMONS, Ad Magistratum. Preached at two severall ASSIZES, held at TAUNTON in Sommerset. Anno Domini, 1634. 1635. By Humphrey Sydenham.

ROM. 8.5.
Qui secundum Carnem sunt, quae Carnis sunt, sapiunt:
Qui verò secundum Spiritum, quae Spiritus sunt.

Vellem quidem et carnem meam esse in vita; sed quia non po­test, sit vel Spiritus meus, sit vel Anima mea.

D. Aug. Serm. 6. de Verbis Domini.

LONDON, Printed by IOHN BEALE, for Humphrey Robinson, at the Signe of the Three Pigeons in PAULS Church-yard. 1637.

TO THE TRVLY NOBLE, BOTH BY BLOVD and VERTVE, Sir IOHN POULETT, KNIGHT: Sonne and Heire to the Right Ho­nourable, IOHN, Lord POVLETT, Baron of Henton St. George.


IF there be a Succession of Vertues with the Fortunes of Great men, doubtlesse there should be of the Services of those that ho­nour them. This makes me speak boldly through the sides of your Noble Father, whose continued respects towards me, and in­couragements, I cannot better acknowledge than by my thankefull expressions to such a Son; who (in the hopes and expectations of his Coun­trey) [Page] shall no lesse inherit Him, than his Reve­newes; Ana then, Honour, Riches, Wise­dome, you cannot but prescribe for; & what else may either intitle you to Greatnesse here, or to Glory hereafter. Such a Patronage as This, I could not but listen after, where is as well Vertue to countenance me, as Power; and so perhaps, Censure and Prejudice may be a little hush't, or at least, not so loud, but that the labours of poore men may travell the world; if not without their snarlings, (for who can so muzzle a blacke mouth'd Curre?) yet without their publique Barkings and traducements. Beleeve it, Sir, what I present you here is mine owne, though but a mite; and a mite thus offered cannot prove lesse acceptable to a noble Treasury than an Oblation of a richer value, since your Free­will offerings were ever of best esteeme, both with God and Good men; which doth hope­fully incourage me of your faire entertainment of This, from the hands of

Your most devoted HVM. SYDENHAM.

The first Sermon.

ROM. 7.25.

So then with the minde, I my selfe serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the Law of sinne.

THis life is a warfare, and this Text a lively description of it, where the parts lye as the two Armies of Israel, and the Philistines did in Elah & Ephes Dammim, there is a Moun­taine on the one side, and a Mountaine on the other, and a Valley betweene them, 1 Sam. 17. Here is first Lex Dei, V. 3. the Law of God; on that Mountain the Israelite pitcheth; [Page 42] then Lex peccati, the Law of sinne, on this the Phi­listine, betweene both there is a spacious Valley, where David encountreth the mightie Goliah, the spirituall Combatant, his fleshly adversary: and this in the Ego ipse, I my selfe; where the con­flict is both hot and doubtfull; sometimes the flesh hath the defeate, and then the Law of God hath the glory; sometimes the minde is over­laid by the strokes of the Flesh, and then the Law of sinne. In this Duell our Apostle is a maine Champion, or to use his own word, a Servant, Ego ipse servio, I my selfe serve, and I serve two wayes; mentally with the minde, that is for the Law of God; carnally with the flesh, this for the Law of sinne.Serm. 44. de temp. Audi (saith the Father) vitam justi in isto adhuc corpore, bellum esse nondum triumphum, the righteous man hath but a skirmish here, no tri­umph; no triumph yet, but a daily tempest and strugling betweene the minde and the flesh, the Law of God, and the Law of sinne; and this Law is the occasion of that warre, and that warre of captivitie, and yet this captivitie at last of tri­umph; I finde a Law in my members fighting against the Law of my minde, Quando audis repugnantem, quandò, cap­tivantem, bel­lum non agnoscis? D. Aug. ibid. and bringing me into captivitie to the Law of sinne, V. 23. Here is fighting and bringing into Captivity, that's the Warre on the other side, Wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thanke God through Iesus Christ our Lord, v. 24. Here is deliverance from death, and Grace by Iesus Christ our Lord, this the Triumph. Now the ground both of that warre and this Triumph the Apostle locks up here in a [Page 43] Nempe igitur, a so then, So then with the minde, I my selfe serve the Law of God; but with the flesh, the Law of sinne.

Thus you see how the Field is pitch'd, and eve­ry word in its severall squadron; but before wee enter lists, or can well shew you the heate of the encounter, it will not be amisse to open first what the word Minde imports, what her office and pro­perties; then what the Law of God, and the ser­vice requir'd there, and so the Analogie between both. In the next ranke, what the word Flesh spe­cifies, what the Law of sinne, the service due there also, and the relation between them. This done, I shall in the reare bring up the ego ipse, the Apostle himselfe, harness'd and ready arm'd for the spirituall conflict, and setting him betweene the Minde and the Flesh, the Law of God and the Law of sinne, typifie and represent unto you the state of a true Christian Souldier here on earth, how his loynes should be girt, his feet shod, his Armour buckled on, what his breast-plate, and Shield, and Sword, and Helmet, and how farre able, or not, to withstand all the firy Darts of the wicked one. This whilst I endevour to performe, I shall desire this honorable and learned Throng, to make use of Saint Augustines Apologie on the same subject, Potentiam mihi praebeat charitas ve­stra, D. Aug. Serm. 5. de verb. Ap. ut si habeam propter obscuritatem rerum difficilem disputationem, saltem habeam facilem vocem; ut au­tem prosit labor noster, sit patiens auditus vester. Discourses which savour of depth and industry are most proper for noble and ingenuous Audito­ries, [Page 44] and looke for patient attention, and candid interpretation. I begin, where I should, with the minde of man; tell you what it meaneth here, and how it holds conformitie with the Law of GOD.

PARS I. With the minde I serve the Law of God.

AND for the better opening of this Cloud, both Fathers and Interpreters make a criti­cisme between Soule, and Minde, and Spirit; which some endevouring to expresse, have not unfitly compar'd to a house of three roomes or stories, in the lower roome is Anima, in the middle Mens, above both, Spiritus, as the Cock-loft or upper Re­gion of the Soule. In these three is the substance of the soule lodged, Quasi quadam sua Trinitate, this being (it seemes) an Embleme of the Deity; a Trinitie in Unitie, and a Unitie in Trinitie; the Essence the same in all, but the proprietie diverse: like severall strings in an Instrument set in tune to make up one Harmony; and there­fore it is call'd Anima, De spirit. & Anima c. 12. dum animat; Spiritus, dum spirat; mens, dum metit & meminit. Or else, Ani­ma, dum vegetat; mens, dum intelligit; Spiritus, dum contemplatur: So that here is no Essentiall, but onely a Vertuall difference, the substance of the soule lying in the powers and properties thereof, and yet not divided into parts, but simple and [Page 45] individuall, these powers neither impairing nor adding to the unitie of the soule, no more than the diversities of streames to the unitie of one source or fountaine. And yet there are divers steps or degrees of perfection in them, in some of them, not all; Oculus corporis est anima, animae, mens, the soule is the eye of the body, and the minde is the eye of the soule; and as the eye is the beau­tie of the face, the bright Starre of that Orbe it moves in, so is this the beautie and bright Starre of the soule; and therefore that is called, Mens quod emineat in Anima; Minde, because it shines in the soule, as a light in the spheare it rolls in. Hence some would derive the Etimology of Mens from the Greeke, [...] ,D. Aug. ut. su­pra cap. 11. which signifies the Moone, not so much for varietie of change, as brightnesse; or else, Mens, a mensurando, from a dexteritie it hath in measuring, or contriving. Now, Dijudicare, & mensurare estactus intellectus, Parte. 1. q. 79. Art. 9. ad 4. (sayes Thomas) to judge and to measure is an art of the understanding, and the understanding is the very forme and selfe-being of the soule, or rather the soule of the soule, as the apple of our eye is the very Eye of our eye; so that the minde is the beame and splendor of the soule, as the soule is of the body; so neere Divinity, and so much resembling it, that the Romanes of old ador'd the Minde as a God­desse, and by Marcus Aemilius Scaurns there was a Temple dedicated, Deae menti, ut bonam haberent mentem, as S. Augustine observes in his 4. Booke, De civitate Dei, 21. chapter.

Well then, that we may now looke backe un­to [Page 46] the Text, we take not here the word Mens phy­sically, for reason and understanding as they are in Meris naturalibus; but Theologically, for the spirituall and regenerate part of man: And so ta­ken, it stands at some distance with the word Anima, though not with the word Spiritus: For though every Soule be a kinde of Spirit, yet every Spirit is not a Soule, nor every Soule a Minde, at least, a Minde regenerate; but Minde and Spirit (for the most part) kisse in Scripture; Saint Paul in the latter end of this chapter, calling that Mens, which in the very beginning of the next, he names Spiritus: so that Minde and Spirit in a sacred sympathy goe hand in hand, but soule and spirit doe sometimes justle.

My Soule doth magnifie the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoced in God my Saviour, Luk. 1.46. Here the blessed Virgin makes a difference betweene herNon in hoc gemmo voca­bule gemina substantia in­telligitur, sed cum ad distin­ctionem poni­tur gemina vis ejusdem sub­stantiae, una superior, per spiritum, al­tera inserior per animam designatur: in hac utique divisione, ani­ma & quod animale est in imo remanet; spiritus au­tem & quod spiritale est ad summum evo­lat, ab infimis dividitur, ut ad summa sub­limetur, ab a­nima seinditur ut domino u­niatur. De Spiritu & Anima. cap. 34. soule and her spirit; and why? why? It is called soule in respect of vivification, spirit of con­templation: Soule, as it is a leiger and sojourner with the body, quickning and informing that: Spirit, as it is mounted and imbarqu'd for Hea­ven, and rapt with the beatitude of that caelestiall Host: the soule doth onely magnifie God as a God; the spirit rejoyceth in that God as a Saviour. In a word, the soule in man, as it is a soule, is like Fire raked up in embers; the spirit like that fire ex­tenuated and blowne into a flame, the one glowing in our ashy part, the other sparkling in our intel­lectuall.

And this distinction the great Doctour him­selfe [Page 47] useth to his Thessalonians: where after some benediction, at length he prayeth, that their whole spirit, and soule, and body, may be preserved blamelesse to the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ, 1 Thes. 5.23. Marke, hee begins with the spirit, O culatissima hominis parte, the Eagle part of man which eyes things divine; that like another Mary, alwayes sits at the feet of Iesus: then comes the soule, Stella in cap. 1. Lucae. Quae naturales exercet ratiocinales; this like another Mar­tha is cumbred with much serving, busied about Reason and the naturall faculties, but the unum neces­sarium it hath not chosen yet. And lastly the Bo­dy, that villa Marthae, the Village where our Mar­tha dwells, those earthly affections of ours, which so taste of the body and earth, that if they be not restrain'd, make man as it were all body, that is, all carnall; for which cause we finde some men call'd spirituall, some animall, and some carnall, 1 Cor. 2.3. Thus the spirit is [...] , as a Pi­lot or Governour squaring and fashioning new motions in the regenerate, and subjecting their will to the will of God: The soule is [...] , under whose Lee come the sensitive faculties, Reason, Iudgement, not yet wash'd and purified by the spirit: the body, Organum illorum, the engine and Instrument of both, which they imploy in their diversities of actions and operations: These three are the integrall parts of a man regenerate, when of the earthly man there are only two, [...] , and [...] ,Aret. in Ep. 1. Thess. cap. 5. v. 23. soule and body; no spirit he, it is foolishnesse unto him. Hence proceedes that double man so fre­quently mentioned in the Scriptures; the one [Page 48] [...] , who is also [...] , Animall or carnall, and lives yet in the state of Nature; the other [...] , mentall or spirituall, and in the state of Grace, shewing his profession by his Faith, and his Faith by his Workes. Now, as with man there is a dou­ble man, spirituall and secular; so with the spiri­tuall man, there is a double man too, inward and outward; the one in the Text here call'd Minde, the other Flesh, that serving the Law of God, and this the Law of sinne.

And here, by the Law of God, wee understand not that onely on Mount Sinai, first promulgated by Moses, and after him taught by the Prophets, but that also on Mount Sion, by Christ and his Apostles; to wit, The eternall will of God declared in the Doctrine of the Gospell, which is no lesse a Law than the other; and this Law every regenerate man doth serve, serve though not fulfill; serve with the minde, a willing minde, crying out with the Pro­phet, My heart is ready, Psal. 42.1. my heart is ready, so ready, that it panteth and gaspeth for the water-brooke, the Commandements of God, which are as deepe waters: But on the other side, the Flesh playes the Craven, and as if it had received some deadly wound, makes him complaine with the same Prophet, Thine Arrowes sticke fast in me, there is no health in my flesh, nor any rest in my bones by reason of my sinne, Psal. 38.3.

You heare then, how sinne still lyes at the doores of the Flesh, though the Flesh be not pro­perly the seate of finne, but the soule; and yet the soule new borne by the spirit serves principally the [Page 49] Law of God, which is indeed rather a freedome, than a service; a perfect freedome, sayes our Ly­turgie, and because made perfect by the Spirit, the spirit of freedome too, Non accepistis spiritum serviiu­tis, sedlibertatis; And if Christ have made us free, we are free indeed; otherwise, our freedome is no better than a bondage, Rom. 8.15. This made the Singer of Israel warble sweetly,Psa. 19.7. The Law of the Lord is an undefiled Law, converting the soule: And the Soule in this manner converted, is a kinde of undefiled soule; because it so serves the Law of the Lord. Thus, He that is joyned to the Lord is one spirit, 1 Cor. 6.17. One Spirit? How? Essential­ly? no, how then, accidentally; one in charity, consent of will grace, and glory too,Cornel. Lap. 1. Cor. 6.17. Quae hominem sa­ciunt, quasi Divinum, & Deum; which make a man as twere divine; so farre forth God, that with God he is as one, and the same spirit: And there­fore a chaste and a holy soule, the Fathers often stile Deisponsam, the Betrothed of the Lord. Now,Serm. 7. sup. Cant. Sponsa and Sponsus, (as S. Bernard notes) Maximè indicant internos animi affectus: And doubtlesse, God doth so intimately affect a religious and a sanctified soule, that in his Armes he doth imbrace it, even as his Spouse; and with the Beloved in the Canticls, doth even kisse it with the kisses of his mouth: and therefore, as at first, in the matrimoniall Ʋnion betweene man and wife, Cant. 1.2. Two were made as one flesh; so in this mysticall union betweene God and the Soule, two are become as one spirit.

Againe, The Commandement of the Lord is pure, and giveth light unto the eyes, Psal. 19.8. Light unto [Page 50] the Eyes, what Eyes? the eyes I told you of before, the eyes of our intellectualls, the eyes of our minde, which being dimm'd, and clouded by the fall of the first man, God doth illuminate againe by the beames of the spirit: and the Eyes thus opened, behold instantly the wonderfull workes of his Law; and so,Psa. 36.10. In lumine tuo videbimus lumen, In this light wee shall see light,Psa. 119.105 the Light of his Word and Commandements, which he called, A Lanthorne unto our feet, and a light unto our pathes; and with­out which we grope in ignorance and error, wal­king in blindnesse and in the shadow of Death; the way of the wicked being darknesse (saith Sa­lomon) and a continuall stumbling,Prov. 4.18, 19 but the way of the Just, as a shining Light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day: And therefore S. Peter cals the word of Prophecie, (which is the Word of God, and of his Law) A Light which shineth in a darke place, untill the Dawne and the Day-starre arise in our hearts, 2 Pet. 1.19. Our hearts which were but the Chambers of darknesse, the couch and resting place of our blinded minde, God, who hath commanded light to shine out of darknesse, hath shin'd into,2 Cor. 4.6. shin'd into the darker corners of them, To give the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Iesus Christ, who is the spirituall day-star, that day-spring from on High,Luk. 1.79. which through the tender mercies of God hath thus visited us, giving light to them that sit in darknesse, and guiding their feet in the way of everlasting peace. Hereupon the Kingly Prophet ravish'd, it seemes, with the joy of the inward man; tells us, That the statutes [Page 51] of the Lord are right, and rejoyce the heart, Psal. 19.V. 8. The heart which was before meerely sensuall, a rude lumpe of flesh, a cage of uncleane birds, a bundle of sinfull and impure thoughts, they new brush and sweepe, and so garnish with spirituall gifts and graces, that insteed of drooping, they cheere and elevate it; making that which was before the ground of Terror, the meanes of rejoy­cing; more desiring it now than gold, than fine gold; sweeter than the hony or the hony combe: that, to the mind regenerate, the Law of God is not a service barely, but a delight; His delight is in the Law of God, and in that Law doth he exercise him­selfe day and night, Psal. 1.2. And indeed, wherein should he be exercised? what object more pro­per or more blessed? what should the Spirit minde, but the things of the Spirit? what the Righteous aime at, but his center and eternall resting point? God hath created man for his own Glory; and as Man is the end of the world, so is God the end of man, and his Glory of both: And therefore he is call'd, The Temple of the Living God, and his minde the Sanctum Sunctorum in that Temple; in which God is said, not onely to dwell, Serm. 27. Sup. Cant. but to walke, 1 Cor. 6.16. O quanta illi Animae lati­tudo, quanta & meritorum praerogativa, quae divinam in se praesentiam & digna invenitur suscipere, & sufficiens capere! saith S. Bernard. That Soule is of a boundlesse circuit and goodnesse, that can compre­hend the incomprehensible God: Cannot the greater World containe him, and is he involv'd in the lesse? Is the Minde a Temple for him to dwell [Page 52] in, that dwelleth not in Temples made with hands? Is there in Man a Tabernacle for his service, at whose seete both Men and Angels fall downe and worship? This then should mount him above the world, and all the base Lees and dregs there­of, disrobe him of his earthly garment, make him put on the New man in Righteousnesse and Holines, shake off the very dust from his feete, those dusty corruptions which sticke so fast on his feet of frailty, lifting himselfe above himselfe, and re­tiring from all outward things into the Soule, the soule unto the minde, and the mind unto God, may seeke his conversation in Heaven onely, minding nothing but Heaven and Heavenly things; every true sanctified soule being not only Heavenly, (saith S. Bernard) but Heaven it selfe; S [...]rm. 27. sup. Cant. and sitting in the body, tanquam Deus in suo mundo, where his un­derstanding shines as the Sunne; his vertues as the Starres; and his Faith as the Moone; which he calls,Psal. 89.36. The faithfull witnes in Heaven. And so Man being a kinde of Heaven to himselfe, and ha­ving a God within him, ruling and commanding it, should alwayes have his Contemplation wing'd, his thoughts towring upwards to the God of Gods in the Heaven of Heavens, where there is joy unspeakeable for evermore.

And now you have heard what the Front of the Text meaneth by the word, Mind, what her office and properties, and how they looke to the Law of God; In the next ranke I am to sew you, how the Flesh comes up with all her Forces, and how that joynes with the Law of Sinne.

PARS II. With the Flesh I serve the Law of Sinne.

SOme Expositors leaving the Geneva Rode, and treading the by wayes to Rhemes and Doway, make a double partin Man, Reason and Sensuality; the one of them they stile Spirit, the other Flesh, dishonouring thereby the sacred Doctrine of our Apostle, as if Reason and the Spirit sounded alike, in regard of the Inward man; Flesh and Sensualitie in respect of the Outward: But this were to rivall Philosophy with Scripture,Acts 19.9. send S. Paul to Sta­gyra, and Aristatle to the Schoole of Tyrannus; for the same Divinity the great Peripateticke preacheth in the first of his Ethicks; where hee divides the Minde into two parts, [...] ,Cap. 13. where Reason dwelleth; and [...] , where Passions reigne: These drawing one way, and That another; Ap­petite in an incontinent man, being towards Rea­son, ut membrum paraliticum, as a limme that is strucke with the dead Palsie, turne it to the right hand; and it falls to the left; whatsoever Reason dictates for the Better, Sensuality straineth to the worse, and what is that (say they) but the Flesh and the Spirit? Thus, they would confound Na­ture with Grace, the meere Carnall men with the Regenerate; making the struglings of the one betweene Sensuality and Reason, the others com­bate betweene the Flesh and the Spirit; Lib. 6. cap. 11. But S. Augustine tells Julian the Pelagian (who first hatch'd this dangerous Cockatrice) that in these [Page 54] words of the Apostle. Sunt gemitus sanctorum, con­tra carnales concupiscentias d [...]rnicantium, the deepe sighes and groanes of the Saints, breath'd out a­gainst their remainders of corruption, and their carnall frailties; their minde serving the Law of God, but the Flesh the fraile Flesh; lead captive by the Law of Sinne.

Now, in Scripture, you know the word Caro, Flesh, Isa. 40.6. is taken either properly, pro carnulentâ illâ mole, for the body which is compos'd of Flesh; or else Tropically,Gen. 6.3. for her fleshly qualities: and in this latter sense it sometimes signifies the corrup­tions of the Flesh; sometimes, the lusts of the Flesh; sometimes men expos'd to Both, which are no­thing else but Flesh; and hold a direct Antipathy with the Spirit: And therefore the learned A­frican tells his Consentius, Epist. 164. that he that will be Emi­nent in vertue, must be free of the Flesh; And hence is the Apostles, Vos non estis in carne, Yee are not in the flesh but in the spirit, Rom. 8.9. And the Evan­gelists, Quicquid natum de carne, caro est, Whatsoe­ver is borne of the flesh, is flesh; and whatsoever is borne of the Spirit, is Spirit; Joh. 3.6. Againe, Caro goes sometimes for Concupiscentia, Cornel. a lap. in Canon. verb. Epist. Sancti Pauls, pag. 22. not properly, as if Flesh were Concupiscence it selfe, but Metonimical­ly; because the Flesh is, as it were, the shop of the Soule, where it moulds and workes, as the Potter doth his clay, Concupiscentiarum imagines & portenta, I know not what strange Anticks and Monsters of concupiscence: And therefore some Philosophers are of opinion, that as the censati­ons, so the motions of the sensitive appetite are [Page 55] as well in the body and organs of it, as in the soule; though others more subtilly, and indeed more rationally, say, that as they are spirituall, vitall and animall, so they are in the soule onely; since that alone is said, of it selfe to live, and the body by that life; and yet the body (as they con­ceive) by the Organs, Spirits and Blood, doth dis­pose and assist the soule in these and the like mo­tions and operations, whereas Saint Cyprian will by no meanes heare, that the affictions should any way belong unto the body, but to the soule, Hoc ipsum quod dico carnis affectus, impropriè dico, saith the Father: For vices indeed are principally the Soules, to which sinne is directly and properly imputed, for as much as it is indowed with judge­ment, will, knowledge, power, by which it may eschew that which is evill, and cleave to that which is good: the Soule using the Body as the Smith his ham­mer, or his Anvile, by which hee forgeth and fa­shioneth, Omnium turpitudinum idola, quarumcun­que voluptatum simulachra, all her voluptuous and filthy Idols of lust and sensualitie. The Flesh doth neither dictate nor invent, nor forme, nor dispose; no project, no thought, no malice, no sinne from her; not from her, but by her;S. Cyp. in prol. de Card na­virt. Christi. the soule not sinning neither, but by the flesh, Saltem me­diatione remotâ: And yet the Flesh, as it is Flesh meerely, without the Soule, can neither sinne, nor serve sinne; knowing that when the Flesh is separated from the Soule,Idem ibid. it is nothing else but Putredinis massa, & paludis Acervus, a putted and corrupt Masse or Bog, and when it is joyned [Page 56] with it, It is at best, but Quadriga Animae (as Ga­len calls it) the Chariot of the Soule, in which it jogs for a time in Triumph, and then it is Seneca's Carcer animae, the Goale and Fetters of the Soule; nay, his Sepulchrum animae, the Greekes calling it, [...] quasi [...], a Tombe or Sepulchre, a li­ving death, a sensible carrion, a portable grave; Ʋbi homo in vitijs est sopultus, ubi corrupti corporis scatent scelera, ubi homo hominis est sepulchrum, ubi in homine, non homo cernitur, sed cadaver: as the golden tongu'd iChrysologus in his 120. Sermon upon the fifth of S. Matthew.

But what then, is it this Carkasse and Tombe, and Sepulchre St. Paul here so much complaines of? is it the bodie and the frailetties there, that are here meant by this word Flesh? noe: But as before wee tooke the word Mens, Theologically, not Phi­sically; so doe wee here the word Caro, Flesh; not for the fleshly lumpe, this fraile masse of shinne & bloud, and nerves kneaded and incorporated into one substance: but for the Carnall and as yet unre­generate part of man, Will, Minde, Affections, soil'd and corrupted from the old Adam, so Gal. 5.20. Heresies are called [...] , Workes of the flesh: Now, Heresies you know flow from the minde, not from the bodie, so that the minde is in some sort Flesh as well as the other, not flesh sensible and materiall, but Metaphorically taken: insomuch that the very Saints and servants of God, as long as they have the dregs and remain­ders of sinne about them, not only in the inferior part of the soule, but even in the minde and the [Page 57] will, are said to bee Flesh; and the reason is be­cause that that sinne by which wee consent unto the lusts of the flesh is not committed but in the will, where it hath his originall and foment. The Schooleman defining Concupiscence to bee nothing else but Voluntatem improbam, Altissiod. lib. 3. tract. 2. cap. 3. q. 2. qua Anima appetit for­nicari in creatura, A depravednes of the will, by which the Soule desireth to play the strumpet with the creature: And hence it is, that the Apo­stle confesseth that hee is not yet delivered of the burthen of the Flesh, that hee still labours of her infirmities; that hee is Carnall both by Nature and Suggestion; byPareus in cap. 7. ad Rom. v. 25. Nature, because borne so; by Sug­gestion, through the daily flatteries and titillati­ons of his fleshly associate, Quae non post nos, sed in nobis, nos sequitur, saith St. Ambrose; de poeniten. lib. 1. cap. 14. which haunts and whores us wheresoever wee goe; a continuall Dalilah about us, and within us; not discarding of this Hittite, nor this Amorite; but in despight of us, it will bee medling with our flesh pot, so journe it will in our Mesech here, & dwel in our tent of Kedar. However, I presume, you conceive a difference be­tweene Flesh and Flesh, onely that is meerely Carnall, and another which is carnall but in part; him that is In the Flesh, walkes in the Flesh, and whose weapons are fleshly, and him that is onely obnoxious to the infirmities of the flesh, In cap. 7. ad Rom. an Amphibion (as I may call him) betweene Flesh, and Spirit, Carnem haben­tem legi Dei obstreperam (as Carthusian speakes) whose flesh is ever scolding with the Spirit, and his spi­rit ever chiding with the flesh; for to bee flesh imports for the most part a humane Imbecillitie, [Page 58] but to be In, or After the flesh, an vniversall bon­dage and subjection of mans nature to the lusts of the flesh. The Patriarcks, and Prophets, and Apostles them selves were flesh, and liv'd heere (saith St. Augustine) but they liv'd not here In the flesh; Por­tabant Carnem, Serm. 6. de verb. Dom. non Portabantur a Carne, the flesh was their Burthen, not their Guide. And therefore it is one thing to say, that Sinne and fleshly cor­ruptions are in man; another that man is in sinne, and in the Flesh; as that of St. Peter to Simon Magus was more wounding, Thou art in the gall of Bitter­nes, then if hee said, the gall of Bitternes is in thee; For, for man to bee In sinne and In the flesh presup­poses a kind of Uassalage and Thraldome, sinne & the flesh have over him; for sinne to bee in man, an Hereditary corruption, quam nec fugere possumus, nec fugare, St Bernard, serm. 7. sup. cant. circurn ferre necesse est, which wee can nei­ther shake off nor avoid, but it sticks like a Burre to our fraile condition, and though we labour to wash it out with all our Hysop, all our Nitre, yet this Aethiope will not bee cleane, this Leopard will not change his spots; but though the Minde bee intent upon the Law of God, yet the Flesh, the weak, weake flesh will bee still serving the law of Sinne.

The Law of Sin? what's that? what? that which before S. Paul entitled to the Lex membrorum, The Law in his members;v. 23. & what is that Law? That which in the next verse, he calls Corpus mortis, The Body of death. And what is that death, and that Law?v. 24. That which all the Servants and Saints of God have pang'd, and groan'd under Concupiscence; that which S. Austin stiles legem foetidam, legem mi­seram, [Page 59] vnlnus, tabem, languorem, Serm. 46. de temp. A putred loathsome and wretched law, an enticing & lustful law, lodg­ing and raigning in our very members; and in such a Tyrannicall way, that the Flesh is even inforc'd to serve, and obey it, and therefore by the A­postle here call'd [...] , a Law, the word Law be­ing taken at large, for any thing that governes, and moderates our actions. So that Concupi­scence holding such a strict Empire and Commaund over it, can be no lesse then a Law unto it; and therefore Peter Martir calls it, Vim In cap. 7. ad Rom. v. 24. peccati, et in­natae pravitatis, The Scepter (as it were) and Preroga­tive of sinne; an inbred pravitie, Qua quisque D Aug. in 7. ad Rom. tom. 4. carnis consuetudine implicatus astringitur, By which every man, involv'd in the customary snares of the flesh, is so manacled & bound as by a rigid Law. Now it is call'd lex peccati, The law of sin, because such concupiscence is sin indeed, not only Fomes, et Cau­sa, and Poena peccati (as the Church of Rome doth cavill) but peccatum it selfe, S. Paul, no lesse then fourteene times in this Epistle calling it plainely Sin; seven times in this Chap. foure times in that before, & three times in the next that follows. It is called Lex membrorum the law in our members, be­cause it useth all our parts & powers & faculties, as instruments or members: or else lex membrorum, in relation to corpus mortis. This law in the mēbers,Pet. Mart. in cap. 7. ad Rom. v. 24. being afterwards call'd The body of death, and there is no true body, you know without its mēbers; which mēbers do here signifie, as wel al the Powers of the mind, as al the parts of the body, infected & defild by sin, which as an hereditary disease we have derived [Page 60] even from the wombe, residing not onely in some one part of us, but sprinkling this contagion through the Whole Man, and every parcell and memeer of him.

Now this whole man though it suffer the distin­ction of Interior and Exterior Homo, yet it is but one & the self same man; But by reason of divers States, Affections, and Operations, call'd the inward and the outward man; and not as the Manichees wildly fan­cy, teaching two soules in man: the one good, from which vertues flowed; the other, evill, whence vices proceeded; and so consequently, that in one man there were, as two men; the inward embra­cing those vertues: and the outward, following these vices; but in one, and the same man, there is one and the same soule; and in this same soule, and the same portion and faculty of it, Calvine sets this Apostolicall combat, Cor. lap. in cap. 7. ad Rom. v. 25. making the inward man no­thing but the minde, quatenus consentit legi Dei, the outward the same minde, quatenus concupiscit mala, which though the Iesuite cry downe for [...] ,Soli renati ha­bent hom nem interiorem, Ephes. 3.16. so­li filij dei sunt renati, Ioh. 1.13. & soli re­nati spiritum habent-Rom. 8.14. quem mundns exci­pere non po­test. Iohn. 14.17. et Haeretica, and set's up Reason & sense in a vie with the Flesh and the Spirit; for mine owne part I thinke it both senselesse and reasonlesse; foras­much as the combat betweene these is proper on­ly to the Regenerate; Betweene the other, to the meere naturall and carnall man, who hath no touch of the Spirit at all, nor oftentimes of God about him. And therefore that wee may at length take away the vaile from this darkned face, pull aside the curtaine that so obscures the Text, wee must know, that in one and the same S. Paul here [Page 61] there is a double man consider'd; the one, Interior Ingraffed into Christ, assisted and agitated by the holy spirit, which searcheth every chinke & cranny of the heart, watering her barren furrowes, and sending showies into the little vallies there­of, making it fruitfull with the drops of raine,Psal 65.11. suppling and mollifying that stone like flesh; Ac­cording to this man, which is Inward; he wills that which is Good, approues the law of God; serves it, delights in it, magnifies it; The o­ther Exterior, which is not yet totally renewed, but remaines in part carnall, still retaining the corruptions of mans nature; and as a prisoner to the flesh, hath not yet knock'd off his Gives and Fetters; This man being still outward to the world, followeth the law in his members; And hence is that [...] , that contrary warre in the same man, in the one part or wing of him, we see the law of the members, fighting and strugling for the law of sinne, leading man captive through the infirmities of the flesh: On the other side, is the law of God: to which, in a holy correspon­dency, the minde or will being renewed, assent. Betweene these is the whole man placed,Aret. in cap. 7. ad Rom. v. 23. quasi communis praeda, as a common booty or prey ex­pos'd unto the assaults of both. And in this encoū ­ter it speeds with him. as with the two opposite armies in the valley of Rephidim, Exod: 17. some­times Israell prevaileth; sometimes Amaleck; the minde sometimes; sometimes the flesh: As long as the hands be held up, whiles the thoughts be elevated, the minde soring, there is a great [Page 62] shout heard in the Hebrew Campe, the Israelite hath the day, the inward man prevaileth, and then the Hosannah goes for the Law of God: but when the hands be let downe, when his devotions are a droo­ping, when he begins to flag and grovell towards the Flesh, straight there is a noyse of victory in the Heathen troops, the Amalekite gives the chase, the outward man prevaileth, and so the cry runnes for the Law of sinne. In this case the regenerate man must doe as Moses there did, rest upon the stone, the Corner-stone, Christ Iesus: and his hands be­ing wearie with lifting up, his mentall parts over­burdened with the waight of the flesh, Faith and Prayer, like another Hur and Aaron, must pillar and support them; then he shall be steady till the going downe of the Sun, till hee set in death; when Amalek shall be discomfited, all his spirituall enemies put to the sword, and he in peace goe in and possesse the land promised to his Fore-fathers, the caelestiall Land, the Canaan above, where he shall raigne with Abraham, Isaac and Iacob, for ever and ever.

Thus in a double ranke, I have shewed you the double man, inward and outward; the one under the colours of the flesh, marching for the Law of sinne; the other under the Ensigne of the spirit, fighting for the Law of God. It remaines now, that in the Reare we bring up the Ego ipse, the A­postle himselfe ready arm'd for the conflict; and viewing him, dividing these Ranks, observe how with the Minde he serves the Law of God, but with the Flesh the Law of sinne.

PARS III. Ego ipse servio, I my selfe serve.

SOme ancient Hereticks, taking occasion by the errour of Origen, S. Chrys. Theo. Basil. (whom many of the Greeke interpreters followed, and some of the Latine) make here a Prosopopeia, or fictio pèrsonae, as if by this Ego ipse, I my selfe, Saint Paul himselfe had not beene understood,S. Amb. Icrome. but some other by him personated (some unregenerate or carnall man) or if himselfe, himselfe as he was formerly under the Law, and not yet under Grace:D. Aug. ad Sim­plicium. lib. 1. q. 1. D. Aug. lib. 6. cont. Iulian. c. 11. In which o­pinion the great Saint Augustine confesseth that he sometimes wandred, but afterwards tooke up with his Prius aliter intellexeram, vel potius non in­tellexeram, in the first of his Retractations 23. chapter.

And upon this tide many scruples of the Church then were after wasted to posteritie. The Pela­gians of old, and their way-ward Proselites, have scattered two pestilent Epistles to this purpose, the one written by Iulian to Boniface at Rome; the other by eighteene Bishops, Ring-leaders of that Faction, to the See of Thessalonica, both which quoted and confuted by the learned Father in his Anti-pelagian controversies, principally against Iulian the Muster-master (if I may so stile him) of that dangerous Sect; who contended, that un­der this Ego ipse, Saint Paul either described,Vid. fusius, Par. in cap. 7. ad Rom. v. 25. ho­minem aliquem libidinosum, some one that was lux­urious [Page 64] or incontinent, not yet wash'd from the grosser corruptions of the Flesh; or else disco­ver'd the nature of man after the Fall, when and how farre he might prevaile without grace; and upon this misconjecture, they strooke at the heart of originall sinne, strangled that in the wombe of our first Parents, gave sucke to new fancies of the times, cocker'd an upstart of their owne begetting, shoulder'd up nature with grace, engag'd freewill in matters of the Spirit, contra­ry to the Apostles Peccatum in me habitans, and his quod non vellem, hoc ago, in the 15. and 17. verses of this chapter. But it is more than probable, that this Ego ipse reacheth Saint Paul himselfe, he continuing his complaint, in the first person, through the whole body of this chapter, Ego sum carnalis, ego agnosco, ego consentio, ego delector, ego servio, it is I that am carnall at the 14. verse, and I allow not, at the 15. and I will not, at the 16 and I delight, at the 22. and I serve here, at the 25. I, I my selfe, I Saint Paul, I the Apostle, I the great Doctour, I the chosen vessoll, hee gives not the least hint or touch of any other:Ego nescio quid sit Scr. pturas penitus per­vertere, si hoc non sit, Beza Annot. in cap. 7. Rom. v. 25. And therefore it is a bold Fiction, and a manifest depravation of the Text, to wire-draw Scripture to mens pri­vate purposes, interpreting here Ego, by Alter, as if I Saint Paul were not carnall, not sold under sinne, not captivated by the Law of it, but some other, some Iew or Gentile not yet converted, when the maine bent of the great Doctour driveth ano­ther way, he speaking of himselfe in the state of his Apostleship, the conflicts and sikrmishes hee [Page 73] then had betweene the Minde and the Flesh, not of his old Pharisaicall condition, as some dreame, for the words are of the present, Ego servio, not Ego servivi, not I did, but I doe serve, and not barely [...] , neither I, but [...] , I my selfe, I and no other, which excludeth all figurative in­terpretation whatsoever: And therefore doubt­lesse the Apostle here, even asSed hoc forte aliquis; non A­postolus; certe Apostolus. D. Aug. serm. 5. de verb. A­postoli. Apostle, by an ingenuous and humble confession of his owne frailties, doth bemoane his present condition, and though in the state of grace, findes himselfe not onely not conformable, but in part averse to the spiritualitie of this Law; acknowledging with deepe groane, that he was Peccati mancipium, sold under sinne (as he phraseth it) that inward sinne he meane, Concupiscence, not onely a servant to it, but a very captive [...] , leading mee captive to the Law of sinne, v. 23. A Metaphor taken from the practice of Generalls in their Warres, whereas some are destin'd to the Sword, so others to thraldome and imprisonment: In which, though there be not alwayes a noyse of slaughter, there is of bonds and shackles, and sometimes of death too, when the Ammonite must to the Saw, and the Axe, and the Harrow of iron, 1 Chron. 20.3. But in this Apostolicall Warre there is no danger of the Axe, nor the Saw, though there be of the shackle; no stroake of Fate, but of captivity; no marking out to the Sword, but to Ransome, to that, Empti estis pretio magno, 1 Cor. 6.20. In expectation whereof, though he com­plaine for a time of wretchednesse and death, with a [Page 66] Quis me liberabit? who shall deliver me from the body of this death? yet a death indeed he rather bewailes than suffers, this being the voyce not of one despairing, Vox non despe­rautis sed de­plorant is car­nis infirmita­tō. Aret. in c. 7. ad Rom. v. 24. Trahi capti­vum in legem peccati, solum est renati, cum [...]mpii, & a gratia alieni, ultro ad ma­la currunt, imoruant. Par. ad cap. 7. Rom. v. 25. but deploring his carnall infirmities: So that in this service of the law of sinne, Saint Paul is not a voluntiere you see, but goes upon command, hath his presse-money from the Flesh; serve he must, whether he will or no; he hath a Marshall within him, that dragges him as a slave, and hee must fight or suffer: This makes him groan indeed, groan to an Aerūnosus ego homo, wret­ched, wretched man that I am: And yet, though he so groane, and under the heate (it seemes) of his restlesse assaults, and is thereby inforc'd some­times to retrait; yet hee leaves not the field totally; a Captaine he had rather be than a coward; and a Captive hee is made, but 'tis much against the haire; serve hee doth, and must, but assent hee will not;Nemo sponte captivatur. paer. Rom. 7. his minde is ingag'd another way, that's for the Law of God; but the Flesh, the traiterous Flesh, lyes in ambush all the while, and this be­trayes him to the Law of sinne: this makes him so deeply complaine, I know that in mee, that is in my Flesh, V. 18. dwelleth no good thing, that is true, none, not in my Flesh, no good there, and why? because it serveth the Law of sinne. But I know againe, that in me, that is in my minde dwelleth some good, that's true too, good there, and why? because it serveth the Law of God: Et in isto bello est tota vita sanctorum, Ser. 5. de verb. Apostoli. saith Saint Augustine. Every sanctified life, is but a Duell, such a Duell as this, between the Minde and the Flesh: No true childe of God [Page 67] but hath beene a Captive in this Combat: who­soever is regenerate, is spirituall, I confesse, but he is in part carnall too, for as much as he hath not depos'd his carnall infirmities, not yet totally uncloth'd himselfe of Nature and the Flesh, Si qui [...] dubitet, excutiat cor suum, if any scruple it, let him search his heart a little, sift his owne bo­some; and there hee shall finde either his lust lurking, or his hypocrisie: we are not all Minde, nor all Flesh, but compos'd of both, lest we should either despaire for our infirmities, or grow proud through our spirituall endowments: The Mind per­haps may be mounting, and rowzing as it were her feathers, take her flight upwards to God and his pure Law; but the Flesh will be still bottoming,Caro semper manet infirma, semper nos in cursu moratur. Aret. ad cap. 8. Rom. v. 21. fluttering here below, and stooping servilely to the Law of sinne.

Now, this Law hath not barely an habitation in our Members, but a very Throne; it not onely pos­sesseth the Regenerate, but raignes in him; raignes in him as a Tyrant, not as a King; makes him a slave, not a subject; bids him acknowledge a sword for a Scepter, and a Scorpion for a sword: And there­fore Lombard tells us,Lib. 2. d. 32. that it is Ipse Tyrannus in membris, a very Nero in our members; or else, Manubrium Daemonis (as Pimenius hath it) the Hilt of the Divels sword,De vit. pat. l. 7. cap. 25. by which he brandish­eth, and plaieth so cunningly his prizes with the Flesh. And of these and the like Fancies,Greg. de val. depec. orig. cap. 60. Bonavent. sent. 2. d st. 32. the Schooles doe generally ring, Ʋulnus animae, and Languor naturae, and Habitus corruptus, and Ʋitium ingenitum; A wound, a disease, a languishment, [Page 66] [...] [Page 67] [...] [Page 76] nay a Ʋice they will heare of,Thom. 1.2. q. 82. Art. 10. ad 1. Estius sent. 2. dist nct. 32. lit. g. b. Lom. lib. 2. dist. 32. lit. 8. but not a Sinne; a Sinne by no meanes (the Master himselfe allow­ing the word Ʋitium, but not Peccatum) the Mo­therCausa, Fomes, poena peccati. Psal. 51.5. De fide ad Pet. Diacon. cap. 26. and Nurse, and rod of Transgression, the Tinder, and Touch-wood of sin; nay the match and the sparkle too, and yet not sinne it selfe. When our Apostle here Be-sinnes it over and o­ver, the man after Gods owne heart confessing, that He was shapen in wickednesse, and that in sinne (this very sin) his mother conceiv'd him. And there­fore S. Augustine, or (as some would have it) Ful­gentius puts it on Peter the Deacon, as a point of Faith; That every man was borne, Impietati sub­ditum, so that not onely concupiscence it selfe, but as they rarifie it with their Primi Motus, the E­bullitions, First-risings and Assayes of lust, nay, their Primo-primi; or, if they have an Art to mince them smaller, their Primi-primo-primi are all Sin; forasmuch as Concupiscence being evill of it selfe, is, of it selfe without the consent of the will,Pol. Synt. lib. 6. cap. 3. Omnes primi motus, quia apti sunt inse­quirationem, & peream re­gulari, si eam pervenerint, dici possunt peccata, etiam in parvulis, & fatuis, quia sunt praeter ordinem natu­rae primitus, institutae. Gerson de reg. mor. pag. 128. lit. B. a sinne: Otherwise in infants, which by reason of their suckling and tender yeares cannot yet assent to wicked desires, there should be no sinne at all; whereas these inordinate motions are not barely the Symptomes, but the very Impressions of a sickly soule,Strom. lib. 2. [...] , (as Clemens Alexandrinus calls them) Against which we are to take up our Sword and Buckler; and not onely oppose,De Sacrament. Mat. cap. 7. but murther them, if we can. And therefore in this warre of the Flesh, the lear­ned Parisiensis would have the prima acies cut off, the first Motions slaine, propter iniquitatem Rebelli­onis, [Page 77] for their rebellious attempts against the Spi­rit; as being, not onely bellowes and fuell, but Fire also, to our daily and dangerous mis-trea­dings; And yet the Church of Rome is so hot here, for the immaculatenesse of the Saint, that she al­together dis-inherits him of flesh, cuts off the In­taile of his primitive corruption, washes cleane away his originall Taint in the Laver of Baptisme; And so doth the conduit of our Church too, quoad Reatum, but not quoad Actum; The guilt of sinne is expung'd, but the act and existency remaines still, even in the Regenerate; there being found in them not onely poenas quasdam, aut sequelas pecea­ti, Certaine sequels or punishments of sinne, but also really; and in their owne Nature damnabiles Reveren dissi­mus Davenan­tues de justitia habit. cap. 1. Reliquias, remainders enough to damne them; but that the dominion of sinne being Bankrupt (as it were) and broken, and the bond cancell'd above, they make not to the condemnation of his person that is atton'd and reconcil'd by Christ. And therefore the Cardinall may forbeare to tra­duce us for Messalians and Origenists, Bell. de sacr. Bapt. l. 1. c. 13. because we allow not a totall eradication of sin by the power of that Sacrament; for as much as some of his owne Tang, denying concupiscence after Bap­tisme, to be Peceatum; yet they say, that it is Radix peccati, and so takes hold in the very child of God; which Root though it be crush'd a lit­tle and bruiz'd, yet it sticks fast still in the Na­ture, notwithstanding the guilt be absolutely re­mov'd from the person of the regenerate. And this much their owneLib. 2. dist. 32. lit. B. Lombard in circumstance will [Page 70] tell us, who granteth, that by the vertue of Bap­tisme, there is a full absolution of originall sin in re­spect of the Guilt of it, but a Debilitation only, and an Extenuation of the vice, no totall Extirpation. And therefore the Gratianists sticke not to glosse here: that it is not so dismissed, nè sit, that it be not at all; But it remaines debilitatum & sopitum, languishing and slumbring, not dead it seemes; Nay,A [...]not. ad Rom. cap. 5. Hugo de sancto victore, comes on more fully, Manet secundum culpam, dimittitur secundum solum aeternae dan nationis debitum. Whence I gather, with that learnedEpiscopus Sarisburiensis, de justitia ha­bit. cap. 20. Prelate, that concupiscence after Baptisme is no lesse than Culpa, even in the Re­generate; And that, That Justice which is con­ferr'd on them, consists rather in the participati­on of Christs merits, who cut the score, than in any perfection of Ʋertues, or Qualities infus'd; So that the Ʋis damnatoria (as they call it) The con­demning power in this Sinne is taken off by ver­tue of that Sacrament, but the contagion or deor­dination of it, still dwells in man; which is so ri­vited in his nature, and as it were nature it selfe; ut tolli non possit sine destructione naturae, we may as­soone destroy nature herselfe, as It; And if we beleeve the Scholeman, Non est medici summi il­lum tollere, In this case God himselfe cannot doe it; so Alexander Halensis, de Sacramento Baptismi, 4. part. 8. quaest. 2. Articl.

Let others, then, vaunt at their pleasure, in the riches and ornaments of their inward man, ruffle in the gawdy plumes of their conceiv'd perfecti­ons, decke their minds in their white robes of [Page 71] purity: file and whet, and sharpen the very point of the spirit they talke of, yet if wee knock a lit­tle at the doores of their hearts, Enter into them with a Candle and a snuffer (as Charron speakes) wee shall finde Concupiscence there sitting in her chaire of state, commaunding, or at least, drawingon the motions of the flesh, which they can no more restraine then the beating of their pulses, which still keepe centinell in the body, and are the watch words of nature that the heart liveth.Serm. 58. super Cant. Erras si vitia putes emortua, et non magis suppressa, Hee is in an error (saith S. Bernard) that thinks his corrupt inclinations to be absolutely dead, and not rather supprest, or smothered; Velis, nolis, intra sines tuos habitat Cananaeus, let the Israclite doe what he can, this Canaanite will be still skulking about his coasts; subjugari potest, exterminarinon potest, made tributary (perhaps) hee may bee, exil'd he will not. And indeed, those untamed lusts and affecti­ons of ours (which are nothing else but the waves and stormes of our soules rais'd by every litle blast of the flesh) as long as we are inviron'd with these walls of frailty, this rotten tabernacle of the bo­dy, Moder ari et regere possumus, S. Ier. Reg. Mo­nach. c. 22. amputare non possu­mus, master perhaps, or qualify for a time wee may, totally subdue wee cannot.

The mind no doubt may put in her plea with a Video meliora; I see that the law of God is the bet­ter, I see, and approve it too, and therfore I serve it; But then comes the flesh with a Deteriora sequer: 'tis true, the other is the right way, but it is troublesome, and slippery, and like a sandy hill [Page 80] to the feete of the aged; The way the flesh walkes is smooth and even, pleasing to him that treads it, and therfore I follow that; I follow? That were more tolerable, but I serve; I am in sub­jection to it; though my minde have a desire, and more then a desire, an act of serving the law of God: yet, there is another Master I must serve too, my flesh invites mee; invites? nay commaunds and hurryes me, and that is to the law of sinne, Certum est, Orig. Homil. 21. in Ios. etiam Iebuzoeos habitare cum filiis Iudoe in Ierusalem, saies the Allegoricall Father; nothing more certaine then the deepe remainders of cor­ruptioneven in Gods peculiar Israel; These Iebusites will be still dwelling with the sonnes of Iudah in Ierusalem: the flesh will bee serving the law of sinne, even in the sanctified and chosen vessell, S. Paul himselfe; and the reason is, 'tis a church militant wee live in,Cant. 2. an Army (saith Solomon) terrible with her banners; no lying idle, then, in tents and garrisons, but a daily marching on against the enemy, a continuall skirmishing with the flesh; which though by the daily sallyes and excursions of the spirit, it be somtimes repell'd and driven back (as if it had received the foyle or the defeate) yet gathering new strength and forces, it comes on againe with her fresh, and restlesse assaults: so that, there is no expectation of a totall triumph and surprisall here, but in a church triumphant, where the Palme and the Crowne and the white Robes are layd up; and insteed of Drums and Ensignes, Hallelujahs to the Lambe for ever.

I have done now with the text,Applicatio ad Magistratum. and the two lawes there, lex Dei, and lex peccati; But the oc­casion of this meeting listen's after a third law, and that's lex Regni: which though it be grounded (or at least should bee) on the lex Dei, yet it some­times fall's unhappily upon the lex peccati. Now, a warre there is in this law, as betweene the for­mer two, Inveterate; sometimes Irreconciliable, and not to be decided, but by Deaath, war much of the nature of the other, between Spirit & Flesh: a proud spirit for the most part, and a stubborne peece of flesh: for if there were either humility on the one side, or patience on the other, the noise of discord would not bee so loud in our streets, but the voyce of the turtle would bee heard better in our land: There would bee more peace within our walls; I am sure, more plentiousnes within our habitations. What, in the first institution, was intended as a shield, or buckler, is us'd at length as a semiter or sword; That which should defend mee from the blowes of ano­ther, is the engine by which I wound him at last, and my selfe too; The law, which in case of in ju­ry, or trespasse was ordain'd of old for a Sanctua­ry, is made sometimes little better then a house of correction. If I malice another, 'tis not I must seourge him, but the law; though it be in mine own power to chastise him with whips; yet the law doe it with more state, and more fury too, for that shall chastise him with Scorpions: when all this while, the lash falls not so much on the back of the transgressor, as his purse: and the bleeding of that (as the world goe's) is as fatal as the other. [Page 74] Sed hominum sunt ista, non legum, the fault is not in the law, but in some of her touchy and waspish votaries: or if it bee in the law, I am sure it is not in the lex Dei, nor (I hope) in this lex Regni, but in the lex peccati; 'Tis the law of sin is to blame here, the mighty Holofernes (as Castrusian tolde S. Ierom) that rebellious lust of ours, which thus plaie's the tyrant with our selves and others, Ille criminum leno; Ille par asitus vitiorum, that bawd and para­site of vices which in one act flatters and be­traies us: This is the Fox with a Fire-brand in the taile, that burnes up the corne field of the Philistines: the prime wheele and stirrer of all our turbulent motions, our unpeaceable proceedings, which first sets our pride a-gog, and then our ma­lice, and at length our revenge: and in such a high way of distaste, that no sorrow of the partie offending, no mediation of friends, no tender of sitisfaction, no interposing of the Magistrate him­selfe can attone or pacifie: But as if there were no Gospell upon earth, or else no mercy by that Gospell, they are still Jewishly bent with their crucifige, crucifige, the Law, the Law. And let such implacable Spirits have their fill of it, let it enter like water into their bowels, and like oyle into their bones; let the Law at last be their comfort, and not the Gospell, let justice have her full swindge, and not mercy; and so (if they will needs have it so) Currat Lex, let the Law goe on, á lege ad legem, from one Law to another, from the Lex Regni, to the Lex Dei; from the Court of Common Pleas here below, to the great Starre-chamber [Page 75] above, where every man shall receive ei­ther doom or recompence according to his works.

The Law all this while is unreproveable you heare, no staine nor blemish there, but either in the malicious Clyent or Sollicitor, or both; It being true in this case what Saint Paul spake in another, Lex quidem spiritualis, illi vero carnales, venundati sub peccatò, Rom. 7. v.

And here some may expect that I should have a fling at the Gowne, or at least (as the custome of this place is) instruct or counsell it: But this were to bring drops to a River, offer a few mites or pence to a Treasury that is full; for no charity can be so barren, as to conceive, that those should be ill husbands in counselling themselves, that so abundantly dispense and communicate to o­thers: And indeed how, or to what purpose should they receive instructions in a Church here, that are taking so many in a Chamber? How make use of the Doctrine of the Preacher, that are so busie with the breviat of a Clyent? But by their leave (for I must have leave to tell them so) God is herein dishonour'd, and the solemnity both of this time and place disparag'd, if not prophan'd. They are not (I presume) so straight­ned with time, nor so throng'd with the multi­tude of affaires, but they might sequester one solemne houre for the service of the Lord: The hearing of a Sermon can be no great prejudice to the debating of a cause, if it bee just and honest; and a few Orisons first offer'd in the Temple, are a good preparative and prolog to a conscionable [Page 76] and faire pleading at the Barre. As for any error else, either in their practise or profession, I have not to obtrude here; or if I had, I would not: Every man, or at least, every good man is a Tem­ple to himselfe, and hath a Pulpit in his owne bosome, where there is a continuall Preacher or Monitor, a conscience either accusing or excu­sing him: and one lash of that toucheth more at the quicke, than a thousand from the tongue or pen of another. Cor hominis (saith Saint Augu­stine) aut Dei Thuribulum, aut Diaboli, every mans heart is an Altar for God, or for the Divell; and according to the nature or quality of the Sacri­fice, so it smoakes either to his doome or glory: and this is enough for an understanding eare without farther boring it. And indeed it is not my practise to pull Gravitie by the beard; bring backe the grey haire to the Rod and the Ferule; Schoole (as some doe) a Magistrate, and cate­chise a Judge; nay, traduce him too with their borrowed and affected Epithites, Rampant, Cou­chant, Dormant, and the like unreverent and sau­cie follies, which are nothing else but the leakings of bottles which are not sound, the noyse of Caskes which are both foule and emptie, frag­ments of that broken vessell Salomon speakes of, which can containe nothing, no not the drop­pings of their owne vanities. For mine own part, I have been taught what the word Iudge meaneth, both by representation and by office, a King one way, and a God another; and what is that but a God, and a God? and therefore a God shall [Page 77] admonish him, not I; and one God, I presume, may speake roundly to another.

Hearke then what the God Iekosaphat tells the Gods, his Judges, in the fenced Cities of Iudah, Take heed what you doe, for you judge not for man, but for God, who is with you in the judgement; Wherefore now let the feare of the Lord be upon you, take heed, and doe it, for there is no iniquity with God, no respect of persons, nor taking of gifts, 2 Chron. 19.6, 7.

Doubtlesse, the matter is of great weight and consequence that is thus prefac'd with a double caution, Take heed, Take heed. The formér Cavete is for a Quid facitis, the latter, for an ut faciatis; first, take heed what you doe, and then take heed that you doe it too; so that in matters of Judica­ture, a deepe consideration should alwayes pre­cede Action; Deliberation, Judgement: And the reason of the quid sacitis, if you observe it, is very ponderous; For you judge not for man, but for God, and God (as the Psalmist speaketh) Iud­geth amongst the gods, Psal. 82.1. You gods that judge men here, that God shall judge hereafter: and as you judge these, so shall he judge you.

The reason of the ut faciatis, is no lesse weighty neither, for there is no iniquity with God, he loves it not, and what he loves not, you are to condemne and judge; and that this judgement may carry an even faile, there must be no respecting of persons, nor taking of gifts. The eares must be both open, and the hands shut; the complaint of the Wid­dow, and the Orphan, and the oppressed must be as well listen'd to, as the trials of the rich and [Page 76] [...] [Page 77] [...] [Page 78] mightie; aswell, and assoone too: nay, sooner; for the one gives onely, the other prayes: and mens devotions goe with us to heaven, when their bene­volences, with the giver, moulder upon earth.

Let the Sword then strike where it should, in the great busines of life and death; let the bal­lance hang even in matters of nisi prius; that there bee no selling of the righteous for a peece of sil­ver,Amos 8.6. or of the needy for a paire of shooes: no cru­ell mercy, in the one, in remitting incorrigible of fenders; no partiality in the other, in siding with particular men, or causes; but, fiat justitia, et ruat coelum.

And when justice is thus done in your part, it is not done in all: manifold experience tells us, that when causes have been prosecuted by all the fidelity and care of the sollicitor, pleaded by all dexterity of counsel, attended by al the vigilancy of the Iudge; yet the mystery, the wicked mystery of a decem tales shall carry them against wind and tide; and a heard of mercenary ignorants (for mnay of them are no better) shall buy and sell a poore man & his estate for eight pence: This is neither christian, nor morall, nor scarce humane; & therfore for reformation of this capitall abuse, it is both just, & necessary, that such substantial men as are returnd in Iuryes should attend in their own per­son: and not shuffle of the waight of publike affaires upon the shoulders of those, who either un­derstand not a cause when it is debated; or else, use not a conscience, as they should, in giving up their verdict; but make their foreman their primus [Page 79] motor, whom they follow like those beasts' in Se­neca, non qua eundum est, sed qua itur. No man is to good to doe his God, or King, or Countrey ser­vice; nay every good man thinkes it rather his ho­nour, then his burthen: and therefore, where there are delinquents this way, let the mulct & the fine bee laid on, according to statute; that where ad­monition cannot prevaile, imperet Lex, compulsi­on may.

And now I have performd my office, done the part of a spirituall watchman, blowne the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramoth, told Israell a­loud her sinnes, and Iudah her transgressions. The next act is from the Pulpit to the Tribunall; where it will bee expected that Moses should doe all things according to the patterne shewed him by GOD in the mount beere, that lawes be not only written, or prescribed, or remembred, but put in executi­on also: and for your better encouragement here­in, observe what the same Moses saies to Ioshua; Deut. 31.8. Bee strong, and of a good courage, for the Lord thy God hee it is that goeth with thee, hee will not saile thee, nor for­sake thee.

To that God, and to his sonne Christ Iesus, with the blessed spirit, bee ascribed all honour, glory, power, and dominion, both now and fore­ver, Amen.

Gloria in excelsis Deo.

The Chriſtian Duell. …

The Christian Duell. THE SECOND SERMON, Ad Magistratum. Preached at the ASSIZES, held at TAUNTON in Sommerset. 1635. By Humphrey Sydenham.

ROM. 8.6.

Quod sapit Caro Mors est; Quod autem sapit Spiritus, Ʋita & Pax.

LONDON, Printed by IOHN BEALE, for Humphrey Robinson, at the Signe of the Three Pigeons in PAULS Church-yard. 1637.



STartle not, (my Noble Sir) This is no Challenge I present you with, but a Flag of truce; for though it have an Alarum in the Front, and the subject speakes warre altogether, and discord, yet it prepares to peace, such a peace as presupposeth victory, and victory, life; and life, Eternity. To tell you here the nature of this warre, it's feares, stratagems, dangers, sufferings, were but to preach by Letter, and degrade a Ser­mon to an Epistle. The following discourse shall give you a hint of all, where shall find, that he that is a true Christian souldier must be at peace with others, though he have no concord with himselfe. This is the modell of the whole [Page] fabrick, and this I offer to your Noble hands, which when it shall kisse, be confident you cannot hold faster, than (please you try) the heart of him that offers it. Sicknesse and Age (both my compa­nion, now) are but ill Courtiers, and as little acquainted with the nature of Ceremony, as the practise; A Complement then, you cannot stile this, but an expression of my zeale to the merits of your dead Brother; to whom, as I was of old a faithfull Servant, so still a true ho­norer of his Name, though not (O my unhap­pinesse!) an Attendant; which I cannot so much ascribe to negligence, or error, as to Fate. But suppose either, or all, or others, I murmure not, but blesse rather; and blesse thus:

God preserve you and yours, and send you length of dayes, and accumulation of honours, and fruitfulnesse of Loynes; that as your For­tunes looke greene and flourishing, so may your Name also; to the glory of your God, the ser­vice of your Countrey, the hope of your friends, the Ioy of your Allies, and the Prayers of

Your wel-wishing Honorer, HVM. SYDENHAM.

The second Sermon.

GAL. 5.17.

The Flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit lusteth against the Flesh.

TIs not my intent to perplex ei­ther my selfe or Auditorie, with any curiositie of Preface or division, the words are al­ready at variance betweene themselves; and so instead of farther dividing them, the Text at this time shall passe for a division: for here is Flesh against Spirit, and Spirit against Flesh, and lust against lust; and these [Page 86] in the same man, and this man cleft and sundred be­tweene these in a bitter and restlesse Combat. My purpose rather is to shew you the originall and ground of this Duell; where and whom it challen­geth, and how; that so the nature and qualitie of this warre being discover'd, I may with more truth and boldnesse unmaske the Hytocrite, pull off the visard from the Mountebanke in Religion, shem you Christianity in her owne face and feature, with­out the whoredomes either of Art or Falsehood, the gildings and overlayings of Dissimulation and Impo­sture, tell you who are selected Souldiers for the Lords Battell, and who Volunteers for the service of the E­nemy, what they are that march under the Ensignes of the Spirit, and what these under the colours of the Flesh, and all this in a Caro concupiscit adversus Spiritum, The Flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit lusteth against the Flesh; of which briefly, and as my custome is, bluntly, in a few broken Medi­tations, such as I could solder and piece up from the remainders of a more involv'd and laborious discourse: And now Caro-concupiscit, The Flesh lusteth.

MAN, since the breach of his first Truce with his Greater, hath beene a continuall Rebell and Mutineere, up in armes against God and himselfe too;Gen. 3. the violation of that great Caveat, Ne manducas, Thou shalt not eate, hath expos'd both him and his posterity to the Sword, and the doom thereof lies fresh upon record, in a Mortemorieris, The Lord hath bent his Bow, Isai. 9. and whet his Sword, and [Page 87] prepar'd for him his instruments of Death, Psal. 7.12, 13. And whereas Man hath forsaken the way of peace, and broken his league with the great Prince thereof, and by that revolt made himselfe no more a Man of peace, but of open warre; God therefore will signe him his Letters of Mart, Gen. 3.15. with an Ego po­nam inimicitiam, Gen. 3. I will set enmity, not onely betweene the Serpent and the Woman, or the Wo­man and the Man, but even betweene man and himselfe, so that instead of Davids pax inter mu­ros, Psal. 122.7. Peace within the walls of Ierusalem, peace within these spirituall walls (calmenesse and quietnesse in the bosome of the Saints here) the noyse of Discord hath beene shrill in our eares, and that Propheticke speech of our Saviour is come not only about us, but within us; Bella & rumores bel­lorum, Matth. 24.6 There shall be warres and rumours of warres; Warres within us, and rumours of warres without us. Certamen illud praeclarum decertavi, saith Saint Paul, I have sought the fight, the good fight, 2 Tim. 4. There's the warre we talke of, Sonum bucccinae au­dit Anima mea, clangorem belli, My soule hath heard the sound of the Trumpet, the Alarum of Dissention, Ier. 4.19. there's the rumour of warre. To come home, Care concupiscit adversus spiritum, the Flesh is at opposition with the Spirit, and the Spirit with the Flesh, in the Text here, there's the warre with­in: Vices & exercitus tui sunt contra me, Thy changes and thine Armies are against me, Iob 10.17. there's the warre without.

Now though in these wars and rumours of wars there be not as in the other insurrectio gentium, [Page 88] a rising up of Nation against Nation, or of Church against Church, or of opinion against opinion, (for in their bloudy pursuit, the Sword hath been a long time drunke, and made the Prophet of them for the truth of his predictions, no lesse than a true God) yet there is a rising of Brother against Brother; nay of each Brother against himselfe; the Spirituall is against the Carnall, the unrege­nerate against the sanctified, the inward against the outward man; and all these (as I told you) in the same man, and this man sawed and rent be­tweene these in an irreconcileable Discord.

Neither is there onely thus, a rising of Bro­ther against Brother, but in an allegoricall way, of the Brother against the Sister (of the body a­gainst the Soule) nay of the Sister against the Si­ster (of the Soule against her selfe.) And herein both Rome and Geneva kisse;Cornel. a lap. in cap. 7. Rom. v. 25. Solius animae lis ista, the soule onely is ingag'd in this Combat; the Flesh, as Flesh meerely, hath nought to doe, but as a second to abbet or look on. And therefore, we take not the word Caro here properly for this flesh­ly Masse, or lump (which is as it were the paste and crust of the body) but metaphorically for the carnall and unregenerate part of man; neither doe we take the word Spirit physically, for the rea­sonable Soule meerely, but Theologically, for the spirituall & regenerate part of man; and between this Spirit and that Flesh, this regenerate and that unregenerate part, this new and that old man, there is a continuall skirmish in the same man, and this Quarrell not to be decided but by Death.

Now, as this Combat all the Saints and servants of God have, so they onely have it; a Combat so proper to the true christian, that none can fight it but hee alone; hanc pugnam non experiuntur in se­metipsis, nisi bellatores virtutum, et debellatores vitio­orum, saith S. Augustine; those that fight for vir­tue,Serm. 59. de diversis. and against vice, feele this warre, and no other; and this is a blessed warre; and where it is not, there is but a cursed Peace. If all bee husht and calme within, there is not onely a Sleepines but even a vacancy of goodnes; the spirit is no longer spirit in man, then when it is in agitation, and at variance with the flesh. And therefore, wee here peremptorily exclude two sorts of men from any interest they can challenge in this warre of the Regenerate; such as are so buried in the flesh, that they seeme to have no spirit at all; and such as glory altogether in the spirit, as if they had no flesh; for, as on the one side, if there bee no spi­rit, there can bee no reluctancy of the flesh; so on the other, if no flesh, no opposition of the spirit; and if neither of these, no warre; if no Warre, no Crowne, no Garland, no Glory. The for­mer sort wee may compare to the children of Isra­ell, in the times of Deborah; Iudges. 5.8. There is not a sworde nor a speare amongst fourty thousand of them; a troope of secular and carnall men, which know not the use of S. Pauls artillery; The sworde of the spirit, Ephes. 6.14. et 17. and the shield of faith, & the brest-plate of righteousnes, and the helmet of salvation are not their proper har­nesse; but as unwieldy for their shoulders, as Sauls armour was for David. A brawling, perhaps, they [Page 90] may have betweene reason and affection, or be­tweene naturall conscience and naturall affection, between the will and the understanding; which as in a mind inlightned only, not renewed, is nothing else but a neighborly discord between flesh & flesh; but for any solid debate between will and will, affe­ctions and affections, flesh and spirit, indeed they have none at all; it being true of these which God by Mo­sis spake of those of the old world, My spirit shall no longer contend with them, for they are but flesh, Gen. 6.3.

The other sort we may fitly resemble to the Children of Ephraim, who being harnessed and carrying Bowes,Psal. 78.10. turned themselves backe in the day of Battell. Men that make a shrewd flourish in the vant-guard of Religion, their Bow is ready bent against the wicked, and they shoot their Ar­rowes, even bitter words, desperately bitter, but when they come themselves to the shocke and brunt of the Battell, to the handy-gripe of the Adversary, to the tryall indeed of their spirituall manhood, they instantly forsake their Colours, and the Roe is not more swift on the Mountaines, than they to flye from the Standard and Ensigne under which they fought, running from one Clime and Church unto another; from an old one here foun­ded on a Rock, Councels, Synods, Decrees, Harmony of Fathers, the practice of the very Apostles themselvs, to a new one built on the sands of their owne fancies, the brain-sick plantations of unstable souls. And such are so farre from any true spirituall valour or wis­dome, that our Apostle bestowes on them the li­very of Fooles; their first March and On-set might [Page 91] perhaps bee in the Spirit; but their Retrait doubt­les was in the flesh; their Comming on in lightning and thunder; but their Going off in smoake.

And here in this throng, I cannot passe without shouldring a little with the Anabaptist, and the Persectist; men forsooth so wholly seal'd up by the spi­rit, that they seeme to disclaime the least impres­sions of the flesh; and pretending that they see visi­ons, do nothing else but dreame dreames; lull'd along in a confidence of their legall righteousnesse, and slumbring in an opinion of their perfection in this life; as if they were no longer militant but triumphant, But as in the mouth of the foolish, there is virga superbiae, saith Solomon, Arod of pride; Prov. 13.3. so in the mouth of those proudones, there is virga stultitiae, A rod of folly. If I iustifie my selfe, mine owne mouth shall condemne mee; if I say I am Perfect, I shall also proue my selfe perverse, Iob: 9 20. Loe, here, in one text, these great vaunters with all their flou­rishes and bravado's are put unto the foile; and the justice and perfection they so wrestle for throwne flat upon the backe, even by Iob himselfe, as just a man (the text saies) as any the earth had: and yet hee tels them plainely by his owne experience, tht if they glory in the one, their owne mouth shall condemne them, if they but mention the other, they shall prove themselves (as indeed they are) way­ward and perverse. Shall wee leave the just, and en­quire after the perfect man, David, the man after Gods owne heart, (and such a one was a perfect man, you will say, if the earth had any) wee shall finde him complayning of uncleanesse within, and vehe­mently [Page 92] importuning the Lord for purging and washing Psal. 51.7.S. Hieron. Reg­monach. c. p. 15 In carne justorum imperfecta tan­tum perfectio est, saith Saint Ierome; the most righ­teous upon earth here have but an imperfect per­fection; and those that would bee thought more righteous then others, a perfect imperfection: And therefore I may say of these phanatickespirits, as Hanna, the wife of Elkanah, said of Peninnah; Talke no more so exceeding proudly, 1. Sam. 2.3. let not arrogance come out of your mouth, for the Lord is a God of know­ledge, and by him actions are waighed. His hand is e­ver at the beame, his eye looking how it turnes; and so when your clipt & your washt gold comes to the scale, your false stamp'd shekle to the bal­lance of his sanctuary, how will it bee found ligh­ter then vanity it selfe, how more vaine then no­thing? for if Angells before him are charged with folly, how much more, those that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, that are crush'd before the moth. Iob 4.19.

That of the Athenians to Pompey the great,Ipsd est perfec­tio hominis, in­venisse se non esse perfectum: D. Aug. Serm. 49. de temp: D. Aug. Serm. 44. de temp. was a remarkable saying: Thou art so much the more a God, by how much thou acknowledgest thy selfe to bee a man; To bee an excellent man is to confesse himselfe to be a man indeed; that is fraile, imperfect; haec est vera re­genitorum persectio, si imperfectos se esse agnoscant, saith Saint Augustine: then is a regenerate man come to his true perfection here, when hee knowes that hee hath none here, truly. And questionlesse,2. Cor. 4.16. 2. Cor. 7.1. If the inward man bee renewed day by day; and that wee are yet to perfect holines in the feare of God (as S. Paul testifies) then, this renovation [Page 93] and sanctification being not yet absolutely ripe cannot produce any perfect operation, untill it selfe bee perfect; and therefore our habituall jus­tice is so farre forth compleate, and no farther,D. Aug. lib. 3. contra. 2. Epist pelag. cap. 7. ut ad eius perfectionem pertineat ipsius imperfectionis et in veritate cognitio, et in humilitate confessio; A true knowledge, and an humble confession of our own frailties is the greatest justice and perfection we have about us. Though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soape, yet thy iniquity is still mar­ked before thee, Jer. 2.22. And, Though I wash my selfe with snow-water, and make my hands never so clean, yet thou shalt plunge me in the ditch, and my very cloathes shall abhorre me, Job 9.30, 31.

There is no perfection then in this earthly Ta­bernacle, None, none as wee are Sojourners, and in our pilgrimage; But at our Iournies end, in the Pa­lestina above; None of Degrees, I meane, but of Parts onely; As an Infant is a perfect man, be­cause hee hath the perfect proportion of a Man; there is nothing monstrous, nothing defective or superfluous in him, in respect of the Organs or Parts, but in respect of the Faculties and Functi­ons, and the Operation of the Organicall parts (which is the perfection of Degrees) hee hath none at all; for though hee have members, yet they cannot doe their office; The feet walke not, the hands feede not, the head judgeth not; So it is in our spirituall growth; where there is onely perfctio viae, not patriae; S. Augustine detrmining this point with a Tum erit perfectio Boni, quandoerit consummatio mali, A perfection of Good, and a [Page 94] consummation of Evill have their Joynt-inheri­tances in the Kingdome of Heaven; so the Fa­ther in his 15. Sermon de verbis Apostoli.

No doubt, Aegypt here may afford us her Gar­like, her Onions, and her Flesh-pots, but the Flowings of milke and honey, and the Rivers of Oyle will be in the Canaan above. The earthly Jerusalem may abound with Silver and Gold, and A­rabian spices; But what are These to the gates of pearle? to the streets pav'd with precious stones? Sheba and Tharshish and Ophir may supply her, both with treasure and delight, Ivory and Apes and Peacoks, 1 King. 10. But these are comparatively Toyes, in respect of those rich and glorious Constellations which shine in the hea­venly Ierusalem; The Emerauld, the Saphire, and the Chrysolite are there; The Iacinth, the Topaz, the Amethist are above: Rev. 21.20.

Honorificentissima praedicantur de Te, Psal. 87.3. O Civitas Dei, Summè honorifica! Great and excellent things are spoken of Thee, thou City of God, Thou everlasting City! Great and excellent indeed, for there is nei­ther true Greatnesse nor Excellency, but There; where we shall grow up to the perfect Man, In­deed, as S. Paul tells us, And to the measure of the ture of the Fulnesse of Christ; Ephes. 4.13. when we shall lay hold on that [...] , That Aeternum pondus Glo­riae, The excellent and eternall waight of Glory, 2 Cor. 4.17. No Defect there, no Sinne, no Tempta­tion, no Lust, no Infirmity, no Sorrow; but we shall be filled with all the Fulnesse of God;Ephe. 3.19. The Sun shall not burne us by day, nor the Moone by night: [Page 95] Nay, there shall be no need of Sunne and Moone; for the Glory of God shall shine there, and the Lambe is the light thereof for evermore.

But whilst we wander as strangers and pilgrims here on earth, there will be a daily tempest be­tweene the Flesh and the Spirit; a wildernesse of sin must bee past through, and a fiery pillar requir'd to guide us in our night of errors. And though God by his great mercies in his Sonne Christ Iesus hath brought us out of darkenesse into his mar­velous light; yet, even in this light, darkenesse some­times over-shadowes us. And therefore as in the Creation of the greater World, God ordained two principall lights, the one to rule the day, and the other the night: So in the restauration of this lesser World, Man, God hath set two lights also, a Sunne and a Moone, Christ and his Church, the one to governe him by Day when the beames of the Spirit doe enlighten him, the other in the Night when the fogs and mists of the Flesh doe o­verspread him; and as those naturall Planets doe sometimes meet with their Clouds and Eclipses, so doe these mysticall also. Now as the interpo­sition of the Earth betweene the Sunne and the Moone causeth an Eclipse in the Moone; and as the interposition of the Moone betweene us and the Sunne, causeth an Eclipse in the Sunne: So the interposition of the Flesh (which is as our earthly part) betweene God and the Soule, causeth an Eclipse in the Soule, whereby her saculties are over-clouded; and the interposition of concupi­scence or lust betweene our Spirit and the Spirit of [Page 96] God, causeth an Eclipse in the Spirit, whereby Grace is darkned, and that Sunne of Righteousnesse which would otherwise arise in our hearts is ma­ny times over-shadowed by our corrupter motions; insomuch that the best Saints and Servants of God have often groan'd within themselves, and powr'd out their complaints in bitternesse of Soule with an Vsquequo Domine Jesu, usquequo? How long Lord Iesus, how long? How long this Ty­ranny of the Flesh? this bondage of corruption? this body of Death? this captivity to the Law of finne?Psal. 120.5. Wretched, wretched that we are, who shall de­liver us? Woe that we are thus constrained to sojourne in Mesech here, and to dwell in the Tents of Kedar. But even in these spirituall convulsions they have their lucida intervalla, their Divine solaces and refresh­ments; this being not the language of desperation, but complaint. Ieb after all his passionate expostu­lations with God, tell's Bildad, that hee knowes his Redeemer liveth, Iob 19.25. And Saint Paul after his sad and manifold disputes with his owne frailties here, can give thankes to God through Iesus Christ our Lord, Rom. 7.24. which sacred ejacu­lations of theirs, preach no other Doctrine and use but this, That wee feeling this thorne in the flesh, and the messenger of Satan ever ready to buffet us,2 Cor. 12.7. should not be exalted above measure; but when wee begin to bristle and advance our selves in the whitenesse of our feathers, swell in the opinion of our owne Justice and perfections, wee should cast downe our eyes upon the blacke and ugly feet of our infirmities, and so humble [Page 97] the pride of our imaginations with the modest language of the Prophet, Lord blot out my transgressi­ons as a mist, and as a thicke cloud my sinnes: Isai. 44.22. Melior est peccator humilis quam justus superbus; D. Aug. serm. 49. de temp. a sinner in his humility is a more acceptable Sacrifice than a just man (if such a one may be) in his pride. And yet as we should be thus sensible of our in­firmities, how daily, how hourely, how minutely, how unavoidably they are; so we should not hum­ble our selves below our selves, forgetting the great Pilot and Anchor of our Soules; but whilst we have armes, and Oares, and plankes to waft us in, let us not voluntarily plundge our selves in that depth which may occasion our everlasting shipwracke, diffidence and despaire; but knowing that Prophers and Disciples themselves have beene in the like Tempest, the Ship ready to sinke, and her Great Steeres-man asleepe, they crying ama­zedly, we perish, we perish, yet if we invoke him by our zealous importunities, rouze him with a Master, Master, hee shall awake at length and re­buke the churlish windes and the waves,Luke. 8.24 and a blessed calme shall follow. The greatest servants of God have had their great infirmities; and yet none so great, but have had a faire audience in his Court of mercy, and met both with excuse and par­don from the mouth of a compassionate Iudge; who acknowledgeth that their spirit is ready, though their flesh be weake, and their minde fol­lowing the Law of God, though the Flesh, the fraile Flesh, bee led captive by the Law of sinne.

And this peculiar Plea of Gods chosen Ser­vants [Page 98] is at length become an Apologie for the customary sinnes of those who in their conversa­tions are most wicked and deprav'd; the propha­nest Esaus, Pet. Mart. in cap. 7. ad Rom. v. 25. the loosest Libertines that are; Illae pestes, & furiae temporum (as Peter Martyr calls them) those plagues and furies of the times, lay title to it, and 'tis made not onely the excuse of their sinnes, but their very patent and priviledge of sinning, who under the colour of their carnall frailties can blanch and palliate their deepest enor­mities; make Scarlet, Snow; and Crimson, Wooll; crying out with those wretches in the times of S. Augustine, Vide D. Aug. Serm. 46. de Temp. & Ser. 13. deverbis Dom. & Serm. 6. de verbis A­postol. Non nos, sed Caro; non nos, sed Caro, Not us, but the Flesh, the Flesh, that must be are the blame, whatsoever the Sinne be; Their minde, they pretend, is prone enough to matters of Religion, but the flesh, as a violent Tide or Torrent, drives them another way; and no sinne so capitall but findes S. Paul's evasion, Non nos, sed peccatum in nobis, 'Tis no more we that doe it, but Sinne that dwelleth in us. Lyes and Oathes, and Blasphemies and Prophanations are at length but a businesse of the Flesh, to wallow in Surfets and Vomitings and Excesse of Riots, till the wine inflame, and the eyes looke red, and startle, a toy of the flesh too; Raylings and Envies, and Scandalls and Back bitings, (the Cut-throates of neighbourhood and amity) but a frailty of the flesh neither; Chambering and watonnesse, and a lustfull neighing after thy neighbours wife, nay, the ranke sweat of an Incestuous Bed, a tricke of the flesh also; (and that's a tricke of the flesh indeed) [Page 99] to grinde a poore man, or steece a Tenant, or pillage a Church, cheate God himselfe of his dues, im­beazle his tithes and offerings, Imbrue our hands in the bloud of his Sacrifices, but a trifle of the Flesh neither: In a word, be their Sinnes dyed in Graine, never of so sanguine and deepe a Tin­cture, so mighty, so hainous, so inexpiable, the Flesh shall be their excuse still, and the words of the Apostle are ever ready to plead for them,Rom. 7.25. With the mind I serve the Law of God, but with the Flesh the Law of Sinne. But let such corrupt Glossers on the Text consider who S. Paul was that us'd those words, and of what sins, (for let the Pelagian bray what he list, the words are S. Paul's, & S. Pauls of himselfe, and of himselfe as an Apostle,Vide D. Aug. Ser. 5. de verbis Apost. not as a Pharisee) not of publike and scandalous, and no­torious sinnes, (from which even his Pharisaisme was exempt) but of bosome and inward infirmi­ties, whereby he felt his sanctified intentions strangled by the counter-plots of the Flesh. More­over the Text properly belongs to those that struggle, not to them that lye soaking and wel­tring in their sinnes; the Spirit must be still lust­ing against the Flesh; and the Flesh still lusting against the Spirit: (This Sea of Ours, never lying calme, & unruffled without some storme) So that those which tugge not, and beare up stiffe Saile against this Tide, but plunging themselves head­long in all manner of Vices, yet still pretending a rectitude of their mind and will, have nothing to doe with this prerogative of the Saints, For, as a grave Neoterick of ours strictly observes, None [Page 100] can say, The mystery of selfe deceiving. by. D. D. cap. 14. that sins are not Theirs, but the Fleshes; but such have the Spirit besides the Flesh, contending with the Flesh. Now those, saith he, which are so ready with their Non nos, sed caro, Not us, but the flesh are oftentimes themselves nothing else but flesh; no Spirit at all to make the least resist­ance, but give up themselves in a voluntary sub­jection to the lusts and corruptions of the Old man. So that, this non Nos, sed Caro is but a vaine Pre­tence of Theirs, sounding nothing else but us, and our selves; For, in understanding, will, memory, affections, soule and body too, they are altogether flesh; Nature speaking of These, as sometimes Adam did of Eve, Adest Os ex ossibus meis, et Caro de carne mea, Here is Bone of my Bone, and Flesh of my Flesh, Gen. 2.23.

Notwithstanding, in the committing of some grievous sinne, they have no doubt, a kinde of inward murmuring and reluctation. Pilate will not condemne Christ, but hee will first wash his hands, pretending that hee is innocent of his bloud: Mat. 27.24. Felix will give S. Paul liberty of speaking for himselfe, before hee will deliver him mercilesly to the Iewes, bound; Acts: 24.27.

There is a grudging and recoyling in the con­sciences of most men, even In, and Before the act of their mistreadings; but this resistance is not from a minde renewed, but enlightned only; not from a religious feare of offending God for this or that sin, but the fearfull apprehension of punishments which shall follow upon those sins; so that they doe it only, saith S. Austine, timore poenoe, non a­more [Page 101] justitiae, rather to avoide a hovering ven­geance,Serm. 59. de diversis. then for any filiall obedience, or respect to God and his commaunds. And herein, as in a mapp or glasse, wee may see the difference of the combat betweene the regenerate and the meere car­nall man; that of the regenerate is in the same facul­ties of the soule, betweene the will and the will, the affections and the affections; these faculties even in the renovated soule, being partly spiritual, and partly carnall, whence it followes that when the renewed part of the will (which is the spirit) invites us to good; the unregenerate part (which is the flesh) swayes us to evill; But the combate in the meere carnall man is betweene diverse facul­ties of the soule, betweene the understanding and the will, betweene the conscience and the af­fections; hee neither resisting temptations to sin, nor the swindge of them when hee is tempted, neither hating the sinne forbidden, nor loving the law forbidding it; but still drawes on cords with cart-roaps; vanities with iniquities; and these in a full measure, drinking them like water; untill hee come even to the overflowing of ungod­lines;Iob. 15.16. so far from holding backe from mischiefe, that hee doth it with greedinesse and swiftnesse; committing all uncleanes with greedines, Ephes: 4.19. Et pedes festinanter currentes ad malum; his feete are swift in running to mischiefe, Pro. 6.18. the rege­nerate man checkes evill motions when they are offered; the carnall man gives them line and liber­ty of accesse without controule; Sinne to the one is like the booke Saint Iohn mentions; causing bit­ternes [Page 102] in the belly, Revel: 10.9. To the other, like Ezekiels scroule; 'tis to him as honey and sweetnes, E­zek: 3.3. That doth utterly distast, this doth affect and rellish it; hee, in the temptation of sin strives to avoyde the action; to this, the action is as rea­dy as the temptation; so that, insteed of the rayne or the snaffle, hee is altogether for the switch and the spurre, veloces sunt pedes ejus ad effundendum san­guinem, his feete are swift to shed bloud: Rom. 3.15. Once more, The one keepeth his tongue from evill, and his lips that they speake no guile. 1. Pet. 3. The others tongue frameth deceit, and deviseth mis­chiefe, and the poison of Aspes is under his lips; proudly vaunting with those in the Psalmist, Quis est Dominus nobis? with our tongues we will prevaile, wee are they that ought to speake, who is Lord over us? Psal. 12.4.

I deny not, but the same sin, according to the act may bee both in the regenerate, and the meere carnall man, but not without this qualification, in the one, for the most part, 'tis a sinne of will, and choyce, and delight, and custome, in the other a sinne of infirmity, and reluctation, and contempt, a sinne of invasion, not of appetite. Besides, as there is a difference in the manner of their sinning so there is in their opposition which they make a­gainst their sinnes; The reluctancy, which the re­generate hath, is from the apprehension of the goodnes of Gods law, forbidding sinne; of the carnall man,D. D. ut si p. [...] from the apprehension of the truth of the judgements, denounced by that law, puni­shing those sinnes, that from love; this from feare. [Page 103] Credit bonus, et verè credit; (saith Saint Augustine) credit malus, sed non vere credit; credit Christum, sed odit Christum; the good man beleeves, and hee be­leeves truly; the wicked man beleeves too, but he beleeves not truly: hee beleeves Christ, but hee loves not Christ, hee beleeves him as a GOD, loves him not as a Iudge; in a word, habet confessi­onem fidei in timore poenae, non in amore coronae. Peters confession of Christ, and the Divells was all one in respect of the words, but not of the heart, they both acknowledged that hee was filius Dei magni, the Sonne of the living God. Math. 16. But see the difference: Hujus confessio, quia cum odio Christi pro­lata est, merito damnatur; Eius, D. Aug. Serm. 59. de diversis Tom. 10. p. 616 quia ex interna dile­ctione processit, aeterna beatitudine remuneratur: The Divell as an Angell that was fallen, enviously ac­knowledged Christs divinity, & therfore his own just condemnation: Peter as an Angell that should rise, had an inward tast of his mediatourship, and therefore of his owne undoubted glorification.

In fine, though the motions of the flesh bee alike in both, yet the humouring of those motions is not. Aliud est concupiscere, aliud post concupiscenti­as non ire: It is one thing to lust, another to goe a whoring after it. As it is one thing to glance and dart a wanton desire, another to court and plead it. A man may have, and hath and must, as hee is man, his carnall titillations, and yet a spirituall man all this while, if hee oppugne them, if hee with­stand their march, and onset: But if hee once hang out his flags of truce, if hee give way to their fiery seige, if hee open the city gates to let in this [Page 104] armed monster, the spirituall man hath lost the day, and the carnall hath the full triumph. Hearke what Saint Augustine in this case obtrudeth, Qui­cunque carnalibus concupiscentiis cedis, atque consentis &c: Whosoever thou art that givest way to thy carnall concupiscences, and either thinkest them good to fill up the saturity of thy lust, or else so seest them to be evill, that notwithstanding that evill thou doest assent, and so follow them where they leade thee, and what they suggest, commit, Tu, tu quisquis talis es, totus, totus carnalis es, Thou art carnall, Thou, thou whosoever thou art, art All, all carnall. And therefore the advice of the same Father will be seasonable here, If the infir­mities of the Flesh be such,D. Aug. Serm. 5. de verb. Apost. ut concupiscas, saltèm post concupiscentias non eas; If thou must needs lust, (as lust thou must, because a man) yet run not after thy lusts; Though they surge and boile, let them not breake upon thee; though their flouds rise, though they lift up their voyce aloud, though their waves are mighty, and rage horribly, let them not compasse thee about, Psalm. 93. v. 3.4. let them not come in upon thy soule; But though the raine fall, and the windes blow, and these flouds come, and beate upon thy house of clay, yet remember the Rocke upon which it is founded, the Rocke Christ; The Rocke of thy strength (as David calls him) and the Rocke of thy refuge, and the Rocke of thy salvation.

Againe,Math. 7.25. seeing the Flesh is Hostis internus & gravissimus, (as Origen stiles it) and that our grea­test Enemies are those of our owne House, those that are about us,Psal. 62.7. and within us, p [...]ae [...]aeteris omnibus, [Page 105] carnis insidiae formidandae sunt; we should princi­pally beware of the Stratagems and Ambusca­does of the Flesh; let us strive to awaken her for­ces, abate the edge both of her pride and teache­ry; knowing, that where this Syren sings, it doth but presage our shipwracke; when this Delilah imbraceth, 'tis but to betray us to the spirituall Philistine, 'tis the principall snare and pit fall the Divell useth to entrap us to our destruction. He may be the Father begetting sinne, but the Flesh, for the most part, is the Mother concei­ving and bringing it forth. And therefore Saint Iames saith, that Every man when he is tempted is en­ticed and drawne away by his owne Concupiscence, Jam. 1.14. So that although Satan hath a hand, a po­werfull, a subtle and malicious hand in tempting us, yet the Flesh and her Lusts carry the greater stroke; He tempts onely, the other entice and draw away; he doth but lay the baite, the other cause us to play and nibble, and at length to swal­low it. The Divell hath onely a subtilty in per­swading, no power in compelling man to sinne, Non enim cogendo, sed suadendo nocet; D. Aug. Serm. 197. de temp. nec extorquet à nobis consensum, sed petit, saith Saint Augustine. But the Flesh doth not onely insinuate consent to sinne, but even extort it; she being both a Tray­tor and a Tyrant, first layes her powder-plot, and then blowes us up. And therefore, let every one of us arme himselfe against the assaults of the Flesh, the suggestions of our corrupter Lusts; humbling and macerating these pamper'd bodies of ours by Prayer and Abstinence, choaking all in­ordinate [Page 106] motions, and all wayes of distemper and excesse, which may give them either flame or nourishment. You know who tells you, that Glut­tony is the fore-chamber of Lust, and Lust is the in­ner-roome of Gluttony. On the other side, Absti­nence is the mid-wife of Devotion, and Devotion is the sister of Zeale, and Zeale is the mother of true Prayer; so that there is neither Zeale, nor Prayer, nor Devotion truely without Abstinence; I meane as well a corporall as mentall Abstinence; a Re­straint from the fulnesse of bread, as from the ful­nesse of Sinne. For it is with the soule and Body, for the most part (pardon the similitude I beseech you) as it is with the Common-wealth, and the Exchequer; if the one be full, the other, they say, is still empty. The Soule, which is Gods Exchequer and Storehouse of his Graces, when it is full of Contemplations and heavenly Entrance­ments, the Body is commonly empty of her car­nall repletions, as causing a drowsinesse and dul­nesse in all spirituall agitations. On the other side, the Body which is the Common-wealth of the senses, (the rebells commonly of the Spirit) when that is cramm'd with satiety, the bloud dancing in the cheeke and veines, and the joynts swimming with marrow and fatnesse, there is a kinde of macelency and famine, and leannesse in the soule, all goodnesse is vacant and banish'd then, and Lust keepes her revell and rendevouz. A fit caution and mements, as I conceive, for this place and meeting, that those dayes which the Church hath of Old solemnely consecrated to [Page 107] the service of the Spirit, we devote not another way in making provision for the Flesh, to fulfill the Lusts thereof: That the time shee hath set apart for Fasting and Prayer, whereby we should magnifie the Lord upon the strings and pipe, and so make the tongue, Cymbalum jubilationis, A wel­tun'd Cymball, wee over-lavish not to feasting and excesse, and so make our throate, Sepulchrum aper­tum, An open sepulchre. I know, that Noble assem­blies require something extraordinary, both for State and Multitude, and let them have it; But withall, I beseech them to consider what Lent is,Preached in Lent ad Mag­stratum. and with what devout strictnesse observ'd by the Christian Church for many hundred yeeres toge­ther; though in these dayes of Flesh, cryed downe by some pretenders to the Spirit, as a superstitious observation of our blinded An­cestours. But let them know, or (if they doe not) let them reade; reade Antiquity in her cleere, though slow streamings unto us, not the troubled and muddy waters, novelty hath cast upon our shore, and then they shal know, that it is a time of Sackcloth and Ashes and casting earth upon the Head, for the humbling and macerating of the Sinner; not of putting on the glorious apparell, your vaine shinings in silkes and trssues, for the ruffling of the Gallant. A time like that in the mountaine, of restraint and scarcity; when a few barly loaves and some small Fishes should suffice a Multitude, Ioh. 6.9. Not of pomp or magnificence, when the stalled Oxe, and the pastur'd Sheepe, and the fallow Deere, 1 King. 2.4. and the satted Fowle are a service for the Lords Anointed.

For mine owne part, I am not so rigid either in practise or opinion (or if I were in both, it mat­ters not where a higher judgement and authority overballac'd me) to deny sicknesse or age, or (in respect of travell, or multitude of imployments) the publike Magistrate, what in this case were ei­ther convenient, or necessary, or enough; how­ever I desire them to remember, that both the Sword and the Keyes have a stroke here; and so that they would feed onely, not cloy; nourish, not dain­tie up the body, knowing that when it is cocker'd and kept too high, the Soule it selfe is manacled, and more than lame and heavie in sacred opera­tions. And therefore let us not be altogether men of Flesh; but as the Father hath it occasionally on this Text,D. Aug. 43. Ser. de verb. Dom. Vincat spiritus carnem, aut certè nè vinca­tur a carne, let the spirit have a sway too, and though not wholly a Conquerour, yet make her not a cap­tive; let our Devotions goe along with our enter­tainments, our Acts of Charity with our Acts of Iu­stice: Foeneratur Domino qui miseretur pauperis, saith the Wiseman, He that hath pitty upon the poore, lendeth, or (as the Latine implies) putteth to use un­to the Lord, Prov. 19.17. Now, Qui accipit mu­tuum, servus est foenerantis, The borrower is a Servant to the lender, Prov. 22.7. So that the Lord is as 'twere a Servant unto him that hath pitty on the poore, because in that pitty hee lendeth to the Lord. And indeed, who would not be a lender to the Lord, when his interest may be a Crowne, and his reward everlastingnesse? who would not exchange a morsell of bread for the celestiall Man­na? [Page 109] and almes for the food of Angels? a few earth­ly ragges for the white Robe of the Saints? Since most of these are not so properly a lending or benevo­lence, as a due. The gleanings of the Cor-field, Levit. 23.22. and the shakings of the Vintage, were a Legacie long since be­queath'd the poore man by the Law, when the Gos­pel was yet in her non-age and minoritie: But now it is not onely the crums and fragments from thy Table, and so feed the hungry, or the courser shea­rings of thy Flock, and so cloath the naked: But visit the sicke too, and those which are in prison, Mat. 25.26. So that our charity should not onely reach the impotent and needy, but the very malefact­or, and legall transgressor. The groanings of the prison should bee as well listned to, as the com­plainings in the streets; and at this time more specially, more particularly; that those bowels which want and hunger have even contracted and shrivel'd up; and those bodies which cold and nakednesse have palsied and benumm'd, not find­ing it seemes so much pitty as to cloath and feed them as they should whilst they were alive, may at last meet with such a noble and respective cha­ritie, as to shroud and interre them like Christians when they are dead. In the meane time I have that humble suit to preferre to the Gods of Earth here, which David had of old to the God of Heaven. Oh let the sorrowfull sighing of the prisoners come before you,Psal. 79.12. according to the greatnesse of your power, have mercy on those which are ap­pointed to dye: Let your Vinegar be tempered with Oyle, Iustice suger'd o're with some compassion, [Page 110] that where the Law of God sayes peremptorily, Thou shalt restore and not dye, let not there the Law of Man be writ in blood, and say, (except to the no­torious and incorrigible offender) Thou shalt dye and not live. There will a time come, when wee shall all appeare before the Iudgement seate of God. 2 Cor. 5.10. And what then? what? The Sinners Plea will bee generally then,Job. 9.3. Lord I cannot answer thee one for a thousand. And what if I cannot? yet, O Lord, with thee there is mercy and plenteous redemption. Psal. 130.7. But now and then it falls out so unhappily at the Judgement seate of Man, that parties arraign'd, though they answer a thousand in one (multi­tudes of inditements in one innocence) yet some­times naked circumstances, and meere colourable conjectures without any solid proofe at all, shall so cast them in the voyce of a dazled Iury, that there is neither hope of mercy nor redemption; Gen. 40.22. Esther 7.10. but Pharohs Baker must to the Tree, and Haman to the Gallowes fifty cubits high. But in this case, Bee learned and wise yee Iudges of the Earth, serve the Lord in feare, and rejoyce to him in reverence, Psal. 2.10.

But I have here digress'd a little, and perhaps a little too sawcily in this point of charity: let cha­rity have the blame if shee have deserved it, whi­lest I returne where I formerly left you, and that was at a feast in time of fasting. Good LORD how preposterously, nay how rebelliously, and in one act crossing both the civill and ecclesiast­icke power which prohibite it. And therefore since nature saies, for the better maintenance and [Page 111] support of these fleshly tabernacles, thou shalt eate and drinke ad necessitatem; and the church to take downe the frankenesse of nature, and tame the wildnesse of the flesh, (for in point of fasting there is as well a religious, as a civill, or politicke respect) saies, thou shalt not eate and drinke ad intemperantiam, let us so eate and drinke, that we may live and not lust, and so live, that thus ea­ting & drinking we care not if we die to morrow. The cause why Moses so long fasted in the Mount, was meere divine speculation; the cause why Da­vid did, humiliation: so that, the way to mortify the flesh, and to advance the spirit, is by the doore of abstinence, whereby wee may undermine the pallaces of lust and wantonnes, plant parcimo­ny as nature, where riotousnes hath beene study;Hooker Eccles. pol. lib. 5. that whereas men of the Flesh eate their bread with joy, and drinke their wine with a merry heart, Eccles. 9.7. The man of the Spirit may be contrite and wounded, and so humble his soule with fasting, Psal. 35.13. Beware then of this Ingenuosa Gula, this kick-shawed luxury, when the braine turnes Cooke for pleasing both of the eye and pa­late: let's not court appetite, when we should but feed it, not feed excesse, when we should strangle it. Moderation and sobrietie are the best Gover­nours of our meetings; and where these are, (as they are not too often in the meetings of a mul­titude) the example of our Saviour will allow us to turne Water into Wine; and the advice of his Apostle, to drinke it also for our stomacks suke; and doubtlesse sometimes for our mirths sake too, [Page 112] if we exceed not the bounds of temperance, nor flye out into superfluity or Epicurisme, which are the blot and staine of Societie, and a hinderance of that true joy and comfort, which otherwise might smile in our publike meetings, when invitations are tur­ned into riots, feeding into suffocation, clogging the body and damping the spirits, and (thereby) those blessings, which else happily might have shower'd upon us. A Soule drown'd in meat, as the Father phraseth it, can no more behold the light of God, than a body sunk in puddle can behold the light of the Sun. For, as fogs and mists arising from the Earth, and hiding the light of the Sunne from us, debarre us for the present, of the vertue of those heavenly influences, which otherwise we might partake of: So the fumes and vapours of an over-charg'd stomacke, ascending to the brain, cause a cloudinesse in the soule; hindring and darkning those heavenly speculations, which the Spirit would else mount to in God, and his Son Christ Iesus.

To conclude then, it should be our principall care to keepe the whole man brush'd; all sluttish­nes swept-of as well within, as without; not only those outward spots and blemishes which bestain the flesh; but even those smaller dusts and atomes, which over-spred the soule. Remember, it is the white robe which is the dressing of the Saint; and that the hand which is wash'd in innocency is ac­cepted at Gods Altar; The haire that is unshaven is not for his congregation, nor the fowle and un­cleane thing for his kingdome. We read that So­lomons [Page 113] Temple had two altars; the one without, Vbi animaliū caedebatur Sacrificium, 1. Kings 6.20. & 22. where the bullocke was flaine for sacrifice; The other, within, Vbi Thy­miamitis offerebatur incensum, where incense and per­fumes were offered, the best mirrhe, and the onyx & the sweet storax.Ecclus. 24.15. And we know that this tem­ple of the holy Ghost hath two altars also; the one without, in the flesh, where the bullocke should bee slaine, the Hecatomb of our hundred beasts offered, our beastly lusts and corruptions, which fight against the soule. The other within; in the minde, where the fumes of mirrhe and frank in­cense ascend, the incense of prayer, and gratula­tion, that spirituall holocaust, that viall of the Saints, full of odours, which reacheth the very nostrils of the Almighty. On these two altars,D. Aug. 256. serm. de temp. God requires a two fold sacrifice; munditiem in corde, cleanesse in the heart, which David so vehement­ly desired, create in mee a cleane heart O God, Psal. 5 1. and castitatem in corpore, chastity in the body,S. Bern. inter sententias. which S. Bernar calls martyrium sine sanguine, a martyrdome without bloud; where there is a death of the flesh, without the death of the body; a death of her lusts, and a death of her corruptions by mortifying and subduing all carnall rebellions. And this martyrdome of the flesh S. Paul glories in, I keepe under my body, or as the Greeke hath it [...] , Corpus contundo, Paulin. Ep. 58. et Lividum reddo (soe Paulinus reades it to S. Augustine) I Bray as it were, and macerate my body, and marke what followes, [...] In servitutem redigo, I bring it into subiection. 1. Cor. 9.27. And in [Page 108] subjection indeed it must be brought, in subjecti­on to the soule; which as it gives the other forme; so it should steere and master it. Vnumquodque sicundum hoc vivat, unde vivit saith S. Augustine; let every thing live according to the rule and platforme of that by which it lives. Vnde vivit ca­ro tua? De anima tua; unde vivit anima tua? De Deo tuo; unaquaque harum secundum vitam suam vivat: Whence lives thy body? from thy soule: whence lives thy soule? from thy God: Let both then live, according to that Life which gave them life. The world was made for man, and man for his soule, & his soul for God. Tū rectè vivit carosecundū animā, D. Aug. Serm. 13. deverb. Dom. cùm anima vivit secundum Deum; The sweet Saint Augustine still; then the body lives rightly according to the soule, when the soule lives rightly according unto GOD. Let the body then so live after the soule, and the soule after GOD, that both body and soule may live with God in his eternall kingdome, and that for his deare Sons sake, Iesus Christ the righteous: to whom with the Father, & the holy Ghost bee all honour and glory ascrib'd both now, and for ever. Amen.

Gloria in excelsis Deo.


Jehovah-Jireh. GOD In his PROVIDENCE And OMNIPOTENCE Discovered. A SERMON PREACHED Ad Magistratum, at CHARD in Sommerset. 1633. By Humphrey Sydenham.

Laudate Dominum de omnimoda potentia ejus, Lau­date eum secundum multitudinem Magnitudinis ejus.

Psal. 150.2.

LONDON, Printed by IOHN BEALE, for Humphrey Robinson, at the Signe of the Three Pigeons in PAULS Church-yard. 1637.



IUST promises are just debts, and debts (though delayed) ever come acceptably, if they come with advantage. I long since promised you a transcript of this Sermon (which was the Principall) and now I send it you with a Dedication (which is the Interest;) and such an Interest, I presume, you will not refuse, though presented by the hand of your poore Servant. Now it is yours indeed, but it is yours chiefly to peruse, not to protect; for such a subject will looke above all humane [Page] Patronage, there being nothing fit either to owne or protect Omnipotence, but GOD himselfe; to whom I consecrate both my selfe and It. And yet, though the subject be Sacred, and points directly at the Creator of us all, yet there may be (and are by all likelihood) frail­ties in the discourse; which as they will meete with some cavill or opposition, so they will re­quire a Bulwarke and defence also, and from whom more properly, than from a Great man! who both in place and nature is nearest to his God (if Goodnesse, as it ought, shake hands with Greatnesse;) and of that no man dispaires in a Noble disposition, where but to questi­on vertue, were to profane it. Your Countrey hath often tasted of the Greatnesse of your Spi­rit, and where there is Spirit, truely there must be something that is divine also; which cannot but speake your Goodnesse without controule, from me especially,

Your old, and (if you please to preserve him) constant Servant, HVM. SYDENHAM.


PSAL. 59.16.

I will sing of thy Power, and sing a­loud of thy Mercy.

I Thinke it not unseason­able,Preach'd Ad Magistratum. nor besides my er­rand, to sing of the Po­wer and Mercy of one God in the presence of another. Greatnesse is a kind of Deity; God him­selfe affording Rulers & Nobles no lower Title than his owne, of Gods. But Gods by Office or Deputation, not by Essence; and yet so Gods by Office, that they personate that [Page 120] God by Essence. Power they have, a mighty one, and Mercy too, or should have, and both these the people sing of, onely mortality puts the distance and divides betweene civill and sacred (or if you will) sacred and celestiall attributes. I say yee are Gods, Gods with a Moriemini, mortall Gods, there is a but annexed to the Deitie, But ye shall dye, dye like men, and fall as one of the Princes, Psal. 82.6.

And now that I may not beguile time nor you with any curiositie of preface, the Text being onely a parcell of a Psalme, I have formerly re­sembled to the whole; where I observ'd the ground, the parts, the descant, the Author or Setter of it, the time when it was sung, and the occasion of the singing. The Author and his descant I have al­ready opened in two words, Cantabo and Exalta­bo, I will sing, and I will sing aloud; Now me­thod leades mee to the parts, Power and Mercy. Mercy is a plausible Theame, and a large one; enough of it selfe to fill up discourse, and time, and attention, with exquisite varietie: And therefore I shall dwell for the present, onely in the expressions of divine Power. A Subject (I confesse) like the Ocean, wide and deepe, and not without some danger to him that shall either steere or sound it. But that God, who was a staffe to his Patriarke to passe over Iordan, will be a Pilot to his Disciple in the Sea too, that hee sinke and perish not (this vast and troubled Sea of his Omnipotence) where some learned Wit have beene overwhelm'd, either by a bold curiositie, ventu­ring [Page 121] too farre to shoot the Straight and Gulfe they should not, or else by a vaine glorious conceit of their owne Tenets have proudly borne sayle a­gainst winde and tide, the maine drift of Scrip­tures and current of the true Faith, and so at length have runne themselves on the shelves of Heresie or Blasphemy, or both: Against both which I shall ever pray in the language of the Disciples in the great storme, Master save mee lest I perish: Mat. 8.25. And thus by Thee in safetie I shall daily sing of thy Power, and sing aloud of thy mercy, because thou hast beene my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.

I will sing of thy Power.

THis word Power in respect of God is Homony­mon, and of various signification in sacred Story. Sometimes it is taken onely for Christ; so by Saint Paul: unto the Iewes and Greeks (which are call'd) we preach Christ [...] , The Power of God, 1 Cor. 1.24. Sometimes for the Gospell of Christ, so by the same Apostle, I am not ashamed of the Gospell of Christ, [...] , for it is the power of God unto salvation, Rom. 1.16. Sometimes neither for Christ nor his Gospell, but the enemies of both; So the Samaritans said of Simon Magus, [...] , This Man is the great power of God, Acts 8.10. But here wee take Power for that Essentiall property of God, by which he is able and doth effect all in all, and all [Page 122] in every thing. And whereas Divines distinguish of a double power, active and passive; the one, Ad agendam; the other, Ad suscipiendam formam: 'Tis manifest that this latter is not in God, be­cause God who is a pure Act, and simply, and uni­versally perfect, is not passive, nor capable of any forme, but in himselfe from all eternity containes the perfection of all formes; this active power be­ing in him principall and most eminent, and in­deed the very Mynt and Forge where all things had their first stampe and hammering.

Now this Power of God is not onely infinite in its owne nature and perse as it is the very divine Es­sence; Pol. Syn. lib. 2 cap. 29. but in respect of Objects to which it is ex­tended, and of Effects wich it can produce, and of Action too by which it doth or can worke miracu­lously; which Action is never so valid and in­tense (for so Polanus words it) but it may be set to a higher pin and screw, and woon'd up even to In­finitenesse; And therefore it is not onely call'd Po­wer, or Strength, or Efficacie, or Fortitude, but Omni­potence; Insomuch that though it have some rati­onall and modall distinction by reason of our feeble capacities, yet no reall and substantiall difference from Gods Will, Knowledge, Providence, but are all wards of the same Key, shut and open to the same Essence: For when wee name his providence, wee conceive it, ut dirigens; his Knowledge, ut apprehen­dens; his Will, Estius in lib. 1. Sent. dist. 42. Sect. 1. ut imperans; and his Power, ut exe­quens; So that Apprehension, and Direction, and Com­mand, shine more properly in Gods other Attri­butes; but Execution principally in his Power: [Page 123] And therefore it is called [...] , Vim efficacem (as Beza translates it) the Working power, whereby God is able to subdue all things to him­selfe, Phil. 3 21.

And as this Power is alwayes, so it is onely active; and that Saint Paul intimated, when hee stiled it [...] ,Ephes. 3.20. The Power that worketh in us, so worketh in us, that no power of any Crea­ture can hinder that operation; for the Throne of it is a fiery flame, and the wheeles of it a burning fire, Dan. 7.9.

The Fathers, it seemes, heretofore were much perplex'd by the Pagan Sophisters about this great Attribute of God, Omnipotence;Omnipotens Omnia-potens. some jan­gling meerely about the etymology of the word, have dash'd themselves against the rockes of here­sy; Faustus the Manichee, and Cresconius the Gramma­rian, have put Saint Augustine to the sweat about it, who dwelling too critically upon God's omnia potest, went about to geld his omnipotence; Nay,D. Aug. lib. 26. Cont. Faust. cap. 5. some herein, making reason their pole-starre, and not faith, have leap'd out of their curiosity into blasphemy; as the Hermians and Seleucians of old, those hoeretici materiarii (as Tertullian styles them) who following the proud sect of the Platonists,Adversus Her­mog. cap. 25. made their materia prima co-omnipotent with God, because God, as they pretended, could not make the world out of nothing, but of some praeexisting matter. And from this hive belike, swarm'd those Locusts of their age, Menander, Carpocrates and Ce­rinthus; who tooke off the power of God in the creation of the world, and set it upon Angells;D. Aug. de fide & Symb. c. 1. [Page 124] and so, either par'd too much the divine preroga­tive, in making it slow or unable for so great a worke, or else super-added to the glory of those intellectuall natures; as if this great frame of the universe had been rather the workmanship of their hands then of his, that created both it and them: Although others, of a like vertigo, were not so over-stagger'd with their owne phrenzies, but that they allowed the God-head a superinten­dency of power, and yet, not thatTri. Vne. Triune power the christian struggles for (a power of three per­sons in one essence, of equall majesty and com­maund) but ascrib'd to the Father, only a sulnes of power, a mediocrity to the Sonne, and to the holy Ghost, none at all: and of this sinke was Pe­trus Abaialardus, censured by Saint Bernard in his 190. Epistle, ad innocentium.

But leaving these to their strong delusions, knowing that an evil conjecture hath overthrown their judgement:Ecclus. 3.24. Let us returne whence wee have digress'd a little, to divine omnipotence; and wee shall finde by ground or reason there of to bee divine essence; (for GOD workes not but by his essence) and by how much more perfect the forme is in every agent by which it workes, by so much, the power is greater in working.

Seeing then, the essence of God is infinite, his power of necessity must bee infinite too; now be­cause to be thus infinite, is to bee but one, there is but one omnipotence, as there is but one essence and yet, for the diversities of respects, Divines have cut it into a double file, an actuall and abso­lute [Page 125] omnipotence,Omnipotentia absoluta. the absolute omnipotence of God is that, by which hee can perfectly doe any thing that is possible to bee done, and it is called absolute because it is not limited by the univer­sall law of nature; as if divinity were necessarily pinn'd to the order of secondary causes, and that God could not doe any thing besides or above that law; and this the schooles call omnipotentia Dei ex­traordinaria, Gods extraordinary power; because by that hee can worke besides the trodden and ac­customed course of nature, producing of himselfe as wel those effects of secundary agents as others,Pol. syntag. lib. 20. cap. 29. to which sublunary creatures cannot attaine. Haec simpliciter essentialis (saith the Syntagmatist) this om­nipotence is simply essentiall: by which God can absolutely and simply doe all things which are possible to bee done, to wit; such as doe not re­pugne the will or nature of God, though they doe sometimes the course of nature; for that may bee impossible in respect of the one, which is not of the other. Quod dicitur impossibile secundum aliquam. Parte 1. q. 25. Art. 40. ad. primum. potentiam naturalem, divinae subditur potentiae, saith Thomas; what naturall power calls impossibillity is without dispute possible to omnipotence; and therefore, there is nothing that hath but aQuicquid potest habere ra­tionem entis, comprehendi­tur sub possibil [...]bus, respect n omnipotentiae absolutae. capa­bility of being, that comes not within the verge of Gods absolute power, of his power, though sometimes not of his will or wisedome, for God can doe many things, which these thinke neither convenient nor necessary to bee done. To imagine any thing of God, as if hee did it because he can doe it, is an abrupt and rude presumption; non quia [Page 126] omnia potest facere, ideo credendum est Deum fecisse, eti­am quod non fecerit, sed an secerit, requirendum. God can of stones raise up children unto Abraham, Lomb. lib. 1. dist. 43. ex Aug. lib. de spir. et lit. Cap. 1. but hee never did, nor I thinke will. Potuit Deus ut duodecim legiones Angelorum &c. God could have sent twelve legions of Angells to fight against those Iewes that apprehended Christ sed noluit, saith Lombard, potuit Deus hominem pennis ad volandum instruxisse, God could have given man as well wings as feete, made him soare as goe; non tamen quia potuit, Tert. lib. adversus Prax. cap. 10. secit, saith Tertullian. Potuit, et Praxeam, et omnes pariter haereticos statim extinxisse; hee could have crush'd Praxeas, and all other heretickes in their very shell and first matter, non tamen, quia potuit, D. Aug. lib. de Nat. et Grat. cap. 7. extinxit, (saith the same Father.) Once more, Dominus Lazarum suscitavit in corpore, nun­quid dicendum est non potuit Iudam suscitare in mente? God rais'd Lazarus in body, and could hee not Iu­das in spirit also? potuit quidem, sed noluit, saith S Augustine.

Thus, Antiquity, you heare, still pleades for Gods, Potuit, His infinite Power, the Fathers ge­nerally acknowledge, but they sometimes re­straine the execution of it; and mince it with a Noluit, or a non fecit. And doubtlesse, he can doe more things than he doth doe; if hee would doe them, but he will not; not that there is any de­fect in his Will or Power, but because in Wise­dome he doth not thinke it meet.

Gods actuall Omnipotence, 1 is that, by which he is not onely able to doe whatsoever he wil'd or de­creed to be done;Actualis om­nipotentia. but also, Really doth it, Solo vo­luntatis [Page 127] imperio, at a becke or command; without difficulty or delay, with a meere Dixit & factum est, He speakes onely, and he does it; So does it, that it cannot be hinder'd by any cause or impe­diment whatsoever. And this, the Schooles call againe, Omnipotentia Dei ordinata, Gods ordina­ted Omnipotence; because, hee doth by that what hee hath ordain'd or decreed to doe. And this hath respect to the particular Law of nature; and to a speciall order bequeath'd things by that Law, through which he at first creat'd all things; and still either conserves, or moderates, or de­stroyes them.

Now, as there are many things which God can doe by his absolute, but not his Actuall Omnipo­tence;Pol. Synt. lib. 2. cap. 29. so there are some which he can doe by neither: For instance, he cannot make Contra­dictions kisse, neither can hee beatifie a Stone; for though his Power be infinite, yet he never workes but as it is modefied by his will or wise­dome; which sometimes either prohibit abso­lutely the doing of a thing, or else thinke it not convenient to be done.

And now here's a way made for the Libertine to cavill, the Scepticke in Religion to exercise the venom of his wit, who deale with Gods Po­wer, as some broken Artificers doe with coyne; which either forge a new stampe, or else deface the old: Some dilate and beate it out too farre, others againe doe wash and clip it;Plin. lib. 2. nat. Hist. cap. 7. Superstition gives it too much, and Atheisme too little. Pliny will deny Gods Al-able Power, because he can­not [Page 128] kill himselfe; and Elymas the Magician, because he cannot deny himselfe;Dyonis. lib. de Divin. nom. ca. 8. strong reasons doubt­lesse to puzzle a Divinity, arguments sitter to confirme Omnipotence than to convince it. For if God could give way to his owne death or deni­all, he must lose his two attributes of Life and Truth; and then he should not be so much not Omnipotent in what he could not doe, as in what he did. God were not truely Omnipotent, if hee could doe all things;Haec non po­tentiae sunt, sed infirm talis. D. Aug. lib. 5. C.D. cap. 10. Idem lib. 15. de Trinit. cap. 15. & lib. 1. de Symb. sid. ad Cathcc. ca. 1. to dye, dissemble, lye, de­ceive are rather arguments of Frailty, than of Po­wer; Magna Dei potentia est non posse mentiri, saith S. Augustine. 'Tis a great proofe of Omnipotence in God, that he cannot lye; for, if he were subject to this or the like passions and defects, he could not be possibly God, and therefore not possibly Omnipotent. Every possibility of doing doth respect an active Power from which it may be done, which Power doubtlesse is an absolute per­section: And therefore,Estius l. 1. sent. dist. 42. Sect. 1. lit. E. those things which speak infirmity or defect in the doer are not ascribeable to God, whose omnipotence extends only to the doing of those things, whose effects argue no im­perfection in the doer. Nemo ergo Deum impoten­tem in aliquo dicere presumat; sharpe arrowes of the mighty, with coales of juniper blister that foule tongue which would make God impotent in any thing; and the reason Lombard gives, Quia omnia potest, quae posse, potentiae est, et inde dicitur Omnipotens, in the first booke of his sentences, 42. distincti­on.

And here, with one breath, wee may blow-off [Page 129] the languishing and soule-lesse allegations both of Libertine and Atheist, whose strongest obje­ctions against Gods Omnipotence, are for the most part such as doe not signifie Action, but privation; or if Action, Action with Deformity or Defect, or else such as import motion or mutation, which cannot be without passion, and therefore some imperfecti­on; or lastly such as jarre absolutely amongst themselves, and imply a manifest contradiction; as to suffer, to be deceiv'd, to sinne, to be unjust, to be truth and yet salshood, and the like, which are Symptomes of debility and impotence, and cannot possibly comply with Divine power: Revera, quae­dam non potest Deus, quia-est omnipotens. D. Aug. lib. 5. de C. D. cap. 10. For God is so farre from being omnipotent, because he should doe all things, that he cannot doe some things because he is omnipotent.

And therefore to keepe these in an even Scale, Divines distinguish betweene impossibilities of and in Nature; Impossibilities of Nature are such as exceed the ordinary course and Law of Nature, as that the Sunne should stand still, I­ron swim, Fire not burne, which that God hath caused to doe or not to doe, the Scripture is a witnesse. Impossibilities in Nature are such as repugne the very definition of a thing, and thwart Ens, as it is Ens, which yet never were, and lest they should be, are hindred by Gods ordination and decree; such as imply in themselves a being, and no being; truth, and yet lyes, which are sim­ply and altogether impossible, as that contradi­ctories should bee both true, that a perfect Trian­gle should not have three angles equall to two [Page 130] right, that Lines drawne from the Centre to the Circumference should not be equall: Talia im­posstbilia Deus non potest, Pol Synt. lib. 2. cap. 29. such impossibilities God cannot doe, because contraries cannot subsist in a Nature most simple and immutable; nor con­tradictories finde any roome in an Essence void of all falsehood, in a truth most absolute and perfect. And herein both Schoolemen and Philosophers will countenance and direct us; Sub omnipotentia Dei non cadit aliquid quod contradictionem implicat, Thom. part. 1. q. 25. Art. 4. vn corp. Arist. lib. 6. Ethic. cap. 2. so Aquinas; And, Hoc solo privatur Deus ingenita facere quae facta sunt, so Aristoile; whatsoever implies a contradiction comes not within the verge of Om­nipotence, and Divinity is then put to the non­plus, when it would make a thing done, and un­done at the same instant. The Sententiaries, there­fore, here digge out their Cliffes and bounds; and with certaine words (as by their proper stones and land markes) have limitted and pent in divine power;Estius lib. 1. Sent. dist. 42. §. 1. and they are two, factibile and possibile; and in this sence onely understand God omnia posse, be­cause he can doe omne possibile; and that power which in him they call active, lookes onely to om­ne factibile or agibile; so that his Omnipotence rea­cheth farther than to things able and possible to be done, and all things are contain'd within those possibilities which imply not a manifest contra­diction; and they which doe are more properly said,Aquin. part. 1. q. 15. Art. 3. Non posse fieri, quam quod Deus non potest facere: for in that they cannot be done, 'tis not through any defect of divine Power, but because they have not the nature or reason of things possible: For no [Page 131] understanding can conceive, that truth and salse­hood which are diametrally oppos'd, should possi­bly be reconcil'd, and so the maime rests still in the contrarieties of things, not in divine power; which therefore seemes lame and imperfect, because things cannot be done, not because it cannot doe them. Or should we say peremptorily, as we doe, and did before; that there are some things God cannot doe, we should neither dissect nor weaken the nerves and sinewes of his Omnipotence; for he is most potent which hath an immutable and constant power, and from that Power will not tread aside nor decline; Constancie in the best things being the best power: And therefore those which God hath accustomed to doe (hee being goodnesse it selfe) are doubtlesse the best things; and for him to vary from such, must either que­stion his Mutability or weaknesse, or both; and if mutable, how a God? if weake, how Omnipotent? Hereupon the Master himselfe makes Gods Po­wer principally discoverable in two respects,Lib. 1. dist. 42. lit. E. Quod omnia facit quae vult, & nihils omnino patitur; So that we take for granted there is nothing passive in the Almighty, and that which is of Action is qualified by his will; and the ground hereof is from the great Saint Augustine, D. Aug. lib. 5. C. D. cap. 10. Deus dicitur omni­potens faciendo quod vult, non patiendo quod non vult: And againe, Quod non possit omnia facere, Lib. de spirit. & lit. sed quia potest efficere quicquid vult. So that belike Gods Omnipotence hath not so properly its denominati­on from his Omnia potest, as from his Quicquid vult; God can doe what hee will doe, and there­fore [Page 132] is Omnipotent. And this is the maine string that Prophets, Apostles and Fathers generally harpe on, Omnia quae voluit sccit, saith David: Loe here his Will and Power meet; Voluit, he would doe, there's his Will; Fecit, he hath done it, there's his Power; And this Power not limitted it seemes, for there is an Omnia with the Voluit; All that he would do, he hath done; Psa. 135.6. More­over, Ʋoluntati ejus quis obsistit? saith S. Paul; here his Will and his Power meet againe: For here is an Obsistit, aswell as a Ʋoluntati; no resistance, because there is will; that's a Power with a non ob­stante none can hinder it; a Power as before, with­out limit, intimated in the Interrogatory Quis, Quis obsistit? Who hath resisted his Will? Rom. 9.19. 'Tis a beaten Principle in Philosophy, In perpetuis non differunt esse, & posse, In things perpe­tuall there is no difference betweene Power and Being: Now, the Will of God being perpetuall, his Power is extended no farther than his Will; So that onely, what he wills, he does; and this doing ever order'd by his Will.

And here with one voyce Antiquity sweetly accords,S. Chrysost. Hom. in expo­sit. symb. A­post. ad prin­cip um. Tom. 5. D. Aug. lib. 21. de Civ. Dei. cap. 7. Damasc. lib. 1. de side orthod. cap. 8. ipse est ergo omnipotens, ut totum quod vult, possit; so Saint Chrysostome, vocatur omnipotens, quo­niam quicquid vult, potest; so Saint Augustine, credi­mus virtutem Dei propria voluntate mensuratam, om­nia enim quae vult, potest, so Damascen. Hearke how the quire of Fathers chaunt it? how one Saint war­bleth to anothers quicquid vult, Potest; quicquid vult, Potest. His omniporence they all sing of, but the burden of the song runne's much upon his [Page 133] will; his vult beares a part with his potest, still a part, but not all. God can doe all that hee will doe, but sometimes hee will not doe all that hee can; so that his will doth rather order his power then abridge it. The text sayes plainly, that God could doe nothing unto Sodome till Lot was escaped unto Zoar, hee could not, non posse dixit, (saith S. Augustine) quod sine dubio poterat per poten. tiam, sed non poterat per justitiam Quasi pote­rat quidem, sed non volebat: et ill a volunt as justa erat.; hee could doubt­lesse, but hee would not; and yet his will just, and his power still infinite: so that his will is the rule and square of his justice, and the rudder (as it were) and sterne of his power; it doth manage & dispose, not lessen and contract it.D. Aug. lib. 2. contra 2. Epist. Gaudentij, cap. 22. I shut up this dusky point with that of the great Schooleman, and so involve one cloud in another; Dicitur De­us omnipotens, quia per se potest quicquid vult fieri, et quicquid vult se posse; et nihil vult se posse, quod non possit; et omne quod vult fieri, vult se posse; sed non omne quod vult se posse, vult fieri; si enim vellet, sieret. The words are like the Authour, crabbed and full of knots, and yet easier to be understood, than render'd; If any stutter at them, let them consult Lombard in his first Booke, 42. Distinction, where they may finde matter that will both please, and disturbe their Judgement; and aswell take up the braines, as the pen of the peruser.

Thus at length, the Atheist and Infidell we have hush'd, and all their Cavills examin'd and resuted; let's now heare the Christian speake, what Dialect he uses, how he sings of the Power [Page 134] of his Creator. He enquires not so much what GOD can doe, as admires what he hath done, and still doth. In divine Mysteries, he thinkes it safer to beleeve, than to discusse; and to exercise the solidity and vigour of his Faith, than any Acumen and Pregnancy of his reason. And here is enough to employ all his faculties, imbarque the whole man, set all the engines and wheeles both of Soule and Spirit running, and turne them in end­lesse speculations. Whatsoever is above him, or below him; without him, or with in him; is a fit object of Gods Power, and his owne wonder. When I consider (saith our Prophet) the Heavens, the worke of thy fingers, the Moone and Stars which thou hast ordained, Lord, what is man? Psal. 8. What is man? Nay, How is he? Surely like one in a slum­ber or a dreame; for as he that dreameth hath his fancie sometimes disturb'd with strange objects, which are rather represented, than judg'd of; so in the view of those celestiall bodies, the con­templative man stands (as it were) planet-struck­en in his intellectualls, whilst he considers the Heavens, he loses them; and that Moone and those Stars which should enlighten, dazzle him. The finger of God in them he doth acknowledge, but not discover; he made them by his power, he confesses he ordain'd them, but how he ordain'd or made them so; his apprehension is at a stand or bay, and transported beyond measure, cries out with that afflicted Penitent, Job 26.14. Tonitru potentiae ejus quis intelligat? The thunder of his power who can understand? Canst thou by searching finde out [Page 135] God? Canst thou finde out the Almighty to per­fection? It is high as Heaven, what canst thou doe? Deeper than hell, what canst thou know? If he cut off, or shut up, or gather together, who can hinder him? Iob 11.9, 10.

If we lift up our eyes from the foot-stoole to the Throne of God, and thus lifted up, cast them backe againe; Could they make an exact and un­controul'd discovery of both Globes, see all the wonders and secrets that nature hath there lock'd up in her vast store-house, we should find in each cranny thereof the sway of his powerfull Scepter; Water, Fire, Earth, Ayre limit not his Com­mands, but through the Territories of Heaven and Hell, the Bonds of his Power obtaine a Juris­diction. Will you heare his owne Secretaries speake? The registers and pen-men of Divine sto­ry? How they sing of his Power! How they blazon his Omnipotence! Loe, Isa. 40.12. He metes out Heaven with a span, measureth the waters in the hollow of his hand, comprehends the dust of the Earth in a measure, weigheth the Mountaines in Scales, and the Hills in a Ballance, Isa. 40.12. Here is the whole world cir­cled in one verse, and yet not his whole Power in that Circle; his Power is his Godhead, and God himselfe hath been call'd a Circle. It is he that sitteth upon the Circle of the Earth, and the Inhabitants thereof are as Grassehoppers before him. Marke, He sits there, he is not contained there; There? no, that were above miracle; the greater Circle contain'd in the lesse. The Heathens themselves could tell us, God was an intelligible Spheare, Empedocles. without Dimen­sions; [Page 136] a Circle whose center was every where, no where his Circumference, no where, not in the whole World, not in the Earth, not in the Waters, not in the Heavens that circle both. The Waters (you heare) he measures in the hollow of his hand, the Earth in the same measure, the Hea­vens that containe these in a Span: Here is but a Span and Handfull of his Power, and yet this Handfull graspes the Vniverse. This made our Prophet often sing, and in his song, close as he be­gan; How wonderfull is thy Name in all the World! Psal. 8.1, 9. How wonderfull in all the World! A double wonder indeed in respect of Man, though of God not so; God could not be so wonderfully Great, if man had ability to expresse him: and therefore having none, hee expresses himselfe by himselfe; or at least, himselfe by his Prophets, to whom him­selfe hee dictates; who like men infus'd and in­tranc'd, Speake aloft in sacred Allegories, such as beseeme the Majesty and Greatnesse aswell of the Pen-man, as Inspirer.

And here,Psa. 104.2. what sublimity both of power and language! He clothes himselfe with light as with a garment,Isa. 40.22. stretcheth out the heavens like a cur­taine, and spreadeth them as a tent to dwell in; by his spirit hath he garnished the skie,Job 26.10. and fashi­oned it like a molten looking glasse; In them hath he set a tabernacle for the Sun,Psal. 19.5. which as a Bride­groome commeth out of his chamber,Psal. 103. and rejoy­ceth as a Gyant to run his course. He, he hath ap­pointed also the Moone for seasons, and at his pleasure sealeth up the starres;Job 9.7. He bindes the [Page 137] sweet influences of the Pleiades, Iob. 9.7. and loses the bonds of Orion, brings forth Mazaroth in his sea­son, and guides Arcturus with his Sons,Iob. 38.31.32. Heere all bumane Eloquence is befool'd; Non vox ho­minum sonut: Oh, Dei, certe. Such an expression of God none could frame, but God himselfe; and this made our Prophet finge againe,Psal. 104.24. O Lord of hosts, how wonderfull are thy workes? In wisedome hast thou made them all; who is a strong Lord like unto thee, or to thy power and faithfulnesse round about thee: Psal. 89.8.

Let us now leave the firmament, and (the Lord bowing the heavens and comming downe) see what empire and dominion he hath in the regions of the aire. There,Psal. 104.3. he layeth the beames of his chamber in the waters, maketh the cloudes his chariot, and rideth upon the wings of the winde. Through the brightnes of his presence are coales of fire kindled, lightnings and hot thunderbolts.Psal. 18. There, he hath made a decree for the raine,Iob. 38.28 en 37.16. the ballancings of the cloudes (as Iob styles them) and there hath he begotten the drops of dewe. Thence, he giveth snowe like wooll,Psal. 147.17, 18 and scat­tereth the hoare frosts like ashes, & casteth out his ice like morsells. There,Iob. 28.25 he maketh waight for the windes, he bindeth up the waters in a cloude as in a bottell,Iob. 26.8. and the cloude is not rent under them. This made our Prophet sing aloft, Praise the Lord in the heights, praise him fire and haile, snowe and vapours, stor my winde sulfilling his worde: Psal. 108.1. and 8. verses.

Let us descend once more, and amongst those [Page 138] proud heapes of earth which seeme to lift their heads even to the very starres, observe what sway his power carries there, or rather what terror. He shall thresh the mountaines and beate them smal,Isai. 41.15.16. and make the hills as chaffe; he shall fanne them, and with his whirle winde shall he scatter them,Iob 28.10. and shall overturne them by the rootes.Isai. 40.16. If he be angry, Lebanon is not enough for incense, nor the beasts thereof for a burnt sacrifice. The foundati­ons of the round world are discover'd at his chi­ding,Psal. 18.15. at the blasting of the breath of his displea­sure. This made our Prophet sing againe, The Lord is a great God, and a great King above all Gods, in his hands are all the corners of the earth, and the strength of the hills is his also. Psal. 95.3.4.

Shall wee yet stoope lower, and descending this mount, see how he is a Lord of the valleys, and the inhabitants thereof.Iob 38.6. Loe, the foundation of the earth he hath wonderfully set,Iob 9.6. and laid the corner stone thereof; at his pleasure againe hee shaketh it out of her hindges,Psal. 114.8. and the pil­lars thereof tremble: He turnes the hard rocke into a standing water, and the flint-stone into a springing well. The Nations before him are lesse then nothing, they are accounted as the drops of a bucket,Psal. 149.8. and as the small dust of the ballance. He bindeth Kings in chaines, and Nobles in fet­ters of iron.Isai. 41.2. he gives his enemies as dust to the sworde, and as driven stubble to his bow. He shal rise up as in mount Perazim, Iosh. 10.12. He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon; that he may doe his worke, his great worke,Isai. 28.21. and bring to passe his act, his [Page 139] great act. This made our Prophet sing againe, The earth is the Lords, and all that therein is, the com­passe of the whole world, and all that dwell therein, for he hath founded it upon the Seas, and prepar'd it upon the floudes. Psal. 24.1, 2.

Shall wee now leave the earth, and those that sojourne there, and see the wonders of the Lord in the great deepe?Psal. 33.7. There he gathereth the wa­ters of the Sea together, and layes them up in store-houses; At his commaund, the flouds lift up their voyce, the waves beginne to swell,Iob 41.31. and he makes them boile like a pot of oyntment. Againe, he ruleth the raging of the Sea, and the waters thereof he stilleth at his pleasure.Psal. 93.4. He bindeth the flouds from over flowing, shuts up the Sea with doores when it breakes forth as if it issued out of the wombe, makes the cloude a garment thereof, and thicke darkenes a swadling band,Iob 26.11. breakes up for it his decreed place, and sets barrs and gates, and saies, Hither to shalt thou come, no far­ther, and here shall thy proud waves bee stayed. Iob 38.9, 10.

Shall we yet step a staire lower, and opening the Jawes of the bottom lesse pit, see how power­fully hee displayes his Eanners in the dreadfull dungeon below? Behold, Hell is naked before him, Iob 26.6. and destruction hath no covering. This made our Prophet sing more generally, The Lord is above all Gods; whatsoever pleased him, that did He, in Hea­ven and Earth, and in the Sea, and in all deepe places; Psal. 135.6. Psal. 135.6.

Thus, you heare, God is in the world, as the Soule is in the body, life and government; And as the soule is in every part of the body, so is God in every part of the world: No Quarter-master, nor Vice-gerent He, but universall Monarch and Commander; Totus in toto, & Totus in qualibet par­te, A God every where, wholly a God, and yet one God every where, onely One; whom the vaine conjectures of the Heathen dreaming to be moe, gave in the Skie, the name of Iupiter; in the Ayre, Iuno; in the Water, Neptune; in the earth, Ʋesta, and sometimes Ceres; the name of Apollo in the Sunne; in the Moone Diana; of Aeolus in the windes;Ex D. August. Hot kerus, Ec­cles. pol. l. b. 1. Sect. 3. of Pluto and Proserpine in Hell. And in fine, so many guides of Nature they imagin'd, as they saw there were kinds of things naturall in the world, whom they honour'd as having power to worke or cease according to the desires of those that homaged and obey them. But unto us there is one onely Guide of all Agents naturall, and he both the Creator and Worker of all in all, alone to be bless'd, honour'd and ador'd by all for ever­more.

And is God the Lord indeed? Is he chiefe So­veraigne of the whole world? Hath his Power so large a Jurisdiction? Doth it circuit and list in Water, Earth, Aire, Fire; nay the vaster Terri­tories of Heaven and Hell too? How then doth this fraile arme of Flesh dare list it selfe against Omnipotence? Why doth it oppose (or at least incite) the dreadfull Armies of him who is the [Page 141] great Lord of Hosts? Why doe we muster up our troupes of Sinnes; as if we would set them in bat­tel-aray against the Almighty? Scarce a place where he displaies the Ensignes of his Power, but man seemes to hang out his flag of Defiance, or at least of Provocation; and though he hath no strength to conquer, yet he hath a will to affront; If he cannot batter his Fort, he will be playing on his Trenches; anger his God, though not wound him. In the earth, he meetes him by his groveling Sinnes; of Avarice, oppression, violence, rapine, Sa­criledge, and others of that stye and dunghill. In the Water, by his flowing sinnes; of Drunken­nesse, Riots, Surfets, Vomitings, and what else of that frothy Tide and Inundation. In the Aire, by his windy sinnes; of Ambition, Arrogance, Pride, Vain-glory, and what vapour and exhala­tion else his fancie relisheth. In the Fire, by his flaming sins; of Lust, Choller, Revenge, Bloud and what else sparkles from that raging furnace. In Heaven, by his lofty Sinnes; of Prophanation. Oathes, Blasphemies, Disputes against the Godhead, and the like. And lastly, as if Hell were with man on earth, or man (which is but Earth) were in Hell already by his damned sins of Im­precations, Curses, Bannings, Execrations and others of that infernall stampe, which seeme to breath no lesse than Fire and Sulphure, and the very horrors of the burning Lake. Thus, like those Monsters of old, wee lift our Pelion upon Ossa; Tumble one mountaine of transgressions upon an­other, no lesse high, than fearefull; as if they [Page 142] not onely cryed for thunder from above, but also dar'd it. But wretched man that thou art, who shall deliver thee from the horrour of this death?2 Thes. 1.8. When the Lord shall reveale himselfe from Heaven with his mighty Angels in flaming fire, ta­king vengeance on them that feare him not; what Cave shall hide,2 Sam. 22.9.16. or what Rocke cover them? At his rebuke the foundations of the world are discovered, even at the blast of the breath of his displeasure: Out of his mouth commeth a de­vouring flame, and if he do but touch these moun­taines, they shall smoake;Psal. 104.32. if he but once lift up his iron Rod, he rends, and shivers, and breaketh in pieces like a Potters vessell; he heweth asun­der the snares of the ungodly, and his enemies he shall consume like the fat of Lambes.Psal. 37.20. O then let all the earth feare the Lord, let all the Inha­bitants of the world stand in awe of him, let Kings throw downe their Scepters at his feet, and the people their knees and hearts at those Scepters; from the Cedar of Libanus and the Oke of Basan, to the shrub of the Valley, and the humble Hy­sope on the wall, let all bow and tremble; Prin­ces and all Iudges of the Earth, both young men and Maidens, old men and children; let them all seare, and in searing praise, and in praising sing of the Name and Power of the Lord God, for his Name onely is excellent,Psal. 148.13. and his power and Glo­ry above Heaven and Earth.

On the other side, is the Lord Omnipotent in­deed? Hath his Power so wide a Province and ex­tent? [Page 143] Is the glory of his mighty Acts thus made knowne to the sounes of men? Is his Kingdome not onely a great, but an everlasting Kingdome? His Dominion through and beyond all Generati­ons?Psal. 145.13. Doth hee plant and root up? prune and graft at his owne pleasure?Psal. 147.6. Doth hee raise the humble and meeke, and bring the ungodly down to the ground? Is he with his Ioseph in the prison, with Eliah in the Cave, with Shadrach in the Fur­nace, with Daniel in the Den? Doth hee deliver his anoynted from the persecution of Saul? His Prophet from the fury of Iezcbel? his Apostle from the bonds of Herod? His Saint from the Sword and Fagot of the Insidell?Psal. 104.21. Doth hee cloath the Lil­lies of the field? Have Lyons (roaring after their prey) their food from him? Doth he give fodder unto the Cattell? quench the wild Asses thirst? feed the young Ravens that call upon him? Doth he stop the mouthes of wilde beasts? Quench the violence of fire? Abate the edge of the Sword? Shake the very powers of the Grave, and all for the rescue and preservation of his servants? his faithfull, his beloved servants? Why art thou then so sad, O my soule; why so sad, and why so disquieted within thee? Trust in God,Psal. 147.3. he hea­leth those that are broken in heart, and giveth medicine to heale their sick enesse. Though thy afflictions be many, thy adversaries mighty, thy temptations unresistable, thy grievances unwiel­die, thy sinnes numberlesse, their weight intol­lerable, yet there is a God above in his provi­dent watch-Tower, a God that can both protect [Page 144] and pardon, infinite as well in Mercy as in Power. Are thy wounds grievous? there is balme in Gi­lead: Thy ulcers (in the eye of man) incurable? the Samaritan hath Oyle: he searohes, and poures in, and bindes up, and heales the maladies of those that seeke him with a true heart:Psal. 72.1. Ah quam bonus Israel Deus iis qui recto sunt corde, saith the Psalmist. Doubtlesse, he that watcheth his Is­rael will neither slumber nor sleepe, but preser­veth his children as tenderly as the apple of that eye that watcheth them; hee is their staffe and crutch, and supportation in all their weakenesse; he erects them if they fall, directs them if they erre, succours them if they want, refresheth them in the heate of their persecutions, mittigates the tempests of their sorrowes, moderates the waves of their bitter passions, smiteth their enemies upon the cheeke bone,Psal. 3.7. breakes the teeth of those that rage and grin so furiously upon them; Inso­much that God hath sworne by his Prophet, to have mercy upon the dwelling places of Iacob, and all they that devoure her shall be devoured, and they that spolle her shall bee made a spoile, and all they that prey upon her shall be made a prey; And he will restore health unto her, and cure her of all her wounds, Jer. 30.16, 17. Jer. 30.16, 17.

This should arme us with resolution against that triple assault of the world, flesh and divell, and make us buckle on our harnesse as that good King of Israel did, I will not be afraid (saith hee) for ten thousands which should compasse mee round about: Afraid?Psal. 3.6. No, for ten thousand of men and dan­gers. [Page 145] If calamities hover over me, God is my Tower; if they would undermine me, God is my Rocke, if they come before me he is my Sanctuary, if behind me he is my Castle, if about me he is my Trench, if on my right hand he is my Sword, if on my left hand, he is my Buckler; if any way, he is my shield and for tresse, and mighty deliverer. Then, put not your trust in Princes, nor in any child of man,Psal. 146.3, 5, 6. for there is no helpe in them; Blessed is hee that hath the God of Iacob: for his helpe, and whose hope is in the Lord his God, which made heaven and earth, the Sea and all that therein is, which keepeth his promise for ever. This made our Prophet awake his Harpe and Lute, and cheere­fully sing that Magnificat of his, Praise the Lord, Psal. 146.1. O my soule, praise the Lord, yea as long as I have any be­ing, I will sing praises unto my God. I will bee like a greene Olive Tree in the house of my God, my trust shall bee in the tender Mercie of God for ever and ever, Psal. 52.9.

Once more, and but once; Is God thus indeed a God of power? Questionlesse, and only a God of power? No, the text tells us he is a God of mer­cy too; his goodnes keepes pace with his great­nes, his sanctity with his fortitude;Luke 1.49. He that is mighty, (saith the blessed Virgin) hath done great things for mee, and holy is his Name: Luk. 1.49. Vp­on which place, Stella hath an adverte lector, A note (it seemes) worth observation; Mary there to Gods name joyning both sanctity and power; Quia imperiumet potestas fine sanctitate Tyrannis est, Stella in 1. Lucae v. 49. saith he, Commaund, not season'd with holines, [Page 146] is but Tyranny, Let Nabuchedonozer, and Pharoah stand for instance, whose wickednesse got them the nick-name of Tyrants, which by their power, otherwise had the title of Gods. Empire, there fore, must acknowledge it selfe indebted to reli­gion, godlines being the chiefest top and wel­spring of all true vertues, even as God is of all good things. So naturall is the union of true religion with power that wee may holdly deeme, there is neither truely, where both are not. Insomuch, that where there is commaund without holines, there is not power properly, but cruelty; and therefore, God is not only stiled powerfull, but holy also; Sanctum et terribile nomen ejus, and Con­siteantur nomini tuo magno, quoniam sanctum et terribile est; in the 98. and 110. Psalmes. And 'tis this mixture of Sanctus and Potens, that divides be­tweene the God of Heaven, and those others of Earth; Power and sanctity conjoyn'd proclaime a God; Power without sanctity sometimes a Di­vell. Mistake mee not, I come not here to schoole the gray haire, to cast dirt in the face of the Ma­gistrate; no, I remember well what Elibu said unto Iob, Is it fit to say to Princes, yee are ungodly? Job 34.18. By nomeanes, I leave such reproofes to those saucie and pragmaticke spirits, which will undertake to catechize a God, teach Divi­nity what it hath to doe; for whom the reply of Iob to Zophar shall passe for a counter checke, O that you would altogether hold your peace, and it should bee counted your greater wisedome, Job 13.5. My drift and purpose in this point, is, onely to shew [Page 147] you how prone and head-long those dispositions are to all manner of depravednes, which project rather to bee great, then Good; and this an in­stance or two from antiquitie shall cleere; in which the relation onely shall be mine, the appli­cation (as you bring it home to your owne brests) yours.

It was but an itch of Ambition, and a thirst of Greatnesse, not rectified as it ought that was the ground worke and first staire of Iulians Apostacie, his fiercest enemies did acknowledge, that hee was once a man of rare dexterity and forward­nesse both in Wit & Vertue, and these not without their salt and seasoning of true Religion,D. Aug. lib. 5. de C. D. cap. 21. Sed illam egregiem indolem ('tis both Saint Augustines phrase and testimony) Amore dominandi decepit Sa­crilega & detestanda curiositas, his love of Empire, and a little curiosity to boot, blew off his devo­tions from Christianity to Paganisme; So that the Altars and Oracles of the true God, are now left for those doubtfull and false ones of the Heathens; where instead of Prophets inspir'd from Heaven, hee now consults with the very factors and pro­moters for the Divell, Wizards and Necromancers; incited principally thereunto by the suggestions of Libanius the Sophister: So fatall sometimes it proves to unstable greatnesse, that where men more subtle than sound hang at the eares of it, there's commonly a trench dig'd, no lesse for ru­ine than innovation. Who knowes not that Nero (the meteor and comet of the times he mov'd in) had at first his faire promises of youth, the glow­ings, [Page 148] as it were, and sparks of future Clemency and Goodnesse? For when he was to signe the death of a Malefactor, (which was a solemne cu­stome among the Romanes) his unwillingnesse to doe, with an Vtinam literas nescirem, was (if hee dissembled not) a great argument of his mercie: But when his Power once began to mount, his Cruelty tooke wing also; And at length soar'd so high,D. Aug. lib. 5. de Civ. Dei cap. 19. Vt nihil molle habere crederetur, si nesciretur; There was not so much as a thought of Mercie left, because none of Goodnesse; And now to be savage is no lesse his inclination, than his sport; Sloth and Cruelty (two rare Eminencies in Superi­ours) must innoble him to posterity, where hee seemes to be as greedy of Fame, as before of Bloud; Rome must be called Neropolis, and that moneth and season of the yeare which was for his recreati­on and disport,Annot. Lud. viv. Ib. dem. Neroneus.

What projects will not ungodly men set on foot, first for the advancement of their name, and then the perpetuity; But such a perpetuity is not with­out a kinde of rottennesse: 'Tis a curse the Spirit of God breathes against the wicked, that Their memory shall rot; nothing shall remaine of them, but their Vices; and they sometimes of that stench and loathsomnesse, that the Sent of them is quick, though unsavoury in the nostrills of Posterity.Eccles. 9.5. What lives there of Herod (besides his Lust and Cruelty) but the manner of his death? which was no lesse a prodigie, than his life; the story of the one, being written by the bloud of Innocents; of the other, by the fury of Wormes: And yet how [Page 149] cautelous this Monster was to propagate his ho­nour to After-ages; who doubting the basenesse of his parentage should in future be discovered, burnes the Genealogies of the Jewes, that hee might be thought to have had his discent as roy­all as the rest of his Predecessors. And this is the customary Plea of the Aspirer, (the Gourd and Mushrome in Common-wealth) hee cares not whose name be obliterate, so his owne flourish; causing other families to vanish in a snuffe, whilst his owne must shine like a light in a Watch to­wer, or a Beacon flaming on the top of a moun­taine. I could wish we had not such Foxes in our Vineyards, such Boares about our Forrest, which will not onely feed where they enter, but root out and destroy; like a steepe Torrent driving all be­fore them: or as A sweeping raine (saith Salomon) which leaveth no food. Pride, Ʋiolence, Pro. 28.3. oppress on are too low for them, nothing stands up with the greatnesse of their Spirit, or designe but a Gene­rall devastation, laying house to house, and field to field; like Ravens of the valley,Prov. 30.17 pecking out the very Eyes and Heart-bloud of those that come under the Tyranny of their Bill. And thus, They gather stones for other mens buriall, in which they interre both their Fortunes and their Name; not onely scarifie them alive, but Torment them when they are dead also; strip them of their mo­numentall Rites (the solemne pompe and Tro­phies of the Grave,) ravish their sepulchres, de­face those ensignes and inscriptions which should remarke them to succeeding Times. A Barba­risme, [Page 150] or rather Sacriledge abhorr'd amongst the Heathens, as a Capitall injury and violence to their Manes and infernall Gods; the prophaners whereof they threatned with the torture of all the Furies.

O consider this, All you whom God hath ad­vanc'd either in Title or Bloud above others; thinke it not enough to be Great or Fortunate, but to be Good also; that men may as well sing of your Mercy, as your Power, rather magnifie your com­passion, than murmure at your rigour; you are ex­alted to protect the innocent, not to oppresse them; to relieve the poore man, not to grinde him: The Lazar, and Widow, and Orphan should proclaime your care and pitty, not your insultation; ac­knowledge your Power, rather by their Love, than Feare. Remember the greater you are in place, the nearer you are unto God; and he that is neere unto God, hath a Greatnesse as well of Mercy, as of Power; And as of these you sing unto God, so the afflicted must sing unto you; and as in their calamities, you have been a strength and re­suge for them; so in all your troubles, God wil be a Sanctuary for you; and then you may boldly re­joyce in the words of our Prophet here, I will sing of thy Power, and I will sing aloud of thy Mercy in the morning; because thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.

Gloria in excelsis Deo.


Oſculum Charitatis: …

Osculum Charitatis: OR, MERCY and JUSTICE kissing. A SERMON PREACHED ON CHRISTMAS DAY, Anno Dom. 1635. By Humphrey Sydenham.

Osculetur me osculis oris sui, sunt enim Amores tui meliores vino.

Cant. 1.2.

LONDON, Printed by IOHN BEALE, for Humphrey Robinson, at the Signe of the Three Pigeons in PAULS Church-yard. 1637.



IT was not thought of Old (however the Conditions of Men, and their Times vary) either Presumption or Rudenesse in the Divine, to sa­lute his Superior with a Kisse. Prophets have done so to Kings themselves at their Regall Un­ctions, in the very Dawne of Soveraignty; And A­postolicall men to their greatest Proselites, in the first rising of the Christian Church, where the prime Ceremony was a Kisse; And a Kisse like This I pre­sent you with, Osculum Charitatis, a Kisse of Charity. A Kisse indeed of your owne choice, in your first honouring of it from the Pulpit; and now, in all justice of your countenance at the Presse. A Kisse much like your selfe, and Actions, where there is such a sweet mixture of Charity with Power; that I know not well, whether I should rather magnifie Fortune, [Page] that you are Great; or Vertue that you are Good. Your Noble Deportment in the publike Services of your Countrey, your great and unpattern'd Supplies of your ingag'd and necessitated Friends; your courteous and liber all respects to those despised ones of mine owne Coate (besides the daily flowings of your Elëemosinary Bounties) can speak what temper you are of; In all which, though you wanted not a Trumpet to proclaime you, yet you blew it not your selfe: So just you are to your owne merits, that doing Courtesies, you scorne to blabbe them. Maxima Laus est, non posse laudari; Tua, non velle. It is the greatest argument of Praise, to be beyond it; of Noblenesse, without it. Merit will be Merit without popular acclamations, and common applause doth not alwayes give Lustre to particular ho­nours, but sometimes Suspition. For mine own part, my Style and Disposition both are too rough for a Pane­gericke; And indeed, to sow pillowes under El­bowes, I ever thought fitter for an Upholster, than a Divine. However, let the world know, I no lesse hate. Rudenesse, than Flattery; And as I would not be thought clawing, so not uncivill; especially in religi­ous Ceremonies, in this holy one of the Kisse: which I shall desire you to entertaine fairely and cheerefully, with an even Brow; and not like the coy Dames of our Age, turne the Cheeke for the Lippe, and so lowre a Kisse into a Scorne; That were to lessen you in your former ingenuities, and cast a cloud over those vertues which so make you shine in the opinion of others, and me

The unworthiest of your Honourers. HVM. SYDENHAM.


PSAL. 85.10.

Mercy and Iruth are met together, Righteous­nesse and Peace have kissed each other.

EVery Attribute of GOD, is God himselfe; and God himselfe is principally discovered by those Attributes. Now where we finde Mercy and Truth, and Righteousnes, and Peace, and all these meeting and kissing in one substance, we cannot conceive lesse than a God there, the true God; for the true God is the God of all these. Had the words run onely in the Con­crete, mercifull and true, and righteous and peaceable; David perhaps, or who ever else was Author of this Psalme, might have understood here some earth­ly God, a King, a Good King, as David was; for [Page 156] these also meet and kisse in a religious soveraignty; But since they are in the abstract, mercy, and truth, and righteousnes, and peace, there is a greater Majesty inshrin'd, A King of Kings, and a God of Gods. And what is that God here? In Ge­nerall, and at large, theTriune. Triune GOD, the One God in Three persons; In Speciall, and more parti­cularly, the second person in that One God, CHRIST; For, if we sunder and untwist the Attributes, as they now lie folded in the Text, and so set Righte­ousnesse to Truth, wee shall finde God the Father; if Mercy to Truth, God the Sonne; if Peace to Truth, God the Holy Ghost. In Righteousnesse, there is the Creator; in Mercy, there is the Redeemer; in Peace, there is the Comforter; in Truth, All Three. But if we ranke them again as they stood in their first or­der and so make Mercy & Truth meet, and Righteous­nes and Peace kisse, they kisse & meet properly in the Anointed, and the Saviour, the King, and the Priest, the God and the Man, and the Iudge betweene Both, CHRIST JESUS: Mercy, there's the Saviour, Righteousnesse, there's the Iudge; Truth, there's the King; Peace, there's the Priest; or (if you will have it) Peace, there's both King and Priest; Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedech, Heb. 7.17. Now Melchisedech was King of Salem, and Salem signifieth Peace, so that he is not onely a Priest, but a King of Peace; a Priest and a King, so, for ever.

When the Earth was first in a generall Com­bustion, and her sinfull Rebellions smoaking a­gainst Heaven; when between God and Man, or [Page 157] rather from God to Man, there was nothing to be expected but Fire and Sword; Christ stands be­tweene, like Moses in the Gappe; He is the Attoner and Pacifier, the Propitiation and Reconciliation for all our sinnes, 1 Joh 2.2. And here was Peace in­deed, and this Peace could not be procured with­out Mercy, an infinite Mercy; for a Sonne to interpose betweene an angry Father, and an obstinate offender; nay, a wilfull enemy (for so was Man then) was an Argument of Mercy, you'll say; But to hunger, and to bleed, and to dye for him, and to dye ignomi­niously, and in that death to beare the Curse due to the malefactor too, was an infinite mercy. Thus God commendeth his Love towards us, his exceeding great Love, that when wee were yet Sinners, Christ dyed for us, Rom. 5.8.

I will not trouble the Text, nor Time, nor you, nor my selfe with a Division; what God hath thus ioyned together, let not man separate; Mercie and Truth meete, Righteousnesse and Peace kisse; and let them meete and kisse still, onely give me leave to shew you, How, Mercy and Truth have met, and in whom; and How, Righteousnesse and Peace kiss'd, and For What. Mercy and Truth are met together, Righteousnesse and Peace have kissed each other. I be­ginne with Mercy, and there doubtlesse, we shall finde Truth.

Mercy and Truth have met together.

FOr Mercy, here, the Originall hath the word Rachen from Racham, which signifieth Diligere, [Page 158] to Love, but such a Love as is inward, and from the very Bowells: Now, the Bowells, you know are the Seate of Mercy; and therefore S. Paul presses his Collossians with an Induite viscera misericordiae, Put on the Bowells of Mercie, Col. 3.12. But because, of this Mercie there are manifold Effects, the Greeke hath it usually in the plurall,Origen. in. cap. 12. ad Rom. 1. [...] , Mer­cies; Ad judicandam immensam Dei misericordiam, To shew the Greatnesse (saith Origen) and not onely so, but the Tendernesse of Gods Mercies; And there­fore, wee reade, sometimes, Miserationes, some­times, viscera miserationum; sometimes, Viscera & miserationes: so Phil. 2.1. If there be any Bowells and Mercies, where the Text hath not only the word [...] but [...] ,Cornel. a lap. in cap. 2. ad. Phil. v. 1. which are the same with the Hebrew, Rachamim, miserationes, for Viscera miseri­cordiae: So Christ when he saw the people scatter'd in the wildernesse [...] , sayes the Text, His bowells did yearne, or He had pitty on them, Mar. 6. Hence, compassionate men are call'd [...] , Bonorum Viscerum, Men are good bowells, which we translate Tender-hearted, or mercifull, Ephes. 4.32 So mercifull, that touch'd even at the marrow and intrails for the miseries of another, they could poure out their very Bowells for him. And such were the Mercies of God to Man, when he powr'd out his owne Bowells, His onely begotten Son for us; So the Evangelicall Zachary Prophetically of Christ, By the tender Mercies of God (where the vulgar reades Per Viscera misericordiae Dei, By the bowels of the mer­cy of God) the Day-spring from on high hath visited us, Luk. 1.78.

And to this purpose, Saint Paul labouring the conversion both of Iew and Gentile, Rom. 12.1. doth beseech them by the mercies of God, as tender-hearted mothers their immorigerous children, per abera et ventrem suum, Pet. Mart. in cap. 12. Rom. (saith Peter Martyr) by the wombe that bare them, and by the paps that gave them sucke; Nay more, per viscera misericordiae, by the bowells of mercy, farther yet, per viscera Iesu Christi, by the bowells of Jesus Christ, hee that is wombe, and bowels, and paps, and all mercy; God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowells of Iesus Christ. Phil. 1.8. And certainely, if there were ever bowells of mercy, his were; or ever miseries for those bowells to worke on, ours were; when hee not only pour'd out his affecti­ons, but his very bloud for us, us then his ene­mies, and without him, perpetuall captives, and gally slaves to sinne, and Sathan: And therefore, the Evangelist having (it seemes) no word more Emphaticall to expresse the mystery of incarnati­on by, calls it mercy: Luke. 1.vide St llamin cap. 1. Lucae. and the Apostle cha­rity, Rom. 8. Mercy and Charity? the Analasis of heaven and earth, God and man epitomiz'd: nay, God the man! and therefore, those two great ver­tues, or rather attributes, Symeon in his song, calls salutare Domini, Luke. 2.30. The salvation of the Lord, or rather the salvation from the Lord, from the Lord for man. Hence David rapt in the spirit, and desiring to see the sonne of God, incar­nate; pour's out his request to the Lord, with an O­stende nobis misericordiam tuam, et salutare tuum da no­bis domine, shew us thy mercy O Lord, and grant us thy [Page 160] salvation, Psal. 119 41. thy mercy and thy salvati­on, because from thee; but thy mercy, and our sal­vation, because for us. And this Salvation for us, was a mighty salvation; So runnes the prophecy, Blessed be the Lord God of Israell, why? Hee hath rai­sed up a mighty salvation for us in the house of his ser­vant David. Luke 1.68. A mighty Salvation, and therefore a mighty Mercy; such a mercy as the Apostle cal's, Divitias misericordiarum, riches of mercy; mercie so wonderfully rich, that it is above all Gods workes, all his workes of nature, or miracle, or glory, or mystery. In his workes of nature there was only flatus, or spiritus Dei, the breath of the Lord used, what breath? his Dixit, et facta sunt; which were the breathings of the Al­mighty upon his creatures, he spake, and (for the most part) they were made, and where they were not so; he spake, and breath'd, and they were made good. So God breath'd into man the breath of life, Gen. 2.7. and man was a living soule. Gen. 2.7. In his workes of miracle, there was digitus Dei, the fin­ger of God, so in those done before Pharach, and his wisemen, When magicke was at a stand, and all her spells and inchantments non-plust in the production of lice out of dust, the Sorcerers and Wizards insteed of manifesting their skill, ac­knowledge their impotence, and that great Mas­ter of their blacke art, who had hitherto tutor'd them in lyes, now lectures them a way to truth with a digitus Dei hic, This is the finger of God, Exod. 8.19. In his workes of glory, there is manus Dei, the hand of God, so, those roling torches of the [Page 191] firmament, those bright eyes of Heaven, Sunne, Moone, and starres, with all that spangled and glorious hoast, the Apostle calls, the worke of Gods hand, Heb. 1.10. But in his workes of mystery, especially in this greatest of incarnation, as if na­ture, and miracle, and glory were subordinate, and the breath, or hand, or finger of the Almigh­ty too weake for so mighty a designe, there was Brachium Dei, the arme of God, his mighty arme, the strength of his mighty arme; And therefore the blessed Virgin Mary in a deepe contemplation of it, professes,Stella in 1. Lucae. Dominum potentiam in brachio forti demomstrasse, The Lord hath shewed strength in his mighty arme. Luke 1.51. In that ransome of the Israelites from the Egyptian vassalage, the text sayes, he did it with his arme, his outstretched arme. Psal. 77. with his arme? why not as well there with his finger, or his hande, as with his arme? why? Their freedome from that temporall capti­vity by Moses, was a type of our redemption from our spirituall slavery by Christ, and therefore as the arme was exercised in the one, so in the other too. Wee were in our Egypt here in darke­nesse, darkenes so thicke, that it might bee felt, made slaves to the grindings of a Tyrant, though not a Pharaoh, yet a Prince as he was, of darkenes, and worse then hee was then, of utter darknesse, under his Iron rod and scepter, all the fetters and manacles of sinne and Sathan, till God by the vertue of his Arme knock'd off those yron shackles, and brake asunder the bands of death and darke­nesse. And herein was the worke of his Arme, his [Page 162] mighty Arme, the Strength of his mighty Arme; nay, it was not so properly the strength of his own Arme, as that strength which is the Arme it selfe, the Arme, JESUS. And here in two Prophets meet, Paravit Dominus brachium suum, and Do­minus in fortitudine ventet, & brachium ejus dominabi­tur, The Lord hath made bare his Arme, so Isaiab: His holy Arme hath gotten him Ʋictory, so David. And why hath the Lord thus made bare his Arme? or what is that Victory his holy Arme hath got? What?Isai. 52.10. All the ends of the world shall see his salvati­on, Isa. 52.10. And, His salvation is made knowne in the sight of all the Heathen, Psal. 98.2. Here then still,Psal. 98.2. this Arme is Salvation, and this Salvation, Mercie; and this Mercie Eminent, and this E­minencie in Truth: All the ends of the world shall see it, and it shal be made known in the eyes of all the Heathen, all the Heathen, all the World, all shall see it, shall See it, but not enjoy it; and yet to see it, is the way to enjoy it; and that we may finde that way, and at length enjoy it as we should,Isa;. 52.9. Breake forth into melody, sing together ye waste places of Ierusalem; and not onely those, but the whole Earth: Sing aloud unto the Lord all yee Lands, the round world, and all that therein is: ye sowles of the Ayre, Psal. 98. that sing among the branches; ye Beasts and Cattell upon a thousand Hills, yee that sport also in the deepe, Psal. 104. v. 8. 11, 12. that goe up as high as the mountaines, and downe to the Ʋalleyes beneath. Let the Sea roare and the fulnesse thereof; let the floods clap their hands, and the little hills dance for joy: Let the Nations also be glad, let them sing upon the harpe, upon the harpe with a Psalme [Page 163] of Thankesgiving. Praise him on the Cymballs, ye sons of His, praise him on the Wel-tuned Cymballs: with trumpets also and shawmes praise his Name. Powre out all your acclamations and shouts of Joy, all your Hosannahs and Hallelujahs, yee Saints of his; Sing, and sing aloud unto the Lord, that his mer­cie is thus made knowne upon Earth, and his sa­ving Health among all Nations.

And here we cannot complaine of the Lord as the Prophet did of old;Isai. 63.15. Where is now the sound­ing of thy bowels, and thy mercies towards us? For it is gone, you heare, into all Nations; but ra­ther, where is the sounding of our Thankfulnesse, our singing aloud in Magnificats and Regratulations unto him? Misericordias Domini in aeternum can­tobo, saith, David, I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever, Psal. 89.1. And certainely, if they be Mercies of the Lord, they are Mercies for ever;Psal. 89.1. and if Mercies for ever, great Mercies; and if Mercies, and Great, and For ever too; worthy for ever to be sung by all those that are in misery, e­ven by Kings; by David himselfe, if a King (as he was) in misery. For, Misery hath aswell a For ever, as Mercy hath: And therefore it was neces­sary that God's Mercies should be infinite, be­cause of our miseries; and it was just that our miseries should be infinite, because of our sinnes. Here then, Abyssus abyssum invocat, One deepe cryes unto another; and here, Altitudo altitudinem invo­cat, One height cryes unto another; this Height and Depth will make up Infinitenesse. Now, infinite Sinnes cry unto infinite Miseries, there are the [Page 164] two Deepes: Againe, infinite Miseries cry upon infinite Mercies; and infinite Mercies upon in­finite Truth; there are the two Heights. Once more, Shame is a consequent of Sinne, and death of Shame; and of such a Death, Misery; here is a Great deepe. On the other side, the strength of Goodnesse is Power; and of Power, God; and of God, Eternity: There's a Great Height: Now, between this Height and Depth, what Medium have wee? Mercy still, and how this Mercy but from Truth? and how this Truth but from God? and how from God, but as a Father? And therefore S. Paul calls him, Pater misericordiarum, & Deus totius consolati­onis, The father of Mercies, and God of all Consolation: 2 Cor. 1.3.2 Cor. 1.3. Marke, he is not barely Pater misericor­diae, but Misericordiarum; Generall offences pre­suppose generall Pardons: and therefore the Fa­ther of Mercies, not of Mercie; and he is [...] The Father of them, there is no other. Besides, he is Deus totius consolationis, Vniversall distresses re­quire universall comforts;S. Ber. Serm. 5. de Natal. Dom. and therefore, not on­ly the God of This or That, but the God of All comfort. Againe, he is call'd Miserationum, non ul­tionum Pater, The Father of Mercies, not of Re­venge; For in this, he were rather a God, than a Father; and a severe Judge, than a God; A Fa­ther then of Mercies, not of Judgements: Quià non tam decet patrem indignari, quàm misereri filio­rum, saith S. Bernard: Mercy is more proper in a Father, than Indignation; and therefore a Father of Mercies still: or if these be sometimes mixt with Indignation, Tamen miserendi causam sumit [Page 165] ex proprie, ulciseendi ex nostro, The cause of being mercifull, is from Himselfe: of being angry, from us and our sinnes. On the other side. He is Deus totius consolationis, The God of all Comfort; S. Ber. ut supra. Quià mi­cificè dum misericordiam exercet, omnes mortales conso­latur. He hath a Salve for every wound, a Cordiall for every languishment, for every calamity a Com­fort: And therefore, according to the diversi­ties of Benefits we receive from him, we returne him as well diversities of Attributes, as Thankes. In Weaknesse, wee call him Strength; in Sicknesse, Health; in Misery, Mercy; in Distresse, Comfort. In time of War, he is the Sword, and the Bow; Psal. 18.2. of dan­ger, the Buckler and the Shield; of Persecution, the Castle and the Tower; of Trouble, Psal. 27.1. the Rocke and the Sanctuary. And here the Apostle belike, calls him, The God of hope and peace, the God of Patience and com­fort, Rom. 15.5, 13. Of Peace, in Warre; of Hope, in Danger; of Patience, in Trouble; of Comfort, in Persecution. Of all These he is a God, that is, Lar­gitor (saith Theophylact) the Benefactor or Disposer; his very Deity doth include Comfort,Theoph. in loc. and by his Essence he is not onely Tota, but Totus, consolatio; or rather, Totum consolationis a full Tide and Sea of Comforts; which hee powres out in this life upon his Servants in Tribulation, with such a bountifull hand, that mortall heart is not capable either of receiving or expressing it; but inforc'd to cry out with that blessed Martyr, Satis est Domi­ne, Satis est.

Lastly, he is call'd Pater misericordiarum intran­sitivè, that is, multum misericors, or by the same [Page 166] Hebraisme, Misericordissimus (as both Cornelius and Carthusian glosse it) Father of mercies, Cornel. a lap. in 15. cap Rom. v. 5.13. for most mercifull, or full of mercies; and in that sence, he is said to be the Father of them, as elsewhere hee is the Father of Raine; Job. 38.28. ('tis a quaint speculation the Iesuite hath) because his blessings come in showers, and are not so properly drop'd as powr'd downe up­on his inheritance.Iustin. Gen. in 2 Cor. cap. 1. Moreover 'tis the nature of raine to cherish and refresh the dry and barren ground; and of Mercy, the languishing and thir­sting Soule: And therefore the Psalmist cryes, My soule gaspeth unto thee as a thirsty Land, Psal. 143.6. Psal. 143.6. Now the thirsty Land gaspeth after him as the God of Raine, but the thirstie Soule as the God of Mercy: And yet these, as they are one in substance, so oftentimes in effect and ope­ration too. Mercy extends as well to the unjust as to the just;Mat. 5.45. So doth the Raine, He raineth (saith the Evangelist) as well on the unjust as the just, Mat. 5.45. And doubtlesse both the just and the un­just want it, and desire to be refresh'd with those two dewes of Heaven, Providence and Mercy. Hence is that elegant similitude of the Prophet, As the Hart brayeth after the Rivers of waters, so my soule panteth after thee, Ps 42 1. Here the Sic wil an­swer punctually the Sicut; the Hart (you know, for 'tis a trodden observation) when he is hard chas'd & wounded, immediately betakes himselfe to the next water or River, which is to him both balme and refreshment; and the heart of man when it is sore chas'd and wounded by his manifold sins, flyes to the water and the River too, the River of [Page 167] everlasting waters, and these waters everlasting com­forts, comforts from him that is everlasting, the God of comforts; and who is that God of com­forts, but he that was before the Father of Mercies? And who this Father of Mercy, but he that is the Father of Raine? From the noise of whose water­spouts streame all those blessings which we here call Mercies and Comforts, and these sometimes both in measure and manner extraordinary. And indeed it was requisite (saith Saint Bernard) that many should be Gods Mercies and Comforts, be­cause many were the tribulations of the just; and so Miseria nostra multiplex non medo magnam miseri­cordiam, sed multitudinem quaerit miserationum, as the Father in his 5. Sermon, De natali Domini: a manifold misery doth not onely require a great but a manifold Mercy. And therefore David touch'd it seemes at the quicke with the smart and sence of his transgressions, gives not off his suit with a single importunity, but closely prosecutes the Lord with a Fac mihi gratiam, fac mihi gratiam Do­mine, Be mercifull unto me, O Lord, be mercifull unto me Psal. 57.1. And why this doubling upon mercy, ex­cept his miseries were double? And doubtlesse they were doubly double; and therfore be merci­full unto me be mercifull unto me? & why thus un­to me, unto me: why? Because my soul trusteth in thee, in the 1. v. of that Psalm. Now in what, or in whom should it trust but in the Father of mercies? Or from what, or whō should it expect redresse but frō the God of comfort? & hereon the same Prophet woun­ded in soul, and under the bitter pangs & convul­sions [Page 169] of a griping conscience, dogg'd and pursu'd at the very heeles by the Hue and cry of two foule sinnes, Murder and Adultery, is at length brought unto the barre, and after arraignment and conviction done calls for his Psalme of mercy, and insteed of an Exaudi me Domine, hee comes with a miserere mei Deus. 'Twas before, Heare me O Lord for thy righteousnesse sake, as if hee stood up­on termes of justification, but now both the Tune and the Plea is alter'd: And therefore have mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodnesse, according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my offences, Psal. 51.1. Here we finde Saint Bernard againe with his Magna misericordia, and his Multitudo miserationum, great sinnes require great good­nesse; offences that are not common, the multi­tude of Gods mercies, the multitude of his ten­der mercies; and according unto those, Have mercy upon mee (the Psalmist cryeth) upon mee, thy servant, thy Prophet, the man after thine owne heart: My sinnes are such that they require thy goodnesse, thy great goodnesse; my offences so capi­tall, that they looke for thy mercies, thy tender mercies, the multitude of thy tender mercies, for their sake, and onely for their sake, blot out these my foule corruptions; which if they should still continue in that uglinesse which they now are, whither, O whither should I flye? No flesh is righteous in thy sight; nay, no righteousnesse in me as man meerely, but is as flesh in thy sight, fraile, imperfect, rotten, not able to indure the touch of thy judgements; If thou shouldest marke [Page 169] what is done amisse, who should be able to abide it? Psal. 130.3. Surely not flesh & blood; not I, I that am the miserablest of flesh and bloud; I cannot answer thee one for a thou­sand, Job 9.3. not one for a thousand thousand; so desperate are my sins without thy goodnes, thy great good­nes; so hainous my transgressiōs without thy mer­cies, thy tender mercies, the multitude of thy ten­der mercies. And this ever was & will be the plea of Gods Children in their great extremities; all their thoughts, words, endeavours, then, tread no farther the way to heaven than a miserere mei Deus. If any brain-sick or upstart speculation have found out a newer cut, or a neerer; for mine owne part I give it the Pasport and good speed, that Constan­tine did the Novatian Hereticke, Tollescalas Acesi, Socrat. lib. 1. cap. 7. & in coelum solus ascendas, let Rome suggest me, it is in him that willeth, or Geneva, in him that run­neth; Saint Pauls miserentis Domini carryes the Palme at last; It is not in him that willeth, nor in him that runneth, but in God that sheweth mercy, Rom. 9.16. Those vaine-glorious opinions of merit and perfection here are but the dreames, or delusions rather of two opposite and wayward Sisters, Po­pery and Puritanisme; Non sum dignus, Nonsum dig­nus was the true and ancient ensigne both of sanctity and martyrdome. And therefore the great Patriarch of the Romish Church was infor­ced at last to come in with his Tutissimum est It is most safe (most safe Cardinall? Bellar. de ju­stif. lib. 5. cap. 7. most just) In sola Dei misericordia, only in the mercy of God to re­pose our hope, our confidence, our eternall ex­ectation. And to this purpose one of the candles, [Page 170] or rather stars of the same Church, speaking of the mystery of our redemption,Stella in 1. Lucae. calls it mercy, Quia tale & tam divinum opus sub nullo merito comprehenditur, sed sola divena misericordia factum est: He that hath heard of Bellarmine or Stella, knowes where the Quotations lie.

Heere then, mercy and mercy only is embrac'd, and those old presumptions of merit casheird by some of their greatest Rabbies; Now if I could but reade or heare of so much modesty or so much mercy from some Perfectists of ours (men so pre­tendingly immaculate and pure, as if their hands and hearts were wash'd in innocence, and they could goe boldly to Gods Altar, as if they rather dar'd his justice, then implor'd his mercy) I might at length beleeve (as I doe not yet) that it were possible for a sincere, or a learned, or a not discontented man to turne Chatharist; and so finde out a new way to Heaven by the spirit of oppositi­on, and singularity. If any such Pharisees there be here standing about the Temple, which yet dare vaunt in their plumed righteousnesse, and tell God sawcily to his face, that they are not as other men, Extortioners, vnjust, Adulterers, no not as this Publican, let them enjoy the fruite of their insolent and uncharitable devotions, whilst others and my selfe addresse our Orizons to God in his pensive and humble posture, where wee may find a heart more stooping then a knee, and a looke then either, an eye so dejected and intent, that it dares nor so much as glaunce where it offen­ded, as if one cast of it towards heaven were e­nough [Page 171] not only to dazzle but confound him. Be­sides, a hand so trembling, or rather so feeble, that it moves only to the striking of a sinfull breast, no higher, thoughts so mortified, and ge­sture so lowly, and language so modest, that wee can discover nothing but penitence and submis­sion, and these rather express'd by groanes then words; or if words, broken ones,Luke 18.13. God be mercifull to mee a sinner. And here by the way, we must re­member, that as mercy and truth meete, so peace and righteousnes must kisse too, nay righteousnes and mercy: God is as well a righteous as a com­passionate God, a God of justice as of mercy; nay his mercy sometimes shines the cleerer for his justice, as the Sunne doth neere a storme or thun­der-clapp. His mercyes (saith the Prophet) are above all his workes; All his workes?Psal. 145.9. That as you have heard, is without Quaere; not all his at­tributes too? No though the Apostle seemeth to intimate so much, Misericordia Dei super-exaltat judicium, mercy doth super exalt or gloryes above, or (as some reade it) Against judgement, James 2.13. There is nothing in God majus or minus; His at­tributes, as I tolde you, are himselfe, and there­fore to make one lesse or greater then another, were to make God lesse or greater then himselfe. God is summe simplicissimus, not only one but very onenesse, and therefore whatsoever is in himselfe must be himselfe, and if himselfe, therefore infi­nite, infiinite, then his justice as well as mercy, and all his attributes as either; and yet though mercy and justice as they are referr'd to [Page 172] God, may bee styled infinite, and are; yet in rela­tion to his workes, they have such a reason of their magnitude, as the worke it selfe is either proceeding from mercy or justice. And therefore when God suffers sinnes to passe by unpunished (as sometimes hee does) hee is sayd to bee exceeding mercifull; But when hee doth scourge a little, his justice was not home to the desert of the offender, so that his mercy is said to be greater than his justice (though both be infinite) because in his workes Ad extra, he doth more use mercy in forgi­ving, than justice in punishing offences. Thus, Misericordia Dei plena est terra, Psal. 119.64. The Earth is full of the mercy of the Lord, and it need be full, the mercifull Lord knowes, for the earth wants it, miserably wants it; And Domine in coelo misericordia tua, Psal 36.5. Thy mercy is in hea­ven also; Heaven is full of it, and yet heaven ne­ver wanted it, for there is no misery, but fulnesse of joy for evermore. And are Heaven and Earth thus full of his mercy? where then doth his ju­stice raigne? in both these, but that his mercy is, sometimes, superintendent, and so doth qualify the other, though not impaire it. When justice is at the barre, mercy interposeth, ventures on the very seate of judgement, and not only sits by it, but (sometimes, in respect of man) over it. It doth mellow and sweeten justice, and takes a­way the acrimony and sharpnesse of it. Gods threatnings, I confesse, have sometimes a fearful browe, and like a skie troubled & flak'd with red, intimate fire and bloud, but scatter none; They [Page 173] are sparkles perchance of his indignation, but not coales; sent onely to menace, not to destroy: Or if his vengeance once begin to kindle indeed, so that from his Throne proceed Hailestones and coales of fixe, lightnings and hot thunderbolts, yet his mercies are still sprinkled on those flames, and the very dregs of the cup of Gods sury are temper'd with some compassion; nay, God is seldome seene in any of his workes or his Attributes, but mercy is there either as an agent or looker on; Mercy in his goodnesse, fortitude, providence, wise­dome, Power, nay in his very justice. To bee merci­full and just, and mercy and justice, mercifull and mercy, just and justice, are one with God Essentiali­ter, though not Denominativè; Concretes and Ab­stracts alter not the God-head, but are the same in substance, though not denomination; And therefore, whereas some workes of his are said to be of Iustice, others of Mercy, Non diversitas subja­centis, sed varietas sensuum & effectuum in creaturis monstratur, saith Lombard, there is no diversitie express'd of the thing signified by the words, but the variety of sences and effects manifested in the Creatures. Moreover, in some of his workes there are said to be effects of his mercy; in others, effects of his justice, not that Iustice doth pro­duce one thing, Mercy another; if we referre them to his essence, but because of some effects, hee is understoode to be Index, of others Miserator; or as some please Iustus, et Misericors. In every worke therefore of God, secundum effectum mercy and ju­stice doe not alwaies concurre; but in some mer­cy, [Page 174] in others justice; in others mercy and justice, (as some of the Schoole-men would suggest us) and yet withall confesse, that whatsoever God hath done, Misericorditer egit & Iuste, referring the reason of the speech to the will of God, which is Iustice and Mercy, not to the effects of Iustice and Mercy, which are in things; and yet others conjecture, and they more rationally; that as God is said to doe all his workes justly and mercifully, so it is to be granted, that in every such worke there is mer­cy and justice, Secundum effectum too, because there is no worke of God in which there is not an effect, or at least a signe of equity and clemency, either con­ceal'd or open; for sometimes his clemency is ap­parent, and his equitie hid; and sometimes E converso, as the Master of the Sentences more at large in his 4. Booke 66. distinction.

Now, as Mercy and Iustice goe hand in hand in respect of God the Father, so they doe also of God the Sonne; Omnia quae Dei sunt, Christus est, saith Origen, Christ is Gods All, Wisedome, San­ctity, Providence, Fortitude, Iustice, Mercy, and all these One, but one here as before, by way of Es­sence, not Denomination. To be Iustice then, is to be as Essentially Christ, as to be mercy; and to bee iust as to be mercifull; wee cannot divorce nor se­ver them; for loe, mercy and truth here meet to­gether, righteousnesse and peace doe kisse each o­ther, meet and kisse in the same Christ. Thus I­saiah calls him the Prince of peace, Isai. 9.6. and Ieremy, The Lord our righteousnesse, Jer. 23.6. Here [Page 175] Righteousnesse and Peace kisse againe, and as they kisse, mercy and iustice meet, mercy as hee is the Prince of peace, Iustice as the Lord our righteous­nes. One Prophet sayes, that he is Fons misericordiae, another that he is Sol iustitiae: So that belike hee hath as well the face of a Lyon, as of a man; of a Judge, as a Mediator; and therefore hee came not onely to governe, but to iudge the Nations. Government presupposes mercy; and iudgement, truth; and therefore he is called, mercy and truth towards Israel, Psal. 98.3. Loe here mercy and truth kisse, and as they kisse, peace and righteous­nesse meet, meet and kisse in the glorious Bride­groome Christ Iesus.

Thus, All the wayes of the Lord are mercy and truth, Psal. 25.9. Misericordia, quâ placabilis est; D. Aug. ad psal. 24. v. 9 veritas, quâ incorruptus est, allam praebuit donando pec­cata, hanc opera [...], faith Saint Augustine: 'Tis mercy then makes God not implacable, and 'tis truth that speakes him not corrupt, by the one he is ready to forgive, by the other to censure and scanour Actions. His mercy therfore still leaneth to his truth; and his truth declines not from his iu­stice. All the wayes of the Lord are heere; all the waies, by which he either descends unto us, or by which we ascend unto him. By his truth, heaven first came down unto earth; and by mercy earth climb's up again to heaven; 'tis truth, qua a malo declinamus; & 'tis mercy, qua bonum facimus. Lom. lib. 4. dist. 66. In these two are all Gods workes included; and these two goe hand in hand with his iudgements. To­wards his Saints, all his waies are mercy: towards [Page 176] the wicked, all his wayes are Truth; Quià & in ju­dicando subvenit, & sic non deest misericordia, & in miserando id exhibet quod promisit nè desit verit as. To all those then that hee doth either pardon or condemne, all his wayes are Mercie and Truth; Quià ubi non miseretur vindictae veritas datur, as S. Augustine pleades it in his 19. Sermon upon the 5. of Matthew.

They then that would divide and sunder the Lord of Life, and cleave (as some doe) his mercie from his Iustice, deale with him as some curious Limners and Painters doe, who commonly picture him with a halfe face: That which is of mercy, is transparent and lovely to the eye, the other of Iustice, is shadowed and understood. But certainely, they that would looke upon him, as All mercy, deale too much with the spectacle and the multiplying glasse, where the thing they de­sire to see, shewes greater than it is; and so en­deavouring to aseist the eye, they coozen it. Iustice no doubt, is as visible as Mercy, but that Flesh and Bloud is apt to turne the perspective the contrary way; and so beholds Iustice in a small letter, but turning it againe, views Mercy in a large print. In such a case, I should rather chide, than coun­sell; did not the Sonne of Syrach put in his cave­at here,Ecclus. 5.5. & 6. concerning Propitiation, Bee not without feare to adde sinne to sinne, and say not, His mer­cie is great, he will be pacified for the multitude of my sinnes, for mercy and wrath come from him, and his Indignation resteth upon Sinners: Ecclus. 5.5. & 6.

'Tis true, the Mercies of the Lord are infinite, but his promises of them are, for the most part, conditionall and restrain'd; like as a Father pit­tyeth his owne children, so is the Lord mercifull;Psal. 103.13. but to whom? Timentibus eum, to those that feare him. Psal. 103.13. So againe, the mercyes of the Lord are throughout all generations; All gene­rations? How? Timentibus eum, to those that feare him throughout all generations. Luke 1.50. No feare then, no mercy; But is there alwaies mercy where there is feare? yes, this Timentibus eum, joyn'd with a Credentibus ineum; if feare goe with beliefe, and filiation with feare; not else. Yea, but the Di­vells beleeve and tremble too, is there not mercy for them? Origen will say there is, and (after some expiration of yeeres) Salvation too: And for the better colouring of his tenet, he hath as well text for the Divell, as the Divell had for Christ; Hath God forgotten to be gratious, or will he in his anger shut up his tender mercyes for ever. Psal. 77. From which words he endeavours to lenifie those often breathings against the wicked, Vt ter­ribilus dicta, quam verius, as if they had more hor­rour in them than truth, and us'd only to awe ma­lefactors, not to punish them. But this wilde fancy of his the Church long since spewed out as erronious, and interprets that anger of God, which he formerly urg'd in the behalfe of the damned, not any divine perturbation, but their owne damnation, which is frequently in scrip­ture call'd anger, and that anger endlesse; and therefore the Psalmist sayes, Inira sua, non ad fini­endam, Lib. 4. dist. 66. [Page 178] or post iram suam, as the Master glosseth it. And doubtlesse, as the glory of Gods chil­dren is endlesse, so is the destruction of his ene­mies; The text oftentimes resembling their tor­ments unto fire, fire unquenchable, everlasting fire; Everlasting in respect of time, though some­times not of rigour: And herein is mercy still, though no salvation; mercy, in that there is a qua­lification of punishment, not salvation, because no termination of time for that punishment. Hereupon, Saint Augustine in his enarrations u­pon that of the Psalmist, The mercy of the Lord en­dureth for ever, Psal. 106. From a double version of the word ever, gathers a double observation of mercy. The Septuagint reades it [...] , In ae­ternum. Saint Ierome (whom the Father followes) In seculum; Now there is a mercy (saith he, Qua nemo sine Deo beatus esse potest, by which, no man can be blessed without God; that is not injoy­ing him; And this he calls mercy [...] , In aeternum. There is a mercy besides Quae miscris ex­hibetur, which is afforded to men in misery, such a mercy as either involves barely a consolation; or else such a mercy as presupposes freedome, and this he calls mercy In seculum, D. Aug. ad Psal. 105. that is, (as he in­terprets himselfe) In finem seculi, in quo nòn decrunt miseri quibus misericordia praebeatur: At the gene­rall and dreadfull assize, at the last day, some shall not cease to be miserable, to whom mercy is allowed; and so to the Divell, his Angells, and the reprobated drove, there is a mercy granted, a mercy, not of inlargement, but relaxation; and [Page 179] so that mercy may be said to be eternall, on their eternall misery, Non aeterno supplicio finem dando, Lomb. lib. 4. dist. 66. sed levamen adhibendo, not by Ending, but by Easing their everlasting torments. And here,D. Aug. ut sup. Quis audeat dicere, saith the Father, who durst say, this Easing is not Mercy, or this Mercy not Eternall? His mer­cie endureth for ever, His mercy endureth for ever; His mercy endureth for ever; 'Tis the burden and un­der-song the Prophet useth thrice in one Psalme, and 26. times in another. Whither then (O God) shall wee flie from thy Power? or whither so flying, but to thy Mercy? If wee climbe up to Heaven, Mercy is there; If we goe downe into Hell, Mercy is there; If we take the wings of the morne, and flye to the uttermost parts of the Earth, Mer­cy is there also: 'Tis in Glory, Exile, Torment; Psal. 118. A­bove beyond, under us; with thy Friends, thine A­liens, thine Enemies, thy glorified, thy dispersed, Psal. 13. thy condemned. Mercy, Before the world; and Mercy, Af­ter the world; Mercy, From everlasting; and Mercy, To everlasting: Mercy, when there was no Time; and Mercy, when there shall be Time no more; Mercy from that immortality which hath No be­ginning; and Mercy to that immortality which hath Noend; Infinite, Incorruptible, Aeternall: For his Mercy endureth for ever, for his Mercy endureth for ever, for his Mercy endureth for ever.

Well then, Is God the God of Mercie? And Christ the Christ of Mercie? Are we Christs? and Christ God's? Let us then be the Sonnes of Mercy too, being mercifull as our Father in Hea­ven is mercifull; forgiving one another, as God [Page 180] for Christs sake forgave us. Let there not be a Nabal murmuring within us, no heart of stone for the hammer of the Law to batter, but hearts of Flesh, soft and pliable to the miseries of others; And as God hath powred out his bowells for us, so let us powre out our bowells for our brethren, our bowells of Pitty and Compassion. Remember what the counsell of S. Ierom was to Demetriades the Virgin,S. Hieron. parte 3. Tract. 5. Ep. Epist. 17. Laudent te esurientium viscera, non ructantium opulenta convivia, Let the great mans Voyder be the poore mans Basket; the emptying of his Abundance, the Accommodation of the o­thers wants. Hunger will not be fed with Ayre, nor misery with good words; they must have a taste of the Meale in our barrell, and of the Oyle in our Cruse: Let's abate somewhat of our super­fluities, to supply their necessities;Sint tua su­persiua pau­peris necessaria Sen. ad Lucil. Ep. 51. Bleed this Plurisie of ours, and Cordiall their Consumption; Let the Naked be cloth'd, the Hungry fed, the Impotent provided for, the Sicke visited; Give not for Bread a Stone; nor for a Fish a Scorpion: But let our hands speake, what our hearts meane; our Almes tell that our thoughts are compassionate; And not like those flinty professours, which turne Gospell into Law; Christianity, into Barbarisme; A poore widow, or Lazar, or Orphan, are an Abominati­on at their gates. The story of Hatto and his mice reviv'd, Away with such vermines as these, which de­voure our Corne, they stand neither with our profit nor the Law. A morsell of Bread for Gods sake, or a penny for the Passion of a Saviour, they choak with a penall statute; and their Charity is a Lex [Page 181] prohibet; Fie on this cruell Mercie, it holds not with the Law. If a Collection for the disasters of Fire, or Wracks, or distressed captives be pre­sented them, (though stamp'd with the Authori­ty of a Regall Pattent) yet, Away with this Non obstante, 'tis against the Law; Nay, if Tribute be required for Caesar himselfe, a supply demanded for the ships of Tharshish, a Rate to be levied for the Royall Navy, to the honour of their Prince, the Terror of other Nations, and the future preserva­tion of their Owne; they are up presently with their Passive Obedience, Goods forsooth they have, but in this case, Money they have none; (though all the while they tumble in Bonds and Morga­ges) And why? 'Tis against the Law. Thus, they make the meere Letter of the Law, Their Oracle; A Statute, their Teraphin or tutelary God; Their Religion, Faith without Workes; Their Allegi­ance, murmuring; their Church, Mutiny; their Charity, Implacablenesse; their Compassion, Bridewell; their Almes, a whipping Post.

O crudelis Alexi—
Nil nostri miserere? —

Argier, or the Holy Inquisition are scarce so mercilesse.

Againe, Is God the God of Truth? and Christ the Christ of Truth? Let us then be Christians in Truth too: not onely in the Barke and Shell, in outward deportment and resemblance, (as too many are) but at the very Core and Kernell; in Reality and Substance also. He that is not sound at heart, is little better than rotten in all his parts; And [Page 182] that Religion which hath not warmth within, is ei­ther Cold, or Counterfeit, or Both: A Cake on the hearth not turn'd, the Prophet sharpely condemn'd in E­phraim, and your halfe-bak'd Christian is an Abo­mination to the Lord. What we professe to be, let us be wholly; least we prove at last to be nought at all: Let us not have a Tongue here at home, and a Heart at Geneva; our pretence for the reformed Church, and our project for the Romish; But if we be for Baal, let us goe after him; If for the Lord, let us goe after Him.

Lastly, Is God a God of Righteousnesse and Peace? Doe they kisse both in the Father, and his Sonne Christ Jesus? Let them kisse therefore in Vs also that are Christians, That as we are his Sonnes by Adoption, so we may likewise by Imita­tion. Let us endeavour to be Righteous, as He is Righteous; at least in similitude, though not in equality; to be the Sonnes of Peace, as he is the God of Peace; turning our Swords into Sythes, & our Speares into Pruning-hookes; that the voyce of War and Dissention be no more amongst us. Away with those waters of Marah and Meribah, those over­flowings of bitternesse and Strife; let the silent Streame glide amongst us, no Raging of the waves, Rising of the flouds, no Noyse of the water spouts. But let us all endevour to keep the unity of Spirit in the bond of Peace.

Remember whither you are now going, to the Lord's Altar; and he that comes thither, must have his hands wash'd in Innocence, and his heart in [Page 183] Peace. It is the Altar of Attonement and Reconcili­ation, and there is no Reconciliation with God, except there be first Peace with thy Brother.

If thou bring thy gift to the Altar, and there remem­brest, that thy Brother hath ought against thee: Leave there thy gift before the Altar, and goe thy way, first be reconciled to thy Brother, and then come, and offer thy Gift; as our Saviour adviseth thee, Matth. 5.24. Looke not here for mercy from God, except thou hast first Charity with man; How canst thou ex­pect forgivenesse of thy Trespasses, unlesse thou forgive Them that trespasse against thee; Forgive then, and thou shalt be forgiven: Seeke Peace, and thou shall finde it, even That Peace which passeth all understanding; And let That Peace alwayes keep your hearts and mindes in the knowledge and love both of God and Man: And, The Blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Sonne, and the Holy Ghost be with you, and remaine with you, now and for ever. Amen.

Gloria in excelsis Deo. Amen.

The Blinde Epheſian: …

The Blinde Ephesian: OR, IGNORANCE unvail'd. A SERMON PREACHED Ad POPVLVM, at Henton S. GEORGE in Sommerset. By Humphrey Sydenham.

Revela, Domine, Oculos meos, ut intuear mirabilia de Lege tua.

Psal. 119.18.

LONDON, Printed by IOHN BEALE, for Humphrey Robinson, at the Signe of the Three Pigeons in PAULS Church-yard. 1637.



WIth a bold dedication I have this humble suit to preferre; that you measure not the disposition of the Offerer, by the quality of the Pre­sent. For if I had not as wel known the greatnesse of your Charity. as of your Iudgement, I should not have thus profan'd a Noble Altar with a blind Oblation; which amongst those Legall sacrifices of old was ever so much below acceptance, that it was not farfrom Abomination. I must ingenionsly confesse, this [Page] Peece was design'd elsewhere; and perhaps, im­portuu'd also: but then in all probability, the blind should have led the blind, and so, both falne into the Dyke together: with you, I am sure, as well of a Cherisher, as Dire­ctor, (and such a one our Ephesian wants) who in his first offer to the pulpit, trip't a little (so apt blind people are to fall) but it was in the mis­prision of the hearers, which commonly receive things according to Fancy or guilt, and soldome to the intention of the Speaker. However, he is now on his legs again, & will adventure under your Countenance and Conduct, to travaile the world a while, where wanting the benefit of his owne eyes, he shall be guided by the quick­nesse and clearnesse of Yours; which can di­stinguish betweene things really blind, and those which are metaphorically, and in tittle onely, such are the Freewill offerings of

Your poore Servant, and Allie, HVM. SYDENHAM.

THE Blinde Ephesian, OR, Ignorance unvail'd.

EPHES. 5.8.

Yee were sometimes darknesse, but now ye are light in the Lord, walke as Children of light.

NOthing so much debaseth man and brings him downe to Beast, as a wilfull neglect or ignorance of morall and sacred principles. Our Apostle (you know) hath been formerly at Ephesus, where instead of incountring men, 1 Cor. 15.32. hee himselfe testifies that he fough: with beasts, a peo­ple belike as brutish in their manner of deportment [Page 190] as Religion. Now Ephesus was the Metropolis of Asia the lesse; a Citie, saith Saint Ierome, stupid­ly affected to Magicke and Idolatry, In praemio Comment. hu­jus Epist. in chiefe re­mark'd for that renowned Temple of her great Goddesse Diana, which as it was the Mother of much wonder unto other Nations, so of supersti­tion to her owne; for instead of those Magnificats and Hosannahs which were proper onely to the true God,Act. 19. v. 28. & 34. Great, great is the Lord, and worthy to bee praised; how excellent is thy Name in all the world, Psal. 8. Here the unruly shout of Crafis-men and Shrine-makers (so busie are Mechannicks still in matters of Religion) are loud for a more glitte­ring Deity, and cause both the streets & the Tem­ple to ring,Act. 19.26. Great is Diana of the Ephesians, Great is Diana of the Ephesians: Saint Paul therefore pit­tying their blindnesse, and willing to reduce them from darknesse unto light, tells them that they were no Gods which were made with hands, but the braine-sicke sancies of those that made them; and withall, acquaints them with a new Divinity, which they had not heard of, and hearing perhaps could not well understand, o­pens to them the mystery of a Trinity, tells them of Three Persons in one God, nay that three per­sons were but one God, and yet every one of these persons a true God, that there was a Father from everlasting which was Divine, and a Sonne so too, very God of very God, begotten before the world, and before all time, and yet brought forth after there was a world, and in the fulnesse of time. This could be no lesse than a Riddle to Flesh and [Page 191] bloud, and more apt to stagger a naturall under­standing than informe it. But that God who wrought miraculously in the Creation of man, doth also in his Conversion. His Apostle here shall doe that by the secret operations of the spirit, which the subtle powers of Art and reason, with all their acutenesse and sublimity cannot possib­ly aspire unto.

And now he begins to preach unto them Christ Iesus, and him crucified;1 Cor. 1.23. a matter of folly unto some, of stumbling unto others, but of salvation here; and this great worke is not to be done sud­dainely, or with a flash, but requireth both time and teares, diligence and compasaion, as if in matters of spirituall imployment, God not onely expect­ed the tongue or hands of his Ministers, but their eyes also; for so Saint Paul tells the Elders of Ephesus at Myletum, Acts 20. that Hee ceased not to warne every one night and day with teares. And this he did for the space of three yeeres, untill a com­motion being rais'd against him by Demetrius the Silver-smith (one that more lov'd his owne gaine than Religion, as most mercenary men doe) hee departed into Macedonia, leaving Timothy at Ephe­sus for the farther growth of that Doctrine which hee there seeded. Not long after, going bound in spirit to Ierusalem, and from thence to Rome, where he was in bonds, and fearing that the Dog might againe to his old vomit, hee writes this E­pistle to Ephesus, by Tychicus the Deacon;2 Tim. 4.12. not to the dispersed Iewes, there, or Iudais'd Christi­ans, as some conjecture, for these had formerly [Page 192] revolted,2 Tim. 1.15. Phygellus and Hermogenes being chiefe, but to the converted Gentiles; for so he himselfe profess'd, Ego Paulus vinct us Iesu Christi, pro vobis Gentibus, in the 3. chapter of this Epistle: In which he is not onely carefull for the suppressing of Heresies which were like to rise, or else already growne; principally those of the Symonian Sect, and the Schooles of the Gnosticks, Epiph. lib. 1. contra Haeres. as Epiphanius notes; but also for the perfecting of that great worke of Christianity, which hee had with such danger begun, and with such difficulty proceeded in. And therefore, here, like a discreet Monitor, he first puts them in mind of their primitive con­dition, 1 what they formerly were, Yee were some­times darknesse; 2 Then of their present state and happinesse what they now stood in, Ye are light in the Lord: 3 And lastly, of their conversation in the future, what a holy strictnesse should carry them in after-times, Walke as children of light. These are the branches the Text naturally spreads un­to, and because they are large ones, and each par­ticular full enough for the whole body of a dis­course, I shall pitch my meditations, for the pre­sent, on the former onely, and so confine both my selfe and them to the very front of the Text, Era­tis olim Tenebrae, Ye were sometimes darknesse.

And here, lest we fall a stumbling in the darke, and with the Israclite wander up and downe under the Cloud, let us inquire a little what darknesse is? or rather what it is not? then what it is, or is not, in the Text here; and so make up the Ana­logie betweene both. Now darknesse is nothing [Page 193] else but Absentia luminis, a Non-residency (if I may so stile it) or vacancy of light.Qui diligenter considerat, quid sint tene­brae, snil aliud invenit, quam lucis absentiam. D. Aug. lib. de Gen. ad lit. im­perfecte. And to this pur­pose Moses tells us, that in the beginning, when the earth was without forme, and void, Tencbrae erant super Abyssum, Darknesse cover'd the face of the deepe: which is all one (saith Saint Augustine) with Non erat lux super abyssum, There was no light upon the face of the deepe: So that the Father would have darknesse there, to be onely Informitas sine lumine, A prodigie without light, blemishing and dimming that rich beauty and lustre which should radiate and enlighten the whole world. And indeed, if we critically enquire into the o­riginall of things, wee cannot bring darknesse within the verge of Creation; wee reade of a Fiat lux, let there be light, but no where of a Fiant tenebrae, let there be darknesse; as if with darknesse God had nothing to doe; nothing in­deed in respect of Creation, but of Ordinance or Ad­ministration: For God made the Species of things,Nè vel ipse privat ones non haberent suum ordinem. D. Aug. ut su­pra. not privations; not made these, but dispos'd them, least privations themselves should not have their order; God managing, though not creating them, who is the God of Order. Now, light you know is a created quality, not made (as I told you) but ordain'd onely; like a rest in a Song, where though there be an intermission of voyce for the present, as if there were neither voyce nor Song, yet if it be rightly tim'd and order'd, makes the Song more melodious, and the art fuller: Or like shadowes in wel-limn'd Pictures, which give the other life and excellence, but in themselves Non [Page 194] specie, sed ordine placent, their shape is not pleasing' but their order. Wee say not, nor dare not say that God was the causer of this Ephesian darknesse, but doubtlesse he was the Disposer of it, otherwise it had never beene advanc'd to this Lux estis in Do­mino, yee are now light in the Lord. God is not the Authour of any obliquity or crookednesse in our wayes, but he is the Orderer, and turnes them oftentimes to our punishment and his glory; Nay oftentimes, (O the depth and riches of his mer­cyes') from our punishment to our owne glory, converting this Eratis olim tenebrae to a Lux estis in Domino, making that which was sometimes dark­nesse, to be now light in the Lord.Quaedam sunt quae Dens ord­nat & facit; quaedam quae ord nat tantù D. Aug. ut sup: There are some things which God both makes and ordaines, and some which he ordaines only. The just which are as light, as the shining light, (saith Solomon) which shineth more and more unto the perfect day, God not only makes, but ordaines; The wicked, which are as darknesse, and a continuall stumbling, he ordaines only, not makes, not makes them wicked, but men; So that, although both are not made by him, both are disposed of, though in a different manner disposed of; The one Ad dextram Dei, On the right of God, with a venite Benedicti Come yee blessed; The o­ther Ad sinistram On the lest, with an Ite maledicti Goe yee cursed. And indeed, whither should light goe, but to him that is Pater luminum The Father of lights? Iames 1.17. Or whither should darkenesse tend, but to him that is Princeps tene­brarum, the Prince of the power of darkenes. Mat. 9.34.

You heare then, that where light is, there is life too; and where there is darkenesse, death; And these two are as distant as the two poles, as opposite as two contrary winds, or tydes, diffe­ring, sicut nuditas & vestimentum, as nakednesse and a garment doth;D. Aug. lib. de Genes. ad lit. imperfect. Now as in scripture there is some Analogie betweene light and a garment, so there is betweene nakednesse and darkenesse. The Psaimist describing the majesty of God, saies, that he was Amictus lumine sicut vestimento, cloath'd with light as with a garment, Psal. 104.2. Here garment and light shine both together, and with them life. Iob, typifying unto us the flee­ting and unstable condition of the Rich, under the sudden losse of his goods and children, with his mantle rent, and his head shaven, at length prostrates himselfe with a nudus exibo, Naked came I out of my mothers wombe, and naked I shall returne. And what of this nakednesse? what? nay whi­ther? Ecce, in tenebris instruo Cubile meum, Behold, Iob. 1.21. I have made my bed ready in the darkenesse, Job 17.13. Here nakednesse and darkenesse sleepe together, and with them death. And hence, I suppose it is that the Evangelist calleth darkenesse Vmbra mor­tis, The shadow of death. Luke 1.79. And the Pro­phet (whence he had it) Regionem umbrae mortis, the Land of the shadow of death. Isay. 9.2. Death, and shadow of death, and the land of the shadow of death; and of all these Darkenesse is an Hiero­glyphicke, or Embleme, or both; as if there were no other misery to expresse them by, but darke­nesse. And indeed, Darkenesse is a great misery [Page 196] and seldome mentiond in sacred story without in­timation of some curse or punishment. So, for the unprofitable servant,Math. 25.30. wee finde that the doome is Vtter darkenesse; And for the Angells that fell, Chaines of darkenesse; Iude 6.13. And for the wandring starres Blackenesse of darkenesse for ever. Nay, when God himselfe speakes in terror to the world, (the Earth trembling: and the foundation of the Hills shaking because he is wroth) A smoake out of his nostrills, and a devouring fire out of his mouth, are not astonishment enough; but as if there were nothing else to ripen horrour, Hee makes darkenes his secret place, his Pavilion round about, darke waters, and thicke cloudes of the skie. Psal. 18.11. And therefore, in mount Sinay, at the promulgation of the law, lightning and thunder and the noise of the trumpe, and the smoaking of the mountaine like a furnace were too light, it seemes, to cause a generall palsie and trembling in the campe of the Israelites; But to make terror solemne and compleate, and set her up in the chaire of state, there must be a thicke cloude also, and to make that thicknesse more dreadfull, Thicke Darkenesse too: Exod. 20.21 And lastly on mount Calvary at the satisfaction of the law, when part of the world seemd to dye, and part to resurge in the death of her Saviour, the Temple cleaving, the Earth quaking, the Rockes rending, the Graves opening, and many Bodyes of the Saints which slept, arising; Yet, in this there was not a full pompe, either of for­row or wonder, not mourning or miracle enough for the tragedy of a God; But the heavens must [Page 197] be cloath'd with blacknesse, and sackcloth shall be a covering; And as if one light languish'd for the extinguishing of another, The Sunne it selfe shall blend and looke heavy to see her maker eclipsed, and Darkenesse, like a sad manile shall over-spread the whole land from the sixth houre unto the ninth houre. Matth. 27.45.

By this time, you may conceive what Darke­nesse is, and the miserable estate and condition of those that lye captiv'd under her bands and fet­ters; Now 'tis time to reflect more particularly, upon the text, and enquire what the darkenesse was that is there complain'd of, what that, which of olde so manacled the Ephesian. Yee were sometimes Darkenesse. Darkenesse here,Beza & Cor­nel. alap. in locum. hath a metonimicall sence; and is (if you wil take the word of a Iesuite, or if not his, Beza's) more then ordinarily empha­ticall, Tenebrae being vs'd for renebricosi, Darkeues for those which are in the darke, as wickednesse is oftentimes taken for those that are wicked, but darke or wicked in a superlative way. Now as before Darkenesse was an absence or privation of the light naturall, so it is here of the light spiritu­all, and is a type or figure of man in naturalibus, a representation of the state of nature before grace; and such a state is a very darkenesse, in which there is not so much as a glimmering of this Lux estis in Domino, yee are now light in the Lord; But rather a blind relique of this olim tenebrae in the text here, that darkenes which of old so be sotted our Ephesian; And what is that darkenesse but igno­rantia veritatis, an ignorance of divine truth?Aret. in locum. and [Page 198] imports only caecitatem innatam, caliginem mentit de Deo & Divinis, an inbred blindnesse cast as a mist upon the soule, a mentall dimnesse and obscurity in respect of God and things divine; So that where such ignorance dwelleth, there is no light at all, but darkenesse hangs like a thicke fog about it. First, Darkenesse in the eyes, Psal. 69.23. Then, Darkenesse in the heart, Rom. 1.21. And at last, Darkenesse in the understanding too, Ephes. 4. And why this threefold darkenesse? Darkenes in eye, in heart, and understanding, why? Because aliena­ted from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, at the 18. verse of the same chapter.

And here if we had neither light of Father nor In terpreter, Scripture would comment upon scrip­ture, Palpvviūs, sicut coeci, parietem, We groape for the wall like the blinde, weè stumble at noone day as in the night, wee are in desolate places as dead men. Isai. 59.10. Now what causeth this blindnesse, this groa­ping, this stumbling at noone day, this sicut mortui, that wee are as dead men, but the fearful night & desolation ignorance carryes with it? And indeed there is an ignorance which is no better then a desolation, a dwelling for the Ostrich, and a dan­cing roome for the Satyre, Where the Beasts of the land and the Dragons crye Isay. 13. (men brutishly and barbarously, and sometimes diabolically in­clin'd) and 'tis a night too, a night for the Batt to flutter, and the owle to hoote in (men of besot­ted and infatuated condition) and tis not only nox, but nox media, saith S. Augustine, the very depth of night, and as it were a night in a night, and be­cause [Page 199] I will not be thought to coyne it, I wil quote it from the Father in his 30. Sermon, de verbis Domini.

Now, as night is a time for Zijm and Ohim, Isai. 13.22. for the ranging of dolefull creatures, and spirits that are wicked; so is Ignorance a nightly haunt of Spirits that are dosefull, and wicked also;1. Iohn 4 6 the Spirit of dulnesse, and the Spirit of error, and to make it nightly indeed, the Spirit of slumber too, 1. Tim. 4.1. Rom. 11.8. per noctes quaesivi quem diligit anima mea, saith the Spouse in the Canticles, In the nights I sought for him whom my soule loveth; And what then? I sought him, but I found him not. Cant. 3.1. Christ will not be met with in the darke; Night is not a season to seeke Jesus in, though perhaps to betray him, the night either of Ignorance, or Infidelity. For, what hath a Saviour to doe with him that knowes him not? or with him that knowes him, but beleeves him not? or with him that beleeves him, but beleeves him not as he should? Againe, the Text saies not per noctem quaesivi, but per noctes, not in the Night, but in the Nights. Now Ignorance is a double Night; One of nature, the other of grace; Reason and Vnder­standing are darkned in the one, Faith & all spirituall operations in the other. Habet mundus nectes suas, & non paucas, saith Saint Bernard; Scrm. 5. sup­cam. The world hath her nights, and too many; Nay, the world it selfe is but a night, and totally involv'd in dark­nesse, no light at all in it, but what is influenc'd and beam'd downe from above; And therefore Christ is called Lux mundi the light of the world; [Page 200] Because, where the knowledge of him shines not, there is undoubtedly darkenesse, the O lim tenebrae in the Text here, Yee were sometimes Darknesse.

Againe, Quot Sectae, tot Noctes, As many Schismes, so many Nights; Nox est Iudaica persi­dia, Nox Haeretica pravitas, Nox Catholicorum carna­lis Conversatio; Heresy and Iudaisme, and the carnall Conversation of pretended Catholiques are all Nights. On the other side, Donatisme, A­nabaptisme, nay the holy Catharisme, or (if that word bee too much antiquated) Carthwritisme, bragg of their Lux in domino what they list, are Nights too; They waite for light, but behold obscurity, for brightnesse, but they walke in darkenesse. Isai. 59.9. And lastly, which is the night of all those nights, Nox Ignorantia Pagancrum ('tis Saint Bernards a­gaine) Pagan or Ephesian Ignorance is a Night also;Ve supra. or if not a Night, Darkenesse I am sure, the Olim tenebrae the Text speakes off, Darkenes some­times, though afterward made light in the Lord & therefore, as S. Paul saith elsewhere of his Thess. Qui Ebrii sunt, 1. Thess. 5.7. Nocte Ebrii, Those, that are drunken, are drunken in the Night. So we may not improper­ly say here of our Ephesian, Qui ignorant, nocte igno­rant, Those that are ignorant, are ignorant in the Night, for Ignorance is nothing else but a mentall Dark­nesse, or Drunkennesse, and both these a busines of the Night, causing us to groape without light (as Iob speakes) and to wander in a wildernesse where there is no way.Iob 12.24. Errare eos faciet sicut Ebrios, They are made to erre like a drunken man, Iob 12.25. Here Error and Drunkennesse reele together, and [Page 201] with them Ignorance, and are as neere allyed as a Ʋertigo, and an Epilepsie; the one causing us to fall or stagger, the other to some in our owne shame.

Now this disease had a long time dangerously infected the world, this Darknesse fearefully o­verspread it, before the Sun of righteousnesse be­gan to arise, untill Christ Jesus by the beames of his Gospell shin'd upon it; Witnesse the woefull Blindnesse and perverse Judgement, which pos­sest the Gentiles in the time of Gentilisme; even in those things which common reason and the law of nature prohibited. The Persians tooke their Mothers, Sisters, and Daughters, nefandis matri­moniis, (for so the Historian) into matrimony, shal I call it, or incest? Either damnable enough. The Scythians were no better then Anthropophagi, and made their owne Sexe their foode; Sacrificing their children (like those in the valley of Hinnon) to the Tabernacle of Moloch, Acts 7.43. or the starre of their God Remphan. The Massagetae, as Clemens Alexan­drinus testifies, feasted on the bodyes of their nea­rest Kinred;Hircanae què admorunt ube­ra Tygres. the Hircani (and from thence I sup­pose the Poets Hircanae Tygres) threw out their old men to the fowles of the Aire; The Caspians to their dogs. The Lacedemonians magnified theft as a project of wit and industry; And Saint Ie­rom writing-against Iovinian, tells him, Apud multas Nationes licuisse, Lib. 1. Epist. parte. Epist. 6. cap. 36. that amongst many Nati­ons many kindes of homicide were nor only con­niv' dat, but allowed, nay, if we reflect a little on the lawes of Plato, Plato the Divine, (as they style [Page 202] him) how monstrous and abominable in giving full liberty to lyes, to insanticide, to community of wives, to the unnaturall abuse of sicke men that were ready for the vrne? and those brutish Edicts of Lycurgus also, the great Lacedemonian Oracle, Pueros, impune prostitui, Feminas licenter exponi: Proclaiming an unpunish'd freedome of prostituting and exposing both Sexes to that which the Apostle calls Burning in lust, and a worke which was unseemely, Rom. 1.27. Insomuch that some strumpetted their owne wives, unbra­cing them to their Guests in symbolum Hospitii, as you may have it in a larger survey from Eusebius and Theodoret, quoted by Cornelius a lapide, on this place. And if this kinde of Antiquity will not passe for Authentick, please you to enquire a lit­tle at the Oracles of God, and there you shal finde the mistredings of the Ammonite, and Moabite, and Ekronite; nay of the Israelite himselfe, no lesse damnable then the other; Their abominations in respect of Earth as great, and (if possible) of Heaven greater, leaving that true God that made them, and making Gods of their owne which were so farre from the True, that they were none at all; Sacrificing to stocks and stones, and sometimes Divells, as our Ephisian here did; whose impietyes consisted most in the darker practises of Magicke and Idolatry, the one a plaine trassicke with the Divell, the other a tribute to him.

Now what is the cause of these prodigious ab­errations, but an invellectuall blindnesse, a dark­nesse [Page 203] of the inward man? A stupid ignorance of God, and things divine? And therefore, as a wic­ked man; is not quis but quasi quis; or else, non ho­mo sed quasi cadaver hominis (as Boetius hath it) So an ignorant man is not a man properly, but a qua­si homo as it were a man; Nay, quasi cadaver homi­nis, as a carkasse of a man that was. And, where is a fit place for a carkasse, but in darkenesse? So I told you before, my bed is made in the darkenesse; And what is this darkenesse but death? I goe whence I shall not returne (saith Iob) And where's that? To the land of darkenesse and the shadow of death, Iob 10.22. Tolerabilior est poena, vivere non posse, quam nescire; 'Tis a calmer punishment to be de­priv'd of life, then knowledge; For knowledge is a posting unto life, and ignorance a lingring or hanging backe unto death. And therefore Solo­mon tells us, that the holy Spirit of discipline will re­move from thoughts that are without understanding, Wise. 1.5. God dwells not with him that dwels not with himselfe; that is,Multi multa sciunt, & seip­sos nesciunt; cum tamen summa philoso­phia sit, suip­sius cognitio. Hugo de sancto victore lib. 1. de Anima cap. 9. not with one that knowes not himselfe, and his God too; So that in every man there is a double knowledge, not only requir'd, but necessary unto life, Dei, & Sui, of God, and of Himselfe; Of which, he that is ig­norant, comes within the lash of this Olim tenebrae, and is not only Darkenesse, but in the way to ut­ter Darkenesse; Such an Ignorance being not on­ly dangerous or desperate, but Ad perditionem, Damnable too; So sayes Saint Bernard in his 36. Ser­mon upon the Canticles

Nosceteipsum was one of the proverbs of a secu­lar [Page 204] wiseman, and Reverentia Iehovae of a sacred. First, know thy Selfe, that morality enjoynes, and doth distinguish Man from Beast, then know thy God, and feare him too. This Divinity re­quires, and divides man from man, makes that Spirit which was before-Nature, and is no lesse then Caput scientiae The spring-head as well of life as knowledge; Prov. 1.7. And indeed, what hope of life without this knowledge? or of this knowledg without humility and feare? of humility in thy selfe, which as it is the Mother of vertues, so of happinesse; of feare in respect of God, which as it is the beginning of Wisedome, so of divine Love: Non potes amare quem nescias, aut habere quem non amaveris, S. Bern. 37. Serm. super Cant. thou canst neither love him whom thou knowest not, nor enjoy him truely whom thou dost not love. And therefore labour to know thy selfe, that thou mayst feare God, and so feare and know God, that thou maist love him too; In al­tero initiaris ad sapientiam, in altero & consummaris; the one is the first step to wisdome, the other the staire-head; that, as earth which is the foot­stoole; this, as Heaven which is the Throne of God. Moreover, as from the knowledge of God proceeds his feare; so from the same knowledge, love; and from both, hope, which is the bloud and marrow of faith, and saith of life and glory. Fili mi, Reverere Iehovam, saith the Wiseman; My son feare the Lord, and what then? Salutare erit umbi­lico tuo, & medulla ossibus tuis, It shall be health to thy navell, and marrow to thy bones. And is this feare, then, of the Lord, all? No, but get wisedome and [Page 205] understanding too; and why? why? Longitudo dierum in dextra ejus; in sinistra, divitiae & honor, Length of dayes is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and honour, Pro. 3.8.

Now, as knowledge doth mightily advance man and sets him up to God, so simplicity pulls him downe, and thrusts him below himselfe; It un­mans him, makes him beast, buries him in shame, contempt and obloquie, whither in a morall or civill, or spirituall way. The Stoicke will tell us, Loco ignominiae est apud indignum, dignitas; Titles or Fortunes cast on a worthlesse and simple man, tend more to his scorne than honour; for hee is but Simia in tecto, or Latro in scalis, as Ludolphus hath it; Apishnesse or robbery advanc'd,De vita Christi part. 1. cap. 68. and in the vote and opinion even of the multitude, Non ad honorem, sed ad derisionem, he is rather expos'd to laughter than applause, as if men by nature were taught to shun the presence of him in whom they perceiv'd not the lippes of knowledge.Prov. 14.7. And indeed, such a one is but a meere Bladder of ho­nour, some thing that time and Fortune have blowne up as children doe their bubbles, to game and sport at; a meere windy Globe, which hath co­lour, but no weight; Titulus sine homine, Contra Avari­tiam lib. 2. p. 68. saith the sweet-tongu'd Salvian, a Title without a man, or a man without his Soule, or a Soule without her ballace, Reason and Vnderstanding.

Man that is in Honour and understands not, what becomes of him? Aske the Psalmist, and he will tell you, Similis fit jumentis, hee is made like unto the beasts; what Beasts? Iumentis qui [Page 206] pereunt, to the beasts that perish, Psal. 49.20. Other Beasts are not like or equall to him, but beyond him,Isai. 1.3. God giving them a distinct prehe­minence, the Oxe and the Asse before his Israel, Nay, the Storke, the Turtle, the Crane and the Swallow, with the rest of that winged Common-wealth, are better disciplin'd than he; they know their appointed times, and observe them too: But Populus meus non intelligit, my people doe not understand,S. Bern. Serm. 37. in Cant. Ier. 8.7. An non tibi videtur ipsis Bestiis quodammodo bestialior esse home, ratione vigens, & non vivens? saith Saint Bernard, A man en­dued with reason, and not squaring his actions accordingly, is hee not more brutish than the beast himselfe? Yes questionlesse; for though the one be steer'd altogether by sence (reason be­ing a peculiar property and prerogative of man) yet man faltring either in the use of it, or end, the beast hath got the start of him, and is become, if not more rationall, more regular than he.

Si ignor as ô pulcherrima foeminarum, sayes the Beloved to the Spouse, If thou knowest not O thou fairest amongst women; if thou knowest not, what then? what? Egredere post greges tuos, Get thee be­hind the footsteps of thy Flocke, and feed thy Kids be­sides thy Shepheards Tents, Cant. 1.8. Marke, the Text sayes not, get thee out with thy Flocke, or to it, but behind it: And Ad quid hoc? saith Saint Bernard, what meanes this? but to set up Igno­rance to more feare and shame: Quod hominem bestiis non tam parem fecisset, quam posteriorem; In that it hath not rank'd Man equally with Beasts, [Page 207] but below them, as if he that understood not, went not side by side with creatures that are brutish, but behinde them; and behind them hee is in­deed; Forasmuch as Man hath disparag'd and deprav'd Nature, which the Beast hath not; and therefore justly convinc'd to goe behind the foot­steps of his Flocke, not onely in this life Deprava­tione naturae, but in that to come extremitate poenae, as the Father, sharply, in his 37. Sermon upon the Canticles.

Thus we have brought downe the Ephesian to the Beast, and somewhat below him, and so ri­val'd Ignorance with Darkenesse, and that Darkenesse with death; though the Church of Rome bee a little inflam'd here, and would list it out of dark­nesse into the marvelous light; from this Olim te­nebrae, to the Lux in Domino, making her no lesse than a grave Matron in Religion, a great foster-mother of the Church; and for the better dazling of her opposers, she tumbles distinction upon di­stinction, even to the dividing of haires, and min­cing of Atomes. But upon farther sisting and enquiry, I hope it shall appeare, and that from her owne Champions, that ignorance is so sarre from being the Mother of Devotion, that it is the Grandame of all falshood; this wicked mother ha­ving two worse daughters, doubt and error; P [...]ssimae matris pessimae silia, duae sunt, dubi­ctas, & error. S B [...]rn. supra Cant. Serm. 17. Now where these two are, there can be neither Truth nor Faith, at least faith that is true, no faith with doubt, no truth with errour; and where no faith nor truth is, what ground can there be for sincere Devotion? or for that which kindles it, Religion. [Page 208] Nay; if we pricke home, here, to the quicke, we shall finde it, in some sort, common to all sinnes, (whether of will, or malice, or presumption) that this Mother and her Daughter, ignorance and errour are a principall meanes either begetting or producing them, as being the leven of all other sinnes, and that which sowres the whole lumpe, Errant qui operantur malum, they erre that devise evill, Prov. 14.22. So that it seemes there is no worke of evill without errour; Insomuch that the Philosopher will tell us,Ethic. 3. cap. Omnis malus est ignorans, every evill man is an ignorant man; And Scientiâ presente, Socrat. ibid. quotat. ab A­ristot. non peccatur, if knowledge bee present there can be no sinne, which is true (saith the Schooleman) if we extend knowledge to the right use of reason, Estius lib. 2. sent. dist. 22. in particulari eligibili, for if wisdome or judgement stand right in the particular object, there can be no sinne; Man intending that which is good, or at least seemingly good, and choosing it too, if reason warpe not, or prove corrupted; so that errour, all this while, is the mother of sinne, as sinne is of misery and death. And therefore the great Peripateticke handling this point Exprofesso, for the better illustration of the truth thereof, in­stances in those that are incontinent, who have no true judgement or opinion at all, Rei particularis, to wit, what is to be done precisely for this or that particular,Aristol. lib. 7. Ethic. c. 2. & 3. Quoad hic, & nunc (as he cants it) And therefore compares them to drunken men rehear­sing Verses of Empedocles, rambling that which they understood not; in the 7. of his Ethicks, 3. chapter.

And this explanation of the Philosopher shall serve for a comment on the Father,Dyonis. de di­v [...]n. nom. cap. 4. Nemo intendens admalum, operatur, No man workes with an inten­tion to evill; that is, Evill apparent; Reason stan­ding still rectified, and not deprav'd; But that mis­carrying, straight there is a trodden way to Error, and conse quently to Uice, and so this Sunne be­ing once set, Night presently comes on, the Ephe­sian falls backe to his Olim tenebrae, whil'st the Lux in Domino is in her full Eclipse, For, as Darkenes closeth, and as it were damms up the windowes of our corporal eyes, so doth Error of our mental ones & wil not suffer us to beholde the light, nor our selves, & therefore when any one is insnar'd by sin, si obtenebratis oculis non videt delictum saith S. Aust­ine, D. Aug. in Psal. 18. He sinnes without eyes, or at least with blinde ones, Errorhath filmd and over-scald them, and he cannot perceive that he hath sinnd at all; Inso­much, that S. Greg. speaking of the proud man, & in him of all sinners of that ranke, would perswade us, Quod superbire nequeunt, nisi prius oculos cordis per­dunt, A man cannot grow Insolent, nor Whore, nor prophane, nor oath it bravely, except he have first lost his eyes, his eyes of the inward man, & when Error hath once made them dimme or purblinde, he falls instantly into al manner of debauchment.

And the ground hereof we have from the Sera­phicall Doctor, (for so the Romane style goes) who makes it an unbatter'd Principle of his,1.2. quest. 77. Art. 1. that Motus voluntatis natus est semper sequi judicium Rati­onis, the motion of the will doth naturally follow the judgement of Reason, as the lesser wheele in [Page 210] a clocke doth the greater; and both, the weight or poise that turnes them; for, Reason is the be­gnning of humane operations, and therefore, if a man doth not actually consider what may, and ought to be considered; Such a neglect is culpa­ble, Thomas calling it Ignorantiam malae Electionis, An Ignorance of evill choice;1.2. q. 58. Art. 2. So that no sinne can happen, except there be first a defect in some act of Reason directing it; And therefore in those that transgresse, the judgement is corrected Quo­ad particulare Agibile saith the same Thomas, 1.2. q. 20. Art. 3. And againe Peccatum non fit, Sinne is not committed, except there be first an Error a­bout the Object Saltem in particulari in his first booke contra Gentes, 95. chapter. For, the will you know followes necessarily the understanding which the Schooles call Imperium voluntatis, be­cause it layes a kinde of Empire and Commaund upon the Will, causing it to make choice of this or that thing at her Pleasure; And therefore, if the Election be evil, falsitas est in Imperio. Besides, the Will is the reasonable Appetite, and there­fore cannot choose but what Reason hath judged to be chosen; so that the Conclusion rests still un­shaken Nunquam voluntas peccat El [...]gendo. Quin Ratio aberrat Iudicando, the Will never sinnes in her choice, except Reason first erre in her iudge­ment. So the Thomists in a full volly, quoted by Estius on the 2. of the Sentences, 22. distinction.

Neither hath this Doctrine only receiv'd coun­tenance from Philosophers, Schoolemen and Fa­thers, (which perhaps relish not with some snar­ling [Page 211] dispositions, who either repiningly or preju­dicately censure them as too subtle, or too toyle­some for the Pulpit, because they somewhat o­ver ballace their muddy intellectualls) but abun­dantly also from sacred Scriptures; Where wee shall finde, that sinnes have oftentimes the style of Ignorance and Error, as if without them there were no sinne at all. So the Psalmist, Erraverunt ab utero Psal. 58. that is Peccaverunt; and so the Prophet, Omnes nos quasi O ves erravimus Isai. 59. that is, peccavimus; And so the Apostle too, Si quis ex vobis erraverit, Iames 5. that is peccaverit; So that both with the Psalmist, and Prophet, and Apostle, Erring all this while is but Sinning, and this sinning an ignorance of the right way; And therefore David joynes both his sinnes and his ig­norances together, and prayes against both in one, Delicta juventutis meae & ignorantias meas ne memine­ris (So the old translation runnes) Remember not the sins and ignorances, which we render the transgres­sions of my youth. Psal. 25.7.

Hereupon, some of the Auncient Platonists (who doubtlesse had a taste of divine truth, draw­ing most of their Philosophy from the bookes of Moses) brought all vertues within the lists of knoweldge, and all sinnes of ignorance; Inso­much, that it is not only a Stale or Bawde to their sinnes, but also whorish in it selfe, Sinne too; And if a sinne, what colour can there be for the ex­cuse they talke of? Except we make one sinne to excuse another; and this Ignorance cannot doe; Since, he that can please divine just­ice, [Page 212] (saith Leo) must of necessity know. I am sure that under the law, a sinne of ignorance went hand in hand with a sinne of violence, and had a like Guilt, and Sacrifice. If a soule sinne, though he wist not, sayes the Text, yet he is guilty, and he shall beare his iniquity Levit. 5.17. On the other side, If a soule sinne in a thing taken by violence, he is guilty too Levit. 6 4. Here is the guilt plaine in both; Now what s the Sacrifice? They shall both bring a Ramme without blemish out of the flocke, for a trespas offering to the Priest; In the 5. and 6. chapters of Levitcus, the 6. and 18. verses. Well then, if this sinne under the law were of that magnitude, and the guilt of it of such a tincture, that it even touch'd with bloud and violence, How comes it so spotlesse and in­nocent under the Gospell? How growes it dispu­table whether it be a sinne or no? Or if a sinne, whether not excusing, because of ignorance? the old Moralist will tell us,Plut. lib. 1. moral. Ʋulgaris quidem, sed frigida excusatio est, Insciens feci 'Tis indeed a popular, but frozen excuse, I did it unknowingly; And, Iners malorum Remedium, Ignorantia, saies the brave Tragaedian,Sen. in Oedip. Ignorance is but a sluggish Remedy of evills, and rather pretends to excuse, then makes it. I deny not, that there is some thing this way, which may Rarifie or Extenuate an offence, Nullify it cannot; Takes it of a tanto, eo quod minuit Voluntarium, Because, it lessens that which is voluntary in sinne, but it doth not totally expunge it: not so wholly wash it out, but that there is some staine and blemish remai­ning [Page 213] still; which, without divine dispensation wil prove at length both evidence & condemnation. Tis true, that those doe lesse offend Christ, that offend him exignorantia; And yet, even those ex­cept God out of his singular grace and goodnesse enlighten with repentant faith Damnandos esse li­quet their doome is no lesse then Damnation,Vide Bezae an­not. in 2. Thes. 1.8. if the Authority of Beza will passe for Authentique; who doth thus sentence them from that of the Apostle, threatning, a flaming fire, to take vengeance on those that know not God, and obey not the Gospell of Iesus Christ. 2. Thess. 1.8. Here then is fire and vengeance due, and the flame of both; And to whom? Nescientibus Deum, To those that know not God, know not God? How? Out of a wilfull blindnesse only? No; but also of a simple Nescience, which excuseth no man so absolutely, Vt aeterno igne non ardeat, sed fortasse ut minus ar deat; So Lombard him selfe in his 2 booke 22 Distincti­on.lit. k.

And now we are fallen upon the very Pikes of the Schoolemen, who here presse home upon us for the justification not only of their invincible ignorance,Thom. 1.2. q. 76. Art. 1. in corp. which they say is not conquerable by Diligence, nor Endeavour; and therefore excuse­able; but of that ignorance also, which is vinci­ble, and may bee master'd, concluding it to bee no sinne, if it bee of those things, which a man by nature is not apted, and by duty not bounde to know; proportioning withall certaine limits for the necessity of that knowledge, which every man is ingag'd under the paines of eternall [Page 214] death to knowe,Franciscus a sancta Clara problem. 15. whether in respect of the means, or precept. Now, where they charge too hotly, or too maliciously upon us; wee will endeavour, in what we can to returne their points upon their owne breasts; But where they flourish only, as if they would but dazle and not wound us, let us be contented to wheele faire about, & take what we may for our own advantage; and not as some of our angry declaimers doe; come on in lightning and goe off in smoake; Raile and vilifie, when they should consute; Calling doubt by the name of Heresie, and opinion (if not theirs) Anti­christian; And so Dum vix mactarint, excoriant (As Honorantius hath it) before they scarce wounde their Adversary,lib. 1. cap. 18. they flay him; I would have such to know; that Reason here is better then violence, and solid Allegation then a swea­tish and feaverish Invective.

And here,Lomb. lib. 2. dist. 22. the Master himselfe will acquaint us with a threefold Ignorance; 1 the first of those Qui scire nolunt cum possint who wil not know when they may; And this is so farre from excusing sin, that it is a sinne itselfe; 2 A Sinne to condemna­tion. The second of those Qui scire vellent, sed non possunt, which would, but cannot knowe; And this, saith he, doth excuse, and is only a punish­ment of sinne, 3 no sinne itselfe. The third of those Qui simpliciter nesciunt which simply know not; Neither refusing, nor yet proposing to know, which doth not fully excuse any, Sed fortasse ut mi­nus punietur but for their milder punishment.

And upon this Anvile the Scholemen have [Page 215] hammer'd that common Trident of theirs,Estius in 2. sent. d st 22. sect. 7. Igno­ranttam purae negationis, privationis, and pravae dispo­sitionis; which the Syntagmatist hath Analized and contracted into two; a Negative and a Pri­vative Ignorance.pol. Syntag. lib. 6. cap. 15. pag. 1919. D. A Negative Ignorance is when a man knowes not those things, which by nature he cannot know, and by duty he is not tyed to know; And this is not so properly Ignorance as Nescience, not a Privation of knowledge, but a Negation of it, which was in Adam in his state of Innocence, in the good Angells, and Christ him­selfe, as he was man, and is no sinne at all, neither doth it oppose the knowledge of God, either in Generall or Particular. A Privative Ignorance is, when a man knowes not those things, which by nature he may know, and by duty he is tyed to know,lib. 3. de lib. Arbit. cap. 12. & haec merito deputatur Animae in Reatum saith Saint Augustine, This layes a deserved guilt upon the Soule; 'tis sinne, a dangerous one, and not only Peccatum, but Paena too; as Treading op­posite to the knowledge of the true God, who is life, and without whom there is Death cer­tanely.

So that, now wee cannot but farther conceive a double Blindnesse in respect of things Divine; The one affected, when through a voluntary Igno­rance we know not those things which we can­not not know; This is so farre from lessening sin, that it aggravates it, as being Directè voluntaria, and therefore necessarily Sinne; And not only so,Estius in 2. sent. d. 22. sect. 11. but a Canopie or Curtaine to sinne with more freedome. And this Saint Bernard hath a fling at, [Page 216] with his frustra sibi de infirmitate blandiuntur &c. Serm. 38. super Cant. infirmity or ignorance is a vaine Plea for those which are contented not to know, that they may with greater liberty offend. And these the Pro­phet scourges with a Noluerunt intelligere, Psal. 34. And the Apostle with a Sponte ignorant 2. Pet. 3. and Iob too with a Nolumus scientiam, Depart from us for wee desire not the knwledge of thy Law, Iob 21.14. Such conditions are so farre below man, that they are altogether Brutish, and as brutish, taunted at by the Psalmist, Nolite estote sicut Equus & Mulus, Bee not like the Horse and Mule, which have no understanding. Psal. 32.9.

The other not affected, when through an Invo­luntarie Ignorance wee know not those things which are without, or beyond our knowledge, And this Ignoranee is more pardonable: That of Saint Augustine standing in force here, Non tibi de­putabitur ad culpam, D. Aug. lib. de nat. & grat. quod invitus ignoras; That shall never be imputed unto thee for sinne, which either thy Infirmities tell thee that thou canst not, or thy will (if not averse) that thou doest not know.

Now, put the case that our Ephesian had still persisted in his Olim tenebrae that his Darkenesse without an Apostolicall illumination had over­shadowed him unto death, that neither Saint Paul, nor any Proselite of his had acquainted him with the living God, not preach'd unto him Christ Jesus, nor his Gospell, had not this Igno­rance beene invincible, and consequently no sin? No sin, in respect of any law positive, but of the [Page 217] law naturall; For betweene a law naturall and a law positive there is this difference, that the law naturall obligeth every man, as farre forth as he partakes of the use of reason, and Quatenus so, without any farther obligation; But a positive law, whither it be divine or humane,Est. in 2 Sent. Dist. 22. §. 9. doth not binde, Nisi positivè promulgatum except it be posi­tively proclaim'd, for it hath not the essence and full vigour of law without promulgation. Whence it is manifest, that the Ignorance of the law naturall is allwaies a sinne, whither it have the accesse of externall instruction or no; for, the Gentiles which had not the law, that is, the Law taught, had notwithstanding the workes of the law ingraven in their hearts Rom. 2. And if ingraven there,V. 15. Igno­rance had no plea.

But the Ignorance of a law positive, though it be divine, is not a sinne to those to whom it was not promulgated and taught; And therefore, that Insidelity by which some beleeve not in Christ, to wit, to whom Christ hath not beene preach'd, who have not heard any thing at all of his Name, to them it is no sin; which our Saviour himselfe intimates in his Si non venissem, & loquutus essem, If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had had no sin, Iohn 15.22. What no sinne? no, not of Infideli­ty; And therefore, Saint Augustine expounding that place, and speaking of those to whom the preaching of the Gospell had not sounded, plain­ly excuseth them from sinne, from that particu­lar sinne of unbeliefe in Christ, but withall, thrusts them headlong into Hell, for other sinnes [Page 218] committed against the law of nature, in his 89. Tract upon Iohn, and more at large in his 3. booke against the 2. Pelagian Epistles 3. Chapter.

And here by the way, Some without pitty censure, (I cannot) the unhappy condition of those, unhappy as they would have them for the present, though in their owne condition admired­ly happy heretofore; which were sometimes such Lights unto the world, and their incomparable workes still shining to posterity, yet the Law of Nature prompting them, there was a God that gave them Light, and the world too; and they not glorifying that God,Romans 1.21 they became there­by inexcusable, and are now under the chaines of everlasting darkenesse. Aristotle the Rationall, and So­crates the wise, and Cato the censorious, and Aristides the Iust, and Seneca the morall, and Plato the divine, with all their rich Precepts and Principles both of Nature and Morality; they severely (I say not uncharitably) doome to eternall flames, where they now burne: And yet in this heate of Justice they sprinkle them with this Mercy, that for their naturall and morall Excellencies they shall burne the lesse; even civill vertues prevailing so farre without true Religion, Vt hac additâ (as Saint Augustine tells. Marcellinus of the Romane Em­pire) If they had had this, they had been Citi­zens, Alterius Civitatis, Denisons of the new Ierusa­lem; so farre from burning below, that they had shin'd as Starres in the Firmament for evermore. But, as they were, they past not, Abs (que) mercede, They doing something, saith S. Ierome, not onely [Page 219] Sapienter, but also Sanctè; God being therefore bountifull unto them in this life prosperitate vitae, In Epist. ad Gal. cap. 10. and mercifull in that to come levitate paenae. And indeed it stands with the strict rules of Justice, that small offences should lesse suffer, and so mi­nus punietur Fabricius, quam Catilina, Sanctus Hieron in E zech. cap. 29. saith the Fa­ther, Fabricius shall be lesse punished then Cati­line; But he will have him punish'd, not because he was good, but because the other was more e­vill; For, Good we cannot call him, then he had beene Crown'd; but he was lesse impious, and therefore punishable the lesse, lesse impious? How? non veras virtutes habendo, sed a veris virtuti­bus non plurimum deviande, not that the vertues he had were true indeed, but that they digress'd not much from those which others had that were re­puted true: so Saint Augustine againe in his 4. booke against Julian 3. chapter.

Well then, is Ignorance a Darkenesse? and that Darkenesse tending unto Death? Doe sinnes of affected weaknesse and simplicity leade man blinded to the ditch, and there grovell him, not only dangerously, but without an infinite com­passion, Irrecoverably too? What shal we thinke then of those that dwell in the light, that have the golden candlesticke before them, the know­ledge of Christ, and his Gospell shining cleere­ly, and yet both they and all their practises, dri­ving amayne to the Land of Darkenesse, and the shadow of Death? Surely, there is a Vaetibi Cora­zim recorded against such, and the Tyrian and Sy­donian, in respect of divine justice have a more [Page 220] colourable Plea than those: Woe unto thee Chora­zin, wee unto thee Bethsaida, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of Iudgement, than for you, Luke 10.14.

Againe, are Iustice, Temperance, Sobriety, Patience, Chastity, and the rest of those morall Rarities in the Heathen (because not divinely illuminated, as they should) now swimming in the burning Lake? And doe we thinke (which daily heare the voice of the Turtle in our Land) that Corruption and Dissolute­nesse, and Riot and Lust, and Bloud, shall without de epe Repentance passe by that Floud of Brim­stone, those Coales of Iuniper, the flaming of that Tophet which was prepared of Old? Doe our ignorant mistreadings drag us to a strict Arraignment? And shall those of Premeditation and Will, and Malice and Presumption escape the Tribunall of the Great Iudge? Hearke the dreadfull Thunderelap of the Apostle, Ʋoluntariè peccantibus non relinquitur Ho­stia, If any sinne willingly, after they have received the knowledge of the Truth; What then? What? Hor­renda quaedam expectatio Iudicij, There is no more Sa­crifice for sinne remaining, but a fearefull expectation of judgement and fiery indignation, Heb. 10.27. A place, I confesse, loaded with Terror, and as with terror, so with Obscurity and Doubt; enough to strike the presuming Sinner into a Sound, or a cold sweat: 'Tis a Hammer for the breaking of the Stone, an Iron rod for the bruizing of the moun­taine, able to batter and beate into shivers a rockie and Adamantine Heart.

Againe, Is there such vengeance due to those [Page 221] that know not God, and his Son Christ Iesus? What is there then to those that know him, and yet cru­cifie him? Nay, what to Vs, that crucifie him afresh daily? That kisse him by our treacherous sinnes of Disloyalty and Revolt? That Sell him by our greedy sinnes of Rapine and Avarice? That spet upon him by our scornefull sinnes of Pride and Contumelie? That Mocke him with our cogging sinnes of Hypocrisie and impure Purity? that buffet him with our churlish sinnes of Rigour and Incom­passion? That Scourge him by our bloud-fetching sinnes of rigid, malicious, uncharitable censures? That crowne him by our thorny sinnes of Oppressi­on, Depopulation, Sacriledge? That Revile him by our foule-mouth'd sinnes of Oathes, Prophanations, Blasphemies? That Naile him to his Crosse by our implacable sinnes of Choler, Revenge, Fury? And lastly, that pierce him to the very heart by our ja­veline sinnes of Cruelty, Rebellion, Patricide, and the like; which cry louder now against the Christian, than that Christi-cidium of old against the Iewes; because the heinousnesse of their fact was some­what abated by the Ignorance of the Agents: And so, insteed of the rushing of that mighty winde, Con­funde Domine, confunde, Let them be confounded and brought to nought. They meete with the whisper­ings of the soft and the gentle Voyce, Pater ignosce, ignosce, Father forgive, forgive, for they know not what they doe. And indeed, if they had knowne him truely (as many amongst us Glory that they doe) what could be the Reward of their matchlesse Butchery, but the Hailestone, and the Coale of fire, [Page 222] the Lightning, and the hot Thunderbolt?

Once more, if ignorance of it selfe had such a priviledge that it could totally excuse; yet as the times goe, there is no plea for ignorance; I con­fesse there was a time here to fore both of ignorance and bloud, when superstition hang dilike a darke Cloud over us, and Martyrdome at the heeles of it as a fatall Comet; I meane those Mariana tempora, when there was no other Dilemma for a distracted Church, but either Rome or the sury of her fagot; but those times are gone into Ashes, and some of those Ashes I presume into Glory; and no ground lest us now, either for ignorance or feare; Our Church is full cramm'd with Pastors, and our Pastors with the Word, and our Congregations with both, and our Parlours sometimes with all three; more Preachers now a dayes than we have either Churches or Pulpits; our Shops, and Cloysters, and Barnes ring aloud of them; Insomuch, that for some of these there is still a full maintenance in the Church; and that, as they pretend, Iure Di­vino, only the poore Pastour, instead of cramming others, hath scarce a competence to feed himselfe and that's, no doubt, Iure humano, where Sacrilege hath got the authority to flay that revenue which the other in all equity should fleece. But not­withstanding the rapine of such Cor [...]orants, our Lampe is still burning in the Tabernacle, and (mag­nified bee the great GOD of Israel) still like to burne, burne like a vestall Flame, that will never out; and cursed be they that labour to extinguish it; or not labouring, cursed be those which mut­ter [Page 223] that they would. 'Tis a kinde of rifling of the Arke, or at least a busie prying into it, to meddle with those, Arcana Religionis & imperii, Mysteries of Religion or State are not a businesse for the multitude to champe on; who, because they cannot have a Church and Common-wealth at their owne fancie, will be a Church and Com­mon-wealth to themselves, and so lift the heele against an Old England, for a New. But ô height of folly and presumption! Nay, of madnesse: What hath Vzzah to doe with the touching of the Arke? What a Lay-Schismaticke with the Hierarchy of a Church? Obedience of old was bet­ter than Sacrifice; and now, then saucinesse; And therefore let such looke home to their Axe and their Hammer to their false Ballance, and the un­just measure, to the factious Loome and Shuttle; let not the Cobler out-goe his Last, nor the Tinker his Budget; But Tractent fabrilia fabri.

To shut up all, you must know, that every corrupt Conversation is a darknesse; the continuing in any customary sinne, a great darknesse. Seeing then, that the night is past, and the day is at hand, Let us therefore cast off the workes of darknesse, and put on the Armour of light; even that Arniour which Saint Paul in the close of this Epistle pre­scribeth his Ephesians, that Girdle, and Breast plate, and Shield, and Sword, and Helmet, Truth and Righteousnesse, and Faith, and Salvation, and the Spirit; and then no doubt wee shall be able to withstand all the fiery darts of the wicked. And to this purpose, let the incontinent make a cove­nant [Page 224] with his eyes; the proud man, with the lofti­nesse of his looke; the over-credulous with his eares; the Dissembler with his lippes; the envi­ous with his teeth; the Slanderer, with his tongue; the Blasphemer with his mouth; the Intemperate with his Throate, the Hypocrite with his heart, the Incompassionate with his Bowells, the Glutton with his Belly, the Adulterer with his Bones and marrow, the Covetous and grinding Miscreant with his bands, the Purloyner with his Fingers; and lastly, the Transgressor in generall with his Feete, that those which have beene swift heretofore in running to mischiefe, and the shedding of innocent Bloud, may at length bee more carefull to treade in the pathes of Righteousnesse, that they which were sometimes going downe to the Chambers of Death, to this Olim tenebrae in the Text, to the fearefull darkenesse our Ephesian was involv'd in, may at length climbe up to the Lux in Domino to bee Light in the Lord, Heb. 12.23. nay, to the Lord, who is the Light; To the generall Assembly and Church of the first-borne; where the foundations are laid with Sa­phires, and the windowes made with Agats, Isa. 54.11, 12. and the Gates of Carbuncles, and the whole Fabricke of precious Stones; which as so many Lights point to that Light inaccessible to GOD the Father, and his Son CHRIST JESUS; to whom with the Spirit of Lights be all Glory ascrib'd for ever and ever.

Gloria in excelsis Deo.


The foolish Prophet. …

The foolish Prophet. A SERMON PREACHED Ad CLERƲM; At the Trienniall VISITATION of the right Reverend Father in GOD, WILLIAM by divine providence, Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells. At TAUNTON in SOMERSET, Iune 22. 1636. By Humphrey Sydenham.

PSAL. 75.4, 5.

Dixi insipientibus, nolite iniquè agere: nolite in altum extollere Cornu vestrum.

LONDON, Printed by IOHN BEALE, for Humphrey Robinson, at the Signe of the Three Pigeons in PAULS Church-yard. 1637.



TIs acriticall age we live in, where Divines and Poets have alike fate and misery, most men frequenting Churches as they doe Theaters, either to clap or hisse; and it is with the Auditors of the one, as with the Specta­tors of the other; sometimes they bestow their Laurell, sometimes their Thistle; Applause sometimes, sometimes censure. Vnhappy Creatures that we are to be thus fed with Aire, as if we no longer liv'd by the Spirit of God, but the breath of the people. And if this Ayre were either pure or temperate, it were a passable calamity; but it is for the most part, poyson'd and corrupt. Loose men breath their rottennesse and filth upon us; and it is not wit (for sooth) nor bravery, except it be drivell'd up­on the Priest, whom they all besmeare with calumny, and rake the very kennell for dirt to fling at him, as if he were the only prodigy of the times, S. Paul's [...] , or [...] , the very dung of the world, 1 Cor. 4. and the off­scouring of all things unto this day. This is the com­mon misery of our Tribe, and it was mine, in opening the [Page] folly of this Pseudo-Prophet; which hit so unhappily with the temper of those holy Monopolizers (which pretend so much to be the only men of the Spirit) that the Catharist was up in Armes, and Demetrius, and the Zealous Crafts-men were about mine eares; who put me (without mercy) to the push of their Pike, and shot their poyson'd Arrowes, even bitter words against me, such as malice could only sharpen, or falsehood levell. But notwithstanding the Spirit of Rabshakeh, and the venome of those sanctified Raylers, I wanted not my Propugners amongst the impartially judicious, both Di­vines and Layicks; and with the latter of these, more e­minently, your selfe. And had I had no more, it was enough that there was Seymour in it, a name that in­volves Nobility, and the better part of it, Vertue; and the better part of vertue, humility and courtesie, and all these temper'd in you with a religious observance of the Rites of the Church you live in; so that you are not transported with change and novelty; not apt to be misted with any false light of the times, not with the Ignis fatuus of our Prophet here, no Proselyte of Schisme or Innovation, but a man fast to your selfe, constant and resolv'd in all your actions; which is an ex­cellent temper to make a Christian of, and a sure foun­dation to build true friendship on, especially in this age of words, where Integrity and Goodnesse are so rarely met with, by me (I am sure).

Your unhappy, but true­hearted Servant, HVM. SYDENHAM.

THE Foolish Prophet.

EZECH. 13.3.

Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the Foolish prophets, that follow their owne spirit, and have seene nothing.

THus saith the Lord God? Israel, no doubt, was out of Joynt, and a strange loosnesse in all her Tribes, when Folly and Blindnesse, and a Deluding Spi­rit were obtruded to her Pro­phets, and thus thunder-clapt with an Woe too: and that from the mouth of the Lord himselfe Sic dicit Dominus Deus, Thus saith the Lord God. 'Tis not alwaies desperate with the Church of God, when his Prophets are sent to it with a Cavete in their mouth (matter only of cau­tion or premonition) that hath a taste no lesse of [Page 230] his Providence than his Mercie; But when their cheekes are fill'd with a Vaevobis, (his hearuld of displeasure and malediction) vengeance and her vialls, are ever at the heeles; And this under the law was customary from Go's Prophet to the peo­ple; but somewhat rare, and of remarke from his Prophet, to their Prophets; and that by speciall commaund too, from Heaven, in a sic dicit Domi­nus Deus, Thus saith the Lord God. But doubtles, this Woe was denounced in the very heate of su­perstition, when the Rage and Fury of the people whoring after novelties, and following the blind­nesse of their owne spirit, hurried them along to the worshipping of stocke and stones; when there were as many Prophets, as there were Gods; and Gods almost, as things. Every Hill and Moun­taine had an Altar smoaking; and in every Grove, and under every greene Tree, Incense burnt to the Queene of Heaven, and all the Hoste of it; when the true Lord of both was forgotten in his worship; the Pagan Hecatombe had cried downe the Sacrifice of the living God, and whole Heards and Droves offered to Ashteroth, and Chemosh, or some God of Ekron; when there was scarce a Bullocke for immolation to the Lord of Hosts. The Almighty therefore, begins to rouze himselfe, and to shew, that there is no God, in­deed, but himselfe; and no true Prophet but whom he pleases to accomodate, will now har­nesse one of his owne; and for his better choise, hee goes, not to the glory of Israel, but amongst the captives, by the river Chebar, he meetes with [Page 231] the Sonne of Buzy, an obscure Priest among the Chaldean's, upon him the Spirit of the Lord must rest: And because hee shall be knowne to be a Prophet of His indeed, and what hee speakes to be inspir'd meerely from above, the Heavens them­selves shall be opened, And lee, a Vision, saith the Text, such a Vision as had alwayes God in it, or his Angell, A whirle-wind, and a fire, Ezeck. 1.4. To shew belike, that the true Prophet of the Lord must have Light with him, aswell as Noyse; Vnderstand­ing, as Reproofe. And thus addressed, he is now sent to the house of Israel, That house of stubbornnesse and rebellion, where he must set his fore-head a­gainst theirs, bid them reade in it the Prophet of the true God; tell them that the gods which they blindly worship, are no gods, but their owne fan­cies; the Prophets they dote on, no prophets, but their own Lyes; And for their better unmasking and discovery, hee doth first blazon them by their attribute Foolish, then by their properties, and they are two. 1. Headstrong, lead by their owne spi­rit. 2. Ignorant, see nothing, for these he sayes, there is an Woe denounced, not meerely from him­selfe, but the very mouth of God; Sic dicit Domi­nus Deus, Thus saith the Lord God.

Here is all the businesse of our Prophet to the Israelite, and mine, to this reverend and learned Throng; which by reason of some late distraction through my secular imployments, I shall be en­forc'd to present you in a broken discourse, peec'd up from the remainders of my former more elabo­rate endeavours: presuming that where there is [Page 232] so much Piety and Worth, there is not onely an at­tentive patience, but some charity; A weake man wants all, I beg them; And now, Woe to the Foolish prophets that follow their owne spirit, and have seene nothing.

Which words are literall to the Hebrew text, to the Greeke not so; where we finde no menti­on at all of the Foolish prophet, nor the Spirit which he followes, onely the Vaticination of the heart, and the Blindnesse which attends that, Vae his qui prophetant de corde suo, & omninò non vident, (so S. Ierom reades it from the Septuagint) Woe unto them which prophecy from their heart, and see not at all. It seemes the Father there, understands the heart for the spirit; and the wild conjectures of that, he rivals with the folly of those which too much in­dulge the other; the Blindnesse is alike in both, so that the sence runnes the same way, though the words doe not, the Prophet after his owne heart being as Foolish, as the other after his owne spirit, and the non vident of the same latitude in both, except the Omninò make the difference, and so we divide between a Prophet that sees nothing, and one that sees not at all.

And now the words being thus at peace for the matter of the Text, Loe, what warre in the manner of it! Not seeing? and yet a Prophet? Following a Spirit? and yet Foolish? A Prophet and a Spirit at one? and yet an Woe denonunc'd? How can this be? This word Propheta is no more than videns, no lesse neither; S. Bernard tells me, and I am sure, Prophets of old were call'd seers.

How comes then the Blind here, to have his eyes unscal'd? and the Non videns in the Text to be a Prophet? Besides, All wisedome and knowledge is from the Spirit (saith Saint Paul.) How is it then that our Prophet is subject to Malediction, and he that followes his Spirit to be thus entitled to Igno­rance and Folly? Saint Ierome labours the answer, but not home, Non quempiam meveat quod Prophetae appellantur, Let it not trouble any that they are called Prophets, for 'tis the custome of the Scrip­tures, Vnumquem (que) vaticinationis suae & sermonis Prophetam nuncupare, Every vision, or Divination, though delusive, is a kinde of Prophecy; and he that hath either, a Prophet doubtlesse; But a Pro­phet by way of restriction, with his reproachfull Epithites of Falsus, or Vanus, or Insipiens; They are all three in this Chapter, though not in the Text; in the Chapter within foure verses of the Text, at the sixth verse we finde a lying Divination, there is the falsus Propheta; at the seventh, a vaine Vision, there is the vanus too; And if we weigh the de­pendances of words with matter, we shall bring this Vanus and Falsus within the verge of the Text too; and so make the foolish Prophet, the vaine, and the Lying, all one; For whatsoever is false must be vaine, and what is vaine is Foolish too; Novit Deus homines vanos, God knoweth vaine man, Job 11.11. Vanus there is in the roote, Naboüb, which is as much as Concavum, or Vacuum, any thing that is hollow or empty, a word which the Rabbines usually bestow on fooles, who have nothing in them solid and compact: and therefore in Scrip­ture [Page 244] resembled not onely to an empty, but to a broken vessell. In the like manner, the French (as their Bolducus tells mee) hath the word Folls, quasi Follis, Bolducus in Iob c. 2. metaphorically borrowed from a paire of Bellowes, which as they take in Ayre, so they give it, and when they are full, are no­thing else. Hence is that word of contumely and disgrace, mention'd by the Evangelist, Racha, or more properly, Richa, from the Hebrew, Rick, Evacuare, or offandere, so that it seemes Folly is nothing else but a leaking or pouring out, or spil­ling on the ground, as Expositors glosse that place, Mat. 5.22. And indeed, meere simplici­tie is but the poverty or emptinesse of the mind; and therefore to bee empty, and poore, and foo­lish sounds one. Omnis stultus eget, saith Saint Augustine, & omnis qui eget, stultus est; every foole wants, and every one that wants is a foole. The Father doubling on the words doth at last distin­guish them, Egestas est verbum non habendi; and Stultitia verbum sterilitatis, habet egestatem aliquis? habet non habere, habet stultitiam? habet nunquam habere. Folly and poverty are names of barren­nesse and want; the one may have some expect­ation, or at least hope of supply; the other, never. Folly is not capable of alteration, poverity is; Folly will be folly though you bray it in a Mor­ter; 'tis not onely feebts, or shallow, but perverse; and thou shalt sooner beare it into Atomes, than breake it of that course in which it is a driving; 'twill be alwayes following her owne Spirit, the worst of Spirits, Spiritum Eratoris, where once cap­tivated [Page 245] it can see nothing, neither indeed de­sires to see: And therefore the Father tells us, that 'tis not Quaevis, but Vitiosa ignorantia, such an ignorance as is not onely darke, or pur-blind, but refractory; impatient as well of direction, as restraint; head-strong, will not endure the curbe nor the snaffle, but the Reynes loose on the necke, gallops where it list, not where it should; carried meerely by the precipitation of the will without any guide or convoy of reason or under­standing: A Ship without Sterne or Rudder, un­man'd, unballac'd, without Pole or Compasse, the scorne of every blast and billow. Hence it is, that the Holy Ghost puts the foole on those that are the Lackeys and Slaves of their owne imagi­nations, following their owne Spirit, by which they see nothing, and leaving that Spirit by which they might see all.

So that now wee cannot but discover here a double Spirit, the two Spirits spoken of by Saint Paul, Dei, & Hominis 1. Cor. 2.11. By which wee may cleerely distinguish the foolish from the wise, the false from the true Prophet: That followes the tracke of his owne wheele meerely, as his spirit or fancy gyres him; This turnes his thoughts with those wheeles in Ezekiel, whither­soever the spirit was to goe, they went, Thither was there spirit te goe too Ezec. 1.20. The one is in Egypt still in darkenesse, darkenesse so thicke that it may be felt; a grosse and affected stupidity; The other followeth his pillar of fire, his inspired illuminations, and they conduct him to his pro­mised [Page 236] Canaan. The former with his darke lan­thorne stumbles along the broad way, which leads downe to the chambers of Death; The latter with a lanthorne too, but a light unto his stepps, treads that Semitam rectam in the Psalmist, and that brings him into the land of the living. In fine, the foolish Prophet without any divine influence or revelation, proprio vaticinatur corde, makes the thoughts of his owne heart oraculous; when the Prophet of the Lord, knowing that the thoughts of the heart are evill continually, leaves those vaine suggestions, & perceiving that he is blinde by nature, and must to his poole of Syloam, desires to have his Spittle and his Clay wash'd off, and so cryes out with David, Lord open mine eyes, and then I shall see the wonderfull workes of thy Law. Here then, as there is a double Spirit, so a double Pro­phet; And to distinguish either Prophet, from his Spirit, Saint Augustine borroweth a double word from the Greeke [...] , and [...] , and both these from [...] , Spiro; but this latter a Spirit of a courser temper. Wee reade in the last of Saint John that Christ breath'd upon his Disciples Spiritum sanctum, the Originall there using the word [...] , which for the most part hath reference to the Spi­rit of Sanctity; That the Father appropriates to the wise Prophet. In the 2. of Genesis, 'tis said of Adam, that God breath'd into him Spiritum vitae, the word of the Septuagint is, there [...] . [...] , more frequently used in the expression of humane spi­rit, then divine; This he bestowes on the foolish Prophet; And therefore some Auncient Ro­mans, [Page 237] well verst in the Criticisme of that lan­guage,D. Aug. lib. 13. C. Dei cap 24. and for the better discovery of the diffe­rence in Idioms, will not call [...] , Spiritum, but Flatum: So in the 5. of Esay the vulgar translati­on reades it. Omnem flatum ego feci (Flatus no doubt there taken for Anima) And so also that of Genesis, Halitum, not Spiritum, breath of life,Cap. 2.7. not Spirit, though the Chaldee paraphrase to recon­cile both, joynes there Flatus & Spiritus together; and so reades; God breath'd into man flatum sive ani­mam vitae the soule, that is the breath of life,Vid. Coqueum in lib. 13. Aug. de Civ. Dei cap. 24. and man was made in Spiritum loquentem a speaking Spirit.

Thus, after some strugling with the words, we have brought Soule & Breath, & spirit in one, and this Spirit in the wise Prophet following the true God: It is time now to looke backe unto the Text, and there view the foolish Prophet lea­ving the true God, and following his owne Spi­rit, Vae Prophetis insipientibus, Woe to the foolish Prophet which followes his owne Spirit.

And what is that Spirit which he followes? By Spirit no doubt are understood the corrupt thoughts and imaginations of the Heart; For, what in the 2. verse of this chapter was call'd Pre­phecy of their owne heart, is in the Text here, follow­ing their owne Spirit. And indeed in the naturall man, Spirit and Imagination are al one in essence, though in action and vertue diverse, the one re­ceiving the formes and images of things with a kinde of passion and impression of the soule, occa­sion'd by the presence of her objects, & therefore [Page 222] call'd Imagination; The other a subtle facility in the penetration of those formes, and images received, and therefore Spirit; which though for the vivacity and quicknesse of it, some have beene pleas'd to stile the image of the living God a taste of the immortall substance, a streame of the immortall Divinity, a celestiall Ray, by which there is a kinde of kinred betweene God and Man, there being nothing great with God but Man, and nothing great in Man but his Spi­rit; yet if this Spirit be not guided by a higher, as the poise and wheele by which it moves; but leaving the influence of that, followes the moti­ons of its owne breast, we shall make it the source of all vanity and error, a meere Quack-salver in the Church, the seedesman of imposture and de­bate, and the very ground worke of novelty and innovation. I have seene folly in the Prophets of Samaria, an horrible thing in the Prophets of Ierusalem saith Ieremy. What is this thing of Folly and Horrour he so deepely complaines off? What? They walke in lyes, what lyes? the visions of their owne heart, Ier. 23.16. And doubtles, the visions of the heart meerely can be no lesse then lyes, and therefore lyes, because visions of their owne, and therefore their owne lyes too, because they walke in them; and because they thus walke in them, they deceive themselves, and then there is no hath in them. Truth hath abounded by my lie, to Gods glory Rom. 3.3. meum dixit mendacium (saith S. Augustine) veritatem Dei; Truth there hath refe­rence to God, Lye unto Man, unto man properly [Page 223] and solely, and therefore Meum mendacium my lye; and why my lye? because I follow mine owne Spirit, which being mans cannot but erre, and so prove false; and not the Spirit of God; which being Gods cannot but be true. The Prophet then that thus followes his owne Spirit, cannot but speake according to that Spirit which hee followes: And he that so speakes must of neces­sity lye, Qui de seipso loquitur Mendax est, He that speakes of his owne is a verylyer, Iohn 8.44. God on­ly is to be beleeved in all he sayes, and that be­cause he sayes it. Truth depends not on any hu­mane revelation or authority; I may lawfully dis­pute, whether it will passe for current, except it be stamp'd with a Sic dicit Dominus, Thus saith the Lord GodAudi, dicit Do­minus, non di­cit Donatus, aut Rogatus, aut Vincentius aut Ambrosius aut August [...] ­nus, sed dicit Dom nus. D. Aug. Epist. 48., there are no Principles in man, if Divinity hath not either reveal'd or confirm'd them; All the rest is but a fancy, or a dreame; the heate of some private spirit at first, which ta­king bud and blossome from the approbation of some weaker proselites, grew at length to the height of Aphorismes, and so must spread our beleefe without controulment. But (as the great Criticke of the French observes) what judgement can be so infatuated, or made drunke, as to re­ceive for classicall, either Plato's Idaea's, Charron. sap. lib. 1. or Epicuru's Atomes, or Pithaegora's numbers, or Copernicu's vertigo of the earth? They were but the indigestions of distemper'd spirits, meere chymera's of their brain, which they rather faign'd, than knew; and wee receive, than trust. All humane positions weigh alike, except Reason turne the scale, and with most [Page 240] men, all divine too without the Text. Personall Authoritie may not totally sway us, except it convince our judgement; then wee not onely submit, but subscribe too: But to be milk'd a­long with a bare Ipse dixit, not weighing the rea­son as well as the authority, were to borrow our owne overthrow, and turn Bankerupt upon trust. A hastie beliefe speakes the heart light,Qui cito cre­dit levis est corde. John 5.36. 1 John 4.1. 1 Cor. 11.13. and the braine shallow: The Holy Ghost tells us that we are to search Scriptures, and try Spirits, and judge of occurrences; and yet oftentimes we pin our Faith to the spirit of another, and so beleeve, and judge, and live, and dye, and all upon his authority. There is not an Art or Science without a Sic di­cit to it, and the power of that must carry my rea­son, sometimes my Religion too: Not a place of remarke or same without this Apothegme; 'Tis at Athens, Sic dicit Socrates; at Siracusa, Sic dicit Archimedes; at Stagyra, Sic dicit Aristoteles; at Millaine, Sic dicit Ambrosius; at Hippo, Sic dicit Augustinus; at Geneva, Sic dicit Calvinus: And that Sic dicit comes hither too, where it hath been so long advanc'd in the opinions of many, that heretofore it seem'd to grow disputable, which was of greater authority, a sic dicit Calvinus, or a sic dicit Dominus.

Let no hasty censurer condemne mee here, I like the sic dicit of Antiquity well; like it? mag­nifie it; You heare I quote it often; Calvines very well, if his sic ratiocinatur goe with it: O­therwise, I may fairely evade him with that of the learned Cardinall, Authoritatem video, argu­mentum [Page 251] non video. I acknowledge him the great Patriarch of the reformed Discipline, the Lucernae lucens both of the age and Church he liv'd in, a man of admirable dexterity and spirit, and yet a man too, a man that in some things too much fol­lowed his owne spirit, and so might, and did erre: And therefore to lay the whole bulke and body of my Religion on a foundation, in part fraile or sandy, must either question my weaknesse, or par­tiality, or both; and so, whilst I leane too much to the positions of a private man, I must fall off from the principles of my God. Plura sunt quae nos tenent, quam quae premunt, & opinione potiùs, Sen. ad Lucil. Ep. 53. quam re laboramus. More things take hold of our beliefe, than carry our reason; and wee are not so much transported with the weight of things, as the conceit of him that fram'd them. Thus wee are led along by the Spirit of another, which is as great a folly as to be led by our owne, and that which points us the way, is, for the most part a blinde Guide, that common Huckster of igno­rance and popularity, Opinion; which without scanning the nature and truth of things, growes at once resolute and lawlesse, and so travels the world without a Past-port. But I would not have men pretending to knowledge and sounder literature, to be muffled in matters of Religion; like Hawkes that are unman'd, kept hooded for feare of bating. An implicite faith wee vehe­mently cry downe in the Romish Church, let's not begin to advance it in our owne; for who had ever eyes given him to keepe them shut? or In­tellectuals, [Page 252] that they should slumber? or Judge­ment that it should fall asleepe? Spiritualis omnia dijudicat (saith Saint Paul) The spirituall man judgeth, 1. Cor. 2.15. or at least should judge all things, all things that are not immediately sacred and inspir'd; knowing that there is no captivation of minde or judgement to any principle, but divine, all hu­mane propositions having a taste of frailtie, and following too much the spirit of him that fol­lowes his owne spirit; and how such a spirit must delude, heare, and then judge.

Man, poore man, in himselfe understands no­thing perfectly, and purely, as hee should doe; appearances doe alwayes circle and involve him, which are no lesse in things that are false than true. Errours are receiv'd into our soule ('tis Charron's I confesse,Lib. 1. cap. 14. there I had it) by the same Pipe and Conduit that the Truth is; the Spirit hath no power to discerne nor choose. Truth and Errour are but Cousin-germans remov'd; and these sometimes so neere, that a wise man is put to his plundge to distinguish them; the meanes wee principally use for the discovery of Truth, are two, Reason and Experience; and the one of these is a meer Cheat, the other a Curtisan. Experience it selfe tells us, that experience cozens us; the same conclusion now made triall of, speakes one thing; upon a second experiment, another; Insomuch, that learned men have bestowed one prime ho­nour on it, in making it The mother of fooles. On the other side, Reason playes the Dalilah, hath Samson in her armes, but a Philistin in her heart, [Page 253] lulls us one way, but betrayes us another. It hath two faces in one head, carries a staffe with two pikes,Charron ibid. a Pot (saith Epictetus) with two han­dles. There is no Reason but hath a contrary rea­son; and upon which of these shall I raise a prin­ciple for Truth?

Thus we see how weake our Spirit is, how false and yet how proud? The Foole that ownes it, is not so properly a companion of it, as a drudge; he goes not with it, but followes it, whereby he re­poseth himselfe meerely in his owne opinions, moves in his owne circumference, rests in his owne Center, will not vouchsafe an eare to the reasons of another, but supposes the whole world must saile by his Compasse, as if Heaven and Earth and all mov'd, when hee mov'd. But this (sayes that wise man) is a Disease of our Judge­ment, an Ignorance of our selves, in not discer­ning the weaknesse of our Spirit; which if it chance prove vigorous and quicke (as in some it doth) it is the Mother of all prodigie and dis­order, growes not only troublesome, but dange­rous; makes Earth-quakes in Religion, shakes the very Rocke and Buttresse of our Faith, justles the grey haire to make roome for an upstart, lifts at aged principles to bring in novelty, and under a colour of cleering old doubts, creates new. It would seem to remove weeds, but it sowes Tares; to root out Solecisme, but plants Error; to prune impertinences, but grafts Faction. And this is the common Plea of all Innovators, especially those of the refin'd and nimbler cut, who in my­sterious [Page 254] and abstruser points (the very Riddles and Labyrinths of Divinity) elevate their Acu­men, whet and sharpen the very point of their Spi­rit, by which they thrust into the closet of the Almighty; nay, into his very Bosome; ransacke his secrets there; call out his Prescience, his Will, his Decree, his Justice; bring them to the Barre, Arraigne them, Censure them, know at a haires breadth whom he will save or damne; or else they will devest him of his God-head, make him unjust, and so manacling his Incom­prehensiblenesse to their Reason, belch some­times their prouder blasphemies, that God must doe this, if he be God, or else he is no God; And thus whilst they follow too much the heat of their owne Spirit, they come within the lash of our Prophet, the Insipiens takes them by the sleeve, the Foole here in the Text (the holy Ghost puts it on them, Not I) Thus saith the Lord God; Woe to the foolish Prophet that followes his owne Spirit.

Nil Sapientiae odiosius acumine nimio, your richest wits are neither over-stor'd with wisedome nor holi­nesse; neither with the subtilty of the Serpent, nor the innocency of the Dove. The ordinary way of knowledge they contemne; nothing pleases them but the Curvet, and the Levolto; Vp they must in their metaphisicall Speculations, their sublimate Raptures (the high built scaffolds of their owne pride and spirit) which indeed are but the fury of braines intranc'd, and good for no­thing but the torment of themselves and others. There was never any great wit without a touch of [Page 255] madnesse; which, not rightly modifi'd as it ought, is a fit stocke to graft a villaine on, whither in Church or State. I have observed some my selfe, that have past for Master-peeces, and petty mira­cles in their way; when their discourse hath beene closely, Atheisme, and their jeast, the Scripture; And he that hath but traverst a little Ecclesiasticke story, shal finde; That in primitive times, it was the only Seminary of Heresie and Revolt; witnesse those two Fire-brands of their age, Iu­lian, and Arrius; Twas the greatnesse of their Braines made them lose their Bowells, and the foule Blasphemies they breath'd thence, pur­chas'd them a just Herse and Tombe in their owne dung. It is a fearfull thing to fall into the hands of God, a dangerous into the hands of men, but a most pernicious into the hands of our selves; When in a presumptuous and proud dotage of our owne parts, a foolish following our own spirit, we com­mit idolatry with our owne bosome, adore our selves, worship the thoughts of our owne hearts, not looking up to our primus Motor who rules and turnes this Machine and Frame of our little world; but, without any reflecting on our perso­nall imperfections, wee deifie these moulds of Earth, as if wee could raise Eternity out of ashes, or build Immortality on pillars of dust, saying to our selves, We shall bee as Gods, when God saies we are but men, and that man in his best honour is as the beast that perisheth.

You know there is a proverbe current, now in our language, but originally from the Spaniard, [Page 256] O Lord keepe my selfe from my selfe, and this is the tenour of our daily prayers, Libera nos a malo, Lord deliver us from evill. What evill? Ego sum malus, libera me a me malo, si bonus liberaverit me a malo (me, a me malo) ero de malo bonus, so the Father runnes his descant in his 30 Sermon, de verbis Apostoli. And doubtlesse, if wee but ransacke the inward man, sift the chinks and crannies of our owne breasts, wee must acknowledge with the Apostle, That in mee, that is in my flesh dwelleth no good, and there­fore, Libera me a malo, me, a me malo, Lord deliver my selfe from my selfe, my selfe from that evill in my selfe, and my selfe from my selfe that am all evill.

High thoughts are but the vaine Alarums of the heart, and 'tis the pride of it that beats them, Omnis homo qui sequitur spiritum suum, superbus est, Every man that followes his owne spirit, is a foole we know, but why a proud man good Saint Au­gustine? the Father answers putatse aliquid esse, cum nihil est, He thinkes himselfe something, when he is nothing (and in such a thought, there is both Pride and Folly, and this Pride and Folly a very nothing) Insomuch that we finde a blessednesse promised to those who are poore in Spirit, pauperes Spiritu suo (saith the Father) divites autem Spiritu divino, Serm. 30 de verb. Apost. poore in their owne Spirit, but rich in the Spirit of the Lord. True humility was ever a step to glory, and to a sence and feeling of that Spirit, which can either make us to know God, or God us, or us our selves, as we should doe.

When my spirit was overwhelmed within mee (saith [Page 257] David) then thou knewest my path. Psal. 142.3. Qua­re defecit Spiritus tuus, O Martyr, in tribulatione po­site? When thou wert in tribulation, O blessed Martyr, why was thy spirit so troubled in thee the Father that made the Quaere answers it, Vt non mihi arrogem vires meas, ut sciam, D. Aug. ut supra. quod alius in me o­peratur istam virtutem, that I might not be blowne up with a conceite of mine owne spirit, not arro­gate to my selfe mine owne strength, but know, that thou art the Fountaine of all vertues, and that their streames runne from and by thee, who doest only so replenish them and me, that out of mine and their bellyes shall flow Rivers of living waters. Thus as we are emptied of our own spirit, God fils us up with his; otherwise, when we are full, we are but empty still; empty as well of knowledge, as of grace, groap after shadowes and refemblances of things, and so are coze'nd with probabilities for truth.

There is but one certainty upon Earth, and that is, that there is nothing certaine there; and there is but one knowledge in man, and that is a great knowledge if he knew it well, that hee knowes nothing; nothing in himselfe as he should know. Nosce teipsum, was a wise mans Motto; and indeed, a hard taske if it be impartially done; It is a twisting of our vanities a little closer, a bringing of our selves within our selves, that we may say we are men indeed, that is, understand our selves, weigh our actions with our words, and our deportment with our actions; and then the Insipiens in the Text hath no reference to us, we are Prophets of a diviner straine.

There are many Plausibilities in the world, which passe currently for Gold; glitter and spangle hansomely a farre off, which brought un­to the touch will prove at best, but Alchimy, or cop­per; meere counterfeite peeces, which have stamp and colour right, but the mettall is naught. Vniver­sus mundus exercet histrioniam, the whole world is a meere Play, where he that best dissembles, acts best: And such a one carries strongly the Ap­plause of the multitude. If I would juggle a little with Divinitie; turne Impostor in my calling, make Errors in judgement, scruples in consci­ence; call Fury, zeale; and Faction purity; leave all wayes of learning to follow mine owne Spirit; Ravish Scriptures to force out doctrines for mine owne ends; empty my Rancor, by turning them to uses; give off my Charity to devoure widowes houses; leave the Field of my spirituall adversary to leade women captive, and their lusts; call wil­full Sectaries, holy professors; Open Conventicles, Sabbath-Repetitions; Braine-sicke Mechannickes, the Generations of the just; Presbyteriall Orna­ments, the Dresses of the whore; the Rochet and the E­phod, Raggs of Antichrist; In a word, would I leave the commendable Rites of an established Church: for the new-fangled fancies of mine owne braine, turne Rebell to that Discipline which I haue suck'd from the Breasts of uncorrupt Anti­quitie, and grow Separatist abroad; Damne all practices of Orthodoxe predecessors, by a new forme of Sacramentall vowes: pull downe Ceremonies, and build up Anarchy; Leave an old Church in this [Page 259] Land, to plant a new one in another; and all this under the pretence of an immediate calling, when it is nothing but the heart-burning, and proud discontent of mine owne Foolish Spirit, Sub­limi feriari sidera vertice, Earth is too vile to containe mee then, my zeale knockes at the starres, and though my personall imperfections weigh mee downe, and the knowledge of my thousand thou­sand weaknesses clogg and depresse mee even to the gates of hell; yet the Magnificats of the Peo­ple shall keepe mee on my wings; and as their voice shal elevate or mount me, so I must Soare; be my rebellions to God, or his Church, never so in­tolerable. And this proceeds, at first from a popu­lar facility in some, who receiving & entertaining whatsoever is propos'd, but in a colour of Truth, for Orthodoxe and Authentique, not sifting the ker­nell and depth of things; but pre-occupated by a hasty beliefe of particular men, and their opini­ons, subscribing wholly to their bare asseveration or negation, without more adoe, by a loose and idle lightnesse and precipitation of their judge­ment, feed themselves with Lies, versat nos, et prae­cipitat, traditus per manus error, et malumus credere, quàm judicare, Error, if it bee once Traditionary, doth strangely waft & transport the hearts of the Simple; which are more prone rashly to consent then judge; which is a maine Symptome of Spirits emasculate and sicke; indiscreetly, and woma­nishly zealous, that are carried along with Beliefes meerely, not out of choice and Judgement, but a partiall Opinion of him they fancy. The times are [Page 260] growne so perverse and peevish (and is there no cure O God, for this stubborn Phrenzie?) That as I will forsooth, so I am opinion'd, & as I am opi­nion'd, so I please to understand; and as I please to understand, so I must bee edified; and as I am edified, so is my zeale inflam'd; when he that un­derstands any thing, knowes that this way is both preposterous and false; For my will should fol­low my understanding, & my understanding assist my Judgement, & my judgement guide my opini­on; and my opinion, thus guided, direct my zeale, and then I cannot but looke on men compleatly harnessed, full of Sappe, and vigot, and not car­ried about with Shells and Rattles, things turbu­lent and empty, made only for the torture of the eare, and the perplexity of ingenuous congrega­tions. But oh the Phanaticke wilfullnesse of some, who though they meete with a Prophet of the Lord indeed, one richly clad with the prime endowments both of grace, and nature (the per­fections and Rarities of both men) insomuch that their owne consciences, (if not perversly erroni­nious) must needs tell them, that this man hath his, vocatus sicut Aaron; yet their Fancy shall sit above their Iudgement; and as they please to hu­mour another, or hee them, so he, onely shall edi­fie; the other not, though all this while hee be no better then the Prophet in the text heere, A foole that followes his owne Spirit, Charron lib. 1. cap. 43. and hath seene no­thing.

That learned Scepticke in his voluminous dis­course of Wisedome, and the nature of in (speaking [Page 261] of the vanity of men, and of their Spirits) doth Analize the whole world into three sorts of Peo­ple, and so proportions them three conditions, or degrees of spirits. In the first and lowest, are the weake and plaine Spirits of the world, of slender and course capacity, borne only to obey, serve and be lead; who in effect, are but simply men; These as the bottome, lees, and sinke of mankind he resembles to the earth, which doth nothing but suffer and receive that which is powr'd down from above. In the second loft or story, are such as are of an indifferent and middle judgement; making profession of sufficiency, knowledge, dex­terity; but doe not fully understand and judge as they should; resting themselves upon that which is commonly held, without farther enqui­ry of the truth and source of things: And these he resembles to the middle Region of the Ayre, where are form'd all the Meteors, thunderings, and alterations, which after fall upon the Earth. In the third and highest Stage, are men endued with a quicke and a cleere Spirit, of a firme and solid judgement, which doe not settle themselves in Opinions popular; but examining all things that are propos'd, naturally sound the causes, mo­tives, of them, even to the roote; These hee re­sembles to the Firmament it selfe, where all is cleere, pure, and peaceable. The Morall or ap­plication I make up thus; The spirits of the mul­titude are in themselves earthy, and dreggish; and all their infusions and distillations of know­ledge they receive from your middle region'd men [Page 262] where all the thundring and the noise is, all those hot meteors and exhalations in the braine which so embroile the church; these are the maine Boti­fewes and Incendiaries in religion, the common blow coales in ecclesiasticke tumults, carrying the people after them, in a distemper'd zeale, as that wilde Syrian in Florus did fourtythousand with a nutshell of Sulpher betweene his teeth; Flammam in­ter verba sun­debat. Flor. lib. 3. cap. 19. when on the other side, the man of judgement and solidity, hath his spirit calme, and temperate, sits downe to the rites and injunctions of his church, knowing, that many eyes see more then one, and a learned Sy­node to bee lesse erronious, then the Fancies of a private spirit. To this purpose, Saint Augustine paraphrasing on that of the Psalmist, Depluet super improbos laqueos, God shall raine snares upon the wicked, Psal. 11.6. plaies on the word depluet, and to make the Allegorie, and his Fancy kisse, call's ge­nerally all Prophets, nubes clouds; but more par­ticularly, the Pseudo-prophet, the brother of the foo­lish, here in the Text; who are ordained by God, saith the Father, ut de his, laqueos super improbes de­pluet, so that, it is the property of false prophets, you heare, to bee as clouds, by which there are snares rain'd, snares on the wicked, not else (doc­trines that sall not so much informe, as intangle them) and when the minds of the people are once intangled with their doctrines (though these doc­trines, all this while, are but snares) it is not in the power of learning either to dissolve or untwist them; For, Popular conceite is head strong; and whereas wisedome is ever carried by strength of [Page 263] Allegation, Folly and Popularity are Tyrants to them­selves; their reason is their will, and this will so perverse, and this perversenesse so stupid, that reason is no more a Guide, but a slave; and you may sooner perswade a Iew from his Talmud, or a Turke from his Alkeron, then these from their Opi­nion to which they are once rivited, Quod vult, non quod est credit, qui cupit errare, he that desires to erre, beleeves what he will, not what he should. Opinion, though ill grounded, when it is once up in the hearts of the people, will not bee hasti­ly cried downe by any secular or humane power; scarce a Divine. Let Saint Paul himselfe preach at Ephesus against the Gods of that place, the Crafts­men presently take the quarrell to heart, and in a double shoute and volley of their fury make the streets and the Temple ring, Great is Diana of the E­phesians, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. And if wee but observe (beloved) even in this our Age and Clime, the Crafts-men are the maine Spokes-men for the church, the undoubted Champions of Religion 'tis their zeale that is loude for the Temple; but this zeale look's on squint; and like that of Deme­trius and his rabble, hath a cast to their owne ends. 'Tis true, a Goddesse was in their mouth, and Dia­na strooke loud at the tongue; but t'was the sil­ver shrine, and the profit they drew thence, made the Hammer double, Great, Great is Diana. Sinnes they would have cryed-downe, and Judgements thunder'd aloude; but if the Hin, or the Omer, the measure or the ballance (oblique wayes of their Gaine) bee a little touch'd upon, the Hoobub is [Page 264] up instantly, Paul is a feducer of the people, our Craft beginnes to Reele, and then, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

Thus they play at fast and loose with the Spi­rit of God, make Religion a trick of Legerdemain, by which they would delude the eyes of the world by the untrusty promises of a faire out­side; they are a plausible entrance, I confesse; a pretty front or portall of a house, but the rooms within sluttish and unswept. Such holinesse (faies the Moralist) is a meere complexion, and not a vertue; much like the picture of a Saint in a Glasse; where the lineaments of Religion seeme drawne at a lively posture, all the silent Rheto­ricke of devotion, eyes elevated, and knees ben­ded, and hands expans'd, and yet this is but a picture still, and a picture of the greatest deceit, a vaile drawne over it, a glassie one (a transpa­rent sanctity) so brittle, and thin, and hollow, that with the least intention of the eye wee may at once discover the imposture, and pitty it. And yet forsooth these would monopolize all Religi­on to themselves; there must not be a motion of the Spirit stirring, but where they please to breath it, as if they carryed the Holy Ghost (as 'twas said they did, at the Councell of Trent) up and downe in a Cloak-bag: They pretend more to the soundnesse of divine knowledge, than any Scribe, or Rabby, or Disputer of them all. And no doubt there is more subtilty, and more acutenesse of Divinity in a Shuttle or a Needles point, than in all the body of the Schooles; and a Thimble or a [Page 265] Distaffe shall sooner knocke downe Antichrist, than a double Ʋniversitie. The spirituall Plough is not halfe so well manag'd by any, as one that was yesterday conversant with the Goade and the Sullow; he knowes when the heart is to bee plowed up, and when to lay it fallow, hee hath learn'd it from his practice at the Furrow, where, the other day, he followed the bellowing of his Oxen in the wide field, and now he is a bleating with his Sheep in the open congregation. Thus the blinde will be led by the blinde, or if they chance to see a little, Dicunt videntibus, nolite vi­dere, Esay 30.11. Seer see not, and Prophet pro­phesie not, except thou prophesie deceit; the visions of thine owne heart, the fancies of thine owne spirit, and so living in that warre of Ignorance (as Salomon stiles it) they call so great a Plague,Wisd. 14.22. Peace, Peace. Nay, Knowledge, as Irenoeus said of the Valentinians, Qui veritatis ignorantiam cognitio­nem vocant; The Ignorance of Truth, was with them a knowledge; and rudenesse of speech, true holinesse. Prophets they value none, but such as are quoted in the Text, here, those that follow the ramblings of their owne Spirit, and have seene no­thing: And to such, out of all Coasts, they come in swarmes, as the Flyes did to the Sacrifice of the false Gods, which were drawne thither, Ni­dore Sacrificii (as my Antiquary tells mee) by the savour, or stench rather of the Sacrifice, when at the Altar of the true God, there was not a Fly stirring, which gave occasion to the Iewes to de­ride the Pagans and their Gods, calling Beelzebub, [Page 266] The God of Flies. And this is no new businesse in the Church: All ages have tasted of this phren­zie in the multitude; those of the Fathers and the Apostles, many hundred yeeres agoe; that of the Prophets, many a thousand. All new ruptures in the Church are but the grey haires of an ancient Schisme, new kemb'd and colour'd, or the bones of some primitive Heresie reviv'd; the like pro­portion of dispositions and occurrences now, as of old. Errors still live, though their Founders and Ages vanish, and the vices of men are heredi­tary, though the times dye.

The word Catharoi was damn'd for an Here­ticke many an age since, and yet some of those locusts are now crawling about the Church; and it were well if they did crawle onely, they flutter almost in every congregation, Donatisme, Anabaptisme, Sabatarianisme, in every corner. Those Tenets which were worme-eaten, and even dusted with antiquity, are now again new brush'd and flourish'd, and those very principles which so long lay urn'd and buried with the ashes of their corrupter Grandsires, are rak'd up againe so plentifully, that they flye abroad in the eyes of the multitude, and so blinde them; that what of old past for a foule Schisme or Heresie, hath beene lately preach'd as the Doctrine of the Re­formed Church. But their maine Ring-leaders and Seedes-men have bin such, as Vniversities have vomited either as their burdens or their trifles, and Authority justly condemn'd to silence or sus­pension, or some other horrid Anathema; of whose [Page 267] seditious doctrines and uncontrolled practises our westerne Pulpits have not beene a little guil­tie, whence they have departed, neither with­out popular applause, nor reward; neither with an empty fame, nor purse.

But Vsque quò, Domine Iesu, Vsque quo? How long Lord Jesus, how long? how long shall thy seame­lesse coate be thus rent and divided? how long those wounds in thy side? this spittle in thy face? these thornes on thy head? these lashes on thy body? How long these daggers and darts in the bosome of thy beloved Spouse? The Church hath the same ground for complaint now, that it had of old; Filij matris meae pugnaverunt coutra me, My mothers children were angry with me, or fought a­gainst me, Cant. 1.6. Et pulchre filios matris meae (saith Saint Bernard) non autempatris sui, illos vo­cat; quia non habebant patrem, Deum, sed Diabolum. Solomon was in the right, when he call'd Muti­neers in Religion, Sonnes of their Mother, the Church; not of their Father, God; there are ma­ny In, and From her, that are not of her; some by­blowes through Faction, and Hypocrify, not all legitimate; and therefore the sonnes of my Mo­ther, not my Brothers, nor the sonnes of my Father, as if God had nothing to doe with Assacinates and Rebells in the Church; no­thing as a Father, or a God; as a Judge he hath; as a Father he hath not; He saies, A Kingdome or Family divided cannot stand; as a God hee hath not, Hee is called The God of peace, not [...] ,1. Cor. 14.33. Incompositi status (as Beza translates it) [Page 268] The God of a state or condition incomposed, where there is neither Vniformity of things, nor Manners? Hee is the God of Order, Decency, Method, Vnity; And where these are not, God is not to be found, no Deus pacis there, but that [...] , spoken of by Saint Paul, Vnquietnesse, Exagitation, Tumult, or, (as we newly render it) Confusion. And indeed, that word is most proper to the State and Church, where the Deus pacis hath nought to doe; Confusion there, there ne­cessarily. Peace is the Nurse both of strength and plenty, if it be Fax Dei; But there is a kinde of peace, that the Deus pacis will not father, and there he is Deus eversionis as Tertullian tolde the Marcionist in his 4. booke, 3. chapter.

In Schismes, Heresies, Seditions, there is a kinde of peace in respect of the Agents, though not of their Ends, and Agreement in their Intentions, though not in their Execution (if this be not more properly a combination than an agreement) Now God is not there Deus pacis, but Deus eversi­onis. 'Tis true, God is not the God of confusion, but of peace, saith Saint Paul; But where is hee so? In all the Churches of the Saints, 1 Cor. 14.33. So that amongst his Saints onely hee is Deus pa­cis, but amongst their enemies & disturbers he is Deus eversionis.

Of the Arke (which was a Type of the true Church) and the Flouds on which it was toss'd, of the troubles and persecutions of it, God was heretofore Deus conservationis: But when men to preserve themselves from the flouds of their own [Page 269] fancies, will raise up an Arke of bricke, a Tower whose top should even reach the Heavens (as if the earth were not large enough for their pride and folly) God was Deus confusionis. And doubt­lesse, when the Walls of Ierusalem are pulling downe, and those of Babel raising up, the peace and unity of the Church demolishing, and Anar­chie building on so fast, God will not bee long there, Deus conservationis, hee will be at length, Deus confusionis. Though thou build aloft, Obad. 4. and nestle among the Clouds, yet I will bring thee downe into the dust, saith the Lord God.

And 'tis well, that what the God of Heaven thus threatneth, the Gods of the Earth will put in execution. Authority which this way hath been long time asleepe, begins to rub up her eyes againe; and Aarons Rod which seem'd in our latter times to droope and wither, doth at length blossome and bud afresh. Canons, Constitutions, Decrees, which were formerly without soule or motion (Oh blessed be the religious care of an in­comparable Soveraigne, a powerfull Metropoli­tan, and by them here an active Diocesan) have recover'd a new life and vegetation. Ceremonies, harmelesse Ceremonies, which some in the heat of their foolish spirit, had Anathematiz'd, and thrust out of our Church as Antichristian and superstitious, have gotten their former lustre and state againe. The Academicall Hood and Surplesse, so long in ex­ile and disgrace amongst us, are visible here in our Congregations. Churches are new swept of their dust and Rubbish, and put on a more de­cent [Page 270] and ornamentall dresse. Those knees that were heretofore so stubborne and stiffe-joynted, that they would not stoope at a Sacrament, begin at length (without feare it seemes of their mur­mur'd idolatry) to bowe at the Name of JESUS: Nay, those tongues which were set on fire, and Mar-Prelated you know of old, against the Ecclesi­asticke Hierarchy, can pray now (how humbly or heartily I know not) for the most Reverend Arch-Bishops, and the Reverend Bishops. And where­as that place ofSacrificium incruentum. Sacrifice, which not long since was so odious to them, that they beslabber'd it with their greasie imputations of Dressers and Oyster-boords; they now begin to re-mould their language, and restore it to the primitive Title and Stile of The Holy Table at least, though not the Holy Altar: Though there are still I con­fesse some black-mouth'd censurers, which will not onely barke and snarle at this Reformation; but if they were not muzzel'd by Authority, bite too: Men that this way even hate to be refor­med, stopping their eares at the voyce of our charmings, and crying downe the Ordinances of our Church, as the Edomites of old did Ierusalem, Downe with them, Psal. 137 7. down with them, even to the ground; for such is ordain'd that Apostolicall sword, Ab­scindantur qui disturbant vos, Gal. 5.12. Let them be cut off that trouble you.

Here Aaron and his Oyle must part, and exer­cise his Rod onely, remembring that of Saint Ie­rome to his Heliodorus, Solum pietatis genus est, in hac re esse crudelem, Cruelty in this kinde is a great [Page 271] piety, nay, a mercy, that those who have beene so gratiously invited to this supper of the good King, and they refusing to come, that of the parable may at last castigate and bring home, Coge ingredi, Compell them to come in. Luke 14.23.

There are among us (right Reverend) and I even bleed to speake it,Qui dum vo­lunt esse Iudaei & Christiani, nec Iudaeisunt, nec Christiant. Hos. 7.8. certaine Hermophrodite Divines, meere Centaures in Religion; Saint Au­stines Amphibions, in resemblance Iewes and Chri­stians both, in truth neither; Cakes on the hearth not turn'd, certaine dow-bak'd professors, which have a tongue for Geneva, and a heart for Amster­dam; their pretence for Old England, and their project for New; to the Iew they become as a Iew; to them that are under the Law, as under the Law; to them that are weake, as weake; but not with the same intention of the Apostle,1 Cor. 9.20. to gaine some, but to betray all. 'Twere well if such had a hooke put in their Nostrils, and a bridle in their jawes; that as there is now a generall uni­formity in our habit, so there may be in our mind and manners too, one Heart, one Conformity, one Obedience.

I shut up all with the advice of Saint Paul to his Ephesians, Since he hath given some Apostles, Ephes. 4. some Prophets, some Pastors and Teachers, for the perfecting of the Saints, for the worke of the Mi­nistery, for the edifying of the body of Christ; Be not henceforth any more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of Doctrine, by the slight of men, and cunning craf­tinesse of those whereby they lye in wait to de­ceive; [Page 272] but speaking the truth in love, grow up to him in all things which is our head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joyn'd together and compacted, by that which every joynt supplyeth, according to the effectuall wor­king in the measure of every part, maketh in­crease of the body to the edifying of it selfe in love. And therefore, if there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellow­ship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill my joy, that yee be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, and of one judgement, end eavouring to keepe the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, knowing that there is but one Body, one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Faith, one Baptisme, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.1 Thes. 5.23. And Now the very God of peace san­ctifie you throughout, and I pray God that your whole spirit, and soule, and body, may be preserved blamelesse unto the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ. Amen, Amen.

Gloria in excelsis Deo.

The Good Paſtor. A S …

The Good Pastor. A SERMON Ad Clerum. Preached at the Primary Visitation of the right Reverend Father in GOD WILLIAM by divine providence Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells. At CHARD in SOMMERSET, Anno Dom. 1633. By Humphrey Sydenham.

MATTH. 7.15.

Cavete vobis a pseudo-Prophetis, qui veniunt ad vos in vestimentis ovium, sed intrinsicus sunt lupi rapaces.

LONDON, Printed by IOHN BEALE, for Humphrey Robinson, at the Signe of the Three Pigeons in PAULS Church-yard. 1637.

TO MY REVEREND AND LEARNED FRIEND Dr. RALEIGH Chaplaine in Ordinary to his Majesty, and Rector of Chedsey in Sommerset.


WOnder not, that in such a troope of Dedications, I set a Learned Doctour in the Reare; for it is my custome in publike Epistles, as in my private Letters, To remember my choisest Friend in a Postscript. Besides, you know I am a Divine, [Page 276] and no Herauld; and therefore should not so much study priority of place, as merit; or had I done both, in these, I should have met with no great disparity, since vertue was ever thought a companion for bloud and fortune, especially in them which can challenge as well an eminency of Descent, as Knowledge. And therefore to suppose a distance here, were but to distinguish men at Ordinaries, and make an upper end at a round Table. To you then I cannot but send this wandering Pastor of mine, who a­mongst my other Pilgrims abroad, hopes to find countenance & entertainment frō you, and from you in a just claime and interest; where (like seve­rall streames in a full channell) Integritie, Learning, and Charity meet, and what else may speake a Pastor, good; or a good man, glorious. In confidence whereof I tender this, with my selfe (and you can have no more of your best votaries than all) assuring you that you have not a truer honourer any where, than with

Your most respective Friend, and Servant, HUM. SYDENHAM.


JEREM. 3.15.

I will give you Pastors according to my heart, which shall feede you wich knowledge and understan­ding.

GOD is the God of Israel, and Israel is now sicke at heart, and her Pastors as sicke as Israel. Her Diseases are in chiefe two, Ignorance and Ido­latry, and these no lesse fatall than infectious. This contagion hath o­ver-spread the Land,Numb. 1.46. and amongst so many hundred thousands in her [Page 278] Tribes, which have bin worshippers of the true God (so many that they have bin compar'd to the stars of Heaven for multitude) there is but a remnant free, seven thousand left that have not bowed to Baal. Shee that had so long the affectionate and fami­liar stile of the Daughter of my people, Ezech. 23.3. and in puri­ty preserv'd her Virgin Teats unbruised (as the Prophet speakes) is at length become the Strum­pet of the Nations: Vpon every high Mountaine, and under every greene Tree; Jer. 3.6. shee hath played the Harlot, and through the lightnesse of her whoredomes hath com­mitted Adultery with stockes and stones. Those Al­tars which were wont to smoake onely to the Lord of Hostes, now cast up their incense to false and imaginary Gods: Jer. 7.18. The children gather wood, and the Fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead the Dough, to make Cakes to the Queene of Heaven. The Gods of the Ammonite and the Moabite have their Offerings of drinke and bloud, when the Mighty One of Iacob hath not so much as a Sheepe or an Oxe for Sacrifice. In this great disorder of the Church, GOD himselfe will become Bishop, and intends a Visitation no lesse severe than speedie; and because he will reforme as well as visite, he threat­neth the deposing of the Old, with the choice of a New Priesthood. Wherein you may please to ob­serve, first, 1 the manner of Ordination; and that in the Dabo vobis, 2 I will send, or give you; Next, the parties to be ordered, and they are intitled here to the word Pastores, I will give you Pastors; Thirdly, 3 their Qualification, Secundum cor meum, Pastors according to my heart; 4 Fourthly, their [Page 279] Office, Pascent vos, they shall feed you; Lastly, 5 the power and manner of that feeding, in respect of their mentall endowments, Scientiâ, and Intelli­gentia, with Knowledge and Vnderstanding.

Dabo vobis, I will give you.

I Begin this Dabo vobis, Pars 1. with the glosse of Stella upon that Mittam vos, of Christ to his Disci­ples, Luke 10. Non est omnium se divino ministerio ingerere, sed qui a Deodatur, & eligitur. Instead of a Translator here, pray take an Apostle, who gives us the sence, though not the words, No man takes this honour to himselfe, but hee that is called of God, as Aaron was, Heb. 5.4. In matters of di­vine Ministery, to runne, and not be sent, is, not to undertake, but to invade it; which invasion is no lesse bold than dangerous; and therefore amongst the Iewes, such as prophesied without a Vision, were called Dreamers, and not Prophets; or if Prophets, Prophets of the deceit of their owne heart, Jer. 23.26. and by the Sword and Famine such Prophets were consumed, Ier. 14.15.

The Scribe that made a voluntary tender of himselfe to Christ, resolving to follow him wher­so'ere he went, was refused with a secret checke, Mat. 8.19. whilst another, that in a religious excuse would needs goe bury the Dead (bury perhaps his owne dead, his corruptions) the Lord commanded instantly to goe and preach the Kingdome of God, Luk. 9.60.

Thus the intruder upon divine Ordinances doth justly meet with his Quomodo huc introisti, Friend how camest thou hither? When the humble man that chides his owne abilities by undervalu­ing them, shall be honour'd with an Ascende al­tius, Friend sit up higher, and in that height findes worship with all that are about him, Luke 14.10.

It is the observation of Saint Augustine, that Christ was boldly invited to the house of a Pha­risee, but modestly denyed the roofe of a Centu­rion. Audi (saith the Father) in domo erat, D. Aug. de ver. Dom. in Mat. Serm. 6. in corde non erat, hee was in the house of the Pharisee, not in his heart; And why? the Pharisee was ambi­tious, and pride is not the seate of Religion: On the other side, In corde erat, in domo non erat, hee was in the heart of the Centurion, not in his house; why? the Centurion was humble, and humility is the ground-worke of all spirituall advancement. And doubtlesse hee that is thus accommodated, is fittest for a sacred designe; whither for Gods call, or choice, or employment (for to call, to choose, and to employ, Ieron. part. 3. Tract. 15. Ep. 82. are termes distinct) upon which, some of the Fathers playing as well the Criticke as the Divine, would have the word vocation to belong indifferently to God and man, election properly and solely unto God; the Church (say they) might,Multi sunt vocati magi­stri per omnes ecclesias, multi vocati m ni­stri: sed nes­cio an electi magistri & min stri. Ibid. and did then, vocare, but not eligere; Hence it was that Saint Ierome tells his Heraclius, That there were Masters and Ministers in the Church, to his knowledge, abundantly called, but whither chosen, or not, he left to the searcher of their hearts, and his; And thereupon con­cludes, [Page 281] that it was with some Pastors, as with some Martyrs, Qui vocati sunt Martyres, & non electi; & he instances in those, Qui postea to rmentorum Agones, Ierom. ibid. & Carcerum, non usquè ad finem in Confession is toler antiae perseverarunt; So that, belike, that Pastor that shrinkes and gives ground in time of persecuti­on, is but Pastor vocatus; But he that so buckleth on his armour, that neither Sword, the Fagot, nor the Wheele, nor all the dreadfull Engines of the Tormentor can startle one inch from the constant profession of his faith; He is electus Pastor, or ra­ther Pastor coronatus; the Lord assuring him, that if he be faithfull unto death, he will give him a crowne of life. Rev. 2.10. But doubtlesse, the Father, there by the word Electus, meant rather the eter­nall, then the temporall election; That to the e­verlasting Kingdome, not this barely to the Priest­hoode; For, if we examine the body of divine writ, we shall finde, that the usuall liveries of God's speciall servants, are in this kinde, princi­pally two, Missio and Vocatio, or else, the Dabo vo­bis in the text; I will give you; Hence it is, that we so often meete with a mitto Prophetas, and a mittet Operarios, and a mittam Legatos, and a dabit Angelos; Labourers, and Messengers, and Prophets, Mat. 23.34. Mat. 9.28. Mar. 1.2. Mat. 26.53. and Apostles, and Embassadors, and Angells them­selves are under the condition of a mittam vos, or a dabo vobis, he sends, or gives, or calls them; And, certainly, they were not so neerly Gods, if God did not so send, or call them. Those are not truly Pa­stors, that have not heard the voyce of the great Shepheard, that have not beene acquainted with [Page 282] his whistle, or his Call. The sonnes of Zebedee were but poore fishermen mending their nets, 'till the Lord call'd them. Math. 4.12. Saint Paul is in fury run­ning to Damascus, 'till by the grace of God he was called. Gal. 1.15. Nay, the great Byshop, and Shep­heard of our soules, Christ Jesus himselfe, comes not to his office without a calling neither; I have called thee in righteousnes (saith the Prophet) and I have called thee from the Wombe; From the Bowells of thy mother have I made mention of thy name, I have made thy mouth as a sharpe sword, and as a polished shaft in my Quiver have I hid thee. Isai. 49.1, 2. verses.

Thus unbidden Guests may not come to the sup­per of the Lord, and a wedding garment is requir'd to the marriage of the Kings sonne; Whom God employes in his services, he calls; and whom he calls, he cloaths; giveth as well abilities of doing, as authority to doe; And where both these are, the Lord hath some speciall interest. If Saint Paul have a doore of utterance, God himselfe must o­pen it;Coloss. 4.3. If the Apostles speake wonderfully the mysteries of God,Act. 2.3. the holy Ghost must come downe upon them in fiery tongues; If Isaiahs lipps be puri­fied from their uncleannesse, a Seraphim must touch them with a coale from the Altar. Isai 6.6. There is nothing to be done in spirituall undertakings, without this dabo vobis, I will give you. Hence it was, that in time of consecration, certaine pee­ces of the Sacrifice were given or put into the Priests hands under the Law. Exod. 29. (the cere­monies of that age, looking belike, to those of [Page 283] ours) where as an emblem of our Ite, and Praedica­te, the Byshop, in time of ordination, gives a Bi­ble into our hands, not only as a rule and plat­forme of that which should direct us, but also a sacred witnesse of that profession, into which we are by a divine hand invested. Hereupon, the He­brewes of old were wont to stile consecration, T. G. Iewish Antiq. lib. 1. cap. 5. the filling of the hand, so it stands upon record against Ieroboam, as his perpetuall wound and infamy; whosoever would, he filled his hand, that is, con­secrated whom he list, and out of the basest of the people, made priests of the high places. Kings. 13.33.

The Church of God is never so much sensible of her Blemish & Dishonour, as when her Pastors are thus sifted out of the very drosse & rubbish of the multitude. And therefore, in the first planta­tion of it, God himselfe gives Moses an especiall charge, and Moses Aaron, that his Levites (for the text saies, they were wholly his) should be first se­vered from among the children of Israell, and then their cloathes washed, were presented as an Offe­ring before the Lord. Numb. 8. v. 14, 15, 21.

Now their manner of Severing was double;Numb. 3.15. First in the initiation of their office, which was, when they were but a moneth old;Numb. 8.24. & then at their consecration, at the age of 25. which was solemnly done through the imposition of handes, by the sonnes of Israell (some reade) others, by the first borne of Israel, who were then the representative Church; and in allusion to this, The Church of Christ is called the Church of the first borne. Heb. 12.23. Insomuch, that this custome of severing or separating from the [Page 284] multitude, was no lesse practised in the time of the Gospell,Acts. 13.2. then under the Law; Saint Lukes [...] , looking as well to the christian minist­ery, as to the Jewish Priesthood. Separate mee Paul and Barnabas Acts. 13.2. And God hath sepa­rated mee from my mothers wombe. Gal. 1.16. To shew belike, that Gods Embassadors should be distinct from others, as well in matter of Sanctity, as Choyce; So we reade, that Stephen, Philip and Nicanor were separated from the multitude, and the Apostles setting them before them, prayed, and after­wards laid their hands upon them. Acts 6.6.

In which manner of theirs, for conferring of holy orders, T. G. Iew. Antiq. lib. 1. cap. 6. there was (as our english Iosephus ob­serves) a double posture observed, [...] , the Imposition of hands, in t [...]en of consecration Acts. 8.17. and [...] , the holding up of hands, in token of confirmation. Acts 14.22. The first of these borrowed from the Hebrewes, the second from the Athenians, who had two sorts of Magistrates; the one chosen by Lots, the other by holding up of hands. And this Imposition of hands was primitive­ly a custome so hallowed, that there was scarce a remarkeable Blessing, or Honour, whither secu­lar or spirituall, conferred publickly on any, without this ceremony of laying on of hands; Inso­much, that Saint Paul chargeth strictly his belo­ved Timothy to keepe himselfe pure, and to lay hands suddenly on no man, least he be partaker of other mens sinnes. 1. Tim. 5.22.

Here is a good Remembrancer for the Ephod, a fit Caution for Aaron himselfe; that our learned [Page 285] Prelates admit not such into holy orders, as may pull either dishonour on themselves, or scandall on the Church; that those they lay their Reverend hands on may bee, 'though not altogether [...] , men eminently gifted in all variety of knowledge; yet at least [...] , Irreprehensibiles, unreproveable either for Life or Learning; whereupon the great Doctor of the Gentiles tells his yong Byshop, that he that is capable of the office of a Deacon, must holde the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience 1. Tim. 3.9. Non solum peritus in religione debet, sed castus moribus, as Aretius glosses that place; he must be well verst both in the Fundamentalls of Learning and the practicall part of Manners; Insomuch, that the Apostle there, calls Faith a Mystery; and a mystery (you know) Ignorance cannot reach to; moreover, the Conscience he desireth to be kept pure, and purity dissolutenesse will not comply with. And therefore he comes af­terwards with his Hiprobentur in the 10. verse, let these be first proved; Probation is required both for matter of ability, and deportment. 'Tis not safe, no not discreet to take mens learning or man­ners upon trust; And therefore, in this case, the advice of Saint Bernard to his Eugenius, will passe for Authentique, Viros probatos oportere deligi, S. Bernard. lib. 4. de conside­rat. ad Euge­nium. non probandos; Such as are admitted must be of a tried sufficiency, and their worth, not of a naked Eccho, and report; which hath beene such a neg­ligence, or rather an abuse, crept into our latter times, that with some enemies of the Church, E­piscopall Honour hath beene brought not only in­to [Page 286] question, but some censure; A testimoniall letter (as they murmure it) sets an Ignoramus into or­ders without examination; And the approbation of the next justice into a Lecture, without licence. Hence it is, that the Church is sicke of so many Feavers and Dropsies as now raigne in it; men on the one side, so burning with an affected zeale, that it cinders and dries up the vitalls of religion, Knowledge, and Conformity.

On the other side, men wholly obstructed in their intellectuall parts, swoln up with waterish and corrupt principles; what proceeds from them is crude and indigested, nothing of solid nourish­ment either for themselves or others. And questionlesse, if the blind thus leade the blinde wee cannot but expect the ambo in foveam, a falling into the dike, a deepe and a double one; of vice and error; and then the fearefull prediction of the Prophet on the Land, will bee compleated in the Church, Formido, & Fovea, & Laqueus super te, Feare, and the Pit, and the Snare are upon thee, Isai. 24.17.

It was not well, doubtlesse, with the Watchmen of Israel, Isa. 56.10. when Gods prophets complain'd against them, in a Nescierunt universi, They were all blinde, all ignorant. For, what meanes Ignorance and Blindnesse in the Sanctuary, where the Lampe and the Oyle should flourish? Is it not a shame, that those hands which trades have made Mechani­call and prophane, should dare at length to weilde the Censer, lay hold on the very hornes of the Altar, bring the Sacrifice to the doore of the Ta­bernaole, [Page 287] stand before God and the congregation as his Anoynted, as dispencers of his blessed word and sacraments? Good Lord, what relation have A paire of sheeres to a Church? or a Loome, to a Pul­pit? And yet our later times have, to the amaze­ment of many, produced some, whose tongues have beene as nimble at a Sermon, as their hands formerly at a Shuttle; and others growne as ex­pert in dividing of a Text, as in times past they were in cutting of a garment: Nay some whom Courts have discarded, and Corporations, as men ei­ther lazie or unapt for such kind of Negotiations; have at last beene shouldred into the Ministery, and growne as conversant with a Bible, as of old with an office or a Shop-booke; and their Pens as fluent at a Postill, as heretofore at a Summa To­talis, or a worme-eaten Record.S. Bernard lib. 4. de consider. ad Eugenium. Sed a nobis mos iste, vel potiùs mors ista non cepit, utinam in nobis de­sinat. This is no moderne calamity, a sinne of one age or clime onely, other places and times have tasted of the like disorder; insomuch that Anti­quity gives us intelligence of many which have been meerely Layicks, and for an itch of tempo­rall preferment (their Bishops being lately dead) have in the vacancy of their See, been shaven, and made suddenly Priests, Et quo miles nunquam ex­titit, Greg. mag. lib. 4. Epist. ex Re­g stro. 13. Dux religionis fieri non timuit, He that was ne­ver before a Souldier fighting under Christs holy Banner, was at length made Generall of the field, and feared not to be a Conduct even of Religion it selfe, Res detestabilis in Ecclesia, saith the Father, Cap. 95. A thing so distastefull to good men, and of such ob­loquy [Page 288] to the Church of God, that the Father com­playning of the like abuses in his age, perswades Ʋirgilius the Bishop to move Childebert his King, Vt hujus peccati maculam à regno suo funditùs repellat, in his fourth Booke of Epistles, ex Registro, 95. chapter. Nay, Rome her selfe (though she much vaunt in the Title of the Mother Church) is not without her Moles and Scarres this way; Some of her owne Sonnes, I know not whether out of Zeale or Envie have bespaul'd her shrewdly, de­clayming against her Prelates for their suddaine jumpe from the Court to the Consistory; whose for­mer imployments and endeavours were wholly devoted, Iuri Caesareo, and could give no other ac­count of their learning, Quàm Ʋenationi & Volupta­tibus student. At Councels, they were but as ciphers and margents, or rather mutes; whilst others spake, they were Instar ligni elinguis, vel lapidis mu­ti, As a dumbe stone, or a tonguelesse peece of wood, and such there were in Sacro Concilio Tri­dentino, the sacred and famous Councell of Trent was not exempted from this infamy,Stella in cap. 6. Lucae. one of their Friers tells me so in his Commentaries upon the sixth of Luke 39. verse.

—Pudet haec opprobria—
Et dici potuisse, & non potuisse refelli.

Now the Ground and Originall of these cor­rupt abuses in the Church,Flens dico, ge­mens denuncio, Greg. ut sup. I suppose to bee that which Saint Gregory mournfully obtrudes to some Prelates of his Age, generally condemning [Page 289] herein the practices of France and Germany, where there were none admitted to Sacred Or­ders; sine commodi datione without a Gratuity or Present; not remembring, it seemes, that strict precept of Christ to his Disciples; Who giving them power against uncleane Spirits, and sending them abroad to cure all manner of diseases, bids them Heale the Sicke, cleanse the Lepers, raise the Dead, cast out Divells, but with this caution, gratis accepist­is, gratis date; neither provide golde your selves, nor accept any offered you: Loe, freely you have received, freely give Math. 10.10. The taking of a few shekels of Silver, and a few changes of Ray­ment, stuck Naamans Leprosy upon Gehazi, and his upon his house for ever. And upon this ground belike it was, that our Saviour afterwards com­ming into the Temple of Ierusalem, with great in­dignation overthrew the Tables of the money chan­gers, and the Seates of them that solde doves: And why? why? The Church is not a place of merchandise, Math. 21.12. the selling of doves is dangerous in the Temple & if we may beleeve the Fathers comment on that place, a sinne so hainous, that it toucheth upon the holy Ghost, Columbas vendere est despiritu sancto commodum temporale percipere, he that makes a tem­porall commodity by the gifts of the holy Ghost,Greg. lib. 4. Epist. ex Reg st. cap. 95. doth but sell doves in the Temple, translates a Church to an Exchange, makes a house of prayer, but a den for theeves. And for this, or the like oc­casion, one Symon doomes another with a pecunia tua tecum in perditionê, Acts 8, 10. Thy money perish with thee Acts. 8.10.

And now for redresse of those grosse enormities in the Churches where they raigne (as God for­bid they should raigne or touch here in a Church reformed) there are two things necessarily requi­red in their Guides and Governours, Vigilancy, and Integrity; that they looke on men fraught with sufficiency and worth: and not transported with any sinister or by-respects, either of profit, or partiality. 'Tis lamentable, that Ignorance and Simplicity should be thus braying out the O­racles of God, that such beasts should be emploied about the carriage of his Arke, which can doe no­thing but low after their calves at home. Moses tells plainely the Israelite, 1. Sam. 6.12. non junges Bovem & Asi­num, an Oxe and an Asse shall not plough together, Deut. 22. that is (as the Father moralls it) Sapi­entem cum stolido non junges inpraedicatione verbi. In the spirituall plough Wisedome and Folly are unequally yok'd;Greg Hom'l. 19. super Ezek. Knowledge and Ignorance will never draw together; and therefore wee reade, that the Raunge of the mountaines is the feeding for the wilde Asse; Iob. 39.8. but the fruitfull Fielde for the Oxe that treadeth out the corne. 1. Cor. 9.9. Send then the illiterate a grazing on the mountaines; Ignorance and Barrennesse will dwell together; But place the Schollar with the laborious Oxe, direct Learning to the corne-field, and the fruitfull Vine to the greene pastures, and the still waters to the prepared Table, and the cup that overstoweth; from the Vale of death to the Path of Righteousnesse, that hee may dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psal. 23.

I conclude this tedious point with the advice [Page 291] of that devout Abbot to his advanced Proselyte; and by way of humble suite preferre the same to the reverend care of him, whom God's speciall pro­vidence hath made a super-intendent of his Church here; Beseeching him in the bowells of Christ Iesus, that those which shall bee hereafter partakers of his Dabo vobis, whom he shall either sanctify by laying hands on, or otherwise pub­likly admit to any service in the Church, may be such as the Father there squares-out, a President and a Patterne unto others; Qui sunt compositi ad mores, probati ad sanctimoniam, parati ad obedi­entiam, subjecti ad disciplinam, catholici adfidem, fide­les ad dispensationem, concordes adpacem, conformes ad unitatem: This is not all, I yet presse closer with Saint Bernard, Sint in judicio recti, in jubendo discreti, S. Bernard. lib. 4. de conside­rat. ad Eugeni­um: circa medi um. in loquendo modesti, in professione devoti, in zelo sobrji, in misericordia non remissi, in otio non otiosi, quorum ingressus pacificus, non molestus exitus, qui Ecclesias non spolient, sed emendent, qui famae provideant suae, nec invideant alienae. Heere is all, and that is e­nough, enough, I am sure for the matter of ordina­tion, tis time now to looke on the Parties orde­red, and they are described here by the word Past­ors, Pastors with a qualification; after mine owne, which is the second part, I will give you Pastors after mine owne heart.

Dabo Pastores, I will give you Pastors.
Pars 2.

The word PASTOR is of a large dimensi­on; and if wee traverse the latitude and ex­tent thereof, it will involve in the generality, any Teacher in the Church. But because some of them insteed of starres fixt in their Orbes, have prov'd Wandring starres, Iude 13. reserved for darkenesse; and the Text being in a direct Antipathy with such, whom the Prophets style, Idole, corrupt, brutish, destroying Pastors; Ier. 10.21. Let's goe up a little to the Mountaines of Israell, to the Fat pastures, where the Lord's Flocke and Folds he, and there from the scriptures them­selves, take a view whom he hath made choyce of, what Pastors he hath cull'd out, after his owne heart, where wee shall finde that as God is a God of Providence, so of Order; And as in all other things, so principally in his Church. And that wee may beginne in Moses (for before every man was King, and Prophet, and Priest in his owne Family) It will appeare, that the first foundation of it was laid in inequality; God then distin­guishing her Attendants into three orders or degrees, Priests, Levites, Nethinims, and above these an Aaron, as Superintendent and Commander. After Moses death (long after) the people retur­ning out of Babylon, wee have a speciall mention of certaine Teachers in Israell, which were also distinguished into three severall rankes Wisemen, Scribes, Disputers; and these not onely succeeding but subordinate to the Prophets which Saint [Page 293] Paul hath a glaunce at against the Iewes, where is the Wise, where is the Scribe, where is the Disputer? 1. Cor. 1.20.

When the Temple was rebuilt, though these Orders grew into Sects, and instead of them wee finde Essenes, Pharises, and Sadduces, yet not these,Ephes. 4.11. without their Primate, and Metropolitan: And in the time of our Saviour, when Sects and Orders were so intermingled, that wee could scarce dist­inguish them, yet they all joyne in a Superior; and wee meete with Priests, and Scribes, and Elders, flocking for advise to the pallace of Caiaphas the high Priest. Math. 26.3. After these, wee finde Past­ors, Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, and they, thus distinguished by the great Doctor Saint Paul: And lastly, Elders, Presbyters, Deacons, and these under their Bishop Timothy. 1. Tim. 1.5. So that a priority of degreee and power in the Priest­hood, wee may draw downe from Moses to Christ, from Christ to the Apostles, and from them to the Fathers, and Prelates of the Church; not only by Ecclesiasticall or Apostolicall tradition or consti­tution, but, for ought I am hitherto posseess'd of otherwise (and I would some higher Iudgement would enforme mee better) After Gods owne heart andQuamvis forsan, res ipsae in Ecclesia con­stitutae humani sint, sive Ec­clesiastici juris Ipsa tamen ob­ligatio ad Re­verentiam & promptam O­bedientiam ta­libus Ecclesiae constitutioni­bus exlnben­dam, est juris Divint: Iuxta illa dicta E­vangellca, Math. 18.17. 1. Cor. 14.32. Heb. 13.17. Io. Forbes. Ir e­nicum, lib. 2. cap. 1. sect. 5. Iure divino. Insomuch, that Saint Ierome S. Ieron. com­ment. in Epist. ad Tit. cap. 1. him­selfe, who hath beene reputed a great stickler for the equality of Church-men, and a Father that hath sometimes rivall'd Presbyters with Bishops, Idem writing to his Evagrins, tells him, thus, Vt scia­mus traditiones Apostolicas, sumptas de lege &c., Parte 3. tract. 4. Epist. 9. ad Evagrium. that wee may know Apostolicall traditions to bee derived [Page 294] from the old Law; wee doubt not but of what con­dition Aaron, his Sonnes, and the Leuites were in the Temple, Hoc sibi Episcopi, &c. The same, Bi­shops, Ministers and Deacons challenge in the Church.

Now, who knowes not that Aaron by Gods owne appointment was superiour to his Sonnes, his Sonnes to the Levites, the Levites to the Ne­thinims? So that a Bishop may claime a tran­scendency in the Christian Church, even by di­vine Ordinance and Institution;Est. in lib. 4. sent. dist. 24. sect. 25. or if the truth hereof could not be cleerely evidenced out of those sacred Monuments, (yet as the sameEcclesiae sa­lus in summi Sacerdotis dig­n [...]tate pendet: cut si non Ex­ors quaedam, & ab om tibus eminens det ur potestas tot in Ecclesiis effici­entur Schisma­ta, quot Sa­cerdotes. S. Hieron. in Dia­log. adversus Luciferian. Fa­ther addes) for avoiding of factions, and muti­nies, and confusion in the Church, there is one, eminently One, requir'd necessarily to sit at the Helme and Rudder, a Pilot and Steers-man in those differences (A Bishop) otherwise there would bee as many Schismes in the Church, as Pastors; And certainely, where disorders have beene so frequent, they have proceeded principal­ly through a defect of superiours, who either had not the edge of Authority; or having it, have blunted it; though some, who have beene im­bark'd wholly in matters of Discipline, have from the discontented spirits of their age, re­ceiv'd their censure rather of [...] , and [...] , than Episcopi. Arer. in 1 Tim. 3.1. And yet if wee looke to the Analogy of Reason, as well as Scripture, we must either grant them a superintendency, or else make an absolute confusion. For it is here, as it is with Instruments, if all the strings be unisons, there [Page 295] can be no harmony. That hand is unshapen and little better than monstrous, where all the sin­gers are of the same length; Parity, in a Church, is prodigious. There must be as well a superiority in Ecclesiasticke as in Civill government, there being required in both, One eminent above the rest, as Saul was higher than any of the people from the shoul­ders upwards, 1 Sam. 9.2. 'Tis not enough that there are in the Church [...] , Seers, but there must be also [...] , Overseers; so Saint Paul chargeth the Elders of Ephesus, Take heed to the Flocke, of which the Holy Ghost hath made you Over­seers, Acts 20.28. The old Roman was but laugh'd at, that would make an Army of all Comman­ders, for where there were none to obey, there could be none to governe. And therefore the Wise man sayes, that the Church is Tanquam acies ordi­natal, as an Army with her Banners displayed, Cant. 6.4. And in such an Army one Officer is subordinate to another, and a common Souldier unto both; Some are appointed to be Horse-men, some to runne before the Chariots, some Captaines of sifties, some Captaines of hundreds, some Captaines of thou­sands, 1 Sam. 8.12. Hereupon Church-men have beene by some resembled unto Starres; for, as in the Firmament above, one Starre differs from another both in glory and magnitude, so they doe also in the Firmament of the Church here: O­thers compare them unto Angels, and as there is a Hierarchy of them, so of these also, the inferiour Angels are illuminated by a higher order of An­gels; so should it be with those Angels of the [Page 296] Church below, the Spirits of the Prophets being subject to the Prophets, and God being every where the God of Order, and not of confusion, 1 Cor. 14.33. Moreover, it is evident, that the 70. Disciples were inferiour to the Apostles, the Levites to the Priests, even Iure Divino; and in consent to this, the Fathers warble sweetly, the Bishops succeeded the Apostles; the Pastors and Presbyters, the 70. Disciples; so that as on the one side, they were inferiour to the Apostles; so on the other, these to the Bishops. Which alle­gation of the Cardinall (for it is Bellarmines alle­gation) some of your Dutch Hotspurs labouring to wave, not onely exclude Bishops from Apo­stolicall authority, but also from succession; and to throw them cleane under hatches, advance their owne Pastors, and can allow them to be the Apostles Successors, Aliquo modo; Ames. Bel. E­nerv. Tom. 2. c. 4. p. 113. but Bishops (as they now are) Nullo modo; so the factious Fra­neker with his Moles sine nervis, 2 Tome, 4. chapter. But if this shall passe for Text, and they can thus dis-myter Bishops to crowne their Presbyters; how was it that Titus by the appointment of Saint Paul (from God no doubt, otherwise what had Saint Paul to doe to appoint Titus?) was left at Creet, to ordaine Elders there in every City, to reject Hereticks, and to set in order the things which were amisse? Tit. 1.5. And Titus was the Bishop, the first Bishop of the Cretians. Moreover, how came it to passe,Euseb. lib. 3. cap. 4. that Timothy had by the same Saint Paul, power committed unto him over Presbyters, and counsell given him to admit an accusation, or [Page 297] not; to punish, or not to punish; 1 Tim. 5.19. And that, Timothy was a Bishop too, the first Bishop of Ephesus, who can contradict? Now,Euseb. lib. 3. cap. 4. what can these instances otherwise imply then a Superiority by divine law? and yet, this is againe lifted by the Brethren from Bishops to their Presby­ters, who may receive an accusation (as they pre­tend) no lesse then others; And for any Priority Timothy had over the Elders of his time, or any Authority to punish, or not, they stiffly deny; not allowing Him, or any other Bishop, ullum fo­rum Ecclesiasticum, praeter forum conscientiae; Vt supra, Tom. 1. pag. 226. A­mesius in great heate would awhile perswade mee so? yet afterwards blowes his fingers, acknow­ledging, that there were in the Primitive Church, besides those the Father styleth [...] Men eminent in the word, Euseb. lib. 7. cap. 13. certaine Presby­ters (Bishops he will not call them, or if he doe, he reconciles the Termes) which did only attend Governement; and for proofe hereof, hee quotes Origen against Celsus; Orig. Tom. 3. contra Celsum. where the Heretique expro­brating the christian Doctors for their weake and simple Auditors, the Father answers, that the christian Teachers had first for their Schollars, some that were [...] Probationers, and after they were approved, did institute two Orders, Vnum Incipientium the one of Novists, which they called Catechumeni; Alterum perfectiorum the other of riper and maturer judgement;Vide Amesium, tom. 2. cap. 4. pag. 108. de distinct. Epis. cap. & pres­byteri. and amongst them some were praepositi which enquir'd only in­to the manners and life of others; and those which were vitiously inclin'd they punished, and [Page 298] cherish'd them which were otherwise dispos'd to vertue. Thus, whilst he would Enervare Bel­larminum, hee doth but Enervare Ecclesiam, and playing too much with that Candle, sindgeth his owne wings. First, he drownes the word Episco­pus in Presbyter, and makes them both one, and so restraines them to those, and onely to those, whom he calls, Laborantes in Doctrina; yet after­wards he new ranks them againe, and in one file places his Predicants; in another, Governours. What's this, but that Prelates themselves will allow inferiour Pastors? That there is Idem Mi­nisterium, but Diversa potestas; and that they differ not, Quoad virtutem Sacerdotii, but quoad potentiam Iurisdictionis.

There are some (and I would there were not) turbulent Spirits in our Church, which are at such defiance with the Romish See, that they are impatient of any other; and whilst they endea­vour to dis-pope her, they would un-Bishop all Chri­stendome. For mine owne part, a Papall Iurisdiction, I equally renounce, and disapprove, as a Prero­gative both insolent and usurp'd; but an Episco­pall doth not onely ingage my consent, but my obedience, and that upon a double tye, of Reason and Religion. If I should not respect order, I were a beast; if not the Ordinance of my Church, a Heathen.

Saint Paul requires subjection to higher pow­ers on a strong ground,Mat. 18.17. because there is no power (saith hee) but of God,Rom. 13.1. no power, no civill one (you'l say) nay, no Ecclesiasticke neither; they are [Page 299] both the Ordinances of God, He hath a finger in them; They are after his owne Heart; and he that doth oppose them, the Apostle tells you what he purchaseth; what? Contempt? yes, and only so? No, Condemnation too; Rom. 13.2.

'Tis well nigh growne proverbiall, now, in the English Church, no Bishop, no King; and if nei­ther Bishop, nor King, how a God? God professeth Method and Order in his universall Governe­ment; and without these, there would bee some manifest Breach and flaw in the carriage of infe­rior things. He knowes, that Equality lookes to Anarchy, and Anarchy to Confusion. And cer­tainely Episcopall honour hath gone downe the winde, since this dreame of parity first started in the Church, since the Levite hath beene stript of his proper portion, and fed with the naked bene­volences of the people. Geneva, doubtlesse, was well pleased, when Bishopricks were first analiz'd into Pensions; when the large revenewes of her Church were un-ravell'd to a stipend of 40. pounds per Annum, The Layicke, whose religion lieth most in his purse, little cares how the Oxe bee muzl'd, so he have the profit of treading-out the corne; Insomuch, that her great Presbyter Calvine himselfe, (who before, had laid the Au­thority of the Church in the hands of the people and thereupon made stipendary) in his commen­taries on the lesser Prophets, sadly complaineth of a short proportion and a slow Paie. And in deed, the Glory of the Pastor hath not a little wrap'd and declin'd, since Divinity hath beene [Page 300] so much acquainted with the Stipend, and the Trencher. Wee raise Doctrines now-a-daies ac­cording to our pay; fill others Eares, as they our Hands, or Belly: put Honey in our Sacrifice, instead of Salt; sweeten our discourse to the pa­late of our Contributors; Wee sing of their pow­er, and cry downe our owne; Adde vigour and quicknesse to those temporall hands, which can only binde and lose, on Earth, no more; and shackle the vertue of those spirituall ones, which as they lose or binde on Earth, so they Lose and Binde in Heaven also.

Wee have so long untwisted the power of the Clergy, and woon'd up that of the Layicke, that now we are intangled in our owne webbe, strucke through with our owne Darts. Saint Paul had a time, when he could not onely threaten his Corin­thian with the Rod, but the Galathian with the Sword too, with an Abscindantur qui disturbant vos, Let them bee cut off that trouble you; Gal. 5.12. But now, our Sword is not only Blunt, or Rustie, but wrested out of our hand; and how to regaine or new-furbish it wee know not. The Philistims have not left us so much as a Smith in Israell; So that,1. Sam. 13.19. it speeds now with the poore Pastors as it did then with Saul's heartlesse souldiers, who had nei­ther Sword nor Speare for the day of Battle. 1. Sam. 13.22. Wee have so long given advantage to the meere secu­lar power, that at length our Sword is beaten into the Sithe, and our Speare into the pruning Hooke; The penall statute hath a Jirke at us, and the Bench begins to usurpe that Authority which hath been [Page 301] formerly peculiar to consistoriall proceedings. This is our misery, and this misery wee have pul­led upon our selves, partly by insinuation, partly by negligence, partly by pusillanimity, princi­pally by our owne discords. Quot Capita, tot Dog­mata, So many Opinions almost, as Pastors, and Factions, as Congregations: One is for Paul, ano­ther for Apollo, another for Cephas; This man is a Calvinist, That a Lutheran, and a Third a Carth-writhian; Insomuch, that Religion begins to looke asquint, and hath one cast for Geneva, ano­ther for Rhemes, another for Amsterdam. Euseb. de vita & transitu sanct. Hieron. Multi hodiè in Ecclesia (saith Saint Ierome) non pastores, sed destructores, sed Lupi, sed Mercenarii, ad quos nihil portinet de Ovibus, nisi ut devorantur; There are many at this day, in the Church of Christ, under the name of Pastors, which come to you in Sheepes clothing, but inwardly they are, Ravening Wolves; They pretend feeding, but the event is devou­ring the flocke. Nihil abominabiliùs, quàm cùm Ille, qui custodire debet, dissipat, saith the same Father. There have beene a long time clustering about this Vineyard of the Lord, the Brownist, the Ana­baptist, the Familist, and of late the Perfectist; and that wee may lay all the heads of Faction upon one shoulder, the Catharist, a Sect, long since cried downe by the Fathers, for Hereticall, but now Buttress'd and Back'd up as the maine Pillar of Religion, the polished corner of the Temple, and he that is not hewed out for that Garbe, hath the spittle of the multitude throwne in his face, weares the aspersion of a Libertine, and of late, [Page 302] the broad Livery of a Sycophant, or Knave. Good Lord, that glow-wormes and rotten Stickes, which were wont to glimmer only in the darke, should thus shine more and more unto the per­fect day; That this dull candle which hath beene so long hid under a Bushell, should at length bee set on a candlesticke, and give so proud a light to all that are about him; There was a time, when Faction was neither so strong nor so bolde, when the chiefe Patriarches, and Founders of it had for their Cities of refuge only Woods and Barnes, and their Disciples but the Suburbs and Offall of the people; But now, forsooth, the Firre Tree must bee a dwelling for the storke, and the lofty Cedars spread their boughes over them, great men are become both their Proselytes and Protectors; In­somuch, that the Vultures have their nests, and the lit­tle Foxes their holes; They Earth themselves in Corporations, & Peculiars, where they are shot-free of the power of a Consistory, an injungendo manda­mus cannot reach them, or if it doe, a common purse defends them both from bruize and batte­ry; So that the mouth of the Canon cannot reach them, the Thunder-bolt of Excommunication not so much as scarre them; and then Ceremonies, and the Surplice, and the Rochet, and the Myter too are no better then remnants of Superstition, weeds Babylonish, and Apocryphall. But oh, that Aaron would remember he had a Rod, as well as Oyle; Discipline, as Instruction; that where the one cannot supple and make pliable, the other may bridle and restraine Schismaticall and contentious [Page 303] Spirits; that so his Rod may be ever budding, his Au­thority greene and blossoming, to the Glory of God, the flourishing of his Church, the conformity of her Sonnes, the concord of her Pastors, and the Peace of us all; Vnity, Vnity, Vnity the Church groanes for; O, let this Dew of Hermon dropp plen­tifully on the little Hill of Syon; Let this precious Oynt­ment so overflow the head of Aaron, that it may runne downe his beard, and from thence to the skirts of his cloathing; That so there may be a perfect Har­mony in the Church, that wee may sing joyfully together the song of Syon in our owne land; that we may be all Pastors as wee should bee, Pastors after Gods owne Heart, Pastors feeding his flocke in love, feeding it as it ought to bee fed, with Know­ledge, and Vnderstanding, which is my last part. Pascent vos, They shall feede you with Knowledge and Vnderstanding.

THere is no Pastor, properly, without a Flocke, Pars 3. no Flocke without feeding it, no true feeding without knowledge and understanding; which like Salomons two Pillars are to bee set in the Porch of the Temple, in the very front and en­trance of our Ministery. 1. Kings 7.21. Knowledge directs our feeding, and Vnderstanding doth wield our Know­ledge, and God enlightens our understanding; so that the Pastor after his heart must both scire and intelligere, and he that doth not, feeds not a flock, but betrayes it. In that Dabo tibi claves of Christ to Saint Peter, there is a double key left for the [Page 304] Goverment of the Church, the one of power, the other of knowledge, and both these by Divines resembled to Zachary's two staves,Zach. 11.7. Beauty and Bands, Doctrine and Discipline; of power and Dis­cipline the Pastor had his share in the last part; of Knowledge and Doctrine hee challengeth in this, which is so essential to the condition of a church­man, indeed, that without it he is not a Pastor truly, but an impostor or deceiver; Insomuch, that Saint Paul carefully distinguishing betweene A­postles and Prophets, Ephes. 4.11. and Prophets and Evangelists, and Evangelists and Pastors, sets Pastors and Do­ctours together without their difference, Ephes. 4.11. And the reason Saint Augustine gives to his Paulinus, Cum praedixisset Pastores, subjunxit Do­ctores, ut intelligerent Pastores ad Officium suum perti­nere Doctrinam, D. Aug. Epist. 59. ad Pauli­num. in his 59. Epistle Ad Paulinum; he joyneth Pastors and Doctours so neere together, because Doctrine is required to the Office of a Pa­stor. And indeed blinde Obedience is but an ill Nurse for the people; to the spirituall perfecti­on there is necessarily requir'd a growing up from knowledge to knowledge, from one Vertue to another. And therefore Ignorance is so farre from beget­ting Devotion, that it strangleth it; 'Tis the mist and fog, and dampe of the multitude; the darke Lanthorne of the seduced Church, which is not one­ly close shut to it selfe, but to all that are about it.Stella in cap. 6. lucae. v. 39. Ridiculum est, ut qui speculator est, caecus sit, Do­ctour, inscius; 'Tis beyond common absurdity, to make a blinde man an Overseer; an illiterate one, Doctour of the chaire. Prophets of old, you know, [Page 305] were called Seers and Rulers of the people, Men of good Eyes; Insomuch, that when Moses was to in­campe in the Wildernesse, hee desired Hobab not to depart from him, Because he should be to him in­stead of eyes, Numb. 10.31.Numb. 10.31. A Pastor or Gover­nour with the people is as the eye in the body, or the apple in that eye, or the quicknesse and cleer­nesse in that apple; 'Tis the Organ by which they see, and are indeed blind without it. Hence they have their double Title of Seekers and Watch­men, Jer. 10.21. both for industry and perspicacy. And there­fore Moses is commanded to tell Aaron from the mouth of God himselfe, that hee that was lame or blinde might not approach to offer the bread of his God, Levit. 21.17. Levit. 21.17. So choise he was of admitting ser­vants about him with any mentall blemish, that he would not brooke a corporall.

When the Iebusites in the sight of David had layd their Blinde and their Lame upon the walls of Ierusalem, the Text saith, They were hated of Da­vids soule, and not permitted to come into his house; 2 Sam 5.8. and he that would goe up to the Gutter, and smite the Ie­busites should bee his chiefe Captaine and Commander, 2 Sam. 5.8. And in truth, what have the Blinde and the Lame to doe with the walls of Ierusalem? What share or inheritance have Impotence and Darknesse in the Temple of the Lord? What hath Ignorance to doe in the Sanctuary, where the Lamp and the Oyle should flourish? David hates it with his soule, the man after Gods owne heart will not suffer them to come under his roofe; the Cap­taines of Israell have a commaund to smite them; [Page 306] the Gospell it selfe denouncing her bitter woes against the blinde Guide, Math. 23.19. and the Law prohibi­ting any thing that was Lame or Blinde to bee offered in Sacrifice to the Lord. Deut. 15.21. Deut. 15.21.

Thus the Ignorant is totally casheer'd from the office of a Pastor; and they only admitted that are pastorally accommodated, that have their Rod and Staffe to comfort, Knowledge and Vnder­standing; And he that is so harnessed, must not only leade forth his flocke by the pleasant Wa­ters, but he must also feede it in the greene past­ures, in the Path of Righteousnesse, that the lo­ving kindnesse of the Lord may follow him all the daies of his life. Psal. 23. Saint Augustine paraphrasing on that of the 36. Psalme. Thy Righteousnesse is like the moun­taines of God verse 6. doth by Mountaines, there, understand Pastors. Christ is the Sunne of Righteous­nesse, and he first riseth upon these Mountaines of his, his Pastors; and having enlightned them, he casteth his beames upon the lesser hills, and from them, to the Valleys below, to the people that sit in darknesse and in the shadow of death: This made the Psalmist sing, I have lifted up mine eyes unto the Hills, whence my comfort and health com­meth: Psal. 121.1. So that there is no comfort to the inferiour people, but from those Hills which are above them; no light to them that sit in darknesse, but from that Sunne which casteth his Beames on those spirituall Mountaines, The asters Paster his owne heart: And therefore we finde a three-fold expostulation of Christ with Saint Peter, If thou lovest me seed my flocke; If thou lovest me, &c. Eve­ry [Page 307] Si me diligis was seconded with a Pasce oves. No feeding then, no love to Christ; Saint Gregory will tell us so, Si dilectionis est testimonium cura pasti­onis, quisquis virtutibus pollens gregem Dei pascere re­nuit, pastorem summum convincitur non amare, in the first of his Pastoralls, 5. chapter. A feeding then there is strictly requir'd, both by duty and com­mand; and we heare many a fearefull volley and Thunderclap, as well from the Gospell as from the Law, rowzing the sluggish Pastor to an in­dustrious vigilancie and attendance on the Lords Flocke. But because we are fallen into these censorious times, where they deny any kinde of feeding, but preaching; or any kinde of preach­ing, but Sermoning; or any kinde of Sermons edifying, but the hastie fancies and voluntaries of some private heads; when such come not pro­perly within the verge either of pastoring or prea­ching; but the Apostles [...] , that Inanis garru­litas Saint Paul speakes of, those vaine Bablings 2. Tim. 2.16. which as in some, increase to more Vngodlinesse, so in others, to more Faction. Seeing then I say, wee are so dangerously beset with censures, that wee must either feede accor­ding to such mens humours, or else have our mouths shut up with the imputation of dumbe Dogs, let us from Christs threefold commaund to feede, observe a threefold kinde of feeding, Verbo, Exemplo, & temporali Subsidio: I shall beg your pa­tience for a touch at either, and I have done.

First Verbo, There is a feeding by the Word;1 Verbo. [Page 308] and that is either per Iustructionem, or per Reprehen­sionem. Now Instruction hath two Breasts (saies Saint Bernard) from whence her milke flowes; The one is for Saint Pauls Babe, 1. Cor. 3 and from that droppeth Lac consolationis; the other for his stronger sort, and from this Lac adhortationis; both these to be administred with gentle hands, so Timothy is advised, The Servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men, in meckenesse in­structing others, 2. Tim. 2.24. And in this case, Barnabas prevaileth; The Sonne of consolation hath his plea, the man of thunder hath nought to doe, but the gentle Winde, the soft Fire, and the still Voyce, that precious Balme which cures the wounde, not breakes the head. Psal. 141.6.

Per reprehensionem, where Instruction by the word prevaileth not, Reprehension must, there must be a hewing by the Prophets, Hosea 6.5. & a slaying by the wordes of our mouth, 2. Tim. 2.4. and then, Argue, Objurga, Increpa, saith Saint Paul; Reprove, Rebuke, Exhort; But how? cum omni patientia & doctrina, so that, those who are of a vicious conversation, are to be rebu­ked; others more religiously inclined, exhorted, but all with long suffering and Doctrine 2. Tim. 2.4. Hence it was, that in the Arke of the covenant ('tis a Postill observation, and I pray take it so) was placed the Pot of Manna, the Rod, and the Ta­bles of the Testament; Iacob. de Vo­rag. Domin. 2. post pas. ser. 2. to typifie belike, that in the true Pastor, who is a living Arke, there should bee the golden pot of Manna, Sweetnesse of Ex­hortation, and this quoad bonos, then the Rod Bud­ding: Discipline and Correction, and that quo­ad [Page 309] duros, and lastly, the two Tables written, Knowledge and Vnderstanding, Judgement and Discretion: and these quoad omnes. And for this reason it was, that Solomon set ingraven in the ba­ses of the Temple, Lyons, Oxen, and Cherubins, 1. Kings 7.29. moralizing by the Oxe, Gentle­nesse: by the Lyon, Austerity: by the Cherubins, Knowledge: and therefore the Pastor after Gods owne heart must be in respect of the good, Man­suetus, of the obstinate Severus; of both, Sapiens and Discretus. I know; the Scriptures mention a bro­ken heart, and the bruized reede, and the smoaking flaxe; and for such is ordained the spirit of meek­nesse, the Staffe of comfort, and the Obsecro vos per misericordias Dei, Rom. 12.1.Rom. 12.1. On the other side, wee meete with a Stiffe Necke, and the Iron Sinew, and the Heart of Adamant; and there the Hammer must be employed that breaketh the stone, two edged Sword dividing asunder the soule, and the spirit, the very joints and the marrow. Heb. 4.12.

Is Piety then blossoming? shall I not cherish it? Is Wickednesse branching forth? shall I not prune it? shall I make a Pulpit, the Throne of Falshoode; shall I teach God to lye? shall I bitter vertue, and sweeten vice? Call Light, Darkenesse, and Darkenesse Light? Am I not Gods Embassadour, his Herauld? shall I pro­claime Peace, where there is open Warre? deale with the Dulcimer and the Cymball, when I should be at the Trumpet and the Fife? shall I sing of mens providence when I should [Page 310] cry downe their Opression? magnify their Religi­on, when I should scourge their Hypocrisy? shall I apply Lenitives and Oyles, where Corra­sives are more proper? stroake a sore, when I should bruize it? Lastly, shall I instead of the Rasor, come with the Brush, and the Combe? when I should launce or cut off a growing Inso­lence, shall I curle and frounse it? No, but as on the one side I condemne the rough hands of Esau, so on the other, the soft voyce of Iacob; as well him that gripes the tender and relenting Con­science, as him that will not scarifie the impost­umated and corrupt. There is a time as well for Lightning and Thunder, as for Raine; and all these from the cloudes above, from the Ministers of God, who are his spirituall cloudes; upon which the Fathers have many a dainty flourish, and continuing the Metaphor, drive on to an Alle­gory, and say, that when God threatens by prea­chers, Tonat per nubes: when he doth wonders by them,D. Aug. in Psal. 35. v. 5. Coruscat per nubes: when he promiseth bles­sings by them, Pluit per nubes. Thy mercy O Lord is in the Heavens, and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds. Psal. 108.4. By Truth here, Saint Augustine understands the Word, and by the Clouds, the Teachers and Dispencers of it. Now how can we that are but Earth (saith the Father) know that Gods mercies are in the Heavens? mittendo veritatemsuam usquè ad nubes, by fending his truth unto the clouds, by revealing his word to his faithfull Ministers, which like those bright clouds Zac. 10.1. shal give their showers of rain to every grasse of [Page 311] the Field. Every man that is but as the grasse of the Field, shall know that these mercies of God are heavenly, and provided for him; if hee be­leeve in the truth of that word which God rea­cheth unto his clouds; or rather in that truth which is The Word that commeth with the clouds, and every shall see. Revel. 1.7.

Now, though Pastors are so compar'd unto the clouds, that they can lighten and thunder as well as raine; yet the raine is most fruitfull to the pastu­ring of their Flockes. It was a fearefull judge­ment, God was, preparing for Iudah his Plant, and Israel his Vineyard, when he threatned it with a Mandabo nubibus nè pluant super eam, I will command the clouds that they raine not on it, Isai. 5.6. And certainely, that Plant cannot, but wither; that Vineyard, but grow into barrennesse, and instead of the Grape, brings forth the Thorne and the Brier, which is not refreshed with the Dew of Heaven, not watered with the droppings of these Clouds. And therefore, the Church had need to pray,Jude 1 2. that her Pastors bee not such as Saint Iude calls Clouds without water (dry and ignorant Pa­stors) or Saint Peter, 2 Pet. 2.17. Clouds carried with [...] tem­pest (turbulent and factious Pastors) but Iobs wel­ballanced clouds, Job. 37.16. those bottles of Heaven (as hee stiles them) which drop downe the fruitfull dew, and send the joyfull raine on the inheritance; Pastors that can feed as well by instruction, as reprehension; by knowledge, as understanding.

As there was before a feeding by the Word,2. Exemplo. so [Page 312] here a seeding by Example too; our Life must preach, as well as our Doctrine; Action, as Instru­ction. Titus must not onely speake the things which become sound Doctrine; but in all things besides, Hee must shew himselfe a patterne of good workes, Part. 1. past. Tit. 2.17. Non deoet hominem ducatum sus­cipere, qui nescit homines vivendo praeire, saith Saint Gregory; hee that hath the charge and governe­ment of others, should as farre out-strip them in Example as in Office. Those whom the Scriptures so richly cloath with Titles of Lights and Candles, and Burning Lamps, should so shine before men, that they may not onely heare their words, but also see their good workes, and then Glorificabunt patrem, they shall glorifie their Father which is in Heaven. Vocem virtutis dabis, si quod suades, prius tibi cognosceris persuasisse, validior operis, quam oris vox, as Saint Bernard sweetly, in his 59. Ser­mon upon the Canticles. Hee that will worke a reformation in the miscarriages of others, must first circumcise his owne; Si me visflere, dolendum est prius; If I will be a curbe to others, I must first be a bridle to my selfe. The Pastor hath not so great a conflict with the eare of the multitude, as with the eye; which is more active and intent upon what hee practiceth, than what he doth pre­scribe; and this is rather their madnesse than their judgement, since examples are not totally to carry them, but precepts. Nazianzene you know was wont to stile great men, Speaking Lawes, and un­printed Statutes; they were first Lawes and Sta­tutes to themselves, and then they not only spake [Page 313] obedience to others, but also impress'd and com­manded what they spake, Boni mores praedicantium, Saleorum Doctrinae, the integrity and manners of the Preacher is the salt of his Doctrine;2 Kings 2.20. And as that Salt which Elisha cast into the Spring made the waters sweet, which were before bitter and unsavoury, so shall his conversation sweeten his precepts, though they seeme never so bitter and untooth some to the people. He that will be great in the Kingdome of God, must both teach and doe; nay, if he teach well, he must first doe,Mat. 5.19. and then teach. Eusebius tells Damasus and Theodosius, Facite, & posteapradicate; Christ never said, Qui praedicaverit voluntatem patris mei, sed qui fecerit; Not he that preacheth, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven,Mat. 7.21. shall enter into the Kingdome of Heaven: Subtilium verborum Do­llor & non operum, est quaedam levis aurium inslatio, [...] Da­m [...]sum & The­n [...]osium de vi­la & [...]ansi [...]u S. Hieronim. & sumus sine fructu pertransiens, saith the same Fa­ther; This feeding of a Flocke by words onely, is but a slight fanning of the ayre, a thin cloud of smoake, that in the rising vanisheth; and what is this to the substance of Religion? Surely, no more than the shadow of it. Give then Camelians ayre, and Men bread. There are many intruders upon the Sanctuary of the Lord, whose Bells tin­gle shrewdly; but their Pomgranate buds not forth; a noise wee heare of, but no fruit, Cant. 7.12. as if all Religion were planted in the tongue, none in the hands. Gods Word is often in Scripture com­par'd to a Sword, and a Sword how can a tongue brandish without a hand? And therefore the [Page 313] sweet Singer of Israell sayes of the children of Sy­on, that they had Exultationes Dei in gutture, & gladium hipennem in manu; not only the high prai­ses of God in their mouth, but a two edged sword in their hand.Psal. 149.6. And upon this hint, belike it was, that Christ grounded his Fac hoc, & vives, not Teach this, but Doethis, and thou shalt-live; And therfore your Praedicants of old were called Opera­rios, quia opere magis quam ore praedicare debent, as Stella glosses that, mittet Operarios suos in messem. Luke 10.6.

As there was but now a verball and morall kinde of feeding, 3 so here a corporall;Temporali sub­sidio. Before, by Instruction and Example, now by Distribution; There Practice must confirme our doctrine, here Charity our practise. And this is Saint Pauls su­per omnia induimini, his vinculum perfectionis Col. 3. The chiefe part of that religion which Saint James calls pura, & immaculata, first, Ʋisite the Fatherlesse and the Widow in their affliction, relieve them, and then the other will follow, thou shalt keepe thy selfe unspotted of the World. James 1.21. All our pro­fession of sincerity without this, is but a tincling Christianity, no better then the Apostles Cym­ball, or his sounding brasse. Let our congrega­tions ring of justification by Faith only; you know who tells you without worke, Psal. 51.14. Faith is a dead faith. Iames 2.17. He that giveth us tongues to sing aloud of his Righteousnesse, doth also teach our hands to warre for him, and our singers to battle. Our Actions fight more for our religion, then our words can.Psal. 144.1. Hee is a Rector indeed (saith Saint Au­gustine) [Page 315] that doth as well refresh the hungry with the crummes of his table, as feede the ignorant with the bread of his knowledge;D. Aug. 13. de div ersis. Libenter audit'e jus linguam loquentem, cujus expect at dextram porrigen­tem. Let then, our Hospitality preach as well as our Pulpit; our Almes edify, no lesse then our Doc­trine. Nature doubtlesse, intonded nothing su­perfluous, or in vaine; so that,Optimus Dis­pensator est, quisibinith; l reservat. S. Hi­eron. ad Nepot. Ep. 7. God allotting us two hands, and but one tongue, would have us distribute, as well as talke; communicate by our substance, as by our knowledge; where the mouth is alwaies open, and the bowells shut, wee have just cause to suspect that mans religion for im­perfect; seeing God is a God of compassion, as wel as jelousie. Betweene three Sermons a weeke, and but one Almes in an age there is no proportion; Let us as well fill the poore mans Belly, as his Eares; that is the way to glorify God, and thanke us. I cannot but grieve at the Savagenesse of those dispositions; that for bread, sometimes give but a stone, for a Fish a Scorpion. a house of cor­rection, instead of an Hospitall; a Whip for an Almes. Blessed are the mercifull, for they shall obtaine mercy, and by the same reason, Cursed are the merci­lesse, for they shall finde no mercy. If I am thus unnaturall to my Brother whom I daily see, what respect can I have to my God, whom I never saw? An Angell tells Cornelius, that his Almes were come up as a memoriall before the Lord. God doth not only take notice of our charityes,Acts 10.4. but inroles them; A cup of cold water given in his name doth not lose a reward, a reward? no, not [Page 316] a crowne; wee have his owne word for it, I was hungry, Matth. 25.35. and yee gave mee meate; I was thirsty, and yet gave mee drinke; what is the end of these? Their Righteousnesse shall goe into life eternall. Math. 25.46.

God grant, that wee may bee all of us Pastors according to his Heart; that wee may so feed our flocks with the spirituall and the temporall bread, here, that they with us may bee hereafter fed with the Eternal Bread, the celestiall Manna, the Food of Angells, in the Kingdome of Heaven; To which the Lord bring us for his Christs sake Amen, Amen.

Gloria in Excelsis Deo.


Perlegi has Conciones in quibus nihil reperio sanae fidei, aut bonis moribus contrarium; ideo (que) dignas judico quae Typis mandentur.

THOMAS WYKES R. P. Episc. Lond. Cap. domest.

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