THE METEORS. A SERMON PREACHED AT A VISITATION. By MICHAEL VVIGMORE, Rector of Thorseway in Lincolneshire, and sometimes Fellow of Oriel Colledge in Oxford:

Let your Light so shine before men, that they may see your good workes, and glorifie your Father which is in heaven, Mat. 5. 16.
[printer's device or cast ornament of a head framed by two branches (not in McKerrow)]

LONDON, Printed by THOMAS HARPER, for Nathaniel Butter, and are to be sold at his shop at the Pyde Bull, neere S. Austins Gate. 1633.

TO THE RIGHT Honourable, THOMAS Lord Coventry, Baron of Aylesborough, Lord Keeper of the Great Seale of England, one of his Majesties most Honourable Privie Councell, &c.

Right Honourable:

SVch is the Leprosie of Ingratitude, that scarce Luke 17. one in ten comes backe to be thankfull: and God seemes to give a checke to mans nature, in placing Memory be­hind in the head, as being an Embleme of our dulnesse, in rendring the Offices [Page] of Gratitude. I must, and ever will ac­knowledge to Gods glory, and your Honour, that as I had my being from above, so have I my bene esse from your bounty, in so much that (as Saint Paul to Philemon) I owe unto you even mine Philem. 19. owne selfe.

With that Samaritan in the Gospell, Luc. 17. 15. 16. I am at length come backe againe to wor­ship, and to present you with these false fires, to make my Duty and Affection le­gible; ut Dei, ita est eorum qui Dei in ter­ris Rex Platon. vices obeunt, pro sua immensitate be­neficia largiri, sed hominum gratitudi­nem, ex eorum modulo aestimare.

Long hath mine heart burnt within me, Psal. 39. 3. with an earnest, Quid retribuam? In re­gard Psal. 116. 12. of those gratious encouragements, by your Honour conferd upon me. Nor have I slept in the Land of forgetfulnesse, but waited opportunity to vent my selfe; [Page] and now I have borrowed so much strength of boldnesse, as to lift up the eyes of Hope, presuming to prefer these flashes to your view; in the which as the bad-borrowers of these dayes, I doe pay my great debts by small Pensions.

If this mine Adventure shall finde such admittance, as to give the least life to my riper studies, I shall not suffer my Temples to rest, till I be delivered of a Psal. 132. 4. stronger birth.

Coelum quietem sortitur in motu, I shal ever account it my heaven upon earth, to labour to shew forth my thankfulnes, and to pray with a flaming heart, that Gen. 49. 22. 26. the blessing of Ioseph light upon you.

Decem. 15. 1632.
Your Honours humble Eleemosynarie, MICHAEL WIGMORE.

Ad Lectorem.

CVm carpuntur vitia, & inde scandalum oritur, ipse sibi scandali causa est, qui fecit quod argui debet, non ille qui arguit. Bernard. Epist. 78.


MAT. 5. 14.‘You are the Light of the World.’

PRoems, they are like Cypresse trees, long, but fruitlesse, and as he, 2 Macc. 2. 32. It is but a vaine thing to make a long Prologue. and to be short in the story it selfe: Then briefly to the matter we are to treat of.

As we finde in Naturall Philosophy, Lu­cem, Lumen and Illuminatum; the Sunne the Treasurer of Light and Time, the Light of the Starres derived from the Sunne, and the Light of the Aire proceeding from them both: So shee (being the Handmaid to Divinity) holds out the glasse to 1 Cor. 13. 12. 13. show us the shadow of that we shall know, even as we are known.

First, Christ, to be that Sunne of Righteousnesse, foretold un­to Division. Verse 2. V. 3. les. 9. 1. us in the fourth of Malachy. Secondly, his Disciples to bee those Starres spoken of in the twelfth of Daniel. And third­ly, those people that walk in darknesse, and that dwell in the Land of the shadow of death, to be that Medium illuminatum, looking for the light to shine upon them.

For the First, as in the first of Genesis, the Light was cre­ated I Part The light of Christ seene from the be­ginning. before the Sunne: so was Christ knowne in the dayes of Psal. 18. 9. Old, before the Sunne of Righteousnesse was risen, before He appeared in our Horoscope, before He bowed the Heavens and came downe to cloath himselfe in the flesh of Man; [Page 2] His light was then like the Birth of the Morning.

The Prophets, they beheld this Light, that a Virgin should con­ceive Ies 71 14. and beare a Childe which should be Emanuel, God with us: The Gentiles, they beheld this Light, witnesse Zoroastes, Mer­curius Trismegistus, the Sybils, the Oracles of their owne gods, and to make their ignorance inexcusable, they had the Prophets of truth amongst them; Iob knew that his Redeemer lived, and Iob 19 25. Num. 24. 17. Balaam could prophecie unto Balaak, that there should come a Starre of Iacob, and rise a Scepter out of Israel: The Patriarks they beheld this Light; Abraham, he saw this day, and reioyced and was glad and that Grandsire of all mankinde, was no soo­ner Iohn 8. 56. divested from his Robe of Innocencie, But this Day-spring Luc. 1. 78. Gen. 3. 15. Ioh. 1 5. from on high did visit him; With, the seede of the Woman, shall breake the Serpents head. And thus the Light shined in the darke­nesse.

For, as the Israelites for their Convoy had a Cloud by Day, and a Pillar by Night: so till the time of the comming of Christ, there was no Day without a Cloud, no Night so dark, but had some light in it. God being known from the worlds first being, by Visions, and Oracles, Revelations, and Dreames, Bulling Decad. 1 Ser. 1. Tradition of doctrine, from hand to hand, untill the dayes of his servant Moses, who was in the seventh generation from A­dam, and yet the Pen-man of the worlds Historie, for neere 2500. yeeres.

So that Adam and the Patriarks, the Gentiles and the Pro­phets, they had all a glimmering of this light; they all foretold the comming of Christ, as they were moved by the Holy Ghost; they 2 Pet. 1 21. Mat 11. 13. Ezech. 4. 1. Keck. Phys. p 1. ex Ʋirg. Iob 36. 32. Galat. 4 4. The light ma­nifested in Christs incar­nation. Psal. 19. 5. 2 Cor. 3. 14. 15. Heb. 10. 10. Heb. 7. 12. Heb. 10. 1. all prophecied unto Iohn who was the Precursor, that mor­ning starre that was sent to beare witnesse of the Light.

And thus (as Hierusalem upon a Brickbat; or the Acts of the Romans on the Shield of Aeneas) I have briefly set out unto you how God hid the Light in his Fist, untill hee commanded it to breake forth, untill the fulnesse of time was come.

Then came the Bridegroome out of his chamber, rejoycing as a Gyant to runne his course. The Law that was the vaile of the Gospell, was taken away by the comming of Christ; The Sacrifice offered yeere by yeere, was abolished in His offering once for all; The glory of the Priesthood was translated; All the [Page 3] shadowes of good things to come; they all vanish at his Lustre; I am come (saith our Saviour of himselfe) I am come a Light in­to Ioh. 12. 46 the World, that no Beleever should abide in darknesse.

Such is the glory of the Diety, brighter then the Lights of hea­ven; The glory of this light. Ecclus. Ioel 1. 10. His eyes ten thousand times clearer then the Sun, and cloathed with unspeakeable Majestie; That the earth doth quake before him, the heavens tremble, the Moone be darkned, and the stars withdraw their light. Then how shall sinfull man be­hold him, whose foundation is but dust?

When Christ was transfigured upon the Mount, his Visage there Mat. 17. 2. as glorious as the Sunne, and his cloathing as white as the Light, his Disciples were afraid, and fell to the earth: When Acts 9. 8. Revel 1. 9. he appeared in the way to Damascus, Saul was stricken blind with his Brightnesse. And when Saint Iohn saw him in the Ile of Pathmos, in the likenesse of the Sonne of man, with a garment downe to his feet, his eyes being as a flaming fire, his feet as moulten brasse, and his face shining as the Sun in his strength, he fell downe at his feet for dead; In his presence shall the peo­ple Ioel 2. 6. tremble, and the countenance of all waxe blacke: so that wee may say with those men of Bethshemish, whom God had 2 Sam 6 29. smitten for looking in the Arke) who is able to stand before the Lord?

If those that have knowledge live two lives, whereas others live but one, then doubtlesse every man is halfe dead (like him Luc. 10. v. 30. that fell amongst the theeves:) our understanding is unsinew­ed, and the powers of our soules are out of joynt: so dimd, whilst we looke through the cloud of Nature, that wee see no better then he in the Gospell, that could not discerne a man from a Mar. 8. 24. tree.

But God who is rich in mercy towards us, frameth his This glory opened in pa­rables and similies. Greatnesse to our capacity, shewing his Goodnesse in spea­king to our senses, and that Man may know him in some measure, He will be knowne unto us as man, by his parts, as eyes, cares, and the like; his affections, as Anger, Love, and Sorrow; his Titles, as King, Lord, and Father, whereas He is infinite, incomprehensible, that filleth full the heaven Ier. 23. 24. and the earth; Totum quod vides, totum quod non vides: And Christ to insinuate himselfe into us, to leave the deeper [Page 4] impression in our hearts, so often openeth himselfe in Para­bles, that, were they as strangers unto you, I could leade you into acquaintance with them, throughout the whole course of his Doctrine. Sometimes stiling himselfe a Sower, some­times Mat. 13. Ioh 10. 11. Mat. 9. 12. Ioh. 15. 1. Ioh. 10. 7. Ioh. 14. 6. Rom. 1. 20. a Shepheard, sometimes a Physitiar, sometimes a Vine, sometimes a Doore, sometimes the Way, the truth, and the Life: Notioribus ignota discuntur, Spiritualia per similitudines; as Gods eternall power and Godhead are seene and understood by his workes.

David in the 68. Psalme, being there to make a descripti­on how God was praised in his Sanctuarie; the fuller to set it forth to the Life (as the troope that leads before some Prince, This Glory re­sembled by Light. Ver. 25. 27. awakens an earnest expectation) doth marshall out the array thereof, with the Singers going before, with the Minstrels fol­lowing after, with the Damosels in the midst, playing with Timbrels, with little Benjamin their Ruler, with the Princes of Iuda their Councell, the Princes of Zabulon and the Princes of Nepthalie. And Saint Iohn in his first Epistle, intending to 1 Ioh 1. 1. &c. comprize a briefe abridgement of the whole scope and Do­ctrine of the Gospell, to extract and sublimate the Quintessence thereof, rankes out a faire companie to walke before, and to rouse up dull attention (like the Chaine that was tyed to the tongue of Mercurie, and fastned to the eares of the people) with, that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seene, and our hands have handled of the word of Life. And againe, the Life was manifest, and we have seene it, and shew it unto you: And againe, that which we have seene and heard, that we write and declare unto you; untill at length he openeth this rich Cabinet, and shewes us this illu­strious Gemme; That God is Light, and in him is no darkenesse: And thus (as Salomon in his Temple) He presents you with a faire and beautifull entrie, as a preparative to your devotion, to stirre up a zealous admiration, and to wonder at the in­ward glory, That God is Light, and in Him is no darknesse.

Plato and the heathen Philosophers (that were directed by the eye of nature) viderunt illi suisque literis copiosissime manda­verunt, hinc illos unde & nos fieri beatos, obiecto quodam lumine De Civit. Dei l. 10. c. 2. intelligibili, quod Deus est illis (as saith Saint Augustine:) Hence [Page 5] the Prophets were named Seers; and mens humana patibilis dicitur (as Zab. in his tract de mente agente) because our Light Iam. 1. 17. is from above, and commeth down from the Father of Lights: Be­leeve Ioh. 12 36. therefore in the Light, that ye may be children of the Light.

As Light was the first borne of all things visible: so was it Christ the Light. not without a mystery, that for the distinction of the six first dayes, God closed them up with this phrase of speech, The Evening and the Morning were the first day; and the Evening and the Morning were the second day; and so on in the rest of the dayes: whereas Nature gives the birthright to the mor­ning. But he foreseeing in his infinite prescience, that wretch­ed man within few houres should cast himselfe headlong into darkenesse, doth intimate unto us thereby, that first should be the Night of mans misery, and then should follow the Day of our redemption by sending of his sonne Christ Iesus, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God: And This light was that true light which lighteth every Ioh 1. 19. man that comes into the world.

Of all the Metaphors the world affords, none so fit an Em­bleme of Christ, as Light, which is the ioy of the eyes, and the Pro. 13. 30. true comforter of the heart, although continuance and assiduity makes us behold it with lesse admiration.

Amongst those foure good Mothers that doe nurse and Ʋan. of the eye cap. 4. The excellen­cy of the Light cherish up foure bad daughters; as Vertue, Envy; Peace, I al [...] ­nesse; and Truth Hatred; Familiarity brings forth Contempt. And hence it is (as one well observes) that those things which we most feare and reverence, are most removed from our sight: Perseverantia consuetudinis amisit admirationem. the daily use of this glorious creature doth make it the lesse to be admired. When King and Kesar, old and yong, high and low, rich and poore, all desire it alike.

Light, it displaieth it selfe to all creatures, and it is trans­fused in an instant. It pierceth every transparent body, and is not defiled with any uncleannesse: It is the conduit of all heavenly vertues, and is the quickner of all that is: It actu­ateth all colours: It is the mother of all beauties: It giveth life to all the ornaments, to all the delights that the world [Page 6] affords us. The Light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the Eccles 11. 7. eyes to looke upon the Sunne: And, si dulce est lumen hoc mundi, quanto erit dulcius lumen gloriae. Si delectabile est videre solem creatum, quanto erit delectabilius solem videre increatum, creati­que solis Creatorem. I am the light of the world (saith our Saviour) Ioh 8 12. And therefore it was (as some observe) that Christ was borne when the dayes were at shortest, ut diminuto noctis curriculo, defectionem sentiant opera tenebrarum.

From this comfortable nature of the light, upon any oc­casion of ioy and deliverance (to shew how beautifull are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of salvation) wee decke it forth with her glory, naming the time pro qualitate rei.

The Lepers (in the second of Kings, cap. 8. ver. 9.) in the Night that they found the Assyrians were fled, wee doe not well (say they one to another) we doe not well to hold our peace, this Day is a Day to bring glad tidings: And that wel­come Luc. 2. 11. Angell in the Gospell when he came to the Shepherds in the Night of the Nativity, This Day (saith hee) in the City of David is borne a Saviour which is Christ the Lord. Then did the Night shine as the Day, because the Sunne of Righte­ousnesse Psal. 139. 12. was risen; as there was darknesse at the houre of his Amos 8. 9. death, for then the Sunne did set at the noone-tide.

And yet Christ here (as Moses else where) hath a vaile Light but a shadow to Christ. Psal. 104. 2. put over his face, to whom the Light is but as a garment, or as a curtaine drawne over his glory, to bee a shadow of his es­sence and being. If the Light bee Darknesse, how great is that Darknesse? But when Light and Lustre, and Bright­nesse, and Glory, and Majesty shall be but shadowes; how great is the Brightnesse, and the Lustre, and the Light of the glory of that Majesty which dwelleth in the light that none can attaine unto. 1 Tim 6. 16.

It is reported concerning Noah, that whilst the window of the Arke was shut, he made use of some resplendent stone, by whose raies the objects of the sight presented themselves to the organ of the eye. However the conjecture be but cu­rious, yet true it is that Christ is that Stone, which albeit the Mat. 21 42. builders refused, is now become the head-stone of the cor­ner; at whose approach the light of the Moone became un­to Ies 30. 26. [Page 7] us as the light of the Sunne; salvation became the wals of Ies 60. 18. &c. our Church, and her gates the praise of God; the Lord our everlasting light, and the Sunne that shall never set, Lux De­us illustris illuminans omnia, aliae luces tanquam micae.

And thus farre of that Lux innata, that true Light, that Light Ioh 1. 9. & 8. 11. & 9. 5. & 1 Ioh. 1. 5. of life, that Light of the world, in whom is no darknesse.

I am now come to my second chapter, and to speake of that Lumen, that Lux infusa, whereby wee are enlightned 2 Part. The Light de­rived from Christ to his Ministers. from above (as the Starres doe borrow their light from the Part. 2. l. 6. c. 7. Sunne.)

Zanchius in his worke De operibus Dei, upon those words, Gen. 1. Sint luminaria in expa [...]sione coelorum, observes that lu­minare differt à luce, sicut candela à luce quam habet; and puts the nature of the Starres and the Light, at as farre distance one from the other, as the instrument that holds the light differs from the light that it sustaineth. And as God is the light that dwelleth in you, so you my brethren of the Cler­gy, you are Luminaria, the Instruments of light to shine in the Phil. 2. 15. middest of a crooked generation. Thus he which is the light of the world, Iohn 8. 12. hath appointed you to bee the light of the world, Mat. 5. 14. and he which is the bright morning Starre, Revel. 22. 16. hath given you the morning starre, as he hath re­ceived from the Father, Revel. 2. 28. to bee as that starre that Mat 2. 9. appeared in the East, and that led to the place where the child lay. Christ beholding from the heighth of his Sanctuary, the condition of his Church here on earth, how that after the dayes of his flesh, they should be as sheepe having no Shepherd; Mat. 9. 36. Eph. 4. 11. 12. he hath given some Apostles, some Prophets, some Evange­lists, and some to be Shepherds and Teachers, to the gathering together of the Saints, to the worke of the Ministration, and to the building up of his body. And as the Israelites when they came to Elim, found there twelve Fountaines, and seven­ty Num. 33. 9. Palme trees: so the Apostles as twelve Fountaines, have flow­ed over all the face of the earth; and the seventy Disciples as seventy Palmetrees, have flourished, and spred over all the Luc. 10. 1. the world, raysing up new seed in the Church, by Commis­sion from Christ, Imposition of hands, and Succession Apo­stolicall Acts 6. 6. 2 Tim. 1. 6. throughout all ages.

You, my Brethren, are brancht from these; you are the 1 Cor. 4. 1. 1 Cor. 3. 9. Luc 12. 42. 1 Pet. 2. 9. 1 Tim 2 7. Gal 4. 17. Disposers of the secrets of God; you are his Labourers, and his Builders; you are his wise and faithfull Stewards, whom the Lord hath made Rulers over his houshold; Yea, you are his honourable Priesthood; yea, his Embassadors; yea, his Angels. You, even you are the Light of the world; Et sic dicebat Christ [...] suis, vos estis lux mundi, cum ipse solus esset vera lux, as Beza in his notes upon the 2 Cor. 3 18.

Aristotle tels us in his Ethicks, that Bonum is Verum, and Arist Eth. l 1. Lights distin­guished. Meteors divi­ded. Apparens: and there are certaine Apparitions, which for the semblance that they have with the Light, doe seeme to be of the same nature. These being proper to the Aire, some there are in the higher region as are Cometa, and Caprae Saltantes; others in the middle, as Tonitru and Fulgur; and there are walking in the lower region, Ignis Fatuus, and Ignis Lambens; Opposita iux­ta se posita magis eluce scunt, and therefore Ile begin with these, that those other in their order may appeare the clearer.

First of the Comete, that prodigious Light, shewing com­motions, Cometa. and the death of Kings: such is the nature of the La­terane Iupiter stiled the servant of the servants of God, when he meanes to exalt himselfe as an Eagle, and to towre amongst the stars nipping the Christian Princes in the crownes, gi­ving Obad. verse 4. K. of defen. of the right of Kings. Exod. 32 22. 1 Sam. 15. 30. 31. 35. Baruc 1. 11. Cheque mate to the greatest Monarchs, & spilling their bloud like water on the ground. Whereas, Aaron submitted to Moses, Let not the wrath of my Lord waxe fierce. Samuel ho­noured Saul a Reprobate, mourning for him at his funerall Exequies. And the Captive Iewes in Babylon, sent to the Bre­thren at Hierusalem, to pray for the life of Nabuchedonozor, and for the welfare of Baltasar his sonne; how then can that Church, that Body, choose but be full of mortall diseases, when the Head is so full of peccant humours.

It was enacted by the Law of Moses, that a man that Deut. 21. 12. would marry a Captive woman, should shave her head, and pare his nailes, and put away her old rayment from her. We will apply it to the Church of Rome; Let her put away her superfluities, let her lay aside her old corruptions; Let her leave off her superstitious Reliques, and we two will be one flesh; she shall be unto us an Israelite: And that great Monarch of [Page 9] great Babylon, Luminare mains (as he stiles himselfe) that Stella Crinita, that Blazing starre, whose haires are growne like Dan. 4. 33. the Eagles feathers, and his nailes like the clawes of Harpyes; let him lift up his eyes to heaven, so that his understanding be restored, and wee will joyne our selves unto him, to bring him to his former Beauty.

Capraesaltantes are another kind of Meteor, strugling in the Capraesaltan­tes. bowels of our own Church, like Iacob and Esau in the womb of Rebecca, or the Hussits and the Thaborits amongst the Bo­hemians, onely differing per magis & minus: Men that for sci­ence, and for Conscience, might worthily shine as the stars in the firmament. But that (as it is generally observed) Stella­rum nulla per se movetur suum dividendo orbem.

Oh, it might make us to mourne and bleed, to see how Iudg. 5. 15. for the divisions of Levi, there are arisen great thoughts of heart. To see our selves to be parted into companies, like unto the Sheep and Goats of Laban, some browne, and some bespeek­led: Gen 30. 32. to see how (like that Monster in Plinie, that Amphisbaena, that hath two heads) we strive one with another for Sove­raignty, whilst our enemies stand by and behold it with, Psal. 35. 25. 2 Sam. 1. 20. There, there, so would we have it; Oh, let it not be told in Gath, let it not be published in Askalon, lest the Philistims doe re­joyce, and the uncircumcised have cause to triumph.

Ecclesia est illud corpus Christi quod charius habuit, quam quod tradidit morti; let us not lacerate, and teare it to pieces, with our unprofitable litigations; let us not be of a viperous genera­tion, to eate our way through our mothers bowels; let us not rend Christs seamelesse Garment, which must be Ʋmea, or not Tunica; let us put up our angry pens, and as Curtius re­ports Q Curt. of those people that were ever in armes one with the o­ther, yet when Alexander came upon them, quos alias bellare inter se solitos, tunc periculi societas iunxerat: so let us bend our swords and our speares against the brest of the common enemy.

He, even he whose name is wonderfull, the giver of counsell, Ies. 9. 5. the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace, would not have us awaken his Beloved, whilst he doth rest his be­dewed Can. 2 8. & 5. 2 locks upon the lap of the sleeping Church: Remember [Page 10] what Abraham said to Lot, and remember that we are Bre­thren, Gen. 13. 8. Eph 4. 3. and therefore bound in the bond of peace, for the kee­ping of the Spirit of Vnitie.

It was the Ditty of our Saviours Birth-Song, peace on earth, Luc. 2. 14. good will towards men; It was his Legarie to his Disciples, My peace I give you, my peace I leave you: And it is the daily prayer Ioh. 14. 27. of his Spouse, da pacem, give peace in our time O Lord: Con­tention (be the Garden never so faire, be the Intention never so sincere) twill make the world to be misdoubtfull, and to feare a Snake under every Leafe: Then let there be no dissenti­on amongst us, and let us proceede by one Rule, that we may be Phil. 3. 16. of one accord; lest when that Great Shepheard of our soules shall 1 Pet 2 25. & 5. [...] Mat. 25. 41. come to separate the Goats from the Sheepe, he brand us with an Ite maledicti, Depart ye cursed into everlasting fire.

I am next to speake of the Belly of that Image, whose Head is ambition, whose armes, dissention; I am now in the middle re­gion, Tonitru & Fulgur. Mat. 3. 17. where I meet with Tonitru, and Fulgur, Boanerges, sons of Thunder; who though they be of a lower Region, yet are they of a hotter constitution; well may they be the salt of the earth, but of such a Peetrish and fierce nature, that touch them Mat. 5. 13. with the least sparke of admonition, and theyle be ready to flash in your faces: These men inflamed per Antiperistasin, by seeing Iudah frozen on his dregges, may say as David in ano­ther kinde, That to keep silence, it was paine and griefe, That Psal. 39. 3. their very heart waxt hot within them, That while they were thus musing, the fire kindled, untill (like so many Canons overcharged, or as Lightning choakt up in a cloud of Thunder, they give a terrible cracke about our eares) untill at length, they speake with their tongues, recoyling against order and Discipline.

—feriuntque summos
Fulmina montes.

They would have a spotlesse congrega­tion, looking for a Moone, sine macula, seeking a Church with­out a Blemish, and thus forgetting themselves to be sinners, they doe with Calisto in the Metamorphosis,

Saepe feris latuit visis oblita quid esset;
Vrsaque conspectos in montibus horruit urses.
Ovid Met. l. 2.

Whereas the Flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit Gal. 5. 17. [Page 11] against the Flesh, so that we cannot doe what we would; we can but indevour to that which is before, wee can no more Phil. 3 13. 14. here but presse towards the marke; perfectionem in hac vita se­quimur, assequimur in futura.

Being thus puft up with an undiscreet zeale, their Pulpit Tacit. like the Tribunall of Cassius, it doth become scopulus reorum, a Rocke, a Shipwracke to a tender conscience; affording no­thing but the cursings of Mount Ebal, nothing but the thun­drings Deut. 17. 13. Exod. 19. 18. and lightnings of Sinai.

It is observed in the motion of the Sphaeres, if they should not be stayd and slackned by the contrary course of the pri­mum mobile. that they would set the whole on fire. And it is true in the nature of zeale, not being moderated with discre­tion, it soone sets all in a combustion, Fervor discretionem erigat, Bern. & discretio Fervorem dirigat.

God that made all things with the breath of his mouth, and accomplished his sixe dayes worke in the temperate sea­son of the Equinoctiall, appeared to Adam in the coole of the Zanch de oper. creat. part 2. l. 1. c. 2. Psal. 104. 4. Zanch ubi supra. Ionah 4. 1. &c. day: He that made his Angels spirits, and his Ministers a fla­ming fire; when he made the Light and the Stars, tempered the Light with moisture, and made the Stars of a watry sub­stance. And though he be a God of vengeance, yet when the rebellious Prophet Ionah had so much the over-flowing of the Gall, as to be angry with his dreadfull power, he reprehends him with as much indulgence, as if the tendrest father in the world were to deale with his dearest sonne; and shall we bruse the broken reede, shall we quench the smoaking flaxe? Oh let the Mat. 12 20. Psal. 141. 5. righteous correct me friendly, but let not their precious balmes breake mine head; let us handle the wounds of our Brethren with gentlenesse, and the Bowels of compassion: let us bring pitty in our eyes and hearts, when we chance to see their fals and infirmities: and let us remember the rule of Saint Paul, Gal. 6. 1 Brethren, if any man be prevented in sinne, yee then which are spi­rituall, restore such a one in the spirit of meekenesse, considering thy selfe, lest thou also be tempted.

Now for the Snuffes of the former Lights, sending forth Ignis Fatuus. an unsavory smell out of the lowermost Socket of the Ayre; First to speake of Ignis Fatuus, or the Lay-Elder; here like [Page 12] unto some simple Swaine at a portentous and prodigious Me­teor, seldome seene in the world of his Hemisphere, so I cannot but stand at a gaze, to see the Starres to drop from the firma­ment, to see the light to be turned into darknesse, to see the Priests to be cloathed with shame, so many and so well nur­tured, that have suckt milke with us from the same brests, to be mis-led into that discipline, by the which an Artificer may be made an Elder, and of a Tradsman become a Church-man: We may lament them with the wife of Phinees, when 1 Sam 4. 21. the Arke was taken by the Philistims, and shee named her child Ichabod, The glory of Israel is taken from them.

This Ignis Fatuus, this Lay Brother, by their Imposition of hands, shall have the misleading of a Band of soules (as the Deuill the lunaticke in the Gospell) sometimes through fire, Mar. 17. 15. sometimes through water; and yet (as Aventine once of some such) Si praelati isti plebei essent, nemo facile ipsis haram Avent. de reb. Tur. par. 3. committeret, in illo vero statu, & arae, et animae hominum ipsorum fidei creduntur.

It was commanded by the Law Leviticall, that no blinde Levit. 22. 22. creature should be offred to God; how then shall the blinde lead the blind, unlesse it be in praecipitium? Like unto that Cre­tensian Berg. Hist & Fasc. Temp. Iew in the yeere of our Lord 450, who saying hee was Moses sent from heaven to conduct his brethren through the Sea into Iury (as before hee had done out of Aegypt) caused them to commit themselves unto the waves, where they were all drowned like Pharaoh and his host.

Yet these will torment a Text of Scripture, manage a long and monstrous discourse (conceived and borne in the same instant) wrest and pervert the word of God, and instead of the naturall milke thereof, sucke out the blood of mis-interpretation, as farre distant from the true mean­ing, as was that ridiculous Actor in Smyrna, pronouncing O Coelum with his mouth, and with his finger pointing to the ground. The Coppersmith will be bold to controule Paul; 2 Tim. 4. 14. Act. 19. 24. Demetrius the Silversmith will oppose the whole Church, and the Cobler find fault with the thigh of the picture.

Frange leves calamos, & scinde Thalia libelles,
Si dare sutori caloeus ista potest.

There is a Rout of their followers, a generation described The condition of the Faction. Pro. 30. 12. by Solomon, that are pure in their owne eyes, and yet they are not washed from their sinnes: Let me shew you the pour­trait of them, as they are drawne out to the life by another, and so printed to the view of the world.

They are (saith mine Author) the scumme of the Commons, Doctor Wake­man, Ser. True professor. the tags and rags of the people, base mechanicks, men of little know­ledge, lesse honesty, and no discretion at all: In their attempts pragmaticall, in their humour phantasticall, in their profession Pha­risaicall, in their bookes hypocriticall, in their opinions Anabaptisti­call, in their Doctrine schismaticall, in their words Angelicall, in their deeds Diabolicall. But what should I tell you de asini umbra, or hold you in discourse of this Brainsicke Frie; Ile only haile Ignis lambent, and so weele strike sayle, and come a shore.

Such is the nature of many men, that having some secret Ignis Lam­bens. and beloved sinne, which is as neere, as deere unto them, as was the sonne of the Bondwoman to Abraham, when hee praied for his life and prosperity, Oh that Ismael might live in Gen. 17 18. thy sight. They can with Herod heare Iohn Baptist so that hee would not touch upon Herodias: These men are likened to Apes and Monkies, which breake the glasses that they looke into, because they shew them their owne deformities: so that it often fals out with them as the Prophet speakes, Zach, 11. 8. Three Shepherds I put out of office in one month, for I might not away with their doctrine: And yet for all Michah will Iud. 17. have his Levite.

Scit Comitem horridulum [...]rita donare lacerna,
Et verum inquit amo, verum mihi dicito de me;
Qui pote?—
Pers. Sat. 5.

How can that be? when they say unto the Seers, see not, and to them that be cleare of iudgement, Ies. 30. 10. looke not out right things for us, but speake (placentia) leasings unto us.

As the Devill dealt with Christ when he tooke advantage Mat. 4. 2. of his hunger; so there want not unto these some that are left of the old house of Eli, that will come and crooch for a peece 1 Sam. 2. 36. of siluer, and to bee put in office amongst the Priests; these men [Page 14] may be compared to Surgeons, that though they have not the hearts of Lions to put their Probes home to the quicke, yet they have the hands of Ladyes enured to Complexions and Paintings, and to daube with untempered morter: to the Polypus that is so Ezech. 13. 10. Aelian de var. hist. lib. 1. Eze. 13. 18. 19. variable, taking the colour from the rocke he cleaves to: to those Daughters of Hierusalem, (or to those roguing Gypsons of our times) that pollute the people, and kill their soules for hand­fuls of Barly, and peeces of bread: to those five and twenty men in the Prophet, that did turne their backs towards the Temple, Ezech. 8. 16. and worshiped with their faces towards the East, casting the word of God behinde them, and aiming at nothing but their Psal. 50. 17. owne rising.

These are the Deuill in Samuels mantle, Ignis Lambens, dis­sembling Parasites, glavering Temporizers, Trencher Chaplains, that will lingere sputum, become all things unto all men, so that they may please some men.

It is an observation of Ioab, that though he were a valiant Captaine, yet was he not reckoned amongst Davids Wor­thies, 1 Chron. 11. because hee betrayed Amasa with a kisse: much lesse 2 Sam. 2. 9. shall the Lord of David write those names in the Booke of Life, that kisse, and bite, and yet cry peace, like those Prophets Phil. 4. 3. in the third of Micheas, ver. 5.

He whose Lip is full of indignation, his Tongue a consu­ming Ies 30. ver. 17. 30. 33. fire, and his Breath like a river of Brimstone, shall cause his glorious voyce to be heard, and shall declare his stretch­ed out arme against those that have sweet tongues, and make the people erre by their flatteries. Ier. 23 31. 32.

And this be spoken of those Meteors that do hang betwixt Heaven and Earth: I should now come to the Angels of the Conclusion. Revel. 1. 20. Churches, those Starres that are in the right hand of him that stood in the middest of the Golden Candlesticke; but then I should overflow my sands.

Like a Labourer I have digged the foundation, and I have 1 Cor. 39. 10. 11. laid it upon Christ Iesus; I have removed all the Rubbish in the description of these Apparitions; I have (I hope) made a faire way for some other (Aholiab or Bezaleel) for the finish­ing of the rest of the Building. Exod. 31. 2.

Now being cut off by the tyranny of Time, Ile end as I began out of 2 Macc. If I have done well, I have done what I Cap. 15. ver. 38 should; if otherwise, it is the best I could, (and according to the time allotted unto me:) In the meane while consider what is said, and the 2 Tim. 2. 7. Lord give you understanding in all things. Amen. *⁎*

December 16. 1632.

PErlegi hanc concionem cui titulus (A Sermon preached at a Visitation in Lincolneshire, by Michael Wigmore, Rector of Thorseway in Lin­colneshire, and sometime Fellow of Oriell Col­ledge in Oxford) una cum Epistolâ nuncupatoria ad honoratissim. Dom. Magni Sigill. Custod. qui quidem liber continet paginas 15. in quibus nihil reperio bonis moribus aut sanae doctrinae contrari­um, aut quicquam aliud quo minus cum utilitate publicâ Imprimatur, modo intra tres menses proxi­me sequentes typis mandetur.

Gulielmus Haywood, Episco. Londin. Capell. domest.

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