THE SINCERE PREACHER: PROVING THAT IN whom is Adulation, Auarice, or Ambition, he cannot be sincere.

DELIVERED IN THREE Sermons in Dartmouth in Deuon, vpon 1. THES. 2. 5. 6.

By WALTER WYLSHMAN, Mr. of Art, and Minister of the Word there.

If yee know these things, blessed are yee if yee doe them.
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AT LONDON, Imprinted by Felix Kyngston, for Ionas Man. 1616.

TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFVLL AND right graue and vertuous Matrone, and my best approued good Patronesse at greatest neede; Mistr [...]s MARY COT­TON, wise to the right Reuerend Father in God, WILLIAM the Lord Bishop of the Diocesse of Exon; the glorious comforts of grace here, and the bles­sednesse of immortalitie and eternitie in glorie hereafter.

IT was the asser­tion of the wi­sest of the sons of men (Right Worshipfull Patronesse) that all riuers goe into the Eccles. 1. 7 Sea. Some think they doe it to doe their homage, [Page] and pay tribute to that place, from whence they receiued their beginning. So hath it been my long nine yeeres longing de­sire, euer since I haue had a doore opened (by your friendly meanes) to enioy and imploy my poore Mi­nisteriall talent, in testimo­nie of my grateful remem­brance of your vndeser­ued, though by me of you then desired fauours in those daies of my trials (al which trials the trier of hearts knowes came not on me for any singularity, [Page] but of meere simplicitie and sinceritie of my con­science) that there might passe backe frō me to you some small slender drops of those fuller streames of your then more then or­dinarie beneuolence and beneficence, & euer since most gratious coūtenance towards me. So that I may say to you as S. Hierome did to a friend of his, tibi quod possum debeo & quod non possum. I am indebted to you in the highest ex­tent of my abilitie, and in a higher straine then I am [Page] able to reach vnto. In ac­knowledgement whereof (seeing other hoped-for meanes faile me) I be seech you to accept of these three Sermous, treating of the properties of a sincere Preacher, being the first diuulged fruits of mine a­boue twenty yeeres labors in the Ministerie. Which I present not vnto you with the best thought of requi­tall of your fauours, but as a bill of mine hand what I owe, and how deeply I am ingaged. All which if vpō perusall you finde (as in­deede [Page] they are) but rude and rough hewed, yet I hope the worth of their subiect (compared with the rockinesse and barren­nesse of the soile and seate where they were bred) will winne some fauour from your friendly & fauour­able aspect. Howsoeuer it be, this wil breed me some contentmēt, that by these I haue indeuoured what in me lieth, to make knowne mine vnfayned sensible thankfulnes, for your re­spectiue and vnrequitable kindnesses. And whatsoe­uer [Page] is wāting in me, I pray the God of all fulnesse to fulfill in you, making you the plant of his owne right hand, being planted in the house of the Lord to Psal. 92. 14. bring forth more fruite in your age, and to be fat and florishing. And whē death shall approch to shut vp the full period of your age-worne daies, for your fauours shewed to his ser­uants, well may you bee able then to consolate your decaied spirits, say­ing with good Nehemiah: Remember me O my God con­cerning [Page] this: and wipe not out the kindnesse that I haue shewed to the house of God, and on the officer thereof. I humblie take my leaue, Dartmouth in Deuon­shiere this October 14. 1614.

Your Worships e­uer deuoted in al humble dutie, Walter Wylshman.

THE SINCERE PREACHER.

1. THES. 2. 5, 6.

Neither did we euer vse flattering words, as yee know; nor coloured co­uetousnesse, God is record.

Neither sought we praise of men, neither of you, nor of others.

THe whole scope and bent of this our A­postle, in the former part of this Chapter, is, to perswode the Thessalonians to perseuere in the constant professiō of that doctrine, which hee, and his fellow teachers had taught them, & they had heard of them. And to this end he produ­ceth [Page 2] diuers reasons: As first, that V. 1. their entrance was not in vaine, but with such sound doctrine so accom­modated with sincere liuing, as that they dared to appeale to their knowledge and conscience for the truth thereof. 2. That it was such V. 2. doctrine, as that they resused not to suffer at Philippi, many reprochfull disgracements, wrongs and iniu­ries, for the confirmation thereof. 3. All which notwithstanding, they V. 3. were bold to preach the same after­ward vnto them of Thessalonīca. 4. That this was done without all V. 4. manner of in-sinceritie in do­ctrine, in affection, or in the manner of doing: in doctrīne without er­rour, in affection without vnclean­nesse, in the manner of doing with­out guile. 5. On the contrary, it V. 5. was done in all manner of sinceri­tie: For as wee were allowed of God (saith hee) that the Gospell should bee committed vnto vs; so wee speake not as they that please men, but God.

Now in this text hee proceedeth to proue his fourth reason, that there was none insincerity in their doctrine at all, by remouing such faults as vsually make doctrines vn­sound or insincere, and the faults which he laboureth to remoue, are three capitall faults in my text, which are as noysome to sincere­nesse in doctrine and religion, as pe­stilence, famine, and sword, are to soundnesse in a Common-wealth. The first of these is Adulation; the second Auarice; the third Ambiti­on. Adulation; for we vsed no flat­tering words as you know: Auarice, nor coloured couetousnesse God is re­cord: Ambition, Neither sought we V. 6. praise of men, neither of you, nor o­thers. For the remouing of the first, because it is more palpable, hee ap­peales to their owne knowledge. For the second, which is more in­ward, he appeales to Gods record. And for the third of Ambition, ei­ther for praise, or promotion, hee cleares it in the sequels by his owne [Page 4] practice, and thinkes if he free him­selfe of these three, that he shall suf­ficiently confirme his assertion of their sincerenesse, not onely in do­ctrines, but also in the manner ther­of: taxing by the way the false teachers with these vices, of flatte­rie, couetousnesse, and ambition in their doctrines; which in whom so­euer they are, they proue the very corrupters of their ministery, and the very cut-throates of the whole Church. I will therefore briefly speake of each of these in order, so far as they shall belong to our pre­sent purpose: And first of flatterie; wherein I will obserue these foure circumstances: First, what Adulati­tion is. 2. How manifold it is. 3. How dangerous it is. 4. That the Minister that is a flatterer is not sincere. For the first; what it is, the Grecians deriue this word [...], to flatter, [...], which signifieth meat, because (as the Apostle saith) they that are such serue not the Lord Rom. 16. 18. Iesus Christ, but their owne bellies, [Page 5] and with faire speeches and flattering deceiue the hearts of the simple. A­greeing with which is the Latine word Adulari, deriued by the Grammarians from [...], which sig­nifieth seruile or base; for so are all flatterers, becomming mercenarie Iude, ver. 16. slaues, hauing mens persons in ad­miration because of aduantage. So that flatterie is, when any one re­gardeth or extolleth others for such things, as they are not to be regar­ded or extolled for; and that to this end, that he may obtaine some such thing, as he leaudly and vnlawfully desireth to get at their hands. In which kinde of dealing there lie lurking two horrible vices: the one, that hee doth falsly and fainedly, ei­ther praise, or thinke, or doe such things as he thinketh will bee plea­sing to others, so that therein hee is a dissembler and slauish. The other vice is, that he doth not this, either for the glory of God, or the good of the partie praised; but to currie fauour to himselfe, and to seeke his [Page 6] owne aduantage, and this is seruile also: and for this cause flatterers are compared to dogs, which fawne to be fed, as may bee seene in Tertul­lus, the false fawning Orator, who to wrong innocent Paul, spared not Act. 24. 2. to extoll vniust Felix. And in the men of Tire, who to purchase their owne peace, forbare not, against God and conscience, to aduance godlesse Herod, to bee as God, which their doubling and daubing how it discouered them to bee base and seruile, all men may iudge.

The parts of this false flatterie are two; aut exim loquendo discer­nitur aut tacendo, by speaking, or by concealing it is discerned. By speaking, as when they so seeke to please them that they hope to bee graced by, as that they speake any thing that will humour them; as the 400. false prophets that were fat fed at Iezabels table, when they perceiued that Ahab their King was disposed to make warre against Ramoth Gilead, they framing them­selues [Page 7] to feed his fancie, faid, Goe vp, for the Lord shall deliuer it into the hands of the King: Like as the flatterers of Herod did, before spo­ken of, who perceiuing the pride of Herod, a man that desired so much to bee great, that hee shewed himselfe to be an angelicall diuell: they spake to him like the diuell to Heuah, Ye shall be as Gods: Vox dei non hominis, the voice of God and not of man. As the Pope's shaue­lings now call their horrid Father, Papa noster deus, the Pope our God. Whereas had they any grace, they would say in effect, as faithfull Michaiah said to Ahab, If thou goe 1. King. 22. 17. vp, thou shalt not prosper, bitt all Is­rael shall be as sheepe without a sheep­heard, &c. And as Phosion a Cap­taine, notably answered his King Antipater, who reqniring of him a thing vnreasonable, I would (Sir) do for your seruice all that is reaso­nable (said he) but you cannot haue me both a friend and a flatterer. And as Agamemnon said in like case to [Page 8] Menelaus, being requested to ioyne with him in a thing vnho­nest; My wits I would enioy with thee, but mad with thee I would not be.

The other part of flattering is by concealing, when as a man remem­bring the Heathens Maxime, Obse­quium amicos veritas odium parit: that is, Flatterie gets friends, and plaine dealing fōes, is afraid to re­prooue such faults, as by his place he is bound to doe, but either by si­lence soweth pillowes vnder great mens arme-holes, as Ezekiel saith, Ezec. 13. 18. or by his daubing healeth their hurts with sweete words, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace, Iere. 6 14 as Ieremy reproueth: these like Sa­tan beguile with vnfaithfulnes, and like Iudas desire to please with kil­ling kisses: whereas had they any faith, charitie, or conscience, they would with bold Paul tell reproue­able Gal. 2. 11. Peter that he is to be blamed, and with discreet Nathan, discouer Sam. 12 7. to recouerable Dauid that hee had [Page 9] sinned, and with vndaunted Elias a­uow that, to taunting King Ahabs 1. King. 18 18. face, that by him and his base Baa­lim, all Israel was troubled. And these are the kinds of flatterie. Now followeth the third part of my diui­sion, and that is how dangerous flatterie is.

It is so dangerous as that An­tisthenes said fitly, [...]. i. It is farre better to fall into the hands of Rauens, then of flatterers: for Ra­uens deuour but the bodies of dead men, and these many times euill men: for it is oftentimes a iudge­ment of God to be denied buriall, as was seene in Iehoiakim, that was Ier. 22. 19. buried as an Asse is buried, that is, was drawen and cast without the gates of Ierusalem: but flatterers oftentimes corrupt and defile the mindes of liuing and good men, as may bee seene in Caius Caligula, who was for a certaine time a good Prince, but the flatterers which hee had about him, by their immeasu­rable [Page 10] praises, made him become (as saith Suetonius) a monster of men, assuming on him not only the name of great Caesar, but of Iupiter, and of the great God himselfe; for see­ing himself so much adored of these sycophants, he fell perswaded that no man durst euer enterprise any thing against him, and so commit­ted hee a thousand cruelties, and strange and horrible wickednesses, spending his time and power in all excesse, wantonnesse, and riotous­nesse; wherein hee neuer ceased to wallow and tumble himselfe, till he was suddenly massacred and slaine: The like you haue heard of the flat­terers of Abab and of Herod, who 1. King. 12 Acts 12. brought them to their fearefull ru­ines and destructions. And there­fore one saith of flatterers about great men, that they are worse thē the dogs about Lazarus; for these dogs licked Lazarus his sores for his good, but flatterers licke the sores of great ones for their hurt: for if they perceiue any vices in thē, [Page 11] which are their soule-sores, present­ly they extoll these vices with the names of vertues, neere in alliance with these vices: as their crueltie, they call magnanimitie; their pro­digalitie, liberalitie; their luxurie, humanitie; their couetousnes, good husbandry; their pride, cleanlinesse; reuenge, manlinesse; and drunken­nesse, kindnesse and such like. So that well doth the Philosopher cōpare a flatterer, for his imitating, to an Ape that will doe any thing; for his counterseiting, to a false iemme or pretious stone that seems and is not; for his deceiuing, to a shadow that appeares and is not; for his biting, to a viper that woun­deth deadly; for his killing, vnto poyson that destroyeth speedily: All which dangers of flatterers well perceiued Dioclesian, who aduan­ced from a low estate to bee Empe­rour of Rome, and feeling himselfe not able to endure those Syren songs of flatterers, willingly for­sooke all his imperiall dignities to [Page 12] liue againe in a priuate life; which he did for aboue tenne yeeres space, and neuer repented him whilest he was a priuate man, that he had dis­poyled himselfe of the Empire: for as Flauius Vopiscus reporteth of him in the life of Aurelian, hee would often confesse, that nothing was harder then to know how to rule well; for foure or fiue (saith he) will assemble and make a plot toge­ther to deceiue the Emperour, after they will say all with one voyce what they will haue him doe: The Emperour, who is inclosed in his house, cannot know the truth of things as they passe, but by necessi­tie is constrained to vnderstand no­thing but what pleaseth them to tel him, and make him vnderstand; so doe they cause him to giue offices to men by themselues in post, which merit them not at all, and make him cast out such as best deserue them for the good of the Common­wealth. What should be said more? to make short (saith Dioclesian) a [Page 13] good wife and a vertuous Prince is bought and sold by such people. Behold the words of Vopiscus, who euidently sheweth that Dioclesian was discontented to be Emperour, because he was gouerned, mauger his beard (as they say) by flattering Courtiers, which caused him to a­buse his estate. And therefore wor­thily delt Dionysius the tyrant with Damocles his flatterer, for his faire words full of perill, causing a table to bee spread before him with all kinde of dainties and delicates, and withall enioyning him to sit at this table, bid him often to eate of these delicates, who hauing a sharp sword hanging ouer his head by a small haire with the point downwards, durst not taste any of them for the feare of the present danger; so said Dionysius are thy faire flatteries, howsoeuer in shew very glorious, yet I durst not taste of any of them, because of the dangers that lay hid­den in them. Thus you see the dan­ger of flatterers, they are the canker [Page 14] and very bane of Church & Com­mon-wealth. Now I descend to the fourth part of my diuision, to wit, that the Minister that vseth it is not sincere.

My reasons are these: First, it is 1. Cor. 4. 2. required of the disposers of Gods secrets, that they should bee found faithfull: where faithfulnesse is, there is sincerenesse; but there is no faithfulnesse at all in them, that for fauour or feare, sinne on the right hand or on the lest: on the right hand by flattering indulgence, as counting great sinnes of great men small sinnes, and small sinnes no sinnes, or common sinnes as ver­tues; or at least preach mercy where is no repentance; and there­fore are like those that the Prophet speaketh of, Prou. 28. 21. Ezech. 13. 18. Ezech. 22. 28. Icr. 6. 14. that will transgresse for a morsell of bread: these are they that sow pillowes vnder mens elbowes, and heale the breaches of the people with sweete words. Wherein they deale like glosing Chirurgions, that meeting with a [Page 15] festred sore, or with proud flesh, in stead of lancing & corrosiuing, vse gentle strokings and incarnatiues; and so the one makes the sore ten times worse, and the other the ble­mish very much greater; and ther­fore as such patients in the ende curse such daubers; so God and man wil at last curse such flatterers. For so saith the Prophet Isaiah, Woe Isa. 5. 20. bee to them that speake good of euill, and euill of good, which put darknes for light, and light for darknesse, that put bitter for sweete, and sweete for sower.

A second reason why the flatte­rer is not sincere, is, because that whereas hee being a Minister and messenger of God, should speake as God speaketh; hee changeth his course, and speaketh as man fansi­eth. God speaketh deepely, and to the heart, hee lanceth the spirit, and woundeth the inward parts: So should the Minister speake. He bid­deth Isaiah shew the people their Isa. 58. 1. transgressions, and the house of Ia­cob [Page 16] their sinnes. He must shew forth the mercy of God, and not hide his iudgements. He hath the Lords bu­sinesse in hand, and therefore must be couragious. But a flatterer aimes at mens fauours, and feares their dis­pleasures. When he seeth a theefe, he runneth with him, and is partaker Psalm. 50. 18. with the adulterers. Hee chan­geth with the times, and will not striue against the streames. But what do they? They denie God, be­tray his truth, and deceiue his peo­ple. Of such the spirit speaketh, a Wo Eccles. 2. 13. vnto them that haue a double heart, and to the wicked lips. And, a double [...]am. 1. 18 Luk. 2. 23. minded man is vnconstant in all his waies: and, he that is not with mee is against me: and, hee that gathereth [...]. King. 8. 21. not with mee, scattereth: and, how long halt yee betweene two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him; but [...]. Cor. 6. 4. 15. if Baal be he, then goe after him. And againe, what communion hath light with darknesse, and what concord hath Christ with Belial? Cursed is hee that flattereth the people, and is [Page 17] vnfaithfull in the Lords worke. Thus you haue heard what flatterie is, and the kindes and parts of it, and the danger thereof, and that there is no sincerenesse in the Minister that vseth it. Whence we may see the force of our Apostles assertion, Receiue our doctrines for wee are no flatterers. Obserue the vses.

The first vse is, It teacheth euery Minister to take heed of flattery, let them vse gentlenesse, but not glo­sing; fairnesse, but not fainednesse: let them endeauour to please the people, but no further then God may bee pleased also. It is reported, that Alexander the Great had two friends that he much esteemed; the one for fairenesse of condition, and the other for his faithfulnesse in counsell: his pleasant friend was Hephaestion, but his faithfull friend was Craterus. Hephaestion his plea­sant friend would displease him in nothing; but Craterus his faithfull friend would not please him but in iust and good things: whereupon [Page 18] Craterus was called the friend of ye King, but Hephaestion the friend of Alexander: so that by how much Alexander the King, was greater then Alexanders person; by so much a faithfull friend is better then a pleasant friend. And thus must euery good Minister be in re­spect of God, hee must bee an He­phastion, please him in euery thing; but in respect of man, hee must bee Craterus, please him but in good things; as our Apostle saith, Let e­uery Rom. 15. 2 man please his neighbor in that which is good to edification: but if men will not be pleased in this, but looke to bee pleased in their sinnes, then it is better to please God then men; for as the same Apostle saith, Gal. 1. 10. If I should so please men, I were not the seruant of Christ. And to this end, because men wil not common­ly be pleased with that which God is pleased with; therfore God com­mandeth Ieremie his Prophet, say­ing, Ier. 1. 7. 8. 9. 10. Thou shalt goe to all that I send thee, & whatsoeuer I command thee [Page 19] shalt thou speake: he saith further; feare not their faces, lest I destroy thee before them; for behold, I haue made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, & walles of brasse against the whole land. And againe he saith, Let them returue vnto thee, but returne not vnto them; thou Ier. 15. 19. shalt bee a consuming fire, and they shall bee stubble before thee. When Moses sought to refuse the message and thought himselfe ouer simple to goe vnto Pharaoh, God answe­red, certainly I will bee with thee: Exod. 3. 12. Exod. 7. 1. 2. Mat, 10. 27. 28. and after he saith, I haue made thee Pharaohs God, and thou shalt speake all that I command thee. So Christ saith, What I tell you in darknesse, that speake you in the light, & what ye heare in the eare, that speake ye on the houses; and feare yee not them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soule; but rather feare him that is able to destroy both body and soule in hell. The consideration hereof euer moued the Prophets and Apostles to warrant their say­ings [Page 20] with authority from God, and to set apart all feare when they speake in his name. When Ahab reproued Elias, Art not thou he that troubleth Israel? hee answered, I 1. King. 18. 18. haue not troubled Israel, but thou and thy fathers house, in that ye haue for saken the commandements of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim. The Prophet Isaiah is bold with the Princes of Iuda and Ierusalem, & saith, Heare the word of the Lord Isa. 1. 10. ye Princes of Sodome, hearken vnto the law of our God, O people of Go­morrah. Iohn the Baptist is nothing Mat. 14. 4. afraid to tell Herod, a mighty Prince, It is not lawfull for thee to haue her to wife. If Balake would Numb. 24. 13. giue mee his house fall of siluer and gold (saith Balaam) I cannot passe the commandement of the Lord, to doe good or bad of mine owne mind, what the Lord shall command, that same will I speake. So that these Mi­nisters that for fauour or feare flat­ter the people, are worse then Ba­laam that was but a wizard. And [Page 21] thus you heare what is the Ministers dutie, namely, to deale sincerely, and not to flatter for any respect.

The second dutie is for the peo­ple, that if the Minister ought to speake sincerely without flatterie, then the people ought to haue sound eares and hearts, to heare without pride; for where pride is in the heart of the hearer, hee will not suffer wholsome doctrine with 2. Tim. 4. 3. his eare, but hauing his eares it ch­ing after his owne praise, he will af­ter the lusts of his proud heart, get him an heape of teachers, as the A­postle speaketh; for selfe-loue ha­uing blinded his iudgement, hee thinkes he must walke on without all controlement: whereupon Sa­lomon saith truly; Seest thou a man Prou. 26. 12. wise in his own conceit, there is more hope of a foole then of him: therefore his counsel is, speake not in the eares of a foole, for he will despise the wis­dome Pro. 23. 9. of thy words. And hereof come these slanders against them that speake with most sincerenesse, of [Page 22] describing of men, and of pointing at men in the publike, and such like; For as Salomon saith, A wise man Pro. 4. 16. feareth and departeth from euill, but a foole rageth and is carelesse. And, Prou. 15. 12. a scorner loueth not him that rebu­keth him, neither will he goe into the way of the wise: whereas poore soules did they know who speaketh in the Minister, viz. God, and what hee speaketh, viz. his word; and to what end he speaketh, viz. for their good, they would feare the author, and loue the meanes, and imbrace the end, and finding the secrets of their hearts to bee made manifest, they would fall downe on their fa­ces and worship God, & say plain­ly 1. Cor. 14. 25. that God is in the Minister in­deed, as the Apostle saith. But be­cause hee hath no purpose to bee re­formed, therefore he hath no plea­sure to bee reproued. And heere hence is it, that when Ieroboam 1. King. 12. 31. gaue himselfe ouer to commit wic­kednesse with greedinesse, to the in­tent that hee might follow his pro­phanesse [Page 23] without all kinde of re­proofe, the holy Ghost noteth, that he set vp to bee priests of the lowest and basest of the people; such as had neither will nor wit, know­ledge, nor conscience, nor courage to reproue him; and by this meanes he made al Israel to sinne with him. A policy that the diuell hath long practised, as the most strong strata­gemme still to vphold his king­dome of darkenesse and ignorance by. Here hence came in our impro­priations of the Ecclesiasticall li­uings, of the most populous and the most frequēted places (if you marke it) in this land, that priuate men ha­uing away these Church-liuings, ye inhabitants might either content thēselues with a Sir Iohn lack-lear­ning, as Micha did with a running Leuite for ten shekles of siluer by Iudg. 17. 10. the yeere, and so be without all in­struction: or else if they hire a Prea­cher by a voluntary contribution, their paying might bee as a meanes of his pleasing them, by flattering [Page 24] and soothing them in their sinnes. For as Iesus the sonne of Syrake Ecclus. 29. 26. saith, where a man is a stranger or be­friended, he dares not open his mouth. And here hence is it, that in many of these populous and vntaught places; sinne doth not onely crawle in corners, but euen standeth vp and walketh and ietteth in the streets with a whorish forehead that will Ier. 3. 3. not bee ashamed, as Ieremie saith, and he yeelds a reason of it, cap. 23. 14. For the prophets strengthen the hands of the wicked, that none can returne from their wickednes. Ther­fore I beseech you my brethren all present, I beseech you, I say, to heare the word of God with reue­rence, and conscience, and pray for mee that I may deliuer it with such soundnesse and sincerenesse, that Christ our Soueraigne may keepe regiment in our hearts by the scep­ter of his word, that Satan the vn­cleane spirit being cast out, hee may no more returne amongst vs. You know what Christ telleth his Dis­ciples, [Page 25] Matth. 5. 13. Ye are the sale of the earth: and, ye are the light of the world. Now all know that salt must needs be sharpe to a rotten or greene wound; and light must needs be painfull to a feeble or ten­der eye: yet euen as the patient will willingly vndergoe the displeasure of the cure, rather then hee will for­goe the pleasantnesse of the reme­die; so must we doe to bee freed of our soules maladies and miseries. A good Physition must needs dis­quiet his sicke patient befor hee can heale his disease: and a good Chi­rurgion must lance and rip vp fe­stred wounds, before he can apply helpfull and healing incarnatiues. We are spirituall Physitians and Chirurgions, the word of God the soules potion, and the wine & oyle of the soules sores is committed to vs, that by vs it might be applied to season, supple, and salue all mala­dies. If it seeme vnpleasing, yet it is most profitable, therefore endure it; which that you may doe with wil­lingnesse [Page 26] and cheerfulnesse, I will shut vp this point with that worthy saying of a faithfull Orator of Titus Li­uius, lib. 3. Rome, called Quintius Capitolinus, who on a time making an Oration to the Romans, after hee had liuely shewed them their faults, in that they ceased not to disobey their su­periours, whereby some great dis­order and confusion might fall to the Common-wealth, addeth in the end, these words: Masters, I know well that a man may vtter more pleasant talke, and tel you of things more plausible; but as for me, my nature is not to flatter, and the pre­sent necessity causeth that I loue ra­ther to tell you true things then pleasant. I haue a good mind to please and content you, but I loue much better to preserue and guard you from falling into destruction, how little thanke soeuer I haue of you. These remonstrances and words of this good man were of such efficacie, saith Titus Liuius, by the pure and natiue truth which he [Page 27] shewed vnto the people, without flattery, that hee appeased the tu­mults and discontentments of the City. So I doubt not (my bre­thren) but that seeing I may ap­peale (with our Apostle) to your knowledge, and consciences, that my carriage in speaking vnto you, hath been without flattery, in sin­cere plainnesse; but that in the end I shall attaine to Salomons experi­ence, namely, he that reproueth a Prou. 28. 23. man, shall find more fauour at the length, then hee that flattereth with his mouth.

THE SECOND SERMON.

1. THESS. 2. 5.Nor coloured couetousnesse, God is record.

YOu haue heard (belo­ued in our best belo­ued Iesus Christ) that the Apostles bēt was, to perswade ye Thes­salonians to perseuere in that do­ctrine, which hee and his fellowes had taught them. And to this end he produced diuers reasons, the last and not the least whereof was, that they had taught them in all sound sincerenesse; and to this end he en­deuoureth in this verse and the next to remoue such capitall faults, as might taxe them of insincerenesse, and these are three in number; to [Page 29] wit, Adulation, Auarice, and Am­bition: which three are as noisome to sincerenesse in religion and do­ctrine, as pestilence, sword, and fa­mine are to soundnesse in a Com­mon-wealth. Of the first (of Adula­tion) I haue spoken alreadie: now followeth the second (of Auarice) in these words: Neither vsed wee co­loured couetousnesse, God is record. Wherein as in the former of Adula­tion, because it was more grosse and palpable, hee appealed to their knowledge; so here in this sinne of couetousnes, because it is more in­ward & secret, he appeales to Gods record, saying, Neither vsed wee coloured couetousnesse, God is record. And as for the third, of Ambition, either for praise or profit, he cleeres it in the sequels by their owne pra­ctise, and thinkes that if he free him­selfe of these three, hee shall suffici­ently confirme his assertion of their sincerenesse not only in doctrine, but also in the manner thereof. Tax­ing by the way the false teachers [Page 30] with these three, which in whom soeuer they are found, they prooue the corrupters of their Ministerie, and the ruinaters of the Church. Now in following of this streame of couetousnesse, I will obserue the same order, that I did in the former of flatterie, for I will handle these foure circumstances: first I wil shew what couetousnesse is. Secondly, how manifold it is, and what are the parts thereof. Thirdly, how foule and monstrous a sin it is. And fourthly, that the Minister that is carried away with it, cannot be sin­cere. Finally, these heads being handled, I will draw foorth some vses, and the remedies that wee are to make of it. For the first what it is, the Latines deriue this word A­uarice from Aueo & ab auro vel are, so that they make couetousnes to bee an immoderate desire of mo­ny or gold. The Greekes call it [...] which signifieth an immode­rate desire to haue more; so that how much soeuer the couetous man [Page 31] hath, yet not therewith contented he still desireth more. In like sense the Hebrewes call it [...] which is an ouer earnest desire of gaine, which is neuer without oppression and wrong. Hence then I may thus de­fine it, viz. that Couetousnesse is a base affection of the minde, arising from mistrustfulnesse of God in his prouidence, whereby one doth so im­moderatly desire earthly riches, as that neuer contented with that which he hath, he still desireth more then he hath, respecting neither right nor wrong done to others, to the intent that hee may attaine his desire for himselfe: all which being obtained, he still wanteth as well that hee hath as that hee hath not: for that which he hath he dareth not enioy for feare of necessitie, and hee still vexeth him­selfe with the want of that hee hath not, because he would abound: so that still wanting the vse of that hee hath, and the possession of that he hath not, he is euer vexed with woful perplexi­tie. Which definition considered [Page 32] with his causes, will appeare to bee the more absolute. The efficient cause whereof is infidelitie, euen a mistrusting of God in his alsuffici­ent prouidence, and a trusting in vn­certaine riches. And therefore our Apostle termes couetousnesse ido­latrie, because the couetous man at­tributes that to riches, which be­longs to God, viz. trust and confi­dence. The matter of his desire is worldly gaine, which (like ye world) is mutable and fading. The formall cause is his immoderate desire of riches, which cannot bee satisfied. The finall cause is Philautia, a de­sire to set himselfe alone aloft, and this monster, like a Cerberus, hath three heads, viz. feare of pouertie, loue of pleasure, and loue of glorie. Whereupon Saint Ambrose rightly compares Auarice to a strumpet in a Ladies habit, sitting on a chariot supported with foure wheeles, viz. Faint courage, Inhumane cariage, Contempt of God, and Forgetfulnesse of death. This chariot he makes to [Page 33] be drawne with two blacke horses, the one he nameth Rauine, and the other Nigardship. To these both there is but one carter, and he is na­med Desire to haue. This carter driueth with a whip hauing two cords, the one named Appetite to get, and the other, Dread to forgoe. Thus you see what couetousnesse is, and how she is mounted. Now if yee expect, that I should set open and anatomise vnto you al the parts and members of this huge monster Couetousnesse, I confesse that it sur­passeth my reach: for as it is seated in the soule, which is a spirit, so it a­riseth from the affection or desire, which is infinite, and therefore it being in nature infinit, her parts are also infinite, they cannot bee num­bred. Therefore S. Paul speaking of this monster Couetousnesse, which is but one, saith, that it is the roote 1. Tim. 6. 10. of all euill, which is innumerable. So that if it be the roote of all euill, then it is the roote of idolatrie, the roote of impietie, the roote of infi­delitie, [Page 34] the roote of blasphemie, the roote of simonie, the roote of vsu­rie, the roote of briberie, the roote of parricide, the root of homicide, the roote of theft, the root of lying, of extortion, of oppression, of all false dealing, of lying, the roote of contentions in the Church, the root of brabling and brawling in the Common-wealth. And as it is by nature spirituall, so it prieth into euery corner, and pierceth into eue­rie heart; it annoyeth our Physi­tians, it infecteth our Diuines, it choketh our Lawyers, it woundeth our farmers, it baneth our Gentle­men, it murthereth our tradesmen, it bewitcheth our Merchants, it stingeth our Merchants, it stingeth our mariners, oh cursed co­uetousnesse! it is the poyson of all things, the wound of Christianitie, and the bane of all godlinesse: for couetousnesse marreth all, it marres all euery where, in all places, in all degrees, amongst all persons. It marreth mariages; for it coupleth old dotterds with young giglots; [Page 35] it marres hospitalitie, for it shuts the doores against the poore; it marres almesdeeds, for it closeth the hand and heart against the needie; it marres religion, for it makes a shew of godlinesse without the po­wer thereof; it marres professors, for it barres their practise; it marres the Ministerie, for it choketh zeale; it marres the Magistrates, for it cor­rupteth iustice; it marres all things, for it is a very plague. By all which you may gesse of the vniuersalitie of the parts of couetousnesse. If you will haue her parts more com­pendious and more comprised, I will gather my selfe within the boūds of Philosophie, which makes the parts of Auarice to bee these three, according to the three chiefe kindes of her actions: the first is to get greedily: the second is to keepe needily: and the third is to spend sparingly and misarly. More briefly, her parts are Capacitas, repacitas, te­nacitas: that is againe, her greedie getting, her needie keeping, and [Page 36] her miserable sparing.

For the first part Capacitie, which is an immoderate and vn­iust holding of that which he hath, whereby he makes more reckoning of his riches and worldly mucke, then of his neighbours necessity and miserie: such was the holdfast­nesse of Diues in the Gospell, that Luk. 16. not once moued with poore Laza­rus his miserie, would not giue one crumme to ease his hunger; and his reason was (as it seemes) his loth­nesse to depart from any thing, be­ing wedded to his wedge, and his dispaire, as the Poet saith, Quod si Hor. Sat. Lib. 1. sat. 1. diminues, vilem redigetur ad assem: if he should once lessen his mine, he doubted it would come to a mite: so that in his wee may see an heart set vpon riches, and riches vpon an heart; heapes of wealth like the hils that Wants cast vp, Cumuli tumuli, euery hill is a graue, and euery heap a tombe to burie himselfe in.

The second Rapacity, that is, that greedy desire of gaine, which makes [Page 37] them that are infected therewith, not to reckon of the liues of the owners thereof, as Salomon saith. Pro. 1. 19. Nay they are so greedily set vpon gaine, as that they care not for their owne liues neither, as may be seene in that golden-humored Midas, who obtaining his request, that all that he touched should be turned into gold, wrought his owne fa­mishment, for gold could not feede him; and therfore Saint Paul saith, that they that will be rich, that is (o­uer 1. Tim. 6. 9. greedily desire it) fall into the snares of the diuell. Whereupon Sa­lust saith, that couetousnesse is al­waies infinite and vnsatiable, which is not lessened, either with plenty, or want.

The third part of couetousnesse is Tenacity, which is a base and mi­serly hoording vp of wealth with a mistrustfull wretchednesse, lothing to affoord himselfe any comforta­ble vse of al his great store and pro­uision of his riches: but as Salomon Eccles. 5. 16. saith, hee eateth his bread in the [Page 38] darknesse with much griefe, and in his sorrow and anger. And as Dauid saith, riseth early, and goeth late to Psalm. 127. 2. Hor. Sat. Lib. 1. [...]at. 1. bed, and eateth the bread of careful­nesse. Such an one was Vuidius, that Horace speaketh of, that aboun­ding in wealth, would not afford himselfe clothes, but went in a cur­talized coate; for which miserlines his seruants slue him, saith the Poet. And such an one was the churle in the Gospell (as it seemes) for vntill he had more corne then his barnes could hold, hee neuer said to his soule, Take thine ease, eate, & drink, and take thy pastime: but when he thought hee had meate enough, God would not leaue him time e­nough, but told him, that in that instant night his soule should bee taken from him. Thus you see co­uetousnesse displayed with her parts. Now it is easie to see how fowle and monstrous a sinne it is.

Couetousnesse is so vgly and monstrous a sin (as you haue heard) that it is the mother-sinne, and bel­dame [Page 39] of all other sinnes, and all o­ther sinnes are but as it were pro­ctors and factors to this sinne, and serue but for porters, to fetch and bring in her liuing. For she makes Symonie her drudge, Bribery her drudge, Vsurie her drudge, Deceit her drudge, Swearing her drudge, Lying her drudge, &c. Oh what a diuell incarnate is this, that setteth so many vices aworke, and hath so many retainers and vnderlings to serue her turne! No maruell then if couetousnesse bee compared to the vnmercifull graue, to vnsatiable death, to all-deuouring hell, which can neuer be satisfied. Bursa auari, os diaboli (saith one), the purse of a couetous man is the mouth of the diuell, which is alwaies open to re­ceiue, but shut to giue: like Poly­phemus in Antro, who had omnia se aduorsum spectantia nulla retror­sum: all towards him, but none from him: see his picture in Alc­meon, who being willed by Croesus to goe into his tresure-house, and [Page 40] take as much gold as he could car­rie away with him, prouided for that businesse a long hanging gar­ment downe to his ankles, & great bootes, and filled them both; nay, he stuffed his mouth, and tied wed­ges of gold to his locks of his head, and no doubt but for hurting him­selfe, he would haue forced his skul, and bowels within his breast to haue his load at full. So that you see the vnsatiablenesse of couetous­nesse on gold, his heart is so set on it, and it so sits on his heart, that there is no roome at all for any grace in the couetous mans heart; but euen as in the body, when the splene swelles, all other parts decay and consume: so when the heart swelles with ouer great desire of riches, all the graces of God con­sume and fade away. Wee see the hawthornes in the spring time haue faire white flowers, and pleasant to the sense, yet all the while it is but a pricking thorne, and he that catch­eth too hastily to these flowers shal [Page 41] pricke his hand: so are riches, saith Christ, though glorious to the eyes, Mat. 13. 22. yet but thornes to the couetous, they will prick both hand and hart, and the heart once wounded, the whole man will be consumed. In­stance for this was Iudas, who no doubt at first was a man of many good parts; he forsooke all to fol­low his master Christ, preached the Gospell, and wrought miracles as well as any of the rest; but once in­amoured with the flowring white­thorne of riches, and eagerly catch­ing after it, his heart was pricked with the thorn that lay hid in these flowers, in such sort as that it swel­led and festred in him vnto death, bringing him vnto a most fearfull and dolefull downefall at the last. And good reason, for the couetous man is vniust against God, against man, against himselfe, against his wealth. Against God; for hee doubteth and denieth his proui­dence, and preferreth earthly trash to God that should be his heauen­ly [Page 42] treasure. Against man his neigh­bour in keeping all vnto himselfe, whereas God hath made him but a steward, not a Lord thereof to dis­pense vnto others. Yea he doth not onely keepe his owne from him, but by force as a Lion, and by fraud as a Fox, he wringeth and wresteth his neighbours wealth to himselfe; and therefore Syrake calleth the de­frauder Ecclus. 11. 32. Iam. 5. 4. of the poore, a man of blood. And S. Iames willeth such cruell cormorants to weep and howle, for the hire of the labourers crieth a­gainst them, &c.

He is vniust against himselfe; for he doth euen sell himselfe to the di­uell for wicked gaine, and like a sumpter horse, beareth burthens to the diuell all his life time, that in the end of his daies hee may bee thrust into the dirty stable of hell, with a gald backe, and a wounded conscience. Whereupon Syracides saith well, There is nothing worse [...]lus. 10. 9. then a couetous man: why art thou proud O earth and ashes? there is [Page 43] not a more wicked thing then to loue money, for such an one would euen sell his soule, and for his life e­uery one is compelled to put out his owne bowels: agreeing with which is Salomon: He that is gree­die Pro. 1. 1 [...] of gaine, would take away the life of the owner thereof; and by a con­sequent his owne too, who must go for a recompence of his neighbors life.

Finally, hee is vniust against his wealth; for hee hideth it, and de­priues it of the end wherfore it was ordained, & suffereth it to corrupt, and his garments to be motheaten, (as Saint Iames saith) and therfore no maruell if the wrath of God come vpon such. And thus much for the foulnesse of this sinne of co­uetousnesse. Now I descend to the fourth circumstance of my diuisi­on, which is, that no Minister, ouer­come with this sinne, can deale sin­cerely. My reasons are these:

First, euery Minister is, or should be, the messenger of the Lord of [Page 44] hosts: This heauenly Master, and earthly Mammon cannot be serued of one and the same seruant toge­ther, saith our Sauiour, for they are Mat. 6. 24. contrary one to the other: there­fore that Minister that is ouercome with couetousnesse, is fallen from Christ, as was seene in Iudas, & can­not be faithfull vnto him. Againe, Mat. 13. 2. the deceitfulnesse of riches, and the cares of this world, choke the word (saith Christ). Hence I thus reason: where the word is choked, there the conscience is clogged; where the conscience is clogged, the heart is corrupted; where the heart is cor­rupted, that man is not sincere: ther­fore the couetous Preacher is an vnsincere Preacher. For euen as all beasts, that go with their breasts on the ground, were accounted abo­minable by the law of Moses; so are euit. 11. 42. all those, bee they Ministers or o­thers, whose hearts are as it were soddered vnto the earth. And here hence is it, that the diuell vsed this as the last, but not as the least en­gine [Page 45] to foyle Christ himselfe, in tempting him, saying, All this will I giue thee: thinking with the Poet, Auri sacra fames quid non? which certainly preuaileth much where grace gardeth not. Therefore wee reade, Reuel. 12. 4. That the diuell, the great Dragon, drew the third part of the starres of heauen with his taile, and cast them to the earth; and no maruell if hee thus striue to preuaile: for if he once corrupt the shepheards, it is an easie matter to consume the sheepe. It is not ther­fore without good cause, that our Apostle doth so much striue heere to cleare himselfe of all coloured couetousnesse: for h [...]d he been co­uetous, he could not be sincere; for couetousnesse and corruption are alwaies companions, as was seene in Balaam, who louing the wages of vnrighteousnesse, as Peter stiles 2. Pet. 2. 15. it, though he protested, that if Ba­lak would giue him his house filled Numb. 22. 18. with gold and siluer, yet hee could not, nor would not speake more [Page 46] or lesse then the Lord commanded him; yet for the loue of that wicked gaine he not only went, though first forbidden of the Lord, and after gaue wicked counsell to Balake (as Iosephus reports) for his gaine. Io­seph. Josephus Flauius. Antiquit. Iudaic. lib. 4. cap. 6.

The vse therfore of this doctrine is, first to teach vs, who are like to proue sincere Preachers, and who not. The Scribes and Pharisies (saith Christ) deuoured widowes houses, vnder a pretence of long prayer: these Pharisies haue their follow­ers the Papists, who through coue­tousnesse make merchandise of all that they doe. They sell the vse of time, of meates, and of mariages; they sel their Masses and their pray­ers, and their pardons, and purgato­rie, and heauen it selfe; they make mony of Peter, and of Paul, of the Apostles, and of Martyrs, and of Christ himselfe. These no doubt are they of whom Saint Peter speaketh, through couetousnesse shall they with fained words make merchandise of 2. Pet. 2. 3. [Page 47] you: and therefore these men can­not in their doctrines bee sincere. Come we vnto others, that through desire of greatnesse count gaine to bee godlinesse, ioyning house vnto house, and Church vnto Church: if these should appeale with our A­postle to Gods record, I feare mee they would make their faults broad to their consciences. And certainly doubt is to be taken of such mens sincerenes: for how shall they teach others to bee sincere, that are not sincere themselues? Yet heere wee must take heede, that wee doe not count al to be couetous, that aboūd in the vse of earthly riches; for it is not the hauing of riches, but the trusting in riches that makes one couetous, as our Sauiour expounds Mark. 1 [...] Ecclus. 13. 25. it. Therfore saith Syrach, Riches are good to him that hath no sinne. Else we shall condemne holy Abraham, Iob, Dauid, Salomon, and such like, who were marueilous rich, and no­thing the worse for their riches; whereas retchlesse carelesnesse and [Page 48] profuse prodigalnes is a sin against nature, for hee that shall not in an vpright and holy manner prouide for his owne, is worse then an infi­dell: Tim 5. yet we must not so trust in ri­ches, as that without these we mi­strust Gods prouidence and promi­ses. As pouertie therefore is euill in cclus. 13 25. the mouth of the vngodly, so riches is not euill in the heart sanctified. Goods then with godlinesse is no hindrance to sincerenesse; but mi­strustfulnes with much or little ri­ches, breeds neither soundnesse nor sincerenes.

A second vse is, that such people as in their owne knowledge and consciences, perceiue their Pastors to be faithfull and freest off coue­tousnesse, these should giue great credit to their doctrines for sincere­nes. In the eleuenth of the Acts it is recorded, that when the Church vnderstood, that a great number at Antiochia beleeued and turned vn­to the Lord, they sent Barnabas vn­to them; who when hee was come [Page 49] and had seene the grace of God, in the sincerenesse of his heart, he was glad (saith the text) and exhorted all that with purpose of heart they would cleaue vnto the Lord, Where the holy Ghost sheweth, that his so holy exhortation had a great and a blessed effect, for much people ioy­ned themselues vnto the Lord. And what was the cause that should moue this people thus to ioyne vn­to the Lord? it is there noted, that he was a good man and full of the ho­ly Act. 11. 24 Ghost. As if hee should say, his goodnesse and sincerenesse was of great force to moue them to turne vnto ye Lord. So we reade of Herod, though otherwise a proud Prince and prophane, yet when hee heard Iohn Baptist, hee did many things, Mark. 6. 20. 21. and heard him gladly. And what was the cause that should moue him hereunto? the holie Ghost noteth the cause, that it was Iohus sincere­nesse. For Herod feared Iohn, know­ing that hee was a iust man and an holy, and reuerenced him: so that [Page 50] those that will not reuerence their sincere Preacher, are more prosane then wicked Herod was. And yet behold ye proteruitie of these times, wherein all for the most part hate to be reproued, because they haue no hearts to be reformed, who like the peruerse Galathians, count him Gal. 4. 16. their enemie that tels thē the truth. The reason whereof our Sauiour yeelds, namely, that hee that euill Ioh. 3. 20. doth, hateth the light, neither com­meth to the light, lest his deedes should bee reproued. So that the most profound are esteemed the most profane, euen monstrous per­sons, Zach. 3. 8. as signes and won­ders, Isai. 8. 18. the most conscio­nable thought to bee most conten­tious, Ierem. 15. 20. But what doth this bewray, but that the whole bo­dy is dangerously sicke, and out of order? euen as a man in a feuer, whē the gall hath dispersed it selfe ouer the stomacke, findes no good taste or relish of the best meates: and as the sluggish sleeper in the lethergie [Page 51] holds him his greatest foe that is his best friend, in awaking him; so it fareth with those poore soules, that are most sicke with sinne, they would goe to perdition in peace, and cannot abide to be roused out of their sinnes. Therefore wee haue great cause to pray with Dauid to establish vs with right and free spi­rits, that being spirituall we may be able to discerne all things as they are; we may loue soundly them that deale sincerely, and haue them in 1. Thes. 5. 13. singular regard for their workes sake.

Finally, seeing that couetousnes is so great, so grosse, and so generall a sinne, let euery man betimes exa­mine his own soule, whether it haue taken any hold in his heart: for (as­sure our selues) their liues are mise­rable, and their ends damnable, (as Phil. 3. 19 S. Paul saith) that liue and dye in this sinne. And therefore seeing the danger is so great, and yet the sinne so common, neede haue we (euerie one of vs) to pray to God with Da­uid, [Page 52] to encline our hearts vnto his Psal. 119. 36. testimonies, and not to couetous­nes. Which that wee may doe, wee must labour to get that blessed gift of contentatiō, that the holy Ghost Heb. 13. 5 exhorteth vnto, saying, Let not your conuersation be in couetousnes, but be content with that you haue: for hee hath said, I wil not faile thee, nor for­sake thee. A notable example of this vertue we haue in the Apostle Paul, who had learned in whatsoeuer state hee was, therewith to be con­tent: Phil. 4. 11. 12. and therefore he saith, I can be abased, and I can abound: euerie where and in all things I am instru­cted, both to be full, and to be hungry, to abound, and to haue want. This which Paul practised is soone said, but not so soone done. That wee therefore may after his example be content in euery state of life, and shunne this foule sinne of couetous­nesse, let vs consider of these preser­uatiues. First set before our eyes the commandement of God that saith, Thou shalt not couet, not thy neigh­bours [Page 53] house only, but not any thing that is his. For looke what is sinne to take in the sight of man, is sinne to wish in the eyes of God; but in mans sight, it is sin to take any thing that is thy neighbours, for it is a­gainst the law of nature, that wils thee to doe as thou wouldest bee done vnto; and against the law of iustice, that commandeth to giue e­uery man his due: Therefore (saith God) thou shalt not couet any thing that is thy neighbours, be it neuer so little, it is too much to couet; and though hee can spare it, God will not spare thee for wishing it: and though it bee not much wherein thou offend'st, yet the Ma­iestie of God is great, whom herein thou offend'st: therefore thou seest there is no warrant at al, to couet.

Againe, consider that though a man haue that which hee doth co­uet▪ yet it cannot profit him, vnlesse God blesse it. The Israelites (saith Dauid) coueted flesh for their lusts, and God gaue them their de­sire; [Page 54] with their desire he gaue them flesh, but hee sent leannesse withall Psal. 106. 15 into their soules: so, many are sicke with Ahabs disease, proposing to themselues if I had such a dwelling, then I should haue content; if such a liuing, thē I should haue no want. But consider, I pray you, may not this be a fond and false perswasion? may not God crosse thee in thy wished-for dwelling, with vnwish­ed for diseases in thy body, and with torturing horrour in thy consci­ence? and then thy dwelling will not delight thee, and thy couering will not content thee. And as for riches, thou maist drinke in gold with Balthazar, and see with him Dan. 5. thy doome and downfull grauen in the walles of thy palaces, that may more quaile thee, then thy gold and wine can comfort thee. Therefore Dauids counsell is worthy, Psal. 62. 10. 11. where he aduiseth, saying, If riches encrease, set not thine heart vpon them. Why? for three reasons: first, for God spake once or twice, and [Page 55] I heard it, that power belongeth to God. As if hee should say, Nothing hath any power to do a man good, but only God. Secondly, to thee, O Lord, belongeth mercie: noting, that nothing procureth pitie and mer­cie, but onely God: and that a man is loued and kindly entreated, it is not from his wealth, but from God that puts loue into mens hearts. Thirdly, thou Lord rewardest euery man according to his worke: teach­ing, that God lookes to our works, not to our wealth; when hee comes to iudgement, sinne then shall haue shame, and sinceritie saluation; whatsoeuer our wealth hath been, riches deliuer not in the day of the Lords wrath, but righteousnes de­liuereth from death: riches then cannot helpe, why therefore should we so much couet them?

Thirdly, consider how little will contēt nature; we brought nothing with vs into the world, and we shall carrie nothing out. If therefore we haue Iacobs wish, food and raiment, [Page 56] let vs therewith be content. Nay, we haue warrant to craue no more then Agur craued; Feede me with food conuenient for me, Prou. 30. 8. therefore our Sauiour taught vs to pray on this manner, Giue vs this day our daily bread: that is, bread for our substances; or such bread as is sufficient to preserue our liues, And that God is displeased at mens ouer greedie crauing much, hee would haue vs to learne by his allowance in the wildernesse, for there hee fed his children from heauē with Man­nah Exod. 16. 20 sufficient for the day; and if a­ny in greedinesse would bring in more, he caused it to putrifie and to be full of wormes: to teach vs, that he accurseth al that we craue, more then he alloweth vs.

Fourthly, consider that whatsoe­uer we haue, if but meane fare, if but poore rags, but a ruinous cottage, yet it is farre better thē we deserue; bread or water is too good for the best of vs: our sinnes can challenge nothing but sackcloth to couer vs, [Page 57] and if we had our desert, our houses should be hell. And therefore striue to haue a sense and feeling of the want of Christ, and to see our dam­nable estate in our selues without him; and then, though a man were couetousnesse it selfe, this will be a meanes to turne his heart from the pelfe of this world, and to seeke wholly after spirituall and heauenly things. For the consideration of our owne miserie in our selues, and a liuely sense of the need we haue of Christ, will make vs hunger after him and his righteousnesse aboue all things in the world. We finde by experience, that many are endued with good gifts of knowledge, of ioy in the Word, of zeale in good things, &c. who neuerthelesse in their callings are ouercome with this foule sinne of couetousnesse: and the reason is, because they were neuer throughly touched with any sense or feeling of their neede they had of Christ: and therefore they neuer thought with S. Augustine, [Page 58] Quid prodest, si omnia habes, eum ta­men qui omnia dedit non habere? What profit is it to haue all things, and to want the giuer of all things, without whom all possessions and possessors are vile and miserable? The consideration whereof made Moses (when he came to yeeres) to [...]eb. 11. 26. entertaine affliction, esteeming the rebuke of Christ greater riches, then the treasures of Egypt: because hee had respect to the recompence of reward. So, did wee (beloued) see out vilenesse without Christ, and made once to hunger after him, thē euery one would begin to say with S. Paul, I esteeme all things as dung, [...]hil. 3. 8. in regard of Christ: and with Dauid, As the Hart brayeth after the ri­uers [...]sal. 42. 1. of waters, so thirsteth my soule after thee, O Lord. This is the coun­sell of Christ, First seeke the kingdom [...]at. 6. 33 of God and his righteousnesse. Wee must in our selues bee as the woun­ded man, that lay in the way, that Christ Iesus ye true Samaritane may come by vs to supple our wounds, [Page 59] and to poure his owne pretious blood into our soules; for as Mary said, God filleth the hungry with Luk. 1. 53 good things, but the rich hee sends empty away. Thus you see that the feeling of the want of spirituall grace, makes men contemne, or to set light of earthly riches.

Finally, consider the special, wise and fatherly prouidence of God, in disposing and gouerning the things of the world, hee hath riches e­nough in his hand for all: If then it doe not seeme good to his wise­dome to giue thee more or better things; know assuredly, that that is best for thee, who can chuse bet­ter for thee, then thou for thy selfe; for hee is a most wise caruer, and Psa. 34. 10. faithfull Creator, and can denie no good thing to them that feare him: the consideration whereof made holy Iob to praise God in wealth and woe, saying, The Lord Iob. 1. 22. hath giuen, and the Lord hath ta­ken, blessed be the name of the Lord. And Dauid comforted himselfe vp­on [Page 60] this speciall prouidence of God, acknowledging, that the Lord be­ing his shepheard hee should want [...]sa. 23. 1. nothing; and therefore finding this Lord to be the portion of his inhe­ritance, and of his cup: he was sure hee would maintaine his lot; and confesseth that the lines are fallen salm. 16. 5. 6. vnto him in pleasant places; yea, that he had a faire heritage. Thus, if with Dauid, any one can once make the Lord his portion, he can­not but bee full of contentation. For how can he want any thing, that hath for his portion the Lord, the guider and gi­uer of all things?

THE THIRD SERMON.

1. THES. 2. 5.Neither sought we praise of men, nor of you, nor of any others.

HEre is the third fault, which the Apostle laboureth to remoue from himselfe, to proue his sincerenes by; namely ambition, either for praise or profit; of which he labou­reth to cleare himselfe in the se­quels, by his, and his fellowes, pra­ctice; and assures himselfe, that if he can free himselfe and them from this and the two former vices, that he shall sufficiently confirme his as­sertion of their sincerenesse, not on­ly [Page 62] in doctrine, but also in the man­ner thereof.

In handling of which fault of Ambition, I will obserue the same order that I did in the former two, of Adulation and Auarice. For I will follow these foure circumstan­ces. I will first shew what Ambition is. 2. How manifold, and what are the parts of it. 3. How foule and dangerous a sinne it is. And 4. that the Minister that is ambitious, can­not deale sincerely in his doctrines: and finally these heads being han­dled, I will draw out some vse that we are to make of it, and some re­medies thereof.

For the first, what Ambition is, our Apostle saith in my text, wee sought not praise of men, nor of you, nor of any other. Where our Apostle seemes to import, that ouer-greedy seeking, & an ouer-griple desire of the praise of men, is Ambition; and so doe the very words themselues in the Originall signifie, if wee well consider them; for Ambition is a [Page 63] Latine word, deriued of the verbe Ambire, which is, to goe about, to sue, seeke, and keepe a quoile in the world for praise and promotion; to which the Greeke word φιλοτιμία agreeth, which signifieth ouer great loue of honour, and greedie desire of glory. Whence (I thinke) I may thus define Ambition, viz. Ambition is a base sinne, whereby a man is so carried away with an in­ordinate desire of his owne praise and honour, that whether he deserue it or no, he regards it more then Gods glo­ry, or his neighbours good. Which definition being compared with her parts or causes, will (I gesse) ap­peare to be an absolute definition; her parts I make to bee her Kinde and Difference; her kind is, that it is a sinne, or base sinne, her diffe­rence from other sinnes is, that it makes a man sicke with selfe loue: For the kinde, that it is a base sinne, I proue by reasons natural, politick, and diuine. Naturall reason proues it, For whereas man by nature is a [Page 64] sociable creature of the same matter and mould, forme and fashion with others, & therfore should affect and delight in & with others; ye Ambiti­ous mā is so takē vp with self-loue, & with a desire of his own praise & preferment, that he becomes a Ti­mon, a Misanthropos, a despiser and hater of all others in respect of him­selfe. Tullij of­fic. lib. 3. Whereupon Heathen Tullie could say by the light of nature, that in a free City nothing can bee imagined more foule or mōstrous, then the ambitious desire of prefer­ments. To which accordeth diuine Ierome, saying, Vilium est hominum alios viles facere, & qui suo merito placere non potest, placere velle alio­rum comparatione: that is, it is the property of vile and base men to disgrace others, to be graced them­selues (as all ambitious men seeke to doe) and hauing no merit of his owne by comparison, to seeke to be accounted of by others.

Secondly, that this is a base sin, crossing pollicy, I proue; for it seeks [Page 65] the downfall of all humane society. For wheras one striues to be aboue another, there is nothing but enuie and destruction of one against ano­ther: Epist. 2. Lib. 12. whereupon Seneca saith well, Take heed of Ambition, it is a vaine swelling, and turbulent euill that hath none end, and vexeth himselfe as much to see another before him, as himselfe to bee behind another; so that it is carried with a double enuie: vides autem quám miser, si is cui inuidetur & inuidet: behold then(saith hee) how miserable the Ambitious man is, if hee enuic him that is enuied by him? which thing Prou. 13. 10. made wise Salomon to affirme, yt only by pride doth man stir vp contention, but with the well aduised is wisdome.

Diuine reason proues ambition to be a base sinne; for whereas God hath reserued these three things to himselfe, viz. Vengeance, Iudge­ment, and Honour; the diuell by this sinne of Ambition, striuing to bee equall with God, of an Angell of light, became a spirit of darke­nesse: [Page 66] whereupon Basilius magnus calles it the diuels disease, because it makes men like the diuell; for the ambitious man hath no beleefe, as our Sauiour saith, How can yee be­leeue Ioh. 5. 44. that receiue honour one of ano­ther, and seeke not the honour that commeth of God alone? So that you see proued by reasons naturall, ci­uill, and diuine, this genus, or kind of my definition, that Ambition is a base sinne.

The difference of this sin from o­thers is, that this sinne makes one to be sicke of selfe-loue, euen with an inordinate desire of his owne praise and honour; so that, as Icarus, hee would mount aboue the moun­taines: for whereas the couetous man desireth riches, and the flarte­rer bellie-cheere and maintenance, the Ambitious man aimes onely at honours; so that hee regards not friend, brother, nor father; but with Absolon, will seeke his fathers head, to haue his crowne.

Hence we may descend to con­sider [Page 67] the causes both efficient, ma­teriall, formall, and finall of this soule sinne; the opening of which will make vs further and fuller to behold the vglinesse of this base monster.

The efficient cause of Ambition, is ignorance: for howsoeuer some thinke, that pride was the cause of the fall of men and Angels, though it be not denied but that pride was in this sinne, yet the breeder of this pride was follie, which made them proud; therefore Iob (saith God) found follie in the Angels: so that ignorance being the mother of fol­lie, is the first cause of the pride and Ambition of Angels and men; and good reason, for no man knowing God or himselfe as he ought, can be proud: so that one may be bold to say to the Ambitious, That folly was his mother, and shame will be his daughter.

The materiall cause of Ambition is, vaine praise and honour, which so bewitcheth the heart of the foo­lish, [Page 68] as that their whole man is set vpon it, as S. Bernard, in lib. 3. de consideratione affirmeth, saying O ambitio ambientium crux? quomodo omnes torques? omnibus places? nil acerbius cruciat, nil molestius inqui­etat, nil tamen apud miseros morta­les crebrius negotijs eius: that is, O Ambition, the crosse of the ambiti­ous, how dost thou torment all, and yet please all? nothing doth more cruelly crucifie, nothing doth more trouble somly vex men, and yet no­thing is more common with mise­rable mortall men then her affaires. Act. 12, 23. We may see, that Herod Agrippa, to win honour of men, vsurped to himselfe the honour of God, & for it God made him more base then a worme.

The formall cause thereof is, an ouer greedy and inordinate desire of honour, such as was seene in Iu­lius Caesar, who being ambitious of a Monarchie, shamed not to vtter the words of Euripides, Sipeieran­dum est, regnandi causa peierandum [Page 69] est: as if he should say, Sweare, and forsweare for a Kingdome: for the getting of honors, forget God, kin­dred, and conscience: so that the end of Ambition is also to preferre his owne honors before Gods glo­ry, or neighbors good; as was seene in Herod, but specially in Ieroboam, Act. 12. who to vphold his owne honour, set vp Idols in Bethel, and Dan; fea­ring lest if his subiects should goe vp to Ierusalem, to the place of Gods worship, the hearts of the people should turne againe vnto 1. King. 12. 27. the Lord, and to Rehoboam King of Iuda; and so he preferred his owne honour to the honour of God, and the saluation of his people, so hor­rid and horrible is this sin of Am­bition, whose kind is (as you haue heard) a base sinne, whose property is, too great a desire of honour; fol­lie is her mother, and shame her daughter; her matter, honour; and forme, too great a desire there­of, and her end brings contempt of God & man, to commend her selfe. [Page 70] Thus we reade that Abimelecke slue Iudg. 9. 5. Matth. 2. 2. Sam. 15 his owne brethren; Herod killed his owne sonne, & Absolon would haue slaine his owne father for a kingdome and for honour.

Let vs therefore in the second place consider the parts and litter of this monster; for this cur'st mo­ther, wants not her accursed daugh­ters; I will therefore obserue for her parts these foure, viz. Self-loue, Forgetfulnesse, A singular opinion, and Furie.

For the first, that Selfe-loue is Ambitions daughter, or at least her sister, will easily appeare; for a mans seeking for honor, at length brings him to bee so greatly in loue there­with, as that in comparison thereof he despiseth al others, as Saint Paul Gal. 4. 17 speaketh of the false teachers, They would exclude you (meaning from vs) that yee might altogether loue them. So there are too many a­mongst vs in these daies, that per­ceiuing Satans kingdome to begin to be weakened, and the Dagon of [Page 71] superstition to begin to fall downe, by the faithfull labours of their bre­thren: yet because this was not done by them and their aduice, that they might haue the praise and ho­nour thereof; therefore meerely through selfe-loue they set them­selues against these good procee­dings, and by these meanes vphold still Antichrists kingdome, and so become authours of diuision and confusion; as S. Iude saith, these are makers of sects: whom Saint Paul V. 19. 1. Tim. 4 2. and 4. therefore tearmes louers of them­selues, and louers of pleasure more then louers of God. This is one Cub of this cursed litter.

A second Cub is Forgetfulnesse; for a mans ouer-weening desire of getting honours to himselfe, makes him vtterly forgetfull of God, of himselfe, of others: for euen as the stomacke ouer-stuft with winde, is apt to receiue no nourishing meate, vntill it haue vent for that winde; so the Ambitious man be­ing ouer-stuft with pride, hath no [Page 72] roome in his heart all this while for the knowledge of God, him­selfe, or other; which knowledge of God, &c. if it had once entred into his heart, it would presently make him to fall from his pride; for it would tel him, that God can­not endure the children of pride, as Iob saith: and that God resisteth Iob 41. 25 the proud, but giueth grace to the humble and meeke, as Iames saith; Iam. 4. 6. & therefore that pride goeth before destruction, and a high mind before Pro. 16. 10. the fall, as Salomon saith. Also, that the pride of man shall bring him low, Pro. 29. 23. but the humble in spirit shall enioy glory, as he elsewhere saith. So that it is not without good cause affir­med, that è coelo descendit Nosce te­ipsum. i. It is a speciall gift from heauen, for a man to know him­self. Whence I conclude, that where Ambition is, there ignorance of God and himself is.

The third Cub of this litter, is a singular opinion of himselfe: which makes the ambitious man say to his [Page 73] brethren, in comparison of himself, Stand there, or sit heere vnder my Iam. 2. 3. footstoole, as Iames reporteth. To which height of pride, that proud Prelate and Antichrist of Rome by his ambition hath aspired, making Emperours his stirrop-holders, and Kings (as did Adonibezek, Iudg. 1. 7.) his footstoole: of such S. Ierome saith, Isti tantam sibi assumunt au­thoritatem, vt siuè dextra docent siuè sinistra, siuè bona, siuè mala, nolint discipulos ratione discutere: These assume to themselues (saith Ierome) so great authoritie, that whether they teach truth or falsehood, good or euill, their hearers may not en­quire into it by reason. And of such the Prophet Habakuk speaketh, the proud man is as he that transgresseth Hab. 2. 5. by wine: therefore shall hee not en­dure.

The fourth Whelp of this litter is Fury, as Salomon saith, Only by pride doth man make contention, as may Pro. 13. 10 be seene in Nebuchadnezzar, who in his ambitious humour was plea­sed [Page 74] to haue his image to be set vp, and adored, who hearing that Sa­drak, Meshak and Abednego would not feede his proud fancie, and ap­prooue of his profane pride, brake out into furie and rage, saying, What disorder, &c. and when they vtterly refused to adore his image, then was Nebuchadnezzar full of rage, saith Dan. 3. 19 the text. So that the ambitious man is for his furie like a mad man, and therefore not worthie to bee coun­ted a man.

Thus you see the parts of Ambi­tion how deformed they are: Now I will descend to the third part of my diuision, to shew how foule this sinne is; and it is so soule a sinne, as that Timon makes this sinne, as the Apostle doth couetousnesse, to bee the roote of all euill. S. Basil calles it the Diuels disease, because it first diseased diuell and man; for Luci­fer and Adams ambition to bee as high as God, made them to be infe­riour to all other creatures. Where­upon Syrak saith, That it is the ori­ginall Ecclus. 10. 14. [Page 75] of sinne, and hee that hath it, shall poure out abomination, and at length be ouerthrowne. Therefore S. Bernard termes Ambition a sub­till euill, a secret poyson, an hidden plague, the mistris of deceit, the mo­ther of hypocrisie, the father of for­getfulnesse, the originall of vices, the food of faults, the rust of vertues, the moth of holinesse, the blinder of the heart, making diseases out of reme­dies, and begetting faintnesse out of medicines. And to this end S. Basil alleaging Christs saying of thē that giue, fast, and pray, to bee seene of men, that they haue their reward, willeth all men to take heed of Am­bition, which is (saith he) the sweete spoyler of all spirituall gifts, the de­lightsome enemie of our soules, the moth of al vertues, and the most plea­sant betrayer of all happinesse. All which wee may see most fully veri­fied in Iulian the Apostata, of whō the penners of the Tripertite Histo­rie write at large in the sixth booke thereof, shewing that Iulian at the [Page 76] first being an Emperour of many good parts, after that the Syren songs of flatterers had blowne vp his heart with Ambition, he was so violently carried away with the de­sire of glorie and honour, that hee vaunted that hee would match A­lexander the Great; yea hee was so besotted with that humour, as that hee fained that Alexanders soule was fleeted into his bodie; and per­ceiuing the multitude to hate the Christians, hee set himselfe against them to winne popular applause, vaunting that he would pull down Christ the Galileian from heauen, and so held on till God from hea­uen caused a dart to stab him to the heart. So that you may see in Iulian the viue picture of Ambition, and withall a president in him of Gods fierce wrath against this base sinne, bringing him to a most shameful & fearful end & destruction. Al which being so apparēt, together with the crueltie that the ambitious practise, not sparing friend, brother, or fa­ther, [Page 77] as you haue heard, you per­ceiue the foulnes and ouglinesse of this sinne: which being so mani­festly proued, I come to the fourth part of my diuision, that is, that the Ambitious Minister cannot be sin­cere. My reasons to proue this are these three, viz.

First, euery ambitious man is an hypocrite, for he doth al to be seene of men: where hypocrisie is, there can be no sincerenes, as our Sauiour proues at large, Matth. 23. therefore a Minister ambitious, cannot be sin­cere.

Secondly, continuing in his am­bition hee is an heretike: for what more palpable heresie can there be, then to glorie in his owne gifts and honours? What hast thou that thou 1. Cor. 4. hast not receiued? saith S. Paul: so that for a man to glorie in his owne gifts, is to race out the foundation, that euery good and perfect gift com­meth from God. So to glorie in a Iam. 1. 17 mans own merits, is to deny Christs merits; and to glorie in his owne [Page 78] wit and freewill, is to denie the ho­ly Ghost to bee his guider; and to seeke only his owne praise, is to de­nie the communion of Saints: which being so, he is an heretike, and ther­fore cannot be sincere.

My third reason is, that the am­bitious man is a theefe, and there­fore cannot be sincere. The ground of this reason is the Maxime of Christ; He that speaketh of himselfe, oh. 7. 18. seeketh his owne glorie: but hee that seeketh his glorie that sent him, the same is true, and no vnrighteousnesse is in him. Whence I thus reason: Euery sincere Minister is bound to seeke Gods glorie that sent him, and not his owne glorie; else hee is not true nor sincere, but a theefe and a rob-god: but euery ambi­tious Minister seeketh not Gods glorie, but his owne: therefore he is not true, but a rob-god, and by a consequent vnsincere. That euery ambitious Minister seeketh not Gods glorie but his owne, it is ma­nifest frō the former part of Christs [Page 79] assertion, for hee speaketh of him­selfe: therefore he seeketh his owne glorie, therefore not Gods, for these are opposite: and for this cause our Apostle Paul was willing to bee base, that God might be honorable: yea he had a desire to haue his name raced out of the booke of life, ra­ther then Gods glorie should bee obscured; and for this cause did of­ten hazard his owne life and liber­tie, to vphold Gods glorie: whence I may boldly collect, that for any Minister to seeke in his ministerie his owne praise and honour, and for the getting thereof to neglect Gods praise and honour, is to be a theefe and rob-god, and therefore such an one cannot bee sincere. Hence then you may see the force of our Apostles reasons: Wee haue not vsed in our doctrines flattering words, nor coloured couetousnesse, nor sought praise of men: and there­fore our doctrines are sincere and sound. If so, then you ought to bee constant followers of those do­ctrines, [Page 80] which haue bin taught with such sincerenesse.

The vse of this doctrine is, to teach all in generall (but specially Ministers of Gods word) to take heed of this sin of Ambition, which is so foule a sinne, as that it makes them that haue it sicke of the Di­uels disease, & will in the end bring them to the Diuels distresse, to bee cast out of heauen and happinesse, without speedie repentance: for it makes them proue hypocrites, he­retikes, and sacrilegious the eues a­gainst God that sends them: and therefore God that makes not the wicked innocent, will not, nor can­not Iod. 34. 7. leaue them vncōdemned, with­out amendment. It was the rule of our Apostle, Whether yee eate or drinke, or whatsoeuer yee doe, doe all Cor. 10 31. to the glorie of God. It was our Apo­stles Absit, God forbid that I should reioyce, but in the crosse of Christ: and therefore our reioycing should be in the Lord, and for the Lord, to his praise and glory. And thus shun­ning [Page 81] our owne honour for the ho­nour of God, God will make grea­ter honour to follow vs, as the sha­dow followeth the bodie; for his promise is past vnreuocable, those that honour me, I will honour. When God bid Moses to goe on his mes­sage to Pharaoh, Moses being pri­uie Exod. 3. to his owne wants, in humilitie desired God to send another. But we wāt not now store of ambitious Numb. 1 Corahs, that will be ready enough to step vp in Moses place, and to sit downe in his chaire too, without bidding or sending at all. Christ said to Simon Peter and his fellowes, Matth. [...] Freely ye haue receiued, freely giue: but now ambition makes many a Simon Magus to giue for reward, before hee receiue of free gift. So that two such monsters meeting to­gether in ye Church, as Simon speaks of, to wit, πλεοτεξία and φιλοδοξια, Coue­tousnesse and Ambition, they haue almost ouerturned all zeale and re­ligiō: for where soeuer these raigne, religion goes to ruine; as may bee [Page 82] seene in that Antichristian darknes of Rome, that for ambitious desire of raigning, haue set all things to sale: they sell Sacraments and pray­ers, and Purgatorie, and pardons, and Masses, and merits, &c. So that one may marueile, that they vaunt that they succeede Simon Peter, their deeds pleading so openly that they succeed Simon Magus. And I wish that amongst vs Professors, this treasonable sinne had no trea­dings; which for the ambitious de­sire of gaine, and greatnesse in the Church-sellers, and of honours in the Church-buyers, haue eaten vp [...]sai. 3. 14. the Lords vineyard, and the spoile of the poore is in their houses: but the Lord will enter into iudgement with them, saith Isaiah. Seeing ther­fore that this sinne is so great and grieuous, it stands euery man in hand to striue against it, and in the feare of God to desire his assistance, that wee all may be kept free from this sinne so dangerous. The reme­dies whereof are these: first, the [Page 83] feare of God: for the eye of the Lord Psal. 33. 18. 19. is vpon them that feare him, to deli­uer their soules from death, and to preserue them in the time of dearth. Therefore Dauid exhorteth the Saints to feare the Lord: His reason is, for nothing wanteth to them that Psal. 34. 9. 10 feare him. The lions doe lacke, and suffer hunger: but they which seeke the Lord, shall want nothing that is good. It was Daniels experience of Gods promise, when he was shut vp in the lions denne in Babylon, and had now fasted three daies, when God sent Habakkuk to him with his prouision, which hee had made for Dan. 14. 37. 38. his reapers, and cried to him, O Da­niel, Daniel, take thy dinner that God hath sent thee: Then said Da­niel, O God, thou hast thought vpon me, and thou neuer failest them that seeke thee, and loue thee. And indeed it is the faithfulnes of Gods pro­mise, I will not faile thee, nor forsake Iosua. 1. 5 Heb. 13. 5 thee; and his most wise prouidence, that made meate before hee made man; he cannot forsake the worke Gen. 1. 2 25. 26. [Page 84] of his owne hand; but he that hath giuen vs his sonne, will with him giue vs all things also: he that hath prepared a kingdome for his, will not faile to furnish thē with things necessary to bring them to that kingdome. Therefore following the counsell of Saint Peter, Com­mit [...]. Pet. 4. 19. your selues to him in al distresse, in well doing, as vnto a faithful Cre­ator.

The second remedie is godlines, which hath the promise of the life 1. Tim. 4. 8. that now is, and of that which is to come; and therefore godlinesse is 1. Tim. 6. 6. great gaine, [...], with the vse of his sufficiency, saith Tremelli­us: or with approuing of his lot, saith Arias Montanus, whereby the holy Ghost would teach, that the godly mans lot is God himselfe, & therefore hee hath a goodly heri­tage, sal. 16. 6. as Dauid saith; for how can hee want goods, that hath God, the authour of all goodnesse? how can he want treasure, that hath the trea­sure it selfe?

Thirdly, therefore we should fol­low the counsell of our Sauiour Christ, First seeke the kingdome of Mat. 6. 33 God and the righteousnesse thereof, and then all other things (bee it wealth, or worth, or honour) shall be cast vpon vs. Dauid (saith God) will not famish the soule of the righ­teous, and hee neuer saw the righte­ous forsaken, or their seed to beg their bread.

Fourthly, God hath promised to 1. Sam. 2 30 honour them that honour him, but hee reiecteth the proud, putting Luk. 1. 5 [...] downe the mighty from their seat, and exalteth the humble and meek: as Adam when he would be cheek­mate with God, brought both him­selfe and his posterity to a stale, plunging himselfe and them into destruction and perdition; but Da­uid that was despised in the sight of 2. Sam. [...] 2 [...]. Michal, for his humbling himselfe before God, was by God taken from the ewes great with young, to feed his people in Iacob, and his in­heritance Psa. 78. in Israel.

Fifthly, he that is a seruant in his fathers house, shall bee prouided with things conuenient; for God will withhold no good thing from him that leadeth a godly life.

Finally, hee is a very ambitious rob-God, that is desirous to take that commendation to himselfe, that is appropriated onely to the Lord; therefore let all walke hum­bly before God, and surely in due time they shall be exalted.

To conclude this text, it is nota­ble that the Apostle saith here, that he sought not praise, which is to be vnderstood, that he sought it not in the first place, or chiefly; else ho­nour followeth the honorable, as the shadow the body, and bones est virtutis praemium, honour is the re­ward of vertue. Secondly, he sought not honour by sinister and vnlaw­full means; but by causing his light to shine before men, he made them by seeing his good workes to glo­rifie God, in so doing, he could not want his owne glory too; for God [Page 87] will honour them that honour 1. him; and the people are comman­ded 1. Sam. 2. 30. 1. Thess. 5. 12., 13. to know them, that are ouer them in the Lord, and admonish them, and to haue them in singular loue for their workes sake. There­fore he doth not say, We receiued not praise, but, We, sought it not. The dutie then of the people is, to giue to euery man his due, honour, Rom. 13., 7. to whom ye owe honour, as the same Apostle saith. For this cause the younger are commanded to honor the elder, and the elder that ruleth well, is worthie of double honour; and this is both iust and profitable. Iust, because wee must doe good to them that doe good to vs, else wee shall be vnthankful, and worse then sinners, and there is not a more pro­portionable duite, then to giue ho­nour to whom it is due; therefore it is iust to honour our teachers. It is also profitable, as well to our be­nefactors, as to our selues and o­thers. To them, for hereby they are encouraged to do their worke with [Page 88] ioy, and not with griefe: to them­selues, leb. 13. 17. for else it will bee vnprofita­ble for them. To others it is profi­table; for by the iust praise giuen vnto benefactors, others are en­couraged to take the greater bene­fit by them, but cuius persona con­temnitur, eius oratio despicitur, whose person is contemned, his speech is despised: there is no such enemie to profit, as preiudicate­nesse; as was seene in the countrey­men of Christ himselfe, amongst whom he could doe no great work because of their vnbeliefe. Againe, when others see vertue to bee ho­noured, they are thereby the better stirred vp to the studie of the like vertues: so that to giue deserued honour is both iust and profitable. Which too much reproueth those that in stead of giuing due honour and deseruing praise, loade the best deserued Ministers with reproach and disgrace: these should know whose Messengers they wrong & abuse, euen the messengers of the [Page 89] Lord of hosts, who will not suffer such wrongs vnreuenged. There­fore (beloued) let vs endeauour on all sides, in the first place to ad­uance Gods honour; and secondly, to ho­nour, that the teachers striuing to soundnesse and sincerenesse in their doctrines; and they, together with the people, to perseuerance & con­stancie in faith, and in manners, both seeking the praise and honour of God, neither may be depriued of such honor & praise, as God vseth to giue vnto his Saints & seruants.

Now the God of all glory and honour, and the giuer of all grace to them that doe him honour, make vs all walke by one rule, & to seeke that honour that commeth of God, and not of men. To this God onely wise, the Trinity in vnity, be giuen and ascribed in the Congregations, all praise, and honour, and glory, & Maiesty, and might, by vs and all, both now and for euer, Amen.

[...] Soli deo gloria.

FINIS.

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