THE THIRD PART FROM S. IOHN BAP­TISTS NATIVITIE TO the last Holy-day in the whole yeere.


By IOHN BOYS, Doctor of Diuinitie.

Honoramus seruos, vt honor seruorum redundet ad Do­minum.

AT LONDON Imprinted for VVilliam Aspley. 1615.


The Epistle.

ESAY 40. 1.‘Be of good cheere, my people; O yee Prophets, comfort my people, saith your God, &c.

THe Sermons of Isaiah are for the greater part so Gospel-like, that (as Proaem. com. in Esa. & epist. Paulin. tom. 3. fol. 9. Non pro­phetiam vide­tur texere, sed Euangelium. Hierome notes) he seemes to be rather an Euangelist, or Apostle, then a Prophet: for he speakes of Christs Cap. 7. 14. conception, as if he had been taught by the glorious Angel who brought the first annunciation of it vnto the blessed Virgine his mother: of Christs Cap. 9. 6. birth, as if with olde Simeon he had lulled him in his armes: of Christs death and Cap. 53. vers 3. 4. 5. 6. passion, as if with the beloued disciple Iohn, he had stood by the crosse when he was crucified: of Christs Cap. 53. vers. 8 resurrection, as if with all the faithfull Apostles he had been present vpon mount Oliuet, where the Lord vsed a cloud as his heauenly Chariot to conuey him out of the world to his father.

The text now read is a prophecie concerning the comming of Christ in the Musculus, Hyperius, Caluin in loc. flesh, and the comming of Christ in the flesh is the Luke 2. 25. consolation of Israel, and com­fort of Hierusalem; and this comfort the 2. Cor. 1. 3. God of all comfort will haue proclaimed vnto Hierusalems heart, by the mouth of all his Preachers, as namely his Pro­phets, [Page 2] his Apostles, his Prodromus or Harbinger, Iohn the Baptist a Tertullian cont Marcian. lib. 4. cap. 33. Cyril. cat. 3. Au­gust. de Io. Bap­tist. ser. 1. midling betweene the Prophets and A­postles.

  • 1. By the Prophets, Comfort my people O ye Prophets, comfort my people. &c. verse 1. 2.
  • 2. By Iohn the Baptist. A voyce cried in the wildernes, prepare the way of the Lord, &c. verse 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
  • 3. By the Apostles, Goe vp vnto the high hill (O Sion) thou that bringest good tydings, &c. verse 9. 10. 11.

Comfort my people] in this commission obserue first Gods bounty, then his Prophets duty. You may behold the riches of Gods mercy toward his afflicted people. 1. In raysing vp Prophets vnto them in their captiuity, when as otherwise they might haue complained with the Psalmist, O Psal. 74. 1. 10. God, wherefore art thou absent from vs so long, and why is thy wrath so kindled against the sheepe of thy pasture? we see not our tokens, there is not one Prophet more, no not one is there among vs that vnderstandeth any more.

2. Caluin For that he sent not one or two, but many: the number is plurall, comfort ye, speake ye, Psalm. 68. 11. the Lord gi­uing his word, great was the number of the Preachers.

3. For that he called not all his Prophets at once, but at sundry times according to the Churches exigence. Wherefore Musculus, Caluin. some read not as our translation here, saith your God in the present; but in the future, will your God say: Geneuaglosse. Signifying hereby that God will in all ages to come so prouide for his Church, as that it shall neuer be destitute of Prophets; and so we finde in holy Bible that he stirred vp Daniel, Haggai, Malachi, Zachariah, Ezra, Nehemiah, and other (vntill the comming of Christ himselfe the 1. Pet. 54. chiefe shepheard) who did alwayes ex­hort his people to be of good comfort, and to Rom. 4. 18. hope a­gainst hope, so Zacharias in his hymne; Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for he hath visited and redeemed his people, raysing vp the horne of saluation vnto vs, as he spake by the mouth of all his Prophets which haue beene [Page 3] since the world began. So S. Peter in his Sermon adpo­pulum, Acts 3. 24. All the Prophets from Samuel, and thence forth as many as haue spoken haue likewise foretold of these dayes; and to Cornelius, Acts 10. 43. To him all the Prophets giue witnesse, that through his name all that beleeue in him shall receiue remission of sinnes.

4. The Hyperius, Musculus. doubling and tripling of this charge to the Prophets (comfort ye, comfort ye, speake ye comfortably) expresseth as it were the very bowels of compassion in God, as if he could not endure that his people should suffer any more misery, giuing them also further assu­rance that he will euer be their God, euen in their grea­test aduersity, when as they seeme to bee swallowed vp of death and desperation, and that they shall be still his Hierusalem and his people, your God will say comfort my people.

Concerning the Prophets office, God in this charge requireth on their part that they speake comfortably to his Hierusalems heart: Yet here you must obserue with Ecclesiast. 3. 1. Ecclesiastes, that there is a time for all things; a time for admonition, a time for reprehension, a time for consola­tion; a time Esay 58. 1. to shew Gods people their transgression, and to the house of Iacob their sinnes; as well as a time to tell Hierusalem in distresse that her trauell is ended, and her iniquity pardoned; a time saith our Prophet Esay 5. elsewhere, to denounce woe to such as iustify the wicked for a reward; a time to denounce woe to such as speake good of euill, and euill of good; a time to denounce woe to such as follow drunkennesse, and are strong to powre in strong drinke. And assuredly (beloued) the Prophets haue iust occasion in this age to cry out against such Amos 6. 1. as are at ease in Sion, making (as Philip. 3. 19. Paul speakes) their belly their God, and their gullet their glory. For swinish, idle, base drunkennesse heretofore scorned as the beggers fault, is now reputed (among moe then a good many) not only the seruing­mans complement, but also the gentlemans grace. God as hauing Ezech. 33. 11. no pleasure in the death of a sinner, but a lon­ging [Page 4] desire to haue the coalcs of his wrath quenched with the teares of our repentance, commandeth his Pro­phets in the dayes of securitie, to sound out the threats of his seuerity, denouncing a woe before woe, that is a woe of instruction, before there come the woe of de­struction. For albeit the Luke 3. 9. axe be laid vnto the root of the tree, yet shal it not be hewen downe so long as there is any hope of the fruites of amendment. Though there be Ionas. 3. yet but fortie dayes, and Nineue shall be destroyed, yet if Nine­ue proclaime a fast, and put on sackcloth from the grea­test vnto the least; the Lord will repent of the euill he sayed he would doe vnto them, and turne away from his fierce wrath. As soone then as Hierusalem hath receiued at the Lords hand sufficient correction for all her sins, it is time to tell her that her trauayle is at an end, and that her of­fence is pardoned. After once the law hath humbled and terrified distressed consciences; after all her Psalm. 42. 9. waues and stormes haue rent asunder troubled spirits, it is time to bring Esay 61. glad tidings of saluation vnto the poore, to bind vp the broken harted, to preach liberty to the Captiue, to com­fort all that mourne in Syon, to giue beauty for ashes, and the garment of gladnesse for the spirit of heauinesse, a­mong many, this one doubtlesse is the maine part in the Prophets office to comfort Hierusalem at the heart.

This ought to be performed plainely, painefully, pow­erfully: Caluin. Plainly cry to her, and lift vp thy voice, for if the Prophet whisper only, this consolation happily might seeme doubtfull or weake, but all doubting is taken a­way, seeing it is to be deliuered freely with a loud voice: Musculus. Painefully, comforting Hierusalem againe and againe, comfort ye, comfort ye, &c: Hyperius. Dan. Arcula­rius. Powerfully, for the Prophet ought to speake not only to Hierusalems eare, but also fully to her heart, that he may like a good Oratour relin­quere aculeos in auditorum animis: Ecclesiastes 12. 11. the wordes of the wise are like goades and like nayles fastened by the ma­sters of the assemblies, and the best way to fasten a nayle is to strike home, Gods word is an Ieremy 23. 29. hammer, and our [Page 5] exhortations are like nayles, and therefore we must of­ten and earnestly strike home that we may pricke the hearts of our hearers, as Saint Peter did Acts 2. 37.

Or as Hierom, Vata­blus, Caluin. other expound this clause, to speake to the heart of Hierusalem is in Scripture phrase nothing else but to speake that which is pleasing and acceptable. So Sychem the son of Hamor is said to speake to the heart of Dinah, Gen. 34. 3. Now the glad message to be prea­ched vnto Hierusalem is, that her trauaile is at an end, and her offence pardoned, for as Physitians in healing bo­dily diseases ordinarily remoue first the cause from whence they spring: euen so the Lord dealeth with vs in curing our spirituall infirmities. The rods wherewith he beateth vs proceed from our sinnes, hee must of ne­cessitie therefore pardon them, ere his strokes can cease, so that remission of our sinnes is the ground of our com­fort, that man and only that man is blessed Psalm. 32. 1. whose vn­righteousnesse is forgiuen, and whose sinne is couered, he that trauayles with mischiefe conceiues sorrow, Psalme 7. 15. Esay 57. 21. There is no peace to the wicked saith our God; a Socrates. heathen Philosopher could say, that the best way to shunne sadnes is to liue well. I do latrie, stincking drunken­nesse, and other sinnes are called by the Prophet Cap. 4. vers. 18. See Ribera. in loc. Hosea shame, because they bring with them alway confusion and shame: Hierusalems warfare was neuer at an end, till her sinnes on her part were repented, and on Gods part pardoned.

But how was her offence forgiuen? because she had re­ceiued at the Lords hand double for all her sinnes: Musculus. that is double grace for her double griefe. As Hierusalem had a double punishment, one in her soule, another in her body: so now she shall haue by Christ a double blessing, to wit, in this world collation of grace, and in the world to come possession of glory; or a double fauour, 1. in that her trauaile is ended: 2. for that her sinne is pardoned, or double, Vatablus, Arcularius. that is many benefits, a certaine number for an vncertaine, the suffrings of Christ are a sufficient pro­pitiation [Page 6] for all her sinnes, and for the sins of the whole world, 1. Ioh. 2. 2. Yea where sinne abounded there grace superabounded, Rom. 5. 20.

Hierom, Hyperius, Castalion. Other haue construed it as our Church here transla­teth it, she hath receiued double, that is, sufficient cor­rection for all her sinnes, insinuating that the Lord will afflict his people no more so long, nor so sharpely, be­cause his louing kindnes hath ouercome his heauy dis­pleasure. Caluin. So the word double ought to be taken for e­nough or full, as it is vsed, Chap. 61. 7. Here then a que­stion is moued, if Hierusalems iniquity were forgiuen, how did she receiue sufficient correction at the Lords hand for all her sinnes? If she were pardoned freely, what place could there be for satisfaction or satis- [...]assion, Musculus in loc. Idem Caluin I [...]stit. lib. 3 cap. 4 §. 33. an­swere is made that this punishment was inflicted on Gods people not as a satisfaction for their offence, but as an exercise rather for their humiliation, and when al­mighty God had exercised them enough in the schoole of affliction, he commanded his Prophets againe and a­gaine to comfort them at the very heart: and whereas it is obiecteed further that their sinne deserued an eternall punishment, ergo, this temporarie could not be suffici­ent correction, it is answered in a word that howsoeuer it was not in it selfe sufficient, yet vnto God being plea­sed it was enough, albeit they deserued to be beaten with a great many moe stripes, yet those few blowes sufficed the Lord as Esay 27. 8. smiting in measure, moderating his strokes as a Psalm. 103. 13 father who pitieth his children, in his very Abacuc. 3. 2. wrath remembring mercy: so the ProphetCap. 10. ver. 24 Ieremy de­sires the Lord to correct him in iudgement, Caluin in Esai. 27. 8. that is in measure, that so the blowes might be proportionable to his infirmitie, not answerable to his iniquitie, God saith 1. Cor. 10. 13. Paul is faithfull, and will not suffer vs to be tempted a­boue that we are able to beare, Psalm. 103. 14. for he knoweth where­of we are made, he remembreth that we are but dust, and therefore chastising vs for our good, hee doth accept a little punishment for a sufficient correction.

[Page 7] A voyce cried in the wildernes] all the Matth. 3. 3. Mark. 1. 3. Luk. 3. 4. Ioan. 1. 23. foure Euange­lists expound this of Iohn the Baptist, how fitly, see Gos­pell on the fourth Sunday in Aduent. The summary pith of the proclamation verse 6. 7. 8. is in briefe Melanc. in Ioan. 1. See D. Abbots ser­mon at the fu­nerall of Tho­mas Earle of Dorset. pag. 2. this, our selues are mortall, it is good therefore that we should haue something else to rest our soules vpon: we consist of flesh, and that is like vnto the grasse, and if we should imagine other men to be better then our selues, and so put our trust in Psalm. 146. 2. Princes, yet are they but as we are: for all flesh is grasse, and all the grace thereof is as the flower of the field: Wherefore let vs embrace the mercy which is offred by the sonne of God, the Sauiour of the world, the redeemer of mankind, the great shepheard of our soules, he shall gather the lambes together with his arme, and cary them in his bosome, &c.

All flesh is grasse, and the grace, that is, the best of all flesh (as 1. Epist. 1. 24. Peter expoundes it) all the glory of man, as wisedome, valour, industry, iudgement, all is like grasse: Caluin. for the drift of the text sheweth euidently that Esay speakes not of the outward man only, but also compre­hends the gifts of the minde whereby men are beauti­fied aboue other, Arcularius in loc. intelligit totum hominem, & quicquid in rebus humanis illustre: all men are corruptible like grasse, and the most gracefull among all men are like the flower of the field, the which happily whilest it flourisheth is more glorious Matth. 6. 29. then Salomon in all his royaltie, but the flower of the field being deuoured at a trice by the beast of the field, becommeth in a few houres a stinking excrement. I could here compasse you about with a ve­ry great cloud of witnesses: the witty Poet Plin. nat. hist. lib. 7. cap. 7. Anacre [...]n was in a moment choaked with the kernell of a raysen, and Idem. Fabius a graue Senatour in drinking milke was strangled with an haire: the famous Emperour Ibid. Matth. Paris in Ric. 1. Frede­ricke Barbarossa going for Palestina to recouer the ho­ly land out of the hands of the Saracens (a seruice which hee thought acceptable to Christ and for effecting whereof he left his friends and countrey) was by the way [Page 8] as he passed suddenly drowned in the riuer Sapheth. When Sr. Ric. Barck­ley, discourse of felicity lib. 5. pag. 450. Harrald King of Denmarke made warre vpon Harquinus, and was ready to ioyne battell, a dart was seene in the ayre flying this way and that way, as though it sought vpon whom to rest, and when all men stood wondering what would become of this strange matter, euery man fearing himselfe; at the last the dart fell vpon Harquinus head & slew him. The French King Philip. Com mi. hist. lib. 8. cap. 18. Charles the 8. as he was beholding tenisse players, among other talke he said that he hoped to doe nothing hereafter that should offend God: which words were no sooner out of his mouth but he fell downe speechles, and lan­guishing a few houres he died in the same place. A po­pish priest called Eox Mart. fol. 1731. Nighting all in the dayes of Queene Mary, Parson of Croudall in Kent, as he was boasting in the pulpit of the Popes absolution and by reason of it of his own purenes, most fearefully fell downe and dyed instantly. The Pope (though he doth exalt himselfe a­boue all that is called God) perisheth notwithstanding as a man, and hereupon at his inauguration the Walsingham in Hen. 5. pag. 444 Idem▪ Pa­radinus in sym▪ bol. pag. 126. master of the Ceremonies vsed to burne an handfull of flaxe be­fore him, as in solemne procession he passed by, saying with a loud voyce, ecce pater sancte sic transit gloria mundi. I conclude this argument in In Psalm. 5. poeniten. vers. 4. Gregories glosse, man is like to grasse, quia per natiuitatem viret in carne, per iuuentutem c [...]ndescit in flore, per mortem aret in pul­uere, by his birth he is greene in his flesh, by his youth he is white in his blossome, by his death he is withered in the dust.

Whether the grassewither, or that the flower fade away, yet the word of God endureth for euer] Caluin. this repetition is added once more to bring all the glory of proud flesh vnto nothing: it also conteineth an excellent comfort, namely that the Lord hauing humbled his seruants in aduersity forthwith affordes them matter of ioy, the grassewithers, but the word of the Lord (which is the ground of our consolation) endures for euer; it is (as Saint [Page 9] 1. Pet. 1. 23. Peter termeth it) an incorruptible seed, a liuing, yea e­uerliuing word. And that in Arcularius. two respects especiallie: 1. in respect of the giuer, as being the word of the Heb. 10. 31. liuing God which 1. Tim. 6. 16. only hath immortalitie: 2. in respect of the receiuers, in that it bringeth all true beleeuers vnto life which endures for euer, according to that of Peter vnto Christ, Iohn 6. 68. thou hast the words of eternall life. Caluin. Here then in a few words is comprehended the whole summe of the Gospell; it consists in acknowledging our owne mi­sery, weakenes, and vanity, that being humbled enough in the consideration of our faultes and frailtie, we might haue recourse to Christ our only Sauiour, by whose grace we shal be wholy restored. Againe from hence we may learne to seeke true consolation and contentment no where but in eternity, the which is only to be found in God: all flesh is grasse, and the grace thereof as the floure of the field, the grasse withereth, and the flower fadeth away, there can be no stability in earth and earth­ly things, and therefore let vs not set our affections on things below, but alway Coloss. 3. 2. seeke those things which are aboue, let our conuersation bee in heauen, and from thence let vs looke for saluation. Philip. 3. 20.

Goe vp vnto the high hill O Sion] this commission (as The transla­tours of our Church Bible in the contents of this Chap­ter. Et Arcula­rius in loc. some thinke) concernes especially the Apostles, in which obserue 1. How they must preach: 2. What they must preach. How▪ they must get vp into the high hill, Musculus. euen so high that their exalted voyce may well bee heard, and accordingly we find that Rom. 10. 18. their sound went into all the earth, and their wordes vnto the endes of the world. Caluin. Here you may see that the dumbe Idols in the papacie boast of the name of the Church absurdly, for the Church (as being the 1. Tim. 3. 15. pillar of truth and Esay 66. 11. 12, 13. mother of all the faithfull) is not taught of God that she should keepe her knowledge to her selfe, but that she should proclaime that vnto other which she hath learned, and that earnestly with a free spirit, O thou preacher Hieru­salem lift vp thy voyce without feare. Now the tenour of [Page 10] the doctrine to be published by the Apostles and their successours in the Church for euer is briefly this, that Christ Iesus is our God and Sauiour, behold your God, both able and willing to redeeme his people, able, for that he shall come with power, and a strong arme, who can measure the waters in his fist, and mete heauen with his spanne, and comprehend the dust of the earth in a measure, and weigh the mountaines in scales, and the hilles in a ballance: willing, for that he shall feede his flocke like an heardman, he shall gather the lambes together with his arme, and cary them in his bosome and shall intreat kind­ly those that beare yong.

The Gospell.

LVKE 1. 57.Elizabeths time came that she should be deliuered, and she brought forth a sonne, &c.

SAint Serm. 63. Ambrose preaching on this day was a great deale troubled, where he should either begin or end the praises of Iohn the Baptist: for whatsoeuer was emi­nent almost in See Ferus ser. 1. de Io. Baptist. all other is found in this one Saint, as be­ing an Malac. 3. 1. Angelus offici [...]. Angel, a Luke 1. 76. Prophet, an Iohn. 1. 6. Apostle, an Mark. 1. 7. Iohn 1. 29. Euange­list, a confessor constantly teaching the truth, and pa­tiently suffering for the same, his ingresse into the world, progresse in the world, egresse out of the world, were not (as our text speakes) without a marueilous noyse throughout all the countryes of Iury, and the Matth. 3. 5. coast about Iordan, he was in his death a Martyr, in his life a miracle, yet his natiuity surmounted both; and there­fore whereas the Church ordinarily celebrates the liues and deaths of other Saints, it doth especially solemnize the birth of Iohn the Baptist; allotting for this feast a Gospell accordingly, that sets downe the cheife parts and purtenance thereof, as namely

  • 1. Elizabeths safe deliuerance, when her time was come, verse 57.
  • [Page 11]2. The congratulation of neighbours and cosins for this great mercy shewed vpon her, verse 58.
  • 3. The circumcision of Iohn, verse 59.
  • 4. The contention about his name, verse 60. 61. 62. 63.
  • 5. The marueyling of such as were present vpon the sight of these things, and of such as were absent vpon the report noysed abroad, verse 63. 65. 66.
  • 6. The Benedictus of Zachary, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, &c.

Elizabeths time was come] The word of the Lord is true, Psalme 33. 4. I the Lord haue spoken it, and I will performe it, Ezechiel 37. 14. Whereas therefore God promised olde Zacharie by the mouth of his Angell at the 13. verse, that Elizabeth his wife should beare him a sonne: he now deales with his seruant according to his word, for albeit Zachary was a forspent man, and Eliza­beth in respect both of yeares and sicknes a Luke 1. 7. barren wo­man; yet when her time came that she should be deliuered she brought forth a sonne. The most almighty truth, and most true almightines effected whatsoeuer he determi­ned, Nat. hist. lib. 7. cap. 5. Plinie, Attic. noc. lib. 3 cap. 16. Gellius, and Arist. de nat. animal. lib. 7. cap. 3. 4. other secretaries of nature re­port that some children are borne in the 7. moneth af­ter their conception, other in the 8. other in the 10. but ordinarily children are borne in the 9. moneth: and Aretius. Maldonat. so Iohn was brought into the world, when his mother Eli­zabeths time came that she should be deliuered, according to the most vsuall course of nature.

Heming. post. in fest. Io. Bap­tist. Hereupon we may build a generall rule, namely that nothing is able to disappoint Gods holy determinations and purposes, and therefore whereas he hath Heb. 9. 27. appoin­ted that all men shall once dye, and after death come to iudgement, whereas he saith expresly that they who Dan. 12. 2. sleepe in the dust of the graue, shall awake some to per­petuall contempt, and other to an 1. Pet. 5. 4. incorruptible crowne of glory; (for the Apocal. 20. 13. sea and the sepulcher shall deliuer vp the dead which are in them at the last day:) let vs looke [Page 12] for the Tit. 2. 13. blessed hope & glorious appearing of Christ our Sauiour, who shall Philip. 3. 21. change our vile body that it may be like his glorious body; though happily the resur­rection of the dead seeme most impossible to nature, yet let vs which are Iohn 1. 13. borne not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God, comfort our selues in these things, as being assured that our Iob. 19. 25. re­deemer liueth, and that hee which is the Iohn 11. 25. resurrection and the life shall himselfe 1. Thess. 4. 16. descend from heauen with a shoute, and with the voyce of the Arch-angel; and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ shall arise first, and then the liuing that remaine shall also bee caught vp with them in the cloudes to meete the Lord in the ayre, and so we shall be with him euermore.

She brought forth a sonne] it is probable that Zacha­ry being at his deuotion in the temple prayed not for a­ny priuate blessing, but for the publike good of the whole congregation, and namely that God would (ac­cording to his gratious promises) giue his sonne, and so forgiue the sinne of his people: the coherence then of Gabriels speech vnto him at the 13. verse (feare not Za­chary, for thy prayer is heard, and thy wife Elizabeth shall beare thee a sonne] may be Augustin. quaest. Euang. lib. 2. cap. 1. this, thy prayer is heard for the Messias of the world, in that thy wife shall beare a sonne, who shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall goe before him in the spirit and power of Elias, as a Prophet to prepare his wayes, and to make ready a people for him. He which is the Iohn 1. 9. light of the world, and Cant. 1. 3. Haggai. 2. 8. de­light of his people, shall ere it be long be borne of a Vir­gine, and Elizabeth thy wife shall haue a sonne, who shall as his beadle goe before his face, the sonne of a barren shall preach vnto the world the sonne of the Vir­gine, Ardens hom. in loc. Et pulchrè de sene & sterili nascitur, qui nascitu­rum de virgine praedicare veniebat, vt mirabiliter natus mirabilius nasciturum demonstraret.

Or as other Theophylact. Euthym. Iansen. obserue, thy prayer is heard for the sins of the people, because thy wife Elizabeth shall beare [Page 13] thee a sonne, who shall openly proclaime the Messias, and say, Behold the lambe of God which taketh away the sinne of the world, Euseb. Emisen. hom. 2. de S. Io. Bap. Dum ille solicitus pro salute populi suppli­cat, promissus est per quem populus saluaretur.

Or as Saint Com. in Luc. 1. vers. 13. Ambrose, God according to his Ephes. 1. 7. rich grace Iames. 1. 5. giuing to all men liberally, did not only heare the prayer of Zachary, for the common good, but also for his owne comfort in particular: and therefore Arboreus, Caluin. some construe the clause (thy prayer is heard) of his priuate suite for a sonne, commensed either at this instant in Gods house (for being hie Priest as Apud Marlo­rat. & Maldo­nat. in loc. many coniecture, his office was to Leuit. 16. 17. make an atonement for himselfe, and his houshold, and for all the congregation of Israel) or else often Heming. Caluin. Maldonat. heretofore in his owne house praying with Eli­zabeth his wife. We finde a parallel example to this Acts 10. 4. Cornelius a deuout man euidently saw in a vi­sion an Angel of God comming vnto him and saying, thy prayers and thine almes are come vp into remem­brance before God. It is not sayed that Cornelius at that houre was either praying vnto God, or giuing almes vnto men: but the Lords Angel speakes of duties and bounties already past: and so Gabriel in saying thy pray­er is heard, insinuates that his former and frequent suite for a childe was obtained now, thy wife shall beare thee a sonne, and our text reportes accordingly that in due time she brought forth a sonne, from hence learne, 1. That the prayer of the righteous Iames 5. 16. auaileth much if it be fer­uent: Iohn is gotten, and (as Ser. 63. Ambrose speakes also) be­gotten of his parents, non tam complexibus, quàm orati­onibus.

2. Heming. post. infest. Io. Bap. That [...] must not cease from praying because many times our requests are delayed long; it is our duty to continue knocking vntill the father of mercies open the doore of grace; Christ in his preamble to that exqui­site forme of prayer inioyneth vs to call vpon God in faith, hope, loue; faith, in saying father: loue, in saying our: hope, in saying which art in heauen: I finde the like [Page 14] conceit in Epist. 121. cap 8. Augustine vpon the fish, egge, and bread, men­tioned Luke 11. fides in pisce, spes in ouo, charitas in pa­ne. Epist. lib. 1. epist. 4. Paulinus said of the woman anoynting Christs feete that she was pudenter impudens, & piè improba; so wee must in our prayers vnto God (as it were) put on a mo­dest impudence, fainting occasioneth a fayling, whereas Luke 18. 5. importunity preuaileth euen with vnrighteous men on earth, and therefore much more with our holy father in heauen.

3. That maried couples ought to liue in the feare of God, alway relying vpon his gratious prouidence both in wealth and woe: more principally the Preachers of the word and their wiues ought to shine before others in all kinde of vertues, in feruent and frequent prayers especially.

And her neighbours and her cousins] Plutarch. Themistocles in­tending to sell a farme, caused the cryer to proclaime that it had among other commodities a good neighbour, as being assured that this one circumstance would ye ra­ther induce chapmen to purchase it: olde Zacharias and Elizabeth had good neighbours, who did not enuy their happinesse, but according to the precept of Rom. 12. 15. Paul, reioyce with those that reioyce. A Preacher that liueth a­mong such hath obtained a fat benefice, hee may well acknowledge with Psalm. 16. 7. Dauid, the lot is fallen vnto me in a faire ground, and I haue a goodly heritage, but woe to that Zacharie which is a Iob 30. 29. brother vnto Dragons, and a companion of Ostriches, Psalm. 120. 5. constrained to dwell with Me­sech, and to haue his habitation among the tents of Kedar.

As Zachary the Priest had good neighbours, so like­wise kinde cousins, for albeit they might haue well ex­pected large legacies if he had dyed without issue, yet they reioyced at the birth of his sonne; an Diez. con. 1. in festo Io. Bap. enuious man hath a great deale of lesse wit in his malice then a very brute, for whereas neither foule nor fish is taken in a snare without a baite, the spitefull wretch is brought to the diuels hooke without any pleasant bite: the volup­tuous [Page 15] man hath a little pleasure for his soule, the coue­tous a little profit for his soule, the proud and ambitious a little honour for his soule; but an enuious man hath nothing of the deuill, or flesh, or world for his soule, but hearts-griefe, Laurent. Pi­san. Euang. paradox. hoc solum inuidus bene agit quod se cru­ciat. Wherefore 1 Pet. 2. 1. laying aside all malitiousnes and en­uie, let vs imitate the good neighbours and allyes of Eli­zabeth here: let vs as feeling and fellow members of the same mysticall body Heb. [...]2. 2. remember those that are in bondes, as though our selues were bound with them, and if any 1. Cor. 12. 16. member be had in honour to reioyce with it.

These neighbours and cousins visiting Elizabeth in childe-bed, came not (as Culman. con. 1. in loc. one notes vpon the place) with basket and bottle to drinke and eate, (though I confesse that kind of neighbourhood were better vsed in a Priests house, then in a tap-house) neither came they like the gossips in our time with a great deale of 1. Tim. 5. 13. tattle speaking things vncomely: but they came to praise God for his goodnesse shewed vpon their friend Elizabeth: 1. Paludensis Beauxamis. In taking away the reproach of barrennesse: 2. For giuing her a sonne; so the text, they heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy vpon her, and they reioyced with her; it was mercy that she brought forth a sonne; great mercy, that she bare such a sonne. The Thracians vsed to laugh at the death, and to weepe at the birth of men; but the Scripture teacheth vs to reioyce when a sonne is borne: Psalm. 127. 4. children and the fruit of the wombe are a gift that commeth of the Lord, and therefore when Eua con­ceiued and bare Cain she said, Gen 4 1. I haue gotten a man from the Lord: and Gen. 5. 29. Lamech hauing gotten a sonne called his name Noah, saying, this same shall comfort vs concer­ning our worke and sorrow of our hands, &c. When Isaac was borne Sarah his mother said, Gen. 21. 6. God hath made me to laugh: a woman (as Christ speakes Iohn 16. 21.) when she is in trauel hath sorrow, because her houre is come, but assoone as she is deliuered of the childe, she remem­bers [Page 16] no more the paine, for ioy that a man is borne into the world: Aeneas Syluius epist progenitori suo. quid dulcius in humanis quàm gignere sibi si­milem, aut beatius in terris quàm natos videre natorum. Elizabeth then had good cause to praise God in the gift of a sonne; but her selfe and her friends had greater cause to reioyce because she bare such a sonne, Paludensis. tantum & talem filium, a sonne so great in the sight of the Lord, filled with the holy ghost, and strong in spirit euen from his mothers wombe; such a son, of whom as yet in swadling cloutes his father moued by the spirit said, hee should be the prophet of the most high, of whom also (when hee was growen vp and executed his office) Mat. 11. 11. Christ himselfe gaue this testimony, that among those which are borne of woemen there hath not risen a greater then Iohn the Bap­tist. If a▪ Prouerb. 10. 1. wise sonne make a glad father, and a foolish sonne bring heauines to his mother: Elizabeth; had great mercy shewed vpon her, in that she brought forth a Iohn into the world.

Euseb. Emisen. hom. 2. de Io. Bap. Idem Beaux. & alij. Mystically, gratious Iohn borne of barren Elizabeth, liuely represents the fulnes and fruitfulnes of the Gen­tiles arising from the barrennesse of the Iewes, and ther­fore the Esay 54. 1. Galat. 4. 27. Prophet exhortes the Church, reioyce thou bar­ren that bearest not, breake forth into singing thou that trauaylest not, for the desolate hath many moe children then she which hath an husband.

In the eight day they came to circumcise the child] Za­charias and Elizabeth Luke 1. 6. walking in all the commande­ments and ordinances of the Lord without blame, cau­sed their new borne babe to be circumcised according to the prescript of the law, concerning the time when, part where, cause why; see Gospell on the circumcision of Christ.

Now Coloss. 2. 11. 12. baptisme succeeds circumcision, and so con­sequently parents are taught by this example to bring their children in due time to holy baptisme; wherein they be made the members of Christ, the children of God, and inheritours of the kingdome of heauen. Againe pa­rents [Page 17] may learne by this Calain, Beauxamis. president (except some great necessity compell them otherwise) to baptize their in­fants in the face of the congregation, and not in the corner of a chamber or chimney: there was a great mee­ting of neighbours and cousins at the circumcision of Iohn in his fathers house, and the Iewes at this day cir­cumcise their children in their publique Synagog [...]es: and lastly from hence wee may further obserue three things, especially concerning imposition of names a­mong Gods children in old time.

1. That names were giuen in circumcision, as among vs in baptisme, they came to circumcise the childe, and called his name Zachary: the reason hereof is plaine, Heming. post. in Euangel. circum. Christi. that as often as we heare our selues named, we might instantly call to minde the solemne couenant betweene God and vs in holy baptisme: or (as Theophylact. Iansen. Beaux­am. in loc. other obserue) because circumcision and baptisme are seales of Gods grace whereby men are first admitted into the Church, and as it were Psalm 69. 29. See Sixt. s [...]nen. Bibliothec. sanct. lib. 2. fol. 126. written in the booke of the liuing: it is fit that none should be named or registred as the seruants and souldiers of Christ afore they haue receiued his Sa­crament, which is the Anglican. [...]. art. 27. badge of their profession and signe of their new birth.

2. From hence we may note Maldonat. that Gods people did vsually name their children after the names of their an­cestours, except God in some singular case by reuelation inioyned the contrary: for the neighbours and cousins of Elizabeth (as not knowing the Lords expresse plea­sure concerning the naming of her childe) began to call his name Zachary after the name of his father; and when Elizabeth answered and said, not so but his name shall be called Iohn; they replied there is none of thy kindred that is named with this name. This example condems the nicenes of some, who thinke it vnlawfull to giue their children Aretius. vsuall names of their nation and families, as Edward, George, Robert, and the like: as also the propha­nes of other, who giue names of Estey hyst. of the Gospel pag. 125. flowers, or stones, or [Page 18] heathen names vnto christians: if we name not our chil­dren after the names of our ancestours, it is fit that wee should take the names of Rhem. in loc. Saints that may put vs in minde of their vertues, as Iohn, Peter, Stephen, &c. And not the names of Idols, as Venus, Mercurie, Bacchus, or the strange names of Saxon and Romane infidels, and therefore the Popes and Cardinals are worthily cen­sured by reuerend Annot. in loc. Fulke, for that hauing most antichri­stianly renounced their names giuen in baptisme, by which they were first dedicated vnto Christ: they chuse many times vnto themselues prophane names, as Sergi­us, Leo, Iulius, Caesar, Sixtus, &c.

3. We may learne from hence that imposition of names is a duty belonging properly to parents, especi­ally to the father, and therefore Gabriel said vnto Za­chary, thou shalt call his name Iohn. And in our present text, the determination of the question about the childes name was wholy referred vnto the father, they made signes to his father, how he would haue him called, and he asked for writing tables, and wrote, saying, his name is Iohn.

Not so, but his name shall be called Iohn] It Maldonat. may be (Zachary being now dumbe and not able to speake) that the neighbours asked Elizabeth his wife how the childe should be named, or happily hearing their consultation about this businesse, she might (as knowing the Lords pleasure herein) answere them vnasked, his name shall be called Iohn. Here then a question is moued, by what meanes Elizabeth vnderstood Gods expresse comman­dement in appointing his name, seeing her husband (to whom only Gabriel had made this knowen) was mute; to this obiection Theophylact. Euthym. Caietan. answere is made, that she knewe the name by reuelation as a prophetisse, per prophetiam di­dicit, quod non didicerat à marito saith Com. in loc. Ambrose: or (as Di [...]. Carthus. Aretius. other assoyle the doubt) it may be Zachary signifi­ed so much vnto her in writing heretofore, as now to his neighbours and kinsmen, for he asked for writing tables, [Page 19] and wrote, saying, his name is Iohn. Beauxam. Culman. Here then obserue, that the parents of Iohn obeyed the commandement of God before the counsell of their friends and kinsemen, albeit they were neuer so deare to them. Paulinus epist. lib. 1. epist. 1. Agamus quae Christus iussit, vt adipiscamur quae Christus spopondit, ve­rit as illius nobis adsit, illi fides nostra non desit &c. If the Lord say follow me, then instantly we must forsake all, and leaue the dead to bury the dead, Matth. 8. 22.

His name is Iohn,] Ambrose Iansen. As if Zacharie should haue sayd, I gaue not this name, but God himselfe hath appointed it. The words of his Angel (thou shalt call his name Iohn) are Maldonat. non solum praedictio, sed etiam praeceptio nominis im­ponendi. Now the word signifies fauoured of God, or the grace of God, a name fit for the Baptist in many respects, as first, Ard [...]ns. Luther. Culman. for that he was the fore-runner & first preacher of Christ, Iohn 1. 16. of whose fullnesse we receiue grace vpon grace, for the law was giuen by Moses, but grace and truth came by Iesus Christ. Numb. 13. 23. The bunch of grapes that the spies of the children of Israel caryed from the land of promise was borne by two strong men vpon a staffe or pole, he that went before could not see the grape, but he that was behind might both see & eate of it: So the Fathers of the old testament did not in like manner see the bunch of grapes, that was the son of God made man, as they that went behind vnder the new testament saw and tasted it, after Iohn had openly shewed this grape, behold the lambe of God that taketh away the sin of the world.

2 The Baptist is so called, Aretius Pa­ludensis. as being filled with the holy ghost, abounding with a great many See Raulin. ser. de nat. Io. Baptist. preroga­tiues of grace both in his conception, birth, and con­uersation.

3 So called, as being borne not by natures ordinarie power, Bonauent. Beauxamis. but bestowed vpon his parents by Gods ex­traordinarie grace.

4 So called, as being Paratus ser. 2. de Io. Baptist. gratious among men, for ma­ny reioyced at his birth, and moe at his doctrine, Matth. 3. 5. Mark. 1. 5. Hie­rusalem and all Iudea went out vnto him in the wilder­nes, [Page 20] and were baptized of him in the riuer Iordan. To compendiat all these notes in a few words, Iohn was gratious▪

In the sight of

  • God the
    • Father, as being vpon the point his Godfather,
      Luke 1. 13.
      imposing his name by the mouth of his Angell.
    • Sonne, for
      Matth. 11.
      Christ highly com­mended him in respect of his calling and carriage.
    • Holy Ghost, as being strong in spirit, and going before Christ in the power of Elias, Luk. 1. 17. 18.
  • Men,
    • Kindred,
      • The blessed virgine Mary visited his Mother a­fore his birth, Luke 1. 40.
      • Other Cousins reioyced at his birth, acknow­ledging it for a great mercy.
    • Straungers,
      • Good, who were both
        Luke 3.
        aduised by him, and Baptized of him: he spake comfortably to Ierusalems heart, and therefore graci­ous in the eyes of all good people.
      • Bad, for they thought his life too strict, Matthew 11. 18. and his greatest e­nemy cruell Herod:
        Matth. 14.
        who bound him, and put him in prison, and in fine beheaded him also for Herodias sake his brother Philips wife, did notwith­standing [Page 21]
        Mark. 6. 20.
        reuerence him, and in many things heard him gladly, knowing that he was a iust man, and an holy. We may pronounce then in some sort of Iohn, as the
        Psalm. 48. 9.
        Psal­mist of God, according to thy name, so is thy praise vnto the worlds end: Iohn is thy name, and gratious was thy person. O blessed Saint if thou wert now liuing, thou wouldest goe to the courtes of Princes, and tell Herode to his face (whilest other Prophets happily sowe
        Ezechiel. 13. 18.
        pil­lowes vnder his elbowes) that
        Mark. 6. 18.
        it is not lawfull for him to haue his brothers wife: if he were now liuing, hee would call our Pharisees a
        Mat. 3. 7.
        generation of vipers: if hee were now liuing, he would not stand vpon by-questions and idle disputations which are fruitlesse, but the summe of all his sermons should be repent, for the kingdome of heauen is at hand: If he were now liuing, and preaching in the wildernes, he would teach vs all to be more mo­dest in our apparell, and moderate in our diet.

This gratious Saint hath a Caietan. in Mat. 3. surname added to his name, called Mat. 3. 1. Iohn the Baptist, either Maldonat. for that he bap­tized Christ, or else for that he was the Aretius, Marlorat. Piscator. first Minister of holy baptisme.

And his mouth was opened immediately] The dumbnes of Zachary (saith Hom. 2. de S. Io. Bap. Eusebius Emisenus) Et fidem reiprae­sentis expressit, & mysterium figurauit: it was a seale of Gods present promise, for when olde Zachary doubted, and said vnto Gabriel at the 18 verse, whereby shall I know that I shall haue a sonne? the Lords Angel answe­red, behold, thou shalt be dumbe, and not able to speake vn­till the day that these things be done, because thou beleeuest not my words which shall be fulfilled in their season. His punishment is Theophylact. Caluin. answerable to his fault, he was stricken deafe for that he would not hearken vnto the word of God, and dumbe for that he contradicted it: hee was made mute through vnbeleife, but as soone as he belee­ued his mouth was opened, Ambros. com. in loc. quam vinxerat increduli­tas, fides soluit: so that Zacharie might apply that of the Psalm. 116. 10. Psalmist vnto himselfe, I beleeued, and therefore haue I [Page 22] spoken. At the birth of Iohn (which as I haue shewed signifies the grace of God) he who was dumbe began to speake and to praise the Lord. Huḡo Card. Beuxamis. Sin closed his mouth, and on the contrary grace loosed his tongue. The guilt of grieuous sinne confoundeth a man, and maketh him mute, not daring to Ezech. 16. 63. open his mouth any more because of his shame. Ignorance maketh a man mute, Ecclesiast. 20. 6. Some man holdeth his tongue because hee hath not to answere. Esay 56. 10. Their watchmen are all blind, they haue no knowledge, they are all dumbe dogs and cannot barke. The forgetting of Gods abundant mercy maketh a man mute, Psal. 137. 6. If I doe not remember thee, let my tongue cleaue to the roofe of my mouth. Now Gods grace remoueth all these stops and impediments, it is he that Psal. 94. 10. teacheth man knowledge, it is he that out of the mouth of Psal. 8. 2. infants hath ordained strength, it is hee that openeth a Coloss. 4. 3. doore of vtterance. Wherefore let vs pray with Dauid, O Lord open thou my lips, and my mouth shal shew thy praise.

2. The dumbnesse of Zacharie the Priest vpon the conception of Iohn the Baptist is Hierom. com. in Iob cap. 29. Origen. hom. 5. in Luc. August. hom. 44. mistycall, insinuating that now the Priests & Prophets also should hold their peace. So Christ himselfe teacheth in the Mat. 11. 13. Gospell, all the Prophets and the Law prophesied vnto Iohn, but after once Iohn had not onely painted out in his preaching, but also pointed out with his finger the Messias of the world, saying, behold the Lambe of God, &c. After once the Center of the Prophets, and end of the law was come, it was time for Priest and Prophet to bee silent, hee shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease, Dan. 9. 27. Then as Ubi sup. Hierome doth apply the words of Iob, The Princes stayed talke, and laid their hand on their lips, and their tongue cleaued to the roofe of their mouth, Iob 29. 9. In this houre the time drew nigh wherein there should be Song of the 3. children, ver. 38 neither Prince, nor Prophet, nor burnt of­fering, nor sacrifice, nor oblation, nor incense. Iohn is the voice of him that crieth in the wildernesse, it was ther­fore [Page 23] fit that his father Zacharie should vpon his concep­tion become mute, as Hom. 44. Augustine acutely, Tacet Za­charias generaturus vocem. Hence wee may learne to confound the stubborne Iewes as yet continuing in vn­beleefe, Emisen. hom. 2. de Io. Baptist. Aut Christum venisse consentiant, aut si renu­unt, dent prophetas qui annuncient esse venturum, either they must acknowledge that the Messias is come, or else shew the Priests and Prophets in holy Bible which as yet foretell his comming.

The hand of the Lord was with him] Almighty God is said in sacred writ to haue feet, and hands, and eyes, August. de gen. ad lit. lib. 6. cap. 12. & octogin. quaest. 52. quaest. Thomas part. 1. quaest. 3. art. 1. not properly, but metaphorically, not simply, but in a simile, nihil enim in deo nisi deus, nihil habet in se nisi se, non par­tibus constat vt corpus, non affectibus distat vt anima, non formis substat vt omne quod factum est, vnus est, sed non vnitus as Lib. 5. de con­sid. ad Eugen. Bernard excellently.

Now the word hand, in a borrowed sense signifies sometime counsell, as in the words of Dauid vnto the woman of Tekoah, 2. Sam. 14. 19. Is not the hand of Ioah with thee in all this? Sometime hand is vsed for power, as Psal. 102. 25. The heauens are the worke of thy hands, and Ier. 18. 6. Behold saith the Lord, as the clay is in the potters hand: so are ye in mine hand. And Psal. 136. 12. Dauid reportes how God brought his Israel out of Egypt, with a mighty hand and stretched out arme. Sometime the giuing of the hand is a token of amity, so 2. King. 10. 15. Iehu to Ionadab, giue me thine hand. So Galat. 2. 9. Iames and Cephas and Iohn gaue to Paul and Bar­nabas, the right hand of fellowship. In all these respects the hand of the Lord was with Iohn, his counsell and power, and loue was with him. 1. Iohn as being filled with the holy Ghost had the spirit of Esa. 11. 2. counsell, he was the forerun­ner of the Esa. 9. 6. counsellor, and so consequently wel acquain­ted with that hidden Ephes. 3. 4. mystery of Christ in other ages vn­knowne vnto the sons of men. 2. The power of the Lord was apparantly with him in his conception and birth, in so much that all marueiled at these things, and said in their heart, what manner of child shall this be? 3. Gods [Page 24] grace and loue was with him euen from his mothers wombe both in his conuersation and doctrine. See Ille­phons. Giron. Con. 3. in festo Io. Baptist.

A mans writing is called his August cont. Faust. Man. lib. 14. cap. [...]. hand, so the Clyent hath his lawyers hand to his bill, and the Merchant his deb­tors hand to his booke; the cunning Artificer also cal­leth his painting his hand, and his Caruing his hand; and so the pillar of Absolon is tearmed manus Absolom in the vulgar translation, 2. Sam. 18. 18. After this manner the Lords hand was with Iohn, hee was so powerfull in his preaching, so sanctified in his life, that euery one might say with Psal. 109. 26. Dauid, how that this is thine hand, and that thou Lord hast done it. Diez. con 1. in fest. Io. Baptist. A bird taken in the nest is so one made gentle; whereas a flying bird caught in a net is hardly tamed: our blessed Sauiour enclosed his A­postles within the net of his mercy when they were growne ancient; and therefore they forsooke their old nature with a great deale of difficulty; but he tooke Iohn the Baptist in the nest as it were, sanctifying him euen in his mothers wombe, so that hee was from his child­hood Ioh. 5. [...]5. a burning and a shining light, that is, as Ser. fest. in loc. Aquine glosseth, Ardens per exemplum, lucens per verbum.

God hath two hands, a right hand of mercy, and a left hand of iustice. So wee reade in the Mat. 25. 33. Gospell how Christ at the last day shall set the sheepe on his right hand, and the goates on his left. His right hand is full of mercies, able to guard, open to giue: Able to guard his people; for he saith of it, Ioh. 10. [...]8. none shall plucke my sheepe out of my hand; Open to giue, for hee doth Psal. 145. 16. open his hand, and filleth all things liuing with plenteousnesse. In these two respects his hands are tearmed by the Church as Cant. 5. 14. gold rings set with the beril, that is, exceeding rich vn­to such as call vpon him. Rom. 10. 12. the cup of wrath is in his left hand, Esa. 51. 17. The Dan. 5. 5. 25. fingers of this hand wrote vpō the plaister of ye wall of Balshazzars palace, Mene, mene, Tekel, vpharsin. Of this hand Iob said, with­draw thine hand from me. Iob 13. 21. And Heb. 10. 31. Paul, It is a [Page 25] fearefull thing to fall into the hands of the liuing God.

Now both hands of God are right hands vnto the iust and godly, Psal. 37. 24. though he fall he shall not bee cast away, for the Lord vpholdeth him with his hand, Rom. 8. 28. all things euen woe so well as weale worke together for the best vnto him, hee finds and feeles each hand of the Lord gentle, for Prou. 3. 16. in his right hand is length of daies, and in his left hand riches and glory. Both hands of the Lord were so with Iohn the Baptist, as that it was no wonder if al men wondered at him. The first part of Zacharies hymne concerning Christ and his kingdome, is expounded in the Liturgie tit. the Benedictus. The latter touching Iohn the Baptist and his office. Gosp. Sun. 3. & 4. in Ad­uent.

The Epistle,

ACTS 12. 1.‘At the same time Herod the King stretched forth his hands to vex certaine of the Congregation, &c.’

THis Chap­ter contai­neth a relation of Herods

  • bloody life, in
    • Killing Iames the brother of Iohn with the sword.
    • Imprisoning Peter.
  • terrible death, an Angel of the Lord smote him in the middest of his pride, because he gaue not glory vnto God, so that hee was eaten vp of wormes, and gaue vp the ghost.

I am to treate of Saint Iames martyrdome vpon his proper holy day, that which especially concernes our present festiuall is S. Peters imprisonment. Wherein (ac­cording to the record of S. Luke) two things are more chiefly remarkable; to wit, [Page 26] his

  • Durance by Herods cru­elty in
    • apprehending and taking him, ag­grauated by circumstances of the
      • cause why, for that it pleased the Iewes.
      • time when, in the daies of sweet bread.
    • holding and keeping him fast
      • 1. Hee put him in pri­son.
      • 2. He deliuered him to foure quaternions of souldiers to be kept.
      • 3. Hee caused him to bee bound with two chaines.
      • 4. He set keepers and a double watch ouer him.
  • Deliuerance by Gods mercy, wherein also note the
    • Motiues, praier with out ceasing of the congregation.
    • Meane, an Angell of the Lord.
    • Manner, a light shi­ned, &c.

B [...]cause he s [...]w it pleased the Iewes.] Herod persecuted the Saints of God Caluin & Pe­largus in loc. not out of any hatred to Christs gos­pell, or any loue to Moses l [...]w, but only to serue his own turne, namely, to please the people. So Pilat to content the Iewes (as it is apparent in the Mat. 27. Mark. 15. Luk. 23. Ioh. 19. gospels history) quit [...] a notable prisoner, Math. 27. 16. a notorious murtherer, Mark. 15. 7. but scourged Iesus, and deliue­red him into their hands to be crucified, albeit he did o­penly confesse that he was a iust man, in whom he could finde no fault at all, Iohn 19. 4. So Felix willing to get fauour of the Iewes, left Paul bound Acts 24. 28. It is a [Page 27] base sinne in a subiect to be made his Princes instrument in any wicked designe, as 2. Sam. 11. Ioab was king Dauids agent in murthering Vriah the Hittite, and the 1 Kings 21. nobles of Iez­reel Ahabs and Iezebels instruments in killing Naboth for his Vineyard. But it is a most vnworthy thing for a Prince to flatter▪ and to follow his subiects in their gid­die courses, for ordinarily the people walke not in the best, but in the beaten way, [...]eneca. non qua eundum est, sed qua itur. It is a good Sir Fran. Ba­con apolog. pag. 17. obseruation that popular and mili­tary dependence in noble men to make them great, are like I [...]arus two wings, which were ioyned on with waxe, they will happily for a while mount them aloft, and then faile them at the height. It is therefore better to stand vpon two feet, then to flye vpon two wings, the two feet are the two kinds of Iustice, Commutati [...]e and Distributiue, for great men shall grow greater if they will aduance merit, and relieue wrongs.

The scriptures are plentifull in this argument, Prouerb. 1. 10. If sinners entise thee consent not; Exod. 23. 2. thou shalt not follow a multitude to doe euill: Psalm. 1. 1. Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsell of the vngodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, &c. If sayd Galat. 1. 10. Paul, I should yet please men, I were not the seruant of Christ: and therefore let Princes and Prelats also take heed that they be not too popular in their courses, alway remembring the words of Peter and Iohn Acts 4. 19. Whether it be right in the sight of God to harken vnto you more then vnto God, iudge yee.

2 From hence we may learne, that the wicked accord in doing mischiefe, though otherwise they be most op­posite. The Sadduces, Herodians, and Pharis [...]es were Se­ctaries of diuerse and Iosephus anti­quit. lib. 18. ca. 2. aduerse factions, all differing one from another, and yet all these ioyned together against Christ, Math. 22. The Libertines, and Cyreneans, and A­lexandrians, and C [...]licians, and Asians disputed against S. Stephen Acts 6. The Macedonians, Arrians, and Eu­nomians had Socrates hist. lib. 5. cap. 10. confused language like the Giants in old time, who built the tower of Gen. 11. Babel; and yet in malice [Page 28] they were lincked against the true Catholicks. Herod neither loued the Iewes, nor the Iewes Herod, yet both agree to vex the Church, according to that in the second Psalme, The kings of the earth stand vp, and the rulers take counsell together against the Lord, and against his anointed▪ and therefore that Luke 7. 35. Wisedome may be iustified of all her children, let vs which are true Christians Eph [...]s. 4. 3. en­deuour to keepe the vnity of the spirit in the bond of peace, being of Acts 4. 31. one heart, and of one soule, of one Philip. 2. 2. accord, and of one iudgement, that as there is a society of Iesuits, a fa­mily of Anabaptists, a brotherhood of Scismaticks; e­uen so to confront all these, let there be still a commu­nion of Saints, and a perpetuall holy league in truth a­gainst all such as trouble Gods Israel. See Gospell Sun. 18. & 23. after Trinity.

Then were the dayes of sweet bread] The feast of vn­leauened bread was instituted by Exod. 12. Moses according to Gods owne direction, and afterward repeated by Duke Iosua 5. 10. Iosua, and from his time celebrated by Gods people solemnely till this day Aretius, Sal­meron. This circumstance then aggra­uates the bloody sinne of Herod, who did not abstaine from his mischeuous enterprises on a feast so high and holy. The Iewes obserued their Easter in abstayning from leauened bread, the mystery whereof and morall (as 1. Cor. 5. 7. 8. Paul teacheth) is, that we should purge the old lea­uen of sinne, Church hom. of the resurrection of Christ. that corrupteth and sowreth all the sweet­nes of our life before God, and become a new lump voyd of the leauen of malitiousnes and wickednes: but Herod here contrariwise sowred the whole dough with his lea­uen of mischiefe and malice.

Againe from hence we further obserue Herods Caluin, Kilius, Arcularius. hy­pocrisie, who seemed to reuerence the feast in such sort that he would not slay▪ Peter in the dayes of sweet bread, and yet he caught him, and put him in prison, and deliue­red him to foure quaternions of souldiers to be kept, inten­ding after Easter to bring him forth to the people: so the chiefe priests who gaue Iudas Iscariot▪ thirty peeces of [Page 29] siluer to betray Christ, afterward sayd, Matth. 27. 6. it was the price of blood, and therefore not lawfull for vs to put them into the treasurie: so the Pharisees Matth. 23. 24. strayned out a gnat, and swallowed vp a camell: so the See Epistle Sun. 1. in Lent. popish Monks hold it an honester thing for a priest to be entangled with many con­cubines in secret, then openly to be ioyned in mariage with one wife.

He put him in prison Lorinus & glossa in loc..] Foure things increase the mi­series of a man in custodie, the prison, souldiers, chaines, and keepers, all which Herod vsed in the persecution of S. Peter at this time. 1. He put Peter in prison. 2. Aretius. Doub­ting that the prison was not strong enough, he deliue­red him vnto foure quaternions, Oecumen. vertit syrus sexdecem mi­litibus. that is, sixteene soul­diours: for Lorinus. quaternion is not as centurion a word of office, but of number. Now these sixteene by foure and foure did euery Arius montan. sixe houres thoroughout the whole night and day watch Peter, or else euery Oecumen. three houres in the night only: Ar [...]tius. or it may be that all the sixteene did watch all the night, two within the prison, and the rest in a guard without. 3. Herod fearing that his prisoner notwithstanding all this might escape, caused him to be bound with two chaines. 4. Least haply chaines and all should faile, the keepers before the dore kept the prison, his intent was to make all sure, that he might after Ea­ster bring him foorth, and expose him vnto the peoples malice. Poore Peter was bound not only with one, but with two chaines, and he slept betweene two souldiers, and he was guarded by two watches, the first and the se­cond. So Dan. 3. 19. Nebuchadnezzar full of indignation and rage cōmanded that the fiery fornace into the middest wher­of Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego were to be cast, should at once be made hot seuen times more then it was wont. So the persecutors of Dan. 6. 17. Daniel after he was thrown by them into the Lions den, layd a stone vpō the mouth of the den, least otherwise he might escape their violent iawes and pawes. So the Priests and Pharisees intreated Pilate when Christ was dead, that he would giue Matth. 27. 64. com­mand [Page 30] for the making of his Sepulchre sure, least his dis­ciples should come by night and steale him away. Now the Lord who dwelleth in heauen, & is a present help to his seruants in trouble, Psalm. 2. 4. laughs them to scorne, for whē the three children were now ready to be cast into the flames of the scorching fornace, they told Nebuchadnezzar vnto his face, wee are not carefull to answere thee in this matter. And Daniel in the Lions den had an Angel of God for his guard, who stopped the mouthes of the beasts, and so no maner of hurt was found vpon him: and so S. Pe­ter here, though he were cast into prison, and bound with two chaines, yet (hauing a good cause and a good conscience) securely slept betweene two souldiers euen the night before cruel Herod would haue brought him out to the people. The prophane Plaut. prolog. Amphit. Poet spake diuinely, sat fautorum habet semper qui rectè facit; and therefore Peter in his indurance cast his Psalm. 55. 23. burden vpon the Lord, and sayd happily with Psalm. 4. 9. Dauid, I will lay me downe in peace, and take my rest, for it is thou Lord only that makes me dwell in safety. God either deliuereth his seruants out of persecution, as he did Peter; or else if he crowne them with martyrdome as he did S. Iames, he will in his king­dome of glory giue them in stead of this bitter a better inheritance. August. de Ciuit. Dei, lib. 4. cap. 30. Pro veritate morientes, cum veritate vi­uentes.

Prayer was made without ceasing of the congregation] Prayers and teares are the Churches armour, and there­fore when Peter was imprisoned by cruell Herod, the congregation commeth vnto prayer, and not vnto pou­der for his deliuerance; they did not assault the prison, nor kill the souldiers, nor breake the chaines, only pray­er and patience were there weapons, Salmeren tract. 35. in Act. arma christiano­rum in aduersis alia esse non debent quàm patientia & pre­catio: prayer (quoth Church hom. concernig Prayer, part. 2. Augustine) is the key of heauen, and as it were that fiery chariot of 2. Kings 2. 11. Eliah whereby we mount vp and haue our conuersation with God on high, it is the hand of a christian which is able to reach from [Page 31] earth to heauen, and to take forth euery manner of good gift out of the Lords treasure; so the Scripture speakes in expresse termes, Mat. 7. 7. aske and yee shall haue, &c. The pray­er of a righteous man auaileth much if it be feruent, Iames 5. 16. Aske in Iames 1. 6. faith, and then all things are possible to him that beleeueth, Marke 9. 23. Many times our Prayers are sent out like to incense made happily according to the Lords direction, but not kindled with fire from his altar; that is, petitions lawfull enough and agreeable to Gods holy word, but not poured out in feruency. We fall into them often without preparation, and vtter a number of wordes without deuotion, and therefore no maruaile if we misse, when as we thus aske amisse. But if our prayer be like the Churches here, made without ceasing, if it be faithfull and feruent the God of all grace will out of the riches of his mercy giue vs either that we desired, as Iames 5. 18. Eliah prayed for raine and the heauen gaue raine: or else that which is better, as God tooke Deut. 34. Moses into the spirituall Canaan, because he did not enioy that earthly Canaan: or at the least that which is sufficient, as he told Paul, 2. Cor. 12. 9. My grace is sufficient for thee. See Gosp. Sun. 5. after Easter,

There is nothing in the world Chrysostom. more strong then a man who giueth himselfe to feruent prayer, his deuoti­on is so powerfull as that it Est quaedam omnipotentia praecum, Alste­dius system. Theolog. lib. 4. cap. 2. commandeth all things in heauen, earth, and hell; it commandeth all the foure Elements, ayre, fire, water, earth: Ayre, Iames 5. 17. Elias prayed earnestly that it might not raine, and it rai­ned not on the earth for three yeares and sixe moneths, he shut vp heauen as the Eccle. 48. 3. wiseman reportes of him, hee said, 1. Kings 17. 1. as the Lord God of Israel liueth before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor raine these yeeres, but according to my word: againe he prayed for raine, and the raine fell, and the earth brought forth her fruite. Fire, the same Prophet Elias by his prayers 1. King. 18. 38. 2. King. 1. 10. 12. three times brought fire from heauen, Ecclesiasticus 48. 3. Water, at the Exod. 14. crying of Moses vnto the Lord, the red sea runne [Page 32] backe and was made drie land, so that Gods Israel wal­ked vpon firme ground in the middest of the sea: but whē their enemies pursued them, all the diuided waters re­turned, and ouerwhelmed them in the deepe; and at the prayer of the same Moses, bitter waters were made sweete, Exod. 15. 25. Earth, vpon the complaint of Mo­ses vnto God the Numb. 16. earth opened her mouth, and swal­lowed vp Korath, Dathan, and Abiram, and all their fa­milies, and all their goods: in so much that they toge­ther with all theirs went downe quicke into the pit, and the ground closed vpon them, and they perished in the sight of Gods people. Nay the prayer of one deuoute man is able to conquer an hoast of enemies in battaile, for in the fight betweene Israel and Amalek, Exod. 17. 11. when Moses held vp his hand, Israel preuailed, but when he let his hand downe, Amalek preuailed. In this present text the prayer of the congregation without ceasing fet­ched an Angel out of heauen, and brought a shining light into the darke dungeon, and loosed the fetters from Saint Peters feete, and the chaines from his hands, it brake thorough the first and second watch, and opened an iron gate, and so deliuered the seruant of God from the waiting of the Iewes.

What should I say more? prayer is so potent that it raiseth the 1. Kings 17. 21. dead; it ouercommeth Gen. 19 22. Angels, it cast­eth out Mat. 17. 21. Deuils, and that which is yet more wonderfull, it mastereth euen God himselfe: for when Gen. 32. 16. Iacob wrest­led with God, he said, I will not let thee goe, except thou blesse me: when the Lord said let me goe, becommeth it Iacob to say, I will not let thee goe: yea (beloued) there be some things wherein the Lord is very well content that his seruants striue with him, as namely, when they haue his word for their warrant, it is a commendable strife to take no refusall at his hand, and in effect it is nothing else but a constant affirmation that his truth is inuiola­ble. So the woman of Mat. 15. Canaan stroue with Christ, shee would take no denyall of that which he had promised: [Page 33] and blinde Marke 10. Luke 18. Bartimeus made Christ as he passed in his way to stand still, hee could not for the multitude lay hands on him, and yet his prayers reached vnto him, and held him fast vntill he receiued a comfortable an­swere, receiue thy sight, thy faith hath saued thee. So when almighty God would haue destroyed his people because they worshipped the golden calse, saying, these be thy Gods O Israel, which haue brought thee out of the land of Egypt; Moses fell downe on his face before the Lord, and prayed vnto his God, he stood (saith the Psal. 106. 23. Psalmist) in the gap as a mediatour betweene God and his people to turne away his wrathfull indignation, and this prayer was so powerfull, as that it constrained the Lord in the midst of his anger to say vnto Moses, Exod. 3 [...]. 10. let me alone, that my wrath may waxe hot against them: all the powers of heauen, and the crying of all men on earth are not able to hold the Lord from doing any worke he is about to doe, for he can Esay 40. 12. measure the waters in his fist; and mete heauen with his spanne; and weigh the mountaines in scales; and the hils in a ballance, Psalm. 135. 6. what soe­uer pleaseth him he doth in heauen, and in earth, and in the sea: yet the prayers of his children are able to binde him hand and foot, and to compell him (as it were) to powre downe an vndeserued blessing, and to turne a­way a iust deserued punishment: the very crying of an infant that vtters no distinct voyce, moues a mother vn­to compassion, and so the Lord pitying vs as a Psalm. 103. 13. father, and comforting vs as a Esay 66. 13. mother, heareth our very groanes, and so Psalm. 145. 19. fulfilleth our desires if we call vpon him in faith and feare.

Now the reason why the prayers of the faithfull are so powerfull is, because they be not ours, but the inter­cession of Gods owne spirit in vs, powred out in the name of Christ his owne sonne, in whom he is euer Mat. 3. 17. well pleased. For as for vs, Rom. 8. 26. we know not what to pray as wee ought, but the spirit it selfe makes request for vs with sighes which can not be expressed; it is the spirit whereby [Page 34] we cry abba father, Bernard in festo Pent. ser. 1. as in vs the spirit makes request for vs, so with the father he grantes our suites, and forgiues our sinnes, that for which we pray euen he giueth vnto vs who giueth vs this grace to pray: God inuiteth vs to Mat. 11. 28. come vnto him, and to Psalm. 50. 17. call vpon him in all our trou­bles, and his holy spirit when as we present our selues before the throne of grace helpeth our infirmities and maketh intercession for vs: and therefore no maruell if the Lord be bound by deuoute men with his owne pro­mises, as Iudges 16. Sampson was by Dalila with his owne haire. Let these godly meditations strengthen our feeble hearts and weake handes that they faint not in deuoti­on, but according to the paterne of the Saintes here, and the precept of Paul Ephes. 6. 18. 1. Thess. 5. 17. elsewhere, we may without ceasing alwayes pray, Zinchius in loc. ad Ephes. see Thomas 21ae. quaest. 8 [...]. art. 14. that is, vpon all occasions offred as well for our selues as other: Nilus in se [...] ­tentijs. Omne quod agis [...]ratione obsig­nato, id verò maximè de quo mentem vides dubitantem.

Behold the Angel of the Lord was there present] I am occasioned here to treat of two questions especially: The first concerning Angelical protection in generall, as namely, whether Angels helpe and keepe men from e­uill or noe? The second whether beside the generall pro­tection of many or all Angels in common, euery man hath one peculiar. Angel as his peculiar guard and guide? The doctrine concerning Angelicall protection in gene­rall at the first appearance may seeme strange, because the Scripture teacheth vs expresly, that Psalm. 37. 23. the pathes of man are directed by the Lord, and Psalm. 34. 18. Great are the troubles of the righteous, but the Lord deliuereth him out of all: and for this so particular care and proui­dence, God is often compared vnto a Deut. 32. 6. father, Esay▪ 49. 15. mother, Psalm. 23. 1. pastour, Cant. 5. bridegroome, Psalm. 18. 1. buckler, Exod. 19. 4. Eagle. &c. To shew that he only is to vs 1. Cor. 15. 28. all in all: Esay 63. 16. Doubt­lesse thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of vs, and Israel know vs not: yet thou O Lord art our fa­ther, and our redeemer. As who would say, those that are fathers according to the flesh, are not worthy of that [Page 34] name if they be compared with thee: can a woman for­get her childe? and not haue compassion on the sonne of her wombe? though she should forget (saith the Lord, Esay 49. 15.) Yet I will not forget thee; behold, I haue grauen thee vpon the palme of my hands, and thy walkes are euer in my sight. Ambrose. If thou beest burdened with vnrighteousnes, Christ is thy righteousnes if thou need helpe, he is thy strength: if thou feare death, he is life: if thou desire heauē, he is the way: if thou hate darknes, he is light: if yu seeke for meate he is food: for although he be but one in himselfe, yet he is all things vnto vs for the relieuing of our necessities which are without number: and therefore if the rule be true non sunt multiplicanda entia sine necessitate, what need any man expect other side from other powers, though Angelicall and neuer so great, seeing almighty God himselfe is the Psalm. 111. 4. keeper of Israel, our immediat pro­tectour, Psalm. 46. 1. strength, hope, and helpe in trouble.

Thom. part. 1. quaest. 113. [...]. & 2. Answere is made that Angelical custody doth not extenuate, but rather extoll the greatnes and goodnes of God toward mankind, for as much as it is an executi­on of his high and holy prouidence. For as by the Chrysost ser. de ascens [...]m. wise­dome of an excellent Emperour, all the Towers, all the Cities, all the Castles, are fortified with men and muni­tion against the common enemies assault, lest by barba­rous inuasion they should be destroyed: euen so, because the deuils are in euery corner raging and ranging for our ouerthrow, God hath ordained for our guard that an host of Angels should Psalm. 34. 7. pitch their tentes about vs, and Psalm. 91 11. keepe vs in all our wayes. Indeed God is able to defend vs himselfe by himselfe thorough his immediate concourse which he hath in all things, but to manifest his abundant loue to men which are Iob 25. [...]. wormes, and rot­tennes, and mere Psalm. 39. 6. vanity, he doth inioyne the pages of his honour & princes of his court, euen his glorious An­gels to become messengers and Ministers for their sakes, who shal be heires of saluation, & that all the time of this life, in the houre of death, and in the day of iudgement.

[Page 36]The good which Angels procure to the Saints in this life, concerneth either the body or the soule: as for the body, these ministring spirits attend vs euen from the beginning of our dayes vnto the end, most carefully per­forming all manner of offices appertaining necessarilie to the preseruation of our temporall life. When Gen. 16. 7. Agar cast out of Abrahams family wandered in the wildernes, an Angel appeared vnto her, and aduised her to returne to her mistresse, and to humble her selfe vnder her hands: the reuenging Angels caught and carried Gen. 19. 16. Lot out of Sodom and Gomorrha, before they did burne those Cities with fire and brimstone. Gen. 24. 7. Abraham as being as­sured of the protection of Gods Angels in all his wayes, said vnto his seruant, the Lord God of heauen who tooke me from my fathers house, &c. will send his Angel before thee: when Gen. 32. 1. Iacob feared his brother Esau, hee met Angels comming vnto him, and thereupon he did acknowledge that they should be his guard in his iour­ney, saying▪ this is Gods host: an Angel appeared vnto Duke Iosua 5. 13. Iosua when he was about to sacke Iericho, with a drawen sword in his hand as a captaine to fight for Is­rael: an Angel comforted and fed 1. Kings 19. Elias when he fled from Iezebel: an Angel deliuered the three children out of the fierie furnace, Dan. 3. An Angel assisted Daniel in the Lyons denne, and kept him also from all manner of hurt, Dan. 6. An Angel directed Mat. 2. 13. Ioseph, to flie into E­gypt. An Angel ministred vnto Mat. [...]. 11. Luke 22. 43. Christ in his heauines, and in our present text the Lords Angel brought Peter out of prison, and deliuered him out of the hands of Herod, and from all the waiting of the people of the Iewes.

Angels procure good vnto the soules of the faithfull illuminando & confortando saith Part. 1. quaest. Aquine, because they be maintainers and furtherers of the true worship of God, and of all good meanes whereby saluation is attai­ned. The Galat. 3. 19. Acts 7. 38. law was deliuered in mount Sina by the hands of Angels; an Angel expounded vnto Dan 9. 21. Daniel the 70. weekes; an Angel forbids Apocalip. 19. 10. Iohn to worship him, and [Page 36] inioyneth him to worship God the creatour of heauen and earth; an Angel declared the will of God vnto fa­ther Gen. 22. 12. Abraham that he should not kill his sonne Isaac; an Angel reuealed the mystery of Christs Luke 1. 31. conception, vnto the Virgin his mother; of Christs birth, vnto cer­taine shepheards in the field attending their flockes by night, Luke 2. 10. Of Christs resurrection, vnto Mary Magdalen and other deuout women, Mat. 28. 5. In a word, Angels are pursiuants, harbingers, and Heralds betwixt heauen and earth alwayes in a readines to make knowne the will of God vnto men.

In the houre of death Angels conuey the soules of the faithfull, as they did the soule of Luke 16. 22. Lazarus into blessed Abrahams bosome. And in the day of iudgement they shall Mat. 24. 31. gather together all Gods elect from the foure windes, and from the one end of heauen vnto the other, that they may come before Christ and enter into the fruition of eternall glory both in body and soule.

The vse of this doctrine is manifold. 1. It serues to terrifie the wicked who despise Gods children, for so Christ himselfe reasoneth, Mat. 18. 10. Despise not one of these little ones, because I say vnto you, that in heauen their Angels alway behold the face of my father. It be­houes reuiling scoffers therfore to take heed whō they mocke, for though happily good men (called little ones in respect of their innocency and humility) for their parts are content to put vp abuses and iniuries; yet their Angels may take iust reuenge by smiting them (as they did Herod in this Chapter) with heauy punishments for their offences.

2. This may teach vs humility; for if Angels high and holy serue vs, let vs not thinke it any bad or base dutie to Galat. 5. 13. serue one another in loue.

3. Wee may learne from hence to behaue our selues in open and in secret places after a reuerent and seeme­ly manner, as being spectacles vnto glorious Angels, which are Bucan loc. com. tit. Angel. quaest. 34. witnesses and obseruers of all our words [Page 37] and deeds. To this purpose 1. Cor. 11. 10. Paul saith, that the woman ought to haue power on her head, because of the Angels. Perkins ex­pos. Creed tit. creation of Angels. That is, not onely the Ministers of the Church, but Gods heauenly Angels, which daily wait vpon his chil­dren and guard them in all their waies.

4. This ought to stirre vs vp vnto the Lords praise, saying with Psalm. 144. 3. Dauid, Lord, what is man, that thou hast such respect vnto him, or the sonne of man that thou shoul­dest so regard and guard him? Alas all flesh is grasse, and man is like a thing of nought; yet behold if hee truely loue God, Rom. 8. 28. all things are for his good, for God is his father, the Church his mother, Christ his brother, the holy Ghost his comforter, Angels his attendants, all o­ther creatures his Psalm. 8. 6. subiects, the whole world his 1. Pet. 2. 11. Inne, and heauen his Iohn 14. 2. home. I will end this obseruation with a meditation of S. Soliloqui. cap. 27. Augustine.

O Lord, thou makest thy spirits messengers for my sake, to whom thou hast giuen charge ouer me to keepe me in all my waies, that I hurt not my foote against a stone. For these are the watchmen ouer the Esay 62. 2. walles of the new Hierusalem, and of the mountaines about the same, which attend and keepe watch ouer the flocke, lest he as a Lion make a prey of our soules, while there is none to deliuer; he, I meane that old Reuelat. 12. 9. serpent, our ad­uersary the diuell, who walketh about as a 1. Pet. 5. 8. roaring Li­on seeking whom he may deuoure. These Citizens of Hierusalem aboue walke with vs in all our wayes, they goe in and out with vs, diligently considering how god­ly and how honestly we doe walke in the Philip. 2. 15. midst of a naughty and crooked generation, how earnestly wee seeke the Mat. 6. 33. kingdome of God and the righteousnes. [...] of; with what Psalm. 2. 11. feare and trembling we doe serue [...]hee, and how our hearts Zacha. 10. 7. reioyce in thee O Lord: those which labour they strengthen, those which rest they protect, such as fight they encourage, they crowne such as ouercome, they reioyce with such as Rom. 12. 15. reioyce, such I meane as reioyce in thee; and they suffer with such as [Page 38] suffer, I say with such as suffer 1. Pet. 4. 14. for thy names sake: great is the care which they haue of vs, and great is the affecti­on of their loue toward vs, and all this for the honour of thine inestimable good will, wherewith thou hast loued vs: for they loue those, whom thou doest loue: they keep those, whom thou doest keep: they forsake those, whom thou doest forsake: neither can they abide such as worke iniquity, because thou also Psalm. 5. 5. hatest all them that worke iniquity. When we doe well the Angels reioyce, but the deuils are sad: when we doe ill the deuils reioyce, but the Angels are sad: grant therefore good Lord, that they may alwayes reioyce ouer vs, that both thou al­wayes mayest be glorified in vs, and we may be brought with them into thy fold, that together we may praise thy name O creator both of men and Angels.

To the second quaere, whether beside the generall protection of all Angels in common, euery particular man hath one peculiar Angel for his guard; I finde that many learned and ancient doctours hold the affirmatiue part. So S. In Psalm. 33. & 48. Basile categorically, to euery one that belee­ueth in Christ an assistant Angell is appointed, vnlesse we driue him away from vs by our wicked actions; for as smoake driueth away bees, and stinch doues: so filthy sinne the Angel the keeper of our life. The which assertion he confirmes Lib. 3. contra Eunomium cir. prin. elsewhere more at large by diuers testimo­nies of holy writ: so S. Com. in Esaiae 66. Hierome, that euery one of vs hath his Angel, many places of Scripture teach, as name­ly that of Christ, Mat. 18. 10. See that ye despise not one of these little ones, for I say vnto you, that in heauen their Angels alway behold the face of my father, &c. As also that which is recorded, Acts 12. 15. It is Peters Angel: So Hom. 3. in 1. Coloss. Chrysostome, euery faithfull one hath his Angel, in deede at the first holy Angels were according to the num­ber of the nations, but now not so, but according to the number of the faithfull. So In Mat. 18. Theophylact, all men, especi­ally the faithfull haue their Angels. So In vita Moseos. Gregory Nyssen speaking of this argument insinuates that it was ordina­rily [Page 37] [...] [Page 38] [...] [Page 39] holden of the fathers, a true speech hath descended vnto vs, by which we beleeue that our nature since our fall into sinne, is not altogether forlorne of the diuine clemen­cie, neither left without his succour, but that then also there is giuen to euery man one of the Angels as an helper and protector. So In Heb. [...]. 14. Primasius, vnto euery man (as the Doc­tours say) there is generally giuen an Angel for his custo­dy, and this either from his birth, or rather▪ from his bap­tisme. Vnto these fathers I might adde [...]om. 8. in Gen. Origine, [...]. 30. Iustine Martyr, Strom. 6. Clemens Alexandrinus, Soliloq. cap. 27. Augustine, De praeparat. Euang. lib. 13. cap. 7. Eusebius, &c. As also most of the I [...] 2. sent. dist. 11. schoolemen, and Salkeld treat. of Angels cap 44. many pro­testant diuines.

Yet for mine owne part I say (saluo semper meliore iudicio) with Caluin institut. lib. 1. cap. 14. §. 7. An singu­lis sidelibus singuli angeli sint ad eorum defensionem attri­buti pro certo asserere non ausim: and my reason is, for that I see not any cleare ground in holy Bible for such an assertion. The two chiefe places in the iudgement of all diuines aswell ancient as moderne are Mat. 18. 10. and Acts 12. 15. The first whereof (as Com. in loc. Caietan and Ambros. Comps [...] Epis. apud S. sen [...]n. Bibliothec. lib. 6. annot. 77. other popish expositours obserue) proues not euidently, that euery little one hath one peculiar Angel for his guar­dian in particular, but only that all are appointed ouer all in generall, as the Scripture construeth it selfe Luke 15 10. Saying of euery one of those little ones which turne from their sinnes, that all Gods holy▪ Angels re­ioyce at it: and as for the wordes of the disciples asto­nished at the sudden newes of Peters comming, it is not he, but his Angel; D [...]ering lect. 6. in Heb. answere is made, that this allegation is a very slender proofe, because the disciples in Maries house being amazed vpon the strange report of Rhode, spake they knew not what: so we might proue that the Saints departed may dwell in tabernacles, because Mat. 17. 4. Marke 9. 5. Pe­ter said, Lord, let vs make tabernacles, one for Moses, another for Elias: and whereas it is further obiected that they spake after the common opinion of men in that age; we reply that in those dayes it was a receiued opi­nion [Page 40] that dead men did walke, as it appeares by Mat. 14. 2. Herod, who thought our Sauiour was Iohn Baptist risen againe from the dead. Vox populi is not alway vox dei, common errours are no certaine rules of truth: and what if that place were so manifest as they could wish it, why might it not be construed thus, it is his Angel, Caluin instit. lib. 1. cap. 14. §. 7. & com. in loc. that is, some Angel which almighty God hath sent for his deliue­rance, this being according to the Scripture more then that, to haue it his particular Angel; so the present text here, behold the Angel of the Lord was their present, and a light shined in the prison, and he smote Peter on the side, and stirred him vp, saying, arise vp quickly, and his chaines fell from his hands, &c.

The Gospell.

MAT. 16. 13.‘When Iesus came into the coasts of the city, which is called Caesarea Philippi, &c.

THis Scripture being a dialogue betweene Christ and his Apostles, of it owne accord falleth into two questions, and two answeres vnto those questions.

  • 1. Quest. Whom do men say that I the sonne of man am? answere, some say thou art Iohn Baptist, &c.
  • 2. Quest. Whom say ye that I am? answere, thou art the Christ the sonne of the liuing God: the which answere is
    • commended, blessed art thou Si­mon, &c.
    • rewarded, vpon this rocke I wil, &c.

Caesarea Philippi] there were two Caesareaes, one cal­led Ioseph. antiq. lib. 15. cap▪ 13. & de bello iu­daico▪ lib. 1. cap. 16. Stratonis vpon the mediterrane sea, which Herod sumptuously built in the honour of Augustus Caesar, another called Caesarea Philippi, Ioseph. antiq. lib. 18. cap. 3. founded by Philip (Hierome Anselm. brother of Herod the tetrarch who beheaded Iohn the Baptist) in honour of Tiberius Caesar at the foote of [Page 41] Libanon. Philip built, Aretius. Marlorat. Iansenius. or rather repaired and enlar­ged this towne out of his seruiceable loue to Caesar, but yet for his owne glory he did adde a Philippi to Caesarea. The Papists in mingling the blood of their Saints with the pretious blood of our Sauiour, and in making them­selues also (by relying too much vpon their owne me­rits) halfe mediatours, and ioint purchasers of saluation with Christ, haue set vp in the Synagogue of Antichrist as it were a Caesarea Philippi. The Iesuited Papists espe­cially swearing to the Kings Supremacie, with a Romish equiuocation, or Spanish reseruation, adde a Philippi to Caesarea. This as Ardens. some thinke was the City where the Kings in old time receiued their tribute, and therefore the King of heauen aptly required of his disciples in the very same place tributum confessionis: Diez con. 1. in fest. Pet. & Pauli. or it may be that Christ exacted this cōfession of faith in the coasts of Cae­sarea Philippi, to signifie, that his Apostles should not only preach the Gospell among the Iewes, but also that Rom. 10. 18. their sound should goe through all the earth, and their words vnto the ends of the world; or he made this de­maund farre from Hierusalem out of the Scribes and Pharisees hearing, Theophylact Iansen. that they might the more fully and freely confesse what they thought of him.

Whom doe men say] He did not aske this question as being Euthym. Rabanus. ignorant hereof himselfe, but to teach other, es­pecially his Apostles, and such as hold the like place, not to be Caietan Ardens Iansen ex origine. negligent in examining what opinion the world conceiueth of them, that if they heare ill, they may la­bour to cut off all iust occasions of so bad a report: if well, indeuour to deserue and preserue the same to Gods and the Gospels honour: Aretius. or he began with this quaere, whom doe men say? that he might hereby come the better vnto that other, whom doe yee say? hee did not enquire what the Theophylact Euthym. Pharisees or Priests say, for they reputed him a Matth. 27. 63. deceiuer, a Iohn 8. 48. Samaritan, a Matth. 11. 19. glutton, & drinker of wine; but he doth aske what the people say, for so Luke 9▪ 18. S. Luke doth expoūd S. Matthew, whom say the people that I am?

[Page 42] The son of man] He did ordinarily vse this stile spea­king of himself for Ardens. three causes especially, 1. To put vs in minde how much he did abase himselfe for our sake, Philip. [...]. 6. who being in the forme of God, made himselfe of no repu­tation, and tooke on him the forme of a seruant, and was found in shape as a man. 2. To confute the August. haeres. 46. Manichees and other Hereticks denying his humanitie. 3. By his example, teaching vs, how we should thinke and speake of our selues with humilitie.

Some say that thou art Iohn Baptist, some Elias, some Ieremias.] Theophylact. They who conceiued he was Iohn Baptist, agreed with Matth. 14. 1. Herod the Tetrarch, for when he heard of the fame of Iesus, he said vnto his seruants, This is Iohn Baptist, he is risen againe from the dead, and there­fore great works are wrought by him: other thought him Elias, for that he did so sharply rebuke all de­grees of men in his Matth. 3. Luke 3. preaching: other said that he was Ieremy, for that he was indued with excellent know­ledge, which he learned of no man, and that as Ieremy 1. 5. Ieremy from his childhood.

Ardens. Hence we may learne, that the rumors of the vulgar sort are most vsually false, Bugs (as one Socrates. said) to feare children & fooles. Again we note here Steph. Gard. Ser. before King Edw. 6. ann. 1550. [...]dem Iansen con. cap. 66. that there were sundrie discrepant opinions of Christ among those who were not of his schoole, some sayd he was Iohn Baptist, other Elias, other Ieremy as,

Scinditur incertum studia in contraria vulgus;

But his owne disciples agreed altogether in one truth, one speaking it, and all according in it.

Now the reason why men erre so much, and haue so many Creedes almost as heads, is, because they be men; for Psal. 116. 10. all men are lyars, and being left vnto themselues are 2. Cor. 3. 5. not able to thinke any thing which is good. The Philosophers ingenie was great, and industrie greater, yet because they were not guided by Gods spirit their Rom. 1. 21. imaginations were so vaine, that (as Lib. 8. de Ciuit. Dei. cap. 3. Augustine notes) alij atque alij, aliud atque aliud opinati, Schollers of the [Page 43] same Schoole differed among themselues, Idem lib. 18. De Ciuit. Dei. cap. 41. dissenserunt à magistris discipuli, & inter se condiscipuli, neuer agree­ing in any thing but in the vnitie of vanitie. The tale­tell Astrologers and Chronologers are so constant in their vnconstancie, that it is truly sayd of them, Theodor. Bibliander de rat. temp. pag. 1. inter horologia magis conuenit quàm inter exactos temporum calculatores. Annot. in Matth. 21. Erasmus hath obserued the like of the Rabbins, and all Hereticks are in the same predicament, for being once run out of Christs Schoole, they be diui­ded among themselues, hauing confused language like to the builders of Gen. 11. 19. Bab [...]l, and contrary tales like to the wicked accusers of Susanna. Lucret. [...] mari magno, &c. quoth a Poet, It is a view of delight to stand on the shore and to see Ships tossed with a tempest on the Sea: or in a fortified Tower to behold two battels ioyne vpon a plaine: but it is a greater pleasure for the minde of man to be firmely setled in the certaintie of truth, and from thence to descry the manifold perturbations, errours, wauerings and wanderings vp and downe of other in the world. Blessed is Peter, and blessed are all such, as Ephes. 4. 3. endeuour to keepe the vnitie of the spirit in the bond of peace, confessing one Lord, one Faith, one Baptisme.

Whom say ye that I am] As who would say, men haue diuers, yea peruerse iudgements of me because they be meere men: but what say ye which are more then men, as being directed by the spirit of God. For S. Hierome, Ardens, Anselme, Druthmarus vpon the place haue no­ted an antithesis here, Hierom. in loc. prudens lector attende, quod ex consequentibus textuque sermonis, apostoli nequaquam homines sed dij appellantur. The sonnes of men as being Psalm. 62. 9. lighter then vanity it selfe haue many fond imagina­tions of me, but I would know of you which are the sonnes of God, of you which haue seene my wonders, and heard my words, of you which haue long conuer­sed with me, whom say ye that I am? Simon Peter as the Maldonat. ex Augustin. & Chrysost. in loc. Idem Iansen. con. cap. 66. mouth of the rest, and Steph. Gar­diner vbi sup. head man of the quest, answe­red for Anselm. all the company, saying, thou art that Christ the [Page 44] sonne of the liuing God, a short, but a sweet confession, comprehending in one sentence the Melanct. Marlorat. [...] Beza. whole Gospell of Christ as well concerning his natures, as his offices: he confesseth his natures, in affirming thou which art the sonne of man, art also the sonne of the liuing God: his of­fices, in auowing, thou art thaet Christ.

It is a witty saying of Serm. 1. in epiphan. Bernard, Fides linceos habet oculos, and therefore Simon Bar-Iona, though he beheld Christ with his corporall eyes in the forme of a seruant as the sonne of man, yet with his spirituall eyes of faith he perceiued that he was also the son of the liuing God. The Lord is tearmed a liuing God, to distinguish him from Idols, which are dead Gods, Psal. 135. 16. hauing mouthes and speake not, eyes and see not, eares and heare not, neither is there any breath in their mouthes. And for as much as Angels and Kings are stiled Gods in holy scripture, to distinguish him also from these liuing Gods, he is cal­led the liuing God, Acts 17. 28. in whom all other Gods liue, and moue, and haue their being. And because Saints are cal­led often sonnes of God, he is tearmed, [...] the son, Theophylact. Caietan. insinuating, that Christ is not a son of God by grace, but the son of God by nature, that Iohn 3. 16. only begotten son of God, [...]. As for his offices, it is said Aret [...]us. Erasmus. Emphatically, that Iesus is [...], not a Christ onely, but also the Christ, or, that Christ, euen the promised Messias of the world, for so that word is expounded Iohn 1. 41. Wee haue found the Messias, which is by interpretation the Christ. Iesus then is that anoynted of God, anoynted with oyle of gladnes Heb. 1. 9. aboue his fellowes, our anoynted King to gouerne vs, our anoynted Prophet to teach vs, our anoynted Priest, who did suffer and offer vp him­selfe for our sinnes, and for the sinnes of the whole world. Lenit. 8. 12. Aaron the Priest was anoynted, 1. King. 19. 16. Elisa the Prophet anoynted, 1. Sam. 10. 1. Saul the king anoynted. In the Sa­uiour which is Christ, all these meet, that he might be a perfect Sauiour of all, he was all. A Priest after the or­der of Melchisedeck Psal. 110. 4. A Prophet, to be heard [Page 45] when Moses should hold his peace, Deut. 18. 18. A King to saue his people, whose name should be the Lord our righteousnes, Ieremy 23. 6. Dauids Priest, Moses Pro­phet, Ieremyes King, & these formerly had met double, two of them in some other; Melchisedeck, King and Priest; Samuel, Priest and Prophet; Dauid, Prophet and King, neuer all three, but in him alone, and so no perfect Christ but he: but he all, and so perfect. Thus in S. Peters confession euery particle and article hath his force, thou which art the son of man, as being borne of Mary the Virgin, art the Christ the son of the liuing God. S. Luke Luke 9. 10. reports that Peter answered the Christ of God, and Mark. 8. 29. S. Marke sayth only, thou art Christ, whereas our Euāgelist here, thou art the Christ, the son of the liuing God, Steph. Gardi­ner vbi s [...]p. but all in effect is one, seeing Christ alone is the whole: for he that confesseth thoroughly Christ, is tho­roughly a Christian, and doth hereby confesse him to be the son of God, and sauiour of men, euen that anoynted 1. Pet. 2. 25. Bishop of our soules, who Rom. 4. 25. dyed for our sinnes, and is risen againe for our Iustification, and Heb. 9. 24. appeareth in the sight of God for vs as our agent and Iohn [...]. 1. aduocate.

Blessed art thou Simon Bar-Iona] vpon Peters answere, thou art the Christ the son of the liuing God. Iesus reply­ed after this sort, Chrysost. Theophylact. Iansen. as if he should haue sayd, I am the naturall son of God, as thou art the son of Iona. Mysti­cally Simon signifieth obedience, and Ionas a doue: to Ste. Gardiner. signifie that euery Scholler in Christs Schoole must haue these two properties, obedience, and simplicitie. Curious pride is a great let in Christianitie, Iames 4. 6. God resi­steth the proud, and giueth grace to the humble. The Phi­losophers in Rom. 1. 22. professing themselues to be wise, became fooles, and were so far from acknowledging Iesus for the son of God, as that the preaching of Christ crucified seemed foolishnes vnto them, 1. Cor. 1. 23. Erasmus. or Simon is called the son of a doue, because flesh and blood reuea­led not this mystery, but the holy spirit which appeared in the likenes of a doue, Matth. 3. 16. or as Com. in loc. Hierome, [Page 46] Bar-Iona is put for Bar-Iohanna the sonne of Iohn, as Christin the 21. Chap. of S. Iohns Gospel at the 15. vers. Now Iohanna signifies the grace of God, insinuating (as the same Father and Anselm. Ianse [...]. other Doctours obserue) that Peter in vnderstanding this hidden mystery was the son of grace, so Christ in the words immediatly following, flesh and bloud hath not opened that vnto thee, Hilarius. not my flesh and blood, for if thou looke vpon me with a cor­porall eye, thou seest a man and nothing else: not thy flesh and blood, non consanguinei Anselm. thy father and thy mother taught it not, Ardens. this knowledge comes not from other men, or from thy selfe, no flesh and blood, Euthym. that is the will and wit of man (as Paul Galat. 1. 16. I communi­cated not with flesh and blood) I say the wisdome of man hath not opened this vnto thee, but my father which is in heauen, as Ser. 2. in nat. Pet. & Paul. Le [...] the great glosseth it, non opinio te terre­na fefellit, sed inspiratio caelestis instruxit. Faith is the Iohn 6. 29. worke of God, and Matth. 11. 27. no man knowes the sonne but the father, and no man commeth vnto me except my fa­ther draw him Iohn 6. 44. Blessed art thou therefore Simon Bar-Iona, because my father which is in heauen h [...]th inspired this confession into thee: blessed art thou here, yet more blessed hereafter, as hauing hereby the 1. Tim. 4. 8. promises of the life present, and of that which is to come. So truth it selfe telleth vs expresly, Iohn 17. 3. this is eter­nall life to know God, and whom he hath sent Iesus Christ. He that is a true beleeuer is De [...]t. 28. blessed in the City, blessed in the field, blessed in his going forth, and blessed in his comming home, blessed in the Psalm. 128. labours of his hands, in the fruit of his ground, in the flocks of his sheep, blessed in his wealth, and blessed in his Psal. 119. 71. woe, blessed in his health, and blessed in his sicknes also, for the Lord will comfort him when he lyeth sick vpon his bed, and make his bed in his sicknes, Psalm. 41. 3. bles­sed in all his life, blessed in his houre of Apoc. 14. 13. death, and most blessed in the day of Iudgement, when he shall haue perfect consummation of blisse both in body and [Page 47] soule, Come yee blessed inherit yee the kingdome, &c.

Vpon this rock will I build my Church.] Stephen Gar­diner preaching vpō this text before King Edward the 6 sayd, It is a marueilous thing that vpon these words the Bishop of Rome should found his Supremacy, for whe­ther it be super Petram, or Petrum, all is one matter, it makes nothing at all for that his purpose: This place (quoth he) serues only for Christ, and nothing for the Pope; but afterward in the dayes of Queene Fox Martyr. example of Iohn Rogers Martyr. Mary, reading this Scripture with the Popes owne spectacles, he maintained that the bishop of Rome was the supreme head of the Catholick Church, and he bloodily perse­cuted all those which held the contrary doctrine. And after him in our age De Rom. pon. lib. 1. cap. 10. Bellarmine, Tom. 1. ad an. 34. fol. 207. Baronius, and other Papists of most eminent note for learning, cite this text as a pregnant testimonie, to proue S. Peters Lordship ouer the rest of the Apostles, and so (though inconse­quently) the Popes vnlimited Iurisdiction ouer all the Bishops in the world, wherein (as our Diuines haue shewed) they contradict 1. the Scriptures, 2. the Fa­thers, 3. their owne writers, 4. their owne selues.

The Scriptures affirme plainely, that the Church is Ephes. 2. 20. built vpon the foundation of the Prophets and Apostles, Iesus Christ himselfe being the chiefe corner stone, to wit, a Esay 28. 16. tryed stone, a pretious stone, a sure foundation, and 1. Cor. 3. 11. o­ther foundation can no man lay then that which is laied, which is Iesus Christ.

The Fathers auow likewise that Christ is the rock vpon which his Church is built, so Tract. 124. in Ioan. & ser. 13. de verbis dom. secundum Mat. S. Augustine in ma­ny places of his works, Petrus à Petra, non Petra à Pe­tro, quomodo non à Christiano Christus, sed à Christo Christianus vocatur: vpon this rock then I will build my Church, is nothing else but vpon my selfe the sonne of the liuing God I will build my Church, aedificabo te super me, non me super te, and whereas he did once construe this of Peter, he Retract. lib. 1. cap. 21. retracted his opinion, and expounds it of Christ, Com. in A­mos 6. Hierome, Moral. lib. 31. cap. 34. Gregory the great, [Page 49] In Ephes. 2. Primasius, In loc. Anselm accord in the same iudgement.

Other of the most ancient fathers interpret it thus, vpon this rocke, that is, vpon this faith as being a firme rocke, vpon this confession (thou art the sonne of the li­uing God) I will build my Church, and hell gates shall not preuaile against it. So S. Lib. 6. in Luc. cap. de inter. Iesu. Ambrose, fundamentum ecclesiae fides est: so Hom. 55. in Mat. Chrysostome, vpon this faith and confession I will build my Church, Idem operis imperfect hom. 7. fortitudo fidei petra est, propter quam Simon dictus est Petrus: so In loc. Theophy­lact, this confession is the foundation of all such as be­leeue: so Inter opera Nyssen. latin. Basiliae fol. 255. Gregory Nyssen, delect. testimon. ex vet. testa­ment. de sanct. trinit. contra Iudeos, vpon this rocke, that is vpon this confession of me to be the sonne of the liuing God: so S. Exposit. in epist. Ioan. tract. 10. Augustin, vpon that which thou hast ac­knowledged and said, I will build my Church: so Cyril and Hilarius and other Doctors apud Maldonat. in loc. In one word Ionas sometime Bishop of Orleance writes peremptorily Habetur in monument. pa­trum fol. 1578. See B. Tonstal se [...]. before K. H. [...]. on Palm. Sun. & letter to Car. Poole apud Fox Martyr. lib. 3 de cultu imaginum, that many, yea most expound (vpon this rocke) to be nothing else but vpon this confession of faith in saying thou art the Christ, the sonne of the liuing God: so that I am occasioned here iustly Rat. 5. to returne Campians flourish vpon the papist, pa­tres admiserit, captus est: excluserit, nullus est.

Their owne writers in their commentaries vpon this text accord with vs and the fathers about this expositi­on, as namely Hugo Cardinal, ord. gloss. Dio. Carthusia; Soarez Epis, Conimbricensis; Iohan. Arboreus; Iohan. Fe­rus; Alphons. Tostatus and many moe. I conclude this obseruation with Lib. 6. in Luc. cap. de interrog. Iesu. Ambrose Christ denyed not to his disciple, the grace of this name that he should be called Peter, because he had solidity of constancy, and stedfast­nes of faith of the rocke, endeuour therefore that thou mayest also be a rocke, seeke the rocke not without thee, but within thee, thine act is thy rocke, thy minde is thy rocke, let thine house be built vpon this rocke, that it may not be beaten with any stormes of spirituall wick­ednes: faith is thy rocke, faith is the foundation of the [Page 50] Church, if thou be a rocke thou shalt be in the Church, because the Church is vpon a rocke, &c.

De Rom. pont. lib. 1. cap. 10. §. respond. fidem. Bellarmine being compassed about with such a cloud of witnesses answereth by distinction, affirming that faith as it is considered in it selfe is not the foundation of Gods house, but as it hath a relation vnto the person of Peter: in which assertion he contradicteth himselfe Lib. & cap. vbi sup. praefat. Tom. 1. & cat. cap. 1. elsewhere both alleadging often and approuing also the saying of Augustine, Domus dei credendo fundatur, sperando erigitur, diligendo perficitur. As to make an house (saith he cap. 1. cathechis.) it is needfull first to place the foundation, then to raise the walles, and last of all to couer it with the roofe, and to doe these things there be some instruments necessary: so to make in our selues the building of saluation, we need the foundation of faith, the walles of hope, the roofe of charity, and the instruments are the most holy Sacraments. It is Bellar­mines opinion then in that place, that faith in abstracto considered without any mention of any relation vnto Peter is the foundation of our iustification and eternall saluation. Now the vniuersall Church, and euery parti­cular temple of the holy Ghost (as Com. in Mat. 16. Theophylact ob­serues) haue one and the same foundation, and that is faith, and that faith is not the personall and particular faith of Peter alone, for hell gates (as In loc. Abulensis noteth) haue preuailed against it, and In loc. Lira telleth vs that many Popes haue bin Apostataes, and Io. In loc. Arboreus confes­seth honestly that Romanus pontifex potest esse schismati­cus & haereticus. It is a seely shift of Dialog. 1. Alanus Copus to say that Peter denyed not the faith of Christ, but, his faith saued, he denied no more then Christ: for as reue­rend Defence of Apolog part. 6. cap. 5. diuision. 2. Iewell acutely replies, by this pretty tricke a man may haue both Christ without faith, and also faith with­out Christ. The fathers then in making faith the founda­tion of Gods house, meane the common faith (of which a confessiō is made here by Peter as the mouth of his fel­lowes, and type of the whole Church) it is the D. Mortons Apolog. part 2. cap. 21. obiec. 5. Creed [Page 51] of the Apostles, and not the singular beleife of Peter on­ly. Saint Paul told his Ephesians that they were built vpon the foundation of the Prophets and Apostles, Iesus Christ himselfe being the chiefe corner stone; Lombard, An­selm, Caietan, in Ephes. 2. that is, v­pon Christ as being the foundation of the Prophets and Apostles, vpon that Salmeron in 2. ad Ephes. disp. 6. faith and doctrine which the Pro­phets and Apostles taught in the Ambros. in 2. ad Ephes. old and new testa­ment, the summe whereof is briefly this, that Iesus is that Christ the sonne of the liuing God. The same Paul in the same letter affirmes that there is but one Lord, and but one faith: Vna (quoth 22 [...]. Quaest. 4. art. 6. Aquine) ratione obiecti, sed di­uersa ratione subiecti, faith in regard of her especiall ob­iect is but one, because there is but one Lord the sonne of the liuing God; but it is diuers in respect of diuers be­leeuers, all which are Peters and liuing stones in the building of Gods house, 1. Pet. 2. 5. If Bellarmine then vnderstand by the faith of Peter that generall faith that was in all the Apostles, who did all by Peters mouth confesse the same: D. Fulke in loc. then are they all by Christs answere made foundation-stones of the Church as well as Peter. It is certaine that Christ had his Church from the be­ginning of the world built vpon the foundation of the Prophets, himselfe being the corner stone set vp in the most conspicuous place thereof, and a head stone in the very top and highest part of all, and therefore he speakes in this text of the continuance and enlarging of his Church among the Gentiles by the ministration of his Apostles.

Among other contradictions of the Papists, it is an axiome receiued in their owne Thom. 1. part. quaest. 1. art. 10. & Caietan, ibid. schoole, symbolica theo­logia non est argumentatiua, that is, we may not fetch an argument in diuinity from allegories and metaphores, vnlesse we can elsewhere shew that the same thing is taught in a literal sense, but the Papists are not able to produce so much as one Scripture where Peter is ex­presly called the foundation of the Church, ergo to raise his absolute Monarchie vpon the bare metaphor of a [Page 52] rocke, is not to build on a firme rocke, but vpon the fickle sand: how they further oppose the fathers, and Esay 19. 2. Aegipti­an-like fight one against another in their expositions of this place, see Doctor Fulke in loc. D. Sutlif. de Rom. pon. lib. 2. cap. 2. 3. 4. D. Morton Apolog cat. part. 2. lib. 5. cap. 21. 22. M. Mason tract. of consecration lib. 4. cap. 2. but especially Causabon exercit. 15. ad annal. eccles. Baron. where you shall find euery word of this our text exami­ned most exactly.

The Epistle,

ACTS 11. 27.‘In those dayes came Prophets from the City of Hieru­salem vnto Antioch, &c.

THe contents of this text are dearth and death; the dearth is generall, a great dearth thorough out all the world: the death is particular, of one person only, to wit of Iames the brother of Iohn whose memory we cele­brate this day.

In the dearth ob­serue

  • 1. Gods iustice in punishing the wicked, with a dearth, and that a great dearth, and that through out the world.
  • 2. Gods mercy in preseruing the godly, foretelling it by his Prophet Agabus, and so consequently preuenting the rage of it by the prouident care and cha­ritable contributions of Disciples and brethren.

In the death ob­serue the

  • Murtherer, Herod the King.
  • Martyr, Iames the brother of Iohn.
  • Matter, or cause why for that he was of the Church.
  • Manner, with the sword.

Dearth is one of Gods foure sore iudgements Ezechi­el [Page 53] 14. 21. Barrennes of the ground is a maine string of his whip against sinne, when (saith Ez [...]ch. 14. 13. he) the land sinneth a­gainst me by committing a trespasse, then I will stretch out mine hand vpon it, and will breake the staffe of the bread thereof, and will send famine vpon it. If ye will not obey me, nor hearken vnto my commandements, Leuit. 26. 19. Deut. 28. 23. I will make your heauen as iron, and your earth as brasse, your strength shall be spent in vaine, neither shall your land giue her increase, neither shall the trees of the land giue their fruit. Famine then is brought vpon a kingdome by Amos 3. 6. Gods appointment, and that for the sinnes of the land: and surely Saint Luke Gualter in loc. points at the causes of this vniuersall dearth in saying it came to passe in the dayes of Claudius Caesar. For by the worlds Emperour we may iudge much of the worlds estate, the vices of Princes first infect the nobles, and then afterward the nobles in­fect the gentlemen, and the gentlemen in fine corrupt the commons, Traian. symb. vti Reusner. in symb. qualis rex, talis grex, such prince such people. It is reported of this Claudius that he did Xiphilin in vi­ta Claudij. indul­gere conuiuijs & concubitibus effusissimè, growing tho­rough his intemperance so dull and vnfit for any good seruice, that his Sueton. in Claudio. mother vsed to say he was a monster of men, a worke of nature begun, but not finished: he got his Empire by corrupting the souldiers, and during his reigne he serued his belly, committing all vncleannes Ephes. 4. 19. euen with greedines, no maruaile then if the Lord sent a dearth in the dayes of Claudius, no wonder if he deny­ed the fruites of the ground vnto such a drunken and dissolute generation: in our age moe then one Claudius reignes, there be many Kings of good fellowes in the world; drunkennes domineers in euery place (the coun­try village not excepted) abusing the manifold blessings of God in wantonnes and idlenes: and therefore wee may feare iustly, that the Lord ere it be long will send some great dearth among vs, as hee did in the dayes of our forefathers: he hath already Psalm. 7. 13. whet his sword, and bent his bow, and prepared his arrowe to shoote at vs, [Page 54] he hath in these latter yeares turned our winters into sommers, and our sommers into winters, so that where­as Luke 10. [...]. Christ said the haruest is great, and the labourers are few: we contrariwise, the labourers are many, but the haruest is little; he hath in the spring nipped the fruites of our trees, and in autumne taken away the flockes of our sheepe, hee hath also cursed our Deut. 28. 17. basket and our dough, in so much as the poore haue long felt a dearth, and the rich also begin to feare a famine, the which is the See Lorin. in loc. & in Act. 7. 11. most grieuous of all the foure sore iudgements of God, for the noysome beasts and the sword kill in a mo­ment, but there be many lingring deaths in a dearth, as the Ierem. La­ment. cap. 4. 9. Prophet in his lamentations, they that be slaine with the sword are better then they that be killed with hunger, and to the same purpose De re milit. lib. 3. cap. 3. Vegetius, ferro saeuior fames: And as for the pestilence, there was alwayes in nature so well as in name so great affinity betweene [...] and [...], that (as Galen. apud Lorin. in loc. Physitians and experience daily teach) after a great dearth ordinarily there followeth a great plague, because men in a scarsity of victuals are constrained out of necessity to feed on vnwholsome and vnsauory meates: in holy Bible we find example that extreame hunger made mothers murtherers, and so turned the sanctuary of life into the shambles of death. Lamentat. 4. 10. The hands of pitifull women haue sodden their owne children, which were there meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people. Famine then as S. Ser. 3. contra diuites auaros. Basile termeth it, is the top of all humane calamities, for whereas the noysome beasts, and the sword, and the pestilence make quicke dispatch out of misery: fames diutiùs malum, ocy­ùs torquet, lentiùs tabefacit, sensim occidit.

In this great dearth it is certaine that the godly suffe­red among the wicked, the good among the bad, the be­leeuing Christians among vnbeleeuing Gentiles: the Church of Antioch (as we read in the former part of this present Chapter) endued with many notable graces and adorned with this eminent honour, that the Disciples [Page 55] were first called Christians in Antioch, is afflicted now with a grieuous dearth, I say now Gualter. when her goods were partly taken away by the rage of persecution, and partly giuen away to releiue the poore brethren: all the world was infested with this dearth, and the Church (in these respects) more then all other of the world.

Now the reasons are manifold why God suffers his owne people to be crossed: 1. To bridle the lust of our flesh, that wee should not be 1. Cor. 11. 32. condemned with the world: 2. To teach vs patience, saying with holy Iob 2. 10. Iob, shall we receiue good at the hand of God, and shall we not receiue euill? 3. To shew that he is as well able to deli­uer vs in aduersity, as to keepe vs in prosperity. Psalm. 37. 19. The godly shall not be confounded in the perillous time, and in the dayes of dearth they shall haue enough. So wee finde here that God in his Habacuc. 3. 2. anger remembring mercy, comforted his Church in this vniuersall hunger-rot o­uer all the world: first in foretelling it, and afterward by stirring vp the charitable mindes of good people to pre­uent the furiousnes of it as wel in themselues as in other, he foretold this famine, for Amos 3. 7. surely the Lord God will doe nothing, but he reuealeth his secret vnto his seruants the Prophets. He foretold the flood, vnto Gen. 6. Noe; the de­struction of Sodome, to father Gen. 18. Abraham and righte­ous Gen. 19. 13. Lot; the dearth in Egypt, vnto Ioseph; Gen. 41. And here the Prophet Agabus Caluin, Salmeron, Arcularius. not by starre-gazing, or figure-flinging, or coniu [...]ing, or any curious arte, but by the spirit signified that there should be great dearth tho­rough out al the world, which also came to passe in the dayes of Claudius the Emperour.

It is obiected here which is said, Mat. 11. 13. All the Prophets and the law prophesied vnto Iohn, how then could there be Prophets in this age? to this obiection answere is made, that the Musculus, Aretius. in Mat. 11. See Lorin. in Act. 2. 17. meaning of those words is, that Christ is the Rom. 10. 4. end of the law and the Prophets, and so consequently their office who prophesied hee should come, was at an end when Iohn the Baptist had openly [Page 56] preached that he was come: but there continued still in the Church other Prophets of another kinde, for Christ ascending vp on high gaue gifts vnto men, and ordeyned some to be Apostles, and some Prophets, Ephes. 4. 11. Now these Prophets are such as Lombard. Aquin. in Eph [...]s. 4. interpret the words of the Prophets, as 1. Cor. 14. 4. He that prophesieth edifieth the Church, and Mat. 23. 34. Behold (saith our blessed Sa­uiour) I send vnto you Prophets, that is, preachers. Or else Prophets are such Anselm, Beza, Zanchius. as by the powerfull instinct of the spirit foretold things to come, as the foure daughters of Philip, Acts 21. 9. And Agabus in this history. See fur­ther Epist. on S. Markes day.

Then came Prophets from Hierusalem vnto Antioch] Lorin. in loc. Happily to get some releife for the poore brethren in Iu­rie: or else to confirme the new planted Church in Anti­ochia, for as the 1. Cor. 1. 22. Iewes required a signe, so the Grecians sought after wisedome. And therefore the Prophets in speaking with diuers tongues, and in foretelling things to come manifested exquisite wisedome among those conuerts, and thereby strengthened them in the faith: it is said here that many Prophets came from Hierusalem, and yet Agabus only stood vp, and signified by the spirit that there should be great dearth in all the world, hereby shewing that euery Prophet had his particular gift, and that in a certaine proportion according to the will of the spirit diuiding to euery man a seuerall grace, 1. Cor. 12. See epist. 2. Sun. after the Epiphan. and 10. Sun. after Tri­nity.

Then the Disciples euery man according to his ability purposed to send succour] There be two principall heades of Christianity, faith and good workes. The Disciples of Antiochia were so thoroughly conuerted vnto the faith of Christ, as that they receiued this honour to bee the first of all the world that were called Christians. And Iustus, Ionas, Gualter. now they shew their faith by there good workes, in sending succour vnto the brethren in Iury. Faith is opera­tiue, made full, and fat, and faire by deeds of charitie, [Page 57] for so Chemnit. loc. com. tit. de bonis operibus quaest. 4. Luther and Chemnitius write, Alsted. Sy­stem. Theolog. lib. 3. loc. 17. fides est radix charitatis, & charitas est fructus fidei, fides efficit filios dei, charitas probat. And it hath often been obiected against the professors in our age, Camden. epist. before his Britan. that our forefathers in the dayes of ignorance did more then they knew: but we li­uing in the great light of the Gospell know more then we doe: many purpose much in their mind, and promise much also with their mouth, who faile notwithstanding in performance. The witles vnthrift hath a purpose sometime to follow the workes of his calling diligently, yet either all the day bowling or bowzing hold him as a prisoner in his idlenes: a factious schismatike promiseth vnder his hand conformity, yet sometime to please the people he runneth a course contrary to the proceedings of the Church; euen the best men haue their fallings and failings in this kinde, for after wee purpose to visite the sieké, and to send succour vnto the poore brethren, ei­ther our pleasures abroad, or else profit at home keepe vs (often I feare) from so good a worke: but it is said of the Disciples here, that they did not only purpose to re­lieue the distressed members of Christ among the Iewes; but also that they performed it indeed: so the text, which thing also they did, and sent it to the Elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. Gueuara epist. One said that hell is like to bee full of good wishes, but heauen full of good workes. If a good motion then arise in our minde let vs instantly cherish it, and if it breake forth into promise, let vs ac­cording to our ability performe it.

Worldly minded cormorants in a deare yeare desire to make the famine greater, Brentius in loc. quanto aestu, quanto astu, how doe they sweat in braine and body to hord vp corne to their neighbours hinderance, if these Merchants had the spirit of prophesie but one yeare they would af­terward turne Gentlemen all the dayes of their life. But the Christians of Antiochia contrariwise being admoni­shed by the Prophet Agabus of a great dearth in all the world, consult presently how to lessen and mitigate the [Page 58] furiousnes of it, as well in other as in themselues: and this prouision and preuention is not against our Mat. 6. 25. 34. Saui­ours precept, be not carefull for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drinke, care not for the morow, because Christ in so saying onely forbids extraordinarie diffi­dence, not ordinarie prouidence; immoderate carking, not a moderate care: for euery man must Ephes. 4. 28. labour in his vocation, and 1. Tim. 5. 8. prouide for his owne, namely for them of his houshold, otherwise he denyeth the faith, and is worse then an Infidel. If it be not lawfull to care proui­dently for to morrow, wherefore should the Gen. 41. 35. 48. scripture magnifie the wisedome of Ioseph, in laying vp corne for seauen yeares to come. Wherefore did Solomon com­mend the good housewife Prouerb. 31. 13. and send the sluggard vnto the pismire Prouerb. 6. 6. Wherefore did 2. Cor. 12. 14. Paul aduise fathers to lay vp for their children; wher­fore had Beniamin a Gen. 44. 12. sack, Dauid a 1. Sam. 17. 40. scrip, Christ him­selfe a Iohn 13. 29. bag, See Epist. 3. Sunday after Trinity.

Ethic. lib. 4. cap. 1. Aristotle requires in true liberalitie these foure circumstances, especially

  • quid, what.
  • quibus, to whom.
  • quando, when.
  • quomodo, how.

The Disciples of Antioch obserued in their almes all these, first for quid, they gaue neither too little, which had been miserablenesse, nor yet too much, which on the contrary had been prodigality; but euery man sent succour according to his ability. We must in deed giue sayd Mat. 5. 42. Christ omni petenti, but as Lib. 1. de ser, dom. in monte. Augustine glosseth it sweetly non omnia petenti, we may not exhaust the foun­taine of bounty, but so giue to day that we may like­wise giue to morrow, and that not niggardly, for 2. Cor. 9. 6. he that soweth sparingly, shall reape also sparingly, and he that soweth liberally, shall reape also liberally.

2. The Disciples here gaue quibus vnto such as they should, in sending succour vnto the brethren who dwelt in [Page 59] Iewry. De benefic. lib. 1. cap. 1. Seneca sayd, beneficia sine vllo delectu proijci­mus magis quàm damus: as therefore they did not giue profusè but according to their ability, so likewise not confusè, but addressed their almes vnto those who wan­ted most, and had deserued best of them. The brethren in Iewry had more need then Infidels in Antiochia, be­cause they were Heb. 10. 34. spoyled of their goods as Paul wit­nesseth in an Epistle to them. And these conuerts of Antiochia were debtors vnto the Iewes, Brentius, Cal­uin, Arcularius. as hauing re­ceiued the sweet comforts of the Gospel from them. It is our duty to Galat. 6. 10. doe good vnto all men, especially to those which are of the houshold of faith, and among the houshold of faith aboue the rest vnto such as haue been our spirituall fathers in 1. Cor. 4. 15. begetting vs vnto Christ. Rom. 15. 27. If the Gentiles be made partakers of the Iewes spirituall things, their duty is to minister vnto them in carnall things, as 1. Cor. 9. 11. Paul told his Corinthians, if we haue sowen vnto you spirituall things, is it a great matter if we reape your temporall things? This paterne condemnes excee­dingly the practise of some professors in our age, whose chiefe policy, yea piety consists in contriuing how to lessen the Clergy-mans estate. The Merchants trade concernes our dainty dyet and brauery, the Lawyers occupation our goods, the Phisitians art our body; but the Pastour hath a cure of our soules: now sayth Christ in the Gospell, Mat. 6. 25. is not the life more worth then the meat, and the body then rayment? and the soule more pretious then Mat. 16. 26. all? and yet the carnall Gospellors enuy not the prodigious wealth of Merchants, of Lawyers, of Play­ers, all is well if the Priest be poore, this vpon the point is their only Diana both in publique parlie, & in priuate conference; they labour to decrease the Ministers wa­ges, and yet increase his worke: the which is like Pha­roes oppressing Gods people mentioned Exod. 5. get you straw where ye can finde it, yet shall nothing of your labour be diminished. I know worldlings entertaine some Pro­phets kindly, but it is not as Mat. 10. 41. Christ sayd in the name of [Page 60] a Prophet, it is happily for that the Prophet is a kinse­man, or a Gentleman, or a mery man, a good neighbour, a good fellow, a man of their owne humour; but a Pro­phet is not embraced of them in the name of a Prophet. The disciples of Antiochia because they receyued the Gospel of some Iewes, acknowledged themselues deb­tours vnto all Iewes: but vncharitable factious hypo­crites in our time because they haue receiued a litle hard vsage from some one Preacher, hate the whole reue­rend order of the Cleargy for the same, Hierom. epist. ad Nepo. devita Cleric. neminem hic specialiter me us sermo pulsauit, generalis de vitijs dispu­tatio est, qui mihi irascuntur Idem epist. ad Rustic. de viuen­di forma. suam iudicant conscienti­am, & multo peius de se, quàm de me iudicant.

3. For quando, they prouided a medicine so soone as they heard of the malady, when Agabus had signified by the spirit, that there should be great dearth in all the world, then the disciples euery man according to his abi­lity, purposed to send succour, &c. A good man is Psalm. 1. 3. like a good tree that will bring forth fruit in due season. Prouerb. 13. 12. Hope deferred is the fainting of the heart: one bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, in giuing of almes bis dat qui citò dàt, is a better rule then serò sed seriò: a late largesse contents not a distressed soule so much as a litle giuen opportunely, non bona tam pensat quàm bene­facta deus. De benefic. lib. 2. cap. 5. Seneca who spent many houres in discus­sing of this argument, giues this aduise, fac si quid facis, tardè velle nolentis est, an non intelligis tantum te gratiae demere, quantum morae adijcis, est proprium libenter faci­entis citò facere. Lend to thy neighbour in time of his need, Ecclesiast. 29. 2. it is not a good turne, vnlesse it be done in a good time.

4 For quomodo, the disciples of Antiochia bestowed their almes cheerefully and carefully. Aretius, Bren­tius, Caluin. Cheerefully, for that euery man according to his ability purposed to send succour, it was an act not enforced by law, but only proceeding out of their loue, the which exceedingly commended their bounty, for a benefite consists in the [Page 61] mind more then in the mine, Seneca de benefic. lib. 1. cap. 5. manu non tangitur, animo cernitur, & multo gratius venit quod facili, quàm quod plena manu datur: and it is said in holy scripture that God loueth a cheereful giuer, 2. Cor. 9. 7. Iohn 7. 38. He that belee­ueth in me (quoth our blessed Sauiour) shall haue riuers of liuing waters flowing out of his belly, Tyndal pro­log vpon Exod. that is, all good works and all gifts of grace spring out of him euen by their owne accord, thou needest not to wrest any good deeds out of him, as a man would wring veriuce out of crabs, because they flow naturally out of him as springs out of rocks. Againe the disciples here gaue their almes carefully, vsing trusty messengers and ministers in this busines: they sent not their succour vnto the people promiscuously, but to the gouernours and elders of the Church, that it might be distributed with discretion and distinction, according to the seuerall necessities of the Saints; and that it might be safely conueyed vnto the brethren, it was deliuered into the hands of Barnabas and Saul, men of Concerning Pauls care, see Rom. 15. 1. Cor. 16. & 2. Cor. 8. approued credit.

Hitherto concerning dearth, it remaines I should now speake of death, to wit, of S. Iames martyrdome, and in it first of the murtherer Herod the king, not He­rod the great, who butchered the Bethlehemitish inno­cent infants Matth. 2. nor Herod the Tetrarch, who be­headed Iohn the Baptist Matth. 14. but Salmeron, Arcularius. Herod Agrippa, grandchild to Herod the great, the which I finde thus distinguished in Guido ex Ly­ran. & Aretius, ex Barthold [...]. in loc. See D. Han­mer notes vpon Euseb hist. lib. 2. cap. 10. verse.

Ascalonita necat pueros, Antipa Ioannem,
Agrippa Iacobum, claudens in carcere Petrum.

This Herod stretched out his hands, and Kings haue Non nôsti lon­gas regibus esse manus? Ouid. long hands, not to cherish, but to vexe: for Tyrants delight most in destructiue power: Aretius. not to vexe ruffians, or ribalds, or robbers, but certaine of the Church: Marlorat. for the Deuill and all his instruments are disquieted at the light of the Gospell. Herod therefore stretched out his hands against the Church, and vexed certaine, Salmeron. that is, some who were strong souldiers in fighting the Lords [Page 62] battaile, for God will not suffer the weake to be temp­ted aboue there ability, 1. Cor. 10. 13. First, Herod killed Iames the brother of Iohn with the sword, and afterward he proceeded further and tooke Peter also. Iames first dranke of Christs cup, and Pelargus. so consequently [...] the first of all the twelue Apostles in Christs kingdome, ac­cording to the request of his mother in the Gospell al­lotted for this day: now the reason why God suffers blo­dy tyrants to vexe his Church is Ardens, hom. in Epist. in festo Petri. threefold. 1. For the tryall and exercise of the godly, quod enim fornax auro, quod lima ferro, quod aqua panno, hoc confert tribulatio iusto. 2. For the confusion and illusion of the wicked, because sanguis martyrum is semen ecclesiae. 3. For the manifestation of his infinite power and wisdome, who can bring light out of darknes, and vse wicked instru­ments vnto good purposes.

The Gospell.

MAT. 20. 20.‘Then came to him the mother of Zebedeus children with her sonnes, &c.

THere be two parts of this Scripture

  • 1. An indiscreet pe­tition, in which obserue the
    • Mouer of the suite, a woman and a mo­ther.
    • Manner of suing, she came worshipping him & saying, &c.
    • Suite it selfe, grant that these my two sonnes, &c.
  • 2. A discreet an­swere to the same containing a
    • Correction in parti­cular, addressed especially to the mother and her sonnes, ye wot not what ye aske, &c.
    • Direction in gene­rall, vnto the rest of his Disciples and in them vn­to all Christians, yee know that the princes, &c.

Then came to him the mother of Zebedeus children This woman (as it is apparant by comparing Mat. 27. 56. with Marke 15. 40.) Was Solome, the sister (as Aretius in loc. vide Thom. A­quin. in Galat. 1. lect. 5. some thinke) of Ioseph, husband vnto the blessed Virgine mo­ther of Christ. Her sonnes were Mat. 10. 2. Iames and Iohn, Iames the greater, so called Aquin vbi sup. for that he was elected an Apostle before Iames the sonne of Alpheus, otherwise stiled [Page 64] Iames the Marke 15. 40. lesse. Raulin. ser. 2. de Iacob maio. Or Iames the greater, because he was more familiar and great with his master Christ then that other Iames, (for as we read in the Gospels history) Iesus suffered none of his Apostles to see his Mat. 17. 1. transfiguration, or the raising of Luke 8. 51. Iairus daughter from the dead, save Peter and Iames, and Iohn: or Iames the greater, Didac. de yanguas con. de S. Iacob. for that hee was endued with great courage to drinke first of Christs cup, and to become the first Martyr of all the 12. Apostles: his brother Iohn was Iohn. 21. 20. the Disciple whom Iesus loued, who leaned on his masters breast at supper, vn­to whose care Iesus on the crosse commended his mo­ther, Iohn 19. 27. These two moue their mother, to moue their master for their aduancement, it was she who came worshipping Christ and desiring, &c: but it was by the Augustin, Ardens, Anselm. suggestion and instigation of her ambitious chil­dren. And Hierom. in loc. therefore Christ in his answere said not, thou knowest not what thou doest aske, but ye know not, ad­dressing his speech vnto the sonnes, so well as to the mother: and indeed Saint Cap. 10. 37. Marke reports expresly that they came to Christ in their owne name to make this suite, they did vse the mediation of their mother happi­ly Paludensis ser. de S. Iacob [...]. that if Christ in any sort misliked the request, it might be thought a fond womans errour; if approued, then it might be granted easily to a mother earnestly suing for her sonnes. Now (saith our text) when the ten heard this, they disdained at the two brethren: all the twelue were faulty, two sinned in ambition, and tenne in enuie. Isti (quoth In loc. Anselm) ambitiosi, illi inuidiosi, vtri (que) tamen nobis profuerunt. Iames and Iohn were carnall in their pride, the rest as carnall in their malice: yet we may reape benefit by them all. For Melancthon. Marlorat, Mollerus. here we may see that e­uen the best men haue their infirmities, and they be re­corded in holy Bible for our Rom. 15. 4. learning, that we might neither presume, because the chiefe Saints haue had their slippes: nor yet despaire, because Christ himselfe for­giues them, & inioyneth other also to strengthen them. Galat. 6. 1. If a man be ouertaken in a fault, ye which are spirituall [Page 65] restore such an one in the spirit of meekenes, considering thy selfe least thou also be tempted.

In the manner of Solomes suing, obserue the time when, and how she sued: then came the mother of Zebe­deus children, &c. Hierom. Anselm, Caietan. That is, after Iesus had tooke his Disciples apart in the way to Hierusalem, and had said vnto them (as you may read in the words a little before this text) Behold we goe vp to Hierusalem, and the sonne of man shall be deliuered vnto the chiefe Priests, and vnto the Scribes, and they shall condemne him to death, and shall deliuer him vnto the Gentiles to mocke, & to scourge, and to crucifie, but the third day shall he rise againe. When the sonnes of Zebedeus heard this, instantly they concei­ued, that Christ after his resurrection would Acts 1. 6. restore the kingdome of Israel, and so reigne as a Monarch in this present world. Wherefore they thought it a fit time now to make some motion for their promotion in his king­dome, namely, that one might sit at his right hand, and the other on his left in glory. For the better effecting whereof their mother Solome commeth vnto Christ, and worshippeth him, and desireth, &c. Ambitious wretches (as S. Iude speaketh in his Epistle) haue the persons of men in admiration for aduantage, Eccles. 29. 5. till they receiue, they kisse their hands, and humble their voyce. So long as they be mendicant, they be Fryers obseruant, what will they not say, what will they not doe, to serue their owne turnes: the mother here comes worshipping and fawning, and her sonnes flattering and lying, for in the iudgement of Chrysost. Theo­phylact, Euthym. many learned Doctors they did answere rashly, we are able. Christ himselfe was afraid to drinke of this cup, Mat. 26. 39. O my father, if it be possible, let this cup passe from me: neuerthelesse not as I will, but as thou wilt. It is enough for the Disciple to be as his master is, and the seruant as his Lord, Mat. 10. 25. If Iames and Iohn had aduisedly considered of the businesse, they would not haue giuen a peremptory possumus, but haue rather answered in the words of 2. Cor. 3. 5. Paul, of our selues we are not sufficient, all our [Page 66] sufficiency is of God, Philip. 4. 13. able to doe all things thorough the helpe of Christ who strengtheneth vs. Ambition is charities ape, for as 1. Cor. 13. 7. loue for verity, so ambition for vanity, suf­freth all things, beleeueth all things, hopeth all things, en­dureth all things. An ingenious man assuredly makes a parenthesis of his good nature, whilest he runneth ambi­tious courses, he seldome or neuer returnes to himselfe and true sense, till his suites end. For he must (if hee will vnderstand his trade) turne Magdeburg. epist. praefix. cent. 7. Gnatho pleasing euery mans humor, as a reed shaken with euery winde, blowing hot and cold out of the same mouth, holding dissimulationBudaeus lib. 5. de asse. and impudence commendable vertues, in a word making preferment his God, and Mammon his mediatour.

Grant that these my two sonnes] Solome Paludensis. seemes here to beg of Christ for her children especially three things. Ease, riches, honour: Ease, that they may sit: Riches, in thy kingdome; Honour, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, Iansenius, Di­dac. de yanguas. that is, next vnto thy selfe, and before the rest of their fellowes, on Caietan. each hand first: it is ordi­narily seene that mothers are more fond in their loue, and more solicitous in their care for their children then fathers are, Esay 49. 15. can a woman forget her child, and not haue compassion on the sonne of her wombe? the reason hereof (as Ethic. lib. 9. cap. 7. Aristotle teacheth vs) is twofold. 1. Because mo­thers are best assured that their children are their owne: 2. Because mothers endure more paines then fathers in breeding in bearing, and in bringing vp of their babes; honour thy father that begat thee, (said Prouerb. 23. 22. Solomon) and thy mother that bare thee▪: that bare thee nine moneths in her wombe, twelue moneths in her armes, many yeares in her heart. Hierom. epist. de suso [...]cto con­tubernio. Illa te diu portauit in vter [...], diu a­luit, & difficiliores infantiae mores blanda pietate sustinu­it, lauit pannorum sordes, & immund [...] saepe foedata est stercore, &c. Wherefore though a father in respect of his dignity (being Thomas 22 [...]. quaest. 26. art. 10. principium generationis nostrae per mo­dum agontis) is to be loued more then our mother, as being rather principium per modum patientis & materiae; [Page 67] yet our mother (as Epist. 19. Phalaris aduiseth) is to be reueren­ced so much, if not more then our sire, for her affectionate tender care. S. Confess. lib. 5. cap. 9. Augustine writes of his mother. Moni­ca, maiori solicitudine me parturiebat spiritu quàm car­ne, and in Confess. lib. 9. cap. 9. another place, ita pro nobis omnibus curam g [...]ssit quasi omnes genuisset, ita seruiuit quasi ab omnibus genita fuisset.

Ye wot not what ye aske] for either ye erre very much in the matter, or else in the manner; in the Marlorat, Mollerus, Kilius. matter, if ye thinke that my kingdome is of Iohn 8. 36. this world: in the manner, if ye desire to sit in my kingdome, before ye haue drunken of my cup: I must (as ye shall one day further vn­derstand) first Luke 24. 26. suffer, and then enter into glory. Mat. 16. 24. If any man will be my Disciple, let him forsake himselfe, and take vp his crosse, and follow me; you must enter into my kingdome thorough many tribulations, Acts 14. 22. They that sowe in teares shall reape in ioy, Psal. 126. 6. He that will haue wages at night, must labour first about the Lords vineyard in the day, Mat. 20. 8. None receiue the price before they runne, 1. Cor. 9. 24. And if any man also striue for a mastery, yet is he not crowned ex­cept he striue as he ought to doe, 2. Tim. 2. 5. Well then (I tell you the truth) if ye seeke to sit on my right hand and on my left in my kingdome, ye must first drinke of the cup that I shall drinke of, and bee baptized with the bap­tisme that I am baptized with, Theophylact, Euthym, Ardens. that is, ye must of ne­cessity beare the crosse, before ye can weare the crowne. Apocalip. 3, 21. To him that ouercommeth wil I grant to sit with me in my throne, euen as I ouer came, and sit with my father in his throne, when holy Moses Exod. 33. said vnto the Lord, I beseech thee shew me thy glory; the Lord answered, thou canst not see my face, but thou shalt see my backe parts. Didat. de yanguas con. de S. Iacob. Insinuating hereby that we can not enter into Christs glory, vnlesse we follow him, and see his hinder parts in this world; why Christ called his sufferings a cup, and baptisme: see Iansen. concord. cap. 104. Theophylact, Are­tius, Marlorat, Maldonat, in loc.

[Page 68] Ye shall drinke indeed of my cup] Origin. apud Aquin. caten. in loc. he said not ye can, as being able by their owne vertue: but ye shall, as being made able by grace: but how did they drinke both of Christs cup seeing Iohn is said in Ecclesiasticall history to haue dyed in his bed peaceably? Apud Palu­dens. in loc. Remigius answereth in one word, bibit Iacobus in passione, Ioannes in perse­cutione. Iames dranke of Christs cup in his martyrdome being slaine with the sword by cruell Herod, as our E­pistle this day witnesseth, and Iohn tasted of Christs cup, as being banished Apocalyp. 1. 9. into the Isle Pathmos for the word of God, and for the witnes of Iesus Christ. Iohn dranke of the cup of Hierom. confession as the three children in the fiery furnace, though he were not actually martyred, actually I say, for in his Missu [...] in fer­uentis olci doli­um siue solium illaesus exijt. Ba­ron. ad an. 99 readines to suffer he was a very martyr, yea the 10. Os [...]rius in Euang. fest. 10. Euang. Proto-martyr, suffring for Christ vnder the crosse when he saw Christ suffer on the crosse.

But to sit on my right hand, or on my left is not mine to giue] Christ saith in this Gospell Chap. 11. verse 27. All things are giuen vnto me of my father, and chap. 28. 18. All power is giuen vnto me both inheauen and in earth, and Iohn 14. 2. In my fathers house are many mansions, and I goe to prepare a place for you, and Luke 22. 29. I ap­point vnto you a kingdome, &c. How then is it true to sit on my right hand, and on my left is not mine to giue? S. Lib. 1. de tri­nit. cap. 12. Augustine, Epist. 141. [...] Caesarianos. Basile, Apud Palu­dens▪ in loc. Remigius, and Ambros. lib. 5. de fide cap. 3. other answere thus, it is not mine to giue as I am a man, and allyed vn­to you: but as I am God, equall to my father and heire of all things. Or as Hom. in loc. Ardens it is not mine to giue you now, namely before ye haue drunke of my cup. Musculus, Iansenius. Or it is not in my power to giue as you conceiue, to wit in res­pect of kindred & alliance. Ardens, Di [...]at. de yanguas. By which example Bishops may learne not to prefer their nephewes on their right hand & on their left hand in their diocesse, except they be men of merit. For God saith expresly, non afcendes per gradus ad altare meum, Exod. 20. 26. And Melchise­deck the first Priest is said, Heb. 7. 3. To haue hin with­out father, without mother, without kindred, hereby sig­nifying [Page 69] that we must ascend to dignities in the Church of God not by degrees of Consanguinitie, but by steps of vertue: or it is not mine to giue to Epiphan. heres. 69. Idem Hie­rom. Chrysost. Maldonat in loc. such as you are now, namely to proude & ambitious men, according to that in the 101. Psalme, verse 7. Who so hath a proude looke and an hie stomacke, I will not suffer him in mine house, so that (as Vbi sup. Ambrose notes) Asserit non sibi po­testatem deesse, sed meritum Creaturis; or as Christ here construeth himselfe, it is not mine to giue, but it shall be giuen vnto those for whom it is prepared of my father. Iohn 10. 30. I and my father are one, and therefore most Aretius, Musculus. vnfit either for you to request, or for me to grant any thing contrarie to the determination of my father. His kingdome is an inheritance Mat. 25. 34. prepared before the foundations of the world, Rom. 8. 30. Whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also iustified: and whom he iu­stified, them he also glorified. Concerning Christs directi­on here following addressed vnto all his Apostles, and in them vnto all Christians: see Gospell on S. Bartho­lomewes day.

The Epistle.

ACTS 5. 12.‘By the hands of the Apostles were many signes and wonders shewed among the people, &c.

SOme thing in this Epistle concernes more specially the Pastors, by the hands of the Apostles were many signes and wonders shewed; some thing more specially the people, the people magnified them, and the number of them that beleeued in the Lord both of men and women grew more and more; some thing generally both Pastors and people, they were all together with one accord in Solo­mons porch, Caluin. in loc. insinuating that it was their ordinarie cu­stome to meete in that holy place not onely to preach and pray; but also to consult about the proceedings of [Page 70] the Gospell and busines of the Church. From which as­sembly no conuert absented himselfe either vpon any proud opinion of his owne priuat conceits, or vnder pretence Aretius. that the Temple was now superstitiously pro­phaned, or for feare of the common enemie the Iustus Ionas in loc. Phari­sies especially: but all, [...], according, concording, ioyned together for the good of the publike weale. Wherein obserue not onely their vnanimitie, but also their magnanimitie, not onely their louing carriage one toward another, but also their resolution and zeale for the Gospell, exposing themselues vnto very much dan­ger in a place of such sort and resort. The chiefe poynt is the working of miracles by the hands of the Apostles, and that is nothing else but an execution of Christs promise, Mark. 16. 17. 18. In my name they shall cast out diuels, and they shall lay their hands on the sicke, and they shall reco­uer, &c. of which I haue sufficiently spoken in my notes vpon the Gospell on Ascension day.

The Gospell.

LVKE 22. 24.‘There was a strife among them which of them should seeme to be the greatest, &c.

CHrist in this Scripture teacheth his Apostles ambitiouslie contending for rule,

  • 1. By precept, The kings of the nations, &c. but yee shall not so be, &c.
  • 2. By paterne, I am among you as one that ministreth, &c.

But yee shall not so be] Or as S. Mat. 20. 26. Matthew, it shall not be so among you. Now this kinde of speech is vsed in ho­ly Scriptures, and in our english tongue two manner of waies, either forbidding a thing to be done, or else fore­telling a thing not to be done: as a master in saying to his seruant, this shall not be done to day, forbids a thing [Page 71] to be done: but when an Astronomer saith of the wea­ther it shall not be cold, or hot, vpon such a moneth or day, he doth not forbid, but onely foretell a thing that shall not be: so the words, [...], are vsed Apocalip. 10. 6. and 22. 5. According to this twofold acception I finde a twofold construction of this clause (but yee not so) first, by way of prophecie; secondly, by way of proposition or prohibition: if it be taken Prophetically, then it is a prophecie concerning the disciples estate either in this, or in the world to come. If in this life, the meaning is briefly this, the kings of the Gentiles doe raigne, and they that are in authoritie are called benefactors; but ye not so: that is, I doe foreshew vnto you that ye shall not be so; as if he should say, they in their gouernement are cal­led benefactors, but you exercising authoritie shall be called malefactors: they ruling ill are called good men, ye ruling well shall be reputed euill men: Iohn 16. 33. in the world ye shall haue affliction, and ye must of necessitie drinke of my cup, and be baptized with the baptisme that I am baptized with, and so Christ is made to speake that in this place which he saith Mat. 10. 20. Iohn 15. 20. elsewhere, The disciple is not aboue his master, nor the seruant aboue his Lord: if they haue called the master of the house Belzebub, how much more them of his household. If they haue persecuted me, they will also persecute you: me, who came to minister vnto them, and to giue my life for them; euen so you, which in your authoritie shall intend the good of all, and spend your liues in seruing them all. This sense doubtles is true, for by wofull experience we finde it to be so, when as See dange­rous positions vnder pretence of reformation lib. 2. cap. 5. 7. 8. 10. 11. 12. 13. among vs some for their superioritie, are called Antichrists; other for their authoritie, tyrants; other for restraining the licentiousnesse of certaine fa­ctious people, persecutors.

If we take (but yee not so) for a Prophecie touching the life to come, the meaning is, the kings of the Gentiles haue lordship ouer them, &c. but ye not so: that is, in my kingdome (which you falsely conceiue to bee vpon [Page 72] earth) I doe foretell vnto you, that it shall not bee so. For though I appoint vnto you a kingdome, and yee shall eate and drinke at my table in my kingdome, and sit on seates iudging the twelue tribes of Israel in my kingdome: yet my kingdome is not of Iohn 18. 36. this world, yee shall not (I assure you) tyrannise in heauen, as the kings of the nations vpon earth. This sense likewise is good, and fitting other places of Scripture, but it doth not fit our present text: for it will appeare by comparing one E­uangelist with another that Christs Piscator schol. in Mat. 20. 26. [...], it shall not be, is nothing else but [...], let in not be: for whereas Saint Marke saith, chapter 10. 43. shall bee your seruant, and verse 44. shall be seruant of all: S. Matthew chap. 20. 26. hath it in tearmes imperatiue, let him be your seruant, and S. Luke here, he that is greatest among you, let him be as the least, and he that is chiefe, as he that doth serue. These termes of command insinuate that our blessed Sa­uiour spake (vos autem non sic) imperatiuely, forbid­ding a thing to be done. Wherefore let vs examine two poynts especially; first what is said; secondly, whom it concernes.

T. C. Reply to D. Whitgif [...]s an­were to the admonit. pag. [...]. sect. 1. 2. Some referre so to the word benefactors, here tran­slated gracious Lords, making the sense to be, they that are in authoritie are called gracious Lords, but ye not so; that is, ye shall not be called gracious Lords. T. C. Vbi sup. pag. 10. Marlo­rat. & Piscator in Mat. 20. 25. 26. Other re­ferre so to the verbes, reigne and rule, making the sense thus, the kings reigne, and great men rule, but you not so; that is, ye shall not rule: other attribute so to the same verbes, yet make the construction otherwise, the kings of the Gentiles doe rule, but ye not so: Theophylact, Euthym. Bucer, Musculus, in Mat. 20. that is, ye shall not so rule, to wit as the kings of the nations rule. So that ei­ther titles of honour are forbidden as gracious Lords, or ruling, or else so ruling. The Nouelists in the first expo­sition haue condemned the titles of our Archbishops, in the second, the iurisdiction of our Bishops; our D Whitgift defence of his answere to the admonit. cap. 1. diuision. 1. fol­lowing the Doctors aboue cited. Diuines therefore like best of the third, affirming that Christ here prohibited neither titles of honour, [Page 73] nor ruling, but onely so ruling.

Not titles of honour, as Lord, ruler, benefactor: for as Christ in saying Mat. 23. 8. elsewhere, be not ye called Rabbi for one is your master: and call no man father vpon [...], for one is your father which is in heauen; and be not called Doc­tors, &c. D. Whitgift vbi sup. cap. 2. Forbids not simply the names of Rabbi, father, and Doctor; for a childe may call his parent father, and a scholler may call his teacher Doctor, and a seruant may call him vnder whose gouernment he liues master; and so Paul called himselfe the 1. Tim. 2. 7. Doctor of the Gentiles, and the 1. Cor. 4. 15. Corinthians father. As I say Christ there forbids not absolutely the names of father and master, much lesse the functions: but only the pharisaicall affection, and arrogant affectation of superiority: so Christ here likewise forbids not his Apostles to be called Lords, or rulers, or benefactors: but condemnes only the carnall ambition of these titles, and insolent vsing of the same. For we reade in holy Scripture that these titles were gi­uen to Christ and his Disciples, as Iohn 13. 13. Ye call me master, and Lord (saith he) and ye say well, for so am I. Yea his Apostles are stiled by that title which is rendred elsewhere Lords, Acts 16. 30. Lords, what must I doe to be saued, said the Iaylor to Paul and Silas, and yet they reprehended not this title, which they would haue done had it beene vnlawfull; as Acts 14. 15. Paul and Barnabas rebuked the men of Lystra when they would haue sacrificed vn­to them as vnto Gods, O men why doe ye these things? so likewise Preachers of the word are stiled rulers, Heb. 13. 7. Remember those which haue the rule ouer you, who haue preached vnto you the word of God: and verse 17. of the same Chapter, Loquitur hoc de pastoribus [...]c­clesiae sicut D. Fulke, Marlorat. P [...]scator in loc. obey those which haue the rule ouer you, and submit your selues, for they watch for your soules. Hence the parsonages in England were termed ancient­ly rectories, and the parsons rectors: as for the stile gra­cious Lords, vrged so much by the T. C. vbi s [...]p. Nouelists against our reuerend and honorable Primats: answere is made that there is not one sillable in the word [...] that signifi­eth [Page 74] a Lord. It is true that our learned English interpre­tours in old time sought by (the periphrasis) gratious Lords, to set downe the meaning of Christ, vsing Lord for a title of honour, and gratious for a title of doing good. But our new translation expresseth it better in reading benefactors: the Kings of the Gentiles exercise Lordship ouer them, and they that exercise authority vpon them are called benefactors: so Beza, benefici vo­cantur: so the vulgar latine, Erasmus, Ro. Stephanus and other as well ancient as moderne interpretours: so that the clause vos autem non sic, is referred by the two other Euangelists, and almost all D. Whitgift vbi sup. learned expositors vnto the fond ambition and tyrannicall oppression of the Gentile Kings, and not vnto their titles or names. In­deed we finde that the Kings of Caluin apud Marlorat. in loc. Mat. 20. 25. See prolog. of Ecclesiasticus & Strabo Geograp. lib. 17. Egypt and of other Cleomenes K. of Sparta so called. nations vaine-gloriously desired to be called [...] munificent benefactors, when as they deserued rather the names of tyrants and oppressors: as the Popes of Rome haue called themselues (I verily thinke contrary to Christs but you not so) Clement, Pius, Boniface: when they were most vnmercifull and impious malefactors. All that may be gathered hence then is, that the Kings of the Gentiles assumed flattering titles vnto themselues, being indeed nothing lesse then that which their stiles imported; and it may be a good admonition for all men, especially for Clergie men, to frame their liues answera­ble to their names and titles of honour giuen vnto them. An ambitious desire to be called benefactor is pro­hibited here, but the name it selfe is commendable, for Saint Peter applieth it vnto Christ, Acts 10. 38. Iesus of Nazareth went about doing good, and S. Paul exhortethGalat. 6. 10. vs to doe good vnto all men, especially to them of the house­hold of faith.

As for ruling, we say that it is against all sense, that where the titles of rulers are giuen, there ruling should be denyed: nay Christ in the wordes immediatly fol­lowing (he that is greatest among you, let him be as the [Page 75] least, &c. Insinuates that there must bee some great a­mong them. He saith not (as Com. in Mat. 20. 26. Musculus obserues) no man ought to bee chiefe among you, which he would haue said, if it had not been lawfull in the kingdome of God for some to be great and cheife, or if it had bin ne­cessary that all should haue bin in all things equall. The celestiall spirits are not equall, the starres are not equall, the disciples themselues were not in all things equall. It is not therefore Christs meaning to haue none great or chiefe among Christians, seeing our state requires necessarily that some be superiour, and other inferiour, So In Mat. 20. 26. Id [...]m Luther postil maior. in festo. Bartho. Martine Bucer, the fond Anabaptists collect here that no man may be together a Christian, and a magi­strate, because Christ said to his Disciples it shall not be so among you, not considering that those which accor­ding to the will of the Lord beare rule godly, nihil mi­nus quàm dominari, immo maximè seruire, & tanto plu­ribus quanto pluribus praefuerint, doe nothing lesse then domineere, yea verily do most of all serue, and euen so many doe they serue, ouer how many soeuer they beare rule. So Chrysostome, Theophylact, Euthymius, and it is the D. Whitgift vbi sup. common opinion of other writers that these words of Christ doe not condemne superiority, Lordship, or any such like authority: but only the ambitious desire of the same, and the tyrannicall vsage thereof. If Christ here would haue forbidden ciuill gouernment in all men, he would haue said the Kings of Israel haue rule, but ye not so: or if his intent had bin to forbid it in Ministers only, then he would haue said, the Priests of Israel rule, but ye not so; but in saying the Kings of the Gentiles beare rule, but ye not so: he doth euidently shew that hee mislikes only such an insolent kinde of ruling as the Gentiles v­sed. He condemnes neither temporall authority, nor Ecclesiasticall: not temporall authority, whether it bee supreme or subordinate; not supreme, for Acts 25. 11. Paul appea­led to Caesar as supreme gouernour, aduising euery soule to be Rom 13. 1. subiect vnto superiour powers; not subordinate, [Page 76] for S. 1. Pet. 2. [...]3. Peter gaue this rule concerning rulers, submit your selues to euery ordinance of man for the Lords sake, whether it be to the King as to the chiefe head, or vnto go­uernours, as vnto them that are sent of him, for the punish­ment of euill doers, and for the laud of them that doe well.

Not Ecclesiasticall authority, for S. Acts 5. Peter notwith­standing this (but you not so) iudicially sat vpon Saphira [...] and Paul exercising this authority deliuered 1. T [...]m. 1. 20. Hemineus and the incestuous 1. Cor 5. 5. Corinthian vnto Sathan. And the same Paul exhorts Timothie the Bishop of Ephesus, 1 Tim. 5. 19. against an elder receiue none accusation vnder two or three witnesses. He grants vnto Timothy, to receiue bils of complaint, and so iudicially to proceed against Elders in citing them, and examining them, and if need be de­posing them.

Well then, if Christ here forebad neither titles of ru­lers, nor yet ruling it selfe whether it be ciuill or ecclesi­asticall: it remaines that he prohibited only so ruling, that is, such a tyrannicall kind of gouernment as the Gentile Kings vsed, and that ambitious desiring of the same which ruled in them. And indeed Christ often in the Gospell vseth to call backe those that are his from er­rors and corrupt affections by the behauiour of the Gentiles, Mat. 6. 7. The Gentiles doe thinke that by their much babling they shall be heard, bee not ye therefore like vnto them, and in the same Chapter verse 31. 32. Take no thought, saying what shall we eate or what shall wee drinke, or wherewith shall we be clothed (for after all these things seeke the Gentiles) but seeke ye first the kingdome of God, &c. And that this is Christs meaning, I proue by these three reasons collected out of the context it selfe, 1. he saith Mat. 20. 25. and Marke 10. 42. Yee know that the Kings of the Gentiles, speaking of those rulers they knew, and they were tyrants and oppressors, as Pontius Pilate who condemned Christ an Iohn 19. 4. 16. innocent, in whom he found no fault; and Marke 6. 20. 27. Herod Antipas, who beheaded Iohn the Baptist (a iust and holy man whom he reueren­ced [Page 77] and heard in many things) at the request of his mi­nion; and Herod the great who butchered all the male children in Mat. 2. 16. Bethelem, and vnder pretence to worship, eagerly sought to worry Christ in his cradle: ye know that these Kings now reigne, but ye not so, that is, I would not haue you so to reigne.

2. [...], vsed in Mat. and Marke is to tyrannize; so learned Erasmus in his In Mat. 20. paraphrase, qui principatum gerunt inter gentes, dominatum ac tyrannidem exercent in illos quibus imperant, and in his annotations, dominantur in eas, siue adv [...]rsus eas. So Musculus in his comment vpon these words in S. Mathew, non regunt populum, sed premunt, suisque affectibus seruire cogunt: so Com. in Mat. 20. 25. Benedict. Aretius, [...], est dominari cum aliena Cum acerbita­te quadam, as the compiler of the lesser and latter anno­tations vnder Bezaes name, in Mat. 20. 25. tyrannide, & [...], in potestate violenter tenere: [...] is ta­ken in other places of the new testament, as namely, 1. Pet. 5. 3▪ and Acts 19. 16. Whereas it is obiected that in our present text the simple verbe is vsed, and there­fore not tyrannie but iurisdiction is forbidden: answere is made that this of Saint Luke must be construed by the places of Mat. and Marke, seeing all three meane one and the same thing by the concent of all Harmonies.

3. Christ expoundes himselfe thus in the words im­mediatly following, let the greatest among you bee as the least, and the chiefe as he that serueth. Ardens, Musculus, Bucer. As if he should say, the Kings of the nations are tyrants in their gouern­ment, making mischiefe their minister, and lust their law: but I would haue you to beare rule so moderatly, that euen the soueraigne may behaue himselfe as a ser­uant, and the master as a Minister. I would haue Prin­ces among you to be Esay 49. 23. nursing fathers vnto the Church, and Prelats among you to be Ephes. 4. 11. pastors of my people. So S. 2. Cor. 4. 5. Paul exercising authority, said, we preach not our selues, but Christ Iesus to be the Lord, and our selues your seruants for Iesus sake, and in 1. Cor. 9. 19. another place, I made my selfe a seruant vnto all men. A Minister must (as it is in our english phrase) s [...]rue his cure, a magistrate must also [Page 78] minister vnto those which are vnder him, euen the King himselfe is a great seruant of the common weale: he must (as Iob 29. 15. Iob speakes) become eyes to the blinde, and feete to the lame, he must with Plutarch com. adprin. in­doctum. Epaminondas watch, that other may the more securely sleepe; and labour, that o­ther may the more freely play. Magna seruitus magna fortuna quoth Consolat. ad Polybium. Seneca, nam ipsi Caesari cui omnia licent, propter hoc ipsum multa non licent: omnium domos illius vigilia defendit, omnium otium illius labor, omnium deli­cias illius industria, omnium vacationem illius occupatio. As those Princes are most vnprofitable, qui nihil in im­perio nisi imperiū cogitant, which in their Empire thinke of nothing so much as of imperiousnes: so they doubt­les are most happy to the state, who being greatest are as the least, and being chiefe as they that serue. I conclude this obseruation in Lib. 3. de con­fiderat. Bernards aduise to Pope Eugenius, praesis vt prouideas, vt consulas, vt procures, vt serues, praesis vt prosis, &c. O Mat. 24. 46. blessed is that faithfull and wise seruant, whom his master when he commeth shall finde so ruling ouer his house.

Thus haue I shewed what is said, let vs see now whom it concernes; it is certaine that Christ spake this vnto his Apostles only, but in them vnto some other re­presentatiuely; the question is then here whether hee spake representatiuely to the whole Church, that is, all Christians; or else representatiuely to the ministers of the Church only. We say with Aretius, Bucer, Mus­culus in their commentaries vpon Mat. 20. That he doth vnderstand all Christians as wel lay men as Clergy men, and this also we proue by these reasons ensuing.

1. Christ in this Chapter immediatly before, and also presently after, vsing this word you, and speaking vnto his Disciples and none but them (as in this place,) spea­keth vnto them as representing the whole Church and not only the Ministers, as verse 19. This is my body, which is giuen for you; and verse 20. This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you, by you, though [Page 79] it be spoken only to the Disciples, is not vnderstood the ministers only, for if Christs body were giuen, and his blood shed only for them, it would follow that none should be saued but Ministers, and that is contrary to the text 2. Cor. 5. 15. elsewhere Christ died for all, againe verse 29. I appoint vnto you, as my father hath appointed vnto me, a kingdome. Where by you, he meanes all true Christians of whatsoeuer estate, quality, degree: for as Iohn 1. 12. many as receiued him and beleeued in his name, to them he gaue power to be the sonnes of God, and if they be sonnes and children of God, then heires also, Rom. 8. 17. So that if thou wil [...] haue any part in Christ and his king­dome, then thou must also take some part of this text, thou must become as one of vs, and be numbred among these you, but ye not so.

2. The opposition here which is betweene Gentiles and you, doth euidently proue that it is spoken vnto the whole Church; as for example, the Kings of the Gentiles doe tyrannize ouer them, that is ouer the people: among them are Kings tyrannizing, and people tyrannized: but you not so, that is, I doe command that among you there should bee neither Kings tyrannizing, nor peo­ple tyrannized. It is thus with them, it shall not bee so with you Ministers, is no good opposition; it is thus with the Gentiles, it shall not be thus with you Chri­stians, is a full and a fit antithesis, the like whereof is found, Mat. 6. 7. 8. 31. 32. Luke 12. 29. 30. 1. Thessal. 4. 4. 5.

3. This place compared with that of Mat. chap. 23. vers. 8. 9. shewes plainly that it is spoken vnto the whole Church, for Christ in that place speaking of the same matter vseth a like forme of wordes, as for example, the scribes and the Pharisees are called Rabbi, &c. but be not ye so called. Now that he deliuered this exhortation as well to the people as to the pastors, is apparent in the very first verse of the Chapter, then spake Iesus to the multitude, and to his Disciples. I will end this expositi­on [Page 80] with an Epitap. Rober­ti Lincol. episc. apud Huntin­don hist. lib. 7. pag. 218. Epitaph which I thinke may serue for a glosse to the whole Gospell.

Hic humilis diues (res mira) potens pius, vltor
Compatiens, [...]itis cum pateretur erat.
Noluit osse suis dominus, studuit pater esse,
Semper in aduersis m [...]rus & arma suis.

The Epistle.

2. COR. 4. 1.‘Seeing that we haue such an office, &c.

THis text is part of S. Pauls Apologie iustifying his doctrine as well for the matter as the manner a­gainst all the slanders of his aduersaries the false Apo­stles: he remembers here more particularly three ver­tues in his preaching

  • sedulity, seeing we haue such an office, euen as God hath had mercy on vs, we goe not out of kinde, or we faint not.
  • sincerity, but haue cast from vs the cloakes of vnhonesty.
  • humility, for we preach not our selues, but Christ Iesus to be the Lord, and our selues your seruants for Iesus sake.

Seeing that we haue such an office] Aretius, Pisca­tor. Two things especi­ally caused Paul to be diligent in his office. 1. The wor­thines of his Ministry, seeing that we haue such an office: 2. The goodnes of God in calling him to such an high calling, euen as God hath had mercy on vs. The ministra­tion of the Gospell (as he shewed in the Chapter before) doth excell See Epist. 12. Sun. after Tri­nit. in grace and glory the ministration of the law: In grace, for the letter killeth, but the spirit giueth life, the law being the ministration of condemnation, but the Gospell the ministration of righteousnes: In glory, both in respect of countenance, for it is more honorable [Page 81] to be the minister of mercie, then executioner of Iudge­ment: and in respect of continuance, for Moses glorie is done away, but the Gospels ministrie remayneth: all Moses glorie was but a type of Christs glorie, now the substance being come, the shadow vanisheth; Mat. 11. 13. all the Prophets and the law prophecied vnto Iohn, but Iohn 1. 17. Truth and grace came by Iesus Christ. As far then as the sunne doth obscure the lesser lights; euen so farre the Gospell exceedes in glorie the Law, 1. Cor. 13. 10. for when that which is perfect is come, then that which is imperfect is abolished.

The second thing that made Paul constantly diligent in his function is Gods mercie shewed on him in his office, being an Apostle, Galat. 1. 1. not of men, neither by man, but by Iesus Christ, Rom. 1. 1. Acts 13. 2. put a part to preach the Gospell by 2. Cor. 1. 1. the will of God. I was (saith he 1. Tim. 1.) both a blas­phemer, and a persecutor, and an oppressor, but Christ re­ceiuing me to mercie, put me in his seruice, by whose grace I am whatsoeuer I am, 1. Cor. 15. 10. wherfore seing we haue such an excellent office, so gracious, so glori­ous: and seing God hath (out of the riches of his mercie, Theophylact. Aquin. Anselm. not out of any worth of our owne merite) called vs vnto such an office, we faint not in this our ministrie for any Hierom. Primasius. Lombard. tribulation or trouble whatsouer. Marlorat. So Paul expounds himselfe in this present Chapter, we are troubled on euery side, yet not distressed: in po­uerty, but not in despaire: persecuted, but not forsaken: cast downe, but not cast away: therefore we faint not, for though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is re­newed daily, for our light affliction which is but for a moment, causeth vnto vs a far most excellent and an eter­nall weight of glorie, while we looke not on the things which are seene, but on the things which are not seene, for the things which are seene are temporall, but the things which are not seene eternall, as if he should say, seeing our work is excellent, and our reward (when we haue 2. Tim. 4. 7. fought our fight and ended our course) most excellent: we slacke not our duetie for any crosse or care, but 2. Cor. 6. 4. ap­proue [Page 82] our selues as the ministers of God in all things, in afflictions, in necessities, in anguishes, in stripes, in strifes, in labours, &c. by honour and dishonour, by bad report and good report, as sorrowing and yet alway reioycing; as poore, yet making many rich; as hauing nothing, and yet possessing all things.

We haue cast from vs the cloakes of vnhonestie] For as much as the B. Latymer ser. [...]t Pauls. deuill is the most diligent preacher in the whole world, 1. Pet. 5. 8. walking about as a roaring lion see­king whom he may deuoure, & his agents Mat. 23. 15. compasse sea and land to make men of their profession: our Apostle to his industrie further addeth in his preaching since­ritie, we cast from vs the cloakes of vnhonestie &c. that is, we haue renounced (Aretius. as a father vtterly forsakes a disobedient sonne) Lombard Aquin. not onely notorious and open crimes, but also those which are hidden, and as it were cloathed with cloaks and colours of excuse: for so Paul Theophylact. construeth himselfe in the clause following, we walke not in craftinesse &c. that is, we deale not as the false Apostles in Anselm. hypocrisie, Mat. 7. 15. comming vnto you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly are rauening wolues; neither handle we the word deceitfully, that is, Aretius. Marlorat. Beza. as he said in this Eap. 2. vers. 17. epistle before, we doe not as many, make merchandise of the word. Aquin. Lombard. Anselm. We preach not for gaine or glorie, for such are hirelings, Iohn 10. 12. neither doe we sophisti­cate the word, as they who mingle heauen and earth, and ioine the ceremoni [...]s of Moses law with the Gospel of Iesus Christ as necessarie to saluation, for such are wolues. We preach neither Primasius. flattringly, nor falsly, but open the truth, and commend ourselues to euery mans con­science in the sight of God, Bullenger. that is, we haue deliuered ye word so plainly, so purely, neither Apocalyp. 22. 18. adding any thing to it, nor diminishing any thing of it, Theophylact. as that our deeds speaking for our doctrine, we appeal to the consciences of all such as haue heard vs, and to God himselfe who seeth all things, and vnderstandeth euery secret of our heart so well as euery word of our mouth, euen he that [Page 83] knoweth all things 2. Cor. 11. 31. knoweth that I lye not.

If our Gospell be yet hid, it is hid among them that are lost,] Aquin. Aretius. Beza. Here Paul preuenteth an obiection, if you faint not in opening the truth vnto the consciences of all men, how commeth it to passe that many beleeue not your Gospell? He doth answere directly, that the fault is not in the Gospell it selfe, for that is a shining light to such as are in darknesse: but in vnbeleeuers whose minds are blinded by the god of this world, least the light of the Gospell of the glorie of Christ (which is the image of God) should shine vnto them.

That is euery mans god in this world which he likes best, and loues most, as Ephes. 5. 5. Iob. 31. 24. gold is a couetous mans god, and Philip. 3. 19. belly cheere a voluptuous mans god, and prefer­ment an ambitious mans god. And Aquin. Caietan. these gods blind the mind of vnbeleeuers, that they should not in this world see the light of grace, nor in the world to come the light of glorie. So we read Luk. 14 when a certaine man had ordeined a great supper, and inuited many, saying, come, for all things are readie: the first said, I haue bought a farme, and I must needs go to see it, Honor was the god that blinded his eyes. Another said, I haue bought fiue yoke of oxen, and I goe to proue them, Riches was the god that blinded his eyes. A third said, I haue maryed a wife, and therefore I cannot come, Pleasure was the god that blinded his eyes. See Gospell 2. Sun. after Trinitie.

Theophylact. Primasius. Anselm. Other vnderstand this of the true God, which is the God of this world, for that he made it, according to that of Psalm. 24. 1. Dauid, The earth is the Lords, and all that therein is, the compasse of the world, and they that dwell therein. And God is said to blind the minds of vnbeleeuers, Aquin. Non inducendo malitiam, sed merito, potius demerito praecedentium peccatorum subtrahendo gratiam. It is Gods mercie, that the light of the word shines in the hearts of his elect, and it is Gods iustice, that it is hidden among those which are lost. I am come said Iohn 9. 39. Christ vnto [Page 84] iudgement in this world, that they which see not, might see, and that they which see, might be made blind. And Rom. 11. 8. God hath giuen them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and eares that they should not heare; that the Gospell in it selfe a shining light, and the Rom. 1. 16. power of God vnto saluation, should be hidden among the lost, and so become the 2. Cor. 2. 16. sauour of death vn­to death; is an heauie, yet an holie iudgement: For, Rom. 1. 28. as they regard not to know God, euen so God deliuers them vp vnto a reprobate sense, Theophylact. Oecumem. suffring their eyes to be blinded, least the light of the Gospell should shine vnto them. Aretius. As by the bright beames of the sunne waxe is softned, and yet dirt is hardned: euen so by the prea­ching of the word, the hearts of such as shall be sa­ued are mollified, but the hearts of such as are lost are further hardned. To day then, euen while it is cal­led to day, suffer the words of exhortation, if thou haue an eare to heare, harden not thine heart, but harken vnto Gods voice, speaking in the bookes of his Scriptures, and by the mouthes of his Prophets vnto thee.

Lombard. Aquin. Caluin. Other vnderstand this of Satan, here called the god, as elsewhere, Iohn 12. 31. the prince of this world, that is, secula­riter viuentium, of the wicked of the world, in Ephes. 2. 2. whom he ruleth and worketh, as yelding to his suggestions. It is not Satans power that makes him a god, and a prince, but only the weaknesse of the wicked, admitting him as a lord of mis-rule; for, he (saith Rom. 6. 16. Paul) is our master to whom we submit our selues as seruants. Christ is the Lord of heauen and earth by a threefold right, Bernard. lib. 3. deconsiderat. iure creationis, merito redemptionis, dono patris: but the de­uill is god of this world only (quoth Aquine) imita­tione, because the wicked of this world are his fol­lowers, as hauing their Ephes. 4. 18. vnderstanding darkned, and their minds blinded, and hearts hardned thorough his entising temptations. And so Paul in this present epistle chap. 11. vers. 3. I feare least as the serpent beguiled Eue thorough his subtletie; so your minds should be corrupted [Page 85] from the simplicitie that is in Christ. The Gospell is a glasse wherein we may behold Christ; and Christ is an Heb. 1. 3. expresse character and image of God, as himselfe said, Iohn 14. 9. he that hath seene me, hath seene my father, and this is eternall life to know God, and whom he hath sent Iesus Christ, Iohn 17. 3. If then thou heare the word often, and yet continue still in vnbeleife, the fault is not in God or his Gospell, but in thy selfe and Sathan, who blinds the minds of such as are lost, &c.

We preach not our selues] Caluin. Marlorat. Piscator. least he should be thought arrogant in commending his sedulous and sincere prea­ching, he confesseth humbly that himselfe and his fel­lowes were not principall agents in their conuersion, but instrumentall only; Christ is the Lord, and we your seruants for his sake, for it is God that commands the light to shine out of darknesse, which hath shined in our hearts, for to giue the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Iesus Christ. And we haue this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellencie of that power might be of God, and not of vs. See epistle 3. Sun. in Aduent, and 1. in Lent.

This scripture may be tearmed aptly manipulus Cura­torum; 1. Instructing all such as haue cure of soules to be diligent in their ministrie, considering the worthinesse of their function, and the goodnesse of God in making them 1. Tim. 3. 2. apt to teach, and in calling them vnto such an high office. 2. To be rather solide then subtle, preaching plainly to the conscience. 3. To be humble, 1. Pet. 5. 3. not as though they were lords ouer Gods heritage, but in meeknesse of spirit, behauing themselues as seruants for Iesus sake.

The Gospell.

MATTH. 9. 9.‘As Iesus passed foorth from thence he saw a man named Matthew, &c.

IN this text 2. points are more cheifly regard­able, namely the

  • Calling of Matthew, wherein obserue the
    • Bountifulnes of Christ in cal­ling, hee saw a man named Matthew, &c.
    • Duetifulnesse of Matthew in comming, he arose, and fol­lowed him.
  • Cauilling of the Pha­risees, and in it
    • Their accusation, Why eateth your master with Publicanes and sinners.
    • Christs ex­cusation, answering for himself by groūds of
      • Reason, they that be strong neede not the Phisiti­on.
      • Religion, goe yee rather & learne, &c.

As Iesus passed foorth from thence] we may not slightly passe ouer the passing of Iesus here from place Acts 10. 38. to place doing good, and acting works of mercie and mi­racle. Craftie polititians thrust themselues into the cen­ter of the world, as if all times should meet in their ends, neuer caring in any tempest what becommeth of the ship of estate, so they may be safe in the coc-boat of their owne fortune. But Christ here neglecting his pri­uate boat, was all for the publique ship of the Church, being not only painfull in his owne person all his life, but also carefull in calling apostles, who might as cun­ning [Page 87] masters and pilots guide the Churches ship after his death.

Musculus in loc. By this example princes (which ought to be Esay 49. 23. nur­sing fathers vnto the Church) are taught, not only to see that matters be well ordered for the present; but also to foresee such things as may be for the good of the Church in time to come. They must especially maintaine the schooles of the prophets as the semi­naries and nurseries of the Clergie, that there may be from time to time Peters and Matthewes, apt and able Luke 10. 2. labourers in the Lords haruest. As for you which are men of meane qualitie, though it be true that yee can not found Colledges, or endue the Church with any large reuenewes: yet ye can Psalm. 122. 6. pray for the peace of Hie­rusalem, and wish hartily that plenteousnesse may be within her pallaces: And therefore when any sute con­cerning the Clergie shall be tried by your verdite, Deut. 12. 19. forsake not the Leuite as long as thou liuest vpon earth. Let no malignant humour cause thee to rob God of his due, the Minister of his dutie, that the Gospell may not only florish in our dayes, but that there may be still a succession of learned men in all ages to come, who may Esay. 40. 2. comfort Hierusalem at the heart, and withstand all her Psalm. 127. 6. enemies in the gate.

He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the receit of custome] He saw Matthew not (as then he saw many moe) with his corporall eyes only, Ardens, Rupert. but also with his all-seeing eyes of prescience, knowing that he was a Chrysost. apud Panigarol. hom. in loc. pearle in a dunghil, a chosen vessell vnto the Lord from all eternitie. And with his pitifull eyes of mercie, euen with the verie same eyes he saw the grieuous troubles of his children in Exod. 3. 7. Aegypt, and with the same eyes he saw Peter weeping, and with the same eyes he saw Iohn 1. 48. Nathanaell vnder the fig-tree. Now the greatnesse of his exceeding rich mercies is amplified here by circum­stances of the person, and of the place, and of the time. By circumstance of person he saw and called Matthew, [Page 88] a rich man, a couetous rich man, a couetous rich man in a corrūpt office, Matthew the Publican. Marke 2. 14. Luke 5. 27. Other Euan­gelists in relating this history cals him leui, Hierom. [...]an­sen. Maldenat. but he cals himselfe by that name he was best knowne, he confessed his fault, and acknowledged his folly, stiling himselfe Matthew the Publican. And this he did vnto Gods glo­ry, for the greater was his misery, the greater was his Sa­uiours mercy; the children of Israel payed no custome before their captiuity, wherefore toll-gatherers as being subiect to many foule extorsions and oppressions were most odious officers among the Iewes; in so much as Publicans and notorious malefactors are coupled vsu­ally together in the gospell: as if Mat. 18. 17. he refuse to heare the Church also, let him be to thee as an heathen man and a Publican, and Mat. 21. 31. Verily I say vnto you that the Publicans and the harlots shall goe before you into the kingdome of God, and Luke 15. 1. Then resorted vnto him all the Publicans and sinners; and in our present text, why eateth your master with Publicans and sinners? So that Publicans are ioyned sometime with heathens, some­time with harlots, alway with sinners.

But the goodnes of Christ is amplifyed more by cir­cumstances of place and time, for that he called Mat­thew sitting at the receit of custome; he called Mat. 4. 18. Peter and Andrew while they were fishing; Iames and Iohn while they were mending their nets; hee called other, while they were doing some good, but (O the deepenes of the riches of Christs vnspeakeable mercies) hee called Matthew when he was doing hurt, executing his hate­full office, sitting at the receit of custome. Euthym. Caluin, Gene­brard. in Psal. 1. There be three degreees in sinne mentioned, Psalm. 1. 1. The first is walking in the counsell of the vngodly; the second is stan­ding in the way of sinners; the third is sitting in the seat of the scornefull: now Matthew the Publican had pro­ceeded Doctor in his faculty, he was seated in the chaire, sitting at the receit of custome, the which is worse then either walking in the counsell of the vngodly, [Page 89] or standing in the way of sinners.

Hence we may learne not to despaire of other, much lesse of our selues: not of other, albeit they be neuer so couetous misers and great oppressors. Indeed Mat. 19. 24. Christ said, it is easier for a Camel (or as Theophylact, Erasmus, Drusi­us, in loc. Mat. other read) for a cable to goe thorough the eye of a needle, then for a rich man to enter into the kingdome of God, but he doth adde with­all and say, with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. He can vn-twine a cable rope in euery cord and thred, and so drawe it thorough the eye of a needle: he can vndoe the cordes of vanity, and cart-ropes of iniquity which hold couetous men from him, and so make them (as he did here Matthew) to follow him. He did vntwine Zacheus when he said, Luke 19. 8. behold Lord halfe of my goods I giue to the poore, and if I haue taken from any man by forged cauillation, I restore him fourefold: and so Zacheus notwithstanding his Camels backe, that is in former time his prodigious wealth, entred into the straite gate of heauen.

And let no man euer despaire of himselfe, seeing Christ called Matthew when he was doing of euill, and the thiefe on the crosse, Luke 23. when he was suffering for euill. Psalm. 48. 9. According to his name so is his praise, Mat. 1. 21. Iesus is his name, and he is a sauiour of his people; comming into this world (as hee protesteth and proueth in this Scripture) not to call the righteous but sinners to repen­tance.

In Matthewes obedience to Christs call, ob­serue with Hom. in loc. Ar­dens a threefold abrenunciation

  • 1. Of his wickednes, he arose, name­ly from his old vnconscionable course vnto newnes of life.
  • 2. Of his wealth, he left all, Luke 5. 28.
  • 3. Of his will, he followed him, and that as [Page 90]
    Paratus ser. de S. Mat.
    one writes
    • celeriter,
    • laetanter,
    • conuenienter,
    • perseueranter,

1. He followed Christ immediatly without delay, for assoone as Christ had said follow me; forthwith he arose and followed him.

2. He followed Christ cheerefully Aretius. without any murmuring or disputing who should execute his office, or looke to his account. Musculus. It was in the worlds eye a great folly to leaue such a gainefull occupation, a grea­ter folly to forsake that which he had already got, and the greatest of all to follow him who was so poore that he wanted a nest and an hole where to rest his head, Mat. 8. 20. Yet Matthew beholding his Sauiour with eyes offaith, and 2. Cor. 4. 18. looking not on the things which are seene, but on the things which are not seene, simply and cheerefully followed him, and in Rupert. in loc. token hereof (as Saint Luke 5. 29. Luke reportes) hee made him a great feast in his owne house.

3. Matthew followed Christ conueniently, because he left all and followed him: all his worldly busines, all his vnconscionable gaines, all his corrupt affections, and whatsoeuer hindred him in the way to God. And Hierom, Caietan. herein he dealt not (as prophane Porphirius and Iulian obiect) vnaduisedly to forsake all things, and to follow one which had nothing, for Matthew doubtles had be­fore seene many myracles of Christ, and at this present he was also drawen by the holy spirit, according to that of our Sauiour, Iohn 6. 44. no man can come to me, except the fa­ther which hath sent me drawe him. And this spirit assu­red his spirit that Christ as God is Gen. 17. 1. all sufficient, and a Heb. 11 6. rewarder of such as seeke him and come vnto him. Here the Gospell and Epistle meete, Paul preached not the word for worldly gaine, Matthew left all and followed Christ. He did not abandon all his estate, for hee feasted Christ in his owne house: but hee was Apostoli quan­tum ad volun­tatem totum mundum reli­querunt. Hie­rom. epist. ad Pammac. willing to leaue [Page 91] the whole world to gaine that good which hee could neither Augustin. de ciuitate dei lib. 1. cap. 10. prodere nor perdere.

4. Matthew followed Christ constantly, being first a Disciple, then an Apostle, afterward an Euangelist, and last of all a Martyr: as a Disciple he heard the Gospell of Christ, as an Apostle he preached the Gospell of Christ, as an Euangelist hee wrote the Gospell of Christ, as a Martyr he suffered for the Gospell of Christ. He was not only a Disciple, but an Apostle, numbred among the Mat. 10. 3. twelue, preaching the Gospell in Euseb. hist. lib. 3. cap. 2 [...]. Idem Magde­burg. cent. 1. lib. 2. col. 576. Iudea and Socrates hist. lib. 1. cap. 15. Aethi­opia, for I remember Cassanaeus catalog. 1. parl. 3. considerat. 29. one saith of him Aethiopiam ni­gram doctrinâ fidei fecit candidam. And that hee might preach vnto the whole world after his death, he penned the booke of the generation of Iesus Christ, &c. In which (as Euseb. Emisen obserueth) he makes a great feast vnto Christ, and that in Panigarol bom. in loc. part. 1. sundry respects as 1. His Gospell is great, as being written in Hebrewe, the most ancient and most holy tongue. 2. Great, as being the August. de con­sensu Euangel. lib 1. cap. 2. first of all the Gospels. 3. Great, as being the most large, See Panigarol vbi sup. & Sixt. Bibliothec. lib. 1. pag. 17. di­uided by the moderne Latines into 28. Chapters, but ac­cording to the partition of Hilarius in former ages into 33. or as Druthmanus into 67. Canons. Among the Grecians Euthymius parteth it into 68. Chapters, Eu­sebius, Ammonius, Suidas into 355. and lastly great, as intending principally to shew that the man Christ is the Messias and Sauiour of the world, promised by the Pro­phets, and prefigured in the sacrifices of the law. Saint Matthew hauing cheerefully followed Christ in hea­ring his Gospell, in preaching his Gospell, in writing his Gospell, Vide not. Ba­ron in Rom. Martyr Sep­temb. 21. on this day suffered martyrdome con­stantly for his Gospell.

Christ euery day calleth vs, and saith vnto vs as here to Matthew, follow me, though he doe not this immedi­atly by himselfe, yet he speaketh vnto vs by the tongues of his Preachers, as he spake in Heb. 1. [...]. olde time to our fathers by the mouthes of the Prophets. It is our duty therefore to come when hee calleth (as his seruant Matthew) [Page 92] quickly, conueniently, constantly, cheerefully. Quick­ly without delay, Ecclesiast. 5 7. make no tarying to turne vnto the Lord, but to day, Heb. 3. 13. while it is called to day, let vs heare his voyce: conueniently, forsaking our selues, and casting a­way euery thing that presseth downe, and hindreth vs in our way to Christ, Heb. 12. 1: constantly, Psalm. 84. 7. going from strength to strength, and continuing Apocalyp. 2. 10. faithfull vnto the death: cheerefully, making Christ a great feast in our owne house.

Happily thou wilt obiect, if I had liued in that gol­den age, when Christ my Sauiour blessed the world with his bodily presence; then I would haue worshipped him, and followed him, and feasted him: but alas, I haue good cause to complaine with Mary Magdalene, Iohn 20. 2. they haue taken away the Lord, and where should I finde him, if I would now feast him? O beloued, albeit Christ Ecclesiast. 5. 1. is in heauen and thou art on earth, yet thou mayest (and that in thine owne house) make to him a Ardens, Mus­culus, in loc. double feast; a spirituall feast, and a corporall: a spirituall, for his meat is to doe the will of God, Iohn 4. 34. And the will of God is to beleeue in him whom he hath sent, Iohn 6. 29. So that whosoeuer beleeueth in Christ, and openeth the doore to his knocke, maketh him a feast in the parlour of his heart. So Apocalyp. 3. 20. himselfe saith, I stand at the doore and knocke, if any man heare my voyce, and open the doore, I will come in vnto him, and will sup with him, and he with me. The Poets feigned that their God Iupiter fed on Nectar and Ambrosia, Persius. Iupiter Ambrosia satur est, & Nectare ple­nus. But the God of heauen is refreshed with the Galat. 5. 22. fruites of the spirit, loue, ioy, peace, long-suffering, gentlenes, goodnes, faith, meekenes, temperance, these dishes are his dainties.

Thou mayest also feast him corporally; for whatsoe­uer is done to his followers, he taketh as done to him­selfe, because they be Ephes. 5. 30. members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bone: this hee will openly protest at the last day, Mat. 25. 35. I was an hungred, and ye gaue me meate: [Page 93] I thirsted, and ye gaue me drinke: for in as much as ye haue done it vnto one of the least of these my brethren, ye haue done it vnto me.

And when the Pharisces saw it] In the Pharisces ac­cusation obserue these two circumstances especially: To whom; And of whom it was made; to whom, they said vnto his Disciples: of whom, of Christ and the rest of the guests in Matthewes house, why eateth your master with publicans and sinners, &c. In making this obiection vnto the Disciples, and not vnto Christ himselfe, they shew themselues to bee crafty calumniatours. It was Ar [...]tius, Marlorat. craft to set vpon the weake Disciples being a little be­fore confounded by their master: and it was a Bullinger. calumnie to mutter that behind his backe, which they dare not vtter vnto his face. But this was their ordinary guile to vent their gaule, when they conceited that the Disciples did amisse, they cauilled with Christ, Mat. 15. 2. why doe thy Dis­ciples transgresse the traditions of the fathers, for they wash not their hands when they eate bread. And when they thought Christ offended, they told his Disciples, why eateth your master with publicanes and sinners? In the fact of the Disciples, they cauilled with Christ: in the fact of Christ, they cauilled with the Disciples; in both their malitious intent was to dishonour the Gospell, and e­strange the Disciples from Christ, and Christ from his Disciples. In our age there be many such enuious syco­phants, who being once got betweene the pot and the wall, chat in secret against that which Christ and his Mi­nisters haue chaunted in publique.

The Pharisees accusing Christ and his company Pub­licanes and sinners, offended in vncharitablenes & pride: in vncharitablenes toward Christ, Ardens. ac si consentiens in culpa, qui consentiens in coena, as if he had communicated with them in mischiefe, as he did common with them at meate: whereas Christ conuersed with publicans and sinners as the physitian with the sicke, Ar [...]tius. they made not him worse, but he made them better; he had no fellow­ship [Page 94] with Ephes. 5 11. vnfruitfull workes of darknes, but only with the workers, he did loue their persons, but leaue their vi­ces, see Gospell on the 3. Sun. after Trinity. Againe the Pharisees were very cruell and vncharitable toward the Publicanes, in that they despised them, and had no fee­ling of their miseries, or care for their conuersion: and lastly they shew their pride by iustifying themselues im­pudently, whereas they should rather haue confessed ingeniously with the Psalm. 143. 2. Psalmist, enter not into iudgement with thy seruants, for no flesh is righteous in thy sight: and with Iob 25. 5. Iob, if the starres are vncleane in his sight, how much more man a worme, euen the sonne of man which is but a worme? and with Esay 64. 6. Esay, we haue all bin an vncleane thing, and all our righteousnes is as filthy cloutes.

When Christ heard that, he said vnto them] He repli­ed vnto the Pharisees Musculus, Culman. not as hoping to mende them by his answere, but least his Disciples otherwise might bee scandalized, hereby giuing vs an example to meet with opprobrious cauils and calumnies against the Gospell, and that not to satisfie so much our aduersaries, as to strengthen our auditours.

They that be strong need not the physitian] This sen­tence may be considered as a Theophylact. scomma to the Pharisees, who were so righteous and strong in their own conceit, as that they did not in any case need a physitian; but as a Lemma for Caluin. others, in which (as in the rest of his Apo­logie) Christ insinuates that he came into the world, not to constraine, but to call; not the righteous, Hilarius, Panigarol, Marlorat. who iustifie themselues, but sinners, euen such as feele their wicked­nes and weakenes, such as are Luke 4. 18. broken hearted, such as are laden and Mat. 11. 28. weary with the burden of their iniquity: Musculus, Caluin. not to licentiousnes in their sinne, or to punishment for their sinne, or to satisfaction for their sinne, but to re­pentance for their sinne, that they being deliuered out of the hands of all their enemies, might serue God in ho­lines and righteousnes all the dayes of their life. Epist. lib. 1. epist. 4. Pauli­nus saith excellently that a sinner irrepentant is like [Page 95] Samson in the mill grinding corne for his enemies: but if he 1. Iohn 1. 9. confesse his sinnes, and bee sorry for the same, Christ is faithfull and iust to forgiue him his sinnes, and to clense him from all vnrighteousnes.

Almighty God, which by thy blessed sonne didest [...] call Matthew from the receit of custome, to bee an Apostle and Euangelist: grant vs grace to forsake all couetous desires and inordinate loue of riches and to follow thy said sonne Iesus Christ, who liueth and reigneth with thee and the holy Ghost, &c.

The Epistle,

APOCAL. 12. 7.‘There was a great battell in heauen, &c.

In this Scripture 3. points are to be considered, and they be points of warre, to wit a

  • Battel, verse 7. described by circum­stances of the
    • Time, when it was fought, there was.
    • Field, where it was fought, in hea­uen.
    • Captaines & souldiers, by whom it was fought, on the one side, Michael and his Angels, on the other, the Dragon with his An­gels.
  • Victory fol­lowing the battle, set downe
    • Negatiuely, they preuailed not, neither was their place found a­ny more in heauen, verse 8.
    • Positiuely, the Dragon and all his Angels with him are cast out of heauen into the earth, verse 9.
  • Triumph af­ter the vi­ctory, con­taining the
    • causes
      • Principall, the blood of the lambe.
      • Instru­mental
        • A sound professi­on of the faith, and by the word of their testimo­ny.
        • A resolute con­stancy to the end, they loued not their liues vnto the death, verse 11.
    • Effects and fruites of the victory, verse 10. and 12. I heard a loud voyce saying, in heauen is now made saluation, &c. Therefore reioyce Oye heauens, &c.

[Page 99]For the better vnderstanding of the whole text, I pur­poseColoss. 2. 15. to treat first of the commanders and souldiers in this warre-fare, Michael and his Angels fought, and the Dragon and his Angels fought. Cardinall De Rom. pon. [...]. lib. 1. cap. 9. §. post casum verò. Bellarmine affirmes that Michael euer since the fall of Lucifer is head of the glorious Angels, and the Rhemists obserue the reason here why S. Michael is ordinarily painted fighting with a dragon: but I thinke neither the foolish painter, nor yet learned Bellarmine can tell vs how Mi­chael came to be chosen into Lucifers rome. For all the wicked Angels (as S. Iude teacheth in his Epistle) who left their habitation, are reserued in euerlasting chaines vnder darkenes, and such as fel not are not preferred vn­to higher place, but continue still in their first estate and dignitie, we grant that there be certaine distinctions and degrees of Angels in the quire of heauen, as reading in holy Scriptures of Ephes. 1. 21. Coloss. 1. 16. principalities, and powers, & thrones, and dominations, and Esay 6▪ 2. Seraphims, and Gen 3 24. Cherubims; but we finde not in the Bible that Michael is the chiefe commander of all. Indeed S. Iude calleth him an Arch­angel, and Dan. 10. 13. & 12. 1. Daniel vnum de principibus, that is, one of the principall Angels, as Vatablus vpon the place; but he neuer was or shall be Monarch and head of all Angels, and that I proue (by these reasons ensuing) vnto the Pa­pists.

1. According to the doctrine of their Thom. part. 1. quaest. 142. art▪ 2. & 4, owne schoole, Michael being imployed as a messenger betweene God and man is not of the first Hierarchie, but of an Pererius in Dan. 10. vnder­ling order, and so consequently not supremus Angelo­rum, as their owne Doctor Praefat. in ser. de S. Michael. Georg. Bartholdus Ponta­nus acknowledgeth.

2. Because the greatest Angel is vsed in the greatest embassage, but Gabriel was sent for the contracting of that sacred match betweene the blessed Virgin and the God of heauen, ergo, Gabriel is rather supreame both in naturall and supernaturall graces and prerogatiues. So Hom. 34. in Euangel. Gregory the great sometime bishop of Rome notes, ad [Page 98] hoc mysterium summum Angelum venire dignum fuerat, qui summum omnium nunciabat; it was conuenient (saith he) that to this supreame mysterie of mysteries the su­preame of all Angels should be destinated, who should annunciate the conception of the supreame Lord of all.

3. Because Christ is the Michael here mentioned, as the commentarie vnder Hom. 8. in Apocalyp. Augustines name, Michaelem intellige Christum, by Michael vnderstand thou Christ. D. Fulke in loc. For the blessed Angels cannot be said to be any other Michaels Angels, but only the Angels of God and Christ: in the vision happily Michael and an host of An­gels appeared vnto Iohn, but they represented Bullinger, Aretius, Marlo­rat. Christ and his members. The name Michael signifies quis vt Deus, who is as God, a name best agreeing vnto Christ, as being very God of very God, euen the brightnes of his glory and ingraued forme of his person, Heb. 1. 3. Michael (as we finde in the 10. and 12. Chapter of Da­niel) was the patron of the Iewes, and the defender of Gods people. But herein hee was a type of Christ and a figure, for Iesus alone is this Sauiour, as Cap. 7. 14. Esay foretold, and Zacharias in his Euangelicall hymne chaunted plainly, the light of the Gentiles, and the glory of his peo­ple Israel.

So that the meaning of our text is briefly August. vbi sup. this, Christ and his members fight against the Deuill and his com­plices: and indeede it is against the principles of holy beliefe to ascribe this victory to Michael or any other Angel whatsoeuer, seeing the Scripture saith expresly, Gen 3. 15. the seede of the woman shall breake the Serpents head, and Rom. 16. 20. the God of peace shall tread downe Satan vnder our feete, and a loud voyce from heauen proclaimes in this Chapter at the 11. verse, they ouercame the Dragon by the blood of the lambe.

Our blessed Sauiour did fight a single combate with the Dragon in the wildernes and ouercame him, Mat. 4. A point full of instruction and comfort as I haue shewed in my notes vpon the Gospell 1. Sun. in Lent. Againe [Page 99] Christ fought with the Deuill and all his complices on the crosse, where saith Coloss. 2. 15. Paul he spoyled principalities and powers, and made a shew of them openly. For as a mightie Iudges 16. 30. Samson he did beare away the gates of his ene­mies vpon his owne shoulders, killing at his death moe then he had slaine in his life: by death he destroyed death; and by his going downe to the graue he did open the graue, and gaue life to the dead, in the house of death, and kingdome of hell; hee triumphed ouer Satan, and spoyled him of all his strength and power, as Ser. de qua­dr uplici debito. Bernard sweetly, Diaboli fortitudo per redemptoris vulnera tra­ducta & deducta ad nihilum.

As Michael did fight, so likewise his Angels, Aretius. Chri­stus est ecclesiae suae promachus, Angeli eius symachi: Ardens, Ru­pert. Some construe this of the glorious Angels, as being ministring spirits for the good of such as shall be heires of saluation, Heb. 1. 14. These souldiers being more then twelue legions. Mat. 26. 53. Thousand thousands and ten thousand thousands, Dan. 10. 7. A number with­out number, Heb. 12. 22. Psalm. 34. 7. Pitch their tents about vs, and fight against such as fight against vs: here the Gos­pell and Epistle meete, Michael and his Angels (saith our Epistle) sight against the Dragon and his Angels: and the Gospell insinuates as much in saying, take heede that ye despise not one of these little ones, for I say vnto you that in heauen their Angels doe alway behold the face of my father, &c. And here you may note the reason also why both are appointed by the Church to be read on this fe­stiuall of Angels.

Marlorat. Other expound this of the Ministers of Christ, of­ten stiled in respect of their honourable function and mission Angels. These beare the Captaines colours, preaching the true faith whereby the souldiers of Christ are distinguished from all other. Or as Bullinger. other, by the word Angels is meant all the members of Christ in hea­uen, and on earth; as well Magistrates as Ministers; as well people as Pastors; all his Apostles, Confessors, [Page 100] Martyrs, and whosoeuer else fighteth vnder his ban­ner.

The Deuill is the generall on the contrarie side, cal­led here for his Ardens. open mischiefe a great Dragon, for his cunning and secret malice an old Serpent, for his false ca­uils, an accuser of his brethren and a Deuill, for his ob­stinate contradiction and opposition of God and godli­nesse Satan. And the Dragon is not only chiefe of De­uils, but also 2. Cor. 4. 4. god of this world, that is of all wicked men in the world. Deceiuing (saith our text) all the world, Ardens. that is endeuouring to deceiue all in the world, but actually deceyuing all such as are Marlorat. of the world, stir­ring them vp alway to fight against Michael and his angels, Psalm. 2. 2. against the Lord, and against his annointed. Entising the Magistrate to tyrannie, the people to secu­ritie, the learned to curious impietie, the simple to bru­tish Epicurisme, all to disorder and dissolutenesse. Rupert. Quò enim vel vnde seducit vel abducit orbem terrarum, nisi à cultu Dei debito ad cultum suimet indebitum.

Now we know the Captaines and the souldiers: let vs see when the battell is fought, and where; when, there was a battell, indefinitely; for there was, is, and euer will be warre betweene Michaell and the Dragon vntill the worlds end. And therefore this battell is called in our and some other translations praelium magnum, as being great, not only in regard of the great number of those who fight, or in regard of our enemies great might, great malice, great experience, great cunning, all which are verie great: Marlorat. But also great in regard of the great time this warre shall continue; for God said vnto the Serpent in the beginning of the world, Gen. 3. 1 [...]. I will put enmitie betweene thee and the woman, and betweene thy seed and her seed, he shall breake thine head, and thou shalt bruise his heele. And S. Paul liuing in the latter ends of the world saith in his epistle to the Cap. 1. 29. Galatians, as then he that was borne after the flesh, persecuted him that was borne after the spirit: euen so it is now; so that [Page 101] as long as there is a world, and a prince of the world, so long the children of God must put on the armour of light, and fight against the workes and princes of dark­nesse. Euery Christian is a professed souldiour, not only for a time to see the fashion of the warres, as young gentlemen vse in our time: but (as he hath in holy bap­tisme vowed) manfully to fight vnder Christs banner against sinne, the world, and the deuill, and to continue his faithfull souldiour and seruant vnto his liues end. When Restitution of decayed intelligence pag. 176. William the Conquerour had landed his men in Sussex, he caused all his ships to be suncke, that all hope of flying back might be taken away: Beloued, seeing we are landed on this valley of teares as it were the Battell of the world, let vs neither faint nor flye, but fight it out valiantly till death our 1. Cor. 15. 26. last enemie be destroied.

3. This battell is described by the place, there was a great battell in heauen, this cannot fitly be construed of heauen in heauen, for the Deuill in the beginning was cast out of that heauen, and there is no war-fare, but all well-fare, no iarre but loue, yea such a peace as passeth all vnderstanding. But by Heauen is meant the Church of God on earth, as Augustin. Ardens, Rupert. Bullenger. Interpretours obserue generally, called in holy Scriptures Heauen and Hierusalem aboue, for that her chiefe treasure is in Heauen, Matth. 6. 20. her affections in Heauen, Colloss. 3. 2. her conuersation in Heauen, Philip. 3. 20. and for that the Lord of Heauen dwels in her heart by Faith, Ephes. 3. 17. All this bat­tell then is fought in Heauen vpon earth, according to that of Iob 7. 1. Iob. The life of man is a war-fare vpon earth: Here is the field where we must 1. Cor. 9. 24. so run, that we may obtaine; so fight that we may ouercome: no part of the battell is fought in Hell or purgatorie, but all vpon earth. Or this battell is said to be fought in Heauen, as being a Rupert. Eras. [...]. spirituall war-fare, Ephes. 6. 12. We wrestle not against flesh and bloud, but against spirituall wic­kednesses, which are in high places. Grosse wickednesse is easily seen, and preuented soone, but our aduersaries [Page 102] abound with inuisible wickednesse, being our greatest enemies while they seeme our best friends: and there­fore seeing we liue in a besieged citie, which is assaulted on euery side by cruell and cunning opposers (as the Ecclesiasticus 9. 15. wiseman speakes) in the midst of snares, it behoueth vs as Paul exhorts, to put on the whole armour of God, that we may stand against all the assaults of the Deuill. Let vs feare nothing in this holy warre, for our captaine is good, our Michaell is the Lord of hosts, Nil desperan­dum Christo duce, & auspice Christo, our cause good, for we fight for the word of Truth against the father and fauourers of lyes, against the Dragon and his angels; our companie good, all the glorious Angels in Heauen, and all the good men on earth are on our side; our reward good when our fight is finished, palmes in our hands, and crownes on our heads. See epistle 21. Sund. after Trinitie.

And preuailed not] Albeit the Deuill as a great dra­gon, and an old serpent, and a roaring lion seeke daily whom he may deuoure: yet the gates of Matth. 16. 18. Hell are not able to conquere the Church; albeit Satan rage and raue neuer so much, he shall haue no preuailing power against Gods elect, he shall not pluck any of Christs sheepe out of Christs hand, Iohn 10. 28. The prince of this world is Iohn 12. 31. cast out, and hath nought in mee saith our blessed Sauiour, Iohn 14. 30. no part in mee, no part in mine which are Ephes. 5. 30. flesh of my flesh, and bones of my bones. I know the Dragon and his angels assault Mi­chaell and his angels euery houre, but all the hurt they can doe is to bruise the heel, Gen. 3. 15.

Neither was their place any more found in Heauen,] Augustin. Bullenger. Marlorat. That is, in the hearts of the godly, whose conuersation is in Heauen. Albeit the deuill and his associats besiege Gods elect euery day, yet they finde in them no resting place, their dwelling is among the reprobate wicked, according to that of S. Cap. 12. 43. Matthew, When the vncleane spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh thorow out drie pla­ces, [Page 103] seeking rest and findes none, then he saith, I will re­turne into mine house, from whence I came; and when he is come, he findeth it emptie, swept, and garnished, then he goeth, and taketh vnto him seauen other spirits worse then himselfe, and they enter in and dwell there: and the end of this man is worse then the beginning. The Deuill is cast out of Heauen into the earth, as in the text follow­ing, Rupert. idem Primasius apud Marlorat. that is into men of earthly minds, who Gen. 3. 14. go vpon their bellies and eat dust all the dayes of their life. The Deuill is cast out of the Temple into the court, Apoc. which is without the Temple, Apocalyp. Apo­calyps. that is out of the bounds of the Church, among the Gentiles, and such as know not God, or else knowing God, glorifie him not as God, Rom. 1. 21. professing that they know God, but deny him in their workes, Tit. 1. 16. In these who Philip. 3. 19. mind earthly things, Satan ruleth and Ephes. 2. 2. worketh as their God and prince.

I heard a loud voyce saying, in Heauen is now made saluation] Here begins the Saints [...], or victoriall hymne, for the loud voyce from Heauen is nothing else Rupert. Bullenger. Marlorat. but the publique consent of the faithfull in magnify­ing the mercies of God toward them in their fight a­gainst the Dragon and his angels. And this conquest is tearmed in respect of men, Saluation: in respect of God, the strength of his kingdome, and the power of his Christ. Where Satan and sinne reigne, there destruction is at hand, for the wages of sinne is death, Rom. 6. 23. But when once Satan is cast out, and the word of God which is the Ephes. 1. 13. sauing Gospell, and the word of Philip. 2. 16. life Colloss. 3. 16. dwelleth in vs plenteously, then (as Luke 19. 9. Christ said vnto Zacheus) saluation is come to our house. It is tearmed the power of Christ, and strength of Gods kingdome, Ardens▪ be­cause this euidently sheweth his might and Maiestie. So the Text following, They ouercame the Dragon by the bloud of the Lambe. Christ fighteth in vs, and for vs, and thorough his Philip. 4. 13. help we are able to doe all things, euen to cast out Satan, and to cast downe holdes, and what­soeuer [Page 104] is exalted against the knowledge of God, 2. Cor. 10. 4. So that we may triumph and say with Rom. 8. 33. Paul, Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods elect, it is God that iustifieth? Who shall condemne, it is Christ which is dead, yea rather that is risen againe, who, is at the right hand of God, and maketh intercession for vs? And 1. Cor. 15. 55. O death where is thy sting? O graue where is thy victorie? the sting of death is sinne; and the strength of sinne is the Law: but thankes be vnto God which hath giuen vs victorie thorough our Lord Iesus Christ.

And by the word of their testimonie] the bloud of the Lambe, that is the death of Christ our paschall lambe is the chiefe cause of this one victorie, but Rupert. Ardens. Faith is the hand and instrument applying the merits of Christ, and opposing them against all the dangerous assaults of the dragon. For when that common informer and accuser of his brethren shall accuse thee before God for break­ing his Lawes (as in Iames 3. 2. many things all of vs offend) then thou maiest answere, 1 Iohn 1. 7. The bloud of Iesus Christ clenseth vs from all sinne; and Rom. 8. 1. there is no condemnation vnto those which are in Christ; he so Galat. 2. 20. loued me, that he died for my sinnes, and ros [...] againe for my iustification. All that is borne of God ouercommeth the world, and this is the victorie that ouercommeth the world, and the prince of this world, euen our Faith, 1. Iohn 5. 4. See Epistle Sun. 1. after Easter. And therefore Paul aduiseth the Chri­stian souldiour aboue all other weapons in the spirituall war-fare, to put on Faith, Aboue all take the shield of Faith, wherewith yee may quench all the fierie darts of the deuill, Ephes. 6. 16. See Epistle Sun. 21. after Trinitie.

Now for as much as it is not sufficient vnto saluation to beleeue with thine heart, vnlesse thou likewise Rom. 10. 9. con­fesse with thy mouth: It is said here that the souldiours of Christ ouercame the dragon by Faith in the Lambs bloud, and by the word of their testimonie. And Ardens. for as much as a true Faith is neuer idle, but alway Iames 2. 18. manife­sting it selfe by good workes; it is added in the next [Page 105] clause, they loued not their lines vnto the death, as who would say, they were willing to sacrifice their loues and their liues in the quarrell of Christ against the Dragon and his Angels; they remembred the words of their Generall, Iohn 12. 25. he that loueth his life shall loose it, and he that giueth his life in this world, shall keepe it to life eternall; and Marke 8. 35. who soeuer shall loose his life for my sake and the Gos­pell, he shall saue it.

The Gospell.

MAT. 18. 1.‘At the same time [...]ame the Disciples vnto Iesus, saying, who is the greatest in the kingdome of heauen?’

THere be two parts of this text

  • 1. A questi­on verse 1. wherein obserue
    • 1. When it was asked, at the same time.
    • 2. By whom, the Dis­ciples.
    • 3. Of whom, they came vnto Iesus.
    • 4. What, who is the grea­test in the kingdome, &c.
  • 2. An answere to the same verse 2. 3. &c. The summe whereof is briefly this,
    Heming. pos [...]it. in loc.
    he that in Christs Church is most seruant is the grea­test, and he that is most Lordly the least:
    or he that is least in his owne conceit, is the greatest in Gods eye; the least in
    this kingdome of heauen which is present, shall be the greatest in that kingdome of heauen which is to come. The which one point is pressed by the great Doctor of humility with a great deale of earnestnes: for 1. (as S.
    Marke 9. 35.
    Marke reportes) he sat downe: 2. He cal­led the twelue: 3. When they▪ were called together hee taught them by spectacle to their eye, so well as by pre­cept to their eare, he set a childe in the midst of them, and [Page 106] said: 4. He vsed a vehement asseueration, verily I say vnto you: 5. A commination, except ye turne, and become a [...] children, ye shall not enter into the kingdome of heauen.

At the same time] the occasion of this question a­mong the Disciples (as In loc, Hierom and Chrysost. The­ophylact, Druth­marus. other learned Doctors write) was vpon emulation toward Peter, whom alone they saw preferred before the rest in the payment of the tribute, by these words of Christ in the former Chapter at the last verse, that take and pay to them for me and thee. But S. Marke relates Chap. 9. verse 34. that this contention began in the way, be­fore they came into the house where Christ appointed Peter to pay tribute for them both, and D. Fulke. Mus­culus. therefore the question here for maiority was not vpon that occasion, it was happily Marlorat, Maldonat. cherished by it, but engendred in their mindes long before, for that Christ had admitted none of his Apostles to the sight of his Mat. 17. 1. transfiguration, and the raising of Luke 8. 51. Iayrus daughter from the dead, saue Pe­ter, and Iames, and Iohn. Or it may bee this emulation arose, for that Christ had said vnto Peter, Mat. 16. 19. I will giue vnto thee the keyes of the kingdome of heauen, &c. But what neede we so curiously to seeke for the rea­son of this quaere; Musculus. seeing these two things are certaine: 1. A desire to be like Gods on earth is an in-bred sinne deriued from the transgression of our first parents A­dam and Eue: 2. The Diuell is euer most busie to nou­rish this ambitious humor in the ministers of the word, as it is apparent in the Mat. 20. 21. Marke 10. 37. Luke 22. 24. Gospell and Legantur epist. decreta­les & gesta conciliorum. Churches history. What a deale of time was vsually spent in the Councels about precedence of Bishops, and in our age the questi­on of the Popes primacie is termed by Cardinall Praefat, in li­bros de Rom. pont. Bel­larmine, Summa rei Christianae.

Came the Disciples vnto Iesus] In whom are hid Coloss. 2. 3. all the treasures of wisdome and knowledge, and this fact of theirs is Origen▪ apud Thom. in loc. imitable, for when any doubt ariseth in our mindes concerning the kingdome of heauen, it is our best way to come vnto Iesus, who Iohn 1. 9. lighteth euery man that [Page 107] commeth into the world. If any lacke wisdome (saith S. Iames in [...]is Epistle cap. 1. verse [...].) let him aske of God, for God is only wise, Rom. 16. 27. Come therefore to his Esay 8. 20. law, to his testimony, Iohn 5. 39. search his Scriptures which are able to teach, and instruct, and to make the man of God absolute, 2. Tim. 3. 16. 17. And for the bet­ter vnderstanding of the dead letter come to his liuing Oracles and walking Bibles, I meane the true Prophets and learned Preachers of his word, for he cals them ex­presly Mat. 5. 14. the light of the world, and their Malac. 2. lips should pre­serue knowledge, Hierom epist. ad Paulin. praeuij sunt & monstrantes s [...]mitam in script [...]ris▪ Come to Iesus, come to the word of Iesus, come to the Preachers of the word of Iesus, least happi­ly the Lord say to you as he did once to the Iewes, ye haue not asked at my mouth, Esay, 30. 2.

Who is the greatest in the kingdome of heauen] It is cer­taine that there arose a disputation among Luke 9. 46. them which of them should be greatest, and Caietan. yet to cloake their am­bitious pride, they doe not aske who shall be greatest a­mong vs, but indefinitly who is the greatest in the king­dome of heauen, Melanct. Musculus, Marlorat. vnderstanding by the kingdome of hea­ [...]en, the kingdome of Christ in this world, for they car­nally conce [...]ed that Christ after his resurrection would Acts 1. 16. restore the kingdome of Israel, and so reigne as a Mo­narch vpon earth, and therefore they make suite to Mat. 20. 21. sit next to him at his right hand and on his left in his king­dome. I know Apud Thom. in loc. Chrysostome construeth it of the king­dome of heauen in that other world, condemning the men of his age, because they did not attaine to the de­fects of the Disciples, all our question is (saith he) who shall be greatest in the kingdomes vpon earth, and not who shall be greatest in the kingdome of heauen. But by Chrysostomes leaue to contend who shall be greatest in heauen is charity, not vanity. Luke 1 [...]. [...]4. Striue to en­ter in at the straite gate. As in the A [...]ke there was three Gen. 6. 16. lofts one aboue another: euen so there be many man­sions in Gods house, Iohn 14. 2. There bee degrees a­mong [Page 108] the Saints in heauen, as there be degrees among Angels: there is a Prophets reward, and a Disciples re­ward, Mat. 10. 41. 42. We should therefore striue to bee greatest in heauen, out-stripping one another in good­nes, as they who runne in a race, 1. Cor. 9. 24.

Againe it is apparent by Christs answere both in our present text, and also Mat. 20. and Luke 22. That his Disciples expected a kingdome after the fashion of this world, Melanct. Heming. dreaming that he should reigne as a Soueraigne, and themselues domineere like Dukes and Lords vnder him. They call it indeed the kingdome of heauen, in Aretius. imi­tation of their master often tearming his kingdome the kingdome of heauen; Iansen. con­cord. cap. [...]0. or for that they thought his king­dome (though vpon earth) should notwithstanding be diuine and heauenly, see Gospell on S. Iames, and on S. Barthelomewes day.

Iesus called a childe vnto him] Iesus seeing the thoughts of his Disciples, and vnderstanding the causes of their errour, [...]. heales the desire of glory with the contention of humility, in reading of his lecture. S. Marke reports that he sat downe: now we finde in the Gospels history that the Doctors among the Iewes in their teaching vsed sometime to stand, and sometime to sit; Acts 1. 15. & 2. 14. Peter in Hie­rusalem, and Acts 13. 16. Paul at Antiochia preached standing, but the Scribes and the Pharisees are said to sit in Moses chaire, Mat. 23. 2. So Christ himselfe sometime taught standing, as Luke 6. 17. And sometime sitting both in the Mat. 5. 1. mount and in the Iohn 8. 2. temple. It may bee therefore that it was the Iewes custome See Panigarol h [...]m. in fest. om. sanctorum & Lorin. in Act. 1. 15. partly to stand and part­ly to sit, for Christ (as it is apparent in the Verse 16. 20. 4. Chapter of S. Luke) preaching at Nazareth in the Synagogue stood vp when he read his text, and sate downe when he did expound it. Whatsoeuer the Iewes order was, at this instant there was no [...] fitter gesture for Christ then sitting, for this (as Lib. 1. deser. d [...]m. in monte. Augustine notes) shewed that hee taught as one which had authority. When he was sate downe he called all the twelue, doubtles hee knew who [Page 109] they were which ambitiously contended to be greatest in his kingdome, Musculus in loc. yet he called all his Apostles, as being assured that his lesson of Humilitie was exceeding ne­cessarie for them all. It is reported in the 20. chapter of this Gospell, how Iames and Iohn only desired to sit on his right hand and on his left in his kingdome: yet Christ admonished them all, and said, Yee know that the Princes of the nations haue dominion ouer them, and they that are great exercise authoritie vpon them: it shall not be so with you, but whosoeuer will be chiefe among you, let him be your seruant. Now the reason why Christ, and after him his Church, vse generall admonitions in rebu­king of particular malefactors which are worse then the rest, is two-fold. First, That the delinquents may the better admit that checking which is common, and not particular or personall. 2. That such as haue not offended in that kind, may learne to be more carefull in their waies, and to hate the garment spotted by the flesh, as S. Iude speakes. Often hauing in mind the say­ing of Augustine, Aut sumus, aut fuimus, aut possumus esse quod hic est.

When Christ had called his Apostles vnto him, he set a childe in the midst of them, as it followeth in our pre­sent text. He set him by him according to the record of Luke 9. 47. S. Luke; and tooke him in his armes as Marke 9. [...]6. S. Marke, yet all agree, for it may be (saith Com. in loc. Euthemius) that Iesus first set him in the midst of them as S. Matthew; then after­ward set him beside him as S. Luke; and last of all embra­ced him in his armes as S. Marke. Anselm. Iansen. post. ma­ [...] cum glossis et figur is in loc. Some think that this childe was one Martialis, afterward a famous Bishop in France, but this idle tradition is beside the text, and therefore not of the necessitie of faith. Hierom. in loc. Other imagine that Christ himselfe might be this little one being a­mong his Disciples as a seruant, Luke 22. 27. but this opinion is against the text. Iesus called a childe, and set him by him, and tooke him in his armes, it saith, he set a childe in the midst of them, but what child it doth not [Page 110] say not a great boy, but a little child, [...], which Eras­mus translates puellum, Beza, puerulum, the vulgar La­tine paruulum, as Musculus vpon our text, Oportet imi­taripuellos anniculos, & fortè bimulos. And so 1. Epist. 2. 2. S. Peter exhorteth vs to be like new borne babes: and surely Diez. con. 1. festo Michael. parents are commonly so negligent in instructing their children, as that Christ hardly could find any yongling aboue three or foure yeares old of such innocent beha­uiour, of whom he might say, Whosoeuer humbleth him­selfe as this child, and except yee turne and become as children.

Let vs examine therefore wherein we must be like to children, and wherein vnlike. First, We may not be like to children in Theophylact. ignorance, so Paul 1. Cor. 14. 20. In ma­lice be yee children, but in vnderstanding men. 2. Not like to children in vnconstancie, Ephes. 4. 14. wauering and carried about with euery wind of doctrine. 3. Not weake in faith as children; which are not able to discerne spirituall things for want of yeares of discretion. 4. Not like to children in Heming. post. in festo Micha­el. seeking after vntoward things, because their senses are not yet setled, our Collos. 3. 2. affections are to be set on things which are aboue, hauing our conuersation in Philip. 3. 20. Heauen, and therefore we may not imitate children in eating dirt, & in padling in the mire. The child plaies with the light of the candle till his finger be burnt, and Diez. con. 2. in festo Michael. so the reprobate-wicked plaies with Hell fier, reputing it a fable, till at the last he comes to be tormented in that vnquenchable flame. The child doth esteeme an apple more then his fathers inheritance; so the witlesse worldling prefers things temporall in this life, before the things eternall in the kingdome of Heauen. In these childish humors and the like, we may not be like to children.

But we must be like children, 1. As being Clemens strom. 4. mundi cor­pore, sancti animo, chast in bodie, pure in mind. 2. Like to children in Heming. obedience, for good children stand not reasoning what manner of thing it is that their father [Page 111] commands, but instantly they follow his will and word as their rule to work by. So faithfull Abraham at Gods commandement was readie to sacrifice his only begot­ten sonne Isaac, he stood not arguing the case, the death of my child can doe no good vnto God, and it will pro­cure much euill vnto me, but rather he thought that it is my father in Heauen who commands, and I will obey.

Du Bartas hist. of Abra­ham.
Hees loath (alas) his tender sonne to kill,
But much more loath to breake his fathers will.

3. Like to children in respect of merit, for as children can not boast of their owne deseruings against their pa­rents: euen so the followers of Christ may not brag of their merits before God, but acknowledge themselues to be babes, able to doe nothing without his fatherly fauour.

4. As little children commit themselues altogether vnto the tuition of their parents and guardians: euen so Christians ought to 1. Pet. 5. 7. cast all their care on Christ, as looking for euery good gift at his hand.

5. Like to children as concerning 1. Cor. 14. 20. malice, both Culman. in­nocentia & ignoscentia: for as little children being iniu­red take not any reuēge, but only make complaint either to their father or mother: euen so, when any wrong vs we may not Rom. 12. 19. auenge our selues in recompensing euill for euill, or 1. Pet. 3. 9. rebuke for rebuke, but only complaine to God our father in Heauen, or to the Church our mo­ther on earth. It is written that vengeance belongs vnto God, and therefore we must humbly call vpon him in our persecutions, as the Psalm. 35. 1. Prophets did, O Lord, plead thou my cause with them that striue with me, and fight against them that fight against me. Psalm. 43. 1. Giue sentence with me O God, defend my cause against vngodly people. And Psalme 80. 1. Heare thou sheepheard of Iraell, thou that leadest Ioseph like a sheepe, shew thy selfe thou that sittest vpon the Cherubims. And Psalme 83. 1. Hold not thy tongue O God, keepe not still silence, refraine not thy selfe, for thou Lord hast been our Psalm. 90. 1. refuge from one genera­tion [Page 112] to another.

I haue Sir Ric. Barckley tract. of felicitie lib. 5. pag. 451. read of a reuerend and religious Archbishop of Mentz, who (being a long time depraued, and in fine depriued of his dignities and office by two corrupt Cardinals his Iudges, and a false harted Aduocate his familiar friend) out of the bitternesse of his spirit made this appeal from them vnto the Lord of Heauen. God knoweth (vnto whom all things are naked) that I am vn­iustly condemned, yet I will not appeal here from your sen­tence, for that I know yee shall sooner be beleeued in your lying, then I am in speaking the truth; and therefore I re­ceiue this heauie censure for the rebellions of my youth and other sinnes; Neuerthelesse I appeal from your iudge­ment to the Iudge eternall, and only wise, which is Christ Iesus, before whom I summon you. The Cardinals fell into a laughing, and said, That if he would goe before, they would follow. It hapned that the poore Bishop hauing withdrawen himselfe into a Monasterie dyed within a yeare and halfe after, and the Cardinals hearing thereof, in a scoffing manner said one to another, that they must goe seeke the Archbishop. Now within a few dayes after one of them was bloudily slaine, and the other grinding his teeth, eat vp his owne hands and dyed mad. And lastly the Iudas who betrayed him (I meane his false friend placed in his roome) was so mortally hated of all men for his sedition and crueltie, that being assaulted in a Monasterie, he was there butchered, and his carcase cast into the towne ditch, where lying three dayes, all sort of people both men and women vsed all maner of despite vpon it. An example verie remarkable, teaching vs not to de­spise one of these little ones, because in heauen their angles alway behold the face of our Father which is in Heauen.

Againe, we may complaine to the Church our Mo­ther, as in this present Chapter at the 17. verse, If thy brother trespassing against thee, will not vouchsafe to heare thy selfe alone, nor yet thy witnesses and arbitra­tors: Tell it to the Church. He that commits his cause to [Page 113] the Magistrate ciuill or ecclesiasticall, giues place to di­uine Iudgement, for as much as all higher powers are Rom. 13. 1. Gods ordinance, substituted Iudges and deputies in his place. See Epist. 3. Sund. after Epiphan.

Lastly like to children (as Christ expounds himselfe) in humblenesse and harmelesnesse. In humblenesse, v. 4. Whosoeuer humbleth himselfe as this child &c. In harm­lesnesse, vers. 6. Whosoeuer offendeth one of these little ones &c. So Ser. 10. S. Ambrose, in loc. Theophylact, in loc. Euthymius and other as well ancient as moderne writers. As Iansen. Druthmarus. if Christ should haue said, Except ye turne from your am­bition and indignation, and become like to children, little ones in your minds, as they be little ones in their bodies; vnlesse ye become that by grace, which children are by nature, ye shall not enter into the kingdome of Heauen. I say by grace, for euery good gift is from a­boue, descending from the Father of lights, and there­fore Christ here said not (as Diez. one notes) Nisi efficiatis vos sicut par [...]los, sed nisi efficiamini. To become like to lit­tle children in humblenesse is not in our power, it is the worke of Gods hand and help. Pontan. ser. in festo Micha­el. Yet to shew that we must (as we may) worke with his preuenient grace, Christ addeth in the next clause, Whosoeuer humbleth himselfe: according to the saying of Gregorie, The good which a man doth, is both the worke of God, and the worke of man; of God, as being author in giuing grace; of man, as being an actor in vsing grace, yet so that he co-ope­rate with grace by grace. See Epist. Sun. 11. and 14. af­ter Trinit. and Gospell on S. Markes day.

Whosoeuer humbleth himselfe] Iansen. That is, humbleth his heart, for as Plato said, euery mans soule is himselfe: it is not sufficient that our words are humble, our gestures humble, our habits humble (though I see that be more then many professors in our age will afford) vnles our soules and our selues are humble. Lord (said Psalm. 131. Dauid) I am not puft in minde, I doe not exercise my selfe in great matters which are too high for me, but I refraine my soule [Page 114] and keepe it low, like as a childe that is weyned from his mother, yea my soule is euen as a weined childe. Men of great wits are commonly state-criticks, ouer curious eaues-dropers of the Counsaile table, prying into the se­crets of court and Prince so long vntill in fine they com­plaine with Actaeon, cur aliquid vidi? for when our hearts are sowred with the leauen of our pride, there a­riseth often times a bitternes out of the stomacke into the mouth, so that we cannot forbeare to speake 2. Pet. 2. 10. ill of such as are in authority, yea prophanely of the Kings sa­cred Maiesty; the spirit of wisdome giueth another rule, 1. Thessal. 4. 11. studie to be quiet, and to meddle with your owne bu­sines. A priuate person hath a common wealth of his owne, let him intend the gouernment thereof in 1. Tim. 5. 8. pro­uiding for his houshold, in 1. Cor. 13. 14. laying vp for his children, in Ecclesiast. 9. 9. reioycing with the wife of his youth, abounding with all workes of piety toward God and pitty toward his neighbour. He that thus humbleth himselfe as a little childe, the same doubtles is a good subiect vnto the King, and shall hereafter proue the greatest in the king­dome of heauen.

All they which are drunken are not drunken with wine saith Cap. 29. 9. Esay, for there is a drie drunkennes as well as a wet; ambition is a drie drunkennes making such as are giuen ouer to humours of vaine glory to stagger of­ten in the way, and sometime reele out of the way. This kinde of drunkennes made Lucifer reele out of heauen, Adam out of paradice, Saul out of his king­dome, Nabuchadonozer out of mens society to conuerse with beasts. It is impossible that great ones (I meane such as are drunken with their owne greatnes) should either walke in the Mat. 7. 14. narrow path, or enter in at the straite gate, only little ones are great ones in Gods kingdome. So the text here whosoeuer humbleth himselfe as a little childe, the same is greatest in the kingdome of heauen: So the text elsewhere, blessed are the poore in spi­rit, for theirs is the kingdome of heauen; theirs is the [Page 115] kingdome of grace, which is heauen on earth: and theirs is the kingdome of glory, which is heauen in heauen. See Gospell on all Saints day.

The Epistle,

2. TIM. 4. 5.‘Watch thou in all things, suffer afflictions, &c.

THis Epistle was written by Paul at Euseb. hist. lib. 2. cap. 22. Idem Primasius, Anselm, Lom­bard. Rome in his last apprehension and imprisonment there, for so we may gather out of these wordes, Cap. 1. verse 16. Onesiphorus was not ashamed of my chaine, but when hee came to Rome carefully sought me, and found me, &c. It is an admonition vnto Timothy to Cap. 1. 6. stirre vp the gift of God in him by the putting on of handes, and Aretius in dis­positione huius epist. that is done by preaching sound Doctrine painefully, and by suffring for the same patiently. This our text then is a short a­bridgement of the Bullinger apud Marlorat in loc. chiefe points in the whole letter, for Paul exhortes Timothie to diligent preaching of the truth, in saying watch thou in all things, doe the worke of an Euangelist: and to Martyrdome for the truth, in say­ing suffer afflictions: and to both, in saying fulfill thine office vnto the vttermost: all which exhortations are hedged in as it were with a forcible reason at each side.

  • 1. Timotheus ought to bee vigilant in executing his office thoroughly, because the time will come when as men shall not endure wholesome Doctrine, &c.
  • 2. Because Paul cannot any longer continue to helpe him, I am now ready to be offred, and the time of my de­parting is at hand, &c.

Watch thou in all things] The time will come when as men will not endure sound doctrine, but hauing their eares itching, shall after their owne lustes get them a [...] heape of teachers, and shall turne away their eares from the truth, and shall be giuen vnto fables. And therefore Lombard. while thou hast time, Theophylact. before this dangerous time come, that Acts 20. 29. grei­uous [Page 116] wolues enter in among you, be watchfull ouer the flocke committed vnto thy charge: such as haue itching eares are like to proue scabby sheepe, and therefore Oecumen. preuent that mangie disease by possessing their eares with a 2. Tim. 1. 13. forme of sound wordes. Anselm. Before they turne away from the truth and giue themselues vnto fables, 2. Tim. 2. 25. instruct them in meeknes, 2. Tim. 4. 2. preach the word in season, and out of season; reproue, rebuke, exhorte, be watchfull, in Lombard. disci­pline and doctrine, yea vigilant in all things, Primasius, Claudius, Espencaeus. that is, in all things which are profitable for thine hearers: Aretius. or in all the workes of an Euangelist and offices of thy calling vse watchfulnes: or [...], may be construed of all Aquin, Lom­bard, Espen­caeus. men, as if he should haue said, the time will euen shortly come, when as many shall not endure wholesome do­ctrine; but endeauour thou to conuert all sortes of men vnto the truth, according to that, Mat. 28. 19. Goe teach all nations, and Marke 16. 15. Preach the Gospell vnto e­uery creature, teach all men, and that by all meanes, doe the worke of an Euangelist thoroughly, that is, as he speakes 1. Tim. 4. 12. elsewhere, be to them an ensample both in word and in conuersation, in loue, in spirit, in faith, in purenes. Many which are called lights of the world are Ardens hom. in Euangel. in festo S. Luc. fuman­tes magis quàm flammantes, affording more smoake then flame; but let your light shine before men, that they may see your good workes, and glorifie your father which is in heauen; instruct thy flocke by good deedes as well as holy doctrine. Thoroughly to do the worke of an Euan­gelist, Primasius, Anselm, Caietan. is to preach well and to liue well, hee that doth both executes his office vnto the vttermost.

The perillous times instant in the dayes of Paul, are become extant in our age. This prophesie (beloued) is fulfilled among vs in the Church of England, for albeit I confesse to Gods glorie, that there may be found a righteous Abraham in Caldea, a iust Lot in Sodom, a godly Daniel in Babylon, a patient Iob in the land of Husse, a deuout Tobias in Nineu [...]e, a zealous Ananias in Damasco. Though I say there be found wheat among [Page 117] tares, and corne among chaffe, and a pearle in a dung­hill, and a lilie among thornes. Albeit there be manie good professors and true Christians among vs 1. Cor. 15. 58. abun­dant alwaies in the work of the Lord; yet I feare that there be moe, which either reuolt to poperie, Turning away their eare from the Truth vnto fables, attending the spirits of 1. Tim. 4. 1. errour, and doctrines of Deuils: or else start aside to schisme, hauing itching eares, and getting vnto themselues after their owne lusts an heap of such irregu­lar and hypocriticall instructors, as shall doe nothing else but increase their itch by clawing: or else falling into foul Epicurisme, will not endure the wholsome words of our Lord Iesus Christ, and the doctrine which is accor­ding to godlinesse, 1. Tim. 6. 3.

Our Bishops and pastors therefore need to be watch­full in all things, doing thoroughly the works of Euange­lists, and executing their office to the full. The patriarke Gen. 31. 40. Iacob commending his pastorall care to Laban, said, I was in the day consumed with heat, and with frost in the night, and my sleep departed from mine eyes. In which ob­serue with Prolog. in 2. Epist. ad Tim. Aquine three remarkable vertues in a good Pastor, Assiduitie, Patience, Solicitousnesse: Assiduitie, looking to his flock night and day without intermission. He that is a watchman ought continually to stand vpon his watch-tower in the day time, and to set in his watch euery night, Esay 21. 8. feeding his sheep in the day, praying for his sheep in the night: Patience, both endu­ring the heat of present persecution, and the frost of fu­ture seare: Solicitousnesse, in that his sleep departed from his eyes.

Now seeing our calling is so good, and our charge so great, it behoueth all people to Heb. 13. 7. 17. remember and obey those which haue the ouersight of them, and submit them­selues, because they watch for their soules, as they that must giue accompt, that they may giue it with ioy, and not with griefe.

Suffer afflictions] All that will according to the rules [Page 118] of Christianitie liue godly, shall suffer 2. Tim. 3. 12. persecution, es­pecially the preachers of righteousnesse, to whom it be­longeth ex offici [...] to reproue, to rebuke, to exhort with all long suffering and doctrine, 2. Tim. 4. 2. to pluck vp, and to root out, and to throw downe, Ieremy 1. 10. in a word, to lift vp their voice like a trumpet, shewing Gods people their transgressions, and to the house of Iacob their sinnes, Esay 58. 1. When our blessed Lord sent foorth his Apostles to preach, he said, Mat. 10. 16. Behold, I send you foorth as sheep in the midst of wolues, and when he sent his Disciples to preach (as it is in the Gospell ap­pointed to be read this day) he said, Goe your waies, I send you foorth as lambes among wolues. Bishops succee­ding th' apostles are like sheep among wolues, inferiour Ministers succeeding the Disciples are like lambs among wolues, not as wolues among wolues, or sheepheards among wolues, or sheep about wolues: but as sheep a­mong wolues, harmlesse and innocent lambes in the midst of hurtfull and hungrie wolues. And Matth. 23. 34. Behold, I send vnto you Prophets, and wisemen, and Scribes, and of them yee shall kill, and crucifie, and of them yee shall scourge in your Synagogues, and persecute from citie to citie. So that (as Hom. 6. de lau­dibus Pauli. Chrysostome said) a man should not enter into this high and holie calling, except he be willing to suffer a thousand deathes, as Paul 1. Cor. 15. 31. I dye daily. Mat. 11. Iohn Baptist came neither eating nor drinking, and yet the people said he had a deuill. Christ himselfe came both eating and drinking, and they said he was a glutton, and a wine-bibber. Iohn 13. 16. The seruant is not greater then his master, neither is an Embassador greater then he that sent him. Mat. 10. 25. If they haue called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of the houshold? That Timothie therefore may fulfill his office, doing thoroughly the work of an Euangelist, he must suffer afflictions as a good souldior of Christ, euer readie to beare bloudie blowes of open enemies, and drie bobs of false friends. The resolute doctor Mar­tine [Page 119] Luther, opposing the Deuill and the Pope, who doth exalt himselfe 2. Thessal. 2 4. against all that is called God, in the midst of his trouble for the Gospell, vsed merily this by-word, Loc. com. tit. antidota contra curas in quali­bet vocatione. Mitte mundum vadere sicut vadit, nam vult vadere sicut vadit. Art thou called to preach, execute the work of an Euangelist vnto the full, and leaue the successe to God. If the world doe not beleeue, What is that to thee, said Iohn 21. 12. Christ vnto Peter in the like cause, follow thou me, Luther vbi sup. Tu me, me, me sequere, non tuas quae­stiones aut cogitationes. And a reuerend Bishop in our age, who hath had his part in afflictions, often repeates this disti [...]hon:

Spernere mundum, spernere nullum, spernere sese, Spernere se sperni, quatuor ista beant.

Luther loc. com. tit. de mi­nisterio verbi. O economical labour is great, Politicall greater, Ec­clesiasticall greatest of all, Vbi sup. as Luther speakes, to preach the Gospell as we should, is to stir vp all the furies of Hell against vs. And yet let not any Timothie be dis­couraged in his office, seeing after his fight is ended, and his course finished, a crowne of righteousnesse is layed vp for him, and shall be giuen vnto him at the comming of our Lord Iesus vnto iudgement.

Fulfill thine office vnto the vttermost] Marlorat. As if he should haue said, thou canst not execute thine office to the full, vnlesse thou be watchfull, and suffer afflictions. Or by these things thou shalt make Erasmus. proofe of thy ministrie to the whole world, when as they shall see thy doings and suffrings answerable to thy doctrine and sayings. Pain­fully to preach, and patiently to perseuere, doing the workes of an Euangelist, and suffring affliction for the Gospell, are true Caluin. notes of a true pastor.

I am readie to be offred, and the time of my departing is at hand] Euery true Christian offers vp himselfe an holie Rom. 12. 1. sacrifice to the Lord, Are [...]. in loc. the which is begun in our baptisme, continued in our life, finished at our death. And surely (beloued) if all be blessed who dye Apocalyp. 14. [...]3. in the Lord, much more they who dye for the Lord, Psalm. 116. 13. right [Page 120] deare in the sight of the Lord is the death of such his Saints. The glorious Martyr Polycarpus like a notable Ramme picked out of a great flocke, fit for an acceptable burnt sacrifice to God, vsed Euseb. hist. lib. 2. cap 15. Diuerse other holy Martyrs vsed the like forme of pray­er, apud Fox Martyrol. this prayer when he was offered vp: O father of thy well beloued and blessed sonne Iesus Christ, thorough whom we haue knowen thee; O God of the Angels, and powers, and of all sortes of iust men that liue in thy presence: I thanke thee that thou hast grati­ously vouch safed this day and this houre to allot me apor­tion among the number of Martyrs, among the people of Christ, vnto there surrection of euerlasting life both of bo­dy and soule in the incorruption of the bo [...]y Ghost, among whom I shall be receiued in thy sight this day as a fruitfull and a well pleasing sacrifice, &c. How death is called a departing, see Nunc dimittis in the Liturgie: how our life is a fight, Epist. 1. Sun. after Easter, and Epist. 21. Sun. after Trinity; how a course or race, Epist. on Sept [...]agesi­ma Sunday.

There is laid vp for me a crowne of righteousnes] Al­mighty God rendreth heauen as a iust iudge, D. Fulke, Mar­lorat, Piscator. not to the worthines of our workes, but to the merits of Christ, and as due to vs by his promise freely made in Christ, in respect of vs it is a garland of fauour only; but in res­pect of Christ who meritoriously purchased it for vs, it is a crowne of iustice. So S. Lib. de grat. & liber [...] arbitri [...] cap. 6. & 7. Tom. 7. fol. 890. Augustine construeth our text, cui redderet coronam iustus iudex, sinon donasset gratiam misericors pater? & quomodo esset ista corona iustitiae, nisi praecessisset gratia quae iustificat impium? quomodo ista de­bita redderetur, nisi prius illa gratuita donaretur. How should he repay as a iust Iudge, vnlesse he had first giuen as a mercifull father? and how should this be a crowne of iustice, if grace had not gone before which iustifieth the vngodly man? dona sua coronat Deus, non merita tua, siergo dei dona sunt bona merita tua, non Deus coro­nat merita tua tanquam merita tua, sed tanquam dona sua. See Gospell on Septuagesima Sunday.

The Gospell.

LVKE 10. 1.‘The Lord appointed other seuenty, &c.

IN this Scripture two points are to be considered especially

  • Vox domini, Christs word and ordination of his Disciples, the Lord appointed o­ther seuenty, &c. To whom hee said, goe your wayes, behold, I send you forth, &c.
  • Via discipuli, the Disciples worke and condition, as labourers in an haruest, as lambes among wolues.

Of all which I haue treated often elsewhere, but of the most obseruable notes hereof especially, Gosp. 1. Sun▪ after Easter, and Gosp. on S. Andrewes and Ascen­sion day. The reason why the Church allotted this Epi­stle for this festiuall, is because S. Luke was (as Epiphan. h [...]res. 51. some thinke) one of the seauenty Disciples, and the reason in appointing our Gospell is for that S. Luke was an Euan­gelist.

The Epistle.

IVDE 1.‘Iudas the seruant of Iesus Christ, &c.

THis Epistle may be di­uided in two parts, a

  • Salutatiō, in which obserue the
    • Saluter, descri­bed by his
      • Name, Iudas.
      • Office, seruant of Iesus Christ.
      • Kindred, brother of Iames.
    • Saluted, com­mended by 3. graces
      • Called.
      • Sanctified.
      • Preserued.
    • Salutation it selfe, mercy vnto you and peace and loue be multiplied.
  • Salue, consi­sting of an
    • Exhortation, to continue stedfast in the faith once giuen vnto the Saints, &c.
    • Reason, because certaine vngodly men are craftily crept in, &c.

Iudas] Iudas signifieth a I siodor. Ori­gin. lib. 7. cap. 7. Confessor, of which name there was another Apostle called Iudas Mat. 10. 4. Iscariot who betrayed Christ; in these two Iudasses is shadowed this mysterie, that in the visible Church there will alway bee some bad as well as good professors; Iudas a Io [...] 6. 70. Deuill as well as Iudas a Saint. See Gospell Sunday next before Easter.

The seruant of Iesus Christ] Among all his titles hee reputed this most honorable, for it is an excellent free­dome to serue the Lord, 1. Cor. 7. 22. Rom. 1. 1. Paul and 2. Pet. 1. 1. Peter name themselues first seruants of Iesus Christ, and then Apostles: and S. Iames which is called the Lords brother, Galat. 1. 19. Leauing that name stileth himselfe the ser­uant of Iesus Christ, Iames 1. 1. If it were such a noble priuiledge to be subiect vnto Acts 22▪ 25. 28. Caesar, how much more [Page 123] to be seruant vnto Christ which is the King of all Kings. And that in regard of his protection, and prouision, as for his protection, he saith, Iosua 1. 9. I the Lord thy God will bee with thee whether soeuer thou goest, I will not Heb. 13. 5. faile thee, nor for sake thee; and then if God be for vs who can bee against vs, Rom. 8. 31. As for prouision, all his seruants in this world haue bread enough, Luke 15. 17. And in the world to come they shall bee no lesse then Kings, Mat. 19. 28. sitting vpon thrones, hauing Apocalyp. 7. 9. palmes in their handes, and on their heads crownes of gold, Apocalyp. 4. 4. See Nunc dimittis and Epist. on S. Iames day.

The brother of Iames] He remembreth his kindred and alliance partly to Aquin, Are­tius. distinguish himselfe from Iudas the traytor, and partly to gaine credite to his writing. Caluin. For albeit the word of God depend not vpon the worth of men, yet it is certainly true that his doctrine is best accepted, whose person is most honoured. If a preacher then be borne of nobles, or allyed to men of great name and quality, let him not in any sort neglect this out­ward blessing of God, but vse it (as S. Iude here) to the furtherance of the Gospell, and setting forth of Gods glory: Iames and Iude were brethren in blood, and bre­thren in good; (as Aquin and the glosse) fratres natura, fide, doctrina, vita. How Iudas is distinguished from Si­mon, and why both are ioyned together in one festiuall, I referre thee to Baronius Tom. 1. ad an. 68. sol. 645. annal. Eccles. & not at. in Rom. martyrolog. Octob. 28.

To them which are called and sanctified▪ To be called into the Church, and vnto the hearing of Christs Gos­pell is Piscator. vocation externall, to be sanctified is vocation internall, to be preserued in Christ is vocation D. Willet in loc. eternall. Here then are set three partes of our iustification and in­corporation into Iesus Christ, vocation by God the fa­ther, sanctification by the holy Ghost, preseruation by Christ. Vocation is an Bullinger. effect of election, and so happi­ly S. Iude cals them called, whom God hath elected, as Rom. 1. 7. Beloued of God, called to be Saints: Marlorat. he doth [Page 124] insinuate that we come not vnto God except he call vs, if we loue him, it is because he loued vs first: 1. Iohn 4. 19. As he speakes by the mouth of his holy Esay 65. 1. Prophets, I haue beene sought of them that asked not, I was found of them that sought me not, he calleth vs before we call on him.

The 2. grace is sanctification, and sanctified; such as are called are by nature the children of Ephes. 2. 3. wrath as well as other; it is in vaine therefore to be called, that is, stir­red and moued to receiue the faith, vnlesse we be sancti­fied, Iames 2. 14. What auaileth it (my brethren) though a man saith he hath faith, when he hath no workes. Marke 6. 20. Herod seemed to be called, and somewhat inwardly touched, but he would not forsake his secret sinne of incest in kee­ping his brothers wife. Acts 8. 13. Simon Magus was baptized, and so called, but hee was not sanctified to leaue his gainefull sinne of couetousnes. Iudas as being an Apo­stle was called, and yet hee was a diuell: and many de­ceiue themselues who thinke hearing of the word to be sufficient without doing, Iames 1. 22. A sheepe resem­bleth a true Christian, euery thing in a sheepe is good and vsefull, his fleece is good, his fell is good, his flesh is good, his entrals, yea his excrements are good: and so the sanctified Christian is a seruant vnto all the seruants of God, euery good gift in him is profitable, to some he lendeth his fleece, cloathing the naked: to some his bread, in feeding the hungrie: to some he lendeth his eyes, and so becommeth a guide to the blinde: to some he lendeth his strength, and so becommeth feete to the lame: to some he lendeth his vnderstanding, and so be­commeth an instructor of the simple: he becommeth (as 1. Cor. 9. 22. Paul speakes) all things vnto all men, that hee may winne some vnto Chtist. In this point of doctrine the Papists haue slandered vs exceedingly, saying, that our diuines in preaching of faith, haue destroyed good workes; whereas we professe that our calling is fruitles without holines of life. See Epistle 2. Sun. in Lent.

[Page 125] Preserued in Iesus Christ] As it is in vaine to be called first, vnlesse we be sanctified: so likewise to be sanctifi­ed, vnlesse we may be kept and preserued in Iesu Christ not to lose our sanctification. Our life is a continuall warre-fare vpon earth, and therefore though we be cal­led outwardly, and sanctified in some part inwardly; yet the Apocalyp. 127. Dragon and his Angels fight against vs daily, that we may fall from faith and hope receiued, that wee may Epist. Iude vers. 4. turne the grace of God into want onnesse, like the 2. Pet. 2. 22. dogge returned to his owne vomit, and the sow that was washed to the wallowing in the mire, and so Galat. 3. 3. end in the flesh, howsoeuer we began in the spirit. 2. Tim. 4. 10. Demas fell away from the Gospell embracing the present world, many are cal­led but few chosen, Mat. 20. 16. It behoueth vs there­fore continually to pray that Christ Iesus the great 1. Pet. [...]. 25. shepheard of our soules, may hold vs in his hands from the griping pawes and grinding Iawes of the roaring Lyon, who goeth about daily seeking whom he may deuoure. And surely such as are giuen vnto Christ, effe­ctually called, and truly sanctified; shall bee preserued to the end. Zach. 4. 9. Zerubbabel did both lay the foundation of the temple, and finish it: so God will establish and make perfect his worke begun in vs, Psalm. 68. 28. Hee that hath begun this worke of our saluation will also performe it, Philip. 1. 6. I know Gods elect may for a time lose some good meanes, and some great measure of grace too: Dauid, and Aaron, and Peter, and other haue fallen foully, yea fully, but none finally: God is more watchfull in helping vs, then Satan is or can bee wrathfull in hurting vs. He which is the father of mer­cies giueth vs preuenient grace, subsequent grace, co­operant grace, grace before grace, and grace after grace, 1. Pet▪ 1. 5. keeping vs by his power thorough faith, and preser­uing vs to his heauenly kingdome. It is not of our selues that we perseuere thus vnto the end and in the end, it is the power of God, who giueth (as our Apostle sheweth here) grace first to be called, secondly to be sanctified, [Page 126] thirdly, to be reserued or preserued in Iesu Christ.

Mercy vnto you, and peace, and loue be multiplied] Aretius. Mercy from God the father, in the forgiuenes of your sinnes: Peace in Christ in feeling this forgiuenes: Loue in the holy Ghost in being assured of Gods grace to­ward vs euery day more and more: Mercie from God the father of Mercie: Peace, from God the sonne, the Prince of peace: Loue, from God the holy Ghost, the loue of the father and the sonne. Mercy, in pardoning your sinnes; Peace, in quieting your con­science; Loue, ioyning you to God, and one to ano­ther: Marlorat. or hee wi [...]eth encrease of Gods mercy to­ward them, and a multiplication of their peace and loue toward one another. Aquin. That their sinnes may be forgiuen, he prayes for Gods mercy: that they may for­giue other men their trespasses, he prayes for peace: that both these may be multiplied in them, he prayes for loue. First, he begins with Gods mercy, which is the foun­taine of euery good and perfect gift, if wee taste of his mercy, we shall soone be filled with his other graces, he that hath enough mercy can want nothing. For as Sam­sons chiefe strength was in his haire, so Gods chiefe ver­tue in his mercy. Mercy (good Lord) is the total summe, in the humble suite of a sinner; O Lord haue mercy vpon vs miserable sinners, is the first petition; and the grace of our Lord Iesus Christ, is the last in our Liturgie.

When I gaue all diligence] Here S. Iude begins to pre­scribe his Salue, which is an exhortation to contend ear­nestly for the faith, and the causes mouing him to write this vnto the Saints are two: 1. His duty, when I gaue all diligence to write vnto you of the common saluation, &c. 2. Their danger, because they nourished certaine seducers as serpents in their owne breasts, whom hee describes [Page 127] by their

  • sinne
    • in gene­rall, verse 4. shew­ing their
      • hypocriticall entring into the Church, craftily crept in.
      • vngodly carriage being entred,
        • In their life, tur­ning the grace of God into wantonnesse.
        • In their doctrine denying God, which is the only Lord, and our Lord Ie­sus Christ.
    • In particular from the 4. verse to the 17.
  • Punishment, of olde ordained to this condem­nation, and so S. Iude describes these wick­ed impostors and false brethren, as Pope
    Walsingham in Ed▪ 1. pag. 26.
    Celestine did his successor Bonifacius the 8. Ascendisti vt vulpes, craf­tily crept in; regnabis vt leo, denying God and turning his grace into wantonnesse: morieris vt canis, of old or­dained to this condemnation.

The Gospell.

IOHN 15. 17.‘This command I you, that ye loue together, &c.

CHrist in this Gospell is said to doe three things es­pecially: 1. He doth exhort his followers vnto mutuall loue: 2. He comforts them against the worlds hatred: 3. He promises to send vnto them the holy Ghost, who being the comforter and the spirit of loue may both instruct them how to loue together, and how to suffer affliction in the world. Of the first I haue spoken Epist. Sun. 1. after Trinit. Of the second, Epist. 2. Sun. after Trinit. Of the third Gosp. on the Sun. after Ascension.


APOCALYP. 7. 2.‘Behold, I Iohn saw another Angell, &c.’

IN this Scripture concerning the sealing of the Saints and seruants of our God, obserue the

  • Minister sealing, An Angell ascending from the rising of the Sunne, &c.
  • Men sealed, I heard the number of them who were sealed, &c.

Behold, I Iohn saw another Angell] In the words immediatly going before, S. Iohn said, he saw foure Angels stand on the foure corners of the earth, holding the foure windes of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, neither on the Sea, neither on any tree. These foure Angels are foure agents of Satan, Bale [...] Marlorat in loc. Hypo­crits with their impostures, Antichrists with their pesti­lent decrees and traditions, Tyrannous Princes with their bloudie Lawes, Vngodly Magistrates with their ignorant blindnesse. These foure reigne in the foure quarters of the world with lyes in hypocrisie, with er­rours in superstition, with tyrannie in power, and with crueltie in executing humane Lawes. Or these foure Angels imployed by the prince of darknesse, are foure workes of darknesse, Contention, Ambition, Heresie, Warre. Apocalyp Apo­calypsc [...]s. Contention arising from the East; Ambition arising from the West; Heresie from the South; Warre from the North. Or as Hom. in loc. Ardens, These foure Angels are the spirit of Luxurie, the spirit of Pride, the spirit of Gastrimargie, the spirit of Auarice. For as the Ioel 1. 4. Pro­phet speaks, That which is left of the palmer worme hath the grashopper eaten, and the residue of the grashopper hath the canker worme eaten, and the residue of the can­ker worme hath the caterpiller eaten. Luxurie consuming [Page 129] the flesh in which it is bred, resembles the palmer worme; Loftie pride with her low fall the skipping gras­hopper; Rauenous gluttonie the canker worme; Cut­throat auarice the caterpiller. Now Luxurie doth hurt many trees in the garden of God, and that which luxu­rie hath left, hath pride deuoured; and that which is left of pride, gluttonie hath eaten; and that which is left of all these vices, is often ouercome by Couetousnesse. Aretius. Or happily these foure Angels, are 4. great powers in the world, the Turke, the Romane Emperour, the Pope, the king of Spaine combined in a bloudie league with other popish Princes, as Gen. 49. 5. brethren in euill. All these furiously raging together against the Lord, and against his an­nointed, withhold the foure windes of the earth, that the winde should not blow. Bullenger. that is, They persecute the prea­chers of the word, and hinder the doctrine of the spirit called often in Iohn 3. 8▪ Acts 2. 2. holie bible Winde; least it should blow vpon the earth, which is the Cant. 4. 16. garden of God, driuing from thence all filth and corruption: Or on the Sea, Balaeus. that is a wauering conscience, bringing men to a quiet hauen and hold in the Lord: Or vpon any tree, that is growing here, which are men Psalme 1. 3. planted by God on earth to bring forth fruit in Christ vnto the comfort of other. All these wicked angels exercise both head and hand, how to crosse the proceedings of the Gospell, and to driue this Heauenly blast away. The Turke doth infest Christendome with his warre; the Roman Emperor with his edicts; the Pope with his excommunications and Buls; the popish Princes (which haue committed abomi­nation with the great whore of Babel, and are Apocal. 17. 2. drunken with the wine of her fornication) hold the windes of the earth by their inquisition, fire, fagot, treachery, rebelli­on. And for this end they found and feed Monasteries of Fryers, and Colledges of Iesuits, as the Seminaries of se­dition and conspiracy.

Or foure, being a Aretius. compleat number, it doth insinuate that all execrable ministers of Satan in the whole world, [Page 130] crosse (so much as may be possible) the blowing of the spirit both in the bookes of holy Scriptures, and in the mouthes of godly Preachers. In nature their is but one winde, yet said to be diuers in respect of the diuers cor­ners of the earth out of which it bloweth, East, West, North, and South; and so called foure windes in regard of the 4. quarters of the world. In like sort the spirit is but one Ephes. 44. But it is termed here foure windes in res­pect of the English glosse. foure Euangelists who wrote the Gospell. It is diuerse Bullenger. Marlorat. for that it bloweth on diuers men diuersly, giuing to one the word of wisedome, to another the word of knowledge, to another faith, to another the giftes of healing, to another prophesie, to another discer­ning of spirits, to another diuersity of tongues; all these things worketh euen the selfe same spirit, distributing se­uerally to euery man as he will, 1. Cor. 12. 11. These ma­nifold blastes of the spirit, or (as S. 1. Cor. 12. 4. Paul speakes) these diuersities of gifts, and diuersities of administrations, and diuersities of operations are withstood by reprobate men and Angels in euery corner of the world; by the Papists especially inhibiting the people to read the Gos­pell in the mother tongue, and prohibiting the Pastors to preach the Gospell in any tongue.

Now while these cursed Angels were stopping the winde, or letting the Gospels free passage, behold ano­ther Angell ascending from the rising of the sunne, which had the seale of the liuing God, and hee cryed with a loud voyce to the foure Angels (to whom power was giuen to hurt the earth and the sea) saying, hurt not the earth, nei­ther the sea, neither the trees, till we haue sealed the ser­uants of our God in their forehead. Albeit the Dragon and his Angels rage neuer so much against the Church, yet the 2. Tim. 2. 19. foundation of God remaineth sure; and hath this seale, the Lord knoweth who are his; and Iohn 10. 28. they shall neuer perish, neither shall any plucke them out of his hand. Indeede the foure foule Angels haue power to hurt the land and the sea, but it is limited, a power giuen [Page 131] of God, and God is 1. Cor. 10. 13. faithfull, who will not suffer his e­lect to be tempted aboue their ability, but sends one good Angel to suppresse foure bad, crying to them, and that with a loud voyce, hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees.

Some thinke this Angel arising from the East was Brightman in loc. Constantine the great; Ardens, Aretius, Meyer. other expound this of Christ; other of the Ba [...]aeus. Ministers of Christ: it is certaine that Con­stantine, succeeding immediatly Dioclesian and other persecuting Emperors, was a notable Esay 49. 23. nourishing father vnto the Church, vnder whose Ezechiel. 31. 6. shadow the Christians dwelt and prospered a long time. He did (according to the tenour of our text) ascend from the See Apocalyp. Apocalyps. east, and he had the seale of the liuing God, that is, the true faith of Christ, openly professing it, and Socrates hist. lib. 1. cap. 8. establishing it also by the consent of three hundred eighteen reuerend Bishops in the Councell of Nice, summoned by him against Arius and other impious Angels holding the foure windes of the earth. This Emperor cryed with a loud voyce to the wicked instruments of Satan, hurt not the earth, &c. He made many Eusebius hist. lib. 10. cap. 5. 6. 7. & de vita Constantin. lib. 2. cap. 43. 44 45. proclamations and edicts in fauour of the Christians, in so much as the whole rable of the hatefull enemies of God (as Hist lib. 10. cap. 1. Eusebius reportes) seemed to bee wiped away from the sight of men, according to that of the Psalm. 37. 36. Psalmist, I saw the wicked exalted as the Caedars of Libanus, and florishing like a greene bay tree: but I went by, and loe he was gone, I sought his place, but it could no where be found.

Other construe this rather of Christ as being Malac. 3. 1. Ange­lus testamenti the messenger and Angel of the couenant, the Malac. 4. 2. sunne of righteousnes manifesting himselfe in the great darknes of Anti-christianisme. He hath indeed the seale of the liuing God, as being the Heb. 1. 3. character of his per­son, and brightnes of his glory, Rom. 1. 4. declared mightily to bee the sonne of God. He cryes with a loud voyce to the foure foule Angels, Aretius. that is, he fights against such as fight a­gainst his elect seruants, and deliuereth vs out of the [Page 132] handes of all our enemies. In the Bullinger. darkenes of blind su­perstition he doth illuminate his, and seale them in their forehead, making them English gloss. openly to confesse his faith vn­to saluation Marke 8. 38. among an adulterous and sinnefull gene­ration. D. Fulke in loc. This sealing in the forehead is not an allusion to the signe of the crosse, for many reprobates haue re­ceiued that in baptisme; the true marke whereby Gods elect are discerned from all other, is a liuely faith in the heart, breaking forth into confession with the mouth, according to that of Rom. 10. 10. Paul, with the heart man beleeueth vnto righteousnes, and with the mouth he confesseth to saluation.

Now for as much as faith is by hearing, and hearing is not without a preacher, and how shall any preach ex­cept they be sent, Rom. 10. 14. 15? Therefore some di­uines haue conceiued, that the true Prophets and Prea­chers are this Angell ascending from the rising of the sunne. Balaeus. They haue power to marke the faithfull vnto life euerlasting, their tongues are the Psalm. 45. 2. writing pennes of the holy Ghost, by whom the word of God is registred in the heartes of them that beleeue. This Angell had the seale of God in his hand, and the Prophets haue the powerfull and effectuall word of truth in their mouth; and they crie with a loud voyce to the wicked instru­ments of Satan, hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees. As if they should say though some hearts are worldly, some consciences wauering, some mindes vn­fruitfull and barren; yet they may repent and come to goodnes. When the seed is sowen some falleth vpon Mat. 13. 8. good ground, and brings forth fruit in abundance, cease therefore from with-holding the sweet blast of the Scriptures, till we haue sealed vp the chosen seruants of our God in their forehead, and imprinted a true beliefe in their hearts by his spirit. S. Ephes. 1. 13. Uide Zanchium 168. Paul hath said all this in a fewe words, after that ye heard the word of truth euen the Gospell of your saluation, and therein beleeued, ye were sealed with the holy spirit of promise.

[Page 133] Vitorinus com in loc. Some thinke this Angell is Elias the Prophet, ima­gining that he shall in the latter end of the world come againe to fight against Antichrist, and to seale Gods e­lect in their fore-head. But our renowned Soueraigne King Iames in his From the 62. page to the 80. premonition hath excellētly discoue­red the vanity of this idle Iewish fable; besides our text saith in the plurall number till we haue sealed, &c. Balaeus. Insi­ [...]uating that by this Angell is not meant one Preacher only but many, yea so many as be both instant and con­stant in crying with a loud voyce to the le [...]d Angels, hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees. If this one point were well vnderstood and learned, it would make you more diligent in comming to the temple, which is the house of God; in reading the Scriptures, which is the booke of God; in hearing the true Prophets, which are the Ministers of God, appointed for this end to separate you from the wicked of the world, and to seale you with his marke for his kingdome. Hitherto concerning the Minister sealing, I am now to treat of the men sealed, all agreeing in one confession, howsoeuer differing in con­dition and countrey.

There were sealed one hundred and forty and foure thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel] The Iewes are sealed first, as being Gods Exod. 4. 22. eldest sonnes, a peculiar and pretious people chosen to himself Deut 7. 6. aboue all other in the world. After them in course follow the Gentiles as the yonger sonnes of God, for there was sea­led an infinite number of other nations, as well as a great number of the Iewes. And among both Iewes and Gentiles all sortes of men were sealed, the people so well as the Priest, euen twelue thousand of euery tribe, so well as twelue thousand of the tribe of Leui. And among the people men of all occupations and▪ trades, for Aretius. by the land, he meanes such as till the ground; and by the sea, marriners and Merchants Psalm. 107. 23. occupying their busines in great waters; and by trees, such as are noble, rich, and potent in a flourishing estate. So that men in Acts 10. 35. euery na­tion [Page 134] of euery fashion, if they feare God and worke righ­teousnes, are sealed with his seale for his chosen seruants: Cap. 9. 4. Ezechiel reportes that none are sealed, but such as mourne and crie for all the abominations that are done here, none but such as grieue to see the Gospell of Christ despised, and his Church despited. On the contrary, such as are common blasphemers of his name, contemners of his word, and persecutors of his Prophets, haue not the seale of the liuing God, but the Apocal. 13. 16. marke of the dying beast. In that it is said one hundred and forty foure thou­sand were sealed of the children of Israel, Aretas ob­serues that euery one of the twelue Apostles multiplied his talent twelue times, a curious and a conscionable conceit too, but how consonant to the text, I leaue to the iudicious examination of the learned and godly, re­membring the resolution of S. Lib. 1. de Tri­nit. cap. 3. Augustine in a case not much vnlike, quisquis haec legit, vbi pariter certus est, per­gat mecum: vbi pariter haesitat, quaerat mecum: vbi er­rorem suum cognoscit, redeat ad me; vbi meum, reuocet me. Nam in his vt in omnibus meis scriptis August proaem. in lib. 3. de tri­nit. non modò pi­um lectorem, sedetiam liberum correctorem desidero.

The Gospell.

MAT. 5. 1.‘Iesus seeing the people, went vp into a mountaine, and when he was set, his disciples came to him and after that hee had opened his mouth, hee taught them, saying, blessed are the poore in spi­rit, for theirs is the kingdome of heauen, &c.

THe first word of the first lesson in Christs first Ser­mon is blessed, a point of conning and of comfort; of conning and good art, woeing vs in the very first en­trance to marke well his whole discourse, because Arist. ethic. lib. 1. cap. 1. & 2. ne­uer any was, is, or shall be, but he desires (according to his owne sense) to be blessed. It is the deuils oratory to [Page 135] deterre men from piety with an opinion of vnhappines and trouble which accompanie the godly, but the rhe­toricke of Gods holy spirit allureth vs contrariwise by sweet premises, and gratious promises, blessed are the poore, blessed are they that mourne, blessed are the meeke, &c. And it affordes comfort, for hereby we knowe that the Gospell is a good-spell, euen Luke 2. 10. tydings of great ioy to all people; when as we read that the first apothegme of Christs first Homily reported Aretius. at large, was, blessed are the poore in spirit, for theirs is the kingdome of heauen; and the last period in his last homily, Mat. 28. 20. behold, I am with you alwayes vntill the end of the world.

Now (beloued) all his actions are our instructions, it therefore behoueth vs in winning our children, our friends, our auditors vnto God and godlines, to learne and vse this gentle craft, being the sonnes of consolati­on, as well as the Marke 3. 17. Boanarges the sonnes of thunder. As sometime we must Mat. 11. 17. mourne, that ye people may lament; so likewise sometime pipe, that the people may dance. There was in the Arke of the testament, Heb. 9. 4. The golden pot of Manna, so well as the rod of Aaron; and a Preacher (as Bernard wittily) should resemble a good mother which hath vbera, so well as verbera; like a Bee saith Ser. 83. Ambrose which hath hony so well as a sting. As it is our part to be 1. Cor. 4. 1. disposers of the Gospell, and messen­gers of peace: Rom. 10. 14. so let it be our art to call home such as are out of the way, and to restore such as fall in the way with the spirit of Galat. 6. 1. meekenes, for blessed are the poore in spirit, &c.

Of this Apothegme there be two parts a

  • Proposition, blessed are the poore in spirit.
  • Exposition, for theirs is the king­dome of heauen.

In the proposition obserue the

  • Subiect, poore in spirit.
  • Predicate, blessed; for so wee may conuert it aptly, the poore in spirit are blessed.

[Page 136]Concerning the sub­iect I finde three sortes of poore, namely

  • 1. The worldes poore.
  • 2. The deuils poore.
  • 3. Gods poore.

The worlds poore are either impotent, or impudent poore: impotent by birth, or casualtie; by birth, as the fatherles orphanes, and beggars children, especially such as are creeples or borne blinde; by casualtie, as the de­cayed housholder, the maymed souldier, the visited with any grieuous plague or sicknes: all these kindes of poore wretches are to be relieued as wel with our almes as ad­uise. To binde vp their Esay 61. 1. broken hearts, and to Galat. 6. 2. beare part of their burden, is a great euidence that thou art Gods heire, Luke 6. 36. mercifull as our father in heauen is merci­full; Blessed in this world, for so Dauid in the 41. Psalm. Blessed is he that considereth the poore and needy, the Lord comforteth him in his affliction, and makes all his bed in his sicknes. Blessed in the world to come, for so the sonne of Dauid euen Christ himselfe, come ye blessed of my fa­ther, inherite ye the kingdome prepared for you, for I was an hungred, and ye gaue me meate: I thirsted, and ye gaue me drinke: I was a stranger, and ye lodged me: I was na­ked, and ye clothed me: I was sicke, and ye visited me. It is therefore my humble suite to those (which are by sta­tute made ouerseers of our ouerseers for the poore) that hereafter in euery village the distressed members of Christ, euen Ephes. 5. 30. flesh of his flesh; and bone of his bone, may be more charitably prouided for, according to the true meaning of godly lawes established in this case.

Among impudent poore, some be little beggars, and some be great beggars; among little beggars I marshall the riotous spend-all, and the lasie get-nothing. The drunkard and the glutton shall be poore saith Prouerb. 23. 21. Salo­mon, and no maruell, seeing in a little while they draw their whole patrimonie, woods, house, land, thorough the narrow passage of their throat, &c. It is therefore my humble suite to the reuerend and graue Iudges of the land, that they would in their circuits, vpon all occa­sions [Page 137] offered, endeuour to suppresse and disgrace these brutish, incorrigible, ding-thriftie dearth-makers. It is said of the Surgeon, that he must haue a Ladyes hand, and a Lyons heart: But it is to be wished, that a Iudge in this corrupt age should haue contrarywise, the heart of a Ladye, for, Blessed are the poore in spirit, yet in punish­ing notorious offenders, the hand of a Lyon. It is an old saying, Qui non corripit, corrumpit; and all honest men howsoeuer otherwise poore in spirit, haue notwithstan­ding euermore complayned of a cruell pittie, which is the mother of licentiousnesse, and licentiousnesse is the mother of contempt, and contempt is the mother of sedition, and sedition is the mother of rebellion, and in fine rebellion is the mother of desolation.

Of Rogues, I meane vagabond idle persons, out of couenant, out of course, there be two sortes, as namely, wild rogues so bred, a great part whereof is an vncir­cumcised generation, vnbaptized, out of the Church, and so consequently Ephes. 2. 12. without God in the world. Other being better bred, for want of good discipline turne rogues, and become tame ruffians, and these drones haue swarmed so much in some parts of our Countie, that they driue many good bees out of their hiues, in plaine English, many Gentlemen and Iustices too, du­ring all the hard winter, out of the Countrey into the Citie, where they lye non-resident from their benefice, their mansion house where their liuing is; and non-resi­dent also from their charge, where they should execute his Highnesse Commission for the peace. I do not think with De vtilitate condit. human. lib. 2. cap. 4. Innocentius, Iustitia non datur nisi vendatur, that Iustice is dearely bought in any corner of our Kentish soyle (God forbid) and yet in the behalfe of my poore neighbors, I must say, that it is pittie Iustice should (considering the number of Iustices) be so farre fetched in the midst of winter. Vngodly polititians, who make the works of Lucian their old Testament, and Machi­uels prince their new: thrust themselues into the center [Page 138] of the world, as if all times should meet in them and their ends, neuer caring in any storme what becommeth of the ship of estate, so they may be safe in the coc-boat of their owne fortune. But nature tels thee, that no man is borne for himselfe; and Galat. 5. 13. Scripture tels thee, that we must in loue serue one another. Our Christian estate ne­cessarily requires that some should be great, and other litle; that some should be subiect, and other soueraigne; that some should command, and other obey: But saith our blessed Sauiour (speaking to his Disciples, as repre­senting the whole Church) Luke 22. 26. He that is greatest among you, let him be as the least, and he that is chiefe, as he that doth serue. Praesis, vt prosis, as Lib. 3. de'con­sid. ad Eugen. Bernard told Eugenius, and as In Mat. 20. 27. Martine Bucer noteth out of these words of Christ against Anabaptists, He which according to the will of the Lord beares rule godly, doth nothing lesse then domineere, yea, most of all serue. The Iustice, the Iudge, yea, the King himselfe (as states-men are bold to call him) is a great seruant of the Common wealth. It is therefore my humble sute to the worthy Knights, and other Iustices (hauing receiued large money for the building & maintayning of Bride-wols in our County) to performe better offices in banishing all vnprofitable vagabonds out of our coasts.

I am now to speak of no small Beggars; of such as beg in the courts and houses of Kings; of such as come to something, when other come to nothing; of whom in old time Roderic Mors complaint to the Parlia­ment of Eng­land cap. 10. printed at Ge­neua by Mi­chael Boys. complaint was made to the Parliament of England, That they did by cob-web subtleties of the Law, first rob the Subiect, and then afterward rob the King. I hope there be none such in our daies vnder the gouernment of our most illustrious, wise, learned, meek, religious, and pious Prince K. Iames, (whom I beseech God of his infinite goodnesse to prosper long among vs in health, and wealth, & all happynesse, as well con­cerning this, as the world to come) But if a Iudge here­after in another age should vnhappily meet with such a [Page 139] sturdie beggar, I wish hartily that he may follow Iustice Iob 29. 14. Iobs example, who saith of himselfe, I put [...]n righte­ousnesse, and it cloathed me; my iudgement was a roab and a crowne. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father vnto the poore, and the cause which I knew not, I searched out diligently. I brake also the iawes of the wicked, and pluckt the pray out of his teeth. If he proue too great a fish to be caught in thy net, enuy not his prosperitie, for he buildeth his house as the Iob 2 [...]. 18. moth; and if thou possesse thy soule in patience but a litle while, Psalm. 37. 10. thou shalt looke after his place, and he shall not be found. As he was a beggars brat, so he shall dye the first gentleman, and the last knight of his name.

There be three ranks of the Deuils poore.

  • Couetous.
  • Vaine-glorious.
  • Superstitious.

The Couetous, who want euen that they haue, being as they are termed aptly the greatest Misers in the world, like the market horse laden with daintie cates, and yet feeds on thistles.

The vaine-glorious, who to get a name, forget often their estate, as certaine Philosophers in old time (whom I will not name, because they did it for a name) cast all their goods into the Sea, least they should hinder their courses in the studies of philosophie. Nolebant censu abundare terreno, vt magis sensu abundarent suo, saith a Iansen. con­cord. cap. 39. learned expositor vpon this text. And certaine Schis­matickes in latter ages, haue for the crasie credite of a desperate cause forsaken their owne Countreys, and their owne free-holds which were certaine, to depend vpon the breath and bread of other men which is vn­certaine.

The Superstitious, as the popish Monks and Friars, who transported with a blind deuotion, abandoned all worldly possessions, and yet abounded in all riot and ex­cesse; Regulares gulares, they were more then men at their meat, lesse then women at their worke, saith In coll [...] franciscan. Eras­mus. [Page 140] [...] in loc. c [...]. Albertus duke of Saxonie was wont to say, that he had three wonders in one Citie, namely three Mona­steries, For the Fryers of the first had children, and yet no wines: The Fryers of the second had a great deal of corne, and yet no land: The Fryers of the third abounded with moneys, and yet had no rent.

Poem. de cor­rup [...] statu Ec­clefiae per Illi­ri [...].
Hic dolu [...] est magnus, lupus est qui creditur agnus.

So then (as you see) the Deuils poore differ verie much one from another: for the Couetous haue the pos­session; but not the free vse: the Superstitious haue the vse, but not the free possession: the Vaine-glorious vpon the point haue neither free vse, nor free possession of such worldly wealth as they desire, being all in their seuerall kinds exceeding poore.

The third sort of poore are Gods poore, which a­bound with inward wants, and want also many times outward aboundance. Where of some vndergoe pati­ently losse of their goods, as Iob; other forgoe cheer­fully the vse of their goods, as the blessed Apostles. These are the poore in spirit, or (as In regulis con­tracti [...]ribus quaest. 205. Idem Beza in loco. S. Basile construeth it) the poore for the spirit, wholy submitting themselues to be ruled by Gods holie spirit, the humble and the meeke, truly feeling their inward, and patiently bearing their outward pouerty. Christ then here doth not vn­derstand such as are meerely the worlds poore; for albeit they be humbled, yet are they not humble; nor the de­uils poore, for they are neither actually humbled nor humble; but only Gods poore, which are both humbled and humble, humbled in their pouerty, humble in their spirit, blessed are the poore in spirit.

So S. In loco. Hierome, Lib. [...]. deser. do [...]. in moute. Augustin, Lib. 5. in Luc. cap. de beatitud. Ambrose, Lib. d [...] beati­tud. Gregory Nyssen, In loc. Theophylact, In loc. Euthymius and other Doctors expound it. And this appeares to be Christs meaning in that the word spirit signifieth elsewhere will, as Mat. 26. 41. The spirit indeed is ready, but the flesh is weake, and 1. Cor. 7. 34. The virgine cares for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit, that is, in [Page 141] thought and mind. So that to be poore in spirit, is nothing else, but willingly toMat. 16. 24. forsake our selues, and to follow Christ, euermore being readie for his sake to beare the losse of our wealth, when as we are made poore; and to forbeare the vse of our wealth, when as we are rich, 1. Cor. 7. 31. vsing the world as though we vsed it not. For this blessing belongs as well to the rich, as to the poore. As the bad poore are proud in spirit; so the good rich are poore in spirit. Ardens hom. in loc. As some be poore in substance, and not in spirit; so some rich in substance, yet poore in spi­rit. A cable vntwined in euery cord and thred, may goe thorow the Marke 10. 25. needles eye: so the rich man, if once he be well vntwined, deuiding his goods according to the will of the giuer, may notwithstanding all his greatnesse walke in the narrow path, and enter into the strait gate of Heauen.

The worlds poore are miserable, because deiected in their pouertie: The deuils poore cursed, because proud▪ in their pouertie: Gods poore only blessed, as hauing nothing, and yet possessing all things, 2. Cor. 6. 10.

Here then obserue what an excellent vertue conten­tation and lowlinesse of minde is. As the first vice the Deuill thrust vpon Adam was discontentment and pride: So the first vertue Christ commends vnto his fol­lowers, is an humble contentment. The eight beati­tudes (saith Ser. de [...]. Bea­tud. Cromatius) are like Iacobs ladder, reaching from earth vnto Heauen; and the verie first step of the ladder as the Theophylact. in loc. foundation of the rest is lowlinesse of mind. For as God is said to Iob 26. 7. hang the earth vpon no­thing, that it might wholie depend vpon him: euen so doth he found the world of his Christian common­wealth vpon nothing; and this nothing is an humble dis-prising and forsaking of all our owne abilities, and an only relying vpon his almightie power and good­nesse. As pride is the beginning and originall of sinne, Ecclesiasticus 10. 14. because iniquitie is nothing else but inequalitie, and pride is most vniust, attributing [Page 142] vnto it selfe too much, vnto all other too little: so con­trariwise, contented humblenesse is the Primer, and as it were A. B. C. of our Christian Ethicks; it is as Am­brose and Bernard write, the mother vertue, yea, Custos sigilli magni, the keeper of all Gods great seales & gra­ces, without which his other gifts are rather curses then blessings to vs. It is an eminent grace for a man to speak with the tongues of1. Cor. 13. 1. Angels, and so to transport other with the wind of words and flouds of eloquence whi­ther he list; and yet if learning be not seasoned with humilitie, knowledge saith 1. Cor. 8. 1. Paul puffeth vp, and as Aristotle speaks, it is armata iniustitia, like a sword in a mad-mans hand. Fasting that tames the bodie, with­out humilitie, makes proud the mind, I fast twice in the weeke, quoth the Pharisee, Luke 18. 12. Almes are a Heb. 13. 16. sacrifice pleasing to God, for he that Prouerb. 19. 17. giueth vnto the poore, lendeth vnto the Lord: yet if a Trumpet bee blowen, and we giue meerly to be seen of men; if we beare not our poore brethren in our bowels and bo­some, we shall haue no reward of our Father which is in Heauen, Matth. 6. 1. And therefore Christ inculcates often this one lesson as well by patern as precept, Learne of me, for I am humble and meeke. Iohn 16. 33. In the world ye shall haue affliction, he that will follow me, must of necessitie Mat. 16. 24. forsake himselfe, and yet be of good cheere, for Marke 10. 29. there is no man that hath forsaken house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my sake and the Gospels, but he shall receiue an hundred fold, now at this present houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions, and in the world to come eternall life. I tell you, that in the beginning which you shall find most true in the end, Blessed are the poore in spirit.

For, Blessed is the predicat of the proposition. And there is a two-fold blessednesse, Beatitudo viae, and Be­atitudo patriae, blessednesse in this world, and blessed­nesse in the next. The poore in spirit haue the promises [Page 143] of both, 1. Tim. 4. 8. The present happinesse is either outward and worldly, or else inward and ghostly; Out­ward, as Psalme 132. 16. I will blesse her victuals with increase, and I will satisfie her poore with bread. And Psalme 144. 15. Happie are the people that be in such a case. And Deut. 28. Blessed shalt thou be in the field, and blessed in the citie, blessed shall be the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattell, the encrease of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. These temporall and worldly bles­sings often accompany the meeke more then the proud, because fortune, as Aduance­ment of Lear­ning lib. 2. pag. 105. Charles the 5. told his sonne, Is like a woman, if shee be too much woed, shee will be the farther off. Howsoeuer it be,1. Tim. 6. 6. godlinesse is great gaine, and the poore in spirit want nothing, as being content with any thing. But the blessednesse promised by Christ here, surpassing all worldly treasures and pleasures is inward and ghostly, consisting in the riches of the mind, and in a sweet contentation of the conscience, which is a Prou. 15. 15. continuall feast, and a daily Christmas, whereby the poore in spirit are made lords, and as it were ty­rants ouer the whole world, domineering ouer Iustices and laylour, our Iudge and Iurie. Treasons, and mur­thers, and felonies, and other routs and riots inquired after at Sessions and Assises, are bred of discontentment and pride. But though all the Deuils in Hell, and all their agents in earth and ayre, combine themselues a­gainst one little one; yet Qui vadit planè, vadit sanè, Prouerb. 10. 9. He that walkes vprightly, walkes confidently; The Psalm. 125. 1. text will alway be found true, They that put their trust in the Lord, shall be euen as the mount Sion, which may not be remoued, but standeth fast for-euer.

But here we must obserue with incomparably lear­nedCom. in loc. et apolog. con. fest. Augustin. tit. de Dilect. et implet. legis. Melancthon, and Caluin instit. lib. 3. cap. 17. other protestant diuines, That in this, and all other like places of holie Scripture, where good works are commanded, or commended in any, that Christ is the sole cause of our happinesse, With­out me (saith Iohn 15. 5. he) you can doe nothing, and without faith [Page 144] in him, it is impossible to please God, Heb. 11. 6. Our per­sons must be first reconciled vnto God, hauing for Christs sake pardon of our sinnes, and imputation of righteousnesse, and then our workes shall be blessed and acceptable, Psalme 32. 1. Blessed is the man whose vn­righteousnesse is forgiuen, and whose sinne is couered. Blessed, Martyr. in Rom. 4. 8. that is iustified, for iustification is blessednesse begun, glorification blessednesse perfited. It is a sweet saying of our Hom. of good works part. 1. Church; Faith is the nest of good workes, albeit our birdes be neuer so faire, yet they will be lost, except they be brought foorth in true beleefe. The spa­row hath found her an house, and the swallow a nest, where shee may lay her yong, euen thine Altars O Lord, Psalme 84. 3. Such as are true beleeuers, hauing their vnrighte­ousnesse forgiuen, and their sinne couered, are blessed men; and all their workes as being laied vpon Christs Altar, are a sweet smelling sacrifice to God. But saith In Psalme 83. Augustine, Hereticks and Infidels in doing glorious acts and honorable deeds, haue no where to lay their yong, and therefore they must of necessitie come to nought; as the fathers of our common Law speake, Moritur actio cum persona, their actions are damnable with their persons. He which is poore in spirit is bles­sed, he which is mercifull is blessed, he which is a peace­maker is blessed. But as our Diuines haue iudiciously noted against the Papists, in all these Beatitudes a liuely Faith is presupposed, according to that Rom. 14. 23. Apostolicall axiome, Whatsoeuer is not of Faith is sinne. The Saints of God are sealed inwardly with Faith, as it is in our Epi­stle; but outwardly with good works, as in our Gospell. To be poore in spirit, to mourne, to be mercifull, are not causes but effects of our iustification, as we commonly speake out of Bernard, Via regni, non causa regna [...]di; Musculus. Marlorat. For the followers of Christ are blessed, not because they be poore in spirit, but because theirs is the kingdome of Heauen, That is the right exposition of the proposition, Blessed are the poore in spirit.

[Page 145]Now the kingdome of Heauen in holie Scripture sig­nifieth either the kingdome of Mat. 3. 2. Luke 18. 17. grace, which is heauen on earth; or else the kingdome of Mat. 7. 21. Acts 14. 22. glorie, which is heauen in Heauen: And both these belong vnto the poore in spirit. Hierom. Musculus. Aretius. Some construe this of the kingdome of grace, because Christ saith expresly, Luke 4. 18. The spirit of the Lord hath anoynted me, that I should preach the Gospell vnto the poore; he hath sent me that I should heal the broken hearted; that I should preach deliuerance to the captiues, and recouering of sight to the blind; that I should set at liberty them that are bruised. And Mat. 9. 13. I am not come to call the righteous, but the sinners to repentance. And I giue thee thankes O Father Lord of Heauen and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and men of vnderstanding, and hast opened them vnto babes. The carnal wise, Credentes oculo magis qu [...]m oraculo, rely more vpon their fiue senses, then the foure Euange­lists; and therfore, Dr. Edes Ser. Physick for the plague. because they can not find a reason of naturall things, they make to themselues false gods; and because they can not find a reason of supernaturall things, they denie the true God. The curious, while they desire to know what they should not, are not able to cō ­ceiue what they should; by dyuing too much into the subtleties of reason, they forget often ye principles of Re­ligion. As wholsome Lawes are lost many times in the cases of the law; so Religion it selfe is lost among Sophi­sters in the questions of Religion. It was the Serpent that first opened Adams eyes, and enticed him to prie into the secrets of God. Our care therefore (said Loc. com. tit. de pugna Fidei & rationis hu­manae. Lu­ther) must be to shut vp our eyes againe, that we seeke not ambitiously to see more then almighty God would haue vs to know. Christ would haue vs to bring Faith and humilitie to his schoole, leauing our arguments at home, Non vult nos esse curistas & quaristas. 1. Pet. 5. 9. He resi­steth the proud, and giues grace to the humble. The Mat. 11. 5. poore receiue the Gospell, as it is in our text, Theirs is the kingdome of Heauen.

[Page 146]But Euthym. Rupert. Caietan. other expositors vnderstand this of that incor­ruptible crowne of glorie; for as this world seemes to be made for the presumptuous and proud: so that other only for the humble and meeke. It is Theirs, and that in present Is, and it is a kingdome, and that a kingdome of Heauen. According to the tearmes of our common Law Termes of the Law pag. [...]03. there be two sorts of Freeholds; A Freehold in deed, when a man hath entred into lands or tenements, and is seised thereof actually and really; A Freehold in law, when a man hath right to lands or tenements, but hath not yet made his actuall entrie. Now the king­dome of Heauen is our Freehold in law, though as yet while we liue, we can not actually be seised thereof. It is ours, as being Mat. 25. 34. prepared for vs by God the Father: It is ours, as being purchased in our behalfe by God the 1. Pet. 14. 19. Sonne: It is ours, as being assured to our spirit by God the holie Ghost, Rom. 8. 16. 17. We haue now right to this inheritance, Habemus ius adrem (as In Rom. 8. 24. Idem Caietan in loc. Melancthon acutely) nondum in re. Or as Augustine, and other of the fathers vsually, the kingdome of Heauen is ours al­readie, Non in re, sed in spe. The Scripture saith as much in plaine tearmes; We are Rom. 8. 24. saued by Tit. 2. 13. blessed hope, which is Coloss. 1. 23. immoueable, without Heb. 10. 23. wauering. Alstedius System. theolog. lib. 3. loc. 17. Fides int [...]etur verbum rei, spes verò rem verbi. Rom. 5. 2. Thorough our Lord Iesus Christ we haue accesse by Faith vnto this grace, wherein we stand and reioice vn­der the hope of the glorie of God.

And we may well vnder hope reioice▪ seeing our re­ward (when our 2. Tim. 4. 7. fight is finished) is no lesse then a king­dome. The citizens of Tyrus are described by the Pro­phet Cap. 23. 8. Esay to haue been companions vnto Nobles and Princes: but in that heauenly Hierusalem, euery bur­gesse by his Iohn 3. 3. second birth, is the Heb. 2. 17. brother of a king, the Rom. 8. 14. sonne of a king, and himselfe a king; hauing in token hereof a triumphant Apocalyp. 7. 9. palme in his hand, and a Apocalyp. 4. 4. golden crowne on his head. And this kingdome is not a 1. Pet. 1. 4. fa­ding inheritance, but a kingdome of Heauen, an immor­tall [Page 147] and euerlasting life. Men on earth haue Life, but it is Iob. 14. 1. full of trouble, and of small continuance, not euer­lasting; The damned in Hell haue an eternall being, but because they can not moue, but are perpetually tyed vnto their torments, it is not a Life, but a death. Only the Non dicit pauperes spiri­tus sed spiritu. Caietan in loc. rich in grace, the poore in spirit shall haue, when this world hath his end, an euerlasting Life without end. Tell O man what thou most earnestly desirest? Is there any thing thou louest bettter then life? Is there any life better then a blessed life? Is there any blessed life with­out hope here, and hold hereafter of euerlasting life? Yet all these things, and more then I can vtter, or you conceiue, are 1. Cor. 2. 9. prepared and reserued for such as are poore in spirit, for theirs is the kingdome of Heauen.

Preached at Maydston Assises, Iuly 28. 1614. vpon the request of my much honoured and wor­thily beloued friend and kinsman Sir Anthonie Aucher Knight, high Sherife of Kent.

Almightie God, which hast knit together thy elect in one communion and fellowship in the mysti­call bodie of thy Sonne Christ our Lord; Graunt vs grace so to follow thine holie Saints in all ver­tuous and godly liuing, that we may come to those vnspeakable Ioyes, which thou hast prepa­red for them that vnfaynedly loue thee, thorough Iesus Christ our Lord.


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