A SERMON PREACHED AT PAVLS-CROSSE, May 30. 1626. VVHEREIN MAY BE seene whom we are to repute Here­ticks, and Schismaticks; what sleights they vse to deceiue: Gods iust iudgements on them: and how we may escape those nets which they lay for vs. ALSO Good Councell to the Magistrate, Minister, and Subiects, necessary for these times.

By MATTHEVV BROOKES.

IAM. 1.16.

Doe not erre my beloued brethren.

LONDON, Printed by William Iones dwelling in Red-crosse streete. 1626.

TO THE RIGHT HO­NOVRABLE ALAN COTTON Knight, Lord Maior of the Citie of London; And to the Right Worshipfull the Sheriffs, and all the Aldermen of the same, All blessiings of this life, and of the life to come.

Right Honourable, and Right Worshipfull,

THis poore Discourse desired of many of my friends, to be seene in Print, pe­titioneth for your fauourable accep­tance: and comming naked, hopeth to bee welcomed for Gods sake. Your godly hatred of superstition, and si­nister practices in Religion, (as al­so the loue which you beare to the truth of Christ, and to those who endeuour to the vttermost of the graces which God hath giuen them, to set forth the same in his Church, for the manifestation of his glory) may sufficiently per­swade you to giue it entertainment.

It is a discouery of the wyles of Hereticks and Schis­maticks, by which they deceiue the hearts of the simple, and reape to themselues no small aduantage. Therefore though neither sumptuously Apparrelled in the robes of [Page] Learning and Eloquence, to adde grace vnto it; Nor credited by the authority of the Author (which two things are wont to finde many friends, and doe buy the good liking of men) it may recompence you the losse of time in reading it. (But I hope you will not deeme so small a hindrance at any thing, especially where an ad­uenture is made for a necessary gaine.)

The Author for his part hath to say for himselfe, that his respect of you all augmented by that Reuerend regard which euery one of you hath euer had to Workes of this nature (or rather generally to all the labours of Christ his Haruest men) hath emboldened him to present you with these his first fruits, a little handfull of Goates haire, and yet vsefull for that Tabernacle which the Lord willeth to be made.

And he doth begge that you will be pleased to accept of this, according to the syncerity of his affection, pro­testing that if herein hee hath done you the least seruice, hee shall blesse God for it, and remaine

Your Honours and worships in all Christian duties, MATTHEVV BROOKES.

To the Reader.

IF among the iniquities of these dayes, dangerous and detestable opinions in matters of Religion bee the chiefest, (for the more holy the band is, the more impious the breaking of it.) Behold the cause of (almost all Er­rors, and peruerse conceites of that nature) the admiration of mens per­sons or writings. For jurare in verba Magistri, is both old and vsuall. But my request vnto all those who desire to make profession of the name of Christ in since­rity, and truth, is that they would constantly set vp St. Au­gustines resolution, Ad Hieron: Epist. 19. Alios ita lego, vt quantalibet Sanctitate, doctrinaque praepolleant, non ideo verum putem, quia ipsi ita senserunt, Sed quia mihi vel per illos authores canonicos, vel probabili ratione, quod à vero non abhorreat, persuadere potuerunt. I doe so reade other mens Workes, that notwithstanding their san­ctitie and Learning, I am not of their minde, vnlesse the truth of their opinions may appeare vnto me, either by the Cano­nicall Scriptures, or by probable reason. By this meanes they shall not rashly embrace strange doctrine, like that foolish Satyr, who fell to kissing of fire at the first sight.

For this cause I haue in this short Sermon acquainted thee with the nature and practices of Hereticks and Schismatickes, Gods iudgements on them, and how thou oughtest to beare thy selfe towards them, least suddenly they stabbe thy heart. [Page] If thou wilt reade it, it will doe thee no hurt, and if thou wilt make vse of it, it may doe thee some good. Howsoeuer, it is my good will, receiue it therefore as willingly.

(Donec quid grandius aetas
Postera, forsque ferat melior:)
And I will pray God to adde a blessing to all thy labours. Vale. M. B.

A SERMON PREACHED AT PAVLS-CROSSE, May 30. 1626.

ROM. 16. VER. 17.18.

Now I beseech you, brethren, marke them which cause deuisi­ons and offences, contrary to the Doctrine which yee haue learned, and avoid them.

For they that are such, serue not our Lord Iesus Christ, but their owne belly, and by good words, and faire speeches, de­ceiue the hearts of the simple.

THE Church of God militant vp­on earth, vpon diuers reasons, is diuersly compared in the Scrip­tures:Cant. 6.9. 1 Tim. 3.15. Eph. 1.23. as where it is called A Doue for the innocencie thereof: The house of God, because by his Word and graces, he doth dwell in it, the body of Christ, because Christ is the head thereof, gi­uing life, and governing it, as well generally, as in euery particular member:Psal. 147.12. but where it is called Hierusalem, it cannot but minde me, how fitly it may be compared to Hierusalem besieged by the Romans. Ioseph. de bello Iudaico. lib. 7. For as the forraine enemie did streightly beg [...]t the Citie without: & the seditious tearming themselues, [Page 2] the zealous did most miserably vexe it within: So Gods Church is affronted by a double enemie, the one externall, shooting against it the arrowes of blasphemous speeches, out of the bowe of impiety; slinging the huge stones of all manner of slanders and reproches, out of the Engine of maliciousnesse; battering the Walls of it, with the ram of persecu­tions; wherein all glorious Martyrs, who by the effusion of their blood defend the Gospell, stand like pillars, or rather more strongly than those mightie Towers of Herod, which the enemies them­selues admired: But the other enemies are within the Citie, and they are ambitious of honour, who will be counted zealous for the defence of it, not­withstanding they cast fire on it of all sides, like as the Spaniards, Martin. Fumet. Hist. Hungar. of Aldens company, in the Warres of Hungaria, fired the Castle of Lippa, which they pretended to defend.

Certainly, these zealous enemies are more dan­gerous to the poore Citizens than the other, for as Cyprian saith,Cypr. lib. de vni­tat Ecclesiae. Facilior cautio est, vbi manifestior formi­do est; where the danger is more manifest, apparant, and exposed to our view, there to avoide it is no difficult matter, and therefore the Citizens of this besieged Hierusalem had need of circumspect proui­dence, as well to resist the one, as to suppresse the other. I say not what directions the Apostle, almost throughout this whole Epistle, hath giuen to the Romans, but to close vp all, and least they might lesse regard the seditious within, in the very end of his Epistle, hee presents them in their colours, that so be might leaue his exhortation as it were freshly im­printed [Page 3] in their memories. Now I beseech you bre­thren.

Which words are the vade vale, to the whole matter of the whole Epistle, and as distinguished by two verses, so distinguished by two parts, for in the former verse he doth Orare, hee doth intreate them to marke, and to avoide those that cause divisions and offences: in the latter he doth Narrare, he doth shew the cause or reason why they should so doe.

His request or intreaty hath three parts,Verse 7. the first is humilis introductio; a humble Introduction to the matter, wherein wee are to obserue the forme and manner of his speech, hauing two branches, first the style of the Saints, brethren: secondly, his request made to them as brethren. I beseech you. The second part of his intreatie is, docta descriptio, a learned de­scription of all such persons, from their vnquiet mindes; they are not content to goe to hell alone, but they tro [...] the Church; first with vnsauorie doctrine, cau [...]g diusions; Secondly, with lewd manners causing offences, the impiety whereof is demonstrated a Contrario, by the contrary layed against it. Such diuisions and offences, are contrary to the doctrine which yee haue learned. The last is Pia admonitio, godly counsell how wee should deale with them. And this conteyneth two precepts, first to marke them, secondly to avoide them: thus farre goeth his request or intreatie, ver. 17.

The Narration containes an Aetiologie, that is an exposition of the cause or reason why such men are to be auoided, which is three-fold; the first is drawn from the scope of their profession set downe [Page 4] 1. Negatiuely, they serue not the Lord Iesus Christ. 2. Affirmatiuely; but they serue their owne belly. The second is from the plausiblenesse of their behauiour: they vse first good words, wherein wee note their di­uine▪ like conference. Secondly faire speeches, where­in wee obserue their morall eloquence. The third is from the effect of their practice, which is to de­ceiue, and seduce, what? the Heart, and of whom? of the simple.

Of these particulars I intend an orderly discourse; first, crauing your patience to heare those persons named, against whose poyson, so skilfull a Phisition, as St. Paul was, thought good to confect so strong a potion; they are in the common language of the Church, Heretickes and Schismatickes, with which names, and the reasons of them, and the difference betwixt them, I shall briefly make you acquainted.

The enemies of the Church, her doctrine are Hereticks.First then Heretickes, haue their name from the word [...] which signifies choosing, for that they make choyce of a peculiar religion fitting their owne fancie, as in old time the Philosophers made choyce of such a sect as they liked best.

It cannot be denied, but that in the Scriptures this word is sometimes taken in the best sense, importing no more but doctrine, as where it is said [...],Acts 28.22. &c. for as concerning this sect (or here­sie) wee know that euery where it is spoken against. Sometimes it is taken in the worst sense purporting the doctrine of deuills, maintained against the prin­ciples of religion. A man that is an Hereticke, after the first, Tit. 3.10. and second admonition reiect: but the vse of [Page 5] the Church, (since Heretickes after the Resurrecti­on, and more especially within the first fiue hundred yeares, sprang vp thickly among the people of God, as tares among Wheate, swarming in the light of the Gospell, like Locusts of Egipt, and men, reiecting the true way of Gods worship, made choyce of peculi­ar manners of worships, according to their seuerall fancies,) hath brought to passe, that this word is onely taken in the worst sense, so that from the word it selfe, it is easie to define an hereticke;What an Here­ticke is▪ Hee is one that professeth the name of Christ, and who main­taineth obstinately any one, or more opinions, repugnant to the grounds of our Christian faith: whereby he is distinguished, first from all licentious Christians, who, though by their euill liues, they deny euen that blessed name by which they are redeemed, yet must wee not call them heretickes, for that they maintaine no opinion, that it is lawfull so to doe. Secondly, he is distinguished from Iewes and Turks, who denie the divinitie of Christ; because they pro­fesse not themselues to be Christians. Lastly, hee is distinguished from such erring Christians, who for want of a sound Iudgement, misconceiue the ve­ry grounds of Religion, as the Corithians did, for these you cannot call Heretickes, if they will yeeld vnto wholsome doctrine, and doe not with obsti­nate mindes, maintaine their damnable opinions, so that in an Hereticke three things concurre. First, he is a professor of Christian religion. Secondly, he is an obstinate defender of his opinion. Lastly, his opinion is, repugnant to the fundamentall points of our Christian faith. And least any man should [Page 6] thinke this to be a small matter, let him note that an Heretick is worse than a murtherer, by how much the soule is more noble than the body, for hee is a killer, and a destroyer of the soules of men; hee is worse than an Infidell, for as one of the Fathers ob­serueth, he is desertor fidei & oppugnator eius, a for­saker of the faith, and an oppugner of it, which an Infidell cannot be, for he may bee oppugnator eius, a resister of it, but he cannot be desertor, a forsaker of it, because he neuer had it. In a word, hee is worse than a Schismaticke, because whereas the Schisma­ticke quatenùs, a Schismaticke breakes onely the bond of loue, whereby wee are tied one to another, the Hereticke cuts the very throate of faith, where­with we are vnited to God himselfe.

Gods iudge­ments vpon Hereticks.Then stand amazed at Gods dreadfull iudge­ments, poured on such persons in this life, like plagues on the Aegiptians, and fore-running their plagues eternall in the life to come. Arius who de­nyed the consubstantiality of the Sonne of God, burst in sunder,Rufin lib. 1. cap. 13. Socr: lib. 1 ec, hist Cap. 25. after the manner of Iudas Iscariot, and his bowells gushed out. Montanus, who gaue forth of himselfe, as if he were that Comforter pro­mised by our Sauiour, & those two lewd women his Prophetesses Priscilla and Maximilla hanged them­selues.Euseb. Ec. hist. lib. 5. cap. 13. & cap. 14. Paulus Samosatenus, who denied Christ to be the naturall Sonne of God, was stricken in his body with a contagious Leprosie, he was excōmunicated in all Churches, and in the end depriued of his vsur­ped Bishopricke.Hierenim: Cata­log. Scriptor. Manes who had amassed & heaped together diuers absolute heresies, out of which hee confected his venim, was imprisoned by the King of [Page 7] Persia, and by his commandement skinned aliue,Euseb. Ec. hist. lib 7. cap. 30. and his skinne was stuffed full of chaffe, and set vp be­fore the entrie of a certaine Citie of Mesapotamia.

The Arian Bishops intending to meet in the Town of Nicomedia, Socr. lib. 1. cap. 22. hist. Socr. Ec. histor. lib. 2. cap. 39. and there to consult together for the propagation of their heresie, the Lord by a fearefull Earth-quake ouerthrow the Towne to preuent their meeting.

Therefore let vs feare to fall into any heresie, lest the Lord be as angry with vs, as he was with them, knowing that if we turne our faces against the fun­damentall points of Christian beleefe, we are worse than murtherers, we are worse than Infidells, we are worse than Schismaticks, Gods plagues hang ouer our heads in this life, and eternall damnation in the life to come. The Lord doth hate, and therefore take reuenge on the very places of hereticall con­uenticles; a late experience we had in the ruines of certaine roomes of a house in this Citie,The house at the Black-Friers nota est hi­storia, though I feare it bee almost forgotten such are the first sort of the deceiuers here mentioned, those that oppose the grounds and principles of Christian religion.

The second sort wee call Schismatiques,Schismaticks are Enemies of the doctrine taught in the Church. from the word [...], which signifieth division; because they deuide themselues from the body of the Church and Congregation, and haue their conuents by themselues,What Schisma­tickes are. August. lib de quaesti. Euang. Secundū. Matth. Cal. institut. de fide, cap. 8. the difference betweene Heretickes and Schismatickes, St. Augustine wi [...]l haue to bee, Quod illi falsis d [...]gmatibus, fidei sinceritatem corrumpant; hi autem interdum etiam in fidei similitudine, societatis vinculum disrumpant: that Hereticks with false [Page 8] doctrine, doe corrupt the sincerity of the faith, but Schismatickes sometimes euen in the similitude of faith, doe breake asunder the bond of loue. Where­by it is plaine, that the properties of a Schismaticke are these two; first, hee must make profession of the faith; secondly, he must deuide himselfe from the body of the Church; and it skills not whether for some point of doctrine, or for Ceremonies or any other thing with which hee is discontented: the matter is, hee deuideth himselfe from the Church, and is therefore a Schismaticke. Vpon this reason was Lucifer, Bishop of Calaris in Sardinia, iustly ta­ken and reputed as a Schismaticke, for that hee de­uided himselfe from Eusebius B. of Vercellis, Rufin. lib. 1. cap. 30. Ec. Hist. Theodocet. Ec. Hist. lib. 3. cap. 4. & 5. and from the Church of Antiochia, for that they disap­proued the ordination of Paulinus, whom hee had ordained to be Bishop there.

A man would thinke it a small matter to bee dis­contented, and therfore to be deuided for such a tri­fle: but it is that which St. Paul blameth among the Corinthians, 1 Cor. 3.3. where there is among you enuying, & strife & deuisions, are yee not carnall, and walke as men? if car­nall,Rom. 8.1. then not spirituall: for the flesh and the spirit are opposed. To walke after the flesh is one thing, and to walke after the spirit is another thing. Vpon this reason Schismaticks haue not the Spirit of God, and therefore walke as men, euen as those that are carnally minded which is death.Rom. 8.6. For to bee carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded, is life and peace. If I dissemble not with you, or goe about to deceiue you, I must needs conclude, with a lear­ned Diuine,Eulling. Dec. 5. Ser. 2. that schismes are crimina atrocissima, [Page 9] most crying sinnes. For behold Gods iust iudge­ments in one particular, vpon the heads of Sschis­maticks. Corah, Dathan, and Abiram, Num. 16. made a diuisi­on among the people of Israel, but the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them vp aliue. A iudge­ment able to warne all succeeding ages, to take heed how they goe apart from the congregation of the Lord; and more especially those that will separate themselues from our Church, for some few Cere­monies and formalities retained therein. For the lesse cause they haue to doe so, the greater is their crime. I pittie the case of those that delight more in priuate conventicles, than in publike Congrega­tions, and will be deuided, because they will seeme to be singular, as the Scribes and Pharisees. I would to God they were all of them acquainted with thus much of Cyprians Theologie,Cypr. lib. de vnit. Ecclesiae. Habere non potest De­um Patrem, qui Ecclesiam non habet matrem; Hee can­not haue God to be his Father;Of the parti­culars of the text, and ther­in first of the first part, wher­in he maketh request, ver 17. wherein the first thing ob­serued, is his humble Intro­duction. Rom. 1.7. that hath not the Church his Mother. But let vs now see the particu­lars, that wee may receiue direction how to deale with them.

1. I beseech you brethren.

Vnto whom he writeth his Epistle, them he salu­teth by the name of Brethren. These were not the Elders or Rulers of the Church onely, but euery one who being called to the knowledge of the truth, made profession of the blessed name of Iesus: To these he dedicated his Epistle, To all that be in Rome, beloued of God, called to be Saints, and all these hee here styleth by the name of Brethren.

This is done vpon a double reason; first, we haue [Page 10] all one common Father, which is God. One is your Father Which is in heauen. Mat. 23.9. Vpon which respect you shall neuer see the Apostle so vncharitable, but he will repute the very Iewes his brethren. Secondly, the members of the Church are ioyned together in a more neere fraternity, for God doth become our Father in Christ his Sonne, by faith wee are made the sonnes of God.Ioh. 1.12. As many as receiued him, to them gaue he power to be the sonnes of God, and we are adop­ted to bee the heires of God, Rom. 8.17. and ioynt heires with Christ, it is therefore no indignitie to the person of the A­postle, to salute the meanest Christian by the name of Brother; and account him so to be, for hee is re­deemed by the same price, and bought with the same blood, he is the adopted sonne to the same Fa­ther, and hath the same inheritance. Why then should not the Apostle receiue him and repute him as a brother?

O yee that aduance your selues aboue your bre­thren (and because yee haue place, either in the Church or Common-wealth, or gifts more excellent than your brethren haue, presumptuously thanke God with the foolish proud Pharisee in the Gospell, that you are not as Other men are) come hither and learne humilitie,Luk. 18.10. lest because you exalt your selues now, God humble you hereafter: As good a man as the best of you,Act. 9.15. A chosen vessell vnto God: As great a man as the greatest of you all, An Apostle of Iesus Christ, Rom. 1.5. is ioyous to bee rankt in this fraternitie. And when you shine in your gold and siluer,Act. 12. [...]1. like Herode in his royalty, and with admiration of these out­ward things,Physiolog. cap. 12. like that [...] that boasting [Page 11] bird the Peacocke beholding his goodly feathers with great reioycing, then remember your poore kindred, if yee be Christ his seruants, the meanest Christian is brother to the greatest; he is redeemed with the same blood; hee is bought with the same price, and heire vnto that kingdome, to which all the kingdomes of the world are not worthy to bee compared; behold his noblenesse.

‘And let that proud Commander of the world, who will be called Vniuersall Bishop, De Maior. & Obed. Vnam Sanctam in extrauag: Bonifacij 8. Durandu [...] Con­cil▪ Lat. Sub. Iu­lio 2. Dist 9. Innocent. De Maior: & in obe. li: 50. lit [...]. in extrauag [...] Ioh. 22 cap cum inter nonnullos. in gloss [...] finali in editione impres­sa Parisiis. 1503. the head of the Church, the Ruler of both the Swords, the high Con­veener of Councells, who dareth to haue it affirmed, that the whole world is his Diocesse, that hee hath all power both in heauen and in earth, that hee cannot bee iudged by all the Cleargie, nor by all the people, that all Kings and Emperours haue all their power & authority from him, that he is seuenty times seuen times greater than the greatest Kings, that his power is more ample than all other Patriarkes, that hee is the Lord God, no pure man, but something made and compounded of God and man, who is wont to command Purgatorie, and the fire of hell, and to send the blessed Angels to fetch bring, deliuer, and carry soules out of Purgatory into heauen (with as good discretion as sometimes King Xerxes commanded the great Mount Athos in Mace­donia, to stand still, and not to stirre one foote out of his place, and to cause no trouble vnto him or his Army, vpon paine of his high displeasure.)’ Let him learne humilitie well suiting with Apostolicall san­ctity; let him stoope to the meanest Christian as to his brother, let him note but the Apostles spirit, who though as an Apostle hee might command [Page 12] them, yet doth he beseech them as his brethren ra­ther choosing to preuaile by loue than rigour,

And there are two reasons why the Apostle doth rather intreate then command. First, he is ardently zealous, the greatnesse of the cause moued him to be so. For what is the danger? the publike scandall of that blessed name by which we are redeemed; the propagation of the Gospell hindred, those that giue care to the inchantments of these Syrens seduced, and their soules destroyed, the more the danger is to be feared, the more ardent is his obsecration, I be­seech you brethren. Secondly, it is more suitable to the nature of a brother, to bee requested, then com­manded by a brother: the faithfull hee will set free from their Schoole-master,Gal. 3.25. Gal. 4.18. those that are led by the spirit, he subiecteth not to the law. And therefore in all his Epistles you shall finde him seldome or ne­uer commanding, alwayes intreating and beseeching vt precibus flecti possint, to bow them, and bend them to their duties with his earnest suite, I beseech you brethren. Rom. 12.1. I beseech you brethren by the mercy of God, that yee present your bodies a liuing sacrifice. I beseech you brethren, Rom. 15.30. for the Lord Iesus Christ his sake, and for the loue of the Spirit, that yee striue together with mee, in your Prayers to God for me. I beseech you brethren marke them which cause diuisions and offences. And from his humble Introduction, hee proceeds to his learned description, which is the second thing that I obserued in the first part.

Secondly, of the description of these euill disturbers.Which caùse deuisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which yee haue learned.

He inditeth them of two capitall crimes, Diui­sions [Page 13] and offences by them caused; which how o [...] ­ous and insufferable they are, lay but against them saith he, the doctrine which yee haue learned, and yee shall easily perceiue; for Contraria iuxta se posi­ta magis illucescunt, Contraries layed one against a­nother doe appeare more plainely and are more ea­sie to be discerned, now these are contraries, there­fore you must compare them, and see how bad the one is by the goodnesse of the other.

(Deuisions) the word is [...] which signifieth discord, or disagreeing, and it is here properly re­ferred to opinions, so that it must necessarily implie sects, and devisions in Religion, divers doctrines, contrary to the truth of Christ for so the text ex­pounds it selfe.

The diuell was the first deuider, for when God had ioyned all things together in the best order, his studie was to separate that which God had vnited. Hee first caused a faction among the Angells in hea­uen, and with those whom he found to adhere to his part, he left his habitation. Hee stirred vp Schisme,Iud. 5.6. He deuided himselfe from God, and from the socie­tie of the blessed Angells. Hee deuided man from God, that if it were possible, hee might also deuide God from man. Hee was the first that preacht He­reticall doctrine in Diuinitie; for when God had said vnto Adam, Of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Euill; thou shalt not eate of it;Gen. 2.17 for in the day that thou ea­test thereof, thou shalt surely die. Or (as it is in the Hebrew) dying thou shalt die. Contrary to this the diuell preached, Yee shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day yee eate thereof, then your eyes shall [Page 14] bee opened, Gen. 3.4, 5. Gen. 4. Gen. 6.2. and yee shall be as Gods, knowing good and Eu [...]ll. In the persons of Cain and Abell, he deuided the brother from the brother. He was the first that brought in that ancient destinction the sonnes of God, and the sonnes of men. By his studie he is a deui­der, and therefore properly called in our English tongue the diuell, from the word Diuello, which sig­nifieth to vnioyne or pull in sunder; for hee is al­wayes labouring to dissolue that which God hath ioyned.

And hence it is, that when a Schisme was made in old time in the Church, they had wont to call the author of it the diuells sonne. Paul called Elymas the Sorcerer;Act. 13.10. the childe of the diuell, St. Iohn being at E­phesus bathing his body in a Bath, in which Cerin­thus the Hereticke was also bathing, fled away, as if the diuell had beene there, because Cerinthus the di­uells sonne was there. And when Marcion the He­reticke meeting Polycarpus, said vnto him, Cognoscenos: pray know vs, take notice and acquaintance of vs: Polycarpe made him this answer, Cognosco te pri­mogenitum Satanae. Yes, I take notice of thee, and I know thee well enough, thou art the diuells eldest sonne. Vpon this Irenaeus maketh this graue con­clusion.Iren lib. 3. cap. 3. Tantum apostoli, & horum discipuli habuerunt timorem, vt neque verbo tenus communicarent alicui corum, qui adulterauerant veritatem; So greatly stood the Apostles and their disciples in feare (lest Here­sies and Schismes shou [...]d preuaile) that they would not communicate, no not so much as in exchange of a word with any of those who had depraued the truth of Christ. Vpon this ground divisions are [Page 15] noted; they deuide vs from God, and God from vs: they deuide vs from the Communion of the faithfull, and the faithfull from vs: nay, they sub­deuide, for by Heresies and Schismes, euen the wicked are deuided among themselues: they are the workes of the diuell, and they that cause them doe as the diuell did; they are all ingenerall the di­uells sonnes, but those that deuide by heresie are pri­mogeniti Satanae, the diuells eldest sonnes, and heires apparant to his kingdome.

(Offences.) The word is [...]. that is to say, any manner of things whereat a man stumbleth and taketh harme; as stones or blocks cast in our brothers way, occasions of sinne, and such like. These are caused either Dictis or factis, by their wicked do­ctrine, or by their lewd liues, and indeed those that cause deuisions, cannot choose but cause offences, vpon the same reason, because they cause deuisions; and therefore the Apostle saith, [...]. Diuisions and offences; because the one is bred by the other, as the fruite is nourished by the tree; or rather false doctrine and schisme, is the ve­getatiue power of offences.

It is true, that there is sometimes Scandalum accep­tum, where there is not Scandalum datum; an offence taken, where there is no offence giuen, as it is like that a blinde man may stumble, and fall in a plaine foote-path, where there is nothing layed in his way. But we are now disputing De dato scandalo, of offen­ces giuen, and of those that lay blockes, and cast stumbling stones in the way to ouerthrow their [Page 16] brethren, contrary to Christian charitie, and Christs commandement, who hath commanded vs to loue one another, [...]. [...].34. as hee hath loued vs, and contrary to the Apostles rule, that wee should consider one another, to prouoke vnto loue, and to good workes.

Heb. 10.24.Furthermore, vpon what reason the Apostle doth indite those that cause deuisions, and not those one­ly, but them also that cause offences, it may appeare by the Scriptures which setteth forth the causing of offences to be a most capitall crime: for which cause God commanded the people of Israel, vtterly to de­stroy the old Inhabitants of the land of Canaan, left they should cause offences, and cast stumbling blocks in their way;Deut 7.4. They will turne away thy sonnes from following mee, that they may serue other Gods. Our Sa­uiour Christ saith, Woe vnto the world because of offen­ces: it must needs be that offences come: but woe to that man, by whom the offence commeth. And woe to him to whom our Sauiour Christ saith,Mat. 18.7. Woe, for what said he a little before? It were better for him that a mil­stone were hanged about his necke, vers. 6. and that hee were drowned in the depth of the Sea.

But for what cause is a woe so grieuous pronoun­ced against him that causeth offences? St. Paul giues the reason,1 Cor. 8.11.12. By this m [...]ane [...] shall the weake brother perish, for whom Christ dyed: when yee sinne so against the brethren, and wound their weake conscience, yee sinne against Christ.

For Gods loue take this to heart, yee of vncir­cumcised hearts and eares, who neuer diue into the reckoning of it, what it is to wound the weake con­sciences of your brethren: and I speake not to those [Page 17] onely that maketh deuisions in our Church, either in matter of Doctrine or of Ceremonie; (if there be any such that heare me this day.) But to you that offend your brethren by your euill liues, either in the abuse of Christian liberty to your lusts, as drink­ing to drunkennesse: dressing to pride: sparing to couetousnesse; eating to gluttony, or such like: whereby that which is lawfull, is vsed vnlawfully, or else by doing that which is absolutely vnlawfull, as Whore-mongers, Theeues, Vsurers, Lyers, swea­ters, and such like. You wound the weake conscien­ces of your brethren; ye cause your weake brethren to perish for whom Christ died: repent and amend your liues, or let me tell you, that yee your selues will say hereafter, that it were better if that a mil­stone had beene hanged about your neckes, and that you had beene cast into the depth of the Sea. For though it be necessarie that offences should come, yet woe be vnto you by whom they come.

I must now demonstrate this impiety a Contrario, as it were by laying white against blacke, to discerne the colours.

Contrary to the doctrine which ye haue learned. This is the touch-stone, at which all deuisions & offences must be tryed: by this we must try the spirits, 1 Ioh. 4.1. whe­ther they be of God. He had taught them the high and profound mysterie of Christian religion by autho­rity of the Scriptures: now he condemnes not sim­ply all deuisions, & all offences, [...], with respect and relation, those onely that are contrary to Gods word, and the proportion of faith and manners, which was that doctrine which they had learned at his mouth.

[Page 18]We must deuide our selues from all Iewes, Turkes, Papists, Infidells and Hereticks; as the Israelites were deuided from the abominations of Aegipt; and if wee cause offences to them, as Lot to the Sodomites, and the faithfull of the primitiue Church to the Idolatrous Gentiles, by the synceritie of our Reli­gion, and our good conuersation wee sinne not, for this is bonum Schisma, and bonum Scandalum, a good Schisme, and a good scandall, which Christ him­selfe made, or rather which hee professed to make▪ I am come to set a man against his Father, and the daughter against her mother, Mat. 10, 35.36. and the daughter in law against her mother in law, And a mans foes, shall bee they of his owne houshold. But the vnlawfull deuisions and offences, are those that are made contrary to the Apostolicall doctrine, the blessed word of God. Ex illo (saith one of the learned Fathers) fidem ali­mus: ex illo spemerigimus: ex illo fiduciam firmamus: thereby wee feed our faith, thereby wee aduance our hope,Rom. 1 16. [...] Tim. 3.15. thereby wee confirme our trust; for this is the power of God vnto saluation to all those that be­leeue; this is able to make vs wise vnto saluation through faith which is in Christ Iesus, and therefore though we, or an Angell from heauen, preach any ether Gospell vn­to you, then that which wee haue preached vnto you, let him be accursed (saith Paul) but those that doe so, let vs now see,Gal. 1.8. how we must deale with them.

Thirdly, of the Apostles godly counsell how we must deale with them. Wee must marke them, and avoide them, (Marke them) the word is [...], which signifieth, that wee must bee like vnto those that sit vpon watch Towers to obserue the comming of the enemie. For they that cause deuisions and offences, are the common ene­mies [Page 19] of the Church of God, and they come to de­stroy our soules, and therefore we ought to be most carefull to marke them. Secondly, they come with all policie and subtilty,1 Pet. 2.1. and bring in their damnable heresies priuily; and therefore we ought neuer to bee absent from our watch-tower, but to haue an eye vnto them continually, left they come vpon vs vna­wares, and suddenly destroy vs, and as this is gene­rally the dutie of all men, vpon this reason, that eue­ry man hath a soule, which is his best part, and the choysest thing that hee possesseth,Mat. 16.26. and more deare vnto him than all the world (for what is a man profi­ted, if hee shall gaine the whole world, and lose his owne soule? or what shall a man giue in exchange for his soule? So more especially it is the dutie of those that are in authoritie, either in the Church or Common-wealth, vpon this reason, that in the Scriptures they are called Watch-men, for how doe they watch,Eze. 33.6. if they defend not Gods flocke diligently against these ra­uening Wolues? And against whom doe they watch,Mat. 7.15. if not against these enemies of mens soules.

Therefore let euery man in generall marke them, as they desire the saluation of their owne soules, but more especially the Magistrates according to their places, as they will answer for the soules of those that shall be seduced. Whom in the name of Christ I doe beseech to be carefull of it. Let them marke them by making them knowne vnto Gods people in their colours, as Paul marked Hymenaeus and Philetus, and Alexander the Copper-smith: as St. Iohn marked Diotrephes: and our Sauiour Christ the Scribes,Mat. 16.6. Pha­risees, and Saduces, Take heed and beware of the lea­uen [Page 20] of the Pharisees, and of the Saduces. Let them ad­monish the people to take heed of the leauen of Ie­suites, Anabaptists, Brownists, and all deuiders and offenders whatsoeuer, and let them marke them to restraine their madnesse. Excellently St. Augustine in his Epistle to Donatus, August. Epist. 127. a [...] Denat. Deputie of Affrick, Sic igi­tur eorum peccata compesce, vt sint quos paeniteat pec­casse, Doe thou so bridle their sinnes, that they may repent at heart, that euer they haue sinned.

A second dutie subordinate to this our watching is the auoiding of them; for if we marke them, wee may auoide them, but if wee marke them not, wee cannot auoide them, [...], bee gone from them, and shunne them, as men are wont to runne away from noxious beastes.Iren lib 2. cap. 19 For as Irenaeus saith, they are like vnto Hunters, and their intent is to make a prey of you.Epiph Haeres. 34 Cont [...]. Marcofi [...]. Epiphanius doth well com­pare them to the Serpent called Dypsas, which poy­soneth those pooles of water, at which he drinketh, whence it commeth to passe, that the beasts which drinke there, fall downe dead suddenly, and burst in sunder, being poysoned with the venim of the Dypsas. I cannot now stand to dispute of cases of Conscience, how farre it may bee lawfull for a man to conferre with those that cause Devisions and of­fences▪ I will onely presse you with the words of the blessed Apostle and Euangelist St. Iohn, If there come any vnto you, 2 Ioh. 10. and bring not this doctrine, receiue him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. And now I come to shew the cause or reason hereof which is the second part of my text.

Secondly, of the Narration or Exposition of the cause or reason. and therein, first of the scope of their professi­on. Mat. 10.40. Luk. 10.16. They that are such, serue not our Lord Iesus Christ, [Page 21] but their owne belly. Those that serue Christ, especi­ally in the worke of the ministry, wee are comman­ded to receiue: it is our Sauiours doctrine; Hee that receiueth you receiueth me. Hee that heareth you, heareth me, and hee that despiseth you, despiseth me. By the rule of contraries, he that receiueth those that serue not Christ, in the worke of the ministry, hee receiueth not Christ, but them and him whose workes they doe, that is the diuell: here then is the matter or first cause whereupon we are not to receiue them; nay, we must marke them, nay, we must auoide them, they serue the diuell, He that receiueth them, recei­ueth the diuell: he that markes them not, markes not the diuell: he that auoideth them not, auoides not the diuell. A roaring Lyon who would meete him? but how mad is hee that will receiue him into his society, to be familiar with him? In three things those that cause deuisions, and by deuisions offen­ces in the Church of God, haue relinquished the seruice of our Lord Iesus Christ. First, because all such are most notorious hypocrites; for as the Serpent called Drynas, is like the colour of an Oken leafe,Epiph. Haeres. 65. Cont. Paulum Sam [...]sot. whence he hath his name, (and yet indeed is a veni­mous beast:) so though they seeme to be like Chri­stians, they are not so indeed, but (to speake the truth) no better than Iewes. The Arian heretickes gaue forth of themselues, that they onely were the catholicke Church of God: those that were mem­bers of the Church indeed, they called sometimes Ambrosians, sometimes Athanasians, August. Epistel. 48. ad Vincent. sometimes Ioan­nites, in derision of the truth of God, which those holy and learned Fathers, Ambrose, Athanasius, and [Page 22] Iohn Chrysostome had preached: as now the Papists call vs sometimes Lutherans, sometimes Caluinists; sometimes Zuinglians and Huguenots, in derision of the truth of God by them and vs maintained. Ne­storius being a pestilent Hereticke, yet as Theodoret saith hee couered himselfe, [...]. With a cloake or vaile of the Catholike faith. And Ebion, who maintained the opinion of the Samari­tans, would yet as Epiphanius saith, bee reputed a Christian. This they haue learned of the diuell, who to deceiue is transformed into an Angell of light. 2 Cor. 11.14. By this meanes they get proselites and followers, whom they make twofold the children of hell, Mat. 23.15. more than they themselues are. Secondly, they are most cruell and bloody,I ibide praescrip: aduers [...] haeres: cap. 42. Cum hoc sit negotium illis, non ethnicos con­uertendi, sed nostros cuertendi, saith Tertullian, for their studie is not to conuert Infidells and Pagans to the faith, but to throw downe vs that are Christians from the faith; and indeed the persecutions caused by Hereticks and Schismatickes, haue beene more bloody than those which haue beene raised by Infi­dells and Pagans. I say not here, that no age hath heard of the like barbarous crueltie to the late in­tended Gunpouder treason, but so many thousand glorious Martyrs butcherd: so many millions of Confessors tortured; so many myriads of Godly men and women persecuted, whose soules lye vnder the altar and cry with a loude voice and saying, Reu. 6.10. How long Lord holy and true, doest thou not iudge, and auenge our blood, on them that dwell on the earth? All these shall witnesse with me, that the tyrannous persecuti­ons which haue beene raised within the Church, [Page 23] haue beene greater then those which haue beene raised without the Church; and whosoeuer maketh deuisions, it is to be presumed, that he hath the like will, though not the like power. Lastly, their end is, that they may walke according to the flesh; and therefore though they pretend much strictnesse, and reformation of life and manners, by chastening the body, as it were to subdue it to the spirit, it is but subordinate to some fleshly end; for they turne the grace of our God into laciuiousnesse. Iud. vers. 4. I will not staine your chaste eares with the fleshly deeds and godlesse practices of such kinde of people in all ages, by au­thoritie of Ecclesiasticall histories, and diuers Or­thodox Fathers, which in some small measure I am able to present vnto your view; let it be sufficient to note with our Apostle this one thing, that they haue renounced the seruice of our Lord Iesus Christ, and serue their owne belly. Quid foedius, quid turpius? What more filthy, odious, abhominable, damnable, or detestable?

Where we note that the (Belly) in the Scrip­tures is taken in a double sense; properly, or figura­tiuely in its proper sense, it signifieth the belly of man or woman, as where we reade that Phinchas the sonne of Eleazar the sonne of Aaron the Priest, thoust Zimry the man of Israel, Num. 25. [...]. and Cozby the Midianitish woman, with his Iauelin through her belly: in its figu­ratiue sense, it is taken sometimes for the heart, by the figure called Synecdoche, When I heard, Habac. 3.16. my belly trembled; that is to say, Commetum est cor meum quod est in ventre: my heart in my belly was moued, some­times it signifieth the body of man;Psal. 132.17. Of the fruite of [Page 24] thy belly, will I set vpon thy throne. Sometimes it sig­nifieth particularly the wombe;Psal. 22.10. Thou art my God, from my mothers belly. Somtimes it signifieth a drun­kard, a gluttonous person, and one that is profuse and lauish, vpon his owne Lusts. So Paul calleth the Cretians [...],Tit. 1.12. slowe bellies. Sometimes it is taken for all worldly things, especially those that conduce to the present maintenance of life; and in this sense the Apostle saith of such kinde of people as those, concerning whom wee now speake, their god is their belly;Phil. 3.19. as if he should haue said, that they onely regard the things of this world, for them they study, and doe their vttermost deuoire. Magister ar­tis ingenique Largitor venter, Ters. their belly teacheth them their skill, and bestowes their wit vpon them.

See here the meaning of that place, they cause not Deuisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine of the Gospell, for any care or conscience to serue God, but to serue their belly, in acquiring the things of this life. And this is an especiall marke of infamie, with which they are alwayes branded in the Scrip­tures.Tit. 1.11. Paul to Titus saith, that they teach things which they ought not, for filthy lucres sake. The Apostle Peter saith,1 Pet. 2.3. through couetousnesse, shall they with feigned words, make merchandize of you. And the Apostle Iude saith,Iud. ver. 11. that they runne greedily, after the errour of Ba­laam for reward.

This being their aime, we need not seeke the cause, why those of the Romish Church, so obstinately maintaine their masses, Indulgencies, Pardons, and such like Satanicall sigments, for (because they are separated from the Congregation of the Lord) it [Page 25] cannot bee, but their studie is to serue their belly. Againe, this being their aime, wee need not wonder if in this flourishing Church of England, and as it were in the noone-tyde of the Gospell, as well the doctrine, as the discipline of the Church, being a­greed vpon in publique conuocation, by the lear­ned and religious of the Land, and authorised by law, you haue yet many among you, who willingly would (and doe as farre as they dare) alter the forme of our publike Church-Seruice, and Ceremonies: and feigne would innouate something, either in re­spect of substance or of circumstance, and if you haue Sects of Anabaptists, Brownists, Papists, Familists, Catharists, and those who mislike all things but their owne inuentions. For what wonder shall I bring▪ if that I tell you, that it is possible there may be couetous men among vs? For, 1 Tim. 6.10. the loue of money is the roote of all euill, which while some coueted after, they haue erred from the faith, and pierced themselues through with many sorrowes.

Now because these Leopards doe hide their clawes, and sometimes vnder the profession of vo­luntary pouertie doe practice couetousnesse, the A­postle will therefore shew you wherein they hide them, lest because you see them not, you may thinke them to haue none: and so like children, play too familiarly with them, not finding out their priuate end, their belly.

By good words and faire speeches. Secondly, the plausiblenesse of their beha­uiour. The Doctours of the Romish Church among other blasphemies, are wont to teach, that the holy Scripture is a nose of Waxe, and a leaden rule, meaning thereby that it [Page 26] may be bowed,This did they set forth open­ly at Wormes, Anno 1557. wrested, and turned to contrary ex­positions and interpretations, for the maintenance of priuate opinions and absurdities. It is most blas­phemous to say, that the Scripture is so, and yet St. Peter takes it for granted,1 Pet. 3.16. that it may be wrested, yet with this Prouiso, to the destruction of them that wrest it.

Mat. 7.15.Now because it is true, that false Prophets shall come in sheepes cloathing to deceiue, therefore it doth fol­low, that they shall bring nothing more than the Scripture in their mouthes, which they haue wre­sted to their owne damnation. A thing which the diuell himselfe hath taught them, who when hee tempted our Sauiour Christ in the Wildernesse, could yet cite the Scripture to his purpose. If thou be the Sonne of God, Mat. 4.6. cast thy selfe downe, for it is writ­ten, hee shall giue his Angells charge concerning thee, and in their hands they shall beare thee vp, least at any time thou dash thy foote against a stone. These are those good words the Apostle speaketh of, with which the mouthes of all those that cause deuisions are stufft; [...]en. lib. 1. cap. 1. Adaptare cupientes ea, quae bené dicta sunt, ijs quae malè adinventa sunt ab ipsis, Striuing to fit those things which in the Scriptures are well spoken, (ac­cording as there they are spoken,) to what they themselues haue mis-inuented.

With these good words so ill implyed, will the Valentinians goe about to establish their 30. couple of Gods and Goddesses: The Manichees their duo Principia, or brace of gods: the Arians to denie the true diuinitie of Christ: the Papists their Purgatorie, their Transubstantiation, and all the parts of their [Page 27] Masse: and euery new deuiser his owne brain-sicke Fopperies: therefore as good coyners are not wont hastily to receiue, and to approue of euery peece of gold, but will first trie it, and proue it by the touch­stone (especially if it be an vnknowne coyne.) So if any man bring vnto vs any newes in matters of re­ligion, and will thrust it vpon vs for gold, in the name of the Scripture, as good coyners wee must bring it to the Scripture, and compare Scripture with Scripture, that so wee may iudiciously discerne and see Quis nummus probus sit, quis adulter, which is good coyne, which is Copper. And the reason is, because it is the practice of those that serue their belly, to come with good words, euen with the most blessed words of the Scripture in their mouthes, like as the Hiaena is wont to counterfeit a mans voyce to obtaine his prey.

(Faire speeches.) I referre to their moralitie, by which they striue to be compleate euery way. For it is the condition of an hypocrite, to counterfeit ver­tue; for Hypocrisie it selfe as Chrysologus in one of his Sermons obserueth, is virtutum fucus, Chrysolog. Ser [...]. the false painting or shadowing of vertue; therefore must they come with faire language and vertuous spee­ches, that they may with more ease bee receiued. It is true, that their end is their belly, yet doe their outward actions, beare such a shew of holinesse and charitie, that (to our shame it may bee spoken) to the sight of the world they exceed vs farre, And hence it is that so many Churches, Temples, Ora­tories, Colledges, Schooles of learning, Hospitalls, Almes-houses, and other monuments of all sorts, [Page 28] which our eyes daily doe behold, haue beene ere­cted euen in the dayes of blindenesse: to say the truth, we scarce repaire and vphold those most ne­cessary buildings of all sorts, which our Progenitors, in the time that they dranke of the waters of Baby­lon, haue erected to our hands. Wee must not bely the deuill: you shall see more almes-deeds of all sorts done by the hands of Papists: more strictnesse, and reformation of life and manners, among Brow­nists, and Anabaptists: more religious obseruation of oathes and promises among the Turkes themselues, than among the Formalists of our profession.

It is true, we cannot say these men to be vertuous, notwithstanding these great workes, for because their good deeds are directed to a wrong end, they are but Vmbrae & simulachra virtutum, the shadowes, pictures,August Fraefat. in Psal. 31. and counterfeites of vertues, and as one of the Fathers saith, vt magnae vires, & cursus celerri­mus praeter viam; like to great strength, and excee­ding swift running when a man is out of the way, because they proceed not from the true faith,Heb. 11.6. with­out which it is impossible to please God. Yet is it to bee feared, that our high calling in Christ Iesus, doth hence receiue a most bloody stabbe, for that the ge­nerall sort among vs, want those faire speeches, and that morality of life, of which our Aduersaries brag, and with which they doe deceiue. Want it did I say? nay, abound in the contrary; the Bribery of Courtiers, the loosenesse of Cleargie men, the infi­delitie of Lawyers, the prodigalitie of Gentlemen, the deformed pride of Ladyes, the poling avarici­ousnesse of Citizens, and in this land of ours, [Page 29] Quicquid vidit Colchos, aut Phasis nefas, Sence. the very cry­ing sinnes of Sodom and Gomorah, shall beare mee witnesse.

Therefore as the third persecution of the Empe­rour Traiane, raised against the Church of Christ, was counted greater than the two former, moued by Nero and Domitian, vpon this reason, that contempt and shame was added to their afflictions; for it was no great dishonour to be hated by Nero and Domi­tian, wicked men, and haters of righteousnesse, but to be hated and persecuted by Traiane, a man ac­counted a patterne of vpright dealing, this was a great rebuke. In like manner, if in the eyes of the world they liue more syncerely than a great many of vs, and seeme to make conscience of their wayes (which is incident to all deceiuers) they shall with their good words, and faire speches, preuaile (with lesse exception against them) to pull downe the truth, than we to set it vp: and like as the fish are carried in the pleasant streames of Iordane, sporting and floating, till they fall into the dead Sea, where by and by they perish: so in the sweete streames of their good words and faire speeches, doe they carry their disciples (as it were sporting and floating in a pleasant course) till on the sudden they fall to their owne destruction. This is added by the Apostle in the last place, and is the effect produced, a most la­mentable shipwracke both of soule and body, the heart seduced.

They deceiue the hearts of the simple. Lastly, of the effect of their practice. The Scripture attributeth the whole rationall power, the vnder­standing, the will, iudgement, cogitation, consulta­tion, [Page 30] election, and indeauour to the heart. Vpon which reason, God doth most strictly require the heart, and will be loued, feared, honoured, and pray­ed to with the heart: that is to say, with the whole reasonable soule, and with all the powers and facul­ties of the same: Rent your heart, and not your gar­ments:Ioel. 2.15. 1 Sam. 16.7, and turne to the Lord your God. A man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. Vpon this reason they are blamed in the Scriptures, whose hearts are not right with the Lord their God:Isa. 29 13. This people drawe neere mee with their mouth, and with their lippes doe honour me, but haue re­moued their heart farre from me.

This is the chiefe and principall part of man, if this be lost, all is gone, for if the heart bee not with the Lord, though the tongue pray, the hands giue, the knees bend, the eyes looke vp to heauen, and all the body doe its dutie, it is but hypocriticall seruice, because the heart is not right with the Lord.

See then, the Apostle describeth a most miserable shipwracke, the whole man cast away, because the heart is deceiued. For if God haue the heart, hee will haue all the rest, if hee haue not the heart, hee will haue none of the rest: and therefore when hee doth aske all,Prou. 23.26. he doth demand the heart. My sonne giue me thy heart.

But with their good words, and faire speeches, they deceiue the heart! Oh whither goes that mise­rable man?Ruf [...] exposit▪ in Symb▪ Hee goeth from the Church of God, which is Mater viuentium, quam aedificauit Deus in ip­so summo angulari lapide Christo, the Mother of those that are elected to life eternall, which God hath [Page 31] builded in Christ Iesus, the chiefe corner stone. In going from it, he goes vnto the synagogue of Satan, the mother of those that are ordained to destructi­on, because not built, or not rightly built vpon Christ Iesus the chiefe corner stone. Hee goeth from Gods mercy, and all the sweete promises of God in Christ Iesus vnto life eternall, vnto Gods iustice, and the malediction of the Law, to euerlasting death; hee relinquisheth the society of all the faithfull vpon earth, which is by grace in this life, and in so doing hath no possibilitie (if hee continue vnto his last gaspe) to enioy the companie of the blessed Saints in heauen, which is by glory in the life to come.

Cyprian doth well affirme the Church to be No­ahs Arke, without the which there is no saluation.Cypr. lib. de Vni­tat: Ecclesiae. For like as he that falleth out of a Ship into the Sea, on which side soeuer he falleth, if hee be not drow­ned, he is in great danger of drowning: so hee that falleth away from the Church, by what Sect, Schisme, or heresie soeuer, if he fall not to his de­struction by it, he is in great danger of it.

My exhortation therefore is the very same with the wisest of Kings, Keepe thy heart with all diligence;Prou. 4.23. for out of it are the issues of life. God requireth it as his part, that he may saue thee; the diuell seekes to win it, that he may destroy thee; if he can win thee from the right faith, hee will pull thee from the Church, if thou art drawne from that, thou art with­drawne from God: therefore keepe that, and stoppe thy cares against the melodious tunings of these Sy­rens, be of ripe age in vnderstanding and if by good words & faire speeches, they preuaile on the simple, [Page 32] let them not preuaile on thee. Thus haue you the Quid, and doe see what is seduced (the heart.) Now come we to the Cuius, that we may see whose heart is deceiued, that is to say, the heart of the simple, they doe soonest of all lend their eares to good words and faire speeches.

There is a two-fold metaphoricall simplicitie, the one is opposed to learning, knowledge, and good manners: & hence it is that rude, barbarous, rustick, illiterate, and mannerlesse people, in the Scripture haue the name of simple men. How long yee simple ones, Prou. 1.22. will yee loue simplicitie? the other is opposed to craft, guile, fraud, iniustice, oppression, and such like vices. And hence it is that plaine dealing men, voide of fraud and deceipt, Masters of their words, morall honest men, in the sight and appearance of the world, are called simple men. So shall you reade that Esau was a cunning hunter, Gen. 25.27. a man of the field: and Iacob was a plaine man dwelling in tents: Clauis scripturae v [...]ce simplex. or (as Illyri­cus and others translate) a simple man, dwelling in tents: In like manner, St. Paul saith in this same chapter,Rom. 16.19. I would haue you wise vnto that which is good, and simple concerning euill.

Now, these second sort of simple ones are of two sorts, Regenerate, or vnregenerate; the Regenerate may for a time, as it shall please God to trie and proue them, be separated from the Church; yea, in time of persecution, they may deny that blessed name by which they are redeemed,Mat. 26.70. as Peter did, but they shall not die in their separation,Rom. 8.1. for there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Iesus, the vn­regenerate may be deceiued, and deceiued finally, [Page 33] and by Gods iust iudgement perish in their sinnes, because they were seduced, and opened their hearts to those that caused deuisions and offences, and both these sorts of simple ones, as well the regenerate, as vnregenerate, are those that are here noted to be deceiued, by the good words, and faire speeches of seducers. For the words are [...], which words are well translated by Theodorus Beza, hominum minime malorum; that is to say, men not drowned and plunged in the vsuall sinnes, and vices of the world.

And this may teach vs two things. First, that we ioyne not our selues to any of those Sects, that are deuided from our Church, which is a member of the true Catholike Church of God, whether Pa­pists, Anabaptists, Brownists, Familists, or what else you may call them, for that wee obserue many ex­cellent Ministers, endowed with many rare and ad­mirable gifts and qualities, to teach their heresies; for such a one was Arius the Hereticke.Ioaech: Camerat. iuaicat. haeres. de Ario. And wee can neither depriue our Aduersaries of the Church of Rome; nor diuers others, that in other kindes trouble our Church with strange opinions, of that honour, if yet wee may call it honour, and not ra­ther Gloriam Herostrate, such honour as Herostrotus atchieued by firing the Ephesians Temple. For what if they haue learning, wit, and eloquence? what if in outward gifts they shine as the Starres?Reu. 12.3. is not that great red Dragon in the Reuelation, said to drawe with his tayle the third part of the Starres of Heauen, and to cast them to the earth? or hath not [Page 34] the diuell at all times gotten such to make deuisions, and to cause offences.

The lesse ought we to admire, if they win to bee their disciples and proselites, ciuell honest men, whom the world, for the moralitie of their liues, holdeth in some esteeme; for such were they whom Absolom, by faire speeches and large promises, had drawne to his part against the King his father,2. Sam. 15. euen to commit treason, and rebellion with him. Such because they meane least hurt, are soonest deceiued, like vnwary fishes taken in a Net. and being decei­ued, doe much aduantage the deuills cause, for that their liues are had in admiration, and they haue gai­ned the good opinion of their neighbours, for that syncerity of which they make profession; no lesse than the Scribes and Pharisees. Ne aetas vos corum, nec authoritas fallas; [...] 5 Presbyt: S [...]isma [...]s, Epist. 40. Let not their age, let not their authority deceiue you, faith Cyprian. ‘Againe, we must not vncharitaby iudge them to bee vtterly cast away, all who decline from, or leaue our societie, for that the heart of a regenerate man, may for a time, (God turning his face from him, that hee may be troubled) bee deceived, but rather let vs pray that their fall be not finall, and if it please God of his mercy, to send them backe againe vnto vs, let vs not refuse them as Nouatus did, for that they haue sin­ned so scandalously against our good profession, to the dishonour of God and of our Church, I will end here with the words of Cyprian, Sufficiat lapsis vna ruina. &c. Let one fall bee sufficient to those that are fallen, let no man deceitefully throw [Page 35] downe those that are willing to rise vp againe: let no man presse downe more grieuously, those that already lye flat on the earth, for whom we pray that God with his hand and arme would helpe them vp; let no man denie the hope of life to those that are halfe dead, desiring to returne to their former health. Nemo nutantibus lapsus sui Caligine, omne itineris salutaris lumen extinguat;Cypr. Epist. 40. de 5. Presbyt. Let no man put out all the light of a secure voy­age, to those that stagger in the darkenesse of their fall.’ And seeing that those whose hearts are de­ceiued are fallen downe, lie groueling on the earth gasping for breath, and grappleing for life, and be­ing ready to die, doe lie in darkenesse, and in the shadow of death, it followeth that those who de­ceiue their hearts, throw them downe, stabbe them, and wound them euen vnto death, therefore that I may draw to a conclusion, I will binde vp all that hitherto hath beene spoken in the words of the text. Now I beseech you, brethren, marke them which cause deuisions, and offences, contrary to the doctrine which yee haue learned, and auoide them. For they that are such, serue not our Lord Iesus Chrest, but their owne belly, and by good words, and faire speeches, de­ceiue the hearts of the simple.

‘And now to recapitulate what hath beene spo­ken, you must remember, that the enemies of the Church and people of God are of two sorts, for­raine and domesticke, the first are those that make no profession at all of Christianitie, neither will be so reputed, as Iewes, Turkes, Infidells, and Pagans, [Page 36] the other are those who make profession of Chri­stian religion, and will bee accounted Catholicks and Christians, these are of two sorts, Heretickes or Schismatickes, the one doth cut in sunder the band of faith; the other doth make a breach in the knot of loue.’

‘Against these St. Paul addressing himselfe, be­seecheth all faithfull men as his brethren to marke them, and to auoide them, vpon this reason, that they are most dangerous enemies to the soule▪ causing deuisions and offences in the Church, contrary to the doctrine of the Gospell.’

‘Now, least this his fatherly counsell might be slighted, he proceedeth to shew the cause or rea­son, vpon which wee are to marke them, and a­uoide them, viz. their aime is not to serue God by so doing, but they haue worldly respects, tending to their owne aduantage, they talke like Diuines, and demeane themselues like morall honest men, by which meanes those that are plaine, and meane well, are soonest deceiued, like harmelesse Doues, caught in the Fowlers Net.’

Vpon which great causes (that I may end with application) I am bold to direct my speech first to those that are in authoritie,The duty of Magistrates. whom (though I can­not accuse for former negligence, and euen in my owne conscience, am confident that they will care­fully discharge their duties in their seuerall places with wisdome and iudgement) yet doe I desire that they will be pleased to let me minde them of it, as sometimes Philips seruant minded him of his mor­tality. [Page 37] God and the King hath committed the Sword vnto them,Rom. 13.4. which Sword they beare not in vaine. Therefore by the power of the sword com­mitted to their trust, may they marke those that cause deuisions, and offences, contrary to the do­ctrine that wee haue receiued.

This doctrine is the truth of God,The doctrine of the Church of England; the 39. art. taught and deliuered in the blessed Scriptures, which that wee might hold with vnanimous consent, and not di­uert from it, it was agreed vpon in certaine Articles in the Conuocation, confirmed by the royall authori­ty: which Articles are a declaration of what our Church approueth in the most principall points concerning saith and the publike seruice of God.

Let mee beseech them to marke those that cause deuisions and offences, contrary to that receiued doctrine. Yet with a iust distinction as well of the persons of those that cause deuisions and offences, (for some are obstinate, and some are tractable) as also of the deuisions, and offences by them caused and maintained; (for of those also, some are dam­nable, some onely dangerous, and to the honour of the Church of God scandalous.)

For the better effecting of this, let me remember them further, that the old Aegiptians, who were not altogether sottish in worldly matters, were wont to paint their Iudges blindfolded, and their President or chiefe Iustice without hands, as intimating that Iustice should neither see the person of any man, or feele his reward; which if it be to bee practised in matters temporall: how much more in this great [Page 38] matter, which so neerely and meerely concerneth the soules of men?

Secondly, let mee beseech the Ministers of the Word (whom Christ calleth for the worke of their profession,Mat 9.38. 1 Cor. 4.1. the labourers of his haruest; who are the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.) To looke backe vpon those forenamed Arti­cles,The duties of the Ministers of the Word. and to remember whereunto they haue all sub­scribed with their owne hands; not with equiuoca­tion I hope as Arius, but with synceritie, and with a good conscience, as good Christians ought to doe, and more especially; as men of God should doe, and therefore ioyntly with their hearts and mouthes, to stand in defence of that truth vnto which they haue giuen their hands. On the other side, if any man preach another Gospell, or defend or main­taine any contrary opinion, by which the peace of our Church is disrupted, with such a one, according to the Apostol call counsell to haue conference, and to admonish him, to returne to the soundnesse of faith, and into the bosome of our Church, like Noahs Done into the Arke againe.Tit. 3 10. A m [...]n that is an Hereticke; after the first and second admonition, reiect. Where I desire them to obserue that (admonition) in that place is [...], which word pointeth out the end and purpose of our trauells, rather than the paine and labour of them; namely, to put a right minde into him, or to bring him into his wittes a­gaine. For hee is madde, as Nazianzen spake of Apollinaris; and as Eusebius saith, that Manes was madde, according to his name, therefore must wee [Page 39] labour to reduce him to his right wits againe. In­deed to cure a mad-man, seemeth to bee a most mi­raculous thing, seeing how few will bee reclaymed. But let vs not despaire, seeing that God hath some­times blessed the labours of his seruants in this kinde. Berillus Bishop of Bostra in Arabia, Euseb. Ec. Hist. lib. 6. cap. 33. who de­nyed that Christ was existent before hee tooke flesh of the Virgin, by the painefull trauell of Origen was brought into his wits againe. In like manner Cora­cion, Euseb Ec Hist. lib. 7. cap. 24. who had beene infected with the error of Ne­pos an Aegiptian Byshop, father of the Chiliastes, was conuerted to the faith by Dionysius B. of Alexandria. But if none of our admonitions will preuaile with them, (but because they are filthy, they will still be filthy) let vs then reiect them, for their prophane, 2 Tim. 2.16.17 and vaine babblings, will increase vnto more vngodlinesse, and their word will eate as doth a Canker. Let vs haue no more acquaintance with them, than the Iewes had with the Heathen men or Publicans, or St. Iohn with Cerinthus.

Let those that haue authority in the Church, af­ter the example of the Apostles, and the godly Fa­thers of the prime age of the Church, deliuer them to Sathan, that they may learne not to blaspheme. 1 Tim. 1.22. And let vs, after the like examples, vtterly auoide their companie and societie, as knowing them to bee the diuells sonnes, which doe gigantum more, bellare cum dijs, warre against God, as the Poet feigned certaine monstrous Gyants to wage warre against the gods. Let vs leaue to conuerse with them which say they are Iewes, and are not, Reu. 2 9. but are the Sina­gogue [Page 40] of Sathan. In a word, if wee cannot conuert them, let vs be sure to auoide them, and vtterly to reiect them, lest God say vnto vs, as he said to the Angell or Bishop of the Church of Pergamos, thou hast them that maintaine the Doctrine of Balaam, &c. For if we proceed not against them, by that lawfull power which God and the King hath giuen vs, or if we will not doe so much as to auoide them, it can­not be denyed, but that we haue them.

The peoples duty.Lastly, let me speake a few words in the eares of the people; and because they are of two sorts, either those whose hearts are deceiued by good words, and faire speeches, or those pillars of the sonnes of Seth, against whom the flouds of Beliall, which haue euen ouer-flowen the world, like the great and ge­nerall Deluge, haue not preuailed.

Let me first direct my speech vnto those that are fallen (whom I will not terrifie with the greatnesse of their fall, by pointing vpward from whence they fell, and downeward to let them see whither they are fallen) I beseech them to looke on our Christi­an charitie, who doe not esteeme them to be Here­tickes or Schismatickes, but doe denie them so to be, vnlesse with obstinate mindes, they will defend and maintaine their dangerous conceipts.

My counsell vnto such therefore is, that they will resort to our Sermons and Lectures, where they may heare the reasons giuen in publique, for the faith which we professe; and if ioyntly with this they will follow Christ his counsell, searching the Scrip­tures, adding instant prayer vnto God, that hee [Page 41] would be pleased to reueale vnto them the myste­ries thereof, they shall doe well; and I doubt not but they will returne againe into the bosome of our Church, to bee ingrafted as naturall branches into the true Oliue, from which for a time they haue been cut off, and wee shall reioyce exceedingly that they are come againe; yea, the Angells of God in heauen, shall ioy for their conuersion.

Secondly, to those whose hearts are not yet inue­nomed, let me speake a word in due season;Rom. 1.5. Obedi­ence must be giuen to the faith. Therefore let them cleaue close vnto it, and not suffer themselues in any sort to be seduced. It is a rule to interpret the Scrip­tures. Let them expound the Scriptures according to the proportion of faith. For if they meete not in all places with the naturall sense, and the direct mea­ning of the holy Ghost, for that in the Epistles of St. Paul, and diuers other bookes of the Scripture: Some things are hard to be vnderstood;2 Pet. 3.16. yet so long as they interpret nothing contrary to the Articles of their faith,August. de Doct. Christian: lib. 1. cap. 37. Augustine will tell them that they are like vnto a certaine traueller, who hauing lost the direct way, wandreth in those fieldes that leade to the Towne, whither he is bent to goe.Three sorts of people marked. And being it is Gods cause, let me beseech them to marke, and to a­uoide three sorts of people. First, those whose tea­ching doth giue way vnto them, either directly or indirectly to commit, or to continue in any manner of sinne. Secondly, those who denie either all, or any part of due obedience to the minister of God, the lawfull Magistrate, whether it bee the King, or [Page 42] any other subordinate power. Lastly, those who are wont to wound the Magistrates person, and to speak euill of the Ruler of Gods people, by noting vnto the people his personall sinnes and vices, either in publike or in priuate, to the end to make him odi­ous in the eyes and eares of men. For the Apostle Iude will haue these things to be the true notes and markes of most mischieuous foule-killers. These fil­thy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speake euill of dignities. Iud. ver. 3.

And God Almighty blesse this, and what hath beene said this day vnto your hearts, so that you may all bring forth the fruites thereof in your liues and conuersations, to the glory of his great name, who liueth foreuer. Amen.

1 COR. 16.22.
If any man loue not the Lord Iesus Christ,
Let him be Anathema Maranatha.
FINIS.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.