Concerning PVBLIKE-PRAYER, AND THE FASTS OF THE CHURCH. Six Sermons, or Tractates. By Io. Br. B. D. Their severall Contents are set downe in the next page.

S. Aug. de Temp. Serm. 230. Adversus Daemonum nequitiam, quae nobis DOMINVS arma *ostendit, debemus uti (que) retinere; sc. Orationem & Iejunium.

LONDON, Printed by Richard Badger, and are to bee sold in S. Dunstans Church-yard in Fleetstreet at the Shop turning up to Cliffords Inne. 1636.


  • Serm. I. Of Religious feare and Re­verence in Gods House.
  • II. Of the Subordination of Church Duties in reference (chiefly) to the people.
  • III. Of the Duties, Nature, and Lawes of Publike Prayer.
  • IV. Of the necessity and order of Gods Service by Prayer and the Words Ministration: chiefly in reference to the Clergy.
  • V. Of the Grounds and Reasons of Set times for Fasting.
  • VI. Of the manner and quality of Church Fasts.

TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE, MY SINGVLAR GOOD LORD VVILLIAM, Lord MAINARD, Baron of EASTAINES, and one of His Majesties Lords Lievtenants for the County of ESSEX.

Right Honourable, and my very good Lord;

I Could never have thought these Sermons, or any thing else com­ming from me, worthy the view of so learned an Age. Neither have I ever shunned ought more, then to come in publike. Yet I know not how it now happen­eth, that I am at this present drawen forth into open view: urged, partly by the advice and [Page] earnest request of some good friends, who judged these Sermons, when preached, necessary for these times; partly by the mistake of some, other­wise (I doubt not) well affected Christians, who neverthelesse not well understanding my mean­ing, have misreported both it and me. To sa­tisfie both, I deemed this the best way: neces­sary also perhaps, besides other reasons, hereby to prevent the publishing of them by any other hand, since some Copies have gone abroad, not through any desire of mine, but by the request of those friends I could not gainsay. That I pre­sent them to your Lordship, is not without great good reason: you not onely having beene a chiefe Auditour at the preaching of some of them; but also, which I may never forget, nor can suffici­ently recount, being my most noble, free, and bountifull Patron. Wherefore I could not, but here follow the example of our Blessed LORD and SAVIOUR, joyning the remembrance of Mary's Spikenard with the Gospell prea­ched; that is, with these Sermons sent abroad into the World, the thankefull acknowledg­ment of your Honours bounty. For since in our bookes and writings wee honourably men­tion [Page] those Worthyes in Learning, whose more able studies have furthered or advanced ours; wee should, by as good reason, inscribe our books or writings to those Noble Personages, worthy of all Honour, whose rightly imployed wealth or power have (under GOD) supported, up­held, or encouraged our otherwise disheartned studies. Thence Gratitude hath made it a custome with us, even anciently practised by sundry Heathen, that where Honourable great­nesse and goodnesse hath by any nourished the life and sappe of Learning for the present, there by a due retaliation Learning and Arts should honor and eternize their memories to all future Ages: that thus they, by whom we live now, may by us or ours in an happy and blessed memoriall, live for ever. I cannot promise your Honour by this poore worke any such lasting monument: nor am I one of those that can any way arrogate that title to my selfe: My desire onely is, hereby to acknowledge to the World, how much I am your Lordships; that seeing I appeare in publike, I may stirre up others, if any shall receive any benefit by my poore labours, to praise and pray GOD for your Noble Lordship: Whilst I [Page] shall alwayes pray and beseech His Heavenly Majestie, to blesse your Honour, your Noble Lady, Children, and Familie with all increase of Heavenly Ioyes, and earthlie happinesse, Re­maining whilst I live.

Your Lordships, in all affectionate service and duty, most bounden: IOHN BROVVNING.


ECCLES. 5.1.

Take heede to thy foote, or keepe thy foote when thou entrest into the House of GOD.

THE House of God is the house of Prayer, Esay 56.7.Esay 56.7. Hither we enter, that wee may offer: not as at Ierusalem, in one place;1 Tim. 2.8. hot every where calling upon GOD in Spirit and truth, Iohn 4.23.Iohn 4.23. For, from the rising of the Sunne, saith the Lord, even unto the going downe of the same, Mal. 1.11. my Name shall be great among the Gentiles, and in every place Incense [Page 2] shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: And what that is,Verse 8. there at the 8. verse is shewed by the contrary; If yee offer the blinde for sacrifice, is it not evill? If yee offer the lame for sacrifice, is it not evill? 1 Cor. 11.29. Yes doubtlesse, very evill, and the sacrifice of fooles; that, as Blinde, cannot see, not discerning the Lords Body; 1 Cor. 11.22. therefore no reverence in offering: that, as Lame, cannot bend, or bowe, despising the Church of God, M. Minucius Felix in Octa­vio p. 51. and therefore no reverence in entring.

It is the saying of Minucius Felix to the Heathen: De vestro numero carcer ex estuat, nullus ibi Christia­nus, nisi aut suae religionis rous, aut profugus. I would we could say so too. No such matter: our prisons are full. And what's the reason? because our Churches are empty: Empty at those publique Prayers, when we should prevaile with God for a blessing, both for our private and publique good: when by being rea­dy to heare, and obey God, and his Church, wee may cause Him in His Church to be ready to heare us, and to give us his blessing out of Sion. Thus empty of offerers: Nay, empty of hearers (strange in this Eare-age:) either wee heare not at all, like the deafe Adder; or else wee heare not as we should heare. Wee have the Word of God in re­spect of persons; we pronounce This, or that, or such or such a man, (for the most part such as they should not be) Heare yee him: Or else, wee (that are your Prophets, as you call us) are as the Pro­phets of old; wee are unto you as a very lovely song of one, that hath a pleasant voyce, and can play well on an Instrument; Ezek. 33.32. you heare our words, but you doe them not: your Entrance is without reverence: your Hearing [Page 3] (for the most part, unlesse you respect the person) without attention: your Prayers and Offerings with­out devotion: and your departure (I am affraide to tell you) if you continue such, must needs be with­out grace, blessing, and benediction.

Let mee not (beloved) be your Enemy, for telling you the truth. I had intended to have brought you other matter, stronger meat; but (as the Apostle to the Hebr. 5.12.Hebr. 5.12.) Yee that for the time ought to have beene Teachers, have need that one teach you againe, which are the first Principles: Yee, as Children, have need of milke: yee, as Children, must be taught to Heare, to Speake: as Children, yee must learne to Goe, how to goe into the House of God.

And indeed this Chapter toucheth the vanities in divine service: And therefore, as they that will learne any thing, must first unlearne what is amisse: So, if we will serve God aright,Praecepta dat vitae, & non vult offendere euntes ad Ec­clesiam, S. Hie­ron. in locum. Tom. 5. oper. wee must unlearne the errours and vanities in His service: and this with the first, the errour of the Foot in entring: then next, the errour of the Eare in hearing: last, the errour of the Mouth, Heart, and Hand in praying and offering. And this, I suppose, will give you the order of this, and the next verse.

For the words themselves,The Divi­sion. without any great curiosity, you may observe these two parts in them.

I. The Warning it selfe: Custodi, &c.

II. The Person warned; Ingressurus, or Tu quum ingrederis, Thou, whosoever thou art that entrest into the House of God.

From both these in generall, wee observe this Proposition, or Observation: viz.

Proposition I That [Reverence and Preparation is necessary to, and in all holy duties.]

1 In the Admonition, or Caveat we consider,

1. The Matter, and substance of it, even that which is enjoyned; and that is, Custodia: And that implyeth Care, Labour, watchfulnesse, and diligence in keeping: Whence this second is inferred, viz.

Proposition II That [Every kinde of Reverence, or Preparation which we thinke fit, is not sufficient:] and therefore in the second place, we consider:

2. The Specification from the matter and ob­ject: it is Pedem, and Pedem tuum: from whence wee observe:

Proposition III That [this Care, Heed, and Keepe, in our Reve­rence and preparation, ought to be universall; to reach even to the abject, and meanest parts; even from head to foote; over the whole man, both body and soule;] from this word Pedem, thy Foote, or as Tremellius readeth it, both thy feete.

Proposition IV That [This Care, Heed, and Keepe, as it ought to be generall, or universall, over every part of our selves; so ought it to be particular for the Person, onely restrained to our selves:] and that from this word, Tuum, Take heed to Thy foote.

2 The other Generall part; is the Person ad­monished or warned, to whom this caveat is given; and that is, Ingressurus, &c. from whence wee ground this Observation: viz.

Proposition V That [This Custody, Care, Keepe, diligent and reve­rent attention, as it is alwaies necessary; so then especi­ally is it most necessary, when wee enter into the House of God.]

And if when we enter Domum Domini, Gods House; then most of all is it more necessary, when we not onely salute Dominum Domus, the Lord of the house: but chiefly and especially above all, when He by the graces of His Spirit, either in the Word or Sacrament, ingressurus est, is about to enter into us, and to make us Domini Domum, the Temple of the living Lord.

And first, of the two first Propositions, wrapping them up together (as much as I can.)

FOr the former, Proposition I. & II. That Preparation and Reverence is necessary, &c. I suppose no man, that knoweth either that there is a GOD, or confesseth himselfe to be a man, dare, or can deny the evidence of this truth, being grounded upon these two most con­fessed Principles.

For first, hee that knoweth himselfe to be a man, knoweth himselfe to be a sinner: For,Rom. 3.23. in Adam all have sinned, and are deprived (or come short) of the glo­ry of God. And here we must confesse, Pedem lapsum, that our foote hath slipt: Nay, labentem, that it doth daily slip: for, Prov. 24.16.Prov. 24.16. The most righteous man falls seven times a day: and in many things we offend all, Iames 3.2.Iames 3.2. And if not so; yet at least wee must confesse, Pedem labilem, that our foot may slip: For omnis homo mendax, Every man is a lyar, Rom. 3.4.Rom. 3.4. and 1 Cor. 10.12.1 Cor. 10.12. Let him that stands, take heed lest [Page 6] hee fall. Therefore there is at least a Potentia, a pos­sibility of falling: And where either the foote is weake, or the way is slippery, we had need, Custodire pedem, Take keepe of our feete.

Secondly, hee that confesseth a God, confesseth also, that this God is good, true, pure, holy, and sincere: seeing to be God, must needs be, to be such; What agreement (then) is there between light and darknesse? between Christ and Belial? Plato in Phae­don. t. 67. Tom. 1. & apud Plutarch. de Isid. & Osirid. fol. 352. Synesius Epist. 57. & Epist. 137. S Greg. Nazi­anzen. alibi saepius, &c. between Heaven and Hell? It was Plato's argument in this very kinde, (which was often used, even by the Christians also in their Church censures: [...]: That which is pure, may not be touched by that which is impure. Hence it was, that by the light of Nature amongst the Heathen; some were secluded, and shut out from the services of some gods: none being ad­mitted but such, who were entred, and initiate: and amongst them, none might intermeddle, but such who had cleane hands. For, not to name their often lustrations, and expiatory washings, so zealous were they in some places, that in the Egyptian Temples, especially of Isis, Plut. de Isid. & Osirid. all excrements of men and beasts were utterly forbidden. Hence (saith Plutarch) they used white linen garments for their Priests, to sig­nifie, that the greatest cleannesse or purity that man can have, is not sufficient for so pure a God. For, Behold, Iob, 6. (saith Eliphaz) he found no steadfastnesse in his Angels; yea, the heavens and stars are not cleane in his sight: how much more then is man abominable, and filthy, that drinketh iniquity like water? Iob 15.15.

Thus, whatsoever the Heathen practise might be, I am sure their ground is good: Nay, their very [Page 7] practise,Vide S. Cyril. Alexand. ubi infra. (if we may beleeve Saint Cyrill) is appro­ved by God. For, whereas amongst the Egyptians no man might enter into their Idoll temples with shooes on his feete, because they were made of dead beasts skins; and therefore accounted a pollution: God at his first appearing to Moses in the bush; though hee had called him, yet bids him, Come not neerer; Put off thy shooes off thy feete, Exod. 3.5. for the place where thou standest is holy ground.

The like we find cōmanded Ioshua also, Iosh. 5.15.Iosh. 5.15. Thus God, to shew that hee would not be behinde the Heathen false gods, in exacting all due and pos­sible Reverence, calls for it from Moses and Ioshua, who both had seene this custome in Egypt, by a ce­remony common, and well knowne unto them.

Where observe, I pray you, by the way, that (even by Gods warrant in commanding such an one) it is lawfull, and warrantable to use a Ceremony, taken even from Heathen and Idolaters. For that it was the custome amongst the Egyptians, wee neede not doubt it,S. Cyril. Hom. 28. Paschal. fol. 283. Vide eund. in Glopby. lib. 2. fol. 217. Vide S. Epiph. in Ancor. cap. 104. & post, cap. 117. & S. G. Nazia in Pasch. Hom. 42. S. Cyril, who was Bishop of Alexandria, who lived amongst them, an eye-witnesse, giving us the testimony. Besides, another foot-step of this custome I finde in Proclus the Philosopher, who (asMarin. in Procl. vita p. 169. Gr. Marinus reports) Being to salute the Moone then rising, put off his shooes from his feete, As alsoIamblich. Protrept: in Pythag cap. 20: Symb. 3. p. 132. & 136. Pytha­goras long before put it among his precepts: [...], id est, When thou sacrificest, or worshippest, put off thy shooes from thy feete; Which, doubtlesse, as Proclus and the rest of later times a­mongst the Heathen, had from him; so hee at the first, received it from the Egyptians, whose custome [Page 8] first it was. And if I may interpose mine owne con­jecture, the Holy Ghost even in this my Text, aimeth at this custome among the Heathen, teaching us Gen­tiles, by a Gentile custome, as hee did both Moses and Ioshua; that Every one that calleth on the Name of Christ, depart from all iniquity, 2 Timoth. 2. Take heede, 2 Tim. 2.19. even to his very feete, when hee entreth into the house of God: which is the third Proposition (where­with also for brevity, I must shut up the fourth.)

Proposition III. & IV.That this Care, Heed, and Keepe, ought to be univer­sall; to reach even to the most abject, and meanest part, even from the head to the foot: over the whole man, both body and soule: from this word Pedem.

What is here meant by the Foote, wee need not much question. All agree (in the first place) that as there is an outward, so there is also an inward man: and, as there are feet of the Body, so are there of the Soule, the Affections; So much the more truly feet, because by them, not onely the Body and bodily feete; but the Soule it selfe is moved and carried. From these feete of the Soule, Reverence, &c. (if it be there) it goeth over and thorow the whole man; from the Soule to the Body, over all the body: It moveth even the externall and outward foote: If there be love and affection, the foote will be most willing, most ready to come: If feare, the foote will be reverent when it is come: If zeale, the foote will be carefull how it commeth: If desire; nothing will hinder the foote, but that it will come, it cannot be hindred, but that it must come: Therefore God is carefull, first to call for the Heart: Prov. 23.26.Prov. 23.26. [Page 9] for that bringeth all the rest: God must and will so be worshipped; with all thy heart, with all thy soule, Deut. 6.5. with all thy might, and that with all thy minde, Mat. 22.37.Mat. 22.37. Surely, if we minde it as we should, we can doe no lesse: the least carelessenesse in this kinde drawing an heavie curse:Ier. 48.10. For cursed is he that doth the worke of the Lord negligently. And what is neg­ligence, but want of the least care, want of the least respect? Our care therefore must be to avoide all sins, the sins of the head, the sins of the hand, the sins of the feet. Nay, if there be any sin so growne into thy nature by custome, so that it becommeth as easie in use, or as deere in esteeme, as thy right-hand, or thy right-foot; yet thou must not own it:Mat. If thine hand offend thee, cut it off; If thine eye offend thee pluck it out; Nay, if thy sin be never so little, never so meane; if it be but pes tuus, thy foot, thou must cast it from thee. Thus thy care must extend from head to food; yea, ad pedem utrumque, to both thy feet: otherwise, as a man, that halts on one foot, is as tru­ly lame, as he that halts on both: So thy reverence, if it be but in part, what is it, but halt and lame? This Keepe therefore extends to both. Nay, if thou hast yet more feet, Artemidorum Oneiroc. li. 1. c. 49. & 50. &c. Achmetem, & Apomasar. cap. 114.115. thou must take keepe of them. The ancient Oneirocriticks tell us, that by the interpretation [...] are [...]: our feet are our Children, our Servants, our attendants, or whoso­ever are subject and inferiour to us: therefore this custodia must even extend to them.Psal. 101.7. For this we have Davids example, Psal. 101. There shall no deceitfull person dwell in my house: he that telleth lyes, Iosh. 24.15. shall not tarry in my sight. For this we have Ioshua's resolu­tion, [Page 10] I and my house will serve the Lord, Iosh. 24.15. Thus thou must even for every servant have a due care, that they also serve and feare GOD. Nay, here is not all. It seemeth, rich and great men may have more feet: Dion. Chrys. [...]. Lucianus in Toxari. Exod. 20.10. Olympiodorus in locum. Pedes sunt cor­poris sensus, qui ferunt nos ex­tra nos: macu­lantur in nobis: Portat visus ad mulierem, et ibi maculatur: in­diget lavari: au­ditus ad de tra­ctionem: Gu­stus ad crapu­lam: & sic de caeteris. Qui igi­tur lavatus est in Baptismo, & post maculatus, pedes istos la­vari curet: ali­ter cum Deo partem non ha­bet. Dixit ením Petro, si non la­vero te, no ha­bebis partem mecū. Hug. de Sanct. Vict. Miscellan. lib. 2 Tit. 117. Salonius in lo­cum. Prov. 23.26. for by another Heathen they are [...], Wormes with many feet: and the Cythian in Lu­cian reckons his Cattell for his feet: the command therefore of this duty reacheth as low as these. As thou must take keepe of thy children and servants, that they doe honour GOD: so must thou also have custodiam, an eye to thy cattell, thine Oxe, and thine Asse, (Exod. 20.) that they dishonour him not: for they likewise are Pes tuus, thy externall and outward foot.

But especially (saith Olympiodorus) it is meant of the feet of the soule: Custodi anima tuae pedem in omni opere tuo, cum, &c. Take heed (saith he) to the feet of thy soule, thy affections, in whatsoever thou art about, when thou entrest into the House of God. Nay, accor­ding to Salonius, Bishop of Vienna, This is, if not only, yet the chiefe and maine end of this command. This GOD cals for every where: Fili, da, &c. My Son, give me thy heart. And good reason for it; for the heart is that, which must custodire pedem, take heed and keep of thine outward feet: like the weights or springs in a Clocke, it sets all the rest a going.

And these affections of the heart are the feet of the soule: without these, as the body without the feet, every action fals to the ground, being no lon­ger able to stand or subsist. If these be cleane or pure, the whole man is pure and cleane. This our Saviour teacheth us; that He that is washed, needeth [Page 11] not save to wash his feet only, but is cleane every whit. Iohn 13.10. And good reason for it. For,

1 As the feet are the lowest parts of the Body: so the affections are the lowest part of mans rational Soule, Prov. 17.12. Arist. Ethic. lib. 1. c. ult. being (as the Philosopher cals it) [...]: a part unreasonable in it selfe, but yet possible by this custodia, this care, this keepe, this good take heed, to be made partaker thereof. With­out this keepe it fareth with them, as with water af­ter fire, returning to its owne nature, it groweth more cold: so these without reasons custodia, retur­ning to their owne bent, become more brutish. To instance in either.

In the Irascible part; Anger, if not moderated, how furious is it, how beyond all measure unrea­sonable? It is better to meet a Beare robbed of her whelps, (saith the Wise man, Prov. 17.12.Prov. 17.12.) than a foole in his folly.

In the concupiscible, (the other foot) Love (on the contrary) how violent is it, how above all force unresistable! Amor sicut mors fortis est: Love, Cant. 8.6. and affection is as strong as death. Therefore GOD al­so, Vt custodiat, to keepe them in and under, dealeth with these two feet of the Soule, as we with the feet of unruly Colts, or offending Malefactours: Hee claps bolts, gives, shackles, and fetters upon them. On the one, viz. the Irascible: Exod. 20. Thou shalt not mur­ther: Thou shalt not beare false witnesse against thy neighbour. On the other, the Concupiscible: Thou shalt not steale: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours House, nor his Wife, nor his Oxe, nor, &c. These fetters upon these two feet, He puts into Reasons [Page 12] Rule, He giveth into the understandings hand, with this charge here given: Custodi pedem tuum, Take heed to both these feet.

2 As the feet being next the earth are most likely to be defiled, because of the dirt and filth they must needs passe through: So these two feet of the Soule re­quite the more care, Card. Cajetan. in 13. Ioannis. because (as Cajetan observeth) terrenis se oportet immiscere officiis cibi, potus, rei fami­liaris, & similium: they must have to doe with these earthly performances of meat, drinke, apparrell, house­hold-government, and the like. For this cause in the Sacrifices of the old Law,Levit. 1.9. Lev. 1. God wil have the inwards and feet especially washed, and so offered; to teach us (saith Philo) [...]:Philo lib. de Victimis. that is, in the Apostles phrase; not to seeke the things that are below, but rather to have our con­versation in Heaven. For as a man would custodire pedem, take heed for his feet, to keepe them as much as he can from the dirt, and wet he must needs passe through: so ought every man having to doe with the things of this world, take heed that he sink not in, that he set not his heart thereon. It is the Apostles counsell;2 Cor. 7.31. Vse the world as if ye used it not: and our Saviours advise, Luke 12.Luke 12. Take no care for the things of this life, what you shall eat, or what you shall put on: but rather (as the Apostle S. Iames; Let it bee our care to keepe our selves unspotted of the world, Iames 1.27.Iames 1.27. True it is which S. Bernard deli­vereth:S. Bern. Ser. in Caen. Dom. fol. 127. Pedes animae affectiones, dum in hoc pulvere gradimur, ex toto mundi esse non possunt: It can no wayes be, that the feet of our soule should be altogether kept cleane, whilest we are in the way: Neverthelesse [Page 13] it must be our care, to keepe them as cleane as may be. And for the filth we have already gotten, we must, like them that will enter from the dirt into a curious swept roome, [...]. Iames 1.21.Iames 1.21. Cast away all uncleannesse; that so, like man­nerly and fit guests, we may enter into the House of GOD.

And thus we are come to the second Generall part: the Person warned, The Person warned. Ingressurus, &c. In which there is a threefold reason implied, like a threefold­coard, to make us more wary.

The first, Ab objecto: Keepe, take heed to thy selfe, but especially, custodi pedem, take heed to thy foot.

The second, A tempore, aut actione; custodi pedem tuum, &c. keepe and take heed to thy foot alwayes; but especially cùm incedis, when thou goest.

The third, A loco, custodi, &c. Take heed to thy foot alwayes when thou goest; but principally, quum in Domum Domini, when thou goest into the House of GOD.

From whence this last Proposition ariseth, consist­ing of these three degrees; viz.

That this Custody, care, Proposition V. &c. is then especially most necessary, when, &c. Vide supra.

It is reported of Chiron, Antaeus, Caeneus, that they were invulnerable; yet neverthelesse they came to their end: and of Achilles it is storied above the rest, that he could no where be wounded, but in his feet: Fulgent. lib. 3. Mytholog. c. de Peleo. Which Fables teach us no other morall (saith Fulgentius,) but that the best of men have their [Page 14] faults and slips. Thus the purest Gold hath its drosse: the cleerest Glasse its spots: the fairest Day its night: and the brightest Body hath its shadow. And though hereafter the Saints, like the Sun and Moone, and those heavenly Bodies,1 Cor. 15.41, 42. Mark 10.18. shall shine in glory, 1 Cor. 15. Yet here together, with the Sun and Moone, they must suffer their Eclipses, to teach us all, that There is none good but God alone.

Thus the best Man at the best, is but like Daniels Image; though his head be of gold, yet his feet are part of iron, part of clay. I need not remember you of Noahs drunkennesse; Lots incest; Abrahams lye; Davids murther; Peters denyall. These sins were truly their feet. For as the feet are the basest parts of the body; so these were the basest actions of their lives: in these, as in their feet, they were all defiled; and whilest they were only thus, they were not cleane: For whosoever shall keepe the whole Law, and yet faile but in one point, he is guilty of all, Iames 2.20.Iames 2.20.

Good reason therefore for this custodia, even quia pes.

1. Custodi Pe­dem.For the beginings of sin are modest; Satan would but have CHRIST to fall downe to worship him, or to worke a needlesse miracle; for well he know­eth; Ratio 1 that if he get but hold of the foot, he may pos­sibly attaine to the hand, Mat. 4. and so to the head, and so the whole man is his.Ephes. These are [...]: the Divels method: This is the order of sin, Ephes. 4.14. which, like a Gangren, creepeth from the foot to the head, over the whole man, both body and soule. For as there is a neerenes of parts; so is there of sins: [Page 15] for lust, when it is conceived, bringeth forth sin; and sin when it is perfected, bringeth forth death, Iames 1.15.Iames 1.15.

Thus ones example is anothers excitement: the foot teacheth the hand to sin, either more, or more freely.—

A pedibus didicère manus peccare protervè, saith the Poet.Martialis.

The prevention therefore of all occasion of sin, was that which made the ancient Heathens bare and uncover their bodily feet; Orpheus. ap. Fulgent. myth. lib. 3. c. de Pe­leo. & Pierius Hierogl. l. 35. c. 47. Arist. Prob. Sect. 4. Prob. 5. which some af­firme to be the seat of lust: Hence that of the Phi­losopher, That the keeping of our feet coole and naked, abateth the lust and concupiscence of our flesh. This therefore teacheth us, how necessary even the bodies humiliation is, for our due and reverent prepa­ration: viz. That we ought to subdue and keepe our bodies under by fasting; by abstaining from all worldly pleasures; from lustfull incitements; from pampering meats and drinkes; from all incentive provocations. Thus the Primitive Christians be­ing to receive the holy Eucharist, abstained from all manner of food; and from all company, even of their own lawfull Wives: For well they knew, the body not kept under, was nought else, but an unruly Colt, a disobedient Hand-maid, a treache­rous inmate, even [...], a fugitive, and run­away servant, (as Hesychius cals it:Hesychius [...] cent. 1. 33.) and therefore lest it should run from GOD, had need, ut custodias, that thou shouldest keepe it in or under, even quia pes, because it is a foot.

But the next Reason is another bond to make this guard the stronger; quum or quia incedis, Quum ince­dis. when Ratio 2 [Page 16] thou goest, &c. The time of our going is the mo­ment of our care: For whilest we sit or rest, our foot seldome takes hurt: if once we begin to go, our foot may slip, our bodies fall, and our selves miscarry. Yea far more requisite in these of our soule, our af­fections, than in our bodies feet: and that for a twofold reason. For,

1 In our bodily feet, either our eyes may fore­see our way; our care may prevent our danger; or a staffe may support our weaknesse. But in these feet of our soule, our affections, there is more cer­taine hazard, and more uncertaine helpe, where our greatest care we can possibly take, is not enough: [...] (saith the Apostle) See to it,Ephes. 5.15. have a care, take heed therefore that you walke [...], circumspectly, exactly, warily; not as fooles, but as wise. All rash­nesse is banished from GODS service: it is no sud­den worke: yea rather it is such a businesse, that re­quireth our exactest care, our greatest attention, our best wits; nay Wisdome it selfe, but to go about it. It is observed by Physiognomists, Arist. Ethic. ad Nic. & Physi­ogn. that the most cou­ragious, and discreet men, have not the speediest pace; but rather, a quiet, decent, and setled kinde of gate: whereas an hasty pace, is a certaine signe, [...] (saith Adamantius) of a rash, Adamant. Phy­siog. lib. 2. c. 28. heady, foo­lish, and illiberall man. Surely howsoever, rashnesse is not so hurtfull in all other businesse, as it is most dangerous in GODS service, and the duties of Re­ligion: Therefore, as men that goe advisedly to worke, we are commanded to walke decently and orderly, [...], with a comely pace, 1 Thess. 4.12.1 Thes. 4.12. Rom. 13.13. and that with another caution, [...], [Page 17] as in the day time, when all men see us.Rom. 13.13.

2 In our Bodily walking, that which for the most part may most likely trippe us, is some naturall and bodily substance, for the most part without life; such as are earth, wood, or stone, &c. But in our Spirituall walking before GOD, in the duties of Piety, and Religion, wee have many stumbling blockes, and those of different kindes; the more dangerous, because they are lesse seene; more spiri­tuall, and therefore lesse discernable. For we wrestle not against flesh and bloud; but against Principalities, and Powers, against the Princes of the darkenesse of this world, against spirituall wickednesse, and those [...], in high places, Ephes. 6.12.Ephes. 6.12. So that ten to one we can never get over so high, without a fall; or if we do, yet in so rough a way, we had need with those, that eate the Passeover, Exod. 12.Exod. 12.11. have both our staves in our hands, and our shoes on our feet; yea [...], have our feete shod with the preparation of the Gospell of peace, Ephes. 6.15.Ephes. 6.15.

Thus must thou be quum incedis, when thou goest: 3 In Domum Dei. At least, quum in Domum Dei, when thou goest in­to the House of GOD: Which is the third, and maine reason of our Reverence, and Preparation. Ratio 3 It is the precept and Symboll of Pythagoras, Iamblych. Pro­trept. Symb. 1. f. 131. & 134. that when we enter into the Temple to adore, serve, and wor­ship; [...]; wee must not so much as speake, or thinke of any worldly businesse: and againe in his second Symboll;Idem ibid. Symb. 2. f. 131. & 135. that we must not make God's service [...], a perfunctory, idle, and lazie worke: that is, we must not turne into God's House, as from our journey to an Inne, without any Reve­rence, [Page 18] without any preparation. For (saith Iam­blychus) it is apparent,Ibid. f. 135. that GOD being the Prince of the whole world, must have the principall respect, honour, and reverence done unto him: For GOD is a Spirit, In templa au­tem, &c. pas­sim omnes sor­didi ac flagiti­osi sine ullâ penitus reve­rentiâ sacri ho­noris irrum­punt. Salvian. Massill. lib. 3. de Gubernat. Dei. Gen. 28.16.17. and they that will worship Him, must worship Him in Spirit, and truth, Iohn 4.24.Iohn 4.24. And if this be true every where, then is it most true in the Church, a place consecrated, and set apart for the service and worship of GOD; even the place, where His honour dwelleth, Psal. 26.8. Iacob (we see) having seene that Vision of the Angels ascending and de­scending, fall's out into a passionate exclamation: Surely, the LORD was in this place, and I was not aware: And againe; How fearefull is this place! this is no other but the House of GOD, and this is the gate of Heaven. This respect made Abraham, wheresoever he talked with GOD (though but once) to build an Altar; as accounting that place ever after holy and sacred: So we reade: Gen. 12.13. and 15.Gen. 12.13, 15. Chapters. For this Moses and Ioshua are bid put off their shoes (as you heard already) to remember them, that the place, where they stood be­fore GOD, was holy. For this cause must we also, that enter hither, bee holy as Hee is holy, 1 Pet. 1.16.1 Pet. 1.16. because as the Prophet David confesseth, Psal. 93.5.Psal. 93.5. Holinesse (ô LORD) becommeth thy House for ever. S. Cyril. My­stag. Catechet. 5ta p. 544. Liturg. S. Iaco. p. 30. Lit. S. Chrys. 65. S. Basilij 47. This was the reason, that in the Primitive Church, especially before the receiving of the bles­sed Eucharist, the Deacon stood up, and cryed with a loud voyce: [...]: Holy things be to them, that are holy. And even amongst the Heathen themselves (by the light of nature) before they [Page 19] began their Sacrifices, the Priest, first beholding the people round about him, demanded, [...]; who is here? &c. The people answering; [...]: many, but those onely, that are good: Intimating, that if there were any there guilty to themselves of any foule offence, they should sepa­rate, and goe apart from the rest, as unworthy the view, and presence of such holy mysteries.

But what needs (will some say) such Reverence, Objection. such preparation, as though this place, or the du­ties here performed, being so holy, could not make us also holy?

To which I answer with our SAVIOUR.Matth. 21.13. Answ. Vos fecistis: It is most certaine, this House cannot san­ctifie us; but we may defile, and pollute it:Ezek. 23.38. Yee have made my House Qui domo Dei non utitur ad Orationis Domum, is eo devenit ut spe­luncam latro­num efficiat e­am Fr. Iunius lib. 1. Parall. 38. a den of theives. They have defi­led my Sanctuary, &c. True it is, Temples, Altars, and Sanctuaries, even by humane lawes, have had the priviledges of defending, and preserving the nocent from the hands of their pursuing enemies: but against our Spirituall adversaries, they are of no more force, then is a stately house, in theHorace. Non domus, aut fū ­dus; non aeris aceruus, &c. Poets judgement, able to defend the owner from a gout, or ague: for even here sinne lyeth at the doore, nay hither it enters; and rather hither then into any o­ther place.

Because Satan is most busie in the House of God: I. Thus, Iob 1.6.Iob 1.6. Satan stand's amongst the sonnes of God. And 1 King. 22.1 King. 22.22. He is a false witnesse in the mouth of the Prophets. So true is that Proverbe: Where GOD hath His Church, the Divell hath his chappell: According to that story of the saint [Page 20] in the Legend, who for one Devill in the Market-place, and him altogether idle, saw ten thousand in the Church very busie at every mans elbow: and surely,Gulielm. Neu­brigens. hist. de Reb. Angl. lib. 2. cap. 21. p. 1. Empedocles ap. Plutarch. had we that gift, which (Neubrigentius saith) one Kettell had (at Farneham in Yorkeshire) of seeing and beholding the Divels where they are: doubtlesse we would confesse Empedocles his posi­tion to be most true; [...]: that this aire, and place, where we are now assembled, hath thousands of Devils and commanded spirits, all bu­sie about us, to see if they can by any meanes divert us from GOD, and goodnesse, and turne away our minds from that service we come here about.

2 Were it so, that Satan were kept out, yet even with us there entreth sinne and corruption enough, to make us unfit for GOD: For every one beareth about with him the Body of sin, Rom. 6.6. as the Apo­stle cals it: And such a Body it is, where the whole head is sick, and the whole heart is heavie, even from the sole of the foot to the crowne of the head, Isay 1.5, 6. there is no­thing whole. No marvell therefore, if God jealous of his honour command a Brazen laver to be put betweene the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and the Altar, for Aaron and his Sons to wash their hands and their feet, Exod. 30.20. Rab. Maurus in Exod. lib. 4. c. 12. p. 719. Nè moriantur, lest they dye, Exo. 30. This did they doe twice a day, signifying (saith R. Mau­rus) the laver of repentance, wch we have alwayes need of: Maximè autem cùm mysteriis coelestibus mi­nistraturi appropiamus. For this cause, our Church imitating the ancient formes, hath put the [...] or confession of sins in the first place; as it were a striking off the dirt from off our feet, as soone as ere [Page 21] we enter. And because without Gods grace we can do nothing, as also the Divell is then most ready to hinder us, when we are most desirously bent to serve and praise GOD,Vid. Cassian. coll. 10. c. 10. & P. Lombard in Ps. 69. Vid. Bo­nartium. de ho­ris. Canon. c. 30. Vid. Hug. Vict. De Eccles. offic. lib. 2. cap. 1. & Gemmam ani­mae. De Antiq. Ritu Miss. lib. 2 cap. 1. &. 18. & Amalarium Fortun. De Or­din. Antiphon. in Prol. f. 504. Auct. BB. PP. Psal. 95.6. those short Antiphonaries are set in the next place, which anciently were used by the religious of Egypt, and are found in the be­ginning of the ancient Liturgies, as also in the Iew­ish more ancient Service: O Lord open thou our lips. O Lord make haste to helpe us. O Lord make speed to save us. And lastly, because notwithstanding Gods grace given, we are ready to reject it, and cast it off by our irreverence, and neglect: That fearefull ex­ample of the Iewes rebellion, and backsliding, is set before us in the 95. Psalme, as also our selves are stirred up (by the way of an introit) to a reverent manner and gesture in praysing GOD: O come let us worship, and fall downe, and kneele before the Lord our Maker. Of this the Primitive Christians were put in minde, as by the same Psalme, so also by those often acclamations of the Deacon, Oremus: Attenti simus, &c. And we by these of, Praise the Lord. Let us pray.

And doubtlesse if we marke it; by this care of our foot, the reverence of our foot is also especially intended.

For first, it is a Rule of all Divines in the inter­preting 1 of Scripture; That where the literall sense will stand, there we must stand to it; we may not vary: Here therefore we must cleave close to the letter, as also in that other Text to the same pur­pose, Phil. 2.10.Phil. 2.10. That at the Name of IESUS eve­ry knee shall bow, &c.

2 Againe, it is another Rule in Reason, and good Logick; That where the greater is commanded, the lesser is included. If GOD call for the soule, much more doth he call for that, which hath its being, and motion from the soule; the body: If he com­mand the reverence of the whole man, we doubt not, but he requireth the reverence of every part: For as the body cannot move without the soule; so God injoyning us the reverence, and affectionate care, and keepe of the soule in his service; requireth eve­ry motion of each part of the body, agreeable thereunto. There is no doubt (will any say) but GOD requireth the reverence of the heart, the foot of the soule: therefore there is no doubt (will I say) that GOD requireth the reverence of the feet of the body; and that the motion of the one be agree­able to the affection of the other: and this he doth here expresly.

3 Againe, the name here used argueth this reve­rence. It is GODS House, [...], (Beth Elohim) as the Mother Church called it, and we from it, Chyrch, that is, The Palace of the great King. And shall we not performe that reverence here to GOD, which we do to any King; to every King? Nay, shall we doe more reverence in the Court of an earthly mortall King, than in the Courts of the everlasting King of Kings?

4 Againe, the word, that followeth, implyeth it: For it is [...] i. e. Come neere, or approach in good order: a word borrowed from the March of Soul­diers, which, if not in good order, (ye know) what danger followeth: This care, or keeping of our [Page 23] foot is showne in our orderly, and reverent comming neere.

Againe, the very part concerning which; and 5 the phrase commanding here used, plainly aver­reth it: For the foot is that part, whereby (of all others) we testifie our reverence, and our obedience to our Superiours: and that we testifie by no means so much, as by the keeping in, or keeping back of this very member, the foot: for by the reverent moving, or bowing, or as it were keeping in of our foot, wee testifie our duty, reverence, respect, honour, and worship to our superiours: Therefore, whilest God calleth for thy foot, he calleth for thy reverence by thy foot. For thy reverence, when thou entrest; for this is the House of God, and this is the Gate of Hea­ven: For thy reverence when thou prayest in it; for we must worship, and fall downe, and kneele be­fore the Lord our Maker. It is Nilus his precept:Psal. 95.6. Nilus Ep. Ad­mon. 130. [...], &c. When thou art in the Church, be not lifted up; behave not thy selfe proudly. For they that stand before the King, dare not laugh, or looke big. So the poor Publican stood afar off, (where standing afar, is put for a reverent, awefull, and submissive prostra­tion:) Mary Magdalen fell downe at our Saviours feet: and so did David, when he prayed, Psal. 5.7.Psal. 5.7. I will come into thy House in the multitude of thy mer­cies; and in feare will I worship toward thy holy Tem­ple: as also the 2 Sam. 7.18.2 Sam. 7.18. Who am I (O Lord) and what is my Fathers House, that thou hast brought mee hitherto? Thus these holy men fell downe at Christs feet; and good reason for it: For as the feet are naturally inferiour to the head; being there­fore [Page 24] placed and put under it: So are we to Christ. For Hee is our Head, and wee are His members, Ephes. 5.23.Ephes. 5.23.30.

6 But besides, as the respect wee have to Christ, bindeth us to this reverence; so the respect wee should have to our sins.V. S. Epiphan. Physiog. c. 12. They say of the Peacock, That after he hath swolne himselfe with the glori­ous shew of his goodly feathers, he is presently de­jected with the bare sight of his ugly feet: so should we at the sight of our sinnes, which are our black feet, humble and cast downe our selves, &c.

7 Moreover, as the remembrance of our sins; so the remembrance of that, which is due to our sins; as also of that duty we come here about: it is to pray, and to confesse our sins; but the proper gesture of prayer, is kneeling, prostration: Therefore (saith the Apostle) I bow my knees daily to the Father of our Lord Iesus Christ, Ephes 3.14. &c. The very remembrance of this, should make us bow at the doore: but when we pray, and confesse our sins and miserable condition, what gesture can be fitter,S. Basilius de Spir. Sanct. c. 27 Notandum id, quod de preci­bus omnibus. Hugo. Victor. Preces (ait) è persona eorum dicuntur, qui quotidie cadūt, & nituntur re­surgere per poe­nitentia. Hugo. de. San. Vict. de Eccles. offic. l. 2. cap. 1. than that which is the most liveliest expresse confession of the most wret­ched condition? It is S. Basils observation; That by falling to the ground in prayer, and rising againe af­ter prayer, we doe shew, that by sin we are fallen to the earth; and are by the only love of our Maker and Crea­tor, raised toward Heaven againe: By the one wee confesse, that our sin is the cause of the earths, and of our owne curse, of our own death; that for it we justly are earth, and to earth shall returne againe: By this, we acknowledge with Abraham our Father, that we are but dust and ashes, and worthily deserve [Page 25] a worser, and a lower death; but by the other, we confesse our hope of a better Resurrection, and stan­ding up: when by GODS love, and CHRISTS merits, we shall be able to stand at the last day.

Againe, it is the Apostles precept,Col. 3.16. that we should 8 teach and admonish one another, in Psalmes, and Hymnes, and spirituall songs. How do the faithfull admonish one another by singing Psalmes? &c. Is it not by that cheerefulnesse? by that devotion they see in one another? So, doth not the reverent entrance of one that entreth, as he should, stir up the fainting devotion of them that pray? Doth not the devout kneeling of those that are about us, put us also in minde of the duty, and earnestnesse of our prayers, we are about? And so, whereas the Priest preacheth to the eare onely, every one in this his devotion, and by his example (which is most forceable) preacheth to each others eye.

Againe, this bodily reverence, as it addeth heat 9 of devotion to others; so it is truly an incentive of devotion to our selves: for the body, as it receiveth life and motion from the soule; so it returneth also a further life by motion to it againe: as strings touched in the same instrument, move one ano­ther; or as the bodies warmth warmes the cloathes, which reciprocally preserve, and returne the bo­dies warmth againe.

Moreover, is it not a testification of GODS pre­sence? 10 Is it not an acknowledgement of that faith is in thee, concerning the same? Why doest thou (saith S. Iames) boast of thy faith, why talkest thou of prayer, the act of faith! Shew me thy faith by thy [Page 26] workes, and thy prayer by thy reverence. We use to say,Vid. Vitruvium Archit lib. 13. c. 1 & Cardan. de subtilit. lib. 11. Ex pede Herculem: and it is the conclusion of ex­act Naturalists, That by the length of the foot, the length and dimensions of the whole body may be discovered: sure I am, the foot of the soule may be knowne by the foot of the body; and it is then a signe men have reverence in their hearts, when they shew it in their feet.

11 But againe, is it not GODS expresse command, Exod. 20.5.Exod. 20.5. Thou shalt not bow downe thy selfe to them, nor serve them? and Deut. 6.13.Deut. 6.13. Thou shalt feare the Lord thy God, and serve him. Feare, from the soule; an expression of this feare, in the reverent service of the body. And is not all this, that which GOD commanded before at the 6th Verse.Deut. 6.5.

12 I am ashamed, we should need to use so many words, for so necessary a duty; the necessity where­of we shall better discerne, if we consider that the very Saints and Angels in Heaven use the same. For do not they,Rev. 4.10. (Apoc. 4.10.) fall downe, and wor­ship, and cast their Crownes before the Throne? Can any thing by them used, be idle, or needlesse, or superfluous? Nay rather, is it not our prayer, and should it not be our desire, that we should so serve God, as they doe? that His will be so done by us, as by them it is? The Church, (beloved) what is it but Heaven upon Earth? Therefore the rule of her acti­ons can she draw from no place better, then from thence.

Sure I am, it was the care and reverence of those first Christians, truly to keepe their feet, when they went into the House of God: this made them, at [Page 27] their entrance into their Churches, humbly bend and bow themselves in a most reverent, and awefull manner toward the upper and Easterne part of the Church?

And the same lowly demeanour was used by their Bishops, Priests, and Deacons,Vid. Liturg. S. Iac. Basil. Chry­sost. Petri, & Marci, &c. Vid. Eucholog. & Horolog. Graecorum pas­sim. as often as they were occasioned to passe either to, or fro. These they then called [...]. The same are at this day by the Easterne, and Orientall Christi­ans, now by another name called [...]; as hum­ble expressions of their devoutest submission and re­pentance.

In like manner, the Westerne Church had the like care and keepe of theirs. Ad domos statim Do­minicas (saith Salvian) currimus, Salvian de gu­bern. Dei lib. 6. p. 237. & Rit. corpora humister­nimus. Their feet were ready to run thither: and no sooner there, but downe they were there: and if it chanced any came after prayers begun, in the time of reading, (S. Isidors Rule was observed;S. Isidor. Hisp. lib. 1. de Eccles. Offic. c. 10. R. Maur. de in­stitut. cleric. l. 2. c. 52.) first to adore, and then to listen and fall in with the rest. Thus this duty was duly by them performed, as it was strictly by GOD commanded. Take heed, or keepe thy foot, when thou entrest into the House of GOD.

But what? will some say: If God be so carefull for the reverence of the foot; surely is he not much more carefull for the reverence of the Head? If he be so carefull, for the service of the meanest part; he will be much more to have it in the best manner from the best member. If he be so strict for our reverence when we enter; he will be much more for our reverence, when we offer, praise, or pray [Page 28] unto him. And so he is: I pray you reade but the 1 Cor. 1, 2, 3. &c. Verses.

I need not (I hope) remember you, what (the last time I was here) I observed upon this, both from the Easterne, and Westerne practise: What the Apostle commands; what they did then, let us doe now. I will but remember you, what our Holy Mo­ther, Vid. Can. & constitut. Eccl. Angl. Can. 18. the Church of England commands, Can. 18.

It sufficeth (Beloved) that heretofore we have ser­ved God after our owne will-worship; after our own lusts and pleasures, (if that may be accounted ser­vice) Let us now for the time to come, come as we ought to come. Let us remember Eli his speech, though a remisse one, 1 Sam. 2.25. to his sons: If one man sin against another, the Iudge shall judge him; but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall intreat for him? As also that severer speech of the man of God to Eli, V. 30.Vers. 30. Them that honour me, I will honour, and they that de­spise me shall be lightly esteemed; saith the Lord God of Israel. Let us recount, when we come hither, that we come for Gods worship; and shall wee not worship him as he would have us, as he commands us? Let us remember, that whither we come, it is the House of God, [...], and shall we not do it that reverence, we doe to the Kings Chamber! Let us, that come, remember, that GOD made the whole man, and shall we render a peece, or a part only to him, that made us all? that requireth all? You have heard,Gen. chap. 12.13, 15. how Abraham the Father of the faithfull, in every place where God appeared, though but once, built him an Altar; held the place holy and consecrate: and doe not we desire to be the sons of [Page 29] holy Abraham? You may remember Iacobs exam­ple in the like kinde; how reverently he spake and thought of that place, where God appeared: sure­ly, The Lord was in this place, and I was not aware. Gen. 28.16. (Mark that,) What would he have done? How re­verent would he have beene, had he knowne God had beene there! His words shew in what respect he held it: How fearefull is this place? Vers. 17. This is no other than the House of God, and this is the Gate of Heaven.

Moses and Ioshua (as you have heard) are bid put off their shooes from their feet, because the place where they stood, was holy, Exodus 3. Ioshua 5. Acts 7. Nay the Turkes, Iewes, and Heathen shall rise up against us, for our want of reverence: For this very thing commanded Moses and Ioshua, is performed by the Turkes even at this day,Lavaterus in Iosh. 5.15. as oft as they enter into their Moschits: as also the Iew­ish Priests in all their Sacrifices still observe the same,Io. Drusius in Com. in locum. Iosh. as learned Drusius hath observed out of Moses Gerundensis. The same is still done also at this day by most of the Easterne Nations of the World. And is it not an eternall shame, and re­proach to us, in so great light above all others, after so much and long preaching, not to per­forme or retaine any, the most necessary reve­rence in our Churches; when all those Nations in lesse knowledge, in dimmer light, with no in­structer, after so long a time, almost foure thou­sand yeeres, doe still performe, notwithstanding to their no Gods, a most troublesome and irkesome reverence? Is it not a shame, that after so long a [Page 30] time, such as they still continue to do so much, and we still continue to do so little? O tell it not in Gath! publish it not in the streets of Askelon! &c. Is it not strange which S. Augustine reporteth:2 Sam. 1.20. That the Heathen (though conquerers) so much respected the Christian Churches;S. Aug. de. civ. Dei. lib. 1. c. 4, 5, & 6. and doe wee so lightly reckon of them; nay, of Gods reverence in them? O dismall decay of Christianity! O Apostatising fall! O backsliding generation! But I refraine my selfe: I have said enough: only let me say for a conclusion;

That if we be men; (me thinks) we would heare the voice of Nature, that teacheth this reverence to the Heathen her children. If Christian men, let us heare the voice of God, and Scripture, which requi­reth it of us.

Let us heare the voice of God our Father, who commands it.

Let us obey the Church our Mother, who en­joyneth it.

Let us follow those first, and true Christians, that practised it: or if not them,

Let us not be worse than the Heathen, Iewes, Turks, or Infidels, that still performe it.

Let us worship, and fall downe, and kneele before the Lord our Maker.

Let us, as oft as we enter into the House of God, take heed to our feet; and be more ready to heare (what is here commanded) then (as the many do) to offer the Sacrifice of fooles.


THE SECOND SERMON OF THE SVBORDI­NATION OF CHVRCH Duties, chiefly in reference to the People.

ECCLES. 5.1.

And be more ready to heare, then to give the Sacrifice of fooles: For they consider (or know) not, that they doe evill.

THIS Chapter most fully noteth the vanities, follies, and wickednesses com­mitted ordinarily in GODS divine Service; as our holy Mother Church in the contents of the Chapter hath most rightly observed. Such follies, as either de­clare [Page 34] men to be 1 Ignorant fooles, that do them; be­cause they know not other, or better: or else 2 Wil­full fooles, that when they may and doe know bet­ter, yet notwithstanding are still such, as will not consider that they doe evill. With the former we have here to doe, to teach them knowledge; to let them know, how, and what they should doe: how they should enter: how they should heare: how they should pray: how they should offer: &c. With the latter (though least with them, yet with them) we have here also to doe, to convince them, and to let them know, they doe not as they ought to doe; namely, that their entring, their hearing, their praying, their offering, (if any such there be) are not any pleasing and acceptable Sacrifice unto GOD; but truly and indeed (as they are here termed) the Sacrifice of fooles. And indeed, the Text, though it speaketh of the latter, that they know not that they doe evill: yet, because they will not know, it speakes onely to the former; Take thou heede to thy foot, when &c.

For them, which will not know, (for such are these Scripture-fooles) which have eares, and heare not: which heare not, nor understand, Matth. 13.13.Matth. 13.13. which are willingly ignorant. 2 Pet. 3.5.2 Pet. 3.5. which (as it is, Prov. 1.8.Prov. 1.8.) will neither heare the instructi­on of (GOD) their Father, nor the Law of (the Church) their Mother: For them I have nothing, but with the Apostle, 1 Cor. 14.38.1 Cor. 14.38. Hee that is ignorant, let him be ignorant still: nay, [...]; as we may reade it with the vulgar; Qui ignorat, igno­rabitur; Hee that will not know, shall not bee knowne. [Page 35] As here they say unto GOD. (Iob 21.14.Iob 21.14.) De­part from us, we will not the knowledge of thy wayes: So GOD will say to them, (Matth. 7.23.Matth. Luke 13.26.27.) Nescio vos, I know you not; I never knew you: De­part from me, (all, ye fooles,) all ye workers of ini­quity.

But we hope better things of you: and therefore now (by GOD's favour, and grace) undertake to shew you the follies of wicked, and ungodly fooles; that seeing we cannot mend them, we may amend our selves by them.

The first folly, and vanity of fooles, that doe evill, is; That they have no affection, or desire to come; no care, or religious reverence in comming; that they come out of custome, or feare; rather then out of conscience, and in the feare of GOD. And when they are come, they carry themselves neither according to feare, nor conscience. These are tax­ed in the first words; Take heed to thy foote, &c.

There are two more follies noted in this verse; one more in the second, and another in the fourth: Those in this verse, are either in hearing, or in offer­ing: Or according to the threefold end of the House of GOD: the first is, in that, which is first after our due entring, hearing: the second is, in that, which is the end of all our hearing, prayer; the third is, in that, which is the end of our Prayer; Sacrifice, and offering.

And indeed this Text is, as an exhortation to the Iewes, and all the Church of God for their intire, and perfect obedience: So a Prophecy also, that the Iewish Sacrifices should cease, and that in stead [Page 36] of them, in GOD's House,Esa. 56.7. being proclaimed the house of Prayer, to all Nations, Prayer, and other Christian Sacrifice should succeed, according to that of Malachi the 1.11.Mal. 1.11. From the rising up of the Sunne unto the going downe of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall bee offered unto my Name, and a pure of­fering.

This not onely the context sheweth, in the fol­lowing verse; where GOD's will is layd down concerning publike Prayer, the true Christian Sa­crifice; but also the Text most plainely: For, whereas we reade, be more ready to heare; the Hebrew hath [...]; the Septuagint Greek, [...], the old Latin vulgar, Appropinqua ut audias, Come neare, that thou maist heare: plainely imply­ing, that the Iewes, if they would heare, that is, obey indeed; (for so the word here also signifieth) must yet come nearer to heare; and that, besides Moses, another also was yet to bee heard, namely CHRIST IESUS the promised Messias, the SAVIOUR of the World, Emmanuell, GOD with us, that great Prophet; He that was to come, &c. of whom even Moses had fully fore­told, Deut. 18.18.Deu. 18.18. A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise you up of your brethren, Acts 3.21, 22.7.37, 19. like unto me, Him shall you heare in all things, whatsoever hee shall say unto you. And it shall come to passe, that whosoever will not hearken unto the words, that he shall speake in my name; Acts 3.23. I will require it of him: or as S. Peter re­peateth it: That soule shall be destroyed from among the people. To heare him, was to come neere to heare.

But this Precept being disobeyed, the Prophecy is fulfilled, and now is become an History, teach­ing us, and all succeeding Generations, both 1 who these fooles are, namely, such as with the Iewes will not heare, who will not know that they do evill; as also 2 to beware of their folly, and disobedience by their fall, and punishment.

Both are here set downe in the Text: 1. Their wilfull errour. 2. Their shamefull punishment.

In the Errour, we consider; 1. The Persons; They are meere fooles. 2. Their Number; they are many, 1 Because a whole Nation, many Nati­ons; many Generations: 2 Many Fooles; because many wayes fooles: fooles in entring; fooles in hea­ring; fooles in praying; fooles in sacrificing and offe­ring: every way, any way, fooles. 3. The Reason of this folly; Faciunt malum, They do that which is evill. 4. The Ground of this reason. 1 Privative; their Ig­norance, their wilfull ignorance; Nesciunt, They know not, they will not know, nor consider, that they doe evill. 2 Positive; their ill performance: They doe but, Dare sacrificium; they doe not offer, they will not: they doe but Give Sacrifice: This is their errour, their folly.

And to this their sin, their punishment (as Iustice requires) is answerable.

1 They will be fooles, and therefore they shall be fooles: they will not heare GODS Prophet; and therefore GOD bids his Prophet, Esay 6.9.Esay 6.9.10. Go tell this people; Heare ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not: make the heart of this peo­ple fat, and make their eares heavie, and shut their eyes: [Page 38] lest they see with their eyes, and heare with their eares, and understand with their heart, and convert, and bee healed. As they will not heare the Son of God: so they shall not heare the Son of God: Therefore (saith our Saviour) speake I unto them in Parables; because they seeing see not; and hearing they heare not, nor un­derstand, Mat. 13.13.Mat. 13.13. Mark 4.12.Mark 4.12. &c.

Luke 8.10. Iohn 12.40.2 As they did reject the Word of God by his Apostles; so God by his Apostles did reject them: Paul and Barnabas; Acts Acts 28.27, 28. to the Iewes at Antioch; it was necessary that the word of God should first have beene spoken unto you: but seeing you put it from you, and judge your selves unworthy of everlasting life; loe, we turne unto the Gentiles: and Acts 28. the Apostle Saint Paul repeating the Prophet Esay's words to other Iewes at Rome; tels them plainly the cause: Therefore be this knowne unto you (that will know no­thing else) that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and they will heare it. Mark; they will heare it; God grant we may. Take thou heed how thou entrest; take heed how thou hearest, &c. As for them, they are fooles; I have nothing to do with them; only take thou heed.

3 As they will not know GOD; so GOD will not know them: he turneth his back upon them; though he speak of them, yet he will not so much as once speake to them: (he speaketh to another) on­ly of them,Luke 12.20. as of the Rich man (Luke 12.) that he is a Foole: Luke 16.19. or of the other (Luke the 16.) that he was a Glutton: or as of the Pharisees, that they were Vipers, (Mat. 3.7.Mat. 3.7.)

4 As they loved darknesse rather than light; so [Page 39] they shall have darknesse for light: Aegyptian darknesse here; everlasting, endlesse, utter darknesse hereafter: [...].Mat. 22.13.

1 They wil not know what to do as they shold do.

2 Though they do know; yet they know not to do it.

3 They do evill; because they know not what it is to doe it; namely, how fearefull a thing it is; how their wilfull ignorance draweth on wofull venge­ance: & their evil of sin is accompanied with the evil of punishment; their evill doing, with evill suffering.

5 (For one more punishment is there in this Text, that) though their name be forgotten, their memory, as their bodies, rotten: yet it shall alwayes be remembred, as by God, to reward them; so by us, to beware by them: it must never be forgotten, that they have done evill. This must stand like Lots Wives Pillar, or Sodomes ashes; to teach us, that come after; that we should not be, as they were, fooles; that we must not do, as they did, evill. Ieru­salems destruction, and the Iewes dispersion over the face of the earth amongst us Gentiles, must warne all the Gentiles, must teach thee how thou must enter into the House of God; how thou must heare the Word of God; how thou must call on the Name of God.

In the Name of God (beloved) let that voice of the Holy Ghost in the 95. Psalme,Psal. 95.7. Heb. 3.7. be written upon the doore-posts of our hearts, never to be forgotten. To day if ye will heare his voice, harden not your hearts, Vers. 7, 8, 9, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the Wildernesse: when your Fathers tempted me, and pro­ved me, and saw my workes. And as in my Text, so [Page 40] there,10. their folly is recorded: Forty yeeres long was I grieved with this generation, and said; It is a people that doe erre in their hearts, they have not knowne my wayes: 11. And their punishment; Wherefore I sware in my wrath, they should not enter into my rest. This sto­ry the Apostle alluding to,1 Cor. 10.11. (1 Cor. 10.) tels us; It was written for our admonition. And more plainely in the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb. 3. repeating this Psalme, where this story is written, applyeth it to the Chri­stian Church; whence this Psalme in the Church of God hath beene used by the Church of God in all ages;Psal. 25. for an Introit Psalme, to put us in mind, 1 how we should enter into the House of God, in the 6. Vers. O come let us, &c. 2 How we should offer, Vers. 1. O come let us sing unto the Lord, Let us heartily rejoyce in the strength of our salvation: Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and shew our selves glad in him with Psalmes: for the Lord our God is a great God, &c. 3 How we should heare, and come neere to heare, Vers. 7, 8. To day if ye will heare his voice, harden not your hearts, &c.

The Text agreeth with the Psalme. Both of them teaching us our duty.

1 First, by Precept, for entring, hearing, and offering.

2 Secondly, by the contrary Errour; that they do erre in their hearts, and are but fooles that do otherwise.

3 Thirdly, by the fearefull punishment, that follow­eth their folly; Heb. 3.18. They shall not enter into his rest; they shall bee as they will be, fooles; GOD will not know them, that will not know him: They shall not enter into GODS joy and rest, who are so care­lesse to enter into GODS House; so carelesse of their behaviour in Gods House.

And indeed, both the Manner and Order, The Divi­sion. to be used in Gods divine service, and worship, is here set downe.

1 The Manner, 1 how we must enter, 2 how we 1 must heare, 3 how we must offer, and 4 how wee must come neere to heare.

2 The Order, that, as we must first enter, before 2 we heare, so we must heare, before we can offer, pray, or praise GOD, as we should.

From both these (the Manner and the Order) We for better order sake, will digest all our duty into these three Propositions.

First, [That we must first (after our due entring) Proposition I heare.]

Secondly, [That in the House of God, we must Proposition II heare the Word of God.]

Thirdly, [That we must not only heare GODS Proposition III Word; but we must also offer unto God: And,

That we may offer, as we should, We must come neere to heare.]

And here (Beloved) the better to shew you these particular duties, we will do, as Mariners oft­times, in describing dangerous Coasts; shew you where others heretofore have made shipwracke, where others have committed folly; that you may avoide their sin, and so escape their punishment.

FIrst, for the first Proposition, or Observation; Proposition I That after thy due entring, thou must heare; first, Take heed to thy foot how thou entrest. 1 Duely enter.

And even here some are so ready for hearing, [Page 42] that they skip over the duty of entring, Take heed to thy foot, &c. They are perswaded comming late, (for so they please to come, not till the Sermon begin, that they may be sure there be nothing but hearing;) then if they come, (for come they will not, unlesse they may heare; and no hearing, if no Sermon:) when they come thus late, they hold it (I say) unlawfull, nay, superstitious to fall downe on their knees, to offer any prayer unto God: the reason, say they, is in my Text; because forsooth, they are commanded to be more ready to heare, than to offer the Sacrifice of fooles. Miserable men, accor­ding to the old Proverbe, [...]; thrice fooles: for so many times, for such, are they con­demned, even in this Text they cite.

1 For their late entring: for hearing being their timeliest exercise, they are commanded to be ready to heare, that is, to make haste to the House of God, to be swift to heare the Word of God; to be as dili­gent in Gods service, as the Centurions Servants were in his,Matth. 8.9. Mat. 8. When he bids come, to come, and not to go from hence, till he biddeth us go. It is the Law of our Church in the 18. Canon, That no man depart out of the Church, during the time of Service and Sermon.

And it was the ancient custome of the first and ancient Church.Io. Cassianus Instit. l. 3. c 7. & li. 4. c. 16. Concil. Aga­thens. Can. 47. Psal. 122.1. Cassian tels us, that they which came after the first Psalme was begun, were subject to censure. And the Councell of Agatha, with diverse others; That they that were too ready to depart from hearing, should be alike censured: thou must make haste, and be ready to heare; not over ready to depart from hearing.

The second folly, for which they are condem­ned, is for ill entring; that being come late, they will thus enter: that having committed a sin, and folly in the one, they will notwithstanding adde another folly in the other: that being not ready to heare, they are over-ready to leape over their lesson in the first words; Take heed to thy foot when thou entrest.

It is reported by Buxtorfius, Io. Buxtorfius de Synag. Iuda. cap. 5. that the Iewes being moved by the authority of this Text, have an Iron Instrument placed at the entrance of their Syna­gogue, with which they pare off the dirt off their feet, before they enter. Thus they abuse the Text to their superstition. But these men farre more abuse it, and more wickedly; making this Text the Patron of their impiety. Let us see and examine it, and we shall soone see, that Inke serves as well to make Paper white, as this to maintaine their fol­ly: Nay, doth it not rather condemne them?

1 For first, is it not the first, Take heed to thy foot? &c. Wonder it is how they can heare that which is not; leape over this duty, and never see it! Let them but doe the first, Take heed to their feet, when they enter; and let them then be as ready to heare, as they please.

2 This word here used for hearing, signifieth to obey; so Gen. 26.5.Gen. 26.5. because that Abraham heard (or obeyed my voice:) it is so usually taken in the Scripture: even this sense it hath also in this place: Thus to heare, is to heare indeed.

3 This word Cherob signifieth an orderly com­ming neere: 1 Sam. 15. and therefore such as best agrees with [Page 44] this reverence; it being a meanes for our orderly hearing, if we come neare, as we should do: We will go into His Tabernacle, and fall low on our knees before His footstoole, Psal. 132.7.Psal. 132.7.

4 This hearing being for offering and prayer, as we shall see hereafter; it must needs be, that GOD must needs best accept that, for which our hearing is ordained,Rom. 10.13, 14. Rom. 10.

5 Besides, the word Bethelohim, the House of GOD, sheweth, that the way to take heed to our feete, is to enter by prayer first; because, even the House of GOD is the house of Prayer.

Psa. 56.7.6 Againe, there is an hearing in prayers: Atten­tion to them, is a duty of this hearing also: And do not the words, (be not rash with thy mouth) inferre asmuch? And if GOD forbid the rashnesse of the foote in the former words, and the rashnesse of the mouth in the following; doth He not much more forbid the rashnesse of the eare, which ought first to be opened by Prayer, according to that of the Psalmist:Psal. 40.7. Non enim in­gredi Domum Dei, sed sine offensione in­gredi, laudis est. Si esset, &c. S. Hieronymus in locum. Seu Alcuin. in locū. Basil. edit 1531 But mine eares hast thou opened. We pray for the one; LORD open thou our lips, that our mouth may shew forth thy praise. And ought we not to pray for the other? Surely, it is not so easie a thing to heare as they suppose. It is the saying of Alcuinus, and others of the ancient from Saint Hierom and Saint Austen: Si esset omnium, qui in Ecclesiâ Dei, &c. If it were so ready, or easie a mat­ter, for all, that are in the Church of GOD, to heare the Word of GOD, &c. Surely, (say they) the HOLY GHOST would never have bid us; Come neare, that thou maist heare. I may ad; if the [Page 45] HOLY GHOST had thought it needlesse; Hee would never have made this a Rule for His Church: Take heede to thy foote.

But they object againe:Objection. Prayer in time of Rea­ding or Preaching, is a private worship; and therefore unlawfull in the time of publique Service.

I answer: It is not, unlawfull:Answ. for did not Saint Peter, and Saint Iohn, Acts 3.1.Acts 3.1. make their pe­titions, after the Christian manner, in the Temple, the Iewes being at their publique Service? Did not Samuel's Mother aske a Sonne of GOD,1 Sam. 3.10. in the time of Divine, and publique worship? Yes sure­ly: And may not we doe the like? No doubt we may: Doubtlesse we must not otherwise. Remem­ber, this is an entry to hearing; Take heede to thy foot, when thou goest into the House, &c. And remem­ber this also; Appropinqua ut audias: Come neare, that thou maiest heare: And thus much of our due entring. Now of the second duty; our hearing.

That next after due entring; wee must heare. And after due entring, Heare. Hearing is the sence of discipline: It is that, which GOD first requireth of you: It is the first in our Commission; Goe, teach all Nations: For as he that is borne deafe, and never heard; is alwaies dumbe, and will never speake: So he, that never heareth the Word of GOD, can never invocate the Name of GOD. How shall they call on Him, of whom they have not heard, Rom. 10.13. Hence, it was the custome alwaies in the Church, that first they heard: So was it in the Church of the Iewes; Nehem. 9.3.Nehem. 9.3. They read the Law one fourth-part of [Page 46] the day; and another fourth part they confessed and worshipped the Lord their God. After their Prayers, as Iosephus describeth it, followed their Sacrifice. This order being observed afterward in the Chri­stian Church, (as it is most obscurely collected from the 1 Cor. 11. &c.) the whole Service, was called by the Greekes [...]; as also by the Latines, Ordo. And indeed, as the Catechumeni, amongst the Greekes, and mother Church; and Audientes amongst the Latines, was the first step to Christianity, or rather the preparation to it; So likewise the Prayer of the Catechumeni, Concil. Laodi­cen. Can. 19. or Hear­ers, was the first Prayer of the three: So that an­cient Counsell of Laodicea reckons it: So the Greeke Dionysius, Saint Chrysostome, Clemens, and all the ancient record it: and the same order the Church of England hath most justly follow­ed; that, as in our Churches the Pulpits are placed below, the Altar above, or in the highest place; so wee should first heare, before we presume to offer. Thus,Levi. 2.13. Marke 9.49. amongst the Iewes, every Sacrifice must bee seasoned with salt, the Symboll of knowledge: And GOD requires our heart, the seat of know­ledge. Hos. 6.6. I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: and the knowledge of God more then burnt offerings. So true is that of Lactantius: Lactantius. lib. 1. cap. 1. Ne (que) religio ulla sine sapien­tiâ suscipienda; nec ulla sine Religione probanda sapi­entia. Rom. 12.1. It is our reasonable service GOD calls for: For, as He hath given us reason, so He would we should chiefly shew it in His Service. For this cause the Aegyptians made them eyes and eares of gold and silver, and hung them in their Temples; [Page 47] intimating, that they should first heare, before they presumed to offer. Hence also that Symboll of Pythagoras; That wee must not speake of GOD sine lumine. And indeed, the calling upon GOD, is called the seeking of God. Esa. 55.6. Matth. 7.7. The Woman in the Gospell, before she sought, first lighted her candle. The like must wee doe: we must light the candle here, that must light us at the Altar; we must first heare.

And as we must heare first; So we must heare Proposition II that, which is first in Gods House, Gods Word: Heare GOD's Word. Psal. 119.105. for that, as the Psalmist tells us, is that, which is a light to our feete, and a lanterne to our steps. A light in­deed, not onely to shew us our way; but also to guide us in our way. The Church is Heaven upon Earth: and the Scriptures, the Old and New Testament, are the lights in this Heaven. There­fore amongst the Iewes, in their Synagogues, there was the reading of the Law, and the Prophets: Acts 13.15. Acts 15.21. and every Sabbath day Moses was read in all their Cities. Semblably did the first Christians, even in the Apo­stles times; reading, as we doe, both the Old and New Testament. To this the Apostle alludeth, Colos. 4.16. So more fully, Ephes. 5.19.Cal. 4.16. Ephes. 5.19. Colos. 3.18. But most plainely, Colos. 3.16. Let the Word of God dwell in you richly in all wisedome, teaching and admo­nishing one another in Psalmes, and Hymnes, and Spi­rituall Songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye doe in word, or deede; do all in the name of the Lord Iesus, giving thankes to GOD, and the Father of Him. Where, the [Page 48] whole order of the Church Service, being summari­ly comprised, is in like sort observed by our holy Mother,Hoc officium, sicut quodlibet aliud praeter nocturnum O­ratione cōclu­ditur: Domine Deus Pater, qui nos ad principium Di­ci, &c. Hug de S. Vict. De Eccles. Offic. li. 2. c. 2. Vide Ejusdem. c. 16. the Church of England: Her prayer of the Catechumeni, (as Hugo de Sancto victore, gives us cause to distinguish it) ending at the first Collect, is entirely the Word of God: even many entire portions of Gods most holy Word. (1) The Psalmes, (2) First and Second Lessons, (3) Evangelicall An­thems, most fit to expresse our joy in CHRIST, our praising God for the Word of God. (4) Those short and pious Ejaculations, all entirely the Word of God. And as in the first; So in her second Ser­vice, where, after the due entrance, by a particular Confession of our sins in every Commandement; the first thing we heare, is the Word of God, in two other Lessons, Epistle and Gospell. And as we call, use, and order them, so were they used in all ages and Churches; Plentifull testimonies may bee brought concerning this, not onely out of the most ancient Councells, and first Fathers; but also out of those first Liturgies, of Antioch, Alexandria, Hierusalem, Constantinople; As even at this day, they are in the same order observed, by the Graeci­ans, Indians, Russians, Abissines, and Aethiopians, not to speake of the Latine, and Westerne Christians. So you see; we doe what we should do, what hath alwaies beene done, by all, in all places, at all times. And in doing thus, you see, the Church of England is truely Catholique.

But are there no follies in hearing? Yes surely: else, what need our blessed SAVIOUR say, Take heede how ye heare: Many follies there be in hearing, [Page 49] and these two are the greatest. 1. That men thinke, all Religion consists in hearing only; these do not offer. The 2. That they thinke, there is no hear­ing without a Sermon: these forget this, that they must come neare to heare. And indeed, as in com­ming, there is foote after foote, one step after ano­ther; as degrees in comming; So are there degrees in hearing whereby we come neare to heare.

The first, and neerest degree in hearing, Degrees in hearing. 1 whereby we come close up to God; is, the hearing of the sa­cred Oracles of God: God's originall very Word, properly so called in the Old and New Testament; having in the Old a double difference of the first, or second Canon; or bookes Canonicall and Apo­cryphall; received also as were the rest from the Iewes, to whom were committed the Oracles of God, Rom. 3.2.Rom. 2.5. And therefore the Christian Church durst not reject them; though, because they received them not alike from all, they had them not in the like reverence. These bookes, though distinguished from the other and valued un­der them; yet were farre preferred before all Ec­clesiasticall writings, whether of particular men, or Churches: they were read in the Church, (next the Scriptures) for manners, and instructions in lesser points: the other being received onely for the un­doubted Canon, and rule of faith. So you see the first degree, wherby we come nearest to heare, and wherein we are safest in hearing, is in Hearing God Himselfe.

The second degree,2 Degree. whereby we come neare to heare, (though not so neare, as before; nor so sure, [Page] as the other) is the hearing the Word of GOD applyed, either by generall, or particular Churches, in their (1) Catechismes, their (2) Councels, (3) Confessions, their (4) Ritualls, their (5) Homi­lies, which, next the Word of GOD, are most worthily preferred before all other private works, or Preachings, being the workes of (1) many, and those most learned, and holy men: (2) discussed with the clearest judgement: (3) penned with the maturest study: (4) delivered in the shortest man­ner: (5) applyed in the most familiar phrase: (6) ordered with the plainest method: (7) shewing the most needfull points: Lastly (8) comprehend­ing most fully the summe, substance, and body of Christian Religion. This degree, though not so neare as the former, yet by these eight steps, if not many more, it comes nearer up to heare, then the latter; Which is

3 Degree.The third kinde of hearing the Word of GOD: from particular, and private men in their Sermons, or Homilies; which, being the workes of one man alone, are therefore most subject to errour: large discourses, and therefore more apt to be mistaken; more hardly understood; ofttimes not so applyed to the meanest capacities: many times conversant (as the Text leadeth us) about unnecessary truths, and high disputes: confused and intricate in their order, manner, and method: partaking of many imperfections, weaknesses, and ignorances, in re­spect of those many wants, even in the best of any of us all: For we are (though sent from God) but men, subject to infirmities; failing (I say) many [Page 51] times for want of study, want of time, want of bookes, want of meanes, want of learning, want of judgement, &c. and these, and many more, even in the best of ours.

Not to speake of the greater part of Sermons, for the most part, the worse in all; perchance not penned at all, delivered with little, or no studie, oft­times with little judgement, by men of small know­ledge, learning, or reading; without any scanning, discussing, or clearing; following their owne pri­vate fancies, rather then the Word of GOD, in the received Tenets of the Christian Church.

Not to speake of those Sermons of turbulent, factious, and seditious men, (worthy of no name, memory, or mention; but the mention of Pilate) who, as hee, out of a desire of pleasing others, or profiting themselves by gaine, lucre, or vaine glo­ry, dare doe that, which I dare not speake of; nay, which I tremble to thinke of, opposing God and His Church, Christ and His Spouse; rending, tear­ing, and dividing CHRISTS seamelesse Coate; nay, dismembring, and renting His most glorious body.

So you see, that Sermons are the least, and last degree of hearing, whereby we least come neare to heare, in which, greatest danger of hearing.

And surely, give me leave to tell you, where Sermons, and private expositions have prevailed, and the Word of God it selfe, either neglected, or despised, or any way thrust out in publique, there follies have beene multiplied, fooles have abounded, not knowing that they doe evill: This experience [Page] shewes us, (and because my Text is Historicall) I will briefly shew you in the Iewish, Easterne, We­sterne, and Muscovy Churches.

1 In the Iewish, the Iewes neglecting the more publike authority of the Word of God, and lean­ing to the doctrines of men, in their traditions, they fell at last to build the Law of Moses upon their Talmud, Misnah, with their Gemarahs by doing evill, they became fooles, that knew not that they did evill; their Religion now being nought else, but a masse of fooles, and a packe of extreame follies.

2 In the Church of Greece; one siding with Ce­phas, another with Apollos; even in those earely dayes: men getting them an heape of Teachers, ha­ving itching eares, hating sound Doctrine, and mul­tiplying foolish errours; Sermons were restrained to some few, to Bishops onely in their severall Di­ocesses, or some from them: and now, as it seemeth, they little venter beyond their [...].

3 In the Church of Rome, the Scriptures once read constantly, as with us, through the whole yeare; whereas, being after hid in an unknowne tongue, and Legends obtruded for them: their Sermons began to bee frought with follies, the Truth of GOD began manifestly to bee cor­rupted.

4 Lastly, the Church of Mosco, and Russia, neglecting the truth of God's Word, and giving eare promiscuslouy to private interpretations, and Sermons of men unlearned in the Scriptures, and GODS Divine truth, were at last faine to have [Page 53] private Sermons, and Preaching, as wee properly call it, supprest, and publique penned Homelies read in their places.

I cannot stand now with any more reasons, which I might produce to shew you, that howso­ever these other bee excellent degrees of hearing; yet in them there must bee caution, as before for entring, Take heede to thy foote; So now for hearing, Take heede how you heare; whom you heare, and what you heare. As for the Word of GOD, it is the touchstone, the rule it selfe; that [...], the sincere milke; that sure word of prophecy, 1 Pet. 2.2. 2 Pet. 1.19. where­unto yee doe well, that yee take heede, as to a light, that shineth in a darke place. Our Sermons howsoever, in respect of this light, are but as candles to the Sunne. This is the way, whereby we may and do (God be praised) come nearest to heare. Certainly, howsoever we doe, (as I hope we all do reade the Scriptures at home) yet the Word of God, as it hath most right to the House of God; so then most of all hath it God's blessing, when in God's House, it is delivered by God's Minister, in the person and presence of God. Where two or three are met toge­ther in my name (much more, if in His owne house,Matth. 18.20. to His owne Word) there am I in the midst of them: Thus you see, how wee must come neare to heare.

But we must not only heare: It is at this day, the Proposition III folly of the Iewes, that they thinke they may turne their Temples into Schooles, but they may not change their Schooles into Temples. And is not [Page] the same folly found at this day also with us? Not to speake of Schooles kept here for Children, an abuse certainely none of the least amongst us. Doe you not think, that all Religion consists in hearing? Are not our Churches made onely Schooles? and of Oratories, and houses of Prayers, are they not made Oratories (in another sence) for preaching, and hear­ing onely? I appeale to our selves: how we throng on all hands to the one, a Sermon? how scarcely, or not at all are we seene at the other, Prayers? As if we were all eare; but where then is the body, 1 Cor. 12.1 Cor. 12.19. the body of Religion? It was not so in the A­postles times, when notwithstanding being new converted, they had more neede of hearing. I am perswaded (saith the Apostle) that you are full of all goodnesse, filled with all knowledge, able to admonish one another, Rom. 15.14.Rom. 15.14. Teaching, and admonishing one another, Coloss. 3.10. 1 Cor. 14.35. Ephes. 5.19.Ephes. 5.19. The women must learne from the men at home, 1 Cor. 14. And the Children from the Mothers, 1 Tim. 2.15.1 Tim. 2.15. The Apostle chides the Hebrewes, Heb. 5.12.Heb. 5.12. that when for the time they ought to bee Teachers, they have neede againe to bee taught the first principles. And it was the Apostles censure of some bad ones, 2 Tim. 3.7.2 Tim. 3.7. that they were ever learning, and never learned. Beloved:

There is a time limited for the learning of every science;S. Chrys. Hom. 3. in Coloss. f. 1378. and Saint Chrysostome expostulateth with his people: How long shall wee bee teaching you faith, and good manners? shall we alwayes dwell in hearing? [...]: It was not so in the Apo­stles times. They, when they had instructed any, pas­sed them by, and made them Teachers over others; [Page 55] and thus they went (sayth hee) over the whole World.

And indeed the first and best Christians, after they had learned their first principles in their Cate­chisme, they gave themselves continually to Prayer, Acts 1.14. For, as in our Church Service, Acts the Creede, the Confession of the faith followeth next af­ter the hearing of GODS Word; to shew us, that faith commeth by hearing, and hearing by the Word of GOD, Rom. 10.17.Rom. 10.17. So, after the Con­fession of our faith; our faith confessed, presently shewes it selfe in Prayer. This, as the order of the ancient Churches in their Liturgies, is observed by our holy Mother, the Church of England, being that very naturall order, which the Apostle most plainely layeth downe.Rom. 10.13, 14. Whosoever shall call on the Name of the LORD, shall bee saved. How then shall they call on Him, in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe on Him, of whom they have not heard? and how shall they heare without a Prea­cher? So then; The end of our Preaching is, that you may heare; The end of your hearing is, that you may believe; The end of all our believing is, that we may all pray, invocate, and call on the Name of GOD. Thus the end of all our hearing is, that we may offer.

And indeed, (as Saint Cyprian, S. Cypr. lib. 2. Ep. 2. S Chrys. orat. 2. de precat. 8 46. T. 1. and all Divines note) in hearing God commeth neare to us; God speakes to us: but in Prayer, we come neare to Him; we speak to Him; his being the true Sacrifice, which, after the abolishing of those bloudy Sacrifices; now only remaineth in the Church of God, the house of prayer. Esa. 56.7. [Page] And surely, after GODS Law transgressed by Adam, as the bloudy Sacrifices were necessary for a threefold end. 1. To signifie what man had de­served for sinne, viz. to dye, as the poore beast did. 2. To Type out CHRIST IESUS, the true Lambe of God, slaine from the beginning for sinne. 3. To testifie their perfect thankesgiving and intire obedience for their Redemption from sinne: So likewise, CHRIST being come, it was requisite they should cease, and others should succeed in their roomes, for the same ends and use.

It is very remarkeable, that the Genealogies of their Priests being confounded, and their Temple destroyed (to which their Sacrifices were tied, Deut. 12.26.Deut. 12.26.) now, at this day, the Iewes comfort themselves in that of Hose. 14.4.Hos. 14.4. Wee will render the calves of our lips; acknowledging this in their Prayers, at this day, to be the true Sacrifice. And indeede both to them and us, there were alwayes three kindes of Spirituall Sacrifices, whereby in our prayers we come neare to offer.

Degrees in offering.1 The Sacrifice of Penance: that as the beast was 1 slaine for sinne, so we should dye to sinne. This wee have in that Paenitentiall, Psal. 51.17.Psal. 51.17. The Sacrifi­ces of God, are a broken and contrite heart: a broken and contrite heart, ô Lord, thou wilt not despise. This Sacrifice our Mother Church intends we should of­fer in that laborious Paenitentiall Prayer, the Leta­ny, which anciently using, (as doth ours, that forme of; LORD, have mercy on us, from the Paenitentiall, Psal. 51.1.Psal. 51.1. was called [...], [Page 57] and being performed in all devout humility, in the very words and formes of beseeching, were called [...]: and lastly, continued with fasting, and all earnest laborious constancy, was called [...].Acts 12.5.

The second is the Sacrifice of Mercy: It was 2 mercy, that another, namely Christ Iesus, typed in the Sacrificed beast, should dye for them, for us, for all. And therefore GOD, as He sheweth mercy to us, so He requires mercy from us:Hos. 6.6. I will have mercy, and not Sacrifice, Hos. 6.6. This Sacrifice, as it was anciently observed in the Communions of the first Christians,1 Cor. 16.1, 2. in their collections (they thence being called [...] by the Greek, and oblations in the Latin Church:) So is it also commanded in our Offertories, as being that Sacrifice, with which God is well pleased, Heb. 13.16.Heb. 13.16.

The third is the Sacrifice of thankesgiving, and o­bedience: 3 To obey is better then Sacrifice, 1 Sa. 15.22, 23 1 Sam. 15.22. and for praise, Psal. 50.14.Psal. 50.14. Offer unto GOD thankesgiving; and pay thy vowes unto the most high: and Verse 23. Who so offereth praise, he honoureth me. 23. We praise God in the Psalmes; but more peculiar­ly we give Him thankes in our thankesgiving, the blessed Eucharist; wherein, offering not Christ Ie­sus unto God, (for we neede not, we cannot; He did it Himselfe perfectly, being once offered,) but offer­ing His body; we offer our selves in Him. They are the very words of our holy Mother, the Church of England, in her post-Cōmunion: And here wee offer, and present unto thee, ô Lord, our Souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and lively Sacrifice unto thee: The very words of the Apostle, Rom. 12.1.

Rom. 12.1.By the first, the Sacrifice of Penance, in humble fasting and prayer, we kill the Sacrifice, we crucifie the old man, we slay the body of sinne, we turne from sinne, returne to God, and seeke His face, Esa. 55.6.Esa. 55.6. this is that first degree of our comming neare.

By the second, wee come nearer by workes of mercy, and almesdeeds, imitating in doing good, the Authour of all good, being made like unto our heavenly Father, Matth. 5.48. Mat. 5.

By the third, our thankfull and faithfull obedi­ence, we come close up to offer; being conformed to Christ, following His example, walking in His steps: and by an obedient tendring of our selves unto God, in the blessed Eucharist, receiving His body and bloud,2 Pet. 1.4. He living in us, and we in Him, we are made partakers of the Divine Nature. And truely, obe­dience is the end of all: the end of all; to feare God and keepe His Commandements, Eccles. 12.13. Eccles. 12. It is the principall thing in our duty: the chiefe in the Text: It is our perfect hearing; our perfect offering; our comming neare. So some expound it; Offer ut audias, making this offering to bee all in all: For this wee heare, that wee may know to doe our duty: For this we pray for Grace alwaies, that wee may be able alwayes, at all times, to doe our duty. This is that, which God accepts in Abel. Gen. 4.Gen. 4. which He commends in David, Psa. 40.6. Psal. 40. which Hee com­mand's in Saul, 1 Sam. 15.22.1 Sam. 15.22. which He requireth of every one.

A true Sacrifice indeed, where we offer not strange flesh; 1 Cor. 16.20. but as Saint Austin, Gregorie, &c. our own will unto God. A true Sacrifice, where we offer not onely [Page 59] nostra, that which is our's; but nos ipsos, our bodies and soules, a true Sacrifice, where we offer, not the dead bodies of unreasonable beasts; but a Spirituall, reasonable, living, and holy Sacrifice, Rom. 12.1.Rom. 12.1. And indeed this is that, for which we are all made an ho­ly Priesthood, to offer up Spirituall Sacrifice, Pet. 2.5. acceptable to God by Iesus Christ: and thus in Him wee truely and indeed come neare to offer.

Our Prayers are offered in His Name; by faith in His Name; they begin and end in Him. He is our Mediatour, to present these unto God, 1 Iohn 2.2.1 Iohn 2.2.

Our Almes (if we look, they should do us good) must be in His Name also, Mat. 10.42.Matth. 10.42. at least He accepts them so, Mat.

Our obedience must be tendered in our thankes­giving for Him. Whatsoever you do in word, or deed, Colloss. 3.17. do all in the Name of the Lord Iesus, giving thankes to God, and the Father of Him. By Him (saith the Apo­stle) let us offer the Sacrifice of praise to God continu­ally, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thankes to His Name, Heb. 13.15.Heb. 13.15.

And now (beloved) having passed over many things, which I should have shewed in the duty of our comming neare to heare; I have onely conten­ted my selfe, in declaring the order, and manner to be observed in Gods divine worship. An order truly, as appointed by God, so truely and fully observed by our holy Mother, this famous Church of Eng­land. An order truely it is; so the Church alwaies called it: And orders (you know) are to be obeyed, to order us, and to keepe us in order and obedience. [Page] Let all things be done decently, 1 Cor. 14.40.33. and in order, 1 Cor. 14.40. For God is not the authour of confusion; but of peace, as in all Churches of the Saints. And indeed, the ancient Fathers, as they were nearest those times; and therefore might best tell us: So they are bold upon it, that this order was appointed by the Apo­stles, and by them together with the Christian faith propagated in all Christian Churches. It is fit therefore we all stoope to this order.

And truely in my Text, which is the more re­markeable, the very same words, that expresse Gods will for this order, do also peremptorily set down Gods command for our obedience. So the word, to heare, with the Text, is by the marginall citations referred to that of 1 Sam. 15.22. To obey, &c.

2 So the word, to offer, is extended to obey; seeing that obedience is the end of all our offering, Psal. 40. Psal. 4.

3 The word, Charob, is so by some rendred, Offer ut audias; making this offering all in all. And in­deed, as the Prayer, and Sacrifice of fooles, that is, sin­full and wicked men, is an abomination to the Lord, (Prov. 15.8.Prov. 15 8.21.27.) as the cutting off a dogs neck, and the of­fering of swines bloud, Esa. 66.3.Esa. 66.3. So likewise our hearing, prayers and offerings, are but types and meanes for obedience. Obedience (as S. Austin cal­leth it) is the mother, the guardian and keeper of all vertues. The sons of Ionadab, how are they prai­sed, even by God Himselfe (Ier. 35.2.Ier. 35.2.) because they obeyed their Father, in a temporall obedience, in ab­stinence from things lawfull, and though indiffe­rent, yet in some sort necessary! How far more glo­rious is it, to obey God our Father; Christ Iesus our [Page 61] Lord; the Church, our Mother, in, and for spirituall obedience? God, that hath set His Church over us, re­quires obedience to His Church from us, Heb. 13.17.Heb. 13.17. Obey them, that have the rule over you, and submit your selves; for they watch for your Soules, as they that must give account for you, &c.

And indeed, as in hearing, (if we heare not him, that stands next us, there is little hope we should heare those, that are a far off: So, if we heare not the Church of God, whereby God commeth neare to us, there is little hope, we will obey and heare God. As it is in love: If we love not our brother, &c. 1 Ioh. 4.20. So it is in obedience; a duty of love: If wee obey not the Church, which we have seen, how shall we love God, whom we have not seen? Divines are wont to compare Obedience to Iacob's ladder; the lower part of obedience to the Church, stand's on Earth; but, as Iacob's ladder, it end's in Heaven: And, as there, so here God stand's at the top of it: And, as in Iacob's ladder no ascending to the highest, but by the lower steps; So, no obedience to God, unlesse we obey His Church. He that heareth you, heareth me; and hee, that despiseth you, despiseth Him that sent me, &c. Luke 10.16.Luke 10.16. So Ezek. 3.7.Ezek. 3.7. God tells His Prophet, that the Children of Israel will not heare thee because they will not heare me: And Christ bids us, that he that will not heare the Church, should be as an heathen, and a publican. Mat. 18.17.

No hope of such wilfull fooles: And therefore my Text, as out of hope, though it speake of them; yet it speakes not to them: as out of all hope to do any good upon them: It onely, and boldly speakes [Page] of them, this; that they are, fooles indeed. And tru­ly, Is it not folly, for one man to oppose the whole Christian Church of God? Is it not folly, for one man to thinke himselfe wiser than Gods Church Catho­lique over the world, assisted with Gods Spirit in all ages?

Is it not folly, for things indifferent to breake the union, and peace of all Christian Churches? Is it not folly in the highest degree, that though they have beene convinced of their follies, they will notwith­standing goe on still in their folly, and not know, or acknowledge, that they doe evill?

I am not hasty to apply sentences of condemna­tion: I wish from my heart their conversion, who are thus perversly affected. As I said at first: my Text speaketh not, nor I (as I hope) to any such here: yet I desire, that, they that will not heare from me, from us here; may at least, heare from us by others here: Our prayers shall be for them; our studies and endeavours (if it may be) to doe them good.

ExhortationIn the meane time, my Exhortation is to you.

First, for obedience to our Mother Church, and conformity with her to the best and purest Chur­ches. Surely (beloved) it is not safe to disobey; seeing he that dispiseth her, cannot chuse (as I have shewed) but displease God; being in a great for­wardnesse to make Him turne His backe upon him: and upon his Cain-like offering.

2 For caution in hearing; how and whom you heare: seeing it is not likely, that they should teach obedience, who are themselves the authors of diso­bedience. [Page 63] It is S. Iohn, 2. Ep. v. 10.Ioh. 2. Ep. v. 10 If there come any to you, not having this Doctrine; receive him not into your house, nor bid him, GOD speede.

3 For particular obedience to this order in GODS divine, and publique worship, that you be carefull how you enter; whom, when, and how you heare; what, and how you offer: That you bee carefull so to offer, that you may profitably come neare; so to come neare, that you may obediently heare; so to heare, that you may religiously, and piously offer.

And if thus we offer; it shall be truely, as some read it, Super donum insipientum Sacrificium; a Sacri­fice far above the Sacrifice of fooles. It shall be the sa­vour of life unto life; a Sacrifice truely acceptable to God, in the Merits and Passion of Iesus Christ.



Ecclesiastes 5.2.

Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in Heaven, and thou upon Earth; therefore let thy words bee few.

I May not wave this Text, because of the Occasion; nay rather, this Text best fits the Occasion: for even here behold a Sessions also.

1 The Iudge upon the Bench GOD in Heaven.

2 The Offenders at the Barre. Coram: before GOD the Iudge, Thou (whosoever) upon Earth.

3 Faults committed, Abuses to bee reformed: Errours censured, Rashnesse in the mouth, Hastinesse in the heart, the two most usuall and common offenders.

4 The Lawes to be promulged, the Charge that is given, and that of both sorts, both negative and affirmative, as well forbidding, as bidding and commanding.

Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty, &c. Let thy words be few.

And indeed these Sessions have the advantage of 1 all ours here on earth. 1 For the Matters about which; they are such as concerne the High Court of Heaven; or our Petitions to the Star-Chamber 2 of the Highest GOD, Prayer. 2 For the Iudge, it is GOD, as farre above all here, as Heaven is 3 above Earth. 3 For the Offenders, it would bee considered, whether they that be Iudges here be­low, be not as others, guilty Offenders at this barre here. Especially, this would bee thought upon with the first, Whether these Sessions in this place, well held, would not make way for the better per­forming ours. And doubtlesse so they will; For what better in the entrance and beginning, than that, with which (if they begin aright) all men do begin withall, Prayer, the Lock of the Night, the Key of the Morning; the entrance to every action: Without me (saith CHRIST) ye can do nothing, Iohn 15.5.Iohn 15.5. Not judge, I am sure: for justice and judgement are the Lords, and fetch them downe we must by prayer, [Page 67] as David did: Give thy judgements, O Lord, unto the King, and thy righteousnesse to the Kings Sonne, Psalme 72.1.Psal. 72.1.

But the reason of your meeting is for abuses to be reformed; then what more needfull to be refor­med, than our Prayers? If amisse we begin (as they are our first beginning) what hope ever of a good ending?

But the end of our meeting is for peace, for civill peace; and what more assured way for this, than to lay the foundation of religious peace? Religion (my Text sheweth it) bridles the Tongue, that untamed member, that sets the world on fire: it restraineth the Heart, the root of all outward actions. Religion is the soule of the State, the life of the Common­weale: and surely, as in a Glasse, face answereth to face; so doth the peace of the State, to the peace of the Church: like Hippocrates his Twins, they laugh and weepe together: as Castor and Pollux: ominous it must needs be, if the peace of the one be sundred from the other. Solomons Temple was first built,1 Kings 6, 7. then Solomons House: and the same wisdome, that taught him so to build, taught him so to reforme by the same Order. It is observeable, that Solomon intreating of the remedying of follies, in these fol­lowing Chapters, begins in this beginning of this Chapter, from the errours and vanities in Religion; plainly teaching us, that, as follies and iniquities in Religion, are the ground of all other follies; so the reforming of these, is the way to establish all the rest.

But of follies in Religion, those are the greatest, [Page 68] which are in the greatest, and neerest degree to the honouring and dishonouring GOD; such are they, that are in Prayer: for this is the Ladder of Heaven: the Christians Sacrifice: the just mans Safegard: the Divels scourge: the Spirits earnest: this is the Nurse of love: the Friend of peace: the Soules solace: our Accesse to God: the Meanes of salvation: For, Whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord, shall be saved, Ioel 2.32.Ioel. 2.32. Acts 2.21. Rom. 10.13, 14, 15. &c. For this (as I have shewed) is all our preaching, hearing, belee­ving, Rom. 10. Our entring, hearing, offering, in the former words, hither are they referred all of them, here the greatest danger if we misse, herein the grea­test comfort if we hit: and therefore here, as for that unum necessarium, I challenge your best attention. Where you may please to consider these three things.

I First, the Errours indited, the follies arraigned, II either in defect, or excesse of religious duties. Se­condly, the Precepts, Charge, and Injunctions given; which are these: Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God; III and let thy words be few. Thirdly, the Reason and Ground of all; For God is in Heaven, and thou up­on Earth.

1 Errrours in the defect of religious du­ties, and devo­tion. 1. Folly in not offering. Psal. 14.2.In the words before, you heard of the offering of Fooles; so an offering they have; Yet, there is a Foole, that hath said in his heart, There is no God, Psal. 14.2. Doubtlesse, where no GOD, no offe­ring: folly in the highest kinde. Yet such are rather Mad-men than Fooles; yea, Beasts rather than Men; yet Beasts, the worst and wildest, The Lions do seek [Page 69] their meat of God, Psal. 104.21.Psal. 104.21. So they acknow­ledge GOD, yea, they serve him. They continue this day according to thine Ordinance, for all things serve thee, Psal. 119.91.Psal. 119.91 Therefore, they are nor Men, nor Beasts, but Devils: nay, The very Devils also be­leeve, and tremble, Iam. 2.19.Iames 2.19. As S. Iohn sayd of Cerinthus, so we of them; They are the Devils first-borne, worse than their Father: Not Cain, not Saul, not Iudas so bad as they; for Iudas was amongst the Apostles, Saul among the Prophets, Cain even among the Offerers; yea, the first of them, Gen. 4.3.Gen. 4.3. It is a Rule in Reason: Where the Principles are de­nied, no arguing: where the Foundation is rased, no building: where the fire and every spark of grace is quite put out, no hope of any burnt offering. Therefore my Text omits them, only it speaketh, and I with it, of Offerers, and follies in offering.

But here againe, what Offering? 2 False and un­due sacrifice, or offering. Is it any Burnt Offering, or Sacrifice for sin, as of old amongst the Iewes, The bloud of Buls and Goats? No such mat­ter, those were but types of CHRIST, and therefore untill CHRIST; but to dreame any longer of these now, is such a folly, that the Iewes are not guilty off: They doe not, they dare not ac­knowledge them now: they well knew the com­mandement, and the place for those Sacrifices, his Temple only, Deut. 12.Deut. 12.5.13, 14, &c. Therefore with the Temple, downe went their bloudy Sacrifices, even one thou­sand and six hundred yeeres since: Now they have no other Sacrifices (as I shewed the last time) but the Sacrifice of Prayer, Hos. 14.Hos. 14.1, 2. Nay, they plainly dispute against the other, they argue for this alone. [Page 70] R. Maimon, R. Maimon. More Nebo­chim. part 3. cap. 32. the learnedst of the Iewes, most christian­ly concludeth, that these Sacrifices of prayer, of Almes, of Thanksgiving, are Sacrificia primae intentio­nis, Psal. 140.2.50. the Sacrifices that are first intended by God, first commanded to us: and indeed, so it is, as in the Ps. 40.6. so here; Not any longer the bodies of slain Beasts or Oxen: but thy mouth, thy heart. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty, &c. God sheweth, that both mouth and heart must be (though neither rash) both must be parts of this Sacrifice.

3 Defect in the gestures of Prayer.And they indeed, as principall parts of this Sacri­fice: Other parts there are also, and a prime folly it is, of which we are guilty, that we use them not; namely, Eyes lifted up to God in Heaven: So David, Psal. 123.Psal. 123.1, 2, 3. Behold, even as the eyes of servants looke unto the hand of their Masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hands of her Mistresse: so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, untill he have mercy up­on us. The knees with the body cast downe to the earth, whence, and of which we are; so the Apostle, Ephes. 3.14.Ephes. 3.14. Therefore bend I my knees to the Father of our Lord Iesus Christ. The hands againe raised up, as the Apostle also, 1 Tim. 2.8.1 Tim. 2.8. Therefore I will, that men pray every where, lifting up pure hands without wrath, Psal. 121.1. or doubting. As our Eyes cast up to the Hils, from whence commeth our helpe: to shew our love, joy, hope, and helpe to bee there and thence onely: and our knees cast downe to the earth, a signe of that condition of dust, earth, and ashes, to which sin hath brought us, Gen. 3.Genesis 3. so our hands lifted up, a signe that all we can doe, is too little to give him thanks for that he hath done for us, and that all which we [Page 71] doe (our Sacrifice) we desire should be accepted in the Bloud, Passion, and Merits of Iesus Christ. It is observeable, (which the first Christians obser­ved,) that in the gesture of Hands lifted up, the figure of the Crosse is evidently represented. So they used this Ceremony, even from the Apostles times: Homo vel orans formâ crucis visitur, S. Hieronymus in Marc. 15. Tom. 6. f. 87. Iust. Martyr. Apol. 2. (saith S. Hi­rome:) and Iustin Martyr, with others, said the same, three hundred yeers before his time. They thought they had command for it, that perchance of the Apostle, 1 Tim. 2.8. [...], &c.Max. Taurin. Hom. 2. De pas­sione, & cruce Domini. s. 608. I will and command, that every where you pray, lifting up pure hands, &c. Surely Maximus Taurinensis grounds it somewhere: Ideo elevatis manibus orare praecipi­mur, ut ipso quoque membrorum gestu passionem Do­mini fateamur. So prayed Moses also (say all the Ancient) when with Lifted up hands hee prayed, whil'st Ioshua or Iesus, the Type of our IESVS,Exod. 17.12. fought against Amalek.

Therefore also the Easterne Christians used the 140. Psalme in their Evening Prayer, Psal. 40.6. Vid. S Chrys. in Psal. 140. Et S. Aug Ser. 8. de sacrific. Vespertin. Vid. etiam Eucho­log. Graecorum, & Horolog. every one there being taught to pray, Vers. 2. Let my prayer be dire­cted as Incense, and the lifting up of my hands be an Evening Sacrifice. Namely, that their and our Prayers may be accepted in that Sacrifice of Christ Iesus, who in these last dayes, as in the Evening of the World, was sacrificed for the sin of the World. And indeed, both eyes and hands lifted up; as also knees and bodies cast downe, are but as the mouth to the heart, outward Interpreters of the inward de­votion of the soule: Certaine it is, whilest the Prin­cipall and Chiefe, the Mouth and Heart, are named, [Page 72] even the lesser and inferiour are implied, and wee here convinced of folly, for not using them.

4 Defect in vocall prayer in publike.But what if the mouth it selfe be wanting? This is a folly, whereof (it seemeth) the Holy Spirit sup­poseth none would be guilty; therefore, as suppo­sing the use, that no man would omit it, he gives a Precept only, for the not abusing it. And indeed this is a folly, whereof we are mainly guilty; con­demned by the evidence of GODS Word; by the testimony of ancient, later, and moderne Chur­ches. Publike prayers (for of such only do we speak) ought to be, as they are called, Publike. They are not, they ought not to be the dictate of one alone: Al, as they hope for a blessing by them, must blesse GOD in them; every man, as hee looketh for a part, must beare a part: even [...], hee that is most private; even Women, that may not speake, 1 Cor. 14.1 Cor. 14.16. Num. 5.21. Deut. 27. may, nay must answer, Amen. Num. 5.21. Nay, to those curses, Deut. 27. to every one it is commanded, that All the people should say, Amen: and if to those curses, even against themselves; for such especially is the last, Vers. 26. as the Apostle shew­eth, Gal. 3.10.Gal 3.10. Then much more are they bound to do it to those blessed comprecations made for them, and by them. Certainly, so did the Iewes (the Church under the Law,) They sang together by course. They, when they praised the Lord, all of them shouted with a great voice, Ezra 3.11.Ezra 3.11 And when the Covenant of Restitution was made, All the Congregation answe­red, Amen. Nehem. 5.13.Nehem 5.13. Was it not so in the Chri­stian Church? The Apostle commands it; he sup­poseth it necessary for all:1 Cor. 13.16 How shall he that occupieth [Page 73] the place [...] of a private man, &c. Every he that is a private man (as in the Church, besides the Mi­nisters, all are) must and ought to set to his Seale, and to subscribe, as it were, making it his owne deed, by his owne Amen. This, as it is a com­mand of ours, so was it also the practise of the best Church, even of the purest times. All the people (saith Iustin Martyr) answered, Amen: All: nay,Iust. Martyr. Apolog. 2. S. Hier. praefat. ad l. 2. Com­ment. ad. Gal. f. 133. C. S. Ambrose. in Hexam. lib. 3. cap. 2. S. Basil. in Hexam. hom. 4. f. 53. so loud was their Amen, that (as S. Hierome tels us) the Temples and places adjoyning, were shaken by it, as by a clap of thunder. S. Ambrose tels us, That the Church, like the Sea, with the beating waves, resounded againe, with the responds of Men, Women, and Children, like to the rushing of mighty waters. And for the Greeke Church, S. Basil is as good a witnesse, saying; The voice of their prayers and responds, was like the noise of waters beating against the Rocks. They all joyned in their publike prayers, even in their Reading-Psalmes (as they call them, for other they had none) and Thanksgiving; with which they were so familiarly acquainted, that Women and Children had them by heart for publike use. Afterward in the Church compared to the Moone, (Cant. 6.10.Cant. 6.10.) Piety in the wane: First the Quire supplied the place of the People; and now, the Quire being vanished, all is thrust into the mouth of the Minister alone. Behold, by what steps we are gone downeward! A man, that com­meth into our Churches at prayer, would thinke, that either the people are gathered together to heare one speak or reade, or that the Minister were preaching only: or else, if they were Prayers, either [Page 74] that they no wayes concerned the people; or else, that they not at all understood them. Surely the Papists, whom wee blame, shall rise up against us. Are our prayers so turned into Sermons onely, that we entertaine them with the eare alone? Where is our mouth, our tongue, our voice? Are we ashamed to confesse God before Men in publike? or will God now accept (that, which he never did before) Fishes for Sacrifices? Mutus ut Pis­cis. Prov. Can they be our prayers, to which we assent not, in which we joyne not? How many helps have we, which our fore-Fathers knew not? Our prayers the shortest, I beleeve, that ever were before us; in a tongue knowne and familiar to us; themselves most easie for us; and yet made more easie by Bookes in every Mans hand amongst us: Neverthelesse, we still continue like the Pillars of the Church, without any voice: nay, in this worse perchance, some of us, then they; for they returne an Eccho: Shall not they judge us? Surely how­soever we may spare our mouth in mentall and pri­vate prayer, yet in publike the mouth and voice hath alwayes beene judged necessary, for these follow­ing Reasons.

1 Because this Honoureth God: He that praiseth, honoureth me, Psal. 50.23.Psal. 50.23. It is a confessing of GOD before Men, Rom. 10.Rom. 10.10.

2 It is a part of our Thankfulnesse unto GOD; who, as he made all, must have all; must be wor­shipped, as with our soule and spirit, so with our bo­dy also; as withall our heart, so withall our might, Deut. 6.5.Deut. 6.5. And strength, Mark 12.30.Mark. 12.30

3 It is a duty of reason; That we should as freely [Page 75] yeeld, so shew our yeelding and assent to our owne Prayers, 1 Cor. 14.1 Cor. 14.16.

4 The nature of Publike Prayer commands it: for they are, as we call them, common to all; and of them especially it is most true: They are the fruit and calves of our lips, Heb. 13.15.Heb. 13.15. Hos. 14.3.

5 Scripture injoyneth it, as a meanes of salvati­on: With the heart man beleeveth to righteousnesse; but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation, Rom. 10.10.Rom. 10.10.

6 Our obedience to this Church, and in it con­formity with the Church of GOD exacteth it: for this is the pillar of truth, led and guided by the Spirit of GOD.

7 Our owne benefit requireth it; for hereby (namely by the voice and our outward gestures) we stir up our owne devotions, we drive away drowsi­nesse and sleepinesse; we rouse up our spirits, we cheere our mindes, we quicken and kindle our zeale, speaking (as the Apostle commands) to our selves, Ephes. 5.19.Ephes. 5.19.

8 The exercise of our faith requireth it; for prayer is the proper act of our faith; and no where so fit is that saying of S. Iames: Shew me thy faith by thy workes, Iames 2.Iames 2.

9 Charity, in the good of others requires it; for by our voices cheerefulnesse, we cheere, encourage, and edifie one another; Teaching and admonishing one another, Col. 3.16.Col. 3.16.

10 And lastly, our heart and affection requireth it of us: for if the heart, the leading part be in our prayers, our prayers will quickly appeare to bee hearty in our mouthes.

It is one of the three wonders of the face and vi­sage, that all the affections shew themselves there­in; nay, it were a wonder they should not doe so: Difficile est crimen non prodere vultu. Mat. 12.34. Our heart, our affections, can be no more hid, than fire in our bo­somes:Psal. 39.4. David sheweth it: At the last I spake with my mouth.

And surely, that the mouth should be wanting, never was it heard til our frozen age: the complaint was then, This people draw neere mee with their mouth, Esay 29.13. Mat. 15.8. Ier. 12.2. Ezech. 33.31. (Esay 29.) Thou art neare in their mouth, (Ier. 12.) They shew much love with their mouth, (Ezek. 33.) Their tongue still ran before their wit. Their mouth was, howsoever: GOD liked well of it; he would have it so still; he would not have it left out. And therefore onely he giveth an order for it: Be not rash with thy mouth.

5 The fifth folly, the mouth be­fore and with­out the heart.And so we come to the fifth folly; The mouth before the heart, without the heart, (as you see it here placed in my Text) No, thus the mouth is awry, out of order; So it must not be, neither must the mouth (as with us) be left out at all; nor must it come before all, out of due order: Be not rash with thy mouth: No, the heart is the leading part, the mouth must and shall come after. Neither must the mouth be without the heart: this a maine folly also; as to pretend the heart without the mouth, so to in­tend the mouth without the heart. Great cryes, no cause: the Devill is subtill as a Serpent; hee will make us beleeve that GOD will accept of a peece of a Sacrifice; what needs the whole burnt offering? [...]: As little cost as may be: either [Page 77] the heart alone, or the skin with a few bones; as Prometheus mocked his Iupiter. This hypocrisie crept in betimes; as amongst the Iewes, so in the Christian Church. This made Macarius, and some others of the Easterne Church, even of old, call for lesse mouth, and more heart. This made some Latine Fathers say, Non clamor, sed amor, &c. This made Erasmus, and others of later times, most justly blame the tumbling over their prayers in the Latine Church; he rightly concluded, it was a signe they had no heart at all to their prayers. And is it not so with us? The tumbling, mumbling, mangling, posting, passing over our prayers, as though they would never be ended: as it argueth contempt in them, that so performe them; so it causeth also contempt in the people that are present at them. I would that this folly were as severely censured with us, as it is in theApud illos e­nim Sacerdos si inter legendum aut erret, aut linguâ titubet, aut vocem ali­quam depressi­us enunciet, gra­vissimo prop­tere à ab audi­toribus objur­gatum, qui eum et sacro loco indignum, et li­bros alii tra­dendos unani­mi voce procla­mant. Vid. lib. Leon. Epist. ad David. Chytrae­um. de Russar. Releg. pag. 239. Muscovit. The­olog. Acts 2.1. Luke 1.70. Acts 4.32. Muscovie Churches: then doubt­lesse the reverend and carefull carriage of the mouth, would fetch the heart againe, and make it as better esteemed, so more religiously devout. Sure­ly Oratio, is but oris ratio, the heart appearing in the mouth; which whilest by many tongues, in one place, praying the same words, praising the same GOD with one accord, in the same faith and love, as they did, Acts 2.1. is but as the Scripture cals the mouth of the Prophets, Luke 1.70. One mouth, one voice; as from one heart, one soule, Acts 4.32. Howsoever, whatsoever is become of the heart, for the most part in our Churches, there is but one mouth left, the mouth of the Minister, and that for the most part a rash one too; even too rash, too [Page 78] hasty, to precipitate. Let me therefore speak to that in the words of my Text. O, be not rash with thy mouth.

6 The last folly, the Heart too hasty. Psal. 10.17. Prov. 16.1.And so we come to the last folly: Let not thine heart be hasty: the heart also may be too hasty. As there was a preparing of the Sacrifice: so must there be preparations of the heart, Psal. 10.17. Prov. 16.1. Without these it is too hasty, when it neither weigh­eth it selfe, nor the matter, nor the manner, nor the words of our prayer: But all is sudden, neither con­sidering to whom, nor with whom, nor how, nor what, nor where wee pray; when it faileth in any part or measure, of due or true attention, the heart is then, too hasty.

1 The Heart, that is, the Affections are then too hasty: when it weigheth not it selfe, whether it come in a right faith or no, in sincerity and integri­ty, for GODS glory, more than for other ends; cleansed and purified from all uncleannesse: If not cor mundum, a cleane heart, and pure hands, then not fit for the Holy place, Psal. 24.4.Psal. 24.4. Such an heart is too hasty. Remember God is in heaven, whose pure eyes can indure no uncleannesse:Iohn 19.31. 2 Tim 2.19. God heareth not sinners: but Let every one that nameth the Name of Christ, depart from iniquity.

2 The heart is then too hasty, when it is not hear­ty to all others; wanting the hearts affection, and true Christian charity; not only pardoning and forgiving others, but praying for them, doing all good unto them: Such prayer, as Cornelius's was, the Church with S. Iames calleth [...], work­ing prayer: Iames 5.16. and the Schoole Charitativam; true effe­ctuall [Page 79] prayer, which, as Faith, worketh by love: with­out this, if the heart run to the Altar, it is too hasty, it must backe againe: Remember, God in Hea­ven is the Father of us all: Thou on Earth, of earth for the matter of thy body, like to others; they thy brethren: therefore if thou hast ought against thy brother, lay downe thy gift at the Altar; first, goe, be reconciled to thy brother, &c. Mat. 5.23.24.Mat. 5.23.24.

3 The heart is too hasty, when it wants true hu­mility, sense, and sight of its owne weaknesse; to cast it selfe as a Worme upon the earth, accusing and condemning it selfe, as a Beggar, never giving over to pray for GODS grace and favour: such grace the Church calleth [...], and the Latines Assiduam, daily, continuall, laborious, and earnest prayer: If this be not, the heart is too hasty: Remember God is in Heaven, the Greatest and Highest Majesty, thou art on earth; therefore as a Beggar, humble thy selfe, cast downe thy selfe up­on earth: Beggars must be no choosers; Mark. 13.33. Luke 18.1. we must stay our time, we must watch and pray, and pray continu­ally; Ask, seek, and knock, Matth. 7.7.Mat. 7.7.

4 The heart is too hastie; for the matter, when it is carried either too hastily, or too earnestly to desire earthly things: either coveting them alone, or preferring them before Heavenly. Nay, consi­der thou art in earth, and standest in need of all things: Remember Heaven is above thee, and God in Hea­ven, to whom thou suest, the King of Kings. Im­modest and sinfull petitions we dare not present be­fore honest Men: vile and base Boones are unfit even for earthly Princes: yet earth is the most that [Page 80] they can give;S. Basil. instit. Monarch. c. 1. & S. Greg. Nyssen. in orat. Domin. Hom. 1. f. 618. but [...], as the Greeke Fathers use to speake. To ask a small Boone of Him, (as that great Prince did to the Phi­losopher) GOD will scorne it: it is too meane for God in Heaven to give, too unprofitable for thee on earth to receive: thou must [...]: know that Heaven containes the whole Earth in and under it; if therefore thou first covet the earth, which thou hast, and treadest on already, know then that thy heart is too hasty: First seeke the Kingdome of God, and the righteousnesse thereof, &c. Mat. 6.33.Mat. 6.33.

5 The heart is too hasty; when not minding the Majesty to whom it prayeth, nor the matter and thing, for which it prayes, it roveth and runneth after wandring wanton thoughts, vaine, foolish, and idle imaginations: Remember God is in Heaven, the searcher of the heart: thou on Earth apt to be seduced, tempted, and led away, subject to much defilement.Mat. 21.12. Thou must (as our Saviour) drive the money-changers out of the Temple, covetous desires and cares of the world;Mark. 9.24. and the Musitians also, as He did; namely, the lusts of the loose eye, and lasci­vious heart, the fancies and frenzies of concupi­scence: such prayer the Antients call [...]; as the Latines, Puram; as Iob also, Iob 16.17.Iob 16.17. when the heart is cleane swept of all worldly thoughts. And indeed [...]; who is sufficient for these things? Evagri. lib. 12. div. Apotheg. cap. 4. Antioch. hom. 10. de Psa. f. 305. Tom. 2. Ioan. Clym. Gr. 23. Car­thus. in 4. Sent. Dist. 15. q. 6. f. 214. 1 Cor. 14.15. so hard a task is it to pray indeed: and so true is that of Agathon confirmed by long experi­ence, That there is no work so hard under the Sun, as to pray GOD aright; none so irkesome to the [Page 81] flesh, none which Satan more striveth to hinder. Therefore to prevent the one, and to provide for the other, fit it is meditation should go before; at­tention, along with our prayers. And attention, even to the heart alone is (as you heare) of so many sorts. The Apostle reduceth them all to two: 1 Cor. 14.15. The spirit and the understanding. The Schoole Divines to three: 1. Attention to God in Heaven, to whom we pray. 2. To our selves, and our owne heart on earth, who make the prayer. 3. To the matter and subject, for which we pray: And all this necessary for mentall prayer, where we use no voice, no word, no mouth. But if we come to vocall prayer, where wee use voice, and word, and mouth, and all the rest before; then must we come back to these rules againe, and observe a twofold attention more, which Divines require.Attention twofold. 1. To the words: 2. To the sense of the words, whereby we pray: we'l apply it to the Text.

Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty.

The heart and understanding,To the words only in con­ceived prayer. if it be wholly busied about words, and the ordering of them, as usually it is in sudden and conceived prayer, then must the heart be, as it were, all and only, mouth and that attention due in other kinds must be the more broken, by how much the more it is divided and distracted in it selfe: it is a true Rule of Clymachus, who wrote both his owne, as also the observations of the Ancient [...], and therefore spake by good experience:Ioan. Clymach. gr. 28. p. 246. Mens ad inquisitionem verborum disten­tatur: The mind is racked and perplexed to expresse it [Page 82] selfe in words. Therefore they that have been Ma­sters in this Art of Prayer (whatsoever some of late have fansied to themselves) have, either for the most part, even in private, used mental prayer; or else have prescribed themselves a set forme of prayer: for this cause chiefly among others, that the heart being not carefull for the mouth, might be the more attentive and intent upon it selfe: and all this yet for private prayer. But if we come to publike prayer, which is, and must needs be vocall, with the voice and mouth; Nay, where one (the Minister) is the mouth of all the people; then my Text, nay, Rea­son, Religion, and Charity commands, That what helps Devotion may finde for it selfe in private, the same should be used in publike, for the people also. Be not rash with thy mouth; Thou which art the mouth of the people; must have respect to the heart of the people, with whom thou prayest, lest otherwise thou be too rash: and ye people, that have an heart to call upon GOD by the publike mouth of the Church, must have an heart also to understand what is prayed by this mouth; otherwise your heart will be too hasty. But how shall this be? Surely here it is most true, We know not how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit helps our infirmities. Rom. 8.26.Rom. 8.26. For therefore the wisdome of GOD hath appoin­ted: Christ his word hath commanded, and our Comforter the holy Spirit hath alwayes directed the Church to two certaine Rules in our publike prayer.

The two Rules or Lawes of prayer in pub­like.1 That the prayers in publike should be set, that they might be publikely knowne. Be not rash with thy mouth, &c.

2 That they should be short and briefe: Let thy words be few. And thus we are at last come to the Charge, where so much is to be said against the Errours of these times to be here indited, that I wish the houre were to begin againe. But I will bee briefe.

For the first:1 A set-prayer. it is the frantick humour of Men of our times, that because GOD hath promised his Spirit to assist his Church, bidding the Apostles, they should not be carefull what to speake, for it should be given them at that instant, Mat. 10.19.Mat. 10.19. that there­fore all set-prayer is against the ordinance of the Spirit; and we to use sudden and extemporary only. Of this, as the grounds are false, those places and promises being either especially understood of Mar­tyrdome (as Isidore Pelusiot expounds) or personall,Isidor. Pelus. lib. 4. Ep. 108. to the Apostles chiefly, and those first times, who for their admirable calling, and greater work, nee­ded more miraculous assistance: so is the position not only false, deceitfull, and dangerous; but also repugnant to Reason, Religion, and all Christian practice. For first,Otherwise, 1 It is unreaso­nable. Zech. 12.10. is it not fond once to thinke that the Spirit of GOD, which is the Spirit of prayer, (Zach. 12.10.) is made the worse or weaker for advisednesse? Doth deliberation do hurt in Re­ligion onely? Doth the Spirit of GOD, like the tempestious wind Euroclydon, carry all on an hurry?Acts 27.14. No surely, the Spirit of GOD is the Spirit of coun­sell and wisdome, Esay 12.2.Esay. 11.2. and therefore an enemy to all rashnesse and hastinesse either of mouth and heart, which are here forbidden: Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty.

2 Dangerous.And is it not dangerous also to commit all to private spirits: even that arduum, that hard worke of prayer, as the Scripture calleth it? Surely the Church hath found it so; For whereas after and against the established formes of the Church, some brought in their private conceipts into the African Churches:3 Concil. Carth. can. 23. 2 Milevitan. can. 12. first, the third Councell of Carthage, and then the second of Milevis, did publish their Lawes, that no prayer should be used in the Church, but such, which had been first approved by the Church; and a reason is given from this rashnesse: Ne forte aliquid contra fidem, vel per ignorantiam, aut per mi­nus studium sit compositum; that is, Lest perchance somewhat might be vented through ignorance, or care­lesnesse, which might be contrary to the faith: the ve­ry ground of my Text. And surely, that there should be a set-forme of prayer, maketh much for this one mouth, Thy mouth. The mouth of the Church should be but one: when it was otherwise, the Apo­stle liked it not: many mouthes, a meanes of confu­sion, 1 Cor. 14.26.1 Cor. 14.26. How is it when you come together, every one hath a Psalme, hath a Doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation? Let al things be done to edifying. If every one in the Church, should conceive his Psalme, what confusion would there be of notes and voices? Yet, our Psalmes are but Prayers, and our Prayers should be as Psalmes, wherein all doe joyne: such were anciently both their Psalmes and Prayers:Concil. Milev. can. 12. Ab omnibus celebrentur, Let them be said by all (saith the same Councell of Mi­levis.) Such is Common Prayer, as the Ancients rightly: [...]: Our [Page 85] prayers are common; for all say the same prayer, saith S. Chrysostome. And so, as you have heard,S. Chrysost. Hom. 18. in cap. 8 ep 2. ad Co­rinth. 2 That there may be but one heart. it is fit all should do: A set prayer therefore necessary, that there may be one mouth.

Againe, set-prayer makes for the unity of the heart also: as Thy mouth, Thy heart: of all but one heart; so should it bee. The heart of the people should, if not lead, yet at least go along with their owne prayer: but how can this be, unlesse their prayers be knowne, unlesse familiar to them, un­lesse they be before acquainted with them? Hee, that prayeth with others, must have respect to others, with whom he prayeth: publike use and order is not directed, but by commonly knowne sounds: the Apostle sheweth it, 1 Cor. 14.8.1 Cor. 14.8. If the Trumpet give an uncertaine sound, who shall prepare himselfe to the battell? The Trumpets sound is there­fore certaine, because knowne before, set and pre­scribed: And againe, There are so many voices in the world, yet none of them without signification, 1 Cor. 14.10.1 Cor. 14.10. Signifie they do all, because they are set and cer­taine: therefore they lead, direct, and instruct the mind. Such must our prayers be, that they may do the like. That the heart therefore may be but one, a set-prayer necessary: one mouth, that there be but one heart.

Againe,3 It prevents the mouths rashnesse. set-prayer prevents the danger of the mouths rashnesse; Be not rash. And indeed, how ma­ny foolish Tautologies, Battologies; how many idle words, irreverent, unmannerly, ridiculous, if not blasphemous passages fall from many, in their suddenly conceived prayers? The Councell of Milevis [Page 86] saw it, and shewes it well enough: Ne contra fidem, vel per ignorantiam, aut per minus studium: Blasphe­mous, ignorant, carelesse Prayer, experience shewes it with us.Iudg. 11.31. Iephta's vow alone is a witnesse: A man would thinke it a glorious zeale: The first (saith he) that comes out to meete me shall be the Lords: the very first, that, whatsoever (even that) and no other; that, whatsoever it be. Behold a true picture of Quicquid in buccam. 1. Anastas. Ni­caenum, seu Si­naitam. Qu. 38 Hug. de Sancto Vict. tract de filia Iepte. Tom. 3. f. 234. It might have beene an Asse, or a Dog, as well as his Daughter: God therefore (as Divines note) forbad him not, as hee did Abraham, but suffered him to do, and offer the sacrifice of fools: Onely by him, God hath taught us; thee and mee: our mouth should not be rash; much lesse the mouth of thee and me, and many more: The mouth of the people, the Minister, neither for matter nor manner may be rash; Hee tyed to a forme: A set-Prayer necessary for him, that hee prove not rash with his mouth. 4 It prevents the hearts rashnes. But suppose all well; no errour in such con­ceived Prayers; yet the mouth of the congregation, the Minister,1. By understan­ding them. as hee must not goe before his owne heart, so neither before the heart of the people, whose mouth hee is: Either way the mouth is too rash. Fit it is their owne heart should leade, at least accompany their owne Prayer. A set-Prayer ne­cessary for the people also.

2. By meditation before.But if so; yet the heart may be too hasty, if not filled by meditation. Meditation is (as the Schooles rightly) applicatio mentis, Intellectus contemplativus: a raising and applying (the Heart) the understanding, that it may leade (the Heart) the will and affections after it: Therefore preparation necessary before [Page 87] prayer. But how can this be, if that they should meditate upon, be unknowne unto them? There­fore a set-prayer necessary for this end also.

But yet not all: As meditation before,3. By attention in them. so Atten­tion is necessary in our prayers: Prayer is Intellectus practicus, The earnest desire of the heart: All kind of attention and intention is for the heart most needfull; and for this cause,2. The Churches practice. that the hearts desire may be the more earnest, whilest being eased for the mouth, it is most busied upon it selfe;1. Before the Law. Gen. 4.26. Puto verten­dum; Tunc in­ceptum est in­vocari nomen Domini, ut di­cat, eo tempo­re ritus certos colendi Deum institutos fuis­se, quos obser­varent filii Dei, hoc est, Mem­bra Ecclesiae, quam in poste­ris Seth haesisse multi arbitran. tur. Ioan. Dru­sius in Diffici­lior: Genescos. cap. 15. p. 30. 2. Vnder the Law. Num. 6.23.24 Ioel 2.17. Deut. 24.14. 3. Vnder the Gospel. a set-prayer is necessary for this end also. Be not rash with thy mouth.

And indeede, as GOD hath commanded, so the Spirit, who teacheth us to pray: Rom. 8. hath al­waies directed the Church in all ages to a set-forme of prayer in publike. In the old World, and the Church before the Law: Gen. 4.26. it is said: Then beganne men to call upon the Name of the Lord: that is, say Interpreters, they began to use Rites and set-formes in publike.

After under the Law, there needs no proofe: God in many places prescribed set-formes unto them, which the Iewes even use to this day: Numb. 6.23. Ioel 2.17. Deut. 24.14. Infinite are the places: It is too notorious to be denied: I have proved it al­ready before. So a set-prayer they also were di­rected to.

Last of all, under the Gospel: A set-prayer they had from the beginning: IESVS CHRIST the corner stone, laid the first stone in the building; viz. the Lords Prayer: from this the Church en­creased it in the Apostle's times: as from 1 Cor. 11. [Page 88] and 14.1 Cor. 11.14. chapters. Chapters: 1 Timoth. 2.1 Tim. 2. Colos. 3.16.Col 3.16. Ephes. 5.19.Ephes. 5.19. Acts 12.5. &c. might be abundantly proved: Besides the testimonies of St. Chrysostome, Basil, Austin, Acts. 2.5. Cyril, the Greeke Dionysius, Proclus and ma­ny others: yea, the common Liturgica, found in all Christian Ritualls, doe plainly evince this, that with the Faith it selfe, set-prayer was established in all Christian Churches.

Reason 1 And indeede, doth not good reason here per­swade it? Thou art on earth. Thou art on earth. Remember this; that though the Spirit assist us, yet dwelling on earth, nay, in earth, in houses of clay; we have this treasure but in earthen vessells; 2 Cor. 5.1. 2 Cor. 4.7. and therefore, because in earth, wee should be jealous and suspitious of this earth, carefull and watchfull over our selves; Be not too rash with our mouth.

Reason 2 Againe, Remember, God is in Heaven; God is in hea­ven. where­fore if, as mistrusting our manifold infirmities, even when we speake before men, our equalls; or but to men, though our betters, wee are so carefull, as to penne and weigh our words before hand, that wee offend not: Then how much more carefull should wee be, when wee speake before GOD, nay, unto GOD? O here be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty: Let thy words be few. And indeed, our words here would be as few our owne, as might be (If any) in publike: They would be in the Church, as the Church allowes, as shee speakes, The words of the Church: Thy words, It is spoken to the Church: A set-forme in publike, when we pray in publike.

2 Law of pub­like prayer.Neverthelesse, though her words; yet here ano­ther [Page 89] law for the Church, and her publike prayers, That they should be Short: Let thy words be few. Few words imply short speech: Short prayers they must needs be, where there be few words; words are the hearts earnest, and should, as come after it, so come under it. The tongue and mouth are the hearts index; and as indices to bookes: so should the mouth, as it were, but referre God to the heart, where he may reade more. It is the property of a full heart, not fully to expresse it selfe; and the du­ty of a good Christian's prayer, as not to speake, more then he meanes, so to mind much more then he speakes: Let thy words be few.

But besides: Short prayers make long devotions: the affections, that vent themselves quickely, loose their vigor: and the heat, that evaporates, spends it selfe the sooner. Sorrow, when it hath made a vent, ceaseth to be sorrow; and the tongue, that declares, abates the hearts fervour. The mouth is to the heart, as the mouth of a glasse, or viall; which, if it be of the biggest, powreth all out at an instant, whereas if it be narrower, it holds the liquor the longer, & maketh a pleasant murmor in the issuing. I know not how, but a strange speech it is of aQuidam vet. Sapient. He­braeor. ap. Dru­sium l. 1. praete­rit. in 6. Mat. 7. Ecclus. 7.14. Matth. 23.14. Matth. 6.7. wise man: That hee feares not God from his heart, that maketh long prayers. And Ecclus. 7.14. Make not much babling, when thou prayest. Sure I am, where we find this froth in the mouth, there alwaies finde wee some fault at the heart. The Pharisees made long prayers: Matth. 23.14. but there was hypo­crisie at their heart. The Heathen made long prayers: Matth. 6.7. but there is infidelity at their heart. Be [Page 90] yee not like unto them (saith our Saviour (vers. 8.) After this manner therefore pray ( [...]) So; Let this direct you for the length of your prayers. Hee giveth us, as the matter, and order; so the mea­sure (at least of our publike prayers) [...]:S. Chrys. Hom. de Anna. f. 965. Luk. 18.1. 1 Thes. 5.17. Rom. 12.12. Mark. 13.33. Mat. 7.7. saith an ancient Father. The Lords prayer, a set forme, as a president to the Church, she should doe the like; so a short forme, as a patterne, the Church should not go beyond. As the Widdow, pray continually, Luke 18.1. without ceasing. 1 Thess. 5.17. Instant in prayer. Rom. 12. Watch and pray. Marke 13.33. Ask, seek, and knock. Mat. 7.7. The very manner of these and the like speeches, sheweth the manner of our prayers, that they should bee [...]: (as one) thick and short. And how the ancient and first Christians did expound these and the like places,S. Chrys. hom. 2 de Anna. f. 965. S. Chrysostome will shew us: his words are remarkable, [...]. Christ and S. Paul command us to make our prayers thick and short, with little spaces and distances betwixt, for these causes, namely;

1 That the weakest devotion of the meanest Christian may not be oppressed.

2 That the people might have space and place to joyne with the Priest, and give their assent to their owne prayers.

3 That by their often responds, the mind of the people might be kept from wandring.

4 That their devotion (thus) might be the more excited and stirred up.

5 That their attention (thus) might bee kept [Page 91] waking, by their often responds, which were expe­cted from them.

6 That hereby they might shew their confi­dence in GOD'S mercy by CHRIST'S merits, as contrary to the Heathen practice, Mat. 6.7.

7 That by such meanes the Priest also might in such spaces be both eased, and refreshed in the time of prayer.

8 That there might be a space for meditation.

9 But especially that our Saviours command might be observed, who hath thus, both by his precept and example, commanded.

And as CHRIST hath commanded, so hath the Spirit directed; and so hath the Church alwayes practised.S. Epiphan. [...]. c. 24. In the Greek and Mother Church (Epi­phanius tels us) their prayers were [...]: with all frequent and fervent brevity: short and thick prayers. In the Latine Church, the Col­lects,Des. Erasmus. lib. de modo orandi. Antiquissimae preces (as Erasmus rightly stiles them) the most ancient prayers were all short, not ex­ceeding the length of the Lords Prayer. Such were their prayers in the African Churches (as Cassian, Ioh. Cassian. Institut. lib. 2. c. 10. &c. S. Aug. Ep. ad Probam. 121. de orando Deum. cap. 10. and out of him S. Augustine relateth) Creberrimae & brevissimae, most thick and short. And the more ear­nest their prayers, the shorter were they, and the more frequent their answers. The Apostle useth two words usually to expresse their twofold formes; [...]: prayer and supplication: to the one, the same with our Collects, the people an­swered, Amen; to the other, agreeable with our Letany, &c. they answered as we, with diverse and sundry answers: for the most part, [...] &c. or [Page 92] the like. From whence, as from the frequency of their often petition, these prayers were called [...] and [...], being in substance, forme, and or­der, the same, which we have in this Church of England: Gilb. Cognat. precum f. 302. &c. 312. Ope­rum, quem vide. therefore Gilbertus Cognatus a most lear­ned Germane, even an hundred and thirty yeeres agoe, laying downe the formes, Veteris Ecclesiae, of the ancient Church, layeth downe the very prayers of this Church of England.

ApplicationThus you see I have brought our Text home to our doores; where because the time and Text put me in mind, I will only adde two or three words more for the conclusion of these our Sessions.

These even as few as may be, and therefore but three only to conclude and shut up all: Viz.

A word of Confutation, a word of Exhortation, a word of Gratulation.

1 The first shall be Verbum confutationis, A word of confutation, reproofe, and reprehension. There are a sort of people in the world, who because they most admire their owne fansies, and are onely in love with themselves, like therefore no prayers, no devotions but their owne: nor these have they any, but of the longest; wherein they may sooner lose themselves, and their blinde zeale, than finde GOD, whom they pretend to seeke. With these men Set-prayer is Parrat-prayer, lip labour; compared to an Horse in a Mill: (so dare these fooles blaspheme.) The short, and therefore fervent ejaculations of the Ancient Church, most fit, either for publike or pri­vate devotion, are shreds of prayer, &c. any thing, but what they are, or should be. And because our blessed [Page 93] Saviour in that most perfect forme of His, the ground and patterne of all ours, still stands with us, and his Churches practise: therefore forsooth, His also (that you may know what spirit they are of) He al­so (I say) and His most perfect Prayer is rejected by them. That prayer, say they, in no sort to be used by us. So we have heard them speak and write; witnesse theirVid. Franc. Iohnson cont. Io. Carpenter de praescript. ab hominibus pre­cat. form. Am­stelrod. in 4. 1610. Bookes. But I pray you then, to what purpose serves the Lords prayer? It is (say they) given us for a patterne and president for all our prayers. Well and good: if so; then must all ours be, as that is, 1. Set and prescribed. 2. Short and briefe. Thus are they againe (like that Nequam servus) condemned out of their owne mouth; and unwittingly snared in their owne words. But (say they) set-prayers limit and prescribe the Spirit. What spirit do they meane? The Spirit of GOD? Nay rather, that blessed Spirit is best (in us) furthe­red by them: due meditation (as it may here best) preceding, to them preparing our devotion, and in them augmenting the vigor of our intention. For this cause he hath alwayes prescribed such to his Church: such hath the Church alwaies used till our dayes. He that first brought the other in amongst us in publike, was hee that either first broke the Churches peace, or did at least begin to renew the Schisme amongst us. Consider, I beseech you, my brethren of the Clergie (to you I now speak) whe­ther such an one be a fit president or example for us. Consider whether such prayers privately fra­med, and publikely used for the most part, bee not against publike order and private zeale: whether [Page 94] they do not much more circumscribe and limit the Spirit. Consider I beseech you in the feare of God, whether these have not beene the meanes to dis­grace and discredit the Churches, and all other our true publike devotions. Surely much better, as sa­fer, was the practise of former Ages: in which no­thing (for matter of invocation) was publikely used, but what was publikely approved: they using none before their Sermons (in this place of exhortation, the Pulpit) but either the Lords Prayer onely, or (as in elder times) this short forme,Post verò le­ctionem Legis & Prophetarū, Epistolarū no­strarum, Actu­um, & Evan­gelii Ordinatus salutet Ecclesiam iis verbis, Gratia Domini nostri Iesu Christi, & charitas Dei Patris, & communicatio Spiritus Sancti sit cum omnibus vobis, Amen: & omnes respondeant, Et cum spiritu tuo. Post haec verba alloquatur populum sermonibus exhortatoriis. Clemen. Constit. lib. 8. c. 4. Latin. edit. Lugdun. 1565. p. 355. Observatum hoc idem in Orientalibus Ecclesiis docet, S. Chrysost. Hom. 3. in 1 cap. ad Colos. his verbis. [...] (Episcopum designat, Pres­byteri enim utebantur solitâ illâ formulâ, Gratia Domini, &c. quum tamen intereà Episcoporum magis propria fuerat Salutatio illa altera, Pax vobis) [...] (pergit ille) [...]. Simile fuisse institutum Ecclesiae Latinae & Occidentalis, liquet ex illo de Macario apud Optatum lib. 7. p. 201. quod cum Balvinianae editioni deesset, doctissimus vir Mericus Casaubonus suo loco restituens, ad calcem libri 3. subjecit. Siquidem osten­surus Optatus Macarium non tractasse, id est, praedicasse, vel concionem habuisse ad populum; Hoc enim erat illu tractare: id probat, eò quod verba habiturus non salu­tabat populum Contra (ait Optatus) Episcopalis tractatus probatur ab omnibus san­ctitate vestitus, salutatione scilicet geminara. Non enim aliquid incipit Episcopus ad populum dicere, nisi primo in nomine Dei populum salutaverit. Similes sunt exitus initiis. Omnis tractatus in Ecclesià à nomine Dei incipitur, & ejusdem Dei nomine terminatur, &c. Ex quo liquet, Episcopos tum in ingressu concionis, tum in ejusdem exitu popu­lum his verbis salutasse: Quod etiam supra allatis verbis confirmat. S. Chrysostomus, [...]. Absolventes enim suas exhortationes benedicebant Episcopi, sicuti & Presbyteri [...]. Adeo haec eadem formula utraque & salu­tatio & benedictio: quam tamen Optatus salutationem geminatam appellat. Vbi au­tem Episcopis receptum postea, diverso ritu à Presbyteris salutare, Concil. Bracha­rensi 1. Prohibitum id fuit, sancitumque Canone 21. Vt uno modo salutent, dicentes, Dominus sit vobiscum, sicut in libro Ruth legitur, & ut respondeatur à populo, Et cum spiritu tuo; sicut & ab ipsis Apostolis traditum omnis retinet Oriens, &c. The Lord with you: The Bishop thus blessing and preparing the people to heare; and the people mutually againe in that Respond, And with thy spirit; praying for him againe. Therefore let me (in the bowels of [Page 95] CHRIST IESVS) beseech you all (wishing my voice might reach as farre as the fault extends, to every person and place) that you and they would all receive the second Word.

2 Of Exhortation and Admonition; that as we hold the Spirits unity, so we would even in this also provide for the Churches peace: that we would all as one (herein) follow our blessed Saviours com­mand, his Spirits direction, his Churches practice in all ages. That as we are his peoples mouth to him, we would not be too precipitate in our selves, too unadvised in respect of the people; whose mouthes and hearts, that all may be but one mouth and heart, must necessarily in GOD'S publike service accom­pany and go along with ours: that howsoever we do when we speake to the people, yet when to God we speak, that Our words be few; Let not our mouth be rash, or our heart hasty, to utter any thing before Him, that may make our Sacrifice to be the Offering of Fooles. Nay rather, let us be more ready to heare, that is to obey GOD and his Church: seeing to obey is the fat of Sacrifice. Yea,1 Sam. 15.21. much better than all Sacri­fice. Surely the Heathen man can tell us, that this is that kept up their Sparta. How much more this obedience to GOD; his Son our Saviour; his Word; his Spirit; his Catholike and universall Church? [Page 96] In whose wall, as in Noahs Arke, you and we all are only safe.

3 And truly (that I may adde the third word of Gratulation) we have ever great cause to confesse and acknowledge GOD's favour and mercy to us, who are of this English Church: and far more juster cause have we to praise Him; not (as the Heathen Man) that we are Men only, not Women; Grecians, not Barbarians; Athenians, not Baeotians: for now Male and Female, Gal. 3.28. Graecians and Barbarians, are all one in CHRIST: but that we are Men, not Beasts; Christians, not Heathen; English, the best Reformed for pure Doctrine and perfect Discipline; which GOD hath by a long and happily continued peace so mercifully approved, so miraculously defended. Truly the Iewes, in their Beracoth, recounting the blessings their Fathers received, and themselves now want, doe daily blesse, and continually praise GOD for them: How much more justly and truly should we do this daily and hourely? We have re­ceived the substance, whereof they the shewes; the body, CHRIST, whereof they the shadowes; the truth and performance, whereof they but the pro­mise: thus indeed with us all Christians after CHRIST. But of so many Christian Churches, how many, with Israel of old in Egyptian bondage, under the Turke, and other Easterne Princes! How many scorcht, or at least in danger of the fiery Fur­nace, with the three Children! How many in peace have not the cleare truth? How many in full truth, have not perfect peace! having both, how many have not that discipline and government, that must [Page 97] under God preserve them! Onely we (I say) enjoy all. God grant we may take the course, by seeking God truly, to enjoy them still. I say, wee of this Nation do and have long enjoyed them all by Gods speciall mercy: It being a special argument of Gods singular favour toward this Reformation recei­ved and established in this Church, that God (not­withstanding all our infinite sins beyond other Na­tions) hath and is still pleased so long to vouchsafe us such Peace, such Plenty, such a flourishing State, such inward Content, such outward Prosperity, so many, and great Deliverances, so strange and mira­culous Preservations; such happy Government un­der so many Pious and Religious Princes: having added this also in this most happy Succession; that with the ending of that former Kingly Race of ours, neither our Peace, nor His Truth did end: but that another and nearer Kingdome is added to us, to strengthen our Peace, to encrease our Thankeful­nesse to God, our Obedience to Him, and His Vice-gerent.

O let us not forfeit this Peace, yea Gods blessed Truth, by any unthankefulnesse: Let us not, as fools, still strive with God, His Christ, His Spirit. Let us ever obey God also in this, Take His Counsell, Be not rash with our mouth, &c.


THE FOVRTH; OF THE NECESSITY AND ORDER OF GOD'S Service by Prayer and the Words Mini­stration: in reference chiefly to the CLERGIE: Preached at the Trieniall Visitation of the R. Reverend Father in GOD, William, Lord Bishop of London, holden at Dunmow in Essex. Sept. 11. Anno Domini. 1634.


But we will give our selves continually to Prayer, and to the ministration of the Word.

IT was an ancient custome in the Chur­ches Synodall assemblies, that the Sacred Bible ( [...]) the Bookes of Holy Scripture,Vide Christop. Iustell. IC. in Prafat. ad Co­dicem Canonū Eccles. Cathol. in initio. the Rule of Chri­stian Faith, were openly layed on an higher deske; the Ecclesiasticall bookes of the [Page 100] Councils, the Rule of Discipline and Order, on a lower by them: To teach us doubtlesse, that both these are a safety and defence, the one to the other: Neither Faiths Doctrine secure without the pale of Discipline, nor Disciplines Order sound with­out the ground of Doctrine. Both like those two Sisters in the Gospell, Mary and Martha; or these in the Text, Prayer and the Word, serving the LORD in the mutuall service of one another. Behold what then was, is now againe represented unto your Christian view even those two Bookes opened before your eys; or one Canon in both those Bookes. A Canon truly it is, and that of the second Synod that ever was, the first and only: yet recor­ded also in the Booke of God; a speciall part of His holy Word, and therefore most truly Canonicall.

And which is yet worth our observing; As it pleased GOD, The first Synod that ever was (Acts Chap. 1.) in the 34. yeare of our Christian Aera, and the next after our Blessed SAVIOUR'S Assention, was called for the setling the number and Persons of the holy Apostles, the Churches Founders, and Governours. So this second now, in the same yeare held (as Binnius and Baronius, Vid. Binium. Tom. 1. Conci­lio 4. fol. 1. & C. Baronium ad An. 35. n. 1. &c. account) doth as we see (by the same providence) designe and set downe their Office and Duty: and not theirs alone, but the Duty of us all, who suc­ceede them.

So a Synod we have in the Text, Verse 2. Then the Twelve called the multitude of the Disciples, &c. And a Synod also at this time for some like end.

And a yearely provision it was, and it seemeth from the same ground, that as That Acts 1. and This here, in the same yeare: so also in after ages [...] Con. Nicen. 1. Can. 5. [...]. Concil. Chalced. Can. 19. Bis in anno, juxta Patrum decreta; aut si non saltem se­mel. Concil Tolitan. 4. cap. 3. circa Ann. Dom. 633. Turonens. 2. c. 1. Anno Dom. 570. Vid. Aposto­lorum Canon. 38. alias. 36. twice every yeare (if neede required) at least, once, the Church should have her solemne meetings. So the Councills of Toledo, Tours, and the rest: And they shew it to have beene the practice of the Eldest times, imitated (as appeares byNicol. de Cu­sa Card. l. 3. de Concord. Ca­thol. c. 25. f. 809. Cusanus) by the Civill State, that as in the Naturall body there being an evill feared from without, the spirits forthwith assemble, and gather to the heart, as it were to fortifie it, and secure themselves: So also in the Body Ecclesiasticke, Concil. Mile­vitan. 2. Can. 9. qui lib. Afric. cap. 95. & 73. Quoties communis neces­sitas cogit (saith the Councill of Milevis) As oft as the common cause required, there were common assemblies, Generall Councills, all meeting on all hands, to advise for the common good.Concil. To­letan. 4. cap. 3. Si vero nec de fide, nec de communi Ecclesiâ tractabitur (saith the fourth of Toledo:) if the businesse were not con­cerning faith, and the common cause; if the Occasion be but, as here, [...], the murmuring of the Hellenists at Hierusalem, and the End as now, to provide for their Widowes; then Erit speciale Con­cilium (say the same Fathers) the Synod shall be spe­ciall or particular; onely for those times and parts, the Rule to reach no farther: And so have we here a President for such as this.

But neverthelesse whatsoever the occasion be, their Resolution here is Generall, Catholike, and Oecumenicall. They were for the Persons, Apo­stles immediatly sent from Christ, the first foun­ders and planters of our Christian faith: their [Page 102] Commission as larg as the whole world, therfore their Conclusion able, and such as ought indeed to con­clude all us. All us, who have received the faith from their mouths. All us, Christians. All us, yet more particularly who have received either our mission from them, or like commission with them. All us, of the Clergy. We all, to minde the same Duties, in the same Order and manner, with the same hight, or rather fulnesse and fer­vour of Resolution, as they here—But we (say they) will give our selves continually to Prayer, and the Mi­nistration of the Word.

The Divi­sion.In which words you have three things princi­pally to be considered (1) The Persons, We. (2) The Duties, Prayer and the Ministration of the Word. (3) Their Resolution for these Duties, and the man­ner of performance, [...] there is more in this word, then we are aware of: We translate it; We will give our selves continually to, &c.

Or, if you please, you have them thus,

  • 1 The Officers, We.
  • 2 The Offices, Prayer, and the Words Mini­stration.
  • 3 The Officiating, We will give our selves.

In the Persons or Officers consider,

  • 1 Their Quality.
  • 2 Their Dignity.
  • 3 Their Vnity.
  • 4 Their Imparity.

Of these two last chiefly, and of the two other in them.

In the Duties, consider,

  • 1 Their Number, Two: though including and comprehending many particulars.
  • 2 Their Necessity, comparatively in respect of persons and time.
  • 3 Their Order, in respect of each other:

First and principally to Prayer, as to the maine: to the Ministration of the Word, as to the meanes. To the one, namely Prayer, as to the End. To the other, as the Way conducing and leading to this End. To the one, as to the proper and peculiar Ser­vice of GOD, absolutely necessary for all men and times: To the other, as the Service of His Word, properly belonging to us (Clergy) and chiefly ne­cessary for those first times.

In their Resolution for these Duties Consider,

  • 1 Their Desire, Purpose, and intention.
  • 2 Their Solemne, and publikely vowed Conse­cration and dedication of themselves, We will, &c.
  • 3 The Oppositions there against made, weighed and considered in this particle [...], But, we &c.
  • 4 Their serious Execution, carefull and indu­strious performance, notwithstanding all dangers to be feared, or difficulties to be expected; in this most significant word [...]. Wee will not onely imploy or busie our selves, but wholly, con­tinually, perseverantly, manger all lets, dangers and disturbances, We will give up our selves most stoutly and resolvedly to Prayer and the Ministration of the Word.

And thus you have the severalls. Now wee come to each in order, as far as the time will give us leave.

I. The Persons Their Vnity and agrement.1 ANd first of the Persons, whom wee both heare and finde in this Word; We.

We. It is the voice of all the Apostles, not of Peter alone: They all in the first Synod, chuse alike; have equall voice and choice in the Substituting Matthias, Acts 1.Acts 1. In that other, about Circumcision, All decree, send, and judge alike: It seemed good to the HOLY GHOST, and us, Acts 15.Acts 15. Here they all pronounce and ordaine alike: Neither was it ever otherwise in after Councills, where all met, the five Patriarch's were chiefe; and as Saint Peter amongst the chiefe Apostles, Romans 16. Rom. 16.5. So the Romane Patriarch had onely [...], to sit or speake first; not power to rule or guid either all or any. The Apostles, as they were all sent toge­ther,Iohn 20. Acts 1. Matth. 10.Matth. 10. So they were all inspired at once, Iohn 20.22. To let us know, that they and their Successors are Pari authoritate, pari consortio, as theS. Cyprian. l. de unitate Ec­clesiae. 3. Hoc crant uti (que) & caeteri Aposto­li, quod fuit Pe­trus, pari con­sortio praediti & honoris & potestatis, sed exordium ab unitate profi­ci citur. Fathers speake. That Saint Peter spake first, Acts 15. or was by our Blessed SAVIOUR spoken to alone, was but (as wee have elsewhere shewen) because hee was with Andrew [...], the eldest Apostle; they thence ascribing to him, Primas sedes, the first seates, (such were then Anti­och, Alexandria, and Rome) because he was, thus, the First; Thereby teaching and signing the Chur­ches [Page 105] unity, which by one Spirit, from one Head, is but one in all: and though many Members, yet but one Body. Wee.

Againe, Wee: Though the Apostles only speak,9 Their impari­ty. though we heare them alone, yet are there more in the worke, [...]; But wee, points us not only to the Apostles as chiefe Governours; but also to the seventy Disciples: yea, these seven (new) Deacons also not excluded. It is an errour of theCan. 16. Syn­odi Con­stantinop. in Trullo. Sixth Synode, and of sundry interpreters, which is gree­dily layd hold on by the factious amongst us, that these Deacons were only Lay-men: when as we ap­parently see Stephen one of them busied in the Mi­nistration of the word; Vers. 10. &c. Acts 7. & 8. and Philip in the office and duty of Prayer and Baptisme. Surely as the Apo­stles did not shut themselves nor their successors, the Bishops (as Stories plentifully prove) from the governing the Deacons care about their Tables; so they did not include that Office, only within that Table-service. They were but [...], Ministri (as the name signifieth) servants in all to both the rest: as the Seventy were in Prayer and the Word subject and inferiour to the Apostles: These in­deed being the Governours of them all. So, we see, there was alwayes an imparity in the Church; alwayes the spirits of the Prophets subject to the Pro­phets. 1 Cor. 14. As Aaron and the High Priests of old; so under them the inferiour Priests and Levites. After­ward, CHRIST our Lord, as he sent the Apo­stles and seventy Disciples at two severall times,Luke 9.2. & 10. v. 1, 2, 3. Luke the 9. and 10. Chapt. So thereby he directed his Church most plainely to these two Orders: [Page 106] 1 The Bishops who did succeed into the Apostles place, as the Church Governours, who were to Watch for our soules, Heb. 13.17.Heb. 13.17. in the preserving of peace and truth. And 2 the inferiour Clergy, though sent also by CHRIST in the Seventy, yet sent after in time, after also and inferiour in place, that they might know they are to be subject to the first. Those indeed, (the Apostles sent first, abso­lutely, and with Power (saith the Evangelist, Mat. 10.1.Mat. 10.1. Iohn 21.16. Acts 20.28.) altogether and alike sent, as Sheepherds, [...], not to feed onely, but also to guide the flock. These, the Seventy, sent after, and apart, two by two,Luke 10.3. and that (saith S. Luke, who reports the difference fully and plainly) [...], as Lambes, in Prayer, and the Word only, [...], to feed the flock, and to be ordered and directed by those others: They, the Apostles, sent, [...], as Sheepe (saith S. Matthew) and so superiour to the rest;Mat. 10.16. Fathers of, and Elders over, to guide and governe them. Thus as a difference of Names and Titles, so also no lesse of Orders. As a Priority of mission, so was there of commission also.

Neither was it ever otherwise, in any other place, in any after and succeeding ages, amongst their successors. Even in the Apostles times, (not to trouble you with after testimonies) Titus Bishop of Crete, Timothy Bishop of Ephesus, both appoin­ted by S. Paul; who therefore sometimes joynes them and others with himselfe in the Front of his Epistles to the Churches;1 Cor. 1.1. Paul and Sosthenes, 2 Cor. 1.1. Phil. 1.1. Col. 1.1. Paul and Timotheus, 1 Thes. 1.1. 2 Thes. 1.1. Paul and Silvanus and Timo­theus, &c. To teach us, that those he thus joynes [Page 107] with himselfe, must and should indeed succeed unto him. After, in the Age next after the Apostles, [...]. S. Ignat. Epist. ad Trall. in initio. [...]. Ibid. Vide eundem in Epist. ad Magnes. Et ad Philadelphens. Item Epist. ad Smyr. h. v. [...], &c. Ignatius every where warnes the Priests to be sub­ject to their Bishops; the Deacons to their Priests; the People, at the least in these two, Prayer, and the Word, to be subject to them all.

Thus was it alwayes in all places: no where otherwise. For GOD is the God of Order. As he will be served of us in Prayer and the ministra­tion of the Word, so will he be served in Order: by us, as inferiour Labourers; by them as Superiour Governours; though notMat. 20.25. Mark 10.42. Luke 22.25. 1 Peter 5.3. 1 Tim. 5.17. 2 Cor. 11.28. [...] and [...], though not domineering, and absolutely out of the plenitude of their power Lording it, (as the same words constantly held both by the three Evangelists, and S. Peter the Apostle well import,) yet worthily ruling, worthy to be accounted worthy their double honour.

For surely, though their Place is higher, and ho­nour more; yet is their labour no lesse, and their burthen heavier. They not onely labour in the Church, as doe we, but care for the Church; yea, The care of all our Churches layd on them. Thus, whilest we serve GOD in private, in our Prayers and the words ministration: they in a more publike care (may I so say) doe even serve the meanest and lowest of us all. There is no service, Beloved, to that of Governement, where one serves all. And that Greek Proverbe is most true in every Family, much more in this great Houshold of Faith, and Fa­mily of the Faithfull, The Church of GOD, [...], that is, There is but one servant in [Page 108] each house, and that's the Master. It is our Lord and Masters Rule;Mat. 20.26.27. Whosoever will be great amongst you, let him be your Minister, and whosoever will be chiefe amongst you, let him be your servant. So must it needs be, the higher place, the heavier burthen: and we know that the shoulders next the head are the most bearing part.

Let us not therefore envie this honour to any whom GOD hath set over us. Nay, rather let us pitty their persons, and that heavie burthen they beare, and let us strive by our joynt and free obe­dience to make it lighter. Let us, as Aaron and Hur, Exod. 17.12. by a faithfull discharge of this our twofold duty, Prayer and the Word, especially by our ear­nest and serious prayers, beare up Moses armes, that they, and we all, may as cheerefully, as resolutely [...], Give our selves without any let or im­pediment from our selves, to prayer, and the mini­stration of the Word. And so, though omitting much of our intended discourse, we come from the Persons to the Duties, Wee, to Prayer, &c.

II. The Duties.We cannot so easily come to these Duties, but we must againe with them awhile behold the Per­sons, they are here so linked together: We, to prayer and to the ministration of the Word.

The first fruits of every thing were sacred for GODS use;Exod. 13.2. and the first-borne of the Males, were as holy, consecrate to GODS more speciall ser­vice: such were these here, the first-fruits of the Christian faith, and the first-borne that opened the wombe of our Mother Church: and therefore as such are set apart for GODS more speciall ser­vice; [Page 109] as such, they freely and wholly give up them­selves: [...]: We (say they) will give our selves continually to prayer and to the ministration of the word. Therefore they were especially, [...], Gods portion and inheritance.

And as they, so we.Their number. This is the twofold Duty of every one of us, who succeeded them: we truly serve GOD, and his Church, in both. In our publike prayers we serve GOD (as do all others, Prayer being most properly his service) and are herein more peculiarly the mouth of the people unto GOD. In the Word, which is his Gospell, we serve his Word and Church, and are Gods mouth in his embassage & message to his people: Thus [...], [...]. De Gregentio Tephrensi Pal­ladius in ejus­dem disputat. cum Herbono. p. 204. Et He­sych. Presbyt. in Levitic. cap. 22. p. 509. Inde nomen [...] Sa­cerdotibus pre­cipué datum; eô quod Lega­torum vice fun­gerentur. Exod. 4.16. so the Greeke Fathers; Mediatores, so diverse of the Latine, though S. Augustine mislike the phrase: that, whereas neither God can speake to man, be­cause an infinite and glorious essence; nor man can behold or heare God, or the Angels, because he a sinfull and mortall creature, (For who can looke upon the Sun, or who can see God, and live?) God therefore hath appointed some men, who, give me leave to say it, might be as Moses unto Aaron, Gods unto men, by thus mediating betweene God and man in this twofold Duty: by the which (asProsp. lib. 1. de vit. contemp. cap. 25. Prosper hath it) Et Deus placatur populo, & populus instruitur Deo. GOD being by Prayer reconciled unto his people; and the people by the Word, instructed unto God: both in us, serving GOD, and one another. For by the one, the Words ministration, the understanding is inlightned to know and be­leeve GOD; by the other, Prayer, our wils and [Page 110] affections are raised, ordered, and directed to love that GOD we know, and to confesse him, whom we beleeve.

By the one, we attaine the Serpents wisdome; by the other, we obtaine the Doves innocency, the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost.

2 Their necessi­ty, in respect of us Clergy.They are, though divided in GODS people, yet conjoyned in us his Ministers; being, though two lips, yet but one mouth; both to preserve knowledge for your instruction, and to breath forth the spirit of zeale and pious feare, in holy prayers and invocation. Thus, as by the one we obtaine the light of knowledge, so by the other we main­taine the life of faith, the heat of piety and devotion. Truly, these two Duties are the Vrim and Thum­mim, Exod. 28.30. which Aaron, and every son of Aaron must weare on his Breast-plate; knowledge whereby to guide you to GOD, and holinesse, wherewith to walke with you before him. Thus, more truly than the Heathen Ianus or Cecrops, our office at once lookes two diverse wayes; from God to men, by his Words ministration; from man to God, by prayer and invocation. For this cause, the Holy Ghost, to inable these Apostles, and all us Clergie in them for these two Duties, came downe in the likenesse of fiery cloven Tongues. Acts 2. In their divided clefts, signifying the tongue of prayer unto God; the tongue of the Word administred unto men: both but one tongue on each, though come from Hea­ven, yet in their site looking upwards, thither from whence they came, because by prayer they tend and lead thither back againe. In fiery-cloven [Page 111] tongues, because in fire there is light to lighten the eies of the blind, and to guide their feet into the way of peace; and this by the ministration of the Word. In fire also there is heat, to inflame and make them lively coales, (so Arnobius cals devout Christians) or rather whole burnt offerings, by earnest and ar­dent prayer unto God. This was their [...], their imposition of hands, or rather of tongues, from Heaven: The ordination of those first Apostles, and of all us Clergie in them; that with the Baptist we might be burning and shining Lights: Iohn 5.35. Burning in our zeale, by Prayer; Shining, by the word of know­ledge: That every one of us might in Gods House, his Bethel, be likeGen. 28.12.19. Iacobs Ladder, which he saw in Bethel, whereon were Angels ascending and de­scending: so by our office and ministration, An­gels might in us, ascend and carry up ours, and the peoples supplications unto God: and Angels by us descend to bring Gods word and message to the peo­ple. We indeed, Gods Angels in his Heaven here on Earth, the Church, but these the Wings, where­by we are to flie. We, the Worlds Lights and Stars, but these the Orbes wherein we are to move: These two all our Duties, Prayer, and the ministration of the Word.

But though these our Duties, yet not both alike, III. The Order of these Duties. First, to Pray­er. not these both equall, not at all times equally and alike necessary, nor alike to be esteemed of us in their worth and use. As the Apostle of1 Cor. 13.13. Charity in respect of Faith and Hope, so I, of prayer, in re­spect of the ministration of the Word; The greatest of [Page 112] these is prayer. Neither need I feare to compare them; since Saint Paul comparing these three graces, yet prefers one: nay, since all the Apo­stles here compare these both, and yet preferre prayer.

Comparisons may be (as they say they are) odious amongst persons: amongst graces and vertues not so. The gifts of the minde are deservedly prefer­red before those of the body, and those of the body, before those (we cal thē) of Fortune. Yet even both these and those give place to the gifts and graces of Gods holy Spirit. Neverthelesse these also (we see by the Apostle) are not al equall. Gifts of tongues, Prophesie, and this Words ministration, with those other Gratis datae, are inferiour to those of Faith, Hope, and Charity, the Gratum facientes, and there­fore also the act and exercise of Faith, Hope, and Charity, I meane, publike and common prayer, far superiour to that other, the Words ministration. En­tia (saith the Philosopher) are as Numbers, where­in there is first, second, third; one before and be­yond another, yet no wrong each to other. God made all things in number, weight, and measure; thence their Order. And by this order they con­tinue what they are. This, as it is necessary to be in all things, so is it also as necessary to be knowne and acknowledged: where it is not so, as good not be. There must needs in a short time grow, where no Order is, confusion; and where confu­sion's once admitted, there's all discord and dissen­tion. Witnesse the present occasion of this Synode here in the Text. There was here dissention in the [Page 113] Church, and that because no due Order observed. The Widowes of the Iewes so preferred, that (as they thought at least) the Hellenists were altoge­ther neglected. And is it not so now, at this time, even in these two duties here? Preaching and the ministration of the Word, so highly preferred, so ex­ceedingly set by, that in the meane time prayer, I meane common and publike prayer, is with the most, or many too much neglected: Prayer, I say, which is Gods most peculiar service, our daily and continuall Sacrifice, to which the Apostles give, as fit is, the first place; this not onely thrustback, but in a manner thrust out: not onely not its due place, but in a sort I feare amongst too many, al­most no place at all. Beloved, I would not bee understood to think a thought, much lesse to speak a word to the prejudice of preaching, and the mi­nistration of the Word. I acknowledge the dignity and the necessity thereof in its due place and order. I know it is a meanes to ingender faith where it is not begun, and to increase it where it is already. I confesse it not onely to be Gods good Ordinance, and our peculiar office and duty, most needfull (as I have shewed) on our part: but also, as the word of exhortation, needfull also even in the best times in respect of the people; both to comfort and streng­then the weake, to encourage the strong; to excite the negligent; to reprove the flothfull; to admo­nish the forgetfull; to inflame and kindle the re­misse and cold affections of the far greater part of Christians. Yet I know also with Saint Augustine, that Aliud est ministratio verbi, aliud ministratio [Page 114] verborum: that, The ministration of the Word is one thing; the ministration of our words, especially as it is for the most part carried in our ordinary preach­ing, is another. I know also with S. Chrysostome, that The ministration of the Word containes much more than that which we call, Preaching. For in the ministration of the word are contained many things, even too much also, I feare, neglected amongst us. Such are visiting and comforting the sick, and afflicted, by the Word; the counselling, setling, and resolving the perplexed and unsetled conscience in reall doubts of practice by the same Word: the instruction of Catechisme, which the Apostle calls the 2 Tim. 1.13. forme of wholesome words; theHeb. 6.1. principles of the doctrine of Christ, according to the same word. The more frequent use of Church Homilies, confessions, and publike workes of Churches, and other writings of Fathers, and the most learned men, the more safe and most recie­ved expositions (as are judged) of the same word: and, to omit many more, even the very same word, Ipsissimum verbum, The very word it selfe; I meane the sacred and holy Scriptures, the Rule and Ground of all Truth, the measure of al our preach­ing, even it selfe in the publike readings in the Church, too much undervalued by the most amongst us.

The Word, is wronged in these and many more particulars. Not at all, in giving Prayer it's due place and worth. For tell me, I pray you; Are guests, such as are these two, any whit wronged, by being sorted at the same table according to [Page 115] their due worth and ranke? Are Domesticks, such as are these two, in the same House of Prayer, any way injured by their master, by being designed each to his own place and office? I hope, nothing lesse. Mary and Martha were sisters, yet our SAVIOUR is not afraid to passe His judgment, and in it to prefer Mary, that she hath chosen the bet­ter part. Simeon and Iudah were brethren, yet Iudah was made Simeons head. Simeon indeed signifieth, Hearing; Iudah, Prayer and Praising. So the Mother of them both, Leah, Gen. 29.35.Gen. 29.35. Now will I praise the LORD, saith she. As here, so there Iudah hath the Scepter, the preheminence; And howsoever Simeon be the Elder brother, as also Hearing, Rom. 10.14.Rom. 10.14. before Prayer; though Simeon bee excellent amongst the Princes, and chiefe amongst the Tribes; yet to Iudah, that is, to Prayer, is the Scepter given: And as of Iudah came CHRIST, the promised seede; so to Iudah, that is to Prayer is the promise made: Whosoever shall call on the Name of the LORD, shall bee saved, Rom. 10.13.Rom. 10. ve. 13.

Beloved, the Word, is not wronged in yeelding Prayer its due place and worth. For as I sayd most truly, Prayer is the principall and maine; The Ministration of the Word but the meanes. This is the End; the other but the Way conducing and leading to this End. This is the proper Service of GOD, necessary for all men and times: the other but the Service of His Word, peculiar to us, and chiefly necessary for those first times. It hath every way the first place. In this place first: [Page 116] For GODS House, this place, is the House of Prayer. In this Text, first, To Prayer, say they, and then, to the Ministration of the Word.

Divers Rea­sons of Prayers Preheminence.And very good reason for it. For, first; The ministration of the Word is most properly, Ours of Reason 1 the Clergy: Woe to us, if wee preach not the Gospell. Ours it is,The ministra­tion of the Word a parti­cular Duty. But Prayer the generall Duty of all Christi­ans. to be Instant in season, and out of season, &c. But Prayer is the publike, common and generall Duty of all Christians: And were it not then fit to be made of all in common? It is neces­sary, not onely for all men, but also for all times and places. Therefore we are bidden; Aske, Seeke, and Knocke, (Matth. 7.7.Matth. 7.7.) to teach us, we should do itLuke Marke 13.37. 1 Thes. 5.17. Rom. 12.12. Colloss. 4.2. alwaies. Watch and Pray, saith our SAVIOUR; And, What I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch; and againe, Pray alwayes and con­tinually; Without ceasing, saith this Apostle, (1 Thes. 5.17.) Continuing instant in Prayer, (Rom. 12.12.) Continue in Prayer, (Colloss. 4.2.) Thus even with them whose the words ministration is, Prayer hath the first place, as most worthy, most necessary. So with Moses, and the Prophets: GOD forbid, saith Samuel, that I should sinne against GOD, in ceasing to pray for you: (That first:) But I will teach you the good and the right way, 1 Sam. 12.23.1 Sam. 12.23. So is it with the Apostles: With the Apostle Saint Paul, [...]: First of all, let Prayers and Supplica­tions, &c. be made for all men, 1 Tim. 2.1.1 Tim. 2.1. And thus is it with all the Apostles here, by this their pub­like sanction and Decree. To Prayer (say they here, Reason 2 in the first place.)

Prayer necessa­ry for al times.2 The Ministration of the Word was chiefly ne­cessary [Page 171] for those first times; for the first founding, and establishing the Church, when having conver­ted any,S. Chrysost. in Colloss. cap. 3. Hom. 9. passing them over (saith S. Chrysostome) they presently betooke them to teach others, that all being converted, and giving themselves to Prayer, they might being thus edifyed and built up, become a Spirituall Temple unto the LORD. Thus you (saith the Apostle to the Hebrewes) ought to bee teachers of others, Heb. 5.12.Heb. 5.12. Thus did Apollos, but newly, and as it seemes, but meanely Catechised, Asts 18.Acts 18.24, 25, 26. The things (saith Saint Paul to Timothy) that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses (that was in the Congregation) the same commit thou to faithfull men, who shall be able to teach others, 2 Tim. 2.2.2 Tim. 2.2. By this meanes, within the space of a few yeares (not preaching the Gospell where it had beene preached by others) nor staying long any where; S. Paul was able to preach the Gospell from Hierusalem round about unto Illyricum, Rom. 15.19.Rom. And the Ephesians being no more children (namely to bee taught) and to be tossed too and fro, and carried about with every wind of Doctrine by the sleight of men, [...]. But speaking the truth in love did grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even CHRIST, Ephes. 4.14.Ephes. 4.14, 15. namely being instructed, edifyed, and built up for this end, did as a Spirituall Building (thus) fitly framed together, grow up into an Holy Temple in the Lord, (Ephes. 2.21.) Praying alwayes with all Prayer and Supplicati­on in the Spirit, and watching thereunto [...], (the word in my Text as you see, prima­rily applyed to Prayer) With all perseverance in [Page 181] Prayer, and Supplication for all Saints, Ephes. 6.18.Ephes. 6.18. Thus in a word not onely the Ephesians, but being converted and made such, all Christians likewise did both give and imploy themselves. [...] (againe to the word of my Text) These all continued with one accord in Prayer and Supplication, Acts 1.14.Acts 1.14. And againe; [...] and They continued daily in the Temple with one accord, Acts 2.46.Acts 2.46. And againe; [...]. They continued in the doctrine of the Apostles ( [...], &c. in the Doctrine of the Apostles.) There is an Emphasis in the words, as plainly referring to that [...],Rom. 6.17. that Forme of Doctrine, contained then, and expressed, as we see it is, in the Apostles Sym­bol, The Creed; and called as by Saint Luke, So by Saint Iohn [...],2 Epist. Iob. ve. 10. Revel. 2.24. They (saith he) rested content, well apayd with it; they held it enough; they continued in it: (and marke what fol­lowes) and in breaking of bread and Prayers. So you see the continuall and whole worke of Chri­stians even then, was Prayer: Not onely with them, whose Duty the Words ministration was; but even then, and in those times, when the ministrati­on of the Word was most necessary: Even then, and in those times, prayer was the chiefe and prime Worke: It had then, the first place. To prayer (say they) and to the ministration of the Word.

Reason 3 And indeed; that the ministration of the word hath the second place,Prayer is the End: The mi­nistration of the Word the meanes. is, that it might serve this first, prayer. The Heathen man observed, that our eares are given to frame and forme our tongue: [Page 119] And Saint Basil rightly; That our hearing is for our speech, and speaking: Therefore the tongue, stiled by the Prophet David his Glory, Psal. 57.8. and the best mem­ber: because therwith (which is mans end) blesse we GOD, Iam. 3.9.Iames 3.9. GOD and nature hath direct­ed our eares and hearing principally to this, our tongues use. We see it in the contrary: For they that are borne deafe, are alwayes dumbe; shewing thereby, that our hearing is to speake; and thus to speake by prayer. This Order (so anciently they called it) whereby Hearing and the Word doth ministrare, and serve prayer, the Apostle most ex­cellently shewes Rom. 10.Rom. 10.13. Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved, ver. 13. There's the end of all our Preaching, your Hearing, and the Words ministration, that calling on the name of the Lord wee may bee saved. But (verse 14.) how shall they call on Him, on whom they have not belie­ved? and how shall they believe on Him, Audis ut cre­das, & credis ut hostia fias. Vid. Hildebert Cae­noman. de my­ster. missae. of whom they have not heard? and how shall they heare without a Preacher? So you see, the end of all is prayer. As therefore the end is more worthy then the meanes; so is it, though last attended, yet first intended: therefore, prayer, we see, is put in the first place. Reason 4

4 Prayer is the proper service of God; Prayer the Pe­culiar Service of God. the mini­stration of the Word, though a most divine, heaven­ly, and most excellent Ordinance; yet but, [...] as the word imports, but the ministration, that is, the Service of the Word: Prayer in the meane time, that is truly GODS Service. So GOD calls it in His command unto us; Negatively, of false gods.Exod. 20.5. Thou shalt not bow downe thy selfe to [Page 120] them, nor serve them, Exod. 20.5. Againe, affirma­tively,Deut. 6.13. & 10.12.20. Matth. 4.10. of Himselfe, Deut. 10.20. Thou shalt wor­ship the Lord thy God, and Him onely shalt thou serve. Thus, therefore GOD calls their Common Prayers of old, amongst the Iewes, publikly and daily offered up unto Him, together with the Morning and Eve­ning Sacrifice of slaine beasts, an evident type of CHRISTS bloudy publike Sacrifice, as in our Eucharist, a manifest Commemoration of the same: both shewing, that both theirs, and our Pray­ers are accepted for such in His bloud: GOD (I say) calls them His Service, as some thousands of times, I believe, may be seene in the Old Testa­ment; being so called sixteene times in one Chap­ter, Numb. 16. Thus, saith GOD, Hee that praiseth mee, hee honoureth mee, Psalme 50.19.Psal. 50.19. Thus Annah is sayd to have served God day and night, by Fasting and Prayer, Luke 2.35.Luke 2.35. We, no otherwise call the Publike Prayers then by the same name, Divine Service: [...]. So anciently the Primitive Christians, Acts 13.2.Acts 13.2. [...]. As they (ministred, or) served the Lord and fasted. So the most ancient Syriack In­terpreter reads it: As they prayed unto the Lord and fasted. Thus we see, Prayer is properly and pri­marily Gods service.

And good reason for it.

For (1) in all the Creatures of the World, in all the blessings of Peace, Plenty, &c. in His ma­ny preservations and deliverances, yea even in the ministration of His Word in the Church, God serves us, that we by Prayer may serve Him.

Againe (2) in other things, even in our honest callings, and vocations; in the lawfull necessary, and most expedient actions of our lives, though we serve God (as is fit we should) yet neverthelesse in them all, we intend and more immediately looke to other Ends, viz. the private good of our selves; the maintenance of our familyes; the service of our King and Countrey; the profitting of our selves and friends: But here in Prayer, it is far o­therwise. All we here undertake, is undertaken, aimed, and intended for Gods service: Whatsoever here, is done and directed, is onely and solely to Gods glory. This, therefore properly His Service.

Againe, (3) in all other workes, either those of a most holy and heavenly nature, such as are, the workes of Iustice, Mercy, and Charity; of giving of Almes, relieving the poore, &c. yea even the Words ministration it selfe; or any other good act, or vertuous exercise of any truly good and Chri­stian vertue whatsoever; that we are able to doe any good, whereby to serve God, other-where or way; is from Prayer alone, by which we gaine the Holy Spirits helpe, and Gods assistance: For how shall not He give His Spirit to them that aske it, Luke 11.13.Luke 11.13. By Prayer, therefore, we obtaine it: to this, as all other good things else, He gives it. Thus the Apostles then did, and we now must ob­taine it. And therefore, This,Acts 2. v. 1, 2. &c. whereby in all o­ther things wee are enabled to serve Him, most properly His Service. [...], &c.

Yet farther; and it is worth our observing, there be two Excellencies of Prayer before the Words [Page 122] ministration, in the comparing of these two Texts of S. Luke.

For, first, prayer is the proper service of GOD. As they (saith S. Luke there) ministred (or served) the Lord: Acts 13.2. but here it is [...], at the most and best, but the service of his word.

Againe, secondly, in the two words here: the one is [...], for prayer, (amongst the Greekes, at the least in Ecclesiasticall use) the higher and more noble service, [...]. Rom. 13. Psal. 134. fit for higher persons, as Ru­lers, Rom. 13.6. whereby as more nearely atten­ding servants wee stand in his presence, wait on himselfe, Psal. 134. The other is but [...], as the Deacons or Levites, amongst the Clergie, the meanest and lowest of all in this place.

And, indeed, so was it alwayes, of old: The prayer of the Catechumeni, or Audientes: of the hearers, as they called it; the former part of the Ser­vice, wherein there were frequent readings and Lessons out of the Word of GOD, was with them, as with us still it is, first; as the lowest step, where­by they did ascend to their [...], their supplicati­ons; the penitents prayer: and thence to their [...] (the word here) the Liturgie it selfe; and their (so they called them) prayers of the faithfull. This was their order then: the Order (so they called it) of their established set formes of prayer, even in the Apostles times: Such, and no other then they had, nor ever after had, in succeeding ages, till our dayes, in the Church of Christ. It is worth our observing; that whereas the Hebrewes of old, called their ancient set formes of prayer, used in pub­like [Page 123] [...] Sedar: that is, An order: The Syrians (which tongue was spoken by our blessed Saviour, and his Apostles, and those first Christians) call it [...] Tacsa: from the Greek word [...]: that as the other, being the very names of the Christians set-prayers, in both those tongues: so also the very selfe-same words, which the Apostle,Vid. Locum Apostoli. 1 Cor. 14.40. apud Syrum Inter­pretem. Et Sy­rorum. S. severi Ritualia Syri­acê edit. a Guid. Fabricio. and his Syri­ack Interpreter S. Marke do both use in that Apo­stolicall Canon, 1 Cor. 14.40. Let all things be done decently, and according to Order: shewing that then they had, as the proper name, so also the thing it selfe, A set forme and Order: not lawfull for any then to pray as him list.

An Order, then, doubtlesse they had: and in this Order one being before and above another, the word still served prayer: and the prayer of the word; namely of the Audientes, or Catechumeni, of those that heard the word, that, served all other prayers. Thence, as even the Heathen and Infidels were ad­mitted to their Sermons: so were the meanest and lowest of the Christians (the Catechumeni) admit­ted to that prayer, and in being only so, were there­in accounted such. This is the cause that prayer hath also here the preheminence; as the most use­full, most worthy, most excellent.S. Chrys. Hom. 14. in Acta. in hunc locum. f. 548. [...] (saith S. Chrysostome speaking of these two Duties here) [...]; Of things necessary, that which is more necessary, is more to be preferred. It is the judgement of Ruffinus, Ruffin. in Psal. 60. Val. Maxim. l. 1. c. de Relig. Nihil utilius potest facere servas Dei in hoc seculo, quàm orare Deum. It is the saying of an Heathen man, Omnia ponenda post Religionem nostra civitas duxit, &c. We justly [Page 124] judge Religion above all things. For hereby we ren­der GOD his due, though not all we should, yet all wee can. S. Bernard therefore most excellently, imitating, it seemeth, the Apostle, 1 Cor. 13.13. Nunc manent tria haec, S. Bernard. Ep. 201. ad finem. Verbum, Exemplum, Oratio: Major autem horum Oratio. Ea namque & operi & voci gratiam promeretur. Now (saith he) remaine these three, The Word, Example, and Prayer: but the greatest of these is prayer. For this obtaineth grace both for word and worke. For by this wee are inabled, to speak every good word: even wee who have obtained this Ministration, to administer this word unto you. The Apostle for this, fetcheth strength from prayer: Ephes. 6.19. Col. 4.3. 1 Thes. 5.25. and for this he ever reque­steth the prayers of all others. By prayer we are enabled to doe every good worke; and without it, nothing.

Yea, when the Word hath done its part, to in­struct and teach us what to doe, as at first: or to exhort, excite, and put us in minde to doe, as we ought, and know: then Manet Oratio, Prayer (that) still abideth, and we to abide by it continually. Yet, againe, Cum Verbum, & Exemplum, When Word and Example, yea, even Faith and Hope, and all shall cease and be no more; When this life is en­ded; yet even then, manet oratio, prayer abideth; I meane, the everlasting prayers of the Saints, which are but our most perfect prayers. And indeed, both are confessions unto GOD: the one of our wants here, the other of his gifts and goodnesse: the one the aknowledgement of our miseries; the other, of his most aboundant and all-enriching mercies. [Page 125] The one draweth us to him, because we want him: the other having thus tasted the sweetnesse of his goodnesse, makes us dwell with him, because we love him. And as the Saints in Heaven, by the one; so wee by both these acts of our earnest prayers ( [...]) continually and daily abide by him, and under the shadow of his wings, so ma­king the Church, the House of GOD, and Gate of Heaven, whilest it is, thus, on Earth the House of prayer. Thus you see, prayer makes us fellow-Citizens with the Saints, of the household of Faith, GODS domestick servants, even Angels (in part) whilest as they, so we, continually praise GOD; either confessing his power in our prayers, or his goodnesse in our prayses. It sets us not onely in Heaven, and makes us Heires and coheires; but (if I may so say) partners with Christ himselfe in his more lasting office. For CHRIST, even Ipsum Verbum Patris, the true very eternall Word, was a Prophet here on earth, by the ministration of this Word, but three yeeres ond an halfe: so long at the most he preached: but by his Priestly Office he continueth a Priest for ever, and being our Medi­atour and everlasting Advocate, sits at the right-hand of the Father, by prayer, still making intercession for us, 1 Iohn 2.1.1 Iohn 2.1, 2. Thus highly is this Duty exalted, so highly preferred, not onely by his Apostles on earth and Saints in Heaven: but also by Christ himselfe, that with him it is set downe at the right-hand of God the Father.

Give me leave a little, Beloved: I see, I cannot touch the last string, the third point, this their pious [Page 126] resolution. Yet, by your patience, I must note one more preheminence of prayer, in this word here in my Text, and therewith (as briefly as I may) con­clude for all our Duty.

[...].It is worth our observing, that though here it may seeme indifferently referred to these two, pray­er, and the ministration of the word; yet elsewhere almost ever, most constantly it is appropriate to prayer, as most peculiar to it, and the duty by it made most truly and properlyPropriè Sa­cerdotum est invocate Do­minū: Quibus dicitur; Sic be­nedicite filiis Israel invocan­tes nomen me­um super illos. S. Hieron. in Commentar. in Epist. prim. ad Corinth. cap. 1. ours. For be­sides the forecited places, Acts 1. vers. 14. Acts 2. vers. 42. & 46. Ephes. 6. vers. 18. &c. we have it also, Rom. 12. vers. 12. [...], Con­tinuing instant in prayer. And againe, Col. 4. vers. 2. [...]. Continue in prayer. The Sy­riack most ancient Interpreter doth constantly also retaine in all those places one and the same word, viz. [...] of [...], A man, signifying to be true, firme, constant, and continuall; whence the closure of their and all our prayers, Amen, as teaching us in our prayers to persevere with many such: and that such devotion which is constant, is only true.

Three proper­ties of our prayers in [ [...]]The Vulgar Latine reade it Instantes: others Perdurantes; some Assidui; and sometime Perseve­rantes: noting at the least three properties of our prayers, that we may truly performe what is here in this word and duty injoyned.

1 Property, Assiduum esse.First, that prayer should not only be the worke of one day only, the Lords day, but even the daily worke of every day. That not onely in private (which is the act of private faith) but in publike, which is the act and exercise of common and gene­rall [Page 127] love, as the meanes also for uniting mens mindes in common, there should be publike prayers of all, and GOD the GOD of all, be prayed to and praised of all.Exod. 29.38. That as every morning and eve­ning there was a publike Sacrifice offered up unto GOD under the Law, and on their Sabbath a dou­ble one; so also there might not be lesse done by us, who owe as much, and have received more: more grace, more ample promises, more full per­formance, more heavenly benefits; even Christ himselfe, and with him, what heart or tongue can wish. That daily and duly we should offer up this Sacrifice, if not thrice each day, as did David and Daniel, yet twice at least, as did GODS people then. To make it the Key of the morning, the Lock of the evening: to enter on everything with it, and not passe out without it. To rise with it, to lye downe and sleepe by it. That seeing we can doe nothing [...], as the Heathen speake, with­out Gods speciall helpe, we may by prayer call at all times for it, and not only aske of him our daily bread, but the blessing of it, grace upon us, and upon our actions there, and the Crowne of glory hereafter.

Secondly, that we should, as doe it continually,2 Property, Perseverare. every day, twice each day; so then, not so chop it up, or make hunting Masse; but persevere, abide, and continue at it: at least continue sometime in it. Sic enim amat exorari Deus: For thus will God be entreated of us, namely,Luke 18.3. &c. & 11.5. &c. as did the Widow impor­tune the unjust Iudge; the friend in the Gospell his friend; Mat. 15.22. the woman of Canaan our blessed Lord and [Page 128] Saviour. Or, as beggars doe with us at our owne doores, forcing that oft-times from us, which else perhaps wee would not so readily bestow upon them. We know the Proverbe, [...]. Beg­gars, as they will take no nay; so though obtain­ing they will not lightly be so satisfied: as ready to aske againe, as if they had never received. Such and so long continued requests shew a true and longing desire, whereas a fearefull or faint Petiti­on carries its deniall with it. Of all other vertues and good actions perseverance is the Crowne: but in prayer it is the beginning, foundation, and per­fection of them all. This we must minde continu­ally, that we may be able to continue in GODS grace and favour: yea, even when publikely in the Church we can no longer, than in private to do it, shutting our doore upon us: Mat. 6.6. and when wee may or can no longer with our voice, yet then to doe it with our heart,Exod. 14.15. 1 Sam. 1.13. as Moses and Hannah did. Sursum corda: even then to lift up our hearts. Thus alwayes to doe it for our selves: for our people: for all men. [...],1 Tim. 2.8. saith the Apostle, 1 Tim. 2. In every place. [...]. On every occasion, Epes. 6.18.Ephes. 6.18. Yea, even in our sleepe, if I may so say, not ceasing from this work when we cease from al things else. And good reason for it.S. Hieron. Ep. 22. ad Eustoch. c. 16. Quonquam A­postolus orare nos semper ju­beat, & sanctis etiam ipse sit somnus oratio, &c. For, even the sleepe of the Saints (according to S. Hierome) should be nought else but prayer. And truly such for the most part are our night-thoughts on our bed, as are our more frequent studies on the day time. Yea (saith the same Father, and as his counsell to Eustochium, so was it the practice of many then) Noctibus bis, [Page 129] terque surgendum. Cedat somnus, ut succedat oratio. It being a duty of this Text and word. And,

The third, I but briefly note, [...],3 Property. Perdurare. Perdu­rare. No perseverance in prayer, if no suffering. The word here hath a speciall Emphasis, this way, comming from [...], Strength, as imploying our utmost force and strength, namely, As to continue and persevere in our Prayers; so to put to all our vigour; to continue as did David, Daniel, and all holy men, mourning and afflicting our selves in our Prayers: that obtaining Grace and Mercy from God, we may be comforted, Matth. 5.3. That with fasting, watching, and other beating downe the bo­dy, the spirit and inward man may grow the stron­ger, being lesse clog'd and hindered by the flesh: That being throughly touched with the sense, apprehension, and feeling of the want of meate, drinke, sleepe, and other bodily refreshment, we may the sooner finde, and the better feele the want of spirituall good things, and be the more infla­med with the love of GOD, and earnest desire of His Grace and Mercy for our Soule, and better part. [...]. Vide Andro­nicū Rhodium lib. [...], a Da­vid. Haeschel. pag. 748. For truly [...] (of which the word here) is, say the Graecians, a species and kinde of Fortitude, being (say they) the suffering of griefe and labour for some good to be obtained. And what greater good can there be, then our Soules union with GOD! His being reconciled unto us: Our adhearing to Him: Our enjoying His love and favour, &c. Surely, this (as all good things else) is not attained without some suffering of paine and trouble. And when worldlings suffer all windes [Page 130] and weather: all cold, hunger, thirst, and hardship, for their private either profit, or pleasure; as we see they doe in hunting, hawking, gaming, &c. Why should wee not doe as much for our Soules profit, and our delight in GOD? It is well observed by some, that there is a great exercise, as of other vertues, so also especially of Patience, and true Christian Fortitude in our dayly Prayers: Since even they that are strong to labour, who can endure so much toyle, take so great paines, suffer so much watching, hunger, cold, and all manner of suffering for their owne private profit or plea­sure, yet cannot watch, or continue with Christ, one houre, at their Prayers. How tedious, how irkesome are they to flesh and bloud, to carnall and earthly men: how soone weary are they: how much impatient of them: thereby plainly proving (which the Fathers so often) that Prayer (if such as it ought) is not only an ascent to Heaven (a worke of labour) and a conversing with God; [...], &c. & mox; [...] &c. V. Asteriū Amas. ap. Photiū in Bi­blioth. cap. 271. f. 1475. but also a Renouncing our selves: a forgetting these earthly things, truly [...], the Crosse it selfe, the cruci­fying our flesh, with the lusts, desires and affections of it. No man can thus give himselfe to Prayer, that is not also crucified with Christ. Thence as Fast­ing with Prayer, so also this [...], is joy­ned with watching. Thus the Apostle Coloss. 4.2. Continue in Prayer (or give your selves to Prayer) [...], Watching therein with thankesgiving. And, Praying alwayes, that is, [...]. Watching ther­in withall perseverance, Ephes. 6.18. Thus did our [Page 131] blessed SAVIOUR, leaving us an example, Luke 22.39.Luke 22.39. 2 Cor. 6.5. & 11.27. Acts 1.14. Acts 12.5. &c. Thus did the Apostle, in watchings oft, 2 Cor. 6.5. Yea all the Apostles and Chri­stians of those first times, Acts 1.14. though at some especiall time and occasion more instantly, as Acts 12.5. wch as I have shewed elsewhere; was not only for the manner an earnest and instant Prayer; but for the continuance with watching whole nights together. Such were the [...] and [...], mentioned by the Ancient: and of such, even at this day, there yet remaine some footsteps in the practice of the Easterne Churches, especially in the Agends, or Ritualls of the more ancient Christians: they truly did,Acts 10.9.30. Vid. G. Florū Bald­winum. Compend. de Orat. & precibo. Tom. 2. monumēt. pat. 4. f. 1421. Vid. Eundē ibidē. & Eusebiū Histor. Eccles. lib. 2. ca. 23. Graec. fol. 19. De Tarsillâ vide Gregoriū Magn. in Evangel. Hom. 38. f. 131. D. what they pro­mised, [...], wholly giving themselves to Prayer. Thus we see Saint Peter, continuing at his Prayers till the sixth houre: Cornelius to the ninth, Acts 10. And to omit what might be observed of Saint Paul, and the rest of the Apostles: Of S. Bartholomew it is sayd; that Centies in die mittebat genua, that dayly he offered an hundred prayers unto God, and in the night as many: And of S. Iames the Iust and Bp. of Hierusalem, therefore stiled the Pillar of the People, because by his most earnest Prayers he withheld that fore-prophesyed destruction of Hierusalem: of him I say, it is storied, that by con­tinuall kneeling at his prayers his knees were growne as hard as Horses or Camells hoofes. The like be­ing reported of Tarsilla the Aunt of Saint Gregory, and of sundryid. Ioan. Clyma­chum. Grad. 4. pag. 43. B. Vidi (inquit) inter eos quosdam prae multitudine genu flexionum haben­tes genua arida & consumpta: occu­los verò ad intra regressos. Vid. Lo­cum. Vet. edit. Pas. others amongst the Ancient. Sure­ly so long continued were those Prayers of those first Christians, that within foure hundred yeares [Page 132] after, the Fathers and godly Bishops, namely, Saint Chrysostom, Basil, Nazianzen, and Cyrill, were en­forced to abbreviate and contract themProclus Cōstant. Pol. [...]. [...] (saith Proclas the Greeke Patriarch) into a shorter forme; onely for this reason, that in the decay of Devotion amongst Christians, there might neverthelesse bee continued this daily and continuall Sacrifice. Verily every day did they duly, Morning and Evening, in publike and com­mon offer up their Prayers and Supplications unto GOD. No age of elder times ever omitted this continuall Prayer; no day passed them without this daily Sacrifice. Nobis (saithTertul. adv. Psy­chicos. cap. 14. Tertullian) omnis dies vulgatâ Consecratione celebratur; With us (saith he) every day is celebrated after our usuall man­ner. And Saint Cyprian, speaking of the Clergy,S. Cypria. Ep. 54. ad Corn. Sect. 3. Sacerdotes (saith hee) qui Sacrificia quotidiè celebramus: We Priests every day celebrate and of­fer Sacrifice. Also in his 66. Epistle, Idem. 66. to the Clergy and people of the Furnitani concerning one Victor, who had made Faustinus, being then a Priest, Overseer of his last Will and Testament: he plainly tells them, the Will was voyd: and men­tioning overly the Canon of the first Councill ofCon. Carthagin. 1. cap. 6. Qui serviunt Deo, & annexi sunt cle­ro, non accedant ad actus seu admini­strationem, vel pro­curationem domo­rum. vid. etiam. Concil. Carthagi­nens. 3. Can. 16. Eo. n. Prohibetur, Ne quis Episcopus, Presbyter, sit con­ductor, aut procu­rator, aut ullo turpi lucro & inhonesto victū quaerat, quia cespicere debent Scriptum esse, Nul­lus militans Deo implicat se nego­tijs Saecularibus. Verùm quae se­quuntur apud S. Cyprianum, aliò referenda videntur. Carthage, afterward renewed by the third Ca­non of Chalcedon, viz. That no man should make any Clergy man Tutor, or Overseer of his Will, &c. he giveth this reason thereof at large in the same Epistle, because (saith he) Singuli divino Sacerdotio honorati & in Clerico ministerio constituti non nisi Altari & Sacrificijs deservire, & precibus at (que) orationibus vacare debeant, &c.

Neither was it otherwise in Saint Chrysostomes time, even in the Countrey, and Vpland Parish-Churches; for the building of which he excites and stirs up the people.S. Chrys. in 8. Act. Hom. 18. [...] Every day (saith he) there are Prayers and meetings for thee, and through thy cause: and every Lords day (which is worth our observing and practise) a Communion. Also in his 6.Idem in 1. Tim. c. 2. Hom. 6. Homily on the 1 Tim. 2. verse 1. on those words of the Apostles. First of all let Prayers, and Supplications bee made, &c. [...] (saith hee) [...]: That is, saith he, in our daily service. And straight hee addeth, [...], &c. And this (saith he) every of the faithfull know, how that every day, both Morning and Evening it is performed by us, when we powre out our Prayers for all the World, for Kings, &c. Saint Epiphanius in like manner;S. Epiphan. [...]. cap. 23. [...], that is, Morning hymnes and Prayers are continually made in the holy Church; S. Theodor. Serm. de Martyribus. f. 121. as also no lesse Evening Psalmes and Prayers. Also Theodoret speaking of the Temples of the Martyrs, and of the Assemblies of Christians in them, [...] (saith hee) [...], that is, Often (saith he) yea every day doe we Christians (in them) offer up our Hymnes and Prayers to their Lord, (our GOD.) Salvian also about the same time testifyeth the same amongst the Latines, and we­sterne Christians: for disputing against the pro­phane [Page 134] Atheists of his time:P. Salvian. Massili­ens lib. 1. de Gub. Dei. p. 17. & 18. If (saith he) God be as they make him, so carelesse of all humane affaires, Cur ad Caelum quotidie manus tendimus, cur orationibus crebris misericordiam Dei quaerimus, cur ad Ecclesia­sticas domos currimus, cur ante Altaria supplicamus? &c. If so (saith he) why then doe we daily lift up our hands to God in our continuall prayers? Why, &c.

Surely wee might bee infinite in testimonies of this nature, did either need require it, or time per­mit it: it having beene the vniversall practice of all former ages, that whereas the more religiously devoted among Christians, spending almost all their time in this duty, did set apart whole dayes and nights, and ordinarily, many houres in each, for the continuing their publike devotions to God: in the meane time, even amongstBubuli & subul­ci, et omnes ferè operarii ad Missam conveniunt; ad cae­teras autem horas Clerici & Dome­stici Ecclesiae. Hu­go de Sanct. Vict. De Offic. Eccles. lib. 2. cap. 3. Tom. 3. Oper. f. 266. the meanest of the many, and vulgar people, this morning and evening Sa­crifice, was not neglected, but those houres (at the least) observed by all. And when after, this duty was any whit intermitted, either by the peoples prophanesse, or the Clergies remissenesse: it was then the care of godly Princes and Prelates to lay thisOmnibus die­bus, &c. Concil. Agathens. cap. 30. Eoque Vetustius. Toletan. 1. c. 5. Presbyter, vel Di­aconus vel Sub-di­aconus, vel quili­bet Ecclesiae depu­tatus Clericus, si intra civitatem fu­erit, vel in loco in quo Ecclesia, est aut castella, aut vici sunt, aut villa, si ad Ecclesiam aut ad Sacrificiū quo­tidianum non ve­nerit, Clericus non habeatur, &c. Vid. etiam Conci­lium Aurel. 1. c. 30. Tarracon. c. 7. Gerundens. c. 10. Aurelian. 2. c. 14. Aurelian. 4. c. 26. Braccar. 1. c. 19, 20. Venetic. c. 14. Natbonens. c. 13. Toletan. 4. c. 46. &c. charge on them afresh, in their severall Councels and Assemblies. Yea, when the people wholly (in a manner) through want of the Words ministration to stir up this devotion, failed from it; yet even then did not the Church faile, strictly to require it of the Clergie: the true reason indeed, why Masses (afterward) came so frequently, as we see, to be celebrated in private.

Thus was it, (alas we may say) thus it was in former ages. But now, where is that pristine piety, [Page 135] that fervent devotion, that zealous care, that con­tinuall prayer? Where that [...], that strength both spent in, and exercised and gotten by Prayer? Where that strong wrestling and prevai­ling with GOD by earnest supplication? &c. Surely we may justly feare, that we are fallen into those last times, when there shall scarce bee found faith upon the earth: and when men (at least for the generality) being lovers of themselves, 1 Tim. 4.1. 2 Tim. 3.5. rather than lovers of God, shall abandon and fall from the faith, having only a forme of godlinesse, but denying the power of it. For now, so far are we from this [...] here, from this continually continued prayer, that scarce is there that publike prayer, that ought. And though our prayers be many degrees shorter than those Epitomised formes (ere whiles mentioned) of the Fathers; yea, though they be farre the shortest of any Christian Church under Heaven (for I meddle not with some late forraine reformations, who may seeme either not at all to have received, or scarce to have established any set or common prayer) Yet neverthelesse, as though (asTert. lib. de orat. cap. 12. Nisi expro­bramus Deo, quod nos oratio fatiga verit. Tertullian speakes in another case) wee would tell God to his face how weary we are of his service; we even curtall, and cut off these (alas) too short al­ready. Thus prayer scarce heard of almost in most places on the weeke dayes, in the House of prayer, is well nigh thereout banished on the Lords-day also: and which is worst of all, and of all most heynous, thrust out by that which should serve it, and helpe it most, the ministration of the Word.

Give me leave a while, Beloved: where is that [Page 136] daily Morning and Evening Sacrifice which was of old, and yet still ought and should be in our daily and continuall prayers offered and presented unto God? Where is that our daily Service of publike and common prayer? by which every Christian, much more every one of us, more neerely his ser­vants should wait and attend upon GOD? Where is that Lambe wont daily to bee offered up twice each day? Where that continually burning fire of zeale and holy devotion, which might not be suf­fered to goe out, Levit. 6.13.Levit. 6.13. but daily still to be nourished on the Altar? Of this holy and sacred fire it is recorded,2 Maccab. 1.20. 2 Mach. chap. 1. vers. 20. that af­ter the destruction of the Temple and Altar: the devout Priests hid it in an hollow pit, without water: where after many yeeres by the command of Ne­hemiahs, some of the posterity of those Priests be­ing sent to fetch it, found no fire at all; but (saith the History) in place thereof, thick water. And is it not so with us? Is not this our vestall fire either almost altogether hid in our private (if any) devoti­ons; or with the many, is it not all cold, quite tur­ned to water? Surely without doubt it is.

Exhortation.Therefore let me in the absence and person of our most worthy Diocaesan, exhort you my Brethren and Fathers of the Clergie; that you would do that now, for the recovering that fire again, which then was done: that, as the Priests then by Nehemiah's command took of that thick water, and sprinkled it on the daily Sacrifice, that the Sun shining theron might againe revive & re-inflame it: So also, that you (my Fathers and Brethren) would in like sort in your [Page 137] continuall, both prayers unto God, and exhortati­ons to the people, no lesse carefully alwayes sprin­kle of this water on their eares and hearts, that Gods daily Service, and all our continuall Sacrifice of Morning and Evening Prayer and Thanksgiving, may be againe restored into this House of prayer.

Remember (Beloved) this is our grand and maine duty: this the principall aime of our Com­mission: for this purpose and end have we obtained this ministration: that labouring in the Word, we may stirre up this grace in mens hearts, and as the Priests of old, both kindle, and kindled offer up this perpetuall Sacrifice unto GOD. GOD hath made you and us all Guides and Lights unto others, for this very purpose. He hath therefore put this his most blessed Word into our mouthes, that we by it may admonish and stir up his people. Hee hath made us Shepherds and Watchmen over his flock, that we over and with them should watch and continually persevere in all supplication and prayer unto GOD. Let us remember, I beseech you, This is that Vnum necessarium: This, GODS Service, which must be served and preserved also by this ministration of the Word.

And that I may conclude as I began with the end and use of a Synode; Since (as you see) we are now met in a Synode, we must know and note it: that as this here in the Text, so every Synode is called, as the 2d. of Braccara rightly, for one or both these ends; Vel (say those Fathers there) pro emendandis negligentiis, vel pro resecandis contentio­nibus: Either that mens faults and negligences might [Page 138] be amended; or if any strife or debate arisen, it might be timely and maturely ended.

Therefore if any of us doe in a wrong course or way [...], give our selves (quod absit) from these our duties to the serving the world, or his owne lust and pleasure: if instead of the Word he give himselfe to the World; and in place of pray­ing for and with the people, Prey (as do Wolves) upon them: In a word, if any be given, or give himselfe to the seeking and hoarding up of this worlds base pelfe and dirt; or intend his private wealth, honour, or advancement, instead of pro­moting Gods Service and Kingdome: I wish from my heart that such might be noted by the Apostles censure, punished by their Successors Rod.

Let us remember, (Beloved) Our calling is, nei­ther seeing our Farmes; nor trying our Oxen; nor humouring, nor pleasing, or enriching our Wives and Children. This is our calling, and this is our twofold Duty, Prayer, and the ministration of the Word.

And for the other end: To cut off contention. If any debate or strife have beene (not betwixt these two duties, never was there any, nor will be ever betwixt them:) But if any strife amongst any of us for their precedence: if any have sinisterly prefer­red the latter before the former; and out of desire, perchance of pleasing the itching eares of the world, and this ages humour, have thrust out, or cast downe Prayer, to set up the Words ministration: Let such remember also, this strife is ended; First, by GODS decree, who hath made His House the [Page 139] House of Prayer: By his Apostles Order, who in this their (after their number perfected) first Sy­node, give, as we see, the first place to Gods Ser­vice, and this his peoples continuall Sacrifice, Prayer.

Let all Christians observe, no man dare to in­vert, this Order: Let no man presume to set up Si­meon though the Elder, in Iudah's throne, nor to preferre the Words service, above or before Gods. Let us remember, all: as our charge, so the man­ner and order of it thus laid downe by the Apo­stles themselves: Prayer first, and then the ministra­tion of the Word.

Surely (Beloved) a Visitation now we have. The direction of such we have in the Text. A most fa­mous example and precedent of one, you heard ere­while in the Chapter read for this Morning Pray­er, Acts 13. v. 36. There S. Paul a chiefe Apostle,Acts 13.36. thus speaks to Barnabas: Let us (saith he) go again, & visite the brethren: [...], the very word deri­ved from [...], whence our English word, Bi­shop, as if it were (as truly it is) the office and duty of Bishops only to visite the Clergie their Brethren; Let us go againe and visite the Brethren. Marke and observe the end of that, and also our (Now) Visi­tation: and Let us see [...], How they do. What, was it their purpose only to give them a visite, as friends doe to their familiars and equals, or, &c? No surely. As it is for S. Paul the Apostle; and Barnabas, or others of that ranke who succeed the Apostles, thus to visite the Churches under them, and by them planted and governed: So is it for [Page 140] them (if need require) to come also [...]; with a Rod: 1 Cor. 4.21. 2 Cor. 13.10. [...], with authority and power severely to punish: at least if not thus, yet alwayes now as they then, [...], with inspection and care to oversee, [...], how each in his place behaves himselfe; what every one doth; how they are bu­sied and imployed, whether or no, in these two du­ties here enjoyned them: And, if they performed; whether in due place and order: If so: whether with this [...], or without it: whether they give themselves (as they ought) wholly to prayer and the ministration of the Word?

This is indeed to visite, namely to come and see, how prayer is performed in the House of prayer, whe­ther or no it be thrust out of doores, or any way intruded on; whether it dwell here (as it ought) in its owne house, daily, continually, and whether we with it?

This is indeed to visite: Not that I presume to teach the Apostles successors, and our Church-Governours, what they ought to doe: but onely that I would admonish, and put you and my selfe in minde, what we ought to performe: what we our selves are to expect in our charge from them.

Beloved, we are as Moses in the Gap, to stand before, and betwixt GOD and his people; to offer up supplications for them. We the Salt of the earth, which ought to season and relish others. The eyes and lights of their lives, to guide and teach them the good and the right way to salvation: And this I am sure is it; that they may daily and continual­ly by our frequent exhortations and pious exam­ples, [Page 141] be stirred up to call upon God, that they may be saved. Rom. 10.13.Rom. 10.13.

Let us (Beloved) endeavour2 Tim. 1.6. [...], to kindle this fire againe; and by al meanes effect by the Words ministration, that publike prayer, Gods service may be againe restored into Gods House, the House of prayer. What else should be the end of this or any our visitation? Yea, what else did that great Sheepherd and Bishop of our soules Christ Iesus intend and drive at in his trienniall Visitation (truly I may well call it so:) for as if that were the ground of ours, and all ours to be directed by that; he also visited his Tem­ple twice in foure yeeres: for whereas he preached only three yeeres and an halfe, he visited his Tem­ple twice in that space.

Once (Iohn 2.Iohn 2. v. 13.14, 15, 16.) at the entrance and beginning of his Office; and againe three yeeres expired, and some few dayes before his Passion, he came againe, [...], with the Rod and power to purge and visite his Temple the second time, (Matth. 21.Mat. 21.12, 13, 14.) In both (behold) the same end intended, namely, Prayer to bee not onely restored, but also preferred in the House of prayer.

It is worth our observing; that that part of the Temple, thus then abused, was but Atrium populi, The Porch of the people: that which was there sold or bought, was all for the service and ministration of the Temple. Yet as though all were not well, if prayer were not all in all, if it dwelt not alone, or chiefe in its own house, and every part of it: he doth that which He never else did; He takes the cause into His own hand: even the Lambe of God, who came to [Page 142] save, to serve, and suffer, yet here turnes Lion, and as if this were his second comming, commeth even againe and the second time, in wrath, fury, and in­dignation, to cast out all intruding upon his Service (Prayer) and to restore it againe unto his owne House, as that which is to be not only of his Israel, but the continuall Sacrifice of all Nations. My House (saith he, and his only charge it is at both those His Visitations) shall be called the House of prayer unto all Nations: Esay 56.7. But ye, &c.

This our blessed Saviours Visitation, was in Saint Hieromes judgement the greatest miracle that ever he did on earth in his owne person: not only, that one and alone, in so meane and low estate, he casts out so many thousands (as S. Hierome observes,S. Hier. lib. 3. Comment. in Math. c. 21. Tom. 6. f. 44.) but also, which is more wonderfull, that changing his tenour and course of mercy and meeke milde­nesse, in which he then came to seeke and save; He thus of a Lambe became a Lion; of a milde and gentle Saviour, a most severe and terrible reveng­ing Iudge: and who never before so much as quen­ched the smoking Flax, or broke the bruised Reed, who never before once strake, or moved hand, yet here did it, and did it againe; not with the hand alone, but (as it were) with all his force, even with scourges and rods; to shew us what we should do, and how zealous we should be in this case. Nay, to teach us, how strictly (now) he requires the performance; and how severely he will hereafter revenge the neglect of this duty at his second com­ming to judgement. Let us therefore, &c.


THE FIFTH; OF THE GROVNDS AND REASONS OF Set-times of Fasting. Preached upon Tuesday, in the Passion weeke, at CHELMESFORD, Anno Domini, 1630.

In these two Parallell places: MARK 2.20. LUKE 5.35.

But the dayes will come, when the Bridegroome shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those Dayes.

THere is A time to weepe, and a time to laugh; a time to mourne, and a time to dance, saith theEccles. 3.4. Preacher. If ever a time in the Church for the Church to dance, it was at her owne Bridalls, when shee was married to the greatest Heire that ever was, the Heire of Heaven and Earth. When [Page 146] mans nature was espoused in CHRIST to GOD, never to be dissundered: whenEsay 9.6. to us a Child was borne, and to us a Sonne was given: whenMalach. 4.2. the Sunne of righteousnesse arose after a long night of sorrow, with healing on his wings: when the Angels sung for joy,Luke 2.14. Glory to GOD on high, on Earth peace, good will towards men: When Great joy was proclai­med, Vniversall joy, which should be to all people. I suppose it thence (not onely a precept, Luke 2.10. but also a Salutation or Valediction, (call it which you please) which the Apostle so often useth, but especially to the Philippians; Philip. 3.1. & 4.4. [...]: Rejoyce or Fare­well in the LORD: and againe, Rejoyce in the LORD alwayes: Which latter the Church chu­sing for her Epistle on the third Advent Sunday, begins her Day and course of time from Advent Sunday, the Bridegroomes comming, so going through every part of her SAVIOUR'S Life; thus shewing all hers, that all their joy must be in Him, in His presence, in whose presence there is full­nesse of joy for evermore.

And as there is the same reason of contraries; So, if the Churches joy bee for the Bridegroomes presence; then must her sorrow bee for her Bride­groomes absence; especially Cum auferetur ab ejs, When the Bridegroome shall be taken away, then shee must needs mourne, then must she needs fast; if not for her owne losse; yet for His sake, for His Com­mand, who hath commanded, that, When the Bride­groome is taken away, that then shee should fast in those Dayes.

To which words orderly to enter, we must note, [Page 147] that the Pharisees did upbrayd our SAVIOUR with many things; of which when nothing could rightly be fastened on Himselfe, they begin to find fault with His Disciples. Like as many now a dayes do with CHRISTS Spouse the Church; whom when they can justly charge with nothing, they must at the least quarrell with her followers, with her Discipline, with her Attire, with her Or­ders: either for her eating (as the Pharisees did with our SAVIOUR but immediately before for eating with Publican's and Sinners: Verse. 16. Mark Verse 30. Luke) or for her not eating, her fasting a Wednesday, Friday, Ember, or Lenten fast. For these men we must take up our SAVIOURS answere; We have piped to them, Matth. 11.17. and they have not danced, We have mourned to them, and they have not wept. Neither will the Churches joy downe with them, in her publike feasts, nor her sor­row in her solemne fasts. Wee may well take up the Proverb: They are no wayes content, either full, or fasting. Let such men take heed, lest already they have pertaken too much of the Leaven of the Pha­risees, who so little pertake with the Spouse either in her Ioy or Sorrow. But observe, I pray you, the Pharisees policy: For having been often by them­selves apart convinced and confounded altogether by our SAVIOUR, they now deale more sub­tilly: They draw the Disciples of the Baptist into their party: For so it appeareth, Matth. 9.15.Matth. 9.15. Like as many now a dayes doe; who the better to colour their owne hypocrisie, and to encrease their faction, abuse the honest simplicity of well affect­ed men. For their sakes our SAVIOUR fra­meth [Page 148] an Answer, consisting of two Reasons.

1 The first drawne from the words of the Bap­tist, Iohn 3.29.Iohn 3.29. Hee (saith the Baptist) that hath the Bride, is the Bridegroome: but the friend of the Brid­groome: which standeth, and heareth Him, rejoyceth greatly because of the Bridegromes voyce: This my joy therefore is fulfilled. As if he should thus ar­gue: By your masters confession I am the Bride­groome: if therefore the freind of the Bridegroome have such joy at the meere voice of the Bridegroome; how shall they which are of His Chamber mourne, &c?

2 The second from a twofold comparison, of old bottles and new wine; of an old garment and new cloth: shewing them that as it was unfitting in their present state of joy, for them then to mourne: So was it also for the non-age and infancy of the Church, to burthen them with those severer parts of Discipline, Fasting and Penance, &c. No man (saith our SAVIOUR) putteth new wine, Vers. 22. Marke Ver. 37. Luke &c. No man putteth a piece of new cloth on an old gar­ment; else the new piece that filled it up, taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse: [...], the Schisme is made worse. Witnesse our owne un­happy times; wherein the Papists and the Church of Rome on the one side; as also some over forward men of our owne, on the other side, having patched up a world of new inventions to the ancient cust­omes and Tenets of the first Church, have thus made [...], the rent the greater, the Schisme the worse: having on all hands causlesly rent the seamelesse Garment of CHRIST, this Glorious Bridegroome.

This Church of England hath not done so: as she pretended, so she intended, and truly perfor­med above all others a Reformation. Which is (as they define it) a Restitution and returning of every thing to their former and first estate. To the first estate (praised be GOD) she hath reformed herselfe: and as in all other things, so in this and all other Fasts she hath followed the footsteps of the first and best Christians: of CHRISTS Apostles; nay of CHRIST Himselfe, who hath thus commanded, that, When the Bridegroome is taken away, that then they should fast in those dayes: and

Thus much for the Context.

For the Text; These words containe two prin­cipall parts.

1 First, A Prophecy, The Divi­sion. that the Bridegroome shall be taken away.

2 Secondly, A Precept, that when the Bride­grome is taken away, that then they shall fast in those dayes.

Where farther observe in this latter part (the Precept) two things: the

  • 1 First, [...], That they shall fast.
  • 2 The Second, [...], When they must fast. 1. Then; and 2. In those dayes.

The former is Ratio, the Reason and ground of all our Fasts; Because the Bridegroome is taken away.

The latter is Regula, the Rule and manner of our fast; Then, and in those dayes.

We for the plainest capacity will observe these five Propositions. 5 Propositi­ons.

I First, That [CHRIST IESUS is the Bride­groome of His Spouse, the Church:] [...], ac­cording to that of Iohn the 3.29. He that hath the Bride, is the Bridegroome.

II Secondly, That [This Bridegroome must bee taken away.] [...].

III Thirdly, That [Because of this taking away, They, that is, The Church must and shall fast.] [...].

IV Fourthly, That [Then they shall fast (at that time) When the Bridegroome was taken away.] [...].

V Fifthly, More particularly, That, [Then, in Those very dayes.] [...].

Proposition I FOr the first; That our SAVIOUR is the Bridegroome of His Spouse the Church, no man that knoweth himselfe to be a Christian, can bee ignorant.

Our nature both Soule and Body: the common nature of all mankinde was marryed to CHRIST IESUS both GOD and man: that as before by the Creation, Heaven and Earth were marryed in man, thence called by Lactantius and the anci­ents, Societas Caeli & Terrae: now againe there might be a nearer and a straiter tye by the Redemp­tion, GOD in CHRIST marrying Him­selfe [Page 150] to man: That as in Adam all dyed, So in CHRIST all should be made alive, (1 Cor. 15.1 Cor. 15.22.) That as (Rom. 5.Rom. 5.18.) by the offence of one man judge­ment came upon all men to condemnation: even so by the righteousnesse of one the free guift (might) come upon all men to justification of life.

And as marriages though consummate on Earth, are said to bee made in heaven: Sure wee are, this above all others was concluded and made in Hea­ven, even by the freest good will of GOD the Father; Who so loved the World, that He gave His onely begotten Sonne; Iohn 3.16. that whosoever believeth on Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. In this marriage above all others was that fulfil­led most fully; that the Husband should leave Fa­ther and Mother, and cleave unto his Wife; Gen. 2.24. and they should be one flesh. For CHRIST the Bride­groome left his Father in Heaven: for, being GOD, very GOD, He emptyed Himselfe, Phil. 2.7. and tooke upon Him the forme of a Servant. Hee left His Mother, in His first miracle; Woman, Iohn. 2.4. what have I to doe with thee. And afterward more fully in His& 19.26. Passion and Ascention to1 Iohn. 2.1. follow His Spouses cause in Hea­ven. And whereas in other marriages it may seeme but in a Ephes. 5.32. mystery, that man and wife are made one flesh; seeing that, notwithstanding this Vnion, man and wife are still two persons: here in this mar­riage it was farre otherwise; for GOD and man, two natures made but one Person. Hee became not onelyEphes. 5.30. Bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh: but even,Iohn 1.14. The Word was made (very) flesh, and dwelt a­mongst us. Hee became not onely Goel, a Surety, [Page 152] Kinsman for us; but even Emmanuell; GOD with us.

And as in all marriages; ubi tu Caius, ego Caia: the Honour, Credit, Esteeme, Name, Interest, Priviledges, Riches, and whatsoever else good is, is derived from the Husband to the Wife: and on the contrary, the debts, duties, dangers, and hazards to which the Wife was liable, are char­ged upon the Husband: So was it here most truly in the highest kind. The debts, which the Church stood charged with, were discharged by Christ: and the merits worth, and benefits of Christ were imputed to His Church: He was made sinne for us, which knew no sinne, that we might be made the righ­teousnesse of GOD in Him, 2 Cor. 5.21. (2 Cor. 5.) Hee was made a Gal. 3.13, 14 curse for us, that on us might come the bles­sing of Abraham: that wee might bee called the blessed of the Father.Esa. 53.5. He bare our infirmities, and by His stripes wee are healed. Thus as betweene man and wife, so of Christ and His Church, the workes are accounted the same. His righteous­nesse, peace, and justice are accounted the Churches: His workes and merits are deemed as done by us: And our sinnes, misdeeds, and demerits are deemed as done by Him, are layd to His score; and this was the cause of His Taking away.

And as there are Duties of marriage: Protection and direction from the Man to the Wife: Obedience and Reverence from the Wife to the Husband: So, this marriage for all these, is a paterne, and presi­dent to all married men and women whatsoever. For Protection. Ephes. 5.25. Husbands love your Wives, even as [Page 153] Christ loved his Church, and gave himselfe for it: even to death to save it from death.

For Direction: I will pray the Father, Iohn 14.16. and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. He shall teach you all things, &c. 26.

For Protection: he is a King in power to defend his Church.

For Direction: he is a Priest and Prophet in know­ledge to instruct his Church. For both, we have his promise, Behold, Mat. 28.21. I am with you to the end of the world.

But that he may continue with us to the end; we must alway to the end continue with his Spouse: we must performe those duties that are comman­ded her.

The first is Obedience. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy soule, with all thy heart, with all thy might, (Matth. 22.37.Mat. 22.37. Iohn 14.15.) If yee love me keepe my Commandements. Ye are my friends, if ye doe what­soever I command you, (Iohn 15.14.Iohn 15.14.10.) If ye keepe my Commandements, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Fathers Commandements, and abide in his love. If ye doe, (marke I pray) if ye doe; as long as ye doe: if ye keepe, &c. Otherwise, unlesse yee do so: except ye still keepe: if ye do or dare other­wise; ye are none of his friends, none of his follow­ers: none of the Bride-chamber, none of his Spou­ses, none of his Sheepe, that heare not his voice, that keepe not his Commandements. And This is one, one of Them, that when the Bridegroome is taken away, then ye should fast in those dayes. But of this anon.

What our obedience is I question not: it may be, [Page 154] as people pretend it is, inward: But this I am sure of, that if it bee true obedience, we shall see some signes of it in the outward man: some fruits (at least) in the outward reverence.

This, if not at other times, yet then at least when we come into the professed service of the Bride­groome: when we Enter into the House of prayer: when we come into his presence to serve him. I could by infinite testimonies of Scripture, Reason, and Nature, prove this duty, if either the time or the Text would give me leave. But I keepe my selfe to my Text: to the Metaphor of a Spouse.

There is honour due from the Wife to the Hus­band,1 Pet. 3.6. not only in word, with Sara, to call him Lord: but to do it with reverence. Let the Wife (saith the Apostle) see that she reverence her Husband. Ephes. 5.33. And This is chiefly (he telleth us) spoken of Christ and his Church. 32. If we will have him to protect us as his Spouse, we must honour him as the Bridegroome: and that with a two-fold reverence. 1 Of bended knee. 2 Of bared head.

1 It is the custome of men in these times; if they reade in Scripture, that Christ calleth us Friends, or Brethren, or Guests, or Co-heires, they presently carry themselves aloft. We may not; (nay, now it is come so far, it is argued) we must not kneele. We disparage our selves too much to kneele: what kneele? Do Guests use to kneele at the Table? Do Wives use to kneele to their Husbands?

Alas poore silly men, that understand not, how by such appellations, duties are rather commanded than any relaxation granted. When Christ calleth [Page 155] us Friends, he enjoyneth us love; when Servants, feare; when Guests, confidence; when Children, re­verence; when Heires, hope: for none of these would he have himselfe neglected, or our duties not respected.

But where doe we reade (for now Scriptum est is altogether stood upon) where do we finde, that wives must kneele to their Husbands?

Metaphors (Beloved) are not to be urged beyond their compasse: if not within the compasse of this Me­taphor, is it therefore not due? I hope there is none here, that dare deny this Reverence unto God: and yet if we do not deny it, why do we not yeeld it? Why doe we deny it in our lives and conversations?

But did you ever heare, that Wives did kneele to their Husbands? Yes (beloved) we finde so, wee reade so, of those that had Kings to their Hus­bands. Did not Esther a Queene kneele to her Hus­band Ahasuerus? Esther 8.3. Yet what was Ahasuerus to theRev. 19.16. King of Kings? What are we (in the eye of the World) to Esther so great a Queene? Nay, what is Esther, or the greatest, but wretched Wormes to CHRIST IESUS? And doe we thinke much to kneele? I am sure, if we be of the Spouses follow­ers, we will doe what she is commanded: and she is commanded thus.

David in that very Psalme which he penned for the Churches Wedding, in the Spouses phrase (Psal. 45.) thus bespeakes the Church: Hearken O daugh­ter, and consider, incline thine eare, Psal. 45.11, 12 forget thine owne people and thy Fathers House. So shall the King have pleasure in thy beauty, for hee is thy Lord God, and [Page 156] worship thou him. Nay, hath not GOD sworne it? As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confesse to God. Esay 45.23. Rom. 14.11. Hath he not given this very honour to the Bridegroome, for this very taking away. Wherefore (saith the Apostle) God hath given Him a name above every name, Phil. 2.10. that at the name of IESVS every knee might bow, both of things in Heaven, and things in Earth, and things under the earth. Sure I am the Spouse and Church of Christ did so. Therefore she chose the 95. Psalme for her invitation: therefore was the 6. Verse of that Psalme usually resounded.Psal. 95.11. Passim in Ho­rolog. Eucho­log. & caeteris Graecorum of­ficiis; quae vide. Et apud Lati­nos Cassiod. in conclus. Psalm. 141. ubi ex Augustino. Et in Psal. 94. S. August. hom. 10 De verbis A­postoli in prin­cipio, ubi Psal­mi hujus me­minit in Eccle­siis usurpati. 1 Cor. 11.4, 5. [...], O come let us worship, &c. Thus did she then doe both in the East and West: and so must we do, if we be of her followers, if we belong to her.

2 But there is another Reverence of the Head. The Apostle telleth us, 1 Cor. 11. That the Woman dishonoureth her head, if she be uncovered: and the Man his head if he be covered.

The head of the Man is CHRIST, a glorious head, and therefore to be glorified: the head of the Woman is the Man, a weake head (God knoweth) and therefore she to be covered: the Woman the weaker vessell, and therefore covered: the Woman first in the transgression, the cause of covering, and there­fore covered: the Woman hath her haire by na­ture for a covering, and therefore covered. The Man for contrary reasons in the Church must be unco­vered, that is, without his ordinary covering. This was the custome of Christs Spouse, the Catholike Church through the World: The custome of the Church, 1 Cor. 11.16. which the Apostle telleth us, no man may [Page 157] breake. We have no such custome: therefore we have a contrary, is a good argument.

It is the command of Christ, by his Apostle, as may bee gathered out of the same Chapter, Vers. the first. At least, one made by the Apostles;1 Cor. 11.1. not a temporary Law made for a time (as * some vaine­ly glosse it. It was a perpetuall Law:The Geneva Notes on 1 Cor. 11. so the Apo­stle groundeth it, upon GOD, upon CHRIST, upon Nature, upon Grace, upon Reason, upon Religion, &c. all, I hope, no temporary things.

For such the Church held it: so she ever practi­sed it. Tertullian is a witnesse for the West. Tert. Apol. cap. 30. Illuc suspicientes (Christiani) manibus expansis, quia in­nocuis; capite nudo, quia non erubescimus: denique sine monitore, quia de pectore oramus, &c. S. Basil the Great is a witnesse for the East; S. Basil. ad Neocaesar. Epist. 63. [...], &c. who blaming the Clergie and People of Neocaesarea, putteth them in minde of their famous Bishop Gregory Thau­maturgus: He (saith S. Basil) never co­vered his head at prayer. Why so? Be­cause he was (saith he) a true Scholler of the Apostle, who telleth us, that every man praying or prophesying having his head covered, 1 Cor. 11.4.7. dishonoureth his head. And the man ought not to cover his head, insomuch as hee is the Image and glory of God. Surely, should he, nay I say more, should any Turke or Infidell come into our Churches, and be­hold our devotions and our reverence here, they would by our behaviour take this place for a The­ater; and our exercises here (for so they call them) rather for a gazing-stock, then once guesse it any [Page 158] service of God, or that it were any Reverence be­comming the Spouse of the glorious Bridegroome. Certainly if there be a way to grieve the Holy Spi­rit of God, Rom. 8.26. who maketh our prayers; or the Bride­groome, 1 Iohn 2.1. who as our Advocate, presenteth our pray­ers: this is the meanes to make him withdraw, to cause him be gone, to drive him away: to cause that he be taken away. And thus we are come to the second Proposition or Observation;

Proposition. II That the Bridegroome must be taken away.

It was when the Bridegroome spake it a Prophesie, and now is (as Irenaeus defineth every Prophecy) a History fulfilled: and fulfilled it was at this very time: this very weeke, ( [...], to use the words of my Text) these very dayes: and therefore to speake something of it, at this time, were a word in due time.

But how shall I be able to enter this Sea of our Saviours Passion, and not bee swallowed up of teares? How shall I shew you this dismall, dole­full taking away? this bleeding spectacle? At which Heaven shut its eyes, and withdrew its light: at which the Sun covered his face, and the Moone vei­led her selfe in bloud, at which the Earth trembled, and all the Creation and powers of Heaven and Earth (man onely excepted) wrapped them­selves in black shady darknesse, mourning that man, for whom this Bridegroome became man, should have so deepe, so bloudy a hand in this taking away.

How shall my fraile tongue be able to tell you? [Page 159] how He was taken, betrayed, bound, and scourged: how He was scoffed, reviled, mocked, and spit on: how He was crowned with Thornes, beaten with Rods and Reeds, cruelly whipped, despitefully ar­rayed: how He was pierced, torne, crucified, and tormented: how He was despised, and rejected of men, A man of sorrowes, Esay 53.3. and acquainted with griefe. He was oppressed, and afflicted. vers. 7. He was brought as a Lambe to the slaughter, and as a Sheepe before the Shearer, so he opened not his mouth. He was taken from prison, and from judgement; vers. 8. and who shall declare his generation? (saith the Pro­phet.) Who shall indeed declare it? Nay, who can declare it? Since an Angell from Heaven at His Birth and Wedding declared the joy; who but an Angell from Heaven can declare the sor­row? We should wrong our Saviours Passion, and the Scriptures relation, if any other than the voice of God or Heaven should relate it.

Therefore the Church, the Spouse ordaineth, that so we should heare it: See the Church Service Epistle and Gospell for the weeke before Ea­ster. and heare it so over and over againe, because it can never too much affect us. You heard it ere while at large rela­ted in the History (truly an History) by One that saw it: On Sunday you heard S. Matthew relate it at large: yesterday, and to day S. Mark: and lest we should want the knowledge of this taking away, or not expresse it enough in our mourning, the Church ordaineth, that on every day of this Weeke wee should heare the full History of this His taking away, by the mouth of one of his foure witnesses. Neither hath the Church done any [Page 160] new thing in this:S. August. Ser­mone 144. de tem­pore. Sicut enim passio ex omnibus Evangelistis con­scripta est, sic dies Isti septem vel octo durant spacium, ut secundum omnes Evangelistas Resurrectio recitetur. Passio autem quia uno die legitur, non solet le­gi nisi secundum Matthaeum. Volueram aliquando, ut per singulos annos secundum omnes Evangelistas etiam Passio legeretur: factum est, non audierunt homines, quod consueverunt, & perturbati sunt, &c. Apud Latinos factum est ante annum D C C C. quod sanctus Augustinus loco citato, sibi faciundum proposuit; scilicet ut per singulos annos, secundum omnes Evangelistas Passio Domini legeretur. Liquet id non solum ex ordine Romano, Amalario, Ruperto, Hug. de Sanct. Vict. caeterisque Ecclesiasticis Scriptoribus; verum etiam è missalibus antiquissimis Latinis & nostra­tibus e. g. Romano, Eboracensi & Sarisbutiensi. S. Augustine is a witnesse for the Latine and Westerne Church, that she did it in the Resurrection of CHRIST: and that himselfe thought it likewise fit, and attempted it in the Passion; Vt per singulos annos secundum omnes Evangelistas Passio legeretur.

And indeed he did but propound to himselfe the example of the Easterne and Mother Church: of whomChrysost. Tom. de Divers. Nov. Test. Hom. 63. Cur in Pentechoste A­cta Apostol. lege­rentur his verbis. [...]. Apud Graecos Passionem Christi ipsā Passionis die (quod loco citato S. Chrysostomus) duodecem perlectis Evangelii lecti­onibus recitant, totum diem illis recitandis insumentes: nisi quod meditationes non­nullae hinc inde sparfim sint adjectae, elegantes admodum, divinae (que) Vid. [...]. Et Graecorum [...], quod, &c. S. Chrys. testifieth, saying, that at the time of Christs suffering, that is, this taking away of the Bridegroome, [...], We reade (saith he) in that day all concerning the Crosse.

S. Chrys. ubi supra. [...], &c. This, he telleth us, ( [...]) was an anci­ent Order of the Church long before his time, even from the beginning, for this very reason; that all Scripture being written for our instruction, this History above all, related by all, might sink deeper into us, stick faster, affect us neerer, wring us and sting us more strongly to make us mourne and lament, fast and pray, and weepe in our [Page 161] Prayers, as the Bridegroome did in His for His Spouse: So likewise she for her Bridegroom, [...]. Bloudy teares, bloud and water in abundance, both from heart and eyes, at this very time, and for this very cause, because the Bridegroome was taken away.

And surely, this is the Precept, this is our Duty; this is his Command; and therefore as that which concerneth us most, is most now to be stood upon. That the Church and all her Children, the Spouse and all her followers must mourne because the Bride­groome is taken away from them: wch is the Third Pro­position: & Ratio, and the Reason of all our Fasting. Proposition. III

That, They must (they shall) fast, Because the Bridegroome is taken away.

1 Fasting is a signe of mourning: 1 Because Hee is Taken away. Our Text so explaineth it selfe. How can the Children of the Bride Chamber mourne, so long, &c. but the dayes will come, when the Bridegroome shall be taken away, then shall they fast; that is, (therefore) mourne. 1 King. 21.4. Ahab shewed it in his ill mourning for Naboths Vineyard. No bread would downe with him, he was so vexed.

David also maketh it manifest in his bitter complaint:Psal. 102.4. My heart is withered (saith hee) and smitten like grasse; so that I forget to eate my bread. As also more particularly when he was in feare to have his Childe taken away, he lay upon the earth, 2 Sam. 12.16. and fasted for his Childe. For his Childe! but one Childe! and but for the feare of his being taken a­way! But what saith Elkanah to Hannah? the Hus­band to the Wife?1 Sam. 1.8. Am not I better to thee then ten Sons? The better any thing, the greater the losse: [Page 162] the greater the losse, the more just the cause of mour­ning. 1 Sam. 1.8. The losse of the Husband, the taking away of him, what is it lesse then the rending of the Soule from the body; the pulling of one member from another? It cannot be without great sorrow.

2 But here is more: The losse of the Bridgroome; that is,2 Taken away whilst a Bride­groome. whilest he was a Bridegroome, in the height of joy: If from the marriage Chamber: it must needs be a degree beyond sorrow.

Our SAVIOUR was the desire of all Nations. He telleth His Disciples (Luke 10.) Blessed are the eyes that see those things that ye see, &c. For I say unto you, Luk. 10.23, 24 many Prophets and Kings have desired, &c. For foure thousand yeares this Bridegroome was expected, as a Bridegroome out of his Chamber, and came not: when He came, He continued but thirty foure yeares or thereabout, upon Earth: but three of these yeares (or little more) did He shew Himselfe as a Bridegroome. A short time (you will say) for so great Nuptialls. All times before without this joy; All times after abridged of this joy. Even in the day of the Nuptialls, the joy of the Nuptialls was taken away by this taking away of the Bridegroome. Then, they must needs mourne.

3 Taken away for them.3 But if this taking away be for them, in their behalfe, through their meanes; then they have yet more cause to mourne.

You heard, that the Debts of the Wife are char­ged upon the Husband; What then, if for the Wives debt, the Husband, nay the Bridegroome in the midst of joy, even upon his marriage day; If for the Brides cause he be haled to prison & to judgment? [Page 163] If for her haynous crimes He must answere? If all we have gone astray, and the Lord hath layd on Him the iniquity of us all. Then,Esa. 53.6. good reason for us also to share and partake in this sorrow: good rea­son then for the Bride to lay aside her attire, to goe forth of her closet, to lay from her the voice of eating and drinking: to forget to eate her bread, to forbid the voice of joy and mirth; and to begin to mourne and lament, because the Bridegroome for her sake is taken away.

4 But (yet further) what,4 By them. if as for the Spouses debt, so by the Spouses hand, he were thus taken a­way? Was it not so, When Iudas one of His own, betrayed Him? When Peter a chiefe amongst his owne, denyed Him? When His Disciples all of them fled from Him? When His followers on all hands forsooke Him? Dost thou thinke, that thou couldest have stood in this tryall? When the whole Church, the Bride forsooke Him, how wouldest thou have defended the Bridegroome? Verily I say unto you, All you shall be offended because of me this night. So farre from defending Him, that they were offended at Him.Matth. 26.31. As we all in Peter and the Apostles, received the name, power, and priviledges of the Spouse, so we all may confesse, wee did, or would have done no lesse then with Peter denyed Him, with His Disciples forsooke Him, with His nearest followers fled from Him. And therefore as Saint Peter the chiefe Apostle com­ming to Himselfe, wept bitterly for his sinne: So the whole Church, represented (saith Saint Cyprian) in him, must doe the like with him: must fast, and [Page 164] mourne, and lament, because even by us also, as well as by them, the Bridegroome was taken away.

5 But there be more takings away then one: we were are all guilty of taking Him away in Adam's sinne:5 By them often taken away. it was our originall. We had beene againe, had we then beene, in the Church of the Apostles, it had been our personall. Yet (then) CHRIST suffered but once. Neverthelesse the Apostle tel­leth us, of some, that Crucifie againe the Sonne of GOD,Heb. 6.6. afresh, &c. and it is the usuall glosse of the ancients and others, upon those words, viz. That by the ill lives and the sinnes of those that are by Baptisme inserted into CHRISTS death, and so justified, that by such Sinnes of theirs after Baptisme, Christ againe is taken away & Cruci­fied. If so, who then especially in these evill dayes, is free of this sinne? unlesse, perchance, some men should againe rake up that old condemned heresie of Iovinian, viz. That no man can depart from Grace after Baptisme. This (as he could) he maintained from, 1 Iohn 3.9.1 Ioh. 3.9. Whosoever is borne of GOD, doth not commit sin: for his seed remai­neth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is borne of God, as also that other Parallell place, 1 Ioh. 5.18. We know that whosoever is borne of GOD,1 Ioh. 5.18. sinneth not: but he that is begotten of GOD, keepeth him­selfe, and that wicked one toucheth him not. Though from the context of the place, the scope and intent of the Epistle, the History of the Church, especi­ally out of Clemens Alexandrius, and Epiphanius we might abundantly shew this place by Iovinian and his followers to be perverted: yet I chuse ra­ther [Page 165] to use the answer of Saint Hierom; S. Hieronym. cont. Iovinian. l. 2. ad initium. Surely (saith Saint Hierom) a strong and weighty argument it is, if it were not by and by overthrowne by the A­postle in the same place, verse 21.

Little Children, keepe your selves from Idolls. A plaine case, that if not from Idolatry the greatest and grossest sinne, then are wee secure from no sinne. A plaine case it is, in those very Chur­ches to whom this Apostle wrote. The Chur­ches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamus, Thyatira, Philadelphia, Sardis, &c. proclaime unto us, that seeing the Candelsticks are removed, and the Bride­groome taken away from them; that the Bridegroom was first taken away by them. If a Church a Con­gregation, a number of faithfull men is not; what one (though for the present faithfull or believing) can be, secure? Nay, if so many Churches, a Con­gregation of Churches have thus fallen, what one Church, though never so glorious for the present, can be secure? shall Rome? shall England? No­thing lesse: We have all sinned againe and againe; and may justly feare that as we have taken away the Bridegroome by our sinnes; He may at last be alto­gether taken away for our sinnes. Let us all (in the name of GOD) prevent it by this heavenly An­tidote of Fasting and Prayer; that so taking away our sinnes, which otherwise would take away the Bridegroome, He, the Bridegroome may not againe bee taken away by them. Let us mourne for our sinnes, that we mourne not for our selves; that we lament not His losse. Which GOD of His mercy, &c.

But if any mourning may serve, why is Fasting rather prescribed, then any other mourning? Doubtlesse,Reasons of Mourning by Fasting. for many good Reasons: Wee will name a few.

1 Fasting is a holy revenge of all sinne, in the first sinne: but chiefly of that first sinne, which first and chiefly tooke away the Bridegroome. Gen., 11. &c. That first sinne was in eating, Gen. 3. Good reason there­fore,Eiccit ergo nos de Paradiso ci­bus; reducat esuries, reducat jejunium. S. August. Serm. 65. de Temp. 2 Cor. 7.11. when wee mourne for the Bridegroomes taking away, to have a principall eye to that sin, for the which principally the Bridegroome was taken away.

2 Fasting is an holy justicing of our selves ( [...] the Apostle calleth it) for this taking away of the Bridegroome. For as the Bridegroome is taken away by the deeds of the flesh: so for this, wee pu­nish the flesh, by Fasting.

3 Fasting is a vigilant preventing, lest the Bride­groome be taken away againe. Rom. 7.23. Gal. 5.17.24. For the flesh is that, which ever rebelleth against the spirit. Therefore They that are CHRISTS (saith the Apostle) have crucified the flesh. 1 Cor. 9.27. And (of himselfe he saith) I keepe under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any meanes having preached to others, I my selfe should be a cast-away, that is, lest the Bride­groome be taken away from me.

4 Againe, Fasting is an holy experiment of selfe-denyall according as the Bridegroome com­mandeth, that we should deny our selves, and take up his crosse, &c For, if we can deny our necessi­ties of eating and drinking, wee may well deny our pleasures: if we can fast from our meate, we may [Page 167] well fast from our sinnes; from wrong; from violence, from extortion, &c. Which is the Fast, that God commandeth, Esa. 58.Esa. 58.3, 4 5.

5 Againe, Fasting is a just Restitution to the Crea­tures, which having often beene abused by our intemperance, and made to groane (Romans 8.Rom. 8.22.) we thus make them a kinde of satisfaction by our forbearance.

6 Againe, Fasting is an humble Confession unto Almighty GOD, that as wee have offended the Bridegroome also, With whom He hath given us all things, (Rom. 8.Rom. 8.32.) So we acknowledge our selves most unworthy of any of His blessings: most worthy, with Him to have all things taken away.

7 Againe, Fasting is an holy Watching over our selves. Watch and Pray, is in a manner,Matth. 26.41. Fast and Pray. For as Watching is a conteining from sleep; so is Fasting from meate, both for the same end, to tame the body. Thence the ancient Vigills were (I take it) changed to Evening Fasts. Sure I am:Monstrum libido sine gulâ, cum duo haee tam unita at (que) concreta sint, ut si dis jungi omninò potuissent, ipsi prius ventri pudenda non adhae­rerent. Specta corpus, & una regio est; deni (que) pro dispositione membrorum ordo vitiorum: prior venter, & statim caetera: saginae substracta lascivia est per edacitatem, salacitas transit. Tert. lib. de Iejun. cap. 1. ad init. Subest inguen ventri (as one sayd) For asSemper juncta est Saturitati lascivia; vicina sibi sunt venter & genitalia, & pro membrorum ordine ordo vitiorum intelligitur. S. August. Serm. 65. de Tempore. the bel­lie and the uncleane parts are linked together, so are the sinnes of either. There­fore the Apostle joyneth them (Rom. 13.) Rioting and Drunkennesse, Chambering and wantonnesse, Rom. 13.13. Philo. Iud. l. de Victim. S. Hieronym. Cont. Iovini­an. li. 2. c. 6. the latter for this cause termed [...]. For as S. Hieron well; Saturitas ventris Seminariū libidinis: A full belly, and a foule heart. Remove therefore [Page 168] the cause of thy uncleannesse, and thy uncleannesse shall be no cause of the Bridegroomes taking away.

8 Lastly, Fasting is, as a signe, so a principall cause of mourning. Is there any man here, that af­ter all this which hath beene sayd, cannot yet mourne for the Bridegroome! Let him but fast; and I dare warrant him to mourne. Hunger will bring the stoutest stomackes under: it will make them bend. It is the Apostle; who was in watchings often, 2 Cor. 6.5. & 11.27. 1 Cor. 9.27. Vid. Suidam in Lexic. verb. [...]. in fastings often, [...] (saith hee) I keepe my body under. The word signifyeth a buffetting a­bout the face and eyes, as a man would buffet his adversary on his knees. This he did by Fasting. No way so truly, so fully to make us mourne, as by fast­ing. If thou canst not mourne, betake thee to fasting, & that will make thee mourne. If thou canst mourne, yet notwithstanding fast, and that will make thee mourne yet more. And indeed Sorrow as it came from sinne, so it is due onely to sin.

Gen. 3.16, 17.No sorrow before sinne, Gen. 3. In sorrow shalt thou conceive, to the Woman. In sorrow shalt thou eate thy bread, to the Man.

And no sorrow after sinne. All teares (then) shall be wiped from their eyes. Apoc. Apoc. 14.13. And from henceforth blessed are they that dye in the LORD.

No sorrow for them after Death: Onely, their time is here for sorrow; and their sorrow onely for sin. We sin dayly, and therefore We must sorrow dayly this Godly sorrow not to be repented of. 2 Cor. 7 9, 10. This is the Valley of teares: Here we must mourne.

But though all this time bee for mourning, yet in this there is an especiall time for mourning in an espe­ciall manner.Eccles. 3.4.

And this is that Time, Then, at that time, when the Bridegroome was taken away.

But here it is usually excepted by them who are no friends to set-fasts, Object. that this Text speakes of extraordinary fasts in cases of doubt and dan­ger, when the Bridegroome and his presence is likely to bee with-drawne or with-holden from us.

But they are readily confuted:

1 By the context,Resp. and scope of CHRISTS answer, which if ad idem, must necessarily be meant of Set-fasts. For these, we read of, that did here cavill at Christ and his Disciples, did object the continuall Set-fast of the Baptist, Mat. 9.14. Mark 2.18. Luke 5.33. the Pharisees, and their disciples. Why (say they) doe we and the Pharisees fast oft? but thy Disci­ples fast not? All the three Evangelists note this speech concerning their often Set-fasts to have beene the occasion of our Saviours answer. But theirs were set and ordinary; the Baptist perpe­tually abstaining (as did Daniel) from flesh and wine, and all desirable meats and drinkes: the other also fasting ordinarilyLuke 18.12. De Phariseis Epi­phanius, [...]. S. Epi­phan. adv. haeres. lib. 1. haeres. 16. Vid. Ioan. Drusi­um. Praeterit. lib. 3. p. 107. in locum. Luke 18. Abra. Scultet. Ex­ercit. Evang. lib. 1. c. 25. twice every weeke (as doe theVid. Ioh. Bux­torf. de Synagogâ Iudaic. c. 25. p. 457 Iewes at this day) on our Monday their second of the weeke, and on our Thursday their fifth of the weeke. So that these men must either grant our blessed Saviour not to speake to purpose (which to doe were no lesse than blas­phemy) or they must with us understand him, and these words concerning ordinary set-fasts.

2 It is demonstrated, by the Article [...], [Page 170] which in the Greeke, roveth not at large, but points at exact specialties: either let them blot out this word, or grant ours, and the Texts true meaning. Vid. D. Chamier. Panstrat. Cathol. Tom. 3. lib. 19. c. 7. Sect. 43, 44, 45, 46. ubi locum hunc ex­cutit.

3 It is proved (as we see) by the plaine Let­ter: which being the foundation of all other ex­positions either must stand, where's no rea­son to the contrary, or must bee by reason refelled: which being not yet brought by any on the adverse part, there can be no cause to de­part from it.

4 And surely (in the fourth place) these words referring us plainly to such a time and ab­sence, Mat. 9.15. Mark 2.19. Luke 5.34. as is opposite to that time of his presence, mentioned in the former Verses: it must needs therefore follow, that as the one is primarily and properly understood of his (then) bodily pre­sence upon earth, as the time of their rejoycing; so must the other also in like manner be under­understood of His (like) bodily absence by his Death, Passion, and Ascention; the cause and time of our mourning, and therefore of all ordi­nary fast.

5 It is confirmed by the perpetuall exposition of all ancient Christians.

6 Yea, by the Apostles and whole Churches practice. For whereas every week in the course of its dayes hath from thence a commemorati­on of the Great Day, and our joy in Christs Resur­rection; we celebrating the Lords Day in joyfull prayses and thanksgiving unto God therefore: [Page 171] why may we not as well, yea much rather con­clude, there should bee in the same course of times the like day or dayes of mourning for his Passion, that we may no lesse mourne and suffer with him (the most proper duty of this our sor­rowfull and sinfull life here) then, (which is the hope of our after happinesse in Heaven) joy and rejoyce with him, in the memory of his most glo­rious and blessed Resurrection.

7 But yet againe (in the last place) even in their sense it is direct for us. For if these words are to be applied to all such times, when the Bridegroome is or may be removed and with­drawne for our sinnes; then is it also proper for continuall and ordinary fasts, not only for extra­ordinary. For reason wils that as we sin continu­ally every day of the weeke, so we should if it might be, fast continually and mourne for our sins: which because we cannot daily doe, every day; fit it is wee should every weeke set some dayes apart: and no dayes fitter, than those, in which hee was (even according to the Letter) taken away.

And truly there being alwayes the same rea­son of every kinde of his taking away by our sins, of all our mourning for our sins: there being no opposition betwixt them; but a subordination of the latter to the former; their extraordinary fasts being grounded (though in a secondary respect) upon the same reason, on which are our Ordinary; there can be therefore no colour why the Text should be true of one and not of the other: Why, [Page 172] denied of ordinary; and affirmed only of extraor­dinary fasts: especially since our blessed Savi­ours answer should in right reason answer to their objection; who (as we have shewed) spake of set, ordinary, and weekely fasts.

And thus far we have (with the blessed Bride­groome in this Text) stept out of the way to sa­tisfie our contending and discontented Brethren.

We will now returne to the pursuit of our Text, and in it, to the fourth Observation, or Proposition;

Propos. IIII That Then, ( [...], at that time) they shall fast: when and at what time the Bridegroome was ta­ken away.

And more particularly, which is the fifth:

Then: [...]. Then, in those very Propos. V dayes.

That they should fast at that individual time, onely, When he hung on the Crosse, as it is likely they did not, so it is plaine our Saviour meant not. Therefore this word [...], Then, must bee interpreted of the whole time, after the taking away of his corporall presence. Tum, Tamdiu: Then, all that time, and course of yeares till his second comming againe.

Yet againe, not as the Montanists urged these words for another Lent after Pentechost, and the Ascension.

Where observe (I beseech you) the contrary humour of these latter dayes. Then the conten­tion [Page 173] was for two Lents, or more; but now, that there may be none at all. Surely, the Monta­nists were fouly in an errour. For besides ma­ny other reasons, the word here used will not suffer us to understand it of a voluntary departure, such as was his Ascension; but of a violent ta­king away, such as was his Passion, or such as is any other constrained departure, or driving away by our sins: which being continually done by us, why should not our fast (as much as may be) be also weekely and continued by us on those dayes?

But againe, as the joy for the Bridegroome is dispersed through every part of the yeare, accor­ding to the severall considerations of His pre­sence: so likewise is our sorrow for the like rea­sons dispersed through every part of the yeere. [...], Then. So long. For what is all time, but one yeere after another? Therefore seeing we may not, we cannot fast alwayes, all the yeere long, and yet must fast; Then, so long; even through the whole yeere: every part of the yeere must beare a part. 1

There be foure parts of the yeere, Spring, Sum­mer, Autumne, and Winter.

According to these foure there be foure so­lemne Fasts or Embers instituted as for other rea­sons, so chiefly for this, that every part of the yeare we may commemorate this taking away: and that (asLeo magnus. Ser. 8. de Iejun. deci­mi mens. v. b. Si­quidem jejunium vernum in Quadri­gesima, aestivum in Pentecoste, autum­nale in mense sep­timo, hyemale au­tem in mense hoc decimo celebra­mus; intelligentes divinis nihil vacu­um esse praeceptis. Leo) no part of the yeere might have a Vacuum, or Vacation from this holy com­mand.

And as Moses for the Law: Elias for the Prophets; and Our Saviour for the Gospell fasted, when they began and entred to each, a forty dayes fast: so we begin the yeere and every part of the yeere with this godly sorrow, with the Bap­tists repentance, with this longer fast, that wee may prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths streight.

It is the observation of Divines; That never any man in the Church attempted any thing, but first fasting and prayer went before it. Therefore we begin the yeere, and every part of the yeere with fasting: but especially the beginning of the yeere, we begin that with a longer Fast, the Len­ten Fast, the Fast of forty dayes. Thus applying our Saviours precept, That we must fast, to his owne example, how we should fast. Good rea­son for this you will say.

But yet another reason: The Bridegroomes command it is, That as we must fast Then at that time, When the Bridegroome was taken away: So, Then especially, chiefly of all, and above all, at That time. Therefore whereas at other times, either the Ninivites fast of three Dayes, Ionas 3. 1 Sam. 31.13. or the Gileadites fast for seven dayes may serve: Then, when they fast for the Bridegroome, they must fast with the Bridegroome, as he did, forty dayes. And so much the rather (say theS. Bernard. 3. Serm. Quad. Tan­tó devotiùs imi­tandum nobis est Christi je junantis exemplum, quantò certius est propter nos eum je junasse non propter scipsum. S. Ambros. Ser. 36. infer. 5. p. 1. Dom. v. h. Si vis Christianus esse, debes quod Christus fecit facere. Ille qui peccatum non habebat, Quadragesimam je junavit, tu non vis Quadragesimam je junare qui peccas, &c. Fa­thers) ought we Then to fast, by how much the [Page 175] surer we are He fasted (Then) not for himselfe, but for us. Great reason therefore wee should fast with him, for our selves.

But as Then, at that time: so especially more particularly, [...]. In those very Dayes.

Saint Marke, and Saint Luke, both of them speake very fully. Here is not onely the Pro­noune Demonstrative; Those Dayes: but also (in the Greeke) the Article prefixt, which no­teth particulars, even with an exact specialty. [...]. Those very selfe-same Dayes.

These, I say againe, are Those Dayes here spoken of: Those very selfe-same Dayes, every day. Therefore every Day of this weeke was a Fast, a solemne Fast, all the six of them. And as Then, about this time, They did fast a longer fast, because of this Then: So now at this Time They did fast a more vehement fast, because of These Dayes. Before, a Daniels fast might serve, to eat no meats of delight, nor flesh, no wine, as he nameth them, Dan. 10.Dan. 10.3. 2 Sam. 3.35. But now a Davids fast was exacted, tasting neither bread nor ought else till the Sunne went downe. Nay they did joyne them both together.S. Epiph. 75. Aë­rii. c. 3. v. h. [...] &c. Et cap. 6. ibid. de Apostolis loquutus, eorumque hac de re constitutione. [...]. Et in compend. fidei c. 22. v.h. [...]. Vid. etiam [...] Graecorum Rubric. post Dominic. Palmarum. Ibi leguntur verba haec. [...]. Epiphanius sheweth as how. They did eat in These Dayes, nothing but bread, water, and salt, a dry and drying Diet: [...] they called them. They did lie upon the hard ground: They did continue watching with all [Page 176] supplication and prayer. They did put on Sack­cloth. They did by all meanes, abstaining from their owne lawfull wives, bring their flesh and body under. Our tender, loose, nice, delicate times tremble to heare of this Diet.

2. But yet there be of These (six dayes) two dayes, which are principally marked with the Article [...]. Those two dayes, wherein the Bridegroome was taken away.

The first of these two was on the morrow, our wednesday, their fourth day; because on that Day Mat. 26.2, 3.4, 14. &c. Counsell was taken against Him; money was taken for Him; Plots were laid to take Him. So upon that Day He began to be taken away. [...] (saith Saint Epiphanius) He was taken. Epiphan. Com­pend. fidei. cap. 22. As good as taken away Then. Vpon the Friday, as we all know, He was taken, and taken away; And therefore, as for These two dayes sake, the rest of these dayes were to be observed; so These two Dayes were principally observed above the rest. So that whereas before (Daniels fast ob­served) a Davids fast did serve; viz. to eat no­thing at all till Sunne went downe: now on the Friday especially (at Easter) They did fast the fast of Esther, Chap. 4.16. Neither to eat nor drinke De triduano je­junio corum aper­tè S. Epiphanius compend. fidei ca. 22. (nisi quod de quorundā in qua­triduum prorogato jejunio ibidem re­fert.) verba haec sunt. [...]. Haec quippe specialis & pri­vata observatio erat, quam sibi nonnulli è devotione privatâ injunxerunt. Verum ut per triduum hoc jejunarent communiter omnes quantum potuerant, sancitum ab Ecclesiâ. Quod non obscurè Graecorum [...], ubi supra: [...] () [...]. Ab illo enim tempore novo jejunio indicto Parasceven & Sabbatum sanctum integrum jejunii perstiterunt, usque ad Galli cantum. Vid. Concil. in Trullo. Can. 90. (seu ut alii) 89. & Anastas. Nicaen. Quaest. 77. fol. 98. Tom. 1. Bibliothec. PP. Paris. ubi ex constitutione Apostolicâ lib. 5. c. 17. Quem sanē locum, & [...] Graecorum laudat; ubi infra. three dayes, night nor day; viz. all that time the Bridegroome remained thus taken away.

And now (you see) this Fast here was at the height. Yet neverthelesse here was not all. For besides, as on the Sunday He arose, that Day therefore giving all Christians the name and observation of a new and Christian Sabbath in solemnizing a new Lords day, in memory of our joy for His Resurrection, and now more glorious presence, every first day of the weeke thorow the whole yeere: so in like manner, and from like beginning, every fourth day, that is, our Wednesday, and every sixth day, that is, our Friday, were likewise by allScil. apud Graec. & Orientales vol ipsis Pontificiis te­stibus inviolata ad­huc etiam quar­tae feriae in jejuniis Manet observatio: Sic enim Turrianus. Qui enim isti dies sunt quibus ablatus fuit? Nonnè quartâ feriâ & sextâ? quartâ enim factum est principium auferendi eum, si­quidem eo die facta est pactio à Iuda cum Iudaeis de prodendo Domino; sextâ verè crucifixus est, quibus diebus per omnes Ecclesias totius Orientis semper ab initio je­junatum est, & usque in hodiernum diem jejunatur, sicut illis à sanctis Apostolis tra­ditum est. Turrian. Apol. pro Pontif. Epist. lib. 5. cap. 18. p. 594. Adest Praeceptum generale Apostolici conventus, quantum ad praescriptionem temporis jejunii, tàm in Quadragesimâ quàm in duabus feriis cujuscunque Hebdo­madae, quod usque in hodiernum diem tàm mordicùs tenent Orientales Christiani, ut nec diem unum praetermittant, non dico viri robusti, sed etiam puellae, adolescen­tes, senes & quotquot sunt firmae valetudinis. Martinus Peresius de Traditionib. De lejun. part. 3. p. 264. succeeding Ge­nerations observed with Fasting and mourning in Commemoration of the Bridegroomes taking away.

Thence because This week gave the name and order of dayes to all other weekes through the yeare, (the old order from the Creation in the Iewish Sabbath being now first changed) as also because of the solemne fasting and prayer used thorow this whole weeke; as lastly, because of [Page 178] that great worke of our Redemption perfected therein: and This command of our SAVIOUR then principally to be observed both in the changes of joy and sorrow: This weeke was cal­led by the Easterne and mother Church [...],Scilicet, Magna & Sancta Hebdomas ap. Latin. The great weeke. The Latines successively calling it by the same name.

Neither was this a late invention of upstart and new fangled Popery, (which we may well call new, it being as it differeth from ours, most truly a Novelty, and a Religion of yesterday's birth:) But this is most Ancient from the first beginning: not grounded onely upon the Law of the Church, but upon the Command of Christ Himselfe, thus commanding, That in those dayes, when the Bridegroome, &c. That they so groun­ded this Fast, & so expounded this place: for the East, the Easterne and Mother Church her selfe is a witnes in her own most ancient Ordinall or [...] of Sabba:Typicū hoc Grae­corum & Orienta­lium ad finem e­jusdem ubi de Ra­tione jejuniorum apud Graecos & in Ecclesus receptorum agit; inter caetera, [...] haec etiam habet. [...]. Et mox de feriâ quartâ & sextâ per annum identidem observandis. [...]. Vid. Apostol. Constitut. Clem. l. 5. c. 17. & 19. drawing it as from the Apostles, so by them from the command of Christ Himselfe in this place.

Locus illustris est admodum S. Epi­phanii Compend. fidei, cap. 22. ver­ba haec sunt. [...]. Et mox Rationem jejuniorum in Ecclesiâ omnium pulcherrimè subjungit his verbis. [...]. Et mox etiam subnectir. [...]. Vide locum. Et in Aërii Haeres. 75. cap. 6. his verbis. [...]. Epiphanius also within foure hundred yeares after our blessed SAVIOUR plainly telleth us, [Page 179] that all Christians through the whole world did ob­serve These dayes Fast, and grounded it upon this Command of our Saviour in this very place.

For the Latine and Westerne Church;Tertullianus jam Montani partes a­gens adversus Psy­chicos (Orthodo­xos scil.) lib. de je­junio. cap. 2. v. h. Certè in Evange­lio illos dies jeju­niis determinatos putant, in quibus ablatus est sponsus: & hos esse jam solos legitimos jejuniorum Christianorum a­bolitis legalibus & Propheticis vetustatibus. Vid. eundem & cap. 14. Ter­tullian within two hundred yeares after the Bridegroome; as alsoS. Augustin. Epist. 86. ad Casulan. Presbyter. propè ad finem Epistolae, verbis his. Cur autem quartâ & sexta feriâ maximè jejunet Ecclesia, illa Ratio reddi vide­tur, quòd considerato Evangelio ipsâ quartâ Sabbati, quam vulgò quartam feriam vo­cant, consilium reperiuntur ad occidendum Dominum fecisse Iudaei, &c. Vide locum. S. Augustine in his 86. E­pistle to Casulanus: Both of them shewing, That these Fasts are plainely grounded upon this Com­mand of our Saviour, and that all Christians under­stood them so.

There is yetQuod dicunt quartae feriae jeju­nium ab Ecclesiâ Occidentali in Sabbatum fuisse translatum, falsum esse patet, quòd olim vel ipsi Romani utriúsque diei jejunium simul observarunt. Liquet hoc; tum ex Vrbici illius argumento apud S. Aug. Ep. 86. tum ex testimonio S. Aug. ib. Christia­nus (ait) qui, quartâ & lextâ feriâ & ipso Sabbato jejunare consuevit, quod frequen­ter Romana plebs facit, &c. Et alibi, —Ipsam quoque Romanam Ecclesiam, ubi & hic hebdomadibus, in quibus quarta & sexta Sabbato & jejunatur. Novimus ex multis au­ctoritatibus (ait Amalarius) quòd Dies Sabbati, sicut quarta Sabbati & sexta inclusa orat jejunio apud Romanos. Amalar. Fortunat. Episc. Trever. de Eccles. Offic. l 4 c. 37. Et ab. 2. cap. 2. Another day of mourning and [Page 180] fasting, namely the Saturday, or as in all Ages it was alwayes called amongst Christians theSic passim in Ri­cualibus Syrorum, Graecorum, Lati­norum, &c. Sabbath; A day though hardly ever received in this use by theNotius hoc, quā ut testimonijs pro­bari debeat: quum constet cuivis vel levitèr versato in Orientaliū Chri­stianorum libris, haud observatum ijs esse Sabbatum in jejuniis, non levi dissidio hinc orto, aut quidē aucto inter Graecos & Latinos. De Aethiopibus idem testantur, Damian. a Goes. de mor. Aethiop. p. 458, 459. Et Nic. Godign. li. 1. c. 19. p. 123. De Moscovit. itid. vid. Theolog. Muscovit. c. 10. p. 98. Et Ioan. Fabr. Epist. ad Ferdin. Reg. p. 179. Easterne Christians, nor for divers hundred yearesOrientis & Occidentis populos Christianos, in quibus Sabbato nemo jejunat (Et) Omnes Orientales & multos etiam occidentales populos Sabbato sobriè modestéque prandentes (Et) Ecclesiam per totum mundum () die Sabbati penè ubi (que) prandentem 1. c. non jejunantem) laudat contra Vrbicum. S. August. Ep. 86. in the West, nor indeed by allNon. n. a Mediolanensibus: quod docet Responsio S. Ambrosij ad B. Monicanm Augustini matrem. Quando, inquit, hîc (Mediolani) sum, non jejuno Sabbato, quando Romae sum, jejuno Sabbato. S. August. Ep. 86. paulo ante finem. Italy it selfe; yet anciently held in this use by the Christians of [...]. Socrat. li. 5. c. 22. f. 250. Vid. Ioan. Cassian. Institut. l. 3. c. 10. & S. August. Epist. 19. ad S. Hieronym. f. 16. & Ep. 86. suprà. citat. Pro hac re solebant omnes Romani omnia Sabbata jejunare, &c. Prop­terea dico (ait Amalar.) praeteritum, quia nescio quomodo nunc agant. Vide Amalar. Fortunat. Episc. Trever. (qui circa Annum. 800.) de Ecclesiast. Offic. li. 4. Romanos autem quum nominant, Vrbem cum territorio & suburbicarijs intelligunt: ut mani­festum sit hinc Romanorum leges haud extra fines urbis tunc receptas fuisse. old Rome, with some few others of theSc. in Colonijs Romanorum. Quia & Romana je junat (scil. in Sabbato) Ecclesia, & aliae nōnullae etiāsi paucae, sive illi proximae (Suburbicariae scil.) Sive longinquae, (Colonias ab ijs in Africam aut in Hispaniā deductas intelligit) S. Aug. ibid. Ep. 86. De Africanis nonnullis testatur ibid. ad fin. Epist. S. August. Quoniam (ait) contingit maximè in Africâ, ut una Ecclesia, vel unius regionis Ecclesiae alios habeant Sabbato pranden­tes, alios jejunantes, &c. Sic juxta morem civitatis suae (Carthaginis Africanae) in Sabbato je junatum ait ibid. Quod etiam in Hispanijs factum fuisse docet S. Hieronym. Epist. 28. ad Lucinum, ad fin. Epistolae. West: And from them at the last generallySc. post. an. 900. gradatim id factū, jejunio primū indicto Sabbatis Quadragesimali­bus, sive Adventus illa fuerint, seu magna Quadragesimae. Vid. Concil. Agath. Can. 12. Tribur. Ca. 56. Matiscon. Ca. 9. Aurelian. 4. Ca. 2. Postea invalescente majori Roman. sedis auctoritate per Carolū magn. ejus (que) successores, ejusdē ritibus passim in Occiden­tem introductis tandem Sabbati jejunium apud Latinos ubi (que) receptum erat. received in France, Germany, and other parts of the Latine Church, yea also by this [Page 181] Iland, and this our English Church: though not as a day wherein the Bridegroome was taken away; yet wherein Hee thus remained both by His Soules Descent to Hell, and Bodies rest and Sabbath in the grave. A Preparation Inde Vigiliae in Sabbato in Para­scecuē & praeparati­onem Dominicae. also for the LORDS day's following Ioy in His returne and Resurrection: added (saySic Vrbicus ille apud S. Augu. Ep. 86. some) to the two former weekely fast dayes, That our Christian righteousnesse might herein exceed that of the Pha­risees two Dayes fast: perhapsHaud id impro­babile visum, tum aliunde id obser­vanti, tum praeser­tim expendentilo. cum illum Ioan. Cassian. Collat. 21. cap. 25. brought in at first for, or in place of those Sabbath Vigils, pre­paratory to the LORDS Day's Service: or to Sic etiam Vrbi­cus ap. S. August. Ep. saepè citatâ. 86 abolish the easilyer that superstitiously obser­ved Iewish Sabbath, doubtlesseSequitur Sabba­tum, quo die caro Christi in monu­mento requievit, sicut in primis o­peribus mundi re­quievit Deus illo die ab omnibus o­peribus suis. Hinc exorta est illa in regiâ vaste varietas, ut alij, sicut maximè populi Orientis propter re­quiem significandam mallent relaxare jejunium; alij propter humilitatem mortis Domini jejunare, sicut Romana & nonnullae Occidentis Ecclesiae, &c. S. August. ubi suprà. Quibus diebus (ait Amalar.) eadem jejunia celebrentur, oportet memo­rari, Scil. quartâ feriâ, sextâ, & septimâ: Quartâ, quia in eâ fecerunt Iudaei consiliū, ut occiderent Christum: Sextâ eum occiderunt: septima Romanorum more, jejunio concluditur propter tristitiam Apostolorum de morte Domini. Vide Amalar. Fortunat. Episc. Trever. de Ecclesiast. offic. lib. 2. c. 2. ubi citat etiam verba Innocentij 1. in Decretalibus. Eundem Innocent. vide Epi. Decret. 1. cap. 4. Hunc. u. primum Sabbati jejunium instituisse (circa Annū 400.) docet Ioseph. Scaliger. li 7. de Emendat. Tempor. no way unfit to recognize this The Bridegroomes taking away. Neither were These dayes made and instituted onely for Church-men to meete; or heare a Ser­mon: or onely to fast. The Text will tell us. They shall. Saint Hierom S. Hieronym. Tom. 6. in 4. cap. ad Galat. v. h. Iejunia & Congregationes inter­dies propter eos, & à viris prudentibus constitutas, qui magis saeculo vacant, quàm Deo, nec possunt, imò nolunt toto vitae suae tempore in Ecclesiâ congregari, & ante humanos actus, Deo orationum suarum offerre sacrificium. Nam á nonnullis (ieste S. Augustino) in hebdomade quinquies jejunatur, quod (ait ille) multi in vitâ suâ fa­ciunt, maxime in monasterijs constituti. S. August. Ep. ad Casulan. 86. Hos innuit loco citato, S. Hieronymus, Deo vacantes. de quibus vide veteres passim: Palladium praesertim & S. Theodoretum. will tell us, Iejunia & [Page 182] congregationes, &c. The fastings and prayers in the weeke dayes (he meaneth especiallySynaxes. n. habi­tas olim tàm in Parasceve quàm feriâ quartâ locus S. Epiphanij, quē supra laudavimus, satis manifestè o­stendit. quin & S. Chrysostomus in 1 ad Tim. 1. Hom. 3. Graeci autem ubi Dies [...] indixerunt suis, Pascha nuncuparunt; uti etiamnum in corum officijs videre est. S. Chrysostom. id satis evidenter etiam Hom. in eos qui Pascha jejunant. Hom. 52. de Diversis N. Testam. verb. h. [...] (Scil. Dominicâ, quartâ Sab­bati, & Parasceve:) [...] (Sc. in Sabbato, vel in Martyrum festis) [...]. De quotidiano. a. Sacrificio, S. Chrysostom. pluribus quidem in locis. e.g. Hom. 3. in Ephes. 1. & Hom. 17. in Heb. 6. &c. Wednes­day and Friday meetings) were appointed for them, which cannot, or rather will not (saith he) meete every day in the Church (he meaneth Lay-men) there, before they goe about their businesse, to offer up their prayers unto God.

And indeed if Fast, then Pray: I dare say, it is here included; I am sure it is here intended. We may see it most evidently by divers other places of Scripture, viz. 2 Sa. 12.22. Psal. 35.13. Esth. 4.16. Iudg. 20.26. Dan. 10.3. &c.2 Sam. 12.22. Psal. 35.13. Esth. 4.16. Iudg. 20.26. Dan. 10.3. &c. They ne­ver goe asunder, as by infinite testimonies may bee declared. For Fasting is the forerunner of Prayer, and Prayer is the companion of Fasting. And indeed this is one principall and maine end of fasting, to quicken ourEfficax est oratio praecedente jeju­nio, &c. S. Cypri. de jojun. & Tenta. cap. 6. [...]. &c. S. Chrysost. in Psal. 145. Prayers, and to make them more lively. For as Prayer without fast­ing is weake, and feeble; so Fasting without Prayer is to small effect. They therefore most assuredly must goe together.

It is confessed by all, that the Bridegroome, as Fasted, so Prayed likewise, not for Himselfe, for His owne; but for His Spouses sake, and in her behalfe. Infinite testimonies might be heaped [Page 183] up out of the Scriptures, as also out of all Divines. You may see it plainly averred by our Saviour Himselfe, Ioh. 11.Iohn 11.42.

But as He prayed at all times, to teach us, we should pray at all times, continually: Luke 18.1. So He prayed at the time of His taking away, [...] (saith Saint Luke 22.44.Luke 22.44.) To teach us (say Divines) how we should pray at those times, and in those dayes, when either the Bridegroome was taken a­way; and we to commemorate this Taking away; or we in feare and danger, that He be taken away againe.

Thence in the distresse of the Church, when Iames was beheaded, Peter in prison, the Church in persecution, and in danger againe to loose the Bridegroome: yea rather at such time, when These days came about againe, wherein the Bridegroome was taken away, the Children of the Bride-chamber by their fasting to mourne for Him (for so it then wasE textu liquet tempus Parasceves seu Passionis fuisse, quod Apostoli as­siduâ & constanti supplicatione tunc transigebant. Vt hinc probabiliter admodum consta­ret, memoriam Passionis Dominicae Quadragesimali jejunio, illo praesertim triduano solenniter anno vertente ab Apostolicis observatā fuisse. Ideo (que) haec lectio à Syris antiquissimis reijci­tur in Sabbatii primum jejunii, seu Initium Quadragesimae; ut eo doceant Quadragesi­male jejunium eum in finem fuisse institutum, ut peccata nostra in sponso sublato lu­geamus. Vid. Widmonstadij Syriacum Testam. ad 12. caput. Act. & in calce Testa­menti Syr. Good Friday and Easter Even) Then (saith Saint Luke againe,Acts 12.5. [...] was made by the whole Church. Publike Prayer you heare of: But what this [...] was, let us aske the Grae­cians and Mother-Church, who best knew the use, force and application of this word; and they will tell us.

And indeed I speake it not (GOD knoweth) to [Page 184] flatter the Church of England, but as it is indeed; [...] in the use and acception of the Easterne Christians in all theirPassim in Rubri­cis Horolog. Eu­cholog &c. in qui­bus nonnunquàm (mendosè) [...] reperitur. Verùm in Litur­giâ sub nomine S. Petri. p. 13. & [...], illi subjuncta, reperitur. Verum [...] (quod suspicor) in Rubricis Graecorum, men­da est Typographica: Cum ista [...] (ut recte Meursius in Glossario) ipsa sit illa [...] (de quibus Apostolus. 1. Tim. 2.1.) Continuatio. Bookes and Rubrickes, is nothing but That Prayer which in after times, and other use was called The Letanie. This was (as it seemeth) the first name of the Le­tanie.

So you see here is Fasting injoyned upon the Wednesday and Friday: [...]: And if Fasting, then Prayer also: And as publike Prayer [(for so it is) you see what Prayer,] [...] Act. 12.5. [...]. Luk. 22.44. (The Letanie) a larger, a more earnest, and instant Prayer.

The ApplicationAnd now (Beloved) having gone through the five Propositions; and Their, (that is, The Chil­dren of the Bridechamber's) practice: I have brought you home to our owne Mother-Church: which (I hope) you all now plainly see, practiz­eth nothing but what she ought to do: nay, what indeed she is bound to observe, and therefore we the more bound to observe her.

Now give mee (I beseech you) leave briefly to use a word or two of Exhortation and Application.

1 Duty, Thanke­fulnesse.The first is, (as wee have all great cause) of Thankefulnesse unto Almighty GOD, for ha­ving vouchsafed us (a favour beyond all other Christian Churches, even the Reformed Chur­ches [Page 185] themselves) viz. to bee borne, bred, and brought up in that Church, which by the con­fession of all most truly is a patterne and presi­dent to all Reformed Churches whatsoever. Witnesse her adversaries on both hands; on the right hand and on the left; who though never so studiously opposing her, though never so strictly examining her, could never yet touch her in the least kind either for her Doctrine or Discipline. Witnesse their quar­relsome bookes;Luke 21.31. witnesse her abundant An­swers.Iohn 14.13. I may say as our SAVIOUR of S. Peters tryall; Satan (in her adversaries) did desire to sift her: and yet (as our SAVIOUR sayd of Himselfe) he nor his could never finde or have any thing in her: Witnesse the unpartiall judg­ment of all, though strangers unto her; who have so farre admired her, so justly extolled her, so gravely commended her to and above all others.

I might name many testimonies in this kinde: I name but one for all; Alexander Alesius a Scottish Doctor; who so farre approved the Reformation of this Church of England, and the Service-Booke thereof (then as I may say but begun and unperfect) that hee translated it into Latine; and commended it as a Paterne to all Christian Churches. The Booke is still to be seene, printed in Lipsich in Germany Anno 1551. And indeed (as I sayd at first) Reforma­tion being as the Civilian defineth it, a Restituti­on of any thing to his pristin, first, and best e­state; we may well pronounce this Church a [Page 186] most true Reformed Church, who hath so truly done this, so fully performed it. In all her Doctrine, in all her Discipline, she hath by fol­lowing the steps of the Bridegroome manifested her selfe to be the very Spouse of Christ: GOD grant us as truly by following her, to shew our selves to be the children of the Bridechamber.

2. Obedience gene­rall.The second Exhortation is for Obedience to this Spouse of CHRIST: For we can never be thankefull to the Bridegroome, unlesse we be obe­dient to the Bride: wee shall never bee of His Chamber, unlesse wee follow His Church. The Church (beloved) is that which defendeth our King, the State, our Countrey: The Bride, the Church, is that which keepeth the Bridegroome with us; the cause of all our joy. It should bee therefore dearer unto us, then our owne lives; as deare as our owne soules.

Beloved, give me leave (which I intended more fully) to give you some short rules of peace and Obedience. You have heard reason and evidence alleaged for much of this Churches practice, even now: she may be as fully (nay, she hath beene more fully) cleared in all others. It is your part to judge the best of her, who is indeed your Mother: and seeing you have already seene reason for some, it is your duty to thinke there is as good reason for all others, though you see it not. Bee not therefore forward to judge of those things, which you have not knowledge for. Remember you cannot attaine or under­stand the reason of many things: and some things the most knowing of us, knoweth not at [Page 187] all. Every man hath his measure, in which we must containe our selves. We learne to know, and know to doe and practise: and if we have so much knowledge to know our duty, what care we for any more. Curiosity it is, not Christianity, that carryeth us farther. Neverthelesse, if any be curiously desirous to be satisfied in the Chur­ches practice, in any thing she either doth or tea­cheth; it is my counsell, that they repaire to those that are learned, judicious, obedient, and moderate minded men. Let them avoid Schis­matickes; and baulke them that are malecon­tent and factious. And as if the Spaniard, French, or any other potent neighbour nation should (which God of his mercy forbid) in­vade this land, it were the part of every good Patriot to oppose them, and defend this coun­trey: So, much more is it the part of every good Christian to oppose them that oppose the Church: and first of all, our duty to frame ar­guments, and to labour to defend that Church and truth, which under God is the maine de­fence of us all. Otherwise let us feare, that if we live not with the Spouse, we indeed forsake the Bridegroome; If we deny our obedience to the one, the other also for our disobedience be most deser­vedly taken away.

The third is of particular Obedience to this text; to the Bridegroome: And indeed,3. Obedience par­ticular. if wee obey not the Bridegroome, as good never obey the Spouse: if not Him, none of Hers we.

My text telleth us, The dayes will come, &c. [Page 188] But you have heard, and seene, and know it as well as I can tell you, that The Dayes are come, and now are, and weekly come againe: And will the Dayes never come for us to doe our Duty? to shew our obedience? It is a part of humanity, to weepe with them that weepe, Rom. 12.15. to mourne with them that mourne: If wee cannot mourne, you have heard what will make us mourne, Fasting. And indeed He that left all for us, cannot wee leave a little for Him? When Hee was taken a­way for us, cannot we take (for a time) somewhat of our allowance from our belly, for Him? for His in almes? for our selves, our owne sinnes? If there were no other reason, wee ought even to sorrow with and for Him, who sorrowed so much for us: Wee of all ought to regard His sorrow. You know whose lamentable complaint it is,Lament. 1.12. Have yee no regard, all yee, &c. No regard doubtlesse, if we regard not to shed a teare, to let fall a drop, to send forth a sigh for Him. And what regard we should have of this His sorrow, we may see and learne by His bles­sed Mother, that ever blessed Virgin. It is Si­meons prophecie to her;Luke 2.35. Yea a sword (saith he) shall pierce thorow thine owne soule also. The sword of sorrow, so they expound it: No lesse weapon then a sword; and this not to pierce in­to, but to pierce thorow: and that not to pierce thorow the body onely or the flesh; but thorow, and thorow;Luke 23.27. and that thorow thine owne soule. And good reason for it: For if women, and those strangers wept so sore, as we reade, Luk. 23. [Page 189] 27. for his taking onely, before he came to the Crosse, what sorrow doe we thinke becommeth the Mother, or the Spouse of Christ, when they see Him taken away, lifted up, hanging, and bleeding on the Crosse? If the Centurion, and the Soul­diers that crucified Him, and all the people that reviled Him, begin to returne and lament, Luke 23.47, 48. and to smite their brests, as we read, Luk. 23. How shall our hearts smite us, that they smite us not, that they smite us no more, that they smit us not before? Nay, if the Thiefe on the Crosse forget­ting his owne shame, and paine, and sorrow, begin to lament for the Bridegroome; if he be­gin to rebuke his fellow for not sorrowing; what shall we doe! how shall we sorrow!

Me thinkes I heare that blessed Thiefe spea­king to every one of us,Luke 23.40, 41. as sometimes he spake to his fellow; Dost not thou feare God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And wee indeed, justly; for we (if we fast, or mourne, or sorrow, nay should we die the death, and ever mourne in endlesse sorrow, yet we) receive the due re­ward of our sinnes: of our owne deeds, (for we have sinned all, all kinde of sinnes.) But This man (He) hath done nothing amisse. If any thing amisse, this is it, this is that, that He hath done so much for us, who have so little grace, as scarce to doe any thing for Him. Dost not thou (who­soever thou art) dost not thou feare God? as if he should say, If not pity, common pity for His so great unspeakable sorrow, paine, and punish­ment, in being thus cruelly, thus wrongfully [Page 190] taken away; yet, let love to his person, love of His person, who thus for thy sake became a Bridegroome: Let that move thee.

If not Love, His Love, or thy love; yet let His Bounty, who thus willingly, thus readily gave Himselfe, even by death (for thy sake) to be taken away: Let that move thee.

If not His Bounty; yet let thy Duty; His Command, who hath so strictly commanded; who hath so precisely enjoyned thee to mourne, and to fast this time, and in these dayes: Let that move thee.

If not thy Duty to his Command, if not that; yet let Remorse for thy sinnes; let sorrow for thy haynous and bloudy crimes, which so wrongfully, so despightfully did, and still doe, yet continually, take him away: Let that move thee.

If not Remorse, sorrow for thy sinne; What shall I say? If not that; then nothing. Yes, then let Feare; dreadfull Feare I say of that never ending punishment due to the Crucifiers, and all remorselesse sinners, that worse than the Cruci­fiers cannot mourne with them for Him: Let that move thee.

And indeed when all cannot, this shall move them, that cannot now bee moved. [...] They shall (the time will come) will they, nill they; whether they will, or no; They shall fast. They that will not now, then shall. They that will not owne it (here) for their duty, then shall owne it for their punishment. Iejunabunt: They [Page 191] shall fast. It is our SAVIOURS sentence, Luk. 6.Luke 5.25. Woe unto you that are full; for yee shall hunger: woe unto you that laugh now; for ye shall weepe: Ye shall mourne; ye shall hunger. They that will not Now, then shall: that will not at this time, in this Now, in these Dayes, The Dayes are comming, and will come ere they are aware; then, no re­medy, They shall fast, and hunger, and mourne, and weepe, Then, and in Those dayes. On the con­trary, Blessing and peace to them, which on the right hand with that good Thiefe mourne here; which Fast and Pray now in These dayes; which make it their duty: which minde His Com­mand.Luke 6.21. Blessed (saith the Bridegroome) are ye that hunger now; for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weepe now; for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye that fast and mourne now with Him: for ye shall be comforted with Him, by Him. God of His mercy grant us all grace so to mourne and fast here, that we may be filled with comfort hereafter, and bles­sed for ever.



DANIEL 10.2, 3.

2 In those dayes I Daniel was mourning three full weekes.

3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint my selfe at all till three whole weekes were fulfilled.

WHen I thinke of this Time, me thinkes this Text is fittest for this Time: so much the rather also, because this time is the time of this Text. For what, if Those Dayes here be these dayes now? So truly they [Page 194] are: For the Three full weekes in the second verse began the third, and ended the twen­ty fourth day of the first moneth: as the fol­lowing words shew, vers. 4. Now the first mo­neth amongst the Iewes answered to this pre­sent moneth of March; fell in with this very time: So that to speake of these words at this time, is I hope a word in due time.

2 But bare time alone is but the empty mea­sure of our actions which fill it up; and there­fore an idle circumstance without some life from them. The Action therefore is here to be considered, and that is Fasting: In those dayes I Daniel was mourning; that is, as the words that follow shew, Fasting: And so it is now with us, a time no lesse of Fasting. As Daniel began this moneth then, so have we now; with fasting and mourning for our sinnes.

3 But yet againe this Fast here was a lasting fast;1 Sam. 7.6. Esth. 4.16. 1 Chron. 10.12. not onely as the Fast of the Israelites in Mizpah, for a Day; or as Esthers, for three dayes onely; or as the Gileadites Fast for Saul, for a weeke: But for a longer time, even three full weekes. And such is ours now, no lesse like to hold, if we hold it as we should, even for twice three full weekes. For so much have we more need of the longer fast, by how much we now under greater grace are, in respect of holy Daniel, farre greater sinners. We may not well be lesse then twice his time, and that is our full Lent. I (saith hee) Daniel was mourning three full weekes.

4. But yet moreover a fourth thing here is, even Daniels very Fast: a Fast from flesh and wine, and all desirable meats and drinks. Though he now in blisse cannot any longer fast with us, yet we, that wee may attaine that blisse, must now even fast with him: We also to fast Daniels fast; as at that time of the yeare when hee fa­sted, so his very fast; I ate no pleasant bread, nor came flesh, &c.

5 But yet againe, a fift thing here is: As Da­niel fasted at this time, this our very fast: so likewise for the same cause, for the same end with us: with like reference to mourne for Christs death, as doe we. For if wee looke but three verses forward before my Text, we shall see the time and manner of His death presented in a vision to Daniels eyes. This, as it should from ours, drew teares from his, and that hee might mourne for this enough, he makes him­selfe mourne by Fasting.

Thus with the fitnesse of the time, and Text,The Divi­sion. we have the Nature and Parts of it.

First, For the generall Nature of it, it is Ex­emplary, 1 and that as done, so propounded by himselfe in his owne person. I Daniel.

Then secondly, Here's the Action, wherein 2 this Example consists, and that is Fasting: even such a fast, which is attended with many neces­sary and most considerable observations.

The first is, The End of it, in this word Mourning: His fasting was for mourning; I was mourning.

2 Secondly, The time of it; In those Dayes: that is, from the third of the first moneth to the foure and twentieth.

3 Thirdly, The manner and Quality of it; I ate no pleasant, &c

4 Fourthly, The Continuance of it; For three full weekes. And againe, Till three whole weekes were fulfilled.

In all which, wee have a view of his many most excellent vertues shining in this his Fa­sting.

First, besides his Temperance, his obedient willingnesse, promptnesse, and readinesse to this holy Dutie, in his voluntary undertaking it of his owne choice: intimated in these words; I Daniel.

Secondly, His strict and patient Constancie, in that he so continued it without interruption, implied in these; I was mourning three full weeks.

Thirdly, His lowly Humility, in humbling himselfe, in making himselfe to mourne; I Da­niel was mourning.

Fourthly, His Hope and stedfast Faith, in chu­sing this time of all others, In which 1 IESUS CHRIST our true Passeover was to be offered up, and to abolish that other as Daniel now did in his fasting: And 2 when by his thus mour­ning hee suffered with our Saviour, before hee suffered: And 3 by his spirit of Prophecie fore­told that Christian Fast, which at this time was to succeed in all Christian Churches. In those dayes I Daniel was mourning three full weekes.

Lastly, we have The effect and issue of all; the vertue and efficacie of this Fast; set downe in the context of the whole history related af­ter this Fast premised; namely, that having thus humbled himselfe, God (as his manner is to doe with such) did exalt him, and deliver his; even his people also; (as it were) for his sake. So Chryso­logus, Dum Daniel sedulus Deo supplicaret, Petr. Chrysolog. Serm. 21. impe­travit non solùm praescientiam futurorum, sed & captivae diu gentis suae meruit libertatem. Daniel (saith he) whilest he diligently prayed (for hee as fasted, so even prayed also at this time: for hee kneeled downe upon his knees three times a day, and prayed and gave thanks, as aforetime, Cha. 6.10.Chap. 6.10.) And whilest (saith he) he thus prayed and fasted, S. Basil. Hom. de abdicat. rerum. Vid. Tertullian. de jejunio adv. Psych. cap. 9. S. Chrys. de incomprehens. Dei naturâ. f. 358. 359. Vid. quae i­bid. Tom. 1. f. 566. 567. & de Fato & provident. f. 839. Vide Isid. Pelus. l. 1. Ep. 69. S. Aug. de temp. Ser. 64. in Dom. 2. Quadr. Notant cōmuniter Pattes, Danielem postquam 70. annorum numerum jam peractum cognoverat, quo populi Iudaici capti­vitas praedefinita fuisset à Ieremia (c. 29. v. 10. & 25 v. 12.) in animum induxisse suum tum primùm pro iis supplicare. Ne (que) id tamen fecisse eum (quod S. Chrys.) [...], sed cum jejuniis multis, in sacco & cinere. Vid. c. 9. v. 2, 3. In quem locum egregia sunt S. Patris verba, multúm (que) prae caeteris observanda; [...], &c. Audisti (inquit) quemadmodum haec quo (que) captivitas praedicta fuerit, & Pro­pheta non ausus fuerit preces & supplicationes admovere Deo ante praefinitum tempus: [...], &c. Ne frustrà temeré (que) orans audiret, quod Ieremias (cap. 7. v. 16.) Ne rogaveris pro populo hoc, ne (que) postulaveris pro illis: Quoniam non audiam te. [...], &c. Verùm (pergit ille) ubi vidit vaticinium esse completum, simùl (que) tempus vacare, ad reditum [...], &c. Vide S. Chrys. adv. Iudaeos lib. 3. fo. 477. Tom. 1. he obtained not onely the gift of Prophecie, to fore­tell things to come, but also the liberty of his long captived nation. By his thus fasting (saith Saint Basil) he is made King of the Chaldees, the over­thrower of Idolls: he kills the dragon, he stills and commands the Lions: Nay (which is most of all) [...]: He is made (saith he) the foreteller of Gods [Page 198] incarnation, and the revealer of the most hidden mysteries.

And indeed, as they that have found the vertue and good of some excellent Receipt or Medi­cine, are desirous to derive the knowledge there­of to others, that they also may benefit them­selves thereby: So Daniel having in himselfe ex­perimented the most admirable vertue of this most heavenly Physick, propounds it in his own example to all succeeding ages. In those dayes I Daniel was, &c.

The Generall Nature of the Text. It is I. An example.WHere first of the Nature of the Text in generall: It is an Example.

1. The Apostle tells us most truly, that All Scripture given us by God is profitable for instru­ction, 2 Tim. 3.16.2 Tim. 3.16. but yet those most of all which are (as I may say) enlivened by Exam­ple. For whereas Precepts onely leade, Exam­ples draw men and compell them: those may move and perswade, but these doe constraine and enforce: The reason is, because they are not onely as Precepts Verbum audibile, but Visi­bile; as so many visible Sermons preaching all to the Eye, the most lively and spirituall Sense: not onely teaching as doe Precepts, what wee should doe; but also perswading us, that what another hath done, is most feasible, most possi­ble [Page 199] to be done by us: Longum iter per praecepta; breve per exempla. The Apostle notes, Heb. 10.24.Heb. 10.24. that they are [...], of a most provoking nature. This Daniel well knew, and therefore being to teach this holy duty from the Spirit of God, he teacheth it by Example.

2.2. His owne Example. And because those are the best that are the nearest; as also because hee ill teacheth ano­ther, that practiseth not himselfe: therefore how­soever he might have brought the Example of Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, as Chap. 1.16. yet he is sparing of all others, he onely propounds his owne; to let us know, that the best teaching is by our owne lives and examples; that wee should not be, as too many are, sounding Cym­bals in the eares of others; but as the Baptist, burning and shining lights in the eyes and fight of others: In all things shewing our selves, (as the Apostle to Titus) paternes of good workes: Tit. 2.7. seeing according to our Saviour, hee onely that doth and teacheth these things shall be called great in the Kingdome of Heaven. Matth. 5.19.

3. But Examples are,3. As of the Chiefest. as are the Persons from whom they come: if they be meane, they are then but meanely respected;1. Amongst men. if they be of au­thority and power whose they are, then are they also of power and might. Every Example is a light, but those of great men in place of Eminence are like a Candle on a Candlesticke, set up that all may see; or rather like the Sunne and Starres in the Firmament, even the Lights of the world, Mat. 5. They are Inter coelos coelum, Matth. 5.14. [Page 200] as Fulgentius speakes of Theodorus the Senator;Fulgent. Ep. 6. de Convers. ad The­odor. p. 548. And well may they be so resembled: for as the Heavens, so they by their influence move all inferiour bodies. Men are like sheepe, and Great men are (as S. Augustine calls the Apostle) Arie­tes, the Rams of the flocke; whom, wheresoe­ver they goe, all the rest will follow. This is a­nother reason, Daniel thus propounds his Ex­ample, as supposing it most availeable to per­swade and leade others. For hee was of the blood royall of the Kings of Iuda, Chap. 1. v. 6. At this time in the court of the greatest Mo­narch of the earth,Dan. 1.3, 6. King Nebuchodonazor; ad­vanced by him to be Ruler over the whole Pro­vince, and chiefe of the Governours over all the Wise-men of Babylon, Dan. 2.48. Chap. 2.48. after by Bel­shazzar his Sonne, made the third Ruler in the Kingdome, Dan. 5.29. Chap. 5.29. even yet farther prospe­ring in the reigne of Darius and Cyrus the Per­sian.Dan. 6.28. Vnder foure of the greatest Monarchs that ever were, above the greatest, even the chiefe of the three Presidents, over an hundred and twenty Princes, Dan. 6.2, 3. Chap. 6. v. 2.3.

If Daniel therefore in the midst of the highest honour can find in his heart thus to humble himselfe: If he can in the view of all earthly provocations and temptations thus temper and conteine himself: If in the height of all worldly pleasures hee can thus contemne, scorne, and trample on them, mourning in the midst of plea­sures, fasting from all delights, conquering and taming his desires, that they might not con­quer [Page 201] him: then what great matter is it for us to bate our selves a little pleasure, some small delight, some petty recreation? to deny our selves in some few trifles, that with Daniel we may the better follow CHRIST? Quis non parvam despiciat cellam, quando Senator domum despicit marmoratam? Quis non terrena contemnens, Fulgent. ubi supra. p. 550. &c. Who (saith Fulgentius) will not now despise a cottage, when a Senator leaves an Ivory pallace? When Daniel leaves so much, who will not leave a little? and where all is nothing, who will not leave this all with Daniel to labour for Hea­ven, by an holy mourning; I Daniel was mour­ning, &c.

But Daniels Example is yet greater,2 In great favour with God. by how much hee that was so high in the eyes of the world, is yet higher and greater in GODS favour: to whom GOD gave knowledge and skill in all learning and wisedome; even under­standing in visions and dreames, Chap. 1.17.Dan. 1.17. even wiser he tenne times, then all the Astrologians and Magicians, verse 20.20. in whom (saith Nebu­chadnezzar) was the spirit of the holy Gods, Dan., 12, 14. Chap. 4.18. & 5.11. who conversed with Angels, even with GOD Himselfe, made of His most secret Counsell, the fullest, clearest, and plainest Pro­phet that ever was.

And here I may not passe by aHierony. lib. 2. Apolog. advers. Ruffin. cap. 9. & Theodor. in prae­fat. ad Dan. Doubt, which of old troubled Saint Hierome, Ruffinus, and many others of late also, namely what should move the Iewes to reckon the Booke of Daniel amongst the Hagiographa, or holy Wri­ters, [Page 202] and yet to account him no Prophet. Cer­tainly thoughVid. Petr. Cu­naeum de Rep. He­braeor. l. 3. c. 7. ubi rationem perperā assignat. Rabbi Maimon More Nebochim part. 2. cap. 45. some guesse at others, yet the true reason is plaine out of Rabbi Maimon; who tells us, that the Iewes making tenne degrees of Prophecy place Daniel in the second, with the rest of the Hagiographa: because (saith he) he is no Prophet in an ordinary manner, and therefore ran­ked by our Nation, amongst those, who awake, and in the vigour of their senses spake by the Spirit of GOD; which is the second degree of Prophe­cy, and indeed as he reckons it, of all that are inspired to speake, the highest. So that the Iewes no otherwise denyed Daniel to be a Pro­phet, then our blessed SAVIOUR the Bap­tist, Luke 7.26, 28. Luke. 7.26. whom calling a Prophet, verse 28. he stileth more then a Prophet: and likely, our SAVIOUR in this speech had respect to this distinction amongst the Iewes. Howso­ever Saint Hieroms testimony is true,Vid. S. Hieron. & Theod. locis cita­tis. that no Prophet spake so plainly, so evidently of Christ, as Daniel doth: not onely shewing, as do the rest, that He must come, but also designing the very time when He was to come; laying downe the order of the succeeding Kings, and their times, with the manifest foregoing signes. To him, as to the blessed Virgin, the same Messenger is sent, the very same Angell Gabriel.Dan. 8.16. Luke 1.26. For this cause as GODS chiefest favorite under the Law hee is stiled A man highly or greatly beloved, Chap. 9.23.Dan., 19. & 10.11.19. The highest stile mortality can receive; as we may see by the blessed Virgin, whose title it is, Luke 1.28.Luke 1.28. His [Page 203] Wisedome proverbially extolled; Thou art wiser then Daniel, Ezech. 28.3.Ezech. 28.3. His Prayers, as most powerfull with GOD, preferred, Ezech. 14.14.

Neverthelesse as though hee were not safe in the midst of all these honours,& 14.14, 20. unlesse he were humble, he (as the blessed Apostle) humbleth himselfe by fasting: to teach us also, that if it were so needfull for him, and that chiefe Apostle, to keepe their body under, to bring it into subjection, 1 Cor. 9.27. lest falling through pride they might come to destruction: how much then is it more needfull for us, vile wretched sinners as we are, how needfull for us to do (if possible) farre more, at least the same, to make our selves mourne! As also to instruct us, that if we will attaine to Da­niels height, we must follow his steps: if we will be as hee was, wee must do as he did: if we will aime at his happinesse, we must imitate his humi­lity: if have our prayers as his accepted, we must sharpen them by fasting: we must propound his example to our selves, as he doth here by the Spirit of GOD unto us, even above any un­der the Law, the greatest and best example of the best of the sons of men. I Daniel.

But the tree is knowne by his fruits (saith our Blessed Saviour) and a man by his Actions:II. His Action. for they are they that must praise him in the gates, Pro. 31.31.Prov. 31.31. His Action therfore commeth next to be considered: and that is mourning. By which what is meant is easie to see by that which fol­loweth; I ate no pleasant bread, &c. I The end of it. His mourning was fasting to make him mourne; it being the [Page 204] use of holy Scripture to stile this duty by this name, because it tends to this end. And indeed it is worth our observing, that there be­ing two words in each of the three learned lan­guages to signifie the two parts of Repentance; [...]. Resipiscentia. Poenitentia. one of them in each signifyeth griefe and mourn­ing, to teach us, that as they are a signe of, and a way to perfect our repentance; so fasting is a way to begin our mourning. For this cause as sorrow and mourning is ofttimes called repentance. Act. Acts. 26.20. 26.20. So fasting is usually called mourning, as 1 Sam. 16. Matth. 5.4. & 9.15. as also in this place,1 Sam. 16.1. Mat. 5.4. &. 9.15. because it is both a meanes to, and a signe of mourning.

1 A signe of mourning: as Hannah wept, and did not eate,1 Sam. 1.7, 8. 1 Sam. 1.7. David for his childe, 2 Sam. 12.16.2 Sam. 12.16. Ahab for Naboths Vineyard, 1 King. 21.4.1 Kings 21.4. So a signe of mourning it is, where griefe is caused already.

2 And a meanes also to make us mourne: as in the Israelites and Ninivites Fast; in Samuels, Davids, Iehosaphats, Esthers, and Nehemiah's. So it is a meanes and cause to helpe and further sorrow, where it is not, or is but yet newly be­gun. Both, I take it, are the aimes of this fast­ing here.

1 A signe of mourning. For these dayes were dayes of captivity and thraldome: Daniel and his fellowes in a strange land, under a forraine Prince; their owne countrey wasted and made desolate, That famous City, the figure of Hea­ven, burnt and destroyed: that glorious Temple, [Page 205] the wonder of Nations, the joy of the earth, the type of our blessed Saviours body, as our Savi­ours body at this time, buried and laid in the dust. No wonder then if Daniel and his fellowes mourned, if they hanged up their harpes, and cast downe their heads; for How should they sing the Lords song in a strange land? Psal. 137.4. Whil'st they were captives, their honours were but golden fetters, their pleasures but as passengers delights, which though they looke on, yet they care not for. In those dayes I Daniel was mourning.

2 A meanes of mourning. For these dayes put us in minde of a farther mourning; Daniel in the Visions of the foregoing Chapter be­held not onely another worse and longer cap­tivity, but the miserable destruction,2 The time of it. the finall desolation, the hopeles dispersion and rejection of his whole Nation; this could not lesse grieve him, then it did Moses or Saint Paul; Exod. 32. Rom. 9. it could not but make him wish himselfe accursed for them; blotted out, that they might bee writ­ten in.

2 But againe, to behold this in the cause, in the bloud of the slaine Messias, as the words of the Vision shew, Chap. 9.26.Dan. 9.26. Matth. 27.25. to see the bloud of IESUS layd on them and on their children for ever; to see them defiled with that bloud, that must onely cleanse them: To behold his and our SAVIOUR on the Crosse bleeding by them, for whom He dyed; to view the number­lesse number and infinite masse of the sinnes of all mankinde, and his owne sins amongst them, [Page 206] to helpe to crucifie, to whip and scourge him, this was the Vision of these days: and seeing this, he sorrowed, lamented, mourned, and wept for it.

3 But that's not all: it is not enough for him or us onely to sigh and lightly sorrow for him: he must also by sorrow dye and suffer with him. Who so wretched to stand by and behold ano­ther, a just and innocent man to suffer death for him, and not shed teares for his bloud? yet this Daniel saw; not onely another, but the only just and holy of men that ever was, yea even the Son of GOD bleeding at this very time, within the compasse of these dayes: A most sad, heavy, and dolefull spectacle. This as he now saw, so he now lamented; and because hee could not mourne for it enough, (for who alasse can?) he both teacheth us, and maketh himselfe mourne by fasting.

Surely any sorrow of the countenance (saith the Preacher) makes the heart farre better. Eccles. 7.3. S. Chrysost. in c. 5. Mat. v. 4. Hom. 15. For (as Saint Chrysostome rightly) they that sorrow but for their wives, their children, their freinds, &c. shall find that whilst they sorrow, they are not affected with the world; their hearts runne not after covetousnesse; they hanker not after money; they care not for honour; they passe not for pleasure: no lustfull provocations stirre them; no envy pro­vokes them; no injuries can move them: so far are they from drunkennes, gluttony, and these excessive vices, that they care not to eate or drinke: even all that is in the World, 2 Iohn 2.26. the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life have no power upon [Page 207] them: because they give themselves wholly to sorrow.

And if it be thus in any sorrow; if worldly sorrow be such a bridle to sin; how much more profitable is godly sorrow, which is not onely an acceptable Sacrifice before GOD for sinne past, but also a most available medicine and re­medy against sinne to come? For this voluntary sorrow is in stead of all burnt offering and sa­crifice: even Psal. 51.17.Psal. 51.17. The Sacrifices of God; such is a contrite and humble spirit, when pre­venting GOD wee rend it and breake it by sorrow: even an holy selfe-revenge, [...] (so the Apostle calls it, 2 Cor. 7.10.2 Cor. 7.10.) Dolor appre­tiatus (as the Schoolemen) recounting what wee have done, in our sinnes; and valuing what wee have deserved, in our punishment. On the one side how many, how great, how haynous our sinnes are; how base the motives, how grievous the circumstances: how dangerous to others, how displeasing to GOD, how deadly to our selves.

And if we cannot value them and their pu­nishments as we should, let us cast up our eyes with Daniel to CHRISTS Crosse; and there behold the handwriting of the Law and our sinnes against us; that most deserved, yet most unsufferable curse and punishment due un­to them; GODS fierce rigour, wrath, and severity, even executed in His owne Son upon them.

Let us mourning in our Prayers, and humbling [Page 208] our selves make this the meditation of these dayes, and if ever any sorrow worke repentance (as sorrow must doe it, 2 Cor. 7.10.) this will; this will make us also, even us, as it did Daniel at this time, mourne for our sins. In those dayes I Daniel was mourning, &c.

And so having done with the Action, and End of it; we come to the manner and nature of this Fast. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came any, &c.

3 The manner of this Fast.The very fast we have now in hand.

Objection.There be two maine exceptions of our facti­ous brethren against this Lenten, and other fasts of the Church: The one, That they are Set; the other, That being set and certaine, they are superstitiously (say they) placed in the choyce of some meates and drinkes.

Respons.Concerning the former, as we have spoken heretofore in another place, so we both have, and shall if GOD enable, farther intreate up­on this present occasion of Daniels fast: The latter being the more immediate scope of the Text, doth now more earnestly make us hasten to it.

Where we have two things to bee considered, the one plainly implyed; the other fully expres­sed; both necessary to bee stood upon.

The first is, That Daniel eating no pleasant bread, nor flesh, or wine, did notwithstanding for natures necessity eate something else.

The second, That his thus abstaining from flesh and wine, with all other desireable meats, [Page 209] was, notwithstanding his eating other things, a most true, religious, and perfect fast.

For the first. I ate no pleasant bread, I. Proposition. implieth that something else was eaten; and so Daniels fast, no other than ours, humane. By humane, I meane, as the Apostle takes the word, [...], 1 Cor. 10.13.1 Cor. 10.13. Such as mans nature may beare. For truly to eat nothing at all, night nor day for forty dayes, as did our blessed Saviour with Mo­ses and Elias, and some others also (if thoseQuidam ap. S. Aug. ep. 86. ad Ca­sulan. Nam ad ip­sum quadragenari­um numerum per­venisse quendam à fratribus fide dig­nissimis nobis as­severatum est. Si­militer Simeon Sly­lites, quem post 40 dierum inediam ja­centem nec spiran­tem, nec loqui, nec se movere valen­tem invenit Bas. sus. Vid. Theodoret. in vit. Simeonis hi­stor. S. Patr. c. 26. Cyra & Marana (ait Idem) Mosis aemulatae jejuniū, ter tanto tempore inediam sustinuê­re. Verùm id quo fecerunt modo se­quentia ostendant. Quadraginta enim (ait) diebus exigui cibi fuere partici­pes. Ter quo (que) divini Danielis à cibo abstinentiam sunt aemulatae, tres dierum hebdo­madas conficientes, & cibum corpori suppeditantes. Vid. Theod. hist. Patr. c. 29. Pythag. etiam metu inimicorū specu le abscondentem, & per 40. dies [...] defecisse refert Dicaearchus ap. Diog. Laert. vit. Pythagor. p. 592. Macarii Alexandrini celeberrimum exemplum ap. Palladium Histor. Lausiac. f. 42. huc etiam refer. Histories bee true) was a miraculous fast, and more than humane. For though as to eat, so also to fast be proper to man with other crea­tures, bearing like flesh with us: yet to fast so long (if nature be sound) is onely from GOD above. GOD, Angels, and Spirits, as they cannot eat, so they cannot fast. Bodily living Creatures they onely can: Neither doe they all, but such as are of flesh and bloud, like us. For trees and plants, though they take in nou­rishment from the earth, yet are they not truly said either to eate or fast. Food as it is from earthly and corruptible substance, so it is to sustaine our earthly and corruptible body; which having the doome of death from Adams sinne, began then to die, and would so daily, were it not, as old houses are, upheld by conti­nuall food.

Palladius Lausiac. hist. Gr. à Meurs. in vit. Serap f. 105 106. [...]. S. Basil. O­rat. 1. de jejun. f. 327.Surely (as Serapion once wittily to the Athe­nians) our belly is of the three [...]: The severest Creditour, still exacting his debt: it else suffereth us not to live: It daily like the Horsleach, cryeth, Give, give. Yet neverthelesse to give it what it asketh, were to give it death in stead of life, because the con­cupiscence thereof ends in, and tends to death. GOD hath not nearer joyned the belly and those uncleane parts, than sinne hath joyned with it uncleannesse: therefore to fill the one is but to feed the other; and to pamper the body, is but to enliven and strengthen the body of sinne. He that throweth on the fire too much fuell, maketh the fire flame out, and sets the whole house on fire. Wisedome therefore wils, that the earthly body be still, as earth, kept under; that whilest we feed the flesh, we nourish not the lusts thereof; and providing for the weaknesse of the worse, we take not away the strength of the better part. Therefore howsoever Nature re­quire of us to eat, yet (as the Apostle hath it) wee must eat to Gods glory; 1 Cor. 10.31. and when wee fast with Daniel for our soules profit, we must, that we may fast aright, observe these five Cautions. The Scholemen lay them downe in a verse;Greg. Altisiod. sum Aurea. l. 3. Tract. 7. ca. 5. Quaest. 5. and so will I give them you.

Five cautions in our Fast. 1 Praeproperè, 2 lautè, 3 nimis, 4 ardenter, 5 studiosè.

I First, Not to eate over hastily: Therefore Daniel though he ate, hee did fast from eating till the evening: For this was alwayes the cu­stome [Page 211] of the Church of GOD. So did the Iewes the people of GOD of oldIudg. 1 Sam. 14.24. 2 Sam. 1.12.. And so no doubt did Daniel now.

So after them did the first and bestVide Act. 10.30. Hanc enim jeju­nandi rationem ab Hebraeis & veteri Ecclesiâ, unà cum Fide ipsâ, accepe­perunt primi illi & vetustissimi Christiani: Vnde passim apud Patres, Prandere pro non jejunare. Vid. Tertullian. de jejunio. S. Ambros. Hieronymo S. August. praesertim in Ep. 86. de jejun. Priscor. Io. Cassian. Col. 21. c. 23. Hinc dies Prandiorum S. Paulino Ep. 25. Dies illi, in quibus non jejunatur. Rogo vos fratres charissimi (suos alloquitur Caesa­rius Arelatenses Hom. 2. in Quadrages.) ut in isto legitimo ac sacratissimo tempore, ex­ceptis Dominicis diebus, nullus prandere praesumat; nisi, &c. Inde ritè jejunantes ves­pere comedere, nec ante vesperam comedere feruntur. Statuerat (scil. Marcianus) ve­spere comedere quotidie, &c. ait Theodor. Hist. [...]. vit. Marciani. Nescio (ait de se Avitus ad Marcian.) me unquam cibum sumpsisse ante resperam. Ibid. Idem de Ere­mitis & Religiosis in genere. S. Chrys. Hom. 55. in c. 18. S. Mat. [...]. Hunc jejunandi legitimum modum poenitentibus in jungit, Circa An. 630. Concil. Triburiens. c. 5. Vid. etiam. Turonic. 2. Can. 18. Christians even for eight hundred yeeres after our Saviours time and upwards; they all in their fasts abstai­ning from their dinners.

And thus it is still from that ancient Chri­stian use, with all otherDe Aethiopibus & Abassynis idem docent Godign. de Abassynor. Rebus lib. 1 c. 19. p. 123. & li. 1. c. 35. p. 218. & Damian. à Goer. p. 458. & de Musco­vitis Theolog. Mu­scovit. c. 10. p. 98. & Lasicius Polo­nus ibid. cap. 10. p. 103. Vid. ibid. Ioh. Fabrum Ep. pag. 179. Narration. ad D. Chytraeum pag. 241. Et Alexan. Guagnin. pag. 265. 266. Christians of the world; even with theIdem observant in jejuniis Turcae, vid. Alcoran. c. 2. Turkes themselves also, and all Mahumetans: Neither (as I take it) is it otherwise with us; For the evening fasts before the Feasts are no rule of these Fasts now; they being of old appointed then to abstaine from their supper, that the body being the lighter, might the better attend, and watch in their suc­ceeding Vigils.

The second Rule is Lautè; Though then to 2 eat, yet to abstaine from delicate meats and [Page 212] drinkes. To content our selves with such that might nourish, though they did not cherish. Such was Daniels fare,Dan. 1.16. Chap. 1.16. as also in this place. But of this more fully hereafter.

The third is Nimis: Though to eat, yet to 3 be carefull that we eat not too much. For thus even meat that should preserve the body, and make it able to serve the soule, doth, whilest too much is taken in, destroy both body and soule; as too much water to a ship, drowning that which it would else sustaine. It is our SA­VIOURS Caveat, as in our eating at all other times,Luke 21.34. so much more in our fasting now, That we be not overcome with surfetting and drunken­nesse. 1 Tim. 5.23. And Timothie, though for his many and often infirmities he must use wine, yet by the A­postles prescript, it must be but a little.

4 Fourthly, Ardenter: Though to eat, yet not too earnestly, not too greedily. For the end of our fasting being to subdue our desires, the end is not obtained, when wee give such heed to our unruly appetites.Socrates hist. lib. 4. c. 23. Gr. [...], &c. Vid. Clem. A­lexand. Paedag. l. 2. c. 1. f. 102. B. Prov. 23.2. Pior's example in Socrates is worthy our imitation to make our eating not [...], but [...]: And that precept of Salomon to be observed at our owne, which he gives of great mens tables: When thou sittest with a great man, put thy knife to thy throat; that is, eat not too greedily.

5 The last is, Studiosè: Yet not to be curious and exquisite in our diet; not to send farre and nigh, over sea and land, to please our palate, and content our taste; nor to have our meat when [Page 213] we fast, cook't with a thousand varieties. Let us remember, that all this care perisheth with the belly, and doth but through the belly helpe to fill up the draught.

That Hebrew Proverbe is true, [...] Michael. Neand. Testam. vet. Heb. p. 343. Et Ioan. Drus. lib. 1. Apophtheg. p. 11. Hee that multiplieth flesh, doth but multiply wormes: And thereforeEucherius Lug­dun. Epist. Parae­net. f. 382. Eucherius Caveat is good. Poscit studia majora pars melior; The greater care would be bestowed upon the better part. Daniel did so, and so must we, if we fast aright. And though in our eating it is our duty to provide that the body may live, yet in our fasting it must be our care, that the Body of sinne may die, and whilest nature is conserved by the one, the corruption of nature must be slaine, or at least suppressed, by the other.

And so we come to the second thing in these words: (I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh or wine in my mouth; II. Proposition. nor did I anoint my selfe at all, &c.) Namely, That Daniels thus abstaining from flesh and wine, was a true and perfect Fast.

I cannot stand upon every word apart, nei­ther indeed need I: The use of anointing our bodies being now ceased, I may forbeare to trouble you therewith. The other words being the proper and immediate subject of the fast, are onely now to be insisted on.

And first, What is meant by this tearme of Pleasant bread, since Expositors vary in it. Epi­phanius reads it, as if he ate [...]. Vid. S. Epiphan. de vit. Prophet. in vit. Daniel. ex MS. co­dice Augustano. no bread at all. Hee [Page 214] lived (saith Dorotheus) only of the Iejuniis se & ab­stinentiâ ab omni delicato cibo im­becillem reddidit, terrae fructibus ve­scens. Dorotheus de vit. Prophet. cap. de Daniele. S. Chrysost. Tom. 1. Homiliar. ad pop. Antioch. Adversus Iudaeos 2. S. Hieronymus in locum. fruits of the earth: of which also bread is the chiefe. Saint Chrysostome by pleasant bread understands unlea­vened: and thinkes that Daniel used leavened. Saint Hierome understands it of all delicate and pleasant meats; as doe also Tremellius, thus rea­ding it; Cibum rerum desyderabilium non come­deram. And not amisse, seeing under the name of bread, all kinde of sustenance is comprised. Howsoever Theodoret well observes, that Bread being the staffe of mans life, might not bee o­mitted, although in their fasting they used a coarser kinde. This no wayQuod reprehen­dit Clemens Alex. [...]. Vid. Clem. Alex. Paedag. l. 2 c. 1. f. 103. c. effeminated for pleasure or delight, (as Clemens speaks) was oft­times made ofDe Iuliano Saba Theodoretus. Cibus erat ci panis ordeaceus, isque furfuraceus. Obsenium. a. falis. Vid. eundem in hist. S. PP. in vit. Iuliani. Nam in quinis istis diebus jejunii (ut Cassianus loquitur) Panis tantum, uti caeteris pleris (que) S. Patribus, ita Iuliano cibus quotidianus erat: aliis insuper Die Dominico & Sabbato (qui refectionis erant) pro arbitrio ab iis adjectis additís (que), modo quòd dicturi mox sumus, Canonicis (uti nuncuparunt) cibariis contenti, à car­nibus & sanguine se abstinerent. De optimo (uti & vulgari) cibi quotidiani modo ap. Ioan. Cassian. Coll. 2. c 19. sic Abbas Moyses: super hâc re(inquit)inter majores nostros frequenter novimus habitum fuisse tractatum. Nam discutientes continentias diverso­rum, qui vel solis leguminibus, vel oleribus tantùm, vel pomis vitam jugiter exigebant, praeposudre cunctis illis refectionem solius panis, cujus aequissimum modum in duobus Paximaciis statuerunt, quos parvulos panes vix librae unius pondus habere certissimum est. De Moyse Aethiope: [...]. Pallad. de eod. p. 59. Hanc in duobus paximaciis, Canonicam mensuram appel­lat Io. Cassian. Collat. 2. c. 26. Quam ne transgrederentur aut excederent sui, cavebat se­dulo Publius: Aiunt autem eum (ait Theodorus) quo (que) accedentem ad trutinam, Panis mensuram diligentèr perpendisse, & si quando invenisset plus quàm esset definitum, ae­grè tulisle & eos qui hoc faciebant Helluones appellâsse. Vid. Theod. in vit. Publii. Barley not sierced, or sifted from the Bran. Similem enim Diaetam in jejuniis observant hodierni Caloieri. Nobis (ait Bellon. eorundem apparatum describens) praeterea apposuit olivas nigras conditas, quas Der­matias appellant, atrum Panē biscoctum, at (que) vinum. Biscocto pane utuntur Caloieri, nè saepiùs Clibanum calefacere cogantur. Vid. P. Bellon. observat. l. 1. c. 48. ubi veteris situs ignarus, Biscocti Panis haud veram ariolatus est causam. Black therefore, and so not pleasant [Page 215] to the Eye. [...] ap­pellant Socrat. hist. Eccles. l. 4. cap. 23. Grae. fol. 235. Et Palladius Lausiac. hist. ubi supra. & pag. 142. Dry also, even hard, even Biscoct bread, ( [...] vo­cat Palladius Hist. Lausiac. fol. 72. in vit. Pauli [...]. Itidem [...] f. 165. Ioan. Cassianus saepissimè Paximacia. Paximacia they called them) and therefore not pleasant to the taste: which as the Christians of Greece at this day, so the Hebrewes and first Christians of old, eating onely withSal Essenis seu Essaeis, cum aridis illis eorum panibus in usu olim. [...], &c. Philo de vitâ contempl. f. 692. B. Similitèr Christianis illis per Eremum se exercentibus, uti & aliis fere ubique jeju­nantibus, praesertim sex illis diebus magnae septimanae. Vid. S. Epipha adv Haeres. lib. 3. tom. 1. haeres. 75. Aeriorum c. 6. Et Theodoret. Hist. S. PP. ubi supra. Inde ab ari­dorum & salis usu perpetuo Xerophagiorum nomen. Notandum autem eos aquâ ab­stinuisse omninò, qui herbis, seu humidioribus quibusvis ejusmodi vescebantur. De Marosa B. Theodoretus. Toto autem (ait) hoc tempore, aquam potare non passus est: non illa comedens, quae iis exhibentur, qui ad non bibendum se exercent; solent e­nim illi uti cibis humidioribus: sed iis utens cibis, quibus alii (scil.) Xerophagiis illis Paximaciorum & salis, &c. Vid. B. Theodor. Histor. S. Patrum, in vit. Eusebii. De Panis & salis usu cum aquâ, in jejuniis tum vulgò observatis Quadragesimalibus, tum Poe­nitentiae nomine impositis, Vide Concil. Triburiens. cap. 8. & cap. 55. water and salt, they gave therefore the name of Xerophagia thereunto.

Howsoever, they did all abstaine from flesh and wine, the perpetuall rule of their fast: not at all, as did theCibos ejusmodi aversabantur Taci­anus, Encratitae, Manichaeus, Iovi­nianus & Priscillianus. Vid. S. Epiph. Haeres. 47. & 56. Theod. Divin. Dogm. lib & Hae­retic. fabular. l. 1. S. Aug. Haeres. 46. & cont. Faust. Manich. l. 6 c. 6. Gennad. Massiliens. De Dogm. Eccles. c. 67. Hinc ne quis jejunantiū cum Haereticis abstineret á cibis istis, tanquam immundis, Conciliis cautum est, ut aliquando eisdem uterentur. Vid. Concil. Gangrens. Can. 2. & Concil. Braccarens. 1. c. 14. & Can. Apost. 52. Cessent lavacra, vi­na, vel carnes, non quòd creaturam Dei judicemus esse damnandam, sed qui toto anno nobis viximus, saltem vel paucos dies vivamus Domino. S. Aug. ser. 65. de temp. Servi Dei in eo quod à carnibus, & vino abstinent, non tanquam res immundas effugiunt, sed mundioris vitae instituta sectantur. S. Aug. de fid. ad Petr. Diacon. c. 3. ad fin. s. 51. L. M: tom. 3. & ibid. c. 42. Firmissimè tene, & nullatenus dubites omnem creaturam Dei bo­nam esse, & nihil rejiciendum, quod cum gratiarum actione percipitur: Et Dei servos, qui à carnibus & vino abstinent, non tanquam immunda quae à Deo facta sunt, respuc­re, sed à fortiori cibo & potu pro solâ castigatione corporis abstinere. Similiter Genna­dius Massil. l. de Eccl Dogm. c. 66. (qui etiam habetur inter D. Augustini opera) Bonum est cibum cum gratiarum actione sumere, & quicquid Deus praecepit edendum. Absti­nere autem ab aliquibus, non quasi malis, sed quasi non necessariis, non est malum. Mo­derari verò eorum usum pro necessitate & tempore, propriè Christianorum est. Manichees, Encratites, and o­ther [Page 216] Heretickes execrating and forbidding their use, as unlawfull: whom the Apostle con­demnes, 1 Tim. 4.3. or as the Pythagoreans and Bramans, of old and at this day, for some other reason: But onely abstaining for a time, that thereby forbearing their pleasures, and hum­bling themselves, they might both expresse and increase their godly sorrow for sinne, and their re­pentance not to be repented of.

[...]. Iosephus lib. 10. Antiquit. cap. 10. Iosephus reports, that Daniel did abstaine from all things that had life: and indeed true it is; this is the meaning of this place. Whether that be true also (which Iosephus reports) that he did so alwayes; as Chap. 1.16. seemeth to be implied, I will not affirme. That he now did so in this fast, there is no question to be made, it having beene the constant practice of all for­mer and latter times. They thought they had good Reason for it.

Reasons of Fasting thus.First, That they might by this meanes shew mercy to the inferiour creature: I may call it (I hope without offence) our fellow-creature, and so under that precept of our SAVIOUR, Matth. 18.33. Our fellow-creature I call it, be­cause of that neare similitude and likenesse they have with us: for the two extremes of living creatures being propounded, Man on the one side, and Plants on the other, plaine it is, the bruit Beasts hold a middle place: comming nearest to us, not onely in life, but also in sense and motion, having fleshly bodies, as have wee. There is one flesh of men, (saith the Apostle) ano­ther flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of [Page 217] birds, 1 Cor. 15.39.1 Cor. 15.39. So they are as we, flesh all. They live upon the same earth,Humani generis u­niversitatem scrip­tura sub carnis no­mine designat. S. Hillarius in Psal. 64. f. 411. Man especially af­ter sinne and the Fall called Flesh, Vid. Gen. 6. v. Et 7.21. Iob 34.15. Psal. 56.5. Et 65.2. & Esai. 40.5, 6. Ecclus. 28.5. Vide Mat. 24.22. Luke 3.6. Rom. 3.20. Gal. 2.16. breathe the same common aire: and for the most part these we feed on, live nearest to us, are (as it were) of our care and family, and in a manner converse with us, being otherwise in all necessity of life, most helpefull and serviceable to us. Even [...]. S. Basil. Hom. 9 in Hexamer. fo. 117. Vide ejusdem Hom. 8. ubi plurima de Animalium solertiâ virtutibusque. Bruta ratione uti, multi voluêre. Vid. Ethnic. Plutarch. de placit. Philosoph. Item lib. Quod Bruta ratione utantur. Item utra animalia sint prudentiora terrestriáne, an aquatica. Et apud Porphyr. lib. 2. [...]. Aristoteles impropriè virtutum appellationem brutis tribui docens. lib. 6. Ethic. cap. ult. Et lib. 7 cap. 6. [...] appellat. Et lib. 8. hist. Animal. ad initium, [...] appellat. Plato & Philoponus [...] nominant. Vid. Francisc. Vallesium de sacr. Philosoph. cap. 55. p. 316. &c. Francisc. Patritium Pampsych, lib. 5. f. 58. Et Iacob. de Lago Annotat. in eundem: qui Brutis [...] tribuit. Vide etiam Ioan. Bodin. Comment. in Oppian. p. 53. &c. Et Laurent. Vallam Lib. de Anim. Vid etiam Philostrat. de vit Apollon. l. 3. c. 3. f. 115. Clementi Alexand. idem tribuit Turnerus de linguis. p. 247. Vid. Coelium Rho­digin. Antiqu. Lect. l. 29. c. 14 f 1358. some speciall learned men, and those Christians too, goe farther yet. These have (say they) if not a weaker use of reason, yet [...], something most like unto it. Howsoever, wee may safely say: they are, as capable of sense, so of mercy also. For the good man (saith Salomon) is merci­full to his beast. And fit they thought it at this time, when wee beg mercy of GOD above us, that wee should now at least shew mercy to the creature below and beneath us.

A second was, that being exercised, hereby 2 we may the better extend our mercy to one ano­ther. There is, as in other vertues and vices, a progresse also in Mercy, and in the opposite, [Page 218] Cruelty.Notat Cle. Alex. Pythagoram suam in [...] mā ­suetudinem à lege didicisse; Quae (ait ille) [...]. Hinc illud Deu. 14. v. 21. Et Exod. 23. v. 10. &c. 24. v. 26. Non coques haedum in lacte matris suae. Et, Ne alligetur os bovi trituranti. [...] (ait ille) [...], &c. Vid. Clem. Alexandr. Strom lib. 2. p. 292. 293. This experience shewes. For as by the killing of beasts, Cain at first (say the Fa­thers) and others since grow more hardened, to let out the bloud of their brethren: So by the pity and mercy shewed to beasts, and such like creatures, men both learne and practise the bet­ter, mercy and pity one to another.

3 A third may be, that herein we doe but give a rest and Sabbath, Egregius locus ē S. Basilij Hom. 1. De Iejun. ubi ejus commoda recen­set v. h. [...]. making a kind of compensation to the Creatures. For they living with us are for the most part instruments of our actions; and dying for us and our use, are as often subject matter of our excesse. And therefore just it is, that as they having sense more then other, are most truly sayd to mourne when we sin, Rom. 8. So when we mourne for our sinnes, just it were, they should be, as dispensed with, so spared alto­gether from our mourning.

4 But these reasons are drawen from the Crea­ture: There is another, and the maine reason drawne from our selves; and that is more pro­per for the text; namely, our humiliation; our de­nying our selves, and our owne pleasures: Our [Page 219] making our selves to mourne. Meates of flesh are meates of pleasure; are delicate, Vtantur igitur, qui utuntur carne, tan­tùm oleribus non ad distentionem, nec ad arvinā cor­poris, quam epulae carnis facere con­sueverant, &c. S. Ambros. l. de Noah & Arcâ c. 25. pleasant meates. [...]: So the Text calls them. They are as most similar, and neare our nature, so the most nourishing. Such are not fit for this time: nay most unfit. Now wee are, or should be (as holy Daniel here) mourning: that is, humbling our selves and making our selves to mourne.

Another reason is, that these kinde of meates 5 especially such as be dainty and delicate, are not cibus parabilis, not easily got together: Much la­bour, trouble, toyle, and time, spent in provi­ding, preparing, dressing, and cooking them: Many mens care, and study about them: All which, were not these, might otherwise be spent upon better dutyes.

Nor is such kinde of meate, Vilis: fit for 6 Vile and miserable Sinners; such as we (now espe­cially) confesse our selves truly to bee: Of the meanest and worst: Such indeed good enough for us. That other would beseeme our betters; even the best of men that ever were. Besides,Quod ventri sub­trahis, tribuc esu­rienti. Exaequet omnia justus Dei timor: Duas inter se contrarias affe­ctiones, tuam videl. Satietatem & fra­tris famem mode­stâ continentiâ tē ­pera at (que) moderare S. Greg. Nyssem Hom. 1. de paup. Amand. f. 971. they are more costly and chargeable in them­selves, more money must bee spent upon them: some of which might serve to feede more, and more hungry bellies then are our owne; and might (so expended) comfort the poore, whose meane diet is a continuall fast. Surely, Almes, and workes of mercy are necessary attendants to our Fast, being to it as the Oyle is to the Lampe.

And therefore it is no lesse part of Daniels counsell to Nebuchadnezzar (Chap. 4.24.Sed jejunia nostra ut plena sint & suf­farta; misericordiae pinguedine sagi­nentur demus esu­rientibus prandiū nostrum, nec putes jejunia sola suffi­cere ad sananda vulnera peccatorū: in medicamento Elcemosynae recre­entur. Iejunium ergò tuum te casti­get, sed laetificet al­terum, &c. Sic je­juna, ut in alio manducante pran­disse te gaudeas. Hi­larem enim dato­rem diligit Deus. Nam manducante paupere de bonis tuis prandet Chri­stus, qui se in pau­pere esurire testa­tur. S. Augu. Ser. 65. de Tempore. Invenimus. n. in quodam libello ab Apostolis dictum; Beatus est, qui je­junat pro eo, ut alat pauperem. S. Cyril. Alexand. in Levit. lib. 10. f. 731. Praecipimus vobis quartis & sextis ferijs jejunare; & quae ex jejunijs vobis redundant, egentibus largiri. Clem. Rom. Constit. Apost. lib. 5. c. 19.) to breake off his sinnes by righteousnesse, and his ini­quities by shewing mercy to the poore, yea this is the fast that God hath chosen, Esa. 58. to loose the bands of wickednes, to undoe the heavy burdens: to deale thy bread to the hungry: to cover the naked, and not to hide thy selfe from thine owne flesh. If thou beest lesse sensible of their (the Poores) need and hunger, &c. punish thy selfe (thus) by fasting, and this will make thee more sensible of their wants; more willing to relieve them. Againe, if thou beest lesse able to relieve them, spare from thy diet; cut off a dish from thy fare; refraine from thy more dainty and costly cates, and this will make thee more able to give. Thy (thus) fasting, will augment thine Almes; thine Almes againe will give life and strength to thy Fasting: and both will together make thy Pray­ers most powerfull, most gratefull and gracious in the sight of thy heavenly Father: yea of CHRIST thy head; who thus by thine almes, through thy fasting is fed and fostered in His poore members.

I know there are other respects and reasons in Policy, namely to absteine from these for this 7 time; for the better encrease of Cattell, a more plentifull breed of the Creature.

As also for the encrease of ships, for the defence 8 and service of the Land.

Together with the training up of Marriners and 9 Seamen.

For the better supply of food. 10

For the encrease of Trade; the enriching of our 11 Land and Countrey.

For the imployment of many poore abroad at 12 Sea, which want it, and their meanes at home.

And lastly (which is not the least) for the 13 inuring our bodies to that food (I meane fish) which GOD hath abundantly spread about our Land; even at our own doores, as He did Manna about the Israelites Tents. I may say it is ingra­titude to GOD, dishonour and shame to our Nation, whilst many starve at home, to suffer other Nations to carry our food from us.

I might (I say) adde these and many more like: but these reasons being (most what) Politi­call inducements, rather then morall and Theo­logicall arguments, I therefore forbeare to urge: it is enough to name them.

Onely let me say thus much, the more reasons we have, the more are we bound to this fast: If we have Reason both from Policy and nature as Men; from Religion and Grace as Christian men, then are we the stronglyer tyed. A threefold cord is not easily broken: And where all lawes bind, there must needs be the stronger tye.

Yet I will adde one reason more;The custome of the Church thus to Fast. even the Apostles, 1 Cor. 11.16. Habemus talem consuetu­dinem. Thus to fast hath beene the perpetuall [Page 222] Custome of the Church, in all ages.

1 Before the floud, there can bee no que­stion: It being the most received opinion of the best Divines,Vid. Gen. 1.29. Gen. 9.2, 3, 4. Gen. 9.20.21. that they ate no flesh before the Grant, [...], v. S. Chrys. in locū. S. Hieronym. adv. Iovinian. li. 1. c. 10. Et adv. Eundem lib. 2. c. 10. S. Basil. De Iejun. Hom. 1. Tertullian. de Iejun. c. 4. Theodor. in Genes. Qu. 55. Isidor. Hispalens. De offic. Eccles. lib. 1. c. ult. Scil. 46. Ex illo Rom. 14. v. 21. Bonum nec comedere carnem, nec vinum bibere. Abstinentiam illam veterum Patrum ante Diluvium infert, à Christo jam restitutam, & retractam (ut ille loquitur) jam sub Gratiâ Christianis. Hujus à carnibus abstinentiae sub veteri mundo Patrum, & Ethnici aliqualem habuêre in suis notitiam. Dicaearchus. n. (referente D. Hieronymo lib. 2. adv. Iovinian. c. 9.) in libris Antiquitatum, & Descriptione Graeciae refert, sub Saturno, id est, in aureo saeculo cum omnia humus funderet, nullum comedisse carnes, sed universos vixisse frugibus & pomis, quae sponte terea gignebat. Huc refer, quae habet Suidas in voce Herodotus, è Iuliani Apostatae Epistola quadam; qua testis est; Orbem tunc peragrantes, nec piscivoras, nec carnivoras ullibi reperisse gentes, Aethiopas verò placentam [...], rejicientes. Gen. 9. verse 2. & 3. As also that they dranke no wine till Noah's drunkennesse, unwittingly overtaken with the strange plea­santnesse of the vine he had newly planted, Gen. 9.20, 21.

2 After the floud, and under the Law amongst the Hebrewes in the Church of GOD this ab­stinence was alwayes in use. Some, and those the strictest, as theDe Essenorum perpetuâ à carni­bus & vino absti­nentiâ. Vid. S. Hie­ronym. adv. Iovi­nian. lib. 2. c. 9. Qui Iosephum hanc in rem laudat. lib. 18. Antiquitat. Et lib. 2. Hist. Captiv. Iudaic. Et contr. Apionem. Et Porphyr. [...] lib. 4. Qui similiter Iosephi à Hieronymo laudatos libros, & verba allegat. [...] (illis de quibus Philo) [...], &c. Vid. Philon. lib. De vit contemplat. f. 696. D. E. 697. D. Vid. Eundem ibid. f. 691. G. Essai, or Esseni in latter time, and (as Iosephus, &c. thinke) Daniel now, wholly absteyning from these all their life long; as did the rest of the Iewes also at such time as they [Page 223] fasted:Iudaei jejunantes, à Carne & vino se continent. ut Ioan. Baptist. Gramay Calend. Iudaic. mense Temur. f. 187. Et Ioan. Buxtorf. de Synagog. Iudaeor. Cap. 25. ubi de Eorum jejunijs. A primo (ait) Iulij (quo templum à Babylonijs incensum) ad diem decimum carnibus non vescuntur ullis, vinum non bibunt ullum, lavare se aut balneum introire non audent, &c. Idem faciunt Iudaei perpetuò, in luctu. Vid. Notas in Sanhe­drim Cap. 6. v. 16. Ioan. Coch. p. 51. Observed by them even unto this day: as truly from them was practized amongst the stricterEthnici etiam (uti semper Dei simia est malus ille & impurus spiritus) à Dei po­pulo hanc eandem à Carne & vino abstinentiam admiserunt. Sic Aegyptij Sacerdotes test. S. Hieronym. adv. Iovin. lib. 2. c. 9. Et Porphy. [...], lib. 4. p. 360. & 365. Persarum magi. S. Hieronym. Ibid. Et Porphyr. [...], lib. eod. 4. p. 399. &c. Vter (que) ex eodem Eubulo, Mithrae Historiae Scriptore, qui quidem Hierony­mo Eubulus, Porphyrio Symbulus dr. Similiter (ijsdem auctoribus) Cretenses, & apud eos potissimùm Iovis Prophetae: Indi, & apud eos Brachmanes: Etiam Syri, Lacedae­monij, Cyprij, Phoenices, Athenienses, &c. quorum instituta (hac in re) urgent S. Hieronym. lib. 2. adv. Iovinian. c. 9. & Porphyrius Ibid. lib. 4. ferè per totum. Vid. Clement. Alexandrin. Strom. 7. f. 515, 516. Heathen and Gentiles of old.

3 After CHRISTS comming amongst Christians there is no doubt to be made:Abstinete hijs diebus vino & car­ne, &c. V. Clemen. Roman. Constit. li. 5. c. 17. At (que) id [...]. Can. Apo. 50. [...], &c. S. Cyrill. Hieros. Catech. 4. f. 93. Ideò S. Ignatius jejunij leges indicans. [...]. V. Epist. ad Hieron. Diac. Vid. Cyril. Alexand. contr. Iulian. lib. 7. p. 167. &c. Et S. Epiphan. [...] cap. 23. Eusebium Hist. lib. 5. c. 1. & alibi. Pallad. in Prooemio Lausiac. Hist. a Meursio. Quin idem passim testantur, S. Cyprianus, Ambrosius, Augustinus, Hierony­mus, Hilarius, Tertullianus, Origines, & veteres omnes. Huc refer Concil. Gerundens. Can. 3. Vid. etiam (Circa Annum Dom. 630.) Concil. Triburiens. ca. 5. & 56. & 58. Et Concil. Toletan. 4. c. 10. & 8. cap. 9. &c. Solennis hic abstinendi mos, Graecis, Armenis, &c. Orientalibus: unde Quadragesimale tempus illis [...], uti Latinis, Curnisprivium dicitur. many Councills, Fathers, Histories, are abundant wit­nesses in this kind: some wholly absteining from flesh and wine and all desireable meates all their life time: As did anciently (more generally) all [Page 224] theirDe sui temporis Eremitis, quorum & histo. scripserit, sic Theodor. Orat. De Caritat. [...], &c. Et mox de ijsdem loquutus, [...]. Eorum qui velit Exempla passim legat apud Theodore­tum, Palladium, Euagrium, alios (que). [...], and many others of theSimile institutum cum Eremi illis cultoribus, Montanis (que) (uti Chrysostom. non­nunquam eos in Atho monte [...]) observârunt alij nonnulli in saeculo degen­tes: Quos inter S. Basilius, qui ad Iulianum [...] rescribens. Epist. 208, & 209. [...] (inquit) [...]. Notentur verba, quibus ad haec explicanda nullus credo, extat apud veteres omnes locus uberior. Hujusmodi a. abstinentes voluit Ancyrana Synodus, quò à Manichaeis alijs (que) Haereticis dignoscerentur, vel aliquandò carnes degustare ( [...].) Loquitur a. de Clericis. [...] (ait) [...], &c. V. Can. 13. Concil. Ancyran. Huc refer Concil. Bracarens. prim. (circa Ann. Dom. 563). Can. 14. Clergy: herein imitating the stricter Esseni, Quin de eisdem intelligendus est Tertullianus lib. de Cultu foeminarum. cap. 9. Quidam (inquit) ipsam Dei Creaturam sibi interdicunt, abstinentes vino, & animali­bus exulantes, quorum fructus nulli periculo aut sollicitudini adiacent, sed humilitatem animae suae in victus quo (que) castigatione Deo immolant. Animalibus exulare elegan­ter, suomore dicit, quia perpetuò abijs abstinebant, non quod illicita arbitrari sint aut (ut ipse se exponit) eorum fructus periculo adiacent, sed in Humilitatis & [...] testimonium. Pulchrè & fusiùs haec explicat Palladius Lausiac. Hist. Prooemio; quod cùm in Herveti deficiat editione, Meursiana Graeca supplevit: Quam vide. All others doing the like in every of their fasts: as even to this day they continue (not to speake of the We­sterne Christians) among theDe Graecis hodiernis à Carne abstinentibus Vid. Graecor. Typicum: Et Ritualia passim in Horolog. Triod. &c. Et praeter P. Bellonium alios (que) infra citatos, Martinum Crusium Turco-Graec. lib. 3. f. 273. De Muscovitis vid. Ioan. Fabrum. De Reli­gione Moscovit. ad Regem Ferdinand. p. 179. Theol. Mosc. & p. 182. Anonym. in Epistola de Russorum Religione ad D. Chytraeum. p. 241. Et Lazicij Apolog. cap. 10. p. 103. Theol. Mosc. Et Alexand. Guagnin. p. 265. De Aethiopibus, & Abassynis Vid. Damian. a Goes. p. 458. &c. Et Nicol. Godign. de Abassyn. lib. 1. cap. 19. pag. 123. Graecians, Georgians, Armenians, Russians, Aethiopians, and other Chri­stians through the whole world.

Surely in all their fasts they thus used to ab­stein from flesh, &c. Whether 1 only as a meanes of their greater humiliation, Humble Confessiō, and Repentance; to bridle and represse the body of sin. Or 2 as a meanes the better toInde [...] se je junijs, &c. dicebant veteres. Clem. Alexandrin. Paedag. l. 2. c. 2. [...] (ait) [...]. Marinus etiam in Proclo, [...] memo­rat, pag. 177. purge and prepare themselves to Prayer and the like works of Piety and Devotion. Or 3 the more to exer­cise those Christian vertues, viz. Puniendae simul gulae, & exercendae continentiae causâ; ut illa damnaretur, ista erudiretur, Tertul. de Iejun. c. 5. Temperance, Sobriety, Chastity, Abstinence, and mercy also unto others. 4 whether they judged such kind of meates, &c. though lawfull, yet [...], &c. Clem. Alexandr. Paedag. lib. 2. f. 107. B. Nobilis inprimis est locus ille S. Cyrilli Alexandr. adv. Iulianum. lib. 7. f. 169 Rejectancus quidem (ait) apud ipsos nullus cibus fuit: abstinuerunt a. à nonnullis, ut dixi, mentis ad deteriora propensionem remorantes, & carnis lasciviam compescentes, ita ut & mentis oculum magis subtilem haberent, quo fide contemplari certiùs possent, quid inculpati habeat, & à sacris legibus non abludat. lesse agreeable to nature, more offensive to the braine; lesse sui­table to a civill and religious life. Or 5 whether they did it also in reference to the Incarnation of our Blessed Lord, The Word made flesh; now slaine, and crucified for us and our sins. Whe­ther for these, or any other, most certainly thus they alwayes fasted; as not willing when they mourned for their sins, any flesh should mourne or suffer but their own.

But here we must needs both move and solve a Doubt, which may perchance trouble some: namely; If fasting wee must absteine from flesh and living Creatures; why must wee not [Page 226] abstaine from Fishes also, that hath both life and flesh? 1 Cor. 15.36.

To which I answere. That the Church is in this an indulgent Mother: for seeing that the multitude of mankinde could not by other meanes bee sufficiently provided for: as also because of many moe tender weake and sicke amongst them, shee first did permit the use of fish to some, which since perchance (as matters of favour usually doe) hath growne more common. This is plaine by sundry examples of old, as also by the moderne practice of theGraeci & Orien­tales omnes ubi jejunant, à Piscibus abstinent, iis prae­sertim, qui sangui­nem habent: ne (que) hos cuivis nisi in­firmanti aut aegro­tanti permittunt in Monasteriis Ca­loieri, [...] & olim Palla­dio appellati. Vid. eund. in vit. Macarii Alexand. Edit. Gr. Io. Meurs. p. 40. Hiis etiam similiter indulgebant [...], scil. intestina, pedes, &c. aliásque extimas animantium partes: unde for­san de Armenis Septemcastrens. Append. f. 58. quod in diebus Veneris comedunt car­nes: cùm tamen in festis horum vel omnium & reliquis est facta potestas. De Taben­nesiotis in Thebaide Aegypti Porcos nutrientibus, carnesque eorum Blemmydum genti vicinae vendentibus: [...] (ait Palladius.) Et mox, [...]. Vid. Pallad. Lausiac. hist. Gr. Meurs. p. 92. De Piscibus autem, eorúmque solùm in festis usu: sic alibi in vit. Candidae. [...] (in­quit) [...]. Egregius prae caeteris locus est, quem vide ap. Pallad. hist. p. 142. Quod [...] meminit, eo innuit nomine Pisces omnes, queis sanguis inest: à qui­bus jejunantes Graeci in solidum abstinent. Isti Caloieri (ait P. Bellonius) Quadra­gesimarum suarum tempore piscibus sanguine praeditis non vescuntur: itaque herbis, alioque hujusmodi modico apparatu uti necesse est, &c. Et mox, Ea (inquit) vivendi ratio non modò apud Caloieros locum obtinet, aut apud Sacerdotes, aliósve sacris initiatos in Graecanicâ Ecclesiâ; sed etiam apud plebem, quae mortis etiam poenā propositâ, Quadragesimae ipsorum tempore Piscibus sanguine praeditis, aut aliâ re pingui vesci nolit. Vid. P. Bellon. Observat. l. 1. c. 48. Et l. 2. c. 8. p. 197. Consule Ana­stasium Caesarea, scil. Palestinae Episcopum, ad fin. Typic. Graecor. f. [...]. qui de hiis agit pluribus, & ad Apostolicum illud. Act. 15.20. refert. Vid. etiam circa Ann. Dom. 630. Concil. Triburiens. c. 58. Grecians, De Ruthenis seu Moscovitis: qui cum jejunia persolvunt, nihil quod unquam vi­sum sit vitâ fungi, neque Pisces ipsos ederunt. Vid. Ioan. Fabrum De Religion. Mo­scovit. ad Ferdinand. Reg. Romanor. p. 179. Theol. Moscovit. Russians, and otherDe Aethiopibus & Abassynis. Vid. quae Nicolaus Godignus De Abassyn. Rebus l. 1. c. 19. p. 123. De Armenis. Vid. Append. de Christianis in fin. Septemcastrensis à Bibliandr. f. 58. Tom. 3. Easterne Chri­stians, who at this day in their Fasts abstaine from all flesh of fish: permitting it onely to those that are weake and sicke. Thus much Saint Gregorie told our English Austin above a thou­sand yeeres since, that the eating of fish is per­mitted to a Christian of indulgence; Caeterum Piscium esus ita Christiano relinquitur, ut hoc ei infirmitatis solacium, non luxuriae pariat incendium. Vid. Decretal. Part. 1. Distinct. 4. Cap. Denique. Vt hoc ei infirmitatis solacium, non luxuriae pariat incen­dium.

And indeed there is a maine difference be­twixt other beasts and them: For fishes are by nature more wilde, and (as Naturalists observe) untameable: [...], &c. Plutarch. Sympo­siac. lib. 8. Probl. 8. Non offerebantur pisces in sacrificiū, quia cùm in aquis vivant, magis sunt alieni ab homine quàm alia anima­lia, quae vivunt in aëre. Antoninus Sum. Theol. Part. 1. Tit. 14. c. 5. sect. 2. They live (as Plutarch rightly) in another world and element, no whit conversant with us, but most of all estranged from us: their bodies whilest they live, are most of all in bloud, life, and spirits unlike us: more undocible, and altogether unserviceable to us in any other use. As for their flesh, it hath little bloud and spirits, and therefore lesse warm'th and heat: It is more dissimilar, and differing from our nature, and therefore without the Art of Cookery lesse nourishing and pleasing to us. In a word, of all flesh it is least dainty and deli­cate, being waterish and flaccid, and therefore unpleasant in taste, lesse apt or able for nourish­ment: so that in our vulgar English wee doubt not to call it, no flesh; contradistinguishing it [Page 228] thereunto,Hinc jejunanti­bus olim Piscium esus permissus: sic circa Ann. Dom. 671. Concil. Tole­tan. 4. In quibus diebus (scil. Calend. Ianuar. jejunio itidem propter Gentium in iis superstitiones pluri­mas) etiam praeter Piscem & olus, sicut & in illis quadraginta diebus caeteris carnibus abstinetur, & à quibusdam etiam nec vinum bibitur. Vid. Concil. Toletan. 4. c. 2. Simili ratione & avium esus olim Orientalibus nonnullis in jejuniis frequentatus: ut ex Epi­phan. constat. [...]. c. 23. quod scilicet earum, cum piscibus par ferè habita, & aequalis ratio: Graecos tamen, qui nunc sunt, praesertim Caloires, ab avibus omnibus, si­cuti & piscibus abstinere, adeo testatur Bellonius, ut earum nomina apud eosdem prope­modum ignota nunc dierum, aut indistincta habeantur. as Cibus minimè desyderabilis: no pleasant meat: and therefore (not so fully) within the verge of my Text: I ate no pleasant bread.

And thus I hope you see this is no novell, or new practice brought in and left here by the Church of Rome: if wee have any thing from them, it is the mitigation and allaying of it. So that now wee have done with the second Proposition: viz. That as the Baptist (by our Sa­viours account) is said to have come neither ea­ting nor drinking, though he did both: So Da­niel's thus abstaining from flesh and wine, &c. though hee did eat other meats for necessity of nature, is in the Holy Ghosts esteeme reputed a true, perfect, and religious fast: And this also may satisfie the conceit of our late Novelists. There is as Iejunium natura, A Fast of nature, not to eat at all; So, Iejunium Ecclesiae, A Fast of the Church, not to eat such or such meats. This was Daniels fast: and such is ours now: we may be no lesse bold upon it, then was he: seeing we have the same Spirit of Truth to witnesse it to us, who doth approve it in him. I Daniel was mourning, &c. I ate no pleasant bread.

And so from the manner, 4 The continuance of this Fast. wee come to the last thing; The lasting Continuance and Durati­on of this Fast, vers. 2. (for three full weekes) and vers. 3. (till three whole weekes were fulfilled) namely,S. Chrysost. Tom. 1. Hom. 26. advers. Iudaeos 2. from the third (as S. Chrysostome notes) of the first moneth to the foure and twentieth.

It is thus continued at this time, and twice thus repeated; to note out a twofold mysterie.

1. The establishing the Christian fast at this time.

2. (And by it) The abolishing the Iewish Passeover.

1. He thus continued his fast to shew the a­bolishing the Iewish Passeover. For three full weeks in the first moneth (Exod. 12.) plainly take in the Iewes great Feast: This began from the tenth (inclusively) to the foureteenth; and thence was farther continued to the one and twentieth. Daniels fast (now) began before on the third, and ended after on the foure and twentieth. By these three full weekes thus fasted, shewing; that the Hebrewes Passeover (as Daniels seventy weekes) did but leade to, and end in, the death of the slaine Messias. He the true Passeover, be­cause not slaine for Himselfe, but for us, Dan. 9.26. and for our sinnes. He the true Paschall Lambe, which (as Isaac's Ram, Gen. 22.13.) should deliver us,Gen. 22.13. and that by his owne death: whose bloud sprin­kled on the doore posts of their hearts by faith, should deliuer not the Iewes onely, but all man­kinde: nor our bodies alone, but Soule and Bo­dy, from the Aegyptian both darknesse, Plagues, [Page 230] and thraldome of Hell, Sinne, and Satan.

2. But this, the abolishing of the Iewish Passe­over is not all; For this hee might well have done before. For, Reason would, that if they feasted and joyed for their deliverance out of Aegypt,Psal. 137.1. they should now (as they did Psal. 137.) fast for their thraldome in Babylon. And Gods command would, that if as the Law comman­ded, they were onely bound to observe the feast in their owne land; then not now in a strange land. Thus the Iewes driven out of Ca­naan, and now dispersed amongst us, are invi­ted with us to a solemne Fast; which because they will not observe, they have lost the joy of their feast CHRIST, and (as they now keepe it)Iudaei post ve­rum illum agnum Paschalem in Arâ Crucis ab iis immolatum, Terrâ Canaanitide, Templóque deturbati, Agno isto typico in Festivitate Paschatis à Mose praecepto, nusquam per orbem utuntur: Quin ejus in loco operosissimâ prolixâque admodum, etsi inani, tamen ineptiarum plenissimâ pompâ à nuperis Rabbinis confictâ, per duas integras noctes. Ritum celebrationis hujus Iu­daicae, in qua tamen Agnum ipsum praetermittunt. Vid. ap. Ioan. Buxdorf. Synagog. Iu­daic. c. 13. p. 326. 327, &c. p. 335. 336. The Lambe, the substance of their Passe­over.

This then is not all. Two things therefore here in Daniels fast. 1 That, at this time; 2 That, so long at this time; are especially to be ob­served.

1 First, That he did thus fast; upon the sight of the former vision: and therefore howsoever he did it before, yet now it is specially recorded; now it is onely mentioned;Chap. 9 3. now it is twice re­peated, to shew hee did it onely for this cause, (and wee to doe the like) for the death of the [Page 231] slaine Messiah. Thus he plainly foretells, and by his example prescribeth this our Christian Fast.

Secondly, as he did it at the time of the feast: 2 so hee then continueth this fast much longer than this Feast: hee began it the third, that is, full eight dayes before the feast; and ended it (if then he did) the foure and twentieth, that is, full three dayes after. Thereby (no doubt) to take in the very day of His death; of this most bloudy crucifying the Prince, the Messiah: plainly teaching all, who mean to have no hand in His death, to shew thus much by their sor­row for His death.

Therefore (which is observable) it is not onely twice repeated; but with a great Empha­sis: ( [...]) three full weekes: and till three ( [...]) whole weeks were fulfilled; to shew, that as his fast took in so much more time above the feast; so it was chiefly intended for a further end: viz. to take in the very time of his death, who being the true Passeover, was therefore the true end and com­plement of that feast.

And this I take to be one Reason amongst many others, of the Primitive and first institu­ting and so long continuing this Lenten Fast. For as Daniel, because of the Moones so great variation, on which the feast depended, (that falling sometime higher, sometime lower) did therefore lengthen his Fast, the better to take in the very day of His Crosse & suffering: so was, [Page 232] and it is much more necessary for us Christians (not now any longer keeping the foureteenth day of the first moneth,Hoc constat satis è sola Paschatis observandi ratio­ne, scil. inter vicesi­mum secundum mensis Martii & Aprilis 25. inclusi. Hoc enim dierum circulo Orientales Christiani Diei Paschatis observationem definierunt, ut apprimè ne­cessarium sit praeparatorium illud jejunium Quadragesimale anteriùs in Anni Caput excurrere. Vid. Graecor. [...]. ad initium Evangelist. Graec. with the Iewes) to keep our fast as long, nay now much longer for the same reason.

And now we see even this, that Daniels fast thus dipt in the bloud of Iesus, is that which ma­keth it so gracious, so lovely, so acceptable, as we see it is: that he fasted now at this time when he foresaw CHRIST should suffer: when the Messiah was to be slaine; Chap. 9.26. but [...] not for Him­selfe. No indeed, it was for Daniel; and all like him, of us, who can finde in our hearts to mourne for Him, whilest He suffers for us?

And sure, what great matter is this? Is it much, if we weepe whilest he bleedes? if we shed some few teares for Him, who shed so much bloud for us? So much Bloud, not to speake of Teares; In the Cradle: In the Garden: On the Crosse: By whipping: by scourging: by cruci­fying: by nailing: by piercing: From His hands: From His feet: From His head: From His side: From His whole body, of which no part was whole, but so broken, till even His heart bloud issued, and powred it selfe out like water. And all this so willingly; so readily; of His own accord; For us. I lay downe my life, saith Hee. What good nature can here hold in, and not shed [Page 233] teares for Him? Surely Daniel cannot. The sight melts him to water; turnes him to teares, his feast to fasting: he resolves now on nothing (all this time) but mourning.

And truly, what should he, or we doe else? What wife would not mourne for her Bride­groome? He is the Bridegroome. What friend or brother would not mourne for his friend? I have said (saith He, and speciall grace it is) you are my friends. What Disciple, servant, or follower, would not mourne for his Lord and Master? Ye are (saith he) my Disciples.

Who will not shed at least a teare for every one of these? Yet Hee, being all these in the highest kinde, is yet farre more then these: For Hee is our Father; And what childe will not mourne for his Father? He is both Abraham's GOD, and our Father. Before Abraham was (saith He) I am. Yea (saith Daniel) Hee is our Prince: even the Prince, the Messiah, Chap. 9.25, 26. And what subiect would not lament to see his Prince butchered and slaine before his eyes?

And truly for Him, so Good, so Great; yet suffering so shamefully, so painefully, so inno­cently, so undeservedly! though great cause to mourne for Him, with Him; Our Prince; The Messiah: Yet farre greater cause, (if greater may be) here and now, to mourne (in thus fasting) for our selves: Our owne sins. For in His being thus cut off, we may reade our very sentence, our owne doome, and death: All ours; yea in much more fearefull case, had not Hee beene ours: [Page 234] All, like to light most heavily on every one of us, had not He been slaine for us. In His death we may see the hideous, horrid foulnesse of our sins, which were able thus to fetch GOD from Heaven, and to crucifie Him here on earth.

If GOD so severely chastice His most belo­ved Sonne, what shall bee done to His unworthy servants? In His bloud, as with most capitall red letters, not onely Gods most infinite loving mercy is recorded, thus even to give His Son for us; but also His most severely revenging justice, whilest he thus gave him to death, a bitter, cruell, and cursed death. If GOD so strictly punish His most obedient Sonne, onely made sinne for us; how shall he torment all Rebellious sinners?

There is no Christian but abhorres the me­mory of Iudas, Pilate, the Iewes and Pharisees, that crucified the Lord of Glory. For this the Iewes are hatefull not onely to Christians, but even to the Turkes, and Mahumetans at this day. The ancient Christians using to salute one ano­ther with aSic & Die Pas­chae, quo cōmunis & quasi publica je­junij religio est, meritò deponimus osculum, quod cum omnibus faciamus. Tertul. De Orat. cap. ult. kisse of Peace, at their daily Prayers, did on Good Friday, the day of His Passion omit it, as detesting then the Hypocrisie and treachery of Iudas, no way willing, though but in this to communicate with that wicked Traytor.Inde mos iste ho­diernus apud Aethi­opas & Abassynos Christianos: quo, Mirum servantes silentium, nec in­ter se salutant, dùm sibi mutuò occur­runt in viâ; sed mutorū instar, de­missis oculis prae­tereunt. Nec ven­dunt, nec emunt, nec pecuniam tan­gunt. Id faciunt in odium Iudae pro­ditoris, qui Chri­stum pacis osculo fraudulenter salu­tatum, argenteis triginta vendidit. Tantâ (que) adversus illum irâ incendū ­tur, ut nemo ferè sit, qui compositā ex scrutis Iudae imaginē non rap­tet per viam: quod pueris praecipuè ludi magis, qùam odij causâ frequentissimum. Nullus n. puer domo egreditur, qui fune alligatum ad cingulum simulachrum Iudae non ferat, &c. Vid. Nic. Godign. de Abassyn. Rebus. lib. 1. cap. 22. p. 139. And some Christians there are at this day, who (at that time) will neither buy nor sell, nor touch any money, for the very same reason. Yea they revile [Page 235] Pilate, abhorre the Iewes, they curse Iudas: their very boyes and children hanging his picture at each of their girdles, and running in multitudes about the streets, doe thus in the picture despitefully dragge him at their heeles, damning the cursed memory of that most abhorred Traytor. But the truth is, Christian religion bids us not to hate the men, but their sins; not their persons, but their most heynous vices. And good reason: for not they so much as their sinnes, their vices were they that betrayed and crucifyed the Lord of light. The hypocrisie and covetousnesse of Iu­das: The obstinacy and stubbornnesse of the Iewes: The disobedience and blasphemy of the Pharisees: The cruelty and ambition of Pilate, and the rest, were they that cut off and slew that great Prince, the Messiah.

If therefore we abhor those most cruell mur­therers, that slew our SAVIOUR, we must then hate these vices: and if wee hate them truly and aright, wee will detest and hate them alike, wheresoever, in whomsoever we find them; even though we finde them in our owne selves: hate them here so much the more, by how much we love our selves, whom they will destroy: At least no way spare, but punish them: and if others for them, as indifferent Iudges, doe the same in our owne houses; prevent it in our owne homes, our own consciences: with Iob, abhorre our own selves; and with Daniel by fasting and afflicting our soules, make our selves mourne for these and all other sinnes.

And surely, if Daniels fasts bee thus dipt in our Blessed SAVIOURS bloud, then are his Prayers no lesse: For those were but to shar­pen these; to make him (and us) as more sensible of our wants, so more hungry and thirsty after the righteousnesse of GOD; more unwearyed and earnestly importunate in his Devotions. The Body in want of its ordinary food, as it lesse clogs or hinders the Divine Soule in her ascent to Hea­ven; so doth the sense of such want in the body make the Soules desire and longing more earnest; whilest by the apprehension of her want in the one, she reflects upon her nakednesse in the other. The true reason, why fasting is both so necessary for, and so helpfull to all true and earnest Prayer. Surely Daniel even ordinarily (saith the Text) kneeled downe, Chap. 6. ver. 10. and prayed three times a day; that is,Psal. 55.17. with holy David, at Evening, Morning, and Noone day: Now, no doubt as his Fasts, so his Prayers were doubled: yet both Fasts, Prayers, and Almes, and all he now doth, all are referred to CHRISTS death and merits. Wee (saith hee) doe not present our supplications before thee for our owne righteousnesse, Chap. 9.18. but for thy great mercies, Verse 17. Chap. 9.18. And againe, Now therefore oh our God, heare the prayers of thy servant, and cause thy face to shine upon thy Sanctuary, &c. [...]

For the LORDS sake. Who this [...] is, is plaine by David: by Daniel himselfe: even by the Iewes and Hebrewes own witnesse: No other He, then the Son of man (Dan. 7.13.) To whom [Page 237] was given Dominion, and Glory, and a Kingdome, Chapter 7.13. that all people, and nations, and languages should serve Him: 14. His Dominion is an everlasting Domi­nion, which shall not passe away, and His Kingdome that which shall not be destroyed.

Thus wee see who this LORD,Chap. 9.26. and what manner of Prince, the Messiah is: Who not slaine for Himselfe, but for all others: All others that pray to GOD, must (as Daniel) desire to bee heard for His sake onely.

Though never so strict of life, never so holy, so just: yet (Daniel) claimes no right by any his owne or others merit: No Mediatour but one: onely his petition it is, to be heard For the Lords sake.

Thus whilst he mournes for CHRISTS death, and his owne sinnes, he unloades them all on CHRISTS shoulders: and whilest hee beholds Our most Blessed SAVIOURS Crosse, he layes more firme hold on His death and all-deserving merits.

And should not wee doe the same, who pro­fesse the same? Surely the Primitive Fathers (whose Sonnes we are or ought to be) as they did now double their devotions, and more ear­nestly by their Fasts intend their Prayers; so did they (as Daniel) performe them all in His Name.

When they Prayed, the conclusion of all was, Through IESUS CHRIST our LORD: even, as Daniel here, For the LORDS sake.

When they offered their spirituall Sacrifices of Prayers, Praises, or Almes, they were offered all, not onely in His House, the Church; but more peculiarly at His Altar, His Table, as in remem­brance of His Death and bloud, giving them and us all true life and vertue. Their Prayers were as referred to His Death and Merits only; so all, at those very times, the times of His very Suffer­ing. Thrice each day as Daniel did: At nine a clocke (their third) the entrance of His Suffering: At twelve a clocke (their sixth) the height of His Suffering: At three of the clocke (their ninth) the depth and consummation of His Suffering: As it were at every corner of His Crosse; at every dimension of height, depth, or length: As Daniel did three times a Day: Two of them (being at least the ordinary houres of Prayer for all na­tions, our ninth, and third) as indeed the begin­ning and end of His most bloudy Passion: to shew, that Daniel and they did, and we all must, place the confidence of our Prayers, Almes, and Fasts; yea even all our best actions (if any good at all) in CHRIST onely. For through Him, Ephes. 2.18. wee (and they) both have an accesse by one Spirit unto the Father. To Him therefore with the Father, and the Holy Ghost; Let us at these, and at all times give all honour, glory and praise, world without end.


Perlegi has Conciones, in quibus nihil reperio sanae fidei aut bonis moribus contrarium, quò minùs cum utilitate publicâ imprimantur.

Tho. Weekes R. P. Episc. Lond. Cap. Domest.


SER. 1. Pag. 9. lin. 19. food. reade foot. p. 10. l. 20. if not onely. r. if not the onely. p. 20. l. 4. Neubrigentius. r. Neubrigensis. p. 20. l. 10. commanded spirits. r. damned spirits. SER. 2. pag. 44. Bethelohin. r. Beth-elohim. p. 47. l. ult. Father of him. r. Father by him. p. 48. and Church; r. and Churches. p. 59. Father of him. r. Father by him. p. 60. Psal. 4. r. Psal. 40. SER. 3. pag. 71. [...], &c. r. [...], &c. p. 86. filled by meditation. r. fitted by meditation. SER. 4. pag. 107. [...]. p. 109. succeeded them. r. suc­ceed them. p. 123. [...] r. [...] p ibid. [...] r. [...] p. 124. e­verlasting prayers of. r. everlasting praises of. p. 129. imploying. r. implying. p. 134. in marg. Bubuli. r. Bubulci. SER. 5. pag. 170. l. 19. dele. under. SER. 6. p. 213. in marg. [...] r. [...] p ibid. in marg. [...] r. [...] p. 215. in marg. [...]. r. [...]. p. 226. Fishes also, that hath. r. Fishes also, that have.

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