[Page] CONCLVSIONS of peace, betweene God and man: Containing comfortable meditations for the chil­dren of God. By W. Burton.

LONDON. Printed for Iohn Hardie, dwelling in Paules Church­yard at the signe of the Tygers head. 1594.

TO THE RIGHT HO­nourable, Sir Richard Martin, Knight, nowe the second time L. Maior of the honourable Cittie of London, and maister of her maiesties Mint. T. C. All increase of honor in this life, and in the world to come, euerlasting happinesse.

RIght Honourable, hauing heeretofore receiued at your honours hands many fauours, altogither vndeserued of my part, I haue bin studious along time how to shew some part of my thankefull mind for the same. But no occasion was offered me til now that this booke comming to my handes to be printed without anie dedication, and the authour dwel­ling farre off, I was bold (without his consent) to present it to your good lordship, aswell to shewe my [Page] dutie and thankeful heart towards you, as also knowing what fauour your honour hath alwaies borne to such men and their workes. The Authour is well knowen, and the treatise is sweet and comfortable, as your lordship shall find, if your great affaires will allow you time to peruse it. It resteth that I hum­bly craue pardon for my boldnesse, which I hope I shall the easilier ob­tain, if mine intēt herein be rightly considered. Which is only to testifie that I am not vnmindful, nor vn­thankeful in heart, for any benefit receiued. Humbly beseeching your lordship to accept it.

Your Honors most hearty and humble affectionat to com­mand, Tobie Cooke.
Prou. 7. 1. 2.‘My sonne keepe my words, and hide my commandements with thee. Keepe my commandements and thou shalt liue.’

THis text contai­neth an exhor­tation to the faithful and di­ligent keeping of Gods com­mandementes, with a promise of life annexed ther­vnto. And the doctrine that is to be gathered from the same, ariseth part­ly from the maner of speaking that is there vsed, and partly from the ex­hortation. The manner of speaking is to be considered in the two first wordes, My sonne.

Wherein is to be obserued, that [Page] whosoeuer is the partie that spea­keth, he speaketh not like an Empe­rour nor like a king, nor like a Iudge, nor like a maister, of his absolute power, I will and command, &c. But he persuadeth like a father, most lo­uingly and tenderly. Hee doth not say, My slaue, nor my ennemy, nor my seruaunt, nor my subiect, nor my friend, nor my brother, which is much: but he saith, My sonne, which is more; a name of loue, and a title of the grea­test loue that can be.

The loue of a Prince is great, the loue of a friend is great, the loue of a brother is great, the loue of hus­bands and wiues is great, but the loue of father and mother to their children, is like the loue of Ionathan to Dauid: It is wonderfull passing 2. Sam. 1. 26 the loue of Princes, the loue of brethren, the loue of neighbours, the loue of husbandes and wiues, & and passing the loue of women and all loues. For (saith Esay) can a woman [Page] forget her child? As if he should say, Esa. 49. 15. it is impossible. Therefore hee that here speaketh in the person of a Fa­ther, and saith, My sonne, perswadeth by all loues, and sheweth that what­soeuer hee counselleth or reproo­ueth, it is not of mallice, or enuy to hurt vs, but of singular loue and care to doe vs good.

We are further to consider of two principall circumstances: one is of the person that spake these words: the other is of the partie to whom they were spoken. Now the question is not of his fatherly affe­ction vnto his children: for of that we are persuaded: nor of his father­ly authoritie ouer his children, for that is graunted, nor of his chil­drens duetie towardes him, for that is acknowledged: but now the que­stion of his person, and who it is, that heere saith, My sonne, that hee might be reuerenced: and who they are to whom this title of Sonnes [Page] doth belong that they might not neglect to doe their dutie.

If thou knewest (saith the Lord Iesus to the woman of Samaria) who it is that saith vnto thee giue mee drinke, thou wouldest haue asked of him, Ioh. 4. 10. and hee would haue giuen thee water of life. So if wee knewe who it is that heere saith, My sonne, and giueth counsell like a father in matters of this life, we would aske of him, and he would giue vs counsell to eternal life.

Let vs know then who it is that saith, My sonne, whose voice is it? what, is it the voice of God or of man? is it from heauen or from earth, or from whence is it? For the better finding out of this point wee are to consider that as these names of Father and Sonne be often vsed in this booke of Prouerbs, so they are not alwaies the words of one, and the selfe same partie. They are som­times to be vnderstood of God and [Page] of his Church: as in the 1. chapter, verse 8.

They are sometimes to be vnder­stood of Salomon and the members of Gods Church, as chap. 4. ver. 1. They are somtime to be vnderstood onely of Dauid the father of Salo­mon 1 Chro. 28. 9 the sonne of Dauid, as in cha. 4. verse 3. 4. Sometime they are the wordes of Bethsheba, Salomons mo­ther vnto Salomon her sonne, as in chap. 30. ver. 1. But most common­ly they are the wordes of God and Salomon togither, and are spoken to the members of the Church in ge­nerall, and so they are to be vnder­stoode, when there is no manifest difference, as there is in the places before mentioned.

In this exhortation, these words My sonne, are to be takē as the words of God the common father of all his creatures, but especially of his Church in generall, and they are al­so the wordes of Salomon a notable [Page] instrument in the Church of God, My sonne, saith God, & my son saith Salomon: for this is Gods worde, though Salomons writing, because Salomon writeth as the holy Ghost inditeth, My sonne, saith God, by the ministery of Salomon, naming no body, because he speakes to euery one that will follow his counsell, of what nation, or of what countrie, or of what language, or of what yeares, of what estate and conditition soe­uer he be, My sonne, saith Salomon in the person of God, naming no bo­dy, yet speaking to all that shal either heare or read his writings, that at the verie entrance, (the dores being of loue) they may be in loue with the whole frame of his counsell, & haue a delight to dwell therein. My sonne, saith God, by the ministerie of Salo­mon, that wee might perceiue what loue hee beareth to vs, and knowe what dutie we beare to him: My son saith Salomon in the person of God, [Page] to teach all teachers with what affe­ction to teach the Lords people, and to shewe all hearers what accompt they must make of their teachers. My sonne, saith God, to teach vs that all his care is to doe vs good; and if we follow his counsell, it is the bet­ter for our selues, hee is neuer the better for it: and therefore that all our care and studie must be to ad­uance him, and to direct all our acti­ons to his glorie, as he hath directed his glorie to our good, So that these wordes My sonne, are to be conside­red after a double manner of spea­king; First as spoken by God the first authour of them, next as procee­ding from Salomon the minister of God, and so much briefly for the persons by whom they were spokē.

The persons which are called sonnes.

NOw we are to consider of the persons that are called by the [Page] title of sonnes, and because God is first in order, we will first see of whom hee speaketh, in this place, when hee saith, My sonne, for many be called the sonnes of God, in the scripture, and they are of three sorts, some are by nature the sons of God, some are by adoption the sonnes of God, and some for their exellencie, are called the children of God. By nature, none is the sonne of God, but Iesus Christ onely, who was be­gotten from all eternitie, of his fa­thers Ioh. 1. 14. Pa. 2. 7. Pro. 8, 25. nature, and substance. By a­doption all the faithfull are his chil­dren, whom God hath elected, be­fore all worldes, that he might call them in his time appointed by the liuely preaching of the Gospell, and the effectuall working of his spirite in their hartes, vnto the blessed and certaine hope of eternall glorie, in the kingdome of heauen, being first iustified by the righteousnesse of the Lord Iesus christ, the naturall sonne [Page] of God. These are called sonnes by adoption, or made sonnes, which before were no sonnes at all. As if a king should take in a begger, nay a traitor and make him his heire, euen so did God with vs, and such fauour did he freely shew to so many of the sonnes of Adam, as it pleased him to adopte, and to make his children, wherein appeared the wonderfull loue of God to vs ward, of which S. Iohn speaketh, by way of administra­tion, Behold, (saith he) what loue the father hath giuen to vs, that we 1. Ioh. 3, 1. should be called the sonnes of God, as if it were to be wondred at, and not to be expressed.

The Angels are called the chil­dren of God. Iob 1. 6. & Iob 2. chap. and 1 verse. When the children of God stood before the Lord, Sathan came also and stood amongst them. &c. And they are so called, partly for their excellēt state and condition, but principally, for their willingnesse and readines, [Page] to doo the will of God.

Sometime also the Lord is called our father, in respect of our creation onely, as in Mat. 2. 10. Haue we not all Mal. 2. 10. one father? hath not one God made vs? and in Esa. 64. 8. But now thou O Lord Esa. 64. 8. art our father, we are the clay, thou art our potter, & we are the worke of thy handes. So Adam is called the sonne of God by immediate creation, in the 3 of S. Luke. the last verse. In this respect God is a common father not Luk. 3. last. onely to all his creatures in generall, but to the very reprobate also, for he created them also, and he made them good saith Salomon, but they found out many inuentions, but we shal neuer find that God vouchsafed to call any reprobat in the scripture, by the name of his sonne. Non tam prae­stanti reprobos dignatur honore. He did neuer honour them with so excel­lent a title. Many are so called and so accoumpted amongst men, which doe iudge onely by the outwarde [Page] appearance, but when they come before the Lord, whose waies are not our waies, and whose thoughts Esa. 55. 8. are not our thoughts, the case is al­tered. If any shall obiect and say that there is neuer a father without a childe, and that they be relatiues, and therefore seing as God is called a father of the reprobate, in respect of creation, the reprobate may at the least be called the sonnes of God, though they be not the sonnes of God, as the elect are: they are to know, that some are called fathers in the scriptures, Metaphorically, which were but the first inuenters of thinges, and in that respect they are called fathers, as Iaball the sonne of Adah, the wife of Lamech is called Gen. 4. 20. the father of such as dwell in tents, for he was the first inuenter of tents. And Iuball his brother is called in 21 the next verse, the father of such as play vpon the Harpe, and vpon Or­ganes or pipes: shall we therefore [Page] call the tentes Iabals children, or must the organs and pipes be called the sonnes of Iuball.

So God is called the father of the reprobate, because he first created them, but yet they can no more be called the children of God, than the tentes might be called the children of Iabal, or the harps and organs the children of his brother Iubal.

But when the scriptures do speak of God, as he is a father not onely by creation, but also by adoption, then is the title of sonnes also there­withal bestowed vpon those whom he hath created, because he hath al­so adopted them to be haires of his kingdome through Christ, but it is limited onely to the elect, which do receiue him by faith, as in Iohn 1. 12. As many as receiued him, to thē he gaue prerogatiue, to be called the sons of God.

So doth the Apostle Paul also re­straine the title of Gods children onely to the godly. As manie as are [Page] led by the spirite of God (saith he) are the sonnes of God. And because the re­probate Rom. 8. 14. and all hypocrites wil boast of the spirite, as well as the children of God, as Zidkijah said hee had 1. Kin. 22. 24. the spirit of God as wel as Michaiah, therfore the scripture hath put a dif­ference betweene the giftes of the spirite, and the spirite of sanctificati­on: for Saul may haue the spirite of 1. Sam. 11. 6. God, that is, some giftes and graces of Gods spirit, as knowledge, iudge­ment, courage, strength, pollicy, wis­dome, wealth, &c. as the wicked and thereprobate may haue, to their condemnation, but the spirite of sanctification or holinesse, which worketh newnesse of life, and chan­geth both the affections within, and all the actions without, that is pro­per onely to the elect children of God indeed.

And least anie shoulde deceiue themselues, The Lord Iesus hath laid downe an euerlasting rule; By [Page] their fruits you shall know them. And Math. 7. 16. the fruits of the spirite (saith S. Paul) are these, Loue, Ioy, Peace, Long­suffring, Gal. 5. 22. 23. 24. Patience, Goodnesse, Gen­tlenesse, Faith, Meekenesse, Tempe­rance, &c. Against which there is no law that is to condemne them: for they that are Christs haue crucified the fleshe with the affections and Iustes. But there is a kinde loue, and ioy, and peace, and suffering, &c. a­mongst the children of darkenesse, because Sathan in his members can counterfeit whatsoeuer God doth commaund, and there is amongst the members of the Church malig­nant in shew, whatsoeuer the church of God militant haue in trueth, whē Sathan doth change himselfe into the likenesse of an angel of light, it is a hard thing to discerne the one from the other: therefore hath the Lord ioyned his word and his spirit togither, by which as by a true tuch­stone, all false loue is discerned from true loue: and all false peace and [Page] false ioy, is tried from true peace and true ioy, and so of the rest: and therfore is the word called the sword of the spirite, because it doth not try Ephes. 6. 17. nothing, nor worke any thing ordi­narily but by the word of God. And last of al, least Sathan should abuse & delude the children of God, with the manifold corruptions, imperfe­ctions, and rebellious thoughtes of their heartes, and make them con­clude thereupon, that they haue not the spirit of God. They are to know that the spirite of God in the elect is not alwaies felt in themselues, nor perceiued in them by others in a like measure, but it is in them as the sunne, which sometime shineth and sendeth foorth her light, dispersing the clouds, and somtimes againe is hidden vnder the cloudes. It is in them as the ebbing and flowing of the sea. It is in them as the waxing and waning of the Moone. It is in them as the fire when it is kindled, and when it is raked vp in the ashes. [Page] And it is within them, as the sap of the tree is in Winter and Sommer, sometime in all the branches, and sometime gone to the roote.

And as the elect are like Trees planted by the waters side, which doe bring forth fruite in due season: Psa. 1. 3. so the same trees haue both a sum­mering and a wintering: a spring time, and a fall of the leafe: when winter come they seeme as though they were dead, but in summer they shall waxe fresh and greene againe. The fruits of the spirite in the elect children of God, are likewise like the fruit of the tree, which is first in the sap only, then it commeth into buds, and then into blossomes: whereof some are smitten with bla­sting, some are nipped with frost & cold, & some are eaten with worms; but if they escape al these, then from blossoms they come to be appls: and at the first they are green and louely, and many doe lust to eate of them, [Page] but they are still hard and harshe, but in time they come to their full growth. And when they are ripe, then are they eyther shaken downe with the winde, and swine deuour them, or beaten downe with cud­gels, and theeues do steale them; or if they be fairely gathered, yet are they pluckt from the tree that hath borne them, then are they bought and sold: whereof some perish, and are cast out of dores: the fairest and the sweetest, is brought either to fire to be rosted, or to the boord to be pared and cut in peeces, and so to be eaten: then the tree is naked and see­meth to be dead, but the next spring doth fetch all againe. So are the fruites of the spirite in the adopted children of God, first in the sap of faith only which is hidden in the heart: then it commeth into good thoughtes, then into good wordes, then into good workes by degrees: but many times they are [Page] nipped and smitten in the bud or in the blossome: that is either in thoughts, or wordes, that they ne­uer come into workes. The workes likewise of the godly are at the first faire and freshe, but yet hard and harsh: and when they are come to any perfectiō, they are either wind­shaken and deuoured by beasts, or smitten with persecution: then are they bought and solde, and euerie man handleth them as they list. In a worde, the fairest, the pleasantest, and the best of our workes must be pared and picked for dainty mouths and queasie stomackes, and in the end consumed of all, and then are our labours come to their perfecti­on, wherher they be of Church or common-wealth, and then doe ma­ny of Gods children thinke them­selues naked and dead, but there is no cause why they should: for as all that fruit when it is so and so hand­led, doe prooue that sap is in the [Page] tree; so all the fruites of the elect, whether they perishin the bud, or in the blossome, or in the ripening, or howsoeuer they be handled: yet they proue that the sap of Gods spi­rite is in them, and the next spring of Gods grace will fetch all againe. But then they doubt of themselues be­cause perhappes they haue not so much fruit as they had, or so much as others haue: but there is no cause why they shold doubt of thēselues: for though they haue not so much as they had, yet it is as good, and sound as that which they had, it is not counterfait and fained, but it is in trueth that which it seemeth to be, and so long they may care, but they neede not to feare the want of Gods spirite in them: for it is not so materiall, how much faith, or howe much zeale, or how much loue, or how much patience a man hath; but how good faith, howe good zeale, how good loue, & how good pati­ence [Page] a man hath: whether the faith, loue, zeale, &c. be true, or counter­feit, from the heart, or in hypocrisie, must be the question. That as men say of fruit, this is but little, but it is good; heere be not many of them, but those that are of them are verie daintie, they are right of such and such a kind. So the children of God may say, My faith is but little and weake, my loue is not so much as I would it were: my zeale is but litle, and my patience is but small: but it is true faith, and true loue, and true zeale, and true patience, euen from the verie heart root without dissem­bling, O Lord increase it and streng­then it. And thus much for the dif­ference betweene the children of God by creation only, and the chil­dren of God both by creation and adoption. And thus much of the spirit of God, both in the one and in the other.

Now let vs come to the matter [Page] in hand. We haue heard who be cal­led the sonnes of God. how this ti­tle is giuen to the Lord Iesus, how to Angels, and how to men hath been also declared, but to imagine that in this place it were spokē to the Lord Iesus, were no lesse than blasphemy, because he was euer without sinne, and to enquire, whether it were spo­ken to the Angels or no, were vaine curiositie.

Now if it be man to whom the Lord saith, My son, as it is indeede, O Lord what is man, that thou doost speak so kindly to him? or the sonne of man that thou doest so regarde him. Againe, if it be spoken to man, how art thou O Man, gotten into such fauour with God, which some­times thou hadst lost? How happy and honourable are those men, which are the sonnes of God. But is it spoken to me in deede? what, to sinfull and miserable man? and are the sonnes of Adam among the sons [Page] of God, as Saul was amongst the prophets, is the prodigall son come home againe? is it for him that such costly robes are brought forth? and is it he that his father went out to meete, and so louingly embraced? is this he whom he saluted with such sweete kisses, and teares of ioy? was it for him, that the fat calfe was killed? and is all this feasting and re­ioycing for his returne, as though he had neuer offended? surely so it should seeme. But what shall man now giue vnto God, for so greate loue and fauour, or how shall we shew our selues thankfull, for such kindnesse vndeserued? Surely this is the Lordes doing, and it is won­derfull in our eyes, but that our pro­fit may encrease to the further in­struction of our iudgmente, and comfort of our faith, we will by the grace of God, set downe certain pointes, to consider of, and by this text to be examined. First we will [Page] consider how or by what meanes we are come into this fauour with God, and how we are come by the knowledge thereof. Secondly we will see the exellencie of the chil­dren of God aboue other men. Thirdly we will enquire what duety the children-of God do owe vnto God their heauenly father, wherby they may shew themselues thankful for such fauour restored. Fourth­ly we will consider, why the Lord both here and els where vseth these wordes, My sonne, Last of all we will see what may bee gathered frō them as they bee the words of Solomon.

How we are made the sonnes of God.

NOw touching the First point, if we be the sonnes of God, then God is our father, the church of god is our mother, the members of the church be our bretheren, and the kingdome of heauen is our inheri­tance. This purchase the father hath bestowed vpon vs, the sonne hath [Page] bought it for vs, and the holy ghost hath sealed vnto vs. Of this coue­nant God is the author, the sonne of God is the purchaser, and the spirite of God is the certifier. It is freely graunted, it is fully discharged, it is certainely assured, and shall be for e­uer possessed. This prerogatiue as it is great, so the first cause thereof was the infinite loue of God, in his son Iesus Christ. It is the free gift of the father, so saith the sonne, Feare not litle flocke, it is youre fathers pleasure to giue you a kingdome. It is the free gift Luke 12. 32. of the sonne, so saith the Lord Iesus, My sheepe heare my voice and follow me, Iohn 10 27. 28. and I giue vnto them eternall life. It is also the gift of the Holy Ghost, so saith the prophet Dauid, Lord let thy good spirite lead me into the land of righ­teousnesse, Psa. 143. 10. and therefore it is no way merited or purchased by our selues while we liue, nor gotten by any friendes for vs, when we are deade, (as Papists teach) for nothing can be [Page] more contrary than these, To haue it of our selues, and to be freely gi­uen of God.

The euidence or assurance which we haue to shew for this priuiledge, is Gods promise, which is surely ra­tified in heauen, by the eternall de­cree of the holy Trinitie, as it were, by an euerlasting Act of Parlement, neuer to be repealed, wherunto the father, the word, and the spirite, do beare sufficient witnesse, If there­fore we receiue the witnesse of men, the witnesse of God is greater. The recordes of this charter & promise, are left among vs here vpon earth, in the written word of God, contai­ned in the bookes of the old and new testament, whereupon all the faithfull must rely, as vpon their fa­thers last will and testament, and these we are al cōmaunded to search because they beare witnesse of the loue of God in Christ to our eternal saluation. Therefore if any forsake [Page] this foundation, to build vpon re­uellations and dreames, (as Ana­baptistes do) or vpon mens traditi­ons (as the Papists do) or vpon the persuasions of their owne hearts (as Atheists do) what do they els but builde vppon the sands? The pro­claimers and publishers of high pre­rogatiue, are pastors and teachers Eph. 4. 11. 12 which are appointed to be ministers of the Gospell, truly sent of God, and lawfully called of Gods church, Ier. 23, 32. whose badges are knowledge and holines, whose feete are beawtifull, because they bring the glad tidings Esai. 52. of peace.

The seales of this charter are ei­ther outward or inward. The out­ward seales are the Saeraments of Baptisme, and the Lordes Supper, duely administred according vnto Christs holy institution. The in­ward seales are two, one is the spi­rite Rom. 8. 16. Esa. 4. 30. of adoption, which beareth wit­nesse to our spirits that we are the [Page] sonnes of God, and sealeth vp our heartes to the day of redemption. The other is a good cōscience in all thinges, desiring to liue honestly, Heb. 13. 1 [...]. whereby we know that the spirit of God is in vs.

The hand by which we receiue it is faith, the closet wherin we keep it, is the heart, and till the soule may fully possesse it, she must lye at the anchor of hope, and so much for the first point.

The excellencie, pleasures, and beautie of Gods Children.

NOw let vs take a little viewe of the commodities and benefits which belong vnto this charter, and priuiledge of beeing the sonnes of God, and then shall we see the ex­cellencie and dignitie of Gods chil­dren, aboue all other which be not the children of God. Their excel­lent estate and condition doth part­ly appeare in the very names and ti­tles [Page] that be giuen them in the word of God, where they be called, the citizens of the heauenly Ierusalem, a royall priesthood, a kingly genera­tiō, the beloued of God, the spowse of the lambe Christ, the signet of the Lords right hand, the apple of his eye, the annointed of God, the friendes of God, the brethrenand sisters of the Lord Iesus, his loue, his doue, and his vndefiled, the bodie of Christ, the Lordes vineyard, his holy ones, the saintes of God, the seruauntes of the most high: and that which passeth all the rest, the sons and daughters of God. Now (as Dauid said when he should haue married Saules daughter) Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a kinges sonne, seeing that I am a poore man, and of small reputation? So seemeth it to a­ny, 1. Sam. 18. 23 a light thing to be sonnes and daughters of God the king of all kinges, seeing wee are sinfull men, and of no reputation, but deserued [Page] rather eternall confusion.

It is a great matter (as it seemeth by Dauids words) to be a kings son, but hee that is sonne and heire to a 1000. kingdomes, or 1000. worlds, if it were possible, cannot compare with the sons of God, if they were as naked as euer Iob was, or as poore as euer was Lazarus. The sonnes of Princes are in great accompt with men, but the children of God are in accompt with God and man. The children of princes are attended vp­on by noble men, and garded with strong men, yet both but mē whose breth is in their nostrels, and their handes cannot accomplish the de­uise of their heart. The children of God are attended vppon by God himselfe, whose eye is alwaies ouer the righteous, and they are garded by the angels of God, who for their swiftnesse are said to haue wings, for their readinesse, they are said to stand in the presence of God, and Psal. 34 15. [Page] for their strength incomparable, or else aske Senacharibs host. [...]. Kin. 19. 35

The pleasures of the sons of men are such as the worlde doth affoord, carnall securitie, worldly prosperitie, fleshly delightes, beastly sensualitie, with pride & ease, fulnesse of bread, and such like; the pleasures of the childrē of God is such as the world can neither giue nor take, as the louc of righteousnesse, delight in the law of God, patience in affliction, loue Psa. 16. of the saints which excell in vertue, and such like.

The riches and treasures of the sonnes of men are golde and siluer, houses and landes, lordships and manners, rents and reuenewes, and such like, which theeues may steale, or mothes may eat, or rust may fret, or fire may consume, or water may ouerflowe, or time may weare, or death may end, but the riches and treasures of Gods children are, the word of God, Gods fauour, forgiue­nesse [Page] of sinnes, freedome from hell and the diuel, liberty with the saints, the spirite of contentation, peace of conscience, continual ioy in the ho­ly Ghost, and a kingdome of glory in heauen, & such like, which no theefe can steal, no rust can fret, no fire can consume, no water can drowne, no plague can infect, no time cā weare, nor death can ende. The ornamēts which the children of men haue to commend them vnto the worlde, they are of the worlde, and such as the word doth like of, as gold and siluer, silkes and veluets, iewels and precious stones, sumptious and rich attyre, beautifull faces, comely bo­dies, ripe wittes, smooth toonges, &c. These are also bestowed vpon many of Gods children, but they haue better ornaments than these. Their liues are adorned with holi­nesse, and righteousnesse, with Iob. 29. 14. vertue and religion, their bodies are attyred with chastitie and sobriety, [Page] their frontlets are modestie and shamefastnesse, their robes are gra­uitie and wisedome, their bracelets are mercie and compassion, their wordes are the wordes of grace, their lippes are the dores of know­ledge, and their hearts are the store­houses of vnderstanding.

Before the world in themselues they are blacke, as though they had lodged among the pots, but before the lord, in Christ, they are white as the Lillie, and comely, as the cur­taines Cant. 1. 4. of Solomon. Behold (saith Solo­mon) the beloued of Christ is faire, yea behold shee is faire indeed, her eyes are Cant 4. 1. 2, 3, [...], 5, 7. like the doues, her haire is like the flock of goates, which looke downe from the mountaines of Gilead: her teeth are like a flock of sheepe, in good order, which go vp from the washing, her lippes are like a threed of Scarlet, & her talke is come­ly, her temples are within her lockes, as a piece of Pomegranate, her necke is as the tower of Dauid built for defence, her [Page] breasts are as two young Roes which are twinnes, feeding amongst the lillies. She is all faire, and there is no spot in her. The loue of Christ hath threescore queens Cant. 6. 7. 8. and of damseles without number, to wait vpon her, the doue of Christ is a­lone and vndefiled, she is the only daugh­ter of her mother, and she is deere to her that bare her, the daughters haue seene, and coumpted her blessed, yea euen the queenes and concubines haue seene her, and they haue praised her, shee looketh foorth as the morning faire as the moon, 9 pure as the sunne, and terrible as an ar­mie with banners.

The rich Iewels of Gods chil­dren are sweete fruites of the holy­ghost, as loue, ioy, peace, long suf­fering, meekenesse, patience, tempe­rance, Gal. 5. 22. &c. for the spirit of God is in them, which is a spirit of knowledge and vnderstanding, a spirit of coun­cell Esai. 11. 2. and courage, and a spirit of the feare of the Lord, by which they are led as by the hand of God, by it they [Page] stand as by the staffe of God, by it they are instructed as by the mouth of God, and by it they are corre­cted as by the rod of God.

For want wherof the sonnes of men are most miserable, when they seem to be most happy, their aboun­dance seemeth nothing, their liber­tie is bondage, their peace is warre, their rest is sorrowe, their health is sicknes, and their life is death. Their Prou. 14, 13 laughter is but from the teeth out­ward. Their feasts are like the feasts Dan. 5. 3, 4, 5. of Balthasar, and their honour is like the honour of Haman. They feare a­ny Hest 7. thing but not sinne, they loue a­ny thing sauing God, they ioye in euery thing, so it be not goodnesse, like the swine which had rather wal­low in the stinking puddles of mire, than in a sweete bed of Roses. They sleep as a drunken man in the top of ship mast, in a mightie storme, in the Prou. 23, 34. midst of the sea, their head is fraught with aboundance of care, and their [Page] hearte with continuall feare. Their foes they hate, their friendes they suspect, they trust no body, they haue no ioy of any thing they pos­sesse, they are a burden to thēselues, their whole life is vanitie, and vexa­tion of spirit; when sicknes cōmeth, they lye like blocks, they rore like Bulles, and they die like beastes, and as they serued the Deuill all their life time, so they looke euery houre when they shall goe to hell. But the children of God are most happie, when they seeme to be most mise­rable. Their peny seemeth a pound, their pound seemeth a 100 pound. In want they haue aboundance, in prison they find libertie, in sicknes they haue health, in warre peace, in labour rest, in sorrow ioy, in death life, and after death, they possesse the kingdome of heauen. The rea­son is this, where the spirite of God 2. Cor. 3. 17. is, there is perfect libertie, where a good conscience is, there is a conti­nuall [Page] feast, and where the light of Gods countenaunce doth shine, there is more ioye of heart, than Psa. 47. when corne, and wine, and oyle, is encreased. Can the children of the wed­ding fast, while the Bride-grome is with Mar. 2. 19. them? And can the children of God miscarrie, while God their father is by them? The loue of earthly fa­thers is transitorie, and vncertaine, like the loue of Saul to Dauid, but whom the Lord loueth, he loueth for euer. Worldly fathers do many Iohn 13. 1. times repent them of that which they bestow vpon their children, but the gifts and calling of the Lord are without repentance. But what? do I goe about to set forth the hid Rom. 11. 29. honours, the excellent state, and the great priuiledges, of the children of God? which are giuen and bestow­ed, not according to the basenes of our heartes and affections, but ac­cording to the worthinesse and ho­nour of his maiesty that adopteth? [Page] Verely all that can be said of them, is but a tast of them, and when we haue done, we are to beginne a­gaine, if we had the time of another world, and the tongues of men and Angels to helpe vs.

For who can measure the sea with aspoone? who can put the cloudes into a bottell? who can gather the windes in his fist? who can number the sandes by the sea shore, or who can reach the depth of the sea with his arme? let him that can do these things come forth, and describe the honours, the priuiledges, the riches, the pleasures, and the felicities of Gods children, which are such as no eye hath seene, no eare hath heard, 1. Cor. 2. 9. no tongue can vtter, and no heart is able to conceiue.

What accompt we must make of Gods children.

BVt by this small tast we may learn in what accompt to haue the chil­dren [Page] of God, because God hath thē in so high accompt himselfe: for shall not wee honour those whom God doth honour? shall anie man hate those whom God doth loue? or despise those in whom the Lord doth take delight? doe not we loue them which loue our children, and doe not our heartes and hands too, arise against them which misuse our children? And shall not God who exceedeth all fathers in loue, much more loue those which loue his children? and shall not his heart and hand too arise in his heauie wrath and displeasure against such as misuse his childrē, either in word or deede? If we loue anie man, wee loue his children also, and for his sake we make much of them. If wee loued him which begat (saith S. Ioh.) 1. Ioh. 5. 1. wee would also loue him that is be­gotten: That is, if we loue God, we will loue the children of God, be they neuer so poore and base in the [Page] eies of the world. Therefore if wee loue not Gods children, wee loue not God himself, and if we loue not God, we hate him, and if wee hate him, how shall he loue vs? Alas to let passe the murtherers and perse­cuters of the saints of God in other countries; how do we thinke to an­swere our rashe iudging and hastie condemning, our vnchristian moc­king and taunting, our priuie nip­ping, or bitter iesting, our vncharita­ble censuring, and our hard dealing which we vse one against another? and yet all professing one God, one father, one sauiour, one religion, and all looking for one kingdome. Are we not all the sonnes of God, and children of the most high? How is then that one doth hate and hunt another, as though we were beastes, or rather fiends of hell?

When Iosephs brethren sold their Gen. 37. brother Ioseph, they thought neuer to see him more; much lesse did they [Page] looke to be told of their crueltie from his owne mouth, but least of all did they dreame of any such mat­ter when they should go to Aegypt for vittaile so many yeares after: but yet so it fell out contrarie to all their expectations: And when they heard him say, (which was a ruler in Ae­gypt) I am Ioseph your brother whom Gen. 45. 3. 4. you sold, they looked one vpon ano­ther, as men amazed, but could not tell what to say for themselues, such shame and cōfusion did couer their faces, such feare and dread was on euerie side: and their owne consci­ences within them were a thousand witnesses against them. And is it not so with vs, when we do euill intreat our brethren, do we not thinke that we shall neuer see Ioseph more? but we are deceiued: for Ioseph our bro­ther shal appeare, not in Aegypt, but in heauen, to our shame and confu­sion, if we repent not.

Steuens persecuters shall see the Act. 6. 15. [Page] face of Steuen, as the face of an An­gell. The rich glutton shall see La­zarus Luk. 16. 23. in Abrahams bosome, when hee himselfe shall lie languishing in hell tormentes. The Iewes which crucified the Lord of glorie, shall one day look vpon him, and see him in glorie whom they pierced. And Zach. 12. 10 they which now set Gods children at nought, because they are young men, or poore men, or more zea­lous, or more religious, or are not so prophane as themselues, or will not run with them to the same excesse of riot, shall one day see them set vp­on Math. 19. 28 thrones to iudge the nations, and them which hated them.

Then shall the righteous stand in great boldnesse, before the face of such as haue tormented him, and ta­ken away his labors. When they see him, they shalbe vexed with horri­ble Wis. 5. 1. &c. feare, and shalbe amazed for his wonderfull deliuerance. Then they shall change their mindes, and sigh [Page] for griefe of minde, and say within themselues, This is hee whom wee sometime had in derision, and in a parable of reproch, These are they whom we called fooles and asses, puritane knaues, & beggerly rascals, This is he whom we hated, whom we molested, whom we slandered. On the other side also, This is he, (shall some say) whom we in the top of our owne conceit, condemned for a time-seruer, and a formalist. This is the Church whom we schis­matickes tooke for no church at all, but in the pride of our heartes, and in the furious spirite of a preposte­rous zeale wee counted no better than Sodom, than Aegypt, than Ba­bilon, than Baalamites, & not wor­thy the name of a church. Then shal many prophane men say, We fooles thoght his life madnesse, & his end without honor. How is he counted amongst the children of God, and his portion among the saints? Full [Page] litle do many thinke of this alterati­on, and howe soone it may come who knoweth? Last of all, whosoe­uer looketh for heauē after this life, Psal. 15. 4. must while hee liue make much of such as feare God, saith the prophet, he doth not say if they be rich, or if they be in authoritie, or if they may pleasure thee, or if they be merrie companions, &c. But if they feare God, we must make much of them, whether they be poore or rich, whe­ther they go in veluet or in sacke­cloth, whatsoeuer they be by occu­pation or profession, or whatsoeuer we be our selues: for the poore re­ceiue the gospell, saith our sauiour, Luk. 7. 22. that is, the poore are rich, if they be godly. And so much briefly for the excellencie of Gods children.

The duetie of Gods Children.

NOw let vs see what God requi­reth of his children, whereby they may in some poore measure [Page] shewe themselues thankefull to his Maiestie, for this excellent estate whereunto he hath called them.

As their dignitie is great, so their duetie must needs be great, because much is required, where much is Luk. 12. 48. bestowed. Therefore looke howe many titles, so many dueties; howe much honour, so much obedience; and looke how much the Lord hath abased himselfe to aduance vs, so much are we againe bound to abase our selues, that wee may aduaunce his glorie, like Abraham, who the more familiarly the Lord did talke Gen. 18. 27. with him, the more humbly hee did cast downe himselfe in the feeling and acknowledging of his own vn­worthinesse. But what doth God re­quire? or what shall we doe? If I be your father, saith the Lord, where is my honour. Then honour is required, and God looketh to be honoured of his children. Honour thy father and thy mother, saith the comman­dement, [Page] that is, heare them and re­gard them, reuerence and obey thē, feare them and loue them, mantaine them and their credit to the vtmost, defend their persons, and their ho­nest quarrels, and take their part a­gainst all that rise vp against them. If such honour be due to our earthly parents, which are but instrumentes of our good vnder God, what ho­nour is due to our heauenly father in whom our Parentes and we doe liue, and moue, and haue our be­ing. Act. 17. 28.

Euerie one will say that God is their father, and they are Gods chil­dren, God forbid els they say, and yet many of them care not how litle they heare his worde except they may heare when they list, or from whom they list: Some say, vrge do­ctrine, let application alone: some say, teach maners, but let doctrine alone; and some care for neither of both: some say preach mercie, & not [Page] iudgement, we will heare the Gos­pel, but not the lawe, and some are indifferent what they heare, so that it doth not touch them. And most men are like Ezechiels auditors, that do heare as the people vse to do, but with their mouthes they iest it out, and as much reckoning doe they make of the preacher & his sermon, as they doe of a fidler and his song, and not so much: for they will giue him the hearing: but they meane to doe stil as they did, say God what he wil. What do these men say in ef­fect but thus much? O Lord we are content to be children, and thou shalt be our father, so that we may haue what we will, and say what we will, and do what we will: like Naash 1. Sam. 11. 2. the Ammonite, who would make a couenant with the men of Iabesh Gilead, vpon conditiō that he might put out all their right eies, and bring all that shame vpon Israel.

But what saith the Lord? If I be [Page] your father, where is mine honour? to shewe that they cannot be the chil­dren of God, which would so dis­honor him, and bring such a shame vpon him: therefore where is my honour saith God, if you be my children? In effect it is as much as if he should say, Why doe you not li­sten to my commandements and o­bey them. Why do you not receiue my instructions, and beare my re­prehensions. But (as though I had no authority ouer you) will you cast off the yoke of my gouernment? as though you were wiser than I, will you cast behinde you all my coun­sels? As though I knew not what I did, will you censure and controll me and my waies? will you appoint me how I shalbe worshipped? must all be as you will? Hiccene honos qui debetur mihi? doe my children thus honour me? or am I a father vnto such children? No saith the Lord, I am no father to such, except you wil [Page] regard all my counsels, and obey all my lawes, and that continually at all Deut. 6. times, and faithfully in all places, and Psal. 119. 46. constantly before all persons, and wisely according to all circumstan­ces, you do not yeeld me that honor which is due vnto me: therefore striue vnto this, or els call me no more your father.

Now if wee could remember al­waies with what titles of honor the Lord hath honoured vs, it would make vs ashamed to serue the world, or the deuill, or our selues in anie thing. When some went about to persuade Nehemiah to flie, hee (be­cause Neh. 6. 11. he was a Magistrate) answered and said, Should such a man as I flie? So when Gods children are tempted by the world, or by the deuill, or by their owne heartes to commit anie sinne, or to go against their owne consciences in any thing: Let them say as Nehemiah saide, Shall such a man as I yeeld? shall the sonnes and [Page] daughters of the most high be so base minded, or so beastly affected? No, be ye holy, for I am holy (saith the Lord) to shew that vnholinesse doth 1. Pe. 1. 15. 16 no more become the Children of God, than God himselfe: how doth it then become the professors of the Gospell to be blasphemers of their fathers sacred name, or to bee com­mon swearers, or liers, or drunkards, or whormongers, or vsurers, or pro­phaners of the Lordes Sabboths? Then say thus with thy self; Should I be couetous, or malitious, or en­uious, or proud, or disdainfull, as though my father were such a one, and loued such things? Should I be familiar with Athists, or Papists, or Belly-gods, or scoffers at religion, as though they wer my fathers frends, when they bee his deadly foes? Shoulde I carry two faces in one hood? Should I ioyne handes with the enemies of God against his ser­uants and ministers? Should I stop [Page] my eares when God speaketh? shall I disobey, when God cōmandeth? shall I venture when God forbid­deth? shall I presume when God threatneth? and shal I distrust when God promiseth? Is this a life for the seruauntes of God, if not for his ser­uauntes, much lesse for his children. If the children of God doe thus lead their liues, how doe the diuels chil­dren liue?

A heathen man being asked, why he did weare such a long bushie beard, he aunswered, that so often as he beheld it, he might commit nothinn vnworthie the grauitie of the same, he would not be like a Ta­uerne with a bushe at the dore, and no wine within. So now, if any man aske vs, why God hath giuen vs the titles of Gods children, and why we are called christians, the church of Christ, the spouse of Christ, Citizens of heauen, and by such like names, of loue and ho­nour, [Page] let vs aunswere (as he did) that so often as we remember our names and our titles, we might cō ­mit nothing vnworthie the grauity and maiesty of the same. And that is one speciall reason why euery man hath his name giuen him in his bap­tisme, that so often as we are called by our names, we might cal to mind our baptisme, and what we promi­sed Note. there? It shuld seem that the pa­pists, & some Protestants too, which be popishly affected, do not remem­ber what titles they haue, nor by what names they are called, and therefore they must haue puppits and images in their churches and houses to put them in mind of their duety to God, so some mens reli­on and holinesse is all in their titles of Gods children, and in the names of Christians, which onely they re­taine, when all Christianitie is bani­shed, and is not this a shame for the sonnes of God?

[Page] It is counted a shame for a citizen to go like a courtier, or for a courtier to go like a carter, but if a man put on womans apparrell, or a wo­man put on mans apparrell, that is an abomination. And shall it not be Deut. 22. 5. a greater shame, for the Citixens of heauen, to go after the fashion of the Courtiers of hell? And if it be an abomination for a man to go in womans apparrell, what an abomi­nation is it before the Lord, for the children of light, to put vpon them the workes of darkenesse, and to co­uer thēselues with iniquitie as with a garment? and for the sons of God to go in that apparrell which doth belong vnto the childrē of the deuil.

When the Lord of life was put to death, there was darknesse vpon the face of the earth, the vaile of the Temple rent, the graues opened, and the dead arose, and went forth, with other things which were seene afore, at the sight whereof the very [Page] enemies of Christ which watched him, were afraide for that they had done vnto him, yea they were con­strained to confesse and say, Doubt­les Mat. 27. 54. this man was the sonne of God. So if we be dead with Christ our head, vnto sinne, as he was dead for our sinnes, there will follow a wonder­full alteration in our liues. There will appeare such zeale in professing the Gospell, such pittie in releeuing the poore, such patience in bearing the crosse, such faithfulnesse in per­forming of promises, such charitie in iudging our brethren, such cōpas­sion in condemning malefactors, such loue in reproouing of faultes, such mercie in forgiuing offences, such sinceritie in worshipping of God, such constancie in defending of the trueth, such watching ouer all our waies, and such wisedome in winning men to God, that our very ennemies which before did mocke vs, hate vs, and perseeute vs, [Page] shalbe constrained with shame e­nough to say, These were no doubt the children of God, these were good men, these were true profes­sors indeed: for such fruites and ef­fects doe follow their profession, as are not commonly seen in the liues of others.

Wherefore, to conclude this point. Let not the king go like a Ke­sar: Let not the captaine runne a­way like a coward: Let not the tree Iud. 9, 9, 15. loose his fatnesse, to do as the bram­ble would doe. And let not a chri­stian liue like Antichrist: Let not be­leeuers liue like infidels, nor let not the sonnes of God liue like the sons of Sathan: But, as in our houses, as in our apparell, as in our feastinges, as in our furniture, in euerie thing els, we striue to haue matches, and all our thinges sutable. So likewise, let vs striue to haue our titles, and our liues, our names and our quali­ties, our profession and our practise [Page] sutable and answerable the one to the other. Finally, let euerie one that calleth God his father, in the 2. Tim. 2. 19 name of the Lord Iesus, depart from iniquitie, least heereafter the Lord Iesus bid him, depart with the works of iniquitie. Heere be two depar­tinges. Mat. 25, 41. & 7, 23. Luke, 13, 27. If we take the first now, we shall be free from the other heere­after: but if we will not heare nowe of a departing from iniquitie, which we ought, we shall heereafter heare of a departing with our iniquitie, which wee would not. The first is somewhat painfull, but it is infinitly gainfull. The second is most feare­full, and for euer intollerable. And thus much of the duetie of Gods children in regard of their titles.

Nowe let vs see why the Lord both in this place, and so often in this booke of Prouerbes, doth vse these wordes, My son, as also, why he doth not say, My sonnes, in the plu­rall number, seeing hee speakes to [Page] all the church in general; but, My son, in the singular nūber, as though he spake but to one alone, that so we may make that vse of thē, for which they were left vnto the Church.

And least wee should thinke this to be more than neede, wee are to knowe, that as the holyest speaketh nothing in vaine, so doth hee not speake anie worde at all aduenture, but in singular wisedome, and in most excellent order hath hee hand­led euerie Treatise, and placed eue­rie sentence, euerie word, and eue­rie letter. To great purpose it is don, and ought accordingly to be consi­dered: for, when heauen and earth shall passe, not one iot or tittle of Matt. 5. 18. Gods word shall passe: but euerie worde of God endureth for euer, and shall remaine as faithfull wit­nesse in heauen, either with vs, or a­gainst vs in the day of the Lord: Psal. 119. 89 Then shall all Gods argumentes, and reasons, and persuasions be cal­led [Page] foorth to giue euidence against vs if they doe nothing preuaile now. Then shall euerie word of admoni­tion, and euerie worde of threat­ning, and euerie word of loue, and kindnesse, and euerie title of honor and dignitie come forth, and plead hard against all such as haue turned the deafe eare vnto them: yea they shall also crie loud for vengeance vppon all those men which either in worde or deede, haue offered them anie disgrace, especially a­mongest their friendes vppon the face of the earth like strangers of an other countrey, when they catch their forraigne ennemies within their owne liberties, for euerie worde of GOD is sent from hea­uen by God, as Embassadours of a farre Countrey one after ano­ther to deale for God. Therefore it shallbe wisedome for vs to regard them now and to giue them good entertainement, while they remaine [Page] amongst vs, or els when we trauaile into their country where they dwell (which will not be long) and think to find reliefe at their handes, they wil then serue vs, as we serued them, and put vs in minde of our discour­teous dealing against them, when they were amongst vs, as Ioseph told his bertheren of their crueltie, a­gainst Gen. 45. 3, 4, him, when they went into E­gipte, for succour, where he bare rule, and they had nothing to doe, then were they both afraide and a­shamed, and so shall we be too, if we doe not repent.

Well go to then, we will not lightly passe ouer this preface, as we haue don, as if they were but words of course, for there is more in them then we thinke there were, for in deed, there is more contained in these two wordes, My sonne, than (some thinke) can be gathered out of two chapters, yea ij books. I will not say the whole booke of God, [Page] butl et vs see, why the Lord vseth to speake so vnto miserable men, and why he speaketh in the singular number, as to one alone, when that which he saith concerneth not only one mā, but the whole church of God, that we may also vse them to that ende, for which they were set downe.

Surely the Lord of mercy, (know­ing where of we be made, and see­ing Psa. 103. 14. that we are but dust, full of weak­nesse and corruption) frameth him­selfe in his worde to speake accor­dingly. And albeit, he sometime vt­tereth himselfe in fearefull wordes of might and maiesty, to shewe his power and soueraigntie ouer vs, yet sometime againe he speaketh as a tender father, alluring his children with sweet wordes of comfort, and encouragement, for if mount Sinay should still smoke, and burne with Exod. 20. 19▪ fire, Israell would die for feare. If Moses should not couer his face Exod. 34. 30. 33, 35. [Page] with a vaile when he cōmeth from talking with God, they wer not able to behold him, If the Lord of hosts should alwaies send strong windes before him, to rend the mountains, and to split the Rockes in pieces, Eliah himselfe durst not come out of his caue, but if a still and a soft voice come after the winde, the earthquake, and the fire, then will Eliah beginne to peepe out, and 1. King. 19. 11 12, 13. boldly to stand vp, but he will not go beyond the entring of the caue, as bold as he is, and his face must be couered with his mantle too.

Here therefore, and often in this booke, the Lorde of heauen and earth, speaketh no otherwise, vnto his church than a father doth to his child, My sonne, (saith he) yea he taketh vpon him the person of a fa­ther, and speaketh like a father most louingly, kindly and alluringly, say­ing My sonne, partly to persuade vs to heare our duetie, partly to en­courage [Page] and confirme vs in the dis­charge of our duetie, partly to com­fort vs, when we be in troble for do­ing our duetie, but principally to teach vs, that whatsoeuer obedience we yeeld vnto God, wee must per­forme it with a sonne-like affection, and whatsoeuer fauour God shew­eth vnto vs, it commeth from a fa­therly compassion. And lastly that al our obedience is accepted of him, and all his loue, is bestowed vppon vs, onely because wee are his chil­dren in Christ, but for no cause of worthinesse that is in our selues.

So that these wordes, My sonne, (proceeding from God to men) are words of persuasion, they are words of encouragement, they are wordes of comfort, and they are wordes of instruction: They are in a word like the tree of life (in the Reuelation) that beareth twelue manner of fruit, euerie moneth; whose very leaues Reu. 22. 2. do serue to cure the Nations.

[Page] If any shall say, Can all this come out of these two wordes? I say to them, as Philp saide in another case to Nathaniel, Come and see. Ioh. 1. 46.

But are they not of power suffici­ent to persuade? Surely where the spirite of grace is, they are sufficient: for, when nothing can preuaile with a childe, the loue and authoritie of his father shall preuaile with him: especially, if the thing be honest and lawfull which is commanded. One word of his fathers mouth shall per­suade more than 1000. of another.

How these wordes, My sonne, do serue to per­suade, and to moue affection.

NOw our heauenly father com­mandeth vs nothing but things honest & lawfull, neither can he cō ­mand any thing els; for it is against his nature: but our rebellious hearts naturally doe go against the hearing of them: therefore wee had need of some oratour to persuade vs, and that might vse some good argu­mentes [Page] and strong reasons to moue our affections. The Lord doth ther­fore become that Oratour himselfe, but all the fine eloquence, and al the strong argumentes by which hee would mooue affection, are in these wordes, My sonne, as if he should say, If thou wilt heare no bodie, O thou rebellious person, yet thou wilt har­ken to the voyce of thy father; if thou wilt not regard thy Father which begat thee, and brought thee vp, whom wilt thou regarde? Thy father speaketh, heare him. I loue thee with a fathers loue, therefore heare, I haue a fathers aucthoritie ouer thee, therefore heare mee: I haue a fathers interest in thee, there­fore regard what I say: I haue a fa­thers care ouer thee, therefore giue eare vnto me. If thou be my sonne, heare me, and if thou louest me as I loue thee, heare mee. If thou hast felt the power of my loue, if thou haue tasted the sweetnesse of my [Page] loue, If thou haue known the great­nesse of my loue, which I haue shed abundantly vpon thee, when I gaue Iesus Christ for thee, I know thou wilt not stoppe thy eares, but wilt both regard me and obey me, what­souer reasons or persuasions thou hast receiued, or maiest receiue of the worlde, or the deuill, or thy owne false heart, to the contrarie. Nowe when the Lorde woulde speake all this in one worde, hee sayth, My sonne: Therefore let vs remember that GOD calleth vs sonnes, and wee call him father: for wee say, Our father, &c. and it sufficeth. Nay more (saith the Lord) Remember that I call thee not one­ly a sonne, but my sonne: and re­member that thou haue not onely a father, but that I am thy father, no man, nor Angell, nor anie person of meane estate, but the almightie God of heauen and earth, the King of kinges, and Lord of lords, euen [Page] the King of glorie, and the Lord of hostes, mightie in battaile, whose Psal. 24. 8. glorie is infinite, and his Maiestie is incomprehensible, who filleth the earth with the riches of his mer­cie, Psal. 104. 24. Psal. 8. 1. 3. whose wisedome, power, and goodnesse doth shine in euery part of the worlde, who telleth the Starres, and calleth them all by Psal. 147. 4. 9 their names, whose dwelling is in the Heauens, and the Earth is his footstoole, at whose presence the Heauens and the Earth are moo­ued, and melted, euen such a one is thy Father, and if thou wilt not be mooued when suche a one spea­keth and calleth thee his Sonne, then it goeth hard. Remember a­gaine that I am thy father, and such a one doth call thee his sonne, as might haue forsaken thee for e­uer, but hee did not, he could haue destroyed thee in thy sinnes, but he did not: hee could haue made thee a prey to the deuill, but hee did not: [Page] hee coulde haue plagued thee with infinite plagues, but hee did not, he coulde haue shut vp thy bodie and soule in the chaines of darkenesse, in Hell fire for euer, but hee did not. Againe hee was not bound to make thee his son and heire, yet he did it: he was not compelled to spare thee, yet he did it, he sawe no reason why he should blesse thee so many ways, yet he hath blessed thee manie waies: thou couldst not per­suade him, yet hee was persuaded: thou hadst nothing to say for thy selfe, yet hee was satisfied: thou wert his ennemie, yet hee became thy friend: in a worde, thou wert the childe of the Diuell, and the heire of endlesse perdition, yet hee made thee the childe of God, and an heire of euerlasting saluation, such a one is thy father: therefore if thou contemnest the wordes of such a Father, remember whom thou contemnest. I coulde presse [Page] thee with my power, but I doe woo thee by my loue. I might haue dis­plaied my flagge of defiance against thee, and haue saide my rebell; but loe, I haue put out a flagge of truce, and displaied my colours of loue, when I call thee My sonne, Remem­ber this, My sonne, and be persuaded. Thus wee see howe the Lord doth as it were adiure vs by the loue, and authoritie of a father, and by the loue and duetie of a sonne, to heare his word, and obey his com­mandementes.

Therefore doe these two words, My sonne, runne from one to ano­ther so often in this booke of Pro­uerbs, whatsoeuer matter almost he hath in hand. Father and Sonne, must go before as common Oratours to get attention, and to mooue affecti­on: to shew vs that if anie thing will draw a man to God, it is the feeling and consideration of his loue in Christ: and hee that will not yeeld, [Page] when hee is thus charmed, will hee euer be wonne? And hee that shall runne from God, when hee seeth the white auncient, with the co­lours of mercie and fauour dis­plaied, when wil he come and hum­ble himselfe to God?

Therefore Salomon saith, That lo­uing Prou. 22. 1. fauor is aboue gold and siluer: meaning, that it is not onely more worth, but that it is of greater force, and will bring greater matters to passe, and yet we know that money will doe much: but is not the kings fauour without his paie, better than the kings paie without his fauour? and what good shall the goodes of his subiectes doe him, without their heartes and good will?

This knew the old counsellers of Salomon well inough, and therefore when Rehoboam (who succeeded Sa­lomon) asked them, what course he 1. King. 12. 7. should take, to winne the heartes of the people, they gaue him counsell [Page] to speak kindly vnto them at the first and they would be his seruantes for euer, meaning that some token of loue, or shewe of a kind affection towardes them, would more pre­uaile with them, than any thing els. Shall the hope of Rehoboams loue make his subiects serue him for e­uer, and shall not the assurance of Gods loue make vs serue him, for e­uer? Shall the kind words of Rehobo­am the king of Ifrael, win the heartes of his people for euer, and shal not the kind wordes of Iehouah the king of heauen and earth, win the hearts of his people for euer and for euer vnto himselfe? besides that Reho­boam had neede to speake kindly to his subiects, or els it is the worse for himselfe, Iehouah needeth not to speake so, for if we neuer loue him, it is not the worse for him, but for our selues, yea if we be righteous, we are righteous for our selues, and if we all perish, God wil not loose a Iob. [Page] whit of his glory, shall we not then listen vnto the Lord when he spea­keth so kindly vnto vs, and hath dis­played the flagge of Truce, with, My sonne, the badge of loue vpon it. When God commaunded Abra­ham to sacrifice his sonne Isaac, he was Gen. 22. 3. 10, 12. ready to do it. So deare was the loue of God vnto him, but if all the world besides had persuaded him therevnto, he would neuer haue yeelded. God doth not commaund vs to sacrifice our sonnes, but our sinnes, least they sacrifice vs, now if we thinke our selues as much be­holding to God as Abraham was, we wil not spare them, though they be as necessarie for vs, as our right hand, or as profitable vnto vs as our right eye. If Iudas had been the child Mat. 27. of God, as he was the child of per­dition? would he haue sold the loue of Christ for 30 pieces of siluer? no, nor yet for 30 thousande worldes, but so it is with all Hipocrites, and [Page] reprobate persons, (which are best knowne to the searcher of hearts.) They cannot be persuaded, that God is their father in Christ, their spirites are not assured by Gods spirit, that God doth loue them. They conceiue of the Lord, as of their enemie, and therefore as they could neuer feele the sweetenesse of Gods loue, in their soules, so they can neuer afford him their loue in their liues. Whervpon it commeth to passe, that the least temptation in the world, the least feare of mans displeasure, and the least shew of pleasure and profit, doe easily per­suade them to doe any thing a­gainst god, against his glory, against his word, and against his feruantes, as Baalam did, who serued for the wages of iniquitie. Num. 23.

But the faithfull indeed, hearing Iud. 11. God calling them his sonnes and his daughters, (hauing the spirit of sanctification, to assure them of [Page] their adoption, they (I say) do fall into the reckoning of Gods vnspea­kable loue in Christ, vnto them, (howbeit not all at one time, nor alwaies alike) & he that is not now, may be hereafter, but when they consider of it indeed, they do there­withall resolue with themselues, (in token of thankfullnesse) to serue the Lord, in righteousnesse and true holines all the daies of their life (yet still depēding vpon God by prayer) and herein (through Gods grace) they are resolute, whatsoeuer dislike of men or hinderance in the world or daunger to their owne liues, they might purchase for their labor? And thus wee see, what an Orator the loue of God is. Therfore when the Lord saith, My son, let vs looke for no more eloquēce, to entice vs, nor reasons to persuade vs, for heare is e­loquence inough, & reasons inow, and learning inough, and fathers inow to persuade any man that [Page] hath the spirit of God in him, and whosoeuer doth not find the cords of Gods loue, and authoritie strong inough, to knit his hearte vnto the statutes of the Lord, he hath good cause to suspect himselfe as yet, that he is not the child of God.

Why, My sonne, in the singular number, and not my sonnes.

NOw we will see, why the Lord saith not My sonnes, in the plurall number, seeing as he speaketh to all his childrē, but My sonne, as if it con­cerned but onely one body. This is partly for the particular encourage­ment and confirmation of euery one in his duety, and partly for the particular comfort of euery one of Gods children, when he shall be troubled for doing of his duety, for when the Lord in particular shall giue euery one his charge, then if any man be offended at him, he may shew his warrant, and say thus, Sir [Page] the Lord did not speake generally to all, least one should post it off to another, but he speaketh particu­larly to me, aswell as to another, and therefore I am discharged: for when the Lord speaketh indefinitly meaning none, he excepteth none. But in this particular kind of spea­king, the Lord doth binde euery one of his children in particular, wholy to serue him, and none els, so therewithall he giueth vs to vn­derstand, that he hath a speciall eye and fatherly care ouer euery one in particular, that is his childe, and will surely protect and defend him as his childe against all annoiances watsoeuer, than the which there can be no greater comfort, whensoe­uer the crosse shall come.

But we will first see, how they doe binde vs wholy to God, and af­terwarde we will see how God hath bound himselfe to vs and euery one of vs, if we be all his children, as I [Page] hope we be.

Some thinke it lawfull to serue God and the worlde too, to be of this Reiiglon and of that Religion too, to goe to Bethell the house of God and to Bethauen, the house of Idolitrie. To goe with Barnabas and Barrabas, and to ioyne with Simon Magus as with Simon Peter, & think­ing themselues sufficiently dischar­ged, if they serue God a little now and then, or if they keepe their con­sciences to themselues, and giue God their heartes, like Protestantes at large, which thinke they need not heare a sermon, because they heard seruice, or they need not come in the after noone, because they came in the forenoone; or like the most, which think, when they haue heard a sermon, they are then at libertie to do what they will, or like those men, which will heare a Masse, and worshippe the crosse at the least, in other countries, that they may [Page] get commodities thereby, but they will keep their consciences to them­selues, as our church Papists doe here amongst vs but all these men are deceiued for no man can serue ij. maisters. Therefore my good bro­ther when any such temptations do beginne to fawne vpon thee. Re­member that God doth here call euerie particular member of the church, his sonne, and to thee ther­fore he saith, My sonne, as if hee should say, None may haue any in­terest in thee, but I. Thou art mine, thou art not theirs, Thy creation is wholly mine, thy redemption is wholly mine, & thy preseruation is wholly mine, and therefore I looke that thy obedience, and thy seruice, and thy worship, and thy bodie, and thy soule, and all should be wholly mine.

And good reason, for do we not owe all to him of whom we haue receiued all? Of God we haue recei­ued [Page] all that we haue: for in him we liue, and moue, and haue our being: Act. 17. 28. doe we not therefore owe him our life our mouing, and our being, euē whatsoeuer we are, or whatsoeuer we haue? And is it not reason that if a man hath bought a thing wholly, and wholly paid for it, that he shuld haue it wholly to himselfe? howe much more ought the Lord to haue the whole seruice both of body and soule, seeing hee hath bought all, and paid for all? Therefore nowe, we are no more our owne men, but the Lords: therefore hee saith, My sonne, As if he should say againe; If thou hearkenest to anie, hearken vn­to mee: if thou beleeuest anie, be­leeue me: if thou louest anie, loue me: if thou fearest anie, feare me: if thou obeiest anie, obey me: if thou standest for anie bodies credite or glorie, stand for mine: If thou doest praise anie bodies workes, praise mine: and if thou returnest thanks­giuing [Page] to any, returne them to mee, and to my vse onely: for now, by vertue of the league and couenaunt wherinto thou and I be entered, thy hearing is mine, thy faith is mine, thy loue is mine, thy feare is mine, thy obedience is mine, thy praises are mine: in body and soule, and in euery part and member therof, thou must be wholy mine, and no bodies else, and therefore remember, that I do not call thee, Our son, as though some other were my partner in thee, but I call thee, My sonne, because I Esay 48, 11. will not giue my glorie vnto any o­ther.

Wilt thou bee content that thy wife (as Iob sayth) shall grind vnto Iob. 31. 10. another, when she is married wholy to thee? Thou wilt not. And will the Lord take it in good part if thou deuide thy loue betweene him, and another, seeing he hath maried thee wholy to himselfe? No surely, hee will not be serued by the halfes, hee [Page] will be a sole father, and a whole fa­ther, or els no father, hee will haue thee his sonne onely, or els no sonne at all: hee will haue all our seruice, or els none of our seruice. And if the diuell hath any interest at all, he shal one day haue interest in al, with­out repētance: for he taketh possessi­on of the whole man by some one member of the body, or by some one affection of the heart, as men take state of a house by the ring of a dore. And hee keepeth possession aswell by the loue of one sinne (if it raigne in a man) as by a thousand: euen as men keepe possession of a house, aswell by one man within, or a childe, as by a thousand, if they be not expelled.

God hath a remnant in Israel, 1. Kin. 19. 18. more than Eliah knoweth of: but they are such as bow not their knees to Baall, neither doe they kisse him with their mouthes. If we doe but hold vp our hands to an idoll (saith [Page] the Church of God in captiuitie) doe wee not deale deceitfully with Gods couenant, and shall not God Psal. 44. 17. 20, 21. search this out? yea though we keep our heartes for God (as wee thinke) so iealous is the Lord ouer his glo­rie, that hee can abide no halting in religion.

Againe, My sonne, to teach vs that wee be not our owne men, but our fathers, which is in heauē. If we be not our own men, but the Lords, then we must not be at our own ap­pointment, but at his in euery thing. To euery one of his children, God hath appointed a place, & a stāding, while he liueth in the world; to some in the Church, and to some in the commonwealth. Our whole taske is appointed by God, how much and how long euerie one must worke in his place, God must appoint: looke how farre euerie one is to go by his heauenly fathers direction, so farre must we go & no further. We must [Page] tarrie till God doth send vs, and no longer: and we must speake all that our father in heauen doth bid vs, but no more.

Moses must keepe sheepe, vntill Exo. 3. 12. 3. God send him to Pharao, and then he must go to Pharao, be hee neuer Exod. 4. 10. so slow of speach: Ionas must not go to Niniuie vntill he be sent; neither may hee go to Tharsis, when hee is sent to Niniuie: Saul must not touch Ion. 1, 2, 3, 4. 1. Sam. 15. 9, 22 the Amalekites, vntil he be comman­ded: but when he hath his commis­sion from aboue, he may not spare Agag though he be a king, neither a­nie of the cattell, be they neuer so fit for sacrifice. Balaam must not go when God bid him stay, though the Num. 22. 12, 13. king of Moab send for him: neither must he curse, when God doth bid him blesse, if he might haue moun­taines of gold for his labour.

And when the Lord doth cast any office vpon his children, then they Psa. 82, 6. are not onely Gods Children, but [Page] also Gods officers, I haue said yee are gods: that is you are of my appoin­ting, and you are in my stead. And then the Lord saith to one, My sonne, thou art now my Magistrate to rule for me: to another hee saith, Thou art nowe my Minister to teach for me: to another, Thou art nowe my Steward to giue for me: to another, Thou art now my Captaine to con­duct for mee: to another, Thou art now my Souldiour, to fight for me, &c. But remember that you are mine still, and not your owne, nor at anie bodies appointment, but at mine. And therfore, see that you go­uerne as I haue taught you: for your gouernment is my gouernment, See that you iudge as I haue appointed you: for your iudgment is my iudg­ment. See that you teach as I haue prescribed, for your doctrine is my doctrin: and see that you fight when I bid you fight, for your battailes are my battailes.

[Page] When our Sauiour Christ sawe Matt. 22, 21. Caesars marke vpon Caesars coine, hee bad that Caesar should haue his due: but so, as God also must not loose his right. If Caesar must haue that which is marked out for Caesar, shall not God haue that seruice, that wor­ship, those officers, and such orders as he hath marked out for himselfe? verely if we giue them, or chaunge them with the world, or the deuill, which haue no right in them, wee shall follow too, if we repent not.

What shall we doe then? why, what if the world say, giue mee thy heart? Say, thou mayst not; it is the Lordes alreadie. What if vaine plaies, and filthy speech woulde haue mee to lend them my eares? denie them, and say, that they are for the holy thinges of God. What iflying and deceite would haue the vse of my tongue, and sit in the dore of my lips? tell them they are be spo­ken alreadie, and trueth must haue [Page] the vse of both. What if vncleane thoughtes come a wooing to thy minde? tell them that thy minde is for holie meditations, and there­fore there is no place for them. What if vncleannesse her selfe, de­sire but a nightes lodging in thy bodie, and seate in thy heart, for loue or for money? Tell her that thy body is the Temple of the holie Ghost, and thy heart is the Lords chaire of state, and therefore let her loue and her money perishe to­gither with her selfe. What if co­uetousnesse, or vsurie, or vaine-glorie come? Whosoeuer come, shape them all the same answere, though they bring their friendes with them to persuade thee, or aucthoritie to commaund thee: e­uerie one may not come into the kinges Courts: euery one may not presume into the presence Cham­ber; much lesse into the priuie-Chamber: but none may sit in the [Page] Princes chaire of estate, but the Prince only. Neither may the kings officers be at euery bodies cōman­dement. Our bodies and our soules be the kinges courtes, all the mem­bers of our bodies, and al the pow­ers of our soules, are the kinges offi­cers, wheresoeuer thou art, thou art Psa. 139, 7. in his presence chāber, but thy con­science is his priuy chamber, & thy hearte is his throne of state. There­fore let not euerie one in, but let the feare of God stand in euery corner, and at euery entry, like the kinges guard, and if any offer to come in, which haue nothing to doe there, let the guard tell them that there is no place for them, all is taken vp to the kinges vse. If that will not serue the turne, thrust them out by the head and shoulders, and if they turne againe vpon thee, hew them in pieces, with the sword of the spi­rite, yea if thou find Iezabell, in the kinges chamber, cast her out at the [Page] windowes, and let the dogges eate her, If Haman himselfe be there, co­uer his face and hang him vp; for what shall such doe, where the Lord of hostes should sit and raigne.

All this is in generall, but now more particularly, suppose I bee a man of wealth and countenance likely to beare office in the church of God, or in the common wealth, what if I be called to the place of a chiefe Maiestrat amongst the peo­ple, may I not refuse it? Thou art not thy owne man, but the Lords, the calling is not mans, but Gods, therefore thou maist not refuse it. But what if ease and selfeloue would persuade me to buy it for euer? Tell thy ease and thy selfeloue, that thou art not at their appointment, but at the disposing of thy heauenly fa­ther. If this be not sufficient, tell Gen. 25. 30. them that Esau sinned in selling his birthright, and if thou shouldst sell away the gouernement from thy [Page] shoulders, thou sellest not thy own right, but Gods right, the churches right, the common wealths right, the Princes right, the poore mans right, with the right of the widowes, fatherles, and Orphans, for when God doth set a man in that place, all these haue interest in him, therefore let no man buy it off, but rest vpon God, least he become more pro­phane than Esau, but what if trouble and daunger be like to follow? then say as Mordecay saide vnto Hester, Hest. 4. 14. what canst thou tell, whether God hath aduaunced thee for the deliue­rance of his people? & what if thou say, as Hester said to her selfe, I will take it vpon me, pray you for me, Ver. 16. and if I perish, I perish, I am not at my owne appointment, but at the appointment of my heauenly fa­ther.

But suppose, that I be a minister of God, and set ouer Gods people, to teach them the waies of the Lord [Page] maie I not turne them ouer to an­other, if ease or profite doe call me? surely no: for if thou bee at Gods appointment, thou must keep thy stāding, & looke to that flock o­uer which the holy ghost hath made thee an ouerseer. Act. 20. 28.

What if mens traditions would borrow a roome in my study? turne them out, and tell them, that thy stu­dy is onely for the law of God, but what if popular praise and vain-glo­ry would persuade me to make a shew of painted eloquence, and hu­mane learning, tell them that thou art not set there to seek thy selfe, but Gods people, not thy owne glory, but the glorie of him that sent thee.

But imagine that I am a priuat man, and haue a trade to liue vpon, and a family to looke vnto? then fol­low that, but what if I see thinges out of order in the church, may I not helpe to put them in order a­gaine? or may I not leaue my trade [Page] and become a minister? Surely by praier and supplication thou maiest help, but keepe thy standing: for thou art not thy owne man to for­goe thy place at thy pleasure. As for the ministery, it is to be born by such as haue gifts and calling for it, as the Arke was to be carried by Leuites, and not by Oxen. But what if the Arke be readie to fall, may not I step to and hold it vp? Thou art not thereunto appoynted. Therefore take heed Vzzah, least thou fall thy selfe before the Arke. Therefore let 2. Sam. 6. 6, 7 euerie one keepe his place and stan­ding that God hath set him in. And if anie body doe claime anie interest in vs, more than our heauenly fa­ther hath graunted him; let vs an­swere him as our Sauiour Christ did the deuill: Auoide, for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, Matt. 4. 10. and him only shalt thou serue. And thus we see how these wordes doe binde vs particularly, and wholly to our [Page] heauenly father, and our discharge when we haue done our duetie to God.

How these wordes My sonne, doe serue for our consolation.

NOw we will see, for the comfor­ting and strengthening of our faith, how the Lord in these wordes My sonne, doth binde himselfe to his children, which thing (being duely considered) will cause vs (through the grace of God) to beare with pa­tience, whatsoeuer crosse shall fall vpon vs in the discharging of those dueties which our heauenly father hath laid vpon vs in our seuerall cal­linges: yea, if we fall into the recko­ning of it, wee will not onely goe cheerefully away without fainting vnder the burthen, but euen despise, and set at naught all reproches and slaunders, all mockes and iestes, all losses and hinderances, and death it [Page] selfe for the excellent glorie, and glorious libertie of the sonnes of Rom. 8. 18. 21. God: for as this white flagge doth shewe vs that we are not our owne men, but the Lordes; so in the same we may also perceiue that the Lord hath a speciall care ouer euery one of his children in particular. If wee be wholly his, then is hee wholly ours: if wee be not sonnes for our selues, but for him; then he is a fa­ther not for himselfe: but for vs.

Therefore, saith the Lord, My sonne, which is all one, as if hee had said, I am thy father, as thou art my son: thou art mine, and I am thine: for there is no sonne without a fa­ther. My sonne, if thou doest a sonnes duetie to mee, I will haue a fathers care ouer thee, whatsoeuer is past shalbe forgotten, feare nothing: for thou shalt want nothing that I see good for thee. Goe through my bu­sinesse boldly and couragiously, & I wil stand by thee to the end. If thou [Page] wantest any thing, tell me, and I wil supply thy wantes. If anie bodie do Mat. 28. last. Iam. 1. 5. abuse thee in word and deede, com­plaine to me, and I will see it redres­sed. If thou wantest wisedome, aske it of me▪ and I will make thee wiser Psa. 119. 99. than thy ancients. If thou wantest Psa. 119, 57. wealth, I my selfe will be thy porti­on. If thou be weake, I will bee thy strength. If thou fall sicke, I will be thy phisition: and if thou die, I will restore thee to life againe, euen to Ioh. 11. 25. life euerlasting. Therefore cast thy whole care vpon me, for I will care for thee, and thy whole prouision will I take vpon my selfe: only keep Iosh. 1. 8. thou thy standing, bee faithfull in thy calling, relie vpon me, my son, and feare nothing.

And further, My sonne, doe not thinke that my prouidence is onely in generall ouer all my children, but know that my pro [...]idence reacheth in particular to euerie one of my children in what place of the world [Page] soeuer they be. In the mountains & Psal. 139. vallies, by sea and by land, by night and by day: All thinges are open in my sight at one instant. And this is the Heb. 4. 13. cause why the Lord saith, My sonne, as though he spake but to one, when he speaks to all that are his children, that all may knowe what a speciall care he hath of euerie one: yea such a care indeede hath the Lord ouer all his children in particular, that hee hath numbred all the haires of their Psal. 56. 8. head, he putteth all their teares into a bottell, hee counteth all their go­ings, and he regardeth all their sighs and grones. Insomuch as, a stone doth not lie in their waie, but hee knoweth of it, & knowing it, he doth so preserue them, as that they shall not hurt their foot against a stone.

This indeed is sweet & comfor­table, but yet for all that wee see by daily experiēce, that the children of God, doe still go by the worst in the world: and the troubles of the righ­teous Psal. 34. 19. [Page] are manie and great, but the wicked doe prosper as Iob saith, nei­ther doe they come into trouble as Iob. 21. 7, 8, 9, &c. other men, yea they haue whatsoe­uer their heart can wish, and more too, (as Dauid saith) they are not mocked nor flowted at, nor had in Psa. 73. 5. derision, as the Godly are, &c. Stay thy selfe, All this is true, and a great deale more thā this, but what then? Yet God is good to Israell for all Psa. 73. 1. this, and careth for the affliction of poore Ioseph, yea what wilt thou say if Ioseph be afflicted that the Lord might shew what care he hath of his affliction? but what? Can the Lord forget his litle worme Iacob, which he Esa. 49. 16. hath writen in the palmes of his handes? Or is there no profite in seruing of the al­mightie? Let the reprobate make the Iob 21. 14. Mal. 3. 14. conclusion. Thou thy selfe arta fa­ther, and if thy child doe thy will, thou wilt giue him good thinges. If he doth transgresse thy will, thou wilt also correct him, because he is [Page] thy childe. And shall not the Lord which excelleth all fathers in loue, much more giue his children good Luk. 11. 13. things when they obay him.

Verely he wil cause his people to mount vpon the high places of the earth, and Israell shalbe fed with the heritage of Iaakob his father, for the mouth of the Lord of hostes hath Esa. 58. 14. spoken it.

But what if his children do offēd him? shall it not be lawfull for him to correct them? Surely whom he loueth he correcteth, euen as a fa­ther Pro. 3. 12. doth the child in whom he de­lighteth and therfore he correcteth them because he loueth them. If his child do sinne against him, (as who doth not) he will chasten him with the rods of men, and will visite their sinnes, with the plagues of the chil­dren of men. So did he deale with Salomon, and he told his father Da­uid how he would vse him, but yet 2 Sam. 7. 1 [...] (saith he) I wilbe his father, and he [Page] shalbe my sonne, and my mercy wil I not take frō him, as I tooke it from Saul, whom I put awaie before thee. So his mercie, he will not take awaie from his children, as he doth frō the wicked, whom hee hath purposed to cast off in the end.

But thou doest aske me why the wicked do florish in this world. I ask thee again, why doest thou set vp thy Oxen a fatting? is it not against the daie of slaughter? So doth God like­wise set vp the vngodly and proud men a fatting, euen vntill their eies stand out with fatnesse: but is it not Psal. 73. 7. against the day of iudgment? Ther­fore Psal. 37. 1. be content, and fret not thy self at the prosperitie of irreligious and prophane men, whose life is but a warre with God. They haue their heauen heere, that they may haue their hell hereafter. And what if Ca­pernaum be lifted vp to the heauēs, hee shalbe cast downe to the lowest Mat. 11. 23. hell: and howe should hee be cast [Page] downe, if he were not first lifted vp? Againe, The Lord will raise his peo­ple out of the dust, and set them vp Psal. 113. 7. amongst Princes: how should they be raised vp, if they were not first cast downe?

But why doth the Lord suffer the vngodly so to vexe his Children? surely, because they are his rods to whip them withall; but when hee hath wel corrected his children, and worne his rod to the stumps, the rod shalbe cast into the fire: and as scul­lions of the kitchen, to scoure his vessels of honour, so doth the Lord vse all the wicked ennemies of his Church, euen the greatest Tirantes that euer were.

But, why doth our heauenly fa­ther keepe his children so bare and so poore as they be manie times? Neuer maruell at that: for thou thy selfe (being a father) keepest thy child bare, and giuest him neuer a pennie in his purse: thou puttest him [Page] to schoole, thou doest keep him vn­der, and giuest him but from hand to mouth, vntill he come to yeares of discretion, and then thou doest giue him more large allowance: and when his time is come, he possesseth also thy inheritance and not before. For, if he should possesse the inheri­tance, when hee is a childe or a youth, hee would waxe proud, and perhappes spend it awaie riotouslie and wastfullie. So God our heauen­lie father, seeth that if wee should haue our handes full, and want no­thing, we would waxe proud, and wanton, and forget God (as manie doe) or we would spend it vainly or maliciously, or (as S. Iames saith) vpon our pleasures and lustes, and therefore our heauenly father, doth in singular wisdome keepe vs vnder manie times, giuing vs but frō hand to mouth; yet doth he loue vs neuer the worse for all that, but the better: and when the time of re [...]eshing is [Page] come from the Lord, it shalbe saide Act. 3. 19. vnto vs, Come ye blessed children of my Father, possesse the kingdome prepa­red Matt. 25. 34. for you, from the beginning of the world.

But in the meane time, wee must looke for trouble in the worlde: for so hath our Lord Iesus foretolde vs. In the world you shall haue trouble (saith Ioh 15. 9. Ioh. 16. 33. he) but be of good cheare, I haue ouer­come the world: that victorie is not for himselfe, but for the faithfull. And as for trouble & affliction, the Lord doth see it good for vs, that we may learne the statutes of our God, as the rod is necessarie for the childe, without which he would waxe bru­tish, and barbarous.

The gold is put in the fire, and is Similitudes made the finer: the spices are braied in the morter, and do smell the swee­ter: the vine is pruned to the stocke, and is made the more fruitfull: the grape is trodden and pressed, & eyel­deth the more wine: the ground is [Page] rent with the plough, and then re­ceiueth the seede: the corne is first beaten out with the flaile, then it is tossed with the fanne: after that, it is ground in the mill, and then it is fit to make bread: the cloth is rent, and cut in peeces before it can make a garment: the finest linnen is wa­shed, and wrung, and then is made white. All these are familiar exam­ples to teach vs howe necessarie af­fliction is for the children of God, and howe hardly they are made fit for the kingdome of heauen, with­out the crosse.

Ioseph was promised, that he shuld Examples. be ruler ouer all his brethren, but he was not so by and by: hee must first Ioseph. be cast into a pit, then hee must be bought and solde, then hee must be tempted and falsly accused, then he must be wrongfullie imprisoned: and after all this, hee shall be aduan­ced. The Israelites were promised the land of Chanaan which flowed Israelites. [Page] with milke and honny, but it is not giuen them so soone as it is promi­sed, they must first serue in Aegypt, then they must passe the red Sea, then they must trauaile through the wildernesse of manifolde wantes: then they must fight manie sore bat­tailes, and afterward come to Cha­naan. It was tolde Dauid that hee Dauid. should be king, but hee did not pre­sently weare the crowne. No Dauid no, thou must first be a shepheard; then thou must encounter with Go­liah the vncircumcised; then thou must looke for Saules hatred; then thou must be banished Saules courts, and thy owne countrey: and after all this, and a great deale more, with much adoe, thou shalt be king. So the Lord hath promised vs the king­dome of heauen, whereof Chanaan was a figure and a resemblance, but wee must not looke presently to en­ioy it: wee must first be handled as Ioseph was; then wee must be euill [Page] treated and oppressed, as Israel was; then wee must be hated and perse­cuted, as Dauid was, and then wee shall haue it. The worlde will hate vs, our foes will hate vs, and our friendes will hate vs, if wee feare God, but God will loue vs, and that is our comfort: Father and mother will forsake vs, but God will Psa: 27. 10. take vs vp, and that is our com­fort. Craftie heades will lay snares to take vs in our goinges, but God will breake the snare, and our soules Psa. 124. 7. shall escape: the proude and mali­cious, will dishonour and disgrace vs, but GOD will honour those that honour him: for fathers are 1. Sam. 2. 30 the glorie of their children (saith Sa­lomon) howe much more shall the Prou. 17. 6. God of all glorie, be a glorie to his Children? we must not looke to be free from the buffettinges of Sa­than, if wee were as holie as Paule; but feare nothing, the grace of 2. Cor. 12. 7. God, doth and shall vpholde vs. [Page] And Sathan will sift vs, as wheat is Luke 22. 31. 32. sifted, if we weare as good as Peter, if he may haue his desire, but be not afraid, for I haue prayed for thee, saith the Lord Iesus, that thy faith may not faile, yea the Lord doth fight for vs, and with his louing fa­uour he will defend his children, as Psa 5. 12. with a sheild.

This is more (I cōfesse) than man can found with the plummet of hu­man reason, neither is it alwais seen with the eies of our body. There­fore 2. Cor. 5. 7. Gods children must learne to walke by faith, and not by sight. And therfore is our waiting on god made an article of our faith, I beeloue in God the father almightie &c. That which must vpholde our faith is Gods promise, and his power. So was Abraham vpholden and was persuaded that God would be as good as his word, though he saw no worldly reason for it, and if we Rom. 4. 21. could giue a naturall reason for that, [Page] as wee may doe for thinges of the world, then were our trusting in God an article of reason, but not an article of faith. And these two can not stand together, for faith doth beginne, where reason doth end, that when all meanes doe faile vs, yet faith may vphold vs, in the promises of God.

And thus we see, how these two words, My sonne, do not onely persuade vs to here God, and bind vs entirely to serue him, without halting in our calling, but they serue also to comfort vs, and to cheare vs vp, when the crosse doth meete vs in doing, or rather in neglecting the dueties of our calling.

How these words, My sonne, do serue for instruction.

LAst of all, for our instruction the Lord saith, My son, to teach vs that if we doe willingly heare him [Page] when he teacheth vs, if we diligent­ly obay him when he commaun­deth vs, and if we patiently suffer him, when he correcteth vs, he will (no doubt) haue a fatherly care ouer vs, he will accept of our sacrifices, and heare our praiers, he will also be mercifull to our sinnes, and for­giue vs our offences, he will deli­uer vs from hell, and bring vs into heauen. But all this is neither for our hearing, nor for our obaying, nor for our suffering, nor for our praying, nor for our working, but because we are first his adopted children in Iesus christ. It is not for any worthinesse that is in vs, but for the worthinesse of the Lord Iesus, by whose meanes we are become his sonnes & his daughters, we are not therfore made the sons of God, because we heare his word, because we obay his commaundements, be­cause we beare the crosse, or for any other thing that we haue done, or [Page] possibly can doe, (as Papists hold) but therfore we heare him, and ther­fore we obay him, and therefore we suffer him, and therefore we loue him, because we are first made his children in the Lord Iesus.

Our good workes are not the cause of our election, but Gods elec­tion is the cause of our good works, for he hath chosen vs, (saith the A­postle) in him that is in Christ, before the foundation of the world, that wee Ephe. 1. 4. should be holy and blameles before him in loue, Therefore we hold againe, that all our poore endeuours are ac­cepted of God, and rewarded with heauen, not because we haue wrought them, our selues, (as the Tit. 3. 7. aduersaries of the grace of God doe teach) but because they are sanctifi­ed in the couenaunt of Gods grace, and washed in the bloud of the vn­spotted Lamb Iesus Christ, therfore we hold, and hold truely, that all those spots and blots, which remain [Page] in our imperfect obedience, must be couered with the vnspotted ho­linesse, and perfect obedience of Ie­sus Christ, as with a garment, that Psal. 32. 1. no part of our filthy nakednes may appeare in the pure presence of him, whose eyes can abide no vnclean­nesse, Apo. 3. 18. or els we can neuer be saued. Therefore we hold againe, and that according to truth, that all our righ­teousnesse, is vncleane and pollu­ted, Esa. 64. 6. in the puddle of Originall cor­ruption, in the loines of the first A­dam, but it is clensed in the pure fountaine of Iesus christ his obedi­ence, Rom. 5. 19. the second Adam. It is one­ly begunne here, and in part per­fourmed, but it shal be finished, and made perfect in the life to come, and that in Christ Iesus, in whom all our poore endeuours and small beginnings shalbe accepted, that little good which is in vs, is match­ed with much euill, yea euery good Iam. 1. 17. motion when it commeth from the [Page] father of lightes, is of a brighte and liuely colour, but so soone as they come into our vessels, they chaunge their colour and looke of another hue. There is neuer a praier that we make, but hath his wants of feeling, or want of humbling, or faith, or re­uerence, or something is wanting, and it is stained with the contrarie. There is neuer a sermon that we make, or heare, but hath some stain, and pollution in vs, There is neuer a grace that we say, but is likewise blemished for want of some grace, our whole seruice is idle and vnpro­fitable, for when did we talke, with­out vanitie? when do we giue, with­out some sauour or other of Hipo­crisie? when do we heare, without wearines? or when do we pray with­out tediousnesse? and when we doe pray for pardon, what toies and fan­cies do stain our prayers? that when we haue praied, we had need to pray againe, that God would forgiue our [Page] prayers, for do we not thinke least of God, when we pray vnto him, and doth not our deuotion com­monly end with our prayers? If we suffer any thing, is it without some impatience and distrust? will not a little murmuring and grudging a­gainst God, haue a hand in the mat­ter? will we not appoint our heauen­ly father, either where to strike, or when, or with what, or how long, or how much, or how litle, or one thing or other: as though he knew not what to doe without vs? And when (I pray you) doe we rest har­tely well contented with his good pleasure and will? If we obtaine a­ny thing which we desired, doe we not still desire more like Achab? If 1. Kin. 21, 2. we doe any euill, alas: how chere­fully, how speedely, and how easi­ly doe we commit it, but if we doe any good, (wo be vnto vs) how faintly, how rudely, and how slack­ly do we goe about it? in our owne [Page] causes how hoate are we, in Gods causes how cold are we? in excerci­ses of prophanenesse how bold? but in the excercises of holinesse, how bashfull is the best of vs? and (that which God doth most abhorre) do we not waxe proud of those good things which God doth worke in vs, and by vs, as children are proud of their new clothes, which their pa­rents do put vpō them? or of saying a grace, which with much ado) their parents haue taught them? In one word, that litle good that is in vs, is it not matched (as I said) and manie times ouermatched with muche euill? And that litle that is in vs, or done by vs, it is of the Lord also that worketh both the will and the deed. And whē he doth reward that, what Philip. 2. 13. doth he, but crowne his owne gifts in vs? and that according to that promise, and couenant, which hee sware to our forefather Abraham, and his seede for euer. So that wee [Page] may now safely conclude as (Paule doth) It is neither in him that wil­leth, Rom. 9. 16. nor in him that runneth, but in God that sheweth mercie. All this, and much more being considered, how should we doe if wee were not first the sonnes of God in Christ our Lord? would our workes abide the triall of Gods iustice? Alas poore wretches that we are, the least staine of thought (though it were neuer cōsented vnto) would send vs pack­ing to hell for euer. But now, being first the sons of God by Iesus Christ, being assured of Gods loue in christ, and pleading nothing but his mercy onely, in the merites of Christ, wee may be bold to go vnto our heauēly father: for if any man sin, wee haue an aduocate with the father, Iesus 1. Ioh. 2. 1. Christ the righteous, whose righte­ousnesse pleadeth for our vnrighte­ousnesse: through whose stripes we are healed, & through whose bloud Esa. 53. 5. wee may be bold to enter into the [Page] holy place: with him the Lord is Heb. 10. 19. well pleased, in him the Sonnes of GOD are well accepted; and without him, wee are wholly reie­cted.

Therefore saith Saint Iohn, Blessed Rom. 14. 13. are the dead which die in the Lord: that is, in the faith of the Lord Ie­sus: for they shall rest from their la­bours, and their workes shall followe them: that is, God accepteth of them, and their workes which are in the Lord, but none els. By this place our Papistes woulde prooue that our workes doe merite hea­uen. But from hence wee may ga­ther more truely, that none haue a right faith in Christ, but those which haue good workes to accompa­nie them, when they dye in the Lord. But to gather heereupon, that they merite, wee cannot: for then they shoulde goe before our being in the Lord, and be a cause thereof: but nowe we see, that they [Page] followe our being in the Lord. A­gaine, the workes doe not beautifie the man in the Lord, but the man in the Lorde doth beautifie the workes, as the Temple sanctified Mat. 23. 17. 19. the golde that was vpon it, but was not sanctified by the golde: and as the Altar sanctified the offering that was vpon it, but was not sanctified by the offering. And this is not be­cause hee hath done them, but be­cause Rom. 14. 23. they are done in the Lord by faith, (without which whatsoeuer is done, is sinne) and the Lord in him by his spirit, doth sanctifie them vnto himselfe.

Last of all, the Argument doth not hold, our workes are rewarded; therfore they merite: for then none should be rewarded, but he that did merite first: then the seruant should be before the heire, because hee ta­keth more paines than the other doth, and yet the heire hath the land, because he was the sonne be­fore. [Page] So, we are first borne the sons of God by faith in Christ, and so we are made fellow heires with him of Ioh. 1. 12. Heauen: and then followe good Rom. 8. 17. works; not as a cause why we should haue th'inheritance, but as fruits fol­lowing from a thankefull minde. But they of the popish Church be­ing no children, and doing nothing but of seruile feare, can doe no­thing that is good: for first, they faile in the matter of their good workes, putting in practise the tra­ditions of men in stead of Gods Mat. 15. 9. preceptes. Secondly, they faile in the maner of doing: for that which they doe, is done to a wrong end, and with a wrong affection: for it is too iustifie themselues thereby be­fore Luke 18. 11. God, as the Pharisie did: and therefore this white flagge of truce, My sonne, is not put out to them, be­cause they haue broken the conditi­ons of peace.

Our Popish merit-mongers are [Page] like the elders of the Iewes, which went to Christ in the behalfe of the Centurion, for his sicke seruaunt. They besought him instantly (as though they might not be denied) Luk. 7. 4. 5. and they tell him forsooth, that the Centurion is worthie of so much fauour, as that the Lord Iesus should come to him, and heale his seruant: for proofe whereof, they alleage two strong reasons, (like our Pa­pistes) One is, He loueth our nati­on, Another is, He hath built vs a synagogue: so plead our Papistes; we are worthy (O Lord) of thy fa­uour, we haue deserued so much at thy handes: or such a one that is nowe gone hath deserued so much, as that thou shouldest receiue his soule: for he loued vs well while he liued, hee was an honest man, hee made vs good cheere, hee kept a good house, hee filled our bellies, and our purses too. Besides that, he hath built vs a stately synagogue, [Page] goodly Churches, and Chappels of ease, he mended our hie-waies, he e­rected such a Colledge, such a friery, and such a Nunrie. Againe, such a K. Iohn. Prince of Orange. K. of France man is a good Catholique, Lord: for he helped the Priest to say Masse, he gaue his consent to the poisoning of such a king, and the murthering of such another, hee did what hee could to dispatch all christian Prin­ces, because they are not of the Popes Religion, so zealous a catho­lique was he: But Lord he made a conscience of euery thing, he would not eate a bit of flesh, nor so much as an egge in Lent, or vpon a friday, he woulde neuer go out, before hee had crossed himselfe before and be­hind: his house was neuer without a Crucifix, nor his windowes with­out a picture of the Trinitie: a num­ber of good workes more hee did, which the tally will not holde, and those are for his honest neighbors, which will giue any thing for them. [Page] Therefore Lord thou must of ne­cessitie receiue his soule when hee is dead, or els thou doest him great wrong. And thus wee heare howe Papistes plead, like the elders of the Iews, for the Centurion and his ser­uantes.

But what saide the Centurion himselfe? O Lord (saith he) trou­ble not thou thy selfe, for I am not worthy, that thou shouldest enter vnder my roofe: neyther did I thinke my selfe worthie to come vnto thee: but onely speake the worde, and my seruaunt shall bee Luke 7. 6. whole. And this message (saith the Euangelist) hee sent to Christ by his friendes, as if they which plea­ded his worthinesse and workes were his ennemies, and not hys friendes. But howe did the Lord Ie­sus like of this message? Surely, he maruelled at such humilitie, & com­mended the faith of the Centurion, euen by the name of greatfaith, to [Page] shew that merit-mongers haue no faith at all, except the Deuils faith.

Now to end this pointe. If any man be the child of God in Christ, let him also become a new creature, and liue as becommeth the sonnes of God, let no man say, If I bee the child of God, I need not care what to doe, or (as the manner of many is) GOD is mercifull, and Christ died for our sinnes, what need we feare? for as there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ, so they which are in Christ liue, not after the flesh, but after the Rom. 8. 1. spirite. On the other side, If thou feele thy self a new creatur in Christ, and transfourmed into the likenesse of the sonnes of God, then faint not vnder the crosse, for thy heauen­ly father will beare thee vp in his arms, plead not for thy selfe, by any thing that is in thy selfe, but appeale to the mercy of thy heauenly father, and say, Lord he whom thou louest [Page] is in want, as the sisters of Lazarus Ioh. 11. 3. said to christ for their brother, Lord he whom thou louest is sicke. And claime the promise of God thy hea­uenly father in his sonne Christ, and then feare not thy sinnes My sonne, saith God, for I euen I, will do them Esa. 48. 11. all away, euen for my names sake, and for my sonnes sake, in whom thou art my sonne, and in whom I am well pleased. And thus we see al our feare turned into ioy, because we are made the sonnes of God in Christ.

When a lion roared vpon Samp­son, the spirite of strength came vp­on Sampson, and he rent him in pie­ces. Iudg. 14. 6. 8. 9. Not long after in the same Li­on he found a swarme of Bees with their stings, but therewithall he found a Hony-combe to feede vp­on. So our sinnes and the Deuill roared vpon vs, and thought to haue deuoured vs. but our true Sampson Iesus Christ, hath torne [Page] him in pieces, which went about like a roaring Lion, seeking to de­uoure vs. Now if we looke into our owne heartes, (which are as a Lions den) we shall find (after this victo­ry) not a swarme of Bees, (as Samp­son did in the Bellie of the Lion) but a swarme of corruptions and sinnes with their stings, like prickes in our flesh to humble vs, but there withall 2. Cor. 12. 7. we shall find Honny to comfort vs, euen a rich Hony-combe of Gods mercies to feede vpon, if the spirite of faith and courage be in vs, as the spirite of strength and boldnesse was in Sampson, and then we may say plainly, as Sampson said in a riddle, Out of the eater came meate, and out of the strong came sweetnesse▪ for what is stronger than a Lion, and what is sweeter than Hony. But we may say, What is stronger than sinne, and what is sweeter than mercy? What sight more terrible than the blacke flagge of defiance, with My Rebell, (the co­lours [Page] of vengeance vpon it?) What more comfortable than to see that pulled in, and the white flagge of truce put forth, with My sonne, the words of mercy and peace vp­on it? My Rebell is gone, My sonne is come in the steede. The Lord take away the Rebellions of our heartes, and graunt vs so to keepe his conditions of peace, that we may be his sonnes indeed, and find peace to our consciences for euer­more. Thus we see, that as the Lord did once bring light out of darke­nesse, so our heauenly father hath wrought comfort out of sinne to all his children in Christ Iesus, blessed Gen. 1. 4. be his name for euer. And thus much for these wordes My sonne, as proceeding from God to man.

My sonne, as being the wordes of Sa­lomon considered.

NOw if we consider them as they be the wordes of Salomon, som­thing [Page] more may be gathered from them, for as God was the Authour, so Salomon was the publisher, God is our father indeede, Salomon is but Gods minister, and speaks like a fa­ther to all, that of all he might win some, Salomon was a king, yet he gi­ueth counsell like a Preacher, and teacheth men how to order their liues according to the word of god, and therefore he calleth himselfe a Preacher. So should rulers and men in authoritie giue their inferiours Eccle. 1. 1. counsell like Preachers, and though they be not Preachers by office, yet by their graue counsell and holy ad­uise, they may and ought to be Prea­chers, and so should all men be. But now if men speake like Politi­tians, and can giue craftie counsell to serue all mens turnes, they are the men: but if any speake like a holy Christian, or like a diuine, or like a Preacher, he is acconted a Puri­tane, a foole, and called a Preacher [Page] in derision, well, Salomon though he be a king, and no Preacher, yet he giueth the charge on the Iudgment seat like a diuine, and he counsel­leth like a Preacher indeed, but he speaketh like a father, and from a fathers affection, with desire not to shew himselfe, but to profit his auditors and his readers, therefore see how he tempereth his counsels, and his doctrine, with wordes of loue, saying, My sonne, as if that were the onely way to win men to God. So when the Apostle would make Gala. 4. 19. the Galathians in loue with his doctrine, he calleth them his chil­dren, yea, his litle children, this is to teach al teachers how to make their doctrine most profitable vnto their auditors, they haue put vpon them the persons of fathers, therefore with a fatherly affection they must teach the Lords people and humble them as children, especially weake ones, which are but comming on. [Page] But those that are falling away and sinne of mallice and wilfullnesse, are to be handled after another maner, and therefore it is that Salomon in this booke hath so much adoe with fooles and scorners, though he speake to some as to babes, and chil­dren. And that kind of teaching, is of loue too, and from the spirite of God, yea when Paule ratled vp Elymas the sorserer, calling him a man full of subtiltie and mischeife, Act. 13. 9. 10. a child of the deuill, an enemie of all righteousnesse, and a peruerter of the straight waies of the Lord, it is said of him that he was full of the holy ghost. As this doth not pa­tronise bitternesse of spirite, or vn­seemely rayling in any: so it serueth to proue, that a minister of GOD may sometime (as occasion serueth) deale roundly in laying open of sin, and seuerely thunder the iudgment of God, neither can we without sinne charge him with railing or [Page] malice, or choller (as the manner of some is) to charge the preachers of the word of God. My sonne, saith Sa­lomon: to teach vs that wee must speake with a louing and kinde affe­ction, but not with a couetous and vainglorious affection, if euer wee will winne men to God: My sonne, saith Salomon, to teach vs that whe­ther we teach doctrine, or correct maners, or reprooue sinne, or de­nounce iudgements, we should first see that there be that kinde affection in vs towardes the parties with whō we haue to deale, which is in fathers towards their children: and that fa­therly loue will sweeten all our re­prehensions, and all our admoniti­ons, & make them in time go down into the stomack, if they were as bit­ter as any pils, if men be not whollie giuen ouer of God. My brethren, (saith S. Paul) in all his Epistles: as if he made as much reckoning of them as of himselfe, and to shewe them [Page] that he wished them to do nothing, but that hee himselfe woulde helpe them in it, and doe it with them. You haue manie instructors, and tea­chers 1. Cor. 4. 15. 16. (saith the Apostle) but not ma­ny fathers, but in Christ Iesus I haue begotten you through the Gospell: wherefore I pray you be followers of me: to teach vs how to make the people become our followers: Oh the loue, the patience, the faithful­nesse, and the wisedome of a father, how great is it? or ought it to be to­wards his children? so great should be the loue, the patience, the faith­fulnesse and the wisedome of the minister of God: As S. Paul teacheth Timothie for want whereof much 1. Tim. 6. 11. learning and eloquence is shewed: 2. Tim. 2, 24. 25. many argumentes and aucthorities are spent, many admonitions and doctrines are deliuered both pub­liquely and priuately, by Ministers and Magistrates, and of all sorts, and little or no fruite come vp after, be­cause [Page] the affection is not first sancti­fied by the spirite of loue. This is also a lesson for vs, if we be houshol­ders, or maisters of families, (for they must be preachers too in their families after a sort) if wee woulde haue our counsell and correction doe good, with those that are vnder our gouernment: let them see our tender affection, and a fathers loue both in our words and deedes.

In the 7. of Luke it is said of the Luke 7 8. Centurion, that hee had many ser­uauntes vnder his aucthoritie, and they were all at his becke, most rea­die to obey him in anie thing that he set them about: but how did hee bring them to any such good order? surely it is said that his seruants were deere vnto him: that is, hee made a speciall reckoning of them, and was a father vnto them. So let all mai­sters, make a reckoning of their ser­uants: for if thy seruant can perceiue that he is deere vnto thee, thou shalt [Page] in time worke him like wax to thine owne minde, except hee hath solde himselfe to worke wickednesse.

If thou be a husband and wouldst win thy wife to God, or if thou be a wife, and wouldest winne thy hus­band to God, draw you on one an­other with the sweet words of loue, speaking kindly one to another, be­cause gentle wordes doe pacifie an­ger, as water quencheth fire. Re­member Pro. 15. 1. what counsell the auncient counsellors of Salomon gaue vnto Rehoboam king of Israel, that hee 1. Kin. 12, 7. might winne the heartes of the peo­ple: speake kindly vnto them, saide they, and they will serue thee for e­uer after. So, speake one to another in kinde wordes, and you will loue one another for euer after. Wordes spoken in season (saith Salomon) are Pro. 25. 11. like apples of gold with pictures of siluer: what wordes more seasona­ble than wordes of loue and kinde­nesse? but wordes of despight and [Page] reproch, are alwaies out of season, and shall neuer do good. Sometime one worde of kindenesse may giue grace vnto all the rest of the speech: and one worde of reproch and de­spight may spill all thy counsell, if it be neuer so graue, and godly other­wise: for a little leauen sowreth the whole lumpe.

This we see by daily experience, if a man say but (thou) to some one, he cannot beare it, doest (thou me) will hee say againe? An other againe will take some one worde more to heart, than all the rest: oh that same one word (will hee say) went to my verie heart. The Iewes which ha­ted the Lord Iesus, woulde not vouchsafe to giue him his name, when they talked of him, or with him; but to shew their vtter dislike of him, they vsed to say, Is this he, or art thou hee that wilt doe such a thing, Is not this hee, whom they Ioh. 7. 15. 35 go about to kill? They woulde not [Page] say, Is not this Iesus Christ? or the sonne of God? Againe, whither will hee go that we shall not finde him? This is a most despightfull kinde of speaking, and doth be­wray a bundance of malice, that is hidden in the heart. And is it not so betweene some Husbandes and Wiues, and their neighbours? they coulde speake one to another, but disdaine and anger will not suffer the one to affoord vnto the other their names and their titles, least they shoulde be put in minde of those dueties which these names require, whereout Sathan sucketh no small aduauntage; and these are like the spirituall Iewes. Whereas manie times the verie name of hus­band or wife, or brother, or sister, or neighbour, or sonne, or seruaunt, or maister, doth helpe not a little to persuade the minde, and to win the affection: yea the verie mentioning of those names doth oftentimes [Page] leaue a print of duety behind in the conscience. Many think themselues sufficiently discharged if they speake the truth: It is no matter they thinke after what maner it be done; think­ing to preuaile by boysterous terms, nicke-names, and wordes of dis­grace, but they are deceiued: for if termes of loue, and kindnesse will not preuaile, words of reproch and hatred, shall neuer preuaile, except it be to make thinges worse, and this will be the end of it, while they doe so vnkindly hunt one another, the diuell doth hunt them both, vntill both of them become a praie vnto the diuell, like men which make themselues a pray vnto the Law­yers, while they striue to eate vp one another at law.

Now on the other side, if teachers must shew themselues like Fathers, then by the same lawe the people must shew themselues like children. [Page] If the minister must for his parte seeke them with a fathers affection; then they for their parte must not be wanting with a sonnelike affecti­on. His authoritie for God bindeth them to reuerēce him as the minist­er of God, & to obay him as if God himselfe did commaund them, for for they are embassadours for Christ or in Christs stead, and do entreate 2. Cor. 5. 20. vs to be reconciled vnto God. And in the 2. Cor. 5. 20. the Apostle saith that God doth beseech vs through them: We must know then, when Gods minister in the excercise of his ministerie doth persuade, God doth persuade, when he doth threa­ten vs, God doth threaten vs, when he doth promise vs any thing, God doth promise it, when he doth shew patience, it is Gods patience, if he doth forbeare thee, God doth for­beare thee, and all this is done for thy good, therefore they that abuse the ministers patience, (as he is a mi­nister) [Page] do abuse Gods patience, which God vseth towards vs for no other purpose, but to draw vs to re­pentance; which if we abuse to serue our own turn, we do but heape vnto our selues wrath, against the day of Rom. 2. 4. wrath.

Your murmurings are not against vs (saith Moses) but against God. Exod. 16. 7. He that receiueth me, saith Christ, &c. Mat. 10. 40. He that despiseth you, despiseth me.

Therefore touch not mine an­nointed 1. Chr. 16. 22 (saith God) and do my Prophets no harme, because they Psa. 105. 15. are my Prophets, not to prophesie vnto me, but for me vnto you. Are we now at libertie (thinke we) to here them or not to heare them, at our pleasure? because some speake roughlye, and some smoothlye, may we now (without sinne) cen­sure the preachers of the word, buy and sell them behinde their backes, or gibe and iest at them with our mouthes? may we descant and play [Page] vpon their wordes (as the maner of some is) and escape in the end? may we ly in waite for them and be­tray them? may we smite them with our tongues, as the Iewes do smite Ieremie? may we thinke any thing, wel gotten that is gottē from them? 2. Sam. 2. 26 Or may we make more account of any, yea of the oddest companion in the worlde, than of Gods minist­er. May any thinke to doe this, and a great deale more, which is vsed in the world, and not to be called to account for it one day? Will there not be bitternes in the end? as Abner said to Ioab. But stay, thou art a father and hast children, and doest trye by all waies and meanes to do them good, what if thy child shuld mock thee or iest at thee, when thou doest speak in earnest to him for his good, wouldst thou be contented? what if he should turne his backe vpon thee in contempt and goe his way, when thou callest him? Or what if [Page] he should turne againe and smite thee, when thou doest reproue him for his faulte? but what if he should betray thee into the handes of his enemies? wouldst not thou thinke thy cost well bestowed vpon him? wouldst thou take pleasure in such a monster? Nay, wouldst thou not wish rather that he had neuer seene the sunne? But if a child ought not so to handle his naturall parentes which haue begotten him, and brought him forth into the worlde, shall any man thinke it lawfull so to handle his spiritual father by whom he is begotten to God, and brought vp to the hope of life euerlasting.

The eye (saith Salomon) that mocketh his father, & despiseth the Pro. 30. 17. instruction of his mother, let the Rauens of the valley pickè it out and the young Eagles deuoure it. But the eye that mocketh the coun­sell of God his heauenly father, or despiseth the instruction of Gods [Page] minister his spirituall father, let the Deuils of hel picke that out, and ex­cept he repent let the infernall Spi­rits deuour it.

But some will say, if he were lear­ned as other men be, if he were of yeares and grauitie as some men be, if he were a good fellow as some men be, if he would flatter & please as some men do, if he would preach seldome, as some men doe, if he were in place of authoritie as some men be, and did come with counte­naunce and credite, as some men do, then would we heare him and reuerence him, and regard him, and maintaine him, as now we do not.

Now imagin that thy child should make such an apoligie for himsefe, when he hath dishonored thee, and say, father do not meruaile, though I regard you not more than I do, for you are but a young man, you are but a plain man, you are but a poore man, you are but a simple man, and [Page] haue no learning, I haue more lear­ning than you, and can teach you, what though you giue me meate and drinke, & apparell, what though you haue brought me vp to lear­ning, yet it is not in such plentifull and fine maner as some haue, nor you do not handle me so daintilie, nor make so much of me as some do vse their children, &c. Therfore I care not for you, if you had these properties as you haue not, I would regard you as now I doe not. The application hereof I leaue to euery mans conscience, but this let euery one be assured of, that he which despiseth Gods minister, despiseth his father, and he that betrayeth Gods minister, that begat him to the faith, betrayeth his father. And will not God be auenged of such vnkindnes, yea the heauy iudgmēt of God shall pursue such vnkinde and vnnaturall beasts, vntill they be rooted out of the earth, and the me­morial [Page] of them shall perish. Elisha seeing Elias ready to depart, cryed 2. Kin. 3. 12. My father, my father, the horsmen of Israel, and the chariots of the same, but now Elah is accounted and vsed of some, as if he were the sootstooles of Israel, and the chairs of the same, howbeit Eliah, there be that haue thee in singular account for thy workes sake, and be of good comfort, for so long as the poor wi­dow of Sarepta hath any oyle left in her cruse, or meale in her barrell, thou shalt not want, & Ioash king of 2. Kin. 13. 14. Israel will no doubt come and visite Elisha when he is sicke, yet some (I must needes say) are at this point, they will giue Ezechiel the hearing, and when the Preacher hath done, he may goe shake his eares, as men vse their wine caskes, and fig frailes, when they are emptied, they are tur­ned out of the dores.

The Phisition for his phisicke, is esteemed of his patients, the lawyer [Page] for his law, is esteemed of his cli­ents, the seruing man for his badge is esteemed for his maisters sake, the iester with his iests is esteemed of his companions, and the foole with his bable, is regarded among fooles, and shall not Gods minister for his workes sake, be esteemed of amongst the sonnes of God? If Preachers were lawyers, or Phisiti­ons, they should be often consulted with and in better sort than they be, or if Preachers were players, and their blacke gownes turned into blew coates with a badge on the sleeue, doubtles the chiefest of the towne would heare them, and they should lacke no audience, if we be sicke in body, send for this doctour, and that doctoure: both shall be heard without controllment, yea, and shall they not vse vs at their pleasure? If we haue a sute at law, we retaine this counseller, & that coun­seller, we suspect our owne skill, and [Page] they shall order the matter as they list, but many mens soules are sicke to death, being ready to yeeld vp the Ghost, and to go to hell, but the phisitions of the soule, are seldome or neuer sent for, and euery one is a­ble (for the most part) to appoint the preacher his text, how he shall hādle it for matter and maner, this was no fit text (saith one) this was ill hand­led and worse applied (saith ano­ther) why doth he not preach vpon the Epistle and the Gospell (saith a­nother) one saith, there he went besides his text, another saith, he stood too long, or hee spake plaine­ly, another saith, he hath a bad vt­terance, and spits much, another saith, this is too high for me, I can­not vnderstand him, another saith, this is common stuffe, I knew this before, some say, what hath he to doe with Maiestrates, must he be medling with the Maiestrates office, some say, what neede he speake a­gainst [Page] images, what hurt do they, some say, he neuer speaks any Latin, I warrant you he is no scholler, and another is much troubled in his conscience, because the preacher hath gathered notes out of other mens workes, but if he hath any notes before him in his bookes, to helpe his memorie, Oh, that is a haynous matter, and then he is fal­len into a deepe pit indeede, let him get out as well as he can, for poore Ioseph was neuer in such a pit as this is. Euery one is cunning in the prea­chers office, if he be neuer so igno­rant, and commonly the more ig­norant, the more presumptuous. The Lord open our eyes, and touch our heartes, that we may repent, be­fore his wrath flame out vpon vs, for the greate contempt of this his holy and heauenly ordenaunce.

There is no question but that ma­ny things might be better handled than oftentimes they are. But for [Page] the sinnes of the people it commeth to passe, that many times (if not ge­nerally) the Lord doth strengthen the meditations of the minister, he dulleth his wits, and maketh his tounge to cleaue fast to the roofe of his mouth, giuing no edge to his doctrine, no comfort to his studies, nor any blessing to his labours. But the cause hereof may be, and no doubt is partly in the speaker, and partly in the hearer, and want of prayer in both is the cause thereof, this knew the Apostle well inongh, and therefore he doth earnestly ex­hort the Ephesians in al their praiers Eph. 6. 18. 19 to pray for him, that the dore of vt­terance and boldnesse might be o­pened vnto him. And againe he prayeth for the Ephesians that God would giue vnto them, the spirite of wisdome and reuelation in the knowledge of God, and that the eys Eph. 1. 16. 17 of their vnderstanding might be en­lightened, &c. This is to teach both [Page] minister and people to commend one another vnto God in prayer, for well may Iacob prepare a present for his brother Esau, but God must giue him, and his present, fauour in the Gen. 32. 11. 13. eyes of his brother, and that he must pray, for we should pray before we go out of our houses, that the Lord would be mercifull both to our owne sinnes, and the sinnes of the teacher, we should pray that God would direct him in the deliuery of his message, and assist vs in the re­ceiuing of the same, we should pray that God wold sāctifie both his affe­ctions in speaking, & our affections in hearing, to the greatest glory of God, and our owne mutuall com­fort, and that the Lord would giue to both all such graces as he know­eth best to be most needefull for vs, we ought not to rush into Gods house as into an Alehouse, or to a market, the man of God ought not to speake in Gods place, as if he were [Page] telling a tale at the table, for Cursed is he that doth Gods works negle­gently, saith the Prophet Ieremie, Ier. 48. 10. neither ought we to heare, as if we heard a fidlers song, but with al feare and reuerence we should come, as into the presence of God, and his Angels, & so we do, for what health can we haue, when we handle the foode of our soules with vnwashen handes? What blessing can we hope for, when our sinnes doe call for a curse? What fruite can we looke for, when we sow among the thornes? What reformation can there be, where there is no resolution to a­mend? What feare of God, when we respect only a man? What com­fort is there in heauenly thinges, when our minds are set vpon earth­ly matters? And finally, what peace can we possesse in our consciences, when our whole life is a warre a­gainst God? as Iehu said to Iehoram, What peace canst thou looke for, 2. Kin. 9. 22. [Page] when the whoredomes and witch­craftes of thy mother Iezabell, are yet great in number? Therefore let vs wash and be cleane, that is, let vs repent and amend, and then let vs goe about the holy things of God.

If we can not be so cleane as we should, (as Who can say his heart is Pro. 20. 9. cleane) yet let vs take heede that we refuse not the holy thinges of God, but striue by prayer, and waite for the Lordes worke in the vse of the same, and the Lord will in the end fulfill our desire, yea let vs striue Gen. 38. with God, as Iacob wrestled with the Angell, it may be that at the first we shall be deceiued as Iacob was, and if we continue wrestling, it may be we shall get some more blowes than we had before, as Iacob did, and what if we halt more than we did before, as Iacob did, yet let vs conti­nue and not giue ouer, and be we sure we shall find a blessing in the end as Iacob did, and when that bles­sing [Page] is gone, let vs wrestle againe with him and he wil blesse vs again, yea, for euery one that will wrestle with the Lord by prayer, he hath a blessing in store, so often as they come. For the Lord is not like Isaac, who when he had blessed one of his sonnes could not blesse the o­ther. But when God hath blessed Mat. 5. 3, 4, 5 6, 7, 8. 9. the poore in spirite, he will blesse those that mourne for their sinnes, when he hath blessed the mourners for sinne, he will blesse the meeke harted, when he hath blessed them, then he hath a blessing for those which hunger and thirst after righ­teousnesse, when he hath blessed them, he hath a blessing for the mer­cifull and simple in heart, when he hath blessed them, he will blesse the peacemakers, he will also blesse the persecuted and those that are reui­led, slaundered, and euill spoken of for righteousnesse sake, shall be ble­ssed.

[Page] And thus haue we heard, how to teach and how to learne. And thus much of these wordes, My sonne, both as they be the words of God, and the words of Salomon.


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