AN ORATION MADE AT THE HAGE, BEFORE THE Prince of ORENGE, and the Assembly of the High and Mighty Lords, the STATES Generall of the Vnited Prouinces:

By the Reuerend Father in God, the Lord Bishop of Landaff, one of the Commissioners sent by the Kings most Excellent Maiesty to the Synod of Dort.

LONDON, Printed by G. P. for Ralph Rounthwait, and are to sold at his shop in Pauls Church-yard, at the signe of the Flower-deluce and Crowne. 1619.


OVR Lord and King IESVS CHRIST, when hee was now a­bout to go vn­to his Father, and desirous to leaue vnto those whom he loued, some excellent benefit, (a benefit then which the earth cannot yeeld a greater,) hee left them Peace: Peace at his death as a Legacy, he bequea­thed them: My Peace (saith he) I leaue vnto you, my Peace I giue vnto you; for neither [Page 2] could men wish from heauen a greater blessing, neither could the Angels declare vnto men from heauen a more welcome message, then Glory in heauen, and Peace in earth.

This Bond, by which heauen vnto earth, and earth vnto heauen reciprocal­ly is vnited, hath so straitly bound the heart of the Kings Maiesty of great Brit­taine, that according to the exceeding care which he hath euermore had of the safe-guard and defence of true Religion, of settling Peace and Concord amongst Christian Princes throughout the world; but especially, Most Illustrious, Noble, and Magnificent Lords, of procuring the good and tranquillity of this your State, to which he acknowledges his Kingdom to bee linkt by the Tye of an ancienter and straiter League: Hee hath sent vs hi­ther with this especiall charge, that as much as in vs lyes, we procure your pros­perity, and your Churches Peace.

Certainly, an exceeding desire of Peace & the publique good, possest his Princely [Page 3] heart, when hee commended vnto your Lordships the care of Religion.

This his Maiesties prouident care can neuer bee vnwelcome, if it may please your Lordships, according to your Wise­dome and Piety, to recount the benefit of the reformed Religion, and the blessings of Gods fauour, which like showres from heauen, haue watered your Prouinces far & neere. I suppose, it cannot be vnknown vnto your Lordships, what & how much you owe to true Religion. Religion it was, which from bloud and tempest reduced your State to these flourishing daies of quietnesse and Sun-shine. Religion it was, which first begate, then enlarged, and fi­nally established your prosperity. Let your Lordships now consider with your selues, what you will repay vnto Christ for all these blessings. Of your Lordships, Christ, who is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, requires this, that for and aboue all his other benefits, you preserue the Peace which he bequeathed you.

The bond of the publique good is Re­ligion, [Page 4] and of Religion, Peace; those there­fore who eyther themselues raise dissenti­ons in the Church, or cherish such as are raised by others, what doe they else in­tend, but the rooting vp of Peace and Re­ligion; the banishment of Christ out of your coasts? that by iarring of Church­men, the edification of the Church may be hindered, that the consciences of the multitude be troubled, that wauering and vnstable soules be carried about with e­uery winde of Doctrine, that the con­tempt of the Minister bring with it a con­tempt of his doctrine; till at length these Cockatrice egs bring forth the Basiliske, euen open Impiety and Atheisme. If the Church-affaires be ill managed, all sorts of men, the people, the Priest, yea you your selues shall bee accountable vnto Christ for it. In the people he requires o­bedience, in the Priest light & truth, that is, knowledge ioyned with holinesse of life. But I know not whether I may im­pute it eyther to the corruption of this our time, or to the sleights of the Deuill, [Page 5] trying all his plots and deuices now in this declining age of the world, that some are arisen, who eyther quite reiecting, or at least too much neglecting purity of life, a garment which best of all adornes the Priests of God, haue altogether diuerted vpon iangling disputes, & vnprofitable, yea pernitious contentions. From hence come feruor, and emulation, and osten­tation of Wit; meane while, the building of the Church is interrupted, yea her ru­ine by vndermining is closely practised, by some that lye in wait to betray your happinesse.

Awaken and stirre vp your selues, most Noble Lords, establish that Peace in the Church, which in the Common-wealth you haue establisht, yea that Peace, I say, which your Lordships, by the vigilancy and prowesse of his Excellency, peacea­bly, without any noyse and tumult, but not without the present assistance of God, haue lately attempted, and at length ac­complisht, is to bee entertain'd with the ioyfull applause of all the Churches, and [Page 6] to be for euer remembred to your eternall praise and glory.

The reformed Churches throughout Europe, hauing recouered their liberty, and shaken off the heauy yoke of Rome, to shew themselues more thankefull to Christ their Redeemer, haue seuerally set forth confessions of their Faith, which though they were many, yet they so well agree in one consent and harmony of mindes, that we may plainely discouer, it was the voyce of one onely Spirit, which in so many Nations, so many Languages deliuered it selfe. In this generall con­cord of other Nations, your consent did beare a part; your praises were in the Gos­pell, your authority in the Church much set by. But now the neighbor Churches round about enquire, question, and won­der, what it might be which in these con­fessions your Church alone quarels with: Against which, none of the rest, sincethe reformation, haue taken exception.

Giue me leaue to aske of you in the A­postles words, Proceeded the Word of God [Page 7] from you alone? or hath it come onely vnto you? Other Nations and Prouinces pre­serue the doctrine of the Gospell which they haue receiued, whole and sound, without any alteration and change, and resolue by Gods helpe, heereafter so to continue.

This is that which his Maiesty com­mends vnto you, euen the vnity and con­sent of Confession, the spring and origi­nall of reformation; hee commends vn­to you the consent of the Churches, hee requires you, that what forme of Church you haue receiued from your Fathers, you will deliuer ouer to your posterity; that what Doctrine now these twenty or thir­ty yeeres hath beene publikely taught a­mongst you, you preserue in its former purity; that you shut vp all gappe and in­lette, which may euery day giue way to innouation, that such treasures of Christ as are committed to your trust, you pre­serue safe, without suffering them to bee embased by admixtion of false and coun­terfeit stuffe. Vnto you are committed [Page 8] the Oracles of God; keepe your Faith vn­spotted, and vndefiled vnto God and Christ the Churches King: You are seri­ously to take heed, that your Doctors, leauing the simplicity of holy Scriptures, diuert not vpon abstruse and intricate quirkes; that they set not before you smoake, in stead of solid meate. At least, thus much are you carefully to looke to, that those who handle the Word of Life, abstaine in their Sermons to the people, from those deeper speculations, which pose the Schooles themselues, and our sharpest wits, and may with probabilitie on both sides be disputed: Lest the Faith of the Church, which is stable and im­mooueable, seeme to be ambiguous and doubtfull; and Scandall creepe in, in place of edifying. Your consent in Doctrine with other Churches, shall bee a sacrifice of sweet sauor vnto God, when one soule of so many people shall cleaue vnto him, and it shall bee welcome newes vnto the Churches, and Honourable vnto your Lordships, when they shall vnderstand, [Page 9] that you hold Brotherly fellowship one with another in Christ; for God giues not grace and glory to such as walke seue­rally, euery one in his owne waies, but such as meete together in one Communi­on of Saints. Factions & part-takings haue wounded the Church on both sides; on the right hand, and on the left: yet these wounds, we doubt not, are curable, if they fall into the hands of a skilfull Physician. The true Physicke must bee administred by the hand of your authority: as for our labour and industry, if it may be any way auaileable to the Churches Peace, it shall be euermore ready and at hand: Neyther are we ready onely with our labour and care, but if it so please GOD, in whose hands wee are, euen with our dearest bloud to procure the Churches Peace.

But since the Church which Christ hathredeemed with his bloud, according to the example of our Lord himselfe, re­quires not the bloud of her Ministers in peace, but in persecution: by a peculiar fate, (if I may so speake) of the Church, it [Page 10] falls out, that men proue stronger vnder the Crosse, and in affliction, then in times of peace. In times of persecution they loue not their liues for Christ: in time of peace they sticke not to bandy factions against Christ. O how difficult is the Churches ease! what straight conditions is she tied vnto, eyther shee suffers persecution with inward peace and ioy of the spirit, or she is outwardly at peace with the world, but with intestine and ciuill warres.

The Sonnes of God, like little children are most easily disciplined vnder the rod; lay the rod by, and presently they return to sidings, to faction, to contentions. But all things turne to the best to those that feare God; and not onely afflictions, but facti­on and schisme, yea errors and heresies themselues; GOD, who is omnipotent, shall turne to the good of his Church, that those who are faithfull may be tried, and their faith being tried, may be made ma­nifest, and such as loue the Trueth, may not be ashamed to conquer and triumph ouer their owne errors.

[Page 11] This minde we heartily wish may bee found in our Brethren, that those who are alwaies ready to fight vnto the death, for that faith which once was giuen to the Saints, may striueto excell each other in humili­tie; not sollicitous who shall ouercome, but applying all their strength, their skill, their labor, that Truth may haue the victory, the Church Peace, and God the glory.


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