THREE SERMONS VPON MARKE, THE NINTH CHAP­ter, 22. 23. verses. CONTAINING fifteene Doctrines, the particulars whereof appeare in the next pages following.

By Robert Cleauer.

[printer's device of Thomas Creede (McKerrow 339)]

LONDON Printed by T C. for William Welbie, and are to be sold at his shop in Pauls Church-yard, at the signe of the Swan. 1611.

❧ THE DOC­TRINES OF THE THREE Sermons vpon Marke, the 9. chap­ter. 22. 23. verses.

SERMON I.
  • DOCT. I. THat Sathans malice is bent euen a­gainst our bodies.
  • 2 That Gods owne children with their faith haue some mixture of vnbeliefe.
  • 3 That loue makes men to beare others bur­thens as if they were their owne.
SERMON II.
  • DOCT. I. WHere Christ helpes any one in mercy, he first helpes his heart.
  • 2 That no man hath faith at command.
  • 3 The faithfull are strongest and happiest.
  • [Page]4 Faith and godly sorrow may well goe to­gether.
  • 5 Christians must see and acknowledge their graces.
  • 6 Faith shewes men their corruptions, and mooues them to seeke helpe against them.
SERMON III.
  • DOCT. 1. CHrist doth all in due time.
  • 2 Enemies of Gods Children shalbe rebu­ked.
  • 3 Sathan is desirous to bereaue vs of our sen­ses and limbs.
  • 4 A word of Christs mouth is sufficient to helpe vs out of all distresses.
  • 5 It is all one with Christ, to driue the diuell out, and to keepe him out.
  • 6 Sathan neuer seemes more masterfull then when he is ouer-mastered.

The first Sermon.

MARKE. 9.

Verse 22. And oft times hee casteth him into the fire, and into the water, to destroy him: but if thou canst doe anie thing, helpe vs: and haue compassion vpon vs.

23 And IESVS said vnto him, if shou canst belieue it, all things are possible to him that belieueth.

24. And straight way the father of the childe, crying with teares, saide; Lord, I beleeue, helpe my vnbeliefe.

THe occasion of these words is decla­red in the beginning of this histo­rie: which was this, that a certaine man had a childe possessed by the diuell, which had made him dumbe and deaffe, and that from his child­hood; in so much that he could ne­uer speake nor heare in all his life: This man in the absence of Christ, brought him to his Disciples, hearing that they had dispossessed others, and therefore hoping to finde the like successe for himselfe: But when they had made triall, they found themselues vnable to cast the diuell out of his childe: wherevpon their aduersaries were readie to insult and triumph o­uer them. In the meane season our Sauiour commeth among them, readie to vndertake the cause of his poore [Page 2] Disciples against their enemies; the father of this di­stressed childe doth forthwith hasten vnto him, and en­ters into speech with him: Now these wordes do con­taine part of that conference which passed betwixt them; wherein wee may note these three things:

1 1. First the petition of the man, with the reason of it: he besought our Sauiour if he could doe any thing, that hee would haue compassion on him and his sonne, and minister comfort vnto him, by giuing deliuerance vnto his childe, from his miserable estate wherein hee was: and to moue him vn to greater commiseration, he relateth vnto him in what sort Satan did tyrannize ouer him, casting him oft times into the fire, to burne him, and in­to the water to drowne him. Verse 22.

2 2. Secondly, our Sauiours answere, where wee may obserue, that as the man came with an [If] saying, If thou canst doe anie thing: so hee answereth him with the like; If thou canst belieue this: that is, if thou canst bee perswaded of my power, that I am able to doe this, thy sonne shall be helped (for that must needs be supplyed) and hee yeeldeth a reason thereof, all things are possible to the belieuer, vers. 23: and therefore this is is not im­possible: as if Christ Iesus should haue saide; Whereas thou makest question whether I can dispossesse thy sonne or not, know this, that if there be any doubt, it is on thy part, not on mine: if thou canst belieue, thou shalt finde, that neither this, nor any other matter is too difficult for mee: this our Sauiour speakes, for the hel­ping of his weake faith.

3 Thirdly, wee may note the replie of this man vpon Christ his speech; hee crying with teares, said, Lord I be­lieue, helpe mine vnbeliefe: vers. 24. Where we see that he acknowledgeth the grace of God, that hee did belieue in part: and withall, his owne weakenesse, that hee was troubled with vnbeliefe: against which, hee desireth [Page 3] Christ to helpe him; that is, to cure him of it, to giue him strength against it, and deliuerance from it. And thus much for the order and sense of the wordes; verse 22. And oft times hee casteth him into the fire, and into the water to destroy him:] whence obserue this doctrine, that

Doct. 1. Satans malice is bent euen against mens bodies. Satan is not onely an enemie vnto the soules of men, but also vnto their bodies.

Hee doth not onely seeke their destruction spiritu­allie by drawing Gods wrath vpon them: but also cor­porally, by bringing afflictions & miseries vpon them; as here wee may see by his cruell dealing towards this child: albeit he had gotten an habitation in him, which was a thing wherein hee much delighted Mark. 5. 8. (as may ap­peare by this, that hee counted it a torment to be cast out, where once he had taken possession;) yet hee vsed great violence towards him, casting him into the fire, and into the water, being content to relinquish and lose his holde, so that the childe might be destroyed. Mark. 5. 5. The like wee may reade in this same Euangelist, in his first chapter, where mention is made of one possessed, whom the diuell caused to flie from, and to eschew the compa­nie of men, and to liue in the mountaines, and in the graues, and to knocke himselfe with stones, and so to a­buse that strength which he had giuen him, to his owne great hurt and torment. So also in his dealing with Iob, Iob. 1. and with his children and seruants, we may obserue how willing hee is to take libertie to hurt mens bodies, when it pleaseth the Lord to graunt it vnto him.

And for the further confirmation of this point,

Reason 1. Let vs first take experience for one reason, to conuince vs of the truth hereof, and that in the limmes of Satan, who being led by his spirit, doe plainly manifest of what disposition their maister is: now concerning them, it is said, that the workes of their father they will doe; and of Satan, it is said, Iohn. 8. 44. that he was a murtherer from the beginning: [Page 4] whence it may be concluded, that the more diuellish men are, the more murderous and bloudie mindes they carrie: and therefore when the diuell was entered into Iudas, he presently fell to practising against his maister: 1. Iohn. 3. 12. and Caine being of that euill one, slue his brother: 1. Sam. 18. 10. 11. and when the euill spirit came vpon Saule, he laid about him with his speare, with full purpose to haue berest Dauid of his life: and so it is with swaggerers and drun­kards, and such like hellish persons, when they haue no enemies to fall out with, they drawe their weapons on their friends, and many times murder their owne com­panions: which is an euident demonstration of the cru­ell affection that is in Sathans members, euen towards the bodies of men.

2 Againe, this may be another reason of the point, that Sathan carrieth a deadly malice against all the crea­tures, Mark. 5. (as we may see in his desire to enter into the swine) and therefore much more vnto mankind: and that not onely against the Image of God renewed by the spirit of Christ, but euen against those remnants thereof that are remaining in the nature of man: whence it is, that he is so violent against their bodies, and seekes to torture them as well as their soules, as carrying some stampe and impression of Gods workemanship in them.

This point serueth,

Vse. First for the iust reproofe and condemnation of their follie and madnesse, that will vpon any occasion haue recourse vnto Sathan, or to any meanes of his inuen­tion, either for the relieuing of their estate, or the ea­sing of their bodies, or the helping of their children, or the like: howsoeuer such doe in word professe that they esteeme of the diuell as of an vtter enemie vnto mankinde, yet indeed they shew the quite contrarie, viz. that they rather iudge him to be a friend, than a foe: for they will runne from God, and from their dee­rest [Page 5] friends, to seeke vnto him; and preferre his seruice before the seruice of any whosoeuer he be. Many will serue the Lord hollowly, and their maisters vntrustily, but the diuell in good earnest, and without hypocrisie, wholy applying themselues to fulfill the lusts of the flesh, they imagine that there is too much rigour in Gods lawe, and too much seueritie in mens dealings, and that Sathan is the best and kindest maister of all others: he will giue them full libertie to breake the Sabbath; to be drunken, to be wanton and lasciuious, to filsh and steale, and to doe any thing else whereunto their sinfull nature leadeth them: they may haue any indulgence at his hands, without checke, or controule­ment: and hence it commeth to passe that he hath such troupes of followers, and that almost all the world are his seruants and vassals. But these men doe little consi­der in the meane while, what a cruell tyrant, and mortall aduersarie he is vnto them, yea euen to their bodies.

Obiect. How can that be (will some say) seeing that such doe liue merily, and enrich themselues in the world, and come to places of great preferment? If to take the cour­ses before named be to serue the diuel, surely (for ought we can see) he seemes to be a kinder maister than he is taken for.

Answer. 5 Nay, he is a cruell tyrant notwithstanding all this, and that to the very outward man, for (that we may giue instance in some particulars) when Sathan giues libertie to any one to take his swing in swilling and drin­king; doth he not by that meanes ouerthrow his estate, craze his braine, blemish his name, and fill his body full of noy some diseases? and doth not the diuell then take a scourge as it were into his hand, wherewith he payeth them home that are giuen ouer to that inordinate course of life? So when he giues allowance vnto men to follow their couetous humour, doe they not pinch [Page 6] their bellies, and depriue themselues o [...]t times of ne­cessarie foode? doe they not restraine their eyes from sleepe in the night, and vexe themselues with many painefull cares, as what if such a chest should be bro­ken open? what if theeues should get into such a cham­ber? what if my seruants should be vnfaithfull at home? What if they should not looke well to my cattle abroad? with a thousand such troublesome thoughts, which doe breake off their rest, and impaire their hearts, and by degrees drawe dangerous diseases vpon them: it would be too much to particularize in pleasures of di­uers kinds, in gaming, in ambition, & such like: where­in when the diuell hath once intangled men, he doth keepe them as it were in Bridewell. But grant for the time, that he is kinde vnto sinfull persons in letting them haue their fill of iniquitie, yet he is withall craftie, and seeketh to ouer-reach them by subtiltie: for he knoweth that his power is limited, so that he cannot doe what he would; and therefore he laboureth by drawing men vnto such courses as are displeasing vnto the Lord, to put them ouer into his hand, (who as he well knowes) both can and will plague and punish them, either in body, or in soule, or in both: so that by presenting before their eyes the benefits that they shall reape by sinne, he doth but offer vnto them a sugred cuppe, which hath deadly poyson in the bottome of it: or a goodly faire baite, which hath a dangerous hooke in the midsts of it. His dealing herein, may not vnfitly be compared vnto the counsell which that false pro­phet Balaam gaue vnto Balac, king of Moab: who know­ing that he could not preuaile against the Israelites, so long as they continued in Gods fauour, but though hee cursed them, yet the Lord would blesse them: Numb. 24. Reuel. 2. 14. hee ad­uiseth that King (if euer hee meant to doe them a mis­chiefe) to vse them kindly, and friendlie; to bidde them [Page 7] to their wake, when they offered sacrifice to their filthie Idoll, and there to make them good cheere, and with­all, to offer vnto them some of their fairest women; that so beeing drawen to sinne against God, hee might exe­cute some iudgement vpon them: and this diuellish counsell was that indeed, which caused Gods people to taste of his indignation. In the same manner doth Sa­tan beguile the sonnes of men: hee cannot bring vpon them that miserie and mischiefe that hee desireth, and therefore hee stirreth men vp to prouoke the Lord by their pride, and voluptuousnes, and worldlines, or some such like corruptions, and then hauing made warre be­twixt the Lord and them, hee stands by and clappes his hands, to see him smiting and plaguing them for their offences.

Vse. 2. Secondly, considering that Satan is such a cruell ene­mie vnto vs, it should teach vs to giue vnto the Lorde the honour and praise of our preseruation: that not­withstanding wee haue so many thousand mightie, and craftie, and malicious aduersaries, yet wee liue in safetie, and doe enioy innumerable blessings of God to our great comfort: that albeit the diuell comes neer vs, yet he cannot hurt vs: and though this rauenous wolfe be euen in the middest of the flocke, yet hee cannot spoyle so much as one lambe among them: and that howso­euer there bee multitudes of his Adherents, that haue a deadly quarrell against pietie, and against the vpholders and maintainers thereof, so that no Lyon is more gree­die of his prey, then they are of the blood of Gods ser­uants, yet wee enioy our health, and strength, and food, and families, and libertie of calling vpon the name of the Lord: for this wonderfull fauour of our good God, in restraining the diuell & his instruments from doing vs mischiefe, we should neuer cease to magnifie his glo­rious name: euermore endeuouring to keep our selues [Page 8] in his fauour, that so he being with vs, and standing for vs, we may not neede to feare any of our aduersaries that intend hurt and violence against vs.

But if thou canst doe any thing,] In that this man makes a doubt whether Christ can helpe his child, or not, and so manifests his infidelitie, albeit he was otherwise a godly man: this doctrine may be collected hence, that

Doct. 2. The faithfull tainted with vnbeliefe. Gods owne children with their faith, haue some mix­ture of vnbeliefe.

That this man was a beleeuer, may appeare by sun­drie circumstances of the text: as namely, that he came vnto Christ his disciples for helpe, and when he found none at their hands, did not depraue, nor disgrace them, but went vnto our Sauiour, and that not onely to haue his sonne helped, but to haue his owne vnbeliefe cured, giuing him this honour, to be the author and worker of grace in the hearts of the sonnes of men: yet notwith­standing all this, he herein manifested his infirmitie, that he made question of Christ his power, whether he could cast the diuell out of his child or not.

The scripture is plentifull of testimonies for the con­firmation of this point. Gen. 12. Gen. 28. 2. Abraham was the father of be­leeuers, and had a full parswasion in some particulars: yet how weake did he shew himselfe, when he exposed his wife to euident perill of violating her chastitie, by causing her to say that she was his sister, that so his life might be spared, which otherwise might be endangered (as he thought) by reason of her beautie? as if the Lord could not as well protect him in Gerar, and in Egipt, as he had done in Canaan, and in Mesopotamia! Gen. 16. So also in another particular: the Lord promised that he should haue a child by Sarah, but he had waited long, and the promise was not yet fulfilled, and now Sarah was alto­gether vnlikely (in the ordinarie course of nature) to beare a child: in this case what doth Abraham? at the [Page 9] perswasion of his wife, hee takes Hagar, that so Sarah might haue a sonne by her: as if God had beene in a straite, and knewe not how to bee as good as his word, vnles the promise might beare this construction, that Sarah should haue a child indeed, but by another, this was great vnbeliefe in him.

Dauid likewise had commonly an excellent faith, 1. Sam. 24. & 26. 9. in so much that when Saul his enemie was in his handes, so that hee might haue slaine him, and was vrged by his men so to doe, or to suffer them to doe it, yet hee would in no wise yeeld vnto them, to take away Sauls life; but resolued to waite vpon the Lord, who would take him away in due time, either by a naturall, or by a violent death, and aduance him to the Kingdome in his steede: yet after this good resolution, he manifested great frail­tie and weaknes of faith: 1. Sam. 27. 1. for he said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: and therevpon he fled vnto the King of Gath, and there beeing in perill of his life, bewrayed much infidelitie before the king.

And the like corruption doth our Sauiour oft times reprehend in his Disciples, Matth. 8. 26. Luk. 5. Why did you feare, ô yee of little faith? saith hee; and as these particular examples do e­uidently proue the point in hand, so also doth the ge­nerall example of the whole Church, of which the Pro­phet Isaiah speaketh thus: Isaiah. 49. 14. Zion said, the Lord hath for­saken mee, and my Lord hath forgotten mee; if they had af­firmed that God had reiected but one member of his Church; though it were but one of the meanest, as it were the little finger, it had beene a great dishonour vnto his Name; but that hee should cast off his whole Church, was a charge farre more hainous and intollerable: and argued a great measure of vnbeliefe in Gods people, that either said it, or thought it. Yet the Lord doth not discourage them for this, but rather vseth arguments to confirme and strengthen them. Can a woman (saith he) Vers. 15. [Page 10] Verse. 15. forget her childe, and not haue compassion on the sonne of her wombe? though they should forget, yet will not I forget thee. In which words the Lord telleth them for their com­fort, that a mother, that hath a child sucking on her breasts, may sooner forsake it, and forget that she hath such an one, than he can relinquish them, and let his chosen ones slippe out of his minde.

Reasons. Now the reason why the remnants of infidelitie doe still remaine in such as are Gods faithfull seruants, are these.

1 First, because there is in the best a great defect of knowledge, as the Apostle witnesseth: 1. Cor. 13. 12. and certaine it is, that we cānot beleeue more than we know, though we may know more than we beleeue: and there­fore our knowledge being but weake and imperfect, our faith cannot be absolute and perfect.

2 Secondly, there is no other grace of God, but is ioy­ned with imperfections, and therefore faith cannot be perfect; for if it were, it would perfect all the rest of the vertues that are in vs: our humilitie would be without any pride: our patience without any discontentment: our loue without any manner of bitternesse, &c.

3 Thirdly, it is a good prouidence of God that it should be so; for otherwise his wonderfull mercie in bearing with vs, and his mightie hand in vpholding vs, would not so euidently be seene: we could not else so easily parceiue how strong the Lord is, in fensing vs against dangerous temptations; in deliuering vs from violent corruptions: in arming vs against boisterous persecu­tions; and in vpholding vs in all manner of tribulati­ons.

Vse. 1. Let this therefore first of all be an instruction vnto vs, to teach vs to be more sparing in our censures, when we finde defects of faith, either in our selues or others. The best of Gods seruants (as hath beene sufficiently [Page 11] prooued) are subiect to many doubtings, both concer­ning the promises of God, and concerning his proui­dence: and therefore when we finde the like in our selues or others, let vs not thereupon conclude, that we are not of the number of the faithfull: for we may haue a true iustifying faith at that very instant, when we are full of doubting touching some particular points; as may be seene in the examples before alleaged for the confirmation of this doctrine: and if God should worke all at once in vs, there would be no more imployment for him; nor any further vse of the meanes of our sal­uation. Let vs not therefore discourage our hearts, as if we had no faith, because we finde defects in our faith: or as if we had nothing else but infirmities, because we finde some infirmities in our selues: Christ deales more charitable than so with Peter: for though he were afraid vpon the sight of a great waue, after that Christ had gi­uen him experience of his power, in making him able to walke vpon the sea, yet doth he not call him vnbe­leeuer, or faithles person: but saith vnto him, Math. 14. 21. Why did­dest thou feare, ô thou of little faith? giuing him his due, that he had some faith; albeit he had not so much as he should haue had.

Vse. 2. Secondly, is it so, that the best haue some dregges of vnbeliefe still remaining in them? then let vs be ex­ceeding carefull in looking to our owne hearts, for o­therwise we may fall very dangerously. Let vs not there­fore presume vpon this, that we haue faith, and there­fore we shall alwaies stand vpright: for though we haue a wonderfull excellent faith, as Abraham had, and as Dauid had, yet we may suddenly slippe into scandalous offences, as they did, because we haue infidelitie as a dangerous traytour still harbouring within vs, which hath many ill companions attending vpon it, and is readie still to shew it selfe in distempered passions, and [Page 12] inordinate courses, vnlesse wee doe maruellous careful­lie restraine and represse the motions thereof. Little though Peter euer to denie and forsweare his maister, when hee was so resolute, that he stood vpon it with our Sauiour, that though hee should die with him, yet hee would neuer forsake him; yet we reade what his vnbe­liefe brought him vnto. Wee are of the same na­ture that hee was, let vs therefore bee admonished by his example, that when wee thinke that wee stand, wee take heede least wee fall: for though wee be neuer so va­lorous in our owne conceits, little doe wee know in­to what crueltie, and into what bitternes of speech wee may breake forth, and how exceeding cowardlie wee may shew our selues in the causes of God: the serious consideration whereof, should cause vs euermore to haue an eye vnto our vnbeliefe, and to looke narrowly therevnto: yea, to lay strong chaines vpon it, and to keepe it close prisoner: for otherwise, it will make some scape or other, and comming abroade, will play such leaud trickes, as will bring shame vnto vs, and dis­honour vnto God, and a blemish vpon our holie pro­fession.

Helpe vs, and haue compassion on vs; that is, on mee and my childe: Whence ariseth this doctrine, that

Doct. 3. Loue makes men to beare others burdēs, as if they were their owne. True loue will cause men to make their case for whom they pray to be their owne. It will make them to com­municate with their estate, for whom they become sui­ters vnto the Lord, and to beare a burden with them in their afflictions: as heere we see in this man, who made his sonnes case and his owne alike.

Thus doth the Prophet Isaiah make himselfe a par­tie, when hee dealeth with the Lorde in the behalfe of the Iewes, against whom Gods wrath was kindled, Our trespasses are manie before thee (saith hee) Isa. 59. 12. and our sinnes testi­fie against vs. And againe, chapt. 64. 6. Wee haue beene [Page 13] as an vncleane thing, and our righteousnes as filthie cloutes, &c. In the like sort speaketh the Prophet Ieremie; Ierem. 14. 7. O Lord, though our iniquities testifie against vs (saith hee) deale with vs according to thy name: for our rebellions are manie, wee haue sinned against thee. So doeth Daniel also, Daniel. 9. 5. Wee haue sinned (saith he) and haue committed iniquitie, and haue done wickedly; yea, wee haue rebelled, and haue departed from thy precepts, and from thy iudgements. And lastlie, (not to heape together moe examples of this kinde) good Ezra manifesteth the like holy affection, as those before-named did; for thus hee prayeth, Ezra. 9. 6. O my GOD, I am confounded, and ashamed to lift vp mine eyes vnto thee my God: for our iniquities are increased ouer our head, and our trespasse is growen vp vnto the heauen. In which exam­ples we see, that those holie men of God, though they were very innocent of any hainous crime, and in respect of those faults, which they for whom they prayed were guiltie of, altogether blamelesse, and vntainted, yet they tooke to heart the offences committed by others, as if had beene principall men in the same.

Reasons. The reasons why Gods children must bee thus affe­cted, are these.

1. First, because this fellow-feeling of others miseries, is a verie effectuall meanes to make them feruent and earnest in their suites and requests: as the examples be­fore alleaged, doe clearely manifest. Whereas on the contrarie, if men doe not much care for others calami­ties, as if they did nothing at all, or verie little con­cerne them; they will pray, but very coldlie and drow­silie for them.

2 Secondly, as this sensiblenes of other mens distres­ses, will make Gods seruants feruent, so will it also make them constant in their prayers for them: so that after many delayes and repulses, they will still perseuere in making supplication for them: but on the other side, if [Page 14] men be not thus affected toward them, they will quick­ly be discouraged, and soone let their suite fall to the ground: as we may obserue in the disciples of our Saui­our, who speaking for the woman of Canaan, without a­ny great sense and feeling of her miserie, were very cold and short in their request. Maister (say they) send her a­way: that is, dispatch her, that she may be gone, for she cryeth after vs. Now when Christ answered that Math. 15. 23. he was not sent vnto the lost sheepe of the house of Israel, their pray­er was at an end, and they had no more to say for her: but the poore woman, being thoroughly afflicted with the torment of her daughter, would not let the matter passe so, but replyeth vpon Christ Iesus, and answereth euery one of his obiections, till at length her request was granted.

3 Thirdly, this will cause their prayers to be effectuall, and to finde good admittance and acceptance with the Lord: they cannot but be welcome vnto him, in regard they proceed from abundance of loue, and of tender compassion in the parties, which are graces wherewith the Lord is well pleased, yea, and much delighted.

4 Fourthly, as others shall haue the benefite of such prayers, so shal they thēselues that make them haue the comfort thereof in a speciall manner: As Ieremie, and Daniel, and such like holy men, who vpon the granting of their requests, had an hundred times more consola­tion, than ordinarie people for whom they prayed: and if it so fall out that our requests be not granted in the particulars, yet shall we some way or other be propor­tionably recompenced by the Lord.

5 Lastly, if no other reason would induce vs, yet the ex­ample of our blessed Sauiour should moue vs to this holy communicating with the miseries of our bre­thren: for he tooke our persons vpon him, and 2. Cor. 5. 21. he that knew no sinne, was made sinne for vs, that we might be made [Page 15] the righteousnes of God, through him. He became our sure­tie, and tooke vpon him both the guiltinesse and pu­nishment of our sinnes: he did not onely pittie vs, and speake for vs, but also dealt for vs, and died for vs: and therefore it behooueth vs to Phil. 2. 5. put on the same minde that was in Christ Iesus: and to bee affected in the like sort as he was. Vse 1. Which maketh for the iust reproofe of those, who when they are petitioners vnto God for others, deale no otherwise then great mens Attendants com­monly do, for such as haue before hand hired them to preferre their suites vnto their maisters: or then cor­rupt Lawiers doe for their Clients, when they haue re­ceiued their fees: they thinke they shall loose nothing if matters go against them: nor gaine any thing if they succeed for them: and therefore they vse not much ea­gernesse in the pursuite thereof, but deale coldlie and carelesly in the causes which they vndertake: So doe a great manie in their suites which they put vp vnto God; yea, euen then when they are to speake for their owne children, or other neere friends: and that when they are in a most lamentable taking, so that they might iustly say as the woman of Canaan did of her daughter, O Lord haue mercie on mee; my childe, or my friend, is Matth. 15. miserablie vexed with a diuell: miserablie haunted with pride, with vncleannesse, with voluptuousnes, &c: Yet Satan doth as it were, bellow forth at their mouthes, and is ready to cast them (not into the water, or into the fire, as was this mans childe, but) euen into hell fire, which neuer shall bee quenched: albeit (I say) the case stand thus with manie mens children, or friendes: Nay fur­ther, though they haue beene brought to this passe by their ill educating of them, or their giuing of ill exam­ple vnto them, yet when they are to make supplication vnto the Lord for them, they are maruellous remisse and cold in the same: thereby shewing, that their praiers [Page 16] proceed from their lips, rather than from their hearts. Nay, in the case of Gods Church, whereof they them­selues are members, or at least professe themselues so to be, they aske so carelesly and drowsily, as if it did no­thing at all pertaine vnto them, whether the Gospell haue a free passage or not; whether Gods ordinances be en­ioyed in sinceritie and puritie or not; whether Gods seruants continue in their vprightnesse or not, &c. This is a fault sharpely to be censured in such as make pro­fession of the truth, and we haue all cause much to con­demne our selues for our great fayling in this behalfe: and to labour hereafter to put on the bowels of tender compassion, that so wee may make othres cases our owne, and mourne for their calamities, and for their transgressions, as if they were our owne.

2 Secondly, is it so, that christian loue will cause men to partake with others in their distresses, as if they were theirs? then here is matter of speciall cōsolation vnto all the Saints of God: for there is neuer a one of them, but hath sundrie others to beare his burden, and to com­municate with him in all his sorrowes and anguishes. And therefore, let them not be vtterly dismaied, albeit they cānot take their owne case to heart as they would, and as they should: if they be inwardly grieued that they are so senslesse of the stroakes of God vpon them, they may take this for their comfort, that God will passe by their infirmitie, and accept of the seruencie of others prayers in their behalfe, who are more earnest with God for them, than they can be for themselues. Thus much concerning the mans petition: our Sauiours answere followeth.

The second Sermon.

VERSE 23.

If thou canst beleeue, all things are possible to the beleeuer.

HEere wee must note, that when it is said, If thou canst beleeue, &c: The meaning is not, that Christ could not heale his childe vnlesse hee did beleeue: for mans disabilitie doth nothing diminish Gods abilitie: but this is spoken by our Sauiour to helpe the mans faith; hee knew well enough that hee did in part beleeue, but hee would haue him search, and trie his heart, and set his faith a worke before hee would graunt his request. Whence wee may note this Doctrine, that

Doct. 1. Christ begins with the heart. Where Christ Iesus doth helpe anie one in mer­cie, hee first helps his heart, and layes the foundati­on of his worke in his soule. This course hee tooke with Marthae and Marie, when hee would gratifie them with a speciall fauour, in restoring to life their dead bro­ther, which was very deere vnto them; Iohn. 11. Hee first of all labours to strengthen their faith in this point, that hee was able to raise him out of the graue againe: yea, [Page 18] though hee had beene foure dayes dead.

In the like sort dealt the Lord with the Apostle Paul, Acts. 27. when he and the rest that were with him, had bene four­teene dayes tossed with a sore and dangerous tempest, looking euer and anon, when they should bee drowned in the Sea, and all that while had eaten nothing, feare hauing taken away their stomachs. In this extremitie God sent his Angell vnto Paul, not giuing him present deliuerance, but telling him that hee and the rest should be deliuered, that so their faith might be exercised by depending on his promise, and the benefite might bee more acceptable when it came. The like may be said of Iehoshaphats case, when such huge armies of enemies came against him: 2. Chron. 20. 14. 15. it was then time (wee would haue thought) for the Lord to set vpon his aduersaries, and to ouerthrowe their forces: but hee first of all sends king Iehoshaphat, and the rest of the people, a Prophet to fitte and prepare their hearts, for such a wonderfull victorie, as afterward hee gaue them; and that made it to bee a farre greater blessing, then otherwise it could haue beene.

Reasons. And the reason why God doth first helpe the heart, is,

1 First, because otherwise the benefite that he bestow­eth, would bee but momentanie: for either the thing it selfe should be taken away, or else some mischiefe ensue vpon the hauing of it, so that it would cease to bee a blessing. Hence is it, that the Lord saith vnto Ahaz, and his people, after hee had promised them deliue­rance from their enemies; Isa. 7. 9. If yee beleeue not, surely yee shall not bee established. And therefore was it, 1. Kings. 20. that though wicked Ahab were saued from the sword of the king of Aram, at one time, yet hee got little by it: for hauing no grace in his heart, 1. Kings. 22. hee was wounded in fighting a­gainst the Aramites another time, so that his Charret­man carried him out of the hoast, vnto Samaria, and [Page 19] death carried him from thence vnto hell, the proper place of such sinfull rebels as he was.

2 Secondly, when mens hearts are well fitted for a bles­sing, it becomes a double blessing vnto them. For it doth not alone helpe them for their present state, but also for their eternall state: not onely for this life, but for euerlasting life: not for the present alone, but for e­uer after, they being assured, that God is alwaies the same in grace and fauour towards his children.

Vse. 1. Therefore if at any time we desire any blessing, or de­liuerance for our selues, or our friends, out of dangers, or debts, or the like, let vs intreate the Lord first of all to applie his medicine to the due place. We see it ordi­narie with skilfull physitians in the curing of many dis­eases, that though the sicknesse be in the head, or in any other part, yet they conueigh their physicke into the stomach. So let vs beseech the Lord that he will deale with vs, or with such as are neere vnto vs: that he will beginne his cure in our heart, which is the stomacke of the soule: which being soundly healed, we shall finde, not onely the fit staied for the present, but the sicknes preuented for afterwards.

2 Secondly, let the wisedome of Christ in his dealing with this man, serue for our imitation: Are we minded to doe our neighbours a good turne in outward re­spects, for their bodie, or for their estate, or for his chil­dren? let vs in the first place labour as farre as God hath inabled vs, to helpe their hearts; to increase their re­pentance; to strengthen their faith in Gods promises and prouidence, and to minister vnto them spirituall refreshing as well as corporall. And thus taking the same course with our friends in their sicknesses, and in their distresse, as our Sauiour did, we may the more comfor­tably expect a full recompence of our worke from the righteous Iudge of heauen and earth; and withall, we [Page 20] shall haue this testimonie vnto our soules, that we doe not good things in a carnall manner, nor for fleshly re­spects, but with an vpright heart, and to a right end, de­siring principally that God may be glorified in the sal­uation of the parties, to whom our beautie and kind­nesse is extended.

3 Thirdly, seeing that the Lord vseth to begin his worke in the hart, where he purposeth to vouchsafe any outward blessing in mercie: Let this teach vs not to be impatient, nor to thinke it too long, ere God bestow a­ny benefit vpon vs: but let vs rather looke into our selues, and suspect our owne preparation and fitnesse to be partakers of any speciall fauour from the Lord.

Will not our aduersaries be pacified toward vs, nor reconciled vnto vs? Let vs examine whether we haue made peace with the Lord, and procured his louing countenance to shine vpon vs: otherwise we may cer­tainely conclude, that all our enemies heate is but a sparke of his displeasure against vs. Are our outward wants & necessities many & great, and of long continu­ance? let vs make triall whether they doe not proceed from want of religion; from want of sinceritie before the Lord, & of a godly, and honest conuersation before men: haue we great imbecilitie in our bodies, and doe we finde a sensible decay of our health? let vs search whether the weakenesse of our faith haue not beene the cause of it, in that we haue not conscionably vsed the meanes that God hath appointed for the confirming therof: and whether we haue not declined in the course of our obedience, and beene too well content to feele an inward decay of Gods graces, for which Gods hand hath lighted vpon our outward man. And if we deale thus, we shall be driuen to accuse our selues, rather than to murmur against God, and so fitting our selues for mercie, we shall finde it at his hands in due season, and [Page 21] that to our greater comfort, then if wee had obtained it sooner.

If thou canst belieue, &:] In that our Sauiour makes a doubt hereof, & that not without cause, the doctrine is, that, Doct. 2. No man hath faith at com­maund. It is not in any mans owne power to beleeue when hee will, and what hee will, and as much as he will.

Faith is not at mens commaund: for if it had beene, our Sauiour would neuer haue propounded this questi­on: neither would the Disciples haue left the child vn­cured, which now was brought vnto our Sauiour: for they were desirous to doe what they could for the ho­nour of their maister, for their owne credite and com­fort, and for the stopping of the mouthes of their bit­ter aduersaries: Now the cause why they could not cast out this diuell was (as their Maister tolde them) their vnbeliefe: not that they were vnwilling to beleeue, but that they were vnable to beleeue, vnlesse they should haue vsed fasting and prayer for the obtaining of faith, which they could not doe. And if anie desire a proofe of this point, let him read the 17. chapt. of Luke, where the Apostles hearing our Sauiour deliuer this lesson, that if our brother sinne against vs seuen times in a day, and seuen times in a day turne againe vnto vs, saying, it repenteth mee: wee must forgiue him: they take occasion thereby, to pray in this sort: Luk. 17. 5. Lord increase our faith. Which is in effect, as if they had said; Lord, this is a dutie which is beyond our reach: our faith will not extend so farre, and therefore Lord, sithence thou requirest this at our hands, adde vnto that measure of faith which thou hast giuen vs, that so wee may be able to performe it. Now if they could haue beleeued as much as they would, what need had they thus earnestly to desire an increase of their faith? Let this then be concluded for a certaine truth, that no man is able to attaine to what measure of faith it pleaseth him. Neither is this so only at mens [Page 22] first conuersion, but afterwards also.

For their first conuersion, there is no doubt but it proceedeth wholie from God, and is his meere gift, according to that of our Sauiour, Iohn. 6. None can come vnto mee, except the father draw him. And that of the Apostle, Phil. 1. 19. Vnto you it is giuen for Christ, that not onely yee should be­leeue in him, but also suffer for his sake.

And as for the state of a Christian after his conuer­sion, it is as plaine, that none can exercise his faith in a­ny particular without Gods speciall assistance: as may be seene in the example of Abraham, who though he had a very excellent faith, yet when he came into a forren countrie among a barbarous people, it much failed him in that particular, that he could not rest vpon Gods power and prouidence for the preseruation of his life, but chose rather to expose his wife to danger, by saying that she was his sister. Otherwise he thought, that though they were not so monstrously wicked (as many now a daies are) as to abuse his wife, he being aliue, yet they would kill him, that so they might freely take her vnto themselues. Here we see carnall reason did oppose it selfe against his faith, and in this particular ouerswaied him. And so it was with Zacharie, the husband of Eliza­bet (though ouerwise a true beleeuer) when he heard of the Angell that he should haue a sonne in his old age he was so intangled with carnall conceites, that he could not giue credit thereto: I am olde (saith he) Luke. 1. 18. and my wife is olde, and is it possible that such olde people as we are should haue a childe? And in the same case did Sarah faile, though she were the Matriarch of holy women, Gen. 18. 12. when she was tolde that she should beare a sonne, she laughed at it, as if it were a ridiculous thing to beleeue any such matter: and as carnall reason doth hinder the faith of Gods seruants, so also doe distempered passi­ons, as anger and feare, and the like. As we may note in [Page 23] Moses, though an admirable man, and such an one as in other cases had shewed a care and worthie faith, yet be­ing vexed and troubled at the rebellious disposition of the people of Israel, he manifested great vnbeliefe: for when God promised him to feede all that people for a moneth with flesh in the wildernes, he doubted how it could be: What ( [...]aith he) Nū. 11. 21. 22 shall all the beastes be killed for hem? and shall all the fishes of the Sea be gathered together, to make prouision for them▪ As if God had ouershot him­selfe, in making them such a large promise, as he would not be able to stand too.

Vse 1. Heere then are they to bee confuted, that neuer had anie faith at all, and yet thinke that they can beleeue whatsoeuer God telleth them: yea, they make that an argument of the strength of their faith, that they per­swade themselues they can beleeue at their pleasure: I dare vndertake (say they) that I doe beleeue, and will beleeue; that I doe repent, and will repent; (both which come to one reckoning) and that as well as the proudest of them: and therein they say true indeed, as well as the proudest; for the proud beleeue not at all, but haue the Lord himselfe Iam. 4. to resist them, when hee giueth grace to the humble: Neither haue such boasters any faith at all; for if they knew what it meant, they would neuer so pre­sume vpon their owne strength.

Vse. 2. Secondly, let this teach vs when wee goe about any seruice of God, not to rest vpon that olde store of faith which we haue, nor to be so confident thereof; as to say, If now I were to heare the word, or to be partaker of the Sacrament, I am sufficiētly prouided without any more adoe: or if this or that crosse should fall vpon mee, I haue vndergone greater matters then that comes too; and therefore I know I shall not shrinke vnder it. Let vs not (I say) thus builde vpon our owne strength, but let euery one rather come to this, my faith is not mine [Page 24] owne, I cannot beleeue what & when I will, and there­fore Lord make me to beleeue whatsoeuer is needfull, according as occasion shall be offered; if we doe not thus, we shall finde by wofull experience, that though we haue the shield of faith, yet when we come into the field against our aduersaries, we shall not be able to vse it, either to Gods glorie, or our owne safegard.

All things are possible to him that beleeueth.] If faith be set a worke, nothing is so hard and difficult, but it will goe thorough therewith: whence obserue this doc­trine, that

Doct. 3. The faithfull are strongest and happiest. Of all the men in the world godly beleeuers are the most mightie and most happie.

None haue so great power, nor so good an estate, as the faithfull, for they conquer the world: that is, inter­nall corruptions, and outward allurements: according to that of the Apostle Iohn, 1. Iohn. 5. 4. This is our victorie, whereby we ouercome the world, euen our faith. Without this it is im­possible for men to get victorie ouer themselues and ouer their worldly lusts, be they neuer so great and mightie in the earth: nay the mightier they are, the weaker in this conflict: the world hath them in the greatest seruitude of all others: it puts them as it were into the dungeon, and holdes them fast in the stockes, and makes them the most miserable bondslaues that are, vnto pride, and sensualitie, and all kinde of voluptu­ousnes.

2 Againe, as faith makes men conquerers ouer the world, so doth it also ouer the diuell, for 1. Pet. 5. 9. Iam. 4. 7. if we resist him stedfast in the faith, he will flie from vs. And concerning all other difficulties, let vs reade the 11. Chap. of the Epi­stle to the Hebrewes, where the wonderfull and strange effects of faith are at large spoken of; and there we shall easily perceiue, that the most incredible things that can be imagined, haue by vertue thereof beene effected, [Page 25] and accomplished. Reasons. And the reason hereof is,

1. First, because faithfull men doe lay holde of God himselfe, and of his all-sufficiencie; and therfore hauing the enioyment of his fauour, what can be wanting vnto them?

2 Secondly, they build vpon the truth of God: for faith is not euery slight imagination of a frenticke braine, but a setled perswasion, grounded on the word of God: and therefore if the scriptures say simplie and without exception, that they shall haue any thing, they rest vpon it, without any wauering: but if the scriptures promise with condition onely, they doe conditionally expect the things so promised: and by this meanes their happinesse is as large as Gods promises; and their hopes are ratified by the truth of his word, Numb. 23. 23. who is not as man that he should lie: and of whom it is said, Rom. 3. 4. Let God be free, and euery man a liar.

Vse. 1. Seeing then that there is such efficacie in faith, and such happinesse depending thereon, let vs preferre it before all earthly treasures, and count all the glorie of the world base in comparison of it: for a poore faithfull Christian, is better then a rich vnbeleeuing king: And why? because all things are possible vnto him; he may haue his hearts desire in any thing, so farre as his affec­tion is ordered by Gods word: and this priuiledge haue none in the world, but only beleeuers.

It is no where in the scripture said, All things are possi­ble to the rich, to the noble, to those that are strong, or to those that are couragious: nay such doe continually finde, that their willes and desires are exceedingly cros­sed, and that it is impossible for them to bring many of their enterprises to passe.

Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. 4. as great as he was, foūd by experience that al things are not possible to the mightie Monarches of the earth; and that when they begin to exalt them­selues [Page 26] into the place of God, as hee did, the Lorde can quickly cause a great King to be in farre worse case then the basest beggar, as indeed hee was; being stript of his kingdome, of his wittes, and of all earthly comforts, euen on a sudden, when hee litle feared any such matter. Sithence therefore the case stands thus, that no world­lie preheminence or excellencie, can yeelde men that contentment, which faith will doe, what remaineth, but that wee set the highest price vpon that which is of the greatest worth: and aboue all things seeke for that, which will make vs most happie, when wee haue found it.

2 Secondly, if we desire friends that are able, and willing, and euery way sufficient to stand vs in steed, let vs en­deuour to bee in league with such as haue the greatest measure of faith, and to make them our chiefest friends, who are most godly & most faithful people. Peter found the benefite hereof: Acts 12. he had many mortall aduersaries, as Herode, and the whole power of the Romanes, and the state of the Iewes: and what friends had he to stand for him? a poore companie of men and women, that durst not shewe their heads, for feare of their enemies; who yet by the force of their prayers, preuailed more for him, then all the aduerse power could against him: for when they spake vnto God in his behalfe, neither the prison, nor his chaines, nor the souldiers, nor any power whatsoeuer, could keepe him any longer in hold: but the Lord sent his Angell, and freed him out of the hands of such as hated him, and purposed the next day to haue taken his life from him.

And as the faith of Gods seruants is very mightie for their friēds deliuerāce: so is it as effectuall for the ouer­throw of their enemies: as may be seene in Haman, who soared so high aboue the reach of the Iewes, that in all likelyhood none of them could come neere him: But [Page 27] whē Hester & Mordecai, and the rest of the faithfull, ioy­ned together in fasting and prayer, their faith pulled him downe vnto the ground, and layd all his honour in the very dust. Whence it is euident and cleere to those that haue any vnderstanding, how needfull and bene­ficiall a thing it is, to haue godly men on our side; and and therefore if wee would be esteemed trulie wise, let vs ioyne our selues in most inward friendship and fami­liaritie with them.

Vse. 3. Thirdly, if nothing be impossible to beleeuers, then is it not impossible for them to maister & subdue their strongest corruptions: and therefore let not the faith­full bee discouraged, though they find themselues as yet very worldly minded, very angrie and passionate, very vaine-glorious, and ambitious, &c: If they will set their faith a worke, they shall get victorie ouer these and the like corrupt affections: and albeit they haue prayed of­ten against them, and yet finde small strength to ouer­come them, let them not giue ouer the combatte, for faith will haue the better in the ende. And the like may be said for all manner of crosses: it will either make an vtter riddance of them, or at least furnish vs with pati­ence and abilitie to vndergoe them.

Vers. 24. And straight-way the father of the childe crying with teares, sayd, &c: Hence this doctrine might be no­ted, that Doct. 4. See in Clea­uers Sermon, on Lament. 3. Doct. 1. Faith and godlie sorrow may well goe toge­ther: for both of these are apparant in this faithfull man: and Gods children haue oftentimes, and almost continually occasion of this holie griefe, in respect of themselues, and in respect of Gods Church: in respect of corruptions, and of afflictions, either priuate or pub­like, or both. But I will not now insist vpon this point.

Lord, I beleeue] Whence ariseth this Doctrine, that Doct. 5. Christiās must see & acknow­ledge their graces. It is not vnlawfull, nor vncomely, for a Christian to make profession of his owne graces, though imperfect, [Page 28] if it be done in due time and manner.

He may speake of them vnto God or vnto men as occasion is offered. So did this man here, Lord, I beleeue. So did Dauid, Psal. 86. 2. Preserue thou my soule, for I am mercifull. So did Ezekiah also, Isai. 38. 3. I beseech thee ô Lord, remember now how I haue walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and haue done that which is good in thy sight. The scripture aboundes with examples of this kinde. Reasons. But let vs con­sider of some reasons, as namely, that

1 First, this must be done, because it tendes to the mag­nifying of Gods name: whereas the deniall of his gra­ces, makes for his dishonour, and argues a base account thereof in the parties that haue them.

2 Secondly, the acknowledgement of the vertues of Christ which we haue, is an effectuall meanes to streng­then our faith, to comfort our harts, & to inable vs with feruencie to call vpon the Lord: whereas vpon the o­mission of this dutie, all the contrarie effects do fol­low.

Vse. 1. Here then are Gods deere children to be put in minde of an ordinarie and daungerous fault that is in them: which is, that in the time of temptation they so farre giue place vnto Sathan, as to yeeld that they are hypo­crites, and that they haue no sauing grace of God in them. Indeed they cannot denie but they haue hereto­fore done many good things; but all (say they) was in vaine-glorie, or for some carnall respect or other: they must needs confesse that they haue had many comfor­table feelings, but now they feare al of them were meere illusions. What a follie is this, & what indignitie do we herein offer vnto the holy spirit of grace, whereby we are sealed vnto the day of redemption? why should we not rather be of Iobs resolution, viz: neuer to part with our innocencie & vprightnes while we liue, but though men accuse vs, and Sathan assault vs, and our owne con­sciences [Page 29] charge many heauie things vpon vs, yet to stand to it vnto the death, that our hearts are sincere and faithfull with the Lord our God: when by sound proofes and arguments taken from the word, wee can confirme so much vnto our owne soules? For in truth wee haue farre better reason to stand vpon our spirituall right, thē earthly men haue to defend their ciuill right. Now if some craftie and subtill aduersarie should come vnto a worldly wise man, & tell him, that all his writings & eui­dences are meere counterfeites, and of no worth at al [...]: and that therefore he is but an Intruder into that which hee possesseth, would not hee (if hee be able) maintaine the goodnes of his euidences, and prooue that the seales are authentical, that his witnesses are sufficient, & that all things else doe concurre, which may make for the proouing of his title and right, in the things which he holdeth? Much more then should we stand to make good the Deedes that we haue for our soules, and for our assurance of the heauenly inheritance, which hath bene of olde purchased for vs.

Vse 2. Let this therefore in the second place, serue for an instruction vnto vs, that we neuer shew our selues to be of such a cowardly heart, as when wee haue spoken well, or done well, to depraue the same, by saying that we are no better then hypocrites; or by confessing in word or writing, that wee are faultie. Nay, let vs neuer for­goe our righteousnesse, but iustifie our selues in our righteous wayes, and workes, and acknowledge (with thankfulnes and humilitie) whatsoeuer good things the Lord hath wrought in vs, or by vs; that so hee may haue his due praise, and wee such found comfort as be­longeth vnto well-doers.

Helpe mine vnbeleefe:] The last Doctrine which shall be collected from this verse, is this, that

Doct. 6. Faith shewes men their cor­ruptions, and moues thē to seeke helpe a­gainst them. It is the propertie of grace to shew men their corrup­tions, & to stir them vp to seeke helpe against the same.

As in this man it doth euidentlie appeare, who as hee had infidelitie in him, so hauing faith withall, had his infidelitie discouered, and his heart moued to seeke vnto Christ Iesus, for strength against it. The like may bee obserued in the Prophet Dauid, who finding his heart to be vexed, and turmoyled within him, first of all falleth to reason the matter with his owne soule, saying;Psal. 42. 5. 6. Why art thou cast downe my soule, and why doest thou make a tumult within me? (for so much the word implyeth) he hauing grace in his heart, perceiued that vnbeliefe did as it were mutinie within him, and raise vp rebelli­on against the Lord: and therefore finding his owne disabilitie, euery way to encounter the same, hee in the next verse of that Psalme, puts vp his complaint vnto the Lord against it; My God (saith hee) my soule is cast downe within mee, &c. As if he should haue said, Lord, I finde my selfe too weake to preuaile against this cor­ruption, and therefore graunt mee strength to get the better of it.

Againe in another Psalme, to wit, the 77. Psal. 77. 10. he beginneth very lamentably, as one vtterly out of heart, almost concluding that the Lord had quite forsaken him, and cast him out of his seruice: but afterward he recouereth himselfe, and concludeth that it was his infirmitie so to imagine, and thereupon laboureth to confirme his faith by considering of the times of olde, and of the wonder­full workes of God, which he wrought for the good of his people in former ages. So also in the 73. Psalme, Psal. 73. we may note how the Prophet taketh notice of his great infirmitie, in enuying at wicked mens prosperitie, and in the end goeth into the Sanctuarie to get helpe a­gainst it. Likewise in the prophecie of Isaiah, Isaiah. 63. we may ob­serue the like effect of grace in the people of God, viz: [Page 31] that they doe discerne of the hardnesse of their owne hearts, and complaine vnto the Lord against it.

Reasons. Now the reasons of this point are these;

1 First, because grace maketh men iudicious, and fil­leth them full of knowledge, and of heauenly vnder­standing, whereby they are inabled to descrie what is a­misse within them. Gods gracious spirit wheresoeuer it comes, brings a light in his hand, whereby all things that are noysome, or vnhandsome in the house, are plainely seene and discouered: so that thereby men are made able to iudge betwixt truth, and falshood, and be­twixt good and euill.

2 Secondly, as grace doth inlighten the minde, so doth it also sanctifie the affections of the parties in whom it is. So that seeing what is good, they shall long for it, and earnestly desire it: & discerning what is euill, they shall hate it, and flie from it. As it brings light with it, so it makes men to bee of a neate disposition, that they can­not endure any thing that is fulsome and loathsome in their soules.

5 Thirdly, grace maketh men industrious, and readie to put themselues into the battle against their corrup­tions: Wheresoeuer faith is, it is working and effec­tuall. 1. Thess. 1. 3.

4 Fourthly, and lastly, it maketh men full of courage and fortitude, so that they will neuer endure to haue sinne raigne in their mortall bodies, but will maintaine perpetuall warre against the same: for if they should suffer the fire of grace to bee quenched by the impure streames of sinne and iniquitie, Gods spirit should be put to the worst, which is no lesse then blasphemie for any one to imagine that it should euer come to passe: for it doth work faith in mens harts, which is indefatiga­ble and inuincible: which in time of temptation, will sue vnto heauen, and search the word, and vse all lawfull [Page 32] meanes & helpes for the procuring of strength against sinne: so that though there be many enemies against it, yet will it not be set downe by any of them; & though it doe now and then receiue a wound, yet will it recouer againe, and carrie away the victorie in the end.

Vse. 1. Hereby then (to drawe to some vse of this doctrine) we may make some triall of the strength or weakenesse of our faith; according as we are more or lesse able to see the sinfulnes of our nature, and to striue against it: so are we to iudge of the measure of Gods grace in vs, to be more or lesse: and if we do not particularly discerne of the corruptions of the flesh, or do not loathe them, and labour to be cured of them, but rather excuse and exte­nuate them, and hide and cherish them, this is an infal­lible signe, that we haue in vs no sauing grace at all. Let all such therefore as would haue the testimonie of Gods children, vse their best endeuour to haue their eyes ope­ned, that they may perceiue the seuerall euils that lurke within their hearts; and let them withall get such an in­dignation against them, that they may (as this man did) come vnto Christ Iesus to be cured of them: which if they can doe, their very approaching vnto him by prayer, and in the vse of this ordinances, will cause them euery day to become more sharpe-sighted than other, so that they shall (with the holy prophet Isaiah. Chap. 6.) cry out against their pollutions, and so get pardon of them, and power ouer them.

2 Secondly, this makes for the confutation of such, as being vrged to reforme themselues, are readie to say, that all things are so well with them, that they neede no amendment; they know not where to beginne their re­formatiō, because they see nothing amisse: These kinde of men are most busie against others, that complaine of their owne wants, and seeke to haue them supplied from heauen; and such they account and call Puritans, who [Page 33] indeed do most see and acknowledge and bewaile their owne puritie: but in truth they thēselues do sarre better deserue that name, for that they imagine they haue at­tained such a measure of puritie, as that nothing can be added thereunto: they haue knowledge enough, faith enough, and repentance enough, and therefore they professe that they care not for preaching, and that they had rather be without it, then be troubled with it. Of such the wise man speaketh thus, Prou. 30. 12. There is a generation that is pure in their owne conceit, and yet are not washed from their filthinesse: the world doth euen swarme with such vngracious persons, vpon whom the Sonne of righte­ousnes did neuer yet shine, and therefore they are vtter­ly blinde that they cannot see, or wilfull, that they will not reforme their euill and corrupt waies and workes: which is a sure and certaine note of grosse infideli­tie, and of an vtter want of all grace and goodnes in them.

Vse. 3. Thirdly, from this point doth arise an vse of singu­lar consolation vnto Gods seruants, that are troubled with the sight and sense of their corruptions, that doe finde pride working in them, and vnbeliefe stirring in their hearts, and many vncharitable thoughts and mo­tions still remaining in their soules: all the while they apprehend the vilenesse and hurtfulnesse of them, and withall mourne for them, and confesse them, and seeke vnto the Lord for pardon of them, and power against them, they neede not be discouraged; nay they haue iust cause to be comforted herein: as knowing that it is a certaine marke, and vndoubted note of grace to be thus affected. They may be assured, that so long as they feele their sicknesse, they are not dead; especially if withall they be hungrie & thirstie after spirituall things, and finde an appetite vnto the foode of life, and with much paines and diligence seeke for the same; there is [Page 34] then no reason in the world that they should make question of the goodnesse of their estate, as hauing in them the speciall signes of true conuersion, and sancti­fication.

The third Sermon.

VERSE. 25.

When IESVS saw that the people came together, hee re­buked the vncleane spirit, saying vnto him; Thou dumbe and deafe spirit, I charge thee come out of him, and enter no more into him.

26. Then the spirit cryed, and rent him sore, and came out, and hee was as one dead; in so much that many said, hee is dead.

IN the former part of this storie, is set downe the earnest suite of the man whose childe was possessed, for the easing and relieuing of his distres­sed sonne. In these words is decla­red how our Sauior performed that which he required, viz. that he cast the diuell out of his childe: Where­in we may note two things, to wit

  • the occasion of it:
  • the manner of it.

First, for the occasion thereof, it was two-fold, viz. 1. the good, and holie, and gracious profession of the man, spoken of before; Lord, I beleeue, helpe mine vnbeleefe. Christ had tolde him, that if he could beleeue, all things were possible to the beleeuer: and for that hee truely [Page 36] auoucheth that hee did in part beleeue, and whe [...] his faith was weake, hee desires to haue it strengthened▪ and giues Christ Iesus that honour, as to pray vnto hi [...] to strengthen it. This our Sauiour approueth of, and [...]is was one occasion of the miracle. 2. An other was the concourse of the people, vers. 25. When Iesus saw that the people came running together, hee rebuked the vncleane spirit, &c.

The Disciples (as we haue heard before) were not able to cast out this diuell. Herevpon, the multitude seeing the man to deale with Christ himselfe about the same matter, they flocked together, to see what would come of it. Some of them (no doubt) with a good minde, that if a miracle were wrought in their sight, they might re­ioyce at it, and haue their faith confirmed by it. Other some, to the ende that they might insult ouer our Saui­our Christ, if the miracle had beene either not wrought at all, or but onely protracted for a time; He therefore to preuent discouragment in the better sort, and insul­tation in the rest, presentlie setteth vpon the worke. Thus much for the occasion. The manner followeth, where wee may obserue, 1. what Christ spake vnto the diuell. 2. what the diuell did vnto the childe.

For the former, it is said, that hee 1. rebuked the vn­cleane spirit: and 2. discharged him of the place where he was, commaunding him to come forth, and to returne no more, vers. 25.

Concerning the diuels dealing with the childe, it is saide, 1. that hee did rent and teare him grieuouslie, (being vexed and tormented, because he must leaue his former hold) in so much, that manie thought the child had beene dead: 2. hee came out of him, euen as Christ had charged him. And thus much for the order and meaning of the Text.

Vers. 25. When Iesus saw that the people came running [Page 37] together, hee rebuked the vncleane spirit.]

Now hee saw there was a fitte opportunitie, because there would bee most vse of it: if hee had done it soo­ner, the people would not so well haue perceiued and marked it, with all the circumstances thereof: if he had deferred it longer, some of them would haue departed, (it may bee) others would haue beene dismayed: and a third sort would haue gloried and triumphed; as if now he that had done so many miracles, had bene at a stand, and mette with an vncleane spirite, that was too strong for him, and would not go out at his bidding. Now in that Christ doth take this occasion of doing this mira­culous worke, the Doctrine is, Doct. 1. Christ doth all seasonablie. that Christ doeth all his workes in the fittest season.

This Doctrine is euident in sundry places of the Gos­pel after Iohn, as chapt. 2. when the Mother of Christ would haue him to turne water into wine at her ap­pointment: hee answereth, Iohn. 2. 4. mine houre is not yet come: though in all probabilitie, hee wrought that miracle within the space of an houre after: yet hee saith, mine houre is not yet come: meaning the very instant where­in that worke was to bee done. Which giueth vs to vnderstand, that hee will not faile an haires breadth of the very moment wherein euery good thing should be done. Againe, Iohn 7. when his brethren would haue had him hasten to the feast of Tabernacle at Ie­rusalem, hee saith, Iohn. 7. 8. I will not goe vp yet, for my time is not yet fulfilled. And likewise in the 11. chapt. of that Gos­pel, after that hee knew Lazarus was dead, hee made no great hast vnto him, but stayed till hee had beene dead foure daies: telling his Disciples, Iohn. 71. 15. that hee was glad that he was not there no sooner: whereas Lazarus sisters, Marie and Martha, were euen discouraged at his long stay. But hee in his wisedome chose that time aboue anie o­ther, because if hee had raised Lazarus being newly de­parted, [Page 38] it had not beene so admirable, it being now a common case, and a thing that Christ had done for o­thers: but when he had beene dead foure daies, and was laide in his graue, so that Martha was vnwilling that Christ should meddle with him: now to restore him from death to life, was a thing very remarkeable; and therefore tooke he this season for the effecting of this miracle. Reason. Now the reason of this point is,

1 First, because he respecteth his owne glorie and his peoples good: therefore is he willing to finde out the fittest time for euery busines.

2 Secondly, as that is the end which he proposeth, so is he full of all heauenly wisedome, & therefore knowes the very precise time, when euery worke ought to be done; yea he doth predestinate the seasons wherein all things shall be accomplished: men oftentimes meete with an opportunitie at vnawares, and therefore it is al­most past before they can take hold of it, but God hath eternally fore-appointed it; in which regard, he doth all things in the fulnes of time: euen when that time is come which he had preordained in his secret counsell.

3 Thirdly, he is of power and abilitie to do euery thing in the fit season thereof. Men are driuen to deferre mat­ters, albeit they see opportunitie for the doing of them, because their strength will not then serue them to goe thorough with that which they desire: but the Lord is of all sufficiencie, for the performance of whatsoeuer pleaseth him; so that he needs not make delaies when the time serueth him.

Vse. 1. Is it so then (as it hath beene plainely prooued) that Christ doth euery thing in due time? Let vs hēce learne to imitate our Sauiour, that we may be able to yeeld a good and sound reason why we do this or that now, ra­ther than at any other time. For that which Salomon saith of words, that a word spoken in due season, is like apples [Page 39] of golde, with pictures of siluer (that is verie beautifull;) holdes as true of actions, whose grace it is to be done in that time which is best befitting them. There are times for the exercises of religion, and there are times for the works of our vocation, and both must be rightly discer­ned and wisely followed. There are times to mourne and to be sorrowfull: and it is a great faulte for men to reioyce, Isa. 22. when the Lord calleth them to heauinesse, and to teares. Againe, there are times to be merry and glad, (in a good and holie manner,) and it is an offence for Christians, not to bee cheerfull with those that they conuerse with, when God giueth them occasion of re­ioycing.

2 Secondly, let this teach vs to commit and submit our selues, our estate, and all that we haue, to Gods wise­dome: neither let vs murmure, nor grow discontented at the delayes that hee makes, but waite his leisure, and be content that he should take his owne time; assuring our selues, that hee will not faile one moment, when we are ready for any blessing and benefite: but the longer he deferres, the more it shall tende to his owne glorie and our good. Manie would haue their haruest before it be ripe, but God is wiser then they are, and therefore hee causeth them to spend many prayers and teares, be­fore they obtaine their hearts desire. If Gods owne chil­dren might haue deliuerance for themselues, or for o­thers, so soone as they desire, it would prooue to bee as an vntimely birth, which is euen dead before it come in­to the world: and therefore the Lord putteth them off from time to time, that their comfort in the ende might be more full and complete. In which regard, we should with patience depend vpon him, till such time as hee please to haue mercie vpon vs: How we may bee able to waite on God. 1 which that wee may be able to doe, obserue me this direction following.

1 First, let let vs doe our best endeuour to represse car­nall [Page 40] reason: for otherwise that time which seemeth best vnto God, will oftentimes seeme worst vnto vs.

When hee thinkes it too soone for vs to ob­taine such and such blessings, we shall thinke it high time that we had them: and when he iudgeth it a fit sea­son for vs, or any of his people to be deliuered, we shall imagine it to be too late. Zacharie yeelding to his car­nall reason, Luke. 1. thought that God had past his time for gi­uing him a sonne, and therfore though an Angell from heauen brought him that message, he would not giue credit vnto it: if he had heard such tidings twentie yeares before, he would haue thought there had beene some likelihood in the matter: so in other cases, how dangerous a thing would it haue beene to consult with flesh and bloud concerning the time of accomplishing things? who would haue iudged it wisedome in God to suffer his people so farre to be endangered in Egipt, and after to be condemned by the Persian king? Exod. 3. Hester. 3. & 4. 7. to suffer Peter to be so straitly imprisoned, Daniel to be cast into the lions denne, and the three children into the firie fornace? if a man should haue consulted with his owne wisedome, he would haue thought the Lord too slacke in freeing his seruants, and that their cases were euen desperate and quite past recouerie: yet he did but stay the fittest time for their deliuerance: which being once come, the Lord set them at libertie, notwithstanding all the difficulties and extremities wherein they were.

2 Secondly, let vs labour for faith, by vertue whereof we may represse all our fleshly affections, which will be readie to oppose themselues against the Lords wise pro­ceedings; as may be seene in Iacob, Gen. 37. 34. 35. whose affection of griefe was immoderately stirred, when he imagined that his sonne Ioseph was deuoured by some wilde beast: how much more (thinke we) would it haue troubled him, if he had knowne how his sonnes had dealt with him, and [Page 41] how Ioseph was dealt with in the land of Egipt, when Psal. 106. 18. his feete were held fast in the stocks, and he was laid in yrons? yet all this was for his good, and for the benefite of Iacob and all his houshold, that he should be thus afflicted vn­till his appointed time came, when the Lord would haue him deliuered and aduanced: therfore let vs curbe and restraine our boisterous affections, labouring euer­more to bring them into subiection vnto Gods most sacred and blessed will, and resoluing that his time is al­waies the best time for euery thing that falleth out vn­der the Sunne.

He rebuked the vncleane spirit] Hence we may note this doctrine, that

Doct. 2. Enemies of Gods chil­dren shalbe rebuked. The greatest and most mightie oppressors of Gods children, shalbe rebuked by Christ Iesus.

Sathan in this childe kept his holde, and did deride whatsoeuer power of men came against him: yea if all the forces in the world had attempted to cast him out, he would haue kept possession in despite of them all: yet our Sauiour sets on him, and rebukes him, and that effectually. So that let those tyrants that vexe and mo­lest Gods people be neuer so mightie, they shall heare of their wretched dealings, and that to the torment of their hearts: as it fared with the diuell in this place, who knowes how many commanders he had commanded (being a worldly gouernour, Ephes. 6. 22.) and how ma­ny rulers he had ruled: yet now (we see) he is control­led and restrained by our Lord Iesus Christ. Thus hath the Lord dealt heretofore with the enemies of his Church, as it is said of the Israelites, Psal. 105. 14. He suffered no man to doe them wrong, but reproued kings for their sakes. And a­greeable to this point is the prophecie of Isaiah, who speaketh thus concerning Christ, Isaiah. 11. 4. With righteousnes shall he iudge the Poore, and with equitie shall he reproue for the meeke of the earth: that is, for such as are lowe and meane, [Page 42] and such as will not returne rebuke for rebuke, neither are of abilitie to withstand their aduersaries, their quar­rell will hee take in hand: and though the whole earth should ioyne together against them, yet will hee smite them, and either rebuke their hearts gratiouslie vnto their conuersion, or else strike them in wrath and dis­pleasure to their vtter confusion.

Reason. The reason why oppressours shall bee thus dealt with, is,

1. First, because they oppose themselues against Christ himselfe: Hee that oppresseth the poore (saith Salomon,) Prou, 14. 31. reproueth him that made him: euen him that is the fa­ther of the fatherlesse, and the protector of such as are poore and needy: and therefore because his gouerne­ment is contemned, it is equall that hee should reproue such offenders.

2 Secondly, he hath as great authoritie ouer the migh­tiest as ouer the meanest; ouer the highest Prince, as ouer the basest vassall: and therefore hee that in equitie may and will proceed against the meanest, may and will also doe the like against the mightiest.

3 Thirdly, as hee hath authoritie, so is he also furnished with ability: so that he wil not only vse words of rebuke as many times men doe: but they who are rebuked by him, shall feele that his reproofes do pierce their soules, as the diuell himselfe did in this place: they shall finde that his wordes are not as weake reedes, but as sharpe darts, that will enter deepe, and tarry long, euen till such time as it pleaseth him to plucke them foorth of their woundes. Therefore it is that the Prophet saith, Psal. 76. 16. At thy rebuke ô God of Iacob, both the Charret and horse are fal­len a sleepe. The stout-harted are spoyled, they haue slept their sleepe, and all the men of strength haue not found their hands. Where wee see what force the Lords voice doth carrie with it: for it makes the principall men of warre, and [Page 43] the most valiant Captaines to tremble and quake, and to be vtterly daunted, and dismayed: yea, if hee doe but rebuke the mountaines, they shall smoake.

Vse. 1. This Doctrine serueth first of all, for admonition vnto those that haue power and might in their handes, that they doe not vse the same to wring and pinch the Seruants of God; nor to grinde the faces of the poore. For if they once abuse their places, they forfeit them vnto the Lord, who will call them to a strickt recko­ning, for peruerting iustice, & iudgement, and for vsing that authority which he hath bestowed vpon them, to a wrong ende and purpose.

Therefore let all such as haue anie superioritie, ei­ther in publike or in priuate, carie themselues humblie, and Christianlie; not contemning any one, lest they be contemned of the Lord: nor wronging the meanest vn­der their charge, least they bee censured by him that iudgeth all men indifferentlie; without anie respect of persons.

2 Secondly, here is another vse of instructiō, that seeing the Lord will checke & controll the most violent & fu­rious enemies of his children, therefore when we are in­iured and oppressed by such manner of men, we should containe our selues within the compasse of patience, and modestie, committing and commending our selues and our causes vnto God, who will in due time right vs, and plague our enemies. Whereas if wee growe as boysterous and iniurious as our aduersaries, and goe about to render vnto them like for like, wee shall loose our peace with God; we shall draw his afflic­ting hand vpon vs; and shall more exasperate and im­bitter the affections of men against vs.

Let vs therefore commend our selues, and all our matters, vnto him that iudgeth righteouslie: e­uen as Dauid did, Psalme 38. vers. 12. 13.

They that seeke after my life (saith he) lay snares, and they that goe about to doe me euill, talke wicked things, and imagine deceit continually. But what did he in this cafe? I as a deafe man heard not, and am as a dumbe man which o­peneth not his mouth. When he was railed vpon and abu­sed, yea when he was pursued for his life, he was as if he had not heard the matter, euen as if he had beene deafe, or if he were sensible of some things, yet he was as a dumbe man, and opened not his mouth in any re­proachfull or reuengefull manner: and what was the reason hereof? he himselfe telleth vs, verse. 15. On thee ô Lord doe I waite; thou wilt heare me, my Lord, my God.

Yea our Lord Iesus Christ, who is greater than all, when he was wronged by the diuell himselfe, durst not (as Iude saith) blame him with cursed speaking: but said, the Lord rebuked thee. Though Christ were the best that was, yet would not he vse rayling tearmes against Sathan, the worst that was: for if he had, he had nothing hurt the diuell thereby: and therefore he tooke a better course, deliuering him ouer vnto Gods hands, and de­siring him to rebuke him; which was the most terrible thing that could haue beene done against Sathan. These examples let vs imitate when we haue to deale with wic­ked persons, neuer vse any reuiling words against them, but referre the matter vnto the Lord, beseeching him to passe a righteous sentence: not absolutely desiring to haue them punished, as our Sauiour did, and we may concerning Sathan, but rather wishing that they may be so rebuked in this world, as that they may escape that eternall rebuke, which the diuell cannot auoide.

Thou dumbe and deafe spirit, I charge thee, &c.] Here we must vnderstand, that when our Sauiour calleth the diuell dumbe and deafe spirit, the meaning is not that some diuels can speake and heare, and others not; but he is thus tearmed, in regard of the effects which he [Page 45] wrought in this child, in making him dumbe and deafe. Which (as it seemes) was his manner of dealing, where­soeuer hee tooke possession of anie. Where wee may obserue what is the nature of Sathan: for all the diuels are of the same disposition, if it lie in their power, from which, let vs note this Doctrine; that,

Doct. 3. Sathan is desi­rous to be­reaue vs of our senses and limbes. If the Lord did not restraine Sathan, hee would (in his malice) depriue vs of our senses, & of the vse of our naturall parts. Such is his quarrell against mankinde, and such is that naturall force which is giuen vnto him, that if hee were not curbed by a diuine hand, he would not only bereaue vs of eternall saluation, but also take from vs the vse of our eies, and of our eares, and of our other senses and limbes.

In this regard, it is said in other places of Christ Ie­sus, Matth. 12. 22. Luke. 11. 14. that he cast out a diuell of one that was blinde & dumbe; to shewe what worke Sathan makes, where hee hath li­bertie to doe according to his will in such particulars. Reasons. And the reasons mouing him thus to deale; are these.

1 First, that enmitie that hee carries not onely towards the soules, but also towards the bodies of men, stirreth him vp herevnto: his quarrell towards vs is so great, that hee would not onely shut vs out of heauen, and ex­clude vs from all spirituall comforts, but also make vs miserable vpon the face of the earth; and for that ende, strike vs with blindenesse, or lamenesse, or deafe­nesse, or the like; that our life might bee vtterly voyd of all manner of pleasures, and contentments. This reson was touched in one of the former doctrines.See Serm. 1. Doct. 1.

2 Secondly, his malice against God is such, that hee would not haue him to haue any seruice from men: he malignes that they should haue eyes to see any thing, or eares to heare any thing, whereby they might be stir­red vp to yeelde praises and obedience vnto the Lord, and therfore his desire is to depriue them of those sen­ses.

3 Lastly, he knoweth that these naturall powers and faculties are very necessarie helpes to further men vn­to eternall life: Rom. 10. Psal. 19. he is not ignorant that faith comes by hearing, and that knowledge and holinesse is much in­creased by seeing and obseruing the workes of God, and some of the ordinances of God; and therefore carrying a deadly hatred against the saluation of men, he ende­uors to take from them all those naturall instruments, whereby they might be furthered vnto euerlasting happinesse.

Vse. 1. The consideration whereof should in the first place stirre vs vp to continuall thankfulnesse: for were not the Lords mercifull and prouident hand still stretched out for our protection and defence, Sathan would make vs fearefull spectacles of much woe and miserie, and cause vs to spend all our daies in heauines and pensiue­nesse, in regard of the euils by him inflicted on vs. We should not haue an eye to looke vpon the glorious frame and fabricke of the heauens and the earth; nor vpon the beautie and excellencie of any of the crea­tures: we should not (might the diuell haue his will) enioy our eares, to heare the voyce of the Lord soun­ding forth comfort vnto vs: neither should we haue the vse of our taste, to refresh our selues with any of the good and sweete creatures of God appointed for that end, he would cause our tongues to cleaue vnto the roofe of our mouthes, so that we should not be able to vtter forth the praises of the Lord, nor to speake of his wonderfull workes, or of his holy word before the sons of men: In a word, there is none of the parts of our bo­dies, which is now vsefull and comfortable vnto vs, but he would much afflict vs therein, and vtterly depriue vs of all benefite thereof, which should cause vs to be ve­ry thankfull for our senses and members, while we doe enioy them, and wholy to consecrate them vnto the [Page 47] Lord, who vouchaseth vs the comfortable vse of them, and no way to abuse them in the seruice of Sathan, least God in his iustice grant him libertie altogether to be­reaue vs of any of them.

Vse. [...] Secondly, sith the diuell is euermore readie to doe vs a mischiefe, let this teach vs alwaies to keepe in fa­uour with God; for otherwise wee see in what perill wee stand; if he doe but turne Sathan loose vpon vs, he will quickly make vs blinde, or lame, or dumbe, or deafe, or strike vs in some grieuous & fearefull manner or other: he watcheth his oportunitie, and if he see an aduantage, he will suddenly be vpon vs, ere we be aware: and there­fore let vs aboue all things be careful to keep our peace with God, who is our keeper and preseruer, that Psal. 91. deliue­reth vs from the snare of the hunter, that couereth vs vnder his wings, and keepeth vs safe vnder his feathers.

3 Thirdly, is it so, that Sathan is maruellous malicious against our bodies? then let vs looke heedfully to our soules, for he carrieth farre greater spite against them: and then he is in his proper element, when he deales a­gainst our inward man, hee laboureth to depriue vs of our natural powers, of hearing, & seeing, & speaking, &c: But especially he seeketh to keepe vs from hearing re­ligiously, from seeing spiritually, and from speaking profitably: the former priuation of the naturall facul­ties befalleth but a fewe: but this latter ouertaketh all the vnregenerate men of the world, and the regenerate also in a great part; all men are very deafe, where they should heare, and blinde in things that they should see; and haue their mouthes shut vp, where they are required principally to speake: In which regard, the prophet Isaiah speaking of the cōuersion of men, saith; Then shall the eyes of the blinde be lightened, and the eares of the deafe be opened. Which is to be vnderstood spiritu­ally, not litterally: the meditation of which point, [Page 48] viz: that Sathan doth so mightily preuaile against the soules of the multitude, should make vs very warie, least he circumuent vs; and cause vs continually to cry vn­to the Lord for grace and fauour, and for strength and assistance, that the diuell may not blinde the eyes of our minde, nor shut vp our eares from listening vnto holy things, nor cause vs to be as it were tongue-tyed, when we should speake of such things as make for his glorie.

I charge thee come out of him.] From which words, to­gether with that which followeth, to witte, that the spirit came out, this doctrine ariseth, that,

Doct. 4. A word of Christs mouth is sufficient to helpe vs out of all di­stresses. A word of the mouth of Christ is sufficient to helpe against any miseries, and to set vs free from any ene­mies.

This good man and his childe were both sorely di­stressed by reason of this vncleane spirit: yet when our Sauiour doth but speake the word, their enemie is van­quished and expelled; their miserie accomplished and ended.

This power doth the leaper in the Gospell ascribe vn­to him, Maister, if thou wilt (saith he) Math. 8. 2. 3. thou canst make me cleane; and so it came to passe: for he putting forth his hand, and touching him, saying, I will, be thou cleane: his le­prosie was immediately clensed. And the like doth the Cen­turion; Verse. 8. Lord speake the word onely, and my seruant shalbe healed.

And in the Gospell according to the Euangelist Marke, Marke. 5. 9. we reade how our Sauiour with his onely word, did presently cast forth an whole armie of diuells: so that though there be ten thousand of them vniting their forces together, he is as able to expell them all, as if there were but one alone. And as it is in these cases that haue beene named, so it is in all other distresses whatsoeuer: the very becke of God is sufficient to free [Page 49] vs from them all, as is at large shewed in the hundreth and seuenth Psalme.

Reasons. The reasons of this point are two.

1 First, by the word of the Lord were all the creatures made; Psalm. 33. euen the good Angells, and those that are now euill Angells: If then Gods power were such in ma­king all Creatures, it is euery whit as great for the deli­uering of his seruants.

Secondly, Heb. 1. 3. All things are supported by the Word of his power. Now if all the Creatures haue their preseruati­on from him, what difficultie is it for him to deliuer some fewe of them?

Vse 1. Here then is matter of great comfort for all such as doe vnfainedly and from their hearts feare the Lorde; for they haue the word of Christ for them, which can easily either preserue them from miserie, or ridde them of it, if it fall vpon them. If a good earthly fa­ther could by his word alone preserue his Children from perill, from the prison, from death it selfe, would hee bee silent and dumbe, and not open his mouth in their behalfe? None can imagine that a father can be so deuoide of naturall affection: and shall wee thinke that the Lord is lesse pittifull then men? doeth hee for­bid crueltie in them, and shall wee conceiue that it may be found in himselfe? Bee it farre from vs: nay, though there bee neuer so many aduersaries that com­bine themselues, and neuer so manie mischiefes bee in­tended against vs: albeit the world be full of cloudes, and of stormes, and all things seeme to threaten an vt­ter ouerthrow vnto vs, yet let vs satisfie and pacifie our hearts with this, that one word of Christ is sufficient to helpe vs out of all dangers and difficulties. And with­all, let vs assure our selues, that the Lord will speake, and that effectually in due time, so that all the outrage and furie of men shall bee suppressed, and all troubles [Page 50] and calamities that lye vpon vs shall be suddenly disper­sed. God needes not any long time for the effecting of it: As wee see in Esters dayes, when all the Church of God seemed ouernight to be the most miserable peo­ple in the world; and yet the next day they were in­deed (and so were esteemed) the happiest people vnder the Sunne; So that well was hee then that might bee a Iewe. Let this therefore bee our consolation, that though our ruines and decayes be neuer so many, and great, and grieuous, yet if God doe but say the word, all shall be repaired and recouered.

And as it is for outward miseries, so doth it hold as strongly for spirituall distresses, and for the enemies of our soules, that if our Lord and Sauiour doe but vtter his voice against them, we shall quickly preuaile ouer them: though Sathan haue a deadly quarrell against vs, and our owne pride and couetousnesse, and wrath, be farre too strong for vs, yet if the Lord please to worke in vs by the mightie word of his grace, wee shall easily tread these spirituall enemies of ours vnder our feete, and get the victorie ouer them all. Yea though we were vtter aduersaries vnto God, as Paul, and the Gayler were, yet if he doe but speake vnto our consciences from hea­uen, wee shall speedily alter our courses, and become faithfull and seruiceable vnto his maiestie.

Secondly, heere is matter of terror for all impious and irreligious persons: for if the word of God be so mightie for the succour of his children, it is euery whit as powerfull for the ouerthrow of his aduersaries: and doe they thinke that they shalbe able to stand when the Lord of hoastes commeth against them? doe blasphe­mers, and Sabbath-breakers, and raylers, and filthy per­sons, imagine that they shall still carrie out matters as they haue done, when their Creator comes to plague [Page 51] and punish them? if they doe, they greatly deceiue themselues, for he needeth not to muster an armie a­gainst them: but his very will and purpose is sufficient to procure their confusion and vtter destruction.

Come out of him, and enter no more into him.

Whence note this doctrine, that, It is all one with Christ to driue the diuell out, and to keepe him out, he can doe the latter, as well as the former.

Verse. 26. Then the spirit [cried,] and [rent him sore.]

Whence obserue, that, Sathan neuer seemes more masterfull, than when hee is ouer-mastered.These. 2. points were no [...] pro [...]ecu­ted for want of time.

FINIS.

LONDON, Printed by Th. C. for VVilliam VVelbie, and are to be sold at his shop in Pauls Church­yarde, at the signe of the Swanne. 1611.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.