THE Royall Guest: OR, A SERMON PREACHED AT LENT Assises, Anno Dom. M.DC.XXXVI.

At the Cathedrall of SARVM being the first Sunday of Lent, before Sr. IOHN FINCH and Sr. JOHN DENHAM His Majesties Justices of Assise.

By THOMAS DRANT of Shaston in Com. Dorset.

LONDON, Printed by G. M. for Walter Hammond, and are to be sold by Michael Sparke in Greene-Arbour. 1637.

TO THE WORSHIPFVLL PETER BALL ESQVIRE, Recorder of the famous Citie of EXON. health in this life, true happinesse in the life to come.


I Might Preface to you, with Reasons of this Dedication, or with Apologies: You are a stranger to me, nec benefi­cio, nec injuria cognitus, Tacitus de Galba, O­thone, vitel. Hist. Lib. 1. Onely I affect to be knowne unto you; this is mo­tive enough, nor pleade I other excuse: What your eares grac't with a liking in the passage, these sheetes speake to your [Page] eyes, but more standingly, my hopes are blest, if I please both sences: Your applause (as 'tis tradition'd me) was full and liberall, much above the worth of these thoughts; I silence the causes made them Publique, that makes them Yours; and candor 'tis, I honour more, than greatnesse in a Patron: I owe your love an acknowledgement, deeds were little enough to expresse it, but my aimes are crown'd, if by your Pardon or Acceptance, this so small Booke, professione pietatis, Tacitus in vita Iulij Agricolae. aut laudatus erit, aut excusatus: Farre-well Wor­thy Sir:

Yours in all services gladly devoted THOMAS DRANT.

The Royall Guest.

REVELAT. 3. VER. 20.‘Behold I stand at the doore, and Knock.’

WEE meete here a Royall Guest, who enstated in all the Royal­ties of Heaven, yet sues for a welcome on earth: and wee have him in my Text.

First, for Posture, Standing, I stand.

Secondly, for Place: At the doore: I stand at the doore.

Thirdly, for Action: Knocking: I stand at the doore and Knocke.

Behold I stand at the doore, and Knocke.

These are the severall Branches the bodie of this Text spreads into, where doe perch on every sprigg, Wonder and Mercy: Wonder that GOD [Page 2] who is all Glory, should come downe unto man who is all vilenesse: Mercy that Man who is a foule ragge of uncleanenesse, should be made a temple for GOD to dwell in, who is all Holy; GOD and man were at distance but now, nay at odds, nay at feud, if ever any, happy is that union, which brings them under one roofe, to one table: this is marveilous in our eyes, and therefore chain'd in with an Ecce here; Behold, I stand at the doore, and Knocke.

Behold is a word of Emphasis and Energie: if this Starre stand ore the house, a JESVS is within, nor points this hand in the Margin, but there's juice and substance in the Text: Some of ranke are in the Palace, where this Porter keeps the gate, and fruits not to be plucked rudely, in that Paradice, where this Cherube guardes the entry▪ where Ecce is written on the box, be sure the ointment's precious, something of weight and moment doth march in the reare, if Behold leades up the front, and as the Baptist in Sacred Writ, prepares the way to it; 'tis so here; GOD bowes the Heavens and comes downe among men, nor comes he arm'd with thunders, cloath'd with Ma­jesty, darkenesse being his pavilion about him, as to Israel on Mount Sinay, Exod. 19. 16. So to come, would strike terrour in all hearts; nor comes he as sometime he came into his Sanctuary, where the Singers went be­fore, Psal. 68. 23. the plaiers of instruments followed after, among them were the Damosels playing with timbrels; thus to come would be a pleasant object to all eyes: He comes here forma pauperis, as a Mendicant who begs an almes for GODS sake: He breakes not [Page 3] into our roomes, but stands at our doores, at whose least breath the gates of hell flie open, and the barres of iron burst in peeces: here is pati­ence and humility to a miracle, and both stamped with an Ecce, Behold I Stand, &c. Nay not a word here but this dash of the HOLY GHOSTS quill, the impression of this character is due unto it.

First, I, it were enough were I a guardian An­gell 1 to some Monarch below, if one from the Sacred Quire of the Prophets, if the least among those feathered Hierarchies above: but I, the Prince of peace, the King of glory, the LORD Para­mount of Heaven and Earth.

Secondly, I stand, I sit not in my chaire of state,2 I leane not on a cushion of ease, I roule not on beds of violets and strewings of rose-buds; but I stand, and this posture of mine, speakes as my readinesse to enter, so my patience to awaite it.

Thirdly, I Stand at the doore, not in the Hall, 3 where the warmth of a fire might cheere me, not in the chamber, where I might rest my limbes on a couch of Ivory, but at the doore, without shelter or penthouse; where the drislie sleete chils, and the stormie tempest beates upon me; where my head is is fil'd with the dew, and my lecks defil'd with the drops of the night.

Fourthly, I stand at the doore and Knocke. I 4 stand not at the doore,Prov. 9. 14. as the harlot sate at hers in the Proverbs, to tole in, gaine, and enamour the passin­ger to folly:Gen. 19. 14. nor stand I, as those Sodomites, who thronged about the dores of Lot, to shed that blood which bedewes the earth, and with its shreekes awakens Heaven to vengeance: I stand [Page 4] not with my hands in my bosome, or my armes enfolded together, or to gaze about me, as those Idlers in the Market-place: but I stand to knocke, nor give I a rappe and away, as a Post that flieth by, but as 'tis a peece of my devoire to gaine an entry, so I stand to it: if by any meanes, they will open to mee, and their owne happinesse: Behold I stand at the doore and Knocke.

Now, O LORD, what is Man though re­tinu'de with all the pompe of greatnesse! what the Sonnes of men, those who move in the highest Orbes, what the whole Series and descent of them, even theirs, whose blood flowes from the noblest veines? What the whole cluster and bunch of mankinde, that so mighty a GOD, at whose persence the Heavens droppe, Psal 68. 8. out of whose mouth coales of fire devoure, Psal 18 8. whose voice rents the rockes and discovers the forrests: Psal. 29 9. that hee should stand at our doores and knock: How many roundes of wonder in this one Ladder, in this one chaine how many linkes of Miracle? what wedges of gold in this rich Minerall? I shall digg for some▪ and one pretious ingot I light on at the very head of this Mine: 'tis the partie who stands at our doore, implied in the Greeke [...], exprest in our English I, the Guest himselfe; I stand.

I who? I who stretch out the Heavens like a curtaine, and againe make a sack their covering, and shall shrivell them up as a parched scroule at the last day: I who ride upon a Cherube and flie, who flie upon the wings of the winde:Psal. 18. 10. I who have founded the earth upon the waters,Psal. 28. 2. and esta­blished it upon the floods: I who have shut up [Page 5] the Sea with dores, and made the cloud the gar­ment thereof, and thicke darkenesse the swadling band for it:Job 38. 10. I who weigh the mountaines in a ballance, to whom the Nations are as the drop­pings of a bucket, I who dwell above the circle of the Moone, and hold the ball of the world in my hand: In a word, I who am Alpha and Omega, all full of grace and truth, in whom dwells the fullnesse of the God-head bodily; who thinke it no robbery to bee equall with GOD, as being the image and character of his goodnesse: whose throne is at the right hand of my Father, but my Soveraignety is throughout all ages, and to the ends of the earth: I thus rob'd with dignity, thus engirt with power, thus bedect and crown'd with Majesty; I stand.

Now [...], Saint Chrysostome in a holy trance here: O the height and depth of the mer­cy of GOD, O the bowels and entrailes of the love of CHRIST: thou art O SAVIOVR a plant of the Celestiall Eden, what finger could plucke thee thence! A stone thou art cut out of the Heavenly quarre, but by what hand? Who could force thee from the bosome of thy Father, thy palaces of glory? Who but thy selfe? 'twas for us Men, and our Salvation that thou cam'st downe from Heaven: this Abisse of thy good­nesse wee cannot fathome, nor measure its great­nesse: wee may guesse at it, if we reflect, 1. On thy All-worthinesse, 2. On our All-worthles­nesse.

First, On thy All-worthinesse: but what tongue 1 of the learned is not dumbe here? CHRIST [Page 6] comes not for his owne benefit, but ours: we so­lace our selves in the diffused raies of the Sunne, but doth our looking on him, add the least sparke to his brightnesse: the earth is enricht by the showers that fall upon it, doe those drops or the ground gaine? Sure our goodnesse extendeth not to thee, O LORD, or should wee impoverish our selves, what were our Mite to thy Treasure? Our Guest here, is the Heire of all things, nor comes Hee to gaine by us, but to gaine us: Hee wants not what is ours, for His is the Heaven, and the Heaven of Heavens, Deut. 10. 14. the Earth also, and all that there­in is: here is worth enough, as to blesse, so en­trance us.

2 Secondly, On our own All-worthlesnesse: alasse; what impure Sties, what Stables of dung, what Cabins of filth are wee? How unworthy under whose roofe such a Guest should come? is there any beauty in us to attract his love? any comeli­nesse to ravish him unto us? None; Miriam was not more leaprous, never Leopard more spotty▪ wee are as Homer paints out Thersites, [...], [...]. B. One masse and lumpe of deformitie: Doe our garments smell of Mirrh, or are they perfumed with the powders of the Mer­chant, that with the savour of our Ointments wee may draw Him after us: No, we have on no cloa­thing, not a skirt to cover our nakednesse, or our coate is pollutio panni, Isa. 64. 6. staines and raggs, an uncleane thing in the Prophet, that either way we are the objects either of a frowne or scorne: thus wallowing loathsomely in our owne gore, thus patcht up with shreds of filthinesse, CHRIST now lookes [Page 7] upon and loves us: O the over-flowings of a gra­tious pitty! what channels or bankes can hold it? how freely runs it, how fully? but love is strong as death, and by that coard wee might pull Him to us? Neither, how dearely wee loved Him, witnesse His head harrowed with thornes, His face blurr'd with spittle, His eyes tortured with all spectacles of shame, His eares board with blasphemies, those iron plates, which pearced His hands and feete,AEnaead. lib. 2. and by which Dido did conjure her Aenaeas, corpus sanguine mersum, His body drowned in blood: See here [...],Ephes. 3. 19. as the Apostle phraseth it (and 'tis a streine of divine elegancy) A love not to bee sampled or scand by us, above the reach of all finite Apprehension: but pitch our selves at the highest, our purest Oare hath its drosse, our sweetest fruits their sowernesse, our best workes (and they too like Salomons Sculpture, A lillie up­on a pillar,1 King 7. 19. A lillie upon a pillar, rare and few) will they not weigh light in the Scales of the San­ctuary? Gideons plea, when hee was to rescue Israel from the Shackles of Midian, and startled at the Summons, it may be ours, who ever are the wealthiest among us in sacred graces, Behold my family is poore in Manasseh, Iudg. 6. 13. I am the least in my Fathers house: what than are wee, that such a visit should bee given us, how poore cottagers to enter­taine so great a Landlord? can our tabernacles of sticks hold Him, whom the huge vastnesse of hea­ven and earth containes not? Here is a Maze, who can tread it? it is not for my pencill to limbe in this peece, give mee leave than to draw a vaile, and [Page 8] passe, from the Guest who He is, to my first gene­rall, his Posture which is Standing: Behold I stand.

1 I stand. First, Standing is a posture of Readi­nesse, Acts. 7. 55. Saint Stephen when hee was to fall under that shower of stones, saw the Heavens open, and JESVS standing at the right hand of GOD: we reade often that he sits in the conflicts of his Church not bloodie. Hee but lookes on or helpes with ease; 'tis but here that He Stands; Stands, now that his Saints engag'd in a fight to death, as a Champion with his sword girt unto his thigh, and so is Ready to enter the lists upon the signall given, and though conquer'd to bring him off victorious: CHRIST stands at our doore in my Text, and by this gesture shewes us clearely, as if it were de­scribed by the raies of the Sunne, that with the whole traine, and quire of his graces, He is ready to enter into our hearts, if wee open unto Him: what a blessing is it to bee the mansions of the blessed Trinity, the Exchequers and Magazins of all holy endowments, the favourites and darlings of Heaven? this happinesse, CHRIST is ready to make ours, and that wee may not misse it, as being bewitcht with the worlds inchantments, with what throwes and pangs of love doth Hee wish, Deut. 5. 29. O that there were such a heart in this people to feare mee alwaies! with what patheticall Rhe­torique doth hee perswade,Cant. 6 12. Returne, returne O Shunamite returne: with what deepe sighes and streames of teares laments He,Mat. 23 37. O Hierusalem, Hie­rusalem, how often would I have gathered thee together, as the hen her chickens: CHRIST [Page 9] weepes not in sport, as those two Mimiks, the Stage-player and the Hypoerite; it is for our weale or losse that waters flow from His eyes; if throbs and groanes breake from Him, 'tis, or for our stubbornenesse that we not, or for His owne desire, that He would have us lay hold on mercy, if wee barre our gates against Him, Hee deplores our contumacy, but were He not willing to come in, Hee would not stand at our doores.

Secondly, Stand [...]ng is a posture of Expectance; 2 Gehazi went in and stood before his Master; 2 King. 5. 25. In all likelihood to expect what errand, he might have for him, what dispatch to imploy him in. CHRIST stands here, His offers of love He gives not over, nor through despaire of prevailing on his owne, nor through churlishnesse of repulse on our parts: He stands in spight of denials, He tries the Sea, af­ter may Ship-wracks, puts His shoulder more strongly to the loade, and beates still at that doore, which He never say opened: How, as in a visible Sampler, shines out now the patience of my SA­VIOVR, the Longanimity of my GOD: there is power in His hand, He could make an entry by force, but there is patience in His heart, and there­fore He stands: if His words can worke upon us, Hee will spare His blowes, nor will Hee dou­ble these if at the first stripe wee cry peccavi: GOD in a moment can thunder downe sinne with vengeance, and raine fire from the cloudes upon it; but if the dewes of His mercy will soften us, He will not powre out of the viols of His plagues: nor will Hee blow the trumpet to warre without a parlee, or wee refuse the often proffers [Page 10] of a happy peace: Every Story is a Chronicle of this truth, and the whole world the practise, nor need I bee bankrupt of instances, One Israel is able to furnish mee: observe the degrees of their obstinacy, what a climax there is in it: I have spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious peo­ple: Isa. 65. 2. the whole day, beate it out to its utmost di­mensions, I wrestle with them by my bounty, and gaine not; but what say you to yeares, a long lease of them;Psal. 95. 10. Forty yeares long was I gree­ved with this generation and said, it is a people that doe erre, &c. In halfe the time, I could have greeved every veine of their hearts, so long they grieve my soule, and I am patient: would man bee so to his brother, when an injury heats his blood? but my plea against these is from their very cradle and first stone of their city: The chil­dren of Israel, Jer. 32. 30, 31. and the children of Iudah, have onely done evill before mee from their youth up; And this cittie hath beene to mee a provocation of my anger and fury, from the day that they built it: where is that Plato now, whose cheekes choler never died? where that Socrates, who never spake stormes, but smiles, not when Zantippe comes like a tempest upon him:Diog. Laert. vit. Philos lib. 2. where that Iob, who entangled in so many Labyrinths of woes, in those windings lost not his patience, nor him­selfe: the patience of man may bee great, but matcht with GODS, how small a drop is it to that Ocean? How weake a glimmering to that Sun, How faint a beating to that life? write it on the tablets of your hearts, and set it up, as a trophee of his due praise, GOD onely is patient [Page 11] at the evils, and gratious unto the sinnes of men; O that spiders should sucke venome out of so sweete a flower! or because hee is not quick with them, Atheists say He is slack, and aske in scorne, Where is the promise of His comming? not to wander after these ignes fatui: CHRIST Hee stands at our doores as yet, will He doe al­waies so? the Sunne that shines will it never sit? the day is cleare, may not a cloud black it? GODS jealousie is not quickly incenst, but if once kindled, will all the rivers of the South quench it? bee wise than, and before wrath come forth, and burne like fire, have teares of Penitence in store to quench it: whilst it is day, worke, when GOD cals speake, whilst He stands open: He who stands now, may be gone, espe­cially if he stand without a covert, in the street, at the doore, which is my second generall, the Place.

Behold I stand at the doore: If some Grandee 1 of the State stood there, if some magnifico swolne with titles, would we not hast to open, and thinke such a presence an honour to us? this wee would doe to the Nimrods of the world, and Peeres of the earth: Behold One is here to whom the grea­test Monarch is more base, than the basest Boare to the greatest Monarch, one who knocks im­portunately, why shut wee Him out, why are docres blockt up against Him? O our lunacy and madnesse! Satan angles for us, vvith a baite of honours, wee are caught, the world as pleasingly gives us the musicke of gaine, wee are charm'd. the flesh unvailes a beauty, a peece of clay more [Page 12] handsomely attired, vvee burne: Riches are but the garbage of the earth, we dig into its entrals for them; pleasures are but a flower, garish to the eye, soone vvithered, Our sences are captivated with their smell;Aug. de civit. Dei. lib 3 cop. 17. Dignities, as Saint Augu­stine censures them, are but a light fume, a breath of the chops, a fleshly paire of bellowes, vvee are hot in the sent of these, and for all keepe open house: CHRIST in respect of whom, and those endowments He brings with Him, all things else, as Plato stampes them, are [...], nothing and nothing worth; He sues, as in the Canticles, Open unto mee, my Love▪ my Sister, my Vndefiled. Open the doore, of thy soule O my unspotted Church, let me come and dwell with thee in my Graces: here wee or coine excuses for delay, as the Spouse now, I have put off my coate, how shall I put it on? Cant 5. 3. I have washed my feet how shall I defile them? or wee out Him into our stables with the Bethlemites anon, as having no roome in the Inne of our hearts for Him.

2 CHRIST yet, but in the closet of our hearts, will take up no lodging in us; and to this the doore alludes here, so runs the streame of Expositors; not the doores of our lips we are bid open, though these too, but the doore of our hearts; GOD askes the roote of this, not the rinde and shell of those▪ My Sonne give me thy heart; not thy wise­dome, for all the treasures of it are in my selfe, not thy wealth, Psal. 50. for the earth is mine and the fullnesse thereof,1 Sam. 2. 8. not thy greatnesse, for 'tis, I who make to inherit the throne of glory; not an outside, a plau­sible varnish of devotion, the eye glotted up to [Page 13] Heaven, the knee kissing the earth, the hand mar­tyring the breast, a talent of talke, without a mite of charity,Seneca de Be­neficijs lib. 1. but thy Heart: Aeschines brought the best guift, who gave himselfe to his Master, and Socrates priz'd it above the costlier presents of his other Schollers: thy heart is a jewell, give it to thy GOD, this small pibble is of more worth vvith him, than vvhole rocks of Diamonds, this one living stone than the quarries of the vast world; all thy offerings are but Sacriledges and Sorceries without it, all thy front of holinesse but dawbe and morter: all is not man-hood, that lookes big, and spits fire as it speakes, nor is all beautie, vvhich the sumptuous art of a trimming sets forth: there is a dresse and paint of holinesse, GOD will vvash it away vvith a flood of brim­stone, for vvithout the heart no colours can take him: As mans heart is, such is he, if this bee soild, laide ore thou maist bee with a vermilion die,Acts 23. 3. but GOD shall smite thee thou painted wall: if this bee pure, thou art all white as the snow on Salmon, no juice of Isop can cleanse thee more, and sure GOD is best pleas'd vvith his owne worke which is that [...] Davids Orizons flew up for,Psal. 51. 10. Create a cleane heart in mee O LORD: GOD gives thee this, and give it Him againe or keepe all. Keepe thy almes, though almes bee a sweete perfume in His nostrils, thy prayers, though prayer bee as incense in His sight, thy fasting, though fasting bee the Armour of true penitence, thy thousand of Rams to make fat, thy ten thousand rivers of oile to glad His altars: A wreath of glory waites on our Almes-deeds, [Page 14] as they are dispenc'd by charity, the Almoner of faith: these shee doth disperse abroad, and they come laden home vvith sheaves of blisse from the plentifullest fields,Prov. 13. 9. for a good eye shall be blessed of GOD; but what are good workes without the pittie of the heart, this temple must sanctifie this gold, or as Daniel told Balthasher, so GOD us, Keepe thy rewards to thy selfe, and give thy gifts to another: Prayer is a heavenly Dialogue, or the soules colloquy with its Maker; 'tis a chaine, whose linkes doe reach from Heaven to Earth, and by which wee pull downe GOD to us, For GOD is nigh to all that call upon Him, Psal. 145. 18. nay in S. Basils phrase,Basil in Epist. ad Gregor. 'tis [...], a GOD dwelling in us: but vvhat are our prayers vvithout the de­votion of the heart? this is the wine must season those bottles, or we babble in vaine, nay to our hurt, and beg not a blessing, but a curse, as Bias told the Marriners in a storme, when sayling with them, they vvere on their knees to their gods,Diog. Laert. de vit. Phil. lib. 1. Silete, ne vos hîc illi navigare sentiant: the Jewes honour GOD with their lips alone, what's[?] the issue, when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you, Isa. 1. 15. when ye make many prayers I will not heare: Aug. in Psal. 42 One vving in Augustine by vvhich our prayers doe soare on high, is Fasting, nor is it a mushroome of a daies growth, 'tis of an ancient stock, fetching its pedigree from Pa­radice; vvhere the first man forbad the tree of Knowledge, vvas in that injoyn'd a law of Ab­stinence: many are the rich encomioms where­with 'tis rob'd in Antiquitie,Cypr. de jeju. Christi. Saint Cyprian shall speake for all: By fasting the sinke of vice is dried [Page 15] up, wantonnesse waxeth cold, concupiscences grow faint, and pleasures like fugitives runne away: but what is fasting without a contrite heart? vvhat is it to tame the flesh, if this mutine within us? what to graspe this shadow, if we fathom not that substance; if that Iebusite be not subdu'd vvithin thee, in vaine doest thou macerate thy body into a skeleton, bury it in a shrowde of sackcloth, and instead of sweete Odours be­sprinklest it vvith Ashes;Isa. 58. 5. For is it such a fast as I have chosen, a day for a man to bow downe his head like a bullrush? When vve fast at once from meats and sinnes,Ambr. Ser. 33. as Saint Ambrose speakes, vvhen vve beate downe the bodie, to keepe the mind chast, this is the life of a true fast and that which crownes it: not to muster up other instan­ces, thus much in grosse: As the trace of a could, so all our goodnesse shall vanish, how-ere wee parget and sleeke it ore, where the heart is not right; is thy heart right, saith Iehu, when he would feele the pulse of Iehonadab how it beare towards him,2 King. 10. 15. give mee thy hand, thus man doth judge the roote by the fruits: is thy hand right, saith GOD, is there no jugling, no imposture, no le­gerde-maine in what thou doest; Give mee thy heart, thus GOD doth judge the fruits by the roote: and sure all the wheeles are set on go­ing by this Primum mobile, all the Planets moove, as this Sphere turnes; the whole infantery, the foot are lead up by this man of valour, the Heart, every member of the body, saies to it, as the Israelites to Ioshuah, Iosh 1. 16. All thou commandest us, wee will doe, and whithersoever thou sendest us [Page 16] wee will goe: onely the LORD be with thee: and doubt not, but GOD will bee with it, if it bee His, if it be not, He hath the more wrong, for He bought it dearely, it cost Him that blood, one drop whereof was worth a million of worlds, it was a spittle of filth, He hath made a pallace of righteousnesse, Satan had his throne there, Hee hath bound this strong man and cast him forth: so that now 'tis His owne house by purchase, by conquest: who than dares to keepe Him out? who so litigiously given, as not to open, when Hee knocks? which is my third generall, the Action it selfe, I Knock: Behold I stand at the doore and Knocke.

[...] in the Originall, from [...] say Etymolo­gists, a Metaphor taken from beasts, whom nature hath armed with hornes to strike: no creature is without its weapons, either to ward of from him­selfe, or to thrust with a blow at others: the Ar­madello on land hath his hard skinne for a coate, the Tortoise in the Sea, his as hard a shell for a covering, the timerous Roe his swift feet to flie, the wary Fox his Labyrinths, to hide from danger: the Basilisk hath an eye to kill, the Dragon a breath to poison, the Scorpion a sting to wound: the Boare roots up with his tusk, the Griffins teare with their nailes, the Eagle with her talons rends in peeces, and the Bulls of Bashan push strongly with the horne: to knocke is tropically taken here, and borrowed from these, and it implies a mighty stroake, as a blow from a sinew'd neck, or those hornes of iron, which Zedekiah made, when he be­traid himselfe to errour by a false spirit, by the [Page 17] gull of a false victory he cheated Ahab, 1 King. 22 11. and told him, with these shalt thou push the Syrians, till thou have consumed them: 'tis than a knock with force and all GODS are so, let us ranke them into their severall files.

First, GOD knocks by the Ministery of His 1 Word,Word. this is a knock of power, and His, who knocks with Authority,Rom. 1. 16. for such is His Word, and so He teacheth,Mat 7. 29. what strong holds will not this engine pull downe? what bulwarks of humane pollicie not scale, what rampiers of flesh and blood not raze and dig through? it casts downe, saith Saint Paul (and hee speakes it as an Oracle) every high thing that exalts it selfe against the knowledge of GOD,2 Cor. 10. 5. and brings into captivity eve­ry thought to the obedience of CHRIST: Men have fore-heads of Stone, necks vein'd with Ada­mant, hearts rib'd with Marble, these cannot bleed, nor those bow, nor tother blush, the Word is a hammer to breake this rock a peeces,Jer. 23. 29. a fire to melt it into softnesse, a rod to make waters of penitence gush out from it: Men stop their eares like the Adder, Exod. 17. 6. the One they couch to the ground, ramme into it store of covetous dirt; the Other they close up with their winding tale, fill it with carols and rounds of lust; Even these Serpents have beene charm'd by the Word, 'tis heavenly incantations have undeaft them, they have danced to the pipe of the Gospell, the silver bels of Aaron have ravisht them out of their selves, and now no musick to the sweet songs of Sion: how unfruit­full a soile is mans soule, how barren a peece of earth, till the Word distills as the dew upon it, and [Page 18] than O the happy fruits of a few drops! is the heart malitious? no knee can beg a pardon of it, as soone wee may calme the Sea, when all the windes are in an uproare: is it covetous? no balme can supple it to pittie, none art extract a mite from it: is it ambitious, and will we stay its careere! as well we may stop the lightning: is it factious? all the harmony of Heaven cannot sing it into peace: is it fruitlesse, as soone we may plow the waters and expect a crop thence: is it hard: what meanes can mollifie it? what oile here, what vineger there?Deut. 32. 2. Behold, the Word drops as the raine upon it; as the small raine upon the tender herbe, and as the showers upon the grasse: straight this flint softens into flesh, these jars kisse in a sweet concord, this rough Ocean doth cease to rage, that Gilboah is cloath'd in Greene, where but now no blade was, not a leafe of grasse to apparell it: as if a new soule were breath'd into him, such a change is in the whole man:Aenaead. lib. 1. quantum mutatus ab illo: Zacheus is mercifull, Paul tame as a lambe, Ahab puts sack­cloth upon his flesh, Felix trembles like an Aspen leafe: Peter taken from the nets, doth catch a thou­sand and a thousand soules at a draught, nay the world is won to the faith, not by the Sages of Aegypt, but the refuse of Iury, the Rabbies with these, with those the Magi are master'd by them; the words of Fishermen are reade, saith Au­gustine, Serm. 59. de verbis Domini. but the necks of Oratours are subdu'd: that Romane Chieftaine might not more boast his veni, vidi, A. Hirtij de bello Alexand comment. vici, than they, they conquer'd as many na­tions as they saw: not Ore gladij, with the edge of the sword, this can but gash the flesh, at most make [Page 19] a gappe for the soule to step out at; but gladio oris the keene blade of the Word, which divides be­tweene the soule and the spirit, no other weapon can pierce so deepe, not that fiery one, with which the Cherubins kept the passage of Paradice: not a heart within these wals, but GOD now knocks at it by this Word, though not by this onely: for

Secondly, GOD knocks by His Mercies: His 2 Mercies! Mercy. A theame for Angels to descant on, the sweetest Attribute of the Deitie, the alone object of His delight; Heaven were as Hell without it, and all approach to His Throne, Death; whom would not Majesty swallow up, did not mercy temper it? we are consumed with His fires, as He is [...] a Capi­toll of justice, but we slie into His bosome, as He is [...] an Asylum of mercy; and the best Sanctuary Hee is, nay joyes to be so: Tully speakes it of himselfe, and take him as the Embleme of a good judge,Orat pro Luc. Murena. Partes lenitatis misericordi aeque semper egi libenter, gravitatis severitatisque personam non appetivi: I willingly acted the parts of mildnesse, the bent of my nature was this way; the Publique good is at stake, and the dignity of the Empire to be rescued, when I put on the person of severity: if GOD strike, as our sinnes may force a weapon into His hands,Isa. 28. 21. He stiles it a strange worke, a strange Act: Austerity is no consort of His, no familiar, little acquaintance He hath with it, nor glories He to have any:Suet. Tranq. de Vesp. Aug cap 15. etiam justissimis paenis illachrymat, as Sueto­nius of Vespatian, he doom'd not to the most just punishment with drie cheekes, not like that bloodie Massalla, who in one day having strooke off foure thousand heads (so Valerius reckons them) vauntsValer. lib. 11. [Page 20] it among those piles of carkasses, [...], O Act worthy a King: no such tyrannie in our GOD, of whom all the heavenly Coiristers chaunt it, and let us beare a part with them: The LORD is gratious and full of compassion, slow to an­ger and of great mercie, Psal. 145. 8. the LORD is good to all and His tender mercies are above all His workes: what above all His workes? that starry roofe over our heads, and those millions of tapers which burne there? this pavement of thy workmanship, O LORD, we tread on, every the least inch of it, the whole earth is full of thy goodnesse: Psal. 119. 64. but doth it reach to that height, which to looke on, tires the eye by the way? that pretious vault wherewith thou hast walled in this inferiour globe? Heaven is high, nine hundred miles upwards, say some, five hun­dred yeares journey, say others, who have calcula­ted curiously, is thy Mercy so? can it ore-top this Pyramid? He who said it, could speake it without an Hyperbole, Psal. 36. 5. Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the Hea­vens, Psal. 36. it than equals them for site here, but it transcends them there, is [...] now, Thy mercy is great above the heavens, Psal. 108. 4. Psal. 108. the whole world is a huge to me and volume of these mercies, a large Map of them, an Abstract and Epitome of all was one Israel, they were abrig'd into that litle table, one Iacob, his portion: we have their cata­logue drawne up by Moses: He kept him as the Apple of his eye, he bore him on his wings as an Eagle, he gave him the increase of the fields, he made him suck honey out of the rocke, Deut. 32. 14. fed him with butter of kine, and milke of sheepe, with fat of Lambs, and Rams of the breed of Bashan: May I speake it to the conscience [Page 21] of every one here, who hath not tasted and seene that the LORD is good? Psal. 34. 8. whom amongst vs hath He not drawne with the coards of men, the bands of love? Hos. 11. 14. as He did his Owne in Hosea: we sit every man under his own vine, and beake our selves in the Sun-shine of an Halcion peace; the red sea of warre is dried to our feet, nor see we the garments roul'd in blood: we eate the finest of the wheate flower,Psal. 65. 3 [...] our presses burst with new wine: our gar­ners are full of store, our bones of marrow, our bellies of GODS hid treasures: our vines hang full of clusters, our meadowes shoote up their grasse, our vallies are covered over with corne, they shoote for joy and sing: we cannot say, as the Prince of the Apostles, silver and gold have we none, we can, as Pindarus did of the citie Rhodes, the King of the gods [...],Ode. every tide waves in rich Ore unto us, and every way showers of mercy distill on our heads, more pretious than those dewes of Hermon, which fell upon the hils of Sion: these are blessed knockings, if they miscarry, will GOD leave us so? no, He will knock more sharp­ly yet, with a more smarting blow, by His

Afflictions:Afflictions. these are knocks of mercy too, if we surveigh aright Them or our Selves.

First, Them, they are indeed the stroakes of 1 justice properly, as a reall Sermon, by which GOD doth preach unto us the vilenesse of our sins and His loathing of them: they are eventually a pawne of love, for as those floods rise, so with them the Arke of the Church is more lifted up to Heaven, by these rough rocks, as Ionatthan to the garrison of the Philistins, the Saints climbe up, as by staires to [Page 22] glory: crosses are rough and pricklie, they are wa­ters of marah, as draughts of Hemlock to an un­hallowed pallat: but there is an unction of joy, that supples them them to the godly, honey is suckt by them from these thistles, and now here is Sampsons riddle without a mistery, Out of the eater comes meate, and out of the strong comes sweet: that Absynthium which smarts our eye cleares it, and we thank that paine which gives us sight: the way to cleanse thy sore, may bee to launce and tent it to the quick, and to dead thy festring flesh thou bidst a free wel­come, even to searings and cauteries: to purge out my grosse humours, I ask not for sugred but wor­king potions, nor will I distast their bitternesse, though intermingled with gall: he shall die with­out my pittie, who will languish rather under a wil­full sicknesse, than venture on a harsh remedie: A sound body may house a crazie soule, and 'tis a rare one, that hath not some notable maladie: One swels with a tympany of pride, that reeles with the staggers of drunkennesse; this rots with a consump­tion of envie, tother thirsts with a dropsie of Ava­rice, in many the whole heart is sicke; crosses are our best medicines, what if their relish displease us? it is enough that they are soveraigne, though not savoury; if they are wholesome, why are we squea­mish? who loves his tast, above his health, may hee be diseas'd still.

Secondly, sift we our selves, and those knockings, 2 which go against the graine, weigh how they work to our good, and how in them GOD doth crosse us with a blessing! Cur bonis viris mala eveniant Sen. Nihil infaelicius eo, cui nihil un­quam evenit adversi, it was the Heroicall voice of [Page 23] Demetrius, saith Seneca: never to be miserable is the greatest unhappinesse: should Prosperity al­waies cast sweetning dewes in his face, should a smooth gale ever fill his sailes, what an elated meteor would man grow to, how would this Colosse ore-stradle the world? Alexander if he be Great, some flatterers of his court (and these burs still cleave to the coates of greatnesse) will intitle him to immortality, and say, he is a god: we are easily befool'd to an over-valuing of our selves, so was he, untill wounded with a dart;Diog Laert de vita Phil lib 3. Plut. Apot [...]e [...] Anaxarchas askes him Laertius, himselfe in Plutarch tels those about him, this is not [...] [...]. Such a juice as drops from the veines of the gods: As mens pompe, so their mindes rise, these are higher, as that is more lackey'd: how can it be full sea in the thoughts, if the ebb be low in the state, or to whom the world is imbitter'd, will they suck vanity from her breasts? this knockes at the rich mans doore, nor lies it on a pad of straw, but a bed of downe:Pro. 1. 23. Ease slayeth the foolish, it pufs up this bladder of winde, if plenty waft in a high tide to him, and but what is in those Aires, the world fan's on his cheekes, other happinesse he knowes none: what more endeeres our home unto us, than our wants abroad? as but for the enterchange of cold & winter, who would long for the spring, though for orna­ment the most gorgeous season of the yeare? the Prodigall, when he feedes on husks, than thinkes on his Fathers house, as at the thought of Aegypt and her flesh-pots, Israel loaths Canaan it selfe: where do our desires breathe so short of Heaven, as where [Page 24] Vsury sits wrapt in furs, where bravery failes in tissues and embroideries, where opulencie showres downe in fleeces of gold, where honours fawne, and all things flow in an over prosperous abundance: such a wretchednesse it is to be too happy: Minutius beares away the palme of a glorious victory, and all Rome ecchoes as one Theatour in his praises Fa­bius his wise Colleague than feares him most, and most justly, for said that famous Oratour, in a more famous Senate, Isocr. Areop. the Areopage at Athens, [...]: Insolency is lodged under a high-built fortune, your sober minde in one low roofe: pride is usually the child of riches, and in the seate of honour sits hauti­nesse: 'tis the misery of meane ones, not to bee thought men, and 'tis the misery of great ones not to thinke there is a GOD: Ephraim not accusto­med to the yoake, may turne the heele, but Israel being smitten, Psal 78. 34. seekes after GOD early: Davids sweetest songs were his lachrymae, this Saint in a tempest how crest-fallen in his devotion, when he lies at hull at home!Psal 119. 71. and therefore it is good for me that I was in trouble: it was good for Naaman that he was a Leaper, but by his leaprosie he had not knowne Elisha, nor GOD, but by his Prophet; it was good for Paul, that he had [...], a stub in the flesh, hee might through his heavenly rapture, have beene enamour'd on himselfe, but for those corasives of sharpe buffetings: Even the worst men may be made good by sufferings, they make the good happy; and so expect not their patience onely but cheerefullnesse; Every bird can chirpe it in a temperate Aire, give me those notes [Page 25] are carol'd in the midst of a storme: not an Epicures spleene but claps his wanton sides in the midst of his jollity, but O that inimaginable joy of Martyrs, which made them sing at the stake! never repine we, let them glad us rather, at those beatings, which humble us here, to exalt us hereafter, the rod is wor­thy to be kist, which doth lash out our folly: if therefore the sound of thy Word pearce not my dull eares, if I speake not at the ravishing knock of thy blessings, knock on, till I not heare but smart, but still in Mercy, O LORD and not in judgement, and this is GODS fourth way of Knocking.

Fourthly, GOD knocketh by His Judgements,4 whether at the next doore, or our owne.

First, if at the next, His stroakes there, are ca­veats 1 to us; if others are beate, thou art warn'd: Sodome and those cities of the plaine, which were mixt with cloudes of pitch, and heapes of Ashes, [...] at the seventh of Iude, are items to all; to all who have fronts of whoredomes, that in those legible characters they may spell what GOD meanes to themselves; to all too, who have hearts of flesh, and looke on those monuments of vengeance, as Sea-men do on shelves, to shun them: Remember Lots wife, she is made a statue to thee, a pillar of Salt to this end, ut suo te exemplo condiret, as Saint Augustine warbles it, to season thee by her ex­ample, to scare thee by her doome too, for 'tis the propertie of Salt, [...]. [...]: So that great Ornament of the Greek Church Saint Chry­sostome: the Galileans blood Pilate mingled with their sacrifices, they were offered up with their Ho­locausts: CHRIST told of this tragedie, samples [Page 26] it with another of eighteene, on whom the tower of Shiloe fell, and buried them under its rui­nous heapes: sad spectacles both, and of both that great Pastour and Bishop of our soules makes this holy use:Luke 13. 5. Except yee repent, yee shall all likewise pe­rish: happy he, whom▪ others harmes make wise, and whom they teach not, he may want not griefe, but pittie: Lamech slaies a man to his wounding, and a young man to his hurt, nor could the President of Caine take of his edge from blood-shed: wee need no Iury to passe upon him, no judge to sen­tence him for this, his own mouth hath done it: if Caine shall be avenged seven fold, Gen 4 24. sure Lamech seventie and seven fold: how often are men swallowed up of those judgements, they see to ingulfe others, and sleight them: Oportet abietem ululare, quia cecidit ce­drus; if the Cedar fall, let the firre-tree howle, the next blow stocks up that too: the cloud may gather a farre of, and some fury of the storme may breake on our heads: the Sword which is drunke with blood yonder, will perhaps quaffe thine, the Pesti­lence which destroies in the next Citie, what garri­sons can keepe it out of this? if my neighbours house be on fire, shall I warme my hands at the flame? may not those sparkes catch my roofe? let a Nero sing, when Rome burnes, by anothers losses, I shall collect mine owne, what they may be, how neere to arrest me,Pro. 19. 25. Smite a scorner and the simple will be­ware: may others ingrosse all the skill of Aegypt, let me be blest with this simplicity, no vatican or Li­brary of the world is enricht with so true wise­dome: for who bleeds at anothers hurt doth in that forestall his owne, if that punishment makes thee [Page 27] wary, which lies at the next threshold, be sure, it shall not step ore thine: Otherwise

Secondly, GOD knocks by his judgements at 2 our owne doores: His knocks of mercy, are as the raine that comes downe upon the mowen grasse, not with noise enough to rouse us: the knocks of Afflictions gall us, but wound not, these arrowes strike, but stick not in us, with some little paines we shake them of,Virg. Aenead non haeret lateri lethalis arundo: the knock of judgement, though at the next wicket, is out of our hearing, and therefore out of our care, yet is it not for want of sound in that, but for want of eares in us: but these knocks at our owne gates, no bars of iron can hold out against them, no heart so knotty, but they cleave it: GOD smites ano­ther and we keepe aloofe from His soare,Lips. de Cons­tant. lib. 1. cap 1. [...], as Homer doth advise wa­rily: or we looke upon His Plague, but with Da­vids friends, those oylie Sycophants of his court rather, wee stand a farre of: make the case our owne: our wounds corrupt and stink, our loines are filled with a loathsome disease, we call in hast, O for some soveraigne Balsames, O for some gentle Baths to wash me, O for some good Samaritan to poure in wine and oile:Iuven. Sat. 4. poore Codrus his lodge flames about his eares, wee will not heave at a bucket to quench it, a few sticks we tell him, and some clay, will rebuild him as goodly a taberna­cle: Let his palace of Cedar burne, or his fields of barley be set on fire,2 Sam. 14. 31. what Ioab will not rise? whe­ther not runne? whom not affront with the injury? this disease is Epidemicall, GOD may scourge those about us with whips of Scorpions, if our own [Page 28] sides are not torne with those stripes, wee still fro­like it, all is Comedie with us, our instruments are turned to mirth, and here is that ignis erraticus, which still misleades us, evill is not within our dwellings, and we say, it shall not come nigh them; but now, that it is come, will it not dishearten and turne us into stone, as that scroule on the wall did Balthasher? who flatter themselves with a super­sedeas from all arrests, or that they can put off judgement till a hundred yeares after, as the judges of Athens, Aul. Gellius 12. 7. so Aul. Gellius stories it, bound ore a woman for the triall of her cause, when they could not sentence it, who descants on others falls, without the least reflex to their owne merits, or turne taile, like a weather-cock in a gentle calme, when GOD courts them by His mercies, where will these hide them, in what rocks, under what mountaines, when GOD will bee knowne by the judgement that hee executeth, Psal. 9. 16. and at their owne homes: GOD speakes to us in a still voice, as to Eliah on Mount Horeb, 1 King 19. 3. Psal. 8. 7. we will not heare, He will be heard when He speakes [...] out of the se­cret place of thunder, when he speakes not to the eare onely, but the sence it selfe, as to Pharaoh in the voice of his signes; so those plagues are stil'd, which came in with a miracle, and went out in blood, Deut. 4. 8. a Sea of blood: he must sleepe [...], Endaemons sleepe in Theocritus, [...]. whom thunders startle not, and those stroakes of judgements, hea­vier than of axes and hammers: if this Lyon roare in the forrest, doe not the beasts foare? if this sword hang but by a haire ore his head, if already sheath'd in his bowels,Horat. Odar. lib. 3. Od. 1. can Damocles relish his [Page 29] viands? who dare forge in the wildes of vice,Psal. 105. 27, 28, 29. when GOD shewes [...] the words of His prodegies as the Originall emphatically: such words as darkenesse black as hell, and frogs in the chambers of their Kings, and lice in all their quar­ters, and locusts without number, did speake to the Aegyptians, and that in a language, that was both heard and felt: felt to, not as a goade that pricks the skinne only, and smarts the flesh, but as a flaile of iron, that doth bruise in peeces: O those im­maleable soules, whom these blowes rift not! I should stagger in my beleefe, whether any such are, but that I know there have beene: their Ob­stinacy is chronicled, reade it and blesse your selves, Ier. 5. ver. 3. Thou hast smitten them; but they have not greeved, Jer. 5. 3. thou hast consumed them, but they have made their faces harder than a rock: So Saint Augustine upbraideth the seduct Pagans: Perdi­distis utilitatem calamitatis, De civit Dei lib. 2. cap. 33. miseri facti estis, & pessimi permansist is: wickednesse makes you wret­ched, wretchednesse makes you worse, so the fruits of your calamities die in their touch, and like those by the Lake Asphalites crumble into Ashes:Ioseph. de bello Iudaico lib. 5. cap. 5. these Oakes will not bow, they shall breake, may I swimme through a river of brimstone, wade through a torrent of Sulphure, to be eternally hap­py and with my GOD: but what Heraldry can blazon their woes, what pencill paint them, who are under the scourge here, and under the curse for ever? as they must be, at whose dores judgements doe knocke without grace: which is GODS fist and last way of knocking.

GOD fiftly knocks by the sweet inspirementsSpirit. 5 [Page 30] of His holy Spirit: from whom are suggestions to holinesse, excitements to penitence, and power­full workings on the heart of faith: these motions are that voice in Isai, we heare behind us, saying, This is the way, Isa. 30. 11. walke in it: a voice audible to all within the pale of the Church, even those false fires of Religion, which but glow in it: these have their pangs of zeale, their quames of devotion, their flashes of holinesse, and from this Spirit are all these, how-ever nick-nam'd: this Spirit en­kindled those sparks,Mark. 6. 20. when Herod did many things, and heard the Baptist gladly: when rapt with Pauls sanctified straines,Acts 26. 28. Agrippa was at the point to turne Christian; but it blew them up into a flame, vvhen Gamaliels Scholler is non plust spight of his subtle disputes, and made a Proselyte vvith those, vvhom but now he martyr'd: if vve thinke a good thought, it is grace infused, so Saint Au­gustine the devout patron of it, if vve speake a good vvord, it is grace effused, if we doe a good worke, it is grace diffused; now what is done by grace, the Spirit doth it, whose royall Epitheton and character it is, The Spirit of grace: there is a Spirit of giddinesse, Zach 11. 10. it rules much in some braine­sick hot-spurs, whom it doth possesse at once with a zealous phrensie, and cast them, as that dumbe One did the childe in the Gospell, Mark. 9. 22. now into the wa­ter, sullen and rheumatick drivelings, spitting a­gainst the Church, vvhose Hierarchy they beate downe, that their owne braines may sway; anon into the fire, so hot a contention about Ceremo­nies, though enjoyn'd vvith equall modestie and right, as if Heaven and Earth vvere to little to bee [Page 31] mingled in the quarrell; this Spirit, vvhether in a Church-parlour at Amsterdam, abroad there, or an uncharitable conventicle of our Zelots, at home here, is as farre from grace, as unity, it at once rents into Schismes, divides that coate is seamelesse, & opens a sluce for Anarchy, disorder, irreligion: they are other fruits, which blossome on that tree, the good Spirit plants;James 3. 17. these are Humility, Meekenesse, Brotherly love, and that rich Diamond of all hu­mane happinesse, Vnion and Identitie of heart in those, who keepe the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace: Ephes 4. 3. if this Spirit inspire not with holy moti­ons to unity, we are all jars, if by His gratious in­stincts He worke us not to holinesse, we are all pro­phane, no other meanes are effectuall. First, GOD knocks by His Word, Esay 28. 10. this is to us, Precept upon pre­cept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, and there a little: if this Spirit enflame not our hearts to the love of the truth, how do we looke the Prophets in the face,Psal. 50. 17. and cast their words behind our backs? or heare them as we doe musick to stuffe our eares, when our bellies are full. Se­condly, GOD knocks by His Mercies, exhausts all the treasures of them, and crownes us with His blessings: if this Spirit mould not our hearts to thankfullnesse, how as wild heafers doe we kicke being full, or how, like a peevish beautie, the more GOD woes us by His bounty, the more coy and shie are we? Thirdly, GOD knocks by Af­flictions, these rise not out of the dust, none can take of, or add the least scruple to their weight, and they are for our health those drams that are mingled to us of them; this heavenly physicke [Page 32] workes not on our soules; if the Spirit make it not operative, without Him the whole head is still sick, nor hath any drugsters shop that medecine can cure us. Fourthly, GOD knocks by His judgements, they breake in like waves of the sea, this on the neck of that, ere the former have wrought all his spight: they beate with blowes able to shake the center, mans heart like the Anvill, the more 'tis hammer'd on, the harder it growes; onely this Spirit makes us flexible mettall; judgements may leave an impression behind them, but no stampe to that of Grace. Powre out O LORD, of this thy Spirit upon us; Knock by thy Word, and may it leade us in the paths of life; Knock by thy Mercies, and may those load-stones attract our longing to thee; Knock by thy Afflictions, and in that Schoole, may we con new lessons of Amendment; Knock by thy judgements, may they put us in feare, and make us know our selves to be but dust and ashes: Knock above all by thy Sacred Spirit, O thou who hast the keyes of hell and death, say effectually to our soules; Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up ye everlasting doores, that the King of glory may come in: So Veni Domine Iesu, Come LORD JESV, come quickly: To whom with the Father and the Spi­rit, be All praise, and honour for ever,



Perlegi hanc Concionem, dignam (que) judico quae typis mandetur.

THO: WYKES R. P. Episc. Lond. Cap. Domest.

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