THE STJLL-BORNE NATIVITIE, OR A Copy of an Incarnation Ser­mon, that should have been delive­red at St. Margarets-Westminster, on Saturday December the five and twenty, 1647. in the afternoone, by N. B BUT Prevented by the Committee for Plunder'd Ministers who sent and seized the Preacher, carried him from the Vestry of the said Church, and Committed him to the Fleet, for his undertaking to Preach without the Li­cense of Parliament.

NOW Published by the Authoritie of that Scripture which saith, Preach the Word, be instant, in season, out of sea­son. 2. Tim. 4. 2.

Isaiah 37. 3.

This is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of Blasphemy: for the Children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.

LONDON Printed for their sakes who love our Lord Jesus and his Birth day: Anno Dom. 1648.

To the whole Congregation of Beleevers assembled at St. Mar­gerets Church in Westminster, on Saterday December the 25. 1647 in the afternoone, Grace, Mercy, and Peace, from God the Father and the Lord Iesus Christ.

Worthy Christians,

I Had at the appointed time of preaching, the same judgment befell me which befell to Zacharias the Father of John Baptist Luke 1, 20. When I thought to have spoken unto the people that waited for mee, and marvelled that I tarried so long, I was struck dumbe and not able to speak. And could I conceive it had been done by an Angel I should (as a cause of it) suspect in my selfe the sin of unbeleife. But, as it is, I am constrained to use Zacharias his way of expressing my mea­ning. On the day of your meeting in the Temple I could only beck­en but remained speechles, whence you all perceived I had seene a Vision in the Vestry: and were not long in suspence what kind of one it was. But whatsoever it was I was transported or carried a­way with it, and am yet dumb by it.

But as the Angell, though he strooke Zacharias speechlesse, yet tooke not away his writing tables, v. 63. So I conceive by the te­nour of that order which commands a constraint both of my Tongu and Heeles: I am not interdicted the liberty of Pen and Paper, but I may lawfully use both without contempt.

And so by this meanes I shal (saving my regard to authority) now acquaint you with that message of God, I should then [viva voce] have delivered in your hearing.

It is true▪ I in this Sermon represent as in a Sciagraph all the Ioynts of the History of Christ: but insist only on the blessed miste­ry of the Vnion of the two natures (God and Man) in one person [Page 4] without reaching unto his birth; or so farre as his conecption by the wholy Ghost. Nor indeede as it falls out is there any neede I should put forward to speake of his Nativity though that were pro­perly opus diei the worke of the day, For all the circumstances doe sufficiently proclame the Nativity and are now newly revived. Was all tho World taxed, Lukt 2. 1. when the Messiah was borne? Alas for the day of the Lord! It is so now. Was their no roome for Christ in the Inne, Luke 27? There is none for him now in the Churches▪ Were there Wisemen that sought to worship him, and a Herod that under pretence of worship sought to destroy him Mat. 2. 1? It was so now: there were that came to Church to worship Christ, and there were that came to apprehend his Ministers. Was there a voice heard in Ramah, lamentation and weeping, and great mourning, Mat: 2 18. There is another Rachel whose child is not, if the newes of Cornehill be true, Doe these things cause a necessity of Christ his going into Aegipt the sonnes of Israel's quondam bon­dage Mat: 2 18. There will I fear (but O the good God prevent that necessity) be such another violence, to drive us to such another flight, Lastly was that Herod not longliv'd: Mat. 2 19? I prophesie no eternity to the men of his carriage: Psalme 55 23.

But beloved, I must once more crave your patience, for I must leave you and waite upon the Committee. Whome as Gentlemen I respect as in Authority I Honovr: as my Enemies I love, blesse, and pray for: Mat. 5, 44: and (that I may performe all the duties I owe upon that score) I shal labour to doe good to: I must tel them that I have read a story of Tiberious the Emperour. That he (upon the relation which Pilate made unto him of our Saviour) had an inten­tion and to that purpose signified his meaning to have Jesus of Na­zarath reputed and received among the Roman Gods. But the Senate of Rome withstood it, because that Honour had been given him by such as never asked their consents. But after this I provoke any Historian to shew me where that great Councel did ever any act either Honestly, Wisely, or like true Romans: but were made the properties & instruments either of the Caesars lusts, or Souldiers vil­lanies. And now I wish these men seriously to advise how much short this insolence is of the former? When men may not Honor, Ministers may [Page 5] not preach Christ without their Licence under paine of imprison­ment without Baile or maine prise. I speake not this out of Stomack for what I suffer, but as hartily as I would beg pardon for my sinns doe I wish them a better exit, hoping yet they may acquire a better and more glorious conclusion then these distempers can promise or the Roman Councell had.

And now I return to give you an account of that which otherwise migh seem strange. Which is that way of application you shal meet with all, revers'd upon my selfe. I confesse it is not usuall; nor in­deed proper for one that speakes to others. But first, as it is the Minister of Christs part to appeare in innocence a Dove, Math: 10 16: So as the Doves feed their young ones with that which them­selves have taken down: ought Preachers to digest in their owne brests, and be fore-tasters of that spirituall food they divide to o­thers▪ and this I had laboured to do. Secondly these meditations be­ing now to be read, not heard: I thought good so to dispose them, that each Reader might as I have done suc [...] in the juice and influ­ence of them: and by reading as it were engage himselfe upon the practicall part of them. Vnto both which no way so Organicall as prayer. And I doe humbly pray that every Reader may be also a Beleever, and have a heart open as well as an eye. For I conceive (with humble reverence) that the Gospell if it go no further then the eye or eare is mortiferous and deadly, a killing letter. But if it be transmitted to the more noble and vitall parts it is Soveraigne, Food and Physick, Meat and Medicine. Christ in the Flesh, may vouchsafe to accept the Stable and the Manger but comming in the Spirit he must have a Temple to entertaine him. And by so provi­ding, we shall supply what was wanting not at Bethlem onely, but at Westminster also. If any of you should be so ignorant as not to understand what I would be at in all this. I must tel you that though I cannot assent to the mind of them that would have the observation of this feast superstition; yet you that give place to the Devill Eph: 4. 27. are more injurious to Christ then any, Sinne, sinne, that is it must be taken downe, it was sinne and the Devill that snatch'd this bread of life out of your mouths that sent me to Prison Revel. 2. 10. Can you (knowing what Christ is) think to honour Christ in com­memoration [Page 6] of the Nativity and at that season so shufle the cards that sinne shall be Trump in every dealing. Remember Iohn Baptist must be born before Christ You must Repent if the Kingdome of God be at hand It is certaine that that Spirit which confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God, 1. Iohn. 4. 2. and so on the contrary the Non confessor therof is the [...] That Spirit of Antichrist, vers. 3. I remember St. Augustin, with a great deale of pains proves every Heretick to be a denyer of the comming of Iesus Christ in the flesh whatsoever his Heresie be. But me thinks O­rigen with much more ease and plainesse shewes that the best way to confesse Iesus Christ to be come in the flesh, is by not committing of sinne; unto which purpose he layes that text, 1. Iohn 3. 8. & 9. to the forementioned 4. c. 2. v. where in 4, Chapter to Be of God is the Predicate to this Confession as the Subject. And in the 3. Chapter to be borne of God is the Subject and not committing sinne is the Praedicate. So that not to commit sinne is the remote (and but once remoov'd] definition of the confession of Christs Nativiny, or com­ming in the flesh. So that the commemoration or confession by way of Observation of the Day to the end is not Antichristian (they were mistaken that advised the Parliament so) But the Drunkenesse and Gluttony the Luxury & Ryot &c, These are Antichristian, & so far Antichristian that where these are! Men (even when they would confesse) do deny Christ Iesus to be come in the Flesh. And of these since the secular magistrate distinguisheth not it behoveth us Mini­sters to be carefull. For though I know not what State arguments there may be to prove the Holly & Ivy superstitions: yet when these things shall be set up, sooted and smoked with the sins of Intempe­rance and Excesse, I shall think them fitter Trophees of a Chim­ney-sweepers Birth day, then a Saviours, When we shall eat and drinke and rise up to play, I must think these are Ceremonies fitter for the Golden-calfe which Aaron made in Horeb: then the lamb of God that taketh away the sinnes of the world. And verily (let me be angry in it) I judge it a cause of greater feare and danger then a Prison or a Goale, lined with a good conscience, This there­fore was my first intention to perswade you all by renouncing sinne to celebrate the feast of Christs Nativity for then we best testifie the [Page 7] beleef of his comming when we most fear to offend him or his father. And in this way I would be glad to keepe Christmas with any one Being very desirous that all you which would have heard me that Day had been both almost, and altogether such as I am, Except the Fleet.

Which I must confesse I take very pati [...]ntly; blessing God that it overtook me not in any evill deed, but in wel-doing or at least the intention of it. Neither shall the errour of the Committee in sen­ding me to it, (And O that it were the greatest they are guilty of) make me forget the Ioy of Christs Incarnation, or the Good will to­wards men the Angels sung. They are Men so was my Redeemer, for whose sake, and through whose Grace I can suffer greater wrongs then these and yet never hate the Men. Indeed there is somewhat in it that is not Man but Devill To make men Dumbe as to matters of Duty and Faith: that is the Act of the Uncleane Spirit Math. 12 22: It is that hath [in a sence] made me lame so that I cannot walk. But if it hath made me Dumb and Lame. it hath made them Deafe▪ and Blinde. And truly Without a Miracle I feare neither of us are like to recover. And because my infirmity is but an appendant to theirs, I shall hartily pray for them, that they may receive their sight even in this their day that they might see the things that be­long to their, the Churches, and the Kingdomes Peace: That Christ would say Epphata: Be opened. That they that have eares to heare may hear What Christ himselfe hath said himself to them, to me, to the Parliament and all: Mat: 22, 21. Give unto Caesar the things that are Caesars; & unto God the things that are Gods. And then I doubt not (for I suffer but by simpathie) but I shal be able (with him Acts 38:) to walke and to praise God. Vnto which time whether it be the pleasure of God, to prolong my dayes I know not (for it hath some analogie to that time whereof our Saviour speakes, when he saith many Kings & Righteous men have desired to see and have not yet seene.] but this I resolve on: While I live not to cease day and night, praying for the hastening of it. For the time we live in now (I am confident) is part of that mentioned Mat. 24: 21: Except these days should be shortened no flesh can be saved: and the Promise which closeth the same verse: it revives [Page 8] me doubly in relation to the general with hope: to my owne parti­cular with care: to give all dilligence to make my caling and Electi­on sure. 2 Pet: 1▪ 10. The Elect (that is they that adde to their Faith; Vertue, and to Vertue Knowledg, and to Knowledg Tem­perance, and to Temperance Patience, and to Patience Godli­nesse, & to Godlinesse brotherly Kindnesse, and to brotherly Kind­nesse Charity) have an interest in better times. For their sakes these dayes shall be shortened. VVherefore God stir up your hearts to en­deavour be of that Number & to increase it. Neither is this spoken by way of Pharisaicall imposition to ease my self but what ever o­thers intend, it is my resolution (and the good Lord Keepe it for ever in the purpose of my heart) to begin this only saving health in stead of all others, Psalme 116 18. For beleeve it I am very sensible wee live in the worst of times, and that I am one Christ Jesus came into the World to save that is to say the Cheife of Sin­ners.

And
Your Debtor in this service N. BERNARD.

THE STILL▪ BORNE NATJVJTY OR A Sermon of the glorious Mystery of the Incarnation of our Lord and blessed Saviour Jesus Christ Both God and Man; To have been delivered at St. Margaret's Church in Westminster on Saturday December the five and twenty 1647: Being Christmas day.

Text. Iohn 1. 14.‘And the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt amongst us.’

THe Prophet Ezechiell before Christ, and St. Iohn the Divine after Christ: had both one, and the same Vi­sion (Ezech 1. 10. Rev. 4. 8.] of foure beasts or li­ving Creatures. That had the faces of a man, of a Li­on, of an Oxe: and of an Eagle. Which faces Saint Gregory the great, applies to Christ, As that of a man: for his Birth and Bowells of Compassion. That of an Oxe: for the Sa­crifice of his Death, and Plough of Doctrine. That of a Lion: for his open eyed sleepe, (that is) his life in death, and strength in Resurrection: Rouzing himselfe from the grave as a Lion from his denne. Lastly that of an Eagle for his ascention into Heaven, leading Captivity captive. Others apply this vision to the foure Evangelists, affixing: first the Face of a Man to St. Mathew: because he begins his Gospel with the Ge­neration and Nativity of Christ. Secondly the Face of a Lion to St. Marke: for he begins his Gospel with that prophesie of Iohn Baptist: The voice of one crying or roaring in the Wildernesse. Thirdly the face of an Oxe to Saint Luke, Because he begins his Gospel with Zachari­as [Page 10] Preisthood and Sacrifice. Lastly the face (to our present Evan­gelist Saint Iohn) of an Eagle: For he in the beginning of his Gospel acts perfectly both the parts of an Eagle which we read of, Iob 39 27: and 30. First like an Eagle mounting up on high to speake of the Divi­nity of Christ to such an hight, that the sublimest of the Heathen Philo­sephers stand at a Gaze admiring the mounty. And this he doth from the first to the sixt verse. Secondly like an Eagle immediatly stooping to the Carcase, Mat. 24 28: (For where the body is thither will the Eagles be gathered together: Luke 17 37.) And this is done in the words of this verse: And the word was made flesh &c. Which words ta­ken altogether, most excellently in a very few syllables, expresses all the notable, and most worthy-to-be-considered parts of Christ's whole Hi­story: So that we want understanding, the text wants nothing to be ac­counted a compleat Gospel.

Aquinas distinguisheth Christs life on earth into these foure divisi­ons: first his ingresse or coming into the World. And this wee have in the former part of my text and the word was made flesh. Secondly into his progresse or going on in the World. Thirdly into his congresse or dealing with the World. Fourthly into his Egresse or going out of the World. And these three last parts, may be understood in the latter part of my text [and dwelt amongst us] if the originall word (which is no more) but (he Tented or Tabernacled among us be duly knowne.

But to go on: His Ingresse or coming into the world is by some record to be threefold. First in Carne in the Flesh. Secondly in Spirity in the Spirit. Thirdly in judicio in the last judgment. The first is a coming Ad homines: Iohn 1, 11. Vnto men. The Second is a coming In homines Rev. 3: 20 Into men. The Third is a comming Contrae-homines Iude 14 against men.

His Progresse in the World likewise appeares to be threefold. First Locomotive in respect of place of abode. And then the Gest's of his Progresse are 1 Bethlem, 2 Egypt, 3 Nazereth, 4 Ierusalem. Second­ly Naturall by way of augmentation growing 1 For mind in wisdome. 2 For body in Statute. 3 For successe, in favour both with God and man. Luke 2: 52. Thirdly official by way of undertaking: 1 In circumcicion the fullfilling of the Law. 2 In Baptisme the Preaching of the Gos­pell.

His congresse or dealing with the World is fourefould. First with [Page 11] Men, in his Conversation. Secondly with Satan in his Temptation. Thirdly with mens Sinnes, in his Preaching. Fourthly with mens Sick­nesses and Infitmities, in his miracles.

His Egresse ongoing out of the World containes (besides those me­morable passages about his Passion, Resurrection, and Ascention) al those Testamentary provisions by him made against his departure for succee­ding generations▪ Whether Commissions for his Ministers, Legacies for his freinds, or Seales (which wee call Sacraments) for Prooving and confirming of his will. These are the heades, of the History of the Gospel.

And now, Beloved (were it suteable to the consideration of the season or of my stay here) I could without any great Travell fixing one foot of the Compass in the center of this text: with the other fetch in all these points (though never so vast a latitude) within a just circumference of without any excentricity. But I had rather make another and more profitable use of them, whereunto the review and consideration doth directly lead me.

And That is: to admire the Infinite goodnesse of God in all this, to wretched mankind: Who being in this Earth a stranger, and a stragler, without either freind, or acquaintance, in the midst of enemies, dangers, and mischeifes, many snares, no sure footing.

Sic erat instabilis tellus, innabilis unda. Sin pro­curing, Satan bringing great woe & wrath to the inhabitants of earth and of the Sea. Such is the mercy of God, toward so great his blessing upon Man (at whose hands yet mankind had merited no such kind­nesse, but rather curses.) that whether, he be to be borne, or to grow, or to go in, or to deale, or to encounter with, or to dye out of the world: He hath given his own son to be, Duxque comesque viae et vitae a guid and companion to him of life and way. And (what ever other men doe thinke of it) when I consider. That to be Borne to Grow, to Live, and to Dye, be things common to mee and my redeemer, I cannot chuse but cry out.

O Lord my God since in these states thou hast (so far as only nature goes) fashioned us alike▪ let these lineaments and parts in me which sinne hath drawne, and overcast with the black coale of guilt be fil'd up with the colours of my Saviour. That through the beauties of his holinesse (as he glorified thee on earth, so) in my life and death I may shew forth his praises, and vertues who hath called me out of darknes in­to his marvelous light.

[Page 12]And so without hopes of further commerce with them (as to dis­course) in this place, I dismisse the latter part of my text & with it the 3. last generall branches of the Gospel History of the life of Christ, be­taking my selfe to the former part both of the Division, and of the text which speakes of Christs Ingresse into the World, And the word was made Flesh. And therein of his comming in the Flesh only.

How Christ is called the word? If we should shew, it would engage us upon a discourse of that other Mistery of the Trinity unto a length pre­judiciall to our present businesse: or if we should shew how Flesh is put for our whole nature, & why? It would run us, at this time, out of breath. I proceede therefore to the substance of the words, The Incarnation of Christ Jesus. And therein consider.

First the Vnion of the two Natures God and Man in this myste­ry.

Secondly the Conception of Jesus Christ by the Holy Ghost.

The Nativity or Birth of Christ of the most blessed Virgin Mary.

In speaking to the Vnion I have foure things to go through withall: first to shew the severall unions in Christ. Secondly, the signification of this word person, Thirdlly the manner of the Union, and Lastly, the Reasons of the Union: And of the first thus much.

There are in the person of Christ three unions and ale-immediate, first the union of the Deity to the soul: Secondly the union of the Deity to the body; And Thirdly the Union of body & soul together: the two first werenot of nature, nor of merit, but wholly supernaturall: And so not subject to separation by force of any natur, al action or passion But the third being natural, did leave a place for suffering and separation: So that when Christ suffered death, the Deity forsook neither soule nor bo­dy, only the body was forsaken by the soule.

The plurality of which substances and Vnions notwithstanding, Christ must be considered but as one, that is in person▪ Which word that you may understand aright: know that it is derived a personando which is distinct sounding: And is nothing else in Logick but what a Noune Substantive proper of the singular Number is in Grammer (that is) one particular compleate subsistence, which Logicians call an Individuum, but with this differenc. That Person is a particular reasonable creature; whereas a particular thing if it be unreasonable, as a tree, or horse, &c, is not called a person: but by the Schooles a Suppositum, And in this [Page 13] sence Christ is said to be one: Not in nature (for so is no man in a strict sence: for the soule and the body of men, are of two different natures, as well as fountaines or beginnings) But in person: wherein though there may be aliud et aliud, one and another thing, yet there cannot be ali­us and alius, one and another person: And so much for the meaning of the word person.

Now for the manner of this union, we must know that things are united or made on many wayes: As 1 Faedere by a covenant, as Christ & the faithfull: And this may make one body but not one person. 2. By transmutation as Snow and Water, but this makes one substance as well as suppositum, but so is not Christ. 3. By aggregation as many materialls united make an house, but this is violent, and not voluntary: as was Christ. 4. By composition as body and soule, make one man being united; but this is natural, and so is not the union of the Deity to the Humanity in Christ. Lastly therefore by Assumption and this is singu­lar; proper to Christ alone. For the cleare avoiding of old and dan­gerous heresies, and errours which have risen about this Article of our Faith, we conceive it not unnecessary to deale warily with those terms and words which we borrow from the Latines in expressing our mind in this matter, such as are Vnion Assumption, &c. As in this nice and nar­row sence. To Assume and to Vnite do equally belong to the same Agents: But to be Vnited and to be Assumed cannot be praedicated e­qually by the same Subjects: Concerning the former, it will appeare plainely by and by. For the latter, the difference is thus, To be united may not unproperly be attributed to God and Man in thus speaking: God was united to Man, and man was united to God, and with this not a Caviller will find fault: But to say (as on the one side truely Man was assumed to, and by God: so on the other) God was assumed to or by Man were erroneous in it selfe and dangerous in the consequents. For Relation we must allow to be in God, if we acknowledge a Trinity of persons, but suffering, we dare not impute, least with it we make him also changeable: Now to be Vnited here, is only a terme of Relation, but to be Assumed is alway a terme of Passion.

To assume and to be assumed are words expressing, doing, and suffer­ing and in the present matter divide unto us God and man; God the Agent, whose part therefore is to Assume. Man the Patient or suffe­rer, whose it is therefore to be Assumed. To Assume as it is a com­pounded word, so it doth signifie a double action, the first is taking: [Page 14] the second is application, taking to, The first is caled principium: the se­cond is called terminus assumptionis. The first belongeth to all the three persons in the Trinity. As the father did take and give the hu­mane nature to his Son as he saith, Lo a body hast thou given me. So the Son did take [not the nature of Angels (saith the same Apostle) but the seed of Abraham, so likewise the Holy Ghost did (whose it was, to san­ctifie the nature assumed and by whom also we believe it was concei­ved) take our nature in the first act. It was taken not to the father: nor to the Holy-Ghost: but to the second person which is Iesus Christ.

In the thing assumed it is worth our consideration: 1. Negatively to observe that when God took our nature he separated it from sinne and personality; he took not our sin for that was contrary to his na­ture: He took not any person of man at all, for that was contrary to his Vnity, for so there should have been Two Persons in the second person of the Trinity. As therefore our nature that was assumed re­ceived fulnesse of grace from that most holy nature which assumed it; So it owes its personal existence to the second person in the Trinity, (having none of its owne) to which it was united. 2. Positively learn what we meane by our nature, for Nature in Scripture is sometimes put for the corruption of our nature as Ephes. 2. 3. but so Christ tooke not our nature unlesse it were by way of imputation: For this is the Nature which by the Schooles is alwayes opposed to Grace. Some­time in Scripture it is taken for some part of nature, as for Reason on­ly Rom: 2: 14: Or for sence only. 2. Pet: 2: 12: Iude. 10. but so Christ took not our nature, that is some part of our nature. For that were to fal into the errour of the Appollinarians and Monothelites.

By Nature therefore we understand (not one or some) but all the partt of nature (whether essentiall as soule and body: or integrall as the soules faculties and the bodies Members) united; as also whatever flowes from the Principles of nature, as Growth from Vegetation, Eat­ting, Drinking, &c from Sence, Discourse, and speech from reason, not refusing the very infirmities of nature, as in the Soule Sorrow, Greife, Anger, Pity Vexation: in the will the contradiction of the naturall and Physicall part (though with subjection too) to the moral and de­liberative in the understanding Negative Ignorance. And in the Bo­dy Hunger and Thirst, Wearines and Weeping, Sense of Pain and mor­tality. Ine breif by nature we meane whatsoever is generall to and in all men, so that it be not Grace or sinne. For nature is that which grace nor [Page 15] Sinne nor gives nor takes away, but is only perfited and Sanctified not added by Grace; corrupted and vitiated by sinne, not extinguished. A­gaine that is naturall in a man which may be wel or il used. Grace on­ly cannot be abused, Sinne only cannot be wel employed: Nature only may be the weapon of unrighteousnesse to sinne, Or the instrument of righteousnes to obedience: By which descriptions of nature, it will be no hard mater for an ordinary understanding to find out what in man was united and assumed to the Deity of Christ, in the work and myste­ry of the Incarnation.

And now when a man considers the severall immediate unions in Christ: and finds the supernaturall Vnions of the Deitie inseparable, even where soule and body parts. He begins to be sensible of a naturall combate between Flesh and Spirit (I meane) soule and body: Yet en­ding in an acknowledgement of the faithfullnes of God in Christ tran­scending all other freindship. For look we after Damon and Pythias, Nisus and Eurialus, Theseus and Perithous, Scipio and Laelius, Io­nathan and David, Ruth and Naomi, (the only pair of Woman-freinds I never read or heard of) And we shall find these come short of the love betweene every man's soule and body! and yet these two are (in men) ready to fall out one with another to see their owne falsenesse, discovered by the apposed faithfullnesse of God. So that the Soul, char­geth faithles dealing to the body, first recounting it's care, study, pains, griefe, joy, suffering, for the body; all which were the body away the soule might be freed from, as having no back to be cloathed, no belly to be filled, no posterity to be provided for, no cheekes to blush, no nor any subjection to corporall strokes, nor temptation to sinne, and yet how doth this accursed earth forsake me, (saith the soul) then, when if I am evill (and evill I am by conjunction with that too,) I must antici­pate those wofull torments due for sinne, while that lyes steeping in the grave. Or if good (which I am by conjunction with Christ) then, when I have most use, and should have most joy of the bo­dy that unnaturaly sinkes from me, Leaving me (indeed) to en­joy (but alone) the glorified Mansion of the Saints: wherein is the glo­rious body of my Lord, and my God, a most blessed and beatificall ob­ject. But wanting a bodily eye to apprehend that fullnes which dwels in him bodily. I suffer a comparative imperfection which makes me cry out! How long Lord just and true? Where I ow; and without al weari­nes would and could tender all worship &c. But all bodily service I [Page 16] come short of, having (as before) no eye bodily to see, so [here] no knee to bend, no hand to lift up, no tongue to speak To the honour of him that sits upon the throne and the Lamb for ever.

On the other side the body though slower, yet fals in heavier in the charg, and [like the Moon in the Hebrew Apologue against the Sun that would be divorc'd] recriminates thus. The Soul is false to me and unkind! For its care, study, paines, &c. are for its owne Pride, and arrogancy. For when the soule is taken away a winding sheete, is as good to me, as Salomans Wardrobe: a grave as pallace, yea an Vrne, as the Vniverse! were it not for the soules Vanity, nothing more thrifty then the belly, nor more hardy then back, the posterity nothing, glory or sham too late, stroks unfelt, temptations unaccepted, sinne unperfited. I have been a true drudge to the soul an ungrudging slave, & [I see now an il rewarded servant. My two feet have been teady to run, my two hands to work, My 2 eyes to spy; My two ears to hearken; & my tongue [though but one, yet as busie as any two twoes beside] to speak: yea al my senses, and organical members, have been but the Pedees & Posts, to bring home, the farr fecht, and deare bought Dainties of experience, and knowledg, to the Lady [...] this soule. And yet see her faithfulnesse! If I have done evill it was caeca obedientia [and were she a Papist she by her own doctrin ought to suffer alone] she goes but before for a few more stripes which her knowledge demerits: I my ignorance notwithstanding shall be forced after to the encrease of her torment as well as mine? if I have done well she anticipates my reward and Crowne and glory, leaving me [unwilling to part with her] a loathing to my freinds, a companion to the Wormes: and brother to corruption; not affording nec beneficium salis so much kindnes as salt, or a searecloth will do me: to keepe me from stinking and putrefaction, And here is the regreet of the two dea­rest freinds nature ever knew Now observe how much kinder and con­stanter Christ is to both, then either to other: For beside that he is and does what ever each of these is or doth to one another, and that not only per modum efficientiae, as an Efficient working that good that is in them, but also per modnm eminentiae, by way of Excellency doing greater things for them both, then they are able to apprehend at present. Like a soule caring, studying, labouring, greiving, joying suffering for both: Like the Body going, working, seeing, hearing▪ speaking for both: Like a soule, to the Body informing and conserning both: Like a body to the Soule ser­ving both And al this in an ineffable and glorious way for the advancing [Page 17] of both: He doth further, when the soule is taken out of the body (as it were out of a sheath) take it into his hands doe's of the rust, forbisheth it, and brightning it with his owne glory, Clothes it with Majesty Nay more, But I had need learue St. Pauls [...] unut terable words to expresse the happines of it there. For the things which eye hath not seen to supply the want of sight, nor eares heard to make up the losse of bodily teares &c. are there ready to entertaine it:

On th'other side the Body, whose estate seems to be most deplored when freinds avoid the sight of it, the soule in whose service it is either worn out or wounded to death forsaking it, hath notwithstanding the everlasting armes underneath it: treasuring it up for one of his jewels in whose sight the death of the Saints is precious: For no doubt God who telleth the wandrings, bottle up the teares, numbreth the haires, and writes in a book all the part of his servants living: Can, & doth (though the grave cause all the joints to drop asunder, the bow­els to engender wormes, and a stinch; turnes the pleasant eye balls, the sometime seat of delight, into a rotten Gelly, dry the braine, consume the mucles, rack the whole to peices, and then grind it againe to dust) preserve each atom, and by a most inscrutable providence, keep every more of that dust, to the glorious resurrection. And this al­though not comparable in it selfe to the glory of the soule, yet hath in it an unspeakeable weight of comfort.

And therefore O My soul though I desire thee not to be so unnatural to cast of the body! Yet learne to know a truer freind, then my flesh, Let thy care be to gain and keep Christ, thy study to please him, thy la­bour to serve him, thy joy to know him, thy greife to offend him, thy suffering for him, rather, yea more then ever it hath been for this body of mine, who will stay longer by thee, prove kin­der to thee then e're that hath been or is like to be! And O My flesh! though I would not have thee unreasonable, yet begin to be sensible of a truer Guide, a constanter keeper, and a blesseder governour then e­ver my owne soule hath or will be to thee: Let thy feet stand in the Gates of Sion, or be running towards the house of God: Let thy hands be working the thing that is good, Let thine eyes be lifted up to the place where Christs honor dwells! And let this be thy Covenant with them! and make thy tongue to tell of his praise and speake good of his name that will restore all these (left to corruption by the soul) to become vessels of glory in the resurection of the just, And in the meane time keepeth them that that not a haire of thy head shal be lost, [Page 18] And O thou very God of peace who when thou beginnest to take in­to favour lovest with an everlasting love (for such is thy Covenant) into protection never leavest nor forsakest (such is thy unchangeable nature) so take my soule into favour, my flesh into tuition, that both being sanctified throughout. My soule may long for thee, my flesh may cry out for the living God! My Soule love thee as it is beloved of thee and my body serve thee as it is, and shall be preserved by thee; for ever.

Secondly when I contemplate the unity of Christ's person & therein consider, how near Man is brought to God, I am enforced to acknow­ledge all promised Vnions of God to man possible; all commanded Vnions of man againe to God reasonable. The promised Vnions of God to Man are. 1. Pastorall, He our shepheard we his Flock. 2. Oeconomicall, he our Master, wee his servants. 3. Consanguineal, He our Father we his Sonnes and Daughters. 4. Conjugall he our Hus­band we his Spouse here, his hride in the resurrection, his Wife for ever: and the like.

In the first: his call, and our following, declares us one way. In the second: his command, and our obedience one Worke, In the third: his tender care, our dutifull honour, one Generation or Kindred. In the Last: his holy desire, and our chast submission, one love.

And all these unions made easie even to faith by the Vnity of Christ's person. He that gave us his sonne, how shall he not with him freely give us all things. The commanded Vnions, of man to God are, 1. Of Judgement that wee, [as he doth] approve the things that are more excellent. 2 Of Will for election that we (as he doth) desire truth in the inward parts, and this is to chuse the better part. 3. Of Affection, that we (as he doth] hate the evill and love the good: being merciful as our heavenly Father is merciful. 4. Of Conversation that we be holie as he is holie, perfect, as our Father which is in Heaven is perfect, that we purifie our selves as he is pure.

And all this is but to be one spirit as the Apostle saith He that is joyned to the Eord is one Spirit. And good reason! For God requires no more of us then St Paul did of the Galatians, and upon the same ground. Be ye as I am, for I am as ye are. O yee Sonnes of Men be ye as Gods! And the Children of the most high, for the sonne God is God, yet for your sakes, became the sonne of Man. And O my Soule, since thou hast no reason to doubt have faith to pray! Philosophie [...]ath taught thee, That every Essence is an Vnity: not only in num­ber, [Page 19] as opposed to multitude, but even in nature, as an undivided be­ing▪ the desire of which last Vnity is the cause of sorrow in the sense of division. Thy sinfull (and therefore wofull) experience hath taught thee to feele thy selfe involved in the curse of Simeon and Levi, to be divided and scattered: But this Mystery is that which teaches thee by the Gospell to expect Vnitie as a gift, to desire it as a benefit, On therefore my soule, take with thee, words, and say!

O Lord: I am by sinne either a solitary wild Wolfe, or at best a strayed sheep from the sold of peace: but by this I know thou canst, I hope thou wilt make the Wolf lye downe with the Lamb, or cause thine owne immaculate Lamb the Lamb of God to take away that sinne which makes me a Wolfe in thy sight. Or if a strayed sheep, seeke. O seek (according to thy promise) that which was lost, and bring againe that which was driven away, bind up that which was broken, strengthen that which was sick, feed me upon a good Pasture, and on the high Mountaines of Israel fold me.

O my God, I am by nature a fugitive, or a Captive: a Rogue, or a slave, without Master, or under a cruell Master, where my work is sin, my wages death, I sow the wind, and reap the Whirlewind, but O thou great Commander of all hearts who rulest by love, and so mak­est thy service to be perfect freedome, I want a service, do thou en­tertaine me, I am weary of my Old Master do thou redeeme me, I yeild to thy Yoke, accept thy condition, embrace thy Covenant; and for reward build upon thy courtesie. Thy Gospel shall be my Inden­ture, thy Sacraments the Seales, thy sonne the Vndertaker of my truth; thy Holy Spirit and my owne Conscience the Inward, thy ho­ly Angels and the World the Eye-witnesses of my fidelity. Thy secrets I will keep, Thy commands I will religiously obey. Thy talents im­prove, Thy goods not wast, No contract will I make prejudicial to thy service, For this purpose I yeild my Eare to the awle and doore of thy house, bore it, for I will not go from thee for ever.

O Lord my God my poore soule is by sin become either an Orphant to my sorrow; or a Bastard to my shame; either fatherlesse without God, or of a faulty Father, Iohn 8. 48. The first is the object of pity, but the last of reproach. Thou hast promised to succour the first, but hast commanded thy doores to be shut against the last. Thou wilt be a Father to the Fatherlesse, but a Bastard shall not enter into thy Congregation to the tenth Generation, O my God, my [Page 20] soules substance is true borne, as in thy Creation: only, since sinne an Orphan of grace, the Child of wrath, by nature! And so O Lord thy charge: Be a father to it! And like Iacob cause't to returne to its Fa­thers House in peace: Indeed in quality it is base, of the linage of the man of sin, and here the Crown is fallen from our heads, Wo unto us, that we have sinned. The disherited may be restored, the fatherlesse adopted, the Stranger naturalized: but the bastard hath his BEND SINISTER or BORDER GOBANY an Indeleble character or brand of Infamy, which though amongst men it be an evill that knowes no remedy, yet with thee (O Lord with whom all things are possible) easie to be cured. Thou hast a fountaine of bloud to regenerate to a new man the infamous soule of siufull mankind. Do thou therefore who once tookest away the reproach of Pharez (the base Sonne of Iu­dah) by making him a Lineall Progenitour to thine annointed: By waking thy sonne to be progenitor genitrixq▪ to my soule in the wombe of Baptisme to repentance, take away the sinne of my birth & conception, that the Spirit of adoption may enable me with confidence to say Abba Father.

And yet O my God if in al these relations (pardon me my Father, if in these too far allusions my pen may seem irreverent, my heart de­sires to honour thee) I measure thee by the line of a man. I may sus­pect the Vnity and feare a division. For if I am a sheepe smite but the Shepheard, and the Sheep will be scattered, For this is the prophesie. If I be a servant, the yeare of Iubile may grant me an injurious liber­ty. For this is the Law of servants. If a Son on my marriage day, I may forsake thee. For that is the rule of Espousals. O then so it must be! thou must betroth me to thy selfe in faithfulnesse: for so shal I in the day enjoy thee, in the night embrace thee, thy left hand shall bee under mee, and thy right arme shall encompasse me. The yeare of Iu­bile for joy, shall never go out, for liberty, never come in. How then O Lord shall I allure thee, how shall I woo thee, for my sinfull soule is like Thamar either a sad neglected Widdow, or which is worse a prostituted Strumpet, Once this is certain: the Maiden innocency there­of is lost by the first transgression: which to restore, is in the World of Women, the mock of Art: Yet in thy Church the miracle of Grace, for it is as easie with thee to purifie a spirituall Harlot to virginitie as to preserve a fleshly mother in virginitie.

Thus having breifely described and largly applyed the Nature of [Page 21] this Union and the Natures united. I passe to speake of the Reason of the Incarnation with the bare mention whereof I shal con­clude.

The Reasons of the Incarnation may be reduced to these heads, such as concerne God. Others that concerne us. Lastly some that concerne the enemies of God, and Man, Sin and Sathan. Of the reasons that concerne God, these two are anciently given by the Fa­thers.

First, That God [whose counsel and purpose hath ever been the il­lustration and manifestation of his own glory] might more emi­nently, evidently, and transcendently set forth before Men and An­gels; The super-excellency of his Goodnesse, Wisdome, Iustice, & Power: Which no where so clearely shine as in the great worke of the incar­nation. As may appeare by a Particular consideration of the even now named artributes.

As first his goodnes is no where so manifest, as in him, in whome dwels the fullnes of the god-head Bodily. The Best of Creatures be­fore, had but the footesteps: And at the best but an image of God in them. But here God himselfe: not appears, but dwells: not his back parts onely, but his fullnes in man. Nor is that goodnesse here locked, but treasured: that of his fullnes we might all receive, and grace for grace, &c. Or if we take it not only for holinesse, but for loving­kindnesse also! Where can we find a paralell to the goodnesse of the Incarnation. Wherein that God who even humbles himselfe when he daines to behold things done, not in Earth only, but in Hea­ven also, is pleased to communicate himselfe, his love, yea and his very nature too: not to a creature only, but an earthly creature: nor so only, but to a sinfull nature, to an enemy; the Son of his love, to the Children of wrath: so that as the Angel speaking of Christ his goodnes in the first sence calls him, [...]. That Holy, so may we in the latter cal him [...], That Kind, That loving, That mer­cifull thing, who hath so highly honoured, and not despised the weaknesse of his owne workmanship.

Secondly his Wisdome is no where more apparent then in Him, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdome and knowledge. And indeed the very Incarnation it selfe did reveale the wisdome of God in the contrivance of mans salvation so gloriously, that if not only confounded the Divells, and befooled the subtill Serpent, (as wee [Page 22] shall see anon) but even posed the good Angells themselves. Of whom, St. Peter testifies, that they did? [...] stoope to peere into the mysterie. For as the learned give the reason, They could not conceive how man could ever be redeemed; For the lawes ri­gour was so inexorable that Man could not be quit but by suffe­rings of infinite value and worth: Now they knew that indeed Man could suffer: But the sufferings of men and Angells, could not merit, or countervaile the Lawes rigour, within any limits of time. Againe they knew that if God interposed he could add va­lue; But he could not (his very essence forbidding it) suffer. So that here God charged his Angells with folly, who knowing Gods pro­mise of redemption to Israel, in the old Testament; yet were non­plus't, and to seek in the means. Till God in the fullnesse of time made knowne the mystery by the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, uni­ting God and Man together in one person, for the accomplishing of his promise and covenant.

Thirdly, his Iustice, and that both in respect of the Law whose e­very iota and title stood firmer then Heaven; (for the Heavens gave way to the descending of Christ:) or earth (which yeilded and trembled at his resurrection) But the Law stood strong, not suffe­ring him to passe till all the percepts were obeyed, the prophesies fullfilled, and trespasses satisfied for; Not condoning, much lesse conniving at sin, though but imputed (and that) to the Son of God; And then wherein (I pray) doth the senerity of Gods Justice ap­peare more or equally? Zaleucus his one eye: And that Heathens selfe destroying, besides their cruelty come infinitly short, of this most strict, yet aequable Justice: And secondly in respect of the Sub­ject, yeilding and exacting satisfaction in the same nature that had sinned; and then rendring the purchased inheritance to the nature that had merited by obeying. And lastly in respect of Death it selfe who raigning over all by sinne, lost not its dominion till Christ spoyled him of it. And that most justly for Death entring upon Christ (to whom he had no title by reason of the righteousnes that was in Christ) considering he was flesh, not knowing that he was also the Lord of life made a breach upon the flesh of Christ, and at last death dyed (as all things do in their contraries) in the life of Christ. Having first, forfeited his owne tenement by a forcible entry upon another mans possession, which gives a good title among Kings and [Page 23] Souldiers to all things gotten by conquest.

Lastly his power which is breifly; more manifest in uniting the di­vine nature to the humane; then it is in creating. Because there is a more reall and infinite distance betweene God and Man then be­tween Man and Nothing, between Heaven and Hell, then betwixt Heaven and the first Chaos, betweene sin and Grace then Emptines and Grace: As also more difficulties in redemption, then in creation, more corruptions to hinder, more Enemies to oppose the very work and office of a Redeemer, and this is the first reason given by Da­mascene, lib. 3. cap. 1. de orthodoxa fide.

Secondly, That there (in some manner) might be a proportionablnesse & analogy in the Mediatour to the Trinity, which (if I forget not) is by St. Austin called a responsary Trinity for as in the Trinity there are three persons in one essence. So in Christ there are three essen­ces in one person: In the first the persons of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are but one essence, (i) God, So in the latter three essences, the word, the Soule, and flesh, are but one person Christ and this is Saint Augustines, lib. 13. de crtniate, cap. 1.

The reasons of the Incarnation that concerne as are two. First the re­moving of Evil from us. Secondly▪ the promoting of our good. To the effecting of both these it was necessary that the word should be made Flesh and the Sonne of God should become the Sonne of Man. For (although I confesse with Saint Austin that God in his absolute power could have framed another possible meane for the salvation of mankind; yet) by that power which is ordinate to and equall with his will there could be No other name given under Heaven whereby we should be saved, but only this.

For if we consider Sathans power (who now Lords it over sedu­ced and enthralled mankind: And by a wofull CATACHRESIS is become the God of this World) his power and strength (I say) not to be overcome no not by the contention of an Arch angel without a Mittimus to God [The Lord rebuke thee.]

Or secondly sinnes most intimate adhearence to the sonnes of Adam; whose vitious habits in us that they might appear (as it were more then accidentall to us, have (by the best speaker Gods word) the denomi­nation of our very parts and substance given to them. Being called the body of Sinnes, and of death: our Members, yea & our very Flesh too: whose crucifying vicinity and tormenting closenesse, made a misera­ble [Page 24] Apostle make a more miserable 'EPIPHONEMA crying out [ [...]] who shal deliver me,

Or thirdly the more then necessary Fluxe of sinfull acts and trans­gressions from those vitious habits and corruptions, whose violent tor­rent like a breach of the Sea or the Cataracts of Nilus (though caused by nature cannot by the Lawes of nature, or rules of Physick, though with the poore Woman in the Gospel wee spend our whole time and substance upon the Physitians) be stopped, no nor (with reverence be it spoken) by Christ himselfe, without the Fountaine be dryed up by a vertue proceeding from him.

Or lastly the strong Sequence of Gods law following sinne inevitably with Death, malediction and curse▪ Charging upon transgressours invincibly. That vengeance and those intolerable plagues, which Gods word can be understood to denounce, or Gods wrath to inflict. So: that to the removing of these malignities there is required the inter­position of a God.

It must be more then an Angel that must disenthrone the Divell He must be God that must tread Sathan under our feet.

Secondly it must be some thing more subtill and spirituall then any creature whatsoever, that must get between us and our luste even the God in whom we live & move and have our being that must seperate our sinnes from us.

Thirdly it must be somewhat above nature that must hinder sinnes actions, and cause the naturall and most fruitefull wombe of concupi­scence to miscary. It must be the God of nature, that can make the fire not burne, the Sea not drown, the Lions not devour, the Sun to go backward. He alone it is; that can give sinne a miscarying wombe and dry breasts.

Lastly, it must be the Law-giver himselfe: that must make the Fire no burne, the Sea not drown, and lions of his law not devoure guilty mankind.

And all this: yet not to be done in a direct judiciary way without an union, for although Christ as God be stronger then the strong man Sathan: Yet the stronger dispossesses not the lesse strong, but by an en­try into his house: Christ must be incarnate;, that man may not be a Divell incarnate, Christs incarnation was an Ejectione firme against Sathan.

Againe this only way was it, whereby Christ had fairer evidence for [Page 25] his title to man, then Sathan had: for the Divell got in Man from Gods Regiment, (notwithstanding the right of Creation) by get­ting Man to be of one way, and one work with him (man having as little communion in essence and substance with God, as with the Serpent) but now Christ comes with this plea, and defeats him; For though Man and Sathan are of one work, yet are they not of one nature, though they be one way, yet they are not one flesh: though in this they be one: both lyars, both deceitfull, both sinfull: Yet in this Christ and Man agree better, that they be bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh: And as the Serpent (for this very reason) when he separated God and Man in the first fall, yet could not nullifie the Marriage of, or divorce Adam and Eve. Nor Sin nor Sathan could separate them whom God hath put together: So Christ and his Church standing upon the same termes, are so united, that: I am perswaded that neither life nor death, (life will not, death cannot) nor Angels nor principalities, &c. shall be able to separate from the love of God in Christ Iesus. Rom. 8. 38. 39.

And so what hath bin said of Sathan, is likewise to be said of the goods which he is possessed of, (I meane sins and plagues though I confesse in some sence, even Man may be accounted part of his chatrel goods.)

For sinne like the Darkenesse of night is chased about the earth by the Sunne of Righteousnesse stil and only giving place to Christ whose advancing into our Horizon is the bringing in of the day of Salvation, and the driving away of the Darknesse of transgression: For al other meanes, whether the Light of Conscience, Law of Nature, Counsailes of Men, Rules of Philosophie, Ingenuity of Education, yea and the very Law of God it selfe [that is it's Letter] are nothing else but Stars and Candlelight; not to drive away the night. But as it were so many arguments to prove that there is a night. Things that serve rather to shew that there is a Heaven and an Earth, then to inable us to enjoy either. And therefore they that doe charitably, acknowledg a possibility of salvation to the Heathen; which never heard of the Gospel, say that this salvation doth accrue unto them from God for Christ [Page 26] sake. Man could let in sinne, but it is Christ that must expel it, Man could embrace wickednesse, but God must send his Sonne to blesse us by turning us away from our iniquities. Israell could de­stroy himselfe. But it is God must helpe. David needed no guide to goe astray like a lost sheepe. But it is Davids Lord must seek and save him.

And lastly concerning the Lawes rigour, it fully appeares by that which hath been spoken already, that it must be an Immanu­ell, that must exonerate the burthen satisfie the court of justice, arrest judgment, and take of the seargeant: with a supersedeas. for an Execution taken out, and not served. And all this is don by Christ as our Praes and Sponsor Surety, and Advocate, for the removing of evil from us. And this is the first reason.

The: other reason concerning man is the promoting of his good which is done so many wayes so plentifully, that St. Bernard after his manner▪ calls Christ incarnate Manna from Heaven, the joy of the hungry. A cluster of grapes, sweete grapes from Gods vineyard the refreshment of the thirsty soule, O yle of gladness. The health of the sickly, and a stone cut out of the mountaine without hands that the negligent may feare. In a word: For the general let that goe for al which Fulgentius with fifteene other Bishops more have subscribed concerning this parti­ [...]ar except the Worde which is God by uniting in a singular way mans nature unto himselfe, had been borne of a virgin a true and perfect man, there should never have been bestowed upon us (that are borne fleshly) an Arise of a spiritual birth &c. But now what sweet enterchanges do there passe betweene the Lords A­nointed and mankind: He borrowes our Flesh, and gives us his Spirit, takes Earth returns Heaven: Exchanges his Peace for our chastisement, his sonship, for our servitude, his grace for our sinne, his crown for our curse, his life for our death, his joyes for our sor­rowes. In sum of God he became Man; That wee by communion with him, of men might be made partakers of the divine na­ture.

And because mans felicity stands in enjoying God: Thus fami­liarly, hath the Sonne of God bartered Natures states, and goods [Page 27] with man. His first nativity from God, the Second from Man, ma­king him whose▪ First Birth is from Man, to have a Second from God.

And secondly in seeing God whose brightnesse, dazling al sinfull sight, with the beauty of holinesse: Therefore hath the Lord Iesus Christ like unto another meek Moses put on the vaile of the flesh, that by it boldly we might enter and have accesse to the Holy of Holies, to see as we are seene.

And thirdly if there be any inhaerent happinesse [I understand the cause of it] in man aswell as sorrow, it is [but like the axe among the Prophets [a tool not fit for their coat] borrowed, and that from Christ.

For there are three several Gifts which are all of them compre­hended in or subordinate to the Incarnation of Iesus Christ, con­curring to the happines of man, in the Scripture called by the name of Grace: And distinguished by the immediate extrinsecal Giver.

As first the grace of God which is the Father, by which grace, I conceive, Christ himselfe is specified. To which sence I am enduced, by comparing that of Saint Paul, Tit. 2. 11. to that of St. Iohn c. 3. v. 16.

Secondly the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Which grace must needes be the Spirit, if we consider the promise Iohn 15. 26. Which is somewhere also called the Grace of God, and of our Lord Iesus Christ.

Lastly the Grace of the Spirit which is well known to be that frame of holynesse in the Saincts, which being diversified is called the fruit of the Spirit Gal. 5, 22 To the introducing of which last it was necessary that the two former should precede. The Spirit as the proper fountaine of holinesse and comfort: The incarnation as the Mediam and Motive of the Spirits mission to, and accep­tance with man: But of this parhaps fully and more clearely here­after, when (if ever) we come to write of Christ's Egresse from the world.

Lastly if in Mans felicity we may any way attend to mans actions: Or if there be any such thing beside the name of it as moral feli­city. Christ as incarnate must be the procurer of it, which is done [Page 28] by him: As an Object of our Faith: A Ground of Hope: A cause of Love: and a Rule of Operation.

Two things are required in the object of faith without either of which Faith failes: Affability. the Party we beleeve must be apt to be spoken with Rom. 10. 15. And Veracitie. The first is denyed, to God though with imputation of fault herein to Mans sinne on­ly: according to that Let not God speake least we die. The other to man, God is not a Man that he should lie Let God be true and e­very man a Lyer. God cannot be beleeved though true because man cannot abide before his voice. Man cannot be trusted when he speaks for untruths. Now in Christ these two are united: The affabi­lity of Man Here is our accesse: The truth of God Here the object of our faith.

Secondly the ground of hope as the most plentifull expression of Gods love, [ [...]t quid non speremus amati] being so loved what may we not hope for. He that gave us his Sonne how shal he not with him freely give us all things.

The cause of love, thirdly he is in God to each of us personaly in us to God dutifully. We love him because he loved us first.

Lastly the rule of Operation▪ In a Rule that men work by Two things are necessary: Rectitude and Visibilicie. The first is in God without the second. The second in man without the first, That Christ therefore might be a most perfect rule for man to work by, To the righteousnesse of God, he assumed the visibilitie of Man &c.

Thirdly the reasons of the Incarnation that respect sinne is (with­out the limitation of the power of God) that it might be a reme­dy to sinne. Tolle morbos, tolle vulnera, et nulla est medicinae cau­sa. If there had been no sinne there had been no need of a Saviour, and therefore the glosse upon (1. Tim. 1. Christ came into the World to save sinners) is not amisse Nulla causa veniendi fuit Christo Domino nisi peceatores salvos facere, and is answerable to that Luk. 19. The Sonne of man came not, but to seeke and to save that which was lost. Man by sinne became like the Ax flowne of from the Helve and sunke in the water, that this Ax may be re­stored, it must be made emergent, for this the Prophet cast a bough into the water, Christ is that Bough which by the Incarnation is [Page 29] cast into the water, and by it man, that before sank now swimms. Sinne in man was like death in the pot, that the pottage might be healed meale was cast in, Christ is that Meale 2. Kings 4. 39. where­fore St. Augustine upon my text Caro [...]e obcaecaverat, caro te sanat; quoniam sic venit Christus ut de carne, carnis vitia exting­ueret Flesh blinded thee (O Man) Flesh healeth thee For therefore Christ came that by his Flesh he might extinguish the sinne of the flesh. Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sinnes of the World, Which sinne of the World reading it in the singular num­ber: Bede interprets original sinne. Because that alone of all other, is the sinne of the whole world, And indeed taken extensively is without comparison the greatest sinne that ever was: no one actuall beside being to be charg'd upon all men: But in respect of their intension of sinne, it is the least (becauss least voluntary now it is a rule quodcuu (que) malum est maxime voluntarium est maxime pec­catum) But I conceive the word sinne is rather Genericall then Specificall containing as well actual as original, For proofe where of I oppose St. Peters Comment. Act. 3. 26, to that of Bede. which may serve as a final confirmation of this reason. Unles I may take leave to them the necessity of Christs incarnation to the removing of sinne, to bring in the expression of a Learned divine affirming that If the whole Heaven were turned into one Sunne: And the whole World into Paradise: I adde. If all the righteous men that ever were beside, were composed into one Abel: And all the Angells of Heaven into one Seraphin: To make an univer­sal holocaust they would be insufficient to expiate any one of these many sinnes whereof wee stand guilty before God) Christ alone is an al suffieient sacrifice for the sinnes of the whole world. Ioh. 2. 2. But of this sufficient hath been spoken in the fore going reasons which concerne us.

Fourthly the reasons that concerne Sathan are his utter confu­sion and overthrow: And that by man whose nature was by him first infected, and for ever infested: As It was the pride of Satans malignity against God that for his sinne had cast him out of Hea­ven to wound Gods Honour in the fall of the best of his earthly creatures mankind, whome he therefore assaulted and overthrew [Page 30] So it is the praise of Gods infinite justice, that although he might have immediatly vindicated his owne honour, and avenged Adams fall, as wel of himselfe upon Sathan, in cursing him as he did the poore Snake his instrument. Yet he would not daigne to cope with him but in Man and therefore he sent his Sonne in the forme not of man only, but an enthralled man, A servant to destroy him that had the power of death that is the divel.

Secondly that as Sathan by working upon the frailty of hu­mane flesh deceived the first Adam so the Hooke of the deity (it is St. Hieromes phrase) being Baited with the Humaine Nature: The Flesh of the second Adam invited the Great Devourer to bite: And so the great taker was taken: The great Devourer, was deceived as we shall see more in the treatise of Christs temptations.

Thirdly (and wherewith I will conclude the argument con­cerning the Divell) this may (a posteriore and by the effect) be ad­ded as a reason of the Incarnation, that Sathan in his promises, (though most false and lying) might not out bid the goodnesse of, God in his most true and reall performances. The greatest Pro­mise that even the Tempter promised to mankind, (though that in his temptation of Christ to worship him was a very large lying one) was that to Eve, Gen. 3. 5. Ye shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil: Now he was so far from performing it, that he effected the contrary (like a lyar as he was, from the beginning) which Almighty Gods Irony, verse 25, will prove (though at first sight it seeme to make good the Serpents words) This I say was the [...]argest promise that ever the Divell made with intention (as he [...]doth a [...] the rest) to deceive.

This yet was somewhat lesse then the Incarnation did perform. For if we take mankind as comprehended in the Humanity of Jesus Christ, it was more then (as God) for it was true to say, Hic homo Deus est, this man is God! Knowing good in himselfe as God; evil in his burthen as Man: The evil of sinne by imputa­tion, The evil of punishment, by a most bitter passion, Or o­therside if wee consider mankind as it is in [...] The Company of true Beleevers, they are at least sicut Dij, As [Page 31] Gods, And if I over value not St. Peters words, 2 Pet. I. v. 3▪ somewhat more: As being partakers of the divine nature. And for their knowledge it is by the Incarnation improved to the highest pitch of the Divels promise; knowing more communicated good­nesse (the only object in its kind of created knowledge then ever before Heaven or Earth could represent to Men or Ang [...]ells in the glory of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth. John 1. 12

And evill was never so objected to view of Men or Angels as it was by the exinanition of a Deity: The humbling of the supreme Majesty of Heaven to become a man to suffer the confluence of Gods judgments, and curses for the expiation of Mans sinnes.

And this use I must for ever make of it, when I am tempted to sinne by enticing promises: I will perswade my selfe to hope, farre more performed for me by Christ, then is now For ever was or will be promised by the grand worke master to sinners the Prince of darkenes.

And now when I seriously weigh these reasons, and thinke to apply them, I can nor hear nor see other object but (me thinks with­in me) an Heavenly host a multitude of Angels singing that excel­lent Anthem, Glory; Never such glory! to God on high! Glory to his goodnesse and mercy! Glory to his Wisdome and Contrivance! Glory to his Iustice and Severity! Glory to his Greatnes & Pow­er. And if two infinites may beare a comparison I know whether be more [...] in the highest? [...] or [...] Glory or God? For here is glory in highest, to God: Aswell as glory to God in the highest. This for the first sort of reasons which con­cerne God.

But when I consider the other also: I am againe Nonplus't and know not which will be the greater [...] or [...]? The Glory or the Goodwill. That which God hath reserv'd to himselfe? or that which he hath imparted to man for if in this [...] wee shal consider Whose, to Whome, What, and in what Man­ner this Goodnesse is expressed: We must confesse it a [...] Such a commendation of Gods Love, Rom. [Page 32] 5. 8. As no Words can set forth but Christs own [...]! The Father had such goodwill Mat. 11 26 God so loved Ioh. 3 16. And though they raise in my weakeheart such ravishing joyes, and light: That I like Peter in mount Tabor MATHEW, 17. 4. must needs say. [...] It is good for us to be here. Yet when I go about to pitch my Ta­bernacle. Like a Pilot without the Straits or Channell. I saile on the Maine On an abysse where no bottom is. Vnder A height with­out a Culmen. Nothing can describe it. But St Pauls [...] Rom. 11, 33. It is so far above a Poore Sinners Ela! so far below A mortal's Gamut, That it is a Song indeed, only for Angels to set a tune to.

And yet me thinks hitherto there wants something to make it full Harmony Musick, must have three parts to make a Consort Glory to God in the highest, There's the ALTVS. Good will towards men, Theres the BASSVS. Yet we want a TENOR. That is, On earth Peace. This we want indeed! every where. In the Church. In the State, In the Feild, In our Houses. In the City, In the Countrey, In all places, and all businesses. Over our heades may for in­scription be written; at all our Townes ends may be hang'd out for a signe those words of St. Paul Without are fightings: Within are Feares. Nay I had almost forgot to tell you that this is wan­ting among the reasons I have brought for the incarnation though this were a maine end thereof. Wherfore in the breife adddition of it I will conclude.

Christ came in a time when God had made warrs to cease in al Lands, and indeede he chose a time fit for his businesse, which was to reconcile things in Heaven, and things on Earth: Col. 1 20. Which reconciliation though it was perfected on the Crosse, yet was it articled for, and treated in the Incarnation: v. 22. And (Ephes. 2. 14. 15.) Saint Paule saith, He is our peace who hath made both one, Having abolished in the flesh the enmity- In which words J humbly conceive the Apostle tyes not his discourse to the abolition of that legal Sanctification of the Iewish Nation-where by they were separated from al other people to be a peculiar peo­ple to God only, but intends the Main busines Christ came into the [Page 33] world for: which is that mentioned in the forenamed Colos. 1. 20. To reconcile or make peace (It is true prophetically and de facto himselfe somewhere saith he came not to send peace, but a sword (that is) men by occasion of him, and his Doctrine would toge­ther by the eares. But if he had made this his busines de jure to sow contention, he might have been still called the Sonne of man, But hardly the Son of God, if that text Math 5. 9. be true) No No, we have experience enough that it was a Prophecy to shew what would be, but commands enough to the contrary to make it ap­parently no Rule to tell us what should or ought to be.

Well then let us see How the Incarnation is the ground of that dearly wanted blessing On Earth; Peace God when he framed the earth hung the happy affaires thereof on two hooks. The upper & more golden was The Love of God, The Lower and like it was The Love ef our Neighbour. On these two [...] hang (not on­ly the Earth, but that Word by which that was made) The Law, and Prophets Math: 22. 40. Sinne comes and unhinges the world: so that instead of Loves Conjunction, All things fall in peices by Hate Convulsions. All men being naturaly thenceforth [...] or [...] Hateful or Hating Tit 3. 3. Hateful to God, He repents that he hath made man Gen. 6. 6, [...] Haters of God. Rom 1, 30, They cannot endure him, either his presence, or voice Gen. 3. 8. Nay either of these is death to them. Iudg: 13. 22 &c. Hatefull to one another: witnesse Gen. 3. 12. Where Adam litle lesse then grinds his teeth at his Wife, and Gen. 4. 8. where Kain kills Abel. Nay witnesse our sad times wherein we are fal­len into manifest Gentilisme, or at least so much of it as that fore­mentioned Character speakes. Tit 3. 3. To rectifie all this disor­der, it is contrived that our Redeemer may be God and Man. Had he been Man only, and not God, as the Arrians, and Socinians say, we might have reason to have been [...] Lovers of Mankind, to love our Neighbour &c. but I doubt we should have been [...] Haters of God neverthelesse. Or at least have been reconciled upon other grounds then through Christ.

Had he beene God, and not man: we might have thought our selves bound the more to love God with al our heart &c, but I fear [Page 34] we should naturally have hated one another, As we now doe Ser­pents or [I shame to speak it] as we in England have done these late yeares.

But what ever other men take for their course, this must be my rule to love all the Lines that concen [...]er in my Saviour. And that with a Love not only Quoniam Psalm 116. 1. But also Amore ta­metsi; not because only with David they are beneficial, But with Iob (whose eyes opened to his Redeemer) though they [wrong me, sequester me, imprison yea) kil me. Math 5, 44. Indeed Sinne I may not endure Heb. 12. 4. The Devill I must resist. 1. Pet, 5. 9. My Saviour took the nature of neither. And intended as really to put enmity betwixt me and these, as God did put betwixt us and the Serpent. But for God and Man I shall offer violence to my Lord Iesus if they be not united qua tales in my affections, I must not hate or forsake God though he kill me: I must not hate man neither though he kil me. For how shal I look upon the Lord Iesus Christ who being both made peace for both. Of whose fulnes I be­seech the God of Heaven I may receive and Grace for grace even [...] an unhypocritical Love Rom 12 9. And let as many as be Christians be thus minded. Phi: 3▪ 15 And for them that are otherwise minded, God in his due time reveale it to them, And let all England say Amen.

FINIS.

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