The Divine and Spiritual AMBASSADOUR Described in a SERMON Preached at the VISITATION AT ALISBƲRY, Com. Bucks. Octob. 14. 1662.

By J. B. B. D. sometimes Student of Christ Church in Oxford, and now Rector of Cheddington in the County of Bucks.

Tertul. de praescrip. adversus haer. cap. 43.

Ʋbi Deus ibi metus in Deum, qui est initium sapientiae. Ʋbi metus in Deum ibi gravitas honesta, & diligentia attonita, & cura sol­licita & adlectio explorata, & communicatio deliberata, & pro­motio emerita, & subjectio religiosa, & apparitio devota, & pro­cessio modesta, & ecclesia unita, & Dei omnia.

LONDON, Printed by Sarah Griffin, for Robert Pawlet, at the Bible in Chancery Lane, neer the Inner Temple Gate. 1663.

I have perused this Sermon, and think it fit to be printed.

Geo: Winton.


M. Frank. S.T.P. R.P.D. Ep. Lond. à Sacr. Domest.

TO THE Right Honourable IOHN Earle of BRIDGEWATER. My most honoured Lord and Patron.

My Lord,

IT is now somewhat above fifty yeares from the day that this Rectory was be­stowed on me, by the singular bounty of your ever admired and most honorable Grand-father, then our great Lord Chancellour. And ever since I have en­joyed it with much comfort, under the favourable aspect of your Noble Father, and the gracious influence of your own continual goodness. In which regard I am sorry, that I could not so freely and fre­quently gain the opportunity to tender my bounden duty and thankfulnesse; partly, by the crossenesse of the Times; part­ly, by the crasynesse of my age; and partly, last year, by the ap­pointment of our late and learned Diocesan requiring me [Page] to preach at his Visitation; and yet when the time came he confessed, that by the multitude of an Old mans cares after­ward he had quite forgot it. So that I was put off till our next visitation; upon the fourteenth of October last, at Alis­bury, then to preach this sermon. Where it was so respect­ed by the greater part of the Auditors, that they desired a copy thereof, whereby it might be further published. Ʋpon which motion I made some pause, till I was more encouraged by some judicious persons of higher rank and reputation, to get the sermon longer liv'd, then the short time, wherein it was uttered. Wherefore seeing it is now come to the Press, I humbly implore the shelter of your constant favour & goodness, for leave to present and dedicate it to your right Honourable Patronage and protection; in token of the fide­lity which I owe to our gracious God, loyalty to our dread Sovereign, charity to our native Countrey, zeal to the glo­rious Gospel of our blessed Saviour, and peace of his Church, with the duty and devotion, in which I am deeply ingaged daily to seek and sue for the health and happinesse of your excellent person, with your virtuous consort, and all the No­ble branches of the hopefull Family; toward whom I rejoice in all concurrences of dutifull correspondence, still to con­tinue,

Your Lordships most humble Orator, and thankfull Servant. John Bird.

THE Divine Ambassador

2 COR. 5.20.

Now then we are Ambassadors for Christ.

IN giving audience to Ambassadors, great expe­ctation is a great prejudice to gracious acceptati­on,Sen. ad Lucili­um ep. 60. unlesse that when we have said all that we can, we be interpreted to signifie more then we have utterance to expresse. Of other Ambassa­dors we find, that carping Pytheas, to disparage the Athenians, said thus, Like as we presume, that there is some sicknesse in the house whither we see Asses milk brought, so must that town of necessity be sick, whither the Ambassadors of Athens go: Plutarch. De­mosthen. and that loyal Demosthenes retorting his comparison, made answer, Indeed, they brought such milk where there was need to recover health: And even so the Embassadors of Athens went to heal those that were sick. But, certainly, both are more cōfortably verified of Christs Ambassadors; whithersoever they go we may presume that there is some sicknesse; for this is the terminus a quo, and therewith also we must hope, that there are good meanes [Page 2] and medicines of recovery;2 Cor. 5 18, 19. for this is the terminus ad qu [...]m, for which they are sent, even to reconcile those that were enemies, to save those that were lost, to heal those that were sick, and to restore life unto those that were dead. This is the main scope and summe of all our mini­stration.

And now, then, we are Ambassadors for Christ.

2. If Timanthes had this facility in painting, that the spectators, by marking the carriage of his hand, understood more of his workmanship in the rasa tabula of their own imagination,Lips. cent. 1. ep. 13. then he was able to expresse in the picta tabu­la of his imagery; why may not I likewise hope, that my auditors, by experience of Gods mercy in the cure of their own misery, will grant me the felicity to conceive higher of the worth of our ambassage, then I have any faculty to explain it? Origen saith of the Spirit in the Canticles, that hee doth that ofte [...] through the whole Song, which unlesse a man feel it in himself, being touched with a Divine Dart,H [...]mil. 1. in Cant. by the spirit of Love, he can hardly be able to understand; and so, though our Apostles meaning can­not be worthily exprest by any lesse then some Apostle; yet (methinks) it may be conceived of you all very fitly, as if he had accourted his Disciples in plainer terms, to this purpose.

3. It's a wonder, that any of you should be in Christ, and not prove a new creature, [...] Cor. 5.17. when old things are past, and all things are become new Even God himself, who said to Israel, Mal. 3.6. I am the same, I change not, and therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed, is now, in the tokens of his love, so new to us, that we may say of him, He is not the same, he is changed; and will not ye sons of Jacob, be reconciled? His old love to the Jews went onely thus far, that he com­pared himself to a Lord, who having let forth his Vine­yard,Luke would demand fruit of the husbandmen, the first, se­cond, and third time, by his servants, yea last of all by his onely beloved Son; but when they should not onely cast away the Servants, but also kill the Son and Heir, that then he would no longer brook them, but destroy those hus­bandmen, [Page 3] and give his vineyard to others▪ Thus his old love to the Fathers would not endure them any longer; but to us now, when he hath been already murdered by our sins, he seeks and sues afresh after he is risen again. Which may be attractive, to move those that are dead in sin, to rise again and embrace his motions, with all love to him­selfe, and reverence to his Apostles, and Ministers.

It were much for a King, sufficient in power, wisdome, and goodnesse, to cast his affection on a foul, foolish, poore, peevish, and Rebellious Beggar; more, to offer himselfe, by diverse Messengers, to be thrice ask't unto her;Chrysost. ad. popul. Antioch. homil. 48. more after double and triple denyall, to come himself in Person, giving his blood to be shed, and his body to be slain by her and for her. But after so deadly feud, with a most cursed death, still to rise, and return with more love-tokens accumulated and annexed to his former suit; this is [...], able, not onely to silence the tongues of the wis­est men, but also to dazle the eyes of the greatest Angels. And yet now he doth thus woe and sue to you all; inward­ly by his Spirit, outwardly by his Word, continually by all the Prophets, Apostles, and Ministers thereof. And now then we are Ambassadours for Christ.

4. So that, if I, had time, I might amplifie this circum­stance of time with that of Moses. Deut. 4.32 Aske now of the dayes that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth; and aske from the one side of Heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it. But lest in hoising saile too high upon this adventure I should suffer in portu naufragium, by incurring the blame of the long-tongu'd Roman Praetor,Pogg. facet. who coming Em­bassadour to Florence, was so tedious in rehearsing the oc­currents of his journey by the way, that the last houre of his Commission was almost expired before he came to his Errand.

I shall briefly in this my message propound unto you these three parts, wherein the Apostle offereth unto your observation, first the Persons sent in this message, even o­ther [Page 4] men like your selves; now such we are.

Secondly, the message itselfe, even a solemne and ho­nourable Ambassage; now then we are Ambassadours.

Thirdly, the Person, from whom, and for whom, this Embassage is sent; no Son of Perdition, but the Son of Righteousnesse with healing under his wings;M [...]lac. 4 2. even the brightness, of his Fathers glory, which is Christ in you the hope of Glory; Coloss. 1 27. now then we are Ambassadours for Christ.

In the first of these, you may note Gods gratious condes­cention in sending to you not after a stern or stately manner, by meanes of his dreadfull Angells, but familiarly, by the ministry of men,James 5.17. 2 Cor. 1.4. subject with you to the same passi­on of afflictions, and therefore to the same compassion of affection in all things. Now these we are.

In the second, your felicity in being sought unto, not as fu­gitives, or subjects, by common Messengers, or Nuntio's of mean note: But as free States, by Ambassadours of singular accompt, and authority; now then we are Ambassa­dours.

In the third, our fidelity in standing bound to execute this Function, not for any Son of man, the Lords annointed, but for the onely begotten Son of God,Psal. 45.7. the Lord himselfe, annointed with the oile of gladness above his fellowes, now then we are Ambassadours for Christ

6. Wherefore of these, while that I deliver my message to point at some Character of our Divine and spirituall Embassour,Jeson ad ver. Jovin. lib. 10. resolving with the [...]ather, that I shall offend none that are good, quia eos peccati conscientia non remor­debit: I hope, I shall not need stand long to intreat your patience and mod [...]ration. It's the Law of Nature and Nations, to afford Ambassadours the patience of Audi­ence. And if any think much to yield me so much, the God of Nature and Grace enjoyns them more, upon the Allegi­ance they owe to his pleasure, and their own peace.

According to our Apostles argument, in this place, that God was in Christ reconciling the World unto himselfe, not inputing their trespasses unto them, who hath com­mitted unto us the word of reconciliation; 2 Cor. 5.19. and now then [Page 5] we are Ambassadours for Christ, So that first, we are to begin with ourselves to consider, who We are here meant by the Apostle, saying; Now then we are Ambassadours for Christ.

7. We, as magnificent Princes in their benefits and fa­vours consider not so much the deserts of their favourites, what they are worthy to receive,Sen. de ben. lib. 2. ep. 16. as the dignity of their own fame, what is sit and honourable for them to give; so the Lord here chuseth us, and looketh upon you, seeing that we here are meant with a double exception. First, general­ly, We, even men, excluding the Angels; which may seem very strange, why the Lord should so forget Majesty, as to sue to you with misery by messengers of your own metall, rather then by his honourable Courtiers, the Angels of Heaven. Is it unkindnesse, that the ministration of con­demnation might be more glorious,2 Cor. 3.7, 8. being delivered by Angels, then the ministration of righteousnesse delivered by men, your fellow-creatures? Or is it weaknesse, because he stands in need of our assistance to help him out at a dead list? Far be it from us to impute either of those unto him, who is all-sufficient. For spiritual ends he maketh use of corporal means, as a stately Potentate commanding for at­tendance, and not as a weak Agent, going a begging for assistance; for your convenience and congruity, not for our efficacy or condignity (as Saint Bernard saith excel­lently) it is his indulgence of his rich mercy,In Cant Serm. 5 not his indi­gence of our poor Ministry.

8. Indeed he gave the Law by Angels, but their appari­tions were alway so fearful to our nature, corrupt and con­scious of its own unworthinesse, that the people seeing it fled, crying to Moses for meaner Ministers; talk thou with us, and we will hear, but let not God talk any more with us lest we die. And the Lord answered, They have well said, Deut. 5 27.28. all that they have spoken. Whereupon Moses prophesied shortly after,Deut 18.15. Acts 3.21. A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you from among your brethren, like unto me, him shall ye hear in all things. Which though it be intended principal­ly of Christ, yet it must be extended, secondarily, to the [Page 6] whole sesies and succession of all his Prophets and Mini­sters to the worlds end.John 13.20. 1 Thess. 4.8. So that he who contemnes such weak instruments, and murmures against God, because he is not taught with those glorious apparitions and visions of Angels under the Law, betrayes himself, in pride, to be a miserable miracle; not unlike that foolish wanton in the Poet,Ovid. Metam. lib. 3. who desiring Jupiter to come to her in the same glo­ry that he used to accompany with Juno, was in all her bravery consumed and brought to nought. Which dan­ger might well be avoided, if people would remember, how God, in his goodnesse toward them, hath deputed us to sup­ply the room of his Angels. And now, then, we are Ambassa­dors for Christ.

9 Again, more particularly, we are here intended, who are the Apostles successors,Hieron ad C [...]e­anum. even the right Reverend Bi­shops, with those that are regularly constituted and ordai­ned by them to this ministration. Touching which, an old Statesman hath left this sound note; Non est ars sui juris, cui precarium fundamentum est; Sen ad [...]u [...]i­lium ep. 89 Tert. de preser. cap 20. Vinc. Li [...]. ca. 16 and an old Churchman hath given us as good a rule, Omne genus ad originem suam censcatur necesse est. So then, though some admirers of their own devices brag much of their own antiquity, Ʋbi semper fuit plus admirationis, quam utilitatis, plus famae, quam experientiae; yet we, that know their extraction, In­tus & in cute, are sure that they crept up at first preca­rio, intreating toleration in that streight, which was then made a case of necessity. And now that they, who at first were content to be held tolerable, should mistake this for the incomparable Helena, or rather implacable Bellona of the age, for which they ought to strive, tanquam pro aris, & focis; and thence take upon them to prescribe against all Churches for intolerable, that are not clipt by their mould, this is such a straine of ingratitude, that can hard­ly be digested by any who have well concocted the Anti­dote of Saint Austin, Confess l. 10. c. 28 Nemo quod tolerat amat, et si tolerare amat; No man loves that which he tolerates; although he loves for a while to make a vertue of necessity in tolera­ting it, yet he could be glad, fairly to be freed from that [Page 7] necessity which bindes him to such toleration.Luther, Calvin, Zanch. Beza, Scultet. Moulin. As divers of the more learned, judicious, and moderate, among themselves, have confessed, not onely in their private con­ferences, but also in their publick writings.John 10 1. And therefore seeing that we desire, endeavour, and frame our selves by entring in at the doore, and not climbing up any other way, to retain the Ancient, Regular, Canonical, and Aposto­lick discipline of the Church; Now then we are Ambassadours for Christ.

10. Ambassadours, There is no need to hunt after any various acception of the word in the Originall, or other languages, as savouring of curiosity more Critical then Christian. It is enough to our purpose, that the Romans gave this Title of Legates especially to two sorts of men. Both to those that were Lievtenants, and Assistants to their Consuls and Generals, in their Provinces and Wars; and to those that under assurance of Publique Faith, esta­blished by the Law of Nations, were employed with dignity to represent their Lords persons, and with authori­ty to negotiate with forreigne Princes and States touching their affaires.

11. So that here, by the way, both these are sufficient, to stop the passage and proceeding of those arreptitious En­thusiasts,1 Reg. 13.33. who delighting in Jeroboams Reign cared not for this, but whosoever would fitted his hand, and he consecra­ted them, and so they had leave to make themselves, of the lowest of the People, Priests of the highest Places. It will be in vain for such hastings to run with Ahimaaz before they are sent & have any true tidings to bear,2 Sam. 18, 27.29. though some de­mure carriage may cause some of them to be mistaken; (as he was) for good men bring good tydings; yet their own tongues (like his) will in the relation argue them capable of nothing, but making a noise and tumult. Of which also seeing themselves at length, with Ahimaaz, are driven to confesse that they know not what it means, all who know what our Apostle means by such as turn aside [...],1 Tim 1.6. may well relinquish them with those, That would feign be counted Doctours of the [Page 8] Law, 1 Tim. 1.7 and yet they underst [...]d not what they spake, nor whereof they affirm. What will it avail them with the Gibeonites, to work wilily, and to counterfeit themselves Ambassadors, with old sacks on their asses, and wine bot­tles, Josh 9.4, 5, 6. old, rent, and bound up, with old shooes, and clout­ed on their feet, with old cloaths on their backs, and all the bread of their provision dry and mouldy, as though they came from far? seeing that when they are found, upon due examination, to be only meer conterranean Natives, of the illiterate pragmatick sanction round about; wise & faithful J [...]shua may surly judge them to be fitly dealt with,Josh 9.21 27. in be­ing alotted the task of the Gibeonites, with which some of their trades have made them already so long acquainted, that it needs not here any further enlargement, but onely to give them this Item, That when they ranted it at the highest, none of them durst then take upon him the office [...] Legate, either in Martial or Mercurial expeditions, without special commission from the General, notwith­standing their pretended rare and excellent parts. And must the office of Christs Ambassadors be prostituted to the lust of every one's intrusion, when we are taught by his Word and Example,Heb. 5 4, 5. That no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron; And so Christ also glorified not himself, to be made an high Prist, but he that said unto him, Thou art my son, this day have I begot­ten thee? Apoc 9.11. Surely this was the craft of the cruel Angel of the bottomlesse pit, the great Apollyon, to turn all things upside down, by crossing and confounding all orders; and no good could be thence expected from the hands of such deforming Reformers; [...]ap. l. 1 ep. 7. where (as the blessed Martyr complaineth) Contractare praesumunt pudorem incesti, fidem perfidi religionem prophani, divina terreni, sancta sacrilegi. But seing that (as his Master hath noted) the most exercised in the Scripture cannot lose any thing by them, Nisi vocem in contentione; Tertal dep [...] ­script cap. 17. nor get any thing by them, Nisi bilem de blasplematione, we leave them who have no leave of God to usurp this calling; and so passing by the former kinde of Legates in war, pitch upon the latter of those in peace, [Page 9] which more properly concern us, who, by Gods blessing, are now therein Ambassadours for Christ.

12. Where, of these again, we have evident resemblance in two sorts of Ambassadors, much made of for transacting the high mysteries in Princes Courts. Either such as are sent for some rare and extraordinary affair, with most cost and state, being to return again as soon as that business is dispatched (like to whom we suppose those extraordinary Prophets under the Law, and those miraculous and imme­diately gifted persons in the primitive dayes of the Gospel) or else such as are called Ligiers, and Legates à latere, 1 Cor. 14.12. who lie longer by it, upon all occasions, during the pleasure of their Prince; like to whom we conceive the high Priests, with the rest of the Priests and Levites under the Law, and since under the Gospel,Hier. ad Euagr. the Apostles and their succes­sors, even Bish [...]ps, with their Presbyters and Deacons, in their Cathedral and Parochial employments.

13. Yet so, that herein we finde this difference, that worldly Pirnces have alwayes used this proviso, Nec a sub­ditis, nec ad subditos rectè mittuntur legati. They that are sent by a Prince into his own Dominions are called Com­missioners; and those whom Subjects send to their Sovereign Lords, are called Deputies; but to vouchsafe the title of Ambassadors to any such, was a name so harsh to the state­ly ears of worldly States, that Tully counted it, not onely foolish lightnesse, but open madnesse. Insomuch,Phil. 5, & 6. that in his Philippicks, he sharply reproved the whole Senate for debasing the majesty and severity of their Order, in send­ing Ambassadors to Mark Antony, forgetting that a rebel­lious subject was to be enforced by legions, rather then to be intreated by Legates. Nay, some Christians now adays will scarce vouchsafe Ambassadors to Princes, who are not of so supreme and sovereign state as themselves, but they call their Messengers rather by the name of Agents.

14. Which the more I consider, the more I admire, and stand amazed at the meek and shumble condescension of our gracious Master, Christ Jesus, Lord, what is man, Psalm 8.4. that thou art mindfull of him? or the so [...]t of man, that thou so re­gardest [Page 10] him? to grace him with thy Ministery, like Aoth, that [...],Hieron. aduers. Jovin. lib. 1. to be thy Ambassador on both hands, in prayer from men to thee, in preaching from thee to them. In both these respects, thou hast made us somewhat supe­riour to the Angels, and little inferiour to thy Self. O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his won­derfull works to the children of men. Psal. 107. Christ himselfe hath noted concerning others, that there is no wise King going to war against another King, Luc. 14.31, 32 that fitteth not down first, and consulteth, whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand. Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. And does he himself, who is able to come against us with more then twenty thousand thousand chariots of Angels,Psal. 68.17. Job 9.3. now send his ambassage to us his unworthy vassals, desiring conditions of peace with such vile rebels, who are not able to meet, and answer him with one for a thousand? Is this ambassage then (my bre­thren) for his own sake, because he feareth us, or is it not rather for our sake, because he loveth us? even for your sake, doubtless, it is written, that ye should ever remem­ber to accept and stand to the covenant and conditions that we bring from him,Gal. 4.14. receiving us, as the Angels of God, even as Christ Jesus, and whensoever we tender unto you his word of reconciliation, that ye receive it, not as the word of men, 1 Thess. 2.13. but (as it is in truth) the word of God, which effe­ctually worketh in them that believe. For this is here more fully warranted to be expressed further in the next word. And now then we are Ambassadors for Christ.

15. For Christ, as the worthinesse of the Prince that sends them makes much for the dignity of his Ambassadors; so the weightiness of the businesse addes more to their ac­ceptance and entertainment with the Prince and people to whom they are sent.

Now then we are Ambassadors for Christ both wayes.

First, We are Ambassadors sent from Christ as the pri­mum mobile in this motion, even in his room and stead: As if the Apostle had said, according to Chrysostome, what [Page 11] Christ himselfe should and would have done, if he had been present, that he hath sent us to undertake,In locum. and exe­cute in his Room. And as God the Father before entreat­ed us by his Son; so Christ his Son now intreateth you by us, as unfeignedly and effectually as if himselfe spake our language with his own mouth,Psal. 45.1 and subscribed to every sen­tence with his own hand and seal.

16. Again we are Ambassadours for Christ,2 Cor. 4.5. as the end and object of our Ambassage, to intreate and negotiate on his behalfe, and for his businesse. As who should say, ac­cording to St. Ambrose, Since our Parson is in Heaven, In locum. we are his Vicars upon Earth; to seek and sue him out a wife, even the Church his spouse, 2 Cor. 11.2. to present her as a pure Virgin unto Christ. And that not upon whatsoever conditions fancy her, or humour us, to doe every own whatsoever seemeth good in his own eies (as if we had neither God nor King to reign over us) but upon those which himselfe hath either explicitely appointed,Deut. 12.8. Jud. 17.6. Jud. 21.25. or implicitely approved in the grand commission of his revealed Word. By the Civil Laws, as it is high Treason,Tul. pro [...]ox. Ros. Amer. for an Ambassadour to go beyond his Commission; saying, I have done wiser and better then I was commanded; so its impudent rebellion to come short of his Commission; saying it was foolish and needlesse to do so much as I was enjoyned.

Against such presumption histories are fraught with ex­amples, not onely of divers Princes,Bodin. de repub. lib. 3. that have punished their greatest servants, but also of some parents who have abandoned their dearest Sons for such contempt. The old rule in Policie is now out of date, and shall have no room with God in matters of piety; mitte sapientem, & nihil dicito.

The Lord our God hath not sent us,Tacit. Annal. lib. 1. as the Emperor Ti­berius sent Drusus, nullis certis mandatis, ex reconsulturos; but for the matter of our Embassage, he hath butted, and bounded our commission within the compass of his written word: Accordivg to that strict and fearful charge,Vin. li [...]. cap. 12 Gal. 1.8, 9. not only including the whole chorus of his Apostles; But also reach­ing to all the company of his mighty Angels, by that im­possible supposition; Though we, or an Angel from Heaven [Page 12] preach any other Doctrine then what we have received, let him be accursed.

If we, for our own ends, take upon us to pick and chuse in Gods Commandements, which we will promote, and which put down,Isa. 33.7. the Angels of peace on earth will be driven for this to weep biterly, But if we be faithfull in our charge, without partiality, to have respect to all Gods Comandemements; the Angels of Glory in Hea­ven will be ready to rejoice and greet us, with their right hands of fellowship, against all affronts and opposition, that therefore now we are Ambassadours for Christ.

By which it is evident, how far we ought to be from the insolence of those, which under this claime of Christs Ambassadours, for their own pride, and primacy in tempo­rals, play the parts of the deepest plotters, and polititians: intelligencers and incendiaries; seducers and subverters in the World; when as in the mean while, for spirituals, they mind nothing so much as by purgatory tra­ditions of addition, and expurgatory indices of sub­straction, to m [...]r all. But why should I tear the time about those that are absent? I am called hither for you that are present; wherefore in Gods name, give me leave, for Christs sake, in this mixt Auditory, to do my Errand to you all, according to your several callings and this our speciall Commission; wherein now we are to approve our selves Ambassadours for Christ.

18. First then, to the Right Reverend Fathers in Christ, our wise and worthy Governours, here may be a motion very necessary in these dayes, wherein none are sent for Ambassadours to Earthly Princes, save those that have past through the highest degrees of desert and dignity. O that they would admit of some caveat touching those, who are so far from honouring this calling in others, that they like it in their own children who affect it far worse; unless it be [...] under this colour, hoping to beguile God, and blinde the eyes of the World, with two other kindes of Ambassage long a goe scorn'd and scoft at by the Ro­means.

19. They had a kind of Ambassage called honesta Legatis, because it was bestowed on those to whom they would not offer the utmost disgrace of an Exile: and this Court trick, Tacitus saith,Annal. that Crafty Tiberius put upon the despised Agrippa, sending him away with the title of Ambassadour, that he might rid him far off from the Court. Now we may meet with many parents, in these daies, which though they have little holiness, are yet full of this kinde of honesty. When their Children are stammerers, dolts, blinde or lame, in body, or, which is worse, in minde, they will pur­chase them some place of profit in the Church, to rid them­selves, and the Country, from being further troubled. But who is so blinde that sees not; as when the Romans sent three Ambassadours into Bithynia, whereof the first had his head full of gashes, the second was lame of the Gout,Pl [...] in Catone and the third was a fool: that wise Cato well mocked them for sending an Ambassage, that had neither head, nor foot nor heart; even so Solomon teacheth us to sleight and shake oft these; He that sendeth a message by the hand of a Fool, Prov 26 6, 7.9 is as one that cutteth off the Legs, and drinketh iniquity. The legs of the lame are not equal; so is a parable in the mouth of Fo [...]les. Nay, as a Thorne goeth up in the hand of a drunk k [...]d (who knows not when it came in; nor how to get it out) so is a Parable in the mouth of Fooles.

20. The other Kind of Ambassage was called libera Le­gatio, because it was conferr'd on persons of quality, that they might be more highly respected abroad under this Commission & suffered more freely in forreign Countries to follow their own purposes under favour of the Law of Nations. So too many worshipfull Patrons, and some Country misers, with right of presentations, when they have many children (for whom they will by all means prole what they can) are very greedy to thrust some of them into the ministery, like as Stratocles and Dr [...]moclidas were sent in rempublicam tanquam ad auream messem, Plut depraecept. reipubl [...]ger. not so much for God as for Mammon's sake, that they may en­grosse all the Church-preferments in their gifts, which they wil not by any meanes impart to others (though far better [Page 14] deserving) but under the double crime of Bribery and perjury. A course contrary to the Law of Nations, ut qui [...] sua reiergo legatus esto; contrary to the Law of Nature, quid enim turpius, Tull. de de Leg. lib. 3. Isaiah 56 11. Tull. ubi supra. quam sine procuratione senator, legatus sine mandatis, sine ullo reipublicae muner [...]; contrary to the Law of God, who protests that he will by no meanes endure those that look after their own interest, every one for his own gain from his quarter. Wherefore, as the Roman O­rator writeth, that he would have taken this kind of Em­bassy utterly away, if he had not been strongly opposed, but for all that, he brought it from perpetuall, to be only annuall: So it were to be wished, that our Governors would curb and cut short such Ambassadors among us which un­dertake this Charge, but seldome do discharge it, unlesse it be for their own ends;Phil. 1.15.16. 1 Tim. 3.5. some for constraint, others for contention: some for envy, others for ambition: some for lusty liquor, others for filthy lucre, but few of a ready mind, for Christs sake. Whereas he should be the Alpha and Omega; the first and the last, the author of our Com­mission, and the end of our calling, withal our carriage therein. And therefore now we are Ambassadours for Christ.

21. I come next to you my dear Brethren and Col­leagues in this charge. You see how God hath graced you by calling and counting you serviceable, putting you into the Ministery; O let it be your study, to seek especially for that double qualification commended from the highest Court of Faculties,Mat. [...]4. [...]5. that herein wisdom and faithfulnesse may meet together;Chrisost. de sa­cerd. l. 2 that discretion and Devotion may shake hands; that learning and labour may kisse each o­ther.Bern in Cart. ser. 23. You must be wise, lest you be deceived your selves, and faithfull, lest you deceive others; you must be discreet to temper your devotion, and devout, to make use of your discretion;Hieron ad Oce­an you must be learned, that you labour not at randome, and laborious, that you learn not in vain. All these must agree at all times, but especially in providing matter,Pr [...]v 10 26. with premeditation, before you do your Am­bassage; in ordering it with moderation when you utter it; and confirming it with resolution, when you have ended it

22 Concerning the first, ye know that the dayes are now past, and the persons dead, to whom it was said,Mat. 10 19. Mat. 13.52. dabitur in illa hora; but we are compared to the good housholder, which bringeth forth out of his treasury things new and old; Jer. 48.10. Maat. 12.36 being subject otherwise, not onely to the curse of him, that doth the work of the Lord negligently, but also to the confu­sion of him that for every idle word which he shall speake in any place, especially out of the Pulpit, Hieron. ad Fabiol. de veste s [...]cerd. shall be sure to be called to a strict acco [...]mt at the day of judgement.

Now then if the judicious have well noted it for a singu­gular token of great love and reverence in the famous De­mosthenes, and Augustus Caesar, toward their people,Plut. et Sene­tan. that though they could both speake handsomly extempore yet they would never propound any thing in publick to their Auditors without due premeditation; nay, if Christ him­self had not at every turn his mouth alwayes open,Mat. 5.1.2. but as deliberating in silence on that which he was to speak, when his Disciples came to him, being set in the mount, then he open'd his mouth and taught them; what a token of neglect, scorn and irrevence must it be both to God and men, when some that are scarce fit to speak in publick with premedita­tion, dare openly proclaime their own rashnesse, with this evil and idle protestation? That they have had little or no time to provide themselves; many of their trim points came into their heads since they began to open their mouths, and yet they can do thus many hours upon any day.Hieron. Pammich ad. versus error. Joh. Hirros. Quasi ingenium [...]n numerato haberent; adeo ut de cunctis ecclesiae quaestionibus uno linguae rotatu sole clariùs corusca­rent. (Besides that such ex-tempore Declaimers, by making too much haste, are prone to stumble at any errour, and when they have fallen upon it, some become broody to hatch and hurke, it up into a heresy; Is not this, in the Fathers language, dissipare bona Domini, Bern. de cosider. potius quam dis­pensare? marvel not that I call this evil, because it doth other Ambassadors this injury among all their auditors bred in ignorance, that hence they are ready to condemne all for drones, and dumb dogs, who are not so sudden and slippery-tongued as these men.

[Page 16]I say further, that it is idle, because it doth themselves this justice among the learned, to answer such glorioso's, with the magnificat of Apelles to the Painter who boasted of his picture,Plut de educan. liberis. Sueton in Julio. Laps. epist. 65. that he made it on the sudden, Video tacente etiam te, sed id miror, quòd non plures tales tanto temporis spatio pinxeris. In these affairs we must not brag of Julius Caesars expedition, Veni, vidi, vici, lest we be tuckd up with Julian Caesars exprobration, [...], vidi, legi, damnavi. And lest we be compared, not onely to Demades Bagpipes, which being puffed up with wind, as soon as they are pressed break forth presently into squeaking;Epist 61. but also to Lipsius Chameleons, which because they feed on no solid meat,Plu Apoth lac. but on the empty air, are still found with open mouths, alwayes gaping Quid tanto dignum fe [...]et hi [...] promisso [...] hiatu? unlesse it be to carry home from their Auditors no better answer then either that of the Seniour King Agas to the Ambassadors of the Abd [...]rites and Perin­thians; tell your Masters, that as long as you pleased to speak, so long I thought good to hold my tongue. Or that of the French King to a talkative Italian, Pluta [...]. Ibid. Venis de natione verborum; or that of the Spartans, to the tedious and need­less speech of the Samnites, that they had forgot the begin­ning, understood not the middle, and disliked the end. How much better were it for us to stand in awe of the Lords owne warning? Jer. 23 28. the Prophet that hath a dream, let him tel a dream, & he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. That we may not be,2 Cor 2.17. [...] but that as of sincerity, but that as of God, in the sight of God we may speak in Christ; Pl [...]t de multit. a [...]ni [...]. let us in our preaching strive to equal the care and diligence of the acurate Xeuxis, in his painting; when being challenged for being so long about it, he made an­swer, that he was therein the longer, that his works might last the longer. So let us be studious to bestow the longer t [...]me in delineating and portraying our works, that they may be more ponderous and powerfull to make the deep­er impression, [...] Cor. [...].2, 3. and last the longer, engraven, not in tables of wood, or stone, but in the fleshy tables of mens hearts. And so these shall prove our letters of credence, knowne [Page 17] and read of all men; that therein now we we are ambassa­dors for Christ.

23. Next, it is meet to adde thereto Moderation, in ad­dressing our selves discreetly, according to the circumstan­ces of time, place, and persons with whom we have to do. Inrespect of the time, as it is a caveat in State-affairs;Plut. in Demo. Menti­tur legationem, qui nomen legationis non praefert suo tempore. So Demosthenes said well to this purpose, We give them not swords, or weapons of war to manage, but words. Of which Solomon tells us fitly, that a word spoken in due season, Prov. 15.23. & 25.11. is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. To make us careful in observing the opportunity of the time, in taking heed of their miscarriage, who despising that of the wise,Eccles 22.6. Musi­ca in luctu importuna narratio, long alwayes to run counter to the time, turning fasts into festivals, and festivals into fa­stings, as if they were led with the spirit of contradiction against all that comes under the injunction of superiour authority. Lest we be slighted, as the Trojan Ambassa­dours were in coming to bemoan the Emperour Tiberius for the death of his son, when he took it to be too late, and therefore jeered them with this answer,Sueton in Tiber. That he much more condoled with them for the losse of their excellent Citizen, the valiant Hector, dead indeed many hundred years before any of them were born. Whence we should pray unto the Lord God from morning to morning,Isa 50.4. to give us the tongue of the learned, that we may know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary.

24. Again, in respect of the place, though it be true, that the place honours not the man;Agesilaus. yet it was the saying of a great and witty King, That a wise man will be carefull to honour his place. The neglect whereof hath been noted to have blemished some, otherwise, of worth, that being called to do their message ad clerum, who deserve non mo­do scripta, sed etiam sculpta, have marr'd a good tale in tel­ling it, feeding them with such indigested crambes & coria­ted crudities, as were unseemly to trifle with young school­boyes, much more unworthy to tire out judicious men of ripe age & profound understanding. And again, being sent [Page 18] ad populum, who require (as Saint Austin saith) Nutrito­ria potius, De catech. rud. c 15. & lib. 2. de advers legis Sueton in octav Tacit. annal lib 1. quàm peremptoria; or (as S. Bernard) Apta, non alia, have either foiled them with the strong-lin'd ex­travagances of Antonius, Quae homines mirentur potius, quam intelligant; or else puzled them with the cu­rious impertinent digressions of Tiberius, fuller of dignity then of fidelity, standing upon nothing so much as the duties and defects of our Ambassadors, when there have been none of that function there present to hear them, but onely the leering croud of their popular Corona, to laugh at them in their sleeves, for seeking to curry favour with them, by picking so many holes in their owne coat. Which makes some of them suspect, if there were a con­vention of Christs Ambassadors in presence, that they would not be so bold As the Spartan said to the Theban, which upon the victory at [...]ctra glo [...]ed against his countrey-men,Plutar. incert. Apo [...]h. saying, Where now are the Spartans? friend, all that hear you may be sure; that they, after whom you are so inquisitive, are far enough off, else you durst not be so audacious. Wherefore it were good for such hot-spurs to be sust [...]mminated, that they may slack their careere, and listen more soberly to the sage vote of Radolf Lord of the C [...]m [...]nes, to such an Ambassador at Florence, when he told him that he was a Doctor of the Civil Law,Pogg. [...]a [...]t. which [...]e had studied ten year, Quam velim (inquit) ut saltem annum, discretionis studi [...] vacasses If this be their man [...]e [...] to cast away to their flocks that portion so out of season, which might be fitter for their Pastors; when such one sha [...] come to his trial,2 Tim 2 15. it is to be doubted, he will hardly be able to shew himself approved unto God a workman that n [...]ed not be ashamed, [...]. For indeed, what discretion can there be, in seeking to teach those, that be­ing absent are no hearers? if thou tell other men of my faults behind my back, this (saith S. Jerome) is not to salve my malady, but to satisfie thy own malice. Rather, if I be to blame, tell me in private; Or if we need publick re­prehension,Ad Ruster. M [...]nach. and there be any Rabshakeh that will needs be shooting his bolt, in squibbing at our persons, or quibling [Page 19] upon our names; as Hezekiahs Courtiers said to that mes­senger, so let him give us leave to intreat him; Speak, 2 Reg. 18.26. we pray thee, to thy servants in the language of the learned, for we understand it, and not any moaning tone or dialect of the vulgar, In au [...]ibus populi, sive super, sive circa muros.

25. Furthermore, in respect of the persons;Hieron. Oc [...]an [...] de unius u [...]o­ris vire. Caput ar­tis est, d [...]cero quod facias. As a wise Ambassador considers, whether he be sent to a Monarch, or to a m [...]xt and popular State; so it highly concerns us to be very carefull and circumspect in regarding the quality of the per­sons with whom we are to treat. That we fall not into the folly of Demochares, Sen. de ira lib. 3. cap. 23. for h [...]s rudenesse firnamed Parrh [...]si­tes, who being kindly intreated by King Philip of Mace­d [...]n, left him with that request, which was so far unworthy the Majesty of a King on his throne, that it was unfit for a malefactor in the prison.2 Sam. 12.2, 3, 4. When we should rather follow the modesty and mannerlinesse of the Prophet Nathan, who did not so grosly tell David, Thou art the man (as some imagine) but first he prepared him by a p [...]rable very pertinent, more deeply to resent the horrour of the crime in a third person, that finding himself therein mortally guilty, as being deprived of all excuse,Acts 16.25. by unseigned humi­liation in a short confession, he might obtain speedy abso­lution. According to our Apostles words of truth and so­bernesse, to the noble Festus, and King Agrippa, in this exercise the holy men of God have gone before with di­vers patterns, so to behave our selves in the Church of God, that if there come in those that are unbelieving, 1 Cor. 14 24. or unlear­ned, they may be convinced of all, and so the secrets of their hearts may be made manifest; that falling down on their faces, they may worship God, and report of us, that God is in us of a truth. And thus far again, we are Ambassadors for Christ.

26. These conditions being observed, it remains, that we be resolute with all correspondent conversation to make good every branch of our Doctrine and Exhortati­ons.Tull Or [...]tor. If other Orators extoll their action in the elocution [Page 20] we should much more set off and endeare our elocution by the operation of the things which we speak for the best flowers in our Rhetorick. As those who have learned, not only by experience in the light of nature,Sen. ad lucil. epist. 6. quòd homines am­pliùs oculis, quam auribus credunt, adeo ut longum sit itey docendi per praecepta, breve & efficax per exempla, but also much more by the Eternal Word, when he came to be the true light of the world,Aug. confess. lib. 10. cap. 4. and yet accounted it a small thing, si loquendo praeciperet, nisi & faciendo pr [...]iret. Herein our Apostle behav'd himself so, that he became Boni domini bonus samulus, Salv. de provi­den. lib. 3. & singularis magistri praclarus imitator, qui in vestigiis Domini sui ambulans patentiora quodam­modo & expressiora pedibus sui [...] fecit Domini sui esse vestigia.

And herein it shall be happy for the Ambassadors of Christ,Senec. ibidem epist. 53. qui vitam docent, quandoquidem cum dixerint quid faciendum sit, ipsi faciendo probant. When the man of God can take his Auditor [...] by the hand, leading them on with his own practice, to every good word and work; without check of Conscience,Phil. 3.17. taking up that compellation of this Apostle; Brethren, be followers together of me, and marke them which walk so, Idem. epist. [...]6. as yee have us for ensample. Ille officium suum im­plevit,Euseb. hist. l 6. cap. 3. Ruff. hist. l. 11. cap.qui & cum videa [...] cum & cum, andias, idem est. As Job found it his comfort Job. 29 11. when the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witnesse to me, like devout Origen, who went on carefully with the character, that this was he, qui tale habuit verbum, qualem habuit & vitam; qui, quae decuit egit. So shall we with ex­cellent Nazianzen, teach multa verbis, plurajexemplis; e­specially, if we continue constant, unmoveable, alwayes a­bounding in the work of the Lord, without starting aside for any temptation; as the grave Fabricius demean'd him­selfe in his Ambassage to King Pyrrhus; when he was tri­ed with sufficient provocation to be seduced,Plat. in vita. both by hope and fear; and yet answered, neque heri aurum tuum, neque hodie bellua me movit.

27 Whereas on the contrary, non est animus ejus in recto, Sen. ibid. epist. 34. cujus dictis acta discordant; that man can never be a fit Ambassador to go, either from a Prince, or to a people, [Page 21] whom he hath highly offended, by prevaricating in the cause which he hath undertaken chiefly to plead for. Wo, then to those that bring nothing to this calling, but (as St. Ambrose tartly stiles it) that nomen inane, De dlg. sacer. cap. 3. De consider. lib 2. et cri­men immane, which St. Bernard calles monstrous, in sede prima, & vita ima, of a theological profession, stained with a Diabolical conversation. Which moved censorious Sal­vian to cry out, quid est dignitas in indigno, De provid. lib. 4. nisi ornamentum in luto? even no better then a jewel of gold in a Swines snoute, or a pearle in the head of a Toade; perdit authori­tatem decendi, cujus sermo opere destruitur; Hieron. oceano. he shall never be able to perswade the Kings Subjects to obedience, who as soon as his message is ended, betakes himself to the pract­ice of open rebellion.

When his black works cast the foulest blot upon his fair words, men believe, that he speaks,Tacit Annal. lib. 11. magis in speciem ad­ornata, quam ut penitús sentire crederetur. And they are ready not onely to censure him in private, that he is of the minde of Metrodorus to King Tigrants, Plaut in lucullo. exhorting to one thing as a pulick Ambassador, and wishing the contra­ry as a private counsellour; but also to check him openly, as Melanthius did Gordias; Idem in precept. c [...]njug. art thou the great news-mon­ger to inquire after the peace of other Nations, who hast no care to keep peace between thy self, thy wife, and thy Servant, only three in thine own house. So unto the wicked, saith God, what hast thou to do, to declare my statutes, or that th [...]u should'st take my Covenant in thy m [...]h? Psal. Seeing thou hatest to be reformed, and casteth my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thiefe then thou consented'st with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou sittest, and speakest against thy Brother, and by thy debosht conversation, no lesse then by thy prophane communication, thou hast caus­ed a publick slander to be cast upon thine own Mothers Sons. Ecclus. 34.23.24. When such an Ambassador shall pull down that with one. hand, which he built with the other, what profiteth it. When such a messenger, while he is in this house shall with one breath blesse God, even the Father, and as soon as he is gone out, turn himself with another breath to cursing [Page 22] and sw [...]ring, to libelling and lying, to defaming and slandering, not only against his peers, but also princes and governours, who represent the authority and Majesty of God,Gen. 2 [...].22. whose voyce should the Lord hear? Jacobs soft voyce with Esau's rough hands may easily beguile dim-sighted Jsaac; Joh 6.70. Luke 23.44. but they shall not so blind his eyes who can discern his own Apostle for no better then a very Devil, though he salutes him at length with the fairest token of friendship,Plut in camil [...] Val. Max lib 5 cap 6 Prov 13.17. betraying the son of man with a kisse; which may be a principal reason, that as Fabius Ambustus breach of peace was the overthrow both of himselfe and most of the clan of his name and kindred; so Solomon assureth us, that a w [...]cked messenger falleth into mischief, but a faithfu [...]l Amb [...]ssa [...]r is preservation.

28. Wherefore it will be a good preservative against this mischief in ourselves,Val. Max. ubi supra. to make good the constancy of the [...]lene Brethren, who chose to be buried alive, rather then to [...]a [...]e of any thing in their power, committed to their trust: Which we shall rectifie the better, by second­ing it with the resolution of our Apostle, as more canoni­call; though we hear of no thanks for our pains, but bonds and afflictions abiding us;Act. 20 23 24. Yet not to be moved with any of those things at all, that not only in our doctrine, but also in all our doings and sufferings; neither to count our life deare un­to ourselves: so that we may finish our Course with joy, and the mini [...]try which we have received of the Lord Jesus, to testifie the Gospel of the grace of God. And so his Spirit shall testifie to our spirit, that which the Apostle here tells all the World; now then every way we are Ambassadours for Christ.

29. Whence I proceed unto you, our Dearly beloved Auditors,1 Tim. 5.17. and disciples of the laick communion, to require at your hearts and hands, that double honour, of Reve­rence and maintainance, which beseemeth the Ambassa­dours of the Lord of Hosts, even the King of Glory.

'Tis written of the Spartan Ambassadours, when they came to the Court of the Tyrant Lygdamis, [...] Ap [...]th. [...] who com­manded some about him to give them notice, that he was [Page] not well at ease to grant them Audience, that they an­swered; Atqui non colluctatum advenimus, sed collocu­tum. And so whatsoever some pretend, to stand aloofe in state, and keep us off at a great distance, yet may they soon be at ease to give us audience, if they will consider, how we come not as Champions, to quarrel, or combate for our selves: but as Ambassadours, to confer, and treat with them for Christ. Unto whom you are all every way so bound, that you may not think it sufficient only to let us alone, without hurting,Amos 7.13. or hindring us to do our message at all, as Amazias dealt with the Prophet Amos; and as Francis the French King rejected the Herald of the Emperour Cha [...]l [...] the fifth,Bodin de repub. 15. seeking to stop our mouths by threatning otherwise presently to stop our breath.

Much lesse may yee maligne or murther us, when we have delivered our message;Mark 6.27. as Herod more bloodily cut off John Baptist. And Helena the Queen of Russia most barbarously abused the Ambassadours of the Prutenes, Bodin. Ibidem. bu­rying the first company alive, causing the second to be b [...]rn'd in a common fire, and making the third all drunk at a Feast, to be slain more savagely by the sword. Till that at last being driven into despaire with the horrour of her outrage, she drowned her selfe with all her malice in a wh [...]rlepool.1 Thes. 5.13. 1 Tim 5.17. But yee must esteem us very highly in love for our works sake, counting us worthy of double honou [...]; and that not onely while we are in the pulpit, but in all places during life.

30. It is not with us, as Polycratidas with his associ­ates, being demanded, whether they came as publique or private persons, answered, as publick,Plut. ub supr. if we obtain our de­sire, and as private, if we receive the repulse. But every repulse, every reproach, every spitefull afront cast upon us redoundeth to the contempt and dishonour of our great Lord and Master Christ Jesus who is so sensible thereof,L [...]uk. 0.16. that he hath taught us plainly; he that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despi­seth me, despiseth him that sent me. Therein no doubt ex­pecting no lesse respect from you towards his Ambassa­dours, [Page 24] then which your selves are wont to yield the com­mon Ambassadors of worldly Princes;Tull. de Autusp. respond. concerning whom it is a received sentence; Jus Legatorum, cum hominum prasidi [...] munitum sit, tum etiam d [...]vino jure esse vallatum

In somuch that the calling of such Ambassadors is so ho­nourable among us at this day, that by the custome and courtesy of the land (I take it) he that hath once been employed therein, takes place above all men of his ranke, which have not done their Prince the like service. Why should I recount so many noble families in this Nation, raised to great estates for their dexterity in these expedi­tions? when by the law of nature, the very Heathens have highly honoured them, though they came from Countries of which they were sure, that they wish'd them no good.

As we read especially of the Persians, how they made all the Grecians wealthy who came to them in this kinde, heaping such honourable presents and preferments upon them, that the Athenians condemned Timagoras to death for very envy,Plutar [...] in Pi [...]o­pid. rather then for justice, seeing that (as the Historian justly noteth) they patiently endured Epicrates, a drudg and tankard-bearer, when he did not only confess, that himself had taken gifts of the King of Persia, but also professe openly, that he would make a new law, as they did yearly choose nine officers to govern the City, that so they should choose nine of their poorest and meanest Citi­zens to be sent Ambassadors to the King of Persia, that they might return home joyfully enriched with his guifts. Nay,Val. Max lib. 6. c. 5, 6. which is more notable, the Romans dismissed some with honour and rewards, which had been somewhat too busy in tampering against their own state, and Ambassadors. To move you,Velut si eg [...]egi [...] reprendas corpo­re navos. Hoc. l. 1. Sat. 6. 1 Cor. 4.1. though some slips should escape us unawars, yet not to take all advantage or the worst exception against every wart, or mole in a fair body; but with more tender­nesse of conscience to attend our Apostles counsell; let men so esteeme of us, as the Ministers of Christ, and stewards of the Mystries of God, lest the evill spirit rise up in judgement against all that deny us our due honour, putting them to silence with that often repeated confession;Act. 16.17. These are the [Page 25] Servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of Salvation.

31. The consideration whereof might procure among all men greater favour, and respect toward us; if it were not for a pack of shuffling Momes, and Malecontents, who cannot abide to hear these things spoken; but presently they cry out, that this is a common place in which every one can be eloquent for himselfe, and we may spare our labour of telling them that which they know already, so well as our selves: May not this fitly call to mind that ex­cellent pill to purge their choler?Horat. Tacitus pasci si posset corvus, haberet plus dapis, & rixa multo minus, invidiaeque; It's to be feared, most of them wish our silence in this sub­ject, not because they intend to give us our dues without asking, but that they might carry them all away, without any noise, or check, or controle; not onely in private con­tempt and disgrace to our persons; but with open violence to our estates and patrimonies. Which some think more cleanly carryed by the three-headed Cerberus of multipli­ed impropriations, customes, and prohibitions; But to make up the messe, a fourth sort have outstript all, pre­tending most against Popery, and yet deluded with a Po­pish design of reviving Abbas Joachims Monasticall con­ceits,Platina. Et Guliel. de sancto amore. In test. verit. temp p. 468. Et M. Sulli. de de Monach. cap. 8. fol. [...]4. for propagating their Apocryphal Evangelium ae­ternum, to evacuate all the canonicall Oracles of God. Which device hath drawn them aside to associate, and bandy together in a direfull League, to weary, and weed up all, both root and branch, Moses and Aaron, Kingdome and Church, Law and Gospell, all together to be feld and stockt up at one blow.

Howsoever some indeavor since to excuse, and daube up the matter, that they never intended it should have come to that passe; yet the more indiscreet, and unadvi­sed they; who prest the plot so fiercely,Jud 12.6. for the Shibboleth to try their Brethren, and expose them to the spoile; when they should have built up Jerusalem,Psal. 47.2. and gathered together the Outcasts of Israel, never forecasting that it must needs have proved thus in the event, if as Histiaus sewed up the [Page 26] garment,Gr. Nazlan. ad versus Julian Orat. 4. so Arist [...]goras might have had leave to put it on, and liberty to have marched forward under the Banner of self-denying ordinances to subdue all unto the bondage of their self-seeking Yoke.

32. A strange adventure, though sometimes privately attempted,Hieron ad E­ [...]agr. & quaest. Heb. in Gen. yet never openly abetted, since the Grace of God first saluted the Nation. When the Hebrew Doctors hold this tradition, that all the first born of Noah from Shem to Aaron managed the Sacerdotal with the Sove­reign power, when Saint Jerom hath left us this observati­on,De quast. Hebr. in Par [...]l. that in the Books of Kings, the Sons of David, the Priests, are recorded in the Chronicles to have been princi­ple at the Kings hand; and both (saith he) to the same sence; for their nobility and priority in the sight of the King. When Jeboash King of Judah did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all his dayes,2 Reg 12.2.wherein Jehoiada the Priest was at his hand to instruct him. When Joash the King of Isra [...]l came down to the prophet Elisha sick to death,2. Reg. 13 14. and wept over his face, saying, oh my Father, my Father, the Chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof; therein confes­sing that the Prophet had been to him a father indeed, pro­curing more blessing and comfort for him, then he could find in any of his own chariots,2 Reg. 13.16. and horsemen. At which time also when he was directed to put his hand upon the bow, Elisha put his hands upon the Kings hands; thereby pointing, as with the mark of a hand in the margent, to this memora­ble note; that the Kings hands are never so powerful & pro­sperous, as when they are assisted with the Prophets hands though weak in body, yet strong in the Spirit; when the cruel enemies of the Church in their [...]rest persecutions, have made strictest inquisition against Bishops, as the surest Pillars and supporters of the right and sound Faith.

Because they cannot be ignorant of this custome alwaies prevailing in the Church;Vine. Lir. C [...]m. monit. cap. 1. ut quo quisque flore [...]et religi­osior, eo premptior novellis adinventionibus contrairet. At whose subversion all Novelists still aime, and march on with the same grudge, who strike most at these, that with Vitellian fury they may feed their own eyes,Sue [...]on. in Vitel­l [...]. in seeking to [Page 27] make a Covenant with us, on the condition of Nahash the Ammonite, that they may thrust out the right eyes of Gods heritage, and lay it for a reproach on all Israel. 1. Sam. 11.2. When the wisest Emperours and Kings, ever since they owned Christ, have acknowledg'd his Ambassadors for their able­est agents and assistants in all their weightyest affairs; especi­ally where Church and Kingdom are so involv'd, that the one seldome thrives without the welfare of the other. Nay when the first General Councells were never tainted with the depth of Sathans policy, in plotting reformation,Apoc. 2.24. to blast and blow away the whole order of Prelacy out of the Church;Hieron. advers. Lucif. but they held it a sure and supereminent pow­er against all sects and innovations, to keep it up at the height, with that Canon in the famous and great Council of Calcedon, decreeing it no lesse then sacriledge to bring downe a Bishop into the degree of a Presbyter.Can. 29. Now, cur omnium sit culpa paucerum scelus? That these, who have been, and are many still,Sen. Hippol. Act. 2. so true to their God and his Christ should be all cryed down for Antichristian; that these, who have been, and are many still, so tutelary and salutary to their Princes and Countries, should be all likewise condemned for useless and unfit to have any vote or suffrage, or to give any consent or counsel to the contriv­ing and constituting of Laws for the governing of Christs people, (though these new found Politicks have declared to all Posterity, ipso facto, how near they trod in the steps of their ring-leader Caiaphas, Joh. 11.51. because as he prophesied of Christ, so they proclaimed of his Ambassadors before they were aware, and under that sentence of condemnation gave them these letters testimonial of commendation, that they were useless indeed for their turn, being in no wise likely to become sceleri tanto materia facilis, Sen. ubi supra. but ready still to prove better men, quam esse quenquam tyranno ex­pediret); yet that these, I say,Sen. de ben. lib. 2. cap. 20. should be all thus cryed down, and condemned by those that cry out against Ty­ranny; This, will it not be a flash of wilde fire and sad re­flection, in the eyes of all, that if they will but open them and look into it, may presently perceive, that the great pro­mise [Page 28] was not so much to all the disciples or Church in gene­rall, as to the Apostles and their successours in particular, when they were sent to this Ministration with his commissi­on, adding it for the apex, colophon, and Crown of all comfort,Mat. 28.20. that therein, he would be with them alway, even unto the end of the world.

33 Which promise can in no wise be thought truely per­form'd,De praescrip. cap. 2 [...]. by that heap of arguments in Tertullian, si interea perperam evangelizabatur, perperam credebatur; if so many thousands of thousands were baptized amisse, so many works of faith and charity wrought amisse,Vbi omnes tu­ment, omnes sci­entiam pol [...]icen­tur. Antè sunt per­fecti catechu­meni, quàm edi­cti. Ordinationes eorum temera­ria, leves, in­constantes; nunc neophytos col­locant, nunc se­culo obstrictos, nunc Aposta­tat nostros, ut gloria e [...]s [...]bli­gent &c vide Tertul. de prae­script. cap. [...]1. so many vertues and graces of the Spirit dispens'd amisse, so many Pries [...] ­hoods, and Ministryes ordered amisse, so many Martyrdomes crown'd amisse; If all were lost, and led in blindnesse (as they say); and none of the holy fathers, none of the faith­full confessours, none of the constant Martyrs, none of the prime and general Counsells knew any thing aright, con­cerning the publick preaching of the Word, and worship of God in prayer, concerning the administration of the Sacra­ments, concerning the conferring of holy orders, concer­ning the power of the keys, and discipline of the Church for fifteen hundred years together and more, till these in­novating [...], were spawn'd and sprung up with the choaking smoke of their new links to deface and besmeare all.

34 But the more we muse at them, the more we are bound, not only to admire and adore the infinite goodness of our gracious God, when his church among us was in acie novaculae, ready to be quite cut off, for his miracu­lous arising in the nick, so to maintain his own cause, that though they associated themselves they are broken in pieces; though they took counsell together, Isa. 8, 9, 10. it is come to nought; though they spake the word, it cannot stand; for it was thy Land, O Jmmanuel; But also to invoke and implore his greater blessing upon those truly Royall, loyal, judicious, and re­ligious hearts, ever to be renowned for renewing and set­ling that course, wherein God may be honoured best in the beaty of holinesse, Psal. 96.9. and we his messengers at length lookt' [Page 29] upon again, and reputed still, as now Ambassadors for Christ.

35. But to forbear particulars, what unkindness or in­dignity hath Christ our good Lord & Saviour offered them? why we, whom he accounteth the salt of the earth, to sea­son, and keep them sweet, should in all their Joyes and Fe­stivals be set below the salt, contemned, [...]sleighted, and thrust down under all. Det Galenus opes, Det Justinianus honores, and much good may they do their followers with their due Minervals. But that we touching our genus in our superiours, and touching our species in their inferi­ours should be debased and debarred of all, this is hard measure in the judgement of all, who take to heart the comparison, which in this case must never be counted odious, That the health of the body, which belongs to Galens cure,Mat. 16.26. doth not so far excell the safety of the estate which belongs to Justinians care; but the saving of the soul, which belongs to our charge, is more precious then both And if Arrianus held himself so much greater then other Historians,Bodin. Method. by how much the all-dar [...]ng Ale­xander of whom he wrote, was greater then other Kings & Alexander himself, after the conquest of Pers [...]a, thought the Wars of the Grecians no more then battels of Frogs and M [...]e, in comparison of his own exploits; must we be cast off, and valued under all, eo nomine, because we are not sent, as the E [...]hiopian Ambassadors by the sea,Isa 18.2. in vessels of bu [...]-rushes, to speak to you for any Machiavilian petty Prince of Italy; but as Ambassadors for Christ we come to treat with you for him that is more precious then all the Gold of Ophir, and both the Indies,1 Tim 6.15. for the blessed Prince and onely Potentate, even the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords? And because we train you up, not to any base, or butcherly battel of Frogs and Mice against flesh and bloud, but to that great and glorious battel of Michael and his Angels, fighting against the dragon and his Angels; Apoc. 12.7. Ephes. 6.12. Qu [...]nt Curt [...] Isa. 44.26. that ye may be able to wrestle against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickednesse in high places? Where our presence with you is not, as that of the Carthaginian Ambassadors, to the be­sieged [Page 30] Citizens of Tyre, Tacitus annal. lib. 2. Philip. 4.17. Magis solatium quàm auxilium; but the Lord by us confirmeth the word of his servants, and perfo [...]meth the counsel of his messengers.

36. Non ad invidiam ista, sed conciliandae misericordiae refere. As S. Paul exhorted his Philippians to be bountifull, not because he desired a gift, but because he desired fruit, that might abound to their account; so we admonish you, in this case, to be dutiful, that ye may avoid the punish­ments by all laws enacted against the disobedient. Et enim nomen legati epusmodi esse debet, Tull. in Verrem. lib. 3. Val. Mac. lib. 6. c. 6. ut non modo inter s [...] ­ciorum jura, sed etiam inter hostium arma incolume verse­tur. Insomuch that the Romans delivered the [...]r owne fr [...]ee [...]s and neighbours, who had but justled their enemies Ambassadors, bound into their own hands to punish them. And when other Nations refused to do them like justice, all men have held the way more lawfull and open to right themselves. As we see by the grievous tortures, which, for [...]ur [...]lling his Ambassadors, David, with the overthrow of their King and Countrey, inflicted upon the Ammonites, by putting them under, 2 Sam. 12 3 [...]. sawes, and under harrowes, and axes of iron, and making them pass through the tile-kilne; nay, when men were disabled, God himself hath by other helps assisted them. Witnesse the overthrow of Corinth, Car­thage, Val Ma [...] l. 2. c 2. Thebes, Tyre, Tarentum, especially in avenging the cause of his own Ambassadours, upon the contempt of his own people. Both in their first captivity, of which we read in the end of their own Chronicles, That the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising betimes, and sending, 2 Pa [...] 36.15, 16. because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his Prophets, untill the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no re­medy: And also in their second captivity, of which our A­postle writeth to the Thessalonians, That they killed the Lord Jesus, and their own Prophets, and persecuted us (saith he) and they pleased not God, and were contrary to all men; forbidding to speak to the Gentiles, 1 [...] 2 15, 16. that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway; for the wrath came upon them to the utterm [...]st.

37. There is no need there to object Idú [...] Cassianum, Cui bono. Tull. pro Milone. To what good is all this alledged? if you will needs have it in plain terms, it is all to this end, even to make good that voice in S. Cyprians vision, for no vaine illusion, but a divine and sure prediction, Qui Christo non credit sacerdo­tem facienti, postea credere incipiet sacerdotem vindicanti. Cypr. l. 4. ep. 9. These (my brethren) are the causes why you are called upon so often to take heed of these sins, because there is nothing so sacred, which may not sometimes meet with the sacrilegious, Quando sacrilegia minuta puniuntur, Sen. de trarqu. lib. 2. cap. 3. Aul. Gel. lib 3. c. 9. ma­gna in triumphis feruntur, lest you should deceive your selves in seeking to escape, by riding away in post haste up­on the sequestred race of Sejanus horse, with the plunder­ed gold of Tolouse.

In which case, the Lord hath threatned such fugitives; that because they will flee upon horses, Isa. 30.16. therefore they shall flee; and seeing the [...] will ride upon the swift, therefore they that pursue them shall be swifter; Even to overtake and ar­rest them, with the Proverb of Sol [...]mon, which imports a snare, worse then that which strangles at the place of exe­cution, Even a snare to devour that which is consecrated, Prov. 20.25. and after v [...]wes to make inquiry, whether it hath been d [...]ne well or no.

38. Otherwise, for our selves, we doe not onely know, that as they which wait on the Altar, are partakers with the altar, so the Lord hath ordained (farre doubtless above all ordinances of men) that they which preach the Gospel, should live of the Gospel. But we have also learned,1 Cor. 9.13, 14 Phil. 4 11. in whatsoever state we are, therewith to be content. And yet, as we read of the Statute of the Romans, in honour of those that mis­carried by any untoward calamity, in the time of their ambassy abroad, how they erected Statues and Monu­ments for them at home,Tull. Phil. 9. to the credit and comfort of their friends and kindred, whom they left behind; so we doubt not, but that God hath provided better things for us. Though we labour in vain, and spend our strength for nought among men, yet surely our judgement is with the Lord, Isa 49 4. and our work with our God. And though the contempt of our [Page 32] calling be, with too many, swolne to that height, that they make it their grand question, whether we may with safe conscience take of men any reward for our pains; yet as Ambassadors may,Plut. de quaest. Rom. 43. without question, by consent of all Nations, receive from the people to whom they are sent, tokens of honour, regard, and support (anciently called Lauteia) for their costliness and daintiness; but they expect their proper maintenance and wages chiefly from their own Masters; so we believe the case stands with us. And beside the present maintenance allowed in his Word, (liberal enough, if rightly weighed in the balance of the Sanctuary) the Lord himself will make it openly manifest in his deeds at length; When every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour, Where they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, 1 Co [...]n. 3.9. Dan. 12.3. but they that turn many to righteousness shall shine in a higher degree of glory, at the stars, for ever and ever. And therefore in this hope being supported by the word of truth, by the power of God, 2 Cor. 6.7. by the armour of righteousness on the right hand, and on the left; yet we continue, and hold out to this day, as those who still are now Ambassadors for Christ.

39. Fourthly, and finally, reverend and beloved, high and low, old and young, one with another, give me leave now, for conclusion, to commend one vertue more profi­table upon all occasions, that nothing may be lost, but all tied up fast in the bond of perfectness.Col [...]ss. 3.14. Though God, who c [...]mmanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledg of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ; yet our Apostle would have us mindful, how we carry this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power maybe of God,2 Cor. 4 5, 6, 7 and not of us.

Now (absit verbo invidia) by the space of above 53. years (wherein I bless his holy name, for making use of my poor talent in this function) I have observed, that such vessels hardly clash one against another;Jerem. 13.11. Gal 5.15 but when the wea­ker is dasht in pieces, the stronger sometimes receive such a flaw, which can seldome be sodered up again. As then all good Ambassadors leave all private envy, jarrs, and ani­mosities [Page 33] to promote the publick good; so before ye go to your, next home, and so long as ye are going to your long home be carefull, to follow the frequent, and friendly counsell of the Holy Ghost. See that yee fall not out by the way; Gen. 45.24. Ephes. 4 3. Rom. 16.17. but bee diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace; and mark them which cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which ye have received, and avoid them.

40. Whether they be such as delight to run their descant up­on the Corinthian division, saying, I am of Paul,1 Cor. 1.12. and I of Apollo and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. Now that Christs Church with us is like a weak Patient newly revived from an epidemicall and dangerous epilepsy, to be more fairly and gently nurs'd up again; let not that tearing voyce of the harlot be in request with any among you, nec mihi, nec tibi, sed dividatur; lest you suffer again,1 Reg. 3.36. as you have done of late with too many forced thanksgivings; if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devoure you, 2 Cor. 11.20. if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smiteth you on the face; ubi in­sidiosissime nocet, cui gratiae aguntur pro injuriis: Sen. de ben. lib. 5 c. 20. 1 Cor. 4.6. but as this Apostle writeth, that he transferred these things in a figure to himself, and Apollo for your sakes, that ye might learn in us, not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up, for one against another; so suffer me, with the same Apostle, to adde this further to every one of you;Rom. 12.3. that none of you think of himself more highly then he ought to think, [...] according as God hath dealt to every man, not the fulness, but the measure of Faith.

41. Neither be ruled by those that take offence at the man­ner of some mens expressions, because all do not deliver their message after one and the same kind of method; who can say that all have the same gifts and graces of the Spirit, when our Apostle saith,1 Cor. 7.7. 1 Cor. 12.11. that every man hath his proper gift of God one after this manner, and another after that; according to the manifestation of the Spirit, dividing his gifts to every man, several as he will; And his Brother call's upon us, as every one hath received, not all gifts, but the gift, 1 Pet. 4.10. so to minister the same one to another as good stewards, [...];S [...]hel. in Hieren. adversus. Jov. lib 1. Apolog. Orat. 1. where I am sure that the mention of [...] imports, not onely the toleration of the necessity, but also the commendation of the excellency of various, and several gifts. Whence Nazianzen divinely inferreth, that above all students, we in the ministery have need of the art of Arts, and science of [Page 34] sciences, that we may be able to treate and prevail with man who is the animal above all, maximè varium, & multiplex. And St. Austin thereupon resolves it to be more, both material, and ma­jesticall, for the message it self to be handled by divers men di­versly. Where because his expression is both elegant and per­tinent, and time wi [...]l not suffer repetition, I shall only refer you to his own words, in the twelfth of his confessions, cap. 26. And therefore I say again, with this Apostle; Are all Apostles, are all Prophets, 1. Cor. 11.29. [...]1. are all Teachers, do all speak with tongues, do all interpret! But cov [...]t earnestly the best gifts, and yet shew I unto you a more excellnt way.

42 That is, in fine, that ye much more take heed of those, who going further seek an open schisme and separation, in regard of certain harmless ri [...]es and ceremonies of order and decency,In rebut de quibus nihil ce [...]ti statuit sc­riptura divina, [...]s populi Dei, vel instituta majo [...]um pro lege tenenda sunt. August. epist. 36. of ornament, and indifferency, in the Church. (According to the excellent rule of the forenamed Father) who knows not that Ambassadors, in going to several Princes, with the same errand, are alwayes advised, for outward ceremonies, to comply with the received customs and constitutions of the Nat [...]ons to whom they are sent? As in common Courtship, Ambassadors go to most Christian Princes, and converse with them, keeping their hea [...]s covered. They are led to the Grand Signior by the arms, between two Bashaws, with their faces looking toward the ground. But if they come before the rough and rugged Russi­an, they must stand bare, unlesse they will have their Hats nailed to their heads. So, in Gods service, the Ambassadors of some Reformed Churches speake to their people with their heads co­vered; which custom, notwithstanding, if any should seek to presse upon us, without the Authority of the Church, I doubt you would all judge it fitter, to have his hat nail'd to the block. And why may not we have the same liberty in other ceremonies also?Hieron ad vers. Jovin. lib. 1. which the Ancients conceive conveniently recommended, both by Josephs coat of many colours, the token of his fathers greater love,Genes. 37.3. and by the Kings Daughter, who is all glorious with­in, and yet her cloathing is said to be of wrought gold; Circumamicta varietatibus. Psal. 45.13.14. Insomuch that our Apostle requires no lesse, in joyning both these together, as the sovereign salve, for all sores in this kinde, that all things be done [...]. But if any desire to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the Churches of God. 1 Cor. 14.40.

43. The sum then of all is this, when you enter into this call­ing, the holy prophet tels you, that the Lord looks for such Cadu [...]tators, especially among you, who should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before the Lord for the Land.Ezech. 22.30.

Do not then, O do not you, prove the foremost to make the breach wider, under which the Land hath been too sorely shaken already, by seeking to patch any new piece of home-spun cloath into the ancient and venerable coate of Christ,John 19.23.24. Cypr. de simpl. plat. Prov. 17.11. which was with­out seame woven from the top throughout, to imply the Mystery of unity in the Church. So that the barbarous Souldiers, which crucified him, refused to rend it; lest that Proverb of Solomon fall heavy upon you. An evil man seeketh only rebellion, therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.

But for discharge of your loyalty, which binds you to be sub­ject for conscience sake; for more gratefull correspondence to our Dread Sovereignes most gracious condescensions, wherein he hath, to the wonder of the world, made himself all things to all men, that he might by all meanes possible win the more; for kinde satisfaction to your kindred and native Countrey, which have a long time waited and longed for a settlement in peace,Rom. 15.7. that they might, at length, with one mind and one mouth glori­fie God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; for the Pas­sion of Christ, who hath so dearly bought you,Colos. 1.20. that by making peace through the bloud of his cross, he might reconcile all things unto himself, both in earth, and in heaven; for the compassion which ye owe to your tender Mother the Church, which hath so dearly born and bred you up, that ye might follow the things which make for peace,Rom. 14.19. and things whereby ye may no more ru­ine, but edify one another; set your selves, even set your selves with Moses, in the breach before the Lord for the Land, Psal. 106.23. to turn a­way his wrath, that he may not come against us any more to destroy us. Take your censers, with Aaron, and go out quickly, Num. 16.46.48. and put on the incense of pure hearts, and hands, lift up to the throne of grace on high; that while ye stand in this posture between the dead and the living, the plague that hath been so long raging among us, may be stayed.

If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, live peaceably with all men. Rom. 12.18. Phil. 2.1, 2. And consider with how many powerfull bonds this Apo­stle himself adjureth you; If there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bow­els [Page 36] and mercies, fulfill our joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, and of one mind.

44. This, I hope, you will do, not onely in your best devo­tions,Psalm 122.6. daily praying for the peace of Jerusalem, by which you shall be sure to prosper, but also in your constant behaviour, and consonant devoirs, humbly submitting your selves, and suffering the peace of God to rule in your hearts, Coloss 3 15. unto which ye are called in one body, Psal. 126.3. and striving alwayes to be thankfull for the great and wonderful things which the Lord hath begun to do for us alrea­dy toward this hopefull end, whereof we rejoyce; still remem­bring, how all the Worthies, both in Heaven and Earth, con­spire to combine us hereunto. God the Father, from whom we are sent,Heb. 13.20. Isa. 9.6. Ephes. 4 3. Luk [...] 1.14. Isa 33.7. Luke 10, 5. Rom. 10.15. Ephes 2.17. John 14.27. Phil. 4.7. Isa. 32.17.18. is the God of peace; God the Son, for whom we are sent, is the Prince of peace; God the Holy Ghost, with whom we are sent, is the Spirit of peace; the Angels of Heaven, that guard us in this message, are the Chanters of peace; we the Messen­gers therein guarded by them, are the Ambassadors of peace; the Message it self, with which we are sent, is the Gospel of peace; the People, to whom we are sent, are the Heirs of peace. And the price at which we are to aim, is the rich, precious, and peerless Legacy of the peace of Christ, which passeth all understanding; That the work of righteousness may be peace, and the effect thereof quietness, and assurance for ever. That we and Gods people may dwell in a peaceable habitation, in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. Wherefore I say no more, but take my leave, and shut up all with the phrase and farewell of our Apostle.2 Cor 13 11. Finally, brethren, farewell; Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one minde, live in peace, and the God of love and of peace shall be with you.


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