By that Reverend and Eminent servant of the Lord, Mr. JOHN COTTON, Teacher to the Church at Boston in NEW-ENGLAND.

Taken from his mouth in Short-writing, and some part of it Corrected by himself soon after the Preaching thereof, and all of it since Viewed over by a friend to Him, and to the Truth: wherein some Mistakes were amended, but nothing of the Sense altered.

LONDON, Printed for Tim. Smart, at the Hand and Bible in the Old-Bayly. 1656.


Christian Reader,

THE tongue of the just, or righteous (saith Solomon, Prov. 10. 20.) is as choise silver. The words that fall from the tongue of such are very precious and profi­table. And truly such are the words that dropt from the tongue and lips of this holy and righteous man Mr. Cotton: As he himselfe had by his owne blessed experience found the tongue of that righteous man (Dr Sibbs) as choise silver, yea better then the choisest gold of Ophir, by which the Lord was pleased to convey heavenly and eternall treasure into his soule: Even so also have many precious soules (some now above in glory, others still here below) found the words that have distilled from his tongue to be above much fine gold, and of more weight and value then the greatest treasure of this whole world. Divers that are yet alive, and do remain unto this present, may & can hear witnesse to the gracious words which pro­ceeded out of his mouth. But I shall crave leave to name on­ly one now amongst the Saints at rest, who was indeed one of a thousand in his time and place, viz. that great and e­minent man, Dr. Preston, whose heart the Lord wrought powerfully upon by the tongue of Mr. Cotton, and that not long after his heart had been seized upon by the tongue of [Page] that sweet Singer before mentioned. And because the sto­ry is so remarkable, I shall be willing to relate in briefe the substance of what I had sometimes in private from the tongue of this our Reverend Author himselfe. He being according to his course to Preach before the University & Schollars in Cambridg, had a great conflict in himselfe a­bout the composing of his Sermon, viz. whether after the plain & profitable way, by raysing of Doctrines, with pro­pounding the Reasons and Uses of the same. Or after the mode of the University at that time, which was to stuffe and fill their Serm [...]ns with as much Quotation and citing of Authors as migh [...] p [...]ssibly be. On the one side 'twas sug­gested to him, that if he should not go the former way, he should not be faithfull to the Lord in seeking his glory, but his owne, &c. And on the other side, if he should not shew his Learning, it would not onely be a disparagement unto himselfe, but also unto the Colledg which had so lately cho­sen him out of another to be Fellow (for he was chosen Fel­low in Emanuel Colledg out of Trinity, where accor­ding to his yeare it fell out so as he could not be capable of a Fellowship) What? is this that Cotton that was so fa­mous, and had such a name, for a great Schollar? what a poore choise hath Emanuel Colledg made? Thus he was tossed too and againe, pro and con in his thoughts (as I thinke he sayd) about a fortnight, the Lord seeming to try his sincerity at the first; but at length he came to a resolu­tion to deny himselfe, what ever the world might judge or say of him: His Text (if I mistake not) being in 2 Cor. 2. 16. And who is sufficient for these things? Two or three Doctrines (as it seems) he raised from the words. The Schollars came generally with great expectation to heare a more then ordinary learned Sermon from him that was so famous throughout the University: and thereupon the Ma­sters [Page] of Art at the beginning stood up, erectis auribus, a­mongst whom Mr. Preston was one; but soone perceiving which way he went, which was so extreamely contrary to their expectation, they sate them downe in great discontent, pulling their hats over their eyes, thereby to expresse their dislike of the Sermon: but before 'twas ended, something dropt from the tongue of the Preacher, which the Lord made unto Mr. Preston to be as choise silver indeed; whereby hee was so affected, that he was made to stand up againe, and change his posture, and attend to what was spoken, in ano­ther manner then he and the rest had done. These things Mr. Preston afterward, getting to be acquainted with Mr. Cotton (by coming to him under pretence of borrowing a Booke of him, which he might have easily had elsewhere, & returning it againe) related particularly unto him.

Thus our Reverend Author by denying himselfe for the Lord, had that cast in upon him (viz. the gaining of such an eminent person to Christ) which was a thousand times better then the airy applause of the world, in being accounted a learned man: Yet neither did he loose that way, but had the repute of that too (and not without cause) to his dying day; notwithstanding his continuall care to avoyd all ap­pearance of affectation in the course of his Ministry, either in regard of shewing Learning, or in the manner of expres­sing what he did deliver: whereby the power and effect of his Preaching did appear to be wholly of God, being desirous to speak to the understanding and capacity even of the mea­nest, and by manifestation of the Truth, to commend him­selfe to every mans conscience in the sight of God, A taste whereof we have in these Sermons of his here published.

It were too great arrogance for mee to thinke to adde any authority to these or any other of his precious labours by my commendation of them, I might as well go about to adde to [Page] the light of the Sunne by my Candle: The very name of Cotton is e­nough to set an high price upon what ever hath that stamp: O [...]ely (being earnestly desired by the Christian brother, the publisher of this Exposi [...]ion, who having the pen of a ready Writer, did take those Notes from the mouth of the Preacher, to give my testimony to the world that these were indeed the very Sermons of that holy Servant of the Lord, whose name they bear) I shall willingly affirm and testifie (having lived in that American wildernesse about 13. or 14. yeares in the Towne next adjoyning to Boston, and so had thereby the hap­py priviledg of enjoying the benefit of the precious labours of Mr. Cot­tons, in his Lecture upon every fifth day in the week) I say I do here declare and testifie unto the world that these Sermons upon the 13th. Chapter of the Revelation, for the substance of them (giving al­lowance for such defects of the Amanvensis, which cannot but be ex­pected ordinarily, and yet I confesse are but very few in this Treatise) were published by that faithfull servant of the Lord, Mr. John Cot­ton, about the 11. and 12. moneths (if I mistake not) of the year, 1639. and the first and second of the yeare 1640. upon his weekly Lecture at Boston in New-England, where he went over the other Chapters of the Revelation, as he did this thirteenth Chapter: and indeed they that were acquainted with his Preaching, may easily dis­cern his very spirit in them all along.

Now that the holy spirit of the Lord may breath in these holy La­bours of his precious Servant, so as the Reader may experience the truth of that divine sentence mentioned in the beginning, The tongue of the righteous is as choise silver, is the unfeigned desire of

The servant for Jesus sake, Thomas Allen.

AN EXPOSITION Upon the thirteenth Chapter of the REVELATION.

Revel. 13. 1, 2.

And I stood upon the sand of the Sea, and saw a Beast rise up out of the Sea, having seven heads, and tenne horns, and upon his horns ten Crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

And the Beast which I saw was like unto a Leopard, and his feete were as the feete of a Beare, and his mouth as the mouth of a Lyon: and the Dragon gave him his power, and his seate, and great authority.

YOU have heard from the last Chapter, that when the Dragon (that is the Devill, as he ruled the Roman Pagan Empire) was cast downe out of Heaven, (that is, dethroned from his heavenly and Divine worship) he en­deavoured by all meanes to oppresse the Church (that is, the woman) that brought forth a Christian Emperour, her and her seed. 1. By persecution. 2. By an inundation of damnable Heresies, and barbarous Nations. 3. By open [Page 2] War; which open war is exprest in the last verse of the former Chapter, and here more fully described in this Chapter, a whereof hath been now read.

The warre which is made against the Church, is here de­scribed to be managed by two beasts which the Devill raised up; One he calls a Beast rising up out of the Sea, described from the first verse to the end of the tenth. Another Beast hee beheld coming up out of the Earth, from the 11th. verse to the end of the Chapter.

Now the former of these Beasts is described by three argu­ments.

1. By his Originall or Fountain from whence he springs; he riseth up out of the Sea, which is amplified by the place of Johns beholding him; I stood upon the sand of the Sea.

2. He is described by his shape, here is his figure and resem­blance: For his head, he had seven heads, and they amplified by honourable Ornaments (or rather dishonourable indeed, but honourable in the beasts view) namely upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 2. For his horns, he had ten horns, and they are set forth by their Crowns which he had on his horns; He had so many horns, so many Crowns, upon his ten horns, ten Crowns. And as his shape is set forth by his head and horns, so also by his resemblance, or likenesse; the whole shape or bulk of the Beast is like a Leopard: The Leo­pard is of the femenine gender, and signifies the female of the Panthers; the she Panther, spotted and ravenous, famous for her speedy race, and yet of a good smell, by which she allures other beasts to her, and as she hath occasion, doth devoure them. And as his resemblance for his whole shape is like a Leopard, so for his feet he is like a Bear: And for his mouth, he hath the mouth of a Lyon: This is the second argument by which he is described.

3. The third argument whereby he is described is his state, and that amplified by three arguments. 1. By the efficient cause. 2. By the variable change of it: And 3ly. by a wise conclusion and observation. For the efficient cause of it, it is said to be the Dragon; he gave him his power and authority. For the variable change of it, it was, 1. Great, for it is here called Power, and Seate, and great Authority. 2. One of his [Page 3] heads was wounded; I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death. And thirdly, this wound was healed: this is the varia­ble change of it. 1. Great authority, honourable seate. 2. Woun­ded to death. And thirdly, healed of that deadly wound. And this healing is amplified by five Effects, or Consequents. The first was the worlds wondering: All the world wondered after the Beast: The admiration was a [...] this great change (so happily atchieved as they thought) that he should recover that despe­rate danger. The second effect it wrought was, worship both towards himselfe: And secondly, to the Dragon that gave him power. The third effect of this healing was, liberty to blas­pheme: There was a mouth given him to speake great things & blas­phemies. A fourth eff [...]ct was, Authority and Power (to do what?) First, To continue forty two moneths, vers. 5. Second­ly, Power to make warre with the Saints, and to overcome them, that was the fourth effect that followed his healing. The fifth effect was amplitude, or largenesse of his Dominion: Power was given him over all Kindreds, Tongues, and Nations, vers. 7. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, vers. 8. Which worshippers are described by their estrangement from the number of Gods elect, whose names are not written in the book of the life of the Lamb, and the Lamb set forth by the eternall efficacy of his death, Slaine from the foundation of the world. This is the second part of the description of the Beast.

The third part is a conclusion, which contains a word of Caution, and Consolation, or a word of Attention and Con­solation in the ninth and tenth verses. If any man have eares to heare, let him heare; as if it were a matter worthy of observa­tion and diligent attention, and of exact understanding and of consolation, in the tenth vers. He that leadeth into captivity shall goe into captivity; he that killeth with the sword, must he killed with the sword, &c. This is the former Beast and his descrip­tion.

The latter Beast is in the eleventh verse to the end: I beheld another Beast coming up out of the earth, &c. He is described by his variety from the former beast: For his Original, he comes not as the other Beast out of the Sea, but from the Earth: And for his resemblance, he hath two horns like a Lamb, [Page 4] and he spake lik a Dragon. 2. He is described by his power, as in the twelfth verse, but I will not now speak further of him.

Now for the meaning of the words; It is that which the holy Ghost calls us diligently to attend unto; He that hath cares to heare, let him heare: If any man have an eare to under­stand, any apprehension of spirituall mysteries, any capacity of matters of Religion, let him heare what manner of beast the Devill stirred up, and set against the Church, to make war against the Saint [...], as if it were a matter that few would understand but such as were of spirituall understanding, and who will listen duly to a diligent observation of this descrip­tion, the matter whereof is weighty, and challengeth all our intentions; and the more, because it is very rare to meet with that which will satisfie a diligent Reader in the Exposition hereof; But yet so much light God casts almost into the head of every man that takes this Book in hand, especially in his name and feare (according to his promise, Cap. 1. vers. 3) that he adds some light more than hath been before brought to his hand. Here you see are two Beasts, what is the former? Many take it to be the Roman Empire, some take it to be the Roman Pagan, some the Roman Christian Empire, but I feare neither of them are right: It is not the Roman Papan Empire, that is, take the Empire as it was before the conversi­on of Rome from Pagan to Christian, in the dayes of Tyberius, and other persecuting Emperours, till Constantine: This Beast was not the Roman Pagan Empire, I will give you a double reason from the Text, the first is this.

1. The Pagan Empire was described as this Beast is, in Rev. 12. 3. Behold a great red Dragon, having seven heads aud tenn horns; but with this difference, The seven heads had seven Crowns upon their heads: Now this Beast hath also seven heads, which make it like the other, but these Crowns are not upon the heads, but upon the horns, which maketh a great diffe­rence, an evident signe it is not the Roman Pagan Empire.

2. Againe, it is said of this Beast, that he continues 42. moneths, and that is as long as the Church was in the wilder­nesse; for the Church continues in the wildernesse (as in chap. 12. 6.) a thousand two hundred and three-score dayes, which is [Page 5] just 42. moneths: And so Chap. 11. 2. It is said, The holy City they shall tread under foot forty two moneths, all the time that the two witnesses prophecyed in sackcloath, which was a thousand, two hundred and threescore dayes. Now it is certain the Roman Pa­gan Empire did not continue as long as the Church was in the wildernesse; for the Church went not into the wilderness till the Pagan Empire ceased to be Pagan, and was translated to Christian. Now the Roman Pagan Empire was removed as by a great Earth-quake in Constantines time, and changed from Pagan to Christian; it cannot therefore be the Roman Pagan Empire, though many judicious Divines have gone that way.

What then, may it be the Christian Empire? Many have run that way, but neither is it so:

1. For it is said, this Dragon gave to him his power, his seate, and great authority; now the seat of the Roman pagan Empire indeed was Rome, but the Dragon did not give the Christian Emperors Rome for their Seat, they would never sit there; but the [...]e sate at Constantinople, and prepared it to sit there, and for that end Constantine named it after himselfe, Constantinople; and if they had occasion to come into the Western parts of I­taly, they would sit at Ravenna, but at Rome they would not come, unlesse it were Guest-wise.

2. Though it be true, as they say, the Roman Christian Emperour had a deadly wound given him by barbarous Na­tions, yet when it was healed, the whole world did not ad­mire him: When Charles the great did heale the wound, yet all the world did not wonder after him; It is true, France, and Germany, and Italy did admire him, but all the Eastern parts did not submit to him, no nor England, nor Scotland, nor Sweden, nor many other parts, they did not acknowledg the Western Emperour, gave him neither civill nor religi­ous worship.

3. Neither doth this suffer it to be the Roman Christian Empire, that it should be a note of perdition and reprobation to honour the Roman Christian Emperours; for they that have lived under the Roman Christian Emperour, have not hazarded their salvation by that subjection: but here it is said in the eighth verse, that they that honour this beast are such, [Page 6] whose names are not written in the booke of the life of the Lambe: So that for these reasons I dare not so conceive this Beast to he either Roman Pagan, or Roman Christian Empire.

What then, is it Antichrist? The third sort of Interpreters run that way, and I would not exclude that wholly, but yet neither dare I consent to rest in it; for when we open the Oracles of God, we must not alwayes give the Comments and Judgments of men for Scripture truths (though the men be highly to be reverenced:) But in this place their Interpre­tation doth not satisfie me, I will give my reason; Antichrist doth evidently appeare to be the other Beast that comes out of the Earth, which is sayd to have two hornes like a Lamb, &c.

You may say, but Antichrist may be more wayes conside­red then one, as he is invested with temporall sovera [...]gnty and dominion, and so he may be the former beast: and as he is invested with spiritual supremacy, and so he may be the lat­ter Beast; and indeed so, many Interpreters take it: but con­sider these descriptions.

1. They differ in number; John saith, I saw a beast rise out of the Sea; and then it is said in vers. 11. I beheld another beast; it is not therefore the same.

2. They differ, as in number, so in their originall; the first rose out of the sea, the second out of the earth.

3. They differ in their shape; The first beast had ten horns, the second had but two horns like a Lamb.

4. They differ (and are apparantly distinguished in the ex­ercise of their power, for he exerciseth all the power of the first Beast in his presence: And it is said also in the 12th. vers. He causeth the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast: and he causeth them to make an image of the first beast, and he had power to gve life to the image of the beast, &c. So that the de­scription seems to be different; The second beast gives all his power to the first, and yet honours himselfe too.

But that which most of all prevailes with me, and which wholly captivates my Judgment to leane another way, is this, That whereas they say the first beast was the Pope, as Dominus in Temporalibus, as Lord in Temporalls; and the second beast is the Pope, as he is Dominus in Spiritualibus. It is evident that the Pope did not invest himselfe with temporall authority at [Page 7] the first: But at first claimed spirituall and universall Episco­pacy, over-sight over all the Churches; he was first supream head of the Church in his spirituall Jurisdiction, and did not claime dominion in Temporalls till after his wound was hea­led, and then he took power to depose the Emperour of the East, and translated his Empire from Greece to France, this was his Dominion in earthly Monarchies which he took in the latter place: And therefore I would rather say, that the second beast is the Pope in both respects, as Lord and Sove­raign, high Priest in Spiritualls, and the high Priest also o­ver the Kings of the world in Temporalls: Hee had two hornes like a Lamb, as the successor of Peter, and as if he had nothing but from Christ, but he spake like a Dragon; When he had once power by his Lamb-like horns, he then spake like a Dragon: Therefore to speak that which I conceive to be the truth, I do look at this first beast as indeed of like condition with the Pope, and very nearly joyned to him. The Pope is one of the heads and rulers of this Beast, but yet distinguished from the beast it selfe, and is not the same with the beast.

This therefore (all things weighed according to the Text) I conceive to be the first beast, the Roman Catholick visible Church.

The seven heads and ten horns are a clear description of the Roman State: [...]. Now this State here is neither the Pagan Ro­man Empire, nor the Christian Roman Empire, as hath been shewed. And therefore it must needs be a third Roman State distinct from the former, and succeeding in their place; and what is that but the Roman Catholicke visible Church? Of this Church the Pope is the head both as universall Bishop over all Churches, and chiefly Lord in Temporalls, that had both Swords, and obtained both Authorities, to be highest supream head in Spirituals, as also supream head in Tempo­ralls, he was Soveraign Governour in all: And the Roman-catholick visible Church, it comes just in the room of the Ro­man Empire: how was it described? The beast that had seven heads, and ten horns, this comes in his room; the one go­verns all the world in his way, and the other all the Churches another way: This is the Beast that the Dragon stirs up to make War with the Saints. Now to appply this description [Page 8] to this Church, for the better understanding of the Text.

Q [...]: I saw a beast rise out of the Sea:] You may aske what is the Sea from whence this beast ariseth?

Answ. The Sea is the collection of many waters; The ga­thering together of the waters called the Seas, Gen. 1. 9, 10. And what are the waters? The waters which thou saw [...]st are People, and Nations, and Languages, and Tongues, Rev. 17. 15. So then, what is the beast here that ariseth out of the Sea? It is some soveraign State that ariseth out of the connexion of many Nations into one body, as you know the Roman Catholick Church is not confined within the lifts of the City of Rome, (though there the head is seated) but the whole Roman Sea; it is well called a Sea in that respect, it is that which com­prehends all Nations, whether subject to the Eastern or We­stern Emperour; yea and other Nations that did not submit themselves to the one or other, as if they did recollect them­selves as into one Sea, all banks are broken down in the Sea, yet there is no distinction, but all is one Sea, one vast body: And such is the Roman Catholick visible Church, all partiti­ons are here broken downe, all Churches make but one visi­ble Catholick Church.

And again, it is well said to arise out of the Sea, according to the like description which Daniel makes of the foure Mo­narchs, in Dan. 7. Hee saw the foure windes of heaven strive upon the great Sea, and foure Beasts came up from the sea; divers one from another: From the multiplyed agitations of the Sea it came to passe four great Monarchs did arise: Just thus, from the tumult of particular Churches did this Beast arise; for when they could not agree in the Churches, but some were of one minde, some of another, it was the wisdom, as they thought, of Christian Princes and Bishops (but it was but humane wis­dome, and was indeed from the Dragon, and not from Christ) they thought it would be best to have but one church, and the Bishop of Rome to be the head, though at first they di­vided them to four, but in the end they would have the Bishop of Rome over all, that so they might have unity; for they say unity springs from one head; and unlesse you have one head, you cannot have unity: Therefore, from the particular Church of a Congregation, they came to Diocesan, from Di­ocesan, [Page 9] to Metropolitan; from Metropolitan to Patriarchal, from Patriarchal to Cecumenical: And so it comes to pass, all Churches must be gathered into one Sea, that is, one Catho­lick Church: For look what reason they had to set Bishops o­ver particular Churches: So having many Bishops, by the same reason they must have some Metropolitan, and of many Me­trapolitans, foure or five Patriarchs, and of them one Chief, that is the Pope, the Father of Fathers, he must be the grand Governour of all: Therefore doth he rise out of the Sea, out of the Sea of Tumult, and Sea of Contention: And if you take Sea for corruption in Doctrine, and worship, and Go­vernment (as some good Interpreters do) it was from thence also that this beast did arise; This beast did arise out of them all; for had either pure Doctrine, or worship, or Discipline been well looked unto, it had not been possible that such a beast as the Catholick visible Roman Church should have bin raised up.

It is further described to have seven heads, and ten horns: The holy Ghost describes them so fully, that we need no fur­ther interpretation of them: He tells us in the 17. Chapter of this book, the ninth and tenth verses; The seven heads are se­ven Mountaines on which the Woman sitteth, which are the mountaines of the City of Rome, it is built upon seven hills, and the seven heads are also seven Kings, that is, seven Kingly governments, soveraign governments: The first were Kings, then Consuls, then Decemvins, then Dictators, then Tri­bunes, and then the Caesars: Five were fallen, that is, were past in John's time, the sixth were then extant, and they were the Caesars; the Pope he makes the seventh: Now the Pope then is the seventh of these Heads, but the seventh head and the beast are two distinct things, though he be one that rules the beast, and hath a great influence in the guiding of it: Hee was to receive a deadly wound, and after became an eighth head, whereas he was but one of the seven: So that he is one of the Heads, but there is difference between the head and the beast, and the beast it selfe: And it is said, He exerciseth all the power of the first Beast; that in conclusion, what the Pope de­crees, that stands: So that it is not a generall Councell that determines any thing authentically without him, but he doth [Page 10] all that the first beast doth; Hee would have the Catholick Church honoured, but it is that himselfe may be honoured, as the Lord of the Church: So therefore for the heads, these are the seven Heads.

And for the Hornes, he tells you they are so many Kings, which were not then risen to Soveraigne Power, but John saw it in a Mystery afore hand; But when this Beast ariseth, this Pontifex maximus, then they receive a Kingdome at the same time, Chap. 17. 12. And the severall Kingdomes that then were broken off from the Roman Empire (whereof Eng­land was one) they were so many severall Kings that all gave their dominion to the Beast with one consent, and so were his protectors, ver. 17. They were his Beauty and his Strength, as the Hornes are to the Beast: So it is true, here is a great Beast indeed, of a vast comprehension, here is an universall visible Church, and he hath seven Heads; that is, Seven Hilles, there he sits, and seven Governments; There are seven Heads, both of the one and other, both Hills and Governments, whereof five were fallen, and the sixth was when John wrote: The seventh was to rise in their roomes, and that is, He that hath two Hornes like a Lambe, and spake like a Dragon, and doth exercise all the Power of the first Beast: what power is in the Church, the Pope hath the ordering thereof; And it is said here, that these Hornes had ten Crowns, but so had not the Hornes of Pagan Rome. The heads of Pagan Rome had soveraign Authority, and lived like Princes, but so had not the Pope, they did not wear the Crowns though they affect temporall dominion, but leave the Crowns to the hornes, leave them to Crowned Kings that give their power to him.

Now upon these Heads are names of Blasphemy.] The old High-Priest of the Jewish Synagogue he had a plate of pure Gold, and there was graven upon it, holiness to the Lord, Exod. 28. 36, 37. This Beast hath not holinesse to the Lord, but names of Blasphemy, the Pontifex maximus; His head is full of names of Blasphemy; But the Pope exceeds all in this case, for who ever took upon him as he to pardon Sinne? A name of Blasphemy; To be Judge of Scriptures, a name of blas­phemy: Hee hath many other names of Blasphemy; he [Page 11] will dispence with Oaths of allegeance, and all civil subjecti­on; he will dispence with marriages most incestuous, and doth exalt himself above all that is called God, especially the Gods of the Earth. His heads are full of names of Blasphemy (as we shall come to speak God willing, in the 5 and 6 verses.)

Now it is said of this Beast, he is like a shee Leopard.] It is in the 17 Chap. compared to a woman, to shew, that the Roman catholick visible Church is as fitly resembled by a wo­man as a she Panther, & such is this Beast: Can a Leopard change his spots, Jer. 13. 23. Is it not a State full of spots, and the spots are not the spots of Gods people, but spots of herisie, and spots of Idolatry, & spots of Tyranny, and great variety of all spots of Blasphemy: To tell the spots of that Sea, were ineeed to enter into a Sea of wickednesse, which that Church abounds withall. Can a Leopard change his spots; This church they make account cannot erre, & so how should they change? for they that cannot erre, to what purpose should they change? yet of a very sweet & fragrant smel, as they they perfume their Temples with incense, and love to please ambi­tious minds, and to fill covetous hearts; they are sweet also, and faire to voluptous spirits, with their Brothel houses, &c.

But for the Leopard, Bear, and Lyon, I suppose there is speciall reference to them all, In Dan. 7. 4, 5, 6. where he resembles the Monarch of Babell to a Lyon, and the Monarch of Persia to a Bear, and the Monarch of Greece to a Leopard: There the Leopard is the last of the three, here it is the first, to shew a direct contrary course that this Beast takes in his rise to the old Monarchies. Of the great Monarchies, the first was a Lyon, full of magnanimity, the next was a Beare, full of cruelty, a Bear that devoures mucb flesh, and the Leopard, the spotted Beast comes after, cruell as the former: Now here the Leopard is first, the whole shape is sweet and savou­ry; other beasts would follow him by the smell; and so this church seemes in the wole bulk sweet and savory to in­veagle all unstable Soules; But where he gets hold, he layes his paw like a Beare, presseth hard, and holds fast, and will not let goe; Just like the Persian State, they hold fast; Never did any of the States last so long as the Papall State; The Assyrian lasted, long but yet did not continue above a thousand [Page 12] years; but this is to continue 1260. dayes, that is, so ma­ny yeares, in a great deal of Power and Authority; And therefore as by subtilty he drawes others to him, so them hee holds fast, that it is marvellous hard to root out where he hath got hold; you may cut off his head, as it is in England; but it is a wonder to see what paines there is to have the Go­vernment of Christ brought in, and of the Beast cast out: they will make so many Statutes in Parliament, that you can have no wills confirmed, nor Marriages made, but by them, nor no Parliments Acts passe but through their hands; you have so many matters in the State depending on them, that one would think it impossible ever to root them out: you may take off the Beast his head; you may thrust the Leopard out at windows, but he will take hold with his feet, that you shall have much ado to root him out: The great profits, and great preferments they sink deep in the hearts of carnall men.

And he hath a mouth like a Lyon.] How did the Lyon of Ba­bell speak presumptuously; what God is able to deliver you out of the firey furnace? &c. and he commands all that will not worship his Image should be cast into the fyery furnace: Just such is the mouth of this Beast; who so will not worship the Image of this Beast shall be killed, in the 15 v. of this chap­ter. So you see this is the Roman Catholick visible church.

And the Dragon gave this church power.] All that the Roman Emperor could doe before, that doth the Catholick church; that wch the old Roman Emperor did by force of arms, that doth the Roman Church by the power of Religion and con­science: The Dragon gave him his power, and Seat, and great Au­thority. And Satan will worke by the power of conscience, making them believe that all must be subject to them: He gave them his Seat: what was the Seat of the old Roman Em­peror? It was Rome, Satan gave that to the Beast; There is his Seat, and great Authority, insomuch that all the world were deeply taken with the reverence they owe as to the Im­perial mother City; So to this soveraign mother Church, & their holy Father the Pope that was the head of that Church: This is the plain description of this first Beast. I canot pro­ceed now to open the wounding of one of the heads of this Beast, nor of the healing of that wound, nor of his warre [Page 13] against the Saints: I am the longer in this, because the more clearly these things are opened, the more fully will the coun­sell of the holy Ghost appear in the sequell. If any man have eares to heare, let him heare: doe not think that these things concern Students onely, and Scollars; But what is this to common christians? He that hath an eare, let him heare what the holy Ghost saith: It is the same charge which he gave con­cerning the Epistles which were common to all churches; If any man have an eare let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches: Those generall doctrines necessary for all Christi­ans to understand, the same charge is laid upon all to heare what is spoken concerning this beast; If thou understandest Religion, if thou wouldst be, or art a member of a Church of Christ know this point; If any man have an ear let him hear this.

But you will say to me▪ shall we make it an Article of our Creed to believe the Catholick Church; and shall we now make it an Article of Faith to beleive it to be a Monster? I believe the holy Catholick Church, and shall we make it a Beast?

To this I answer; The holy Catholick Church we make it an Article of our Creed, that is, a company of the Godly called out of the world; we look at them all as those for whom Christ shed his bloud: But we must not look at this as a visible Catholick Church, much lesse the Roman Church as the Catholick Church: we believe the Catholick Church is invisible; we believe no visible Church, but Congregati­ons; and therefore if you come to heare of a Roman Ca­tholick visible Church, whereof the Pope is the head, and who takes upon him all this Soveraignty and power here described, we look at such a body as a great B [...]ast: Commu­nion of Saints wee acknowledge, and that all the Churches of Christ have one and the same power amongst them: The Church of this Congregation hath power within it selfe e­quall to what others have, and none have power one over a­nother: None of us are like Leopards to other beasts, per­fumed to draw other beasts after us, and then like Beares to clasp them in to be subject to this Church, & then speak like Lyons, that all shall be subject to our commands: This is a Beast, and this is no Catholick Church; This is a Catholick Church of the Devill, but not of Christ. Thus have you the two first verses opened unto you.


[Page 14] Come we now to gather one briefe note from the words:

The visible Catholicke Roman Church is in the esteem of the holy Ghost a monstrous Beast,Doct. that is the note.

That it is the beast here described, you have heard it ope­ned: Some Roman State it must be, and you have heard it can neither be Rome-Pagan, nor Rome-Christian: It must therefore be the Roman Church; for it is described by seven heads, and ten horns, which are the Arms of Rome, as they are described in the Revelations.

That it is in the eyes of the holy Ghost a monstrous beast is here evident; for imagine a beast set before you with seven heads, and ten horns, would it not seem a monster, and un­naturall? that it should look like a Leopard, all sported, and feete like a Beare? and look at his mouth, and that's like a Ly­on, is not this a monster? to say nothing of his blasphemies, which makes him a wicked beast: but look at his visage which is here resembled, and what is here deciphered but a mon­ster? It holds forth his description in other places, in Chap. 16. 13. There came forth three unclean spirits out of the mouth of the Dragon (that is the Devill) and out of the mouth of the Beast, & out of the mouth of the false Prophet. And you shall also read, that the beast was taken, and with him the false Prophet; these were two still, they could not be made one, Rev. 19. 20. And they were both cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone, both the the first beast and the latter beast, the beast and the false Prophet: He like a Lamb comes in sheeps cloathing, but inwardly is a ravening wolfe.

Now why is it such a monstrous beast?

If God had made such a kinde of creature; a Leopard is no mon­ster, nor a Beare, nor a Lyon: But if you make a Beast of all these, that will be a monster, that is contrary to the course of nature, cleare besides the ordinary course of naturall generation, that makes a thing monstrous, this then is the reason of the point.

A beast ingendred against the course of nature,Reason. that is a monster, especially if there be so many uncouth shapes of which it is composed: And it is not so with this universall Catholick visible Church? Doe but consider what kinde of Church the Lord instituted, the Church of a particular con­gregation: If thy brother trespasse against thee, goe and tell him his [Page 15] fault between thee and him, &c. If he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more, &c. If he shall neglect to heare them, tell it to the Church, Mat. 18. 15, 16, 17, 18. What, the Catholick vi­sible Church, when will that meet think you? And is it ever to be expected that when they do meet, that every brother of this countrey and other countreys must go to Rome, and tell the Trespasses of his brother against him, and send for those that have offended him, and thus and thus plead with them? And when do you think that a Catholick Church will heale all offences between brethren? Will not this be a monstrous beast when the Catholick Church must heare and remove of­fences? That Church which Christ hath ordained will heare the offences of brethren, and a brother hath liberty to tell his offence to the Church, and at length the matter will be brought to an issue, when they they have two witnesses, then the Church sees what is to be done: Now to have a Catho­lick visible Church, what a monstrous disturbance will that be to the free dispensation of the government of Christ? and yet the rulers thereof will be the only visible Church-govern­nours of the world.

Again, you read in 1 Cor. 14. 23. When the whole Church (saith the Apostle) shall come together into one place, &c. The Church therefore which the Apostles instituted may be gathered into one place, that all may heare, and all may be edefied: Why, is it possible that all Churches should be gathered into one place? or should all heare if they were gathered? or will they be ever so gathered? what a wondrous beast will this be?

Againe, whereas Christ hath said, his Kingdome is not of this world, and hath appointed to his Disciples, that they should not be Lords over Gods heritage, 1 Pet. 5. 3. and in Mat. 20. from 23. to 29. It shall not be so among you: But whosoever will be great a­mong you, let him be your Minister: and let every soule be subject to the authority of the higher powers. Well now, if there must be a Catholick Church, and an Officer that shall rule all Nations, and that in so many Nations with Spirituall and Temporall Dominion, carry all before him, will it not be a Monster? What a disproportion is this to the Churches of Christ, and to the Officers thereof? Not to speak of their other monstrous usurpations of the head of this Church, but take the body as [Page 16] it is, how they speak like a Lyon, and hold fast when they get like a Beare, and are spotted like a Leopard, that they are nothing but hotch-potch, and mingle-mangle: If any man have understanding, let him understand what kind of Church this is that is thus deciphered, and described, this visible Catho­lick Church. For the Use.

It may first teach us the great and just reason which all Pro­testant Churches have to with-draw themselves from the fel­lowship of the Church of Rome, Ʋse 1. from the Catholick visible Roman Church, though they look at those that submit not to them as Schismaticks and Hereticks; I pray you consider would they have us submit to this great beast? would they have the Lambs of Christ (for such are the Churches of Christ) to submit to a Lyon, Beare, or Leopard? Hath any Lamb in the world (much lesse a Lamb of Christ) so many Heads and Horns, and such spots, and such fee [...], and such a mouth? Therefore I pray you consider, it is not time for the Lambs of Christ, and for all the Churches of Christ to flye off from this Monster, and to abandon them utterly, as ha­ving no part nor portion with such a beast as this?

Secondly,Ʋse 2. let this be another Use; it may teach us how Christian Protestant Churches wrong themselves that leave any footsteps of this government in their Churches: For that is part of the image of the beast; for the second beast, when he was advanced, he would have an image of the first beast, they must have Provinciall and Diocesan Churches, and National Churches, and carry I know not how many hundred con­gregations into one Nationall Church, and there must be some Diocesan and Metrapolitan church, and the rest must be inferiour to that: Though this be not so great a monster as the great Beast, yet it is an image of this beast; can any bro­ther tell his offence to such a church? And will you have him stay till the whole National church meets? Or will you have him stay till the Diocesan church meets, and carry his offen­ces to the Visitation? Do you think they will right his cause then? Are a few such kind of men, the Chancellor, and Regi­ster, and Surrogate, and Apparitor, do you think the church that our Saviour bids us tell? Are these they that are gathe­red together, that all may heare, and all may be edefied? Do these [Page 17] serve the Lord Jesus, and not their owne bellies? I say therefore, you may see what great reason men have to with-draw from subjection in spirituall matters to the Image of this great beast that in some measure represent the same state as they.

Thirdly,Ʋse 3. let it be a seasonable advertisement to all (if I were to speak to Princes) to all Princes, but however to all Magistrates, how to make use of their Authority to be as Pro­tectors of the Church, & in respect of their spirituall estate, as children of the church, but not to give the horns to the church (though horns be for beauty and strength:) you see it makes the Church a monster, and it is to make a beast of the Church: And so if you should make Church-Officers Ju­stices of Peace, or Councellors, or prostitute your own Go­vernment to them, that if the Church condemn any, then you must do so too (as heretofore if a man were condemned by the Church, and by them delivered to the secular power, then burn him presently;) this puts your Horns upon the Churches head, unto monstrous deformity: And therefore it is necessary for Magistrates to keep their power in their owne hands, and not to take things Ipso facto, from the Church, but to consider what is done, and then they are to confirm what the Church doth according to God; Here are ten horns, and these are tenne Kings by the holy Ghosts interpretation, and they adde to the monstrousnesse of this Beast, by giving their power thereto. Why, doth this mishape a Christian Church, for Magistrates to submit their crownes to the Church? No, God forbid, it is an honour and happinesse to them, when Kings are nursing Fathers to the church, and bow down their faces to the earth, Isa. 49. 23. But why then doth he put it as a part of the mishapen state of the Church, that it had tenne hornes, to wit, because these Kings did give their strength and power to the Beast, that the Beast did act these Horns acording to the power of his lust, as Chap. 17. v. 17. as it was truly accomplished in all the Kings of Europe, that did submit all their Scepters, and Thrones, and Crowns, and Dignities to the Bishop of Rome; That if hee command this or that, there must be room for him, what ever becomes of Princes, Laws, and Endeavours, and all acts and enterpri­ses of War, or Peace: He had their horns on his head, he [Page 18] might push with them as he would: This made the Church a monster, when soveraign power was obnoxious to the Bi­shop of Rome, when without Excomunication, whether a cause were of God or no, Magistrates proceeded, if the Church had censured: As a Beast that hath horns on his head, as hee turns, so must the power of his horns be set and put forth: If therefore the Catholick Church, or any Officer of it shall condemn a man as an Heretick, and then deliver him to the secular power, they never dispute the cause, but take it for granted; If their holy mother Church condemn him, the Se­cular Power must push and crush him to the very Earth, and trample him under foot, and rend his bowels from his body, if he once be delivered to them. Now this makes the Church a beast, that hath this power over the Princes of the Earth, that look what is their lust, or their ignorance, or their er­rour, and the contrary adjudged by them to be Heresie, that the Secular power must mayntain the one, and condemn the other. It is a comfortable thing for Churches to be strength­ned and protected by civill Magistrates: But if they captivate their power to the Church, that what Church Rulers call for not according to the Word, but their Lusts, that the civill Magistrate must confirm, that makes the Church a Beast: And therefore be wise now O ye Kings, be instructed O ye Judges of the earth, serve the Lord with feare, and rejoyce with trembling, &c. Psal. 2. 11, 12. Kisse the Lord Jesus, submit to him, and in him to the church; Lick the dust off the feet of the church, dispensing his counsell and will: But when by implicite obe­dience the Common-wealth must he prostitute to the Beast, it makes the Beast more monstrous then it is: The authority of Princes in that kind makes such churches to be very beastly and ugly monsters.

Fourthly,Ʋse 4. let it be of this use to raise up our hearts in holy thankfulnesse to God, that hath delivered us from this Mon­ster, both our Fathers from this great beast, and our selves from the remnants of the Image of this beast, from all Dioce­ [...]san and National Churches, and from Metropollitan & Ca­tholick visible Churches that are Images of this great beast. You know how much the civill Laws of Christian Kingdoms doe strengthen Ecclesiasticall power, that if once a Church [Page 19] excōmunicat a man, you know the power of the Law, if once this or that court excomunicate a man, though it be but for not paying fees, when it may be he hath no money, or thinks it not lawfull to maintain them by his purse: yea when he is excommunicate, it may be for going to hear a Sermon in a­nother place, when he hath nothing but reading at home; or if a man fast with his neighbors in his house, then what pow­er there is out of such a Court, civill Courts of Justice con­firme, there comes a Significavit, that if he shall live so ex­communicate: and if he continue and stay out a certain time, then the Common-wealth apprehends him, and never con­siders whether the cause be just or unjust: I confesse there is a liberty to traverse such a cause; but if a man want money, or want friends, he may be taken and carryed to Prison, and there he may lie and rott for any of these mishapen Clergy men: But I say it is a great liberty to be freed from this great beast, that he hath no finger amongst us, we are out of his paw, and out of his smell: It was a matter in question here not long agoe, whether the Court should not take a course to punish such persons as stood excommunicate out of the Church, if they should stand long excommunicate, but it was a good providence of God that such a thing was prevented: Let not any Court, Ipso facto, take things from the Church; If such a Law were made (the Fathers live not for ever;) and if such a Law were once established, that a Church-member standing so long excommunicated, the Common-wealth then should proceed against him; were this established, it would make a Beast of the Church; we are subject to erre, and our posterity that comes after us may erre (it may be feared) worse; It is therefore a mercy to be freed from the beast, from the paw of the Bear, and the mouth of the Lyon: It is such a mercy that they that got the victory over these, they stood praising God, as Chap. 15. 1, 2. The Lambs company that stood on mount Si [...]on they stand and praise, and wonder at the gracious hand of God in this case; And therefore we should in the fear of God be unfeignedly thankfull to God for our present liberties, and withall that we may be so, Let him that hath an eare to heare, heare; If you be of Spirituall discerning, and know what these mercies [Page 20] mean, you will be really thankfull; Therefore shew this thankfullnesse, not onely in searching the true meaning of the Text, and the true nature of this beast described in it, but also in standing fast in these great liberties wherewith Christ hath made us free, Gal. 5. 1.

You shall have many poore creatures that came hither to this Country, and will be ready to go back againe, they looke at things as mean and poor here; believe it, such a man hath not an eare, nor an eye open, he knows not whe­ther he goes: Hagar, Sarahs maid, whether goest thou? saith the Lord to her: And so may I say to such, whether will you goe? will you be gone back againe to Egypt (God forbid I should count all our Native Country as Egypt) but if you goe thither, you will have much adoe to escape the paw of of the Bear: If you be once incorporated into any of their Parishes, you will finde such beastly work in Church Go­vernment (I may speak it without wrong to any, but that I may bear witnesse against what is corrupt) that you will then finde the blessing of those that enjoy liberty and piety together, you must worship the beast or the Image of the beast; A Diocesan, or Nationall Church, it is but an Image of the great beast, it is a plain pattern of the same; and you will finde the body of the Church rent from you, or you will be rent from the body, if you shall walk roundly and sincerely in the ways of God; you will finde sad work to have your own officers or others to rise up against you: but we have here cause to praise God for our present liberties, and therefore you are to be wary what you doe. If this be cause of thankfulnesse, turn not againe to that from which the Lord by his stretched out arme hath delivered you: And this let me say further, as it may provoke us to thankfulness, so to forego all the Profits of this life, rather then to be drawn to subjection to such a Spirituall Government; you see what the holy Ghost counts it, seven heads, ten horns, heads full of names of blasphemy, horns crowned, and here is a beast like a Leopard, with feet like a Bear; that all the Government of it looks like rapine and robbery, catching and snatching, rending and tearing, this is the sum and scope of it: And therefore be not deceived; if men shall [Page 21] tender you faire termes that may smell sweet, you shall have liberty in this and that, and protection of a good State, but it is but the smell of a Leopard; when you have yielded to such Conditions as may be tendred, you will finde such strong hold got of you, that you will never get out: And then you shall finde what ever Conditions are put in at first, the last Edition will be a mouth like a Lyon: They will bring you in with subtilty, like a Leopard, lay fast hold upon you like a Beare; and before they have done, there will be a mouth like a Lyon: And therefore as we are to be thankfull, so we are to be faithfull to God, that hath purchased these great liber­ties for us, and be no more willing to be intangled with your former state, than you would be willing to fall into the mouth of a Lyon, or come under the paw a Beare.

Q [...]. But you will say, what is this to me, I am but a private Chri­stian?

Answ. Private Christians must not live alwayes in a pri­vate State, for that darkens a mans estate, if he knows not the order of Gods house, nor addresseth himselfe to it. It is true, if a man either were in the Temple, or looked towards it, his prayers were accepted; but if a man have no minde to know the orders of Gods house, his ignorance of Church matters will darken his own spirituall estate: And therefore whosoever thou be, Sonne or Daughter; If any have eares to heare, let them listen to what is here spoken, that so by the bles­sing of God, you may be the more able to finde the free passage of joy, and the power of godlinesse in all your pri­vate or publique conversation.

Revel. 13. the latter part of the 2d. verse.‘And the Dragon gave him his power, and his seate, and great authority.’

THe next note is this;

That the Dragon (that is,Doct. 2. Satan) as he had the government of the Pagan Roman Empire: so being cast out of it, he gave (or procured [Page 22] and obtained) to the Roman Catholicke visible Church his power, and seate (or Throne) and great authority.

For so it is plainly here said, That the Dragon gave to the Beast his power, and his seate, and great authority.

The Dragon, who is that? You heard, the Dragon is the old Serpent called the Devill, and Satan: but the Dragon considered, as he sometimes swayed the Roman Pagan Empire, as in Rev. 12. 3. There appeared a wonder in heaven, a great red Dragon, having seven heads and ten horns; they are interpreted by the Angell, Rev. 17. 3, 4. 9, 10. 12. 18. The seven heads to be the seven hills of Rome, and the ten horns, so many Kings that arose with the last head of the Beast; Therefore he means the Dragon, as he sometimes swayed the City of Rome, and so the Seate and State of the Pagan Roman Empire: And be­ing now cast out, and seeing he cannot maintaine his State and divine honour, as before, to whom doth he give his ho­nour? what, to the Roman Christian Empire? No, his rage is against them, and the Church amongst them: Neither did he give them his Seate; they sate not at Rome, but at Con­stantinople: Neither can he easily fasten upon the civill State such delusions, as to cause the Christian Emperours to take to themselves divine honour, though the Pagan Roman Em­perours had so done: But now hee doth choose to fasten them upon the Ecclesiasticall State, and thinks he shall more pre­vaile with Church-men (as I may speak) to drinke in an i­nundation of Heresies in Doctrine, and Tyranny in Govern­ment, and Superstition in Worship, he thinks he shall soo­ner prevaile with the Ecclesiasticall State, then with the Ci­vill; Therefore upon this Beast (which can neither be Ro­man, Heathen, nor Christian Empire, but the Roman Church) doth he fasten his power, and seate, and great au­thority.

His power.] A three-fold power did the Devill fasten upon the Roman Catholick visible Church.

1. The power of signes and lying wonders: Hee gave him great power to worke great wonders, 2 Thes. 2. 9. Of which there is more spoken in the sequell of the Chapter, where some of his miracles are mentioned.

2. He gave him the power of effectuall Sophistry, or (as [Page 23] the Scripture calls it, 2 Thes. 2 9, 10.) of deceit, of unrigh­teousnesse; partly in the Schoolmen, and partly in their Vo­taries, or Cloyster-men, and partly in their Canonists. By the efficacy of Sophistry in School-men, he corrupted all Do­ctrine. By the deceit of the Cloyster-men, the Monkes, he corrupted all their devotion and worship: And by the policy of their Canonists, he corrupted all Church-government; and this was carryed with such efficacy of deceit, that those School-Divines were accounted the most profound, and the Monks most devout, and the Canonists most judicious, and exquisite Polititians: Now these three did mightily deceive the Christian world by their power, and all this power Satan gave to this Beast.

3. He gave him the power also of making war; for in vers. 7. It was given him to make warre with the Saints, and to overcome them; putting into the hearts of christian Kings to give their power to the Beast, and to wage all their Battels at their own charges whiles he sate still; this was the power which was gi­ven him by the Dragon.

And for his seate, what was it? It was the City of Rome which ruled over the Kings of the earth, Rev. 17. 18. And for that end he would not suffer Constantine, nor other Emperors to dwell at Rome: If they were in Italy, they should dwell at Ravenna: So that the Dragon granted his owne Seate or Throne, not to the Emperors, for they never cared for it, but he reserved it for this Beast, to be the center and chief Seate of the Roman Catholick Church.

And he gave him also great authority, transcendently great in­deed.

Great Authority.

1. Over the Scriptures.

2. Over the consciences of men.

3. Over the treasury of the church: Over Church-Ru­lers, and Churches, over the merits of Christ, over King­doms and Common-wealths, over Purgatory, and for mitigating the paines of Hell: All this he gave to the Ro­man Catholick visible Church.

1. He gave him power over the Scriptures.

  • 1. As Judg of them. The Church is the Judg of contro­versies, [Page 24] and the head of that Church is the Judg of all places of Scripture, by his authority it is authenticall; This the Ca­tholick Church doth challenge.
  • 2. He doth prefer the vulgar Latine before the Originall Scripture, a transcendant power.
  • 3. It is in his power to make Apocrypha Scripture, to be of like power with the canonicall Scripture.
  • 4. It is his power and authority that gives unwritten Traditions like power with the canonicall Scripture.
  • 5. He takes upon him to be the infallible Interpreter, and Judge of the meaning of Scripture, and that is Blas­phemy.
  • 6. He takes upon him power to dispence with Scrip­ture. Hee hath power to dispence with the morall Law of God in point of Marriages, even in incestuous Marriages, this is a power beyond Scripture.

2. He hath great authority over the consciences of men, making Laws and Canons to bind the conscience, and relea­sing and loosing them from the power of Gods Lawes, either in point of Marriage, or in point of Oaths and Covenants, or in point of naturall relation: He can dispence with children in respect of duty to Parents, if they come into Monasteries, and with duty which Subjects owe to Magistrates.

3. They have power over the Church Treasury, by which they meane the supererogation of the merits of Christ, and of the Saints: They say Christ merited for a thousand worlds: and because he saved but a few, it is free for the Pope to take the surplussage of merit; He can take them and apply them by Indulgences, for the pardoning of them that pay well for them. And thus they who despise Gods imputation of the righteousnesse of Christ for justification, they take upon them to impute it to themselves, and to this and that notorious wicked man.

4. They have power over Kingdomes and Common-wealths, to depose Kings, and to dispose of their Kingdoms as they please, and to absolve Subjects from all Allegiance to civill power, and for that end to nullifie their Oath, for that end you know what the Pope sent to Henry the fourth: Christ (say they) gave this power to Peter, and Peter to the [Page 25] Pope, and to that end abuse. Jer. 1. 10. See, I have this day set thee over the Nations, to root cut and pull downe, and to destroy, and to throw downe, to build, and to plant.

5. They have power over the estate of the life to come.

  • 1. Over Heaven. Hee claimes transcendent power in that, and doth abuse that place in Mat. 16. 19. To thee will I give the keyes of the Kingdome of heaven, that whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven: Therefore he can open the gates of Heaven to them that are dead.
  • 2. They have power over Purgatory; Upon so much done and given, they can help them out of Purgatory: They make account the torments of Purgatory are equall to the paines of Hell; but that Hell is for ever, and Purgatory but till the last Judgment.
  • 3. They have power over Hell: they have not absolute power to deliver out of Hell (only Gregory is said to have delivered Trajans soul out of Hell;) but though they can­not deliver out of Hell, yet they can ease the torment. The witnesses of this will hardly owne it, but it is the judgment of the most devout to that Sea.

So that he gave to the Catholick church his power of signs and lying wonders, of all kinds of efficacy of delusions, and power of making Warre, and he gave him great authority o­ver the Scriptures, over mens Consciences, over the treasures of the Church, over Kingdomes, and Princes, and Powers of the world to come, and over Purgatory and Hell: And therefore consider, if this be not a vast power, which is here given, and acknowledged to be given by himselfe to the Ca­tholick visible Roman Church: You must not wonder that the Catholick Church did not claim all this at first, but came to this by degrees, and more faster grew to this, especially at that time when this second Beast (that received in spiritualls his power, speaking like a Dragon) had got all this transcen­dant power. In the mean time, from the very first you shal find this power in the representative Catholick Church; They quartered them into severall Jurisdictions, into Bishopricks; and when they had done that, they rested not till they had set one over the rest, and that was this of Rome: And besides, [Page 26] this was devillish Authority to make Laws to bind all Chri­stian Congregations, to take their Government from them. 3ly. In every Councell they devised some new Doctrine, and some new form of worship and Government, which was the seed out of which this transcendant power was hatched.

For the reason of the point, you may aske how hee should give all this power which he never had himself, how he should give that which never was his to a Beast, so as to carry all things with that transcendant power, for divine power he had not himself, he was cast out from it, how then could hee give this to any State in the world?

First,Reason 1. from Gods divine Justice, and heavy Judgment upon the unthankfull world: That look, as God in former times did give up the Roman Pagan world to be ruled by Satan as the god of it (and therefore he is called in 2 Cor. 4. 4. the God of the world) So now God gave up the Roman Christian world, as he did the Pagan world before; the Scripture tells us so, 2 Thes. 2. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved, he gave them up to effica­cy of delusions to believe lies: That they all might be damned who be­lieve not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousnesse. They lo­ved not the simplicity of the Apostles Institutions, concer­ning Churches, and Laws, and Doctrine, and Apostolick go­vernment, but did affect high preferments, and setled en­dowments, and carnall excellency. Now the Lord therefore gives Satan wonderfull power, that as of old he was once the God of Pagan Rome, so now in the Church he gives them Church-power; that what he could not retaine in his owne hands, that he substitutes, and gives to the Roman Catholick Church, to carry it along with great successe: and that's the first Reason, the judgment of God upon the unthankfull world.

A second Reason is taken from the effectuall means which Satan used to advance the Roman Church by,Reason 2. to exalt his Church above all others; what were the means? The means were these;

First, Ignorance, raising a smoak out of the bottomlesse Pit, darkning all the light of the Church, Rev. 9. 2. The Sun and the Aire were darkned by reason of it: There was a mighty [Page 27] dark mist as it were: They regarded not the love of the truth, they studyed it not, and so the Lord left them to palpable grosse ignorance, in so much that at that time when the se­cond beast arose, had we seene any that lived in the former time of Religion, and that lived now, we would not have thought they had been the same men, such palpable darkness were they left unto of ignorance; Now palpable ignorance is the mother of all Superstition and Idolatry, and the mis­guidance of all things in the Church.

A second means which he used, was, terror of Conscience which he set on effectually by the Locusts, Rev. 9. 3, 5. There came out of the smoak Locusts, and unto them was given power as the scorpions of the Earth have power: They had such a notable power to sting the Consciences of men, that men would seek for death, and could not finde it, and take desperate courses, drowning, or hanging, or any thing, rather then to live in that terrour. They that shall read Parsons Resolutions Grana­tensis, shall find what terrible threats there are applyed to ter­rifie, but never shewed them the way to come to Christ, to binde up such broken souls: Now the Conscience broken and not healed, is fit to sow any superstition in.

A third means was the superstition and hypocrisie of the votaries, and of all afflicted, but unsetled consciences. Terror of conscience makes them greatly devout; They tell them of a state of perfection, and that they shall shrowd themselves in such a Monastery, and there they should live devoutly, and be kept from the pollutions of the world; Many Princes have been thus taken, and have given large endowments to pray for their souls, their consciences being wounded.

A fourth meanes was the subtilty and sophistry of the School-men, suppressing the reading of the Scriptures, and mixing Philosophy with Divinity, that they might as well have studied a point of Aristotle as their divinity, and make as good use of the one as of the other. They left studying of Scriptures, and read Peter Lombard, which was mentioned in Latine, and this was a notable meanes.

A fifth meanes was the policy of the Canonists, who had gathered together all those Canons that tended to Christs powerfull Government, and fastned them upon the Catho­lick [Page 28] Church, and the Bishop of Rome being head, he had it all committed to him, a notable means to bring in Ty­ranny.

Last of all lying miracles, 2 Thes. 2. 9. Whose coming is af­ter the working of Satan, with all power, and signes, & lying wonders. Thus you see the means how the Dragon gave him his power, and Authority, and such Authority that he exalts himself a­bove all that is called God.

The use is thus much; First it serves to shew the vanity of all that admiration of the Roman Catholick visible Church, and devotion to that Church, which hath so long for many Ages deluded the world, and with which Jesuites and Semi­naries doe to this day delude devout, but carnall souls; Here is great power given to them, and great authority; but whence hath the Church all this? They pretend they have it all from Christ, but they have it from the Dragon of the bot­tomlesse pit; He gave him his power and seat and great au­thority: It never came from Christ, he never gave this pow­er to any Church nor State in the world, it is from the Dra­gon. And whereas they plead it is the keys of the kingdome of Heaven, Mat. 16. 19. It is verely (as the Text calls it, Rev. 9. 1.) The key of the Bottomlesse pit; There fell a star from Hea­ven to the Earth, and to him was given the key of the Bottomlesse pit: It is he that hath power to let out smoak out of the bottom­lesse pit; Not to let out men from thence, as some have pre­tended, or from Limbus, which is the suburbs of Hell; But to let out smoak, damnable doctrine, and false Government; He hath power to open it, but no power to shut it; power to sting mens consciences, but no power to heal them. And therefore when Bellarmine makes the Roman Catholick visi­ble Church to be the true Church, he makes this the first note of a true Catholick Church; whereas our Divines make Preaching of the word, and administration of the Sacraments, and holy Di [...]cipline, he refutes them, and sets down three o­ther, universall, Catholick, visible Church, to be the true Church; And the truth is, it is the very Beast, to which the Devill gave this great Authority and power: Wherefore let not men be bewitched with them, but let us know they are all but efficacies of delusions what ever have been in this kinde [Page 29] spoken. If any man say, shall we disclaim an Article of our Creed, to despise the holy Catholick Church? God forbid, we doe believe the holy Catholick Church spread over all Nations; But a Church Catholick that shall have one visible head, and be the Mother Church, verily we look at it as the greatest and ugliest beast, that ever was raised in the world. Take all other Monarchies that the Scripture describes, the Leopard of Greece, the Lyon of Babell, and the Bear of Persiae, and they are either of them but a beastly state, but here all these Beasts are mingled and confounded in one: And besides, It hath seven heads, and ten horns. A Leopard, a Lyon, and a Beare, they are orderly creatures, according to some Institu­tion: But here is a Beast that runs besides all institution, and description of Scripture, and societies of men that ever was raised. The Catholick visible Roman Church, is the most monster; God forbid we should blaspheme any Church, but I do but speak Scripture; Let the world be judg, if the Scrip­ture can be accommodated to any but to this Roman-Catho­lick mother Church. It is evident in Scripture, these seven heads, and ten horns, must be some Roman State, the Roman Pa­gan State it cannot be, nor yet the Roman Christian State, and a Roman State it is: but there hath been no other Ro­man State, but the Roman-Catholick visible Church, and that hath claimed such great power and authority, which is doubtlesse as incompatible to Scripture as may be, which by the wit of man hath not been invented, but by the Dragon; and yet so goodly in the eyes of the world, which great Princes are deluded and besotted withall, and happy they that can be reconciled to that State.

Secondly,Ʋse 2. Learn we to magnifie the free rich grace of God that hath delivered us from this great Beast, and the worship of it, and hath restored us in a great measure to the govern­ment of primative simplicity, that now we may meet every Lords day, that all may heare, and all may be edefied, where every one may brign his offence (if hee cannot be satisfied in pri­vate) and may be heard, and the case in due time searched into, and healed according to God. This is Primative sim­plicity, and this is direct proceeding without Lordly Prela­cy, [Page 30] which overwhelms all the world like a great Sea; And it i, well called a Sea, for it swallows up all like a vast Ocean.

And the more thankfull ought we to be, that he hath deli­vered us from the Image of the Beast, as well as from the beast it selfe; A Catholick Church that beareth sway over so many hundred Churches, and overwhelms them all: Such Lawes they shall make as shall binde all Nations, and whether they give consent or no, they must subscribe to them in point of government. Were we sensible how odious this Beast were in the sight of the holy Ghost, and of the Apostle John, it would affect us with strong thankfulnesse, and hearty enlargednesse to God, that hath delivered us from so great a beast, and from any image and picture of it, unto which all the world is subject, unlesse in some few places.

Thirdly,Ʋse 3. It may teach all Church Officers not to affect a­ny Lordly pomp and state: For Officers of a Church to take upon them any great State, or to see a Church composed in any such form, you see in the eyes of the holy Ghost it is a Beast. There is nothing more disproportionable to us, then for us to affect Supremacy, for us to weare the hornes that might push Kings; to throw downe any, or to desire Magi­strates to execute what we shall think fit, verily it is not com­patible to the simplicity of the Church of Christ. Neither may they give their power to us, nor may we take it from them: That when an Excommunication passe in the Church, then to leave it to the Magistrate, that so a man being excom­municated, is left, Ipso facto, to civill censure, upon the Chur­ches censure, this will cause the Magistrates to submit their power to the Church unavoidably; that if a Church censure, the Magistrates must proceed against them: Now it is good to have these two States so joyned together, that the simplicity of the church may be maintained and upheld, and strengthe­ned by the civill State according to God, but not by any sim­plicity further then according to the word. Beware of all se­cular power, and Lordly power, of such vast inspection of one church over another: Take heed of any such usurpation, it will amount to some monstrous Beast: Leave every church Independant, not Independant from brotherly counsell; God forbid that we should refuse that; but when it comes to [Page 31] power, that one Church shall have power over the rest, then look for a Beast, which the Lord would have all his people to abhor.

Fourthly,Ʋse 4. let it be in the feare of God an use to beware how we take Satans offers. This very offer Christ had once made to him by this Dragon, he came to Christ, and said (Luke 4. 6, 7.) All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them, for that is delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will I give it; if thou therefore wilt worship mee, all shall be thine. Hee said thus far true, that he had a great stroke in the Kingdomes of the world (but yet it was limited to him) for it's true, hee was the god of the world, in the time of Heathenish and Po­pish apostacy; He offers Christ he will give it all to him, if he will fall down and worship him; The Lord Jesus rejects him, It is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. When he offers such baites, and barbarous tempta­tions as these be, we are to rej [...]ct him. The Devill comes and offers this to the Vicar of Christ (as they call him) I wil give you government over all the Churches in the world, and Kingdoms, and States; and he in very deed takes Satans offer, and doth take all the pomp and state of the world. Time was when Naaman the Assyrian offered large matters to Elisha for healing him of his Leprosie, but the Prophet would have none of them (though he was no Pagan) for when he came home, they would aske, what did it cost you? he might say, it cost me not a groat, but what it cost me in the Innes where I lay; this is honour to Religion: His servant Gehezi indeed runs after him, As the Lord liveth, he shall not goe so away, but he will have a reward; He makes an excuse, There are two sonnes of the Prophets come, and he desires a talent of silver, and two changes of garments; and hee very liberally fastens a great deale more on him then he asks: What, saith Elisha, Is this a time to take money, and to receive garments, and Olive-yards, and Vine-yards, and sheep, and oxen, and men-servants, and maid-servants? Hee meant such money as would buy all these; The leprosie there­fore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee: And so truly the lepro­sie of Antichrist, and of the Catholick Church cleave to us, if we take up any thing that derogates from the simple, and naked, and sheep-like government of Christ Jesus; It will be [Page 32] a Leprosie that wil cleave to us, & make us grow more & more leprous: And therefore it must teach us not to regard the pro­fits and pleasures of this world: I speak chiefly to men, as we are Church-members; Such simple government, though it hath horns (for the Lamb hath horns, and can tell how to push) yet meeknesse and simplicity is best: Just and faithfull Administrations becomes the simplicity of civill government, but how much more the Church of Christ, that so this great and vast Beast may be kept away from us.

Lastly,Ʋse 5. it may teach us all, as ever wee desire, not to grow monstrous and ugly in the sight of the Lord Jesus, to take heed of hearkning to any power of Nationall Churches, you will finde that this will grow to such ugly deformity, that God will turn away his face from you: You will never finde him as in times of ignorance; Though God hath pardoned what we did in ignorance, not knowing what wee did (as Christ prayed, Luke 23. 34. Father forgive them, they know not what they doe.) And I doubt not but he doth the like for ma­ny of our deare brethren, who in their ignorance do submit to the Beast, and the image of the Beast, and doth vouchsafe his gracious presence with them: But for us here, if we shall in our hearts turn back againe to Aegypt, and be content to stoop to these Superstitions, and be thus ruled, for order, and forme of worship (believe it) then we may looke for an end of all our prosperity, and liberty of the Churches here; Then look we should grow mishapen and monstrous, and look ug­ly, we shall then soon see an end of all the comforts of the Churches here. As therefore God hath betrusted us with such a handsome body as hee is pleased to own, so continue in your profession, and in the maintenance of the same even to death.

Revel. 13. 3.‘And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death, and his deadly wound was healed, and all the world wondered after the Beast.’

IN these words is described the variation of the state of the Beast in respect of one of his heads.

1. John saw it as it were wounded to death, and all men thought it unrecoverable; that is one State.

2. A State of recovery, His deadly wound was healed.

3. The effects of this healing

  • 1. The worlds admiration after the Beast.
  • 2. Their worship both of the Dragon & the Beast.

For a little opening of the words.

I saw one of his heads.] You heard before that the Beast had seven heads: Now as the Scribes asked Christ concerning the woman that had seven Husbands, whose wife shall she be of the seven? So here is a Beast hath seven heads, and one is woun­ded, which of the seven must it be? To this the Apostle John tells us, Chap. 17. That five of them were gone; they had been, but were not now, and these are the seven governments of the Roman State: These five had been Kings and Consuls, Decemviers, Dictators, Tribunes. The sixth yet was, and that was the Caesars, the Roman Emperours they were the sixth head, whether Christian or Pagan, it differs not much the state of the Government, for they were all governed by Roman Laws, under one head or other. Now therefore what is this that is here spoken of, One of his heads were as it were wounded to death? was it the Roman Emperour, whether Pa­gan or Christian? you heard reasons before why it could not be Pagan, nor indeed Christian Rome.

1. That head was crowned, but this hath no Crown; All the seven heads were crowned, they governed and exer­cised their Administrations in the world, Rev. 12. [...]. [Page 34] But here these heads are not crowned, but the Crowns are upon the Horns.

2. Neither can it be they, because of this wound upon this head, The Roman Christian Emperours they never cha­lenged to themselves Head-ship over the Church of Rome. Constantine doth utterly abandon it; He professeth he ought to be judged by them, and not they by him. And Theodosius doth submit himselfe to Ambrose censure, and doth not exercise any Head-ship over the Church: It was not therefore the Emperours, for they were not heads of the Church.

3. It is said, the wound here given, was healed, to the ad­miration of the world: Now certaine it is, the wound given by the Goths and Vandalls, it was never healed to this day: but the Eastern part was swallowed up by the Turk. And for the Emperors of the West, Charles the great, and his Successors, though they healed a branch of it, yet it was far off from healing the wound of the Ro­man Empire, those wounds have decayed, and fall short of that which was the admiration of the Nations: Nor was it the healing of this wound from the first time it was given, that was the admiration of the world. There­fore it must be some head that was so wounded, as all the world wondered at it, and were captive to it; You heard it was not the Roman Christian Emperors, it must be him that claimes to be head over all the Churches, and who is that but Pontifex maximus? It was that which The­odosias abhor'd, he thought it an unworthy style for a Christian Emperour to be accounted the great high Priest of the Church; but what he laid down, they willingly took up, to be accounted the great Pastor of the Church, and therefore he is the head of the Church: For if it be neither Pagan nor Christian Emperours, it must be the government that succeeded them, they were the sixth, and hee is the seventh: It is the seventh head that was thus wounded, and whose wound was afterward healed.

Qu. 2. Now a second Question will be, If he be the seventh head, the head of the Church of Rome; If he be this head, then when was he wounded?

[Page 35] Answ: When the Goths and Vandalls, and Hunnes, and other barbarous Nations overwhelmed Italy, and the western parts.

1. Alaricus about the yeare 415. took Rome; a [...]d I remem­ber in a Treatise of Hierom (saith he) The government which then was left of the Church before, was wholly taken away, as if a man were beheaded, and yet it fell after into worse ca­lamity.

2. It was after taken againe by Adulphus, who thought to change the name of it, and call it Gothia.

3. It was taken againe by Gensericus Vandalus.

4. Odoacer Rugionus reigned in it fourteen years.

5. After him, Theodoricus King of the Goths having slaine him, his Successor Totilas destroyed it, and brought it to such desolation, that there was neither man, woman, nor child seen in it for forty dayes. Now this was such a wound, that all the Bishops in the world that were wont to give homage to him, they now began to neglect his Head-ship, that was but a servant at home: They despised him, to be the head of the Church, that was a servant to Barbarians; Insomuch, that the Bishop of Revenna, he challengeth universall Supremacy, he takes indignation at him, that he will be Lord Paramount: But so great was the wound, that indeed the Roman Bishop was utterly discouraged, and this continued for 140. yeares together; and though he would have used many meanes for his cure, and have called in help from the Emperor of Greece, yet he was not willing to help him, for they had fallen out before about worshipping of Images; he was constant for I­mages, the other was against them, and so he might sinke or swim for them; so his wound seemed incurable.

Quest: 3. When was this wound cured, and how?

Answ: By degrees.

1. In the yeare 555. the Lord stirred up Justinian, who by his Generalls, Belisarius and Morses, drove and destroyed the Goths out of Italy.

2. By Justinians novell Constitutions, we decree according to the Canons of the holy Councels, the most holy Bi­shop of old Rome to be the first (or to have the Primacy) of all Priests.

[Page 36] 3. Phocas the Parricide about fifty yeares after, about the yeare 606. healed up the wound, granting to Boniface the third, that he should be universall Bishop, not only the first in order, but in honour also, and that all the whole world should be his Diocesse: And this was the healing of his Head, which was so perfectly cured, that all the world wondered at the preservation of the head of this Church, and began by degrees more and more to adore both the Church, and the Head of it.

Obj. There is an Objection made against this exposition; That by this means the Bishop of Rome should be healed before he be a head of Beast, for this was his headship when he was allowed to be chief Lord over all the Churches, and all the rest to be under him; and the Pope was not this head till the Act of Phocas.

Answ. I answer, He had not the peaceable possession of this Headship till this time, but yet it is evident in story that he did claim this supremacy before, he sought it ambitiously, and it was given him by the devotion of many Bishops, and Churches, and Nations, it was usually rendred to him long before that time. Socrates saith, that Ballo the Pope had bro­ken forth into the Government over the Churches: And Bellarmine himselfe confesseth (when he is put to it) that the Bishop of Rome would never goe to any Consultation in the East, but sent his Legat; for saith he, it is not meet the head should follow the members: A second reason he gives, the Emperor (saith he) is at least Vice-gerent of the East, he well may have the materiall Seat that was taken up by the Empe­rors, where shall the Bishop of Rome sit then? and this he ga­thers out of some of their writings: So that it is evident, that he did ambitiously desire it, and the manner was (being elderly men) all his beloved and dear children they call him Father, and so he takes in good part all their honorable Ti­tles, and he destributes to them such parcells of respect, as may stand with his own Sumpremacy, and their subjection, and therefore they need not say, The wounded head was hea­led before he was a head of the Beast, for it was in conception long before. He did from Constantines time seek Supremacy: They confesse, little respect was had to him in Constantines [Page 37] time; But when order was set in Churches, he took all ad­vantages for his exaltation, and did take all appeals from o­thers, that what others did to him in respect of his gravity, & learning, and understanding, he takes as done to him as sitting in Peters Chaire, and so did challenge headship in those times, and they thought it was meet to give it; And after this, he was ratified, and confirmed, and established in peace, then was his wound healed.

Come we then to gather a note or two from the word; The first note you may observe is this.

The ambition and arrogancy of Church Officers claym­ing headship over the Church of Christ,Doctr. 1. the Lord plagues it with a mortall wound, and crusheth it even to the death.

I gather it out of these words, I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; It was one of the heads of the Catholick Church; As the body was a Monster, so was the head; to set a head over such a vast body it was a Monster in Gods sight: The Lord wil not suffer him to go on in this ambitious designe, but will meet him as he did Balaam, when he crushed his foot against the wall, and if he had gone on, he had sleine him, Numb. 22. 32, 33. So doth the Lord here meet the Bi­shop of Rome; if he will be the head of the visible Church, and animate such a Body, what will the Lord doe? He will wound him to death, and slay him, and crush his spirituall arrogancy, that under pretence of Vicarship to Christ, will yet be the Lord of the Church.

The Reason of the point is,

From the dishonour put upon Christ,Reason 1. to take the headship from him to whom it belongeth. This honour to be the head of the Church is the proper right of the Lord Jesus: It is his, First by gui [...]t from the Father, Ephes. 1. 22. To be head ever all things to the Church: and Col. 1. [...]8. He is the head of the body the Church. Secondly, it is his by Purchase: He gave him­selfe to death, even the death of the Crosse; and God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above e­very name, Phil. 2. 8, 9. He dyed and rose again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living, Rom. 14. 9. So that now when the Lord hath this headship of the Church granted him, [Page 38] and also hath purchased it by his own death; now for ano­ther to claym headship, it must needs imply, either that the head is a non-resident, or else thrust out of his headship, he doth administer. And though the Lord be not present in bo­dy, yet in his spirituall presence, he is as truely present, and more effectually then any that can be devised. And there­fore in regard of injury done to Christ, which the Lord will not bear, he will therefore crush, and wound such heads.

2dly,Reason 2. From the sacrilegious injury put upon the Church: It is an usurpation of all power from the Church, that if a Catholick Church be met, they will give power and Lawes to other Churches, and look what the second Beast doth, he administers all the power of the first Beast; Look what pow­er is given to the Catholick Church, that doth the Bishop of Rome incorporate to himself, and he causeth an Image of that Church to be made in Provinciall Nations; which when they have taken hold, like a Bears claws, they will not easily be rooted out: Now this is such injurous usurpation, that from that day to this, they have never been free; That where the Pope hath had to doe, the Churches are spoiled of the au­thority that is given to them by Christ; And therefore you must not wonder if the Lord wound the head of such as goe on in their wickednesse, Psal. 68. 20, 21. The jealousie of the Lord riseth against such usurpations: For a visible Catho­lick Church to be set over the world, who may make Lawes to rule conscience, and make Officers for the ordering of all Churches; It is such a Monster, and the Government of it is so odious in the sight of God, that he wounds it to death.

For the use of the point,Ʋse 1. It may serve to provoke us all to pray heartily, and faithfully, for the repressing of all such heads as either the Bishop of Rome is, or any Images of him whatsoever they be. You read of a little horn in Daniel, whose root was stubbed up; wherever you read of any horns that will usurpe power over the Church, look at it (as it is) abominable to Christ, it provokes the spirit of Christ, Sove­raign Authority is his: If the Lord be set upon the hill of [Page 39] Sion, he will wound the Bishop of Rome, or any that shall take his Image; He will give them a deadly blow, especial­ly when they are more arrogant, then his Indignation ari­seth against them, to execute judgement on such. The head­ship of the Church is a singular priviledge to the Lord Jesus, and incompitable to any: They must either take Christs of­fice out of his hands, or think him negligent, or non-resident, and that he doth not sufficiently discharge his headship, and therefore they will usurpe an office in his name, but that is abominable to Christ.

Obj. But you will say, So wee shall pluck the Crowne off from the heads of Christian Princes, for they challenge that stile to be head of the Church.

Answ. I doe not know any Christian Prince that chalen­geth that stile. That which was sometimes given to Saul, may be given to Princes, 1 Sam. 15. 17. When thou wast little in thine eyes, wast thou not made the head of the Tribes of Israel? That is true, and so the King is head of all the Peeres, and head of all the Shires, and the Churches are in some or other of them, that is,

1. They have power over the Church in all civill mat­ters.

2. And I will say thus much, that they have power to re­dresse and reforme inordinate abuses in the Church, provo­king Church officers to doe it; If they doe not, other Chur­ches are to treat with them; and if their corruptions be pre­judicial either to the doctrine of the Gospell, or if they dege­nerate to any Tyranny, they are to look to redresse such things, but this gives them not headship over the Church; over their persons it doth, but not over the Church, that is,

1. They have no power either to call Church-officers, or to depose them.

2. They have no power to dispence Church-censures.

3. They have no power to suspend Church liberties.

4. They have no power to appoint Church-ordinances; nor power to administer any matter further then any other member of the Church: and this did the Church [Page 40] of England acknowledge, and no more then this was due: Therefore we allow some power and authority to Prin­ces, and Magistrates, in the sence spoken of; If they claime any further, it will so kindle the jealousie of the Lord, that the Lord wil certainly wound it to the crack­ing of the Crowns of all that take it upon them: which may be a notable warning to all Church-men (I mean Church officers) to beware of cleeking into their hands the power which God hath not given them; the Lord will wound their heads, he will not endure it, 'tis a pri­viledge that he hath purchased with his owne bloud. I think there is no need here to presse it; but this let me say, it is a just motive to pray the more ardently, and faithfully for the crushing of such heads, wherever the Lord findes any arrogant head, that any Church-officer will undertake to give Lawes to the Churches in their diocesse, that they will put Officers upon them, that they will suspend them at their pleasure, and put in, and put out, whether the Church will or no; This kinde of in­solency in such a state, let it look for a wound, for a wound it shall have. And therefore, we are the more encouraged to pray for, and to look for deliverance from these Heads; for John tells us, 1 John 5. 14. that if we aske any thing according to his will, he heareth us; And this is according to the will of God, that all ambitious heads be wounded: What he hath done he will doe, There is no new thing under the Sun; he spares, and changes, and wounds in every change: Persons are changed, but Gods administrations are one and the same: If Gods indig­nation have been ardently kindled against the Bishop of Rome, he will certainly visite such powers as take upon them to put doctrine upon the Church; to take away Church liberties; and sometimes to scater one Church from another, the Lord will certainly visit it, we may pray for it, and comfortably expect it.

The next note is this;

That though God doe wound and crush,Doctr. 2. and represse the arrogance of Church officers, affecting headship over all [Page 41] Churches for a time, yet he doth sometimes again heal their wounds, and binde up their breaches, and give free passage to their ambitious designes.

This is evident here, I saw one of his heads, as it were wounded to death (and you have heard when, and how) and yet, which is wonderfull, His deadly wound was healed, and that to the admiration of all the world; And all the world wondred after the Beast, to see a wound so really and perfectly healed: when this Church was wounded, afterwards the Pope was per­fectly recovered, but the wound of Caesars head was left blee­ding, both in the East and West. This head must therefore be the spirituall head of Rome: God though he represse some insolency, yet he doth many times give free passage to their designes at length. He did so with Balaam, he met with him in the way, and had not the Asse hindred, certainly he had slain him, Numb. 22. 32. Because thy way was perverse before me, saith God: Balaak had sent him word, that if he would come and curse the people that were come out of Aegypt, that he would give him this, and that; he saw he had an eye to these outward things; The Lord seeing his way perverse, he would have killed him; but yet at length in v. 35. The An­gell of the Lord said unto Balaam, if it be thy minde to go, I will give thee leave, go with the men, but onely the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak; And when he comes, he doth blesse the people to the Indignation of the King of Mo­ab; but afterwards when Balaam saw that he should loose all that he came for; come, saith he to the King, take some course to invite the Gallants of Israel to a feast (and it was an Ido­latrous feast to the honour of Baal Peor) and so the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and there were foure and twenty thousand dyed of the Plague, and at length Balaam was slaine also: But yet you see, he gives way to his cove­teous designes, to satisfie himselfe to the full, though he af­terward visited his Sinne upon him. So did the Lord here with the Bishop of Rome; he wounded him as it were to death, and afterwards he heals him, and raiseth him up again, and sent Justinian to destroy the Goths out of Italy; and he be­ing a wise man, gives him his Titles, and makes him Bishop [Page 42] of Bishops, inspector over all the rest, and perfectly cures him; That whereas before he had lost his Titles, and one or other wrote against him; the Emperor being loath to make their own Arch-Bishop (that lived in their City with them) chief, for disturbing their civill Government; They had ra­ther conferre all that honour upon him that had been so ad­mired & worshiped for so many years, especially having had 32 M [...]nasteries, & had been more Orthodoxall then all other Churches: These were great inducements to give all ho­nour to the Pope, though they saw him desperately woun­ded; but when they see him recovered, they wonder at him, and every one submits to him, especially the Western parts; though they in the East also would consult with him, and be led and guided by him, and all their decrees in counsell were referred to him; if he did dislike them, they were antequa­ted; if he did approve them, they were received as Authenti­call Lawes of the Church.

You may aske, why the Lord would heal such an abomina­ble and ugly Beast, this visible Catholick Church, and this Beast that was one of the heads of this Church; for he had a beastly shape; take him alone without the other Beast, and take them together, here is a great Beast; afterwards he is called in Chap. 17. the great whore, and she sits upon this Beast, and he hath all his supportance from her; he restores the Church, and the head of the Beast to that state they were in before; The reason why God doth this is double.

First,Reason 1. in regard of his just displeasure against the backsli­ding apostacies of the Church in such times: When the Lord sees the spirits of men are bent to apostacy and backsliding, so as that they reject the simplicity of the Gospell of Christ, and if they might have it they will not; now it is a righteous thing with God to plague them with the arrogance & tyran­ny of Antichrist: If I come in my Fathers name, you will not re­ceive me; if another come in his own name, him you will receive; Now it is a just judgement of God, if Christ come and offer himself in the simplicity of his Ordinances, and they think this is too mean, and doth not reach the state of an Imperiall City, but they must have such and such orders in all Chur­ches, [Page 43] and Churches must be distinguished by such Patrons, and it is fit that one be Lord Paramount over them all, and none is so fit as the Bishop of Rome; If people dote upon such (some goodly shape, but drawn by the inventions of men) well you shall have such Bishops: This head that sometimes hath been thus wounded, that some have had cause of solemn praise for his wounding, and God hath by this means given the Churches liberty to take some better way of worship, but they would not, well you shall have enough of him. It is one of Solomons Proverbs, (Chap. 14. 14.) the Backslider in heart shall be filled with his own wayes; If you dote after inventions of men, you shall be filled with vain Super­stition to the contentment of your own hearts. God out of his tender faithfulnesse to his Church he will redeem some, and doth give them faire opportunities to undertake their own liberties out of the usurpations of men; but if they will rather sit under the shadow of Aegypt, then feed upon Manna, then goe you back again saith God, none of you shall eat of that which I have prepared, that is one Reason; Such backsliders that delight in such communion in such heads over their Churches, it is just with God to fill them with their own inventions.

The second Reason is taken from the just judgement of God upon such kinde of heads,Reason 2. that doe affect such ambiti­on; the Lord will shew them this favour, he will crosse them as he did Balaam; but if their hearts be bent to go on in their mischevous course, he gives them leave to fulfill their own lusts to their own perdition; And thus he did Balaam, he gave him leave not onely to blesse the people, but to draw them aside from God; for he could not have taken a more ready course to have cast them out of Gods favour, then to draw them to offer Sacrafice to Baal, for that was one of the worst dunghill gods. It is out of Gods righteous judge­ment, when a man will not be reclaimed, when the Lord wounds, and crushes him, and brings him to the last gaspe, if he have a licourish affection still; now it is an usuall thing with God to pay men to their own perdition: And there­fore in Rev. 17. 11. It is said, the beast that was and is not, shall [Page 44] goe into perdition, that's the head of this Beast; that is the next newes you heare of this second beast here in the Text, and therefore it is called both the beast, and the head of the beast, where the first beast is presented in the form of a great whore, who is to be brought to the last gaspe; A whore she was, but he presents her to John as a great beast; Now hee gives him leave to rise againe to his own perdition, and of many thou­sands more. Thus you see the truth of the point.

Now for the use of it.

First,Ʋse 1. it may be a just watch-word and warning to all the Sons of men, to beware of Gods checks. When the Lord checks you, crushes your Crowns, and exposeth you to this and that danger in one kind or other, beware of this; whether you be the children of God or not, yet come home effectually to him; for this you shall finde, if you be in di­stress, and call, he is ready to heare; He will heare Ishmael; and he hears the Lyons that roar, and seek their meat of him; He will many times, once, or twice, or thrice do thus: But if the Lord once strike, and almost crush you, beware now that you lay aside all carnall ends and ambitious designes; for other­wise, if you shall recover againe, and persist in your former wayes without repentance, then the next news is, you goe on to perdition: And therefore when ever the Lord affects us, and afflicts us in any kind, it is heavenly wisdome to be war­ned by the least phylip of his finger; be warned by any sick­nesses, crosses, danger by Land or Sea, by any thing whatsoe­ver the Lord is pleased to exercise you with, this is both chil­drens bread, and the bread of strangers: Beware you goe not on still, but if the Lord check you, then turn back again; but if you go forward, be sure you go to God-ward, and accor­ding to Gods will, and after Gods ends:

This is that which God calls for, that you walke more exactly, and more accurately, Ephes. 5. 15. See then that yee walke circumspectly, not as fooles, but as wise, redeeming the time; because God hath thus and thus taken paines with you, and hath thus and thus been as a Leopard in your paths. It is a strong speech that in Amos 3. 5. Will a man lay a snare (and the word is a deadly snare) will a man lay a deadly snare, and [Page 45] take it up, and catch nothing? The Lord will catch a prey when he layes a trap for us, and he will not leave till he have girded our loynes and our hearts close to him, and made us more exact in our way, or otherwise if he let us slip, it will be to perdition: And therefore let all that heare the word, ever be sensible of the least wounds & checks, especially if they grow to some bulky frame: I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death, and this deadly wound was healed, and it was healed to immortall perdition, and therefore all that wonder after the Beast, they are such as have no part in the Lambs book of Life, they have no part in Christ.

Secondly,Ʋse 2. It may teach us the more earnestly to wrestle with God by faithfull and earnest prayer for any of the Chur­ches of Christ in any parts of the world; that if the Lord give them an opportunity to wound the head of any Image of the Beast, any of his heads or horns, then it will be necessary that all such Churches do take the hint and opportunity that God puts into their hands, and that they do not rather close with such heads whom God wounds, and be loath to lay hold of those liberties that he procures for them: But let this be the constant care of Christians to desire that such heads may not be usurping: but if the Lord gives an opportunity, the Lord looks that all Christians should improve it, to vindicate themselves, when the Lord gives any hint thereof: When he gives an opportunity, then is the time; when the iron is hot, then strike; Intreat God, that when he puts a prize into their hands, that they then may learn to get wisdome, and not in their hearts turn to tolerate arrogant designes, and such as are ugly in the sight of God: When God wounds the head of Enemies, and casts shame upon them, and hath rescued his people from them; If Churches shal again comply with them, then what will the end of that be? It is a fearfull thing, such kind of Heads goe to perdition, and those that dote upon such Heads. It is a check especially for this great beast of Rome, but it will be dangerous for other States too: This will be the finall issue, they shall have enough of it, they shall be filled with Hirarchicall power, and with their Agents in Civill States, their feete like a Beare will raven in all, that [Page 46] they shall all be weary of the burden, and shall be so filled with them, as to spew them out of their mouths: And there­fore how should we help the people of God to traverse that wounded Head that it never rise up more.

Thirdly,Ʋse 3. this may serve to teach such whose Heads have at any time been wounded; As there is none of the servants of God, but sometimes he will have them sacrifice their Isaac, that which is most deare to them: The Lord will rend away our most desirable comforts; he will follow us there, where we most of all are affected: And let this teach the people of God, that if the Lord then bow their hearts to unfeigned re­pentance, turning from all evill in their hands and hearts, how then? If the Lord will restore the wounded head of a beast, a beastly head, of a beastly shape, will he not much more restore the hearts of his servants that seek to him for healing of all their corruptions, and scattering all their temptations, that they may walke before him according to to his will? What saith the holy Ghost, Hos. 6. 1, 2. Hee puts words into their mouths, come let us return unto the Lord: He hath torne, and he will heale us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up: after two dayes will he revive us, and the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Wherein he shewes the meanes whereby the Lord will apply this medicine to his own ser­vants, namely by the death and resurrection of Christ, to which he doth allude; that as Christ dyed, and rose the third day, so shall all that have part and portion in him; They may lye in danger, but they shall come out in due time: but however, it should be a warning to the sonnes of men how they adven­ture their lives by going into any danger where God calls them not: But if you be brought into danger when the Lord doth deliver, you have cause to blesse him, and to render your selves and Families back to him, that you may walke with more girt up spirits to God, that so he may not repent of what deliverances he vouchsafeth to you.

Rev. 13. the latter part of the 3. & 4. ver.

And all the world wondered after the Beast.

And they worshipped the Dragon who gave power unto the Beast, and they worshipped the Beast, saying, who is like unto the Beast? who is able to make Warre with him?

I Come now to speak of the sequell of the healing of this wound; upon the healing of it there is a double effect.

1. The admiration of the world after the Beast.

2. A worship, set forth by a double object, the Dragon, and the Beast.

3. The causes are set forth that made them to worship them both; The Dragon in that he gave power to the Beast, and the Beast for his unmatchable power. Who is like unto the Beast? who is able to make war with him? Here might be three or four Notes justly gathered from hence, but because I affect brevity in mysticall Scriptures, I shall compact them into one: The note is this;

That upon the healing of the Beasts wounded head,Doctrine. all the world fell into an admiration of the Beast, and of his power, yea into an a­doration of worship, both of the Beast, and of the Dragon.

This containes both the latter end of the third, and part of the fourth vers.

For the causes of this Admiration, they will be just rea­sons of the point.

To open the Doctrine [upon the healing of this wounded head of the Beast] Remember the Beast is the Roman Catho­lick visible Church, whereof Rome was the mother City, and mother Church, accounted of all the Churches in the world, and the Pope is the visible head of this Church, in this Chap­ter called the seventh head.

Observe 2ly. the healing of this seventh Head, wounded by the captivity and calamity it fell into by barbarous Nations. [Page 48] Upon the healing of this wounded Head, by the removal, and scattering, and subduing of these Enemies, as also by the playster that was put to him, when such Titles of Soveraign Authority, were put upon him by the Emperors: Now this was the Originall of that wonder, for so it comes in; His deadly wound was healed, and all the world wondered after the beast: And so he expresseth it, Chap. 17. 8. All that dwell upon the earth shall wonder when they behold the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is. He was when he flourished, as that which was the great Authority of the world: He is not, when he is woun­ded in his head; but as it were troden under foot, wounded to death, as if he had not been: But yet he is againe, that is, he is restored: And they that dwell on the earth, when they saw that, wondered to behold the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is; A Beast that cannot be crushed and beaten downe with such des­perate calamities, so that's the occasion of their wonder­ment; now upon this occasion they fell into an admiration of the Beast, and of his power. An admiration implies some high esteem of some great happinesse betiding this Beast, not only beyond their expectation, but transcendant, beyond their apprehension and capacity to understand. For a man doth not admire a thing, unlesse it goe not only beyond ex­pectation, but is transcendant above his reason and under­standing. Yea, beyond any meanes he could use to bring such a thing to passe: Therefore when they see this great change, they fall admiring of the Beast, and the head of the Beast, and of the Dragon that gave power to the Beast, and worship them both. For their Admiration then, let me speak something of that; and then of their Adoration both of the Beast, and of the Dragon.

It was in a way of Admiration; I will not say what ex­pressions some have made of it, some that were called Fathers of the Church, and have left such things in writing: It would mightily possesse one with Admiration of the Sea of Rome, looking at him as the Lyon of the Tribe of Judah; looking at him as by his Primacy to be like Adam, for his Faith like Abraham, for his government like Noah, gathering all the world under him; for Order like Melchisedech, for his functi­on, [Page 49] to be Christ himselfe, deservedly to be God, after some­times called the Vicar of Christ, and of God; marvellous transcendant strains put upon him, which argues a high e­steem of him: But to omit such things as are but flourishes, these are reall.

1. That all the Churches of the world are to receive all their doctrine and worship from them; Though it were never so superstitious, as worshipping of Angels, and Saints, and making use of their meditation besides Christ; and they did receive from them more then all this, which is the life and quintiscence of all. They looked from the Father of the Catholick visible Church to receive Indul­gences, and pardon of all their sinnes: If he retained them, then they were retained; if he remitted them, they were remitted: This they looked for from him, not on­ly for Doctrine and worship, but for sealing up their Pardon for so many hundreds and thousands of years, and not sealed with waxe, but with a wap of Lead, and a Seale set on that: And this was the chiefe comfort of troubled minds in those ages, these things they received from them, and admirable honour they put upon that Beast, to receive all such things from them.

2. They made to Rome all their Appeals: What ever go­vernment there was in the Christian world, from thence were their Laws, and thither were their Appeals, as out of England and many other places, to the great distur­bance of Church and Common-wealth, as also large and bountifull payments were made to them: It were a vast thing to sum up the totall sum of constant payments that were from every Kingdome repayed to the Sea of Rome: And as their Appeals & Payments went to Rome, so did their bodies on pilgrimage, and it was thought a great devotion to kisse the feet of the Pope, and to see those blessed Shrines; Thus was their admiration of the Beast.

3. They fetched from Rome the Ordination of all their chiefe Officers: Any Arch-bishop, who-ever chose him, yet he was not installed, but he must fetch it from Rome, and pay well for it. And from thence they fetched all [Page 50] their Coronation of Kings and Emperors; and sundry fundamentall Lawes of every Catholick Kingdom were derived from thence. All their Dispensations were fetched from thence, that Princes might marry where they would: And dispensation from Oaths, and from Marriages contracted, all these things they fetched from Rome: It was an admirable honour they put upon the Church of Rome, and upon the Head of it; what ever the first Beast did, the second Beast also did; and so in wor­shipping the one, they worshipped the other; and in ad­miring one, they admired both.

4. They expresse their admiration in this, that they will undertake establishing of Laws from the Sea of Rome, and persecution of such godly persons as did not submit, such as were different in their minds from the Catholick Church, if they never so little swerve from that, they undertook to execute the Laws of the Church: And if the Church declared him him to be an Heretick, there was no more to do, the Common-wealth presently put him to death: And as they took upon them persecution of their Subjects at home, so the Subjects took upon them to depose their Princes, and might depose them, if they would not submit their power to the Pope, so that there was no subsisting without submitting to them. And which is a branch of this, they undertook a vast and cost­ly War abroad, against the common Enemy the Turke, whereas in very deed, whilst the Pope stands, it is not possible any War should prosper against him; for it was for the sinne of Rome that the Turk was advanced, a bar­barous and beastly Enemy, to punish a beastly Religion: This was their admiration.

And all the world wondered after the Beast.] He meanes as he expounds himselfe, ver. 8. Those whose names are not written in the book of the life of the Lamb. They that were redeemed from the world, they were not of the world, though they lived in it: but those in the world that were of the world, they did honour this beast, and were subject to him, and gave all their devotion to the Catholick Church: And when I say all the [Page 51] world, I meane all the Christian world, which was the visible face of the world, the reputed world; These barbarous Na­tions were not then so owned; but as for the Eastern world, they were all willing to give way to this transcendant Usur­pation of the Bishop of Rome in a generall Councell at Asia: They looked at the reigning and Imperiall City of Rome, as the chiefest Seate of the Catholick Church, the highest throne of that Church, and were content that no Councell should be ratified but by him: If hee ratified a Councell in so many Canons, it was established; if he did not, then they were not; and the Emperors were willing it should be so, because they found insufficiency in themselves to maintaine the Royal Ci­ty of Rome against barbarous Nations: And therefore they thought it State-policy to maintain the Bishop of Rome, and let him grow up to as great power as he could; It was as they thought, the preservation of their State (but it was in­deed their ruine) so they willingly gave their power to the beast: Now the barbarous Nations that had not forsaken the Country, and had builded them houses, they that were not driven out (as many rested in some parts of the Empire) they willingly closed with such a Religion as was pretty sa­voury to their apprehensions, they began to comply with it, and put their necks under it. Charles the Great having received the Kingdome of France from the Pope, he did his best endeavour to bring the people to yeeld themselves, but the people were somewhat sowr and rugged that way to be wrought upon: Therefore the Pope had another sophistry to help himselfe; He sends three Apostles, Gregory the Great, he was one Apostle that he sent for England, and he brings great Reformation, that is, he sways the whole State to the Bishop of Rome, and those that would not yeeld were miserably slaughtered. And Bonifacius he did the like in Genevah, and in France, and Denmarke, and Germany; And where ever the world was Christian, it was now Catholick, all submitted to the Church of Rome; and so by this means all the world ad­mired him, they received doctrine and worship from Rome, they will goe for pardon of Sin thither: They make Pilgri­mages to Rome, Appeals to Rome; From thence they receive [Page 52] their fundamental Constitutions, Disp [...]nsations, Persecutions, deposition of Princes; They receive and undertake generall war from thence for the recovery of the holy Land: And in one word, in such admiration the Beast of Rome was, that it was a Proverb among them, He ruled all the world; and there­fore he ruled all the Churches, and was esteemed to be God on Earth: Thus did all the world wonder after the Beast, and admire him, and so did they also hi [...] power: They did exc [...] ­dingly admire his power; Who is like unto the Beast? who is a­ble to make warre with him? It is not cleare adoration, but it is an attributing to the Beast, that which is peculiar to God; Who is like unto the Lord our God? Exod. 15. 11. It is a style of the high and mighty God: This admiration of this wonder­full power and holinesse it is now added to the Pope: Who is like unto the Beast? who is able to make warr with him? Who is the Lord of hosts but our God? as if he were invincible: For they had found, that when some of the Grecian Emperours that had given their power to the Beast did vary in point of judgment (as they did not love to take up the worship of Images) then the Beast is offended, and excommunicates him, and deprives him of his Empire, and gives it to Charles the Great; takes a­way the Kingdome of France, puts him into a Monastery, re­moves Fredericke, first and second: And what he did with King John of England, you know; He deprived him of his Kingdome, and hee makes some of them do very hard pe­nance, whiles he was solacing himselfe with his Harlot: She being more compassionate then he, besought his Holinesse to have compassion on him, and so he sent him back, yet after­wards they made him away: And his Son, when they came to Crown him, it must be with the Popes foot; and when he hath done, he dasheth it off, to shew, that he hath power to take it as easily from him, as to fell it from his head. Though great men, and greatly beloved of the people, all is nothing, if they be alienated from the Pope: All mens affections are his; when he turns, the whole body turns; when the head moves, the whole body doth accordingly: So that it was marvellous admirable power that he had; whom he would he set up, and whom he would he pulled downe. Peter, he said, [Page 53] gave it to him, and he did what he would to those that were on the earth, this is great power. They professe, if their ho­ly Father carry many millions of soules to Hell, yet no man must say, Sir, why do you so: All appeals were from him, so that there is transcendant, soveraign power, and indeed di­vine, such as no man can attaine; Power to pardon sin, pow­er to bind Conscience, to dispence with the Law of God, to interpret and judg of Scripture as he sees cause, and this is such power, as is far above the reach of man: None of them all have such power as he, not those that are called Gods: So they admire his power, what he can do to inward or out­ward man, to publique or private States. And they do not only admire the Catholick Church, and the head of it, and adore them; but in both these they adore the Dragon that gave all this power to the Beast. The meaning may be exprest in two branches.

1. The Dragon is expressed as animating heathen Rome, for that hath seven heads and ten horns, which are the armes, both of heathen Rome, and of this Beast: Now he is called the Dragon, as he acted heathen Rome, and as he was Lord of heathen Rome, he gave all this power to the Pope; For they thought it meet, since it was the Imperiall City when it was Pagan, that therefore it should be the mother of all Churches: And being the Imperial City, it was the bloud-sucker of many millions of the souls of Gods servants, that caused the Dragon to put that honour upon Rome.

2. But that is not all, There is another branch comes neerer the full meaning of the Text; that was for the honouring of the Bishop of Rome, and of the Catholick Church, viz. taking another doctrine for the Gospell, their Idolatry for pure worship, their Government for the discipline of Christ, their pardons for Justification of sinne by Christ; In all this they doe indeed give true worship to the Dragon, for what are all these but Ima­ges, they are none of Gods Ordinances; if you referre them to the heads of Scripture, they are but Images of Christ; In stead of the Ministery of Christ, you have do­ctrines [Page 54] of men; In stead of justification by the righteous­nesse of Christ, you have justification by works; In stead of pardon of Sin from Christ, you have it from the Pope; All things are in another forme, an Image of another forme set up, devised, contrary to what the word esta­blisheth: Now you shall finde this to be true; if you doe vary from the kingdome of God, and Christ, then you worship the Dragon: You read in 2 Chron. 11. 15. Je­roboam ordained him Priests, for the high places, and for the Devils, and for the Calves, which he had made: he had no Preists but for the golden Calves, and what were they? they were but Images, and his intendment was not to bring in another object of worship, but another manner of worship; Jeroboam worshiped Jehovah in I­mages, which God had not appointed, and so he wor­shipped the Divill, and not God. And you shall read, when the Turke was brought in to revenge the Idolatry of Christendome, Rev. 9. 20. It is said, The people that were not cut off with the plague, they repented not of the worke of their hands, that they should not worship Devils, and Idols of Gold and Silver, and brasse, and Stone, and of wood, which nei­ther can see, nor hear, nor walk: which shews, that when men worship Images, that is, God in Images; it is not God that is so worshipped, but the Divill, and all such worship doth not advance the kingdome of God, but the kingdome of the Devill, therefore it is reall ho­nour to him: and therefore this their taking all this vast honour (all Churches receiving all from them) is none of Gods Institution, but the Devils practice, for it was the Devill that gave him his power and great au­thority; Therefore saith the holy Ghost, they worshiped the Dragon who gave power unto the Beast, and they worshipped the beast: This worship of the beast they gave it all to him that gave this power to him, which was to the Dragon; and therfore you read that he had the key of the bottom­lesse pit, Rev. 9. 1, 2. And he opened the bottomlesse pit, and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great fur­nace, and there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: [Page 55] There went out Monks & Friars, and a rabble of all su­perstition.

Now if you shall aske the reason why people upon the hea­ling of this wound did so mightily admire both the visible Catholick Church, and the head of it, and adore both, and Satan himselfe in both? The reason was,

First,Reason 1. from the wrong Interpretation of some Scriptures, which were very frequent with them in those dayes, and are still; and that was, that the Catholick Roman Church was builded upon a rock, and that rock was the Bishop of Rome, and into his hand the Lord Jesus by Peter had given the keys of the kingdome of Heaven, and these keys had absolute uni­versall power to binde on Earth, and upon his binding on earth, Christ would bind in heaven: this was an error in judg­ment that did so possesse their hearts, that upon the healing of this wounded head, all the world did admire him: There­fore Bellarmine makes a large discourse; Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, and they that trust in him shall never be confoun­ded; and so never was there any man that was an enemy to the Catholick Church, but was confounded; nor never did any man stand for the Catholick Church, but was preserved: and so they did admire him; A great inundation of barba­rous Nations were all driven out by the piety of the Bishop of Rome; they were able to overturn the Emperors of the East (and it was overturned) and bring them to his feet, and all to be at his disposing; This was some confirmation to them, that he was the successor of Peter, that now whoever is saved, it must be by the power of this key, or else never look for any saving in this world.

A second reason may be taken from the correspondency and plausablenesse of such a kinde of Religion and Govern­ment to carnall reason.Reason 2. especially when it is subdued by any terrors of consceence: for it was a season (and that held many years together) wherein the Priests, Friers, and Monks, had marvellous power to sting the consciences of men with the loathsomnesse of their sinne in the sight of God, and they had admirable dexterity therein: These foure things were all the matter of their Sermons, Vertue and vice, Heaven [Page 56] and Hell; If you be vertuous, then you shall go to Heaven; If you be vicious, then you must go to Hell: Now they would so convince mens consciences, and upon conviction binde the conscience under terror, as eternally shut out of Heaven, for want of virtue, which they had not; that indeed when these mens consciences are thus perplexed and woun­ded, here is a Religion that findes them so many salves and medicines, as ease the power, but not remove the cause of the disease; that is, they set men a course; well, though you be vicious, and though Hell be dreadfull, yet Purgatory may ease you by Prayer, and you may be dispensed with from go­ing to Hell, especially by the Popes pardon, or by your own workes, by your confessions, by selfe-whippings and scour­gings, or by going a Pilgrimage, you may be discharged of this burden; This was very plausable to carnall reason, es­pecially if they gave so much to such a Monastery, that they may offer so many Sacraments for them (for they look at the bread in the Lords supper as a propiatory Sacrament:) here were so many means to satisfie the consciences of those that were superstitious, as nothing could be devised to give better content to the spirits of men in those dayes: any man that knowes it, shall finde it true, that when the conscience is ter­rified with the curse of Gods Law, and never shewed the true way of fellowship with Christ, no man is so tender and con­scionable in the performance of all duties as they: If you will have them kisse the Popes foot, or give so much to a Monastery; and by this means Hell shall be shut against them, and Purgatory discharged: But for assurance of Salvation in Christ, they could not endure that; they that stood for that, they tell them, what, you will not have men doe good workes, away with that, faggot and halter for such Hereticks.

Thirdly,Reason 2. there was a third Reason, and that was from the great reverence of all Councells, and Synods to the Sea of Rome. The City of Rome had wont to be the imperiall City, now in such a case as this they thought it but reasonable; In heathenish Rome they gave all worship to them, and so let Christian Rome give all their worship to the chief Head there, [Page 57] and so to their mother Church, all Catholicks would incou­rage others so to doe; and so by this means there were such incouragements laid for admiration and adoration, that you may not wonder at what the holy Ghost saith, That when the wound was healed, all the world wondred after the beast, saying, who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? Not the Emperors of the East and West, not the King of England, France, Spain, nor all that have been of greatest force, they were none of them able to hold up their heads against this great Beast. The use of this point is thus much;

First,Ʋse 1. you may observe from hence, that Universality, and Prosperity, though they be given for two notes of a true Church by the Papists, yet indeed they are but sopisticall, de­ceitfull delusions; They are not such marks of a Church as are peculiar to a true Church; here is Universality, All the world wondred after the beast; and here is Prosperity, all the world adore, and admire the Beast; Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? Not all the Princes of the world: So that here is externall prosperity, for so they call it; here are both these concur, and they doe indeed argue a Catholick Church, as Bellarmine saith; but note this, that Catholick Church which is visible, (which is the Roman vi­sible Catholick Church) the Scripture holds it forth as a great, and ugly, and monstrous Beast: look not therefore at these as any good marks and signes, by which Jesuites, and Seminaries are wont to draw to deep devotion to the Ca­tholick Church, for all the world have run this way, there is but a handfull, a few of such as are otherwise minded; what is Genevah and some others to Rome? what have they been able to doe in comparison of the Church of Rome, which is the Church of Churches, none have been able to doe as they.

Secondly,Ʋse 2. we may see the danger of this admiration, and adoration, the deadly and desperate danger of adoring the Catholick visible Church and the Dragon. It is the cunning of these Priests and Jesuites to draw men by all means to be at least devoted to the Catholick Church, and to submit their power thereunto; for they say there is no union with [Page 58] Christ the head, unlesse you be united to the visible head on Earth; this is their usuall plea: Now marke what the holy Ghost speaks in this Text; he doth say, that all the worship of this mother Church is but the worship of the Dragon. Men are devoutly adicted to give up their souls to the Devill, when they give up themselves to the Catholicke visible Church, the Lord professeth he is not honoured by them; they professe honour to he-Saints and shee-Saints, and dead Saints, and to all relicks and remnants of them; the honour of them is given unto the Devill, and not to God. That look what Paul sai [...]h of heathen Rome, John speaks of christian Rome; This I say, saith the Apostle, 1 Cor. 10. 20. That the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to Devils, and not to God; and I would not that ye should have fellowship with Devils; And so this saith John the holy Apostle (equall to the Apo­stle Paul, or next him, but here guided equally with Paul in the Authentical word of God) he saith, They that worship God according to the prescript of the Church of Rome, they worship the Devils, and not God; they worship the Dragon, the old Serpent. So that it is not so light a matter as Gallants at Court, and great Kings apprehend, they will be reconciled to their mother Church, they will goe a Pilgrimage that is devised by the Pope, and perform duties as their ghostly Father directs them, and have their bead-prayers; In all this what do they doe? This is a worship to the great beast, but this is the issue, and substance of it, they doe indeed worship the Dragon; It is not the Lord Jesus, nor God the Father, nor the blessed spirit that is thus worshipped, but this is indeed the worship of the Devill.

Thirdly,Ʋse 3. this may serve to teach us, to blesse the name of the Lord, that hath delivered us from this admiration and adoration, from this wofull Captivity and Calamity where­to our Fathers have been enthralled; All those of them whose names are not written in the Lambs book of life, they were all led this way; and it is a marvellous deliverance that God hath wrought for us in taking our Religion from universa­lity, and from outward prosperity. It is sometimes a snare to Christians, this kinde of Government that we have, and [Page 59] they are apt to say what doe any of the great Nations of the world for worship and Government; did you ever know a­ny such thing authorised in any Kingdome? There is an in­ward principle in us by nature to doe as all the world doe: what, are we more wise then they? It is a great temptation, but we have cause to blesse God that hath wrought delive­rance for us; But what if all the world did worship the De­vill, as time was when they did? what if all the world wor­ship the Beast, and the Dragon that gave power to the Beast, must we doe so? And as they are not grounds of our wor­ship, so they are fit grounds of unfeigned thankfulnesse to God that hath delivered us from that Religion by which all the world was bewitched to give their Crownes, Honours, Bodies, and States to the devotion of the visible Catholick Church, and to the head of that Church: It is cause of ever­lasting thankfulnesse and watchfulnesse, not to be deluded by fine shewes of worldly men, but let us see and know where true worship lies, as the Lord hath declared himself in Christ, and held him forth in the Gospel of truth.

Forthly,Ʋse 4. let it teach us all where to bestow our admira­tion, and adoration; It was a charge that our Saviour gave to the Devill, (and which accordingly he himself practised, and requires us to doe) Mat. 4. 10. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him onely shalt thou serve: The Devill askes this of Christ to bow downe to him and worship him; The Lords Indignation is kindled, his holy Zeale is inflamed against such a Sacriligious request; Get thee hence Satan, for it is writ­ten, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him onely shalt thou serve. And as we are to worship him alone, and no God but him, so we are to admire none but him; Who is like unto thee, O Lord amongst the Gods? who is like unto thee, glorious in holi­nesse, fearfull in praises, doing wonders, Exod. 15. 11. There is matter of admiration; who is a God like unto the Lord that for­giveth Iniquity, Transgression and Sinne; of which you read, Mic. 7. 18. and which the Church holds forth there upon this very ground: who is a God like unto thee? why what is there in him that you so magnifie him? he is a God that forgives Iniquity, Transgression, and Sinne; here is cause indeed of admiration. [Page 60] They admire and adore the Pope, why? Because they had sa­tisfaction to their consciences in their way, and an ungroun­ded hope of a better state in another world, and pardon of Sinne in this, and now they come to fellowship with Christ by the worship of the Devill: But who is a God like unto thee that pardoneth Iniquity, Transgression, and Sinne? So that here is indeed matter of due admiration, and let it be fastned there. When a mans soul is brought low with the sence of Sinne, and overpoured with the burden that lyes upon his consci­ence by reason of the guilt of Sinne; what is matter of ad­miration now? who is a God like unto thee, that passeth by Iniqui­ty, transgression, & sin? It is not the Pope of Rome that can take away sin, it is not all the cunning of the Dragon that can do it: And therefore to what end are all the admirations, and worships that are put upon the Bishop of Rome and the Dra­gon that gave him his power? They may please themselves in what satisfaction they apprehend they have, but their own principles possesse them, that they can never come to see the admirable goodnesse of God in forgiving their Sinnes. But now when the Lord sheds abroad a spirit of grace and peace in the conscience, and applyes the goodnesse of Christ to the discharge of the burden of Sinne, and of quickning the heart in the peace of Christ Jesus, this breeds admiration: Blessed be God the Father of mercy, and God of all consolation, that of his a­boundant mercy hath begotten us again to a lively hope: I say this blessing is worthy of admiration, and not onely of wonder­ment, but of acknowledging all glory and blessednes to him. When the conscience is not pacified by a sorry duty done from man, but by a sealed pardon from the spirit of God, witnessed by the breath of the holy Ghost; this is such a mercy to the soule; as indeed raiseth the heart above all ad­miration of such a Beast, I, to a true detestation of this Beast, and of the Dragon that hath so long bewitched, and carried them captive to the imaginations of their own hearts, and in the end to their everlasting perdition. But let it be the care of Gods people, as ever you desire to be blessed from the ad­miration of such a worm-eaten Religion, so grow to an ad­miration of the God of mercy and grace: and so we shall [Page 61] doe that upon just grounds, which our Fathers did without grounds, to this Beast, and to the head of it. Upon this ground, this head being wounded, and afterwards healed, all the world wondred after him: Here is an Image of Christ, he was wounded to death, and his deadly wound was healed: and he riseth againe, and he proclaims all power is given him, in Heaven and Earth; Now see how this Vicar of Christ (as they call him) usurps; as Christ was wounded, and is risen againe; so it is with this Beast, he is wounded to death, and afterwards healed and restored, and now all the world ad­mire and worship him: Have they forgotten that Christ dyed for our Sinnes, and was raised again for our Justification? and doe they stand admiring at this Beast as he that was wounded, and healed? Therefore let it be a ground of true thankfulnesse to the Lord, for the great change that is wrought in Christen­dome, and let us give the Lord the admiration that is due to him, that we may be preserved from those delusions, where­with others have been deceived and may goe on in this way constantly which the Lord hath established, and called us un­to.

Revel. 13. 5, 6.

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things, and blasphemies, and power was given unto him to continue forty and two moneths.

And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme his name, and his Tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

THE events that followed upon the healing of the Beast; the first was, That all the world admired him. The second was, Ʋniversall worship given both to the Beast, and to the Dragon that gave power to the Beast, of which wee have already spoken. The third event remains now to be spoken to, and that is, the deligation of power to this Beast, upon his recovery, and the power given him is four-fold.

1. There was power given him to speak great things, and in particular, great blasphemies.

2. There was power given him to continue, that is, as the word signifies, to be doing, to be active, to be powerfull and effica­cious in his worke 42. moneths.

3. There was power given him to make war with the Saints, and to overcome them.

4. Power was given him of dominion over all Kindreds, Tongues, and Nations.

First, There was given him a mouth speaking great things.

Secondly, There was power given him to continue 42. moneths, and both these Authorities or Liberties, they are amplified by the effect it wrought in the Beast: He did effectually take that power which was given him, and employed it to the ut­most. As he had a mouth given him, so he opened his mouth in blasphemies, and that amplified by the object of his blas­phemy against God, and God distributed, his Name, his Ta­bernacle, and those that dwell in Heaven. The note then that the words do afford first, is this.

That after the healing of the wounded head of the Beast,Doctr. 1. there was given to him power to speak great things, even blasphemies, which [Page 63] also he did effectually and abundantly exercise, or put forth.

For so it is here said, There was given him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he opened his mouth accor­dingly, abundantly against God, and against his name, and his Tabernacle, and them that dwell in Heaven: Every thing of God he did with open mouth blaspheme.

Let me a little open the words, and the Doctrine, for the doctrine is in a manner the words of the Text.

There was given him a mouth.] what mouth had he more then other men? The meaning is, he had such liberty of speech as no man had; There was given him liberty, and power, and authority to speak great things.

Given him.] by whom?

1. It was given him by God in his just judgment that gave up men to efficacy of delusions, 2 Thes. 2. 11.

2. It was given him by Satan, in the efficacy of whose power Antichrist comes, with all deceivablenesse of unrighteous­nesse, 2 Thes. 2. 9, 10.

3. It was given him by the generall consent of Princes and States Ecclesiasticall and Civill. In Ecclesiasticall Councels, great was the authority that was given him, none of all them thought themselves equall to him: And for the Civill State, God put it into their hearts to give their power and Throne unto the beast, Rev. 17. 17.

What power did they give him to speak great things, and in particular blasphemies? It is an allusion to the horn in Dan. 2. 8. There came up a little horne which had a mouth speaking great things; whether it be the same Beast, or a type of him, I will not now stand to determine, but great things he spoke; as indeed this was a great thing that the Catholick Church had power to speak, for he did open his mouth to speak great things, that is, such things, as for other men to speake, were too great arrogance, and too much affectation of inor­dinate Vain-glory; but for this Church, or the head of it to speak, they had a mouth given for the same purpose.

And Blasphemies.] They make many distinctions in Schools of Blasphemies, which I will not trouble you with: they may be brought to two heads, either in attributing to God [Page 64] something unworthy of him, things incompatible to his di­vine nature, as in Acts 17. 29. It is blasphemy to ascribe to God likenesse of four-footed beasts, or creeping things, and the like. Or otherwise, if you attribute to the Creature that which properly doth belong to God, you hurt the name of God, and crush it when you so speak. Now what is it for the Beast to open his mouth, to speak great things and blas­phemies? The phrase is very significant in the Hebrew: It im­plies three things.

1. That a man speaks upon the meditation: He opens his mouth to speak, that is to say, he hath something to say, and power to deliver it, and he sets himselfe of purpose to speak it: I will open my mouth in wisdome, and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding, Psal. 49. 3, 4. He tells you of his me­ditation, and then he will open his mouth, and declare it.

2. To open the mouth implies an audable, and full, and bold, and confident expression of a mans minde, that a man doth not whisper, but lift up his voyce, and declare with o­pen mouth what he hath to deliver; as in Exod. 3. 23. Open thy mouth and tell them, that is, speak boldly: Though they be a rebellious People, and will brow-beate thee, yet open thy mouth, and speake unto them; speak boldly, and confidently, as one that goes not behind the door, but speaks plainly: And I put in plainly with boldnesse, because they are ever conco­mitants. If a man speak boldly, he doth not extenuate what he hath to deliver, but speaks it plainly.

3. This opening of the mouth doth imply that hee speaks fully and abundantly, his heart was full of it, and he doth ac­cordingly powr out that which he delivers: As Elihu tells you in Job 32. 18, 19, 20. I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me: Behold my belly is as wine which hath no vent, it is ready to burst like new bottles, &c. So the meaning is this, That as the Pope saw (which was the head of this Beast) that he had a mouth given him; that is, uncontrollable liberty to speak what he would: He did not sodainly or rashly speake, some inconsiderate, or erroneous, or arrogant speech which he did eate in againe; but he spake advisedly in his grave and considerate Councell, upon advised judgment he did speak [Page 65] great things and blasphemies: And this he did plainly and boldly, not in ambiguous or obscure phrases, but plainly in such expressions as could beare no other meaning; and that with such confidence, that you may see he cared not who heard, nor what Construction might be made of it. And this he did, not in a word or two that dropped from him, but as flowing from him; Hee was full of matter, as 2 Cor. 6. 11. O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open to you, our heart is enlarged. He did poure forth his matter with no little State; it was stout matter that he did poure forth to the world. What did hee speake? that which was given him to speake. What was that? Great things. As for instance, to sum up the great things he speaks: The Catholick Roman Church in Scripture is accounted the mother of Harlots, and abomination of the earth, Rev. 17. 5. There is not such an adulterous Church in the world.

1. And yet is not this a great word and a great blasphmy, for the mother of Harlots to hold forth her selfe as the only immaculate Spouse of Christ upon the face of the Earth? Is not this a grand word for a common Harlot, the mother of Harlots, the lewdest Harlot that ever the earth bore, for her to arrogate this stile as the only Church of Christ? And that which is parallel to this, that the Pope (who is the head of this Beast) is the head and Husband of this Church, and is without controule: He hath a mouth given him, and he is not ashamed to speak great things, and blasphemies.

2. It is a great word to make himselfe the infallible Inter­preter, and absolute judge of Scriptures, that cannot erre in derision, or determination of any controversies of Religi­on; nor may it be for any mortall man to controll his judg­ment nor practice.

In Judgment he cannot erre: in practice, though he may erre, yet other men may be judged; but God hath put such an uncontrollable power upon him, as he thinks that none may meddle with him; Though he should carry millions of soules to Hell, yet no man must say, Sir, why do you so: Councels may not judge, Princes may not judge, inferiour States may not judge him, all the world may not judge him; [Page 66] He stands and falls to the Canonists, his owne well-studied Canonists have so determined it: A great word to be infalli­ble judge of Scripture, and to be uncontrollable; it is a great matter, and greater then any man can reach unto: Never did any earthly Prince challenge that he could not erre, nor that none must controll him if he did: There have been Laws made to controll the greatest Princes: Nebuchadnezzar was taught to be controlled, that in the end Shadrach, Mesech, and Abed­nego goe away rewarded,

3. The Catholick Church, and the Pope is the head of it, claimes a power of binding and loosing. To bind mens con­sciences by his Laws, and to loose mens consciences by his Indulgences, and that not ministerially, as Ministers do from the Word, but by a Juditiary power, to dissolve the bond of naturall Obedience, incestuous Marriages, Oaths and Co­venants in Marriage; Natural relations between Parents and Children, and morall Relations between Princes and Sub­jects: There is not any bond that he cannot loose, nor any liberty which he cannot restraine: And this not over a few only, but over the vast world so far as it is Christian. And

4. It is a great thing he speakes (and he speakes it not be­hind the door) when he challengeth Soveraign dominion (in way of advancement of Religion) over all Kingdoms, so as to depose their Kings, and dispose of their Kingdoms, leave any State to choose where he hath power: If his Crowne be to be fetched from Rome (as it was in former times when it was most active) He will set it on, but dash it off againe, out of the plentitude of his power, to [...]et up and throw downe at his pleasure. He opened his mouth to speak great things; He is never so in his element as when he doth hold forth such vast authority, and divine propriety, proper to the Father, Son, and holy Ghost.

Now as he speaks great things, so blasphemes against God, and wherein? Against his Name, and Tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. Against his name: All these are blasphemies a­gainst Gods name, to attribute all these divine properties to a beastly man, to a great beast. And it is blasphemy to ascribe any divine honour, or to put it upon any creature: Images [Page 67] served, the holy Ghost calls blasphemy. Isa. 65. 7. You have blasphemed me upon every green hill. And in Ezek. 20. 27, 28. he complaines of the like blasphemy, that they blasphemed him by their Idolatires. In Mar. 2. 7. Why doth this man speak blasphe­mies? who can forgive sins but God onely? It were to speak blas­phemy in any but in Christ.

Secondly, It is against his Tabernacle; that may be either meant the body of Christ, as 1 John 14. He tabernacled amongst us. Or it may be meant the visible Churches, such as are insti­tuted by him. For the body of Christ, it is blasphemy to go to every Masse Priest, to make him the body and blood of our Saviour. Or if you understand the Tabernacle to be the Church; that is the Temple of God, 1 Cor. 3. 16. Now to call the Church of Christ a Conventicle of Hereticks and Schismaticks, it is blasphemy, and so they count all the Churches here: And for the Saints in heaven, to put upon them divine worship, to build Temples to them, to put up Prayers to them, to keep Holy-dayes to them, it is blasphe­mie to them, it is a great dishonour. Paul and Barnabas, when they saw men to come and offer sacrifice to them, Men and brethren why doe you these things? you cannot do us a grea­ter injury. And for the Saints in heaven, that is, pure Chur­ches, he condemns them for Hereticks, and Schismaticks, and as unworthy of Christian communion, and Christian burial, these are blasphemies: So you see the meaning of this Scrip­ture; There was given him a mouth to speake great things, and to blaspheme God, in his Name, in his Tabernacle, in those that dwell in Heaven: Thus hath he done many yeares, and thus doth hee still.

Now for the reason of the point; you see the point stands upon two branches.

1. That such power was given him.

2. That he did effectually and abundantly put it fo [...]h, He opened his mouth: Let mee give the reasons of both. 1. Why such power was given him; it was

First,Reason 1. from God, in his just judgement to punish the un­thankfull world that received not the love of the truth, Therefore the Lord gave them over to efficacy of delusions to believe [Page 68] lies; That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousnesse, 2 Thes. 2. 10, 11. This is the just judgment of God, that since they refused the simplicity of wholsome Doctrine, and had itching eares, they should have such men as came with the subduing word of the Law to speak great things, and they should have what they aske; This is from Gods just jugement.

A second Reason is from Satan;Reason 2. for God concurred, and Satan concurred, and Christian Princes concurred herein: Satan concurred for this reason, that he might be avenged of God, and despight the name of Christ, that had cast him out, and dethroned him from his divine power: That whereas he was the great God of the world, and the God of Israel but a puny God of the lesser Nations; now hee is to be no God to trust on, but like a Toad or Serpent; this doth so enrage the venome of the old Devill, that he powrs forth a flood of ma­lice and venome against the Church and Christ, as much as may be, to testifie to the world hee would be Lord, and the Lord Jesus should not prevaile: And if he may not be God, he will set up a Beast that shall be adored as God: And it is a great despight to Christ, to advance a Beast, that shall carry great State and power, and dare, and will speak greater things then all the Churches of Christ, I, as great as the Lord himself shall speak; look what one speaks, the other wil speak it all, and speak it abundantly: As the Devill himselfe sometimes said to Christ, All these will I give thee, if thou wilt fall downe and worship me. The same doth he speak at this day, and he will speak without controll.

Another reason that binds Satan so to speak, is not only his old enmity to Christ, but from his malice against the Church. When hee saw that the seed of the woman had thus dethroned him, and cast him out of divine power, he powrs forth a flood of malice after her, and he sends forth an ugly Beast, that if he can, may root out the face of Christianity, and root her out from the face of the earth, Rev. 12. 15. These are the Devils reasons that mooved him to stirre up the Beast, and to give him a mouth to speake so boldly as hee did.

[Page 69] But why will Christian Princes be so prodigall, to submit themselves to him? God had committed to them the care of the Churches, that all Churches should live peaceably and quietly under them, in all godliness and honesty: why would they so degenerate, and suffer the Bishop of Rome so to arro­gate and speak such great blasphemies? The reasons were,

1. Because they were ignorantly blinde;Reason 1. It was a time of palpable darknesse, darknesse that might be felt: From the ninth Centuary to the tenth, both Protestant and Popish Di­vines complaine, that had not some lived in the 800. year, and in the thousand yeare after Christ, they should not have known what had beene done in the nine hundred, a whole hundred years together: Men were so full of darknesse and ignorance, that scarce any set pen to paper to tell us what was done in those dark times; that men did not know what were principles of Christianity, much lesse were able to dis­cern of Cases of Church-government, or the misterie of god­linesse which requires more diligent attendance: And thence it was that they were so taken with the pretended claymes of the Catholick visible Church, that it would not erre, because it was built upon a Rock, and had the keys of Peter, and he had the keys of heaven: What he bound on earth was bound in hea­ven; and what he loosed on earth was loosed in heaven; that had there not been palpable grosse ignorance, it had not been pos­sible such grosse things should have been suffered to come in.

And a second thing that moved them was the strange suc­cesse of the Beast in recovering of his wounded head;Reason 2. for that made them wonder after the Beast, when they saw such a mor­tall wound so throughly healed: They thought, had it not been above the power of mortall men, it had not been possible it should have been healed, but certainly there was a power above mortall men in it, and that is the reason in the Text to give him a mouth to speak great things, to speak what hee would.

And a third reason why Princes gave this power,Reason 3. was their devout superstition; many were convinced by Matchivilian policy, of their great sins, and they had in those dayes a no­table dexterity to apply the Law of God, and to sting mens [Page 70] consciences like a Cockatrice, Rev. 9. 5. and then they would do any thing for ease out of the bondage they lay under, and this was a great meanes: Then they directed them to give so much to such a Monastery, or to goe a Pilgrimage, or fast such a time, and such devotion which a mans own unsancti­fied heart could reach: That when this Beast speaks great things, that he can pardon sinne, and his Shavelings will take a course for redeeming souls, and preserving them out of hel, this was such satisfaction to them, that you need not wonder if all Princes gave their Kingdomes to the Beast: And so ha­ving advanced him as supream over them all, he hath a mouth he may speak what he will; Princes may make Laws on this hand or on that; but if they do not suite with him, they are disannulled: And they must be reconciled to the mother Church, and so this Harlot gives them all to her, and hath a mouth speaking great things, and therewithall great blas­phemie [...].

Thus have you the point, and the reasons of it.

For the use of it,Ʋse 1. I might from hence first speak to this point; that it were therefore a necessary counsell to all Ro­man Catholicks, to consider diligently the grounds of the great priviledges of the visible Catholick Church, they stretch their authority beyond all degrees of Churches, be­yond all Temporall States or particular Churches: Now ne­cessary it were for them to reverse all the great things which are delivered, and which the Pope hath set open his mouth to speak, though they be delivered with never such fulnesse, and boldnesse, and plentitude of power: It behoves men to consider whether all these great words be not the words of a Beast, and blasphemies which the head of the Beast had taken upon him to utter, for it is not enough that they are spoken boldly and confidently, and with good advisement and grave Counsell, Provinciall Decretals and Decrees, for they are distinct things: It behoves Catholicks not to be gulled with Titles and great things; for it is not alwayes that power which God in mercy gives to men when they dare speak great things; they think the Pope is not Antichrist; but when An­tichrist comes, will he do greater things then these? as they sayd [Page 71] of Christ; when Christ comes will he doe greater workes then these? And so when Antichrist comes can he speak grater things then these? And if I were to speak to Lay-men (as they say) in their Religion, I might advise them to take heed they be not taken with the confidence of their Priests, that speak with good advisement even to impudency, and with such resolute courage, that many thousands are carryed away with it, and say, certainly men would never be so bold, if they were not possessed with the goodnesse of their cause: Let them not be deluded, the Beast hath power to speak great things, and he opens his mouth with all courage and confidence, and whispers it not, but speaks with impudency, and abundance of resolution.

Secondly,Ʋse 2. This may serve to teach us the danger of allow­ing to any mortall man an inordinate measure of power to speak great things, to allow to any man uncontroll [...]bleness of speech, you see the desperate [...]ger of it: Let all the world learn to give mortall men no greater power then they are content they shall use, for use is they will: and unlesse they be better taught of God, they will use it ever and anon, it may be make it the passage of their proceeding to speake what they will: And they that have liberty to speak great things, you will finde it to be true, they will speak great blasphe­mies. No man would think what desperate deceit and wick­ednesse there is in the hearts of men: And that was the reason why the Beast did speak such great things, hee might speak, and no body might controll him: What, saith the Lord in Jer. 3. 5. Thou hast spoken and done evill things as thou couldst. If a Church or head of a Church could have done worse, he would have done it: This is one of the straines of nature, it affects boundlesse liberty, and to runne to the utmost extent: What ever power he hath received, he hath a corrupt nature that will improve it in one thing or other; if he have liberty, he will think why may he not use it. Set up the Pope as Lord Paramount over Kings and Princes, and they shall know that he hath power over them, he will take liberty to depose one, and set up another. Give him power to make Laws, and he will approve, and disprove as he list; what he approves is [Page 72] Canonicall, what hee disproves is rejected: Give him that power, and he will so order it at length, he will make such a State of Religion, that he that so lives and dyes shall never be saved, and all this springs from the vast power that is gi­ven to him, and from the deep depravation of nature. Hee will open his mouth, His tongue is his owne, who is Lord over him, Psal. 12. 3, 4. It is therefore most wholsome for Magi­strates and Officers in Church and Common-wealth, never to affect more liberty and authority then will do them good, and the People good; for what ever transcendant power is given, will certainly over-run those that give it, and those that receive it: There is a straine in a mans heart that will sometime or other runne out to excesse, unlesse the Lord re­straine it, but it is not good to venture it: It is necessary therefore, that all power that is on earth be limited, Church-power or other: If there be power given to speak great things, then look for great blasphemies, look for a licentious abuse of it. It is counted a matter of danger to the State to limit Pre­rogatives; but it is a further danger, not to have them limi­ted: They will be like a Tempest, if they be not limited: A Prince himselfe cannot tell where hee will confine himselfe, nor can the people tell: But if he have liberty to speak great things, then he will make and unmake, say and unsay, and undertake such things as are neither for his owne honour, nor for the safety of the State.☞ Note. It is therefore fit for every man to be studious of the bounds which the Lord hath set: and for the People, in whom fundamentally all power lyes, to give as much power as God in his word gives to men: And it is meet that Magistrates in the Common-wealth, and so Offi­cers in Churches should desire to know the utmost bounds of their own power, and it is safe for both: All intrenchment upon the bounds which God hath not given, they are not enlargements, but burden and snares; They will certainly lead the spirit of a man out of his way sooner or later. It is wholsome and safe to be dealt withall as God deales with the vast Sea; Hitherto shalt thou come, but there shalt thou stay thy proud waves: and therefore if they be but banks of simple sand, they will be good enough to check the vast roaring Sea. And [Page 73] so for Imperiall Monarchies, it is safe to know how far their power extends; and then if it be but banks of sand, which is most slippery, it will serve, as well as any brazen wall. If you pinch the Sea of its liberty, though it be walls of stone or brasse, it will beate them downe: So it is with Magistrates, stint them where God hath not stinted them, and if they were walls of brasse, they would beate them downe, and it is meet they should: but give them the liberty God allows, and if it be but a wall of sand it will keep them: As this liquid Ayre in which we breath, God hath set it for the waters of the Clouds to the Earth; It is a Firmament, it is the Clouds, yet it stands firme enough, because it keeps the Climate where they are, it shall stand like walls of brasse: So let there be due bounds set, and I may apply it to Families; it is good for the Wife to acknowledg all power and authority to the Hus­band, and for the Husband to acknowledg honour to the Wife, but still give them that which God hath given them, and no more nor lesse: Give them the full latitude that God hath given, else you will finde you dig pits, and lay snares, and cumber their spirits, if you give them lesse: there is never peace where full liberty is not given, nor never stable peace where more then full liberty is granted: Let them be duely observed, and give men no more liberty then God doth, nor women, for they will abuse it: The Devill will draw them, and Gods providence leade them thereunto, therefore give them no more then God gives. And so for children; and ser­vants, or any others you are to deale with, give them the li­berty and authority you would have them use, and beyond that stretch not the tether, it will not tend to their good nor yours: And also from hence gather, and goe home with this meditation; That certainly here is this distemper in our na­tures, that we cannot tell how to use liberty, but wee shall very readily corrupt our selves: Oh the bottomlesse depth of sandy earth! of a corrupt spirit, that breaks over all bounds, and loves inordinate vastnesse; that is it we ought to be care­full of.

Thirdly,Ʋse 3. it may teach us to observe the hand of God in all the vast out-runings of the Sonnes of men: when you see [Page 74] men outragious beyond all power, wonder not at the matter, for he that is above is higher then the highest, and he regardeth it, Eccles. 5. 8. A man would wonder that a Bishop should take upon him to controul all the Churches, and in very deed all the Common-wealths and Nations of the world, and that in such high things both in nature and measure, that a man would think it were not possible for a mortall man to under­take such a vast enterprize, yet they have done it, the Pope hath done it, and the Bishop of Rome hath done it, but won­der not at it, for he that is higher then the highest hath given him this power, John 3. 27. not given it him in an Ordinance, but in his common Providence; This transcendant power that he is able to carry all before him without controll; it is a strange power, he may say what he will, and doe what he will, for so many moneths, the time indeed is limited. So that it will be of this use to us, if we see men outrageous, and break bonds beyond measure is any common-wealth or Church, our way is to see Gods hand in it, and to look up to him to muzzle that power: He is able to bridle the high King of Assyria, that whereas he spake great things, what is the God of Israel that he shall deliver you out of my hand; the Lord can put a bridle in his nostrills and bring him back the way that he came. And therefore when men speak great things against us, from any part of the world, know, that he that is higher then the highest regardeth, and our eyes must be to him, that he will muzzle such, and take order to cut them off. The Lord will cut out the tongue that speaketh proud things, Psal. 12. 4. He hath promised to doe it, and he will doe it effectually. You have two places where the Lord useth the word to muzzle, the one is about the Sea, Marke 4. 39. the other is spoken to the Devill, Mark 1. 25. Hold thy peace, it is translated; but the word in the Originall is, be thou muzzled: Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the Oxe that treadeth out the Corne; it is the same word: It shews that the Lord hath a muzzle for the great Sea, and a muzzle for the Devils of hell, when we have to deal with them: If it be the great King of Assyria, he will put his bridle in his nostrils, and make him return back the same way he came: the Lord [Page 75] is above all; when they are above the reach of men, they are not above him; he sits in heaven, and laughs them to scorn. Those that have been most insolent in blaspheming, all Tur­kish or Popish blasphemies, the Lord will muzzle them: In the mean time it it our part to sanctifie his name that gives this vast liberty, that for so long they shall speak great things, and no longer.

Fourthly,Ʋse 4. it may teach us that there is a pronenesse in our natures, to abuse all the providences of God, whether of spe­ciall mercies, or speciall judgements; and it warns us to be­ware of the same, in the enjoyment of any mercy, or in fee­ling of any stroak of God upon us: Here was this Beast, so wounded in one of his heads, as it seemed to be deadly; he was again healed: The Lord visits this Church with a dead­ly blow, by acts of his justice; and he also visits it with great deliverances, and acts of his mercifull providence, and when he hath done, see his great admiration, and adoration, would you not think this should melt the heart of a Beast? but the Oxe knowes his owner, saith the Lord, and the Asse his ma­sters crib, but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider, Isa. 13. Though this deadly wound be healed, to the admiration of the world, yet consider what little use he makes of it; when he gives him power to doe what he will, what doth he? He opens his mouth to speak great things, and blasphemies, and he makes war with all the Saints of Heaven: he doth much abuse his glory. He was knocked on the head, because he would affect such vast Authority to be Pontefex Maximus; the Lord cracked his Crown, breaks the head of this enemy, and wounds the hairy scalpe of such as go on in wickedness: He heals him again, and gives him great power; but what doth he with it? He abuseth it against God, and against the Church of God, and speaks great things, even blasphemies: So there is a nature in us that will abuse every mercy of God, to the corrupting of our hearts, and every judgment of God, and every deliverance from that judgement; one would not think what wofull distempers there are in our natures. If a body be stuft with choller, it will turne the whole body to feed the humour: So it is with us, we turne all the provi­dences [Page 76] of God into distempers and outragious licentious­nesse.

But you will say, he was a Beast, and the Church a Beast; we hope Christians shall do better.

See it in Hezekiah, when the Lord had wrought great de­liverances for him, brought the Sunne ten degrees back, and avenged him of his Enemies; afterwards he recovered him from sicknesse, when his soule was brought to the jaws of death: yet when the Princes of Babylon sent to him to en­quire of the wonder, that was done in the Land, God left him to try him, that he might know what was in his heart, and then he shews them his great Treasures, and works, and fortifications, that he had throughout his Kingdome: and it is said, He rendred not according to the benefits done unto him, for his heart was lifted up, 2 Chron. 32. 25. 31. You see good Hezekiah is apt to forget sicknesse: It argues the depth of the body of Sinne which is not onely in wicked men (such as these proud Prelats be) but in the Godly, in those that are most eminent in Grace, they are not able to bear great Sailes; if God shews us mercy and judgement, it is a wonder to see what poore work we make.

Many a carnall heart will say, if he be delivered from sick­nesse, or if he be at Sea in danger, if he get a shore; or if in Prison, if he get but liberty, God and men shall see what a new man he will be: O the bottomlesse depth of a deceitfull heart! let the Lord chastise us, and raise us up again, we for­get our humiliation, and grow to exaltation; and if God helpe us a little, we grow to such out-runings of spirit as we exceed therein: no gift that a man hath, no ordinance of God, but he will thus abuse. And therefore we have cause to sit down in dust and ashes, that we should abuse such mer­cies as we dayly partake in.

Fiftly,Vse 5. since this is the nature of wicked men, let God give them but liberty, and men give them liberty, and they will take it to the full: let God give a mouth, he will speak great things; and if he have liberty to speak great things, he will speak great blasphemies, against God, and his Tabernacle, and the Saints: Then this will be a shame to Godly men, if [Page 77] the Lord give us great things, a mouth to speak all the good we can, and liberty to do all the good we can, if we doe not open our mouths and hearts to be speaking and doing all the good we can; It is not for us to stand snorting out the time which God hath carved out for us, but if a beast have this liberty; if you tether a Beast at night, he knows the length of his tether before morning; he will goe to the end of it before he have done: And you see this Bishop the head of the Church, if God give him a mouth, he will open it: wicked men will take the utmost bounds of their liberty; will wicked men doe so? why should not the children of God then, and all that fear his name take the like care to improve all their liberties, and power to doe all the good we can? doth God give a liberty for laying foundations, for establi­shing jurisdictions, and liberty for well ordering our Fami­lies and Town-ships; if the Lord give us opportunities, why should we want a heart to improve them? If the Beast hath a heart to improve his wickednesse to the utmost, why should not we improve all our Talents to Gods best advan­tage, to make it our whole study to doe all which the Lord requires, that so we may bear plentifull witnesse in our Ge­nerations to all the liberties the Lord hath betrusted us with. It is not for men that have received five Talents, that is to say, five opportunities, to render to God as those that have received but one or two; To whom much is given of them will much be required, Luke 12. 48. And therefore is behooves us all, as to know the liberties of Church & Common-wealth, so to set hand and affection a work to be doing all the good we can: If it were the Beast, take a patterne from him (but they must go fast that the Devils drives) he would improve all his liberty: And why should they not goe fast whom the Spirit of God drives, and improve the liberty they have of God. And therefore it is for us to doe all the good we can, and to leave nothing to those that shall come after us, but to walk in the righteous steps of their fore-Fathers. And therefore let us not leave, nor give rest to our eyes, till in Family, Church, and Common-wealth we have set a pat­terne of holinesse to those that shall succeed us.

[Page 78] Lastly,Vse 6. it may teach us a reverend use of the things of God, for all Blasphemy against the name of God, or h [...]s Tabernacle, or those that dwell in heaven, it is blasphemy against God. It is said here, there was power given to the Beast to speak great things, and blasphemyes: wherein did that lye? against Gods name, and against his Tabernacle, and those that dwell in Heaven: So that blaspheme any of these, and you blaspheme God: blaspheme the name of God, the Tabernacle of God, and those that dwell in Hea­ven, whether Saints above, or Saints on Earth, and you blas­pheme God himself. And therefore it should be farre from us to abuse any ordinance or providence of God, for it is blasphemie against God himselfe; they are the name of God; Gods name is called on his providences: If we speak evill of Gods ordinances or providences, as for a man to say, would to God I had never known such a woman, it is blasphemy; Gods wisedome and righteousnesse hath orday­ned it. If we be in distresse, or in any sicknesse, and we snarle against God, and mutter at our poverty and sickness, it is to blaspheme the name of God; all these are providen­ces of God. To speak evill of Churches, as if they were Congregations of Heriticks, or Schismiticks, or Congrega­tions of Rebels, or Libertines, and Brownists, and such like, it is blasphemy against the God of Heaven. Besides, it is blas­phemy against the Body of Christ in the Sacrament, to think every Baker can make it, that is Popish blasphemy. To speak evill of the Saints of God on earth, to thinke to take liberty because they are absent; Our tongues are our owne, who is Lord over us: Little do we know how tender God is of his people: we cannot speak evill of any in the Church, but we blaspheme God: And so if we speak evill of his pro­vidences, it is as much as if we speak evill of God himself. And therefore how precious ought the name of God to be to us, to whom our names are pretious: It is but a scan­dall to a christian brother, but it is blasphemy to God, and therefore speak not evill, as thinking it shall never come to his eare. If we speak evill of Authority, of Churches, of Saints, or evill of them that doe evill, unlesse you may take [Page 79] order to represse it, the Lord himself looks at it as blasphe­my: and therefore we must not look at it as a light matter; our tongues are our own, and we may have liberty to speak: I, you have liberty, but not to speak blasphemies, either small or great. There is not the least blasphemy, but it is a great Sinne, and therefore greatly to be avoyded.

Rev. 13. latter part of the 5. vers.

And power was given him to continue forty and two moneths.

THis is the continuance of the description of the former Beast which the Apostle John saw rising out of the Sea, to be the instrument of the Dragons power (that is, Satans rage) against the Woman, and her feed.

Among other parts of the description (which have been o­pened) this Beast is described by the change that befell him, in his head, wounded, and healed; the effect whereof was,

1. The admiration of the world.

2. The worship of the Beast, and of the Dragon.

The third effect or event was the authority or power that the Beast did receive, and did exercise, and that power was,

1. To speake great things and blasphemies; which according­ly he did exercise, in blaspheming the name of God, and his Tabernacle, and the Saints.

2. There was a power of continuance (as it is here tran­slated) forty and two moneths.

3. There was given to him power to make warre with the Saints, and to overcome them.

Of the first part, to speak blasphemy, we have already spo­ken. Now come we unto the second part of the power gi­ven him, which is his continuance; There was power given him to continue forty and two moneths.

The note from thence is shortly this;

That power and authority was given to this Beast (that is,Doctr. 2. to the Roman Catholicke Church) to continue, that is, to be active and do­ing, to be busie fortie and two moneths.

This expresseth the sum and sence of the words; they are obscure as any place in the word, and therefore need your more diligent attention, and the power of the Lord Jesus to [Page 81] clear his counsel and will in this point, who alone openeth the Seales, and none can shut them.

To open the words.

Power was given to him.] The word in the Originall is [...] which properly signifies the power of Authority or Ju­risdiction; a soveraign kind of power (as it is here described in the seventh verse) over all Kindreds, and Tongues, and Nati­ons: Such power that all the world wondered at it, and ado­red, especially that which they call the Christian world, did exceedingly magnifie the power and authority of this Beast, and he speakes here principally of Spirituall Authority, though it grew to Temporall Power in making Warr, in the 7. vers. for he riseth by degrees to further power, but au­thority was given him: Given him, by whom?

1. By God, that put it into the heart of the tenne Horns (that is, the tenne K [...]gs) to give their Kingdoms with one consent to the Beast, Rev 17. 17. So God by his wise and just providence gave him authority, such as God hath ordai­ned in his word; but he put it in their hearts by his wise and just providence.

2. This authority was given by Satan, who assisted Anti­christ in the mystery of Iniquity, in working signs and lying wonders, with all deceivablenesse of unrighteousnesse, till hee lift up himselfe above all that is called God, 2 Thes. 2. 9, 10. And in­deed Satan wrought mightily, what by the sophistry of the School-men, and by the policy of the Canonists, and what by the devotion of Cloyster-men and Fryers, it was a won­der to see how he gained a mighty power against Churches all the world over.

3. This power was given him by those States, the ten Horns which gave their Crowns with one accord to the Beast, that he should rule in their Dominions. The chiefe Kingdoms in Europe are in these ten; our Native Countrey for one, France, and Spaine, and Navarre, Sweden, & Denmarke, and the rest, they did with one accord give their Kingdomes to the Beast, that in point of Religion they should establish all Ordinances according to the wisdome of his soveraign power: And in Temporall matters they gave him greater [Page 82] power to depose, and dispose of their Kings, then the Roman Emperour had in sundry respects; for his was lim [...]ed by Laws, but this was without Laws. 2 Thes. 2. 4. He opposeth and exalteth himselfe above all that is called God. That without all power of Laws he did out-rage out of measure. Given it was by their Devotion and Superstition, God piercing their hearts much in those times by the Ministery of their Fryars, that did wound their consciences with the sense of their murthers and lusts, that they were willing to do any thing for the peace of their Consciences, and therefore willingly gave up all their power and Kingdomes into his hands; so it was given him.

Again further, he is said to continue.] Some Translations doe read it, to make Warre, but War is not in the best corre­cted Copies, but making Warre is spoken to in the seventh ver. But making War is not spoken to expresly in this fifth verse; but power was given him to be doing; and as we call it in a generall phrase, to be (a Factotum) the onely doer of the world forty two moneths: That what he did was done, and what he did not authorize and allow, it was not done. If the Princes chose an Emperour, if he accepted him, he stood; if he did not accept of him, he was not received. If any decrees be made, if the Bishop of Rome establish them (which is the seventh head) then they are authenticall; If he do not, then they are Apocrypha. So it is with Scripture; though it be such as God never ratified, as the Apocrypha, but what sense he gives it is Authenticall; He hath power to be active and doing. This word then [...], which is here translated to continue, doth indeed so signifie usually, when it is joyned with words of time; you have many examples of it in Scrip­ture, as in Acts 15. 33. it is said, After they had tarried there a space, the word is the same as here, continue. So in Acts 18. 23. it is said, After they had tarried some time; about three moneths. So in Acts 20. 3. you have there continuance or tarrying expressed by the same word: And Paul saith, Night and day I was in the deep, 2 Cor. 11. 25. the same word; he had his businesse there, there he was duely, he continued so long. But sometimes the word ever used with this word of time, signifies to be active and busie: So in James 4. 13. You say you [Page 83] will goe into such a Citie, & continue there a yeare, and buy, and sell, and get gaine; the same word here and there; you will be busie and gaining, &c. This same power therefore to continue and be doing, argues that this authority of power, absolute Soveraign power over Kindreds, Nations, and Tongues, this is here said to continue a matter of 42. moneths.

Now for these 42. moneths.] I would not busie my selfe in needlesse speculations: but I finde not any word of God a neednesse speculation for the Church to search into, and un­derstand. We have had this number three or foure times be­fore: For it is the same number, of which it is said, The Gen­tiles shall tread under foot the holy City forty two moneths, Rev. 11. 2. And 42. moneths, if they be dissolved into dayes, make up just the sum of a thousand two hundred and threescore days, allowing thirty dayes to a moneth as the old account was wont to do, which is the same time of the two Witnesses pro­phecying, cloathed in sack-cloath, Rev. 11. 3. And the same time of a thousand two hundred and threescore dayes, or forty two moneths, is just the computation of three years and an halfe; that is, a time, and times, and halfe a time; which time it is said the woman fled into the wildernesse, and was nourished there, Rev. 12. 6. So that all these are manifest to be contempora­ry (as they call it) to begin together in the same period of time, and to end together; The Beasts rising and continuing in power 42. moneths: The Gentiles (which is the Roman Catholick Church) treading down the true Church of God forty two moneths: And the two Witnesses prophecying in sack-cloath 1260. dayes: And the womans flight into the wildernesse, and her continuance and abode there 1260. dayes, where she was nourished by the prophecying of those two Witnesses: So that expound aright one of these, and you cleare the right Interpretation of all. Three questions therefore may be enquired into to open the durance or conti­nuance of the authority of this Beast.

1. Whether this be a definitive, or indefinitive time?

2. Why it is sometimes reckoned by moneths, and some­times by dayes: And

3. When doth this time take his beginning, and where doth it expire and take his ending. These things spoken to, [Page 84] will reach as farre as God hath revealed to me.

For the first of these Questions.Quest: 1.

1. There be that think this time is not a definite or de­terminate time,Answ. but indefinite; forty two moneths shewes a good space of time, known, and determined by God, but un­certaine to the Church. Now I must confesse, that meaning doth not well sink into my heart, to receive it with any faith in Gods word; for if God would have put a definite time for an indefinite; a certain time for an uncertaine, I thinke he would rather have chosen (as he is wont to do) some such phrase as is wont to expresse illimited time, if it had been se­ven moneths, or ten moneths: Thou hast changed my wages tenne times saith Jacob to Laban; that is, many times: How often shall I forgive my brother, till seven times? I, till seventy times se­ven times: He doth not meanee, to limit us, but as oft as he doth offend, forgive, if he repent; or if he professe such re­pentance as you have no just exception against, forgive him: But when he saith 42. moneths, why not 600. moneths, for that is a definite time for an indefinite: why should hee say 1260. dayes, it is not a speech used in Greek and Latine to express an indefinite number: no more is the time, and times, and halfe a time, usuall in Daniel. Therefore I cannot rest in that Interpretation, though sundry have gone that way.

2. There be that take it indeed for a definite time, but they would confine it to three years and an halfe, for forty two moneths, or 1260. dayes, is just three yeares and an halfe, and that is true: But I cannot accept that Interpreta­tion; and though it be common, yet our Divines do with one accord reject it: For this Antichrist which they say is their Beast (in which they say true) that he should come out of Hierusalem three years and an halfe before the great Judg­ment day, and prevaile against Rome: But that it cannot be taken for three years and an halfe, may appeare from the great authority he shall gaine in this time, and the power that he shall exercise over all Kindreds, and Tongues, and Nations; now for any one in three yeares and an halfe to o­vercome all Nations, and to rule them by an Ecclesiasticall and Civill power, it is incredible. The Leopard of Greece, [Page 85] which was a swift Beast, and had wings, yet he did not con­quer the world but in twelve yeares, and it was a great matter to overcome it then: But this Beast is described to be a Leopard, but not with wings: now that he should do as much in three yeares and an halfe without wings, as Alexan­der did in twelve years with wings, is not credible.

3. There is a third Interpretation that make indeed the dayes, and time, and moneths definite; that is, determined and [...]et, and do limit them according to the account of the Prophets that take a day for a yeare: A like proportion of 42. moneths, of a time, times, and halfe a time, and of 1260. dayes; taking a day for a yeare, they will all come to the same period, to the same computation of 1260. yeares. Now that the Prophets do sometimes so reckon them, appears from Ezek. 4. 5, 6. where the Lord did direct the Prophet to lye upon his side 390 dayes, according to the defection of Israel from the house of David, in all which time the Prophet did beare the burden of the defection of the People; and to represent that: Son of man (saith he) I have given thee to lye so long, I have appointed each day for a yeare; thou shalt lye so many dayes, as their apostacy hath continued in yeares: For from the defection of Jeroboam, to the captivity of the Land, they con­tinued 390. years. And after that (saith he) thou shalt turne thee, and lye upon thy other side forty dayes, and that was the time of the renewing of the Covenant by Josiah, in which the Lord was reconciled with his people: but the people falling into apostacy againe, it proved forty dayes more.

And so when the twelve Spyes had gone forty dayes, and searched out the Land, the Lord saith, They shall beare the provocation of their Fathers forty yeares, after the number of the dayes in which yee searched the Land, even forty dayes, each day for a yeare, &c. Numb. 14. 34. So that this is a Pro­pheticall phrase in mysticall Scriptures; when Ezekiel is to set out a vision for God to expresse his Justice, he sets it down dayes for years: Then it is not uncouth, but very a­greeable to Scripture, to say 1260. dayes is so many yeares, and forty two moneths being so many dayes is all one, and those dayes being three yeares and an halfe, if you reckon e­very [Page 86] day for a yeare, they will be just 1260. yeares; that therefore I take to be most agreeable to Scripture phrase, and the sense of the words.

But then here grows a second Question.

Why doth he reckon some of these times by dayes,Quest: 2. and some by moneths?

There may be a double reason of that.Answ.

1. When he describes what the Children of God doe, he sums up their actions by dayes. Children of light, it is meet that their actions should be measured out by the period of dayes: The Witnesses prophecying, and the womans flight into the wildernesse is said to be 1260. dayes: But as God gave the Sunne to rule the day, so the Moon to rule the night, Psal. 136. 8, 9. Now therefore when you are to speak of superstitious devotions, they are works indeed of darknesse, and therefore are best reckoned by moneths, by that Creature in Heaven which measures out Night, the Moon: And therefore it may be, and so the holy Ghost useth it, if he speak of the Gentiles treading under foot the holy City, though it be by day-light, yet it is a work of darkness; They tread under foot the holy City forty two moneths, Rev. 11. 2. And if Antichrist be to continue long, all his continuance is but a work of darknesse, and therefore he is said to continue 42. moneths: But what the Church do, and what the Wit­nesses do, is reckoned by dayes, but it is the same time, the one makes day-work of it, and the other night-work.

There may be also this Reason; That the Apostle in these Prophecyes in the New Testament, might allude to the like in the old Testament, as to Antiochus whose dispensation was only a time, and times, and halfe a time.

Now for the third Quest: Quest: 3. when this may be said to begin, and when it may be said to end?

There I confesse lyes the greatest difficulty.Answ.

1. Some of our best interpreters pitch the beginning from the beginning of the Reign of Constantine, when the Man-child was brought forth, that is, advanced to Imperiall dignity, which some make in the yeare 304 after Christ; though it be true, of later times, they will by no meanes grant his Reigne [Page 87] began then, but two or three years after, and an easie mistake grows there; for when they come to measure out a Princes Reign, they begin in such a time, and a whole yeare is al­lowed to it, and it may be the next begins in that year, and so they bring a variation in Chronologies; but you may not wonder in such mistakes, if there be foure or five years varia­tion, that makes no great difference; God knows certain­ly; but through reckoning the last yeare of one, and the first of another, applying the same to both, may sometimes make a yeares difference: But holy Brightman makes the beginning of that time to be in Constantines coming to the Crown, and thence expires the authority of this Beast in the yeare 1546. Now though his paines have been most serviceable to the Church of all that have written of this Book, and God is to be exceedingly magnified for him, and his Learning esteemed; that having such a Prophetical spirit, he spake so homely and plainly, that without pregnant reason I would not perveri­cate his judgment: Yet as it falls out ordinarily, there is something amisse in the best humane Writers that ever wrote; Therefore let me tell you what doth not satisfie me: The first is this, that neither in the beginning nor end doth it punctu­ally jump and suite with all events described.

First, for the beginning, it is sayd, the woman fled into the wildernesse, and continued a time, and times, and halfe a time, af­ter the Dragon was cast out of heaven, and there was place found for him in heaven; And it is true, Constantine made warre against the Dragon, but I cannot say there was no place for him in heaven, for this was the failing of the good Emperor, that he still allowed the Heathens Idols Temples to continue, though he shut the doors; and his Successor Julian the Apostate ope­ned them againe, and restored the Dragon to spiritual autho­rity, stated him in heaven as before with a great part of the Empire.

And besides this, certaine it is till Gracians time, they all kept the title of Pontifex maximus which was an honour be­longing to the great Priest of Jupiter, or to the Devill; One­ly Gracian, and Theodosius after him, being tender in consci­ence, refused it, then the Senate of Rome sayd if he will not [Page 88] be Pontifex maximus yet they will have him to Rome, and call him to Rome, and had it not been by a marvelous providence, they had wonderfully prevailed; for at the same time they did restore all the Temples as Julian had done, and establi­shed all the Revenues belonging to them, restored them all to the Priests, and the Devill had the place of worship as be­fore; but the Lord putting them down by a mighty provi­dence of his, through the prosperity of Theadosius, he utterly overthrew that title, and through the zeal of his spirit cast down the Temples, would suffer none of them to stand, rooted them out from East to West; Wherever there was a­ny famous Temples, down he throws them; he utterly re­nounceth the Pontifex maximus, and will have no Temples; he doth confiscate the revenues to the Emperors treasury; and from that time forward indeed, they never recovered, there was no more place found in Heaven: It is true, Con­stantine began that war in the Empire: but war, it is not a Skirmish or a Battell, it is not soon done, but many times continues long, as between the house of David, and the house of Saul, and that for some scores of yeares: So in this case, the war began with Constantine, there holy Brightman takes it most right; but for the accomplishment of it, for the De­vill to be wholly cast out, and no more place found in Hea­ven, that was not till Theodosius time; now from that time the Emperors renouncing the title of Pontifex maximus, the Popish sort thought it was a marvellous providence for the advancing of the Roman Catholick Church, that is this Beast; so the next year the Pope took up that name, and holds it to this day: what ever the Popes name be, it is Pon­tifex maximus, that is his ordinary style, not Bishop, or Arch Bishop, or Primate, or Metropolitan, these are but Images of the Beast, but the head of this Beast is Pontifex maximus, the chiefe Bishop of Rome: Now this was to the best observati­on that I can finde, in the year 395. about 90. years after Constantines time, or wanting one or two of that: Now that is therefore one Reason why I doe not conceive that these 42. months are only at least to be reckoned from Con­stautines beginning of his reigne, for they are reckoned from [Page 89] the time when there was no place found for the Dragon in Heaven, which was afterwards accomplished about 90 years after. Another Reason why I cannot goe so fully with that holy man of God, is, because of the end of it, when he comes to 1546. It is evident that in that year the Councell of Trent did condemn the Scriptures, and advance the vulgar Latine to be the authenticall word of God: And Charles the fifth did prevail against the Lant-grave of Hesse, & Proste­stant Princes of Germany in the year 1547. So by that rea­son it cannot end aright, for the Beast hath power given him to continue to make war for 42 moneths; now he continu­ed longer then so, though it is true, his time was limited soon after; and therefore I cannot with so full assurance go so clearly with him in that, as usually I do in his Interpre­tation, yet still reserving this liberty, according to the gift of the spirit of Prophecy he had, you may many times read the context of the word of God, it may be sometimes some­what more exactly according to the true meaning then all­wayes is exprest; which I speak not to impeach the faith­fulnesse and learning of the holy man of God, but would give every man the honour that God hath put upon them, make use of their gifts, and leave them where they may at a­ny time mistake, the like liberty God forbid but may be left to others that come after us.

2. Therefore if you doe a little more narrowly search the Text, and weigh every circumstance in it, you may observe (as I take it) a double computation of this time in respect of the beginning and ending of it; for you shall read which Mr. Brightman rightly observes; that the woman fled into the wildernesse at Constantines coming to the Crown, it is true, for so it is expresly sayd, Revel. 12. 6. She fled into the wildernesse, where she had a place prepared of God: and this was before the battell was sought; and then he tells you of the battell that was fought in vers. 7, 8, 9.; The end of which was, there was no place for the Dragon in Heaven; and now there is given two wings of an Eagle unto the woman, that she might flee into the wildernesse into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time from the face of the Serpent, which is just 42 moneths. So that take [Page 90] both these places, and it will appear there is a double begin­ning of this time; the one from Constantines Reigne, the o­ther 96 or 97 years after, there abouts it was, there is the beginning of it. Now if you take it by moneths, and take it not as holy Brightman doth, the Aegyptian yeare, but the Roman yeare; methinks it is most probable to take the ac­count of the Roman Affaires to be registred by Roman com­putation, not Aegyptian, though it is true, Rome is spiritually called Egypt, but that's in another sence, they did not follow them in computation; and though the Aegyptians count 30 dayes to a moneth, which sutes well with this, yet it is not usuall in Scripture; for roundnesse of number sake, they pitch a certain time of the moneth, 30 dayes for a moneth; and therfore if you count so may years in the Roman Kallen­der, you shall come somewhat neere the account of the con­tinuance of the Power, and transcendant Authority of this Beast; and if you so reckon 1260. years, if you adde them to 300. and the odde four years after before Constantines be­ginning, there-abouts it was; and computations are not clear, the expiration will fall somewhat after the beginning of the reigne of Queen Elizabeth; And especially if you take the account from more exact Chronologies, it will come in the year wherein the Pope sent a Bull, that is, an excommu­nication agaist Queen Elizabeth to deliver her to Satan, which brought forth new treasons against her that followed every year, and brought her at length the Spanish invasion, hostile invasion; but from that time it was, that the blast of his power was then broken; that whereas before if he had excommunicated a Prince, it was fatall, he could never have stood out, he had been everlastingly blasted with his hopes, but from that time forward, it hath been truly said by some, that have spoken of this time, that from that time all the Popes Bulls were but baubles; they could not prevaile against her, though they brought the Ex­communication, and fastned it upon the Cathedrall Church as they call it, and afterwards read it; she going to prayer, used the words of the Prophet, Psal. Though they curse, blesse thou, let them be confounded that rise up against me, but let thy ser­vant rejoyce: God heard her prayer, and marvellously broke [Page 91] his power, he had not the power that the great Bishop of Rome had, who by his power should rend rocks in peices, and blast all before him, he never had that power after: God delighting by weak means to bring mighty things to passe: By her hand the Lord did maintain the low Countries, that this beast had great power over, his arme was broken there; and so against the King of Navar by her assisting him; and so in Scotland, she mightily prevailed to break his power there; and so in Ireland, where she set her hand, she brake mightily his power, and the power of Catholick Prin [...] though mightier then she. She renounced the Catholick Church, that is this great beast, and cut off his head to her best under­standing, which was about the sounding of the seventh Trumpet, Rev. 11. 15. When the Kingdomes of this world be­came the Kingdomes of our Lord, and of his Christ: For then did begin the seventh Trumpet to sound, which brought the conversion of Kingdomes and States; that though the beast still continued, yet he still lost his Authority which he had before; what he did approve before, that stood, and what he did not, that fell to the ground. Now he hath so much power, that if France be more pravalent, or Spaine, he will take with them, as he thinks he may with his Catholick Sons for his own security: but his power is so blasted, that though he doth continue still, and will continue, yet a great Beast that rules all the world; that power the Catholick Ro­man Church hath lost, though he prevail with his superstiti­ous inventions with those that are his in a carnall way, or from an opinion of their fathers honesty, &c. But yet the power is not left to the Bishop of Rome to doe all things, as in those former times he might; his word is not a law, nor his decrees so Authenticall, they are now considered of, even among Catholicke Princes; It is not now in his power to take up Controversies between France and Spain, if they will make war: Time was, they durst as well have eaten a Bears foot, as have ventured upon any war without his likeing; but that was the time when the armes of his power, and his jawes were not broken.

Thus if you take this Scripture as Brightman takes it, from [Page 92] Constantines coming to the Crown, it will expire then about the time when the Bull came forth against Q [...]: Eliz. and as they thought would be sufficient to blast her, and all the Hu­guenots with her: But yet that makes but one beginning and ending of this account, whereas the Text makes two; for in Chap. 12. 6. when the child was caught up to God, and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wildernesse, then there was a great battle; that battle lasted 90 years, and then was the Devill cast out of Heaven, and his Flamins, and Arch-flamins were blasted with him, they had no power in Theodosius time: from that time the Dragon was cast out of Heaven, and persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child, and there was given to her two wings of a great Eagle, that she might flee into the wildernesse: Now I say according to this, there is another computation of this time, there was no more place found for him in heaven wch was in the year 395. for two or three years, we must not pinch much; it is hard to keep exact account by reason of taking up one year from the Predecessor, which in so many years come to sometimes more, sometimes lesse: Now if you shall take the Computation from that time, (tis true from Constantines time, the Church might fly into the wildernesse; for it is true, the Church is made a wildernesse if you set the doores of the Church so wide and pull down the walls, that where­as before, it was a Garden inclosed, Cant. 4. 12. now you let in vast territories, bring in the whole world, now you make it Catholick; now though it had no Catholick power; a Garden is made a wildernesse if you pull down the pales, take down the narrow watch of Officers, and let in all men that will thrust in ambitiously to gratifie them; The Church was full of covetousnesse, whoredomes, adulteries, decei­vers, haters of God, and the true power of Godlinesse, even in his time, and so forward, was almost worn out, and never was so in all the time of persecution; but after that the Bi­shop of Rome had taken the stile of Pontifex maximus, and The­odosius slept with his Fathers, then the Church grew more transcendantly Catholick, and that they thought he would be Lord Paramount; but yet his transcendant power did [Page 93] spring as he was cheif Bishop, then he was universall Bishop, for his power grew by degrees;) Now I say, if you take this latter computation, which also the Text doth, then if you reckon from 395. years, and adde to that 1260. years, putting these two together, they will expire in the yeare, that shall be according to the Roman account 1655. I will not be two confident, because I am not a Prophet, nor the Son of a Prophet to foretell things to come, but so far as God helps by Scripture light, about the time 1655. there will be then such a blow given to this beast, and to the head of this beast, which is Pontifex maximus, as that we shall see a further gradual accomplishment and fulfilling of this Prophecy here. You must not think it strange that some Prophecies receive a graduall accomplishment; Sometimes you have a Prophecy of the 70. yeares captivity, which is accomplished by the re­demption of the Church out of Babell; yet a more full ac­complishment shall be when the Church shall be delivered from this whore of Rome, and the Church of the Jewes shall be called againe. So it is here, according to the different computation of time, the wise God hath all seasons in his hand, he doth foresee, and foretell to his people when they shall come to passe: So that though the arme of his glorious power be broken, and his bones broken, that he is nothing that beast in power that he was, and hath not been since the sending of that dreadfull excommunication, which was thought to be so dangerous to the famous Princesse I spake of; yet a power he hath over many Churches, and the pow­er given him by the ten horns, they are not all broken; as in Chap. 11. 13. The tenth part of the City fell by reason of the earth­quake: There was such a fall, that a tenth part fell, but yet a great part stands still to this day in some measure, that will take their Religion from him as they see cause, but not all in Religion neither, for the King of France will not yield to the Councell of Trent to this day; it falling out that his Ambas­sadors did not sit in the cheife place, he will not authorize that Councell: Thus is his power broken, but yet it conti­nues in some measure till a further accomplishment of it, but for two or three years I cannot limit that, for there may [Page 94] be some uncertainty by reason of the variation of Chronicles that have sometimes more, sometimes lesse in the beginning and ending of the Reign of Princes: But otherwise, about that time will be the expiration of the power and great au­thority of this Beast: But already we see, by the blessing of God, his power weakned, but we look for a further accom­plishment.

The matter hath required some-what large opening, but it is a counsell of God, and given of him for this end, that it may be expounded and explained: And the Lord hath pro­mised blessednesse, Chap. 1. to those that read and search this Booke; and therefore he would encourage all to search dili­gently the meaning of it, especially as God gives opportu­nity: It was that which John mourned for, that he found none worthy to open this book, and to loose the seals there­of, only the Lyon of the Tribe of Judah: I think there is no man shall be diligently studious on this Book, depending up­on the Lyon of the Tribe of Judah for helpe, but he shall find something more then he did expect. It is true, if a man go in confidence of his own gifts and knowledge, he may foole himself; but if in modesty of Christian wisdome, and in the feare of God; the spirit of any Christian Minister, or other that layes hold of this Book, he shall not be sent empty a­way: What light God hath given me in this particular, you have heard opened.

The use in a word is thus much.

First,Ʋse 1. it is a word of stay to the soules of Gods people: It serves to strengthen our faith, that the Lord is exact in his Propheticall expressions: Look what he speaks, though it be many a yeare or day before, he will not faile to bring it to accomplishment in his time. It is truly observed, if God tarry long, a thousand years with God is but as one day, till the appointed time come: But when his time is come, then one day with God is as a thousand yeares: God will as soon faile a thousand yeares, as one day: Indeed till his time be come, he thinks it not long, though it tarry 1260. yeares; but when it is come, then he will not faile one day. It is a memorable speech that in Exod. 12. 40, 41, 42. The sojourning of the chil­dren [Page 95] of Aegypt was foure hundred and thirty yeares: And it came to passe at the end of the foure hundred and thirty yeares, even the self­same day it came to passe, that all the host of the Lord went out from the Land of Aegypt: It is a night much to be observed, &c. Hee doth not say they dwelt there so long, but were sojourners there: And it came to passe at the end of the foure hundred and thir­ty yeares, even the selfe same day, it came to passe that all the best of the Lord went out from the Land of Aegypt; as if God would put some Emphasis upon it: The word in the Originall is, in the bones of the day: It is an usuall Hebraism, the strength of a thing they call the bones of it; that is, in the face of all the people, in the strength of the day, even when it was full day: God kept reckoning to a day; he will as well faile a thousand yeares as one day when his time is come; and till his time be come, we must think it long if he stay a thousand yeares: It must therefore strengthen our Faith, that God is the same God in the New Testament, as in the Old; that if we could know times as exactly as God knows them, we might write, in the bones of such a yeare and day, the bones of the Roman Catholick Church is broken, and lyes bed­rid; as it is foretold, Jezebel shall be cast into the bed of afflicti­on, and all that commit adultery with her into great tribulation. Let it strengthen the faith of Gods people in every time; for if God be so exact in every circumstance, what time he sets, he will keep, then it may more strengthen us in substantiall promises and threatnings: and what ever the Lord hath spo­ken, be not discouraged, the Lord will make good what hee hath spoken, he will not faile of a minute of time when his period is come.

Secondly,Ʋse 2. it may serve to encourage us the more to pray to God for a speedy accomplishment of the power of this great Beast (the Roman Catholick visible Church) that hath bewitched the world for so many ages together, and to grow this way in our prayers for the destruction of him from yeare to yeare: and the neerer the time of the accomplishment grows, the more earnest should our expectations be to see the accomplishment, and the more earnest our prayers should be.

[Page 96] You read of holy Daniel, that when hee understood by books, that the Lord had set the captivity for 70. years, then he set himselfe by prayer and supplication to seek the Lord, in Dan. 9. 1, 2, 3. He takes this very occasion; he found it was written that thereabouts it would be, and he found that time was at hand, therefore he wrestles with God in fasting and prayer for the accomplishment of that deliverance: And so ought we to do; and indeed about that time it is, that in the Exposition of other Scriptures, that holy man of God that hath given light to this Booke; some-what after he en­courageth to look for no small changes that may befall the State: So that it may encourage us to look for such a great mercy: It is a great mercy that the Lord hath discovered the vanity of subjection to the Roman Catholick Church, from day to day the Lord discovers it more and more to this country, and hath given us to see the true platform of a true Church, from which the Roman Catholick Church is so far disproportionable (to be governed by a supream head, instead of a particular Church ordered by Pastors and Teach­ers, there is such a vast distance) that well doth the holy Ghost call it a great Beast, a lewd Strumpet, to undertake such an Institution. Therefore as the thing hath been odi­ous in Gods sight long, so let us pray that he will go on to break the power of this Beast: It hath not been in vain, what a blow he hath given to the Image of this Beast, by the late stirs in Scotland: True it is, before great deliverances, there will be great afflictions, whether here, or else-where: It is an usuall providence to the most faithfull ones of God: But what ever bitter cup the Lord may give us to drink of, yet the day of this great Beast is coming, wherein he is to go to per­dition: He hath begun to fall before the Lamb; and if he be­gin to fall before him, say the Magicians to the Kings Favou­rite Haman, Esth. 6. 13. If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jewes before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevaile a­gainst him, but shalt surely in falling fall; that is, fall more and more: It's true, there may be some pangs, as a Beast when he is going to his last gaspe, he will fling with his tayle, and with his horns; but he is falling, and leaves not falling till [Page 97] he finally fall; though there be pangs, as dying creatures, to win the horse, or lose the saddle, but otherwise he will ne­ver stand, that there may be a Factotum at that time, and will grow more and more after that time.

Rev. 13. 7.

And it was given unto him to make warre with the Saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all Kindreds, and Tongues, and Nations,

WHen the Devill, that is to say, the Dragon, could not find any longer resting place in heaven, that is to say, he could no longer enjoy Soveraign and divine worship as the great God (Constantine and his Suc­cessors having brought in Christ and his worship alone instead of all the gods of the Gentiles;) He therefore to re­venge himselfe, makes warre against the Church, that were the rooters out of Pagan Idolatry: This warre, because he could not manage by himselfe, it being very strong, he there­fore raiseth two Beasts out of his power, the first and second Beasts in this Chapter; the first, from vers. 1. to the 10. The second, from vers. 10. to the end of the Chapter. It was a third Roman State, not Rome-Pagan, nor Rome-Christian, but Rome-antichristian, that is to say, the Roman visible Ca­tholick Church. This is described many wayes, by a wound given him upon one of his heads for a season; that when Rome was sacked, he was almost in a forlorn estate, and des­pairing of recovery; but being healed, the effects were

1. The worlds admiration after the Beast.

2. Their worship both of the Beast, and of the Dragon, which is Satan himselfe.

[Page 98] The third event is Power, or as the word signifies, Authority (ver. 5, 6, 7.) And this Power and Authority did stretch forth it selfe to three employments.

First, He had power given him to speake great things and blas­phemies; He might speak blasphemy by authority.

The second power that was given him, was to continue, or to be doing, to be acting and working all in all, for the number of 42. moneths, which in the former Chapter is de­scribed by dayes, and the dayes meant years, 1260. yeares, which have been at large spoken to.

The third power and authority given him, was, To make warre with the Saints; and that not a vain and loose war, but an effectuall prevailing war, a victorious war: It was given him to make warre with the Saints, and to overcome them.

There was also a fourth power given him, and that was dominion over all the Kindreds, Tongues, and Nations: All Chri­stian Kingdomes, they did all of them submit their Crowns and Scepters to this Beast, the Roman Catholick visible Church, whereof the Pope is the seventh head, for he had seven heads, and ten horns: Five of them were fallen, the sixth then which was the Caesars, and the Pope he was the se­venth. Two of these Powers have been opened; Power to blaspheme; and Power to continue, and be doing.

I come now to the third Power or Authority given to this Beast, and that is, to make war with the Saints, and to overcome them.

The note then is shortly this;

The Roman visible Catholicke Church had power to make warre against the Saints,Doctr. 3. yea and to overcome them. They are in a man­ner the words of the Text, explained in their true meaning.

The warre that he speaks of (as I conceive) in this place, is not a spirituall warre (though that also this beast did make, for he caused all that dwelt upon the Earth to admire and adore him, and that was spirituall war:) But he speaks of such a warre here, the effect whereof is killing with the Sword; Hee that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword, vers. 10. As if God would reward him in his owne kind: He that slayes many thousands of Christians with the [Page 99] sword, that is, by the power of warre, he himselfe shall at length be destroyed by warre also: So that he speaks of a war fought by Arms, by slaughter and blood-shed, by open ex­pedition of Military persons fighting in the quarrell of this beast against the Saints of God. There is another warre men­tioned in the 17. Chap. of this book, where it is said, this Beast, and the ten Horns, that is, the Christian Kings, that shall give their power and authority to this Beast, shall make warre with the Lamb; and they which are of the Lambs side, are called, and chosen, and faithfull, and here they are call­ed Saints: But there you shall see it is not the same kinde of warre, but differing there from what is here; for there it is sayd, They shall make warre with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall o­vercome them; but here it is said, He shall make warre with the Saints, and overcome the Saints: So that one of these warres he speaks of, when he that hath smitten others, he shall be smitten himselfe; that is, towards the end of his Authority; then the Lamb shall make warre, and overcome him; but in the meane time he hath power to make warre, and overcome them, it is therefore a bloody warre: And it is not said that he began this war as soon as he began to do; for here are sun­dry acts and passages of Authority, before he comes to this transcendant power to violent warre: Hee was admired and adored in the consciences of all Roman Catholicks; Hee had done many things, spake great blasphemies many a day, and yeare together: And in the end he receives also this power, to make warre with the Saints; that he was able to muster up such an Army of his owne, or his Horns, that is, those Prin­ces that were obedient to him, as he was able to make warr. Now this Scripture (I conceive) was accomplished in his wars against the Waldenses and Albingenses in the 12. Century after Christ, they held all things conformable to the Scrip­tures, and the Fathers, as they called them, and every way Orthodoxall, only they blasphemed the Church of Rome, this Beast could not tell what he had against them otherwise; but otherwise he commended them for their honesty, piety, and good dealing, and there was nothing culpable in their doing, but that they spake against the Church of Rome: now [Page 100] against them did the Pope and the Catholick Church procure many expeditions of sore warre for many yeares together, and in conclusion rooted them out of the Countrey, and scattered them up and downe, some to some part of France, some to Bohemia, some to Germany, some to England, and some to one place, and some to another: though the Papists did confesse that the people were not rooted out, but scatte­red; and where-ever they came, they propagated their Reli­gion, that it was more and more spread where they came; but they overcame them, for they slew (as stands upon Re­cord) about ten hundred thousands of them, and did burn up their Cities, and Cattell, fel'd their wood, that there might be no more Hereticks nestled in that wildernesse; and they did take a course that Midwives, and Mothers, and In­fants in the womb, all should be slaughtered by fire and sword, that there might be no more continuance of that Generation: So that in this War the Pope did mightily pre­vaile, and prospered so farre, that he spread all Christendom, and in one battle did overcome a great many of the Saints: Whereupon the Waldenses being warned by a Religious man sent by the Bishop of Tholouse, to confesse the hand of God a­gainst them for Hereticall pravity, in blaspheming the Roman Catholick visible Church, and continuing so long in it, and to turn to the Catholick Church: For their de­fence, to answer the Temptation that was put upon them, said they, it is written, The Beast shall make war with the Saints and overcome them; therefore it is no argument of Gods being against us, in respect of our Religion, for he may acknow­ledg us Saints, though we be slain to this day; and therefore though there were but a handful left, they would rather dye, then yeeld to conformity to the Church of Rome. So you see the point opened: For the Reasons,

First, how this Beast comes to have this power to make warre.

Secondly, how the Saints come thus to be warred upon.

And thirdly, how they come to be overcome (for all these would be opened.)

First,Reason 1. this beast had power given him to make warre by se­verall [Page 101] hands; First, the devout subjection of the ten Christian Kings to him, that gave their kingdoms and swords into his hand, Rev. 17. 17. God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their Kingdoms unto the Beast: The principall Kings of Christendome in those dayes came and gave their power to the beast, and by their power he was able to do wonders against all.

A second reason and cause of his power to war against the Saints,Reason 2. was, because of the prosperous successe which they had in the warre against Christians a hundred yeares before, and that was in an expedition of Godfrey of Bulloign in Greece, and Duke Dalbo, that went forth to recover the holy Land (as they call it) to overcome the Turks and Sarazens, and God­frey Bullen, a Christian Prince, as they call him, they made him King at Jerusalem, there he continued, and prospered mightily in this war, and held it for many years together: and Christian Princes seeing the prosperous successe of this War which he had raised up to recover the holy Land, and the Sepulchre of Christ; therefore upon the same tearms that he did procure that Expedition against Infidels, he doth pro­cure warre against these Hereticks, and out of the same noti­on there were gathered an innumerable company.

A third Reason was from the zealous Sermons of Fryars and Monks,Reason 3. exciting all Christendom to this Warr under the Standard of the Crosse in promise of equall pardon, as if the Expedition had been against the Sarazens, thence came he to make such authority to make Warre with the Saints, that if he call for it, it is done: He agrees upon it in his own Coun­cell, and he gives instruction to all Abbots and Fryars, and Governours of religious Orders, that they should send out chiefe Preachers to call upon all the people, as in Psal. 94. 16. Who wil rise up for me against the evill doers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of Iniquity? Sometimes complay­ning of the slacknesse of men to holy zeale for Gods glory, and maintenance of purity of Religion, and sometimes a necessity of taking part with those that are Infidels abroad, and Hereticks and Schismaticks at home; They found their Explication amounting to that use, that whereas there had [Page 102] been many Hereticks nestled up in this Countrey, therefore it pleased him and the Apostle Peter to stirre up the Bishop of Rome to vouchsafe the like plenary pardon to those which would go to warre against these Hereticks, as those which had prevailed against Infidels; and the premise of pardon did so farre prevail, that they shortly gathered together 300000. that in hope of plenary pardon of sinne did give up them­selves to go on upon their owne charges; they would sell goods and Lands for pardon of sin, and peace of conscience: And in those dayes men were wont to be troubled at the Ser­mons of the Fryars and Monkes, and never found setled peace by pardon from Christ Jesus, and never thought to look for pardon where it was: and they told them it was to be had by bestowing their goods and lands thus; and those Fryars and Monks did so inculcate and drive the nayl to the head in the hearts of people, that they were never at rest till they went about this Expedition, there were raised a matter of ten Captains, Simon Munford was one, a notable instru­ment for the Devill and this great Beast.

The last Reason was,Reason 4. the superstition of those times, the deep devotion and dejection of spirit that was in the bodies of Christians in those dayes in regard of their spiritual estate: They being deepely convinced of sinne, and sharply reproved by the Fryars and Monks, who had a notable dexterity to sting the consciences of men, and wound them by the terrour of Gods wrath, sometimes for their great exactions, some­times for their incest; sometimes for their whoredome, and neglect of the Ordinances of the Church; and they had things so full against them, that it made them strictly devout, and so were taken up in devotion to this great Beast, and the head of it, that all the world admired and adored him for his ad­mirable and transcendant power, and keyes that he had to heaven (as they thought [...]) they all yeelded themselves, some their bodies to fight, and some that had not sufficient to maintaine themselves, other good Catholicks were ready to cast in some more, some lesse, to maintaine them, according to their abilities, and happy he that could make something to make warre aginst these Hereticks: So that lay all these [Page 103] together, and you will see how he had this great power to make war with the Saints. Here was a great and vast change from the Institution of Christ, who confined all Churches in­to one Congregation, that all may heare, and all may be edefi­ed, that one Parish Church should grow to that vastnesse, to levy 300000. to the warre, and that by a word of his mouth to have them all mayntained without grudging, for every man did thinke the worke as pious, a marvellous change: and well doth the holy Ghost say, Hee had great power, that the power of that Church should reach over all Churches, and shall have such an influence into Kings, that look what they shall dictate, all shall be ready, body, and goods, and life, and all to maintain them; you see the reasons of it, how he comes by this power.

But secondly, how comes he to make War against the Saints?

There is a double reason for that,Reason 1. one is taken from the profession, and practice, and conversation of these Saints: This was their practice, They followed the Lamb, as in the next Chapter; I looked, and loe a lambe stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred fourty and four thousand, having his Fa­thers name written in their foreheads: These are they which are not defiled with women, for they are Virgins: These are they which follow the Lamb whether soever he goeth: They kept themselves undefiled of this Antichrist of Rome, were not defiled with the whoredome of this great beast; in all things they consen­ted with the Doctrine of the Primitive Church, and their hy­pocrisies, and whoredomes, and coveteousnesse, were things that would by no means be borne; therefore the Pope, who was the great head, discerning he was thus contested against, and (as they say) blasphemed, he thinks he does nothing, though he destroy Turkes, and Sarazens, and Aegyptians, and whoever took the Sepulcher of Christ, as long as those Here­tickes at home were not subdued, therefore he thinks it as me­ritorious a worke to subdue them, as ever to fight for the ho­ly Land. But there was another thing that made the war, for no warre can be made but by levying of Forces on both part [...].

[Page 104] And therefore a second was,Reason 2. their taking up of Armes, in the just defence of their liberties, both of conscience and out­ward man: For if the Catholick Church had raised up all these Forces, and they had quietly submitted themselves like sheep to the slaughter, there had beene no warre then, there had been massacres: It would have amounted to that as the massacre in Paris, that a man did not lift up his hand, but they were slaughtered like dogs in the street: Though they come with fire and sword, yet unlesse they resist with fire and sword, it cannot be said to be war: Some set in against them, though their weaknesse caused them to presume, but it was to weak a businesse for flesh and bloud; Wee wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against Principalities and Powers, and spirituall wickednesses: They which trust to flesh and bloud shall be deceived; as these men, they stood out, and sometimes prospered, while the Earl of Tone, and some other Princes joyned together, though they were but few, they prospered; but war is not one Battel or two, and in the end they were overcome, and this Beast prevailed; and that's the reason of the 2d part, how he came to make warre against the Saints.

For the 3d, How came he to overcome them? Truly not by strength, he had very little that way; but

First,Reason 1. he overcame them by their a little too much confi­dence in the arme of flesh: when they see the King of Aragon set on, they come to be a little set on by the power of the King, and a great Battell recoyled by trusting to the arme of flesh. You read in Heb. 11. 34. That by faith the Saints waxed valiant in Fight, turned to flight the Armies of the Aliens; but when our faith runne in another channell, that we grow confident not in the Lord Jesus, by trusting in him, but on the arme of flesh; we know what is said in Jer. 17. 5. Cursed be the man (ye though he be a good man) that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arme, and whose heart departeth from the Lord: It withers, it cannot stand against the potent Army that rise up against them; though their enemies were never lesse in number, nor never lesse provided, yet they prevailed more then ever before.

[Page 105] The second Reason was, by their attention to politick and deceitfull Treaties of peace; for when they saw the men were good Souldiers, valient in battell, and able to fight it out, and they found the 3000. that were to fight for plenary pardon three years, had served out their time, and they had got as they thought, their souls saved, they would go home now, and they had got peace by this carnall confidence of theirs: So they perceived this war would be troublesome, and the Hereticks were like to prosper, therefore they gather in the cheif Leaders to Treaties about peace, and great pitty that such bloud should be shed; therefore for the honour of Rome it were needfull to cease the warre, and so would draw their cheif Leaders to firme leagues of Peace, and then they kept their best Generals in Prison; and thus when they had got them to yeild to their pretences, then they had their neckes under their girdles, and their throats under their axes, they might hew them out of measure: Insomuch that the King of France hearing of such cruell massacre, he sent to know what their Religion was; and though he sent expresse charge that none of his Souldiers should offer violence to them, yet they concealing his Letters, they went on in massacring the poor Saints, and scattering them up and down, in so much that they prevailed, partly by the Saints cleaving to the arme of flesh, and by trusting their false pre­tences.

And there is a third Reason mentioned in the 10. vers. saith he, Here is the Faith and Patience of the Saints:

It was Gods pleasure to make it the season of the Patience of the Saints:Reason 3. It was the season wherein Antichrist should swell to his height, and the Saints be brought low, and their Patience be tryed to the utmost; and it being a time of the Saints Patience, it must needs be a time of their suffering; and suffer they did with much patience: but yet they were not utterly exterpated, for some fled to France, and some to Eng­land, and so propagated Christian Religion, which after tur­ned to the conversion of many, John Husse, and Jerome of Pragues Doctrine grew and spread more, till God raised up Luther to set forward the power of the Gospell. Thus you see the truth of the Doctrine.

[Page 106] For the use then,Ʋse 1. First it may serve to let us see whence is the power of waging war; for the Text saith, it was given; To him it was given to make war with the Saints: All men cannot receive this, as our Saviour saith in another case, but they to whom it is given. It is not an easie matter for any to be [...] to wage war, it requires great store of persons, and great store of Treasury, and Fountain to maintaine both; And besides all this, it require [...] no small measure of Wisdome and Policy to undertake such designes: all these you see the Lord gives, and gives them to those that his soul take no pleasure in, and to those that in his esteem are men of beastly spirit [...], yet he gives them power to make warre: He may blesse himself in his rule and bravery that they were able to [...] against Infidels, and after against Heriticks as they called them, but indeed the Saints of God: but you see God gave power unto this Beast, which is therefore no cause of tri­umph or glorying that he hath recived such a power, for you see it may be given to these that are enemyes to the Lord Jesus.

Secondly,Ʋse 2. observe this much, That the Lord himselfe doth acknowledge even his poor children on Earth to be that which is commonly by priviledge sequestred to the holy Saints in Heaven; He calles them Saints.

We think Saint-ship is a peculiar priviledge to the Saints in Heaven, when they have ended their dayes in peace and a good conscience, then they are accounted Saints and An­gels; but the Lord accounts them Saints while they live upon the Earth, whiles they are the Church Militant, a warfaring Church; while men undertake warre against them, and overcome them by warre, even then they are called Saints. And which is wonderfull, Saints when they are overcome, and that by their owne sinfulnesse; for they loose not the Saintship, when they loose the victory. The Lord looks at his poorest children here as Saints, though there be a miserable body of death hang about them, that they cry out, O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this Body of Death, Rom. 7. 24. Yea though they complain of their Pride, and Passion, and Lusts, and Hypocrysie, and many of­fences [Page 107] they finde against themselves, though they think them­selves more flesh then any, though they thinke themselves (as Paul did) Carnall, sold under Sinne, (Rom. 7. 17.) yet then the Lord accounts them Saints when they are en­compassed about with a body of Sin:

Yea which is worse then that, when they give way to their own Sinnes for a time, and doe withdraw their confidence from the Lord in this and that act, and put their trust in the arme of flesh: When they are so childish as to trust Popish pretences, when they are warred against, and overcome by enemies, and by their own folly; as David saith in Psal. 69. 5. O God, thou knowest my foolishnesse, and my Sinnes are not hid from thee. The Lord knew it, but yet he did not know it to hurt them, and loath them, and dishearten them: but yet they are Saints, and such as he account to be his, and not onely in regard of Regeneration, and the holinesse of Christ, but in regard of the fruits of holinesse begun in them, as he saith, Rev. 14. 4. These are they which are not defiled with women. They are sincere in their course, and keep faith and a good consci­ence in the main, and where they do fail, they judge them­selves: Indeed in darknesse of Temptation they may be surprised, but they judge themselves for it, and God looks at them as though they were without fault before his Throne; when it comes to the Throne of God, the Lord Jesus covers it with the Robe of his Righteousnesse; and in the intenti­ons of their hearts and endeavours they are according to God; if they be carried aside, it is by humane frailty.

Now this is comfort that the Lord accounts them Saints when they are warred against, (as here in the Text) and all the world thinks it a matter justly deserving Salvati­on to shed their bloud like water, then doth the Lord beare witnesse they are Heriticks. So that let every christian soul carry this home with him, that it is not every act of unbeleif that makes a man no Saint, for these trusted too much upon the forces of others, and if they had prevailed, for God never failes any that put their trust in him; never do the Saints fail in any expedition to men but when they faile in trust to God, 1 John 5. 4. This is the victory that overcometh the world, [Page 108] even our Faith: He that believeth in the Sonne of God for Redemption and Protection, and turnes not asside, whether he go forth with many, or with few, it is all one for that; if it were but David with a sling and a stone, he shall prevaile a­gainst Goliah: The Lord is faithfull, never did any faithfull soul perish till his faith failed and shrunk; and then when Peters faith shrinks, he begins to sinck. But it may be a ground of much consolation to any Saint of God, the Lord doth not dissaint a man, or cast him out of the Catalogue of Saints for this and that failing, but still they are Saints, a Saint in peace, and a Saint in warre, even when they are overcome; when they are in calamity, and the plowers plow upon their backes, and make large furrows, they are the Saints of God, still leaning to the Voice and Councell of the Lord; and when they start asside to Popish pretences: Onely when they cleave to the Lord, and trust steadfastly upon him, then they prosper and flourish; but if they begin to shrink in their faith, and to harken to pretences and terms of peace, then wonder not if you see them overcome, yet still faith is invin­cible, and their cause and Religion is propagated by their dis­pertion, it was not destroyed. And therefore if the Lord ac­counts us Saints, it behooves us to be ashamed of every passage of our lives that doth not become the Saints of God. When Religion came low, and Antichrist overspread the world, the Lord accounted his faithfull ones to be Saints; in this battel there was a Generation of Saints whom he owns: and there­fore how much more should we that live in dayes of peace and liberty, bring forth fruits of holinesse in our conversati­on, that the Lord may account us his Saints whoever came to make war against us.

Thirdly,Ʋse 3. this may serve to teach us the lawfulnesse of chri­stians waging warre in their own just defence. You see it e­vident here, the Beast did make warre against the Saints, and did overcome them at length, though at first the Saints over­came them, and killed divers of them; they stood upon their own defence, and it it is not laid to their charge, but still they are accounted Saints while they make warre: It is true, their confidence in the arme of flesh, and listning to Popish [Page 109] pretences was an argument of weaknesse, and timerousnesse, but it was not their failing to resist: and had they not heark­ned to those suggestions brought to them by those that lye in wait to deceive; had they not leaned to humane policy, and trusted to humane strength, they had certainly prospered. It is true indeed, when the Laws of a State are armed against Re­ligion, though christians be fewer, or more in number, they are to submit, and not take up armes; and that was the constant practice of the Primitive Church, the Laws of the Empire being for Idolatry, they willingly suffered, though they were more then the rest. Or secondly, when the Laws of a State are ordayned for Religion, private christians must lift up their hands, to right the abuse of the Laws, and there­fore David being a private person, he would not lift up his hand against Saul, the Lords Annointed, though he did a­gainst Law. But yet neverthelesse, if the Law be for the maintenance of Peace and Trueth, and true Religion; and Governours and Princes will against Law, and beyond Law, and consequently against the Oath which themselves have taken to maintain the Laws and Religion, if they will make warre against the Saints, and Religion, and Truth, or against the way of Justice and happinesse, which they are sworn to maintain; now in such a case as this, It is as lawfull to take up armes of defence, as it was for these men to take up war in their own just defence.

Now they are not private persons, but in the place of the Country: The Lord he put the power of the sword into the head of their Guides & Leaders where they lived; and though they were by former Lawes engaged by way of Homage, yet now they may take up the sword of their own defence and maintenance, in witnesse bearing to the Truth to the last bloud: In such cases the case is much altered, for their Prin­ces and supream Governours, they are all subject to the Laws and Oath of the Kingdome, and they have no power but ac­cording to the Lawes which are made: If therefore they take up a power against Law, and contest with the people of God, then this power which these holy men did exercise to maintain their peace against all opposition to be raised against them is lawfull.

[Page 110] For a fourth use;Ʋse 4. it may teach all the people of God not to measure a cause by the event, nor persons by accidents that do befall them, lest they should condemn the generati­on of the Just. It was a grievous temptation Asaph lay un­der, to see the ungodly prosper, and have what their hearts could desire, and himselfe plagued all the day long, and chastned every morning, Psal. 73. 3. to 13. and by this meanes he condemned the generation of Gods children: But no mat­ter though the Beast prosper, and the Saints are overcome, yet the Beast is a Beast when he prospers, and the Saints are Saints, though they be overcome; therefore let us not judge of things according to their appearance.

Fifthly,Ʋse 5. It may teach all the Saints in this Countrey, or where-ever, not to trust the pretences of deceitfull men, es­pecially such as are not sound in Religion, and take heed also how you trust upon your own strength (let me put them both together for brevity sake): We know not how soon a­ny of us may be tempted in this kind, what warres may be raised against this Countrey (though wee have none for the present, nor feare none) yet in time we know not what may come: what, are we better then our Fathers? The Beast of Rome still lives, his 42. moneths is not yet out (though his power he much weakned) but his Agents still live: He is a­ble to blow a coale to those that look for salvation from him, to do this great and glorious service to the Catholick Church and cause: And if it please the Catholick Church, then it grows a great businesse to root out Hereticks, to blast them by censures of Excommunication, and Civill State; if it were so, we stand upon our own defence you see. It be­hooves you therefore, as you desire to be faithfull to God, to Religion, to your Churches and Common-wealths, to your Wives, Children, Estates, as you desire to be faithfull to his Ordinances, to the Kingly, Priestly, and Propheticall Of­fice of Christ, to attend to that which these Saints neglected, that is to say, to attend to the word of Faith, and to the wisdome of God: Trust not upon the experience of your Captaines or Souldiers, to fight by Land or Sea: Trust not upon your Castles or Vessels by Sea, any thing you have, or [Page 111] may have: Trust not upon the pieces of Ordnance, they are all vaine things to save if you stand in need (and yet of use.) Be prepared in this kind, that you may be instrumentall to Gods providence, but trust not in them, they are but the Arm of flesh: And if Wars come against New-England, it will be from Principalities and Powers, and flesh and blood will not be able to with-stand them: They will be Principalities from Hell, or the great Beast, the Catholick Church, or from the Image of this Beast, otherwise there is no feare of any War: but if any War do come, trust not in those means you have, nor though all the Natives in the Countrey were on your side: and if any great Protestant States should offer you help, use them, but do not trust in them. It was the way of over­coming the Saints of God, they trusted on the arm of Flesh, and that was their great folly, and that brought the hand of God against them; therefore see your Faith be sincere, and upright to him.

Secondly, Leane not to the wisdome of carnall reason, nor trust not to faire pretences, you shall have your liberties longer established, only something or other you must give way to, and some principall ones must be singled out to treat of peace, but it was the ruine of this State: It behoves the Saints to sanctifie God in their hearts, to trust upon his grace, to cleave to the word of God; trust what the Lord saith, and not what deceitful men say: It was a grave saying of an ancient Prince in England; Obey according to the Law, and you obey the King: but if you obey what comes suddenly out of his mouth, or against Law, you obey not me as King: And that is it which Christian Religion teacheth; no Religion teaches a man more to obey Kings in wholsome Laws; to obey them, it to obey God in them, for Princes are subordinate to God himselfe. The people do concur in making some Laws in e­very Common-wealth, and Princes have transcendant pow­er over the People; and God forbid any should spring out of this Countrey to plead against their Governours, and wea­ken their forces, but keep their Scepters fresh from one Gene­ration to another; yet this is the best service done to Kings, service according to God: If Laws be made, let a man yield [Page 112] active obedience to them, if they be good, and passive if they be evill; but against Law, contrary to the stream of Law, to make a man think himselfe bound, in such a case it is to flat­ter Princes and Powers, and not to yeeld professed subjection to them. Therefore it behoves the people of God to know upon what terms they stand, that wee may carry our selves like loyall Subjects and Christians, that the name of God may not be dishonoured by any weaknesse of ours, and start­ing aside on any hand or other.

Rev. 13. latter part of the 7. vers.‘And power was given him over all Kindreds, and Tongues, and Nations.’

WEe come now to the fourth thing which these words hold forth, and that is the power (or as the Greek word hath it) the authority which is here sayd to be given to the Roman Catholick Church, and that is, over all Kindreds, and Tongues, and Nations.

The note is this,

To the Roman Catholicke visible Church was given very ample jurisdiction and authority over all the Christian world (if we may so speake) or as in the Text,Doctr. 4. over all Kindreds, Tongues, and Na­tions.

And he meanes Kindreds, Tongues, and Nations of such Countreys which were wont to be subject to the Empire of Rome, which were then counted all the Civill Nations of the world.

To open it briefly: It was given him over all kindreds, tongues, and nations.

Here are three words, and one include another: Nation is the largest; for in a Nation there may be many Tongues, and in one Tongue there may be many Kindreds. He had dominion and soveraignty over all Nations, or over the ten Kings; that is to say, the body of Christian Princes, and all the Nations subject to them, they all gave their power unto the Beast, Rev. 17. 17. No nation professed Christianity, but professed also subjection to the Sea of Rome, that is, to the Romon Catholick visible Church: And the Papists are large in this; Bellarmine makes it a 4th. note of the visible Church, amplitude of power, and he gives sundry instances: Stories are evident, that all Nations did professe this Religion (spe­cially after the subduing of the Waldences, though they did before) setting aside that remnant of the womans seed that [Page 114] were fled into the wildernesse: Now no Nation in Christen­did professe other Religion then Popery, especially from the time of Charls the Great, to Charles the fifth, which was a matter of 720. years: There was no visible profession open, unlesse in some secret corners of the world: no Nation held forth any other Religion then Popish, nor professed subjecti­on to any other Church. Now in every Nation there are, or may be divers Tongues, as in England, you have the English, and Welsh, and Cornish Tongues, besides others that are discrepant from English: But he saith not only every Nation, but every Tongue, that is, every Language, they all gave their power to the Beast: And in every Tongue we have ma­ny Kindreds, and there is no man that could ever say but some of his kindred have been Popish, or are Popish to this day, if not all, yet some of the ancientest, and those the grea­ter part, here is the universality of it.

And (I say) further, he had ample and great power; for to have power over all argues amplitude. It is said in the be­ginning of the 8 vers. (which I will take in, and open here) it is said, They shall worship him: That's a great power when it doth amount to inward worship, not civill, but divine wor­ship. It was divine worship that he challenged, and all Na­tions gave him. To give Laws of faith, and worship, and go­vernment to all Churches in Christendom, that was divine power peculiar to the Lord Jesus. It was divine power to challenge toihimselfe imposition of Kings, and deposition of Kings without consent of the people: To provoke the people to do it whether they liked their Prince or no, this is tran­scendant above all created power. Besides, it was divine worship they gave, in giving him power over their Conscien­ces, challenging to himself (and they also yeelding freely) a power to bind Conscience with the Laws he gave them, to loose their consciences either from the Laws of God, in mat­ter of Oaths; to loose them from guilt of sinne, to loose their consciences from Contracts, from Confederacies, this is divine power; They all worship him, whose names are not writ­ten in the booke of the Lamb, and some of them too for a sea­son, but they continue not, God opens their eyes to repent [Page 115] of it, and to rise from under it. It was divine power to cha­lenge infalibility of Judgment, to judg of Scripture out of the Oracle of his owne braines: These were all divine worship they gave to the Catholick Church, and to the head of it, the Bishop of Rome. So that marvayl not (as the Text saith) there was given, Exasia, [...] not a lame power, but an unli­mited power over all people in Church and Common-wealth, and over conscience. There is nothing wherein the Catholick Church had not power throughout all Christen­dome.

Now further, the Text tells you, All this power was given: He did not wholly arrogate this power to him (though he did so too) but it was given him, though he took it, and took all advantages to get it. No man can receive any thing, ex­cept it be given him from above. But he had it given him: Gi­ven him, by whom? by God, by the Devill, and given him by Christian Kings, Churches, and Common-wealths, and Families.

First,Reason 1. it was given by God in his just judgment: God gave them up to delusions to believe lyes, 2 Thes. 2. 11. And he gave two reasons why God gave them up to those delusions.

1. To avenge their want of entertainment of the truth in love. Because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved, vers. 10. 12. Because they would not receive Christ, nor the simplicity of his government and worship (in Church-state) therefore God gave them up to Satan, and to the man of sinne, and to the Catholicke visible Roman Church.

2. That they all might be damned that have pleasure in unrighte­ousnesse, in the same verse. The Lord gave them up therefore to damnable distempers, damnable usurpations and Ord­nances; the Lord gave them up for these two Reasons, and they are one subordinate to another.

Secondly,Reason 2. this power was given by Satan also. For it is said, The coming of Antichrist shall be after the working of Satan, with all powers, and signes, and lying wonders, and with all deceive­ablenesse of unrighteousnesse, 2 Thes. 2. 9, 10. By the efficacy of delusion, which was by the jugling of those great men in [Page 116] those times, for efficacy of delusion is by miracles, so by de­ceivablenesse of unrighteousnesse, which is three-fold; The sophistry of Schoolmen, the policy of the Canonists that made their Laws out of the Popes decrees, still advancing the Popish Church, and the head thereof, partly by the devotion of Monks and Fryars: And if you aske why Satan did this, there is a double reason of that.

First, to revenge the injury which the Church did him by bringing forth a Man-child, a Christian Emperour to depose him from his glory, wherein he was worshipped as the great God of the world. Now when hee sees hee is cast off from the honour he had, and there was no more place left for him in heaven, it comes to passe that he pours forth a flood of barbarous na­tions and damnable Heresies after the woman, and makes war with the remnant of her seed, Rev. 12. 13. 15.

2. A second Reason that stirred up Satan, was out of the ancient enmity against Christ, and the seed of Christ, Gen. 3. 15. I will put enmity between thy seed and her seed, which is Christ; and all the seed of Christ, which are both publique and private Christians, he hath an inveterate enmity against them all; and therefore he gives the Church of Rome all the power that Pagan Rome had.

The third sort of givers of this large power to this Beast, and the head of it, the Pope was.

The voluntary devotion of Christian Princes and States.Reason 3. They did voluntarily resign themselves up, and their King­doms, and States, and Churches, and Common-wealth, and Consciences and all, to the obedience of the Sea of Rome, Rev. 17. 17. They with one accord gave their Kingdomes to the Beast; God put it into their hearts to do it; that is true, but they were left of God, and acted by Satan, and so were they brought about to give this power unto the Beast. Some were brought unto this by the Popes favour, and large gifts he be­stowed upon them.

Charles the Great had his Empire from the Bishop of Rome, and translated it from Constantinople to France, and Germany, and therefore he had reason to stand to the Authority that set him up. And the ten Kings of Christendom that rose up­on [Page 117] the demolition of the Grecian Empire, which was then called the Empire of Rome, their absolute authority did much depend upon the Bishop of Rome; if the Grecian Empire had not yeelded, they had been liable in conscience to restore these ten Kingdoms: In point of State-policy, they had cause to be much observant to the Pope: But that is not all, for they could never have done it, had not the Subjects yeelded: And what moved them? Truly they were all taken with the Religion of the man of sinne: That flood of Heresies and Ab­hominations which the Catholick Church did hold forth (as in a cup of poyson to the world) these earthly sort of Christians swallowed it all up. They were carnall, and yet superstitious and devout: Carnall, for want of saving grace and regeneration: And devout, for then generally Christians lay under the terrour of the Law, as in Rev. 9. 5, 6. The lo­custs came in, which were the Fryars and Monkes, and they had this power to sting their Consciences even to the death, that a man would give all he had for pardon of sinne: Now having power to sting mens Consciences, but not to heale them; to kill, but not to make alive, they were now fitted to receive the Impression of the Popish Religion; and that re­ligion to men so qualified and disposed, was fit to heal them overly, and to skin the wound of Conscience; and there are three things in that Religion that helped to skinne over the Conscience.

1. The suitablenesse of it to humane and naturall sences.

2. To carnall naturall reason.

3. To naturall Conscience.

For these three concur, and that strongly in this Religion, to carry all Christendome after it.

First, for naturall sense: All that have travayled into Po­pish Countreys know that their Religion is composed to na­turall sence.

1. To satisfie the eyes with goodly Images, and Pictures, and gorgeous Temples, and Vestures, that young and old are taken with these goodly spectacles.

2. For the eares; you know in their Cathedralls what cu­rious musique they have, both vocall and instrumentall.

[Page 118] 3. For the smell, you have Incense and sweet perfumes to entertaine you.

4. For the taste, you have double Feasts and solemn Feasts, many Feasts full of luxury and ryot.

5. For the Touch; there is toleration of Stews, to give up their names to Stews: They will not suffer men to live, unlesse they give up their names to be free of such unclean houses: And if you commit any lewdnesse, then it is easie to come off with some light penanc [...]s; and especially the purse, that will doe all. These things marvellously please the sense.

Secondly, for naturall Reason, it suits marvellously with naturall reason.

1. To hold forth an historical & implicite faith▪ Historical the Devils may have: and implicite, for a man to be­lieve as the Church believes, and hee believes this Faith hath power to quench all temptations of the Devill.

2. To hold forth such a repentance as consists in Contri­tion, Confession, and Satisfaction; Judas reached all this: For contrition, his heart was humbled in sence of his sinne. For confession, I have sinned in betraying inno­cent blood: And for satisfaction; He brought again the thir­ty pieces of silver; He would not meddle nor make with them.

3. To hold forth such an obedience as a man may be able to perform and keep the whole Law of God, which he thinks to be easie: And this doth please naturall Sence to work our own salvation.

4. To hold forth pardon of sin for money, and for bodily exercises.

5. Uncertainty of Salvation.

6. Such a frame of Church-government as keepeth all in a politick order and unity: That all Popish Churches be subordinate to such a Bishop, as he is to some Metropo­litan, and they to some Primate, and all to the Bishop of Rome. And why? From one unity ascends, and it is good to keep unity: And so to look at a mans selfe as unworthy to come into the presence of God, and to call [Page 119] upon Christ, and therefore manners would make a man cleave to some he-Saints or she-Saints, and they shall present their prayers to Christ, and Christ to the Father, which is very plausable to naturall reason: And for our Fathers which grew zealous of that Religion, we should not damn them to hell, Reason abhors that.

Thirdly, for naturall Conscience; it will counter-work with God, and walk in equipage with God all the way, that is to say, for a man to look to find according to his works, natural Conscience hath this in Nature, it is ingrafted in na­ture from the God of Adam, from his Ordinance in Nature, or the rudements of it restored.

1. Election of Faith, or works foreseen.

2. Redemption of all men alike.

3. Conversion by the power of free-will. This is in the natures of all men, by the very Law and works of Nature.

4. Justification by works, naturall Conscience dictates that; Do this and thou shalt live; do it not, and thou dost forfeit the favour of God; but receive it, and thou hast fellowship with God.

5. Perseverance by our owne endeavours.

6. Glorification by merits of works.

All these suit with naturall Conscience, that Conscience is satisfied if the work be accomplished; if not, then they make satisfaction: If they faile in these works by giving way to this o [...] that arrogance that the work is not compleat, then Conscience hangs in some dispence and demur: And if they cannot satisfie all in this world, yet they should do what they can by giving to this and that good use, and do pen­nance for their sinne: And if all faile, they may make satis­faction in Purgatory, and not sink downe to the nether most Hell: These things be very acceptable to naturall Consci­ence. Thus we see how it comes to passe, that to this Beast was given authority and power over all Kindreds, Tongues, and Nations.

Obj. You will say to me, But doth not this crosse some other Text, in Rev. 5. 9. where it is said, the Lord hath redeemed his people out [Page 120] of every Kindred, and Tongue, and Nation? If the Pope had this power over every Kindred, Tougue, and Nation, where stands Christs re­demption?

I answer,Answ. for Christs Redemption, it is some out of every Kindred, Tongue, and Nation, whose names are written in the Lambs booke of life, but it was but a remnant: There is at this time a remnant according to the Election of Grace, Rom. 11. 5. But otherwise all Kindreds, Tongues, and Nations have been swallowed up by the usurpation of this Beast, and by their subjection to him: So that Christ hath his number out of all these; but it is the Beast that carryes away the bo­dy of them, for that season especially: He did rule over them by a kinde of sacred Authority, in the consciences of men, because he had this absolute power in Churches, a great power for 1260. years together: whether you reckon from Constantines time, or Theodosius his time, he had a marvellous power in Kingdomes, Nations, and Common-wealths. But notwithstanding he had this power in those times, yet Christ kept the interest in his own chosen, as in Rev. 14. 1. where he had 144000. that were spotlesse virgins.

Answ. [...]. The Lord Jesus will at length challenge all his own, purchase them into his own hand, when at the calling of the Jews, all the Kingdomes of the world shall be given to the Saints of the most high, Dan. 7. 26, 27. The Lord will take them all into his own hand, and power and jurisdiction, but he must first throw down this enemy that hath usurped o­ver his purchased possession: But in the mean time this Beast swallows up all for so many Ages together.

For the use of the point.

First,Ʋse 1. it may be to refute the Papists that give this as a true note of the Church, namely, amplitude of dominion, as the Catholick Church had: They give this for an infallible note of the Church; now that note you see is here evidently ascribed to the people that worship the great Beast, of whom the Lord saith here (ver. 8.) their names are not written in the booke of the Lamb. So that this is a note, not of an Apostoli­call Church, but it may be a note of an Apostaticall Church that is fallen away from the Apostles Doctrine: It is a true [Page 121] description of that State of the Church. You see here Power was given over to the Beast over all Kindreds, Tongues, and Nati­ons: And therefore amplitude of dominion is not an inse­perable character of the Spouse of Christ; for it may be given to those that are not the Church of Christ, even to those that are but a Beast in the sight of God, not his Spouse. I may rather say the contrary, that amplitude of Dominion was never a note of a Church of Christ since the world began: For in the old Testament the State of the Church was Nati­onall, and they had power over one Nation, and sometimes conquered others, as in David, and Solomons time, they con­quered the Philistims, & Ammonites, and Moabites, and Edomites, but it was never over all the whole world, and that dominion which they had, they did not challenge it by Church power, but left them still to their own Religion, for the Common-wealth propagated their power by arms, having first occasi­on of warre given them by their arrogance to them. In the dayes of the new Testament, the Church that Christ instituted reacheth no further then to their own members, and their own members reach no further then to one Congregation, that all might hear, and all might be edefied, 1 Cor. 14. 23. So that if Church power extends no further then the bounds of one Congregation; then that Church that swelleth and stre­cheth forth her power all the world over, Kindreds, and Tongues, and Nations; what an out-ragious swelling Beast is that, that reacheth such vast dominion beyond the pro­portion that the Lord gave to his Church? If you should see a body swell to such a vast bignesse, that his armes shall reach from one end of the world to another, would it not be counted a monster? So in this case, the Lord hath limited the power of the Church within it selfe; it is a great power that they have, but not so great as to binde conscience, unless it be Ministerially, and so they have power to binde Kings in chains, and Nobles in lincks of Iron; but to have power, judiciary power over the Scriptures, and over the conscience, over and above the application of the word; it is such as the Lord never gave to any Church, but it is arrogated, and usur­ped by the man of Sinne.

[Page 122] Secondly,Ʋse 2. it may serve to teach you the prouenesse of your natures to that which is evill, above that which is savingly and spiritually good. This power over all Kindreds, and Tongues, and Nations, the Lord hath purchased by his death, Rev. [...]. 9. He dyed and rose againe that he might be Lord both of quick and dead, Rom. 14. 9. And upon his resurrection, all power was given him in Heaven and Earth, Mat. 28. 18. He prayed for this power, and the Lord promised to give him it. Psal. [...]. 8. Aske of me, and I will give thee the Heathen for thine Inheri­tance; and the uttermost parts of the Earth for thy Possession. This hath the Lord bought with his pretious bloud, and paid for by the power of his eternall Spirit; and yet never did the Lord Jesus enjoy this power to this day, which the man of Sinne hath enjoyed for so many years together. He will en­joy it at lenght, when he shall call in the Jews, and with them the fulnesse of the Gentiles, and reigne in Soveraigne Authority both in Church and Common-wealth, according to all the Councell of his word and will: But yet it was ne­ver known to this day that so many Nations did submit their thrones to the Dominion and Government of Christ, and to the Truth of Christ, and to worship him with the ser­vants of God, notwithstanding the purchase which Christ hath made of this Soveraignty, and notwithstanding the efficacy of his prayer for obtaining this power, that hee might have dominion over all. As soon as Constantine brought the world to become Christian, the woman she fled into the Wildernesse: The true worshippers of Christ were soon troden under the hatches, a mountaine of corruption in Church Government overwhelmed them amain, that you cannot set the time when so many Nations served him, and were as ready to take up arms in his quarrell, as they have done for the man of Sinne.

You will say, did they not for the recovery of the holy Land, many Churches conspire and lay their heads together, and engaged themselves for this Warre? why, when they they undertook that Warre, was it Christ that commanded any such thing, that Churches should engage themselves, and their Estates, and Lives, and Souls, and all for the reco­very [Page 123] very of the holy City; was it not meerly undertaken by the Bishop of Rome, and by the motion of the Catholick Church in a Generall Councell? The Roman Catholick Church met in a Generall Councell, and they agreed to set about this expedition; They promised pardon of Sinne to the peo­ple, and in hope of that, and such like things they went a­bout it. It was service to the Beast, not to Christ: God ne­ver acknowledgeth it as any service to Christs Kingdome: It was for the advancement of the head of the catholick Church▪ but as any grew more wise, they grew more afraid of them.

So that it is a wonder to see; never did the the Christian world give that Authority to Christ, as they have done unto the Pope, and his Institutions, which are not Ordinances of Christ. Yea let me say another word (which is above what I said:) It hath been a very rare and singular case when any man would acknowledge a particular visible Church, depen­ding on no power, but Independant within it selfe: It is such a rarity that a man may here and there indeed finde it in times of persecution (in 3000. years): But after the Church come to peace, it is very rare to heare such a matter till you come down to the Waldences, and Albedences, and those poor Churches that were scattered in the Wildernesse. It is very hard to finde the Church of Christs Institution to remain in the world, whereas this Roman Catholick Church reigns in the world: This is a great power, and yet this power the Church of Rome had. The Harlot reigns over Kindreds, Tongues, and Nations, whereas the true Spouse of Christ hath scarce a subsistance in the world.

So that consider, if it did not smite with our hearts to close with the Inventions of men, with satanicall power ra­ther then with Christ, it were not possible there should be such aberations from the Institutions of Christ, were it not for the impetuous licentiousnesse of the hearts of the Sonnes of men. And therefore when there is such a vast swelling, that many Congregations shall be but one Church; how shall we go home edefied by such discourse? This be­longes to all the Churches, to take the opportunities that we have, that we may not runne headlong upon the devices of [Page 124] men, or our owne wits, to that which is suitable to sence, and naturall reason, and walking according to the light of naturall conscience. Conscience was never so corrupt as in corrupt nature it is; and reason never so blinde as in corrupt nature it is, and sence never so luxurious. A man is ready to please sence, his pallat, his nostrils, his eye, and hand, and touch, and naturall reason, and conscience, a manis marvel­lous free that way; so free, that the lesse a man discerne it, the more he is captivated to it. And therefore let every man know that we carry about with us a principle of subjection of our selves to the Ordinances of men rather then to Christ. If it be to speak to our owne honour and applause, we have words at will, and hearts that runne full stream that way; If it were to set out our selves, or our friends, we are open hearted, and open mouthed that way: but if it shall be to give glory to God, in the presence of a particular visible Church of Christs Institution, there we are marvellous un­willing to submit to edifie our brethren, and glorifie God. If it were to an Ordinance of man, it is a wonder to see how men will runne and ride to give satisfaction to this and that Episcopal Court higher, and lower, and clear all scores there, that we may not be debarred of Christian buriall, or Church Communion, though it may be we cannot have it with mixture of corruption, and can scarse close with it, especially those that are enlightned:

But when we come to sanctifie God, & his praise, and hol­ding forth our own shame, there is an inward principle in us to consider whether it stands with our honour, and credit, with our peace, and safety; a world of carnall reason and conscience will worke together in this case, and inwardly so reply, and muzzle the hearts and consciences of men, that it is a wonder to see what shifting and daubing there is, which they willingly give up themselves to, when they are called a­bout the inventions of the Sons of men.

Thirdly,Ʋse 3. it may teach us, if the whole world have runthus mad and wild, to give their Crowns and Scepters, Churches, Common-wealths, and consciences, to have power put upon all these of their own choise by the man of Sinne, every Kin­dred, [Page 125] Tongue, and Nation: what a shame will it be if we be not as truely devout in our Religion? as it is said of Cornelius, Acts 10. 1. He was a devout man, a Godly man given up to God; So should we give up our selves to the Lord, and sacri­fice our credit, and profit, and whatever wee have to the Lord. There have been men that have been content to forfit all their Kingdomes to the man of Sin; The Emperours in Germany have given their Crowns; The Kings of England, King John in his time did as much to the Popes Legat: And it hath been frequent with him, to set the Crowns upon their heads, and dash them down with his feet: These 42. moneths it hath been frequent with them to give up their Crowns to him, but much adoe to runne any hazard for Christ, though a petty jurisdiction: And yet none did ever truely runne hazard for the Lord, but the Lord took up their Crowns, and maintayned their cause and honour, and recoverd what ho­nour they lost.

David by making known his Adultery, and by his repen­tance for it, did recover what Power and Authority he might seem to loose in the hearts of his subjects: It is true, he had lost his Kingdome, but was it for his Repentance? No, but for his natural affection to his rebellious Sonne Absolom, and his incestuous Sonne Amnon, that should have been cut off: He lost his Crown, not for his Repentance, but for want of executing the Law of God upon his own children, as upon others, there was his Sinne: otherwise had he executed judgement upon his rebellious Sonne Absolom, as the Lord re­quired (thou shalt pluck him from mine Altar, that Rebell) he had not lost his Kingdome: But if so be his naturall af­fection over-rule him, that he doe not execute judgement, then no marvaile though they cast him out of his Kingdome, and cut his throat at length, if God doe not come between, as he did to David: But belive it, no man did ever loose by sanctifying God in his heart, by giving honour to him, and taking shame to himselfe: The Lord hath maintained peace in the conscience, & hath given it when it hath bin wanting, and the Lord hath been pleased to sanctifie their names, as they have sanctified his before men; whoever shall be ashamed of [Page 126] me, and of my words in this adulterous and sinfull Generation, of him also shall the Sonne of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the Glory of his Father, with the holy Angels, Mark. 8. 38. And it will shortly be the ruine of those things they would preserve, the ruine of a mans name and state, the ruine of his body and soul together, if a man shall dare in the presence of God to give the Glory doe to his Name to a Beast: The Lord will be a swift witnesse against all the workers of iniquity. Trust God with your honour and estate; did he ever [...]aile any man to this day? Theodosius did submit himselfe, and gave glory to God, and acknowledged his offence to Ambrose the Pastor of his Church, and to the people of God, because he had sin­ned against the Lord, to the offence of the Church of God: did it weaken his esteem? did not all the Churches hear of his repentance? Though there were some ruffinly Captains that would have had him cut off Ambroses head; no saith he, let him alone, he does it out of love to God and my soul: There­fore with many teares, and much dejection of soul, he sancti­fi [...]d God in his heart, and was afterwards received againe in­to the Church, not onely to the great comfort of the Church where he lived, but of all others that were under his Govern­ment, and he never lost the honour of his Government. No man ever lost by submitting to the Authority of Christ, we may trust the Lord for that: Authority is more worth then our haires, and yet he numbers our haires, and all the com­forts of the world are not answerable to it: trust him with it, as he that is faithfull, and he will certainly provide that nothing shall be lost: commit your souls to him, as to a faith­ful Creator; and the Lord finding his name sanctified in it be­fore the people, he will certainly sanctifie us and our names before them as we sanctifie his. Let us yeild up our selves to the service of his Kingdome: when men have been contrary minded, the Lord hath pursued them with fearful judgements. You know the case of Nadab and Abihu, Lev. 10. 1. They came before God with strange fire, and the Lord makes a strange worke, and consumes them with fire. Annanias and Saphira that dealt deceitfully with the Church, some part they delivered, but kept back part of their substance: what [Page 127] followed upon that? The Lord struck them dead; you will say, those were in those dayes in which God was neere to his Church. Beleive it, the Lord is as neere to his Church now (though not in miracles as then, there needs not miracles now:) The Lord will confirme his Truth, Rev. 2. 23. All the Churches shall know, that I am he which searcheth the reignes and hearts, and I will give to every one of you according to your workes: As men deal subtilly, he will deal subtilly; with the faithful, with plain hearted, with conscionable men, he will deal faithfully, and all the Churches shall know it: the Lord will not have his judicature in his Church bafled down with partiall, and Annanias his confession. The Lord will set his face against those men, and cut them off from the land of the living, that shall dis-regard his throne and Crown. And therefore it behooves all men whom it may at any time concern, to sanctifie his name; My sonne give glory to God, and tell me what thou hast done, Josh. 7. 19. And he ingenously tells him from first to last, which no body ever could tell: but saith hee, I saw among the spoiles a goodly Babilonish Gar­ment, and two hundred sheckels of Silver, and a wedge of Gold of fifty sheckels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; well saith he, thou hast troubled Israel, and the Lord shall trouble thee: but yet this acknowledgement was the valley of Achor for a door of hope (Hos. 2. 15.) for their prosperity, and victory over all their enemies.

So that if all Nations and Languages be thus ready to sub­mit to the inventions of men, how justly doth the Lord chal­lenge due subjection to his will, to sanctifie him in our hearts, to throw down our Crowns (if we have them) at his feet, and glad we may do so. It is evident, Rev. 4. 10. that all the Church, (the four Officers, and 24. Elders) they all cast their Crowns down before him: Though they all did weare Crowns, all had Authority, yet they cast them all down at his feet, when they came before him that sate upon the throne, and before the Lambe: There they stooped; In the presence of Christ they threw down their Soveraign­ty; and let the name of Christ be magnified, and his Ordi­nances have free passage, but for them let their honour fall down.

[Page 128] Lastly,Ʋse 4. let it learn us thus much, to take to heart in these dayes the estate of our Ancestors and Fathers of old in those dayes: For if every Kindred have worshipped the Beast, then thy Kindred have done it, or Ancestors. We speak not in de­derision of them, but they have all done it, the body of them (though here and there some may be left out) and all their power they have given to the Beast, to rule Families, Chur­ches, and Common-wealths, and all our Kindred, and espe­cially our Tongues have done it; not onely those that speak Dutch and Spanish, but we have been more devoted then any Christian Nations, in giving such vast revenues, and Monaste­ries, and so large devotion to the man of sinne, none have been so devout as English: It is incredible to tell the great payments they made to the Pope, it is not to be numbred. And if all Tongues have submitted to the Beast, then they that speak English, as well as those that speak Scottish, or Welsh, or Brittish, the body of all Kindreds if not to this day.

It must therefore humble us in regard of this their sinne, which will be set upon our score, unlesse the Lord humble us for it: the contagion of their sinn reaches to us, and his jea­lousie will cut off root & branch. Gods jealousie is kindled by Images and superstitions; I will visit the iniquities of their Fathers upon their children: men may suffer much for their Ancestors, and for their Kindred, Tongues, and Nation. And therefore it behoovs us all to be humbled for the sinne of our Ancestors; and they hoped to be saved by the intercession of Saints, &c.

This provokes the jealousie of God. Therefore if we would not have our teeth set an edge by these sour Grapes, it behooves us to be humbled, that the intaile of Gods curse may be cut off from us though it lay heavy upon them that went before us.

Rev. 13. 8.‘And all that dwell on earth shall worship him whose names are not written in the booke of life of the Lamb, &c.

YOu have heard that upon the recovery and healing of the wounded head of the Catholick Church, sundry effects followed; the Dragon gave unto the Beast a four fold power, Power to speak great things, power to continue and to be active 42. moneths, power to make warre with the Saints and to overcome them; Power of soveraignty and Autho­rity over all Kindreds, Tongues, and Nations, and that even to worship, that all that dwell on the Earth shall worship him, believing as the Church believes, and neither more nor lesse, submitting themselves in conscience to all their decrees, and expecting their salvation in the fellowship of that Church, which is divine worship peculiar onely to the Lord Jesus. In the words now read, you have these that worship the Beast, that is, that give this divine honour to the Catholick Church, to believe as they believe, to submit their consciences to the power of this Beast, taking up all their observations for wor­ship, for Government from them, not from God, and looking for their salvation in reconcilement with this Church; I say these men that doe thus worship this Beast, they are described here by their state, by their spirituall and eternall state; that is to say, they are described by a deniall of their elect estate, and that is exprest in a deniall of the proper adjunct of that state, and that is, the writing of their names in the Lambs book of life, for that is the proper adjunct of all the elect peo­ple of God, that their names are written in the book of life of the Lamb; these men men therefore being denied this proper adjunct of an elect state, they are the refore here described by their damnable condition and state; now this therefore is here predicated of them all, that their names are not writ­ten in the booke of the life of the Lambe, who ever they be that worship this Beast; and he saith, All did worship him, save [Page 130] onely they whose names were written in the Lambes booke of life: They that did worship the Beast, had not their names written in the Lambs book of life. So then this book in which their names are said not to be written, it is set forth by the end, and by the subject of it.

1. By the end, It is the Book of life: Not that it was a li­ving book, but because they that are written in that book, are written unto life, that they may live to eternity to grace and glory.

2. It is described by the subject, It is the Lambs Book of life; either he is the possessor of it, God giving it to him that he might take notice of all the names therein, and keep them safe to salvation: or else he is the subject of it, as being the first and principall person who is written in it; for he of old hath been observed to be the head and cheif of the elect of God, in Ephes. 1. 4. He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, therefore he chose him first, and us in him, as he is well pleased, first with Christ, and in Christ with us, Mat. 3. 17. whether you speak of Gods everlasting complacency, or of the manifestation of it in effectuall vocation, it is in Christ that he is well pleased; first with Christ, and in his name with us, so he is said to be fore-ordained before the foundation of the world, 1 Pet. 1. 20. So therefore it is said to be the book of the Lamb, the Lambs booke of life, because that the book is given to him, and because also that he is the principall person, that is first, and primarily, and fundamentally written in this book. I say it is first given to him, as if all the persons that God in­tends life unto, he did give them as it were in a scroul or book to the Lord Jesus, (but of that I shall speak a little more by and by.) In the mean time I speak now to the Analysis of the Text; but if you shall not tras [...]e it, whose names are not writ­ten in the Lambs Book of life (but as it is here and indeed so it holds in the Originall) the Book of life of the Lambe; Though it be the like sence, then it may hold out a further notion and meditation, and that is this.

1. That the Lambe is the subject of that life whereof it is said, it is the Book of life of the Lamb.

2. He is the Author of it, to the elect people of God, in John 14. 19. that holds forth both that he is that life to us: Christ as [Page 131] God-man is the subject of this spirituall and eternall life; and his man-hood, so receives it as a common vessell to all his elect members, and because he lives, we shall live also, there­fore he is the Author both of giving and preserving this life to his heavenly Kingdome.

Now by this Lambe, I need not tell you is meant Christ the Lambe, without spot, John 1. 29. We are redeemed by the precious bloud of Christ as of a Lambe without spot, 1 Pet. 1. 19. This Lambe is here described by his suffering which was slain, was put to death, a violent death: and that suffering of his is amplified by the ancient vigour and efficacy of it, slain from the beginning of the world.

Now the note that first offers it selfe from this verse is this.

That such whose names are written in the lambs book of life,Doctr. 1. they all and they onely are preserved from the worship of the Beast: For here it is said, That all that dwell upon the Earth shall worship him, saving they whose names are written in the Lambes Book of life, they shall not worship him; but all whose names are not written in the book of the life of the Lambe, they shall worship the Beast: So then they whose names are written in the Lambes book of life, they doe not worship him; (for if their names be written there, they are expresly exempted;) but they that doe worship him, they are said not to have their names written in the Lambes book of life: So that such whose names are written in the Lambes book of life, they and all they, and they onely are preserved from the worship of the Beast. It is a speech to the like purpose that you read in Rev. 17. 8. and upon the like occasion: The Beast that thou sawes [...] was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomelesse pit and go into perdition, and they that dwell on the Earth shall wonder (whose names were not written in the Book of life from the foundation of the world, &c.) They admire and adore him, where he tells you of an ancient act, hee doth not tell here when it was written, there he doth, that ancient book wherein from the foundation of the world they were written, and therefore before the world such as were written in the Lambes book of life, were lockt up to be preserved from the adoration of the Beast, and [Page 132] all the rest were left to worship the Beast.

For opening this point, here a Question or two may be mo­ved for explication of the termes of the Doctrine (which have been a little expounded before.) First▪

Quest. 1. Then it may be demanded, what is this Book of life?

Answ. You read in Scripture of sundry books according to which our eternall state stands or falls (if I may so call them) that are said to be opened at the judgement day, whether at the last judgement, or some representation of the last judge­ment, it is all one for the Doctrine: In Rev. 20. 12. it is sayd, When the Thrones were set, the Books were opened; and another book, which is the Booke of life: So here is one book, according to which, his Saints were judged, besides the booke of life, but that also was opened. These bookes are truly observed by o­thers, to be first the book of Gods Providence, in Psal. 139. 16. which is also called in Mal. 3. 16. the booke of Gods Remem­brance, wherein he takes notice of all persons and actions; that is, keeps as exact account of them as if they were written before him in a book, which day by day were fashioned, &c. In the providence of God there was a deliniation of all creatures and actions that should come to passe. There is truly also the booke of conscience; for also in that God registers all our actions, according to which we shall be judged, the conscience bearing witnesse about our persons and actions, so farre as they are enlightned by God. And you read also of another booke; The word that I have spoken, that shall judge them at the last day, John 12. 48. he shall judge all the world by it, Rom. 2. 16. In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my Gospel: These books will be opened; the booke of Gods Providence, the booke of the Scripture, and the book of conscience, by which we shall be judged.

But there is also the booke of Life, by which wee shall be judged, in Rev. 10. 12. Now for the book of life that hath a double exception in Scripture, for sometimes it is put for the Church register, in which all are registred, as those that were the living in Jerusalem. Isa. 4. [...]. It is said, Every one that remaineth in Hierusalem shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Hierusalem: Or as the word is in the [Page 133] margent or bigger Bibles written, To life in Hierusalem; In the Originall it is capable of both constructions, Every man capa­ble of life is written in Hierusalem:

There is a book written of them that live there, of which it is said, Psal. 87. 6. the Lord will recount when he writteth up the people, that this or that man was born there: Of this book also you read in Ezek. 13. 9. where the Lord doth threaten the false Prophets, that his hand shall be upon them that see vani­ty, and devine lyes; they shall not be as members of my peo­ple, nor shall they be written in the writing of the house o [...] Israel; they shall neither have fellowship with Church nor Common-wealth: There is a writing, therefore a Register, a Record of them, which in the Old Testament were counted Geneologies, and very carefully did they keep them; that if they could not shew their pedigree from this Geneology, they were as polluted. Ezra 2. 59. as also vers. 62. where he tells you of sundry that came in among the people of Israel; but be­cause they could not find their names in the Register, they were left aside till they could finde further proof of their pe­digree; they might be received as other Proselytes, but not as native Israelites, who were counted of the Church from the line of their Parents, and some of the sonnes of Barzilli, some of the Priests, they thought it more honour to fetch their pe­digree from their father Barzilli, whom David had advanced to sit at his Table; and they thought it more honour to be counted of the house of Barzilli, then of the order of Aaron: And they, when they would have presented themselves to the Priests office, they were not received: why? because they were not found in the Churches Register, and they had no di­rection from the Word to take Noble mens sons to be Priests, but only of the sons of Aaron: So this is the book of Life, it is called The writing of the living in Hierusalem; This is the book of life, the Church-book, it is nothing but a counter­pane of the book of life, but not exactly agreeing to it; some­times we put in more then God doth, and sometimes lesse: There be that belong to life whom we do not receive: Others they do not present themselves, or we do not receive through some failings in them or us; but if they belong to life, they [Page 134] are written in the Lambs book of life, they may not be writ­ten in the Church book; but this is not the book here spoken of, the book of the life o [...] the Lamb: The Church is the body of the Lamb, but they cannot discern who are his: The Lord knows who are his, so do not we, nor the members of the Church, therefore you heare here of a distinct booke of the Lambs book of life, of which book it is expresly written, Rev. 20. 15. That whosoever was not found written in the Lambs book of life, was cast into the lake of fire.

All men therefore that are written in the book of Life, or in the book of the Lamb, they are written to life. Now this we cannot say of the Church-book; for as hath been observed of ancient time, there are many wolves within, and many sheep without: Sometimes the Church hath cast out her most precious members, both Officers and Members, sad experience hath made it true in our times, therefore that is not a certaine rule, that if a man be left out of the Church, he is left everlastingly, unlesse there be such contempt of means of grace, as in those whom the Lord hath branded for such whom he takes no pleasure in to eternity: For it is said, who­ever was not found written in the Lambs book of life was cast into the lake of fire; Therefore this is some other then that booke of the Church: What book is that? no other but the eternall record and register of Gods election, that is, the Lambs book, whoever is not found, he is indeed cast out into the lake of fire, being shut out from salvation by Christ, and then what hope of salvation is there in himselfe?

Now of this book it is, of which Moses speaks, Exo. 32. 33. If thou wilt not forgive the sin of thy people, then blot me out of the book which thou hast written; not which the Church hath written, but which thou hast written, which the Lord hath written of life in Christ, in which the Lord hath written all the names of his Elect: This is the book out of which hee desires to be blotted out of; such was the extasie, I cannot say of his zeale, but he was filled with such ardent zeale, that rather then such a reproach should be cast upon God, that he was not able to bring them to the Land of Canaan, let him be blotted out of the book which he had written, let damnation it selfe fall up­on him, rather then the name of the Lord should be reproa­ched [Page 135] by the uncircumcised Heathens; and in that sence Paul wisheth himselfe separate from Christ, for his brethren, his kins­men according to the flesh, Rom. 9. 3. He doth not say, he would be cast out of the Church; but he found, that zeale for the whole Church, and for the Lord Jesus, that rather then the Gospel of Christ should be hindered, if it may stand with Gods liking, he could rather wish such a wretch as he should be cut off, then that the whole body of his people should be cast off: This is the Lambs book of Life, called the book of Life, not because the Lord stands in need of a book, but because those whom in his eternall purpose he hath decreed to save, his un­changeable purpose doth fixe them as fast in his remembrance, as if they were written in a book before him: For that end his decree hath taken such particular notice of them, that if they were written in a book before him, they could not be more stedfastly and particularly recorded.

It is a phrase borrowed from men, that when they would remember such a man, or such a freind, they set them down in a booke; God stands not in need of books, but his clear, and everlasting love to them is such, that they are engraven as on the palmes of his hands, as the Shew-bread was present before the Lord continually, which represented the 12. Tribes, that his eye might be upon them from one end of the week to ano­ther, and the word which the Septuagints use for Shew-bread, it is translated as the word which the Apostle useth, Rom. 8. 28. and the Greeke Translators and Hebrew expresse it, it is the bread of Gods purpose, or of Gods face, and what is his pur­pose? it is not with him as it is with us, that whiles we speak of one man, we forget another; but his purpose is alwayes the same; and these being the bread of Gods purpose, they are ever before him from one end of the week to another, and from one end of the year to another, now that is the meaning of the Question, what is the Booke of life? It is the booke of Gods eternall election, that is, it is the register or record of the names of all whom God hath chosen to life and salvation in Christ.

Quest. 2. If you shall aske why it is called the Lambes Booke of life?

[Page 136] Answ. First, because the Lord hath given this booke to Christ, and all the names of his elect by name to be brought to salvation, and kept in a state of salvation to imortality, and therefore you shall read in Scripture, when God puts forth an eternall love to his people, wrought eternall salvation for us, I mean when he did eternally elect us to grace and glory in this eternall election of his, there was accompanying an eter­nall donation in giving them to Christ, Christ knew his fa­thers counsel from eternity, and the Lord gave them to Christ by him to be brought, and he undertaking that they shall be brought to salvation, the Lord requiring that he should keep them to immortality; he shall work the means and apply the same effectually to the end of the world: This is evident from those Scriptures that speak of the grant, and of the gift of them to Christ before their effectuall calling, though donati­on go before that; for from that love of God by which he gives us to Christ in our effectuall calling, he gives us Christ, and faith to receive Christ; but before this, there is a giving, a donation of us to Christ, as John 6. 37. All that the Father gi­veth me, shall come unto me; So this coming to Christ is belie­ving on Christ, and it is so exprest in ver. 35. He that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that beliveth on me shall never thirst: To come to Christ, is to belive on his name; thus much doth hee expresse himselfe; that all that the Father give him in his eternall counsell, they shall come unto him, to wit, in effectuall calling him: the Father will draw none but whom in his eternall counsell he hath given to Christ; and whom he drawes, I will not cast out, in ver. 37. to 44. So then when this act of Gods eternall election passed on those whose persons are designed to grace and glory, hee gave all by name to the Lord Jesus, as if they were particularly registred in a booke: And he promised, that in fulnesse of time, he would draw them to him, and required that the Lord Jesus should keep them under his wing to imortality; it is called therefore the Lambs booke of life, because he is the subject receptive of it.

Answ. 2. And again, it is called the Lambs booke of life, because he is the head of all Gods elect; they are all elect in [Page 137] him, not besides or out of him, not as actually believing in him, for it is long before any work of ours, Rom. 9. 11. Not of workes, but of him that calleth, the children being not yet born, nei­ther having done good or evill, that the purpose of God according to e­lection might stand. Election i [...] before any worke of ours, God gives us in his eternall councell to Christ, but we are not then in him by faith; faith is an effect of our election, not the cause of it: As many as were ordained to eternall life believed, Acts 13. 46. 48. But this is the thing; It is a true distinction that some give in that case; we are in Christ, not by actuall existence in beleiving; nor as so considered, but by virtuall comprehension: the Lord looks at us as in him, we are not in him by faith; but the Lord comprehending us in his ever­lasting decree, we are in him by Gods charter, even children not born, the Lord hath wrapped us in his everlasting armes, in his electing love, promising in time to give us faith to be­leive on him, and therefore to come to him, and to give him to us that wee may live in his sight; therefore it is the Lambs book of life, as he is the sonne of man, the sonne of the Virgin Mary, to be united to the second person in Trinity, long be­fore his humane nature was in being.

Answ. 3. And it is called also the book of the life of the Lambe; if you have respect of referring to Christ this life, then you take Christ as he is the subject of this life, in John 14. 19. Because I live, you shall live also; I live, and then you live: and he is the author, the efficient, the procreant, and conservant cause of life in us to eternity; the Lord hath given us eter­nall life, and this life is in his son; He that hath the sonne hath life, 1 John 5. 12. So you see the meaning of these words, these persons that are thus given to Christ, elect vessels to grace and glory that are given to Christ, they are preserved from the worship of the Beast, and none but they, they onely; for this purpose you read that false Christs (whereof Anti­christ is chief) Mat. 24. 24. They shall deceive many, yea if it were possible the very elect: It implies thus much, that none of them shall be deceived by all false Christs, but all others shall be de­ceived; earthly minded men, and such whose names are not written in the Lambes book of life, they shall be deceived, the [Page 138] Beast shall go into perdition, and they with him, Rev. 17. 8. Not but that for a time they that are Gods elect may be taken with a fond admiration and adoration of the Beast, to beleive as the Church of Rome believes, and may look for peace of consci­ence from the dispensations of the Church of Rome; it may be so as Bilney and Latimer, that were marvellous devout to that Church; though it pleased God that Bilney, you may read it in his Epistle to Bishop Tonstall, that being troubled in conscience, he had taken all the courses that their Religion enjoyned him; had made confession to the Preists, and they enjoyned him pennance and whipping of himselfe, but for all these his wound bled as fresh as before; till in the end he took an English Testament, as it was translated by Erasmus, not with any intent to finde any thing in it that might ease his trouble, but because he was a perfect Latinist; but reading that place in 1 Tim. 1. 15. these words did so affect him, that immediate­ly the Lord letting him see his love in Christ Jesus: The Lord (saith he) let me see that I had taken a wrong course all this while; I have sought for salvation where it was not to be had, and prayed those to whom he spoke, not to take it ill, for it was not out of any neglect of them, but out of his faithfulness, having had experience, that the course they prescribed, that was not the way; but it so farre prevailed, as that he was marvellously esteemed; but he was taken up by Latimer, he made Bilney hear him Preach a most fearfull Sermon against Lutherans, that were then better then he; yet Bilney saw that he had zeal, but not according to knowledge, and he knew not how to come within him; but he went to him in private, and desired to speak with him, and he must not say him nay; then he up and tells him what a miserable wretch he had been, how he had wounded his conscience; how he had confest his sin to this and that Preist; how unprofitable all those meanes were to him which they prescribed; and there was no means in the world to finde peace till the Lord applyed that everla­sting redemption in the bloud of Christ; why saith Latimer, he comes to seek for pardon from me to his soul; and saith he, I saw I stood in more need of being taught by him, and therefore stiles him in his Sermon Saint Bilney, that caught his [Page 139] soul, and revealed that to him which he never heard of. There­fore it is possible that Latimer and Bilney may be devout Ca­tholicks for a time; but now when this electing love of God puts forth it selfe in the fruits of it, which is effectual calling; now they are fully satisfied that all this devotion, beleiving as the Church beleives, they see they are so farre out of the way, as faith is contrary to sence and reason: So that those whom God reserved and chosen to life, they are preserved from totall and finall adoration of the Beast, they may for a time through ignorance worship the Beast, as the best of Gods servants in those times did, and many times have been most zealous for the Catholick cause; and yet when the Lord hath called them effectually to his grace, then, not one that are written in the Lambs book of life doe worship him; so that though they worship him before, yet now they do not, when they come to see their folly, and have the love of God made known to them.

The Reason is first taken from the experimentall knowledg of every child of God effectually called,Reason 1. from the evident ex­perience that he hath of the vanity of the Roman Catholick Church, and of the emptinesse of calling on any to look from Church power, to heale or wound the conscience, as of them­selves, further then they dispence the Ordinances of Christ: and then it is not they, but Christ in them, and for them to look for salvation in the communion of that Church, and in reconcilement to that Church; They are so experimentally beaten off from that, and possest of the contrary by their own experience, that you need not take them from adoring the Beast; for they see it is a Beast, and they shall as wel utterly de­stroy their souls, as worship the Beast; and therfore the love of Christ constrains Bilney, and he draws Latimer, and Latimer draws others, till they have propogated the truth of God to all ages. But that, though it be one reason, yet it is the least.

Let me shew another reason why the elect of God,Reason 2. after the electing love of God comes to be dispenced to them in out­ward execution: For, before it may come to passe, they may worship the Beast, but then they will not doe it finally: but when the electing love of God is shed abroad in their hearts, [Page 140] then they will not do it; and the reason of that (you cannot give a demonstrative reason but from this) to prevent impos­sibility, it is not possible that they should: now there are three fundamentall reasons of the impossibility of it; two proper­ties there are in Gods electing love: There is in Gods election, first, immutability, as God himselfe is unchangeable, Mal. 3. 6. so are his decrees unchangeable, the foundation of God stands sure, 2 Tim. 2. 19. and what he hath purposed, he will bring to passe: The counsell of the Lord is true for ever, in Psal. 33. 10, 11. he disappoints all the decrees of men, but his own counsels they take place for ever in every age, therefore it is not possible that any of his should perish; and perish they should, if they should worship the Beast; but it is not possible, his unchangeable decree keepes them.

Again, there is another property in his electing love, which is the efficacy of it, for Gods electing love doth choose us out of the world, John 15. 19. And if he choose us out of the world, the efficacy of that is, that it delivers us from the evill world: God electing us out of the world, hath redeemed and delive­red us from this present evill world, Gal. 1. 4. Now if the e­lecting love of God be of such efficacy, that when he elects men of his grace, he will in fulnesse of time deliver them from the world, then they shall not run headlong to the worship of the Beast, whom their hearts cannot close withall; the Lord redeemes them from that vaine conversation received by tra­dition from their Fathers, I, though there be such efficacy in the bloud of Ancestors, yet the electing love of God redeemes them from that: But that will more appear in the second Reason.

And that is the faithfulnesse of Christ, and the efficacy of of his redeeming bloud. All that the Father hath given me shall come unto me, and those that doe come unto mee, I will by no means cast out, John 6. 37. Of those that thou hast given me, I have lost none, but the sonne of perdition, that (but) is not an excep­tive, but an adversative; he that was never given, was lost, he did not bring him on to salvation; For this is the will of the Fa­ther that sent me, that of all that he hath given me, I should loose nothing, &c. John 6. 37, 38, 39. That is, his faithfulnesse, and [Page 141] with his faithfulnesse there is such efficacy in his bloud, that though the bloud of Ancestors run very warme, that a man would choose to live no better life, nor keep a better house then his Father or Grandfather, but wish their souls might be but as safe as theirs, when men are once redeemed by the bloud of Christ, and that is sprinkled upon their consciences, then the bloud of Christ is warmer then the bloud of Ancestors: though the Religion of our Fathers should be strong in the hearts of devout Catholicks, as in Bilney or Latimer, then a­lasse for our poor Fathers, what is become of them? they pity them, and see plainly, that unlesse the Lord led them a further way then the Religion of those that taught them, they are gone everlastingly, and then they wonder that God should e­ver choose such a dunghill, thee and me, that they see a broad difference between the Religion of their Ancestors, and that which they see now; but that is the efficacy of the bloud of Christ, there is that efficacy in it, that it washeth away all re­lations to Fathers, to antiquity, and universality, he is cru­cified to them all; God forbid (saith the Apostle) that I should glory save in the crosse of our Lord Jesus Christ, whereby the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world, Gal. 6. 14. So that though all the world runne after the Beast, they will not; the world looks at them as base unworthy creatures, and so they look at the world.

And there is a third fundamentall Reason,Reason 3. and that is ta­ken from the power and presence of the Spirit of Gods grace, in the hearts of his people. We are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation, 1 Pet. 1. 5. That is, by the spirit of God, and by the power of that spirit, he keeps our faith, and by faith keeps us in the way of his ordinances, and in the way of sanctification to salvation: Little children, yee are of God, and you have overcome these Antichrists; why? for greater is he that is in you, then he that is in the world, 1 John 4. 4. The power of God is in you, they are of the world, and the world is car­ryed away with them; you are of God, and you hear them not; for greater is he tha [...] is in you, then he that is in the world. These are three fundamentall Reasons which are indeed the demonstrative cause of the impossibility of them to be finally [Page 142] carried to the worship of the Beast, the election of God will not suffer it, the unchangeblenesse thereof, the faithfulnesse of Christ, the efficacy of the blood of Christ, and the power of the spirit, and that which flowes from it is the experience of Gods love, and the vertue of their faith in Christ: Their faith is unchangeble, not possible to be rooted out, in Luke 22. 31, 32. I have prayed for thee that thy faith faile not: It may be shaken, but it shall not finally fail; I will put my fear in their hearts that they shall not depart from me, Jer. 32. 40. and that is the proper act of faith: Be not high minded, but fear; his mercy is suffici­ent for us, trust steadfastly on the grace of Christ; and though Peter seemed not to trust on the grace of Christ, yet in his worst state he knew that all the courses of Satan were vanity, and he durst not but in his heart believe that Christ was the Messiah: so all the elect of God know the Beast is a Beast, and the Ca­tholick Roman Church is a Beast, and the head of that Beast is a beastly head, and they know that their Doctrine is sensuall, and carnall, and that they all shall go into perdition; and withall, their experience doth evidently convince them, that were it not in a pang of temptation in which they are not able to abide by it, yet by a renewall of the blood of the Lord Je­sus sprinkled on their souls, they are brought a fresh to see the work of Gods grace stirred up in them; but otherwise their constant course is, as in Rev. 14. you hear them coming as on a stage, representing the Lambe in their carriage and conver­sation, and follow the Lambe wheresoever he goes: but for the Beast, a stranger, they will not follow; but both their faith and experience yeild them a third cause, and that is, the spirit of God carying them an end: My sheep hear my voyce, and they follow me; but they know not the voyce of strangers, they see a difference between good and evill; and therefore if they hear a man speak, and doth not speak of salvation by him, but of the world, or of himselfe, they will not follow him, John 10. 45. Thus you see the Reason why none of them worship the Beast: But on the other side, all the rest of the world doe, meaning where Antichrists power comes, speaking of those times when there was great power given to him, to speak great things, and no man might say, Sir, why do you [Page 143] so: in that time when he had power to be active forty & two months, when he had power to make Warre with the Saints, and to overcome them, and when all Nations worshipped him, and did not shake off that Religion; but in former times, before reformation of Religion, this was an universal practice; they all, Nations, Kindreds, and Tongues gave their power to the Beast; and the reason of that was, from Gods just judgement, for their not receiving the truth in love, therefore he gave them over to strong delusions to believe lyes.

Secondly, from the efficacy of Satan in the power of deceit­full sophistry, and doing wonders.

And thirdly, by the plausiblenesse, trumpery, and bravery of that Religion, so suitable to carnal reason, that they were carried away thereto, and it could not be, but they should be carried away by the man of Sinne.

The use first may then be thus much;Ʋse 1. If all that dwell on Earth, whose names are not written in the book of life, do worship the Beast, and none are excluded but those whose names are written in the Lambs booke of life, then this will unavoidably follow, that a Papist by his Religion cannot go beyond a Reprobate; what he may, and renounce his Re­ligion, is another matter, as Bilney and Latimer sometimes did; they were written in the Lambes booke of life: but by his Religion, take them that do believe, as the Catholick Roman Church believes, and believe no more, but practice that which that Religion directs them to, and goe no further, and they continue and live and die in that, then I must pro­nounce it from the Text, they cannot go beyond a Reprobate, the reason is evident from the Text; for if none of them whose names are written in the Lambs booke of life doe wor­ship the Beast, and onely they do worship the Beast, whose names are not written in the Lambs booke of life, then if they be not written in the Lambs booke of life, the Text is very strong & clear in Rev. 20. 15. Whosoever was not found written in the Lambs Book of life, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone: But those that worship the Beast, are not written in the Lambs, booke of life, that is in the Text: Here are two propositions [Page 144] very evident; All that are written in the Lambs booke of life doe not worship the Beast: But those that worship the Beast, are not written in the Lambs baok of life. Then the conclusion is, They shall be cost into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone: That if it appear that this Beast is the Roman Catholick Church, and the head of this Beast is the Pope: The conclusion will be most evident, that no man living and dying a Papist, can go beyond a Reprobate: I dare not say, but some that are igno­rant, whom devotion hath carryed to that Religion; it is possible some of them when they come to death, may see the vanity of that Religion of worshipping Saints, and of confi­ning their Faith to them, but that is not by their Religion: but if they dye in that Religion, and if their faith and wor­ship be thrust upon them from the Roman Catholick Church, and they worship Saints and Angels, and believe in their owne merits for their justification, I do pronounce to you, that a Papist, living and dying a Papist, cannot go beyond a Reprobate; I meane such an one was not written in the Lambs booke of life: And they that are not, are cast into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, that is the issue: And therefore what a fearfull thing is it in such that do all they can to re­concile Nations to the Church of Rome, and are mad upon Romish religion? what desperate service do they undertake, to bring men to such a religion as destroys many millions of soules? It is true, Those that are written in the Lambs booke of life; God looseth none of his sheep: but it is evident they are bloody Butchers of many Christians not chosen, yet devout Christians, many an one under pang of Conscience, with sence of many sinfull passions and lusts, are not able to get out but by a Priests absolution; and if they be covered with a Fryars coule, they hope they shall do well enough: Such a conscience as can be opened and healed by such wooden keys as these, if they know no more, such cannot be saved.

I will not enlarge it, but it were necessary to be pressed and urged in some places, look not at it as a matter of curi­osity and circumstance what Religion a man dyes in, and think as some States-men doe, that if it were not for hot-spur'd Jesuites on the one side, and hot-spur'd Puritans (as [Page 145] they call them) on the other side, Protestants and Papists might be easily reconciled. These are the whisperings of flesh and blood; but that which is written in the word, doth bear expresse testimonie against such a conclusion: For if Jesuites were removed, and Puritans too, yet if there were any left that thought they could worship the Church of Rome, as they require, that you must believe as they believe, your faith is built upon the Church, and upon the dispensation of the keyes of that Church, such a faith and obedience as fals short of Christ Jesus, that all salvation is to be expected from him, if both Jesuites, and those they call Puritans were removed, if there were none, but that take up their faith and obedi­ence in that worship they hold forth: I say there is not any one of them that so live, and so dye, knowing what they be­lieve, that can be saved. Indeed you read in Rev. 3. many know not the depth of Satan, and it is another matter what God may dispence to them in private; but men that know what they do, and believe according to the doctrine of that Church, and worship according to the direction of it: I say, men living, and so dying, there is not one of them whose names are written in the Lambs book of life, and therefore shall be cast into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.

This may teach us a true ground of any mans preserva­tion from the pollutions of the world,Ʋse 2. bewitching polluti­ons; sometimes a Catholick Strumpet carries all the world after her, as in those times: Sometimes the world swallows up the Church, and every man thinkes him happy, if hee may be clad with thick clay; others are taken up with provi­sions for their belly, and sensuall Epicurean lusts, there be a world of such people: Now what doth preserve the people of God, that they are not carryed away either with the Ca­tholick religion, or with worldly ambition, they are not taken with these: but see the vanity of them; what, are any of us better then those that have been bewitched by these? but what puts the difference? The originall difference is, God hath written them in the Lambs book of life, and what hee hath written, he hath written, as Pilate sayd: Hee hath written such to life, and his decree is irrecoverable: My counsell shall [Page 146] stand, and I will do all my pleasure, Isa. 46. 9, 10. Therefore there is the Originall, from thence it flows, the Lord Jesus Christ concurring with the Fathers counsell, he hath given us re­demption from the blood of Ancestors, and redeemed us from the present evill world, and will seek up every stragling Lamb, and presents us spotlesse to his heavenly Father, and then the spirit of God, by which he works all in the hearts of his people that receives us, for Christ and the spirit; for Christ comes and takes possession of us, and so thereby girds up our loyns to a dependance on him, and his grace, that we are preserved and saved from those fearfull temptations that overcome others, and all the world are over-whelmed withall.

It may teach us the marvellous freedome of the love of God;Ʋse 3. and therefore to admire the wonderfull love of God, the cause of all this our preservation from such prevailing e­vills as swallow up the whole world; how doth it appear? why, I pray you consider, when the Lord wrote down thy name, or mine, or any mans name, who stood by at his elbow (if I may so speak) to put him in mind of my name or thine? he thought of us, if our names be there, and he set us downe, and he delivered us to Christ Jesus by name; what ever thy name is, he took notice of thy name; such a man in such a place, he will live in this or that Countrey, he is one, take notice of him, lay down a price for him; in fulnesse of time send a spirit into this heart; if he live in a Popish Countrey, save him from Popery; If in a worldly Countrey, save him from the world: where ever he lives, save him from himself, and bring him to my heavenly Kingdom; but what was there in us that could commend us to God? or what could there in us but what he appointed, but what he should put into us; he could not fore-see any thing, but that hee must work it, therefore it must certainly be his undeserved love that must take notice of them, and give them so to come to Christ, and all that the Father hath given him shall come unto him. The Lord will draw them, and then they shall come; in the meane time he keeps them from his Fathers eternal donation, in John 17. 17. Those whom thou hast given me, I have kept. Hee [Page 147] hath not lost any, but one that was not given him to keep, he prays to God to keepe them through his own name, he keeps them by his own spirit, and this was agreed on from the foundation of the world, when this book was written; and it was not written yesterday, but before the foundation of the world, Rev. 17. 8. His thoughts were about thee and me; and whoever is written therein, a matter of much praise and glory to God, that he should have such marvellous pre­cious thoughts to us. Psalm. 139. 17. How precious are thy thoughts to me O God. And so in Psal. 40. 5. we read of the precious thoughts of God towards us; that hee should have such thoughts, when time yet was not, neither we nor our fa­thers; and all he did fore-see in thee and me, would but pro­voke his wrath; what was good he must work, and that was from his counsell: If you see any vanish away, or fall away from his grace, and from his Saints, and he hath no pleasure in them, they are not given to Christ, you see he is the giver of them; but if men be not given to Christ, they will fall a­way: All that the Father gives me shall come unto me, it is my Fa­thers will I should not loose one of them. If men will not hearken to the Bishop of their souls, the Lord Jesus Christ, see the des­perate danger thereof, and the originall root, They are not written in the Lambs book of life.

It may be of singular comfort to all the elect of God,Ʋse 4. whose names are written in the book of Life: It is a great comfort that a man is written to life, hee might have beene written to death, had not the Lord been pleased so to doe: You read in the Epistle of Jude, vers. 4. Of certain men crept in unawares, who were of old ordained to condemnation: The word in the Originall is, fore-written, written afore-time to destructi­on: Now I say, that a man is not written to destruction, but to life, and to life in Christ; not as Adam, that was to stand by his own strength, and so long as he useth grace well, he shall live; but if not, he shall dye: and he so used it, that if God give him not life in Christ, he dyed for ever: This is in Adams covenant, not in Christs, that was for a man to live by his own righteousnesse: Do this and thou shalt live, Levit. 18. 5. How wofull was our condition in this case, but to be writ­ten [Page 148] to life, and to life in Christ; that is, Because hee lives, we shall live also: I am the way, the truth, and the life: And by this being written in the Lambs book of life, that the Lord should think upon us, when we had no thoughts of him; nay had no being, that he should then undertake for us; that when the Father gives us, he will receive us; and by receiving us, keep us spotlesse to his heavenly Kingdome, that he wil pre­serve us from possibility of damnable Errors: They shall seduce if it were possible, the very Elect, Mat. 24. 24. But there is no pos­sibility; what a marvellous matter is it, that it is not possi­ble that any of those that are given to Christ should be sedu­ced; it is such a mercy that may swallow up all discourage­ments, all afflictions, all blasphemy of a mans good name and state, and wealth, and health, and all whatsoever; this may support him, that it is not possible he should be se­duced: For the Lord knows who are his, the foundation of God stands sure; the Lord hath written it, and he is more constant then Pilate, or the Kings of Persians and Medes: The Law is written and established by the Kings Ring, and God is more stedfast then any of the Kings of the Earth, what he hath written shall be accomplished; the Lord will draw them to Christ, and Christ will keep them, not one of them shall perish, not one of them shall worship the Beast; or if they do, they soone see their folly, and are recovered out of all snares, they shall not prevaile against them.

It may be of instruction and exhortation,Ʋse 5. to provoke you to make your election sure, then you make your sal­vation sure, and preservation from Popery and the world, and from the Devill, and from your own corrupt Nature, sure that you shall not be carried captive with the polutions of the times and places you live in, though hundreds run from God one way, and ten thousands another way, & fall off hi­ther and thither, yet you shall still be preserved: in John 6. 68. where our Saviour asked his Disciples, will ye also go away? when many of those that were his Disciples went away and fell off from him, being offended from something which he had spoken to them, and that was that Doctrine that we have now in hand, and some other corolaries from it, they walked [Page 149] no more with him; then saith Christ to the rest, will yee also go away? Peter answered in the behalfe of the rest; ‘Lord, to whom shall we go, thou hast the words of eternall life:’ As who should say, whether shall a man go to mend himself? Thou hast the words of eternall life? and having the words of eternall life, how shall they do better else where? so it be­hooves us then as we desire, to be preserved from all apostacy and backsliding from God, notwithstanding all the temptati­ons of the flattering world, or busie world, or from the de­stroying world, by persecution, and flattering by prosperity, and busie world, by the cares of the world, and continuall cumber about the world, and distempers in our hearts on that ground, in such a case as this what shall preserve us? If our names be written in the Lambes book of life, truely we shall be preserved, that neither the world, nor our passions and lusts shall prevail against us. My father (saith Christ) is grea­ter then all, and no man is able to pluck them out of my Fathers hand: and I and my Father are oue, my Father and I will keepe them, Joh. 10. 27, 28.

Obj. You will say, it is a needlesse exhortation to make our election sure, if that be not done long ago; for it is not begun in this world, but long before; it is concluded long be­fore, or else we are not written in the Lambes book of life; one of these two is concluded in Heaven: Christ knows those that are given to him by his Father, before he knows them by name, John 10. 14. It is worthy of memory that Christ knows them all by name, that argues the particularity and singularity of them, as he knows all the Stars in Heaven, so doth he much more know all his elect; if he know them all by name, hee then particularly observes them, and pre­vents us with blessings of goodnesse, and preserves us from pre­vailing evills, but if it be recorded of God, is it not in vain to exhort to make it sure.

Answ. If it were in vain, methinks the Apostle should not have used it, 2 Pet. 1. 10. Then that is it that lyes upon all Christians; some think it is not possible, but then it were a vain exhortation, Make your calling and election sure; if you do, a wide and open door of entrance shall be minished unto [Page 150] you; well then though I cannot make sure my election in it selfe, for it is sure in it selfe; but the Question is, whether it it is sure to me, that is my duty, for he knowes who [...], and knows them by name, and keeps them in his name, and hath given his Angels charge over us, and they will all watch over us, and therefore our Saviour in Luke 10. 20. saith to his Disciples, Rejoyce not in this that the Devils are subject unto you, but that your names are written in Heaven. Our election is sure enough in heaven, no stormes will alter it there: But now (in a word) can we make our election sure? the Apostle intimates when you make your calling sure, you make your election sure: your calling, that is but the actuall execution of this eternall election; but they are so neere, that many the Lord puts them one for another, he tells his Disciples, you have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, John 15. 16. he means of his selection, his calling them out of the world, then he doth communicate his electing love to such; it is wrought for us before in Christs death, in Gods councell, and in his effectuall redemption, wrought for us on the Crosse: but yet it is not manifest to our consciences till calling, but make your calling sure, and then election is sure: When you are called according to his purpose, Rom. 8. 28. that is this book of life, that is his purpose, that we are in Gods purpose written to life, look to that he hath saved us, and called us, Not accor­ding to our workes, but according to his own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus, 2 Tim. 1. 8. that is the book of life and grace; of free grace, purposing us to life; and you read in Rom. 8. 30. Whom he predestinated, them he hath called; and whom he called, them he justified: now if a man be effectually called to grace that doth search election, let me briefly touch it, that which makes sure calling.

1. In our effectuall calling, there is a declaration of Gods love to the soul in Christ Jesus by the spirit of grace, in the doctrine of the Gospell, for that is Gods call; in our calling, God calls for his part by his grace and spirit, and we answere that spirit, by that faith, which by the call of God is wrought in our hearts; I say, God calls effectually to his grace by manifesting the rich grace of God in Christ, electing freely, [Page 151] calling freely, from the obedience of sinne and Satan, to the liberty of the sons of God, as to those in Queen Maries time, when they wandered up & down like Lambs in a large place: Bilney he fetches in that one word in his lost and forlorn con­dition; He read this promise, and the spirit of God applies it; Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chiefe: This being applyed by the spirit, it falls on him with power, and he sees the goodnesse of God in Christ, and the vanity of all things else: and seeing so much glory in Christ, and in particular to him also, this lets him see the vanity of all other courses; for this manifestation of Gods spirit doth effectually and manifestly open our eyes to see, and hearts to believe what the Lord offers, for faith is said to receive what the Lord gives of grace; here is then that which makes call­ing sure, for otherwise how can we know it, but by the ma­nifestation, and declaration, and revelation of the Spirit: The things that eye never saw, nor eare heard, nor e­ver entred into the heart of man, but he hath revealed them by his spirit, 1 Cor. 2. 9, 10. As no man knows the things of man, but the spirit of man, so no man knows the things of God, but the spirit of God: And we have not received the spirit of this world, but the spirit which is of God, that we may know the things that are free­ly given us of God. The spirit of God it is that searcheth all things, even the deep things of God, and reveals them to us, and lets us see the treasures of grace, and lets us see them thus ap­plyed, this is the ground of effectuall calling, God calling by his spirit, and we answering that call, and from both these springs another fruit of our effectuall calling, which is likewise a certaine pledge of it that being thus called: Bles­sed be God (saith the Apostle) that hath called us to the fellowship of his sonne actually and effectually.

2. Thence it comes to passe, that wee choose the Lord for our God: We have none in heaven but him, nor none on earth that we desire in comparison of him: Away then with those beautifull Strumpets, and all works of iniquity, and wayes of dark­nesse, wayes of ambition, these are all blasted; now I desire to know nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified, 1 Cor. 2. 2. and now it is, that he rejoyceth in nothing, save in the Crosse of [Page 152] our Lord Jesus Christ, Gal. 6. 14. Now this electing love in that we elect God, we could never choose God, had not he cho­sen us, and in some measure discovered what his electing love was to us, this brings the heart back again to choose him, and none but him: now that is another security of our election, and therein it differs from all others; a man may have a kinde of sanctification by common gifts, which will leave him still to work for himselfe, but this is to abuse the very gifts of God, which the spirit hath wrought in us, though they be not such as accompany salvation, still we are not lift up above our selves, but when we are called effectually to Christ; now no motion swayes us, but as we see the will of God in it, we cannot beleive as the Church beleives: but we beleive our brethren and the Church, as we see the Church follows the foot-steps of the will of God; If I now please men (saith the Apostle) I am not the servant of Christ, 1 Thes. 2. 4. Nor of men sought we glory, when we might have been burden some, as the Apostles of Christ: If a man be left to fast for himselfe, or pray for himselfe, or worke for himselfe, and all is for himselfe, that he work [...] from a principal respect unto him­selfe, truly this will darken a mans effectuall calling; and if it be his constant course, doubtlesse his heart is not right with God: It is true, in a pang of temptation a man may be wheeled about, as Peter and David, yet the sight of Gods e­lecting love quickens them to see their sinne, how farre they are turned aside from God; but there [...] soul is bent, as it were, with the point of a compass touched with a Load-stone, it may be jogged by windes and stormes, yet it lookes still to the North pole; though you may shake it from its course, yet let it but stand a while, it will directly look to the North pole, there it will stand; so it is with all the children of God, they cannot but worke; for Christ in John 16. 14. He shall glorifie me, for he shall receive of mine, and give it unto you: So that the heart that is sincere, it workes from Christ, and for Christ, and with Christ; I laboured more abundantly then they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me, 1 Cor. 15. 10. So that you see what the manner of Gods people in this case is, they are from Christ, and for Christ, and with [Page 153] Christ, and it is a seal of Gods election; the highest seal is, God knowes who are his, and that seal he manifests by his spirit in the Gospel, it is the spirit that seals up our adoption, and here is another seal we set to our seal, while we cleave to him with all our heart and soul, and seek after him, and have none in heaven but him, nor on Earth that we desire in comparison of him.

And thirdly, the last assurance of a mans election and cal­ling (which I shall name at this time) is that which Peter himselfe doth expresse, in 2 Pet. 1. Give all deligence to make your calling and election sure; How shall they do that? he tels us in ver. 5. Moreover adde to your faith virtue, and to virtue know­ledge, &c. He reckons sundry sorts of graces, and he calls up­on them to adde grace to grace and one degree of grace to a­nother; and (saith he) if these things dwell in you, and abound, by this means an open entrance shall be ministred unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdome of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as if men that did not grow in grace, and g [...]ow from grace to grace; if they get to heaven at length, they must mend their p [...]ce, thrust and croud for it; but if these things be in you and abound, so an open entrance shall be ministred unto you; as if the great gates of Heaven were opened to you: there must be a growing, you are blind else, and cannot see afar off; you shall not see your state, un­lesse you grow from faith to faith, and from knowledge to knowledge, then an open entrance shall be ministred to you, that you shall die in full assurance of faith, and of the love of God: And thus shall a man make his calling and election sure; and by so doing, he shall make sure to himselfe his pre­serva [...]ion from this world, and shall be translated to everla­sting rest wi [...]h the Lord in due time, where there shall be nei­ther false Prophet, nor Jesuit [...], nor worldlings, whose names are not written in the Lambs book of life.

Rev. 13. 8. latter part of the vers.‘The Lamb slaine from the foundation of the world.’

THere remayns now the latter part of this vers, which is a description of Jesus Christ: and he is described.

1. By the similitude of a Lamb.

2. By his passion; He is slaine: And

3. By the antiquity of it; He is slaine from the foundation of the world.

The note is this:

The Lord Jesus Christ was as a Lamb;Doctrine 2. and though a Lamb, yet was slaine: and though slaine in fulnesse of time (about 4000. years after the world began) yet in effect he was slaine from the foundati­on of the world.

This is the sum of this latter part of the verse. Not to stay long in any of these things, and put to stay upon them, be­cause they are principles of our Christian faith; and princi­ples may not be passed over in hast, especially considering the handling of them is a speciall branch of our calling. Be­hold the Lamb of God (saith John) that taketh away the sinnes of the world, John 1. 29. 36. It was his particular office to point at Christ, and he doth it under the notion of a Lamb: So it is said, A Lamb stood upon mount Zion, Rev. 14. 1.

Now why a Lamb? In a double respect (and I speak of no more then what the Scripture hath respect unto:)

First, in respect of his innocency.

2ly. In respect of his meeknesse and patience.

1. His innocency.

1. In his birth: That holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the sonne of God, John 1. 35.

[Page 155] 2. Innocent in his life. It behooves us (saith Christ to Iohn) to fulfill all righteousnesse, Mat. 3. 15. And in 1 Pet. 2. 22. He did no sinne, neither was guile found in his mouth.

3. Innocent also in his death. Pilate bare him that re­cord, Mat. 27. 24. when he had heard all things that were born witnesse against him, hee tooke water and wash [...]d his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person.

And as he was thus innocent as a Lamb: So he was meeke and patient as a Lamb: and the holy Ghost hath respect unto it, Acts 8. 32. He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and like a Lamb dumb before the shearers, so opened he not his mouth. And therefore there is something respected in his silence and quiet subjection to the slaughter knife: And his patience or meek­nesse doth expresse it self in two things chiefly.

1. In submitting not himself only, but his will to his fa­thers will. Father, saith Christ (in his agony in the Garden) if it be possible, let this cup passe from me, neverthelesse not as I will, but as thou wilt. And if this cup may not passe away from me except I drinke it, thy will be done, Mat. 26. 39. 42 And that is pro­perly after Gods own heart, when a mans heart is subdued to the will of God; in which respect he did not murmure at his Fathers hand, nor did expostulate his being delivered into the hands of wicked men, 1 Pet. 2. 23. Who when he was revi­led, reviled not againe; when he suffered, he threatned not, but com­mitted himselfe to him that judgeth righteously: And so meek was be in this very kind, as that be prayed for his very enemies and persecutors. Luk. 23. 34. Then said Jesus, Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.

2. His patience and meeknesse stood in keeping silence in his own just defence. As a Lamb dumb before the sh [...]arer, kee­ping silence before his Accusers, and Judges, and Condem­ners. He answered nothing before the high Priest; any thing that might tend to his crucifying, as he doth expresse: If they will make it a point to crucifie him, because he said, He was the son of God: Saith he, I came into the world to bear witness unto that. When Pilate did accuse him, he answered nothing, and the Governour wondred at it, knowing that hee could tell [Page 156] what to answer: He marvailed that so just a man, in so just a case did not answer a word which did so narrowly concern him: But he did not know what the cause was, that he was as a Lamb dumb before the shearer, and before the slaughter also.

What might be the reason then of this Lamb lik innocen­cy and meeknesse of Christ? (They are principles, and ought to be incultated often:)

The first ground is,

To fulfill the types that went before of him,Reason 1. Exod 12. 5. The paschall Lamb was without blemish. And Exod. 29 39. The daily Sacrifice was to be a Lamb without spot and ble­mish, therefore Christ must be such.

The second Reason is taken from his personal union with the second person in Trinity:Reason 2. For in him dwelleth all the ful­nesse of the God-head bodily, Col. 2 9. that is personally: So that Christ must be a sinner, if in any thing Christ had fai­led either in doing or suffering (which were blasphemy to say): And hence springs an utter impossibility of his man­hood, acting any thing without the G [...]d head acting by him; for the Son can do nothing of himselfe, but as he seeth the Father do.

Thirdly,Reason 3. there is a further necessity of his Lamb-like inno­cency: From our necessity of such a Sacrifice, and such an high Priest as was holy, and blamelesse, and undefiled, Heb. 7. 26, 27, 28. Such an high Priest it behooved us to have: Yea, it was requisite the Sacrifice should be blamelesse, Levit. 1. 3. And the Priest that offered it to be so also, Levit. 21. 18. For otherwise he could not make attonement for us, nor could his attonement be accepted.

But why was he thus patient, silent, and meek? a double reason of that.

First,Reason 1. That his Sacrifice might be voluntary, and so ac­cepted of the Father. Sacrifice and offering for sinne thou wouldst not, neither hadst pleasure therein, which are offered by the law; Then said he, Loe I come to doe thy will, O God, Heb. 10. 8, 9. Whoever was to offer a Sacrifice, was to bring it himselfe, and deliver it up, and himselfe with it, and it must be offered [Page 157] willingly: Wheeher it was the Congregation that had com­mitted a sinne, or whether it were any particular person, they were to bring their oblation: Any Sacrifice that a man would have accepted, he must bring it to the door of the Ta­bernacle, Lev. 4. 4. 14. 23. The Priest must not fetch it: If a­ny would bring their Sacrifice they might; but if they were extorted from them, they were not accepted: So the Lord Jesus must come and freely offer up himselfe, as one that was to be presented in the stead of all the Elect: Hee offered himselfe a Surety of the Covenant; we should have brought it, but we had it not in our hearts: But hee brings himselfe, and layes downe his life of himselfe, and takes it up againe, John 10. 18.

And 2ly. why did he expresse his patience in that silence of his? The reason was from this very cause, even

From the want of sufficient matter to give a just Answer in our behalfe by all things that he could alledg for us.Reason 2. If hee had stood in his own person, and had had nothing to do but to cleare himselfe, he had had a world to have answered for himselfe, and this Pilate saw; for he said that he was a King, but a King of another world, and Pilate knew that there was no Cesarian Law that did forbid a Kingdome in a­nother world: but standing in our persons, hee knew not what to answer: What could there be charged upon Christ, but we have been guilty of it? Can it be sayd that none of the Elect of God did blaspheme? and that none of them did destroy the Temple of God? and can it be justified that all the Elect of God have been freed from commotions? Can any undertake that defence for the elect of God? What sinne can you charge upon him, but some of the servants of God have been guilty of it? Therefore it is, that the Lord Jesus an­swers not: He doth not deny, he doth not out-face them in the businesse: It is not so with him; He is not such an Advo­cate: He pleads with a good conscience when he pleads, and he is clear, but he cannot clear his Elect ones from Church-censure, and Civill censure: Nor doth he plead with God a­bout any kind of hard-ship, in putting upon him that extre­mity, he knew the elect of God had deserved such: And [Page 158] though he knew that they dealt wickedly, yet standing in our room, hee had not a sufficient plea, let them charge him with what they will: A man cannot charge him with any sinne, but some of his Elect have been guilty of it, and therefore what can be answered? Therefore he was not wil­ling to excuse himselfe: He doth neither deny nor extenu­ate any Crime that can be layd ag [...]inst him; but take it in its full rigour, and the accusation doth stand good: They stand not good against the Principall, but against the Surety, as hee is a Surety, they stand good against him; for as it is in Job 9. 2, 3. How should man be just with God? If hee will con­tend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.

Let a man stand before the Tribunall of the justice of God, and he cannot answer one of a thousand: And if Christ be to stand for all the elect of God, hee cannot answer one of a thousand: And therefore when the King came to see the man in the room that had not on the wedding Garment, the man was speechlesse; which plainly shewes us, that if Christ stand in the room of Gods people, the case stands so, that Christ cannot answer for us, to excuse us. Job could not answer one of a thousand, though he was the perfectest man in his Generation (and I know not whether any man after him that was more innocent then he:) And what shall o­thers of Gods called ones be able to doe? and what they are not able to doe, the Lord Jesus Christ hee doth carry it in the same manner, as one that cannot excuse them from being guilty of those sinnes, no more then himselfe can.

Thus you see the reasons both of Christs innocency and patience.

The use of the point is,

First,Ʋse 1. to convince us of the guilt of all the elect people of God, and their guiltinesse even of violent death, and unexcu­sablenesse under that death. If so be we had been innocent, what needed Christ to have been so patient as hee was, so Lamb-like in his innocency? His Lamb-like innocency is an argument of our guiltinesse: The servants of God, especially such as take any more narrow search of their own waves, they see themselves full of blemishes, spots, and wrinckles, [Page 159] and many such things, Isa. 64. 6. We are all as unclean things, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy ragges. They are all as the clouts of a mensteruous woman, even all our best righteous­nesse: This this the condition of us all, full of uncleanesse, and pollution, and deformity: And wh [...]ch is worse then that, unexcuable in all: for if wee cou [...]d have told what to say, and to say justly, Christ would have sayd it much more fully then we could; for he is our Advocate, and it were a shame for an Advocate, if the party of the cause could defend his cause better then his Advocate: Christ is more skilful in the Law then we; but his silence doth professe, that he knows not what to say, to stand out in our defence. He might have excused some of Gods elect from this or that actual grosse Sinne; but he could have excused none from a guilty prone­nesse to all manner of Sinne: There is a vicious pronenesse in us to all sinne, and therefore Christ could not tell what to say. And as there is a pronenesse in us to all sinne, so there is an actuall commission of many sinnes, And in many things we sinne all, James 3. 2. And there are few or none of Gods e­lect; that if so be a man that is privy to all their dealings, were to give an account of them, he could not justifie them from the guilt, and stain of all sinne. Now this is the case of Christ, he hath been acquainted with all our wayes; and if he be examined of what hath been done wickedly, before the Church, and before the Common-wealth, he is not able to deny, but both Church and Common-wealth might proceed against us all. And this may cast a holy blushing upon us in the presence of the Lord, and of this Lamb: Christ could have told what to have answered, if ought had been to be answered; but when he stands in our room, he stands silent: he could not with truth bear witnesse unto any of us touching our guiltinesse: knowing what he knew by us, it would make us unfit for both societies, either of Church or Com­mon-wealth. And it is a just humiliation for a man to know that he stands in such a state, of which no good account can be given: A man that is skilful indeed, and knows the Law as well as Christ did, standing in our room, he hath nothing to answer for himselfe, and the Lord knows it, and time was [Page 160] when this considered did muzz [...] his mouth, he was like a lamb dumbe before his shearer: you cannot rake up such a base accu­sation against him, but he knows where the dint of it will fall, and therefore he is very sensible of the truth of all that is laid unto his charge. Let God come upon us with spiritual dissertions, we must know that it is just with God to dissert us; and though the Church should spue us out, and the Com­mon-wealth cut us off from the land of the living, who can plead for us? If Christ stand in our persons, he hath nothing to plead.

Secondly,Ʋse 2. it doth teach us, where to look for all our justi­fication and reconcilement with the Father. Truly brethren not in our own righteousnesse, for the Lord himselfe that knowes it better then we do, he knows that it will not hold out before the judgement seat of God. He might have plea­ded, that David was a man after Gods own heart; he might have pleaded the wisedome of Solom [...]n; and the truth of Jo­sias heart, and the zeal of Phineas, and the patience of Job: but he knowing the Law well enough, and what th [...]y have been, (and we have all been) he hath nothing to plead; and therefore we must not plead our own righteousnesse: let no man think that his own pleading will reach his own justifi­cation, whereas Christ himselfe could not reach it for him. All have sinned, all have been out of the way, and there is none that doth good no not one, Psal. 14. 1, 2, 3. he speaks of us by nature, and we were natural, before we came to be spiritual: There­fore saith the Apostle, What things soever the Law saith it saith to them who are under the Law, that every mouth may [...], and all the world may become guilty b [...]fore God, Rom. 3. 19. [...] use the Apostle himselfe makes of it, Vers. 23, 24, 25▪ We have all sinned, and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by his grace, through the redemp [...]ion that is in Jesus Christ; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousnesse, for the remission of sinnes that are past, through the forbearance of God. So that (I say) this [...] of our justification; the Lord J [...]sus hath borne, and suffe [...]ed for us when he was silent in our behalfe, and could not tell what to say. Papists can bring you many argum [...] [...] [Page 153] justifie themselves; they will bring you many instances of this Saint, and that Saint, (and of the Virgin Mary above all o­thers) of their purity, and righteousnesse, and how able they are to plead for others: They may be wise for themselves, and do as Procters are wont to do, regard their fees, and not their Cause: but the Lord Jesus is faithful, and yet he cannot plead as guiltlesse: Nor must you think, as sometimes poor christians will do; I cannot say much for my selfe, but such a brother, such a sister, they may indeed give a better account of me then I can do of my selfe; but truly, nothing to satis­fie Gods justice, can any give account, for Christ himself could not do it: And indeed so marvellously did God accept this kinde of defence that our Saviour makes, that he hath crow­ned this faithfulnesse of Christ with everlasting honour unto all ages: he hath so fully, so gratiously accepted him, as that he hath for ever ratified it in Heaven, that no man shall ever passe away righteous from the judgement seat of God that can plead any righteousnesse of his own: Whoever he be that will not stand righteous before the judgement seat of God by any righteousnesse of his own, he must stand mute as Christ himselfe stood: and if he be just, he must be just by his righ­teousnesse. Christ could plead nothing for us of our own, not our active obedience, nor any passive obedience of ours: but he having suffered for us, the punishment that all the wickednesse of the Elect have deserved, Now he doth ever live to make intercession for us, Heb. 7. 25. Now he hath arguments e­nough to plead: If any man sin now, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, 2 John 2. 1. Why did he not plead before? Truly he could not open his mouth before, because he had not yet suffered: but now he hath suffered, the just for the unjust, and now that he hath borne the censure of Church and Common-wealth, now he hath enough to plead in the behalfe of the poorest christian. And if so be that any plead against his Saints and servants, and say that they are guilty of these & these sins, God wil say, Deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransome, Job 33. 24. He now pleads satisfaction to the justice of his Father; and having satisfied for all, there is a sufficient plea in his mouth [Page 162] for all the Elect of God: whatever our actual transgressions have been, the Lord hath aboundant plea for all his people: that so he may both obtain of the Father, the spirit to bestow good things upon us; and having given us such things, as faith, and love, and repentance, he may plead our sincerity of heart, and that argues communion with himselfe, and saith in his bloud: But that which doth make us stand righteous before him is this, that he himselfe was a Lamb without spot, and yet did not plead his own innocency, but did bear all for us, and for us all, that we might ever be righteous in the sight of God. And thus will God have all his servants plead, or else they shall not have salvation.

First to plead silence; That then thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more, because of thy shame, when I am pacified towards thee, for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God, Ezek. 16. 63.

Secondly to plead our iniquity, Psal. 51. 3, 4. I acknowledg my transgression, and my sinne is ever before mee: Against thee onely have I sinned and done this evill in thy sight, that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest &c. But purge me with by sope and I shall be clean.

Looke therefore unto this point mainly and principally, that if we come to plead before the Lord our God, hee doth require we should examine our selves, and in the end be so surprized (when we have done) as not to have what to an­swer. Christ could not tell what to answer, and we must not wonder, if wee doe not finde what to answer: For here God magnifieth his love in setting forth himselfe unto a be­liever, to be a God justifying him that cannot justifie him­selfe: He seeth there is the way of the grace of God, the Lord hath done this in Christ; and the manifestation and declara­tion of it doth so possesse the hearts of Gods children, that it causeth them to cleave unto him for all their righteous­nesse and peace: And this is of great necessity, and of conti­nuall practice for the Saints of God to attend unto, that we might not be at a losse in this great question of our soules. Conscience cryes out unto us, and wee know not in the world what to say, for wee are wicked beyond measure in [Page 163] the sight of God, our own sincerity will not plead our righ­teousnesse before God: But all it will do, will come to this end, that we shall be convinced, we have nothing to say: (Nay an Angel, nay the Sonne himselfe could not tell what to say for us) but wee look to be justified freely by his grace: And the God of all grace doth so justifie Christs cause, that all the world that are justified, shall be justified by his plea, who hath done all things for us that concern our everlasting salvation.

For a third use of the point,Ʋse 3. it may be for reproof to un­conscionable Advocates (but I have not I thinke so much cause to speak of it here, but in most places of the world I might speak of it) It might teach all Advocates to take heed of bolstering out a bad Case by qui [...]ks of wit, and tricks and quilets of Law, the Lord abhors such things. If you will have the Lord to smell a savour of rest, plead the cause of the faithful, and of the widow, but thou shalt not accept the person of the poor, nor of the rich. And for men that pro­fesse Religion (as many Lawyers do) to use their tongues as weapons of unrighteousnesse unto wickednesse, it is a pro­fessed practice against the doctrine of mortification; For a man to give his tongue (his glory, as David calls it) to be­come a member of unrighteousnesse, to plead in corrupt Cau­ses, and to strain the Law to that purpose, were I to speake in place where, I should think it meet to speak more. But I shall not be accounted a good Lawyer, may some say: No, Christ was the best Advocate that ever was, and yet he could not answer: Let the cause be what it is, where the tree fals, let it lye: If Christ do keep silence in point of our righteous­nesse, let us keep silence also in point of our own.

Fourthly,Ʋse 4. It may be a use of instruction unto all those that professe fellowship with Christ, and the saving know­ledg of Christ Jesus: You see here how Christ is described, a Lamb slaine from the foundation of the world; None more inno­cent, and yet none more me [...]k and pa [...]ient.

If you speak of Christ as a Minister, the spirit of a Dove doth come upon him. For the Sacrifice, he is a Lamb. The wolfe shall dwell with the Lamb, and the Leopard shall lye downe [Page 156] with the Kid; and the Calfe, and the young Lyon, and the Fa [...]ling together, and a little child shall lead them. And the Cow and the Beare shall feed, their young ones shall lye down together; and the Lyon shall eate straw like the Oxe, and the sucking child shall play on the hole of the Aspe, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the Cock-atrice den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy moun­taine, Isa. 11. 6. to 9.

Doe you see a man boysterous in his spirit, and in his own will and wayes, and will not be willing to see a difference in himselfe from the spirit of Christ Jesus (as it is possible that a child of God may be rough in his way, yet hee dare not allow himselfe long in it, it is a body of death: But) if you see a man that doth allow himselfe in a passionate frame of spirit, that a man will have his owne will (and will not be crossed in it) whether it be right or wrong, doubtlesse this is not the spot of Gods children; It is not the spirit of those whose names are written in the Lambs b [...]ok of life. God did not indeed elect us, because either we are such, or would be such, but he did elect us to be made such first or last, before we come to enjoy the everlasting Inheri­tance which this book hath written us downe unto. And therefore it must cut off all our boysterousnes and churlishnes of spirit; all this ruggednesse and churlishness it must be ta­ken off; The wolf shall dwell with the Lamb and the Leopard shall lye downe with the kid, and a little child shall lead them: Therefore all bitternesse of contention, and pangs of passion that pre­vaile, that are farre from the spirit of love, must be removed: But this will prevaile in all Gods people, that God will car­ry an end your spirits, in conformity to the spirit of his own. Be of that spirit therefore in all your Transactions, that is to say, mild, and patient, and innocent: And so it will re­quire all the children of God in the same kind, to keep Lamb-like silence, when you are charged with any fault whereof you are guilty.

It is a dangerous sinne when men are found in a fault, they have a thousand excuses for it, and utter denyal of such things, so as they will cut you a Weavers beame unto a very moate: But you see the spirit of Christ Jesus will not doe it, [Page 157] nor will he confesse it, for they charged it upon him in his own person, and so he could not confesse it: Hee could not deny it, because then he should not have stood in our room as he did. And therefore it behooves those that are young or old; if you be innocent, then you may excuse it; if you be guilty, beware of denying, for if you do, you shall leave a difficult travayl upon Jesus Christ to plead your cause: He that knoweth the heart, and the truth of the thing, he is a­shamed of such a proud spirit, that so defends himself as you doe.

Lastly,Ʋse 5. it is a ground of singular comfort to all whose names are written in the Lambs booke of life, and brought on to this Lamb-like frame of heart, in the greatest horrour of spirit, whereas the soule in this or that man is confounded, and he knows not what to say: Here is comfort for such a soule laid up, for here is a sufficient plea before Gods Judgment seate, the Lord Jesus Christ hath been silent at it, he hath born and suffered for it. It will come unto this passe with a soule un­der spiritual confusion: Wee shall lye downe in our shame, with our confusion upon our faces, as in Jer. 3. 24, 25. Wee cannot deny it, nor excuse it, and therefore we are ready to conclude, woe to us that ever we were born; That is not a just conclusion though, for truly this we must come unto, if ever we come unto Christ: And therefore it is a way of ju­stification, and of life for a man to be confounded in himselfe for his sin, for the Lord doth never justifie a sinner, untill hee hath confounded him.

Many a man many times will say, it is true, godly friends have had a good opinion of me, but they are deceived by my expressions, performances, and outward carriage; Here the soule is mady times apt to sinke, and would sink, if the Lord Jesus stood not at a non-plus in his room; for Christ could not tell what to say, till hee had made satisfaction; neither could he acknowledg the faults that were layd to his charge, because himselfe was guiltless; not deny them, lest he should falsly justifie us.

We cannot tell now what to say to our owne estates some­times; The Church complaines, all our Prophets are gone, [Page 166] and our signes are gone, the case is now desperate, when wee are in a desperate taking: But though wee cannot tell pre­sently what to say, yet the Text and the Gospel tels you, Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. He himself could make no words about our justification, it was a case past words, excuses would not heale us, then there was something to be suffered, and that to the utm [...]st: This he hath suffered, wherefore he is able to save them to the utmost that come unto God by him, Heb. 7. 25. He is now able to do it; but when he stood before Pontius Pilate, he could not tell what to say, but now he hath suffered in Family, C [...]u [...]ch and C [...]mmon-wealth. In his family, they forsook him, and denyed him, and forswore him; therefore now having made perfect satisfaction unto the exact justice of his heavenly Fa­ther, by being condemned to death, crucified upon the Crosse, dead and buried, now his mouth is ever open to make intercession: There is a stay and staffe unto a Christi­an: Looke unto me, and be yee saved all the ends of the earth, Isa. 45. 22. Now here is the brazen Serpent lifted up, That whosoever believeth in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life, John 3. 14, 15.

Rest not now in a naked knowledge of this, but look up to Heaven with your inner man, be confounded because of your shame, and yet see the Lord offering you Christ, and giving you grace to receive him and to rest there, that whatever ca­vils and temptations the Devil may make, and your own consciences may make, yet there is hope in Israel concerning this: The Lord is righteous, but I and my house are wicked, may a man say, my wayes are corrupt, and my heart worst of all: But the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquities of us all, and by his stripes we are healed, Isa. 53, 5, 6, 7.

There is nothing that will cleare him before God, when he stands in our case, but he must stand ashamed and con­founded for us all: And though wee be thus and thus guil­ty in our owne apprehensions, and culpable in the sight of men, yet the Lord hath made satisfaction for us, and therefore saith, Deliver him, for I have received a ran­some: And where there is any seede of God, there will be [Page 167] a secret quieting of the heart upon this very ground, which the Lord doth dart into the soule, by causing it to rest upon him, and cleave to him, and hang about him, where onely Redemption, Reconciliation, and Attonement for us are to be found.

Rev. 13. 8. latter part of the vers.‘The Lamb slaine from the foundation of the world.’

CHrist is here described. First by the similitude of a Lamb. 2. By his passion, a Lamb slaine. Thirdly, his passion is amplified by the antitiquity of it, slain from the foundation of the world.

We shewed the last time, that Christ was as a Lamb. Now we come to the next part of the description of Christ; the next note then concerning Christs passion is this.

Christ though a Lamb was slain and slaughtered.

Though a Lamb.] That is to say, though innocent, meek, and patient, yet slain and slaughtered: So you read in Acts 2. 23. Him being delivered by the determinate councell and fore-knowledge of God, yee have taken, and by wicked hands have cruci­fied and slain; and in Acts 7. 52. You have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the just one, of whom you have been now the betrayers and murderers. He was a Lamb murdered, slain, and slaughtered; He was led as a Lamb to the slaughter. Slaughter implyes a violent death put upon him, partly by the justice of God, partly by the wickednesse of men, and partly by the malice of Satan. By the justice of God: the word is very strong in Isa. 53. 10. It pleased the Lord to bruise him, it is tran­slated, but it signifies properly to grind him: the same word is translated destruction in Psal. 90. 3. Thou turnest man to de­struction: and so it pleased the Father thus to grinde him to powder that he might have nothing of chaffe; he ground him to dust with grief, and horror, anguish, and agony, and terrour, and pain, Isa. 53. 6. The Lord laid upon him the iniquity of us all: and so he ground him to dust for our transgressions, I [Page 169] mean to dissolution of soul and body. And so by the wick­ednesse of men, he was accused, condemned, and according­ly executed. What think you of him saith Caiphas, you have heard his blasphemies; and they answered and sayd, he is guilty of death, Mat. 26. 66. And Pilate himselfe, though he thought him to be guiltlesse, yet delivered him to be crucified, Mat. 27▪ 26. And the people sayd, We have a Law, and by our Law he ought to dye, John 19. 7. Thus was he delivered by the wickednesse of men: and Pilate knew they did it of envy, Mat. 27. 18. So that it was a great wickednesse in Pilate to gratifie the people, and to suffer such an innocent Lamb to be crucified; yet ra­ther then he will loose the favour of Caesar, and of the people, he delivers him to be crucified.

And which is more then so; as he dyed by the justice of God, and the wickednesse of men, so by the malice of Satan: for our Saviour saith in Luke 22. 52. This is the very hour and power of darknesse. The gates of Hell were opened to powre upon him all the vengence they were able. It was fore-tould in Gen. 3. 15. It shall bruise they head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. The Serpent should bruise his heel, that is Christ, the seed of the woman. His heel, you will say that falls far short of death; to pinch a man on the heele, it may make him go lamely, but not kill him: but the holy Ghost intends, that all the mis­chief that Satan works against Christ or any of his members, it doth but reach to the bruising of the heele. It bruised his heele, that implies, that Christ should have a body like ours: and his heele, that is the lower part of Christ, his humanity, Satan should bruise it. And he shall break thy head; it is the same word, and therefore you may take them both for breaking, or both for bruising: therefore Peter expounds it well (in 1 Pet. 3. 18.) when he tells you Christ suffered for sinne, The just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh: His heele was brused, that is, his flesh. So that though the Lord suffered unsupportable misery, to be forsaken of his Disciples, betrayed by one, and forsworn by another, to be forsaken of his Father in regard of any com­fortable fellowship he had with him: Though he suffered all this, in inward and outward man, to such extremity that [Page 170] made him sweat drops of blood, and in the end to g [...]ve up the ghost, yet all this was but the heele, the lower part of Christ as it were; for his personal union is not in the least measure intercepted: his head and councel stands sure, and all his indeavours will finde a blessed accomplishment. Whereas the Lord breakes the head of Satan, not onely cuts him off from all hope of fellowship in grace, but all his plots shall be disappointed at length, and all execution of his de­signes, they shall be brused: the Sonne of God comes to d [...]s­solve the works of Satan, to undoe them. Thus comes the Lamb to be slaine. The reason of the point is double.

First,Reason 1. to fulfil all the former types of the Legall Sacrifices. The Israelites were to slay the Paschal lamb in the evening (at the ninth hour of the day) Exod. 12. 6. about the same time he was slain: And all other Sacrifices for reconciliation were to be killed, necessary therefore he should be slain; The daily Sacrifice which consisted of a Lamb in the morning, and a Lamb in the evening, were both slaine, though without ble­mish, and so was Christ. But that was but a shadow, for Christs suffering was rather the cause of them: but it is the Scripture phrase, this was done, that this and that may be fulfilled, because such a thing in after times was fulfil­led.

Secondly, the cheif reason why it was requisite Christ should be slaine, and why he would be slaine, was

That he might lay down his life for a ransome or price for his people,Reason 2. Mat. 20. 28. The Sonne of man came to give his life a ransome for many. A ransome of what? or price of what? The Scripture holds forth a price of Redemption, and a price of Purchase.

A price of Redemption; We are not redeemed with Silver and Gold, but with the precious bloud of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot, 1 Pet. 1. 18, 19, 20. He paid a price for our redemption, that so he might discharge the debt of our sinnes which lay upon us, Rom. 6. 23. Gen. 2. 17. What day soever thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely dye. And partly by this means to satisfie the justice of God, who had threatned according to the curse of the Law, that cursed is every one that [Page 171] continues not in all things written in the Law to doe them: Be­hold, saith the Lord, I set before you life and death; obey it and live, do it not, and dye; This is the sanction and ratifi­cation of the Law of God throughout the books of Moses. And therefore that he might satisfie the Law, and the wrath of God (Ezek. 18. 20. The soul that sinneth, it shall dye) that he might discharge the debt wee ran into, and satisfie for our defects, it was necessary to pay this price of redemption, to save us from death, and all evils that drew on death. And consequently therefore he hath saved us from sinne, Rev. 1. 5. He hath loved us, and washed us from our sinnes in his bloud. He hath redeemed us also from the world, Gal. 1. 4. Who gave himselfe for our sinnes, that he might deliver us from this present evill world: and he hath also given himselfe unto the death, that he might destroy through death, him that had the power of death, that is the Devill, Heb. 2. 14. So this is one part of the reason, and the sum of the ends why Christ gave himselfe to be slaughtered, and his life as a price of redemption to redeem us from evill, for redemption is from captivity and bondage from sinne and Sa­tan, and the world. This was a principal end of his death; but it was but part of it. Here is a price to redeem us from evil, from so many captivities wherein we were overwhel­med. But there is a price given of purchase, to the praise of his glory, Ephes. 1. 14. It is a price of purchase of some glo­rious possession: and for that end it was also given in a prin­cipal manner. Now what is the purchased possession which the Lord hath given his bloud as a price to pay? Truly as the Lord hath redeemed us from the three great enemies of our souls, so he hath purchased the three greatest blessings the sonnes of men are capable of, and they are the greatest bles­sings they can reach to.

1. He hath purchased reconcilement with the Father. He hath reconciled us by the death of his Son, Rom. 5. 10. God loved us indeed from eternity when he chose us, but we were by na­ture children of wrath as well as others. How came we to be re­stored and reconciled to the Father, from whom we fell as much as we could, by the bloud of the Lamb, that hath re­conciled us to God.

[Page 172] Secondly, by his death, he hath paid a price of purchase for union, and possession of union with the Sonne. So doth the holy Apostle teach us, Ephes. 2. 13. to 16. You that were sometimes farre off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ: For he is our peace who hath made both one (Jewes and Gentiles both one) and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us: So that he hath made Jewes and Gentiles one houshold of God, and hath built us upon Jesus Christ the cheif corner stone.

This is the second purchase which the Lord hath given his blood for the price of. We had never been united to Christ, nor by Christ been brought to the Father, but by the bloud of his crosse: his blood hath flain all enmity between God and us.

Thirdly, by the same price he hath also purchased us the holy Spirit. These are the three persons in Trinity, a posse­ssion of Christ to be our head: of the Father to be our God and King, and our Father, as his Father; therefore he tels his Disciples in John 20. 17. saith he, Touch me not, for I go to my Father, and your Father, to my God, and your God.

As soon as he had by death overcome death, now I go to my Father and your Father: He hath purchased the possession of Gods fatherly love: he hath also purchased union with himselfe, and therefore he prayed that his passion might be available to this end, that all that should beleive through the Apostles preaching should be one with them, John 17 21, 23. That they all might be one, as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one. So that this is the purchase which the Lord by his blood hath purchased, reconciliation with the Father, and union with the Sonne, and also the in­habitation of the holy Ghost, as 1 Cor. 3. 16, 17. Know yee not that yee are the Temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwel­leth in you. And as he tels us in Ephes. 2. 18. Through him we have an accesse by one spirit unto the Father. So that this is a purchase of unspeakable blessings which the Lord hath given [Page 173] his blood for. It was not meet the blood of the Sonne of God should be spilt in vain (it were abhomination to God) therefore he gives it to avoyd the greatest evill that can befall us, to cleanse us from sinne, and Satan, and to redeem us from the curse of God; and to free us also from death, and hell, and the world, and all the enemies of our souls.

He gave his blood for all this, not to redeem us from cros­ses, but from the curse in crosses, and that is the part which drives us from God, Matth. 25. 41. Depart from me yee cursed. So farre as any affliction might separate us from God, he hath redeemed us from it.

Now from thence, as Christ hath given his blood for re­conciliation with the Father, and for union with the Sonne, and for communion with the holy Ghost; so he hath given his blood for the purchase of some blessings that flow from these. For by communion with the spirit we have.

1. First communion with Christ in his death, mortifying sinne, and communion with him in his resurrection raising us up to righteousnesse. Whence the Apostle professeth, that he desires to rejoyce in nothing but the crosse of Christ, whereby the world is crucified to him, and he unto the world, Gal. 6. 14. And in Rom. 6. 6. Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of death might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sinne.

So there is the power of the spirit of Christ applying his death, killing and crucifying sinne and the world in us, cru­shing the head of the Serpent, and consequently all the pow­er of the Beast, of the Catholick Church of Rome, and the head of that Beast which is the Pope. He did therefore shed his blood that he might destroy all the power of the enemy, That we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve him without feare all the dayes of our life, Luke 1. 74. This is the mighty power of the spirit applying the warme blood of Christ to our foules.

2. The second fruit that flows from union with the blessed Trinity, is ratification of the Covenant of Grace. And Christ layd downe his bloud for that end to ratifie all the pro­mises that a reconciled God hath made; and that is God in a [Page 174] Covenant of Grace, That he will write his law in our hearts; that he will forgive our sinnes, and remember our iniquities no more; that we shall know him, Jer. 31. 33, 34. Christ gave his blood to ratifie this Covenant, Heb. 9. 15, 16, 17. And as the Te­stament of a Testator stands not in force till the death of him that made it, so the death of Christ ratifies this Covenant: and as all the Covenants were confirmed by bloud, so hath Christs blood done in a speciall manner. And when he speaks of ratifying the Covenant, he doth not onely speak of ratifying of it in word, but cheifly in the hearts of Gods peo­ple; and no price could have done that, but the blood of the Sonne of God, by which he hath ratified all the promises of God to the consciences of Gods people: That when the heart and conscience of a sinner is overwhelmed with inward a­gony, and fear of the wrath of God, and the curse of the Law, the fear of death and Hell: now what shall satisfie a christian in this, but the death of Christ? and what shall ratifie it? His death hath purchased reconciliation with the Father, union with the Son, and communion with the holy Ghost; now he hath shed his spirit in our hearts, whereby we cry Abba Father, Gal. 3. 14. This spirit of God works faith in the hearts of Gods people, whereby all these promises are confirmed: they are all certainly made good, because such is the value and virtue of the death of this innocent lamb of God, they are now free from the terrour of death. It was not possible the bloud of Buls and Goats should take away sinne, therefore still they had new sacrifices, for the conscience had lost the co­py by which it pleaded reconciliation by the spirit of God: now he applying the death of Christ to the soul, doth fully pacifie the conscience, and ratifie the Covenant to the soul, that now all the promises of Grace belong to this or that ser­vant of Christ: and I pray mark it, because it is as weighty as any point of Religion: And of all the doctrines of Reli­gion, there is none sanctified so effectually, and immediatly to beget faith in the soul, as the preaching of the crosse of Christ: All the doctrines of the Gospel are for the begetting of faith, but they have no efficacy this way, further then they are sprinkled with the blood of Christ: other promises do [Page 175] confirme faith, and they may also beget it, but it is with re­ference to the crosse of Christ. That which gives satisfacti­on to Gods justice, that gives satisfaction to our consciences, for conscience is convinced, that if God deal in justice (as he knows no reason but he should) then he of all men is most miserable: the burden of th [...]s lies heavy, and is ready to plunge him to hell: what will satisfie the conscience now? nothing in the world except it see some reason why Gods ju­stice should be satisfied; and how shall that be done? onely by the death of the lamb of God. So that well doth the A­postle make the crosse of Christ the ratification of the Cove­nant, for that cuts of all sinne, and curse, and the rigor of the Law, hell and death, and devill, and damnation, and all evil that can befall us in this or another world, and doth satisfie the justice of God that it might remove all these, and bears the whole burden of the desert of our sinnes, purchaseth recon­ciliation with the Father, union with the Sonne, communion with the holy Ghost. But what is all this to me, will the soul say, unlesse these be so given that faith be wrought in my heart to discerne all these, and finde them? The Lord doth indeed all these; the spirit of God comes and so preacheth the Gospel, and so applyes the Gospel, as that in preaching these things, he doth beget faith in the heart to believe that all these things are indeed belonging to such a soul, and to every one whom he is pleased to accept, to the benefit of the crosse of Christ, and to fellowship therein: and now indeed is the whole Covenant of Grace confirmed when by the death of Christ the virtue of it is applyed by the spirit to the soul: Not that there is a reconcilement to God before faith, and union with the Sonne, and communion with the holy Ghost before faith: It is before in Gods purpose, and Christs pur­chase, but when the spirit comes to apply this (whose work it is to give accomplishment to the work of the other per­sons;) he applying this, works saith, and ratifies the Cove­nant, and thereupon the heart is satisfied, and the justice of God satisfied, and the spirit at rest from unsupportable an­guishes which did before plow up the tender heart of a christi­an that he lay sprawling as it were in his blood.

[Page 176] 3. A third benefit that flowes from the former in respect of the price paid, and in regard of the virtue and efficacy of the price when it comes to be applyed: you have not onely law­full right unto the creatures to eat and drink, &c. but some right and title to them by the blood of Christ. And he hath also paid a price for the possession of eternall glory. Ʋntill the redemption of the purchased possession unto the praise of his glory, Ephes. 1. 14. Untill doth argue, that there is a purchase we do not yet receive: and when shall that be received? when both we our selves, and the creatures shall be redeemed to the glorious liberty of the sons of God. Then shall we receive the full benefit of the price which he hath paid whiles he suf­fered upon the Crosse. Therefore wonder not, that though Christ being a lamb yet he was slain, that he being slain we might be redeemed, and might enjoy the purchased possession, redemption from all evill in every kinde, from sorrow, paine, &c. from the evil of them. And his blood also was a price for a purchased possession of reconciliation with the Father, of union with the Sonne, of communion with the holy Ghost; dominion over all sinne, ratification of the Cove­nant to our soules, and at length the possession of everlasting glory. This was the reason why the lamb was slaine, and had it not been for these divine, and supernatural, and bles­sed ends, he would not have prostituted his life to such a bit­ter and shamefull death, as the death of the Crosse was. It was not meet the onely begotten Sonne of God should come down into the world to lead a miserable life, and to dye an accursed death, but for noble and glorious ends, and you have the sum in these particulars.

For the use of it.

First,Ʋse 1. it is a cause of just humiliation to us, whose sins were so out of measure sinful, as that there is no ransome to be gi­ven for them, but such an invaluable price, as the blood of the Sonne of God. All the Gold of Ophir; all that the world can give, what is it, to this invaluable blood of the Sonne of God? Yet this was our case, and estate, that if we had had many worlds for our inheritance, and given them all for the redemption of one soule, it had not been sufficient. [Page 177] This was our estate, and this is the estate of all such as yet live in sinne to this day. It is a desperate estate that cannot be repaired, nor themselves rescued from by ransome, but the blood of Christ. If our sinnes had been of a lesse nature, a lesse price might have made satisfaction: And yet such is the pride of the hearts of the sonnes of men; that because we live civil lives (though yet natural) we have good natures, are so well bred, do so many good offices, that we think it is not so dreadful a matter, nor that we are so dangerous for our estate as others: If it go ill with us, what will become of desperate roaring ruffines? whatever becomes of them, it is a frivolous matter to you, or to such as are civil, and hinder the free pas­sage of the grace of God: but if our natures be so good, and our carriage so comely, I pray you what need such an inva­luable price be given? If a small matter would have saved us from the world, what need such an invaluable price be given to rescue us from it? You will say, I hope I am not so addi­cted to the world, I would drive a bargaine home to the head, and would not be cheated. But is that all you know by your selves? certainly there is more; for if the Lord did not see that inveglement which the word hath of us, and that close combination of us to it, the Lord would not have thought it needful to send his onely Sonne to redeeme us from this present evill world. Frugality is not a vice in a­ny, but a virtue; and if there were no more but good hus­bandry, surely there need not such a price to be paid to re­deeme us from the world: But certainly the Lord sees such power of worldlinesse, and untemperance in us, and such power of passions and lusts, that no means would rescue us therefrom but the power of the blood of his Sonne: and the world hath such hold of us, and we of it, that if it were not for the blood of the Sonne of God, we should never be rescu­ed from that engagement. And therefore let all flesh know, there is that power of sinne, and of the world, in the best na­tures, and best education, that unlesse the Lord come with the blood of his Sonne, we should be wedded to the world, and our sins, and lusts, and perish everlastingly.

And for the Devil, you say you defie him, and did renounce [Page 178] him in Baptisme, and promise it, or some other in your stead.

But if there were not a strong power of Satan in us, how comes it that the blood of Christ must be shed, to destroy him that had the power of death, that is the Devill, Heb. 2. 14. And therefore consider of it, so strongly did the cu [...]se of the Law [...]reaten us, such power hath sin over the best nature, that were it not for the blood of the Sonne of God, is were not possible we should be redeemed from them.

Therefore if thou hast a good opinion of thy selfe, that the world hath no hold of thee, nor thy passions and lusts, and the Devill least of all, whatever the Law of God saith: know that there was nothing could redeem us from this, but the blood of the Sonne of God; and if thou dost not believe this (however thou art thus naturally born) the truth is, thou tramplest under foot the blood of Christ, as not worth the spilling: If men be thus exact in their courses, so equal in their dealings, if the Devil have no power over you, to what end did he through death destroy the Devill that had the po­wer of death? If sinne have no dominion over you, where­fore did he shed his blood, that the power of sinne should be destroyed? And therefore all the while a man is out of Christ, and the warme blood of Christ is not applyed thee, thy soule is a bleeding to death.

That look as it is with some men when in a consumption, & have little hope of recovery, then they wil kill some lamb, and while it is warme, will take the warme body of the lamb and fasten it to them that they may be repaired: Truly thus doth the Lord with us, he knowes we are farre consumed, in a state of worldlinesse, and a state of sinne, and Satan: how shall the Lord rescue us, and repaire us? No way but this, here is an innocent Lamb, he wraps him about us, warmes us with his blood, and so he recovers us againe from our consu­ming condition, consuming with sinfull lusts, and passions, and Satanical delusions. Look as Physitians, they will soon ghesse what the disease is by the receipt: If the Lord prescribe such a receipt as this, the blood of the innocent Lamb of God, then know it for a certain truth, we were in a desperate con­dition, [Page 179] consuming and wasting, and dead too, overspread with the world and Satan, and so had everlastingly perished, had not the Lord provided such a plaister as this.

And indeed this will yet humble us the more, in case the Lord make it appear that all this is done for me, and thee; we may say as Mephibosheth, 2 Sam. 19. 28 what are we, but as dead dogs in the sight of God, that the Lord should give his onely Sonne to recover such dead dogs as we from that wo­full estate in which we and our fathers lived, and many of them dyed in, yet the Lord hath been more mercifull to us; but what are we all but that the Lord might have cut us off? Herein the Lord commends his love to us, that when we were sinners Christ dyed for us, Rom. 5. 8.

Secondly,Ʋse 2. it may serve to teach us, the wonderful and un­speakable love of God and of his Christ to us; the one, that was thus willing to send his Sonne, the other thus willing to go, that his blood should be thus spilt like water upon the ground, and himselfe cast aside of men for the while (but for ever accepted of God) that we might be saved. Herein the Lord magnifies his mercy to mankinde; his justice, that he will be satisfied; his mercy, that he will have satisfaction in his Sonne, and doth not require it of our persons. It is rich Grace, that so we may stand, and wonder that the Lord should ever do it to such as we, to give his Sonne (an innocent Lamb) for us.

Thirdly,Ʋse 3. it may teach us for ever to loath and abhor all sinne, as that which so deeply displeaseth God, so as no satis­faction might be made for sinne, but the blood of his own Sonne; and no blood could satisfie but that, and this sin hath been the slaughterer of the innocent Lamb of God. It provokes God greatly, and slaughters his own Sonne; this is the power and venome of Sinne. And therefore unlesse we take delight in the deep displeasure of God, which is unap­peasable, but in the blood of his Sonne, how shall we that are dead to sinne, live any longer therein? Rom. 6. 2. He means dead through Christ; Christ is dead, and we in him, and with him, all that have fellowship with him.

Can we see the wrath of God rising again, first in our [Page 180] soules, and breaking forth in fiercenesse of the Lords indigna­tion? How shall we dare to tread under foot the blood of the Covenant, as if it were an unholy thing? If there were no other argument to discourage from sinne, this alone might prevaile, the nature of sinne, that so deeply displeaseth God, as there is no satisfaction but by the blood of Christ; and to consider, that sinne hath slaughtered Christ Jesus. And there­fore the meditation of the slaughter and death of Christ, should be as a slaughtering knife to cut asunder all temptati­ons to sinne. What is it that all pleasures and profits can put upon us, to countervaile the losse of the favour of God, and the blood of the Lamb? can any sinne procure the favour of God, or any thing answerable to the favour of God? or can any allurements of the world, or temptations that can put upon us, or Satans suggestions; can they make the blood of Christ an unworthy thing? or give us greater matters then the blood of Christ hath purchased? And therefore how shall we sinne against the love of God? how shall we com­mit this great wickedness, and sinne against God? sinne against the blood of this immaculate Lamb of God. These very conside­rations are enough to cut off all sinne.

Fourthly,Ʋse 4. this may serve therefore to teach us all to give up our selves back again to Christ, that we may now live to him. That we may now live to the father, and to the Son; that we may not live to sinne, to Satan, to the world, But to him that hath dyed for us, and given himselfe for us; I live by the faith of the Sonne of God, Gal. 2. 20. Christ suffered for sinne, he dyed for us, that we might not now live to our selves, nor to the lusts of men, but to the will of God, 1 Pet. 4. 1, 2, 3. 2 Cor. 5. 15. So that this is that which the Lord now cals us to, to wit, to live now no longer to those things from which we were redeemed by an invaluable price.

We are redeemed from the bondage of sinne, and Satan, and from the world: and not onely redeemed from these, but purchased to life, as a reconciled people to God, to be as the friends of God: Abraham was called the friend of God. Though a man make no bones of breaking out against an e­nemy; yet now being reconciled especially to him in whom [Page 181] we live, or move, and have our being, it is for us to walke as those that are reconciled to God, as those that are united to Christ, as those that are sanctified by his Spirit, as those that have the grace of Christ applyed to our soules, as those that are dead to sinne, and alive to righteousnesse; It is for us to walk as those that look for a purchased possession to the glory of Gods grace when this life shall be no more. If we be dead with Christ, why are we not free from all that which is evil, and free to all that is good? Col. 2. 20. It is a staine and ble­mish to the blood of Christ, to see a child of God live in any durty corruption, to see a child of God a worldling, to yeild to any temptation, it is a staine to the blood of Christ: To see a child of God set loose from the Father, or the Sonne, or the Spirit, it is a staine to the blood of Christ; for the blood of Christ is a purchase to redeem us from all evill, and to pur­chase to us all good.

For a fifth use,Ʋse 5. it may teach us to apply effectually the blood of Christ: as we for our parts in our Ministery, so you in your meditations, and repititions; there is the ground of your peace. No conscience that hath been troubled with sence of sinne, but there lies his grief, the wrath of God that is upon his unbeleiving soule. He is condemned; the wrath of God abideth on him. If you ransack it to the bottom, there is it that crusheth the spirit: all other will be cast off in case we be clear in this principle, about the satisfaction of Gods justice provoked against us by our many and great transgres­sions: what shall satisfie the soule now? There is nothing in the world so fit to beget faith, as the preaching of the cross of Christ: If I be lift up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me, John 12. 32. If Christ be drawn up on the Crosse, held forth for his drawing of people that are troubled about the wrath of God, and the removing thereof, and about satisfacti­on to God about all our iniquities, this will draw soules un­to him: For how will you uphold any man to bear his bur­den of the apprehension of Gods wrath with any tolerable ease? No way but by holding forth Christ the innocent Lamb of God, crucified upon the crosse, and his blood spilt as a price of satisfaction to Gods justice, as a price of redemp­tion [Page 182] from all evill, and purchase of all good: then saith the soule, me-thinks there is some hope, even for me; For who shall hinder the power of the blood of Christ? and who shall hinder the free passage of Gods grace? if the Lord Jesus hath undertaken it, and hold it forth especially to men that are sick, and oppressed, and cast downe, and ready to perish for want of succour: In such a case, while this is held forth, there is the blood of Christ held forth, which was shed to pur­chase the spirit of grace; as it is written in Gal. 3. 13, 14. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a cu [...]se for us, that we might receive the promise of the spirit. The same blood of Christ, that hath redeemed us from the curse, and hath purchased the communion of the spirit, he is wont in the preaching of the crosse of Christ, to open Heaven to the soule, to open the doors of the heart to beleive on this blood, thus h [...]ld forth, and so by this means you shall finde a sup­port, some satisfaction to all turmoils, and agonies of consci­ende. It is a wonder to see how this blood of Christ is migh­ty through God to make our peace, while the spirit doth con­veigh the efficacy thereof to the quieting, and establishing the soule, In fellowship with Christ, and reconcilement with the Father; that the soule sees, Christ hath not dyed in vaine, that he hath not heard the word in vaine, nor waited upon Christ in vaine, but sees there is life, and peace, and all in the blood of Christ. And therefore wonder not now that the Apostles were so carefull in preaching the crosse of Christ, ther's the ground of all our reconciliation: That satisfies the justice of God, and that satisfies the soule, the spirit ap­plying it begets faith to receive it; and there is they stay of the soul.

So this is the principall duty, as for us to teach, so for the people of God continually to attend unto, to ponder upon this: especially those whose hearts are at a losse about satisfaction of Gods wrath, and pardon of their sinne; It is that which in a speciall manner they stand in need to attend unto.

For a sixth use:Ʋse 6. If any man shall aske, how shall I know that all this belongs to me? what it is for thee we cannot yet [Page 183] tell, in case a man have had no impression upon his soule yet it may be to thee for ought thou canst tell, because all the Elect are not yet called home, but are to be called: Therefore it is not the thing, to say they have no hope in it, because they are not yet washed by it, for they may be before they dye.

But if for the present you would know whether you have part in it or no: you see what the nature of it is, where the blood of Christ comes, where it is sprinkled, you see what it doth; it hath a redeeming power in it, and a purchasing power: It doth redeem thee from all evill, from the power of sinne, and Satan, and of this world, and of thine owne heart, and withall from the wrath of God, and the curse of the Law, so that the Conscience is more pure and peaceable then before, and both these go together.

But mind what I say further, if this blood hath had this free passage in thine heart, it hath purchased reconcilement with the Father, union with the Sonne, communion with the Spirit, conformity to Christ, and comforting thee in Christ: Conforming thee to Christ in his death, and com­forthing thee in Christ and the fruits of his death, the favour of God, and the pardon of sinne, and the blessed priviledges that his death hath purchased. I say this is the efficacy of the blood of Christ where it is received in power: If these fruits be in us, they are lively pledges of the love of God in our hearts: If these things be smothered and d [...]ubed, and over­whelmed with many Temptations, and worldly businesses, distracting cares, and temptations; though it is true, the children of God may be at many losses, yet mark what I say, the blood of Christ is a living Spring, and a running Foun­taine; though it may be troubled, yet it will runne cleare againe; if it do not, it is a signe it was not from the blood of Christ, but from a delusion: But if it were from the blood of Christ, thou shalt finde hee will purifie and pacifie thy conscience, for he will not loose the value and efficacy of that rich blood; great is the power of it, and he will not loose the vertue of it.

[Page 184] I know there may be many pangs to Temptations, and Christians in this new world may meet with new Temptati­ons, and Christians are at a losse because passions breake in, we have lost all our peace, and comfort of our union, and the power of it; it may be so, it is not unusuall; but (minde what I say) truly if the blood of Christ have any efficacy in us, or power upon us, you will find that the fountaine of the blood of Christ is higher then any other fountain

A fountaine that springs from a low place may be stopped, but if it comes from a high place, higher then the highest, no creature here below can hinder it, nor created thing below it can intercept the flowing of it: The Lord will redeeme thee from the world, and from these passions and lusts, and from the Satanicall, and malignant distempers, and the Lords blood will restore thee to reconcilement with the Fa­ther, and bring thee to union with the Son, and the com­fort of the Spirit, and the sence of it. And therefore know, if he have left thee to live in such distempers, and thou dost blesse thy selfe in them, and canst not looke further, and there is nothing in the blood of Christ that much takes up thy heart, for redemption from evill, or purchasing good, it is much to be feared thou hast not yet tasted of the blood of Christ: what there may be in heaven wee know not, but no man on earth can give thee a comfortable signe of a good estate.

If a man blesse himselfe in these engagements, and in these imbondagements to the enemies of his soule, and thinks his captivity is his liberty, hee doth not know what the Lord Jesus hath purchased, there is little hope such a man hath redemption from the blood of Christ. This is the condition of all the people of God in the greatest temptations, unlesse it be in some extreame hurry of passion, it is a captivity to him, and a burden to him that he wants Christ Jesus, and that is a good signe of a mans liberty purchased by Christ: This Christ who hath reconciled others to God, and done great things for them in a way of grece, and hath also re­conciled him to God, and delivered him from death to see this captivity, and to groane under it, it is a signe this man [Page 185] hath had some other liberty in times past: For otherwise there is no man naturally but he thinks this is his freedom to have his owne minde not crossed, to have his full liberty in the world, to have good bargains, and not to be pinched in this and that, and not for conscience to fly in his face; it is a sign a man is yet a natural born captive. But when a man feels his captivity, and looks at it as his burden, that he feeles not the favour of God, and union with Christ, and communion with the Spirit: It is a signe God hath called him to liberty, but he hath sold himself for a captive again; & now he cryes as the Apostle, Rom. 7. 24. O miserable man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death: There he is carryed captive. I see another law in my members warring against the law of my minde, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sinne which is in my memebers, vers. 23. Here is a sign of redeeming love by the blood of the Lamb.

O the wofull captivity that naturall corruption is to a re­deemed soule, and the great liberty it is to a carnall heart, that hee thinkes it a liberty to have his thoughts free, and none to tell him: But to a good conscience that hath been washed and redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, the body of death is a wofull bondage to him.

This body of death it is not actuall transgressions, but a powerfull body of carnall corruption that hangs about us; that though we do not break out into actuall sinnes as other men do, yet we see a body of death in us, and this is our cap­tivity. So then, if the Lord hath redemed a soul, and pur­chased these comfortable blessings as brings us to the sence of our wofull condition by reason of the losse of this liberty, all these are witnesses of the redeeming love of Christ.

Lastly,Ʋse 7. it may be a use of consolation to every such soule thus farre (even so farre as there is no bounds and limits to it) it is a marvellous satisfaction to a soule in temptation, nothing more then this I now speak of. One would think it were a great misery to live in horrour of conscience conti­nually, and so it is: but if a man be redeemed by the blood of this Lamb, then it is not terrour of conscience that can [Page 186] separate thee from God; for Christ himselfe was under ter­rour of conscience as much, and more then thou art with­out sin, that he sweat drops of blood, and cries out and be­moans it in a holy manner. Why will you say, but will you have me set such things at my heele? the desertions of God at my heele? Is the favour of God to be set a [...] the heele? it will not hinder your union with your head, though you have lost the sense of it.

All that Christ suffered, all his desertions, it did not hin­der his fellowship with the second person in Trinity, neither will it hinder yours. The Serpent bruiseth our heel, makes us go heavily and lamely. Psal. 43. 2. Thou art the God of my strength, why dost thou cast me off? why goe I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? It makes us go heavily while God forsakes us, as a man goes that is crushed by an enemy, but yet it will not break his head. And what great consola­tion is this, it is not terrour of conscience that can separate a man from Christ: Nay I may speake a greater thing then that, it is not the power of your corruptions that can break your head, though they will make you go more lamely and heavily, yet pride and passions, &c. do not separate union. It must therefore raise up the heart of a Christian above his temptations, above corruptions, above the world, above all the enemies of his soule, what can they all doe? If the Lord be with us, who can be against us? He that delivered up his owne sonne to death for us, how shall he not with him freely give us all things? Rom. 8. 31, 32. So that wee are freed from all annoyance from the curse of the Law, the rigour of the law, free from desertion and corruption, and the Lord hath gi­ven us himselfe, and his Son, and his Spirit, and his C [...]ve­nant, and Kingdome, and his Church and people, and Or­dinance, and all is yours, 1 Cor. 3. 22, 23. And how comes all to be ours? By the blood of the Lamb that hath purcha­sed all good things, and the removall of all evill, therefore how comfortable may the soules of Gods people be, if they did attend to the blood of the Lamb.

And therefore let not those that have any part and portion in the blood of Christ Jesus be discouraged; let them in Gods [Page 187] feare meditate more of this blood, and of the power and ver­tue of it: As you desire your lives may be more comfortable and serviceable to God and man, and your death more peaceable, so be much in meditation of this blood: And if you be doubtfull of your spirituall estate, then more seri­ously meditate of it, who hath suffered, and what, and for what end he layd downe his life, and lay all together, and see if all will not amount at length to the begetting of Faith where it is wanting, and to the reviving of it where it is, that we may live fruitfully, and holily, and dye comfortably.

Rev. 13. 8. latter part of the vers.‘The Lamb slaine from the foundation of the world.’

HERE is something yet to be handled in this Verse, and that is the antiquity of the sufferings of Christ. He doth not only say that Christ was a Lamb, and slaughtered, but his death is described by the anti­quity of it, From the beginning of the world: Or as it is here translated (and very fitly) from the foundation of the world; though I would not put any great weight in the very nick of the foundation, for the foundation of the world was laid the first day of the creation, when the Lord made the highest hea­vens, and the lowest earth: the highest heaven, the kingdom of the blessed Saints and Angels, of whom it is said, Come yee blessed of my Father inherit the kingdome prepared for you from the beginning of the world: There was a kingdome in the founda­tion of the world, and therefore the Angels were created the first day: and it is true Christ was slaine even then also, else those Angels had not been in that kingdome: But whether you take it for the foundation in the creation, or in the nick of the creation, it is not greatly material, for the death of Christ reached both to the fall of Adam, and in some re­spect before it, and the explication of that will shew the truth thereof, and I would not be exquisite nor curious in opening of it.

The Note is this.

The slaughter of Christ was from the foundation of the world.Doct. 4.

So it is said here, The Lamb (that is Christ, The Lamb of God) slaine from the foundation of the world: the Lamb is Christ, evident it is that in fulnesse of time he was slaughtered [Page 189] about 4000. years after the world was made, but yet the holy Ghost saith, He was slaine from the foundation of the world; so that though it was actually accomplished and performed in fulnesse of time, yet as time began, the suffering of Christ be­gan also; slaine he was therefore from the foundation of the world.

First, In respect of Gods eternall purpose, who from the foundation of the world, and before the foundation of the world appointed Christ to this slaughter. We are redeemed, (saith Peter) not with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ as of a Lamb without spot, who verily was fore-ordayned be­fore the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times, &c. 1 Pet. 1. 18, 19, 20. Before the foundation of the world, and from the foundation of the world, many times in Scrip­ture are both one in meaning; before the foundation of the world he was ordained to be slaughtered, the Apostles words are expre [...]sly so, as of a lamb slaine he was ordained, and from the foundation of the world implyes long before the time he was slaughtered, and then you know not where to put the period, but some reference it hath to the foundation of the world.

Secondly, He is truly said to be slaughtered from the foun­dation of the world, in regard of the promise of God made to Adam since the world began; the same day that Adam was created he fell, or certainly soon after, but most probable the same day: the same day that he fell, it is clear the Lord gave him a promise of the death of Christ, in Gen. 3. 15. for that is the meaning of the promise: He shall break thine head, speaking to the Serpent, he shall crush the head of the Serpent: For the seed of the woman shall break the Serpents head; Thou shalt bruise his heel. Heel implyes the humanity of Christ, which was to be tr [...]d [...]n upon, and indeed it was all that the tempter could doe, but that bruising the heel was the crushing of his humanity, his soul and body was rent asunder, that was pro­mised from the foundation of the world.

Thirdly, From the foundation of the world, Christ was slaine in the foreruning types of him; for it is said, that Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof, and that was a [Page 190] type of this Lamb, Gen. 4. 4. the sacrifice of Abel was a type of Christ suffering: now because offering that sacrifice was by faith, Heb. 11. 4. And faith hath ground from the word of God, though there was no written word, yet there was from the mouth of God to Adam, that taught Adam, he and his sonnes to offer sacrifice in type of Christ that was to be slain, who should break the head of the Serpent, and therefore as a type of the bruising of the heel of the promised seed which God had set before them, they were to offer sacrifice, to sha­dow forth that great worke of Christ: Abel beleived on Christ, how far expresly or distinctly I do not know; but had he not beleived, he had not sacrificed by faith, nor had not been accepted.

Fourthly, He was slaine from the foundation of the world, in regard of the virtue and efficacy of his death: from thence, the lively virtue and efficacy of the death of Christ did express it selfe from the very foundation of the world, that Abel did offer a more acceptable sacrifice then Cain, it was from his faith; what was his faith fastened on, by which his sacrifice was ac­cepted? (for it is said, the Lord had respect to him, and to his offe­ring) it is Christ alone, it implyes he looked not for accep­tance by his sacrifice; it is impossible that the blood of buls should take away sinne, but he looked to be accepted in Christ Jesus: so Enoch is said to have walked with God, Gen 5. 24. and no man can walke with God except he be reconciled with God, Amos 3 3. And is there any reconciliation but in the blood of the Sonne of God? We are reconciled to God by the death of his Sonne, Rom. 5. 10. It is said of Abraham, that by faith he left his country and his fathers house, and his kindred, and went out, not knowing whether he went, Heb. 11. 8. Gen. 12. 1. How comes Abraham to be redeemed and rescued from the blood of his Ancestors and from his fathers house? We are redeemed from our vaine conversation received by tradition from our fathers, not with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, 1 Pet. 1. 18, 19. Which argues plainly and evidently that Abraham himself, if he had not been washed in the blood of this Lamb, he could not have been saved from hankering after the blood of his [Page 191] Ancestors; if the blood of Ancestors had been more warme in him then the blood of Christ, he would not have been re­deemed from his fathers house: but now in his old age he leaves his country and goes to seek that seed in whom they all should be blessed in that country. It is said in Gen. 15. 6. That he beleived in the Lord, and it was counted to him for righ­teousnesse: and all justiffication is by faith (saith the Apostle) in the blood of Christ, Rom. 3. 23, 24, 25. We all have sinned, and are deprived of the glory of God, being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, &c. For all the sinnes that have passed us from the beginning of the world, the Lord received atonement for them in the blood of his sonne: and our father Abraham, if he were justified, it was by faith in the sonne of God. How came it to passe that Joseph was able to overcome the strong and subtile temptations of his Mistresse, in Gen. 39. 9. How shall I do this great wickednesse, and sinne against God? Can he mortifie a lust by any power of his own? No, let the Apostle answer it, in Gal. 5. 29. They that are Christs have crucified the flesh with the passions and lusts; for so it is, it is not affections, but all the sinful passions that hang about the soules of men, the Lord frees us from them all by the blood of his Sonne: So that if you see Joseph cru­cified to his lust, and Abraham [...] from his fathers house and justified; if you see Abel offering a more acceptable sacri­fice then Cain: Look at all these as lively fruits of the blood of the Lamb slaine from the beginning of the world, whence also springs their faith? heavenly mindednesse, their sancti­fication? their power of godlinesse was as great (and in ma­ny things greater) as in those that have lived since his cruci­fying on the crosse.

Now if it had not been as effectuall and reall before his coming, as when he did come, doubtlesse the efficacy of his death would have been lesse powerfull and more weak in them that lived before his coming; but when you see such livelinesse spring from the virtue and power of it, then you see the efficacy of it from the foundation of the world, onely the manifestation of it was not so clear as afterwards, whence it comes to passe that the generality of Christians now are, [Page 192] or ought to be, more cleare and more pure then the generali­ty of Christians then; but in some men, you have had them that exceeded those that lived in Christs owne time, and since.

5. There is a fifth respect in which Christ is said to be slaine from the beginning of the world, and that is in respect of the faith of Gods elect who lived from the begin­ning of the world: As soon as there was a man on the earth, the same day the Lord put emnity between the seed of the woman and the Serpent; now the seed of the woman looks for salvation in the seed of the woman, and they did even then look to the Lord Jesus the Messias as much as we do since in John 8. 56. Your father Abraham rejoyced to see my day, he saw it and was glad: that was the day of the coming of Christ into the world to be an attonement for the sinnes of his peo­ple: If Abraham saw it, then Enoch, Noah, Abel, and Adam, and Eve; and who ever lived by Jesus Christ, they all saw Christ afar off, yet they saw him notwithstanding, they saw his day, the day of his Incarnation, and Passion, and Resur­rection: and it is said in Heb. 11. 1. That faith is the subsi­stence of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seene; that is, it did give the Fathers before Christ, as clearly to see Christ already present to them, as if he had been actually come in the flesh, and so it is with all the Saints at this day; look as we do, as really believe the Resurrection of the body, that by faith gives it substance as verily as if it were present, and as we believe the salvation of our soules, as verily as if it were accomplished; and it is as clear, I meane, as certaine as if it were already done, and in some measure as evident; for so he saith, It is the evidence of things not seen; he speaks in the Apostle words, The confidence and evidence of things not seen. Hence it comes, That the fathers saw the promises & embraced them, but did not receive them, Heb. 11. 39. That is, did not receive them ac­complished (for they never saw Christ in his death) but they were perswaded of them, and embraced them, and did verily look for them in expectation, as if they had been pre­sent with them; that is, if Christ had been come, they would not have done nor suffered more then they did; which argues [Page 193] that faith gives a basis and subsistence to what it layes hold on; and makes it so reall, that we shall neither do more, nor suffer more, if it were present; They did believe that the time would come, when the Messias being bruised himselfe, he would break the Serpents head.

These are the severall respects in which Christ is said to be the Lamb slaine from the foundation of the world; In regard of the purpose of God, in regard of his promise, in regard of the types of him, in the Sacrifices that were shadowes of Christ, and did really hold him forth; in regard of the vertue of it, and in re­gard of the faith of Gods people that lived from the beginning of the world; in regard of all these Christ was slaine from the beginning of the world,

For the Reasons of the point;

All the ways and respects I have spoken to,Reason 1. are as so many Reasons; yet if a man should stand upon a Reason, I would first say this; the first may be from the eternity of that which is infinite; what ever is infinite, is eternall: Now the value and vertue of the death of Christ is infinite, as being the blood of the sonne of God, Acts 20. 28. Now that which is infinite, as well reacheth that which is before, as after it; infinite it is, or else it cannot be eternall: and infinite it had need to be, or else the infinite wrath of God could not be satisfied there­by; but being infinite, it was of eternall efficacy, and there­fore he was a Lamb slain, and slaine from the foundation of the world: So that all that are elect were in Christ before the foundation of the world. Ephes. 1. 4. Hee hath chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world; in Christ, and in Christ crucified before the foundation of the world; for being of in­finite value, it must of necessity be eternall; there is nothing infinite, but is eternall, they are co-incident; that which is finite will end, it began in time, and will end in time: But that which is infinite must needs have respect to eternity; and therefore saith our Saviour, John 8. 38. Before Abraham was I am: So that take him whether as God, or in point of the vertue and efficacy of his mediation, he was before Abra­ham; it could not be eternall, if it be not infinite; and if it be infinite, it must needs be eternall.

[Page 194] From the presence of all future things to Christ,Reason 2. I speak in proper speech, it is truly said, there is nothing future to Christ: I confesse the point is unconceivable to finite capaci­ties, but to God all things to come are present, as if they were in actuall being: All things are naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to doe, Heb. 4. 13. It is an anci­ent speech, Eternity is like a circumference about a Center that compasseth it round about, that if you fit on the Center, you see all the lines: Suppose a great tower as high as the clouds, and one sitting thereupon, he sees one man coming this way, and another another way, he sees they will meet in one place; they know nothing of it, it is future to them, but present to him: So the Lord that sits upon the clouds of eternity (if I may use such a word) he sees all things as if they were present to him: and certaine it is, God is not one day older then he was from the beginning; the Angels are older, and Satan, but God is not older, nor is capable of being older; time addes nothing to him, his eternity swal­lows up all; that which hath been, is, and shall be, it is fresh still to him; that which is past, and that which is to come, whence it is said, Before Abraham was I am, he doth not say I was; but his past time is not lost to him, no time is past with God; Before Abraham was I am: a thousand yeares are but as ye­sterday; when it is past, all are one time to God, Psal. 90. 4. So then, if you look at Gods account of things that hath en­tred into such a Covenant from eternity, hath written so many in the book of life to be brought on to God by the death, and resurrection, and ascention of Christ, he knew the person of the God-head would certainly take the humane nature of Christ; it was present to him, and therefore hee doth so elect, and govern, and dispose of creatures as he that had received a ransome before the world began: And there­fore Elihu his speech is weighty, in Job 33. 23. That if an in­terpreter, one of a thousand come to a sicke man, and shew to a man his righteousnesse, and that then God is gracious to him, and saith, deliver him, for I have found a ransome (to wit, in the blood of the Lamb) then will he say, deliver him: What, had he recei­ved a ransome in Jobs time? Job lived before Abraham? truly [Page 195] then he hath a ransome, as a man hath a bond from a good surety: but so it was in his apprehension, not only because Christ was a good surety, and would make good payment in time, but the thing was as present with God, and really performed; All times with God are but as now, past, pre­sent, and to come; all times with God are one and the same, Jesus Christ yesterday, and to day, and for ever; Yesterday before the Law, and to day, both under the Law, and especially under the Gospel, and for ever the same, of the same vertue and efficacy, and power: So you see the truth of the Point.

The use is shortly thus much.

First,Ʋse 1. it shews you the dangerous and damnable estate of the world from the foundation of the world; the deep de­pravation and corruption of the world from the foundation of it; it is said by John, 1 John 5. 19. We know we are of God, and all the world lyes in wickednesse: Did it lye so in Johns time, when all the great Nations of the world worshipped the De­vill, Apollo, Hercules, and Jupiter, and such dunghill gods? Did it not then lye in wickednesse? Truly it was so since the world began, it was never better from Abraham to Moses, from Moses to Christs time, and from Christs time to this, the whole world lyes in wickednesse; for otherwise to what end should Christ be slain from the foundation of the world, if there were no need of a Redeemer, else there had been no need of his sacrificing from the foundation of the world There were all errors in the world, not as God made it, but they suddenly corrupted themselves. Man being in honour abideth not, but is like the beast that perisheth, Psal. 49. 20. The word in the Original is, he shall not sleep in it, nor lodg in it, meaning that hee shall not take one nights rest, but become like a beast, and clad with the skin of a beast: So this is the condition of civill men that are like bruit beasts from the foundation of the world: The Lord looked down from heaven, and beheld the children of men: And the Apostle interprets it of all men; He looked downe and beheld all the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seeke God: They are all gone aside, they are all become filthy, &c. Psal. 14. 2, 3, 4, 5. This is the case of all men by nature. The Apostle expounds [Page 196] it of all, Jewes and Gentiles by nature, in Rom. 3. 10. to 16. And in Gen. 6. 5. The Lord looked upon the earth, and beh [...]ld it was corrupt. And in Gen. 11. v. 12. The earth also was corrupt before God, &c. And God saw that all the imaginations of mans heart were evill, onely evill, and that continually. The word translated, Imaginations, in the Originall is, The frame and bent of his thoughts is evill, and onely evill, and that continually; bent to back-sliding from God, not a good thought in any mans heart since the world began; take him as hee is by na­ture, not a good thought riseth in any mans heart, not a good word from his lips, nor a good action from his hands; Take him without the vertue of Christ since the world be­gan, there never rose a good thought in all mens hearts; if there did, it was by the vertue of this Lamb of God that was slaine from the foundation of the world. The heart of man, (Jeremiah complained long before Christs time) is deceitfull above measure, and desperately wicked, who can know it, Jer. 17. 9▪ Who can know the bottomlesse depth of it. This is the very state of all the world since the world began; the whole frame and state of the world is enmity against God, Rom. 8▪ 7. It is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be, and that in such a deep measure, you may see by the medicine that the Lord prepares for it; it shews the depth of the depravation of the world from the beginning, it hath been corrupt and incurable, unlesse it were by the vertue of the death of Christ, by the sonne of God made man, taking upon him mans na­ture; and the greatnesse and infinitenesse of the vertue of this remedie doth evidently argue the bottomlesse depth of the corruption of the world since the world began: No man would bespeak a Smiths great hammer to break an egg-shell, a man would think it a marvellous vanity if he should. Tru­ly the Lord hath prepared the strongest iron hammer to break the Serpents head; and which is wonderfull, this iron ham­mer, the Lord Jesus, that breaks all before it; The stone cut out of the mountaine, that breaks the iron mountaine of Rome, Dan. 2. 34. It is the same it was: it makes men many times wonder how they came to be well conceited of the old Religion, when Antichrist re [...]gned; then were golden dayes [Page 197] (as they say) then there was nothing, but every man regarded other mens good as their own; precious golden seasons in the old world, then an easie matter would have perswaded them all: but to what end was Christ slain from the begin­ning of the world, if it were not full of wickednesse? if it were not so tough that this hammer of hammers must come to break it in pieces? If men were so tractable, children to Parents, servants to Masters, and yoke-fellows so abundantly in sweetnesse and amiablenesse, what needed Christ to be crushed in pieces? Say not, saith Solomon, Eccles. 7. 10. what is the cause that the former dayes were better then these, for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this: It is not a wise question; for the truth is, thou art deceived to think the elder times were better; it is true, it is possible men by the policy of Sa­tan may grow worse; But take them at the best, had there not been a Lamb slain to rescue the same from the corruption of it, no flesh had been saved. It is true, in some ages, when the Gospel found free passage, there was some difference. It was so in Davids time, better then in Sauls and Solomons, for a time better then in Davids; and so in Hezekiah's time, bet­ter then in Zedekiah's, and so it hath been up and down: but take it the best, all flesh have corrupted their wayes, there is not a good thought, not a good word, nor a good practice since the world began. Sometimes in morall vertues men have more exceeded, when the Devill knew they were farre off from spiritual grace; he tempted them not when he knew he had them fast in a golden and silken chaine, or cord of morall vertues (so I may call them) he led the prisoners of those dayes in a golden chaine. The strong man armed kept the house all the time of the Grecian and Persian Monar­chy long before Christ: and if any were delivered, it was by the death of Christ as well as now. It is true, we read in an­cient Poets, I think it was fetched out of Daniel from Nebu­chadnezzars dreame; there was a golden world, and then a silver world, and then a brasse, and sometimes iron, there was all. The Babylonian Monarch was gold: but when it was gold, it was but golden fetters of sinne, and a land of wickednesse that held men close to the Devill; and the silver [Page 198] Monarch of Persia was but silver fetters; and the brasse Mo­narch of Greece it was but brazen fetters.

It is true, when Religion brake forth, then hee put upon them more chaines, strong beastly lusts, men with men com­mitting filthinesse, Rom. 1. 17. These were iron chains to ca­ry men captive to Satan: He sees Learning break forth, and therefore he layes stronger chains and bands upon them: Be no more stiffe-necked, lest your bands encrease, saith the Lord: and so from golden bands you have silver, and from silver, brasse, and from brasse, iron, and all to lead you captive to your last execution: And what is the difference? if a man be py­nion'd with a golden cord, or a silver, or a brazen and iron cord, the one is more glittering then the other, but all bring to destruction: Therefore look at all the world living in wickednesse since the world began, or else in vain was the Lamb slain: The very frame of mans transgression brought in a necessity of a like remedy, and therefore a like need of the blood of Christ.

And it is a vain Question, as Solomon saith, why the former times should be better then these: so it is a vain apprehensi­on that men have of themselves as good, to say, I thank God I have a good heart, and you shall finde me tractable, and rea­sonable, (though they be but naturall) and so their children are very tractable, you may lead them with a twinde theerd, and need not use violence, you may soon break them; what then are you but eggshels? what need then a iron hammer to crush all the power of the enemy? do not you and your chil­dren stand in need of the virtue of the blood of the Lamb as much as others have since the world began? That men have stood in need of the blood of the Lamb from the foundation of the world to rescue them from the power of the strong man, if they were so tractable, young or old? I know there is a great difference between spirits. God forbid we should de­fame the work of God in nature, but take the best spirit, there is unconceivable enmity in the best natur'd man against Christ; there is an in-bred emnity against him ever since the world be­gan, as is impossible to be healed, but by the blood of Christ; Christ came to crush them whiles they are in the shell, and [Page 199] unlesse he heal them, verily children of a span long cannot be saved: Therefore let no man flatter themselves in their good inclination; there is that in us since the world began, that Christ must be broken and crushed to break the league be­tween us and the Devill: Christ himselfe in his soule and bo­dy must be striken, he kils himselfe by the stroke he gives to the enemy.

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, and it is no [...] goodnesse of nature, or what ever else you can talke of, that will root it out; nor the rod of correction, unlesse the blood of the Lamb be sprinkled upon it, and then it may be of great use, and any other ordinance to bring them to the wayes of Christ Jesus. Now if this were well stamped and revetted into the spirits of men, it would humble proud flesh, and not onely take them off from the free will of Popery, and Armi­nianisme, and a pack of such; but I hope there is lesse need of speaking against such heresies, but to set it home upon our own hearts; whatever our fathers have been, we their chil­dren are not better: Some accidentall difference there may be, but setting aside such accidentall differences for the sub­stance of prevailing corruptions, they have ruled and reigned in the hearts of men, since the world began, by invincible power unable to be subdued, but onely by the blood of the Lamb: And therefore you that are children of godly Pa­rents, hear this word and know it; you bring such engage­ments into the world with you to the strong man, and now are so engaged, that unlesse Christ be broken for you, and his death suffered for you, and his blood shed for you; you see how it is with younger and elder people, and let all Parents tell it to their children, and Masters to their servants, and all that have to do with the world; be not deluded with a good affection to your own nature you are in, this is the state of all since the world began; they are all sprauling in wickednesse, and there is such a league between the Devil and them, that unlesse the Lamb be slaughtered, we cannot be saved.

Secondly,Ʋse 2. Let all the sonnes of nature, and all other sons of grace, know, that if Christ was slaughtered from the be­ginning of the world, and onely to break the Serpents head, [Page 200] which had plotted our destruction from the foundation of the world, then certainly it is not possible we should live in those sinnes by which we have slaughtered Christ; can any man that knows the difference between the right hand and left, commit sinne that slaughters Christ Jesus, and live and die in it well enough? and think with himselfe, that not­withstanding the lewd lusts that hurry me, I shall do well e­nough with it? an oath is not such a great matter, or to sit [...]ippling till we be drunk, or gaining too much in bargains, it is no such great matter: I tell thee, if it be breach of the law of God, thou canst not live in it; Christ himselfe could not, it cost his breaking.

I speak nothing to the difference between mortall and ve­niall sins; was it a veniall sin, think ye, that slaughtered the Son of God? they have been breaking him since the world began; and is it possible that if he lye a bleeding for sin, is it possible that this or that sinne should be veniall and ought to be passed over? be not deceived, look what slaughter it hath brought of the chiefest of the world, even the God of the world, it slaughtered him; and there are none of all his people that shall be saved by him, but must be slaughtered in his lusts and passions, they must be crucified with Christ, if they have any part in him; he was slaine from the beginning, and so from first to last, they must be crucified from the power of sinne, or else they cannot be saved. And therefore let no man blesse himself, and think he shall do well enough though he continue in sin; for the truth is, there is no sin but cost Christs breaking and crushing, and either thou must lay hold on his death, and be conformable unto him, or else thou shalt never have part in him; it is tough work to slaughter sin; let this slaughter of Christ cut off all out-runnings of sinne, whe­ther in thoughts, words, and deeds; let it be as a slaughte­ring knife to all our lusts, considering there is no taking leave in this and that; for the truth is, it cost the very blood of Christ.

Thirdly,Ʋse 3. It may teach us the unity of our Religion with the Religion of the ancient Patriarks since the world began; how did they look to be saved? In Acts 15. 11. they all loo­ked [Page 201] to be saved by grace, and by the blood of the Lord Jesus, as we doe in doing and suffering all for them, and we know no other way: There is no name under heaven whereby wee must be saved, but onely the name of Christ, and by that we are saved from the guilt and filth of sinne, and supplyed with grace to conform [...] us to Christ Jesus, and to make us like to him our head and husband; there is the old way of salvation, and it is the same now; there is unity and true antiquity. The Papists speak much of antiquities, but let them bring no other way of salvation but the blood of the Lamb, and we will look at them as Churches for point of salvation; we will grant them the right hand of fellowship if they will look for no salvation neither from free will, nor from merits of their own, nor from the intercession of Saints and Angells, nor from dispensations of the Pope, nor from the going on pilgrimage, nor from the satisfaction of Saints, but that they look for salvation onely from the blood of the Lamb; truly we will give them the right hand of fellowship; let them have errours, there may be many errours otherwise: but let them hold there, and look for all salvation there, and rest not upon any other hopes of salvation, but what they receive from the blood of the Lamb by faith in him (for so alone it is received) faith in the blood of the Lamb, breeds and sheds abroad every grace in some measure and makes fruitfull. No man hath washed his roabs in the blood of the Lamb, but is fit to walk with Christ in white to justification to his sanctification, Rev. 7. 14. And so you shall have a true and perfect agreement in Religi­on, if that we agreed upon looking there for salvation, and put not salvation else-where: but when men magnifie na­ture, and pinch upon, and extenuate the blood of Christ, and in their deep devotion you shall have pictured, here is the blood of Christ, and the blood of the sonne of the Virgin; when he looks upon the sonne of the Virgin, he thinks there is perfect salvation; but when he looks upon other things, to the mi [...]k of his mother; oh there is more sweetnesse in milk then in blood! when he looks againe to the passion of Christ, then he priseth that; but when he looks to the tendernesse of his m [...]her, hee thinkes there is more in that: And thus [Page 202] doth their blasphemous devotion hang between the milk of the mother, and the blood of the Lamb, which argues their re­ligion is transported to a notion of the blood of the Lamb, and they are captive hither and thither, and any whether, ra­ther then to the blood of Christ.

Fourthly,Ʋse 4. It may be of instruction to us, that never any evill can befall us, but there is a remedy prepared before it come upon us: The Lamb was slaine from the beginning of the world.

Though we lived before Christs time, and much more, if after it: there is no sinne that Adam nor his wife committed, but there was a remedy prepared for it before the foundation of the world; it was of infinite value, it was provided from eternity, and promised from the foundation of the world; it was shadowed in types, and exhibited in sundry represen­tations, and in the lively efficacy of it in the hearts and lives of his people since the world began: All that we read of No­ah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, of David, and Solomon, of Kings, Priests, and Prophets, and Apostles, what have they all been, but lively representations and foot-steps of the power of the blood of the Lamb: the Lord provided his slaughter of the Lamb, for the redemption of all his people, out of the world, before the world began.

It is many a conceit that Christians have; this and that might have fallen out better, if such means had been taken in time, such a mans life had been saved; according as Martha said unto our blessed Saviour in John 11. 21. Lord if thou hadst been here, my brother had not dyed; why so? Christ had been a­ble to heal him; By what virtue shall he raise a man from death to life? Is it not by the virtue of his death and resur­rection? If it be, was not his death and resurrection before the world began? For it is of infinite value; and therefore though he came four dayes after Lazarus death was past, yet he came timely enough, for he brought virtue with him; and so let no man say, if I had known as much now as before, I should not have done thus: By what virtue should you have been preserved? if there be any saving benefit, it must be by the blood of the Lamb, for it is from that, that we look for [Page 203] all our redemption from all afflictions and temptations from his blood, then there was remedy enough before, but it was not applyed, because God hath some other work more hea­venly and spirituall and usefull to us then the accomplish­ment of our hearts desire, then the repairing of our losses and crosses.

So then this is of speciall use to us, that if his blood be shed from the founda [...]ion of the world, then the remedy is never too late: If we thinke if we had not known many things, we might have saved a world of sorrow: why did we not? was it because there was no balm in Gilead, or no vettue in the blood of the Lamb, or that the vertue of it is dryed up? No, God forbid; but the Lord hath some other exercise for us to make us conformable to Christ, he would have us more weaned from the world, and more Christ-like, and more Lamb-like; more spirituall, and every way more conforma­ble to Christ, and for that his blood was sufficient, for he came not to save us from crosses, but from curses from any thing that might hurt our soules, as might break our heads, as might hurt our union with Christ, and communion with his spirit, for that it may be of value; it was of value 4000. yeares before his coming in the flesh; and do you think it is not of value 4000. yeares after? it is not yet 2000. yeares since his coming, but 1600. and some odde: then be per­swaded that the blood of Christ is still lively and fresh to re­move all sinne and crosses, and to leave a gracious Tincture on all crosses, to do us more good then if we were without them; This is the efficacy of this blood which is a stay to Christians that are troubled with the power of their corrup­tions and temptations, they are not able to overcome and resist such temptations; why not able? If all the powers of hell come against you, verily there was a remedy provided long ago, and it was abundantly efficacious foure thousand yeares before, and it is of more efficacy now, though they had the Gospel before, yet not in that clear manifestation: and therefore if you read that Abraham sacrificed, and he plea­sed God; but I doubt my prayers and my prophecying [...] please not God; why do they not? Abraham knew of the [Page 204] meanes whereby he should please God. [...] walked with God, but I shall never keep [...]uch fellowship with him; he was reconciled to God, and there was no meanes of reconcilia­tion but by the blood of the Lamb, it is able to put strength [...] faith. Abraham [...] Countrey and his Fathers he use, onely because [...] blood of the Lamb: and if he prevailed so far, why not we? [...]f he was ful­ly satisfied in the [...] of his [...] by believing him that had promised, what [...] it that his death i [...] not of infinite value [...] as well as before? If Joseph was able to withstand his wanton [...], doubtless there is the like power now; how shall I crucifie the Sonne of God, and put him to open [...]? Thus poor Christians work upon this infinite vertue, and lively power of the death of Christ; it wonde [...]fully calmes and purifies the heart, it mightily strengthens against all corruption: and what ever riseth in the hearts of Gods people that prevailes against them, it is because the blood of the Lamb is not applyed, otherwise it could not be they should be dead-hearted and blind-spirited, and many times at a losse in this and that practice, and wrestling with this and that temptation, it springs only from want of applying the efficacy of this blood which hath been of such infinite ver­tue from the beginning of the world.

Rev. 13. 9, 10.

If any man have an eare let him heare.

He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: Hee that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword, here is the patience and the faith of the Saints.

IF any man have an eare, let him heare: What should he heare? For when he doth often use this phrase in the second and third Chapter, he tells you what they shall heare: Heare what the Spirit saith unto the Churches.

Now he doth not put in that object of hearing; but yet ta­king his meaning, he meanes that which the Spirit hath sayd unto you in the former description of the Beast, especially that which he said to them in the words before going, to wit, the universality of the worshippers of the Beast, and the cer­tain destruction of those that do worship him, and the preser­vation of the elect children of God from that contagion.

It is meet to be heard that such a Beast would come into the world as the Roman visible Church, and that he hath in him the resemblance of all the old Empires, of the Lyon of Babell, of the Beare of Persia, of the Leopard of Greece, and of other Beasts, and of that other Beast the old Roman Pa­gan Empire: And it is not unworthy to be heard, the wound that should be given gim by the Goths and Vandalls, and the time of his greatnesse, and that those that worship him shall not be saved, only Reprobates shall worship him: And those whose names are written in the booke of life, they shall either not be worshippers of him, (but beare witnesse against him) or else they shall be rescued from it, and not live and dye in that worship. So these two verses are Corolaries, or uses, [Page 206] which the holy Ghost makes (in the former verses) of the description of the Beast.

The first is a word of attention, and due consideration to every intelligent reader of this Prophecy: If any man have an eare, let him heare.

The second is a word of consolation to all the Church and people of God, and that is double.

1. From the violent destruction of this great Beast, a dou­ble destruction.

1. Captivity.

2. Slaughter; and both amplified by the equity of both, the Lord rendering the like vengeance unto this Beast, which hath rendered unto the Saints: Hee that leadeth into captivity shall goe into captivity. And againe, Hee that killeth with the sword (as this Beast had done by his Warr, some millions of Saints) must be killed with the sword.

The second Consolation is a word of acknowledgment of the Patience, and Faith of the Saints that have, or shall suffer from this Beast: Here is the patience and the faith of the Saints; not only of the Saints acknowledged as Sufferers in the time of the Pagan, Roman Empire, but even such as suffer under his Holinesse (as they call it) and that suffer under this Ca­tholick visible Church: These sufferings are here acknow­ledged for witnesse bearing, against the Heresies, Idolatries, and Tyrannies of that State. The Lord doth acknowledge their Sufferings to be the patience and faith of the Saints: As he did acknowledg it when the Saints were put to death in the tenne Persecutions, so likewise doth he acknowledge these. And this is some part of the meaning of the words: That which more concerneth it may be further opened in handling the notes that arise from them.

If any man have an eare to heare.]

That is, an intelligent, understanding eare: If any man be taught of God to hear; if any man have learned of the Fa­ther to heare; if any man have a spirituall understanding (for that is the meaning of it) let him heare what God hath sayd: For it was a great word hee said, that all the Repro­bates in Christendome should worship this great Beast, and [Page 207] none of all the Saints of God should do it. This none can heare, but those that have eares given them to heare.

The note arising first from thence is this:

It is a point worthy of due and deep Attention and Consi­deration, Doct. 1. and yet such as none but intelligent Christians ( [...]aught of God) will or can understand; That a Roman Ca­tholicke by his Religion cannot goe beyond a Reprobate: and that an elect child of God cannot live and dye a Roman Catholicke.

This is the summe and true meaning of the words: These two points were the sum of the former verses which the holy Ghost had delivered with much evidence and strength; and yet lest it should be slighted over by some carelesse Readers, he doth therefore set it on as he is wont to do the weightiest matters that concern a State: If any man have an eare let him heare: If he have the eare of a Christian, that discernes the voyce of Christ the Shepheard of his soule, let him heare it, and mind it well, worthy it is therefore of due and deep at­tention, and he doth never use the phrase but in matters of singular importance; and it doth imply, That every man hath not an eare to heare, but only those to whom God hath gi­ven eares. What shall they heare? They shall heare this, That none of all the devou [...] Catholicks have their names written in the Lambs booke of life, but their devout worship in the end will leave them in no better estate then a reprobate state. If they go no further then their Religion, it leads them to the worship of this Catholick Church, but never leads them further then a reprobate condition: But for such, whose names are written in the Lambs booke, hee excepts them from this generality of worship, they are not of this number: It doth expresly hold forth, That a sincere hearted Christian, an elect Christian brought home to God, and brought to fellowship with Christ, and the fruits of his Election are expressed in his Justifica­tion, and Sanctification, he cannot live and dye a Roman Catholick. He may for a time worship the Beast in his ignorance, and do as the rest of the world do, and shew no difference be­tween himselfe and the rest of the world: but when this ele­cting love of God doth shed it selfe abroad into his heart, it doth make him see the counsell of God more; and it doth [Page 208] discover the delosions of the man of Sinne, that he cannot, nor dare not worship him: He seeth that God requires more to Salvation, then the subjection unto the injunctions of this Beast of Rome. And this is the point which the Holy Ghost tells you as of so great, and necessary, and due attention and censideration, which none but understanding eares can or will understand, but all the world will run admiring af­ter the Beast.

The Lord did foresee that Doctrine would be thought a harsh, and peremptory, and sensorious sentence, that mor­tall men, and they sometimes but an handfull too, should dare to bid defiance to the whole Catholick Church to looke at them as Reprobates: and to look at those whom they con­demn for Hereticks, as the elect servants of God.

This the Holy Ghost did see would be accounted great ar­rogance, and almost scurrility, and therefore the Holy Ghost doth put it on with a watch-word, Let him that hath an eare heare: And he puts it on with strength, that all Chri­stendome should worship the Beast, and yet none should wor­ship him whose names were written in the Lambs booke of life.

It might be of singular use in some places, nor here of so much: Yet it being a part of the counsell of God, I may not lightly passe it over, because we know not what times may come, nor whether some of us may have occasion to travell, it is meet therefore that Christians should know something of it, more briefly, and plainly.

If you should desire any further testimony to confirm it, consider what the Holy Ghost saith, in Rev 11. 2. where he tels you of the Court that is without the Temple: Measure it not (saith he) for it is given to the Gentiles and to the holy City, they shall tread under foot forty and two moneths. Where you shall see that he speaks of the same persons, and of the same di­stance of time: Hee would have a Temple of God measured, even in the darkest times of Popery: But for the Court (al­luding to the outward Court of Solomons Temple where a [...]l the people came in) do not measure that: Look at them [...] not capable of measuring b [...] the rule of the word of God, count them as given to the Gentiles: And the holy City shall [Page 209] they tread under foot forty and two moneths, the same time that here the Beast is to rule: Now Gentiles are accounted without Christ, and without God in the world, Ephes. 2. 12. He meanes Pagan Gentiles, nor Christian Gentiles, for such are we. And in Rev. 11. 8. The dead bodies of the witnesses, they shall lye in the street of the great City; and he doth account it spiritually Sodome and Aegypt: Sodome for lewednesse, and beastly lusts: and Aegypt for barbarous and base idolatry, and oppression of Gods people; This is the esteem the holy Ghost hath of him.

And in Rev. 17. 5. Hee calls her a great whore, and the mother of harlots: And the Text is playn, and holds forth this doctrine playnely, and the Holy Ghost would have all the Churches of Christ to know it, That none do wor­ship this Roman Catholicke Church (that is, are reconciled to it, and give up themselves to the fidelity of it) that goe beyond the state of a Reprobate: And all the Churches of God cannot do thus, and therefore cannot live and dye Roman Catholicks.

Let me name you some popular reasons: I will not make any subtile discourse of it, though it would require strong Judgement, and sinewes of Reason: but take popular Rea­sons, and yet such as will bear some waite.

The first is from their want of Christ Jesus,Reason 1. in whom all our life and salvation is laid up. He that hath not the Sonne, hath not life; it is a plaine and peremptory principle of the Gospell, 1 John 5. 12. No Christ, no salvation. There is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved, Acts 4. 12. Now this Roman Catholick Church, and they that worship the same, they have not Christ: How proove you that? For Christ is not had, nor received, but by faith in the Gospell, in a free promise of Grace unto the soule. As many as received him, to them gave he power, to become the sonnes of God, even to them that bel [...]ive on his name, John 1▪ 12. Christ dwels in our hearts by Faith, Ephes. 3. 17. The faith therefore by which we receive Christ whether have they that faith or no, let themselves be Judge? They do professe that the Ca­tholick Faith is no more but a perswasion of the truth of all the doctrines of the Gospell, and of the whole word of God: but for a particular application of Christ unto the soule, they [Page 210] do not acknowledge it as that which is the means of receiving of Christ. So that the Faith which they do in this case hold forth, is in very truth no other, but that which James saith of the faith of D [...]vils; they have received as much. James 2▪ 19. Thou beleivest that there is one God, thou doest wed, the Devils also beleive and tremble. A Roman Catholick beleives the whole doctrine of the world; He does well; the Devils know as much, and beleive as much as they do, yet no man will say that the Devils faith receives Christ. Now where there is no Christ, there is no salvation. Where there is no Faith, there is no Christ: And where there is no Faith but that which the Devils may reach unto, there is no true Faith at all.

It would be endlesse to run into all the objections that they make: but let any that know Faith aright, judge whether the Faith of theirs is such a Faith whereby a man can receive the Lord Jesus.

Secondly,Reason 2. Without Grace there is no salvation. For saith the Apostle, By Grace are ye saved through Faith, and that not of your selves, it is the gift of God. Not of workes, least any man should boast, Eph. 2. 8, 9. If therefore the Roman Catholickes say that they are saved by workes, and they say so, if we take workes in the worst tenour of workes, that is by the meri [...] of works: The Apostle saith, Not of works, least any man should boast, and say, that he hath wrought his own salvation,: And the Apostle tels you, If it be of works, it is not of Grace, Rom. 11. 6. For works cannot be joyned with grace in the merit of salva­tion; they are onely the way of salvation. And in that sence it is said, Worke out your salvation with fear and trembling: For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do, of his good pleasure, Phil. 2. 12, 13. But if a man look for salvation out of the merit of works, he hath it not from grace. Papists reply, they have it from works and grace also; for they have it not from works of nature, but from works of grace, and they are not opposite, but subordinate. But what saith the A­postle? He saith, workes and grace are not subordinate, but oppo­site one to another: and if it be of grace, it is not of workes: and if of workes, then not of grace. And the Apostle tels you, Gal. 5. 4. If ye be justified by the workes of the Law, you are fallen from [Page 211] grace: you have no part nor portion of the grace of Christ: And therefore they are fallen from grace; and if from Grace, then from salvation.

These are principles of Religion; and he that hath any un­derstanding to hear what the holy Ghost saith in this case, may easily perceive the truth of what we speak. In very truth you will finde that all which they hold, is but in a te­nor of the Covenant of works. Their election they hold is from works and faith foreseen: Some of them indeed are af­fraid of it, as the Dominicans; but the most prevailing are those that think Gods electing love, is but out of faith and works foreseen. They look as the grace of effectuall calling to be founded upon the good inclination of a mans will, and co-operation of it with the grace of Gods calling. They professe that Simon Peter had no more grace given him then Simon Magus to become a christian. And what cut the scant­ling between the one, and the other? Peter had received so much grace, that if he would, he might be saved; and so they say, Simon Magus did receive the same, but God did not bow & change his will, or reason, but left them both so far suffered, as they might beleive if they would. How comes it then, that Simon Peter did beleive, and was saved? and Simon Magus did not beleive (with a lively faith) and was damned? They will confesse it really (the body of them) that it did spring from Peters will; he did out of the freenesse of his will choose it. This is vocation from the working of a mans will: whereas the Covenant of Grace doth confesse, that it is not of our will, but of the Lords, that takes away our strong heart, and gives us a soft heart before any preparation.

Justification they look for none, but by works: nor per­severance in a state of grace but by their works: and everla­sting salvation, from the merit of their works: And this is the very doctrine of a Covenant of works. And this is all the doctrine of the Arminians: onely they do acknowledge justification by faith, and differ in point of Faith, and the me­rit of works.

A third Reason may be this:Reason 3. The worship of creatures is a going a whoring from God, and so of destruction unto such [Page 212] as go a whoring from the Lord in that way. All worship of creatures with divine worship is called going a whoring from God, Hos. 4. 12. They have gone a whoring from under their God: so in Psal. 73. 27. Thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. And the Church of Rome is known to go a who­ring after the worship of Saints, and Angels, and I [...]ages, and thi [...] great Beast mentioned in the Text, and the Pope the head of it. They place their salvation in beleiving as the Catho­lick Church beleives: They place their salvation in recon­cilement to the Catholick Church▪ and are more solicitous of it, then of reconcilement unto God by Christ. Col. 2. 18, 19. You read of some there that do not hold the head, but lay hold upon Angels, and that is Idolatry: now that is spoken of the Church of Rome. For a fourth reason of the point.

Without unfeigned repentance and lively faith there is no hope of salvation,Reason 4. Luke 13▪ 5. Except ye repent ye shall all like­wise perish. And without faith it is impossible to please God, Heb. 11. 6. Now the repentance which the Roman Catholick Church holds forth, what is it but such as Judas did performe? They require contrition: Judas he was deeply wounded and broken, Mat. 27. 3. And they require confession: He came unto them before whom he had done evill, and said, I have sinned in betraying innocent blood. And they require satis­faction: He came and brought the mony, and threw it into the Temple, and would by no means meddle with it. Here is the repentance of the Church of Rome, and all (for ought I know) that they require. I finde no rule of repentance in this Catholick Catechise, but I finde it in Judas, which will end in despaire (which is the common end of an hypocritical repentance) as Stephen Gardner came unto it: and so they will do, or else dye in Nabals stoninesse.

And for their faith: The faith of the Elect is described to be a confidence, and evidence, Heb. 11. 1. So expound Heb. 3. 14. If we hold fast the confidence, the word is all one with subsistance, it is such a confidence as doth give a being, and subsistance unto the thing beleived: it doth as truly make them to be as if they were actually extent: But what say they to this? They look at is as presumption, and an [Page 213] abomination: yea it will cost a man his life to hold forth such a Faith. And for evidence, they do professe it to be incom­patible to a christian; and their Faith is some conjecture but no certainty. Now gather up these things; If the Roman Catholicks have no better Faith, no better repentance then their Religion holds forth, if they receive Christ no other­wise, and worship God no better, and have no more interest in God then their Religion leads them to; let all the world look to it, for there is none of all the elect of God can live and dye so.

But why is this a point of so serious and deep considerati­on and attention? that is taken

First,Reason 1. from the weight of the point, as most concerning our salvation.

Secondly,Reason 2. it is a point that generally men are deaf to hear, and sl [...]w to understand, and beleive: And therefore he doth cry out, and make a solemn proclamation; If any man have an eare to hear, let him hear. Why are they so unable and unwil­ling to understand? They look at it as a monstrous blas­phemy, to speake thus of the Roman visible Catholick Church.

Then the Reason why men are so slow of heart to beleive it, and none beleive but them which are taught of God, is taken

First,Reason 1. from the spirituallnesse of the things themselves. They are spirituall matters, and cannot be discerned but by spiritual understanding, 1 Cor. 2. 14. A naturall man doth not discern the spiritual mysteries of iniquity, nor the spiri­tuall mysteries of discerning Grace; nor can they, because they are spiritually discerned.

The second Reason why none but faithful intelligent chri­stians do understand it, [...] taken

From Gods gift of Grace unto them to understand it.Reason 2. To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdome of Heaven, Mat. 13. 11. But being not given unto the world, the world doth not understand it.

For the use of the point.

First it may serve to refute the damnable principle of theƲse 1. [Page 214] Roman Catholick Religion which is this: That for every Nation and Kingdome to be reconciled to the Church of Rome i. is of necessity to salvation. Whoever he be that hath ears to heare let him hear saith the holy Ghost, that to be reconciled to the Catholick Church, and subject to that Church and the head thereof, it is of necessity the way to damnation, if a soul so live and so dye. For this purpose the Text is as plain as possi­ble, Rev. 20. 15. Whoever is not found written in the book of life is cast into the lake of fire. This Roman Catholick Church hath not his name written in that book of life, and there­fore of necessity, they must be cast into the lake of fire. Let all Noble men, and Gentlemen hear this, that they may not listen unto the whisperings, and croakings of the Locusts of the bottomlesse pit. Much God hath borne with men in their ignorance; but if ever men have belonged unto God, they have known the way of a better faith and repentance, then ever Popish Religion have taught them, and the holy Ghost hath helped them in their private prayers, and reading, or in conference with others, to understand the same.

Obj. 1. You will say unto me, but this is a very uncharitable censure.

Answ. Whether doe you thinke it more charity to fore­warn men of a desperate danger, or to be indulgent to men, and to tell them they may be saved in both Religions, when the word of God is playn against it? What charity count you that to gull men in a charitable, but a foolish conceit of their own good estate? It is cruell charity, and most uncha­ritable, when the Holy Ghost doth profess [...]Their names are not written in the Lambs booke of life, whosoever worship the Beast.

Obj. 2. But you will say, Are not all the Catholicks in the world perswaded of it, that the devotion to the Catholique Roman Church is a way of salvation? Catholiques are confident of it, and you Protestants dare not deny it: And then I pray you whether is it not safer to be devoted to that Church, wherein all confesse there is a possibility of salvation, then unto that Church in which one say there is salvation, the other not?

[Page 215] Answ. We answer: So farre as there is any charity, it is in God, but God hath no such charity: And if any Prote­stants be so charitable, they are more charitable then the word of God allows them: If they say that a man may live and dye in that Religion, and be saved; The holy Ghost doth professe the contrary, and would have all the world to know and believe it.

Therefore let no man build upon the policy of State Pro­testants. Let God be true, and every man be a lyar. If that the voyce of the Lord speak, let it be heard, and let the voyce of John be heard, That if any man be devoted to that Church, hee cannot live and dye a child of God.

Obj. 3. But what an opinion is this, to cast away our fore-fa­thers, that kept such good houses, and such good Christmasses, and Fe­stivalls, and double Festivalls, to damne them all to hell: Is it not a cruell, and barbarous opinion?

Answ. I answer, for our Fore-fathers, their soules are in Gods hand: They lived in those times; but how farre they were devoted unto the Catholick Religion, wee know not: This we know, that there was a Temple of God; a company of Gods people in the darkest times of Popery that did see their vanity, and did beare witnesse against them, otherwise we must not out of naturall affections destroy divine Revela­tion. A man must in this case forsake father and mother, Luk. 14. 26. I speak of it the more, because I know not whether some of you may have occasion to travell where you shall finde some that will tell you a quite contrary taile to these that you have now heard out of the word of God.

For a second Use.

It may serve to teach us the darknesse of our hearts,Ʋse 2. which is in us generally to believe this: and indeed the impossibility that any naturall man should heare it, that is to say, so to heare it as to believe it.

He that hath an eare to heare let him heare; That is, let him know and understand it: And this doth argue evidently, that all that have not hearing eares do not believe this, else would they see the truth of these things. And let this take away all admiration from poor Christians, who do often ad­mire; [Page 216] why do not such great Doctors and Bishops believe these things, and see them as well as some poor despicable Puritans? and why doth not the Catholick Church see it? The reason is playn why they do not see it, they want eares to heare, and how should they heare it? Now the Text tells you, They that worship the idolls are like unto them, Psal. 115. 6, 7, 8. They have mouths, but they speake not: Eyes have they, but they see not. They have eares but they heare not, &c They that make them are like unto them, so is every one that trusteth in them.

If they that worship the Beast be like unto the Beast, then it is not great Learning in the Tongues that can give men eares to heare. And let not any man be offended, if so be they see the world of another opinion, if they be but naturall men; the naturall man receiveth not these spirituall mysteries, 1 Cor. 2. 14.

Thirdly,Ʋse 3. how much will it lye upon the people of God, what a weight will it lay upon us all (whether in Church-fellowship, or out of Church-fellowship) to blesse God who hath delivered us from the fellowship of this Religion: And to be everlastingly thankfull, that our next Fathers (though not our Grand-fathers) have been separated from the wor­ship of the Church of Rome? And how are we bound to stand for ever stedfast from communion with them, what ever pre­tences are put upon us? Be not deceived, you forsake your owne salvation if you hearken to their whisperings. If you think your soules precious, then know it, you cannot be re­conciled unto Rome, but your names are blotted out of the Lambs book of life.

Vers. 10.‘He that leadeth into captivity, shall goe into captivity: hee that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.’

The next note is this.

THat as the Roman Catholicke Church have led the Churches and people of God into captivity,Doctrine 2. and have slaughtered many of them with persecution, and warre: So that state at length shall go in­to captivity, and finally be destroyed with warre and slaughter.

You heard before, she made warre with the Saints, and o­vercame them, and slaughtered many thousands of them, and shewed no mercy neither to man, woman, nor child: No more will the Lord shew compassion upon her. In Psal. 137. 8, 9. O daughter of Babylon who art to be destroyed! Happy shall he be that rewardeth thee, as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. It was spoken of old Babylon in Caldea, and is verified also in this Babylon. Happy shall he be that rewardeth her as she hath served us: and that taketh her young children and dasheth them against the stones. Rev. 17. 11. The beast that was, and is not, shall goe into perdition. And vers. 16. They shall hate the whore, and make her desolate and na­ked, and shall eate her flesh, and shall burn her with fire. They shall drink of warre and slaughter.

Obj. But how is it said, that Christ shall consume him with the breath of his mouth there? 2 Thes. 2. 8.

Answ. I answer, these things are subordinate, but not op­posite, for ever since Luther they have been wasting: But after his coming in the brightnesse of the Gospel, men shall be clearly convinced, that this is the great whore and Beast that destroys all the world: The Lord will then mightily disco­ver her unto Princes, that have been darkned, and vailed in their judgments about her, they shall see the state of her, and grow to hate her with utter detestation.

The reason is from the wisdome and equity of Gods ju­stice, Reason. expresly mentioned in the Text: For, he that leades into [Page 218] captivity, must go into captivity; he that kills with the sword, must be killed with the sword. What measure a man meets, it shall be measured to him again, Mat. 7. 2. Who so sheddeth mans blood, by man shall his blood be shed, Gen. 9. 6. Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled, and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee: when thou shalt cease to spoile, thou shalt be spoiled: and when thou shalt make an end to deale treacherously, they shall deale treacherously with thee, Isa. 33. 1. All that take the sword, shall perish with the sword, Mat. 26. 52. Meaning in an unlawfull way, and for unlawfull ends.

The use is,Ʋse 1. first of terrour to all Roman Catholicks; what ever their devotion may be, let them know, and understand, the issue of it will be utter desolation, and blood and slaugh­ter will be their portion one day: And when Gods appoin­ted is come, it will be measured unto them, as they have measured unto the Church of God.

Secondly,Ʋse 2. It may be a great comfort unto the Churches and Saints of Christ, that have been overcome, or have suffe­red any hard-ship from any of these. Those that have been troublesome to Gods Churches and people, the Lord will one day visite them all, and he will one day root them out of the land of the living. They shall one day know what pillars and scourges, and fire and faggot meanes, what tor­ments meane, what bloody inquisitions meane: They shall be recompenced seven-fold into their bosomes.

Here is the patience and faith of the Saints.

The third note is this.

The Lord doth as much acknowledg and accept the patience and faith of his Saints that have suffered under the Roman Catholique Church,Doct. 3. as he did the faith and patience of the Primitive Saints, that suffered under the Roman Pagan Emperours, against Heathenish ido­latry.

The Papists themselves are full of acknowledgment of the Primitive Martyrs, and will write many Legends of them; as the Pharisees, they did build the Sepulchers of the Pro­phets, and yet killed their Successors: Fulfill (saith Christ) the measure of your fathers: You garnish the sepulchers of the [Page 219] dead bodies, and yet you kill their Successors. They will ac­knowledg them the Primitive Martyrs; but what are those that suffered in Switzerland, in France, in England, in Germa­ny? They look at those as Lolards, and Hereticks: But what saith the Lord of them? Even of them as well as of those that suffered in former times; the Lord doth accept their suffe­rings, and saith of them, Here is the patience and faith of the Saints. Wherein the Lord doth acknowledge the faith by which they overcome this Beast, and patience, to be the pati­ence and faith of the Saints. The world saith otherwise: but the Lord saith of those that suffered under this Beast, Here is the patience and faith of the Saints. So in Rev. 12. 13. Here is the patience of the Saints: Write, blessed are the dead which dye in the Lord from hence-forth, as well as in ancient times: Blessed are they that dye in the faith of Christ Jesus, in the hottest and highest times of Popery.

The Reason is evident,

First,Reason 1. because the faith of such Christians, and their pati­ence, was the faith and patience of Christ: That is to say, that which both fastned upon Christ, and bore witnsse unto Christ, and suffered patiently for Christ as did the Primitive Christians in the ten Persecutions: And it was such a faith, as by which they overcame the world, 1 John 5. 4. It was faith in Christ Jesus, even that faith by which they chose ra­ther to suffer affliction with the people of God, then to enjoy the plea­sures of sinne for a season, Heb. 11. 24, 25. It was that faith by which they despised honour. Even the same case of Christ in Moses hand, and in their hands, and the point is of like na­ture: Roman Idolatry is but another Edition, and their Er­rors are as fundamentall subvertions to that which shou [...]d be the faith of Gods elect: And their Government is directly contrary unto the Gospel-government of Christ Jesus as light is to darknesse. When their faith in the cause of Christ do carry them along in suffering for him, it is then the pati­ence of Christ. It was the like faith and patience of Christ to suffer under Annas and Caiaphas, as under Herod. It is true, in the one he suffered as an enemy to Caesar, in the other as a blasphemer, but the case is all one. No matter what the per­sons [Page 220] [...] Christian in profession; I [...] the cause be the [...] of Christ, it is the patience and faith of Christ which is in his [...] whomsoever they suffer.

[...] Reason is from the greater exercise of saith and [...] to discern,Reason 2. and suffer under Christians, against Christians, [...] Pagans [...] Heathen persecutors.

For the use of the point.

Fi [...]st,Ʋse 1. it cryes downe all the scandalous sentences that Courts have given against the Saints of God; they say here are the suffering of Lolards and Hereticks: Jesus Christ from heaven saith, Here is the faith and patience of the Saints. Do not therefore count it obstinacy, and contumacy in heresie, nor pravity: It is the faith and patience of the Saints; if Chr [...]st calls it so, his word must carry it. When they shall all appear before his Judgment-seate, whose word shall stand then, his or theirs? He will say, here is the cruelty and out­rage of the persecution of Antichrist that puts the Lambs of Christ to death.

Secondly,Ʋse 2. It may serve to teach us, how much the Lord delights to honour his patient and faithfull servants: Hee writes upon their Toomb-stones as it were, so many Saints, or faithfull Martyrs of Christ, are those who have thus suffe­red: This doth the Lord Jesus Christ write upon their stakes where they are burned (in Smithfield or else-where) and upon the chains wherewith they are bound.

A great encouragement it is unto Christians to be con­stant in the profession of the Gospel, and to contend earnest­ly for the faith once given to the Saints. We must not there­fore be afraid to stand fast in the profession of the Truth, and to hold it to the death: If we should dye in his Cause in a way of persecution to be slaughtered by the outrage of un­godly men; what ever the world say of it, the Lord will from heaven beare this witnesse to it, That it is the patience and faith of the Saints.

Thirdly,Ʋse 3. it must teach all who would suffer for the name of Christ to be well assured of their cause, and then to adde constancy to their suffering in their cause. Otherwise, un­lesse it be the cause of Christ, it is no patience, but obstinacy, [Page 221] blindenesse, and ignorance: But see that your cause be the cause of Christ, and then cleave unto it by the invincible [...]aith of Gods elect, to overcome the world, and look Lyons and Dragons in the fac [...], without fear and astonishment; and look at punishment and tortour, as not worthy of the glory that shall be revealed: It looks at them as things that Christ hath endured greater, and other of the Saints of God have gone before u [...] in the like, or a greater martyrdome.

Therefore, first, look to the cause, and then believe in the truth of the cause, and the faithfulnesse of Christ that will maintaine his servants stable and firme, and cause them to hold out unto the end. But do not take up your reforma­tion upon custome, nor side with any thing for custom of the country where you are, because your Magistrates and Elders do commend it to you; for it behooves every christian man to know well, what he beleives, and practise, and to know the doctrine of Christ, and the Government and the worship of Christ; and that not because men say so, but because you see light for it from the word of the Son of God.

Then your next care is, to look that you depend upon Christ for strength, that as he suffered for you, you may be able to suffer for him; ther's the faith of Gods children: And for patience (I pray consider it) I do not enter into a common place of faith, and patience; but let me say thus much of it, Patience is a virtue, mortifying and moderating greifs, and fears, or afflictions, and subduing our wils to the will of God, not onely in contentment, but comfort. My brethren (saith James) count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations, James 1. 2. That whereas other men, or our selves in time of prosperity, when as God applies his will to our wils, are joyful (and this is no great matter.) This is the joy of Gods people when God shall apply our wils unto his. As Christ did comforme his will unto his Fathers will, and say, O my God, I delight to do thy will: It is written in thy book▪ I came to do thy will, Psal. 40. 8. This indeed doth make us compleat christians.

A man is a happy man that hath his will and Gods will to­gether in all that his heart does desire: If God would have [Page 222] me suffer, then certain it is best it should be [...]. And [...] should christians come armed with faith and patience, and with wils subdued to the will of the most high; not onely to be contented, but comfortable in suffering all things for Christ: And let your faith fasten upon it, and let your pati­ence moderate your greifs, and make your hearts comfortable also, and this is that which God delights in; Here is the pa­tience and faith of the Saints.

And so I will end with that speech of the Apostle; My bre­thren, be ye followers of them, who through faith and patience inhe­rit the promises, Heb. 6. 12. Both by faith of well doing, and of suffering evill by faith and patience. Ye have need of pati­ence, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the pro­mise, Heb. 10. 36. You have need of patience, that ye may be faithfull: and you have need of faith, that you may be patient: When a man is confident in Christ above all crea­tures, this works patience. So we shall follow the steps of our blessed Ancestors; we shall still go on in maintayning the same faith, and worship, and Government, wherein our Fathers were taught of God to walk, and whereby they did inherit promises both in life and death.

Rev. 13. 11. to the end of the 17.‘And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had horns like a Lamb, and he spake as a Dragon, &c.’

WEe come now to the description of the second Beast; I beheld another Beast, &c. I do not love to be large in those Scriptures that do not so narrowly concern us, as knowing how farre, and what a vast distance by the grace of God we stand in here from them: but yet because it is a part of Gods counsell, and some-what largely described, give me leave to declare the meaning of the words, and gather such notes from them as they hold forth.

Observe then, here is a description from the 11th. verse to the end of the Chapter, of the second Beast; I saw another Beast. The Originall sets him forth by his nature; they that know the language, knows it signifies only a wild beast, and in proper speech it signifies such a wilde beast as was veno­mous; and therefore the remedy for the venome of this beast, they call it Therion, a proper preservative against venome or poyson.

This beast is described by four arguments.

1. By his originall; He comes out of the earth.

2. By his similitude (or resemblance) in three things.

First, to a Lamb in his horns; Hee hath two hornes like a Lamb.

Secondly, he is resembled to a Dragon in his speech; He spake like a Dragon.

Thirdly, he is resembled to the former beast in the exerci­sing [Page 224] of his power; He exerciseth all the power of the first beast.

3. This beast is described by the particular exercises [...] power, or the effects of his power which are these:

1. He causeth the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed; he procures ado­ration to the first Beast.

2. He doth great wonders, making fire come downe from heaven in the sight of men, vers. 13.

3. He deceives them that dwell on the earth by the meanes of those miracles.

4. He doth prevaile with them that are on earth to make an Image to the Beast, which had the wound by the sword, and did live, vers. 14.

5. He doth animate and give life to this image of the Beast, that this image of the Beast should have both power to speak, and to cause as many as would not worship the image of the Beast to be killed.

A sixth effect is, he causeth all sorts of men, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their hand, &c. or at least his name, or the number of his name, or otherwise hee ex­cludes them not only from spirituall, but civill commerce, vers. 16, 17.

For the Notes that these words afford, I will handle them all in two: They will not need much enlargement, the Ex­plication and Application of them will reach the meaning, and scope of the words. Remember what the first Beast was, and then you will more easily know what this Beast must be. You know this first Beast being described to have seven heads, and ten horns, was taken by all for the Roman Empire; and this being not that, but another that comes in his room af­ter him: Is is evident then that this Beast must either be the Roman-Heathen Empire, or the Roman-Christian Empire, or the Roman-catholick visible Church; one of these three Ro­man States it must be.

Not the first, for this rose after that was cast down; after the Dragon was cast out of Heaven, and had no more to rule that State. Also you heard in Chap. 12. that Beast had ten crowns on the heads; this hath not Crowns on the heads, [Page 225] but on the horns; the Princes and heads of that State were crowned: This doth not weare the temporall Crown, but those Princes that mayntaine him, they weare the Crowns.

Againe, that Beast, Pagan Rome, did not begin his time of prosperity, and flourishing, with the womans flight into the wildernesse, and the two witnesses prophecying in sackcloath, a thousand two hundred and sixty dayes; for their government en­ded, when the Christian State began, and therefore it could not be Pagan-heathen Rome; Nor could it be the Christian Imperial Roman State: For

1. It is said in the second vers. That the Dragon gave him his power, and his seate, and great authority; but that he did not to the Christian Emperours, for they would not live at Rome, but at Constantinople.

2. It was never made a signe of reprobation to worship the Roman Christian Emperors, but it is made a sign of repro­bation to worship this Beast.

It remayns therefore, that this Beast described in the for­mer pare of the Chapter, is the third Roman State; which being not Rome-Pagan, nor Rome-Christian, it must needs be the Roman Papall State, under the government of the Pope, and that is no other but the Roman Catholick visible Church, to which all the description you have heard ope­ned doth naturally belong.

Now that being the first beast, what is this second beast? This is apparantly distinct from it; and it is not so proper to say, that the first beast was the Pope, as he had soveraign au­thority in Temporalls; and that he is the second Beast as he hath supream power in Spiritualls, for he had his Tempo­rall power l [...]st: and therefore that would not agree to the P [...]p [...]ll State; he first had supream power in Spirituals, before he had supream power in Temporals. Now the beast here being not the Roman Catholick Church, what is it then? It is the head of that Church; and what is that? It is no other but the Pope of Rome; The heads of the Roman Catholique visible Church, from one succession to another, they are this second be [...]st; and that will appeare in a double note, which will both cleare that, and the rest of the Text.

[Page 226] First then, take this note;

That the Bishop or Pope of Rome is in the sight of God,Doctrine 1. and of his Saints, no better then a wilde beast, for his Originall, arising out of the earth; for his resemblance, like to a Lamb in his borns; like to a Dragon in his speech; like to the whole Roman Catholick Church in his power.

This is the former part of the description by his Adjunct, by his Similitude, and by his Originall: However he seems to Catholicks a holy Father, and a god on earth; yet in the sight of God, and of his Saints, he is no better the [...] a wilde Beast, whose off-spring is from the earth; who though he have horns like a Lamb, yet speaks like a Dragon, and thus John guided by the holy Ghost, saw him. Let me shortly o­pen these points.

1. He is here described to be a wilde beast▪] The word so sig­nifies; that is to say, not so tame a beast as those in Isa▪ 11, 6. to 9. that a child may lead them: Wolves, or Leopards, or Lyons that can sleep with Kids, and Calves, and little children, and they may play on the hole of the Aspe, and put their hand on the Cockatrice den: He is not so tame, that hee can be tamed by the word of Truth, or by the censures of the Church, no nor by the power of Princes; he is above them all, and beyond them all; a wild beast he is therefore.

For his Originall, He ariseth out of the earth.] That im­plyeth, he hath it not from Heaven, but from below; not from Christ, but from Satan; You are from beneath (saith Christ) I am from above, John 8. 23. Hee springs from the earth, especially from earthly and carnall policy; that for keeping of good agreement in the Churches, they must be folded up into certain Metropolitans or Patriarchs; and to keep unity, you must have one over them all, and that was the Bishop of Rome, for all unity they say springs from [...] ­nits; if you have more then one Governour, you will have no peace: Now this being a carnall principle, some carnall reason being the ground for the preservation of the Church of Rome; for that the Emperours thought, if the Bishop of Rome were advanced, it would be a means to strengthen them against the barbarous Nations that come against them; this [Page 227] carnall reason brought him to be exalted: And though his Originall was earthly for the cause, yet he ascended above the earth to Ecclesiasticall power. And

2. He arose out of the Earth, because he rose up insensi­bly by degrees, he makes no great noyse; As any thing that comes out of the earth, it makes no great noyse in its grow­ing, but at length comes to a vast height: So it was with the Bishop of Rome, this is his descent out of the Earth.

For his resemblance, He hath horns like a Lamb.]

Horns expresse his power: Like a Lamb; that is, like the Lamb of God. Church-power he claims directly, no other at least for a long time; The power of binding and loosing were his two horns, to bind all, and loose all, and that lay in the closet of his own breast when to put it forth; this is but the power of the Lamb.

But he spake like a Dragon.]

You have two or three severall speeches of the Dragon. In Rev. 12. 9. The old Serpent is called the Dragon: What did hee speak?

1. Venomous words to our first Parents; You shall not dye at all, Gen. 3. 4. And so the Pope he draws the hearts of men from conscience of the word.

2. The speech of the Dragon, it is imperious and arro­gant: All the kingdomes of the earth will I give thee, if thou wilt fall downe and worship me, Luk. 4. 6, 7.

And that is the speech of the Pope in Jer. 1. 10. I have set the [...] this day over the Nations, and over the kingdomes, to roote out, and to pull downe, and to destroy, and to throw downe, and to build, and to plant: And the Pope sends a Crown with this inscrip­tion to Frederick the Emperour; Christ gave this power to Peter, and Peter gave it to the Pope, this is Imperiall State. And

3. The Dragon hath a devouring and ravenous mouth, whereby he speaks [...]avenous words: Whoever will not worship the Image that I have set up, shall be cast into a hot fiery furnace, and who is that God that is able to deliver you? Dan. 3. 15. And you have heard what worship the Pope claymes, and what he threatens if it be neglected. Thus you see in Gods account, [Page 228] and in the sight of John, the Pope is a wild Beast: and the holy Ghost as he insp [...]red John, he directs him what to say; The holy Apostle he stood upon the sand of the Sea, and few two beasts; one arisi [...]g out of the Sea of corruption in do­ctrine, &c. And another out of the earth, out of earthly pretences; He sees no holinesse in this Beast, nothing but beastly cruelty, and beastly blasphemy, nothing but argues a wilde beast that will not be tamed, neither by the Church of God, nor by the word of God, nor by Princes and States: He sees him rising out of [...]ire pretences, pretending nothing but Lamb-like power; but [...]ee speakes like a Dragon, veno­mous and devou [...]ing words: Damnable heresies, as being spewed out of the Dragons mouth, such a volume of false worship, and doctrine, and government, as destroys the faith of the Church, and subverts the foundation of the Church: This is the very state of the Pope as John beheld it, as he was wrap't up in a vision by the Spirit, and he judged of it as hee saw it.

Now because I cannot so well make use of this, before I have spoken of the rest, because they are co-incident, take this for a second Note, and so make use of both together. The note is long, but it is but the collection of the sum of these verses, the words of the Text will bring the Doctrine easily to remembrance; This then is the note.

The Bishop of Rome exerciseth all the Authority of the first Beast,Doct. 2. that is, of the Roman visible Catholick Church, he causeth all that dwell on the Earth to worship that Church, he doth worke wonders, even to the fetching of fire from Heaven, and by his wonders procures all christian States to make an Image to the first Beast, and gives such life and power to the Image of the Beast that it is able to speak, and it shall cause such as do not worship it to be put to death, and finally he leaves an impression, or imprints a character upon all sorts of christi­ans, and will suffer none to enjoy spirituall or civill communion with them, unlesse such as will receive either his marke, or his name, or the number of his name.

I put them into a doctrinall frame, because they are the sum of the words of the Text. Let me breifly open them all.

[Page 229] First, He doth exercise all the Authority of the first Beast. Let all that are acquainted either with the writings of the Roma­nists, or of our Divines that bear witnesse against Rome, be testimonies in this case; what is there that the Catholick Church claimes, but the Pope can do it all: There are six or seven trascendant [...]cts of power, which that Church claymes, and the Pope familiarly exerciseth them all.

1. The Pope hath power to convent generall Councels; or if the Emperours will call a general Councel, it shall not stand in [...]o [...]ce unlesse the Catholick Church and the Bishops meet in a representative Synod, it concludes with their deter­mination; this he pleads for to this day, it belongs not to the Emperors, nor to Christian Princes, but to the Bishop of Rome: It is one of Bellarmines affirmations, that one Church shall have power to call all Churches, be it to Florence, or Basseil, thether they must go whether he will.

2. As the Catholick Roman Church did usurpe power to make Laws and Canons to binde all Churches; So the Pope doth challenge the same power to make Laws to binde all Churches; he pleads for it, and will not be content without it.

3. Look as the Catholick visible Roman Church doth claime Authority of ratifying Scriptures; if they put in the Apocrypha, it shall be good Scripture; and if the Church do not approve the Gospel of Matthew in Greek, but in Hebrew, it shall be that; or if they refuse both them, and take the vulgar Latine, that shall stand: This power the Catholick Church challengeth power to do, and the same doth the Pope.

4. If the Roman Catholick visible Church challenge a po­wer of interpreting Scripture, and judging of controversies with infalibility of judgement: The Pope challengeth that to himselfe when he interprets Scripture, or decides contro­versies about Religion, he cannot erre, and so they make ac­count he is a fit Judge therein.

5. Look as you see the Roman Catholick visible Church had power of binding and loosing, challengeth all appleal [...] and great things they will do by that priveledge, excommu­nicate some of many Churches that are absent, some they ex­communicate [Page 230] for seven years, some to their death, that the shall not be reconciled: All this the Pope challengeth in a larger measure then the old Roman visible Church did chal­lenge. This the Roman Bishop challengeth to binde consci­ence, to loose oathes and covenants between Prince and peo­ple, between man and wife, to loose vows, and oaths, and na­tural relations, between parents and children, if they will shrowd themselves in a Monastery, and will dispence against the Apostle Paul in case of incest: this is such a power to loose the bonds of Gods commandments, and Gods oaths, and re­lations to God and his servants, it is such Transcendant po­wer, the Roman visible Catholick Church never challenged greater.

6. The Roman visible Catholick Church never challen­ged so great power till it was animated and acknowledged by the Pope, to take upon them to set up one King, and to take down another; King John in England, Frederick the first, and Frederick the second, Henery the fourth, and Henery the fifth; he crowns and discrowns whom he will, and this out of the plentitude of his power.

And lastly, he doth challenge this beyond the Church it selfe, Immunity, and Impunity from all Civill and Ecclesiasti­cal power, and judicature. The Church is above all j [...]dicial power, and the Pope the head of it is above it, and therefore may not be brought into order by any censure of any Church, nor by the civil sword: And therefore he [...] well called one that exerciseth all the power of the first Beast, and rather puts more power to it; whatever the Catholick Church may do, that he can do; where they can dispence and make Laws, where they can bind or loose, &c. So farre as they may go, he can go, and he doth all in the name, and sight of the Church.

And he causeth all that dwell on the Earth.] That is, carnal christians, whose conversation is not in Heaven.

To worship the first Beast.] How to worship? He speaks of divine worship not civil adoration: This is an aberation from a Church; but a beastly Church, it is a monster; The Church of the first institution was of one particular congre­gation; [Page 231] and for all the Churches of the world to be subject to one Cathedral, it is far beyond all comprehension of rule: Now he causeth all that dwell on the Earth to worship that Beast. Wherein are they to worship him?

1. It is made a matter of necessity to salvation to be recon­ciled to that Church; and more care is had of being recon­ciled to that Church, then of being reconciled to God in Christ: All pleas of being reconciled to Christ will not stand in their judgment, unlesse you be reconciled to them.

2. Except you be bound in conscience to that state, he will allow you no communion; he will have all the decrees of the Church as binding the conscience.

3. This is divine worship, you shall take no doctrine but that is of his stamp, nor worship, nor Government but of his acknowledgment, nor no dispensation of them but according to his Canons: And all that dwell on the Earth must wor­ship him, all run upon the Beast; the Pope doth not so much challenge it to himselfe as to the Church, and that which is given to the Church he takes to himselfe.

Thirdly, He doth great wonders, so that he makes fire come from Heaven on the Earth in the sight of men: And it is said, Antichrist shall come in all power of signes and lying wonders, 2 Thes. 2. 8, 9. Their Legions are full of these wonders: And in particular, for this point, of causing fire to come down from Heaven: It is an allusion sure to the fire that the old Prophet fetched from Heaven: As Eliah fetched fire from Heaven to con­sume the sacrifice, 1 Kings 18. 38, 39. And that was a fire that expressed Gods gracious acceptance, that made all the people cry, the Lord he is God: But this the Pope did not fetch sure, he never fetched any acceptance from Heaven. But you read of another fire fetched from Heaven by Eliah, and that was, to destroy those that mocked him, 2 Kings 1. 10. 12. Which pra­ctise when James and John would have followed in Luke 9. 54, 55, 56. You shall read, that they being offended with the Sa­maritans because they would not receive them; Master say they, shall we call for fire from Heaven to consume them as Eliah did? Our Saviour utterly rejects that; You know not, saith he, of what spirit ye are: Now minde you, that fetching fire from [Page 232] Heaven, which is to destroy mens lives, and not save them, that James and John are taught to refus [...], as being incompati­ble to the Gospel: But that which they refuse, the Successour of Peter, as they call him, takes up; if any Scribe, or Pharisee, or Samaritan refuse him, then fire comes down from Heaven, consuming fire, and vengance, and wrath, and blood-shed, and extreamity of outraged evils he causeth to come down upon them; and in pretence from Heaven, to destroy the Church and people of God, that I take to be the cheif par [...] of the meaning of that. But if any man will urge the letters of the Text (which you need not in mystical Scriptures) yet it is not without truth therein.

Gregory the seventh he declares this, that he had strange po­wer, when he had much people about him, he would have sha­ked the sleeve of his gound, and caused fire to come down; Now it is evident it might be, for he was a Conjurer, and 22. Popes together (as their own storyes do record) they were wi [...]ches, and gave their soules to the Devil, that they might obtaine the Popedome, but they were but lying wonders; for miracles require divine power, but the Devil cannot go beyond the power of nature; so that you may take it in the proper meaning; their own men do much magnifie it, and make it one of the markes of their Churche, whereas Prote­stants that want miracles are not Churches: So that those censures by which they thundred against christian Emperors, they did follow with such success, that they made all wonder, that none could stand against them, not Henery the fourth, nor Henery the fifth, not Leo the Emperour, nor the King of Fraunce, none of them all were able to take up armes against him; they did all admire him; Who is able to stand against him, end to make Warre with him? And that gave such free passage to his Laws, that all christian States presently took up what in­junctions he put upon them.

Fourthly, by these miracles, and the mighty successe of them, he had power to cause them that dwell on the earth to make an Image to the Beast, that had the deadly wound, and was healed; that is, the Roman Catholick visible Church: What is this Image of the Beast? he causeth all the earth, that is, all earthly [Page 233] States to receive it; he will suffer none to be without it: what is this Image? an Image not of their own making, they must make an Image by his appointment: It is an Image of the first beast, not of the second directly, and consequently the officers of that Beast must represent this second Beast, but be an Image of the first: if the first Beast was the Roman Ca­tholick visible Church; then if he causeth all the Earth to make an Image to that Beast, then he causeth all Churches and Common-wealths, to frame their State and platforme, according to the Image of the Roman Catholick visible Church, and therefore he causeth all Christian Princes to erect all their Churches in a Roman Catholick way: what is that? Metropolitan, National, Provnciall, Diocesan, Cathedral, and Provincial Churches; These are all lively characters of the Roman Catholick Church, reserving stil pre-emenency to their mother Catholick Church of Rome; but otherwise they are the lively Image of such a Church, even as daughters are of their mothers: and being overcome with the power of his miracles, and deceits, and delusions (as you heard) by the Policy of Canonists, by carnall Policy, and by their Votaries, and by working miracles, signes, and lying wonders; it is a wonder to see what power he had, that all the power of the Popedome, and of the Catholick Church was in a model and representation drawn in all Churches in Christendome during the time of 42. moneths, which is 1260. years, and then a great part of his Image was marred in a great part of Chri­stendome, but yet he still continues; so then there is a lively Image of the Roman Catholick Church, though it may be, some are drawn from subjection thereunto; and yet though they be drawn off from subjection to it, yet still the Image, and representation is written in the very foreheads of such Chur­ches; that is a fourth thing.

Fiftly, He had power to give life to the Image of the Beast; what life? that it should both speak, and cause, That as many as would not worship the Image of the Beast should be killed: How doth he put this life into the Image of this Beast to speak? It is, to speak with authorty, as in verse 5. A mouth speaking great things; He would speak, and speak with authority; [Page 234] that now these Diocesan, Metropolitan, and Provinciall Churches, they can speak with authority, as the Roman Ca­tholick Church doth, and their words must take place, and he puts that life into it by his own canons and laws which they take up; the canons and laws made by the Church of Rome, do so animate Provincial, and Diocesan Churches, that they speak the same language, not altogether so corrupt, but with like authority, and require like subjection of all per­sons; and by your leave, they grow to it for very conscience sake; that those things which were indifferent before, yet being laws of the Church, now they must binde conscience; this is to speak great things. Now they have power likewise to cause as many as will not worship the Image of the Beast, they shall be killed; a signe none of them took that power like the beast; but yet though they have not power to kill them, yet to deli­ver them to the Secular power, and they must kill them [...] whatever the Diocesan Church doth agree on against her He­reticks, that will not obey the Government or doctrine of the Church; what then? The deliver him to the Secular power, then they cause him to be put to death, and they deli­ver him to fire and faggot, so you see the mighty power of this Beast.

There is one thing remaining of his power, and that is the sixth and last effect, He causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: Kings, and Princes, Ministers and Cler­gy men (as they call them) high and low, whatever they be, he causeth them all to receive a character, or marke, either in their right hand, or in their foreheads.

A marke in the hand; that character themselves call an indelible character, and they receive that who receive any orders from the Pope, and are reconciled to the Roman Ca­tholick visible Church; This Beast causeth all to receive a marke, that is, they shall sweare fidelity, and loyalty to the Roman Catholick visible Church, this they make indelible; wherever they come, they are Priests for ever after the order of Melchesidech.

Or on their foreheads; they have a marke answerable to [Page 235] their name; their name, what is that but Roman Catholicks? or else there is no fellowship with them; and all must at length have that name, and go under the number of that name, Roman Catholicks; there is the number of that name: but I leave that to the next time (as being too large to enter into at present.) In the mean time, you see these things thus opened, touching the nature and character of this second Beast.

Now to make some use of all.

First,Ʋse 1. it may be an evident conviction, and demonstrati­on, and designation of this Beast who it is: Is hath been much disputed, but all the parts of this description doth di­rectly fall upon the Bishop of Rome; that if John had lived in these dayes, he would have seene all this with his eyes, which he saw in a vision: No man can tell where to bestow all this description for 1260. years, but upon the Bishop of Rome, that is of such a wilde nature, that no Church, no law of God, no society of men, no Kings, nor Princes can rule; and all the world that knows this Beast, knows this to be true of the Pope, whose Original (all Christians know) springs from the Earth, to keep men in unity, and to preserve the Em­pire from inundations of Barbarians, to keep Christian Prin­ces closer together, and in better order, all carnall policy out of which he springs, yet incensibly, and slowly, that he is not discerned for many years together.

And he hath horns like a Lamb, that he pretends nothing but (Saint Peter as they call it) the Keys of the kingdom of Hea­ven; But he speaks like a Dragon, as if he had the Keys of the bottomlesse pit; he thunders such sentences, gives dispensa­tions both against the lawes of Paul and Moses, to dissolve oaths, and covenants, and relations, they shall marry whom they will, their own sisters: he will venom with such noy­some doctrine, as the breath of them will stinke: he will speak so terrible, that time was, when Princes were to trem­ble; he hath spoken as a Dragon: The Devil himselfe as he ru­led the Roman Pagan Empire, hath not spoken greater words then he: Those that spake, Whoever will not worship an Image set up, shall be cast in a fiery furnace, it is not a greater word then he speaks.

[Page 236] Secondly,V;se 2. this doth justly reprove all the Popish admi­ring and adoring of the man of Sinne; They look at him as their holy Father, and Bishop of Christ, and Vicar of God, as one that hath an infallible judgment, that cannot erre, that he is above all power of censure: If he should draw missions of soules to hell, no man must say, Sir, why do you so? they have this opinion of him: No matter what they conceive, he must be judged by the King of Kings, and by the God of Gods, and by the Saints of that God that judgeth according to the word; and they look at this Father as a Monster, as a wilde beast, whom no Scripture, no Church can keepe in awe, but he is Lord paramount above them all; they look at him as the Dragon of the bottomlesse pit, as he that destroys the Christian world: and however he may pretend, as if he had nothing but Lamb-like power, yet hee speakes like a Dragon; thus John saw him.

Thirdly,Ʋse 3. Observe from hence a reason of a note that trou­bles many Interpreters; That if this beast have such power, why doth he not cause the earth to worship himself? why doth he not provide for his own honour, but for the first beast? The reason is plain; the first Beast being the Roman Catholick Church, and the head of that Beast, all the ho­nour that redounds to the beast, falls upon the head of the beast, and it is upon himselfe; He exerciseth all that power that the first beast hath, and therefore no marvell if he labour to draw all men what he can to worship, not himselfe, but the Roman Catholick Church, to be reconciled to it, and re­ceive decrees from it, and submit in conscience thereunto, and receive no worship nor doctrine but from them, nor go­vernment, but established by them; no Lawes to be enjoyned and transacted but by them, for he knows that this honour will redound to him; He knows all this power doth rest in his own breast, and it is he that acts the Roman Catholick Church, and he can do with a Councell, and without a Councell what the Church can do, and he failes not to do it from time to time. Wonder not therefore that he puts off the honour to the first beast, the old Roman Church, there he layes all his devotion, but in conclusion it is all for him­selfe.

[Page 237] Fourthly,Ʋse 4. you may see the corrupt Originall, and dange­rous State of corrupt religion, and of such kind of Chur­ches as are drawn out by the modell of the Roman Catholick visible Church, any image of that beast: I do not trouble you with what others think to be the image of the Beast (I should but weary my selfe in so doing) but if the first beast be the Roman Catholick Church, as it must needs be, then the i­mage must be according to it, though not of equall authori­ty, yet of the like frame; whereas the Lord hath instituted no other but particular Congregations to bring in a whole Nation (that may containe a thousand Congregations) in­to one Church, what an image is this of the Roman visible Catholick Church: It is not Catholick indeed, it is short of that, but so large as it carries a Nation, it exceeds Dio­cesan, and Diocesan exceeds particular Congregations: Now see the danger of this; you see the first rise was from the power of this beast, He causeth all the earth to make an Image of this Beast: He did not bring them to make one in number, but one in England, and one in Scotland, and one in France, and one in Germany, and in every Countrey according to their divisions, and Princely Potentates; that all that dwell in the limits of that Jurisdiction, they have one Cathedral Church, to which all other Parochiall Churches do belong; this hee causeth them to do: and when he hath done it, giveth it the very like breath of the Roman Order; though not in so vast a measure, yet in a faire modell, that they are like the image of this holy Father, and so by this meanes it comes to passe, by his Laws and Canons which he perswades all to receive, and which is a wonder, since they have cut him off from be­ing head of the Church, yet still they reteyn the life of Papa­cy, in the State of such Chancellors, and Parators, and such kind of Civill, and Ecclesiasticall power mingled together; that a Cathedrall Church forty or fifty miles off, shall send terrible censures to cut off the poor Saints of God, and they must obey it; and if they stand in an Hereticall course (as they call it) there is no living for them, they will kill their Propheticall life, as they did the two Witnesses; or if they do in any effectuall manner work, they will not stick to call [Page 238] them to account, and cast them out, and deliver them to the Secular power, and they shall deliver them to fire and sword.

So then, see the danger of such Constitutions, it was wrought by the Bishop of Rome, and lives by life from him, the life of the Law of God breaths not in the pulses of it; any that know them, know how far they be from the pattern of the Scripture, how ridiculous they be to such as discern the state of them; You see also what mighty power they have, that all civill States have been contented to deliver such to fire and sword, whom they have delivered up as Hereticks: They soon loose the protection of the Civill State, if they loose the favour of imaginary Churches; well doth he call them images, they are images of the Pope, and images which God forbids, and the inventions of the sonnes of men; Thou shalt not make to thy selfe any graven Image, in the second Com­mandement: You shall make no Images of Officers, nor Go­vernment, nor worship, but that which Christ himselfe hath set up.

Fifthly,Ʋse 5. it lets us see how dangerous it is, to annex civill penalties, ipso facto, upon such as are cast out of the Church; an usuall thing in Popish Churches, or in the Images of such. First, they suspend them from the Sacrament, but then it comes with an Excommunication, no man must buy nor sell, he hath refused to honour the image of the Beast: It is dangerous to bring in civill Authority immediately upon Church-censure: A warning to us here, that if men be ex­communicated, not to deny them civill Commerce, or to say such as stand out excommunicated so long, shall no longer enjoy the priviledges of the State: The Church may cut them off from fellowship with it selfe, there may be just reason so to do; they may discover such hypocrifie as may make them unfit for the Church, but yet they may not alto­gether be unfit for the Common-wealth.

Sixthly,Ʋse 6. It may serve to humble us so farr, as in times past we had any thing to do with this Beast, eyther in the loynes of our Fathers with this first Beast, the Roman Catholick visible Church, or as in our own time we have had any com­munion [Page 239] (I meane Ecclesiasticall communion) with the i­mage of this first Beast, that is, with Provinciall, Diocesan, Cathedrall, National Churches.

You know it is not my manner to fall into speeches of Christs in other parts, it is best for us to look to our owne; but when the Text is just so fit, now to be silent, were to de­ny the children of God the bread of their portion: If it be such a Church as is of the Popes devising, as hath provoked the jealousie of God, and hath not been derived from the primitive institution that Christ hath established; then so far as we have had to deale with them, either in office, or out of office, receiving their Sacraments, and their Censures, or have published their Censures, though God (it may be) mer­cifully kept us from publishing such as we did conceive un­just; yet forasmuch as there hath been any submittance in this kind, any Church-communion, whereby we have been ad­mitted into Church-office by the Image of this beast, or instal­led by the ordination of the first beast, or so far as wee have submitted to the first or second Beast; so far as we have par­taked in the holy things of God, which flow from Church-communion, as Sacraments and Censures do, verily so farre we have cause to be humbled; though the Lord kept any of us from thinking it any necessity to be reconciled to the Church of Rome, or kept us from sundry things in our pra­ctice, which the Image of the Beast required; and though he kept us also from receiving all their Dictates without con­troll; yet for our practice in entring into our calling, and our dispensations which have been but images of the first beast: and so far as our fellowship in Ordinances with them have cleaved to that Church, verily the guilt of that will lye upon such soules as have not unfeignedly bewailed it before the Lord.

What think you might be the cause that Christians do complayn of so much deadnesse, under such plenty, and (as some say) power of Ordinances? I might as justly blame the world for as great part, that men think they are forced to lanch out in building and planting; an evill haunt and custome hath been rivetred into mens spirits, that they have [Page 240] much ado to be content any where; but this is not all: Nor can I lay it wholly upon over-much confidence in Ordinan­ces; we have heretofore thought men happy that had liberty of Ordinances, though out in a duty of humiliation; God will let you see the emptinesse of all Ordinances, & that there is no life in them further then he puts in them; but I will not put in neither of both these, though both these may challenge a part of the deadnesse of the Countrrey, and may because of humi­liation: But giue me leave to say, I feare this chiefly, that men thought it enough that they were got out of the reach of Summoners, and Pariters, and such like, whose offices have been by the power of the beast, the remnants whereof hang in those places where they should not stand; I feare men have rested in turning their backs upon such troubles as they were put unto, when they have not been serious in judging them­selves for these Images of jealousie, when they are so loft to be rent from them, I feare the Lord hath not humbled them for their old contagion, and therefore they are not so dead, for what is an Image but deadnesse? truly because we are ra­ther in bodily presence, then in heart departed from them, therefore there is such deadnesse: what's the reason, that up­on the least motion, men are ready to remove to a new Plan­tation, as if they removed from old England to New in a pang: If men had a calling upon just grounds to come hi­ther, then when we come where the Ordinances of God are, we should sit down under the Ordinances, under the shadow of the Almighty, and never look for more: But when that doth not satisfie that we enjoy Ordinances, all that liberty we did desire, we do enjoy, and yet it doth not satisfie; certainly there is some sinne lyes in the breast still, for which the Lord pursues men with a restlesse frame, they are not yet purged from the image of Romish pollution, and therefore the Lord sees it not meet to give us rest, no not in Sion, be­cause in heart we are not returned from Babell, but every new occasion puts us to a new plantation, and when we are there we cannot rest: And therefore I feare, because we have not judged our selves for our inordinate walking in polluted Churches, but have rather sought for our own peace, then [Page 241] purity from these pollutions, which there have defiled us, or do not see any great need of judging our selves in that kinde; thence it is, that to this day the Lord hath much ado to qui­et our hearts in his peace and purity, and in power, but still we are much destitute of inward purity and power of godli­nesse, and therefore dead heartednesse hangs about us to this day. And therefore as we desire the power, and purity, and peace of Ordinances stamped upon our hearts, so we are to bewaile the contagions we have had in this Image of the beast with Officers or people, that so the Lord may give a reviving according to the desire of our hearts.

Lastly,Ʋse 7. let it be of much praise and thanksgiving to God, that hath delivered us and ours, from these Contagions and pollutions, in which you see all that dwell on the earth have been intangled and polluted in time past: That he hath deli­vered us from the power of this Beast (the Roman Catholick Church) that he hath freed us from making an Image to that Beast; we own none of his Ordinances, and that God hath removed us from the marke of this Beast, that we desire not to be accounted Catholicks, nor Hirarchies, nor stand members of a Diocesan, or Provinciall, or Cathedrall, or Nationall Church, but beare witnesse against them all: And also that he hath freed us in some measure from the number of his name; that many things that are of number and account with them, are not of any number with us, if there be any thing of the Beast in it. And therefore it is matter of great praise to God; You shall read of the hundred and forty foure thousand, that God had gotten victory over the Image, and mark of the Beast, and over his name, and the number of his name, or had not left them in any bondage, they sung as it were a new song before the Throne; It is great matter of praise that here we may enjoy no head but the Lord Jesus. (Saul indeed was head of the Tribes of Israel, but not of the Church, 1 Sam. 15. 17.) That the Lord hath given us to enjoy Churches, and Congregational Assemblies by his Co­venant, to worship him in all his holy Ordinances; that he [...] given us to look for no Laws but his word, no rules nor forms of worship, but such as he hath set downe in his word; [Page 242] no platforms of Doctrine, but such as are held forth in the word of the Prophets and Apostles: It is such a priviledge, that for 1260. years, the Christian world knew not the mea­ning of it, unlesse it were here and there a few whom God had sealed (this was the priviledg of a few sealed ones) but this the Lord vouchsafeth to us this day, above all Nations that have power of the civill sword: It is true, there is a great deale of these things in sundry other Churches, but yet there is a tang of the image of the Beast, that a company of Elders and Ministers, they shall have power to impose Officers up­on Churches, and to excommunicate Officers and Members; It is too much the image of the first Beast, and too much of the power of both Beasts, and therefore it is to be lamented: but that the Lord should give us such liberty, that all our Churches are not subordinate one to another, and none ar­rogate nor plead Supremacy, but are preserved and kept from all contagion of the first and second beast, this calls us to a­bundant thankfulnesse, and wee are to desire that the Lord would keep us at such a distance, that we may never return to the image of either of the beasts.

Rev. 13. the last vers.‘Here is wisdome, Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is six hundred threescore and sixe.’

THese words are some part of the description of the second Beast which arose after the former, conti­nued from the 11th. verse of this Chap. unto the end of it. The former beast (as you have often heard) is the Roman-Catholick visible Church, described at large from the first verse to the end of the 10th. The latter Beast is the head of the Catholique Church, the Bishop, or Antichrist of Rome, and he is here described,

1. By his Originall; He came out of the earth.

2. By his resemblance; which is three-fold; To the Lamb in his hornes; To the Dragon in his tongue and speech, and to the first beast in his power; He exerciseth all the power of the first beast.

3. As he is described thus by his Originall, and by his re­semblance, so he is described by his great power, and his power exerciseth it selfe in divers acts. First, He exerciseth all the power of the first beast. Now the first beast being the Roman Catholique Church, he exerciseth all the power of the Roman Catholique Church, that look what the Roman Catholick Church can do, the Pope can do with them, or without them: He can call Councels, and make their Canons authenticall; He can make Lawes to bind Conscience, he can make Lawes to bind whole Churches, as well as the Aecumenicall power of the whole Councell: He can forbid any other doctrine, or worship, or government, but what himselfe establisheth: He can adde to the Scriptures the Ap [...]crypha, and he hath infalli­ble power to judge Controversies: Hee can binde and loose [Page 244] Conscience; he can depose Kings, and dispose of their King­doms, and he can absolve Subjects from the oath of Fideli­ty: He hath power to pardon sinne, and to sell out pardons to them that buy them. All that the first beast can do, he will do, and more; but yet he doth it (as the Text sayes) in the sight of the first beast; that is, in the face and countenance of the first b [...]ast; He is so modest, that he will not take all that ho­nour to the head, but the whole body, and derives all that honour expresly to himself.

The second act of his power, He causeth all that dwell on the earth to worship the first beast.

The third act of his power; He doth great wonders, even to call downe fire from Heaven in the sight of men. Not the fire of Acceptance, which Eliah brought to consume the Sacrifice; but the fire of Vengeance upon the Rebellious, as the Prophet called for fire upon the Captains that came to attach him.

4. He doth by his miracles deceive all that dwell upon the earth.

5. He causeth them all to make an Image like unto the first beast. The first beast (as you heard) was the Roman visible Catholicke Church, then the image of the beast are all such like models and forms of Churches as are Diocesan Churches, National Chur­ches, and Provinciall Churches.

6. He causeth all men to worship that Image, that if any will not worship that Image (Churches of that mold) they shall be delivered to the secular power, and so they shall be killed.

Lastly, He will not suffer any Commerce, nor civil Commerce, much lesse Ecclesiasticall communion, but to them that have the mark of the beast, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name, vers. 16, 17.

They must swear, or perform some loyalty to the Church of Rome. The mark of the beast, the carriage of the beast in the Originall: All that have received Religious Orders, have received the mark of the beast, all their religious Orders leave an indelible Character upon them, so that all that are entred into religious Orders, are sworn Catholiques. The name of the beast, what is it? Though they be not of the religious Order, yet they professe themselves to be Roman Catholiques, and professe subjection to the head of that Church, and so to [Page 245] his doctrine and worship, though it be be to Saints and An­gels, and to his government, as that which binds the con­science, the name of the Beast is a Roman Catholicke, submit­ting himselfe both to the Church, and to the head of that Church, and that for conscience sake.

But for the number of his name, it was reserved to this dayes exercise: Wheras the holy Ghost having said that he would permit no man to buy or sell, but such as had received the marke, or his name, or the number of his name; he doth in this last Verse declare what this number of his name is, which at least they must have, or else they cannot have com­merce: Now this number he first doth amplifie or illustrate, and then expresse it.

He doth illustrate or amplifie it,

First, by the adjunct of wisdome needful for the understan­ding of it; Here is wisdome.

Secondly, the duty of men that have understanding to count it.

And thirdly, He doth amplifie it by the subject, or by the efficient of it, It is the number of a man: This is his illustra­tion: It requires wisedome to count it: It is the duty (though) of them that have understanding to search it out. And when they do count it, they finde it the number of a man.

In the Second place he doth expresly designe or discipher out the number, and that is in the last word, his number is six hundred threescore and six.

The place is very obscure as any in the word, and therefore the holy Ghost tels us, here is wisdome to finde it out: but withal, here is a command that every one that hath received the least measure or talent of wisdom should endeavour it, and he doth incourage men to find it out.

But were it not that the Lord hath said, If any man want wisdome let him aske it of God, and it shall be given him, James 1. 5. And were it not that God hath given Christ to be our wise­dome to declare to us the whole councel of his Father, 1 Cor. 1. 30. And were it not that the providence of God in the [Page 246] invitation of sundry brethren, hath put me upon the handling of this book, and now it fals in order to be opened; for my own part, I think I should never have chosen this Text to have spoken to whilst I had lived: But now since we are come to it, in our interpretation of this book, and the wis­dome of God is perfected in the weaknesse of his servants, I shall therefore endeavour by the helpe of God, and by the light of his wisdome, to expresse such meditations as God hath suggested to men, and leave them to your further consi­deration, and spiritual discerning and judgement.

The note then is shortly thus much.

To finde out the number of the Beast requires heavenly wisdome,Doctrine. and yet such as have received any wisdome ought to count that number, and upon the acount shall find it to be the number of a man, in sum six hun­dred threescore and six.

This is the sum, I wrap up all in one Doctrine, that hand­ling the Doctrine in the parcels, all the parts of the verse may be opened therewith.

First, I say to finde out this number is wisdome, it requires heavenly wisdome; Here is wisdome: And God accounts not the wisdome of this world wisdome, but foolishnesse; he speaks therefore of that which in Scripture language is wis­dome, not Mathematical, nor Airthmetical wisdome; for what great wisdome would it require to count this number, it ariseth out of six, and is multiplyed by ten, this is such wis­dome as any mean Arithmetition might count, six times ten is 60. and ten times 60. is 600. and six times one is six, the wisdome therefore lies not there. But to see how this count disciphers the Beast, and by that means to give more perfect intelligence of the Beast, and of his nature, then by his marke and name alone could be gathered, that requires heavenly wisdome, but wisdome therefore it doth require▪ It requires a mans best understanding to enquire what the holy Ghost hath said of this number: and though it require much wis­dome, yet the counting of this number is both possible, and necessary: if it were not possible, the holy Ghost would not say, Let him that hath understanding, count the number of the Beast: Hee is wont to say, Let him that hath an eare, hear what [Page 247] the spirit saith: but here he saith, Let him tha [...] hath understan­ding count the number of the Beast. And it is also necessary for him, not of necessity to salvation, without which a man cannot be saved, but (necessitate precepti) necessary in regard of Gods command: Now because there are none of Gods comman­dements that are vaine things, but weighty, therefore they are either very necessary to salvation, or very expedient: so that a man shall be much weakened in his spiritual progresse, (espe­cially in Popish times, or in such times where men live in the Image of Popish Churches, National or Diocesan,) if he be ignorant thereof, he shall finde it to be much expedient to count the number of the Beast.

And further I adde, it will be found to be but the number of a man: What is the meaning of that? I will not trouble you with variety of interpretations, briefly the number of a man: I suppose it is here opposed to that which ye read of in Rev. 21. 17. where he tels us, The new Jerusalem was measured, an hundred and fourty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is of the Angel: here he doth not say so, the num­ber of a man, that is of the Angel: but it is the number of a meere man, a carnal man, and therefote in sum this number wil proove but an humane invention, it is therefore called the number of a man.

And finally, he saith this number is six hundred threescore and six. Six hundred sixty six is not in the Original in so many words, onely three greek letters are put for these three num­bers, [...]. Now it is true in the Greek account they do reckon numbers by the letters of the Alphabet, and from the first letter Alpha to Iota, they are for singular units, for Alpha is one, and Beta is two, &c. and they put in Sigma and make that six, Iota is the tenth letter, and so is ten in number; and from Iota to Rho, they are reckoned by tens, as Cappa is twen­ty, Lambda thirty, Mu fourty, &c. and so till you come to Rho and that is one hundred, and then the rest that follow are so many multiplied, as Sigma is two hundred, Tau three hundred, &c. and [...] six hundred. So that if these be under­stood as holding out the numbers, as here the words expresse, then [...] is six hundred, [...] is sixty, [...] is six; which being sum­med [Page 248] together they make up six hundred sixty six.

Now a man would wonder that the holy Ghost should de­light in such Arithmetical riddles; but since it pleaseth him thus to expresse himselfe, we must not look at it as a cabalis­tical curiosity, nor as an unsearchable mystery: but they that labour herein, shall finde that which may solace them­selves and others: For though by the arme of flesh no man shall be strong, yet by the wisdome of God the servants of Christ shall see light, and babes shall see the mystery of it. Therefore to cleare up this point, so far as God shall give light, consider with me I pray you six or seven several obser­vable passages of the holy story of the Revel [...]t [...]on, that may h [...]lp us in some measure in enquiring and counting this sum of six hundred three score and six, what it may point at. Let it not be wearisome to you; for though to us that are Ministers, we think we are most properly in our element when we preack Christ, and the need of Christ; yet forasmuch as Antichrist is opposed to Christ, and is an enemy to Christ, the one contra­ry may be the better known by the other, and no part of Scripture but is worthy our consideration, we may not be so squemish as to neglect to seek what may be the councel of the holy Ghost in this point. Observe therefore what the Scrip­ture doth observe about this number.

First, you shall observe this, to finde out the meaning; that such as have this number they all have liberty of com­merce, either in the Catholick Roman Church or in the I­mage of that Church; they may trade with them, whether in spiritual or temporal businesses, they will not grudge you; you are a currant market man among them; you are a ven­dable commodity, and you may passe with them, and your mony is good silver, as in Verse 16, 17. But if you be not a Preist of their order, nor a Roman Catholick, nor have his number, you may not buy, nor sell; that is something then.

Secondly, Marke this, that this number of the name is the degree of commerce with the Roman Catholick Church, for so he doth discend, Verse 17. No man may buy or sell but those that have the marke, or the name of the Beast, or the number of his [Page 249] name: As who should say, they were of the lowest, they were the least sort of them, yet to them it did pertaine that had the number of the name: yet there is so much real difference between them, that he saith plainly, They that receive the mark or his name, they shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation: And they shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy Angels, and in presence of the Lamb: And the smoak of their torment shall ascend up for ever and ever, and they shall have no rest day nor night, Rev. 14. 9, 10, 11. Which shews if they conti­nue in it, they cannot be saved: There was a cry of the Angel with a loud voyce, If any man worship the Beast and his Image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, &c. It shews the danger is very great to receive the mark of the Beast or the name of the Beast: But the number of his name I do not read of any such judgement pronounced to be inflicted upon them: though it be great wisdome to avoyd it, and it will wonderfully advance their heavenly good to get free from it: For wherein lies wisdome but in attaining our cheife good, and to know the best means that leads to that good, & that is in communion with God in his Ordinances purely dispenced; that is a second thing.

Thirdly, there is this recorded of this number of the name, that the choicest christians and the best christians, they gave God thanks for victory over the number as well as over the Beast, Rev. 15. 2. They got victory over the Beast, and over his Image, and over his marke, and over the number of his name, so that they sung the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, great and marvellous are thy works Lord God almighty, &c. They had got the victory over the number of the name of the Beast, and they are more abundant in thanksgiving for deliverance, then they that had onely victory over the marke, and that is their Preistly order or profession of Roman Ca­tholick Religion; so that this will come neare some Chur­ches, conformed to the Image of the Beast, that is, National, Diocesan, or Cathedrall Churches; but these have got victo­ry over that, not onely over the Beast and his Image, and his mark, and his name, but also the number of his name.

[Page 250] The fourth observable thing in Scripture is (I am occasi­oned to gather up little bea [...]s of wisdome which the holy Ghost hath scattred that so we may gather up this account) that this number of his name is not said to be the number of his years; It is neither the number of his years when he be­gan, nor the number of his years when he shall end: They cannot make it the beginning of his years; for though there be some that thought that Antichrist did first arise to a name in the year 606. yet they cannot cleare it by story. It is [...], in 606. or rather 604. Boniface took upon him the title of cheif Bishop, that is, spiritual advancing, which was a part of Antichrist, yet Antichrist was begun; and 606 is not 666. there is 60. years difference; and it is like the holy Ghost would not have varied so much in such an expresse number, therefore this number is not for the time of the beginning of this beast. Neither is it the end of his years, for the beast continues still to this time, which hath been almost a thou­sand years since 666. But some say in this round number, something is omitted, as when we say 88. we mean 1588. yet in Scripture phrase such small numbers are not regarded, we speak to those that know what we speak.

But the Scripture requires us to use wisdome in finding out this number: but what wisdome were it for the holy Ghost to leave out a thousand, as we leave out when we say 88. for 1500. the holy Ghost doth not so here. And besides, I would faine learn of any man of that judgement, what vi­ctory the Saints got, either the year when Antichrist began, or when he shall end. What victory have we got? or shall no body conflict with this number of the beast but those that li­ved in the year 666? or that shall live in the year 1666? In Rev. 15. 2. They got victory over the Beast and his Image, and over his name and number of his name, before the pouring out of the seven vials; So that I cannot say this is the number of the period of the beast, that those are the number of his name.

And for a fifth thing, there is this further to be observed in it, that it is not the number of the followers of the beast, but the number of the beast: If it were the number of his follow­ers, then it would be lesse then the number that followed the [Page 251] Lamb; for they are said to be an hundred fourty and four thou­sand, in Chap 14. 1. And had the beast had no more but 666. then he had a lesse number to fight for him, then the Lamb had to fight for him: but in Verse 8. of this chapter, he tels you, All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the Lambs book of life: And the world was never so hapy, as to leave but 666. reprobates in it in any ge­neration, therefore that cannot be the meaning.

Sixthly, whereas he saith, this number is the number of a man, and the number is six hundred threescore and six, he doth apparently put a difference between that and the name of the beast; for hee doth expresly distinguish them in the former verse, for he saith, The marke of the Beast, and the name, and the number of his name, Verse 17. They are three distinct things: So in Chap. 15. 2. where he saith, They got victory over the beast and his Image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name: And more yet, expresly in Chap. 14. 9, 10, 11. He denouceth vengence to them that receive his mark or name, and yet not damnation to all that receive his number; so that the num­ber is not his name, it is a distinct thing from the name, as the adjunct is from the subject. Then it will follow, me thinks (but I referre it to men of better judgement) it cannot be that either Latinus should be the number of the name, or (Ecclesia Catholica) the Roman Catholick Church; yet upon these points do our chief and late Expositers run: But (lea­ving them their due honour) it doth not satisfie me, because Ecclesia Catholica is the name of the first beast; and the name is one thing, and the number is another thing. And Latinus is one of the names of the second beast, of Latinus Episcopus, the name of the Bishop of Rome; therefore it being his name, it is not the number of his name: So then all these things be con­sidered, these observations being laid down, attend to a se­venth observation for the clearing of the meaning of the text, and for opening the true [...] of it;

Observe this,

7. That this number is expresly opposite to the number of the Lamb in the next verse, in the following Chapter: The number of the Beast is one thing, and the number of the Lamb [Page 252] is another thing: For enough this be not the number of the Beasts followers, sixe hundred threescore and sixe, yet it is the number of the Beast; and the number of the Lambs followers is an hundred forty & foure thousand, what will that hold forth? You shall find what the Holy Ghost intends expresly in that number in some other parts of this book, that this hundred forty and foure thousand hath his originall and rise from 12. And 12. multiplyed by 12. will arise from so many scores to so many hundreds, and 12. times twelve-thousand is an hundred forty and foure thousand. So that that is the number of an hun­dred forty and foure thousand, the basis of the number is 12. and multiplyed by 12. it will still be derived into the same 12. Now thus doth the Holy Ghost lead us by the hand to consider of more distinctly; In Rev 12. 14. 16. He tells us, The walls of the City had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb, and the City lyeth foure-square, and the length is as broad as the breadth, &c. He measured the City with the read, 12000. furlongs, the length, and the breadth, and the height of it are equall. There he layes the number according to the number of the 12. Apostles, the foundation of the Church of the living God: And further, ma [...]k how he multiplies on that 12. saith he, They are all equall, twelve thou­sand furlongs in breadth, twelve thousand furlongs in length, twelve thousand furlongs in height: Which argueth still, that as the Ci­ty of the new Jerusalem is built upon them, so it is multi­plyed from them: And when he comes to measure the wall, he tells you in vers. 17. that it was an hundred forty and foure: Just the Lambs company; Still the whole Fabrick of Jerusa­lem is 12. the foundation of the number is Apostolicall, it is numbred by 12. and multiplyed by 12. It ariseth still but to Apostolical simplicity, their number, and their measure, and their order, in all their dementions; when you have sum­med it up to the highest, their Laws and Orders that they set up, you shall finde 12. there, and you shall finde no more. Now then what is the number of the Beast? You see what the Lambs number is, An hundred forty and foure thousand: what is the Beasts number? It is sixe hundred threescore and sixe, it falls short in the beginning, sixe of the first 12. There is nothing [Page 253] Apostolical in it from the first rise: And as the rise is not the Apostolicall number, and constitution, so neither is the mul­tiplication of it, for six is not multiplyed by 12. but by ten; for sixe unites being multiplyed by tenne, make 60. and ten times sixty is 600. So all the multiplications is by ten, not by 12. the Apostolick number is not here. It is true, 666. runs roundly, and hath a comely proportion in it; where e­ver ye look, ye have sixe, and it is p [...]etty pleasing to the fan­cy, and easie to remember; 144. is not so round a number, neither for apprehension, nor for memory. But yet wee are not at the bottome: What should be the reason that the Holy Ghost should fingle out the number sixe, and multiply it by ten? why doth the Holy Ghost put it upon sixe? Seven had bin no Apostolical number, nor 10. multiplyed by 20. But why doth the H. Ghost pitch upon sixe, and the multiplication of sixe by ten? Why you that are conversant in the Latine Bible look Junius his notes, and he tells you; whereas all the Ca­tholique Church was formerly governed by five books of De­cretalls, Boniface he did compile a sixth book of Decretalls, and called it Sextus (you that have the book of Canons may finde it) which being (said the Pope) a perfect number, and therefore being added to the former books of Decretalls, it maketh up a certain plat-form of direction for all matters of practice and manners in the discipline of the Church, and so it is a perfect number of all things to be done in the Church, both for doctrine, worship, and government: so the Popes Canons are summed up in his Sextus, there is the reason why he makes sixe the foundation; all their Administrations are founded and measured out from their Canon [...]Lawes, which are all wrapped up in six volumes, and the sixth is the most compleat of them all.

Now if you will aske why this sixe comes to be multiply­ed by ten? If ye observe it, all the government and mainte­nance of the Roman State is by tenths, by tithes; all the peo­ple must give the tenth to the Priest, and the Priest to the Bishop for the mayntenance of the Catholicke Church, and so the whole Government comes to be multiplyed, maintained, and established.

[Page 254] Thus you see what the number is, and the reason why the Holy Ghost calls it so, and how he doth oppose it to the con­trary number of that which is delivered by the blessed Apo­stles, and followed by the holy Saints of God from one ge­neration to another. Put then all these together, and all will amount to this; That whereas the number of Christ up­on which both his followers are built, and his Church, and all the Dimentions and Administrations of it: Their foun­dation, their gates, their length, heighth, and breadth, all of them are founded in the Apostolicall doctrine: For Christ prayed for his twelve Apostles, and all that should believe in his name through their word, John 17. 20. It is the comprehension of all Saints to the end of the world, whereas they are built up­on Apostolicall simplicity, both for their State and Church-administrations, they are all built upon twelve, and multiplyed and enlarged by 12.

On the contrary, all the Roman Catholickes they are built upon the Popish Lawes and Decrees, all which require sub­jection to the Popish Church, and submission to that Church, and to the Pope as the head of that Church, receiving do­ctrine, and worship, and discipline from that Church, and that was founded in sixe, on the sixe books of their Decrees, and it is multiplyed according to the same books, to mayn­tayn all the Clergy, from the Pope to the lowest Parish priest: And it is wisdome to find this out, and it requires heavenly wisdome to see the dangerous state of this, and yet they that have wisdome may finde this out; and when they search it out, They will finde it but the number of a man, not of the Angel, or of the Apostles, or of any messenger of God.

I remember the speech of one of the Saints of God,Parker. That it is a most unworthy thing that the Church of Christ should be governed by the Lawes of Antichrist (and such were all their sixe books) and it is most unworthy, that both the Church it selfe, and all the Images of it, that they are all governed by these sixe bookes; and it is most unworthy that Antichrist should govern all the Administrations of the Church; that if a man be cited, it shall be by a Latine writ; and if he ap­peare, he shall be proceeded against according to Canon [Page 255] Lawes; and if he be censured, it shall be a Canon Law, and in Latine, and so shall his Absolution be; and what pertayns to their whole government, it is but founded in these sixe books of Decretals, and count them, and you shall find them but the number of a man; nothing but meerly the wit and policy of men, either to keep unity as they say (but tyranny in govern­ment) or to enrich men with fees, or maintayne the honour of some Cathedrall person, it is all but meer humane inven­tion. Now for a man to see not only the Roman Catholicke visible Church to be a Beast, but that the Pope the head of it is a beast, and the image of that Church is a beast; Diocesan, Pro­vinciall, Nationall, and Metropolitan Churches are but ima­ges of this great beast, and to see all the numbers and rights they thrust upon the Church by Canons, they are but the number of the beast, the number of a man, humane inventi­ons; what is appointed by the Church, whether Crosse or Surplice, or kneeling at the Sacrament, they are but the mul­tiplication of Canons, Canon multiplyed on Canon, but it is still but the power of the Canon, this is great wisdome to find it out: And it behooves those that have wisdome to con­sider it; and they that consider it, shall find it but a meer hu­mane device, one as well as another; and they will consider which way the State goes, and which way the State leanes: Though some poor hearts think they are bound to obey the Lawes of the Kingdom, and some good souls many times will be tampering with them too much; but he that shall observe it, shall find it but the number of a man when he doth find it: He shall find thus much, that if he do believe as God is wont to teach to his people, they shall not have the liberty of Com­merce in buying and selling, nor leave in spirituall or tem­porall occurrances and dealings with them.

For the use of it:Ʋse 1. First, let it be some word of encourage­ment and comfort unto all the servants of God, that have got the victory over this number, though with their losse, not to look at their losses as an unexpected thing, or new matter, but prophecyed of above 1500. years agone. John wro [...]e of it in his time, what you lost in your liberties in the Church wherein you lived, it is no more then what the Lord foretold [Page 256] you, that you should not have liberty to buy and sell if you did beare witnesse against the beast, and his mark, and name, and number of his name; then there is no abiding for you in any Church in Christendome, which is either Catholicke, or fra­med after the image of it, as Nationall, Diocesan, or Cathe­dral, or Provincial, it is not possible you should get the vict [...] ­over these things, and have liberty of commerce. It is not e­nough that we have cast off the Pope: and what is an image of Popery (which we sometimes have submitted unto) and have born against it, and it is not enough to abhor the name of a Papist so far as we have been corrupted: It is well that ye have born witnesse against the Hierarchy and the papall go­vernment; but may we not hearken to the Canon of the Church maintained by a whole National Councel? and may we not yield to the orders of these Canons, and beare wit­nesse to the number of the Name? Suppose the Cross, or Sur­plice, or kneeling at the the Sacrament, many Christians have strong reasonings about this, that they may keep their liber­ty of Commerce, their buying and selling, and will not God have mercy and not sacrifice?

Though such Godly christians in their weaknesse have such reasonings, yet beleive it we are to blesse God that hath given us to see that there is no correspondency to be kept with Rome: If you have the number of his name, this is not that which the holy Ghost speaks of as damnable heresie, you may live and dye in that judgment, and be saved, therefore he doth not pronounce fire and brimstone to such; they think in con­science they may yeild to this and that, as being the command of Caesar, or of the Church; the Lord spare you as the Apostle saith; But if a man will adore the Roman Catholick Church or the Pope the head of it, and submit in conscience to be guided by their Laws, he renounces his salvation in such a case; that a man shall pin his faith upon the Churches sleeve, and his hope, and Government, and course of life on the Churches sleeve, this is the way to everlasting damnation: And therefore in those Churches that are even Images of An­tichrist, it pleaseth God to keep his servants so far, that they dare not take all their Laws for doctrine without question, [Page 257] nor all the ways of their Government as the Government of Christ, that God opens all the hearts of his faithful servants to see: But yet for the number of his name; It is (say they) but a few trifling things, they are made a matter of six, as Crosse, and Surplice, and kneeling at the Sacrament, and bow­ing to Altars, and the name of Jesus, and ye will have six in the end, and what will be multiplyed on that six, the Lord knows: But for you here, look at it as a special mercy, that you see the vanity of receiving the number of his name, and that you have this deliverance from it; that though you have lost your buying and selling, that if you were there, you might hardly be seen in the Market, and in many of those Churches you will hardly be allowed, yet you have lost no more then ought to be forsaken.

There are that have sometimes put X for the crosse, and [...] a long letter in wrinkles for the Surplice, and [...] for the propor­tion of a man bowing, but I would not limit the counsell of the holy Ghost so strictly: But take all that is numbred by their Canon Law, and it will come all to one reckoning; they are but the number of the beast, whether the Pope dictate them, or they receive them; and though they cut of his head for saith, yet for discipline, and order, and circumstances they still retaine him, and these are the number of the Beast; there­fore blesse the Lord that hath shewed you these to be evils, and saved you from such prevailing evils.

Secondly,Ʋse 2. for your present condition, learn thus much, It will not be safe for ye to receive the Image of any other Church, then that which Christ hath established, and this is grounded upon 12. upon the Apostles doctrine, and multi­plyed by 12. increased with the increasings of God, blessed be his name, therefore it being so, hold fast this forme, and be not removed from it: If you fall to adore National, or Dio­cessan, or Provincial, or Cathedral Church-government, then you will fall to number by 6. and multiply 6. by 10. in the end it will come to passe all this shall be maintained by tenths, such setled endowments and preserments, and then it may be you shall have liberty of buying and selling, of traffique and trading; the Beast of Rome will allow you some liberty [Page 258] that way; yet believe it, it is a special part of your wisdome to know this, and the danger of it. If a man in his ignorance shall yeild to these things, God will pardon it; but if a man know these things, and willingly give way to them, the Lord will require it at his hands: Consider therefore this number, and avoyd it, though it cost you all your liberties, the Lord will say, this onely is a wise people, that renounce not onely the Beast, but the Images of him, and his marke, and the name Catholick, and Roman Catholick, and conformity to all the number of his name; If ye establish your hearts in these spi­ritual resolutions, here is wisdome; and thereof how should it provoke the hearts of Gods people to be setled in consci­ence about such points as these, though it may be your coun­trey-men will count you fools in runing such desperate ven­tures, that you would hazard your fortunes, and at length bring a noble to nine pence; you shall bring your six hun­dreds to sixties, and your sixties to sixe: No matter what they think of it, so long as ye shall keep the Apostolical num­ber, and multiply by their rule; the holy Ghost saith, Here is wisdome, and he that hath understanding, let him so esteem that here is wisdome; and it was wisdome to come hither: and he that came for this end, never made a better bargaine in his life, then to come over for this, because he would have no more to do with the Beast, and his Image, and his name, and the num­ber of his name; I say thou hast made a wise bargaine, if thou wilt take the word of the holy Ghost for thy security; he saith, here is wisdome.

Thirdly,Ʋse 3. it may teach us that are come hither to see that the Lord acknowledgeth our wisdome in the abrenuntiation which we have made from these inventions of the sonnes of men: The Lord did foretel us what should be our case, we should not have liberty to buy nor sell, neither be seen in Church nor Market, and he counts it wisdome to remoove on these termes: but if we shall have flittering mindes to go back againe, the Lord will write upon it, here is a foole, this their way is their folly, Psal. 49 13. When men in their hearts wax weary of the Churches of Christ, and of the discipline of Christ, and look at them as fulsome and empty things for [Page 259] want of feeling the life of Christ, and wisdome of Christ, run on foolishly and preposterously, and truly take a course to o­verthrow their communion they have with Christ, and make shipwrack as much as in them lies of all that which they have undergone, of all our sufferings and tryals: Saith the Apo­stle to the elect Lady and her children, in 2 John 8. Look to your selves, that ye loose not those things which ye have wrought but that ye receive a full reward. That as you have made a wise bargain and a safe, & bin at so much charge, and have been freed from the image of Antichrist, and the remnant of his image, and the remnant of his number (we have cause to blesse God for it.)

And though we may think of mending our selves here or there, yet you will finde it a difficult thing to finde 12. multi­plyed by 12. in any place under Heaven, that is, either your foundation shall not be Apostolical institution, or your ad­ministration apostolick doctrine: That christians should be the foundation of Churches, as the Apostles require, Saints by calling, and to build on such, and to administer such ac­cording to the word of God: Yea though the Lord should be pleased to give our Countrey-men free passage of a Parlia­ment, (as now we have speech of it) and though they be a wise Nation, yet such is the very frame of the State, and of the Sonnes of men, that if the Lord give free passage of a Parlia­ment, you will find it a very difficult thing, to have the State ruled by Apostolical judgment, to reject all devices of men, to shut out the greatest part of a kingdom from the Lords Table, you would finde rebellions multiplyed exceedingly, if they were of the spirit that they were of in Edward the sixths time. And when you are gone out of the Countrey (not that I would flatter the Countrey, the Lord knows we our selves here, have need to grow more spiritual daily; but yet in re­spect of the Churches of God, and administration of things here, though we faile and go aside, we have the rule to shew us the way back againe:) I say when you are gone, go whe­ther you will, you will have much ado to finde materials, and more ado to finde forme and administration: as that it may be in cold blood, you will fit and mourn by the waters of Ba­bilon, and hang your Harpes upon the willowes, and say, how [Page 260] shall we sing the Lords song, the song of Zion in a strange La [...]d? Therefore let it provoke us to hold fast what we have received and not to be taken off with faire pretences, to turne aside to one hand or the other; if we be in a state of wisdome, let us keep in it, and beleive it, whatever takes you to a contrary course to things as they stand; if the holy Ghost say this is wisedome, then I am sure the contrary of it must needs be folly.

Fourthly,Ʋse 4. it may teach us (in the fear of God) to have an eye to our brethren in our native Country, to consider those defects that those which reformed religion before us did leave in the recovery of the Country out of the jaws of Antichrist; (you see what the Lord requires of us, that we should have nothing to do with the number of the Beast) Though they cut off the head of the Beast, from being of any soveraign po­wer to them, yet they took too much liberty for forme of worship, and for the number of the Popes name, and of Go­vernment by Canon Laws, yea the whole Church discipline by the Popish Canon Law, onely with this destinction, that whereas the Pope enjoyed it before, now the King he claims headship over the Church aswel as the civil State, and he deri­veth the Church-power to the chief Bishops, and they worke upon it more and more; and though it be true, both Henery the eighth, and much more Edward the sixth, and Queen Eli­zabeth, all these did set so many Councellors, so many Di­vines, and so many common and civil Lawyers to cull out of the Popes Decretals such Canons as were most fit for Govern­ment, and most of such as cut off Popish supremacy, yet they could never agree of it, and so they admit them as the Popes Canons only; yet so that whereas reference of Ecclesiastical matters was to the Pope, now it is to the King as supream head and Governour, but the Popes Canons are the govern­ment of the Church. Now what was the reason? There was an unsafe principle in their hearts, that they thought it law­full to take the Laws of the Roman Church, and that any King might have power to make Laws to govern the Church, as well as the Pope had. It is true, he hath power to make Lawes as well as the Pope had, and better; but the truth is, [Page 261] neither the Pope, nor King hath power to make Laws to rule the Church, but it must be by the Laws of Christ.

Whatsoever is not of the number of 12. is superadded, and will never prosper; but this principle making them willing to admit such things, though they were the chiefest of the Kingdome, that were appointed for that worke, yet they could never agree: But had they received a little more light and wisdome to cut off the number of the Beast aswel as his head, it would have prevailed for the liberty of Gods Ordinances and purity of Doctrine: I say this being wanting to them, let it not be wanting to us; but through the mercy of God, the servants of God have taken no small paines to clear up such things; what the Laws are in the Church of Christ by which Magistrates and others are to be guided, how far civil Government may reach, and how farre it may not go, still re­serving this fundamental principle, to hold them close to the direction of the holy Ghost by the 12. Apostles; and this be­ing the pious care of our Magistrates, and of the Churches, this wisdome will by the blessing of God be established; that that which other Nations have not attained to this day, may by the blessing of God be reached by us: and yet though the Elders are to enquire and to commend to them such rules as may establish it, it pleaseth God not to give as yet passage to our purposes; appoint one day, a storme of raine hinders; ap­point the second day fortnight, then a storme of snow pre­vents, that it is tough work to establish things of this nature; it is difficult, as if the Lord would have them established in a spirituall way, as Moses the Law by 40. dayes fasting, he had the spirit of God and larger measure by much then we, yet the Lord requires serious humiliation of him. And there­fore since I heard that there hath been a seasonable motion to commend such a thing to the State that the whole country do in special maner seek God at such a time against the con­sultation of the general Court; and this weighty point fal­ling in for ripening of mens thoughts for the Laws of the Country and limitation of jurisdictions both of Church and Common-wealth, the Lord saith, he will be sought unto by the house of Israel. Therefore I think the motion is seasonable [Page 262] and was glad to hear of it; and thought to commend it to our honoured Governours that sit at Stern, and all other Chur­ches (but we that are present have no power but in our own Church, nor that but with the consent of the Church) that if it be thought convenient this day seven-night might be set a­part to seek the face of God, that we may take time both to ripen our consultations, and to prevaile with the Lord to prosper our consultations and administrations, that this mat­ter which so much concerns posterity may be established; for my own part, while we live I am not greatly solicitous thereabout, yet for future we know not what Governors may arise, and what may be put upon our posterity; needful there­fore that things were put in a right frame, that whatever men say, yet the Lord may say here is wisdome, and here is neither marke, nor name, nor number of name, but all carri­ed according to the laws of the 12. Apostles, and this will re­quire some humiliation, and if Moses stood in need of 40. days, we much more of one day. And for our native coun­trey, we do not know what conflicts there may be there about the number of the name of the Beast; we are come from them in bodily presence, and therefore cannot helpe them by a word of advice; but this we may do, put up supplications to heaven, and we may intreat the God of wisdome, and the Prince of peace, that he would put in amongst them that they may see the whole fabrick, root and branch of the man of sin, that so there may be a perfect combination of the two great Nations, that the Parliament may be for the better, not for the worse, but purity of ordinances (if it be the blessed will of God) may be established; however we shall finde a blessing, and some of our brethren shall fare the better: and if things wax clearer and zeal warmer▪ they will begin to suspect the number as well as the name, and as the head of the beast; o­therwise the three innocent ceremonies (as they call them) they are grown to six; and being multiplyed by ten, they may grow to 60. yea to 600. for ought I know: Let us help them what we can by Prayer.


A TABLE of the principall Heads contained in this Book.

  • THe amplitude of the Popes power, page 113
  • Amplitude of dominion, not an inseperable character of the Church, 121
  • Angels created the first day of the weeke, 188
  • Antichrist described, 243
  • It is Antichristian to assume Gods titles, 52
  • Transcendant authority dangerous to be admitted, 72
  • Albingenses and Waldenses slaine, to the number of 1000000. 100
  • Backsliders punished, page 43
  • The first Beast what it is, page 7. Described, p. 2. Not the Pagan Empire, p. 4. Not the Christian Empire, pag 5. Whence it did arise, p. 9
  • The Beast and the head of the beast is one and the same, 44
  • The Beasts head, when wounded and cured, p. 35. his great words p. 62. the Beasts time how long, p. 80. Why counted by monethes, p. 86. When it did begin, p. 86
  • The Beasts power, p. 98. From whence, p. 115. Why Saints wor­ship not the Beast, 139
  • The second Beast described, 223
  • Bishoply power to be prayed against, 38
  • Blasphemy what, 67
  • [Page] Blessed are the sufferers for Christ, page 219
  • Bodie of death what, 185
  • Booke of Providence, and booke of Conscience, and the booke of life, what, 132
  • The Popes Buls are but baubles, 90
  • IT is a Character of the second Beast to be without controul, p. 236
  • Christs Government over all Nations, 12 [...]
  • Christ both the subject and the author of life, 130
  • Why Christ answered not Pilate, 157
  • Christ the Lamb slaine, p. 154. Christ slaine from the beginning of the world, how? 189
  • Christ the stone cut out of the mountaine without hands, p. 196. the head of the Church, 37
  • Christians may make a defensive warre, 108
  • The Church Catholick is not visible, 13
  • The power of the Church, 13
  • The Roman Catholicke visible Church a beast, p. 14. They receive their power from the Devill, 22
  • Nationall and Diocesan Churches an Image of the beast, 16
  • Christs Church is such as meet in one Congregation, 15
  • No Communion to be held with Antichristian Churches, 239
  • Scripture Computations most exact, 95
  • THe Popes Decretals the number of the Beast, page 253
  • Dwellers on the earth, who? 230
  • Defensive war of Prorestants, p. 104. Defensive warr lawfull, 108
  • Denmark one of the ten horns, 81
  • Devill cast out of heaven when and where, 88. 92
  • EAre to heare, what it meanes, 206
  • Election, a booke of life, p▪ 135. in what sence it is sayd to be sure, p. 150. How we are said to make it sure, 150. 153
  • England one of the ten horns, p. 10. 81.
  • [Page]FAith the victory whereby we overcome the world, page 108
  • The Faith of Romanists is the saith of the Devill, 210
  • No Falling from grace, 149
  • France one of the tenne horns, 81
  • Fryars are Incendiaries, 101
  • Fundamentall power is in the people, 72
  • GRace and workes opposite, page 210
  • God most exact in his computations, 94
  • Christs Government over the world, p. 122. It is hard to be set up in England, 12
  • Governours are subject to law, p. 109. they may be resisted, and when, 109
  • Gregory sent for England, 51
  • HEadship of the Church is Christs priviledge, page 39
  • Hints of Providence should be taken, 45
  • To keep Holy-dayes is blasphemy, 67
  • Tenne Horns of the Beast, 81
  • IMmunity and impunity from all censures is the Beasts claime, page 230
  • Image of the Beast, what? p. 223. that all Officers, Governments, and worship (not instituted by Christ) are but Images, 238
  • Diocesan, Cathedrall, and Nationall Churches are Images of the Beast, 239
  • It is impossible for Saints to fall finally, 148
  • The Judgment upon persecutors, 217
  • Justification is from free grace. 163
  • [Page]THe Kingly power of Christ, page 122
  • CHrist the Lamb slaine, p. 154. 168. Why called a Lam p. 155.
  • Why slaine? p. 170. What the book of the Lamb? p. 135
  • Lex [...], unto persecuting Tyrants, 98
  • Boundlesse Liberty dangerous, 71
  • The Lyon of Babels language, 12
  • The Love of God most free, 146
  • MAgistrates power should be limited, page 73
  • Magistrates subject to the Churches censures, 126
  • The fifth Monarchy, 120. 122
  • The 42. Moneths, the same with 1260. dayes, 83
  • Why the Beasts time is numbred by Moneths, 86
  • When these Moneths began, 93
  • Opening of the Mouth, what it meanes, 64
  • Morall vertue is but a silken or golden chaine, 197
  • NAva [...] one of the tenne Horns, page 81
  • No Name whereby to be saved but Christ, 201
  • Number of the Beasts name, 247
  • VVHat Obedience Subjects owe to Princes, page 111
  • Opening the mouth what it meanes? 64
  • Opportunity to wound the Beast ought not to be neglected, 45
  • PArishes a part of the beasts Image, page 20
  • A Papist by his Religion cannot go beyond a reprobate, 143
  • [Page] The People can give no power, but what the word of God allows, 72
  • Peace with Idolaters dangerous, 105
  • Persecutors rewarded in their kind, 98
  • Gods judgement on Persecutors, 217
  • Pontifex Maximus, the Popes style, 88
  • Pope, the head of the Beast that was wounded, p. 34. When woun­ded, p. 35. When cured, 35
  • Pope is the seventh head, p. 47. Hee rules the world, p. 52. Hee assumes divine power, 53
  • Pope is the head of the second Beast, p. 215. Why compared to a wild beast, p. 226 what power he challengeth, 229
  • Popes have been Conjurers, 232
  • Popery a worm-eaten Religion, p. 60 why pleasing to the flesh, 117
  • Power of the Beast whence it i [...], p. 22. 115. and what it is, 23
  • What Power Princes have over the Church, what not? 39
  • Princes Power ought to be limited, 73
  • We should pray for the Beasts ruine, 95
  • Christs Purchase for his people, 171
  • THe blood of Christ a Ransome for sinne, page 176
  • Popish repentance no better then Judas repentance, 212
  • Reconciliation with God, the purchase of Christs blood, 171
  • Roman Catholicke visible Church described, p. 2. 7. And whence this first Beast did arise, 9
  • When Rome-Pagan ended, and Rome-Christian began, 5
  • SAints alwayes victorious, page 106
  • No Salvation in the Romish Church, 215
  • What is meant by Sea, 8
  • Christ slaine, p. 168 and wherefore, p. 170. and how slaine from the beginning of the world? 189
  • The Spirit is purchased by Christs death, 172
  • Sufferers for Christ and his cause are blessed, 219
  • Sweden is one of the ten Horns, 50
  • [Page]TEnths is the number of the beasts name, pag. 253. 257
  • Th [...]odosius over [...]hrew the Temples, 88
  • The Turk invincible whilst the Pope stands, 50
  • UNiversality and prosperity no notes of a true Church, page 57
  • Union purchased by Christs death, 172
  • VVAldenses and Albingenses slaine, to the number of 1000000. page 100
  • Saints are Saints in Warre as well as in Peace, 108
  • Such as War against Antichrist are called Saints, 106
  • A warning from checks of Providence, 44
  • The Beast makes War with the Saints, 98
  • The great words of the Beast, 65
  • Works and grace opposite, 210
  • Popish worship is the worship of the Devill, 58


PAge 2. l. 2. r. a part. l 17. r. they are. p 4. l. 17. r. Pagan. p 8. l. 19. r. partions. p. 9. l. 26. r. Decemviri. l. 28. r. was. p. 14. l. 34. r is it. p. 16. l. 17. r. is it. l. ult. r. edefied. p. 18. l. 3. r. examination. p. 29. l. 34. r. edefied. & l. 35. r. bring. p. 30. l. 25. r. passeth p 31. l. 37. r. Church will p. 32. l. 3. r. they. p. 33. l. 24. r. Decemviries, p. 34. l. 23. r. some such. l. 35. r. must therefore. p. 43. l. 32. r. sacrifice. p. 62. r. delegation. p. 6 [...] l. 27. r. Dan. 7. 8. p. 64. l. 16. r. audible. p. 82. l. 28. r. [...]. l. 38. r. there. p. 37. l. 17 r. prevaricate p. 90. l. 14. r. many. p. 91. l. 22. r. talke. p. 123. l. 21, r. Albigenses. l. 29. r. sui [...]. p. 124. l. 24. r. without. p. 129. l. 29 r. men. p. 132. l 24. r. acceptation. p. 145 l. ult. r. irrevocable. p. 159. l. 6. r. unexcusable. p. 157. l. 31. r. many. p. 160. l. 6. r. anti­quity p. 178. l. 23. r. applyed to p. 181. l. 19. r. repetitions. p. 182. 29. r. the. p. 184. 36. r. grace. p 211. l. 28. r. stony, p. 229. l. 36. r. appeals.


The Analysis of this 13. Chapter of the Revelation.
This Chapter contains the Warr which the Dragon or Devill made against the Woman or Church (mentioned in the last verse of the foregoing Chapter) which is managed by two Beasts as his Instruments.

  • First beast is described, v. 1. to 11 by his
    • 1 Originall, or Fountaine whence he springs, viz. the Sea, vers. 1.
    • 2. Sh [...]pe or Figure, ha­ving
      • 7. Heads, with the Title of blasphemy upon them, ib.
      • 10. Horns with Crowns upon them, ibid.
      • A Body like unto a Leopard, or Panther, v. 2.
      • Feet, as of a Beare, ibid.
      • A mouth, as of a Lyon, ibid.
    • 3. State, which is set forth by
      • 1. The efficient Cause, viz. the Dragon, he gave his power and authority, ibid.
      • 2. The va­riable change of it.
        • 1. 'Twas great, being cal'd
          • Power.
          • Seat.
          • Authority.
        • 2. One head was wounded as it were to death, v. 3.
        • 3. That Head was healed, ib. and the effects thereof.
          • 1. The worlds wondring, ibid.
          • 2. The worshipping of the Beast and Dragon, v. 4.
          • 3. Liberty to blaspheme, v. 5. 6.
          • 4. Power to
            • continue 42. moneths.
            • overcom the Saints, v. 7.
          • 5. The amplitude or largenesse of his Dominion, v. 7, 8.
      • 3. A Conclusion containing a word of Attenttors and Consolation v. 9, 10.
  • [Page]1. His Originall, He comes ont of the earth, vers. 11.
  • 2. A Similitude or Resemblance in 3. things.
    • viz. to
      • 1. A Lamb in his horns, ibid.
      • 2. A Dragon in his speech, ibid.
      • 3. The first Beast, in the exercise of his Power v. 12.
  • 3. The particular Exercises of his Power, or eff [...]cts of it, viz. Hee
    • 1. Procures Adoration to the first beast, ibid.
    • 2. Doth great wonders, making fire come down from heaven in the sight of men, ver. 13.
    • 3. Deceives them that dwell on the earth by those mi­racles, v. 14.
    • 4. Doth prevaile with them that are on earth, to make an Image to the Beast, which had a wound by the sword, and did live, ibid.
    • 5. Animates, and gives life to the Image of the Beast, that it should have both power to speake, and to cause as many as would not worship the Image of the Beast, to be killed, v. 15.
    • 6. Causeth all sorts of men (small and great, rich and poor, free and bond) to receive a mark in their right hand or forehead, or at least the Name of the Beast, or the number of his name, or other­wise he excludes them not only from spirituall but also civill Commerce, v. 16, 17.
    • The number of his Name is also, ver. 18. illu­strated,
      • 1. By the wisdome needfull to the understanding of it.
      • 2. By an exhortation to search out and count it.
      • 3. To be the number of a man expresly decyphered to be 666.

The Reader is desired to correct with his pen these faults (amongst others) which through precipitance of the Press have fallen to the prejudice of the sence.

22a part.
 lastlasted long.
1436is it not.
1617is it not.
3611head of the.
6610Pope that is the
 20could not for would.
7311clouds to keep them from the earth.
 ib.Firmament to the clouds.
 31blot out a.
 28 [...].
  blot out ever.
8335a definite, or indefinite time.
 25there was no place.
 20for scores of, r. number.
9013time for the moneth.
 14many for may.
951the children of Israel in the land of Aegypt.
10136readinesse for necessity.
1022even for him and
10732they are not hereticks.
 35if not, they
10913not lift up.
 28hand for head.
1156blot out Exasia.
11624the Pope; was.
12321Waldenses and Alb [...]ngenses.
 29suite for smite.
12424Without mixture.
129penult.of life for of the life.
1341else they may not.
 3the booke of life of.
 25Wherein whoever is not.
 33blot out out of.
14134, 35the world it carryeth away them.
145l [...]stirrevocable.
1468receive him.
 31there be in us.
15010how for now.
 13many times.
 30seale for search.
 32after worke for Christ make;
15534that for as.
1594This is for this this.
16531many times
 23applyed to thee.
17829the stay.
1821of temptations.
18436way of grace.
 19in Sauls, and Solomons.
197 [...]take it at the best.
[Page]198 [...]9And [...]
2012blot out in doing and suffering all for them.
20612which be ha [...]h.
20821not for nor.
 29tells you of the.
 30blot out to in that sentence [and to the ho­ly Citie they]
2094not for nor.
2117word for world.
21528 [...]ony for strong.
21827tale for taile.
22915appointed time is come.
23612the Church.
23723the head of this beast.
23910Congregations to.
 4, 5speech of the sins of Christians in, &c.
 35blot out as.
 36for a great
24016loth for loft.
24128given for gotten.
2469me for men.
24727 [...].
24925as well.
25131then let all.
25214of it more.
 10born witnesse against.
 11a Papist; so far.
2576sixe more in.
25917in the foundation.

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