BY LANCELOT DAWES, D. D. Now Minister of Barton in Westmorland, and sometimes fellow of Queens Colledge in Oxford.

MATH. 23. 37, 38. ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered, &c.’

LONDON. Printed for Humphrey Robinson, at the three Pigeons in St. Pauls Church-yard, MDCLIII.

The Contents.

  • First Sermon. Gods Mercies and Jeusalems miseries. Ieremie 5. 1. Runne to and fro by the streets of Jerusalem, and behold now, and know and inquire to the open places thereof: If yee find a man, or if there be any that executeth Judgment, and seeketh the truth, and I will spare it. pag. 1.
  • Second Sermon. Matth. 26. 15. What will yee give me and I will deliver him unto you? pag. 53.
  • Third Sermon. Matth. 27. 3, 4. Then Judas which betrayed him saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the Chief Prie [...]ts and Elders, saying, I have sinned, betraying the Innocent bloud: but they said, what is that to us (see thou to that) and when he had cast down the silver pieces in the Temple, &c. pag. 89.
  • Fourth Sermon. Psal. 82. 6, 7. I have said ye are gods, but you shall dye like men. pag. 105.
  • Fift Sermon. Galat. 3. 10. As many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse: for it is written cursed is every man that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. pag. 139.
  • Sixt Sermon preached at the funeral of Dr. Senhouse, Bishop of Carlile. Job. 14. 14. If a man die, shall he live again? all the dayes of my appointed time will I wait till my changing come. pag. 159.
The second part.
  • [Page]Four Sermons on this Text. Luk. 12. 32. Fear not little flock, for it is your fathers pleasure to give you the kingdome. pag 1.
  • The second Sermon upon the same, pag. 30.
  • The third Sermon upon the same, pag. [...]5.
  • The fourth Sermon upon the same, pag. [...].
  • Fifth Sermon. Matth. 7. 22, 23. Many will say unto me that day. Lord, Lord, have not we by thy name prophe­sied, and then I will professe to them, I never knew you. pag. 93.
  • Sixth Sermon. Jer. 22. 3. Thus saith the Lord, Execute yee Judgement and Righteousnesse. pag. 129.


JEREMIE 5. 1.‘¶Runne to and fro by the streets of Jerusalem, and behold now, and know and inquire to the open places thereof: if ye can find a man, or if there be any that executeth Judgement and seeketh the Truth, and I will spare it.’

MAny means did the Lord use to reclaim Jerusalem from her rebellion against him, by sundry com­memorations of his benefits he wooed her, by the sweet promises of the Gospel he incited her, by the captivity of her sister Samaria, he forewarned her, but yet she continued like her forefathersPsal. 78. a faithlesse and stubborn generation, a generation that set not her heart aright, she runs still on a wrong Bias, in [Page 2] stead of being a faithfull Spouse, she becomes a filthie harlot, andJere. 3. 6. playeth the Whore upon every hie mountain, and under e­very green tree, her Isa. 1. 22. wine is mixed with water, her silver is become drosse, her Princes rebels and companions of theeves, and as she growes in years, so she increaseth in all impieties, she which at the first did onely pull little sinnes with the smallIsa. 5. 18. cordes of vanity, doth now draw greater transgressions with the huge cartropes of iniquity; so that nowIsa. 1. 6. from the sole of her foot to the crown of her head, there is nothing sound in her but wounds and swellings, and sores full of corruption. In this case God, Psal. 5. 4. which cannot abide wickednesse, neither can any evil dwell with him, as the Psalmist speaketh, begins to loath her, and to give her up into the hands of her most savage and cruell enemies, (the Chaldeans) who shall Psal. 79. 1. defile the holy Temple, and make Jerusalem a heap of stones. Oh, but shall the husband be so un­kind to his SpouseJer. 2▪ 2. whom he hath married unto himself? shall a Father be so severe to his child? shall the God of mercy be so unmerciful unto his chosen?Gen. 18. 25. Shall not the judge of the world do right? farre be it from God, that hee should slay the righteous with the wicked. God answereth, that there is no reason, why she should repine against him, or accuse him of cruelty: her A­postasie is so generall, her disease (like a Gangraena) is spread through every member of the body, her malice is so incurable, that he cannot without impeachment of his justice, spare her any longer. Runne to and fro by the streets of Jerusalem, &c. as if he had said, O yee men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, do not say that your teeth are set on edge, becauseEzech. 18. your fa­thers have eaten sowre grapes: do not object, that my wayes are not equal: it is your wayes that are unequal: it is your sins that brings this heavy doom upon your heads: whether this be so or not, you your selves be Judges: for I beseech you seek up and down, not in the Countrey towns onely, and villages of Judah, but in the Metropolis of the whole Kingdome, in theMatth. 4. holy City, Isa. 52. 1. run through every corner of it, search and enquire in the houses and allies and back-lanes, and high streets thereof, marke their conditions, observe their practises, consider their behaviour, take a full view of their whole carriage, if after such enquiry, there be found but one man amongst the whole multitude that [Page 3] feareth me, or maketh any conscience of his wayes, and I will spare the whole City for that one mans sake: but if after you have sought man by man, there be not one godly man found a­mongst them all, think it not cruelty, if now at length I inflict (in justice) my judgements upon her: the summe is contained in this short proposition: I will spare Jerusalem if there can one righteous man be found in her.

Wherein wee may observe these two principall points: Gods mercy, in that hee would have spared Jerusalem for one mans sake; Jerusalems misery, in that not one righteous man can bee found in her; the former I deliver in this proposition; Gods mer­cy in sparing doth exceed his justice in punishing, and with this wee will beginne.

But alas,Doctrine. who am I dust and ashes that I should intreat of this Subject? it is a bottomelesse depth, who can dive into it? it is an unaccessible light,Tull. de. natu. deorum. who can behold it? if the Heathen Simoni­des after three dayes study how to describe God, was further from any resolution in the latter end, then when he first began: nay, ifExod. 33. Moses (a man more familiar with God then any that ever lived upon the face of the earth) when he was put in a clift of a rock, and covered with Gods hands, could not behold the glory of his face; then may it not seem strange, if the tongues of men and Angels faile in describing the very back parts of this one attribute, being more proper and essentiall unto God then a­ny whatsoever.Justin. l. 18. That Tyrian proved the wisest in the end, who having concluded in the Evening with his fellowes, that he which could first in the next morning behold the Sun (which they wor­shipped as a God) should be King; looked not toward the East where he riseth, but towards the western mountains where his rayes did first appear. We will follow his Example, and seeing we cannot seek into the fountain at which the Cherubs did cover their faces: let us behold it in the mountains, that is, the Pro­phets and Apostles,Hieron. lib. 11. Comment in Ezech. as Jerome expounds the word, or the moun­tains, that is the creatures and works of God, in all which it doth most clearly shine: there is no work of God in which there do not appear such manifest Characters of his mercy, that he which runneth may read them. Those benefits intended towards his children; as namely Election before all time, creation in the [Page 4] beginning of time, Vocation, Redemption, Justification in the fulnesse of time, Glorification after all time, &c. To prove them to be so many rivers of the bottomlesse Ocean of Gods never dying mercy; it were but to busie my self about a principle, which I hope none of you will call into question: Gods almigh­ty power is manifested unto us, in that he hath created the world of nothing,Psal. 33. 6. and made all the hoast of heaven by the breath of his mouth: and it is a property, in describing of which, Gods Secretaries do strive to be eloquent. Job to shew it faith, that Job. 9. hee spreadeth out the heavens like a Canopie, and walketh up­on the height of the Sea, that he maketh the starres, Arcturu; and Orion, and Pleiades, and the climates of the South. Elihu sets it forth under Behemoth, whose taile is like a Cedar, and his bones like staves of brasse, Job. 40. yet the Lord leadeth him whither soever he will; and under Leviathan, which makes the depth to boile like a pot, and the sea like a pot of ointment, and yet the Lord can put a ho [...]k in his nose, and pierce his jawes with an Angle. David to shew it, faith,Psal. 114. that he maketh the mountains to skippe like Rammes, and the little hils like young sheep: Esay, to expresse it saith, that Isa. 40. all nations before him are as a droppe of a bucket, and are counted as the dust of the ballance, that hee taketh away the Isles as a little dust, that he hath measured the waters in his fist, and counted hea­ven with a span, & comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in a weight, and the hils in a ballance, and yet his mercy goeth beyond his power, in that his omnipo­tency hath made nothing but what his mercy moved him to cre­ate, and it comes after too, in preserving, and guiding, and pro­tecting by his heavenly providence (a branch of his mercy) what­soever his powerfull hand hath made, if he should but once stop the influence of his mercy, all the works of his hands should presently be annihilated.Psal. 33. 5. The earth is full of the mercies of the Lord (saith the Psalmist) hee saith not the heavens saith Austen, Quia non indigent misericordia ubi est nulla miseria: they needed no mercy where there is no misery;Augustin in illum locum. and yet in ano­ther place hee addeth the heavens too: thy truth (an other of his attributes) goeth unto the clouds, there it stayeth, but thy mercy goeth further: it reacheth unto the heavens, in fewer words: It is over all his works. Psal. 14. 5. 9.

[Page 5] But my text leads me to entreat of his mercy, as it hath refe­rence unto his justice; where you shall finde that of two infi­nites one doth infinitely surpasse an other, to bee called a mercifull God, and the father of mercy is a title wherein God especially delighteth, but he is almost never called the God of judgement: here how hee proclaimeth himself: The Lord, the Lord, strong▪ there is one Epithete of his power; merciful, gracious, slow to anger, abundant in goodnesse, and truth, reserving mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin: there are six of his mercy. Then comes his justice in punishing of offen­ces: not making the wicked innocent, visiting the iniquity of the Fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation: there he confines his justice, hee saith unto it as he doth unto the seas in Job: Job. 38. 11. Hither shalt thou goe, and thou shalt go no fur­ther, here shalt thou stay thy raging waves, it shall not passe the fourth generation, and that is more then Ordinary, if it come so farre, it is but as a high spring,Exo. 20. 5, 6. upon such as hate him: but his mercy flowes like a boundlesse Ocean, upon thousands of those that love him. Nay the Prophet tels us, that to punish, is with God a rare and extraordinary work.Esa. 28. 11. The Lord (saith he) shall stand as in mount Perazim, hee shall be angry as in the valley of Gibeon, that hee may do his work, his strange act. This is an act of judgement, where you see that to punish, with him is an un­couth and strange work, an act indeed, unto which without com­pulsion of justice, hee could not be drawn; he is more loath to put out his hand for to inflict a judgement,Sueton. then ever was Octa­vius to subscribe his name to the execution of any publike of­fender, whose usuall speech was this, Ʋtinam nescirem literas, I would to God I could not write. How oft doth miserable man offend against his maker? surely if the just man fall seven times, then the wicked falleth seventy times seven times, and yet he maketh his Sunne to shine upon them both, he makes his rain to fall upon them both, still almost he containeth the sword of his justice within the sheath of his mercy: If in case he be en­forced to draw it, he is as it were touched with a feeling of that which the wicked suffer; hear himself speak, Therefore thus saith the Lord of hoasts, the holy one of Israel, ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, Isa. 1. 24. and avenge me of mine enemies: it is a kinde [Page 6] of ease to be avenged of thine enemie, and therefore God when the Jews continue still to provoke him to his face, will ease him­self by inflicting his judgements upon them, I will ease me of mine enemies: but it comes with an (ah) or (alas) it is pain and grief to him, he is wounded to the very heart, his bowels are rolled and turned within him; a few tears might have made him sheath his sword, and deferre his punishments; the history of Ahab will prove as much, who was one that had sold himself to work wickednesse, that provoked the Lord more then all the Kings of Israel that were before him, 1 King. 16. 30 then Baasha, then Omri, then Jero­boam the son of Nebat that made Israel to sin, therefore the Lords sends unto him the Prophet Eliah telling him, that in the field where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth they should lick his blood also, 1 King. 21. 19 21. and that he would wipe away his posterity as one wipeth a dish, when it is wiped and turned upside down. Ahab hath no sooner rented his clothes at the Prophets words, then God re­penteth him of what he had threatned: Seest thou how Ahab is humbled before me? Verse 29. a simple humiliation God wot, only in out­ward shew, and yet shall suffice to revoke part of Gods judge­ments against him, because he submitteth himself before me, I will not bring that evil in his dayes upon his house. Nineve had multi­plyed her transgressions as the sand upon the sea shore; she had by her sins blown upon the coals of Gods anger against her; but yet he will not come upon her as a thief in the night to destroy her, she shall have fourtie dayes warning, and if in the mean time she will turn her playing into praying, and her feasting into fast­ing, and by covering her self with sack cloth, hide from his eyes her broad sails of pride, he will make it known unto her, that he was not so ready before to lend a left ear of justice to her cry­ing sins, as he is now to afford a right ear of mercie to the cry of her sinners: he will repent of the evil that he had denounced against her, Jonah 3. 10. and will not do it. The old world had so defiled the earth with her cruelties, and the smoak of her sins did so fume up to Heaven into the Nostrils of God, that he was sorry in his heart that ever he had made man: Gen. 6. 6. yet he will not presently destroy this wicked generation, there shall be an hundred and twenty years for repentance, Verse 3. before he will purge this Augaeum stabulum, with a deluge of waters.

[Page 7] Nay, such is the never drying stream of his mercies, that for the righteous sake, the wicked though they do not repent, shall fare the better.Ruffin. Hist. Eccles. lib. 2. cap. 18. God is not like to the Emperour Theodosius, who for the offence of a few, put all the Thessalonians to the sword: but rather (if without offence the Potter may be com­pared to the clay) like to that Persian General, who spared Delos because that Apollo was born there;Herod. Lib. Plut. in Caesar. or Caesar who made the Cni­dians free men for Theopompus his sake: it was an opinion of the Heathen, that for one evil mans sake, many good men were put to the worse,

—Pallas exurere Gentem
Argivûm atque ipsos voluit submergere ponto:
Virgil. 1. Lib. Aeneid.
Pallas overthrew the whole navie of the Argives:
Ʋnius ob noxam & furias Ajacis Oilei,

for the sin of one man by name, Ajax the son of Oileus, and [...], God punisheth a whole City for one mans sin, Hesiod. op. & dies. and sends upon it [...], fa­mine and plague for the sin of some particular, it is not so: God never punisheth one man for anothers offences: if thou object unto me, that the Israelites were plagued for Davids trespasse, I answer, Davids sin did occasion that punishment which the Israelites did justly deserve for their own iniquities: for howso­ever David in respect of himself (who deserved more) called them sheep, yet indeed they were Wolves in sheep-skins: and verily in this particular, we have an evident demonstration of his mercies: for first, of three several punishments, he gives him leave to chuse which of them he would: When David had chosen the Pestilence for three dayes, indeed he sent his destroy­ing Angel; but before his sword was half drawn, he puts it up again, and repenteth him of the evil, and abridgeth the time: Now we know that every substraction from his judgements is a multiplication of his mercies, and how far he is from punishing the righteous with the wicked, let Sodom witnesse, a sink of the filthiest sins, a cage of the uncleanest birds, a den of the wicked­est theeves that ever the earth bred: yet he will not rashly come upon her,Gen. 18. [...]. but first he will go down and see whether they have done altogether according unto that cry which was come unto him, and if there can but fifty righteous men be found in five Cities, which [Page 8] was but for every City ten, nay, if but fourty, nay, if but thirty, nay, if but twenty, nay, if but ten can bee found amongst them all, which was but for every City two, he will not destroy the Citie for those mens sake: when none can be found save just Lot, he will not subvert Sodom before he be brought out of the City, nay, he will spare the whole City of Zoar for Lots sake:Acts 27. if good Paul be in the ship, all that are with him, even the barbarous Souldiers shall for his sake come safe to land. But of all others (that I may end this point where I began it) Jerusalem in my Text is most famous: whom the Lord doth so tenderly compassionate, that if within her spatious walls, amongst so many millions of souls, one righ­teous man could have been found, either among the Nobles or Magistrates, or Priests, or people, he would have spared Jerusalem for that mans sake.

And is this true?Ʋse. 1. be not then dismayed thou fainting and drooping soul, whom the burden of thy sins hath pressed down to the brink of hell: is there such a thunder-threatning Cloud of Gods justice set before thine eyes, that thou thinkest it impossible that the Sun of his favour should pierce through it into thine heart?Rom. 5. 20. deceive not thy self, where sin aboundeth, there grace super-aboundeth; thou a [...]t a fit Subject for God to work upon: where should the Physitian shew his skill▪ but where the greatest mala­dies do reign: and where can God better shew his mercie, then where is the greatest aboundance of mans misery? the desperatest diseases that can befall the soul of man, dead Apoplexies, unclean Leprosies, dangerous Lethargies, remedilesse Consumptions, whatsoever they be, God can as easily cure them, as the smallest infection: and as he is able, so is he most willing to do it, because his mercy (as I have already proved) is his chiefest attribute, and every attribute of God is the Essence of God, so that he can no more cease from his works of mercy, then the eye being well disposed from seeing, or the fire from heating, or the Heaven from moving, or the Sun from shining: he that denyeth this is a Traytor to the King of Heaven, because he gain-sayeth that stile wherein God especially delighteth. There is no sin of it self [...], but God can wipe it away: he will forgive [...] as wel [...] as righteous Abraham, ten thousand ta­lents a [...] one peny.

[Page 9] Suppose that all the sins that ever were committed, from the murther of Cain to the treason of Judas, laid upon thy shoul­ders, there is no more proportion between them and Gods mer­cie,Cicero de fini­bus. then between stillam muriae & mare Aegaeum, betwixt a drop of brine and the Aegean, nay the great Ocean, the snuff of the Candle, and the light of the day, or a mote in the Sun, and the Globe of the high Heaven. Flie unto the throne of grace, and though thy sins were bloody like Scarlet, he will make them as Wool; and though thou be as Purple which is twice dyed, to wit, in the Wooll and in the Cloth: Though thou be dyed in the Wooll (the first lineaments of nature) with original d [...]pra­vation, and in the Cloth (after thy natural perfection) with actual transgression, yet he will make thee as white as the snow in Salmon: Esay 1. he will binde all thy sins in a bundle, and cast them into the bottom of the Sea, he will nail them unto his Sons Crosse, he will remove them as far from thee as the East is from the West, or the North distant from the South. No man ever begged an alms at Gods hand in faith, and returned empty. Heaven gates are never shut when penitent sinners knock, there is a Master of requests in that Court, which is more ready to prefer thy Petition unto God, then thou canst be to request his help, and will he which for ten mens sake would have spared Sodom, and for one mans sake have passed by the crimson sins of Jerusalem, who was moved with compassion at the hypocritical repentance of wicked Ahab, and revoked his Sentence at the counterfeit humiliation of proud Niniveh, stop his ears at the petition of any penitent sinner? doubt not but he will hear thy petition and give his royal assent to that thou desirest, though thou canst but with David roar and not speak, or with the poor Publican utter a short and abrupt speech, O Lord be merciful unto me a sinner, &c. or with Hezekiah chatter like a crane, Esay 38. 14. and mourn like a Dove. Oh then flee unto him as a Dove unto the Windows, Cant. 2. hide thy self in the holes of the true Rock, put thy finger in Christs side, there thou shalt finde both Oyl to soften and Wine to cure thy festered soul, cry mightily to God with Niniveh, 2 Sam. 12. 13. say with David, I have sinned, mourn with Hezekiah, weep bitterly with Peter, fall down at Jesus his feet with Mary Magdalen, Matth. 26. say with blinde Bartimaeus in the Gospel,John 11. O Son of David have mercy upon me. Mark 10. 47. And doubt [Page 10] not but God will be mercifull unto thy sinnes, and make his fa­vourable countenance shine upon thee.

Again,Ʋse 2. is Gods mercy such that hee will spare the wicked for the righteous sake? Here then yee sonnes of Belial, may learne this lesson to spare the righteous for the wickeds sake. I mean to cherish and to make much of all those that fear the Lord, if for no other reason, yet even for this, because such men are often times a means to keep away Gods judgements from the evill doers, the chaffe shall not be burned as long as it is mingled with the wheat. Plut [...]rch saith, that in the sacking of Cities such houses as were erected near unto a Temple, of any of the hea­then Gods, were untouched, when the rest were overthrowne by the enemy: as long as a sinner standeth near unto a Temple of the living God, he needeth not feare an overthrow. God could do no hurt unto the Sodomites as long as just Lot was in their company,Gen. 19. as he blessed the house of Obed Edom, 2 Sam. 6. 12. and all that hee had because of the Ark that was with him, so the blessings that fall upon the wicked mans head, are because of the godly with whom he dwelleth;Plutar: in Cae­sare. it was the encouragement that Casan gave unto the Boatman, when his Boat was almost over-whelmed by the violence of the waves, in the river Anius, that hee should not fear because Caesar was in his company. And the best encou­ragement that can be given to the wicked, in the time of danger, is that some good man is in their company, then they may say as Michah said, when he had hyred a Levite to be his Priest, now I know that the Lord will be good unto me, Jud. 17. 13. seeing a Levite (a man that feareth the Lord) is with me, and therefore at the least in this one point, let them resemble the just man, which maketh much of them that fear the Lord, Psal. 15. because they are as it were Bucklers to keep away the force of the blow, and with faithfull Moses they stand in the gappe to turn away his wrathfull indigna­tion, Psa. 106. 23. lest it should destroy them. But if they seek (as the custome of so many is) by all means possible to destroy them, to trample them in the dust, and (as much as in them lieth) to root them out of the land of the living, that they may have none to controle them for their unlawfull deeds, then they do their best to cut asun­der the thread that keepeth up the sword of vengeance, or Sampson like to pull downe the pillers upon which their house [Page 11] standeth, and so to bring all down upon their heads.

Again,Ʋse 3. is God so slow to anger, so unwilling to revenge? had he rather save one righteous man then punish a whole City, of such as sinne against him? Where be the gallants of our dayes, who will not brook the least offence offered against them? No­thing shall wash it away but the peccants Blood, it is a disgrace unto me, an ignominy unto my whole kinred, is that a disgrace in thee which is an honour in God? For thy kinred I little account of it. If thou canst draw it from the loynes of Adam, thou get­test nothing there but shame,Luk. 3. 38. unlesse thou canst step a foot higher (as Luke doth in the Genealogy of Joseph) and say that Alam was the Sonne of God, if thou wouldest be counted the Sonne of God, tread in his steps, walk as thou hast him for an example. Be thou mercifull as thy Father which is in Heaven is mercifull. For so doing thou shewest thy self to be a sparkle derived from that in­finite flame, a droppe taken from that bottomlesse Ocean, it is re­markable (which one observeth) that God hath given unto Beasts both weapons of defence and offence, the Lyon hath his Pawes, the Oxe Horns, the Boar Tusks, the Serpent his Sting, the Birds Clawes, the Fishes Scales, the very Hedge-hog is not without his Pricks: But man the excellency of his dignity, and the excel­lency of his power (as Jacob speaks of Reuben) he brings into the world smooth and naked,Gen. 49. 3. in token that hee should be like unto him,Gen. 25. 25. soft to anger, slow to revenge. Esau, that was borne red, and rough God disinherited as a Monster, and no true Child of his, but smooth Jacob hee acknowledged to be his Sonne. The child of wrath is no Sonne unto the God of mercy. How often doest thou sinne against thy God? By thy blasphemous oathes thou tearest him, by thy hypocriticall holinesse thou mockest him, by thy uncleannesse thou pollutest him, by thy arrogant pride thou disdainest him, and spittest in his face. The least trespasse that thou committest against him, is no lesse then treason against his royall person, and doth God for every offence un-sh [...]ath his sword against thee? Si quoties peccant homines sua fulmina mit­tat Jupiter, &c. If God should in judgement punish every sinne up­on the offendor, where should wretched man be? now when God writeth thy sinnes in dust, wilt thou write thy Brothers in Mar­ble? When he forgiveth thee ten thousand talents, wilt not [Page 12] thou forgive thy Brother an hundreth pence? If thou wilt be indeed his Sonne, be like unto him, be pitiful, tender-hearted, full of mercy and compassion,Eph. 4. 26. if thou be angry beware that thou sin not, by speedy revenge, if thy wrath be conceived in the morn­ing, and perchance increase his heat with the Sunne till mid-day, yet let it settle with the Sunne at afternoon, and set with it at night,1 Kings 3. Let not the Sunne go down upon thy wrath, if its conception be in the night, use it as the harlot used her child, smother it in thy bed,Psal. and make it like the untimely fruit of a woman which pe­risheth before i [...] see the Sun, to this purpose remember that the Citizens of this Jerusalem are at unity amongst themselves, the stones of this temple are fast coupled and linked together, the members of this Body as they are united in one head with the nerves of a justifying faith: So are they knit in one heart with the Arteries of love: The branches of this Vine as they are united with the boale (from whence they receive nutriment) so have they certain tend [...]els whereby they are fastned, and linked one to another. Now if without compassion thou seekest thy brothers hurt, thou dost as it were divide Christ, thou pullest a stone out of this Temple, thou breakest a branch from this Vine, nay (more then so) thou cuttest the Vine it self.Aeneid. 3. Virgil tels us that when Aeneas was pulling a bough from a mi [...]tle tree to shadow his sacrifice, there issued drops of blood from the boale trick­ling down unto the ground: at length he heard a voice crying unto him thus, Quid miserum Aenea laceras? jam parce sepulto, parce pias scelerare manus; the Poet tels us that it was the blood of Polydorus Priamus his sonne which cried for vengeance a­gainst Polymnester the Thracian King which had slain him, in like manner whensoever thou seekest the overthrow of thy Christian Brother, and hast a desire to revenge thy self of him (as hee had to pull a bough from the Tree) think that it is not the branches but the Vine thou seekest to cut down. Think that Christ will count this indignity done to his members as it were done to him­selfe. Think that thou hearest him cry unto thee after this man­ner, jam parce sepulto, parce tuas scelerare manus, imbrue not thy hands in my blood, hand cruor hic de stipite manat, it is not the branches thou fightest against, Nam Polydorus ego, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. Acts 9. 5. I am now come near to a point, which I [Page 13] have pressed heretofore in the other publick place of this citie,At the Spittle. therefore I proceed no further, but turn aside to my second general point observed in this verse, which was Jerusalems mi­serie.

The Tree is very fruitful, and I am but a passenger, and there­fore must be contented to pull two or three clusters which I con­ceived to be the ripest, and the readiest to part with the boughs, which when I have commended to your several tastes, I will commit you to God.

First, the Paucity of true Professors (if ye can finde a man, or if there be any). Secondly, the place where, (In Jerusalem.) Thirdly, that God will bring his judgements upon her, be­cause of her wickednesse; not expressed but necessarily under­stood.

From these three I collect three Propositions; from the first, Gods flock militant may consist of a small number: from the se­cond, There is no particular place so priviledged, but that it may revolt and fall from God: from the third, No place is so strong, nor city so fenced, but the sins of the people will bring it to ruine. Of these three in order, Gods holy Spirit directing me, and first of the first.

God made all the world,Proposition. and therefore it is great reason that he should have it all to himself: yea, and he challengeth it as his own right:Hag. 2. 8. The gold is his, and the silver is his, and all the beasts of the field [...] his, and so are the cattel upon a thousand hills: and the Heavens are his, for they are his Throne, and the earth is his,Psal. 110. for it is his footstool, and the reprobate are his, for Nebu­chadnezzar is his servant, Acts 7. 49. and as Judah is his,Jerem. 25. so is Moab likewise: but in another kinde of service:Psal. 24. in a word, The earth is the Lords and all that therein is, the compasse of the world, and all that dwell therein, but not in that property, which is now meant, for that belongs only unto men, and yet not unto all, but to a few, which are appointed to be heirs of salvation. Heb. 1. 14.

God made all men, so that they are all his sons by creation, but he ordained not all to life, so that there is but a remnant which are his sons by adoption: our first Father did eat such a sowre grape as did set all his childrens teeth on edge: by trans­gressing Gods commandment he lost his birth-right, and was [Page 14] shut out of Paradise, by committing treason against his Lord and King,Gen. 3▪ his blood was stained, and all his children were made unca­pable of their fathers inheritance, but God (who is rightly termed the Father of all mercy and God of all consolation) as he purposed to shew his justice in punishing the greater part of such,2 Cor. 1. 3. as so grievously incurred his displeasure: so on the contra­ry side, it was his good pleasure to shew his mercy in saving of some, though they deserved as great a degree of punishment as the other; and therefore in a Parliment holden before all times, it was enacted, that the natural son of God, the second person in the Trinity, should in the fulnesse of time take upon him mans flesh, and suffer for our transgressions, and gather a certain num­ber out of that Masse of corruption, Augustin. wherein all mankinde lay: these be they which shall follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth; these be his people, and the sheep of his pasture, these be they which have this prerogative to be called the Sons of God, Psal. 100. and the heirs of God annexed with Christ: Gal. 4. 1. and these are they which I affirm to be often contained in a very narrow room in respect of the wicked.Rom. 8. 17.

There is much chaffe and little wheat, it is the wheat that God keeps for his garner: there are many stones, but few pearls: it is the pearl which Christ hath bought with his blood.2 Cor. 4. Many fowls but only the Eagles be good birds. Sathan hath a Kingdom, and Christ but a little flock, it is like to Bethleem in the land of Judah, but a little one amongst the Princes of Judah, it is like to Noahs flood,Luke 12. 32. going and returning, like the [...] flowing and eb­bing,Mich. 5. 2. or like to the Moon filling and waining,Gen. 8. 3. and sometimes so eclipsed and darked with the earth, that thou canst not perceive, that Christ the son of righteousnesse doth shine upon it.

The story of times will make this plain, innumerous were the men of the old world, yet Gods flock was only contained in the family of Sheth, they only were called the Sons of God, af­terward this flock was compassed in a very narrow fold,Gen. 6. 2. in Noahs family,Nat lupus in­ter oves. Ovid. Metam. lib. 1. it was enclosed in one Ark, and yet there was one wolf amongst these few sheep. Thus it continued in a very narrow com­passe till Abrahams time, and so downward, till it began to multi­plie in the land of Egypt, and afterward in the promised Canaan, as yet it was still tyed to one place, there was but one pasture for [Page 15] Gods sheep, the rest of the world played the Harlot with other Lovers, and went a whoring after their own inventions, and in this one pasture there were more goats then sheep, for though the number of the children of Israel were as the sand upon the sea shore, Rom. 4. 27. yet only a remnant was to be saved. When the fulnesse of time was come that God had sent his Son made of a woman, this Moon did suffer such an eclipse, as that the quickest eye could hardly perceive her: then she began to recover her light, for God broke down the partition wall, and rent the veil of the Temple, and made no difference betwixt the Jew and the Gentile, Tros Tyriusque mihi nullo discrimine agetur.

Then Gods sheep brought forth thousands and ten thousands in the streets, then the Vine stretcheth forth her boughs unto the river, and her branches unto the lands end, then God gave unto his Son the Heathen for his inheritance, and the utmost part of the earth for his possession. Yet then and ever since, the gleanings of Satan have been more then the Vintage of Christ. Yet take a survey of the world, as it is at this day; divide it into three parts with Ptolome, or into four with some later Writers, nay into six or seven with our last Geographers, Maginus. and you shall not finde much above one of these seven which professe Christ. Amongst these separate the orthodox from the heterodox, and you shall finde that Christ is now almost banished out of the world, so that if the Son of Man should now come,Luke 18. 8. he should scarce finde faith in the Earth, the true profession of the Gospel, is confined in a little corner of the North-west, and in this corner remove the Atheists, and Hereticks, and Worldlings, and Neuters, and Hy­pocrites, how little will the remainder be after so many sub­stractions? And no marvel, for many are called, but few are cho­sen, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction. Gods sheep have a little narrow path,Ʋse 1. but the Goats have a beaten Cart­way.

This being so, it is strange what Bellarmine meant to make amplitude, and multitude, to be a note of the true Church; espe­cially when he proposeth to speak of such notes, by which it may be most easily known, and distinguished from the false Religion of the Jews, and Hereticks, and Pagans, and Infidels whatsoever: and therefore such as are bothNotae debent esse propriae non communes. l. 4. cap. 2. & postea in eodem cap. Notae verae sunt insepara­biles à vera Ecclesia. proper and inseparable, in respect [Page 16] of the Church; and again such as Non quidem efficiunt evi­denter verum ipsam esse ve­ram Dei Ec­clesiam, sed tamen efficiunt evidenter cre­dibile. De Ec­clesia lib. 4. cap. 3. though they make it not evi­dently true, yet they make it evidently credible, not only probable (forLutherano­rum notae non sunt ullo mo­do sufficientes, nam non de­clarant quae sit vera Ec­clesia, secun­dum haeretic. nisi probabili­ter lib. eod. cap. 2. that is the imperfection of our notes, if you will believe him) nay, amongst those which admit of the Scriptures and ecclesi­astical Histories and writings of the ancient Fathers, faciunt etiam evidentiam veritatis. Lord, how plausible a doctrine would this have been unto Ahab, how would it have fitted his turne to plead for Baal? what meanest thou Eliah thus to trouble Israel? As though we were all Idolaters, and thou only a true worshipper of God? Consider the matter aright, and thou shalt finde what a weak Ground thou standest upon, those are the true worshippers of God, who are the most in number, now thou art but one, and the Prophets of Baal are four hundred and fifty: how pleasantly would it have sounded in the ears of the Jews? when Jeremiah thus prophesied? Behold (might they say) all the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem are against thee, and is the Spirit of God departed from us all to possesse thee? Thus Constantius disputed with Liberinorum Bishop of Rome against Athanasius, Hoc orbis terrarum com­probat: quota tu pars es orbis terrarum qui solus facis cum homine scele­lerato & pa­cem orbis dis­solvis. Theod. lib. 2. cap. 16. Athan. Epist. ad solitariam vitamagentes. Bellar. lib. 3. de Eccles. mi­lit. cap. 16. Idem lib. 4. cap. 5. Alii flammis exusti, alii fer­ro perempti, alii flagris verbera­ti, alii cruciati patibulo, &c. The whole world is of this opinion, and what art thou that thou shouldest take part with a naughty fellow, and dis­solve the peace of the world. If this objection had been urged against Luther, when he first began to bait the Popes Bull, he might easily have answered in Athanasius his words: What Church is there now that doth openly adore Christ, if it be godly it is Subject to danger, for if there be any that fear God (as indeed there are many every where) they have hid themselves with Elias in Dens and Caves of the earth. But the example of the Jews will not much move our adversary, quia non est eadem ratio po­puli Judaeorum & populi Christianorum, and might the Church of Christians be still known, by the multitude of professors, so that a man not yet resolved in the Truth, might be guided by this mark to finde her out, as the wise men by the star were directed unto Christ! Surely no, for scimus initio fuisse multo pauciores Christi­anos, quam essent Judaei, what better was she in the time of those ten bloody persecutions which indured for the space of three hundred years? when a man could no sooner make profession of his faith, but he was either killed with the sword or burnt with fire, or drowned in the Sea, or stoned to death, or stean quick, or fa­mished [Page 17] with hunger, or thrust through with bodkins, or thrown to wild Beasts, or pulled in pieces with Trees or wild horses, or boiled in lead, or made away with more exquisite, and more Tragicall torments. (If that be possible) then the Perilli of our time have invented to gratifie the Romish Phalaris. Come a little lower and compare the Church not with the number of the Gen­tiles, (which no Papist in the world can for shame deny to have ever exceeded the number of Christians) but with Heretikes, I mean not all sorts joyned together (for they will subscribe to Haeretici sunt per tam faciem terrae; alii hic alii ibi alia secta in Africa, alia haeresis in ori­ente August de de past. Cap. 8. Austin, the Church is every where, and Heresie every where, but the Church is the same evey where, Heresie is not the same but most different) but only the Arians, which sometimes have so overspread the whole Christian world, as that if any had said Loe here is Christ or there is Christ, thou wouldest not have be­lieved him. The Church was like a Sparrow that sitteth alone upon the house toppe, or like a Pelican in the Wildernesse, and an Owle in the desait: they counted themselves the onely Catho­likes, but the true Christian; they tearmed Scismatikes, call [...]ng them Joannites, and Ambrosians, and Athanasians, and Homou­sians: Even as the Papists at this day challenge the name of Ca­tholikes, to themselves, and call us Lutherans, and Zuinglians, and Calvinists.

They did not onely possesse the Church of Jerusalem, and A­lexandria, and Antiochia, and Constantinople, and the rest in the Eastern Empire,Hieron. in di­alog. contr. Lu­ciferianos. but passing thence into the North, and from thence with the Gothes, and Vandals into Germany and France, and Spain, and Italy, (yea into Africk too) had infected all Chur­ches in the West. Which makes Hierome say, that the whole world groaned and marvelled, to see her self become an Arrian, an Ar­rian sate in Peters chaire, the head of the Church Durand lib. 2 that great Melchisedeck whose Priesthood is not to be compared to any other, their Dominus deus noster Pa­pa Ex tran. I [...]h. 22. ut citat. Juel. God and their Lord, the Pope himself, rather then he would die in the defence of the Gospel, subscribed to Arianisme; surely the whole Body must needs goe wrong,Liberius teste. A [...]han. Epist. ad Solitariam vit [...]m agentes [...]dem patet ex [...]eambulo. Concil. Nicen. when the head did thus miscarry.

This plague endured not for some small moment (like the Ma­cedonian Empire which was but a Flash and gone) but for the space of three hundred years and upward. Where was now the [Page 18] true Church amongst the Arrians, Bodin. which oppugned the Doctrine of the Nicene Synod in sundry councels, and expelled the Ortho­dox Bishops and enjoyed their rooms, and instead of the true Christ worshipped an Idol of their own inventions? or rather in a few miserable and forlorne wretches, which remained in pri­sons and wildernesses, and Mountains, and dennes, and Caves of the Earth, as was the case of the Church at that time, so was it in the time of Wicliffe and Husse, [...] for then the Devill had for a long time been loosed, and Antichrist was in the height of his pride, and the light of the Gospel was raked for up in the A­shes of Popery, in so much that that which Nazianzen spoke in the oration against the Arrians, [...] might fitly have been applied against the Papists. Where be those that object poverty unto us, and boast of their prosperous Estate? this is another mark of the Po­pish Church.

Where be those that define the Church to be a multitude, Nazianz. in oratione contra Arrianos. and set at nought a little Flock? and yet if multitude should beare the bell away, the Papists should not have any such cause of triumph, as they wll beare the world in hand that they have. There are at this day foure Religions in the world (if the name of Re [...]igion may bee given to them all) Judaisme, Paganisme, Mahumeta­nisme, and Christianisme: of all these Iudaisme is the least, but Paganisme exceedeth all the rest. Mahumetanisme (which is a mixture craftily composed of the other three) both in largenesse of Countreys and multitude of people, goeth beyond all Chri­stendome: for it hath not only seated it self in the whole Turkish Empire, and the large kingdomes of the great Sophi, but spreadeth abroad in many places of the vast dominions of Tartarie, Ca­thaia, and China almost unto the Easterne Ocean, and what it hath of latter years gained in the West, wee feel partly in the miserable distres [...]e of Hungary and Transilvania, and have just occasion [...]f greater feare, if the Lord out of compassion to his poor Church, shall not overthrow the plots of that proud Sena­cherib, 2 Kin. 19. 28. and put a [...]ook in his nose, and a bridle in his lips, and carry him back again the same way that hee came. N [...]w for Christia­nisme, amongst those that p [...]ofesse the name of Christ, there are not above a third part that are Papists: for the Russians toge­ther with the Reliques of the Greek Church, the Armenians [Page 19] and the Christians that are under the Emperour of the Abassens, doe exceed the number of all those, which hold the Principles of the Romish Church. The Protestants come not much behind them: for howsoever within these hundred years, the Moone did suffer such an universall Eclipse, that a man would have judged she had lost her light, and the Lords flock was but like a few grapes after the Vintage is ended, here a grape and there a grape on the outmost boughes. Brevi occupa­pavit doctrina Lutheri, non so­lum multa reg­na in partibus septentriona­libus sed etiam usque ad Indos excurrere ausa est. Bel. lib. 3. de Pont. Ro ca. 23

Yet since it pleased God to sti [...]re up the heart of Martin Lu­ther to stand at open defiance with the Italian Goliath which re­viled the Israel of God: she hath every day recovered her light, the Gospel that was then hid under a bushel, is become like to Davids Sunne, which cometh forth as a Bridegroom out of his chamber, and rejoyceth as a Gyant to runne his course: the profes­sors of the Gospel have wonderfully increased so that now their sound is gone through the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. There is no place in the Globe of the earth, where Christ is professed,Psal. 19. 4. which hath not some Protestants. Italy the very Center and sinke of Popery, and the seat of the great Whore, when Iezabel hath done what she can, in murthering the Lords Prophets, will affoord seven thousand men which have never bow­ed the knees of their hearts unto Baal. Vid. Bell. de Pontif. Rom. lib 3. cap. 21. No­stris tempori­bus Romana sedes magnam Germaniae par­tem amisit, Suetiam, Go­thiam, Norve­giam, Daniam, &c. In France wee have a farre greater number, in Germany the major part, almost all Polonie, all Denmarke, Swethen, Norway, Britain, and all the Islands in the Northern seas, which have taken the military Oath to fight un­der Christs standard. If these be not equall to them, yet consider on either side such as know the Principles of Christian Religion, and can give an account of their faith, and we have a farre greater number, for the common people amongst them are stupid and blind, and do no more understand the mysteries of their salvation then Pagans and infidels, or those in the Acts, who being de­manded of Paul, Act. 19. [...]. whether they had received the holy Ghost, made answer that they never heard whether there was an holy Ghost or no. And little marvel; for many of their Priests do no more understand their Masses, which they mumble dayly in their Churches, then Balaams Asse understood his own voice. It is e­nough for them to believe as the Church believeth, though they know no more what that is, then did Bellarmines Collier, who [Page 20] being demanded what he believed, (quoth he) that which the Church beleeveth, being again demanded what that was, answered, the same which I beleeve: Herein we will not think much that the Papists exceed us: Bellarmine may give good measure if hee draw the dregs and all:August. in Psal. 39. but Austen will teach him another les­son, Noli numerare turbas hominum incedentes latas vias, implen­tes crastinum circum, civitatis natalem clamando celebrantes, civi­tatem ipsam male vivendo turbantes, noli illas attendere, multi sunt, & quis numerat, sed pauci per viam augustam incedunt. Chry­sostome will teach him that not in numeri magnitudine, Chrysost. hom. 40. ad populum Antiochen. sed in vir­tutis probitate consistit multitudo. It was a prety stratageme of the Roman Captaine, when his Souldiers were few in number, to make every man draw a bough in the drie dust, that so the Sam­nites (with which he was to encounter) beholding them a farre off might believe that his Armie was greater then indeed it was: we are no such dastards as to be afraid of every withered branch that can rayse up dust into the ayre:Livius decad. 1 lib. 9. if the Papists purpose to match us with multitude, let them bring such as have some skill to handle their spirituall weapons.

I end, seeing the Church is like unto the Moon, sometimes in a glorious splendour, sometimes clouded with Schism, and some­time so darkned with the shadow of heresie and superstition▪ and persecution, that the eyes of Linceus can scarce behold her.

Seeing that the Papists at this day, cannot compare neither with the number of Christians (taking the name generally for all such as professe the name of Jesus) nor with the Protestant Churches, if we take an account onely of such as understand the Principles of their Religion:Hic non tenetur nota margina­lis quae non­nunquam oc­currit in li. Sent. P. Lom­bardi. I see no reason why Bellarmine should make multitude a Note of the true Church; or if it were, why the Papists should challenge it themsemselves: and therefore he may be well censured with a hic magister non tenetur, or not a quod haec nota nihil notat, it was onely to make up the number of notes, that he may number one note, Nam cum non prosunt singula, mul­ta juvant; Vive de Causis Corrupt. Art. though they be of little force being severally consi­dered, yet if they be all joyntly taken, they will prove like Se­leucus his roddes, or like a threefold cord which is not easily bro­ken. Plut. Apoth. Indeed he had need to be stronger then Hercules, that could cut oft all the heads of Hydra at one blow: but a simple warricu [...] [Page 21] taking one by one may make an end of them, before he be weari­ed; for they are like to the tail of Sertorius his horse, which a va­liant Souldier taking it altogether,Plut. in vita Sertorii. could not pull off, but a poore Skull pulling one hayre after an other had quickly made it bare.

Secondly, doth Gods flock sometimes consist of a very small number?Ʋse 2. then it behoveth thee (beloved Christian) with grea­ter diligence to trie and examine thy self, whether thou be com­prehended in this number: for as in that universall deluge of waters, all were drowned that were not in Noahs Arke: so in the great floud of fire, which shall be at the end of the world, all shall be swept away with a river of brimstone, which are not of this flock: it is a common saying, he shall never have God for his father which hath not the Church for his mother, and he shall ne­ver be a member of the Church triumphant, which is not first of the Church Militant: first, then thou art to enquire whether thou be of the true visible Church; and this thou shalt know, by two marks; by the true preaching of the word, by the right use of the Sacraments, for where these two are performed ac­cording to the prescript of Gods word, there must needs be a true church; this is somewhat, but it is not all: for what did it availe Judas to be numbred amongst the twelve? he was in hell before any of the rest came at heaven: all that are in the Church be not of the Church: there are both good and bad fish in this net; there is wheat and tares in this field, Sheep and Goats in this fold, thou must goe further and examine, whether thou be one of that Company, which God from eternity elected unto life, and in time effectually calleth by his holy Spirit, and makes true Members of his Sonne Jesus Christ, which is the head of this body, whether thou be of that flock, which Christ calleth his garden, Can [...]. his sister, his spouse, his love, his doue, his undefiled, which the pillar and ground of truth, 1. Tim. 3. 13. the body of Christ, Eph. 1. 23. the temple of the Lord, Eph. 2. 21, which the gates of hell shall never prevaile against, Matth. 16. 18. Here thou must exercise thy wits, this must be thy care to finde thy selfe in this little number, but how may this be knowne? by the cause? that is the will and good pleasure of Gods which dwelleth in light that none can approach unto. This is a bottomlesse depth, who can sound it? Never man looked into this Arke and lived: busie [Page 22] thy braines about it, and when thou hast done all thou canst, thou art but like a flie about a Candle, which playeth so long with the flame,Lipsius lib. 2. de Con. that at length she burnes her wings and fals downe: and good reason it should be so: for it is enough for wretched man to be of Gods Cou [...]t, and it is too much to be of his Privie Councell:Plut. in Thess. Thou must therefore doe as Theseus die with the Labyrinth, thou must catch hold of the threeds end that hangs without the doore, and so by winding steps come at length to the first cause. Seeing thou canst not know it a [...]riori by the cause; thou must know it a posteriori, by the effect▪ one effect of Gods immutable decree and an undoubted marke (to let all others passe) of Gods child is Sanctification: for as on the one side it is certainly true that without holinesse of life, no man shall see God: Heb. 12. 14. So it is as true on the other side, that hee which walketh not after the flesh, Rom. 8. 1. but after the Spirit, is ingraf­ted into Christ, and shall never be condemned. So then holines of life is the true touchstone, to trie whether thou be of this num­ber: but here deceive not thy selfe, for there is a verball holi­nesse, and a Pharisaical holinesse, and a Herods holines, and a Po­pish holines,Ioh. 29. 13. and an Anabaptisticall holines. The verball holines is of such as draw neere unto God with their lips, but with their hearts are farre from him as the Prophet speakes: the Pharisaical holines, is of those which devoure widowes houses under colour of long prayers; and such as will not leave a mote on the outside of their cup, but never care how fil [...]hy it be within. The Herods ho­linesse is of them which will quench the fire on the harth, and leave it burning in the top of the Chimney, will mend their least faults, and let their worst bee marring. The Popish holinesse is in observing humane traditions, and treading under foot the law of God. The Anabaptisticall holinesse, is of such as are well per­swaded of themselves (though without all reason, but can never have a charitable opinion of any others: they are troubled with a Noli me tangere, Isa. 65. 5. touch me not, come not neare me, for I am holier then thou: Matth. 5. 20. but I say unto thee, except thy righteous exceed the righ­teousnes of all these men, thou shalt not enter into the Kingdome of Heaven: it is another kinde of holines which thou must have, if thou wilt assure thy soule that thou art one of Christs flock: it is indeed in the tongue, but it proceedeth from another foun­taine, [Page 23] (the heart) and makes a man say with David, Psal. 119. thy words have I hid within my heart, that I might not sinne against thee. It makes a man have a care to approve by outward actions unto men, but much more to approve the cogitations of his heart unto God: it strives not to breake off some branches of sin (such as may be best forgon) reserving the rest, but it is most severe against those sinnes which are the sweetest to man, because such sinnes as are most pleasant unto man, are most unpleasant in the sight of God. It will not stick charitably to censure others: but it makes a man most sharp in censuring and condemning his owne sinnes,Phil. 3. 13. it resteth not contented with any one degree of per­fection, but forgetteth that which is behind, endeavoureth to obtain that which is before, and followeth hard toward the marke for the price of the calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Beloved in our best beloved Jesus Christ, doe you all de­sire to be fully assu [...]ed that you are of that little number, whose names are written in the booke of life: I know you desire it, for (alas) what comfort can a man have in this life, though he should be Monarch of the whole World, and to have Kings to lay their crownes before his footstoole, if he doubt what shall be­come of his owne soule?Verba morien­tis Hadrians. that of the heathen Emperour, ani­mula vagula blandula quae nunc abibis in locis, &c. Though it be allowed by popish Divinity, 'twill be but a cold comfort to a Chri­stian on his death bed: he shall never come in Heaven that is not perfect of the way, before he goe hence. This is the best marke whereby you may assure your selves, that ye are already in the high way even your sanctification. Oh then be not (as too many are, like painted tombes, guilded without, rotten with­in; tippe not your tongues with godlinesse, when your soules are full of gall and bitternes. Beare not Bibles in your hands, and Mammon in your hearts. Let the remembrance of this, that holi­nesse of life is the cognisance of every true member of Christs Church, be as it were a knife to cut asunder the cords of vanitie wherewith Satan strives to strangle you, or to draw you head­long into hell and d [...]struction. Let it be as a spurre to prick you forward in the course of idlenesse, assuredly howsoever my words may now passe away as a wind,Ovid Meta▪ lib. [...]5. and not sinke into the hearts of many that shall heare them: yet Cum volat ille dies, &c. [Page 24] When those muddie walles are readie to fall (and fall they must for all your daubing) there cannot a greater terrour befall you consciences (to make you feare that you are but rotten members at the best of Christs Church) then the remembrance of an evill life: nor on the other side can there a greater comfort betide you, when your pitchers are ready to be broken at the cistern, Eccl. 12. 8. then to assure your selves by your lives past (abounding with good workes which are the fruits of a justifying faith) that you are amongst those that God hath adopted to be his children. For then you may goe with greater desire [...] to your graves then a weary pilgrim unto his bed, assuring your soules, that your soules should be transported into Abrahams bosome, there to raigne with the holy Angels into eternall happiness, for ever more.

The second proposition followeth,2. Proposition. no particular place is so pri­viledged, but that it may revolt and fall from God. If eve [...] Citie that was seated under the cope of Heaven, had a Pattent from the God of Heaven, for her perseverance in religion, it was Jerusalem: for as of all the countries in the world,Josh. 18. 1. he chose Judea, so of all the Cities of Judea, he preferred Jerusalem. Sometimes his tabernacle was placed in Shilo, but this he disliked, and remooved unto Jerusalem, as the only place which he had picked and cul­led out of all others to set his name there; according to that of the Prophet. He refused the Tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the Tribe of Ephraim: but he chose the Tribe of Judah, even the hill of Sion, which he loved, and there he builded his Sanctuarie as an high palace like the earth, which he stablished for ever. Psal. 78. 67, 68, 69. This he made a seate for himselfe, an holy place, for the Tabernacle of the most highest. Here was a Temple for the Lord, an habitation for the mightie God of Jacob, those that shall but sleightly peruse the grants and priviledges which God had pro­mised this one City, will thinke that it had been as impossible for her to fall away, as for the Sunne to be darkned in the midst of heaven. The hill of Sion is a faire place, even the joy of the whole earth, upon the North side lieth the citie of the great King, God is well knowne in her palaces, as a sure refuge. Ierusalem have I chosen out of the tribes of Israel, to put my name in it for ever. 2 King. 21. 7.Psal. 132. 14. 15.

The Lord hath chosen Sion to bee an habitation for himselfe, he [Page 25] hath longed for her, saying, this shall be my rest for ever, here will I dwell, for I have a delight therein. Psal. 132. 5. Here was the seate of judge­ment even the seat of the house of David. To whom the Lord had sworn by his holinesse, that his seed should endure forever, and his seate should be as the sunne before him: that he should stand fast for ever­more, as the Moone, and the faithfull witnesse in heaven. Psal. 89. When the Israelites were yet in the Wilderness, God told them by his Servant Moses, that he had appointed them a place in the in the Land of Canaan, where they should all meet out of their severall tribes, and towns to offer their first fruits, and to sacrifice unto the Lord: You shall seeke the place which the Lord your God shall chuse out of all your tribes, to put his name there, and thither you shall come, and bring your burnt offrings, and your sacrifices, and yous tithes, and the offrings of your hands, and your vowes, &c. And there yee shall offer before the Lord. Deut. 12. This was Jeru­salem, for thither the tribes came up even the tribes of the Lord, to testifie unto Israel, and to give thankes unto the name of the Lord. Psal. 122. Moreover he was there [...] their chiefe Councell,Sigon. de rep. Heb. lib. 6. cap. 7. or high Commission, (consisting of the King and Princes of the people, to wit, the chiefe of every tribe, and of seventie Elders, and of the high Priest, with the Doctors of Law) in which all matters of greater moment were concluded, and unto which (as unto the Oracles of God) in difficult points, which could not be decided by Judges of particular Townes and Cities, they were to have recourse for the full determination thereof, according to that of the Prophet: If there rise a matter too hard for thee to judge be­tweene blood and blood, betweene plea and plea, betweene plague and plague, in the matters of controversie, within thy gates, then shalt thou arise, and goe up unto the place which the the Lord thy God shall chuse, and thou shalt come unto the Priests of the Levites, and unto the Iudge that shall be in those dayes, and aske, and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgement, and thou shalt doe according to that thing which they of that place (which the Lord hath chosen) shall shew thee, and thou shalt observe to doe ac­cording to all that they enforme thee, Deut. 17. Beside this, the law was there more diligently then in other places expounded; the Pro­phets did reveale Gods secrets unto the people, and by thun­dring out the Canons of the law did strive to weane them from [Page 26] their evill wayes, and by the promises of the Gospell, t [...] woo them unto God, the Iebusites which before time God had permit­ted to dwell amongst them, that they might be thornes in their eyes, and prickles in their sides, were now extirpated, so tha [...] they could not choke the word of God which was sowne amongst them,Sig [...]ius de ep. Heb. lib. 1. and make it unfruitfull. Was there ever Citie upon the face of the earth, which had such a Charter as this? the Citie where God had promised to be resident, where was the Arke of the Covenant, and the glorious Temple which Solomon had built at Gods appointment, where the Kings of Iudah had their abode, where the Law and the Prophets were diligently read and expoun­ded unto the People, where all points of difficulty were handled, where was the Priests Palace, whither the whole land had re­course out of their severall Tribes, [...]oh. 4. as unto the place where men ought to worship: it was a heaven upon the earth, and a type of that glorious City which is above: and is Ierusalem so fallen from God, can there not one righteous man be found within her walles? is the holy citie become so wicked? is the faithful Spouse becom a harlot? are her Princes become rebels? her Judges murtherers? her gold dross her charitie oppression, her ripenes, rottennes? her almesdeeds, al-mis-deeds? Hath the leprosie of sin so infected every part of her body,Isa. 1. that from the sole of the foot to the crown of the head, there is no­thing whol therein, but wounds and swellings, and soresful of corrup­tion? what need we go further for proving our conclusion, for as he speaks in Tully, Cicero lib. 1. de orat. Either this is enough, or I know not what wil suffice: If you would have topical arguments after such a demonstration as this I could lead you through many places of invention, which would manifestly confirme my assertion. I could shew you the Churches of Galatia, and Philippi, and Corinthus, which Paul had plan­t [...]d, Apollos and other Disciples had watered, and God had won­derfully encreased; I could instance in Smyrna and Pergamus and Laodicea, &c. In which the Evangelist Iohn had so painfully labou­red in Constantinople, and Ephesus, and Nice, and Chalcedon, fa­mous for the generall Councels, in Carthage, and Hippo, and other Churches of Africke in Anticohia, the first God-mother of Christians, and in a word, in all the Easterne and African Churches, in which so many Worthies have flourished. What is the case of these particulars at this day?Isa. 40. behold they are fallen, as though they had not been planted, as though the seed of the word had not [Page 27] been sown amongst them, as though that stock had taken no root in the earth, the Lord hath blowne upon them; and they are withered, and the whirl wind hath taken them away like stubble: the abomination of desolation (let him that heareth it, consider it) sitteth in their holy places, Philip. Loni­cerus de rebus Turcicis. which are now nothing else but as it were an habitati­on for Dragons and Courts for Ostriches, instead of the Sacred Bible, they have entertained the blasphemous Alchoran, their Moph [...]i Mezin and Antippi, and such Idolatrous Mahometans have gotten the rooms of the ancient Fathers.

What? and are these also fallen? then let her that thinketh shee standeth take heed lest shee fall. Ʋse. I meane that strumpet which advanceth her selfe above the starrs of God: which saith, I am, and none else, and sings with Niobe in the Poet, Sum foelix, I am in a happy estate, and there shall no harme happen unto me; which with Laodicea thinketh that she is rich and encreased with goods, and needeth nothing, Rev. 3. where as indeed, (as anon you shall heare) she is wretched and miserable, and poore, and blind and naked. Ni­neve had such a conceit of her selfe, and did so farre presume upon her strength, that she thought it had been impossible for all the powers of the world to bring her under the hatches. And therefore the Lord bids her looke upon the state of Alexandria, a stronger Citie then Nineve, and yet she was destroyed. Art thou better (saith he) then No, which was full of people? that lay in the rivers, Nahum. 3. 8. and had the waters round about it, whose ditch was the sea, and her wall was from the sea, Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength: and there was no end: Put & Lubin were her helpers, yet was she car­ried away, and went into captivitie. The same may be said of Rome, (suppose that none of these cities which I have last mentioned may paralell with her) is she better then Jerusalem, which was seated upon such strong bulwarkes, as already hath been mentioned? yet she fell from God, and moved the holy one of Israel to anger against her: grant unto her all that she can claim (and she will be sure to lack nothing for want of challenging, for she is not unlike to him who could not espie a ship floating upon the seas,Thrasilaus apud Athen. Dipnos. 12. but present­ly said it was his) and more then all the Papists in the world can prove to be her due; yet she hath no more to brag of, then had Je­rusalem; is she the mother-Citie of all other, and the Metropolis of all Christendome? So was Jerusalem, in respect of the Inhabi­tants [Page 28] of Iurie. Which at that time wer the only people which God had chosen. Are all others to appeal unto her, as unto their supream Judge in matters of difficultie; so were Jewes unto the high court of Ierusalem; did Peter the Prince of the Apostles, the porter of heaven gates, remove his chaire from Antiochia and pla­ced it at Rome? so did the Lord his tabernacle from Shiloh to Ieru­salem, hath Rome the head, or chiefe Bishop of all christen­dome? Ierusalem had the like, is she the keeper and dispenser of the Lords treasurie? So was Ierusalem: doth she challenge a free­dome for persevering in the truth? Ierusalem had better grounds to doe the like: and verily, as Rome doth at this day flatter her self with a false application of universall promises, So did Jerusalem. Abraham is our father, Iohn 8. 33. 36. Psalm. we are the Children of Abraham, this is my rest forever the scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgi­ver from under his feet: Gen. 49. 10. the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, this is the Temple of the Lord. Ier. 7. 4. All her titles that she can any way lay claim unto▪ will not make her better then Ierusalem, which became such an Apostate, that not one godly man could be found in her. So that she cannot challenge any priviledge to her selfe from falling to the like wickednes, that which happens to the one, may befal the other, U [...]lesse she can deal with the truth, as the old Romanes handl [...]d d [...]d the goddesse [...]: who after they had w [...]ne the field, used to [...]ippe her wings that she might not flie away.

But what need we stand of the possibilitie, when the Act proveth it. A certain man, walking on his way, while he looked not so wel to his feet, as he should have done fell into a pit, when divers of his acquaintance came by, and saw his mischance, they began to en­quire one after another, how he fell thither: What a question is that said he, you see that I am fallen, thinke rather of some means how to help me up againe. Wee never need make question, whither and how Rome could revolt, and fall from Christ; certain it is she is fallen; and well it were for her, if she could be holpe up. When Philip told Nathaniel, that he had found the Messiah, of whom it was written in the Law, and in the Prophets, and told him who it was, viz. Iesus of Nazareth: Nathaniel wondred at it,Ioh. 1. 47. and said; Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? If any shall wonder that there should be any defect in Rome, which so [Page 29] many ages hath been counted the mother and nurse of true religi­on: I answer him as Philip answered, Nathaniel, Come and see. When thou art an eye-witnesse of all her abominations, thou wilt subscribe to his testimonie, who at his comming away, bade her thus adew.

Roma vale, vidi, satis est vidisse revertar,
Cum leno meretrix scurra cinoedus ero.

I must confesse, that when first I made choice of this portion of Scripture, I did not intend to have played upon this string with my least finger. But now that I have met Rome in my high way, I cannot chuse, but (by your patience) speake a word unto her before we part, especially, when I consider how ready she is to disgrace all such as will not drinke of her Cyrcean cups. How she sendeth her panders amongst us to get her more customers, and her pedlers to sell her deceitfull wares. How busie she is in hanging up her spider-webs to catch our English butterflies which have neither wit to avoid them, nor strength to break them; and what pains she taketh in decking herselfe, and in painting her ugly wrinkled face,Prov. 7. 7. that she may allure Men destitute of under­standing, to forsake their first love, and commit follie with her. There was a time when Rome was a glorious Church, Paul gi­veth her this testimonie,Rom. 1. 8. her faith was published throughout the whorle world. She was (as some say) the chiefe seate for one of the foure Patriarks.Praefat. in Conill Nicenum 1 sedes, Romae 2. Alexandriae. & Cant. 6 an­tiqua Consu [...] ­tudo, &c. or rather of equall dignitie with the others. Her approbation was desired in sundrie Councels, as one more in­corrupt then the rest, by reason that she was not shaken with Schismes and Heresies, as were the Easterne Churches she was an Asylum for many which were persecuted for the testimonie of Jesus Christ:Quid urbis Romae paril. est mos. this she was, and this is all that she can boast her selfe of at this day. Which when she had done, she is no better then those degenerous spirits of Nobilitie and Gentrie, who when they have nothing in themselves worthy the [...]least com­mendation, will digg up the col [...] root whence they sprang.

[Page 30]
Si vita labat, perit omnis in illa,
Gentis honos cujus,
laus est in origine sola.

He leaneth upon a rotten staffe, which hath nothing to speak for him save his dead Progenitors vertues. If any man think I do her wrong, may it please him to compare her with the state of Ierusa­lem, in the time when Jeremie prophesied: the sinnes of Ierusalem were either in doctrine and matters of Religion, or in conversation and manner of living: for the former it is as much (if not more) corrupted at this day in the Romish Church,Ier. 5. 31. then it was then amongst the Iewes. The Prophets there Prophesied lies: Chap. 23. 24. God sent them not, and yet they ranne, he spoke not unto them, and yet they prophesied Chap. 14. 14.even a false vision, and the dreames and devices of their owne hearts: whether the Romanists doe this or no: those im­pious assertions which they maintaine against the reformed chur­ches (for oppagning whereof, many holy Martyrs have with their blood dyed the skirts of the purple whore) may sufficiently witnesse.Vid. Lind. li. Cap. 100. & Petrum à Soto contra Bren­tium. What I shall tell you of their prayers for the dead, their Sacrifice of the Masse, their communicating under one kinde, their vows, their forbidding of ma [...]riages, their indulgences, their Purgatorie, their workes of Supererogation, and a number moe, by which likeAct. 14. 25. the Silver Smiths of Diana, they have gotten their goods? all which make a goodly show of holinesse, to such as are blinded with the mists of ignorance, by reason that the candle of the word is covered under a Bushell and locked up in the closet of an unknowne tongue, but bringPsal. 119. Davids Lanthorn to trie them, and you shall finde that when they are viewed in the light▪ they will prove like gloe-wormes, and Toad-stools, more like to any thing then that which they were taken for: or likeSolinus. the Apples of Sodome, which make a goodly show a farre off, but if they be once touched, they will presently fall into dust, or like those D. D. in his preface upon Euclid. Mathematical Shows, which in the twilight seem to be gold or precious stones, yet where the light comes, prove nothing but lime and sand:: then their prayers unto Saints will prove but much babling: their Images teachers of lies, their forbidding of marriages, doctrines of Devil: their Purgatory fire borrowed from the Superstitious Ethnicks, to keep their Kitchins hot [Page 31] their Masses, massacres of soules, their Holy-water, crucifixes, reliques, and [...]ags of Saints, &c. beggarly rudiments, base Merchan­dise not worth the cheapning: this they themselves know full well,Tertul. de re­surrectione car­nis. Per [...]us. Eckius Pighius contro. 3. de scriptura. Lu­dov. Canoni­nonicus Latera­nenss orat hab. in Concil. Trid. vide Chem. in exam. Concil. Trid. & Tuel­lum in defen. apol. cap. 19. 20. Si quis habeat interpretatio­nem Roma [...]nae Eccl. de aliquo loco scripturae etiamsi nec sciat nec intelli­gat an aut quo­mod. eum cum scripturis con­veniat; habet tamen ipsissi­mum dei ver­bum, Hosius de expresso dei verbo. and therefore if you aske these Lucifugae scripturarum what warrant they have from the Oracles of God.

Romulidae Satyriquid diâ Poemata narrant?

They will tell you they have it by tradition, or the Church hath ordained it: or it is not needfull to bring Scripture for a ground of their positions, which it pleaseth some of them to call a Lesbi­an rule, and a nose of waxe, and a blacke Gospell, and inkie Divini­tie, and a dumb Teacher, and a dead and killing Letter. Indeed, if they can wrest any place of Scripture, though it be contrary to the meaning of the holy Ghost, yet it must be taken for sound Divinitie, because as a great Cardinall speakes, if any man have the interpretation of the Romish Church, of any place of Scripture, although he know not whether it agree with the word of God or no: yet it is not to be doubted, but he hath the very Word of God.

Thus must these Expositions goe for sound Divinitie, marke them, and compare them with the Jewish glosses: Drinke ye all of this, that is not all, but some, to wit, the Clergie, Marriage is honourable amongst all men, not all, but some, the Laitie: Cast not Pearls before Swine; that is, suffer not the people to read the Scriptures in a knownetongue: Thou hast put all things in sub­jection under his feet, that is under the Popes feet: The fishes of the Sea, that is the souls in Purgatorie, The Beasts of the Land, that is, the men of this world, The fowles of the heaven, that is the souls of the blessed which the Pope hath canonized.Psal. 8. Here are two swords; that is, the Pope hath the managing of both swords Civil and Ec­clesiastical,Anton. in Sum. part. 3. tit. 2. cap. 5. an Exposition not altogether so harsh, as that which In his adver­tisment to Pope Paul the fift touching the Venetians. Baronius brought of late, to prove that the Pope had authority not only to feed Christs Sheep, but also to punish with death such as resist his Papal dignitie: because he which said,Ioh 21. Peter feed my sheep, said also,Act. 10. 13. Arise Peter and kill: if he had pressed the Text a little further, he might by the same Argument have proved his Holy Father to be an Antropophagus or Caniball because [...] [Page 30] [...] [Page 31] [Page 32] it is not simply said, Arise Peter and kill, but Arise Peter kill and eat, Bellar. de Rom. Pont. lib. 1. cap. 12. unless he had Bellarmines wit, who proveth the Popes Supre­macy, not from the first word kill, but from the second word eat.

But the main fault in Religion, which hastened Gods judge­ments upon Jerusalem, was her idolatry: She changed her God: Jer. 2. 13. She forsook the fountain of living waters, and digged unto her self even broken pits which would hold no water: she played the harlot upon every high mountain,Verse 17. and under every green tree: She said unto a tree, thou art my father, and to a stone, thou hast begotten me. Whether Rome go not beyond her in this particular, he that hath but half an eye may plainly see,

Cur natos toties crudelis tu quoque falsis
Ludis imaginibus?
Virgil, Aene. 1

We do not read of many Idols that were famous amongst the Jews, there was Ashtoreth the God of the Sidonians, and Mil­com the abhomination of the Moabites, and Chemosh the abhomi­nation of the children of Ammon, and Baal, and a few more: but the Idols which Papists have invented are so many, that Rome can scarce finde room for placing them: She is more like to the old Gentiles, who did acknowledge one chief Jupiter,



Jupiter Omnipotens,
Hominum rex atque deorum.
qui res hominum (que) Deûm (que)
Aeternis regis imperiis:

But he had three hundred under him,Varro. which they worshipped as gods: though the Papists acknowledge one supreme power, yet are there three hundred to whom they perform that worship which is due onely unto God, and as they had twelve which they counted greater gods, which Ennius containeth in these old verses,

Extant apud A­puleium, & Natalem Co­mitem. Sen. na. quaest. lib. 2. cap. 41.
vesta, Minerva, Ceres, Diana, Venus, Mars.
Mercurius, Jovis, Neptunus, Vulcanus, Apollo.

Whom they hold to be of Gods Privy Councel: but many lesser [Page 33] gods and goddesses for particular purposes, as for their waters, Lympha, Varro. lib. 1. de re Rustica. for her Gardens, Pomona, for their grounds, Terminus, &c So the Papists have the twelve Apostles, which (with the Plato­nists) they use as Mediatours betweene them and the high God, unto which they have added the Virgine Marie, thinking especi­ally by her intercession to have their desires; as the Trojans in the Poet used the mediation of Venus to obtain favour of Jupiter. Now for particular matters, there is scarce any thing but they have a God or Goddesse for it: When they are in feare of the plague they pray to Sebastian; against the falling sicknesse to Valentine, Lutherus in Decalog. against sudden death to Christopher, against the Ring-worm to Anthony. Now then as Pythagoras from the print of Hercules his foote in the games of Olympus, did collect the big­nesse of his whole body. So from these few things which have been spoken, you may gather how far Rome hath declined from her former purity, and how well she may paralel with Jerusalem in my Text. I might take occasion to speak of that preheminence, which the Pope challengeth over all Christian Kings (Gods im­mediate Deputies on earth) by reason of a supposed Authority, given unto Peter, whose successor he pretendeth himselfe to be the very same argument in substance, by which the Turk claimeth the Westerne Empire, because he succeedeth Constantine: or hee that married Tullies wife, laid claim to his learning, because hee had married his executor: all Pinces must hold their Scepters from him, all Nations must couch downe before him and all king­domes must doe him service: Here Jerusalem dare not stand out in comparison with Rome: her high Priests were never come to that height of impudencie, as to set up their heads above the Lords anointed. When Tyberius observed the base servitude which the Romanes used towards him:Tacius Annal. lib 3. hee could not chuse but crie out, O homines natos ad servitutem, he that con­sidereth how vilely and servilely: she which sometime was the Emperesse of the World, doth obey him which is stiled a ser­vant of servants, he may well use Tyberius his words or those of the Poet.

[Page 34]
Roma tibi quondam suberant domini dominorum,
Servorum servi nunc tibi sunt domini.

but this onely by the way. From her religion, let us come to her conversation,Jer. 7. 9. and manner of living. Ierusalem was as corrupt in life, as she was in religion. She did steale, murther and commit adulterie, Cap. 6. 13. and sweare falsly. Her Inhabitants from the least to the the greatest, were given to covetousnesse, and from the Prophet unto the Priest, Cap. 2. 34. they all dealt falsly. In the wings was found the blood of souls of the poor innocents: How farre Rome goeth beyond Ierusalem, even in this also wee may have a little taste in our holy English Catholicks, the remainder of the Romish Church, and the onely true Professors (if yee will believe them) of the ancient faith in this Kingdome but trie them by the works of regeneration (the principall bodie of true Christianitie) and you shall finde, that in prophanation of Gods Sabbath, in swearing and blaspheming, in lying and cozen­ing, in drunkennesse and whoredome, in oppression, and all un­conscionable dealings, they are for the most part the very scumme and excrements of this land. And why should they make con­science of these sinnes,Venalia Romae templa, sacer­dotes, altaria sacra, coronae, ignet, thura, preces, Coelurn est venale de­usque. seeing their holy Mother is as it were a faire royall Exchange, where any sinne may be bought at a reasonable rate. Nothing more common, then what do you lack, or what will you buy, &c. A pardon for your sinnes past, or for any sinne you shall hereafter commit? a toleration for common Stewes, for, (but I dare not name it) dispensation, for incestuous marriages, or any thing else, you shall have it if you can agree for the price: shall I say all in a word? She is a hell of impieties, a habitation of Devils, and the hold of foul spirits, and a cage of every uncleane and hatefull bird. And therefore I lesse mar­vell why Friar Mantuan should be so bitter against her corrup­tions in his time.Rev. 18. 2.

[Page 35]
Sanctus ager scurris venerabilis ara cinaedis.
honorandae divum Ganimedibus aedes.

And he saith further, Nullae hic arcana revelo, It was no shri­ving secrets the Fryar did disclose, but such things as all the world could witnesse to be true.Bernardus lib. 4. de conside­ratione ad Eu­genium. Bernard is more sharpe against the abu­ses of his time (though the rotten hmours were but then in gathe­ring) when he complaineth, that the covetous, luxurious, ambitious, incestuous; sacrilegious, and all such hellish Monsters did flock to Rome, to get a warrant from the Apostolick Sea, for their proceed­ings. And that they made no more conscience of sinning, then theeves after they had robbed a man by the high way, are afraid to divide the spoile. Curiae tua recipere honos magis, quàm facere consuevit, (he speakes unto the Pope) mali enim illic non profici­unt, sed boni deficiunt. I intend now to lay open her mon­strous cruelties and bloody massacres, of such as truly professe the Gospel of Christ, in which point she doth very well resemble (Shall I say) Ierusalem, which killed the Prophets, and stoned them, that were sent to her? Tacitus lib. 14. Annal quoties fugas & caedes jussit princeps, toties gratiae diis actae quae­que rerum se­cundarum olim nunc publicae cladis insigniae fuere. Nay, rather old Rome under Nero, as often as the Emperour gave commandement that any should bee slaine or banished (saith Tacitus) did they give thankes unto God: and those things which in former time had been notes of some prosperous success, were now the ensigns of publick slaughter. Is not this her custom at this day? are there any bloody butcherings of Christs flock, any cruel murthering of Christian Princes, by Romish Jebusites, but it shall be received at Rome, with Bonefires and Hymns in most triumphant manner? all which things when I consider, I am fully resolved that a learned Divine of later yeares, doth not speak of any malicious humour when he saith that there be three points of divinity,Calvinus lib. 5. Instit. ca. 7. (he calleth them Capita arcana Theologiae) which go current in Rome. The first, that there is no God: the Second, that whatsoever is written of Christ is lies and deceits. The third that the Doctrine of the resurrection and the last judgement is meerly fabulous; now then this being the case of that great and glorious Citie, we may well collect, that her horrid desolation and fearfull down­fall is at hand. For there is no state so strong, no Citie so fenced, but the sinnes of the people will bring it unto destruction, which is my [Page 36] third and last proposition out of the second generall branch of my Text, whereof I am now by your patience to intreat.

That Kingdoms and Common-wealths have their periods and downfalls,Proposition 3. is a conclusion which the premises of all former ages do demonstrate; learned Athens, stately Sparta, rich Babylon, victorious Carthage, ancient Troy, proud Ninive, and a thousand more have numbred their years: and at this day have no stronger fence then Paper walls, to keep their names from oblivion, the great enemie of antiquitie. Now for the true cause of their sub­versions, it is a truth, which the greatest wizards of this world, after much study, and many serious consultations with nature, could never finde out. The Epicures attribute it to Fortune, the Stoicks to Destinie, the Pythagorians to numbers. Which last opinion Plato made such reckoning of, that he will have numbers to be the sole cause of the transmutations of Common-wealths. Whose words be so Aenigmatical, that Tullie makes them a Pro­verb,Plato lib. 8. de rep. Cicer. lib. 7 and Marcilius Ficinus invocateth not Oedipus but Apollo to unfold them. Aristotle (who of all others cometh nearest unto the truth) maketh the cause to be a disharmonie in the bodie po­litick,Epist. ad At­ticum. as too much wealth of some few, the great miserie of many,Arist. 5. lib. pollit. cap. 12. injurie: fear, &c. I little marvel that Heathen Philoso­phers should shoot so wide, when Christians have so grossely mistaken their mark.Bodin. method. hist. cap. 6. Bodin how wittie is he in pleading for num­bers? what vertue doth he attribute to 7. or 9. or 12. and their squares and cubiques. How doth he shift himself to prove his opinion sound, by instances of the most Common-wealths that have been hitherto in account, adding or detracting years at his pleasure, from the Calculation of the best Chronologers, to make the number square, or cubick, or spherical, or at the least, some way consisting of 7. or 9. or of their roots or squares.Cardanus. Cardanus hang­eth all upon the tail of the greater Bear. The common sort of Astrologians, refer it to the Planets and Stars, making such a scheme at the first foundation of any Citie, which made Varro (as Plutarch witnesseth) so earnest with Taruncius Firmanus, to enquire the opposition, and aspect of the Planets, when Rome was first situated, thinking here by to conjecture how long that Empire should endure.Copernicus. Copernicus will have the conversion and motion of the center of his imaginary excentricle circle (which [Page 37] circle according to him, is not caused by the Heavens motion (for the Heavens in his opinion are unmoveable) but by the earth, which he will have to be continually wheeled about, to be the cause of these alterations of Common-wealths. Thus while they groped in the dark, they missed their mark, as the Sodomites did Lots door,Gen. 19. and while they professed themselves wise, they became fools. Rom. 1. 22. And little marvel, for the wisdom of this world is foolishnesse with God: None of all these have happened on the true cause, it is the sins of the people which bringeth every Common-wealth to ruine. 1 Cor. 1. And how can it be otherwise? for if thou lay more weight on the root, then the pi [...]ars can support, the house must needs fall. Now sin is of such an intollerable weight, that no house, nor citie, nor common-wealth can stand under it, but it will presse it down, it is a burden to the whole earth, and makes it reel to and fro, Isaiah, 24. 20. and stagger like a drunken man: it is a burden to all the creatures,Rom. 8. 22. and maketh them groan, and travel in pain: it is a burden to God himself, which makes him cry out in the Prophet against the Jews,Amos 2. 13. that they had pressed him with their iniquites, even as a cart is pressed with sheaves: it lay so heavy upon Christs shoulders,Luke 22. 44. that it made him sweat drops of blood. This burden of it self so heavy, like a malefactor that is pressed to death, cries for more weight, to presse the sinner to the pit of Hell:Jerem. 23. it calls to Heaven for the burden of the Lord, that is, for vengeance to be inflicted upon the impenitent sinner. God in re­gard of his patience and long suffering, is said to have leaden heels, he cometh slowly, even against his will to punish, but in respect of his justice he is said to have iron hands. He striketh with a witnesse, when once he begins to smite in his proceedings against the sins of men, he hath a double method sometimes, (and this method is most usual when he proceedeth against the sins of his children) he comes to them as he came to Elias. 1 Kings 10. First he send­eth a mighty strong winde, to blow down the tall cedars, and cast them to the ground, as Paul was, before he was convert­ed. Then an Earth-quake, to shake the flinty rocks,Acts 24. 26. I mean the stonie hearts of men, and to make them tremble, as Felix did, when Paul disputed of the judgement to come, then a fire to burn up the stubble, and consume the bryars, and then (when these fore-runners, like John Baptist have prepared away for the Lord) [Page 38] he comes himselfe in a soft voice, the gratious and sweet promises of the Gospell, to seale a pardon to such, as by the former Judge­ments are dejected and humbled. And this may be termed Gods Ordo compositivus: Sometimes (and this is more usuall, especially when he proceeds against the wicked, he taketh a contrary course: First, he comes in a soft and still voyce, to wooe them to himselfe: But when they harden their hearts, and will not be reclaimed from their evill wayes, then at length he will send a fire to devoure them, and an Earthquak and mighty strong wind to scatter them away like chaff from the face of the earth, Psal. 1. and to blow them down even into the bottome of Hell, and this I may fitly call Gods ordo resolutivus; it is said of Alexander, Q. Curtius. that when he besieged certaine Citie, he held out a Lamp, proclaiming a pardon to as many as would yeild themselves before the Lamp was burned: so the Lord first holdeth out the Lampe of his word, whereby he calleth them to submit themselves, and gives them a time to deliberate, if in the meane time they doe not yeild, nothing remaines but death and destructi­on: it is storied of Tamberlain the Scythian, that whensoever hee besieged a Citie, first he displayed a white flag in token of mercie, if they would yeild themselves,Stephani Apol. in Herod. the second day a red flag threat­ning blood because they did not in time submit themselves, if they continued untill the third day, then came out his black flagg, me­nacing utter ruine and desolations; this is Gods method. First he sets out his white flagg of peace; if this be not regarded, then comes his red flagge of correction, though not of destruction: if this will take no place with them, then he sets out his black flagge, bella, horrida bella, nothing but death and desolation. Downe with it, downe with it, even to the ground, tribulation and anguish, fire and brimstone, Virgil lib. 4. Aeneid. storm and tempest, this shall be their portion to drink. Its long before he be moved to anger, but if the coals of his wrath be kindled; O Lord God how terrible will this flame be! it will lick up the Sea like dust, and melt the mountains like wax, and burne to the very bottome of Hell, so that nothing in the world will quench it, but the blood of the Lambe, and the streaming teares of unfeigned repentance: cast your eyes to the time of old, for wee are but men of yesterday, and our dayes on earth are like a shadow, Job. 8, 9. as Bildad speaketh in Job, and you shall finde my conclu­sion proved by the occurrents of all ages. Sodome that fruitfull and [Page 39] plentifull Citie, which was for beautie and pleasure like the garden of God, Gen. 19. or as the valley of Aegypt, as thou goest unto Zoar, if the stinke of her sinnes ascend into heaven,Gen. 13. 10. shall be converted into a stinking Fen,Deut. 3. 3. for an everlasting remembrance of her iniquity. Ie­richo a goodly place, a City of palm-trees, a fenced City, whose walls reached up to Heaven: if she be withall a sinfull and Idolatrous City, she and all that is in her, both man and woman, young and old, Oxe and Asse,Joh. 1. 21 shall be utterly destroyed.Arist. Polit. Babylon, which Aristo­tle for the greatnesse cals rather a region then a City, the Empresse of the earth, the Princesse of Cities, the glory of Kingdomes, the beauty and pride of the Caldeans, which said, I sit as Queene, I am no widdow, and shall see no mourning: If she continue in her sinnes, shall bee as the destruction of God in Sodome and Gomorrah, it shall not be inhabited for ever, Isa. 13. neither shall it be dwelled for ever from generation to generation, but Zim shall dwell there, and their houses shall be full of Ochim, Ostriches shall dwell there, and the Sa­tyrs shall dance there, and Iim shall cry in their Palaces, & Dra­gons in their pleasant places: so that a man shall be more precious then gold, even a man above the wedge of the gold of Ophir: It is not her powerfull state, nor rich Citizens, nor strong wals, nor high Towers, nor magnificent buildings, that shall free her from Gods punishing hand may, Ierusalem in my ext, the Vine that Gods right hand had planted, the Citie of the Gr [...]at King, the holy place of the Tabernacle of the most high, the beauty of Israel, the glory of Nations, and Princesses of Provinces, if shee will not be awaked from her sinnes,Lament. 1. shall not be much better then the destruction of Sodome and the miserable desolation of dolefull Gomorrah, her was shall be turned into heapes of dust, her houses consumed, her Temple burned, her treasurie empty, her inhabitants killed:

Quis cladem illius urbis, quis funera fletu

What heart is so flinty which will not melt into teares, when it shall thinke of the miserie which did twise befall this one Citie.Vse 1.

Now all 1 Cor. 10. 11. these punishments came upon them for an ensample and and are written to admonish you upon whom the ends of the world are [Page 40] come, that you should be armed and warned, that you should see and foresee,Cicero Phil. 1. before the time be past, ut quorum facta imitamini eo­rum exitum perhorrescatis, that if you tread in their foot-steps you should remember their downfals, God is the same God still, hee is as strong as ever hee was, hee is as just to revenge as ever hee was, his Arme is not shortened, his strength is not abated, his wrath is not turned away from sinne, but his hand is stretched out still. Sinne may bud in the spring but it withereth before Harvest: it may flourish for a time, but godli­nesse endureth unto the end. When the wicked thinketh himselfe the surest, when he saith unto his soule, Peace, Peace, and Soule, take thy rest. Even then there is but one step betweene him and destruction: believe the kingly Prophet, he speaketh it of his own experience,Psal. 37. 36. 37. I my selfe have seen the ungodly in great prosperitie, and flourishing like a green bay tree; what followeth, I went by, and loe, he was gone; I sought him, and his place could no more be found. Behold his covntenance, he is but as the grasse upon the house top, which withereth before it be pluckt up, or as the foame upon the water, or as a garment freted with mothes: Psal. 73. 18. O how suddenly doth he fade, perish, and come to a fearefull end: even as a dreame vanisheth when as one awaketh. It is noted of Pyrrhus and Haniball, that they could quickly conquer a Citie,Plut in vita Pyrrhi. idem in vita Hanib. but they could never keep that which they had once subdued I little marvell, that the wicked have great facility in heaping up of riches, but I should thinke it strange if they could keep them till the third generation. Their wealth is like a snow ball, gathered in the fall, not without labour and cold fingers: and anon after it is melted with the Sunne, or washedaway with the raine. But alas, alas beloved, I may here take up the Prophets complaint.Isa. 53. 1. Who will believe our report? my words seem unto many, as Lots Sermon did to his sonnes in-law, when he foretold the destruction of Sodome, who seemed as though he had mocked, Gen. 19. 14. Give me leave a little to speak plainly: I came not to sing unto you a gloria patri without a sicut erat, to flatter you with a smooth tale, as to lay pillowes under your elbowes, whereby you may securely sleep in your sins, Multi sunt placentini, & laudenses pauci Veronenses, many come hither from Placentia, and Lauda but few from Verona. I doubt not but ye will all with your tongues confesse my proposition to be true, but the practise of the [Page 41] most denieth it: it is the sinnes of the people that bringeth every common-wealth to ruine. Every one will say as much, but yet in our practise we hold an other strange Axiome that goeth for cur­rant amongst us: it is the sinnes of the people that upholdeth every Common-wealth: conscionable and true, and faithfull dealing, which my Prophet as I suppose meaneth, by executing of judge­ment, and seeking of the Truth, is like an Almanack out of date, every man hath found out a new way, both to maintain and bet­ter his estate, this old way is too farre about. The bloud-sucking Usurer, instead of lending and expecting nothing again, a lesson which our Saviour would have him to take out, if hee look for the true treasure, doth eat and consume his needy Brother, even as Pharaohs lean and il-favoured Kine devoured the other. This is the way he taketh to support his house, God loves not such an A­rithmetician as spendeth his whole study about Multiplication, Regula falst­tatis. and the Rule of falshood, and can never learn, the practise of Divi­sion. The Lawyer who should employ his best knowledge in untying the knots of the law, and should be an Atropos to cut off the thread of controversies between man and man: feedeth his Client with golden hopes, and sugred words, and in the meane time like Lachesis draweth in length the thread of contention, u­sing unnecessary delayes, and posting off the matters from Court to Court, Tearm to Tearm, year to year, not unlike the cogging Surgeon, who in hope of greater gain doth poyson the wound, that it may be longer in curing, or (if I may use a homely com­parison) like the waggish Boy in the streets, who when he seeth two dogs snarling and grinning one at another for a bone, is never at rest till (for his own pleasure, but little for their profit) hee hath brought them à rictu ad morsum, to trie their right by their teeth, till at length the weaker be enforced to resigne up his right to the stronger: this is a principall plot to maintain his estate.

The Citizen that liveth on his trade, is like to the idolatrous Jewes in the Psalmist, which worship the Images of Canaan; Canaan signifieth a Merchant, and what is the Merchants Image (saith Luther) but Denarius the Crosse. This hee maketh such reckoning of, as that he careth not for making shipwrack, not of a crased, woodden vessel, but of a good conscience, so that he may obtain it: hee selleth dayes and months, and years at a higher [Page 42] rate then his best stuffes; if his wares be too light, false ballances must make up the weight, if too bad, too dear, a false oath must mkae amends for both. The countrey Landlord (for though I speak in Jerusalem, yet I do not doubt but some of every quarter of Judah doth hear mee, whom the Lord hath endowed with am­ple possessions, that hee should be as it were Pater Patriae, an up­holder of his Countrey, a maintainer of justice, a scourge of vice, a protector of Religion,Xenocrates a­pud Aelianum. var. hist. lib. 13. cap. 31. a shelter for the distressed to defend them from the rage of oppressors, as the Philosopher did the Sparrow that fled into his bosome from the talons of the Hawke. What doth he▪ he raiseth his rents, wringeth his Tenants like spunges, shaketh by some new devise the ancient custome; if this will not serve his turne, he farmeth out his livings (especially in such a year as this, when hee should break his bread to the poor at his own doores) and taketh a room in this City, or some other, where he may live with much ease, little charges, and small cre­dit, this he counceth an especiall means to hold up his estate.

If I have been in the bosomes of many of you, blame your selves, for mine own part I may truly say to every particular that thinketh himself touched, as our Saviour said to the woman that was taken in Adulterie;Joh. 8. 11. Hath no man condemned thee? neither do I. Marry,1 Joh. 3. 20. withall I adde that of John, If thine own conscience condemn not thee, God is greater then thy conscience, and knoweth all things; and therefore I dismisse thee with that speech of our Saviour spo­ken to the Criple, that was newly restored to his feet; Go thy way and sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. What shall I say more?Joh. 5. 14. Runne through each particular Estate and calling, and you shall find by the practise, though not of all, God forbid that I should think so, I know there are in every profession which make a conscience of their wayes, and in all their actions set God before their eyes, yet of the most part, that fraudulent and deceit­full dealing, or some other unlawfull means, is thought the most expedite and beaten way for supporting them. Few will let this conceit sink into their heads, that sin is the means that bringeth every Estate to ruine, the Preacher may tell them as much, but they will believe him at their leisure; in the mean time, they will still run on their old Bias; the husbandman may labour in weed­ing those grounds, but still they bring forth briars to entangle, and [Page 43] nettles to sting others: the Gardner may busie himselfe in pru­ning those vines, but still they bring forth sowre grapes, such as will set the teeth of Gods children on edge. Gods shepheards may watch continually about their flocks;Jer. 2. yet like swift Drome­daries they runne by their wayes, and like the wilde Asse used to the wildernesse, which snuffeth the wind by occasion at her pleasure, as the Prophet speaks; they cannot be kept from going astray. E­very one can be angry if his worldly purpose be crossed never so little, but few or none will say with David; it grieveth me when I see the transgressors, because they keep not thy law: Many can weep and command plenty of tears, when any worldly calamit, doth befall them, but few or none can shed one tear, Miserè terendo oculos (as he speaks in the Comedy) for their sinnes, much lesse weep bitterly as Peter did,Math. 26. or have their eyes gush out with wa­ter,Psal. 119. because other men keep not Gods Lawes: with David many will sing to the Vi [...]l, and invent to themselves instruments of musick like David as the Israelites did; Amos 6. 5. But few will say with him,Psal. 119. 143. All my delight is in thy commandements; Many will say, with those good fellowes, Come and bring wine, and wee will fill our selves with strong drink, and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant. Isa. 56. 12. But few or none will say with those good professors. Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob, Isa. 2. 3. and he will teach us his lawes, and we will walk in his paths.

I think I cannot truly say with Hosea, that the Lord hath a con­troversie with the inhabitants of this land, because there is no know­ledge of God in the land. Isa. 1. 5. For our heads are not so sick, as our hearts are heavie: I mean our heads are not so void of knowledge, as our hearts are of obedience, but I dare boldly say, that which followeth: By swearing and lying, and killing, and stealing, and w [...]o [...]ing, Hos. 4. 2. they break forth, and bloud toucheth bloud. Will you heare the judgements annexed in the subsequent words? Therefore shall the land mourne, and every one that dwelleth therein, shall be cut off. This is a terrible curse and he that dwelleth in heaven, still avert it from u, but yet it is a conclusion which the Lord u­seth to inferre upon such premises.

Give me leave to repeat a pa [...]able unto you,Isa. 5. 1, 2, 3, &c. My beloved had a vineyard in a very fruitfull hill, and he hedged it, and gathered [Page 44] the stones out of it, and he planted it with the best plants; and hee built a Tower in the midst, and made a winepresse therein. The Pro­phet in that place applieth it to the land of Judah, Surely the vine­yard of the Lord of hosts, is the land of Israel, and the men of Ju­dah, are his pleasant plants: me thinks I may not unfitly apply it unto this Island. Surely the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the land of Britaine, and the men of this land are his pleasant plants, Now therefore, O ye inhabitants of this land, judge I pray you, be­tween him and his vineyard, what could hee have done unto it, that he hath not done? He hath planted it with his own right hand, he hath so hedged it about with his heavenly providence, that the wilde boare out of the woods cannot root it up, nor they that go by, pull off his grapes. He hath watered it most abundantly with the dew of heaven: he hath gathered the stones of Popery and superstition out of it; hee hath set the winepresse of his word therein: hee hath given it a Tower, even a king as a strong tow­er against his enemies, whose raigne the Lord continue over us, if it be his pleasure, as long as the moon knoweth her course, and the sun his going down and let all that love the peace of Britaine say Amen. Now he hath long expected that it should bring forth grapes, but behold it bringeth forth wild grapes. Hee looked for judgement, but behold oppression, for righteousnesse, but lo [...] a crying.

These were the sinnes of Jerusalem, and you know her judge­ments, hee that was Jerusalems God, is Britaines God too, and therefore if shee parallel Jerusalem in her iniquities, let her take heed shee taste not of her plagues; God though he hath not yet begun to punish her in his fury yet hath he sundry times shaked his rod of correction over her, if this will not worke amendment, her judgement must be the greater.

Fearfull was the case of Samaria, whom Gods punishments could not move to repentance. I have given you cleannesse of teeth in all your Cities, and scarcenesse of Bread in all your places, yet have ye not returned unto me saith the Lord God.Amos. 4. I have withholden the raine from you when there was yet three moneths to the harvest, and I caused it to raine upon one City, and brought a drought upon another, yet have yee not returned unto me saith the Lord. Pesti­lence have I sent amongst you after the manner of Egypt, and yet ye have not returned unto me saith the Lord. I have smitten you [Page 45] with blasting and mildew, &c. yet ye have not returned unto mee saith the Lord God. The Lord hath not hitherto dealt with us af­ter our sinnes, nor plagued us according to the multitude of our iniquities, yet he hath made it manifest that he is displeased with us: His mercy hath pulled back his hand from drawing his sword of vengeance against us, yet he hath left us sundry tokens that he is angred with our sinnes. Deut. 28. 23. It is not long since that the heavens were made as brasse, and the Earth as yron, nay, the very waters became as yron or as brasse, so that neither the heavens from above, nor the earth, or water from below did afford comforts for the ser­vice of man.

This extraordinary cold distemperature of the ayre might by an Antiperistasis have kindled some heat of zeal and devotion in our breasts;Psal. 105. 16. when it had not the expected effect, then he Called for a dearth upon the land, and destroyed our provision of bread: e­ven such a famine, that if we were not relieved from forrain coun­treys, Ten women might bake their bread in one Oven, as the Lord speaketh, Levit. 26. 26.

But all this hath not brought us upon our knees, nor humbled our soules before our God, therefore once againe, hee hath put life in his messenger of death, and set him on foot, which herto­fore of late years hath raged in this city, like a man of warre, and like a gyant refreshed with wine, and bestirred himselfe (though not with the like violence) almost in every part of this kingdom: I mean the pestilence that walketh in the darknesse, Psal. 91. 6. and the sicknesse that hath killed many thousands at noon day: all these are infallible tokens that he is offended with our sinnes: Howbeit he is so mer­cifull that he will not suffer his whole displeasure as yet to arise,

—Horum si singula duras
Flectere non possunt, poterint tamen omnia, mentes:

If each of these by themselves cannot prevaile with us▪ yet if they be all put together, they may serve (as a threefold cord) to draw us unto repentance. If these be not of force but still we conti­nue to blow up the coales of his anger, then let us know for a certainty, that they are the forewarners of a greater evill▪ as the cracking of the house is a forewarning of his fall: these [Page 46] be but the flashing lightnings, the thunder bolt will come after.

The cloud that is long in gathering, will make the greater storme: he is all this while in setting his stroke, that hee may give the sorer blow; Eurum ad se Zephirum (que) vocat; hee is in bringing the windes out of his treasures, that hee may rain upon our heads a showre of vengeance which shall be the portion of all the ungodly to drink.

I began like a Barnabas, I will not end like Boanerges: my song had an Exordium of mercy, I am loath to bring for an Epi­logue a thunderclap of judgement. Wherefore (my beloved Bre­thren) now that you see the true causes of the ruines of every common-wealth and the judgement that hangeth over your heads (like Damocles his sword) for our iniquities; flatter your selves no longer in your own sinnes, but turn unto him by speedy and unfained repentance, that he may repent him of the evill, and turn away his plagues from you: let the wanton leave his dallying, and the drunkard his carrowsing, and the Usurer his biting, and the swearer his blaspheming, and the oppressor his grinding, and e­very one amend one in time, before the Lords wrath be further kindled: then will the Lord be mercifull unto this land: he will quickly turn the sowre looks of an angry and sinne-revenging Judge, into the smiling countenance of a milde and gentle Father. Hee will take the rodde which he hath prepared for you, and burn it in the fire. These plagues which do hang over you for your iniquities, he will blow away with the breath of his no­strils, as he did the Egyptian Grashoppers into the red-sea: hee will command his destroying Angel to put up his sword into the sheath, he will open the windowes of heaven, and powre down a blessing upon you without measure.

Then shall you be blessed in the City and blessed in the field, blessed at your going out, and blessed at your comming in, and whatsoever you put your hands unto shall be blessed; your sons shall grow up as Olive branches, Psal. 129. 4. and your daughters shall bee as the polished corners of the Temple. Your grounds shall so abound with grane that the tillers shall laugh and sing;Psal. 144. your garners shall be full and plenteous with all manner of store,Joel. 2. 24. your presses shall a­bound with Oyle and wine, your sheep shall bring forth thousands, and tenne thousands in your fields; Every thing shall prosper, [Page 47] nothing shall stop the current of Gods blessings, there shall be no decay, nor leading into captivity, and no complaining in your streets; and which is better then all these, he will give you faithfull and painfull Pastors to feed you, his spirit to comfort you, his word to instruct you, his wisdom to direct you, his Angels to watch o­ver you,Esther. 6. 9. his grace to assist you, and in a word, He will be your God, and you shall be his people: thus shall it be done unto all those whom the King of heaven shall honour: so that all the world shall wonder at your felicity, and say, Blessed be the Lord which taketh pleasure in the prosperity of his servants, and happy are the people that be in such a case, yea blessed are all they which have the Lord for their God; thus will he be with you, and direct you in the de­sert of this world, till he bring you into a faire and goodly place, the promised land, a land that floweth with better things then a­bundance of Milke and Honey, the celestial Paradise, the heaven­ly Canaan, the kingdome of glory prepared for you from the be­ginning of the world, even that kingdome where the King is ve­rity, the Lawes charity, the Angels your company, the Peace feli­city, the life eternity. To this kingdom, the God of all mercy bring us for his sake that bought us with his own blood, to whom with the Father and the holy Spirit, three persons in trinity, and one God in unity, be ascribed all honour and glory, power and Majesty, both now and for evermore, Amen.

TO THE Right reverend father in God, the Lord Bishop of CARLILE,


WHen I preached at Carlile at the last Assi­ses, I made no other account,Arist. de hist. animal. lib. 5. cap. 10. but that my sermon should (like Aristotles Epheme­ron) have died the same day that it took breath. Since which time I have been in­treated by divers to make it common: to whom I would not yield the least assent, as doubting that their desires proceeded rather from affection towards the spea­ker, then from a sound judgement of the things spoken. But when I perceived how distastfull it was to some, that beare Romish hearts in English breasts; I resolved, as David did when Michal mocked him for dancing before the Arke, to be yet more vile, by publishing that unto their eyes, which before was delivered to their eares; hoping that the more it displeaseth them, the better acceptance it shall finde with the true Israelite. Which now at length I have effected. So as that before they heard it (or at least heard of it) so now they may read it. And if I have evill spoken, let them beare [Page 50] witnesse of the evill, but if I have said well, why doe they smite me? It seems to them a meere calumniation to say that there is no pro­bability that a Papist shall live peaceably with us, and performe true and sincere obedience towards our Prince. To whom I might returne the short answer of the Lacones to their adversary, Si: if it were so, my speech was not to no purpose, because not only rebels to the King, but, much more to God and his true worship and service, are to be rooted out of a Christian commonwealth. And if those be worthy a sharpe censure which agreeing with us in the fundamental points of Divini­ty, cannot away with the carved worke of our Temple, but cut it downe as it were with Axes and Hammers, how much more those San­ballats and Tobiahs, that strike at the foundation thereof, and say of it, as did the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem, down with it, down with it, even to the ground.

But I rather say, O si, I wish it were so, and that there were no feare of danger by their meanes and devises. But this I doubt can­not be effected, unlesse there be, I will not say with the Oratour, a wall, but a sea between them and us. Till then there is as great pro­bability of peace between us, as there was of old time between the Ca­tholicks and the Donatists, the Orthodoxall and the Arians, the He­brewes and the Aegyptians, the Iewes and the Samaritans:

Immortale odium, & nunquam sanabile vulnus.

And for true loyalty, and faithful obedience there is as great pro­bability, as that the two poles shall meet. The King and the Pope are two contrary masters, none can truly serve them both; Either he must hate the one, and love the other, or he must leane to the one and despise the other. The obedience which either of them requires is so repugnant, that they cannot lodge within one breast. This loyalty which our adversaries do outwardly pretend is but equivocal, no more true loyalty, then a dead hand is a hand; it wants the very forme and soule (if I may so speak) of true dutifulnesse, which is to perform obedience voluntarily, and with a free heart for Gods cause, as to Christs immediate Vicar over al persons within his dominions. It is with some secret reservation, till their primus motor, the man of sin, upon whom their obedience depends, shal sway them another way: rebus sic stantibus, the state standing as it doth, & donec publica bullae executio fieri possit, untill they may have power and strength to re­sist. So that I may use the same words unto them which Austin doth [Page 51] doth to the Rogatists,Aug. ep. 48. Saevire vos nolle dicitis, ego non posse arbi­tror; ita enim estis numero exigui, ut movere nos contra adver­sarias vobis multitudines non audeatis, etsi cupiatis. I speak chiefly of such as are grounded in the Principles of Popish Divinitie, and take for current what soever is stamped in Romes mint. As for their ignorant followers, I only give them that censure, which S. Paul gives the Iews; They have the zeale of God, but not according to know­ledge, for they being ignorant of the righteousnesse of God, and going about to stablish their owne righteousnesse, have not sub­mitted themselves to the righteousnesse of God.

I have adventured to joyn with this an other Sermon preached be­fore upon a like occasion (so farre as I could gather it out of a few scattered Papers, flying abroad like Sybilla's leaves.)

—rapidis ludibria ventis.

Which I have the rather done, because my experience these few years in the Country, hath taught me how common those sins are which I haue herein indeavoured to reprove, if these my labours shall not be distastfull, I shall be willing to goe forward in a greater subject. Howsoever they shall be taken, I submit to the censure of your Lord­ship, and of every indifferent Reader (not counting what carping Momus can say against them) in the words of judicious Vives; Si quid dixi quod placeat, Lud. Vives in August. de Civit Dei lib. ult. cap. ult. habeat lector gratiam Deo propter me; si quid quod non placeat, ignoscat mihi propter Deum & malè di­ctis det veniam propter benè dicta; and of holy Austin in the conclu­sion of his long discourse de Trinitate Domine Deus unus & Trinitas, uaecunque dixi de tuo agnoscant & tui, si qua de meo & tu ignos­& tui.

Your Lordships in Christ to be commanded,
MATH. 26. 15.‘What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?’

I Have elsewhere, in a great and populous au­ditory, discoursed of our Saviours mildnesse, and humility, and of the deceit and hypocri­sie of the Judasses of these times, from these words of our Saviour:Luk. 22. 48. Iudas betrayest thou the son of man with a kisse? Being command­ed to supply this place, I thought it not unfit for this present occasion, to look back into the story of our Saviours passion, and to seek out the cause of Ju­das his cruell, and more then hellish fact, in betraying his Master, which I find wrapped in the words already delivered unto you.

These two questions, what will yee give me? and what shall I give you? be two evils at this day much reigning amongst men; which though they may stand somewhat upon their antiquity, yet they have little reason to bragge of their pedegree. For the one may be fathered upon Simon Magus, Act. 8. 19. who offered to buy the gifts of the holy Ghost for money: What shall I give you, that upon whom soever I shall lay my hands, he may receive the holy Ghost? the other upon Judas the traitour, who offered to sell the giver of the holy Ghost for a small summe of money. What will yee give me, and I will deliver him unto you? Both of them wicked, but the speech of Judas the more hainous. Who not contented with that which he gat by stealth out of the bag which he bare, and being disappointed of a profit which he expected, in regard that that boxe of ointment which he purposed to have sold, (that he might have converted a good part thereof to his own proper use,) was powred upon our Saviours head: and perceiving our Saviour to defend the fact of the woman, anon he goes out; and because he [Page 54] was frustrated of his hope of gaine by selling the ointment, hee offers for a small summe of money to sell the Anointed. What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? As if hee should have said, I perceive that ye are marvellous desirous to appre­hend my master, but ye cannot easily effect your purpose, by rea­son of the people, which make such account of him, that per­chance they would make an uproar, if any open violence should be offered unto him: yet if ye will listen unto me, and follow my counsell, I will quickly ease you of that care, upon this con­dition, that yee will afford me any reasonable reward for my paines; tell me therefore before I go, what shall my recompence be, and I will undertake without any tumult to deliver him into your hands. In which words observe these two points, 1 Judas his question, what will yee give me? 2 His promise to deliver his master, so that he may be rewarded: and I will deliver him un­to you.

In the question we see, that though Judas was an Apostata, fal­len from God, and led by Satan to betray his master, whom he lit­tle esteemed, as appears by the price he sold him for; yea though he had a desire to make his master away, lest he should afterward get knowledge of his theft, yet he will not betray him unlesse he have something for his pains. And therefore before he make any promise of delivering him, he covenanteth for a price: whence a­riseth this note, that even the wicked, and reprobate will abstaine from horrible and grosse sinnes when there is no provocation offered, and when they see no end of committing them. There are in every sinne which is voluntarily committed two causes; An inward im­pulsive moving them; and something which may have the name of a final cause, or else an externall object, alluring them. The im­pulsive cause in Judas was covetousnesse. The finall cause was to obtain some money. The impulsive cause kept it self close, and like a thiefe, lurked in a corner, till a fit opportunity was offered, and a reward was expected. As it was in Judas, so was it in A­chan; no doubt but Achan had given lodging to covetousnesse before the overthrow of Jericho▪ but then he had the opportuni­ty offered him.Jos. 7. 21. He saw amongst the spoile a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekles of silver, and a wedge of gold, and because he coveted them he took them (contrary to the Lords [Page 55] commandment) and hid them in the midst of his tent. As it was in these two, so was it in Gehazi. I make no question but an inordinate desire of having, had possessed his heart, before that Naaman the Syrian, came to his master, to be healed of his leprosie. But ne­ver such an opportunity was offered, as was then: for when hee saw Naaman offer his master some rich reward; for curing him, and his master absolutely refusing them, he thought then was the golden occasion offered him to satiate his greedy desires,2 Kin. 5. 20. and there­fore posts after Naaman to get something of him. Wicked Ahab who (as the holy ghost speaketh) sold himself to work wicked­nesse, did not shed the blood of Naboth the Israelite, but to this end, that he might obtaine the vineyard which lay neer unto his house. Now as it is in covetousnesse, so with other sinnes. And the reason is very plain: for though the understandings of the wicked be so darkned,Isa. 5. that they call good evil, and evil good, sowre sweet, and sweet sowre; though their appetites and affections be so perverted, that they swallow up sinne with greedinesse, and drinke iniquity like water: yet there is some reliques of the i­mage of God in their understanding, whereby they have a glimpse of good and evil, which though it cannot moderate the will, and affections from running into sinne, yet it doth so farre forth bridle them, as that they will not commit any hainous impiety, but when some thing is offered which puts as it were a vizard upon the object of the will, and makes it chuse that which otherwise it would refuse. For the will by nature is alwayes carried unto his proper object, which is good, and abhorreth that which is evill. So that when it chuseth evill, it is not as it is a will, but as it is de­praved, and as the understanding, which judgeth of the object, be­fore the will choose or refuse it, counteth that good which indeed is evil.

3. Here two sorts of men are to be censured:Vse. 1. the first is such as think themselves sufficiently excused for committing any sinne, if they can bring any occasions or the allurements which have mo­ved them to commit it. The drunkard will say that company hath drawn him to forget himself, and therefore he must be pardoned. The adulterer will plead for himselfe, that his own corrupt affecti­on hath moved him, and that the circumstances of time and place have caused him, and therefore he must be excused. But these [Page 56] excuses are such, as that, if they would serve the turn, the wickedest reprobate upon the face of the earth might be found not guilty. For might not Judas have pleaded for himself, that he would ne­ver have betrayed Christ, but that he expected some reward from the high Priests? Might not Ahab have sworn that he would ne­ver have sought Naboths bloud, if it had not been for his vine­yard which was so commodious for his house? Might not Achan have avouched that he would never have transgressed the Lords commandment by taking of the excommunicate thing, but that it so offered it self that he thought he might have taken it, and none been privy to it? Might not Cain have excused the slaughter of his guiltlesse brother, that he would not have killed him, if the Lord had not had a greater respect unto Abels sacrifice, then unto his? It is true indeed, that such objects may occurre, such in­ducements may happen, as that the dearest of Gods children (which as long as they remain in these houses of clay do taste too much of the old Adam) may thereby be led to commit grosse im­pieties. We know, that the fear of death moved Peter to deny his master: That idlenesse, and the sight of Bathsheba, caused David to adultery: That Lots daughters brought their father to commit incest: That Solomon by his wives was drawn to Idola­try: That the fear of the Egyptians made faithfull Abraham to distrust Gods providence, and to say that his wife was his sister. But this onely shews their imperfections; it excuseth not their facts, that they had sundry provocations to these sinnes. If Peter had thought that the fear that the Jews put him in, by reason of the great cruelty which they used against his master, might have excused him for denying Christ, he might have spared his teares. If occasion,Mat. 26. and time, and place, might have purchased a pardon for David, Psal. 51. 1. he would never have been so vehement, and passio­nate, in confessing his fault, and craving a pardon for the same. And indeed this is the onely course to be freed from Gods plagues, not to excuse our sinnes, and say that such and such provocations brought us to them: (for so the wickedest reprobate might be innocent) but to humble our selves before the Majesty of God, and to confesse our misery, that he may receive us to mercy.

4 There is another sort of men which if they commit not such iniquities as others do,Vse. 2. (either because their natures are not so [Page 57] prone, and bent to those vices, of because such objects and al­lurements are wanting, as others have had) will boast (at least within themselves) that they have attained unto a farre greater measure of holinesse, then others, which by their naturall prone­nesse, or some external cause, are drawn to wickednesse. But (a­las) what credit is it for the Scythians, that they were no drunk­ards, when they never got wine nor strong drink?Tacitus. What com­mendation for the old Germanes, that they abstained from the un­lawfull company of women, when by nature they were not ad­dicted to wantonnesse? What credit is it for a young childe, or withered old man, to abstain from carnal pleasure, when the heat of youth in the one is quelled, and the other never knew what lust meant? What grace for a weak spirited man, who was never moved with any excessive anger, not to be a murtherer? This is rather commendation worthy, if we shall abstain from those vices to which our corrupt nature doth most propend: If the Dutch can leave his drunkenness, the Italian his lustfulness, the French his factiousness, the Spaniard his haughtiness, the English his gluttony, and greediness▪ if the cholerick can lay aside his anger, and rashness; the phlegmatick his sloath, and idleness; the me­lancholick his hatred, and enviousness; the sanguine his concu­piscence, and wantonness; in a word, if Herod can be contented to part with Herodias, and every man his beloved sin, to which by nature he is most addicted.

When a certain Physiognomer looking upon Socrates, gathered by his complexion that he was given to lust and wantonness, the people which knew the continencie, and vertuous life of Socra­tes, mocked him as unskilful of his art, thinking that Socrates was not addicted to any such vice. But Socrates acknowledged the judgement of the Physiognomer to be true, and confessed that by naturall disposition he was prone unto it; thinking it a greater vertue to conquer, and keep under the corruptions of the flesh; then to keep himself under, and within the bond of reason, when he had nothing to draw him away. And yet this is little worth, unless it be at such time, when some externall means, and provo­cations do concurre, for bringing that into act, which depraved nature most affecteth. The drunkard will sometimes abstain from his beastliness: but it is when he can get no wine. The oppressor [Page 58] from grinding, and grating the faces of the poore; but it is when he lacks matter to worke upon. The wanton from his pleasures; but it is when he wants time, and place to effect his desires. The glutton from his excessive eating: but it is in a dearth or scarcity, when he knowes not how to fill h [...]s paunch. It had been praise­worthy in Judas, if having a covetous minde, the high Priest had come unto him, and offered him a large summe of mony, upon this condition, that he would have betrayed his Master; and he should have replyed, as Simon Peter did to Simon Magus: your mony perish with you, Act. 8. 20. because ye think that the Son of God may be bought for money. It is a good commendation which Tully gives to Murae­na, that living among the effeminate and luxurious Asians, he was not infected with their faults. Laus illi tribnenda est, non quòd Asiam viderat, In Orat. pro Muraena. sed quòd Asia continenter viverat. And Vlysses deserves the name of a soberand temperate man, not because he was so amongst the Grecians, but because he kept himselfe sober in Circe cellar; where all his fellowes except Eurylochus were drunke. On the contrary it argueth weaknesse in Anacharsis the Scythian Philoso­pher (who used to say in commendation of his Country, that there were no Pipers in Scythia, Arist. Post A­nalyt. lib. 1. because there were no Vines) that falling into the company of some Cellar-knights which dranke for a wa­ger, he tooke their part, and was first drunk under board himself. The Lord, saith the Psalmist, trieth the righteous. He suffereth such objects to be offered unto them,Psal. 11. 5. as may be allurements unto sinne; that by refusing and forsaking thereof, they may make it knowne to the world, to whom they belong. So was Lots righ­teousnesse tried, not when he dwelled with Abraham, but when he was removed to Sodome: which though it was for the plea­santnes of the soyle like the garden of Eden, yet for wickedness and unnaturall uncleaness it surmounted Hell it self. And yet for all this it could not infect righteous Let, who dwelling amongst them, from day to day vexed his righteous soule by their unlawfull deeds. 2 Pet. 2. 8. So was Davids innocencie tryed, not when he fled from Saul, but when he found him asleep, and might have killed him. So likewise thou declarest thy righteousness,1 Sam. 26. not, when thou abstainest from such sinnes as thy nature is averse from, or from such sinnes, as thy flesh is prone unto, at such times as fit meanes are wanting to accom­plish [Page 59] thy desire: but when thou abstainest from such as thy flesh inwardly desireth, and some externall provocation urgeth and al­lureth thee unto. Thou must, when the high Priest offers thee a rich reward, not be bribed to sell thy Master. With Vlysses thou mayest live sober at Cyrces table, with Lot thou mayest persist ho­nest among the Sed mites: otherwise if thou perswadest thy self, that thou doest well, if thou canst abstaine from grosse sinnes, when there is no great inducement to perswade thee to act them; this is but Judas his righteousness, who would not betray his ma­ster but in hope of reward, what will yee give me, and I will deli­ver him unto you?

5. And so I come unto the second generall part: wherein observe,

  • 1. The person delivering, I.
  • 2. The Action, deliver.
  • 3. The partie delivered, him.
  • 4. The parties to whom, unto you.

Of which before I particularly intreat we may from the promise as it hath reference to the question, gather this conclusion. That a covetous mind, setting all respects aside, will not be afraid to commit any sinne, so that he may be rewarded for his pains.

Luke and John tell us,Luk. 22. 2. that the Devill put it into the heart of Ju­das to betray his Master.Joh. 13. 3. He put it not into the heart of Peter or John, or any other of the Disciples; why? because this Phylargu­ria, had only taken root in Judas his heart: the rest were not in­fected with this disease. They were indeed weake, and feeble in the faith, and therefore Peter, though he followed him a far off, and came into the high Priests hall, yet a poore damsell did so shake the rock of his faith that presently he denyed him, the rest immediately after he was taken forsooke him, and fled: but none of them did entertain any such suggestion as to betray him, save Iudas Iscariot, who before was entangled with the chaines and fetters of covetousness. So true is it which the Apostle saith, those that will be rich fall into snares and tentations of the Devill; for so the vulgar addeth 1 Tim. 6. 4. Here then if ever, the Poets excla­mation may have place.

[Page 60]
—Quid non mortalia pectora cogis,
Aenid. lib. 3.
Auri sacra fames!—

What vice so scandalous; what thing so monstrous; what sinne to God and nature so odious, which the desire of money wil not cause a man to commit?Ioh. 17. 12. A man betrayeth a man, a servant his Master,Matth. 16. 16. a creature delivers his Creator, the sonne of perdition the sonne of God;1 Tim: 6. 10. the Lord of life must be put to death for a little money. Well therefore doth the Apostle terme covetousnesse the root of al evil. Gal. 5. 20. 21. For as all the the lines of a circle do take their be­ginning from one middle point or center; so all other evils doe spring from this fountaine. The workes of the flesh are manifest (saith the Apostle) which are Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, debate, emulations, wrath, contentions, seditions, heresies, envy, muther; I may add lying, swearing, stealing, oppressing, whence do they pro­ceed, but from a covetous and insatiable heart? This is the womb where they ordinarily are bred.

—Lucri bonus est odor ex re

saith the Poet;Iuven. alluding to the fact of Vespasian in Suetonius, who gathered a taxe from some homely matters, and told his son Ti­tus, Sueton in Vespasiano. that it smelled as well, as any other silver did. Be it gotten by theft, lying, stealing, swearing, forswearing, usurie, oppression, what way soever it be gotten, (faith the covetous in his heart) if it be gaine, it is well gotten. Tacitus tels us of a Roman knight, that killed his owne Brother,Tacit hist. lib. a. in hope to be rewarded for his pains. Histories are full of the like, which I will passe over with silence. I wil only instance in one of our own country, (which methinks in al points, save in the difference of the parties betrayed, may be com­pared to this of Judas) I mean Humphery Banister, servant to the Duke of Buckingham: whom the Duke had tenderly brought up, and above all loved and trusted, in so much that being pursued by King Richard the third, he hid himselfe in Banisters house, thinking it to be the only Sanctuarie, where he might safely repose himselfe. But when King Richard had promised 1000 pounds [Page 61] to those that would finde him out, the desire of gaine so wrought with him, that presently he betrayed his Lord and master into the kings hands. As the fact was like to that of Judas, so the punish­ment hath some resemblance with it. Judas though he had no bond for payment,In the life of Richard the 3 written by Sir. Th. More. yet he got the money. The high Priests pro­ved better of their promise then the King. Judas did not enjoy the money, for he went out, and hanged himself. Banister was not executed, but was shortly after for a murther condemned: his sonne and heire became mad, and died in a hogstie, his daugh­ter was infected with a leprosie, his second sonne deformed of his limmes; his youngest sonne drowned in a puddle.

6. By this which hath been spoken, you see my conclusion plainly proved: that a covetous man, setting all respects aside, will not be afraid to commit any sinne, so that he may be rewarded for his pains. And how can it be otherwise? for hee is like an hunger-starved man which will do any thing, so that he may sa­tiate his appetite. Covetousnesse like the pit of hell, is never sa­tisfied, and like the barren wombe, it never saith, I have enough.

Quo plus sunt potae, Ovid. Fast. plus sitiuntur aquae, the more bloud the two daughters of the horsleech shall suck, Prov. 30. 15. the more eagerly they cry out, give, give. This barren and d [...]y earth is never satisfied with wa­ter:Hor. nec sitim pellit, nisi causa morbi. Nothing will content this dropsie, but that which more augmenteth the disease, as nothing wil satisfie the fire, but that which more augmenteth the flame. He is like unto him that hath the Caninus appetitus, the more he eateth the more he hungreth. Some Physitians say that gold is good for him that is in a consumption, but I never read that it is good a­gainst a surfeit. But experience proves it true, that a gold-hungring man, doth not onely long for this metall when hee is in a con­sumption, but farre more when he hath taken a surfeit through abundance.

—congesto pauper in auro est.

The richer, the poorer: his mind hungereth as much for gold, as Dionysius his belly hungred for flesh, who used to stand all the day in the shambles,Justin. l. 21. & quod emere non potuerat, oculis devorabat. That which he could not buy with his penny, he devoured with his eyes. And here that comes in my mind which Herodotus recordeth of Alcmaeon the Athenian, who because he had kindly entertained [Page 62] the messengers which Croesus sent to the oracle of Delphos: Herod. lib. 6. Croe­sus sent for him and offered him asmuch gold as at one time hee could bear out of his treasure house. Alcmaeon not a little glad of the offer, prepared a large doublet with wide sleeves, a paire of breeches reaching down to his heeles, both of them fitter for Hercules then for himselfe. This done he went to Croesus his cof­fers; and first filled his breeches as full as he could stuffe them, then his sleeves, and bosome, then glued as much as he could to the haires of his head, and beard, and then lastly stuffed his mouth with as much as he could thrust in it, and so with much adoe, crept out of the treasure house.

This sinne,Application to magistrates. as of all men it is to be avoided, so especially of magistrates which sit at the stern to direct our ship in this glassie sea: and which are the pillars of justice to support her battered fabrick. Yee must not give it the least welcome in your hearts: but (like the wise traveller) stoppe your ears at the songs of this Syren, and not give it the least attention though it charm never so cunningly. You should have eyes like unto Lynceus, to dive into the bottome of the most deep and abstruse controversies. Now hope of reward blindeth the eyes of the wise: so that as a blind man which hath a pearle upon his eyes, cannot see his way, but stum­bleth at every block, and falleth headlong into every pit; right so if you shall have this rich pearle (this pearle of riches) before your eyes, you can never tread right in the way of truth. The eye, or any faculty of the sensuall, or intellectual part, if it be bu­sied about any one object neglecteth the rest: and if your eyes be exercised about this object, it will make you negligent in pub­like affaires.Artist. de anima lib. 3. Intùs apparens prohibet alienum: if the species of gold possesse your hearts, there will be no room for justice to lodge in them. For these two be [...], non benè conveniunt nec in unâ sede morantur. They can no more lodge within the same breast then light with darknesse, the arke with Dagon, God with Mammon. Cic. lib. 3. Offic. It was Caesars saying, borrowed from Euripides in his Phoenissa: If justice must be broken, it must be for raigning. But he might more truly have said, for gaining▪ For gold could never away with justice, and therefore the Poets faine, that when gold first began to be digged out of the earth, justice durst tarry no longer, but presently fled into heaven. Therefore jethro de­scribing [Page 63] the quality of a good judge,Exod. 18. 21. saith that he must deal justly or truly, and then he addes, as it were by way of explication for the better understanding of the former word, that he must hate covetousnesse: as if he had said, if he be a covetous, and gold­thirsting man he cannot be a true and just dealer. And to this pur­pose David prayeth, Psal. 119. that the Lord would encline his heart to his testimonies, and not to covetousnesse.

7. Now as this insatiable desire of gaine,2 To Lawyers. is not to sit on the bench with the judge, so is it not to plead at the barre with the counsellor, which with the key of knowledge is to unlock the secrets of the law, and with as skilful, and expert hand, to untie the knots of hard and difficult questions. It will make him Phari­see-like to straine a Gnat, and to swallow a Camel; to tith the mint, and cummin and to let passe judgement and fidelity, it will make his tongue play fast and loose with justice at its pleasure. A golden key commonly opens a wrong lock. Auro loquente, nihil pollet quaevis oratio. When Pluto speaks Plato may hold his hand on his mouth like Harpocrates the Egyptian God, and say nothing. It is a great commendation which Tullie gives unto a Lawyer:De orat. l. 1. The mouth of a Lawyer is an oracle for the whole city. But if this mouth be once corrupted with gold, it will prove like the oracle of Delphos of which Demosthenes complained in his time, that it did [...],Tull. de divi­nat. lib. 2. speak nothing but what Philip, which gave it a fee, would have it to say. And such an oracle Demosthenes him­self sometime proved:Aul. Gel. l. 11. cap. 9. who being feed to plead a cause, and im­medatly after receiving a large summe of money of the other party for holding his peace, the next day comes into the court in a rugge-gowne, having his neck, and jawes all muffled with furres, and warm cloathes, and told the Judges he was troubled with a squinancie that he could not speak. Whereupon one that percei­ved his disease, said that it was not a cold, but gold that hindered his speech [...], an Oxe, I warrant you, was in his tongue. The Athenian coyne which was stamped with the forme of an Oxe had bunged up his mouth, no marvel if hee was speechlesse.

8. But especially this sin is to be avoided of you that are wit­nesses,3. To witnesses and Jurors. and jurors, which are the one by testifying, the other by examining the truth to make a finall decision of controversies. If [Page 64] you shall entertain any such thought as to say with Judas, What will yee give me? yee shall be sure to find some Simon Magus rea­dy to say, What shall I give you? Falsity and lying have ever been the handmaids to covetousnesse. And therefore when the Pro­phet Ieremy complaineth, that from the least to the greatest they were all given to covetousnesse, Jer. 6. 13. it must needs be true which he ad­deth in the next words, that from the Prophet even unto the Priest they all dealt falsly. As Judas was hereby moved to betray his master, so were the souldiers perswaded to lie, and falsly to for­sweare themselves, that his disciples stole him away when they were asleep; and that most palpably too. For if they were a­sleep how knew they that it was his disciples, and if they knew that it was his disciples, how were they asleep?

9. Follow not then the wayes of Balaam the sonne of Bosor which loved the wages of unrighteousnesse. 2 Pet. 2. 15. Onely herein ye must keep his resolution,Num. 24. 13. not for an housefull of silver and gold to go be­yond the word of truth to say lesse or more. Equivocations and mentall reservations which the Papists make such reckoning of, are the ready way to renew that old tohu, and bohu, to make a chaos and confusion of all things,Gen. 1. to mixe light and darknesse, truth and falshood, heaven and hell together. Whosoever shall for filthy lucre sake, either wittingly conceale part of the truth, or adde any thing thereto, and thereby turn the truth into a lie, I say unto you that an untimely birth is better then hee; Eccl. 6. 3. and better it were for him, unlesse he repent, that a milstone were put about his neck, Matth. 18. 6. and that he were drowned in the deep of the sea.

10. To end this point,4 To all. let me speak unto you all in the words of our Saviour,Luk. 12. 13. beware of covetousnesse, and with the Apostle, let it not be once named amongst you. Eph. 5. 3. But if ye will needs be cove­tous,1 Cor. 14. 1. covet spiritual things: set not your hearts on the things that are below, but on the things that are above, Covet that which will satiate your hearts, and that is nothing in this world. For the heart is triangular, and the world is round, and a round body can­not fill a triangle, but there will remain some empty corners: no more can the whole world fill the three corners of an heart, nor any thing save he which is three, and one, God blessed for ever­more. Inquietum est cor nostrum O Deus, postquam recessimus à te, donec revertamur ad te, saith Austin, O God our heart is never [Page 65] contented when we turn from thee, till we return to thee. Oh then as your hearts are, so let your hearts desire be; that is, the Basis or broader part upward toward heaven, and heavenly things, and the conus or narrow point towards earth and earthly things. Use not your riches as Anacharsis said the Athenians did their mo­ney:Plut. de profect. virt. sent. Nummis ad numerandum, onely to count it over, and then to coffer it up. Injoy them, but joy not immoderatly in them, knowing this that yee are not owners, but only users of the things that ye possesse. Alas why should a man, which is a little world of himself, a man whose conversation should be in heaven, be wed­ded to these base, and vile excrements of the earth? they deserve no better name. For what I pray you is the best gold, but a con­gealed vapour? and the greatest possessions but so much earth? and the finest silke, but excrements of silly worms, which live but two or three months?1 Kin. 10. 17. Solomon had as much experience in them as any man that ever lived. For he gave in Jerusalem silver as stones, and Cedar trees, as the wilde fig-trees that grow abundant­ly in the plaines, yet in his old age, when he became a preacher, and repented him of his former life, he took such small comfort in this transitory trash, that in the beginning of Ecclësiastes, hee took this for his text,Eccles. 1. Vanity of vanities, and all is but vanity: and if they be weighed in the balance of the sanctuary, they will want of weight. They are altogether vanity, nay they are lighter then vanity't selfe. Let us then so love them, as that we care not to leave them: and in all things, let us learn both to be hungry, and to be full, Philip. 4. 12. and to abound, and to have want; accounting all things, but losse, and drosse, and dung, that we may winne Christ. Which Judas for the desire of a little money promiseth to deliver unto the high Priest: I will deliver him unto you. And so I come to the particulars of the second generall branch of my text.

11. And first we are to begin with the Person delivering, and that is Judas, no Saducee, nor Pharisee which oppugned his do­ctrine, no professed enemy which openly sought his destruction, but an Apostle, one of the twelve which he had chosen unto him­selfe, and sent abroad to preach the Gospel, and to cast out De­vils, and to heal the sick. Hence I infer this conclusion: that no calling is so holy but that it hath some wicked impes, and dissem­bling hypocrites (which though for a space they may deceave the [Page 66] world with a visard of holinesse, yet time will unmaske and shew them in their owne colours) intermixed with true professors. A conclusi­on which if the instances of our time could not make good, the premises of all former ages doe abundantly demonstrate it. When as yet our first Parents had no more Children then Cain and Abel, the elder of these two,Gen. 4. the first that ever was borne of a woman, the heire apparent of the whole world, was an Apostate: his hy­pocricie was disclosed in killing his brother. When the whole Church was compinged within the sides of one Arke, all were not sheep that were in this little fold, for

—Nat Lupus inter Oves,

there swam one wolf among these sheep As there was a Sem which was elected, so was there a Cham which was rejected: his apostacie declared in mocking his father.Gen. 7. Of the same father (even of him, who was the father of the faithful) there came an Ishmael, as wel as an Isaac of the same mother (even at one and the self same birth) came an Esau as wel as a Iacob. Gen. 16. The same kingdom had as wel a Saul, Rom. 4. 16. as a David: Gen. 25. 24. the same place a Barrabas, and a Barnabas, the same profession a Cephas, and a Caiphas, a Jude and a Judas, and as it was, so it shall ever be till the son of man come in the glory of his kingdom, as long as the nett swims in the salt sea of this world, till it be brought to land, it shall containe both good and bad fishes. Till the reapers come, there must grow wheat and teares together in this field: till the shepheard come there must bee sheepe and goats in this fold. This great house till it be builded a new, must con­taine vessels of honour, and vessels of dishonour: the gold must be mixed with the drosse,2 Tim. 2. 20. till the great and terrible fire come to separate them. In this floore the wheat shall be mingled with the chaffe, till the Lord come with his fan in his hand to winnow it, and shall blow the chaffe, and scatter it away from the face of the earth. Psal. 1.

The reasons hereof first respect the wicked, and that is to make them more inexcusable,Reasons. in that conversing with the godly, they do not learne godliness: but as those which walk in the sunne, though they change their outward colour, yet they still retaine their in­ward nature, so these though they receive an outward tincture of godlinesse, yet they still keepe their inward corruption. Hereup­on it is that Corazin and Bethsaida are more inexcusable, then Ty­rus, [Page 67] and Sidon: Mat. 11. 21. that the men of Nineve, and the Queen of the South shall rise against the Jewes, Mat. 12. 41. and shall condemne them: Mat. 11. 23. that it shall be better for them of Sodome in the day of judgement then for Ca­pernaum.

2. The Lord by this meanes effecteth the conversion of some, which are not yet called. For as the Aramits, by walking with the Prophet,2 King. 6. were at unawares brought unto Samaria: so many who are not as yet called by walking with the righteous, are catched at unawares, and brought to Christs sheepfold.

3. The Lord doth hereby exercise his children and keeps them still fighting, wheras otherwise they would be ready to fall asleepe in the cradle of carnall securitie. The coldness of devotion, that is in the worldlings, doth by an Antiperistasis oftentimes stirre up the heate of zeale in Gods Children. While the winds strives to blow out the fire, it increaseth the flame, and while the wicked doe indeavour to consume the heate of zeale in Gods Children, and to make them as cold as they themselves are, they often blow it up, and make it farre greater then it was before.

I told you before what Tully saith of Muraena, that his chastity was more seene in living among the effeminate Asians, then ever it was at Rome. And I am sure Lots continencie did farre more appeare when he lived amongst the Sodomites, then when he was in the mountaine with his two daughters. If Gods Children should have none but such as Moses, Gen. 19. and Elias to converse with them, they would say as Peter did unto Christ, when he was trans­figured upon the mountain,Mark. 9. 5. Master it is good for us to be here: let us here (upon this mountain) build us Tabernacles. Psal. 15. 1. They would never say with the Psalmist: Lord who shal dwel in thy tabernacle and who shall rest upon thy mountain? Whereas now being vexed with these Cananites that dwell amongst them and are thorns in their sides, Num. 33. 55. and pricks in their eyes: they are wearie of the earthly Canaan, and long for another, which floweth with better things then milk and ho­nie.Gen. 25. 22. They cry out as Rebeccae when she felt the two twinnes strug­ling in her wombe: if it be so, why are we thus?

12. To leave then the conclusion,1. Vse. and to come to some appli­cation thereof. Are the wicked intermixed with true and zealous professors? What shall wee then say to the old Donatists, and the Brownists, and Anabaptists, which separate themselves from [Page 68] the true Church, and say with those in the Prophet. Come not near us for wee are holier then ye? Socrat. hist. Eccless. lib. 1. cap. 7. Methinks I may say unto them as Constantine said to Acesius a Novation Bishop: Let them make a Ladder for themselves to ascend into heaven, here is no place for them on earth, as long as this world shall last, the Lords wheat shal grow up with the tares Christ hath spoken it, and Christ is truth, if there be in them any charitie, Mat. 13. 29. they will assent to this veritie, yea but light hath no communion with darknesse nor bitternesse with ho­nie,Sit in illis charitas & congaudeant veritate. Aug▪ nor life with death, nor the unbeleever with the infidell. It is the objection of Petilian the Donatist against Austin. But his answer is, that when they eschew the darknesse, they forsake the light:Cor. 2. 6. when they flee from death they flee from life also Attendis Zizania per mundum, & triticum non attendis, cum per totum u­traque sint jussa crescere? Attendis semen maligni, quod ad finem messis separabitur; & non attendis semen Abrahae, in quo benedicen­tur omnes gentes? Dost thou marke the darnell, and dost thou not remember the wheat? Dost thou thinke upon the seed of the Serpent, whose head shall be crushed; and dost thou not thinke upon the the seed of Abraham, in whom all the Nations of the earth shall bee blessd? when thou fleest from the chaffe thou forsakest the good wheat, which is mingled with it. When thou separatest thy selfe from the seed of the wicked, thou separatest thy selfe from the seed of Abraham. When thou thus dividest thy selfe from the Hypocrites, that are in the true Church, thou cuttest thy self from the Church, and a mem­ber taken from the whole must needs perish. If thou wilt thinke upon this with that heedfulnesse that thou shouldst, thou wilt not forsake the greene pastures of the Lord, that are besides the waters of comfort, because of the goats, nor leave Gods house because of the vessels of dishonour; Psal. 33. 2. nor runne out of the Lords floore because of the chaffe; nor separate thy selfe from the wheat, because of the tares, which shall at length be bound in a bundle and cast into the fire; nor burst the unitie of the Lords net, because of the bad fish, Aug. lib. 3. contra lit. Pe­til. cap. 3. which swimme in it, (which when the net is brought to land shall be cast away:) but as a father speakes tolerare potius propter bonos commixtionem malorum, quam violare propter malos charita­tem bonorum; rather for the good to tolerate the bad, then for the bad to forsake the good.

[Page 69] But before I leave this point,1 Vse. I must give thee this lesson) and I beseech thee marke it well) though of necessity thou must live a­mongst the ungodly,Psal. 1. 1. yet thou must not walke in the counsell of the ungodly, much lesse standing stand in the way of sinners, and least of all, sit downe in the seate of the scornfull. Though thou dwell among Wolves,1 Co. 5. 10. thou must not ululare cum lupis, howl with the wolves, though thou accompany with the fornicators of this world, and with the coveteous, and with extortioners, and with idolaters, (for else thou must goe out of this world, yet be not partaker with them in their sinnes,2 Tim. 2. 19. least thou be partaker with them in their punish­ments. Though a corporall separation cannot be had, yet in spirit thou must separate thy selfe: for let every one that calleth on the name of the Lord, separate himselfe from iniquity. Thou seest what is thy lot, if not with Lot, to dwell with Sodomites; or with Naaman, Psal. 120. 5. to be amongst the Aramites: or with Joseph to live a­mong the Aegyptians; if thou canst not say with David, Woe is me that I am constrained to dwell in Meshech, and to have my abode in the Tents of Kedar: Isa. 6. 5. Yet mayest thou say with Esay, Woe is me for I dwell in the midst of a people of polluted lips. With Christ and his Apostles, thou must converse with a Judas: with the Hebrews thou must live with the Cananites: with the Spouse in the Canti­cles, thou must be as an apple tree amongst the wild trees of the for­rest, Cant. 2. 2, 3. or as a lilie amongst the thornes. Let not these wild trees, which are moved with every blast of winde, by the shaking of their boughes beate downe thy fruit, and though the thornes pricke thee, yet keepe still a lilies beautie. Thou must touch pitch, but beware of being defiled with it. Thou must walk upon coales, beware of burning thy feet: though thou lie among the pots, a­mong the washpots of the Lord (as Moab is called) among the vessels of dishonour that are kept for the day of wrath,Psal. 108. 9. yet must thou be as the wingr of a dove, Psal. 67. 13. that is covered with silver wings, and her feathers like gold. Be not like the Apothecarie, that carry­eth the smell of his shop about him,Plin. nat. hist. l. 5. c. 15. nor like the River Jordan, which looseth his sweet waters in the lake Asphalites. But like the fish in the salt sea, which still retaine their freshnesse; passe through the brinish Ocean of this world, as Arethusa doth under the Sicilian sea.

[Page 70]
Doris amara su [...] non intermiseat undam.
Virg. Eclog. 10

In a word, though thou canst not wholy separate thy selfe from the workers of darknesse, yet have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darknesse, but even reprove them rather. Nay from such works,Eph. 5. 11. as much as thou mayest lawfully separate thy selfe: for thou wilt in time joy in the latter, if thou long enjoy the former, it is a matter of some difficulty to be continually handling pitch, and birdlime, and to have none cleave to thy hands.Arist. Met. lib. 1. cap. 2. Aristotle noteth it of his master Pla­to, that conversing long with the Pythagorians, he learned from them many erronious opinions, which afterward he stifly main­tained. Q. Curtius Alexander by conversing with the effeminate Persians, andLiv. dec. 3. lib. 3. Annibal by living in Capua, did abate so much of their former valour, that it was doubted whether they were the same men they had been before.Sozom. l. 5. cap. 2. Julian, in profession sometimes a Christian, by conversing with Libanius, and Maximus, became an Apostata. To go no further with the examples of heathen men, you know that Joseph living in Pharaohs Court, began to swear Gen. 42. 16. by the life of Pharaoh. And the Hebrewes dwelling among the Idolatrous Egyptians (whichHerod. l. 2. worshipped an oxe) did meetly well imitate them, for theyExod. 32. worshipped a calfe. And pitching for a time in the plain of Moab, they sacrificed to Baal Peor, and ate the offerings of the dead. Numb. 25. An infected sheep will sooner spoile a whole flock,Psal. 106. 20. then a whole flock will cure an infected sheep. It is no hard matter to change wine into vineger, but to turn vineger, or to change water into wine.

Hoc opus, hic labor est.

This is such a miracle as will never be wrought, unlesse Jesus be at the feast. It is an easie matter to be infected with the plague of sinne, If thou remove out of the fresh ayre into the company of contagious persons. And though thou be regenerate, and the old man hath got his deadly wound, yet is there a sympathy between thee, and the wicked. Thy affections are like tinder, ready to kindle with every sparkle, that the wicked shall strike in them. And sinne once kindled is like wilde-fire, it will not be quenched [Page 71] with every kinde of water. This poison perhaps will not be per­ceived at the first, yet, like the biting of a madde dogge, it will never cease infecting thy blood till it come at thy heart. Beware then of dogs. Philip. 3. 2. Avoid (as much as is possible) such contagious pla­ces, as are dangerous to infect, and keep thy selfe in the fresh ayre, where the spirit, that quickneth, doth blow. But whereas thou canst not wholly avoid the company of sinners (for as before was said, the good and bad fish swim together in Gods net) avoid their sinnes.Prov. 1. 10, 15. hearken unto Solomon, My sonne, if sinners intice thee, consent thou not. My sonne, walk not thou in the way with them, refraine thy foot from their path; but contrariwise when they entice thee to evil, perswade them unto that which is good. Be to them, as Noah was to the old world, a preacher of righ­teousnesse; 2 Pet. 2. 5. Vers. 8. as Lot was to the Sodomites, who dwelling amongst them vexed his soul with their unlawful deeds; as Christ was to the woman of Samaria, who by desiring of the water of Iacobs well to quench his thirst,Joh. 4. brought her to desire the water of life, whereof whosoever drinketh shall never more thirst; and as he was with Publicans and sinners, who refused not to go to their cor­porall banquets, that he might feed them with spirituall food; as Iohn was with the Pharisees and Saducees, Mat. 3. who preached unto them faith and repentance; and as Paul was amongst the Idola­trous Athenians, who went with them, through their idolatrous temples, and read the titles and inscriptions written upon their altars,Act. 17. 23. but to this end, to take a text, and argument thence, to perswade them to the worship of the true God.

So much of the person delivering. The action followeth, (deliver.)

13. Treason is a sinne so odious,Deliver. that even the heathen which were guided, but with a glimpse of natures light, howsoever, sometimes for their own advantage, they approved the fact, yet they could never away with the author of it. It was Augustus his saying of Rimotalchus the King of Thrace, which vanted him­self for the betraying of Antonie: [...]. I may love the treason but I hate the traitour. And it was the saying of Antigonus: Proditores tantisper amo dum produnt, ast ubi prodiderint odi. I love a traitour when hee commits the treason, but when he hath done it, I detest him. These speeches, [Page 72] though plausible at the first, argue corruption in the speakers. For if the traitour be evil, surely the treason cannot be good. The old Romanes could abide neither. For when Pyrrhus his physitian, seeking to gratifie the Romanes, promised to give his master poy­son, the Romanes made Pyrrhus acquainted with it, and willed him to look unto himselfe. And when the schoolmaster of the Phalascides children offered to betray those which were commit­ted to him,Liv. dec. 1. l. 5. to Camillus his hand: Camillus sent them bak again, and made his own schollers to beat him.

This fact,Him. of it selfe so hainous, is further aggravated by the person betrayed. If Judas had betrayed one of his fellowes, the sinne had been horrible: but he makes it farre worse, he be­trayeth his master. He goes yet further, for (behold whither man doth fall,Vnto you. if the spirit of God do not direct his steps) he delivereth him into the hands of his hatefull enemies,Luk. 1. 71. who came to deliver us from our enemies and from the hands of all that hate us. He deli­vereth him to death, who came to restore us, that were dead in our sinnes, to life; who to satisfie for our hunting after vanities, was himselfe hunted like a Pelican in the wildernesse; to satisfie for our carnal, and sensual pleasures, left the bosome of his father with whom is fulnesse of delights, and at whose right hand is plea­sure for evermore: to satisfie for our pride, humbled himselfe and took upon him the forme of a servant: Phil. 2. 7. to answer for our gluttony, tasted gall, and vineger; to answer for our covetousnesse, paid not gold, nor silver, but the ransome of his own bloud. These things I do but point at, having discoursed of them elsewhere, when I handled our Saviours milde speech unto Iudas, when he went to betray him. Therefore I passe them over, and come to apply this fact unto these present times.

14. Judas is dead, and all men cry, fi [...] upon him, and say that if they had been in Judas his dayes, they would not have been part­ners with him in the bloud of our Saviour. And so said the old Pharisees, if they had been in the dayes of their fathers, they would not have been partners with them in the bloud of the Pro­phets.Mat. 23. 30. And yet they fulfilled, nay they exceeded the measure of their fathers wickednesse. And now a dayes howsoever many will build the tombes of the Prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, yet we have Judasses, which will betray Christ [Page 73] unto the high Priests. I cannot reckon them all, but there are 3 transgressors, nay 4 which I cannot passe over. 1. The sacrile­gious Church-robber, 2. The grinding oppressor, 3. The close bri­ber, 4. The deceitful lawyer. All these do their best (nay their worst) to betray Christ, if not in his person, yet in his members, into the hands of the hellish Caiphas, And me thinks they do somewhat resemble those 4. great plagues mentioned in the first of Joel: which were the Caterpiller, the Locust, the Cankerworme and the grashopper. The Caterpiller eats the first fruits when they are in setting. To him I compare the Church-robber, which lives of the first fruits and tithes, which by the law are due to God. The Locust (as Naturalists describe him) is a great flie, which li­veth upon the lesse, and with no difficulty can burst a spiders web, wherein the smaller flies are quickly catched. To him I compare the oppressour, which devours his inferiours, and will with no lesse difficulty passe through those good statutes that are made a­gainst him, then a great Locust will burst through a spiders web. The Canker-worme doth secretly shave off the tender barks of herbs and trees before he can be perceived. To him may be likened the briber, which doth so closely carry himselfe, that none can perceive him, but the plant which he feeds upon. The Grashopper hath a chirping voice to allure a man after him, but yet so nimble is his motion, that he which followeth him shall scarcely finde him. Like to it, is the deceitful lawyer, which with faire promises, and sugered hopes, draws his clients after him; but so nimbly he hops up and down, for his own advantage, that ye shall perhaps not finde him twice in one tune, insomuch that ye shall be worse resolved in the end, then ye were in the beginning. These four lie as heavy upon our land, as those four plagues did upon Judah: so that we may say, that which is left by the Locust, the grashopper hath eaten, and the residue of the grashopper, hath the cankerworme eaten, and the residue of the cankerworme hath the caterpiller eaten. Before I begin to speak of these in particular, let me use the Apostles protestation.Rom. 9. 1. I say the truth in Christ Iesus, I lie not, my conscience bearing me witnesse in the holy ghost. I do not seek the disgrace of any particular, it is the truths cause, and Gods cause that moveth me to speak and let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth when I shall be afraid to discharge a good [Page 74] conscience in Gods behalf.) If then my musick seem harsh, and unpleasant in the eares of any that heare me, I would have them to know thus much, that the strings upon which I am to play are farre out of tune. If any man shall finde himselfe wounded with my speech, I say unto him as our Saviour did to the adulte­resse, Hath no man condemned thee? neither do I condemn thee; yet I adde with Iohn, Joh. 8. 10. 11. if thine own heart do condemn thee, 1 Joh. 3. 20. God is greater then thy heart and knoweth all things, and therefore I dis­misse thee with that speech of Christ to the impotent man: go thy way, Joh. 5. 14. and sinne no more, lest a worse thing happen unto thee. Now to the particulars.

15. In the first place come the Simoniacal Patrons, the heires and eldest sons of Iudas, the caterpillers of our Church, and the notablest thieves in all our land. Which will not part with that portion which is due unto the sons of Levi, and which is com­mitted unto them, as the golden apple was unto Paris, with this motto ingraven upon it, detur digniori, let the most worthy have it, unlesse with Iudas they covenant for a price before hand. Let a mans gifts of mind be never so good, yet if he bring no gifts in hand; let his care, and industry, and learning be never so rare, and extraordinary, yet if he do not speak with the tongue of men, and angels, yea arch-angels, he shall have little hope to prevaile in his suit. He that will insinuate himselfe into their favours, must come, as Iupiter came into Danaes lap, per impluvium, secretly in at the chimney top, (not in at the door) and he must come as Iu­piter then came, in a shower of gold. This is the way, this is the best means to effect his desire; for he that is as blockish and stu­pid,Plut. Apoth. as Philips Asse in Plutarch, if he be loaden with gold (with that asse) oh he is a man of excellent gifts, of rare endowments, no exception must keep him back; that which he wants in learn­ing, he hath it in simplicity: as if it were simplicitas Asi [...]ina, and not simplicitas columbina, Mat. 10. 16. which the Lord would have in his mi­nisters. And what if he lack Latine? he hath gold enough, and that is a farre more pretious metal. But if this way will not hold, then they will take another course, they will act the parts of Ana­nias and Sapphira, and keep back part of that possession, which they should voluntarily lay down at the Apostles feet. Act. 4. 12. There must be an exception in the general rule, a reservation of their own [Page 75] tithes, a limitation of such a township, or such a field. Or they will say with the harlot, 1 Kin. 3. Let it neither be thine nor mine, but let it be divided. Here is treason in another kind; they do not sell the king of heaven, by covenanting for a price before hand, as Judas did, but (which is all to one effect) they clip his coyn and make it so light, that it will not sustaine the sonnes of Levi. And this verily is a principall reason, that we have so many mutes, and so few vowels in our crosserow: that many lapwings which hop­ped out of their nests with their shels on their heads, before e­ver they get a feather on their backs, have builded in those rocks where eagles should nestle; and many which have never put down their buckets, into either of the two fountains of this land (or if they have, it hath been but tanquam canis ad Nilum, they have onely wet their lips, and taken a lappe by the way) are advanced to Ecclesiasticall preferments, and made Pastors of flocks being not able to feed themselves, and are become captains in the Lords field, being not able of themselves to take one stone out of Gods brook to cast at the forehead of the spiritual Goliath. I confesse some of them will now and then be flinging in the pulpit, but they be mentita tela, other mens weapons they fight with: they have, indeed, as good a property in them, as they have in their benefi­ces,Carmina Pau­lus emit, jactat sua carmina Paulus: nam, quod emit, pos­sit dicere jure [...] suum. and as Paulus in Martial had in his verses, which he used to bragge of. Such wandring Levites as these, are the fittest mer­chants that sacrilegious Judasses can meet withal: for they will be contented to dwell with every base filching Michah: and will serve him for ten shekles of silver by the year, and a suit of appa­rel, and meat, and drink, and withal their hearts, will be conten­ted to part with beautiful Rachel, Judg. 18. (though they serve for her) so that they may be assured of blear-eyed Leah. They will never say as much as Iacob did to Laban: Gen. 29. Wherefore hast thou done thus with me? did I not serve thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou be­guiled me? Truth it is, that even these would gladly mend their estates (and who can blame them?) but they are withholden with a triple cord, which, as the wise man saith, is not easily broken. 1. The Patrons bounty, which though it be little, yet it is more perhaps then they deserve. 2. Their own promise, or hand-wri­ting, which if it be not of sufficient validitie, then comes a third cord to make all sure, and that is want of ability. A spiders webbe [Page 76] you know) is strong enough to hang a silly flie withall. God for­bid, that I should object this sacriledge, as a generall fault of these times, not admitting any limitation; or say that these devouring Caterpillers have eaten up all the houses of God in the land, 1. Kin. 15. I re­member what the Lord answered Elias, when he complained a­gainst Israel, that they killed his Prophets, and diged down his Al­tars, and that he was left alone. I have (said the answer of God) reserved unto my selfe seven thousand men, Rom. 11. 3, 4. which have not bowed their knees unto Baal. Even so at this present time, by the grace of God, there is a Remnant (though I thinke farre fewer then seven thousand yet a remnant there is, which have never digged down the Altars of God to build their owne houses with the ruines thereof; which have not bowed unto their angle, nor sacrificed unto their net, nor burnt incense unto their yarne, nor monopolized that unto themselves, which of right belongs unto Gods Ministers, So that in this case they may say with good Samuel, Whose Oxe have I ta­ken, 1 Sam. 12. 3. or whose Asse have I taken, or of whose hand have I received any bribe? They bate such sinnes of unfaithfullnesse, and they will not suffer the least chip of Gods bread to stick on their fingers. By the means of such faithfull Nehemiahs, thanks be to God, and re­member them herein O God, and wipe not out that unkindnes they have shewed on thy house, Nehem. 13. 14. and on the offices thereof) the glorious Gos­pell of Christ doth give a goodly lustre in many places of this land. But the great number of the other (which I purpose not to leave as yet, for I would gladly make a rod of such small cords as I have, to whip these buyers and sellers out of the Temple) is such, that it doth almost overshadow these, that they seeme but as it were a handfull,Iud. 7. and do bear (I take it) the like proportion, that Gideons army did to the huge hoast of the Midianites.

16. The donation of ecclesiasticall livings,Hospin. de o­rig. templor. was at the first, for avoiding of faction and confusion, amongst the ignorant and sedi­tious multitude, which otherwise should have made choice of their Pastours, commended to some particulars, which for their worth, and wisedome, and uprightnesse were thought fittest, both to make choice of such, as could sufficiently discharge the places, and to protect them, and their right against such ravenous harpyes, and Eagle-clawed Nebuchadnezzars: as would scrape and gather [Page 77] into their hands the vessels of the temple, and hereupon they were ledled Patrons. But time is like a river,

—Nec enim consistere flumen,
Nec levis hora potest.

That is not my meaning, but as a river sins that which is heavy and substantiall, and carryeth downe that which is light and naught, so hath time in this point. The uprightnesse and faithfulnesse, that is sunke long agoe in a great number: their carefulness in protect­ing the minsters right, that swims not downe so low as to our time: and yet as Tully said of a tyrant, that he gives life to those that he doth not kill; So we could willingly account them worthy maintainers of the Levites portion, if they would take nothing from them. But the name of patron, this is light, and the current of time hath conveyed it unto us. But (alas alas) it is but as he said.

—Sine corpore nomen

It is secunda notio, a shadow of a name; and yet a name is no more then a shadow of a thing. And verily it may be feared that the great house of the thing will in future ages make the word to be of a contrary signification:Isidor. orig. lib. 9. cap. 3. as the name tyrannus, which at the first signified any Prince, which had a care of his Subjects safety, and protected them against their foes; by the cruelty of the gover­nours (handling them as Samuel told the Iewes their King should use them;1 Sam. 8. or as the Storke in the fable dealt with the Frogs, when he was made their King; or as Vespasian used his nobles squee­zing them like a spunge,Sueton in Vespas. when they were full) is now degenerate from its ancient sense, and used for the contrary. We have occa­sion of doubting the same in this point. For Iudas claimeth Christs bag by prescription. Is not now the advouson of a benefice accounted as a mans proper inheritance? Is it not offered to him that will bid the most, as an Oxe in the shambles, or an Asse in the Market? Is it not accounted a good patrimonie to many younger brothers, which scorn forso oth to be Priests; and would God they would scorne the Priests portion too, then would they a­bate [Page 78] a little from the height of their own conceits: and would at length be enforced for their delicate fare, to eate husks, and to turne their Satten Suits into Country russets. But they are of the same opinion as was William Rufus sometimes King of this Realme, who kept diver Bishopricks in his owne hands as they fell, and would not restore them unto ecclesiasticall persons. Being demanded a reason hereof, he said that Gods bread was sweet, and good for Kings. Or like our old Country-manMat. Pari­siensis in vita Guil. 2 Rex in proprio te­nebat, die qua obit) Archie­piscopatum Cant. Episco­patus Wint. & Sarisb. cum 12 Abbatiis. Brennus who (when he went about to rob the Temple at Delphos) said that God was rich, and therefore should part with something to supply his wants: and withIustin. Aelia­nus variae hist. lib. 1. Dionysius, they count gold too cold to cloath Apollo with, a garment of worse stuffe is good e­nough. In Synodo Triburiensi An. Do. 895. when the question was proposed whether golden cha­lices or woodden were to be used in the administration of the sacra­ment: Boniface bishop and afterwards Martyr madeBeat. Rhe­nanus lib. 2. rerum Germa­nicarum. answer, that in former times they had golden ministers, and wooden chalices: but in his time wooden Priests used golden chalices. I may say the contrary, in the times of our fore-fathers, were blockish and woodden Priests, and then they had golden cups. Then the people would even have pulled out their owne eyes to have given to those blinde guides; and were so ready to offer their free gifts to the building of the Tabernacle, that Moses was constrained to say, the people bring too much, Exod. 36. 5, 6. and more then is enough: nay moreover to make a proclamation, and enact a statute, which yet is in force, but needless) that neither man, or woman should prepare any more for the oblation of the sanctuarie. But now (thanks be to God) wee have golden pastors, and woodden▪ dishes are thought good e­nough for them.

Dicite pontifices in templo quid facit aurum?
Per [...]rus.

What should the Church doe with gold?Act. 3. 6. Peter said unto the lame man,Psal. 45. 14. gold and siver have I none. The Kings danghter is al glorious within (they forget what followes, her cloathing is of wrought gold) the Ministers Kingdome is not of this world, a competent living is sufficient, that is 40. or 50. l. tush, he must not be trou­bled with the thorny cares of this world,Num. 16. you take too much upon you yee sonnes of Levi: thus would these wild asses and fat buls of [Page 79] Bashan beate out of the manger, the Oxen that tread out the corne, that they may have the best themselves, and leave only the orts for them, which should have all. Alas beloved, that Gods Legats, which should be harbarous and beneficiall unto the poor, and pro­vide for their Family, should thus be st [...]nted by such, whose hearts are never satisfied with earth, till their mouthes be filled with gravel. But let them not thinke that the ministers living is ever competent, where any part of his right is detained. And therefore let them beware how they play the Judas instealing out of the bag, which is committed unto them, part of that reliefe, which should sustaine Christ and his Apostles: or betray him in his maintenance, and by a consequence in his Members, the flock by withdrawing their food. For if Succus pecori, then it must needs follow that lac subducitur agnis: if the pasture be without the fleece, the flock shall want their fodder. It is an objection which some would fasten as a scandall upon our Universities, that many of our preachers drone-like lurk in their owne hives, and flee not abroad; that they bury their talent at home in their owne studies as in the ground; whereas, by settling themselves in some Country charge, they might put it out to their Masters best advantage. But (I shall tell you?) the case is with them as it was with the sick impotent man by the poole Bethesda in the 5. of John, gladly would they be in the poole, but there is none to put them in: an angel troubles the water, and presently, while they are comming, another steps downe before them. The fountains are stoped; no streame can flow abroad unlesse Tagus-like it have golden sands, or like unto Eurotas, and Alpheus, it passe under the earth as it were by some sleight and secret conveyance, and so burst up on the suddaine in some place where it cannot be prevented: or like unto Tygris, that fierce and swift running river, which perforce wil burst down such dammes, and banks as would hinder his course: or last of all like unto Meander that insinuating, and parasitica [...]l river (as I may call it) which windes and turnes it selfe into every pleasant vally, that it may, as it were, get the good will, and favour of the places where it comes. These 4. rivers finde the easiest passage rich Tagus, fierce Tigris, subtil Eurotas, and winding Maeaender. The rest,Gen. 8. 10. for the most, (for I speak not of all) though the waters be as pleasant as the 4. rivers of Eden, Ios. 3. yet shall they stand on a heap [Page 80] like the waves of Jordan when the Israelites passed over; or as a pool, or the dead sea without any vent: whereas if there might, at the vacancy of livings, an offer be made unto one of the Uni­versities, and a choice made thence, no doubt but the gospel of Christ would flourish in every quarter of this realm from Dan to Beersheba, from the river of Twede unto the lands end. And God would for this cause even open the windows of heaven unto the inhabitants thereof, and powre downe upon them a blessing without measure, and rebuke the devourer for their sakes, that he should not destroy the fruits of their ground, neither should their vine be bar­ren in the field, Mal. 3. 10, 11. as the Lord speaks by the Prophet Malachie.

17. I have dwelt too long upon this point. Onely to end, I would these men would remember Iudas his end. Demirorte An­tonî quorum facta imitaris eorum exitum non perhorrescere▪ it is the saying of Tully to Antony. I wonder Antony that thou art not afraid of those mens deaths,Philippic. 2. whose lives thou imitatest. And it is strange that these men will be like unto Judas in the premises, and never think of the conclusion that was inferred thereupon. I am not a Prophet, Amos 7. 14. nor am I the sonne of a Prophet, that I should foretel the manner of their particular ruines. Thus much upon good grounds I will say, that these goods will in time profit them no more, then the price of him, that was valued, availed Iudas: they will be like Eagles feathers;Plin. l. 10. c. 3. they will eat, and consume the rest of their substance: or like equus Sejanus and aurum Tolossa­num in Gellius, AGell. l. 30. c. 9. which were still infortunate to those that had them. And those goodly buildings, which they make for them­selves with the ruines of Gods house (I will speak in the words of Isaiah against the enemies of the Church) the Pellican and the Hedgehogge shall possesse them, Isa. 34. 11. 13. &c. the great Raven, and the Owle shall dwell in them, and he shall stretch out upon them the line of vanity, and the stones of emptinesse: they shall bring forth thorns in the palaces thereof, nettles and thistles in the strong holds thereof, and they shall be habitations for dragons, and courts for Ostriches: there shall meet Zim, and Jim, and the Fairies shall dance there, and the Skrichowle shall rest there, and shall finde for her selfe a quiet dwelling: there shall the Owle make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather them under her shadow; there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate. Seek in the book of God and [Page 81] read: none of these shall fayle. For more confirmation hereof, consider the subversion of Abbies: they were founded by reli­gious men in their generations, to a good purpose: their situation was as the garden of the Lord, Gen. 13. 10. like the land of Egypt as thou goest unto Zoar; as Moses speaks of the plaine of Jordan before the de­struction of Sodome and Gomorrah; they stretched their towers up to the heavens, like the Pyramides of Egypt; but, behold, the Lord hath wiped them as a man wipeth a dish, which he wipeth, and turneth up side downe. They are now the fittest places for the ra­ven to build in, habitations for Dragons, and courts for Ostriches, they stand,Phys. 6. (but as Aristotle saith, quod stat movetur, they stand so as they are moving to a fall) in the plasantest vallies of the land, as the reliques of Babel in the vallie of Sinar: Isa. 7. 8. or like a cottage in a vineyard, like a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, and like a be­sieged and defaced city, dropping down by joynts, as a thief rot­teth from the gibbet. What were their sinnes which brought so heavy a judgement upon them? suppose they were (as they were indeed) the sinnes of Sodome, Ezech. 16. 49. pride, fulnesse of bread, merciles­nesse towards the poor, and abundance of idlenesse. Now if these sins of some few, or suppose the greater part (certain it is that all were not such, som were industrious, som humble, som merciful towards the needy, some of a moderate and spare dyet,) if these sinnes, I say, brought so heavy a judgement upon those houses, that they are, in comparison of that they were before,1 Sam. 5. 4. like the stump of Dagon, when his head, and the two palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold in Ashdod; or the remainders of Jezabel, when the hungry dogges had eaten her up,2 Kin. 9. 35, 37. so that there was no more found of her, then the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands; inso­much, that none can say this is Jezabel; these be the houses they were before: shall we think that their houses shall continue for ever, which turn Bethel into Bethaven; the house of God, into a house of vanity; which take the childrens bread and cast it unto dogges? which, with the consecrated things of the altar, main­tain their own pompe, feed their Hawkes, their Horses, keep—? but I stay my self.

18. After the Church-robber comes the grinding oppressour, a­nother great plague, which sits sore upon the skirts of our land. He saith unto his gold,Job. 31. 24. thou art my God, and to the wedge of gold, [Page 82] thou art my confidence. And instead of counting godlinesse great gain, 1 Tim. 6. 5, 6. he accounteth gain great godlinesse: he addeth house to house, and land to land, as if the way to the spiritual Canaan laid all by land, and not through a red sea of death. He brayeth the people as in a mortar, and grindeth the faces of the poor. He sel­leth the poor for silver, Amos 8. 6. and the needy for a pair of shooes: he eateth up the poor as if they were bread.

—Vtpisces saepe minutos
Magnu' comest, ut aves enecat accipiter.

As a Pike devoureth the little fishes, and as a goshauk kils the smaller birds: hee gathereth the livings of the poorer sort into his own hands, as the great Ocean drinketh the rivers: hee en­haunceth his rents, and pilleth his poor tenants, and doubleth, yea, treableth their fines,1 Kin. 12. 10. telling them, with young Rhehoboam, that his little finger shall be heavier then his fathers loynes. Not con­tented with this cruelty, he thrusteth them out of their houses, and depopulateth whole townes, and villages, making those streets which used to be sown with the seed of men,Isa. 7. 25. Pastures for the sending out of bullocks, and for the treading of sheep. Apud Cand. in descript. Northampt. One justly complaineth of our English sheep: that whereas in former times, they were the meekest beasts of the field, and contented them­selves with a little, are now become so fierce, and greedy, that they devour men, and town-fields, and houses, and villages, and lay all waste; insomuch that that which the Psalmist speaketh of Israel, spoiled by his enemies, may be verified of our Jacob also: They have devoured Jacob, Hab. 2. 11, 12. and laid waste his dwelling places. Sure­ly, the very stone out of the wall doth cry against these men, and the beam out of the timber doth answer it: woe unto him that buildeth his house with bloud, and erecteth his wals by iniquity.

While the spleen swelleth, the body languisheth: and it may justly be feared, that if our good Physitian do not in time purge these tumorous, and swelling members, they will cause a lienterie in the body politick. God forbid that this flourishing kingdome, which sometime hath deserved that title which Cyneus, Justin. Embassa­dour unto Pyrrhus, gave unto Rome when he called it a City of Kings, Aven [...]im. should ever deserve that title, which one gives unto [Page 83] France, when he cals it a kingdome of asses, by reason of the bur­dens, that are laid upon the baser sort by their superiours.

19 Therefore it behoves you, and as many as sit at the sterne of justice, not to sleep with Jonas, while the ship is tossed with these mighty winds: nor to be carelesse in a matter so neerly concern­ing the good of this Common-wealth. Gird you with your swords upon your thighes, Psal. 45. 4, 5. O yee men of might, according to your worship, and renown, ride on because of the word of truth, and righteousnesse, and let your right hand teach you terrible things. But if you shall be negligent herein, surely, as Mordecai said to Hester, help, and deliverance shall come from another place. Est. 4. 14. For doubtlesse the crie of the afflicted, is already ascended, into the eares of the Lord of hosts, and he will take the matter into his own hand. Believe it, it is his own promise: Now for the comfortlesse troubles sake of the needy, Psal. 12. 5, 6. and because of the deep sighing of the poor, I will up, saith God, and will deliver him from such as vex him, and will restore him to rest. I will prosecute this point no further: onely let me tell these locusts, that their goods whereunto they trust are but a bro­ken staffe of reed, 2 Kin. 28. 21. whereunto if a man leane it will peirce into his hand: that their pleasures are but as Dalilab was to Samson even gyevs and fetters of Satan,Jud. 16. to entangle them: that their gold will be as a milstone about their necks, to carry them down headlong into the pit: that their hands and goods are as a bunch upon a Ca­mels back, which will not suffer them to enter in at the needles eye, the narrow way that leadeth to heaven: Mat. 19. 24. that those goods, which by grinding, and oppressing they have scraped together, the Lord will fan them away with the fan of [...], Dan. 4. 24. unlesse (as Daniel said to Nabuchadnezzar) they break off their sinnes by righteousnesse, and their iniquity by mercy towards the poore; and that which they have by unlawful means gotten (with Zachaeus) they restore it a­gain four-fold. Luk. 19. 8.

20. From the Locust, we come to the Cankar-wormë; from oppressing Ahab, to bribing Gehazi: of whom I may truly affirm that which Tacitus speaks of the Astrologians in Rome, Hist. lib. 1. it is genus hominum pestilens, & fallax, quod in hac republic â semper prohibe­tur, & semper retinetur; a pestilent, and froward kind of people, which hath been still gain-said, and yet never more common, and frequent then now; an off-spring, not so degenerate from the [Page 84] loynes of Judas, as is the oppressour. Because the oppressour like the fat Buls of Basan, closeth the poor on every side, and gapes up­on him with his mouth, as it were a ramping, and a roaring lion; whereas the briber lieth closely in the thievish corners of the streets, that he may ravish such as he shall get into his net. Psal. 10. 8, 10. The oppressour takes it perforce, the briber gets all by secret compact: What will ye give me? Est. 4. 11. None might come to the inner court of king Ahashue­rosh, save hee, to whom the king held out his golden scepter. But none may come to the bribers inner court, save hee, that shall hold out a golden scepter unto him. Be thy cause never so light in the ba­lance of equity, it is not material, if thou canst make it up in gold, it shall be currant through his liberties. Right and wrong, truth, and falshood are onely distinguished by their attendants. If inju­stice get the overthrow, it is because she is not guarded with such companies, as are expected. But I have not Elisha's eyes, to point out Gehazi, and to observe what he hath done in secret, and therefore I will passe him over: onely thus much I would have him to know, that Judas cannot so secretly compact with the Priests, but Christ knoweth it. That speech of our blessed Saviour (which that worthy Martyr Hugh Latimer used for his posie) is an undoubted truth: There is nothing so secret, but it shall be re­vealed. Thou mayest well flatter thy selfe with an outward shew of justice,Hor. epist. l. 1. ep. 16. like that monster in the Poet:

—Pulchra Laverna
Da mihi fallere, da sanctum justum (que) videri:
Noctem peccatis, & frandibus objice nubem.

O beautiful Laverna, grant that I may deceive the world with a counterfeit shew of holinesse: cover my sinnes with a cloud of obscurity, that they may be hid. Deceive the world thou mayest, but thou canst not deceive God.

Soloculis hominem, quibus aspicit omnia cernit:
Ovid. Met:

God, whose eyes are ten thousand times brighter then the sun, can pierce through this cloud, if it were darker then hell, and be­hold thy doing. It is no heathenish counsell, which a heathen man [Page 85] gives, neither doth it smell of Epicurisme, though it was his di­ctate, who was the father of that Swinish Sect, that whatsoever thou art about to doe, Epicurus apud Senec. though never so secret, thou shouldest still ima­gine, that some doth behold thee, and observe thy actions. Vt sic tan­quam illo spectante vivas, & omnia tanquam illo vidente facias, saith Seneca. And therefore whatsoever thou art about to doe, saith the same writer, imagine that Cato, a severe reprehender of the least vices, or (if this be too much) suppose that Laelius, a man of a quiet disposition, but such as cannot brook any notable offence, doth behold thee. This is good counsell of a heathen man, which knew not God aright; But thou which dost pro­fesse Christianitie, shouldst goe a step further, and fully assure thy selfe, that not a sinfull man, but that a sinne-revenging God doth watch thee. Propè à te Deus est, intùs est. And Sacer in te spiritus sedet, bonorum malorumque observat, & custos, as the heathen Stoick divinely speaketh: there is a holy spirit within thee, which seeth whatsoever thou doest, good or bad. Doe not then deceive thy selfe like that Sophister in Aristotle, Post. Aanl. lib. 1. cap. 1. who thought it impossible to know by demonstration, the affections of a number or triangle because he kept some number or triangle in his fist, which others did not know of. Be it Nummus or Numerus, triangle or crosse, or whatsoever it bee, thou canst not keepe it so closely in thy hand, but God lookes into it, and will one day call thee to an account for it.

12. In the last place comes the Grashopper, the cozening Lawyer, who feeds his Client with sugered words, and golden hopes, but all proves in the end for a quid mihi dabitis? Here as Tully said unto the Romans touching the Catilinarians; Cupio me patres Conscripti esse clementem, cupio non dissolutum videri; I would gladly hold my peace, and not be judged by any to exceed the limits of modestie. But voces reipublicae imo totius regni me ne­quitiae inertiaeque condemnarent, the voice of the whole kingdome, exclaiming against the great abuses of these times, would condemn me of negligence. The time is protracted, unnecessarie delaies are used, new doubts are dayly invented, insomuch that the causes are oftentimes more uncertaine in the latter end then they were at the first beginning. What postings off from Court to Court! what delaies and procrastinations from tearme, to tearme, from yeare [Page 86] to yeare to yeare! insomuch, that a man may sooner travell about the whole globe of the earth, then passe through an English court. The Lawes are made like a game at the cards, wherein all the play­ers are loosers, and all the gaine comes to the butler, which found them cards to play on. And the Lawyers prove such Arbitrators, as was Quintus Fabius in Tullie; who being appointed a daies­man between the Nolanes, and the Neopolitanes, touching the borders of their grounds, tooke a great part of their right from both: or rather like to Philip of Macedon; who being chosen a judge betweene two Brethren, touching their fathers king­dome, tooke it from them both, and reserved it to himselfe. They take from both the Parties, though not the same numero, which they contend for, yet the same specie, (I meane the value of the same) and gaine it to themselves. The filly sheep in a tempest runs to a briar bush for a shelter: when the storme is overblown, he is so clapsed in the briars, that before he get out, he is enfor­ced to leave some good part of his fleece behind him, so that he is made unable to indure the next storme. And yet better it is that he should indure with patience, then, by having recourse to such an Harbour, have his skin riped by the bramble. I will not apply, I reverence the profession. It is good and necessary for the com­monwealth, and a calling warrantable by Gods Word. And I make no qustion but there are many of this profession, which doe study to approve their doings in the sight of God and man. And so I am perswaded of you all, though I thus speake: but as the Apostle saith of himselfe: I know nothing of my selfe, yet am I not justified, so say I, though I know nothing by any of you, yet I am not justified.1 Cor. 4. 4. I doe not discharge a good conscience, un­less I should admonish you of these things; that if any be guilty of that which I have spoken, he may learne to amend it, if not he may do his indeavour to avoid it.

22. If I should speake unto you, (R. H.) and offer to in­struct you in the particular duties of a Judge, I might per­chance be judged by many,Aslian. Var. hist. lib. 2 cap. 2. with Megabizus to discourse of the Art of painting, before the schollars of Zeuxis. To say nothing that my Text gives me no fit occasion to discourse of this subject, notwithstanding I beseech you, in one word give me leave to move you to that which yee both know, and are rea­dy [Page 87] I am sure to put in practise. You know the saying of the Poet,

Qui rogat ut facias, quod jam facis, ipse rogando.
Laudat, & hortatu comprobat acta suo.

The object of your office is either life or living. About both these, it is requisite you have three properties; An Eagles eye, a Ladies hand, and a Lyons hsart An eagles eye, to dive into the bottome of such matters as shall come before you: for the wound is never soundly cured, unlesse the bottome be first searched, A ladies hand, to deale softly, and gently with your Patients. A ly­ons heart, Aug. in Ma. Ser. 15. to be couragious and resolute, when there is no place for lenity. Herein ye must imitate a good Chyrurgion, who cuts the wound though his patient weep never so sore. Ploratsecandus & se­catur, plorat urendus & uritur. The sick weepes, and yet the Chyrurgion cuts, the sick laments, and yet the Chyrurgion sear­eth. Is this cruelty in the Chyrurgion? none at all. For, savit in vulnus ut homo sanetur; quia si vulnus palpetur, homo perdi­tur. Where there is hope of cure without searing, or cutting, use there a Ladies hand; in this case a plaster is better then a knife. But where the Member is incurable, and incorrigible, and like to indanger the whole, cut it off. Melius est ut pereat unus, quam unitas. And.

—immedicabile vulnus,
Ense recidendum, ne pars sincera trahatur.

But yet, Cuncta prius tentanda; fire must be the last medi­cine. All gentle meanes must be first tryed: and even in this act of justice,Plutarc. de au­diendis poetis. ye must not altogether exclude mercy. When many of the Lacedemonians were drunke with wine, Lycurgus gave charge that the Vines should be cut downe; but Plato's coun­sell was better, who willed, that the fountaines should be caused to runne among the Vines, and that the rage of Bacchus should be tempered with the soberness of Neptune, that is, that the water should be mingled with the wine. Though the extremity of juice make some desperate, (as did Draco's lawes, which for their severity are said to be written in blood) yet must it not therefore be taken away, but rather the rigour of justice must be [Page 88] mixed with clemency, as his counsell was, that the rage of wine should be asswaged with the coolenesse of the water. For justice, with out mercy is bloody cruelty, mercy without justice is foolish pity; but justice with mercy is perfect Christianitie. Oh then those which God would have joyned together, do not you put asunder. But let them both be so linked together, that yee may verifie that of the Psalmist, Mercy and truth are met together, righteousnesse, and peace have kissed each other. Psal. 85. 10. To this purpose, in all your con­sultations and actions set God before your eyes, let him be on your right hands, and so yee shall not greatly fall, A Poet when he is to bring a person upon the Stage, will have this care, that the action and speech be agreeable to the person.

Inter erit multum, Davusne loquatur an Heros.
Hor. de art. Poet. Cicero.

Id histrio videbit Scena, quod non saepiens in vità? shall a stage-player observe that decorum on the theater, which a wise man will not looke to in his life? The world is stage, and every man acteth his part upon this stage. You (R. H.) doe act the part of God himselfe. The more warie ought ye to be in your actions. E­ver waiting, whether God, if he were in your places, would doe thus, or thus. Remember likewise, that, though ye be Gods, yet ye must die as a man. The greatest Judge of the earth, must one day hold up his hand at the barre, and answer for himselfe, when the Judge of the world shall sit on the bench. This do, and when it shall please God to call you hence, ye shall be advanced to a higher Court, the Court of Heaven; where for your scarlet garments, ye shall be invested in long white robes, Rev. 7. 13. your bench shall be the Throne, your attendants the Angels, the parties ye shall judge the world, 1 Cor. 6. 2. your sentence an Hallelujah: Amen, praise, and glory, and wisedom and thankes, and honour, and power, and might be unto our God for evermore Amen.

MAT. 27. 3. 4.‘Then Judas which betrayed him saw that he was condemned, repented himselfe, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief Priests and Elders, saying, I have sin­ned, betraying the innocent bloud. But they said, what is that to us? (see thou to that) and when he had cast down the silver pieces in the Temple, &c.’

THese words contain in them part of an history of some things which hapned unto Judas af­ter he had betrayed his master, together with the answer of the High Priests and Elders at such time when he being sorrowful for the fact, confessed his fault and restored the mo­ney. They prettily excuse themselves what is that to us: O Hypocrites, what is that to us? did not you hire Judas to betray him? did not you incense Pilate to condemn him? did you not all crie with one voyce crucifie him, and what is that to us? O generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? but my speech at this time, shall be about the history of Judas, wherein observe three things. 1. His condemnation, by the virdict of his owne guilty conscience, (then Judas when he saw that he was condemned) 2. His mortification or imperfect repentance, he repented, &c. 3. His desperation, he departed and went, &c. let us begin with the first, (then Judas when hee saw that he was condemned) they may be understood two wayes; either thus when he saw that his master was condemned; for [Page 90] though Christ in this chapter comes after, yet that is not material. For the Evangelists do not observe a strict order of time in set­ting down the story; but sometimes by way of Anticipation set them down before, and sometimes by way of recapitulation bring them after; or thus, when he saw that himselfe was con­demned: take them whether way you will and they afford us this doctrine, there is no man so wicked but his conscience will at one time or other, upon one occasion or other, convict and condemn him for his sins. He that shall a little look upon Judas before this time, would think that all the threatnings of the law would not mollifie his stony heart. When the High Priests and Elders send Officers to apprehend Christ, Judas goes with them as their cap­tain, and brings them to the place where Jesus was, and though the barbarous Souldiers and pittilesse Officers and cruel servants were so appaled and daunted with his speech, that when he told them, that he was the man whom they sought, they were so farre from apprehending him, that presently they started back; veluti qui sentibus anguem pressit humi nitens, as a man doth when he treads upon a snake, and were beaten down with the breath of his mouth. For the text saith, they went backward and fell to the ground, John 18. 6. and moreover were struck into such amazement and astonishment of heart, that when Peter drew his sword, and smote off one of their eares, they scarce (or as it is probable) not at all observed it; For when they were come into the High Priests hall, and Peter amongst them, though they could say this is one of them, and sayth his speech betrayeth him; yet none could say this is he, that cut off Malchus his eare; yet all this wind shakes not Judas.

Is seu dura silex stat vel Marpesia cautes.

all the thunderbolts of the law, will not make a breach in his flinty heart, whereby repentance might enter in. For all this when hee heares that Christ is condemned then he begins to repent. The conscience is of marvellous great force saith the heathen Oratour, and that two wayes; for those that have done well are not afraid, & poenam ante oculos semper versari putant qui peccaverunt, and those which have done amisse think that God is alwayes shaking [Page 91] his rod over them. The righteous is bold as a Lyon, his consci­ence hath passed upon him, and found him not guilty: but the wicked flieth when none pursueth, his own guilty conscience hath condemned him. He may perhaps be hid from the eyes of men, but he can never assure himselfe that he cannot be catched, as Epi­curus in Seneca speaketh. Suppose his sinne be hid from the eyes of men, let him think that the Angels that are about him do not take the least notice of it; let him imagine that he hath drawn a cur­tain before the eyes of God, so that he cannot behold it; let him say with those Epicures in the Psalmist, tush, God doth not re­gard it, there is no knowledge in the most highest. He hideth a­way his face, and he will never see it; yet there is one within him that noteth it in the table of his heart, as it were with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is a witnesse to accuse him, a bayliffe to arrest him, a prison to contain him, a jury to con­vince him, a judge to condemn him, an hangman to kill and tor­ment him. The Poets fable of Prometheus, that he was tied to the mountain Caucasus, and had an Eagle still gnawing upon his heart for offending Jupiter; me thinks it is a fit embleme of a sinner, who for offending his God is as it were tied to a stake, and hath the worme of conscience as a hungrie eagle still gnawing upon his heart. Plutarch compares it to a boyle or impostume in the flesh. For as a boyle pricketh and eateth the flesh, so doth a sinners con­science his mind. Now as those that have cold or hot agues with­in them, are more troubled then when they are made cold with­out by the frost, or heated by the beams of the sunne. So those grievances which happen by some external cause, are farre easier then this inward sting of conscience, and therefore (saith he) a mind void of sin, were more to be wished for, then houses, then lands, then dignities, then riches, then any thing which this gree­dy world doth so much gape after. The saying of Diogenes is no­table for this purpose, who seeing his host in Sparta making great provision for a feast; what needeth all this (said he) for an ho­nest man hath a feast every day, meaning that an honest man hath a good conscience, and a good conscience is a continual feast, Prov. 15. 13.

Those that were to be crucified amongst the old Romanes, did beare the Crosse upon which they were to suffer: So the wicked [Page 92] do carrie with them the crosse of a guilty conscience, which though for a little they may lay it down, yet can they never cast it from them, till they come to the place of execution; indeed they willmake a goodly shew outwardly, as though nothing did trouble them within, they laugh, they jest, they quaffe, they play, but all this is but from the teeth outward, they are like theeves (saith one) in aprison, which are condemned to death, who will sometimes play at dice or cards, to put out of their mindes the cogitation of their future execution, but all in vaine, for haeret lateri laethalis a­rundo. It is so rooted in their hearts, that no spunge of oblivion can wipe it out, they are in Damocles his case, they see Gods sword of vengeance still hanging over their heads, readie to fall upon them, and to hewe them in pieces, that deep wise man (saith Ta­citus) said not without cause, that if Tyrants hearts (and what he spake of Tyrants is true of all such as sinne with a high hand) were laid open a man should see them torne and rent asunder, for as the body is torne with stripes, so their minds are rent with the sting of conscience,, for their cruelties, their lasciviousnesse, their oppression, and such other sinnes as they have committed, for the [...] the conscience of a sinner doth whip and scourge his soule, therefore saith the Poet,

Turpe quid ausurus, te sine teste time.

When thou art about to doe any unlawfull act, feare thy selfe, though thou want a witnesse, for thou art not alone.

Nocte dieque tuum gestas in pectore testem.

Thou carriest a witnesse withthee, thy bosome, and that is thy conscience which is as good as a thousand witnesses, wretch­ed and desperate is thy case, if thou make not account of this witness.

3. Examples will make this point plaine, begin with the first man that ever sinned, and the first sinne that ever he committed. Our great Grandfather Adam, had no sooner transgressed Gods commandement by eating of the forbidden tree, but presently his conscience accused him, and made him ashamed: for when he [Page 93] heard the voice of God walking in the garden, in the coole of the day, he hid himselfe from the presence of the Lord, among the the trees of the garden. Why was Adam so afraid of Gods presence? had he not been with him before? He had made him, he had made a helper for him, he had made him Lord o­ver the whole world, and put all things in subjection under his feet, all Sheep and Oxen, yea and all the Beasts of the feild, the fowles of the aire, and the fishes of the seas, and therefore a man would thinke, that he should rather have runne unto God, to have given him thankes for all his benefits, but it may be God came in a more terrible manner then he was wont, not so the text saith, the voice of the Lord came, he did but send his voice, not his fearefull and terrible, which shakes the Wilderness, but his mild and gentle voice, it came walking it came not running to take vengeance, and therefore it must needs be that his guilty conscience made him afraid. Cain after he had murthered his innocent bro­ther, howsoever he could prettily excuse the matter unto God, telling him that he was not his Brothers keeper, yet had he an inward accuser, which laid the murther so hard unto his charge, that he was enforced to confess the fact, and desperately to cry out, my sinnes are greater then can be pardoned.

Jacobs sonnes, when they sold their Brother Joseph, were ne­ver troubled in conscience for it, but many yeares after, upon their trouble in Egypt, their consciences were awaked, Gen. 42. 21. They said one unto another, wee have verily sinned against our Bro­ther, in that wee saw the anguish of his soule, when besought us; and we would not heare him, therefore is this trouble come upon us.

Ahab was one that sold himselfe to worke wickednesse, that provoked the God of Heaven to anger, more then all the Kings, that were before him, then Baasha, then Omri, then Jeroboam the sonne of Nebat, that made Israel to sinne, this wicked King hear­ing from the mouth of a poore Prophet, who a little before fled out of the Country, for saving his life, those fearful judgements that God would bring upon his house, was smitten in conscience; and rent his cloathes, and put sackcloath upon him, and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went bare footed 1 King. 21. 2. (the Scribes and Pharises brought a woman (that was taken in adulterie) to Christ, desirous to know his opinion, but to no other end, save only to [Page 94] tempt him our Saviour, made no particular enumeration of their sinnes; but only wrote with his finger upon the ground, adding these words, He that is without sin amongst you, let him cast the first stone at her. What followed? when they heard it; being accused by their owne consciences, they went out one by one. beginning at the eldest even to the least, there was never a greater contemner of God, then was Caligula, never man burst out into more outragious sins then he; he was one of those fools that say in their heart, their is no God, yet none so fearfull as he, when he saw any signes of Gods judgements, insomuch that when it thundred, he was wont to hide himselfe under his bed, his guilty conscience made him feare that God, whom of purpose he study­ed to contemne.

4. I doe not speake this as though I were of opinion, that all men were alike touched with a feeling of their sinnes. I know there is great difference between the sons of God, and the sons of Belial, when they have sinned between such as sin of infirmitie, and such as by long practise have gotten an habit. Sin is to the Children of God, asit it were a thorne in their sides, and a prick in their eyes, they feel it at the very first▪ yea, and that most grievously too, but thewicked which sinne with a high hand, have so overcharged their conscciences, that they are benummed and past feeling, as the Apostle speakes Eph. 4. 19. such have their consciences burned as it were with a hot Iron, as he elswhere saith, meaning that they are so dulled and hardened by custome, that they can hardly be brought to any feeling of their sinnes, and no marvell▪ for, Con­suetudo peccandi tollit sensum peccati, custome of sinning taketh a­way the feeling of sinne. I may compare the conscience of Gods Child to the eye of a needle which streitneth the smallest thred, but such as have gotten a custome of sinne, their consciences are like to great broad gates, at which a loaden Camel may finde easie entrance, or it may be likned unto a greene path, in soft and marish ground, which in the beginning is so soft, that a man cannot set his foot upon it, but will leave an impression in the ground, but in processe of time by continuall passage, it is worne unto the gravell and then a loaden Cart will scarce leave any print behind it: so like wise the conscience at the first is so soft, that the least sinne leaveth a wound and print in it, but conti­nuance [Page 95] in sinne weareth it to the gravel, and maketh it so hard, that the greatest iniquity can scarcely be felt. Now the Children of God commonly sinning upon infirmity, seldom upon presumption, never upon habit, after they be effectually called, but the wicked adding drunkenness to thirst, that is, heaping one sinne in the neck of another, without entring into a due consideration of their wicked estate, it fals out that the ungodly for the most part are not so soone touched with a feeling of their sinnes, as are Gods chil­dren when they have transgressed. Holy David after he had committed adulterie with Bathsheba slept divers moneths in his sinne, (a thing not so ordinarily befalling the Children of God) but he was no sooner rouzed out of this Lethargie, by the Prophet Nathan, then the prick of sinne did sting him to the heart, and made him crie as in Psal. 51. Have mercy upon me O Lord, according to thy great mercies, and according to the multitude of thy com­passions doe away mine offences. One deep calleth upon another, the deepnesse of his sinnes, calleth for the depth of Gods mercies, but Herod had so long enjoyed Herodias his Brothers wife, that the preaching of John Baptist, a greater man then the Prophet Na­than, a Prophet yea and more then a Prophet, could not move him from that particular, though he disswaded him from other sins, to which he was not so much inured. The same Prophet David, when he had numbred the people (a thing of it selfe indifferent, if he had taken no pride in the multitude of his Hoast) was smitten at the heart, and said unto the Lord, I have sinned exceedingly, in that I have done. If his Predecessor Saul had done the like, it may be supposed he would have defended the lawfulness of the fact, who was so ready to excuse himselfe for keeping the fat Oxen of the Amalekites contrary to Gods commandement. Godly Austin in his old age was moved in conscience for the least faults he had committed when he was a Child, for playing at the Ball when his Parents had forbidden him, for stealing a few wild Peares out of his Neighbours Orchard; sinnes which few will remember, or if they doe, it is onely to brag of them: so then it is without que­stion, that such as are not inured to any sinn, will be sooner mo­ved, then those which by long custome have made it naturall unto them; but yet none are so wicked, though with Ahab they sell themselves to worke wickedness, but their consciences will now [Page 96] and then check them, will accuse them will condemne them, yea, when the world doth take little notice of it: that which made Caligula to hide himself under his bed, made Faelix to tremble, and Nero to cry, Ego nec amicum habeo, nec inimicum, I have so wickedly misdemeaned my selfe, that I have neither friend to save me, nor for to rid me out of my miserie. And Pharaoh whose heart was harder then brass, or the nether milstone, to say: I have sin­ned, God is righteous, but I and my people are wicked. The storie of Theodoricus King of the Gothes is notable for this purpose: When the Romans (being backed by Symmachus and Boatrius, two worthy men) would not give leave to the Arrians to erect any churches where they might promulgat their blasphemous heresie against the son of God. Theodorick sent for those two to Ticinum, and there after he had for a time kept them in close prison, and confiscated their goods, commanded that they should both be executed. Theo­doricus was a man of that power, that few could, none would revenge the blood of these two famous men, neither did God pre­sently inflict any outward punishment upon him, yet his guilty conscience would not suffer his sinne to sleepe, for a little while after, when the head of a fish was set before him on the Table, he calling to minde how he had beheaded those two men, thought that he saw the head of Symmachus, with horrible jawes, and fierie eyes, threatning death and destruction unto him, at the fight whereof being suddenly astonied, and cast downe, he willed his Servants to carry him to his bed, where lying some short space, after much sorrow of his offence, he gave up the ghost. And here another storie comes in my mind, which I find recorded by Plu­tarch, of one Bessus, who had killed his father, but so secretly, that none knew of it; as this Bessus was going to supper with some of his acquaintance: finding a swallowes nest in the way, he thrust it downe with his speare, and killed the young swallowes, when the rest reproved him for it, telling him it argued a cruell mind, to kill the innocent birds, especially seeing they were not good for meat: why should I not kill them said Bessus, seeing they objected unto me that I had killed my Father; hereupon he was examined before the Magistrate, where he confessed the Fact, and suffered condigne punishment. The young Birds could not speake, and yet his guilty conscience made him thinke that they cried to [Page 97] Heaven for vengeance: here then wee may note another diffe­rence between the consciences of the godly and the wicked; the wicked though their consciences be not so soon touched as the consciences of the godly: yet when they once begin to feel their sinnes, then they feel as it were daggers stabbing their hearts, which seldome leave them before they be overwhelmed in the pit of desperation. The children of God are said to have hearts of flesh, and the wicked to have hearts of stone: now the flesh will be easikly wounded, and oftentimes quickly cured; so Gods chil­dren are easily wounded with the feeling of their sinnes: but as Pliny faith of the Harts, that when they have eaten any poyson­ful hearb, then they runne unto the hearb Cinara, and by eating thereof are cured; and when they are wounded with an arrow, they have recourse unto the hearb Dictamnum, by which they are healed. So these, when they feel the poyson of sinne working in their bowels, then they runne unto the good Physitian of their soules, which giveth them a potion of his blood to cure them; when Satan that hunter of men hath wounded them with his poy­sonful arrowes, they have recourse unto Christ, who with a pla­ster of his merits healeth them. A stone will hardly receive any characters, but when they are once graven in, then they stick fast, and cannot easily be rased out, nor will the characters of sinne be quickly graven in the sinners conscience, but when they are once stamped in, they remain for ever, so that they may be read in this book, in the day of judgement. Thus have I proved, that sinne is a burthen unto the sinners conscience, a doctrine (if ever) in these dayes most needful to be urged, where in the practise of the grea­ter part doth seem to crosse the truth of that which hath been de­livered. It was an old complaint of one, that there was in his dayes, multum scientiae, but parum conscientiae, much science, but little conscience; another of later years doth aggravate the com­plaint: and saith, that in his time, the two first syllables con and sci, were taken away, and nothing remained but the latter end of the word entia: pure beings without knowledge or honesty; the complaint is too true at this time; conscience seemeth to be banish­ed from most men, and knowledge from may; so that nothing is left but the metaphysical notion entia: mere beings, pure natura­lists. They lade themselves with sinne, as a cart is loaden with [Page 98] sheaves; and yet they feel no weight. It is storied of Milo of Croton, that accustoming himself every day to carry a calfe into the fields, he was able to hear it when it became an oxe: and these have so accustomed themselves to lesser sinnes, that great and ter­rible sinne, seem not a whit burdensome unto their consciences. There is a story of Mithridates King of Pontus, that he had so used himselfe to take poyson, that in fine his stomack would di­gest it, as well as wholsome meat: and these men have so inured themselves to feed upon sinne as the monkie doth upon the spider, that they make as good, nay, more reckoning of it then the best meats, wherewith their soules should be fed unto eternal life: wretched and unhappy men, which have their consciences so fea­red, that they cannot feel their sinnes. Verily, Pharaoh, and Cain, and Judas, and Caligula shall arise against these at the day of Judgement and shall condemn them. Those sinnes which they drink with greedinesse, even as the beast drinketh water, will one day prove like Ratsbane to poyson them; they will prove like Johns book, which was sweet as honey in the mouth, but bit­ter in his belly: or like the head of Polypus which is sweet in eat­ing, but afterward it causeth fearful dreams: they will in the end sting like a Serpent, and bitelike a Cockatrice; let them not say to their soules, peace, peace, when there is no peace; for there is no peace saith my God unto the wicked. When they promise unto themselves most security, when they shall say with the fool in the Pa [...]able, eat and take thy pastime, even then shall sorrow come upon them, as travail upon a woman with child: when they shall carouze in their golden cups, and enjoy their greatest plea­sure; then shall their sinnes like that palm of an hand, Dan. 5. Write such a lesson in their consciences, that it will make their countenance changed, and their thoughts troubled, and the joynts of their loynes loosed, and their knees to smite one against ano­ther. But to leave these, and to make an end of this point. Seeing that sinne is such a burden unto our consciences, let us take head, that we do not load them too much; if we were fully perswaded that such and such meats would cause an ague, we would willingly abstain from them. Now sinne causeth a greater sicknesse unto our soules, then is an ague unto our bodies (viz▪ a troubled con­science (and a wounded spirit who can bear) how then dare wee▪ [Page 99] commit it? when Rebecca felt the strugling of Esau and Jacob in her wombe, she wished she had been barren, and said if it be so, why am I thus? Sinne may be pleasant in getting, but it is bitter in bearing; better we were barren, then feel the pains and throwes, before we be delivered of it. And if it be so, why are we thus?

Turpius ejicitur quam non admittitur alter.

Better to give this guest no entertainment at all, then discredit our selves with God for harbouring it. Therefore before thou do any thing consider with thy selfe whether it be a sinne or no; examine it by the law of God, if it be a sinne, see thou do it not, lest af­terward thou feel the pain when it shall come into thy bowels like water, and like oyle into thy bones. When the remembrance of it shall burn within thee like fire, and gnaw like a worm upon thy heart, perchance thy conscience is so heardned that thou canst not feel, nor call to remembrance thy sinnes; (which if it be so, mise­rable and wretched art thou, for without a feeling of sinne, and re­pentance for the same, there is no remission to be expectedyet there will a day come (when God knowes, but certainly it will come) when thou shalt find them to be heavier then lead upon thine heart. When thy master shall call thee to a reckoning, and the day of thy departing cometh: then will the book of thy con­science be laid open and thou shalt read such a Catalogue of thy sinnes therein, that even then thou sha't plainiy perceive the ne­ver dying worm to gnaw upon thy soule; and the unquenchable fire to beginne to burn within thee, unlesse the Lord in merey shall give thee grace to repent, that so thou mayest be saved: therefore strive alwayes to hav a good conscience, and if thou wilt be care­full, that thine eye because it is the most tender, and precious part of thy body, be not troubled with the least mote: Be much more careful of thy conscience (the eye of thy soul) that it be not trou­bled with beams of great and horrible sinnes. Wilt thou never be sad? live well; this is the best means, to gain the joy and peace of conscience. Happy is that man, who when his fatal hour approacheth can say with Paul, I have in all good conscience ser­ved God, until this day. Verily this will more availe him, then if he should conquer the whole world, and have all the Monarchs [Page 100] of the earth, to cast down their scepters before his footstoole.

Thus much of the first point, his condemnation; I proceed to the second, his mortification or imperfect repentance.

He repented himself, &c.

THis repentance was an extreme grief of heart, arising from the curses of the law, and apprehension of Gods wrath: which as it was in Judas, so was it in Pharaoh, and Ahab, and the Ninevites, and many of the heathen. Orestes and Nero, when they had killed their Mothers, were exceedingly troubled, and wished to be clensed; and Hercules in the Tragedy, when he had kill'd his wife and children, runnes up and down like a madman, and cries out, that if the whole sea should runne through his hands, it would not wash him from that bloudy fact. So that this is no part of true mortification, yet it is a preparative thereunto: The wheat must be threshed with the flayle, before it be fanned from the chaffe with the wind, and a natural man must be as it were threshed with the terrours of the law, before he be fanned from his corruptions with the wind of the Spirit. In natural mutations, before a sub­stantial forme be corrupted, andan other educed è potentiâ mate­riae, certain alterations or previal dispositions are required as neces­sary for hastning of this change. So in a Supernatural mutation when a sonne of wrath is to be made a sonne of God, the terrours of the law are required as necessary precedents for hastning this change.Aug. 1. The law like the shoomakers elson pricks the heart, le­gal sorrowes and fears like the bristle come after, and true morti­fication like the thread comes in the last place. Take the elson and the bristle from the shoomaker, and he cannot use his thread take legal sorrow and compunction of heart from a natural man, and he cannot be brought to true repentance. So that Judas goes well thus farre, he goes yet further: he makes confession of his fault, first in general, I have sinned; then in particular, I have been a tray­tour, I have betrayed, and which is worst of all, I have betrayed the innocent blood.

[Page 101] If Judas this repentance notwithstanding be damned to hell; merciful God what shall become of thousands amongst us, which go under the name of Christians, and come short of Judas in re­pentance. They are seldome touched with any sorrow for their sinnes, but say they be, surely not half of that sorrow that Judas was in; admit they be, come they to the next step: do they make confession? admit this too, come they to a third; do they make satisfaction? doth the sacrilegious Church-robber bring back again that which he hath wrongfully taken from the sonnes of Levi, and say, I have sinned? doth the bloud-sucking Usurer restore that which he hath wrongfully taken from the poor, by sundry practises of covetousnesse, and say, I have sinned? is there any, who after that he hath done wrong, is sorry for it, and con­fesses his fault, and is ready to make amends, and say, thus and thus have I done, thus and thus have I sinned? all these are neces­sary to salvation, but these are not all that are necessary to salvati­on. We must go thus farre with Judas, but we must not here stay with Iudas. Iudas by stepping a foot short, got a break-neck fall, and is tumbled into the pit of hell. We must go a step further, and fasten our feet upon the corner stone by a true and saving faith, and then our sinnes be they never so many, never so grievous, shal not bring us to condemnation, but though they be as Crimson, they shall be made white as snow;Isa. 1. 18. though they be red like scarlet, they shall be as wool. We read in the Gospel of 3 whom our Savi­our rased from death to life;Mat. 9. the first was Iairus his daughter: she was dead in the house, and Christ raised her in the house. The se­cond was the widowes sonne of Naein, Luk. 7. he was dead in the way, (they were carrying him to the place of burial) and Christ raised him in the way. The third was Lazarus, and he was dead, stinking in his grave, and Christ raised him there. Saint Austin doth thus moralize the stories: ista tria genera mortuorum sunt tria genera peccatorum, &c. These three kinds of dead men are three kinds of sinners, whom our Saviour doth daily raise from death unto life. These are those that be dead in the house; these be they that have conceived sinne in their hearts, but have not actually commit­ted the same; he feare dead in the house, for there is no sinne (no not the least exorbitant thought) of its own nature venial: but he that raised Iairus daughter, will upon their repentance raise [Page 102] these▪ the second sort are those that are dead in the way, these are they that have conceived sins in their souls, and actually committed the same, these are in the way, to be buried in Hell, but he that said to the widdows sonne of Naim young man arise, is able and willing upon their repentance to raise these. The third are those that with Lazarus lye stinking in the grave, these are they that have not onely conveyed sinne in their hearts, and actually com­mitted the same, but by long continuance have got an habit of sin­ning and continued, custome like a great stone is laid upon their graves; the case of these men is fearefull, but he that said Lazarus come forth, is able and readie, if they lay as deep as Hell, upon their serious repentance to raise these.

Non haec dico fratres (saith he) ut qui vivunt, vivant, sed ut qui mortui sunt revivificant. I speak not these thi [...]gs (Bre­thren) that those that live in sin may be incouraged to continue there­in, but that those who are dead in sinne, may be revived, well then let us be sorry with Judas, let us make confess [...]ion with Judas, let us make fatisfaction with Judas, but let us never despaire with Judas, be our sins never so hainous, for there is no more proporti­on between our sins and Christs merits apprehended by faith, then there is (to use Tullies phrase inter Sillam muriae, & mare Aegeum, between a drop of brine and the Aegean, nay the whole Ocean Sea.

For as Rahab the Harlot was saved by reason of a red thred which was tied to her window when Jericho was destroyed: so (be thou ten thousand times worse then ever Rahab was, if the red thred of Christs bloody passion be tyed to the window of thy heart by faith, doubt not but thou shalt be saved, though not Ieri­cho, but the whole world should be destroyed.

But without this faith, our legal sorrow will availe nothing, our confession nothing, our satisfaction will profit nothing, for as a plaster be it never so excellent, if as soone as it is laid upon a sore, it be wiped off, will not heale the sore: and as a potion be it never so precious, if as soone as it be drunke, it be vomited up again, will not [...] he inward maladies that are in a mans bodie: So the pre­cious plaster of Christs merits will not heal the wounds of our soules, if it be wiped off by unbeliefe, nor will the Soveraign po­tion of his merits cure our inward maladies, if they be vomited up by incredulitie.

[Page 103] I have read somewhere of a Lacedemonian, who riding on his way, hapned to finde a dead man, and not knowing perfectly that he was dead, he alighted from his horse to trie whether he could make him stand, when he could not, but the dead fell sometime this way, and sometime that, he said to himself, de [...]st profecto aliquid intus, there is something wanting within that should keep him up, he said truly, for his soul was wanting a man without faith, be he never so sorrowfull for his sinnes, make he never so ample a con­fession of them, be he pressed even to the mouth of hel with a dole­full remembrance of his iniquities, yea though he could say the whole Bible on his fingers ends, he is never able to stand in judge­ment, nor to make answer before the Lord in the congregation of the righteous, and no marvell for by faith wee stand, 2 Cor. 1. 24. and therefore it stands us all upon for the best of as all hath but fidem implicitam, I mean a weake and imperfect faith, to pray with the Apostles, O Lord encrease our faith, and with the father of the possessed child, Lord I believe, help my unbeliefe.

PSAL. 82. 6, 7.‘I have said, ye are Gods; but yee shall die like men.’

THere are three sorts of men, who, if they be faithfull in their places, and follow the directi­on of their books, are the chief pillars, to sup­port a Christian common-wealth: the Physiti­an, the Divine, and the Magistrate. These three are in the body politick, as the three prin­cipall parts, the liver, the heart, and the braine, are in the body of man. The Physitian is the liver, the Divine is the heart, and the Magistrate is the brain of the common-wealth. The liver is called the beginning of the natural faculty; it segrega­teth the humours, it ingendreth alimental bloud, and by veins sends it into each part of the body, whereby the whole is nou­rished, and preserved. Like unto it is the Physitian, who purgeth the body of man, from such noxious humours, as whereby it may be endangered, and prescribeth such a diet, as whereby it may be best nourished, and kept in health. The heart is called the begin­ning of the vital faculty, it ingendreth the vital spirits, and by arteries sendeth them into every particular member. To which I compare the Divine. For as the heart is the fountain of the vital spirits, and the beginning of the vital faculty: so is the Divine the fountain and beginning, though not [...] of generation, nor [...] of radication, yet [...] (to use the Physitians terms) of the dispensation of the true vital spirit. Hee is the means to make thee, of a natural man (such as the Physitian leaveth thee) a spiritual substance. The brain, which is called the beginning of the animal faculty, is the chief commander of the whole: it sit­teth in the highest room, as in a stately palace, being compassed about with the pericranium, the cranium and the two meninges, as [Page 106] so many strong castles, and countermures, against all forrain inva­sion. It hath the five externall senses as intelligencers, to give no­tice, what is done abroad, the common sense, the phantasie, and the understanding as privy counsellers, the memory as a book of records. But yet it is not idle, but is continually busied in temper­ing the spirits received from the heart: which it sendeth by the nerues, through the whole body, thereby giving sense, and mo­tion to every part. A fit embleme of a good Magistrate, who as he hath his forts, and guard, and counsellours, and records, &c. so must he remember that he hath not these for his own proper use, but for the whole, and therefore should bestir himself, for bene­fitting the whole, especially in tempering the spirits received from the heart; I mean in using those spiritual admonitions, and instru­ctions, which he shall receive from the minister of the Gospel, for the good, and benefit of all those that are under him. As the body is in best estate, when all these are well disposed, so it is most miserable, when there is a dyscrasie, and distemperature in any of them. So in the state likewise: Wo unto that Common-wealth where the Physitian for wholsome physick ministreth hemlock: and the Divine, for sound doctrine, broacheth heresie, and the Ma­gistrate turneth justice into wormwood. Of all these three, the brain is subject to most diseases: and of all these three, the Ma­gistrate is most obnoxious to fals; both because he hath many in­eitements unto sin, which others want; and because he is depri­ved of a benefit, which others have, that is, he is not so freely re­proved for his offences, as commonly others are; And lastly be­cause of those Cubiculares consiliarij, (as Lipsius cals them) tinea & sorices Palatij, Polit. l. 3. c 9. (as Constantine tearmed them) the very mothes and rats of a court, which live by other mens harmes; à quibus bonus, Vopis [...]. in Aureliano. prudens, cautus venditur imperator, (as Dioclesian an ill Em­perour said well) which sell the magistrates favours, as if one would sell smoak,Lamprid. Ant. Heliog. (as did Zoticus the faire promises of Helioga­balus) and are alwayes ready, for their own advantage, to give an applause unto his worst actions. By these he is ledde whither­soever they will have him,

Ducitur ut nervis alienis mobile lignum,

Even as an arrow is led by the bow-string. Therefore David in this [Page 107] Psalm maketh a sharp sermon against the corruption of Magi­strates, out of which I have made choyce of this one branch. I have said, yee are Gods; but ye shall die like men. As if he had said: truth it is, your authority is great, your power extraordi­nary,Psal. 75. 6. (ye are Gods) yet set not up your horns on high, and speak not with a stiffe neck, ye are no transcendents, ye have no more rea­son to boast of your superiority, then the moon hath to bragge of the light, which she borroweth from the sunne, or the wall of the beam, which it receives in at the window; ye have it only from me (I have said:) and though ye be Gods, yet ye are but earthly Gods, ye are Gods in office, not Gods in essence, ye are made of the same metal that others are, and your end shall be like other mens (you shall die like men.) In which words, not to stand upon the di­vers acceptions of any of them, may it please you to observe these three points. 1. The party from whom Magistrates receive their authority, it is from God, (I have said) and Gods saying is his doing. 2. Their preheminence above others, in that they are cal­led Gods (ye are Gods) 3. The limitation of their dignity, ye shall die as men. Out of which I collect these three propositions. 1. Magistrates and Judges of the earth do receive their authority from God. 2. They are Gods deputies to minister justice, and to judge between party and party. 3. Though they be extolled above their brethren according to their office, yet they must die as other men: where is implied this general conclusion, that it is the lot of all men, once to die. These are the pillars of my intended discourse: of which while I shall plainly entreat, in the same order, that I have now proposed them, I beseech you all to afford me your Christian attention.

2. Of all the corporeal creatures that God made,1 Part. none is more exorbitant then man. The highest moveable is constant in his mo­tion. He doth not hasten, nor neglect his course. The Sunne is precise in his course under the Ecliptick line, and turneth not an hair breadth,Psal. 19. 5. unto the right hand or unto the left, but cometh forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber, and rejoyceth as a gyant to run his race. The rest of the Planets, though they turn to both sides of the Zodiacke, and are (the most of them) sometimes direct, and sometimes stationarie, and sometimes retrograde (as Astronomers speak) by reason of their motion in their imaginary Epicicles, yet [Page 108] they have their constancie in this inconstancie. Thou (O God) hast given them a law that shall not be broken. The elements keep themselves within their bounds. The beasts of the forrest, in their kinde, have their policie, and society. The raging sea goes not beyond his limits:Job. 38. God hath bound it (to use Jobs words) as a child in swadling bands: he hath given it doores, and barres, and said unto it, hither shalt thou go, and thou shalt go no further, here shalt thou stay thy proud waves. But man is more exorbitant then all these: no bounds can keep him in. Therefore God hath writ­ten in the heart, and conscience of every man, that comes into the world, a law, which we call the law of nature: as that God is to be worshipped, good is to be embraced, evil is to be avoided. That which thou wouldest not another man should do unto thee, thou must not do to another man. And according to these general notions, hee would have every person to direct his actions. But this law (like an old inscription upon a stone) is written in the stony heart of man in such blind characters, that he is put to his shifts before he can spell it. And howsoever he understand it, in Thesi, yet in Hy­pothesi, in the particular, he makes many soloecismes, and often­times calls good evil, and evil good. Therefore God hath writ­ten with his own finger a paraphrase upon it, which we cal the moral law, and added a large commentary of judiciall lawes, by the hand of Moses. Which benefit (though not the same nume­ro) he hath not onely granted unto Christian Common-wealths: but even to the heathen also, amongst whom, in all ages, he hath stirred up men of excellent spirit to make lawes, for the better go­vernment of their several states. The best of which did acknow­ledge that they had them from God. Howbeit after the custome of nations, which held a plurality of Gods, they did not all a­gree in one name;Diodorus Siculus. Lycurgs affirming that he received his lawes from Apollo, Minos from Jupiter, Solon, and Draco from Miner­va, Numa from the Nymph Egeria, Anacharsis from Zamolxis the Scythian God.

3. But all this will not confine man within his bounds, for it is true of him, which was spoken of the Athenians, that they knew what was to be done, and yet did it not. And, which was objected by the Cynick, against the old Philosophers of Greece, that they gave good rules, but put none in practise.

[Page 109]
—video meliora probo (que)
Ovid. Met.
Deteriora sequor,—

said Medea, when she was overcome with passion. It is true of most men, though they know the law, how that they which com­mit sinne, are worthy of death,Rom. 1. 31. yet they do not only the same themselves, but also favour them that do it. The law of it self is but a dead letter. It is like a sword in the warres without a soul­dier to draw it. Many make no more account of transgressing it, then Remus did of going over the furrow,Liv. l. 1. dec. 1. which Romulus had caused to be drawn. Or the frogs in the fable of skipping over the Lion, when he was fast a sleep. Therefore God hath added the Magistate, as the life, and soule of the law, as a Captain to manage this sword. Him he hath made (if I may so speak) the summum genus of the common-wealth, by two generical diffe­rences of poena, and praemium, to coarct, and keep his inferiours in their several ranks: that as Jehu, and Jehonadab, went hand in hand together, for the rooting out of Ahabs posterity, and de­struction of Baals Priests;Ethicorum, lib. 5. cap. 4. so the Magistrate being (as Aristotle cals him) a living law, and the law, being a mute, and dead Ma­gistrate, should joyn hand in hand, and proceed valorously, to the rooting out of sinne, the suppression of Idolatry, the prote­ction of justice, and maintenance of true religion.

4. Now that they have this authority only from God, it is a point, which I hope in this place,Jam. 1. 17. I shall not need long to insist upon. For if every good and perfect gift be from above, even from the father of lights, much more this excellent, and supereminent gift of go­verning Gods people, must proceed from this fountain. And to think otherwise is but with the Epicures, to be of opinion, that though God made the world, yet the government thereof, he leaveth to fortunes discretion to be directed by her. One of the stiles wherewith God is invested, is this, that he is the authour of order, 1 Cor. 14. and not of confusion: if of order then of Civil government, seeing that an Anarchie is the cause of all disorder, and confusion in the state. Insomuch that the reason of all the sinnes that were committed in Israel, is often in the book of Judges ascribed unto this, that they wanted a Magistrate: There was at that time no king in Israel, Judg. 17. 6. 18. 1. 19. 1. 21. 25.

[Page 110] It is a miserable life, to live under a tyrant where nothing is lawfull; but farre worse, to live in an Anarchie where nothing is unlawfull. But I shall not need to trouble my self, or to tire out your attention, by heaping up multitudes of reasons for proving of this point, seeing it is a conclusion so plainly averred by the ho­ly Ghost:Prov. 8. 15, 16. by me kings reign (sath the wisdome of God by the mouth of Solomon) and Princes decree justice; by me Princes rule, and the nobles, and all judges of the earth. As if he had said: it is not by the wit, and policie of man, that the governments of states is committed unto kings, and other inferiour Magistrates: it is ef­fected by the wisdome, and providence of God. With which the Apostle agreeth,Rom. 13. 1. when he tels us, that there is no power but of God, and the powers that be, are ordained of God. It was sometime said of Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. 5. 19. that great king of Babylon, that whom hee would, he pulled down, and whom he would, he set up. But it is al­wayes true of the king of heaven, who is


the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; he pulleth down one, and setteth up an other, he disposeth of their rooms, at his plea­sure.Prov. 21. 1. For if the hearts of kings, much more their kingdomes, are at his disposition. This is a truth to which the very heathen them­selves have subscribed.2 Chr. 9. 8. It was God alone that did exalt Solomon unto the throne of his father David, so the Queen of the South affirmed; that did exalt Cyrus to the kingdomes of the earth, so he himself confessed.2 Chr. 36. 23. Agreeing with that of the prophet David, Promotion comes not from the East, Psal. 71. 7, 8. nor from the West, no nor yet from the South. And why? God is the judge, he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

5. And is this true?1 Use. Here then first the Anabaptists come to be censured, which withdraw their necks from the yoke of civil go­vernment, and condemn it, as not beseeming the liberty of a Chri­stian man. A lesson which they never learned from the prophet Esay, who foretold, that in the time of the gospel (an assertion which they cannot away with; for though they graunt, that the Jewes, at Gods appointment, had their Magistrates, yet they think it not fit for a Christian to be subject to such slavery) in the time [Page 111] I say of the Gospel he will appoint kings to be patrons, and pro­pugnators of his Church.Isa. 49. 23. Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and Queens shall be thy nurses. Nor from our Saviour Christ, who though he told his disciples,Luk. 22. 25. when they strove for superiority amongst themselves, that one of them should not domineer over a­nother, as did the kings of the nations; yet it was never his mea­ning to withdraw them from obedience to superiour governours, but that Caesar should have that which did belong to Caesar. Mat. 22. 21. Nor from Peter, 1 Pet. 2. 17. who commands us to honour the King. Nor from Paul, who commands us to pray for Kings, 1 Tim. 2. and all that are in authority, and that to this end, that we may lead a quiet, and peaceable life in all godlinesse, and honesty. God knowes better what is meet for Christians then the Anabaptists do. Hee knowes that wee are strangers on earth, and not angels in heaven.1 Pet. 2. 11. And being strangers and pilgrims, stand in as great need of these helps, as of fire, of water, of aire, of apparel, of any thing, which is necessary for the sustentation of our lives; seeing that they are not onely the means that we are partakers of all these while they effect, that we may live together in civil society, but also the promoters of true reli­gion, the advancers of vertue, the rewarders of piety, the pu­nishers of sin, the destroyers of Idolatry, superstition, and all mis­demeanours amongst Christians. So that as God said unto Samuel concerning the Jewes, when they disl [...]ked their present govern­ment,1 Sam. 8. 7. they have not cast thee away, but they have cast me away, that I should not reign over them: so I may say of these fanatical spirits, it is not the Magistrate, but God himself, whom they have re­jected, that he should not reign over them.

6. There is an other sort of men,2 Use. who, though not directly with the▪ Anabaptists yet indirectly, and by a consequent, crosse my proposition. I mean the Papists. These do not altogether take a­way the civil Magistrate, but they tie his thums and abridge his authority. It must be only in temporalibus: for spiritual matters, he must have no more d [...]alings with them,2 Sam. 6. then Vzza had to touch the arke of God. This they willingly grant, that the Magistartes are Gods, 1 Kin. 20. 28. but as the Aramits said of the Israelites, that their Gods were Gods of the mountains, and not Gods of the vallies: so say they, the civil Magistrates, are Gods of the montains, and not Gods of the vallies; they are Gods of the Laity, but not of the Clergy.

[Page 112] This is naught in respect of that which followeth. For where­as God challengeth this as a prerogative unto himself, to bestow kingdomes on whomsoever he wil, and placeth the Princes of the earth in authority next unto himselfe, this they have perforce taken from God,2 Thess. 2. 4. and bestowed it upon him, that sitteth in the tem­ple of God, and advanceth himself, above all that are called Gods. It is he to whom (if ye will believe him, and his parasites) all power is committed, both in heaven and in earth. He is that King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, by whom Princes rule, and on whom the right of Kings dependeth: all nations must fall down before him, and all kingdomes must do him homage. The greatest Mo­narch of the earth must prostrat himselfe before him, and kisse his holy feet. The Emperour, if he be present when he taketh horse, must hold the bridle, when he lighteth, he must hold the right stirrup, when he walketh, he must bear up his train, when he wash­eth, he must hold the bason, when he would be born, he must be one of the four that must carry him upon their shoulders in a gol­den chair.

7. And as he takes upon him to give kingdomes to whomsoe­ver he will (like the Devil, who told our Saviour Christ that all the kingdomes of the world were his, Luk. 4. 6. and he gave them to whom­soever he would (whereupon saith an ancient father,Irenaeus. mentitur dia­bolus, quia cujus jussu homines creantur, hujus jussu reges constituun­tur, the devil is a liar, for by whose authority men were created, by his are kings appointed) as he takes upon him, I say, to give kingdomes at his pleasure, so will he take them away when he listeth. So farre is he from that obedience, and reverence, which every soul should give to the higher power. Who knoweth not that Leo Isaurus for putting in execution,Chron. Cha­rion. lib. 3. [...] a decree of a Councill held at Constantinople in his time, touching the taking away of Images, was first excommunicated, and then deprived of all his revenues in Italy? That Pope Zacharie deposed Childerick, the French king, that he might gratifie Carolus Mertellus, and his son Pipin? Bonfin. rerum [...]ng. d [...]c. 4. l. 1. That the proud Venetian pedler, Paul the second, by a pub­like edict deprived of crown and kingdome, George the king of Bohemia, because he was an H [...]ssite, and stirred up Mathias the king of Hungary, (his son in law) to warre against him? What shall I tell you of the indignities, offered in our own land, against [Page 113] Henry the second, and John, king of England? or of the buls of Pius Quintus, sent against Queen Elizabeth of never dying me­mory, whereby he hath excommunicated her, absolved her sub­jects, from their oaths of allegiance, stirred up rebellions in these middle parts of Britain, and taken upon him, to bestow the re­gal diademe upon strangers.Psal. 2. 4. God be thanked he that dwels in hea­ven (and, of right, challengeth the authority of disposing the kingdomes of this world to himselfe) laughed all their devises to scorn. So that his Canons, though they made a terrible noise, yet no bullet was felt. And his Buls which sometimes had such a ter­rible aspect, that a whole provincial Synod durst scarse venture to bait them, proved such cowardly dastards, that every single ad­versary hath been ready to tugge them. Much resembling the counterfeit shews of Semiramis, when she warred against the king of India, which, a farre off, seemed to be Elephants, and Drome­daries, but when they were throughly tried, proved nothing but Oxen hides stuffed with straw. Apoc. 16. 7. Even so Lord God Almighty true and righteous are thy judgements.

That I may cut off this first branch of my Text,3. Use. my third and last inference shall concerne you (R. H.) whom the Lord hath placed at the seate of judgement. Have Magistrates their autho­thority from God? this concerns you in your places, as well as the greatest potentate of the earth. And therefore as on the one side it should be incouragement unto you, to hold on in all godly courses ye have begun; so on the other side, it should worke in you, an humble, and thankfull acknowledgment of so rare a bene­fit. Say not then within your selves, that it was not your owne deserts, the excellency of your wits, the ripenesse of your judge­ments of so rare a benefit. Say not then within your selves, that it was your own deserts, the excellency of your wits, the ripeness of your judgements, the deepnesse of your knowledge in the lawes, the integrity of your persons, that did advance you, unto those roomes: If these were meanes of your preferment, yet have yee nothing whereof ye can justly boast, because ye have all from him. For Dei dona sunt, quaecunque bona sunt. Use then your places as received from him, acknowledge God to be authour of your ad­vancement, and say with Mary in her Song: Luk. 1. he that is mighty hath done great things for us, and holy is his name. And so much of the first proposition.

[Page 114] The second followeth,

Magistrates are Gods Deputies.2. Propos.

8 God as he is jealous of his honour, so is he of his name too. He will not give it unto any other, but only so far, as hath he some resemblance with him. I find onely three in Gods booke, (to say nothing of that eternall essence, to which it principally agreeth) which have this name given them. The first is Satan, who, by reason of his great and almost unlimited power, which he hath for a time, here on earth, by ruling & raigning in the hearts of the chil­dren of disobedience, is called a God. The God of this world, 2 Cor. 2. 4. The second are the blessed Angels, those yeomen of the guard in the Court of Heaven, which wait about the throne of God. These by reason of their supereminent offices, are called Gods. Thou hast made him a little inferiour to the Gods, Psalm. 8. 5. which the Apostle, following the Septuagint, trans [...]teth Angels, Heb. 2. 7 The third, is the Magistrate, who, both in this Psalm, and sundry other places of Scripture, is called a God, His master shall bring him to the Gods, Exod. 21. 6. Thou shalt not rayle upon the Gods, Exod. 22. 28. that is, the Judges: implying thus much, that as they have a commandment, and authority from God; so they have, in some sense, the authority of God, and do supply his room. Therefore, said Moses unto the Judges which he appointed in every city,Deut. 1. 16. ye shall not fear the face of man, for the judgement is Gods. 2 Chr. 19. 6. And Jehosaphat to those Judges, which which he had set in the strong cities of Judah: take heed what you do, 1. Use. for ye execute not the judgement of man, but of the Lord.

9. Now then, if Magistrates be Gods deputies, what reve­rence, it behoveth each private person, to exhibit unto them, I appeal to the conscience of every particular. There be many at this day, who howsoever in common civility, they will seem to give an outward reverence unto the Magistrate, yet in heart they scorn and contemn sundry of them: as perchance not being able to equalize them in wealth, peradventure not descending of so ancient a house as they.

Tunè Syri,
Damae, aut Dionysi filius audes
Dejicere è saxo cives, & tradere Cadmo?

It was an old objection in the Satyrist: what? darest thou, being [Page 115] thus, and thus descended, presume to give judgement upon a man that is better born then thy self? yes, why not? hee is now in Gods place. He that lifteth the poore out of the myre, and raiseth the beggar out of the dunghil, that he may set him with the Princes of his people, hath styled him, with his name, and set him in his room.Herod. l. 2. I remember a story in Herodotus, of Amasis an Egyptian king, who, in the beginning of his reign,Arist. polit. l. 3 was scorned of his sub­jects, by reason of the basenesse of his parentage: which when the king observed, he took a golden basen, wherein his guests were wont to wash their feet, and use to some homely purposes, and thereof made an image of one of their Gods, and set it in an eminent place of the city; which when the Egyptians saw (as they were marvellous superstitious) they came flocking on heaps unto it, and worshipped it. Hereupon Amasis, calling the people together, told them, that he was like unto that basen, which be­fore was vile and abject, yet now was worshipped, because of the forme it bare: so he, though before he was mean, and base, yet now was to be honoured, because he was the king, for the persons sake whom he did represent. It skilleth not, what the Magistrate hath been, or what hereafter he may be. For the present, be thy reputation never so great, thou art to honour and reverence him, if not for the mans sake, yet for Gods sake, whose person hee beareth.Liv. dec. 3. l. 4. The story of Quintus Fabius is very worthy the noting. Quintus Fabius was sent by the Senate of Rome to his sonne,Plut. in vit. who was Consul, Fabii. and resided at that time in Apulia. The old man, either by reason of his age, or to trie his sonnes courage, went riding to his sonne: which when his sonne observed, he sent a Sergeant, and commanded him to light, and come on foot, if he would speak with the Consul. The by-standers thought it great arrogancy in the young man to be so bold with his aged father. But old Fabius, who had experience, what it was to be Consul, knew well, that he did no more then did beseem him: experiri volui fili (said he) satin' scires Consulem te esse. It is not for a Magistrate to debase himself: neither is it for others, of what reputation soever, to equalize themselves with the Judge whom God hath placed over them:Prov. 24. 21. whom Solomon would have to be feared; 1 Pet. 2. 14. whom Peter would have to be honoured; Rom. 13. 5. whom Paul would have to be obeyed, not for wrath only, but even for conscience sake.

[Page 116] 10. And this is not only meant of godly and religious Magi­strates, Deut. 17. such as are described by Moses, which make Gods law of their privy Counsel, and turn not aside to the right hand, or to the left: but of wicked and ungodly governours too; such as are de­scribed by Samuel, 1 Sam. 8. which take mens sons, and appoint them to his charets, and to be his horsemen, and to runne before his charets, and take their fields, and give them to his servants, and their vineyards, and give them to his Eunuches. The reason, is, because as well the bad, as the good are of God. The one he gives in his love, the other in his anger. He that gave the regiment of a Common-wealth to Caius Caesar, a milde, and gentle Prince, gave it also un­to Marius, a bloudy Consul. He that gave it unto Augustus, a myr­rour of humanity, gave it unto Nero, a monster of crudelity. He that gave it unto Vespasian, gave it unto Domitian. He that gave it unto Constantine, a religious defender of Christianity, gave it unto Julian, August. de Civ. Dei l. 5. c. 21. an author of apostasie, saith Austine. And be they good or bad, we have no commandment from him, but parendi & patiendi: of obeying them, when their precepts are not repug­nant to Gods statutes, and of suffering with patience whatsoever they shall lay upon us. It was a worthy saying of the mother of the two Garaes, Bonfin. re­rum Ung. dec. 3. lib. 2. when they kept Sigismond in prison, that a crowned king, if he were worse then a beast, could not be hurt without great injury done to God himself. A lesson which she learned from Da­vid, 1 Sam. 24. whose heart smote him, when he had cut the the lap of Sauls garment, because he was the anointed of the Lord: although he himself was before that time anointed to be king over Israel, 1 Sam. 13. 14. and was without cause, hunted by Saul like a Pelican in the wildernesse, and an Owle in the desart.

11. Then to draw thy sword▪ and to seek perforce to depose such as God hath placed over thee, either because they are not suta­ble to thy affections, or not faithful in their places, what is it but with the old gyants, [...], to fight with God: with the curre dog, to bite at the stone, and not regard who casteth it: or, with the rebellious child, to snatch at the rod, and never remember who smiteth with it. The weapons of a Christian, in this case (when such a case doth happen) must be preces & lacrymae, pray­ers, that either God would turn the heart of an evil Magistrate, or set in his room a man David-like after his own heart:1 Sam. 13. 14. and [Page 117] tears, for his sinnes, which as they are the cause of warre, fa­mine, pestilence, and all other calamities, so are they also of wick­ed and ungodly Magistrates. Otherwise they have reason to fear, that,Val. Max. l. 6. c. 2. if God should displace an evil Magistrate, hee would set a worse in his room. According to that of the old wife of Syra­cuse, who when others prayed for the death of Dionysius the Ty­rant, she prayed for his long life, being sent for by Dionysius, and demanded wherein she was beholden unto him, that she so de­voutly prayed for him: in nothing, said she, am I beholden to thee and yet I have great reason to pray for thee? For I remember when I was a young wench, there was a cruel tyrant, that reigned over us; and all of us prayed for his death, I as fast as any: short­ly after he was slain, and then came a worse in his room. Then we prayed for his death, at length he was dispatched. Now after both these art thou come, and thou art a thousand times worse then all thy predecessours. And wl o knowes but when thou art gone, God may (if it be possible) send a worse in thy room? This they may justly expect, which continue in their sinnes, and think by their private endeavours to crosse Gods ordinance. Thus much of those duties, which are required at the hand of every private man towards the Magistrate.

12. My second inference shall touch those duties that are re­quired at the hands of Magistrates, 2. Use. in that God hath made them his deputies. As God hath done great things for them, so he re­quireth much at their hands. But (alas) it often falleth out that those which owe God the most, pay him the least: and those, who of all others should be most careful of their places, of all others make the least conscience of their wayes.Annal. l. 6. Tacitus reporteth of Claudius that he was a good subject, but an ill Emperour: of Titus, that he was an ill subject, Hist. l. 2. but a good Emperour. Where one proves like Titus, two prove like Claudius. Honours change manners. And those goodly blossomes, which did appear in many when they were private men, when they come in Gods-place, like frost-eaten buds, wither away, and prove like thunder-blasted fruit, not worth the touching, much lesse the tasting. It is noted of Aeneas Sylvius, Buchelc. Ind. Chron. that when once he became Pope, and got his name changed into Pius secundus, he condemned divers of those things which he had written, when he was a private man. Where­upon [Page 118] upon one came over him with this quippe, quod Aeneas probavit, Pius damnavit: that which Aeneas commended, Pius con­demned. A fault to which men of eminent place are too much sub­ject, to condemne and dislike those good things when they are in authority, which they approved when they were privat men. Quod Aeneas probavit, Pius damnabit. Thus▪ those whom God cals Elohim, change their natures, and prove Elilim idols, and va­nities.Abbas Ursp. The heathen persecuters (as some writers have recorded) in the place where Christ was crucified had placed the image of Venus, a heathen idol, that if any should worship Christ, he might seem to adore Venus. This is the devils practise, to set an idol in Gods room; sometimes a Venus, or a Cupid, that use their autho­rity for the enjoying of their own carnal pleasures; sometimes a Mars, using his power to bloud and revenge; fomet [...]mes a [...]a­turn, that eateth up his children (that is, his inferiours, which he should affect as a father doth his own children) as if they we [...]e bread; sometimes a Mercurie, who is eloquent in speaking, but withall nimble in fingring, having a smooth tongue lie Jacob, but rough hands like Esau, nay Eagle clawes like Nabuchadnezzar, to scrape, and scratch together whatsoever comes in his way, using his place only for his own advantage. Here is the undoing of all: for, besides that Gods place is polluted, and the people wronged, there is an evil president given to privat men, to follow the wicked example of their Governours. For as the lower spheres, follow the motion of the higher: so in the common-wealth, those that are of an inferiour ranke are ready to follow the practise of those that are set over them. When a shrub, or bramble falleth, they hurt none but themselves; but when a Cedar of Lebanon, or an oake of Basan falleth, down goes all the underwood that growes about them. It is the nature of the plague to infect upwards, from a lower, to a higher room: but the plague of sinne is more forci­ble in effecting downwards, from an higher, to a lower room. It descends from the top to the toe, and from the head to the skirts of the clothing.Mat. 2. 3. If Herod be troubled about the birth of Christ, all Jerusalem will be in an uproar with him.1 Kin. 12. And if Jeroboam be an idolater,

—componitur orbis
Regis ad exemplum:

[Page 119] all Israel will go a whoring after him. And hereupon it is, that ye shall seldome meet with his name in the book of kings, but you shall find him branded in the forehead with this mark, that he made Israel to sinne.

13. God be thanked, we have no great occasion of complaint at this day; especially in our chief Magistrates (and I wish, I might without check of conscience say as much of those, that are of an inferiour ranke) The Lord hath set over us his name for ever be blessed for it) a most godly and religious King, Rara tempo­rum felicitate, ubi sentire quae velis & quae sentis dicere li­cet. Hist. lib. 1. of whom (as Ta­citus saith of Trajane, and Cocceius Nerva▪) a man may think what he will▪ and speak what he thinks, God hath given him (as he did unto (a) Solomon) a large heart as the sand that is upon the sea shoar to judge his people according to right, and to (b) discern be­ween good and bad. 1 Kin. 4. 29. Whose princely care is to observe the practise of the old Romanes, 1 Kin. 3. 9. (c) to set Honours temple close on the back­side of Vertues temple, August de Civ. Dei l. 5. cap. 12. and not wittingly to suffer any to come in­to the Temple of Honour, which have not first done their devo­tion in the Temple of Vertue: not to make his Judges, and chiefe Magistrates) like Jeroboams Priests) of the basest,1 Kin. 12. 31. and lowest of the people;Exod. 18. 21. but such as Moses, at Jethro's perswasion, made Judges over Israel, men of courage, fearing God, men dealing truly, and hating covetousnesse.

14. And such (R. H.) you have by good demonstrations evi­dently proved your selves to be. So that to make any large di­scourse before you, of your particular duties, may peradventure seem unto some, as needlesse a piece of work, as it was for Phor­mio, Tull. de orat. lib. 1. to make a military discourse before Annibal; or for Plotin to read a lecture in Philosophie in the presence of Origen. Yet be­cause it comes within the limits of my text, I beseech you that you, will with patience hear me, while I shall say somewhat of that dutie which God requires at your hands, in that he hath seated you in those high rooms. Many will tell you of the greatnesse of your places; but not so many will truly acquaint you with that which God requires for the discharging of those places. For my part me thinks I may say unto you,Liv. dec. 1. lib. 10. as Lucius Posthumius sometimes said unto the Senatours of Rome: No [...] sum Patres-conscripti adeò vestrae dignitatis memor, ut obliviscar me esse Consulem. I am not so mindful of the greatnesse of your places, that I should in the [Page 120] mean time forget mine own, how that God hath made me his Am­bassadour, and commanded me to acquaint you with some part of his will.

15. It is our parts, and duties, to give you that reverence, and honour, which is due unto men of your place. But yet as the peo­ple said unto the Asse that carried the image of Isis, when the beast seemed to be proud, because the people bowed as it went along the streets, as if the honour had been given unto it, and not unto the image: religioni non tibi, said they, it is not thee, but the god­desse, whom we worship. So it is not to you as ye are men, but as you are in Gods place, and do bear, and resemble his person, that we exhibit this reverence. You are Gods, but ye are Gods on earth, and Gods of earth, as we shall hear anon. Mathematitians tell us, that the whole earth is but a point in respect of the highest moveable: it is no more in respect of that heaven, which is Gods throne,Aelian. Var. hist. l. 3. then Alcibiades his lands were in that mappe of Greece that Socrates shewed unto him. The greatest Judge in the world, if his circuit should extend over the whole globe of the earth is but a God of Gods footstool. Your circuit is farre lesse: you are but Gods of an out-corner, nay, a little portion of an out-corner of Gods footstoole. Let me then speak unto you in the words of the Tragoedian,

Vos, quibus rector maris, at (que) terrae.
Jus dedit magnum necis,
Seneca in Thyeste.
at (que) vitae,
Ponite inflatos tumidos (que) vultus.

you whom the God of heaven, and earth hath so highly extolled, as to make Judges of life and death, be not proud of your autho­rities, but think with your selves, that,

Quicquid à vobis minor extimescit,
Major hoc vobis Dominus minatur.

What hurt soever your inferiours shall sustain by your means, there is a greater God, that threatneth the same (nay a worse) unto you.Psal. 2. Be wise now therefore O yee Gods: be learned ye that are Judges ef the earth: serve the Lord with fear, and rejoyce before [Page 121] him with trembling: kisse the sonne, lest he be angry. Let his word be a law to direct your sentences, his will the line to measure your actions. With what conscience can those hands subscribe to an untruth, which should be Gods instrument to confirm a right? with what faces can those mouthes pronounce an unjust sentence, which should be the organes of God to confirm a right? When you do amisse, you are not only injurious unto man whom yee wrong, but contumelious unto God, whose sacred judgements ye pollute. Give me leave then to say unto you with good king Je­hosaphat: 2 Chr. 19. 6, 7, 10. take heed what ye do, for ye execute not the judgements of man, but of the Lord, and he will be with you in the cause, and judge­ment. Wherefore now let the fear of God be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity in the Lord our God, neither respect of persons, nor receiving of reward. Therefore in every cause that shall come unto you, between bloud and bloud, between law and pre­cept, statute and judgement, ye shall judge the people according un­to right, and admonish them that they trespasse not against the Lord. Let me say with Moses, Deut. 1. 16, 17. Judge righteously between every man, and his brother, and the stranger that is with him: ye shall have no re­spect of persons in judgement, but shall hear the small, as well as the great. Jer. 22. 3. With Jeremiah unto the king of Judah: Execute judge­ment and righteousnesse, deliver the oppressed from the hands of the oppressour, vexe not the stranger, the fatherlesse, nor the widow, do no violence, nor shed innocent blood in this place. And finally with my Prophet in this Psalm: Defend the poor and fatherlesse, see that such as be in need, and necessity have right, deliver the outcast, and poor, save them from the hands of the ungodly.

16. I speak not this, as if I would have you to exceed the li­mits of justice, for commiserating the cause of the poor. I know the poor may offend as well as the rich: and as the poor is to be pitied, so the rich is not to be wronged. And he that hath given this law unto the Magistrate, that he should not respect the person of the mighty, Lev. 19. 15. hath given this also, that he should not favour the person of the poor. It is not the misery of the one, nor the felicity of the other, that the Judge is to respect. For the matters in question, sound them to the bottome, anatomize them to the least particle, and sift them to the branne: but for the parties whom they do concern farther then this, that ye are to judge [Page 122] between a man and a man, [...] of [...]. ye ought not to enquire. The law in the Greek tongue comes from a verb that signifieth to divide, be­cause it divideth to every man, that which is his own. You then which are dispensers of the law should give to every one, poor or rich,Arist. Eth. l. 5. [...]4. that which is his right. Hereupon it is that Aristotle cals the Judge in commutative justice [...], or as some copies have it [...] medianus, or medijurus, a mean between two; be­cause he should not propend to the one party, more then the o­ther, but only so farre as the weight of the cause carrieth him, and should give to every man that which is his right, and that not ac­cording to geometrical, but according to arithmetical proportion: that is, not with Xenophons young Cyrus give the greater coat unto the greater man, and the lesser coat unto the lesser man, but to give the greater coat (if it be his due) unto the lesser man, and let the greater man (if he have right to no more) be contented with the lesser coat.

17. But the principal thing, which it beseemeth me to put you in mind of, and which is chiefly required at your hands, as ye are factors for the God of heaven, is the care of religion, and the true worship of God. Nothing is so dear unto God, as his own worship. He that toucheth it, wounds him to the heart, and pierceth the apple of his eye. It is an injurie which he will not put up at the hands of any man, but will come against him, as the fire that burneth up the stubble, and as the hammer that breaketh a stone. Therefore it most neerly concerneth you, who are his depu­ties, to maintain his service, and to put what strength you can unto the hammer of justice, that ye may (as farre as the lawes will give you leave) burst into pieces, whatsoever shall advance it selfe a­gainst his worship.

18. The sicknesses in religion, that are amongst us, are not No­vatianisme, Brownisme, Catharisme. No, no: these hot phrenzies are scarse heard of in this cold climat wherein we live. They are cold Epilepsies and dead Apoplexies, and sleepy Lethargies, and dangerous Consumptions, that vexe us. The main root, whence they all spring, is a disease, with which this land is sick. And that is the bold profession of Popery: for hereby the true Christian are mightily discouraged, those that are infected with Romish supersti­tion take occasion, by little and little, to fall away from us; The [Page 123] ignorant are doubtful, and know not what to do, but are ready to embrace any religion, or no religion, as time and occasion shall require; The Atheist (a vermine wherewith this whole country swarmes, though they cannot be well discovered, by reason that they wear vizards upon their faces) is hardned and heartned in his impiety.

For us, we do what we can to cut in sunder this bitter root. Gladly would we heal them of Babylon, but they will not be healed. For our privat conferences with any of them, if they want wit to answer our reasons, they have will to let them alone. For our publike work of the ministery, lest we should catch some of them they will not come within the compasse of our nets. The last wea­pon of the Church is fulmen excommunicationis, to drive them out of our Synagogues. And what care they for this, who will not come in them, no, when we do entreat them? they count it but brutum fulmen, a thunderclap, without a bolt, a canon-shot with­out a bullet: it hurts them no more then the dart which old Pria­mus in the Poet shot at Pyrrhus:

—Quod protinus aere repulsum,
Virg. Aenl. l. 2.
In summo clypei, nequidquam umbone pependit.

Further then this we cannot go: the weapons of our warfare are spiritual. Coactive jurisdiction is beyond our spheare. What is now behind? Vbi desinit Philosophus, incipiat medicus; where the word leaves them, let the sword find them. Brachium seculare, was the help, and assistance that the holy fathers of the Council of Constance implored against the poor Hussites. And brachium se­culare is the help and assistance, that we implore against these Ca­naanites, that are amongst us. Which (howsoever unto the halting Mephibosheths, and lukewarme Laodiceans of our time, which can blow both cold and hot out of the same mouth: and wear linnen and wollen in the same garment, and yoke an oxe, and an asse in the same plowe, and care not if their fields be sown with mingled seeds, they be never a whit noysome: yet unto the true Israelite, they are thorns in his sides, Num. 33. 55. and pricks in his eyes; and gives him just occasion to exhibit that bill of complaint against them which the Jewes framed most falsly against the Apostle, Act. 21. 28. ye men of Israel (nay [Page 124] yee Gods of Israel) help, these are the men that teach all men every where, against the people, and the law, and this place. Moreover they have brought (not Grecians, as it is in the text, but a more pestilent sect) Romanes into the land, and have polluted this holy place.

19. I speak not only of those children of Babylon, those sons of Belial, the followers of the beast, the viperous brood of Rome, the Seminary Priests and Jesuites, that crawle in every quarter of this land,Exod. 8. like the frogs of Egypt; and travel sea and land, to make one of their own profession, Mat. 23. 15. that he may be two-fold more the child of the devil, then they themselves are: but also of these limmes of Antichrist, these factors, and panders for the great whore, that are at home, and sit under their own fig-trees, and drink the water of their own cisterns.Cic. 2. Cat. Quos video volitare in fo­ro, quos stare ad curiam. quos etiam venïre in senatum, as the O­rator speaks. These, these are nostri fundicalamitas, the very moths of our region,Ps. 45. 4. and the cankarworms of our religion. Wherefore gird you with your swords, Jud. 8. 20. upon your thighes, and be not faint heart­ed (like Jether the first born of Gideon) but let your right hand teach you terrible things. No doubt but they will complain of cruelty, and persecution (they do that already, when they have no cause) but let not that discourage you, but rather let it be a means that they may have the same law,Tull. Pro. Roscio. which the old Capitolian dogs had: when they barked without a cause, their legs were to be broken. If the difference between them and us, be de lanâ capri­nâ, about toyes and trifles, let them be ashamed of their bloudy cruelty, that have butchered, and massacred so many thousands of our brethren, for toyes and trifles. Yea, and let us be ashamed likewise, that have continued so long in schisme; and division from the Roman Church for matters of so small moment. If they be (as I take them to be) fundamental points of Christianity, (alas) what worldly respect shall be sufficient to cool the heat of our zeale in Gods cause? If our religion be a new religion, and theirs the old, and Catholique, let us forsake our new-fangles, and joyne with them. The old, is the true religion. If ours be the old, and Catholique religion, which the Apostles have taught us, the mar­tyrs have confirmed unto us, and the faithful till this day have maintained and taught: and theirs a new and an upstart religion, [Page 125] an hotch-potch and Pandora, composed of all the religions in the world, scarce heard of (for any material point of difference be­tween them and us) in the Church of God, for six hundred years after Christ: let them pare away these rotten rags, these filthy and menstrous clouts, Is. 64. 6. and beggarly rudiments, and let them joyn with us.Gal. 4. 9. E [...]ther let us all swear by God, Zeph. 1. 5. or all by Malcham. Either let us all serve God, or all Baal; if God be God, let us all follow him, if Baal be God, let us all go after him.

20. I know what some will be ready to answer me, though in matters of religion they be different from us, yet for civil du­ties they will be subjects good enough. You say true, sir, and so the kite will be a dove good enough:Isto pacto & milvvs quando pullos rapere territus non po­tuerit colum­bum se nomi­nat. Aug. con­tra lit. Petil. lib. 2. c. 83. but wote ye when▪ marry when he cannot seaze upon a chicken, and make her his prey, as Augustins speaks. Is it likely that he will be true to an earthly king, that in matters of religion is his opposite, who is false to the King of Heaven? Philosophers, though they hold that it is not the same vertue that makes bonum virum, and bonum civem, yet the best of them agree in this principle, that he cannot be bo­nus civis, good in the duties of civil policy, which is not first bo­nus vir, perfect in the general duties of morality: neither can he be true in practising the virtues of the second table, which is false in the first. Dost thou think, that the oath of Allegiance is a band of sufficient force to tie a Papist in true allegiance unto his Prince?

Quo teneas vultum mutantem Protea nodo?

Canst thou binde Proteus, that turns himself into every shape? Or canst thou make a coat for the moon, that is never at a stay? Was there ever oath so wisely contrived, so religiously taken, but the slippery snakes, and stretching horse-leaches of Rome, could find some chink to creep out at? or their Holy Father, out of his Papal, and transcendent power can dispense with it, or cut it, as Alexander did Gordians knot,Justin. l. 11. or break it,Jud. 16. 12. as Sampson did the new ropes, where with the Philistines had bound him, which he brake from his armes, as a threed?

21. Verily I think there is no probability, to be a true Papist, and a true subject. A few simple seduced creatures amongst us, that understand not the mysteries of popery, but onely in a generality, I speak not of them: (and yet I know how easily the young cubs [Page 126] may be taught to learn the tricks of the old Foxes) but for the rest, the time past will help us to discover them in the time to come. To say nothing of their damnable, and treacherous practises abroad against forrein princes, and here at home against Queen Elizabeth of never dying memory, and the breath of our nostrils King James; that one gunpowder-plot, a devise set from the bottome of hell, may be an everlasting memento of their disloyalty.

Accipe nunc Danaûm insidias, & crimine ab uno
Disce omnes—

By this one fact wee may judge of all the rest, as an asse may be known by his long eares, and as the bignesse of Hercules might be gathered by the print of his foot. And though some of them, to make it lesse hainous,P. R. call it a particular fact of a few, and that temerarious too, as though, forsooth, it had been farre from their hearts to have attempted any such cruelty against the Lords anointed: yet it may be truly said of them all, as Tullie said of the Catilinarians, aliis facultas defuit, aliis occasio, voluntas pro­fectò nemini. And he, that in outward shew seems most against it, would have lent both heart, and hand, and put to the very match, so that he might have effected that matchlesse treason. And why should it be otherwise? For what, I pray you, is any▪ Prince in the world, if he do not adhere to the Apostatical Sea of Rome? shall I define him unto you out of their Logick books: A woolf devouring the sheep? Bell. Sand. an Ahab or Jezabel, destroying the Lords Pro­phets; Creswell. an Holofernes, Bancherius Rainolds. a professed enemy to the true Israelite; a Goliath, reviling the host of the living God; a seducer, and decei­ver of the people, as our Saviour was called by their old grand­fathers. And must not such a one be made away by one means or other, by open hostility, or secret conspiracy, it makes no matter?

—dolus an virtus quis in hoste requirit?

Shall not the shepheard do well to kill a wolfe?Jud. 13. 8. shall not Judeth be highly extolled if she can kill Holofernes though sleeping in his bed?1 Sam. 18. 7. And if David kill Goliath, deserves he not to be met with the two women of Israel with timbrels, & instruments of joy, singing [Page 127] thus, Saul hath killed his thousand, but David his ten thousand? In a word, is it not their assertion that Princes must not be suffered to reign, when they draw the people into heresie, but must be made away yea by all means possible. And therefore I lesse marvel, why that reviling Rabshakeh, that brasen-faced fugitive Parsons, who blusht not to say any thing in his younger years, in his old age took upon him a kind of modesty, and durst promise no more for his fel­lowes then this; that there was no impossibility for Papists to live in subjection, and dutiful obedience unto the king of great Britain. For possibility it is not the question, but for probability it is no more, then that the wind, and the sea, light, and darknesse, the Arke and Dagon, God and Mammon, the unbeliever and the in­fidel shall be together. For what I pray you is it, which knits men, as it were with chains of adamant, in love amongst them­selves, and in loyalty and obedience unto their Prince? Is it fear of punishment? Oh no, for malus est custos diuturnitatis metus. He never reignes long, whom every man feareth; Caveat multos, quem timent singuli, let him beware of a multitude whom every particular dreadeth. Is it hope of reward? not that neither. For that is often frustrated, and then followeth an alteration in the af­fections. It is neither of these. It is religion and the true fear of God. This, this is it which knits the heterogeneal parts, of the same kingdome unto the Prince, as the several parts of mans bo­dy are by arteries knit, and united unto the heart, and as the lines of a circle, though they be farre distant about the circumference, yet concurre in one middle point: so must it be with them. Though they be different about the circumference of worldly af­faires, yet must they concurre in one common center of religion. A good Christian common-wealth is like unto Peters sheet,Act. 10. wherein were all manner of four footed beasts, and creeping things, and fowles of the heaven. There are in it all sorts of men. There are nobles flying aloft, like the fowles of the heaven; there are of the baser sort, creeping as it were below; and there are of a mid­dle sort, men of all conditions, and callings. But this sheet is knit together (as that was) a the four corners (the most distant and remote parts thereof) with the unity of religion.

22. This is so plain,Arist. Pol. l. 5. c. 11. that Aristotle gives it as an especial rule for a Tyrant, if he mean to continue his government, to make an [Page 128] outward shew of Religion. For such kings (saith he) as seem to be religious, are in least danger of treacherous practises by such as are under them. Now where this unity of religion is wanting, (as wanting it is, seeing we differ from the Papists, not in a few circumstances, but in sundry fundamental points of Divinitie) how can this knot be made fast? Nay, seeing they are so far from counting any Protestant Prince religious, that they count him an heretick; and the more diligent he is in cleansing and refining his kingdom from the dregs of Romish superstition (as our Saviour Christ was in purging the law from the absurd glosses of the Scribes and Pharisees) the greater persecutor he is holden with them to be of the Catholick faith. Verily I see no probability, I had almost said, no possibility, that they will hereafter prove true and dutiful subjects to the King of Great Britain. They may well make protestations, and outward shewes of love, and duty, and obedience towards the Prince: but Lupus pilum, non ingenium mutat, a wolfe is a wolfe though he be clothed in a sheep-skin; well may he cast his old hair, but still he keeps his own nature. Shall their fair speeches make us believe them?

Sic notus Vlysses?

Is the craft of the Romish foxes no better known unto us?

Timeo Danaos & dona ferentes.

I fear their fawning far more, then their frowning, it was but a frivolous tale, which the people of Alexandria told Timothy, etsi non communicamus tecum, tamen a [...]mamus te, although we do not communicate with thee, yet we love thee. For how can a man love him in his heart, with whom he cannot finde in his heart to communicate?

I am in a field, in which I might course at large, but I am mindful of the time, and will not presume too long upon your patience. Some of our worthies do stoutly with their pens op­pose themselves against these men, and I pray God every Ma­gistrate in his place would be as careful in unsheathing the sword of justice against them. Habemus in eos Senatusconsultum satis [...] & grave; Catilin. 1. we have an act and statute strong enough [...], but daily en­creasing, [Page 129] makes me almost say, as it followeth in the Oratour, habemus inclusum in tabulis, 1 Sam. 21. tanquam gladium in vaginâ recondi­tum. It is closed in the book as a sword in the scabbart, or (as Goliaths sword was) wrapt in a cloth behinde the Ephod. The best that I can say in this case is to use the Prophesie of the Crow in Suetonius, [...],Suet. in Do­mitiano. all will be well:

Est benè non potuit dicere, dixit erit.

Pliny writeth that the tricks of an ape will so vex and move a Lion,Plin. nat. hist. lib. 8. cap. 16. that he will disgorge, and cast up, whatsoever lies on his stomach. I doubt not but their apish tricks will in time move the heart, and stomach of our gracious, and merciful Coeur de Lion, and other Magistrates in their places, to cast up, and shew such tokens of their inward grief, as they shall have just occasion to conceive against them; and to purge the body politick from these noxious humours wherewith it is endangered. And without this there is no assurance of peace. For as Jehu said unto Jehoram, when he went against the house of Ahab: 2 King 9. 22. is it peace Jehu? said Jehoram. What peace said the other, while the whoredoms of thy mother Jezabel, and her witchcrafts are in great number? So say I, what peace can be expected, as long the whoredoms of the Romish Iezabel, and her witchcrafts, and inchanting cups, where­with she withdraweth the people from their obedience to their Soveraign,2 Sam. 15. 6. and stealeth their hearts from him (as did Absolon the hearts of the Israelites from David his father, are in great number. As long as the Pope can set any foot-hold in Britain, he will bestir himself to molest the peace of our Sion.

Et si non aliquâ nocuisset, mortuus esset.

But enough (if not too much) of this subject. It is a point which I vowed to handle; not out of any spleen to any parti­cular person whosoever (he that seeth the thoughts of my heart, knowes that I lie not) but for the love of the truth, the zeal of Gods glory, the integrity of my conscience, and the discharge of my duty. And herein liberavi animam meam: look ye unto it. The third proposition followeth.

23 Ye shall die.) What mettal other creatures were made of, whether immediately of nothing, or of some preexistent matter, [Page 124] I finde no expresse mention in Gods book. This I finde, that man was made of a matter, and that not gold, nor silver, pearl or pre­tious stones, but of earth, the basest and vilest of all the ele­ments, yea, of the dust of the earth, even of dry dust, which is good for nothing: that if he shall with proud Phaeton in the Poet, boast that Apollo, God is his father, he might presently call to mind that poor Clymene, the earth is his mother; that he was made of dust,Gen. 2. 7. that he is but dust, and that he shall return to dust.Psal. 103. 14. And yet I know not how it comes to passe, but I am sure it is true,Gen. 3. 19. that many in authority resemble the dust in no property better then one, that as the dry dust in the streets, is with every blast of winde blown aloft into the air: so are their hearts blown aloft, and swelled up with a windie tympanie of their own great­nesse. But let them climbe as high as they can, God will one day send a shower, and lay this dust. They are but natural men; and the threed of nature (as a Poet feigneth) is tyed unto the foot of Jupiters chair: he can loose it, when it shall please him. Though Adams wit was such, that he could give names unto every creature, according to their natures, yet he forgot his own name. He did not remember that he was called Adam, homo ab humo, by reason of that affinity that was between him and the earth. These sons of Adam are very like their old grand-father, they are witty in seeking out the names, and properties of other creatures, but they forget their own names, and their natures too. And this is the cause why they be so holden with pride, and overwhelmed with cruelties. They will with Nebuchadnezzar, Isaiah 14. 13. strive to advance themselves above the stars of God; and to match their old grand-father, the first Adam, who though he was made of earth, yet with the wings of pride and arrogancie would needs soar up into heaven, and care little for resembling their elder brother, the second Adam, who took upon him our weaknesse, that we might be strengthened: our poverty, that we might be inriched; our nakednesse that we might be clothed; our basenesse that we might be exalted; our mortality that we might be invested in the robe of immortality; and was con­tented to descend from heaven: to earth, that he might make a way for us, to ascend from earth to heaven. But let them secure themselves as much as they will; their hour-glasse is continually [Page 121] running;Ezek. 18. the tide of death will tarry no man. Our father hath eaten a sowre grape, and his childrens teeth are set on edge. Our grand-father for eating of the forbidden tree, had this sentence denounced against him; that he should return to dust. And his children are liable unto it, till heaven and earth be renewed, and there be no more death.

Those great and mighty Gods of the earth,Luke 16. 19. which clothe them­selves in purple and fine linnen, Isaiah 5. 8. and dwell in houses of Cedar, and adde house to house, and land to land, as if the way to hea­ven layd all by land, have a time appointed them, when their in­satiable desires shall be contented with a Golgotha, a place of dead mens skulls, a little portion of the great potters field, as much as will serve to hide, and cover a dead carkasse in it. You which sit on the seat of judgement, whom the Lord hath so highly extolled, as to be called Gods, you have your dayes num­bred, your moneths determined, your bounds appointed which ye cannot passe. It is not the ripenesse of your wits, nor the dignity of your places, nor the excellency of your learning, nor the largenesse of your commission, that can adde one inch unto the threed of your dayes.

Pallida mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas,
Hor. car. lib. 1. Od. 4.
Regúm (que) turres—

Deaths arrow will as quickly pierce through the strong castle of a King as the muddie wall of a countrey swain. Were ye wiser then Solomon, stronger then Samson, richer then Iob, mightier then the greatest Monarch of the earth, faithfuller in your places then Samuel, that faithful Judge of Israel,

Ire tamen restat Numa quò devenit & Ancus.

This must be the conclusion; Ye must die as men, and yeeld your bodies to deaths Serjeant, to be kept prisoners in the dungeon of the earth, till the great and general assizes that shall be holden by our Saviour Christ, in the clouds of the skie, at the last day. The conclusion is most certain, howsoever the premises be fallible, and doubtful.Seneca. Alexander, when by his followers he was called a God, forgot that he was to die as a man, till by a poysoned ar­row he was put in minde of his mortality, and then he confessed [Page 132] the truth: Vos me Deum esse dixistis, sed jam me hominem esse sentio. You said that I was a God, but now I perceive I am but a man. And shortly after he perceived it with a witnesse, when he was poysoned by Antipater, and then inclosed in a small parcel of ground, whose aspiring mind the whole world could not fil.

Cui satis ad votum non essent omnia terrae
terra modò sufficit octo pedum.
Hen. 2 Regis Angl.

He, whom the whole earth could not content, was at length con­tented with a parcel of ground of eight, yea, of six foot long. Herod when upon a day he was arrayed in royal apparel,Act. 12. and sate on the bench, and gave such an excellent charge, that the people cried.

—non vox hominem sonat—

It is the voyce of God, and not of man, immediatly after proved neither God nor man. For he was eaten up of wormes, and gave up the Ghost. Rare examples for the Gods of the earth, to look down into their own bosomes, and to remember that they must die as men. It is a good custome of the Emperour of the Abysse­nes (Prester John) to have every meal, for the first dish, that comes on his table, a dead mans skull, to put him in mind of his mortality. So was that which was used by Philip: namely, to have a boy every day to put him in mind, that he was to die as a man.Munst. Cos­mogr. Not much unlike was the old practise of the Egyptians, who when their Princes went to banquet, used to beare before them the picture of a dead man, to put them in mind of their mor­tality.

24. Seeing then that ye must die, study to have your accounts in readinesse, that whensoever the Lord shall call you hence, hee may finde you provided. Be faithfull in those high rooms where­in God hath placed you.2. Chr. 19. 6. Ye execute not the judgements of man, but of the Lord. Aske counsel therefore of God, and weigh your proceedings in the ballance of the sanctuary. Do nothing but what God commands you, and the testimony of a good conscience will warrant to be lawful, remembring that ye must one day (God knowes how soon that day will come) be summoned to appear before the common Judge of all flesh; who is a burning, and con­suming [Page 133] fire, Hab. 12. 29. who is not blinded with secret closenesse, nor cor­rupted with bribes▪ nor moved with friends, nor allured by flatte­rers, nor perswaded by the importunity of intreaters, to depart an [...] haires breadth from the course of justice: no though these three men Noah, Daniel, and Job, should stand before him, and make intercession in your behalf. These things remember, and do, and ye shall have comfort in your lives, comfort at your deaths. And when your souls shall be removed from those earthly cot­tages wherein they now dwell,Ezech. 14. 14. they shall be translated into ever­lasting habitations, and received with this joyful, and comfortable welcome:Mat. 25. 21. it is well done good servants and faithful: ye have been faithful in a little, I will make you rulers over much; enter into your masters joy.

25. Like men] It is implied in the conclusion of my text, that it is the lot and condition of all men to die. And therefore as it con­cernes magistrates, so it concerns all others to provide themselves for their end,Eccl. 11. 3. because as the tree fals, so it lies: that is, as the day of death shall leave them, so the day of judgement shall finde them.

Remember this yee that are to be witnesses,Application. 1. to witnesses, &c. for giving testimo­ny unto the truth, and jurers for giving a verdict according to the truth. And as you love and reverence the truth it selfe, as ye desire the benefit of your Christian brethren, which ye should love as your selves, as ye wish the glory of God, which ye should tender more then your selves; let it be a forcible motive unto you to deal uprightly in every cause with every man, without declining to the right hand, or to the left, then shall ye sanctifie the name of God, by whom ye do swear to speak truly, to deal truly: ye shall give occasion to good men to praise God for you, and ye shall not need to be ashamed to meet God in the face, when he shall call you to a reckoning for your doings. But on the other side, if rewards shall blind you, or fear enforce you, or pitty move you, or partia­lity sway you, or any respect whatsoever draw you to smother the truth, and favour an evil cause: yee pearce your selves through with many darts. For first you are false witnesses against your neighbour: secondly, ye are thieves, ye rob him of his right: thirdly, ye are murtherers, ye kill him in his body, or in his name, or in his maintenance: fourthly, and which is worst of all, ye [Page 134] take the name of your God in vain, yea, as much as in you lieth, ye take his godhead from him, and make him who is the truth from everlasting, to be all one with the devil, who is a lyar from the beginning. If ye must be countable unto God, when he shall call you hence, for every idle word that goes out of your mouthes; and if the least ungodly thought of your hearts, in the rigour of Gods justice, deserve eternal death, how shall ye be able to stand in judgement under this ponderous Chaos of so many crying sins. I cannot prosecute this point, only for conclusion I say with Mo­ses, behold this day have I set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, Deut. 30. 19. 20. choose life, and ye shall live. If not, I pronounce unto you this day, ye shall surely perish. The mouth of the Lord hath spo­ken it.

26. You,To Lawyers Atturnies, &c. whose profession is to open the causes in controver­sie, and by your knowledge in the laws to distinguish between right and wrong, truth and falshood, remember that ye must die. And therefore I beseech you in the fear of God, to study to make the cause of your clients sure, as that ye do not in the mean time forget S. Peters counsel,2 Pet. 1. 10. to make your own election sure.

I urge this the rather, because (—absit reverentia vero) I will speak the truth in despite of all scoffes, and I hope such as are inge­nious will bear with my plainnesse,Plut. Apot. if as Philip said of the Mace­donians, I call a boat a boat, and a spade a spade; because it seemeth to be much neglected by many of your profession, who with Martha trouble themselves about many businesses, but anum ne­cessari [...]m, to meet Christ, and talk with him, they scarce remem­ber it. I remember the saying of Demades touching the Atheni­ans, when they refused to make Alexander one of their Gods, and Cassander (who was his successour) threatned that unlesse they would do it, he would presently overthrow their city: the Athenians (said Demades) have reason to look to themselves, lest, while they are too curious about heaven, they lose the earth. But these men have need to look to themselves, lest while they trouble themselves too much about the earth they lose heaven: by whose means especially it is effected, that our courts, do too much resemble the Lyons den, which howsoever other beasts in simpli­city went flocking on heaps unto, yet the fox, that found by ex­perience how others sped, durst not come near it.

[Page 135]
— Quia me vestigia terrent (said she)
Omnia te adversum spectantia nulla retrorsum.

All comes to them, little from them: they have as attractive a force for silver,Hom. Iliad. l. 6. as the loadstone hath for iron. Glaucus made no good market with Diomedes, when he changed his golden armour, for armour of brasse: but many clients complain that they meet with worser merchants, who for a pu [...]se full of angels give them nothing but a black boxe full of papers. Procrastinations, and un­necessary delayes, for filling of the lawyers coffers, and pilling of the poor clients, is a fault which I have glanced at heretofore, and might a thousand times hereafter ere ever it be reformed. For ne­ver was it more spoken against then now, and never was it so much practised as now. Well fare the old Athenian lawes, which (as Anacharsis once said) were like unto Spider-webs, that catched the little Flies, and let the Waspe, and the Bee, and the Beetle burst though them: in respect of them that hold Waspe, and Bee, and Beetle and all, and scarce any can burst through them. But what do I now? Condemn I the law? I do wrong. Is the law sinne? saith Paul (he speaks of the moral law) Nay the law is ho­ly, Rom. 7. 6, 7, 12, 14. and just, and good, but I am carnal, sold under sinne. So say I, is our law sin? Nay our law is just, and good. Here is the break­neck of all: too many of our Solliciters, Atturnies, and learned Scribes, are meerly carnal and sold under sinne, using it not to that end for which it is ordeined, the glory of God, and the peace of the common-wealth. But as the fowler doth his net, for catching of plovers to inrich themselves withal: making that which should be for the common good, a Monopolie for themselves, a profession of mockerie, and a meer shop of most horrible, and de­testable covetousnesse.

But it is the worst thriving in the world to rise with an other mans fall. It was a short, but a sharp quip, which a captive gave unto Pompey the great, Nostrâ misiriâes Magnus, It is our misery that gave thee thy surname. It is so in this case, Nostrâ miseriâ es Magnus, may the client say to his counsellour. As the swelling of the splene argueth the consumption of other parts: so the in­riching of the lawyer, the impoverishing of the client. If then [Page 136] his cause be good (alas) why is it never ended? If it be nought, why is it still defended? If the cause be nought, the defence is worse then nought. Understand me rightly: it may be a Coun­sellours hap to be a speaker in an ill cause, and yet he not worthy any blame. The party may misinform him in the truth of the cause. Judgements in the like case may be different, or some o­ther circumstance may deceive him. But where it plainly appears to be nought indeed, by nimblenesse of wit, and volubility of tongue, to smooth it over with colourable probabilities, thereby (as farre as thou canst) to give the truth an overthow, this is but to guild over a rotten post, to call good evil, and evil good, to let loose Barabbas, and destroy Jesus, to make the devil, who is a fiend of darknesse, to appear in the likenesse of an angel of light, and therefore worse then nought. Better with Papinian to have thy head parted from thy shoulders, then to be a common Advo­cate in such causes.

There is a kind of men in the world, who though they know before they begin their suits, or at least before they have waded farre in them, as well as they know their own names, and the number of their fingers, that the matter which they prosecute, by extremity of law, is manifest wrong: yet either out of a ma­litious humour, to give their adversaries an overthrow, or because their ability is such, that it will hold them out, or because others do joyn with them, and make it a common quarrel, or because they love (Salamander-like) to be broyling in the fire of conten­tion, can by no means be disswaded from their wicked enterprise. This matter so wickedly, and mischievously begun, one counsel­lour or other, (that loves (with the Eele-catchers in the old co­medie) to be fishing in muddy waters, and desires alife to bathe himself in any pool that an Angel shall trouble) must manage. He must find some probable title in the law for it: he must as long as the law will afford him any kind of weft, weave it out in length, and when it fails, he must Spider-like spinne it out of his owne bowels. He must prolong judgement, and deferre the matter from one day to another, from one tearm to another, from one year to another, from one court to another; till at length he who hath both God, and the law, and a good conscience on his side, for very wearinesse, be enforced to give it over, or be brought to ex­treme [Page 137] beggery, that he can follow his suit no longer, or till Atro­pos have cut in sunder the thred of his dayes, and so made an end of the quarrell. Well were it for the Commonwealth, if such se­ditious quarrellers, and make-bates were by some severe punish­ment, taught not to delude justice, and oppresse the truth, that o­thers by their example might be terrified from such wicked at­tempts, and that honest and godly men might live in more peace, and tranquillity. If my words do sound harsh to som of my hearers, I must say of them as Hierom saith of som in his epistle to Rusticus, dum mihi irascuntur, suam indicant conscientiam, Hieron. multoque pejùs de se, quam de me judicant. If they be offended with me, they bewray their own guilty consciences, and have a farre worse opinion of themselves, then they have of me. I name none, I know none, I speak in generall against sinne,1 John. 3. 20. and if any mans conscience condemn him, 1 John. 5. 14. God is greater then his conscience, and knoweth all things, and therefore let him goe his way, and sinne no more lest a worse thing happen unto him. My hope is, that all you are of a better dispositi­on. But I kow ye are all men, and therefore subject to the like passions and infirmities that others are. Let me therefore once againe (to returne to that from which I have a little digressed) beseech you in all your pleadings and legall proceedings to re­member that account that yee must make unto God, when yee shall be called hence. Remember that there is woe denounced a­gainst them that call good evill, Isa. 5. 20. and evill good. Remember the end of your profession: it is not to sowe dissention, to fill your own coffers, to make a mart to utter your own wares, to shew your ready wits, and voluble tongues, in speaking probably of every subject good or bad: but to help every man to his right, to cut away strife and contention, and to restore peace and unitie in the common-wealth, that all the Members of the body politick may be of one heart,Eph. 4. 4, 5, 6. and one soule. Even as there is one hope of our vo­cation, one Lord, one faith, one baptisme, one God, one father of all, which is above all, and through all, and in us all. Remember that our God is called the God of peace, 2 Cor. 13. 11. his Gospel the Gospel of peace, Eph. 6. 15. his ministers the Ambassadours of peace; Isa. 52. 7. his natural Son the Au­thor of peace, Coloss. 1. his adopted sons, the children of peace: if then ye will be the sons of the most highest,Eph. 4. 3. your endeavor must be this, to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 2 Tim. 2. 7. Consider [Page 138] what I say, and the Lord give you wisdome, and understanding in all things.

Finally to speake unto all (and so to make an end of all) seeing that we are all Tenants at will,3. To all. and must be thrust out of the doors, of these earthly Tabernacles, whensoever it shall please our great landlord to call us hence, let us have our loines girt, and our lampes continually burning, that whensoever the Lord shal call us hence, in the evening or in the morning, at noon-day, or at mid-night, he may find us ready, Happy is the man whom his Master when he comes shall find watching. Let us every day sum up our accounts with God. Ita aedificemus quasi semper victuri, ita vivamus quasi cras moritu­ri: Hierom. let us build as if we would ever live, but let us live as if wee were ever ready to dye. Then may every one of us in the integrity of heart, and syncerity of conscience, when the time of his depar­ting is at hand, say with the blessed Apostle, If have fought a good fight and have finished my course. 2 Tim. 4. 7, 8. I have kept the faith, from hence forth is laid up for me a crowne of righteousnesse, which God the righteous Judge shall give me at that day: Unto this God, one eternall, om­nipotent, and unchangeable Iehovah in essence, three persons in manner of subsistence, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be ascribed all honour, and glory, power, might, and majestie, both now and forever more. Amen.

Galathians 3. 10.‘As many as are of the workes of the Law, are under the Cuurse, for it is written, cursed is every man that conti­nueth not in all things which are written in the booke of the law to do them.’

IN which words observe two things.

  • 1. A Doctrine.
  • 2. A Reason of the doctrine in the for­mer part, the reason in the latter.

I have spoken of the doctrine: I purpose now to speake only of the reason, for it is written, &c. wherein observe three things,

  • 1. It is to no purpose to begin a good course of life, unlesse thou hold it out, and continue till the end.
  • 2. Its not enough for a Christian to performe obedience to some of Gods precepts, and to bear with himself wilfully in the breach of others. Cursed is he that continueth not in all.
  • 3. That the rule of our obedience, is no unwritten tradition, but the written Word of God, that are written in the booke of the Law.

But before I speak of these, I gather from the connexion this conclusion,

That no man can in this life perfectly fulfill the Will of God: it followeth thus, because as it is written, Cursed, &c. So it is writ­ten, Rom. 7. This doe and thou shalt live,Rom. 8▪ 7. and the man that doth these things shall live in them: So that the Apostle takes this for granted or else his argument is of no force: this is evidently confirmed by many places of Scripture, 1 Kings 8. 49. Eccles. 7. 22. Psal. 143. 2. Isa. 64. 6. Acts. 15. 10. Acts. 13. 39. 1 Ioh. 1. 8.

2. It is confirmed by reason: the first is drawn from the cor­ruption of nature which is in the best Christians; from which wee [Page 140] may thus argue, he that consisteth of flesh as well as of Spirit can­no [...] fulfill the Law, no not in his best actions, but the best Chri­stian that ever lived, consisteth of flesh as wel as of Spirit, therfore he cannot fulfill the law. The minor hath been formerly proved. The Major is plaine, for as he is carnall, he is sold under sinne. The wisdome thereof is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be: Thus it is proved from the the death of Christ; for if righteousnesse be by the workes of the Law, then Christ dyed without a cause, Gal. 3. 21. and if they which are of the law be heires, then saith is made void, and the promise is made of no effect, Rom. 4. 14. for he came to fulfill the law, Matth. 5. 17. which was impossible to be fulfilled of us, in as much as it was weake because of the flesh: Therefore God sent his sonne in the similitude of sinfull flesh, Rom. 8. 3. But the Romish Sophisters answer, that this maketh against the Pelagians, which were of opinion, that a man might by the strength of nature fulfill the law; not against them which hold that this abilitie comes from grace, and that the good workes of a Christian pro­ceed from Christ, as the juice in the branches proceedeth from the Vine.

To this I answer▪

  • 1. That neither the Pelagians, nor these against whom the A­postle disputeth, did altogether exclude grace, and therefore if it be strong against them, it will be of force against the Pa­pists too.
  • 2. Their answer is grounded upon a false supposition as that the works of a Christian doe proceed wholly from Christ; for, they they doe in part proceed from the flesh, and therefore though as they are the workes of the holy Ghost (who applieth unto the faithfull the force and efficacie of Christs resurrection, they be perfect, yet in respect of the flesh they be stained and pol­luted.
  • 3. Christ died for us, not by any inherent, but by his imputed righ­teousnesse (which righteousness is applyed and appropriated unto us principally by the holy Ghost, instrumentally by faith, where­by wee are, incorporate into Christ, and so partakers of his righteousnesse wee might be justified.

I thinke Abraham was as holy a man as Ignatius the father of [Page 141] Jesuits, or Dominicus and Franciscus, the founders of Friers, in whom saith Bellarmine, their very adversaries can find nothing that deserveth reprehension, praeter nimiam sanctitatem, save their too much holiness; and yet it was not his good workes, but his faith for which he was counted righteous. I know that this imputative righteousnesse, is counted with them a putative and imaginarie righteousness, but herein the injurie is not done unto us, but unto him who saith, to him that worketh not, but believeth, in him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is imputed for righte­ousnesse. Even as David declareth the blessednesse of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousnesse without workes, saying, Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth no sinne, wee say that faith was imputed to Abraham for righteousnesse: now it is not written for him only, that it was imputed unto him for righ­teousness, but also for us to whom it shal be imputed for righte­ousnesse, &c.

A third reason, to prove that no man can fulfill the Law, is be­cause all have need to say, forgive us our debts: who more excel­lent amongst the old people (saith Austin) then the holy Priests, and yet the Lord commanded them that they should offer sacri­fice for their sinnes: who amongst the new people holier then the Apostles? and yet the Lord commanded them to say in their prayers forgive us our debts. To this Bellarmine answereth, that we may say forgive us our debts for veniall sinnes, which in this life we seldome or never want.

But I object. Either these sinnes which they call veniall are a­gainst the law of God or not: if the former, then the faithfull doe not fulfill the Law; if the the latter, then they are not debita, and therefore wee need not say in respect of them, forgive us our debts.

This assertion is further confirmed by the testimonies of Hierom and Austin. Hierom against the Pelagians lib. 2. I confesse that there are just men, but that there are any without sinne, this I de­ny; againe, behold the Apostles, and all the faithfull cannot doe that which they would. Austin de spiritu & litera cap. ultimo, Siquanto major notitia, tanto major dilectio, profecto quantum nunc deest dilectioni tantum perficiendiae justitiae deesse credendum est: and de perfecta iustitia, tunc erit plena iustitia, quando plena sanitas, [Page 142] tunc plena sanitas, quando plena charitas, tunc plena charitas, quando videbimus eum sicuti est: neque enim erit quod addetur ad dilectionem; cum sides, pervenerit ad visionem. And in the same book, as long as there remaineth any carnall concupiscence, wee cannot love God with all our heart. Now what these Fathers maintained, was the opinion of the Church at that time. Bernard came long after them, when the Church had gathered much corruption, and was becom like Glaucus the Sea God, who having sundrie parts of his bodie worne and consumed by beating upon the rocks, and the shelves, hath the same parts repaired with shels, and wreck: yet what was his opinion in this point, we may gather out of his fiftieth Sermon upon the Canticles: Si placet tibi de effectuali charitate datum fuisse mandatum, non inde contendo, dummodo & acquiescas tu mihi, quod minime in ista vita ab aliquo homine possit, vel potuerit impleri.

Thus wee have proved our assertion by reason, by Scripture, and by testimonie of the antient Church. Contra rationem nemo fobri­us, contra Scripturas nemo Christianus, contra Ecclesiam nemo pa­cificus senserit. Against reason no sober man, against the Scrip­tures no Christian man, against the Church no peaceable man will judge.

Thus much concerning the connexion: Now I proceed to the first proposition.

It is to no purpose to begin a good course of life, unlesse thou hold it out, and continue till the end.

For to forsake sinne for a time, and to returne againe unto it, is as ill as not to forsake it at all. If the righteous turn away from his righteousnesse, and commit iniquitie, and doe according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, all the righteousnesse that he hath done shall not be metioned, but in his transgressions that he hath committed, and in his sinne that he hath sinned, in them he shall die, Ezech. 14. 24. nay, it is farre worse, for if after they have escaped the filthiness of the world, they be yet intangled againe therein, their latter end is worse then their beginning, for it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, then after they have knowne it, to tu [...]ne aside from the comman­dements given unto them, 2 Pet. 2. 20, 21. And if we sinne wil­lingly after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there [Page 143] remaineth no sacrifice for sinne, but a fearefull looking for of judgement, and of violent fire, which shall devoure the adversa­ries, Heb. 10. 26. And the Apostle elswhere saith, that it is im­possible for such to repent. Judas runne well, but Sathan hindred him, he cast before him a golden Apple, which brought him out of his way; it had been better for Judas to have been a stranger un­to Christ as Pilate was, then to have forsaken him after he was chosen, for though both of them did most grievously transgresse in that they put to death the Lord of life, yet. Judas that delive­red him had the greater sinne, Iohn 19. 11. as it is in bodily disea­ses; so it is in the sicknesse of the soule: if the sick person be well guided, oftentimes there is hope of recoverie; but if while he is in recovering, he by negligence fall into a relapse, his disease is more dangerous then it was before, and for the most part proveth incureable. Even so in spirituall sicknesses, those that sleep in their sinnes may be awaked, those that are sick with sinne may be cu­red, yea, those that are dead in their sinnes may be raised, but if af­ter they be awaked they begin to snort again, if after they be cured, they fall sick againe, if after they be raised they die againe (this is a spirituall relapse) their case is dangerous, if not altogether despe­rate. The reasons hereof are divers.

1. Because such men refuse the meanes of salvation, when they, have been offered unto them, and therefore their sinne is great­er then if they had been hood-winked with a vizard of ignorance, which though it doth not altogether excuse, yet doth it extenuate the offence. This made the Jewes more inexcusable, in that when Christ offered himself unto them, they rejected him. This is the condemnation (saith our Saviour) that light is come into the: world, and men love darknesse rather then light. Againe, if you were blind you should not have sinne, but now ye say we see; therefore your sinne remaineth.

2. Such men commonly sinne upon presumption, neglecting the commandements, contemning the threatnings, abusing the patience and long-suffering of Almighty God; now these sinnes of all others (that great sinne against the holy Ghost excepted) are most pernitious, and therefore David prayeth God that he will keep him from presumptious sinnes.

3. Such men do crucifie unto themselves the Sonne of God, [Page 144] and make a mock of him, they tread under foot the blood of the Covenant as an unholie thing, they make Christ like Sisiphus in the Fable, to begin his worke of redemption anew, after that he hath once finished it, as if the sick person, after that his Physitian hath recovered his health, should of purpose eate such meats as would renew his disease, and that to this end, that he may put his Physitian to a new labour, and trie his skillin recovering him again, or as if a banckrupt after that his friend out of his love hath dis­charged all his debts, and undertaken to be his suretie, he should of purpose runne upon a new score, in hope that his friend will pay it againe; and therefore (this may be the fourth reason) the Lord giveth them over unto reprobate minds, and vile affections, to do those things that are not convenient, and to commit iniqui­tie even with greediness. Now as when the Pillar upon which the house standeth is taken away, the house must needs fall, and when the Pilot is removed from the Ship, the Ship will be dashed upon rocks and shelves, and at length sink: even so when the Lord substracteth his graces from them, they presently fall and plunge themselves headlong into the gulfe of perdition. Hitherto may be added, that those who have once been dispossessed of Sathan, and have begun to imbrace the truth, shall of all others be most assaulted by Sathan, and to be inflamed with his fierie darts, then he entreth in, and keepeth possession more strongly then he did before. When the uncleane spirit is gone from a man (saith our Saviour Christ) he walketh through drie places, seeking rest, and when he findeth none, then he saith, I willreturne into my house from whence I came, which if he find empty, swept and garnished (ready to re­ceive him) then goeth he and taketh seven other spirits worse then himselfe, and they enter in and dwell there, and the latter end of that man is worse then the beginning.

Thinke upon this whosoever thou art, which hast begun to leave the world, and professe thy selfe a scholler in Christs school, beware of backsliding, all downfals are dangerous, be not wearie of well-doing, but (with the blessed Apostle) forget that which is behind, and strive to obtain that which is before, remember Lots wife when she turned her eyes back towards Sodome, she be­came a Pillar of salt, this came upon her for an ensample, and is writen to admonish thee, that when thou art fled out of the So­dome [Page 145] of sinne, which is ready every moment, to call for fire and brimstone from heaven, thou shouldst not with her looke back but (with Lot) hasten unto the hils. The Poet fableth of Orphe­us, that with his melodious harmony, he brought his wife out of hell, but when by the way he looked back towards the place whence she was brought, he lost her. In vain doth Orpheus (I mean the Minister of Gods word by warbling upon the ten string­ed harp of the law, bring thee home from hell, if in the midst of the way thou turne back againe; it is to no purpose for Moses to lead thee through the Wilderness towards the promised Land, if thou long after the flesh pots of Goshen, and account more of the stink­ing garlick and onions of Aegypt, then of the milke and honey of Canaan; it is a trick of the most uncleane beasts to returne to their filthiness, the dog taketh up his vomit after he hath once cast it up, the Sow returneth to the mierie puddle, after she hath been once washed. The Spouse in the Canticles is of another hu­mour, I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them, I have put off my coat, how shall I put it on? she is married unto Christ, how shall she play the whore with others, and so forsake her first love? It is not for a Chri­stian to imitate Demas, first to make profession of Christs Gospel, and afterwards to revolt from it, and imbrace the present world; or with the Galathians, to begin with the Spirit, and end in the flesh; or to be like King Joash, who did uprightly in the sight of the Lord al the days of Iehoida the Priest, and repaired the house of the Lord, but afterwards becam an Idolatour, and slew the Prophet Zachari­as, Iehoida's son, or to be like Hercules in the Poet, who when he was a young child overcame a Serpent which set upon him in his cradle, when he was come to mans estate, he overcame a Lyon, and sundrie other Monsters, but in his old age, he became slave unto Io­le a drab, who had him at her command; whereupon his wife doth thus complain, Coepisti melius quam desinis, ultima primis cedunt, dissimile hic vir, & llle puer; we must not in our young yeares be able to kill a Serpent (that wily Serpent, who deceived our old Grand-mother) and afterward a Lyon (that roaring Lyon, who goes about seeking whom he may devoure) and in the end fall in love with a Iole, the world, Sathans Concubine, whereby he seekes to intangle us, as the Philistins by Dalilah, beguiled Samp­son. Nebuchadnezzars image is no good picture of a true Chri­stian, [Page 146] to have a head of gold, and feet of clay, a good beginning and a bad ending: such sacrifices offered unto Juno are little accep­ted with Iehovah; the first year he offered a golden sheep, the next yeare he sacrificed one of silver, and the third year one of brasse: Such Mandrabuli there are too too many now a dayes, of whom the old proverb may be verified; young Saints and old Devils; like those, 2 Tim. 3. 13. which waxe worse and worse, decei­ving and being deceived, first professors and then persecutors: first Apostles, and then Apostates. Trie and examin thine own soul in this point, and be not partiall in this examination: hast thou sometime loathed the world, and the vanities thereof, and coun­ted them but losse, and drosse, and dung, that thou mayest win Christ? hast thou once abhorred such sinnes, as thy corrupt nature is most inclined unto, and canst thou find in thine heart to fall in love with them againe? To instance in some particulars; doest thou delight in swearing and blaspheming the name of God, a sinne which thou hast sometime detested? hast thou sometime had a longing and hungring desire after the word of God? and dost thou now not greatly thirst after it, nor esteeme more of his Ministers, then of other men? doest thou now take pleasure in dallying and wantonness, in gluttony and drunkenness, in envie and maliciousness, in oppression and covetousness, or in any other vice which thou hast once forsaken? Thy case is dangerous, this is a spirituall relapse, it had been as good, nay, better for thee, never to have trodden in the path that leadeth to heaven, then thus to turne out of the way: the more heedfull must thou be in looking to thy steps, and in persevering in that godly course, which thou once hast begun, and not with the Israelites to start aside like a broken bow in the time of temptation, nor to be like the chil­dren of Ephraim, which being harnished and carrying bows, turn­ed themselves back in the day of battel.

Every block that satan can cast in the way of Hypocrites, will make them run out of the way as did Balaams asse, when the Angel stood before him with a drawne sword in his hand. Is the Gos­pell of Christ ready to be persecuted? then there is a Lyon in the way, they will walk no further; is not the profession of the Gos­pell like a ladder, whereby they may climbe unto some prefer­ment? then they will bid it adiew, Discede pietas, religion be gon, [Page 147] haec non successit, alia tentanda est via, this way proved not so well as was hoped, another course must be taken in hand, worldly plea­sures on the right hand and on the left, are sufficient motives to draw them aside, they must needs divert out of their course to gather a poesie of these flowers, though by that meanes they lose the goale of everlasting felicity; but a true Christian must be con­stant in his course, he must resemble the sunne which comes forth as a Bridegroome out of his chamber, and rejoyceth as a Giant, to runne his course; and yet in one thing, he must be unlike the sun, he ascendeth above the horizon in the morning and travai­leth to the meridian, where he sheweth himself in his best strength at noon-day, but from that hour he declineth, and casteth his beams more and more obliquelie, waxing faint by degrees, till at length he hide himselfe under the western horizon: a Christian must not be like the afternoon sunne, he must still strive towards the top of Heaven, he must never decline: let all the powers of Hell stand in his way, they shall never make him runne away, perhaps they will beate him downe on his knees, but then he fals to prayer; if they bring him to the ground, then he is humbled, and so Antaeus like stronger then he was before; perhaps they may violenly drive him backwards; but yet he will strive against them, and passe through the midst of them, as our Saviour passed amongst the Jewes, when they would have stoned him, dangers before him, ho­nors and worldly preferments behind him, riches on the right hand, pleasures on the left hand, all these shall not make him discontinue his course, but with greater speed to flie towards Heaven, as a Dove into the window, he must keep a streight course like the two kine that carried the Arke from Ekron to Bethshemesh, and turned neither to the right hand nor to the left.

Thus have we seen what a danger it is for a man to fall into such sinnes as he hath once left, to drinke the deadly poyson of iniquitie after he hath once been recovered, to runne into the danger of his spirituall enemies, after he hath been once cured of his wounds that were inflicted upon him, it may here be demanded, whe­ther a man relapsing into sinne, may repent, and so be again recei­ved into Gods favour. Montanus the Heretick denied all hope of salvation after a relapse. This Heresie was by the Novatians, who for their uprightness did proudly tearm themselves Catha­ri, Puritans: The Donatists who were the right Cathari, because [Page 148] they deemed their Church love without spot or wrinkle, refu­sed to communicate, with such as they suspected to be polluted with any sinne. Tertullian who was much addicted to the here­sies of the Montanists, insomuch that in his old age he became a Montanist, granteth, that a man may once repent after a relapse, but no more then once. And of this opinion saith B. Rhenanus were many old writers, and amongst others, St. Austin; but Austin meaneth only that publick repentance, which he calleth humilima poenitentia, and Lombard and the school-men tearm poenitentia so­lennis, which was imposed onely for such grievous offences, as whereby a Citie or Common-Wealth was greatlie scandalized.

And the reason why it was but once granted by the Church, was, lest the medicine being made too common should lesse profit the sick, as Austin speaks in an Epistle written to Mace­donius, in which Epistle he plainly averreth, that a sinner re­lapsing after this solemne repentance, and afterward repenting of his fall, may obtaine a pardon at the hands of God. But wee have a better witnesse of this point, then Austin, even God that cannot lye, who by the mouth of his Prophet hath pro­mised, that Whensoever the wicked turneth from his wickednesse that he hath done, and shall doe that which is lawfull and right, he shall save his soule and live. And therefore be not dismaied, thou faint and drooping soul, which hast fallen into such sinnes, as were somtimes hateful in thine eyes. It may be that Sathan will object the place of the Apostle before cited, if wee sinne willing­ly, &c. for answer whereof thou must know that the Apostle speaketh not of every kind of backsliding; But

First, Of that which is committed with a full consent of the Will (if wee sinne willingly) and this the child of God after his conversion can never commit, because he is partly flesh, and partly Spirit: so that though the carnall part be still ready to draw him unto most hainous and grosse sinnes, yet the Spirit is at his elbow, ready to pull him back againe; it is unto him as the Angel was to John when he was ready to worship him, see thou doe it not said the Angel, see thou doe it not said the Spirit; or as Abigail was to David, who met him in the way as he was going to kill Naball, and disswaded him from that bloodie fact: and though it doe not still prevaile, by reason that the flesh is like an headstrong horse, that can hardly be curbed, [Page 149] yet it prevaileth thus farre, that the Will giveth not his absolute consent to the committing of such sinnes; and again the Apostle meaneth, not every sinne wherein the Will yeildeth his full assent (for without doubt the elect before their conversion fall into such sinnes) but of a generall, malicious, and purposed revolting from the knowne truth, and a proud and scornsul rejecting of the blood of Christ, once offered for sinne, such as was in Julian, who first professed Christianitie, but afterward became a most bloodie Persecutor of Christians, even till his last gaspe: so that when he was deadlie wounded with an Arrow, and ready to yield up the Ghost, he thrust his hand into the wound, and threw his blood into the aire, crying blasphemously against the Sonne of God, Vicisti Galilee, O Galilean thou hast overcome. So that this place is understood of sin against the holy Ghost, which shall not be for­given in this world, nor in the world to come, of which also the A­postle speaketh, Heb. 6. 4 5. 6. it is impossible that they which were once lightned, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the holy Ghost, if they fall away shall be renewed by repentance. In which places, if every relapse, were understood; then who should be saved, for the dearest of Gods Children have sliden backwards, after their conversion. Lot into incest, Noah into drunkennesse, David to murther, and a­dulterie, Solomon to Idolatrie, Peter to forswearing his Lord and Master.

2. The consideration whereof made Constantine bid Acesius a Novatian Bishop (who refused to communicate with such as had fallen after baptisme) set a ladder for himselfe to climbe into Heaven, noting his intollerable pride, as if he and his followers had guided their feet so well, that they had never slid after bap­tisme.

It is very dangerous to commit such sinnes as have been once left and forsaken (as hath been already proved) but yet Gods Children have no particular priviledge. For First, their inbre [...]d corruption; though it be quelled yet it is not killed. And therefo [...]e it is still ready to give them the foile, and carrie them captives to the Law of sin; again, the causes remain, which may move God to give over his Children a little unto themselves, and to permit them to fall, as namely to humble them, to make them more ear­nestly implore his help to shew unto them their own miserie [Page 150] in relapsing, and to make knowne his owne mercy in forgiving, but still he is ready to receive them again, if they returne unto him by repentance. For if he would have us to forgive our Brethren their trespasses (when they turne unto us and ask forgiveness) not seven times, but seventy times seven times, that is, as oft as they offend us: much more will the Lord, out of the bottomlesse depth of his mercie, pardon his children when they fall, if afterward they returne unto him by earnest and unfeigned repentance. And thus much in effect, the Novatians did at length confesse, holding that such as sinned after baptisme, were not to be admitted into the congregation; but yet they should be exhorted to repentance, that so they might obtain remission of sinne of God, who alone can for­give sinnes, meaning that if after their relapse they should repent, the Lord would have mercie upon them: and this is the difference betwixt Gods children and revolting hypocrites; these when they fall, they fall away, but Gods Elect though they fall seven times, yet they rise as often.

The fall of the wicked is like the fall of Eli from his chaire, or of Iesabel from the window, it is a breakneck fall, but the fall of the godly is like unto the fall of Eutychus, though they fall from the third loft, yet they are taken up (though dead) and some good Paul by embracing them with the sweet promises of his Gospel doth revive them: the wicked are like to the Raven which (as the vulgar corruptly reades it) went out of the Arke and returned not, they goe out of the Arke (the Church) and return not, but feed upon the carrion of this world; but the godly are like the Dove, they flie somtimes out of the Arke (the church of God) yet when they find no rest for the soles their feet, they returne again with an olive-branch in their mouthes, like the Dove, I mean with an humble confession of their offences, and ear­nest and hearty prayers unto Almighty God; which when they do, then Noah, the true Preacher of righteousness, will put forth his hand, and again receive them into the arke. And therefore let not the weake Christian be discouraged with the remembrance of such sinnes as he hath faln into after his justification, as if now there were no hope of pardon, but let him prostrate himselfe be­fore the throne of God, and with many bitter groanes crie after this or the like manner. Father I have sinned against Heaven and [Page 151] against thee, I dare not lift up my impure eyes unto the heavens, the seate of thy majesty. I am one whom thou hast vouchsafed to a­dopt to be thy son, and yet I have never reverenced thee, as a lo­ving Father, but like a stranger have transgressed thy precepts, and neglected thy statutes, so that I am most unworthy to be cal­led thy sonne. I am one for whom thou hast given thine owne, and only sonne, Christ Jesus, God and man, the very brightnesse of thy glorie, the engraven form of thy person, the essential word by which thou madest all things, and yet I have been unmindfull of so great a benefit, I have rejected the sweet promises of thy sons Gospel, I have denyed the faith. I have sinned, Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against thee, I am no more worthy to be called thy sonne. I am one whom thou out of the bottomlesse depth of thy mercie (many others of better desert being still leftin dark­nesse) hast illuminated with the light of thy word, hast called unto faith and repentance, hast ingrafted into the true Vine; when I was a wild branch, thou hast made me partaker of thy holy sacraments, and yet these inestimable Jewels, these heavenly treasures, these rich indowments I have set at naught, and trodden under foot: I have sinned Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against thee, I am no more worthy to be called thy sonne. I am one whom thou hast washed with the blood of thy deare sonne, whom thou hast restored to newness of life, and yet I have returned like a dog to my vomit, and with the Sow to the wallowing in the mire: to thee therefore, to thee belongeth righteousness, but unto me belongeth nothing but shame, and confusion of face▪ yet O my God, the greater my offences are, the more earnestlie I implore thy help and the more shall thy mercie appeare, if thou par­don and forgive them: I have polluted and defiled all my wayes, thou O Lord Jesus which art puritie it selfe, which camest into this world to save sinners (whereof I am chief) wash my filthiness, revive my deadness, quicken my dulness, awake my drousiness, kindle my zeale, increase my faith; Lord Jesus I flie unto thee, my soule gaspeth after thee as a thirstie land. Peter deny­ed thee, and thou didst receive him again, the Apostles forsooke thee, and yet thou forgavst them; Paul persecuted thee, and yet thou didest receive him to mercie: David did grievously trespasse, and yet thou O God hadst pittie and compassion upon him, the Isra­elites oftentimes provoked thee, and yet thou didst in thy mercie [Page 152] forgive them, thy love is not abated, thy bowels of compassion are not lessened, the bottomlesse-Ocean of thy mercie is not dri­ed; thou hast protested, and made it to be proclaimed by thy He­rauld the Prophet, that thou wilt not the death of a sinner, but that he turne unto thee and live. Lord, I turne unto thee, receive me to mercie, let thy favourable countenance once againe shine upon me. And when his heavenlie Father shall heare these, and per­ceive that they proceed from an humble and contrite heart, pre­sently he will have compassion upon such a prodigall Child, and fall on his neck and kisse him, and bring forth his best Robe, even the Robe of Christs righteousnesse, and put it upon him, and put a Ring on his finger, and shooes on his feet.

Thus farre of the first Proposition; the second followes, ‘It is not enough for a Christian to perform obedience to some of Gods precepts, and to beare with himself wilfully in the breach of others: Cursed is he that continueth not in all.

There were some of opinion (as saith Lombard) that a man might truely repent of one sinne, and obtain pardon for the same, and yet continue in another; but these did never rightly un­derstand the nature of mortification, which requires a detestation and forsaking of all sinne, and not a paring away of some, which may best be spared: as wee cannot at the same time look with one eye into Heaven, and another unto the earth, so may wee not in somethings serve God, and in other things be servants of sinne: when a man seeth his house on fire, he will not quench some part of the flame, and let the rest be burning, but he will use all possible meanes to extinguish all the fire, lest peradventure if one spark be left, it spread abroad, and consume the whole building. Sinne is as dangerous to a mans soule as fire in the chimny top is dange­rous to the house: he that would avoid the danger, must not cast water in some corner, not medling with the rest but he must do his best to quench it all, and not willingly leave one spark remaining, lest it spread abroad, and he at the length be burned with un­quenchable fire. Christ never healed any man, but he healed him all. Mary Magdalen was possessed with seven Devils, Christ did not cast out six, leaving the seventh, but he cast them out all. And when a Legion of Devils did possesse one man, he did not [Page 153] deliver him that was possessed from some of them, but from them all; to teach us (as the Authour of the booke of true and false re­pentance, which goeth under Austins name, doth moralize the storie) that he would not have us to forsake some of our sinnes, but leave them all, Whosoever shall keep the whole Law (saith James) and yet faileth in one point, he is guilty of all: which place Austin understandeth of love, which is the fulfilling of the law: this Exposition is good; for he that coveteth or stealeth, or com­mitteth adulterie, loveth not his Neighbour as himselfe, and he that loveth not his Brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen. Now of these two hang the whol law and the Prophets. But I suppose that the meaning of James is rather this, that God would have us to keepe the whole Law, and to leave no commandement great or small unobserved. This expo­sition James seemeth to approve in the next words, for he that said, Thou shalt not commit adulterie, said also, Thou shalt not kill, now though thou doest not commit adulterie, yet if thou killest, thou art a transgressor of the Law, he then that offendeth in one is guilty of all, because he offendeth against him, who is the law-giver of them all, and who would have us without respect, to observe them all, and like wise because he is lyable to that curse (though not according to the same degree) which shall come upon such as shall breake them all. For Cursed is everie man that continueth not in all things, that are written in the booke of the Law to doe them. God is not like the false mother, which would have had the child to be divided, he will either have all or none, he useth not to hire by halfes, he will either have all our service, or else he will have none at all, wee cannot serve him and Mammon too, he likes no Mermaids, which are half fish, and half flesh, no Ambidexters shal dwell in his house, no such Satyrs as can blow both cold and hot out of the same mouth, no such Monsters as the Romane Legate saw at Alexandria, which was halfe white, and half black, no such worshippers as those Assyrians, which served God and their Idols, no such Jewes as sweare by God and by Malcolme, no sa­crificers like to him in the Poet, which offered one sacrifice to sum­mer and another to winter, one to God and another to the De­vill. (But alas) how farre are the most from the practise of this duty. Some (nay the greater part) make no more conscience of [Page 154] sinning, then an hungrie man of eating his dinner, as if they had no God but the Devil to serve. Others are like those Easterne people called Coords, which worship both God and the Devill: God because say they he is good, the Devill lest he should doe them harm; these will with Herod fear Iohn Baptist (the Preacher of the word) and reverence him, and heare him gladly, and doe many things which he exhorts them to doe, but they had rather see his head off then part with their beloved sinnes. Saul was contented at Gods commandement to kill the leane kine of the Amalekites, but the fat and well liking Beasts he kept. So these at the commandement of the Lord by the mouth of his Preachers can be contented to kill their leane sinnes, their little sinnes, but they have some fat sinnes they must needs enjoy, these must of necessity be spared. Naaman the Syrian was contented to wor­ship no other God save the God of Israel, but yet he must needs goe with his Maaster into the house of Rimmon, the Lord must be mercifull to him in this point; so it is with very many which would be counted good Professors, they can forgoe most of their sinnes, yet some beloved sinne they must needs enjoy, the Lord must be mercifull unto them in this point, the Covetous man can abstaine from excesse in eating and drinking, but usurie and op­pression, this is a fat sinne, he will not kill it, the Lord must be mercifull unto him in this point: the Drunkard can be contented to hate usurie and oppression, but he must needs drinke till the wine doe inflame him, oh this is a merrie sinne, the Lord must be mercifull unto him in this point: the wanton perchance can be contented to bid them both adieu, but his carnall appetite he must needs obey, this is a pleasant sinne, the Lord must be mer­cifull unto him in this point; these men are like unto those double pictures, which if they be viewed one way, have the fices of men, looke upon them another way and they have the shape of Foxes or Goats, or some deformed Creatures, behold them directly, and you shall see no perfect picture, but a mixture of divers. So looke upon these in some of their actions, and you will take them for good Christians, behold them in other things, & ye will think them wicked Miscreants, take a view of all at once, and you shall find a mixture and confusion of both, but God loves no such con­fusion, the livery of his Children is white, not party-coloured. [Page 155] Some there be that have stept a foot further in Christianitie, and will be loath to commit any of these grosse sins, but yet they have some little sinne which they must needs enjoy, the Lord must be mercifull unto them in this point. Oh said Lot (when he came out of Sodome) Let me flee into this little Citie (Zoar) behold it is a little one, and my soule shall live, so it is with these; when with Lot they are fled out of Sodome, they must needs goe with him to Zoar, when they have left their great and grosse sinnes, they have some little one as they call it, oh let them enjoy this and their soul shall live, but (Beloved Christian) thou must remem­ber what I told thee before, that no sinne of it self is venial, for the wages of the least sinne is death; and therefore thou must be­ware, of these little ones as well as the other: what helpeth it a man to escape the edge of the sword, if he stab himselfe with a pen-knife? to escape drowning in the great Ocean, if he drown himself in a little brook? and what will it profit thee to cast a­way the great Cart-ropes of iniquitie, if thou strangle thy sefe with the smal cords of vanitie? Thou must therefore be content­ed to forgo those little ones, a great beam will put out a mans eye, so may a mote too; a great flame may burn a house, so may a small sparkle, a cart-rope may strangle a man, so may a small cord: a sword will take away the life of the strongest man, and so may a little pen-knife, nay the point of a needle: a Canon shot may mur­ther a man, so may the shot of a pocket dagg; the deep Ocean may drown a man, and so may a smal River. It is even so with sin, the Aegyptians were as surely drowned that laid dead on the shore, as those that were overwhelmed in the deep, so the least sinne without repentance, drowns a man in the gulfe of perdition, as well as the greatest; and let me add this which is a most certain truth (though at the first it may seeme a paradox) that more are damned to Hell for little sinnnes then for great. Why? Because as it is not the falling into the fire that burnes a man to death, but continuing in it, nor the falling into the water that drownes a man, but lying in it: so it is not the falling into sin that damns a man (for then all should be damned, seeing all fall into sin (but cotinuance in sinne and impenitencie. A great sinne may prove veniall, and a little sinne the same kind [...]n mortall. exempli gratia, oppression may be veniall, and the least desire of another mans [Page 156] goods mortall; actuall adulterie, veniall, and adulterie of the heart (unlawfull desire, mortall, shedding of innocent blood ve­niall, and unadvised anger mortal, one of these wee find pardoned in David another in Zacheus, the third in Manasses, and pardon­ed they shall be to all such as truly repent, and believe the Gospel: but these being breaches of Gods law, are in their own nature mortall, and unlesse repentance follow them, they are sure to bring death with them; not that these are more grievous in their own nature then those, or did more provoke Gods wrath, the contrary is true in both, but because they often find mercie when the other doe not, because they are often accompanied with re­pentance, when the other are not, and it is not the greatnesse or littlenesse of the sinne, that makes it mortall or venial; but the continuance in it or forsaking of it, he that continueth in his sin (though never so small) shall not prosper, but he that forsaketh them (though never so great) shall finde mercie. Now many that have been overtaken with grievous and crying sinnes, ha­ving had the looking glasse of the Law laid before them, have been humbled, and upon their humiliation pardoned, and so their mortall sinnes made venial, whereas these lesse sinnes, wherein men walke securely, and never are truly humbled for them, but blesse themselves with the fancie, that they are free of many hai­nous crimes, wherewith many others in the world are stained: these, these I say bring many milions to hell: experience sheweth that many dangerous wounds being timely looked unto are cured whereas the least, as a stab with an Aule, or prickle of a black or prickle of a black thorn neglected, may indanger a member if not life; So the greatest sinne, soundly and timely repented ob­tains pardon, whereas the least neglected as if there were no danger, because of it self not so dangerous, brings death on the back of it. Let then the men of this world (who make a sport of sinne) mince, and qualifie, and extenuate their greatest offen­ces, let them thinke themselves happie, because they are not the greatest transgressors; let them never have any Scriptures but such as sound Gods mercies in their mouthes, but for thee (Be­loved Christian) if thou look to find favour at the hands of the Almighty, though after thy fals and slips, thou art to meditate upon Gods mercies, lest thou be swallowed up with over much [Page 157] heaviness, yet before, to keep thee from falling, mediate upon his judgements and fierce wrath against the least transgressions, lay them open before God, that he may cover them, condemn them, that he may forgive them, confesse them to be by nature mortall, that by grace he may make them veniall.

Thus much concerning the second proposition; the last pro­position is against the Romish doctrine of traditions; wee re­ceive traditions (say the Fathers of the Councell of Trent) per­taining to faith and manners, with like devotion and reverence, that wee doe the books of the Old and New Testament, they meane divine and Apostolicall traditions, these wee reverence and receive as well as they (viz.) if they be expresly delivered in the Scripture, or may by necessary consequence be thence pro­ved: this is not their meaning, but such as are not written, but only said to be delivered by Christ and his Apostles: very well but seeing the ancient received some for divine and Apostolical, which are not rejected even by the Church of Rome, as abstain­ing from blood and that which is strangled, praying toward the East, &c. How shall I know what traditions are divine and A­postolicall, Bellarmine gives me a good rule, that is, without doubt an Apostolical tradition (saith he) that is taken for Apo­stolicall in those Churches where is a continued succession of Bi­shops from the Apostles, where is that, marrie, onely in the Church of Rome. Et ideo ex testimonio hujus solius Ecclesiae sumi potest certum & indubitatum argumentum, ad probandas Eccle­siasticas traditiones, and therefore from the testimonie of that Church onely may be taken a certain and infallible argument for proving of Apostolicall traditions.

This is the strongest stake that stands in the Popes hedge, al­low him this principle, and he will be sure to win the field.

The Protestants have challenged the Romanists at three severall kinde of weapons; Reason, Antiquitie, and Scrip­ture. The first they put off with their nice and aeriall distinctions: the second (when all other shifts have failed them) they wipe oft with the wards of their expurgatorie indices. wherein they deale with the ancient Fathers (and some of their own side also) as Terence in the Poet did with Progn [...], that is, [Page 158] cut out their tongues, that in future times they shall never be able to crie down Poperie, when they are assaulted with the third, which is the fittest that can be used to maintain Gods quarrell a­gainst his enemies, being taken out of Davids Tower, where hang a thousand shields, and all the weapons of the strong men; they put off this blow by their tradition, yea, but traditions are against the Word of God, Ye shall add nothing unto that which I command you, Deut. 4. Yea but traditions are the word of God, though not written, how prove you this? because our Church holdeth them to be such. Et quod nos volumus sanctum est, as Tichonius the Donatist was wont to say, Woe unto you yee Hypocrites, for ye bind heavie burdens, and lay them upon mens shoulders, yee make the Law of God of no effect by your traditions. So ye shew your selves to be Children of the old Pharises, hold on in your courses, and fulfill the measure of their wickedness.

A Sermon preached at the funerall of Dr. Senhouse Bishop of CARLILE.

Job 14. 14.‘If a man dy, shall he live againe? all the dayes of my ap­pointed time will I waite, till my changing come.’

IF for this lifes sake only, the faithfull had hope in Christ, they were of all men the most miserable saith the Apostle, 1 Cor. 15. 19. For, though they be not in distresse, yet are they afflicted on every side; though not o­vercome of povertie, yet in povertie; though they perish not, yet they are cast downe; though they be not forsaken, yet for his sake they are persecuted all the day long, and are accounted as sheep appointed to be slain: but they know that he that raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise up them by Jesus, and therefore they faint not, knowing that their light affliction which is but for a moment, causeth unto them a farre more excellent and eternall weight of glory, and that when this earthly house of this Tabernacle is destroyed, they have a building given of God, that is an house not made with hands, but eternall in the heavens, 2 Cor. 5. 1. If any man be not fully perswaded hereof,John 1. I may say to him as Philip did to Na­thaniel, Come and see: Come and behold a lively picture, a no­table experiment hereof in the speaker of these words, who not long before (if any men in the world) might have taken up Niobe's boast in the Fable.

[Page 160]
Sum foelix,
Ovid. Metam. lib. 6.
quis enim negat hoc, foelixque manebo,
Hoc quoque quis dubitat, &c.

His Garners had been full and plenteous with all manner of store, his sheep brought forth thousands and ten thousands, in his field, his Oxen were strong to labour, no leading into captivi­ty, and no complaining in his streets, his wife was as a fruitfull Vine upon the wals of his house, his sonnes grew up as the young plants, and his daughters were as the polished corners of the Temple; besides this he was so hedged about by Gods provi­dence,Mag. Com. in lib. 1, &c. that the sonne of wickedness could not hurt him: And was he not happy that was in such a case? But, maxima pars est foelicitatis fuisse foelicem, the remembrance of a mans felicity past, adds to his present miserie; For now his Children which were unto him as the Arrows in the hand of a Gyant, are taken away by deaths arrow,Psal. 127. they cannot assist him, his goods and cattels, the externall complements of his former felicity, are violently taken away by the Sabeans, his enemies they cannot love him, his friends (miserable comforters God wot) instead of sweet consolations to his distressed soule, thunder out such sharp threatnings that they doe increase his calamity, and more to grieve him, the wife of his own bosome, appointed by God as a help for man, is now be­come as Dalilah was to Sampson, a snare to him, his own flesh (like a tinder-box, kindling with every sparkle that Sathan doth strike unto it) lusts and fights against him, yea, and God him­selfe hath drawn a curtain before his eyes, hath his face as though he had quite forsaken him, behold now and see if there be any sorrow like his sorrow, his Children have left him, his goods taken from him, his friends revile him, his wife entangles him, his flesh buffets him, God seemeth to forsake him, tell me if his hope were only in this life, if he were not of all the men in the world the most miserable, nothing is left to solace him in this great calamitie, but that which the Poet fableth left within the vessels mouth.

[Page 161]

Some hope remaineth in the crooked and broken vessel,Hesiod. op. & dies. which as a helmet keeps him from blows,1 Thes. 5. as an anchor holds the ship both sure & stedfast,Heb. 6. 19. that it be not dashed by the winds upon som shelves or rocks, as a corke holds up above the waters, that he sink not, and in a word makes him resolve with himselfe, not to be quite dis­mayed,Rom. 8. nor utterly discouraged at these calamities which are be­fallen him, being such as are not worthy of the glorie, which shall be revealed, but with patience to wait when his landlord will come,2 Co. 5. 2. and put him out of this earthly house, and cloth him with that house which is from Heaven, All the days of my appoin­ted time will I wait til my changing shall come: As though he had said, the Arrows of the Almighty are in me, an the venom thereof doth drink up my spirit,Job. 6. 4. and the terours of God fight against mee, which makes me I confesse to send forth some unsavourie speeches, yet they shall neve [...] quite discourage me, nor deprive me of my hope, which shall be accomplished after this fleshly Tabernacle shall be destroyed; for I am sure that my Redeemer liveth,Job. 14, and that I shall see him even with these eyes, and no o­ther for me, and in this hope and confidence I will patiently wait and expect, not for a short time, but even all the time that my soul shall continue in this Tabernacle (which cannot be long) for that houre when this body shall be dissolved, and the Spirit shall returne unto God that gave it, All the dayes, &c.

In which words wee may observe and learne these Lessons,

  • 1. That every man hath an appointed time by God, which he cannot passe, mine appointed time.
  • 2. That a mans life is not long before he come to his full pe­riod dayes
  • 3. Seeing the time of mans life is limited, we ought alwayes to waite, and provide our selves for death, I will wait.
  • 4. We are not to waite some part, but all our life long, All the dayes.
  • 5. That death to the godly and regenerate, is but a change or a passage to a better life, my changing.

[Page 162] These shall be handled in their severall order, but first I will speake a little of the connexion of this latter part, with the pre­cedent part of this verse. In the former he proposed this questi­on, If a man dye shall he live again? not as one denying the resur­rection of the body, but (as I take it) as a fleshly man not fully perswaded, but somewhat doubting of the truth hereof, as in the tenth verse of this chapter, man is sick, and dyeth, and man perish­eth, and where is he? As if he should have said, is it impossible that a man shall dye, and be turned to dust, and eaten up of worms, and turned to grasse, and goe as it were a progresse through a beasts bodie. shall be revived and live againe, if a man dy shall he live againe? The spirituall man which prevaileth against the flesh, makes this reply, that though he doe not see any naturall reason for it, yet he will believe it, and he will defend the con­clusion, maugre all the premises that can be brought against it, All the dayes of mine appointed time will I waite till my change­ing shall come.

Whence this note doth naturally arise;

That in this life, in the regenerate man, there is a combat and conflict betwixt the flesh and the spirit.

A naturall man of himselfe is like a heavie bodie, which in a well disposed medium, moveth downwards of it self without re­sistance, he goes downwards without violence, nay, praecipitat non descendit, he throwes himselfe downe as Sathan would have perswaded Christ to cast himself downe from the Pinacle of the Temple, and doth not descend downe by staires; but a rege­nerate and spirituall man, as he cannot easily fall downe, being holden up with the two wings of saith and hope, so can he not easily ascend, being pressed down by a weighty burthen too hea­vie for him to beare, he is like to the Gyant under Sicily:

Nititur ille quidem pugnat (que) resurgere saepe,
Ovid. Metam. lib. 5.
Dextrae sed Ausonio manus est subjectae Peloro,
Laeva Pachine tibi, Lylibaeo crura premuntur
Aetna caput—

Upon his right hand lye presumptuous sins, upon his left, ho­nour and feare, upon his feet and thighs the lusts and affections of [Page 163] the flesh, upon his head blindness and ignorance, doubting and un­beliefe, so that oftentimes the good which he would, that he cannot doe, but the evill which he would not, that he doth: or he may be compared to a man that swims against the stream, with much ado he gets upward, but if he misse the stroke, the streame carryeth him back again, or to one which ascendeth up to the top of a Hill, with a but then on his back, much panting and sweating hath he before he can get up, and if his foot chance to slip, so heavie is the load on his back, that he will hardly recover himself without a fall: the spirit strives against the streame, to swim up to the fountaine of goodnesse, and the flesh strives to beat him back, and as it were with an easie tyde to carrie him down into the O­cean of sin and iniquitie: the spirit strives to creep up the hil, upon hand and foot,1 Sam. 14. as Jonathan and his armour bearer did between the two rocks, Bozez and Seneh when they went against the Philistims, but the flesh striveth to beate him backward, and to tumble him down like Nebuchadnezzars stone from the top of the mountain;Dan. 2. 45. so that it fareth with a regenerate man, as it did with Rebecca, when she was with Child, the flesh and the spirit fight and strugle one with another,Gen. 25. 22. as the Children did in her womb, so saith the Apostle Gal. 5. 17. The flesh lusteth a­gainst the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these are con­trary one to another: so that wee cannot doe the thing which we would, which is not so to be understood, as though the body fought against the soule, or that these two the flesh and the spirit were locally separated, for as the flesh is partly spirituall, so the spirit is partly carnall, these two are mingled and joyned in both body and soule, and in every part and facultie thereof; In the understanding, there is knowledge mixed with ignorance and blindness, there is spirit mixed with flesh: in the Will there is a willing and a nilling: in the affections there is a desiring and forsaking of that which is good, as Medea in the Poet had be­tween naturall reason, and carnall appetite.

—Video meliora probo (que)
Deteriora sequor;

The reason is manifest: For as a Child becomes not a perfect man [Page 164] in an instant, but groweth by little and little; So after our regene­ration, when we are new born of water and the spirit, wee be­come not presently strong men in Christ Jesus, but wee grow dayly in perfection, wee ascend as it were up Iacobs ladder, wee climb from one degree or staire of perfection to another, till all imperfections be removed from us. For howsoever justification be actus individum & simul totus, [...]eckerm. Syst. as judicious writer truly aver-Justification is an individuall act, and admits of no degrees, yet sanctification comes by parts and degrees, for it fareth with him as it doth with cold water when it is made hot by fire, as the cold is by degrees expelled, so is the heate brought in by degrees, om­nis remissio est per admissionem contrarii: In like manner, as the old man, which like the earth is cold, perisheth, so the new man, heated by the fire of the spirit, quickneth and reviveth; and a­gain, as there is a strugling and mutuall conflict, and encountring betwixt the the contrary qualities,

Frigida cum calidis pugnant, humentia siccis,

One indeavouring to captivate and destroy the other so it is betwixt these two, the spirit indeavoureth to conquer the flesh, but like a naturall agent agendo repatitur, it suffereth blows of the flesh which rebelleth against it, and leadeth it captive to the law of sinne, only here is the difference, that two contrary qualities may be so tempered, as that a mean consisting of both, and not speci­fically distinguished from both, may be produced of them, but the flesh and the spirit will never make one, and therefore the spirit saith to the flesh, as Alexander did to Darius, who offered him half of his kingdome, so that he might quietly enjoy the o­ther half, but as one world cannot have two suns, so one kingdom must not have two kings, and therefore 'twil endeavour utterly to dispossesse the flesh, and depose it from its estate which it hold­eth in man, as Alexander did to depose Darius from his kingdom; it can no more live in agreement with the flesh, then Sarah could with Hagar and her sonne, and therefore it saith as she did to A­braham, Gen. 21. 10. Cast out this bond-woman, and her sonne, for the sonne of the bond-woman may not be heire with my sonne Isaac: Of heate and cold may be made one individuall quality which wee call luke-warme, but the flesh and the spirit cannot be mixed no [Page 165] Christian may be luke-warm,Apoc. 3. for such will Christ spue out of his mouth. Thus you see that so long as a Christian remaineth in this world, so long there is a contention betwixt the regenerate and carnall part, the flesh which like a Zopyrus keeps within the wals of the City,Herodot. is ever ready to betray him unto his enemies hands, it is to him as the Canaanites were to the Israelites, thorns in their eys and pricks in their sides, so that a Christian may say of it as David did of Absalom Even my sonne which comes out of my bowels seeks my life: or take up that complaint which the Prophet doth elswhere; it is not my open enemie that doth me this dis­honour, for then peradventure I could have borne it, neither was it mine adversarie that did magnifie himselfe against me, for then peradventure I could have hid my selfe from him, but it is thou my guide and mine own familiar friend (my flesh) which eatest my bread, that liftest up thy heele against me; on the o­ther side the spirit seeks to root out the earthy affections and lusts of the flesh, as the Hebrews by little and little rooted out the Cananites, it seeketh to represse this rebellion, as David did the plots of his son Absalom. Experience we have in the main pillars of the spirituall Temple; David a man after Gods owne heart, so moved at the prosperity of the wicked that he begins to say,Psal. 73. 13. that certainly he hath cleansed his heart in vain, and washed his hands in innocencie, there is a carnall David, which make his feet almost to goe, and his steps well-nigh to slip, but when he goeth in the Sanctuarie of God, then he understandeth the end of these men; there is spirituall David, which makes him condemn his former thoughts and speeches; so foolish was I and ignorant, even as it were of a Beast before thee. Peter who sometime was so confident as to continue true unto his Master, that he made protestation, that if all should deny him, yet he would never doe it, presently after he begins to follow afarre off, and anon after the rock of Peters faith, is so shaken with the voice of a damosel, that he begins to curse and sweare,Mat. 26. that he never knew him; but presently again at the crowing of a Cock, the spirit is awakened, and goes about to take some avengement of the flesh,2 Cor. 2. he went out and wept bitterly; who more strong in the spirit then Paul was, in zeale fervent, in labours abundant, in nothing inferiour to the chief Apostles, and yet he hath given him a prick in the [Page 166] flesh, the Messenger of Sathan to buffet him, which makes him say when he would doe good,Rom. 4. 23. evill is present with him, and that he finds a Law in his Members, rebelling against the law of the mind, and carrying him captive to the law of sinne; and good reason it should be so, for if the spirit should so domineer over the flesh, then there were no resistance and reluctation, then would we not have an earnest and longing desire, to be out of this world, we would not with the faithfully say,Revel. 22. 22. Come Lord Jesus, come quick­ly, we would not desire to be cloathed with our house which is from Heaven, but would say as Peter did, Master, it is good for us to be here. Mark. 9. 5. To end then; that wee should long after our future perfection, when corruption shall put on incorruption, and mor­tallity shall be swallowed up of immortallity, we find this con­flict in our own bowels, that we may be wearie of this present state, and say as Rebecca did, when Esau and Iacob strugled in her womb, if it be so, why am I thus? Only here is our comfort, that though the flesh be still lusting against the spirit, and we have more flesh then spirit, for flesh is like to Goliath, & the spirit is like to little David; yet the spirit shall be in the end sure to prevaile, as David prevailed against Goliath, for though it be little in quanti­ty, yet it is fuller of activity, as a little fire hath more action (though lesse resistance) then much earth: for it fareth with these two, as with the house of Saul and David, the spirit like the house of David, waxeth stronger and stronger, but the flesh like the house of Saul, 2 Sam. 3. 1. waxeth weaker and weaker, it is with them as it was with John Baptist and Christ, I must decrease (saith John) but he must increase, the flesh which like John is before, it must decrease, but the spirit which like Christ comes after, whose shoe latchet the flesh is not worthy to loose, it must grow and increase, and this is plain, and of this place; for whereas the flesh objecteth, that man is sick and perisheth, and where is he? and again, If a man dye shall he live again? the Spirit replyeth, and puts the flesh to silence, All the dayes of my appointed time will I waite till my changing shall come.

Is it true beloved Christians,Use 1. That the Children of God, yea even in such as have obtained the greatest perfection that a meer man hath obtained in this life, there is reluctation between the flesh and the spirit: Oh then let as many of us as long after life, [Page 167] and desire to see good daies, even life everlasting, and daies which never shall have an end: Let us, I say, labour to subdue this Re­bel, and bring it into subjection to the Spirit; for it is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh will profit nothing: The flesh is like Caligula, (who as Tacitus saith of him) was a good servant, but an ill master: It will be a good servant if we keep it in subjection to the spirit,Tacit. Annal. but it will be an exceeding bad master if it once get the upper hand; and it will use the spirit as the Scythians servants dealt with their masters, who when their masters had for many years warred in the Southern parts of Europe and Asia,Just. l. 2. in the mean time married their wives, and got possession of whatsoever they had; and therefore we must use it as these Scythians used their servants, who when they could not prevail against them with open war, at length handled them like servants and slaves, took rods and beat them, and so recovered their ancient possessi­ons. We must not proceed against the flesh as against an equal enemy; but we must use rods and scourges, we must chasten and correct it, and so bring it again in subjection to its lawful com­mander: It is like the dumb divel, which could not be cast out but by prayer and fasting: we must implore the assistance of Gods spirit (being of our selves unable) that we may be strength­ened and enabled to overcome it;Mat. 17. we must by fasting withdraw its food wherewith it is nourished; I do not mean only our meat and drink, but all worldly delight, and enticing allurements to sin: wanton and idle spectacles they be food of our carnal eyes,Job. 31. these we must withdraw away, and with Job, Make a covenant with our eyes that we will not look upon wantonness; foolish and un­decent speeches be the delight of the tongue; those we must re­move away, and pray with David, Set a watch, O Lord, before our mouthes, and keep the dore of our lips: In a word, whatsoever will be an incitement to sin, and is like to strike fire in the tinder of our corrupt affections, that must be debarred, and kept from them. Let us then use the flesh as the enemy useth a besieged City, observe and watch the by-wayes, that there be no inter­course, or secret compact between it and Sathan, that there be no provision carried by Sathan and his vassals into it, that so it may be inforced to yeild it self, or as the Hunters use Mole and Foxes in the earth, stop the passages that through hunger it may [Page 168] be at last inforced to come out, and leave its habitation; other­wise, if by excessive eating and drinking we nourish it, if by gorgeous and costly attire wee deck it, if by epicureous and vo­luptuous delights wee pamper it, what doe we but arme our ene­mies against us, and Goliath like, give him a sword for the cutting of our own throats.

Againe,2. Vse. Is it so, that in the regenerate▪ so long as he remaineth in this earthly Tabernacle, there remain not some few reliques, but many fragments of the natural man, so that there is a combat between the flesh and the spirit? where then be the Papists which maintain justification by works? Can a clean thing come out of that which is unclean, Job. 14. 4. saith Job? and can our minds wils and affections wherein the flesh and the spirit are mixed together, produce any effect which is not impure and imperfect? and therefore farre short of that perfection and righteousnesse which is required by the Law, I do not say that they are sinnes (that is but a slander of the Papists) but they have some degrees of sins and imperfe­ctions joyned with them, the best come that groweth in our fields, hath some grains blasted, the best fruits that we can bring forth, are in some part rotten, the best gold that we can show, is much mixed with dross, and cannot abide the touchstone, it is an easie matter I confesse, for a sinfull and unregenerate cloysterer to say somewhat for the dignitie of workes in justifying a man, but when we enter into an examination of our own consciences, and find so many sins and imperfections lurking in every corner of our hearts, it will make us crie out with Bernard, meritum meum mi­seratio domini, Ber. sup. Cant. sect. 6. my merit is the Lords mercie; and again, sufficit ad meritum, scire quod non est meritum. Nay if we look up unto God, and consider him not as a mans brain considereth him, but as his word describeth him unto us, with whose brightness the stars are darkned,Job. 9. 2. with whose anger the earth is shaken, with whose strength the mountains melt, with whose wisdom the crafty are taken in their own nets, at whose pureness, all seem impure, in whose sight the heavens, nay the very Angels are unclean; we must needs confesse with Job, that if we should dispute with God, we could not answer him one for a thousand, and confesse that he found no stedfastness in his Saints, yea and when the heaven is im­pure in his sight, much more is man abominable and filthy which [Page 169] drinketh iniquitie like water,Job 15. 15, 16. and therefore pray unto him with David, Psal. 143. 2. that he will not enter into judgement with us, be­cause in his sight shall no man living be justified; but I must leave this point, and come unto the second, All the dayes of my appointed time, &c.

Every man hath an appointed time by God which he cannot passe: 2 Doct. Though Adams wisdome was such, that he could give names to everie creature, according to their nature, yet he forgate his owne name; because of his affinitie between him and the earth, the sons of Adam are like their father, they are witty enough about the creatures, but they quite forget their own names and their natures too, and this is the cause why they be so holden with pride, and over-whelmed with crueltie, they wil contend with Nebuchadnezzar in Isa. to ad­vance themselves even above the stars of God, and to match their Grand-father the first Adam, who though he was made of the earth, would with the wings of pride soare into hea­ven, and care little for being like their elder brother, the second Adam, which from Heaven came unto earth, and took upon him our infirmities and miseries, but let them secure them­selves never so much, the tide will tarrie for no man, for their Father eat sowre grapes, and his childrens teeth are set on edge, their Father for eating a grape of the forbidden Vine, had this sentence pronounced against him, Unto dust thou shalt returne,Gen. 3. and his children shall be lyable to it, till heaven and earth be removed,Revel. 21. and there be no more death. The tender and dainty women, which never adventure to set the sole of their feet upon the ground for their sofness and tenderness (as Moses speakes) have a day appointed when their mouthes shall be filled with mould,Deut. 28. and their faces which they will not suffer the sun of the Firmament to shine upon, lest it should staine their beautie, shall be slimed with that earth which they scorned to touch with the soles of their feet; those rotten posts, which spend themselves in whiting and painting, as though they would with Medea recal their years, or with the Eagle by casting their old bill, renew their youth, have a day set them, in which deaths finger shall but touch them, and they shall fall in pieces and returne to their dust; [Page 170] those which cloth themselves with linnen, and build them houses of Cedar, and add house to house, and and to land, as though they should continue for ever, or at the least as if their journy to the heavenly Canaan, lay all by land and no­thing by Sea, have a determinate time, when their unsatiable desires shall be content with a Golgotha, a place of dead mens souls, a little part of a potters field, asmuch as will serve to hide and cover their earthen vessel:

Cui satis ad votum non essent omnia terrae
Climata, terra modo sufficit octo pedum.

Are not his dayes determined (saith Job) the number of his moneths are with thee,Job. 14. 5. thou hast appointed his bounds which he cannot passe; it is not nobility of Parents, nor wis­dom, nor comelinesse of person, nor strength of bodie, nor largenesse of dominions, that can lengthen the thred of a mans dayes.

Pallida mors aequo pulsat pede pauporum tabernas regumque turres.

Deaths Arrow will as soon pierce the strong Castle of a King,Hor. as the poor cottage of a Countrie Swain be thou more zealou then Moses, or stronger then Sampson, or beautifuller then Absalom, or wiser then Solomon, or richer then Job, or faithfuller then Samuel.

Ire tamen restat Numa quo devenit & Ancus.

This is the conclusion of all flesh, at the time appointed thou must dye, & yield thy body to deaths Serjeant to be kept Pri­soner in the Dungeon of the earth, till the great Assises which shall be holden in the clouds at the last day; the conclusion is most certain, howevsr the premises be most fallible and doubtfull, I say not, that the time of our lives are equally lengthened; or that the dayes our life consist of like houres, some see but a winter day, and their breath is gone, some an [...]quinoctial day, and they live till their middle age, [Page 171] some a long Summers day, and live till old age, all of them with the Beast called [...] shall be sure to dye at night; the course of mans life is like the journy of the Israelites, from Aegypt to Canaan, Cicer. lib. 10. some dye as soon as they are gone out of Aegypt, Tusc. Quast. some in the midle way, some with Moses come to the edge and borders of Canaan, some indeed with Caleb and Joshua, enter the promised Land alive, such as shall be living at the last day, but this is without the ordinarie course, and beyond the extent of the statute enacted after mans transgres­sion: to say nothing that their change shal be equivalent with death, that it may be as great a question whether their bodies be the same which they were before, as it was amongst the Athenian Philosophers,Plut. in Thes. whether the Ship wherein Theseus sailed to Crete to kill the Minotaure was the same when the decayed parts of the ship were repaired with new planks, till at length none of that wood was left, that furrowed the Sea between Athens and Creet; the rest which are without this compasse, have an hour assigned them, when they must leave their bodies in the Wilderness, but then be care­full of their health, use recreation, observe dyet, seek to the Physitian, all these as they will not add one cubit to their sta­ture, so can they not add one minut to their appointed time. Indeed Hezekiah had fifteen yeers added to his dayes, but this was not by the help of man, but by his immediate power which turneth man to destruction,Psal. 90. and again he saith, Come again ye sons of Adam: and again it was not added to his appointed time, (for as God is not as man that he should lye, so is he not as the son of man that he should repent) but it was added to that time wherein by the course of nature the thred of his life should have been broken,Cicer. de senect. the thred of na­ture is tyed to the foot of Jupiters chaire; for as it is with the fruits, those which are not pulled off the trees when they are ripe will fall themselves, so it is in men, those that are not by force taken away, by the course of nature drop down them­selvs: that axiom in natural Philosopie is true, that every thing is resolved into that whereof it is composed, which made A­naxagoras to say, when he heard his sonne was dead, I knew still that I had begotten a mortall man; and Epictetus when [Page 172] walking one day into the fields, he saw a woman break an earthen pot at the Well, and going abroad the next day, he heard some Children weep for their Father that was dead; when he came home, his speech was this, heri vidi fragilem frangi, bodie vidi mortalem mori; it is no greater matter that a mortall man should dye, then that an earthen vessel shall be broken; if any man should doubt of the certainty hereof, I would say unto him as Bildad said to Iob, Inquire I pray thee of the former age, Job. 8. 8. and prepare thy self to search of their Fathers (for wee are men of yesterday, and are ignorant, so our dayes on earth are but as a shadow) will not they teach and tell thee, that all flesh is grasse? How many millions have li­ved before thee, and where are they? Omnis haec magnis va­ga turbaterris, Ivi [...] ad manes; so that I may say with I [...]. know ye nothing? have ye not heard it? hath it not been told you from the beginning?Isa. 40. 21. have ye not understood it by the foun­dations of the earth? he sitteth on the circle of the earth, and the Inhabitants therof are as grashopers, he bringeth the Prin­ces to nothing, and maketh the Judges of the earth as vanity, as though they were not planted, as though they were not sown, as though their stock took no root in the earth, so he bloweth upon them and they wither, and the whirl-wind shall blow them away in stubble, Isa. 40. Out of which place its plain, that as God hath set every man his limits and bounds, which he cannot passe, which was my first collecti­on out of the second part of my division (mine appointed time) so it is evident likewise, that this time is but short which is my second observation (dayes).

To this purpose it is that Moses saith,2 Doct. teach me O lord to number my dayes, if he had said moneths, they had been but the passing of the sun through a sign, or yeares, they had been but a few revolutions of the swift running Giant, through the Zodiack quickly gone;Psal. 19. 6. but yet to shew unto us the momentarie shortness of our lives, he expresseth them by dayes, which if they be naturall, they contain but so many turnes of the heavens upon the axeltree of the world, or arti­ficial, they contain but the remaining of the sun in our Hori­zon, which seemeth to be Davids meaning, when he saith, [Page 173] that God hath made his dayes as it were a span long, a short winter day, he makes but a little fragment of a circle, and then presently the sun of his life is down; as the Lord liveth (said he unto Ionathan) and as thy soule liveth, there is but a step between me and death; he meant in that place that he was dayly in danger of his life, by reason of Saul, which never ceased from persecuting him: though there were no perse­cuting Sauls in the world (as there are too many) yet with David as many as are sprung from the loyns of Adam, have but one step between them and death, it is neerer unto them then their clothes on their backs, they carrie it about with them in their own bosoms, and though it presently get not the masterie, yet Serpent like, it is still nibling at their heels, and will never leave tripping them till it hath brought them to the ground, Prima quae vitam dedit, hora carpsi [...]. The first houre that they began to breath,Sen. [...]. but an inch from the thred of their life: if a mans bodie were made of Ada­mant or steel or brasse the wicked Ethnick needed not to have exclaimed against God, that the Raven and the Hart, and the Phoenix should live so many ages, whereas the life of a man like a Weavers shuttle, or swift post is presently gone, for though they should come at length to a full point (as the flint will at length be broken, and brasse and steel canke­red and consumed) yet they should first passe so many ages, that they could not say with Iacob, few and evill have our dayes been? but alas they are but of a glassie mettall, the least fall will crack them, they are of potters clay, the seast knock will break them, so that we may say to death with him in the Tragedy.

Parce venturis,
Loc. Cit.
tibi mors paramur
Sis licet segnis properamus ipsi.

Hence it is that mans life is counted as as a buble of the water, a vapour, a smoak, a dream, a spa [...]n, a tale that is told.

And are these things so?1 Use hence then we might first learn not to put our trust and confidence in man, as though he were able to prolong our dayes, , for let him be as tall as the sons [Page 174] of Anak, or mightier then Og king of Basan, whose bed was of Iron, or more terrible then Goliath, which so affrayed the Israelites, that they durst not come neer unto him; yet he cannot deliver his own, much lesse thy bodie from the grave, or make an agreement unto God for it, he is but a man whose breath is in his nostrils, and shall be sure though he be the mightiest potentate in the world, to heare Nebu­chadnezzars sentence against him; O man to thee be it spoken, not thy kingdom only,Dan. 4. but even thy life is departed from thee: but to trust in him with whom the Inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing, and who according to his will worketh in the inhabitants of the earth, and the Army of Heaven, and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, why dost thou so, it is he that hath limited our lives, and set bounds to our dayes, which we cannot passe.

Again,2. Use. hath God limited our lives, and given Bars to our dayes, as unto the Seas, saying, hitherto shall ye goe, and ye shall go no further, then I might put you in mind, to be­ware of two dangerous rocks, upon which many unheedfull Saylers have split their Ships: the first lyes on the left hand, that we relye not too much on the outward meanes, for that were to trust in man and contemn God: the second on the right hand, that because our years are determined we neglect not the ordinarie meanes, for that were to tempt God, we must not think that wee can keep our selves in pri­son, when we are called to the Bar, nor yet must we breake the Prison, before the Goale deliverie. Asa sought to Phy­sitians and dyed; Hezekiah sought not, and had fifteen yeers added to his dayes; the one sought to the Physitian, and not to God, the other to God, not to the Physitian: we must joyn them both together, or else we shall make a fallacie or paralogisme in Christianitie, which Logicians call, a benè divisis ad malè conjuncta; for we may with Asa use the Phy­sitians, but farre more with Hezekiah seek unto the Lord.

But the third and last use is this, that seeing mans death is appointed,3. Use. yea, and that it must be shortly, wee make use of this short time, and not wastfully mispend this golden op­portunitie; it was Apelles his custom not to let any day slip, [Page 175] without drawing of some lines with his pensil; and it was Py­thagoras his rule to his schollars, that they should never suf­fer their eyes to sleep at night, till they had taken a diligent survey of all their dayes labour, no more should we let one day passe without using of that talent which God hath given us, nor suffer our eyes to sleep, nor our eye-lids to slumber, nor the temples of our head to take any rest, be­fore we have taken a strict account with our selves, how we have bestowed the day past, alwaies waiting and expecting that day, when we shall pay our Grand-mother her due, which is the third note I observed, Scilicet,

—Vltima semper
Expectanda dies homini est—

We should ever expect our last houre, when we must make our account to God, that whether he call us to a rec­koning at evening or at morning, or at mid-night, we may have our accounts ready: when we see a vapour drawn up by the heat of the sun, when we see the smoak ascend up the Chimney, when we see the Post coursing on the way, when we see a glasse broken, when we heare a blast of wind, when we put off our clothes, when we lye down to sleep, when we dream a dream; we should still remember the short­nesse and uncertaintie of our lives; that they are like vapours quickly consumed, like smoak presently vanished, like a Post in a moment passed, like a wind shortly ceased, like a glasse presently cracked, like our clothes quickly sulli­ed, like a dream in an instant perished, so that it is as strange that we should not remember it, as that wee should not re­member the number of our fingers, or with Corvinus forget our owne names; but alas we see this, and yet we will not see it, we know it well, and yet we will not consider it, we are sure that death will shortly knock at our doores, and yet wee will say unto our selves, as Peter did unto Christ, pitty thy selfe, this thing shall not happen unto thee: we will per­swade our selves of our lives, a [...] the false Prophet perswaded the Jewes of the safety of their Citie, when the enemie was ready to surprise it. This City shall not be delivered into the [Page 176] hands of the King of Babel, we can build our houses, plant our trees, sowe our fields, gather our fruits into our Barns, for those things we can observe a fit season; but yet the ordering of our lives, the salvation of our souls, as though they were trifles not worthy the looking into, we post them oft to our better leasure. Surely the Stork in the aire knoweth her appointed times, and the Turtle, and the Crane, and the Swallow observe the time of their comming,Jer. 8. 7. and yet man will not remember the time, when he must come to his particular judgement, when he must leave these toyes which he makes his chiefest delight, and say I have no plea­sure in them.Eccl. When wee see a man dye, we remember our mortality, but we have no sooner pu him in the grave; then we have buryed in the earth of oblivion the remembrance of our own death, we are no sooner in our own houses, then we re­turn to our old sins, the swearer to his blasphemie, the wanton to his pleasures, the Usurer to his unlawfull gaining, the Drunkard to his vomit, every one to his old wayes, not one will think with himself that he may be the next which shall be turned out of the doores. We count that rich cormo­rant in the Parable a right fool (and so he was indeed) who when his field brought forth abundance of fruit, determined to pull down his barns, and make them greater, and then to say to his soule, take thy rest, not remembring that even that night his soul might be taken from him, [...]. Philip. demiror te Antoni (said Tullie to Anthonie) quorum facta imitaris eorum exitus non per­horrescere; and is it not as strange, that we should imitate this Cormorant in his life, and not think upon his end, we sleep and secure our selves with the old world, and never remem­ber a flood which is ready to sweep us all away; we remem­ber well the former part of the Epicures sentence, let us eate and drink and be merry, but we forget the latter end, to mor­row we shall dye; we do not remember that every one hath a Serjeant at his elbow ready to arrest him, and to say,

Lusisti satis, edisti satis, atque bibisti,
Tempus abire tibi est.

Thou hast eaten and drunken thy pleasure thou must now be gone. Beloved Christians, do ye desire the salvation of [Page 177] your own souls? I know ye desire it, oh then bestow not this short time, which the Lord hath lent you here in the Land of the living in chambering and wantonnesse, in luxurie and riotousnesse, in strife and envie, in oppression and cove­tousness, but use it to the glorie of God, that when ye shall goe hence, and be no more seen, ye may be received into e­verlasting habitations. The Lord could take your souls from you before ye depart this place, if ye depart in safetie, before ye come into your houses, or before you goe to bed or be­fore you rise in the morning, but if you injoy to day, and to morrow, and the next day, despise not the riches of his boun­tifulnesse and patience, and long suffering, knowing that his bountifulness leadeth you to repentance. Be not like to the wicked Iob 21. which take the Tabret and Harpe, and re­joyce at the sound of the Organs, and spend their dayes in wea'th,Rom. 2. and then suddenly goe down into the Grave. Nor like those in Eccles. 9. 12. which do not know their time,Job. 21. but like fishes which are taken in an evill net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so they are snared in the e­vill time, which falleth upon them suddenly; nor like the evill servant in the Gospel,Eccles. 9. 12. which saith in his heart, my Ma­ster doth deferre his coming, and begins to smite his fellow-Servants, and to eat and to drink with the drunken, lest death come upon you in a day when ye look not for it, and in an houre that you are not aware of,Mat. 24. and cut you off, and ye receive your portion with Hypocrites in the Lake that burn­eth with fire and brimstone, where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Blessed is that man, whom the Lord when he cals him from hence, shall find waking, but woe, yea thrice woe be to that man, whom the Lord when he cometh, shall find sleeping; verily I say unto you, it had been good for that man, if he had never been borne, where­fore once again I say, use this golden opportunitie to the ho­nour of your God, redeem the time because the dayes are few, not for a day, but even all your dayes, which is the fourth note,4. Note and which I can but touch, let it be your care, not how you may be rich in this world, but how you may be rich unto God, not rich in goods but in goodnesse, let your [Page 178] chief study in this life be how he may be saved in the life to come. Alas it was but a cold comfort to Adrian the Empe­rour when he was readie to dye, to jest with his soul doubt­ing what should become of it.

Animula,Charionis Chron. vagula, blandula, hospes comes (que) corporis, quae nunc abibis in loca? Pallidula, rigida, nidula, nec ut soles dabis jocos.

What speeches but this, or worse then this can any expect will proceed from you in your sicknesse, when you are rea­dy to leave the world, if in your health you have not studied to make your election sure; if in your life ye offer to God nothing but dregs, there is little hope you will set forth good wine at the houre of your death, late repentance is oftentimes counterfeit, never so accepted with God, we must blossom in the spring, if wee will bring forth fruit in harvest, it is no commendation to offer to the world and Satan the flower of our youth, and sacrifice to God the withered stubble of old age, to turn to God when we can scarce turn our selves in our beds, and to leave this world, when it is ready to take a fare­well of us, wherefore have your loynes still girded about, and your lights still burning, and you your selves waiting and expecting, nay desiring not only for that time, when your souls and bodies shall be separated, but much more for that great day, when they shall again be united and conjoyned; let these and the like be each of your meditations and pray­ers: How long Lord, how long holy and true; as the heart desireth the water brook, so longeth my soul after thee O God, my soul is a thirst for God even for the living God; when shall I come to appeare before the presence of God, into thy hands I commend my spirit, for thou hast redeemed me O Lord God of truth, yea thou art my helper and my re­deemer, O my God make no long tarrying, but come Lord Jesus, come quickly.

The 5th and last thing,5 Obs. which was observed out of these words was this, That death to the Children of God is but a change to a better and more blessed state: for so with Mercer and o­ther learned Divines, I take the meaning of the words to be, [Page 179] when it is said my changing, and not to be meant of the resur­rection as some would have it. Death is the wages of sinne. (saith the Apostle) Rom. 6. 23. not only a temporarie death which is a separation of the body from the soul, but an e­ternall death which is a separation both of bodie and soule from God; for so it was told our Grand-father, before he ta­sted the fruit of the forbidden tree, whensoever thou shalt eate thereof, thou shalt dye the death, seconded after the fact with this iudiciall sentence, dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt returne, Gen 3. and so by the transgression of one, death reigned over all unto condemnation, Rom. 6. 14. But behold the a­bundant Ocean of the riches of the mercie, and bountifullness of our God, who by the balme of Christs blood hath so tem­pered this popson (that like Treacle which is made of vene­mous wormes) it becomes a preservative against poyson, and hath broken the teeth of this Lyon, that we may say with the Prophet, the Lyon and the Lamb may dwell together, hath ta­ken the sting from this Scorpion, that we may even now in some sense say, O death where is thy sting? thus by the grace of God,Aug. de civit. dei lib. 5. c. 4. the punishment of sin is to us turned, to a freedom from sin; it was said to our first Parents (saith Austin) thou shalt dye if thou sinne, now it is said to a Martyr, dye lest thou sinne; then it was said, if thou transgresse the commandement thou shalt dye the death; now it is said, if ye refuse to dye, ye trans­gresse the commandement; that which then was to be feared, that they should not sin, is now to be undergon lest they sin, then death was gotten by sinning, now justice is fulfilled by dying.

Behold the great difference of death in the godly,Vse. and the wicked, to the wicked it hath the same force which before it had, to the godly it is like a sleep which resteththeir bodies, and makes them more lively then before, to the ungodly it brings a taile or sting with it, and that is condemnation, to the godly it is as it were a Bee without a sting, to the godly it is terminus a quo of miserie and vexation, to the wicked it is the beginning of sorrow and damnation, to the ungodly it is Sathans Cart to carry them to Hell, to the righteous it is like [Page 190] Elisha's fierie Chariot to mount them to Heaven, to the wicked it is Sathans Serjeant to carrie them to Tophet, which is prepared for them, to the godly it is the Lords Messenger to remove them to their expected home; let then the ungod­ly feare and tremble when they heare of death, and let them use the meanes they can to put this evill day from them, as be­ing the beginning of their eternall woe and sorrow; but let the children of God be no more afraid to dye, then they fear a Bee without a sting, then they feare a sleep when their eyes are heavie, or they feare to be comforted when they are in miserie, or to be at home when they are abroad in a strange Country




IF the reverend Author of those Sermons had not been one of those, Qui male merentur de viribus suis (for so I shall take leave to expostulate with his modesty) his more then vulgar Abili­ties might have added much to the lu­stre of his Name, with which he hath hitherto dealt so unkindly as to detaine it (though not in the shade, yet) at too great a distance from the Sun. Whilst he lived in the Vniversitie, he was a singular Ornament to the Colledge where Providence had be­stowed him; and being thence called forth to a Pastorall charge (over theBarton in Westmer­land. place which first welcomed him into the World) he was quickly taken notice of, as worthy of a more eminent Station in the Church, to which he was accordingly preferred, with the generall acclamations of all the knowing and pious Divines in the Diocesse, with whom (to say no­thing of others, though of greatest note in that Precinct) for a comprehensive and orthodox Judgement, adorn'd with all variety of learning, he hath ever been held in greatest Esti­mation. As for these Sermons (some of which saw the light, and all have been delivered many yeares ago) they are able [Page] to speake for themselves. Their maine designe is to heale the plague of the Heart, not the Itch of the Eare: Animis com­posuit, non auribus, Here is good wholesome [...]iands [...] before you, and if your Palate be not over [...], you will have no cause to quarrell with the Sance. What help soever the Booke shall afford you in your spirituall negotiations, give God the glory, and the Author (I doubt not) hath his End.

T. Tully
LUKE 12. 32:‘Feare not little Flock, for it is your Fathers pleasure to give you the Kingdome.’

CHRIST the Great Shepheard of our soules, being shortly to finish that for which he came into the World, the work of our Redemption, and to lay downe his life for his Sheep, and according to his corporall presence to have them, in the wildernesse of this World, where they should find Amalekites to encounter them, the Sonnes of Anack to impugne them, fierce Serpents to sting them, Lyons and Beares, and Foxes, and Wolves, to devour them, and the very Wildernesse it selfe by its naturall barrennesse, ready to starve them; doth in the prece­dents of this Chapter, warne and arme them against all humane and mundane fears. Humane, from Verse 4. till the tenth. Mun­dane, from the tenth till this thirty second: both which if I be not mistaken, are by way of recapitulation wrapped up in the beginning of this Verse, Feare not, &c. And in the later part confirmed by an Argument, a majori, For it is your Fathers plea­sure, &c. As if he should have sayd, My friends which have for­saken all and [...] followed me in the regeneration, though ye be as a flock of Sheep subject to wandring, unfit to provide fot\r your selves things necessary, unable to resist the Wolves amidst whom ye are, though ye be little in the opinion and estimation of the World (being reputed the scum of the earth, the filth of the world,1 Cor. 4. the outcast of the people, and of-scouring of all things) lesse in comparison with the world (being in respect of them, as the first fruits in respect of the Harvest, as the gleanings [Page 2] in comparison of the Vintage) yet be not dismayed nor discou­raged for any thing that the world wi [...]l or can inflict upon you▪ for loe, he that was your enemy is now become your friend, he that had a Sword of vengeance drawne against you, will now fight for you, he that was a just and severe Judge, is now become your Father, because you are in me, and howsoever of your selves you have deserved no better then others, whom he hath left in that masse of corruption wherein all Adams Children lay drowned: yet his good will and pleasure is such, that he will at length freely bestow upon you an inaccessible Inheritance in his Kingdome of glory; much more will he watch over you by his heavenly protection, provision, and direction in this King­dome of Grace: Feare not, &c.

A Doctrine proposed by way of exhortation.

Which words divide themselves into two branches.

  • 1. Feare not little Flock.
  • 2. A reason or argument to confirme this, For it is your Fa­thers pleasure, &c.
  • In the first of these observe, 1. The object, Flock: 2. The quantity of it, Little flock: 3. An incouragement against feare.
  • In the second note these particulars: 1. The Grantor, Your Father: 2. The cause impulsive that makes him respect us, and that is his good pleasure, [...], Our Father is pleased:
  • 3. The manner of conveyance, by Franck Almaigne, to give:
  • 4. The quality and quantity of the gift; a Kingdome.

Of each of which particulars, because I cannot now particu­larly discourse,Ezek. 47. for as much as they seem unto me like Elishaes Cloud, still bigger and bigger, or like the waters of the Sanctu­ary, deeper and deeper: I will by your patience, make the ob­ject of our serious speech, the subject of my speech at this time (Flock.)

The party to whom this speech is directed, are his Disciples, Verse 1. and Verse 22. those which he had picked and culled from amongst all the Sons of Adam, and effectually called to his grace, the Church without that was actually existent at that present; so that what is here spoken to them, is spoken to the [Page 3] whole Church of God: They then were, shee still is, a Flock of Sheep, for that is meant as may appeare by conference with like places, John 10. 11. 16. 27. John. 21. 15. Matth. 25. 33. Psal. 100. 3. Whence observe two things, 1. The quality of the members, in that they are resembled unto sheep: 2. The unity of the whole body, in that it makes but one Flock of Sheep.

Concerning the first, The Church of God is called a Flock of Sheep, not a Herd of Swine, nor a Kennell of Dog [...], nor a Stable of Horses, nor a Fold of Goates, nor a Mew of Hawks, nor a Capine of Foxes, nor a Den of Wolves, nor a Puddle full of Toades; because she must not wallow in the filthy mire of sin like Swine, nor bite one another like Dogs, nor be proud and stomackfull like Horses, nor stink in her corruption like Goates, nor be ravenous like Hawks, nor fraudulent like Foxes, nor cruell like Wovles, nor poysonfull like Toades, but in patience and sincerity, in meeknesse and simplicity in innocensie and hu­mility, she must resemble a Flock of Sheep.

So then the ungodly miscreant that drinks iniquity like wa­ter, and is frozen in his own Dregs, and presseth the Lord with his sinnes, as a Cart is pressed with Sheaves, is a filthy Swine and none of CHRISTS Flock. The backsliding Hypocrite, that like Nebuchadnezzars Image, hath [...] head of Gold and feet of Cl [...]y, a good beginning and a bad ending; that with M [...] ­diabilis, first offers a golden, then a silver, then a leaden Sacrifice; and with the Gallathians begins in the spirit and ends in the flesh, is an unclean Dog licking up his own Vomit, and none of Christs Flock, the oppressing Land-lord, that wringeth, and squeezeth his Tenant like a spunge, and eates up their guts, and puls the skin from the flesh, and the flesh from the bones, as the Prophet speaketh,Mich. 3. 2. 3. is a ravenous Wolfe, and none of Christs Flock. The unjust Magistrate that sitteth to judge according to the law, and commandeth to smite contrary to the Law, and maketh his place a Monopoly for himselfe,Acts 23. is a wilie Fox and none of Christs Flock: The deceitfull Lawyer that hides the weakness of his Clyents Cause, as the Panther doth the deformity of his head,Plin. lib. 8. cap. 18. when he would allure other Beasts to follow him, is a deceitfull Leopard and none of Christs Flock: The Priest and Jesuite, that barbours in every quarter of our Land, [Page 4] like the Egyptian Frogs and goeth about to poyson the hearts of Christs Sheep, with the inchanted cups of the Italian Circe, is a venamous Toade and none of Christs Flock: All those we wish to be removed and seperated from this little Flock, into their own proper Elements: The Sow to the M [...]re, the Dog to his Kennell, the Wolfe to his Den, the Fox to his Earth, the Leopard to the Wildernesse, the Toade to the stinking Italian Fennes where they be bred: And I pray God that you R. H. and others like unto you (I mean zealous, godly, and watch­full Shepheards [...] might deal with as many of these as are incurable and incorrigible, as our Saviour dealt with the Gade­rens Swine,Matth. 8. when they were possessed with Devils, Drive them into the Sea that they might be choaked in the waters: or as the Legend fables Saint Patrick delt with the Irish Toades, or as the Welchmen used the English Wolves, root them out, that there might not one be left alive to worry the tender Lambs of this little Flock.

Give me leave in handling the first Point, to touch two or three propertyes of a Sheep, wherein every man must study to resemble her that will acknowledge Christ for his Shep­heard.

  • 1. She is Sincerum simplex & Sine fraude pecus. Simple with­out all guile and dissimulation.
  • 2. Meek without all harme or offence.
  • 3. Patient, without all desire of revenge.

Concerning the first▪ We must have this Sheep-like simplicity, and that in heart, in word, in deed, we must be plain and simple of heart, so we must be wise as Serpents but simple as Doves▪ Matth 10. 16. Plain and simple in speech, for we must cast off lying, and speak every man the truth unto his Neighbour, Ephe. 4. 25. Plain and simple indeed: for he that doth upright­ly, and worketh righteousnesse, shall dwell in Gods Taberna­cle. Psal. 15. 1, 2.

But alas where is that Sheep-like simplicity,Vse. that should be amongst us, where is that true Nathaniell, that true Israelite in whom is no guile: So far hath deceitful hypocrisie prevailed in mens hearts, that amongst all vocation, [...] in Court and in Country, in Church and in Common-Wealth, dssimulation is now count­ed [Page 5] a great part of policy, and it is grown a common Proverbe in our mouths, but much more in our practise, Qui nescit dissi­mulare nescit vivere. And this sheep-like simplicity is contemned and condemned for meer folly, and brutish stupidity, in so much that a sheep, a simple man, and a foole, are become Symonyma, all one in signification, to cog, to cloak, to fawne, to flatter, to speak what thou never thinkest, and think what thou never speak­est. Oh these are high points of wisdome: And as under the fay­rest flowers, and greenest grass lye the most poysonful serpents, so oftentimes under the fairest and sweetest tongues, the most poysonful and deceitful hearts. Briefly, men so live, as if our Sa­viour had not given this Commandement, Be wise as Serpents, and simple as Doves: but, Be wise as Doves, and simple as Serpents. They resemble the Dove and the Serpent too, but in contrary qualities, the Dove in knowledge, the Serpent in simplicity; for knowledge (I mean saving knowledg) it is as far from them, as the Dove is from being a great States-man, or wise Politician: and for plain and honest simplicity, it is as proper unto them, as it is to the wilie and winding Serpent: so that it is plain there is no truth in their hearts and [...]eynes.

Now if the fountaine be polluted, is it likely that the streame will be cleane? If the root be bitter, will the fruit be sweet? If the house be full of smoak, will the chimney be faire without? I the Clock be out of tune below, will the Bell strike right above? If the heart be full of deceit and hypocrisie, will there be truth in our words? Surely no, For of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh: And no marvail therefore, seeing we dissemble with our double hearts, if that be true also which immediately goes before, They speak deceitfully every one to his neighbour.

And as simplicity is banished from our hearts and tongues▪ so from our actions, as we have double hearts, & double tongues, so we have double hands, and love double dealing. So that we may cry with David, Help Lord, for there is not a godly man left, the faithfull are minished from amongst the children of men. They speak deceitfully every one to his neighbour, they do but flatter with their lips, and dissemble with their double heart, Psal. 12. 1, 2.

And here I could be well contented to break off this point, and passe to another, without discending to any particulars, but that [Page 6] I see two sorts of men so directly in my way, that I must needs sa­lute them before I goe; both which, although they converse and live amongst the Lords sheep, yet in nothing, save in the outward appearance they resemble sheep:Matth. 7. Beware of them, for they come to you in sheeps Cloathing, but inwardly they be ravening wolves. Or if they will needs be called sheep, I will be so bold as call them as they deserve, Rotten sheepe. Introrsum turpes speciosus pelle decora, their hearts are rotten, they are wholly corrupted, they have nothing but a faire sheeps-skin to cover and conceale their inward deformities from the eyes of the world.

The first is he that wears a vizard of Religion; the other, that under a cloak of Law, and consequently of Justice, wor [...]eth his owne private intendments with the losse and hinderance of other men. The fi [...]st shrouds himself under God, the second under the King, both damnable hypocrites: and seeing the Scripture will warrant us to call every hypocrite a Fool, we may call the first of these Gods foole, and the second the Kings. To speak a little of either of these by themselves: the first is our Statute-Prote [...]tant, our indifferent Apelles, our hollow-hearted Interimist, our luke­warm Laodicean; which howsoever he make an outward shew and profession of Religion, yet he counts no more of it, then the Gaderens did of Christ,Matth. 8. who made more reckoning of their swine then they did of him: And this man rather then for Christs cause he should lose a swine, hee can be contented that Christ should part out of his Coasts. He will make an outward shew to the world as if he did love and reverence the truth: he will perform the outward works thereof as farre as the law of man binds him, but all without a simple and sincere heart, only upon some sini­ster respects, and indifferent considerations. As 1. because he will not be singular, but desires to live at unity with the people with whom he converseth. 2. For feare of humane Laws. 3. Re­ligion is to him as a faire Cloak to a beggerly Swaggerer, it hides his rotten rags, and keeps him from wind and weather. 4. Per­adventure it serves him as a ladder to advance him unto some pre­serment, and as soon as he hath attained the top of his hopes, he cares not though he push it down with his heels.

Now because he makes no account of Religion, but only as an instrument to effect his owne private purposes, hereupon it falls [Page 7] out, that he is ready to embrace any Religion, or no religion, as the circumstance of persons, time and place shall require. For as they fable of the Sea-god called Proteus, that he doth always resemble the colour of the Rock upon which he lies, or as Glass reflects the visage of him that shall look upon it, or as water forms it selfe ac­cording to the fashion of the vessel into which it is powred: so he is always ready to joyne in profession with them with whom he liveth and converseth; the reason in all is the same, the Prote­us and the Glasse have no perfect colour nor visage of their owne, and therefore they reflect the colour and visage of others that are next unto them. The water hath no figure of his owne (for hu­midum suis terminis non est terminabile) and therefore it applies it selfe to the vessel that contains it: And this man hath no Reli­gion of his owne, it is enough for him if he have some species and reflection thereof from others. By this unstablenesse and muta­bility of profession, may this hypocrite be discerned, and distin­guished from a true Professour. For as wild Apes are catched while they imitate the motions and dancing of men: so may this same Ape be catched and disclosed by framing his Religion to the disposition and affection of others: For though hee hath no man save himselfe in his Pater Noster, yet hee hath every man in his Creed, because every mans Creed for the time is his.

This Countrey is full of this kinde of Vermin, I have found it too often amongst the meaner sort, and I pray God that all of you that are Gentlemen, and of place and authority in the coun­trey, could wash your hands from this sinne. I charge no particu­lar,1 Cor. 2. 11. I cannot, For no man knows the things of man, save the spirit of man which is in him.

Only let me crave leave to propose a few queries, and let eve­ry man upon the examination of his own heart, at his best leasure return an answer. Is there any among you, any Pharisee, that un­der a colour of long prayers devours widows houses? Any Absolom, that under pretence of performing a vow, practiseth rebellion a­gainst his father? Any Jezabel, that under a colour of executing Judgement, sucketh the blood from guiltlesse Naboth? If there be, (as I hope there will) a non est inventus returned upon all these. Let me go a little further: Is there any Ambidexter, that can play with both hands? Any Satyr, that can blow both cold [Page 8] and hot out of the same mouth? Any Jew that can swear by God, & by Malchom? Any Assyrian that can serve God and his Idols? Is there any that can be contented to hear a Sermon in the Church, and to see a Masse at home? That yoaketh an Oxe and an Asse in the same Plow, and weareth Linnen and Woollen in the same Garment, and soweth his field with mingled seeds? To speake plain English, that hath not Joshuah's resolution; I and my house will serve the Lord, but comes himselfe to Church, leaves his wife to say over her Beads at home, and permits to his children and familie, greater liberty in their Religion, then in their Gar­ments, to shape what fashion they like best? I pray God there be no such, if there be, I pray God turn their hearts, that there may be no such: but those that will, maugre what can be said or done unto them, continue such, and hang like a Thiefe upon a Gibbet between Heaven and Hell, God and the Devil, the Pope and the King. It were to be wished they were handled by the Magistrate as Tullus Fostilius dealt with Motius Suffetius, when hee stood indifferently affected between the Romans and the Fidenates, or used as Birds use the flying fish, because it is a master in the Sea, the Dolphin persecutes it there: and because it is a master in the Aire, the Fowls set upon it there: So because they are [...] neither Protestants nor Papists it matters not if they were expelled out of both their Elements: If not, yet let them fear and heare Laodice­as censure, Rev. 3. 16. I speak not these things out of any spleen to any particular persons what soever (he that knows the thoughts of my heart, knows that I lie not) my worst wish to any of you is the salvation of his own soule in the day of Jesus Christ. I am perswaded far better things of many of you, and for others, as far as charity binds me, I judge the best; and therefore if any be offended at my speech, it is scandalum acceptum non datum, not I, but his owne guilty conscience that deserves the blame. If I should in this place seek to please man, I were no fit Ambassador of Christ: As long as the Chyrurgeon works according to the rules of his Profession, let his Patient weep, and cry, and com­plain of cruelty, yea and scratch him on the face, he needs not care for it: And he that rides in the street armed on every side, from top to toe, what counts he if all the dogs of the Town bark at him? As long as a man is faithfull in his Vocation, and with­out [Page 9] feare or favour of man, doth those things that are pro­per to his place, Hic murus aheneus esto, He is armed on every side with Gods protection, and therefore may say with David, The Lord is on my Side, I will not feare, what man can do unto me.

But let us come to the other Hypocrite, which I called the Kings Fool, this is he of whom I may complaine, as Nazianzen did of some, Pugnant pro Christo, contra Christum, saith he, and Pugnant pro lege contra legem, say I, they fight for the Law against the Law, and Legis nomine armantur, & contra legem di­micant, They arme themselves with the Law to fight against the Law,Leo. Epist. 83: as Leo speakes, Ad Palaestinos. Thus the Covetous and the unconscionable dealer makes the Law his Patron, the oppressing Land-Lord makes her his Sanctuary, the deceitful bargainer, makes her his stalking horse, the bloody Revenger makes her his sword and buckler, to offend his Enemies and defend himselfe, and thus shee that is ordained for a publick good, proves the hurt of many, she that is the Mistris of Justice proves the Mi­nister of injustice, she that is a Preserver of Peace, proves a Trumpet and an occasion of War, not that of her selfe she is any such cause, no no, but as the middle region, which of all the three is the coldest, by antiperistasis produceth the hottest effect, Thunder and Lightening, as water which naturally doth quench, being poured upon lime, causeth it to burn, as the morall Law, the Law of all righteousnesse, is the cause of sin, Rom. 7. 8, 10, 11. as the Gospel of Peace is an occasion of War, Matth. 10. 34, 35. So our Law, which of it selfe is holy and Just and good, by accident turnes to be a cause and occasion of Evill.

All the blame hereof rests upon the heads of two men, the wrangling Client, the unconscionable advocate; the 1. is that Ahab that troubles all Israel, who is, as Jeremia speakes of himself up­on another occasion, a contentious man, and a man that strives wth the whole world, that rough Ismael, that hath his hand against every man, and every mans hand against him, that Salamander that loves to be bryling and broyling in the fire of contention, Et lachrymas mittit cum nil lachrymabile cernit, he is never well but when he is doing or plodding some ill, he goes to Law, not out of a desire of publick peace, (for what hath he to [Page 10] do with peace, he may say, as Nero did when he set Rome on fire, [...], &c. So that it go well with him, he cares not if the whole world be set on fire, not out of an honest defence of his own Right (for his own conscience tels him he hath none) but either of a desire of revenge, or because he knowes himselfe to be more skilfull in packing and shuffling of Cards, then the party with whom he is to play, or presuming upon his own purse, or upon the simplicity of his Adversary, or out of an hope by spinning In infinitum the thred of contention, and bringing his opposite into an inextricable maze of troubles, to inforce him, either wholy to depart from his own right, or to say of it, as the Whore did of the child, Let it neither be mine nor thine, but let it be divided, or at least (which is the ordinary work that such Archers aime at) to draw him to a Composition. This is sometimes sacriledge, when it is for depriving the Church of her right, sometimes these, when it is for stripping men of their lawfull Rights, sometimes murther, when it is out of a desire of Revenge, sometimes other sinnes, when other ends are proposed, shrowded and sheltered under a cloak of Law.

Well, the cause cannot be so bad, so repugnant to common E­quity, to Law, to Honesty, to Conscience, but some will be found to sollicite it, and not only privately to countenance and support it, but publickly, if need so require, to plead and report it; this is done by such as makes his vocation a Monopoly for himselfe, and levels all his paines, not at the publick good, but at his private gaine, and in his heart applauds that saying of Vespasian to his son Titus, Juven. Sueton. in Vesp. when he gathered a tax from some homly matters, lucri bonus est odor ex re qualibet, It is no matter how bad the cause be, so the fee be good. Weight it never so light in the ballance of Justice, Gold is a heavy mettall, and will soon make it weight. Of both these I may well use the words of the Heathen Orator,Tull. off. lib. 1. Totius injustitiae nulla capitalior est pestis, quam eorum, qui tum, cum maxime fallunt, id tamen agunt, ut boni viri esse videantur, Of all kinds of injustice, none is so capitall a crime, as of those who when they hurt worst, yet do they it under a pretence and colour of right.

In the time of King Edward the third,Fox. Acts ult. there was a Phamphlet set out in Latine verse, bearing the style of Paenitentarius asini, [Page 11] The Asses confessor. The Argument is this, The Wolfe, the Fox, and the Asse goe to Shrift, and doe pennance: First, the Wolfe confesseth himselfe to the Fox, who doth both absolve him, and extenuate his faults; then the Fox makes confession to the Wolfe, who obtaines like favour; at last comes the Asse, and makes his confession, who as his fault was lesse, so the more he expected absolution. And what was his fault? marry this: Be­ing very hungry, he had pulled a Straw out of the Sheafe of a Pilgrim that was travelling towards Rome; this is no sooner con­fessed, but it is made a capitall crime:

Immensum scelus est injuria quod peregrino
Fecisti Stramen subripiendo sibi.

Such, as for which he must have the rigour of the Law, and that is to be slaine and devoured. The Author of that Book did, no doubt, obliquely gird the Pope, whom he meant by the Wolf, and his Prelates, whom he understood by the Fox. I thinke we may not unfitly apply it to the persons whom we have in hand: The wrangling Client is the Wolfe, the unconscionable Advocate is the Fox, the plain dealing man is, I would say the Sheep, but the Fable calls him an Asse, and indeed he is made the Asse, and inforced to beare the burden away: The Fox and the Wolfe shrive themselves one to the other, and all their sins are minced and qualified, mountaines with them are but Mole-hills, blocks in their wayes are but straws, beams in their eyes are but motes, great sins are little sins, and little sins are no sins: Let the poore silly Asse when he comes to shrife, the least wrong that can be pretended, especially if it be against one of them, though it be but the turning of a straw, Immensum scelus est, &c. It is an action of Trespasse, and unlesse he will compound for the wrong that he hath done, he must undergoe the rigour of the Law.

Let not our learned and worthy Lawyers mistake me, as if I sought to disgrace and defame their profession, I respect, I reve­rence, I honour it; and I make no doubt but there are very many of this Profession, as learned and skilfull in the Law, so also ho­nest, conscionable, religious: And (to use Jethros words con­cerning Magistrates) men of courage, fearing God, men deal­ing holily, and hating covetousness; and such I hope all are that [Page 12] be here present. Now that which I have spoken concerning them that are deceitfull and unconscionable, is no more a dis­grace unto these and their Calling, then it was to Christs Apo­stles, that one of them was a Judas, or to the Leviticall Priests, that one of them was a Caiphas, or to the Sons of God, the good Angels, Job [...] that the Prince of darkness the Devil was one of their company. Only this one thing let me beseech them to take notice of, the better that any thing is, the more dangerous it is, when it is abused. Can there be any thing more necessary then Fire and Water, when they keep their proper places? displace them, remove the fire from the hearth into the house-top, and astus, incendia volvunt, it indangereth the whole Town: re­move the River out of its Channell into the mowne Meadowes, and new grown Corn, and,

Sternit agros, sternit sata laeta, boum (que) labores.

It sweepes away the C [...]r [...], and makes havock of all. Was there ever Creature that God made more excellent then the Angels? and yet those Angels that fell, and kept not their first Estate, no Creature under Heaven so hurtfull and dangerous, as they▪ Come to man; is there any calling, if ye respect publick peace, so neces­sary as the Magistrate, whom God hath set in his own room, and stiled with his own name: If yee respect the Soule of man, so worthy as the Minister, if yee respect the health of Body, so necessary as the Physitian, if yee respect the outward and tem­porall Estate, so requisite as the Lawyer? But if these abuse their places; if the Magistrate, under a colour of executing of Justice, practise Tyranny, if the Minister for sound Doctrine, preach He­resie, if the Physitian, instead of wholesome Physick, minister poyson to his Patients, who so pernicious? So likewise the Lawyer, if in stead of opening and explaining the Lawes, and defending the right, and standing in the gap, that falshood and wrong may not enter, he labour to smother the Law, and outface the truth, and patronize falshood, who more hurtfull then he? The more you are to be exhorted, (for you are all but men and no man, walke he never so uprightly, but he is subject to fall) to walke worthy of that excellent vocation whereunto you are cal­led; love your Freinds, honour the Mighty, regard your Clients, respect your Fees; The labourer is worthy of his hyre: But pre­ferr [Page 13] truth, and a good conscience before them all, and let neither might, nor feare, nor Client, nor Freind, nor Fee, nor any thing in the World, cause you to make shipwrack of a good conscience, or to give leave to your tongues, which as the Heathen man said should be Oracles of the truth, to be Bauds and Brokers for an ill cause; remembring that that description, which old Cato and Quintilian gave of an Orator, as it agreeth to us that are Mini­sters, so to you also that are Lawyers, Viz. that he is Vir bonus, dicendi peritus; and therefore as he must be Dicendi peritus, a good Speaker, to must he also be Vir bonus, a good liver. Enough of this.

To conclude this first generall Point,2. use. and so to descend unto the second, (for I will not now trouble you with the other two properties of a Sheep) seeing the Dove-like, or sheep-like sim­plicity is a virtue, wherwith every Member of Christs Flock must be qualified, we are all to be exhorted, and let me say unto you with Saint Austine, August. de verit. cap. 55. Hortor vos omnes charissimi, meque hortor vobiscum, I beseech you, yea and my selfe with you to avoid hypocrosie, and that the rather, because it is a sin unto which all Adams Posterity are, yea though they be regenerate by the spirit of God, in a greater or lesser degree subject. To this purpose we are to labour for single hearts, because these are the soul of our actions, without which, well they may have a be­ing, yet have they neither life nor moving. For as the Body, when the Soul is separated from it, how comely soever it be in outward form, will presently stink and become noysome; so all our words and actio [...]s, whether they concern Piety, or honesty, God or our Neighbour, if the heart be not joyned with them, are but stink­ing Carrion, and filthy Abominations in the Nostrils of Almigh­ty God.

The second generall Point is the unity of Christs Church, she is but as one Flock, as the Sheep under one Shepheard, though never so many, do all concur to the making of one and the same numericall Flock: So all Christians, though never so dispersed over the Globe of the Earth, being fed in the green Pastures of the Lord, which are beside the waters of comfort, do make but one and the same individuall Church. And this the very word it selfe doth imply, if we look into his Parentage in the Greek [Page 14] tongue, viz. a Congregation, or collection of many particulars, into one society and city of God, for which cause she is called one undefiled Love Cant. 6. 8. one Body. Ephe. 4. 4. within which no­thing is dead, without which nothing is alive, as Hugo speaks: one Sheepfold, John 16 Figured by one fleece of Gideon, which was wet with the Dew of Heaven, when all the ground beside was dry, shadowed by the Arke of Noah, wherein eight Persons were saved, when all the rest or the World was drowned, the Boards of which Arke were conglutinated and pitched together with­in and without: within, that she should not loose her own, and without,August. de un. Eccles. Ca. p 5. Ne admitteret alienam. that she should not leake in forrain waters: as a Donatist did not unfitly expound it, or rather as Austine moralizeth it, Vt in compagine unitatis significe­tur tolerantia charitatis, ne scandalis ecclesiam tentantibus, sive ab [...]ijs quritus, abijs sive quae foris sunt cedat fraterna junctura & solvatur vinculum pacis. August, contra Faustum lib. 12. Chap. 14 reason. 1. In respect of Christ, the Shepheard is one, therefore the Flock but one, the Bridegroome one, therefore the Spouse but one, the Head one, therefore the Body but one▪ In this respect Cyprian holds the whole Church one Bishoprick, not that his meaning is, that any one man should be ministe­riall head of the whole church in Christs corporal absence, & that the Bishop of Rome, for that were to marry the chast Spouse to two Husbands, & instead of a faithful Spouse, to make her a filthy Harlot:Cyprian de Praelat. Cyprians words wil admit no such Interpretation: unus est episcopatus, &c. And what account he made of the Bishop of Rome, which then was a man of better worth then al those Magogs, who have possessed that Chaire for a thousand yeares last past, it may appeare by this, that he contemned his Authority, vili­pended his Letters, opposed his Councell to his, his Chaire to his, called him a proude man, an ignorant man, a blinde man, and little better then a Schismatick. It is then one Bishoprick in respect of Christ, the Bishop of our Soules, 1 Pet. 2. 25. The sole oecumenicall and universall President of the whole Church. So then, as there are many Beames proceeding from the same Sun, yet one Sun, in which they are United, many branches growing from one Tree, yet one roote wherein they are conjoyned, many [Page 15] Rivers, yet one Sea wherein they all meet, many lines in a circle, but one Center wherein they all concur: So the Members of Christs Church, though in respect of themselves they be divers, yet they have all but one beginning, one Spring, one roote, one Head, one Center, and in this respect all but one; as one in re­spect of the Head, so in respect of the Spirit, which animateth every Member thereof. This is the soule that informs the whole Church, it is that Intellectus agens, of which Philosophers have so much dreamed, which is Vnas numero, in every Member of Christs mysticall Body: So that as the integrall Members of mans Body, though of themselves they be specifically distinct, flesh, bones, nerves, muscles, veines, arteries, &c. Every one of them having a peculiar, essentiall, and specificall form, yet being informed with one humane Soule, they are but integrall parts of the same man: So all Christians in the World, though in sex, and state, and degree, and calling, and Nation, and lan­guage they be different, yet being regenerated and animated with the same spirit, they are but integrall Members of one and the selfe same Church. 3. One in respect of Faith and Religion, and profession contained in the sacred volume of the Bible, the two Brests of the Church, out of which Christs Lambs do suck the sincere Milke of the word, that they may grow thereby: The two Cherubims, that with mutuall counterview do face the mercy Seate, that is Christ, the two great lights that inlighten the World, the old, like the Moon, to rule the night, the new, like the Sun, to rule the: day that for the Patriarks, this for us, the two Pillars to leade us from Egypt to Canaan, the old of a Cloud, dark and obscure in figures and shadowes, the other of fire, bright and cleare, both of them making one, and absolute rule of our faith and profession: she is then one, because one spirit quickeneth her, one, because one rule directeth her; that is, the essentiall form, this is the proper passion flowing from this form, by which the Church a Posteriori may be demon­strated, For they are my Sheep saith Christ which heare my voice. John 10. 27. thus then briefly, one Spouse, one love, one Dove, one Body, one Fleece, one Arke, on Spirit, one Faith, one Re­ligion, one Head, one Shepheard, one Flock.

Here (to come to so me application) give me leave to use the [Page 16] Apostles protestation.Rom. 9. 1, 2. I say the truth in Christ Jesus, Ilye not▪ my conscience bearing me witnesse in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heavinesse and continuall sorrow in my heart, and with the Prophet Jeremy could wish that my head were full of water,Jer. 9. R. 1 and mine eyes a fountaine of teares, that I might weepe day and night for the Schismes and divisions that are at this day in the Christian world. There was a time (there was, Woe worth that unhappy Tense, there was; but, Est bene non pos­sum dicere, dico fuit, I cannot say there is, I must needs speak as it is) There was a time when the whole Church of God, in all places of the world, was of one heart, and one minde, of one ac­cord, and of one judgment. And howsoever there was, and ever will be some difference about some circumstances of no great weight, yet was there not the least discrepance amongst them, in any one essentiall point of our faith. Vna agebat in om­nibus membris divini spiritus virtus, & erat omnibus anima una, & fidei propositum idem, & divinitatis celebratio omnibus una, Euseb. lib. 10. hist. Eccl. Chap. 3. in somuch that as when any member of the body is ill affected, all the rest do conspire to cure it: or when a house is set on fire, the whole town will run to quench it: So if any heresie happened to spring in any part of the World, their common desire was to crush the serpents head, to make it like Ionas his gourd, of short continuance, and to smother it in the birth, and make it like the untimely fruit of a Woman, which perisheth afore it see the Sun: they did conspire to heale the affected member, and did concu to stay the flame from fur­ther combustion.

Thus did they from the most parts of the world concur at Nice against Arius, at Constantinople against Macedonius, at Ephesus against Nestorius, at Chalcedon against Entiches. Thus was the head of Britaines snake (as Prosper Aquitanus tells) Pe­lagius crushed by provinciall Synods,Euseb. lib. 5. cap. 25. in most places of Chri­stendome. And long before these times, when as yet there was not a Christian Emperour, thus they dealt with Montanus in ma­ny of their Synods. And at Antioch against Paulus Samosatenus, they met from all Churches under Heaven, as it were against a common theife that stole the Sheep out of Christs flock.

But now (O times) the one, and undivided spouse of Christ [Page 17] is like a Traytor drawn and quattered, the North and the South, the Orient,Rom. 1. and the Occident, each differ from other in sun­dry materiall, and essentiall points of Faith. And here in the West, that Church whose faith was once famous through the whole world, which was as a Beacon upon an hill, a guide for all the Churches round about her, a Sanctuary for orthodoxall ex­iles, one of the four Patriarchicall Seas, and that in respect of place and order, the first; the Empresse of the World, the Glory of Kingdomes, the pride and beauty of Nations, the faithfull City, is so estranged from the Bridegroomes Voice, and hath so depraved the purity of Christian religion, both by loosing of her own, and the taking in of Forraine water, that as one sayd of A­thens, we may say of Rome, thou mayst seeke Rome in Rome, and canst not finde it, being become like unto one of the old Aegyptian Temples, beautifull without, and Cats, and Ratts, and Crocodiles adored within. And whereas shee hath no more reason to be called Catholike, then the old Mahometans to call themselves Saracens, then the Jewes had to call Herod that was ready to be eaten with wormes a God, then the Persians that were shortly afterslaine by the Romans, to be called [...] then Manes had to stile himselfe an Apostle of Jesus Christ, then Celsus the Heathen Philosopher to entitle his Books written against Christian Religion,Origen Contra cels. lib. 1. the word of truth; or Drunkards to be tearmed good fellowes, or light housewives honest women: (having made the rule of her faith like▪ Glaucus the Sea, which loosing some part of his Body by beating upon Rocks and shelves, hath the same repaired by rocks and sand that cleave to him: yet must shee be called the only Catholike Church of Christ, and all others that dissent from her, although they do consent with Christ, shall be counted and called Hereticks and Scismaticks, and Calvinists, and Lutherans, and Zwinglians, and I wote not what; even as in former ages, the Arians called themselves Orthodox­alls, and branded the Catholikes with the name of Hereticks, and Homousians, and Johanites, and Ambrosians, and Athanasi­ans: and as he that is troubled with the vertigo or swimming in the head thinks that the earth turnes, when he stands still, whereas the earth stands still, and his giddy brains turn, as those that sayl from the shore into the maine Sea, think that the Land goes back [Page 18] from them, when they goe back from the Land: So they charge us to have turned from the truth; when it is not we, but their giddy brains that have turned, and to have gone back from the ancient, Catholicke, and Apostolick Church, when it is not wee, but they that have run backwards, and made an apostasie.

Heare yet more cause of grief in this little Flock in these North-west parts of the world,Revel. 18. which at the commandement of Christ is come out of Babylon. Alas, what a rent have two or three points of difference made; and those not of such moment, but that a reconciliation might have been made, if a charitable construction had been admitted on both sides. It's worthy the observation which the holy Ghost sets downe, Gen. 13. 7. when there was debare between the Herdsmen of Abrahams, and the Herdsmen of Lots Cattel, The Canaanites and the Peresites dwelled at that time in the land; whereupon Abraham was more desi­rous to make a pacification: Let there be no strife between thee and me, nor between thy herdsmen, and my herdsmen, for we are bre­thren. So say I, let there be no strife between Abraham and Lot, between Luther and Calvin, nor between the Herdsmen of ei­ther side (especially seeing it is with us as it was with them, the Canaanite and the Peresite dwells amongst us) for we are bre­thren: The matters of difference are not such, but that they may, and I hope will in time be determined in a lawfull Assem­bly: Till then▪ oh let no heat of passion melt the pitch of Noahs Arke, no violence of perturbation burst in sunder the threed, and knots of Gods net, but both endeavour to preserve the com­munion of Saints, and so continue the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Worthy is that admonition which Saint Austin gives to certaine brethren that did not fully agree in the doctrine of predestination, I wish these men would hearken unto it: Ita (que) dilectiss: ne vos perturbet hujus quaestionis obscuritas. Mo­neo vos primum ut de his quae intelligitis agatis deo gratias. Quic­quid est autem quo pervenire nondum potest vestrae mentis intentio, pacem inter vo & charitatem servantes, a domino ut intelligatis, orate; & donec res ipsa perducat ad ea quae nondum intelligitis, ibi ambulate quo pervenire potustis: St. Paul shall english it, Let us as many as are perfect be thus minded: and if any be otherwise minded, God shall reveale even the same unto you. Neverthelesse [Page 19] in that whereunto we are come, let us proceed by one rule, that wee may mind one thing, Phil. 3. 15. 16.

To come yet neerer home; although peradventure it may be­fall me, as it doth him, who stepping in hastily to part a fray, gets a broken head for his paines, and receives blows from both parties: Tamen subibo discrimen, I will hazard my selfe, & pro virili aquam infundam in sacrum hunc ignem: I will doe the best I can to powre out my Bucket, to quench if I may this holy Fire; I meane the fire that is burning in our English Church, those hot and fiery flames of contention about Circumstances and Ce­remonies, Figures and Colours (shall I say more?) toys and tri­fles, if not in themselves, at least in regard of many things that are neglected, even by those who most oppugn them, which might be badges and tokens of unity and consent in our Church; yet prove they (I know not how) like the waters of Massah and Meribah, causes of strife and contention, and serve to make a rent in the vaile of our Temple, even from the top to the bottome, and to teare in sunder the seamlesse Coate of Christ Jesus. Marke those unchristian speeches cast to and fro, and those Books which are by sundry divulged on both sides, I ex­cept neither (and yet I must needs say there is a difference, the one maintaining the decency and order of our Church, the other striving to beate downe all the carved work thereof,Deut. 32. 33. as it were, with axes and hammers) and compare them with the most tart polemicall books that have been written against, or for the Pa­pists, and you shall find some of them in bitternesse and sharp­nesse of style far exceeding them, as if their pens were dipped in vinegar and wormwood, or their inke were made of the blood of Dragons, and the cruell gall of Aspes. Yet Michael the Arch­angle, when he strove against the devil; & disputed about the bo­die of Moses, Lucan pugna Pharsal. lib. 1. durst not blame him with cursed speaking, but said, The Lord rebuke thee Jude 9▪ May we not justly exclaim, as the Poet did concerning the civill Wars between Caesar and Pompey, Quis furor Ocives? what madnesse is this! quae tanta licentia linguae, what mean these unbridled tearms?

Cum (que) superba foret Babylon spolianda trophaeis,
Bella geri placuit nullos habitura triumphos.

[Page 20] When we should march with joynt Forces against the whore of Babylon, shall we every man slay his brother, and sheath his sword in his companions bowels? Oh that they would rememb­er that generall name, which as many have taken, as have taken the Military oath, to fight under Christs Standard, I meane the name of Christian. It was thought a good motive to Julius Cae­sar (in the first of Tacitus his Annals) to unite the minds of his dissenting Souldiers, to call them Quirites. Divus Julius sedi­tionem exercitus compescuit uno verbo, Quirites vocando: And should not the name of Christians be as great a motive to com­pose those jarrs, as Quirites was to the barbarous Souldiers? Oh that they would remember that they are brethren,Gen. 49. 5. not like Simeon and Levi▪ brethren in evill; nor like those bred of the Serpents teeth, which slew one another, as the Poet saith,

Marte cadunt subito per mutua vulnera fratres. But brethren bred in one womb, the Church, fed with one milk, the Word, animated with the same spirit, governed by the same Lord, justi­fied by the same faith, watch-men over the same Flock, fighting under the same Banner.Sen. in Thye­ste. Nefas nocere vel malo fratri puta, said he in the Tragedy: and Moses thought it a good argument to compose the two Israelites which were at odds between them­selves: Sirs, ye are brethren, why do ye wrong one to another? If this be not of force, oh that they would consider how they weary, and wear, and wast themselves, while they thus rubb one upon another. It was a prettie invention of the States of the low Countreys, upon some feare of discord between them and England, when they painted two earthen pots floating upon the Seas,Meteran. lib. 15 with this motto, Si collidimur frangimur; the like might they justly feare. Si collidimur frangimur: If we thus be knock­ed together, we shall both be broken in peices: If wee thus bite and devoure one another, we shall be bitten and consumed one of ano­ther.

And last of all, which is not the least of all, oh that they would consider, that the Politician at home, and the Papist a­broad, looks upon them: and howsoever they may seem in out­ward shew to incline to the one or the other party, yet indeed they laugh in their sleeve, and in their hearts say, There, there, so would we have it:Virgil Aen. l. 2. Hoc Ithacus velit, & magno mercentur A­tridae. [Page 21] It is noted that when the Grecians strove amongst them­selves, Philip got them all into his hands: and certainly there is not a fitten opportunity then this for the dissembling Atheist, and the neutralizing Worldling, and the statizing Polititian; for the Foxes, these little Foxes that dwell amongst us, and have already destroyed our Vines,Tacitus in vit [...] Agricol. and left us nothing upon them save a few small grapes, to obtaine their much desired prey: For these are like the Eele-catchers in the old Poet, it's best fishing for them in troubled and muddy waters. Tacitus notes of the ancient inhabitants of this Land,Joh. 11. that by their continual factions and dissentions, they made an easie way for the Roman conquest. Britanni factionibus, & studiis trahuntur, nec aliud adversus vali­dissimas gentesnobis utilius quam quod in communi non consulunt, sed dum singuli pugnant universi vincuntur. While the present Inhabitants of this Land tread in the foot-steps of those ancient Britannes, behold Hell hath enlarged it selfe, the Antichristian Synagogue of Rome hath hereout sucked no small advantage, and the Romans do their worst to come and take away (which God forbid) both our place and our Nation.3 Use. True it is (say they) which thou hast said; the Church is one Flock, one Bodie, one Spouse, one Sheep-fold; all the members thereof have one be­lief, one heart, one soule. This very point doth manifestly de­monstrate the Protestants to be not so much as members of the Catholique Church, because they be at continuall jarrs and wars amongst themselves; To whom I may return this Proverb, Phy­sitian heale thy selfe: Or I may say as one said unto Philip, when he began to reprove two forreiners for dissentions betweene themselves; quoth one unto him, look first to your owne house, and make peace there, and then reprove your neighbour. Quis tulerit Gracchos de seditione querentes? Our dissentions we see, we lament and bewaile, yet are they neither in number so many, springing all from one or two roots, or in quality so flagitious, being matters of question, not of faith, about the hemme and fringe, not about the garment it selfe; about the husk, not a­bout the kernell; about ceremonies and circumstances, not a­bout the essentials and fundamentals of faith, or that they ex­clude us not from the society of the faithfull, unlesse Austin, and Jerome, and Ruffinus, and Epiphanius, and Chrysostome, Cy­rill [Page 22] and Theodoret, Ireneus and Victor, Paul and Barnabas be excluded together with us; who although as was before said, they consented in all the fundamentals of Religion, yet in some points of circumstance and ceremonie they varied.

But what do al the builders of Babell speak the same language? do all the Romans agree amongst themselves? indeed as well as Dogs in a Kitchin, or Cocks in a pit; or as did the Midianites host, and Cadmus his Souldiers, they consent together as did Herod and Pilate, both at odds amongst themselves, yet both a­gainst Christ. Or as Sampsons foxes, their heads looke every one severall wayes; marry their tayles are tyed together with fire-brands in them for annoying their enemies; or as the Beasts which Cacus, an old Italian Gyant (who dwelt where the Pope now dwels) was wont to steale from others, which lest by their foot-steps they should be discovered, he was wont to draw into his denne by their tayles, their faces looking another way; all the unitie that they can boast of is in the tayl, whereby they are drawn to yeild and submit themselves and their works to the censure of the Romish Church, their heads looking another way. I will not now speak of their actual and morall dissentions, nei­ther of the many schismes and divisions, which have been in the Romish Church, when sometimes there were two, sometimes three Popes at once, and for the space of two yeares together none at all. Neither will I mention the difference of their Reli­gious orders, whereof there are, or have been at the least 100. in many things differing one from another; their intellectuall and dogmaticall differences are such, and so many, as that if I should repeat them unto you, I should both weary my selfe, and much abuse your Christian attention. Our learned Solomon in his A­pologie for the oath of Allegiance, hath gathered 11. gross con­tradictions out of Bellarmine: Pappus hath observed 237. dif­ferent opinions cited in Bellarmine: Crastovius hath observed 205. contradictions amongst the Jesuites: Willet hath cited 57. points wherein Bellarmine contradicteth himself, 39. points wherein Popery crosseth it selfe, 100. opposite constitutions in their Canon law,Fox. acts and monuments. and 70. contradictions between the old and the new Papists: Bishop Ridely hath quoted 17. manifest contradi­ctions out of Steph. Gardiner in one question, viz. touching the [Page 23] Sacrament of the Altar, as they call it: And a worthy Prelate of our Land in his Catholique Apologie hath confirmed almost all those positions which we maintain against the Church of Rome, by evident testimonies out of their owne Writers. What shall I say more? Let the Papists, if they can, name any maine contro­versie between them and us, wherein they doe agree amonst themselves. For my part, I thinke it requires more paines and judgment to set down the doctrines and positions of the Church of Rome, then demonstratively to confute and overthrow the same. If I alledge Bellarmine, Suarez, or the greatest Jesuites, Pighius, Catharinus, or who weare the name, one or other perad­venture will reply that it is but a particular opinion, and not the doctrine of their Church: Whither then shall I goe? to the Pope himselfe? then say I the Papists must condemne their Communion under one kind; for so did Gelasius: nay they concur with the Montanists, for so did Zepherinus; with the Arrians, for so did Liberius; with the Nestorians; for so did Anastasius 2. with the Monothelites; for so did Honorius; with other He­reticks in other points, for so other Popes have done; [...] thus see you Pythagarus determine. Here I am put off with the words of their nice and quirling distinctions: The Pope as a pri­vate Doctor may erre,Rhenanus in marg. Ter­tul. adver. Prop. but as he is Pope, his judgment is infalli­ble: If he be sitting in his Chaire in the Consistory, if hee back the whole Church, then he is like Apollo in tripode, he can speak nothing but Gospel. Marry if he be walking, or riding, or sitting at Table, he will talk as madly as any of his Cardinals. Now be­cause I know not what the Popes were doing, how their beha­viour was when they did thus and thus determine,Hieron. in Chronic. Athan. Epist. ad soli­tar. vitam a­gentes. whether they were sitting in their Chaires, as Plato was wont when he did dictate; or walking with the Peripateticks; or which is most likely, lying, with the Epicures; the Popes authority is not sufficient of it selfe to prove this or that to be the doctrine of the Romish Church.Gratian. di­stinct. 19. Can. Apost [...] Whither must I now goe? to their Councils con­firmed by the Pope? Indeed these be the Church representative, or branch of the unwritten word, which is to be received with no lesse reverence and authority then the books of the Old and New Testament.Vid. Bell. de Rom. pont. lib. 4. cap. 3. Well then, I will go no higher then the Coun­cell of Trent, it was called by a Pope, continued by a Pope, con­firmed [Page 24] by a Pope: and shall I take this for an undoubted truth, that whatsoever is there decreed is universally received amongst Papists? Oh but the very Councell it selfe, though it hath been sundry times attempted, yet could it not be received into the Kingdome of France, nor is as I suppose to this day. Yea, and in Italie and Spaine too, both private Doctors, yea and Popes too have crossed the determinations of that Conventicle. I will instance in one particular; the Councel of Trent commands that the old and vulgar edition shall be received for authenticall, and that no man under any pretence whatsoever, shall once dare or presume to reject it. And yet Bellarmine, a great Champion of that Synagogue, holds that in foure cases it is lawfull to appeale from it to the Original Languages: and Azorius, Vega, Sixtus Sinansis, Canus, Lindanus, and divers others since that Coun­cell do aver, that in that edition there are many grosse errours, and ridiculous Soloecismes, not only by the negligence of Writers and Printers (which the Lovanianists, and Colonianists have no­ted in the Margent) but by the negligence and ignorance of the Interpreter himselfe: yea and Popes themselves contrary to the Precept and Decree of that Synod, have revised and corrected the same. For about 43. years after the first publication of this Decree,Dr. James. Sixtus 5. did review and correct the whole Bible; and publishing it in the last yeare of his Popedome, did command that that of his should for evermore stand in force, upon paine of the great Curse: and yet within three years after this comes Clement 8. with a new Edition in many hundred of places, diffe­rent from that of Sixtus, the diversities whereof being gathered together by a painful Antiquary into a Book, which he intitu­leth Bellum Papale, doe make a pretty volume; and this latter must (I trow) upon no lesse penalty be received for authenti­call. These be they that boast of unity, and make Consent a mark of the Church.

But let us grant that unto the Papists which they are never a­ble to make good, that Rome is at Peace with her selfe, will it hence presently follow, that that Church is this little Flock? Theeves and Robbers are at peace amongst themselves, and true men may goe to Law one with another. The Scribes and Phari­sees, yea Herod and Pilate agreed in crucifying Christ: The [Page 25] the Kings of the earth stood up, and the Rulers took counsell to­gether against the Lord, and against his Christ. Psal. 2. 2. They have cast their heads together with one consent, and are con­federate against thee O God, the Tabernacles of the Edomites, and Ismaelites, the Moabites and Hagarens, Geball and Ammon, and Amaleck, the Philistims, with them that dwell at Tyre, Ashur is also joyned unto them, Psalm. 83. The Nobles and Princes and Dukes and Judges, and all agreed in the dedication of the Image which Nebuchadnezzar bad set up; they must either be at peace with God, or their braggs are winde: There is no true peace amongst men when they warr with God; there is no truth in unity when there is no unity in truth. Now how they agree with the Spirit of God speaking unto us in the holy Scriptures, he that will heare them [...] speak shall quickly discerne. God forbids that any Image be made to any religious use, or being made, to be worshipped, the Church of Rome commands both; God commands that the Sacrament shall be ministred in both kinds, the Church of Rome commands that the greatest part of Christians have it but under one kinde: God teacheth us, that howsoever before men we are justified by works, yet before him we are justified by Faith without the works of the Law; the Church of Rome teacheth that we are not justified before God by faith without the works of the Law. God tells us that we must pray with the understanding, the Church of Rome maintaineth praying in a strange tongue; God saith that Marriage is honourable amongst all men, the Church of Rome denies it: God calls the prohibition of mar­riage a Doctrine of Devills, the Church of Rome makes the prohibition of marriage equall to Canonicall Scripture: God hath taken away all legall distinction of meats, and tells us that every creature of God is good,1 Tim. 4. &c. they, the Church of Rome, puts more religion in abstinence from meats, then in the obser­vation of Gods precepts: Briefly, whereas the summ of the whole Bible is comprehended in the Decalogue and Creed, and both these included in the Lords prayer; there is not a Com­mandement in the Decalogue, scarce an Article in the Creed, or petition in the Lords prayer, against which, if not directly, yet indirectly and by consequence, they doe not offend; they as­cribe [Page 26] an inward religious worship to Saints, against the first Commandement, they adore Images against the second, they maintaine swearing by the creatures, invocation of Saints, they dispence with Oaths against the third, with greater strictnesse they observe their owne holidayes and fasting dayes then the Lords day, against the fourth; they extoll the Pope above all Emperours and secular Princes, they admit Children into reli­gious Orders without consent of Parents, against the fifth; they teach and practise rebellions, murthers, and massacres of such as be opposite unto them in matters of Religion, against the sixth; they prohibite marriage and allow the Stews, a­gainst the seventh; they hold that in extreame necessity it is lawfull to take another mans goods, against the eighth; they maintaine equivocation and mentall reservation, against the ninth; they hold that concupiscence, unto wich the will doth not yeeld consent, is not properly a sin, and so overthrow the tenth; that concupiscence unto which the will yeelds her con­sent, being forbidden in the former precepts.

Not to trouble you further, the summ of all is this, Such is the unity of the Romish Church, as neither old Papists agree with new, nor old with old, nor new with new, nor new with old, nor Schoole Doctor with Schoole Doctor, nor Fryar with Fryar, nor Priest with Priest, nor Jesuite with Jesuite, nor Pope with Councill, nor Pope with Pope, nor one with ano­ther, nor any with God: And therefore as he in Plutarch, who when he cast a stone at a Dogg, happened to light upon his Step-mother, sayd, That though it was besides his purpose, yet it was not greatly amisse: The Printer of Doctor Reynolds his Theses. Or as the Printer of a learned Treatise, when in stead of Cardinales he Printed Carnales; al­though it was besides the intent of the Author, yet was it nei­ther incongruous Latine, nor false English. So if Bellarmine in setting downe the works and rules of the Catholique Romish Church, when he made Vnitas for One, if in writing of Vnitas he had over-reached a little with his Pen, and added one Vow­ell more and made it Vanitas, though it had been beside his owne intendment, yet had it neither been beside, nor against the truth: this being a proper passion immediately flowing from the principles of that Church, and consequently an inseparable mark whereby to discerne her.

[Page 27] But to leave the Papists,Last use, ex­hortation to all. and with an exhortation to all, to make an end of all, Is the whole Church of Christ but one flock? then let us all which professe our selves to be members of this Church, of what calling and condition soever we be, bend all our endeavours, nor for our owne particulars, but for the peace and good, and preservation of the whole; even as the members of a mans body (which is a fit embleme of Gods Church) do not so much tender their owne good, as the safety and preser­vation of the whole; and because the bond of this Unity is Peace, let it be the care of you that are Magistrates to main­taine peace, and of us that are Ministers to Preach peace, and of you that are Lawyers to procure peace, and of you that are Jurors to conclude peace, and let us all with joynt consents pray for the peace of this Jerusalem, that plenteousnesse may be within her Pallaces, and peace within her Walls, peace in mat­ters of opinion, and peace in matters of action, peace in mat­ters of piety, and peace in matters of equity, peace with God and peace with our selves, and peace with all men, remembring that God himselfe is called the God of peace, and his Gospell the Gospell of peace, and his naturall Son the author of peace, and his adopted Sons the children of peace.

But especially let me intreat, yea and as an Embassadour of Jesus Christ, charge you that are Magistrates of our Countrey, Justices of the peace, to make your practice agree with your names: I use this exhortation the rather because I may use the same words to you which the Apostle did to the Corinthians, It hath been certainely declared unto me that there are contentions among you: and one saith I am Pauls, another, I am Apollos: Who is Paul, or who is Apollos, but the servants of Christ, and members with you of the same body; let no man so respect one particular member, as that he neglect the whole, the whole Church militant, and so every particular Church is like unto that Ship wherein Paul sayled under the Roman Centurion from Sidon towards Rome: Act. 27. Caelum undique & undique pontus. Shee is amidst a glassie Sea, every where beset with dangers: Vna Eurusque Notusque ruunt — The ayre thunders, the winds blow, the raine falls, the Sea rageth, the waves rise and beat upon the Ship: Exoritur clamorque virum stridorque ru­dentum, [Page 28] the ropes crack,Virg. A [...]n. lib. 1. the men cry, they are carryed up to the Heaven, and downe againe into the deepe, so that their soules even melt within them: What must be done in this case? Every man must shift for himselfe and his freind, and leave the Shipp to the mercilesse Seas; or as Parnus his Mar­riners did, fall together by the eares about a rotten Shipp­board, and hurt, and wound, and disgrace, and displace one another? No no, but the Centurion must command, the Pilot must guide the Compasse, Paul must preach, the Marriners must row, every man in his place, all private respects set aside, must labour to bring the Ship to Land.

Let me then with the blessed Apostle beseech you, that all injuries forgotten, all wrongs forgiven, all factions abandon­ed, all contentions and discords buryed, yee walke as the E­lect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercy, kind­nesse, humblenesse of minde, meeknesse, long suffering, for­bearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrell to another, even as God for Christs sake for­gave you; and above all things put on Love, which is the bond of perfection, and let the peace of God rule in you, and the God of peace shall be with you.Colos. 3.

Once againe for conclusion of all, let me with the same A­postle exhort you, if there be any consolation in Christ, if a­ny comfort of love, if any fellowship of the spirit, if any com­passion and mercy, fulfill my joy (my joy, nay your owne joy, and the joy of all Gods Elect children) that yee be like min­ded, having the same love, that nothing be done through contention and vaine glory, but that in meeknesse of minde every man esteem better of another then of himselfe, suppor­ting one another through love, endeavouring to keep the uni­ty of the spirit in the bond of peace, being of one heart and one soule, of one accord and one judgement, even as the Church whereof we professe our selves to be members is but one Flock, and the Governour of this Flock but one Shep­heard, and the milke of this Flock one Word, and the soule of this Flock one Spirit, and the inheritance of this Flock one [Page 29] Kingdome; and that I may neither add to, nor detract from the Apostles words, As there is one hope of our Vocation, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptisme, one God and Father of all, which is above all, and through all, and in us all; consider what I say, and the God of Gods give you wisedome to know, and a conscionable endeavour to put in practise that which hath been sayd.

The second Sermon.

LVKE 12. 32.‘Feare not little Flock, for it is your Fathers good plea­sure, &c.’

CYRVS, Herod. lib. 1. when he went against Babylon, falling in his way upon Gyndes a Navi­gable River, for his more speedy dis­patch he caused it to be cut into many streames, and the event was answerable to his expectation, for by that meanes he found a safe and ready passage for his Army and Carriages. When I first looked upon this River of God, in hope of the like event, I did the like, but the successe hath proved different, for whereas I might in an houres space have swim­med it over (going in one Channell) having cutt it into two streames, and divided either into sundry smaller Rivers, it hath proved like Elishaes Cloud, ever bigger and bigger, or like the waters that flowed out of the Temple in Ezekiels vision, ever broader and deeper, Caelum undique & undique pontus: So that it hath cost me one dayes travell already, and is like to put me yet to more before I shall be able to waft it over.

The last time I spake in this place upon this occasion, this Scripture was divided into two streames.

First, An incouragement against all humane and mundane feares.

Secondly, A reason, For it is your Fathers, &c.

In the first of these, 1. A dehortation, 2. The object of it, Flock: 3. The quantity, Little.

[Page 31] In the second: First a gift, a Kingdome: 2. The Donor or Grantor, your Father: 3. The Grantees, not to all, but to his children, You: 4. The manner of conveyance in Franck Al­mes, He gives it: 5. The cause impulsive, or the conside­ration, not Faith, nor foreseen works, nor any thing in man, but that love wherewith from everlasting he loved them, [...], It is your Fathers good pleasure: Or, Your Father is well pleased. I began with the object, and made it the subject of my speech at that time, and therein observed, first the unity of Christs Church, it is but one Flock: Secondly, the quality of the members, a Flock of Sheep, not a heard of Swine, &c. So farr already.

We are now to come to the second branch, the quantity of Christs Church, A few, Matth. 7. A remnant, Rom. 9. 27. A little Sister, Cant. 8. 8. A little City whose inhabitants are few, beleaguered by a mighty King (Satan) and preserved by the wisedome of a poor man (Christ.) So Olympiodorus expounds that of Eccles. 9. 13. A little Flock here in my Text: Little in two respects: First, little in the esteeme of the World: Second­ly, little in comparison with the World: From which two re­spects we may gather these two propositions.

  • 1. Those that are in the sight of God the dearest, are commonly in the eyes of men of meanest and basest esteeme.
  • 2. The number of true Beleevers is little, being compared with the World.

The former of these (for I must handle them severally) al­though to a naturall man it may at the first blush rather seem a Philosophicall Paradox then a Theologicall conclusion, espe­cially seeing man naturally desires that which is good, and what he desires he loves, and the better any thing is, the more hee loves it, and the more he loves it the more he esteemes it: Yet he that is acquainted with the Oracles of God, and the wri­tings of the Ancient, and the practice of present times, and finds what befell the Patriarcks and Prophets, and Apostles, and Evangelists, and Martyrs, and Confessors, and Christ himselfe, and the best in all Ages since the Serpent began to bite the heel of the Womans Seed, and sees what miseries they endured, what indignities they suffered, in what account and estimation [Page 32] they were had in the World, will rather take it for an undoubt­ed principle then a disputable Probleme. That which David spoke of himselfe, or of Christ, whereof he was a figure, was true of all Prophets and Patriarchs, before, and in his time. I am a worme and not a man, a shame of men, and the contempt of the people; all that see me have me in derision, Psal. 22. 6, 7. We are a reproach to our neighbours, a scorne and derision to them that are round about us, Psal. 79. 4. Paul speaks or himselfe and the rest of the faithfull in his time, Wee are made a gazing stock to the World, and to Angels and to men: We are fooles, we are despised, we are made the filth of the World and of-scouring of all things, 1 Cor. 4. And that which the Pagans spoke of one, they meant of all that were of his profession: Bonus vir Caius Sejus, sed mutus tantum quód Christianus: Nomen non crimen in nobis damnatur; & ignotam sectam vox sola praedam­nat quia nominatur, non quia revincitur, saith Tertullian: And yet to say the truth,Tertul. Apol. they spared no lyes to excuse themselves, and make Christians more odious to others. Pliny calls Christi­anity,Plin. Epist. Aunal. lib. 15. a wicked and excessive superstition: Christiàni per fla­gitia invisi, saith Tacitus: And againe, Exitialis superstitio Christianorum, the deadly superstition of Christians. Christia­ni genus hominum novae ac maleficae superstitionis, saith Suetoni­us: In Nero. These were but small crimes; they were Idolaters, troub­lers of States, overthrowers of Empires: Atheists with Dia­goras, Worshippers of the Sun with the Persians, incestuous like Oedipus; Man-eaters like Thyestes, and what not? And what marvaile that these should finde such entertainement with strangers, when their Master found no better entertainement with his owne, but was accounted as Isaiah long before had foretold, a man forsaken and contemned of men, Isa. 53. A deceiver, a Samaritane, a Wine-bibber; a freind of Publicans and Sinners; nay, a Witch, a Sorcerer, whom none of the Ru­lers or of the Pharisees, but a few ignorant and cursed people which knew not the Law, made any reckoning of▪ John 7. 48. I dare not spinn along this thred to our times, neither is it needfull I should, seeing these present dayes doe sufficiently demonstrate my proposition to be true; I speak not of the Beast, and those that have its mark in their foreheads and right hands, [Page 33] between whom and such as are sealed with the Seale of the li­ving God, there must needs be immortale odium & nunquam sa­nabile vulnus, a wonderfull great antipathy as between the Serpents and the Womans Seed. I count little, how little these account of us, it is indeed a singular honour to be disho­noured by them: I speake not I say of these, though these do sufficiently confirme the truth of my proposed Doctrine. It is well known (would God I might be found a lyer) that even in our English Church which is fled out of Babylon, and profes­seth her selfe to be a follower of the Lamb whethersoever he goeth: such as yet carry the most evident and apparent mark of Gods Sheepe in their foreheads, are not by professed Enemies, but by many thousands which in outward profession joyne with them, counted the excrements of Christians, and out-cast of all things, and branded with the odious names of Precisians, Catharists, Puritanes, and I wot not what: odio est in hominibus innocuis nomen innocuum, as Tertullian spoke of Christians in his time.

Mistake me not, I desire to be counted a Son of our English Church, and am not come to make an Apology for our Dona­tists, that have burst the unity of Gods Net, because of the bad Fish that are within it, and have leapt out of Gods Fold because of the Goates, and have forsaken his Field because of the Tares, and his floore, because of the Chaff which they finde mingled with the Wheat: those that will live in no Church on Earth, but such as is without spot or wrinkle, must (as Constantine said to Acesius a Novatian Bishop) make Ladders for them­selves to climbe into Heaven, here is no place for them under the Sun. Neither go I about to patronise such as agree with us in the Fundamentals, but differ in the Ceremonies and circum­stances of Religion, that hold with us the substance, but as Da­vid did to Saul, would pull a lap of our Garment, and hew down the carved work of our Temple, as it were with Axes and Hammers. I never thought it a sound Argument that Ceremo­nies must be abolished, because they have been abused: for if the abuse should make the thing unlawfull, there is nothing in the world which a tender conscience might not make scruple of: the Sun, the Moon, and all the Hoast of Heaven, the Earth [Page 34] which we tread upon, the Aire which we breath, our Meat and Drink which nourish us, our Apparell which cover us, the Bells, the Pulpit, the Font, the Church, and what cannot have been wickedly abused? We abridge the liberty of the Church too much, if we think that it may not use any thing which the Pope or others misused, saith Peter Martyr in an Epistle writ­ten to Hooper Bishop of Gloce [...]er, there being some cavelling at that time between him and Ridly then Bishop of London, about some Ceremonies of the English Church: the one seek­ing to abolish them, the other to maintain the lawfull use of them, yet were they both so far from Popery, that he that stood so stiff for those Ceremonies, was as ready as the other in Queen Maries daies to spend his best blood in defence of the Gospell. Our Elders, if not before the Egge was laid, yet before the cockatrice of Popery was hatched, were of another opinion, when they converted the Temples that were erected to heathe­nish Gods, and the reverence which were due to the Vestall Virgins, and Idolatrous Priests to the service of the true God. And this is the meetest sense that can be taken in the Judgment of any that is not wedded to his owne conceit, to take away the abuse and keep the thing: we have no commandement to deale with false Religion, as Saul was commanded to do unto Ame­lek, to root out good and all that belonged unto it: but rather as Joshuah was instructed to deale with Jericho, to destroy the execrable things, to reserve the Silver and Gold, and Vessels of Brasse and Iron, for the Treasury of the Lord. It is a pritty say­ing of Austine, Lib. de ser. Do­mini in mon. lib. 2. non debet ovis pellem deponere quod lupi aliquando eam j [...]duunt, the Sheep must not therefore put off his Skin be­cause Wolves are sometimes cloathed in Sheeep-skins.

Let no man then take me to be a Pleader for such, although I must confesse that I have partly learned Judes Rule, to have compassion of some in putting difference, such as not out of a spirit of contradiction, but out of a tendernesse of conscience, choose rather to forgoe all worldly preferment, then to have the Eye of their Soules (their Consciences) troubled with the least mote: I cannot chuse but lament their cases, as he did the seduced Prophet, Alas my Brother, 1 King. 13. 30. and be­ [...]one the Churches loss, as the Israelites did theirs of the Ben­jamites [Page 35] because a Tribe was perished out of Israel, Judg. 21. 6.

But now to return to that from whence for mine own excuse I have somewhat digrest: that such as neither make any Dona­tisticall Separation from our Church, neither any Rent in our Church, but allow and approve as well the Ceremonies, as the fundamentall points of our Religion, if they strive to sail against Wind and Weather, and to swim against the Stream, and (as much as humane practise will permit) to keep themselves un­spotted in the World: Should in Streets, in Markets, in Ta­vernes, on Stages, yea in Pulpits, and Bookes too be branded for Puritans, because by their Lives and Conversations, they give Evident Demonstration that they are of this Flock (for other Reason I cannot give) Quis talia fando temperet a lacrimis? This shewes, that all they are not Israel which are of Israel, but woe unto them that call Good evill. If thou abhor that beastly and swinish sinne of Drunkenness, and either envy against, or refuse to be an ordinary Companion to such: Thou art a Puri­tan, if thou canst not indure that blasphemous, horrible, hellish swearing, which is so common almost in all Professions, that we may iustly renew St. Austins Complaint, Et cum creduntur jurant, & cum non creduntur jurant, & horrentibus hominibus jurant, & plura sunt plerumque juramenta quam verba: Thou art but a Puritan, if thou exclaim against the Chemarims and Baalites of Rome, thou art with Elias, a Troubler of Israel, in­clining to Puritanisme: if thou make a Conscience of keeping the Sabboth, and call it a Delight to consecrate it as glorious to the Lord, as thou art commanded, Isa. 58. 13. Hic nigrae succus lo­liginis, haec est aerugo mera, it is a strong strain of a Puritan. Hereupon it falls out, that as of old Arius, for avoiding of Sabel­lianisme, fell into a more dangerous Heresie, and Eutiches for fear of Nestorianisme defended a contrary, but worse Errour: And Pelagius, out of dislike of Manichisme founded a proper he­resie of his own: So many amongst us, (verifying Horace his Verse In vitium ducit culpae fuga si caret arte; like unskilfull husband­men, who going about to make straite a crooked peice of wood bend it so far the other way, that instead of striaightning of it they break it) for avoiding of Puritanisme, fall into more perni­cious [Page 36] Erours, then either the old or new Catharists ever main­tained, to wit Papisme, Neutralisme, and Libertinisme, and E­picurisme, and Arminianisme, and Atheisme: They care not what they be, so they be not counted Puritans. Hos populus ridet, multumque torosa juventus: The name is so generally derided, they cannot indure it. Thus then it hath been, thus it is at this day, and thus no doubt it will be in times to come; they that are in the sight of God the dearest, shall commonly in the eyes of men be of little and base account.

The Reason of this Proposition are cheifly two.

The first ariseth from the difference of Judgment between the World and the Sons of God.

The second from the enmity and Antipathie of the Serpents Seed against the Womans.

For the first, Gods Wayes are not as Mans Wayes, nor his Thoughts as mans Thoughts. The Wisdome of the World is foolishnesse with God; and the Wisedome of God to a naturall man seems foolishness. The reason is, because a naturall man cannot perceive the things of the Spirit of God, such know­ledge is too wonderfull and excellent for him, he cannot attain unto it, he wants a Spirituall Eye to discern Spirituall things.

The Milesians objected to Thales, that the Study of Astro­nomie and other liberall arts, was idle and fruitlesse, because it commonly fell out, that those that study them the most, were the poorest: and when the same of Aristotle his learning was spread abroad through all the Regions of Greece, many desirous to be acquainted with that which they heard by Report from others, flocked to Athens to hear him read a Philosophie Lecture: when they were come into his Schoole, and heard him make a large discourse about the Subject of the Metaphysicks, Ens, and Vnum, and speak never a word, how a man might aug­ment his Goods, and inlarge his Possessions; they altered their Judgments, and (for all his wisdome) counted him but a fool, to leave that by which a man may become great in the World, and discourse about such abstruse and abstract notions as they could not understand.

This is the Worlds judgement still, to count light of all that savours not of some present profit, or pleasure; he declines his [Page 37] felicity no further then the present Tens a Lease for life in this World is of more worth with him, then the Reversion of a Kingdome in another; and therefore the Childe of God that looks not on the things that are seen, but on the things that are not seen; and first seeks, and then sets his affections on the things that are above, and makes more reckoning of a peaceable con­science, then a worldly Kingdome, is by him contemned, and reputed a foole by troubling himselfe with such metaphysicall notions as he (the worldling) cannot understand. A Jueller makes reckoning of a Pearl, but Aesops Cock, that knowes not the use of it, counts it but a Bable. When Protogenes the Painter did earnestly eye a Picture made by Apelles, admiring the cu­riousnesse of the workmanship; an ignorant man comes to him and tells him, that he wonders why a Painter should admire that Picture, for I have seen (said he) a hundred better: Oh said Protogenes, if thou hadst mine eyes thou wouldst never aske me that question, but wouldst judge as I judge. The childe of God looking upon heavenly things with a spirituall eye, prizeth them at a dearer rate then ten thousand Worlds all of Gold and Pearle: But an unwise man that doth not consider these things, and a foole that doth not understand them (because he wants a spirituall eye) doth farr undervalue them; as he that measuring the Sun by his eye, conjectures it to be but a foot and a halfe broad (as Tully notes) which Mathematici­ans know to be farr bigger then the whole Globe of the Earth and Water.

When the Romanes for the good service performed by the Cappadocian Slaves, offered them liberty (which all creatures naturally desire) they not knowing the benefit thereof, be­cause they had ever lived in bondage, refused it. The world­ling scornes and contemnes that liberty which the Sons of God have in Christ, because having ever been bound with the evill Angels in chaines of darknesse, he knowes not what that means, If the Son make you free you shall be free indeed. This is the first cause of contempt of Gods Children with the worldling, he understands not the things of the Spirit of God; he counts them foolishnesse, and him that studieth them no better then a fool in respect of himself.

[Page 38] The second is the antipathy between the Womans Seed and the Serpents: I will put enmity betweene thee and the Woman, and between thy Seed and her Seed, said God to the Serpent, Gen. 3. 15. Hic incipit liber bellorum Domini, saith Rupertus: true; for the whole Scripture is a Book describing the Warrs between the Serpents Seed and the Womans; which shall be continued untill the consummation of the World. Basil writes of the Panther, that he hath such a mortall hatred against man, that he cannot indure his picture, insomuch that if he see it but drawne in Paper he will presently pull it in peices: The Serpent, that Hellish Panther, beares such an inveterate hatred against God, that he cannot indure his Picture; and therefore when he saw Gods Image drawne in a peice of earth, I mean in Adam at the creation, he was never at rest till he had pulled it in peices: and in whomsoever he shall finde it drawne anew (as it is in all beleevers, though not so perfectly as was the first draught) against them he and his Imps bear an implacable hatred, and labours with tooth and naile to tear in peices this Image, if they cannot this, then at least to keep them under that weare it; or as the Garderens dealt with Christ, to keep such out of their coasts: By a Law of Ostracisme they will banish such out of their company,Plut. Herod. Tullie, Tuscul. quaest. lib. 5. as the Athenians did themselves, and the Spar­tans Demaritus, and as the Ephesians used Hermodorus, who cast him out of the City because he was a trusty and an honest man, adding this sentence, Let none of us be over good for ought, if hee be let him seeke another place, and get him other compa­nions.

Here then (beloved Christian) learn not to be discouraged for this that thou art not respected,Vse. nor had in account with many worldlings as thou deservest; the more the men of this World shall hate, the more strive thou to be unlike them, that they may hate thee; the more Invidiâ rumpantur ut ilia Codri: They contemne thee because they do not know thee; thou art not of the World, what marvell if the World hate thee, thou art a stranger, care not if the Doggs bark at thee: The Philo­sopher in Laertius said of a Dancer,Apud Diogen. Laertium. Quo melius feceris eo de­terius facias, and Quo deterius eo melius, The better thou dan­cest the worse thou art, and the worse the better: So the bet­ter [Page 39] thou art in the Worlds judgment, the worse thou art; and the lesse thou art in the Worlds account, the greater art thou in Gods: As Tacitus speaks of the Images of Brutus and Cassius, which were not shewed amongst the rest in Tiberius his time, Eo honoratiores quòd non ostendebantur: So the more thou art despised the more honourable art thou, if thou canst injoy ri­ches and honours and favour with the men of this World, as Joseph under Pharaoh, and Obediah under Ahab thou mayst, so that it be without the losse of Gods favour: if thou canst not, count not of the losse. The woman cloathed with the Sun, treads the Moon under her feet, Revel. 12. If thou be cloathed with the wedding Garment of the Sun of righteousnesse, and the bright beames of the Gospell inlighten thy dark and clou­dy heart, all worldly honours, riches, pleasures (which are as mutable as the Moon, tread them under foot, and set them at naught: requite the worldlings with a like kindnesse, have the most precious things on earth in as base esteeme as they have thee. This is a lesson (I confess) hard to be learned, and pra­ctised by very few: No marvell Christs Flock as it is little in e­stimation and account of the World, so is it also little in com­parison with the World, which is the second proposition obser­ved from the quantity.

It is true which the essentiall truth hath told us, That many are called, yet not so many as the upholders of universall Grace would have us to beleeve; for he that shewed his Lawes unto Jacob, his Statutes and Ordinances unto Israel, and dealt not so with any Nation, nor gave the Heathen knowledge of his Laws: he that prohibits to cast Pearls before Swine, and to give that which is holie to Doggs, he that brings a drought up­on one City when he makes it raine upon another: he that com­mands Paul to Preach in Macedonia, and forbids him to Preach in Asia, shewes plainly that he is not tyed in any obligation to offer so much as the internall meanes of Salvation to all, but of those many that are called few are chosen, Matth. 20. Will ye have a type of it, six hundred thousand are called out of Ae­gypt, but onely two of them enter into the promised Land: Three and twenty thousand are called to fight against Midian, but onely three hundred are chosen, Jud. 7. Gideons Fleece is [Page 40] wet when the whole Earth is dry. Eight persons are saved in the Ark, when the whole World, that would not hearken unto the Preacher of righteousness, is drowned: five Cities are burn­ed, only three Soules that believed God and fled unto the Hills were preserved. The Seed falls foure waies out of the Sowers hand; some amongst Thornes and that is choaked: some a­mongst stones, and that is withered; some by the way side, and that is devoured, scarce the fourth part falling into good ground is preserved: Christ hath a little Flock, but the Devill hath a Kingdome, nay a world of Kingdomes: All these are mine: He lyed, but in some sort his speech was true; he is the Prince of this World, he drives the whole World in a drift be­fore him, as a Butcher doth his Flock to the Shambles: Christ catcheth here a Sheep and there another out of Satans Drove, to make up to himselfe a little Flock; he hath the Vintage, Christ hath the Gleanings, as the scattered Grapes when the Vintage is ended, and as the after shaking of an Olive Tree, here a Berry and there a Berry on the outmost boughs, Isa. 24. 13. For this cause, as if it were too much that Christs Church should be called a Flock, it is elsewhere called a Houshold, Eph. 2. Gal. 6. This is too large a name, and therefore is it limited: in a House there be Vessels of honour and Vessels of dishonour, the former onely are Christs, the other he leaves to Satan: there be Sons in an house, and there be Servants, Christ makes challenge to none but Sons and Daughters, the reason is plaine; the way to Hell is a broad way, they may go by thousands to it, there is roome for Foot and Horse, and Cart and Coach and all; it is plaine and pleasant, no hedges to keep passengers in, no mire to withhold them, no blocks to stop and hinder their passage: But the way to Heaven (like that described by Livie to Tempe in Thessalie) is but one single narrow craggy path, all that go that way,Dec. 4. must (as neer as may be) tread in the footsteps of him that is gone before, Viz. Christ: There is the sharp thorny hedge of the Law to pale them in, and the fiery Cherubs to affray them, and the blade of a Sword shaken to discourage them, and the mire and clay of tribulation to keep their legs, as it were, in the stocks, and many blocks and stops doth Satan cast before them to bring them to the ground; and [Page 41] when thou art come to the gate, it is but like a needles eye: If thou be puffed up with luxury and drunkennesse, thou must empty thy selfe: If thou bee swelled with pride and ambition, thou must humble thy selfe: If thou be loaden with the drosse and trash of this world, thou must disburthen thy selfe, thou must pull downe thy top-mast, and strike saile, and become slen­der and little, and nothing in thine own eyes, or thou shalt ne­ver finde entrance.

This being thus, I much wonder why either Bellarmine, or the most impudent and brazen-faced Divine that ever the Ro­man Church bred, should not blush to place multitude, and a glorious visibility of Professors amongst the infallible marks of the true Church; which if they prove, I will not say to be pro­per and inseparable marks (the mark which Bellarmine aimes at) but to carrie so much as a shew of probability, I dare boldly in­ferr that neither Abraham, nor any of the Patriarchs; nor Eli­as, nor any of the Prophets; nor Athanasius, nor any of the Or­thodoxall Bishops of that time; nor Christ, nor any of his Apo­stles were of the true Church: all of which had multitude, and glorious visibility of Professors as strongly against them, as the Romanists can prove it to be on their side. Where was this multitude and visibility, when Abraham and his Wife were Pilgrims in Aegypt, and Canaan, and had not so much as a child to leave behind them? where, when Elias complained that he was left alone, that small remnant which God had reserved to himselfe being so hid, that they were unknown to Elias himself, though a principall member of the Church? Where, when the Prophet complained, that not a righteous man could be found in Jerusalem? Jer. 5. 1. Where, when Christ first began to preach, and made choise of 12. Apostles for this purpose, one of which proved a thief. Where in the time of the Arian persecution, when to use Hieroms words, the whole world groaned and wondered to see her selfe become an Arian? When this plague spread over the whole Christian world, and infected two Bishops of Rome, and was strengthened by ten severall Councels, in which the decrees of the Nicene Synod were repealed. When whole burthen of the Church (in respect of men) lay upon the shoulders of Athanasius, and a few other forlorn Bishops, which [Page 42] endured either imprisonment or banishment, or otherwise hid themselves, and durst not shew their faces: By this which hath been spoken, as it is evident that this note of multitude notes no­thing; or if any thing, the contrary to Bellarmines note: So is it also as cleare, that that glorious shew of visibility (of which these Thrasoes make such great boast) neither makes their cause good, nor hurts ours. Where was the Protestants Church for divers hundreds of years before Martin Luthers dayes? many there were not of that Church; true, there needed not. Christs flock is little, gloriously conspicuous it was not; true, for neither was that needfull. Where was this great multitude of Believers, and glorious splendor of Professors, when the Prophet complain­ed that he was left alone? When Esay exclaimed, That from the sole of the foote to the crowne of the head there was nothing but bruises and putrified sores, Isa. 1. When all Jerusalem was trou­bled about the birth of Christ, when the Christians groaned un­der the ten bloody persecutions inflicted by the Pagans, and un­der the eleventh caused by the Arians? As in those times, so in the times before Martin Luther, the western Church was at a low ebbe, and the Moon did suffer almost a totall Eclipse: No marvail, seeing it was foretold that there should be an apostacy, 2 Thes. 2. And that the second Beast should cause all, both great and small, rich and poor, free and bond to receive a marke in their right hands, and in their fore-heads, Apoc. 13. 16. And that all Nations should be drunk with the wine of the fornicati­on of the whore of Babylon, Apoc. 18. 3. Yet even then I make no doubt but God had his true Church, because the gates of Hell shall never prevaile against it. Although I could neither neither name the persons who, nor the places where (which notwithstanding I can do both) as I doubt not but wee had all Ancestors living 120. yeares agoe, and yet none of us can name either person or place, or profession of any of them: and I doubt not but there is a moone immediately after the change, although I cannot point out the place with my finger, and say here it is.

Now as this doctrine proves amplitude and multitude of Believers to be no true and infallible [...] of Gods Church:Vse 2. So it takes away an excuse which is common in the [Page 43] world to do as the most do: wherein we may justly renew Se­neca's complaint, Inter causas malorum nostrorum est quod vivi­mus ad exempla, nec ratione componimur, sed multitudine abduci­mur. Quod si pauci facerent, nollemus imitari: cum plures facere caeperunt, quasi honestius sit quo frequentius, & sequimur, & recti apud nos locum tenet error ubi publicus est factus. Epist. 123. Here comes in­to my minde a story recorded by Munster in his discription of Frisland: Carolus Mertellus Duke of Brabant, coming into Frisland, perswades Rapotus Duke thereof to embrace Christian Religion, and to this purpose sent Wolfrancus a certaine Bishop to instruct him in the grounds of Christian Faith; After a time Rapotus yeelds, and going into the water with the Bishop to re­ceive the Sacrament of Bapt. having one foot in the River where he was to have been baptized, he demands of the Bishop whe­ther more of his Progenitors were in Hell, or in Paradise, the Bishop replying in Hell, presently the Duke steps back, and refu­sing baptisme, said, I had rather be in Hell with the most, then in Paradise with the fewest. Many deride the folly of this man, who follow his example; rebuke the Adulterer for his dallying, or the Drunkard for his carousing, or the Swearer for his blas­pheming, or the Usurer for his grinding, or the Sabboth-breaker for his prophaning: What but universality of sinne must procure him a pardon;in Ruffin. in Joh. Ser. 49. but multitud [...] peccantium non parit erroris patroci­nium saith Hierome, and he that excuseth his fault by alledging of multitude (saith St. Austin) seeks not a patron for his cause, but a fellow for his punishment, and God hath commanded us not to follow a multitude to do evill: and we have now learned that Christs Church is not a great, but a little flocke. It is a true saying of Livie; major pars plerum (que) vineit meliorem. In doing of good it is good to have company: but where they leave the way of God, we must leave their wayes. It is the worst kind of good fellowship to go to Hell for company, Bonum quo communius e [...] melius: but malum quo communius eo pejus, It's more dange­rous when a whole house is sick of the Plague, then when only one of the family is infected, worse when it is in a whole Towne, but worst of all when it is spread through the whole Kingdome. The universality of sin is an argument that Gods plague is wayt­ing at the doors of that house or City, or Kingdome, to fall upon [Page 44] it, and to destroy it. Poets fable that a little before the Trojane warre, the Earth made complaint to Jupiter that she was loaden with the sins of wicked men, and could no longer beare them, the offenders were [...]o many. Whereupon Jupiter stirred up the Trojan wars, to ease of the earth of the multitude of offenders: and indeed Warres are commonly Gods new brooms (which sweep cleane) whereby he purgeth this Augaeum stabulum, and sweep­eth away the common heaps of sinnes. And in them it falls out according to the proverb, Vt victor fleat, & victus intereat, That both parties sustaine losse as then it fell out. But wee have better examples then Poeticall fictions for illustration of this point.

What was the cause of the drowning of the old World? See Gen. 6. 12. Universality of sinne: All flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. What was the cause why Sodome was bur­ned? See Gen. 18. Community of sinne: not ten righteous men could be found in five Cities. For shame then plead not univer­sality for sinne, lest if thou be partaker with the multitude in their sinnes, thou suffer with them in their punishments. If No­ah had been like unto them of the old world, he had been drow­ned with them: And if Lot had been like his neighbours of So­dome, he had been burned with them. If thou wilt enter into life, be singular, goe not with the most, but with the best. A­braham must come out of Chaldaea, though none but his Wife accompanie him: and Lot must leave Sodome, though all his neighbours forsake him. He that will follow the streame and current of Rivers, shall at length come to the deep Sea: and hee that will follow the stream and current of times, shall at length come to the deep of Hell. So much of the second, the third followeth.

Feare not.

Of that feare whereby a man is moved either to obey God,Third part. or depart from his precepts, Peter Lombard sets downe 4. kinds. Servile, which hath poenam for its object; it ariseth from the ap­prehension of Gods wrath, and curses of the Law. He that is the subject of this fear, will abstaine from sinne, and do that which is good, Non virtutis amore, sed formidine paenae, as Horace speaks. Non timore amittendi aeternum bonum quod non amat, sed [Page 45] timore patiendi malum quod formidat, In Psal. 127. ver. 1. as Austin notes. This is a preparation, or previall disposition to the next kind of feare, which is called chast and filiall: It is the beginning of wisdome, as Solomon calls it, and it is to filiall feare, as the needle is to the thread so Austin illustrates it) the needle makes way for the thread, and draws it after it, yet so as that the thread, not the needle remaines in the cloath, and tyes the parts together. Fili­all feare, the second kind, is joyned with faith, and love of God, and hath Culpam for its object: this is a speciall part of Gods worship: Thou shalt feare the Lord thy God and serve him, Deut. 6. 13. The third is Initialis, which doth not specifically, but modally and gradually differ from filiall: And indeed in the best of Gods children, as all other vertues, so also filiall feare is but Initiall. Cunctorum in terris gementium imperfect a perfectio est, saith Hierome, they are pilgrims, and a pilgrims motion is (as all mutations are) actus entis in potentia, as the Philosopher de­fines motus. The fourth is mundane and humane, unto which we may referre that which some Schoolmen make a fifth kind of feare, which they call naturall, which is not evill if it be kept within its bounds. For to be touched somewhat with those things which be by nature terribilia, and may do evill, as Death, Famine, want of necessaries for this life, is not evill. Aristotle notes it as a kind of brutishnesse in the Celtae that they feared not Lightnings, nor Inundations, nor Earth-quakes. But now to exceed in this kinde, and for avoyding of mundane evills to incurre the displeasure of God: with Elisha's servant, to see thine Enemies, but not thy Friends: with Saul, to be greatly afraid of Goliah, and not to see the power of God in little Da­vid: It proceeds from an evill root, an immoderate love of this world, and is joyned with a distrust to his providence, who hath said, I will not leave thee nor forsake thee, and is here forbid­den by our Saviour, Feare not.

Janus-like it looks both back-ward and forward. Backwards to the precedents of this Chapter, & so it contains the use which we are to make of that which hitherto hath been delivered con­cerning Gods providence. Forward to the latter part of the verse, and so it is a conclusion of an argument a majori, thus: Gods elect are Kings sonnes, States of Paradise, and heires appa­rent [Page 46] to the crown of Heaven; Ergo, they need not feare, but he will watch over them, with his fatherly provision, protection, and direction in his kingdome of grace. Take it whether way ye will, and it will afford us this proposition; Such is Gods fatherly care and providence over his children, that they need not be discouraged by humane nor mundane fears.

As the night Crow sees in the night, but is blind in the day: So a naturall man is quick-sighted in temporall things,Aquinas 1. 2. quaest. 102. art. 6. but blind in spirituall; For as the Sun lighteneth the Earth, but darkeneth the Heaven: So his understanding giveth him direction about earthly things, but for heavenly and spirituall, them it darkneth and obscureth. This as by many other things it is evident, so es­pecially by the worlds rash judgement touching Gods provi­dence over his children while they remaine in these houses of clay; for they seeing that the godly are oftentimes hunted as a Partridge upon the mountains, or as a Pelican in the Wilder­nesse, and an Owle in the Desart: whereas the ungodly (as Job speaks) have their houses peaceable, and without fear, and the rod of God is not upon them, they rejoyce in the sound of the Organs, and spend their dayes in wealth: They I say, see­ing these things, not being able to give the true reason of them, (because God made them neither of his Court nor Privie Coun­sell) and yet storning to be ignorant in any thing (though they knew nothing as they ought to have known) began to lye and libell against that eternall power in which they live, & move, and have their being. Some of them, because they would not seem to impute any injustice unto God, thought that such as they saw groaning under the heavy burden of affliction, howsoever unto the worlds eye they might seem devout and righteous, yet in very deed, and before God, which seeth not as man seeth (for man looks on the outward appearance, but God beholds the heart) they were dissemblers and hypocrites. Thus Paul when he had gathered a few sticks for the fire,Acts 28. and a Viper came out of the heat, and leapt on his hand, was by the Barbarians coun­ted a murtherer.Job 11. 6. Job, when the heavy hand of God was upon him, was by Zophar thought to be a man forgotten of God for his iniquity. Nay Christ our Saviour, that immaculate Lamb, who had done no wickednesse, neither was there any guile found in [Page 47] his mouth, was judged by the Jewes as a man plagued and smitten of God for his sinnes, Lib. 4. Isa. 53. 5. Others, not much unlike the old Thracians, who (as Herodotus writes) when it thundered, used to shoot up their arrows towards Heaven, and to tell God that he cared for none but himselfe) affirmed, that though God had made the world, yet the government thereof he commit­ted to Fortunes wisdome and direction. Others, that he ruled Caelestiall bodies, and those that are above the Moone: but for these base creatures that are below, it is against his divine Maje­stie to respect: Scilicet is Superis labor est, &c. Others, that hee was tyed to second causes, and could work no otherwise then he found them disposed. Hereupon came the fable of the three Fates sitting by Jupiter, the one holding a D [...]staff, the second spinning, the third cutting the thread, whose decrees Jupiter cannot alter nor resist: and Homer brings in Jupiter with a chain in his hand, to which the whole world is tyed in certaine links of Causes: Jupiter hath in his owne power the moving of the first linke; but after the first like is moved, then hee meddles with no more, but one link draws on another. The same Poet brings in Jupiter complaining upon the Fates, by whose immutable decree he is hindered that hee cannot deliver Sarpedon from death: And Neptune desiring to hinder Vlysses from coming into his Countrey, for the hurt done to his sonne Polyphemus, but can­not, because the Fates are against him. So Juno in Virgil com­plaines that she is resisted by the Fates, from hindering Aeneas to come into Italie.Mene incoeptodesistere victam,

Nec posse Italia Teucrorum avertere regem!
Quippe vetor fatis.

Nay some upon this occasion stickt not to come to that height of impiety, that they adventured to deny that which with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond is written in the tables of their hearts, that there is a God.

Marmoreo Licinus tegitur tumulo, Cato parvo,
Pompei [...]snullo.—

And hereupon to make up the verse came that blasphemous speech — Quis putat esse deum? Yes blasphemous mouth, there is a God, and this God is not God of the mountaines only, but he is God of the valleys too; he looks not only to the things [Page 48] which are in Heaven (his Throne) but also unto the things that are on Earth (his foot-stool) the young Ravens are fed by him; one Sparrow cannot fall unto the ground without him; he num­bers the haires of our heads, and puts our teares into a bottle, and marks our treadings, and reckons our steps. Hee careth for his chosen as a Shepheard doth for his Flock, nay as a Master doth for his houshold; nay as a Father for his own Children. As a father pittieth his owne children, so is the Lord mercifull to them that feare him: Nay as a mother loveth the sonne of her wombe, which is greater then the fathers love,Lib. 8. Ethic. cap. 12. as Aristotle well noteth. Can a woman forget the child of her womb? Isa. 49 Emphatically spoken, a woman? Women where they love, love earnestly. Da­vid to shew the ardency of Jonathans love towards him, hyper­bolically extolls it above the love of a woman. Can a woman forget her child? Her love to children is great, not only by rea­son that the sex doth daily converse with children, which is a meanes of encreasing love, but also by a naturall sympathy be­tween them. Can a woman forget the child of her owne womb? She loves others, but much more that which is neerest of her blood, a part of her selfe, whom she loved before she either knew either name or sexe. Can a woman forget the child of her wombe? Its almost impossible: but because such Monsters have been heard of in the world;

Saevus amor docuit natorum sanguine matrem
Commaculare manus.

Therefore he adds; Though she should, yet I will never forget thee. His love to his is more then a womans to her owne child. He respects us as a member of his body, to speak after the man­ner of men:Isa. 49. Nay as his dearest member, as his eye, nay as the chiefe part of his eye, As the apple of his eye, Zach. 2. 8. And though Baal (as Elias mocked) may perhaps be weary, or be in pursuit of his Enemies, or asleep, and would be awaked; Yet he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. Witnesse the wonderfull preservation of his Church against the persecuti­ons and cruelties of Pharaoh, Haman, Antiochus, Sennacherib, Decius, Dioclesian, and other Pagans, Vale [...]s and other Here­ticks of old, and many other, both of former and last times, whose names I will not now repeat, because I may not load your [Page 49] eares with such harsh stuffe. If I might presume upon your at­tention in this kind, I had rather instance in this little Israel of ours, since she fled out of the dark Aegypt of Poperie, through the red Sea of Queen Maries Reign. What curses hath the Ro­mish Babylon intended? Nay what hath he not intended against her? He hath sent his fierce Buls to push her down, & to trample her honour in the dust. He hath thundred out his Canons charg­ed with bullets of Anathemaes against her: He hath set open Hel gates (for to this three-crowned Cerberus is given the key of the bottomlesse pit) and sent out locusts to annoy her. He hath used base flatterie, open hostility, cunning practises, secret con­spiracies, dangerous treasons, hellish deviles, to overthrow her. But behold the watchfull eye of God our heavenly Father over his Children: His Bulls which in former times have seemed so wilde, that scarce some hundreds met together in a Provinciall Synod du [...]st baite them, have proved such cowardly Dastards, that every single Curre hath been able to lugge them, proving much like to the counterfeit shews of Semiramis, when she was to fight with the Indian King, which afar off seemed to be Dro­medaries and Elephants; but when they came to tryal, proved nothing but Oxen hides, stuffed and bumbasted with straw. His Canons troll like Domitians thunder, a noise heard, but no bullet felt. His locusts hurt none, but such as had not the Seale of God in their foreheads. His plots and devises against Queen Elizabeth, and King Iames, so defeated and brought to nought, that maugre the beards of all Romish Traytors, and in despight of all the Devils of Hell; they were both brought unto their graves in peace. Give me leave (before I make use and appli­cation of this proposition) to put you in mind of two deliveran­ces, which as they are never to be forgotten, but to be written with pens of iron, and the point of a Diamond in the tables of our hearts; So do they give evident testimonie of the care which our heavenly Father beareth over his Chosen. The one was in 88. when our Enemies were purposed to swallow us up quick, they were so wrathfully displeased with us: Then the Kings of the earth stood up, and the Rulers▪ (M [...]rulers) Ba [...]lac and Balaam; the Spaniard [...] and the Pope tooke counsell toge­ther against the Lord, and against his Anointed; saying, Come [Page 50] and let us root them out, that they be no more a people, and that the name of England may be no more in remembrance. But what followed? He that dwells in Heaven laughed them to scorne, the Lord had them in derision. He spake unto them in his wrath, and did vex them in his sore displeasure. He put a book in their noses, and a bridle in their lips, and carryed them back againe, not the same way they came (as he did Sennacherib) but a strange and unknown way (to the Spaniard for all his sayling) through the cold Northern Seas, and the boysterous Western Ocean; Whence after Leviathan had taken his full of them, and the Sea which then faught for England was glutted with the multitude of dead corps, a few weather-beaten Souldiers returned home in torne and tattered Ships, to carry their Master word, that it was hard for him to prevaile where God was his enemie. Pretty were those verses of Claudian spoken to Theodosius the first, when hee prevailed against his Enemies by help of the wind which blew dust in their faces, applyed to Queen Elizabeth.

O nimium dilecte deo cui militat aether,
Et conjur ati veniunt in praelia venti.

Turned thus to Queen Elizabeth.

O nimium dilecta deo cui militat aequor,
Et conjur ati veniunt in classica venti.

Neither is the Zelanders invention to be forgotten, who upon this occasion in a new coine of silver stamped a Ship sinking, with this motto, Venit, ivit, fuit: and in a coine of Gold, Hom [...] propouit, Deus disponit, 1588.

This, though of it selfe great, may find examples parallel to it; but the other which happened, Novemb. 5. 1605. which is such that a man would scarcely beleive that the Devil himselfe, though he be a subtle Serpent, could invent so wicked a plot: or he and all his Angels, though they be murtherers from the be­ginning, would not tremble to put in execution so cruel a de­vice; if wee shall turne over all Histories of ancient and later times, we shall not finde one to match it. What shall I say unto [Page 51] you by way of Preface, but as Isaiah begins his Prophesie, Hear heavns, and hearken O earth: Or with Ioel, Heare ye this O yee Elders, and hearken all ye Inhabitants of this land, whether ever such a thing hath been in your dayes, or in the days of your fathers, or in the dayes of your fore-fathers: Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children tell ano­ther generation: When Balaams servants did not onely wish as once that Barbarian did,

Suet. in Ner.

Nor as Nero added, when he set Rome on fire, [...] when I am living let the whole World burne with fire; but had almost put in execution their cruell intendments. Nor as Tarquin in Livie, and Periander in Herodotus, to cut off the chiefe heads, that there might be a paritie (Cousin german to confusion) a­mongst the rest, but to cut off head and tayle, branch and rush in one day: To make the body of this Kingdome like dead Pri­amus in the Poet,—Avulsum humeris caput, & fine nomine corpus: When that place which was ordained for the establish­ing of wholsome Lawes, for the safety and peace of this King­dome should have been made like to that old Tophet, where is burning and much wood kindled, as it were, with a river of Brimstome: Or as Aetna did of old. Flammarum globos liquefa­ctaque volvere saxa, belching out flames of fire, and heaps of stones, not much unlike to the destructions of Sodome, and the miserable desolations of dolefull Gomorrah. When those true Professors, which should have remained after such an overthrow, should have been like a few scattered grapes after the vin­tage is ended, and like Pellicans in the Wildernesse, and could have expected for nothing but what was written in Ezechiels scrowle,Ezech. 2. Lamentations, and Mourning, and Woes: O daughter of Babylon, worthy to be wasted with misery, happy shall he be that rewardeth thee as thou hast deserved of us: Yea, blessed shall he be that taketh thy children and dasheth them against the stones. Now did not he who hath said, Feare not little flocke, who keep­eth us from the snare of the hunter, keepe us from those snares which they had laid privily for us, and from the traps of those wicked doers? Did not he which taketh the wilie in their owne craftinesse, and saveth the poore from the hand of the violent [Page 52] man, as Eliphaz speaks in Iob; Let these fall into their owne nets, and let us ever escape them. Yes doubtless it was the Lords doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. By this which hath been said, the Doctrine is cleare, let us now come to the Use.

Is Gods care and providence over his children such,Vse. that they need not be discouraged by humane or mundane terrours and feares? Oh then comfort thy selfe thou child of God, whoso­ever thou art, which art tossed with contrary winds in the tem­pestuous Sea, and begin to say unto thy weary and distressed soule with the Kingly Prophet. Why art thou so sad O my soule, and why art thou so disquieted within my breast? Doth he, Who layes the beames of his chambers in the water, and makes the clouds his chariots, and walks upon the wings of the wind, care for Agar and her brat, and will he neglect Sarah and her sonne? Doth he make his Raine to fall, his Sunne to shine upon the unjust, and will he suffer to famish the soule of the righteous? Is he a Saviour of all men, and will he forsake them that believe? Doth he nonrish the roaring Lyon, feed the young Raven, give the little Wren her dinner, provide for the poore Sparrows, where­of two are sold for a farthing, Mat. 10. that's too dear, five for two farthings in this Chapter: In a word, doth he give food to all flesh, and will he oversee his owne? Doth his providence extend to senslesse creatures, to the grasse and Lilie of the Field? What will he not do for them, for whose sakes these and all o­ther creatures in the world were made? Hee that hath given us his Son, what will he deny us? He that hath provided for us, and promised us the Kingdom of Heaven, will he deny us the Earth so far as it is expedient for us to have it? Heaven and all crea­tures under it shall change their natures, rather then this little Flock shall be left desolate. The hungry Lion shall not touch the Lords Prophet; The devouring Fire shall stay its burning; The Whale shall preserve Ionas; The Earth without labour shall yeeld her encrease; The Sunne and Moone shall stand still; The barren Wildernesse shall afford bread; The raging Sea shall be­come dry ground, and the flinty Rock shall be turned into a springing Well, before the least Lamb of Christs little Flock shall be left destitute. Go too then, let Hell rage, let fury swell, let the men of this world threaten to swallow thee up quick, when [Page 53] they are so wrathfully displeased with thee; yet put thou thy trust & confidence in him, who hath said, Fear not little flock; and say, In the Lord put I my trust, how say ye then unto my soule, that she shall flee like a bird into the hills? The Lord is my strong rocke and my defence, whom then shall I feare; the Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I then be afraid? What if the greatest Potentates of the world shall joyne their Forces a­gainst thee, he who hath said, Feare not little flocke, and I will not leave thee nor forsake thee, is able, though they had sinewes of iron, and necks of brasse, to break them with a rod of iron, and to crush them in pieces like a Potters vessel [...]: so that thou mayst boldly say,Hebr. 13. I will not feare what man can doe unto me. What if the boysterous sea carry thee up to to the heaven, and downe againe into the deep? What if the waters do compasse thy soule,Jon. 3. and the weeds be wrapped about thy head (as Ionah speaks of himselfe) Feare not any of these things that shall come upon thee; for though the waves of this troublesome Sea be mighty, and rage horribly, yet the Lord that dwels on high is mightier: So that they shall not be able to drown thee; but as Noah's flood carried the Ark above the waters, so they shall car­ry thy head above the water floods, till they bring thee to the Rock that is higher then thee. Come rock, come tope, come e­vill, come Devill, come what can come, nothing can come a­misse; For he that hath given the barres, and hath said unto it, Hither shalt thou goe, Job 38. & thou shalt goe no further; here shalt thou stay thy raging waves. He that can put a hook in the lips of Le­viathan, and peirce his jawes with an Angle: though he make the depth to boyle like a pot,Job 41. and the Sea like a pot of oynt­ment (as Iob speaks) hath bound Leviathan that piercing Ser­pent (as Esay calls him) and all the powers of Hell in chaines of darknesse, so that they shall not move one foot to hurt thee, but as he permits them, and looseth out their chains. The spiri­tuall Pharaoh may be a terrour to thee, as he of Aegypt was to the Israelites, but he shall not hurt her: For though he be not cast into the bottome of the Sea, lest thou shouldst be secure, yet he is dead on the shore, lest thou shouldst despair. The world may be to thee as the Canaanites were to the Israelites, thornes in thy sides, and pricks in thine eyes, but it shall not overcome [Page 54] thee. Thy wife may be as Sampsons was to him, fetters and snares of Satan to entangle thee, but they shall not prevaile a­gainst thee. Thy children may be as Absolom was to David, a wicked and a rebellious off-spring, but they shall not over­throw thee. Feare not; for as the Angel said to Gideon, The Lord is with thee thou valiant man; Thou art a branch of that Vine, whereof the least sprig shall never be cut off: Thou art a member of that body, whereof the least part shall never be cor­rupted: Thou art a Sheep of that little flock, whereof not one shall ever perish: Thou art a Souldier in that Camp, whereof the weakest in the end shall be a Conquerour. Feare not, the Lord is with thee thou valiant man; Neither tribulation, nor an­guish, nor nakednesse, nor sword, nor death, nor life, nor Angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. He whose name is Amen, Revel. 3. the faithfull and true Witnesse (and therefore cannot goe back with his word) hath promised to his whole Flocke his divine protection and assistance in his Kingdome of grace, and will at length bring us to everlasting happinesse in his Kingdome of glory. Feare not little Flocke, for it is your Fathers pleasure to give you the Kingdome.

The Third Sermon.

LVKE 12. 32.‘For it is your Fathers good pleasure, &c.’

HAving finished the former branch (the Doctrine) we are now to come to the second part (the Reason) and herein observe,

  • 1. The granter (your Father.)
  • 2. The thing granted (a Kingdome.)
  • 3. The grantees: Not all Adams sons, but the Sheep of this little Flock (you.)
  • 4. The consideration, or cause impulsive, and that is nothing in Man, but the love and good pleasure of Almighty God (your Father is well pleased.) At this time only of the first, the Gran­tor, your Father.

He who hath one only naturall sonne, God begotten from everlasting, of the same substance with himselfe, and in all things equall to himselfe, and one only begotten sonne by grace of Conception, Man, made of the seed and substance of a Wo­man (both which concur to the making of one and the same in­dividuall person of Immanuel, the Messiah) is (if you take the word not personally, but essentially) 1. A Father of all his Creatures, Similitudine vestigij, because there is not the mean­est creature in the world, wherein he hath not imprinted some characters and foot-steps of himselfe, in which respect Job calls the Worm his sister and mother, Job 17. 14.

2. A Father of the Angels, Similitudine gloriae: So they are called The sonnes of God, John 1. 6.

[Page 56] 3. A Father of all Man-kind, Similitudine imaginis, wherein man was created, Gen. 1. 27.

4. Not of all mankind, but only of a certain number, whom he, before the foundation of the world was laid (not for any goodnesse either of faith or works which he did foresee; for what did he foresee, but what he decreed to bestow upon them, of his free grace and love pick'd and cull'd out of that masse of corruption, into which by Adams sin they were to come: and in the fulnesse of time effectually calleth, that is, separateth from the world,Ephes. 2. and admits into his houshold and familie, and makes them (Who by nature were dead in sinnes and trespasses) living members of Christs mysticall bodie: Thus he is a Father of all be­lievers. I will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sonnes and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty, 2 Cor. 6. 18. The spirit of adoption beareth witnesse that we are his children, and bids us cry Abba Father, Rom. 8. 16. In this sense our Saviour bids us Call no man father on earth, because we have but one Father, which is God, Matth. 23. 9, and sends us in our prayers to our Father which is in Heaven, Matth, 6. 9. Thus is he a Father of his lit­tle flock.

And well may he be called Father; for what doth a natural parent to his child, which the Father of Spirits doth not in an infinite, larger, and better measure to his?

  • 1. An earthly father begets his child, and is the cause of his naturall being.
  • 2. He gives him a name.
  • 3. He feeds him.
  • 4. He cloatheth him.
  • 5. He protects him from wrongs.
  • 6. He corrects him for his faults.
  • 7. According to his meanes he provides an inheritance, or a portion for him. God doth all these to his sonnes, the Sheep of this little flock.

1. He begets us, Jam. 1. 18. For which cause he is styled the father of spirits, Heb. 12. 9. This is a meer work of God, to which the power of free-will doth no more concurre then a child is a Co­adjutor to his father at his natural generation. I grant that as in substantial mutations, before a forme be corrupted, and another [Page 57] educed, e potentia materia, there are certaine alterations, or pre­vial dispositions for making way to this change: So in this super­natural mutation, when a sonne of Adam is to be made a son of God, God ordinarily useth certain previal dispositions. The Law and the Gospel are preached; the heart of man is shaken with the terrors of the law, and cast down to the ground as Paul was at his conversion, and touched with feare of punishment, sorrow for sinne, desire and hope of pardon, &c. But as those previal alterations are no essential parts of natural generation, (though preparatives thereunto.) Nor is there in the Matter any more then a meer passive power for receiving the substanti­al form: so neither are these previal dispositions any essential part of our supernatural regeneration: Nor is there in the wil any active, but a mere passive power, for receiving this superna­tural being, which is only wrought by the finger of God.

The Apostles evidences are strong for this point; let us heare them:Ephes. 2. 10. we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus: meaning that there is no more power in a naturall man for begetting himselfe a new, then there was in that dry dust whereof Adam was made,Ephes. 2. 1. for assisting God in the creation of man. A naturall man is dead in sinne:Colos. 2. 13. Can a dead man revive himselfe? Could Laza­rus, when he had been three dayes stinking in the grave, move hand or foot, till Christ had put his soule into him? No more can a natural man so much as move himselfe to a supernatural and spirituall work, till God regenerate him, and as it were cre­ate him anew, and infuse into the powers and faculties of his soule a quickning spirit.Ezech. 11. 19. He hath a heart of stone; (I will take the stonie heart out of their bodies) a heart of stone, not a heart of iron; for though iron be hard, yet the heate of the fire will mollifie it, and the stroak of the hammer will turne it into a new forme: but no heat will mollifie a stone, no hammer can beate it out, or bring it into a new shape, but by breaking it: So our hearts are by nature such, that they cannot be softned or turned to that which is right, till they be broken in pieces, and cast in a new mould. And again, as no water can be drawn out of a stone, so no goodnesse can be educed out of a natural mans heart. We are by nature evill trees, and an evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit.Matth. 7. 18. The Apostle tels us, That of our selves [Page 58] we cannot so much as think a good thought: That it is God that giveth both the will and the deed. And our great Master (whom we are commanded from heaven to heare) saith, That without him we can do nothing: That those to whom Power is given to be the sonnes of God, are not borne of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

1. They are not borne of blood; that is, they come not by naturall propagation, for by this nativity wee are children of wrath.

2. They are not of the will of the flesh. This may be referred to them which are borne of faithful Parents, yet begotten carnally. For as the wheat is sown without chaffe; but when it grows, the chaffe comes up with it. Or as the Hebrew Males which were circumcised, begat children which were uncircumcised, so the most holy and spiritual man begets a carnal sonne;Aug. de pecca­torum merit, & remiss. lib. 7. cap. 9. the reason is, Quia ex hoc gignit quod adhuc vetustum tenet, inter filios seculi, non ex hoc quod in novitatem promovit inter filios dei, as Austin: He begets according to that corruption which hee retains a­mongst the sonnes of men, not according to that perfection which he hath attained unto amongst the sons of God.

3. They are not borne of the will of man: That is, the will of man doth not co-work with God at his regeneration, to receive grace, and convert himselfe. Let the Papists, and Pelagians, and Semi-pelagians busie their braines, and confederate themselves, and joyne their forces against Christ and his Apostles, maugre their beards it shall stand, which is confessed by an honest Frier, that there is not in the whole world of natural men,John Ferus in Joh. 1. vel mica vi­rium, so much as a dram or crum of power, whereby he may con­vert himselfe, and become a sonne of God. Thus then first he is our Father, not only by grace of adoption, but by grace of rege­neration; he regenerates and begets us a new, by the washing of the new birth,Tit. 2. 5. and the renewing of the holy Ghost.

2. To his children thus begotten and born anew, he gives new names. Thou shalt be called by a new name, Isa. 62. 2. To him that overcometh I will give a white stone, and in the stone a new name, Rev. 2. 13. I will write in it my new name. Rev. 3. 12. Old things, when they are renewed, have new names given them: So old Byzantiū, renewed by Constantine, was called after his name. [Page 59] So a son of the old Adam, who of himself Is a child of wrath, a firebrand of hell, Gods enemy, and an alien from the common-wealth of Israel, being renewed and regenerate, and having given his name to Christ, is called a Christian. This is a new name recei­ved from him, who after he had spoyled Principalities and Pow­ers, and like a triumphant Conqueror, shewed them openly in his Chariot of triumph (so Origen calls it) the Crosse, hath recei­ved a name above all names that are named, not in this world on­ly, but also in that which is to come. The name also we receive in our Baptisme when we are admitted into Christs Church, is a new name, and may put us in mind of our new and spirituall e­state (as the other which we receive from our Parents and An­cestors is a mark of our natural state we received from them:) So that whensoever we think of our names given us in our baptisme, we should think of our new birth, and be more and more renew­ed, according to that of the Apostle, Old things are past, behold all things are become new. Therefore as many as are in Christ, let them be new creatures. New names and old natures are like new wine in old vessels, or like new cloath in an old garment.

3. He feeds us, 1. with corporall food for the sustenance of our bodies: The greatest Prince of the world hath not so much de proprio, as a morsell of bread to put in his mouth, but what he receives from him who hath Heaven for his throne, and Earth for his foot-stoole;Isa. 61. 1. who opens his hand, and gives to all creatures that wait upon him their meate in due season; For which cause Christ sends us to heaven gates to begge our daily bread,Ezek. 4. 16. viz. not only the substance of bread, but baculum panis, Dan. 26. 26. (as the Scripture calls it) the power and strength to nourish us, without whose benediction, be our tables furnished with never such variety of dishes, wee shall be but like Caligula's guests, at his golden banquet, we may well feed our eyes, but not our stomacks: Or like to him that eates in a dreame, and when he awakes, behold his soule is empty.

2. He feeds us with spiritual food; that which was figured by the tree of life, and the waters that flowed out of the stony rock (as some of the Fathers expound it) the bodie and blood of Christ unto eternall life.

3. He cloatheth us,Psalm 45. as the Kings daughter, with a vesture of [Page 60] gold, the robe of Christs righteousnesse, which we must put on as a wedding garment, that our filthy nakednesse may not ap­peare in his sight:Revel. 3. 18. and withall by degrees makes us glorious within, with the habite of sanctification and inherent righte­ousnesse.

5. He protects us against all dangers, as hath been already shewed.

6. He corrects us for our offences,Hebr. 12. as a father doth his child in whom his soule delighteth.

7. He provides for us an Inheritance immortall, and undefi­led in the heavens.1 Pet. 1. 4. For it is your fathers good pleasure to give you a kingdome: The next thing that comes to be handled. But let us first by way of use and inference reflect upon the point we have in hand.

Is God Almighty a Father of his little flock,1 Vse. and such a father as doth not only regenerate, but feedeth and cloatheth, and protecteth, and directeth, and hath in a readinesse a Kingdom for the meanest of them that be his? Here then let us take notice of the dignity, and worth, and happinesse of the meanest Christi­an, above all the sonnes of Adam, be they never so great, swell they never so high with a conceit of their owne worth. The greatest of heathen Philosophers tells us, that felicity consists in a cumulation of moral vertues: Others place it in worldly plea­sures: The common sort of men in worldly honours and prefer­ments: and the higher a man is advanced, the more worthy, the more happy they repute him. But (alas) what great felici­ty is it for a base fellow to act a Kings part upon the Stage, and when the Play is ended, to be contented with a ragged coate? far lesse to be a King in this world, and then to be cast into Hell fire. Here is the state and condition of the greatest Potentates on Earth, that have not Christ for their Brother, and God for their Father; when they have acted their parts upon the stage of this world, downe they must goe into the infernall lake. The Spider thinks her selfe no base creature, when she hath got her selfe into the roofe of a Princely palace, and there woven her webbe, and rests there secure (as shee thinks) from all danger; but anon, when she least feares, up goes the broom, down goes the Spider and web and all, and are troden in the dust, and [Page 61] there is an end of her pride. So it is with the greatest of them that are without Christ, when they have seated themselves in the highest roomes the world can afford, anon when they least think upon it, God sends his broom of death, and sweeps them downe into the pit of hell and destruction.

What was that Lucifer, the sonne of the morning (Nebu­chadnezzar) which did advance himselfe above the starres of God, and other Potentates of the world, Aegyptians, Assyri­ans, Chaldeans; but (as it is said of them of the old world that occasioned the flood) great Gyants:Genes. 6. or (as Nimrod is called) mighty hunters before the Lord:Gen. 10. 9. or as the Scripture phra­seth them, Swords, Syths, Flayls, Axes, Hammers, Rods, where­with God whipped his children for their disobedience, and then cast them into the fire.

Attila that great scourge of Europe in his time, who was wont to boast that the stars did fall from Heaven at his presence, and that he made the Earth to tremble wheresoever he came: Or Tamberlane, the terrour of Asia, who led a million of Souldi­ers against his Enemies, what were they, but as they stiled themselves, the one Flagellum Dei, Gods whip, the other Ira Dei, Gods wrath? Neither of the two was Filius Dei, a sonne of God. Or to speak of present times, what is the great Mogor of the Indians, or the Cham of the Tartars, or Sophi of the Per­sians, or grand Signior of the Turks, but Gods hang-men, and bondslaves, not worthy to lick the dust of the feet of the poorest Christian, that endures bondage and miserable captivity under them.

Its a world to see how many will stand upon their Gentry, and busie their braines in deriving themselves from some ancient stock. How doth Bonfinius bestir himselfe in deriving Matthias King of Hungarie (a man of meane discent, if you except his fa­ther John Hunniades) from the Corvini amongst the old Ro­mans, leaning altogether upon improbable conjectures? And how do many, of no great ranck, busie their wits in deriving their discents from the Normans, as did Ajax from Jupiter, the olde Italians from the Aborigines, the Aegyptians from the Earth, the Arcadians from the Moone? How farre they can climbe this ladder, I cannot precisely define; Certain it is, that the ancient­est [Page 62] sirname we have is but of yesterdayes bre [...]d in respect of true antiquity: and he that is proudest of his Parentage, and stands most of the antiquity of his house, if he will take pains to climb the line of his discent, he may within a few hundreds of yeares run his name out of breath. But say that every ordinary Gen­tleman could derive his Pedigree from the first of his Nation: the English from the Saxons, or Normans, the Spaniard from the Goths or Vandals; the French from the Franci or Burgundians, &c. What were these at their first coming, and others which like a generall deluge, after the removing of the Emperours seate into the East, overflowed these Western parts of the World, but godlesse, graceless, cruel Pagans, that usurped other mens rights, and reaped where they had not sown.

Imagine (and its but an imagination) thou couldst without interruption derive the line of thy pedigree from Adam, what canst thou find there but shame, unlesse thou shouldst climbe a degree further, as Luke doth in the genealogie of Christ, The sonne of Adam, the sonne of God? What is the ancientest in any Pedigree, to him that is called The ancient of dayes, Dan. 17. 13? And what is a dead stock unto the living God? This, this is the specifical Form which gives nomen and esse to a right Gentleman, to have God for his Father, to have the Almighty, the Sum­mum genus and top of his Kinne: And without this all Gentry, how ancient soever, is but losse, and drosse, and dung, and guil­ded vanity, and golden damnation; or to give it a milder name, it's but a grace of flesh; or (as wee commonly call it) its but blood: And what is the best blood of it selfe, if flesh, and bones, and nerves, and spirits, and a soul be not added, to make it a per­fect man? No more is parentage, if vertue, and grace, and reli­gion, and other habiliments of body and mind be wanting. But now as a sanguine complexion is the fairest and best of all, when all the parts and members are correspondent: so Gentry, when it is adorned and beautified with Religion and other graces from above, gives the greatest lustre. I may speak of it, as Solomon speaks of old age (when it is found in the way of godlinesse) It's a Crowne, It's like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

[Page 63]
Quale manus addunt ebori decus, aut ubi flavo
Argentum pariusve lapis circumdatur auro.

Like a picture of Ivory curiously set forth by the hand of a skil­full Artificer, or like a ring of pure gold beset with a precious Diamond; Or like the Kings daughter, which was not only out­wardly adorned with a vesture of gold, but (which is better) All glorious within.

Vertue in a meane person is like a Candle under a bushell, it gives light to him that hath it, but brings little help to others; but in a Gentleman, it's like a Taper set up in the midst of a room, or like a Beacon upon a hill,Plut. it gives direction to all that come neer. Happy are those Kingdomes (Et multos habet Sparta ta­les) Gods name for ever be blessed for it, this Kingdome hath many such, in whom goodnesse equalizeth greatnesse: and like stars of the first and second magnitude, as they exceed others in bulk and substance, so do they also in light and influence. Cato said that the people of Rome were like a flock of sheep, let the Shepheard single out one, and he will hardly drive it; but put them together, the greatest will lead the way, and the rest will follow. Christs Church is a flock of sheep; had this poor Coun­try many such Bel-weathers to lead the way, it would prove no small case to the Lords Shepheards for driving of the rest into the greene pastures of the Lord,Psalm 23. that are beside the waters of comfort.

But if Religion and grace be wanting, a man, be his parentage never so ancient, his Lands and Lord-ships, his Honours and Pre­ferments never so great, is but like matter without forme, like Apuleius his golden Animall, or like Polyphemus without an eye.

And here I cannot choose but censure those for degenerous spirits, & unworthy the name they bear, who think themselves in all points compleat Gentlemen: Si venaticam noverint, si in alea fuerint damnabilius instituti, si corporis vires ingentibus poculis commonstrent, &c. If they can discourse about Horses, Hawks, & Hounds; If they can hunt skilfully, and dice damnably, and drink profoundly, and sweate prophanely, and spend riotously, [Page 64] and make their recreation their vocation (without doing any service to God, or their King, or their Countrey) as if they were borne to live on the Land, as Leviathan in the Sea, whom God hath made to take his pastime therein; and (that I may come to a second use) superciliously scorne and contemn such as in meanes or lineage come short of them, as if they were not in the same Predicament, nor originally hewen out of the same Rock, nor regenerate by the same Father.

Who art thou that contemnest a state of Paradise?2 Vse. one of the blood-royal of heaven? whom God hath adopted for his Son? over whom he hath appointed the Angels to be his Protectors and Governours? Psal. 91. 10. Whose enemies he hath threat­ned to curse, Gen. 12. Whose prayers hee hath promised to heare, Psal. 50. For whose sake he reproves Kings, Psal. 104. Whom he tendereth as the apple of his eye, Zach. 2. The hairs of whose head he numbers, the teares of whose eyes he bottles.

If a Kings son should come to us in Beggars attire, like Codrus, or lame and impotent of his feet like Mephibosheth, Justin. or with any other imperfections of body or mind, we would not scorn him because of his imperfections, but yeild him all honour due to a Kings son. Have thou the like respect to Christs little ones; let their outward condition be never so mean, & subject to cōtempt, let them be poor, ignorant, of base parentage, friendlesse, servants, bondslaves; let them be all these, or whatever else may cause con­tempt in the eyes of man, if they believe in Christ (for of these I speake) they are sons to the King of Kings, and consequently more noble then the Turke, or Persian, or the greatest Monarch of the world, that is without Christ. It's not noblenesse of Pa­rents, nor Lands and Possessions, nor riches, nor humane wis­dome, nor worldly dignities, that makes a man truly honourable, and worthy of respect; nor is it the want of these that makes a man contemptible, but the want of Gods favour and adoption in Christ. Stemmate si Thusco ramum Millessime ducis: If thou couldst number thy Progenitors for a thousand generations; if God be not in thy pedigree (as I sayd) thou art a bastard and no sonne. Hadst thou all humane knowledg in the world, and dost not know Christ crucified, thou art but a foole. Hadst thou all the riches in the world, and wantest the great riches which [Page 65] the Apostle calls godlinesse,1 Tim. 6. thou art but a beggar. Hadst thou all dignities and honours in the world, and be not one of Gods houshold servants, thou art base, and of no respect in compari­son of Christs little ones. I doe not derogate from such as are well discended, nor from such as are rich, nor from such as excell in humane Acts and Sciences, nor from such as are set o­ver others in honours and worldly preferments (God forbid I should) I allow them that which of right pertains to them, a civill honour, because of some divine representations that are in them; as of his eternity in such as can shew the antiquity of their stock; of his dominion, in such as are rich; of his Soveraign­ty, in such as are in authority, &c. But such must remember that it is no more then a civil honour that is due unto them for these. And howsoever for these considerations they ought to have their due respects according to their places in the civill Regi­ment, and to be honoured above others: Yet in the spirituall Regiment, the poorest Christian that believes with his heart, and confesseth with his mouth that Christ died for his sinnes, is their equall. There is no difference, saith the Apostle, in the Kingdome of Heaven; Saturns [...]easts are continually kept, Ma­ster and Servant are both alike: There is neither Jew nor Greci­an, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor fe­male, &c. Gal. 3. He that is called, being a servant, is the Lords free-man;1 Cor. 7. and he that is called, being free, is Christs servant. All then, of what state soever they be in the politicall Regiment, must think of the poorest Christians as of their brethren, and re­member that rule given by God even unto Kings, to read the book of the Law,Deut. 17. 20. that their hearts be not lifted up above their brethren, and imitate the example of holy Job, who did not contemn the judgment of his servant,Job 31. 13. nor of his hand-maid, when they contended with him.

My third inference shall containe a double duty;3 Vse. one we owe unto God, as our Father, the other to our Neighbours, as sonnes of the same Father, and consequently brethren one to another. It's the summe of Johns first Epistle, and Synopsis of the whole Law, and comprehended in one verse, 1 John 3. 10. In this are the children of God known, and the children of the Devill; be that doth not righteousnesse is not of God, neither he that loveth not his [Page 66] brother; these are children of the Devill. Gods are known by the practise of two affirmatives,

  • 1. Doing of righteousnesse.
  • 2. Loving of the Brethren.

Touching the first: They that call God their Father, must carry themselves as children of such a Father, and without limi­tation obey him in whatsoever he commands.

A son honoureth his father:Mat. 1. If I be your Father, where is mine honour, saith the Lord of Hosts to the rebellious Jewes, who called God their Father, and neglected his precepts. Many such Jewes are amongst us; common Drunkards, abhominable Ido­laters, blood-sucking Usurers, prophane Atheists, blasphemous Swearers, filthie Whore-mongers, and that hellish and damned crew of impenitent sinners, that live within the bosome of the Church (though they be no integrall parts of it, no more then hairs and other excrements are parts of a mans bodie, or dogs & swine, essential parts of a familie) will call God their Father. If God be your Father, where is his honour? where is that filial obedi­ence you should perform to his commandements? when the Jews told Christ that Abraham was their Father, he tells them no, Be­cause it Abraham were your father, yee would do the works of A­braham. And when they said that God was their Father, he proves it false:Joh. 8. 42. If God were your father ye would love mee: Ye are of your father the Devill, and the lusts of your father yee will doe: So say I to these miscreants, If God were your father, yee would doe the works of God: If God were your father, ye would love him, and keepe his commandements. Because ye walke in darknesse, ye are of your father the Devill, and the lusts of your father ye wil doe. And if ye would speak aright, yee should not say as Christ bids his brethren say when they pray, Our Father which art in hea­ven: Latimer in O­rat. Dominic. But rather as Latimer speaks of such (truly, though some­what plainly) Our father which art in hell. Beloved in Christ, Behold what love the father hath shewed us, that we should be call­ed the sonnes of God: 1 Joh. 3. 1. Let us be followers of God as deare children: and in all things study to resemble him, Who hath called us out of darknesse into his marvellous light. Aristotle notes of the Eagle (whether truly or no, I will not dispute) that when her Birds are pen-feathered, in a hot sun-shining day shee holds their eyes [Page 67] directly towards the beames of the Sun: those that cannot en­dure that intensive light, she casts out of her nest as degenerous; such as directly eye the Sun, she loves and feeds as her owne Hereby it will appeare, whether we be Jovis aquila, Gods birds or no; if we look upward upon the Son of righteousnesse, and have our eyes (the eyes of our soules) fixed on Heaven and heavenly things, then are we of this Feather; if downwards, and have our cogitations Swine-like, rooting in the earth, and wallowing in the filthy puddle of worldly vanities, then are we a degenerous of-spring, not worthy to be called Sonnes of such a Father.

What an absurd and indecent thing were it, if a Gally­slave, or a Kitchin-boy, should have that honour as to be made the adopted Son and Heire of some great Prince, and he (not considering his high advancement) should continue in his for­mer sordidnesse and basenesse of condition? Much more unde­cent it is, that a man when he is advanced from a child of wrath, and a bondslave of the Devill, to that transcendency of honour, as to be made a Son of the King of Kings, should continue as before, in his blindnesse of heart, crookednesse of will, un­cleannesse of affection, and perversness of action. Shall such a man as I flee? Neh. 6. 11. said Nehemiah to Shemaiah, and shall such a man: as hath God for his Father debase himselfe like the Cat in the Fable, who being turned into a Gentlewoman, kept her old nature, and leapt at a Mouse? Or like the Popes Asse, who adorned with golden Furniture, as soon as he came to a Car­riars Inne, began to smell at a Pack-saddle? Cyrus, when of a Shepheards Son (for so he was then supposed to be) he was made a King in a Play, began to shew himselfe like a King; and Saul, when he was annoynted by Samuel to be King, had his heart changed, He had another heart, 1 Sam. 10. 9. Honours change manners; if then we be advanced to this high dignity, let us be ashamed of our natural basenesse, let us have our hearts changed, and walke worthy so high a calling, not doing our owne will, but his, who when we were of no strength, Rom. 5. nay when we were worse then nothing, sent his own naturall Sonne to dye for us, that we might be his Sonnes by grace of adoption.

[Page 68] I urge this point the rather, because it is not onely a necessa­ry duty which God requires at our hands, but also the most certaine and infallible [...] of Gods child, and consequent­ly a matter of the greatest moment in the World, upon which depends the everlasting salvation or damnation of our soules.

If at these Ass [...]ses a man shall in a case criminall be convict of Felony, perhaps his Book may save him; suppose not, he at the worst but looses his life for it, his soule, if he repent, is in no danger. If in a civill controversie a Verdict shall go against him, he looseth but the thing in question; but he that hath not God for his Father (and none have him but such as work righ­teousnesse, and in holinesse of life endeavour to resemble him) looseth all his title and claime to the Kingdome of Heaven, and is for evermore in body and soule a Bond slave to the worst Master that ever man shall [...]erve, unlesse God in mercy shall ef­fectually call him, and ingraft him into the body of his onely. Son by faith. And it is lamentable to see so many Marthaes and so few Maries in the World, so many that drowne them­selves in worldly imployments, and doubt where there is cause, and use meanes to clear their doubts, and neglect this Vnum ne­cessarium, as if it were a matter not worthy the regarding. If a mans body be ill affected, he will send to the Physician; if he doubt of the weight of his Gold, he will seek to the Ballance; if of the goodnesse of the mettall, he will try it by the Touch­stone; if the title of his Lands be questionable, he will have the opinion of a Lawyer; but whether he be a Son of God, and consequently whether he shall be saved or no, he never doubts, but whatsoever he doe or thinkes, or speaks, hee takes it as granted:

The most wicked and hellish liver, who serves no Master but the Devill, will (as I have [...]ayd) direct his prayers to God as to his Father; others we have who [...]e practice is farr better, (being kept from grosse sins by Gods restraining grace) our careles and carnall Go [...]pellers, our sleepy and drow [...]e Prote­stants, who content themselves with the shadow, and let fall the substance of Religion; these, if they be Baptized, and can say that in their Baptisme they were made children of God, if they come once or twice in a week to hear Prayers or Sermons, [Page 69] if at usual times they receive the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, if they give their assent to the Law and the Gospel that they are both true, and with a generall faith believe all the Articles of the Creed, and withal have a care to lead a civill life amongst men, then they perswade themselves their case is good, they are sound Christians, children of God, and sheep of that little flock to whom our heavenly Father will of his good pleasure give a Kingdome. But alas, a man may doe all these, and more then these, and be a sonne of the Devill. He may do all these,

  • 1. He may be baptized, so was Simon Magus.
  • 2. He may heare the word pre [...]ched, so did Pharaoh:
  • 3. He may receive the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, so did Judas.
  • 4. He may believe the Law and the Gospel, and all the Arti­cles of the Creed to be true, so doth the Devil.
  • 5. He may lead an honest and civill life amongst men, so So­crates, and divers Pagans, if ye look to the matter of good works, have out-stripped many Christians in the practise of sundry mo­rall duties.

He may do more then all this, and be a reprobate and child of the Devill.

  • 1. He may be sorry for his sinnes, and make satisfaction, both these we see in Judas.
  • 2. He may confesse them even in particular, and desire good men to pray for him, both these we see in Pharaoh: He may have a delight in the Word, and love the Preacher, both these did Herod. He may for a time be zealous of Gods glory, so was Jehu. He may be humbled for his sinnes; and declare his humili­ation by fasting and weeping, so did Ahab and the Ninivites. Hee may have a certaine tast of faith, which much resembleth a justifying faith, so had Simon Magus. Hee may in many things reforme his life, so did Herod and Maxentius. Hee may tremble at the threatnings of Gods judgment, so did Falix, and so doth the Devill.

Now then how can such drowsie Protestants, such carnal Gos­pellers, prove themselves to be sonnes of God, when they are matched and out-stripped by the sonnes of Satan: when they are matched with Simon Magus in their baptisme, and with Ju­das [Page 70] in receiving the Lords Supper, and Pharaoh in hearing the word preached, and with the Devill in believing, and with Pa­gans and Infidels in the practise of civill and morall duties? Nay when Judas goes beyond them in repentance, and Ahab in sor­row and humiliation, and Herod in delight in the Word, and re­verence of the Preacher, and amendment of life; and Jehu in zeale of Gods glory, and Pharaoh in desiring the prayers of the godly, and Foelix and the Devill in trembling at Gods judge­ments: Oh pittiful!

If you should live (I speak to them that are such, and I doubt there are too many in this place, the hearts of most are like this Country climate where they live, cold, and their brains more subject to Lethargies then Phrenfies) If you should live a­mongst the Turks or Tartars, where the sound of the Gospel is scarce heard; if you had lived and dyed in those dayes when God gave his lawes to Jacob, his statutes and Ordinances unto Is­rael, and dealt not so with any Nation: Or if you should live in Spain or Italie, where the heavenly treasure is locked up from ignorant men in the closet of an unknown tongue, and where no more is required of a sonne of the Church (for that's a term they are better acquainted with then a sonne of God) then to be baptized, to say his prayers in Latine, to hear and see a Masse, to keepe fasting dayes, and to believe, as the Collier told the Devill, as the Church believeth; you might have some excuse for your selves. But now that you live where the judgments of the Law are denounced, and the sweet promises of the Gospel pro­posed; now that the Sun doth shine, and no better blossoms of righteousnesse appeare in you, how can you escape the hatch­et of Gods wrath? How can you call God your Father, or Christ your Brother? Shall Judas be sorrowfull, and make confession of his sinnes, and will not you? Shall Ahab and the Ninivites be humbled, and manifest their humiliation by fasting, and sacke-cloath, and tears, and will not you be humbled for your sins? Shall Herod amend many faults at the preaching of John Baptist, and will not you reform your lives? Shall the Devill believe and tremble, and will not you believe with him? Or if you believe with him, will ye no [...] tremble with him? Shall all these I have named be damned to hell, and look you for the reward promi­sed [Page 71] to Gods children, the Kingdome of Heaven? No assuredly, no. I deliver unto you that which I have received from the Lord: Except your righteousnesse shall exceed the righteousnesse of all these, you cannot enter into th [...] Kingdome of heaven. The spirit of adoption is not severed from the spirit of sanctification, it's one and the same individual spirit. Holinesse becometh Gods house for ever. It's written over Heaven gates (as it was over Plato's School door) Let no man that is not a Geometrician enter this roome: Let no man that hath not measured his life by the line of the Law, that hath not this Motto written on the Table of his heart, Holinesse to the Lord, presume to come into Gods Tabernacle, or rest upon his holy Hill. That for the first duty we owe unto God as he is our Father, and we his children.

The second is to our Neighbour;Jude 3. For if God be our Father, then all we which make profession of that faith which was once given to the Saints are brethren, and should live as brethren, and love as brethren. And how brethren should be affected one to a­nother, we see in the members of our bodies: our two feet are as it were two brethren, one to support another; two armes, two eyes, two ears, one to help another; the utmost part of the hand divided into five fingers, one for assisting and strengthe­ning another. No otherwise, even by the judgement of naturall men, should one brother be affectioned to another. Hence in Poets came the fable of Briareus, with one bodie and 100. hands, and of Geryon, with one bodie and three heads; by the first was meant fiftie, by the second, three brethren so linked together in the bands of brotherly love, as if they had all been members of one and the fame individuall bodie. And he that for his owne particular benefit seeks the losse and hurt of a brother, doth as if one foot should supplant and trip up another; or as if the fing­ers of the hand should fall out, and one wrest another out of joynt. Nay further, a brother that forsakes his brother, and joynes himselfe into society with a stranger (saith Plutarch) doth, as if a man should cut off one of his owne legs, and take a wooden leg in the room of it. As their love is the greatest, so their hatred (if they fall out) is noted to be the greatest, so that of all others they are hardest to be reconciled. For as those things that are glued together, if they goe asunder, may easily [Page 72] be reunited; but a bodie that is all of one peece, if it be broken, cannot be so fastned againe, but you may discern where the breach was. When friends, who by affections are joyned toge­ther, if they dissent, may easily be reconciled: but brethre, who are as it were one by nature, can hardly be so united, but there will remaine some scarre behind, for which cause it con­cerns them to avoid the least occasions of disagreement.

Now (that I may bring that which I have spoken home to my purpose, grace is a stronger bond then nature: If then naturall brethren should be thus affected one to another, how much more brethren in Christ, begotten by one father, God, bred in one womb, the Church, fed with one milke, the Word anima­ted by the same spirit, justified by the same faith.

And this love must shew it selfe chiefly in two things.

1. In pardoning wrongs without private revenge. If the in­jury be little, forget it; if great, yet must thou not be Judge in thine owne cause, but as children say when they are wronged, I will tell my Father, so do thou. All malice and private revenge lay aside, out of a zeale of justice make thy complaint to those who are the Ministers of God to take vengeance on them that do evill.

2. In supporting and relieving such as stand in need of thy help: As the great stones that are laid in the bottome of a build­ing, beare the weight of the lesse that are laid above them; or as a bundle of rods bound together (to use Seleucus his compari­son) do one strengthen another: Or as when a faggot of grove sticks is laid on the fire, and warms and kindles another) and that which he hath be ready to communicate to such as want: those that are learned, to instruct others that are ignorant: those that be strong, to support them that are weake: they that are rich, to relieve such as be poore: that there be no schisme in the body of Christ, but the members may have the same care one of another, and every man please his brother in that which is good to edification and comfort.

Here me thinks I discover in my way troops, troops (to follow the Hebrew phrase) great multitudes, and whole legions of per­sons, who though they professe that God is their Father, yet are they so farre from the practise of the duties of brotherly love, [Page 73] that if God should ask them what is become of their brethren, they might well reply with Cain, What is that to them, are they their brothers keepers? They live as if only born for themselves, swine-like, hurtfull to all, good to few or none, as long as they are alive, as if the stomack should not onely deny to communicate the meate which it receives from the mouth to o­ther parts of the bodie according to each particulars necessity, but should sucke and exhaust the nourishment from other parts to it selfe.

When Richard the first in his Warres against certain Rebels in Normandie, had taken in the Field a French Bishop armed like a sonne of Mars, he caused him (and good reason) to be com­mitted to Prison: The Pope being acquainted with it, requires the deliverance of his deare sonne, so he called the Bishop: whereupon the King sends his Embassador to the Pope, and the Armour wherein his Catholique sonne was attired, with the Message which Iacob's sons sent to their Father when they had sold Ioseph: This we have found, see now holy Father whether it be thy sonnes Coate or no. All of them count themselves a­mongst the sons of God, and call him Father: But look to their practise, see their works, and tell me whether these be the Coate of the sonnes of God or no. Amongst many I will name three, (and I can but name them) they are all in an high degree sin­ners against the 8. Commandement, and therefore I will be bold to give them their right names (Thieves▪)

  • 1. The needy Thiefe.
  • 2. The greedy Thiefe.
  • 3. The wrangling Thiefe.

By the first, I meane such as first steale from themselves, and then from others, those idle and inordinate persons, who carrie Cains curse upon them and his mark about them, Vagabonds & Runagates in the Earth, which work not at all, nor eate their owne bread, but live on other mens labours like Mice and Rats; which though they neither plow, nor sow, nor reape, nor carrie into the Barne, yet will be as bold with the poor mans Corn, as he that took the paines to bring it thither. And as they live like Mice and Rats on other mens labours, so like them they multi­ply, and breed a numerous off-spring, which they bring up at [Page 74] their owne Trade, without any lawfull vocation, without any knowledg or feare of God, any feeling of Religion, any respect or awe of the Laws and Magistrates, only like their Parents, eating up the Corne which the Husbandman hath provided by his own paines and industry, so that they may well apply to themselves the Epicures verse in Horace,

Nos numerus sumus, & fruges consumere nati.

This Country, this part of Cumberland swarms more with this kind of Vermin then any part of England beside▪ The Judg­es do almost every yeare call for houses of correction, and a re­formation of these things, and how little is done, we all see and know.

The number of these is much increased by the greedy Thiefe, who lives amongst men, as the Pike amongst the little fishes, or as the Hawk amongst the little birds; he makes a prey of those he should commiserate, and robs such as he is bound to relieve; and, like a wild Cannibal, loves no meate so well as mens guts, and drinks their blood, and eates up the people as if they were bread,Mich. 3. and plucks off their skinnes, and their flesh from their bones, and chops them in pieces as flesh appointed for the Cauldron.

I speak of blood-sucking Usurers, grinding Oppressors, gra­ting Extortioners, close Bribers, griping and mercilesse Land­lords, ravenous Wolves, and such Worshipfull and right Wor­shipful Thieves, as make havock of all, til there be no place for the poor, that they may be placed by themselves in the midst of the Earth, Isa. 5. 8. Be these practise the liveries of Gods sons? See now ô God of Iacob, Psal. 38. whether these be thy sons coats. Break their teeth O God in their mouths, smite the jaw-bones of the young Li­ons O Lord, let them be like water that runneth apace, and when they shoot their arrows let them be broken.

The third is the wrangling Thiefe (and as the second) a Mur­therer as well as a Thiefe, though he will plead not guilty to both; using the Law like a stalking horse to hide his theft, as the Panther hath a bush in a readinesse to hide the deformity of his head. This is that rough Israel, that hath his hands against [Page 75] every man, that Salamander that's never well but when hee is in the fire of contention, who will neither doe right, nor take wrong: If he have hurt his brother, let him right himselfe as he can, he shall buy it at a deare rate: If another have done him the least appearance of wrong, if he have troden upon his grasse if his beast have looked, over a wall, if he have taken a rotten sticke out of a hedge, if he have given him a harsh word, &c. any of these is enough to break in sunder the knots of Gods net, the bonds of brotherly love: A writ shall be procured, a suite commenced, no tollerable condition will give contentment, no private arbitrement will satisfie, no submission will be accepted; but either he will be his owne carver, and take what he wil, per­adventure ten times more then the losse sustained, or he will try it to the utmost extreamity, to the impoverishing perhaps, and undoing of the other party.

Whereupon such as are sons of peace, are willing to buy their peace upon unreasonable conditions (as a Traveller for saving his life will part with his purse to a Robber) rather then they will spend their times, and wast their monies, and neglect the works of their callings, and hazard their estates upon the event, and waite the finall determination of the Law, which too often (not through fault of the reverend Judges (as I conceive) but of others, who flee as rank about Courts of Justice, as the Ravens did about Abrahams sacrifice, and grow happy by other mens misery) a Sea of that deepnesse, that he must be both a strong and skilfull swimmer that can dive into the bottome of it, and a way of that length, that it will almost make an Hercules weary, and cause him to set a Nihil ultra before he come to his journeys end.

I am no Anabaptist, I speak not against going to Law, where the matter is of moment, the cause just, and cannot otherwise be peaceably and friendly determined. To whom may a child when he is wronged make complaint, rather then to his Father? and to whom shall a man have recourse for redress of injuries done to him, but to them who are Gods Deputies, Fathers of their Countries, and living Laws to give every man his owne? And if every wrong should be put up with patience, it would imbolden such as we speak of to multiply their abuses, and with [Page 76] greater impudency to goe on in their lewd courses. Veterem fe­rendo injuriam, invitas novam: whereupon the Ephori amongst the Lacedemonians did punish a man that had put up many inju­ries, and never made complaint. Nam si primum vel alterum ac­cusasset, vel jure vindicasset, cateri abstinissent.

But yet it's not fit that Fathers of great Families (such as our reverend Judges) should be molested with the petty complaints of every peevish Boy that is in the house. In this case there is utterly a weaknesse of mind amongst men, especially in these parts so remote from the chief Coures of Justice, that they go to Law one with another. As for the Wrangler, of whom I was last speaking, (who makes the Law sometimes a Sword to re­venge himself of his Brother, sometimes a Coak to cover his theft) Surely if that law of Pittacus was good, that he who committed a fault when he was drunk, should suffer a double punishment, one for the offence, the other for being drunk; then this deserves a double one, one for abusing the Law, the o­ther for wronging his Neighbour, to whom he should perform all duties of brotherly love.

But I leave him, and will end this branch with a generall ex­hortation: As we all professe our selves to be children of one fa­ther, so let us be affectioned to love one another with brother­ly love, Rom. 12. 10. Now then as the elect of God, children of one father, holy and beloved, put on the bowels of mercie, kindnesse, meeknesse, long-suffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrell against another, even as God for Christs sake forgave you.Colos. 3. 12, 13. 15. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, and the God of peace shall be with you. O holy Father sanctifie them whom thou hast given unto thy Christ, the sheepe of thy little flock; keep them in thy name, pour into their hearts the spirit of peace and unity, That they may be all one, as thou & thy sonne are one.John 17. 11.

Last of all,Vse. 4. Is Almighty God the great Judge of the World? Is he a Father to his little flocke? Here then Judges and Magi­strates, and the great ones of this World, and all those whom the great God of Heaven and Earth hath set over others, and stiled with his owne name, are to be exhorted to imitate him whose person they beare, in this relation of Paternity, remem­bring [Page 77] bring that as they are called Gods, so are they also named Fa­thers: so Job a Judge, or as some think a King, is stiled, Job 29. 16. And David speaks to his Subjects as unto children, Psal. 34. Come ye children. Naamans servants call their Master father, 2 King. 5. 13. And Joseph when he was made ruler over Ae­gypt, was called Abroch, that is, tender Father; and the Philist­ims called their Kings Abimilech, as who should say, the King my Father. So amongst the old Romans, the worthiest of their Senators were called Fathers, as Juvenall speaks of Tullie, Roma patrem patriae Ciceronem libera dixit.

They must then,Jer. 22. as Jer. exhorts, not only abstain from violence and shedding of innocent blood, but after Gods example, deliver the oppressed from the hands of the Oppressor; & as much as in them lies, shew themselves fathers and protectors of the righte­ous. This God requires at their hands; and those that purpose­ly neglect it, shall one day hold up their hands, and answer for it, when the Judge of the world shall sit on the Bench. And this they are the rather to look too, because the more eminent their places are, the more conspicuous will their faults be, if they neglect their duties. As a blaine on the eye beseems worse then a wart on the face, and a wart on the face worse then a wenne on the back, or other part that is not seen: That which o­thers may doe, great men, and those that are in authority may not. (Quibus omnia licent propter hoc ipsum multa non licent, saith Seneca,)Sen. de Clem. cap. 8. other men may looke out at a window, and ob­serve passengers in the streets.Tull. Offic. lio. 1. Sophocles when he is on the bench may not; Praetorem decet non manus solum, sed & oculos habere ab­stinentes, Plut. in. The­mist. another man may stoop and take up something that lies in his way, Themistocles may not. Others may weare Sycionian Pantophles,Tull. de Orat. lib. 1. but they become not Socrates, though fit for his feet. Magistrates play Gods part, and a Fathers on the stage, and therefore have need to remember Jehosaphats rule, Take heed what ye doe. They walk upon the top of a steep Rock, they have need to tread warily: And if their places and their names put them in mind of their duties, especially of protecting the in­nocent after Gods example, a shame befall those Courts, and Magistrates, and Advocates too, who by the greatnesse of their places think to manage and inlaw the foulest enormities. Vbi is [Page 78] qui sedet crimina vindicaturus, Cypr. ad Donat. admittit, as Cyprian complains: Or (as Aeneas Sylvjus once said of the Court of Rome) where Justice is made the lure, Suiters the fowls, Attorneyes and Solli­citers the drivers, Pleaders the fowlers, the Law the net, and he that should sit in the gate to protect the cause of the Innocent, sits lurking in the theivish corners of the streets, that hee may ra­vish the poore, and such as he gets into his net.

It was a bold, but a true Speech of Diomedes a Pirate, to A­lexander the Great, when he was convented before him for Pi­racy: I who robb with one poor Pinace am called a Pirate, and thou that dost it with an invincible Navy art called a Monarch; I, because I robb one private man am called a Theife, and thou be­cause thou robbest and wastest whole Kingdomes, to which thou hast no right, art called an Emperour; I by the misery of a few have purchased a name of disgrace, and thou by the misery of a great part of the World, hast got the Sirname of Magnus. If I had thy Navy by Sea, and thy Forces by Land to command, I should be saluted Emperour; if thou wert alone, and a poor prisoner as I am, the whole World would condemne thee for a notable Theife. For in the cause we differ nothing, save that he is the worse, who doth more manifestly forsake Justice, and more notoriously impugne the Laws; those whom I flee, thou persecutest, whom I after a sort reverence, thou scornest; it was the iniquity of Fortune, and want of necessaries that made me; it's intollerable pride and insatiable avarice that made thee a Theife: had I more, I would be better; thou the more thou hast, the worse thou art. Thus, thus (alas) it too often falls out;Sen. in Thyest. Diomedes is a Pirate, but Alexander a Monarch, Mag­num & prosperum scelus virtus vovatur: Landlords, and such as doe eminently beare the image of Gods, in respect of his pow­er (and consequently should shew themselves Fathers to those that are under them) if they prove unto their Tenants like Briars and Thorny hedges, and squeaze and waste whole Towns and Villages, and turne those Streets which used to be sowne with the seed of men,Isa. 7. 25. to the sending out of Bullocks, and the trea­ding of Sheep; they take but their owne, the Law must be their discharge: The poor hunger-starved Caitiff, if in extream ne­cessity he take a Sheep from a Pasture, or a Sheet from a Pale, [Page 79] must (and deservedly) hold up his hand at the Barr for it. If a Cutpurse take a few pence out of a mans pocket, its felony; a Magistrate, or an Advocate, if for expedition, or procrastina­tion, or managing of an unjust cause, or otherwise unjustly or deceitfully he shall exhaust the Purses and Coffers of many, its Honorarium; the former by his practice becomes odious, and disgracefull; the latter, by his, great and worshipful: Ille cru­cem paenam scelenis fert, hic diadema. Verily for the matter I see no difference,Juv. Sat. 13. but that the latter is in a greater degree an oppug­ner of Justice, not onely in respect of the sin it selfe, which is farr fouler (as Alexanders sin was worse then that of Diomedes) and of the cause impulsive (want and necessity being the one, pride and avarice the other) but chiefly in respect of the per­sons, who act a part directly contradictory to their profession. If upon the Stage a father, sitting to examine and correct the faultes of his family, shall cheat some of them; or if a Magistrate sitting on the Bench, when a Suppliant shall come to him with a Petition, shall put his hand into the Suppliants pocket, and [...]eale away his Purse,

Attollent omnes equites, peditesque cachinnum:

All the spectators would deride the folly of the Poet;Quintil. lib. 1. as when an in [...]ulse Actor cryed O Jupiter, and held his hand down­ward, and after cryed O terra, and looked up to Heaven: Po­lemo, who was Master of the company, rann off the Stage and cryed out, Manu hic soloecismum fecit, [...]aliud voce, aliud gestibus designans. Cicero Off. l. 1. No more but this, Id histrio videbit in Scaena quod non sapiens in vita. The two lowest Elements are not heavy, but when they are out of their proper places; no more is sin any where so heavy as when it is displaced. Meretrix male facit quòd est meretrix, sed non male facit accipere quatenus meretrix, saith Bodin. So it may be said of a Thiefe, and consequently of all Offenders. A thiefe doth ill that he is a thiefe, but hee doth not ill to steale, quatenus a thiefe: This is after a sort his profes­sion, he is in his owne element. But a Magistrate, and such as should be a Father to those that are under his jurisdiction, for him to play the Thiefe, is to imitate Horace his Painter, Delphi­num [Page 80] sylvis appingit, fluctibus aprum. It's to displace the Ele­ments, and to put the water in place of the fire, with Cleanthes to put vice in Vertues chair; with Antiochus, to set up the image of Jupiter in Solomons Temple, and the abhomination of desola­tion in the holy place. For a filcher and hedg-creeper to pill a sheep, it's no great matter, it's ordinarily done: but for a Shep­heard to do it were a foule blemish.

If a man be cosened at Cards with a common Cheater, I'le ne­ver pittie him, he might have looked better to himselfe; but to be cosened by a common Lawyer, to whom he shews his cards, hoping by his direction to win the game, here is an element dis­placed, it's heavy and grievous to be borne, and I am sorry that it should be applied to any of that worthy profession, which was spoken of Usurers, Alienas negotiantur miserias, & lucrum suum aliorum adversitatem faciunt: They make it their vocation to make men miserable, and to make themselves great by other mens falls, and hurts, to hurt them whom they pretend to help. But enough of this subject.

I know well that it befalls a Minister in touching the faults of great men, and such as are heads of the people, as it doth a Butcher in fleaing a Beast, he goes smoothly away with the skinn that covers the Carkas but when he comes to the head it sticks, so that unlesse he work very warily, he shall be reprehended for mis-guiding his hand. If he hold his knife high, hee shall leave part of the skin behind; if low, he takes part of the flesh with him. So it is with a Minister in preaching to men of place, if he (as is commonly done) preach nothing but Placentia, and sing a Gloria patri, without a Sicut erat, and Gentleman-like shoot faire, and farre off, and for feare of hurting hold his knife too high, he shall leave sinne top whole; if he go deep, hee shall be censured for cutting the quick flesh: a meane were to be wished; but it's of so little latitude, that it's hard to be hit upon; of the extreams, I hold the latter the better. I had rather be reproved for saying too much against sinne, then for speaking too little. I had rather be counted an enemie, then a flatterer in Gods busi­nesse.Aug. de temp. Ser. 6. Plus timeo illum qui jubet, quam illum qui detrahit, I am more affraid of him who saith, Cry aloud and spare not, then of any that can censure me for want of discretion. Christs Church [Page 81] in my Text is a little Flock: And he said truly, if he be rightly understood: Multi sunt Placentini & Landenses, pauci Vero­nenses. Lauden and Placentia are populous Townes, and their Citizens swarm every where, but Verona is a poor ruinated Vil­lage, and hath few Inhabitants.

Tacitus writes, that Caepio Crispinus (a man well acquainted with the vitious life of Tiberius) accused Marcellus, an honest Citizen of Rome, for certain bad speeches touching the Empe­rour. The Emperour knowing the things to be true, that Mar­cellus was accused to have spoken, was easily perswaded that he had spoken them: Nam quia vera erant, ideo dicta credebantur. None I hope will (Sure I am none justly can) censure mee for aiming at any particular, save he whose conscience with Tiberi­us accuseth him to be guilty of the same sins I have reproved: and Si vera sint, ideo in eum dicta credantur; If he find those things in himselfe, let him think that he is the man, or rather his sins the mark that I have aimed at; And let him goe his way and sinne no more, lest a worse thing befall him.

I am perswaded we have at this day as many worthy and re­ligious Gentlemen, as many learned and religious Lawyers, as many reverend, learned, and religious Judges and Magistrates, as ever England had: and for you (my Lords) although the one of you is known to me but Ex auditu, but being such as John gives of Demetrius, 3 John 12. I may speak to you both, as I concluded my speech to you the last yeare, that you may say with that wor­thy Judge of Israel, Whose oxe have we taken, and to whom have we wittingly done any wrong, or at whose hands have we received any bribe to blind our eyes therewith?

Now as Plutarch writes of Garlick and Rue, that being plan­ted besides Rose-trees, they make the Roses smell the sweeter: So the corruptions of evill men set by the vertues of the good, make them more pleasant in the nostrills of all good men. The condemnation of evill is a secret commendation of them. The threatning of judgment to the evill, implies a promise of reward to them that are good. Goe on in the name of God, and the Spirit of the Lord, even the Spirit of wisdome and understand­ing, the Spirit of Counsell and fortitude, the Spirit of Know­ledge, [Page 82] and the feare of the Lord rest upon you, and guide you in all your Consultations, Proceedings, and Judgements; that Ju­stice and Equity may be advanced, Vice suppressed, Religion and Piety established, Gods name glorified, Peace maintained, your Duties discharged, and your Soules saved through Christ Je­sus, &c.

The fourth Sermon.

LVKE 12. 32.‘For it is your Fathers good pleasure, &c.’

WEe have in it observed four things.

  • 1. The Granter, your Father.
  • 2. The thing granted, a Kingdome.
  • 3. The grantees, not all Adams sons, but the Sheep of this little flock.
  • 4. The consideration, or cause impul­sive, and that is nothing in man, but the love and will, and good pleasure of Al­mighty God (your father is wel pleased)▪

The last time I supplied this place, I spoke of the first, I will now follow the words as they lie in order, and leaving that which I noted in the second place to the last, as it lies in my Text, I will conclude the other two in this one Proposition: Our hea­venly father bestows upon the members of his little flock, eter­nall life in his Kingdome of glory, not for any merit either of Faith or of Works, but meerly of his good will and pleasure. We do not now dispute, whether any, being come to yeares of discretion, can be saved without faith and new obedience; (I grant none can) these and others be media ad salutem, and fruits and effects of predestination to life; but the question is, which is the Sola causa [...] which internally moves God to do this. Here we exclude both faith and works, yea predestination in Christ, yea and Christ himselfe, in whom, as in the head this little flock was elected to a Kingdome, and ascribe all those to the good pleasure of his will. This is the little inward wheel [Page 84] which sets all the rest on work: it's the Primus motor, which car­ries all the inferior orbes (Election to Salvation, the death and merits of Christ, Vocation, and the rest, with and under it. Ele­ction to glory is the first link in this golden chain, it's the Pri­mum mobile that carries all the rest with it: and for this, and so consequently for all the rest, we find no praevision either of faith or works, or of any other thing (for what could he foresee to see in man that is good, but what from eternity he decreed to bestow upon him; for his prescience in order of nature fol­lows his decree, that is, he did not decree, because he did fore­see; but he fore-saw, because hee decreed things to be thus or thus) but only [...], the good pleasure and will of God. And surely this we may see as in a pure glasse (as Austin well notes) in the very head of the Church. Mortal man is conceived of the seed of David; by what works, by what vertue did this mortall flesh merit, that it should be united unto the Divinity, that in the very Virgins womb he should be made the head of Angels, the glory of the Father, the only begotten sonne of God, the righteousnesse, light, and salvation of the world? Surely he was not made the Son of God by living righteously, but it was the Fathers good pleasure that he should be dignified with this ho­nour, that he might make his little flocke partakers of his gifts. But because we are now about divine mysteries, in which we can know no more then the Lord hath revealed in his word, let us follow this word, as the Israelites followed the cloud, which in­deed shews the way to the promised Land; and as the Wise men followed the Star which led them to Christ, and it will bring us into the Kings chamber, as a Father speaks, Where are hid all the treasures of wisdome and knowledge. God hath chosen us in Christ, before the foundations of the world were laid, that we should be ho­ly, &c. And all this according to the good pleasure of his will, Eph. 1. 4, 5. here almost every word is an argument.

1. He hath chosen us: From whence did he choose us? Out of that masse of corruption in which all mankind was drowned, and was become sonnes of wrath, and bond-slaves to Satan. Well then, as there could be no merits in them which he past by (for if they had merited, they had been elected:) so neither did wee merit why we should be elected, but from his good will and [Page 85] pleasure have we obtained this grace.

2. Before the foundation of the world; Ergo, from eternity; Ergo, not for works.

3. That we should be holy; Ergo, not because we were holy; and so the Apostle speaks of faith, God had mercie on me: Vt fidelis essem, not because I was faithfull.

4. According to the good pleasure of his will. There is the ground and cause of all: Our fathers good pleasure; Even so O father, because thy good will and pleasure was such. Adde unto this that of the Apostle, 2 Tim. 1. He hath called us with an ho­ly calling, not according to our works, but according to his purpose and grace: Where to our works hee opposeth Gods purpose and grace. And not to trouble you with other places, that in Rom. 9. where speaking of Gods free election of some, and reje­ction, or (if you like the word better) praeterition of others, he sends us to the prine cause of all, the pleasure and will of God.

1. He instanceth in Ishmael and Isaac, both begotten by faith­full Abraham, yet one is elected, the other left out; but because the Jews might object that there was not the same reason of Ish­mael and Isaac, the one being begotten of a bond-woman, the other of a lawfull wife, Sarah, to whom he was promised before he was conceived: Therefore hee brings another instance in E­sau and Jacob, who though they were both children of Isaac, and discended from faithfull Abraham, to whom the promise was made: In thy seed, &c. and were Twins of one Birth▪ and in all things like, save that Esau was the Elder, yet is Esau left, and the birth-right given to Jacob, and that before they were borne, when the children were yet unborn, when they had neither done good nor evill, that the purpose of God might remaine according to election, not by works, but by him that calleth, it was said, The elder shall serve the younger, as it is written, I have loved Jacob, &c. What will the enemies of Gods grace and good pleasure answer to this? Forsooth God in Jacob demonstrates that he makes choise of those whom he fore­sees worthy of his grace; in Esau, that he rejects those whom he sees unworthy. But why doth he say the children were un­borne? why adds he that they had neither done good nor evill? why is it said that the purpose of God might remaine according [Page 86] to election, not by works. What wilt thou say to that which followeth? What then shall we say? (saith the Apostle) Is there injustice with God? God forbid: As if he had said, although God to those that are equall give things unequall; although he de­prives Esau of his Birth-right, and gives it to Jacob, yet God for­bid that we should accuse him of injustice, seeing his will is the rule of all justice, which in the words following hee proves to be the prime cause of election and praeterition; therefore (saith he) It is not in him that willeth, nor in him that runneth, &c. Again, He hath mercie on whom he will, &c. And, O man who art thou that disputest with God? Hath not the potter power of the clay? &c. All that the Potter can do with the clay, is to bring an accidentall forme into it; the clay he cannot make: but God is Author, not only of the accidents, but of substances too, and therefore hath greater power over his creatures, then the Potter over his clay.

Well then, if you ask why God conferres a Kingdome upon his Flock of Sheep, and not on Goats, why he loves Jacob and hates Esau, why he pardons Peter and not Judas, we all de­serving death, being plunged over head and eares in the wa­ter of corruption? thou hast the answer [...], &c. Its our fathers pleasure, he will have it so. And why will he have it so? I answer with Austin, Tu homoes, & expectas re­sponsum a me qui sum homo; itaque ambo audiamus dicentem: O homo, &c. Melior est fidelis ignorantia, quam temeraria scientia. Occulta Jehovae, &c. Revealed things belong to us and our Chil­dren, but secret things to God: None hath ever pryed into his Ark & lived, Oculos amittunt qui eos acrius in solem figunt: sic & nos omne amittemus mentis lumen si eam intendamus in hoc lumen. Gods will is the supream cause; to aske further is to seeke a cause of that which hath none. Now then, Compescat se huma­na temeritas & id quod non est non quaerat, ne id quod est non in­veniat: Now humane Scrupulosity must be silent, and not search for that that is not, least it finde not that that is.

Let us leave Pelagins and his Bratt Arminius a little, and speak closely to the Papist, concerning merit of works.

First, Nothing can properly merit the Kingdome of Heaven, but that which is absolutely perfect, both in respect of parts [Page 87] and degrees; if you look for Heaven by merit of works, you must with the Sun in the Zodiack, keep a precise course under the Ecliptick Line of Gods Law, and not divert an haires breadth to the right hand or to the left; if thou faile but in the least Iota, heare thy doome, Cursed is he that continueth not &c. He that offendeth in one is guilty of all, Jam. 2. Let the Papist, with his Forefathers, the proud Pharisees, boast that he hath been so good a proficient in Gods Schoole, tha [...] hee hath fulfilled all Gods precepts from his youth, an easie matter so to do, he can go further, and become a transcendent; and with the Icarian wings of Supererogatory works soar above the predicaments of the Law, and merit the Kingdome of Heaven, not for himselfe onely, but for others too. But for thee (beloved Christian) if thou be wise, confesse with the faithfull in the Prophet, Isa. 64. That all thy righteousnesse is as filthy clouts: with Peter, That the Law is a yoake, which neither thou nor thy Fathers were ever able to beare, Acts 10. With Paul, That it is impossible, in as much as it is made weak because of the flesh, Rom. 8. Say with John, If we have no sin, &c. 1 John 1. And with an ancient Fa­ther, Multum in hac vita ille profecit qui quam longe sit a per­fectione justitiae proficiendo cognovit.

Its an easie matter I confesse for an idle Fryar, who with the Spider spins his Web out of his owne bowels, and spends his whole time in making of Sophismes against the truth, as Chry­sippus did in making of Fallacies, and measures God by himself; as Praxiteles painted Venus like his owne Wise, to say some­what for salvation by works: but he that will look upward to Heaven, and consider the Almighty as he is described in his word, at whose brightnesse the Starrs of Heaven are darkned, by whose power the earth is shaken, at whose anger the moun­taines are melted, at the presence of whose purity all things seem impure, who maketh not the wicked innocent, who is a burning and a consuming fire; let him sit on the bench of judg­ment, and sift and boult our works in the Sieve of his justice, let him try them who looks not on the outward appearance of man, but enters into his heart, and searcheth every corner thereof, and like a curious Critick spells every syllable of our thoughts long before they be conceived, and who can abide [Page 88] his judgment. Who then dare to boast of his owne righte­ousnesse, or challenge the Kingdome of Heaven by his good deeds? Behold (saith Job) he found no stedfastnesse in his Saints, and layd folly upon his Angels; how much more on them which dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, Job 4. 18. And againe, Behold he found no stedfastnesse in his Saints, and the Heavens are impure in his sight: How much more is man abominable and filthy, which drinketh iniquity like water, Job 15. 15, 16. Hither, hither let us lift up our eyes, and all boasting of our owne righteousnesse will vanish away, as the morning dew at the heat of the Sun; it will make us say with Austin, God brings us to eternall life, not for our owne merits, but for his mercy: With Bernard, Meritum nostrum miseratio Domi­ni: VVith Job, We are not able to answer him one for a thousand: And with David, Enter not into Judgement with thy servant, O Lord, for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.

Secondly, But Dato, & non concesso, suppose that which shall never be granted, that thou couldst say truly with Saul, and the Pharisee, I have fulfilled the Commandements of God; yet wantest thou one thing; for that work which must merit, must be Opus indebitum. Now obedience to every branch of Gods law, is a debt which we are owing to God by the law of creati­on, and God may say to every one of us, as Paul said to Phile­mon, Thou owest to mee even thine owne selfe. Doth a Master thank that servant which did that which he was commanded to do? I trow not: so likewise, When yee have done all things which were commanded you, say, we are unprofitable servants, we have but done that which was our duty to do. Inutilis servus voca­tur (saith Austin) qui omnia fecit, quia nihil fecit ultra id quod debuit: And Theophylact upon that place; The servant if he work not, is worthy of many stripes: and when he has wrought, let him be contented with this, that he hath escaped stripes.

3. That work by which thou must merit, must be thine own, but thy good works, if thou look to the first cause, are not so: Quid habes, quod non accipisti, 1 Cor. 4. Its God that worketh both the will and the deed, Phil. 2. 13. Not I, but the grace of God in me, 1 Cor. 13. So then, put case thou couldst fulfill the law, and it were not a payment of debt, yet is no merit due to [Page 89] thee, but to him whose they are. Dei dona sunt, quaecun (que) bona sunt, Every good and perfect gift comes from above, even from the father of lights. And Deus sua dona, non nostra merita coronat.

4. Admit it were in thy power to fulfill the law, that it were no debt, that thy works were wholly thine, and God had no part in them; this is not enough, there must be some proportion be­tween the work and the reward, or no proper merit. Now be­tween thy best works, and the Kingdome of heaven promised to Christs little flock, there is not that proportion, that is Inter stillam muriae & mare Aegeum, as Tullie speaks, between the light of a candle, and the light of the Sunne, between the least grane of sand that lies on the Sea-shore, and the highest heaven, as shall presently appear.

5. Last of all, that thy work may merit at Gods hands, some profit or honour must thereby accrue to him: But my goodnesse, saith David, O Lord, reacheth not unto thee, but to the saints that are on the earth. If thou be righteous (saith Elihu) what givest thou to God, or what receiveth he at thine hand? Job 35. Who hath given unto him first? Rom. 11. 35.

All these five things are requisite for the merit of works, but not onely some, but all of them are wanting to our best works: and therefore we must, with the Scriptures, ascribe our whole salvation to the grace of God, and acknowledge nothing inhe­rent in us to be the prime cause of all his graces, but his owne good will and pleasure. I count the afflictions of this world not worthy the glory that shall be revealed, Rom. 8. And in another place he tells us, That wee deserve hell for our evill workes. The wages of sinne is death, but not heaven for our good deeds and sufferings, but of Gods bounty and mercie. Eternall life is the gift of God, Rom. 6. Not by the works of righteousnesse which wee had done, but according to his mercie he saved us, Tit. 3. And ye are saved by grace through faith, not of your selves, it is the gift of God, Eph. 2. And how doth he prove that Abraham was justifi­ed by faith, and not by works? because Ei qui operatur merces non imputatur secundū gratiam, sed secundum debitum. And if A­braham had been justified by works, he had wherein to rejoyce, but not with God, Rom. 3. These are places of Scripture, and let me build upon this occasion, to produce an assertion which [Page 90] once I brought upon another point, which some that I see here present were pleased to except against, as savouring of blasphe­my; though the words excepted against were none of mine, but of Justin Martyr, who lived above 1400. years agoe, and con­fidently brought by him in his discourse with Tryphon a Jew; if any, I will not say Pelagian, or Arminian, or Papist; but if all the Fathers of the Primitive Church, if all the ancient Councels, if Moses and all the Prophets, if Paul and all the Apostles; if an Angel from heaven; nay if God himself (these are the words of Justin the Martyr) should deliver any doctrine repugnant to that which is contained in this booke, I would not believe him. Agreeable unto these places of Scripture was the doctrine of the ancient Church; Gratia evacuatur, si non gratis donatur, sed me­ritis redditur. Aug. Epist. 105. Non dei gratia erit ullo modo, nisi gratuita fuerit omni modo. And in a third place, Non pro merito quidem accipimus vitam aeternam, sed tantum pro gratia, Tract. 3. in Ioh. And thus have I confirmed my proposition by reason, by Scriptures, and by the testimonie of the Church: and Contra rationem nemo sobrius, contra ecclesiam nemo pacificus, contra scripturas nemo Christianus senserit, as a Father saith.

Unto all these might be added (if it were needfull) the con­fession of the learnedst of our Adversaries (let our Enemies be Judges, who cry down this blasphemous doctrine of Merit. God (saith one of them) doth punish Citra condignum, but rewards Vltra condignum: and Scotus (as Bellar▪ confesseth) holds that Bona opera ex gratia procedentia non sunt meritoria ex condigno, sed tantum ratione pacti, & acceptationis divinae. And of the same opinion (saith he) were other of the old Schoolmen, and of the new Writers Andreas Vega. Ferus, as in many other points between us & the Pontificians, so in this he is as sound a Catho­lique, and as good a Protestant as Calvin himselfe, or any that hath written on this subject, in Math. cap. 20. vers. 8. Gratis promisit, gratis reddit: si dei gratiam & favorē conservare vis, nulla meritorum tnorum mentionem facito: And in Acts 15. Qui docet in operibus confidere, is negat Christi meritum sufficere. Both which places, & many others of the same Author, their Index Expurga­torius hath wiped out, using him & the ancient fathers, as Tereus dealt with Progne, who cut out her tongue lest she shold tel the [Page 91] truth. Yea, and Bellarmine himselfe, after he hath spent seven­teen leaves in defence of merit of works, and scrapt and catcht and drawn in by the shoulders whatsoever he could, out of the Scriptures or ancine Fathers for colouring that Tenent, at length brings this Orthodoxall conclusion (with which I will conclude this point) Very Orthodoxall indeed, if two letters be transposed, Propter incertitudinem propriae justitiae, let it be, Propter certitudinem propriae injustitiae) & propter periculum inanis gloriae, tutissimum est fiduciam totam in sola Dei misericor­dia & benignitate reponere.

A Kingdome:

Of this (as Salust once said of old Carthage) its better to say nothing then to say but a little, and yet if I should say more then I am able to expresse, it were nothing to that which might be said, Non mihi si linguae centum sint ora (que) centum, ferreae vox: Had I a thousand mouthes and a thousand voyces, had I a tongue of steele, or spoke with the tongues of those thousands of thousands that waite about the Throne of God, I were not able to set forth so much as the shadow or back parts, nay the shadow of the back parts of those joyes which God hath pre­pared for them that love him. Nature failes me, reason failes you, the whole Bible failes me in this point. Paul was taken up into the third Heaven (the Kingdome here meant) and what saw he? The glory was such that it did not only dazle his eyes, but struck him blind that he could see nothing at all, Acts 9▪ 8. Well, but what heard he? Things that cannot be conceived, neither is it possible for man to be uttered, 2 Cor. 12.

Saint Austin when he was young did thus de cant upon it, Ibi erit summa & certa securitas, secura tranquillitas, tranquilla ju­cunditas, jucunda faelicitas, faelix aeternitas, &c. There shall be certaine security, secure safety, safe delightsome happinesse▪ happy eternity, &c. O gaudium supra gandium, O gaudium vincens omne gaudium; extrae quod non est gaudium: quando in­trabo in te, ut videam Deum meum qui habitat in te? ubi inven­tus nunquam senescit, ubi vita terminū nescit ubi dolor nunquam pallescit, ubi amor nunquam tepescit, ubi sanitas, nunquam mar­cescit [Page 92] ubi gaudium nunquam decrescit, ubi dolor nunquam sen­titur, ubi gemitus nunquam audit ur; ubi triste nihil videtur, ubi laetitia semper habetur, &c. Aust. Soliloqui. O joy beyond all joy, O joy without which there is no joy, when shall I enter into thee, that I may behold God which is in thee, where youth never growes old? De verbis Domini in Joh. Serm. 64. where love never grows cold, &c. After, when he was growne some­what old, he takes a pause and demands this of himselfe, after a long discourse: What shall I say? Surely I cannot tell, but I know that God hath such things to bestow: And facilius in­venire possumus quid ibi non sit, quam quid sit: We may easilier finde what is not there, then what is there: Non ibi erit lassari & dormire, non ibi esurire & sitire, non ibi erit crescere & senes­cere. Behold what I have spoken, and yet I have not spoken what is there: Eccejam vita, jam incolumitas est, jam nulla fa­mes, nulla paena, nulla si is, nullus defectus, & tamen nondum dixi, and yet I have not told you what is there; that which eye hath not seen, how can I discerne? that which eare hath not heard, how can I speak? that which never came into the heart of man, how can it come into my heart to declare? and indeed to make a long discourse about this subject, were but with the blinde man to discourse about colours. He may talk long about them but with eyes he cannot know them; and we may talke much of Heavens joyes, but till we come there and see God we cannot see them: Our knowledge is no more able to reach to the ex­cellency of them, then a new borne childe is to make a demon­stration in the Mathematicks, or he that is blinde to name eve­ry colour that is layd before him. Eye hath not seen, nor eare heard, saith the Apostle: Quicquid recipitur, recipitur in mo­dum recipientis: A Quart will not containe a Gallon, nor a Gallon an Hogshead; nothing can receive more then its able to containe. Our understandings are like Vessels of small ca­pacity, and therefore our heavenly Father, who in the Scrip­tures is often pleased, Balbutire cum pueris, to condescend to the meannesse of his Childrens capacity, expresseth these joyes by such things as their understandings are capable of.

The Jewes report of Manna, that it gave a taste to every man according to their severall appetites and desires: For the trueth [Page 93] of this, Credat Judaeus apella, non ego: The Scripture tells us that the taste thereof was like Wafers made with Honey, [...]um. 16. 31. But it may be truely sayd of this Kingdome, that in the Scriptures its expressed by such names as may give satisfaction to every mans appetite. Some are delighted with faire houses, it's therefore called an house, 2 Cor. 5. and Solomons house, 1 King. 7. was a type of it, but far short of the antitype. Yea, and the house of the Sun too. Sublimibus alta columnis, clara micante auro, flammas (que) imitante pyropo: It's the house that wis­dome hath built, Prov. 9. a stately house with a witnesse, for her stones are Carbun [...]les, her foundation Saphirs, its windows of Emeralds, and all its gates of shining stones, Isa. 54. In a word, Its a house made without hands, eternall, and that in the heavens, 2 Cor. 5. Some it contents not to dwell in a fair house, unlesse it be seated in a goodly Citie: It's therefore likened un­to a Citie, a Citie having a foundation that is a sure foundation; all earthly Cities are founded in quag-mires, they want a foun­dation, they are like the house builded upon the sand, which cannot endure the weather, but downe it goes, as Athens, La­cedem [...]n, Niniveh, Babylon, and others have done: a Citie of the best structure. Whose builder and maker is God, Heb. 11. 10. A Citie having the glory of God, a Citie of pure gold like unto cleare glasse, Revel. 21. Oh how excellent things are spoken of thee thou Citie of God. But neither faire Houses, nor goodly Cities will give contentment to some, unlesse they may have wealth at will, in which many place their chiefe felicity. It's therefore likened unto a pearle, for which the wise Lapidari [...] sells all that hee hath to buy it, A treasure which neither rust nor moth can cor­rupt, nor thiefe steale. All these will not satisfie the mindes of some, unlesse beside them they may have honours and dignities heaped upon them. Here is that that may give these content­ment too, it's a Kingdome, A kingdome that cannot be shaken, Hebr. 12. (and the greatest Kingdomes of the world have been often shaken and shivered in pieces.) A kingdome that shall have no end, Luk. 1. Or as was foretold by the Prophet, A king­dome that shall never be destroyed, Dan. 7. 14.

Pyrrgus said of Rome (when as yet it was not Mistresse of all Italic) That it was a Citie of Kings, marry one [Page 94] thing was wanting to that Kingly Citie, which Hormisda, Legate to Constantine, did wel observe, when he saw the Emperour ra­vished with the beauty of it, as if with Paul he had been wrapt up into the third heaven; and it was this, that men died in that Citie of Kings, as well as in other places. But it may be truly said of this, that it is not Vrbs regum, but regnum regum, a Kingdome of Kings; not the meanest doore-keeper there, but weares a Crown beset with more precious jewels then the Jasp [...]r and the Onix stone: And here is that which makes up their feli­city, that the Crown shall never [...]ade (as appears by that which hath been spoken) their joy shall never faile, their Sunne shall never set, their life shall never end. Is not here honour enough? Indeed neither houses, nor Cities, nor wealth, nor honours will satisfie some, unlesse they may fare well, and have store of dain­ties: therefore its elsewhere likened to a wedding feast of a Kings sonne, where nothing is wanting which may delight the heart of man.

  • 1. Costly apparell.
  • 2. Curious and exquisite musick.
  • 3. Great provision of all kinds of dishes, &c.

All these wch I have named are but spoken, [...] wher­by the holy Ghost would have us gather the unspeakable joys of this Kingdom, as Pythagoras from the print of Hercules his foot in the games of Olympus did gather the bigness of his whole bo­dy. This is not all, faire houses, goodly Cities, wealth and riches, honours and Kingdoms: so rich apparell, delicate fare, &c. joyne them all together, and without good neighborhood they are like Jericho, 2 Kin. 2. whose situation was pleasant, but the waters naught. When Themistocles was about to sel an house in Athens, he made the Cryer proclaim, that he that would buy that house, should have a good neighbour with it. He that gets this House, this Citie, this Kingdome wee have spoken of, shall be sure of a good neighbour, he shall have the society of innumerable Angels, and the spirits of just and perfect men, and of God the Judge of all, and Jesus the Mediator of the New Testament; who can wish better company?

An unwise man doth not consider these things, Vse 1. and a foole cannot understand them: The reason is, he wants a spirituall eye▪ and [Page 95] spiritual things must be spiritually discerned; and thinks himselfe never rich enough; another thinks he hath never preferment e­nough; another is so addicted to the pleasures of this world, that he never thinks he hath enough; every one is desirous to have his abode here. It was Peters errour, Bonum est esse hic, Let us here build us tabernacles: Here will I dwell, for I have a delight herein. And the holy Ghost saith of Peter, That hee wist not what he said, Mar. 9. 6. It's true of us too, we wote not what we say; we make not that comparison wee should between this present and future life; we think of the moment any pleasures of the one, which notwithstanding is mingled with much bitter­nesse; we think not upon, peradventure we believe not the eter­nity of the other. Like bruit Beasts, the most are carried with carnall sensuality, and regard the present, they consider not that which is to come. If a Beast could speak, he would say that hee is in a more happy estate then men; the reason is, because he fee­leth his owne pleasures, but he hath not the wit to consider the felicity of man: Man can speak, and he saith at least in his heart, he thinketh that he is in a more happy estate then the Angels in heaven; he feels his owne felicity (which indeed is a misery and no felicity) he wants a spiritual understanding to judg of theirs. I remember what Aelian reports of Nicostratus, an excellent Painter; this Nicostratus seeing the picture of Helena which was painted by Zeuxis, did very earnestly look upon it, being much amazed at the curiousnesse of the work-manship: An ignorant man that had no skill in painting, and therefore thought that he had seen many pictures as good as that, came unto him and asked him the reason why he did so much admire that image; Oh, quoth Nicostratus, if thou hadst mine eyes thou wouldst ne­ver ask me that question, but be as much astonied with it as I am. The faithfull Christian looking with the eyes of faith upon this Kingdom mentioned in my Text; Explorimentem nequit, arde­scitque tuendo, and prizeth it above 1000. worlds all of gold and pearl; the carnall man seeing him, laughs at him, and calls him a Gods fool; he seeth no reason why he should be so astonied at the contemplation of that which is so high above his reach, and so far beyond his horizon, as hee by his naturall understanding cannot attaine unto.

[Page 96] I am better perswaded of you that hear me this day, though I speak these things only for conclusion, let me exhort you, nay with Austin, hortor vos omnes clarissimi, [...]eque ipsum; that see­ing the riches of this Kingdome is such as cannot be valued, the excellency such as cannot be expressed, the joyes such as cannot be conceived, the durance such as cannot be ended, let us not with Aesops Cock prefer a barly-corne, the transitory trash of this world before this precious pearle, for which the wise La­pidary will part with all he hath that he may purchase it. Let us not with Esau preferre a messe of Pottage before our Birth­right; nay with the Israelites, accompt more of the stinking Garlick and Onions of Aegypt, then of the Milke and Honey of this spirituall Canaan: but as the Spies which were sent from the Danites to view Laish, Judg. 18. said to their brethren at their returne, We have seene the land, and surely it is very good, arise and let us not be sloathfull to goe and enter to possesse it. And if the old Gaules adventured their lives over the rocky Alpes, and encountered all their cruell Enemies the Italians, that they might have their fill of the Hetrurian Wine and Figs of Tusca­nie: And if the Queen of the South adventured her selfe from Sheba, or Meroe in Aethiopia through the vast Wildernesses in Africk, and the sandy Desarts of Arabia to Jerusalem, to see Solomon, and to conferre with him; shall not wee with pati­ence swallow up all those calamities, which may befall us in the wildernesse of this world?

And in despight of all opposition by evill or Devill, let us boldly hold on our journey to the new and holy Jerusalem which is above, where we shall see and conferre with the true Solomon, Jesus Christ the righteous, the mighty God, the everlasting fa­ther, the King of peace, Isa. 9. of whom we may more truly say then shee did of that Solomon; It was a true word that I heard in mine owne land of thy sayings, and of thy wisdome, but lo [...] the one halfe was not told mee. Happy are the men, happy are thy servants which stand ever before thee, and heare thy wisdome.

For the better performance of our duties in this journey, let us remember that every one hath a double calling, one general, another particular; in both these let us do our utmost endeavor [Page 97] to spend that little time which God affords us in this land of the living in a conscionable walking with God, after the example of Enoch and Noah. To omit the generall; as every man hath a particular calling, so let him make conscience to use as to Gods glory, so to the good and benefit of his Country; the Minister in a faithfull dispensation of the Word of God to them that are committed to his charge; the Magistrate in using the sword of Justice put into his hands for the punishment of evill doers, and for the praise of him that doth well. He is Vir gregis, the Bel­weather in Christs little Flock, and as he goes the rest will fol­low, if by honest, and upright and conscionable dealings he shall lead them the right way, the lesser and weaker Sheep will be ready to follow him into the green Pastures of the Lord that are beside the waters of comfort. To this purpose let him re­member that God hath set him in his own room, and stiled him with his owne name: The studie of a Poet, that every speech and action and gesture be sutable to the person hee brings upon the Stage.

Sit Medea Ferox, &c.

The fifth Sermon.

MATTH. 7. 22, 23.‘Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have not we by thy name prophesied? — And then I wil professe to them, I never knew you.’

THAT which our Saviour delivered in the former part of the Precedent verse, That not all that professe Christ to be their Lord shall be saved, is in these two verses confirmed; for a man may have most excellent gifts, and in respect of his Calling come neer unto Christ, be his Vice-gerent, and supply his roome, and for all that misse heaven. Many will say unto me, &c. In which words note;

  • 1. The plea of certaine persons.
  • 2. Christs answer; Then will I professe, &c.

In the Plea, note,

  • 1. The persons described by their Offices; they are Prophets, and they have taken pains in their calling: Have not wee pro­phesied?
  • 2. Their number (Many.)
  • 3. The time when this plea shall be made (At that day.)
  • 4. The Judge before whom (Vnto me.)

The first will be as much as I shall be able to runne through at this time, which I purpose not to handle, ut thema simplex, but as it hath relation to Christs answer.

Have not we in thy name; That is, by thy authority and ap­pointment, [Page 99] as being called by thee to that office, Prophesied; that is, either foretold things to come (that's the proper signifi­cation of the word) or else explained and expounded the word. The Prophets in the time of the Law did both, and in the New Testament it is used both wayes. In those days there came certain Prophets from Jerusalem to Antiochia, Act. 11. 27. That is, such as by revelation of the Spirit did foretell things to come, such was Agabus, and the daughters of Philip, Acts 21. There you have it in the former signification, Despise not prophesie, 1 Thes. 5. 20. Covet spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesie, 1 Cor. 14. 1. And in the next verse Prophesie is defined, A speaking un­to men to edification, and to exhortation, and to comfort: there you have it in the letter; here it's taken generally, as infolding both these particulars: So that from hence may be gathered these two propositions, which shall be the subject of my speech at this time.

1. A man may be a Prophet (that is, a foreteller of things to come) and be a reprobate.

2. A man may be a learned Preacher, and a meanes of saving others, and for all that be damned himselfe.

To foretell future contingents (as they are considered in themselves,Propositions. and not in their causes (for so they are in some sort present) its proper to him from whose all-seeing eyes nothing is hidde,Rom. 4. 17. Who calleth things that are not as though they were, and understandeth the thoughts of our hearts (things of all other most purely contingent) long before; and therefore the Lord brings this as an argument against the Idols of the Heathen, to prove that they were no gods, because they could not foretell things to come,1 King. 13. Isa. 41. 23. It's hee (and none but hee) that could name Josias long before he came into the world,Isa. 44. 28. and call Cyrus his Shepheard above 100. yeares befor he was borne,Gen. 25. 11, 12 and num­ber the years of the Jewes captivity before they were carried to Babylon, Dan. 7. and foresee the foure great Monarchies of the world before they were: notwithstanding as the true Prophets have foretold these, and other future events, not by help of Melan­choly,Bodin Meth. hist. which made them more addicted to contemplation (as Bodin fondly dreameth) but meerly by divine illumination: so hath the Lord revealed some of the like nature unto such as [Page 100] were not of the houshold of faith;Joh. 11. which as it is plain by my Text, so also by the example of Caiphas, an enemie to Christ, and Balaam, Numb. 23. A stranger from the common-wealth of Israel: and Saul, a reprobate: and the Devill himselfe, who could never certainly have foretold Sauls death,1 Sam. 9. unlesse the Lord had revea­led it unto him:1 Sam. 28. which places are so plain, that Bellarmine, De gratia & libero arbitrio, Bellarmine. lib. 1. cap. 10. confesseth as much in substance as now I labour to prove.

If it please you to leave the Scriptures a little, and to passe to heathen men, you shall find that they were not without their Prophesies.Hierome. Hierom upon his Epistle to Titus, saith, that Epime­nides (whom Paul calls a Prophet of Crete) wrote a booke of Predictions, out of which the Apostle borrowed that heroicall verse which is cited in the first Chapter of that Epistle.


Concerning their Oracles, although they were oftentimes gi­ven in amphibologicall termes, when the event could not be known, such as was that to Pyrrhus (if such was given) which Tully doubts)

Aio te Aeacida Romanos vincere posse.

And that given to Croesus,

Croesus Halyn penetrans pervertet plurima regna.

Croesus passing Halys, shall great Kingdomes overthrow, viz. either of his owne or others:Liv. de c. 1. lib. 8. and such as was given to Alexan­der King of Epirus, that he should beware of the Citie Pando­sia and the river Acheron, those two being in Epirus, and others of that name in Italie, where he was slain; and sometimes were of things already begun to be done, the news whereof was carri­ed by Spirits in a moment of time unto places far distant, such as that was in the first book of Herodotus, where the Oracle tells Croesus his messengers what he was doing at that time in his own house: and sometimes were of such things as had naturall causes, unknown to men, yet known to Devils, by reason of their greater subtilty and quick apprehension; yet were they [Page 101] not all of these kinds, some being of such nature as could never be knowne without divine revelation. To tell Alexander the time, & place, and manner of his death, as the Indian Oracle did (if that Epistle be not counterfeit,Q. Curtius. Ad. Arist. Justin. Herod. which in the end of Q. Cur­tius goes under Alexanders name) to tell the Athenians that they should overcome their Enemies (the Dorenses) and the Lacedemonians, that they should prevaile against the Persians, if their King should be slain in the field:Livius. and Brutus, that hee should have the government of Rome, who should first kiss his old Mother the Earth; they be things purely contingent, and such as the Devill by his owne knowledge could never reach unto.

What shall we say of the Sybills and their Prophesies? perad­venture some of them are spurious, and illegitimate: such as that of Sybilla Erithraea in Eusebius and Augustine, where the first letter of every verse being put together make up these words, [...].Munst. de Ita­lia. And that of the same Sibyll which Mun­ster hath borrowed, I know not out of what Author: In ultima ae­tate humiliabitur deus, humanabitur proles divina, unietur huma­nitati divinitas, jacebit in faeno agnus, & puellari educabitur offi­cio: and that of I know not which Sibylla, cited by Lactantius and Austin: In manus iniquas infidelium veniet, & dabunt deo alapas manibus incestis, & impurato ore expuent venenatos sputus, &c. He shall come into the hands of the wicked, and they shall buffet him with their fists, and with impure mouths shall spit upon him, &c. All which, and many such like were, I am per­swaded, forged by Christians (to make the Gospel more passable amongst the Gentiles) especially seeing amongst none of Gods Prophets,Hierom. praef. in Isaiam. no not in Isaiah himselfe, whom Hierom calls not only a Prophet, but an Apostle and Evangelist) are extant such clear testimonies touching Christ.

Yet surely that in Virgils Eglogs was never as yet questioned by any, which the Poet finding in the books of Sibylla Cumaea, and gathering by the first letter of every verse (as Ludovicus Vi­ves thinkes) that the time was at hand when that Prophesie should take place,Aug. de civ. lib. 18. cap. 23. applyed that to Saloninus, the sonne of Asini­us Pollio, which can be fitted to none, save Christ the redeemer of the world.

[Page 102]
Vltima Cumaei venit jam carminis aetas▪

What Verses be these? Let us heare them, at least let us have the sense of them.

A strange exchange in course of things,
This present time unto us brings:
The Maide is come'd, the Iron age is spent,
A new borne Babe, Gods dearest Son,
From highest Heaven is sent.
Magnus ab integro seclorum nascitur ordo:
Virg. Ecloga 4:
Jam redit & virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna;
Jam nova progenies caelo dimittitur al [...],
Chara dei soboles.—

And what benefit shall he bring to mankinde? He shall save his people from their sins.

Hoc duce, si qua manent sceleris vestigia nostri,
Jrrita perpetuà solvent formidine terras.

And as it followes a little after,

The Serpent shall be kil'd, and th' of poyson dead,
Our Ladies Rose, from Sy [...]ian land, through all the World shall spread.
Occidet & Serpens, & fallax herba veneni
Occidet, Assyrium vulgo nascetur amomum.

What is this Serpent but that wily Serpent that deceived our first Parents? Whats this Fallax herba veneni, but sinne? And what is this Assyrium amomum, but the Balme of Gilead, or to give it its English name, our Ladies Rose, or the Herbe of Jerusalem, Luke 24. 47. the Gospel of Christ, begun to be Preached at Jerusalem a City in Assyria (for Palaestina was then vulgarly [Page 103] accounted part of Assyria) according to Christs direction, and thence dispersed into every corner of the World: See Constan­tines Oration, Ad Caelum sanctorum fidelium, cap. 20. in Eusebio.

These things are so plaine that a learned Rabbin amongst our Adversaries,Tho. Aquin. 2a. 2ae. q. 172. art. 6. unto whom we appeale in this point (Let our ene­mies be Judges, Deut. 32.) is not ashamed to confesse, that, Pro­phetae demonum non semper loquuntur, ex demonum revelatione sed interdum ex inspiratione divinâ. And another, that God sometimes permitted amongst the Gentiles some Prophets to foretell future things:Greg. Toless. de rep. lib. 13. cap. 33. And a third in his Commentary upon this Text, that false Prophets have truly Prophesied.

The truth of this Proposition being confirmed unto us by such a cloud of witnesses,Mald. in Mar. 7. I wonder what came in Bellarmines head,Vse. to make Lumen Propheticum a mark of the true Church, especially where he proposeth to speak of such notes, by which it may most easily be distinguished from all false Religion,Lib. 4. de notis ecclae. Cap. 3. of Jewes, Hereticks, and Pagans; and such as are proper; and a­gaine, such as though they make it not evidently true which is the true Church, yet they make it evidently credible (not pro­bable onely, for that's the weaknesse of our Notes, as he saith) nay amongst those which admit the Scriptures, and Histories, and Writings of the ancient Fathers (and all these we admit) Faciunt etiam evidentiam veritatis. Shall we count him a Ma­ster in Israel that speaks thus? Doth that make it evidently ap­peare which is the true Church, doth that difference true Re­ligion from all false Religion of Jewes, Hereticks, and Pagans, or is that proper Quarto modo to the Church, which all Secta­ries, Apostates, Hereticks, Jewes, Gentiles, Devils, may chal­lenge? But let us follow Bellarmine a little further (and leave these slippery Snakes no think to creep out at) I demand, had the Gentiles no true Prophesies amongst them: Imo multa fal­sa, saith he; but because they had many false, had they therefore none true? Speak plainly, were there no true predicti­ons of future things amongst the Pagans? No forsooth, Nisi for­sa [...] fierent in testimoniū nostrae fidei, ut fuerunt vaticinia Sibylla­rum, & Baalami: Very well: And if these were true, how is lumen prophetitum proper to the true Church. But we will not stand upon this advantage, let us grant that there were no true Pre­dictions [Page 104] amongst the Ethnicks, save onely such as were for the confirmation of the Catholick faith; and that all others were of such things as had naturall causes (though unknowne to men) known to Spirits by reason of their subtill nature and quick apprehension. Verily seeing neither the reasons thereof were knowne, nor the Spirit from which this knowledge pro­ceeded could be discerned, they might, and may as truely be tearmed Prophesies, as any of those which the Papists brag of: and if they were not Prophesies indeed, yet were they so in the opinion of men: Saltem ipsorum opinione, is a strong ar­gument with Bellarmine, to infringe the Notes which our Di­vines have set downe: Let some of his side answer it.

Thales, Arist. Polit. lib. 1. for seeing by Astronomicall Observation, the abun­dance of Olives which would be the next yeare, might by the Chians and Milesians, which knew not the reason of it, be counted a Prophet.

Columbus was for a lesse prediction little lesse respected by the barbarous Indians,Benzo. then Paul and Barnabas was by them of Lystra, Acts 14. 12. when they called Barnabas Jupiter, and Paul Mer­ourie. This man being in great distresse in an Island, the Inha­bitants denying him all kinde of releife, he understanding that shortly after there would be a great Eclipse of the Moone, sig­nified unto them by a Messenger that he was a Prophet sent un­to them from the great God of Heaven and Earth, and that if they would not furnish him and his company with such things as they wanted, God, whose Prophet he was, would ut­terly destroy them: In token whereof, quoth he, the next night at such an houre, the Moone shall loose her light: they for all this continued in their obstinacy, and scorned his threat­nings. At the houre named the Moone by degrees entring in­to the shadow of the earth, was at length in those parts for a space quite darkened; which when the Barbarians saw, pre­sently they ran unto Columbus, they fell down at his feet, they honoured him as a man, they worshipped him as a God, they offered themselves, and whatsoever was theirs, to be wholly at his service. Verily the Papists do Columbus great wrong, who for this witty shift, deserves rather the name of a Prophet a­mongst them, then that great Elias of the new. World, Francis [Page 105] Xaverius, for his juggling Tricks in those Parts, deserves the name of a waker of Miracles.

To end this Point: Seeing it is a matter of such difficulty to distinguish a true Prophet from that which is false, both be­cause they are of things to come, the truth whereof cannot be sifted out before the time be expired; and though they have naturall causes, yet be they such as cannot be known unto men, and if they could, yet seeing (as already hath been proved) the Infidels and Pagans have had their prophesies; let the Pa­pists prove the gift of Prophesy to be perpetual in their Church (which they can never do) and let them bring us as great Catalogues of their Prophesies, as they do of their Miracles, and lying Wonders (a thing not impossible to men of such rare invention) but let none from these slender Premises infer this conclusion, that there is the true Church of God, but rather let him undoubtedly beleive that the words of my Text are ve­rified of these men. Many shall say unto me at that day, Lord, Lord, have not we by thy name prophesied? &c. Let us not think that the Precept of the Law was given in vaine. If there arise a Prophet or a Dreamer of Dreames, and give thee a Signe and a Wonder, and the Signe and Wonder which he hath told thee shall come to passe, saying, Let us follow strange Gods (as these men do) thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that Prophet, for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your Heart, and with all your Soule, Deut. 13. 1, 2, 3. Thus much of the first, the second follow­eth.

A man may be a Preacher of the Gospell,2 Proposition. and a meanes of sa­ving others, and be damned himselfe.

I have a long Journey to go, and the time allotted me but short, so that I cannot stand upon the proofe of this Proposi­tion, neither is it needfull I should (having no Donatists, no Anabaptists to impugne) let it suffice to add unto my Text the words of the Apostle, Phil. 1. 15. Some preach Christ through envie and strife; truly, for all that not sincerely: else would not the Apostle have added that which followeth; I therein joy, yea and in that will joy. This Sermon upon the Mount of which my Text is a Branch, was preached at the Consecration of the [Page 106] twelve Apostles, of which number Judas was one, whom a while after he sent abroad to preach the Gospell; then called he the twelve Disciples, and sent them to preach the Kingdome of God, and to heale diseases, and they went through every Town preaching the Gospell, and healing every where, Luk. 9. 2. 6. For all Judas his preaching and healing, he did not preach unto, nor heale himselfe; it had been good for him that he had never been born, Matth. 26.

The first Use and Inference (of which let me [...]rave your pa­tience to spend some time) shall concerne the hearers of the word.1 Vse. It may lesson them not to have the truth of the glorious God in respect of persons, as Iames speakes: or that I may ex­presse my selfe in other words, that they do not forsake or neg­lect a truth preached, because the life of the Speaker is of­fensive and scandalous. Saul may prophesie, and Caiphas may prophesie, and Iudas may prophesie, And many shall say unto me at that day, Lord, Lord, have not we by thy name prophesied? Shall not Saul be credited, because he is rejected? why not? is not Saul also amongst the Prophets? 1 Sam. 19. Shall Caiphas his prophesie not be esteemed, because he took away the life from the Lord of life? surely yes: for, this spake he not of him­selfe, but being high Priest that yeare, he prophesied that Je­sus should die for the Nation, Ioh. 11. 51. Shall Iudas his Ser­mons be set at nought, because he is a damned Reprobate him­selfe? surely no: For whosoever shall not receive you, nor heare your words (it was spoken to the twelve, of which Iudas was one) Truly I say unto you, it shall be easier for them of Sodome and Gomorrah in the day of Iudgment, then for that City,, Matth. 10. 14. 15. Oh then shall any man be such an Enemy to his own Salvation, as that if the life of his Teacher be misliked, he will therefore set at nought the word of God, truly, though not sincerely delivered? what were this but to reject God him­selfe: as he saith unto Samuel, It is not thee, but me whom they haue rejected, 1 Sam. 8. 7. The word of God is a Touch-stone, to try every mans Actions whether they be Gold or Drosse; it is a line and squa re to make us fit Stones for Gods Temple. Now shall I mislike the Touch-stone, because the Gold is coun­terfeit? shall I make fit the Rule for the Stone, and so make [Page 107] it a Lesbian Rule,Aust. Ath. lib. 5. especially if it be a rough and unhewed Stone, and as yet not fit for that building, whereof Christ Jesus is the corner Stone? If I be sick unto death, shall I refuse physick be­cause I mislike the Physician, or because he will not take the same physick himselfe?

An tibi cum fauces urit sitis,
aurea quaeris
Pocula? cum esurias fastidisomnia, praeter
Pavonem, rhombumque?

When thou art thirsty will thou refuse Drink, unlesse it be given thee in a guilded Bowle? When thou art hungry, will no Meat content thee but Patridges and Pheasants? Surely thou hast too dainty a Stomack; it commonly falls out otherwise: men that are hungry will not refuse wholesome meat, though they, have no good opinion of the Party that reacheth it; and when they are thirsty, they will not refuse Drink, though it be given them in a woodden Dish. Shall a man have a care of his Body, and none of his Soule? if my Soule be sick unto death, shall I refuse physick because the Physician takes it not himselfe; or shall I refuse the bread of life and water of life, because they are offered me with polluted hands? The Scribes and Pharises, saith Christ, sit in Moses Chaire; all that they bid you ob­serve and do (sitting in Moses Chaire, that is explaining the Doctrine of Moses) that observe, and do, but after their works do not, because though they have V [...]im, they want Thummim, they say, and do not. Lo the Scribes and Pharises, those rotten Dunghils, and painted Sepulchers, whom the filthy Sodomites and the proud Ninivites, and the prophane wretches of Tyrus and Sidon, shall condemne at the day of Judgment, must be heard as long as they preach the Law, yea and we must do that wi [...]h they teach us, but after their works we must not do, for they be workers of Iniquity.Hos. 4. If Israel play the Harlot (saith the Prophet) what shall Iudah sin? If the Ministers of God transgresse the Covenant, what must the People sin? If the false Disciples go away (which indeed were only blazing Stars, and not fixed Lights of that caelestiall Globe, which shall shine for evermore; Stella cadens non est, stella cometa fuit) If these [Page 108] go away (saith our Saviour Christ) will yee also go away? Nay let us make answer with Peter in that place, quo ibimus Do­mine, Master to whom shall we go, thou hast the words of eternall life, Ioh. 6. 67.

It is not the grosse and dark Cloud of mans Infirmitie, but the Pillar of fire of Gods word, which must direct our Steps; its not the oblique and crooked square of humane example, but the streight line of Gods revealed will that must guide our Actions.

If the King should send his Charter subscribed with his own hand, and sealed with his own blood, to confirme a parcell of Ground, or some earthly Inheritance, to certain of his Subjects; if they because they mislike the Messenger that brings it, shall scorne his bountifulnesse, and tread under foot the Charter; will the King like of this frowardnesse think you? I think not. Well then, shall the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, send these Letters Patents indited with the holy Ghost, signed with a teste me ipso, with the finger of God, sealed with his Sonnes blood, by wich is offered unto us, not an earthly Inheritance, but a Heavenly Kingdome, and if we by reason of the lewd­ness of any Embassador that shall bring it, shall contemne his kindnesse, and set at nought his promises; assuredly he will invite those that are by the hedges and high-waies, that his Roomes may be full, but none of those which were thus bid­den (unlesse with the Son in the Parable, who first refused to go into the Vineyard, but afterwards went, they who by un­feigned repentance shall turne unto him) shall ever tast of the Lambs Supper.

Let them look unto this, who are so far from applying unto themselves such Lessions as are delivered by the Minister, that neglecting whatsoever is spoken, as if it did nothing concerne them, or forgetting it as soon as they have turned their faces (as he that looketh himselfe in a Glasse, and going away, pre­sently forgetteth what manner of man he was) will onely strive to follow the Minister in his life, and yet not in every thing neither (for in many things they have a warrant for so doing; be yee followers of me, saith the Apostle, but with this limitation, as I am of Christ) but with Furius in Tullie, wil on­ly [Page 109] imitate him in his wants and imperfections. Like those base flatterers of Alexander the Great, who imitated him in croo­king the neck; or to give a later example, like those Germans who took a more speciall care of being like to Philip Melancton, in writing a scribling and ragged hand, then to match him in soundnesse of Religion, and multiplicity of Learning; imitato­res stultum pecus. But if they will not imitate him, they will be sure to blaze his Armes, and (so quick-sighted are these la­ [...]iae, when they carry their eyes of censuring abroad, though they coffer them up when they come at home) not the least hole in his Coate shall escape their censure, and yet they cannot espy one vertue, though peradventure in a farre greater mea­sure he shall abound therewith. A blacke colour may perfectly be viewed; but a bright and shining colour, if we sted fastly eye it, will dazle our eyes that we cannot behold it. So it befalls mens vices and vertues (especially of the Ministers) their vices many will take a full view of them, and see them through false spectacles, which make one seame many, or at least greater in shew then in substance; but with their vertues (as the eyes of an Owle is dazled with the light of the Sun) their sight is so dimmed, that they cannot behold them.

The Merchant, if he sell good Wares, and a penniworth for a penny, is sought into, whatsoever his person be. A Trades­man, if his work be good, shall be sure to vent it, his life is no further looked unto. But a Minister treadeth upon needles, he walketh upon ice, he danceth upon ropes (to use Nazianzens comparison) if he tread never so little awry he is espied, & both himselfe and doctrine rejected. And as a mote is seene in the Sun-beame, which is not discerned in a dark corner, or a wart on the face is sooner seen then a wen on the back: so the least blemish in a Minister is sooner taken notice of then the greatest slips and fals of other men. The Sun when he shines the brightest is not much looked upon; but when he is eclipsed, then one calls another out of the doors to see him, and all gaze upon it, and the greater the Eclipse is, the more talk they of it: So is it with them whom Christ stiles Lights of the world; their shining ver­tues, whether in preaching, or living, or both, few take notice of; but for their faults, they can look fully upon them, and call others to be Spectators.

[Page 110] Would God I might here stay my speech, and that there were no further cause of complaint in this kind; but alas, it is so com­monly known, that it is even told at Gath, and published in the streets of Askelon, insomuch that the daughters of Babylon re­joyce, and the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph, that many are not only ready with cursed Cham to discover their spi­rituall fathers nakednesse, but which is worse, Sincerum cupi­unt va [...] incrustare. And whereas it is the Devils practise to hide in a bush the deformity of the Panthers head, to mince and qua­lifie the offences of other men (as the old Romans were wont to mince the naturall imperfections of their children, by giving them a name of some famous man that had the like; Strabouem appellat P [...]tum pater, hunc Varum distortis cruribus, illum bal­butit Scaurum.) by giving a name of a vertue to that vice which outwardly it most resembles, as to call prodigality libe­rality, &c. He and his instruments take a contrary course with a Minister, and stile h [...]s vertues by the name of a vice. Nos quia sericâ veste non utimur, monachi judicamur, quia ebrij non sumus, nec cachinno ora dissolvimus, contumaces vocamur & tristes, si tunica non candueri [...], st [...]tim illud e trivio impostor est & Graecus, saith Hierom. Hierom. ad Marcellam. If a Minister be liberall, he is called riotous, if frugall, covetous; if merry, dissolute; if grave, austere; if si­lent, melancholy; if he stand upon his reputation, proud and arrogant: Woe unto them that call good evill. In the Primitive Church (when the comparison between Gentilisme and Chri­stianity did much resemble Cleanthes his picture in Tullie, Lib. 1. de fini­bus. where Voluptuousnesse was painted in a chaire of State, and Vertue kneeling at her feet) there was not a more odious name, saith Tertullian, then to be called a Christian: Bonus vir Cujus Seius, sed malus tantum quod Christianus. So it is with some, they were good men, but they are but Ministers, they are but Priests. Hos populus ridet, multumque torosa juventus, the name is odious to some, they cannot away with it. But if his person cannot be excepted against▪ his doctrine for matter or manner shall.Hierom. ad [...]mmach. Faelices essent artes, inquit Fabius (they be Hie­roms words) Si de illis soli artifices judicarent, poëtam non po­test nosse nisi qui versum potest stuere, Philosophos non intelligit, nisi qui scit dog matum varietates, &c. Nostra autem quam sit [Page 111] dura conditio hinc potes anima dvertere, quod vulgi sit standum judicio. Happy were the Arts, saith Quintilian, if only Artifi­ce [...]s should judge of them. None judgeth of a Poet but he that can make a Verse: None gives censure of Philosophers, but he that is acquainted with their opinions. A Shoo-maker meddles with a shooe, but not with the Stocking; a Taylor with a gar­ment, and goes no further; but for a Preacher, men of all Trades will censure him, and none so much as they that under­stand least. If with Nathan he tell David that he is the man; If with Elijah he tells Ahab, that it is hee and his fathers house that troubles Israel: If with John Baptist he tell Herod, that it is not lawful for him to have his Brothers Wife; Hic nigrae suc­cus loliginis, haec est aerugo: Now these be hard sayings, who can heare them. And if they cannot reprehend the matter of his speech, the manner thereof will afford some matter enough to speak of. If Paul speake of his Mysteries and Revelations be­fore Festus, he is beside himselfe, much learning makes him mad: And if this Doctor of the Gentiles, applying himselfe to the rude capacity of the ignorant Corinthians (for he becomes all things to all men, that by all meanes he might win ne some) use a more familiar phrase, and feed them with milke, because they cannot digest strong meate,2 Cor. 10. 10. he is presently by some se­ducer in that Church censured to be a plain silly fellow, his bodily presence is weake, and his speech is of no valew.

Thus he is rewarded Evill for good, and hatred for his good will: and thus are Gods builders in many places constrayned to build with one hand, and to hold their weapons against their enemies in the other, as did those builders of Jerusalem against Sanballat and Tobiah, and other Enemies of Judah and Benja­mine, Neh. 4. 17. Dextra tenet pennam, strictum tenet altera ferrum. May they not in this case take up Davids complaint, I verily lie among the children of men which are set on fire? They have venenum ptyados, the poyson of a spitting Aspe under their lips, their teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongues a sharp sword.

But beloved I have perswaded my selfe better things of you,Heb. 9. 6. and such as accompany salvation, though I thus speake. Only for conclusion of this Use, let me intreat you, with the Author [Page 112] of the Epistle to the Hebr.Heb. 22. 25. See that yee despise not him that spea­keth, I meane Ministeriall speakers: If ye doe, ye despise him that speaketh from heaven, Whose blood speaketh better things then that of Abel. But receive such (as the Galatians received Paul, who received him as an Angel of God, and would have pulled out their owne eyes to have given unto him) and have them in a singular love even for their works sake. But above all things tread not under foot the bread of life, because of the unworthinesse of any that reacheth it. Refuse not the water of life, because of the uncleannesse of any Conduit-pipe that con­veyeth it. Reject not the promise of life, because of the lewd­nesse of any Embassador that bringeth it. Forsake not the way of life, because of the blackishnesse of any that sheweth it. Contemn not the word of life, because of the imperfections of any that preacheth it: For assuredly, as the rain cometh down from Heaven, and ascendeth not thither againe, but accompli­sheth that for which it is sent, so shall the Word, of God be, (by whomsoever it shall be delivered) it will either harden you if yee be as clay, or it will soften you if yee be as waxe; it will either work upwards or down-wards, it will ei­ther prove the savour of life unto salvation, or of death unto damnation.

Oh then so provide your eares to heare, that ye may say with young Samuel, Speake Lord, for thy servant heareth; and hearing it, pray that your hearts may be unlocked to re­ceive it; and receiving it, believe it; and believing it, practise it in your lives and conversations,Philip. 1. 11. that ye may be filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, unto the praise and glory of God.

Having now dispatched my message to Hearers, let mee crave leave that I may turne my speech to the Preachers of the Word.

May a man be a Prophet,Vse. 2. and deliver true and sound Doctrine for the benefit of others, and for all be an unregenerate man, a damned Reprobate himselfe? Then let me exhort you all (my deare Brethren) or rather with Austine, Hortor vos omnes charissimi, meque ipsum hortor vobiscum, I exhort you, and my selfe together with you, as we desire to escape everlasting dam­nation, [Page 113] and to have our part with Christ in his glorious King­dome; let us as the Apostle exhorts, take heed not only to Doctrine, but to our selves first, not only to our preaching, that it be sound, but to our lives also, that they be unblameable; let us not only be vigilant that the Bell strike right above, but that the wheels of the Clock go right below: let us not only so speake, but so do, as they that shall be judged by the Law of liberty, least after we have preached to others, and been a meanes of their Salvation, ipsi reprobi fiamus, we our selves be tumbled into Hell; as the Builders of the Arke were meanes of saving Noah and his Family, and for all that were drowned themselves: we may not expect (it is not expedient we should) for any to gaine a good report of all men: Dogs will be bark­ing at the best: was he a good man of whom none spake ill, it was spoken of a Lacedemonian. Plut. Woe to you when all men speake well of you, saith Christ, Luk. 6. 26. Elias was called a trou­bler of Israel, Jeremiah a seditious person and a disheartner of the people,Socrates. Paul an Heritick, a mad man, Athanasius a Witch, a Murtherer, an Adulterer, yea Christ himselfe, that immaculate Lambe, who had done no wickednesse, a Glutton, a Wine-bib­ber, a Sorcerer, a boone Companion with Publicans and Sin­ners. The Disciple is not above his Master: If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, much more will they call them of the houshold. But

— hic murus abeneus esto,
Nil conscire sibi.

Let a man have the Testimony of God and a good conscience, and we may scorn all Dogs, barke they never so loud.

I know well we are men while we are in this World, and not Angels in respect of purity of nature, and therefore cannot pro­mise unto our selves an immunity from falling. Let the old Catharists, the Novatians, Donatists, and Pelagians, and the new Puritanes of Rome, who hold an absolute perfection in this life, make Ladders for themselves to climbe into Heaven (as Constantine bad Acesius a Novatian Bishop) here is no room for them in this World. For as in the most beautifull face that ever was, there hath been some blemish, (Venus her selfe was not without a Wart) which though every man do not note, [Page 114] yet by a skilfull Painter it may be observed (which made Zeuxis, Cicero de in­vent. lib. 2. when at the request of the Crotonians, he was to draw the Picture of Helena, Plin. lib. 33. cap. 5. to be set in one of their Temples, to send for five of the most beautifull Virgins that could be found, and from them all to frame a Picture, by reducing the quintessence of all their beauties into one Modell) So in the most mortifyed man that ever lived, there are some dregs of sin; which though the bleared eies of mans understanding cannot see them, yet the al-seeing eies of God can easily discerne them. But what then; because we cannot be perfect Saints, must we therefore be right Devils? because the perfection of the Law is so high above our reach, and so far beyond our Horizon, that we cannot chuse but say, its too wonderfull and excellent for us, we cannot at­taine unto it: shall we therefore neglect it, or not take it for a Lanterne unto our Feet, and a Light unto our Paths? Because we cannot be without sin, shall we therefore be Servants and Bond-slaves to sin, and serve it in our mortall Bodies, and obey it in the lusts thereof, and (as I feare some do) as if out-law­ed by God and man, say with them in the Psalmist, Come and let us breake their Bonds in sunder, and cast away their Cords from us, and give liberty to our selves to do what we list, let­ting the Reines loose to all licentiousnesse?

Ut cum carceribus sese effudere quadrigae,
Fertur equis aurigae, neque audit currus habenas.

Its one thing with John to sin, and another to commit sin. Its one thing with Paul to walke in the flesh, and another to walke after, and war after the flesh. Its one thing to stumble, another thing to fall in the high-way, another to fall a­way, and walke or run in a bie way: we cannot promise to our selves a priviledge from sliding and stumbling, no nor from falling in the way; with Eutychus we may get a dead fall, a fall from the third Loft; from desire to consent, and then to act. Here are three Lofts, and the least, in the rigour of Justice, is death; least it prove a breake-neck fall (in case we shall so fall) with Eli and Jezabell, we are not to lie on the Ground, but arise betime and redeem the fall by running the faster. Let us keep diligent watch over our thoughts, words, and actions, [Page 115] that we do not only abstaine from evill, but as much as humane frailty will permit, from all appearance of evill; and even in things lawfull, oftentimes for avoiding of scandall, restraine our liberty (after the example of the Apostle, in eating of flesh, and refusing wages for preaching the Gospell) that we may take away occasion from them that desire occasion, 2 Cor. 11. that we may stop the mouths of mad Dogs, and that they which speake evill of us as of evill Doers, and blame our good Con­versation in Christ, may not only be ashamed, but by our good workes which they shall see, be occasioned to glorify God in the day of the visitation, 1 Pet. 2. 12. 1 Pet. 3. 16.

The better that any Profession is, the worse is the man that doth abuse it. There is no Profession but may give wall to the calling of a Minister (though many in contempt of it, with those foolish Suitors in the Poet, Penelopen relinquunt, & ad ancillas confugiunt) So then a lewd and unworthy Minister is one of the worst Creatures under Heaven. I remember a Story in the golden Legend in the life of Macarins: This Saint tra­velling in a desart found the Skull of a man, and asked whose it was; the Skull made answer, that it was a relique of a Pagan that was slaine in that place: and where is thy Soule, said Macarius? in Hell, said the Skull, but it suffers the least degree of Hels punishments, for in Hell there be three Roomes; in the highest, where are the least torments, are the Pagans that never heard of Christ; in the middle where the paine is dou­bled, are the Jewes who crucified Christ, and persecuted the Preachers of the Gospell; in the bottome of Hell, where the Torments are trebled, lies the false Christian, which outward­ly makes a shew of Religion, and in his heart denies the power thereof. For the truth of this Story, credat Judaeus apella, he that beleives that every word is Gospel, that comes out of a Friers mouth, may give credit to it if it please him. But for that which the Skull is feigned to report, I can easily assent un­to it, because it is agreeable to Divinity: The Servant that knowes not his Masters will, and doth it not, shall be beaten with fewer stripes; but the Servant that knoweth his Masters will, and doth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes. If a false Christi­an, then surely a wicked Minister, who by his profession [Page 116] should be a Guide of the Blind,Rom. 2. a Light of them that sit in dark­nesse, an Instructer of them which lack discretion, a Teacher of the Unlearned, may deservedly have the lowest Room. The Lord cals them stealers of his word, so Austine expounds the place, Jer. 23. 30. Eos dixit Deus furari verba sua, qui boni volunt videri loquendo quae Dei sunt, cum mali sint faciendo quae sua sunt. Aug. de doct. Christ. lib. 4. cap. 25. Our Saviour com­pares him to unsavory Salt which is good for nothing, not for seasoning of Meates, not for the Land, not (for that, for which the Mire and the Clay in the Streets is good) the Dunghil. In Gods name why should such a Dunghil (thats to faire a name) possesse a Room and Sanctuary in the House of God?Extat conci­lium apud Cyprian. me thinks those words which Caecilius Bishop of Bilta delivered in the Councel of Carthage where Cyprian was President (though all of them erred in the maine point that they handled) are very emphaticall, and may serve as Goades and Nailes, nay as Dag­gers to peirce into the hearts of such men. Fidem dat infidelis, veniam delictorum tribuit sceleratus, & in nomine Christi tingit Antichristus, benedicit a deo maledictus, vitam pollicetur mor­tuus, pacem dat impacificus, deum invocat blasphemus, sacerdoti­um administrat profanus. An Infidel preacheth the faith, an un­godly Miscreant remits sinnes, Antichrist baptizeth in the name of Christ, he that is cursed of God blesseth, he that is dead promiseth life, Gods Enemy preacheth peace, a Blasphemer cals upon God, a prophane person ministreth about holy things: all Asystataes. Vnto the ungodly said God, why preachest thou my Law, and takest my Covenant in thy mouth, whereas thou hatest to be reformed? Psal. 50. 16. 17. Dic quaeso, Propheta tinctura co­loratur? Propheta stibio pingitur? Propheta tabulis ac tes­seris ludit? Propheta foeneratur? Propheta munera accipit? Saith Appollonius in Eusebius of Montanus and his Disciples:Eccles. hist. lib 5. cap. 15. are these indowments of a Prophet? Thou that teachest ano­ther, teachest not thou thy self? thou that preachest a man should not steale, dost thou steale? Thou that sayest a man should not com­mit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest I­dolls, Rom. 2. committest thou sacriledge? Oh let us not hew Timber out of Gods Wood by our Doctrine, and instead of bringing our Building to an excellent worke, by a prophane life hew downe [Page 117] all the carved worke of the Temple, as it were with Axes and Hammers. Let us with Aaron have on our Brest-plates, not only Vrim, light of Doctrine, but also Thummim, perfection of life. Let us be with John not only crying voices, Matth. 3. but burning and shining Lamps, Joh. 5. Let us not only be Salt to season others, Matth. 5. but let us also have Salt in our selves, Mark. 9. 50. we are called the Light of the World, let us imitate the light of the World, the Sun as lumine, by in­lightning them that sit in darkness, and guiding their Feet in the way of peace, So motu too, by keeping a streight course un­der the ecliptique line of the Law, without wilfull diverting to the right hand or to the left; not with the rest of the wan­dring Stars, be sometimes stationary and sometimes retrograde, and (which is common to all the Planets, sometimes in apo­gaeo, and then in perigaeo; or (if I may so speake) in apogaeo a­bout Heaven and heavenly things, by our Doctrine, and then in perigaeo, Seneca de vita beata. about Earth and earthly things, in the whole course of our Lives and Conversations. Seneca notes of Plato, Epicurus, and Zeno, docebant non quemadmodum ipsi viverent, sed que­madmodum vivendum esset, they taught how a man should live, not as they lived themselves. But of all others Seneca himselfe may beare the Bell away for a notable Hypocrite in this kinde, who speakes so divinely of a blessed life of Gods providence, of the contempt of the World, that some would have him to be one of those Converts of Nero's Family, of whom the Apo­stle speakes, Phil. 4. and in favour with this opinion, some have counterfeited Epistles between him and Paul, yet was he one of the most covetous earth-wormes that ever the World bred. His oppressive usury spread over the whole Roman Empire, this Island felt the smart of it, insomuch that besides his large Pos­sessions in the Country, and stately Pallaces, and pleasant Gar­dens in Rome, he had gathered in foure yeares space, three thousand times three hundred thousand Sestercies, which makes of our Coine, almost three Milions of pounds. Let us not be like these Heathen Philosophers, to teach one thing and do an­other,Orat. panegy [...] in laudem Origi. as Boat-men looke one way and row another; but ra­ther as Gregory Neocaesariensis speakes of Origen, when he taught Philosophy: ad officia nos invitavit plus factis quam [Page 118] dictis. And as Iehu and Iehonadab went hand in hand together for the rooting out of Baals Priests, and Ahabs posterity; so let our profession and our practice go hand in hand together for the rooting out of the sons of Anak (spirituall wickedness) amongst us. And if our profession out-run our practise in the way to heaven, as John out-run Peter to Christs Sepulchre (which may easily fall out (our tongues are swifter then our feet) yet let not our practise give over, but follow after, though non passibus aequis, 2 King. 3. and say to it as Elisha said to Elijah, As the Lord liveth I will not leave thee, Ruth. 1. I will follow after thee: Or as Ruth said to Naomi; Whither thou goest I will goe, and where thou dwellest, I will dwell: Vnum & commune periclum, una salus ambobus erit: and let us alwayes remember that that definition which old Cato gave of an Orator, is very sutable to a Divine, Vir bonus dicendi peritus: and therefore as we must be dicendi periti, good spea­kers, so should we also be viri boni, good livers. By these two linked together, we teach our Flocks how they should live; but by the former without the latter, wee tell God how hee shall condemne us, as Chrysostome speaks: Bene docendo, & bene vi­vendo populum instruis quomodo vivere debeat, bene autem docen­do & male vivendo deum instruis quomodo condemnare te debeat. For drawing us to a cheerfull performance of this duty, beside the judgement denounced in the latter part of my Text, I will produce a three-fold Cord, which, as the Wise man speaks, is not easily broken.

First it will keep our persons and callings from just contempt;1. Motive. every man is bound to maintain the credite of his Calling, but a Minister most. See that no man despise thy youth, 1 Tim. 4. See that no man despise thee, Tit. 2. How shall this be effected? by proud looks? by imperious words? by a grave and majesticall countenance? by gorgeous and costly attyre? these may indeed dazzle the eyes of a few ignorants, which look onely on the ap­pearance (as Magabizius with his majesticall looks,Aelian. and silken suits at the first did to the Schollers of Zeuxis) and peradven­ture they may procure a cap or a knee to our persons, but very little or no reputation to our Calling. If we would keep it from just contempt, we must be as John Baptist was, holy and just men: and then the proudest of them all, if they have but He­rods [Page 119] honestie,Mar. 6. will feare and reverence us. Wee must be unto them that believe an ensample, in word, in conversation, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purenesse, 1 Tim. 4. 12. This will make men fall downe on their faces, and worship God, and say that God is in us indeed.

Secondly,2. Motive. holy Doctrine without life will not produce that effect which they would do, if they went hand in hand together, but rather as if a man should blot with one hand, that which he writes with another. Our lives will doe as much harm, as our Doctrine good. It's a true speech of a reverend Divine, that the sins of Teachers are teachers of sinnes; as in a Scriveners table, when any letter wants its due proportion, the Schollar that takes the Copie for his guide, will imitate that as well as those which are perfectly written. A bove majore discit arare minor, not by doctrine, but by example▪ It's to no purpose for the old Crab in the fable to bid her young ones goe forward, when she goes backward her selfe.Hor. art. po­etica. Sivis me flere, dolendum est primum ipse tibi. Quod mihi praecipis, cur ipse non facis? Aug. de doct. Christ. lib. 4. cap. 27. Gallo similis est praedicator, saith Gregorie. Where­in doth the comparison consist? Inter tenebras praesentis vitae stu­det venturam, lucem praedicando, quasi cantando, nunciare, dicit enim nox praecessit, &c. That is true, but not all; and therefore others stretch the comparison further thus: As the Cock claps his wings, and beats, and ronzeth up himselfe before he awake o­thers: so we must first give an example in our selves of that to which we exhort others; otherwise they will say unto us this proverb, Physitian heale thy selfe.

Quis coelum terra non misceat, & mare coelo,
Si fur displiceat Verri, homicida Miloni?

That then the seed of Gods Word which we shall sow may take deeper root, and more abundantly bring forth fruit in our hearers, let us give example in our selves.

— Non sic inflectere sensus
Humanos edicta valent, ut vita docentis.

[Page 120] Let every of us say with our Saviour, Learn of mee, for I am meeke: Learn of me, for I am thus and thus: And as Gideon said to his Souldiers; Learn of me, and do ye likewise, even as I have done so doe ye.

But what is either the fruit of our Ministrie, or the credite of our calling in respect of Gods glory, which we should so tender, as that we should rather wish our selves accursed, and razed out of Gods book, then that by our meanes the least staine or spot of dishonour should be imputed unto him. Now as God is honored by the holy life of a Preacher, so nothing brings more disgrace then the wicked and scandalous conversation of him that carries the vessels of the Lord.

If a stranger who belongs not unto me, mis-behave himselfe, and be a common drunkard, a blasphemer, an uncleane person, &c. that is no disgrace unto me; but if one of my familie, my sonne, my friend whom I trust as my right hand, fall into any of these, the disgrace lights not only on him, but it reflects upon me. So if a stranger from God, a Pagan, &c. shall fall into these or the like, the matter is not great, it shews what man is with­out God. But if he who in outward profession is one of the houshold of faith, a steward in Gods house, appointed to give every one of his familie their portion of meate in due season, Christs Embassadour and Vice-gerent shall miscarry, and like Hophni and Phineas, of sons of Eli, prove a son of Belial, Gods name is dishonoured, and his offering abhorred.

O heavenly Father, that thy Name may be hallowed, sanctifie the Tribe of Levi, whom thou hast separated from the multi­tude of Israel, to take them neer unto thy self. Let thy Vrim & thy Thummim be with thy holy ones. Let thy Priests be cloath­ed with righteousnesse, that thy Saints may sing with joyful­nesse.

Shall many Preachers be damned,3 Vse. as having not expressed that in their lives and conversations which they have delivered to others? what then shall become of them that are called to this honour, and preach not at all: that cannot say so much for themselves as Iudas, Lord have not I by thy name prophesied? shall they not be condemned at that day upon a nihil dicit? Pur­gatory (as the authors of it confesse) will then have an end: [Page 121] Limbus Patrum is long since destroyed, the Earth at that day shall be burnt up, and whether there will be any room in Hea­ven for them that neglect the works of their particular calling, I have reason to doubt: Pietas, honestas, probitas, privata bon a sunt, said he in the Tragoedy, nay pietas, honestas, probitas, publi­ca bona sunt, they be generall duties which no Christian (what­soever his calling be) may want: He cannot be bonus civis which is not bonus vir; and yet it is not sufficient for a man that would beare Office in a Corporation, that he is bonus vir, unlesse he be also bonus civis, qualified with such particular ver­tues, as are requisite to that Place. I commend Gregory Nazian­zens resolution, who when they would needs chuse him Bishop, fled into Pontus, and having afterward accepted the Dignity, and from that translated to another, and then to one of the greatest Bishopricks in the World (insomuch that some of his Successors contended with the Bishop of Rome for primacy) did afterward voluntarily relinquish it. For indeed though he was a fluent Oratour and a great Divine (which got him the sur-name of Theologus) and so acute a Disputant, that the Arians counted great Athanasius a Childe in respect of him; yet was he not fit (especially in those turbulent times) for Church Government.

If I be desirous to be resolved in some doubtfull points of Law, concerning mine Inheritance, and a Friend advise me to go to such a man, telling me that he is a very honest man, what better am I for that, unlesse he be skilfull in the Lawes, and able and willing to resolve me in that where I am doubtfull. If I have a Garment to be made, I will not go to this or that man, whom I heare to beare the name of an honest man. I will suppose every man to be such, unlesse I know the contrary, but to him that is a professed Taylor, and able to do the work. So for us (that I may bring that which hath been spoken home to my purpose) It is not sufficient for us that the World carries an opinion of us, that we are good men in respect of generall vertues, unlesse we be good Ministers, and put in practise those Gifts which are proper to that state of life, wherein our Master hath set us. Now preaching is the best flower that growes in our Garden, its the very grace and ornament, nay the very life and esse, and [Page 122] specificall form of a Minister, being the only ordinary meanes, for ought that I know, which God hath appointed for saving of Soules. This was meant as some moralize it) by the Bell and Pomegranet on Aarons Garment; The Bell signified the preach­ing of the Gospell, and the Pomegranet, the merits of Christ; implying thus much, that the merits of Christ are by no other means ordinarly conveyed to the Sons of men, then by the preaching of the Gospell; this is agreeable to the Apostles Doctrine: Seeing the World by wisdome knew not God, in the wisdome of God, it pleased God by the foolishnesse of Preaching, (So the World of Jews and Gentiles counted it) to save them that beleive, 1 Cor. 1. How shall they call on him of whom they have not heard, how shall they heare without a Preacher, Rom. 10. Where Salvation, Faith, Hearing, Preaching are linked to­gether. Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach the Gospell, 1 Cor. 1. 7. his Commission was for both, Go and teach all Na­tions baptizing them, Matth. 28. His meaning then was this, that the latter was the principall, the other but an appendix unto it. Like that Jer. 7. 22. I spake not unto your Fathers, when I brought them out of the Land of Aegypt, concerning Sa­crifice, but this is the thing which I commanded them, to obey my voice: and Hos. 6. 6. I will have mercy and not sacrifice: obe­dience and mercy rather then sacrifice or burnt offering. So it may be said of us, we are by our places to baptize, to administer the Sacraments, but our chiefe Office is to preach: For a Mi­nister then to have the name of an honest man, a learned man, and seldome or never to come into the Pulpit (as some do) is as if I should say, this man is an excellent Scrivener, but never puts Pen to paper; an excellent Lawyer but never pleads nor gives counsell; an excellent Artificer, but neglects his Trade, this (but) takes more from him then my commendation gives him.

Here I cannot chuse but censure two sorts of men.

Fist, they that cannot.

Secondly, those that can but will not preach. Of the first, we have not many in these parts of this Diocesse (in which Gods name be blessed) I dare boldly speak it, we have at this present day more Baruabasses, Sons of consolation, and Be [...]nerges, Sons [Page 123] of thunder, [...]nd Apollos, Eloquent men and mighty in the Scrip­tures, then any one Century of years hath seen, since the Gos­pel of Christ was first preached in this Island) yet some few we have (the fewer the better, Satis pauci, satis unus, satis nullus) in speaking to whom, let me take leave as the Apostle speaks to the Gallatians, Gal. 4. to change my voice as Nurses do when they speak to young Children; thou canst not preach. Yea but as I have heard a Judge speak to a convinced Malefactor, whose life he was desirous to save; I cannot read, yea but I know thou canst and must read, or else I must pronounce Sentence against thee. Yea but thou canst preach, and preach thou must, or else I must say unto thee, friend how camest thou in hither? I add no more, thou wantest Logick and knowledge in the Arts, which are hand-maids to Divinity, and many other helps which are re­quisite to a Preacher; yet mayest thou teach: As an over-ween­ing conceit of a mans abilities, so too base an opinion of thy self, may be an hindrance to vertue. Many had proved great men, if they had not thought themselves on the Hils-top, before they were at the middest of the way: and some of our not­preaching Ministers might prove better then they are, if the weakness of their braines did not hinder them from climbing, because they despaire of being excellent Preachers, therefore they will do no good at all in their Profession, they seldome look upon Book but when they are in the Church: possunt qui posse videntur. A mans conceit that he can do, will make him somewhat adventure. When John Bradford was unwilling to en­ter into the Ministry, alledging his weakness and inabilities for preaching, if thou canst not (quoth Martin Bncer) feed thy Flock with fine Manchet, feed them with brown Bread. Non possumus omnes esse Scipiones, aut Maximi, saith the Orator, if thou canst not do as thou wouldst, do as thou mayest; if thou wantest strong Meat, feed with Milk, catechise and in­struct thy hearers in the ground of Religion, pray, heare, read, study, confer, meditate, stir up the Gift of God which is thee, kindle and blow up this fire, desire the best Gifts, 1 Cor. 12. and in so doing, God giving a blessing to thine endeavours, Si non evaseris in summum, at certe multos infra te videbis: as Quintilian speaks, if thou prove not the best, thou shalt not be [Page 124] the worst of thy profession. If thy learning be so slender, that thou canst not well understand a Latine Author, be not discou­raged for that. We have many excellent Books of morall Divi­nity in our English Tongue, and of controversial writers we have no want, furnish thy selfe not with all, but with the best. Di­strahit animum librorum multitudo (saith Seneca) and qui ubi­que est nusquam est. Read then rather multum then multos, much then many books, so shalt thou make it thine owne which thou hast read, and be able to make use of it for the discharge of thy duty, and benefit of the Flock committed to thy charge. And if thy learning and judgment be so weak, as that thou canst not so skilfully extract the quintessence out of the flower, with the Bee, then rather give it them in thy Authors words, then not at all.

I confesse I could never approve of those lapwings, which ha­ving hopped out of their nests, with their shels on their heads, before they got a feather on their backs: Priusquam sacra vo­lumina vel nomine noverint, priusquam veteris & novi testamen­ti signa not asque cognoverint, as Nazianzen speaks, having pro­vided themselves of halfe a dozen Sermons, which they have as good right too, as Paulus in Martiall had to his Verses;

Carmina Paulus emit, jactat sua Carmina Paulus;
Nam quod emit poterit dicere jure suum.

Like jollie fellows, make a flourish up and down the Country with them, as if they were men of worth. I have no more to say to them, but onely send them that salutation which Horace sent Celsus.

Quid mihi Celsus agit monitusque & saepe monendus,
Privatas ut quaerat opes, & spernere discat
Scripta, palatinus quaecunque retexit Apollo.

Otherwise (for all their shews) the riddle may well be apply­ed to them, Nullus malus magnus piscis.

But now for such as have Cures, where the Stipend is so small that it will not maintain a tollerable Preacher (as in some of our large and spacious Parishes, there is scarce so much left as the Pharisees petty tiths, tithe of Mint, and Anise, and Cummin, lit­tle [Page 125] more then would give contentment to a Swine-he ard) if these, not out of any vain-glorious humour of being reputed that they are not, but out of a desire to benefit their Flocks, besides the instructions given them by way of catechising, they shal com­mit to memory, and deliver other mens labours; in St. Austines judgement they are not to be disallowed:Aug. de doct. Christiana. lib. 4. cap. 29. Nor will I; for beside that it will keep them from idleness, and peradventure from worse exercise, they shall both benefit their hearers, and receive at least some tincture of Divinity: as he that tarries long in an Apothecaries shop will carrie the smell of it about him, and hee that walkes in the Sun will be coloured by the heat of it.

The second sort is of such as will not: my censure must be sharper against these then against the former. Hee that hath his Garners full of graine, and will not bring it out to the Market in such a yeare as this, but rather suffer the people to starve, then sell a bushell, unlesse, he may have an excessive price for it, is worse in the judgment of all men, then a poore man that doth not furnish the Market because he wants. The mother is worse, that hath breasts full of milke, and will not give suck (which the Dragons deny not the young ones, Lam. 4. 3.) then shee that hath dry breasts and cannot: and is not he worse that hath a candle and hides it under a bushell, and will not give light, then he that is dark and cannot? that hath eyes, and winks, and will not see, then he that is blind and cannot? that hath a tongue, and will not speak, then he that cannot because he is dumb? It's true of a Lawyer, Scire tuum nihil, si te scire hoc sciat alter: If every man knew as much in the Laws as the Lawyer doth, none would seek unto him for Counsell. But it befits a Minister better, if a ni be put to it, as Persius hath it,

Scire tuum nihil est, nisi te scire hoc sciat alter.

His knowledg must not be shut up in the Ventricles of his braine like Timons monie in his chest; but like that precious oile that was poured on Aarons head, it must discend to the skirts of his cloathing, the meanest of them that are committed to his charge. It must fall from the braine to the tongue, and from thence Drop as the raine, and still as the dew, as the shower upon the Herbs, and as the great raine upon the grasse, Deut. 32. 2. The [Page 126] Priests lips must preserve knowledge, Mal. 2. 7. The Lord hath gi­ven me the tongue of the learned, to minister a word in season to him that is weary, Isa. 50. 4. And he that makes no conscience of this is liable to a double curse.

1. A curse in his gifts, they will rust and canker away: The faithfull servant that employeth not his masters talent, shall have it taken from him, Matth. 25. This idoll Shepheard that feedeth not his flock, shall prove a right idoll indeed; for as he hath a tongue and speaks not, so shall he have eyes and shall not see. His arme shall be dryed up, and his right eye shall be utterly dark­ned, Zach. 11. ult.

2. A curse upon his soule, Matth. 25. Cast him into utter darkenesse.

I am not credulous in believing ill reports of any man (especi­ally of a Minister) but if it be true which I have heard (and by reason of the late Visitation, I have somewhat more then a bare report) it is to be lamented even with teares of blood, that some of extraordinary gifts (as they would be deemed; and the grea­ter their gifts are, the greater shall their judgment be if they be found negligent) do scarce once in 12. or 13. years visite a great part of their Flock. Their little ones cry for bread, and there is none to give them any. And in the place where they reside, like Atheists very often mew themselves up in their private houses, when they should be in the house of God feeding their Flocks: and when they go to the Church, ordinarily continue there like images without a word speaking, and so frustrate their poor hunger-starv'd sheep of their hopes. Like as when a barren cloud hangs in the aire in time of a drought, and yeelding no drops to water the dry and gasping Earth, the expectation of the Hus­bandman is made frustrate: If they afford them once in the year, or at most once in the quarter a dish of Strawberries (as Lati­mer spake in the same case) it's a dainty, they must hold them­selves contented. I wish it were as good as a dish of Strawber­ries, and not rather like Caligula's banquet, where all the ban­quetting stuffe was made of gold, which did only feed the eye, but not the bellie; this banquet is not of gold, but for the most part of a worse mettall (Latin) which with a tinkling noise may tickle the eare, but never fill the stomack. Plinie writes of some [Page 127] people of Mount Atlas that were without names; it seems these men think their Parishioners to be without souls: or else that the calling of a Minister is not Virtutis exemplum, sed vitae adjumen­tum atque subsidium, non munus reddendae rationi obnoxium, sed imperium liberum, & reddendarum rationum metu solutum, as Nazianzen speaks.In Apol.

Oh beloved brethren (that I may speak to all) let us beware of these things. Let the doing of his will that hath sent us be our meat and drink, our joy and crown, and the gathering toge­ther of his dispersed Flock our game and advantage: our names may put us in mind of our duties.

Conveniunt rebus nomina saepe suis.

We are called Shepheards. If we love the great Shepheard of our soules, let us feed his sheep, feed his lambs. We are watch­men, let us stand upon our watch, and give warning to the Citie of God of the approach of the Enemie. We are lights of the world, let us consume our selves that we may inlighten others. We are voyces of cryers, or crying voyces; for Sions sake let us not hold our peace, and for Jerusalems sake let us not keepe si­lence, but lift up our words like Trumpets, And tell the house of Jacob their transgressions, and Israel their sins. Let us be like that [...], Nec Dedonaei cessat tinnitus aheni: No more should we, remembring that strict adjuration of the Apostle: I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quicke and the dead at his appearing, and in his kingdome, preach the word, be instant in season and out of season, 2. Tim. 4. 1. We are Captains of the Lord of Hosts, Let us fight a good fight, and resist unto blood, striving against sinne. Where should a Cap­tain dye but in the field? and where should a Preacher die (said learned Jewel) but in the Pulpit?

Adde for a second Motive that joy and comfort which will at­tend us,2. Motiv. when we shall leave these houses of clay, and these earthen pitchers shall be ready to be broken at the Well, if our consciences can bear us witnes that we have continued faithful in our Masters service. No doubt it was no small comfort to Cy­rus, when Lysander admired the sweetnesse of his Gardens, and fit ordering of trees in his Groves, that hee was able to tell him they were his own work, and that he had planted them with [Page 128] his own hands. No lesse comfort will it be to us, when we can perswade our owne soules that such trees we have planted in the Lords garden, such sheep we have brought into Christs sheep­fold; if every of us can say to the great Arch-bishop of our souls, when he shall keep his visitation, Here am I, and the children thou hast given me.

Adde last of all,3. Motive. that Crown of righteousnesse wherewith our service shall be rewarded at the last day. Those that have beene his faithfull witnesses here on earth, when the earth shall be no more, shall be as the Moon, and as the faithfull witnesse in hea­ven. And whereas those which follow wisdome shall shine, ut expansum, as that which is stretched out over our heads (the Firmament) those that turne many unto righteousnesse (and let no painful Minister be discouraged) if the fruit of his labours fall short of his expectation. We are but Gods Instruments: Except the Lord keep the Citie, the watch-man watcheth but in vaine. Except the Lord build the house, their labour is but lost that build it. Paul may plant, and Apollos water, but to no pur­pose, unless God give an encrease. Jeremiah thundered out Gods judgments against the sins of Jerusalem the space of 50. yeares, and she was more obstinate in the end then at the beginning. E­say preached 64. (some say 74.) years, and profited little for all his pains. Noah preached 120. years to the old World, and we do not read of one person he converted. Let it be our desire and studie to turne many unto righteousnesse, and our reward shall be with our God. He that accepteth the will for the deed, will as surely reward us as if we had done the deed. So then (as I was about to say) whereas those that follow wisdome shall be as the thinner parts of heaven, or as the Lacteus Circulus, which is caused of the confluence of the beames of those heavenly torch­es; Those that turne many unto righteousnesse shall be as the thick­er parts of the celestiall Orbe, and shall shine as the starrs of heaven for evermore.

The sixth Sermon.

JER. 22. 3.‘Thus saith the Lord, Execute yee Judgement and Righ­teousnesse.’

THREE things there were amongst the Gen­tiles, to which they (dreaming they had them from God) trusting too much,Lib. dec. 1. lib. 1. disadvantaged themselves, and gave occasion of rejoycing to their Enemies.

First, their twelve Ancilia, or Targets, one of which they say fell from Jupiter into the hands of Numa.

Secondly, their Palladium, which fell from Heaven into a cer­tain Temple in Phrygia, being then without Roofe.

Thirdly, and the Image of Pessinuntia dea, or Idaea mater, the Mother of their Gods, which the Romans with great cost and paines brought from Pesinuns, a Town in Asia the lesse, to Rome, Lib. dec. 3, 4. lib. 9. and placed in the Temple of their Goddesse Victoria, as a meanes to perpetuate and eternize the felicity of that State. The Jewes likewise had three things, which they said (and said truly) they had from God. The Temple, and the Ark, and the Law; which because they looked no further into, then the out-side and externall Superficies of them (as if a man should busie himselfe with picking and licking the Shell of a Nut, and neglect the Kernell; or rest satisfied with keeping a true mea­sure and ballance in his house, and never use them; or as if a Scholler should content himselfe with looking on the Cover and Strings of his Book, and never open it, nor learn the Contents thereof) brought many Calamities upon them, and at length [Page 130] proved their destruction; as long as the Temple was in the Ci­ty, and the Ark in the Temple, and the Law in the Ark, they thought all sure; they themselves were called, the people of God, their City, the City of God; in it they had the Temple of God, and the Ark of God, and the Law of God. What was wanting? verily as much as is wanting to a good Souldier, when he hath his Sword hanging by his side, and never offers to draw it, when the Enemy assaults him; or to the Office of a Judge when he sits on the Bench, having the Scales painted over his head, but speaks not a word. Against this remisnesse (not to give it a worse name) the Prophet exclaimes the Law is dissol­ved, then the Letters remain in the Book, the practise is perish­ed, Judgment never goes forth. Defluxit lex, Hab 14. its a me­taphor borrowed from the Pulse; a mans bodily constitution may be known by his Pulse, if it be fallen down and give over beating, the man is in the pangs of Death, or dead already; if ve­hement, he is in a hot Feaver; if temperate, he is in good health. The Law is the Pulse of the Common-Wealth, if it move not, the Body Politick is dead, if its motion be violent, its sick of a hot Ague, if moderate and equall, its well affected. In the dayes of our Prophet, the Pulses of the Law were quiet, no more motion in them, then in the dead Sea, which neither ebbs nor flowes. Judgment was fallen, and Justice could not enter, the faithfull City was become an Harlot, her Princes Rebells and Companions of Theeves, every one loved Gifts and followed after Rewards, they judged not the Fatherlesse, neither did the cause of the Widow come before them, Isa. 1. They had altogether broken the Yoke, and burst the Bonds, Jer. 5. 5. Whereupon the Lord sends his Prophet to the King of Judah, and his Servants, that is, his chiefe Officers and Magistrates, with this Charge, that if they desired to continue their Possessions in that good Land which he had given them, and to escape a miserable slavery and captivity under cruell Tyrants, in a strange and Idolatrous Country, into which for their sinnes he was ready to bring them, they should put life into the Law, that the Pulses there­of might be perceived to move. Execute Judgment: And be­cause the corruption of mans nature commonly runs from one extream to another, in vitium ducit culpae fuga, here quires that [Page 131] this Judgment be not too violent, but moderate and equitable. Execute Judgment and righteousnesse, that is, righteous Judg­ment. For the Law, like a mans shooe, Si pede major erit sub­vertit, si minor urit, if it be too wide it will give Liberty to the Foot to tread awry, if too strait▪ it will pinch it. But what hath a private man to do in matters of State? what Commission hath Jeremy a Priest, to come to the Court of a mighty King, and to tell him and his Nobles of their duties? Surely a very strange one: He who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords had set him over Nations and over Kingdomes, to pluck up and to root out, Jer. 1. sends him now as his Embassadour into the Kings house, and gives him instruction what he shall speak; Thus saith the Lord God, esteem not my Message according to the quality of my person, for though I be meane in place and of small reputation, yet my Errant is of another nature: I am vox cla­mantis, a Cryer or Summoner sent unto you from the great God of Heaven & Earth, who with a mighty hand and out-stretched Arme brought your Fore-Fathers out of the Land of Aegypt, and gave them this fruitfull Land which you now possesse, who being almigh­ty is able to defend you if you shall cleave unto him, and to punish you, if you shall neglect his word, whose name is JEHOVAH, I am yesterday and to day, and the same for ever, which was, and which is, and which is to come, without change or shadow of change, that which I have received from him, I deliver unto you: Thus saith the Lord, Execute Judgement and Righteousnesse.

As then Judges in their Circuite, in the severall Counties where they sit, to heare and determine Causes, first cause their Commission to be read, then give the charge to the In­quest; So our Prophet first shewes his Commission, Thus saith the Lord, and then gives his Charge, Execute Judgment: And these be the two Branches into which my Text divideth it selfe.

In the Commission I note, that a Prophet, and consequently a Minister, who in the new Testament is also called a Prophet, is an Embassadour sent from God unto the Sonnes of men: So saith the Apostle, Wee are Embassadours from Christ, as though God did beseech you through us, we pray you in Christs stead, that yee be reconciled unto God, 2 Cor. 5. 20. Let a man so think of [Page 132] us; as of the Ministers of Christ, and disposes of the secrets of God, 1 Cor. 4. 1. This shewes the Dignity of this Calling, a Calling whether you respect the Author, or the Subject, or the end, as far exceeding all others, as Saul in length of body, did the rest of the Israelites: And surely if the Philosopher could call the Stones happy of which the Altar was builded, because they were had in honour when others were troden under feet, then much more may they be termed happy,Protarchus a­pud Arist. phys. lib. 2. whom the Lord hath separated from their Brethren, and taken neer unto him­selfe,Nomb. 16. to minister unto him, if they shall be found faithfull and diligent in so high a calling.

But here I may justly take up the Prophets Complaint; Who will beleive our report? If I should dilate on this Subject, my words would seem to many, as Lots did to his Sonnes in Law, when he spoke of the destruction of Sodome, who seemed to speake as if he had mocked. I appeale to your consciences, whe­ther the Vocation of a Priest (so the prophane Gulls of this World call it in disgrace) be not by many reputed the most base and contemptible Calling in the Land; that which the Apostle speakes of our generall calling to Christianity, is at this day ve­rified; of this particular Vocation; not many mighty, not many noble are called, 1 Cor. 1. The poor, and the halt, and the lame, and such as are good for nothing else, are thought sufficient for these things; though the Apostle could ask [...]! who is suf­ficient? do not many with the foolish woers in the Poet, Penelop [...]n relinquere, & ad ancillas confugere, leave the Mistresse and be­come Suiters to her Maids, and chuse rather to be of any calling, nay of no calling, to be idle Hunters, riotous Gamesters, loose livers, to be any thing, rather then to be imployed in this great and weighty businesse, of being an Embassadour from God un­to the Sonnes of men? But its no matter, Philosophy suffers no great disgrace, because Agrippina will not have her Son, young Nero, to study it; and a Pearle is not a straw the worse, because Esops Cock cares not for it.

[Page 133]
Rauca reful gentem contemnit noctua Phoebum;
Non crimen Phoebus, noctua crimen habet.

The Owle cannot abide the Sun; the fault is not in the Sunne, but in the Owles eyes that cannot behold it.

The very Heathen shall in the day of judgement arise against these men, and condemn them, amongst whom this Calling hath alwayes been honoured for the best.Alexander, ab Alex. Amongst the Phoeni­cians they wore a crowne of gold: Amongst the Athenians none were admitted King that had not been of this Order. It was not scorned by the best Senatour of Rome; insomuch that Gellius ha­ving set down four properties of Crassus, which he calls Rerum humanarum maxima & praecipua, the greatest things amongst the sons of men, Quod esset ditissimus, quod nobilissimus, quod e­loquentissimus, quod jurisconsultissimus; that he was the richest, and the noblest, and the most eloquent, and the best Lawyer that Rome had: He adds in the last place, as it were, a specificall forme restraining all the rest: Quod pontifex maximus, that he was the chiefe Bishop: and Virgil had no intendment to disgrace Amus, when he called him a King and a Priest:

Rex Amus, rex idem hominum Phoebique sacerdos.

And the custome of the old Aegyptians is well enough known unto Schollers; Qui ex philosophis sacerdotes; and Ex sacerdoti­bus probatissimum in regem elegerunt, who from Philosophers chose Priests, and from Priests Kings: whereupon their Hermes had the name of Trismegistus, thrice greatest, the greatest Philo­sopher, the greatest Priest, and the greatest King.

Such an one was Moses, the Prince and chiefe of all the Pro­phets, who did not preach to Pharaoh, and the Israelites, till first instructed by the Lord what he should say. Such were the Priests of the Law (or at least such they should have been) and therefore the Lord saith, That the Priests lips should preserve knowledge; and, That they should seeke the law at his mouth. The reason is added, because he is the Angel, or Embassadour of the Lord of Hosts. Such was Ezekiel, whom the Lord tells, that he [Page 134] had made a watch-man over the house of Israel, Ezek. 3. 17. and that hee should heare the word at his mouth, and give the people warn­ing from him.Jer. 1. 9. Such was Jeremiah, who prophesied not to the Jewes till the Lord had touched his tongue, and put words in­to his mouth. Finally, such were all the Prophets before the co­ming of the Messias, who had this law giuen them, that they should teach no more then he had given them in charge. Hence be these and the like speeches: Thus saith the Lord. The word of the Lord. The burden of the Lord. The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

Come to the New Testament, and look upon the Apostles and Evangelists, surely very excellent things were spoken of them; they were called the salt of the Earth, the light of the World, the friends of Christ; they had the keyes of Heaven gates given unto them, That whatsoever they bound on earth should be bound in heaven; and whatsoever they loosed on earth, should be loosed in heaven. They were sent to preach to all Nations, but not what they would, but what they had in commission from Christ, Teach to observe all things which I have commanded, Mat. 28. 20. Nay, Christ Jesus the Son of God, the Privy Counsellor of the Father, the only Master and Teacher of his Church, did impose this law upon himselfe, telling the Pharisees, that his Doctrine was not his owne, but the Fathers that had sent him.

Now then if the Priests of the Law, if the Prophets, if the A­postles, if Christ Jesus himselfe did not preach any Doctrine but what they received from God, if they were tyed to the word, and might not decline to the right hand, nor to the left: Much more are the Lords Ministers at this day tied not to deliver any Doctrine to their Hearers, but what is evidently grounded upon the sacred Oracles of Truth. They are to build the Kingdom of Christ, to subvert the kingdome of Antichrist; to feed the Lords Sheep, to drive away the Wolves; to comfort the weake and feeble knees, to break the brazen and iron sinews of impeni­tent sinners; to sing a song of mercie to penitent and humble soules,Jerem. 1. to thunder judgments to forlorn miscreants: To binde, and to loose, to plucke up, and to roote out; to destroy, and to cast downe; to build and to plant, but all by the word of God.

The writings of Heathen men contain in them many excellent [Page 135] precepts of Morality, but they are mingled with a number of un­truths and vanities. The writings of the ancient Fathers are of especiall use in the Church of God, but they are not sufficient groun is for me to build my Faith upon them. I may no more in all things follow their steps, then I may be drunk with Noah, or commit incest with Lot, or be an Adulterer with David, or an Idolater with Solomon, or with Peter deny and forswear Christ. I say of them all in respect of the Scriptures, as Stankarus a Po­lonian Heretick spake of our Protestant Writers, in respect of Pe­ter Lombard: Plus valet Petrus Lombardus quam Centum Lu­theri, &c. One Peter Lombard is of more worth then 100. Lu­thers, 200. Melanctons, 300. Bullingers, 400. Peter Mar­tyrs, and 500. Calvins. But one plaine sentence of Scripture is more worth then 100. Austins, 200. Cyprians, 300. Jere­mies, 400. Ambroses, 500. Gregories, where their Doctrines are not warrantable by the word of God. I say of them as A­ristotle did of Socrates and Plato; Socrates is my Friend, and Plato my Friend, but Truth is my greatest Friend. And as Austin said of his Country-man Cyprian: Cypriani literas non ut Canoni­cas lego, sed ex Canonicis considero, & quod in ijs divinarum Scrip­turarum autoritati convenit, cum laude ejus accipio, quod non con­venit cum pace ejus respuo. I read Cyprian, not as canonical Scrip­ture, but I examine his Writings by the canonicall, and where I find them agreeing, with his due commendations I receive them; when repugnant, with his good leave I will reject them. To the Law, and to the Testimony, if they speak not according to this Word, it is because they have no light in them, Isa 8. 20.

Quest. Is it then unlawfull for a Minister to use humanity, or secular learning in his Sermon?

Ans. I have known many, who have said that a Sermon is too barren and dry, and not so learned, nor so pleasant, nor so pow­erfull, nor so profitable, if it consist meerly of testimonies from Scripture, without some inspersions at the least of secular learn­ing: as if that were dry which is like the Raine that comes down from heaven, and waters the earth, that it may yeeld seed to him that soweth, and bread to him that eateth; or any thing were more learned then that which will make a man wise unto salvation; or any thing more pleasant then that which is sweeter [Page 136] then honie, or the honie-comb; or any thing more powerfull then that which is lively, And mighty in operation, and sharper then any two-edged sword, Heb. 4. 12. and entereth through, even to the dividing of the soule and the spirit, and of the joynts and the marrow: or any thing more profitable then that which is given by inspiration from God, and is profitable to Teach, to reprove, to correct, and to instruct in righteousnesse, 2 Tim. 3. 16. 17. that the man of God may be absolute, being made perfect unto all good works.

Again on the other side, I know many, both Preachers and Hearers, who distast as much a sentence borrowed from a pro­phane Writer, as the children of the Prophets did of that branch of Coloquintida that was cast into the pot, mors in olla. One sentence in their conceit spoils a whole Sermon, the thing other­wise never so good.

These men are verily perswaded, that Hieroms dreame was in good earnest, that he was wrapt into the third Heaven, and mi­serably beaten before the Tribunall seate of God for reading of Tullie; which although he (writing to a certain Lady, who was too much addicted to reading of secular Authors) he relates as a story: Yet when the same was objected against him by Ruffi­nus, and without question Lactantius, and Tertullian, and Au­stin, and some others of the Fathers deserved to lick of the whip for this as well as Hierome, who were so throughly acquainted with all secular Writers, that (as he himselfe speaks of some of them) a man cannot tell whether he shall more admire them for their secular learning, or their knowledg in the Scriptures; inso­much that (as Julian complained of some of them) De aquila pennas evellerent quibus aquilam configerent: They pulled quills out of the Eagles wings (the Roman Ensign) wherewith they wounded and killed the Eagle.

My resolution then is this: As I cannot approve of the former sort, so can I not altogether of the latter; my reasons are these.

  • 1. No Sermon is purum putum dei verbum,
    meer Logick, and Rhetorick, and humane invention are used in the best: and therefore if I shall sometimes borrow a sentence from a secular Writer (be it Goats-hair, or hay, or stubble, or call it what you will) peradventure it may prove as good as any thing I can bring of mine owne.
  • [Page 137] 2. I take it to be a property of a foolish Captaine to scorn to use any stratagem which his Enemie hath used before. It's law­full for the Hebrews to spoile the Aegyptians, so that it be not to make a golden Calfe of the spoile.
  • 3. St. Paul himself sometimes brings sentences out of secular Writers, as Tit. 1. 14. [...]. an heroicall verse out of Epimenides. So Acts 17. We are his ge­neration, part of an heroicall verse out of Aratus: and 1 Cor. 15. Evill words corrupt good manners, a comicall verse out of Menander.
  • 4. There is but one truth, and Omne verum est a Spiritu San­cto, saith Ambrose: so that if thou shalt alleadg that it is un­lawfull to use it; because it dropt from the tongue or penn of a Pagan, I will reply, that if it be true, it is lawfull, because it is originally from God; but here these cautions are to be observed.
  • 1. It must not be a Doctrine, but only an Illustration, or am­plification of a Doctrine.
  • 2. It must be sparingly used in popular Congregations.
  • 3. As an Israelite, when he was to marrie a captive woman ta­ken in the Wars, was first to shave her head, and pare her nayls: So a Minister, when he is in his Sermon, to joyne a sentence of a secular Writer with the Scripture, hee must shave and pare off all superstition, prophanenesse, idolatry, and whatsoever may seem to be repugnant to the doctrine of godliness.
  • 4. He must so carry himselfe in this business, that his Hearers may be benefited, his Duty discharged, and Gods Name glo­rified.

2. Observe; That a Minister, being Gods Embassadour, must after the example of my Prophet, deliver no private message of his owne, but only that which he hath in commission from him that sent him: Duo sunt pontificis opera, saith Origen, Vt aut a deo discat, aut populum doceat, sed ea doceat quae ipse prius a deo didicit: such a one was Moses, &c.

The charge contains two branches.

  • 1. Judgement must be executed.
  • 2. It must be executed without partiality, it must be just judgement. I deliver them in these two Propositions:
  • 1. It is the duty of a good Magistrate, to see that the good [Page 138] lawes of his Countrey be duly and speedily executed.
  • 2. A Magistrate must with out partiality, or respect of persons give just judgment.

Touching the first; It's Gods commandemennt, and no sacri­fice so acceptable as obedience: Behold to obey it better then sa­crifice. 1 Sam. 15. It's true in the generall, especially in this particular: To do justice and judgement is more acceptable to God then sacrifice, Prov. 21. 3. It is a proper work of the Magistrates calling, and he is a sloathfull person that goes carelesly and negligently a­bout the works of his vocation, it is a worke of God. Ye judge not for men but for God, 2 Chron. 19. 6. And cursed is hee that doth the worke of the Lord negligently, Jer. 48. The Law of it selfe is a dead letter, execution is the soule of it. As the body without the soule is dead, so is it without execution of judge­ment. It's not materiall how good a mans Will be, if the exe­cutors who are put in trust doe not perform it. The laws I may call Gods Will, and the Will of the King: its no matter how good they be, if those who are appointed Executors neglect to put them in execution. In this case they are no better then Scar-crows, which being set up in the Fields by Husband-men to keep away Birds, at the first because they seem to be fenced with bows, and Bills, and other weapons, are terrible to the Fowles; but at length, seeing them still in the same place, and doing nothing, they make bold with them, and sit on their heads, and worse too. Or like the Stock in the Fable, which Jupiter cast into a poole amongst the Frogs, desiring a King: At the first by it's fall it so troubled the water, that they were all a­fraid of it, and hid themselves; but afterwards observing it to be still, they came croaking about it, and skipt over it, and coun­ted it (as it was) a dead block. So the Lawes, though never so dreadfull at the first; if they be not duly executed by them that are in place, grow in contempt, and give occasion to the bad, to go on with boldnesse in their lewd courses, as Solomon hath well observed, Eccles. 8. 11. Where sentence is not executed speedily against an evill worke, the hearts of the sonnes of men are fully set in them to do evill.

So they are now,Vse. and they are therefore so now, because Sen­tence is not executed speedily against an evill work, the com­plaint [Page 139] is great (too true I doubt) that there is too great remis­nesse in executing Judgment, and that first in matters criminall; Secondly, in civill controversies between party and party.

The first of these doth not so much touch (or rather scarce at all) the reverend Judges of this Circuit, as those that are of the Commission of Peace, and other Officers in the County; whereof some because they would not be holden busie bodies, others because they would not be counted rash and indiscreet persons, others because they would be reputed gentle and qui­et men, content themselves with the honour of their Office, and neglect the duty and burden, and suffer many good Lawes to faint and languish for want of Execution. Like Gallio Deputy of Achaia, who when an open Out-rage was committed before his face when he sate on the Bench, past it by, and took no no­tice of it; the Graecians took Sosthenes and beat him before the Judgment Seat, but Gallio cared nothing for these things, Act. 18. In some particulars conducing to the publick good we see some hope of Reformation, and if the old Proverbe be true, according to the sound of the Letters, Principium dimidium totius, and dimidium plus toto, its done already, and many think that's all will be done. I am better perswaded of you, I would be loth to place any of you amongst those improvident Builders, who having not counted the losse before hand, after they have said a good Foundation, give over, and are not able to bring it to perfection. But there be many other things of a civill nature, the redresse whereof would prove much beneficiall to the whole Publick, which Gallio is pleased to wink at; and those things which are of a spirituall nature, which every Magistrate above all other things should take to heart, and so far as the Sphere of his Authority will extend, procure Judgment to be executed upon the Offenders; true Religion and the Service of God, Gallio cares for none of these things: if popish Recusants grow more and more insolent, if their number increase, if Priests and Jesuites run up and down the Country at their pleasure, if Gods name be horribly blasphemed, if his Sabboths prophaned, Gallio cares for none of these things; are your mindes set on Righteousnesse,Psal. 81. 1. O yee Congregation, and do yee judge the things that are right, O yee Sonnes of men?

[Page 140] Alas what skilleth it, how great, or how powerfull, or how good a man be in respect of generall vertues, or how able and sufficient for his particular place, if he shall be deficient in the practise of those duties, which are proper to that State and Con­dition of life, wherein God hath placed him? Now a fearelesse and just, and impartiall executing of Judgment upon Male­factors, is the best flower that growes in a Magistrates Garden, its the grace and ornament, nay the very life and esse and specifi­call form of a good Governour, and the main end for which God Almighty puts the Sword into his hand;Rom. 13. and herein he shall not only cleare, his own conscience, in discharging his duty, and credite his calling, and do good Service to his Prince and Country, and incourage the good, and dishearten the bad, but (which is more) he shall make peace between God and his Country, and send a prohibition to the Court of Heaven, and stop the mouth of the Judge of all the World, from giving Sen­tence, or if Sentence be given, from executing of Judgment, or if Judgment be already begun, from further proceeding. Take one or two examples, Psal. 106. They joyned themselves to Ba­alpeor, and ate the Offerings of the dead, they provoked him to an­ger with their own inventions, and the Plague brake in amongst them: but when Phineas stood up & executed Judgment, the Plague was staied, and the Lord said unto Moses, Phineas the Son of E­liazer, the Son of Aaron the Priest, hath turned away mine anger, because he was jealous for his God, and hath made an Attonement for the Children of Israel, Numb. 25. For Achans sin, God sub­stracteth his helping hand from the Israelites, they flee at the sound of Leafe shaken, and turn their backs upon their Ene­mies, the sinner is put to death, and the Lord turneth from his fierce wrath, See Jos. 7. for Sauls bloody house and cruelty against the Gibeonites, God sends cleanness of teeth in all the Ci­ties, and scarcity of Bread in all the Villages of Israel; when Judgment is executed God is appeased with the Land: See 2 Sam. 21. But till judgement be executed upon Sauls bloody Family, let David do what he can, the Lord will not be appeas­ed toward the Land. Till Achan be stoned, let Joshuah and all the Elders of Israel rent their Clothes, and put dust upon their heads, and fall down and pray before the Ark, the Lord will not [Page 141] turn from his fierce wrath. Till Phineas execute Judgment, thongh Moses and all the Congregation of Israel weep before the Door of the Tabernacle, the Plague shall continue. If a Land be defiled with blood, do what otherwise may be done, it will not be cleansed but by the blood of him that shed it, Numb. 25. 23. Thus then when the Gods of the Earth exe­cute Judgment upon the transgressours of the Law, they give an inhibition to the God of Heaven from further proceeding: Hence be these and the like speeches so frequent in Charges gi­ven in the Law to Magistrates, for punishing Offenders; so shalt thou take evill away forth of the mids of thee, Deut. 13. Deut 19. and in other places, what evill? not only malum cul­pae, but that which is a consequent and fruit of it, malum paenae too, as is plain, Deut. 13. 17. that the Lord may turn from his fierce wrath, and shew compassion upon thee.

On the other side, where they suffer the sword of Justice to rust and canker in the Scabberd, and suffer their Inferiours, as if they lived in an Anarchie to do what they lust, and let the Reines loose to all licentiousnesse, ut cum carceribus sese effudêre quadrigae, fertur equis auriga, as if there were no providence in the Almighty. Then the Lord who is jealous of his honour, and abhors all irregular motions, awakes as one out of sleep, and as a Giant refreshed with wine, he unsheatheth his glittering Sword, and executes vengeance both upon Prince and People, and (unlesse repentance follow) turnes them to a perpetuall shame; whereof you have many examples in the Book of Judges, to which David alludeth, Psal. 106. The wrath of the Lord was kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his owne Inheritance, and gave them over into the hands of the Heathen, and they that hated them were Lords over them. And what a fear­full Judgment did Lot his neglect of executing Judgment bring upon himselfe and Family, and upon all Israel? of Israel there fell by the hands of the Philistims at two Battels 3400. Ho­phni and Phineas were both slain with the Sword, old Eli at the newes broke his neck, his Daughter in Law, Phineas his Wife, at the hearing thereof was brought to Bed before her time, and died, and which had never before happened, as she com­plained at her Death, the glory departed from Israel, and the [Page 142] Ark of God was taken. This heavy curse came upon Eli, and upon his house, and upon all Israel, for not executing of Judg­ment upon such, as by their sinnes had kindled Gods wrath; and through the whole Book of Judges, how many Plagues are executed upon Israel for this sin; this is meant by that which is so often repeated in that Book, In those daies there was no King in Israel, Judg. 17. 6. 18. 1. 21. 25. that is, no ordi­nary Magistrate to inflict condigne punishment upon notorious Offenders.

As there is a neglect in executing Judgment in matters cri­minall: So (I feare in administration of Justice in matters civill. Where (if it be true which is commonly spoken) too ma­ny frustratory and venatory delaies, (as Bernard calls them) are used; its a generall complaint amongst those that have Law suits, that expedition is a Court-Lady, so nice and dainty, that a common person shall hardly be able to speak with her, yea that men of good rank must wait long, and woe much, and make Freinds and send love tokens, some peradventure as costly, as she used to take, who gave occasion of the Proverb, Non cuivis homini contingit adire Corinthum, before he can see her Face or injoy her favour: thus it is with him that beginnes a Suit in any Court of Justice, whether ecclesiasticall or civill (I call them both so, because they both should be so) as with him that ven­tures upon the Ocean: Caelum undi (que)et undi (que) pontus, or with one that enters into a maze, where he finds it an easie entry, Sed re­vocare gradum, hoc opus, hic labor est. He that is to contend with a potent and contentious adversary, must as he that undertakes voyage to the East-Indies, furnish himself before hand with 2. or 3. yeares provision at the least, or he shall be [...]nforced to put on shore for new supply, before he shal be able to discover the Cape of good hope; the Medicine proves worse then the Disease, in­somuch that if a man shall in the end prevaile against his Adver­sary, he may peradventure give the same answer to his Neigh­bours that rejoyce for his successe, that Pyrrhus gave his friends, who came to congratulate with him, after a great Victory he had got over the Romanes, but with much blood-shed and losse of his best Souldiers and Captaines: yea (quoth he) but if I shall get such another Victory, I shall be for ever undone. This [Page 143] makes some willing rather to part with their own Right, then to buy it at so high a rate, in those places ubi major erit expen­sarum sumptus quam sententiae fructus, as one complained of the Popes Court.

I do not, I cannot, I will not lay the blame upon the reverend Judges, who sit to heare and determine Causes in their severall Courts, the Causes that come before them are many, and as in all other things, so especially in matters of Judicature, its almost impossible in a short time to do much, and all well.

Veritas latet in abdito & profundo, Cicero. as Democritus said; Truth lies hid in the bottome of a deep and dark pit, they must delve, and digge, and seek till they finde it. Some falsities at the first seeme no lesse probable then some truths; as the Croy-cole beares the colour of the best, and many base mettals make as faire a shew as the gold Ore, till the Fire discover them. The false Mother cryed as loud the child was hers, as the true Mo­ther did: and therefore as a good Physitian doth first view the Urine, and feele the Pulses of his Patient, and enquire diligently into the cause and manner of his disease before he prescribe phy­sick: so the Magistrate (who is the Physitian of the body politick, as the other is of the naturall bodie) lest he erre in prescribing medicines, must dive into the bottome of the cause, heare wit­nesses, examine evidences, weigh all circumstances, and omit no meanes that may conduce for boulting out the truth. It's good counsell which was given to the Israelites touching the a­buse done to the Levites Wife by the Benjamites:

  • 1. Consider apart.
  • 2. Consult amongst your selves.
  • 3. Givesentence.

The two former be as the two propositions in a syllogisme; and to proceede to sentence before the other be throughly done, is to conclude without premises. No sinner was by the law of God so severely punished as the Idolater, but not upon a bare hear say. (For Si unusquisque erit accusator, quis erit inno­eens?) The Judge must seek and make search, and enquire dili­gently whether it be true, and the thing certain, Deut. 13. 14. It's the glory of God to conceale a thing secret, but it is the Kings honour to search out a matter, Prov. 25. 1. So did Job, a petty [Page 144] King as some suppose (a Judg at the least) When I knew not the the cause, I sought it out diligently, Job 29. 16. But he that for expedition gives sentence upon the first relation, may judge as untruly, as the accuser informes falsly; as David did against Mephibosheth upon the report of a false servant.

The Magistrate then in using all the helps and advantages that may probably conduce for the clearing of the truth, and inform­ing his understanding in the thing controverted, may not be justly censured for a delayer of judgment; marry if after the cause be ripened, and all things fitted for Sentence, he shall then either for his own benefit, or for friends or Favorites in the Court use delayes, let others plead for him that can, for my part I cannot excuse him from being partaker at least in other mens sinnes.

But I blame most the wrangling Client, whom I define a Sala­mander, that loves alwaies to be broyling in the fire of contenti­on, Qui lachrymas mittit, cum nil lachrymabile cernit. He is ne­ver well but when he is working some ill; a right eele-catcher, no fishing for him but when the waters of peace be troubled and mudded. This is that Ahab, that troubleth all Israell, who as Jeremie speaks of himself, but in another sense a contentious man, and one that striveth with the whole world. A rough Ismael, that hath his hand against every man, he goes not to law out of a desire o [...] peace (for what hath he to do with peace) nor out of an honest desire of maintaining his owne Right (his own conscience can tell him he hath none) but ei­ther out of a desire of revenge, or because he knoweth himselfe more skilfull in packing and shuffling the Cards, then the party with whom he plaies; or presuming upon his own purse, or the simplicity and weaknesse of his Adversary, or out of hope by spinning in infinitum the thread of contention, and bringing his Adversary into anin extricable many of troubles, to inforce him at length either to part with his own Right, or to say of it as the false Mother said of the true Mothers Childe, let it be neither thine nor mine, but let it be divided. This is much furthered by Birds of a like feather, unconscionable Pleaders, Attornies, Solli­citers, Clarks, and such like (mistake me not, I speak not to dis­grace their Professions, they are all necessary and warrantable Callings, and I doubt not, but there be many of their Profession, [Page 149] not only skilfull and learned, but which is better, honest, con­scionable, religious, and to use Jethroes words concerning Ma­gistrates, men of courage, fearing God, men dealing truly and hating covetousnesse: but withall it cannot be denied (the more pitty) that there be to many that use their places as Monopolies for themselves, and levell all their paines and stu­dies, not at the publick good (which every private Trades-man in the works of his calling should principally intend; much more such as have the least imployment in Courts of Justice) but at their private gain: they count not how bad the Cause be▪ so the Fee be good: Gold is a heavy Mettall, an I will soon make it weight. When these shall meet with a tough and wran­gling Client (as it is not like but Birds of a feather will meet) they will invent for his and their own advantage mille nocendi artes, a thousand delusory and venatory delaies, by demurrers and Writs of Errour, and appeals, and I wot not what to make the Suit endlesse. Souldiers live better by war then by peace, and these gain as much by contention, as they would loose by quietnesse. Maggots and flesh-flies feed on galled Horse-backs, and putrified soares, which if the skin were whole and sound, would quickly perish for want of food. These Vermin know no better meanes to preserve their own lives, then to keep the soare raw and open: And many Empiricks that want meanes and have little practise, when they meet with a Patient that is for their purpose, will impoyson the wound that it may be long in healing, and spend as much time in curing a rue-rub, or a blind blayne, then an honest and skilfull Physician will do in healing a Gangraena, or a fistula. I will not, I need not apply. When the Cause is ripened for hearing, and like to go against them in the same Court, then if all other tricks and advantages faile, an appeale must be made to another, and thence perhaps after much time and mony spent, dismissed and returned to the place whence the appeale was made: as Christ was first brought before Pilate as a computent Judge, before whom he was to be tried, thence upon better advise was sent to Herod, where after he had been falsely accused, and shamefully abused, a Consulta­tion was had, and he returned to Herod. Give me leave to in­stance in one particular: a Minister wronged by his Parishoners in [Page 150] payment of Tithes, commenceth a Suit for his releife in an Ec­clesiasticall Court, as a place proper for triall of such things: and when after much trouble and many journies and long time spent, and (that which is not only of war (as Vespasian laid it was) but of Law-Suits also, the string and strength) much mony wa­sted, he is in good hope of Sentence, in comes a Prohibition and blowes all away, Velut ventus folia, aut panniculum tectorium. Methinks those Verses which were made of Caesar and Bibulus, when they were Consuls, the one being little better then a Cypher to supply the room, the other ruling at his pleasure, may not unfitly be applied to our Ecclesiasticall and civill Courts.

Non Bibulo quidquid nuper, sed Caesare factum est,
Nam Bibulo fieri consule nil memini.

Both Caesar and Bibulus are Consuls, they have both the Sword of Authority put into their hands; but non Bibulo quid­quam sed Caesare factum est: Caesar doth all, Bibulus scarce any thing at all, except drinking up of Fees: and as Philip (in Plutarch) said of two Brethren, whereof one was called alter­uter, and the other uterque; having heard them both speak, out of a dislike he had of the one, and approbation of the other: alteruter (quoth he) shall be uterque, and uterque shall be neu­ter. In our Fore-Fathers daies, the Ecclesiasticall power did not only stretch over Ecclesiasticall persons, but like the Tree which Cambyses saw in his Dream, it over shadowed and over topped the temporall power too, and like Noahs Floud, it overflowed the highest Mountaines as well as the lowest Vallies. Then he might well have been tearmed (and so he was by some) uter­que, but now the case is altered, alteruter is become uterque, and uterque is become a plain neuter; or rather as Vlysses tear­med himselfe to Polyphemus [...], a no body. So that when on the one side I consider the Stiles and Papall Commands (for I think they had them from Rome) which our Ecclesiasticall Jud­ges use in their Monitories and Citations; and on the other side, finde how little is effected, and how easie all their do­ings are dashed out of countenance at the first sight of a Pro­hibition, [Page 151] it makes me call to minde the Story of a Lacede­monian, who hearing a Nightingale singing in a Hedge, supposed she had been some great Bird, but having afterwards catched her, and found her almost nothing but a few feathers, he said, vox es, praeterque nihil, and I cannot better resemble them then unto the counterfeit shewes of Semiramis, when she fought against the King of India, which a far off seemed to be Ele­phants and dromedaries, but when they were throughly tried, proved nothing but Oxen-Hides, stuffed and bomebasted with straw. Or to those Enemies of Agesilaus which seemed as they had been Giants, but one of them being gotten, it was found that they had stuffed their Dabblets and Breeches only to this end, that they might appeare terrible to their Enemies.

I disallow not Prohibitions where the Law allows them; where there is (as sometimes there may be) just cause for them: a River if it keep its selfe within its bounds, is as good a Neigh­bour as a man can have; but when it swels above its compasse, and overflowes the Banks, Sternit agros, sternit sata laeta boum­que labores, it sweeps away and makes havock of all things that comes in its way. My wish is, that every river were confined with­in its own bank, that for the more speedy dispatch of Law-Suits, every Court were bounded within its own limits, that neither Ecclesiasticall would incroach upon Civill, nor Civill upon Ec­clesiasticall, that when Prohibitions are granted, and the sug­gestion not sufficiently proved, the party wronged may be spee­dily dispatched by consultation, or otherwise convenient expe­dition releived according to Justice and Equity.

I am no Proctor for Ecclesiasticall Courts, in which I heare there be as many rubs, and lingring delaies, as in any other. Its piety and commiseration of the Clergy, that moves me thus to speak, who between these are tossed up and down like Balls in a Tenes-Court, having no sooner ended in one, they must begin a fresh in the other; So that in this case it falls out with a Mi­nister, as with a silly fly, which with much labour and trouble having got out of a Spiders webb, presently falls into another that holds her fast, and the faster for this, that having spent her strength in the former, she hath no power to resist in the latter. Or as it is with Sysiphus, whom Poets faine to be continually [Page 152] rowling a stone to the top of an Hill, as soon as he hath got it thither it tumbles down again, so that he is put to a new labour: Aut petis, aut urges rediturum Sysiphe saxum. Sysiphus, tumbling a stone may be a fit emblem of a Minister suing for his Tithes, and the Motto agrees very well, aut petit aut urget. Thus far of my former Proposition (its the duty of a Magistrate to see that the good and wholesome Lawes of his Country be duly and speedily executed) together with a touch by way of use of some impediments, which stop the due Execution of Judg­ment, both in matters criminall and civill; the latter follow­eth.

A Magistrate must without partiality or respect of persons give just Judgment:2 Doctr. a Lesson as commanded in my Text, so long before commended to Magistrates by the first Law-giver: Judge righteously between every man and his Brother, and the stranger that is with him, yee shall have no respect of persons in Judgment, Deut. 1. 16. 17. Yee shall not wrest the Law, Deut. 16. 19. and by Jehosophat, in every cause that shall come before you, between blood and blood, between Law and Precept, Statute and Judgment, yee shall judge the people according to right, 2 Chron. 9. 10. he must not be so hard hearted, as not to be piti­full and compassionate to the poor, nor so high minded, as not to give to the mighty his due titles and honour, nor so opinative and selfe-conceited, as never to be led by a multitude, nor so precise and scrupulous, as for feare of temptation, to debar a rich man from his presence; but neither pity of the poor, nor honour of the mighty, nor consent of the multitude, nor reward of the rich, must draw him an haires bredth from the Rule of Justice: this is the way, in it he must walk: not pity of the poor, for thou shalt not esteem a poor man in his cause, Exod. 23. 3. reliefe of the poor is a proper work of Charity, not of Justice; not honour of the great, for thou shalt not honour the person of the mighty, Lev. 19. 15. not consent of the multitude for thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evill; neither agree in a controversie to decline after many, and overthrow a truth, Ex­od. 23. 2. not love of the rich, for thou shalt take no reward, be­cause reward blindeth the eies of the wise, and perverteth the words of the Just, Deut. 16. 19.

[Page 153] The Law must be the Copy he must write by, the rule he must build by, the Cynosura he must saile by; and as Job saith of the Seas, Hither he must goe and no further: hanc ultra citraque nequit consistere rectum; he must neither go too short, nor too far, nor too much, nor too little, nor one way nor other tread a­wry: but as the Sun keeps a streight course under the Ecliptick line, without declining to either side of the Zodiack, so must he keep a strict course under the line and rule of the law, and not decline to either party further then equity and a good consci­ence will warrant him; he must not like Marriners and Saylers, Obliquare Sinus, fetch a compasse when the wind will not serve his turn, but rather be like the two Kine which carried the Ark of the Lord from Eckron to Bethshemesh, and turned neither to the right hand nor to the left, unlesse (as in some case it may fall out) there be just cause of mitigation.

In a word, he must lay judgment to the rule, and righteous­ness to the ballance: and as the ballance puts no difference be­tween gold and lead, not giving a greater weight to gold because it is gold, nor a lesse to lead because of the baseness of the met­tall, but giveth an equall or unequall poyse to both without re­spect of either: so should a Magistrate with an equall hand weigh every mans cause alike, not respective to one more then another. This the Aegyptians figured by the hieroglyfical from of a man without eyes or hands, intimating thereby that he should neither have hands to receive bribes, nor eyes to behold and respect the persons of men. The same did the Greeks sig­nifie, when they painted Justice between Leo and Libra, meaning that the Judg should be courageous in executing, and equall and indifferent in determining.

For the effecting whereof, three things are to be avoyded as so many dangerous rocks, any of which of it self is enough to cause him make ship-wrack of honesty and a good conscience.

The first is that which the Apostle calls the root of all evill, Covetousness, it's the very cut-throat and cankerworm of all Justice; it and Justice be [...] non bene conveniunt, nec in una sede morantur; they cannot lodg within one breast: Facite me Romanae urbis Episcopum, & ero pretinus Christianus, said the wicked Pagan in Hierome: Hierom. ad Pamma [...]hium. Give a covetous man such and such [Page 154] an Office, give him gold enough, or what will ye give him, and you shall have him sure; he will be what ye will, he wil doe what ye will; though as absurd and repugnant to justice and right reason, as that Atheist thought it was to be a Christian. He will make the Laws as fit for your purpose, as Procrustes fit­ted his guests for his Bed, if they were too long, he cut them off by the knees; if too short, he stretched out their joynts till they were as long as the Bed. For avoyding of this, the Judg must remember that it is a property of every good Officer and Magi­strate to be an hater of covetousnesse, as a thing e [...]diametro re­pugnant to his profession, Exod. 18. 21. And that he cannot act such works of darkness though never so closely, neither by himself, nor by such Brokers as he keeps about him for like pur­poses: But God (who is like a wel-drawn picture, that eyeth e­very man in the room) doth behold it. Quaecunque capesses, testes factorum stare arbitrabere divos, saith the Poet. Quare si pecca­re vis, quaere ubi te non videat, & fac quod vis, saith Saint Austin.

The 2. Rock is fear or favour of great persons; but a Magi­strate must be a man of courage, and where doth courage ap­pear, but in resisting the mighty, in using the severity of the Law against Great ones if they offend. He is [...], as the Poet called a King, a Shepheard of his people, and should have that care over those that are under his charge which a Shep­heard hath over his Flock; who will not only destroy Maggots and flesh-flies, and such little Vermine as are noysome to his Sheep, but much more Foxes, and such Beasts as make havock of them; because one Fox may do more hurt in one night, then 10000. Maggots can in a whole year.

Now to make the Laws like Cobwebs, to hold Flesh flies, and such little Vermin, and for fear of displeasure or hope of gain, to let great ones escape, is as if a Shepheard should kill the Mag­gots in his Sheep, but withall give liberty to Foxes to worry them at their pleasure: or with Domitian to have a flap for every flie that cometh, and neglect the weighty affayrs of the Common­wealth. Hath not God styled the Magistrate with his owne name, Psal. 82. I have said ye are gods? Hath he not made him a promise of his presence and assistance? God standeth in the [Page 155] congregation of gods, he is a Judge among Gods. He will be with you in the cause and judgement, 2 Chr. 19. 6. And he that hath as­surance of Gods presence, needs not feare any other, though (his Magistracie set aside) far greater then himself, no more then David the Lion and the Beare when they assaulted his Sheep.

The third and last Rock is Kindred and Friends: and surely if any thing may give the Magistrate leave to set the Law upon Tenters, to rack and stretch it beyond its compasse, or to strain courtesie with it, or to muzzle and smother it if it be against him, it must be Kindred.

Those whom Nature hath made dear and neer unto us, we cannot choose but love; this is a lesson we learn, not by reading or hearing, but Ex natura arripuimus, expressimus, hausimus, as the Oratour speaks. This every man may see (if his own affecti­ons will not tutor him in this point) in Davids love to his sonne Absolon, an incestuous person, a murtherer, a Rebell against his own Father, one that sought to kill him from whom he re­ceived life: all this could not make David forget he was his son. What a mournfull Elegie sings he upon news of his death: O Ab­solon my son, O my son Absolon, would God I had died for thee, O Ab­solon, my son, my son. This was it that made good K. Asa dispense with the rigor of the law against Idolaters, when his Mother was found guilty, 1 King. 15. 13. And which made Seleucus, King of the Locrenses to be cruell unto himself, that he might shew some pity on his sonne, when he had made this law against Adulte­rers, that both their eyes should be pulled out: his own son be­ing taken in the act, and brought before him, out of a fatherly pity he divided the punishment between his sonne and himself, and caused one of his sons, and one of his owne eyes to be pul­led out.

But this, how potent soever to flesh and blood, must not pre­vail with Gods Deputy and Vice-gerent, to cause him to make the least digression from the course of Justice. Truth must be neerer to him then any of his Kindred: If thy brother, the sonne of thy mother, or thine owne sonne, or thy daughter, or the wife that lyeth in thy bosome, or thy friend which is as thine owne soule, shall offend the law, thou shalt deale with him according to law, [Page 156] Deut. 13. All should be of like kinn to the Judge, he should be as it is said of Melchisedec, without Father, without Mother, without Kindred; or as Moses saith of Levi, Deut. 33. Who said to his father and mother, I have not seen them, neither knew he his brethren nor his own children. Father, and Mother, and Brother, and Sister, and Wife, and Children, and Kindred, and Servants, and Favourites, if they be as dear to thee as thine own eye, or right hand, erue, abscinde, cut them off, cast them from thee, part with them rather then they shall part thee and justice.

A worthy example we have in the Romane story: Junius Bru­tus, first Consull of Rome, a Heathen man (yet indeed divers of the Heathen have out-stripped Christians in the practise of mo­rall duties, though through want of faith their best works were but splendida peccata) when sundry young Nobles had conspired to reduce Tarquin after his banishment, he proceeded with to lesse severity against his owne, and Brothers sonne, being of the conspiracy, then against the rest which were nothing allied unto him. The like authority did Titus Maulius use against his son, when he had offended the Law.Liv. de [...]. 1. lib. 8. Histories are full of the like, one of our own shall suffice for all.

About the beginning of Edward the sixth his Reign, when in stead of Romish Superstition and Idolatry, the Gospel of Christ began to be planted in England, Clarles the Emperour made re­quest to the King and his Councell in behalf of the Lady Marie the Kings sister, that she might have Masse in her house, with­out prejudice of Law; the Councell amongst other matters of policy, consulting about this, sent unto the King Arch-Bishop Cranmer, and Ridley then Bishop of London, to intreat for the same, who coming before him alleadged the best reasons they could to accomplish it; which reasons he so pithily answered and confuted out of Scripture, that they were forced to confess his Replication to be true. Then they set on him another way, alleadging Civill and Politick reasons, her neerness unto him in blood, the dangers the denial thereof might bring to the Realm, the breach of Amity on the Emperours part, the troubles and re­bellions the deniall thereof might renew at home; to which he replyed, that all those reasons should never move him to yeeld to that he knew unlawfull, and that he was ready to part with [Page 157] Goods, and Kingdome, and life, and whatsoever he had, rather then to yeild to that which he knew certainly to be against the Truth: When all this would not move him, but they set on him a fresh, and would have no deniall, he burst into sobs and teares, and desired to desist from further molesting him in that matter; which made the Arch-Bishop, when they were gone, to say to the other Bishop, that the King had more Religion in his little Finger, then they had in their whole Bodies. If this re­solution was seated in the hearts of all, to whom the Lord hath committed the Sword of Justice, then should we not have so many Jethroes, that dare not strike when God bids them, so ma­ny Ananiasses, that give command to smite when God forbids them; then should not the person of the mighty be so much honoured, nor Kindred so much respected, nor friends and fol­lowers so much favoured; nor should the Dorick Pipe seem so sweet Musick in many of our Courts, nor should the Lawes cry out that they are sometime smothered in their Beds, like the Harlots Childe, and sometime stretched like a Traytor on the Rack: nor should truth renew her old Complaint out of Ter­tullian, that she wanders up and down like a stranger in the World, and cannot finde Entertainment with some that professe it: nor should Justice exclaim, that she is sometimes shouldered out of her Predicament of Quality, and inforced to take a room in Relation, to become a meer respective thing, which hath no entity of it selfe, without relation to some other thing.

I have perswaded my selfe far better things of you (R. J.) who as you have a long time already given sufficient demonstra­tion of your learning and abilities, for those high places where­in God hath set you; so have you also of your care and zeale, for executing of righteous Judgment. Now as Plutarch writes of Rue and Garlick▪ that being planted beside Roses, they make them smell the sweeter; So the corruption of evill Magistrates, set by the vertues of the good, make them more pleasant in the nostrils of all good men. I doubt not but you may say with Sa­muel, whose Oxe have we taken, or to whom have we willingly done wrong, or at whose hand have we received any Bribe, to blinde our Eies therewith?

Onely for conclusion, because you are men, and therefore [Page 158] cannot challenge unto your selves any immunity or priviledge from falling, let me beseech you, that the Doctrines already proposed and proved, may serve as Rules to keep you in an even course; let the feare of God be upon you, take heed and do it. To this purpose, first remember, that God hath set you in his own room, and stiled you with his own name: its the chiefe study of a Poet, that every speech, and action, and gesture, be sutable to the person he brings upon the Stage.

Si [...] Medea ferox, invictaque, flebilis Ino,
Perfidiu [...]xion, Io [...]vaga, tristis Or [...]stes.

You are upon the Stage, and you act Gods part, with whom there is no iniquity, nor respect of persons, nor receiving of reward, 2 Chron. 19. 2. think that God is present with you. God standeth in the Congregation of Gods, he is a Judge among Gods; he notes your Actions, he heares your words, he pries into your hearts, and spels every syllable of your conceits: the Almighty cannot be more fully expressed to the eye then by that old Hieroglyphick of an eye upon the top of a Staff, an eye upon the top of a Staff looks every way, a Staff is not onely a prop to support him that leanes upon it, but it is a weapon both of defence and offence: God is an Eye, do what yee will, he sees you; he is a sure staff, if yee lean unto him, he will support you; if yee do well he will defend you, if amisse he will beat you. Wherefore now let the feare of God be upon you, take heed what yee doe, for yee execute not the judgments of man but of the Lord; let not reward blind you, nor friends sway you, nor intreaty move you, nor might terrifie you, nor one thing nor other draw you aside from that which is right; honour the mighty, pitty the poore, respect friends and favourites, love kindred, but still, Salva pietate & justitia preferr truth and a good conscience before them all: These God and the King, and the Laws, and the Countrey, and all good men, expect at your hands; and if yee doe them, the evill shall dread you, the good shall pray for you, the Heavens shall applaud you, the Angels shall rejoyce at you, God shall blesse you with his best bles­sings [Page 159] and yee shall not need to be ashamed, when you shall speak with your enemies in the Gate.

For the better effecting of that which hath been spoken con­cerning righteous judgment, some things are required of others who come hither to act their parts in such businesses as are to be handled at these Assizes: Judges, though they be styled Gods, yet are they not omniscient, but must heare many things with other mens eares, and see with other mens eyes; and as the Philosopher saith, that Quicquid est in intellectu, prius fuit in sensu: so whatsoever comes to the Judge to be determined ac­cording to Law, must first passe through the hands of witnesses and Jurors, and Pleaders, and others; these are to the Judge as the externall senses, and memory, and phantasie, are to the un­derstanding, now if these faile in performing their severall du­ties, the best Judge may err in Judgement, as doth the under­standing in apprehending of objects, when the senses being ill affected, doe not rightly informe. It is in matters of Judicature as in a Clock, if all the Wheels and Wyers be in tune below, the fault is in the Hammer or Bell, if it keep not time above; but the Bell may misse the hour, and no fault in it, but in some Wheele or Pinn or Wyer, that is out of order; so if any infe­riour parts of this Engine be out of course; if the witnesse come hither to sell or lend his freind a false oath, in hope of a like courtesie from him at another time: if the Jury agree upon a Verdict contrary to the evidence, or if the Lawyer respect his Clyent more then the truth,A Gellius. lib. 7. cap. 3. and study rather to shew himselfe Dicendi peritum, then Virum bonum, as if he were one of Pro­tagoras his Schollers, whose profession (as Gellius tells us) was to teach Quanam verborum industria causa infirmior fieret fortior, how to make the worse Cause seem the better: How can the Judge, who (unlesse the contrary be privately knowne unto him) is to proceed, Secundum allegata & probata, but faile in executing of Judgment and righteousnesse?

To these I should now have directed my speech, but being prevented by the time, I onely begg at Gods hands, that hee would work in the heart of every man who is to be imployed in any of these businesses, an holy desire and conscionable endea­vour to discharge his duty. Lord thou hast commanded that [Page 160] Judgment and Righteousnesse be executed: Da quod jubes, & jube quod vis: thou O God of truth, let no man open his mouth against the truth; let Witnesses sweare truth, and Jurors ver­dict truth, and Pleaders lay open the truth, and Judges give sentence and judgment according to truth; that equity and truth may meet together, that righteousnesse and peace may kisse and imbrace each other, even for Jesus Christ his sake, who is the way and the life, and the truth; to whom with thee and the holy Spirit, &c.


Page 1. l. 6. for have r. leave. p. 6. l. 7. for speciosus r. speciosae. p. 133. l. 19, 20. for Amus r. Ancus.


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