SERMONS PREACH'D AT ETON, BY JOHN HALES, Late Fellow of that Colledge. Not till now Published.

LONDON, Printed by J. G. for Richard Marriot, and are to be sold at his shop in St. Dunstan's Church-yard, Fleetstreet, 1660

The Texts of the Sermons.

GALAT. 6.7.

Be not deceived, God is not mocked; For whatsoever a man sow­eth, that shall he also reap.

LUKE 16.25.

Son, Remember, that thou in thy Life-time receivedst thy good things.

1 COR. 6.13.

Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats; but God shall destroy both it and them.

MAT. 23.38.

Behold, your House is left unto you desolate.

Page 7. l. 40. for much (ever) read severer. p. 13. l. 32. read 318. Bishops.


GALAT. 6.7.

C Be not deceived, God is not mocked; For whatso­ever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

WHEN Abraham made that entertainment (Gen. 18.) to certain men who came unto him, the Text tels us at first that they were three; And behold, three men stood by him. Anon, in the next Chapter they are said to be but D two; And there came two Angels to So­dom at even. But when Lot was now preparing to fly away, they seem to be but one: For so Lot bespeaks them as one; O not so my Lord, be­hold now thy servant, &c. and the answer is but as of one; See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing. Like unto this Trinity and Unity are these words of holy Scripture which I have now read in your hearing; for, if you please, these words, without any wrong unto them, will naturally fall either into three several parts, eve­ry one of them containing in it a great lesson for our instruction; E or into two; or, if you will, they will altogether point you but one sense. Will you see how they are three? The first is in the first words, Be not deceived: this stirs up our watchfulness, and incites us to a perfect survey of our wayes, that so sophistry and deceit creep not in upon us at unawares to abuse us. The second is in the next words, God is not mocked: this on the contrary abates [Page 2] in us some conceit which might arise; as if that craft and subtilty A could go beyond God, and so put some device, some trick upon him. For there have not been wanting some wicked miscreants, who have gone about to try if they could play some such feat with God. The wife of Jeroboam disguiseth her self, and comes to Ahiah the Prophet; but all in vain, for the Prophet straightway discovers her; Come in, saith he, thou wife of Jeroboam, why feignest thou thy self to be another woman? We all know that they were devils, and not gods which the Gentiles worshipt; yet so jealous hath God been in this behalf, that he would not suffer such an abuse, though put upon the Devil himself, to escape unpu­nished.B To this purpose we have in our Books a notable exam­ple of a wicked Thracian, who coming to the Oracle, and enqui­ring whether he should find his Horse, yea or no; he received an­swer he should: at which breaking out into scorn and laughter, Lo, saith he, what a god you worship; I never had horse to lose, how then shall I find him? But see what followed; falling after­wards into the hands of Attalus King of Pergamus, whom he had grievously offended, the King brings him to the top of an high Cliffe, which was called by the name of [...], the Horse, and C thence he cast him off and split him to pieces; and there he found his horse he enquired for. There is your second lesson. The third is in the last words, What a man sowes that shall he reap; and in this we learn, That let the pretences of our actions be never so fair, yet God, first or last, will pull off their disguise and mask, and shew them to the world for such as indeed they are. We read of one Phryne, a beautiful Harlot, that feasting one day amongst her Companions, in the end they fell upon a sport, wherein it was agreed, whatsoever one did all the rest must follow and do the same. It being now come to Phrynes lot to command, she calls for water and washes her face; which when all the rest had done,D they all appeared wrinkled, ugly and deformed, (for they were but painted) but she her self seemed much the fairer. Beloved, Ludit in humanis divina potentia rebus. It is a sport, and as it were a kind of recreation to God to discover false play, to wash off the colour and paint from disguised actions, and openly expose them to the laughter and scorne of Men and Angels. Deus & vocatus & non vocatus aderit; so the Oracle told the Grecians before the Peloponesian War. There is no action whatsoever, but God, whether he be looked for yea or no, will be at one end of it; and E such as it is, he will return it upon the head of him that did it. Thus have you these words as they contain three lessons. Would you see in the second place how they are but two? Put the two first clauses together, and they will yield you this one lesson, That it is but an error to think that God is a party capable of mockage & illusion; no art, no finenes can circumvent or abuse him. [Page 3] A And so shall that which erewhile was your third and last lesson, be your second, and all be two. Would you see how all these are in­deed but one? Look then upon the last words, and what is lodged up in them; for that is it which the Holy Ghost points out unto you; and whatsoever you find besides that, it comes along with this onely by way of service and complement, to usher it in. Yet with your leave, I will entertain these parcels of Scripture as A­braham did his guests, and take them for three; neither will I use any curious division, but I will take them up as they lie, and now B begin with the first, Be not deceived.

[...]. How you render these words, either thus, Be not deceived; or thus, Deceive not your selves, it is not a point greatly material. To deceive our selves, or suffer another to de­ceive us, arrive both at one point. Seldom or never was any man deceived by another, who did not first deceive himself. Your own every dayes experience you have one with another gives evidence to the truth of this; for when we speak with any man whom we find to have been abused or over-reached, we evermore blame him, either for some negligence, or some forgetfulness, or C some indiscretion and over-sight; which we would never do, if we did not take it for a ruled case, that every mans own error is the onely way that lets in another to abuse him. When Mephi­bosheth, Jonathans lame son, came to David to excuse himself for not attending him in his flight, My servant deceived me, saith he, and thy servant is lame. Indeed if we were either lame or imper­fect, had we some invincible impediment, against which it avai­led not to strive, this might be some Apology for us when we are deceived: but it fares with us no other wayes than it did with Sampson when his wife betrayed him; Had you not ploughed with D my heifer, saith he, you had never found my riddle. He that finds himself betrayed, if he well examine himself, he shall find he hath an Heifer, something or other that is near and dear unto him, which not carefully watched doth him many times ill offices. He therefore that is deceived let him lay the blame no where but on himself; for in doing otherwise, we do but as little children do, who beat the ground when they themselves are fallen. A­gain, this [...], Be not deceived, seems to be a Precept of great weight; yea, so great, as it may be doubted whether it be E fit to be given to men. He that will be sure to be deceived in no­thing, had need be omniscienr, and know all things; which is a property of God alone: for, as for men, first, it is most true which Columella observes, Quicunque sunt habiti mortalium saepi­entissimi, multa scisse dicuntur, non omnia; the wisest of men that ever lived were never taken to know all things, but many things. And secondly, such things as they do know they know [Page 4] but imperfectly, and in part. Now either of these is enough to A overthrow all possibility of this precept, of not being deceived; for it cannot be but we should be deceived in what we know not. That it was a great Precept the Apostle knew well, and as it seems to be, purposed that we should know it too. For, for this end, I may well think, hath he in this place almost parallell'd God and Man; or, as the Psalmist speaks in the 8. Psal. He hath made him little lesse then God. For that [...], that mockery, which here he denies can befall God, is nothing else but that deceit which here he teaches ought not to befall us. He might have changed the words without any wrong to the sense, and placed them thus; B Be not you mocked, for God is not deceived. For whatsoever deceives a man, that may properly be said to mock and abuse him. So that one and the same thing is here averred both of God and of us; onely there is this difference, in God it is a necessity, he can­not be mockt, he cannot be deceived; in Man it is a duty, he ought not to be mockt, he ought not to be deceived. No exception therefore is it to the precept, that it seems to be proper to God. When Rachel, repining that she bare no child, came in a whining and discontented humour to Jacob, saying, Give me children, else I die; He answered, Am I like God, who hath withheld from thee the C fruit of the womb? and with this answer he both reproved her, and excused himself. But, beloved, if any man should reply upon our blessed Apostle, and tell him, Am I like God, that I should look not to be deceived? this cannot excuse him; For behold, as if he had purposely meant to have taken this objection away, the Apostle joyns together both God and us, and tells us, as God cannot, so we must not be deceived.

Now that we may the better see what is lockt up in this Pre­cept,D we will consider first who they are to whom this precept of Christian infallibility is given, together with the means how we may attain it; for I will blend and mix them both together. And secondly, what things they are in which a Christian man may safely suppose (or rather know) himself to be infallible. For though the Apostle gives this precept of not being deceived, onely with relation to that one lesson which here he teaches, yet pertains it to as many more as every Christian is bound to learn; for the assurance that we have of our Christian doctrine, and every point of it, consists not in opinion, is not founded upon probabili­ties,E like to the winds, subject to mutability and change; it must be a most certain, most infallible acknowledgment, which nothing in heaven, earth and hell can any way infringe. First therefore of the persons unto whom this precept of infallibility is given, to­gether with the way by which they may attain unto it.

[Page 5] A Infallibility hath been for a long time past the subject of great dispute and quarrel in the Church; for since there was no other likelyhood, but as amongst other men, so amongst Christians, doubts, debates, dissentions would arise, men alwayes have thought it a thing very equitable, that, by the providence of God, there should in some part of the Church, or in some person, reside a power of clearing such doubts, and setling such scruples as many times possess the minds of most Christians. Now to appoint such a judge, and not to give him infallibility in his decision, but to B permit him to wander and mistake in his sentence, this peradven­ture were not to mend, but onely to change and supplant one er­ror by bringing in another. An infallibility therefore there must be; but men have marvellously wearied themselves in seeking to find out where it is. Some have sought it in General Councils, and have conceived that if it be not there to be found, it is for certainty fled out of the world. Some have tied it to the Church of Rome, and to the Bishop of that See. Every man finds it, or thinks he finds it, accordingly as that faction, or part of the Church upon which he is fallen, doth direct him. Thus, like the C men of Sodom before Lots door, men have wearied themselves, and have gone far and near to find out that which is hard at hand. We see many times a kind of ridiculous and joculary forgetfulness of many men, seeking for that which they have in their hands; so fares it here with men who seek for infallibility in others, which either is, or ought to be, in themselves: As Saul sought his fathers asses whilst they were now at home; or as Oedipus, in the Tragedie, sent to the Oracle to enquire the cause of the plague in Thebes, whereas himself was the man. For, Beloved▪ infallibility is not a favour impropriated to any one man, it is a D duty alike expected at the hands of all; all must have it. St. Paul, when he gives this precept, directs it not to Councils, to Bishops, to Teachers and Preachers, but to all of the Galatian Churches, and in them to all of all the Churches in the world. Unto you therfore and to every one, of what sex, of what rank or degree, and place soever, from him that studies in his Library to him that swears at the Plough-tayl, belongs this precept of S. Paul, Be not deceived.

Which command that you may the better conceive and drink in, let us see what it is that a man must do who resolves to obey E the Apostle, and not to be deceived: It is not much; I comprise it all in two words, What and Wherefore. First, you must know what it is that is commanded you: secondly, wherefore, that is, upon what authority, upon what reason. It is reported of Aristotle, that being sick, when his Physician came to administer to him, he as­ked him a reason of his action, and told him, that he would be cured like a man, and not like a beast. Deceit and error are the [Page 6] diseases of the mind; he that strives to cure it upon bare com­mand,A brings you indeed a Potion, or rather a Drench, which, for ought you know, may as well set on and increase as remove the error: but when he opens his authorities, when he makes you to conceive his grounds and reasons, then and not before he cures your error. They that come and tell you what you are to believe, what you are to do, and tell you not why, they are not Medici, but Veterinarii, they are not Physicians, but Leaches: and if you so take things at their hands, you do not like men, but like beasts. I know this is something an hard Doctrine for the many to hear, neither is it usually taught by the common Teachers; B [...], one part you will be con­tent to yield unto, namely to take at our hands what it is you are to believe or do; but the other part you stifly refuse: To know the grounds and reasons of what you do, or of what you believe, this you remit to us; non vestrum onus, bos clitellas? to require this at your hands, were as improper as if we should clap the saddle on the back of the oxe. And for this you have your reasons too, as you think; you are men whose time is taken up in your Trades and Callings, you are unlearned, unread, of weak and C shallow understandings; it is therefore for you not onely modesty, but even necessity, to submit your selves to better judgement; and for enquiry into the reasons and causes of commands, this, as a little too speculative, you are content should lye upon your Teachers: Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas; They are men born underhappier Stars then ordinary who attain to the disco­very of Reasons and Causes of things. Beloved, all this I know, yet I must still go on, and require the performance of the Apo­stles precept, be not deceived; which is a point of perfection which you shall never arrive at, except you forgoe these pretences. Saint D Hierom tells us, that it was a precept of Pythagoras, Oneratis su­perponendum opus, deponentibus non communicandum; Where you find a man laden, there to increase his burthen, and never to go about to ease him which would lay his burthen down: which he he interprets, ad virtutem incedentibus augmentanda praecepta, tra­dentes se otio relinquendos; The meaning, saith he, of that precept was, To men that go on in virtue and industry you must still give, and add new precepts, new commands; but idle persons must be forsaken. Beloved, it falls me by lot this day to act Pythagoras his part; The burthen of this precept laid upon you by the bles­sed E Apostle I told you consisted of two parts, What, and Why: That part of your burthen which contains What, I see you will willingly take up; but that other which comprehends Why, that is either too hot or too heavy, you dare not meddle with it; But I must add that also to your burthen, or else I must leave you for idle persons: For without the knowledge of Why, of the true [Page 7] A grounds or reasons of things, there is no possibility of not being deceived. Your Teachers and Instructors, whom you follow, they may be wise and learned, yet may they be deceived: But sup­pose they be not deceived, yet if you know not so much, you are not yet excused. Something there is which makes those men not to be deceived; if you will be sure not to be deceived, then know you that as well as they. Is it divine authority that pre­serves them from being deceived? you must know that as well as they: Is it strength of reason? you must know it as well as they. For still in following your Teachers you may be deceived (for B ought you know) till you know they are not deceived; which you can never know, untill you know the grounds and reasons upon which they stand: for there is no other means not to be de­ceived, but to know things your selves.

I will put on this Doctrine further, and convince you by your own reason. It is a question made by John Gerson, sometimes Chancellor of Paris, Quorsum mihi mea conscientia, si mihi secun­dum alienam conscientiam vivendum est & moriendum? Where­fore hath God given me the light of reason and conscience, if I C must suffer my self to be led and governed by the reason and conscience of another man? Will any of you befriend me so far as to assoile this question? For I must confesse I cannot. It was the speech of a good husbandman, Non satis est agrum possidere velle, si colere non possis; It is but a folly to possesse a piece of ground, except you till it. And how then can it stand with rea­son, that a man should be possessor of so godly a piece of the Lords pasture, as is this light of understanding and reason, which he hath endued us with in the day of our creation, if he suffer it to lie untill'd, or sow not in it the Lords seed? Needs must our D reason, if it be suffered thus to lie fallow, like the Vineyard of the sluggard in the Poverbs, quickly [...], and be over-run with bryers and thornes. Think we that the neglect of these our fa­culties shall escape unpunished with God? Saint Basil tells us, that the man that is utterly devoid of all education, and hath nothing but his reason to be guided by, [...]: yet e­ven such an one, if he doth offend, shall not escape unpunished, because he hath not used those common notions ingrafted by God in his heart, to that end for which they were given. How E much ever then shall that mans punishment be, who in this great means of education, amids so many, so plain, so easie waies of cultivation of our reasonable faculties, yet neglects all, and lets them lye fallow, and is content another should have his wits in keeping?

[Page 8]It were a thing worth looking into, to know the reason A why men are so generally willing, in point of Religion, to cast themselves into other mens armes, and leaving their own reason, relie so much upon another mans. Is it because it is mo­desty and humility to think another mans reason better then our own? Indeed I know not how it comes to pass, we account it a vice, a part of envy, to think another mans goods, or another mans fortunes to be better then our own; vicinum pecus gran­dius uber habet: and yet we account it a singular virtue to esteem our reason and wit meaner then other mens. Let us not mistake B our selves; to contemn the advice and help of others, in love and admiration to our own conceipts, to depress and disgrace other mens, this is the foul vice of pride: on the contrary, thankful­ly to entertain the advice of others, to give it its due, and inge­nuously to prefer it before our own, if it deserve it, this is that gracious virtue of modesty: but altogether to mistrust and relin­quish our own faculties, and commend our selves to others, this is de ingenio suo pessimè mereri, nothing but poverty of spirit and indiscretion. I wil not forbear to open unto you what I conceive to be the causes of this so generall an error amongst men. First,C peradventure the dreggs of the Church of Rome are not yet suf­ficiently washt from the hearts of many men. We know it is the principall stay and supporter of that Church, to suffer nothing to be inquired into which is once concluded by them. Look through Spain and Italy, jumenta sunt, non homines, they are not men, but beasts, and Issachar-like patiently couch down under every burthen their superiors lay upon them. Secondly, a fault or two may be in our own Ministery; Thus to advise men (as I have done) to search into the reasons and grounds of Religion, opens a way to dispute and quarrell, and this might breed us some D trouble and disquiet in our Cures more then we are willing to undergo; therefore to purchase our own quiet, and to banish all con­tention, we are content to nourish this still humour in our hearers; as the Sibarites, to procure their ease, banisht the Smiths, be­cause their Trade was full of noise. In the mean time we do not see that peace which ariseth out of ignorance is but a kind of sloth, or morall lethargie, seeming quiet because it hath no power to move. Again, may be the portion of knowledge in the Minister himself is not over-great; it may be therefore good po­licy for him to suppresse all busie enquiry in his auditory, that E so increase of knowledge in them might not at length discover some ignorance in him. Last of all, the fault may be in the peo­ple themselves, who because they are loth to take pains (and search into the grounds of knowledge is evermore painfull,) are well content to take their ease, to gild their vice with goodly names, and call their sloth modesty, and their neglect of enqui­ry, [Page 9] A filiall obedience. These reasons, Beloved, or some of kin to these, may be the motives unto this easiness of the people, of entertaining their Religion upon trust, and of the neglect of in­quiry into the grounds of it.

To return therefore, and proceed in the refutation of this grosse neglect in men of their own reason, and casting themselves upon others wits; Hath God given you eyes to see, and legs to support you, that so your selves might [...]ly still, or sleep, and require the use of other mens eyes and legs? That faculty of B reason which is in every one of you, even in the meanest that heares me this day, next to the help of God, is your eyes to di­rect you, and your legs to support you in your course of integri­ty and sanctity; you may no more refuse or neglect the use of it, and rest your selves upon the use of other mens reason, then neglect your own, and call for the use of other mens eyes and legs. The man in the Gospel who had bought a Farm, excuses himself from going to the Marriage-supper, because himself would go and see it: But we have taken an easier course; we can buy our Farm, and go to supper too, and that only by saving our paines C to see it; we profess our selves to have made a great purchase of Heavenly Doctrine, yet we refuse to see it, and survey it our selves, but trust other mens eyes, and our surveyors: and wot you to what end? I know not, except it be, that so we may with the better leisure go to the Marriage-supper; that, with Haman, we may the more merrily go in to the banquet provided for us; that so we may the more freely betake our selves to our plea­sures, to our profits, to our trades, to our preferments, and Am­bition▪ Never was there any business of weight so usually dis­charged by Proxy and Deputy, as this sacred business hath been D from time to time. Sl [...]idan the Historian observes, that it was grown a custom in his time for great persons to provide them Chanteries and Chaplains, to celebrate their Obits, and to of­fer for their souls health even in their life-times, whilest they themselves intended other matters; and thus they discharged the cure of their own souls by deputy. Not onely in Germany, where Sleidan lived, but even in England, amongst us, that custom had taken footing, and was sometimes practised,R. Lu [...]. even in this place, by one sometimes of this Body. Margaret of E Valois, not long since Queen of France, built her a Chappel, provided her Chaplains, and large endowment for them, that so perpetually day and night, every hour successively, without in­termission, by some one or other, there might intercession be made to God for her unto the worlds end; a thing which her self had little care or thought of in her life-time, as having other bu­siness to think on. So confident are we of the eternall good of [Page 10] our soules, upon the Knowledge, Devotion and Industry of A others, and so loth to take any paines our selves in that behalf, and that in a businesse which doth so nearly concern us.

Would you see how ridiculously we abuse our selves when we thus neglect our own knowledge, and securely hazard our selves upon others skill? Give me leave then to shew you a per­fect pattern of it, and to report to you what I find in Seneca the Philosopher recorded of a Gentleman in Rome, who being purely ignorant, yet greatly desirous to seem learned, procured himself many servants, of which some he caused to study the B Poets, some the Orators, some the Historians, some the Philo­sophers, and in a strange kind of fancy, all their learning he ve­rily thought to be his own, and perswaded himself that he knew all that his servants understood; yea he grew to that height of madness in this kind, that being weak of body, and diseased in his feet, he provided himself of wrestlers and runners, and pro­claim'd games and races, and performed them by his servants; still applauding himself, as if himself had done them. Beloved, you are this man: when you neglect to try the spirits, to study the meanes of salvation your selves, but content your selves to C take them up on trust, and repose your selves altogether on the wit and knowledge of us that are your Teachers, what is this in a manner but to account with your selves that our know­ledge is yours, that you know all that we know, who are but your servants in Jesus Christ? We have a common saying, [...], Many Scholars prove far better then their Masters. Would you bear a part in this saying, and prove better then we that are your Teachers? then make our know­ledge yours, not as the Roman Gentleman did, by imputation,D or by believing well of it, but by throughly perceiving and un­derstanding it, and discovering the uttermost grounds on which it subsists. There is no way but this, and this David found by his own experience; I am wiser then my Teachers, saith he in his 119. Psalm; Why? because he believed them? this could ne­ver have made him so wise, much less wiser: why then? for thy Testimonies, saith he, are my studies. Therefore is he wiser then his Teachers, because that knowing all that they could teach him, he staid not there, but by his own search and study he arrives at a degree of knowledge beyond his Masters. St. Basil, in his Sermons upon some of the Psalmes, taxes a sort of men,E who thought it a sin to know more of God then the Tradition of their fathers would give them leave; [...], &c. and would not advance and improve the knowledge of the truth by any faculty or industry of their own. Beloved, there is not a more immediate way to fall into this reproof of St. Basil, [Page 11] A and to hinder all advancement and growth of Christian know­ledge amongst the common sort of men, then this easie and slothfull resolution, to rest themselves on others wits.

Saint Hierome, in the preface to his Comments on the Epistle to the Galatians, much commends Marcella, a Gentlewoman of Rome, for this, that in her pursuit of Christian knowledge, she would receive nothing from him more Pythagorico, upon trust, and upon his bare word and authority, but would so throughly sift and try all things of her self, ut sentirem me (saith he,) non tam B discipulam habere quàm judicem, that she seemed not so much to be my scholar and hearer as my judge. Beloved, what hinders, but we should all, all of all sexes, ages, callings, be like to this Roman Matron, and be not onely hearers, but judges too? Nec protinus quicquid respondetur rectum putare, neither to adore all things for Gospel which our betters tell us, but to bring all things to the true test; to know the reasons, try the authorities, and never rest our selves, till we can take up that conclusion of the Psalmist, As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of our C God.

Now to remove you yet a little farther from this fancy of cast­ing your self into the arms of others, and to conciliate you the more to God and your Reason, I will open one thing farther unto you, which is this, That you put off the care of your Faith and Religion from your selves on other men sundry waies, when you think you do nothing less; For when we plead for the truth of our profession, and appeal either to our education or breeding, thus we have been brought up, thus we have been taught; or to D Antiquity, thus have our Ancients delivered unto us; or to Uni­versality, this hath been the Doctrine generally received; or to Synods, Councels, and consent of Churches, this is the Do­ctrine established by Ecclesiasticall Authority: all these are no­thing else but deceitfull formes of shifting the account and reason of our Faith and Religion from our selves, and casting it upon the back of others. I will shew it you by the particular exami­nation of every one of these; which I will the willinger do, be­cause I see these are the common hackney reasons which most men use in flattering themselves in their mistakes; for all this is E nothing else but mans Authority thrust upon us under divers shapes. For, first of all, education and breeding is nothing else but the authority of our Teachers taken over our childhood. Now there is nothing which ought to be of lesse force with us, or which we ought more to suspect: For childhood hath one thing naturall to it, which is a great enemy to Truth, and a great furtherer of deceit; what is that? Credulity. Nothing is more [Page 12] credulous then a child: and our daily experience shewes how A strangely they will believe either their Ancients, or one another, in most incredible reports. For, to be able to judge what persons, what reports are credible, is a point of strength, of which that age is not capable; [...], saith E­picharmus; The chiefest sinews and strength of wisdom is not easily to believe. Have we not then great cause to call to bet­ter account, and examine by better reason, whatsoever we learnt in so credu [...]ous and easie an age, so apt, like the softest wax, to receive every impression? Yet notwithstanding this singular weak­nesse, and this large and reall exception which we have against e­ducation,B I verily perswade my self, that if the best and strongest ground of most mens Religion were open'd, it would appear to be nothing else.

Secondly, Antiquity, what is it else (God onely excepted) but mans Authority born some ages afore us? Now for the Truth of things, time makes no alteration; things are still the same they are, let the time be past, present, or to come. Those things which we reverence for Antiquity, what were they C at their first birth? were they false? time cannot make them true; were they true? time cannot make them more true. The circumstance therefore of time, in respect of Truth and Error, is meerly impertinent. Yet thus much must I say for Antiquity, that amongst all these amphoterizing and halting proofes, if Truth have any advantage against error and deceit, it is here. For there is an Antiquity which is proper to Truth, and in which Er­ror can claim no part; but then it must be antiquitas antiquissima, most ancient. This cannot be but true, for it is God, and God is Truth. All other parts of Antiquity deceit and falshood will lay claim D to as well as Truth. Most certain it is, Truth is more ancient then error; for error is nothing else but deviation and swerving from the Truth. Were not Truth therefore first there could be no error, since there could be no swerving from that which is not. When therefore Antiquity is pleaded for the proof of any conclusion commended to you for true, be you carefull to know whether it be antiquissi­ma, whether it be most ancient, yea or no: If it be so, then is it an invincible proof, and pleads for nothing but the Truth; if otherwise, though it be as ancient, I say not as Inachus, but as Satan himself, yet it is no proof of Truth.E

Thirdly, Universality is such a proof of Truth as Truth it self is ashamed of; for universality is nothing but a quainter and a trim­mer name to signifie the multitude. Now humane Authority at the strongest is but weak, but the multitude is the weakest part of humane Authority; It is the great Patron of error, most easily [Page 13] A abused, and most hardly dis-abused. The beginning of error may be, and mostly is, from private persons, but the maintainer and continuer of error is the multitude. Ubi singulorum error fe­cerit publicum, singulorum errorem facit publicus: It is a thing which our common experience and practice acquaints us with, that when some private persons have gain'd Authority with the multitude, and infused some error into them, and made it publick, the publickness of the error gaines Authority to it,Private per­sons first be­get errors in the multitude, and make them publick, and publick­ness of them begets them again in pri­vate persons▪ and enterchangeably prevailes with private persons to enter­tain it. The most singular and strongest part of humane Au­thority B is properly in the wisest and most virtuous; and these I trow are not the most universall. If Truth and goodness go by universality and multitude, what mean then the Prophets and holy men of God every where in Scripture so frequently, so bitterly, to complain of the small number of good men, care­full of God and Truth? Neither is the complaint proper to Scripture, it is the common complaint of all that have left any Records of Antiquity behind them. Could wishing do any good, I could wish well to this kind of proof; Sed nun­quam it a bene crit rebus humanis, ut plures sint meliores, It will C never go so well with mankind that the most shall be the best: The best that I can say of argument and reason drawn from uni­versality and multitude, is this, such reason may perchance well serve to excuse an error, but it can never serve to warrant a Truth.

Fourthly, Councels and Synods, and consent of Churches, these indeed may seem of some force, they are taken to be the strongest weapons which the Church had fought with; yet this is still humane Authority after another fashion: let me D add one thing, that the Truth hath not been more relieved by these, then it hath been distressed. At the Councel at Nice met 38 Bishops to defend the Divinity of the Sonne of God: But at Ariminum met well near 600 Bishops to deny it. I ask then, what gain'd the Truth here by a Synod? Cer­tainly in the eye of reason it more endanger'd it; for it dis­covered the advantage that error had among the multitude above the Truth; by which reason Truth might have been greatly hazarded. I have read, that the Nobility of Rome, upon some E fancy or other, thought fit, that all servants should wear a kind of garment proper to them, that so it might be known who were servants, who were free-men: But they were quickly wea­ry of this conceit; for perceiving in what multitudes servants were in most places, they feared that the singularity of their gar­ment might be an item to them to take notice of their multi­tude, and to know their own strength, and so at length take ad­vantage [Page 14] of it against their Masters. This device of calling Coun­cels A was but like that fancy of the Roman Gentleman; for many times it might well have proved a great means to have en­dangered the Truth, by making the enemies thereof to see their own strength, and work upon that advantage; for it is a speedy way to make them to see that, which for the most part is very true, that there are more which run against the Truth than with it.


C LUKE 16. v. 25.

Son, remember, that thou in thy Life-time re­ceivedst thy good things.

[...]. That man of Misery, whose wofull end occasioned this discourse in St. Luke, whence I have chosen out these few words as my subject to treat of at this time, much desires that one D from the dead might be sent unto his brethren, to give them warning that they come not into that place of Tor­ment in which himself was. May not I at this time justly seem to be that messenger? For methinks I come into the Pulpit, as young Polydor in the Tragedy enters the Stage, and may speak unto you as he did unto his Auditors in another language, I come from the pit of the dead, from the Gates of utter darknesse, where the Devil hath his mansion far removed from God. First, the sadness of the message with which I come might easily tempt you to think so, as being very unwelcome to the eares of flesh and E bloud; for, ubi mors non est, where shall we find rest▪ in what shall we joy, if the good things of our life deceive us? Certainly so disconsolate a piece of newes could never come, but from some place of extreme sadness. Secondly, the unfitness of the time might help on well to this conceit: There is [...], saith A­braham in this Scripture, there is a great gulfe betwixt you and us. Beloved, the difference betwixt those two places here mentio­ned [Page 16] is not much greater then is the distance betwixt my Text and A this time; for the time invites you to that from which my Text affrights you: Eating, Drinking, Merry-making, totum choragium Epicureum, all the rest of this rich mans daily service, these are the subject of the time; but my Text pulls you by the ear, and bids you beware, lest even these good things (for so men commonly call them,) may be amongst those things, which, when time comes, may draw after them this recordare, Remember, you may be told Remember you had your Shrovetide; for what else, I beseech you, was the whole life of this miserable man here but in a manner a perpetuall shroving?B

But neither the sowreness of the message, nor any pretended unseasonableness of the times, must hinder us from communica­ting unto you what the Spirit of God shall put into our hearts. Let it be unwelcome, what then? [...]; Sick persons must not look for smoo­thing and much-making, but for that which fits their malady. And if you plead intempestivity and unseasonableness, for this the Apostles rule must be my warrant, in season, out of season. Indeed Solomon tells us that there is a season, a fitting time for all C things; and our morall Books tell us of a vice which they call [...], Intempestivity, an indiscretion by which unwise and un­experienced men see not what befits times, persons, occasions. But, Beloved, the Ministers of Gods word, who break to you the bread of life, are secure in this regard; they can never be in danger of any [...], Intempestivity, indiscretion, so the lesson they teach be true. We need not to stand removing and fitting our sailes, all winds blow for us; for every good season is at all times, with all persons, upon all occasions, upon no occasion, pro­fitable. Are you ignorant of your duty? it serves to inform D you; do you already know your duty? it serves to commemo­rate, and to make you record it; are you peccant? it serves to reprove you; are you innocent? it serves to admonish you, and teaches you prevention▪ [...], Jupiters dice, we say, alwaies run fortunately. The word of God, where­soever, whensoever, by whomsoever sown, never returnes back fruitless unto him that sent it. St. Bernard, commenting upon the Canticles, takes occasion much to bewail his Brothers death; and by reason of that digression delivers many profitable lessons concerning our common mortality. But one Berengarius, a bit­ter E enemy unto him, scoffing at him for so doing, asks him in scorn, quid funeri cum nuptiis? What hath a funerall to do with a Marriage-song? By his leave that made it, this was but a foolish question; for indeed our Christian songs are set to a musick in which there is no fear of discords. As it is said of Truth, Omne [Page 17] A verum ve [...]o consonat, All Truths agree; so in our Christian mu­sick, every note, bound it as you list, is still in tune. Let there­fore no cavilling Berengarius ask me, quid funeri cum nuptiis? what hath a sad Sermon to do with Shrove-tide? For, cùm volet Spiritus, when the Spirit will, who, as we hope, guides us in our choice, the pleasant Canticles shall yield fit matter for a Funerall-Sermon, and times of pleasure and merriment shall well enough combine with sad and melancholick discourses.

Yet one word more, to fit my Text to my Auditors; a thing B here somewhat the more difficult, because of the manner of the phrase, recordare quòd recepisti, Remember thou hast received: For memory is of things past, and recepisti is not of things in expecta­tion, but of things already received by us. But we are yet in expectation, what shall befall us we know not; as yet therefore I cannot say as our Saviour doth, this day is this Scripture fulfilled in your eares; let that time never be: for, should we stay to hear from Abraham a recordare, Remember, it would be too late then to preach unto you: yet we must find a way to apply this Scri­pture to us, even for the present; and indeed it is not hard to do C it. I have read in my Bookes of a painter, who being desired to picture an horse wallowing in the dust, painted him galloping; and being required why he did so, he answer'd, turn the picture, and it will be as you would have it. Beloved, I come this day to give you a cave, beware; not a recordare remember; to advise you that you beware how you receive your good things in your life, not to remember you that you have done so. And this will I do without any wrong to my Text, for do but turn the picture, that which seems to gallop will wallow; do but alter the time, and recordare, remember, will immediately become cave, D beware. Aristotle tells us, that expectation and memory are but the same thing; for what memory is in regard of things past, that expectation is in regard of things to come. Expectation is but memory antedated, and memory is expectation whose date is out. As it is betwixt expectation and memory, so stands the case betwixt recordare, remember and cave, beware▪ Cave is but recordare antedated; what recordare is in regard of things past, that is cave in regard of things to come. Let us then turn me­mory into wariness and prevention, and exprobration into counsel and E admonition; and forthwith you shall see, that recordare quae recepisti, remember that thou hast received, will become cave ne recipias, beware that thou receive not; and so the Text will exactly fit us. So come I to the words, Son, remember, &c. I will branch them into two parts; first, a preface, in the first word, Fili, Sonne. Secondly, the body of the words themselves, Remember thou hast received, &c. The words we will further divide, if need [Page 18] shall be, when we come to consider of them. In the mean time A we will consider of the preface, Fili, Son.

I have heard that Abraham was a great Scholar; what portion of clerkship he hath otherwise and upon other occasion exprest, I know not; sure I am that here he hath shewed us a wondrous piece of his Rhetorick: For, two things most contrary, sweetnesse and bitterness, compassion and exprobration, in two or three words so strangely coucht and mixt together I have not lightly found, Fi­li & recordare, Son, remember; two words near in site and place,B but in sense and power infinitely distant: Son, a word of bowells, mercy, sweetness; a word in which nature and custom hath summ'd up and concluded all which lies dispersed in all the names of goodness. Contrarily, Remember, a word (as here it lies) of bitterness, of sarcasme, of exprobration: For unto this miserable man here in torments what could have been more irk­som, then to be twitted with, and constrained to remember, his sometime happiness? Could he have learnt the art of oblivion, and quite forgotten that ever he was happy, his misery had yet been somewhat less. Never to have tasted happiness abates a C great part of misery; but fuisse felicem, were there no other misery, yet this were misery enough, to have been happy. It was observed of Domitian the Emperour, that when he made a preface of mercy, it was a certain note he would use the grea­test severity: Shall we conceive so of Abraham, that to his Fili he added a recordare, to his preface of mercy he under­joynes a sentence of harshness and severity, so to add misery to the enough already miserable, and increase his woe? [...], Reverence to so great a man must teach us well to weigh what we speak or what we D think. Certainly thus to suppose were much to wrong so excellent a person. If we shall a little inquire of the learned, whence it comes that Abraham useth this gracious compellation of Son unto a damned ghost; some will tell us, that he doth it by way of retaliation: The man with whom he speaks had called him Father, out of complement therefore and formality he calls him Son. But this carries a countenance of Courtship and levity. Others will say that he calls him by the name of Son, because indeed he was so, though by the flesh one­ly; which proves the weaker side. But this had been unprofitable,E neither from it could we have raised, for our use, any instruction. Others have thought that Abraham did this out of his naturall goodness, and that he therefore used this gentle compellation of Fili, Son, to one utterly cast off, and to be now for ever left under the eternall wrath of God, to teach us this lesson, That in all cases, how desperate soever, unto all persons, [Page 19] A though never so forlorn, unto the greatest delinquent, how sinfull soever, yet still we must open some window, at least some small crevis, to let our goodness shine through. St. Chrysostome was the man that told me thus, and I must confess I believed him. Me natura misericordem, Patria severum, crudelem nec Patria nec natura esse volunt, saith the great Roman Orator; Nature hath made me good, but my Country and the publick good made me to be severe, but neither nature nor my Country permit me to be cruell. Abraham here hath well expressed this, for, Fili and Recordare, Son, Remember, they are no other then natura and B Patria: Fili comes from his bowells and naturall goodness; Re­cordare is but occasion'd out of his duty to God and publick good: to teach us still to temper our necessary severity with some goodness; for, meer severity is nothing else but cruelty, which neither God nor nature requires at our hands. The master of the feast in the Gospel, when he came in to his guests, and saw one there without a wedding-garment, though he saw he was constrain'd to pronounce a sharp and severe doom, yet he useth Abrahams method, Amice, friend (saith he) how comest thou hither? Fili, Amice, Son, friend; Here is the true art of chiding, this is C the proper style wherein we ought to reprove. A fair pattern for us, Beloved, who in no case more mistake our selves then in this duty of check and reproof; qui ita objurgamus quasi oderi­mus, who are wont so to chide as if we hated, who think foul words to be but ornaments of speech, and enchase our discourse with bitter language as with pearles, and never think we reprove except we be contumelious.

Amongst the ancient Roman inscriptions which are preserved D unto posterity, I find one written upon a Roman Gentleman, where amongst other his commendations it is recorded, Nescivit quid esset maledicere, he knew not how to speak contumeliously to any man: and I have heard it reported of Philip the second, that famous King of Spain in our own memory, that he so won­derfully could contain himself, that in his whole life he never gave any man a harsh word. And indeed I have often wonder'd with my self whether there were (not any necessary use, for that I know there is not,) but any use at all of opprobrious and revi­ling language: If there be, it must be either in reproof, or in the E administration of justice; if there be a third thing, my expe­rience is too narrow to prompt me with it. But neither reproof, nor chastisement of justice require it, but are best performed without it. It cannot therefore stand either with our judgement or with our goodness to make any use of so useless, of so unwel­come a superfluity. It hath been observed of the ancient Cornish Language, that it afforded no formes of Oathes, no phrases to swear [Page 20] in. I should never think our language the poorer, if it were ut­terly A destitute of all formes and phrases of reviling and opprobri­ous speech. And what then can we conceive why any man should delight in the use of vile language? for it is so useless and so unprofitable a vice, that except a man did love a vice for its own sake, he can give no reason why he doth affect it. On the contrary, the opposite quality is, first, a most welcome virtue; for nothing more ingratiates us with men then that blessing of Nepthali, eloquia pulchritudinis, gracious language, quae nè illos quidem quos damnat offendit. Secondly, it is so cheap a virtue; Good words are afforded at the same price that evill are. Lastly,B it is a prevailing and a winning virtue, even in civil actions. I know you have heard the parable of the Northwind and the Sun; the wind with all his raging and blustring could not make the wayfaring man lay down his cloak; but when the Sun had displayed his beames, sent forth his heat, and wrought a while upon him, he makes him re­tire to the shade and unbrace himself.

Beloved, as we much desire to be the sons of Abraham the faithfull, so let us no less desire to be sons of Abraham the good:C And if we will be the sons of Abraham, then let us follow our Saviours counsel, and do the works of Abraham; let us strive on all occasions some way or other to express our goodness, and use no more severity then we must needes. Abraham could not re­lease this poor man of his pain, he could not so much as procure a mitigation of it, he found no means to provide him a drop of cold water; yet he found a way to express his goodness, and affords him a Fili. Love, you say, will creep where it cannot go; it will express it self in small matters, where greater will not per­mit. This courtesie of Abraham was the least of all; yet what D of that? The least is enough where the least is all that can be had. Though it do no service to the party for whom it is inten­ded, yet it doth him service that affords it: For, in all our actions we must consider not onely what is good for others, but what becomes us to do, though no benefit accrue to others.

The Psalmist tells us, that the mercy of God is over all his works; and I infer, therefore over his works of judgement too. And who knowes then whether or no the very damned spirits have not some tast of his goodness? Let us imitate God and Abra­ham; E and love we our goodness so well, that even the most unde­serving creature may have some experience of it. If we cannot relieve him, yet it shall be some part of goodness to give him a Fili, to give him good words; that, as Gods, so our mercy too may be over all our works. The very faults of men though they deserve correction, yet withall they deserve pity; and therefore [Page 21] A though they demand justice, yet they exclude not goodness, but even naturally call for it. Horace the Poet tells us of a pain­ter, who having a good faculty in painting a Cypresse-tree, de­lighted on all occasions to shew his skill there; insomuch that being requested to express a shipwrack, he askt if he should paint withall a Cypress-tree. Beloved, let our occasions be as dif­ferent as the Sea and a Cypresse-tree, yet, if we love our art of goodness as well as he did his art of painting the Cypress, erit locus etiam huic cupresso, there will be room enough to express it, if we shall be willing to lay hold of the occasion. So from B the preface I come to the words, Remember thou hast received thy good things, &c.

You may remember I beg'd leave of you ere while, for the better use and application I am to make of them, to change the words; and as the crafty Steward in the Gospel, who advis'd the creditor to take his book, and instead of an hundred to write down fifty; so I advised you instead of recordare, Remember, to write cave, beware. For, as the Apothecary, when he finds himself at a loss, and cannot procure the drug he would have, C takes [...], a quid pro quo, as they call it, another drug or Simple that shall be of the same, or the like force to cure the disease; so fares it with me, who now am to cure a spirituall dis­ease in you; Recordare, as it lies in my Text, can never cure you: If it could, then might our rich man here have hope to re­cover Heaven; for Abraham applies to him long agoe. For your use therefore, I am constrain'd to lay by Recordare, Remember, and take in Cave, Beware, for an [...], a quid pro quo, because it serves best for the cure I have in hand: That therefore you may not hereafter, when it is too late, hear from Abraham, D Recordare quòd recepisti, Remember thou hast received, let me intreat you this day, whilest it is yet time to hear from me, Cave ne recipias, Take heed thou receive not thy good things in thy life: For, practise but this cave, and you shall never hear of Recordare; but if Cave come not in time, you must unavoidably expect a Recordare. Read we therefore our Text thus, Cave, Beware thou receive not thy good things. Now Beloved, this word Cave, beware, though in place and situation it reflect onely upon the word, recipias, receive, yet indeed it hath immediate influence upon every word I read. First, here is the word, recipias, E receive, heres a Cave put upon that to your hand: In some sense therefore or other you may not receive the good things of this life, otherwise why is it cast in this mans dish that he received them? The next word is, tua bona, thy good things: thy, put a Cave there too; for indeed they are not thine. When we call the things of the world ours, ours is but a word of usurpation; [Page 22] we peradventure may be some emphyteuticaries, or farmers, or A usufructuaries; but the propriety is in another person. The next word is bona, good things, good; put a Cave there too: advise well how you call them good. Were our rich man askt, what now he thought? I perswade my self he would pass another censure of them; for how good soever they were in themselves, yet to him they were not good. I have heard of a statue of Venus so cunningly framed, that as men came toward it it seemed to smile, but as they turn'd from it it seemed to frown. The things of this life are somewhat akin to the statue of Venus; as they come toward you they smile upon you, they are good; but as you B turn from them, or they from you, many times they frown, they look with another countenance. The next word is things, good things; put a Cave there too. Take heed how thou cal'st them things; for indeed they are not things, but nothings. The last word is, thy life; Life, put a Cave there too. Take heed how thou call this present state of things thy life. Nature taught Euripides the Poet to ask this question, Who knowes whether to live be to die, and to die to live? But grace taught St. Paul to answer it, Now we live not, for our life is hid with Christ in God. C So I return to resume the words again, and to consider a little more largely of them, Cave ne recipias, Take heed you receive not.

Quid Audio? What is this I heare? Must I not receive the good things of this life? If either right of patrimony and inheri­tance devolve them to me, or some casuall providence of God cast them upon me, or my labour and industry wooe and win them, must I bid defiance, and shut the doores against them? Is this precept here like to the command of old Euclio in the Co­medy,D who wills his servant to keep his doores shut, and open to none, ne si bona quidem fortuna venerit, no though good for­tune her self should come and knock? Beloved, here I am in bivio.

For answer to this question; It is reported of Aristippus the famous Philosopher, that travelling over some parts of Africk, with his servants over-laden with gold, when they complained of their burthen, and told him that they were so loaded they should never reach their journies end; he bad them lay down their bur­thens,E and take up so much as they thought themselves conve­niently enabled to bear, and leave the rest proximo occupanti, to the next that came that way. From this example I draw my answer; Wouldst thou know whether thou shouldst receive the good things of the world? Try thy strength; art thou able to con­front occasions, to converse amongst men, to wrestle with temp­tations, [Page 23] A and take no foile? In a word, Art thou able, with the three in Daniel, to go through the fire, and come out untoucht? Do as Aristippus servants did, take up thy gold, receive the bles­sings that offer themselves, entertain them, welcome them. On the contrary, art thou weak, or suspectest thou thy strength? will feares, or hopes, or pleasures over-master thee? canst thou not touch pitch but thou must be defiled with it? Then do as Ari­stippus servants did, leave thy gold behind thee; these goodly glittering things, refuse them, though they drop into thy lap. Briefly, two waies is this question answered: Hast thou strength of B mind? receive them; hast thou not? refuse them. The first is the wisest way, the second is the safest; He that receives them not doth well, but he that receives them doth better. I will be­gin with the first; Receive them. I know that this seems a riddle unto you, for my Text seems to command you not to receive them; and I have told you that one way to put this precept in use, is to receive them. This is true, receive them we may, but yet so as if we received them not. Many of the Saints of God, yea Abraham himself received large portions of the good of this world: And how then shall they, with Abraham C himself, avoid this bitter exprobration of Recepisti, thou hast re­ceived, but that some way or other even they that have received them may justly be said not to have received them? J. Caesar when he had considered of his estate, and summ'd it up, and found for how great a summe he was in debt, beyond what he was worth, he merrily said, Tantum me oportet habere ut nihil habeam, So much must I have that I may give every man his own, and my self have nothing. As Caesar found a way to have much, and yet to have nothing; so thou must find out a way to receive D much at the hands of God, and yet to have received nothing: For whatsoever it be that thou hast received from God, thou art but in debt for it, thou art but intrusted with it; look what it is thou hast, and say unto thy self as Caesar did, So much I have that I may have nothing. In debt I say thou art for all thou hast; and wilt thou know who are thy creditors? even every man that needs thee. The hungry man begs at thy gate, he is thy creditor, thou art in debt to him for his dinner: The naked man in the streets [...]e is thy creditor; thou art in debt to him for his garment: [...]he poore oppressed prisoner, he is thy creditor; E thou art in debt to him for his relief: The wronged captive he is thy creditor; thou art in debt to him for his redemption. Be then like the widowes oyle in the Book of Kings, run as long as there is a vessel to receive thee; pay all these thy debts, and leave thy self nothing, and lo, thou hast found the wonderfull art of receiving much at the hands of God, and yet receiving nothing. Had our rich man here done thus, he had never heard of Recepisti, [Page 24] thou hast received; for, to receive here is not to take that which A God offers, but to impropriate, to enjoy alone the gifts of God, either by dispending them on thy self, or thy vanities, or locking them up, and neither enjoying them thy self, nor suffering any other so to do; by making them bona tua, and placing thy felici­ty in them; this is to receive. Thou sittest at thy full table, and crams thy self with meats and drinks, whilst Lazarus sterves at thy gate, recepisti; thou cladst thy self with superfluous and gau­dy apparell, whilst thy naked Brother freezes in the street, rece­pisti; thou refeshest thy self with dainty restoring Physick, whilst the sick indeed perisheth for want of care, recepisti. Take heed,B every vanity, every superfluity, every penny that thou hast mis­spent to the prejudice of him that wants, when the time comes, shall cry out unto thee, Recepisti, thou hast received. On the contrary, recepisse, sed non tibi, to have received, but not unto thy self, to have spent thy self for others good; he that doth thus, to him there can be no more objected a Recepisti, then there can unto the Sun that he received his beames, which he hath communicated to the world; or to the fountain that it re­ceived its springs, wherewith it hath water'd the earth for which it was given.C

Erewhile, when I considered the words in particular, I advised you to put a Cave upon the word, thy; thy good things: for indeed here is the [...], here is the ground of all abuse and error, that we take upon us think and call any thing ours. For now we think, by and by we may infer, May we not do with our own what we list? we think we are [...], no action of account lies against us, we fear no recepisti. Beloved, there is more dan­ger in the use of that word then you are aware of; Ours, Mine, is D a gross, a crass, a secular term, easily taken up by wordlings, by better men not so easily. When Laban had overtaken Jacob, and began to chide with him, These daughters, saith he, are my daughters, these children are my children, these cattell are my cattell, and all that thou seest is mine. Jacob had done enough to style them his, he had bargain'd, he had served, he had watcht, he had sweat, he had freezed for them; and yet he would not take up that word, nor count any thing his. Nabal, a man of the same letters, and of the same garb and quality with Laban, when David sent unto him to require relief of him, speakes in the E same Sibboleth; Shall I take, saith he, my bread, and my water, and my flesh, which I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men whom I know not? Neither is it any wonder that they thus speak; for this is the language which they learnt of their Father, of their Prince, of their God, even the Prince which ruleth in the aire, the God of this world, the devil; for, he setting upon our Saviour in [Page 25] A the Gospel, courts him in the same manner; for, shewing him all the Kingdomes of the earth, and the glory of them, he tells him, All this is mine, and to whom I will I give it. He lies, I doubt not, when he thus spake, (but that's no marvell;) yea and all those who take up the dialect, are no whit truer of their word. If the tongues of the children of Light have sometimes tript that way, and fallen upon some of the same language, it is but out of contagion, an errour of conversation, such as be­fell Joseph, who conversing with the Egyptian Courtiers, learnt of them to swear by the life of Pharaoh: For, as walk­ing B in the Sun discolours us, so walking in spirituall dark­nesse will bring upon us swarth and blacknesse. But the sonnes of God in their better thoughts speak in another dia­lect: when David had with great providence, with great hazard of person, treasured up much for the use of the house of the Lord, and was now come to dedicate it, and offer it up unto God, he dares not say, Mine, but [...], thine, out of thine own we present unto thee. Now where­a [...] the Holy Ghost is pleased here to use the phrase to the rich man, and call them bona tua, thy good things, this C is but by an Ironie and scorne; for, as they were originally, so still continue they to be Gods, if abuse do not alter the pro­perty, for it is abuse onely that makes them be called ours: as the Poet told his friend, Quem recitas meus est, &c. The Book, my friend, you read is mine; Sed malè dum recitas in­cipit esse tuus, but if once you read it amisse, its now yours, and no longer mine. We read in the Book of Joshua, that the Gold and Silver which was in Jerico was all Gods, and was to be brought into his Treasury; but when Achan had once D purloin'd a part of it, and endeavour'd to turn it to unlawfull ends, God ownes it no longer, but it is brought forth and burnt, and buried with him, and no more thought worthy to be imployed in holy use. Parallel to this is there a nota­ble example in Saint Hierom; for, he writing of the Monks of Egypt, reports of one of them, that labouring with his hands, and living without scandall, at length he dyes: And when the brethren came to do their last duty to him, they found a­bout him, as my Author tells me, centum aureos, which was of our money about fifty pounds; and musing much to find E there such a summe, and long consulting what to do, at length they all agreed in this, they took the party and laid him in his grave, and laid his money by him, with this Farewell, Argentum tuum tecum in perditionem, Thy money perish with thee. It seems therefore that things abused either to super­fluity and wantonnesse, or to covetous and unprofitable ends, are no longer fit for God, or good mens service; therefore they [Page 26] perish with the abusers. Use them as God requires, and they A remain still Gods; non recepisti, thou hast not received them, they are not thine: abuse them once to folly or avarice, God ownes them not; recepisti, thou hast received them, and made them tua bona, thy good things, by abusing them.

Yet that we may descend a little more particularly into this question of propriety, wouldst thou know indeed what it is quod possis dicere jure, meum est, of which thou maist justly say unto thy self, it is mine? Examine thy self, find out thine own measure, so much as thou needest is thine, the rest thou B art but entrusted withall for others good. That part of the beam of light which shines in thine eye is thine, all the rest is anothers; that which thou eatest to suffice thine hunger is thine, all the rest is thy neighbours; that water which thou drinkest of thy well, is thine, all the rest is occupantis. If thy Barnes and Store-houses, thy Wardrobes, thy Treasuries, imprison and detain any thing, thou art but a common ene­my, and offendest against a common profit. [...].C It is the bread of the hungry that thou detainest, it is the garment of the naked which thou lockest up in thy Wardrobe, it is the shooe of the bare foot that rots by thee, it is the poores money, and the talent of thy Lord which thou hidest under the ground; look how many thou hast not furnisht, so ma­ny hast thou wronged. It is well that the providence of God hath left in common the light, the heat, the influence of Heaven, & omnibus undamque auramque patentem; for if some men had their will, even these should suffer inclosure and re­straint,D neither should we freely enjoy the benefit of light and aire. For, I know not how it falls out, that whereas there are two pages, two parts of every account, the receipt and the expence, there is a reigning madness amongst men to increase their receipts, whilest in the mean time they are secure of their expence; whereas it is the expence that most concernes us; for what we shall receive is in the care and will of our master, but all our care and providence is seen in our expence. Now I know not how it comes to passe, that ma­ny E seem to lessen the reputation of thrift and good husbandry with God, and therefore they treasure and lock up their re­ceipts, as if they thought to clear their accounts, and save themselves from a recepisti, by returning God his own again. But the account with God is in one circumstance very diffe­rent from that with men; the Steward that hath received his [Page 27] A Lords money, when he comes to his audit, if he repay what he hath not expended, he hath his acquittance, and all is well: But in our great audit with God there is no refunding, all must be dispended. Could we pay back again our Lords money which we have not laid out, yet still the account depends, still we are in danger of a recepisti; for nothing cleares our accounts with God but pariation of expences with receipts, Gods account must have no remain. Secular thrift is seen in saving, but divine thrift is best seen in spending: whether therefore thou spendest amisse, or whether thou savest amisse, thou art still liable to a Recepisti.


C 1 COR. 6.13.

Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats; bu [...] God shall destroy both it and them.

WHat then remaines but that we take that counsel which St. Ambrose gives us, Tanquam defunctus omni terreno te abdica negotio: contemne vivens quae post mor­tem habere non poteris. As if you were D men already dead, sequester and sepa­rate your selves from earth and earth­ly things: Scorn that whilest you live which you cannot be owners of when you are dead. If we were to make choice of some friend and companion whom we would endear unto us, with whom, as the Psalmist speakes, we were to take sweet counsel together, and walk in every place as friends; if we could undoubtedly foresee that after all our expressions of love and courtesie to him, at the last he would forsake us, would we admit him into our bosome, E partake him of our counsel, and make no end at being at cost, and bestowing favours on him? Beloved, not onely meats and the Belly, of which here St. Paul speaks, but even all the good­ly things of the world, which we wooe with so much affection, purchase with so much labour, retain with so much fear, enter­tain with so much expence; all these, if at length they betray us not, if they abuse us not, if they pay us not home with eternall [Page 30] infamy and death, yet we know for certain that at last they will,A they must forsake us. What madness then is it to entertain with the expence of so much affection, so much time, so much labour, such unthankfull guests? But let us fall off from this so generall a speculation.

These words which I have read seem to come towards us, like the man that rid upon the pale horse, in the 6. of the Revelation, and hell followed him. Here are meats and the belly, the bur­then and the beast, the horse and the rider; but death and de­struction follow them at the heeles, it behoves you to take heed B how you entertain them. When Caesar was coming out of France, and now advancing towards Rome, the Senate and Magi­strates send him word, that if he would be welcome there, he must dismisse his companies and followers. Beloved, here now ad­dresse themselves unto you meats and the belly; let their welcome be no other then Caesars entertainment, let them dismisse their followers; if you admit them upon other termes, be sure you shall entertain with them death and destruction. There is in the Roman Story a strange relation of the Equus Seianus, a horse of one Seius, a Gentleman of Rome, excellent for shape, and co­lour,C and pace, but unfortunate; never any man owned him but came to ruine; Seius, his first master is beheaded; next Dolabella perishes in a battel; Cassius the next, he murthers himself at Phi­lippi; and Antony, his last master, dyed a miserable death. The belly is indeed the true Equus Seianus, no man ever entertain'd him but it ruin'd him; for, still the last shot, the last reckoning can never be discharged but by the death of the entertainer. The Ark of God, though whilest it was abroad in the Land of the Philistines, it plagued every one that medled with it, yet when it was at home in its own Land it brought a blessing to him that D gave it house room: But as for the belly and meats, it seems they have no proper country, no home, no place gaines a bles­sing by them; for even in this world, which is their native soil, they must be destroyed; and as for the true Canaan, which is a­bove, there they have no place at all.

I will not study out, as the manner is, any curious division of these words. The Holy Ghost hath here joyn'd the belly and meats together, and God hath entail'd destruction unto E them both. Those whom God and the holy Spirit hath thus tyed I will not go about to divide: Pereant res perditae; Belly, Meats and destruction, all here go hand in hand, and let them so go undivided. And no marvel, for to keep the belly within bounds there is nothing of power sufficient but destruction. The tongue (saith St. James,) is an unruly evill. Beloved, the tongue [Page 31] A is not a more unruly evill then the belly; it is the fourth daugh­ter of the horse-leech, unsatiable, evermore crying, give, give; a rigorous creditor, which every day receives, and every day de­mands a tribute of meats and drinks, and pleasures, and the like: which way shall we go about to tame it? First, it is not reason that can rule it: It was the saying of old Cato, Venter non habet aures, The belly hath no eares; now it is a vain thing to en­deavour to perswade with that which hath no eares. Secondly, it is not time that can over-master it; for Vitia ventris non modò non minuit aetas, verùm etiam auget; The vice and evil of the bel­ly, B intemperance in meats and drinks, is no way moderated, it is exasperated and increased by age. Thirdly, it is not the con­sideration of cost and large expence that can restrain it; for it is a solemn maxime in the school of gluttony, [...], A near and hard and hucking chapman shall never buy good flesh. The belly and money easily part; Esau will forgoe his birth-right, his honor, rather then lose his dinner. Paulus Jovius reports of a captain, one Hugucchio, that lost two Townes, onely because he would not break his meal; for, being invited to a pub­lick feast, and receiving tidings of a revolt intended he neglected C and let slip the occasion, onely because he was loth to lose his share of a liberall dinner. Fifthly, it is not policy nor wisdom that can over-reach it. Solomon, the most politick and wisest man that ever was, prostitutes his learning, wit, wisedom, and all, to that base and sordid appetite. Sixthly, it may be sickness and fear of death may seem to speak to the belly with some autho­rity, and bear some hand over it. Demades the Orator was wont to say of the Athenians, that they never came to consult of peace, nisi atrati, but in blacks and mourning; by which he meant, that that people, till war had brought some extreme inconveni­ence D upon them, and swept away their citizens, their friends, their kindred, would never think of peace. As the Athenians did by peace, so do we by temperance; we never bethink our selves, or consult of moderate diet, nisi atrati, but in blacks and mourning, when our folly and intemperance hath cast us into some disease, and affrighted us with fear of death and destructi­on. And yet even this, though it be the strongest, cannot much prevail with the Belly; for how many do we see that in the midst of their sickness and of death yet cannot forget their trenchers? As they have been wont, molliter valere, to be dainty in the time E of health, so will they endeavour delicatè aegrotare, to be delici­ous in their sickness; vinum aut frigidam concupiscunt, & delicia­rum patrocinium in accusationem non merentis stomachi habent, saith Cornelius Celsus; they desire to please their intemperance with meats and drinks which hurt them, and put off the fault of a wan­ton appetite with pretence of a weak stomach. When Philoxenus [Page 32] the Epicure had fallen desperately sick upon glutting himself on A a delicate and costly fish, perceiving he was to dye, he calls for the remainder of his fish, and eats it up, and dies a true martyr to his belly. By this time you see, I hope, why it pleased God thus to yoke the belly and meats with death and destruction. Other passions in us find something that can subdue them, that can root them out: Fear and Anger they will yield to time and reason; Lust will abate with age and abstinence; onely the in­cessant appetite to meats and drinks is unconquerable, except it be by death, or extreme sickness, which is the way to death. This B is a devil which no fasting, no prayer can cast forth, not time, nor reason can extinguish. The Lessons therefore which I will raise from these words shall not spring from any division of them; I will consider them all in a lump, and out of this, that God hath irrevocably and without reprieve, doom'd both belly and meats unto destruction, I will fall to consider of such reasons as ought to be of force with us to wean our heart and love from these things, which must at length most certainly perish.

Yet ere I pass away to that part of my meditations, give me C leave to make this quere, whence it is that St. Paul passes this sentence of destruction upon the belly? Shall not the belly run the same fortune with the rest of its fellow-members? When all the rest of the body shall be raised from the grave to immorta­lity, shall the belly alone lye rotting for ever in the dust? Or, if it rise again, wherein then doth this sentence of destruction strike at the belly more then any other part? for, it were no good congruity to expound it of the common mortality in which all the members have alike their share. For answer; At that last and great and joyfull day, when all that are in the monuments D shall hear the voice of God, these bodies of ours (every seed his own body) shall come out of their graves, with all their parts entirely as now they are; altered indeed, I confess, in quality, in agility, in glory and splendor, in impassibility, but in substance, and in all essentiall properties numerically the same. The de­struction therefore which St. Paul sentences the belly unto, con­cernes not the substance, (for in this respect the head, the hands, the belly, the feet, all the members are in like state) but onely the use. The rest of the members of our body shall not onely rise the same in substance, but shall remain the same in function E and use: These feet shall support us, with these hands shall we handle the Word of life, with these eyes shall we see him, with this tongue, these lips, and no other, shall we praise and mag­nifie him for ever: But the belly, and such parts as in use depend from it, shall indeed rise and remain the same in substance, but their function and use shall for ever cease; for, it is not onely [Page 33] A true which our Saviour speaks, they shall neither marry, nor be given in marriage; but neither shall we hunger, nor thirst, nor receive nourishment, nor concoct, nor digest; which all are the proper uses of the belly in the time of our mortality. Arise therefore shall our members from the dust and rottenness, and though not all quoad usum, for use and function, yet all quoad complementum corporis, to make the body entire and complete. And so I come to fall upon those meditations at which I but now pointed.

Meats for the belly. Eating was the way by which sin first B came into the world: I think I may say the first eating begat the first sin. If I mistake, the ancient Fathers of the Church have led me into error; for, in their Homilies & Exhortations unto Fasting, nothing is more frequent with them than to fall foul upon our first Parents, because they brake their fast too timely, and amiss, where they should not. So that it seems eating and sin are twins, born at the same time, and at the same birth. Had eating bred no other sin but this, yet this one, which was the provoker of Gods wrath, which expelld' us from Paradise, which brought a curse upon our selves, and all the world beside, which had laid us for C ever in dust and rottenness, if the Son of God had not come him­self to redeem us; this one I say had been enough to have taken from us all appetite to meats, and bound us to a perpetual fast. For, if Ahab fell down upon his bed, and refused his meat, because Naboth would not give him his Vineyard, how much more might our first Parents have bound themselves to a perpetual sullenness and abstinence, that thus by eating lost a far fairer Garden than that of Naboth? But, Beloved, as Sin and Eating were born to­gether, so, like loving twins, they walk on hand in hand; for D look to the next sin, to that of Cain, and see if eating have not a hand in that too; for, whence came it that Cains Sacrifice was not accepted? Malè divisit, say the Ancients; and some have thought that the Hebrew Text saith so too, he made an ill divi­sion betwixt God and himself; for whereas Abel brought of the fattest and the best, and offered them to God, Cain thought worse and meaner were fit enough for God; the best he kept for his own diet. Go we forward, and take notice of the sins which drew the floud upon the world, and we shall find that eating was not behind in helping them on. The Scriptures point out two E sins unto us, Oppression and Lust: Intemperate lust is the insepa­rable companion of intemperate eating; Nunquam vidi continen­tem quem non vidi abstinentem, Seldom have you seen one conti­nent that is not abstinent. We have thus far surveyed one world, and the sins of it, and we have found that eating is [...], the first sin, the next, the last; all thrive by the favour of intemperance in meats, or drinks, or both. But now [Page 34] we have a new world, clean washt; what is it which now brings A sin upon Noah, the father of the second world? even the same in a manner which brought it upon Adam, the father of the first; Adam sinned by eating, Noah by drinking: Eating, Drinking, no great matter to choose, both are gula, both are the intemperance of the mouth, and tast, and belly; and both intended here by Saint Paul under the name of Meats. Verisimile non est ut quis di­midiam gulam Deo immolet, aquis sobrius, cibis ebrius, saith Ter­tullian: As therefore Tertullian acknowledged a drunkenness in meats, so is there gluttony in wines and drinks. So then, as by the mouth and belly sin comes into the new world, so it goes on; for,B the sin next specified in Scripture is that of Sodom, and the five Cities: Would you know what sins they were? the Prophet will tell you, Idlenesse and fulnesse of bread: He adds not Lust, for he needs not; that followes naturally upon the former, tanquam va­ra vibiam. Idleness, fulness, and lust, they are a threefold cord, twisted by the devil, and hardly untwined and severed by any man. Mens enim otiosi nihil aliud cogitare novit nisi de escis & ventre, saith Cassianus; The mind of an idle person runs upon no­thing but his belly and meats. No sooner were the Jews freed from C the Egyptian bondage, and now began to be at leisure, but forth­with, Agape in cacabis fervet, fides in culinis calet, spes in ferculis ja­cet; All their meditations are fixt upon the flesh-pots of Egypt, their devotion is spent upon Onions and Garlick, and those other Egyptian Deities. Now, the belly once filled, you need not doubt what follows: Repletus venter facilè despumat in libidi­nem; A full belly easily dissolveth and dischargeth it self by lust. Xe­nophon, disposed to trifle away some of his spare time, writes an idle discourse, which he calls his [...], his Banquet; where, after much impertinent talk, for the close and upshot of the meet­ing,D he brings in, for the farther chearing up of his company, two young boyes acting Bacchus going to bed to Ariadne; which they did in so gross, so unseemly, so loose a manner, that by and by (saith my Author) all that were married hasted home to their wives, and the unmarried vowed they would not continue long so. Lo here the true issue of intempestive comessation and com­potation; for surfet and lust dwell never far asunder. And there­fore the Apostle St. Paul, when he had forbidden the Romans Rioting and drunkennesse, he immediately addes unto them, cham­bering and wantonness; Appendices scilicet gulae, lasciviae & luxuriae, as Tertullian upon those very words doth note; Wantonnesse and E luxury are the complement of riot and intemperance. By all this which I have delivered I suppose by this time that your selves can conclude, what care and watch we ought to hold over our meats and drinks; for, if eating were the door which first admitted sin, if it hath been a perpetual fomenter & nourisher of sin, we can [Page 35] A do no less than to set a watch upon the door of our lips, not onely to beware what goes out, but what likewise goes in there. Unskil­ful fencers will be sure still to remove their ward there where they have once received a blow, though they suffer some other part to lie open: It were a great shame for us, if having so long combated with the Devil, and received so many blows by incau­telous eating, we should not have so much wit as young and un­skilful fencers have, remove our ward thither. Yet I will endea­vour to bring certain reasons, farther to move you to keep dili­gent B ward about the action.

And first, the error and intemperance of eating is close and re­tired, it is not so easily discovered, and so most-what escapes re­proof. This security, as it is a great enticer to the vice, so should it stir us up the more to be watchful over it. The vice of drun­kenness presently betrayes it self, crimen vultu incessuque fatetur ebrius: The gate, the look, the speech, the colour of the counte­nance, all these betray the drunkard, and lay him open to shame and reproof. Hence it is that fits of Surfet upon meats are most­ly stoln, no eye sees them; surfet upon beer or win not so. As C it hath been said of unskilful Physicians, under whose hands ma­ny Patients miscarry, that the earth hides their faults; so may it be said of those who offend in meats, the earth many times hides their faults; some sudden, some sharp disease brings them to their grave, where the cause lies hidden till the resurrection: in the mean time some ordinary casualty, or the will of God, gives countenance to what is done. Again, it is not a thing hard to be discovered, that there is a partiality in men in their cen­sures of these vices; many men are oft-times very angry with full cups, who can be patient enough at full-fraught tables. Aristotle D tells us, that those that delighted in pleasing smells are not to be ranged among intemperate persons: I must confess I think he was deceived; for, to be over-indulgent, over-studious to please any one sense whatsoever, I say not onely the Taste and Touch, but the Eye with gawdy shews, the Smell with fragrant and costly perfumes, the Ear with dilicate Airs in Musick, is truly vanity and intemperance. The reason of his error was, that he measu­red vices by the sensible inconvenience that follows upon them. Divines distinguish of the Sacrament; some there be, say they, quae imprimunt characterem, which leave a mark behind them; others E leave none at all. This distinction fits the vices well; but Ari­stotle knew it not: Some vices leave a character, a mark, by which you may easily discover them; others are more close, their way is like the way of a serpent over a stone, or the way of a bird in the air, they leave no track, no footstep behind them. Sin in meats is very often committed, but it is not often discove­red; [Page 36] you cannot trace it, it many times leaves no character to be­tray A it. Now, Beloved, (and this was the reason why I have spo­ken all this) by so much the more ought we to be wary in es­chewing this vice, by how much it is retired and unespied; re­membring what the Apostle hath told us, that Some mens sins are open before hand, going before unto judgment; and some follow after. Open sins, sins that leave a character, these go before unto judg­ment; but sins that are otherwise shall not be hidden.

Secondly, another reason perswading us to keep watch cover the vice of eating, is, that we have no law to restrain it; for table,B for diet, no man hath any law but his money or his credit. Let our excess be never so great, let the surfet be never so apparent, yet is there no Magistrate to chastise it. This neglect opens a way to the practice of the sin, and makes men believe that the vice is lawful. Hippocrates complained much that there was no law to restrain the errors of Physicians, [...], excepting per­chance some small disgraceful report when a fault was espied. Errors of diet have not so much as this to restrain them; yet to make a law in this behalf there is cause and ground enough. In­terest reip. ne quis re sua malè utatur; It is a rule warranted by all C reason, that it concerneth the publick good of the Common­wealth that no man make ill use of what is his. The want of laws is it which hath given entrance to such monsters of luxury and prodigality of whom Tertullian spake, Quibus deus venter est, & culina templum, & aqualiculus altare, & sacerdos coquus, & sanctus Spiritus nidor, & condimenta charismata, & ructus prophetia est: Whose god is their belly, the kitchin is their temple, the dresser is their altar, the cook is their priest, &c. What examples are extant every where of this kind of men? Augustinus Chiessius, a Banker,D a Money-merchant at Rome, at the Christning of his son enter­tained Leo the Tenth upon the River of Tibris, and all the for­reign Ambassadors, with the Nobles of the City, with all exqui­site and curious fare, disht out in costly plate; and upon the change of every Service, (and they were not a few) all the meats, plate and all, all was cast away into the River, and new and cost­lier still supplied in the room. But what need I seek so far as Rome? our own Kingdom will yield us examples. Search but our own Records, consult but with the Author De praesulibus Angliae, Of the Prelates of England, and see what a prodigious Dinner is E there described, at the Consecration of one of the Archbishops of Canterbury; & horum tamen nihil Gallion curae erat, yet was there found none of the Gallions, none of the Magistrates of the times, that took it to heart, or once thought to chastise it. Yet had the ancient Romans (to the shame of Christians) their Leges sumptuarias, such laws as gave restraint to riot and excess at ta­bles. [Page 37] A But what speak I of the laws of men? The first positive law that ever God himself made was lex sumptuaria, a law confi­ning Adam in his diet and eating. From this Act of God we may observe these two things; First, the necessity of circumscribing and giving bounds to that action. Secondly, which is the best and fittest time to enact this law. And first, for the necessity; it hath been by vertuous men evermore thought, that the begin­ning and first step to vertue is, ventri bellum indicere, to bid defi­ance to the belly, and betimes to begin to check it. Primum no­bis ineundum certamen est adversus gastrimargiam, saith Cassianus; B The first stroke which is to be given in this our warfare against the flesh, is to be directed against the belly. Caesar was wont to command his souldiers, faciem ferire, to strike at the face; the laws of our spiritual warfare give us another rule. Men by the light of nature have seen thus much; it was the counsel of Pytha­goras, [...], First, and above all things, saith he, be sure to make your self master of your belly. See you not what men do in the besieging of Cities? they cut off all convoy of victual, and that done, they know the place cannot long hold out. He that intends a leaguer, and purposes to make him­self C master of his body, let him be sure to cut off all unnecessary convoys of meats and drinks, and the siege cannot last long. Secondly, I told you there was another thing observable in this action of God, and that is the time in which he gave this law. Caesarius, brother to Gregorie Nazianzen, had a conceit, that A­dam remained in Paradise forty dayes, and that the law concer­ning eating was not given til the very later end of this time; & that that part of St. Pauls disputation Rom. 7. Once was I alive with­out the Law, but the Law came, sin revived, and I was dead, was to be understood in the person of Adam, for that part of the forty D dayes wherein he supposed that the law concerning eating was not given. Beloved, I know no ground, no warrant for this con­ceit; the Scriptures tell me that Adam, immediately upon his creation was brought into Paradise; that immediately upon his entrance into Paradise the Commandment concerning eating was layed upon him; no footstep of any longer date of time is allow­ed. It was the purpose of God that Adam from his very begin­ning should be a subject of obedience; wherefore he leaves him not an hour to his own discretion, but resolves to make trial of E his obedience in the very first action which in course of Nature he was to do. Betimes, immediately upon his first creation, in his infancy as it were, he thinks good to set bounds to his diet. Nature leads the hand to the mouth; and hence it is, that Infants, whatsoever you put in their hands they presently put it to their mouths. This proneness therefore of nature God restrains at the very beginning; to leave unto us an example to do the like by [Page 38] those whose education is committed to our charge; for from neg­lect A of this proceeds the greatest part of the miscarriage of youths in their luxurious and riotous courses. Ante palatum eo­rum quàm os instituimus, We season their palats, and teach them to know delicate meats, before they can give plain accent to any syllable. From the liberty they see we take they learn to be li­centious; from our full tables they learn to riot; from our ex­ample they learn to love evil before they know what good is. Hence is the world filled with complaints, Fathers of Children for their luxury, Children of Fathers for their ill example; for,B it is but just that evil example should return upon the head of him that gave it. Petrus Crinitus, a great Clerk in the dayes of our Grandfathers, thought it fit (forsooth) when he was now old, to do as Socrates did, under colour of free teaching to converse with youths in the streets, in the Teniscourts, in Taverns and Compotations: But this error cost him dear; for being on a time in a youthful meeting, one of his petulant Convivators poured a cup of cold water on his head; which affront he took so heavily that he went home and died. Let Parents and Tutors take heed what behaviour they use with those who are committed to their C charge; for let them make account they will frigidâ perfundere, first or last they will pour a cup of cold water upon their heads, to their grief and shame. To conclude then this point; Find we no law made to restrain the vice of eating? let us remember what St. Paul saith, A good man is a law unto himself: let every man be his own Magistrate, and let him lay upon himself this law, om­ne superfluum vetitum esto, Whatsoever is superfluous in meats and drinks let it be taken as forbidden. And so I pass away unto another point.D

A third inducement unto the vice of eating, of which we ought carefully to beware, is this; we see that the custom of su­perfluous eating prescribes upon us occasions: for, I know not how, generally all the world over, it is become one of the great­est pieces of State and Ceremony. No solemn day, no triumph, no publick joy, no great business, but eating must be the solem­nest and most ceremonious part. Coronations of Kings, Conse­crations of Bishops, Academical Acts and proceedings, Inaugura­tions into Maioralties and Offices, Marriages, Christnings, Fune­rals, casual salutation betwixt private friends, expressions of love,E Caressing and much-making, the chief solemnity, the crown of all these is superfluous eating: As if our life were like to one of Te­rence or Plautus Comedies, no Scene of it must pass without an eating and gormondizing parasite. Quid hoc aliud est quàm inci­tare hominum cupiditates per se incitatas? What is this but to adde oyle unto the fire; to set afire those desires and lusts in men [Page 39] A which are already too much inflamed? Pliny, considering with himself the nature of the Element of Fire, how rapacious and de­vouring a thing it is, and quickly consumes whatsoever it layes hold of; what store of it there was in the world; how it was in every house, in every mans hand; how it was above us in fiery Meteors, and beneath us in Fountains in the bowels of the earth; began to marvel with himself that all the world was not consu­med with fire. He that shall consider with himself how dange­rous a thing superfluous eating is, how it exhausts and wastes a­way B mens estates, how it destroyes our health; and withall consi­der how common it is with all men, of all estates, and how it in­termixes it self with all occasions, all actions, might marvel, as well as Pliny did at fire, why by means of it the world was not long since destroyed. All this perchance might yet be tolerable; for we have medled yet but with the world: Now St. John com­pounds the world of three Elements and principles, the lust of the Flesh, the lust of the Eye, and the pride of Life. Superfluous eating is one of these three, or at least a part of one of them. But what shall we say when we find it in Dei rebus, when we shall find it C made a part of Religion and the Service of God?

The world is apt upon all occasions to fall upon unnecessary comessation and compotations, the Church needs not strike in to set it forward, and make feasting a part of Religion, and bring the Church and the Kitchin together. And yet we see it doth; for when we celebrate the memorial of any Saint, the birth or death of any Apostle or Martyr, do we not call this solemnity their Feast, and so accordingly solemnize it with excess of cheer? I have often wondred upon what discretion it is that Christians D have thought fit to celebrate the memorials of Saints with feast­ing: Why should times of greatest seriousness be managed with feasting, which is one of the greatest vanities? Stultum est nimia saturitate honorare velle Martyrem, quem constat Deo placuisse jeju­niis; It is a foolish thing, saith St. Hierom, for any man to think he honours the Saints with eating, who are known to have pleased God best by fasting. The ancient Ethnicks were wont to celebrate their [...], their feasts of sobriety and fasting in the honor of Bacchus, who was their god of riot and drunkenness. Upon the like fancy I think (else I know not whence it should come) have Christians E enterprised to appoint feasts of excess in the honor of the Saints, who are known to be, I say not Gods, but, presidents and exam­ples of all temperance and abstinence. The Church of Rome is wont, even to this day, when she gets the reliques and ashes of any of the Saints, to lap them up in silk and costly stuff, and shrine them in silver and gold; whereas, whne the Saints them­selves were on earth, and their bodies the living Temples of [Page 40] the Holy Ghost, they would have thought themselves much A wronged if any such costly ornaments should have been employed about them. Shall we think we honour them when we lodge their dead bones in stately Sepulchres, whose glory it was in their life­time to dwell in poor cells, and grots, and caverns of the earth? Since their departure from us to heaven, have they altered their judgment, and learned there to approve and admire that which here in earth they thought their chief vertue to contemn? Scilicet nostros mores templis immittimus, We think that God and the Saints are like our selves, and taken with that which pleaseth us: For, whether or no to expend these things in honour of God, be a B sign of our love to him, I know not; but this I know, that it is a most certain sign, and a betrayer of our love to those things. For, Beloved, if we had no love unto them, if we bare them no respect, would we think we honour'd God by offering that to him which we our selves contemn? Macchiavel, writing the life of Ca­struccio Castracano, a Gentleman of Luca, tels us, that he delighted himself much in often feasting; and being reproved for it by some friends of his, he gave them this answer, If feasting were not a good thing, men would not honour God and the Saints so much with it. Lo here, Beloved, the natural consequence of Church-feasts; C they are nothing else but an Apology for luxury: For when the Ministers of God shall out of these and the like places reprove superfluity of diet, the people have their answer ready, If this were a fault, then why is Christ and his Saints thus honoured with it?

This splendor of feasting and eating in memory of the Saints hath a little dazel'd the eyes of some great persons; St. Hierom, although a great Clerk, and singular contemner of secular super­fluities,D yet we see in what a strange passion he was when he wrote his book against Vigilantius. And what, think you, might be the cause of so much heat? Understand you must, that there was a custom in the Church, in sundry places, for men and wo­men, young and old, of all qualities and conditions, upon the Vi­gils of the Martyrs, to come together by night, and meet in Church-yards, and there eat and drink upon the Tombs of the Martyrs. This corruption Vigilantius had reproved: And good cause I think he had so to do; Nox, vinum, mulier, when men, women, maids, shall meet together by night in Church-yards to eat and drink, I think your own discretion will easily suggest E unto you what fruits were like to come. It seems the Churches found some which they liked not well of; for by common con­sent these kinds of meetings have been long since laid down; and in some Churches express Canons by Synods have been made to decry them. Yet the maintenance of this was that great matter [Page 41] A which cast St. Hierom into so great choler. Yet these men have brought feasts into the Militant Church; what shall we think of those who have brought feasting into the Church Trium­phant?

There was an error in the Church, very ancient and very gene­ral, called the error of the Millenaries; which arose immediately after the Apostles times, and strongly prevailed with almost all the Fathers of the Church before the Nicene Council: These B men taught, that there would be a time when our Saviour should come from Heaven, and raise out of the dust all those that were his, and reign with them here on earth a thousand years, in all a­bundance, in all secular pomp imaginable. Would you know what b [...]essings these men did expect in that imaginary King­dom? Let Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons in France, tell it you, who was one of the great Patrons of that error, and lived within two hundred yeares of Christ: He bringing in our Saviour discour­sing to his Disciples concerning the state of that Kingdom, a­mongst other instances of great happinesse there to be found, C makes him report this, There shall be (saith he) in a field ten thousand vines, every vine shall have ten thousand branches, eve­ry branch ten thousand stalks, every stalk ten thousand clusters, eve­ry cluster ten thousand grapes, and every grape (viginti quinque metretas) five and twenty pottles of wine. More to that pur­pose doth that Father speak; by which he evidently betrayed what a childish gross conceit he had of the spiritual Kingdome of Christ, which he took to be like Mahomets Paradise, and measured out the Kingdome of Heaven by meats and drinks; which, above all things in the world that carry any necessity in D them, are the most vain.

Again, for the better countenance of this outward jollity in the Church, I see some men have attempted to entitle our Sa­viour Jesus Christ himself unto it; for, First, it is espied in Scri­pture, that our Saviour is often found at feasts. Now for the rest, that which the Scripture cannot do, Tradition shall help us out in; for, in the Second place, Tradition will instruct us, that the seamlesse Coat which he wore was of a precious stuff and admirable texture. Thirdly, Tradition will tell us that E he had a silver cup, wherein at his last Supper he gave the Wine; and that this cup is to be seen at this day in some one of the Parish-Churches of Rome. Fourthly, in the publick Treasury of the Common-wealth of Genoa, there is a Charger made of an holy Emerald; a very rich and precious piece: If we consult with Tradition, that will tell us, (and the whole Common-wealth of Genoa doth believe it) that this was the [Page 42] dish wherein our Saviour Christ had his diet served. Thus, Be­loved,A we who should frame the world to fit Christ, have framed a Christ to fit the world: And if we hearken but a little to the belly, the issue of all will be this; not onely the World, but the Church, Religion, Heaven, Christ himself, will turn to good-fellowship. If the world joyn with the belly and meats, it doth what becomes it; Habent enim qualitatem symbolam, they sympa­thize all three; for, as God shall destroy both it and them, so must this world pass away, and the form of it; onely let Christi­ans and the Churches hope be immortality. Give me leave to conclude with the very words with which I began; What then B remains but that we take the counsel which St. Ambrose gives us? Tanquam defunctus, &c.


C MAT. 23.38.

Behold, your House is left unto you desolate.

SEverity in God seems to be a quality not natural, but casual and occasioned, unto which in a manner he is constrained be­sides his nature: [...], For God, saith Trismegistus, hath but one onely property, one quality, and D that is Goodness. Prior bonitas Dei se­cundum naturam, posterior severitas secun­cum causam; illa ingenita, haec accidens; illa propria, haec accommodata; illa edita, haec adhibita, saith Ter­tullian. The prime quality in God is goodnes, for that is natu­ral; severity is later, as being occasioned; that is eternal, this is adventitious; that is proper unto him, this is but borrowed; that inwardly flowes from him, this is forreignly fixed upon him. We usually observe, that if we would know things what they are by nature and of themselves, we must consider their first actions and E operations, which voluntarily flow from them before that either Art or Custom hath altered them. Beloved, will you know the truth of what I but now spake, that God of himself and by his nature is onely good? then observe his first actions into which his own nature carried him. Number all his acts from the Creation till the Fall of Man, and you shall find in them nothing but good­ness. When he created this beautiful frame of Heaven and Earth, [Page 44] Men and Angels, in that wonderful order, who counselled him?A or what moved him thus to do? He was of himself all-sufficient and needed nothing, why then did he thus break out into action? certainly because he was good: For, goodness otium sui naturá non patitur; hinc censetur, si agatur. Goodness is a restless thing, alwayes in doing, and it loses his nature if it be idle: It is like a fountain, it cannot stay it self in it self, it must find vent and dis­perse it self. Even so, Beloved, God, because he was good, could not contain himself within himself, but his goodness forced him to break out, to communicate himself, to give being unto other B things, that so he might have as it were fellows and companions to take part with him in those excellencies which were in him­self. There goes in our books a saying of one whose name I do not well remember, that said, He would not be in Heaven were he to live there himself alone. God seems to have been of this mans mind, & to have thought Heaven it self unpleasant, till he had provided him companions. Secondly, when he had created man, he leaves him not, as the Ostridge doth her young, upon the shore, but he takes him to himself, and places him in a place of pleasure. This was no doubt a further argument of his goodness. Thirdly, when C he created an helper for him, he did so because he saw it was not good for man to be alone. Fourthly, that he gave him a law by which he was to order his steps, this was yet a farther degree of goodness: For, thinking it not enough that man should enjoy onely earthly pleasures, he ordained him a law, by observation of which, as the Angels by Jacobs Ladder, he should ascend up to supernatural and heavenly bliss. Hitherto, Beloved, whilst all that he is he is of himself, his countenance is fair as the Sun in its strength; no frown, no wrinkle in his forehead: But look upon him after this, when mans folly had wrought him against D his nature into another mould, when he had been provoked by the sin of our first Parents and their rebellious Off-spring, and he is now no more himself. We may say of him as Naomi speaks of herself in the Book of Ruth, Call him no more Naomi (that is, Pleasant) but call him Mara (that is, Bitter) for he hath dealt very bitterly with us. He is now no more that God that made us, but he is that God that we have made: Fecimus enim, non accepimus severum, for we received him a Creator, a good, a calm and a gentle God; but we have made him a destroyer, a fierce, a stern, a se­vere and angry God. Marcion the Heretick, considering with E himself the wonderful mildness of our Saviour in the New Te­stament, and the great severity of God in the Old, fell upon this conceit, that there were two Gods, one courteous and mild, the Author of the New; the other fierce and malignant, the Author of the Old Testament. Indeed, to consider the marvellous diffe­rence betwixt God in his love and in his wrath, were almost suf­ficient [Page 45] A to make a man a Marcionist, and think there were two Gods; but that our common experience tels us that Furor fit lae­sa saepiùs patientia, no men more implacable and fierce when they are moved, then those who are by nature most patient: as we see that stone and iron, and such like bodies which hold out most a­gainst the fire, being once hot do far exceed the heat of slax and tow, and those combustible bodies that do so easily kindle: Therefore, Beloved, is our God so fearfully enraged when he is moved, because he is by nature slow to wrath, and abhorring all severity. Now, Beloved, of this fiery and angry God, I am, by the B course of the words which now I have read unto you, this day to speak; which that I may the better do, I must request you to ob­serve with me what order God doth observe in the pouring out of the Vials of his severity and wrath: Sometimes he cometh in his judgments like an epidemical disease, he uses difference and choice, and singles out here one and there one, on whom he makes h [...]s anger fall: Thus he doth, when by ordinary course of Justice he takes the sinner in his wickedness. Against this Mans reason hath nothing to object; for nothing more meet than that every offender should bear the smart of his own sin. Sometimes C he comes like unto a deluge and floud, incestum addit integro, Pell-mell, without any respect or distinction of persons, good or bad, he carries away all before him. [...], many times one mans sin ruines a whole Country, as Achans offence turns all Israel to flight; or, as when for the sin of Saul, in the Second of Samuel, all the people are like to sta [...]ve with famine. Thus doth he visit, not single persons, but whole Nations, with famine and pestilence, with the sword, with fire, with Earth-quakes, and the like, which, like the rain in the Gos­pel, D he makes to fall upon the good and bad. Now, Beloved, in this part of Gods judgment there lies a depth which many men do stand amazed at, and which well deserves our further medi­tation. For, what shall we think? shall we suppose, that when these general and unrespective judgments of God, by famine, or sword, or the like, befall whole Cities and Nations, that there are no righteous persons amongst them? that all that bear alike part of them are alike sinners? this common charity will not permit. Or shall we think that the Providence of God makes no difference, but is like Davids Sword, which devours one as well as E the other? that every man let his life be what it will, gather he little or gather he much, yet he must have his omer full? that There is one event (as the Wiseman speaks) to the righteous and to the wicked, to the clean and to the unclean, & to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good so is the sinner▪ and he that sweareth as he that feareth an oath? But this seems not to stand with Gods Justice; for A­braham, in the Book of Genesis, urges God with this, and God [Page 46] replies not to him; Wilt thou (saith he) destroy the righteous with A the sinner? shall not the judge of Heaven and Earth do right? Be­loved, at this depth of Gods judgments I now stand, to see if per­adventure it be any way foordable, if by the grace of God I may find a passage through for your and my own instruction. Search therefore we will, so far as Christian sobriety shall give us leave, how it comes to pass that it is a just thing with God, in those common calamities of War, and Famine, and Pestilence, and the like, which many times befall whole Countries, to wrap up both good and bad without any difference, and at once to sweep them all away: For, you may be pleased to remember, that at my first B entrance upon these words, I left that point of Doctrine to be discussed.

I made no artificial or curious division of the words, but went over them as it were step by step, word after word, in order as they lie. And, first, I considered the word Your, which is the first round and step in my Text, Your house. Which word, I told you, was a word of contumely and disgrace; for our greatest glory is to be his, and not our own; You are not your own, you are bought with a price, saith the blessed Apostle. When therefore speaking of C Jerusalems house, he calls it yours, this was, I told you, a term of reprobation, and signified that it was no more his, he would no longer own it. From this word, yours, I went forward to the next word, house, which is the next step in my Text; and finding that this word might bear a double interpretation, I drew from it a two-fold lesson; First, I told you this word house might signifie the Temple, wherein he then was when he spake these words. Hence therefore, in that we might well understand him to threa­ten that he would therefore leave the Temple desolate, I drew a D lesson, teaching us to consider and lay unto our hearts those fear­ful judgments which God did many times pour out even upon Churches and Chappels, and Houses dedicate to Religion and service of God, when they were abused to Superstition or Hy­pocrisie. Secondly, I told you this word house might by a Figure signifie the City Jerusalem, or rather that whole Estate and King­dom; for it is an usual phrase in Scripture, by these words, the House of Israel, and the House of Jacob, to express that whole Common-wealth. Hence therefore, in that we may understand him to threaten the ruine of the whole Estate and Kingdome of the Jewes, I drew a second lesson, teaching us to consider E the judgements of God many times poured out upon whole Kingdomes without respect, when the people shall relapse from God, and fall to sinne. Now this lesson, which then I onely pointed at, but came not so near as to touch it, I pur­pose at this time, by Gods grace, fully to unfold and insist upon▪ [Page 47] A For it is a lesson above all others teaching us to take heed unto our waies, and to prepare our selves to undergo the good plea­sure of our God. And so much the rather deserves this point to be carefully lookt into, because in this judgement of God upon whole Kingdomes, something there is which seems to crosse that justice by which the world is govern'd. I have heard that in the Civil Law it is a matter of danger, and will bear an action, if a man speak evil of a whole Society, or a whole Nation: And the reason is given, because there is no Society, no Nation so bad, but there may be found some good persons amongst them. B The B [...]otians were generally held for blunt and dull-spirited men, yet they yielded Pindarus, one of the prime and chiefest Ethnick Poets. The Scythians were accounted barbarous, yet they gave the world Anacharsis, one of the best Philosophers. The Idumae­ans were held for aliens and strangers from the Covenant of grace, yet unto them we owe Job, that most glorious pattern of patience. But, Beloved, our God regards not what is written in the Pandects▪ he governs not the world by the Civil Law; but out of a law of his own not onely speakes evil, but doth worse unto whole Nations, amongst whom notwithstanding some righteous C persons are. Ah sinfull Nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil doers, Princes of Sodom, people of Gomorrah! These be the names by which he styles the inhabitants of Judah and Jeru­salem; amongst whom I doubt not but many good men were, though no other, yet Esay the Prophet, who spake these words. And as he gives them all, without regard of difference, one name, so he makes them all, good and bad, to drink alike of one cup of captivity, notwithstanding there were many among them of great uprightness; witness Daniel and his fellowes. Again, Theodosius the Emperour, when the inhabitans of Thessa­lonica D had in a wantonness and tumult slain one of his men, in re­venge sent in his souldiers upon the City, and without examina­tion and inquiry who were guilty, who were innocent, slew with a great slaughter all that came to hand. This fact of his so farre displeased St. Ambrose, at that time Bishop of Millaine, that he put the Emperour from the Lords Table, forbad him the Church, and ere he would restore him, made him in publick be­wail his errour, and crave forgivenesse of God for it. Thus in­deed it was betwixt St. Ambrose and Theodosius the Great; But a greater then Theodosius, God, the great Emperour of East and E West, he will do thus and much more in this kind, and no St. Ambrose must dare to question the justice of his action. Last of all, in the world, that which makes sinnes many times scape unpunished, is the multitude of offenders: Noscio, (saith a hea­then man in the Historian) an suasurus fuerim omittere potiùs prae­valida & adulta vitia, quàm hoc assequi, ut palam fieret quibus vitiis [Page 48] impares simus. Sins many times do reign amongst men, and A spread themselves so farre and wide, that no strength of the Magistrate is able to suppresse them; and therefore many times men think it best wisedom to let such sinnes alone, for he that goes about to amend them shall but betray his weaknesse. But, Beloved, God will not be out-braved by any sin, be it never so universal; it is not a multitude that can countenance or uphold iniquity against him; he will not regard or pitty the loss of so many lives, or be remorsefull at the shedding of so much bloud. For, it is not onely true which the Prophet saith, That a thou­sand yeares with him are but as one day; but, in the case we now B speak of, a thousand, a million, a whole world of men, are no more with him then one man. Caligula the Emperour wantonly wished that all the people of Rome had but one neck, that he might strike it off at a blow. Beloved, when the Lord Chief Justice of Heaven and Earth shall sit to do judgement upon sin­ners, all the world hath before him as it were but one neck; and if it please him, as once it did under Noah, he will strike it off at a blow. I know the world sometimes doth acknowledge a ne­cessity of such proceeding, though joyned with some injustice: Habet aliquid ex iniquo omne magnum exemplum, &c. Exempla­ry C punishments and publick reformation can never take place, without some wrong to some particulars; but the wrong which doth befall some few is largely recompensed and made up by the good that redounds unto the whole. There was a law in Rome, that if a Master were slain by one of his servants, all the servants under his roofe were to dye for it; also accordingly was the pra­ctise: For, when Pedanius was slain by his slave, 400 of his servants were put to death. This severity they thought fit to practise, so to secure the lives of men, and to restrain such mis­chiefes as might come by the insolency of servants. Yet, Belo­ved,D that Mans reason may take no offence at these proceedings, and be scandalized that in these common calamities no greater difference is made betwixt the good and bad, we will, first of all, consider what reasons we may find out why God should hold so unrespective a hand: and secondly, we will draw some Uses from the Doctrines. And first of the reasons why God doth thus proceed.

And first I ask, what if peradventure we were able to render E no reason at all of this action of God? ought this to prejudice or call in question the justice of it? Alas, we are men of dull and slow understanding; when we have turned our Books, and spent our daies and nights in study, and wearied our selves in searching out the causes of naturall things, yet with all this sweat, with all this oyle, we cannot attain so far as to know why the grasse [Page 49] A which growes under our feet is rather green, then purple or scar­let, or any other colour. And think we then to dive into su­pernaturalls, and search out those causes which God hath locked up in his secret Treasures? St. Austin having written to a scho­lar of his, and opened many points unto him, tells him, that if he had given him at all no reason of such things as he had written, yet he ought to be with him of such authority and credit, that he should take them upon his word, without any farther question. Was it thus betwixt St. Austin and his scholar? how much more then ought it to be so betwixt God and us? how readily ought B we to take him on his word, and willingly believe him above, against, our reason? Hiero King of Sicilie when he had seen those wonderfull devises and engines which Archimedes, that great Ma­thematician and Engineer had fram'd, and considered what mar­vellous eff [...]cts they were able to produce beyond all expectation, he commanded to be proclaimed, that whatsoever Archimedes hereafter affirmed, how unlikely soever it seem'd to be, yet sans question it should be taken to be true. Beloved, the great Geo­metrician of Heaven, which made all things in number, weight and measure, hath infinitely surpassed all human inventions what­soever; C and can we do him less honour then Hiero did to Archi­medes, then cause it to be proclaimed throughout the world, that whatsoever he saith or doth shall be taken for just and true, howsoever no probability, no reason can be assigned? The whole disputation of the book of Job doth drive at this very Doctrine; for, when that God had afflicted Job in that fearfull manner, and his friends were come to comfort him, there arises a questi­on concerning the reason why Job should thus be handled: His friends, grounding themselves upon this conclusion, that all af­fliction is for sin, lay folly and iniquity to his charge, and tell him D that though he had made fair shew in publick, yet certainly he had been a close irregular; and though he had escaped the eye of the world, yet the judgement of God had found him out. But Job on the contrary stoutly pleades his innocency, and marvels for what reason the hand of God should be so heavy upon him. And when their controversie could have no issue, behold, Deus è machina, God himself comes down from Heaven, and puts an end unto the question; and having condemned Job of ignorance and imbecillity, tels him, that it was not for him to seek a cause, E or to call his judgments in question.

Secondly, it may well be that we may save our labour, that we need not move the question, or seek a reason at all: For, in these common calamities which befall whole Kingdoms, it may be God doth provide for the righteous, and deliver him, though we perceive it not. It is the property of God, [...], to [Page 50] find means when all mens inventions faile: He bringeth down in­to A the grave, and raiseth up again, saith Hannah in the first of Sa­muel. Some examples in Scripture make this very probable: The old world is not drowned till Noah be provided for; Sodom cannot be fired till Lot be escaped; Daniel and his fellowes, though they go away into captivity with rebellious Juda, yet their captivity is sweetned with honours and good respect in the land into which they go. And who knows whether God be not the same upon all the like occasions? How many millions of righteous persons have thus peradventure been delivered, whose B names notwithstanding are no where recorded? It was an obser­vation of the Junior Plinie, Facta dictaque virorum illustrium alia clariora, alia majora: All men have not gained credit in the world according to their desert. Some things of no great worth are very famous in the world, whereas many things of better worth are less spoken of, or perchance ly altogether buried in obscu­rity, caruerunt quia vate sacro, because they lighted not on such who might transmit their memory to posterity. The examples of Daniel and Lot, and sundry others, which because they stand upon record, take up the talk and speech of the world, may per­adventure C be of this rank, perchance they are onely clariora, they are onely more spoken of; and others, whose memory is lost, are non minora, sed obscuriora, are no whit lesse then they, onely they are lesse spoken of. St. Austin observes out of Sallust, that divers reading the ancient Stories, and finding many famous per­sons mention'd in them, much commended those times, because they thought that all the men had been such as those. As this was an errour in those that read the ancient Stories, so let us take heed, lest we reading the holy Stories of the Bible fall upon a contrary errour; and finding the memory of Daniel and Lot, and D others, so strangely in these generall plagues delivered, suppose, there were none but these; Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona, doubtless, both before and since, millions have made the like escapes, though their memory lies buried in oblivion.

Thirdly, be it granted that in these oecumenical, these general plagues, the righteous and sinner speed alike, yet there is great reason it should be so: For though in great and crying sins the righteous partake not with the wicked, yet in smaller sins the righteous and sinner evermore concur. For who is amongst the E sons of men that can presume himself free from these kind of sins? Now the greatest temporall punishment that is imaginable is far too little for the smallest sin you can conceive; for, the due reward of the smallest sin that is can be no lesse then eter­nall torment in hell. This is enough to clear God of all injustice; for who can complain of temporall, that doth justly deserve eter­nall [Page 51] A paines? Or why should they be severed in the penalty that are thus joyned together in the cause? And what though the fault of the one be much the lesse? it will not therefore follow that the punishment should be lesse. It will seem a paradox that I shall speak unto you, yet will it stand with very good reason, Great cause many times there is why the smaller sin should be amerced and fined with the greater punishment. In the Poenitential Ca­nons, he that kills his mother is enjoyned ten years penance, but he that kills his wife is enjoyned a far greater: and the reason is immediately given, not because it is the greater sin, but because B men are commonly more apt to fall upon the sin of murdering their wives than their mothers. Beloved, the reason is larger than the instance, and it teaches us thus much, That in appointing the mulct for a sin, men ought not onely to consider the great­ness of it, but the aptness of men to fall into it. It is a note that St. Austin layes upon smaller sins, that they are tantò crebrïora quantò minora, because they be less men presume the oftner to commit them. It is good wisdom therefore when ordinary pu­nishment will not serve to redress them, to enhance and improve C their penalty. A. Gellius reportes that there was a law in Rome, that he that gave a man a box on the ear was to pay him about the summe of twelve pence of our money: Now there was a loose, but a rich, fellow, that being [...]isposed to abuse the law, was wont to walk the streets with a purse of money, and still as he met any man he would give him a box on the ear, and then a twelve-pence, and a box of the ear, and so a twelve-pence: to re­presse the insolency of such a fellow, there was no way but to in­crease the value of the mulct. Beloved, the same course doth God take with us; when his ordinary and moderate punishments D will not serve to restrain us from falling into smaller sins, he sharpens the penalty, lest we should make the gentlenesse of the law an occasion of sin. And hence it seems it doth proceed that God many times layes so great penalties upon the righteous per­son, and couples him with the grosser sinner in these general plagues which by his providence do befall the world.

A fourth reason I will borrow from St. Austin, who in his first Book De Civitate Dei, touching upon this question, Why the righteous partake with the wicked in common calamities? notes E one special cause to be, that they use not that liberty which they ought in reprehending sinners, but by their silence seem to con­sent and partake in their sin, and therefore justly partake in their punishment. For, Beloved, it is not as you think, that this duty of reprehension is impropriate, and pertains onely to the Mini­stry; it is a common duty: for, as Tertullian spake in another case, In majestatis reos & publicos hostes omnis homo miles est, A­gainst [Page 52] Traytors and common enemies every man is a souldier: so A is it true here, every one that is of strength to pull a soul out of the fire, is for this business, by counsel, by advice, by rebuking, a Priest; neither must he let him lye there to expect better help: Thou shalt not see thy brother sin, but thou shalt rebuke and save thy brother, saith God in Leviticus. He speaks it not unto the Priest, but to the people. Cura animarum, the cure of Soules is commit­ted to every man as well as to the Priest: Every one of you hath cure of Soules, either of his child, or his servant, or of his friend, or of his neighbour; and if any of these perish through your de­fault, his blood shall be required at your hands. The man in the B Gospel that fell amongst theeves, when he was neglected by the Priest and the Levite, the Samaritan undertook the cure of him. Though thou be but a Samaritan, though but a Lay-person, yet if thou findest thy brother faln into the devils hands, thou must not send for the Priest or the Levite, but discha [...]ge the cure thy self: For, God that commands thee to bring home thy brothers beast, if thou find him going astray, much more meant that thou shouldest bring home thy straying brother. Common charity re­quires thus much at thy hand; and to make question of it, is as if thou shouldest ask with Cain, Am I my brothers keeper? The neg­lect C of this duty, as in it self it is a great sin, so is it in another re­spect much greater, because it interests us in other mens sins: For were we frequent in discharging this duty, in all likelyhood sin would not be so rife; whereas now, by neglect of it, we as it were pull down the banks, and open a wide gap to sin and wic­kedness. No marvel therefore if sometimes the righteous person find himself overwhelmed with those flouds to which himself hath opened the way. And let this suffice for the reasons which may be drawn to clear Gods Justice from all imputation, in the D execution of his general judgments. Let us now a little see what Uses we may make of this Doctrine.

And first of all, the consideration of the general judgments of God is a notable argument to work out the conversion of the ob­stinate sinner: For, howsoever many times sinners, in the heat and prosecution of their sins, forget and neglect themselves, yet when they shall be put in mind what a train their sin hath, how it may enwrap their posterity, their family, their whole country▪ how like it is unto the Dragons tayl in the Revelation, which drew down the stars from Heaven; how even good men and the E Saints of God may fall within its compass, and smart for it; if they have not put off all sense of common humanity, this must needs make them return and consider of their wayes. For, as on the one side we say commonly, Non nobis solis nati sumus, partem amici, partem patria, &c. No man is born onely for his own good, [Page 53] A but for the good of his friends, for the good of his Country, and millions more beside himself: so is it true on the other side, no man sinnes unto himself alone, but with the hazard of his friends, with the hazard of his Country, and infinite more be­side. The thought of this must needs break the heart of a sinner that is not quite turned to flint. We read in our books, that when Ulysses feigned himself mad, because he would not goe to the Trojan War, and in his madnesse drove his plough fanta­stically, those who were sent to discover him, layd his young son Telemachus in the furrow, to see if he would drive over him; B at the sight of whom all his mask of madness fell off. Belo­ved, though sinners run mad in sin, though they drive as furi­ously as Jehu did, yet if we lay before them their wives and chil­dren, & dulcia pignora, if any sense remain, they will forget their madnesse, and not drive over them. It is a great means of loosenesse in many men, that they stand alone, and have none to depend from them, none to care for but themselves. And those who seek out persons whom they may employ in despe­rate purposes, will soonest fasten upon such an one who is C [...], sine re, sine spe, without house, or lands, or kind­red; for such commonly are the fittest pieces to make instru­ments of villany who have nothing to lose. But, Beloved, in the case we now speak of, no man can assure himself he stands alone, and sins onely to his own danger; for if he live amongst men, he sins with the losse and hazard of millions more be­sides himself.

Our second Use shall be a note of comfort for those good men who bear a part in any common calamity, it is this, That they D be not disheartned to see themselves yoked in punishment with wicked persons, as if that God held the same esteem of the one and of the other: For, that is most true which St. Austin spake, Manet dissimilitudo passorum, etiam in similitudine passi­onum; howsoever the penalties be alike, yet God sees a great difference betwixt the Patients, though the world perchance cannot distinguish them. The gold and the drosse lye in one fire, yet the Workman can distinguish them, and puts the one into his Treasury, the other to the Dunghil. The Wheat and the Chaff are both under one Flail, yet the Husbandman severs E them, the one to the Granary, the other to the Fire. God in very good wisdom may and doth refuse to discover his love by any outward token of distinction. Amongst the sons of Jacob, it occasioned much mischief, that their Father, in token of his love, had given his son Ioseph a gayer Coat than unto the rest of his brethren. To take therefore away from us all strife and emulation, it pleased God to clothe us all alike, and to leave [Page 54] no difference betwixt the Coats of Ioseph and his brethren. It A is the property of servants many times, if they discover their masters love, to be cranck and bear themselves proud of it, and so contemne their fellow-servants. That this befall not us, it pleased God to conceal his love untill time convenient, and mean while to give both good and bad the same Livery, the same look and countenance. Let us therefore with patience expect the day of separation; and since this world is the place wherein we must be cleansed and purified, let no man be disheartned if he find himself in the same fire with the dross, in the same floor with the chaff, in the same punishment with the wicked.B


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