ΠΡΟΣΣΩ ΚΑΙ ΟΠΙΣΣΩ

A SERMON, EQVALLY POINTING FORVVARD, & BACK­WARD, AS IT WAS DE­liver'd in the Vniversity-Church of Saint Maries in CAMBRIDGE.

By P. H. B. of Divinity, and sometime Fellow of Queenes Colledge in Cambridge.

In his Forenoone Course before that Universitie, upon the 22. day of November, in the yeare 1640, being the third Sunday after the beginning of this present PARLIAMENT.

Eccles. 1. v. 9, 10.

The thing that hath been is that which shall be: that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the Sun.

Is there any thing whereof it may be said, see, this is new: It hath been already of old time which was before us.

Virg.
—Sic illi oculos, sic ora ferebant.

Printed in the Yeare, 1647.

To the READER.

REader (whosoever thou art) that dost scruple or make a­ny doubt of the truth of the thing, done in such manner, time and place, as the Title Page doth Preface; Know that this Sermon verbatim, being preach'd in the very beginning of this Parliament [...]efore the whole Universitie, and a good part of the Towne of Cambridge, there are many Hundreds of People, that can attest and justifie every tittle in the Title Page, yet living every where, howsoever distress'd, or wheresoever dispers'd, throughout this Spacious Kingdome.

The Author is a Priest, and graduated in Divinitie, in the time of Ignorance, and Popery, before the Gospell here in England; otherwise, he is a Gentleman of a very good and ancient House, and Extraction. A Gentleman and a Schollar, note that; for Blood and Learning, Generositie and Breeding, they are the two intire constitutive Principles of a Malignant, as compleat as Mat­ter and Forme of a Naturall Body. Out upon them both; for wheresoever they meet in one; there needs no further Proofe, you may certainly and infallibly conclude, such a Person an enemy to this our State, Reprobate, and altogether untractable to this Blessed Reformation.

The Publishing of this Sermon, I assure thee (not upon the Pub­lique Faith, but in the word of an honest man) is not with the Au­thor's Notice, much lesse his Consent; which indeed was never a [...]d, wee supposing it to be with him, as it is generally with all o­ther Malignants, who though they be no whit asham'd, yet are very much afraid of their Malignancy.

It remaines then onely, that thou beest rightly inform'd why this Sermon, (being Preach'd so long agoe) came not to publique view long before; or why it is just now held forth.

Not Before, because the publishing of it before might justly have beene interpreted very prejudiciall to the wisedome of the Mana­gers of this Holy Warre, as if they had not had sufficient Abili­ties [Page] of understanding and judgement to carry on this Holy Cause, and businesse of their Holy Covenant, unlesse they had had this Patterne or some such Copy set before their eyes, whereby to direct their whole Counsells and Actions.

But now that the Worke is so done, as the most envious Malignant cannot say, that ever any of their Predecessours in any Age have gone beyond them; It is very seasonable, yea requisite and necessa­ry indeed, to present to all the world this following Discourse, and that for this re [...]son, which (if you marke it) will plainly inferre the necessity.

For seeing that all the Orthodox, painfull and Godly ministers (put into the severall Benefices of this Kingdome by this Blessed Parlia­ment) both in their single exercises upon their Cures, and when they have exercised some 4 or 5 one over anothers head upon solemne hu­miliation dayes, have wrought powerfully upon the dullest capacities both of City and Country, and contributed much, yea very much, by their labour in the Cause, and mannagement of this holy Warre: but more especially seeing that the Reverend Assembly of Divines did not only pray, preach, exhort and counsell to this effect, but also did worke wonders, dispense with Oathes, (as much as ever the Papists can boast their Pope to have done) and make the very Scriptures themselves, especially in the English, Welsh, and Scotch Languages conformable and subordinate to this holy Warre, and holy Covenant, as much as to their owne Presbytery and beautifull Discipline: It is then most expedient and necessary, that this Sermon be now printed for the justification and vindication, both of the one and of the other, from the slander and obloquie of the Reprobate, Wicked, Cavalier-Prelatists, and of the Separatists, and Independents, that all the world may see, understand, attest, and give judgement, that neither the Parliaments Orthodox Ministers have taught, incited or stirr'd up the people to any thing, nor the Reverend Assembly of Divines have directed, or counsel'd any thing in this holy Warre, and this holy Covenant for which the word doth not both hint and hold forth a most cleer Text and warrant as you shall find it written, —

—NUMB. 16.3.‘And they gather'd themselves together a­gainst Moses, and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the Congregation are ho­ly, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift you up youselves above the Congregation of the Lord?’

MY Text presents unto you a famous Rebellion in the Iewish state, which shewes the Antiquitie of this sinne, although perhaps not that height of wicked Policy so fully reach't and accomplish't by the villainous cunning inventions of after-ages; for, Nihil inventum & perfectum eodem tempore, never was any thing so exactly at first excogitated, invented or found out, as no­thing could be added by succeeding ages to compleat and perfect it. Yet the sinne of Rebellion (although per­haps not now first devis'd, yet sure but in its Cradle and infancy, especially as it hath reference & relation to this state of the Iewes, Numb. 10.11. by computation of time in all proba­bilitie [Page 2] not two yeares old since their freedome from the AEgyptian bondage) wanted so little already of its full perfection, that here in this frame you may be­hold the compleat forme and figure of it with all parts and Lineaments fully integrated, Nay, and many acci­dentall perfections, though not all which were added to every part as it grew from strength to strength, till it came to its just Bulk and Stature. As in the body of an infant you may find every part of a man, as Front, and Eye, & Hand, & Leg, although not the severall graces and comelinesse of every of these parts, as the majestick rise of the Fore-head, and vigorous quicknesse of the Eye, the pure whitenesse of the Hand, and the decent proportion of the Leg, untill this infant be growne to some con­sistent measure both of height and bignesse: So I say here in this rebellious act, is represented every part and limbe of Rebellion, and after-ages have but added a cleanly contrivance and carriage to some of these parts, that rebelling may appeare more gracefull and comely to the eye of the world, as by the viewing of the severall particulars in my Text will more plainly appeare, Where you have,

Par. 1. Rebelles, The Rebels, They (i. e.) Korah of the Tribe of Levi, and Dathan, Abiram, and On of the Tribe of Ruben, v. 1. and 250 Princes of the assembly, Famous in the Congre­gation, and men of Renowne. vers. 2.

2. Materiale peccati, express'd by an unlawfull assembly, & se ipsos cōgregarūt, And they gather'd themselves together.

3. Formale peccati, that which doth specificate the sinne of Rebellion, notified in the Parties against whom they were gather'd together, and that was contra Mosen & A [...]ronem, the Supreme Prince and Chief Priest.

4. Capitulatio, The incapitulation or Treatie after they [Page 3] were gather'd together, & had made their partie good and strong, then and not till then they begin to capitulate and treat, & dixerunt eis, And they said unto them,

Gravaminum Remonstratio, 5. in their treatie, here's a Re­monstrance or Declaration of their grievances, Moses was too high in State, and Aaron in the Church, there must be no supreme Prince nor chiefe Priest, but 'tis a paritie both in Church and State which they seem to re­quire, and therefore they breake out first with an excla­mation, Nimium arrogatis, Ye take too much upon you. Se­condly, with an expostulation, Quare elevamini? Where­fore doe you lift up your selves above? &c.

Gravaminum Ratio, 6. That they may not seeme to be mad without reason, here are the pretended reasons or grounds of these their grievances, sufficient in their opi­nion to justifie an Insurrection; And indeed, if true, the strongest Motives that can be, for they are cunningly drawne from Religion and Gods Honour, for they can prove from Gods owne Words, that all the Congregation was holy, every one of them; and therefore there must be no Aaron, no chiefe Priest. Secondly, 'Twas apparent that the Lord was among them, and therefore it was a de­rogation from his Honour to have a Co-adjutor in Go­vernment, and so their must be no Moses, no supreme Prince, Reasons very specious and persuasive.

But sevently and lastly,7. If ye would know that which the Logicians call Causam [...], the true, Primary, Internall, impulsive Cause of all this Tumult and Rebel­lion, ye must not looke for it here in my Text in the pub­lique Remonstrations and Declarations of the Rebells themselves, for that is usually kept secret and close from the peoples eyes amongst the chiefe of the Faction, and is [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [Page 4] either disclosed by the Notorietie of the fact, when they have attained their ends and purposes, or else by the dili­gent search and enquiry of some honest Historians of those times, and the true Primary Impulsive Cause of this Rebellion is discovered by Moses to be Pride and Ambition,Eccl. 10, 13. The beginning of all sinne. Korah was but an inferiour Levite, and he aspired to the Priest-hood, as Moses plainly told him, v. 10. Seemeth it a small thing unto you, that God brought thee neere to him, and all thy bre­thren the sons of Levi with thee, but seeke ye the Priest-hood also? For which cause, both thou and all thy company are ga­ther'd together against the Lord: So that the true Cause of Korah's rebellion was ambition, he aspir'd to the Priest­hood, and Aaron stood in his way, and therefore his chiefe aime was against Aaron. Dathan and Abiram, though they were Princes of the Assembly yet they were inferiour to Moses, and that was it troubled them, Secun­di gradus erant impatientes, they could not brooke any su­periour, as they plainly told Moses, v. 13. Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a good land that floweth with milke and hony, to kill us in the wildernesse, ex­cept thou make thy selfe altogether a Prince over us? So that Ambition too was the true cause of their rebellion, they aspir'd to Supremacy, and Moses stood in their way, and therefore their chiefe aime was against Moses. So that whatsoever colour or pretext they make in their publike Remonstrances or Declarations, be it Religion, or Con­science, or care of the Common good, the true cause and ground of their rebellion was Pride and Ambition. Ko­rah was ambitious of the highest place in the Church, Dathan and Abiram in the State, and therefore they were gather'd together against Moses and against Aaron, and all this worthy of beliefe, upon the credit of Moses a faith­full [Page 5] Historian, and also an Inspired Pen-man of holy Scripture. And so here is you see, delineated and drawn a perfect Modell of Rebellion, and Rebellions of after­ges, if they have added any thing, they are but some quaint tricks and devices to adorne and set forth the seve­rall parts of this Fabrick; this still for forme and fashi­on, standing a compleat and perfect Patterne; And so I proceed to the first part of my Text.

Rebelles, Par. 1. The Rebels (They) Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and On of the Tribe of Ruben, and 250 Princes of the Assembly, Famous in the Congregation, and men of renowne; In whom there are three things observable that make this Rebelli­on dangerous: The first is, Combinatio, Levita & Ruben, The Levite and the Rubenite joyned. Secondly, Eminen­tia, Principes coetus, Princes of the Assembly. Thirdly, Po­pularitas, homines celebres, Famous in the Congregation, and men of renowne.

1. Combinatio, Korah of the Tribe of Levi, and Dathan, Abiram, and On of the Tribe of Ruben: And though none but Korah be named of that Tribe as being the principall Head, and one that had his particular aimes and ends, yet 'tis evident, that more of the inferiour sort of the Le­vites were gotten in to participate of this Rebellion, be­cause Moses in the 10 v. speakes in the plurall number to Korah, and the rest of his brethren the sons of Levi, Seeke ye the Priest-hood also?

Now the Levites, either because they were Gods lot & portion to doe the service of the Tabernacle,Numb. 2.33. Numb. 18.20. and so were not numbred amongst the rest of the children of Israel by Moses, or because God was their lot and portion, and therefore they had no inheritance in the division of the land of Canaan; for one or both of these reasons the Le­vites may very well be called by the name of [...], the [Page 6] Clergy or lot of the Lord, so that they joyning with the Rubenites, it seemes that both Clergy and Laity were combin'd together in this Rebellion; and this conjunction gives a strong incouragement and countenance to the action, for the Levite or Clergy alone would have wanted power and strength, the Laity or Rubenite alone could not have had so fair a color and cloake of Religion to cover their Rebellious practices, but both joyn'd together make a strong faction and a faire shew; and the action appeares more glorious in the world when there is such a combination between the two maine parts of the state; and therefore Adoni­jah when he exalted himselfe, saying, I will be King (when as Solomon was designed before both by God & his father David for that Regall Office) he took this course; He combin'd himselfe with the Priest, and chiefe Captain to make his party good, Hee conferr'd with Joab the sonne of Zerviah,1 King, 1.7. and with Abiather the Priest, and they follow­ing Adonijah helped him, without his helpe he saw there was but little good to be done, and therefore Abiather the Priest was a fit and usefull instrument for his ends. And that unnaturall Rebellion of a neighboring Coun­try which mask't it selfe under the specious Title of the Holy League durst not venture upon the temporall power alone, but he that professeth himselfe to be the Aaron of the whole world, is combin'd with Dathan and Abiram against Moses, and the Levites out of their Pulpits must make publique Invectives and Decla­rations against Moses, and a College of the Prophets must bee gotten to advise the simple People to Arme themselves against Moses, and Aaron's legate to coun­tenance the Action must reside in the chiefe City, and the famous Writer of the Controversies in the [Page 7] Church of Rome, Bellarmine Chaplaine to the Popes Le­gate in France, at the time of that Roman-Holy-League. has got no great credit amongst the French Historians for being one of his Retinew and com­pany, and indeed he may justly be suspected for a Boute­feau and Incendiary in that Rebellion, seeing he publi­shed such rebellious Divinitie to the whole world. And I would that some of the same Aaron's Emissaries had not beene so lately busie in this kind to the disturbance of our sweet Peace and tranquillitie. But these and the like need not applaud their Brain for any new invented Poli­cy, for we can Track them to the very fountain & spring­head from whence they derived their Plot. This here in my Text was their first Patterne and Copy, which they like Apes doe but imitate and follow; here are the Cler­gy and Laitie joyn'd together, the Levite and the Rube­nite Combin'd; Korah of the Tribe of Levi, Dathan, Abiram, and On of the Tribe of Ruben.

2. Eminentia, They were not of the inferiour sort of Commons, but the chiefe of the Nobilitie, for so you may read in the second verse, they were principes coetus, Princes of the Assemblie, qui tempore Concilii per nomi­na vocabantur, saith Saint Hierome, who were summon'd by name to the publique assemblies and meetings to consult with Moses for the good and wel-fare of the whole nation. They were è coetu convocati saith Tremelius, such as were chosen and convocated out of the congrega­tion to the publique consultations and deliberations of state, but now they have chang'd their title, for instead of Convocati they are become Convocatores authors of seditious assemblies; They that should have waited Moses his call, do now call Moses to an account; nay they, who by their eminencie and place should have eased Moses his Shoulders of the burden of government, by their disloyall carriage lay on more weight and pres­sure [Page 8] to the disturbance of the whole state, which must needs totter and shake at the disjoynture of such maine pillars; As in a structure or building if but a pin or punchion or gice doe faile there is no great feare, but if a post or beame start aside from the frame, that threa­tens subversion and ruine: if the poorer sort of the Rube­nites; or the lowest of the Levites had kindled this fire, it might have easily and soone been extinguish't, but when a Korah, Dathan, and an Abiram, Princes of the as­sembly, breake out into a flame, that will require both speedy help and strong remedies, both which the wise­dome of God us'd for the suppressing of these mens Insolencies, as in the sequell you shall heare.

3. Popularitas ▪ Here is the most dangerous and most pernitious qualitie in a Rebell, and that's their popu­larity, for the Text sayes they were Homines celebres, fa­mous in the Congregation, Vers. 2. and men of renowne; by their plausible conversation and popular deportment they had gotten themselves a name and fame in the Congre­gation, for there are two things requisite to Popularity. 1. Virtutis simulatio, a specious shew of vertue, such especially which respects the Common-good, together with a querulous complaint against the present govern­ment. 2. Populi Palpatio, a stroaking and clawing of the Congregation by a submisse and humble carriage. Now it seems, that these Rebels here had adumbrata, though not expressa virtutis signa, some shadowes and outward resemblances though not the expresse image and portraiture of vertue, otherwise they would have beene infamous in the Congregation rather then fa­mous; but though they had no stocke of vertue within themselves, 'tis likely their outward shew and carriage was borrowed from honesty and goodnesse, which toge­ther [Page 9] with their fauning courtship, and observance of the peoples humors, did purchase them fame & renown in the Congregation. And this you shall finde to be the constant practice of these kinde of Rebels; Absalom was a cunning artificer in this worke, when by faire speeches and flattering promises he went about to steale away the hearts of the men of Israel from his father David, 2 Sam. 15. as you may read, where after hee had prepar'd his stage at the entry of the gate, in the view and face of the people, then hee falls to acting of his popular parts; For,

1.Ver. 3. When any man that had a controversie came to the King for Iudgment, Absalom called him, and said unto him, See thy matters are good and right, but there is no man deputed of the King to heare thee: There's an exclama­tion against the present Government.

2.Vers. 4. Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made a Iudge in the Land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto mee, and I would doe him justice: There's Virtutis simulatio, his specious shew of vertue.

3.Vers. 5. And it was so when any man came nigh unto him, to doe him obeysance, hee put forth his hand, and tooke him and kissed him: There's Populi Palpatio.

And that you may see the dangerous consequence of this cunning carriage you shall finde in the 6 ver. that by these meanes Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

Catiline that great conspirator against the Common­wealth of Rome was excellent (saies the Orator) versare suam Naturam, Orat. pro Mar. C [...]. et regere ad tempus, to turne and wind his nature and disposition, according as the present oppor­tunitie and occasion required,The behavior of Rebels. et huc atque illuc torquere et flectere, he could writhe and bend it this way and that [Page 10] way as he pleased, so that hee could behave himselfe, cum tristibus severe, cum remissis jucunde, cum senibus gra­viter, cum juventute comiter, sadly with the sorrowful, jo­cundly with the merry, gravely with the old man, court­ly with the young man, et specie quadam virrutis assimu­latae, and by a specious counterfeit of vertue deceived many good men. Caesar the first Soveraigne over the Roman state, Sobrius ad Rempublicam evertendam acces­sit, sayes Tully, he came with temperance and sobriety to the subversion of the Common-Wealth. These and many more examples in Histories may be good Ca­veats to make us take good heed how we judge mens actions by their persons and outward appearances, that because their persons and lives at least in common ap­pearance are free from those noysom sins that infect the times, therefore their actions of affronting and rising up against their lawfull Soveraigne proceed from Reli­gion and Conscience, and care of the Common good; No by no meanes: But our surest course is, to judge mens persons by their actions, if their actions be un­sound and irregular, if they gather themselves together against their Prince and Soveraigne, against Gods ex­presse Word and Commandement, be their outward appearance never so specious and glorious, we may as­sure our selves they neither feare God nor regard man, but onely to serve their owne turnes. These (they) in my text were famous in the Congregation, and men of re­nowne, yet they prov'd impious Rebels, and came to a fearfull end.

4. But were the common people spectators all this while, were not they fetcht in by some trick and devise to participate of this Rebellion? A head without the help of a hand may contrive, but not execute; the peo­ple [Page 11] must set to their helping hands, or else the plot though never so well contriv'd cannot be efficacious, and therefore to make this first part complete, you shall find in the 10 vers. that Korah had gathered all the Congre­gation against Moses and Aaron; Korah the Levite, and in­deed this taske is commonly impos'd upon the Levites, who by their Office and Ministery (if they will abuse it) have a fairer way, and more powerfull means, to draw a­way the hearts of the poore people from their loyalty and obedience to their lawfull Soveraigne, and therefore they are commonly sent out by the Grandees of the fa­ction about the Congregation, instead of the fire of de­votion to kindle strange fire, the fire of Rebellion; and therefore Korah the Levite here he was imployed in this service. He gathered all the Congregation, &c.

So that now this first part is very complete, the com­bination strong, the Levite joyn'd with the Rubenite; the party's eminent, Princes of the assembly; their beha­viour plausible, famous in the Congregation, and men of re­nowne; and the people hook't in by wiles and trickes to serve the great mens turnes; so that there wants but a signall or watch-word and then they are up in Armes, and that belike was given, for in the next place you shall find them gather'd together. And that's the second point.

Materiale Peccati, Par. 2. the generall act of Rebellion ex­prest by an unlawfull assembly, et seipsos Congregarunt, and they gathered themselves together. They had often murmur'd against Moses & Aaron. Were they pinch'd or streightn'd with any little calamity, many times inflicted by Almighty God for their probation & tryall, Moses and Aaron were sure to be blamed: If at Marah they doe but stand in want of sweet water,Exo. 15.23.16.2. or in the Wildernesse of Sin be pincht with hunger,Numb. 13.32. or by the false reports of [Page 12] those Spies that went to search the Land, be made be­lieve that Canaan was but a barren Soyle, and the people thereof mighty and valiant, Moses and Aaron must be reviled, and threatned, and murmur'd against, when God knows they could not help it. So that 'tis no wonder that now they are rebelliously gather'd together against them, for murmuring is a neere disposition to Rebellion; when men take the libertie to complaine, and chide, and expostulate, and murmure against their Governours, urg'd many times by necessitie to some unpleasing and seeming rigorous actions, 'tis a bad signe and por­tends no good. When sudden gusts of wind begin to murmur upon the Seas, and the waves swell and tosse, 'tis a signe the storme is not farre off; The children of Is­rael here, after they had once learn'd to murmur, ere long they finde the way to Rebellion, & are gather'd together.

Et Congregarunt seipsos, Here begins their unruly de­meanour and undutifull carriage, by an illegall assem­bling themselves together. What had they so soon for­got the Silver Trumpet, which but a little before was ap­pointed by the ordinance of Almighty God, for that very use and purpose, to gather the Congregati­on together? as you may read, Numb. 10.3. At the sound of two Trumpets all the assembly were to be ga­thered at the doore of the Tabernacle of the Congrega­tion, and if but one Trumpet sounded, then the Prin­ces, heads of thousands, were to be gather'd together to Moses; And the sounding of these Trumpets was by a perpetuall law appropriated to the sonnes of Aaron: Now these Princes take upon them the office both of Aarons sonnes and Trumpets too, and most disorderly and seditiously gather themselves together, not to, but a­gainst Moses and Aaron. And indeed what else can be ex­pected [Page 13] from such unruly assemblies? when people ga­ther themselves together without any order or direction from their lawfull Governours, 'tis commonly for some bad end and purpose, the blasts of such winds ga­ther'd together are for the most part violent and feareful; In such assemblies are hatcht Treasons, Heresies, Rebel­lions, Schismes, Conspiracies, and all manner of Villa­nie; and therefore those who by their owne Histori­ans were counted cautelous Princes in the world, as Hen­ry the seventh of England King, by name, knowing the dangerous consequences of these unlawfull assemblies, scarce suffer'd any Parliament to passe in his time with­out some provision by Law against these disorderly courses of peoples gathering themselves together; and it seems it is not amisse for their owne securitie, as appears by these assemblers here; for when they had gathered themselves together, 'tis not ad or circa Mosen, but contra Mosen et Aaronem, and that's the third part, &c.

But here, by the way you may discover a little want of art in mannaging this part of Rebellion, for they might have taken an opportunity to have beene gather'd toge­ther by the call of Moses his Trumpet, and then they had begun more legally, and perhaps might better have de­fended their actions against publick obloquies; and when they were once thus fairly and orderly gather'd together, their party being so potent & strōg, they might have cho­sen whether they would have bin dissolved or no at Moses his command, untill they had attained their ends and purposes; so that this part of Rebellion might have been somewhat corrected and amended by foresight, but yet 'tis no great matter, for those that venture upon such enormous actions as these, need not stand upon such nice points of Law for their justification, and therefore [Page 14] we will not censure them for this over-sight, but proceed to the third part.

Par. 3. Formale peccati, That which doth specificate the sinne of Rebellion, and distinguish it from all other sinnes, no­tified in the parties against whom they were gather'd to­gether, and that is, Contra Mosen & Aaronem. As there were three Adjuncts or Circumstances in the parties Rebelling, which made this Rebellion in a high degree dangerous, so there are three Adjuncts or Circumstan­ces in these parties against whom they Rebelled, which makes this action in a high degree flagitious; For 'tis,

1 Contra Mosen supremum Principem, & Aaronem summum Pontificem, legitimas potestates.

2 Contra Mosen mitissimum hominem, & Aaronem San­ctum Domini.

3 Contra Mosen & Aaronem divinitus orainatos, & sic per consequens contra Deum.

'Tis contra Mosen supremum Principem, & Aaronem sum­mum Pontificem, legitimas potestates. Morall vertues and vices are formally distinguished, and constituted, by ge­nerall acts limited and determined to speciall objects, either commanded or forbidden by some Law, Ordi­nance, or Constitution; As for example, 'tis not every occision or killing that doth Constitute the sin of Mur­der, one may kill a beast, or a bird, or fish, or a creeping thing, and yet not be guiltie of this sinne; but if this Ge­nericall act of killing be determin'd or limited to a Rea­sonable creature, prohibited both by Divine and Hu­mane Law to be killed, which is the Occisio hominis, the killing of a man, then 'tis Murder. So 'tis not every dis­orderly gathering together doth Constitute the sinne of Rebellion, for had these here gather'd themselves onely in perturbationem ordinis vel pacis, the Assembly might [Page 15] have prov'd but a plaine Conventicle; or had they ga­ther'd themselves together onely to doe some unlawfull act, ad Terrorem populi, whereby either the peaceabler sort had beene feared by the fact, or the lighter sort emboldned by the example, and gone no farther, it had beene either but simply an unlawfull Assembly, or a Rout, or a Riot at most; but when they gather'd together, contra Mosen & Aaronem, against their supreme and legiti­mate Governours, ordained by Almightie God, the Act specificated by this object, doth formally Constitute the sinne of Rebellion; so that here is presented unto us a perfect definition of Rebellion, Rebellio est congregatio subjectorum contra potestatem à Deo ordinatam. Now the vitiositie of this Act (i. e.) of the subjects gathering themselves together against the power ordained by God, can never be altered or changed by the goodnesse of the end or motive, because all sinfull actions contract their Vitiositie or badnesse primarily and chiefly from their principle and forme; Now the principle and forme of all sinne, according to S. Iohn, is [...] Ioh. 3.4. [...],1 Joh. 3.4. Sinne is the Transgression of the Law: which per­fect definition, S. Aust. does but explain by distinct spe­cificall acts in which all transgression doth consist, when he sayes, Peccatū est dictū, vel factum, vel concupitum, contra aeternam legem, Sinne is either a Thought, Word, or Deed, against the eternall Law of God. Now gathering together against the power ordained by God, which in the least degree must needs be an act against the Divine Law, as is plaine to be seene totidem verbis, in Rom. 13.2.Rom. 13.2. Who­soever resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God, that act must needs be a sinne against Almightie God; and if it be a sinne, 'tis not the goodnesse of the end can warrant the perpetration of it, if the Apostles rule be true, Ma­lum [Page 16] non est faciendum, Rom. 3.8. ut inde eveniat bonum, We must not doe evill, that good may come thereof; And of those that slanderously reported of S. Paul, that he should say any such thing as Let us do evill that good may come, he pro­nounces this sentence as dis-avowing such a damnable conclusion, that their damnation was just. Vitium fit ex qualibet defectu (saith the Schoole-man) When any part or least circumstance that is requisite to the goodnesse of an action is defective, absent, or wanting, the whole action becomes vitious, much rather when the principle or forme is wanting, which consists in the conformitie of our actions to the Divine Law, which is the Originall, Principle, and Rule of all our Deeds, and the goodnesse of the end which doth but circumstantionate the action can never change the vitious nature or being of it. 'Tis not Saul's keeping the best of the Cattle for sacrifice can excuse him for the breach of Gods Commandement; and if God in absolute and unlimited termes pronounce, Whosoever resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God, I cannot see how the goodnesse of the end, be it Religi­on, or Reformation, or the common good, can warrant any such resistance from the transgression of Gods ordi­nance, except these or the like limitations had beene spe­cified and annexed to the Command, Law, or Ordi­nance of Almightie God. Vbi Lex non distinguit, nos non distinguere debemus (sayes the Civilian) Where the Law does not distinguish in what cases such a thing is to be done, or not to be done, we ought not to determine and define those cases of our own head and power, without the authoritie of the Law-giver. Either God could, or he could not have specified these particular cases, in which Subjects might have resisted the power; to say he could not, were in plaine termes to deny either his om­niscience, [Page 17] or Omnipotency, either that he did not know all those particular cases, or that he could not transmit them either by word or writing, whereby we might know and observe them. To say he could, but would not, methinkes it sounds somewhat harsh, that God should impose such a hard obligation upon the Consci­ence, not to resist the power upon paine of death and damnation, and yet reserve some particular limitations within the secrets of his owne breast, to be found out by the uncertaine deductions of Humane Reason. It is not the wonted course of the goodnesse of Almightie God, to deale so closely and reservedly with mankind in a mat­ter of so great Consequence, that so neerely concernes the salvation of mens soules, & the conservation of peace and tranquillitie in his Church. And if there were any such reserv'd limitations in Gods breast, I wonder S. Pe­ter and S. Paul, who knew the mind of Christ, and profest, that they shunn'd not to declare the whole counsell of God, Cor. 2. last. Act. 20.27. especially handling this subject, ex professo, should not once so much as mention any of these limitations, but ever speake in an unlimited manner,Rom. 13. v. 1. Let every soule be subject to the higher powers; and whosoever resisteth the power, 1 Pet. 2.13. resisteth the ordinance of God; and Submit your selves to every ordinance of man for the Lords sake. If they knew any such matter, it was not agreeable to the Can­dor and Sinceritie of an Apostle to conceale it, nor yet to the zeale and religious fervency requir'd in an Apo­stle not to practise it, when living in the time of that Monster Nero, especially having the power of Miracles, they would suffer the Church of God, to be so cruelly persecuted by that wicked Emperour. Or if these li­mitations have beene delivered over by tradition, to be put in practice by the more-flourishing times of the [Page 18] Church. I wonder in the time of Dioclesian, when Chri­stianitie (by the enemies Confession) had almost over­spread the whole world, that so many thousand Christi­ans would so quietly and patiently suffer their bloods to be spilt upon the ground for Christs sake, and yet not once draw a sword against that wicked Emperour in their Masters Cause. What? was there no zeale, no jealousie for Gods honour in these holy Martyrs and Saints of God? Or if yet the Church had not sufficient opportu­nitie to put this Divinitie in practice. I wonder that Iulian's army, consisting for the most part of Christians, would suffer that Apostate in that scoffing manner to de­ride Christ and his Religion, when they had so faire oc­casions and opportunities, either to castigate, depose, or murther him. What? was there no spirit of fortitude in those valiant souldiers, so stout and daring in their Emperours Battell, and so remisse and cold in Christs Cause? And yet 'tis more strange, that for almost a thousand yeares after Christ we cannot find these limita­tions, in what cases it is lawfull to resist the higher pow­ers, either in the practice of the Church, or in the wri­tings of ancient Fathers and Orthodox Christians? 'Tis very well known, that 'twas the ambition of the Church of Rome, first taught and maintain'd this Divinitie in the world of resisting lawfull powers. And I wonder, that those of the Reformation, who could not so much as en­dure a Vestment or an harmelesse Ceremonie, eo no­mine, for that very reason, because it had beene used by that Church, would so easily joyne with them in deposing of Princes, and rebelling against Soveraignes, that they would strain at a Gnat, and swallow a Cammell. Well, whatsoever motives or occasions others may lay hold of for resisting of the power I know not, I am sure these [Page 19] Rebels here could find but little in the persons or beha­viours of their Governours, to gather themselves thus rebelliously together against them, for 'twas:

2. Contra Mosen mitissimum hominem & Aaronem san­ctum Domini, Eccl. 45.1. Against Moses a mercifull man (said the sonne of Syrach) who found favour in the sight of all flesh, and was dilectus Deo & Hominibus, beloved both of God and man, and whose memoriall was blessed in all generations against Moses, a Prince who delivered them out of the AEgyptian bondage, brought them through the Red-Sea upon dry land, in and out before them to defend them from their Enemies, held the ballances of justice from morning to evening, and weighed to every one his right and due, smore the stony Rocks, so that waters gushed out to quench their thirst; procur'd Man­na from Heaven for them and Quailes too, not for any necessitie but to serve their Lust, and then against Aaron a holy man like unto him,Eccl. 45.6, & ver. 16. whom God chose out of all men living to offer sacrifices to the Lord, Incense and a sweet savour for a memoriall to make reconciliation for his people to appease Gods wrath and divert his pu­nishments due to their offences; and what could they de­sire more, and yet for all this, they are gather'd together against Moses and Aaron, where we may observe the re­stles and unquiet commotion of some mens ambition, who though under their gracious and pious Princes they enjoy the blessednesse of Peace and sweetnesse of plenty. Foelicitatem utriasque gladii, the happinesse of both swords; of the sword of Justice, for the defence of the right and punishment of the wrong doers, and the sword of the spirit,Eph. 6.17. which is the word of God, yet are never content untill they have unsheathed a third sword, the sword of Rebellion to make way for their owne ambiti­ous [Page 20] ends as they do here, Contra Mosen mitissimum homi­nem, &c.

But thirdly, there is a higher power then either Mo­ses or Aaron neerly toucht in this Rebellion, and that's God himselfe; for 'tis thirdly, Contra Mosen & Aaronem divinitus constitutos, & sic per consequens contra Deum, A­gainst Moses and Aaron, the one constituted Prince and Governour, the other consecrated High-Priest by divine appointment and institution; so that though they be ga­ther'd together intentionally and directly against Moses and Aaron, yet 'tis virtually and in effect contra Deum, against Almighty God himselfe: and therefore Moses in the 11 ver. truly states the nature, forme and condition of their action; for he tels them plainly that they were gatherd together contra Dominum, against the Lord, not contra Dominum Mosen, against my Lord Moses, but contra Dominum Mosis, against Moses's Lord, and not con­tra Aaronem sanctum Domini, but contra sanctum Domi­num, against the Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts. And so was this action in after times generally thought and accounted of by the whole Nation, as appeares by the daughters of Zelophehad, who then they came to sue for the inheritance of their father before Moses, Elea­zar and the Princes, they use this argument, to incline that honourable bench to favour their cause, saying, Our father died in the Wildernesse, Numb. 27.3. and he was not amongst them that gather'd themselves together contra Dominum, against the Lord in the company of Korah; and 'tis worth the observation: whosoever doth gain-say, murmurre or resist the Ordinance of Almighty God, either in the supreme power or chiefe Priest-hood, or any other legall Constitution, Order and Commandment of Almighty God in the Scripture phrase, is usually term'd a Rebell [Page 21] against the Lord. So that these Rebels here and all their followers, though they esteem themselves but [...] fighters against men, or at the most but [...] fighters against Princes and Rulers, are in deed and truth [...] fighters against God himselfe, and yet most impudently they would make the world believe 'tis for Religions sake and Gods honour that they gather'd themselves together against himselfe and his owne Ordinance.

After they had gather'd themselves together,Par. 4. and made their part strong and good then, and not till then, they begin to capitulate and treat, & dixerunt eis, and they said, &c.

This is the common policie of Rebells, They never enter into a contestation with their superiours till they are so potent and strong, as they are able to grapple with Authority, and can securely sleight and contemne their Princes just Commands; for should they appeare in small troops and daringly affront their Soveraigne, his just indignation might consume them in a Moment; and therefore those subjects whosoever they were that our Saviour speakes of in the 19 of Luk. were but poore sil­ly Rebels in respect of this policy;Luke 19.14. for after they had out-brav'd their Soveraigne, with their sawcy and pe­remptory Message: Nolumus hunc regnare, for want of sufficient power to maintaine and defend their words, were faine to submit themselves to the sword of justice, for so the Text sayes, at the return of the King they were all slaine.ver. 27. These Rebels here were wiser in their genera­tion, then so they would not openly contest and expostu­late with their Superiours untill they were gather'd toge­ther, and had made their partie strong and good, then, and not till then, they come forth with their saying, Et dixerunt eis, &c.

[Page 22]2. Et dixerunt eis: The voice of Rebellion is not u­sually so soft and gentle in such unlawfull assemblies, you shall commonly heare of an Exclamarunt, a loud cla­mor, or a vociferarunt, a gaping outcry, such as was heard at Ephesus for the space of two houres, when the peo­ple cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians; and indeed when the heart hath once transgrest the bounds of loyal­ty and obedience, and the hand unsheath'd a sword against the Lords Anointed, 'tis hard for such a slippery mem­ber as the tongue, to keep it selfe within the bounds of modestie and due respect: Yet such Rebels as these, that rely not so much upon their owne power as the peoples favour, must make use of such cunning arts and devises as are likely to gaine their good opinions, and therefore at first they keep downe the swelling pride of their hearts from breaking out in the uncivil language of the tongue, that although they be not innocent, yet by the sequels of innocency faire speeches and submissive remonstra­tions they may with more facility instill the venome of their rebellion into the hearts of the Congregation, but Naturam expellas furcâ licet usque recurrer, a flame pent in and refrain'd will at last burst out, though they begin here with a Civill dixerunt, they fall presently to an un­civill exclamation, Nimium arrogatis, and an immodest expostulation: Quare elevamini, &c.

Gravaminum remonstratio, Par. 5. A Remonstrance or Declara­tion of their grievances, &c. Nimium arrogatis quare ele­vaminis, Wherefore doe yee lift up your selves. It seemes they accuse them of Intrusion and usurpation, that they had taken upon them more then they could answer, by lifting themselves up and intruding into the chaire of State, and See of Ecclesiasticall government, without any order or Institution from Almighty God▪ and if this be [Page 23] their grievance they complaine of, they themselves must needs know 'twas an impudent Lye; for 'twas not long before, and they could not but heare of it, how God had much ado to impose this office of governmēt upon Moses, who sought to divert God from his intention & purpose by many excusive arguments, as you may read, Exo. 3, & 4. The first argument is drawne, à conditione personae, from the meanes of his Person:Exod. 3.11. Who am I that I should goe unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children out of AEgypt. The second is drawne,Exod. 4.1. à Populi incredulitate, They will not believe me, nor hearken to me, for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee. Vers. 10. The third is drawne, à naturali im­pedimento; Alas Lord, non sum facundus, For I am a man of a slow speech, and a slow tongue. Well, when God had an­swered all these arguments, Moses, to shew his averse­nesse from any such aspiring desire, breaks out too unci­villy in the fourth place,Vers. 13. with a mitte Domine quem missu­rus es, Send Lord I beseech thy Messias and Saviour of the world, whom thou intend'st to send, insomuch that God in plaine termes fell out with him,14. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against him. So that you see, Moses was much importuned by God himselfe to take this office upon him; and after he had entred upon it, the crosse­nesse and frowardnesse of the Congregation quickly made him weary of it, which made him complain to God, I am not able to beare all this people alone, Numb. 11.14. for 'tis too heavy for me; Insomuch that God was faine to joyne 70 of the Elders of Israel to beare the burthen of the people with him. It seemes Moses was of that Princes mind, who feelingly said, That if a man did but know the care, sol­licitude, and trouble of Government, Coronan jacentem non tolleret, He would not take up a Crowne, no not so much as from the ground to weare it.

[Page 24] Exod. 26.And as for Aaron, he was called to the Priestly Fun­ction and eminency in the Church by Almightie God himselfe,Levit. 8. and consecrated by Moses at God's appoint­ment to that office in the face of the Congregation, so that he was lifted up too by Divine Institution; and therefore these Rebells must needs know, that 'twas a manifest untruth and an impudent Lye, to say, that they usurp't this Power and Authorite, or lifted themselves up above the Congregation. And here you may observe the base nature and corrupt disposition of Rebellion, breaking out for the most part in ulcerous calumnies and putrified accusations for Rebells, especially such as these, who ambitiously aime at Supremacy, cannot with any probabilitie or likelyhood hope to attaine their ends, unlesse they can bespatter their Moses with some foule aspersions, either with defects in his Person; as Illegitimation, Usurpation, or Vitiousnesse in man­ners; as Injustice, inconstancy in Religion, or Disabili­ties for Government; as Sloth, Negligence, and the like; And when they can find no just cause for these odious im­putations, then they seeke by Infamous Libells, and false rumours and base reports, and black-mouth'd calumny, to sully his white and pure name, as these Rebells here most maliciously charg'd Moses and Aaron with usurpa­tion, Nimum arrogatis & quare elevamini.

2. Super Congregationem, above the Congregation. Al­though these great men here had raysed this Rebellion for their own private ends to satisfie their Pride and ambiti­on; yet in the expression of their Grievances, they seeme to aime at the Peoples good, and pretend nothing more then the redressement of their opposed injuries, as though their Priviledges and Libertie; were extorted and wrested from them by this exaltation of Moses and Aa­ron [Page 25] above the Congregation: And indeed this is a cun­ning policy of these Rebells; for knowing their owne weaknes and inability, to over-top their Soveraign with­out the Peoples help and aide, 'tis requisite that upon all occasions they should both ingratiate themselves with them, and also palliate and keepe close their ambitious designes from their intelligence; And therefore in their publique Declarations and Remonstrances, Populum cre­pant, they insist much upon the pretended Wrongs and Grievances of the Congregation, as if they had under­tooke this quarrell onely for their benefit, and therefore they charge Moses and Aaron in the behalfe of the Con­gregation, and in the next place they insert a universall Signe in the favour of the people, Since all the Congrega­tion, &c.

3. Super Congregationem Domini, above the Congrega­tion of the Lord. Here they begin their Religious Plots and Sanctified Policies, they thinke themselves safe and secure from all stormes and winds, if they can but shrowd themselves sub Nomine Domini, under the Name of the Lord. Those in the seventh of Ierem. that stole and murder'd, and committed Adultery, and swore false­ly, thought themselves free from all Thunder-claps, so they did but cry Templum Domini templum; and the De­vill's instruments in a [...]te-rages made such a common use of this precise policy, that it grew into a Proverbe, In Nomine Domini incipit omne malum, God knowes how long it will last, I am sure it begun betimes, for these Rebells here could make use of this Vermilion to colour their foule facts, and prophanely insert the Name of the Lord to set a faire glosse upon their adulterate Wares, and therefore they cry, Super Congregationem Domini. But here by the way you may discerne a grosse error in [Page 26] their mannaging of this part of their Rebellion; for here they fall too bluntly upon the businesse, and oppose themselves too broad, and directly against Moses and Aaron, they carried it with better sleight and more art. In the 14 ch. there they used some circuition & winding about to get advantages before they came to this maine on-set; there they fell first upon some of Moses his ser­vants, as Ioshuah the sonne of Nun, and Caleb, the sonne of Iephunneh, who had done Moses and the State good ser­vice by their fidelitie and faithfulnesse, in their pub­lique employment for the common good. Those they sought by Calumny, clamorous Accusations and Forge­ries, of the number and strength of their enemies, and barrennesse of the Land, to disgrace and ruine, I, utter­ly to put them to death; for all the Congregation bad stone them with stones, vers. 10. Here had they gone so to worke, and begun with Caleb and Ioshuah, and if Moses for his honours-sake, or publique safetie, should refuse to sacrifice those Loyallists to God and their Countrey, then they might with a more plausible colour of man­ners have gather'd themselves together for the dis-pla­cing of those supposed disturbers of the publique peace, and for the judgement and censure of those pretended Delinquents against their Countrey, who by evill coun­sells sought to bring both their Prince, Moses, and them­selves, his people, upon a most barren Land, and a most dreadfull and invincible enemy. And thus by degrees they might have proceeded till they had had a fairer way to a Nimium arrogatis, and a Quare ele vamini? Now eò incipiunt quo incredibile est pervenisse, They begin at that height of wickednesse, to which it is almost incredible that any subject should ever ascend or aime at. In this par­ticular sure they are much over-seene; but yet,

[Page 27]
Fortem animum praestant rebus qua [...] turpiter audem.

They set a good face upon their foule enterprises, & would make the world believe they have good grounds and rea­sons for what they doe, and so I come to the 6th part.

Gravaminum ratio, Par. 6. the pretended grounds or reasons for these their grievances. All the Congregation is Holy eve­ry one of them, and the Lord is among them. All the Con­gregation is Holy every one of them, and therfore no Aa­ron, &c. No High-priest, and here they maske their hel­lish purposes under the sacred vaile of Religion, drawing an absurd consequence, that there must be no chiefe Priest, from a wilfully misconceived interpretation of Gods owne word, because all the Congregation was Holy; for the better understanding, answering and considering of this their sophisticall argumentation, we must know what holinessee is as it relates unto the Creature, and of this the Holy-Ghost gives us a full description. Omne consecratum & sanctum sanctorum Domino. Leu. 27.23. The Old Bible renders it thus; Every thing separate from the common use is most Holy to the Lord, whatsoever is separate either by the institution of Almighty God, or the vow and free Dedication of man, from the common use of men in se­cular and worldly imployments, for the service and ho­nour of Almighty God is term'd in Gods owne phrase Holy unto the Lord, and therefore as you may read in the same Chapter, if a man did dedicate an house or a piece of ground or a field separating the propriety and use of it from the rest of his temporall estates, unto the use and service of Almighty God, it is there called and ac­counted as a thing Holy unto the Lord; & also the tithe or tenth both of the seed of the ground,Lev. 27.32. and of the fruit of the trees, and the younglings of the cattell, after it was se­parated from the nine parts which might be applyed to [Page 28] common use for the maintenance of the owners was cal­led, Holy unto the Lord, Lev. 87.32. and the Sabbath day because it was separated from the other six dayes, wherein men might labour and doe all that they had to doe; this being set a­part for the service of Almighty God, therefore it was called Holy unto the Lord, Exo. 35.2. and the whole Congregation of the children of Israel because they were separated from the Gentiles to keep those Lawes, Precepts and Ordi­nances which God hath appointed for them, whereas hee suffer'd other Nations to be defiled with their own vaine imaginations, therefore the whole Congregation are cal­led an Holy people to the Lord, Levit. 20.26. and this seems to be that part or portion of Gods word, which these Rebels here use or rather abuse for the inducement and bringing in of a puritie into the Church of God, and as a reason why Aaron should not be lifted up above the Congregation of the Lord. But here they use a palpable equivocation in the word Holinesse; for in regard that Holinesse is a se­paration of a person or thing from common use to and for the service of Almighty God, in regard of severall services of and to Almighty God, there are severall and distinct kinds of Holinesse; as in respect of persons, there is sanctitas Conversationis & sancritas Functionis; of Conversationis, when men are separated from the vanities of this wicked world, as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, & the pride of life & devoutly dedicated to the obedience and observance of Gods holy will and Com­mandements; and then there is sanctitas functionis, when certaine men are separated by divine institution from the rest of the Congregation to wait and attend Gods ser­vice, and to officiate at his Altars in the Priestly functi­on. Now though it be granted that all this Congregati­on were holy the first way as well as Aaron, (i. e.) sepa­rated [Page 29] from all other people by the gracious choice of Almighty God to serve him in their lives and conversa­tions by obedience to those Lawes, Commandements and Ordinances which God had appointed for them: yet they were not Holy by way of Function and office as well as Aaron, (i. e.) separated and set apart by the call and election of Almighty God to officiate at his Altars, and to Minister before God in the Priestly office; for thus Aaron and his sons alone were Holy, as being but a little while before set apart for the Priestly office by the vocation of Almighty God himselfe, and consecrated by Moses to that Holy Function, in the view of the whole Congregation, as is plaine to be seen. And there­fore in the fift vers. of this Chap. Moses told Korah and all his company,Exod. 28. saying▪ Levit. 8. To morrow the Lord will shew who is his, and who is Holy, (i. e.) in office and function as the next words plainly declare, and who ought to ap­proach near unto him (i. e.) as a Priest to offer Sacrifices, burne Incense, and performe other Sacerdotall Functi­ons. And indeed the Lord shew'd it with a vengeance by the dismall destruction of these unhallowed Rebels; and so you see how these Rebels here most prophanely per­vert and abuse Gods sacred word, because all the Con­gregation were Holy, as being separated from all other people by the choice of Almighty God, to keep his Commandements and Ordinances, therefore by this ae­quivocating tricke and shift, they would have set up this whole Congregation to stand in competition with Aa­ron for the Priestly office, and so have thrust him out of that eminent place in the Church, to which God had called him.

And by another Religious tricke, not unlike this, they give an heave at Moses their Prince and Governour, for [Page 30] the Lord was amongst them, & therefore there must be no Moses pretending here the honour and glory of God, for therein lies the force of their argument: The Lord was amongst them by day in a cloud, by night in a pillar of fire, and at other times in glorious appearances up­on speciall occasions, and therefore it was a derogation from the honour of Almighty God, that such an infe­riour as Moses should take upon him and exercise autho­rity when the King of Heaven and Earth was present, and here most impudently they abuse God's honour to cover their unworthy and base practises, for they could not be ignorant that God himselfe had imposed this of­fice of Government and Superioritie upon Moses, and that with great reluctancy on his part, and had seene it confirm'd to him by many signes, miracles and wonders. In AEgypt at the red Sea and in the Wildernesse, usque ad stuporem naturae; and what though God were present a­mongst them, as he is every where, and can command the whole world, solo Nutu, yet 'tis very well knowne that it seemed good to the wisedome of Almighty God to go­verne this inferiour world by second causes, so that as he disposes and orders the vegetative Natures, as Herbes and Plants and other Fruits of the Earth by the notions and influences of the Heavens and Elements, and the a­nimall or sensible creatures by the power and wisedome of man: so he orders and governes Humane Societies by Kings and Princes, whom he cals Nutritios; and ther­fore it being God's Ordinance and pleasure,Esay. 49.23. it could be no derogation from his honour or glory that Moses was lifted up above the Congregation of the Lord, for had it beene praejudiciall to his honour, the wisedome of God could have disposed otherwise of the Government of this world; but yet Religion and God's honour were glorious [Page 31] shewes to dazle the peoples eyes, that they might not pierce into the depth of their ambitious designes, and therefore they cryed out, All the Congregation are holy, and the Lord is among them, and so no Moses, no Aaron.

And see here the corrupt nature of Rebellion; There is nothing so Holy, nothing so Sacred, nothing so Pure, but 'tis prophaned, polluted, and defil'd by her abmina­tions. Religion, that sacred bond tying God and man to­gether, is made an instrument by Rebellion to undoe all Humane Societies, and the fairest vertue in mans soule is made a Maske to hide the deformities of the foulest Sin. When ambition swells, or discontent breakes out, or fury rages, then Religion must be used as decayed fa­ces doe, Fucus and Cerus, for the basest offices to cozen and delude the world; And those who before, like the unjust Judge, Neither feared God nor regarded man, can now fawne upon those whom before in their pride they scorn'd; and to advance their owne ambitious ends, force themselves against their owne nature and disposi­tion to seeme Religious: Nay, and make shift to wrap out a place of Scripture too, as the Devill did to our Sa­viour, but most miserably wrested and abus'd to serve their owne lusts, as we must obey God rather than man.

Whatsoever this or that particular man, or this or that particular Congregation, shall conceive and in­terpret to be the Word of God, though this Concepti­on and Interpretation be against the authoriz'd doctrine and discipline of the present Church, and the Consent and Practise of the ancient and Primitive Church, yet this must be obeyed as the Word of God, and that too with rising up and rebelling against their Soveraigne, contrary to the expresse Word of God himselfe; but let [Page 32] them take heed they doe not venture too far, least they be numbred in the list of that unlearned, and unstable com­pany, of whose doome S. Peter speakes that wrest Saint Pauls Epistles,2 Pet. 3.16. as they doe also the other Scriptures un­to their owne destruction. The Practice of these Re­bells here, shew this devilish device to be a great deale more ancient then S. Peters time, for they could produce a place of Scripture and Gods honour too, for the main­taining of their Rebellious actions, when ambition was the true Cause and Ground of their Rebellion. And that's the 7th Part.

Par. 7. Korah was ambitious of the highest place in the Church, Dathan and Abiram in the State, and there­fore they were gather'd together: Korah it seemes in place & eminency was next to Aaron and his sons, as be­ing Prince and head of the Kohathides, whose office was to beare the Sanctuary, a charge of greatest Honour and Note among the Levites, so that he could not endure to see his Cousin Aaron enter into the glorious Sanctua­ry whil'st he stood without, or that Aaron and his sonnes should cover the Sanctuary and all the Vessells thereof, and he must not so much as see when the holy things were cover'd, or touch any holy thing lest he dye; this was that discontented him, and therefore his aime was against Aaron.

Dathan and Abiram were Princes and Heads of the Rubenites, who came of the Elder-house, even of Ruben the eldest son of Iacob, & they could not endure to be over-topt by the yonger-house by Moses & Aaron, that descen­ded from Levi the younger sonne of Iacob, this was that they stomack't, and therefore though their chiefe aime was against Moses, yet perhaps Aaron's eminency was an eye-sore to them; they could not endure to see the Miter [Page 33] and the Scepter in the younger-house, and therefore they are gather'd together against Moses and Aaron.

And indeed all the world may perceive, and so might this whole Congregation too, (had not they beene most miserably blinded and besotted) by the weaknesse and sillinesse of these mens Reasons, that their owne ambiti­ous hopes, and not the peoples Good was their maine drift and end; for can any man with reason, thinke or imagine, that all the Congregation should have beene Aaron's, and Priests, because they were all Holy; or that they should all have bin Governours, & Princes, and Ru­lers, and do what they lift because the Lord was amongst them? This were a mad conceit to enter into a Wise mans braine; but they made use of these popular pre­tences to curry favour with the people, who suffer them­selves so easily to be gull'd and caught with these gilded-baits; and when by these Traps and Gins they had catch't the people, and won their aide and assistance for the deposition of Moses and Aaron, then no doubt they had other tricks and devices to fetch and turne the Con­gregation about for the advancement of their owne for­tunes and honours, and by preferring some specious pri­viledges, in favour of the peoples Liberties, to stop their mouthes, they themselves would have assumed the pow­er and authoritie both of Moses and Aaron. And this Plot, so cunningly contriv'd and carried in every parti­cular, by all humane likelyhood would have proved ef­ficatious, had not God out of his wrathfull indignation, at their damnable Impieties, and for the vindication of his owne honour, prophanely abused by these unhallow­ed Rebells, cut them off in the mid'st of their wicked­nesse. For will you heare the issue of this Tumult and Rebellion, when they had now screw'd up their Plot to [Page 34] the highest pitch, and were now ready to seize their prey, Korah and the two hundred and fiftie men, with Cen­sers in their hands, and Fire, and Incense, intruding themselves into the Priestly Function; Dathan and Abiram, Lording of it in their Tents, and proudly answering Moses his Messengers, Wee will not come unto him: Almighty God, by a strange and unheard of punishment, consum'd them in all their sinnes. As for Korah, Numb. 16.32. Dathan and Abiram, they that opened their mouths in a Rebellious manner against their law­full Governour, God in his just judgement suffered the inferiour creature to open her mouth against them, for so the Text sayes, And the Earth open'd her mouth and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that ap­pertained to Korah, and all their goods; They and all that appertained to them went downe alive into the pit, and the Earth closed upon them, and they perished from among the Congregation. And those 250 who would needs be med­ling with fire, with the fire of Rebellion against their lawfull Governour, and with the fire of incense against Gods expresse Ordinance, incensed Gods anger so farre that he quickly fired them out of the world, for so the Text sayes, And there came out a fire from the Lord and con­sumed the 250 men that offered Incense.

Quorum exitus perhorrescis, eorum facta imitabere? Thou that tremblest at these mens ends, wilt thou imi­tate their deeds and actions?

Rom. 2.3. And thinkest thou this O man, that judgest them which a [...] such things, and dost the same, that thou shalt escape the judge­ment of God?

6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds.

7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour, and immortality, eternall life.

[Page 35] But unto them that are contentious and doe not obey the 8 truth, but obey Vnrighteousnesse, Indignation and Wrath, Tribulation and Anguish upon every soule of man that doth evill.

Well, when men have tryed all their Counsels and wayes, they will finde the advise of King Solomon to be the most beneficiall and advantageous for the salvation of their owne soules, and the conservation of peace and tranquillity both in their private states and in the pub­lick state wherein they live,Prov. 24.21, 22 to feare the Lord and the King, and not to meddle with them that are seditious, for their calamitie shall rise suddenly, and who knoweth the ruine of them both? and so ‘To God the Father, to God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, &c.’

FINIS.

Errata.

Pag. 5. lin. 4. ges read ages. ib. l. 9. Korah, r. Korah of the Tribe of Levi. ib. l. ult. l [...], r. [...]. p. 16. l. 7. qualibet, r. quolibet. ibid. l 14. circumstantionate, r. circumstantiate. p. 21. l. 2. [...]. p. 22. l. 28. Elevaminis, r. Elevamini. p. 24. l. 31. opposed, r. supposed. p. 25. l. 24. Templum, r. Templum D [...]mins. ib. l. 25. afte-rages, r. after-ages. p. 27. l. 16. holinessee, r. holines. p. 27. l. 18. &, r. est. p. 28. l. 15. puritio, r. puritie. ib▪ l. 24. Conversatio [...]. r. Conversation. p. 30. l. 23. notions, r. motions.

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