THE Disabled Debtor Discharged: OR, Mary Magdalen Pardoned.


Luke 7.40.—51. There was a certain Creditor, which had two Debtors, &c.

By Nehemiah Rogers, Minister of the Gospel.

Inter Curas maximà cura est refroenare curiosos, Aug. Ep. 56.

LONDON: Printed for Geo. Saubridge, at the Bible on Ludgate-Hill, MDCLVIII.


TO THE RIGHT VERTV­OVS AND TRVLY RELI­GIOVS GENTLE-WOMAN Mrs. Jane Done, eldest daughter of that worthy KNIGHT (and of bles­sed memory) S. Iohn Done, late of Vtkington in Cheshiere deceased.

Worthy Gentlewoman,

THe labours of many of GODS faithfull ser­vants (in all ages) have been commen­ded to the Church of God through the gratious hands [Page]of women. S. Hierom writes to ma­ny, as to Salvina, to Faria, to Celan­tia, Marcellina, Asella; most of his workes hee dedicates to Eustochia a noble and honourable Virgin. Which practise of his (in prefer­ring that Sex) was objected against by some (as appeares in one of his Epistles) but by him defended,Epist. 140. and very justly: For however the ho­nour of that Sexe was much blemi­shed through Transgression, yet (with Mary) may the virtuous say, He that is mighty hath magnified us; not onely in vouchsafing that a woman should be his mother, when no mortall man was his Father (as Hugo speaketh) but likewise in en­dowing them with may excellent Gifts and Graces of his Spirit,Exod. 15.20 & 38.8. Judg. 4.4. 2 Kings 22.14. 2 Sam. 14.4. & 20.14. as Knowledge, Faith, Repentance, Zeale, [Page]Boldnesse, Humility, Patience, Chari­ty, Judg. 13.9, 22, 23. 2 Kings 4.8, 9. Matth. 15.22, 28. Luk. 24▪ 8, 9, 11. Judg. 4.21. Ester. 8▪ 4. Act. 8.3. & 9.2. & 16 13. Luk. 8.3. & 10.39. Curtesie and Constancy in well do­ing (wherin they have many times excelled) leaving upon a perpetu­all record, their prais-worthy works for the serious imitation of men: di­recting withall the Penmen of holy Scripture to write Epistles to them (as S. John to the elect Lady) yea to de­dicate whole Books to their names (as that of Ruth and Ester) for their everlasting Honour.

Through your gentle hands I commend this poore peece of my studies to the world. It is not ne­cessary that I should give it an ac­count why I seeke so farre from home: GOD hath wrought my heart to love those that love him, and distance of place cannot a­bridge my duty: Withall this I [Page]would the world should know that I am one, amongst those many, who truly honour You for Your virtues: In testimonie whereof I make this Dedication to Your worthy name, which I beseech You to accept of, as an acknowledgement of that debt I owe, and the unfained desire I which the Prayers shall never bee wanting of him, who is

Obliged to serve and honour You Nehemiah Rogers


I Have made my selfe thy Debtor by promise, and resolve upon a speedy payment (if God lend life:) Fishes wax scant at shore and (in such a case) it is not amisse to lanch forth into the deepe: God may so blesse our labours, that we may have cause to beckon to our Fellowes to come and helpe.

Thy former acceptance of those rude notes of mine upon some other Parables encourageth me to send thee these upon two other. I have given that liberty to my pen in the Presse (in respect of Quotation) which I held not fit to give my tongue in the Pulpit: It is an Exposition I in­tend, wherein I love to follow such sound Interpreters (both Antient an Moderne) as have gone before: Let not that offend thee. Who are disposed to carpe and cavill will picke matter to worke upon out of the best Bookes (Gods own not excepted) There are faults escaped the Presse, nor will Bookes be without them, whilst men have them; make no more then there are (thou shalt no need) mend those thou fin­dest, and so (who knowes, but) the Booke may helpe to mend thee; how ever pray for him who is,

Thy Servant (if thou beest the Churches) Nehemiah Rogers.

Errata in the Penitent Citizen

Pag. 3. line. 24. s [...]r He read She. p▪ 29. l. 12. for [...], p. 35. marg. vo­cabilum, r. vocabulum. p. 77. marg for a iota, r ab iota p 56 l. 13. for are r. 2 [...]. p▪ 130. marg [...]mlationem, r▪ emulationem. p. 168. l. 3 [...], for eying, r. lying, p. 206. [...] ▪ 5. for w [...]ought, r. wrot, pag. 224. l. 10. for [...].

Errata in th [...] [...]ona Samaritane.

Pag. 57. lin 20 for escaped of, read escaped the plague of, p. 36. l. 18. for miscendae, r. miscend [...]. p. 157 l. 34. for ipse 1. ipsi, p. 64. l. 3 [...]. for i [...]s readi [...].

The Text, Luke 7. Verse 40, 41, &c.
Verse 40. And Iesus and answering, said unto him, Si­mon, I have somewhat to say unto thee: And he saith, Master, say on.
Verse 41 There was a certaine Creditor, which had two Debters: the one ought five hundred pence and the other fifty.
Verse 42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frank­ly forgave them both, Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
Verse 43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he to whom he forgave most: And hee said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
Verse 44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman, I entred into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with teares, and wiped them with the haires of her head.
Verse 45 Thou gavest me no kisse: but this woman, since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kisse my feet.
Verse 46 Mine head with oyle thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
Verse 47 Wherfore I say unto thee, Her sins which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
Verse 48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
Verse 49 And they that sat at meat with him, began to say within themselves, who is this that forgiveth sinnes also.
Verse 50 And he said to the woman, Thy Faith hath saved thee, goe in Peace.

A briefe view of the Method observed in this Exposition upon that Parable of the Creditour and his two Debtors, Luk. 7. vers. 40, 41. &c.

  • In this Pa­rable, Luk 7.40, 41, &c. We have con­siderable.
    • The Preface, vers. 40, and therin
      • The words of the Evangelist to us declaring
        • The Author of the ensuing Parable [Iesus]
        • The Occasion of propounding it, which was a Question made secretly by Simon, to which [He answering said]
      • The words of our Saviour to Simō, cōtaining
        • An Excitation to Attention, and there
          • The Person nominated [Simon]
          • Our Saviours purpose and intent intimated [I have somewhat to say]
        • A Replication made by Simon, where
          • A reverend Appellation [Master]
          • His submisse and ready Attention [Say on]
    • The Parable it selfe, v. 41, &c. containing,
      • An Allegorical narratiō, v. 41, 42, 43. where a case
        • Propounded, v 41, 42. wherin is specified,
          • The Parties whom it did concerne, viz.
            • A Creditor who is described,
              • By his Profession or cou [...]se of life in Generall [There was a certaine Creditour] or Ʋsurer
              • By his Dealing with these his Debtors in speciall, [He frankly forgave them both, &c.]
            • And his two Debtors descri­bed,
              • By their number, [Two]
                • Alike
                  • Both were indebted to him
                  • Both were forgiven by him
                • Unlike
                  • One owed a greater Summe then the other
                  • One loved more than the other
              • By their Condition, which we must consider as it was
                • Alike
                  • Both were indebted to him
                  • Both were forgiven by him
                • Unlike
                  • One owed a greater Summe then the other.
                  • One loved more than the other
              • The Quere made, wherin,
                • The Thing demanded [Tell me which of these, &c.]
                • The Ground of that demand. [Therfore]
            • Resolved, v 4 [...] wherein is de­clared,
              • Simons Sentence or Opinion [I suppose he, &c]
              • Our Saviours approbation [Thou hast rightly judged]
          • The morall or Application, v 4 [...], 4 [...], 46, &c. where our Sa­viours.
            • Posture, ver. 44. there
              • His Act or motion He turned
              • The Object or Person [To the woman]
            • Speech & that
              • To Simon, vers 44-48. containing
                • An Interroga­tion, v. 44 wher
                  • A Dutie enjoyned [Seest thou this woman]
                  • The Person on whom it is imposed [Thou]
                    • Against, Civility, Thou gavest me no water, &c.]
                    • Against Charity, Thou gavest me no kisse.
                    • Against Ho [...]pitality, my head with oyle thou didst not annoint.
                • An Expostula­tion, v. 44-47. which hath in it.
              • To the woman, ver. 48, &c. d [...] ­claring.
                • Her Abso­lutiō, v. 48 49. & in it
                  • The Sentence givē ver. 48.
                    • By whō, he said For whō, thy sins
                      • A Pre [...]erence, wherein
                        • A Reprehension of Simon [...]r his Defects.
                        • A Commendation of the wo­man for her respects laid down Antithetically.
                          • She hath washed my Feet with teares, &c.
                          • She hath not ceased to kisse my Feet, &c.
                          • She hath annoynted my feet with oyntment, &c.
                      • An Inference vers. 47. and there
                        • The Doctrine de­livered containing
                          • A Position in which
                            • The Point [Her sins] &c.
                            • The Proofe [for she loved much]
                          • An Opposition [But to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.]
                        • The Confirmation [Wherefore I say]
                      • The thing effected [Hath saved]
                  • The Ex­ceptiō ther at taken, v 49. where
                    • The persō, they that sat, &c. Their ac­cusation, who is this, &c.
                • Her dismis­sion, v 50 wherein
                  • A certificate shewing
                  • A Pasport prescribing
                    • The meanes [Thy Faith]
                    • The way [In Peace]
                    • The course [Goe]

A TABLE OF THE DOCTRINES AND OB­SERVATIONS COLLECTED and Prosecuted in this en­suing Exposition of that Para­ble, Luk. 7.40, 41, &c.

  • 1. CHRIST much affected a parabolicall way of tea­ching. Doct. Pag. 9.
  • 2. The Heart hath a tongue in it. pa. 11.
  • 3. God hath an answer for the words of the minde, pag. 12.
  • 4. Sinners (not sinning presumptuously) are to be reprooved with the spirit of mockenesse, page 13.
  • 5. It is lawfull sometimes to reproove by name, p. 16.
  • [Page]6. When our Brother sinnes, we should say somewhat to him, pag. 19.
  • 7. Courteous usage should not hinder reproofe, p. 22.
  • 8 The name and disposition are somtimes sutable, p. 25
  • 9. Reverence and respect is due to Gods Prophets▪ p. 27
  • 10. What Christ saith we should readily attend unto, page 31.
VERS. 41.
  • 1. Borrowing and lending is a practise of long stan­ding, Doct. page 36.
  • 2. God is a Creditour, page 40.
  • 3. Sinners are indebted Persons, page 44.
  • 4. The elect before conversion are indebted with the wicked, pag. 50.
  • 5. All are not alike indebted to the Lord, pag. 51.
VERS. 42.
  • 1. Sinners are disabled Debtors, Doct. page 55.
  • 2. Disabled debtors should be dealt mercifully with, pag. 61.
  • 3. Remission of sinne is feisable and attaineable, p. 62.
  • 4. Whom God forgives, hee fully forgives, page 67.
  • 5. Remission is of free Grace and Mercie, page 71.
  • 6. It is generall to all who cast themselves on Gods free mercy for it, page 78.
  • 7. God forgiveth great debts, so well as small, page 81.
  • [Page]8. Who owes least needs pardon, as well as he who owes most, pag. 83.
  • 9. Who have beene beneficiall to us should be respect­ed of us, page 87.
  • 10. The more kindnesse wee have received from any the more should they be endeared to us, pa. 1.
  • 11. God is truly loved of all whose sins are pardoned, pa. 92.
  • 12. All that love God doe not yet love him with the like degree of Love, pag. 97.
  • 13. Who loves God most? is no unprofitable Question, pag. 103.
  • 14. Love is Loves load-stone, pag. 105.
  • 15. After the Iudgement is rightly informed, Sen­tence may be passed, pag. 108.
VERS. 43.
  • 1. A wise Reproofe is not in vaine to an honest heart page 100. Doct.
  • 2. The truth must be told, page. 113.
  • 3. The more mercy in the Forgiver, the greater Love (as may be supposed) is in the Forgiven, pag. 122.
  • 4. The truth should be received, whoever brings it, pa. 125.
  • 5. There is place for praise as well as for reproofe, p. 129
  • 1. Vpon our turning to God, God wil turn to us, Doct. p. 132.
  • 2. Sorrow is often silent, pag. 135.
  • [Page]3. The deportment of a true Penitent, is worth our ob­serving, pag. 37.
  • 4. It is lawfull to behold a woman, pag. 140.
  • 5. Not onely the guilt of sinne, but the staine of it is done away by true Repentance, pag. 144.
  • 6. The best women are best worthy seeing, pag. 146.
  • 7. By weake instruments, God confounds the wisedome of the wise, pag. 147.
  • 8. Circumstantiall omissions in the entertainment of our friends may forfeit much of our thankes, pag. 151.
  • 9. Christianity is no enemy to curtesie, pag. 155.
  • 10. Things (in themselves lawfull) superstitiously abused may notwithstanding such abuse be used lawfully pag. 157.
  • 11. The lowest member of the body may not be despised pag. 161.
  • 12. Where sinne is truely repented it is lamented, pag. 166.
  • 13. The greatnesse of sinne should be answered with the greatnesse of sorrow, pag. 177.
  • 14. What hath beene abused in the service of sinne, true Repentance converts to the service of God, page 181.
  • 15. The best ornament is not thought too good for Christ by a true Penitent, p. 182.
  • 1. The signes of true affection may not be forgotten, Doct. p. 184.
  • 2. Whos [...] loves Christ will kisse the Feet of Christ, pag. 186.
  • [Page]1. God allowes both for necessity and delight, Doct. p. 191.
  • 2. Mirth at Feasts is allowable, pag. 191.
  • 3. Love is liberall of the best it hath, pag. 198.
VERS. 47.
  • 1. Doctrines delivered should bee well grounded and aptly inferred, Doct. pag. 201.
  • 2. Christs word is sufficient confirmation of Doctrine pag. 202.
  • 3. Incontinency of life is accompanied with other sins p. 204.
  • 4. Grievous sinners upon Repentance shall find mer­cie, p. 208.
  • 5. A proofe from the effect is very demonstrative, p. 215
  • 6. Love of Christ is a sure signe that sin is remitted, pag. 216.
  • 7. Loving much, argues much received, pag. 219.
  • 8. Proportionable to that assurance which we have of Remission by Christ will be that love we beare to Christ, pag. 220.
VERS. 48.
  • 1. The power of Absolution belongs unto Christ, Doct. pa. 223.
  • 2. It is not enough that our sins are pardoned in Hea­ven, but the Assurance thereof in our owne consciences should be sought after, pag. 229.
VER. 49.
  • [Page]1. Christ was sociable, pag. 233.
  • 2. Those that d [...]p in the same dish with us are some­times enemies unto us, Doct. pag. 2 [...]6.
  • 3. Sinners are worse within then without, pag. 273.
  • 4. The thoughts of the heart are knowne to Christ, pa. 240.
  • 1. Who so are absolved by Christ are dismissed the Court, Doct. pag. 253.
  • 2. The true and beleeving Penitent even in this life is saved, pag. 256.
  • 3. Faith, Hope, Charity and other Graces are conco­mitants, pag. 258.
  • 4. Who so would be justified and saved must have a Faith of their owne, pag. 261.
  • 5. More is required of a Christian then bare belee­ving▪ pag. 265.
  • 6. Peace of Conscience is the fruit of Iustification by Faith, pag. 271.

The PENITENT CITIZEN: OR, Mary Magdalens Conversion.

LUKE 7 VER. 40, 41, &c.

And Iesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somwhat to say unto thee, and he saith, Master, say on. There was a certaine Creditor which had two debtors, &c.

OUr Saviour being invited by a Pha­risee to eate meat; honoured the Inviter with his blessed presence, he went into his house and sate down to meate, (saith the Text.D. H [...]ll. Cont. in Nov. Test. lib. p. 73.) Not for any pleasure that he took in the di­shes (for what was that to him who began his work in a whole Lent of daies?) but that he might doe his Fathers will, which was his meate and drinke, [Page 2]Iohn 4.34. and for the benefit of his so winning a conver­sation, who comming downe from Heaven, did not only frame himselfe to our nature, but being on Earth, comply­ed himselfe to the severall dispositions of men, becomming all things to all, that he might win some.

Whilst our Saviour sate at meate, A very memorable passage fell out in the Conversion and publike remission of a sinner, led in with a note of wonder, verse 37. Behold a woman in the City, &c.

To heare of a true Convert is both Good newes and Great: A greater work it is to Convert, then to Create, should we put into the one hand of God the World created, and into his other hand a soule converted; the glory of this hand would be the greater. If at our Crea­tion David falls a wondering, Surely I am fearefully and wonderfully made, much more should we admire the work of our spirituall Regeneration and Conversion.

Every Penitent may justly be brought in with a shoute; this by an eminence; whose Change in the order and disposition of her life,Luke 15. was farre more strange then the Returne of that Prodigall in the Parable, who yet went very farre, as there we reade.

He was urged and driven thereto with the stormes of affliction and distresse; Need, Impatient hunger, and a base service did beate him back; But this Woman en­joying the morrow as to day, and every day solemnizing (as it were) the Coronation of her sinfull pleasures, in the height of glory, when she might have vied with the Summer-beames in pride and glistering: Then (like the King of Nineveh) to arise from this her throne,Jonah 3. and lay aside those roabes of her delights, and to cover her selfe in a wave of salt and bitter teares (as with sackcloth.) And (sitting downe in the ashes of her sorrow) to pro­claime a perpetuall Fast from sin; why, this (in mortall eyes) if ever any thing were strange, was even strangely wonderfull and full of admiration.

Should we but cast our eyes on each Particular Circum­stance [Page 3]of her Faith and Repentance, as we have them re [...] ­ated in the Text, we should find them worthy our best con­sideration.

First, she was a woman by Sex, and so the weaker vessell, 1 Pet. 3.

Secondly, a woman in the City (whether Naim or Ie­rusalem, it much matters not) a place usually supplied with more variety of temptations then ordinarily the solitary and still Countrey; and might be rubbs in her way and hinderances to her Conversion.

Thirdly, a woman in the City that was a Sinner, one infamously dissolute, and obdured in a notorious trade of evill. Now that such an one, should presume to come to a Pharisees house, a place of an awfull and severe pre­sence; and at such a Time, when there was a Feast where­at Christ was present, who was purity it selfe. And after such a manner, in a kind (as it may seeme) of im­portunate unmannerlinesse (unwontedly incident to a womans condition) to thrust in, and then lay hold upon her Saviour; why these, every one severally were pregnant Circumstances of a most extraordinary repre­sentation of a rare Faith in so young a Convert.

Nor do the other Circumstances of her Repentance, de­serve any lesse accent of admiration; be having found her Iesus, shewes the true remorse of her heart in six par­ticulars.

First, in her Humility; she takes her stand at the feet of Christ, esteeming the lowest place too good for her, so vile an abject.

Secondly, Bashfullnesse and shame; she doth not boldly face Christ, but gets behind him; being conscious of her sins, which thus placed her deservedly.

Thirdly, Sorrow; The Rock is now turned into a wa­ter-poole, and the flint into a river of waters: she weepes, and in such abundance, as that she washeth Christs feet with those streames of Penitence.

Fourthly, Revenge; That haire which shee had so [Page 4]often gently combed, and cunningly broydered against the glasse, and then spread forth as a net to catch her amorous Companions withall, she now imployes in the wiping those Feet, which she had with her teares washed.

Fifthly, Love; manifested in kissing Christs Feet, ac­knowledging thereby that she tasted of the Comfort that was in him. O how gladly will one that hath escaped drowning kisse the shoare!

Sixtly, Bounty; she powres a pretious and costly oint­ment upon those Feet she had thus wash't, and kissed: Every way she approved her selfe a perfect Penitent And therefore no marvell (the great prize comming) if the Trumpets sound; the newes of this rare Convert is pro­claimed with an Ecce, Behold a woman.

All this did Simon the Master of the Feast behold, but yet a squint; none stood so much upon the termes of their owne righteousnesse, as the Pharisees; nor did any more scornefully disdaine the company of a person infamous, then did they. This Pharisee (though of the better sort, as we may conceit in that he invited such a guest as Jesus) did strongly savour of the leaven of his Profession; for where he should have admired Christs Mercy, he questi­ons his Calling; Before this he judged him a Prophet; now he questions whether he were so much: were this man a Prophet he would surely know what manner of Woman this is that toucheth him, for she is a sinner, q. d. I thought I had invited a Prophet to my house, but I see he is none. He is no Prophet who is ignorant of the life of one so vitious comming so neare him as to touch him. But of the vitious life of this woman who toucheth him and wa­sheth his feet he is altogether ignorant: It cannot be therefore that he is what I took him to be. The Proposi­tion he takes for granted, 1 King. 14.6. 2 King. 1.3. 2 King. 5.26, which yet is not true; for every Prophet, knew not every thing, no nor did the best Prophet ever know all things; their knowledge reacheth onely so farre as it shall please God to extend it, See 2 King. 4.27. &c. 2. ver. 3, 4.

The Assumption he thus makes good, did he know how vitious a woman this is, he would not suffer her to come behind him and wash his feete, &c. But this he suffers willingly, therefore he (questionlesse) is igno­rant what she is.

Our Blessed Saviour well perceiving Simons error to arise out of Ignorance or weake mistaking, and not pro­ceeding from a malicious spirit (as did other Objecti­ons made by some of his fellow Pharisees) Returnes a Convictive Answer by way of Parable, telling him of a certaine Creditor which had two debtors: wherein he doth first vindicate himselfe, and make it evident to Si­mon, that he knew both this womans life and heart, and so was a Prophet, yea and more then so. Secondly, defends this woman, proving that she was not now what she had beene, nor as he conceived her to be. For she was changed from what she was, and therefore not to be censured for that she is not.

In which Parable, we have First, the Prologue or pre­face to it, v. 40. Secondly, the Parable it selfe, to be considered, v. 41.—50.

The Parable is prefac'd, First with the words of the Evangelist to us, [And Iesus answering said,] And Se­condly, with our blessed Saviours wordes unto Simon, [I have somewhat to say unto thee, &c.]

The wordes of the Evangelist to us, acquaint us both with the Author and the Occasion.

The Author of the ensuing Parable, is Iesus, A Pro­phet mighty both in word and deed, (however Simon esteemed him to be.)

The Occasion was, the Objection that Simon made with­in himselfe, upon the ground you heard before; His Heart made the Question, and Christ makes Answer to it.

The wordes of our Saviour to Simon conteyne in them; An Excitation of Simon to Attention, [Simon I have somewhat to say unto thee,]. To which is added the Replication that Simon made to Christ, [Master say on,]

In the Former we have considerable; 1. The Person nominated [Simon.] 2. The Purpose or Intent of our blessed Saviour specified, [I have somewhat to say unto thee.]

In the Latter, we may take notice, First of the Reve­rend Appellation given by Simon to our Saviour, [Ma­ster.] Secondly, of his Submissive obedience, and ready attention, [Say on]

The Parable it selfe followes, from, vers. 41. to the end. Where more particularly consider we, First, the Allegoricall narration. [The was a certaine Creditor, &c. vers. 41.—44.] Secondly, The Morall or Appli­cation. [And he turned to the Woeman, and said, &c. vers. 44, &c.]

In the Narration we have, First a case propounded, verse. 42. And then resolved and determined, v. 43.

In the Propounding part, we have First, A Relation made of the parties whom the case concernes, vers, 41 Secondly, a Quere made upon it, vers. 42.

The Parties are, A Creditor and his two Debtors: The Creditor is described to us, First in Generall, he was a certaine Ʋsurer, (for so the word is.) Secondly, by his Practise or dealing with these his Debters in parti­cular, [hee frankly forgave them both.]

The Debters are set forth, First by their Number; [Two,] Secondly, By their Condition, which is to be considered; First, As it was Alike, and that in two things; 1. Both were indebted. 2ly. Both were for­given. Secondly, as it was Vnlike, and that in two things. 1. One ought a greater summe then the other. 2. That one loved more then the other.

The Quere made upon this Relation, we have in those wordes, [Tell me therefore, &c. vers. 42.] Wherein consider we, First, the Demand made, [Tell me.] Se­condly the Ground thereof, [Therefore.] It beeing as hath bin related to thee.

This Case being thus Propounded, is Resolved and de­termined, [Page 7]vers. 43. [Simon answered and said,] Where­in we have considerable, First, Simons Sentence, [I sup­pose he to whom he forgave most.] Secondly, our Sa­viours approbation of it, [thou hast rightly judged.]

The Application followes, vers. 44. to the end. Where­in observe we First, the Posture our Saviour used. Se­condly, the Speech our Saviour made.

Our Saviours Posture is layed downe in these wordes, [And he turned to the woeman,] Where first his Action, secondly, the Object must be considered.

Our Saviours Speech is directed, First, to Simon. Then unto the Woeman. To Simon, vers. 44.—48. And it con­teyneth in it, First, an Interrogation or Question. [Seest thou this woeman?] Secondly, an Expostulation with Simon about what had formerly passed, [I entred into thy house, &c.]

In the Interrogation, there is first a Duty imposed, [seest thou,] i.e. Behold her better, see her Conversation and behaviour. 2. The Person on whom this duty is imposed [Thou] who holdest thy selfe to be more righteous and just then she.

In the Expostulation made with Simon, we have first a Preference, vers. 44, 45, 46. Secondly an Inference, vers. 47.

The Preference hath in it, First, a Reprehension of Simon for his defects; Secondly, a Commendation of the Woe­man for her respects. And these are layed downe Anti­thetically; the one by way of opposition to the other, for the better illustration.

Simons defects for which he was reprooved were three 1. Against Civility, he gave him noe water for his feete, 2. Against Charity, he gave Christ noe kisse. 3. Against Hospitality, he annointed not his head with oyle, yet In­vited him to a feast.

The Woemans respects were seene in supplying all these wants, 1. The want of water she supplies with her Teares. 2. In stead of kissing his cheeke or lips, shee [Page 8]kisseth Christs Feet; (the lowest member of his body.) 3. In stead of annoynting his head, shee powers her oyntment upon his feet, which before she had washt, and kissed.

Next our Saviour directs his speech unto the woeman, [And he said to her, vers. 48, 49, 50.] Wherein we have 1. Her Absolution, vers. 48, 49. 2. Her Dismission, vers. 50.

In the Former we have, First, the Sentence given. And in it consider. 1. By whom: [hee said.] 2. To whom, Thy sinnes, &c. Secondly, Offence thereat taken, vers. 49. Where the Persons that are Offended, They that sate at meate, 2. The Ground of it, and that was their Ignorance of Christ and his office, [Who is this, &c.]

In the Latter, the woemans dismission, vers 50. We have mention made, first of the Instrumentall cause of her justification, [Thy faith hath saved thee.] 2. Of the Effect, [Goe in peace.]

Parables, (like Trees,) have in them both Barke, and Pith. It is not Gods minde that we should sticke in the Barke, Creditor il'e Deus est, in cu­jus albo omni um mortalium continentur no­mina. Aret in loc. Adunbratur per hos Simon & mulier illa pec­catrix [...] vero totum ge­nus humanum equo nemo quis­quam s [...]lvendo exsistat, quā vis ratione peccati actualis vnus altero plus de­beat. Muthes in loc. or outward letter, but endeavour the mysticall and more noble sense. Who (then) this Creditor is; and who these Debters are, and what that Debt is which was owing, and forgiven; would be briefly knowne.

The Creditor is, God almighty, so he is compared in other places, as Math. 18.24. Our Saviour expoundeth this himselfe, vers. 35. And in the application of the Pa­rable he doth the like.

The Debtors here spoken of, were Simon the Pharisee and this Woman, who had beene a notorious and loose liver. But more generally, All mankind under these two are comprised, even the whole Posterity of Adam; es­pecially such as are within the Pale of the Church, and professe Gods truth. All of us are Debters to the Lord, yet one more deepe then another, in respect of Actuall [Page 9]trangression, and breach of his Law.

Our Sinnes are our Debts, which Debt no man is of himselfe able to pay: onely Remission can discharge and free us from it:Debitum quid est nisi peccatū &c. Aug de verb. Dom. c. 28 and this we doe obtaine through the mercy of God in Christ. These with other Parti­culars in the Parable, shall be further opened and ex­plained in the prosecution. Wee now looke backe a­gaine upon the parts; and so first begin we with the Preface.

[And Iesus answering said unto him. Text. ]

These are the wordes of the Evangelist to us; yet indited by the Spirit, (as was all other Scripture,) and so no lesse to be esteemed Gods, then that which fol­lowes; albeit they were not spoken immediately from Christs owne mouth. They acquaint us with the Author of the ensuing Parable, together with the Occasion. Text. True convert on Luk. 15.1, 2. Familiare est Syris, & max imè Palestinis, ad omnem ser monem suum Parabolas jun­gere, ut quod per simplex prae­ceptum teneri ab auditoribus non potest, per similitudinem exempla (que) tene­atur, Hier. in Math. 18. & Clem. Alex. l. 5. Strom. Lege Chrysolog Ser. 96. Arist. lib 3. de anima. text. 39. The Author was Iesus.

[And Iesus said unto him.]

Our Saviour much affected this Parabolicall way of teaching, the Reasons I have acquainted you withall, on some other Parables, one or two here shall suffice to give, why our Saviour so ordinarily opened his mouth in Parables.

First, he used this kind of teaching (then much in use in the place he taught) for the botter Instruction of the sim­ple, with whom a Parable doth often more prevaile then a Sillogisme. Thus Marke 4 33. It is said that with many such Parables spake he the Word unto the people, as they were able to beare it. Saint Matthew numbers seven, Chap. 13. at the same time delivered. Saint Marke adds further, that without a Parable he spake not unto them; Endeavou­ring to help the Soule by the Body, the Ʋnderstanding by the Sense, and by earthly Objects to raise up our soules to heavenly Meditations.

Secondly,Innata nobis via est ut a no­tioribus ad mi­nus nota vobis progrediamur. Arist. in lib. 1. Phy c. 1 Obscura & dif­fi [...]ilia in Scrip­turis magna in­genia exercent, & somnum osci­tantiam (que) dis­cutiunt, ut ad fructum intelli­gentiae perveni­ant. Aug. in Psal 140. Vse. for the better stirring up of the affections, and quickning the attention of the willing. Truthes are con­veyed to the Understanding with the more delight in Pa­rables; and make a willing mind more inquisitive after knowledge. Thus an edge was set upon the desires of the Disciples by Parables; they come to their Master, and desire him to acquaint them further with the mysteries of the Kingdome.

Thirdly, he used this Method, for the better Conviction of the Impenitent and Obstinate. So Mat. 21.41. They are enforced to passe their own sentence: and Simon here is fetcht in, ere he be aware and made to passe sentence against himselfe, for her, whom he before condemned.

Let us delight in reading of these Parables and studying of them. God hath furnished his Word with many, even with so many as there are weeks in the yeere (as some ob­serve.) How willing is Christ to bring us unto Heaven who thus useth the help of Art for that end,Mat. 13. Coelorum regnū idcirco terrenis rebus simile di­citur, ut ex ijs quae animus no­vit, surgat ad incognita, quae non novit. Qua­tenus exemplo visibilium, se ad invisibilia rapiat & per ea quae usu di­dicit, quasi con­fricatus inca­lescat, &c. Greg Hom 11. in Evang. Text. and speakes to us in such a Dialect, of the Mysteries of his Kingdome as we may best understand? We know what sowing seed is; such a thing is the Kingdome of Heaven; what a Pearle is, what a Treasure, what a graine of Musterd seed, what Leaven, &c. Why the Kingdome of Heaven (saith Christ) is like to these. In the sight and use of these earth­ly things raise up your thoughts. Of this see more on the Parable of the Lost sheep, Luk. 15.3, and on The good Sama­ritane, Luke 10.30.

Answering] Here the Evangelist acquaints us with the Occasion of propounding the ensuing Parable, which was a Question or doubt before arising in the mind of Si­mon; so we read in the foregoing verse, Simon said within himselfe. Now he answers, non ad verba sed ad cogitatio­nes, quas in Pharesaei animo prospexerat, (saith Maldonat) not to the words, (for we read not that the Pharisee said any thing at all) but to the thoughts of his heart Christ answered: Audivit enim Dominus Pharisaeum cogitan­tem, saith Saint Austin. So then

Doct. The heart hath a Tongue. Thoughts are [...], the words of the mind; what we think we speake.

Thus we speake to God, as did Hannah, 1 Sam. 1.13. So did Moses, Exod. 14 15.

And to our selves, Psal. 10.6, 11, 13. & 14.1. & 53 1. Eccles. 2.15, Mat. 3.9. & [...]4 48. Luke 16.3. Rom. 10.16.

Vse. Make Conscience of Thoughts,Quicquid pudet dicere, pu­deat & cogitare. Hier. in Epist. ad De­metriadem. as well as of your words, and what you are ashamed to speake be ashamed to think. They onely want a Shape, to be audible to Others, which the Tongue gives them: Could men know them, and convince them, they should be no lesse liable to censure, then if they came forth clothed with words: God knowes them, and judgeth of them accor­dingly; yea he knowes them and understands their lan­guage better then our selves, Deut. 31.21.Aug. Confess. lib. 10. c. 27. Saint Austin speaking unto God saith thus, Intus tu eras & ego foris, Thou wert within and I was without,Jer. 4.15. Quum repro­borum menti­bus occasio per­perrandi pecca­ti deest, deside­riorum cogita­tiones eorum cordibus nulla­tenus defunt: & quam non sem­per Diabolum sequuntur in orere, valde ta­men se illi alli­gant in cogita­tione. Greg. mor. 14. Si quid cogita­veris, cito ap­parebit: conver­santibus: bene cogitata si ex­cidunt non occi­dunt. Seneca in Proverbijs. thou knewest my secret thoughts when I my selfe was ignorant of their meaning. Give no way to wickedones; think it not law­full to range in conceit upon any folly or lust. Play not with the divell in Imagination (as Gregory saith some do) for this kind of sport is an unlawfull game. After that the Froggs of Aegypt have got into the chambers of your hearts, the Caterpillers of Aegypt will soone destroy the fruit of your land. Be we more abundant in Good ones; make pretious account of them with David, Psal. 94 19. They are Good Companions; whence it is that God spea­king of his Commandements, Deut. 6.6, 7. & 11.19. saith, They shall be in thy heart, and thou shalt speake of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way; when thou lyest downe, and when thou risest up. Now this speaking and talking is not onely (though principally) to be understood of outward conference with others, (for many a man walkes alone, and lyes alone, &c) But also of talking with our selves, according to that of Salomon, Prov. 6.22. When thou awakest it shall talke with thee, that is, when thou and it are alone, it [Page 12]shall teach thee, and finde thee good discourse; this should make us count good thoughts pretious.

Doct. Secondly, Observe, God hath an Answer for the words of the Minde as well as for the words of the Mouth. The ve­ry Thoughts of our hearts expect to have met withall, Mat. 9.3, 4. & 12.25, Luke 5.22. & 6.8. & 11.17. & 24.38.

Vse 1 It is a poore peece of pollicie to come before the Lord, as Ieroboams wife did, disguised: Who will say what they thinke? with what a deale of faire pretence do men cover their hypocrisie and guile of spirit? Yet God hath a Candle that gives light into all the Bowells of the belly; he hath no need that any man should testifie of man,Pro. 20.27. for he knowes what is within man, Ioh. 2.24. And he hath fitted his Word, and framed it of purpose (by his All-seeing Spirit) that it may discover what is hid, and converse secretly in the bosomes of men, Heb. 4. verse 12. daily experience maketh this good.

Whilst the Word is Preaching it doth so ransacke the heart,1 Cor. 14.25. that such as heare it cannot but be perswaded the Minister is acquainted with their sins, and that he aimes at them; Willfully, being ignorant of this, that the Word will search them, though the Minister never saw their faces. The Bow is drawne at an adventure by our hand; It is God that guides the flight into Ahabs bosome; he answers you according to the Idolls in your hearts, Ezek. 14.4. When you come to a Sermon know you come to a narrow Searcher, which will tell you of your Adulteries, Oppressions, &c. And reveale unto you (as Elisha did to the King of Israel) whatsoever is done privily in your private chamber.

Vse 2 And it may encourage humble Christians to rest on the Word for answer to those doubts they are not willing to make knowne. Hardly can there be an Objection in a mans mind, but, if he constantly attend to the Word, it will meet with it. How often hath the Lord met with the secret Objections of our soules before we were aware? [Page 13]And guided the Tongue of his servants to the very point that troubled us? God can strangely be our Physitian, and yet no creature know our disease. But this is not spo­ken as if men should represse or smother doubts; for if the Lord doth not answer otherwise, we are to pro­pound them to the Wise and Learned, who are able to re­solve us.

We now come to the words of our Saviour to Simon, which are very insinuative: He windes into his Affecti­ons, in naming of him so lovingly; and prepares his At­tention in craving Audience. Simon must be answered, and reprooved for the thoughts of his heart; yet not in Iudgement (as the obstinate and malicious were,) but in Mercy, in a gentle convictive way. He comes not on him as the Syrians did on Gilead, Amos 1.3. threshing him with a flayle of yron; nor scourging him (as Reho­boam threatned to scourge Israel) with Scorpions, 2 Chron. 10.11. but with all meeknesse and moderation of spirit according to the nature of his error, knowing it to be through ignorance and weaknesse. From his Ex­ample learne we

Doct. To answer our Brother (not sinning presumptuously) with the spirit of meekenesse.

So exhorts the Apostle, Gal. 6.1. If any be fallen into any fault, (i.e. through infirmity) yee that are spirituall re­store such a one [...],Nihil probat spiritualem vi­rum, sicut pec­cati alieni tra­ctatio: quum li­berationem ejus potius quam in­sultationem, po­tius (que) auxilia, quam convitia meditatur, & quantum facul­tas tribuitur suscipit. Aug. sur. Epist. ad Galat. in the spirit of meeke­nesse. Looke as Chyrurgions and Bone-setters (for to them the Apostle doth allude) in restoring and setting right a dislocated joynt, doe it with all the tendernesse that may be, so tenderly should we go about this businesse of Reprehension, having to do with a weak and flexible delinquent.

Upon which words of the Apostle, Martin Luther, though his spirit were as the spirit of Elias; fiery, and vehement, (the hottest burning Taper that ever yet shi­ned in the Church of Germanie,) delivers and commends this Doctrine to our wisest Considerations, in as much as [Page 14]the contrary hereunto savours too much of that Popish racking and tormenting of the consciences of men, for every small offence committed, and too little of that Spi­rit of Christ, by the Apostle there commended; which (not in the zeale of severe Justice, but) in lenity and mildnesse lifteth up them that be fallen, and gently resto­reth that which is decayed, either through the deceit of Satan, or the weaknesse of sinfull flesh.

And as there were some in his daies (of whom he there complaines) so are there in ours, who when they should refresh and comfort thirstie consciences, they give them gall to drink, as Davids enemies did him, and the Jewes Christ.

Their Reproofes are like the thoughts of jealousie, Cant. 8 Implacable and Cruell, as the Grave; and under the cloake of friendly Reproofe they cast forth their flames and brands of consuming heate, as if that Mars and Saturne were in some fiery conjunction over their tongues.

Qui blando ver [...]o castiga­tus non corri­gitur, acriùs necesse est ar­guatur: cum dolore sunt ab scindenda quae leniter sanari non possunt. Ibid de Sum: beno. [...] Luke Mat. 23.13. Acts 7.52. I would not be mistaken, as if hereby I would insinuate, that alwaies milde, and gentle Reproofe is to be used; Sharp Reproofe hath his place al [...]o, and is as necessary and fruitfull as the other, (being done with discretion and regard) 1 Cor. 4.21. 1 Cor. 13.10. Those evill Beasts and Slow-bellies the Cre [...]ians, (who were alwaies word signifies.) Tit. 1.13. Thus did our Saviour at other times Reproove. He called Herod Fox, and the Ma­ster of the Synagogue, Hypocrite: and the Scribes and Pharisees, Vipers ana the sonnes of the divell. Saint Steven calls the Jewes Traytors and Murtherers. And Saint Paul the Galathians, Sotts and Fooles. But such cutting Reproofes are for rotten Sinners: a weake Dose will but stirre up and anger their ill humours, not purge them away: there must be thundering, and a tempest of words, where sins are crying: Gods Word must be as the fire, and Hammer to breake the stone: But having to [Page 15]deale with more flexible dispositions; (and for infirmi­ties and frailties) we must observe another method, af­ter our Saviours owne example; who finding the Jewes to buy and sell in his Fathers Temple, for the first time, reprooved them mildly, Ioh. 1.16. but finding them pre­sumptuously to transgresse a second time, he said (not as before, you have made my Fathers house a house of Merchandize, but) you have made it a Den of Theoves, Mat. 21.13.

And yet withall, as the likenesse of Amber came out of that fire that compassed the cloud, Ezek. 1.4. So should love shine out of this fire of zeale, which we bring with us to consume the black cloud of sin: If true Love have not a part in this Scene, we doe but act a Tragedy; and with Hazael under pretence of easing Benhadad, we do but stifle our Brother with a thick cloth dipt in water, 2 Kings 8.15.

Should we come upon our Brother in Heat and Choler, as Eliah came on David, 1 Sam. 17. we should at best but do what the Jewes blasphemously charged Christ withall, cast out Satan by Satan, nor will these harsh and galling re­prehensions ever work kindly on a tender disposition. The wrath of man (saith S. Iames) worketh not the righteousnesse of God. James 1.18. A furious and rayling reprehension doth never so perswade a man as to bring him to God or good­nesse.

It was not the heat, but coole of the day, when God came with a Reproofe to Adam: It was a still and milde voice, wherein God appeared to Elijah. Hier. ad Theop. And as Saint Hierom speakes, Christus non fulminans & tenans, sed in presepi vagiens, & tacens in cruce salvavit humanum ge­nus. A gentle fire (they say) makes the best distilled waters.

Never let my tongue enter into their rest, who repose themselves with Shomei in Bahurim, that when David passeth by, they may fling their answers, like stones, at him, and say it was done onely in Love: being not [Page 16]ashamed to imprint this golden stampe of loving Re­proofe upon the base iron and eating Canker of fowle Accusation. This fly of Envie is that which makes this pretious ointment of Reproofe to stink.

But on the other side the incense of our Lips will be sweet when this spice of Myrrhe and Cinomon,Exod. 35.23. & 30.23. Love and Mildnesse is mingled with the annointing [...]yle: How faire art thou, shew me thy sight, and let me heare thy voice, for it is sweet: Thy Lips drop as honey combs, honey and milke are under thy tongue? And the savour of thy garments is as the savour of Lebanon. And thus much in generall. Come we now to a more particular Examination of the words.

Simon I have somewhat to say unto thee. Text.

He prepares him by naming of him [Simon] which is as much as hearing or obeying. Shamaang Obedience.

There is a double use (we know) of Names: First, Civill, for distinctions sake, Nomen quasi notamen. Se­condly, Religious, which is observed at our Baptisme. So often as we heare our selves named, we should remem­ber our Covenant with God there made.

Christ names him first, to distinguish him from the rest present: He it was that questioned whether Christ was a Prophet; our Saviour (therefore) addresseth him­selfe to him especially. Hence we learne

Doct. It is (sometimes) lawfull to single out men by Name in Instructing, Reproving, and admonishing of them, Mat. 26.40. Gal. 2.14. Luke 10.

And yet this must not be taken for a generall Rule, some Cautions must be added. First, this liberty is allowed in Private rather then in Publike. Secondly, when in Pub­like, then not in a Fraternall, but in a Iuridicall way.

In Private Reproofe, our Saviour directs us all, Mat. 18.15. If the sin be private, knowne to hee alone, or some few els, Corripe inter te & illum; Reproove him [Page 17]betwixt thee and him, (or before two or three at most,) make no wordes of it to a multitude, Ʋbi malum oritur, Optimum sepul­chrum peccati inter te & il­lum. ibi moriatur, where an evill ariseth, there let it dye and by buryed: No better Sepulcher then that betweene thee and him, to bury thy brothers faylings. For hee that proclaimes it openly, saith S. Cirill. lib. 3. in Levit. non corrigat, sed infamat, defames and reprooves not his neighbour.

And this was our Saviours owne practise, he did not reproove the woeman of Samaria, Ioh. 4. whiles his Disciples were present, but when they were gone into the City, and she alone, he comes unto her.Quae peceaniar coram omnibus coram omnibus corripiēda sunt, ut omnes ti­meant. Qui secretò peccavit in te secretò corripe nam si solus nosti, & cum vis coram alijs arguere non es corrector, sed proditor, Aug. de verb. Dom. Serm. 16. So in cu­ring that man who was deafe and dumb, Mark. 7.33. (the Text saith) he tooke him aside from the multitude. Thus must we; where the fault is private, and not pub­like and scandalous, take them aside that have offended. Our reprehension in such a case must be auricular, no care must heare it, but theirs who doe offend. And so they may heare, both their name and fault as Simon heard here.

If the Reproofe be Publike and in the Ministery of Preaching in a Fraternall way, the like liberty is not graunted. Therefore (its well observed) S. Paul di­recting Titus how to proceed with the Cretians in re­prooving of them, saith [...] redargue illos, not [...], redargue illum, Rebuke privately [him] publikely, not [him] but [them.] He would not that he should turne his Sermons into Philippicks. Should I particularize in my reproofes (saith S. Austin) essem proditor non correptor, I should not be a Rebuker but a Betrayer. I smite indeed (saith he) the cares of all men in my Preaching, but I convent the consciences of some few; Wherefore I say not, thou Adulterer cor­rect thy selfe, but whosoever. are infected with that vice in this people correct thy selfe. It is not safe nor seemely for a Preacher to taxe any personally; He may not come as Nathan to David, in his publike Ministery, [Page 18]with T [...] fecisti. It is indeed the hearers duty, to make particular application to himselfe of what is generally spoken, but no part of the Ministers to single out any from the rest by Name.

But if in case the Church (using the keyes) proceeds against any scandalous and notorious Person Iuridically, then the sinner may be named, that he may be avoided, 1 Tim. 1.20. & 2. c. 1. v. 17. & 4.14.

Vse. Learne we this point of wisedome, so to Reproove as not to blemish: so to name our Brother as not to disgrace him. We read, Exod. 37.23. God required that there should be Snuffers made for the Lampes of the Taber­nacle, and Snuffe-dishes of pure gold. God would teach his Churcy hereby (as some conceive) First, that they who censure and reproove others, should themselves be blamelesse, the Snuffers were to be of gold? Secondly, the faults which we reproove our Bretheren for, are to be forgot. The Rabbins say, those snuffe-dishes were filled with sand, to bury the snuffes in. You know, if a man should top a candle (as we say) and then throw the snuffe about the roome, he would offend more with the stench he makes, then please by his diligence. Re­member there are Snuffe-dishes as well as Snuffers, use both: and take him for a Chirurgion who doth heale the face without a scarre.

I have somewhat to say unto thee. Text.

Wee read Isa 53.7. Math. 27.12, 13, 14. Ioh. 19.9. that our Saviour was dumb as a sheepe before his shea­rer, but no where can we read that he was dumb as a sheapheard before his sheepe,See the good Samaritane. pa. 12. he had still somewhat to say as occasion was offered.

Simon had overshot himselfe, and our Saviour was desirous to cure him of his maladie, he had somewhat to say unto him for this purpose. We (especially Ministers) may learne hence.

Doct. To say somewhat to our Brother, when we see him runne into anerror. In such a case we may not be silent, Lev. 19.17. Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy Neighbour and not suffer sin upon him. Observe.

Here is no Posterne gate closely to entertaine a substi­tute. For reproofe is like the Peace-offering made by fire, Levit. 17.30. Thy owne hands must bring it, [Thou.]

Here is no corner for excuse, if thou doest it not: a necessity is layed upon thee. The command is absolute. [Shalt in any wise.]

Here is no Exemption of persons, all being Neighbours, by the condition of our birth, mortality, and hope of the heavenly inheritance. [Thy Neighbour.]

Here is no dispensation to be granted for any trans­gression of what kind soever, Sin may not be suffered upon him.

And as God in the Law; so Christ in the Gospell, re­quires this duty of us, Math. 18.15. And after him his Apostles, 1 Thes. 5.14. 2 Tim. 2. Yea Law and Gospell, Prophets and Apostles, like Righteousnesse and Peace, Truth and Mercy in the Psalme, kisse each other. Confor­ting all in one, and in sweetest melody like a Quire of Angels, they tune their strings and notes to this ditty, The duty of reproofe.

Vse. Nec obmutescas amplius; as God said to Exekiell, Ezek. 24. ult. hold your Faith, hold your Truth, hold your Profession, but hold your Peace no more, Thou shalt speak & be no longer dumb. Breake the strings of thy tongue like the dumb sonne in Herodotus; suffer no sinne like the Persian, to kill thy Father, Brother, Neighbour, through thy silence.

It was a Law in Israell, Thou shalt not see thy Bro­thers Oxe or Asse to sall downe by the way, and hide thy selfe from them. Doth God take care for Oxen? nay for us are these things written. But pitty it is (saith S. Bernard) cadit asina, succurriturei; cadit anima non est qui relevet cam, the Asse falls and is succoured; a soule [Page 20]falles and there is none which by seasonable reproofe will relieve it.

These be those latter dayes, so long since foretold by our blessed Saviour, wherein Iniquity should increase, and love waxe cold. Iniquity spreadeth her Cockatrices wings from East to West, from Dan to Beersheba: It hath increased with the encrease of mankind, as the Ivie doth with the Oak [...]. Were love burning in the hearts of men, (like that fire in the holy Temple) or had men their faces one towards another, (like those Cherubins which covered the mercy seat with their wings, Exod. 25.20.) they would not onely Returne themselves, but like­wise by their friendly Admonitions and Reproofe, cause others to returne from their transgressions.

Tot quotidie occidimus quot admortem ire tepidi & tacen­tes videmus. Greg. Gods Ministers could not (then) but have somewhat to say to sinners and not (through the silence of one) suffer two to die, Themselves and their erring Brother: Them­selves through the omitting of this duty, (as we reade, Ezek 3.18.) Their Brother through continuance in his sins that he hath committed.

Object. But this Age will not endure Reproofe. Ahab counts Elijah his enemy; The Galathians esteemed Paul no better for this service of Love, and liberty of speech.

Resp. Why should they be taxed for liberty of speech seeing men set no bounds unto their sins? Mihi aliquan­do arguere permissum, Amb. Ser. 65. Audebo peccā ­ti mala sua ostendere: vitia ejus si non ex­cidero, inhibebo: non desinent sed intermittent. Fortasse autem desinent, si in­termittendi cō ­suetudinem fe­cerint. Senec. de mor. tibi nunquam peccare, saith S. Ambrose, we have Commission for the one, they have no Commission for the other. Why then should we feare to execute it, or suffer sin to affront us without smi­ting it? Heathens have beene more bold.

In the first of the Kings 20.35. we reade of one who entreated his neighbour in the name of God to smite him, which he refusing to doe, was staine by a Lyon. Sin will not say as that man of God did, percute me, smite me I pray thee, yet God hath commanded us to smite it; and if we refuse to do so, Gods wrath will smite us as it [Page 21]did that Refuser. Therefore deale we with it, as that other man did with the Prophet, verse 37. Smite it where ere we find it.Gen. 4.15. God did set a marke on Cain least any one finding him should slay him; we may not set a marke on the forehead of any sin, or sinner (unlesse he be a Scor­ner) for the sparing of it; we are to smite it,1 King. 2. yea to slay it, where ere we find it, though with Ioab it flie to the Altars side for shelter.

To every one is given the dispensation of this Grace in due time and Place: As Ioshua said unto the people con­cerning Ai, Josh 8.8. you shall set the City on fire according to the Commandement of the Lord, so shall you do, may it be said to all the Tribes; Rebuke you every one his neighbour, set this stubble of sin on fire, to consume it ac­cording to Gods Command.

Consentire est silere cum arguere possis, (saith Saint Ber­nard) Silence in the presence of sin implies a consent un­to it. Though thou saist not Euge (saith Saint Austin,) yet if thou saist not Apage, there is a mutuall Approbation. Nay the same Father in Mat. 16. goes farther yet, Pejor es tacendo (saith he) quam ille convitiando, our silence in not rebuking of our neighbour is more dangerous to us,Ita peccat, qui videt fratrem peccare, & ta­cet. sicut qui pae­nitenti non in­dulget, &c. Rab Sup. illud Mat. 18. Si peccaverit in te frater tu [...]s. then his sin is to himselfe. Sure I am, he that said if thy Brother repent forgive him, said also (and in the first place) If thy Brother sinne, Reproove him: Our fault may be held to be as great, not to reproove our Brother when he hath offended, as not to forgive him when he hath re­pented.

How to performe this duty aright, is one of the greatest difficulties incident to humane discretion: And yet it is easier knowne, then done; and sooner may we have Rules prescribed, then practised: God hath dealt with us, as he did with Israel in the siege of Iericho; Josh. 6. who, for the avoiding of danger, were before hand instructed, how to marshall their Companies; what to do, when to be si­lent without any noise at all; and when to shout aloud that the walls of the City might fall downe flat: So in the [Page 22]Assault and expugning of this spirituall Iericho, sin; we have direction from the mouth of God in holy Writ, for the Companies to be marshaled: No railing Shemei nor furious Iehu is fit for this March (as before was shewed) Next when to be silent without any noise at all,Eccles. 3.7. Amos 5 13. Isa 58.1. for as much as all things have their times and seasons: And there is an evill time, when the Prudent will keep silence: Then when to use a stiller voice, and when a lowder, that the walls and buildings of this leprous house may fall downe slat, and be laid levell with the earth. But if I should launch forth into this deep, my voyage would be too long in this point, my Text not leading me so directly to so large a discourse. Wherefore I come to the Con­sideration of the Person to whom our Saviour had to say.

To thee]

Text, Simon was the Master of the Feast, he it was that had invited Christ unto his Table; and that, out of the good respect he bare him; Yet to him hath our Saviour some­thing to say, &c.

Doct. Courteous usage should not keep us from telling men of their faults and discovering their failings to them.

Belshazer promised Daniel great preferments;Dan 5. [...]6. He would cloath him in Scarlet, put a Chaine of gold about his neck, make him the third Ruler in the Kingdome; but all this could not bribe him so as to make him forbeare Reproofe; he spares not to tell him of his Pride, Sacri­ledge, Idolatry,Verse 23. Voluptuousnesse, and other his horrible Impieties committed against God.

Herod pretended to be a great friend to Iohn the Bap­tist, he did heare him often, reverence him much, amen­ded many things that Iohn reprooved: But all this could not make S. Iohn forbeare to tell him to his face,Mat. 14.4. that it was not lawfull for him to have his Brother Philips wife.

Christ was sundry times invited by the Pharisees toLuke 11.37. [Page 23]Dinner, and he never refused to go unto them, (that we reade of;) But being at their Tables, he entertained them with as many Woes, as they did him with Dishes. Let it be Martha (Lazarus sister whom he loved so dearely) that shall offend,Luk. 10.41, 42 he will not suffer her to go away with­out a check.

Vse. How justly are such to be reproved, who in receiving courtesies, sell their Liberties, and suffer their Tongues to be tied with the strings of a Pharisees pouch?Nihil in sacer­dote tam peri­culosum apud Deum, tam tur­pe apud homines quam quòd sen­t [...]at veritatem non lib erè pro­nuntiare. Amb in Epist. ad Theo. Imper. It is a fault for any to be musted, but for a Minister, it's piaculum, a fault of a high nature, and yet, wealth and worship carries so strict a hand over some servile spirits, that they are faine to run at the stirrop, and come in at the least re­buke; and (as Erasmus notes Harpocrates was pictured) hold their finger in their mouthes.

It is storied of Alexander the Great, that having had a Philosopher a long time with him, at length he said thus unto him; recede a me prorsus, consortium tuum nolo: Be gone from me, I desire not thy company, and being asked the reason, he made this Answer, Quod cum tanto tempore mecum degeris, nunquam me de vitio aliquo in­crepasti; because in living so long with me, thou hast ne­ver reproved any vice in me; either thou hast not obser­ved me to erre, (which is a great Argument of thy Ig­norance,) or els knowing me to erre thou hast held thy peace, (which is an evident proofe of thy unfaithfullnes,) this made much to the praise of that great Monarch.

There are those in these daies, who will keep Levits in their houses, and feed Preachers at their Tables, but it is no otherwise then the Thiefe doth feed the dog, porrigit panem ut sileat, they give him bread that he may not bark: Balaack offered Balaam promotion upon these termes, Numb. 23.

And indeed it falls out somtimes very unhappily, many are kept by this meanes from barking: So we read, Isa. 56.10, 11. Mich. 3.5. Their good Benefactors are the Vowels, and they themselves the Consonants, needs must [Page 24]they follow the sound of their vowels. These are like Spaniels; if they hunt, or quest at all, it must be that way their Patron lookes. Or like silent Setters, they must heare, see, and say nothing.

This should not be, neither Favour, nor Benevolence, should tongue-tie the Truth; Gods cause must be plea­ded though it be against our best friends: I will not (saith S. Bernard) Favere Majestati magis quam veri­tati, be a servant to Caesar and a Traytor to the Truth: Plato is my friend, and so is Socrates, but the Truth is more.

Say we be blamed for rudenesse and incivility. &c. Bet­ter it is that we hazard our Reputation this way, then purchase the Reputation of faire behaviour by speechlesse sufferance; or smoothing flatterie, sewing pillowes where we should quilt thornes.

Sometimes (I grant) that in connivencie may be a religious Policie,Pro. Amos 5.13. Acts 19 37. [...]. cel Rhod. lib. 29. c 8. every light offence is not to be obser­ved: but continuall winking is worse then blindnesse. What the Philosopher said to one that very gravely said nothing (for feare of displeasing) when there was need of his reply, is true; if a foole hold his peace he doth wisely, but if a wiseman when he should speak he doth foolishly.

A great deale of discretion likewise must be used in dealing with men; due respect of persons must be had, 1 Tim. 5.1. Iob 34.18. Great ones love not boisterous usage, we must come to them verbis byssinis, with soft and silken words, as the mother of Cyrus charged him, who was to speake unto the King.

It is none of the worst observations we meet withall in Oleaster; that the holy Prophets in dealing with great ones have spoken most an end in Parables, (as our Saviour did here to Simon.) Let Reproofe be as good and whole­some diet as a Partridge, yet it would not be served in to a great mans Table raw, or with the feathers on, but cook'd and seasoned. Reproofe of them must be well [Page 25]wrapped up (as we do a Pill in sugar) that it may the more easily be swallowed,Objurgationi semper aliquid blandi commis­ce: facilius pe­netrant verba quae mollia va­dunt, quàm quae aspera Senec. Magis amat objurgator Sa­nans, quàm adulator dissi­mulans. Aug. Pro. 28.23. Psal. 141. Text. and work before they think on it. But it may not be wholy withheld from any man whatever, be he our dearest friend: In so doing we should deale unkindly with them who deale friendly with us. Unhappy is that friendship (saith Carthusia­nus,) quae illum quem diligit tacendo tradit Diabolo, which favouring our Brothers eares doth breake his neck: such friendship David putteth in his Letanie and desireth God to keep him from. And thus much of the Excitation, Simons Replication followes.

And he saith Master say on]

Doct. Simon here makes good his Name, Conveniunt rebus nomina saepe suis; It sometimes falls out, that the Name and disposition are sutable.

God at the first giving Names did suit them to the na­tures of the creatures. As to the Day, Night, Heaven, Earth, Sea, &c. And Adam observed this in giving par­ticular names unto them by Gods appointment. Their [...] he made to be [...]. The Patriarkes went by the same rule, in naming of their children. The Sonne of God was called Iesus, for that he was the Sa­viour of his people.

Vse 1 Too too blame are those who wrong their names: there be who will not answer to the sound; being called, they will not with Samuel answer here am I.

And there are more who answer not the Signification of their names. There are many Iohns, but few gratious: many Simons, but few obedient ones: many Elizabeths, but few peaceable ones: many Hannahs, and many gracelesse ones. They crosse their Names, as many Popes have done; none more Ʋnclement amongst them then the Clements; more Impious then their Piusses; more Noxious then their Innocents; more Turbulent then their Ʋrbanes, &c. So these by their lives may be thought with [Page 26] Massula Corvinus to have forgotten the name they are called by.

Vse 2 This should not be: Nomen inane est crimen immane. A favour it is, that our names sound prosperously; yet we may not presume too much upon them, as it seemes one Bonasus did, whom S. Hierom writing unto, thus re­proves; An ideo tibi bellus videris, quia justo vocaris no­mine? Dost thou think thy selfe a fine man, because thou hast gotten thy selfe a fine name? If we thinke that grace is necessarily tyed to the name of any mortall creature, we deceive our selves.

This Name, mentioned in my Text was commonly (as is well observed by some) a happy Name in Scripture. We read of Simon Peter a sanctifyed man; of Simon Ze­lotes, Mat. 10.2. Acts 1.13. Acts 9.6. Mat. 27.32. Acts 8.9. a zealous man: of Simon the Tanner, a charitable man; of Simon of Cyrene, a compassionate man; And (that none might too much presume on Names) we read of Simon Magus, a disobedient man, one who was a Witch, a Sorcerer, the Fountaine, and Father of all He­resies.

How often have we heard of the wofull wrack of ma­ny goodly ships with their glorious titles?Christiani no­men ille frustra sortitur, qui Christum mini­mè imitatur. Quid enim tibi prodest vocari quod non es, & nomen usur pari alienum? Sed si Christianum te esse delectat, quae Christiani­tatis sunt gere, & meritò tibi nomen Christi­ani assume. Aug de vera Christ. Psal. 79 9. (As the Tri­umph, Conquest, Save-guard, Good-speed, &c.) So many with good names have perished, yea with that glorious name of Christian, first given us at Antioch, that cannot save us if we sin against it.

To conclude this, S. Paul saith of Christ, Heb. 1.4. He was made so much more excellent then Angels, by how much he obtained a more excellent name then they. As any hath received a more excellent name then others, (and in that case is advanced above them,) so let such endeavour to excell in godlinesse and Piety. And as David useth this often for an argument to the Lord, For thy names sake, so let it prevaile with us, For our names sake let us learne to be more righteous.

Master say on. Text. ]

We have considerable, first the Reverend and respective Appellation given by Simon to our Saviour, [...], Master. Secondly, his Ready and submissive Attention, in that word [...], Say on.

Of the first: Simon doubted (as I have said) whether Christ were a Prophet, but he said it within himselfe, &c. for he was held to be a Prophet, and in that respect he stiles him Master. We see then,

Doct. Reverence and Respect is due to the Prophets of the Lord. That there is an honour due to them appeares, Iudg. 13.17. Manoah taking the Angell (who brought him word of the birth of Sampson) to be a Prophet, asked him his name; giving this for the Reason, that when his sayings were come to passe, (and so prooved to be a Prophet) he might honour him. See 1 Tim. 5.17. Heb. 5.4. Phil. 2.29.

The want of this is noted for a great fault, Ioh. 4.43, 44. and a signe of horrible confusion, Lament 4.16.

Vse. A Point that would rather be considered of by you, then pressed by us, and yet necessary to be urged in these last and worst times, wherein (as if some new Cadmus had sowen the earth with Sauls Teeth, and Sheme'is Tongue) so many rise up armed against David, against Ahimelech and a linnen Ephod.

The day was, when the feet of Gods Prophets seemed beautifull upon the mountaines, Isa. 52.7. when they have beene entertained as the Angels of God,Isa. 52.7. Rom. 10.15. yea as Christ himselfe, Gal. 4.14.

A Calling that hath beene honoured not only of the meaner sort, but even of the honourable themselves. Obadiah a great Courtier, calls Elijah Lord, 1 King. 18.7. Naaman the only Favourite of the King of Aram, stiles himselfe Elishaes Servant, 2 King. 5.18. Ioash and Ioram stile him Father, 2 King. 13.14. Nebuchaduezzar the [Page 28]Monarch of the world falleth on his face and boweth be­fore the Prophet Daniel 2.46. Herod reverenced Iohn the Baptist, Mark. 6.20. and Alexander honoured Iaddus: Constantine used the Bishops at the Councell of Nice with more then ordinary respect.

And (to the shame of us Christians) we shall find that Heathens, and Idolaters have farre exceeded us in ho­nouring of their Priests, Be unto me a Father and a Priest, saith Michah, Iudg. 17. So said the Danites to the young Levite in Michaes house (whom they allured to go with them) Come with us to be our Priest and Father, Valer. Max. lib. 1. c. 1. Iudg. 18.19. And to say no more, It is storied of Albinius one of the Romane Consuls, that when the Galles had taken Rome, and the Flamen and Vestall virgins fled with the Implements, Instruments of Religion, the said Albinius carrying his Wife and children in a Waggon, caused them, (with himselfe) to descend,Sacerdotis aspice dignitatem, agitur in terra sed officium coe­lestibus negotijs continetur, &c. Per ipsos Chri­stum induimis, per ipsos Dei silio conjungi­mur, per ipsos membra beati ipsius capitis ef­ficimur. Quo­modo ergo nobis isli non so'um reverendi magis quam reges aut judices, sed eti­am nobis magis crunt honorabi­les quàm paren­tes. Chrys. de dignitate Sacer. lib. 2. and placed therein those their Priests and Votaries, preferring publike Religion before his owne or his peoples ease, which blind devo­tion of his caused one to say, that that homely Wane did equall yea excell the most glittering triumphant Chariot in the world. Yea the Divell himselfe speaking of Gods Ministers, cannot but speake honourably of them, as he did of Paul and Silas, Acts 19.15.

If you would know the Reasons, why you should ho­nour and respect them, I will acquaint you with some briefly. First, they serve a great Lord, one who is higher then the highest; they are his speciall servants, Ier. 7.25. 2 King. 1.11. They are the Stewards of his house, 2 Cor. 4.1. Secretaries of State, Amos 3.7. His Em­bassadours, 2 Cor. 5.10. They are Gods mouth, Ier. 15.19. Will Rabsekah have Hezekiah the King stand in awe of the least of his Masters servants, the great King of Assyria, 2 King 18.24. And shall not these servants, which are in such high places under the God of heaven (whose service Kings themselves may not scorne) have resepect? Second­ly, honour is due unto them in regard of their Gifts; it is [Page 29]a barbarous thing not to honour learning; and above all gifts and learning the best gifts should be honoured most, of which sort theirs are, 1 Cor. 12.31. & 14.1, 5. In short, They are our Fathers and Masters, Eccles. 12.11. 1 Cor. 4.15. and therefore honour is their due from us, Mal. 1.6.

Now I beseech you Brethren know them which labour amongst you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you: Rectifie your Judgements and Opinions, as concerning them, and their Callings; Account of them as of the Ministers of Christ and stewards of the Mysteries of God. You think them to be as S. Paul speaketh of himselfe, Ephes. 3.8. [...], lesse then the lowest, when in Gods Judgement a Prophet is [...], greater then the greatest.

The Angell Gabriel said of Iohn the Baptist, he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, Luke 1.15. And yet his Cal­ling is not so great, as theirs is, under the Gospell; A grea­ter then he, (our aviour saith) was not borne of a woman; that is, amongst those ancient Prophets which have been most famous in the world in former times, none greater then Iohn; yet he that is least in the Kingdome of Hea­ven is greater then he: that is, the meanest Minister un­der the Gospell hath a more excellent office and function then he had. They preaching the same Saviour which he did; and that not onely exhibited (wherein Iohn ex­celled the Prophets before him) but as having fully sa­tisfied for mankind, triumphed over Death, and Hell, and ascended into the glory of his Father. Yea so great is this Calling of theirs, that the Sonne of God himselfe did not disdaine to live in it, Luke 4.18. The latchet of whose shooes John Baptist thought himselfe unworthy to stoope downe and unloose, Mark. 1.7.

The meane and base opinion that the world hath of Prophets, is through the subtilty, and deceit of Satan, who well knoweth, that the Doctrine shall little or nothing be esteemed of, where the Person is not reverenced, and regarded. This was the cause why our blessed Saviour [Page 30]himselfe, would stay no longer in Nazareth, (though it was the Towne where he was brought up,Luk. and where his Parents formerly had dwelt) but went into other parts of Galile; For that a Prophet hath no honour in his owne Countrey, Ioh. 4.14. Why stood he so much upon his honour? He told us that he seekes not his owne praise, Ioh. 8.48, 49. Nor did he, but yet he knew full well that none could receive benefit by his Ministery, who did not reverence his Person. And thence it was he stood so much upon his honour, as that he would preach no where but where he might be honoured.

The contempt that is done to them, reacheth to the holy things that they are employed in; yea it reacheth to God himselfe, Exod. 16.8. Luk. 10.16. whence it is that God hath taken it so heinously, and punished the contempt of his Messengers so severely as we read, 2 Chron. 3.16. 2 King. 2. 1 King. 13. Mat. 21.43. & 23.39.

Herod (you know) pretended great love to Iohn the Baptist, yet to pleasure a minsing Damsell, he cut off his head, and gave it her for a favour. Did God take this well? When Christ was before him, he would not answer him a word, which shewes he was not well plea­sed with him: He spake to the High-Priest some words, though not many; to Pilate some; but when he came before Herod, never a word at all, (and no wonder, Iohn was vox clamantis, the voice of Christ, and Herod in be­heading Iohn had taken away Christs voice before) Be assured Christ will do the more when he is silent.

Object. Think us not proud whilst we presse this Do­ctrine on you. Humility you say becomes us; We would be Lords and Kings over Gods heritage, &c.

Resp. In preaching this Truth, we preach not our selves but Christ Jesus, 2 Cor. 4.5.

2. In pressing this, we pleade not for Pharisaicall pre­heminence, Mat. 23.6. nor do we challenge to our selves that Civill Authority and reverence that is due to Magi­strates, and great men of the world; but that which [Page 31]is due to our worke and Calling which is more Inward and Spirituall.

3. Humility is a Grace becomes all; Princes as well as Prophets; and yet though it beseemes both Prince and Prophet to humble themselves and practise humility, it becomes not the people to humble either of them. Where­fore Render to every one their dues, Tribute to whom Tri­bute is due, Feare to whom Feare, Honour to whom Ho­nour. Rom. 1 [...].7. But enough of this you will say.

Say on. Text. ]

Doct. The Word Christ speakes ought to be received with all readinesse of spirit. Thus Simon received it, so ought wee.

God begins his Law with Heare O Israel, Deut. 5.1. & 6.34. and the Gospell with This is my beloved Sonne heare him, Mat. 17 5. And this is the praise of the worthy Bereans, they received the word with all readinesse of mind, Acts 17.11.

Vse. Happy were we if we would take forth this lesson, Luk 11. And in comming to the Word bring with us a hearing Eare, which all that have eares have not, Mat. 13.43.

S. Bernard hath this description of a good Eare,Bern. in qua­dam Epist. Qua libenter audit utilia, prudenter discernit audita, obedienter operatur intellecta; which willingly heares what is profi­table and good, wisely understandeth what it heareth, and obediently practiseth what it understandeth. For such an Eare the Pearles of the Gospell are prepared, but it is rare to finde.

Some will heare, but not what is good; they have an itching Eare, 2 Tim. 4.4. and the more it is rub'd the fur­ther it spreadeth; they gaue after some wittie conceit or prettie note (as they call them) with the Athenians they give themselves to nothing els but hearing newes,Acts 17.21. (and that must come from Placentia too, Isa. 30.10. not [Page 32]from Verona, Lavat. in Ester Ier. 44.10.) Made dishes and pleasant fau­ces they affect, but wholesome Doctrine they cannot away withall, 1 Tim. 6.3. They applaud (saith S. Austin) not Consultoribus utilitatum, Aug. de Civit. Dei. lib. 2. cap. 28. Prudens Audi­tor omnes liben­ter audit, omnia legit, non per so­nam, non Scrip­turam, non do­ctrinam spernit; ab omnibus in­differenter, quod sibi deest, & quod deesse videt, quaerit, non quantum tciat sed quan sum ignorat considerat. Hugo de Sanct. Vict. in suo di­dascal. but Largitoribus volupta­tum, not the teachers of Conscience, but the ticklers of Sense; who wound the head to claw the taile, Cen­sure Magistracie, yea Soveraignty; who please their hu­mours are Preachers for them.

Or say they sometimes lend an Eare to what is good, yet they come not with an open heart, ready to heare whatsoever Christ shall say, and to receive it whoever be the bringer. (Like a bad Porter,) the eare admits of none that comes not in gay cloathing; plaine stuffe (as the doctrine of Faith, good works, &c.) is thrust back: It may be the word of Doctrine they will attend unto, but not the word of Application; the word of Exhortation, but not the word of Reprehension. When with rebukes God doth chasten a man for sinne (in the Ministery of the Word) he is as a moth fretting a garment (saith our Translation) Psal. 39.11. Now we say, Tinea damnum facit non sonitum, a moth doth mischiefe and makes no noise; so sinners, they will be fretting secretly, though they make no shew of it opeenly: If they find no hole in the Reproovers coat, they will make one before they leave fretting, Acts 7.54. Hos. 4 4.

Secondly, some Heare, but they understand not what they heare, like those, Mat. 22.22. they marvelled, and left him and went their way. Or with those who ac­companied S. Paul, Acts 9.7. they heard a noise but knew not what it meant. Their tidings from Church are much like those which Ahimaaz brought David, 2 Sam. 18.29. I saw a great tumult but I knew not what it was; no difference can they put betwixt Truth and Error, they are unskilfull in the word of Righteousnesse, Heb. 5.13.

Let not these forget what they read, Mat. 13.15. A more fearefull sentence cannot be uttered in this life [Page 33]against a man then this, Omnia ipsis in Parabolis fiers, all is spoken to them in Parables. If our Gospell be now hid, it is hid to them that are lost, 2 Cor. 4.3. Of Christs Disci­ples it is said, To you it is given to understand the Myste­ries of the Kingdome, Luke 8.10. Of all this is called for, Mat. 15.10.

Lastly, some understand the Grammar of the Gos­pell well enough so as they can discourse thereof, &c. But the Rhethorick of it they understand not, they bring not their Hearing into Practise (wherein lies the sweet of hearing.) Such Hearers had Ezekiel, Chap. 33.31. They heare thy words but they will not doe them, they are resolved before hand what they will doe and not doe. So Ier. 4.16. Wee have piped to you saith our Saviour, and yee have not danced, Mat. 11.17. These kind of Hearers mind the Ministers pipe, they have no care of their own feet to practise what they have heard.

O that once GOD would be pleased to make us good Simons; that in hearing what CHRIST hath to say unto us, we would come as Cornelius did, Acts 10.33. and with those, Acts 2. verse 41. gladly receive the Word whoever brings it. This is made a note of a true subject of Christ, Isa. 32.3. Provided there be Caesars stamp and armes upon the Coine, and that it come out of his Mint, and will abide the Touch-stone; if so, let it passe for currant with us.

Old Eli was desirous to be acquainted with every part of Gods blessed Will; he had great cause to feare, that what Samuell was to deliver to him, would make little for his comfort, yet see how he doth adjure young Samuell to tell him all, 1 Sam. 3.17. Such should be the desire of all Gods people, that Gods Ministers would deale faithfully with them in delivering the whole Counsell of God unto them; as well one part as another. Wantons you know come into a gar­den [Page 34]to pick onely flowers; here they pick a gay, and there another; but the good houswife comes to ga­ther herbes; so should we come into Gods House to heare his Word.

To conclude this point; Remember every Hebrew servant, who liked well his Masters service was to have his eare boared with an Aule against the doore, Exod. 21.6. If you desire to be in the lists of Gods servants,Via Domini ad cor dirigitur quum veritatis Sermo humili­ter auditur. Greg. Hom. 10. Sup Ezek. you must have a Boared eare; Indeed the Eare is the doore by which Christ takes possession of the soule, and where he takes possession it must be faire. See Rom. 10.14, 17. The first linke of the golden Chaine is fastned to the Eare; Faith comes by Hearing: upon the ring of the doore he layeth his blessed hand, and cryes, Open to mee my Sister, Cant. 5.2. my Love, my Dove, making a gratious promise of entrance upon our opening, Psal. 24.7. Revel. 3.20.

The Divells studie is to keep this doore shut, that Christ may not enter: Like a Iaylour he will sometimes be content to let his Prisoner have hands and feet free; pro­vided the prison doores and gates be fast lockt and barr'd: his Captives shall sometimes give an almes, or doe some other outward work of mercy; come to Church to satisfie the Law, &c. But he cannot endure the doores should stand open for feare of an escape. So Acts 7.57. Psal. 58.45. Search the Scriptures and you shall find that none was cured with greater difficultie, then he that had a deafe and dumbe spirit. Thus much of the [...], the Prologue or Preface to the Parable: Come we now to the [...], the Speech or Parable it selfe.

There was a certaine Creditor, Text. which had two Deb­tors; the one ought five hundred pence and the other fifty, Verse 41 &c.

In these words unto the end, we have considerable, A Narration to verse 44. And the Morall or Application in the rest.

In the Narration there's a Case related, that was be­twixt a Creditor and his two Debtors, together with the Quaere, which is both made upon the Case, ver. 42. and Resolved, ver. 43.

In relating of the Case, we have both the Creditor, and the Two Debtors described u to us. The Creditor we are first to speake of, whose practise must be considered; and that either more Generally towards all; or more Particularly towards these two here mentioned.

First in Generall, he was [...] Foenerator, an Usurer: A difference is made betwixt Ʋsurie, and Faenorie. Pellican. Com. in Pro. 28.8. & Hugo Card. in Loc. Ʋsura dicitur quod supra sortem datur ex pacto, Faenus quod libe­rè datur supra sortem sine pacto, yet oftentimes they are taken promiscuously, both in one sense; and so in this place.

The Latines make a distinction betwixt Ʋsuarius and Ʋsurarius. Ʋsuarius they call him, whom the Grecians name [...], the man that taketh, receiveth, or en­joyeth the use of a thing. Ʋsurarius they call him, whom the Grecians name [...], the man from whom the use or occupying of a thing is taken and received. So that in the native and proper signification of the word,Ʋsura vocabi­lum inhonestum non est; Abusus reddidit inho­nestum. Bul­ling. Decad. 3. Ser. 1. Usury is but Ʋsus rei, the use of any thing: and an Usurer is any man from whom, or by whom the use of any thing is had or enjoyed: In this sense neither Usury nor the Usurer may be challenged as unlawfull; for the benefit and commodity of things consisteth in their use: and God hath so disposed of men, that each one should be commodious and beneficiall to another. Such an Usurer [Page 34] [...] [Page 35] [...] [Page 36]was he my Text speakes of. I hasten to some profita­ble Observation.

The Scripture is compared by David to a honey-combe, Psal. 19 10. and Pliny observes, (what experience con­firmes) of honey-combes, that the thinner and weaker honey runs out of them at first, but the best and thickest is squezed and pressed out at last. In opening of Parables it is thus; the easier, and more vulgar observations arise from the letter, and drop of their owne accord, but the choysest and most usefull doctrines arise from the Mysti­call sense or Application, and like the thickest honey come out last, and that with more paines and labour.

Doct. From the letter we may easily gather thus much, That Borrowing and lending hath beene a practise very antient and of long standing.

Israel had Lawes given them concerning it, Exod. 22.14. Levit. 25.37. Deut. 15.6, 8 & 23.19 & 24.10, 11.

It was enjoyned, 2 King. 4.3. Mat. 5.42. Luk 6.35.

It was practised, Exod. 12.35. Deut. 28.12. 2 Kings 6 5. Nehem. 5.4. Luke 6.34. & 11.5. Psal. 37.26. & 112 5.

So that neither the practise, nor the lawfullnesse is to be questioned.

Reas. Nor can the life and state of man well subsist without it. Non omnis fert omnia tellus. All have not for all necessities and turnes. This Coun­trey must have supply from that: Mesek King of Moah was Lord of sheepe; Hyram had store of Timber; Ophir was famous for gold; Chittim for Ivorie; Basan for Okes; Libanon for Cedars; and there must be a path from AEgypt to Ashur. God is pleased so to dispose, that one Countrey must stand in need of another; and so one neighbour of another, for the maintenance of good-fel­lowship and Christian society: That as in the body one member may not say to an other, I have not need of thee, so in the Church and Common-wealth one must want an others help.

Object. Rom. 13.8. Owe no man any thing but Love.

Resp. By that Prohibition, Borrowing is not simply forbid­den: The Apostle rather admonisheth to pay such debts as are owing, q.d. Endeavour to come out of pecuniarie debts; but for the debt of love, still owe that, and be ever paying it; for that is such a debt (saith S. Chryso­stome) ut semper reddatur & semper debeatur, it is alwaies pay'd and yet ever owing.

Object. But borrowing is a fruit of sin.

Resp. True; so was labouring unto sweat: and yet now such an ordinance is on it, as that he who labours not, shall not eat, 2. Thess. 3.10.

Vse. This first makes against Anabaptisticall Community: they would have no borrowing nor lending,Si duo de no­stris tollas pro­nomina rebus, Praelia cessa­rent, pax sine lite soret. no mine nor thine, all things must be like the waters of a common river, where a man may take what he pleaseth, and leave what he lifteth. And then (say they) there will be Peace.

But the Statute of Meum and Tuum was enacted by God himselfe. If we looke as farre as we can, even into Adams time, (the first man of all the world,) there we shall find that he had no sooner begotten two sonnes, Cain and Abell, but even then out of the great common field of the world began Terriers (as it were) to be made,Gen 4.3, 4. and mens parts to be shared and severall'd out to their proper use. For howsoever it was said of wicked Cain, that he brought an Oblation to the Lord of the fruit of the ground, (in generall) as if all had lyen com­mon to him; yet of holy Abell it was said, that he brought unto God of the first fruits of his sheepe, shewing that even from the beginning it was Gods good Will that there should be a distinction of each mans part, that none might invade the possession of an other.

An this is set downe to be a Law perpetuall, Exod. Chap. 20. ver. 15. Thou shalt not steale. Were all things left in common unto all, there could be no stealing; and so no need of any such precept.

This Statute was after wards by Christ in the Gospell [Page 38]revived, and set downe in plaine termes, Mat. 20.14, 15. where it is said. Take that which is thine owne: and Is it not lawfull to doe with mine owne what I list?

God is a God of Order and not of Confusion; and thinks it better that every one should know his owne, and have it bounded out, then Chaos like to lay all upon a heap confusedly. No common purse will he have to be, (as is amongst Theeves:) nor common prey as it is a­mongst Wolves and beasts of the Forrest.

Yea he hath thought it fit, not only to establish a Pro­priety, but also to establish an Inequality. And as in be­stowing of spirituall graces every one had his proper gift of God.Mat. 25.15. but not all alike (for one had five Talents, ano­ther two, another one) so is it in conferring of Tempo­rall blessings: the heads of some he annoints with the oyle of gladnesse above their fellowes; and that the musick of mankind might not be marred,Cytharedus ri­detur Chordâ qui semper, &c. Horat. some must be for Tre­bles, some for Meanes, and some for Bases, as well as ei­ther; no Harmonie consists of Unions (saith Aristotle) nor any verse of one foot; some must be poore, and some rich; some must be to borrow as well as some to lend; how could that Christian grace of the Righteous mans lending shine,Psal. 37.26. if either all things were common, or all mens estates equall? How could these sacred Lawes of sweetest pittie and compassion stand, if the charitable commercement of giving or lending to the poore, who beg or borrow by communitie or equality wanted mat­ter whereon to work?

Vse 2 Secondly, Let Borrowers and Lenders, Creditors and Debtors know their liberty, and not abuse it.

It is lawfull to borrow, and a practise almost as antient as the world; yet let no man needlessely become a bor­rower, nor deale unjustly with those that lend him, when his necessity hath caused him to be beholding to his neigh­bour.

Some become borrowers through their Riot in wastfull spending upon their lusts: Lucullus shall not outgo them [Page 39]in Building, nor Cleopatra in Feasting, nor the Assyrian King go beyond them in the newnesse of their pleasures: and wanting Fewell of their owne to maintaine the wild­fire of their excesse, they presently flie to the Sanctuary of Borrowing, where many times they find every stick like Moses Rod turned into a Serpent, and so with Ieho­ram too late they find themselves there wounded unto death,Gen. 7.10.2 King. 9 15.16. where they thought to have found some ease and remedy of their wounds.

As the good huswife therefore, Pro. 31.16. before she bought a field, did first consider it. And the good husband in the Parable, before he built a Tower did first sit downe and count whether he had sufficient to performe it; so let Borrowers sit downe and see what ability they have to pay before they go in debt: Remembring that wittie Apothegme of a wise and worthy Counsellor of State; who said, that he had rather eate his meat out of wooden dishes, and pay silver for them, then out of silver dishes and make wooden payments.

Debere verecundum est, Lib. de Tob. c. 21. non reddere verecundius (saith S. Ambrose) There is a kind of basendesse in borrowing, for the Borrower (saith Salomon) is a servant to the Len­der; Pro. 22.7. Deut. 15.6. and why should a man bring himselfe into servi­tude and need not? But there is a higher degree of base­nesse, in not paying what is borrowed, such are branded by God himselfe for wicked men, Psal. 37.21.

And yet there are some, who have broken hearts with their broken estates; they would pay if they were able; and it is a great griefe to them that they are not able to pay; like as it was to that sonne of the Prophets, who going forth in the company of Elisha to enlarge their borders, as he was felling of a tree for building, on the bankes of Iordan, it happened that his Axe head which he had bor­rowed of a neighbour, flew of into the river, with which losse he was so grieved, that he runs unto Slisha, and acquaints him with it, implores his help, crying out, Alas Master it was but borrowed, q.d. Had it been mine [Page 40]owne my griefe had beene the lesse, but through my sides my neighbour receives a blow, I am not able to returne what I borrowed of him, which is the greatest cause of this my griefe. Into the wounds of such, Charity will powre the oyle of Comfort, and tell them, that God accepts of Votall restitution for Totall. Yet let them resolve to pay what is owing if ever God en­able them:2 King. 4. Antiq. lib 9. as did that Prophets widow left in debt, (whom Iosephus with divers others (as S. Hierom, Oeco­lampadius, Lyra, &c.) thinks was the wife of Obadiah, who did and maintained a 100. Prophets in the time of Iesabels persecution, by which meanes he was brought behind hand:) who having out of one [...]arre of oyle a miraculous encrease, did first sell so much a would pay the debt owing by Gods speciall command, and then she and her children did live on the remainder. Whilst she had nothing it was no sin to owe, but when she had wherewith to discharge her Creditors, she could not have beene guiltlesse, if she had not payed before she had stored up. And thus much from the letter of the Parable we thought good to observe.

S. Hierom condemneth their perversenesse, who (as he saith) Capere nituntur veritatem, & concludere ter­renis sensibus, non recordantes quod debeamus de litera as­cendere ad spiritum, de terrenis ad coelestia: From the letter we must ascend to the spirit, and from things earthly to heavenly. Otherwise in our earthly Expositi­ons we captivate the truth, and keep it prisoner in the Judgement of that Father.

Having (with Ionathan) dipt the end of our Rod in­to the thinnest of the honey,1 Sam. 14.27. which drops out of this waxen combe, and tasted of it by the way; we now come to the spiritual and more noble sense, on which as the best and thickest honey wee meane to feed. And so

Doct. God is this Creditor, he trusts us with his goods, what we have we have from him to use.

Mat. 18.23. & 25. 14-31. Luke 16.5. & 19.12-14. 2 Tim. 6.17.

Reason. Man hath not of his own, God is absolute Lord of all, 1 Chron. 29.11, 12. Psal. 24.1. Both the house, and Furniture in it are his; and he layes claime to all, Isa. 66.1. Psal. 50.10. Hag. 2.8. Hos 2.2. His claime is sufficient evidence (were there no other) that all is his. For he pretends no false Titles being Truth it selfe.

Mans need is great and that daily, he cannot subsist, if his wants be not howerly supplied: the naturall lamp of our life will out, if there be not a new supply of oyle, 1 Cor. 15.31. Now no other is able to supply it, but God alone, who hath all; therefore we are taught every day to seek bread at his hands; Mat. 6.11.

God would not that his Riches should lie dead, His will is that they should be employed for his gaine and ad­vantage, as Mat. 25.14. Luke 19.13, 14.

Use. 1 Learne hence, to magnifie God in respect of his Ri­ches; we highly extoll the happinesse of such or such a man, who drives a stock of thousands, and hath much abroad in other mens hands; but know we well, that all the rich men in the world are no way able to com­pare with God, neither in Lands, nor in Cattell, nor in Money, nor in Debts owing him: This will appeare if we consider

First, how many daily spend of Gods stocke and store; Neither Man nor Beast, (for the use of Man) but daily receive from his hand, and seek to be further trusted, Psal. 104.27. It would undo the ri­chest man that ever was, to have so many in his debt at once.

Secondly, think how prodigall and expensive men are, in spending on Gods stock; How prodigall of his Mer­cy, Patience, Goodnesse, &c. Rom. 2.4, 5. How lavish are men of the Time lent, of health, wealth, &c. Luke 15. Look but on the life of some one sinner, and judge of the rest, Hos. 12.1. Ier. 20.7.

Thirdly, consider we with our selves how long God hath forborne and been out of purse. When he lends, he lends but for a day, and limits all his mercies to that time, Psal. 2.7. Deut. 26.16, 18. Ier. 1.10. Psal. 95.7. Heb. 3.7. Mat. 6.11. But he forbeares forty daies, Ionah 3.4. yea three yeares, Luke 13.7. yea forty yeares, Acts 13.18. A hundred and twenty yeares, Gen. 15.16. Three thousand yeares, Acts 14.16. yea almost these six thou­sand yeares (ever since man was upon the face of the earth) hath God forborne, and been out of purse. How could this be, were not this Creditor as he is elsewhere called. Luk. 16.1. A very rick man.

Lastly, add to all Gods Bounty and liberality, which is renewed to us daily; He is as willing still to lend us, as if we had paied him in all, and owed him not a groat, Psal. 104.30.Hierom. & 68.19. Semper largitor, semper donator, every day, every minute carries with it a successive reno­vation of his gratious kindnesse.

Use. 2 Such are to be reprooved as deny this Creditor, ascri­bing what they have to be due either unto false gods; as Hos. 2.5. or to themselves most falsly, Dan. 4.30. Psal. 124. Shall I take my bread and my meat (said churlish Nabal, 1 Sam. 15.11.) Plena deceptionis sunt verba, (as one saith) This word Mine deceiveth Towne and Countrey; my House, and my Land, my money, my Farme, my Church; they are meere cheating words, they defraud the poore of their parts, and delude the eyes of the Possessor. Of all we may say as he of the hatchet, Alas Master it was but borrowed. How comes it then to passe that we acknowledge not the Lener,Superbia est & delictun maxi­mum, uti datis tanquam inna­tis, & in accep­tis beneficijs gloriam usurpa­re beneficij. Lib. de diligen­do Deo. or ascribe unto our selves what is his due? to use datis tanquam innatis, these things that are added to us as if they had been bred in us, argues horrible Pride and Re­bellion against God, as saith S. Bernard.

I have read of one Thales Milesius, who communica­ting an admirable Invention of his, concerning the moti­on of the Heavens to one Maudrita a Philosopher, asked [Page 43]no other reward of him, but in the discovery of it he would acknowledge him to be the Author and Inventor, and no way ascribe it to himselfe. This is that which God requires of us, that in receiving of his Blessings we acknowledge him the Lender. He keeps nothing to him­selfe but his Honour; (as Iosephs Master kept nothing from him but his wife; and Pharaoh nothing but his Throne) yet in this glory of his, we are too forward to be sharers.

Object. But the earth God hath given to the children of men, Psal. 115.16.

Resp. To use he hath; but the right and propriety of all things he still keepeth unto himselfe.

In which respect S. Chrysostome findeth great fault with the Wills and Testaments of great Personages in his time, by which they be queath Lands, Lordships,Chrys. Hom. 2. ad Pop. Antioch and In­heritances in their owne Name and Right; as if those things were absolutely in their owne power; wherein (saith he) they usurp upon Gods Prerogative. Omnes usum & fructum habemus, dominium nemo.

Use. 3 Lastly, in all our wants and needs, from hence we have direction to whom to go a borrowing.

In things of this life we count it a great happinesse,Benignus ex­actor est & non egens & qui non crescit ex redditis, sed in se crescere faciat reddito­res: quia quod ei redditur, red­denti additur. Aug. Epist. 45. ad Arment. & Paulinam. Luk 11.7. to have a friend, who will lend us at our need; and we can tell how to improve it as occasion serves: O that we were as wise to make use of this Friend and Creditor, none like him: For,

First, hee is a Bountifull Creditor and no needy one; better provided then any other: Hee hath for our need and alwaies is at home. If he see we want, and that which we desire is convenient for us to have, he will not say with him in the Proverbs, Goe and come againe to morrow. Nor with him in the Parable, Trouble me not now, the doore is shut, I am in bed, and my children are with me, I cannot rise to give thee But he will supply our wants to the full, and satisfie our desires speedily.

Secondly, he stands not upon any great security, he is willing to take our words, our promises for the payment, Gen. 28.20. 1 Sam. 1.11. Mat. 18.26, 27. Onely he ex­pects that we should be just of our words that we may be againe trusted, Eccles. 5.4.

Lastly, and though we borrow of him to day, yet if we stand in need of him to morrow (as questionlesse we shall) and desire to be further trusted, he will be willing to pleasure us; especially when he sees we employ those Talents well wherwith he hath hath betrusted us. The further description of this Creditor in his Carriage to­wards these his Debtors, we shall speake of in its proper place. Now of the Creditors.

They are described to us by their Number and Condi­tion: Their Number, [Two] not as if God had no more; but under these all mankind are comprised; So then observe

Doct. 2 Sinners are indebted Persons.

Thus our Saviour teacheth us to account of sinners, Mat. 6.12. Now what is there called Debt, is Luk. 11.4. called Sinne. So Luke 13.2. having used the word [...], he useth the word [...], Debters. And Mat. 18.24. A sinner is there compared to a Debtor that owes then thousand Talents.

The like resemblance we have in other places, as Psal. 51.1. Blot out all my Transgressions (saith David) In for­giving sin, there is a wiping out of the score, or crossing of a Debt-book as it were, and Psal. 32.2. the phrase of not imputing sin doth imply as much.

Now in two respects are Sinners Debtors. First, as they are servants of God; in respect of that absolute au­thority he hath over them; as he is their Soveraigne Lord, and as they have received Talents to imploy, so they stand bound to his Mercy and owe Obedience, Exod. 20.1. Mat. 25.

Secondly, as they are Sinners against God, and have transgressed that righteous Law of his, and are liable [Page 45]to the penaltie thereof, viz. the curse which is as the Con­dition of the Bond, Deut, 27.26 Gal. 3.12. In regard whereof the Law is called [...], Colos. 2.14. An hand writing against us For to this Obliga­tion or Bond every mans conscience hath set to the hand and Seale, Rom. 2.15 And must one day acknowledge it, as Israel did, Deut. 27.26. And thus we stand indebted to Gods Iustice.

The Debt of Righteousnesse and Obedience is truly and properly called a Debt, being a payment of what before we have received.

The Debt of Punishment is so called figuratively and improperly.

First, for that it doth arise after the manner of a Debt, upon the non-payment of what is due, and breach of Co­venants; so because we have not rendered to the Lord that which is his due; and which we in the Covenant of works (Doe this and Live) have covenanted with him for, we are his Debters.

Secondly, for that it brings a man into the state of a Debter: It makes a man to hide his head for shame (as Adam did) and to slie the presence of God (as Cain did) yea live in feare of an Arrest, Heb. 2.15. And at last brings him to Jayle, where he is clapt up and not released till the utmost farthing be paid.

And thus both in respect of the Antecedent, Righteous­nesse, which we should have paid, but did not; and in respect of the Consequent, Punishment, which is due for non-payment of what was owing. Sin is a Debt, and Sinners Debters.

Vse. How then are sinners mistaken concerning their estate and condition. They will tell you, they owe no man a groat, they are out of debt, &c. when alas they owe a debt farre worse then money, nor are any other so great debters as themselves.

For first, a day is set for the payment of other debts; till the day be come we feare no arrest, they cannot be [Page 46]exacted: But the sinner goes in danger every hower; God may arrest him whensoever it pleaseth him, as he often doth and hath done, when men thinke them­selves most safe, 1 Sam. 15.32. Dan. 5.4.—30. Iob 21.13.

Secondly, other debts make us liable but to a bodily arrest onely, the Conscience may be free; but the debt of sin doth endanger both Body and Soule too: All that a man hath is to be sold, not our Goods onely, but our Two Sonnes, Body and soule must goe to pay the Creditor▪ Mat. 18.16.

Thirdly, other debts may be forgotten, and so not re­quired; but the debt of sin cannot be forgotten of the Lord, Amos 8.7. he keepeth a Debt-booke wherein all is written, with the day and place. &c. Isa. 65.6. Caines debt is as fresh in Gods mind, as if it were but yester­day.

Fourthly, from other Debtors there may be some pro­tection, either Place or Person may keepe us from arrest: but there is no protection against the Lords Attachments. Angels nor Men cannot save us, Iob 10.7. The hornes of the Altar cannot protect us, 1 King 2.28.31. Nor can Mountaines and Rocks conceale us Revel 6.16.

Fifthly, there may be a flying away from other Debtors, and a hiding our selves from mans Attachments; but flying here will not save us, Psal. 139.7. Whether shall I fly from thy presence? Chrysost. Hom. 1. de paenttent. Ionae. which words, S. Chrysostome ap­plying unto Ionah when he fled away from God, asking him why he fled when he heard David say thus, answers himselfe, Tale est peccatam, quod ad multam ignorantiam redigat animam, such a thing is sin that it brings the soule to a great deale of ignorance.

Sixthly, in Mans prison some favour may be shewed, good usage obtained; but in the prison wherein sin doth cast us, there is no ease, but continuall torture and tor­ment, a dreadfull dungeon it is of utter darknesse, Mat. 21.13. All the dungeons in the world are not to be com­pared [Page 47]to that prison which God doth cast his debters into; a hollow Cave and Chaos of confusion.

Seventhly, thou maist have a friend which may under­take for other debts when thou art in Prison, and com­pound for part, or use some other meanes for liberty; but being cast into this prison there is no such hope; amongst the Celestiall company thou canst not find one comforter; not one amongst your selves can help ano­ther. If Children should call on Parents, yet there they will not, cannot pittie them, they can have no such com­passion. Or Parents make petition to Children, Ibi clamabit pilosus as pilo­sum, anus ad alium, daemon ad daemonem, Percute, dilace­ra, intersic, eve­lociter, spolia detrahe, citò praedare, infer prunas, & ebul­lientibus impone lebetibus. Bern. in quodam Serm. O our bowells and our blood, bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh, speake for your poore tormented Parents, &c. they will not, they cannot help; words will be but spent in vaine, out of this Pit is no pittie, one Brand calls on ano­ther, and on Divell to another, that is all.

Lastly, if thou art not freed out of the hands of other Creditors, by friends or other meanes, yet death will free thee. But it is not so here, the debt which sin casts thee into is most called for, and most terrible after death: assoone as thy soule departs from thy body, it goes to the Prison of Hell, and within a while, both Body and Soule must be arraigned at Gods dreadfull barre, whose Justice will be so exact, and infinite, that every particular sin with the aggravations thereof shall be put into the Plea, and prooved against thee: upon which a Sentence shall passe, and the execution of fearfull damnation both of Body and Soule shall be served on thee. Thus you see, of all debt the debt of sin is the worst, and amongst all debtors none like to sinners.

What madnesse is it to seeme to be so much troubled with other debts, and yet this never thought on, or not to purpose? To an honest mind it is a Griefe and Shame, to owe more then they can pay; little honesty have men, no more to regard this debt owing to the Almighty. Debt breakes many a mans sleepe, I never knew that sleepe paid any debt. O the security of sinners! who owing so great a debt can sleepe so quietly.

Augustus hearing that the goods of a Merchant who died much in debt were set forth to sale, he sent to buy his pillow; saying, that he thought it had some rare vertue in it to get one asleepe, seeing he that owed so much could sleepe on it so quietly. As for these who are so deepe in arrerages with God, and in such danger by reason of their debt, and yet sleepe securely, God keepe me from their Bed and Pillow. That sleepe of theirs is but Porke­pose playing before a tempest.

Use. 2 Let sinners be more wise, and hearken to the counsell which Salomon gives, Pro. 6.1.—6. There is none on earth, but is much in debt to God as you have heard. Eve took up sin at first upon her owne bare word, by Loane, Adam by his unadvised consent subscribed to the Bond: Ʋsura crevit posteritati, the Burthen of their Interest lies on all their posterity, we inherit our Parents goods and so are liable to our Parents debts; and he had need to be well stockt that can pay that sum.

But besides that debt, O the innumerable actuall Trans­gressions committed by us! they are more then the haires are upon our heads, and the least is more then we are able to discharge, (as we shall hereafter see.)

It was Davids resolution not to goe up unto his Bed, Psal 132.4. nor give any sleepe unto his eyes, till he had found out a place for the Lord: Let it be the resolution of thy heart not to give any rest unto thy eyes, till thou hast gotten thy Quietus est from the God of Heaven.

Take the advice given us by our bl [...]ssed Saviour, Mat. 5. ver. 22. And speedily while we are in the way follow it;Zach. 5.3▪ 4. many Writs are already sent out by God against sin­ners; against the house of the Lyer, Swearer, &c. And his Bayliffes are abroad to arrest us, Sicknesse, Death, Judgement, &c. these lie in waite for us in every corner: yea they have already beene at our houses, and made de­mand; beene upon our grounds and streined: and will a man run into arrerage with his Prince, when the Sheriffes and Bailiffes are sent to drive away his Cattle [Page 49]and impound them? To disturbe his wife, children, ser­vants, and attach his Person? Should a man in this case fall to sporting, gaming, drinking and never care for com­pounding and staying of the matter, would we not think him frantick? yet this is the case of many of us; wee are deeply run into arrerage with the Almighty; He hath sent out his Sergeants and Bailiffes which straine our goods, and attach our Persons:Plato in dialo­go contra mor­tem. 1 Cor. 11. From one is taken his Sight, from another his Hearing, from a third his Tast, from a fourth his Friend, Child, &c. yea many amongst you are weake and sick. &c. saith the Apostle, yet we seek not to stay the matter and compound the businesse with the Lord.

How grievous was the sin of Belshazer, who notwith­standing those many Provocations of cruelty and Oppres­sion, Isa. 14 6. Idolatry and Superstition, Ier. 51.44, 52. Enchantment and Divination, Dan. 2.3. Isa. 47.9. Sa­criledge and Prophanation of the vessells of the Temple, Dan. 5. ver. 3.23. having at the very instant enemies without, Cyrus and Darius beseeging him; and Traytors whithin, Gadata and Gobryas ready to attach him: yet in all this dang [...]r trusting to the high walls and strong fence of Euphrates, would make a Feast for his Princes, and in­sult against God and his Israel; causing the golden and silver vessels which his Father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the Temple, to be brought, that he, his Princes, and Concubines might drink therein; and that not for any necessity, but in a drunken veine; and to fillfull his mea­sure, rested not here, but praised the gods of silver, gold, and brasse, giving them the honour of that plenty and vi­ctory; when immediately the palme of a hand appeared, and writes his sentence, which the same night was executed on him, and he slaine. God is highly provo­ked when being under the execution we remaine void of his feare, Ier. 5.3, 4. The child that relents not under the rod, we thinke to be in a manner past grace: when the arrest is served on us, if we then think not of paying [Page 50]our debts, or compounding with God betimes, we may be thought desperate.

Use. 3 Lastly, this makes for the defence of those who are watchfull over their waies, notwithstanding the frumps and scornes of the world; what need you (say they) be so precise and scrupulous, why keep you out of such, or such a company? &c. Great need there is: Sin is a debt, and sinners are indebted persons. It is not good to run in­to unnecessary debts, nor strike hands with such, least be­fore we be aware we ensnare our selves.

When a man comes into the City, (saith an Antient) he sees a number of goodly things which doe allure him, and set his desires on fire, but if he be wise he will consider what his meanes are, and ability is; and be content to forbeare rather then to run into debt for them: so is it with a wise Christian; blame him not for it; consider of sin as a debt, yea as a forfeiture of the soule, and the case is answered.

As all mankind in Generall by these two may be under­stood, so the righteous in Speciall (as may be thought) for that these were such whose debt was pardoned: now none but the righteous have their sins remitted, and thus it acquaints us with their Condition before Conversion and Remission, and may affoord us this Ob­servation,

Doct. That the very Elect before Conversion are alike indebted which the wicked world. As great debters they are, and grievous sinners as those who remaine uncalled.

Ephes. 2.3. T [...]t. 3.3. Colos. 3.6. 1 Cor. 6.9, 11. Rom. 3.9.

Reason. They have the same Corruption of nature in them that others have; All have sinned, and are deprived of the glory of God, Rom. 3.22.

And they have the same occasions and provocations to sin from the Divell and the world that others have.

Vse. Which should teach them, first, to walke humbly, see­ing they have beene as bad as any other; when they [Page 51]see other run into riot and excesse, they should with Pharaohs Butler call their owne sins to remembrance.

2. To walke the more watchfully, seeing wee carry a nature about with us, that hath beene so disobedient unto God; counting it enough that we have heretofore fol­lowed the lusts of the world, resolving to spend that little time remaining in a more carefull Obedience unto Gods Will, ceasing from sin, 1 Pet. 4.1, 2▪3.

3. To carry our selves more meekely towards all; de­spairing of the Conversion of none, but patiently wai­ting; proving if at any time God will give them Repen­tance and bring them out of the snares of the Divell, 2 Tim. 2.25.

Come we now to the Condition of these Two Deb­ters, and first as it was Ʋnlike.

The one ought five hundred pence, Text. and the other fifty.

Their Case was not alike in regard of the summe ow­ing to the Creditor, the one ought a greater sum, the other a lesse, whence observe we

Doct. All are not alike indebted to the Lord. Some are more indebted to him then others.

This appeares by that Parable, Luke 16.5. And by other expresse Scripture, Mat. 11.21. & 12.31. & 23.14, 15, 24.

Reas. All have not received from the Lord alike number of Pounds nor Talents. He hath not given to all alike stock to trade with. Luke 19.14. Mat. 25.14.

Againe,Aquin. 1.2. q. 82. Art. 4. Estius 2. Sen­ten. Dist. 33. Sect. 5. Psal. 19 13. Mat. 12.31. & Chap 23.15. 2 Tim. 3.13. 2 Pet 2.20. all are not alike deepe in respect of Actuall Transgressions. For albeit Originall sin be equally and alike extended unto all, nec suscipit magis aut minus, it hath no degree nor parts in any child of Adam, more then other; yet actuall sins committed by us are of a thousand kinds, and every vice hath its latitude and degree; some are bound up in Folio, other some in Quarto, others in Octavo, and the sins of some other in a Decim [...] sext [...], [Page 52]See 2 Kings 3.2. Ier. 3.11. Ezek. 23.11. Iohn 19.11.

We read of a Moate or Fescue, and of a Beame which may be sawen into many quarters, Mat. 7.3. of Gnats, and Camells, Mat. 23.24.

There are Funiculi Vanitatis, Cords of vanity, Isa. 5.18. and there are Funes peecatorum, Ropes of sin, Pro. 5.22. and Vinculum plaustri, Cart-ropes or Waine-ropes, Isa. 5.18. By which phrases in holy Scripture it appeares, in Actuall Transgression all are not alike deepe.

Vse 1 To say then that no sin is greater then another, is one of the grossest errors that ever was; It was maintained by the Stoicks (as we may find in Tullies Paradoxes) against all sense, feeling and opinion of mankind (as S. Austin sheweth.) Iovinian sided with them,Epist. 29. ad Hier. and was strongly confuted by S. Hierom out of the Scripture, as S. Austin testifieth, and evidently appeareth in that second Booke which S. Hierom wrote against Iovinian.

The Papists charge us with this error, (but most untruly) Their reason is, for that we refuse their distinction of sins Mortall and Veniall; what we hold and teach con­cerning Veniall sinne, and wherein we and they differ in that point, we shall heare when we speake of the mercy and compassion of this Creditor in the next verse.

And yet (it cannot be denied) there are amongst us, who seeme to incline this way. Reproove them for sin­ning, they will answer you they are sinners as others are, &c. as if there were no difference to be put betwixt sin­ner and sinner, debter and debter in respect of the score. These are ignorant and blinded by the god of this world, and in judgement they are given up to believe a lie.

Paritie of sins we hold it to be an idle dreame; be­sides what hath beene already said, the diversity of Sacri­fices we read of in Scripture proves the inequality of offences, as Levit. 4.3. For the Priest, a young Bullocke without blemish must be offered: For the Magistrate a male Kid serv'd the turne, verse 23. If an Ordinarie [Page 53]man offended, for him a Female, either Goate, or Lamb should be accepted, verse 28, 32.

2. Greater punishments both Criminall and Capitall were ordained for some, then others: He that steales a man must die, Exod. 21.16. But he that stoale an Oxe or Sheepe should onely restore fourefold, Exod. 12.1. He that killed a man unwillingly was to be protected, Exod. 21.13. But if he killed him willingly, the hornes of the Altar could not save him, verse 14. So Adultery of com­mon people was to be punished with common death, Levit. 20.10. But if the Priests daughter played the Whore, she must be burnt with fire, because she prophaned her Father, Levit. 21.9.

Paenae singulo­rum inaequa­les intentione, paenae omnium aequales dura­tione. Aquin.And as in this World so in another; some shall have soarer punishments then others, Heb. 10.29. Mat. 23.15. Luke 12.47, 48. and Revel. 22.12. God will reward every one according to his workes, which had beene superfluous to say, were all sins equa [...]l

Vse 2 We have learned better, and accordingly we should examine of what kind our sins are, how much our debt is; and as we finde let us put downe in our Account.

To helpe us a little in this our search, take this for a Generall rule, Iniuria patien­tis auget culpā facientis. Sal­vian. Psal. 51.4. the more directly any sin is done against God, the greater the sin is to be accounted of, and the more the debt. Thus the sin against the Holy Ghost is the greatest sin; because he who committeth that sin, sinneth of malice, purposely to despight the Spirit of Grace. Hence it followes,

1. The sins of the highest degree against the first Ta­ble are greater then the sins of the highest degree against the second Table. (For if we compare the lowest of the first Table with the highest of the second, it will not hold) Thus Samuell speaketh of Witcheraft, and Idolatry as of the greatest sins, 1 Sam. 15.23. And our Saviour calls the first Table, the first and great Commandement, Mat. 22.38.

2. Those sins that are committed against the meanes [Page 54]which should keepe us from sin are greater then other, Mat. 11.24. So sins against Knowledge are greater then those that are committed out of simple ignorance, Luke 12.47. Iames 4.17. And as it is thus in the sinnes of Omission, so also in the sinnes of Commission, Acts 3.17. 1 Tim. 1.13. he found mercy, because he did it ignorant­ly. So sinnes against the Gospell are greater then those against the Law, for that they are committed against more light; This is the condemnation saith Christ, that light is come into the world, Iohn 3.19. To commit sin in the cleare light of the Gospell, is a reproach not much unlike that of Absolom, He committed wickednesse in the sight of the Sun A Tapor in the hand of a ghost makes it looke more ghastly. Thus the sins of the Roge­nerate are more heynous then the sins of the Ʋnregene­rate, for that God suffers more by them then by others, Deut. 32.6. Levit. 22.31, 32. 1 Tim. 6.1. Tit. 2.5. When Simeon and Levi had dealt so lewdly with the Sichemites, Iacob told them that they had made him to stinke in the sight of the Inhabitants of the land, Gen. 34.30. He had no hand in their sin, but did abhorre it, yet it is the fa­shion of the world, for the sin of one or two religious men, to open their mouth wide against Religion it selfe. In which respect, David prayeth God that none might be ashamed because of him, Psal. 69.6. that they might not have the durt of his foule and scandalous sins cast in their faces; Indeed this was that the Prophet laid so heavily to Da­vids charge after his fall, By this deed thou hast given great occasion to the Enemies of God to blaspheme, 2 Sam. 12.14.

3. Sins often committed are greater then those but once committed by us, for that here is an abusing of Gods Patience and Forbearance, Rom. 2.4, 5. Ier. 5.6. 2 Pet. 2.22. In Arithmetick a figure in the first place stands for it selfe, in the second place it stands for ten, and in the third place for a hundred, and so higher. So here.

Thus learne we to judge of sin; and be assured that [Page 55]thou who art a Christian canst not sin so good cheape as may an Indian or Pagan. An Englishman cannot sweare, lie, be drunk, commit whoredome, at so easie a rate as a Spaniard, or Italian; Places of much knowledge, are chargeable places to practise sin in. We in this Land are more indebted to Gods mercy for the meanes of Grace affoorded then any other Nation under Heaven; and in respect of our unthankfullnesse and unworthy walking more indebted to his Iustice.

And when they had nothing to pay] Text.

Verse 42 [...], Non habentibus illis unde redaerent, &c.

In this then they differ'd not; both were alike in respect of their Indigencie and Inability for payment, They had nothing.

Doct. Sinners are weake and disable debters. They are no way able to pay that debt which is due to God, Iob 9.3. Pro. 13 7. Revel. 3.17. Mat. 18.

In this respect our Lord and Master Christ, hath taught us to beg for pardon, Mat. 6.12. And such is the course the godly have ever taken, Psalme 51.1 & 143.2, 13. Daniel 9.

Man by sin hath disabled himself from doing any thing that in any respect may carry any shew of Recompence, 2 Cor. 3.5. like desperate Prodigalls we lost all at one throw, we are stripped naked through our fall.See the good Samaritane. No crea­ture on earth so naked and indigent as man; Naked he is borne,Job 1. and naked shall he returne.

Secondly, Offensio in Doum est infinitae magnitudinis, saith Bellarmine, Psal. 130. Recompence therefore which must be given for discharge of that debt must be likewise infinite.

Now the debt is infinite, 1. Because our sins are infinite in number, David propounds a Quoties, Psal. 19.12. Who can tell how oft be offendeth? no man ever yet could [Page 56]find a Toties to it. David was a good Arithmetician and numbred his daies well, but his sins he could not number: the haires of a mans head may be told, but his sins were more then they: the Starres in the Firmament appeare in multitude, and some have undertaken to number them too, but it is in vaine to undertake a numbering of our transgressions; before wee can recount a thousand, wee commit ten thousand. Like Hidraes heads, whilst we are cutting off one by repentance, a hundred more grow up.

Secondly, for that sin is committed against an infinite Majesty, and so provoketh an infinite wrath, and can­not be taken away but by an infinite art: no finite power can doe this, or make a payment of such worth. What shall a man give, saith Christ, in exchange for his soule, Mat. 19. or wherewith redeeme it, Psal. 49.6, 7, 8.

Thirdly, Had Man any ability left, and were able to doe something towards the payment of the debt due, yet if hee cannot doe all, Quis vel super justitiâ sua gloriabitur, cum audiat Deum per Prophetam dicentem, quia omnis justitia vestra sicut pannus men­struati. Orig. in Epist. ad Rom. cap, 3. how is the debt paid? Let but twelve pence be wanting in the payment of a 100 lb. the Bond (you know) is not discharged; let light gold be tendered will it be accepted? Our best workes are full of imperfections, Isa. 64.6. Hereupon Origen groundeth that Question, who dare brag of his righteousnesse, when he heareth God saying by his Pro­phet, All our righteousnesse is as filthy rags: If our righteousnesse are as menstruous clouts, what are our mon­strous sinnes.

Fourthly, all the good a man can doe (though he doe more then ever any man did) is it selfe a due debt, and how shall that goe for a discharge of former debts? one debt will not discharge another, nor the pay­ment of this yeares rent discharge the last yeares for­feiture.

Sicut Christus passione sua, &c.The Vanity of Popish Satisfaction may be hence disco­vered; as Christ by his Suffering satisfied for our sinnes, [Page 57]so we by satisfying suffer for our sinnes (saith the Trent Councell.) The Schoole-men goe mad in the Point. A­quinas saith, that a man may, Vindicare divinam vindi­ctam, & compensare divinam offensam, Deliver from Gods vengeance and recompence God offended: And hee makes the satisfaction equivalent to the wrong done, per aquivalentiam non quantitatis sed proportionis etiam pro alienis peccatis, by the equivalencie not of quantity, but of proportion, yea for other mens-sinnes also.

Sure I am that Scripture teacheth otherwise;Omnis humana justitia injusti­tia esse convin­citur, si districte judicetur, Greg mor. l. 9. c. 11. If thou Lord shouldest marke iniquities. (saith David, Psal. 130) who could abide it. Iob saith, He could not answer one of a thousand, Iob 9.3. Who can say I have made my heart cleane (saith Salomon, Pro. 20.9.) In many things we offend all (saith S. Iames) And if we say we have no sinne, we deceive our selves (saith the Disciple that leaned on the breast of our Saviour,Da mihi aliquē sine prolapsione Delicti. Ambr. Apocal. c. 4. 1 Ioh. 1.8.) Some may be sine crimine, but none, sine peccato: Thou maist seek such a man, but shalt not find him.

Philosophy teacheth that there is no pure mettall to be found in the Mines of the Earth, nor unmixed Element in the world: But why speak we of the Earth?Quem non in­venies usquam, esse putes nus­quam. The Starres of the skie are not cleane, nor the Angels of Heaven pure in the eyes of God, Iob 25.5. And shall we boast of our abilities to make satisfaction to Gods ju­stice for our transgression?

Questionlesse, sin hindreth the virtue of satisfaction. If a man be a sinner, he cannot please God; and if he cannot please God, how can he satisfie him? This Doctrine of the Church of Rome we cannot but condemne:Non peccare Dei jnstitia est, hominis just itia Dei indulgen­tia, Ber. in Cant. Serm. 23. Acknow­ledging that we have sinned, and that there is no way to satisfie the Lord, but by free pardon and forgivenesse through the merits of Christ (as wee shall heare after­wards.)

The Ignorance of many carnall Protestants comes here to be met withall: Reason with them about their hope; [Page 58]how they looke to be freed from the rigour of Gods Ju­stice; they will tell us a story of their good Deeds and Workes; were they able to doe as much as any Saint on Earth, or all the Saints together did: Nay (saith S. Bernard) so infinite is the debt we owe to God, that if all the lives of the sonnes of Adam were in one man, and all the vertues that were in the holy Patriarches and Prophets and other holy men of God in the soule of one, yet all were nothing to doe God service with, and dis­charge what is owing;In omnibus mo­nitis Dei at (que) mandatis, una [...]ad [...]m (que) ratio est & divinae gratiae & hu­manae obedien­tiae; nec ob allud unquam datur praeceptum, nisi ut quaeratur praecipientis auxilium. for my owne part (saith that Fa­ther) I have but two farthings to pay the Lord withall, (and they be of the least size and measure) my Body and my Soule, yea I have but one Farthing, and that is my good Will, and what is one Farthing to pay so great a debt withall.

Object. If it be thus, that we cannot satisfie the Justice of God by our obedience, whereto tends it? Why are we re­quired to obey Gods Precepts?

Vse 3 Resp. The Answer Prosper gives, may satisfie us; In all Gods Admonitions and Commands, there is one and the same reason both of Gods Grace and of Mans Obedience; Neither is the Commandement at any time give for a­ny other thing,Hoc in loco uti­tur Christus cō pofito vocabulo vocans hos [...]de. bitores [...] ut o [...]ten­dat nos omnes cora [...] judicio Dei prorsus [...]on esse sol [...]endo, nam [...] simpliciter p [...]o se de [...]itorē sig­nificat, & [...] significat indi▪ gent [...]am at (que) e gestatem, qu [...] non est solven­do. Chem. Harm c. 57. p. 986. but that the helpe of him that comman­deth may be sought for: Gods Precepts must be turned into Prayers: So much Obedience as Gods Law requires of us, so much Grace we stand in need of: And this wee are to obtaine of him, who is the Fountaine of all Grace.

Let this (that hath beene delivered) teach us to empty our selves of all proud and high concei [...]s, and put us up­on an ingenuous Confession of our owne Poverty and Nakednesse. We are not onely Debters, but Banque­routs (as the word here used by our Saviour shewes) Such as have nothing at all to pay through our extreame indigence and poverty. And indeed the Resemblan­ces betweene the one and the other are many: We will name some.

A Banquerout makes great shew of what, he hath not: So doth a Sinner, Prov. 13.7. He makes himselfe rich, yet hath nothing: He is an empty vine, Hos. 10.1. A cloud without water, Iude v. 12. A forme of Godlinesse he may have, but he is without the Power, 2 Tim. 3.5. He hath nothing in Truth, Nothing in the right use, No­thing in Acceptance; all his treasure lies in sinne: No­thing is his, but that: And that is his, 1. In respect of Patrimony, he hath it from his Parents, 2. In respect of Practise: He hath sinned after their example, 3. By Purchase, it is his, He drawing on himselfe both the Guilt and Punishment of the Sinnes of his Neighbours ma­ny wayes. This is all a sinner can lay claime unto, as his, and all this is but Beggarie and Nakednesse, Revel. 3.17.

2. A Banquerout will be borrowing of every one, but pay none to whom he is indebted; thus the Sinner bor­rowes of all. Of God, of Man, of the Creatures; but that Love, Duty, Service, that is expected he performes not. Promise, Vowes, Bonds, all are broken, Rom. 1.31. They are branded for Covenant-breakers by the Lord himselfe, and so he hath found them to be, Hos. 6.7. Neh. 9. Dan. 9, Psal. 106.

3. A Banquerout will take up at high Rates, and put off at Low, buy deare, but sell cheape: So doth the Sin­ner. Ahab takes up Land, Naboths vineyard: Achan a wedge of gold, Gehezi, a bribe: Esau, Iacobs pot [...]age: Iudas, thirty pence. All these tooke up their wares at deare rates (as doe the Sinners of these dayes.) But one day will bee inforced to cry out with Lysimachus, How great a Kingdome for how small a pleasure have I lost!

4. A Banquerout will be offering Composition to his Creditours; but it shall be very little, three or foure shillings in the pound, it may bee not so much: Thus deales the sinner: he will be offering a composition as Pharaoh did, Exod. 8.25. Goe sacrifice in this Land; if [Page 60]that will not be accepted, then, Goe into the wildernesse and Sacrifice, but go not farre, vers. 28. Will not that be taken? then Goe you men and Sacrifice but all may not goe, your little ones shall stay behind, Cap. 10. verse 11. Will not this be hearkned unto? then, goe you your selves, and let your little ones goe also: onely let your Flocks and herds be staied, vers. 26. Something they will doe, but the whole debt, they resolve they will never pay.

5. A Banquerout cannot be trusted of any one that knowes him, no more a Sinner, God will not trust him, Iob 4.18, 19. Christ will not trust him, Ioh. 2.24. Nor will the godly (if they be wise,) Ier. 9.14. Mich. 7.2. Iob 19.14, 15. We may expect Love and Dutie from them; but how can they pay, who have nothing?

6. A Banquerout in a short time hides his head, He is not to be seene; so is it with a Sinner, Psal. 37.10. Yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be, yea thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. And verse 35, 36. I have seene (saith David) the wicked in great power, and spreading himselfe like a greene Bay-tree, yet he passed away, and loe he was not, yea I sought him, but he could not be found.

The serious Consideration of this our weake estate by Nature, would cause us (not to say with that Deb­tor, Matth. 18.26. Have Patience Master, and I will pay thee all.) (For we are not able to pay halfe nor quarter, nor any thing at all to wards satisfaction of divine Justice, but) to pray with David for Mercy and Forgivenesse: Which is the next Point we are to speake unto, and that whereby this Creditor is further described unto us and set forth, [...], Hee frankely forgave them both. And here consider we the Act of this Creditor [He frankly forgave] and then the Object [Them both.]

He frankely forgave them both.]

Text. Litterally this teacheth Creditors a Christian duty, To deale mercifully with such as are disabled Deb­ters.

Doct. Rigorous demanding of due debt (in case of disabi­lity wee may find forbidden, Dent. 15.1, 7. Which Law whether it is to be understood of a porpetuall release of the debt at seven yeares end; (as the Hebrews for the most part understand it) and therefore had their Limita­tions for some debts and debters) or onely as an Inter­mission for the seventh yeare, Maimony in his Treat of the Release, c. 9. wherein was neither sow­ing, nor reaping, nor other workes of Husbandry, so that the poore had not such meanes for paying of their debts as in other yeares; yet it figured the yeare of Grace, the acceptable yeare of the Lord, which Christ preached, by whom we have obtained of God the release of our debts, The forgivenesse of our Sinnes, Luke 4.18, 19. And calleth upon us likewise to shew mercy to our poore decaied Brother, and forbeare Exaction, Nehem. 5.3, 11. Isay. 58.6, 7.

In the Gospell our Saviour wills us to tend looking for no­thing againe, Luk. 6.35. Beza. which is not (say some) to be understood onely of Ʋse, or Loane, but of the Principall, in case it should so fall out, that they are by the hand of God disa­bled: Sure I am there is a Parable propounded by our blessed Saviour which acquaints us with Gods severity a­gainst Saviour which acquaints us with Gods severity a­gainst such rigorous Creditors, as upon that Parable and passage I have more fully shewd. Therfore a word or two of this Point shall here serve.

Vse. How few Creditors are there like to him here spoken of? It is no rare matter to meet with some like him we read of, Mat. 18.28. Who will take their Debters by the throat and call for speedy payment of what is ow­ing: These may be resembled to Plinies Hinona, Lib. 8. c. 30. they eat up the carkasses of men; utterly undoing by Execu­tions [Page 62]and perpetuall Imprisonments those who are disa­bled by Gods immediate hand (as by fire, water, sicknesse, &c.) and not through their own negligence or improvi­dency.

I deny not, but debts owing are to be required: God himself hath given liberty to the Creditor to take a pledge for his security, Deut. 24.10, 11, 12.

I (likewise) grant that more strictnesse and extremity may be used in requiring a Debt of such as rashly cast themselves into it (though they be poore or pretend Inability, when indeed it is but a pretence,) (as the manner of many in these daies is,) Prov. 22.26. & 27.13.

But in the behalfe of the poore and needy; the well minded Debter, the Lord giveth an other charge, Exod. 22.26. If thou shalt receive to pawne the garment of thy Neighbour, restore it unto him before the Sunne goeth downe; for that onely is his covering, that is his garment for his skin, wherin shall he sleep? Therfore when he crieth to me I will heare him, for I am mercifull.

Yet no debt whatever may be axacted without Mercy, still remember, as man in a Debter unto thee, so art thou unto Mercy: Thus St. Paul (Rom. 15.27.) sheweth the Macedonians and Achaians were. Whereupon St. Ambrose thus speaketh, In tantum nos humanos & mise­ricordes vult esse Apostelus, Amb. in Rom. cap. 15. ut & debitores nos dicat ejus. So farre doth the Apostle presse to be mercifull and cour­teous that he affirmeth us to be debters unto it. There­fore so exact thy Debt that God may forgive thee all thy Debts.

Mystically, this sets forth Gods mercifull and gratious disposition towards poore sinners, and serves first to in­forme us of this truth.

Doct. Remission and Forgivenesse of Sinnes is attaincable, there is a possibility for a sinner to have his Debts pardoned and remitted, Act. 3 19 & 19.43. & 26.18.

The Sacrifices under the Law prefigured as much, [Page 63] Heb. 5.1. and the gratious promise under the Gospell make it good, Isa. 1.18. & 55.7. Ezek. 33.16. Mat. 12.31. And the faithfull performances of those gracious promi­ses in so many Instances put us out of all doubt concer­ning this truth, Psal. 32.5. Isa. 38.17. & 44.22. Mat. 9.2. Marke 2.5, 9.

The grounds are two; First, Mercy in God, who desi­reth not the death of a sinner, Ezek. 33.11. It is his Name to be mercifull: an Attribute as infinite as him­selfe, it suits with his Nature.

Secondly, Merit in Christ: By his Sacrifice he satisfi­ed Gods Justice, and paid the debt of sin, 1 Cor. 15.9. Gal. 1.4. Ephes. 1.7. Colos. 1.14. 1 Iohn 3.5. Heb. 9 26.

Hence commeth that sweet concurrence of Mercy and Iustice spoken of by the Psalmist, Psal. 85.10. Mer­cy and Truth are met together, Righteousnesse and Peace have kissed each other. They met together and that divers times, but did never kisse till Christ reconciled them; when they met before, they met in a kind of opposi­tion (as S. Bernard sheweth in Dialogue) A great con­tention there was betwixt them about mans Redemp­tion.Ser. 1. de An­nun Dom. Mercy pleads hard, What hath God forgotten to be gratious, will hee cast us of for ever and be no more intreated? That by no meanes wils the death of a sin­ner; Iustice steps in, and requires that she may have her due, and that the soule that sinnes may die; Hast not thou said it, and shall not the Iudge of all the earth do right? Thus the Plea hangs; our salvation lies as it were a blee­ding, we as guilty prisoners still stand at the Barre. Christ steps in, gives Justice satisfaction, ends the quarrell, and makes all kind, kissing friends. For in giving himselfe a ransome for man, he did at once pay both Iustice her debt, and obtaine for Mercy her desire.

Vse. Great is the comfort that poore sinners may have from hence; to looke upon the greatnesse of our debt, the in­finitenesse of the sum is enough to sinke us; but to heare [Page 64]of a possibility to procure a discharge, to put a new life and spirit into us as it did into the hearts of the people, when they heard Shecaniah tell them that there was hope in Israel concerning this thing, Ezra, 10 2.

It may also encourage us to use speedie meanes for the obtaining of a Pardon; seeing in seeking after it, we seeke after that which is honourable and worth the having.

A mercy of all mercies it is to have our sins forgiven; there needs no more but that, to make us truly happy, Psal. 32.1. Rom. 4.6, 7. Salvation stands in it, and under that one benefit, all the good that we receive by Christ is comprised; It is put for the whole Covenant, and for all the priviledges therein contained, Acts 10.43. and is esteemed the greatest blessing which flowes from Christs blood, Mat. 26.28. That is the Fountaine (as it were,) other blessings are but streames issuing thence; the things of this world are made true blessings by it.

And yet how unworthily is this put in the last place in most mens endeavours? Should a man stand with Salo­mon in the window of his house, and looke and consider the courses of men, how should we see them busied? Some eagerly pursuing wealth, other greatnesse, other following pride and vaine delights; like children they run after Butter-flies: But not one amongst many who spends his time and studie this way, how to get a pardon of sin, and a discharge of that debt he owes to Gods divine Justice; Pray you to the Lord (said Pha­raoh unto Moses) that hee may take away the frogs from mee: Exod. 8.8. he desired not that his sins might be taken away, which were the cause of them; so is it with the men of this world, they pray to have sicknesse, poverty, lamenesse &c. removed from them, but for their sins they passe not, that debt least of all troubles them.

Quest. But whence is it that men are so carelesse in seeking after this one thing necessary?

Resp. Diverse Reasons may be rendered of this great neglect.

Resp. First, an erroneous judgement about the thing it selfe: Some think it is that which cannot be had, or if it be feisa­ble yet it is not so necessary as other blessings, which lies them more in hand to seeke after. The errour of which opinions what hath beene said before, discovers.

Secondly, this great neglect ariseth from want of due consideration of mens present states, they spend no thoughts this way; like Banquerouts, they love not to cast up their accounts. Men are not aware how many Bills of particular sins hang upon the file, and are upon re­cord against them in the Lords Court of Justice; they consider not how they lie open (till discharge be had) to all Gods plagues and curses, which dog and follow them at the heeles in every corner like so many Serjants to arrest them at Gods Suit, Deut 28.19. They consider not that after death there is no Redemption: If a discharge be not obtained before death, lay hold upon them, there is no way but one, to prison with them. And how Hell follow s death at the [...]eeles, Revel. 6.8. Nor doe they bethinke themselves how suddenly death may seaze upon them▪ as the fishes that are taken in an evill net, (even whilst they are flating and playing at a flie,) and as the Birds that are caught in the snare, so are the sonnes of men snared in an evill time, when it falleth suddenly on them (saith Salomon) Were these things well thought on, men would feare to let the temples of their heads take any rest in the omission of this duty.

Thirdly, this ariseth in some through a bold presump­tion of Gods mercy, conceiting that God will forgive us our sins, though we take no paines about it. God in­deed is mercifull, and his mercy is above all his workes; but still it is restrained to those that seeke it, Lament. 3.25. Psal. 103.11. Mat. 7. As for other who are brutish, and sin presumptuously on hope of mercy, God hath already acquainted them with his mind, Deut. 29.19, 20. Isa. 27.11. Pro. 1.27, 28, 29, 30.

But if it be so great a blessing, and haveable likewise; [Page 66]It may be you will aske me about the meanes that must be used for the obtaining of it. If so, I answer

First, bring thy soule to a true sight and sense of sinne, this is that which prepareth a man, and maketh him capiable of a pardon. The whole have no need of the Physi­tian, but the sicke, Mat. 9.12. nor are any called to be eased, but such as find themselves to be wearied with the load, Mat. 11. verse 28. The widow said to the Prophet, O thou man of God why commest thou to call my sinne to re­membrance, and to slay my sonne; but thus to bring sin to our remembrance is not to slay us, but to save us.

Secondly, Iudge your selves for them, confesse them humbly before the Lord, Luke 15.18, 19. & 18.13. 1 Iohn Chap. 1. verse 9. Pro. 28.13. This course David took and found it speeding, Psal. 32. God is well plea­sed to have himselfe cleared, and our selves (as is meet) charged.

Thirdly, Pray earnestly to the Lord in the Name of Christ for pardon and forgivenesse, Hos. 14.3. Dan. 9.18, 19. Mat. 18.32. I forgave thee all that thy debt, be­cause thou desiredst mee: there is no pardon granted, but where it is desired; no obtaining Remission but by hum­ble supplication, and the prayers of the faithfull are very availeable for this purpose, Iames 5.16.

Fourthly, carefully use the meanes which God hath left to his Church for the obtaining of this grace; attend on the Ministers of the Word, it is the Ministery of Reconci­liation, 2 Cor. 5. By it God is pleased to worke Faith in our hearts, whreby remission of sins is received. These are the meanes which being conscionably used,Acts 10.43. Remissi­on may be obtained, and our debts discharged. And so much of the Benefit bestowed, come we now to the man­ner of it. The Text saith

He frankely forgave them both]

Text. Ʋtris (que) debitum [...], ex gratia condonavit: Both [Page 67]these were forgiven by God, no part of the debt was re­tained to either of them; and this God did Gratis, frankly and freely; first observe,

Doct. God in forgiving sinne, fully forgives it, no part of the debt is reserved to be exacted of us.

To forgive imports as much; for where any recom­pence is made or punishment suffered; there is a kind of satisfaction, and that is contrary to Remission.

I will forgive their iniquity (saith the Lord, Ier. 31.34.) and I will remember their sinnes no more; He will so forgive as to forget; and if he forget them, then cer­tainely he will never punish a man for them, (for in Scrip­ture phrase God is then said to remember sin, when he pu­nisheth for sin, as Ier. 14.10. Hos. 8.13.)

Hereto tend those Metaphors in Scripture used when forgivenesse of sin is spoken of, considered in severall Re­lations. Sometimes it is considered as having relation to the Fault committed, so it is expressed under the phra­ses of Purging, as Ezek. 22.24 Psal. 51.7. Not laying it to the charge, Acts 17.19. taking it away, Ioh. 1.29.

As it hath relation to the Booke wherein it is recorded, so it is expressed by the phrase of blotting out, Acts 3.19. of hiding and covering so as it cannot be read, Psal. 32.1. Mich. 7.19.

As it hath relation to God, who is wronged in point of honour, so it is expressed by the phrase of passing by the offence, Mich. 7.18. Not seeing and beholding it. Numb. 23.21. Casting it behind the backe, Isa. 38.17.

As it hath relation to the Punishment contracted by it, so it is expressed by the phrase of putting away sinne, 2 Sam. 12.13. Isa 44.22. Not imputing it, Psal. 32.2. Rom. 4.8.

These are all significant Phrases according to their se­verall Relations, and betoken as much as hath beene de­livered, viz. an absolute riddance and finall discharge thereof; so that as the Prophet speaketh of it, Ier. 50.20. It shall be sought for, and there shall be none.

Vse 1 This maketh against that Doctrine (before touched) of Satisfaction or Satispassion defended by the Papists;Sicut Christus Passione sua sa­tisfecit pro pec­catis, ita nos satisfaciendo patiamur pro peccatis. Concil. Trid. who though they acknowledge such a matter as Pardon of sin, yet they maintaine forgivenesse to be such a thing, in which God remitteth but in part; The fault (they say) he doth discharge, but not the Penalty, that is (say they) reserved to be satisfied for, in part here, and part in Purgatory; and indeed for the foundation of Purga­tory and maintaining of that fire, was this distinction of theirs invented; for it was never knowne in Christs time.

An opinion that cannot stand with the Nature of for­givenesse, as it is described in Scripture. If all be pardo­ned, what is behind to be satisfied for? If there be some satisfaction on our part expected, how then is the for­givenesse absolute?

Sundry arguments we have in Scripture against this error.

First, Rom. 8.1. the Apostle expressely teacheth, that there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ, nihil damnationis, (as the Vulgar Translation (which they themselves so highly magnifie) hath it,) not one jot of condemnation, now what is Condemnation, but the adjudging of a man to punishment? So in Scripture it is every where used, Mat. 20.18. Mark. 14 64. If then no condemnation be reserved for the true Beleever, there is no punishment due to his sin by him to be suffered.

Secondly, our Redemption by Christ was from the whole curse of the Law due to us for sin; now Tempo­rall punishments due to us for sin, are part of that curse, Deut. 28.16-22. Therefore from them also are wee freed.

Object. Wherefore then doth the living man com­plaine (you will say)? doth not man suffer for sin? La­ment. 3 39. And why did God after he had pardoned Da­vid for his Adulterie and Murther, reserve for him [Page 69]Temporall punishment? The child borne to him must surely die, 2 Sam. 12.13.

Resp. This was Castigatio not damnatio; medicina, non paena, a chastisement, not a condemnation; a medicine, not a punishment, (as speaketh S. Chrysostome) And be­twixt these, we must learne to distinguish: It is true, God layeth many things on his dearest children in this life, not­withstanding he hath forgiven them their sins; but such sufferings of theirs, are neither expiatorie nor satisfacto­rie, nor yet vindictive for sin; nor can they properly be called punishments, but Fatherly chastisements and cor­rections onely, Psal. 94.12. Heb. 12.6. Revel. 3.19. 1 Cor. 11.32. God sends them in love, and offers himselfe therein to his as unto children, Heb. 12.7. He inflicts them as furtherances to Sanctification, not as meanes of Sa­tisfaction.

Thirdly, the Lord doth so, (and much more) fully forgive the sins of the Faithfull, as he would have them forgive one another; and he makes his forgivenesse the very patterne we should work by, Ephes. 4 32. But in our forgiving he requires that both the fault and punish­ment be forgiven, 1 Pet. 3.9. And therefore wee must needs conclude, that whom God forgives, to them are forgiven both.

As for satisfaction to our Brethren for wrongs to them done, by acknowledgement, restitution, Mulct, with as­king forgivenesse, &c. we both teach and practise, but they shall not be able to satisfie us in this point, that any thing we can doe or suffer can satisfie Gods Justice.

I spare any further wading in this point; Thus much I thought needfull to say on it, for that this Popish opi­nion of Satisfaction cleaves (as one saith well) very close unto our natures, and there is an aptnesse in us to thinke by some act of ours to make amends for the things we have done amisse. This we are not able to do, for when we have done all we can, we are unprofitable servants, Luk. 17.

Vse. This is a Doctrine of singular Comfort to all those that are in Christ and made partakers of this benefit of Remission.

It is storyed of Caesar to his renowne and praise, that after the defeate of Pompey hee had in his custody a Casket, wherein he found divers letters written by ma­ny of the Nobles under their own hands, (sufficient evi­dence to condemn them) but he burnt them al, that no mo­nument might remain of a future grudge. Thus doth God cancell and annihilate the sins of his Elect ones; and causeth an act of Oblivion to be made, that there may be no quarrell against them in Heaven.

And (to be short) being thus fully pardoned, what­soever happens to us or is inflicted on us, wee may rest assured comes in Love, it is mingled with Love, and shall through Love be turned to our good, Rom. 8.28. Let our Afflictions smart never so much, yet the curse is remo­ved; they are but medicinable potions, and shall further our salvation in the end.

Are the Consolations of God small with thee, (as Eliphaz said to Iob)?Iob 15.11. doe not these things affect thee to rejoycing? surely then we are are as yet Dead Births; Gods children have rejoyced in this mercy more then in great spoiles, Let the heart of them rejoyce that seeke the Lord.

And (to conclude) be carefull that we lay up safe our discharge and pardon having once obtained it. How care­full men are to lock up a Generall discharge from some pecuniarie debts, we know well enough; but no discharge to this, so lay it up, that you may not have it to seek in the hower of Temptations and Tryall. Such times you must expect, and then your Acquittance sealed with Christs blood will stand you in much stead. Our care­lesnesse this way, often causeth God to hide from us the comfort of it, to the end that wee may seeke it up, and keep it better. Thus we lay some peece of plate aside for a while to teach a carelesse child, or servant, [Page 71]to be more carefull of it after it is returned. And thus much of the Fullnesse of Gods pardoning. Come we now to the Freenesse of it. Hee Frankly forgave them both. Whence observe we

Remission is of free grace and mercy; whom God for­gives he forgives gratis. The Pope indeed sells Pardons; God sells none, what God doth this way hee doth freely.

This Truth is abundantly confirmed and strengthe­ned in the holy Scriptures. I, even I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for my owne sake, &c. Isa. 43 25. Not for your sakes, but for mine owne sake will I purge you and wash away your sinnes, O you house of Israel, Ezek. 36.25, 32. Thus Ephes. 1.7. The Apostle speaking of this bene­fit, tells us that he gives it [...], ac­cording to the riches of his grace. And Rom. 3.24. he saith, wee are justified, [...], gratis, or freely by his grace through the Redemption that is in Iesus Christ.

Object. But here lies the Objection: If it be through the Re­demption that is in Iesus Christ, how then is it free? that which we get upon a price paid, and ransome tendered, is from Iustice due to us, and not of free grace given us: But so was this obtained, as the Apostle likewise else­where sh­ [...]weth 1 Cor. 6.20 1 Tim. [...].6.

Resp. Remission of sins was purchased for us, and our debts discharged through the satisfaction made by Christ to Gods Justice. Not one farthing of that sum wherein we stood indebted to the Lord was forgiven, without pay­ment made by Christ; who by his Active Obedience paid the Principall that was owing, fulfilling all Righteous­nesse, Mat. 3.15. And by his Passive Obedience paid the Forfeiture, in which respect the Prophet saith, Wee have received at the Lords hand (viz. in our Surety) double for all our sinnes, Isa. 40 2. So that ex par [...]e Christi, on Christs part it was not free, and yet ex parte homi­num, on mans behalfe, it is every way ingenuous and free. And that

First, in regard of God the Father, who was pleased out of the love he bore to mankind to send his onely begotten Sonne to discharge that debt was owing. Isa 9.6. Iohn 4.10. And out of the like love and mercy hee was pleased to accept of the satisfaction and payment by him made on our behalfe; for nothing bound God to this way, but that wherewith he did voluntarily bind himself, Heb 6.7.

Secondly, in respect of Christ who satisfied for us, it was to us free. He freely and willingly assented to the worke of our Redemption, in which respect it is said, He laid downe his life and tooke it up againe. John 10.15. As like­wise in that we are no way able to gratifie Christ for what he did in any measure, Psal. 116.12.

Thirdly, in respect of our selves who receive this mer­cy, it is free forgivenesse; we conferre no merit to it, nor did we add any thing towards that great purchase of his, Rom. 11.6. Thus then, in speaking of Gods free grace in pardoning sin, Christ is not to be excluded, he is [...], the end or Tribute, and wee by his payment are [...], Tribute-free. And so wee stand discharged through his ransome before God Almighty.

Object. This Objection may be further urged thus, That is free­ly bestowed which is conferred without any help or work in the Receiver. But many necessary works and acts are necessarily required of those that are discharged (as Faith, Repentance, Charity, &c.) How then is it free­ly given?

Resp. Though it be not conferred without these, yet it is not conferred for these. They are not Causes but Conditions, Signes and Proofes to settle our hearts in this comfortable Assurance that we have found mercy with God, and that our sins are pardoned, (as we shall heare hereafter in the Application of this Parable.)

Vse. This makes against the Papists, who with a like Pride cry up their Actions to be Meritorious; as they doe their Passions and Sufferings to be satisfactory to Gods Iustice.

They make a double merit; A merit of Congruity, which (they say) goeth before Conversion, and ob­taineth Justification and Remission of sins: And a merit of Condignity which followeth after Conver­sion, and furthereth our Reward when this life is en­ded.

Neither of these can stand with Free Grace: Grace and Merit fight ex diametro, Rom. 3.28. If by Grace we are saved, then merit is no merit, if by merit, Grace is no Grace.

Which doctrine of the Church of Rome, (had she no more alike unsound) may justly fasten upon her the ill name of Meretrix Babylonica, Dr. Featly. Meretrixa me­rendo, nam mercede suam ex­ercet malitiam &c. Calepin. Tit. meretrix. Bem Serm. 52 Fateor non sum digum ego, n [...] proprijs possum merit is regnum obtinere c lorū caeterùm duplici jure illud obti­nens Dominus meus, Faeredita te scilitet Pa­tri [...] & meri o passionis; al [...]o ipse contencus, alteru [...] mihi donat, ex cujus dono ju [...]e illu [...] mihi vendicā [...] non consua lor­author vit. kern l. c. [...]2. Bellar de [...] [...]i [...]. c. [...]6.6 & [...]5. c. 7 the Whore of Babylon (saith one) For Meretrix a merendo sie dicta est, a whore hath her name from meriting Her standing upon termes with God, and pleading merit, marres all her merit, Sufficie ad meritum scire quod non sufficiant merita (saith S. Bernard) If there be any merit, it is in denying all merit. And thus that Father merited, for I find in his life that seeming to be before Gods Tribunall and S [...]tan opposing him, (S. Bernard) there seemed thus to reply: I confesse I am not worthy, neither can I by my owne deserts obtaine the Kingdome of Heaven. But my Lord obtaining it by a double right, by his Father Inheritance, and the merit of his Passion, being content with one him­selfe giveth me the other; of whose gift challenging it by right, I am not confounded.

And of this mind are the Papists when they come to the point indeed. So Bellarmine (out of Bernard) because (saith he) of the uncertainty of our Righteousnesse and the dan­ger of Vaine-glory, Tutissimumest filucians totam in sola Dei misericordia & benignitate reponere, It is safest to put our whole trust in the sole mercy and goodnesse of God. Here he playes Penelope, texit telam & retexit, he sews and ravells; after much written and great pa [...]es, taken in defence of merit, hee dasheth all with his Pell, telling us what is the safest way. And in a case so neerely [Page 74]concerning our Salvation, he that will not take the safest way is much too blame.

Vse 2 Therfore be we directed in the surest and safest course, fly we to the Mercy of God in begging Pardon, use no other plea, but the freenesse of his Grace in Christ. Thus did David seek, Psal. 6.2, 4. & 25.6.7. & 55.1 So Daniel, Cap. 9 9.18. and the poore Publican, Luk. 18.13. So the woman of Canaan. Mat. 15.22. So the two blind men, M [...]t. 9.27. & 20.30. So do thou.

Had a man any other Plea for pardon; it must be from something in himself, or for somthing in some other crea­ture; but from neither of these.

From a mans selfe there is no ground to hope for Pardon, there is nothing in man, in regard wherof he may looke for respect from God: For, 1. There are many staines and blemishes in our best workes (as before we have heard) Isa. 64.6. 1 Ioh. 1.8. In respect whereof S. Paul that chosen Vessell professeth, That hee was nothing 2 Cor. 2 11.

2. Though a man did know no evill by himselfe, nor were conscious of any blemish in his righteous Actions, yet God who is a God of pure Eyes knowes much and sees much in us; In which respect Saint Paul saith, I know nothing by my selfe, yet I am not there­by Iustified. Hee that judgeth mee is the LORD, Quisquis tibi enume­rat vera me­ritasua, quid ti­bi enumerat nisi munera tua. Aug. l. 1. Confes. Si de [...]uo retri­ouis, peccatum retribu [...]; omnia enim quae habes ab illo habes, tu­um [...]olum pe [...]a­tum habes, Aug. in Psa. 102. 1 Cor. 4.4.

3. If in case that there should be no Imperfection at all in it, yet there is no pleading of our workes to the Almighty by way of merit, for these Reasons.

1. They are not our owne, but Gods, Isa. 26.12. 1 Cor. 4.7. &. 15.10. 2 Cor. 3.5. Phil. 2.13. If thou renderest any thing (saith S. Austen) to God of thy owne, thou ren­derest Sin: For all the good thou hast, thou hast received from God: thou hast nothing, which thou maist call thine owne, but sinne. And elsewhere he strongly inferreth against all Plea of mans Merit thus. Si bonasunt, &c. If thy workes are good, they are Gods gifts; if they are [Page 75]evill God crowneth them not:Si hona sunt, Dei dona sunt, si Dei dona sunt, non coronat tā ­quam merita tua, sed tanquā dona sua, Aug. de lib. Arbit. c. 7 Quicquid gesse. [...]is parum est: quicquid feceris minus est, Chrys. Hom. 70. E [...]si millies mo­riamur, et si om­nes virtutes an­imae expleamus nihil dignum gerimes adea, quae ipsi à Deo percepimus, Chrys. l. de com­puactione cordis. If therfore God crow­neth thy workes, he crowneth them not as they are Me­rits, but as his own Gifts. Certainly that which is not our worke is not our Merit. Can we oblige a man to us by paying him his own.

2. We do no more then we stand ingaged to do, when we have done the best we can, Luk. 17.10. How then can we challenge any thing from God by way of Merit? Is a­ny man engaged to us for discharging of a Bond, which they are bound under a great penalty by a precise day to satisfie.

3. There is no Proportion betwixt that goodnesse which is in us, and that we expect to receive from God for it. What is all the mony we can make; all that we can do or suffer towards the payment of a debt of ten thousand Talents? and such a debt is sin, Math. 18.24. Heare the Apostle speaking to this, Rom. 8.18. 2 Cor. 4.17. And yet Suffering for the Gospell is a worke of the best sort, which God most especially doth regard. Thus then there is nothing in our selves wheron to ground any Plea for pardon.

Nor is there any other Plea to use to God for pardon in respect of any other creature. We read, Math. 25. that the foolish Virgins hoping to borrow oyle of the wise, were denied, and plainly told, that they had not to spare, that they had not enough to lend and spend both. No tru­sting to any other mens Merits (whatsoever Papists say) Resolve we therfore to fly to the throne of Mercy (as from Common Law we flie to Chancerie for reliefe.) Put wee up our Petitions into the Court of Requests, after this forme and no other, LORD bee mercifull to mee a Sinner.

And as we are to begg all of Mercy, so learn we here to ascribe all to Mercy; we are called Vessels of Mercie, Rom. 9.23. Now the Vessell sents of the liquor that is in it. The whole worke of our Salvation can be a [...]ib [...]d to no other thing then to Mercie. Election, that is of [Page 76]Grace, Rom. 11.5. Vocation according to Grace, 2 Tim. 1.9. Iustification by Grace, Rom. 3.24 Glorification a gift of Grace, Rom. 6.23. Why blessed be God, which ac­cording to his aboundant Mercy hath begotten us againe to a lively Hope, &c. 1 Pet. 1.3. Say we of all spirituall things as Iacob of his wealth, God hath had Mercy on me and therefore I have all these, Gen. 33.11. And with the Church let us still acknowledge, Lord thou hast wrought all our workes for us. Isae. 20.12. As for those who take from God, and ascribe unto themselves, they do that in earnest, which wee see boyes doe in jest: They stand upon their heads and shake their heeles towards Heaven.

Vse 3 That we may manifest our Thankefullnesse to God for this free Mercy of his in our Salvation, let us shew mercy to our poore distressed Brethren, who stand in need of it; and be mercifull to them even as our Father is mercifull unto us.

Mercy in God is as it were his Face; Now we are said to resemble others when we are like them in the Face, rather then in the hands and feet. In nothing can we better resemble God, or shew our selves his chil­dren, then in following his example, forgiving those who have done us wrong, Even as he hath forgiven us. Be the Party who he will be, if he say, It doth re­pent mee, pardon him: For so God pardons the unwor­thiest of us.

Be the Fault what it will be, God forgives us, Iniqui­ty, Transgression and Sinne, Exod. 34. Yea, although we have forgiven him many times already; I say not un­till seven times, but untill seventy times seven times, Math. 18.12. So doth God by us. And so forgive as not to impute the wrong unto him, count the wrong and injurie, as if it were not; So did S. Paul forgive the Galathians, Cap. 4.12. Yea have not injured me at all. Still look upon the patterne God hath set us to work by, Ephes. 4.32. Colos. 3.13. Remembring God hath [Page 77]so farre tied his Mercy to this Condition of our Forgi­ving others, that unlesse we do so, we can have no comfortable assurance that our sins are pardoned, Mat. 6.14, 15. & 18.32, 33.

Look as David said of unthankfull Nabal. In vaine have I kept all that this fellow had, 1 Sam 25.21, 22. So will God say of such as will not forgive, In vaine have I done all this for him, given my Son, promised pardon, &c. seeing he is so unthankfull as not for my sake to passe by such small wrongs and injuries.

Vse 4 Lastly, from what hath beene delivered of the Free­nesse of GODS Mercy may a poore Sinner gather Comfort.

It is that that troubles many a soule, they have nothing of worth within them: They cannot see why GOD should pardon such as they are. But though there be no­thing in thee, yet there is something in himselfe; Bow­els of Mercy, and a Nature inclined to shew Mercy. Where nothing is to pay, there he frankely forgives all. Besides Christ hath paied for thee that which thou wert not able to discharge.Nomon Iesu a pud Hebraeos a litera loth, apud Graecos a Iota incipit, quae u­tra (que) in sua gen­te denarij nume­ri est nota: decē obolos in preci­um animae suae offerunt, qui in Iesum Christum credentes signii no minis ejus, quod a denario numero incipit, in fronte & pro­fessione proferūt Bed-de tab. Sa­lomon. The first Letter of his Name yeelds Comfort (if you consider it well) much more the whole.

You know the Mercy-Seate was upon the Arke, and within the Arke the Law was put, and over the Arke and Mercy-Seat were Cherubins covering one another: What signified all this, but that by Christ our Arke, the curses of the Law are covered, and God become grati­ous and favourable, into which things the Angels desire to pry, as S. Peter saith. Looke then from off thy selfe, and fix thy eye on Christ, and when ever thou commest to God for pardon, look towards the Mercy-Seat, (as they who prayed in the Temple did) desire him to shew thee Mercy, and to forgive thee for his Christs sake, and doubt not of Audience. Thus much of the Benefit be­stowed. Next of the Persons who were made parta­kers of this Benefit.

Them both.] Text.

And here we see wherin the Condition of these two Debters was Alike. There was difference in respect of the Debt owing, one ought a greater Summe then the other; but no difference in respect of the Discharge: Both are forgiven the one as well as the other. Hence observe,

Doct. Forgivenesse and Pardon is generall to all that cast them­selves on Gods free mercy for it.

Ezek. 18.27. Isay. 55.1. Iohn 3.16. Acts 2.38, 39. Revel. 22.17.

The Ground of this is, The Love of God to Man­kind, out of which he was mooved to send Christ into the world,Christus tamet­si non esset om­nes lucraturus, nihilo minus pro omnibus mortuus est, quod suum erat adimplens, &c. Chrys in Rō. 14 and offer to them life and Salvation upon terms possible.

2. The price paid by Christ (wherby Justice was satis­fied, and a way for mercy made) was paid for all, and made for all, 1 Tim. 2.6. Isay. 53.6. though it be not Beneficiall to all, but onely to such as observe the Condition.

Vse. This being so, It is our duty who are the Ministers of Reconciliation so to tender it: Our Commission is, Preach the Gospell to every creature, Marke 16.15. which is not to be understood in a Fryer-like sense, of prea­ching to Birds, Beasts, Wolves, as they say some have done.

But in our Saviours sense, to every reasonable creature, tendering Salvation and happinesse to all that will re­ceive it upon those termes and conditions, which are ex­pressed in the Covenant of Grace; which conditions re­quired, are not impossible to be observed and performed through those gratious helps which God affords unto them in the Ministery of the Word.

Without this generall offer the Elect of Christ (before Conversion) can have no ground for their Faith to rest [Page 79]upon. A pardon through Christ is offered to a man,See D. Preston on Faith. p. 10. and M Madens Trea. of Christs love and affect­ion towards Jerusalem, p 65 and his Ep [...]stle to the Reader. M. Harris on the Beatitudes, p. 25. in the state of Unregeneracy, how shall this man know it be­longs to him, seeing no mans name is particularly mentio­ned in the pardon? There is no other way then by rea­soning after this manner. Pardon and Forgivenesse be­longs to every man that repents and believes the Gospell: But I am of that number, I repent and believe: Therfore pardon and forgive nesse is mine, it belongs to me as well as to any other whosoever.

Thus farre the Doctrine of universall Grace is to be taught, and was taught by our blessed Saviour and his Disciples, Iohn 7.37. Tit. 2.11. Indeed all are not E­lected, but it is not for us to judge who are, and who are not. There is no particular Person, who lives within the bosome of the Church, but we in Judgment of Chari­ty are to think him to be one of the number for whom Christ died, 1 Cor. 8.11.

Nor doe all Profit by the meanes of Grace. They will not apply themselves to God, nor serve his Providence in that way, and course which he hath laid forth for their good, yet may not Gods Ministers be wanting to them, though they be wanting to themselves: We must do our duties, knowing we have to deale with a Nature capable of Salvation and Happinesse without any varying of his Species: And with such as may lay claime to Re­mission, and Happinesse upon their acceptance of the conditions. Upon which conditions it is necessary we should make a generall Offer without any exception of sins or sinners, Act. 13.46.

To prevent al mistakes, that Distinction which A­quinas hath out of the Fathers, of Sufficienter and Ef­ficienter, that there is sufficient done by Christ for the Salvation of Man-kind, though it shall not be efficient to all, (for that all apply it not) is of good use. Saint Austin made it his Buckler against those who charged him to hold that Christ suffered not for all men. S. Chry­sostome likewise (and out of him his Epitomist Theophilact) [Page 78] [...] [Page 79] [...] [Page 80]with divers others, both antient and modern, make use of this distinction in this Question.

I will conclude the Point with a Relation of what I have read concerning that blessed Mar [...]yr of Christ M. Bilney (whom Father Latimer called S. Bilney, blessing God for the day that ever he knew him) He comming into a Church and there hearing a very eloquent Prea­cher to say thus in his Sermon: Behold thou hast lyen rotting in thy lusts for these threescore yeares like a Beast in his [...]ung; and wilt thou presume in one yeare to goe for­ward to Heaven (and that in thine old age) as much as thou weniest forward towards Hell in sixty yeares be­fore? He was much offended with the Preacher, and said: Is not this a goodly Argument? Is this preaching of Repentance in the name of Iesus Christ? Surely it is (said he) as much as to say that Christ hath died in vaine: Had I heard such preaching in times past I had utterly despaired of Mercy. It is a high point of wise­dome for Gods Ministers so to preach Christ and Remis­sion of sinnes in his Name, that a poore distressed soule may have some twig to hang on; and some bottome to rest up­on to save himselfe from sinking.

The Standard is set up for all Nations and Conditions to fly unto:Isa 49.22. Cant. 2. Iude v. 3. He preacheth Christ best who holds him up highest: He is the Rose of the field, and the Flower of the Vallies: Salvation by him is no inclosure, it is a com­mon Salvation, reaching to all Ages, Heb. 11. To all Nations, Act. 2.5, 10, 34. And to all Conditions of men, Acts 10.12. And to all sorts of sins (that against the Holy Ghost excepted) He that owes most as well as he who ows least may obtaine a discharge. So you see in the Text, which saith, He forgave them both.

Them both. Text. ]

Not him only who owed the fifty pence, but him likewise who was indebted in the sum of five hundred. You see then

Doct. God forgiveth great debts as well as small, hundreds as well as tens.

We read, Math. 18.24. of a debt (not only of five hun­dred (as here) but) often thousand, and those not pence but Tallents, a mighty Sum arising (saith Melancton) to three tuns of gold, yet that remitted.

David, Psal. 103.2, 3. blesseth God for forgiving all his Iniquities, and healing all his diseases. Yet (you know) some of them were very foule ones: And Psal. 130.7. he wills Israel to hope in the LORD, for that with him There is Mercy and plenteous Redemption to bee had.

With him is Mercy, Exod 34.6. Mich. 7.18, 19. The Lord, the Lord mercifull and gratious, slow to anger, &c. And who is a God like unto him that pardoneth Iniquity and passeth by the trans­gression of the remnant of his heritage. God is every way Infinite; man is a finite Creature: And what pro­portion can there be betwixt the sin of a Creature and the Mercy of an Infinite Creator.

[...] (saith the Apostle, 1 Cor. 1.25.) The weakenesse of God is stronger then men: Were there any sin greater then could be remitted, the weakenesse of man (for thence comes sin) should bee stronger then GOD, which neither Religion, nor Reason vvill admit of.

With him (likewise) is plenteous Redemption. Copiosa dicit ne quisquam despa. raret de venia, arbitrans non se posse pervenire us (que) ad redēpti­onis precium, Aug. in Ps. 130 The Redemption that Christ made, the Ransome that he paid was not scanty, but plenteous, enough and enough a­gaine, for all the sins of his people, how many and how heinous soever, so that none need to despaire of pardon! There is Redemption to be had for Them, as well as for any other. A full Satisfaction is made to Divine Iustice through the price of Christs blood, as vvell for Tallents as for farthing tokens; for the greatest as vvell as for the smallest debt, vvho then can doubt (Iu­stice being satisfied) but to find God as ready to forgive a thousand Pounds, as vvell as one Penny.

Vse 1 Such highly derogate from Gods mercy and Christs merit, as cry out with Caine, their sins are more then can be pardoned. S. Peter calls on those who murdered the Sonne of God, and killed the Prince of life, that they would Repent and Convert, that so their sinnes might be forgiven them. Acts 3.15, 19. Now if their sin was not greater then might be forgiven, who slew the Sonne of God, may we thinke that his was greater then could be forgiven who slew his Brother? Was not the betraying and murthering of Iesus a greater sin then that of Abels killing? No marvell then though S. Austin in this case gives Caine the lie.

I spare to speake of those antient Heretiques the No­vatians, or Catharists, who did mainetaine that some sins were irremissible, as those committed after Baptisme, &c. Those excluded mercy: One sinne (indeed) wee read of to be unpardonable, Mat. 12.31, 32. but that is not simply in regard of the greatnesse and heynousnesse thereof (as if it exceeded Gods mercy or Christs Sacrifice) but in respect of mans malice, he either malitiously despising the Spirit of grace, or wilfully rejecting the offer of Pardon. In order of Redemption God hath made mans fin pardonable; but man by his impenitencie makes it unpardonable.

Vse 2 Let none despaire, Deus non est desperantium Pater sed Index, such shall not find God a Father, but a Judge. It is a provoking sin to limit the holy one of Israel in his Mercy as well as to limit him in his Power: To say, thus farre he will goe in pardoning and no further. He hath taught us to forgive untill seventy times seven times, and can we thinke that he wills us to be more mercifull then himselfe will be? That number amoun­teth to ten Iubilees of Pardons: for so many sins then may we (upon Repentance) expect pardon at h [...]s hands; yea for as many, and as many more; for his mercy ex­ceeds mans, Psal. 35.5. as the Heavens doth the Earth; He can more readily forgive seventy times seventy, then man [Page 83] seven. Isa. 55.9. His Thoughts are not as our thoughts in pardo­ning. We wonder how a man can put up such wrongs, and passe by such injuries, or doe such a kindnesse for one who hath so much abused them. But He is God and not Man, cease wondering, and fall to blessing (with David) Psal. 103.2. My soule blesse thou the Lord, and all that is within mee blesse his holy name, who forgiveth all thine iniquities and healeth all thy diseases, &c.

Secondly, we may observe hence

Doct. He who owes least stands (as well) in need of mercy and forgivenesse as he who owes most.

David desires God to forgive him the error of his life, his secret faults, as well as his presumptuous sins, Psal. 19.12, 13. And the sins of his Youth he begs pardon for, Psal. 25.7. as well as those of riper yeares.

Reason. No sins are small in Themselves, simply considered, for that they are committed against an Infinite Majesty, Psal. 51.4. 1 Ioh. 3.4. (as before was said) They are against an Infinite Law, and so merit infinite damnation, Ephes. 5.6. Gal. 3.10.

Vse. How doth Popish Doctrine agree with this truth deli­vered. The Rhemists confidently avouch, that many sins need no remission, they are Veniall (that is,Rhem. Annot. in Rom 1.32. Azor instit. mor part, 1. l. 4. c. 8, 9. Bonavent. in 2. d 42. Bellar. l. 1. de amissi [...]rat c 14 resp. ad 1. obj. Haec venialia non criminalia reputantur, ex­cepto cum per contemp [...]um in usum & con­suetudinē ver­tuntur Bern. de praecept & di­spens c. 14. pardonable of their owne nature) such as a man needs make no con­fession of; and for which a man needs not to be called a sinner, they merit not Death, nor can God in Justice pu­nish those sins with it.

The Distinction betweene Mortall and Veniall we ab­solutely dislike not. Wisely and rightly limited, it may safely be admitted.

Two manner of waies are sins termed Veniall: Either Comparatè, in Comparison of others, being in themselves of a lighter nature, carrying not in them so great a re­pugnancie to Gods Law, nor bringing with them any no­torious dishonour to God or Injurie to man, (thus a little excesse in mirth, idle words, and such like,) which though they deserve not Favour and Pardon, yet they lesse deserve Punishment then others of a higher nature.

Or els Simplicitèr: they are so termed simply, and in themselves, and that three manner of waies.

  • 1. Ex natura sua, being such as in their owne Nature de­serve not Death. Either they merit no punishment at all, or at least, such as is but Temporary.
  • 2. Ex gratia: by Gods Favour, and through the Churches Indulgence (for so in former ages they were called, which passed not under the Churches Censure.) Thus those sins which are indeliberately and ignorantly committed, either through their smallnesse, or daily in­cursion.
  • 3. Ex eventu, in respect of the issue and event; and thus we acknowledge all the sins of the Elect to be Ve­niall, Rom. 8.1.

The Question betwixt Papists and us is, Whether any sinne of the Elect or Reprobate be Veniall (ex suâ na [...]u­râ) of its owne Nature and kind. This we deny, and they affirme.

Foure Arguments wee bring to prove our Do­ctrine.

First, our Saviour affirmes that every lie (not onely the pernitious but the officious which they hold veniall) And every vaine and pettie oath, more then Yea (in af­firming) and Nay (in denying) commeth from the wic­ked one: [...] that is, from the Divell, for so we find, 1 Ioh. 3.12. the same phrase used.

Secondly, Death is threatned by the Lord for the least transgression of his righteous Law, Deut. 27.26. & 30.19. Gal. 3.10. Rom. 6.23. 1 Cor. 15.56. Now, doth the Law of God forbid those sins they call veniall, yea or no? If not, then they are no sins, or else the Law is not perfect, in that it meeteth not with all enormities, If yea, then they are Transgressions, and deserve Death.

Thirdly, that which hath beene inflicted by the Lord up­on men even for such transgressions as they call Veniall, prove them to be otherwise, read Gen. 9.26. 1 Sam. 6.19. 2 Sam. 6.7. 1 King. 13.24. & 20.36. Acts 5.3.

Fourthly, the Price that was paid for these lesser kinde of sinnes, prove that they are Mortall and not Veniall: Christ shed his blood for the errors or ignorances of the people, Heb. 9.7. And this was shadowed under the Law, Levit. 5.17, 18. So that we may safely conclude against that Doctrine of theirs, No sinne is in its owne Nature Ve­niall, all are Mortall, the least as well as the greatest, and needs pardon. Were it, (as Papists would have us to bel [...]eve) that there are some sins Veniall, and pardo­nable of their owne Nature; Let them give us leave to enquire of them, how it comes to passe that such Delin­quents goe into Purgatory for them, where the paine is so intollerable (as they say) that one having lyen a long time there, and it being put to his choice whether hee would lie there one day longer or returne to the earth againe, and there for the space of an hundred yeares to walke upon sharp yron nayles, and eate nothing but bread baked on the Imbers, and drink nothing but Vineger mingled with Gall, and weare nothing but haire-cloth about his loynes; nor have no other but the cold earth for his bed, and a hard stone for his pillow; made choise to endure all this, rather then to abide one day longer in Purgatory. Can they give us any reason why God should torment any one so grievously in another world, for that which hath made no breach of friendship betwixt him and them, and wherewith he never was displeased? If they can, let us heare it.

Vse 2 As for our selves and practise, let us not thinke any sin contemptible so as to make light of the committing of it, seeing every sin stands in need of mercy and forgivenesse. And further know we,

1. That the Nature of sin stands not in the materiall part (which often is little;) but in the forme or anomy, which is the Transgression of the Law: And that may be in an Apple, as well as in a greater matter. You know, the most poysonfull sinne of all▪ was taken in an Apple.

[Page 86] Que (que) minu [...] laedunt singula multa nocent. Quomodo mi­nuta peccata si negligantur oc­cidunt? minuta sicut grana are­nae sed si multa arena impona­tur premit, &c. Aug Tract 12. in Iob. Quid interest ad naufragium i [...]rum uno grands fluctu navis operiatur, an paulatim subr [...]pens aqus in Sentina [...]: Aug. Epist. 108. Quid interest utrū te plumbum pre­mat an arena? plumbum una massa est, arena minuta grana sunt. n [...]nne vides, &c. Aug. Ser. 10. de divers. Nolite contemnere venialia quia mi­nima sun [...], sed ti­mete quia plura: plerun (que) enim bestiae minia [...] multae ne­cant, &c. Timenda est erg [...] ruina mul­titudi [...]is, ets [...] non magnitudinis. Aug. de decem chordis. Si vitari parva negligimus insensi­biliter seducti ma­jora etiam perpe­tramus. Greg.2. Small sins, with their Multitude and Number, hurt the soule as much as great sins doe with their weight (so S. Austin teacheth us) How doe small sinnes kill the soule (saith he) if they be neglected? The drops which fill whole Brookes are small, and graines of sand are small, but yet if many of them be put together they will sink a ship. And againe, What matters it whether a ship be everwhelmed with one great wave or sunke by a leake in the bottome unespied, wherein the water enters drop by drop, &c. And elsewhere, thus, What easeth it a man to be pressed to death with a heape of sand more then with a sow of lead? Scest, thou not that by smallest drops the greatest Rivers are filled. They are small but they are ma­ny, And what they loose in Quantity, they get in Number; See therefore (saith he) that you contemne not these sinnes, because they are small, but feane them because they are ma­ny. You know that many little boyes about the Market Crosse, by their noyse outcry the Cryer.

3. Small sins serve to make way for greater. Huntsmen first ply the Deere with their little Beagles, till it be hea­ted and blowen, and then they put on their great Buck­hounds: Such use the Divell makes of little sins. A long thred of iniquity he hath let in with a small Needle; as we finde in Davids case and in Peters, &c. A great fire hath beene kindled by a little sparke; and a great blot made with a little haire hanging in the Pen. If we stick not at small sins (saith Gregory) ere we be aware, we shall swallow downe the greatest. You may remember that strong Sampson was led into the roome by a little Boy.

4. Small sins are cured with more difficulty then grea­ter: A wound made with a Steeletto is more dangerous then a wound made with Goliah's sword; here the wound presently closeth up, and so bleeds inwardly in greater abundance. We watch not so much over those kind of sins, as we doe over greater: thence it is that we fall oftner into them, and being fallen we lie longer in [Page 87]them without Repentance. In this respect our Saviour tells the Pharisees, that Publicans and sinners shall goe into Gods kingdome before them, Mat. 21.31.

5. Forget not what Christ suffered for small sins, even his pretious blood, Heb. 9.7. our great sinnes were as the Speare in his side, and as the Nayles in his blessed Hands and Feet, and our small sinnes were as the Thornes up-his Head, they though small yet put him to paine and griefe; How dare we crowne the Sonne of God (againe) with Thornes and put him by our small sins to an after suffering.

Wherefore as we desire the wellfare of our soules, hearken to this word of Exhortation, and make consci­ence of committing the smallest sins; and know it for a truth, No sin is small to him who thinks it so. Thus wee have heard the case related. Now followes the Quere made upon it.

Tell mee therefore which of them will love him most? Text.

The Thing Questioned, and the Ground of that De­mand, we have considerable in the words.

That both these forgiven Debters did love their Cre­ditor, is granted; The Question is about the Degree of Love, Which of them loved most. Something from the History many be gathered. As first,

Obser. 1 Those who have beene beneficiall and kind unto us, ought to be affected and beloved of us.

2 Secondly, The kinder any one hath beene unto us, the more should he be loved and regarded by us. A word or two of each.

Doct. 1 Those who have beene any way beneficiall to us, ought to be loved and respected. Sinners love those that love them, much more should Christs Disciples; they should goe beyond all others in the duties of love, Mat. 5.46. Luke 6.32.

Hereto tends that, Prov. 18.24. A man that hath [Page 88]friends must shew himsefe friendly; Love and Thankfull­nesse must be returned according to what hath beene done for us, and received.

The force of the Rule we may see in sundry Ex­amples, 2 Samuel 9.1, &c. 2 Sam. 19 31. 2 Kings 2.7. 2 Sam 10.1, 2. 2 Chron. 24.16. 2 Kings 4.13, &c.

Vse. The unthankfullnesse of many cannot be sufficiently taxed; If it be no great thing (according to our Savi­ours Doctrine) to be loving to the well-deserving (for that Heathens and Publicans doe the like) then it must needs be worse then Heathenish; yea more then Bru­tish, Nihil est quod adeò indigna­tionem provo­cet altissime si­cut ingratitudo, ipsa est malorū provocatio, be­neficiorum ex­inanitio, meri­torum exter­minatio. Pet Raven. in quad. epist. 1 Sam. 25. Psal. 35.12, 13 Jer. 18.20, 21. Ingratum dixe­ris, omnia dixe­ris. Minius Publicanus. to be unkind to those who have shewed us kind­nesse.

I might speake much of the vilenesse of this sinne which is odious to God; as appeares by Gods dealing with churlish and unthankfull Nabal, 1 Sam. 25.38. And by his own complaint, Isa. 1.3. And to man, as appeares, not onely by the complaint which the Godly. have made thereof; but by that the Heathens (themselves) have said of it. Yea Nature it selfe teacheth us to abhorre this sin.

I will relate onely to you a Storie or two, that may be read; one in Gellius, that is this.

There was a Gentleman of a Noble house, (his name was Androcles) being taken Prisoner, and made a slave to a Noble man of Rome; through hard and cruell dealing, ran away from him, and fled into certaine desert woods, in Affrica; where he wandring up and downe, at last espied a Cave under the ground, which (unknowne to him) was the Den of a Lyon, into this he goeth to repose himselfe that night; by and by comes in the Lyon roa­ring, and halting, and espying Androcles, lay downe by him▪ putting forth his paw, which was grievously woun­ded with a stub; making moane, as though he desired help: The man (perceiving the Lyons meaning) began to pluck up his spirits, and lookes into the Lyons foot, [Page 89]plucks out the stub, dresseth the wound, (which was much festered) and washt it with his Urine. The next day the Lyon went out for his Prey, and soone re­turnes with it in his mouth, which he layed downe at the feet of Androcles, (who had eaten nothing two or three daies before) And thus did the Lyon daily for the space of three yeares. Afterwards this Androcles waxing wearie of his solitary life, stoale away in the absence of the Lyon and hid himselfe not farre from the place: The Lyon returning after his accustomed manner with meate for his guest dinner; and not finding him, made pitifull moane and lamentation: Androcles (when the Lyon as he conceived was laid to rest) departs; and wande­ring up and downe fell by chance into the hands of those, whom his Master had sent to looke him up; and (being brought againe by them unto his Master,) was clapt up in Prison, and condemned to be devoured by wild Beasts (which they used to take in the Desart for that purpose.) It so happened that this Lyon was shortly after taken by Hunters, and sent to Rome, and appointed to be the Lyon, with which the condemned were to combate; The Lyon was brought into the place, certaine Prisoners were cast in unto him, (which he cruelly rent in peeces,) at length this poore slave was cast in also, to be devoured with the rest; But as the Lyon ran towards him to teare him, he knew the man, and came fawning on him like a dog, licking his hands and feet: Androcles perceiving it to be the Lyon with whom he lived in the Cave, stroa­ked him gently on the Head and Back, (to the admira­tion of all Beholders.) Titus the Emperour being then present, demanded of the man the cause of this, who re­lated to the Emperour the whole businesse. The Em­perour hereupon pardons Androcles and gave him the Lyon which waited on him whithersoever he went; of whom the people usually said, Hic est Leo hospes hominis, Hic est homo medicus leonis.

Philarcus tells us of another. There was a young [Page 90] Eagle which a Boy had nourished and brought up very carefully, and cured him being sick: This Eagle shewed many and strange signes of love unto the Boy. insomuch that the youth falling sick, the Eagle would continually sit by him, and when the Boy did sleep, it would sleepe; and when the Boy did wake that would wake; and if the Boy would not eate his meate neither would that eate: and afterward when the Boy died and was car­ryed forth upon a hearse, the Eagle followed, and when the body of the Boy was buryed in the fire, the Eagle likewise flew into the fire, and so consumed her selfe.

Atheneus reports likewise that one Milesius having bought a Dolphin alive, let him go againe into the sea▪ It so fell out that Milesius afterwards was cast away by ship­wrack, and being ready to perish in the midst of the Waves, the same Dolphin came and got him on his back, and carryed him safe to shore and preserved his life. I am loath the Truth should suffer shipwrack by these Narrations; let the credit of these stories be upon the Authors: This is most apparent in experience, that men may learne Love and Thankefullnesse from Bruit and Sa­vage Creatures: and these I mention, thereby to shame such barbarous and rough natures,Quidam quo plu [...] debent ma­gis oderunt, le­ve as alienum, debitorem facit gravem inimi­cum Senec. Epist. 48. Amicos dilige­re omnium est; Inimicos autem solorum Chri­stianerum Tertul ad Scap. in ips [...] initio. as being provoked to this duty of Love, by kindnesse received, doe thereby take occasion of hatred, and working mischiefe to them, who have of them so well deserved.

If we love not our friends, is it like we will ever love enemies? And yet our Saviour hath required this of us. Every man (saith Tetullian) can doe the one, (and yet that scarce) onely a true Christian can doe the other. Nature teacheth us to requite Goodnesse with Goodnesse; it is Religion that must teach us to returne Good for Evill. A great offence it must needs be to requite Evill with Evill, but to recompence Good with Evill is most in­tollerable, and the highest degree of Ingratitude. I come to the next.

Doct. The more kindnesse wee have received from any, the more should they bee endeared to us and beloved of us.

There are three things in Love. First, Benevolence and well-wishing: Secondly, Beneficence or Actuall well-do­ng: Thirdly, Complacency, or delight-taking. In all these may be a preferment given to one above ano­ther.

In Wellwishing none may be excluded, seeme they for the present to be never so vile, 1 Tim. 2.1. But David must be preferred, 2 Sam. 8.3. The safety and wellfare of publike persons is especially to be desired.

In our delight or Contentment-taking, who knowes not but though our Enemies must be prayed for, yet that is so peculiar to the Saints, as that it cannot (without suspi­cion of unsoundnesse) be extended to Aliens? Heare Da­vids protestation, Psal. 16 3. & 119.63.

For Beneficence and Actuall welldoing, the place is plaine, Gal. 6. verse 10. There though the Charge runs generally, yet a specialty therein must be reserved to the Saints.

Vse. It should not then be counted any disparagement at all to the discretion, or charity of any, that they enlarge their hearts more to one, then to another. David had his Ionathan; S. Paul had his Barnabas; S. Austin his Alypias; S. Hier [...]m his Heliodorus; S. Bernard his Gernasius; Eusebius his Pamphilus; and our Blessed Sa­viour had his beloved Disciple.

It is a generall sentence delivered by Salomon, Eccles. 4.12. A threefold Cord is not easily broken. Where are the most cords to tie us, and the most bands to joyne us, there should our love be the stronger and greater. Grace is a common band of Christian Affection; Nature and Blood makes it stronger; (for though it hath beene questioned whether a man may preferre a gratious Child before a gratious Friend; yet) there is no question but that a man may love a gratious Friend or Child, before a gratious Stranger. [Page 92]To these if you add Personall merits, the bond is still strengthened; Thus David loved Saul, &c. but his soule clave close to Ionathan.

Our Meditations might easily be enlarged in these points; but (they arising from the Letter of the Text) I content my selfe to doe by them, as the Disciples did with the eares of Corne they plucked in the field, Rub them be­twixt my fingers, not thresh them. Wee passe from the History to the Mystery. And so observe we

Doct. God is truly loved of all those whose sinnes are pardoned. This is a Truth granted, and unquestioned: If need were, it might be further strengthened from sundry other Texts, Psal. 116.1. & 18.1. Cant. 13.2, 5. Phil. 3.8, 9. Psal. 119.132.

How can it otherwise be? For every Act of Gods spe­ciall favour begets another in the heart of the godly like it. He chusing them, they chuse him againe; He calls them, Hos. 2.23. Rom. 10. 1 Joh. 4.19. they call on him; He loving them, they must needs againe love him. We love him (saith S. Iohn) because be loved us first. The cold stone cannot cast forth heat, (as you know) till it be warmed by the Sun-beames, being warmed by them, then it reflecteth back some of the heate which it received; Thus is it with our cold hearts.

What may be thought then of such as love not God? Can we think them to be of the number of those deb­ters whose debt is forgiven?

Ob. But is there any man so wretched? Whosoever loves not Christ, let him be accursed. 1 Cor. 15.22.

Resp. Every one will be ready to boast of his owne righteousnesse, but where shall wee find a faithfull man (saith Salomon) so say I in this case. And as David speakes, Psal. 36.1. of the feare of God, we may say of loving God; Wickednesse saith even in my heart, that there is no love of God in him, many evident demonstrations there be which may convince every naturall man: of the Truth hereof.

First, they love not God,Probatio amo­ris exhibitio operis. Greg. in that they will doe nothing for GOD. If a man love mee, hee will keepe my Commandements (saith Christ) Iohn 14.15, 24. And againe, He that hath my Commandements and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me. And Iohn 15 14. You are my Friends if you doe whatsoever I command you; But he that loveth me not, keepeth not my Commandements, Ioh. 14 24. And why call you me Lord, Lora, and doe not the things which I command you, Luke 6.46.

Secondly, it appeares they love not God, in that they love not to be where God is; Love is like sire, congregat ho­mogenea, it carries things of a nature one to another. A lover of God gets himselfe as neere God as he may: he resorts often to the place where he may meet God,Iohn 17. Bonus Calus tantummodo malus quod Christianus. Terr. in Apolog Sicut Rex in imagine sua ho­noratur, sic Deus in homine dili­gitur & oditur Chry, in Mat. 22 Quemadmodū siqui [...] peregrè proficiscens ali­quid pignoris ei quem diligit de­relinquit; ut, quotiescun (que) il­lud videat, pos­sit ejus benefi­cia & amicitias memorare: quod ille, si perfectè dilexit, non po­test fine ingenti desiderio videre vel fletu, [...]c. Hierom. Psal. 42.1, 2. & 26.8. 2 Cor. 5.8. But these cannot endure Gods house nor presence, they have no love to Gods Sanctua­ry, where they may see his Face; much lesse any lon­ging desire after the day of Iudgement to see his Person. Christs Prayer is little respected by them, Father, I will that they may be where I am.

Thirdly, they love not God, as is evident by this; they love not Gods children. Every one (saith S. Iohn) that loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of of him, 1 Iohn 5.1. If I love my Friend, or Father, I love his Picture; but these hate the godly; they mock them, and nickname them. And for no other cause (pretend what they will) but for that the Image of God is in them: As the Picture of a man doth enrage the Panther; so doth the holinesse of the Saints the wicked of the world.

Fourthly, they love not God in that, they care not for those Monuments and pledges of his love, which hee hath left unto his Church untill his comming againe. Where we love truly, we love whatsoever may preserve the Monument of the beloved partie. But Gods Word, Gods Sacraments, are nothing set by of many, which yet God hath commended to us to be often used in remembrance of him, Luk. 22.19. 1 Cor 11.25.

Fifthly, they love not God, in that it is evident, they love other things more then God; And this is expressely averred of such, 1 Iohn 2.15. He that truly loves God, hath learned to deny himselfe, and all things else for his sake His Affections are carryed over hil [...]s and moun­taines, through flames, and fire for love of him, (as anon we shall see further.)

Nemo magis diligit quam qui maxime ve­retur offendere. Salvianus.Sixthly and lastly, they love not God as may appeare by this; they feare not to offend him, nor have they care to please him. David loved God, and would not transgresse his Law, he grieved to see his righteous Lawes by others broken, Psal. 119.138, 139. Lot loved God, and could not but vex from day to day with the unlawfull deeds of the Sodomites, 2 Cor. 5 9. 2 Pet. 2.7, 8. How then can these say they love God, yet heare his name blasphemed, behold his worship polluted, &c. yet not mourne?

So then; as our Saviour said unto the Iewes, Iohn 5.42. may wee say to these; I know (by these and such like signes) that you have not the love of God in you; How then can you beleeve that you have interest in this great priviledge, which yet you professe you have, the Remissi­on of sinnes.

And if such as these are debarred of this mercy, so as that they cannot (for the present) lay claime to it, what think you then of those who hate God, and are Enemies unto him? that there are such in the Church, appeares by divers Scriptures, as Exod 20.5. Deut. 7.10. Zach. 11.8. Luke 19.14. More particularly these are charged with this horrid impiety.

First, all Idolaters and Superstitious persons, who wor­ship God after their owne devices, these are said to be haters of God, Exod. 20.5.

Secondly, all Worldlings and Covetous Misers, for so we finde, that the love of the Father is not in them, 1 Iohn 2.15. And that their Friendship with the world is enmity to God, Iames 4.4.

Thirdly, all refractory and unruly Christians, who re­fuse [Page 95]to subeject their soules to Christs Scepter, and sub­mit themselves to his Ordinances; what ever these pre­tend, yet God takes them for his Enemies, Ioh. 5.42. Luke 19.27.

Fourthly, all naturall and unregenerated Persons, these have no love of God in them, they hate him in their heart; so we find, Iohn 15.18, 23. Nor is this the state of the Reprobate in the world onely, but even of Gods Elect before their conversion, Coles. 1.21.

Fifthly, all workers of iniquity, such as practise any sin,Mich. 7.3. and plie it with both hands (to use the Prophets phrase) these are haters of God, as appeares, Psal. 37.18, 20. & 92.9. Ioh. 15.10.

Quest. But how can God be hated, he being the chiefe Good? Goodnesse wee know is the proper object of Love.

Resp. Wicked men hate not God as he is presented and apprehended under the Notion of Goodnesse, but as they apprehend something evill in him; as that he is a Judge, and gives a Law, and punisheth for the breach of it, &c. Now thus under the fancied notion of evill, the chiefe Good may be hated; as the greatest evill is loved presen­ting it selfe under the notion of Good.

To conclude, let not sinners flatter themselves in thin­king that they love God as well as the best; for however they hold themselves for Gods friends, yet he will disco­ver them for his enemies in the end, and proceed against the as we read, Luke 19.27.

Vse 2 Wherefore let my counsell be acceptable unto thee. If upon examination thou findest that the love of God is not yet in thy heart, bewaile thy estate, and think not so well of thy condition as thou hast done; Let Gods Pa­tience and bountifullnesse moove thee to turne unto him: Cry to him who is the God of Love, 2 Cor. 13.11. 2 Tim. 1 7. that by that blessed Spirit of his (which is the Spirit of Love) hee would worke thy heart to love him. It is a lovely suit, and God will not deny it, if you truly aske it. Seeke to him [Page 96]this way,Mat. 5.44, 45. Vultis a me au­dire, quare & quomodo dili­gendus est De­us? & ego di­cam quod causa diligendi Deum. Deus est, mo­dus, sine modo diligere. Ob du­plicem causam, dico, Deu prop­ter seipsum di­ligendum vel quia nihil ju­stius, vel quia nihil fructuo si­us diligi potest. Bern. in lib. de dilig. Deo. Rom 13.8. Prior Deus dilexit nos tantus tantum & gratu tantillos & tales. Bern. de dilig. Deum. Solus est amor ex omnibus animae motibus, sensibus at (que) affectibus, in quo potest Crea­tura, (etsi non ex aequo) respondere auctori, velde si­mils mutuam re­pendere vicom: e.g. si mihi irasci­tur Deus, num [...]lli ego similiter redi­rasear? non uti (que) sed pavebo, sed co­tre miscam, sed ve­niam deprecabor. Jia si me arguat, &c. Nam cum arnat Deus non a liud vult quam amari, &c. Bern. in Cant. Serm. 83. and feare not; He that commandeth us to love our Enemies, will undoubtedly love us though his Ene­mies, if in truth of heart we desire to love him.

I might use many Arguments to put you on upon this Pursuit. There is no duty hath more Reasons to speake for it then this hath. I will name onely two, which S. Bernard hath, the one is in respect of God, the other in regard of our selves.

In respect of God, and so nothing is more just and equall then that he should be loved of us.

For first, this is that he doth require both in Law and Gospell, Deut. 6.5. Mat. [...]2.38. It is the first and great Commandement, (as our Saviour sheweth) and that on which all other acceptable services are grounded.

Secondly, this is that he doth deserve, for hath not he placed in us that affection of Love? Is it not a streame of that living Fountaine who is Love it selfe? 1 Ioh. 4.8. Now, he that plants a vineyard should drinke of the wine thereof (saith the Apostle) 1 Cor. 9.7. And God who hath planted this affection in us, should chiefly tast of it himselfe.

Againe, God hath manifested his Love to us in giving his onely beloved Sonne for us, Iohn 3.16. He hath begun to us in the cup of Love, 1 Iohn 4.10. Is it not fit that we should pledge him? It is an elegant Observation of S. Bernard upon the Canticles; of all the motions and af­fections of the soule, none is so reciprocall as Love. If God be Angry with us we may not be angry with him; If God Reproove us, we may not reproove him; If hee Iudge us, we may not judge him &c. but in Love wee may, yea ought to reciprocate with God: he loving us, we ought to re-love him, and woe to us if we answer him not herein in some measure.

Besides, there is nothing in God but deserves love; I will call upon God (saith David) who is worthy to be prai­sed, Psal. 18.3. So may we say truly; I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be loved. There is nothing that [Page 97]makes one fit, or worthy to be loved but is to be found in God; as surpassing Excellencie, Majesty, and glory, high Soveraignty, and supreame Authority, free Grace, and rich Mercy, &c. Thou art all faire my Love, thou art all faire, there is no blemish in thee. As then the sonnes of God seeing the daughters of men that they were faire made choice of them, Gen. 6.1. So beholding this beauty and fairenesse that is in God, make wee choice of him.

As it is just in respect of God that we should love him; so it is very profitable for our selves: no love is lost in so doing.

Nihil est qui nihil amat. Plautus. Difficile est humanam animam nihil amare (saith S. Hierom) It is hard that the soule of man should love no­thing. He is to be esteemed as nothing which loveth no­thing; something the soule will love. Now there are variety of Objects for this Affection, (In which respect (it is well observed) that there is no one word in the Greek tongue which receiveth so many Compositions as the word [...] doth) But if in case we set our Love on any other Object then the Lord, we become loosers and not savers. By loving him we are made better both in Grace and Glory.

You know Love assimulates the heart to the thing lo­ved;Amor unit amantes. so love of Honour makes the heart proud; Love of Pleasure makes the heart vicious, and loose, &c. And the Love of God makes us to conforme unto his Image, and be like him in holinesse; thus wee become better through our loving God in Grace.

Non clarescit anima sulgore aeternae pulchri­tudinis nisi hic arserit in offici­na Charitatis. Greg. Mor. in Iob. l. 18. Doct.And for Glory you cannot be ignorant of the promi­ses which God hath made to those, and to those onely who love him, Rom. 8.28. 2 Tim. 4.8. Iames 1.12. & 2.5. 1 Cor. 2.9. These particulars might be enlarged, but I de­sire not to be tedious.

A second Observation from hence is this,

All that Love God doe not love him with the like degree of Love.

Both these debters loved God, (and so in regard of their Affection they were alike,) but in respect of the degree there was a difference, One loved more then the other.

Our Saviours Question to Peter prooves thus much.Ioh. 21.15. Simon sonne of Jonas lovest thou me more then these? As if he should have said, Simon, thou hast shewed much fervent affection to me above thy fellowes, in that thou hast cast thy selfe into the Sea to come unto mee, and by thy stour Profession, if all should denie mee, yet thou ne­ver wouldest. And indeed thou hast reason to love mee more then the rest, for that more is remitted to thee then to the rest.

I do not hence conclude, that Peter loved Christ above the rest: But this I dare say, that it lay betwixt two, Peter and Iohn. All the Disciples loved Christ intirely (except that child of perdition) but these two excelled in their loves. And if we must needs enter into a com­parison betwixt them, the odds seentes to be on S. Iohns side; for doubtlesse he whom Christ more loved then the rest, he either found, or made him more thankfull then the rest. The ground of our Saviours love could be no other then Grace; and he who hath the greatest mea­sure of Grace must needs love him most, who is the fountaine of Grace.Ille in amore Dei major est, qui ad ejus amorem pluri­mos trabit. Greg. in Hom. Majer est in amore Dei, qui plures traxerit ad amorem Dei. Bern de dilig. Deo. Besides his Workes prove it, for he followed him boldly to the High-Priests hall; he never denied him once, (Peter did thrice.) He with his mo­ther attended on him at the crosse, and from that day he tooke the blessed Virgin to his owne home. Nor did ever any of the Twelve breath out so much love, or teach so much love as S. Iohn did, as appeares by the E. pistles which he wrot (made up of love.) And the last breath which he took, which was this, My little children love one another.

Reason. And no marvell, if all doe not love with the like de­gree of Love. seeing all doe not lay hold with the like de­gree of Faith (which is the ground or root of Love) it1 Tim. 1.5. [Page 99]is in one degree in one, and in another degree in another; In some it is weaker, in others stronger, Indeed if wee consider Faith, secundam rationem specificam, in the Es­sentiall forme, whereby it is specified an differenced from other habits and virtues; so it is in all Beleevers alike: But if we consider it, secundum rationem indivi­dualem, as it is inherent in divers subjects; so it is in some more, and in others lesse, and doth admit a very great latitude. In S. Peter may be one degree: In S. Paul another: In S. Iohn another.Mat. 10.8. Hence it was that our Saviour said to the Centurion. in Caperuaum, Mat 15.28. Mat. 6.30. & 8.26. & 14.31. I have not found so great Faith, no not in Israel: And to the woman of Canaan, O woman great is thy Faith. And to the Disciples, O ye of little Faith. It being thus with Faith, can wee expect to find it otherwise with Love?

Use. 1 What will our criticall Censors say to this? Who ex­pecting like strength of Faith, height of Love, even in no­vices and babes in Christ, as (they pretend to be) in them­selves, and not finding it, presently and peremptorily con­clude, that there is nothing in such a heart savouring of sincerity

Mee thinkes such might doe well to remember,1 John 2. Rom. 14 3. First, that there are both Babes and growen men in the Church, both strong and weake. All are not of a like age in Christ, nor of a like standing in his Schoole; nor have they had a like experience of Gods Love and goodnesse. And will any one expect that from one of yesterday, which he doth from a Scholler of five yeares standing? Secondly, they might doe well to cast back their eyes to their own estate, at their first entrance into Christian practise: so they may finde, the horned Bull was once a sucking Calfe; and the great Oake that now spreads so faire, and farre, was once a little Acorne.

Thirdly, they do not well to forget that Caesars Image is not onely seene in his Coine of gold, but in his silver penny; and that this degree of love (though weake) is also the [Page 100]gift of God, and not to be despised, Zach. 4.10. 1 Cor. 1.11. & 3.1. He that made the Elephant made the Ant; the Flye as well as the Eagle; the poorest worme which creepes on the earth, as well as the most glorious Angell, is the worke of Gods hands, and hee lookes to be glorified in his least workes as well as greatest.

Lastly,Mat. 12.20. They might doe well to imitate him, who quen­cheth not the smoaking flaxe, nor breaketh the bruised reed; but giveth his children the testimony of their sincerity, notwithstanding their. infirmities; and so hearken to that advice of the Apostle, Rom. 14.1. Him that is weake in the faith receive, but not to doubtfull dispu­tations.

Give the humble Daysey leave to grow, though it sprout not up to that height as doth the Marigold. And let not him that joyneth the frame, despise him that heweth the Timber or makes the pins; who so hath greatest degree of grace, let himuse it to Gods glory, but no way despise his weake brother, who commeth farre short of his scantling.

Vse 2 Let it serve for an Encouragement to those whose hearts are newly warmed with the beames of love; though they find it not kindled to that height that others of Gods children have attained unto. It is not every ones portion to attaine to that height of passion, so as to be sicke of Love. God takes in good part a growing and increasing love which may be attained.

First, by enlarging our Communion with God both in Publike and Private duties. Strangenesse you know breeds an overlinesse with men, so with God. The nea­rer the fire, the greater the heate; speake often to God by Prayer, heare him againe speaking unto you by his Word and Spirit; Cant. 5.9. & 6.1. Come frequently to his Table, feast often with him; seek him up in the Company of his Saints. Such is the lovelinesse of his Person, as that the oftner we see him the more shall we love him.

Secondly, by weaning our hearts more and more from this world, you know superfluous branches draw the sap from the top boughs, and the love of the world,1 Ioh. 2.15. drawes the love of God out of our hearts, as we find in Demas, Magna res amor, fi ad suū recurrit princi­pium, si san cri­gini red litur, fi resusus suo son­ti semper ex eo sumat, unde ju­giter fluat. Bern. Sup. Cant. Ser 30. 2 Tim. 4.9.

That is most active which is most elevated and sepera­ted form earthly parts. The Physitian distills his simples into waters; thereof he make extraction and quin­tissences which are operatively strong; still the more elevated a materia, the more strong a thing is; Thus is it with our love, the more heavenly it is, the more lively and full of vigour it is. Hercules cannot conquer Anteus till he had lifted him up above the Earth his Mother.

Thirdly, carefully observe and call to mind the many and sweet experiences you have of Gods love and favour; The more plentifull our apprehension is of Gods love to us, the more will our hearts be enlarged to love him againe; Who so is wise and will observe these things even they shall understand the loving kindnesse of the Lord, Psal. 107.42, 43. Hence it was that David did so gather upon God when he was to encounter with Goliah, 1 Sam. 17.36. and at other times, Psal. 61.2, 3. & 63.7. & 71.5, 6, 20. & 22.21. & 27.9.10. Experience being so great a prop of faith, it must needs be a speciall meanes to increase Love.

And to incourage us in seeking after the growth of this grace (as well as of any other,) forget not how exceeding availeable it is to Perseverance. What was it that carryed the Martyrs so comfortably through fire and flames; and made them to esteeme of Tyrants, as gnats and fleas,Chrys [...]om. 2. de laud. Pauli. and of torments but as fleabitings (as S. Chry­sostome shewes?) What made them so ambitious of Martyrdome? What mooved so many from all parts to assemble together in the daies of Valencius, though they knew a speciall command was given to the Provost to put all to the sword? What spurred on that woman to make [Page 102]such hast, and all unready with her child in her armes to rush in amongst the Souldiers, fearing least she should come too late (as shee told the Provost) who asked her the reason of her hast,Ʋtinam fruar bestijs quae mi­hi praeparatae sunt, quas & oro veloces mi­hi esse ad inte­ritum, & alli­ciamal come­dendum me, ne sicut & aliorū Martyrum non audeant corpus attingere. Quod si venire noluc­rint ego vim fa­ciamut devo. rar. Ignoscite mihi silioli, quid mihi prosit ego scio, nunc inci­pio esse Disci­pulus Christi: nihil de ijs quae videntur desi­derans, ut Iesu Christum inve­niam, Ignis, crux bestiae, cō ­fractio ossium, membrorum (que) divisio, & to­tius corporis contritio & omnia tormenta Diaboli in me veniant tantum ut Ciristo fru­ar, &c. Hierom. lib de viris illustrib. and acquainted her with his pur­pose to put all there present to sudden death.

What made Ignatius so bold, and resolute, that when he heard the Lyons roare for hunger, (to whom he was suddenly to be cast as a prey,) he burst forth into these speeches, O that I were with the Beasts that are prepared for mee, whom I desire quickely to make an end of mee; if they refuse to touch my body, (as through feare they have absteined from the bodies of other Saints) I will urge and provoke them to fall upon mee. Wellcome fire, crosse, beasts teeth, breaking of bones, tearing asunder of members, grin­ding to powder my whole body; Let all the Torments which the Divell can devise come upon mee, so that I may enjoy Christ my Love. What made Vincentius so sleight the Tyrants threatnings? Thretten these things (saith he) unto your Courtiers and Carpet-Knights; Racks, Stra­padoes, torments are but a play to us. When the Empe­rour Valens had banished Basil, and the Tribune threat­ned death; I would (said S. Basil) I had any thing of worth, I would bestow it on him that should cut Basils wind­pipe. Tiburtius found such inward joyes and spirituall raptures in his sufferings, that when hee trod upon live coales, he cryed out, Mihi hae prunae rosae videntur, these live coales seeme to me no other then red Roses. Theodore being cruelly beaten by divers tormentors (as Eusebius shewes) even from morning to night, (so that such cruelty never was seene,) yet all the while with a smiling countenance hee sang Psalmes, which caused Salaptus the Persecutor to tell Iulian the Emperour, that if he dealt thus with the Christians, it would turne to their glory, but to his shame. Time would faile to tell of divers others of later times, who despised fire and fagot; and so willingly offered up themselves a burnt Sa­crifice; as that Boner bid a Vengeance on them, he thought [Page 103]they tooke delight in burning. Accustio vo­tum est & pae­na saelicitas. Text advers. Gent. And indeed Tertullian saith of his times, that to be accused was the wish of Christians; and punishment for Christ they counted fe­licity. Whence I say was all this boldnesse, and constan­cy? What put them on to suffer and did drowne all their Tortures, but the Love of God burning in their hearts? Heb. 11.35. Revel. 12.11. Strength holds out, when weaknesse faints by the way, 1 Sam. 30.10.

Quest. But how may I know in what degree or measure the Love of God is in mee?

Doct. Resp. This is no unprofitable question; It is here made by our blessed Saviour unto Simon, (which may be our next Observation.)

Reason. And he made the like to Peter, Iohn 12.15. And no wonder, for he hath elsewhere told us; That Iniquity shall abound and the love of many shall waxe cold, Mat. 21.12.

Vse. Wherefore I could wish, that every man would que­stion with his owne soule about it. Doe I love God more then these? Is my Love kindling, or burning? Is it in the sparke or in the flame? If wee never examine our soules about it, how shall wee be stirred up with diligence to endeavour after a higher pitch, or be able to say that in any answerable measure we are thankfull to God for his many mercies received? Nay this inconvenience fol­lowes upon neglect, that whereas there are distinctions of Christians in the Schoole of Christ; as some Infants, others Strong men, others Fathers, as we read, I Iohn [...]. we in examining our hearts by markes and signes (through a mistake of our selves) are marvellously discouraged, whilst we take those signes which belong to the strong and Aged and apply them to our selves being Infants and but weake. Nihil tam du­tum at (que) serreū quod non amoris igne vincatur. Aug de Mor. eccl cont. Manich. To lend a little help therefore to you in this case, know.

First, Enflamed or Burning Love will not be easily quenched; much water, many floods cannot doe it, Cant. 8.7. It is firme and invincible, so that neither force, [Page 104]nor fraud, Promises nor Persecutions, Height nor Depth; things present nor things to come shall be able to prevaile against it.

Thus Pauls Love was a strong Love, and carryed him through all conditions, 2 Cor. 4. & 5.14. Acts 21.13. And so the Love of the Martyrs afore mentioned.

S. Chrysostome being in banishment by the meanes of Eudoxia the Empresse, in a letter he wrote to Cyriacus a Bishop, tells him of his resolution before he was bani­shed. I thought with my selfe (said he) that if shee will banish mee, the earth is the Lords; if shee will saw mee asunder, I remembred Isaiah; If drowne me, I thought on Jonah; If stone mee, Steven came into my minde; If be­head mee, I thought on John the Baptist; If take away my goods, why naked came I into the world, and naked shall I returne. Cant. 8.6. Thus Love well kindled and in the flame, like death devoures all these feares like stubble.

It is otherwise with a new-kindled Love: That is willing to suffer for Christ; but yet in time of dan­ger it hides the head, and dares not be seene. So Nicode­mus, who being a Ruler of the Jewes came to Iesus by night,John 3. as being loath to be discovered. And the Disci­ples fled from Christ, and left him alone upon his appre­hension. It stands more in desiring and wishing then action: O that I were able, that I could undergoe this or that for Christ my Saviour, &c. This is her language.

Secondly, Love enflamed is still ascending; It hath ear­nest and affectionate longings after God and to enjoy him. The Passions of this Love are so great, as that it doth over­come a man, and make him sick againe, Cant. 2.5. Thus was it with S. Paul, Phil. 1.23. And so with other of the Saints, 2 Cor. 5.2. But where Love is weake and in the sparke only it is otherwise, indeed they willingly would enjoy God who truly love him; but still they feare they are not yet prepared, and therfore cry with David, O spare a little, Psal. 39. stay a while; (not for that they love not God, but) for that they are not in that readinesse which they doe [Page 105]desire to come to God; So the Bride puts of a while longer, not out of a dislike of the Bridegroomes person, nor for want of true Love unto him, but because this lace is not yet set on, nor that garment finished.

Thirdly, Enflamed Love gives great light. It is like a fired Beacon on a hill, all the Countrey take notice of it. Such cannot forbeare but they must be speaking in Gods praise, and admiring every thing that is in him. Cant. 5.9. The tongue is the Pen of a ready writer. Psal. 31.23. It runs over with Gods praises, Psal. 45.2 & 34. Yea this Love will shine in all the actions of a mans life as well as say­ings, Mat. 5.16. It may be said of such as have it, in re­spect of Christ, as it was said of Christ, in respect of La­zarus, when he wept at his grave; Behold how he loved him! But a weake Love is like fire raked up in the ashes, it hath some heate, but gives little light: as you may see in Nicodemus and Ioseph of Arimathea, who loved Christ yet kept close till his death. Such imprison the Love of God in their hearts and mouthes, in their course and Calling too too much, which argues their Love to be (as Lot said of Zoar) but a little one.

And thus much of the Quaere, next followes the Quare, or ground of the Demand made, [Tell mee therefore.]


Text. The Iewish Rabbins have a saying, that great moun­taines hang upon the smallest Iods in the Bible. And S. Chrysostome will not that a Christian shall let goe any syllable in the Scripture, no nor prick nor point without observation. This little particle [...], questionlesse will affoord us something for our learning, let it be this, viz.

Love is Loves Load-stone. Doct. Magnes amo­ris amor. Therefore (saith Christ) seeing both were forgiven, and one forgiven a greater debt then the other, both loved, but one more then the other.

Vse 1 It is thus betwixt man and man as you see in Ionathan and David. And it is thus betwixt God and man, Psal. 18.1. & 116.1, 8. So saith S. Iohn, 1 Epist. 4.9. Wee love God because he loved us first.

Learne here the way how to make others Love us, Ego tibi mon­strabo amatori­um sine medi­camento, sine herbâ, si amari vis, ama. Sen. Epist 9. Arist. Rhet. l. 2. Nulla major est ad amorem in­vitatio, quam prevenire amā ­tem, & nimis durus est ani­mus, qui si di­lectionem nole­bat impendere nolit rependere. Iug. de cat. without any Love-potion, Spell, or Witch-craft (as Seneca saith) Love others sincerely and entirely; so adviseth the Poet, ut ameris amabilis esto; of all men they are most lovely (saith Aristotle) that are most loving. He must needs be of an ill dispo [...]tion, who if he will not begin love, and provoke this affection in another, will not yet repay and answer Love with Love. Yet such there are as before was noted, and for this the Corinthians are blamed, 2 Cor. 12.15.

Vse 2 And here be directed in a way how to enlarge your love to God-ward. Gods kindnesse hath an operative vertue in it, and much affecteth those who set their mindes upon it. Naturally we have no heate of Love to God in our hearts, they are frozen and cold; but as yron put into the fire soone becomes red hot, so upon a due consideration of Gods mercies towards us, our affecti­ons cannot but glow with heat and be much infla­med.

Quest. But is God to be thus loved for his benefits? Is he not to be loved for himselfe onely? What is this other then a mercenary Love?Aug. Sup. Iob. Ser. 3. Love not for the re­wards sake (saith S. Austin) but let God be thy re­ward.

Resp. S. Bernard thus specifies degrees of Loving God. First, when wee Love him ut bonus sit nobis, that hee may doe us good. Love of this kind is meerely Concu­piscentiall or mercenary; Cant. 1.2. This is the love of Harlots, not Virgins.

Secondly, when we Love God, quia bonus fuit, be­cause he hath done us good, and heaped his benefits on us. This issues from a thankfull heart, and is to be found in Gods children, Psal. 116. & Psal. 18.

Thirdly, when we love God, quia bonus in se, Faelicissimam animam quae Deo sic in Deo meretur affici, ut per unitatem Spiritus in Deo, nibil amet nisi Deum. 2. q 24 Art. 3. in re­spect of his owne amiable excellencies; of which kind of love he speaketh thus. O thrice happie soule, which by God and his grace art so affected with God and his Love, that in God, in whom all things are to be had, thou desirest nothing but God himselfe.

Thomas answers thus, God is to be loved for himselfe, although he should give us nothing, Iob 13.15. He is ultimus finis, and wee may not serve him for an other end: For, then we should make ultimum finem but me­dium. But when it is said we are to Love God for his be­nefits, (For) notes not the finall cause, but the motive. Rom. 12.1. Now Gods benefits and mercies (in respect of our infir­mities) may be motives (and in Scriptures are used as motives) to stirre us up to love him, They may be ordi­ne prima, but never quoad dignitatem praecipua, for such love is reproachfull and injurious to God, as was theirs, Ioh. 6.26. The reason is, Propter quod unumquod (que) ama­tur, illud ipsum magis amatur, If we love God for these we love them more then God, and so cessante beneficio cessat amor, when Gods benefits cease our love will like­wise cease.

As for the wicked of the world, they measure all their Religion by their profit,Mali utuntur Deo ut fruan­tur mundo Bo­ni utuntur mū ­do ut fruantur Deo. Aug. and will doe nothing but for gaine, they use God that they may enjoy the world, and this indeed is a base and mercenary Love, like that Love which the Prodigall found from them upon whom he had spent his Patrimony, Luke 15.30. But the godly use the world that they may enjoy God, and this is the Love of Virgins. Gen. 24.22, 30. Thus Rebeckah by meanes of the bracelets and earings given, was wrought upon (by Abrahams ser­vant) to hearken to the motion which he made in the behalfe of his Masters sonne. And by the benefits wee receive from Christ a Christian soule is first brought to be in love with Christ.

Communia. Specialia. Singularia.Cast your eyes then upon Gods benefits which daily we are made partakers of; those common to all creatures with [Page 108]us, speciall to men, singular and peculiar to good men. Totum mundum dedit (saith one) hee hath given the whole world to be used by all. Ʋnicum filium dedit, he hath given his Sonne to be beleeved in by all;Amor amorem illius qui amo­re tui amoris descendit in uterum Virgi­nis, & ibi a mo­rem suum amo­ri tuo copula­vit, humiliando se, sublimando te, conjungendo lumen suae aeter­nitatis limo tu [...]e mortalitatis. Aug. Text. Quid majus, quid melius daret? What greater or better gift could hee give to the sonnes of men then his owne Sonne out of his owne bosome? Labour to comprehend with all Saints, what is the height, depth, and breadth of this Love, Ephes. 3.18, 19.

Love stands not upon a Quare: why shall I love, what good shall I have by Christ (as Iob 21.15.) such a merce­nary basenesse cannot enter into so noble a spirit as a child of God hath in him; yet it is his Dilexit me, that sets mee on fire, and whereby our Love is inflamed to­wards him.

Tell me therefore] q.d. I have acquainted thee with the Motive both had to love their Creditor: Now ha­ving laid downe the Case so plaine, tell mee [Therefore] thy Opinion. Learne one thing more hence,

Doct. After the Iudgement is rightly informed, sentence in the case may be passed, and not before.

Reade Deut. 1.16. In that solemne charge which Mo­ses gives to Judges, (his designed Deputies) how hee adviseth; first to heare the Controversies of their Brethren, and have them debated before they be decided. So Iudg. 19.30. Consider of it, take advice and then speake your minde.

Reason. The Reason we have given, Iob 12.11. The Eares are the soules Taster, they try words as the mouth tasteth meate: that man can never relish the equity of a cause whose taster is out of course. Whence it is that Salo­mon saith, The Eare of the wise seeketh information, Pro. 18.15. So did Iob's, Iob 29.16. And Salomons in hea­ring the difference betwixt the two Harlots. S. Iames wills us to be swift to heare but slow to speake, Iames 1.19.

Vse. it Reprooves such as will not endure to have the [Page 109]equity of a cause made apparent and evident, before that matters be duly ripened to the Eare; they are over-sud­daine with their lips; Whence it comes to passe, that they doe more hurt with their rashnesse, (both to them­selves and others) then they can afterwards helpe againe by their most mature deliberation. A wise man concealeth knowledge, but the heart of a foole uttereth foolishnesse.

The Baptist was Vox clamantis, the voice of one cry­ing; He was indeed a most proper and perfect voice; but before he was borne his Father was dumbe and his Mother hid her selfe, Pater tacet ex paena, ex verecundia Mater celat, Chrysologus. O quanto silentio vox nascitur (saith one) The Father holds his peace by punishment, the Mother hides her selfe for modesty, O with how great silence was the Voice borne! It is from silence that knowledge is borne in the mouth, and from silence that learning is bred in the lips.

In Nature, you know the Tongue is hedg'd in with doores, and shut, as David sheweth, Psal. 141.3. And the Eares are alwaies open, and yet (I know not how but) so it is, the Tongue gets out to answer, before the Eare hath received that to which an answer should be given. And hence it comes to passe, that like those young women, who through over-hasty mar­riages, instead of replenishing the world with living children, they fill graves with Abortives and untime­ly births; So doe these Macedonian Iudges, who answer hastily before the Tale bee ended; Out of over quicke apprehension they runne into many errors, shewing folly and procuring shame unto them­selves, Prov. 18.15. Stay till the time come and then tell on.

Verse; 43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he to whom he forgave most; And hee said unto him, thou hast rightly judged.

Here wee have the case resolved: where first the Sentence passed by Simon, and then Ratified by our Sa­viour.

Text. Simon answered and said] Had our Saviour in plaine termes asked Simon whether he or that sinner did love him most? The Pharisee could not for shame but have stood upon his reputation; and in scorne of the compari­son have protested his exceeding respects to Christ. Now ere he be aware by this convictive way of Parable, he is brought to passe sentence against himselfe on her side, whom before he had condemned. You see then

Doct. A discreet and wise reproofe is not in vaine to an honest heart, it causeth a selfe condemning.

Iob 6.25. 2 Kings 5.11. & 2 Sam. 12.1.4.

There is an excellent Parable tending to this purpose, Pro. 25.11. A word fitly spoken, Sermo est ima­go animi. &c.] Words are the Pictures of the minde, and speaking is the drawing of them with that Pensil the Tongue; now as in Pictures the beauty of them is the comely proportion of the parts, and the gracefull fitting of the colours to the parts, the artificiall placing both of colours and parts: so in words, the praise of them is the due proportion of them to the persons; the fit colouring of them to the matter to be deli­vered; the right ordering them to Time and Place where­in they are spoken. If these be observed in speech, then (as the Originall is) the words goe upon their wheeles, and passe along like a Triumphant Chariot: whereas if these circumstances be omitted, they passe, as Pharaohs Chariots when the wheeles were off, dull, and heavily. Then verse. 12. As an earing] An earing is fastned to the eare, and that it may be fastned it pierceth the eare, and being so fastened, it is an ornament to the whole face, So likewise is a Reproofe to an obedient eare. First, it pierceth it, and is received willingly into it. Secondly, it is fastened upon it, so that it staies with it. Thirdly, it is an ornament to a mans whole life, which is reformed by it. But then it must be a wise Reproover, such a one as [Page 111]can fit his Reproofe to the Eare of him that is faulty, and hang it on hansomely with due consideration of cir­cumstances; as Nathan did on Davids, 2 Sam. 12. Other­wise it is no earering of gold, but brasse, which cankers the eare, and either makes it to be worse in wilfull naughtinesse then before it was; or els if it be acknow­ledged to be of gold and the Reproofe true, yet it displea­seth, and is not accepted with thanks, which hindereth the operation of it. Such a brasse earing was Shemeis rayling, it could not be kindly taken; The best eare that is, will scarce receive a Reproofe foolishly gi­ven.

Vse 1 This may first Encourage us Ministers in this part of our Ministeriall service; The sinners of Sion are not afraid (as speakes the Prophet:) They walke with a haughty neck, and will not be reprooved; And yet wee need not dispaire (altogether) of good successe, if we performe this worke aright, and furnish our rebukes with cunning Arguments Rhetorick is usefull, but that may not enter the Lists, without some weapons borrowed from the Arsenall of Logick. That Maxime in Phylosophy would be remembred, The will wills no more then the un­derstanding understands. Checks (as one speakes) have a kind of signiorie over the outward members; they may fetter the legs, or manacle the hands from some outward performances: but to toyle the Will, and con­troll the Affections, Reason it selfe must chide, and the Intellectuall Faculties must be satisfied.

It is not alwaies the sweetnesse and enticement of sin it selfe delighting us, that causeth mans nature to be so froward and repiningly to receive Instruction; but ma­ny times for that Reproofe proceeding from some pri­vate and sinister respects, is not done with that discretion that it might be. The Preacher seeks not out acceptable words, he sets not in order his Parables and Proverbs: whence it is that they are not as goades and nayles fastened by the Masters of Assemblies, (as Salomon [Page 112]sheweth, Eccles. 12.9, 10, 11.) though they be the words of Truth.

That the words of winde then may have an end, which young indiscretion often powres out in greater number then in weight. Job 16.3. And that wee may keepe the true pat­terne of wholsome words, 1 Tim. 1.13. 2 Cor. 12.16. whereby wee may doe good; Pray we to God for skill, and wisdome, that we may (as S. Paul speakes of himselfe, though in another sence) take the sinner by a holy craft and guile.

God hath made us Fishers of men, and we should learne of him, so to baite our hookes, that they may be most likely to take. To fish without a baite, is but to en­tangle all in the weeds, to fish with an unpleasing baite, is to fish with Peter all night and take nothing; but to fish with a proper baite, under which we hide the hooke, and so stand close undiscerned is the way to take, as Paul took his keeper.

God hath made us Stewards of his houshold, and pro­vided victualls for his Family, and appointed us to dresse it; If wee doe not so Cooke it, as to fit the palates of those for whom it is intended, wee loose our Cost and Labour.

Wee are Physitians, and must so wrap up our pills, that they may kindly worke in the bottome of the belly.

Wormewood is an herbe of it selfe wondrous bitter, and yet (as some say) being well distilled, the water thereof doth not onely loose the sent of the herbe, but al­so the bitternesse in tast: Correction and Reproofe is like Wormewood, bitter of it selfe to nature, it doth no whit please the pallate; but when the gentle fire of discretion hath ordered it aright, it becomes sweet and wholesome, like the bitter waters of Iericho after Elisha had cast salt into them.2 King 2.21. Yea Discretion is that salt which doth season and preserve the Sacrifice of our Lips. And there­fore (as in another sence it was commanded, Levit. 2.13.) Let not any oblation be made without it.

Next it serves to admonish you our Hearers, that you profit by our Reproofes, so as to lay your hands upon your mouthes (as speakes the Prophet) and be convin­ced. Conscience will convince you first or last, it is better to have a saving conviction in this life, then a desperate conviction in hell hereafter.

Our words are like the Arrowes which Ioash shot; and Gods Spirit is like the Prophets hand to guide the Arrow, which oftentimes pierceth the soule of sinners, and wounds them with griefe unto the heart. But what was said of Ioash his Arrowes may be said of ours, The Arrow of the Lords deliverance: And therefore it were good if Hearers would open their breasts,Orig. Homil. 2. in [...]ant, Greg. Nyssen in Hom. 4. in Cant. and (as Origen speaketh) Transfigendum praeberent hujusmodi ja­culis, offer themselves to be pierced with these Arrowes. The wounds which they make are praeclara vulnera, ex­cellent wounds, by which, not Death but Life enters into the soule. It is your Vices that we shoot at, not your selves.

It is storyed of one Achon the Cretian, that when a Dragon had taken away his sonne, he with his Arrow killed the Dragon, but did not hurt his sonne, his natu­rall affection putting that Art into him, (in which respect it was said of him, Ars erat esse Patrem) so shall we stu­die to shew our selves to be Fathers to you in our Love, whilst we kill the brood of the red Dragon. your vices in you, no way hurting you through any ill Affection. And so I passe from this generall to another Observation which may be made from the Nature of Simons Answer, which was in sincerity and according to the Truth, (as our Saviour testifieth) though to his owne conviction. Whence we may be taught to do the like

Doct. When we tell, then the Truth must be told, though it make against our selves. When wee Answer we must An­swer truly.

These are the things you shall doe, speake every man Truth unto his neighbour, (saith God, Zach. 8.16.) And [Page 114]againe, Cast off lying, and speake every man. Truth unto his neighbour, Reason. (saith the Apostle,) adding it as a Reason, For wee are members one of another, Ephes. 4.25. You know in the Body of man, one member will not lie un­to another.Theodor. in Ephes 4.14. The Hand will not he in telling what it tou­cheth; The Tongue will not lie in telling what it tasteth: The Eye will not lie in telling what it seeth, but every member is a true witnesse to his neighbour: So should it be in the Politick body of Government and Society, and in the Mysticall body of the Church and Christianity, seeing we are members of the same.

It was a worthy speech of Iustin Martyr (speaking of the persecuted Christians.In nostra est po­testate, ut cum inqui [...]imur, ne­gemus: sed vi­vere nolumus mēdaciter quic­quam loquen­tes. Iust Mar­tyr. Apol. 2. pro Christ.) It is in our power, (saith he) when wee are sought for and examined, to deny what we are, and what we beleeve, but we will not live to speake any thing untruly.

Quest. But am I alwaies bound, when I speake, to tell the Truth? may not a man sometimes conceale or tell contrary to the Truth, if I see my selfe or neighbour may thereby be profited and helped?

Resp. This wee answer in these three Conclu­sions.

Affirmatio ve­ritatis obligat semper, sed non ad semper, sed pro loco & tempore. First, The Truth is never to bee denied by us. It was Peters sinne which hee so bitterly bewailed, Mat. 26.70.

Secondly, An Ʋntruth is never to be affirmed. The Reasons we shall give anon in the Application.

Thirdly, The Truth is not alwaies necessarily to be pro­fessed and told. Ʋno eodem (que) si­lent [...]o firmat errorem, qui lo quendo non a­struit veritatē Fulgen. Qui veritatem occultat, & qui mèdaciū profert, uter (que) reus est. Ille, quia pro­desse non vult; iste quia noce­re desiderat Anselm. in Epist a [...]oro [...]h. Non solum prod [...]or est veritatis, qui mēdacium pro ve­rit [...]te loquitur, sect qui non liberè pro­nuncia [...] veritatem, quam pronunctare oporte [...], aut non li­berè defendit veri­tatem, quam defen­d [...]re oportet, Chrys. in Mat. Vse.

Sometimes (indeed) it is necessary, as when Gods glo­ry, our neighbours good, or our owne duty requires it at our hands; in such also hee that hideth the Truth, and he that telleth Lies are both alike culpable before God. Thus in Cases spirituall, as when we are called to an ac­count of our Faith and Religion, wee are bound to a con­stant profession of the Faith we hold, 1 Pet. 3.15. Mat. 10.32, 33. And in Cases civill, when a man is called in [Page 115]place of Judgement as a witnesse to the Truth, Exod. 20. Truth must be spoken.

Sometimes it may be unseasonable, as when there be­ing no necessity of uttering it, (neither in respect of Gods glory, our neighbours good, or our owne duty) it is joyned with our owne or our neighbours dammage. In this case the Truth may, yea ought to be concealed in whole, as Mat. 26 63. Marke 14.61. & 15.5. Luke 23.9. Iohn 19.9. Or in part, as 1 Sam. 16.2. Ier. 38.26, 27.

This makes nothing for the defence of such as are ene­mies to Truth, crossing it by flat denialls, or Iesuiti­call Aequivocations. Both which are defended and practised by Papists, and too much in use amongst our selves.

Concerning Lying. Three sorts of Lies the Schoole­men make.

First, such as are hurtfull and pernitious, Perniciosum. Gen. 34.16. Officiosum. Exod. 1.18. Iocosum. Hosea 7.3. Finis perniciosi est laedere, officiosi prodesse jocosi delectare Quomodo Deus Pater genuit Filiū veritatē. sic Diabolus lap [...]us genuit quasi filium mē ­dacium. Aug. in Ioan. told of spight to hurt others either in Body Goods, or Good-name. So did Simeon and Levi lie to the Sichemites.

Secondly, Helpfull and officious, told for the gaine and profit of others, as were the Lies of the Hebrew Midwives, Exod. 1.18. and of Rahab the Harlot, Iosh. 2.4.

Thirdly, Such as are delightfull and merry, told for sport, pastime, and the pleasure of others. Of such we reade, Hos. 7.3. Now the Pernitious Lye they onely con­demne, but the Officious and the Merry Lye they hold either to bee no sinne at all, or els but Veniall, not Mortall.

But first, No Lie is of the Truth (saith S. Iohn, 1 Epist. 2.21.) How shall we answer him if that be true.

Secondly, Every Lye is a transgression of the Law, Levit. 19.11. And therefore sin.

Thirdly, Every Lie proceedeth from the Divell, who is a Lier, and the Father of Lies, Ioh. 8.44.

Fourthly, Lying (of what sort soever) God abhorres, [Page 116]Pro. 6.17, 19 & 12.22. And doth severely punish, both here, Psal. 5.7. Pro. 19.5. Acts 5.5, 10. And hereafter, Revel. 21.27. & 22.15.

Besides it is against Christianity, Civill society, and overthroweth the use of speech; In which respect, Hea­thens themselves have abhorred it. Wherefore we make hold to conclude with S. Austin, No Lies are just, all are sinnes, yet we denie not but the pernicious Lie is the worst of them all.

Concerning Aequivocation; A [...]g. Enchir ad Laurent. ca. 18. & 22. & in lib de mendac. c 14. Gen. 3.5. 1 Sam. 28.19. (first taught by the Di­vell to hide his Ignorance, in what he could not reveale, and since studied by Iesuits to hide their knowledge in that they can and ought to reveale,) this they teach, that a man framing to himselfe a true proposition, when he is asked a Question, may conceale thereof as much as hee sees good. As for Example, If this Question should be put unto a Papist, If the Pope should come to invade this Realme, Whether would you take part with the King or with the Pope. He framing this Answer in his minde, I will take the Kings part, If the Pope will command me so to doe; may answer, I will take the Kings part, con­cealing the other part [If the Pope will command mee], thereby to delude the Examiner. In like manner, if a man have a horse or money,Navar. in Ma­nual. c 12. Nunb. 18. Et Peter Gin nar in Compend. Navar. c. 12. Numb. 18. and is importuned by a neigh­bour to lend, or give either. He framing this propositi­on in his minde, that hee hath neither horse nor money to give or lend, may safely say, yea sweare, that hee hath neither horse nor money, reserving the other part [To give or lend] in his owne minde.

This (they say) is no Lying, for that the Aequivoca­tor speaketh a Truth in his owne meaning, and in the sight of God, (which alwaies (say they) he must do, when he useth this evasion; otherwise he should lie, if he had not some true sence reserved in his mind.) And therefore Parsons adviseth,Mitigat. cap. 10 Numb. 22. Let him that would use this benefit of Aequivocation, be wary and carefull that hee mentally reserveth some secret clause, which being added [Page 117]to the words spoken doe make the whole compound to be true, he may denie what Truth he pleaseth; either alone, or before company; either being asked, or of his owne accord,Sanchez. op Moral. l. 3. c. 6. Numb. 15. In verbis hune in modum pro­latis merum & nudum men­dacium contine­tur. Nam. 1. Si rem qui hoc aut illud fecit, diceret se se­cisse, test imoni­um ejus esset verum: ergo si negat se secisse lestimoniam ejus est falsum, id est mentitur. 2. Hoc pacto reus ille dicit & testatur non tantum quod falsum est sed etiam qu [...]d ille sentit & novit esse falsum, quod est tam ormaliter quam materialiter, id est completè mentiri. Ames. de Cons. (saith Sanchez.) A man may sweare that he did not doe something, which indeed he did do; understanding within himselfe some other thing then that he did doe, or some other day then that in which he did doe it, or any other addition that is true. And in so doing, a man doth neither Lie nor forsweare,

But indeed these Aequivocall Propositions are but Ly­ing Assertions; For if wee sever what is expressed from that which is reserved in the minde, it is a for­mall Lie.

2. The Divell himselfe acknowledgeth it to be lying, 1 King. 22.6. when (in his Prophets) he was deman­ded by Ahab concerning his going to warre against Ramoth-Gilead and the successe thereof,1 King. 22, 6. he answered, Goe the Lord will deliver it into the hands of the King: But into the hands of what King he told not,1 King. 22 22. that he reser­ved to himselfe; and yet he confessed that he was a lying spirit in the mouthes of those Prophets in so saying.

3. This overthrowes all commerce and humane society one with another.Dicere (non fe­ci) quod tamen feci, licet cum hac mentis li­mitations (ut tibi significem) non est aequivo­catio sed men­dacium. Sotus de just. & jure. l. 5. q. 6. a. 2. What reservation is in a mans mind when he speaketh, or sweareth, I know not, and there­fore cannot tell how I may believe him; nay what lie is ordinarily told without some mentall reservation.

4. They should not forget how their Vulgar Latines reade that place, Eccles. 37.23. Qui sophisticè loquitur odibilis est; he that speakes aequivocally or Sophistically, i.e. Lyingly, is worthy to hated, and also what some of their owne side think of it.

Object. We find that Saint [...] and holy men have used it,Si verba qui bus utimur sig­nificatione sua & communi hominum usu ambigua non sunt nec habent nisi unicum tā ­tummodo sen sum, ca usurpa­re debemus eo sensu quem red­dunt, nec licet vobi [...] etiamfi contra jus fas (que) omne int [...]rogemur aliquid mentis cogitatione in aliud detorquere, nunquam enim sas est mentiri: at is mentitur qui verba aliter accipit at (que) ipsa significant. Nihil tam falsum esse potest, quod non queat ab omni mendacio libera­ri si aliquid arbitratu nostro tacitum retineam [...]s. Azor lib. 11. cap 4. as Abraham in saying of his wife, shee is my Sister, Gen. 20.2. Iacob in saying, I am Esau thy first-borne, Gen. 27.19. Samuell in saying, I come to offer Sacrifice, 1 Sam. 16.1. So Ier. 38.26. And to be short, we have the Example of Christ himselfe, whose example is without exception, Luke 24.28. Marke 13.32. Ioh. 7.8.

Resp. There are two sorts of Aequivocation. First Logicall; Secondly, Mentall or Iesuiricall.

Logicall is, when a speech is figurative, and doth carry a double sence,Quicquid figu­ratè sit aut di­citur non est mendacium. Aug in Cant. and may be construed two waies; either in regard of the words signification, as Luke 9.60. Let the dead bury the dead, that is, those who are spiri­tually dead bury those who are naturally dead. Or els in regard of their Plating in the saying or sentence where­by they may yeild divers meanings.

Now this kind of Aequivocation may be used; First, by way of Conviction, To convince a sencelesse sinner who will not beleeve the truth when it is plainely told him. So 2 King. 8.10. Elisha said unto Hazaell, Goe and say unto him, thou maist certainely recover, howbeit the Lord hath shewed mee, thou shalt certaine­ly die.

Secondly,Aliud est men. tiri, aliud est verum [...]cculta­re; ficut aliud est falsum [...]ice­re, atiud est ve­rum tacere. Ʋt si quis non ve­lit al mortem hominem prode­re, paratus esse. For the concealing of some part of the Truth, which the Hearer should not know. So 1 Sam. 16.1, 2. but here nothing said untrue; that was a Truth which Samuell spake though not all the Truth.

Thirdly, For the discovery of some further truth, as Mat. 9.24. & Ioh. 11.11. Our friend Lazarus sleepeth, which ambiguous speech was used for the profit of the [Page 119]Hearer, that they might know Death was but a sleepe; debet verum oc­cultare, non fal­sum dicere, ut ne (que), prodeat, ne (que) mentiatur, ne (que) occidat ani­mam suam pro corpore alteri­us. Aug super Psal. 5. nor are these sayings Lies, for as much as that which a man conceiveth in his minde agreeth with one of the significati­ons of the word, though he that heareth it conceiveth it to be otherwise. But if in case such Logicall Aequivo­cation tends to the perverting of Religion or Iustice it is not lawfull to be used.

Gods Saints have used Logicall Aequivocations, so hath Christ, and so doe the Scriptures, but never Iesuiti­call aequivocation. For in all their speeches (without any mentall reservation) there was Truth. So was there in the saying of Abraham, Samuell, Ieremiah and the rest, take them as they are spoken by them, and they are true.

The like may be said of our Saviours speeches, he knew not as he was man of the day of judgement. And for his seeming to goe forward and leave his Disciples going to Emaus; he would so have done if he had not beene over­importuned: And for that of Iohn 7.8. His time was not yet come to goe up. As for those reservations which God himself useth, Isah 38.1. Ionah 3.8. &c. (likewise objected by them) God hath expressed himselfe in Scriptures, that he would have his threatnings conditionally understood, as Ier. 18.7, 8, Ezek. 33.13. So that these exceptions are not secret reservations, nor kept in Gods brest from the Hearers, as they would have us beleeve.

Object. But if God should not allow us some aequivoca­ting tricks and reservedwiles (saith Parsons) he should deale worse with men then he hath done with beasts; he hath granted unto the Hare and Fox their leaps and tur­nings, their winding and returnings into the same path to deceive the dogs, &c.

Resp This Objection hath more with then waite, God al­lowes us as much of the Serpent as of the Dove, Prudentia sine simplicitate malitia, simpli­citas sine pru­dentia, siultitia. Mat. 10.16. But not severed from the innocencie of the Dove; Ʋnited they are Commodious, Parted dangerous. Wit without innocency will offend others; innocency with­out wit will not defend our selves. A large and full [Page 120]discovery of this new art of Lying, who so please may read D. Mortons Confutation of Aequivocation, M. Hen­ry Masons Treatise of the same subject. Ames. de Cons. l. 5. cap. 53. M. Iohn Weems his divine Exercit. on Com­mand. 9. Exercit. 3. Let me add onely a word or two of Exhoration.

Vse 2 That we would cast of all Lying (wherein the world saith, that our Nation and people exceed the very Cre­tians) And learne to speake the truth in our hearts, which is the note of him that shall dwell in Gods holy hill. Psal. 15. That we may be grac'd with Christs Ecce, as was Nathaniel, Ioh. 1.47. Behold a true Israelite in whom there is no guile. And have comfortable testimonie, that we shall be numbred amongst those hundred forty and foure thou­sand, which will follow the Lamb whethersoever he go­eth, being redeemed from amongst men, in whose mouth no guile was found. For this end consider.

Truth is a debt we owe to God. 1. By the Band of Creation; For he made our speech and framed in us a Tongue to speak, requiring Truth to be the guider of our speech.

2. By the Band of Filiation; that God whom we call Father is the God of Truth: Psal. 31.5. And he that is of God will speake the Truth.

3. By the Band of Redemption. For he that hath re­deemed us is Via, Ioh. 14.6. Vita, Veritas, The Way, Truth, and Life; and who so lookes to have life by him, must follow the way of Truth, Ephes. 4.15.

4. By the Band of Sanctification; For the holy Spirit, that sanctifieth us is the Spirit of Truth, and requireth in our sanctification that we should have our Loynes girt about with Truth, Ephes. 6.14 In these respects we should have great care that we make no forfeiture of the Truth in any case whatever. God loves it in the inward parts, Psal. 51.

S. Gregory expounding these words of Iob, Greg. Mer. in Iob. cap. 27. My Lips shall surely speake no wickednesse, and my Tongue shall utter [Page 121]no deceit, observes thus much; that a holy man,Pejus est men dacium medita­ri quam loqui; nam loqui ple­rum (que) praecipi tationis est, me­d [...]tari vero stu­diosae pravita tu. Mor. 8. to the end he may prefectly cleave unto the Truth, suffereth not himselfe either of purpose or of rashnesse to lie; for eve­ry Lie is greatly to be avoided, though there be some greater then other, as that which is studied and medita­ted on (as is aequivocating.)

I spare to tell you what the Heathens have thought of this sinne of Lying, and how they have punished it. Plutarch acquaints us with a Law that Artaxerxes made. The Liers Tongue should be pierced, triplici cla­vo, with three nailes. And Aelian (lib. 4. cap. 1.) tells us that amongst the Indians, he that was thrice convi­cted of a Lie was enjoyned perpetuall silence, and barred from all office.De mulier. Sep­ties. I conclude this point with that which S. Hierom writeth of a young man and woman, who were suspected of Adultery, and examined by Torments to confesse it. The young man (being grievously tor­tured) confesseth against himselfe to be freed from fur­ther paine, and so was put to death. But the woman being innocent, could not be forced by all those Torments used to tell a lie, but in the midst of all her sufferings thus spake, Non ideo me negare velle, ne peream, sed ideo men­tiri nolle ne peccem; mori & ego cupio, sed non tanquam Adultera, That shee did not denie least shee should die, but shee refused to Lie, least shee should sinne; shee was willing to die, but shee would not die as an Adul­teresse.

Thus abide were firme and resolute, still to say the Truth; holding that for a firme Principle in Divinity; wee may not doe evill that good may come of it. As for those who say we may, their damnation is just, Rom. 3.8.

Thus much by occasion of the honest and sincere An­swer made by Simon, though to his owne Conviction; now for the Sentence which was given by him.

Text. I suppose that he to whom hee forgave most.] You see then

Doct. The more mercy in the forgiver, the greater Love (may be supposed) is in the forgiven.

We read what S. Paul was, (by his owne confessi­on) before Conversion. A Blasphemer, a Persecutor, and injurious, &c. 1 Tim. 1.13. But (as he saith) hee obtai­ned mercy, and the grace of God was exceeding abundant to him, with Faith and Love in Christ, this put him on, to la­bour more abundantly then the rest, as is shewed, 1 Cor. 15.10. so that the grace bestowed on him was not in vaine. If you aske the Reason, why should S. Paul take more paines then all the rest? the Answer is, The Love of Christ constrained him. And why should Love be stronger in him then in the rest? the Answer is at hand, for that he did thus judge that he received greater mer­cy in the pardoning of his debt then the rest. This is shewed likewise by our Saviour in the Application of this Parable, verse 47. Where wee shall speake more fully of this point, which yet here I could not let passe without some usefull Observation.

Vse 1 I would gladly know then why Papists or any other should averre, that our Doctrine touching Assurance of Gods Love in Christ, is a Doctrine tending to licentious libertie. Simon could not but suppose that he must needs love most, who had most remitted him. But these speake by heare-say, as strangers do, of that they never knew, nor had experience of themselves. Assuredly the sence of Gods mercy in the pardoning and forgivenesse of sinne, hath that force to restraine a man from loosenesse of life, and to knit the heart in all true Love and Obedience unto God, as nothing more in the world hath. Thy loving kindnesse is before mine eyes, (saith David, Psal. 26.3.) therefore I have walked in thy Truth.

The very scope of S. Iohns Epistle is to further our Assu­rance of Gods Love, as appeares, 1 Epist. 1.4, 5. & 5.13. And how farre this is from opening a way to loosenesse of life and liberty, the Apostle shewes, Chap. 2.1. These things (saith he) I write to you that you sinne not; and [Page 123]if in case you doe sinne, the Assurance of Gods Love is the readiest way to recover you. For it followes, If any man sinne, wee have an Advocate with the Father; and then, Chap. 3.3. is added, He that hath this hope, and knowes what manner of Love the Father beares him, purifieth himselfe as hee is pure: So then, that man that is carelesse of purifying himselfe, hath no true hope that he is made partaker of this speciall Love.

Vse 2 Secondly, the feeblenesse of our Love to God, disco­vers how little sence or Assurance we have of this mercy of God towards us in the forgivenesse of the debt owing to his Justice. True it is, common favours and fruits of Gods Love, may work even in unbeleevers a kind of Love to God, but it is Common, Ordinarie, and Superfi­ciall. And the unsoundnesse of that kind of Love so wrought may appeare in these particulars.

First, in that it is but Mercenary, for when God giveth over giving them, they give over loving him. This is that love of Harlots, which I have before mentioned.

Secondly, the Love so wrought hath no force to re­straine from sinne, nor put on to obedience; For all this kind of Love that many so much boast of: They blesse themselves in their hearts (as Moses speaketh) saying, I shall have peace though I walke in my own imaginations and stubbornnesse, &c. Deut. 28.19.

But the Love wrought in our hearts through the Ap­prehension of this speciall mercy is of another kind: It doth cause a man to love God for his owne goodnesse and excellencies,Psal. 73.25. Phil. 3.8. and makes a man to give God the highest seate in his heart, it putteth a man on to keepe Gods Commandements (as before wee heard) and makes those Commandements easie, which were, and are crosse to our natures; Wherefore wee may not ground our Comfort, or Love on outward and Temporall blessings, but on this speciall and particular Love, which God sheweth to his Elect in the discharging of that debt of sin owing.

I deny not but these Temporall and Common favours are to those that are in Christ, Signes and Pledges of his speciall Love, and that by them the godly are confir­med in the Assurance of Gods eternall Love towards them, Gen. 33.10. Psal. 41.11. & 18.19. And els­where David gathers upon God from his common goodnesse that hee shewed to all Creatures, Psal. 36.6, 7. And our Saviour wills his Disciples to grow assured and confident of Gods speciall Love unto them from the Observation of his generall goodnesse and providence towards the Fowles of the ayre and Lillies of the field, Mat. 6.26. But yet the Observation of Gods good­nesse to us in spirituall things; as in the pardon and for­givenesse of our many and fowle sinnes, will doe it much better; and therefore if thou wilt love God as thou ough­test to love him, pray with David, Psal. 17.7. Shew mee thy marvellous loving kindnesse, and make me able to see and know that thou lovest mee with thy marvellous Love. And Psal. 106.4. Remember mee O Lord with the Favour thou bearest unto thy people, O visit moe with thy salvation. As if hee should say, it is not the love thou bearest to strangers or hired servants in thy house can content my heart, It is the speciall Love thou bearest to thine owne deare children, that I seeke after.

Know that the Church desires to be kissed with the kisses of Christs mouth, Cant. 1.1. A kisse is a naturall Symbole of Love, and yet it must be a kisse of Christs Mouth, not Hands that the Church desires. In out­ward Benefits God giveth us his Hands to kisse; but the breath of his Word and Spirit which assures us of the for­givenesse of our sins is the kisse of Christs mouth: This the Spouse desired, and this Mary obtained at parting, as you may find in the latter end of this Parable, which made her love so much, as appeares, verse 47. To which place I re­ferre the prosecution of this point: And now come to our Saviours Approbation of this Sentence.

And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly Iudged. Text. ]

Simon (as we know) was a Pharisee, so saith the Text, verse 36. One of the Pharisees desired him to eate, &c. And how corrupt the Pharisees were in their Do­ctrines and Tenents, appeares by that our Saviour saith, Mat. 5. & 15.4, 5, 6. & Chap 23. Yet here our Saviour approves of this Pharisees Opinion, and commends his Judgement. Whence learne we,

Doct. To receive the Truth who-ever brings it, and to take it up from whose mouth so ere it fall. See Mat. 23.2, 3. Phil. 1.17, 18. Tit. 1.13.

Reason. First, the Truth is Gods, not Mans. The pennie with Caesars stamp is his, though it be in the kennell, or be found in a fowle clout.

Secondly, God hath thought good to send unto his Church men as well unsanctified, as Sanctified: Balaam was a Prophet and is sent with a Message to Baalack: Saul is amongst the Prophets. Iudas sent forth with the rest of the Disciples; were not these to be heard, how can we think they should ever have beene sent?

Thirdly, The Word (in whose mouth soever) shall not re­turne in vaine, but accomplish that worke whereunto God hath sent it, Isa. 55.10, 11. It is out of a wicked mans mouth a savour of death to some, and why not of life to others?

Fourthly, God is offended when his Ordinances are contemned, though it be through the prophane lives of Priests. See an Instance most remarkable, 1 Sam. 2.17. compared with Chap. 4 10.

Vse. A great weaknesse it must needs be in those, who reject the Truth, out of a prejudice they beare against the Bea­rer. Do we like the Sun ere the worse because it breakes forth of a darke cloud? or distast the fruit that is served in a wooden dish? Will a child refuse a letter or token because a durtie Carrier was the bringer? or any beggar [Page 126]contemne an Almes because a lame Steward gives it out of the purse of his rich Master? Sampson did not dis­daine the honey-combe, because he found it uncleanly laid in the Lyons Carkasse: and though he, (being a Nazarite) might not eate of any thing that savoured of Legall impurity, yet he ventures on the honey-combe in the belly of the Beast. And so to Elijah it was all one, whether an Angell or a Raven brings him his dinner. Who so disdaines Gods graces because they find them in ill vessels, or refuse his mercies because brought them by uncleane livers are more nice then wise.

Quest. But are scandalous Ministers able to doe any good? How can we expect a blessing on their labours being wicked?

Resp. First, consider what excellent workes God hath effected by bad Agents: What Divine Parables did God utter by Balaams mouth? And what curious works did God make about his Temple by the hands of Tyrians? It makes for the praise (you know) of a good Limmer to draw a curious line with a bad Pensil: The worser the Instrument, the greater Gods glory.

Secondly,Nisi Spiritus Sanctus adsit cordi audientis otiosus est ser­mo doctoris, nemo ergo do centi homini tribuat, quod ex ore docentis intelligit, quia, nisi intus sit qui doceat, doctoris li [...]gua ex [...]erius in vacuum la­borat. Greg. Hom 30. in E­vang. & Mor. 27. the whole worke of a Minister about the salvation of mans soule is Externall: He can only preach to the Eare, God (whose Chaire is in Heaven) speakes to the Heart: The Grace which is given them for the worke of the Ministery, is not gratia Iustificantis, a grace of Iustification (as some conceive, who thinke their Teachers can give the Holy Ghost) (as Simon Magus thought by Simon Peter,) but it is gratia aedificationis, the grace of edification, as the Apostle shewes, Ephes. 4.12. nor is it gratia gratum faciens, (as the Schoolemen speake) a peculiar grace given them for the salvation of themselves; but gratia gratis data, a grace given them for the good of others. So that in this Outward worke a bad man may goe as farre, and do as much; bring as many powerfull and prevailing Arguments as the best, and be a meanes to save others yet themselves perish.

You know how it was with the Builders of the Arke, though they built that which saved others, yet themselves were drowned: And as it happens to many an unfortu­nate sinner, who saveth his endeared fellow, yet peri­sheth himselfe in the streame, so may it be in this case. S. Gregory aptly compares a bad Minister to the Water in Baptisme, which is (in the right use) a meanes to con­vey grace, but it selfe, out of the use runs downe into the hole: So may they sinke to Hell, who yet may be a meanes to bring thy soule to Heaven: Of them thou maist say as the people of Cicilia did write upon the Tombe of a dead Viceroy of theirs, (who had beene a cruell Oppressor of them) Hic jacet, &c. qui propter nos ho­mines nostram (que) salutem descendit ad inferos. Beleeve it (what ere you think) it is not the Garment but the Per­fume in it, which diffuseth the sent: The Word bor­roweth not its excellencie from any humane vertue, but from the heart which ponders, and the Spirit which san­ctifieth.Quicquid to­quimur in Dei nomine imber Dei est: videtis vos qualis terra sitis. Aug in Psal. 98. See (saith S. Augustine) what kinde of soyle you are, the Word is the showre.

Thirdly, were it so that an Ʋnsanctified Minister could not profit the Hearer, how could we heare any one with comfort? For as much as the Heart is unknowne to us; and in outward shewes of sanctity a vile Hypo­crite may goe as farre as the sincerest Christian: Yea it is an absurdity that lets in Popery the backe way; The goodnesse of the Priest doth blesse the Word and the Sa­craments (say the Papists,) I cannot be saved by Hearing, unlesse the Minister I heare be also saved (saith the over­curious and impatient Protestant) both shake hands in the same opinion.Doctrina cum omni imperio docetur, quando prius agitur quam dicatur. Nam doctrinae subtrahit fidu­ciam, quando conscientia pre­pedit linguam. Greg. in Mor.

To say the Truth; he preacheth best and with grea­test power, whose life and doctrine preach: Nor is there a Figure in Rhetorick more potent then the good opinion conceived of the Speaker; Our Hearers conceive of us rather by our Lives then Doctrine, (as Iovinian did say to the Orthodoxe and Arrian Bishops contending [Page 128]about the Faith; Of your Learning I cannot so well judge, nor of your subtle Disputations, but I can observe which of you have the better behaviour.) We loathe (you know) the light of some Candles, in regard of the stinke of the Tallow; and (as Poets feigne) Iupiters Adultery did even amongst his owne children discredit his Thunder: But this argues not the Truth uttered by a prophane or wicked person of imperfection; but the stomacks of most hearers to be of weake digestion, who cannot eate any Cake, but what is of Thamars baking; no Instru­ction is availeable or of force with them, but what pro­ceeds from those of whose inward calling they are per­swaded.

Si hene vix­erint, eorum est lucrum; si bene do [...]uerint, ve­strum; accipite igitur quod ve­strum est, noli­te discutere quod alienum est. Chrys super illud Mat. 23. Quaecun (que) dixer. at vobis. But let us remember what the blind man recovered said, whether this man be a sinner or no I know not, one thing I know, he hath restored mee to my sight: So, whe­ther this man be converted or no, I know not; this I know, It is the Truth he brings, and that is mine and for my good, his life is his owne. A leaden pipe may convey water into the garden of God; an Iron Clock ac­quaint me how the time goeth, and a Crooke-back't Tay­ler fit my body with a handsome garment.

In a word, Gods Messengers are his Heralds, their Trade is Honour, they may helpe others to Armes and so make Gentlemen, yet themselves be none. Receive therefore the Truth they bring; and if it should so hap­pen, that any one which is placed over you should stand in the Pulpit,Numb 27.12. as Moses stood on Mount Abarim, and shew you the way to Canaan; though themselves enter not, yet blesse you God for this direction, and follow it. What matter is it unto thee, though God puts the key of the prison doore into the hand of a prisoner, so long as it opens the Wicket for thee and sets thee free?

Next, in that our blessed Saviour doth not only receive the Answer, but likewise Commends his Iudgement, though in other points he might be very corrupt, and is here bla­med for his defect of Love. Observe,

There is a place for praise and Commendations, as well as for Reproofe. Simon had his faults, for which he was rebuked; and he hath some good in him, for which he is praised.

Saul was a very wicked man,2 Sam. 1.23. yet David praiseth many good things in him. That Steward we reade of in the Gospell, was very unjust, Luke 16. Quia licet Do mini substanti­am vacuabat, subditos auge­bat. Bern. yet in that hee wrought wisely for himselfe, or (as S. Bernard giveth the Rea­son) for that hee increased his Lords subjects, though hee diminished his Lords estate, he is commended by his Lord. Grosse errours were amongst the Corinthians, and in this (saith S. Paul) I praise you not, 1 Cor. 11.17. but wherein they did well he commends them;1 Cor. 11.17. Revel. 2.2, 3. I praise you Brethren that you remember mee in all things, &c. The great shepheard of the sheepe, and Arch-bishop of the Church, he omits not the due praises of those Chur­ches, which he reprooves most sharply.

Vse. This condemnes such as with-hold the due from the owner thereof, (contrary to Salomons advice, ) not gi­ving praise to whom it doth belong; at least not in that manner they ought to give it.

Some give it not at all, a strong Argument of a proud and sullen disposition; they can finde place for Reproofe, but none for commendation; these are like the Flie, they care for fastening no where, but on the Gall or Soare, a little blemish in their Brethren so over-clouds their good parts and properties as that they cannot bee seene.

Others doe it, but in such a manner, as that the good in others (which they would be thought to com­mend,) seemes either ill or lesse commendable, to those that heare it. They bring their diminutions and come with their [Buts] hee hath done this and that [But, &c.] They will reade the Text, and then Pharisaically marre it with their Glosse. To speake thus of a mans praise and marre it with a [But] is like some unskill­full Farrier, who never shooes a horse, but pricks him [Page 130]to the quick, that bitter roote mars the whole pot of pottage.

Use. 2 Let us learne of our Lord and Master Christ, to give every man due praise, imitating God himselfe therein, who tooke speciall notice of that little good he found in Abijah the sonne of Ieroboam, to commend and recom­pence it.

And as our Saviour leades in the ensuing Reproofe of Simon with this his Commendation; so it shall be our wisedome to observe the like method. You know that iron is first heate and then beaten; and the Nurse takes up the child being fallen, and first speakes it faire, and chides or corrects it afterwards; so should we; This would be as a good preparative for the bitter pill, and make it more kindly work in the bowells of the belly. This is a course of singular use to be held not only in our Mi­nistery, but also in civill Societies and Families.

Vse 3 Rom. 12.3. 1 Pet. 2.14. Pro. 15 30. Aug de Civ. Dei l. 5. c. 13. Precipuum be nesicium est in rebas honest is laudari, laus enim parit aemlationem, aemulatio vir­tutem, virtus faelicitatem, &c. Nazian. Pro. 25.6. Potest hoc in loco non incon­gruè mellis no­mine favor hu­manae laud [...]s in­telligi, &c. Bern. Serm 47. ex parvis.Lastly, It may be a good encouragement to well-doing. Nature is led with nothing more kindly then with Com­mendation and praise. Nulla suavior est auditio quam laudis, it is an allurement tempered to our inclination; and therefore God carefully provides for it; and the godly themselves have taken great delight in it, it causeth emulation, (as speaketh Nazianzen,) and emulation brings forth vertue, and vertue happi­nesse.

Onely here give mee leave to add two Caveats; First, that praise be not too much affected by us. Second­ly, that we seeke it in no other way then the way of well-doing.

For the first, it is (you know) Salomons advice, Hast thou sound honey, eate so much as is sufficient for thee, least thou bee filled therewith and vomit it. By Ho­ney in which place (saith S. Bernard) may not un­fitly be understood the favour of humane praise, of which we may eate, so that wee eate not too much: hee eateth moderately, who as he seeth the good will of [Page 131]his friend in it, so he doth give glory unto God for it. He eateth too much, who hath his heart set upon it, and in his waies aimeth at that alone.Pro. 27.21. Praise is as a fining pot to a man, it will discover what hee is, whether light or solid. Those mettals which have least solidity, are soonest melted; and the lightest matter is blowen away into smoake and vapour; so a light heart is vaine­ly transported by it; when hee that hath true worth in him, is with gold and silver made the finer and pu­rer by this furnace. The more he is praised, the more he will endeavour to deserve it, and finding what is drosse in him, will purge it out, and cast it from him: He that doth thus,Greg Mor. l. 32 c. 5. what is he but gold (saith Gregory) increasing to a greater measure of brightnesse by the fire of purga­tion.

Virtus mater gloriae est, sola enim est cui gloria jure de­betur, &c, Quae autem est sine virtute gloria, pro [...]ecto inde­bitè gloria ve­nit, propere af­fectatur, pericu­losè captatur. Famam exten­a [...]e sactis hoc virtutis opus.Secondly, it should be in the way of well-doing that we seeke it; for it's due onely to that (as S. Bernard shewes) Vertue is the mother of it, (if it be legitimate,) It is but a poore praise, and perillous, that men raise to themselves from other things then well-doing: Wit, Beauty, Birth, Wealth, &c. may cause a great Fame, onely this causeth a good Fame, Deut. 4.6. Pro. 21.21. Rom. 2.10. Ruth 4.11. Pro. 31.31. Heb. 11. Fame got some other way, may hang on a while, like a beggars Cloake, but in the end it will fall of full of filth. But praise and credit obtained by well-doing shall last after our bodies are rotten in the grave, The memoriall of the just shall be blessed, Pro. 10.7.

Wherefore hearken to S. Pauls counsell,Phil 4.8. Brethren whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, If there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things to do them. A good name saith Salomon is a good ointment, and these are the ingredients that must goe to make up that pretio us ointment which must cheare our spirits wee are much deceived if we think [Page 132]there lies any other way to the Temple of Honour then through virtues Temple; wee must passe through the one to come to the other.

As for that praise which the world gives to such as best like it, it is not to be valued nor esteemed of. Christ commanded those Divells to hold their peace, who yet (seemingly) spake well of him. Heathens did feare themselves when they were extolled by the vitious; I passe little to be judged of you, (saith S. Paul) so say we, we passe little to be praised by you. Let us doe well and our praise will be from God, not men. And so much for the Propounding part of this Parable, The Ap­plying part followes.

And he turned unto the woman,Text. Verse 44, 45, &c. and said unto Simon, seest thou this woeman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my Feet; but she hath washed my Feet with teares, and wiped them with the haires of her Head, &c.

In these words and those following, we have conside­rable. First, our Saviours Posture. Secondly, his Speech: His Posture in those words, And he turned to the woman; his Speech in the rest. Of Christs Posture a word or two.

[...] Text. And hee turned to the woman.

It is said before vers. 38. That this woeman stood at his Feet behind him weeping. (Bash fullnesse and shame arising from the Conscience of her former wickednesse did there place her) Christs Backe was then upon her: Now upon her Repentance, and true turning our blessed Saviour Turnes unto the woeman. Teaching us this lesson,

Doct. pon our turning unto God, God will turne to us, and cast upon us the eyes of his Grace and Favour.

Turne you unto me saith the Lord of Hoasts, and I will returne unto you saith the LORD of Hoasts, Zach. 1.3.

Turne unto the Lord your God (saith Ioel) For who knows if he will return and repent and leave a blessing behind him, &c. Ioel 2.13, 14.

Reason. They are our sins only that make the separation; would we but put them away, God would be reconciled with us againe. If we hate them which are our Creatures, Isa. 59.1, 2. and the workes of our hands; God cannot but love us, who are his Creatures, the worke of his owne hands.

Vse 1 Such as yet remaine impenitent may take notice of the state wherin they stand for the present: Gods Face is from them, his backe is on them. And what greater Judgement can befall a man? Ier. 18.17. & 21.10. & 44.11. Ezek. 14.8. So long what can comfort them? You know the reflexe of the glasse presently vanisheth, when the Face is turned away; so when Gods Face is turned from us, all comfort in the creatures failes us. This seriously considered cannot but be motive strong e­nough, to take out the lesson here commended to us, of turning to him by true Repentance, that he may turne to us in love.

Vse 2 To which duty let me Exhort you all, that the Lord may cast his Eye upon us for good and not for evill: It is his owne command that we should seeke his Face: And great need we have:Psal. 36.9. In thy favour is life (saith David) and in thy light we see light, no light to be had but from his countenance, and that enlightens all.

When the Sunne shines we say it is Day, though no o­ther Starre be seene: And we say it is Night, though we see a thousand Starres, when the Sunne is absent: So here; Let Gods Face shine on us, let him but cast upon us a loving countenance, though no other outward com­fort be to be had, yet it will be a happy day with us: All wants shall be supplied by it; it will bring all comfort with it.

It is said of Manna that it had the taste of every good thing that a man desired,Wisd. 16, 22. and served to the appetite of him that tooke it: This may be said more truly of Gods Favour: If a man be sick, that is health unto his bones: if poore, that is wealth, Psal. 4. &c. Let there be what want there will, yet Gods favour supplies all: So that as Elkanah said to Hannah, it may say to him that hath it be he never so poore; Am not I better to thee then ten sonnes? Am not I to be preferred before corne and wine, houses, friends, &c.

If then it be (as Salomon tels us) That every man seeks after the face of the Ruler, because his favour is as the lat­ter raine and promiseth a fruitfull Harvest?Prov. 16.15. Let us seek after the Face of God by timely turning to him: It is Repentance that must bring us into favour with Christ; that is the Iohn Baptist which must prepare the way before his Face: A polluted glasse can receive no impression of Images and visages (saith S. Basil) No more a polluted soule the light of Gods countenance. The Benefits that flow unto us from Gods favour I have shewed on Luke 15.22.

The Speech follows, and it is directed both to Simon, and to the Woman. First to Simon.

Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou ga­vest me no water for my Feet, Text. &c.

In this Speech of our Saviour to Simon. We have, First, the Interrogation or Question, put to him. Secondly the Expostulation that our blessed Saviour made with him. Of the Question, first in those words, [...], Seest thou this woman?

Object. What need this Question be made? Simon saw her well enough and beheld her carriage: Whereupon he questioned, whither Christ were a Prophet, in that he suffered her to come so neare him: And yet our Saviour demands: Seest thou this woman.

Resp. Indeed, Simon saw her outside, and (judging by appearance) judged her to be a Sinner: Our blessed Saviour now calls him to a stricter sight; and by her de­portment and good disposition, shews her to be a Saint, discovering by her open and publike teares, Simons se­cret and hidden soares; making them serve as a medi­cine for his malady; which was the reason, that whilst his Eye was turned to this Penitent, his Speech was turned to the Pharisee, as being desirous to cure him who had least seeling of his sicknesse.

Two things in the Question let us observe: First the du­ty, secondly the Person on whom it is imposed.

The Duty enjoyned is to See or behold the carriage and behaviour of that woman. Where first an Act, and that is seeing. 2. The Object. With the Act we begin, [...] Seest thou?

Not hearest thou; for not a word (that we read of) did she say. (And yet her whole action was a lowd con­fession: All her carriage was Vocall. Her Eyes spake, her Hands spake, her Haire spake, her Cesture spake, and yet she could not speake what she did speak) her tongue is silent. Thus

Doct. Deepe sorrow is many times silent. Lesser Repentance speaks when greater wants a tongue. Take an instance or two; one in the Shulamite, 2 King. 4 27. See how sparing of words deepe sorrow is. Extremity of griefe made her somewhat unmannerly; downe she falls passi­onately at the Prophets feet, and laies fast hold on them, not saying a word. By which posture the Prophet per­ceived her soule to be vexed within her. And when her griefe finds vent at her mouth; how sparing is shee of her Speech, and how abrupt; Did I desire a Sonne of my LORD; did not I say doe not deceive mee.

A crack'd Pipe or Bell gives a harsh or uncertain found: So a broken heart when it speaks for the most part utters broken speeches.

Whither the Prophet or the Mother were more affli­cted, is hard to say: The Prophet for the Mother, or the Mother for the Child; without doubt the Prophet was marvellously strucke with griefe. Nor doth he in his sor­row reply one word, but applies himselfe to the remedy, spending his breath in Prayer, which was likewise passio­nate, ver. 33, 34, 35.

The other instance, I bring to confirme this Truth is that of Saint Peter, Math, [...]6 75. We read of him that after his Fall, He went out and wept bitterly; but wee read not of his speaking anything. Invenio quod fleve rit, non invenio quid dixerit (saith S. Ambrose) I find that hee wept,Serm. 45. de pae. nit Petri. but I find not what he said. And the like Obser­vation hath Isidor. de munere. 2. Thus, Curae leves loquun­tur, ingentes stupent. The point is prooved, That deep sor­row often is silent, when lesser finds a tongue. Now for Use to our selves.

Ʋse. Such as thinke that all Repentance lies in the Tongue are much deceived. Indeed many a mans Repentance lyes wholy there, for their hands refuse to work; and such a Repentance is but wind, as words are. True Repen­tance is both seene and heard: But (if in case, one be wanting) it is rather seene then heard. The sinner is loud and clamarous (saith Salomon, Pro. 7.11.) The Saint is silent, he smothers his mouth in the dust (as Iob speakes.) In the day of their sorrow they are often like a Chest, ha­ving a rich Jewell in it, but the key lost: Such a Chest was Origen, who after his Fall comming to preach un­to his people, and lighting on that Text, Psal. 50.16. But to the wicked, saith God, what hast thou to do to de­clare mine Ordinances, &c. Upon the reading thereof burst forth into teares, and could say no more. As for dissemblers and hollow hearted Hypocrites; who like empty vessels make a great noyse upon the least knocke; being like Stony-pots tipt with silver (having silver lips but stony hearts.) Or like Demades the Orator, who would talke much and eat hard. Of whom Anti­pater [Page 137]was wont to say, that he was like a Sacrifice, no­thing left of him but the Tongue and Paunch. I must tell them that albeit their talke of Repentance be like Ben­jamins Messe five times more then the rest;Gen. 43.34. yet that noise which their Tongue makes in a formality of Profes­sion, shall in the Silence of their hands condemne them for Hypocrites.

Seest Thou.]

Not onely with the bodily Eye, for with that hee saw, and mistooke: But with Consideration and Obser­vation.

Doct. The Deportment of a true Penitent is worth our see­ing; Their Carriage and Conversation is worthy Ob­servation.

Those good effects which S. Pauls letters wrought in the Corinthians are graced with an Ecce, we are willed to Behold and consider them well, 2 Cor. 8.11. Behold this selfe same thing that you sorrowed after a godly sor­row, &c.

Many Penitents are brought upon the State of Chri­stianitie in holy Scriptures,Mat 9.9. Luk. 19.1-10 Joh 9.36. Luk. 17.11. Luk. 23.9. acting their parts before a world of Spectators: As Matthew, Zacheus, the Blinde man, and Lepers, the Thiefe on the Crosse, &c. to what purpose if they be not seene? In a full Theater you would thinke you see so many lines drawne from the Circumference of so many Eyes and Eares, whilst a good Actor is the Center: What one doth fainedly there, the true Penitent doth really here: he weepes in good ear­nest, fights in good earnest, forgives in good earnest, &c. And none so Acts to the life, as doth the Penitent. The Character that is given of a good Actor (by some wits) may truly be applied to him. The Actor doth not strive to make Nature monstrous: nor the Penitent Grace: It is seene in the same Scene with him,S. Thomas O. verburyes Charact. but neither on Stilts nor Crutches. The voice of the one is not lower then [Page 138]the Prompter, nor lowder then the Foyle and Target; not is the voice of the other, but as the Spirit shall give ut­terance; groaning with the Turtle, not Screaming with the Peacocke; the one by his Action fortifies morall Pre­cepts with Examples; so doth the other Divine: In his generall Carriage we see the force of the Rule: the one adds grace to the Poets labours; so doth the other to the Preachers: For what in the one is but Ditty, in the other is both Ditty and Musicke, yet what is averred of the one, that all men have beene of his Occupation, and are (for who plaies not his part on the worlds Theater?) cannot be affirmed of the other, few there are that tru­ly act Repentance. How ever, of all men living (say some) a worthy Actor in one kind is the strongest mo­tive of Affection, Ʋse. when he doth weepe in jest, he makes others weepe in earnest: So should the true Penitent, af­fect much more. S. Gregory being to speake of the Re­pentance of this Mary begins thus. Flere magis libet quam dicere. He was full and could rather desire to shed teares then use words; we have all sinned, we have not all lamented. To helpe us in it, Behold this woman. And you that are heere present with your Bodies, bee present with your mindes. It is an Example deserves pondering, we were summoned by the sound of a Trum­pet before, verse 37. and therefore all both high and low Behold: the Sunne hath shined upon this Diall; who can now but looke on the Shadow, And behold the Stroakes?

And as this woman is commended to our Observation in Particular: So the Deportment and Behaviour of e­very good Penitent in generall should be regarded: God hath ser them up as a Light-house by the Seaside, where­by the Marriners both faile aright and avoid danger: their unfained Humiliation and gratious acceptation is propoun­ded for our Imitation and encouragement, Ps. 32.6. Which if we observe not, we shall loofe the Comfort, and God much of his Glory.

All the workes of the Lord are great (saith David) and to be sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. Psal. 111.2. In his Creation, he is wonderfull to astonishment; In his Pro­vidence past finding out, &c.Psal. Rom. 11. But when we looke upon the worke of Conversion, we must cry, O the height, &c! his way herein is beyond admiration. Let his goings be observed; and his exceeding greatnesse of grace and power be for ever magnified, Eph. 1.19.

Ʋse. 2 And if the Deportment of a true Penitent cals for our regard, it will not be unseasonable yo admonish all, who professe themselves to be such, that they be very carefull of their carriage: you may make or marre Gods markets. Much lies on your hands to bring others on, or keepe them off from God. If your workes beseeme Repentances, your light is like that of the Sun, It will cause the Beasts of prey to lye downe in their Denns, Ps. 104 The benefit of good examples and danger of bad. See in the good Samaritan pag. 226. and draw men out unto their labour, be a meanes to winne others (as our Savi­our shews,) Math. 5.16. 1. Pet. 2. v. 12, 15. & Chap. 3.1. But if you counterfet and dissemble you are like a false light or lanthorne by the Seaside which Shipwracks those that trust it, and are guided by it.

Remember, all Eyes are called on to Behold you; be­fore your Conversion no regard was had, you were then (like an Actor) within the Tyring-house, where you were Rampant and swoare oathes that you never cond: But now you are upon the Stage and none had more need be wary of words and actions.

You know that no ordinary blemish, scratch nor spot is regarded in a Table, before an Image bee drawne upon it; But after the Image or Effigies is por­traited, every little spot is observed in it: Such is the difference of spots in Christians before Conversion and after, and no lesse regarded. Therefore have a care that your well ordered life shews a well ordered heart. For as it is in a Clocke, when the Hammer strikes well, and the hand of the Dyall points well, it is a signe that the Wheeles are right set: So a good life and Conversation [Page 140]argues a true Penitent, and good Christian. And thus much of the Act, now for the Object.

This woman.]

Doct. Hence thus much let be observed. It is lawfull to see a woeman, and to observe their Carriage and beha­viour.

Otherwise how comes it to passe that they are advised concerning their Carriage, that it be such as becommeth Holinesse, Tit. 2.3. And so winning, that those who obey not the Word may thereby be wone, 1 Pet. 3.2.

Object. That Objection which may be made from Iobs pra­ctise;Job 31.1. (Hee made a Covenant with his eyes, why then should he thinke after a woman) is soone answered.

Resp. Iob is not so to be understood, as if he would not at all cast his Eye upon a woman; but his meaning is, that he would not look on her in any unchast way, so as to be ensna­red by them.

Object. But Salomon tels us, That the heart of a wo­man is snares and nets and her hands are bands, &c.

Resp. True, Illa Foemina, the lascivious woman, that shame of women, of such doth Salomon speake onely: And therefore S. Hierome adviseth us not to bee too rash in taking that sentence to be pronounced of all kind of women.Non putemus temere hanc So­lomonem de omni genere muli­erum protulisse sententiam. Hier. in loc. The Wicked woman indeed is not to be looked on, Pro. 5.8, 9. But as for virtuous and good women they have the Image of God shining on them (as well as men) which attracts the Eyes of all.

Object. But who can find a virtuous woman (saith the mo­ther of Salomon speaking of her own sex) her price is farre above Rubies. Pro. 31.10.

Resp. S. Ambrose speaking of these words, saith thus. Quis? Amb. in Pro. c. 3. Quia unus, non quia nec unus: Who? because one hath found her, not because not one hath found her: there is difficulty in finding of her, that is very true: And it cannot be denied, but that the Holy Ghost hath some [Page 141]speciall intent, in that describing of a vertuous woman (which beginneth at the 10. v. of the Chapter) he follows (in the Originall) the order of the letters of the Alpha­bet; the first word in every verse beginning with a seve­rall letter as in the Alphabet they are placed; but to conceive that the Holy Ghost would thereby give us to understand, that all the letters in the Alphabet are not able to spell the womans name, which is there described, or that none virtuous is to be found may be thought to be a meere conceit.

Vse. If the godly conversion of women be to be observed (as well as mens) they are too blame that will give them neither good words nor looks: There are who esteem over meanly of them, and speak too contemptibly of women­kind.

Origen upon these words of the Evangelist, Mat. 12.21, 22.Orig. in Math. (And Iesus departing into the Coasts of Tyre and Sidon, behold a woman of Canaan) hath these words, Mira res E­vangelista, &c. A strange thing O Evangelist, Behold a woman: She who was the Author of transgression, the mo­ther of sin, the weapon of the Divell, &c. And yet, Behold a woman.

S. Chrysostome likewise is very bitter in speaking of women.Chrys. Homil. 6. ex imperfect. in Math. Quid est aliud mulier (saith he) nisi ineffuga­bilis poena, necessarium malum, &c. What is a woman, but a punishment that cannot be driven away, a necessa­ry evill, a naturall temptation, a desirable calamity, a domestike danger, one beloved for a colour of good?Homil. 15. ex varijs in Math But he tells us else where, Sermo est de muliere mala, Homil. 15. ex varijs in Math non de bona: Novi enim multas ad omne opus bonum promptas. My speech is of a bad woman, not of a good, for I have knowne many readie to every good Worke.

It may not be denied, but Satan (who blasted Paradise) hath much blemished the honour of that sex; he made choice of a woman to be his first engine, and he sped so well then that ever since he is well pleased to make use [Page 142]of such instruments. Dalilah is a snare for Sampson, Iesabell for Ahab, Pharaohs daughter for Salomon; and all Heresies (in a manner) though fathered by men, yet they have bin furthered and nursed by womens wit: Montanus had his Prisca, Donatus his Lucilla, Priscillinus his Galla, Simon Magus his Hellena, Arius shall have Constantines sister to assist him.Eccl. 7.26. In which respect the hearts of such women are said to be the snares of hunters (as the Septuagint and S. Hierom do read) and these Hunters are the Divells, saith Lyra.

Notwithstanding this, God hath highly honoured that Sex, not onely in that he lay in the wombe of one of them, but in every passage of his life, he hath had some women to attend him: Elizabeth prophesieth of him in the house; Anna in the Temple; Martha entertaines him; Ioanna and Susanna (with others doe) minister unto him: the Daughters of Hierusalem weepe for him, and at the Crosse, stand by him, and after his death came to embalme him.

To women Christ first appeared after his Resurrection, Bern. in Cant. Ser. 75. and so farre honoured them as to make them (as S. Bernard speakes) to be Apostolos Apostolorum, Apostles to preach his Resurrection to the Apostles.

In all ages (especially under the Gospell) there have bin women of speciall note, both in their owne lives (which have like lamps given great light to others) as likewise in Governing of their Families, instructing of their Children, &c. (as was Bathsheba, Loys, Eunice, Monicha the mother of S. Austin, Helena the mother of Constantine with others.) S. Paul writes to his be­loved Apphiah, S. Iohn to an Elect Lady: Time would faile to speake of all their excellencies: To be short, and come home unto my Text, as in the daies of Iabin, a woman named Iaell had renowne above Barak by slay­ing Sisera the Captaine of the Hoast of the Alients:Judg. 4.21. So we have here a woman, who by her penitent life and un­fained love hath obtained not onely to be compared in [Page 143] Scriptures with the best followers of Christ,Hec breviter perstrinxi, ut nee te paeniteat sexas, nec virii nomen suum eri­geret, in quorum condemnationē sa minarum in Scripturis san­ctis vita lauda­tur. Hier. Epist. ad Principiam, Ʋirg. but to be commended above them all, as having done more honour to CHRIST, them all the twelve Disciples did.

S Hierom, having reckoned up divers good women, in an Epistle which he wrote to a Virgin, concludeth thus; These I have briefly passe [...] over, that neither thou mightest repent of thy sex; Neither might men be lifted up in regard of their sex, to whose condemnation the life of women is com­mended in sacred Scripture; and this is our scope and drift in this Observation. We passe on to some other.


Her Sex is onely mentioned (you see) her Name is not here annexed by our Saviour. And hereof a double Reason is rendered: First, for her honour: Christ would have her name concealed as her sins were by him covered.

2. For her dishonour: As if a sinner were not worth the naming. So we find in that reall Parable of the con­demned Churle, his title is but, Homo quidam Dives, Luk. 16.19. A certaine rich man; but what his name was is not said: God will not fowle his leaves with sinners names; they shall not stand in his bookes, as I have on that Parable shewed; and therefore it shall be enough in this place to say it.

These are the Reasons rendered why she is not named: I conceive the first the best. Sure I am our Saviour makes mention of her very favourably and tenderly: It may ea­sily be gathered both who the woman was and what was her sin, from that which before was said by the Evange­list, ver. 36. She was a degenerate woman, unwomaned, & pudore & pudicitia, both of Modesty and Chastity, but now upon her Repentance, her woman-hood is restored to her again, she hath recovered her credit, and is called by our Saviour,


Observe we hence,

Doct. Not onely the guilt, but the staine of sin is done away with the teares of true Repentance. This is that which takes away Rebuke from all faces, Isa. 1.26.

De hac igitur dixisse Prophe­tam puto, ejus­modi est in qua via mulieris &c Pro. 30.20. &c. Haec enim vir­tus Christi est Domini, ut quā vis peccator sit, qui ejus unda ablatus fuerit, denno in virgi­nem reparatus, non meminerit ante quod fece­rit—Fit (que) vir­go fide Christi, qui fuerat A­dulter corrupti­one peccati. Ambros. Ser. 30S. Ambrose in a Sermon speaking of the woman of Sa­maria's conversion (who was an Harlot) yet now by Christ converted and washed from her sins, conceiveth this to be the meaning of that Proverbe, Such is the way of an adulterous woman, she eateth and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickednesse, and addeth further, that such is the vertue of Christ our Lord, that although he be a sinner who is washed in his water, yet thereby hee is restored to be a Virgin, &c. and so made a Virgin by the Faith of Christ, who was an adulterer by the corruption of Sinne.

This way the unchastest woman may so wipe her mouth, as to say I have done no wickednesse: By a penitent Con­fession of her fault, her Virginity shall be restored: so was this womans in my Text. And so was Davids, whose Palme-branch of Virginity through the plentifull teares of his Repentance, did so flourish againe, that though hee was taken in Adultery in his younger yeares, yet in his Old-age a virgin was found by him in his Bed

Use. 1 Let this Direct us how to judge, and what to thinke of those, who have repented them of former sins; think not worse of them for what they have bin, but thinke the better of them for what they are. Object not to Da­vid his Murther and Adultery: To Peter his Denying of his Master: To Matthew that he was a Publican: To Mary that she was an Harlot, &c. But magnifie the riches of Gods grace, who hath forgiven such great Of­fenders: Where God hath remitted, take we heed how we dare object, I know the day when you were thus or [Page 145]thus: This is to fling the filth of sin into that face which God hath washed, a thing God cannot endure.

Vse 2 And let this Encourage us to take this course to regaine that credit which hath bin lost by sinfull courses. At the birth of Iehabod away went Glory: And credit once lost is like water spilt upon the ground, which if recol­lected, yet it hath lost the purity, and is ever after full of soyle:Ezek. 18.21, 22 Jer. 31.34. Notwithstanding Reformation will doe much with God, and bring us so farre into his Favour, as that he will remember what we have bin no more, nor once mention our former faylings: Looke as the Father of the Prodigall dealt with him, so will God deale with thee, he gives kisses not stripes to his offending sonne.Peccanti filio dat oscula non flagella; vis a­moris non videt delicta, sic curat filij vulnera, ne forto cicatricē, ne forte filio nae­vum relinque­ret, Chrys. Ser. 3. The force of Love would see no faults, he so healeth his sons wounds, as that he might not by chance leave a scarre, or the least freckle in his sonne (as one observes) And he received him with greater tokens of favour then his elder Brother, who never brake out into that Riot. So will God deale with thee; he will be so farre from up­braiding thee with thy former loose life, as that he will honour thee the more, if thou beest truly Penitent. To whom did our Saviour ever more honour then to Zacheus (that converted Publican) to whose house he came uninvited, and brought with him the best news that ever came to that converts care? Who had more favour from Christ then this Penitent Citizen spoken of in our Text, Out of whom he had cast seven Divels? Her spikenard he hath so mingled with the ointment of the Gospell, Mat. 26.13. that whosoever smelleth the savour of life from the Doctrine of it, shall have a sent also of those sweet Perfumes which she spent upon her Saviour.

Yea so hearty and cordiall is this Physicke of Repentance as that it restores (as you have heard) your Ʋirginity and Chastity, yea your strength and youth: You shall be fresher and livelier (with the snake) after the casting off your old Skin: And (as Livie writeth of Scipio) he never looked so fresh, not seemed so beautifull in the [Page 146]Eyes of his souldiers, as after his recovery from a dan­gerous sicknesse, which he tooke in the Camp: So shall it be with you, you shall I looke most lovely in the Eyes of God and his Church upon your true Repentance and Confessions. But if otherwise you will still persist in an evill course the guilt of sin you shall carry with you, but the staine of sin you shall leave behind you; as we read of those, Ioh. 10.8. who though they were long since dead and rotten, yet our Saviour saith, They (are) thieves and robbers: Not (were so) but still are so. For, though they were dead, yet their sin abided, and their names shall for ever be branded with it.

This woman. Text. ]

Other women might be seene of Simon, but this woman in a speciall manner he must observe,

Doct. The best women are best worthy seeing.

The like observation to this we have made on the Para­ble of the Good Samaritane, pag. 223.

Vse 1 I content my selfe with a word or two by way of Ap­plication, wishing that women would strive to become the best patternes of Modesty, Meekenesse, Sobriety, &c. that they may be worthy of imitation.

Vse 2 And in imitating others that they would cast their Eyes on Sarah, Rebecka, Anna, Deborah, Abigaile, and such like as these,Pudore vilis, a mictu dives, ge­nas picta. Ete­nim quia verum decorem naturae habere non po­test, adulterinis fucis affectatae pulchritudinis lenocinatur spe­ciem, non veri­tatem, Amb. de abel & Cain cap. 4. who in Scripture are proposed as best patterns for their imitation.

There is a woman described by Salomon (Prov. 7.) First, by her Attire, vers. 10. It was the attire of an Har­lot, which S. Ambrose thus sets forth: She is base in shamelesnesse, glorious in her cloathes, painted in her cheeks; for because she cannot have the true comelinesse of nature, by false dawbings she borrowes the shew (not the truth) of an affected beauty. And for the attire of her inward man, she is subtile of heart, her heart is snares and nets, as we shewed before out of Eccles. 7.26.

Next she is set forth, by her Behaviour and Carriage, [Page 147]vers. 11. & 12. Her Tongue is as lowd, as herselfe is lewd: It is ready for all Eares, and is as common as her selfe. Her will that is stiffe and stubborne as her body is loose: Her Feet cannot abide in her owne house: She is given to gadding as fast as her tongue to going: Now she is with­out, now in the streets: Discovering by her often remoo­ving, her unstable mind; and in every corner she lieth in waite to do some mischiefe, and surprize a booty. This wo­man is to be Beheld (for so the Wise man adviseth) [Be­hold] there met him, &c. What he himselfe had seene and observed, he wills others to observe too; yet not to imitate and follow, but to avoid and shun: Who so shall otherwise observe such an one as this, they are like the old Aegyptians, who passed by the beauty of the world, as the Sunne, Moone, and Starres without observation, but if they met with a Cat or Crocodile, they would fall down and adore. And thus much of the duty here required. Now for the Person enjoyned with it.


Simon is the Person on whom the Duty is imposed. He was a learned Pharisee, one of those who were noted for wise and learned men, yet he is put to schoole to learn of this silly woman, who was weak, unlearned, and (as yet) untutor'd in the Schoole of Christ, she becomes (as it were) a Doctor and Master in Israel to teach him Repentance. Which tels us.

Doct. That God by weake and silly instruments makes the wis­dome of the world to appeare foolishnesse. (According to that of the Apostle, 1 Cor. 1.20) Where is the wise, and learned Pharisee, where is the Scribe, where is the dispu­ter of this world? The deepe Philosopher? All seeme great knowers and deepe Schollers; hath not God made foolish the wisdome of this world? in respect of divine My­steries, and Verse 27, 28. More positively and peremp­torily, God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to [Page 148]confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weake things of the world to confound the things that are mighty, and base things of the world, and things which are despised hath God chosen, yea and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: Reason. The Reason is added by the Apo­stle, Vers. 29. That no flesh should glory in his pre­sence, (i. e.) That no man (being no better then base and contemptible flesh) should arrogat ought to him­selfe or boast of his Parts and Priviledges before the Al­mighty.

Vse 1 Take heed then, least any of us murmur against the meanes God useth for our good in respect of their out­ward meanenesse and basenesse: It is a thing that flesh and blood is apt to stomacke, and yet a way that GOD delights to take. By the mouth of Babes and Sucklings he perfects his owne praise, Psal. 8.2. and stils the enemy and the avenger.

It was a poore Israelitish captive maid that he chose to teach Naaman that mighty man;2 King. 5.2. through that little chink did God let in light, whereby Naaman came to know there was a Prophet in Israel which could cure him of his Leprosie. Iudg. 6.15. It was a poore mans sonne in Manasse, and hee the least in all his Fathers house, whom God chose to conquer Midian a great and a mighty army. It was a poore sinnefull woeman going to fetch water at Iaakobs well that he made choice off to goe to the Samaritans and acquiant them of the Messiah. Ioh. 4. There were a company of poore Fishermen, tent-makers, tole-gatherers, and such like; Men of meane condition and estate whom he called to follow him, and whom he sent abroad to convert the world: And here you see he makes choice of a weake and sinnefull vessell to teach the Grave; the Rich, and learned of the world a Lesson which a world of wits (out of flesh and blood) were never able to comprehend.

You may read that when the lot was cast for an Apostle to supply Iudas his roome,Act. 1.23. two were appointed; Ioseph [Page 149]and Matthias, Ioseph was Frater Domini, the Brother of our Lord, Math. 13.55. And he was trinominis, of three Appellations, Ioseph, Barsabas and Iustus. Matthias is but twice named in the Scriptures (both times in that one Chap. Act. 1.) and signifies a little one; who would not imagine, but Ioseph would carry it from Matthias, and yet for all Iosephs priviledges and great titles the lot falls on Matthias the litle one.

Thus the great God (who by Birth made himselfe lit­tle) delighteth much to make little things great. So went his Mothers Song, Luke 1.48. He hath regarded the low estate of his Hand-maid, & 51, 53. He hath ex­alted them of low degree, Judg 13.9.22, 23. 2 King. 4.8, 9. and filled the hungry with good things, but sent the rich empty away. The weaker ves­sell many times holds the liquor, as Manoahs wife had more Knowledge, Faith, and Resolution then himselfe (though he likewise was a good and holy man) And that noble Shunamite had more Zeale then her husband: Priscilla may teach Apollos: Act. 18.26. Mat. 15.28. Luk. 24.8, 9, 11 And the Apostles them­selves must be content to heare Mary and other women, whose Faith was stronger in them, then in any men we read off.

Let us not dare to despise the day of small things; it scarce will downe with proud flesh and blood to be taught by a meane Minister, advised by a simple woman; and yet the Kingdome of Heaven is like a woman laying leaven, Math. 13.

You know we are sent to the Ant and Pismire to learn Providence; to the Oxe and Asse to learne Thankfullnesse: Pro. 6.6. Isa. 1.3. Jer. 8.7. 1 Cor. 14.34, 35. to the Swallow, Crane, &c. to observe our appointed Seasons: And are not these much better then they? Wo­men indeed are not permitted to speake in the Church but let them aske at home (saith the Apostle) yet by their reverend behaviour and carriage in Gods-house they may teach as well at Church as at home. See Exod. 38.8. Luk. 8.3 & 10.39. Act. 16.13.

So farre should we be from taking offence at Gods [Page 150]proceedings in this kinde, that we should rather be stir­red up to a holy emulation (as S. Paul speakes in another kind of the Iewes, Rom. 11.11. who should be provoked to jealousie by the Gentiles forwardnesse.Eu quomodo maxima cum laude vobis li­cet emulari, &c. Beza in 1 Cor. 12.31.) This is, [...] (saith Hesiod) a holy and good contention; you may contend with praise and comfort who shall lead the best life, give best Examples, expresse most holinesse in your conver­sations, &c.

Plutarch reports of Themistocles, that when he heard how Miltiades had got great honour in the Marathenian battle, he was not able to sleepe because he came so farre short of him in honour: It should be thus with us in spirituall things: To heare Christ say to a Canaanite, I have not found so great Faith in Israell: And to a Simon, Seest thou this woman, &c. should fill the faces of men with shame, and spurre us on after a greater measure of Grace. Other Uses of this Doctrine, see on the good Samaritane, pag. 81, 82. This shall serve for the In­terrogation or Question made to Simon, we now come to Christs expostulation with him.

Text, I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my Feet; but she hath washed my Feet with teares, and wiped them with the haires of her head, &c.

In which Contestation had or Expostulation made with Simon, we have considerable. First, a Preference (For comparing Simon and the Woman, he preferres the Woman before Simon) In these words read to vers. 47. Secondly, an Inference, Wherefore I say unto thee, &c. vers. 47.

In the Preference, there is, First, a Reprehension of Simon for his Defects; and they were three-fold: First, ex defectu Civilitatis, of the want of Civility, in that he gave him No water for his Feet (which was the use and custome of the Countrey:) Secondly, Ex defectu charitatis; of the want of Love and Charity, Thou gavest me no kisse. [Page 151]ver. 45. this was wont to be given as a pledge of the guests welcome. Thirdly, Ex defectu Hilaritatis, of the want of Hilarity and Chearefullnesse, Mine head with oyle thou didst not annoynt, vers. 46. As was the use of those times to doe, thereby to cheare up the spirits of their guests; all these were failings against a good hospitable entertainment.

Secondly, We have a Commendation of the Woman for her Respects and Performances (which are laid downe Antithetically and by way of Opposition to the other) Simon failed in not bringing water to wash Christs Feet, this Defect she supplies with her Teares; She hath wash­ed my Feet with Teares, and wiped them with the haires of her head, vers. 44. Simon failed in giving him no kisse, this Defect she aboundantly supplies; Since the time I came in she hath not ceased to kisse my Feet, verse 45. Simon failed in that he annoynted not Christs head with oyle; this Defect was supplied by this Penitent creature; She hath annoynted my Feet with oyntment, ver. 46. And thus as they are laid downe by way of Opposi­tion one to the other, I shall crave leave to handle them. First, something in Generall would be noted from Simons failing in his entertainment, viz.

Doct. Circumstantiall omissions in the entertainment of our friends may forfeit much of our thanks.

Hence it is that true Hospitall Friends have bin care­full alwaies of a full supply: I will content my selfe with two instances (amongst many which might be brought.) One is that, 2 King. 4 8.2 King. 4.8. Where we find the Prophet Elisha to be invited by that noble Shunamite to her house to eat bread; who (after his first entertain­ment) perceiving his occasions to call him to a frequent passage that way, mooves her husband to build him a Chamber on the Wall apart (least the tumult of her large Family might disturbe the quiet Meditations of the Pro­phet) which accordingly is done: Nor will she bring him to bare walls,Verse 10. she furnisheth his lodging and sets ready for him a Bed, a Table, a Stoole and a Candle­stick, [Page 152]and other necessary Utensills fit for his entertain­ment: This lodging, Vers. 11 This lodging, the next time the Prophet comes by, he gladly takes up, and is so well pleased that he sends his servant Gehezi with a treatie of Retribution (by way of thankfullnesse,) Behold thou hast bin carefull for us (with all this care) What is to be done for thee? Wouldst thou be spoken for to the King or to the Captaine of the Host? Vers. 13 An ingenuous Disposition cannot receive Fa­vours without thoughts of Retribution, Probabile est aliquem suisse exconsanguineis Christi, qui ux­orem duxerit; Iesus enim ma­tri tanquam co­mes additur, Cal. in Iob. 2.2. Non est nobis hoc loco quae­rendum, fuerit­ne tanta sponsi tenuitas, ut vi­ni copiam con­vivis exhibere nequiverit, vel us (que) adeo intem­peranter initio biberint convi­vae, &c. Mascul. in loc. especially where is such a fullnesse.

The other instance I bring for the Confirmation of this truth delivered, is that we read, Iohn 2. At a marri­age in Cana of Galilee, whereunto Christ and his Disciples were invited, whereat also was Mary the mother of Iesus (and as it is very likely, the Feast was made by some of her consanguinity.) It so happened that there was a De­fect of Wine (whither occasioned through the poverty of the couple married) or the Intemperancie of the guests in­vited, or by reason of the multitude who came uncalled, is needlesse at this time for us to discusse) Mary percei­ving this want, was much troubled thereat, being mo­ved (saith Calvin) as is likely with the disgrace or of­fence that might be taken by the Guests (though it were but for the lacke of superfluity) She tells Christ of this want, who to manifest his glory (especially) and also to remoove offence turnes as much water into wine, as would suffice one hundred and fifty folke had they bin but newly sat, Largam vini co­piam suppedita­vit Christus, nempe quae plus centum & quin­quaginta homi­nibus sufficeret ad hilare convi­vium, &c. Cal. in loc. and that at a Feast. Had Omissions of this na­ture, and at such a time bin of small Consequence, I can­not see why Mary needed so much to have perplexed her selfe (All having well drunke before) Nor our Saviour needed to have converted so much; for had hee turned but one of those Vessells of Water in­to Wine, it had beene a sufficient Proofe of his Power.

Vse 1 This should teach us not to sleight Ceremonies of Cour­tesie: Though in themselves they be sleight and arbitra­ry; [Page 153]yet the neglect of them may in some cases undergoe a dangerous construction.

That Passage we find in 1 of King. 1.9. would not be forgotten; Adonijah laying claime of Succession to the (not yet vacant) seat of his Father David, and inten­ding to under-worke Solomon. He made a Feast for all the Kings sonnes and all the men of Iudah, 1 King. 19.10 the Kings Servants that were of his party: But Nathan the Pro­phet and Benajah and the mighty men and Salomon his Bro­ther (saith the Text) he called not: We doe not read that he sent any threatning message to any of them, only he invited them not to his Feast (saith the Text) with the rest of the Kings sonnes and servants; that very omission was a menace and threatning and so apprehended by them: Therefore Nathan takes speciall notice of it, and ac­quaints King David with it; He is gone this day, Vers 25, 26. and hath slaine Oxen and fat cattle and sheepe in aboundance, and hath called all the Kings sonnes and Captaines of the Host, and Abiathar the Priest, and behold they eat and drink before him: (there is nothing vvanting for so royall an en­tertainment) But me even me thy Servant and Zadock the Priest and Benajah the son of Iehojada and thy son Salo­mon hath he not called. They could not but conclude that since they were not called as Guests, they were counted as e­nemies.

Vers. 24 And yet Absoloms perfidious dealing was worse then Adonijahs Omission, that Story you have,2 Sam. 13.23. 2 Sam. 13. A great Feast he makes for his Sheepe-shearers, to which he invites the King his Father, out of no other intent thinke some, but that his Eyes should beare witnesse of that bloody execution, which he intended upon his brother Ammon, for that he had defiled his Sister Thamar, as we read before in the Story; Da­vid (being loth to be chargeable to that Sonne (as one saith Divinely) who yet cared not to overcharge his Fathers Stomack with a Feast of blood) excuseth himselfe:Ver. 25, 26, 27. Request is made in speciall for Ammon that [Page 154]he might goe unto the Feast, which through Importuni­ty it is obtained. And now whilst Ammon is feasting in that house (where Thamar is mourning for that folly which before she had committed) and when his heart was merry with Wine, Verse 28, 29. he is suddainly (upon a watch word given by Absolom to his servants) strucke dead; as if this execution had bin no lesse intended to his Soule, than to his Bodie, which though it were just with God, yet by Absolom treacherously and bloodily committed, and not out of any Care of Iustice, but in a desire of Revenge. If bare Omissions in entertainment of our Friends looseth much of our thanks, what think you do such treacherous plots against those whom we invite to our Tables?

Vse 2 And (to Reason from the Lesse to the greater) If rituall Observances are requisite for the full welcome of Friends; D. Hall B. of Exceter Cont. on this passage of Scripture. thinke it not enough in entertaining your Saviour that you give him the Substance of good usage neglecting the Complements. Simon (you see) here gave him both Meate and Wellcome, yet the neglect of Washing, Kissing and Annoynting is not well taken. When we come to his House, and to his Ordinances, as to the Word, Sacraments, Prayer, we make him good cheare: he esteems himselfe then feasted; but if we perform not these things vvith the decency of out­ward carriages, we give him neither Water, Kisse, nor Oyle.

Believe it, our best actions receive either life or bane from their Circumstances; the Substance or matter of a vvorke may be good and yet the vvorke cannot be so called, unlesse it be done, modo & forma. Ʋol­vet is good Matter to make a Garment; Timber good matter to build a House; and yet the one may be so marred in the cutting and the other in the fra­ming; as that neither the one nor the other shall at­taine the name of Good. What is good in the Substance may be sin in the circumstance, and for want of care a­bout [Page 155]the Manner, the best worke may be done thanklesly. Now to the Particulars.

Thou gavest me no water for my Feet. Text.

Aquam pedibus Christi non de­dit, quod tamen suadebat publi­cus mos, uti ho­die convivis a­quam dare ma­nibus abluendis non habet super­stitionem sed consuetudinem, & civilitatem laudabilem, imo necessariam, Aret. in loc. Mirum ergo ho­minem al [...]as su­perstitiosum hanc civilit atē neglexisse, AretThis is the first Defect in Simons entertainment (he is twice twitted for it) and it was against Civility. The common use and custome of the Country required it from him as a common courtesie; it was as ordinary to bring water for the Feet, as it is with us to bring water for to wash the hands. And how ever washing was superstitiously abused by the Pharisees, wherein they were abundant, as we find, Math. 15.2 Mark. 7.3, 4. (washing their Cups, Basons, Vessels, and their dining beds (which they used in stead of Tables, as Drusius shews, l. 2. c. 14) (in which respect Simons O­mission of this Ceremony is the more to be wonde­red at) yet this Ceremony was so farre from Super­stition, as that it was both honest and necessary, Gen. 18. 1 Tim. 5.10.

First, observe we,

Christianity is no enemy to courtesie.

The Scripture is a Schoole of good manners, it check­eth such as be rude and uncivill in their carriage, Psal. 129.8. 2 Sam. 13.22. And requireth civill courtesie, a [...] a Grace to our Profession, Eph. 4.32.

And hence are those many Precepts which we find of greeting and saluting one another, Math. 10.12. Luk 10.1 [...]. 1 Thes. 5.26. 1 Pet. 5.14.2 Cor. 13.12. And such hath bin the Saints Practice, Ruth 2.4. Rom. 16. 1 Cor. 16. &c.

And this is necessary for the maintaining of the bond of Christian Peace and Amity, yea it availeth much for the nourishing and encreasing of the Communion of Saints and Society with Gods people, whence it is that the Apostle takes such care that salutations and greetings be not forgotte [...], Rom. 16.

Vse. Such then as professe Religion, should take heed how they shew themselves inhumane or hoggish; unkind or churlish: It is a blemish to your Professions. As good Workes so good manners would doe well to attend your Faith; for (except Charity and Liberality) Courtesie is most regarded of men, it paies a great deale of debt and is never the poorer; it satisfies every man, and yet les­sons not the stocke. Small Ceremonious matters win great commendations, for that they are in continuall use and note; wheras other virtues are put to use, but seldome (in comparison.) If you observe it, you shall find that few have risen to great and high preferments in this world, who have not beene Courteous. We use to stroake a Dogge upon the head, that fawnes on us.

Absolom did steale away the hearts of his Fathers sub­jects by his courteous carriage,2 Sam. 15.5. though his courtesie was but a cover for his treachery (like a Bullet spit out of the mouth of a Cannon) he grazed low to mount the higher. I know not why any one should say, that Reli­gion makes men rude or rusticall; unlesse it be for this, that some out of a fiery Zeale against Ceremonies in Re­ligion, hate likewise all Ceremony in civill conversation; and will not endure so much by way of Salutation, as God be with you, or God blesse you.

Object. 2 Joh. 10. Saint Iohn will not allow us to vouchsafe so much as a [...] unto some you'l say. But I must tell you.

Resp. Saint Iohn forbiddeth not Courtesie and Civility, which is due to all men, [...]. though not unto their manners (as Aristotle answered one who reprooved him for gi­ving an almes to a lewd and wicked man) but salute them not so familiarly as you do the Saints of God and Bretheren of Christ.

2. We must consider what those were who Saint Iohn speakes; namely, Open and notorious adversaries of Christ: If we know any to be such, bid him not [Page 157] God speed. Mareion asked S. Iohn if he did not know him (in that he did not speake to him) S. Iohn replied,Euseb. l 4 c. 14. & l. 7. c. 3. Agnosco te primogenitum Satanae, I know thee to be the first borne of Satan: Nor would Dyonisius Bi­shop of Alexandria vouchsafe [...] to Samosatenus the Heretique. Such as these are, Salute not.

Secondly, in that our Saviour blames him for not bringing water to wash withall (though that Ce­remony had beene and still was superstitiously abused by the Pharisees in their Lotions.) We may observe thus much,

Doct. Things in themselves lawfull, superstitiously abused are not through such abuse made unlawfull to bee u­sed.

Christ did utterly dislike the foolish, yea superstiti­ous Ceremony which the Iewes had of often purifying and washing themselves; and yet at the marriage Feast in Cana of Galilee, where he saw sixe great water pots, Ioh. 2.6. containing two or three firkins a piece set for that purpose, he made use both of the Pots and Element to his great Glory, and the comfort of the Guests: Yea and made Water (how ever by the Pharisees abused) to be the materiall Element of Baptisme, D. White late Bishop of Ely in his Epist. Ded. before his Treat. of the Sabboth. as he did Bread and Wine prophaned by the Gentiles in their Idoll service the materiall Elements of the holy Eu­charist.

Meat offered to Idolls might be eaten at any. Feast save in the Idols Temple, when it comes out from thence it is pronounced to be cleane by the Apostle, 1 Cor. 10. and might be ea­ten at their Love-Feasts, which were made when they met to receive the Supper of the Lord.

Lying along on Beds and Feasting in that manner was much abused by the Romanes in their publike Idolatry, called Lectisternia (as Stukius shews at large) yet it was the gesture our blessed Saviour conformed unto and used with his Disciples in eating of the Passeover, Antiq. Com. Fol. 269. which appeares not onely by the signification of the [Page 158]word used in the Story, but by that Speech, Ioh. 13.21. There was leaning on Iesus bosome one of his Disciples, and vers. 25. He then lying on Iesus breast, &c. Which Posture could not be, had they used to sit upright as we doe. Many instances might be produced for further Confirmation of this Truth. As Numb. 16.38. there we find that the Censors of those Conspirators were im­ployed to make Coverings for the Altar. And in Ioshua 6.24. We find that the silver and gold of Ido­laters was by Gods Commandement put into his owne Treasury.

And Iudg. 6.26.Pet. Mart com in Iudg. 6.24. The Bullocke that fed seaven yeares for Baal was sacrificed to the Lord. And the Wood grow­ing in the Idols grove was by Gods owne appointment made Fewell for Sacrifice. We may find this point fully and largely handled by D. Burges in his defence of D. Mor­ton. Chap. 4. Sect. 23. And by M. Nicholas Bysield in the second Chap. of the 1. Epist. of S. Peter, vers. 13. pag. 593.

Vse. Whence the Judgement of those may be informed, who startle at the use of any thing, which in former times hath bin, or in these daies is abused by superstitious Papists, and Idolaters. They can scarce with any Peace of Conscience, tell you the name of that Hill on which St. Paul stood and preached to the men of Athens, Act. 17. 22. Or the signe of that Ship of Alexandria wherein he departed, Act. 28.11. The daies of the weeke must not be called, Munday, Tuesday, &c. as ordinarily they are named and knowne, that is (with them) superstitious: But they will thus number them, the First, Second, Third day of the weeke, &c. The glorious company of the Saints and Apostles, because too much honoured or rather dishonoured by Papists shall be by them Unsainted; Their Dayes must be called Pe­ters, Pauls, Iohn Baptists, the Saint must be left out; and so for Churches. The Feast of Michael the Arch-Angell, the Purification of the Ʋirgin Mary, and that [Page 159]of our blessed Saviours nativity, may not be sounded with the Masse, they will turne it to the Tide, Candletide, Christide, Michletide, &c. Bay leaves may not be ad­mitted in Church or House, for the Heathens so used them. I know not whither they durst ride upon a Mule (though it were King Davids owne, 1 King. 1.30.) for that Anah first found them, Gen. 36.24.

I blame not any simply for tendernesse of Conscience, but wish that men in weightier matters were more wise, and lesse scrupulous in things of this nature. It is not good to be over Iust, nor make more Commandements then ever God hath made. Tertullian disputing professedly this Question,Tertull de coro­na militis, p. 347 Whither a thing dedicated to Idolatry or abused by it may not lawfully be used, resolves that it may, tam in Dei rebus quam in nostris, both in Reli­gious and civill use, If the things themselves be not o­therwise evill; but may be of any necessary or commo­dious use, as he shews in sundry instances; were it not so, we must pull down our Churches, melt our Bells, change our Fonts, &c.

Object. But God commands that the graven Images of the Heathens should be broken downe and burnt with fire,Deut. 7.25. & 12.2, 3. and all those places wherin the Nations served their gods should be destroyed, and forbids his people to med­dle with any of their silver and gold least they be therby en­snared.

Resp. It is first answered thus,Wemze Exercit on the Mor. Law, l. 1. Exer­cit. 15. Things belonging to Idolaters were of three sorts: First, such as pertained to Idolaters, but were not Idolatrous: Th [...]se were not forbidden to be used, David took the Crown from of the head of the King of the Ammonites, and put it upon his owne, 2 Sam. 12.3. And the Sword of Goliah, he tooke and hung it up in the house of the Lord, 1 Sam. 21.9.

Secondly, Such things as were Idolatrous, but not Idolatrous in state. So the Fountains out of which the Heathens drew water for the service of their Idols; which [Page 160]Fountaines might be converted by Christians to a civill or spirituall use.M. Paget his arrow against Seperatists pag 281. So Iudg. 6.26. Look as in the Law of Shalowes some things polluted might be cleansed and used againe, as Levit. 21.8. So may it bee in this case; Those things which were not Idolatrous in State might bee cleansed and converted to other Uses.

Thirdly, such things as were Idolatrous in State, and had an immediate dependance upon the Idoll, carrying the marke and badge of the Idoll still upon it; as their Images of gold and silver and their Ornaments. These were those things that were to be cast away by Gods speciall command, and might not be converted to any other use, ei­ther spirituall or civill, Esay. 30.22.

Secondly,M Wil. What­lyes Carecloth, pag. 18. we answer againe, that Moses Iudiciall Lawes do not bind us as they did the Iewes; the strict and precise Commandement, wherby God did injoyne the Iewes to shun all the customes of the Gentiles, even in things otherwise lawfull, because by them abused was proper to the times of the Law, as being part of that partition Wall, which Christ hath broken downe, that he might make of both one. True it is, the equity of this Law holdeth, teaching us to detest Idolatry, yet it bindeth not in such a manner to detest Idolatry, as it did them, God commanded them to destroy Idolatrous places, to burne the Cattle, spoyle the Goods, but we are not bound to follow them in the same manner: So God forbad his people to marry vvith the Heathen; and if in case they had married such wives and be­got Children of them, yet they were to put them away againe, Ezra 10.11. Now a greater liberty is given. The unbeleeving wife is sanctified to the be­leeving husband, 2 Cor. 12.13, 14. And so much for the Answer to this Objection.

For my Feet. Text.

The Feet are the lowest part of the body, the meanest for account and homeliest for imployment: And being nearest the Earth are most apt of all other parts to gather soyle and filth. In which respect they stand in most need of washing, as our Saviour shews by that speech of his to Peter after he had washed the Disciples Feet (wherby he taught them both Holynesse and Hu­mility) Ioh. 13.10. He that is washed needeth not save to wash his Feet. In which saying, our Saviour either al­ludes to this common practise amongst the Iewes, whose first office to Guests and Strangers was, [...], especially after travell; or els to bathing from whence none comes without some gravell sticking betwixt their Toes, in which respect they use to wash them last of all: but to the first he alludes (most likely.) Thus much we note from hence,

Doct. The lowest and meanest member of the body is not to be despised.

The Feet are to be washed, as well as face or hands: lit­terally this is true, 1 Cor. 12.21, 22, 23, 24. So we find that there were widdowes appointed of purpose for this end, 1 Tim. 5.10.

And Mystically it is true,Pedes nostri affectus nostri, Aug. in Ps. 64. Ioh. 13.10. where by Feet we must needs understand the Affections of the soule, on which it stands, or falls, as the body doth by the Feet of it; and is moved and carried too and fro by them; as the Body is with those strong-men (as Salomon cals them, Eccles. 12.3.) Those have (in a speciall manner) need of washing, for that they are next the Earth, ha­ving to do with earthly things, as Honours, Profits, Pleasures: As likewise for that they do follow natural­ly the Disposition and Temperature of the Body; in which respect they are called, earthly members by the Apostle, Col. 3.5.

Now though the soule be washed in the Bath of Iusti­fication, yet in regard of Corruption remaining there is an use of daily washing in the Bath of Sanctification. The former is the Kings bath and serves for the Guilt of sinne, the other is the Peoples hath, and serves to do away the filth or stain of sin.

Quest. But why did not some of our Savi­ours Apostles wash his Feet after hee had washed theirs?

Resp. Two Reasons are rendered why they did not.

First,Amb. de Virg. lib. 3. for that Mary had already washt them (as here you find) and it was not Christs mind that the lustre which was given to his Feet by Maries teares should be washt off againe with ordinary and common water.

Secondly, The washing of the Apostles Feet was Mysticall, and signified the cleansing and sanctifying of their soules, and the affections of the same: Now this could not suit with our Saviour who was free from the least filth of sinne, there was not the least tainture in him.

Vse. Now to apply this.

See that we be carefull of our Bodies, In hoc mundo cum nostris ten­tationibus nas­cimur, & caro nobis aliquando adjutrix est in bono opere, ali­quando autem seductrix in ma lo. Siigiturei plus, quam de­bemus, tribui­mus, hostem nu­trimus; Et si necessitati ejus, quae debemus nō reddimus, civem necamus. Sati­anda est ita (que) caro, sed ad hoc us (que), ut in hono opere nobis sus­siciat; nam qui quis ci tantum tribuit, ut su­perbiat, satiari penitus ignorat. Ars ita (que) magna est sattari, ne unusquis (que) per satietatem car­nis ad iniquita­tem prorumpat turpitudinis, Greg. Mor. l. 12 yea of the lowest and meanest member (for that it is also a Member of Christ, 1 Cor. 6.15.) In which respect there is an ho­nour due unto them; as also for that the Body and o­very part of it, is a servant to the soule, and an instru­ment wherby it worketh; so that the neglect of it, will greatly disable the soule and hinder the actions, and functions therof. You know the Carpenter layes by his Axe when the edge is blunted, and the Musitian his Lute when the strings are broken; and an Inbabitant soon forsaketh his house when the walls fall downe: So doth the Soule the body, as you find, Eccles. 12.1, 2, 3. &c. And therfore it is our Duty to keep it in the best re­paire we can, that we may do God the better and the lon­ger service.

Notwithstanding our chiefest care must be for our Soules, and in looking unto that care must be had in a speciall manner to our Feete, that we keepe them cleane, for as much as it is Satans speciall drift to fowle them.

Our Affections are the Eves which the Divell makes use of to betray our soules. These are the Iaels he useth to seduce us: They are the Dalilah's he imployes to be­tray us and lull us a sleepe whilst the Philistines be upon us. God hath placed Affections in the soule, as the Sen­tinell upon a Citty wall, to give the watch-word when danger is neare, and to keepe the rest from sleeping and idlenesse: Now if Satan can but prevaile with them, he will soone enter and overcome all, Eph. 4.27. 1 Tim. 6.10. Tertullian tells us it was the fetch of Heretiques in his time, prius suadere, first to per­swade and then teach: After they had wound in­to the Affections of Hearers they did corrupt their Iudgements.

The more to be pittied is the practise of such as bestow all their pains in washing other parts, whilst their Feet are too much neglected.

Some mens care is only for the Face, that it be cleane: So those Hypocrites we read of, Math. 6.16. All they do is to be seene of men: Their Devotion is a Stage Devotion, it begins not till the Spectators be all ready, and the Galleries filled.

Some bestow most pains about their Hands, with Pilat them they wash profesting themselves to be free from the blood of all men. Their whole care is about the Duties of the second Table to keep their hands from picking and stealing, and give every man their due, whilst in the meane time God is forgotten: And these are boa­sting Pharisees and meere civill men. But the care of a Christian should be, not only to wash away the Ini­quity of his hands, as Psal. 26.6. but also the iniquity of his heeles, as Psal. 49.5. And the rather for that (as you [Page 164]have heard) Satan in that part especially desireth to bruise the Christian, Gen. 3.15.

And as this care must be had of our owne Feet, so like­wise of Christs (I meane the meanest and lowest mem­ber of his Mysticall body) small omissions towards them are observed and taken speciall notice off, Math. 10 42. Mark. 9.41. & Math. 25.40, 45. With-hold not any thing from the poorest member of Christ Jesus, that may make for his comfort or refreshing, when it is in our Power to doe it. Thus much of Simons first Defect: How this was supplyed by this Woman follows,

But she hath washed my Feet with teares, and wiped them with the haires of her head. Text.

Two things may here be noted. First, this Penitents Con­trition, She hath washed my Feet with teares.

Secondly, Her Humiliation or Abjection. And wiped them with the Haires of her Head. First of Her Contrition.

She hath washed my Feet with teares.

Teares are the Iuyce of the mind, pressed with griefe, or a little water distilled by the heat of our tender braine through our Eyes.

The Ʋnderstanding first conceiveth cause of griefe upon the heart: After which the Heart sends up matter of griefe into the brain, and the brain doth distill it down into tears, so that if Griefe be sharp and piercing, tears follow for the most part.

They are tokens of Repentance, and therfore placed in the Eye, for that it is now the most sinnefull sense; It is Proxeneta peccati, the Broaker that goeth between the heart and the object to make up a sinfull bar­gain: As sinne is let in that way, God would have [Page 165]it turned out againe by weeping: For properly that wit­nesseth sorrow. Sometimes we weepe for Ioy, but that is by accident, and as it is accompanied with remembrance of sorrow.

There are two sorts of Teares (as shews S. Austin) Some are Commendable; others are Discommendable. Aug de sanctis Ser. 4.

Commendable Teares, are Naturall or Spirituall: Na­turall Teares, as Ier. 31.15. These discover naturall Affection, and being well bounded are not to bee blamed. Our blessed Saviour wills the Daugh­ters of Hierusalem to weepe for Themselves, Luke 23.28.

Spirituall Teares, are either Teares of Passion and Contrition, as Math. 26.75. or of Compassion and Devotion, as Ier. 9.1, 2. Luk. 19. Thus of Commendable Teares.

Teares culpable or discommendable are likewise of two sorts, Temporall or Infernall.

Temporall, are those shed in this life by wicked ones. And they are of two Sorts, Worldly or Hypo­criticall.

Worldly Teares are those which are occasioned meerly for worldly losses. Of these we read, Ezek 8.14. Hos. 7.14 Heb. 12.

Hypocriticall Teares are those which are produced from Dissimulation and Deceit. Of these we read,Ʋt flerent o­culos erudiêre suos, Ovid. See Brights Melancholy. part. 3. Sect. 2. Memb. 2. Subs. 4. p. 502. Ier. 41. 5, 6. These be Crocodiles teares, some call them womens weapons, who are said to have teares at will to deceive others, as he spak who had too much Experience of them; but these are bad women, not such as Mary at this time vvas.

Infernall teares are those shed by the damned in Hell; whose teares shall be but as oyle to increase the flame. Of these teares we read, Luk. 13.28. Mat. 24.51. & 25.30. These saith, S. Gregory are more to be feared then ex­pressed.

They are Commendable teares that we are to speak off, [Page 166]especially; and those not naturall but spirituall; and they are teares of Contrition shed out of Passion in respect of her owne sins, not so much out of Compassion in the be­halfe of others. Our Observation from that she wept for sin is this.

Doct. Where sinne is repented there it is lamented and be­wailed. See 1 Sam. 7.6. Iudg. 2.4. 2 Chro. 34.27. Psa. 6.6. Math. 26. Still observe and you shall find the greatest Penitents have beene the chiefest Mour­ners.

It cannot otherwise be; for where sinne is repented there it is mortified; now that cannot be without pain and crying; a tooth is not drawn vvithout a groane; a Mem­ber cannot be cut off without a teare; a Woman is not delivered of the burthen which she hath carried in her womb but nine Months without many Throes and Pains. And can it be expected that any one should be delivered of a man, that old-man, the man of sin, which hath lyen so long within him without sorrow and teares. S. Paul was a man of a stout spirit, yet I heare him crying out, Rom. 7.24. O wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from this bo­dy of Death! And yet these pains of his were but after paines.

And as this Part of Repentance cannot be without tears and cryings, no more can that other of living unto God. Our Lawyers define life by weeping: If a child be heard to cry it is a lawfull proofe of his living. If he be dead we say he is Still-borne. Whilst the Infant lyeth in the darke prison of the Mothers wombe, it weepeth not, but as soone as ever it commeth out of the vvombe into the light, it knits the browes and wrings the eyes and cryes: Thus whilst a man lives in an unregenerate estate he weepeth not for sin, nor cryeth he to God for Grace, but as soone as the light shineth on him, he bewaileth his misery and never thinketh that he hath filled his cup full inough of teares.

And as it is in a diseased body or with some old soare, [Page 167]if in the dressing of the wound no paine be felt, we conclude the flesh is dead, but when the Patient begins to complaine of the paine and is sensible of the smart, then it is taken for a good signe that the cure is in a good forwardnesse. So we find it was with S. Peters Auditors, Act. 2.37. They were so sensible of the prick that the Apostle gave them at the heart, that they cried out, What shall wee doe? And thus you see that neither part of Repentance can be without pain: Therfore we conclude the Point, Who have repented truly have lamented unfeinedly.

Vse 1 If Sorrow and Contrition be Repentances Companions and trickling teares Griefes chiefe Testimony (as s. Austin saith) why then we have cause to grieve for the want of grief, and mourn for that men mourn no more for sin: For,Comes paeniten­tiae dolor est, & testes doloris sūt lachrymae defluentes, Aug. Tom 2. Serm. 18. no greater cause of weeping (saith Seneca) is ministred then where Teares are abolished, as (may be feared) they are amongst us.

Baronius in an old Manuscript saith, he found that this Penitent Mary came with Lazarus and her sister Martha into Brittaine. If it were so, her Example is the more proper for us of great Brittaine; but sure she came not hither, we dwell in a thirsty and dry Land, where no water is: Wee are dry eyed by Nature (as the Heathen sometime spake of their kin) and cannot weepe. Quis dabit ca­piti meo aquam & oculis meis fōtē lachrymarū ut praveniam fletibus fletum, & stridorem dentium, Bern. in Cont.

O for a Moses to fetch waters from our dry Rocks, Teares from the Eyes of sinners; that God would be plea­sed to turne the Rocke into a water-poole, and the flint into a river of waters; that the stony heart of man after so long obduring and hardning would give, yea melt into teares, there is cause enough.

If we looke Ʋpward there is a God offended: If Downewards, there is a Hell deserved:Lachrymae nobi [...] deerunt antequā causae dolendi. Senec de brevit vitae. If Backward many horrid sins (we may behold) which we have com­mitted: If Forward the dreadfull sentence of Judgement to be feared: If without us, the wicked world we have [Page 168]loved: If within us our consciences polluted and defi­led. Which way soever we turne the Eyes of our soule, there is matter enough of Lamentation: So that were Ieremiah again alive, and lived amongst us, he would once more fall a wishing, O that my head were a well of water, and mine Eyes a Fountain of Tears, that I might weep day and night for the slaine of the daughter of my people, yet we mourne not.

Vse 2 But if Compunction of heart be the true not of a Pe­nitent; Compunctio est humilitas men­tis cum lachry­mis, veniens de recordatione peccati, & ti­more Iudicij;, I­sidor in verb, compunct. and that Dejection of the mind (with tears) cau­sed by the rememberance of sin, and feare of Judge­ment, (which was found in this Penitent) be that compunction (as Isidore) defines it) then let the Eye of the soule look into our hearts, and see whither we find it there; the Eye of Mary glazed thus with Teares should be our Looking-glasse: If we find it, we have cause to take Comfort in it: If we find it not, how can wee thinke wee are true Pe­nitents.

Case But must every one that repents of sin do as this Penitent here did? Is shedding of teares absolutely necessa­ry in godly Sorrow? May not the heart be drowned, and yet the Eyes dry?

Resp. Teares and Additions and necessary Appendences of true Repentance, but not alwayes necessary and true to­kens of it: Some have repented truly, who have not wept, and some have wept bitterly, who have not repented truely.

All who shed teares are not strait way Penitents; Pet. Martyr. loc com. clas 10. ca. 10. Jer. 15.18. Addidit & la­chrymas tanquā mandasset & illas, Ovid Me­tam. l 6. Lachryma nibil citius arescit, Erasm. Adag. the hardest Marble against some weather may weepe. And how often do we see the Dew to stand on the blasted Corne or Grasse: There are Eying waters spoken of by Ieremiah, as well as Clouds without Water spoken of by S. Iude. It is an easie matter to give you in­stances. Gen. 27.3, 4. 1 Sam. 24.17. Mala. 2.13. Teares are deceitfull things, nothing sooner dryed up that a Teare, and therfore not to be trusted too far: [Page 169]For a man may as well go to his Graves-end by water as by Land.

Nor are all those who weepe not, straight wayes to be judged impenitent. There may be true Sorrow never to be repented off, where no Teares are shed. As was in the poore Publicane, Luk. 18. and in the Theefe upon the Crosse, neither of them shed a teare (for any thing we read) yet who dares condemne their Repentance.

Two Reasons may be rendered for this. First, the Con­stitution of some mens bodies makes them more unapt to weepe then others are; they cannot weepe for any worldly thing, or very hardly: In such a case teares are not shed for sin.

2. Extremity of Griefe may sometimes so oppresse and overwhelme the heart, as that it can ease it selfe no more by Teares than Words. Thus, 1 Sam. 30.4. It is said of David and his company, They had no pow­er to weepe, and Psal. 143.4. David saith of himself, that his Spirit was overwhelmed within him, his heart within him was desolate; as if he had neither a Prayer nor a teare to accompany it. So we do read of one that did mourne much for the losse of a Servant, when hearing of the losse of his Sonne whom he dearly loved, he was so struck, as that he could neither Speake nor Weepe.

In a deepe or fresh wound in the body, there is not first that paine felt, nor so much blood seene, as is in a little cut of the finger, because the part is astonied for the time; so is sometimes with the soule. The wine Vessell (you know) without vent runs not, though it be ready to burst.

Notwithstanding this, he that can weep for other things and doth not at one time or other weepe for sin (if God let him live any time in the world after his conversion) that man may conclude with himself that his estate is not good nor his Repentance sound.

I do not say that all that do weepe for sinne, do weepe in their first Conversion. God [...]a [...]h respect to the temper of his children, and doth not represent at first the odi­ousnesse of sinne to all alike. Nor do I say that all the godly are humbled alike in their first Conversion, nor do they shed teares in the like measure. You know how it was with Lydia and with the Eunuch mentioned in the Acts, their Conversion was with much Joy, nor do I think that they ever attained to Davids, Peters, or Mary Magda­iens scantling in weeping.

Case. But seeing Teares are not alwaies signes of true Repentance, how may a man take comfort in them or disco­ver them to be sound?

Resp. Thus: First, by looking to the Fountaine from whence they flow.Sanguis vulne­rati cordis, Aug Epist. 199. Vulnerum animi tanquam sanguis lachrymae sunt (saith a Greeke Father) Teares are as it were the blood of the wounds of the soule, or (as S. Austin hath it) they are the blood of a wounded heart: If then thy heart weepes as fast as thine Eye, they are right. When Teares come from the Teates of a bro­ken heart, than as Milk is to the Infant, so are teares to a Penitent.

2.Lachrymae la­vant faciem cō ­scientiae, clarifi­cant intellectum humectant cor devotione, &c. Savanor. in Psa. 80.5. The Effects of Teares discover their soundnesse or unsoundnesse. There are divers qualities in the teares of the Body, and sundry effects in the teares of the Soule.

The teares of the Body are hot and moyst; and so the teares of the Soule: For they comfort the cold Conscience, as David found: And they mollifie the hardnesse of the heart.

The teares of the Body are Salt and Wet; so the teares of the Soule. For they both season it and wash it clean from the filth of Iniquity. Isa. 1.16.

The teares of the Body are (in a sort) bitter and sweet. So the other: For they weane the godly from the love of the world, (as Wormewood doth the Infant from the Dug) And turne our Sorrows into Joyes in the [Page 171]end. Bitter they are for the absence of good, Sweet for the assurance of finding it. For they that sow in tears shall reape in joy. Those teares which produce these Effects we need not doubt.

Vse. Can we not find that such teares have ever bin shed by us? (if any ever were shed at all) Labour than to bring thy heart unto it:Nunc locus est flendi, locus & peccata luendi. Qui modo non flebit, flendicum tempus babeb it. Aeterno luctu lugebit, sed sine fructu, Beda. Ploret hic, ne ploret in aeter­num, condol [...]at hic, ne doleat in aeternum. Si nolet plora­re, ploret. Si nolet dolere, doleat. Si velit salva­ri, suspiret. Si velit delecta­ri, ingemiscat, Bed in Exhort▪ Now is the Time to wash away thy sins with the floods of Repentance: If here thou wilt not sayle to Heaven in the river of Contrition. thou mayest feare to be drowned (which thou wouldest not) in the Ocean of Perdition. Grieve heere (saith Beda) that thou mayest not grieve heereafter; sigh for thy sinne that thou mayest be saved. If thou desirest celestiall be­nediction, shun not thou this terrestriall affliction; for who e­ver heard or read of any that went from mirth to mirth, from joy to joy.

The Preaching and Proclamation of Iohn the Bap­tist in the Wildernesse of Iudaea, was of a strange kind of Baptisme (not so much in the Waters of Iordan, as in these waters of our Eyes) the Baptisme of Re­pentance.

It was a Sermon first preached in Paradise, and con­tinued till the almost discontinued generations of all the sons of men by the Flood: Nor ceasing there (but like the Raine-bow in the Firmament, then commanded to remaine, as an everlasting Covenant betweene GOD and the sonnes of men: For, that former world, which through sinne was drowned in a Flood of Waters, Gen. 7. hath ever since preached to the succeeding and this latter world, that it cannot be saved but in a flood of teares.

And if it be true, that the Hebrews have no word for eyes but what serves for springs; it seems that all the eyes the ho­ly language speaks off should be like springs, wherwith they should bewaile their sins.

Object. But it is womanish and childish to fall a weeping: Who doth it besides a Mary?

Resp. Even those who have had greatest magnanimity, as Iacob, Ioseph, David, Paul, &c.

S. Chrysostome seldom preached, but he washed his Cu­shion in his Pulpit with his teares.

Bradford seldome eat his Meat, but the tears fell from his Eyes in an abundant manner.

Yea our blessed Saviour wept, and wept, and wept againe: As we read, Luk. 19, 41. Ioh. 11.35. Heb. 5.7. To say than no more to these Objectors but this; it is a temper well befitting any one, who hath to do with an Almighty God: A carriage not unbesee­ming the greatest King. And if it be Childishnesse to Weepe for sinne, unlesse we become such children, we shall scarce ever enter into Heaven▪ For he that hath gon on in the waies of pleasure and delight, bringing nought els, but the blasted sheaves of sin with him, must re­turn back by another way, even the way of Weeping bea­ring forth better seed.

To stirre you up the better to labour for a Wee­ping Heart, even a heart that can raine downe teares as Maryes did, and that in time too: Consider, first the Fruit and Profit that doth accrew unto us by them. Se­condly, the great danger our selves are in through the neg­lect of them.

For the first,Rom. 3.1, 2. As Saint Paul speakes of the Pro­fit of Circumcision: So I of these, It is much e­very way. Evill is remooved by them, and much good obteyned.

The Evill, that they do remoove, is first, that of sinne. The heads of Dragons are broken in these Wa­ters, Psal. 74.13. The teares of the Vine (saith Plinie) cure the Leprosie of the skin: So the teares of true Repen­tance doe the Leprosie of sin. The Guilt of sin is remoo­ved by them, Isa. 1.16. Every teare shed dasheth as it were one out of the score.D Balcanqual tus Serm at S Maries Spittle, [...] Ps. 126.5.

And (as is well observed by a Iudicious Divine) comes it selfe in the place of it: So shewes the Psalmist, [Page 173]Psal. 56.8. Thou tellest my wanderings, put thou my teares into thy bottle, are they not in thy Booke? Before we mourne for sin, our wanderings are upon record, they stand registred in Gods booke: But after our sighs and teares dash them out and stand in their place; as one colour laid upon another doth away the for­mer and remains it self.

In this respect our teares are called by the Fathers our second Baptisme, and compared to the Waters of the red Sea, in which Pharaoh and his Hoast were drowned, and to the waters of Iordan in which Naaman was pu­rified, and to the poole of Siloam wherein the blind man was cured, Iohn 9.7. But understand this delive­red rightly: do not think that all this is done for the worth or dignity of our teares, but through the blood of Christ, wherin our teares are washed, and through whom they are accepted.

As the Evill of sinne is remooved by them, so like­wise the Evill of Punishment. This we read,Sepe per has flecti Principis trasolet. 2 Chron. 32.26. Hezekiah humbling himselfe for the pride of his heart, he kept back the wrath of the Lord, so that it came not upon Hierusalem▪ in the dayes of Hezekiah; God sets a marke upon such to keep them from destru­ction even in a common overthrow, Ezek. 9.4. Where wealth, wit, strength, and all other helps faile a man, teares do not faile.

And to assure us what true teares will do you may re­member what Scriptures tell us counterfeit teares have done: When Rehoboam humbled himselfe, the wrath of the Lord was turned from him, 2 Chron. 12.12. And Ahah (a worse King than he) humbling himselfe with teares before the Lord, God said he would not bring that evill which he intended on him in his dayes, 1 King. 21.19. Thus you see (as Alexander said to Antipa­ter complaining of his mother Olympias) one true teare will blot out many complaints, and prevent many Judge­ments.

As Teares remoove Evill from us, so they procure Good unto us;Lachrymae taci tae queadam pre­ces sunt, non po­siulant, sed me­rentur, causam non dicunt, sed consequuntur Amb. in loc. Ʋincunt invin­cibilem, ligunt omnipotentem, & inclinant fi­lium virginis, Hieron. by the meanes of them we obtain much at Gods hands, both for our selves and others. These were the weapons Iacob used, He wept and made Supplication, and so had power over the Angell and prevailed, Hos. 12.4. His Prayer did much, but his teares did more the one did Moove, the other did Compell. Hold not thy peace at the voice of my Teares (saith David, Psal. 6.8.)

Teares have a voice with them, nay they are not only vocall, but importunate: What do you Weeping and breaking my heart (saith S. Paul, Act. 21.13) You may remember how the Teares of Moses (whilst he was floating in an Arke of Bulrushes on the water) pre­vailed with Pharaohs Daughter. The Babe wept (saith the Text) and she had compassion on him, Exod. 2.6. Yea a rogue at the dore moves us when he begs weeping, much more do they move the Lord.

Thus Hezekiah obtained a lease of life for fifteene yeares longer: I have heard thy Prayers and seene thy Teares (saith God) Behold I will adde unto thy Dayes fifteene yeares, Isaias 38.5. And the Pray­ers of Monicha St. Austins Mother saved him from loosing.

In short, Teares further us in Grace here, and in Glory hereafter. By the helpe of Teares we become more gracious, for that corruption is thereby subdued, and Grace quickned.

When the Amalekites had spoyled Ziglag and taken all their wives and children Prisoners, They wept (saith the Text) till they could weepe no more. Then David asked counsell of the Lord, and upon Gods direction fol­lowed them, and smote them from the twilight till the Evening of the next morrow, so that there escaped none save 400. young men that fled upon Camells. Conceive our Lusts to be these Amalekites, they spoile our Ziglag, sacke our City, captivate our wives and [Page 175]children (our senses and Affections) Let us weepe till we can weepe no more, and then pursue these Amale­kites, so shall we conquer and recover our wives and children; some young men (some unbrideled words and untamed thoughts) will remaine, but for the old Amale­kites (grosse and foule faults) those we shall subdue to our comfort.

De interioribus fontibus egredi­untur torrentes, & super omnes de licias lachry­mis nectareis a­nima delecta­tur: Non illos imbres procello­sae tempestates deponunt, ros matutinus est de caelestibus stillans, & qua­si unctio spiritus mentem delmi­ens, & post af­fecto se abluit & lachrymis baptizat Chrys [...], Pind od. 1.By Teares likewise Grace is quickned: They are not like Well-water springing out of the bowels of the Earth, nor like Raine distilling from the Clouds, which cleare the ayre, but they are as the Dew. of Hermon, which makes all herbes to flourish. Such as mourne for sinne, Grow up as the Lillie, and fasten themselves in Grace like the Trees of Lebanon: They are like the former and the latter Raine, they make the heart fruitfull in all good workes, as you see here in Mary; it is a Soveraigne Water and will fetch the sinner againe to the life of Grace though never so farre gon.

As for Glory hereafter: It is concluded by the Psal­mist, Psal. 126.5. They that sow in Teares shall reap in Ioy, such a seed-time, such a Harvest: after we have bin marri­ed to a blear-eyed Leah, beautifull Rachell shall be gi­ven us.

Thus as the Sunne drawes up vapors from the Earth, not for it selfe, but to restore them backe againe: So doth God our Teares: The Bag God hath is for the sin­ner, in that he seales up their transgressions against the Day of Judgement, Iob 14.17. But the Bottle spoken of, Psal. 56.8. and the Ʋioll, Revel. 5.8. are for the Saints both: In them he preserves both their Teares and Prayers: Not a drop of their Eye-water will he suffer to run in waste,Sic paucis la­chrymis gaudia magna dabit. He catcheth every Teare before it comes to the ground, and till death close up those two Fountains Ior and Dan (flowing from mount Leba­non) they shall never faile running, but then shall our foules be wafted in them from Grace to Glory, as they were first transported by them here from Sin to Grace.

If in case what hath bin said of the Good which our Teares procure for us, prevaile not, then give me leave to adde a word of the great danger which followes upon the neglect of them, and it shall be only by way of Allusion to that we read, 2 Sam. 12.27. Ioab having taken the City of waters, he sent to David and willed him to come quickly to take the City it selfe, well knowing that it could not hold out, the City of waters being cut off before: Thus when Satan hath taken the Eyes and cut off the Pipes: Can you think your soule can long hold out against his temptations, I say no more,Chrys. in Hom. sap Math. but yet S. Chrysostome would be heard, Non dolere quia peccaveris magis indignari at (que) irasci facit Deum quam idipsum quod ante peccaveris. Not to grieve that thou hast sinned doth more provoke GOD to be angry with thee, than the sinne which thou hast committed. Wherefore as under the Law they who could not offer a Lambe, were to offer unto God two young Turtles at their Purification: So seeing the Lamb hath bin wanting, an innocent and holy life, let us now bring a paire of Turtles, two mournfull Eyes; and so send out sinne that way we let it in; which is the Reason (as some conceive) why God hath placed Teares in the Eyes, rather than in any other sence or part of the body. (As before I noted.)

A second thing we must take notice of in this part of Maries Repentance is the greatnesse of her sorrow, both for Measure and Continuance. She did not onely shed Teares, but she did rigare lachrymis, showre downe teares, and that so aboundantly, as she made a bath of them for her Lord: Her heart was so deepely pierced, as that it afforded teares enough to wash the Feet of our blessed Saviour. And for the continuance of this her sorrow; when she began we read, when she made an end we read not. She began (saith the Evangelist before, ver. 38.) She hath not ceased, saith our Saviour here. Her Exam­ple teacheth us,

Doct. To answer the greatnes of our sin with the greatnesse of our sorrow. According to the proportion of the one, should the other be proportioned. Looke how grievously we have sinned, so greatly should our sins be bewayled and lamented. A deepe wound must have a large plaister, and our Repentance (as sheweth S. Cyprian) must not be lesse than our fault.Quam magna deliquimus, tam granditer defle­amus, alto vul­neri diligens & longa medicina non desit, paeni­tentia crimine minor non sit, Cypr. Serm. 5. de lapsis. Secundum peccatorum proportionem sint tibi lachrymae, nam si magnus est lapsus tuus major lachrymarum tuarum torrens esse debet (saith S. Chryso­stome) which may be construed in the words of David, One deepe calls upon another, Psal. 40.7. And in these deepes was he: I am come into deepe waters, and the streames runne over me, Psal. 69.1, 2. Out of the deepes have I called unto thee O Lord, Psal. 130.1. He grie­ved and wept for his smaller sins, his heart smote him for cutting off Sauls skirt, and he condemned himselfe exceedingly for numbering of the people, but these were but shallowes in comparison of the Deepes which his great transgressions brought him into. Those Bil­lowes that followed upon his murther and adultery were breaking Billowes. All the night (saith he) I caused my bed to swim with my teares, yea I watered my pallat: Psal. 6.6. In which words though there be an Hyperbolicall excesse of Speech, yet it argues an Hyperbolicall and excessive sor­row. I caused my bed to swim, and not onely so, but my Pallate that lyes beneath my Bed (as some understand it) Implying that if his Head could con­taine so much water, the griefe of his heart could fur­nish it.

Thus we find it was with Manasses; 2 Chron. 32. he was a great sinner (as the Text sheweth) and he humbled himselfe great­ly, saith the Text. And such was S. Peters sorrow,Mat. 26.75. Luk. 22.62. he sinned greatly in denying of his Lord and Master, and he wept bit­terly for it, saith the Evangelist.

Vse 1 The unsoundnesse of the Sorrow, which most in the world trust too may by this be discovered: It is neither Great nor Proportionable to the sinnes they have com­mitted: [Page 178]Of all Sorrowes, Si quem de iuis charis mortali­tatu exitu perdidisses, inge­misceres dolen­ter, & fleres, sa­cie in [...]ultâ, ve­ste muta [...]â, neg. lecto capillo ore dejecto, indicta maeroiis osten­deres: animam tuam miser per­didisti spiritua­liter mortu [...] es, superv [...]v re hic tibe, & ipse am bu [...]ans fu [...]us tuum portare cae­pisti & non a­criter plangis, non sugiter in­gemiscis, Cypr. de laps. sorrow for sinne should be the greatest, these be waters of Mara, which flow from the Eyes of Repentance, bitter waters, like those which are shed for the losse of a Sonne, yea for the losse of a first­borne. Zach. 12.10. But their Sorrow for sin is the least and sleightest: For worldly losses they howle and cry (and expresse sorrow in all her Postures, saith S Cyprian) but a sigh and away shall serve in this case. And wheras Sorrow should be proportioned to sin, they have but one degree for every sin; let it be Blasphemy Murther, Whoredome, or any such like hainous crime that they stand guilty off before the Lord: Or sins of a lesse Nature, all is o [...]e with them; a blow on the breast, or a God forgive shall serve the turne: But let such tel me, whither he who fals into the middle of a Pond must not labour more for his life than he who fals in at the very brink.

Where Sins are great, think it not enough that your Sorrow be sleight: If thy sins be small and little, thy sorrow may be the lesse, but if great thy griefe must be sutable. A Garment that is deepely soyled cannot without much rubbing and many Lavers become clean: Where there is a deep pollution, and of a skarlet tincture, there must be not only, Ablutio, but Balneatio, a soaking and bathing in the Teares of contrition, as is re­quired, Isa. 1.16.

Quest. But may not a man exceed in sorrow, may he not grieve over much?

Resp. A man cannot exceed in the displeasure of his will against sin, yet he may in the Testification of his displea­sure by weeping and macerating of his body. Too much moystning choakes a P [...]ant, when moderate moystning quickens it: Too much Raine gulls the Earth, and standing Waters on low grounds breed nothing but flags and rushes: So it is with our hearts when they prove standing Pooles.

The Israelites could not hearken to the good newsExod. 6.9. [Page 179]which Moses brought them, because of the anguish of their spirits: In which respect S. Paul takes order for the i [...]cestuous Person that he might not be swallowed up of too much heavinesse, 2 Cor. 2.7, 8, 11. That weeping is not good which blinds the Eye of our Faith, but that which quickens it. The end of our Sorrow is not mat­ter of Merit, but to make us value the Grace and Mercy of God in Christ: which where it is found, we may know that griefe for sin hath enough posses­sed the soule.See the Soules Conflict by D. Sibs, p. 478. If our griefe hath brought us to the Foot of Christ, as it brought this Penitent, and caused us with her to lay hold on him, we have cause to rejoyce in it, and dry our Eyes.

Quest But what shall we think of those, who weep more for worldly things than for their sins? are these to be con­demned for Hypocrites?

Resp It is S. Austins rule, that we should judge of things not so much by number as by weight: More Teares may be shed for worldly things, then for our sins, and yet our griefe be greater for sinne than for worldly losses. For, first

Greatnesse of Griefe is to be measured either by the violentnesse of the intention, or by the constant Con­tinuance and Duration. A child of God may for the time be more violently perplexed and afflicted for out­ward crosses then for his sins, but what is wanting in his griefe for sin this way is made up the other. David cryed out for Absolom very vehemently, O my sonne Absolom, my sonne Absolom, my sonne, my sonne; he cryed not out after that manner for Ʋriah, and yet his griefe for Ʋriahs death was more than for Absolom [...]; for that it was more setled and constant and a conti­nuall griefe, that sin of his was ever before him. A Torrent may run faster for the present than a continuall Current, Psal. 51. but the Current is to be preferred and hath more water in it than the Torrent: One keeps open house at Christmas, but all the yeare after the Gates [Page 180]are shut, he hath taken up a Cities Refuge: Another keeps a constant and full Table all the yeare, though at that time he may not be compared with the other for a­boundance, which of these two now would you count the best Hous-keeper? I suppose you will grant the latter; so is it here.

Secondly, In worldly griefe there is both Sence and Nature to further, which (when they meet with the Spirit) carry all before like a strong streame; as when the Windows both of Heaven above were opened and the founda­tions below were broken up, Gen. 7.11. there followed a great and mighty flood. But in grieving for sin the grounds are meerly spirituall, and therfore it cannot be expected it should be so violent as the other.

And wiped them with the haires of her head. Text. ]

A strange Act never done to any but our Saviour, nor never by any but by this Woman; who as she made her Eyes the Ewre out of which she powred water to wash the Feet of her Saviour, so she made the haire of her head the Towell to wipe them with.

Numquid deerat isti mulieri sudarium vel linteolum aliquod (saith S. Hierom) Was she poore that she could not bring a napkin or cloath with her, and yet her Oyntment so pretious? Or was there any want of lin­nen for such a purpose in the house where Christ was feasted? No doubtlesse. But she to manifest the Hu­mility of heart, and her hearts Devotion to her Sa­viour thus imployes the best ornament she hath. Ni­hil dignius capillis, nihil proprium magis. What more dainty? What more worthy? Christ is said to have a Head of gold, but haires as blacke as a Raven: She who was a Raven for the blacknesse of her soule, yet had haire like gold, which she had many times cur­led and cunningly broydered, gently combed and pla­ted against the Glasse, and than spread as a bet to catch [Page 181]her amarous companions, but now consecrates it to this glorious office.

Doct. In true Repentance there is a converting of those things which have bin abused to the service of sinne to the service of God.

Thus dealt those Israelitish women, Exod. 38.8. Acts 19.19. offering up their looking Glasses to the service of the Tabernacle, Exod. [...]8.8. So those Converts with their curious bookes of Witcheraft, Act. 19 19. And every true Christian with their members, Rem. 6.19. As did this Penitent crea­ture, imploying her Eyes, Mouth, Haire to the honour of her Saviour; of whom S Gregory thus speaketh, Quot commisit delicta, tot invenit holocaustomata, For so many sins as she committed, so many burnt Offerings she of­fered.

Reason This is a part of that Revenge which the godly take of themselves, wherof the Apostle speaks, 2 Cor. 7.11. without which there can be no true Repentance. Est paenitentia quaedam dolen­tis vindicta puniens in se, quod dolet commisisse, Aug de vera & fals. paenit. cap. 8▪ And therfore S. Augustine thus describes Repentance, to be A certaine kind of Revenge, whereby a sorrowfull man doth punish that in himselfe, which it grieveth him to have committed.

Vse This (likewise) prooves the Repentance of many to be no better than unsound and hypocriticall: Salomon knew the right mother of the child by her yearning heart,1 King. 3.27. and tender bowels towards it, which could not endure to see the Babe divided by the sword: So when men cannot endure that the Sword of Revenge should be drawn out against their sins, it is a signe they beare a strong Affection to them: Did we forsake sin, as we should, we would give it, a whores marke; we would execute the Lords quarrell upon it, and upon the Instruments which were imployed in the service of it.

Quest. Doth not this make for Popish Pennance?

Resp. No, for first, they use that roughnesse which takes away the health and shortens the life of the body: we may humble it, not destroy it.

[Page 182]2. They judge what they do in this kind, as meri­torious, and have an opinion of meriting by the same (which is derogatory to the blood of Christ) God re­quires this of us as a meanes to imbitter sin, and the plea­sures of it, and by that meanes to bring us to a right Judgement of our selves, and of the Creatures, as al­so to testifie our Repentance, and so prevent both sin and Iudgement.

Againe observe, in that she wiped the Feet of Christ (which were the lowest Members of his Body, and meanest for account) with the Haire of her Head (which was a chiefe outward Ornament of woman­hood)

Doct. That the best Ornament of the Bodie (in the Iudgement of a Penitent) is not too good to bee em­ployed about the meanest peece of service which concernes CHRIST.

Moses despised all the glory of Pharaohs Court, and refused to be called the Sonne of Pharaohs daughter, choosing rather to suffer Affliction with the people of God then to enjoy the pleasures of sinne for a season. Heb. 11.24, 25 Plentifull proofe we have of this in the Christians of the Primitive Times.

Constantine thought not his lips too good to kisse the empty holes where Paphnutius Eyes were plucked out. And Placilla the wife of Theodosius thought not her hands too good to be imployed in dressing and binding up the wounds of poore distressed Christians. We can never de­base our selves low inough for his sake, who for our sakes debased himself so low, as to become a worme rather then a man.

Vse. What may we thinke of those, who thinke either Eye or Hand or Haire to be too good for the Feet, nay Face of Christ? These over-valew their own worth. Now I know (said God to Abraham) that thou lovest me, in that thou hast not with-held thine onely Sonne, thine Isaac from mee: God may say to us I know thou ca­rest [Page 183]not for me, in that thou with-holdest, not thy son but sinne, not thy ornaments, but thy very excrements, and wilt not part with them for my sake.

The Aegyptians thought not their Earerings too good for a misdevotion; the riches and pride of their out­ward habit, they are willing to part with to their molten god: We take a pride in many things, whose rejecti­on is not worthy to do Christ honour, which yet he calls for to have offered up and parted with, but we sticke at it: When true Repentance would carry us to the abjection of our whole sinfull selves, then were e­very haire a life we would deny it for him: And as Ahashuerosh did hang up his Favourite for Hesters sake, so (were we as we should be) we would part with all that God requireth should be parted with, for Christs sake.

Thou gavest me no kisse, Text. but this woman since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kisse my Feet.

Verse 45 Here we have the second defect of Simon which is held to be against Charity, whereof a Kisse was a Symboll and Expression: And used first, betwixt men and men, as Gen. 45.15. Exod. 4.27. 2 Sam. 19.39. 2. Betwixt wo­men and women, as Ruth 19.14. 3. Betwixt men and wo­men, as Gen. 29.11.

There are two sorts of Kisses, holy and unholy, accor­ding to the Apostles distinction, 1 Thes. 5.26. 1 Cor. 16.20. 2 Cor. 13.12.

Of holy Kisses there were three sorts, first, Osculum pacis, a kisse of peace, which was used at the meeting and parting of Friends. Such was that, Gen. 29.11, 13. & 31.28. & 33.4. Exod. 18.7.

2 Osculum Reconciliationis, a kisse of Reconciliation, of which nature was that, Gen. 27.41 & 33.4. 2 Sam. 14.33. Luk. 15.20.

3 Osculum Religionis, a religious Kisse: Such are those [Page 184]spoken of, Cant. 1.2. Psal. 2.11. And this civill Cere­mony came to be somewhat Religious in the Easterne Churches, in customary use before the receiving of the Supper of the Lord, continued till the dayes of Iustin Martyr, Iust Martyr Apol. 2. wherby they manifested their Communion and consent in the same Religion.

Ʋnholy Kisses are of foure sorts. First, an Idolatrous Kisse, of which we read, 1 King. 19.18. Hos. 13.2. Iob 31.26, 27.

Secondly, The Flattering Kisse; of which kind was that Absolom gave to those which came to him, 2 Sam. 15.5.

Thirdly, The Treacherous Kisse; Such was that which Ioab gave Abner, and Iudas Christ, 2 Sam. 20.9. Luke 22.48.

Fourthly, The Ʋnchaste Kisse, which is that the Harlot gave unto the Young man, as wee read, Prov. 7.13.

A Kisse noted two things, Affection and Subjection: Affection. Looke as giving our Hand one to another at our meeting argueth the delivery of our Hearts: So kissing of all other complements or Gestures hath the most evident and expresse representation of that which is within. Life we know consists in Respiration, and our breathing is by our mouth. Kissing is a signe that a man is ready to communicate, and (as it were) to infuse his own proper soule into another. It would be thought on by those who use to give this signe of Affection unto Dogs and such like Creatures.

A Kisse was also an expression of Loyalty and Obedience; So Samuell kissed Saul, 1 Sam. 15.10, 11. And it is the manner of Subjects at this day to kisse the hand of their Soveraigne: The kissing that Mary here used did mani­fest especially her Affection, for want of that was Simon blamed. So then we learne

Doct. The Signes and Testimonies of Affection may not be for­gotten.

It is not enough that the Heart be kindly affected, un­lesse we give due testimony outwardly of that Affection which we beare.

What S. Iames speaks of Faith, Jam. 2.18. Shew mee thy Faith by thy works, may be applied to Love, shew me thy love by thy works. To thy friends (saith Salomon) shew thy selfe friendly, Pro. 18.24.

And were not the signes of true Affection to be re­garded, I see not why the Apostle should give such a speciall charge about them in his Letters,Rom. 16. wishing that his Salutations might be remembred to divers in par­ticular mentioned, as we find at large, Rom. 16. and that they would greet one another with an holy Kisse, Rom. 16.16. 1 Thes. 5.26.

I'le give you Reason for it; Manifestation of Affection breeds Affection, nothing more.

Againe, By this the Truth of Affection may be discovered: Our Love will bee found heereby to bee without Dissimulation, which (if true) like fire will discover it selfe, either by its Smoake or Flame.

Vse 1 Such may do well to think of this, who pretend fer­vency of affection, yet give no testimony of it: They wish well to others (as they say) and pray for them, but for any outward manifestation of this their love, it is not to be seen.

There is a kind of Love indeed which Salomon cals Se­cret, Beda in Pro. 27.5. Prov. 27.5. but he preferres open Rebuke before it. When Love is Chambered and keeps close, we may feare it is uncleane or sicke. And such a Love it is that Salomon speaks of (as Beda understands it) A good and sound love will be seen abroad, and take the aire, els it should not be Faiths Daughter.

Vse 2 Be we perswaded to neglect no good office wherby our Friends may be certified how well we do affect them. Are they in Affliction? then mourne with them, pray for them, minister Counsell, Comfort, Helpe to them. Are [Page 186]they in Prosperity? Rejoyce with them, and indeavour the continuance of their wellfare, what lyes in you. Be not wanting in any one duty of kindnesse and courtesie; entertaine and salute one another with chearfullnesse; (if present) Visit or send some tokens of Love one unto another (if absent.) And to quicken us somewhat more in the performance of this duty; forget not how willing the wicked of the world are, that others should take notice of their Brother-hood in evill. Why then should the godly live like strangers one with an other?

But this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kisse my Feet. Text.

Simons defect is here aboundantly (by this Penitent) supplied. Not his Face, but his very Feet she kisseth; and might it have bin any service to him, the very dust un­der those feet of his should have bin licked by her: So great was the affection which she bare unto our Saviour. Our Collection shall be this,

Doct. Who so loves Christ will be content to kisse even the very Feet of Christ.

Object. But Christ is in Heaven, you will say, who can ascend on high to kisse him?

Resp. Yet we must kisse him, as the Prophet David shews spiritually, though corporally we cannot, Ps. 2.11, 12. More particularly

To kisse is put, first, for Reverence and high estimation Pro. 24.26. And thus we must kisse him, Phil. 2.10.2. It is put for Love and Affection, Ier. 29.13. And thus we must kisse him, Ioh. 21.15. 1 Cor. 16.22.3. For Obedience and Subjection, Gen. 41.40. And this kisse may not be wanting Rom. 14.11. Mat. 17.

S. Bernard makes a whole Sermon of kissing Christ, of which he might say as Lipsius did, when he wrote a Chapter de osculis, beginning thus, Abi Venus, fallem [Page 187]ego te, quae ipsa multos; & de osculis caput scribam & in­scribam, in quo tamen nihil tibi loci autju ris. Venus hath no place therein nor right, and therfore may be gone, it is chast enough: He tels us of a threefold Kisse, which is owing to him. The first is, Osculum pedis, Bern sup. Cant. Serm. 3. the Kisse of his Feet: And this we kisse when the soule doth lie prostrate before him in Humility and Devotion, as we see here Maries did.

The second is, Osculum manus, the Kisse of the hand: And his Hand we kisse when the soule is taken up by him, so as to exercise the workes of Charity and the deeds of Mercie: Of this Kisse our Saviour speakes, Mat. 25.35.

The third is, Osculum oris, A Kisse of the lips: And thus we kisse Christ, when the soule doth enjoy the sweet­nesse of his presence, by the inspiration of his Love and the contemplation of his Glory. Of which kisse the Spouse speaks Cant. 1.2.

And great Reason there is, why Christ should thus be kissed by us. For, first, he is wholy delectable, there is no­thing in him, but is amiable, Cant. 5.2. He came into the world and kissed us, First, with the Kisse of Peace, and that at the first meeting: So sang the Angelicall Quire, Glory be to God on high, and on Earth Peace, &c. And then at his parting, My Peace I leave with you, my Peace I give to you.

2. He kissed us with the Kisse of Reconciliation: Be­fore we had the Kisse of his lips, all things were at vari­ance and disordered, but He made all one, Colos. 1.20. Ioh. 17.11.

3. With the Kisse of Religion he hath kissed us: All those holy Doctrines which dropped from his lips like sweet smelling Myrrh, Cant. 5.13. were as so many kisses. Come unto me all you that are weary and heavy loa­den; Learne of me for I am meeke and lowly, &c. Matth. 11.28, 29. that was a sweet Kisse (saith Melan­cton) Who so is a thirst, let him come hither, Melanc. in Ps. 2 and I [Page 188]will give him to drinke freely, that was another Kisse of his Lips, Iohn 7.37. So Matth. 5.1. &c. Every Beatitude is a Kisse, that whole Sermon of his is like the Book of Canticles, it begins with kissing and ends in Spices.

We read in the French History, History of Iewis 11. l. 1. p 26. that a Queene of France passing by a Chamber in the Court, where the Chancel­lour of the Kingdome lay a sleepe (which she espying) (saith the Story) went and kissed him, saying thus to her Ladies (who began to marvell at it) I kisse not the man, but I kisse that mouth from whence have passed out so many excellent Discourses: Let us kisse both man and mouth: If we do not, it will not be well taken, for so we find, Psal. 7.12. Kisse the Sonne least he be angry, that [He] is God the Father, whom in the ver. before we are willed to serve in Feare, vers. 11. God the Father is provoked to wrath when his Son is not kis­sed, which may be another Reason to put us on upon the Duty.

There is a memorable Story in Theodoret, Theod. l. 5. c. 15. which may serve well for the Illustration and Amplification of this point, it is worth the hearing. Theodosius the Emperour be­ing earnestly sollicited by his Bishops to remove the Arrians from their Churches (but all in vain) Amphilochius Bishop of Iconium used at length this stratagem: He came into the Court and saluted the Emperour, but did not salute Ar­cadius the eldest son of Theodosius who was newly crea­ted Emperour, and then sitting with his Father: The­odosius thinking he had not seen his Sonne, shewed him to the Bishop and willed him to salute and kisse him: Amphilochius answered, that it was enough to honour the Father, and what he had done to the Father vvas suf­ficient for both. Theodosius interpreting this as a con­tempt of his sonne, and so a dishonour to himselfe, grevv very angry, vvhereupon Amphilochius discove­ring himselfe said, Art thou offended O Emperour that I reverence not thy Sonne and so much out of patience [Page 189]with those that reproach him, assure then thy selfe that Almighty God hateth the Blasphemers of his Sonne, and is offended with thee for countenancing these Arrians who are ungratefull wretches against their Saviour and Redeemer. The Emperour overcome with these words, le­gem scribit, made a Law presently, forbidding the Assem­blies of the Arrians.

God counts the honour that is given to his Sonne, as given to himselfe, Gloria Filio, abates not ought of Glo­ria Patri. He counts himselfe served when his Sonne is kissed, Ioh. 5 23. 1 Iohn 2, 22, 23. It would do well to be thought on by those who scruple to give the Sonne the Kisse of Reverence and Subjection which is required, Phil. 2.10, 11. Fearing least they should therby make an inequality amongst the Persons in the bles­sed Trinity.

Vse Seeing those who love Christ will be content to kisse the very Feet of Christ; see we manifest our Love by this signe, and symbole of it. It is no sleight omission (what ere we thinke) Saul tooke notice of those chil­dren of Belial who brought him no presents after he was annoynted King,1 Sam. 10.27. though he held his peace for a while; and Christ doth no lesse observe those who refuse to kisse him not giving him that homage of Love and Duty which is owing him.

But withall look that our kisses be holy and chast kisses, not Idolatrous, as are those kisses given him by Papists. They say they love Christ; how proove they that? Why, by an Argument drawne from kissing; they kisse his Picture, they kisse the Pax, they kisse the Altar. But might not the Israelites under Ieroboam proove their Love to God by the like Argument, for they kissed the Calves, Hos. 13.2. Little love they shew him whilst they rob him of his dignities and offices which God gave him.

Nor may it be a flattering Kisse, such as that is which Hypocrites give him, Ezek. 33.31. Psal. 5.9. & 12. [Page 190]2, 3. & 78.36. Why call you mee Lord, Lord (said Christ) and do not do what what I command you Such kisses Christ hath many. The Arrians thus kissed him in the dayes of Constantine, whilst they professed him to be true God, but did it deceitfully.

Nor may it be a treacherous kisse, as is that which A­postates and Backesliders bestow upon him, 2 Pet. 2.1, 20. Heb. 10.25, 26. Iudas you know kissed his Master, yet delivered him up into the hands of Sinners. I would it were not so with many; but thus it is, whilst men kisse Reli­gion and betray the Truth, kisse it at Church and betray it at Home.

Nor may we give him an Ʋnchast kisse, as doe all Prophane ones, who cry out, Let us sinne that Grace may abound and good may come, Rom. 3.8. Turning the Grace of GOD into lasciviousnesse. Iud. 4. Because Christ hath shed his blood, they will commit sinne more greedily. Such kissers likewise were the Nicho­laitans, who beeing called to the Knowledge of the Gospell did teach most licentious Doctrine. With those the Church of Ephesus was troubled, Revel. 2.6. And (as it may be feared) we may find of that stampe lurking in Corners more then were to be wi­shed.

To Conclude, as Saint Ambrose answered Ʋa­lentine the Arrian when hee came and kissed him, Quid oscularis eum quem non ignoveris? Why do­est thou kisse him whom thou carest not for? Soe will CHRIST one Day reproove all such as these are, And when his wrath is kindled though but a little, blessed are all they that put their trust in him, Psalme 2.12.

VERSE 46. Mine Head with Oyle thou didst not annoynt: Text. But this woman hath annoynted my Feet with Oyntment.

Palest inis mos erat in Festis caput u [...]gendi, Lyra.Here Simon failed against Hospitality. For the use in those Countryes was to annoynt their Guests heads at Banqu [...]ts, therby to cheare and refresh their spirits: To which custome our Savi [...]ur doth allude, Mat. 6.17 In this Simon was wanting, for which he is checked by our Savi­our. We note hence,

Doct. First, That God allowes us not onely for necessity, but likewise for delight and pleasure: Not only alimonta, nourishment for our emptinesse, but de lectamenia, that which is delicious to the sence and Pallat, as shews the Psalmist, Psal. 104 14, [...]5. Thus he gave the Israelites Manna for their need, and Quailes for their lust, Psal. 78.29. And to the Prodigall he gave not onely Indu­menta, convering for his nakednesse, but Ornamenta, cloathing for his Comelinesse, as J have shewed more largely in that my Exposition on the Prodigall, Luke 15.22.

Vse. And now, O man what doth God require for this rich bounty of his? Surely no more but that thou wouldest rejoyce in him, who so many waies hath given thee great cause of rejoycing; and be encouraged to serve him with chearfullnesse of heart, wherof this annoynting at Feasts was a signe; which is the next thing I meane to speake off, laying downe this as a Conclusion from my Text,

Doct. Mirth and chearfullnesse at Feasts is a thing commendable and allowable.

Had it not bin so, I see not why Simon should be bla­med for this neglect. But without Question it is a Truth, as may appeare by that we read, Deut. 14.26. & 16 15. Three times in the yeare did the Lord com­mand his people to meet, and then to keepe a Feast for [Page 192]seven dayes together; at which Feast they must eat of the best and drink of the best, and in a speciall manner it was required of them that they should be chearful and rejoyce before the Lord; and why should Feasting be required of them if they might not be chearful [...]? Salomon tels us that there is nothing better for a man, then that he should eat and drinke and that he should make his soule enjoy good in his labour, Eccles. 2.24. Chapt. 8.15. He com­mendeth mirth and chearefullnesse, because a man hath no better thing under the Sunne then to eat and drinke and to be merry; yea although it be the bread of sorrow that a man eateth, or the cup of affliction that he drinketh, yet it shall be a mans wisdome to eate and drinke it cheare­fully.

Reason. The Reason is there rendered, That shall abide with him of his labour, the dayes of his life which God hath given him under the Sunne, that is, it shall make him to abide and continue though troubles assault him never so much, or it shall abide with him and keepe him company in his labour (as Arrius Montanus expounds it) and make him better able to abide his labour, which without chearefullnesse he will soone sinke under, and his spi­rit become broken (as Salomon shews else where, Prov. 15.13.) For such is our frailty that if we were not strengthened and refreshed with baits in the way our minds would grow dull and sluggish,Democrit. and our bodies be tired out: The Heathen of old could say that the life of a man without some delight was like a long way vvithout an Inne, in which all is travell and toyle, but no comfort or refreshing; The soule of such an one would be like a Flower that growes alwayes in the shade which is nothing so sweet,Quis dabit hor­tulo meo hanca­quā? quis dabit, ut tota hortuli mei facies irrig­ua sit laetitia, et lucis rivulus ni­hil in eo sterile nor lovely, as that vvhich grows in the sight of the Sun.

Hereupon one vvriting of Chearfullnesse, saith thus: Who will give into my little Garden this water? Who will cause that the whole face or plot of my Garden may be watered with chearefullnesse, so that by the Rivers of [Page 193]lightsomnesse, sit, aut quadam indevotione tri­ste Vicina ste­rilitati videtur operatio tristis & spirituali [...] gaudij carens irrigatione Gilbert Serm. 34. in Cant. there may be nothing in it either barren or els sad by a kind of indevotion: For a sad working, wanting the watering of a spirituall chearfullnesse, seemeth to be neare unto barrennesse.

Vse You see hence how they are much mistaken which ima­gine that there is no Joy nor mirth belonging to a Chri­stian life, and that in the Kingdome of Christ there is nothing but sighing and groaning fasting and praying, &c. This is but an illusion of Satan wherwith he dis­heartens commers on from a Christian course: For Religion is no enemy to honest mirth and delights; nor are there any merrier people in the World then those that truly feare the Lord: And God allowes them to be thus merry at meat, and merry at worke, even in his presence. Thou shalt rejoyce [before me] saith God, Deut. 14.26, Servants use to be most merry amongst themselves; the presence of Master or Mistres damps their mirth, but the servants of Christ be as merry in his presence, as behind his back; yea they are more mer­ry when he is with them, then when he is absent from them, Mat. 9.15. And it is a great fault in any to condemne them for this Christian liberty which God gives them (it being rightly used) as we find by that an­swer, which our Saviour there makes to the Pharisees in this very case.

Vse 2 And let Christians be rightly perswaded of their liber­ty and use it accordingly. The counsell is passing good that is given by the Preacher, Go thy way eate thy bread with Ioy and drinke thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy workes: Let thy garments all­wayes be white and let thine head lacke no oyntment. Live joyfully with the wife, which thou lovest all the dayes of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the Sunne; for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the Sunne, Eccles. 9.7, 8, 9.Hieron. in loc. Which words S. Hierom tells us are in a spirituall sense the voice of that Preacher, who in [Page 194]the Gospell saith, If any man thirst let him come unto me and drinke. But whoever be the Preacher we shall doe well to consider, what is said, and to whom it is spoken: It is not an eating to beget Ioy; nor a drinking of wine to breed a merry heart, that is spoken off by the Preacher, for as S. Hierom well observes, Non ha­beat veram laetitiam & cor bonum, qui creaturis supra moaum abutitur, He hath not true Joy, nor a good merry heart, who by excesse abuseth the Creatures. That that is here spoken of is an eating with Ioy and drinking of Wine with a merry heart, so that the Joy and the mirth do as it were prepare the stomack, therby to make the nourishment to do the more good, and to make him that receiveth it the more forward and hearty in prai­sing God for it.

Nor is this counsell given to every one, the words are spoken to the righteous man, to such whose workes God accepteth, vade Iuste, saith Lyra, Go thou righteous man, eat thy bread vvith Joy, &c. that is, vive in jucundi­tate mentis ex testimonio bonae conscientiae procedente; live in chearfullnesse of mind proceeding from the te­stimony of a good Conscience, knowing thy selfe to be reconciled to God in Christ, and having a comfor­table evidence of the pardon of thy sins, and that God accepteth of thy labours and indeavours, be thou merry and chearfull (as David speaketh, Psal. 32.11.) and let not any thing cause thee to eat thy bread with sad­nesse or drinke thy wine with heavinesse. A health­full and sound body is fittest for mirth and freest in mirth; wherfore seeing God accepts thy workes, there is health and soundnesse; let there be also free­nesse of Joy; let thy Garments be white and thy head want no oyntment; see thy Disposition be chear­full, and let no comfortable thoughts be wanting to thy mind.

As for sinners they lie under the curse and guilt of sin, and are like condemned Persons going to execution, and [Page 195]a man would thinke they have little cause to be merry, and if they be, yet the end of that mirth will be but heavinesse, Prov. 14.13. Gaudet in prima sessione (saith Gregory) hilarescit in primo re [...]ubitu, inslatur in primae salutatione: Sed hoc gaudium quid crit, Greg. Moral. l. 15 c. 2. quan­do irruente mortis articulo it a consumitur ac si omnino non fuerit? At the first sitting downe at the Feast of sin, the wicked man is pleasant, at the first lying downe in the bed of sinne, he is merry, at the first meeting with his sinfull companions, he is blowen up with Joy: But what will this joy be when the point of death rushing upon him, all his joy shall be destroyed, as if it ne­ver had bin.

And to conclude this Point, seeing it is easie for a man to surfeit with eating honey, Pro. 25.16. and that we are ne­ver more apt to forget our selves than when we are most merry. Let us in the midst of our rejoycing beware that we riot not upon his aboundance: We are sullen guests if we scant our selves, where he hath bin libe­rall, and depart away from his full Table hungry: We are unworthy guests if we turne his plenty into wantonnesse; be not so merry as to forget God, nor so sorrowfull as to forget your selves. The Philistins in the Feast called for Sampson to make them sport. Let not us do so: In the midst of our mirth remember we Ierusalem. It is a fault to forget her, but horrible im­piety to remember her with a sacrilegious frump. We come now to the Penitents supply of that wherin Simon was defective.

But this woeman hath annoynted my Feet with Oynt­ment. Text.

Our blessed Saviour had no other Gifts given (that we read off) but Gold, Spices and Oyntments. The Wise men offered him Gold, as to a King: And Spices for Incense, as to a God. And this womans Oyntment, which was pow­red [Page 196]once on his head, as Math. 26.7 and another time on his Feet, as in our Text, and this she did as to a man. Royalty is noted by the Gold, Divinity by the Incense, Mortality by the Oyntment: So our blessed Saviour himselfe applyeth it, Matth. 26.12. Iohn 12.7. (i. e.) it should serve in the roome of that which they used to bestow on the body after it was dead, and which the woman intended and prepared for, as we read, Luke 23.56. but came too late, Hee was risen be­fore.

It is a Question amongst Expositors, first, whither or no it was one and the same Mary that this Evangelist S. Luke here speakes off, who annoynted our Saviours feet and that the other Evangelists mention, who annoynted his head.

2. Whether it was one and the same annoynting or done at severall times. Of both briefly.

Some are of opinion that our Saviour was thrice an­noynted and that by three severall women. Once here, of which annoynting this our Evangelist only speaks per­formed by this sinner at which was no murmuring. Another time in the house of Simon the Leper, of which annoynting S. Matthew and S. Marke speak, at which the Disciples murmured, and that was two dayes before the Passeover. A third time he was annoynted in the pre­sence (not of Simon, but) of Lazarus (not two dayes, but) six dayes before the Passeover, of which S. Iohn speaks, Iohn 12. Iudas then onely murmuring, thus Origen, Tract. 35. in Matth. But this Opinion is refuted by Rof­fensis.

Others conceive that there were but two annoyntings and done by two severall Maries, the one by this wo­man who was called an Harlot, the other by Mary the sister of Lazarus, who was never so called (say they) Thus Chrysostome in his 81. Hom. in Mat. And Hierom on Mat. 26.4.

Others conceive that it was the same Mary who did [Page 197]all, and that at two severall times, the act of one time rela­ted by three Evangelists, Ego quidem nihil aliud intelli­gendū arbitror, nisi qu [...]d non a­liam fuisse mu­lierem, quae pee­catrix tum ac­cessit ad pedes Iesu, sed eandē Mariam bis hoc fecisse, Albert. in Luc. 7. Aquin in Ioh. 12. and the act of the other time by S. Luke only; and this Reffensis proves by many strong Argu­ments.

And of this Opinion is S. Austin de Cons. Evang. lib. 2. cap. 70.

So S. Ambrose on this place, and Gregory in his Mor. Beda, Leo, and all the Schoolemen, especially Alber­tus and Aquinas are herein most confident.

That which may resolve this doubt in question and confirme this Opinion (me thinkes) is that, Ioh. 11.2. Where the Act of annoynting Christ, and the name of her Person is mentioned,This Mary was ever known by the name of Mary Magdalen It was that Mary which an­noynted the Lord with oyntment and wiped his Feet with her haires, whose Brother Lazarus was dead: There is mention of one annoynting, and Chap. 12.3. there is speech of a second annoynting, Then tooke Mary a pound of Oyntment of Spiknard very costly and annoyn­ted the Feet of Jesus, and wiped his Feet with her haire. Nor is it enough to say as Taber doth that it is spoken by Anticipation: For in all S. Iohns Gospell (as Roffensis an­swers) there is not one Anticipation, nothing related by the Tence of the time past, that was to be future, and at that time not finished.

As for those seeming differences in the Evangelist about the last annoynting, they may thus be reconciled: Wher­as in one place all the Disciples are said to murmur, and in S. Iohn Iudas alone is charged with it, that Iudas perswaded them to it. And indeed they spake out of a care of the poore, but Iudas out of a theevish in­tention: So S. Augustine de Cons. Evang. lib. 2. Cap. 77.

And for the annoynting of his Feet in one place, and in another place it is said his Head: these are reconciled (saith S. Austin) if we say she annoynted both Head and Feet, first, she began at his feet and so breaking the box diffused the residue upon his head.

For the time in that one saith it was six daies before the Passeover, the other but two, let no man be troubled at this (saith S. Austin) For St. Matthew speaketh by way of Recapitulation, and having spoken of the Passe­over to come within two dayes doth not say (After these things Jesus being in the house of Simon the Le­per) but only makes relation of a thing already done, not setting down the time.

To say no more of this confused and perplexed Questi­on, which hath in it more subtilty than use or profit, as E­rasmus speaks.

This Oyntment the woman brought was choise: Eve­ry Evangelist hath an Attribute to honour it withall. St. Mathew calls it sumptuous. St. Iohn honourable: And our Evangelist saith it was an Alablaster box, vers 37. As if it were a silect parcell picked and chosen out from the best she had, with this she annoynts Christs Feet, and supplies the defect of ordinary oyle for his head. Let us ob­serve from hence.

Doct. Love is liberall (if not Prodigall) of the best it hath to bestow on Christ: It thinks nothing too good not too cost­ly to be given to him, or bestowed on him, that is within our power.

The Apostle tels us that Love is bountifull and seeketh not its owne things, 1 Cor. 18.4. And you may find it true.

Abraham loved GOD, and he is not backeward to offer up his dearest Isaack unto GOD, if GOD requires it.

Davids heart was inflamed with a Love to GOD, and he will be content to be at any cost for GOD: He will not offer unto him that which cost him nothing, 2 Sam. 24.24. He prepares with all his might for the house of the Lord, bringing Gold, Silver, Brasse, Iron, Wood, Onix-stones, and glistering Stones of divers colours, and all manner of pretious Stones, and marble Stones in abun­dance, &c. 1 Chron. 22.14. & 29.2.

The Converts in the Apostles time how bountifull were they! For the Gospell of Christ they sold their lands and brought the prices of the things sold, and laid them at the Apostles Feet, Act. 4.32, 34. They were content for the love they bare to Christ to suffer the spoyling of their goods with Joy, Heb. 10.34. Nay they loved not their lives unto death, Revel. 12.1 [...]. Act. 20.24. No nor their Salvation in comparison of Gods Glory, Exod. 32.12, 32. Rom. 9.3.

Vse Should the Love of many be brought to this tryall how defective would it be found! We pretend we love GOD, but when it comes to matter of Cost, we go away with the Young-man in the Gospell, very sorrowfull, they part with their silver, with their pleasure, &c. as the Divell in the Gospell parted with the possessed party, even with much rending and tearing, all possible signes of un­willingnesse.

Had we tasted with this Convert how sweet the Lord is, or were our soules truly touched with a sense of our owne wretchednesse and misery, and of the riches of Gods Grace and Mercy in the pardoning therof, we would study with David what to render, we would rea­dily bring our daintiest and costliest perfumes, and spend them upon the Feet of our Saviour: Yea if so much of our bloud as this woman brought oyntment might be use­full or pleasing to our Saviour, we would chearfully con­secrate it to his Name.

But alas for us, this Penitent gave for Quality what was precious, we offer unto God what is vile and base and with blemish. And for Quantity she gave by the pound, Iohn 12.3. we by the ounce and scarce weight too, as Leonides Alexanders Steward told him he be­stowed too much Frankincense on his gods: So our worldly and impenitent hearts tell us that every thing is too much that is laid out for God on his House and for his Gospell; yea we grudge our Master that unct­ion which is bestowed on him though at anothers cost, and [Page 200]cry out with Iudas, Ad quid perditi [...] hac, why is this waste?

Let not such tell ne that they honour God with their hearts as well as the best, for where the heart is inlar­ged, the hand cannot be streightned; where the bow­els are opened, the Purse will not be shut, as you see it in Parents toward their children, and in one true friend unto another.

I am as thou art, said Iehoshaphat to Ahab, and my people are as thy people, and my horses are as thy horses, &c. 2 Chron. 18.3. Ionathan loves David as his soule, and he will strip himselfe even to his Sword and Bow, for the supporting and helping of David when need requires, 1 Sam. 18.3, 4. And can you think that he who gave Gold and Iewells towards making of the Arke would deny Goates-Haire? Had a man given his heart to God, he would never grudge him the offall of the things of this world:Rom. 8.32. It is the Apostles argument of Gods liberality to us: He that spared not his only son, but gave him for us, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things? So hadst thou given thy selfe to God, thou wouldest never grudge him thy Purse nor Prayse.

Object. But Christ hath now no need of our Alabla­ster-Boxes, he is in Heaven and stands not in need of our Oyntments?

Opus bonum quod fecimus propter Deum, et secundù Deü, & ad gloriam Dei est unguen­tum super caput Christi effusum Orig. Resp. And yet he is in the midst of us, and with us to the end of the world, Matth. 18.20. & 28.20. And so long there is use of our Oyntments. His Glory is his Head, and the Poore that are amongst us are his Feet; by works of Mercy we annoynt his Feet, and by yeel­ding him due Glory we annoynt his Head: So (saith S. Chrysostome) Caput Christi ungua [...] si omnia in Christi gloriam referas: Nor may we be without this Box of Oyntment: In all places we come we must be powring out, Colos. 3.17. 1 Cor. 10.31. And from thence it must runne downe to the skirts of his Garment; His [Page 201]Feet must savour of our Spikenard, which they shall doe when by our workes of Mercy shewed to the poore and needy, we cause them also to glorifie our Father which is in Heaven, and blesse his Name for us. Of which more hereafter on the Penitents Dismission. And thus much of the Preference, the Inference made by our Saviour followes.

Wherefore I say unto thee her sins which are many are forgi­ven, Text. for she loved much: Verse 47 but to whom little is forgiven the same loveth little.

Here our Saviour concludes the Doctrine before deli­vered and recalls Simon from the Hypothesis to the Thesis. Wherin we have to be considered, first, the Doctrine, Her sins which are many, &c. 2. The Confirmation, Wherefore I say unto thee.

In the Doctrins we have, first a Position, Her sinnes which are many are forgiven, for she loved much. 2. An Opposition. But to whom little is forgiven the same loveth little.

We will begin with the Confirmation, which we will briefly dispatch and come to the Doctrine.

Wherefore I say unto thee] [...], Text. Wherefore.

Hence may be observed,

Doct. That Doctrines delivered should be well grounded and aptly inferred, there must be, [...], a propter quod, or cujus gratia, a ground or cause; a Wherefore upon which we build, Ioh. 3.11. We speake that we know, saith Christ, so should we doe. Our Doctrine, saith S. Paul was with much assurance, 1 Thes. 1.5. So should ours be. We should be able to proove what we say. This is to build Gold, Silver, pretious Stones upon the Foundation, and not wood, hay or stubble, 1 Cor. 3.12.

Vse The more to be pittyed is the practise of such as speake not out of Knowledge, but by guesse, not [...], but [...], their owne conjectures in stead of truth of Scripture, blundering out at all adventures the follies of their owne braine, Modò dicunt, quo dicunt modo, vil pensi habent, as Scaliger saith of the Grecians: So they say somewhat, after vvhat manner they say it, they doe not greatly passe. Their pace is a full Ca­reer wildly over hills and dales, they run till the Clocke and Time stop them;De reatly in his Clavis Myst p 135. aptly are they compared by a learned and judicious Divine to Squibs or small Fire­workes, which as soone as they take fire, never leave popping and shooting and making a hideous noyse till all the powder be spent, their best provision being like that vvhich the Apostles had in the Wildernesse after Christs miraculous Feast, a few Baskets full of broken meat. Mat. 14.20.

A good Minister should be able to say vvith Iohn, 1 Ioh. 1.1. That vvhich vve have heard sitting at the Feet of our learned Gamaliels, and that vvhich vvee have seene vvith our Eyes and looked on, found out by reading and searching of the holy Scriptures, and good Authours; yea that vvhich vvee have handled and felt the Power of in our owne hearts, declare vve unto you; such an experimentall Preacher is the best Preacher.

The second thing we observe hence is,

Doct. CHRISTS word is sufficient Confirmation of Doctrine.

You see our Saviour propoundeth his Doctrine in his owne name, he vvould be knowne to be the Doctor of the Chaire, vvhose voice alone must be heard both of Pastors and people.

Vse Let us rest satisfied vvith that, Pythageras his [...] svvayed his Schollers; so should Christ his [...] beare svvay vvith us: Scipio's Souldiers in Obedience to his command would leape downe from the battle­ments [Page 203]of a Towre. If his command could prevaile so much with his men, what should Gods (Ego dico, I say) do with us? Resolve with thy selfe to give cre­dit to what God doth say, though a thousand divels should gain-say it. This Point we have handled more largely, on Luk. 15.7-10. We leave the Confirmation, and come now to the Doctrine.

Her Sinnes which are many are forgiven her, Text. for she lo­ved much, &c.

This is the Position, wherin we must take notice, first of the Point, secondly, Of the Proofe.

The Poynt is this, Her sinnes which are many are forgi­ven her.

The Proofe, in the other clause, For she loved much, q. d. Were it not thus, she could not manifest such love unto me, for it ariseth from a Sense she hath of my Mercy in the Forgivenesse of her so many and great sinnes.

First of the Point, which hath two Branches. First, Mary's sinnes were many. Secondly. Those many sins wherof she was guilty, were remitted and forgiven her. Of the first.

Maries sins were many

In the 37. vers. of this Chapter, she was called Pecca­trix, 1 King. 1.21. Psal. 26.9. Mat. 9.10, 13. & 11.12. Luk. 5.30. & 19.7. Joh. 9.16, 31. 1 Cor. 15.17. a Sinner. They are called Sinners usually in Scrip­ture, who make a trade and custome of sin, and are so viciously given as that they are reputed, and that justly vile, living and lying in sin, and obdured in a notorious trade of evill. Sin indeed is in all, but all are not in their sin, i. e. drowned, captivated, dungeon'd under it. We say such a man is indrinke; drinke may be in him yet he sober, but when we say he is in drinke, it implyes that he is exceedingly overcome with it and [Page 204]drunken. Sin is in the Godly, it dwelleth in me (saith S. Paul, Psal. 3 [...].11. Job 1.1. Mat. 1.19. Rom. 7.20.) It was an Inmate to him (and that sore against his will too) but he saith not that he dwelt in sinne, for than that should be his Lord and he an Inmate to it. A man that hath sinne in him may be said to be godly and perfect, as they are said to be in Scriptures; but he that is in his sins cannot be said to be so. The one may have a graine of Ʋngodlinesse in him (yea many) but the Vngodlines of the other is in grain: And such was this Woman, She was sinfull for her life, hatefull for her lust, a notorious, enormious, publike Publican; one who by custome in her sinne became so inveterate, that she tooke her name from thence, a Sinner, yea a City-Sinner, one in whose heart the Divell occupied a large roome, and found good entertainment, els he would never have taken sixe o­ther inmates with him to dwell and lodge there, as we read he did, Luke 8.2. Mark. 16.9. Which (whither (with S. Ambrose) we understand seven reall Divells, as generally it is understood, or the manifoldnesse of her sinnes and filthy life (according to that in the Parable, Luk. 11.26.) (as St. Gregory conceives to be the meaning) discovers that she was a vicious Woman and lived incontinently: She had an unclean spi­rit in her, which brought in others with him, and had got the Mastery of her heart, and gives us thus much to under­stand,

Doct. Incontinency of life is enough to give the denomination, and is a sin that is accompanied with many other sins besides it selfe.

A brood of sins are hatched out of this one Egge. Instance we but in Davids case (we need go no fur­ther) The Divell having prevailed with him in the sinne of Adultery, drawes him on to other sins, wher­by he might hide his wickednesse from the world, so that they might not espy it. First, He sends speedily for Ʋriah the husband of Bathsheba (whom he had [Page 205]defiled) and calls him from the Field under a colour of desiring to be made acquainted by his Report with the state of the Campe and the successe of the service, when all was but merus pretextus, a meere pretence: For David intended no other thing then by his being at home and companying with his wife,1 Sam. 11.8, 10 that adulte­rous conception might be (if not altogether secured, yet) the lesse suspected. And thus hee sought to cloake the matter by a false Imputation. In which plot David did not only sin against God and his own soule, but intended three other notorious Injuries: The first was against the Conception, that child which was begotten of his body he would have disclaimed and renounced before it was borne. The second was against Ʋriah on whom he would have obtruded a child by fraud and imposture. The third against Ʋ ­riah his Family and Posterity, Intrudit filium suum in agros Ʋriae, Pet. Mar. which by his meanes might have bin (if not defrauded, yet) in all likely-hood wronged much in their Inheritance.

Vers. 13 This plot not succeeding thus twice tryed, he layes another traine for him, which was a very bad and lewd one: The next day he invites him to his Ta­ble to eat and drinke and that of purpose to make him drunke; questionlesse David hated drunkennesse in his heart, and it is like he did punish it in others, and yet to hide his owne shame, he is not ashamed to draw Ʋriah into this wickednesse. But all this took no place; for though Ʋriah with the royall wine was overcome, yet (as God would have it) not so farre as to bee deprived of his senses, hee still remembers the Arke of the LORD, the dan­ger of the Hoast of Israell, and will not goe home to his Wife, so that still Davids sin is like to come to light.

Vers. 15 The thoughts of David did not thus give over, now he deviseth how to take away Ʋriahs life, and to practise the death of an innocent man, and one of his worthies, ho­ping [Page 206]by that meanes a free way might be made for this matching with the widdow, and so the child might be thought to be begotten in wedlock. But how shall this be done? Why Ioab the Generall of the Campe must be wrought unto the place Ʋriah in the fore­front of the battle, and then suddenly to retire from him; that so Ʋriah being left in danger, he might be smitten and die by the sword of the children of Ammon. O! What a notorious treachery was this! Surpassing that which Ahab used against Naboth: For He coveted but his Vineyard, David Ʋriahs wife, Ahab was put on to that through the provocation of Iesabell, David to this through the lust of his owne heart; in that Naboath died alone, in this diverse of the people of the servants of David fell, Vers. 17 for though Ioabs Commission extended no further than to the smi­ting of Ʋriah, yet that could not be done without the losse of more. And thus you see how he stood not out against this temptation to Adultery, but gave way to it, is at length become a man of blood, a sin that usually followes the sin of Ʋncleanenesse, Hoc solum inter omnia malum nihil habet cui comparari possit Basil Epist. ad Orig lapsum. as is confirmed and justified by too much experience. No marvell then S. Basil speaking of Adultery averreth, That this evill amongst all hath nothing to which it may be compared.

Vse. Let such as are guilty of this sin beware how they sleight it. Rogo quantum crimen est ubi stuprum & Adulterium parvum est? Hierō; Epist. 48. (saith St. Hierom) I pray you how great is the wickednesse where Whoredome and Adultery is thought to be small? There is no sin that doth more enlarge Hell or endanger the soule of man than this.

I have read a Storie of a Hermet that led a devout and solitary life, one day talking with the Divell, he de­manded of him which were the greatest sins, he answe­red him Covetousnesse and Lust: The other demanded againe whether Blasphemy and Perjury were not grea­ter; [Page 207]the Reply of Satan was that in the Schooles of Divinity they were the greatersins, but for the encrease of his Revenews the other were farre the greater. And therefore Beda stiles Lust, filiam Diaboli, Bada in Pro. 30 the daughter of the Divell, which bringeth forth many children to him daily. Nor doth any one such speciall service to the Divell, as an Harlot. By her the wisest man, by her the strongest man, by her an whole army of men have bin ensnared, as we read, Numb. 31.16. For when Balaac the King and Balaam the Prophet had pra­ctised against Gods people to bring them out of Gods Favour and by no meanes could: This course was taken through the advice of Balaam that witch: A Squadron of the fairest women that the country could afford were sent amongst the Israelites (saith Lyra) who did beare in their Banner for their device the Image of Belphegor, which was the Idoll of the Moa­bites and Midianites, and in this Pit-fall was 24 thou­sand taken who rendred themselves captives to those Mo­abitish women, committed whoredome with them and ado­red their god, Numb. 25.12.

Nor need the Soule any other conveyance to the pit of Hell then this;Pro. 5.5. Her feet got downe to death and her steps take hold on Hell(saith Salomon of the whorish woman.) It is downe Hill and they goe apace unto it, yea are very neare it, at the pits brinke, they take possession of it, as one doth by holding the ring of a doore, there is no more to be done, but to set up their abode in it, and unto that they make great speed, if timely Repen­tance prevent not.

There be those who flatter themselves in the indiffe­rency or sleightnesse of this sin, conceiting it is but a tricke of Youth, &c. but that is an unhappy trick that endangereth a mans soule. Let them take heed they loose not Heaven by this trick they have, and plunge themselves into the pit of Perdition before they be a ware. It is truly said, A whore is the high way to [Page 208]Hell, he that looks on her with lust, begins his journy; he that stayes to talke with her is halfe his way; he that enjoyes her is at his journeyes end. And who so hath thus fallen must go the price of many a teare and heavy groane of a broken heart to recover himselfe; no way but by unfained Repentance to helpe themselves, which was the course this Penitent took in my Text. And so though they have admitten such a. Prostitution of their bodies as she did, they shall obtaine such a Restitution of their Honours as she had, who of a grievous Sinner became a rare Saint, and had Her sins forgiven, which is the next Branch of the Point I am to speak.

The many sins wherof Mary was guilty, upon her Re­pentance were forgiven her; so then this is an undoubted Truth,

Doct. That greevous Sinners upon Repentance shall finde Mercy.

See more of this Point in my Expos. on the Parable of the Prodigall. Ezek. 18.22, 23 And for further Proofe, read, 2 Chron. 33.12. 1 Cor. 6.11. 1 Tim. 1.12, 13. Acts 2.138, 39. Luk. 15.20.

What should hinder? Such are Subjects cape­able of Mercie being sensible of their vilenesse and Misery.

And God is both able and willing to shew them mercy, their debt is already payd, as before hath bin noted. So that he can do it, and he is as willing as able, for mercy pleaseth him.

Vse Though then thou hast bin an egregious Sinner and led a vicious life, defiling thy foule with many sins, yet suffer not thy selfe through Satans malice to be plunged into the pit of despaire; thou hast provoked Gods Justice grie­vously heretofore by thy Presumption, wrong not his Mercy through Desperation. Read and regard what thou readest, Ezek. 18.27. There thou shalt find that if in case any hath defiled his Neighbours wife, op­pressed the poore and Fatherlesse or taken by Vio­lence [Page 209]from them, or lift up his Eyes to Idolls, or gi­ven out to [...]su [...]y; all fowle and notorious crymes, yet if that man return from his wickednesse that he hath com­mi [...]ed he shall save his soule alive, he shall live and not die as we find, v. 28.

If you [...]sire to see the force of the rule in some Exam­ples, you have many, Si impius es cogita Publicanum, &c. (saith S. Chrysostome) If thou b [...]st wicked, thinke on the Publican; If uncleane, forget not Rahab; If a man-slayer, looke upon the Thiefe; If unjust, thinke on the Blasphemer; If an Idolater, remember Abraham; If a Persecutor, remember Paul: And amongst all o­ther Examples have this in our Text in thy mind: God forbid that any one Divell should get the posses­sion of thy heart, as he had of hers, and yet though it had, nay though seven, though a Legion of Divels were in thee, thy Confession and Teares would cast them out.

We read, Hosea 2.15. that God promiseth to give to the Children of Israell the valley of Achor for the doore of Hope, alluding to that we read, Iosh. 7.5, 25, 26. This Valley of Achor, was the place where A­chan and his Family were stoned to death, for taking of the accursed thing: Which Valley was afterwards by Ioshua named the Ʋalley of Achor, because the people of Israell being there overcome by the men of Ai, were exceedingly troubled so that their hearts melted like water, and little hope they had of entering into the Land of Promise, the which reason of that name Ioshua himselfe giveth, Ʋerse 25, 26. But afterwards this Valley was unto them a place of great Ioy and C [...]m­fort, both because they there obtained a great victory against their Enemyes, and also because they enjoyed this Valley which was exceeding fertile and fruitfull of Vines and other Trees, which served as pledges to confirme their hope and assurance of injoying that good I and which God had promised to give them, not­withstanding [Page 210]the malice of their enemies. Thus the former Doctrine delivered of the vilenesse and dauger of that sin of Ʋncleanenesse and Incontinency is like to the Ʋalley of Achor, full of trouble and griefe to all such as are guilty. But this Ʋalley of Achor is gi­ven for a doore of hope; this Maries Repentance is of purpose recorded to raise up the hopes of dejected spi­rits; for God is still the same, and as ready to receive Peni­tents as he ever was.

At the presence of the Sunne all the other lights with-draw themselves, and hide their heads in a coward­ly kind of fashion; but when the Moone begins to shine, they recover their former boldnesse, and liber­ty. Had we no other to cast our Eyes you, but such as Iohn Baptist, and that Mary who was blessed above women, the mother of our Lord where were our hopes? But where we have the Examples of such Sinners as these afore mentioned shining to us, we cannot but hold up our heads and come abroad expect­ing to be made partakers upon Repentance of the like Mercy: Wherfore let not the Eunuch say, I am a dry Tree; let none say J have beene an Adulterer, a Murtherer and can have no place in Heaven: For who so confesseth and forsaketh sin shall find Mercy assu­redly.

Noli dicere nū quid ecce talem hominem Deus correcturus est [...]am malum tā perversum? no­li desperare, quē rogas attende, non pro quo ro­gas, magnitudi­nom mo [...]bi vi de [...], potentia [...]n nedici non vi­des, Aug in Ps. 55.As we may not despaire of our selves, neither may we despaire of others, say not (saith S. Austin) what will God ever amend such a man so wicked, so perverse? Do not despaire, look on him to whom thou prayest, and not on him for whom thou prayest: Thou seest the greatnesse of the disease, thou seest not the power of the Physitian. Thou seest such an one to runne on in the race of wickednesse, led captive of the Divell to doe his will, a branch of the wild Olive, &c. yet let all rash Judgement of his future estate be restreyned, how desperate soever his present estate may seeme to thee to be, Qui fecit, reficere potest, he [Page 211]that made him can mend him, God is able to graft him in, Rom. 11.23. And who knoweth what his will is, Whose wayes are past finding out. Shoot not th [...]n your Fooles bolt so rashly, as with the Barbarians to say, surely this man or woman is a Reprobate; notorious Sinners may be called, when glorious Hypocrites shall be condemned, Publicans and Harlots saved, when conceited Scribes and Pharisees shall bee re­jected.Mat. 21.

Was not this woman as unlikely to have prooved a holy liver as any thou knowest? Had not the Di­vell as strong Possession of her, whilst she was under the guard of seven uncleane spirits? Was not Paul as unlikely to have prooved so able a Minister of the Gospell of Christ, whilst he was a Persecutor of the Saints, a Blasphemer of God, Act. 9.1.2. &c. Hadst thou seen him with the High-Priest, when his Commission was a sealing for the apprehending and punishing of all those who professed Christ, whither they were men or wo­men, and met him in the way trudging to Damascus for that end and purpose, little wouldst thou have thought, that this man would ever have sealed the Gospell with his blood, and have bin so zealous as af­terwards he was, in that way which he now persecu­ted. As the winde bloweth where it will, so the Spi­rit beateth where it pleaseth him. Nec quantitas criani­nis, Cypr Serm de cana Domini. nec brevitas temporis, nec horae extremitas, nec v [...]tae enormitas excludit a venia (saith St. Cyprian) Neither doth the greatnesse of the Crime, not the shor [...]sse of the Time, neither the extreamity of the last howre, nor the Enormitie of the whole life exclude from par­don.

In the 2 Sam. 1. We read of an Amalekite, who brought news to David the King, of the Death of Saul; and to assure David therof he told him that he himselfe stood upon him and slew him, because he was sure hee could not live beeing fore wounded, [Page 212] verse 9, 10. Upon which Relation David presently commanded that this Amalekite should be put to Death, as one condemned by his owne mouth, verse 15, 16. Why what was his offence? Wherin had he deserved Death? Alas, Saul was fallen before upon his owne Speare; it was but mercy to kill him out right who was halfe dead already, &c. Yea but Saul said (by his owne Confession) my life is yet whole in me, he was not dead yet, he was alive, and whilst there is life there is hope, therfore did David slay him, Q [...]um percussum ab hoste desperasset esse victurum, & eum sublata spei filucia jugulasset, D [...]erm. [...]om. in Eccl. c. 2. v. 20 because that being wounded of the Enemy he despai­red of life, and having no confidence of hope, he had killed the annoynted of the Lord: He should have used his best diligence to have preserved Saul, and done what lay in him to have bound up his wounds, and not by despaire of helpe to say he could not live. And thus is it in the case of sinne. If we see any desperately wounded, yet whilst life re­maines there is hope of Mercy to be had; fall not upon him with thy Sword, slay him not out right by thy rash censure, but follow thou the Apostles Direction, 2 Tim. 2.25. Instruct them who are con­trary minded, use all good means to reclaime them, prooving if at any time GOD will give them Re­pentance and bring them out of the snares of the Divell, who are taken Captive by him to doe his Will.

Are forgiven] Text. In Graeco non est [...], se [...] [...], quod pr [...]eterit [...] tempo­ris nota, peccata jam ipsi remissa suisse osten lit, Mathes. in loc.

Something may be noted from the Tence; They are, not shall be hereafter, nor are now to be at this present, but already it is done. No sooner did she believe in Christ her Saviour, but her sinnes were re­mitted and forgiven her, even before she washed and [Page 213]annoynted him. It is noted against the Papists, who would have works to share halfe with Faith in mans Justification, and therfore urge the Text, as speaking of the time present, we hold that workes follow Instification, Non precedunt (as speakes St. Au­stin: Aug. de fide & oper: c. 14.) But more of this in that which follows. We come now to the Proofe of the Point, [...].

For she loved much.]

The Rhemists note upon this is, Not only Faith (as you may perceive, say they) but Love or Chari­ty obtaineth Remission of Sinne in the first act of Iusti­fication.

But how may we perceive this? Why the Particle [...] proves it and shews that Love was the cause why her many sins were forgiven her. [...] idem valet [...], Aret. in loc.

But are they ignorant of this the For is oftentimes a note of Inference or Consequence, and as well an argu­ment of the Effect from the Cause, as of the Cause from the Effect: We say it is Spring-time; Why so? For, or Because the Fig-tree puts forth and buds: The put­ting forth of the Figg-tree argues the Spring-time,Dilectio hic nō dicitur esse ve­nia causa, sed posterius signum Calv. but the budding and putting forth of the Fig-tree is not the Cause of Spring-time. I say this child is alive, be­cause it cryes, or this man lives, because he mooves; will any so understand me as if I meant the crying of the one and the mooving of the other is the Cause of life and motion in the one or in the other? Our Sa­viour himselfe useth this kind of arguing, as we find Iohn 15.15. I have called you Friends, for all things I have heard of my Father, I have made knowne unto you, where de­claring of those things to them is the Effect not cause of his Love.

And that our Saviour here reasoneth from the Effect to the Cause is evident enough from the whole dis­course, [Page 214]the scope wherof is to shew that the forgivenesse of the debt of sinne is a just cause of Love according to the measure and rate of the sins forgiven as is evi­dent in such debters from whom the similitude is ta­ken, who beare no speciall love unto their credi­tours, untill they know how they shall bee dealt withall.

Now if it should be as the Papists would have it, that Love and the Fruits therof should be a cause of Remission, our Saviours Application should be directly contrary to that which in this Parable he had propounded, for then the greater Sinner should have somewhat to sa­tisfie, when the Parable saith that not so much as the lesser can doe it: And that which in the Pa­rable hee had made the Cause of the Love of the Forgiven Person, heere hee should make the Effect of it.

Besides, the other clause immediately following doth evidence it sufficiently that our Saviour argueth from the Effect: For to whom little is forgiven, saith our Saviour, the same loveth little; so that according to the proportion of Forgivenesse, the proportion of Love fol­loweth.

S. Ambrose thus understands the plate,Bellar. depaenit lib. 2. c 14. resp. ad object. and Bellarmine himselfe saith, that these words of Christ, Many sinnes are forgiven her, Confirmant absolutionem invisibiliter datam, doe confirme the Absolution invisibly before given: So then the Absolution which was given be­fore was confirmed by her Love, and by it shee might know and rest assured that her sins were remitted, ac­cording to that of St. Iohn 1 Epist. 3.14. Wee know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the Brethren.

This Collection then of theirs you see is but grating up­on a word and contrary to the sence of the place, a meere [...]: A folly it is to follow them too far; we come to such as the Text will naturally afford, as first

Doct. A Proofe (a posteriore) from the Effect is a strong Proofe, and very Demonstrative. Thus the Truth of our Faith is to be prooved, Iames 2.18. And of Repentance, 2 Cor. 7.11. And of Charity, 1 Iohn 3.14 And so Saint Iames prooves Wisedome from above by the Effects, Iames 3.17. Still Scripture puts us up­on the Tryall of our Graces, by these kinde of Proofes.

Grace is invisible in its Nature, it cannot be seene in habitu: Therefore as GOD was seene to Mo­ses, so is Grace to men, by its Backe-parts; and as the wind which no man can see in its proper Essence, by the full sayles of the Ship is perceived which way it stands.

Vse Let this be a Direction to us in our Examination and tryall of our selves. I deny not but a Proofe or Demon­stration, a priori, from the Cause to the Effect is better and more excellent in its owne nature then the other: But for us in the tryall of our spirituall estates it is safer and more demonstrative to proceed from the Effect to the Cause. Would I know if the Sun shines? there is no climbing up to the Sky to be resolved, nor examining what matter it is made off; I looke upon the beames shining on the Earth, I perceive it is up and shines by the light and heat it gives. Would I know if GOD hath elected me to life and to salvation? There is no climbing up into Heaven to know his Decrees and hidden Counsell (as too many would most audaciously) but study well the markes of it from the Effects. The head of Ni­lus cannot be found, but the sweet Springs issuing from thence are well knowne. No surer way to the Sea, then by taking a River by the hand. Our Vocation and Sanctification will carry us to Election, Rom. 8.30. 2 Pet. 1.5-10.

These are the meanes whereby our Election and Salva­tion is made certaine, not the efficient Causes wherby it comes to be decreed. The Sun not the shadow makes [Page 216]the Day, yet we know not how the Day goes by the Sunne, but by the shadow. In a word, as the Pla­nets are knowne by their Influence, the Diamond by his Lustre, and the Soule by her Ʋitall Operations, so Grace is most sensibly knowne to us by the Effects therof.

Doct. Secondly, we observe from hence,

That a true and unfeined love of Christ is a sure signe that our sins are remitted.

David thus reasons, Psal 18.1, 2. I will love thee O Lord my strength, he got that lesson by heart, yea in his heart; now presently he takes forth, The Lord is my Rocke and my Fortresse and my deliverer, my God, my strength in whom I will trust, my Buckler and the horne of my Salvation.

This Argument our Saviour useth to raise up and com­fort Peter after his fall, who questionlesse was much cast downe under the sight and sense of his sin. Simon thou sonne of Jonah lovest thou me? Ioh. 21.15. q. d. If this be in thee, be of good comfort, know thy sins are remitted, and God reconciled to thee: So 1 Iohn 4.16. Hee that dwelleth in Love dwelleth in GOD and GOD in him: Now as the Prophet speaks, Can two walke together except they be agreed? Questionlesse God is re­conciled to them who truly love him; els he would not bee an Inhabitant within them. Soe, 1 Pet. 1.3, 4, 8.

Reason And it cannot otherwise be, in that true Love ari­seth and springeth from Faith. Therfore in the place of S. Peter before noted,1 Tim. 1.5. after he said they loved the Lord, he inferreth presently they also beleeved in him. Which (as we shall after see, vers. 50.) is the instru­mentall Cause of our Iustification. It is Faith that brings the holy Fire of Love into our frozen hearts, Gal. 5.6. or they would never be warmed with it. In Nature we see nothing can moove in desire to this or that till first it hath ap­prehended it lovely; whilst the debtor thinkes of the [Page 217]rigour of his Creditour he doth feare him not affect him truly, so our affections cannot in love and desire move to God, and unite themselves with God till by Faith we discerne him as reconciled to us, and an amiable object for us sinners to imbrace: But when once it comes to see Gods love forgiving it many sins, then it cannot but love much again.

Vse. And this serves to the overthrowing of their opinion, who hold that Assurance of Pardon of Sin cannot in this life be attain'd unto. If the Assurance of our Love to God may be had, then may the Assurance of the Pardon of our Sins be attaind unto: but the former may be had, ther­fore the latter.

That the Assurance of our Love to God may be had is cleare. S. Peter was undoubtedly assured of it (and that even in the time of the great dejectednesse of his spirit) els he would never have said as he did,Joh. 21.17. Lord thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee; So the faithfull in whose name the Apostle speaketh, 1 Iohn. 3.14. were undoubtedly assured that they loved the children of GOD, by which Love likewise they were assured that they were trans­lated from Death to Life, for that none can truely love the Children of God, but they must love the Father also.

Ob. But every Grace hath its counterfit, and the heart is deceitfull above all things?

Resp. This Grace can the hardliest be counterfetted of any other Grace: There is scarce any thing els that we can instance in, saith one, but a Hypocrite may go cheeke by jowle with a good Christian: He may do all out­ward services,D. Preston his Treat. of Love p. 151. & on Effectuall faith page 72. he may abstaine from sinnes, a great change may be wrought in him, we know how farre the third ground went, Matth. 13. And those, Hebr. 6. But this they cannot counterfeit to love the LORD. A Hypocrite may heare the Word, Pray, give Almes, but to doe these out of [Page 218] Love, that is a thing which no Hypocrite is able to reach unto.

Secondly, though saving Graces have their Counterfets, yet a man may be assured by the Word that he hath this and other Graces in him in Sincerity so as that he cannot be deceived in them: For as God gave Moses in the Mount a Patterne, according to which he would have all things made in the Tabernacle, Hebr. 8.5. So that when he viewed the worke and saw all was done ac­cording to that Patterne, he was sure he had done right, and blessed them, as we read, Exod. 39.43. So hath God given us a Patterne in his Word, ac­cording to which he would have every thing in his spirituall Tabernacle (as Faith, Repentance, Love, O­bedience, &c) to be wrought: And if a man can find that the Grace he hath be according to the Pat­terne, as (if he take paines with himselfe to view the work, as Moses did) he may, then he may be sure it is right, and shall have cause of rejoycing, as the Apostle saith Gal. 6.4.

Vse 2 Secondly, Learne hence a notable way to establish our hearts in the Assurance of the pardon of Sinne. Thou needest not climbe up into Heaven to search Gods Books whither they be crost or no, there to behold the Face of God whither he smile or frowne; but dive into thine owne soule, and there find out what love thou bearest to thy Maker and blessed Sa­viour; if thou findest that thou lovest him unfainedly, that is, that thou lovest him more than these, lovest him for himselfe, for those beauties and excellencies that are in him: It is the greatest Comfort that thou canst have in this life, for that thou mayest rest assured hereupon that God is reconciled to thee, and that thy sins (be they never so great or many) are forgiven thee. Finding this in thee, thou mayest be sure, and never till than canst thou be assured of it. For, we may easier carry Coales in our bosome without bur­ning, [Page 219]than by Faith apprehend truly this Love of God in the pardoning of sin without finding our hearts burne in Love to him answerably. But in finding that we have the giving hand of Love, giving to God as Ma­ry here did, those duties that are owing, we may as­sure our selves that we have likewise the receiving hand of Faith, wherby we have apprehended and laid hold of those mercies which are peculiar to Gods elect in Christ, though for the present it may be thou maist have no feeling of it.

Only see that our Love be rightly qualified, that it hath these requisites which Gods Word speaks off that it be with all our hearts, with all our soules, with all our might, Deut. 6.5. Mark, 10.30. By which variety of words God would teach us that he must be loved with all whatsoever is in us and in our pow­ers both intensively and extensively, as farre as is pos­sible. All the affections and powers of the soule must be gathered together and united, like the Sunne-beames in a burning-Glasse to make our Love more hot and fervent. Our love to him must be greater then to our selves or to any other thing belonging to us, Plusquam te, plusquam tua, plusquam tuos, as St. Bernard speaketh; otherwise as Simon Peter said to Simon Magus in another case, Thou hast neither part nor portion in this businesse.

In the third place we do observe,

Doct. That loving much argues much mercy received from the beloved party.

When men have bin extraordinarily kind unto us; you know how marvellously it works with us upon the apprehension of it, so was it here with Marie, and so with Peter, and so with other of the Saints, still you shall find the deeper sense they have had of their own sin and wretchednesse, the more have their hearts bin instamed with love to G [...] [...]pon the appre­hension of his Mercie in their R [...]ssion; the more [Page 220] zealous have they bin for his Glory, the more thanke­full for his Mercy, the more desirous to please him, the more fearefull to offend him, and the more ready to turne unto him by Repentance, as hath bin before shewed, vers. 43. Now because the next part or member of this verse is brought in as an Illustration of this Position, we will add only a word or two for Ap­plication.

Vse Be informed hence of one Reason, why God is delighted in forgiving great offences, why he is so ready to forgive much; surely he would be loved much: And who deserves to be loved much, if not this God who hath forgiven much. Let a man but consider what God hath done for him in giving him his Son, &c. every other common mercy would be as bellowes to blow our Love to a greater flame, and till we enter upon that thought we shall not love with any great fervency of spirit, as follows in the opposite clause.

To whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. Text.

As if our blessed Saviour should say thus to Simon, thou performest not those offices of Love that she doth, for that thou apprehendest not such mercy in the forgivenesse of so great a debt as she, who is of the number of those who owed 500. pence. Thou a­mongst those who owe but 50. therefore blame her not though she manifest so much affection, when thou shewest so little. So that you see

Doct. Proportionable to that assurance we have of the Re­mission of sin by Faith in Christ will be that Love we beare to Christ.

When a man conceives that little is forgiven, he will love but little, but upon the apprehension and perswa­sion that much is remitted a man cannot but love much. Looke what measure of Love is in any, the like mea­sure [Page 221]of Faith is in him: For as they are together (as before was shewed) so commonly they are to­gether in the same degree: If no Faith, than no Love; if but a shew of Faith, than but a shew of Love; if weake Faith, than there is but a weake Love; if an interrupted Faith, then an interrupted Love.

Vse 1 So then by the degree of Love we may judge of the degree of Faith; there are who boast of the strength and assurance of their Faith that they are per­swaded of the Love of God in Christ, in the pardon of their many and heynous sinnes, &c. But is it like­ly that by the Eye of Faith they see the height, depth, breadth, and length of the Love and Favour of God, when they cease not to dishonour him by a lewd and licentious life; had these men once felt the Love of God shed abroad in their hearts, and did indeed believe that God had done so much for them (as they say) they would manifest it, as David did, in powring out the water that he longed for before the Lord; when he thought it was displeasing to him, that he should get it with the jeopardy of the life of those Worthies.

Vse 2 We may likewise from hence learne, what to judge of the Love which Ethnicks or any other superstitious Persons pretend towards God: St. Paul granteth to the Iewes, a zealous Love of God, but (saith he) it is not according to Knowledge (which is the begin­ning of Faith) Now true Love of God is the Hand­maid of Faith: If then it comes gadding abroad and attends not on her Mistresse, it may well be censured to bee base and blinde. Looke what the Apostle speakes of Faith without Charity, 1 Cor. 13 1. We may say of Charity without Faith. If wee had all the Love in the World, and yet had no Faith; assu­ring us of the Remission of our sins, our Love would be no­thing.

Vse 3 And further wee may bee informed of the Rea­son, whence it is that GOD is no more beloved in the world; Surely hence for that there is little or no Faith in the world, they have not a sence of Mercie, nor doe they apprehend the greatnesse of it in the pardoning of so great a Debt as they owe to GOD: They thinke they are but amongst those penny-men, that they are indebted to GOD but in some small Summes, they are Sinners as others are, and that is all. Did they but consider seriously what their sins are, what hearts they have, what lives they have led, they could not but be marvellously affected with Gods love and favour.

You know how it affected Saul when hee fell in­to the Hands of David, and had no hurt done by him, considering how hee had used David before, and yet now that David should spare his Life soe unexpectedly and undeservedly; Oh! This melted him into Teares, Levavit vocem suam & fl [...]vit (saith the Text) This made him confesse, Thou art more Righteous than I, my Sonne David. If a man would seriously consi [...]er how wee have beehaved our selves towards GOD from time to time, how wee have refused Mercie, contemned Grace, &c. Yet that GOD should still follow us with a Pardon, bee content to blot out all the old Scoare, and to re­ceive us againe into his Favour, this could not but worke upon the hardest heart, and enflame the Love of God in our soules dayly.

VERSE 48, 49, 50. Text. And hee said unto Her, Thy Sinnes are forgiven thee, And they said, &c.

Here we have a comfortable Application made by our blessed Saviour unto the woman, of that which before he had told Simon: Wherin consider we, First, Her Absolution, vers. 48, 49. Secondly, Her Dismission, vers. 50.

In Her Absolution, we have: First, the Sentence pronounced, vers. 48. Secondly, an Exception made a­gainst it, ver. 49.

In the former, we note.

  • 1. The Person absolving [He said thy sins are forgiven.]
  • 2. The Person absolved [un­to her thy sinnes, &c.] From the Person absolving, we learne,

Doct. The power of Absolution and Remission of sins is a power belonging unto Christ: His it is

Isay. 43.12. Luk. 5.21, 24. Matth. 9.6. Revel. 3. & 1.18.

If you aske me, how Christ came by it, seeing none can forgive sin but God, I answer

First, He had it by Commission from God; it was A Power given him by His Father, as hee himselfe saith.

Secondly, By meanes of the Ʋnion of the God-head and Manhood into one Person, he had this Power: As he was God he had it of Himselfe; as he was Man he had it by vir­tue of the Ʋnion from God.

Object. But the Apostles had, and the Ministers of the Gospell have this Power, for so we read, Mat. 16.19 which words, though in that place directed to S. Peter, because he by that Confession which he made in the verses before, gave occasion to our Saviour of men­tioning this Prerogative, and power of the Church, yet they were intended for all the Apostles (and in them [Page 224]for all Ministers successively) as appeareth, Matth. 18.18. Ioh. 20.23. In both which places he useth the plurall number; and by a solemne Ceremony of brea [...]hing upon them (as S. Iohn shews) he inv [...]sted them all with this Authority.

Resp. They have so, but their Power was not Primi­tive, but Derivative, not Absolute, but Delegate; in their owne name they do it not, but in the Name of their Lord and Master, 2 Cor. 5.18. 2 Cor. 2.10. God pardons [...], The Minister onely, [...]: In respect of supre ame authority in God, this Power is authoritativè, he pardons in dependenter and ex authori­tate primaria. In Christ this power is said to be excel­lenter, because he hath by his blood set open the King­dome of Heaven for all beleevers; and he pardons ex commissione, by a second and derived authority. In Man this Power is ministerialiter, he pardons by a mini­steriall publication of the word of Pardon (the power of which we shall in the next Point shew.)

Object. But other men are bound to forgive, as well as Minister, so we find, Matth. 18. If you forgive not, saith CHRIST, neither will my Father forgive you.

Resp. In one and the same act there may be a Trespasse against man, and a Sinne against God (as was in Davids Adultery and murther) men may, yea must forgive the trespasse and wrong offered to them­selves; But the Sinne against God, they have not to meddle with.

The Rhemists in their annotations upon this place charge us (who are Heretiques in their language) with denying the Church this power of remiting sins by Christs Authority.Rhem Annot. in Luc. 7. Vid. Chem. Exā Conc. Trid p. 2. p. 221.

Concerning Absolution both Publike and Private, agreeable to the Scriptures,D. White in his Orthodox way p. 272. both in the outward Dis­cipline of the Church, and in the Ministery of the Word and Sacraments, and Remission of sinnes conferred [Page 225]God therein, we in the Church of England, with other Protestant Churches do maintaine and justifie: But for their Popish Absolution (being dissonant from the Scriptures, and as they use it, no way thereby warranted) we disavow: For,

First, They say, that their Bishops and Priests, Potestas ligandi & solvendi non minor est in Ec­clesiâ, quàm fu­it in Christo? Cusanus Christus Petro vices su­as tradidit, ip­sam (que) cla vem excellentiae, Maldon. Rhem. Annot. in Ioh. 20. Sect. 3. & 5. have full right to remit sinne, and that not only as Mini­sters and Dispensers, but they have full power as Christ had; nor is that Power lesse in the Church then it was in Christ: They have the same Power of excellencie (they say) with him. And he that doub­teth of this (say the Rhemists) may as well doubt, whether Christ had authority as man to forgive sin.

We teach (as before was said) that the Ministers Power is but Ministeriall: And for any mortall man to challenge to themselves such a Power as they speak off, is a high presumption against God. And if it be as the Pharisees held it to be (and as indeed it is) Blasphemy to attribute forgivenesse of sins to any but to God, we may be excused though we should say that with Rabsekah, they have blasphemed the living God in thus speaking.

Secondly, They say,Suarez. 3. D. 9 §. Bellar. de paenit. l 3. c. 2. that their Priests forgive sinne by the words of Absolution, in such a manner as Christ wrought miracles, and forgave sinne by his voice, Iohn 11.43. Per veram & physicam efficientiam, by a true and physicall efficiency, reaching to the very production of Grace, and dissolution and destruction of sin; including the Power of it within certain words and syllables.

We say, That the Minister doth forgive, as he is said to save or to give Repentance, and Faith, 1 Cor. 9.22. 1 Tim. 4.16. GOD useth their Ministery, whereby they coapt and prepare sinners that they may be capable of Salvation, by working in them such dis­positions of Faith and Repentance (through the prea­ching of the Gospell) as are required in those that [Page 226]shall be saved: Now this is not done by a bare pro­nouncing of words and syllables, but by the effectuall working of the Spirit of God. In which respect he is pleased to account of his Ministers as Co-workers with him. And herein do some of the Principall Schoole­men joyne with us,Pag. 273. as D. White in his Orthodox hath learnedly shewed.

Thirdly, In this Point of Absolution they fayle, whilst they hold, that at the will and pleasure of eve­ry Priest, exercising the Keyes on Earth; men are bound and loosed in Heaven: This they ground on the generality of the words,Absolutio ex causa falsa valet, Emman Sa. Aphoris. in ver. Excom. Ioh. 20.23. Whose-soever sinnes you remit they are remitted, And Matth. 18.18. Whatsoever you bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven. So that say they let the cause be false, or Absolu­tion unjust, Absolutio in­justa valet. To­let de Instruct. Sacer l 1 c. 14. Quomodo Sacer dos mundum le­prosum non fa­cit, sic Episcopus vel Presbiter non alligat eos qui insontes sūt, nec solvit noxi os, sed pro officio Sacerdotali, cū peccatoram va­rietates audie­rit, scit qui li­gandus, qui sol­vendus sit. Hierō yet it is available.

We say, that the use of the Keyes is determined and limited by God (as the Priests power was in the case of Leprosie) and depends not on the Will and pleasure of the Minister. No Minister on Earth ever had or shall have power to open Heaven to him against whom God will have it shut; nor to shut it against him to whom God will have it opened. No man can open it unto a Caine, or to a Iudas, or to a Iulian: Nor shut it against an Abel, or against a Za­cheus, or a Mary, &c. God ratifieth the act of his servants in Heaven, with the proviso of Clave non er­rante, if they abuse it not on Earth, but exercise it daily upon fit persons. He will not partake with the errours of his Ministers, nor regard their Passions, nor be hindered from doing Justice by their Ignorance: He hath not bereaved himselfe of this Power in com­mitting it to them (as Bellarmine seemeth to imply in that he would have the world believe that the Keyes remaine in Christs hand only at the vacancy of the Popedome) so as that he cannot worke without their meanes:Bellar. de Rom. [...]ont. For he can bestow Absolution when [Page 227]he pleaseth, and on whom he pleaseth, without their meanes.Pro 17.15. Pro. 26.3. Joh. 9.34. If a sinner seriously converting and believing in Christ, cannot obtaine Absolution from the Priest (he being either passionate, or mis-informed of the Truth) yet God will certainely pardon him: Or if on the other side, a Priest should be indulgent, and apt to winke at vices: Or if he be deceived with an appearance of Repentance, and so shall absolve an Hypocriticall Sinner and receive him into the Com­munion of the faithfull, yet that man so absolved re­maineth still bound before God, and shall be punished not­withstanding. He that turns the Key the wrong way (as did the Pharisees and as do the Papists) will never open the doore of Heaven.

Fourthly, They faile whilst they pronounce not Absolution upon the right condition, Viz. Faith and Repen­tance, which as you see our blessed Saviour here eyes in Maries Remission: For according to their Doctrin their Sacrament of Pennance (wherof this is a part) conferreth Grace without any precedent disposition more than Attrition, Coster enchir. c. de p [...]enit. Sola attritione, &c. Ʋega pro concil l. 1. c. 21. & 25 Stapl. Antid. Rom. 7.15. Mald sum q. 16 art 1. Homo invitus potest absolvi igrarus & in­scius, vid. Azor lib. 1. c. 9. q. 2. Buckler of faith, pag. 392. which implyeth (according to sundry Popish Doctours) no formall purpose of for­saking sin, nor any sorrow, either sensitive or in­tellectuall for the same; but a villeity or wishing one were able to be sorry for sin, and could forsake it. Nay the Pope gives Absolutions (sealed with lead in forme of a judiciall Sentence of a Court) although he know not the Repentance of a Sinner, or whether he will be absolved or not. Peter du Moulin in the Defence of the Confession of Faith of the reformed Chur­ches, against the Objections of the Iesuit Arnoux, tells us, that he had seene those who had caused Ab­solution of their sins to come from Rome by Bills of Exchange. Yea the Pope takes on him to discharge men of their Oaths and of that subjection and fidelity which they owe to their naturall Princes, and children of the Obedience which they owe to their Parents, [Page 228] &c. These we hold and maintain are not the Conditions on which Absolution should be given.

Fiftly,Sess. 14. c. 6. They teach that the vertue of absolution de­pends on the Intent of the Priest: So the Councell of Trent declareth that notwithstanding the Faith and Condition of a Sinner, yet if the Priest at the time of pronouncing Absolution, had no intent to ab­solve the Partie, hee ought not to presume that by this Absolution his sinnes are remitted and forgiven him.

We hold and teach that the intent of the Priest hinders not a true Penitent from receiving comfort: There are many Priests, prophane and incredulous; and there are such as hate those they do absolve. Nor can the intent of any be certainely knowne, it is onely to be presu­med off.

Lastly, They tie these Keyes to the Popes girdle (too fast) (whom they say is Peters successor) whilst they teach that the Power which other Priests have is from him:Conc. Trid. 14. Sess. They indeed have the Keyes of Heaven, Sed quodam modo, and with an huc us (que) licet. There are some cases with them, which a Priest cannot ab­solve: They are reserved to the Bishop, and some cases, wherin the Bishop hath not to do, they are reserved for the Pope himselfe.

We teach and maintaine,Vid. Aret. Prob. p. 194. that Christ gave his Disci­pies equall power to pardon all manner of sins without reserving any cases to St. Peter. The Keyes were gi­ven to all as well as to any one (as before was noted) Nor can we yet learne (as the Church of England saith in her Confession) who it was that taught the Pope more cunningly to turne the Key, See the Harmo­ny of Confes. pag 363. or better to absolve than the rest of his Bretheren. Beare with the enlargement of this Point, and be content that St. Ambrose may make the reckning: Verbum Dej dimittit peccata; Sacerdos est Iudex, sacerdos officium exhibet, sed nullius potestatis jura exercet.

Vse 2 And to conclude, If this Power be in the hand of Christ, and that he be solely invested with it: Let us be incouraged to goe to him for it;Sicut ligat Di­abolus qui pec­cata connectit ita soluit Chri­stus qui dilecta demittit, Cassi in Psal. keeping the way he hath laid forth for us to walke in (which the next Point shall shew) nothing doubting but that he who died for us and shed his blood for our ransome, will not sticke to absolve us if we come rightly qua­lified. And that you may see his willingnesse, and readinesse herein; I cannot but acquaint you how our Commission runs: Whose-soever sins you remit they are remitted, and whose-soever sins you retaine they are re­tained: Where our Saviour speakes of Remitting in the first place, and of Retaining in the last; From which Order the ready and inclinable disposition of our blessed Saviour to this work may be observed. He comes first to this work, and but secondarily to that other, in case of wilfullnesse and disobedience. Come we next to the Person absolved.

He said unto Her. Text.

Her sinnes were before pardoned (as our Saviour told Simon) Now why our Saviour spake thus unto the woman, and at this time is by some questioned. And thus answered.

Our Saviour now absolves her, for two Reasons; first that the company there present might be informed of Christs Office, Chem. Harm. and that he was indeed the true Messiah of the world, and had power given him from the Father to forgive sin.

Secondly (and more especially) that he might con­firme the Faith of this Penitent, in the comfortable Assurance that her sinnes were pardoned. So then we see,

It is not enough that our sinnes are pardoned in Heaven, but wee are to endeavour and seeke after the particular Assurance of the Pardon of them to [Page 224] [...] [Page 225] [...] [Page 225] [...] [Page 227] [...] [Page 228] [...] [Page 229] [...] [Page 230]our owne Consciences for our further comfort.

God requires this at the hands of his Ministers that they should settle the Consciences of his people in solid Peace, out of the assurance that their sins were pardoned, Isa 40.2.

And this was that which David so earnestly sought for at the hands of God, Psa. 35.3. Say unto my soule that thou art my Salvation, and Ps. 51.8. Make me to heare of joy and gladnesse that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoyce.

And hence it was that our blessed Saviour did so often give particular Absolution (although the Iewes were exceedingly offe [...]ded therewith) which surely he would not have done if in case it had not bin very neces­sary to be had: When the poore man was brought to Christ, that had an incurable Palsie, the first word that Christ spake to him was, Soune thy sinnes are forgiven thee, Mark. 2.5. Our blessed Saviour saw well that his sinnes troubled him more then his Palsie did; and therefore [...]hus spake, He said not, be of good Comfort thy Palsie hath left thee, but thy sinnes be forgiven thee. And thus you see he speakes here to Mary who was much dejected in mind with the remem­brance of her sins, and all to settle her soule in Peace upon the assurance of his mercy.

Reason. Unknowne things are not desired, how then can they be rejoyced in? Say a man be in Prison for treason fast bound, and that a pardon is granted to him, yet till he knowes thereof he can rejoyce no more in that his happinesse, than if he were to be executed the next day.

Use. 1 This may serve, first to informe our Judgements of the necessity of a standing Ministery. All the worke is not done after our Conversion is wrought, Confirma­tion is like wise necessary.Ephes. 4. The Ministery was not given only to gather in, but likewise to build up unto perfe­ction: Faith at the first is but weake, there must be [Page 231]a strengthening of it; After planting must follow watering Say a man doth now believe the Rem ssion of his sins, yet through the weak [...]es of flesh and vio [...]t­nesse of temptation, he may often question Assurance of Remission. Therfore for the better healing of those wounds which are daily made, and further strengthening of weake Grace, and setling of the Conscience in solid Peace, it is very necessary that the ministery should be e­stablished.

Use. 2 This serves to stirre us up earnestly to seek after par­ticular Assurance of the Remission of sins, as we de­fire true comfort to our soules. Let a man know never so much of God and of Christ his Son, yet the gene­rall apprehension of these things will but adde a kind of vexation to his Spirit, till he have Assurance of some speciall interest he hath in Gods Mercies. What a torment is it for a hunger starved beggar to passe by a wedding-House and smell good cheare, yet (Tantalus like) never taste of it? What a vexation to a poore man to see a great dole given and multitudes relieved by it, yet he get nothing? So is it certainly in this case, the more any man knoweth of Christ, and of the plenteous Redemption that is by him purchased through his blood. the greater must the horrour of his Soule be, when hee findeth that hee hath no part therin.

Content not thy selfe (then) with this in Generall to know That God so loved the world as that he gave his onely begotten Sonne to redeeme all that will beleeve in him; but indeavour to be assured of this in Particular that he hath loved thee and given his Son for thee (as S. Paul saith, Gal. 2.20) Thinke it not enough to know that Remission of sins may he had, or to hope well that thou art amongst the number of those par­doned ones, but make this sure to thy heart upon good grounds, that thy sins in particular are forgiven. It is a great Mercy to have fin pardoned, but to have [Page 232]it spoken to our hearts and assured us, is a greater Mercis.

VERSE 49. Text. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, who is this that forgiveth sins also.Offendutur cō ­vivae Christi sermone. Ex quo apparet plures Juisse Pharisae­os: nam hi ubiq, hac Christi pote­state offendun­tur, quod non solum corporum sese praebet me­dicum sed etiam animarum, A­retius in loc. Interrogation est ex contemptu persona, &c. Marlorat. Improbabile mihi videtur quod non­nulli Interpreterdi­cum haec verba ho­minum esse admi­ramium, quasi di­cant, eportet magnū virum, aus matorē etiam viro Christā esse cum peccata remittat, &c. Hic nimu bene de malu cogi [...]ant. Facilius credi [...] est de Pha­risaeorum ingenio (pleros (que) enim eorū qui simul accum­bebant fuisse Pha­risa [...] verisimile est [...]eos ista mu [...]nu­rando, & blasphe­miae Coristum ac­cusando dixisse Mald. in loc.

The Guests that sat at meat with Christ (questionlesse) were Pharisees (the Feast-maker was one) And who knowes not that these were insolent Justiciaries, strict Sectaries, and the proud enemies of Christ, looking still a crosse at what our Saviour did. So Matth. 9.2. Mark. 2.7. Luk. 5.21. This Power of our Saviour did especially offend them.

Indeed these doe not openly charge him with blas­phemy, as at other times he was charged by them. As they were not so Ceremonious, so neither (it may seeme) so Captious as their Fellowes, yet they could not but savour of the Leaven of their Profession. They began to say within themselves, who is this that forgiveth sinnes also.

Which words I take not (with Cajetan and some o­ther) as spoken by way of Admiration, as if Simon and his Company (who before questioned whither or no he were a Prophet) should in a kind of amazement (ob­serving what had passed) say; now we see he is a Pro­phet and more than a Prophet, A great man, nay more then man to forgive sin.

But by way of Accusation and Exception against our blessed Saviour, who is this that dares be so bold to forgive sin, which is Gods Prerogative solely, being but a vile and contemptible person. they held him to be but Man, and by Man sinne could not be re­mitted.

In which Exception or Accusation we will consider.

First, the Persons, who they were that found fault with our Saviour, They that sate at meat.

Secondly, The thing they find fault withall, and tooke exception against, They began to say within themselves who is this, &c.

Of the Person first.

They that sat at meat with him. Text. ]

Doct. Our blessed Saviour was sociable. We do not find that he ever refused to goe to any Table wherto he was in­vited, Luk. 5.29. & 14.1. Nay sometimes he invites himselfe, as he did to Zacheus his house and Table, Luke 19.5. Reade before our Text, Ʋerse 33, 34. They in this respect esteemed Christ a Wine­bibber.

Reason The Reason I noted to you in the beginning of this Parable. It was not for love of the dishes, but out of a desire to do his Fathers will,Christus omni­bus omnia factus est, pauper pau­peribus, dives divitibus—cum Maria flet, cum Apostolis epula­tur, cum Sama­ritana sitit, &c. Amb. sup. Luc. l. 4 (which was meate and drinke to Him) in seeking up, and sa­ving what was lost. In which regard Hee was con­tent, to become all things to all men, that He might win some.

Catch not at this, O yea licentious Libertines: Men of all howres (as one tearmes you well) that can eate with Gluttons, drinke with Drunkards; sing with Ribaulds; scoffe with prophane Scorners, and yet talke holely with the Religious. Our Saviour never sinned for any mans sake, though for our sakes he was thus Sociable, that he might keepe us fr [...] sinning. At whose board did he ever sit, where he made not bet­ter cheare than he found? If he sat with Sinners, he converted them. If with Converts, he confirmed them. If with the Poore, he fed them: If with the Rich in substance, he made them richer in Grace; and if Si­mon will entertain him, his Table shall be honoured with the heavenly Doctrin of Remission and with the publike Re­mission of a Penitent woman.

Can you thus converse with lewd good-fellowes; as to [Page 234]represse their sinnes, redresse their exorbitances? win them to God? Then indeed you w [...]ke in the stepps of him that stucke not to sit downe and eat with Sinners. That which Politiques and Time-servers do for earthly advantages, we ought to do for spirituall: Frame our selves to all company, not in evill but in good yea and in indifferent things.

Vse Such as do thus should not be censured for so doing: Man (as I have shewed on Luk. 15.1, 2.) is animal politi­cum, a sociable Creature: every mans [...], carries him to Society, nor are they more perfect, but more extravagant, who affect lonenesse.

The Papists shall not be able to prove their austere vows of a solitary life, &c. to be preferred before Communi­on and Society, unlesse they will first proove Iohn better than Christ, and his austere way more win­ning than our Saviours sociable carriage. Aves prae­daria, flock not together, they love to fly alone; and in long experience we have sound it true, that those solitaries of the Romish Church, (and of our own) under pretence of more sanctity and contempt of the world have but gaped after the prey, and are grown fatter by not di­viding the spoyle.

Object. Malorum con­sortia sugere de­bemus, quoad privatā consue­tudinem, non quoad publicam conversationē; corde, non cor­pore, Am [...]ros. offic lib [...]c. o. A malis corde semper disjun­ginimi ad tem [...]us cautè corpo. re copulemini, Aug l de Salat locumentis You may object the Apostles Canon, 2 Thes. 3 6. We command you Brethren in the name of our Lord Iesus Christ that ye withdraw your selves from every Brother that walketh disorderly?

Resp. But th [...]swer's ready, that must be under­stood of Familiar Conversation, and with such as are scandalously and contumaciously exorbitant: From the friendly Familiarity of such withdraw thy selfe; it cannot be understood of all kind of conversing with Sinners (in generall) for then we must go out of the World, as the Apostle shews, 1 Cor. 5.10. But in re­spect of private Fellowship, and inward Familiarity such as that was betwixt Iehoshaphat and Ahab, 2 Chron. 18.1. & 20.35.37. Not so much in our Bodies [Page 235]and outward Actions, as with our Hearts and Af­fections.

Thus than conceive, 1. Society in evill, we may not hold (no not with the best men) Ephes. 5.7, 11. Have no fellowship with the unfruitfull workes of dark­nesse, Si cum malis non tamen in malis, against this communicating in evill David prayes, Psal. 141.4. and Salomon dehorts, Prov. 1.15. & 4.15. & 13.20. This in S. Austins judgement is that,Aug. de verb Dom Serm. 18 in si [...]e. Comming out from amongst them and touching no uncleane thing, Isa. 52.11. 1 Cor. 6.

2. Society in good, specially (in sacris) in Goda wor­ship, we are to hold with the worst ment. For this we have Christs warrant, Matth. 23.1, 2. And both his and the Saints example, frequenting, resorting to the publike worship of God in Hierusalem, when both in Priests, people, and the worship it selfe great cor­ruptions were found, Matth. 21.12, 13. Luk. 2.21, 22, 46. & 4.16.

3. Society in things indifferent we may have with all men: As in case of Negotiation and civill Commerce, so had Abraham with the children of Heth, Gen. 23. And in case of Naturall or Civill Obligation. Thus wives, Children, Servants, Subjects, may not withdraw their attendance and service: So when humane Society or necessary offices of Humanity do require it. There is no living amongst men if Rules of Civility be not ob­served.

St. Paul gives liberty to goe to an Infidels house to feast if he be invited, 1 Cor. 10.27.Mensa quasi­mesa, Varro. The Fellowship of the Table is a symbole of Love and Friendship, and (like a me­diatrix) conserves humanity, only he makes it so one of those things that are lawfull, as that it must be by Circumstances deliberated off, concerning Expediency and edification, whether it be safer to avoid a danger and scandall to stay at home, or whither there may not be hoped for some good fruit, in going, and that [Page 236]without offence. If by our conversing with the wicked the glory of God be not advanced, but endangered; and the Gospell evill spoken off, we must abstaine, v. 31. If by admitting their Persons we cannot avoid their vices, we must deny both.

Still you see a Christian liberty is best, and therfore take heed how we rashly censure any for Society. It is a fault of these dayes, presently to conclude that Person wicked whom we see in company with a wic­ked man. Thus much of Christs sitting with this com­pany. Now in that this company which sate with CHRIST murmured against him and tooke excep­tions at him for what he did. We may Observe yet further,

Doct. It sometimes happens that those who dip in the same dish with us, are enemies unto us.

Iob found this true, Cap. 19.14. So did David, Ps. 41.9. So did Ieremiah, cap. 20.10. So our blessed Saviour himself Mat. 26.23.

Vse We should do well not to be over-confident of such: There is a great difference betwixt Acquaintance and true Friendship: Friendship is a speciall obligation of a­mity, or good will uniting the hearts of men together in a greater nearenesse and dearnesse then ordinarily is to be found, or is required of all men. This holds firme and lies fast under greatest pressures.

Acquaintance is another thing; that in ordinary use is but a sharing of talke, newes, meate, complement, &c. It is the first draught of Friendship but is not it; That is the Herd, Friendship is the Paire chosen out of it; a thing easily created, once being in company does it; Now here is our mistake (as Guevarra truly notes) we think we have Friends when we have but Acquain­tance. These faile us and prove deceitfull like those water-brookes Iob speaks of, and strait we complaine of Friend­ship. Tuta frequens (que) via est, &c.

Indeed it is an ordinary way and much beaten un­der [Page 237]the name and title of a Friend to deceive, but they are not true Friends who doe so whatever they pretend. And because there are so few faithfull ones, it shall be our wisdome to try before we trust. Na­kednesse in mind is as well a blemish, as nakednesse in body. Every smooth face is not to be trusted, many a mans ave threatens a vae; with his Tongue he may say, All-hayle, when his Heart saith, Take heed, wherefore that counsell would be hearkened unto which is given us by the Prophet Micha 7.5. For we shall find that a truth which our Saviour hath delivered, The brother shall betray the brother to death, and a mans worst enemies shall be they of his owne house, Matth. 10.21, 36.

From the Persons excepting, Come we now to the thing they doe except against, and there we have, first, the Manner, 2. The Matter considerable. For the first, the Text saith.

They began to say within themselves. Text. ]

Graecus sermo anceps est, intra se, ut cogitarint duntaxat: or inter se, ut collo­quuti sint. Eras. Annot.They did not breake out into open rayling: What they said was, [...], is se ipsis, either mutteringly one unto another, or (rather) in their owne hearts they thus thought and said: Which secret thoughts they began to murmur against him for this his work of Grace. Let us observe,

Doct. Sinners are worse within then they are without.

Their Tongues are bad enough, but their Hearts farre worse; they dare thinke what somtimes they are afraid to speake.

There is no faithfullnesse in their mouthes (saith Da­vid) they flatter with their tongue, Psal. 5.9. but their inward parts are very wickednes, in the Abstract, yea wickednesses in the plurall too, mischievous, woefull and banefull e­vills lodge there. Salomon speaking of the Heart of a wicked man saith, it is little worth, Prov. 10.20. [Page 238]And our blessed Saviour speaking of it, prooveth it to be the worst piece of a wicked man, in as much as it is the Fountaine of all Evill: He instanceth in se­ven heads of vices: Out of the heart (saith He) pro­ceedeth evill thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false-witnesse bearing, blasphemies: But under these seven, how many seventy times seven might be numbred. A sinne cannot be named which proceedeth not from thence; it first plots it and frames it, that is the Forge or Anvile on which the Divell strikes, and from thence are the sparkles sent abroad to the firing of the world.

Vse You see hence, how little cause men have to content themselves with outward Reformation whilst the heart is neglected: What is this but to cut of the tops of the weeds and leave the roots behind?

When the Prophet Elisha would sweeten the waters, he cast not salt into the Brookes and Channell, but in­to the Spring, He cast the Salt in there (saith the Text, 2 King. 2.21.) Our Heart is a well of vene­mous and poysoned water (as you have heard) our Actions are the streames; we go against the streame in beginning our Reformation at our hands, whilst our Hearts are evill, and therefore David praying for the Grace of Repentance and Reformation, Psalm. 51. telleth the LORD where hee would have him to begin, Create in me a new heart and renew a right spirit within me.

Had Pilat washed his heart when he washed his hands he might have bin as cleane as Naaman com­ming out of Iordan: Had the Sichemites circumcised their hearts when they circumcised their flesh, they had saved their soules when they lost their lives. Sin must be fought against in the heart where it breads, otherwise it will not be subdued, as Hanniball was wont to say of the Romanes that they could not be o­vercome but in their owne country. But when that is [Page 239]charged, then as the Psalmist speaks upon the rising of the Sunne, Psal. 104. the Beasts of the Forrest will lay them down in their dens and man goes forth unto his labor untill eve­ning, lust shall be subdued, and man inabled, to work out his Salvation with feare and trembling.

It is but a kind of labour in vain to cleanse all, and leave that uncleansed. If god finds our houses clean, our clothes clean, our hands clean, and our hearts unclean, expect no o­ther usage then such as that which the dainty Mistres of the house had from the Rheumatick and spawling Cynick who being desire [...] by her to spit in the fowlest place he could find, spat in her Face, which in his opinion was the fowlest. Thy Heart being the fowlest and worse piece in thee, God will spit upon it in contempt and scorne.

Vse 2 And further see from hence how uncertaine and weak a ground we have to judge infallibly either of our owne or any other mans condition by the outward Conversation: Use. 2 It is not enough to say, My foot stands upright, Psal. 26 12. Or my hands I stretch forth towards thy holy Temple, Psal. 88.9. Or mine eyes are ever towards the Lord, Psal. 25.14. Or mine Eares O Lord hast thou opened, Psal. 42.1. Unlesse we can say with the same Prophet, My heart is prepared, O Lord, my heart is prepared, Psal. 57.7, 8. For all that is done outwardly, seven abominations may lye lurking close within; the Heart is like unto the deepe and wide Sea, wherein (saith David) are things creeping in­numerable both small and great beasts. Ps. 104.25, 26. There are va­riety of strange creatures the like whereof thou ne­ver sawest; and there is that Leviathan also (saith David) which playes and sports therein. Thus in thy Heart are such and so many lusts, that shouldst thou see them thou wouldest stand agast: Not the vi­lest sinne that ever was committed but the spawne of it is there, yea the Divell himselfe hath there his hold. He sports and playes, and mightily prevailes by [Page 240]his temptations having so strong a party within us as is our own treacherous flesh.

Ob. But it is not for us to judge the Heart? True Cha­rity judgeth as it findeth outwardly, according to the fruits we may know them.

Resp. True, and yet though I cannot know the heart of others J may know mine owne, 1 Cor. 2.11.

2. As for other, in judgement of Charity, I am to thinke well of those whose outward conversation J find faire and blamelesse; but this Judgement of Charity is not the Iudgement of Infallibility, for it is pos­sible for me to be deceived in it. Every fowle that hath the beautifullest feathers hath not the sweetest flesh. Diers can set on their colours the fairest glosses with Logg-wood, but when a showre comes the glosse is gone: How many have given great hopes for whose sincerity we durst have ventured our lives, yet in the time of tryall they have fallen away. This hath bin, and this may be.

and yet though it be not a good affirmative Argu­ment to say, because the out-side is good the inside is also so. It is a good negative Argument to say the inside is not good if the outside be not. Is the Tongue, the Eye, the Hand of this man so full of wickednesse, Lord what is his Heart?

A second thing to be observed is,

Doct. The thoughts and cogitations of mans heart are not un­knowne to Christ.

We heard before, vers. 40. there is a tongue in the Heart: here we find, there is an Eare in it also: As what we thinke we speake, so what we thinke God heares, Luk. 11.17. Mat. 12.25.

This appeares, First, in that he reproveth men for their Thoughts, as Mat. 9.4.

Secondly, In that he publisheth the Thoughts of men to others, even to the world, Luk. 12.17. & 16.3. [Page 241]And soe were Simons, and the Thoughts of the rest made knowne to us, which had not CHRIST knowne, how should wee have bin acquainted with them?

It is evident then that he doth search the reines and hearts, as we have it, Revel. 2.23. where we have a sound Reason added for further Confirmation, I will give unto every one according to his works.

Were not Christ a discerner of the heart how should be proceed according to every mans desert? Did he not know all secrets how could he righteously reward man, as we find he will, Eccles. 12.14. Rom. 2.6.

Vse 2 Let all the Churches know this, as we have it in the same Text, Revel. 2.23. Simon laid downe this for a Position, vers. 39. If this man were a Prophet he would surely have knowne what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: Now Simon may know and we rest assured of that whereof he doubted, He is a Prophet, yea and more then a Prophet. Not only Man, but ve­ry God, in th [...]t he can do that which is proper and peculiar alone for god to do, discover to him the very thoughts of his own heart and of his fellows.

That Christ was a Man, few made question of, but whither he was true god that was the Questioned by di­vers sorts of Heretiques: They thought him, [...], a meere and bare man: They turned, [...], into [...], they yeelded him Divinity, but de­nied him Diety. And do not the cold and almost for­gotten ashes of these Heretiques begin againe to re­vive, in other Kingdomes these Arrians and demy-Ar­rians, the Photinians and Socinians display their co­lours, and very busie they are to get ground; wil­lingly would they deduce their Colonies from thence to us, were it not that they rightly understand, that Soveraignety and Prelacie, would disband their forces at the very entry, blessed be God that hath kept our [Page 242]Teachers from the least taint of that Heresie and stirred up the heart of his annoynted to fire out this blasphemy from amongst us (where it began to peepe) which overthrows our Faith and directly undermines the office of Christs Mediatorship.

For suppose Christ a meere creature, how can we rest assured that his Obedience and Passion was satisfa­ctory for us, that the blood of the New Testament beares any price or is of valew for our Redemption; or that our ghostly Enemyes, the Divell, Death and Hell are conquered and overcome by him. Cursed is the man (saith God) who trusts in man, Ier. 17.5. If Christ be not God as well as Man, We of all men are most miserable, our Faith is vaine, and we are yet in our sinnes.

Quest. But why then doth our Saviour so commonly and ordinarily (speaking of himselfe) call himselfe the Son of man, Mat. 8.20 & 9.6. & 10.23. & 11.19. & 12.8.32. & 13.37, 41. & 16.13, 27, 28. & 17.9, 12, 22. & 18.11. & 19.28. & 20.18. & 24.27. & 25.31. & 26.2, 24, 45, 64.

In formam ser­vi transissse nō est naturam Dei per didisse, Hilar Rest. Qui dixit hominem, non negavit Deum, when Christ called himselfe the Sonne of Man, he did not deny himselfe to be the Sonne of GOD. Hee thus styled himselfe so openly and ordinarily, for two Reasons,

First, In respect of Himselfe, for that Hee was true Man, not only a Man, but the Sonne of Man: Borne Man, having flesh and blood no where els, but from man.

Secondly, In respect of his Hearers, who commonly esteemed no other of him then meere Man (though perhaps a great and holy man) Matth. 13.55. Mark 6.5.

In short, it was partly out of his lowlinesse and part­ly out of his Love that he so stiled himselfe. He that scor­ned not our Nature, [...] disdained not our Name: in [Page 243]the worke of our Redemption titles were of little or no use: He might have taken greater Titles on him, than the Sonne of Man, but going about that worke, He was content with a meane one: This base Title for the time of his abasement, best pleased him.

Believe it and maintaine it (for the God of Hea­ven will) Christ is, [...], very God. His Incarnati­on will rather be a Proofe then Disproofe, Deus erat in Christo (saith the Apostle, 2 Cor. 5.19.) God was in Christ: That God-Head appeared though covert in the Flesh, yet overt in his Actions. He mightily decla­red it, both [...] and [...] (saith the Evangelist) both miraculis and oraculis, by his Doctrine and Miracles (saith Tertullian) Never man spake as He spake, Iohn 7.46. Never man did as Hee did, Matthew 9.33.

Object. But the revealing of Secrets and discovering what was in the Heart, hath bin done by man, 1 Sam. 9.19. 2 King. 5.23, 26. Act. 5.3. So 1 Cor. 12.9. It appeares there were such as had the spirit of discer­ning.

Vse 2 Resp. True, but this was made knowne to them by speciall Revelation; nor did they know all things: Elisha knew the secrets of the Assyrian King, yet he knew not the calamity of his worthy Hostesse. The finite knowledge of the ablest Seer reached but so far as it pleased God to extend it.Quid tam altū & tam prosun­dum quàm mens homimis quae quasi in volucro quodam corporis tegitur & oc­cultatur, ut eam haud facilè quisquam intro­spicere & spe­culari queat? Amb. inst it. Virg. 3. Christ knew of Him­selfe, He had no need that any man should testifie of man, for he knew what was in man, Ioh. 2.24. And he knew exactly, and certaintly, not conjecturally and by way of ghessing, as men and divels know the thoughts of us.

Secondly, This should teach us to take heed how we passe sentence upon the inward intentions and purpo­ses of men, this power is Gods and belong to him, what have we to doe to usurpe it? It is a Well too [Page 244]deep for us to draw in. And yet such is the presumption of some, that they will take upon them infallibly to know what is in the bottom of that Well, whence ari­seth jealousies and contentions, many times as causelesse as pernitious. Indeed by some discoveries there may be some conjectures; but let not a small Conjecture make thee a great Offendor. Every Key a man meetes with is not the right one for this Lock, every likeli­hood thou apprehendest, is not a sure signe of what is within the breast. Not to let a man be private in his House is a great injury, not to let a man be private in his Heart is a greater.

Vers. 40 Lastly, let us be perswaded hence, to be as upright before the Lord in Thought, as we are just in Dealing before men. It is not the white Fleece God especially eyes; but the sound Liver. Hee hath windowes into the soule, and there sees that hypocrisie, which lyes lurking close. Hee is very list of hearing, and well understandeth what the heart thinketh. And (as before was shewed) will answer us accordingly. Thus much for the manner of their objecting, now to the matter.

Who is this that forgiveth Sinnes also. Text.

In absolving this poore Penitent; Christ did no other, then what his Office required. For this he is excepted against by these Pharisees present with him at the Table.

Doct. The best may be excepted against, and caviled at for well doing.

There is none so holy, but he may be hardly thought of, for doing that which yet he is bound to doe by virtue of his Calling. Numb. 16.3. Moses and Aaron shall be censured: neither the one, nor the other shall escape the strife of tongues:Numb. 12. Some, (and such as have (it may be) least cause of all) will be charging them with medling too much, and taking more upon them then was fit. Some [Page 245]dare charge them both with Ambition and Instrusion.

Vers. 33 I need not looke so sarre to confirme the truth here taught. If you looke a little before my Text, there you shall sinde that Iohn the Baptist a holy man, sanctifyed from the womb, A great Prophet, none greater ever borne of a woman, And highly esteemed by all the peo­ple: One very austeere, and retyred in his life; whose Doctrine was sutable unto it, The Axe to the Root; The Fanne to the Floore; The Chaffe to the Fyre. And in all points walking worthy of his Place and Office, (which required that austerity) and yet he cannot escape censure. They said he hath a Divell.

Vers. 4 Christ holier then he, (whose shoces being latched, (as Iohn confesseth) hee was not worthy to unloose,) comes in a milder, and more sociable way; He [...]rings the Olive branch of peace in his mouth; He goes to Feasts; drinks wine, is affable with all: He heales the sick ray­seth the dead; seekes up and saves what was lost. And for his paines he is charged to be a gluttonous man, a wine bibber, and a friend to Publicans and sinners.

Read (for further confirmation) Amos. 5 10. Mat. 5.12. Mark 6.4. & 14.5, 6 Luk. 19.7. & 15.2. Ioh. 7.20. Gal. 4.16. 2 Tim. 1.12. 1 Iohn. 3.12. &c.

Ignorance, and malice, are the causes of this. In the Better sort, Ignorance may sometimes be the reason of it. Simon was ignorant of Christs Calling and Office. The other Guests aske who is this? had they knowne they would not have made the question, nor taken ex­ception at what was done in this poore sinners case.

In the Worser sort, Malice puts them on to detract, and cavill. There is a perpetuall enmity betwixt the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. Davids enemies hate him, for no other cause but for that hee followed goodnesse, Psal. 38.20. They hate the truth, as our Saviour shewes, Iohn. 7.7. and so oppose it.

Vse I could wish that men would learne at last to abhorre [Page 240] [...] [Page 241] [...] [Page 242] [...] [Page 243] [...] [Page 244] [...] [Page 245] [...] [Page 246]this sinne of detraction, and leave it: but it is rather to be wished, then hoped for: however that men may at least be convinced of the vilenesse, and sinne­fulnesse of this vice, it will not be a nisse to say some­thing of it (being so common) and as it were the Phaeton of the Earths circle.

Detraction is two-fold, 1. Per negationem boni, by lessening the true worth of any good man. 2. Per ad­ductionem mali, by laying a false aspersion of evill upon any man. Both wayes the Pharisees were Detractors: though our Text may seeme to speake especially of the former.

Against this sin committed either one way or the other: Lipsius makes an eloquent Oration (well worthy the reading) disswading from it by a double argument: The first is taken from the vilenesse of the sinne, the other from the Persons who are guilty of it.

For the sinne; It doth appeare vile both by the nature of it and the effects.

It is Vile in the Nature of it; being a compound of Lying, Envy, and Curiosity. Lying is the Father; no Calumniator was ever yet contented with the naked truth: he doubles things said or done, heard or seene; like some king of Eccho, which returnes three for one, yea with the Spider, he will bring forth threds and cob­webs out of his owne bowels, weaving and begetting subtile snares with his wit and braine.

Sepius ventis agitatur ingens Pinas, & cel­sae graviore turres decidunt casu, feriunt (que) summos Fulmina montes. Horat lib. 2 od. 10. Envy is the Mother: in her malignant womb is de­traction conceived, and by it brought forth: whence it is that Censurer or Detractor, seldome drawes that Fame-defacing weapon the Tongue, upon the baser sort of people, but onely upon those who excell; in which respect they are well resembled to the windes, which blow most vehemently upon the highest Towers: and may very well be resembled to the Red-Dragon, spoken of Rev. 12.15. which pursued the woman: for when they cannot over-reach another, then they [Page 247]open their mouthes and throw a floud after to drowne him.

Curiosity is the Nurse of this vile sinne, that fosters and seedes this infant, with the long sought for meat of Reports and Rumours: she e [...]quires what was done at Court, what was concluded on last at the Councell Board: And will undertake to discover what Iove dis­coursed of with Iuno; what that was which the King whispered in the Queenes eare: Judge you now what a faire Infant this must bee which is thus bred and fed.

The Effects are both variable and forcible (saith Lipsius) Variable, it reacheth to all sorts, 2 Pet. 2.10. especially Governours. They that pluck downe houses, first begin with Pillars, so these to speake evill of Dignities, whose murmurings, like vapours rising out of the earth, mul­tiply into the stormes of Sedition; Sedition growes into Mutinie; and Mutinie that ends in Confusion.

And they are dangerous and forcible as well as vari­able. The Cannon laid against the wall, doth not so much mischiefe as the Mine made under the wall. So in the Societies of men, Rebellious drums hurt not so much, nor make so dangerous a noyse, as a few whisperers and se­cret plotters in private corners, who yet would be held for the onely Angels, if for nothing else, yet for troubling the waters.

Concerning the Persons who harbour this sinne, and stand guilty of it; Consider 1. Whence they are. 2. What they are.

They are of the Divell; his workes they doe. Hee is [...], a Detractor, one accustomed to calumniate, as you see he did Iob: Job. 1. Gen. 3. yea God himselfe in the time of mans innocency. And these doe the like. And as there is no Creature to which the Divell is likened so much as unto a Serpent, so (that wee may better by resem­blance understand what Detractors are) they are resem­bled to Serpents, Eccles 10.11. And that aptly.

For,Serpens & detractor sunt e­quales: quo [...] ­do e [...]im ille [...]e­crei [...] mord [...] venenum in [...] ­rit, s [...] ille cl [...] detra [...]ens vi [...] ­rus pecter, sui insuedi [...] in fratr [...] Hier in Eccles. 10 11 a Serpent (saith St. Hierom) secretly gets in his poyson. So the Detractor closely infu [...]eth the venom of his breast into his brother.

A Serpent carrieth his poyson in his mouth, and with one bite venoms the whole body: so the Detractor, his poyson lies under his tongue, and with one word or biting, doth wound the Name, Credit, Life, Soule of his bro [...]her (as shewes S. Augustin.)

The Serpent, is a treacherous creature, It flyes from the face of a man, but bites behind his back. Thus doth the Detractor, he bites them behind their backs, whom before the face he fawnes on, and pretends to love. Such a Serpent was Doeg of whom we read, I Sam. 22. Ps. 53.1, 2 3.

The Serpent goeth not strait on, but windingly and croo­kedly. Thus the Detractor beginneth with a Question aloofe off; proceeds with a kind of praise, and then comes with a [But] at which he shootes all his en­venomed arrowed; But this and this I h [...]are: I could wish it were amended, &c. His Commendation is like a Law writ alwayes with a Clause and exception which he make to smooth the way for scandall.

The Serpent feedeth on nothing but Dust: Pessinum ge­nus bom num qui cun maxi­mi falluat, id a [...]uat ut viri bom esse vide­antur. Cicero.Isa. 29.4. So the Calumniator feedeth on ashes like bread. They whisper out of the dust (saith Isaiah) If a Perfume approacheth they will stop their noses; but they can well endure a stinking draft or kennell, and imbrace that savour. Like Swine, they forsake a Garden for a Puddle: and with the Beetle, they fly over many a sweet flower to light in horse-dung: Or (as Lipsius speakes of them) they are like Cupping glasses, they draw out with most de­light, the most impure blood of all, approving some­time, the worst things amongst many good, and con­demning that which is judiciously commended by others.

As he is a Serpent, so likewise he is a Murderer (as is the Divell his Father) Viri detractores fuerint in te [Page 249]ad effundendum sanguinem, saith Ezek, 22.9. And Iob resembles them to cruell Canniballs, or men-eaters, Iob. 19.22.

Yea they deprive a man of what which is better then life. It were better for mee to dye, then that any man should make my rejoycing vaine (saith the Apostle.) 1 Cor. 9.15. Cum actum est de nomine, actum est de ho­mine, according to our English Proverb. An ill name is halfe hanged.

nay more; Ter homicidia, Luth Loc. com. lit. lingua Bernan Cant. Ser. 24. &c. (saith Luther) Three at one blow are murdered by the Detractor or Slanderer. The Theefe hurts one; The Adulterer two: But a De­tractor three: Himselfe, the Party to whom, and the Party of whom hee speaketh; Fnus est qui loquitur (saith S. Bernard) & unum tantum verbum profert, & tamen illud unum verbum, uno in momento multitudinis audi entium dum aures inficit, animas interficit. It is but one that speakes, and one word he speakes, yet in one moment man, by it are destroyed.

Lastly; as the Divell is a Spirit, so is the Detractor, but hee is that evill Spirit mentioned, Iudges. 9.23. whi [...]h God sent betwixt Abimelech and the men of Sichem: hee desjoynes the hearts of men asunder, and raiseth up strife amongst Bretheren. In which respect God ranketh them amongst those his soule abhorres, Prov. 6.9.

nor doth God onely hate such, and curse them him­selfe; but hee gives leave to the Church in generall to curse them, as wee find, Deut. 27.24, Cursed be hee that smites his neighbour in secret, that doth secretly and slily traduce him, and under-hand seekes to work him out of the good opinion and favour of his friends and neighbours. And all the People mu [...] say Amen.

Beleeve it; As a troubled spirit is a Sacr [...]fice to God, so a troublesome spirit is a fit sacrifice for Hell: For amongst other sinnes noted to be in such as God gave up to a reprobate sense, this is one; as we find, Rom. 1.29.30. [Page 205]Never shall you find a true generous spirit blemisht with this blot: It is a vice much of the nature of some poyson­full and stinking weede, which will grow no where but in the side of a darke well, or over-growne pit, only blacke and maligne natures have beene prone to this vice. I passe to a second Use.

Vse 2 And may the best be evill spoken of, and hardly cen­sured for well doing?Serm. 3. in Na­tal. Dom Why then; as S. Bernard speaks, Haec mea sunt, mihi apponuntur, mihi proponuntur imi­tanda. Quo putas ani­mum meum do­lore afficit fama calumnia illius, quam mihi of­fuderunt qui­dam; non metu­entes judicem perditurum om­nes loqu ntes mendacium? Tanto videlicet at prope totam noctem insom­nem duxerim: ita ipsa cordis mei penetralia concepta maesti­tia occupavit. At necesse est ut omnia scra­mus, omnia pa­tienter tolere. mus, ultionem ipsorum Do­mino commit­tentes qui non despiciet nos. Basil epist. 86. ad Bosphor. epi. scop. August. lib. 3. contra literas Petil. The Disciple is not above his master, if any man will be perfect let him be as his master.

This kind of suffering hath in all ages beene grievous to the Saints. S. Basill speaking of himselfe under this affliction saith thus, in a letter of his which hee wrote unto a Friend: With what griefe dost thou thinke did that Calumnie oppresse my mind? which some not fearing the Iudge (who shall destroy all them that speake lyes) did cast upon mee? Even so much that I slept not almost all night, so had the apprehended sadnesse possessed the se­crets of mine heart. But it is necessary that wee beare all, that wee suffer all patiently, committing the revenge of them to the Lord, who will not despise us.

S. Augustin doth well compare a wise man wron­ged, unto the Ship wherein our Saviour was asleepe: Hee heareth himselfe to be slandered (saith hee) and is thereupon much moved with anger: Convitium ventus est, iracundia fluctus: The Slander is the winde, the anger is the wave, and by them being tossed, hee is in some danger: But when he studieth revenge, and the desire of that oppresseth his minde: Iam navis pro­pinquat naufragio; The Ship is neere shipwrack, and all is, because Christ is asleepe in the ship: In corde enim hominis somnus Christi oblivio fides, For in the heart of man, the sleepe of Christ is the forgetfulnesse of faith: Let the eye of faith be open, and that will tell us. Non intuendum esse, quam sit amarum, sed quam falsum sit quod audio. That wee must not looke how [Page 251]bitter that is which wee heare, but how false it is, and that Quisquis volen: detrahit famae meae, nolens addit mercedi m [...]ae And indeed thus S. Basill kept himselfe from ship wrack: and so should every wise Christian, especially Magistrates and Ministers, who are most li­able to this kind of suffering.

Let the Magistrate and Governour never so truely endeavour and seeke the weale of the publike; yet evill mindes will be buzzing of false rumours into others eares: Let the Garden he never so faire, yet there will be those who would make the world bel [...]eve that there is a Snake under every leafe: Let the intention be never so sincere: they will predivine and prognosticate some mischievous effects from it. But God hath set these to be like Sunnes in the Firmament: rash censures of them are like Clouds in the middle region of the aire, which hurt not the Sunne it selfe, nor hinders its course, though they deprive us which live below of that light and warmth which otherwise would bee de­rived.

Let the Minister live never so holily; Preach never so painfully; Si pauper es, vilem & ab jectum te repu­tat: si dives ambitiosum, a­varum & cu­pidum. Si affa­bilis dissolutun, si praedicator vel doctor, ho­noris & huma ni favoris quae­sitorem: si ta­cens, inutilem: si jejunus, hypo­critam: si com­edens voratorē. Bern. in Serm. yet uncharitable censures shall be passed both on his Person and Doctrine. His Threatnings shall bee tearmed Cruelties; Promises, Flatteries; The Proofe of both, nothing but Sophistrie: Mildnesse shall be charged with dreaming; Boldnesse with rayling. Affability shall bee construed lightnesse. Austerity, in the worlds malitious dialect, shall be translated mad­nesse.

nor can our Persons escape better then our Doctrine: we are not greater then Iohn the Baptist, nor better then our Saviour. If they have dealt thus with the greene tree, what will they doe with the dry?

But in the midst of all these Calumnies, let us hold on our way, in doing those duties which our callings re­quire of us (imitating those celestiall Planets, which though they are nicknamed and belyed, one being cal­led [Page 252] Saturne, another Iupiter, another Mercurie, ano­ther Ʋenus, &c. (as S. Austin doth observe, yet they continue their courses) Putting on that Heroicall spirit of S. Paul, I passe little for mans day▪ he that judgeth me is the Lord. As for other they must stand at the Barre with us, the Lord is Judge himselfe.

[...] qui ta [...] sanctè tam graviter dispo suit vitam suā, ut de eo sinistri aliquid ne [...]ingi quidem possir, dum adversus obirectatorum libidinem pug­nat meriti mag­nitudo Paulin Epist. 14. ad Celantiam.Indeed (as Paulinus speaketh) he is happy who ordereth is life so holily and so wisely that no wrong can be fained of him; whilst that the greatnesse of his worth, withstands the malice of his slanderers: If we cannot be so happy, yet we should be carefull, Ne ex nobis scintilla procedat, &c. that from our selves a sparkle doe not proceed from whence the flame of a wrong report may be kindled against us: At least▪ we are so to walke, Ʋt nemo de nobis malé loqui abs (que) mendacio possit, that none may speake evill of us without giving himselfe the lye. But yet live we as innocently as we can we shall not want such as will censure us. Such as will live Godly, according to the rule of Christ, must suffer (at least) this kinde of Persecution. We may doe well, but let us learne to heare ill, Till men of this world have learned to thinke well, it is vaine to expect to heare them speake or re­port well of us.

Vse Therfore (in the last place) a Caveat will not be a­misse, that we be wary how we judge of a good action, by the entertainement of the doer. The Poss [...]ssions be­gan at Tamar (as S. Hierom observeth upon the 47. of Ezekiell) and reacheth along to the waters of strife, Semper enim virtutibus contradicitur, virtues are still con­tradicted and opposed.

The Bull (saith Lipsius) doth roare and wax inraged at red or purp [...]e cloth,1 Pet. 4.4. which notwithstanding are the fairest of all colors: So is it with the wicked their rancor is stir­red up by virtue

The Apostle indeed puts the case, 1 Pet. 3.13 Who is he that will harme you if you be followers of that which is [Page 253]good, and experience teacheth that who so applyeth himselfe to well doing is lesse obnoxious to the inju­ries of wicked men. But when Religion is the Quar­rell, humanity is laid aside. He must quit himselfe well that escapes Ishmaels tongue though he may Caines hand. And thus much of the Exception made against our Saviour for absolving of this Woman. That which remaines is the Womans Dismission in the last Verse.

Text. VERSE 50. And He said unto the woman thy Faith hath saved thee, Goe in Peace.

In these words we have considerable, First, the Party dismissed, [...]. The Manner of her Dismission. The Party is the same who was absolved before.

He said unto the Woman.

Observe we,

Doct. Who so are absolved by CHRIST are dismissed the Court.

There is now no condemnation (saith S Paul) to them that are in Christ Iesus. Rom. 8.1. Condemnation (as we know) is a Sentence given by a competent Judge, concerning the punishment of an offender, the contrary whereof is Absolution or Iustification: Rom. 7.24.24. There is none [Now] saith S. Paul, that is being thus delivered by Christ (as was shewed in the Chapter before, v. 25.) And justified by Faith in him, We are no more under the Law but under Grace, and therupon he makes that glorious triumph,Rom. 8.33.34. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods chosen; it is God that justifies who shall condemne? Let the World, Flesh, or Divell object what they can, sue in what Court they please, yet they shall do no good on it; for God hath acquitted and absolved them, they are dismissed so as there is no place for Accusation.

Vse 1 The folly of the wicked (then) may be here disco­vered in that they charge the Godly with former courses, and so would bring them into the Court againe, for that wherof they have bin by the Judge cleared, and long since dismissed: In so doing they shew themselves as foolish as malitious, and play but Satans part who is stiled to be the accuser of the Brethren: Nor shall they ever be able to repeale or revoke the sentence passed, or save their charges in the suit: What God said to Peter (in another case) they might do well to re­member,Act. 10 15. That which God hath cleansed do not thou ac­count uncleane: So whom God hath acquitted do not dare to charge sin on; For he that justifieth the wicked and he that condemneth the Iust, they both are abomination to the Lord, Pro. 17.15.

Vse 2 And it may afford the godly strong Consolation: True it is they shall not want Accusers; the Divell and the World will sift them as narrowly as the Husband-man doth his Corne; and search their lives as strictly as Laban searched Iacobs stuffe, to see if they can find something whereof to accuse them: Yet they shall find nothing to condemne them: Doe they tell us what we have bin? Let us not thinke it a shame to say with the Apostle, I was such a one, but now I am received unto Mercy: Do they tell us of our cor­ruptions and twit us with our infirmities? We should remember then that sweet saying of St. Austin, Aug. cont lit. Petil. l. 3. c. 10. Quantum ille accusat vitium meum, tantum ego lau­dabo medicum meum. Looke how farre he accuseth my fault, so farre will I praise my Physitian who healed me.

The Manner of the Penitents Dismission is next to be considered. She is not barely sent away, but hath a Testimo­niall, and a Passe given her.

The Testimoniall or Certificate in these words, Thy Faith hath saved thee. The Passe in the other, Gee in Peace.

In the Testimoniall wee may finde, First, the Mat­ter effected and wrought for her, which was Salvation [Hath saved.]

Secondly, the Meanes whereby it was obtained [Thy Faith.]

In her Passe we have, First, the Course she is in­joyned to take [Goe] 2. The way she is to keep, which is the way of Peace [Goe in Peace] First, of the wo­mans Testimoniall.

Thy Faith hath saved thee. Text. ]

The Mercy obtained is Salvation. Salvation strictly taken is a preservation from evill, and so it hath re­spect both to Persons and Things. Thou savest (saith David) both man and beast, Psal. 36.6. Evill is of two sorts, 1. Temporall. 2. Eternall, and accordingly in Scripture is Salvation taken.

Sometimes it signifieth Safety and protection in this world from bodily and outward dangers, as Exo. 14.1.3. But that is not the Salvation which our Saviour here speaks of to Mary.

Sometimes it betokens the estate of blessednesse in heaven, and this we commonly terme Salvation, and so it is oppo­sed to damnation, by which we understand the condition of those who are adjudged to hell. Thus is the word used, Phil 2.12. 1 Pet. 1.5.

So Salvation properly notes the negative part of our Happinesse in Heaven, but with all it implyes an ad­vancement to a state of blessednesse and immortality to eternall life, Act. 13.48. The Reason why Happinesse is thus called, is rendered to be this; for that it is easier to tell what shall not be in Heaven, than what shall be there: And of this kind is the Salvation our Saviour speaks of in this place.

This Salvation is to be considered,Aug de Civ. Dei l. 19. c. 20.27. either as it is ini­tiall and begun here, or as it is complementall and shall [Page 256]be perfected hereafter, as it is here begun; so Ephes. 2.7. By Grace you are saved. Here it is given us and assured unto us; though that full and absolute perfection of it (in respect of degree) is reserved for another world; and thus our Saviour saith to Mary, Thy Faith [hath] saved thee; It is done allready for Substance, and not now to doe. Thence Observe,

Doct. The true and beleeving Penitent even in this life is salved.

The Evidence of this Truth appeareth by the con­trary; for if the wicked and unbelieving be condem­ned already, as is evident, Ioh. 3.18. then it will not be hard to conceive, that the Beleever is saved already. But what need we seeke for further proofe, when it appeares so evidently by Gods owne testimony who frequently affirmes of such as are penitent, and believing; and of that estate of theirs which is only via, even in this their pilgrimage that they are blessed, sa­ved, &c. Mat. 51. Psal. 1.1. & 32.1. Ephes. 2.7. Iohn 17.3.

For, first we have Salvation in the Promises of it, as 2 Cor. 7.1.

Secondly, Wee have it in those Graces which be­ginne it, Iohn 17.3. Tit. 3.5. And 2.12. Iohn 3.8.

3. We have it in the Assurance of it, 2 Cor. 1.10. 2 Tim 2 19. Act. 5.39. doth the Lord say and shall he not doe? His Foundation standeth sure and hath his seale. And if this Counsell be of God, as Ga­maliell (said in another case) ye cannot destroy it.

Vse 1 This may first informe us of the happy estate of e­very such one as believes and repents unfainedly: Let their outward estate be what it will be, yet their Salvation is certaine, Rom. 8.38. Rom. 14 8. they are already saved, and have the beginnings of eternall Life in them; so that neither Life nor Death shall be able to deprive them of that.

Say we be in as great a strait as were the Israelites betwixt the Red-Sea and Pharaoh's Hoast: One dan­ger before us ready to ingulfe us; another behind us ready to destroy us; yet if thou beest righteous and truly penitent, I will speake in the confidence of Moses, Feare not, stand still, behold the Salvation of the Lord. Thine enemies may interrupt thine Assu­rance, but they shall never overthrow thy Salvation. As for outward things resigne up thy selfe wholy to Gods absolute dispose, whither it be by Life or Death: Say with Eli, 1 Sam. 3.18. It is the Lord let him do what seemeth him good; and as David, 2 Sam. 15.26. Let him doe to me as he pleaseth. Keepe thou the coast of Faith and Repentance and feare not thy comming to the holy Land.

Vse 2 But as for such who acquaint not themselves with Salvation here; woe to those: If there be no Sal­vation here had, expect none hereafter. The Gate of Heaven is here below: Christ is the Doore by which we must enter into the Paradise of God: Who so layes hold on him with his merits by the beliefe of his soule, hath gotten Salvation already: But in not believing and repenting a man is condemned all­ready: Woefull therefore is the estate of such men who never acquaint themselves with Salvation before the end of their dayes and then begin to dreame of ano­ther condition.Cyp tractat. de habit. Virgin 1 Sam. 14.13. Non est facilis ad magna ascensus (saith S. Cyprian) things which are great are not easily climbed unto: What sweat and labour takes a man before he comes to the top of an Hill, as you find Ionathan and his Armour-Bearer tooke before they came to the Philistins garrison. And can we thinke to attaine the height of Mount Sion with a leape? Wherefore let nothing delivered cause Security, but put us on to a working out our Salvation with feare and trembling.

Thy Faith Text.

Here we have the Instrumentall cause or meanes of the Iustification and Salvation of this Penitent. Where observe we two things.

First, The Quality. 2. The Propriety. The Quality of the Means is, [Faith] The Propriety [Thy] Faith. First of the Quality.

We may observe in that Remission of sins was before attributed to this womans Charity, and now is said to come of her Faith,

That true Faith is joyned with Love, Hope, and other Graces. It is not alone, where one is there is the other likewise.

Doct. Faith, Hope, Charity, and other graces are concomi­tants; Where one is there is the other. Her Love was spoken of before, and here Her Faith is men­tioned, so that it is cleare enough both were in the same subject.

The frequent Conjunctions of these Graces in the Apostles writings makes this good, as 1 Thes. 1.3. & 3.6, 7. Colos. 1.4. Philemon verse 5. 1 Cor. 13.13.

This is a truth, which the Papists seeme with their strongest forces to gaine-say: Stifly maintaining that Faith may be without Love; and indeed we grant that fides Daemonum, the faith of Divells may, but not, fides Christianorum, the Faith of Christians. A man may have an Historicall Faith (which is that Faith of the Church of Rome, defined by a Catechisme au­thorized by the Counsell of Trent) and yet want Charity. Yea he may have a miraculous Faith, and yet be without true Love, 1 Cor. 13.2. But a Iu­stifying faith (which is that Faith must save) can­not bee separated from it, 1 Iohn 4.7, 16. 1 Iohn 5.1.

And wheras their Schoolemen in resolving of this case, assigne to Faith a double subsistence, Tho 1. [...]. q 6 [...] art 4. one in ge­nere naturae (when it hath all the Essentialls of its na­ture, wherby it is distinct from other intellectuall habits, and is principle of the proper acts therof in respect of its proper objects) The other in genere moris (when it is grown to have a virtuous subsistence in us, that is,Scot in 3. Dist. 36. art. 4. an acceptablenesse with God (as Scotus interprets it) and becomes to be a disposition to be­atitude) which they confesse cannot be without Cha­rity. They say little herein against us: For we grant that in Nature and Property these Graces may be di­stinguished one from another. If we consider them as Habits of the renewed soule, they be distinct graces: But that in the Ʋse they should be severed, or that there should be such a kind of faith, as gives interest to Christs Righteousnesse and eternall life without Charity we deny.

Vse 2 To come nearer home; by our Love proove we the truth of our Faith. Our blessed Saviour hath foretold a scarcity of Faith on Earth in the last times, Luk. 18.18. And yet never were times fuller of Faith then these times (which yet are the last times) if it be true that men say. Who professeth not a faith as firme as Abrahams? But if we bring it to this touch, it will be found no better then that Faith which St. Iames speakes of, A dead faith, yet this is the touch­stone by which it must be tryed, as the same Apostle shew­eth, Iam. 2.18.

nor it is a Ʋerball Love (like theirs who bids a man warme himselfe, and fill his belly, yet gives no­thing) that we are to try our Faith by, but a reall and working Love, 1 Iohn 3.18. So shews St. Iames, when he saith, Pure Religion and undefiled before God is this, to visit the fatherlesse and widdows in their affliction, Iam. 1.17.

Did Religion consist only in Contemplation, it [Page 260]would be better for many than it is; but the greater part of it (like the Ma [...]hematicks) is in D [...]monstration: Faith is a Christians Life, Gal. 2.20. But the Brea [...]h or Pulse whereby it may be knowne to live is Cha­rity, without which saith S. Paul, I should be nothing profited though I should give all my goods to the poore or suffer my body to be burned, &c. Should a man build Churches, repaire Bridges, mend high wayes, set up Hospitals, yet, hoc aliquid, hoc multum, hoc totum ni­hil est, this something, this much, this all, is nothing at all if love be wanting.Aquin. Nothing in esse gratiae, how great soever in esse Naturae; want of Love will both discre­dit the cause and endanger the reward. But of this more hereafter.

Vse Little Reason have the Papists (as appeares by this) to charge us so deeply and fowly as they do; Quocun (que) modo vivu [...]t, per so­lam fidem glo­riam sibi pro­mittunt, & ne (que) mandatorum observationem, ne (que) paenitentiam esse necessariam praedicat Suarez 06 Apolog. 5.10. nu. 11. as that 06 we are Enemies to good workes and teach our people 06 that it is no matter how men live, promising glory by Faith alone, accounting both the keeping of Gods Commandements and Repentance unnecessary, &c. Whether we are indeed as they would make the world believe (we are, we shall heare a [...]one) In the meane time I would they would speake out, and deale plainly with us, whether they are perswaded indeed that we cry downe good workes and preach as they say?Disertis verbis docent opera es­se ad salutem necessaria Non quidem necessi­tate efficientiae sed praesentiae, Bellar. de Iu­stif 4. Bellarmine is ashamed of these calumnies, and doth ingenuously confesse, That the Protestants doe plainely teach that good workes are necessary to Salvation: Not in the Act of Iustification, but in the Worke of Sanctification without which there can be no Salvation.

And thus much of the Quality of the Means; now for the Propriety.

[Thy] Faith. Text. [...]ac [...] [...]ua, i [...]e. [...] a [...] sal­ [...]ii [...], [...]uliiu [...] al [...]ri [...] [...]des [...]ui Char [...]as [...]rumseila in loc

Thine, not anothers; it seemes then by this,

Doct. Who so would be justified and saved must have a faith of their own. That Faith which must save us must be ours and not anothers.

The Iust shall live by [his] owne faith, saith Haba­kuk, Chap 2.4. So S. Paul, Rom. 1.17. Where though this Pronoune [His] be not expressed, yet it is in the nature of the Greeke Tongue understood:Hanc hist. resert Georg. Mylius, ex re [...]atu filij Lutheri in Ep. ad Lect prefix Com [...]ent ipsius in epist. ad Rom Which Text Luther (as yet sticking fast in the mire of Popish dark­nesse) expounding at Wittenberge was a meanes of his conversion: For by a certaine divine power the sense was so imprinted in his mind, that whatsoever he did, he still seemed to himselfe to heare a voice inculcating these words unto him. The Iust shall live by his owne faith. Finding no meanes to pacifie his perplexed spi­rit, it hapned that having businesse to Rome, he glad­ly tooke the occasion hoping that by visiting of the holy Places and Reliques (as they terme them) he should procure some quietnesse to his restlesse mind; thither he went, in his way still these words were sounding in his eares, The Iust shall live by his owne Faith, and the further he went the more did he heare the sound. Comming to Rome he used all meanes to pacifie that Commotion which was in him: He celebrated the Masse with greater devotion than ordinary; so that others would have sung three Masses sooner than he did one. The Italian Monkes laughed at him, crying, Fratello passa, passa, calling on him to make more speed. But in the midst of this his devotion, he felt the force of these words with grea­ter-vehemency than ever he did before. He con­ceiving that God was greatly offended with him, he resolved to pacifie God and purge avvay his sin by climbing up certain steps of Pilates ladder (vvhich the [Page 262] Romanists faigne to be brought from Ierusalem) which he did upon his bare knees, hoping thereby to obtaine that Indulgence which the Pope had granted unto such as should devoutly performe that action. In the midst of which worke he was suddenly astonished, and stric­ken (as it were) with a thunder-clap, hearing that voice with a kind of stately and fearfull Majesty: The Iust shall live by his owne Faith: Hee returnes from Rome to Wittinberg, where considering more earnestly the sense of the sentence, and argument of the whole Epistle, by Gods gratious instinct, and the illumination of his blessed Spirit, he understood the meaning of the words, whereat hee was exceedingly comforted, his minde pacified, and at length began a happy reforma­tion, which through Gods speciall grace and power was effected.

Reason. The necessity of this appeares, in that particular mer­cies are promised in Scripture, and so are particularly to be received and imbraced: As God offers himselfe to a beleever, so must a beleever receive him: God offers himselfe to each particular, and therefore the Faith of each must be particular.

Vse The Papists affirme, that a man may be saved if he say hee beleeveth as the Church beleeveth, Rhem. Annot. on Luk. 12. §. 3. though hee know not what the Church beleeveth. And indeed this they had need to teach, for that their Doctrines (for the most part) have no footing in Scripture, and it must bee an implicite Faith wherewith they are belee­ved.

And on Mat. 9.2. the Rhemists have this marginall note, Annot. on Mat. 9. §. 2. that the Faith of one helpeth to obtaine for another. What, Salvation? If that be their meaning as it see­meth, we deny it: we may as well see with another mans eyes, or heare with anothers eares, or walks with anothers feet; as be saved by anothers Faith. Abra­hams Faith could not save his wicked posterity. Though Noah, Daniel and David, (those three worthies of the [Page 263]world) stood before me (saith the Lord) they shall deliver but their owne soules.

Indeed wee grant them, anothers mans Faith may profit the Body or Estate of others in things Temporall: so the Centurions Faith did profit his Servant, Mat. 8.13. and the Faith of others, the Palsey man, Mat. 9.2. Yea the Faith of another may be profitable to the soule of his Brother in things Spirituall, so farre as to pray for him; or be a meanes to allure him unto Christ; or give him a right to the outward Covenant, (as the Parents Faith doth to the Child 1 Cor. 7.14. Rom. 11.16.) But in things Eternall, as to save from everlasting vengeance, and to the obteyning of eternall life, it is in­effectuall.

Quest. But if every one be saved by his owne Faith, what becomes of young Infants, who by reason of their age have neither knowledge or Faith, and so depart this life: Are they saved?

Resp. When we thus urge the necessity of a Particular Faith, we are to be understood to speake of such as are of a reasonable age.

Secondly, Infants have Faith: Christ himselfe rec­kons them amongst Beleevers, Mat. 18.6. Whosoever offendeth one of these little ones which beleeve in mee. In which respect Circumcision was called a seale of Faith.

Vse 2 Endeavour wee to have (therefore) of our owne: In Gideons Campe every soldier had his owne Pitcher: Salomons valiant men had each one his owne sword by his side; and each Virgin is said to have a lamp in her own hand. So every true Beleever professeth for him­selfe, I Beleeve.

But how can it be said to be mine, when it is the Common Faith, Tit. 1.4? And (as Athanasius in his confession calles it) the Catholike faith; being the Faith of all Christians, and received and professed by the whole Catholike Church?

It is called the Common or Catholike Faith, First in re­spect of the Object of it, which is Common and belongs to all the Faithfull.

Secondly, In respect of the Profession of it, it being the badge of every true Christian.

Thirdly, In regard of the Common end of it, which is eternall life, and Salvation: which S. Iude likewise cals the Common Salvation, Iude. v. 3.

But in this one Common or Catholike Faith, every one that is a true member of the Church, hath an interest; and to it layes a particular claime: they have a peculiar portion in the common stocke, as appeares, 2 Pet. 1.1. Like pretious Faith with us: Like for kind, not for de­gree: such Faith, though not so much Faith. The para­lell is not drawne à quantitate, sed à qualitate fidej. In briefe, though Faith be one, ratione objecti, yet it is not one, ratione subjecti, every one must have a Faith of his owne.

Object. 2. But how is Faith ours; when it is the gift of God, for so wee finde, Philip. 1.29. Iohn. 6.29?

Resp. If it be given to us, then it is ours: For what is freer then gift? gifts once bestowed are proper to the possessors.

Secondly, It is so given; as that it is by us also got in part: as the woman of Tekoah said to David, God doth devise meanes. 2 Sam. 14.14. So God hath ordained meanes for obteyning Faith, as we find, Rom. 10.17. which who so neglects (I speake of those who are adulti, growne up to a reasonable age) shall never obteyne. Now such is Gods grace and goodnesse, as that he accounts those graces ours which are in part obteyned through our endeavours, though hee hath therein the leading hand, a [...]d is the All and in All, And thus much of the womans Certificate, wee now come to examine her Passport.

Goe in Peace. Text. Post quam ei peccati dimifit non sist it in re­missione peccati, set adijcit operationem boni, unde subditur, vade in pace Theoph.]

In which words we cannot but observe. First, the Course enjoyned [Goe.] not sit still; be idle, &c. Se­condly, the way directed, in Peace.

[...] Goe.

To the benefit of Remission is added this Injunction, which in Beda's and Theophilacts opinion is as much as Bene vive, or bene age. Doe well, Live well, &c. So that you see,Ʋbi vigilanter collige, divinam clem [...]ntiam pec­cata non dimit­tere dormitanti, bis, sed cooperā ­tibus fide, spe, at (que) dilectione, &c. Royard.

More is required of a Christian then bare beleeving.

Though no more be required in the act of Iustification, yet more is required in respect of Conversation, as these places prove, Psal, 1.1, 2. & 3 [...].1, 2 & 119.1, 2. Mat. 5.20. Iam. 2.18 2 Pet. 25.—10.

And good reason there is for it, for that Gods elect are brought to glory, not by Iustification alone, but by Vocation and Glorification also, Rom. 8.30. Acts. 26.18. we must passe through Sanctification before we come to Glory.

Vox & praete­rea nihil.What shall we think then of the wording Christian, (the tribe of Nepthalie) who like the Spartons Nigh­ting all, are voice and little else. Surely they are fitter for the Cage then Church, sing they never so sweetly. These are they who have brought the staine of Sol fid ans upon us.Hofin. in judicio sup articulo. 4. Confes. Augu­stanae. Nor had the Papists stood so stiffe against the Doctrine of Iustification by Faith alone (as one amongst themselves professeth) but for some mens disgracing of Good workes.

What we write and preach, concerning the necessity of Good workes the world knowes: how in your lives you shew the power of what you heare and learne,D Willets Ca­talogue of cha­ritable workes annexed in the end of his Sy­nopsis Papismi. we have little cause to glory. And yet with them we will glory (for it ha [...]h beene proved by a particular inducti­on from an able Penne, that more charitable workes have beene performed in the times of the Gospell, then they [Page 266]can shew to have beene done in the like time of Poperie: And if we looke homewards and consider the workes of this nature, that have beene done by us within the space of 80. yeares, under the happy Raignes of King EDVVARD, Queene ELIZABETH, King JAMES of blesled memory, and now under the Raigne of our gratious Soveraigne King CHARLES, it will appeare that there hath beene more workes of charity shew­ed, then was in twice so much time going immediatly before) yet wee justifie not our selves, for what is this we have done, or doe, answerable to the meanes we do enjoy, and the profession we make?

Our Church is pestered with a company of Hypocrits, whose Faith is cloathed much after the fashion that Iohn the Baptist was. They put upon it a Coat of Ca­mels haire, some refuse and cheape outside, which they tye together with the leathern girdle of dissimulation, and the Food of it is Locusts, 2 Kings. 5.11. meere speculation, and wild­honey, table talke. We may say of them as Naaman said of the Prophet, I thought hee would have done something, that hee would have come out unto mee, and stood and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper, &c. so wee hearing such a profession of their Faith expect great matters, but behold no deeds at all, or very few and small.

Yea so confidently doe some hope for Salvation by Faith, that there is worse then naught done; little ho­nesty, or true dealing to be found from them. They are so farre from cloathing of their Faith (as I said be­fore) that they strip it as Iosephs Bretheren stripped him, and leave it as naked as Idolatry left the Israelites.

Alas my beloved are you no farther yet? what all your life long in S. Paul, and never take forth so farre as to come unto S. Iames. Are Gods Commandements torne out of your Catechismes, and nothing left in it besides the Creed for you to learne? How can wee thinke but by such a Faith, you make onely a pretence to [Page 267]protect prophanenesse with?1 Kings. 3.16. Play not the Harlots part to overlay the Infant. A smothered Faith will not save you, Abrahams Faith was a working Faith; so was Rahabs, so must yours be, if you would that it should bring you unto Heaven. Where there is no light, I may say there is no Sunne: 2 Kings. 4.31. and as Elishaes servant said of the Shunamites sonne, when he saw that there was neither speech nor sense: The child is not yet awaked. So where workes are not, you must give me leave to tell you your Faith is ghostlesse.

Vse 2 Wherefore, up and be Going. The divine Goodnesse as here you see dischargeth the sinnes, not of sleepers; but of workers and Goers; Mat. 19.17. The grace of God that brin­geth salvation hath appeared (saith S. Paul, Tit 2.11.) And whither doth it send us? To the denying of un­godlinesse and worldly lusts, to a sober, righteous and god­ly living. If then thou wouldest enter into life, keepe Gods Commandements.

Quest. But doth not this savour of Popery, so earnestly to presse good workes?

Resp. If it be Popery, we must crave leave to teach it. The times through our long peace and plenty (so much abused) waxe so prophane and irreligious, as that it may be thought good discretion to preach rather for workes then Faith, but I must further tell you, the Papists and wee (on both sides) agree, that to doe good workes is necessary for every man who expects to bee Iustified and saved by Christ. Extra causam justificationis opera satis lau­dari non possūt, ad causam hu­jus admitti non debent. The difference consists in this; they say good workes are necessary to Iustification as being Causes of it, wee say they are necessary to Iustification as being Effects thereof. To Iustifie thy Per­son before God they are fruitlesse, but to approove thy Iustification both to thy selfe and others, they are need­full.

By these thou mayest have some assurance of thy Faith and salvation. And reason a posteriori thus, I have workes, therefore I have Faith: I have Faith, therefore [Page 268] I have Christ. I have Christ, therefore I have Heaven. Tam certus esse debes (saith S. Austin) de requie, Aug. in Ps. 94. de faelicitate, si mandata ejus custodieris, quàm certus es de perditione, si ea contempseris; By thy keeping of Gods Commandements thou mayest be as sure of happinesse and▪ salvation, as through thy despising and contemning of them thou mayest be sure of perdition.

Aliud est fiduciam ponere in operibus, aliud est fiduciam oriri ex operibus. It is one thing to put ones Confidence in works, and another thing to have a Confidence from ones workes. Though we put not the confidence of our sal­vation in our workes, as the Papists doe; yet we hold that a confidence of our salvation may ar [...]se unto us from our workes, because our workes do testifie our Faith whe­ther it be lively or no.

Object. But workes may be hypocriticall and imper­fect.

Resp. True, but being sincere they may assure us of salvation: Moses putting his hand into his bosome tooke it out leprose; putting it in again into his bosome he tooke it out cleane. The hand is the instrument of wor­king, and the workes of men are sometimes leprous and unsound, sometimes healthy and good. Whence is this? but from the bosome or heart of man. If they proceed from an honest and good heart, and done by Gods direction; then they are good, the fruits of Faith, and will yeeld thee comfort. If they come from a Cor­rupt heart, and be done for base and mercinary ends, then they are leprous and abhominable. Thus see thou make thy calling and election sure unto they selfe by good workes, for that end they are neces­sary.

Secondly, they are necessary in respect of others, that they may see and glorify God. By the finger without we know how the Clock goes within, so by our out­ward obedience, how Faith stirres. When the Sunne shines upon the Dyall, it reflects a shadow; whereby [Page 269]the passenger perceiveth how the day passeth: So doth Faith reflect the shadow of a good and Christian con­versation, whereby others may perceive, how the day of grace goes with us. And in these respects wee are called on, to call on you to shew forth good workes, Tit. 3.8.

By this that hath beene said; it may appeare, how easily S. Paul and S. Iames may be reconciled.Piscator. S. Paul calls for Faith without workes, S. Iames calls for workes, averring that Faith is no Faith without them, understand both rightly and there is no contradiction. These two Apostles did handle two divers Questions. S. Paul spends his pains, in proving Quod fides justificat, That Faith doth justifie. S. Iames in shewing, Qualis fides justificat, what kind of Faith doth justifie. The one speakes of a justice of justification, the other of a justice of testifica­tion. Faith doth justifie (saith S. Paul) he meanes be­fore God, and that it doth it apprehensivé: Workes do justifie (saith S. Iames) he meanes before men, and that they do [...]fstensive. Thus of what is enjoyned on this peni­tent. The next and last thing to speake of, is the way pre­scribed or set forth.

In Peace. Text. ]

Peace is twofold. First, there is Pax apparens, a bad and appearing Pace; Secondly, Pax vera, a true and sin­cere Peace.

Bad Peace is threefold. First, Pax inquinata, a defiled and polluted Peace, as is that we find mentio­ned, Ps. 2.1, 2. & 9.21. & 83.4, 5▪ 6. so Ephraim against Ma­nasses, Manasses against Ephraim; and both against Iudah: Herod against Pilat, Pilat against Herod; and both against Christ. Est Daem [...]num legio concors, there is such a peace as this amongst the Divells, seven could agree well together in Marye's heart,Mark. 5.9. yea a Legion we read of were in another. If a house be divided against it selfe it cannot stand.

Secondly,2 Sam. 3.27. & 13.28. Mat. 26.49. Pax simulata, a dissembled and coun [...]er­fetted Peace, when a man pretends Peace, but intends mischiefe. So Ioab spake peaceably to Abner when he stab'd him: Absolom invited Ammon to a Feast when be intended to murther him. Iudas kissed Christ when he went about to betray him.

Thirdly,Gen. 3.6. & 13.9. Pax inordinata, an inordinate Peace, which is, when the greater and better obeyes the lesse and in­feriour. So Adam obeyed Eve; Abraham yeelded un­to Lot, &c.

None of these kindes of Peace are here meant: That Peace which our Saviour speakes of is, true and sincere Peace, which S. Bernard thus tripleth.

First, Externall, which some call Pax temporis, this is that Peace we have with men for the time we live in this world, Rom. 12.18. and this is first in the Church, when it hath rest from Heresies, Schisme, Tyranny and Persecution, Acts 2.31. Psalme 122.6.

Secondly, In the Common-wealth, as when we are free from civill warres within; and forreigne enemies without, Ier. 29.7.

Thirdly, In the Family, or speciall places where we live, of which Peace S. Peter, 1 Pet. 3.12. and our Saviour, Mark. 9.50.

Secondly, Internall, which is Pax pectoris, the Peace of conscience, proceeding from the assurance we have of Gods favour through Christ. In this S. Paul placeth the Kingdome of Heaven, Rom 14.17. Phil. 4.7. and calls it Peace which passeth all understanding, Phil. 4.7.

Thirdly, Eternall, Pax numinis, which is that per­fect rest and happinesse, which the Saints shall enjoy in Heaven with God hereafter, Isay. 57.2.

The Peace that our Saviour here speakes of to this woman is, that Internall or Pectorall peace, that stable and comfortable tranquility of conscience, not accusing, but excusing, and freeing from the terrors of Hell and [Page 271]death; opposed to feare, griefe or any kind of pertur­bation, which might breake the sweet consent, and harmony of mind.

Doct. Our Observation is, Peace of conscience is the fruit of justification by Faith.

Col. 1.20. Ephes. 2.21. Rom. 5 1. These Texts of Scrip­ture make strongly for the truth delivered.

Nor can it otherwise be; For upon our apprehension of Christ by Faith; followes his satisfaction for us; upon satisfaction we have remission; upon remission, re­conciliation; upon reconciliation, Peace will certainly follow.

Vse Alas for Sinners! the misery of such as are not recon­ciled unto God, there is no peace to the wicked saith my God, Isay. 57.21.

The sentence would not be so grievous, were it not so generall. If at any time; in any place; any wicked man, might have any kind of peace (that good is) there were some comfort. But the Proposition is an univer­sall Negative: There is no Peace, in no place, at no time, to no wicked man, to be had.

No Peace, none with God, none with Angels, none with Men, none with the Creatures. They are like unto Ishmaell, whose hand was against every man, and every mans hand against him: they may well feare with Cain, every one that findeth mee will slay mee. All creatures being Gods executioners, and ready prest to do his will.Pro. 19.13. 2 King. 7.4. Fugit ab agro ad civitatem, a publico ad do­mum, a domo in cubiculum & ecce hostem sun̄ invenit, quo cō ­sugerat seipsum quò [...]ugiturus est, Aug. in Ps. 45.

In no place Peace; what Salomon speakes of an ill wife, may aptly be applyed to an ill conscience, It is a continuall dropping: wheresoever a man goes his con­science accompanies him, and that yells against him, in dom [...], in f [...]o, in mensa, in lecto: In all places where he comes. So that as those Lepers spake one un­to another; If we enter into the citie the famine is in the citie, and we shall die there, if we sit still we shall di [...] h [...]re, &c. Sinners may so say unto themselves, If [Page 272]we goe to Gods House there is no Peace: His word threatens us. If wee stay at home, there is no Peace, our Consciences condemne us, what shall we doe?

At no Time Peace. They are like the surging and raging waves of the Sea still casting up mire and dirt: Or like Euripus which ever boyleth and is in continu­all agitation, Iob 15.20, 21. and 27.20, 21. There Conscience is like an aking tooth; he that hath it eates in paine, drinkes in paine, sleeps in paine. So is it with a sinner, he is pained with Conscience con­tinually.

nor can any wicked man have Peace: Be he never so great or mighty; let his coat be made of what cloth it will,Rom. 2. God is no respecter of Persons; Hee bids de­fiance to all such as sinne against him of malitious wic­kednesse.

Doe you aske your watchmen (then) as Iehoram asked Iehu, Is it peace Iehu, is it peace? We must answer, what peace when as the witch-crafts and Adul­teries of thy mother Iesabell are yet so many? Art thou a wicked one, a lewd Liver, a Drunkard, an Adul­terer, &c. Come behind, what hast thou to do with Peace.

Ob. But who sees not that Sinners have Peace. Read Iob 21.9. And there we shall find that there is a Peace in the Tents of wicked ones; they live at ease, have what their hearts can wish, their consciences are quiet, and they die like lambs?

Resp. This Peace in them, is not, Pax conscientiae, but stupor conscientiae, you may call it rather stupidity than Peace: The habit of sin hath taken away the sense of sinne, so that they are become past feeling; their consciences being seared with a hot yron, 1 Tim. 4.2. Seared may the Conscience be, but not safe; quiet, but not good.

Iob compares this Peace unto a dreame and affirmes [Page 273]that it is but for a moment. Job 38.17. Eccles. 7.6 Spinae dum ar­dent sonant, & atò exurantur, ut nullus caloris sit effectus, Amb de hortat. ad virginitatem. Dan. 5.5, 6. Salomon resembles it to the crackling of thornes under the Pot. Now (saith S. Am­brose) thornes when they burne, they make a noyse and quickly are consumed; so that there is no effect of their heat: So sinners make a noyse of Peace, but it is soone gone, and they have little comfort by it. It is in their Face, not in the Heart (as Salomon shews, Prov. 14.13.) In laughter many times the Heart is sad, in the midst of their mirth, their thoughts are troubled as were Belshazzers, the joynts of their loynes are loosed, and their knees smite one against a­nother.

This that former resemblance of Thornes under the Pot intimates The flame lifts up it selfe in an exul­ting braving way, yet it is kept downe and suppres­sed by the Pot over it: So this Peace of Sinners is under many troubles: That seething Pot spoken of, Ier. 1.13. checks and subdues it: Still there is a Thorne at the breast of this Nightingale; and as the Prophet speakes, In pace amaritudo mea amarissima, Isay. 38.17, In peace I had great bitternesse, thus may they say: Sure I am they have just cause; for their peace is like the Sea, called, Mare mortuum, which (they say) is smooth on the top, but deadly at the bottome.

Quest. But how doth this Seeming or false Peace of sinners differ from that Peace which ariseth from Assurance of GODS Favour, through Faith in Christ?

Resp. By what hath bin already said, this may bee in part discerned, but to answer you more fully.

First, the Conscience of a sinner is quiet, for that it hath no sight nor sence of sinne. He is like that presumptuous Carrier, who travelling in the night and being told of many dangerous pits in the way which might in­danger both his Horse and Himselfe, desperately an­swered, [Page 274] Oculos comprimo & omnia ubi (que) plana sunt: I shut mine Eyes and all things are to me alike plain. They are secure through the darknesse and senselesnes of their consciences. But a good Conscience wash d in the blood of Christ is quiet because it so feeleth sin, as that it believeth all is forgiven, and that the whole debt (wherof it is very sensible) is discharged through Christs blood.

Secondly, A benummed Conscience, though it be quiet yet it comforteth not. There may be indeed, a naturall livelinesse, and a joy taken in things pleasing to nature, but spirituall Comfort in the Conscience there is none at all. Now the true pacified conscience hath great joy and refreshing in it; it cheareth up the Soule of a man, as one that is cheared at a Feast; in which respect it is said to bee a continuall Feast.

Thirdly, A dead or benummed Conscience feareth not sin, nor Gods wrath for sin: But a Good Con­science is very fearefull of giving God the least of­fence: As it was said of Hezekiah, that he feared God greatly; So is it with the Godly. And thus you see however there be some agreement and likenesse be­tweene the true peace of a good Conscience and the false peace of a bad one in regard both are quiet, and free from trouble, yet in other respects there is a wide difference betwixt them; and therfore be not deceived with appearance. You know the Sea doth not alwayes rage and roare: No Conscience makes so rough weather as at no time to admit a calme. And when a Sinner shall tell you all is well and quiet at home: If you give him the hearing let that be all. Many a dying man you may heare to say that he feels no pain: And yet you like him never the better for it. Af­ter the draught of Milk that Sisera took, he was not sensi­ble of Iaels hammer.

Vse 2 next, this sets forth unto us the excellent estate of [Page 275]a Beleever to whom true Peace belongs as their inheri­tance,Pax [...]areditas Chris [...]i avorum Aug de temp. Scr. 200. they being the Sonnes of Peace, Luk. 10.6. There is much peace (saith David) to them that love thy Law, Psal. 119.164. To the Sinner there was none; there is much Peace to these; having Peace with God, we have Peace with his Angels, Ps 34.7. Heb. 1.14. Peace with men, Luk. 2.14. Isay. 11.6, 7. Peace with Gods ordinances, Isay. 11.4 & 57.19. Peace with our selves, Colos. 3.15. Peace with the creatures, Hos. 2.18 Peace with our Crosses, Rom. 8.28. Thus we have much Peace.

Ob. But do we not see it evidently that none have lesse Peace then these? who are more inwardly afflicted, out­wardly molested, 2 Cor. 11.23-30.

Resp. The Church of God is Militant here in this world and so no perfect Peace may be here expected. In the world (saith Christ) you shall have Affliction, but in me peace. Though we have much Peace (as I said) yet not full and perfect Peace; for there can be no Peace with the Powers and Principalities of the world, Ephes. 6.12. Nor with the Lusts of the world, 1 Pet. 2. Nor with the men of this world,Pax nostra bel­lum contra Satanam. Iohn 15.8. But this warre is our Peace, as Tertullian speakes.

2. God doth not ever speake peace to his own; but that comes to passe through their owne folly, Psal. 85.8. David knew this by his owne deare bought expe­rience: But if they be carefull to abstaine from sin; they cannot be without inward Peace in all their outward troubles, Act. 5.41. They are like a Rocke in the Sea, than which nothing is more quiet because it is not stirred, and yet nothing more unquiet, because it is ever assaulted.

3. This Peace is but begun in this world and as yet imperfect (as all other Graces be) The mind and will is subdued unto Gods mind and will but in part. And the flesh is subdued but in part to the Spirit; [Page 276]whence ariseth a combate within them, but a good Conscience they have which is therefore peaceable, because it outstandeth corruption, and in some measure subdues it.

Vse 3 In the last place let us all be stirred up to seeke af­ter this blessing of Peace, by those wayes and means which you have bin acquainted withall in this Para­ble from this Penitents practice; which the better to provoke you unto J might spend time (and that not unprofitably) in discovering unto you the excellency of this Grace.

First, In that it was the first Congratulation wher­with the holy Angels saluted the Church at the birth of Christ.Luk. 2.14. Joh. 14.27. Psal. 34.12. 1 Thes. 3.14. Rom. 14.19. Nor is there any thing, which Christ the Head of men and Angels did more carefully bequeath to his Church than Peace: It was that blessed Grace which Christ did leave as a token of his Love to his Church a little before his death, nor is there any du­ty that Gods Servants do call on us more to seek after than Peace.

Secondly, from the great account that hath bin and is made of it, both by God and Man. God takes it into his own holy Title, as Hebr. 13.20. Isay. 9.6. Were it not an Orient Pearle, or a Diamond of un­speakable worth he would not have it in his Crown: Yea the very blood of his Sonne he gave to purchase it: Now how precious that blood was Saint Peter shews, 1 Pet. 1.19. In which respect it is cal­led, the Peace of God, Phil. 4.7. Colos. 3.15. 2 Thes. 3.16.

And as God doth thus highly prize it so do all the Godly (who have in them the spirit of discerning:) How bitterly have they bewayled the want of it? What sighes and groanes have they sent up to Hea­ven for obtaining it? Psal. 51.8. And having pro­cured it, they would not willingly take ten thousand worlds for it.

Yea the wicked themselves set a high price on it,Gen. 4.13. when their consciences are awakened: How have they wished any other paine or torture so they might have peace, what would Caine have given for it, think you? What would Iudas? What Belshazzar? When horrours, feares, terrors have seased on them, then Peace hath bin in request with them.

Thirdly, from the unspeakable Benefits that true Peace brings along with it: What is it that can make a man happy, but attends on Peace? It comprehends in the very name of it all Happinesse, both of Estate and Disposition. That Mountaine wheron Christ as­cended though it abounded with Palmes, Pines, and Mirtles, yet it carried onely the name of Olives (an ancient Emblem of Peace) So though many mer­cies belong unto a Christian, yet all are comprized under this one little word which is speld with a few letters, Peace; whence it was that the Hebrewes wi­shed nothing but Peace unto their friends, understan­ding therby all prosperous successe, Mat. 10.13. Luk. 10.5. Iohn 20.21, 26. Luke 24.36.Phil. 4.7. Colos. 3. This fils the heart with Patience, Ioy, Comfort in believing: It preserves the Soule, as in a strong Garrison, so that a man is as quiet there, as Elisha in Dothan, and guards the principall forts from being surprized, as the city of Damascus was guarded by the King, 2 Cor. 11.32. It passeth all understanding, surpasseth all commending. Therefore as S. Austin speaking of the excellency of this grace, and not being able to set foorth the happi­nesse therof saith (so must I crave leave to speak) Differamus omnes laudes pacis, Aug. in Ps. 48. ad illam patriam pacis, ibi enim pleniùs laudabimus, ubi pleniùs habebimus. Let us deferre all the praises of Peace untill we come into the proper Country of Peace; For there we shall praise it more fully, where we shall possesse it more fully.

I have a word or two of advice for you before I [Page 278]end: If in case it be your happinesse to be set into the way of Peace; Heb. 12.13, 14 Duae sunt amice, justitia & pax, tu fortè u­nam vis & al­teram nō facies. Nemo enim est qui non velit pacem, sed non omnes volunt o­perari justitiā. Interroga om­nes homines vis pacem? uno ore respondebit tibi genus bumanū: opto, cupio, amo, volo Ama justi­tiam quia duae amicae sunt justitia & pax, ipsae se osculan­tur, si amicam pacis non ama­veris non te a­mabit ipsa pax, nec veniet ad te, Aug. in Psal 84. have a care to keepe that way and see that you make straight pathes for your Feet. Let Righteousnesse be your guide. These are two friends that will not part (as St. Austin shews excellently) But if Righteousnesse take one way, Peace will take another. Let S. Paules dayly exercise be yours; Study in all things to keepe a good Conscience voyd of offence both towards God and towards man. I say in all things: For it is with Conscience as with the Ice, breake it in one place, and it will soone breake in many. Some deale vvith their Consciences, as they deale with a new sute which at first vvearing they are afraid of soi­ling, they looke where they sit; they looke where they leane, &c. But when the glosse begins to fade and it begins to be a little old, they have little care vvhere they bestow it: There are who are like some new married husband; for a while his Love may not be out of his sight, in nothing crossed; the wind may not blow on her, the Sunne must be shaded from her beauty, &c. But within a while this fond dotard grows weary of his choice: And if he be so kind, as to give good words and kind looks abroad, yet he can (for a need) chide his wife at home: Have you not known some upon the suddain turne zealous Professours who have strained at a Gnat, and shortly after swal­lowed a Camell? At the first scrupeld an honest inno­cent Ceremony, and yet soone after made no bones of Drunkennesse, Adultery, and the like? If you never knew any such, I pray God you never may.

Ob. But true Peace is everlasting Peace, of that there shall be no end, Isa. 9.7.

Resp. Though true Peace cannot be lost, yet the Counter­feit of Peace may; that cannot abide.

2. Though the Peace of Iustification cannot be lost, yet the peace of Sanctification may be lost (which is the peace of Conscience and within your selves) and that [Page 279]either by some grosse sinne of Commission or Omission, or by some strong fit of Temptation: Whilst the Ten­nant pa [...]es his Rent all is well, but if that be long neglected then stresse is taken, the ground driven; so is it here: And in such a case there is no other way but speedily to make our Peace with our Land-Lord, R [...]pentance will do it. Thus you have had the way of Peace chalked out unto you, with di­rection how to keepe the way.2 Thes. 3.16. Now the God of Peace give you peace all­wayes and by all meanes. The Lord bee with you all, Amen.


AN ALPHABETICALL INDEX OF THE CHIEFE Points handled in the foregoing Ex­position, on LVKE 7.40, 41, &c.

  • ABsolution is a pow­er belonging to Christ, Page 225.
  • Whence Mini­sters have their power to Absolve pag. 226.
  • Difference betwixt us and Pa­pists concerning it, pa. 224
  • How God absolves, how Christ and how man, pag. 224
  • Particular Absolution is to be sought after, pag. 230.
  • Accusation none against the godly, pag. 254
  • Acquaintance is not friend­ship, pag. 236.
  • Actuall sins of sundry sorts and kinds, pag. 51.
  • Adultery a great sinne, page 206.
  • Affections are the soules Senti­nell, pag. 163
  • They betray us to Satan. Ibid.
  • Signes of Affection to be shew­en, [Page] pag. 185
  • Afflictions come in love to the Godly, page 70.
  • Annoynting how in use at Feasts, pag. 191
  • What was signified by Maries annoynting Christ, pag. 196
  • Whither Christ was once an­noynted by Mary or oftner. ibid.
  • Arrowes Gods Ministers shoot pag. 113
  • Assurance of Salvation in this life is to be had, pag. 217.
  • It must bee sought after, page 231.
  • It tends not to licentious liber­ty, pa. 122.
  • Baptisme of Repentance what it is, pag. 171.
  • Bagge God hath for a sinner and the bottle for the Saint, p. 175.
  • Bath twofold, of Justification and Sanctification, pa. 162
  • Banquerouts sinners are, pa. 59.
  • Bailiffes are abroad to attach the Sinner, pa. 48.
  • Body we must be carefull of i [...], pag. 162.
  • The members of the Body are servants to the soule, ibid.
  • Borrowing lawfull, p. 36.
  • It is a fruit of sin, p. 37
  • We may not needlesly become Borrowers, p. 38.
  • It is more base not to pay then it is to borrow, pag. 39.
  • Censure rash is dangerous, p. 212
  • Especially of Governours and what it is like unto, p. 251
  • None so holy that can escape it, p. 245.
  • Ceremonies of courtesie may not be sleighted, p. 152
  • Creditor, God is to all, p. 41
  • Yet denied by many, p. 42
  • He is a free and bountifull Cre­ditour, p. 43.
  • There are few Creditors merci­full, p. 61
  • Credit is by repentance recove­red, p. 14 [...].
  • Christ is true God, p 241.
  • How he is the Son of man, p. 242
  • Who holds him up highest prea­cheth him best, p. 80
  • Christians there are both strong and weake, pag 99. 103.
  • Circumstantiall omissions are blame worthy, p 151
  • Our best actions receive their life or bane from their Circum­stances, p. 154
  • Conscience is like an il wife, 271
  • If good it affoordeth joy, p 194.
  • The Peace of it ariseth from Faith, pag. 271.
  • A benummed and sleepy Con­science how knowne, p. 274.
  • Company, how and when to frame our selves to it, p. 234.
  • [Page]What Company we are to shun ibid
  • Community Anabaptisticall unlawfull, p. 37
  • Consideration neglected a cause men seek not pardon, p. 65.
  • Conversion a greater work than Creation, p. 2.
  • Conversation outward no sure signe of Conversion, p. 239
  • Cost bestowed on Christ we are apt to grudge, p. 199.
  • Curiosity is the nurse of detra­ction, p. 247.
  • Curtesie is commendable, yea necessary. p. 155.
  • It is much respected by men, pag. 156.
  • David the greatnesse of his sin, p. 204
  • Debt owing to God, p. 44.
  • Sinne is the worst Debt and sinners are greatest Debtors, pag. 8, 45.
  • All are not alike indebted, p. 5.
  • Yet none able to satisfie, page 55.
  • A Discharge may be had, p. 64.
  • It is speedily to bee sought for, p. 48.
  • Being had carefully lay it up p. 70.
  • Debts owing to man may be re­quired, p. 62.
  • It is a griefe to an honest mind to be in Debt, p. 40. 47.
  • No Debt is to be exacted with­out mercy, p. 62.
  • Degrees there are of sinne, pag. 52.
  • Degree of Love is answerable to the Degree of Faith, pag. 221.
  • Delight God allowes as well as for necessity, p. 191.
  • Despaire of any we may not, p. 208, 210.
  • It is a greater sin then other, p. 82.
  • Devotion of many is a Stage-de­votion, p. 163
  • Detraction, the vilenesse of it shewed, p. 246
  • The kinds of Detraction, ibid.
  • The father, mother and nurse of it, and whence they are, p. 247
  • Doctrine, it should be well grounded, p. 201.
  • Eare is the soules taster, page 108.
  • A good Eare described, p. 31.
  • By it Christ takes possession of the soule, p. 34.
  • To an obedient Eare, reproofe is an Earing. p. 110.
  • Effects are good markes and proofes, p. 215.
  • Elect before conversion differ not from the wicked, p. 50.
  • [Page]Envie the mother of detracti­on, pa. 246.
  • Equivocation, the sorts and kinds pag. 118
  • Iesuiticall Equivocations are ly­ing assertions, pag. 17.
  • It was first taught by Satan, page 116.
  • Logicall Equivocation may be u­sed in some cases, pag. 118.
  • Examples of others should draw us to Repentance, p. 209, 210
  • Eye is the most sinfull sense, pag. 164
  • Our Eyes are Springs, page 171.
  • They are the two Turtles which we must offer to God, pag. 176.
  • Eye-water runs not waste, pag. 175.
  • Face of God is against Sinners, pag. 133
  • His Face and Favour brings all good with it, Ibid
  • Repentance brings us into Fa­vour, pag. 134, 145.
  • Faith, how alike in all believers and how not, pag. 99.
  • How it is the common Faith, p. 264.
  • It hath a twofold subsistence, p. 259.
  • It must be every mans owne, pa. 261
  • How the Faith of another may help us, pag 263.
  • It is accompanied with other graces, pag. 258.
  • It is obtained by meanes, page 264.
  • The Faith of many how it is cloathed, pag. 266
  • That Faith which saves is a working faith, pag. 267
  • It kindles Love, pag. 216.
  • According to the degree of Faith is our Love, pag. 220.
  • Feasts, mirth and chearfullnesse allowed at them, pag. 192.
  • Feet of Christ we must wash and how, page 164.
  • Why the Apostles washed not Christs Feet, pag. 162.
  • Our Feet are most apt to gather soyle, pag 161.
  • They must be washed as well as our Face or hands, pag. 161.
  • Fellowship with sinners how far­lawfull, pag 235
  • Forgivenesse of sin must be sought for, pag. 64.
  • It is of free grace and how, pag. 65
  • It belongs to every one that will believe, page 79.
  • Whence it is that so few seeke after it, pag. 65.
  • How man may forgive, page 224.
  • We must forgive as God for­gives, pag. 76.
  • [Page]Frienas are to be kindly enter­tained, pa. 152
  • And not treacherously to be u­sed, pag. 1 [...]3
  • Friendship and acquaintance much differ, pag 236.
  • Grace universall, how far it may be taught, pag 79.
  • It is in its nature invisible, pag. [...]15.
  • And best discovered by the Ef­fects, ibid
  • When it is after the patterne it is right, pag. 218.
  • Al Graces may be counterfetted except Love, pa. 217
  • Gifts offered by the wise then to Christ what they notified, p 195
  • Griefe the greatnesse of it how to be judged of, pag 179.
  • Guests are to be chearfully en­tertained, pag. 152.
  • Harlot doth Satan the greatest service, pag. 207.
  • Hands especially regarded by the Pharisees, pag. 163.
  • Hate God many do, and who they are, pa. 94.
  • How God can be hated, pag. 95.
  • Heare we must with a [...] open ca [...]e, pa. 32.
  • Hearing must be brought into practice, pag. 33.
  • Heart first to be reformed, page 238.
  • It hath an eare in it, page 240
  • The Heart of a sinner is his worst peice, pag. 238.
  • It is like the deepe Sea, page 239.
  • How we may judge of the heart and how no [...], p. 240, 243
  • Honour given to the Son is gi­ven to the Father, pag. 189.
  • Hope remains for great sinners, pag. 209.
  • How the valley of Achor is the doore of Hope, pag. 210.
  • Idolaters through abuse of things lawful disable not their use pag. 157.
  • Things belonging to them were of three sorts, p. 159
  • What is counted to be Idolatrous in state, pag. 160.
  • Ignorance of the people Christ shed his blood for, pag. 85.
  • Infants how they are said to have Faith, pa. 263.
  • Ingratitude is a sinne odious to God and man, p. 88.
  • Nature abhors it, ibid.
  • Iohn loved Christ more than the rest, p. 98.
  • [Page]Iohn the Baptist was vox cla­mantis how p 109.
  • Ioy is to be found in the course of a Christian, p. 193.
  • No true Ioy in excesse, p. 194.
  • Kisses the kinds of them, p. 183
  • It is a symbole of Love, p. 124 184.
  • Holy Kisses of three sorts, page 183.
  • Ʋnholy Kisses of foure sorts, p. 184
  • A Kisse noted two things, pag. 184.
  • What it signified, pag. 186.
  • The Kisse of Christs mouth what, page 187.
  • Christ must be kissed of us, pag. 186.
  • A threefold Kisse is owing him pag. 187.
  • The Father is provoked when the Son is not kissed, p. 188.
  • Many false Kisses are given to him, p. 187.
  • When mercy and truth met and kissed, p. 63.
  • Lawes judiciall bind not us as they did the Iewes, pag. 160.
  • Lend God doth to all, pag. 42.
  • Liberty greater under the Gos­pell than under the Law, pag. 160.
  • Love hardliest counterfitted of any grace, p. 217.
  • It is the pulse of Faith and dis­covers it, pa. 259, 260.
  • Without Love all we do is no. thing, pa. 260.
  • It must and will be working, p. 259.
  • Three things in Love, pag. 91.
  • It hath variety of Objects, pa. 97.
  • No affection so reciprocal as it, 96
  • He is nothing who loveth no­thing, page 97.
  • Love rightly qualified how knowne, page 219.
  • It is the Hand-Maid of Faith, page 221.
  • And is bountifull (if not prodi­gall) page. 198.
  • Love God all doe, that are for­given by him, page 92.
  • Some love God more then o­thers, page 98.
  • The weakest degree of Love is not to be despised, pag. 100.
  • How weake Love may bee knowne from strong, page 103.
  • Much Love argues much mer­cy, page 220.
  • Whence it is that GOD is noe more Loved, Page 222.
  • Signes that men Love not God pag. 93.
  • [Page]Reasons why men should Love God. p. 96.
  • No Love is lost in loving him, p. 97
  • Difference betwixt true Love and mercenary, p. 107
  • How God is to be loved for his benefits, p. 106.
  • Love grounded on common favours unsound, p. 123
  • Yet they are pledges of Gods Love to those in Christ, p. 124
  • Love of God assures us of par­don, p. 218.
  • It is no cause of Remission but the effect, p. 213.
  • It restraines from licentious­nesse, p. 122.
  • It carries us through all diffi­culties, p 101
  • It gives great light if well kind­led, p. 10 [...].
  • And is ascending, p. 104
  • How the Love of God in us may be encreased, p. 100.
  • Love is a lovely sute, page 95.
  • No better way to be loved then to Love, p. 106.
  • Love our enemies, onely a Chri­stian can, p. 90
  • Some may be loved above o­thers, p 91.
  • There is a secret Love which is blame-worthy, p 185.
  • Love that is chambered is sicke p. 185
  • Lust increaseth the Divels re­venewes, p. 207.
  • Lyes of three sorts, p. 115.
  • All sorts unlawfull, ibid.
  • Lying is the father of detraction and sl [...]nder, p. 246
  • Manners should attend Faith as well as good workes, pag. 156.
  • Meanes though weake, yet not to be despised, pag. 148
  • All profit not by the Meanes, page 77, 79
  • To sinne against Meanes aggravates it, page 54
  • Mercie is Gods Face, page 76
  • It is to be sought for, page 77.
  • All to be ascribed to Mercie, p. 75.
  • Merit double p. 73
  • No man can Merit, page 72.
  • Mildnesse must bee used in reprooving, page 14.
  • Ministers are to be honoured, p. 28.
  • The meanest Minister under the Gospell honourable, pag 29.
  • Contempt of their Persons re­dounds to their Message, pag. 30
  • They must reproove offenders, p. 23.
  • How they must reproove, page [...]11.
  • They may not reproove for e­very light offence, p. 24.
  • [Page]Who are best Ministers p. 202.
  • They must preach both in life and doctrine, pag. 127.
  • They are F [...]shers, Physitians: n [...] Stewards, pa 1 [...]2.
  • They are Heralds pa. 1 8.
  • Scandalous Ministers may con­vert, pag 1 [...]6
  • Ministery, standing is necessary, pa 230.
  • Mirth allowed a Christian, pag 193
  • The wicked have no cause of Mirth, p. 195.
  • Be not so merry as to forget God, page 195.
  • Mourne for those who mourne not, pag. 167
  • Names, a double use of them, p. 16.
  • Men of good Names may mis­carry, p. 26.
  • Good Names should be made good, pa. 25.
  • Sinners are not worthy Naming p 143.
  • Oyntment of Mary was very precious, page 198.
  • Still there is use of our Oynt­ments, pa 200.
  • Ornament of the body not t [...]o good for Christ. p. 182.
  • Parables have both barke and pi [...]h, pag. 8.
  • There are as many Parables in the Scripture, as weeks in the year p. 10
  • Why Christ affected this Para­bolicall way of teaching, page 9.
  • Great ones are to be spoken un­to in Parables, p. 24.
  • The best of a Parable is the sense mysticall, pag. 36.
  • Pardon is offered to all with­out exception, pa. 79
  • Peace, the sorts and kinds of it, pag. 269
  • True Peace the fruit of Faith, pa. 271
  • It is the inheritance of the Saints p. 275
  • The excellency of it, pa. 276
  • How to get and keepe it, p. 278
  • All other blessings attend it, pag 277.
  • There is none to the wicked, p. 271.
  • They have a seeming peace but not true, pag 272
  • The difference betwixt sound and seeming peace, p. 273
  • How peace may be lost, pag. 278.
  • Penitent to be well thought off page 144.
  • [Page]His deportment and carriage must be observed, pa. 139
  • He is an excellent actor, p. 137.
  • A good life argues a true Peni­tent, pag. 139
  • Pennance popish wherein it is faulty, pag. 181.
  • Praise must be given to whom it is due, p. 129.
  • It may not be too much affected, page 130.
  • And is to be sought in the way of well-doing, pag. 131.
  • Precepts should be turned into Prayers, pag. 58.
  • Preachers who are the best, pa. 202.
  • Propriety of goods established, pag. 37.
  • Question it is who loves God most, pa. 103.
  • Reformation outward not suffi­cient, pag. 238
  • Redemption plenteous to be had in Christ, page 81.
  • Remission of sinne is attainable, p. 62.
  • Repentance is rather seene then heard pag. 136
  • It restores virginity, youth and credit, pag. 144, 145
  • Reproofe this age will not in­dure, pa. 20.
  • How to Reproove aright is dif­ficult, pag. 21.
  • It must be wisely given p. 111.
  • It is an careting to the obedient pag. 110
  • Love must be seene in it, pag. 15.
  • So Reproove as that we doe not blemish, pag. 18
  • In some cases it must be auricu­lar, pag. 17
  • When to reproove by name and in what cases, pag. 16
  • Sharpe Reproofe is sometimes to be used, pa. 14.
  • Reproofe is like wormwood, pa. 112.
  • Riches of God are great, pag. 41.
  • Revenge taken by a Penitent wherein it stands, pag. 181
  • Salvation what, pag. 255
  • In this life to be had, pa. 256.
  • Nothing can hinder the Salva­tion of the godly, pag. 257.
  • Salvation to bee remembred, page 185.
  • How and whom to Salute, page 156
  • Satisfaction to God no man can make, pag. 57, 68
  • To our Bretheren it may and must, pag. 69.
  • Security dangerous, pag. 49.
  • [Page]Sermons of some men are like fire-works, pag. 202.
  • Serpents all Detractors are, pag. 248.
  • Silence in the presence of sinne implyes consent, pag. 21.
  • Sinnes how there are both mor­tall and veniall, pa. 52, 83.
  • Parity of Sinnes an idle dreame pag. 52.
  • How to distinguish betwixt Sinne and Sinne, pag. 53.
  • Greatest Sinnes may be pardo­ned, pag. 82, 211.
  • Some sinnes deserve greater punishment then other, pag. 83.
  • No sinne is so small as to bee sleighted, pag. 85.
  • Sinne is in all, but all are not in sinne, pag. 203
  • How sinne is in the godly, pag. 204.
  • Sinners who are so to bee ac­counted, pag. 203
  • Slander is a kind of, Persecuti­on the godly suffer, pag. 250.
  • Magistrates and Ministers espe­cially, pag. 251.
  • Sorrow accompanies true Re­pentance, pag. 1 [...]6
  • It must bee answerable to the sinne, pag. 177.
  • If deepe, it sometimes wants a tongue, pag. 135
  • A man may exceed in it and when, pag. 178
  • Unsound Sorrow how discer­ned, pag. 177.
  • Sociable to be so is commen­dable, pag. 233
  • Nons may bee rashly censured for it, pag. 236.
  • What Society wee may have with Sinners, pag. 235.
  • Spirit, what kind of one a slan­derer is, page 249.
  • A troublesome spirit is a Sa­crifice for Hell, ibid
  • Teares what they are and whence, pag. 164.
  • The severall sorts and kindes of them, pag. 165.
  • They are necessary appendances of Repentance, pag. 168.
  • Yet very deceitfull things, pag. 168.
  • Repentance may bee without them, pa. 169
  • The tryall of true Teares, page 170.
  • Teares of the body and soule compared, ibid.
  • The benefit and profit of them, pag. 172
  • Counterfeit Teares have pre­vailed, pag. 173.
  • Thoughts make conscience of, page 11.
  • The Word discovers them, p 12.
  • They are knowne onely to God, pag. 240.
  • [Page]How they are discovered by man and Satan, pag. 243.
  • Tongue may be too sudden in answering. pag. 109
  • Truth must be spoken, pag. 114, 120.
  • Sometimes it may be concealed in whole or in part, and in what cases, page 114.
  • It is Gods whoever brings it, pag. 125.
  • Ʋeniall no sinne in it selfe is, page 83, 84.
  • Two wayes sin may be termed Ʋeniall, pag. 83.
  • Virginity how restored, page 144.
  • Ʋncleannesse that sinne so called is accompanied with other, p. 216
  • Ʋsury, difference betwixt it and Faenory, pag. 35.
  • What it is and what kind lawfull, p. 35
  • Waters-lying what they are, p. 168.
  • When the city of Waters is ta­ken, the danger is great, p. 176.
  • Weeping proves life, p. 166.
  • To weepe for other things and not for sin a bad signe, p. 169.
  • Motives to weepe, p. 167.
  • It is no childish Propertie, page 172.
  • Weakest vessell oft holds the li­quour, p. 149.
  • Whoredome is a pit-fall, page 207.
  • Wisedome of the Serpent God allowes us, p. 119
  • Woemen their carriage to bee wisely observed, p. 140
  • They may not bee spoken con­temptibly of, p. 141.
  • God hath highly honoured that Sex, p. 142.
  • Women of speciall note montio­ned, p. 149
  • Such should be observed and imi­tated, p. 146
  • A virtuous woman hard to finde out, p. 141.
  • Bad women Satans chiefe instru­ments, p. 141.
  • Such women as are bad should be shunned, p. 147
  • How a woman may lawfully speake in the Church, p. 149.
  • How they should provoke men to jealousie, p. 150.
  • Whether it was one and the same woman that anoynted Christ so often, p. 196.
  • Words of Christs mouth should prevaile with us, p. 202.
  • Words are the pictures of the mind and how, p. 110.
  • Workes, Protestants are no ene­mies unto them, p. 260.
  • [Page]They must accompany Faith, pag. 265.
  • They are to be pressed, p. 267.
  • In what respects they are necessa­rie, pa. 268.
  • The best are full of imper­fection, p. 74.
  • They are not causes but condi­tions of Remission, p. 72.
  • How St. Paul and St. Iames a­gree concerning them, page 269.

Perlegi tractatum hunc, cui titulus (The Penitent CITIZEN) in quo nihil reperio, quò minus cum summa utilitate imprimatur.


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