Fourteen SERMONS Heretofore Preached.

  • IIII. AD CLERVM.
  • III. AD MAGISTRATVM.
  • VII. AD POPVLVM.

By ROBERT SANDERSON D.D. Sometimes Fellow of LINCOLNE Colledge in OXFORD and Rector of Botheby Paynel Linc.

The Fourth Impression.

Qui amici poterant esse veritatis sine labore, ut peccent laborant.

Gregor. de curâ pastorali.

LONDON, Printed by R. N. for HENRY SEILE over against St. Dunstans Church in Fleetstreet. Anno Dom. 1657.

THE PREFACE To the Reader.

HOW these Sermons will be looked upon (if at all looked upon) by the Men of the Times, is no very hard matter to conjecture. I confess they are not Alamode, nor fitted to the Palate of those men, who are resolved before-hand (without tast­ing or tryall) to nauseate, as unsavoury and unwholsome, whatsoever shall be tendered unto them from the hand of an Episcopal Divine. And therefore the re­publishing of them in this state of Church-affairs, now the things so much contended for in some of them, are worne out of date, and thrown aside, will be deemed at least a very unseasonable undertaking: to as much purpose (perhaps it will be said,) as if a man would this year reprint an Almanack for the last. For the latter part of the Objection: at the peril be it of those, that had the hardiness to adventure upon a new Editi­on. Mihi istic nec seritur, nec metitur All I had to do in the business, was but the drudgery of reviewing the old Copy, to correct the Errata of the former Im­pressions; and of looking over the sheets as they were wrought off from the Press, and sent me down, to note the oversights escaped in the printing, and to [Page] make the Index of the Scripture-quotations. As to the other part of the Crime, such as it is, to wit the unsea­sonableness of this after-publication; there need not much be said. If the Sermons, thought not unseaso­nable in some former times, be now become [...], as things brought forth into the world again, out of due time: that cannot I help. They are the same they were, when they were first preached; and the same they were, when they were last printed: and so am [...]. Greg. Naz. I. If either they or I, find worse entertain­ment now, then we did then; and any blame be due for that: let not us bear it, who are guiltless; but the Times. For it is They are changed: not We. How­soever, [...]: now they are abroad, they must take their lot, as it falleth out. Which be it better, be it worse; this yet we shall gain thereby: that if any shall charge these Papers with unseasonable­ness, (no very huge crime,) he shall ipso facto, by that very act, and the verdict of his own conscience, fully discharge, and for ever acquit them of the guilt of Time-serving; a crime, I trow, of a vaster mag­nitude, and wherewith Discourses of this nature were wont to be so frequently, (that I say not, unjustly) aspersed, whilest the Times looked more favourably upon them.

§. II. But of this enough. I expect to meet with far heavier Censures then these, from the ungoverned spirits and tongues of the more zealous (that is to say, if rightly interpreted, the more clamorous, and lesse knowing) among them. Who knoweth not, that as empty vessels give the loudest sound, and shallow brooks run with a fiercer current, and make a greater noise, then deeper Rivers do: So they that are the least able to judge, are ever the most forward to pass sentence; and when they so do, the most rigid and peremptory there­in. But the heaviest doom, I suppose, will proceed from those men, who being themselves of late years [Page] fallen out, grievously fallen out (for what cause I know not) with the Ancient Government, Liturgy, and Ce­remonies of the Church; are angry with all those, that retain any good opinion of them. Whereunto yet themselves, when time was, seemed to be, and if they dissembled not (which we are unwilling to believe) were indeed, reasonably well affected. For they submitted to the Government, used the Liturgy, and observed the Ceremonies appointed: according to Law and Order; and their own professed approbation of the same, as well by express words from their mouths, as by sub­scription under their hands, yet remaining upon record What hath wrought this change in them, (Evidence of Reason, or worldly Interest,) and how farr it hath wrought upon them, (in reality, or but in complyance;) and in what order too, (by immediate assault upon their judgment, or by dealing underhand first with the affections:) themselves do, or should best know. It highly concerneth them, even as much as the peace of their consciences is worth (and much more then so) to be well assured that their hearts are upright in this affair. And in order thereunto, not to content them­selves with a slight and overly examination; (There is more wickedness and deceitfulness in the hearts of all men, then most men are aware of:) but to make the most diligent, district, and unpartial search possible, in­to the true causes and motives of this change. And, for so much as Fears and Hopes have been ever found the fittest and the readiest Engins to work such feats;) to enquire particularly, what influence or operation, either the Fear of losing what they had, or the Hope of getting more, might have in this work, towards the producing of such an effect. It will best become o­thers, to judge as charitably, as they may: but doubt­less it would be safest for them, to be very jealous over themselves, lest so great a change could not have been wrought in so short a space, without a strong infusion, [Page] either of the one, or the other, or both, into the medi­cine that wrought it. Especially, since the conjuncture of the time wherein this change hapned, may very pro­bably raise some suspicion, that the Fear of the Sword might have; and the visible advantage some have found thereby since, as probably, that the Hope of gaine had, some cooperation at least, with whatsoe­ver was the principal Cause of this so suddain a Metamor­phosis. If nor so, nor so; but that they finde them­selves clearly convinced in their judgments of their former Errour, and that they are fully perswaded they are now in a better way then that wherein they for­merly walked: it is happy for them, and I doubt not but they will finde matter of rejoycing in it, if they be not mistaken (a thing not impossible) in the triall of their own hearts. Of the sincerity whereof, the like­lyest way to give satisfaction to the world, and to adde some strengthening withall to their own assu­rance, is; by shewing compassion to those their Bre­thren, that cannot yet tell how to recover themselves out of the snare of the same common Error, from which they are so happily escaped. At leastwise so far, as not to despise them; nor to pass their censures upon them, with so much freedome and severity as some have done. If it be a fault, sure it is a very pardonable one; for a man in the change of times, to remain unchanged in his minde and opinion, and to hold to his former and (as he thinketh) well-grounded Principles: so long as he can neither apprehend any Reason of sufficient strength to convince his understandings that he is in the wrong, or to manifest unto him the necessity of making such a change; nor is able with the best wit he hath, to discern any thing so lovely in the effects and conse­quents of such change since it was made, as might win over his affections to any tolerable liking thereof up­on the Post-fact.

§. III. To return where I was going, and from [Page] whence I have not much digressed; if any shall now aske me, what those heavy Censures are which I said we should be like to meet withall, I confess I am not able to give him any certain account thereof: not knowing before hand what reasons or expressions the spirits of particular men will suggest to their tongues or pens. Only by what hath been usually said by one sort of men upon such like occasions heretofore, (more sparingly and in the eare in former times, but of late more frequently, freely and on the house tops:) it may be probably guessed what kind of Censures are to be expected from those of the same party now. Yet for that I am not conscious to my selfe to have said any thing in the Papers now, or at any time heretofore (with my allowance) published, that may give just offence to, or merit the hard censure of, any sober dispassionate man; and that, if yet I must fall under some mis­censures, it is not my case alone, but of many others also wrapt with me in the same common guilt: I shall therefore reduce my discourse herein ab hypothesi ad thesin: and propose the Objections, with my Answers thereunto (though with some reflexion upon my selfe in most of the particulars, yet) as laid against the ge­nerality of those mens Sermons, writings, and other discourses, who (according to the new style of late years taken up among us) go under the name of the Prelati­cal party, or Episcopal Divines.

§. IIII. The Objections are. 1. That in their ordi­nary 1 Sermons they take any small occasion; but when they preach at the Visitations, where most of the Clergy of the voisinage are convened, set them­selves purposely in their whole discourse to let fly at their Godly Brethren, who out of tenderness of Conscience dare not submit to some things endeavou­red to be imposed upon them by the Prelates. The poor Puritan is sure to be payed home: he must be brought under the lash, and exposed to contempt and [Page] scorn at every publick meeting: the Papists, pro­fessed Enemies of our Church and Religion, escaping in the mean while Scot-free, seldome or never med­led 2 withall in any of their Sermons. II. Or if some­times some little matter be done that way by some of them; it is so little, that it is to as little purpose: rather for fashions sake, ad faciendum Populum and to avoid suspicion, then for any ill will they bear them. Perhaps give them a light touch by the way; a gentle rub as they pass along, that shall do them no harm: but their Brethren, that profess the same Protestant Religion with them, they handle with a rougher hand. With Elder-guns and Paper-pellets they shoot at those: but against these they play with Canon-bullet. III. And all this anger but for 3 Ceremonies: Trifles even in their own esteem, who plead hardest for them. If they be indeed such in­different things, as they confess them to be, and would have the world believe they make no other account of them: Why do they dote on them so extremely themselves? Why do they press them up­on others with so much importunity? Why do they quarrel with their brethren eternally about them? IIII. The truth is, both We and They judge 4 otherwise of them, then as Indifferent things. They think them necessary, what ever they pretend: or else they would not lay so much weight upon them. And we hold them Popish, Antichristian, and Super­stitious: or else we would not so stifly refuse them. V. It is not therefore without cause, that we sus­pect 5 the Authors of such Sermons and Treatises, as have come abroad in the defence of such trash, to be Popishly-affected: or at least to have been set on by some Popish Bishops or Chancellors, (though per­haps without any such intention in themselves:) on purpose to promote the Papal interest here, and to bring back the people of this nation by degrees, if [Page] not into the heart and within the walls of Babylon, yet at leastwise into the confines, and within the view of it. VI. Which, as it appeareth other­wise, to wit, by their great willingness to allow such 6 qualifications to sundry Doctrines taught in the Church of Rome, and such interpretations to sundry taught in our Church, as may bring them to the nearest agreement; and their great endeavours to finde out such Expedients, as might best bring on a perfect reconciliation between the two Churches. VII. So particularly, in pressing with so much ve­hemency the observance of these Popish and Super­stitious 7 Ceremonies; for which we cannot finde, nor do they offer to produce, any either Command or Ex­ample in holy Scripture, to warrant to our Consci­ences the use thereof. VIII. Which, what is it else 8 in effect, then to deny the sufficiency of the Scripture, to be a perfect Rule of Faith and Manners? Which being one of the main bulwarks of the Protestant Religion, as it is differenced from the Romane, is by these men and by this meanes undermined and be­trayed.

§. V. This is the summe and substance of the usu­all Censures and Objections of our Anti-Ceremonian Brethren, so far as I have observed from their own speeches and writings: which I have therefore set down as neere, as in so few words I could, to their sense, and, for the most part, in their own expressions. Much of which having (as I conceive) received its an­swer beforehand in some passage or other of the ensu­ing Sermons, might supersede me the labour of adding any more now. Yet for so much as these answers lye dispersedly, and not in one view: I held it conveni­ent, as I have produced the Objections all together; so to offer to the Readers an Answer to them all toge­ther, and that in the same order, as I have given them in Begging at his hands but this one (very reasonable) [Page] favour, that he would do both himself and me so much right, as not to pass his censure too hastily and too se­verely upon any part of what is now presented to his view, (whether he like it, or dislike it;) till he hath had the patience to read over the whole, and allowed himself the freedom rightly and without prejudice to consider of it.

§. VI. That which is said in the first place of their Godliness and Tenderness of Conscience, is not much to 1 the purpose, as to the main business. For First, be­sides that all parties pretend to Godliness; Papists, A­nabaptists, and who not (even the late-sprung-up ge­neration of Levellers, whose Principles are so de­structive of all that Order and Iustice by which pub­lick societies are supported, do yet style themselves, as by a kinde of peculiarity, The Godly;) And that 2 secondly, it is the easyest thing in the world, and no­thing more common then, for men to pretend Consci­ence, when they are not minded to obey: I do not be­lieve thirdly, (though I am well perswaded of the god­liness 3 of many of them otherwise,) that the refusal of indifferent Ceremonies enjoyned by Lawful Authority, is any part of their Godliness; or any good fruit, evi­dence, or signe thereof. But certain it is fourthly, that 4 the godliest men are men, and know but in part; and by the power of godliness in their hearts, are no more secured from the possibility of falling into Errour through Ignorance, then from the possibility of falling into Sin through Infirmity. And as for Tenderness of Conscience fifthly, a most gracious blessed fruit of 5 the holy Spirit of God, where it is really, and not in pretence only, nor mistaken, (for sure it is [...]o very ten­der Conscience, though sometimes called so, that strain­eth at a Gnat, and swalloweth a Camel:) it is with it, as with other tender things; very subject to receive harme, and soon put out of order. Through the cun­ning of Satan, it dangerously exposeth men to tempta­tions [Page] on the right hand: and through its own aptitude to entertain and to cherish unnecessary scruples, it strongly disposeth them to listen thereunto so long, till at the last they are overcome thereof. Needful it is therefore, that in the publick teaching the Errours should be sometimes refuted, and the Temptations discovered. And this ever to be done; seasonably, soberly, discreetly, and convincingly; and when we are to deal with men whose Consciences are (so far as we can discern) truly tender, with the spirit of Meekness and Compassion. For tender things must be tenderly dealt withall: or they are lost. I know it is not all­wayes so done: nor can we expect it should. All Preachers are neither so charitable, nor so prudent, nor so conscientious, as they should be: And they that are such in a good measure, are men still; and may be [...]. Arist. 1. Elench. 15. transported now and then through passion, and in­firmity, beyond the just bounds of moderation. But then, the fault is not so much in the choise of the argu­ment they treat of, as in the ill-managing thereof: which ought not to cast any prejudice upon others, who deal in the same argument, but after another man­ner.

§. VII. But that which pincheth most in this first particular, is (as I suppose, this: That upon all publick occasions, especially in Visitation-Sermons, they who agree with us in the substance of the same reformed Re­ligion, are for the most part the only mark shot at; whilest the common enemy, the Papist, hath little or nothing said against him. For answer hereunto. First, so far as concerneth the Sermons here publish­ed, the Objection is void▪ for therein the Papist hath 1 had his share, as well as his fellows, so oft as the Text gave occasion, or the file of my discourse led me there­unto: as by the papers themselves (whereunto refe­rence to be had) will evidently appear. Secondly, admitting all true that is alleaged: either we are ex­cusable, 2 [Page] in what they blame us for; or they that blame us inexcusable, who do the very same things. Do not they usually in their Sermons fall bitterly upon the Papists and Arminians? but seldome meddle with the Socinians? scarce ever name the Turks? I have been often told, of their declamations against the ob­serving of Christmas, that great superstitious thing: but I remember not to have heard of much spoken a­gainst Perjury and Sacriledge, and some other sins, wherewith our times abound. Nay, doth not their zeal even against Popery it self (Popery I mean, truly so called) of late years, and since most of the Pulpits are in their possession, seem to abate; at leastwise in comparison of the zeal they shew against Episcopacy, and against the Liturgy, Festivals and Ceremonies late­ly in use among us? These they cry down with all the noise they can, and with all the strength they have; having first branded them with the name of Popery: and this must now pass for preaching against Popery. I demand then. Is there not the like reason of re­proving Sins, and refuting Errours? If so: are not Perjury and Sacriledge as great sins (at least) as keeping Christmas holy day? Howsoever, are not the Errors of the Turks, that deny the whole structure of the Christian Religion, (foundation and all,) far worse then the Errors of the Papists, who by their additional su­perstructures have only altered the fabrick, but keep the foundation still? And are not the Errours of the Socinians, who deny the Trinity, Gods Omniscience, the Eternity of the Son, the Divinity of the Holy Ghost, Original sin, the calling of Ministers, and far worse then those the Arminians are charged withall, of Free Will, Vniversal Redemption, Falling from Grace, &c. And are not the old rotten points of Popery (the Popes Oecumenical▪ Pastorship and Infallibility, the Scriptures unsufficiency, Image-worship, Invocation of Saints, Tran­substantiation, Half-Communion, &c.) Errours of as [Page] great a magnitude, as those other points of Popery (lately and falsly dubb'd such) of Episcopacy, Liturgy, Festivals, and Ceremonies? If they be: why do our Brethren preach oftner, and inveigh more, against these later and lesser in comparison, then against those former and greater sins and Errours? I doubt not, but they have some Reasons wherewith to satisfie them­selves for their so doing: else they were much to blame. Be those Reasons what they will: if they will serve to excuse them, they will serve as well to justifie us.

§. VIII. It will be said perhaps; First, That the Turks have no Communion with us: They are out of 1 the Church; and our chiefest care should be for those within, leaving those without for God to judge. Or indeed Secondly, To what purpose would it be to address our speeches to them some thousands of miles 2 out of hearing? If our voyces were as loud as Sten­tors, or that of Mars in Homer, the sound would not reach them. Besides that Thirdly, There is little danger in our people of receiving hurt or infection from 3 them: who have no such agents here to tamper with the people in that behalfe, no such artifices and plau­sible pretensions whereby to work them over to their side, no such advantages as the agreement in some Common Principles might afford for bringing on the rest; as the Papists have. Who being within the pale of the visible Catholick Church, and living in the midst of us, have their instruments ready at hand in every corner to gain Proselytes for Rome; the specious pre­tences of Antiquity, Vniversality, Consent of Councels and Fathers, &c. Wherewith to dazle the eyes of weak and credulous persons; and some ground also to work upon in the agreement that is between them and us in the principall Articles of the Christian Faith.

[Page]§. IX. These Reasons I confess are satisfactory, as to the Comparison between Turks and Papists: and may be applyed to the other Instance also in their proportion, so far as the Application will hold truth. And all this is agreeable, both to the Apostles dis­course 1 1 Cor. 5.9— 13; and to the advises of prudent 2 Statists, who forbear to advance against a potent Ene­my abroad, till they have composed smaller quarrels and mutinies at home; and To the Example also of 3 our blessed Saviour himself; Who, although the Errours of the Sadduces were, in themselves and in respect of their matter, much worse then those of the Scribes and Pharisees; yet because the danger of se­ducing the people was greater from These then from Those, (the Pharisees by reason of their out-side ho­liness being grown into better Esteem with the peo­ple then the Sadduces were; and the generality of the people also by their education pretily well Prin­cipled, and so fore-armed, against those more gross and palpable Errours of the Sadduces:) is observed therefore to have both more frequently and with greater sharpness reproved the Scribes and Pharisees for their false teaching, then he did the Sadduces; and to have given the people more caveats to beware of them and their leaven, then that of the Saddu­ces.

§. 10. This is the most, I think, they have to say for themselves: and, upon supposal that all the par­ticulars in the aforementioned Instances were indeed such Sins and Errours, as they either take or mistake them for; it must be admitted a very reasonable and sufficient plea. Only we require (which is but equal,) that they mete unto us back again with the same mea­sure; and allow us the benefit of the same plea (muta­tis mutandis,) so far as our Case is the same with theirs. Let them but this do: and the Objection will vanish. First, we nothing doubt but that the Papists (by being [Page] baptized into the Faith of Christ;) are in a far better condition otherwise; as we are sure they stand in a neerer relation to us thereby, then Turks and Pagans do. Yet, as to external Communion in the publick Worship; by refusing to assemble with us, (which is not our fault,) they are as very strangers to us, as the very Turks are: and in that respect to be looked up­on as [...], those that are without. And therefore we deemed it more expedient, and a more brotherly act, to endeavour the reducing of our Brethren that held communion with us to their just obedience, by disco­vering to their faces (being personally present) those their Errors, that obstructed it; then to beat the aire to little purpose, in declaiming against those that did not hear us, and we were sure would little regard us. For Secondly, were it not for the confirming of 2 our Protestant hearers in their present belief of the Truth, against such as will attempt to draw them from us: it would be a very impertinent thing to insist much upon the discovery of Popish Errours in our Churches; whither they that should reap most be­nefit by such discovery never come. They live among us indeed, which the Turks do not: but since they come not where they may hear us; it is all one to us, in respect of our Sermons, as if they lived as farre from us as the Turks do. But at such times as the Clergy are met together (which is chiefly done at the Visita­tions) when most of them who are most concerned, both for their own sakes and the peoples that depend upon them, to have a right judgment concerning the Nature and Use of Indifferent things, are present: it seemeth to be very proper, and (by the blessing of God) may conduce very much to the edification of his people in Truth, Peace, and Godliness; that the just power of those that have authority in the Church for making Ecclesiastical Constitutions should be asserted, and the necessity of yielding obedience thereunto when [Page] they are made, by all under such authority should be pressed. This is the very truth of the whole businesse. And what is there in all this, to deserve such out­cryes? What is there, if men would but soberly consi­der it, that is not every way agreeable to the dictates both of Christian Prudence and Charity? Thirdly, 3(which is a very important consideration, and com­meth up to the full of the Objection,) we think it more needful, seasonable, and expedient, upon such op­portunities, to clear these points in difference betwixt us and our Brethren at home, then to handle any of the controversies in debate betwixt us and those of Rome. Both because the people are in more danger of being mis [...]led by these, then of being seduced by Pa­pists; and because the Papists make a great advantage (indeed the greatest, and in a manner the whole ad­vantage they have against us) of these home-differen­ces. For although the Emissaries of Rome have long used all the art and diligence possible, to advance the Roman Interest among us: yet the people of England are so generally pre-possessed with a detestation of that Religion (as the people of Spain, France, and Italy are of ours;) that were it not for the advantage they make of the excesses of some troublesome spirits among our selves; they could not have expected to have reaped so plentiful a harvest here, as of late years they have done. But our Brethren, having by their much preach­ing and inveighing against the Papists, wrought our common people to such a prejudice against her do­ctrines, that many of them know no other Rule where­by to judge of the soundness of mens Religion, then by the greater or lesser distance it hath from Popery; have thereby withall gained that high esteem of their soundness in Religion above others in the hearts of ma­ny of our people (led, as most are, by opinion more then true judgment;) that it is a very easie matter for them to draw multitudes after them into a dislike of [Page] any thing, wherein they shall think good to fasten the imputation of being Popish. For preventing whereof, if we do our best endeavour upon all good occasions to undeceive, them first, and by them the peo­ple; by letting them see, (if they will but open their eyes,) how unsound the principles are they go up­on, and how unsafe the practises those principles lead unto: Who can justly blame us for so do­ing?

§. XI. To the substance of the Second Objection, (if I may with their leave and without their offence, pass by that quaint minute piece of wit, of Paper-pellets and Canon-bullets;) I shall need make no farther an­swer, then what hath already been given to the First. Only I shall ex abundanti adde two things: the one, concerning my self; the other, to the Objectors. For my selfe; if I be not much mistaken, I have been so 1 far from offending in the kinde objected, that I may seem rather to have offended too much on the other hand. The substance of the matter both against Papists and others, is I hope all along justifiable. And then, if some sharper expressions both against them and others have here and there slipt from my tongue or pen, (such as heat and indignation in our greener years are apt to suggest;) they that are ingenuous, considering how long it is since those Sermons were preached, may be pleased to pardon it, upon the old plea Dandum ali­quid aetati. As for them; that they preach against 2 Popery, I not at all mislike: Only I could wish, that these two Cautions were better observed, then (as far as I can make conjecture of the rest, by the proporti­on of what hath come to my knowledge) I fear they usually are, by the more zealous of that party. viz. 1. That they do not through ignorance, prejudice, or precipitancy call that Popery, which is not; and then under that name and notion preach against it. 2. That they would do it with the less noise, and more weight. [Page] It is not a business merely of the Lungs but requireth Sinews too. Or (to use their own metaphor) let them not think that casting of squibs will do the deed, or charging with powder alone: that will give a crack indeed, and raise a smoak; but unless they have bullet as well as powder, it will doe little execu­tion.

§. XII. To the Third Objection. I say first; That 1 we have indeed no higher or other esteem of Ceremo­nies, then as of indifferent things: yet we do not count them Trifles; otherwise then as in comparison with 2 necessary duties. But let Ceremonies (secondly) be as very Trifles, as any man can imagine them to be; yet Obedience sure is no Trifle. They mis-state the Que­stion, when they talke of pressing Ceremonies. It is Obedience (formally) that is required: Ceremonies not otherwise pressed, then as the matter wherein that O­bedience is to be exercised. If a Master appoint his ser­vant to do some small matter that he thinketh fit to have done, though in it selfe of no great moment; yet he will expect to be obeyed: and it is great reason he should. If in such case the servant should refuse to do the thing appointed, because he hath no minde thereunto, and should receive a check or correction for such refusal: could he either sufficiently excuse his own fault, or reasonably complain of his Master for dealing hardly with him, by saying the thing was but a Trifle? Is it not evident, that the thing which made the Master angry, and the Servant an offender in that Case, was not (precisely and formally) the leaving of the thing undone, (which had it not been command­ed, might have been left undone without any fault or blame at all;) but the refusing to do it, when he that had a right to his service commanded him? Wherefore Thirdly, that which is said of some mens doting so ex­tremely 3 on Ceremonies, might have been well enough spared. I know no true son of the Church of England, [Page] that doteth upon any Ceremony, whatsoever opinion he may have of the decency or expediency of some of them. If any do; le [...] him answer for himself. A­mong wise men, he will hardly pass for a wise man, that doteth upon any. Nor will he, I doubt, prove a much wiser man, that runns into the contrary ex­treme, and abhorreth all. It is true Fourthly, that there have been long and unkinde quarrels about these 4 things? More is the pity! but where is the fault? To whom is the beginning, and to whom the continuance of a quarrel rather imputable? to him, that demandeth his right? or to him that with-holdeth it from him? For this is the plain Case in short: The Bishops (under the King) require obedience to the Lawes Ecclesiastical; these men refuse to give it. So began the quarrel at first: and upon the same termes it continued. If the Obedience challenged were indeed due to those Lawes; then did our Brethren both begin the quarrel, and hold it on: if it were not, then must the whole blame lye upon those that claimed it unjustly, and not upon them. So that in the winding up of the business, the whole Controversie will devolve upon this point; Whether to the lawes Ecclesiastical obedience be due or not? For the right determining whereof, (for so much as it is confest on all [...]ands, that Obedience is due to Lawful authority commanding lawful things) two other points are to be resolved the one, con­cerning the authority by which the Constitutions were made; the other, concerning the lawfulness of the things therein required; The Presbyterians of the Kirk flatly and directly deny both: Ours, less forward to declare their opinion in the former point, have chosen rather to stand upon the later only. And so the point in issue is briefly this; Whether the things commanded (and particularly the Ceremonies) be lawful, yea, or no. Which bringeth us to the consideration of

[Page]§. XIII. The Fourth Objection. Wherein (besides some ill-language, which I love not to stirr into,) they declare, First, what they conceive to be our Opini­on, and next what is indeed their Own concerning the Ceremonies &c. in question. In the former; we desire that candor which in all reason and charity they ought to afford us: that they would fix nothing up­on us as our opinion, which our selves (who should best know what our own opinion is) protest against, as not our opinion They have been told a thousand times over, in the Sermons and writings of private men, which is also attested and affirmed by the publick de­claration of our Church (the most authentick assurance a question of this nature is capable of:) That we 1 place no Necessity at all in these things but hold them to be meerly indifferent. That, when for decency, 2 order, or uniformity's sake, any Constitutions are made concerning them; there is the same necessity of obey­ing such Constitutions, as there is of obeying other Laws made for the good of the Common-wealth con­cerning any other indifferent things. That such Ne­cessity, 3 either in the one or the other, ariseth not properly from the authority of the immediate Lawgi­ver. but from the Ordinance of God, who hath com­manded us to obey the ordinances of men for his sake. That such necessity of Obedience notwithstanding, the 4 things remain in the same indifferency, as before. Every way in respect of their Nature; and quoad Rem, (it be­ing not in the power of accidental relations to change the natures of things:) and even in respect of their Vse, and quoad nos thus far, that there is a liberty left for men, upon extraordinary and other just occasions▪ sometimes to do otherwise then the Constitution re­quireth, extra casum Scandali & Contemptus. A liber­ty, which we dare not either take our selves, or allow to others, in things properly and absolutely necessary. [Upon which very account (I mean the consideration [Page] of the indifferency of the things in themselves) and upon which account alone it is, that many of the E­piscopal (that is to say, the true English Protestant) Divines; who sadly resent the voting down of the Liturgy, Festivals, and Ceremonies of the Church by so many former Laws established; heartily desired heretofore the continuance, and as heartily still wish the restitution, and are (by Gods help) ready with their Tongues, Pens and Sufferings to maintain and justifie the Lawful use of the same: do yet so far yield to the sway of the times, and are perswaded they may with a good Conscience so do, as to forbear the use thereof in the publick worship; till it shall seem good to those that are in place of authority ei­ther to restore them to their former state (as it is well hoped, when they shall have duly considered the evil consequents of that Vote, they will,) or at leastwise and in the mean time to leave them arbitra­ry, for men, according to their several different judgments, to use or not to use, which seemeth but reasonable, the like favour and liberty in other kinds having been long allowed to almost all other sorts of men, though of never so distant perswasions one from another:] Lastly, That all Laws made con­cerning Ceremonies or other indifferent things, whether 5 Civil or Ecclesiastical, are mutable: and as they were at first made by humane authority, so may they from time to time be by humane authority abrogated and re­pealed. And then and thenceforth they lose their obligation: whereby the necessity of yeelding obedience thereunto wholy ceaseth and determineth; and the things thereby commanded or prohibited return to their primitive and natural indifferency, even in their Vse also, and in respect of us. This is clearly our Opi­nion: and men may easily so understand us, if they will.

§. XIIII. But their Opinion is, that the things en­joyned [Page] are Popish and Superstitious; and consequently unlawful to be used: And this they render as the rea­son of their non-conformity. And the Reason were cer­tainly good, if the Opinion were true. For the Po­pishness first: unless we should sue out a writ definibus regundis, Omnia peri­clitabuntur aliter accipi quàm sunt, si aliter quàm sunt cognomi­nantur. Tert. de carn. Chri­sti. cap. 13. it will be hard to finde out a way how to bring this Controversie to an issue, much less to an end: the terme hath been so strangely extended, and the limits thereof (if yet it have any,) so uncertain. If they would be intreated to set bounds to what they mean by Popish and Popery, by giving us a certain de­finition of it: we should the sooner either come to some agreement; or at least understand our selves, and one another the better, wherein and how far we disagreed. In the mean time, it is to me a wonder, that if reason would not heretofore, yet the sad experience of the ill consequents so visible of late time should not have taught them all this while to consider, what infinite ad­vantage they give to the Romish party to work upon weak and wavering souls; by damning so many things under the name of Popery, which may to their under­standings be sufficiently evidenced; Some, to have been used by the antient Christians long before Popery was hatched, or but in the egge; and All to have no­thing of Superstition or Popery in them, unless every thing that is used in the Church of Rome become there­by Popish and Superstitious. Nor what great advan­tage they give to our newer Sectaries, to extend the name yet farther. Who, by the help of their New-Lights can discern Popery, not only in the Ceremonies formerly under debate: but even in the Churches and Pulpits wherein they used to preach against Popery, and the Bells wherewith they used to call the people together to hear them. These are by some of them cryed down as Popish; with other things very many, which their Presbyterian brethren doe yet both allow, and practise: though how long they will so doe, is [Page] uncertain, if they go on with the work of Reformati­on they have begun, with as quick dispatch, and at the rate they have done these last two seaven years. The having of Godfathers at baptism, Churching of women, Prayers at the burial of the dead, children asking their Parents blessing, &c. which whilome were held innocent; are now by very many thrown aside, as raggs of Popery. Nay, are not some gone so farre already, as to cast into the same heap, not only the ancient hymne Gloria Patri (for the repeating where­of alone some have been deprived of all their lively­hoods) and the Apostles Creed: but even the use of the Lords Prayer it selfe?—And what will ye do in the end thereof? And what would you have us do in the mean time, when you call hard upon us to leave Po­pery, and yet would never do us the favour to let us know what it is? It were good therefore, both for your own sakes, that you may not rove in infinitum; and in compassion to us: that you would give us a per­fect boundary of what is Popery now; with some prog­nostication or Ephemerides annexed, (if you please,) whereby to calculate what will be Popery seven years hence.

§. XV. But to be serious, and not to indulge my selfe too much merriment in so sad a business: I believe, all those men will be found much mistaken, who ei­ther measure the Protestant Religion by an opposition to Popery; or account all Popery, that is taught or practised in the Church of Rome. Our godly Fore-fathers, to whom (under God) we owe the purity of our Re­ligion, and some of which laid down their lives for the defense of the same, were sure of another minde: if we may, from what they did, judge what they thought. They had no purpose (nor had they any warrant) to set up a new Religion, but to reform the Old: by purging it from those Innovations, which in tract of time (some sooner, some later,) had mingled with it, [Page] and corrupted it, both in the Doctrine and Worship. According to this purpose they produced, without constraint or precipitancy, freely and advisedly, as in peaceable times; and brought their intentions to a happy end: as by the result thereof, contained in the Articles and Liturgy of our Church, and the Prefaces thereunto, doth fully appear. From hence chiefly, as I conceive, we are to take our best scantling, where­by to judge what is, and what is not, to be esteemed Popery. All those Doctrines then, held by the mo­dern Church of Rome, which are either contrary to the written word of God; or but super-added thereunto, as necessary points of Faith to be of all Christians be­lieved under pain of damnation: and all those Super­stitions used in the worship of God, which either are unlawful, as being contrary to the Word; or being not contrary and therefore abritrary and indifferent, are made Essentials, and imposed as necessary parts of Wor­ship: these are, as I take it, the things whereunto the name of Popery doth properly and peculiarly belong. But as for the Ceremonies used in the Church of Rome; which the Church of England at the Reformation thought fit to retain; not as Essentiall or necessary parts of Gods service, but only as accidental and muta­ble circumstances attending the same for order, comeli­ness, and edifications sake: how these should deserve the name of Popish I so little understand, that I pro­fess I do not yet see any reason why, if the Church had then thought fit to have retained some other of those which were then laid aside, she might not have lawful­ly so done; or why the things so retained should have been accounted Popish. The plain truth is this; The Church of England meant to make use of her liberty, and the lawful power she had (as all the Churches of Christ have, or ought to have) of ordering Ecclesi­astical affairs here: yet to do it with so much prudence and moderation, that the world might see, by what [Page] was laid aside that she acknowledg'd no subjection to the See of Rome; and by that was retained, that she did not recede from the Church of Rome, out of any spirit of contradicti­on, but as necessitated thereunto for the maintenance of her just liberty. The number of Ceremonies was also then very great, & they thereby burdensome; and so the num­ber thought fit to be lessened. But for the Choice, which should be kept, and which not: that was wholly in her power and at her discretion. Whereof, though she were not bound so to do, yet hath she given a clear and satisfactory account, in one of the Prefaces usually prefixed before the Book of Common Prayer.

§. XVI. Besides this of Popish, they have bestow­ed also upon the Ceremonies the Epithet of Superstiti­ous. Which is a word likewise (as the former,) of late very much extended; and standeth in need of a boun­dary too and a definition, as well as it. But howsoe­ver they do with the words, I must set bounds to my discourse, lest I weary the Reader. The point of Su­perstition I have had occasion to touch upon (more then once, as I remember) in some of these Sermons; and proved that the Superstition lieth indeed at their dore, not ours. They forbid the things commanded by the Church, under the Obligation of sin, and that Ob­ [...]igation arising not from their forbidding them, but from the things themselves, which they judge to be unlawful, and thence impose upon all men a necessity of not using them: which is Superstition. Whereas the Church required obedience indeed to her commands, and that also under the obligation of sin: but that obli­gation arising not at all from the nature of the things themselves (alwayes held and declared Indifferent;) but immediately from the authority of the Superiour commanding the thing, and originally from the ordi­nance of God commanding Obedience to Superiours, as already hath been said: and this is not Superstition. For further satisfaction therefore in this matter, refer­ring the Reader to the Sermons themselves; I shall only [Page] by way of addition represent to the Objectors S. Pauls demeanor at Athens. Where finding the City [...]. Act. 17.16. full of Idols, (or wholy given to Idolatry) he doth not yet fall foul upon them, nor exclaim against them in any reproachful manner, no nor so much as call them Ido­laters; though they were such, and that in a very high degree: but tempering his speeches with all le­nity and condescension, he telleth them only of their Superstition; and that in the calmest manner too, —22. [...] (the comparative degree in such kind of speaking being usually taken for a diminnent terme.) How distant are they from his Example, with whom every thing they mislike is presently an Idol! Christmas day an Idol, the Surplice an Idol, the Cross after Baptism a great Idol, the Common-Prayer-Book an abominable Idol! When yet, if the worst that can be said against them were granted, the most it could a­mount to is but Superstition ▪ and till that be granted, which must not be till it be well proved, it is more childish then manly to cry out Superstition, Superstition!

§. XVII. Their next is, a Suspicion (rather then Objection,) and that upon no very good ground. But charity is easily suspicious; nor without cause. Where­in I have somewhat to say, in behalf of my self and other my Brethren; and somewhat by way of return to them. For my self, I had a desire, I may truly say al­most from my very childhood, to understand (as much as was possible for me) the bottome of our Religion, and particularly as it stood in relation both to the Pa­pists, and (as they were then stiled) Puritanes; to in­form my self rightly, wherein consisted the true differences between them and the Church of England, together with the grounds of those differences. For I could even then observe, (which was no hard matter to do,) that the most of mankind took up their Religion upon trust (as [...]. Arist. 2. Ethic. 1. Custome or Education had framed them) rather then choise. It pleased God in his goodness to afford [Page] me some opportunities sutable to that my desire; by means whereof, and by his good blessing, I attained to understand so much of the Romish Religion, as not only to dislike it, but to be able to give some rational account why I so do. And I doubt not but these ve­ry Sermons, were there nothing else to do it, will sufficiently free me from the least suspicion of driving on any design for Rome. As for those other regular sons of the Church of England, that have appeared in this controversie on her behalf: how improbable, and so far forth uncharitable, the suspicion is, that they should be any way instrumental towards the promoting of the Papal interest, may appear (amongst other) by these few considerations following. 1. That those very persons, who were under God the instruments of 1 freeing us from the Roman yoke by casting Popery out of the Church, and sundry of them martyred in the cause; those very persons I say, were great favourers of these (now accounted Popish) Ceremonies, and the chief au­thors or procurers of the Constitutions made in that be­half. —Hae manus Trojam erigent? II. That in all 2 former times since the beginning of the Reformati­on, our Arch-Bishops and Bishops with their Chaplains and others of the Prelatical party, (many of them such as have written also in defense of the Church against the Puritanes,) were the principal (I had almost said the only) Champions to maintain the Cause of Religi­on against the Papists. III. That even in these times of so great distraction, and consequently thereunto,3 of so great advantage to the factors for Rome; none have stept into the gap more readily, nor appeared in the face of the Enemy more openly, nor maintained the Fight with more stoutness and gallantry, then the Episcopal Divines have done; as their late learned writings testifie. Yea, and some of them such,Bp. Bramhall, Dr. Cofins, &c. as (be­side their other sufferings) have layen as deep under the suspicion of being Popishly-affected, as any other [Page] of their Brethren whosoever. IIII. That by the en­deavours 4 of these Episcopal Divines, some that were bred Papists have been gained to our Church, others that began to waver confirmed and setled in their old Religion, and some that were fallen from us recovered and reduced, notwithstanding all the disadvantages of these confused times: and of each of these, I am able to produce some instance. But I profess sincerely, as in the presence of God and before the world, that I have not known (at least I cannot call to remembrance) to much as one single example of any of this done, by any of our Anti [...]Ceremonian Brethren, whether Presbyteri­an or Independent.

§. XVIII. But I have somewhat to return upon these our Brethren, who thus causelesly suspect us. Pos­sibly it will not please them: ( [...].) But I must speak it out, both for the truths sake, and theirs. To wit, that themselves are in truth, though not pur­posely and intentionally, (whereof in my own thought I freely acquit them,) yet really and eventually, the great promoters of the Roman Interest among us: and that more wayes then one. These three among the rest, are evident. First, by putting to their helping hand 1 to the pulling down of Episcopacy. It is very well known to many, what [...]. Naz. Orat. 14. rejoycing that Vote brought to the Romish party. How even in Rome it self they sang their Io Paeans upon the tidings thereof, and said triumphantly, Now the day is ours; Now is the fatal blow given to the Protestant Religion in England. They who by conversing much with that Nation, were well acquainted with the fiery turbulent spirits of the Scot­tish Presbyterians, knew as well how to make their advantage thereof▪ and handled the matter with so much cunning by fomenting their discontents under­hand, till they had framed them, and by their means some of the same party here, to become the fittest in­struments for the carrying on of their great design. And [Page] this I verily believe was the very Master-piece of the whole plot. They could not but foresee (as the event hath also proved,) that if the old Government, a main pillar in the building, were once dissolved, the whole fabrick would be sore shaken, if not presently shatte­red in pieces and ruined; things would presently run into confusion; distractions and divisions would cer­tainly follow: And when the waters should be suffi­ciently troubled and mudded, then would be their op­portunity to cast in their nets for a draught. Some Baxter agrem. p. 46. who have undertaken to discover to the world the great plot the Papists had of late years for the intro­ducing of Popery in the several parts of it, might have done well to have taken some little notice of this also, (I wonder how they could look beside it,) being so visible; and indeed the fundamental part of the plot. Without which, neither could the sparks of Errors and Heresies have been blown to that height, nor that Libertinisme (and some other things therewith menti­oned) have so soon overspread the whole face of the Land, as now we finde they have done. Secondly, they promote the interest of Rome, by opposing it with 2 more violence, then reason. Which ought not to seem any strange thing to us: since we see by daily experi­ence the like to happen in other matters also. Many a man, when he thought most to make it sure, hath quite marred a good business, by over-doing it. The most prudent, just, and (in all likelihood) effectual way to win upon an adversary is, by yielding him as much, as with safety of truth can be yielded: who, if he shall finde himself contradicted in that which he is sure is true, as well as in that which is indeed false, will (by a kinde of Antiperistasis) be hardned into more obstinacy then before, to defend all (true and false) with equal fierceness. It hath been observed by some (and I know no reason to question the truth of the observation,) that in those Counties (Lancashire for one) where there [Page] are the most and the most rigid Presbyterians, there are also the most and the most zealous Roman-Catholicks. Thirdly, they promote the interest of Rome, and betray 3 the Protestant Cause: partly by mistaking the Question (a very common fault among them;) but especially through the necessity of some false principle or other; which having once imbibed, they think themselves bound to maintain. Some of them, especially such as betook themselves to preaching betimes, and had not the leisure and opportunity to look much into Contro­versies, understand very little (as it is impossible they should much) of the true state of the Question in many controverted points: and yet to shew their zeal a­gainst Popery [...] Naz. (edit. Paris.) p. 338. are for ward enough to be medling therewithall in the Pulpit. But with so much weak­ness and impertinency not seldome, that they leave the Question worse then they found it; and the Hearer, if he brought any doubts with him, to go from Sermon more dis-satisfied, then he came. The rest of them, (that have better knowledge) are yet so bound up by some false Principle or other they have received, that they cannot without deserting the same (and that they must not do, whatsoever betideth them) treat to the satisfaction of a rational and ingenuous adversa­ry. Among those false Principles, it shall suffice for the present to have named but this one, That the Church of Rome is no true Church. The disadvantages of which assertion to our Cause in the dispute about the visibility of the Church (besides the falseness and uncha­ritableness of it,) their Zeal, or Prejudice rather, will not suffer them to consider. With what out-cries was Bp. Hall (good man, who little dream't of any peace with Rome) pursued by Burton and other Hot spurs, for yielding it a Church. Who had made the same concession over and over again before he was Bishop (as Iunius, Reynolds, and our best Controversy-Writers generally do) and no notice taken, no noise made, of [Page] it. You may perceive by this one instance, where the shoe wringeth.

§. XIX. In their next, that they may not appear so uncharitable as to suspect their Brethren without cause, they tell us upon what ground they so do: viz. these two; the Endeavours of Reconciliation, in the Sixth; and the pressing of Ceremonies, in the Seventh, Objection. As to the former; First, All endeavours 1 of Peace (without loss of Truth,) are certainly com­mendable in the undertakers: prove the event as it will. [...] Rom. 12. is every mans warrant for that. If any particular private man have made overtures of peace in this kinde upon other termes then he ought, let him answer it as he can▪ what is that to us? Admit Secondly, (which I fear is too true,) that there is little hope, scarce a possibility of reconcile­ment,2 if we well preserve, as we are are in conscience bound, the truth and purity of our religion: yet ought not that fear to hinder any man, fitted with abilities and opportunities for it, from such Endeavours where­of, whatsoever the success be otherwise, these a good effects will follow. 1. It will be some comfort to him within his own bosome, that he hath done, what was his duty to do, to his utmost power: And it will ap­pear to the world, where the business stuck, and through whose default most the Endeavour proved [...]ruitless. Thirdly, though there be little hope (and since the Trent Councel less then before,) of bringing things to a 3 perfect agreement ▪ yet methinks it should be thought worth the while (Est quodum prodire tenus, si non datur ultra.) to bring both sides to as near an agreement, Horat. 1. ep. 1. and reduce the differences to as small a number, and as nar­row a point, as may be. That if we cannot grow to be of the same belief in every thing: we might at least be brought to shew more Charity either to other; their to damn one another for every difference; and more Ingenuity, then to seek to render the one the other [Page] more odious to the world then we ought, by repre­senting each others opinions worse then they are.

§ XX. The Seventh Objection containeth the other ground of their said former suspicion: to wit, the vehe­ment 1 pressing of the Ceremonies. Wherein First, they do not well, in calling them Popish and Superstitious; but that having already fully cleared, I shall not now insist upon. Secondly, by requiring to have some 2 Command or Example of Scripture produced, to war­rant to their consciences the use of the Ceremonies; They offer occasion to consider of that point, where­in the very Mystery of Puritanisme consisteth: viz. That no man may with a safe conscience do any thing, for which there may not be produced, either Command or Example from the Scripture. Which erroneous Prin­ciple, being the main foundation, upon which so many false conclusions are built; and the fountain, from which so many acts of sinful disobedience issue, would well deserve a full and through-Examination. But, this Preface being already swollen far beyond the the proportion I first intended; and for that I have heretofore, both Serm. 4. ad Clerum. in one of these Sermons and Pref. to 20. Serm. elsewhere, discovered in part the unsoundness there­of: I am the willinger both for mine own ease and the Readers, to refer him over thither, and to spare mine own farther labour here. Considering Thirdly, that 3 in the present case we need not flinch for fear of any harme that Principle could do us, should it be admit­ted as sound, as they would have it: For we have both Commands and Examples in the Scriptures, to warrant both the prescribing and the using of the Ceremonies. Though not as specified in their particulars: yet as either comprehended in the General, or inferred by way of Proportion. Which kinde of Warranty from Scripture, themselves are by force of argument dri­ven to allow, as sufficient: or else they would be at a loss for a hundred things by them daily done, upon no [Page] better or other warrant then that. For Commands then, we have besides that grand Canon 1 Cor. 14.40. [Let all things be done decently, and according to order,] all those Texts, that either contain the right and liberty we have to all the Creatures of God to use them for our service without scruple [All things are lawfull, nothing unclean of it self. To the pure all things are pure, &c.] or require Subjection and Obedience to Superiours [Let every soul be subject to the higher pow­ers. Submit to every ordinance of man, &c.] And as for Example, I think I could readily produce a full Score, and not bate an Ace, of some Ceremonies and circumstantial actions, ordered, used or done by holy men even in the old Testament, (who yet were more strictly tyed to prescript forms then Christians are un­der the Gospel:) for the doing whereof it doth not appear, that they either had any command from God, or were guided by any former precedents, or expected any other warrant then the use of their reason and of prudential discourse; What warrant else had David for his purpose of building a Temple to God; which yet 2 Sam. 7.2, 3. Nathan the Prophet of God approved, yea which 1 King. 8.8. God himselfe approved of? Or what, Salomon for keeping 2 Chr. 7.8, 9. a feast of seven dayes for the dedication of the Altar? Or what, Eze­kiah for —30.23. continuing the feast of unleavened bread seven dayes longer then the time appointed by the Law? Or what, Mordecai and Ester for making Ester. 9.20. &c. an Ordinance for the yearly observation of the feast of Purim? Or what lastly, Iudas and the Mac­cabes for ordeining 1 Mac. 4.9. the feast of the Dedication of the Altar to be kept from year to year at a set season for eight dayes together: which solemnity continued even in the dayes of Christ, and seemeth to have been by him approved Joh. 10.22. in the Gospel. The building of Synagogues in their Town, the wearing of sackcloth and ashes in token of humiliation, Zach. 8.19. the four [Page] fasts mentioned Zach. 8. whereof one only was commanded, with sundry other, I omit for brevi­ties sake. Instances enow, and pregnant enough, to manifest how very much our brethren deceive them­selves, by resting upon so unsound a Principle; and that upon a meer mistake: as will appear presently by

§. XXI. Their Eighth and last Objection. Where­in they seem to lay an imputation upon all those that stand for the Ceremonies as if they consequently de­nyed the sufficiency of the Scripture. For answer 1 hereunto, first, it is freely confessed, that the ac­knowledging of the holy Scriptures to be a perfect Rule of Faith and Manners, is the main Article of the Protestant Religion, as opposed to the Romish. But that all that stand for the Ceremonies should deny the same, is so manifestly untrue; or indeed that some of the Church of England should deny that, which is so clearly contained in the Articles of the Church whereunto he hath subscribed, so improbable: that it might well pass for a perfect Ca­lumny, were not the original occasion of their mistake herein so apparent, if but even from the manner of their discourse in the present business. The true 2 state whereof, Secondly, is this. The things where­in the power of Christianity consisteth, are of two sorts; Credenda, and Agenda: which we usually ex­press by Faith and Manners. And the Scripture we acknowledge to be a perfect Rule of Both: yet not as excluding the use of Reason; but supposing it. When God gave us the light of his holy Word; he left us, as he found us; reasonable creatures still: without any purpose, by the gift of that greater and sublimer light, to put out the light he had formerly given us (that of Reason) or to render it useless and unserviceable. Of which light the proper use, and that which God intended it for when he gave it us, is, that by the helpe thereof we might be the bet­ter enabled to discern Truth from Falshood, that we [Page] might embrace the one, and reject the other; and Good from Evil, that we might do the one, and shun the other. Our Reason therefore is doubtlesse a good Rule both for things to be believed, and for things to be done; so far as it reacheth: but no per­fect Rule at all, rather a very imperfect one; because it reacheth not home. To supply the defects where­of, (dimme as it is even in Naturall and Morall things, but dark as darkness it self in things Supernaturall and Divine,) it was, that it pleased the wisdome and goodness of our God to afford us another Light, (viz. that of supernatural revelation in his holy word,) with­out which we could never, by the light of Reason alone, have found out the right way that leadeth to eternal happiness. So that God having first made us reasonable Creatures, and then vouchsafed us his holy word, to instruct us what we are to believe and to do, either as Men or as Christians: We are now furnished with as perfect, absolute and sufficient a Rule both of Faith and Manners, as our condition in this life is ca­pable of. And it is our duty accordingly, to resign our selves wholy to be guided by that Word, (yet making use of our Reason withall, in subordination and with submission thereunto) as a perfect Rule both of Faith and Life. This being clearly so, and the Scripture by consent of both parties acknowledged to be the perfect Rule of what we are to believe, as well as of what we are to do: I earnestly desire our Brethren to consider, what should hinder a Christian man from doing any thing, that by the meer use of his Reason alone he may rightly judge to be lawful and expedi­ent, though it be not commanded or exampled in the Scriptures, so as it be not contrary thereunto; more then from believing any thing, that by the like use of his Reason alone he may rightly judge to be true or credible, though the same be not revealed or con­tained in the Scripture, nor is contrary thereunto. [Page] I do without scruple believe a Mathematical or Philoso­phical truth or a probable historical relation, when I read it or hear it; and I believe an honest man upon his word in what he affirmeth or promiseth; though none of all these things be contained in the Scripture: and thus to believe, was never yet by any man (that I know of) thought derogatory to the sufficiency of Scripture, as it is a perfect Rule of Faith. Why I may not in like manner wear such or such a garment, use such or such a gesture, or do any other indifferent thing (not forbidden in Scripture) as occasions shall require, without scruple; or why thus to do should be thought derogatory to the sufficiency of scripture, as it is a perfect Rule of Manners, I confess I have not the wit to understand. Since there seemeth to be the like reason of both; let them either condemne both, or acquit both: or else inform us better, by shewing us a clear and satisfactory reason of difference between the one and the other. [...]. This is the main hinge, upon which the whole dispute turneth, and whereunto all other differences are but appenda­ges. The true belief, and right understanding of this great Article concerning the Scriptures sufficiency, be­ing (to my apprehension) the most proper Characte­ristical note of the right English Protestant, as he stan­deth in the middle between, and distinguished from, the Papist on the one hand, and the (sometimes sty­led) Puritan on the other. I know not, how he can be a Papist, that truly believeth it: or he a Puritan that rightly understandeth it.

§. XXII. Having thus answered the several Ob­jections aforesaid, wherewith it may be some, that stand freer from prejudice then their fellows, will be satisfied: if any shall yet aske me, why I plead still so hard for Ceremonies, now they are laid down, and so no use either of them, or of any discourse con­cerning 1 them; I have this to say. First, I saw my [Page] selfe somewhat concerned to prevent (if I could) the mis-censuring of these Sermons; in sundry of which the Questions that concern Ceremonies are either pur­posely handled, or occasionally touched upon: which could not be done, without vindicating the Ceremo­nies themselves, as the subject matter thereof. Se­condly, 2 hereby they that were active in throwing them down, may be brought to take a little more into their consideration, then possibly they have yet done, up­on what grounds they were thereunto moved, and how sound those grounds were: that if it shall appear they were then in an Error (and they consider with­all, what disorder, confusion, and libertinisme hath ensued upon that change) they may be sensible of it, and amend. But Thirdly, whatsoever become of the Ceremonies, which are mutable things: the two Do­ctrines 3 insisted on concerning them, (the one, touch­ing the Power that Governors have to enjoyn them; the other touching the Duty that lyeth upon Inferiours to observe them when they are enjoyned;) being Truths, are therefore alwayes the same, and change not. It is no absurdity, even at mid-winter, when there is never a flower upon the bough, to say yet Rosa est flos. Lastly, a time may come when either the same Ceremo­nies may be restored, or others substituted in their 4 rooms: and then there may be use again of such reasons and answers, as have been pleaded in their defense. For I doubt not but those that shall from time to time have the power to order Ecclesiastical af­fairs, if disorders or inconveniencies shall continue to grow after the rate and proportion they have done for some years past, will see a necessity of reducing things into some better degree of Decency, and Vniformity, then now they are: Which it is not imaginable how it should be done, without some Constitutions to be made concerning Indifferent things to be used in the publick worship; and some care had withall to see [Page] the Constitutions obeyed. Otherwise the greatest part of the Nation will be exposed to the very great danger (without the extraordinary mercy of God pre­venting) of quite losing their Religion. Look but upon many of our Gentry, what they are already grown to from what they were, within the com­passe of a few years: and then Ex pede Herculem; by that, guess, what a few years more may do. Do we not see some, and those not a few, that have strong natural parts, but little sence of Religion, turned (little better then professed) Atheists? And othersome, nor those a few, that have good affections, but weak and unsetled judgments, or (which is still but the same weakness) an over-weening opinion of their own under­standings, either quite turned, or upon the point of turning Papists? These be sad things, God know­eth, and we all know: not visibly imputable to any thing so much, as to those Sempérne Getis discordia nostra Prode­rit? Claudian. 2. in. Ruffin. distractions, confusi­ons, and uncertainties that in point of Religion have broken in upon us, since the late changes that have happened among us in Church-affairs. What it will grow to in the end, God onely knoweth: I can but guesse.

§. XXIII. The Reverend Arch-Bishop Whitgift, and the learned Hooker, men of great judgment, and famous in their times, did long since foresee, and ac­cordingly declared their fear, that if ever Puritanism should prevail among us, it would soon draw in Ana­baptism after it. At this Cartwright, and other the advocates for the Disciplinarian interest in those dayes, seemed to take great offence: as if those fears were rather pretended to derive an odium upon them, then that there was otherwise any just cause for the same; protesting ever their utter dislike of Anaba­ptism, and how free they were from the least thought of introducing it. But this was onely their own mi­stake; or rather Jealousie. For those godly men [Page] were neither so unadvised, nor so uncharitable, as to become Judges of other mens thoughts or inten­tions, beyond what their actions spoke them. They only considered, as prudent men, that Anabaptisme had its rise, from the same Principles the Puritans held; and its growth, from the same courses they took: together with the natural tendency of those principles and practises thitherward; especially of that one prin­ciple, as it was by them mis-understood, that the Scripture was adaequata agendorum regula, so as no thing might be lawfully done without express warrant either from some command, or example therein con­tained. The clue whereof, if followed on as farre as it would lead, would certainly in time carry them as farre as the Anabaptists were then gone. But that it was no vain fear, the unhappy event hath proved; and justified them: since what they feared is now come to pass, and that in a very high degree. Yet did not they see the threed drawn out to that length, as we have seen it; (the name of Quakers, Seekers, &c. not then heard of in the world:) but how much farther it will reach none can say; for no man yet ever saw the bottome of the clue. Only I may not dissemble, what my own fears have long been, and yet are: That if things shall still go on, according as they have begun, and hitherto proceeded; the application that some have made of that passage Iohn 11.48. Veni­ent Romani, & capient gentem nostram, will prove but too true a Prophecy; and Popery will over-run all at the last. Whether there be just cause so to fear, or no; I leave it to wiser men to judge: when (toge­ther with what hath been Sect. 18. suprà. already said concerning the great scandals and advantages given to the Papists by our confusions,) they shall have duly considered the probability of what I shall now farther say. It is a wonder to see, in how short a time our Anti-Ceremonian Brethren are strangely both multiplyed, [Page] and divided; multiplyed in their number, but divi­ded by their opinions and subdivided into so many several tribes and families: that their power is no­thing so much encreased by that multiplication, as it is weakned by these divisions. In as much as many of those Sects into which they have spread and diffused themselves, are not more opposite to the Truth (the only property wherein they all agree,) then they are one to another: in so farre that the establishment of any one cannot be, but by the destruction of all or most of the rest. This experience giveth us to see, how im­possible a thing it is, they should long hold together in one entire body for their own preservation. But whilest they are still crumbling into fractions and factions, biting and ready to devour one another: a vigilant adversary, that is intent upon all advantages and opportunities, may, when he spieth his time, over­master them with much ease and little resistance. Whereas the Papists on the other side, are by the very nature (as I may say) of their Religion, and the fundamental Principle thereof (viz. to believe as the Church believeth) tyed together in a fast unity a­mongst themselves, against all opposers of their Church, or of any point of Faith defined by the Church. So that these holding all together as an embodied Army, and those dispersed abroad in scattered troops and many small parties: Who is like to become Master of the Field, is no hard matter to judge. Neither will the supposed (and I fear, truly suppo­sed) greater number of Atheists, then either Papists or Sectaries, be any hinderance to the Papists, for finally prevailing. Because it is not for the interest of the Atheist and his Religion (pardon the bold­ness of the Catachresis) to engage either for or a­gainst any side farther than a jeer. But to let them fight it out, keep himself quiet till they have done, and then Ad rerum momenta cliens, sese [...] daturus Victori. Claud. de bell. Gild. clap in with him that getteth the day. He [Page] that is of no Religion, can make a shift to be of any, rather then suffer. And the Atheist, though he be in truth and in heart neither Protestant nor Papist, nor any thing else; yet can he be in face and outward comportment either Protestant or Papist or any thing else, (Iew or Turk if need be) as will best serve his present turn. That this is their minde, some of them Pref. to Hob [...] of Election. in a bravery have given us to understand, plainly enough and in print.

§. XXIIII. And is it not high time then, trow we, to look about us? Hannibal ad portas. When the danger is so great, and so near withall, even at the door: shall we be so reachlesly wilfull, as neither to open our eyes to see it our selves, nor endure with patience, that any body else should tell us of it? — [...]— What I have now said, how it will be taken, I know not: Prophets are seldome welcome, that Prophecy unwelcome things. But truly, at the sad apprehension of the dangerous condition we now stand in, and in zeal for the safety and honour of my dear Mother the Church of England, which hath nou­rished me up to become a Christian and a Protestant (that is to say, a pure pute Christian without any other addition or Epithete:) my heart waxed hot with­in me, and the fire so kindled, that ( [...]) I could not forbear but upon the first opportunity offe­red, once more to give Vent thereunto, by laying open the second time my inmost thoughts to the view of the world. Which I have done with the greatest plainness and freedom, that (avoiding bitterness) was possible for me to do. I was willing to sharpen my style, I confess, that it might enter. as it was but needful, where the skin was callous. But with the only intention (as the great searcher of all hearts knoweth) by putting the patient to a little smart at the first piercing of the Sore, to give future ease to the part affected: and not at all, by angring the Sore, [Page] to make it worse. With which Protestation I hope the more sober among them will rest satisfied; I mean the moderate Presbyterian especially. Of which sort I know many, whom I verily believe to be godly and conscientious men, (though in error,) and whom I therefore love and honour. These are the only adver­saries in this controversie, whose spirits are in a di­sposition and capacity to be wrought upon in a rational way. As for the rest, (I mean the rigid, Scotised, through-paced Presbyterian on the one side, and the giddy Enthusiast on the other,) such is their either ob­stinacy or madness, that it is vain to think of doing any good upon them by argument: till it shall please God to make them of more humble and teachable spirits. I entreat the Reader, if he shall meet with any thing herein written, that hath any bitterness in it, or but sharpness, more then one that would deal plainly can­not avoid that he would take it as meant against these last only, and not at all against those of the former rank, whom I never meant to exasperate. Hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Read without gall, or prejudice. Let not Truth fare the worse for the Plainness. Catch not at syllables and phrases. Study and seek the Church­es peace. Judge not anothers servant, who must stand and fall to his own Master. Keep Faith and a good Conscience. Bear one anothers Burdens, and so fulfil the Law of Christ.

Consider what hath been said, and pray to the Lord to give us all a right understanding in all things. Amen. Amen.

Botheby Paynell
July 13. MDCLVII.
Placere singulis volam; sed ut prosim:
Nec displicere metuam; dummodo prosim.
Scazon.

THE SUMMARY, or CONTENTS of the several ensuing SERMONS.

Sermon I. Ad Clerum on ROM. XIV.III.
  • Sect. 1. THe Occasion, of the TEXT.
  • Sect. 2 THe Scope, of the TEXT.
  • Sect. 3 THe Coherence, of the TEXT. &
  • Sect. 4 THe Division of the TEXT.
  • Sect. 5 POINT. I. Of not Despising others:
  • Sect. 6 —Be they never so weak,
  • Sect. 7 —and we never so strong.
  • Sect. 8 —Both for the Sins sake, in the Despisers:
  • Sect. 9 —and for the Scandals sake, to the Despised.
  • Sect. 10—11. POINT. II. Of not Judging others
  • Sect. 12 —with the true meaning thereof: And four Reasons.
  • Sect. 13 viz. 1. The want of Commission— in Us.
  • Sect. 142. The want of Skill— in Us.
  • Sect. 153. The Uncharitableness, and of the thing it self.
  • Sect. 164. The Scandalousness— of the thing it self.
  • Sect. 17 APPLICATION. To the Case in our Church: shewing
  • Sect. 18 1 Wherein it agreeth with that of the Romans in this Chapter;
  • Sect. 19—21. 2 And how it differeth from it. I. in the matter.
  • Sect. 22II. in respect of the Persons.
  • Sect. 23III. in the Practise of the Persons.
  • Sect. 24IIII. in their mutual respective Carriage. And that
  • Sect. 25 1. in the point of Despising. Where
  • Sect. 26 (The several grievances of our Brethren are proposed;
  • Sect. 27—29. —and answered.)
  • Sect. 30—37. 2. in the point of Judging.
  • Sect. 38. The Conclusion.
Sermon II. Ad Clerum. on ROM. III.VIII.
  • [Page]Sect. 1. THe Occasion, of the TEXT
  • Sect. 2 —Coherence, of the TEXT
  • Sect. 3 —Division, of the TEXT and
  • Sect. 4 —Summe— of the TEXT
  • Sect. 5 OBSERV. I. Divine Truths to be cleared from Cavil.
  • Sect. 6II. The slander of the Ministers regular Doctrine more then an ordinary slander.
  • Sect. 7III. The best Truths subject to slander.
  • Sect. 8 —with the Causes thereof;
  • Sect. 9 — and Inferences thence.
  • Sect. 10-12IIII. Every slander against the Truth, damnable.
  • Sect. 13-20V. No Evil to be done, for any good that may come thereof
  • Sect. 14-15.19 —Of the kinds and degrees of Evil; by way of Explica­tion.
  • Sect. 16-17. —Of things (Equally & Inequally) indifferent. by way of Explica­tion.
  • Sect. 18 (An useful digression)
  • Sect. 21-23 With some Reasons of the Point;
  • Sect. 24-26 —and the Inferences thence.
  • Sect. 27 The general Application thereof: in two Instances
  • Sect. 28—30 —The Former
  • Sect. 31—33 —The Later
  • Sect. 34 A more particular Application; in defence of the for­mer Sermon.
  • Sect. 35 The Conclusion.
Sermon III. Ad Clerum. on 1 COR. XII.VII.
  • Sect. 1. THe Occasion, of the TEXT.
  • Sect. 2Coherence, of the TEXT. and
  • Sect. 3Division of the TEXT.
  • Sect. 4 The Explication of the Words. What is meant
  • Sect. 5—7 —By the Spirit, and what
  • Sect. 8 —by Manifestation.
  • Sect. 9—11 POINT. I. Spiritual Guifts, how to be understood,
  • Sect. 12—15 Foure Inferences from the premises.
  • Sect. 16 POINT. II. The conveyance of spiritual graces to us,
  • Sect. 17 —By way of Gift:
  • Sect. 18 —Not from Nature, or Desert.
  • Sect. 19 Inferences thence. I. General; 1. Of Thankfulness:
  • Sect. 202. of Prayer
  • Sect. 21—223. joyning our faithful Endeavours thereunto.
  • Sect. 23—25II. More especial. 1. To those of more eminent gifts.
  • [Page] Sect. 26 2. To those of meaner gifts.
  • Sect. 27 POINT. III. The End of Spiritual gifts: Not our own only;
  • Sect. 28 —But chiefly the Profit of others.
  • Sect. 29 Reasons hereof. I. in respect of the Giver.
  • Sect. 30II. in respect of the thing given.
  • Sect. 31III. in respect of the Receiver.
  • Sect. 32—34 Three Inferences thence
  • Sect. 35 The Conclusion.
Sermon IIII. Ad Clerum. on ROM. XIIII.XXIII.
  • Sect. 1. THe Coherence; and Scope of the TEXT.
  • Sect. 2 The Word FAITH diversly interpreted.
  • Sect. 3 INTERPRETATION. I. of a Justifying Faith
  • Sect. 4-5 —Not Proper here; although (in it selfe) True.
  • Sect. 6 INTERPRETATION. II. Of the Doctrine of Faith
  • Sect. 7 —utterly rejected. 1. as False in it selfe;
  • Sect. 8-9 —both in the Rigour of it,
  • Sect. 10 —and in the Mitigation.
  • Sect. 11—15 2. as Pernicious; in the Consequents.
  • Sect. 16 3. as having no Affinity with the present Text.
  • Sect. 17 INTERPRETATION. III. Of Perswasion of Judgment, asserted.
  • Sect. 18 —Thence sundry Questions resolved. viz.
  • Sect. 19 I. What is the Power of the Conscience, as concern­ing the Lawfulness or Unsawfulness of humane Actions.
  • Sect. 20 II. Whether in every thing we do, an actual considera­tion of the Lawfulness thereof be necessarily requisite?
  • Sect. 21 III. What degree of Perswasion is required for the Warranting of our Actions?
  • Sect. 22 IIII. Whether or no, and how forth, a man may war­rantably act, with reluctancy of Conscience? Where­in is considered the Case
  • Sect. 22—241. Of a Resolved Conscience
  • Sect. 25—282. Of a Doubting Conscience
  • Sect. 29—32 (And therein sundry Objections removed.)
  • Sect. 33 3. Of a Scrupulous Conscience.
  • Sect. 34 The Conclusion.
Sermon I. Ad Magistratum. on JOB XXIX.14— 17.
  • [Page]Sect. 1. THe Occasion, of the TEXT.
  • Sect. 2Scope, of the TEXT.
  • Sect. 3Summe, of the TEXT. and
  • Sect. 4Division of the TEXT.
  • Sect. 5-6 The Magistrates I. DUTY; Zeal to Justice:
  • Sect. 7 —With some Examples,
  • Sect. 8 —and Foure Reasons thereof.
  • Sect. 9 DUTY II. Compassion to the Distressed:
  • Sect. 10 —with the Reasons,
  • Sect. 11 —and Extent thereof.
  • Sect. 12-13 DUTY III. Diligence in searching out the Truth:
  • Sect. 14 —with some Instances;
  • Sect. 15 —and Foure Reasons thereof.
  • Sect. 16—17 DUTY IIII. Courage in Executing Iustice:
  • Sect. 18 —With the Reasons thereof; I. in respect of the Laws.
  • Sect. 192. of the Magistrate himself;
  • Sect. 203. of the Offenders.
  • Sect. 21 Three main Inferences from the Premises. viz.
  • Sect. 22—24 I. of Direction for the Choise of Magistrates.
  • Sect. 25 II. of Reproof, for the neglect of the aforesaid Duties.
  • Sect. 26 III. of Exhortation, to the conscionable Performance of the same.
Sermon II. Ad Magistratum. on EXOD. 23.1 — 3.
  • Sect. 1-3. THe Necessity of treating on this Argument.
  • Sect. 4 —The fitness of the Text for that purpose
  • Sect. 5 The Division and thereof
  • Sect. 6Extent thereof
  • Sect. 7 POINT. I. The Accuser, not to raise a false report:
  • Sect. 8—11 —sundry wayes, by which it may be done.
  • Sect. 12 Three Reasons of the point: viz. in respect of
  • Sect. 131. The Sin in the Doer;
  • Sect. 142. The Wrong, to the Sufferer;
  • Sect. 153. The Mischiefs, to the Commonwealth.
  • Sect. 16 Inference. To avoid the fault: for which purpose
  • Sect. 17—214. especial Causes thereof are discovered.
  • Sect. 22 POINT II. The Judge, not to receive a false report.
  • Sect. 23 A threefold Care requisite thereunto. I. in receiving Informations.
  • Sect. 242. in examining Causes
  • [Page] Sect. 253. in repressing Contentious Persons and Suits.
  • Sect. 26 —For which purpose the likeliest Helps are
  • Sect. 27 1. to reject Informations tendered without Oath;
  • Sect. 28 2. to temper the Rigour of Iustice with Equity;
  • Sect. 29 3. to punish Partiality and Collusion in the In­former.
  • Sect. 30 4. to allow the wronged party full satisfaction;
  • Sect. 31 5. to restrain abuses in their Servants and Officers.
  • Sect. 32 The Conclusion.
Sermon III. Ad Magistratum. on PSAL. CVI.XXX.
  • Sect. 1-2. THE Argument and Matter of the Psalm.
  • Sect. 3 The Coherence, Scope,
  • Sect. 4 —and Division of the TEXT.
  • Sect. 5-6 The History of Balak and Balaams Plot against Israel.
  • Sect. 7-8 —With the success thereof, both in the Sin and Punish­ment.
  • Sect. 9-10Zimri's Provocation; and Execution.
  • Sect. 11 The Person of Phinehes considered.
  • Sect. 12 OBSERVATION I. The Spiritual Power doth not include;
  • Sect. 13 —nor yet exclude the Temporal.
  • Sect. 14 Phinehes his Fact examined;
  • Sect. 15 — and justified.
  • Sect. 16—17 — How far forth it may be imitated.
  • Sect. 18 OBSERVATION II. The Zeal of Phinehes
  • Sect. 19 —manifested by executing judgment
  • Sect. 20 1. Personally.
  • Sect. 21 2. Speedily.
  • Sect. 22 3. Resolutely.
  • Sect. 23—25 OBSERVATION III. The plague stayed by exe­cuting judgment.
  • Sect. 26—28 —With Application to England.
  • Sect. 29 An Exhortation, to execute Iudgement:
  • Sect. 30 —With Particular Application
  • Sect. 31 1. To the Accuser;
  • Sect. 32 2. To the Witness;
  • Sect. 33 3. To the Jurer;
  • Sect. 34 4. To the Pleader;
  • Sect. 35 5. To the Officer;
  • Sect. 36 6. To the Judge.
Sermon I. Ad Populum. on 1 KING. 21.29.
  • [Page]Sect. 1. THE Coherence of the TEXT
  • Sect. 2Argument, of the TEXT and
  • Sect. 3Division of the TEXT
  • Sect. 4—5 From Ahabs Person and Cariage.
  • Sect. 6—8 OBSERVATION I. How far an Hypocrite may goe in the performance of holy Duties.
  • Sect. 9 Foure Inferences thence. I. of Terrour to the Profane.
  • Sect. 10II. Of Exhortation, to abound in the fruits of godli­ness.
  • Sect. 11III. Of Admonition, to forbear Judging.
  • Sect. 12IIII. Of Direction, for the tryal of Sincerity;
  • Sect. 13 —by the marks, 1. of Integrity, and
  • Sect. 142. of Constancy;
  • Sect. 15 —both joyned together.
  • Sect. 16—17 OBSERVATION. II. Concerning the Power of Gods word
  • Sect. 18 -With the Causes thereof: in respect 1. of the Instrument
  • Sect. 192. of the Object.
  • Sect. 203. of the fit Application of the one to the other.
  • Sect. 21 The Inferences thence; against those that despise the Word.
  • Sect. 22—23 From the success of Ahabs Humiliation.
  • Sect. 24 OBSERVATION III. Concerning the Reward of Common Graces:
  • Sect. 25 —with sundry Reasons thereof;
  • Sect. 26 —and Inferences thence.
  • Sect. 27 The main Inference. To comfort the Godly 1. against temptations from the Prosperity of the wicked;
  • Sect. 28II. against Temporal Afflictions;
  • Sect. 29III. against doubtings of their ete [...]nal Reward.
Sermon II. Ad Populum. on 1 King. 21.29.
  • Sect. 1. A Repetition of the Three Observations in the former Sermons.
  • Sect. 2—4 OBSERVATION IV. Concerning Gods forbearing of threatned Judgments:
  • Sect. 5 —Proved 1. from his proneness to Mercy;
  • Sect. 62. from the end of his Threatnings.
  • Sect. 7—8 The Doubt, How this may stand with Gods Truth,
  • Sect. 9 —Resolved: by understanding in all his Threatnings
  • Sect. 10 —a Clause of Exception;
  • Sect. 11—12 —though not alwayes expressed.
  • [Page] Sect. 13—14 Inferences 1. of Comfort to the distressed.
  • Sect. 152. of Terrour, to the Secure.
  • Sect. 163. of Instruction, to All.
  • Sect. 17 Gods Promises, how to be understood;
  • Sect. 18 —and entertained.
  • Sect. 19—20 OBSERVATION V. That, though it be some grief, to foreknow the evils to come:
  • Sect. 21 Yet is it some happiness, not to live to see them.
  • Sect. 22 —with the Reason;
  • Sect. 23—25 —and sundry Uses thereof
  • Sect. 26 The Conclusion.
Sermon III. Ad Populum. on 1 Kings 21.29.
  • Sect. 1—2 THE grand Doubt concerning Gods Iustice proposed.
  • Sect. 3 CERTAINTY I. All the ways of God are just.
  • Sect. 4—5II. Temporal Evils not the proper adequate punish­ments of sin.
  • Sect. 6—73. All Evils of Pain, howsoever considered,
  • Sect. 8 —are for sin: and that
  • Sect. 9 —for the sin of the sufferer himself.
  • Sect. 10 How the punishing of the Fathers sin upon the Children,
  • Sect. 11 —can stand with the justice of God.
  • Sect. 12—16 CONSIDERATION I. That they are punished with temporal Punishments only, not with Spiritual or Eternal.
  • Sect. 13—15 (An Objection answered.
  • Sect. 17 CONSIDERATION II. That such Punishments be­fall them: Either
  • Sect. 18—21 1. As continuing in their Fathers sin, Or
  • Sect. 22 2. As possessing something from their Fathers, with Gods curse cleaving thereunto.
  • Sect. 23—25 CONSIDERATION III. A distinction of Impulsive Causes,
  • Sect. 26explained by a familiar Example;
  • Sect. 27 —and applyed to the present Argument.
  • Sect. 28 Seeming Contradictions of Scripture herein,
  • Sect. 29 —how to be reconciled
  • Sect. 30 —with an Exemplary Instance thereof.
  • Sect. 31—32 The Resolution of the main doubt.
  • Sect. 33 Three Duties inferred from the Premises. 1. To live well (as for our own, so even) for Posteritie's sake also.
  • Sect. 34 II. To grieve (as for our own, so) for our Forefathers sins also.
  • Sect. 35 III. To endeavour to hinder sin in others.
Sermon IV. Ad Populum. on 1 Cor. 7.24.
  • [Page]Sect. 1. THE Occasion and Scope of the TEXT.
  • Sect. 2-3 The Pertinency, and Importance of the matter to be handled;
  • Sect. 4—5 —viz. of mens Particular Callings, and what is meant thereby.
  • Sect. 6 POINT I. The necessity of living in a Calling.
  • Sect. 7 Reasons hereof. I. in respect of the Ordinance;
  • Sect. 8 —and Gifts of God.
  • Sect. 9II. in respect of the Person himself.
  • Sect. 10— 14III. in respect of others.
  • Sect. 15 Inference; for reproof of such as live idly without a Calling.
  • Sect. 16—17 as viz. 1. Idle Monks and Friars.
  • Sect. 18—20 [...] 2. Idle Gallants.
  • Sect. 21—223. Idle Beggars.
  • Sect. 23—24 POINT. II. Concerning the Choyce of a Calling.
  • Sect. 25 That is our proper Calling, whereunto God calleth us; and
  • Sect. 26 —by what enquiries that may be known.
  • Sect. 27 ENQUIRY I. concerning the Employment it self: — 1. Whether it be honest and lawful, or no?
  • Sect. 282. Whether it be fit, to be made a Calling, or no?
  • Sect. 293. Whether it tend to common Utility, or no?
  • Sect. 30 (The Usurers Calling examined by these Rules.
  • Sect. 32—33 II. Concerning our fitness for that employment.
  • Sect. 341. in respect of our Education.
  • Sect. 35—362. in respect of our Abilities.
  • Sect. 37— 393. in respect of our Inclinations.
  • Sect. 40 III. Concerning the Providential Opportunities we have thereunto:
  • Sect. 41—43 wherein is shewed the great importance of an outward Calling.
  • Sect. 44 POINT III. Concerning the Abiding in our Callings.
  • Sect. 45—461. what is not, meant thereby.
  • Sect. 47—492. and what is, meant thereby.
  • Sect. 50—523. The abiding therein with God, what.
  • Sect. 53 The Conclusion.
Sermon V. Ad Populum on 1 Tim. 4.4.
  • Sect. 1. THE Coherence, of the TEXT.
  • Sect. 2Scope; of the TEXT. and
  • Sect. 3Division of the TEXT.
  • [Page] Sect. 4—6 OBSERVATION I. Concerning the Goodness of the Creature.
  • Sect. 7 Inferences thence. I. God not the Author of Evil.
  • Sect. 8II. The goodness of God seen in the glass of the Creatures.
  • Sect. 9-10III. The Creatures not to be blamed.
  • Sect. 11—13 OBSERVATION II. Concerning the Liberty and Right we have to the Creatures.
  • Sect. 141. By Creation:
  • Sect. 152. By Redemption.
  • Sect. 16 Much impleaded. 1. by Judaisme;
  • Sect. 17— 192. by the Church of Rome.
  • Sect. 20—32 The Extent of this Liberty in Eight Positions:
  • Sect. 33 OBSERVATION III. The Creatures to be received with Thanks-giving.
  • Sect. 34— 37 The Duty of Thanksgiving, Explained; and
  • Sect. 38Enforced: 1. as an Act of Justice
  • Sect. 39—422. as an Act of Religion.
  • Sect. 43—44 INFERENCES I. For Conviction of our unthank­fulness to God:
  • Sect. 45—46 1. for want of Recognition, with 2 degrees of each.
  • Sect. 47—48 2. for want of Estimation, with 2 degrees of each.
  • Sect. 49—51 3. for want of Retribution, with 2 degrees of each.
  • Sect. 52II. Six Motives to Thankfulness: taken from
  • Sect. 531. The Excellency of the Duty.
  • Sect. 542. The Continual Effluence of Gods benefits.
  • Sect. 553. Our Future Necessities.
  • Sect. 5 [...]4. Our Misery in Wanting.
  • Sect. 575. Our Importunity in Asking.
  • Sect. 586. The Freedome of the gift.
  • Sect. 59 III. To avoid those things that hinder our Thankfulness: which are chiefly
  • Sect. 60 1. Pride.
  • Sect. 61 2. Envy.
  • Sect. 62 3. Ryotous living.
  • Sect. 63 4. Wordly Cares.
  • Sect. 64 5. Procrastination.
  • Sect. 65 IIII. To be thankful for Spiritual blessings.
Sermon VI. Ad Populum. on Gen. 20.6.
  • Sect. Sect. 1. THE Occasion, of the TEXT.
  • [Page] Sect. 2Scope, of the TEXT. and
  • Sect. 3Division, of the TEXT.
  • Sect. 4 Of the Nature and Use of Dreams.
  • Sect. 5—6 The Former Part of the TEXT explained.
  • Sect. 7 OBSERVATION I. The grievousness of the sinne of Adultery;
  • Sect. 8—10 —and of Fornication, Compared.
  • Sect. 11— 12 OBSERVATION II. How far Ignorance doth, or doth not excuse from sin.
  • Sect. 13— 16 — instanced in this fact of Abimelech.
  • Sect. 17 Inferences thence. I. Concerning the Salvation of our Forefathers.
  • Sect. 18— 19 (Two Doubts removed.
  • Sect. 20II. Not to flatter our selves in our Ignorance.
  • Sect. 21III. Of sins done with Knowledge.
  • Sect. 22—24 OBSERVATION III. Moral Integrity may be in the heart of an unbeliever
  • Sect. 25 —with the Reason thereof.
  • Sect. 26 Inferences thence. I. A shame for Christians to fall short of Heathens in their Morals.
  • Sect. 27II. Particular Actions no certain [...] of Sincerity.
  • Sect. 28III. The acquital of Conscience no sufficient justification.
  • Sect. 29 The Later Part of the TEXT opened.
  • Sect. 30 OBSERVATION IV. Boncerning Gods Restraint of sin in men.
  • Sect. 31 —with the different measure and means thereof.
  • Sect. 32 1. That there is such a Restraint.
  • Sect. 33—34 2. That it is from God.
  • Sect. 35 3. That it is from the Mercy of God; and therefore called Grace.
  • Sect. 36 Inferences from the consideration of Gods Restraint:
  • Sect. 37 I. As it lyeth upon others. 1. to bless God for our Preservation;
  • Sect. 382. not to trust wicked men too farre.
  • Sect. 393.—nor to fear them too much.
  • Sect. 404. to endevour to restrain others from sinning.
  • Sect. 41 II. as it lyeth upon our selves. 1. To be humble under it.
  • Sect. 422. to entertain the means of such restraint with Thankfulness.
  • Sect. 433. to pray, that God would restrain our Cor­ruptions.
  • Sect. 444.—but especially to pray and labour for sancti­fying grace.
Sermon VII. Ad Populum. on 1 Pet. 2.16.
  • [Page]Sect. 1-2 THE Occasion, Scope, of the TEXT.
  • Sect. 3—5 —Coherence, of the TEXT. and
  • Sect. 6 —Division — of the TEXT.
  • Sect. 7—8 OBSERVATION I. Christian Liberty to be main­tained.
  • Sect. 9—12 —with the Explication,
  • Sect. 13—17 —and Five Reasons thereof.
  • Sect. 18—20 Inferences I. Not to usurp upon the Liberty of others:
  • Sect. 21—24II.—Nor to betray our own.
  • Sect. 25 OBSERVATION II. Christian Liberty not to be abused.
  • Sect. 26—28 —The words explained: and thence
  • Sect. 29—31Three Reasons of the point.
  • Sect. 32—34 Foure abuses of Christian Liberty. viz. I. by casting off the obligation of the moral Law.
  • Sect. 35—36 -II. by exceeding the bounds of Sobriety.
  • Sect. 37III. by giving Scandal to others.
  • Sect. 38IIII. by disobeying Lawful Superiours.
  • Sect. 39—40 The grounds and Objections of the Anti-Ceremonians
  • Sect. 41—46 —propounded and particularly answered.
  • Sect. 47—50 How mens Lawes binde the Conscience.
  • Sect. 51—2 OBSERVATION III. We being the servants of God: Which is of all other
  • Sect. 53—4 1. the most Just, Service;
  • Sect. 55 2. the most Necessary, Service;
  • Sect. 56—57 3. the most Easy, Service;
  • Sect. 58 4. the most Honourable, Service;
  • Sect. 59 5. and the most Profitable, Service;
  • Sect. 60 Ought to carry our selves, as his servants: with all
  • Sect. 61—63 I. Reverence to his Person; in 3 branches.
  • Sect. 62—64 II. Obedience to his Will: both in Doing, and Suffering.
  • Sect. 65—68 III. Faithfulness in his Business; in 3 branches.
  • Sect. 69 The Conclusion.
A

AD B CLERUM. The First Sermon. C At a Visitation at Boston, Lincoln, 17. Apr. 1619.

ROM. 14.3.

Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not: and let not him that eateth not, judge him that ea­teth.

D

ITt cannot be avoided, so long as there is or Weak­nesse 1 on earth, or Malice in hell, but that scandals will arise, and differences will grow in the Church of God. What through want of judgement in some, of Ingenuity in others, Charity in almost all: occasions (GOD knoweth) of offence are too soon both given and taken: whilest men are apt to quarrel at trifles, and to maintain differences even about indifferent things. The Primitive Roman Church was not a little afflicted with E this disease: for the remedying whereof, S. Paul spendeth this whole Chapter. The occasion this: In Rome there lived in the Apostles times many Iews; of whom, as well of the Gentiles, divers were converted Acts 28.24. to the Christian Faith, by the preaching of the Gospel. Now of these new Converts, some better instructed then others, as [Page 2] touching the cessation of legall Ceremonies, made no difference of A Meats, or of Dayes, but used their lawfull Christian liberty in them both, as things in their own nature meerly indifferent: Whereas o­thers, not so throughly De novo conversus; & de lege Catholica minus sufficien­ter instructus. Lyra. catechized as they, still made difference for Conscience sake, both of Meats, accounting them Clean or Unclean; and of Days, accounting them Holy or Servile, according as they stood under the Levitical Law. These latter S. Paul calleth Verse 1. [...], Weak in the faith: those former then must by the Law of Op­position be [...]. Rom. 15.1. Strong in the Faith.

2 It would have become both the one sort, and the other, (notwith­standing they differed in their private judgements, yet) to have pre­served B the common peace of the Church▪ and laboured the 2 Cor. 10.8. edificati­on, not the ruine one of another: the strong by affording faithful instru­ction to the consciences of the weak; and the weak, by allowing fa­vourable construction to the actions of the strong. But whilest either measured other by themselves; neither one nor other did Gal. 2.14. [...], as our Apostle elsewhere speaketh, Walk uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel. Faults & offences there were on all hands. The Strong faulty, in Contemning the Weak; the Weak faulty in condemning the Strong. The Strong proudly scorned the Weak, as silly & superstitious; for making scruple at some such things, as themselves C firmly believed were lawfull: The Weak rashly censured the Strong, as prophane and irreligious; for adventuring on some such things, as themselves deeply suspected were unlawfull. The blessed Apo­stle, desirous all things should be done in the Church in love and 1 Cor. 14.26. unto edification, Cajetan in locum. Bulling. in loc. aequâ lance, and i eodem Charitatis moderamine, as Interpreters speak, taketh upon him to arbitrate, and to mediate in the business: and like a just umpire Job 9.33. layeth his hand upon both par­ties; unpartially sheweth them their severall oversights, and beginneth to draw them to a fair and an honourable composition: as thus, The strong, he shall remit somewhat of his superciliousness, in disesteeming,D and despising the Weak: and the Weak he shall abate somewhat of his edge and acrimony, in judging and condemning the Strong. If the parties will stand to this order, it will prove a blessed agreement: for so shall brotherly Love be maintained, Scandalls shall be removed, the Christian Church shall be edified, and Gods Name shall be glorifi­ed. This is the scope of my Text, and of the whole Chapter.

In the three first Verses whereof, there is [...], and [...]. 3 First, there is [...], in the first Verse; the Proposall of a generall Doctrine, as touching the usage of weak ones: with whom the Church is so to deal, as that it neither give offence to, nor take of­fence E at, the weakness of any. [Him that is weak in the faith receive you, but not to doubtful disputations.] Next, there is [...], in the se­cond ver. a declaration of the former general proposal, by instancing in a particular case, touching the difference of Meats. There is one man strong in the Faith; he is infallibly resolved, there is no meat Ver. 14. un­clean [Page 3] A of it self, or (if received with thankfulnesse and sobriety) 1 Cor. 10.23. un­lawfull: and because he knoweth he standeth upon a sure ground, Verse 2. [...], he is confident he may eat any thing, and he useth his liberty accordingly, eating indifferently 1 Cor. 10.27. of all that is set before him, making no question for conscience sake, [One man believeth he may eat all things.] There is another man Weak in the Faith; he standeth yet unresolved and doubtful, whether some kinds of Meats, as namely, those forbidden in the Law, be clean; or he is rather carried with a strong suspicion that they are unclean; out of which timorousnesse of judgment, he chuseth to forbear those meats, and contenteth himself with the fruits of the earth; [Another who is B weak, eateth Herbs.] This is Species Facti; this the Case. Now the question is, in this Case what is to be done, for the avoidance of scan­dall, 3 and the maintenance of Christian Charity? And this question my Text resolveth in this third Verse: wherein is contained [...], S. Pauls judgement, or his counsell rather, and advice upon the Case, Let not him that eateth, despise, &c. The remainder of the Verse, and of the Chapter, being spent in giving reasons of the judgement, in this and another like case, concerning the difference and observation of Dayes.

I have made choice to intreat at this time of Saint Pauls advice; 4 C as usefull for this place and auditory, and the present assembly. Which advice, as the Parties and the faults are, is also two-fold. The Parties two: He that eateth, that is the Strong: and he that eateth not, that is the Weak. The Faults likewise two: The Strong mans fault; that's Litterally setting at nought; so it is translated, Luke 23.11. and the Latin Translation in Tertullian rea­deth here fitly to the Greek, Qui mandu­cat, ne null [...] fi­cet n [...]i mandu­cantem. Ter. de je jun. adversus Psych. c. 15. [...], despising of his brothers infirmity; and the Weak mans fault, that's [...], judging of his brothers liberty. Proportionably, the parts of the advice, accommodated to the Par­ties and their Faults, are two. The one, for the Strong; that he de­spise not, Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not. The other for the Weak; that he judge not, Let not him that eateth not, judge D him that eateth. Of which when I shall have spoken somewhat in their generall use, I shall by Gods assistance proceed by way of appli­cation to enquire how far the differences in our Church, for confor­ming, and not conforming, agree with the present case of eating, and not eating: and consequently how far forth Saint Pauls advice in this case of eating and not eating, ought to rule us in the cases of con­forming and not conforming in point of Ceremony. And first of the former rule or branch of the advice, Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not.

The terms, whereby the Parties are charactered, He that eateth, E and He that eateth not, have in the opening of the Case been alrea­dy 5 so far unfolded, as that I shall not need any more to remember you, that by him that eateth, must be understood the strong in Faith, and by him that eateth not, the weak. And so reducing the words ab Hypothesi ad Thesin, this part of the advice [Let not him that [Page 4] eateth, despise him that eateth not] beareth sense as if the Apostle had A said [Let not the strong in faith despise the weak.] Weak ones are ea­sily despised: Strong ones are prone to despise: and yet despising is both a grievous sin in the despiser, and a dangerous scandall to the despised. In all which respects, it was but needfull the Holy Ghost should lesson us, not to despise one anothers weaknesse. Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not.

6 Weakness and Smalness, be it in what kind soever, is the fittest ob­ject to provoke contempt. As we travell by the way, if a fierce Ma­stiff set upon us, we think it time to look about, and to bestir our selves for defence: but we take no notice of the little Curres that B bark at us; but despise them. When Goliah saw little David make towards him, 1 Sam. 17. the Text saith, 1 Sam. 17.42 He disdained him, for he was but a youth. And S. Paul charging Timothy so to behave himself in the Church of God, as that none should 1 Tim. 4.12. despise his youth, implyeth, that youth is obvious to contempt, and like enough to be despised. And though Eccl. 9.16. Wisdome be better then strength, yet Solomon tells us, the poor mans wisdome is despised, and his words are not heard, Eccles. 9. Ps. 119.141. I am small and of no reputution, saith David, Psal. 119. And our Saviours Caveat in the Gospel is especially concerning little ones, as most o­pen to contempt: Mat▪ 18.10. Take heed that ye despise not any of these little C ones. But of all other, that weaknesse is most contemptible, which is seen in the faculties of the understanding Soul: when men are in­deed weak in apprehension, weak in judgement, weak in discretion; or at leastwise are thought so. Far from any reall weaknesse this way or any other, was our blessed LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ, Col▪ 2.3.In whom were hid all the treasures of wisdome and knowledge; yet because upon conference with him, he seemed such unto He­rod, not answering any of his questions, nor that expectation which the same of his miracles had raised of him in Herod, Herod took him for some silly simple fellow, and accordingly used him: for he DLuke▪ 23.11. [...].set him at nought, and mocked him, and put him in [...]. Ib.a white coat, as he had been some fool, and sent him back as he came, Lu. 23. And of this nature is the weaknesse my Text hath to do withall: a weak­nesse in judgement; or as it is ver. 1. a weaknesse in Faith. Where, by Faith, we are not to understand that justifying Faith, whereby the heart of a true believer layeth fast hold on the gracious promises of God, and the precious merits of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins: nor by weaknesse in Faith, that [...], wherewith the Apo­stles are Mat. 8.26.14.31. & 16.8. sometimes charged; when the Faith of a true believer is sore shaken with temptations of incredulity and distrust. But by E Faith we are to understand an Fides h [...]c signifieat per­suasionem de usa rerum in­differentium: per Synccdo­chen generis. Piscat. Schol. in Rom. 14.1. historicall Faith onely, which is nothing else but a firm and secure assent of the judgement unto do­ctrinall truths in matter of Faith or Life: and by weaknesse in such faith, a doubtfulnesse and irresolution of judgement concerning some divine truths appertaining to the doctrine of Faith or Life; and [Page 5] A namely, concerning the just extent of Christian liberty, and the in­different or not indifferent nature or use of some things. Which weaknesse of judgement in Faith, bewraying it self outwardly in a nice, and scrupulous, and timorous forbearance of some things, for fear they should be unlawfull; which yet in truth are not so, but in­different: doth thereby expose the person in whom such weaknesse is, to the contempt and despisings of such as are of more confirmed and resolved judgements, and are stronger in the Faith.

Weaknesse then is in it self contemptible: yet not more than 7 Strength is contemptuous. Passive contempt is the unhappinesse of B the weak; but Active the fault of the strong. They that find truly, or but overweeningly conceit in themselves abilities, either of a high­er nature, or in a greater measure, than in other men, be it any kind whatsoever; it is strange to see, with what scornfull state they can trample upon their weaker and inferiour brethren, and look upon them (if yet they will at all vouchsafe a look) from aloft, as upon things below them: which is properly and literally to despise. For so much the very words [...] among the Greeks, and among the Latines Despicere do import. The Pharisee, it is like, cast such a dis­dainfull look upon the poor Publican, when in contempt he called C him Luc. 18.9, 11. Iste Publicanus! sure I am, that Parable was spoken of pur­pose concerning such as trusted in their own righteousnesse, and [...]. Luke 18.9. de­spised others. Luke 18. And they are ever the likeliest thus [...]o despise others, that conceit something in themselves more than others. Wealth, honour, strength, beauty, birth, friends, alliance, authority, pow­er, wit, learning, eloquence, reputation, any trifle; can leaven our thoughts, (partiall as they are towards our selves) and swell us, and heave us up above our brethren: and because we think we do over­top them, we think we may over-look them too, and despise them as vulgar and contemptible. Agar could despise Sarah; the bond-servant, D the free woman; the maid, her mistresse: onely for a lit­tle fruitfulnesse of the womb beyond her; because Gen. 16.4, 5. She saw that she had conceived, and her Mistresse was barren, Gen. 16. All strength and eminency then, we see, be it in any little sorry thing, is apt to breed in men a despising of their weaker and meaner brethren: but none more than this strength of knowledge and of Faith, wherewith we now deal. It should be quite otherwise: our knowledge should praeferre facem, hold the light before us, and help us for the better discovery of our ignorance; and so dispose us to humility, not pride. But pride and self-love is congenitum malum; it is a close, and a E pleasing, and an inseparable corruption: which by slye and serpen­tine insinuations conveyeth it self, as into whatsoever else is good, and eminent in us, and poysoneth it; so especially into the endow­ments of the understanding part. Sharpnesse of wit, quicknesse of conceit, faithfulnesse of memory, facility of discourse, propriety of elo­cution, concinuity of gesture, depth of judgement, variety of know­ledge [Page 6] in Arts and Languages, and whatever else of like kind; are A but as wind to fill the sailes of our pride, and to make us swell above our brethren, in whom the like gifts are not, or not in like eminen­cy. Scientia inflat, our Apostle might well say,1 Cor. 8.1. Qu [...] lidicisse nisi [...] f [...]rmen­tum, &c. Pers. Satyr 1. Vide Casaub. Ibid.Knowledge puffeth up: and that it doth so readily and unmeasurably, that unlesse there be the greater measure both of humility to prevent, and of charity to vent it, it will in short time breed a dangerous spirituall tympany in the soul; A disease, from which the strongest constituti­ons that have been, have not been altogether so free, but that they have had, if not a spice of it, yet at least wise an inclination unto it. Even this our blessed Apostle who had so B much humility, as to account himself 1 Cor. 15.9. of Apostles the least, but 1 Tim. 1.15. of sin­ners the chiefest; was in so great danger 2 Cor. 12.7. [...]. to be exalted above measure through the abundance of revelations; that it was needfull he should have a thorne in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet him, lest he should be exalted above measure, 2 Cor. 12. No marvell then, if these new converts, but lately called by God out of the darknesse of their ignorance,1 Pet. 29.into his marvelous great light; and not having their understandings well informed, and their judgements through­ly setled in the doctrine and Use, in the nature and extent of that E­vangelicall liberty whereunto they were called: no marvell, I say,C if these, upon so sensible a change, were more than a little distem­pered with this swelling above their brethren; even as far as to despise them. So hard is it, even for the most exercised Christian, not to take knowledge of his own knowledge: or doing so, not to despise and neglect the infirmities of his lesse-knowing brother. It was not then without good need, that S. Paul should become a re­membrancer to the strong in Faith, not to despise the weak. And there is as good need the very strongest of us all should remember it, and take heed of despising even the very weakest. This despising be­ing hurtfull both to the strong, and weak: to the strong as a grievous D sin; and to the weak, as a grievous scandall.

8 Despising, first is a sin in the strong. Admit thy weak brother were of so shallow understanding and judgement, that he might say in strictnesse of truth, what Agur said but in modesty, and that with an Hyperbole too, Prov. 30. that Prov. 30.1. surely he were more brutish than any man, and that he had not in him the understanding of a man: yet the com­munity of nature, and the common condition of humanity, should be sufficient to free him from thy contempt. His body was formed out of the same dust, his soul breathed into him by the same God, as thine were, and he is thy neighbour. Let his weaknesse then be what E it can be; even for that relation of neighbour-hood, as he is a man, it is sin in thee to despise him, Prov. 14.21. [He that despiseth his Neighbour, sinneth, Prov. 14.] But that's not all: He is not onely thy Neighbour as a man; but he is thy Brother too, as a Christian man. He hath imbra­ced the Gospell, he believeth in the Son of God, he is within the pale [Page 7] A of the Church, as well as thou: though he be not so exquisitely seen in some higher mysteries, nor so thorowly satisfied in some other points, as thou art. If it have pleased God to endow thee with a larger portion of knowledge; thou oughtest to consider, first, that thou 1 art bound to be so much the more thankfull to him that gave it; and 2 then secondly, that it is expected, thou shouldest do so much the more good with it; and thirdly again, that thou standest charged with so much the deeper account for it. If the same God have dealt these abi­lities with a more sparing hand to thy brother; in despising his weak­ness, what other thing doest thou, then even despise the good Spi­rit B of God, John 3.8. that bloweth where he listeth, and 1 Cor. 12.11 giveth to every one as 9 he listeth? For though there be 1 Cor. 12.4. diversities of gifts, (both for sub­stance and degree;) yet it is the same spirit, 1 Cor. 12. And the con­tempt that is cast upon the meanest Christian, reboundeth upwards again, and in the last resolution reflecteth even upon GOD him­self, and upon his Christ. [1 Thess. 4.8. He that despiseth, despiseth not man but GOD; who hath given unto us his holy Spirit, 1 Thess. 4. And 1 Cor. 8.12. when ye sinne so against the Brethren, and wound their weak consciences, ye sin against Christ, 1 Cor. 8.]

Thus you see Despising is hurtfull to the despiser ▪ as a Sin: it is C hurtfull also, as a Scandall, to the despised. And therefore our Savi­our in Matth. 18. discoursing of Mat. 18.6, &c not offending little ones; anon vari­eth the word, and speaketh of Ibid. 10. not despising them: as if despising were an espciall and principall kind of offending, or scandalizing. And verily so it is, especially to the Weak. Nothing is more grievous to Nature, scarce Death it selfe, then for a man to see himself despised. Plaut. in Ci­st [...]ll. Act. 4. Scen. 1. Ego illam anum irridere me ut sinam? Satius est mihi quovis exitio interire, could he say in the Comedy. It is a thing that pierceth far, and sinketh deep, and striketh cold, and lyeth heavie upon the heart: Habet enim quendam acu­lcum contume­lia; q [...]em pati prudentes ac boni viri diffi­cillime possunt. Cic. Ver. 5. flesh and blood will digest any thing with better patience. The D greatArist. lib. 2. Rhet. 2. cap. 2. where he thus [...]neth An­ger, [...].Philosopher, for this reason maketh Contempt the ground of all Discontent; and sufficiently proveth it in the second of his Rhetoriques: there being never any thing taken offensively, but sub ratione contemptus; nothing provoking to Anger, but what is either truly a contempt, or at leastwise so apprehended.We all know how tenderly every one of us would take it, but to be neg­lected by others; to have no reckoning at all made of us; to be so reputed as if we were not, or not worth the looking after, Vide opus Adag. Megaren­ses ne (que) tertij, neque qu [...]ti. [...], as the Oracle said to the Megarenses. And yet this is but the least degree of Contempt; a [...]. Arist. ubi su­pra. privative contempt onely. How tenderly then may we think a weak Christian would take it, when to E this privative he should find added a [...]. Ibid. Positive contempt also? when he should see his person, and his weakness, not only not compassionated, but even [...]. Chrys. Hom. 23. in Gen. taunted, and stouted, and derided, and made a laughing stock, and a jesting theme? when he should see them strive to speak and do such things in his sight and hearing, as they know will be of­fensive [Page 6] unto him, of very purpose to vex, and afflict, and grieve his A tender soul? Certainly for a weak Christian newly converted to the Faith, to be thus despised; it were enough, without Gods singular Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy up­on us: for we are exceeding­ly filled with contempt. Our soul is excee­dingly filled with the scor­ning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud, Psal. 123.3, 4. mercy and support, to make him repent his late conversion, and re­volt from the Faith, by fearefull and desperate Apostasie. And he that by such despising should thus offend, though but Mat. 18.6, &c. one of the least and weakest of those that believe in Christ, a thousand times better had it been for him, that he had never been born; yea, ten thousand times better that a Mill-stone had been hung about his neck, and he cast into the bottome of the Sea, ere he had done it. Despising is a grievous sin, in the despiser, in the Strong: and despising is a grievous scandall B to the despised, to the Weak. Let not therefore the strong despise the Weak; Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not. And thus much for the former branch of Saint Pauls advice: The other followeth, Let not him that eateth not, judge him that eateth.

Faults seldome go single; but by couples at the least. Sinfull 10 men do with sinfull provocations, as ball-players with the Ball. When the Ball is once up, they labour to keep it up: right so when an offence or provocation is once given, it is [...]. Et mox. [...]; Max. Tyri­us. [...] tossed to and fro, the receiver ever returning it pat upon the giver, and that most times with advantage; and so betwixt them they make a shift to preserve C a perpetuity of sinning, and of scandalizing one another. It is hard to say who beginneth oftner, the Strong, or the Weak: but whe­ther ever beginneth, he may be sure the other will follow. If this judge, that will despise; if that despise, this will judge: either doth his endeavour to cry quittance with other; and thinketh himself not to be at all in fault, because the other was first or more. This Apostle willing to redresse faults in both, beginneth first with the strong: and for very good reason. Not that his fault simply consi­dered in it self is greater; (for I take it a certain truth, that to judge one that is in the right, is a far greater fault, considered abso­lutely D without relation to the abilities of the persons, then to de­spise one that is in the wrong:) But because the strong through the abi­lity of his judgement, ought to yield so much to the infirmity of his weak brother, who through the weaknesse of his judgement, is not so well able to discern what is fit for him to do. What in most o­ther contentions is expected; should be done in this: not he that is most in fault, but he that hath most wit, should give over first. Indeed in reason, the more faulty is rather bound to yield: but if he will be unreasonable, (as most times it falleth out,) and not do it; then in discretion, the more able should do it. AsGen. 13.9, 11.Abraham in E discretion yielded the choice to his Nephew Lot upon the conten­tion of their Heardsmen, which in reason Lot should rather have yielded unto him. But where both are faulty, as it is not good to stand debating who began first; so it is not safe to strain courtesie who shall end, and mend first. In the case of my Text, both were [Page 9] A faulty: and therefore our Apostle would have both mend. He hath school'd the Strong, and taught him his lesson, not to despise anothers infirmity; Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not. Now the Weak must take out his lesson too, not to judge anothers liberty; Let not him that eateth not, judge him that eateth.

I will not trouble you with other significations of the word; to Iudge, as it is here taken, is as much to Ne condem­nato. Beza. condemn: and so the 11 word [...] is often taken in the worser sense for [...]. Tro­pically, by aPiscator in Schol. ad hunc locum.Synecdoche generis, say Scholiasts: and they say true. But it is a Trope, for which both in this, and inevil man­ners have been the spoiling of many good words; as [...], Tycannus, So­phista, Latro, [...], Ve­n [...]num, Magus; & in our Eng­glish tongue, Knave, Villain, Churle, &c. See Minsheu, Verstegan, &c.divers other B words, we are not so much beholden to good Arts, as to bad man­ners. Things that are good, or indifferent, we commonly turn to ill, by using them the worst way: whence it groweth, that words of good or indifferent signification, in time degenerate so farre, as to be commonly taken in the worst sence. But this by the way. The fault of these weak ones in the case in hand, was, that measuring o­ther mens actions and consciences, by the modell of their own under­standings, in their private censures they rashly passed their judge­ments upon, and pronounced peremptory sentence against such, as u­sed their liberty in some things; concerning the lawfulnesse where­of C themselves were not satisfied, as if they were loose Christians, car­nall professors, nomine tenus Christiani, men that would not stick to do any thing, and such as made either none at all, or else very little conscience of their actions. This practice my Text disalloweth, and forbiddeth: and the rule hence for us is plain and short, We must not judge others. The Scriptures are expresse, Matth. 7.1. Iudge not, that ye be not judged, Matth. 7. 1 Cor. 4.5. Iudge nothing before the time, &c. 1 Corinth. 4. Rom. 2.1. Thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest, Rom. 2. And Jam. 4.11. If thou judgest, thou art not a doer of the Law, but a Iudge, James 4.1

D Not that it is unlawfull to exercise civill judgement, or to passe 12 condemning sentence upon persons orderly and legally convicted, for such as have calling and authority thereunto in Church or Com­mon-wealth: for this publique politique judgement is commandedExod. 22.9. 2 Chron. 19.6. Rom. 13.4. and elsewhere.in the Word of God; and Reason sheweth it to be of absolute ne­cessity 2 for the preservation of States and Commonwealths. Not that it is unlawfull secondly, to passe even our private censures upon the outward actions of men; when the Law of God is directly trans­gressed, and the transgression apparent from the evidence either of the fact it selfe, or of some strong signes and presumptions of it. E For it is stupidity, and not charity, to be credulous against sense. Charity is1 Cor. 13.5. [...].ingenuous, and willIbid. vers· 7. [...].believe any thing, though more then Reason: but Charity must not beAs Walter Mapes some­times Arch­deacon̄ of Ox­enford, rela­ting the grosse Simony of the Pope for confirming the election of Reginald, bastard sonne to Ioceline, Bishop of Sarum, into the See of Bathe; concludeth the narration thus; Sit tamen domina materque nostra Roma baculus in aqua fractus; & absit credere quae videmus. Mahap. de nugis Curialium, distinct. 1. cap. 22.servile, to believe any [Page 10] thing against reason: Shall any charity bind me to think the Crow A is white, or the Black-more beautifull? Nor yet thirdly, that all sinister suspicions are utterly unlawfull, even there where there wanteth evidence either of fact, or of great signes: if our suspicions proceed not from any corrupt affections, but onely from aCùm debemus aliquibus malis adhibere reme­dium, sive no­stris, sive alie­nis, expedit ad hoc ut securius remedium ap­ponatur, quòd supponatur id quod est deteri­us: quia reme­dium quod est efficax contra majus malum, multò magis est efficax contra minus malum. Aquin. 2.2. qu. 60. art. 4. ad. 3.chari­table jealousie of those over whom we have speciall charge, or in whom we have speciall interest, in such sort as that it may concern us to admonish, reprove, or correct them when they doe amisse; so was IobJob 1.5.suspicious of his sonnes, for sinning and cursing God in their hearts. But the judgement here, and elsewhere condemned, is either first, when in our private thoughts or speeches, upon slender B presumptions we rashly pronounce men as guilty of committing such or such sins, without sufficient evidence either of fact, or pregnant signes that they have committed them. Or secondly, when upon some actionsAperta non ita reprehenda­mus, ut de sa­nitate despere­mus. Gloss. Or­din. in Rom. 14.13. Non quicquid reprebenden­dum, etiam dam [...]andum est. Sen. l. 6. de benef. ca. 39.undoubtedly sinfull, as blasphemy, adultery, perjury, &c. We too severely censure the persons either for the future, as Repro­bates and Castawayes, and such as shall be certainly damned; or at leastwise for the present, as hypocrites, and unsanctified and pro­fane, and such as are in the state of damnation: not considering into what fearefull sinnes it may please God to suffer, not onely hisAs Paul, Mary Magda­len, &c.chosen ones before Calling, but even hisAs David, Peter, &c.holy ones too after C Calling, sometimes to fall; for ends most times unknown to us, but ever just and gracious in him. Or thirdly, when for want either of charity or knowledge, (as in the present case of this Chapter) we interpret things for the worst to our brethren: and condemn them of sin for such actions, as are not directly, and in themselves necessa­rily sinfull; but may (with due circumstances) be performed with a good conscience, and without sinne. Now all judging and condem­ning of our brethren in any of these kinds is sinfull and damnable; and that in very many respects, especially these foure; which may serve as so many weighty reasons, why we ought not to judge one D another. The usurpation, the rashnesse, the uncharitablenesse, and the scandall of it.

First, it is an Usurpation. He that is of right to judge, must have 13 a calling and commission for it. Exod. 2.14. Quis constituit te? sharply replyed upon Moses, Exod. 2. Who made thee a Iudge? and Luk. 12.14. Quis constituit me? reasonably alledged by our Saviour, Luk. 12. Who made me a Iudge? Thou takest too much upon thee then thou son of man, whosoever thou art that judgest: thus saucily to thrust thy self into Gods seat, and to [...]; &c. Chrys. in Gen. hom. 42. invade his Throne. Remember thy self well, and learn to know thine own rank. Quis tu? Who art thou that E judgest another? Iames 4. or Who art thou that judgest anothers ser­vant? in the next following verse to my Text. As if the Apostle had said; What art thou? or what hast thou to do to judge him that Rom. 14▪4. standeth or falleth to his own Master? Jam. 4.12. Thou art his fellow-servant, not his LORD. He hath another Lord, that can and will judge him; [Page 11] A who is thy Lord too, and can and will judge thee: for so he argueth anon at verse 10. Why doest thou judge thy brother? We shall all stand before the judgement-seate of CHRIST. GOD hath reserved Mali operis vindictam, Bo­ni gloriam, u­triusque Judi­cium.three Prerogatives royall to himself, Deut. 32.35.Vengeance,Isai. 42.8. Rom. 12.19.Glory, andRom. 14.4.—10. Jam. 4.11, 12.judgement. As it is not safe for us then to encroach uponTres homi­num species maximam Deo faciunt injuri­am: Superbi, qui auferunt ei Gloriam; Ira­cundi, qui Vin­dictam; Rigi­di, qui Judici­um.GODS Royalties in either of the other two; Glory, or Vengeance: so nei­ther in this of Judgement; Dominus judicabit,Heb. 10.30.The Lord himself will judge his people, Heb. 10. It is flat Usurpation in us to judge: and therefore we must not judge.

Secondly, it is rashnesse in us. A Judge must Et nunc Re­ges, intelligite: erudimini, qui judicatis ter­ram. Psa. 2.10. si judicas, cog­nosce. Sen. in Med. Act. 2. [...]. Phocylid. understand the truth, both for matter of Et normam, & Causam: Normam, secundum quam; & causam, de qua statuendum. Ad Factum haec pertinet; illa ad ju [...]: ad illam, Peritia opus est; ad hanc Prudentia fact, and for point of Law; and he must be sure B he is in the right for both, before he proceed to sentence: or else he will give rash judgement. How then dare any of us undertake to sit as Iudges upon other mens Consciences, wherewith we are so little ac­quainted, that we are indeed but too much unacquainted with our own? We are not able to search the depth of our own Jer. 17.9. I know nothing by my self, yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the LORD, 1 Corinthians 4 4. If our heart condemn us, GOD is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things, 1 Iohn 3.21. Latet m [...] facultas mea, quae in me est; ut ani­mus meus de viribus suis ipse se interrog tus, non facilè sibi credendum existimet, quia & quod inest ple [...]umque oc­cultum est. Aug. lib. 10. Confess. c. 32. wicked and deceitfull hearts; and to ransack throughly the many secret windings and turnings therein: how much lesse then are we able to fadome the bottomes of other mens hearts, with any certainty to pronounce of them either good or evil? We must then leave the judgements of 14 other mens spirits, and hearts, and reines, to him that is Heb. 12.9. the Father 2 C of spirits, and alone Psal. 79. & 26.2. Jer. 11.20. & 17.10, & 20.12. Rev. 2.23. searcheth the hearts and reines: before whose eyes all things are Heb. 4.13. [...], as the word is most Emphaticall, Hebrewes 4. Wherefore our Apostles precept elsewhere is good to this purpose, 1 Cor. 4. 1 Cor. 4.5. Iudge nothing before the time, untill the LORD come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of dark­nesse, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts. Unlesse we be able to bring these hidden things to light, and to make manifest these counsels; it isTemeritas est, d [...]m [...]e quod nescias. Sen. Epist. 91. Sunt quaedam facta media, quae ignoramus quo animo fiant, quia & bono & malo fi [...]ri possunt, de quibus temerarium est judicare. August. lib. 2. de Serm. Dom. in monte. cap. 18.rashnessi in us to judge: and therefore we must not judge.

D

Thirdly, this judging is uncharitable. Charity is not easily suspici­ous; but upon just cause: much lesse then censorious and perempto­ry.15 Indeed when we are to judge of In rerum ju­dicio debet ali­quis n [...]ti ad hoc, ut inter­pretetur unum­quodque secun­dùm quod est: in judicio autem personarum, ut interpretetur in melius, Aquin. 2.2. qu. 60. art. 4. ad 3. and he giveth a substantiall reason for it, ib. in resp. ad. 2. Things, it is wisdome to judge 3 E of them secundùm quod sunt, as neer as we can, to judge of them just as they are, without any sway or partiall inclination either to the right hand, or to the left. But when we are to judge of Men, and [Page 12] their Actions: it is not altogether so: there the rule of Charity A must take place, Glossa Ord. in hunc loc. & Theologi pas­sim. Semper quicquid dubi­um [...]st, humani­tas inclinat in melius. Sen. ep. 81. Dubia in meliorem partem sunt interpretanda. Un­lesse we see manifest cause to the contrary, we ought ever to inter­pret what is done by others, with as much favour as may be. To erre thus is better than to hit right the other way; because this course is Error charita­tis, salutaris error.safe, and secureth us, as from Melius est quòd aliquis frequenter fal­latur, habens bonam opinionē de malo homine, quàm qd rarius fallatur habens m [...]lam opinio­nem de bono ho­mine: quia ex h [...]c sit injuria alicui; non autem ex primo. Aqu. 2.2ae qu. 60. art. 4. ad r.injuring others, so from endangering our selves: whereas in judging ill, though right, we are stillAequum licèt statuerit, haud aequus fuit. Sen. in Med. Act. 2.unjust [...], the event onely, and not our choyce freeing us from wrong judgement. True Charity is ingenious; it 1 Cor. 13.5. thinketh no evil, 1 Cor. 13. How far then are they from Charity, that are ever suspicious, and think nothing well? For us, let it be B our care to maintain Charity; and to avoid, as far as humane frailty will give leave, even sinister suspicions of our brethrens actions: or if through frailty we cannot that, yet let us not from light suspicions fall into uncharitable censures: let us at leastwise suspend our Si suspiciones vit [...]re n [...]n possumus, quia homines sumus: judicia tamen, id est, definitivas firmàsque sententias continere debemus. Gloss▪ Ordin. in 1 Cor. 4. defi­nitive judgement, and not determine too peremptorily against such as do not in every respect just as we do, or as we would have them do, or as we think they should do. It is uncharitable for us to judge, and therefore we must not judge.

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16 Lastly, there is Scandall in judging. Possibly he that is judged, may have that strength of Faith and Charity, that though rash and uncharitable censures lie thick in his way, he can lightly skip over all those stumbling-blocks, and scape a fall. Saint Paul had such a measure of strength; 1 Cor. 4.5. With me it is a very small thing, saith he, that I should be judged of you, or of humane judgement, 1 Cor. 4. If our judging light upon such an object, it is indeed no scandall to him: but that's no thanks to us. We are to esteem things by their natures, not events: and therefore we give a scandall, if we judge; D notwithstanding he that is judged take it not as a scandall. For, that judging is in it self a scandall, is clear from ver. 13. of this Chapter; Let us not therefore, saith S. Paul, judge one another any more, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling-block, or an occasion to fall in his brothers way. And thus we see four main Reasons against this judging of our brethren. 1. We have no right to judge; and so our judging is usurpation. 2. We may erre in our judgements; and so our judging is rashnesse. 3. We take things the worst way when we judge; and so our judging is uncharitable. 4. We offer occasion of offence by our judging; and so our judging is scandalous. Let not him E therefore that eateth not, judge him that eateth.

17 And so I have done with my Text in the general use of it: where­in we have seen the two faults of despising, and of judging our bre­thren laid open; and the uglinesse of both discovered. I now de­scend to make such Application, as I promised, both of the case and [Page 13] A rules, unto some differences, and to some offences, given and taken in our Church in point of Ceremony. The Case ruled in my Text was of eating, and not eating: the Differences which some maintain in our Church, are many in the particular; (as of kneeling, and not kneeling; wearing, and not wearing; crossing, and not crossing, &c.) But all these, and most of the rest of them, may be comprehended in grosse under the terms of conforming, and not conforming. Let us first compare the Cases; that having found wherein they agree, or disagree, we may thereby judge how far S. Pauls advice in my Text ought to rule us, for not despising, for not judging one another. B There are four speciall things, wherein if we compare this our Case with the Apostles; in every of the four we shall find some agree­ment, and some disparity also: 1. The nature of the matter: 2. The abilities of the persons: 3. Their severall practise about the things: and 4. Their mutuall carriage one towards another. And first, let us consider how the two Cases agree in each of these.

First, the matter whereabout the eater and the not-eater differed in 18 the case of the Romans, was in the nature of it indifferent: so it is 1 between the conformer and not conformer in our Case. As there fish, and flesh, and herbs were meerly indifferent; such as might be eaten, C or not eaten without sin: so here Cap and Surplis, Crosse and Ring, and the rest, are things meerly indifferent; such as (in regard of their own nature) may be used or not used without sin; as being nei­ther expresly commanded, nor expresly forbidden in the Word of God.

Secondly, the Persons agree. For as there, so here also; some 2 are strong in faith, some weak. There are many, whose judgements are upon certain and infallible grounds assured and resolved, and that certitudine Fidei, that Cap, and Surplis, and Crosse, and the rest, are things lawfull, and such as may be used with a good Conscience. D There are some others again, who through ignorance, or custome, or prejudice, or otherwise weakened in their judgements; cannot (or will not) be perswaded, that these things are altogether free from Superstition and Idolatry: nor consequently the use of them from sinne.

Thirdly, the practice of the persons are much alike. As there,3 the strong did use his liberty according to the assurance of his know­ledge ( [...]) and did eat freely without scruple; and the weak did forbear to eat, because of his doubting and irresolution: So here, most of us in assured confidence that we may wear, and E crosse, and kneel, and use the other Ceremonies and Customes of our Church, do willingly, and ex animo conform our selves thereunto. Yet some there are, who out of I know not what nicenesse and scru­pulosity, make dainty of them, and either utterly refuse con­formity, or at leastwise desire respite, till they can better inform themselves.

[Page 14] Lastly, there is some correspondence also in the faulty carriage of A 4 the parties each towards other. For as there the Eater despised the Not-eater; and the Not-eater judged the Eater: so here, it cannot be denied, but that some Conformers (although I hope far the lesser, I am sure far the worser sort,) do despise and scandalize the Non-Con­formers more than they have reason to do, or any discreet ho­nest man will allow. But is it not most certain also, that the Non-con­formers (but too generally, yea, and the better sort of them too, but too often and much) do passe their censures with marvellous great freedome; and spend their judgements liberally upon, and against the Conformers? Hitherto the Cases seem to agree. One would B think, mutatis mutandis, the Apostles rule would as well fit our Church and Case, as the Romane and should as well free the Non-Conformers from our Contempt, as us from their Censures. Let not him that conformeth, despise him that conformeth not: and let not him that conformeth not, judge him that conformeth.

But if you will please to take a second surview of the four se­verall 19 particulars, wherein the Cases seemed to agree; you shall find 1 very much disparity and disproportion betwixt the two Cases in each of the four respects. In the case of my Text, the matter of difference among them, was not onely indifferent in the nature of it; but it was C also left as indifferent for the use: the Church (perhaps) not having determined any thing positively therein; at least no publick autho­rity having either enjoyned, or forbidden, the use of such or such meates. But in the Case of our Church it is far otherwise. Capp, Sur­plis, Crosse, Ring and other Ceremonies, which are the Matter of our differences, though they be things indifferent for their nature, and in themselves: yet are not so for their use, and unto us. If the Church had been silent, if Authority had prescribed nothing herein; these Ceremonies had then remained for their use, as they are for their na­ture, indifferent: Lawfull, and such as might be used without sin; D and yet Arbitrary, and such as might be also forborn without sin. But men must grant (though they be unwilling, if yet they will be reasonable) that every particular Church Article 20. agreeably to the confessi­ons of other Protestant Churches. hath power, for [...]. 1 Cor. 14.20. decency and orders sake, to ordain and constitute Ceremonies. Which being once ordained, and by publick authority enjoyned, cease to be indif­ferent for their use, though they remain still so for their nature: and of indifferent become so necessary, that neither may a man without sinne Constit. & Canon. 30. refuse them, where Authority requireth; nor use them, where Authority restraineth the use.

Neither is this accession of Necessitie any impeachment to Chri­stian E Liberty; or Ex. 1 Cor. 7.35. insnaring of mens conscience: as Lincolnsh. Abridg. pa· 34 some have ob­jected. 20 For then do we ensnare mens consciences by humane Constitu­tions, when we thrust them upon men as if they were divine; and bind mens consciences to them immediately, as if they were imme­diate parts of Gods worship, or of absolute necessity unto salvation. [Page 15] A This Tyranny and Usurpation over mens Consciences, the Mar. 7, 8. &c. Pharisees of old did, and the Church of Rome at this day doth exercise, and we justly hate in her: In Spiritum Sanctum blas­phemant, qui sacros Canones violant. 25. qu. 1. Vio arore. equalling, if not preferring her Constitutions to the Lawes of GOD. But our Church (GOD be thanked) is far from any such impious presumption: and hath sufficiently Constit. &c. can. 74. art. 20▪ Act for uni­formity; and Treat. of Cere­monies prefix­ed to the book of Common Prayer. d [...]clared her self by solemn protestation, enough to satisfie any ingenuous im­partiall judgement, that by requiring obedience to these ceremoniall Constitutions, she hath no other purpose, then to reduce all Without pre­judice to the liberty of o­ther Churches. See Pref. to Communion Book. her chil­dren to an orderly uniformity in the outward worship of God; so far is she from seeking to draw any opinion, either of The Church ought not to enforce any thing besides the holy Writ, to be believed for necessity of salvation. Artic. 20. divine necessity up­on B the Constitution, or of effectuall holinesse upon the Ceremony. And as for the prejudice which seemeth to be hereby given to Christian liberty: it is so slender a conceit, that it seemeth to bewray in the objecters a desire, not so much of satisfaction, as cavill. For first, the liberty of a Christian to all indifferent things, is in the Mind and Conscience: and is then infringed, when the Conscience is bound and straitned, by imposing upon it an opinion of doctrinall Necessity. But it is no wrong to the Liberty of a Christian mans conscience, to bind him to outward observance for Orders sake; and to impose upon him a necessity of Obedience. Which one distinction of Doctrinall and Obe­dientiall C Necessity well weighed, and rightly applyed, is of it self suf­ficient to clear all doubts in this point. For, to make all restraint of the outward man in matters indifferent an impeachment of Chri­stian liberty; what were it else, but even to bring flat See Confe­rence at Ham­p [...]o [...] Court, pa. 70.71. Anabaptisme and Anarchy into the Church? and to overthrow all bond of sub­jection and obedience to lawfull authority? I beseech you consider, wherein can the immediate power and authority of Fathers, Masters, and other Rulers over their inferiours consist; or the due obedience of in­feriours be shewn towards them: if not in these I [...] rebus me­dits lex posita est obedi [...]ntiae Bern. Epist. 7. Indifferent and Ar­bitrary things? For, things De hujusmo­di quippe nec praeceptor ex­pectandus, nec prohibitos, au scultandus est. Bern. de praec. & dispensat. See Agell. 2. Noct. Attic. 7. & Bernard. Epist. 7. absolutely Necessary, as commanded by D God, we are bound to do; whether humane Authority require them, or no: and things absolutely Unlawfull, as prohibited by God; we are bound not to do; whether humane Authority forbid them, or no. There are none other things left then; wherein to expresse properly the Obedience due to superiour Authority, then these Indifferent things. And if a See Sam. Col­lins Sermon in 1 Tim. 6.3. pag. 44. &c. Father or Master have power to prescribe to his Child or Servant in indifferent things; and such restraint be no way prejudiciall to Christian liberty in them: Why should any man, ei­ther deny the like power to Church-Governours, to make Ecclesi­asticall-constitutions concerning indifferent things? or interpret that power to the prejudice of Christian Liberty? And again Secondly, 2 E Men must understand, that it is an errour to think Ceremonies and Constitutions to be things meerly indifferent: I mean in the gene­rall. For howsoever every particular Ceremony be indifferent; and every particular Constitution Artic. 34 arbitrary and alterable; yet that there should be some Ceremonies, it is necessary, Necessitate absolutâ, in as [Page 16] much as no outward work can be performed without Ceremoniall A circumstances, some or other: and that there should be some Consti­tutions concerning them, it is also necessary (though not simply and absolutely, as the former; yet ex hypothesi, and) See Calvin lib. 4. Instit. c. 10. sect. 27. necessitate conve­nientiae. Otherwise, since some Ceremonies must needs be used; eve­ry Parish, nay every Quot capita tot Schismata. Hieronym. Man would have his own fashion by himself, as his humour led him: whereof what other could be the issue, but infinite distraction, and unorderly confusion in the Church? And a­gain thirdly, to return their weapon upon themselves; If every re­straint 3 in indifferent things be injurious to Christian liberty: then themselves are injurious no lesse by their negative restraint from B some Ceremonies, Like that Col. 2.21. Touch not, taste not, handle not. Wear not, Crosse not, Kneel not, &c. then they would have the world believe our Church is by her positive restraint unto these Ceremonies of wearing, & crossing, and kneeling, &c. Let indifferent men judge, nay let themselves that are parties judge, whether is more injurious to Christian Liberty; publick Authority by mature advice commanding, what might be forborn, or private spirits through humorous dislikes, forbidding what may be used: the whole Church imposing the use, or a few Brethren requiring the for­bearance of such things, as are otherwise and in themselves equally indifferent for use, or for forbearance.C

21 But they say, our Church maketh greater matters of Ceremonies than thus; and preferreth them even before the most necessary du­ties of preaching and administring the Sacraments: in as much as they are imposed upon Ministers under pain of Suspension and Depri­vation from their Ministerial Functions and Charges. First, for actuall 1 Deprivation; I take it, unconforming Ministers have no great cause to complain. Our Church, it is well known, hath not alwayes used that rigour she might have done. Where she hath been forced to proceed as far as deprivation; she hath ordinarily by her fair, and slow, and compassionate proceedings therein, sufficiently ma­nifested D her unwillingnesse thereto: and declared her self a Mother every way indulgent enough to such ill-nurtured Chil­dren, 2 as will not be ruled by her. Secondly, those that are suspended or deprived; suffer it but justly for their obstinacy and contempt. For howsoever they would bear the world in hand, that they are the one­ly persecuted ones, and that they suffer for their Consciences: yet in truth, they do but abuse the credulity of the simple therein; and herein (as in many other things) jump with the Papists, whom they would seem above all others most abhorrent from. For as Seminary Priests and Iesuits give it out, they are martyr'd for their Pro inficiati­one pontificatus foeminei. Aqui­pont. in resp. ad Sohn. de Antichristo, Thes. 15. spea­king of the Priests execu­ted in the reign of Qu. Elizabeth. Religion; E when the very truth is, they are See Donnes Pseudo-Martyr per totum; espe­cially c. 5, &c. justly executed for their prodigi­ous Treasons, and felonious or treacherous practises against lawfull Princes and Estates: So the brethren pretend they are persecuted for their consciences; when they are indeed but justly censured for their obstinate and pertinacious contempt of lawfull authority. For it is [Page 17] not the refusall of these Ceremonies they are deprived for, otherwise A then as the matter wherein they shew their contempt: it is the The practice of our Church sufficiently confirmeth this: which censureth no man for the bare omission of some kind of Rites and Ceremonies now and then; where it may be presumed by the parties cheerfull and generall con­formity other­wise, that such omission proceedeth not either from an opinative dislike of the Ceremony imposed, or from a timorous and obsequious humouring of such as do dislike it. Whosoever willingly and purposely doth openly break, &c. Artic. 34. Con­tempt it self, which formerly and properly subjecteth them to just Ecclesiasticall censure of Suspension or Deprivation. And contempt of authority, though in the In minimi [...] quoque mandatis culpam facit non minimam; & convertit in crimen gravis rebellionis naevum satis levem simplicis transgressionis. Bern. de prec. & dispens. smallest matter, deserveth no small pu­nishment: all authority having been ever sollicitous (as it hath good reason) above all things to vindicate and preserve it self from con­tempt; by inflicting sharp punishments upon contemptuous persons in the smallest matters, above all other sorts of offenders in any de­gree whatsoever. Thus have we shewed and cleared the first and main difference betwixt the case of my Text, and the case of our B Church, in regard of the Matter: the things whereabout they diffe­red, being every way indifferent; ours not so.

And as in the Matter; so there is secondly much oddes in the con­dition 22 of the Persons. The refusers in the Case of my Text, being truly weak in the Faith; as being but lately converted to the Christi­an Faith, and not sufficiently instructed by the Church in the do­ctrine C and use of Christian liberty in things indifferent: Whereas with our refusers it is much otherwise. First, they are not new 1 Proselytes; but men born, and bred, and brought up in the bosome of the Church: yea many, and the chiefest of them, such as have taken upon them the calling of the Ministery, and the charge of Souls, and the office of teaching and instructing others. And such men should not be weaklings. Secondly, ours are such as take themselves 2 to have far more knowledge, and understanding, and insight in the Scriptures, and all divine learning, than other men: such as be­tween pity and scorn seem most to wonder at the ignorance and sim­plicity D of the vulgar, and to lament (which is, God knoweth, lamen­table enough; though not comparable to what it was within not many years since:) the want of knowledge, and the unsufficiency of some of the Clergy in the Land. And with what reason should these men expect the priviledge of weak ones? Thirdly, our Church hath 3 sufficiently declared and published the innocency of her p [...]rpose and meaning in enjoying the Ceremonies: nor so onely; but hath been content to hear, and receive, and admit the Objections and reasons of the refusers; and hath taken pains to answer and satisfie to the full all that ever yet could be said in that behalf. And therefore it is va­nity E for these men (or their friends in their behalf) to alledge weaknesse; where all good means have been plentifully used for full information in the points in doubt. Lastly, upon the 4 premises it doth appear that the weaknesse of our brethren, pre­tended by those that are willing to speak favourably of them, pro­ceedeth [Page 18] for the most part not so much out of simple ignorance, ari­sing A from the defect either of understanding or means; as out of an ignorance at the best in some degree of wilfulnesse and affectation, in not seeking, or not admitting such ingenuous satisfaction, as they might have by reason: if not out of the poyson of corrupt and car­nall affections (as they give us sometimes but too much cause to su­spect) of pride, of singularity, of envy, of contention, of factious ad­miring some mens persons. By which, and other like partiall affecti­ons, mens judgements become oftentimes so blinded, that of un­willing at the first, they become at length unable to discern things with that freedome and ingenuity they should. And so the Cases dif­fer B in regard of the Persons.

23 They differ thirdly in the practise of the Persons. There the strong did eat, because he was well assured he might do it, [...], in the verse before my Text: and the weak did no more but forbear ea­ting; as indeed he might do, no authority interposing to the contra­ry. But here, we conform, not onely because we know we may lawfully do it; but for that we know we must of [...]. Rom. 13.5. necessity do it, as bound thereunto in obedience to lawfull authority, and in the Not onely for wrath, but also for conscience sake. Ibid. conscience we ought to make of such obedience. And the refusers do not onely de facto, not conform; to the contempt of authority, and the scandall of C others: but they stand in it too, and trouble the peace of the Church by their restlesse Petitions, and Supplications, and Admoniti­ons, and other publications of the reasons and grounds of their such refusall. And verily, this Countrey and County hath been not the least busie in these factions and tumultuous courses: both in trou­bling our most gracious, judicious, and religious Soveraign with theirMeditations on the Lords Prayer, pag. 12. in the Margent.petitions; and also in publishing their reasons, in a Book called The Abridgement, printed 1605. to their own shame, and the shame of their Countrey. He who (as I have been informed) was thought to have had a chief hand in the collecting of those D reasons, and printing of that Book; was for his obstinate refusall of Conformity justly deprived from his Benefice in this Diocess, and thereupon relinquished his Ministery for a time, betaking him­self to another Calling: so depriving the Church and people of God of the fruit and benefit of those excellent gifts which were in him. But since that time he hath, upon better and more advised judgement, subscribed and conformed: and the Church like an in­dulgent Mother hath not onely received him into her bosome a­gain, but hath restored him too, though not to the same, yet to a Benefice elsewhere of far better value.E

24 Lastly, there is difference in the faulty carriage of the persons: and that on both parts; especially on ours. For though our Non-con­forming Brethren condemn us with much liberty of speech and spirit, having yet lesse reason for it than the weak Romans had (for the strong among them might have forborn some things for the Weaks sake; [Page 19] A and it would have well become them for the avoiding of scandall so to have done; which we cannot do without greater scandall in the open contempt of lawfull authority:) yet we do not despise them, (I mean with allowance from the Church: if particular men do more than they should, it is their private fault, and ought not to be impu­ted to us, or to our Church) but use all good means we can to draw them to moderate courses and just obedience; although they better deserve to be despised than the weak Romans did: they be­ing truly Weak, ours Obstinate; they Timorous, ours also Contem­ptuous.

B Now these differences are opened betwixt the Case in my 25 Text, and the Case of our Church: we may the better judge how far forth Saint Pauls advice here given to the Romans in their case of eating, and not-eating, ought to rule us in our case of confor­ming, and not-conforming in point of Ceremony. And first, of not despising: then of not judging. The ground of the Apostles pre­cept for not despising him that ate not, was his weaknesse. So far then as this ground holdeth in our case, this precept is to be exten­ded, and no further. And we are hereby bound not to despise our Non-conforming Brethren, so far forth as it may probably appear C to us they are weak and not wilfull. But so farre forth, as by their courses and proceedings it may be reasonably thought their re­fusall proceedeth from corrupt or partiall affections, or is apparent­ly maintained with obstinacy and contempt: I take it we may, not­withstanding the Apostles admonition in my Text, in some sort even despise them.

But because they think they are not so well and sairly dealt with­all 26 as they should be: Let us consider their particular grievances, wherein they take themselves despised; and examine how just they are. They say, first, they are despised in being scoffed and flouted, D and derided by loose companions, and by profane or popishly affe­cted persons; in being styled Puritanes, and Brethren, and Precisians, and in having many jests and fooleries fastened upon them, whereof they are not guilty. They are secondly despised, All benefit of Law being de­nied th [...]m, and they debarred of other means by conference or writing for heir. defence. Def· of Mini­sters reasons part 1. pref. to Reader, We do accuse the Re­verend Bishops in the sight of God and Man, for their hard and extream dealing towards us. Removall of imputati­ons. p. 40. they say, in that when they are convented before the Bishops and others in Authority, they cannot have the favour of an indifferent hearing: but are procee­ded against as far as Suspension, and sometimes Deprivation, without taking their answers to what is objected, or giving answers to what they object. Thirdly, in that many honest and religious men, of excel­lent and usefull gifts, cannot be permitted the liberty of their Consci­ences, E and the free exercise of their Ministery; onely for standing out in these things, which our selves cannot but confess to be indifferent.

To their first Grievance we answer, th [...]t we have nothing to do with those that are Popishly affected. If they wrong them, as it is 27 like enough they will (for they will not stick to wrong their bet­ters;) we are not to be cha [...]ged with that: let them answer for [Page 20] themselves. But by the way, let our Brethren consider, whether A their stiff and unreasonable opposing against those lawfull Ceremo­nies we retaine, may not be one principall means to confirm, but so much the more in their darknesse and superstition those that are wavering, and might possibly by more ingenuous and sea­sonable insinuations be won over to embrace the truth which we professe. And as for loose persons and profane ones, that make it their sport upon their Ale-benches to raile and scoff at Puritanes; As if it were warrant enough for them to drink drunk, talk baw­dy, swear and stare, or do any thing without controll, because for­sooth they are no Puritanes; As we could wish our Brethren, and B their Lay-followers, by their uncouth and sometimes ridiculous be­haviour, had not given profane persons too much advantage to play upon them, and through their sides to wound even Religion it self: so we could wish also that some men by unreasonable and unjust, other some by unseasonable and indiscreet scoffing at them, had not given them advantage to triumph in their own innocency, and persist in their affected obstinacy. It cannot but be some confirmation to men in errour, to see men of dissolute and loose behaviour, with much eagernesse, and petulancy and virulence to speak against them. We all know how much scandall and prejudice it is to a C right good cause; to be either followed by persons open to just exce­ption, or maintained with slender and unsufficient reasons, or prose­cuted with unseasonable and undiscreet violence. And I am verily perswaded, that Many by their factious behaviour were driven to be Papists. The Kings Maj. in Confer. at Hamp. pag. 98. as the increase of Papists in some parts of the Land, hath occasionally sprung (by a kind of Antiperistasis) from the intemperate courses of their neighbour-Puritanes; so the increase of Puritanes, in many parts of the Land, oweth not so much to any sufficiency themselves conceive in their own grounds, as to the dis­advantage of some profane, or scandalous, or idle, or ignorant, or in­discreet opposers. But setting these aside, I see not but that other­wise D the name of Puritane, and the rest, are justly given them. For appropriating to themselves the names of Brethren, Professors, Good­men, and other like; as differences betwixt them and those they call Formalists: would they not have it thought, that they have a Brotherhood and profession of their own, freer and purer from Super­stition and Idolatry, than others have, that are not of the same stamp? and doing so, why may they not be called Puritanes? The name, I know, is sometimes fastened upon those that deserve it not; Rascall people will call any man that beareth but the face of honesty, a Puritane: but why should that hinder others from placing E it where it is rightly due?

28 To their second Grievance I answer: Publique means by Confe­rences, Disputations, and otherwise, have been often used: and private men not seldome afforded the favour of respite and liber­ty to bring in their allegations. And I think it can be hardly, or [Page 21] A but rarely instanced, that ever Deprivation hath been used, but where fatherly Admonitions have first been used, and time given to the Delinquents to consider of it, and inform themselves better. This course usually hath been taken: though every private parti­cular man hath no reason to expect it. The Reverend Fathers of our Church, we may well think, amid so much other imployment, cannot be so unthrifty of their good houres, as to lavish them out in hearing contentious persons eandem cuntilenam, sing the same note a hundred times over, and require farther satisfaction, after so many publick and unanswerable satisfactions already given. Yet have the B Witnesse the learned Books of divers reve­rend Prelates; Iohn Whitgift, Iohn Buck [...] ­ridge, Thomas Mor [...]on, &c. Bishops and other Church-Governernours out of their religious zeal for the peace of Gods Church, been so far from despising our Bre­thren herein: that they have dispensed sometimes with their other weighty occasions, and taken paines to answer their reasons, and confute their exceptions, satisfie all their doubts, and discover the weaknesse of all their grounds in the points questioned.

And as to their third Grievance. First, for my own part, I make 29 no doubt, neither dare I be so uncharitable as not to think, but that many of them have honest, and upright, and sincere hearts to God­ward, and are unfainedly zealous of Gods Truth and for Religion. C They that are such, no doubt feel the comfort of it in their own soules: and we see the fruits of it in their conversation, and rejoyce at it. But yet I cannot be so ignorant on the other side, as not to know, that the most sanctified and zealous men are men, and sub­ject to carnall and corrupt affections; and may be so far swayed by them in their judgements, as not to be able to discern without preju­dice and partiality, truth from errour. Good men, and Gods deare children may continue in some Sancti stante charitate pos­s [...] errare etiam contra Catholi­cam veritatem. Occham Dial. part. 1. l. 2 c. 4.errour in Iudgement, and conse­quently in a sinfull practise arising thence;So Pelagius, from whose root Popery (in that branch) sprouted, was a man as str [...]ct for life as most Catholickes: yet a most dan­gerous and pe­stilent Here­tick. Pelagii, viri, ut audio, sancti, & non parvo pro­ [...]ctu Christia­ni. Aug. 3. de peccat▪ merit. & rem. 1. Istum sicut eum qui noverunt lo­quuntur, bo [...]ū ac praedican­dum virum. Ibid. cap. 3.and live and dye in it (as some of these men have done in disobedience to lawfull Autho­rity) D and that unrepented of otherwise, then as in the lump of their unknown sinnes. It is not Honesty, nor Sincerity, that can pri­viledge men from either erring or sinning. Neither ought the un­reproved conversation of men countenance out their opinions, or their practices, against light of Divine Scripture, and right Reason: As we read Cyprians errour in old time; and we see in our dayes not onely the suspected Tenets of Arminius, but even the bold heresies of Faustus Socinus have spred much the more for the reverend opi­nion men had of their personall endowments and sanctity. Secondly, though Comparisons be ever harsh, and most times odious; yet since honesty and piety is alledged, (without disparagements be it spoken E to the best of them,) there are as good, and honest, and religious, and zealous men every way of them that willingly and cheerfully conform, as of them that do not. In the times of Popish persecution, how many godly Bishops, and conformable Ministers laid down their lives for the testimony of Gods Truth, and for the maintenance of 2 [Page 22] his Gospel? And if it should please God in his just judgement (as A our sinnes, and amongst others our Schismes and distractions most worthily deserved,) to put us once again to a fiery tryall (which the same God for his goodnesse and mercy defend:) I make no questi­on but many thousands of Conformers would (by the grace of GOD) resist unto blood, embrace the Faggot, and burn at a Stake, in detestation of all Popish, Antichristian Idolatry; as readily, and chearefully, and constantly, as the hottest, and precisest, and most 3 scrupulous Non-Conformer. But Thirdly, let mens honesty, and pie­ty, and gifts be what they can: must not men of honesty, and piety, and gifts, live under Lawes? And what reason these, or any other B respects, should Non enim in cu [...]usquam per­sona praeter­mittendum est, quod institutis generalibus continetur. Leo, dist. 61. Miramur. exempt any man from the just censure of the Church, in case he will not obey her Lawes, and conform to her Cere­monies? especially, since such mens impunity would but encourage others to presume upon the like favour: and experience teacheth us, that no mens errours are so exemplary and pernicious as theirs, who for their eminency of gifts, or sanctity of life, are most followed with popular applause, and personall admiration.

30 We see their Grievances against us, how unjust they are, in the matter of Despising. I would they did no more despise the Churches Authority, than we do their infirmities! But in the matter of judging; C see if we have not a just grievance against them. As might be de­clared at large in many instances, out of their printed Books, and private Letters, and common discourses. I will but give you a I referre the Reader for more particu­lar satisfaction to Fr. Masons Sermon on 1 Cor. 14.40. pag. 30. Sam. Collins Sermon on 1 Tim. 6.3. pa. 21.22. and others; but especially to their own wri­tings. taste, because I know I grow tedious, and I long to be at an end.

First, they judge our Church as half Popish and Antichristian, for retaining some Ceremonies used in Popery: though we have purged them from their Superstitions, and restored them to their Primitive use. Their great admired Brightman in Apoc. cap. 3. opener of the Revelation, maketh our Church the Linsey-Wolsey Laodicean Church; neither hot nor cold. 31 And some of them have slovenly compared our late gracious Sove­raigne D Queen Elizabeth of most blessed memory, to a This Simile was first used by a very Re­verend, grave and worthy Deane, (who hath many waies deserved well of our whole Church) Alexander Noel Deane of Pauls, in a Sermon before Queen Elizabeth: and modestly and moderately urged, not at all against the Ceremonies (which by his practise he did allow) but for the further restraint of Popish Priests and Jesuites, who lay thick in Ireland, and the westerne coasts of England and Wales, as heaps of dust and dirt behind the doores. Yet I here ascribed it to the Puritanes, who (though they father it upon that good man) must own it as their own brat, because by mis-applying it to the Ceremonies, they have made it their own.—Malè dum recitas, incipit esse tuum. sluttish house­Wife; that having swept the house, yet left the dust and dirt behind the doores; meaning thereby the Ceremonies. If our Church were but half so ill, as these men would make it, I think every honest re­ligious man should hold himself bound to separate from it, at his most excellent Majesty Meditations on the Lords Prayer, pa. 11. &c. primae edit. 1619. See Hookers Preface. Sect. 8. hath observed the Brownists have done upon their very grounds: accounting them as luke-warm for not quite separating, as they do us for no further reforming.

E

32 Secondly, they judge our Bishops, and other Church-Governours, as [Page 23] A Limbes of Antichrist, Locusts of the bottomlesse pit; domineering Lords over Gods heritage; usurpers of temporall jurisdiction; Spiri­tuall Tyrants over mens Consciences, &c. Seeking by all meanes to make the name of Lord-Bishop odious to the Gentry and Com­mons. Witnesse their Mar-prelate; and other infamous and scan­dalous Libels in that kind. Having power in their hands, if the Bi­shops should use more rigorous courses towards them, then they have done: could ye blame them?

Thirdly, they judge those that subscribe and conform, Machiavili­an time-servers; formall Gospellers; State-Divines; men that know 33 B no conscience, but Law; nor Religion, but the Kings: and such as would be as forward for the Masse, as the Communion, if the State should alter.

Fourthly, all such Ministers as are not endowed with gifts for the Pulpit, they damne, as hirelings, and not sheepherds: calling them 34 idol-Sheepherds; betrayers of Christs flock; intruders into the Mi­nistery without a Calling; dumbe Dogs, and I know not how many names besides. Yea, although they be such as are diligent, according to their measure of gifts, to perform such duties as the Church requi­reth: to present the prayers of the people to God; to declare (by C reading the holy Bible, and good Homilies for that purpose ap­pointed) the will of God to the people; to instruct the younger sort in the points of Catechisme; to visit and comfort the sick and afflicted; and to administer reverently and orderly the holy Sacra­ments of Baptisme and the Lords Supper.

Fifthly, they judge all such as interpose for the Churches peace,35 and oppose their novelties, as enemies to all goodnesse, men of pro­fane mindes; haters of Religion; despisers of the Word; persecu­tors of the Brethren; impes of Satan; instruments of Hell; and such as utterly abhorre all godly and Christian courses.

D Sixthly, and lastly (for I irke to rake longer in this sink) they be­wray themselves to be manifest Iudges of all that are not of their 36 stamp; by singling out unto themselves, and those that favour them, certain proper Appellations, of Brethren, and Good-men, and Professors: as if none had Brotherhood in Christ, none had interest in goodnesse, none made Profession of the Gospel, but themselves. Whereas others have received the signe of their Profession in their foreheads after Baptisme, which perhaps they did not: whereas o­thers daily stand up in the Congregation to make Profession of their Christian belief, which it may be they do not: or, (if those things be E not materiall) whereas others by the grace of God are as stedfastly resolved in their hearts, if need should be, to seale the truth of their profession with their blood, as any of them can be.

But they will say, these peremptory Censures are but the faults 37 of some few: all are not so hot and fiery. There be others that are more temperate in their speeches, and Moderate in their courses; and [Page 24] desire onely they may be spared for their own particular: but they A preach not against any of these things, nor intermeddle to make more stirres in the Church.

I answer first: it were lamentable, if this were not so; If all were of that hot temper, or distemper rather, that many are; they would quickly tire out themselves without spurring. F [...]r be it from us to judge mens hearts; or to condemn men for that we know not by them. Yet of some that carry themselves with to­lerable moderation outwardly; we have some cause to suspect, that they do inwardly and in their hearts judge as deeply, as the hottest spirited railers. And we gather it from their forwardnesse at every B turn, and upon every slender occasion, obliquely to gird, and indi­rectly to glance at our Church, and the discipline and the Ceremonies thereof, as far as they well dare. And if such men meddle no fur­ther, we may reasonably think, Eadem velle eos cognosces: da posse, quantū volunt. Senec. Epist. 42. it is not for want of good will to do it, but because they dare not.

2 Secondly, though they preach not against these things in the pub­lick Congregations; yet in their private conventicles it is not unknown some do. Though their Pulpits do not ring with it; yet their Houses do: though their ordinary Sermons ad populum be more modest; yet their set conferences are sometimes but too free, especially when C they are required their opinions by those that invite them. And what themselves (for feare of Censure) thus preach but Mat. 10.27. in the eare; 3 their Lay-Disciples openly preach on the house-top.

Thirdly, although both their Pulpits and Tables should be silent: yet their Practice sufficiently preacheth their dislike. And who knoweth not that a Reall and Exemplary seducement maketh the Author guilty, as well as a Verball and Oratory? Saint Peter did not preach Iudaisme; but onely for offending the Jews, forbare to eat with the Gentiles: yet Saint Paul reproveth him for it to his face, and interpreteth that fact of his, as an effectuall and almost compul­sive D seducement; Cogis Iudaizare, Gal. 2. Gal. 2.14. Uti (que) conversa­tionis fuit viti­um, non praedi­cationis. Ter­tull. de prae­script. cap. 23. Non imperio, sed facto. Lyra. Non docentis imperio, sed conversationis exemplo. Gloss. Ord. ibid. Why compellest thou the Gentiles to Iudaize?

Lastly, it is to be considered, whether it may be enough for a 4 Pastor, not to meddle with these things: and whether he be not in conscience bound, especially in case he live among a people distract­ed in opinions, to declare himself expresly either for them, or against them. If they be utterly unlawfull, and he know it so; how is he not bound in conscience to reprove those that use them, or re­quire them? otherwise he betrayeth the Otherwise what else do we, but deny and betray the truth? De­fence of Min. reasons part. 1. Pref. to the Reader. truth of God by his silence, and suffereth men to go on in their superstition without rebuke. But E if he be sufficiently resolved of their lawfulnesse; how is he not bound in Conscience to reprove those that refuse them, or oppose them? otherwise he betrayeth the peace of the Church by his silence, and suffereth men to go on in their disobedience without rebuke. Nay more, every Minister that hath received pastorall charge, hath twice [Page 25] A or thrice (if not oftner) witnessed his allowance of all and singu­lar the 39. Articles of the Church of England. Once at his Or­dination before the Bishop; then at his Institution into his Benefice, before his Ordinary; and both these by Subscription under his hand: and then after upon his Induction before his own Flock; and that by verball Approbation. By which Subscription and Approba­tion, he hath not onely acknowledged Artic. 20. in the Church the power of ordaining Rites and Ceremonies, Artic. 20. but he hath after a sort al­so bound himself Artic. 34. openly to rebuke such as willingly and purposely break the Traditions and Ceremonies of the Church, as offenders against the B common orders of the Church, and wounders of the consciences of the weak brethren, Artic. 34. He then that for any respect whatsoever, is meal-mouth'd in these things, wherein he is bound both in Conscience, and by vertue of his own voluntary Act to speak freely: neither is con­stant to his own hand and tongue; nor is Heb. 3.2. faithfull in Gods house, as was Moses, in discharging a good Conscience, and revealing unto his people Acts 20.27. the whole Counsell of God.

Thus have I endeavoured, having the opportunity of this place,38 (as I held my self both in Conscience, and in regard of my Subscription bound) to deliver my opinion freely, so far as my Text gave occa­sion, C concerning the Ceremoniall Constitutions of our Church: and therein laboured to free, not onely the conformer from all unjust censures; but even the non-conformer also, so far as he hath reason to expect it, from all scandalous despisings. I beseech you pardon my length, if I have been troublesome; I had much to say, and the matter was weighty; and I desired to give some satisfaction in it to those that are contrary-minded; and I have no purpose (for any thing I know) at all to trouble this place any more hereafter. Let us all now humbly beseech Almighty God to grant a blessing to what hath been presently taught and heard: that it may work in the D hearts of us all charitable affections one towards another, due obedi­ence to lawfull authority, and a conscionable care to walk in our seve­rall callings, faithfully, painfully, and peaceably; to the comfort of our own souls, the edification of Gods Church, and the glory of the ever-blessed Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Per­sons and one God. To whom be ascribed by us and the whole Church, as is most due, the Kingdome, the Power and the Glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

A

AD CLERUM. B The Second Sermon. At a Visitation at Boston, Lincoln, 24. Apr. 1621.

ROM. 3.8.

And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say) Let us do evil that good may come: whose damnation is just.C

A Little before, at the fourth verse, S. Paul had delivered a Conclusion sound and comfortable: and strengthe­ned 1 it from Davids both experience, and testimony in That thou might'st be justified in thy sayings, and mightest over­come when thou art jud­ged. Psal. 51.4. Ps. 51. A place pregnant, and full of sinews, to en­force it. The Conclusion in effect was, that Nothing in man can anull the Covenant of God. Neither the ori­ginall unworthinesse of Gods Children, through the universall corru­ption of nature; nor their actuall unfaithfulnesse bewrayed (through D frailty) in particular trials, can alienate the free love of God from them, or cut them off from the Covenant of Grace: but that still God will be glorified in the truth and faithfulnesse of his promises, notwithstanding any unrighteousnesse or unfaithfulnesse in man.

But never yet was any Truth so happily innocent, as to main­tain it self free from Calumny and Abuse. Malice on the one hand, 2 and Fleshlinesse on the other; though with different aimes, yet doe the same work. They both pervert the Truth, by draw­ing pestilent Corollaries from sound Conclusions: as the Spider suc­keth poyson from medicinable herbs. But with this difference; E Malice slandereth the Truth, to discountenance it; but Fleshlinesse abuseth the Truth, to countenance it selfe by it. The cavil­ling Sophister, he would faine bring the Apostles gracious Do­ctrine into discredit: The carnall Libertine, he would as faine bring his own ungracious behaviour into credit. Both, by making [Page 27] A false (yet colourable) Inferences from the former Conclusion. There are Triplex in­conveniens. Ly­ranus hic. three of those Inferences: but never a good. The first; If so, then cannot God in reason and justice take vengeance of our unrighteousnesse. The Colour: for why should he punish us for that, which so much magnifieth and commendeth his 1 righteousnesse? [Verse 5. But if our righteousnesse commend the righte­ousnesse of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous that taketh vengeance?] The second Inference: If so; then it is injust either 2 in God or Man to condemne us as sinners, for breaking the Law. The Colour: for why should that action be censured of sin, which so abundantly redoundeth to the glory of God? [Verse 7. For B if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lye unto his glory, why yet am I also judged as a sinner?] The third, and last, and worst Inference: If so, then it is a good and wise resolution, Let 3 us sin freely, and boldly commit evil. The Colour: for why should we fear to do that, from which so much good may come? in this verse of my Text, [And not rather let us do evil that good may come.]

This last cavilling Inference, the Apostle in this Verse both 3 bringeth in, and casteth out again: bringeth in as an objection; and casteth out by his answer. An answer which at once cutteth off both it, and the former Inferences. And the Answer is double: Ad C rem, Ad hominem. That concerneth the force and matter of the objection: this the state, and danger of the objectors. Ad rem, in the former part of the Verse; [And not rather (as we be slanderous­ly reported, and as some affirm that we say) let us do evil that good may come.] Ad hominem in the latter end; [Whose damnation is just.] In the former part there is an Objection; and the Rejection of it. The Objection, And not rather, Let us do evil that good may come. The Rejection thereof with a Non sequitur; implying not onely the bare inconsequence of it upon the Apostles conclusion, but withall, and especially the falsenesse and unsoundnesse of it taken by D it self; As we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say, Let us do evil, &c.

My aime at this present is to insist especially upon a Principle of 4 practick Divinity: which by joynt consent of Writers old and new; Orthodox and Popish; resulteth from the very body of this verse, and is of right good use to direct us in sundry difficulties, which dai­ly arise in vita communi, in point of Conscience. The Principle is this; We must not do any evil, that any good may come of it. Yet there are besides this, in the Text divers other inferiour observati­ons not to be neglected. With which I think it will not be amisse E to begin, and to dispatch them first briefly; that so I may fall the sooner, and stay the longer upon that which I mainly intend.

Observe first the Apostles Method, and substantiall manner of pro­ceeding: how he cleareth all as he goeth;Observ. I. how diligent he is and carefull, betimes to remove such cavils, (though he Propter hos arguendos fecit Paul 9. hic, qua­si digres [...]ionem tractando haec. Cajetan. hic. step a little 5 [Page 28] out of his way for it) as might bring scandall to the Truth he A had delivered. When we preach and instruct others, we should not think it enough to deliver positive truths: but we should take good care also, as near as we can, to leave them clear; and by prevention to stop the mouths of such as love to pick quarrells at the Truth, and to bark against the light. It were good we would (so far as our lei­sure and gifts will permit) wisely forecast, and prevent all offence that might be taken at any part of Gods truth: and be carefull, as not to broach any thing that is false, through rashnesse, errour, or in­temperance; so not to betray any truth by ignorant handling, or by superficiall, slight, and unsatisfying answers. But then especially B concerneth it us to be most carefull herein; when we have to speak before such, as we have some cause before-hand to suspect to be, through ignorance, or weaknesse, or custome, or education, or preju­dice, or partiall affections, or otherwise contrary-minded unto, or at leastwise not well perswaded of those Truths we are to teach. If the wayes be rough and knotty, and the passengers feeble-joynted and dark-sighted, it is but needfull the guides should remove as many blocks and stones out of the way, as may be. When we have gone as warily as we can to work, Cavillers (if they list) will take excepti­ons: it is our part to see we give them no advantage; lest we help C to justifie the principals, by making our selves Accessories. Those men are ill-advised, how ever zealous for the Truth, that stir in contro­versed points, and leave them worse than they found them. Aut animo d mas, aut vi­ribus addas. D [...]ct [...]m Archi­dam [...] ad fili­um. apud Plu­tarch. in La­conicis. Sto­mach will not bear out a matter without strength: and to encoun­ter an adversary are requiredAs Zuinglius said of Carolo­stadius (whom he j [...]dged too weak to un­dertake the defence of the truth against Luther in the point of Con­substantiati­on) N [...]a satis hum [...]rorum ha­ber. Sleidan.Shoulders as well as Gall. A good cause is never betrayed more, than when it is prosecuted with much eagernesse, but little sufficiency. This from the Method.

Observe secondly the Apostles manner of speech, [...], 6 Translators render it, As we are wrongfully blamed. As we are slandered. As we are slanderously reported. And the word indeed from D the [...]. Originall importeth no more:Observ. II. and so Writers both profane and sacred use it. But yet in Scriptures by a specialty it most times signi­fieth the highest degree of Slander; when we open our mouths a­gainst God, and speak ill, or amisse, or unworthily of God: that is [...], and properly the sin we call blaspemy. And yet that very word of Blaspemy, which for the most part referreth immediately to God, the Apostle here useth, when he speaketh of himself and o­ther Christian Ministers, [...], as we are slandered, nay as we are blasphemed. A slander, or other wrong, or contempt done to a Minister, quà talis, is a sin of a higher strain, than the same done to E a Common Christian. Not at all for his persons sake: for so he is no more Gods good creature than the other; no more free [...]. Acts 14.15. & Jam. 5. [...]7. from sins, and infirmities, and passions, than the other. But for his Callings sake; for so he is Gods 2 Cor. 5.20. Embassadour, which the other is not: and for his works sake; for that is Gods 1 Thes. 2.1 [...]. Message, which the others is [Page 29] A not. Personall Slanders and Contempts are to a Minister, but as to another man: because his person is but as another mans person. But slanders and contempts done to him as a Minister, that is, with refe­rence either to his Calling or Doctrine, are much greater than to a­nother man: as reaching unto God himself, whose Person the Mi­nister representeth in his Calling; and whose errand the Minister delivereth in his Doctrine. For Contempts, S. Paul is expresse else­where; 1 Thes. 4.8. He that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God. And as for Slanders; the very choice of the word in my Text inferreth as much. The dignity of our Calling enhaunceth the sin: and every B slander against our regular Doctrines, is more than a bare Calumny; if no more, at least petty We have heard him speak blas­phemous words against Moses, and a­gainst God. Acts 6.11. blasphemy, [...], as we are slandered, as we are blasphemed. That from the word.

Observe thirdly, the wrong done to the Apostle and to his Doctrine. He was slanderously reported to have taught that which he never so 7 much as thought: Observ. III. and his Doctrine had many scandalous imputati­ons fastened upon it, whereof neither he nor it were guilty, [As we are slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say.] The best truths are subject to mis-interpretation: and there is not that Do­ctrine, how firmly soever grounded, how warily soever delivered; C whereon Calumny will not fasten, and stick slanderous imputations. Neither Mat. 11.17—19. Iohns mourning, nor Christs piping can passe the pikes: but the one hath a Devil; the other is a Glutton and a Wine-bibber. Though Mat. 5.17. Christ come to fulfill the Law, yet there be will accuse him as a destroyer of the Law, Matthew 5. And though he decide the question plainly for Caesar, and that in the case of Tribute, Mat. 22. [Mat. 22.21. Give unto Caesar the things that are Caesars:] yet there be that charge him, as if he John 19.12. spake against Caesar, Iohn 19. and that in the very case of Tribute, as if he Luke [...]3.2. forbade to give Tribute unto Cae­sar, Luke. 23. Now if they Mat. 10.25. called the Master of the house Beelze­bub, D how much more them of his houshold? If Christs did not; think we the doctrine of his Ministers and his Servants could escape the stroke of mens tongues, and be free from calumny and cavill? How the Apostles were slandered as Seducers and Sectaries, and vain bablers, and Hereticks, & broachers of new & false & pestilent do­ctrines; their Epistles and the book of their Acts witnesse abundant­ly to us. And for succeeding times, read but the Apologies of A­thenagoras, and Tertullian, and others: and it will amaze you to see what blasphemous, and seditious, and odious, and horrible impie­ties were fathered upon the Ancient Christian Doctors, and upon E their profession. But our own experience goeth beyond all. Sundry of the Doctors of our Church teach truly, and agreeably to Scri­pture the Acts 17.28. & Esay 16.12. effectuall concurrence of GODS Will and Power, with subordinate Agents in every, and therefore even in sinful actions; Gods Rom. 9.1 [...], 1 [...], 18, &c. free election of those whom he purposeth to save of his own grace, without any motives in, or from themselves; The immutability [Page 30] of Gods John 13.1. Rom. 11.29. & 5.9, 10. & 8.35, 38, 39. Love and Grace towards the Saints elect, and their certain A perseverance therein unto Salvation; The Rom. 3.28. Iustification of sinners by the imputed righteousnesse of Christ, apprehended and applied unto them by a lively faith; without the works of the Law. These are sound, and true, and (if rightly understood) comfortable, and right profitable doctrines. And yet they of the Church of Rome have the forehead, (I will not say to slander, my Text alloweth more,) to blaspheme GOD, and his Truth, and the Ministers thereof for tea­ching them. Bellarmine, Gretser, Maldonate, and the Jesuits; but none more than our own English Fugitives, Bristow, Stapleton, Parsons, Kellison, and all the rable of that crew, freely spend their mouths B in barking against us, as if we made God the author of sin: as if we would have men sin and be damned by a Stoicall fatall necessity; sin whether they will or no, and be damned whether they deserve it or no: as if we opened a gap to all licentiousnesse and profanenesse; let them believe, it is no matter how they live, heaven is their own cock­sure: as if we cryed down good works, and condemned charity. Slan­ders loud and false; yet easily blown away with one single word, [...]. These imputations upon us and our doctrine are unjust: but [...], let them that thus mis-report us, know, that with­out repentance their damnation will be just. C

8 It would be time not ill spent, to discover the grounds of this ob­servation, and to presse the uses of it something fully. But because my aim lyeth another way; I can but point at them, and passe. If seldome Truth scape unslandered, marvel not: the reasons are evi­dent. On Gods part, on Mans part, on the Devils part. God suf­fereth, Man raiseth, and the Devil furthereth these slanders against the Truth. To begin ordine retrogrado, and to take them back­wards. I First, on the Devils part: a kind of Contrariety and Anti­pathy betwixt him and it. He being the John 8.44. Father of lies, and Ephes. 6.12. Prince of darknesse, cannot away with the Truth, and with the Light: and D therefore casteth up slanders, as Fogs and Mists against the Truth to II bely it, and against the Light to darken it. Secondly, on Mans part: 1 And that partly in the understanding; when the judgement either of it self weak, or else weakened through precipitancy, prejudice, or o­therwise, is deceived with fallacies instead of substance, and mista­keth 2 seeming inferences for necessary and naturall deductions. Partly in the Will: when men of corrupt minds set themselves purposely against the known truth, and out of malicious wilfulnesse (against the strong testimony of their own hearts) slander it, that so they may 3 disgrace it, and them that professe it. Partly in the Affections; E when men overcome by carnall affections, are content to cheat their own souls, by giving such constructions to Gods Truth, as will for requitall, give largest allowance to their practices; and so rather choose to crooken the Rule to their own bent, than to levell them­selves III and their affections and lives according to the Rule. Thirdly, [Page 31] A on Gods part; who suffereth his own Truth to be slandered and mi­staken. Partly in his Iustice, as a fearfull judgement 2 Thes. 1.10, 11, 12. upon wicked 1 ones, whereby their hard hearts become yet more hardened, & their most just condemnation yet more just. Partly in his goodnesse; as a powerfull fiery triall of true Doctors, whose constancy and sincerity 2 is the more 1 Cor. 11.19 approved with him, and the more eminent with men, if they John 10.12. flye not when the Wolf cometh, but keep their standing, and stoutly maintain Gods truth, when it is deepliest slandered, and hot­liest opposed. And partly, in his Wisdome; as a rich occasion for those 3 whom he hath gifted for it, [...], to awaken their zeal, 2 Tim. 1.6. to quic­ken B up their industry, to muster up their abilities, to scour up their spirituall armour, (which else through dis-use might gather rust) for the defence and for the rescue of that 1 T [...]m 6.20. & 2 Tim 1.14. [...], that precious truth whereof they are depositaries, and wherewith he hath entrusted them.9

These are the Grounds. The Uses, for instruction briefly are, to teach 1 and admonish every one of us: that we be not either first, so wicked­ly 2 malicious, as without apparent cause to raise any slander; or second­ly, so foolishly credulous, as without severe examination, to believe a­ny 3 slander; or thirdly, so basely timorous, as to flinch from any part of C Gods truth for any slander. But I must not insist. This from the slan­der.

Observe fourthly, how peremptorily the Apostle is in his censure a­gainst 10 the slanderers or abusers of holy truths: Whose damnation is just. Observ. IV. Amorasius, Lyra, Piscator, Pareus, &c. Some understand it with reference to the Slanderers; As we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say: Whose damnation is just: that is, their damnation is just, who thus unjustly slander us. Chrysostomus, Caj [...]t [...]nus, E­rasmus, &c. Others understand it with reference to that ungodly resolution: Let us do evil, that good may come: whose damnation is just: that is, their damnation is just for the evil they do, who adventure to do any evil, D under whatsoever pretence of good to come of it. Both expositions are good; and I rather embrace both, then prefer either. I ever held it a kind of honest spiritual thrift; where there are two senses given of one place, both agreeable to the Analogie of Faith and Man­ners, both so indifferently appliable to the words and scope of the place, as that it is hard to say, which was rather intended; though there was but one intended, yet to make use of both. And so will we. Take it the first way: and the slanderer may read his doom in it. Here is his wages, and his portion, and the meed and reward of his slander; Damnation. And it is a just reward. He condemneth Gods E truth unjustly: God condemneth him justly for it, [whose damnation is just. [...] If we be countable (and we are countable at the day of Judgement) for Mat. 12.36▪ every idle word we speak; though neither in it self false, nor yet hurtful and prejudicial unto others: what less than dam­nation can they expect, that with much falshood for the thing it self, and infinite prejudice in respect of others, blaspheme God and his holy Truth?

[Page 32]But if it be done of purpose, and in malice to despight the Truth, A 11 and the professors thereof: I scarce know whether there be a grea­ter sin, or no. Maliciously to oppose the known Truth, is by most Divines accounted a principal branch of that great unpardonable sin, the sin against the Holy Ghost: by some, the very sin it self. I dare not say it is so; nor yet that it is unpardonable, or hath finall impenitency necessarily attending it: I would be loth to interclude the hope of Re­pentance from any sinner; or to confine Gods Mercy within any bounds. Yet thus much I think I may safely say; it cometh shrewdly neer the sin against the Holy Ghost, and is a fair (or rather a foul) step toward it, and leaveth very little hope of pardon. That great sin a­gainst B the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost it self in the Scriptures chu­seth, rather than by any other, to expresse by this name of Mat. 12.31, 32. Blasphe­my, Mat. 12. And whereas our Apostle, 1 Tim. 1. saith, That though he were a Blasphemer, yet 1 Tim. 1.13. he obtained mercy, because he did it igno­rantly in unbelief: he leaveth it questionable, but withall suspicious, whether there may be any hope of Mercy for such as blaspheme ma­liciously, and against knowledge. If any mans be; certainly such a mans damnation is most just.

12 But not all Slanderers of GODS truth are of that deep die: not all Slanderers, sinners in that high degree. GOD forbid they should.C There are respects which much qualifie and lessen the sin. But yet allow it any in the least degree, and with the most favourable circum­stances; still the Apostles sentence standeth good: Without Re­pentance their damnation is just. Admit the Truth be dark & difficult, and so easily to be mistaken: admit withall the man be weak and ig­norant, and so apt to mistake; his understanding being neither di­stinct through incapacity to apprehend and sort things aright, nor yet constant to it self through unsetlednesse and levity of judgement. Certainly his misprision of the Truth is so much Involuntari­um minuit de ratione peccati. lesser, than the o­thers wilfull Calumny; as it proceedeth lesse from the irregularity of D the Will to the Iudgement. And of such a man there is good hope, that both in time he may see his errour, and repent expresly and parti­cularly for it; and that in the mean time he doth repent for it impli­citè, and inclusively in his generall contrition for, and confession of the massie lump of his hidden and Psal. 19.12. secret and unknown sins. This Cha­rity bindeth us both to hope for the future, and to think for the pre­sent: and S. Pauls example and words in the 1 Tim. 1.13. place but now alled­ged, are very comfortable to this purpose. But yet still thus much is certain: He that through ignorance, or for want of apprehension or judgement, or by reason of whatsoever other defect or motive,E bringeth a slander upon any divine Truth; though never so perplexed with difficulties, or open to cavil: unless he repent for it, either in the particular, (and that he must do, if ever God open his eyes, and let him see his fault,) or at leastwise in the generall; it is still a damnable sin in him; His damnation is just. We have the very case almost in [Page 33] A terminis laid down, and thus resolved in 2 Pet. 3. 2 Pet. 3.18. In which are some things hard to be understood, (observe the condition of the things; hard to be understood) which they that are unlearned and unstable, (observe also the condition of the persons, unlearned and unstable,) wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Where we have the matter of great difficulty, hard to be understood; the persons of small sufficiency, unlearned and unstable: and yet if men, even of that weakness, wrest and pervert truths, though of that hardnesse, they do it [...], to their own destruction, saith Saint Peter there; to their own just damnation, saith S. Paul in my Text. This B from the Censure in the first sense.

Take it in the other sense, with reference to this ungodly resoluti­on,13 Let us do evil, that good may come: it teacheth us, that no preten­sion of doing it in ordine ad Deum, for Gods glory, to a good end, or any other colour whatsoever, can excuse those that presume to do e­vil; but that still the evil they do is damnable, and it is but just with GOD to render damnation to them for it. [Whose damnation is just.] And thus understood, it openeth us a way to the consideration of that main Principle whereof I spake, and whereon by your patience I desire to spend the remainder of my time; namely this: We must C not for any good, do any evil. For the farther opening, and better un­derstanding whereof, (since the rule is of infinite use in the whole pra­ctice of our lives:) that we may the better know when, and where, and how far to apply it aright for the direction of our Consciences and Actions; we must of necessity unfold the extent of this word evil, and consider the several kinds and degrees of it distinctly and apart. We must not do evil, that good may come.

First, evil is of two sorts. The evil of fault, and the evil of punish­ment.14 Malum delicti, and Malum supplicii; as Tertul. l. 2. adv. Marcion. cap. 14. Tertullian calleth them: or as the more received terms are, Malum Culpae, and Malum D Poenae. The evil we commit against God, and the evil God inflicteth upon us. The evil we do, unjustly, but yet willingly: and the evil we suffer, unwillingly, but yet justly. In a word, the evil of sin, and the evil of pain. Touching evils of pain; if the Case be put, when two such evils are propounded, and both cannot be avoided, whether we may not make choice of the one, to avoid the other. The resolution is Inter haec da­tur electio; & minus damnum ficere licet, ut evitetur majus. Parens hic. common and good from the old Maxime, E malis minimum, we may incur the lesse, to prevent the greater evil. As we may deli­ver our purse to a Thief, rather than fight upon unequal terms to save it: and in a tempest cast our wares into the Sea, to lighten E the ship that it wreck not: and indure the lancing and searching of an old sore, to keep it from festering and spreading. And this Prin­ciple in my Text is not a rule for that Case: that being propounded concerning evils of pain; whereas my Text is intended onely of the evils of sin. We are herehence resolved, that we are not to do any e­vil, that good may come of it: for all which yet we may suffer some evil, that good may come of it. Although (to note that by the way) [Page 34] the common answer è malis minimum, even in the evils of pain is to A be understood (as most other practical conclusions are) not as simply and universally; but as commonly and ordinarily true. For (as Slater on this place. one saith well) perhaps there are Cases, wherein two evils of Pain being at once propounded, it may not be safe for us to be our own carvers.

But I must let passe the Questions concerning the evils of Pain, as 15 impertinencies. The evils of sin are of two sorts. Some are evil for­mally, simply, and per se; such as are directly against the scope and purpose of some of Gods Commandements: as Atheism against the first, Idolatry against the second, and so against the rest, Blasphemy, Profanenesse, Disloyalty, Cruelty, Adultery, Injustice, Calumny, Avarice, B and the like; all which are evil in their own nature, and can never (positis quibuscunque circumstantiis) be done well. Othersome are e­vil onely respectively, and by accident: but otherwise in their own nature indifferent; and such as may be, and are done sometimes well, sometimes ill. To know the nature of which things the better, since they are of singular use for the resolution of many Cases of Consci­ence: we must yet more distinctly inquire into the different kinds (or rather degrees) of indifferent things; and into the different means, whereby things otherwise in nature indifferent, become accidentally e­vil for their use.C

16 Indifferent things are either equally, or unequally such. We may call them for distinctions sake (and I think it not altogether unfitly) [...]. indifferentia ad utrumlibet; and [...]. indifferentia ad unum. Indifferentia ad utrumlibet, or equally indifferent things are such, as (barely consi­dered) are arbitrary either way, and hang in aequilibrio, between good and evil, without turning the Scale either one way or other, as not having any notable inclination or propension unto either rather than other: as to drink fasting, to walk into the fields, or to lift up ones hand unto his head, &c. Now concerning such things as these, if any man should be so scrupulous, as to make a matter of conscience of D them, and should desire to be resolved in point of Conscience whe­ther they were good or evil; as namely, whether he should do well or ill, to walk abroad into the fields a mile or two with his friend, the thing it self is so equally indifferent, that it were resolution e­nough to leave it in medio, and to answer him, there were neither good nor hurt in it: the Action of walking barely considered, being not considerably either morally good, or morally evil. I say [moral­ly;] for in matter of health or civility, or otherwise it may be good, or evil: but notQuia eorum [...]b [...]ectum non includit [...]li­quid pertinens ad ordinem ra­tionis. Aquin. 1.2. qu. 18. art. 8. in corp.morally, and spiritually, and in matter of conscience. And I say withall [barely considered,] for there may be circumstances,E which may make it accidentally evil. As to walk abroad in the fields, when a man should be at Divine service in the Church, is by accident morally evil; through the circumstance of Time: as on the contrary, not to walk, if we have promised to meet a friend at such a time, and in such a place, who standeth in need of our present help, is by [Page 35] A accident morally evil, through the obligation of that former pro­mise. But yet still these and other circumstances set aside; barely to walk, or barely not to walk, and the like, are Indifferentia ad utrum­libet, things in their own nature (and that equally) indifferent.

Things unequally indifferent are such, as though they be neither 17 universally good, nor absolutely evil; yet even barely considered, sway more or less rather the one way than the other. And that either un­to good, or unto evil. Of the former sort are such outward actions, as being in Morall precepts indefinitely commanded, are yet some­times sinfully and ill done: as, giving an Alms, hearing a Sermon, B reproving an Offender, and the like. Which are in themselves good; and so be accounted, rather than evil, though some unhappy cir­cumstance or other may make them ill. Of the latter sort are such outward actions, as being in Moral precepts indefinitely prohibited, are yet in some cases lawfull, and may be well done: as, swearing an oath, travelling on the Sabbath day, playing for money, and the like. Which are in themselves rather evil, than good, because they are e­ver evil, unless all circumstances concur to make them good. Now of these actions, though the former sort carry the face of good, the latter of evil; yet in very truth both sorts are indifferent. Understand C me aright: I do not mean indifferent indifferentiâ contradictionis, such as may be indifferently either done, or not done; but indiffe­rent onely indifferentiâ contrarietatis, such as (suppose the doing) may be indifferently either good or evil: because so they may be done, as to be good, and so they may be done also; as to be evil. But yet with this difference, that those former, though indifferent, and in some cases evil, are yet of themselves notably and eminently incli­ned unto good rather than evil; and these later proportionably unto evil rather than good. From which difference it cometh to passe, that to the Question barely proposed concerning the former actions, whe­ther D they be good or evil; the answer is just and warrantable, to say indefinitely they are good: and contrarily concerning the later acti­ons, to say indefinitely they are evil.

Which difference well weighed (to note that by the way) would serve to justifie a common practice of most of us in the exercise of 18 our Ministry, against such as distaste our doctrine for it, or unjustly otherwise take offence at it. Ordinarily in our Sermons we indefinitely condemn as evil, swearing, and gaming for money, and dan­cing, and recreations upon the Sabbath day, and going to Law, and retaliation of injuries, and Monopolies, and raising of rents, and taking E forfeitures of Bonds, &c. and in our own coat Non-residency, and Plu­ralities, &c. Most of which yet, and many other of like nature, most of us do, or should know to be in some cases lawfull; and therefore in the number of those indifferent things which we call Indifferentia ad unum. You that are our hearers should bring so much charitable discretion with you, when you heare us in the Pulpits condemn things [Page 36] of this nature; as to understand us no otherwise, than we either do or A should mean, and that is thus: that such and such things are evill, as now adaies, through the corruptions of the times, most men use them;and such as therefore should not be adventured upon without mature and unpartiall disquisition of the uprightnesse of our affe­ctions therein, and a severe triall of all circumstances, whether they carry weight enough with them to give our consciencesLet every man be fully perswaded ( [...]) in his own mind. v [...]r. 5.suffici­ent security, not onely of their lawfulnesse in themselves, and at large, but of their particular lawfulnesse too unto us, and then. But this by the way.

Now to proceed. There are divers meanes whereby things not sim­ply B 19 evil, but in themselves (either equally, or unequally) indifferent, may yet become accidentally evil. Any defect or obliquity, any unhappy intervening circumstance, is enough to poyson a right good action, and to make it stark naught. I may as well hope to graspe the Sea, as to comprehend all those meanes. I make choice therefore to re­member but a few of the chiefest; such as happen oft, and are very considerable. Things not simply evil, may accidentally become such; as by sundry other meanes, so especially by one of these three: 1 Conscience, Scandall, and Comparison. First, Conscience; in regard of the Agent. Though the thing be good, yet if the Agent doe it with a C condemning, or but a doubting Conscience, the Action becometh evill. [Rom. 14.14. To him that esteemeth any thing to be uncleane, to him it is un­cleane; and Ibid. v. 23. he that doubteth, is damned if he eat, because he eateth 2 not of Faith, chap. 14. of this Epistle.] Secondly, Scandall; in re­gard of other men. Though the thing be good, yet if a brother Ibid. ver. 21. stum­ble, or be offended, or be made weake by it, the action becometh evill. [Ibid. ver. 20. All things are pure; but it is evill for that man who eateth with of­fence, 3 verse 20. there.] Thirdly, Comparison; in regard of other acti­ons. Though the thing be good, yet if we preferre it before better things, and neglect or omit them for it, the action becometh evill,D [Math. 9.13. Goe, and learne what that is, I will have mercy and not sacrifice: Mat. 9.]

The stuffe thus prepared, by differencing out those things, which 20 undistinguished, might breed confusion; our next businesse must be, to lay the rule, and to apply it to the severall kinds of evill, as they have been differenced. I foresaw we should not have time to goe tho­row all that was intended: and therefore we will content our selves for this time, with the consideration of this Rule, applyed to things simply evill. In them the Rule holdeth perpetually, and without ex­ception: That which is simply evill, may not for any good be done. We E know not any greater good (for there is not any greater good) than the Glory of God: we scarce know a lesser sinne (if any sinne may be accounted little) than a harmlesse officious lye. Yet may not Vide susè Augustinum in lib. de Menda­cio, & contra Mendacium; & a libi· this be done; no not for that. Will you speake wickedly for God, and talk deceitfully for him? Iob 13.7. If not for the glory of God; then [Page 37] A certainly not for any other inferiour end: not for the saving of a life, not for the Ad sempiter­nā salu [...]ē nul­us ducendus est o [...]itulante men­dacio. Aug. de mendac ca. 19. conversion of a soul, not for the peace of a Church, and (if even that were possible too) not for the redemption of a world. No Ea quae con­stat esse pecca­ta, nullo bonae causae obtentu, nullo quasi bono fine, nulla velut bona intentione facienda sunt. Aug. contra Mendac. c. 7. intention of any end can warrant the choice of sinfull meanes to compasse it.

The Reasons are strong. One is; because sinne in its own nature; is Suapte natu­ra repugnat peccato quod sit eligible: & propterea, nec propter se, nec propter aliud bonum est eli­gibile. Cajet. in hunc locum. de numero ineligibilium: and therefore as not eligible propter se, for it own sake, (there is neither forme nor beauty in it, that we should desire it;) so neither propter aliud, with reference to any farther end. Actus peccati non est ordinabilis in bonum finem; is the common reso­lution B of the Schooles. In civil and popular elections, if men make choice of such a person, to beare any office or place among them; as by the locall Charters, Ordinances, Statutes or other Customes which should rule them in their choice, is altogether ineligible, the electi­on 21 is de jure nulla, naught and void; the incapacity of the person e­lected making a nullity in the act of election. No lesse is it in morall actions and elections, if for any intended end we make choice of such meanes, as by the Law of God (which is our rule, and must guide us) are ineligible; and such is every sinne.

Another reason is grounded upon that Principle, Aquin. 1. se­cundae. qu. 18. art. 4. ad 3. & qu. 19. art. 6. ad 1. ex Dionys [...]o, cap. 4. de Divin. nomin. Bonum ex ca [...] ­sa C integra, Malum ex partiali. Any partiall or particular defect, in Ob­ject, End, Manner, or other Circumstance, is enough to make the 22 whole action bad; but to make it good, there must be an universall Non est actio bona simplici­ter, nisi omnes bon [...]tates con­currant: s [...]d quilibet defe­ctus singularis causat malum. Aquin. 1.2. qu. 18. art. 4. ad 3. concurrence of all requisite conditions in every of these respects: As a disfigured eye, or nose, or lippe, maketh the face deformed; but to make it comely, there is required the due proportion of every part. And any one short Clause, or Proviso, not legall, is sufficient to abate the whole writ or instrument, though in every other part absolute, and without exception. The Intention then, be it granted never so good, is unsufficient to warrant an Action good, so long as it faileth D either in the object, or manner, or any requisite circumstance whatso­ever. 1 Sam. 15.20, &c. Saul pretended a good end, in sparing the fat things of Amalek; that he might therewith do sacrifice to the Lord: but God rejected both it and him, 1 Sam. 15. We can think no other, but that 2 Sam. 6.6, 7 Vzzah in­tended the safety of Gods ark, when it tottered in the cart, and he stretched out his hand to stay it from falling: but God interpreted it a presumption, and punished it, 2 Sam. 6. Doubtlesse Mat. 16.22, 23. Peter meant no hurt to Christ, but rather good; when he took him aside, and advi­sed him to be good to himself, and to keep him out of danger: yet Christ rebuked him for it, and set him packing in the Divels E name, Get thee behind me, Satan. Matth. 16.

But what will we say (and let that stand for a third reason) if our 23 pretended good intention prove indeed no good intention? And cer­tainly, be it as fair and glorious, as we could be content to imagine it; such it will prove to be, if it set us upon any sinfull or unwarranted meanes: indeed no good intention, but a bad. For granted it must be, [Page 38] that the Intention of any end doth virtually include the meanes: as in A a Syllogisme, the Premises do the Conclusion. No more then can the choice of ill means proceed from a good intention; then can a false Con­clusion be inferred from true Premises: and that is impossible. From which ground it is, that the Greg. lib. 28. Moral. cap. 13. Euseb. Emiss. hom. 26. and others.Fathers, and other Divines do often­times argue from the intention to the action, and from the good­nesse of the one, to the goodnesse of both: to that purpose apply­ing those speeches of our Saviour, in the twelfth, and in the sixth of Matthew,Mat. 12.33.Either make the tree good, and his fruit good, or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt; And,Mat. 6.12.if thine eye be single, the whole body shall be full of light: but if thine eye be evil, thy whole body B shall be full of darknesse. The light of the body is the eye; and of the work, the intention. No marvell, when the eye is evil, if the whole body be dark; and when the intention is evil, if the whole work be naught. That which deceiveth most men in judging of good or bad in­tentions, is, that they take the end and the intention for one and the same thing: betwixt which two there is a spacious difference. For the end, is the thing propter quid, for which, we work, that whereat we aime in working, and so hath rationem causae finalis: but the intention is the cause à qua, from which we work, that which setteth us on work­ing; and so hath rationem causae efficientis. Now between these C two kinds of causes, the finall and the efficient, there is not onely a great difference, but even a repugnancy; in such sort, as that it is impossible they should at any time coincidere, which some other kindes of causes may do. It is therefore an error to think, that if the end be good, the intention of that end must needs be good: for there may as well be Sed videte ne fortè non sit verè oculus simplex, qui fallatur. Been. de praecept. & dispensat. a bad intention of a good end, as a bad desire of a good object. Whatsoever the end be we intend, it is certain that inten­tion cannot be good, which putteth us upon the choice of evil meanes.

Methinkes the Church of Rome should blush, (if her forehead died 22 red with the blood of GODS Saints, were capable of any tincture of D of shame) at the discovery of her manifold impostures, in counter­feiting of Reliques, in coyning of Miracles, in compiling of Legends, in gelding of good Authors by expurgatory Indexes; in juggling with Magistrates by lewd Equivocations, &c. Practises warrantable by no pretense. Yet in their account but Sancta Hypo­crisis, was Do­minicus his word. piae fraudes; for so they terme them, no lesse ridiculously, than fasly: for the one word contradicteth the other. But what do I speak of these, but petty things, in compari­son of those her lowder impieties? breaking covenants of truce and peace; dissolving of lawfull, and dispensing for unlawfull marriages; as­soyling Subjects from their Oaths and Allegiance; plotting Treasons, E and practising Rebellions; excommunicating and dethroning Kings; ar­bitrary disposing of Kingdomes; stabbing and murthering of Princes; warranting unjust invasions; and blowing up Parliament-houses. For all which, and divers other foul attempts, their Catholick defence is the advancement (forsooth) of the Catholick Cause: Like his in the [Page 39] Poet, Horat. lib. 1. Epist. 1. Quocunque modo rem, is their Resolution: by right, or wrong, A Gaudeo, sive per veritatem, sive per occasi­onem, Romanae Ecclesiae digni­tatem ex [...]olli. Joseph. Ste­phanus de Osc. pe. in E­pist. ad lect. the State of the Papacy must be upheld. That is their unum necessari­um: and if heaven favour not; rather than faile, help must be had from hell, to keep Antichrist in his throne.

But to let them passe, and touch neerer home. There are (God knoweth) many Ignorants abroad in the world: some of them so un­reasonable, as to think they have sufficiently non-plus't any reprover; if being admonished of something ill done, they have but returned this poore reply, Is it not better to doe so, than to doe worse? But alas, what necessity of doing either so, or worse; when Gods law bindeth 25 thee from both? James 2.10, 11.He that said, Doe not commit adultery; said also, B Doe not kill: and he that said, Doe not steale; said also, Doe not lye. If then thou lye, or kill, or doe any other sinne; though thou think­est thereby to avo [...]d stealth, or adultery, or some other sinne: yet thou art become a transgressour of the Law, and by offending in one point of it, guilty of all. It is but a poore choyce, when a man is de­sperately resolved to cast himself away; whether he should rather hang, or drown, or stab, or pine himself to death: there may be more horror, more paine, more lingring, in one than another; but they all come to one period, and determine in the same point; death is the issue of them all. And it can be but a slender comfort C for a man, that will needs thrust himself into the mouth of hell by sinning wilfully, that he is damned rather for lying, than for stealing, or whoring, or killing, or some greater crime: Damnation is the wages of them all. Murther can but hang a man; and (with­out favour) Petty Larceny will hang a man too. The greatest sinnes can but damne a man; (and without Gods mercy) the smallest will damne a man too. But what? will some reply: In case two sins be propounded, may I not do the lesser, to avoid the greater; otherwise must I not of necessity do the greater? The answer is short and easie: If two sins be propounded, do neither. E malis minimum, holdeth as D you heard (and yet not alwaies neither) in evils of Pain: But that is no Rule for evils of sin. Here the safer Rule is, E malis nullum. And the reason is sound; from the Principle we have in hand. If we may not do any evil, to procure a positive good; certainly Eâdem do­ctrinâ, qua hor­remus facere mala ut eveni­ant bona, hor­rere debemus f [...]cere mala ut evitemus pejo­ra. Evitare e­nim pejora, multò minus bonumest, quàm evenire bonum. Caje­tan. hic. much lesse may we do one evil, to avoid or prevent another.

But what if both cannot be avoided, but that one must needs be done? In such a strait may I not choose the lesser? To thee; I say 26 again, as before, Choose neither. To the Case, I answer; It is no Case: be­cause, as it is put, it is a case impossible. For Nemo angustiatur ad pec­candum: the Case cannot be supposed, wherein a man should be so E straitned, as he could not come off fairely without sinning. A man by rashness or feare, or frailty, may foully entangle himself; and through the powerfull engagements of sin drive himself into very narrow straits ▪ or be so driven by the fault or injury of others: yet there can­not be any such straits, as should enforce a necessity of sinning; but [Page 40] that still there is one path or other out of them without sin. The A perplexity that seemeth to be in the things, is rather in theNon enim da­tu [...] p [...]rplexio ex parte rerū: sed conting [...]re potest ex p [...]rte hominis nesci­entis evadere, nec videntis a­ditum evadēdi absque aliquo peccato. Cajer. hic. See the Glosse on dist. 13. item adver­sus, where he proveth a­gainst Gratian that there can be no per­plexity.men who puzzle and lose themselves in the Labyrinths of sin, because they care not to heed the clue that would lead them out, if it were well followed. Say, a man through heat of blood make a wicked vow to kill his brother: here he hath by his own rashnesse brought himself into a seeming strait, that either he must commit a murther, or break a vow; either of which seemeth to be a great sin, the one against the fifth, the other against the third commandement. But here is in very deed no strait or perplexity at all: Here is a fair open course for him without sin. He may break his vow; and there an end.B Neither is this the choice of the lesser sinne; but onely theNon docet e­ligere minus peccatum, sed solutionem mi­no [...]is nex [...]s. Cajetanus hic, speaking of th [...] Councell of Toledo. See. c. 22. q. 4. per tot.loosen­ing of the lesser bond: the bond of charity being greater than the bond of a promise; and there being good reason that (in termes of inconsistencie, when both cannot stand,) the lesser bond should yield to the greater. But is it not a sin for a man to break a vow? Yes, where it may be kept salvis charitate & justitia, there the breach is a sin: but in the case proposed it is no sin. As Christ saith in the point of swearing, so it may be said in the point of breach of vow,Mat. 5.37. [...]. Never was any breach of vow, but it was pecca­tum, or ex peccato: the breaking is either it self formally a sin: or it C argueth at least a former sin, in the making. So as the sin, in the case alledged, was before in making such an unlawfull vow; and for that sin the party must repent: but the breaking of it now it is made, is no new sin; (Rather it is a necessary duty, and a branch of that repentance which is due for the former rashnesse in making it,) because a hurt­full vow is, (and that virtute praecepti) rather to be broken then kept. The Exod. 1.16. &c. Aegyptian Midwives, not by their own fault, but by Pha­raohs tyrannous command, are driven into a narrow strait, enforcing a seeming necessity of sin: for either they must destroy the Hebrew children, and so sin by Murther; or else they must devise some han­some D shift to carry it cleanly from the Kings knowledg, and so sin by lying. And so they did; they chose rather to lye then to kill, as indeed in the comparison it is by much the lesser sinne. But the very truth is, they should have done neither: they should flatly have refused the Kings commandment, though with hazard of their lives; and have re­solved rather to suffer any evil, than to do any. And so See August. contra men­d [...]c. cap. 19.Lot should have done: he should rather have adventured his own life, and theirs too, in protecting the chastity of his Daughters, and the safety of his guests; then haveGen. 19.8. P [...]rturbatio animi fui [...], [...]n consilium. Hist. Scholast. in Gen. cap. 5▪offered the exposall of his Daughters to the lusts of the beastly Sodomites, though it were to redeeme his guests from E the abuse of fouler and more abominable filthinesse. Absolutely: there cannot be a case imagined, wherein it should be impossible to avoid one sin, unlesse by the committing of another. The case which of all other cometh nearest to a Perplexity, is that of an erroneous con­science: Because of a double bond; the bond of Gods Law; which [Page 41] A toSin is the transgression of the Law, 1 John 3.4.transgress, is a sin; and the bond of particular conscience, which also toWhatsoever is not of faith, is sin. Rom. 14.23. Omne quod fit contra consci­entiam aedifi­cat ad gehe­nam. c. 28. q. 1. Omnes. sec. Ex his.transgress, is a sin. Whereupon there seemeth to follow an inevitable necessity of sinning; when Gods Law requireth one thing, and particular conscience dictateth the flat contrary: for in such a case, a man must either obey Gods Law, and so sin against his own conscience; or obey his own conscience, and so sin against Gods Law. But neither in this case is there any perplexity at all in the things themselves: that which there is, is through the default of the man onely, whose judgement being erroneous mis-leadeth his conscience, and so casteth him upon a necessity of sinning. But B yet the necessity is no simple and absolute, and unavoydable, and perpetual necessity: for it is onely a necessity ex hypothesi, and for a time, and continueth but stante tali errore. And still there is a way out betwixt those sins, and that without a third: and that way is de­ponere erroneam conscientiam. He must rectifie his judgement, and reform the error of his Conscience, and then all is well. There is no perplexity, no necessity, no obligation, no expediency; which should either enforce, or perswade us to any sin. The resolution is damnable, Let us do evil that good may come.

I must take leave, before I pass from this point, to make two in­stances; C and to measure out from the Rule of my Text an answer to 27 them both. They are such, as I would desire you of this place to take due and special consideration of. I desire to deal plainly; and I hope it shall be (by Gods blessing upon it) effectually, for your good, and the Churches peace. One instance shall be in a sin of Commissi­on; the other in a sin of Omission.

The sin of Commission wherein I would instance, is indeed a sin be­yond 28 Commission: it is the usurping of the Magistrates Office with­out a Commission. The Question is; whether the zealous intention of a good end may not warrant it good, or at least excuse it from be­ing D evil, and a sin? I need not frame a Case for the illustration of this instance: the inconsiderate forwardness of some hath made it to my hand. You may read it in the disfigured windowes and walls of this Church: Pictures and Statua's, and Images: and for their sakes the windows and walls wherein they stood, have been heretofore, and of late pulled down, and broken in pieces and defaced: without the Command, or so much as leave of those who have power to reform things amiss in that kind. Charity bindeth us to think the best of those that have done it: that is, that they did it out of a forward (though mis-governed) zeal; intending therein Gods glory in the far­ther E suppression of Idolatry, by taking away these (as they supposed) likely occasions of it. Now in such a case as this, the Question is, whe­ther the intention of such an end can justifie such a deed? And the fact of Num. 25.7, 8. Phinehes, Nu. 25. (who for a much like end, for the staying of the people from Idolatry, executed vengeance upon Zimri and Cosbi, being but a private man, and no Magistrate;) seemeth to make for it.

[Page 42]But my Text ruleth it otherwise. If it be evil, it is not to be done,A 29 no not for the preventing of Idolatry. I pass by some considerations 1 otherwise of good moment; as namely first, whether Statua's and Pi­ctures may not be permitted in Christian Churches, for the adorning of Gods House, and for civil and historical uses, not onely lawfully and decently, but even profitably? I must confess, I never heard substantiall reason given, why they might not: at the least, so long 2 as there is no apparent danger of superstition. And secondly, whe­ther things either in their first erection, or by succeeding abuse su­perstitious, may not be profitably continued, if the Superstition be abolished? Otherwise, not Pictures onely, and Crosses, and Ima­ges; B but most of our Hospitals, and Schools, and Colledges, and Chur­ches too must down: and so the hatred of Idolatry should but usher in licentious Sacriledge, contrary to that passage of our Apostle in the next Chapter before this,Rom. 2.22.Thou that abhorrest Idols, committest 3 thou Sacriledge? And thirdly, whether these forward ones have not bewrayed somewhat their own self-guiltiness in this Act, at least for the manner of it, in doing it secretly, and in the dark? A man should not dare to do that, which he would not willingly either be seen, when it is doing; or own, being done. To pass by these; 4 consider no more but this one thing onely, into what dangerous and C unsufferable absurdities a man might run, if he should but follow these mens grounds. Erranti nullus terminus: Errour knoweth no stay, and a false Principle once received, multiplieth into a [...]. thousand absurd conclusions. It is good for men to go upon sure grounds, else they may run and wander in infinitum. A little errour at the first, if there be way given to it, will increase beyond belief; ‘As a small spark may fire a large City, and a 2 Kings 18.44, 45. cloud no bigger than a mans hand, in short space over-spread the face of the whole Heavens.’ For grant, for the suppression of Idolatry, in case the Magistrate will not do his office, that it is lawful for a private man to take upon him D to reform what he thinketh amiss, and to do the part and office of a Magistrate (which must needs have been their ground, if they had any, for this action) there can be no sufficient cause given, why by the same reason, and upon the same grounds, a private man may not take upon him to establish Laws, raise Powers, administer Iustice, ex­ecute Malefactors, or do any other thing the Magistrate should do; in case the Magistrate slack to do his duty in any of the premises. Which if it were once granted (as granted it must be, if these mens fact be justifiable:) every wise man seeth, the end could be no other but vast Anarchy and confusion both in Church and Common-weale: E whereupon must unavoidably follow the speedy subversion both of Religion and State. If things be amiss, and the Magistrate help it not; private men may lament it, and as occasion serveth, and their condi­tion and calling permitteth, soberly and discreetly put the Magistrate in mind of it: But they may not make themselves Magistrates to reform it.

[Page 43] A And as to the act of Phinehes: though I rather think he did; yet what if he did not well in so doing? It is a thing we are not certain 30 of: and we must have certainer grounds for what we do, then uncer­tain examples. Secondly, what if Phinehes had the Magistrates autho­rity 2 to enable him to that attempt? It is not altogether improbable 3 (to my apprehension) from the fifth verse of the Chapter, where the story is laid down, Num. 25.5. especially parallel'd with another Story of much like circumstances, Exod. 32.27. that as there the Levites, so here Phinehes drew the Sword in execution of the express command of Moses the supreme Magistrate. If neither thus, nor so: B yet Thirdly, (which cutteth off all plea, and is the most common an­swer ordinarily given by Divines to this and the like instances drawn from some singular actions of Gods worthies;) Men of Heroical spirits & gifts, such as were David, Samson, Ehud, Moses, Elias, and some o­thers, especially at such times as they were employed in some speci­al service for the good of Gods Church, were exempt from the common rules of life: and did many things, (as we are to presume) not without the N [...]c Samson aliter excusa­tur, quòd s [...]ip­sum cum hosti­bus ruinâ do­mûs oppressit, nisi quod laten­ter Spiritus Sanctus hoc [...]usserat, qui per illum miracula faciebat. Aug. l [...]b. 1. de Civ. Dei. ca. 21 Si defenditur non fuisse pec­catum, priva­tum habuisse consilium in­dubitanter cre­dendus est. Bern. de prec. & disp [...]nsa [...]. secret motion and direction of Gods holy and pow­erfull Spirit, which were therefore good in them (that secret directi­on being to them loco specialis mandati, like that to Gen. 22.2. Abraham for sa­crificing C his Son) but not safe, or lawfull for us to imitate. Opera li­beri spiritûs, Chy [...]r. in Gen. 14. & in Exod. 3 [...]. say Divines, non sunt exigenda ad regulas communes, nec trahenda in exemplum vitae. The extraordinary Heroical acts of Gods Worthies are not to be measured by the common rules of life, nor to become exemplary unto others. Of which nature was 1 Sam. 17. David's single combat with Goliah; and Jud. 10.30. Samsons pulling down the house upon himself and the Philistines; And Exod. 2.12.Moses slaying the Egyp­an; andJudg. 3. [...]5, &c.Ehuds stabbing of King Eglon; and2 Kings 1.10—12.Eliahs calling down for fire from Heaven upon the Captains and their fifties, and divers others recorded in the Scripture. Of which last fact we D have our blessed SAVIOURS judgement in Luc. 9. that it was done by the extraordinary and peculiar instinct of GODS Spirit, but it is not to be imitated by others, without Imitando ab aliis exprimi nec possunt, nec debent, nifi e [...] ­dem [...] Spiritûs exciteatur. Chy [...]r. in Exod. 2. particular certain assurance of the like instinct. Where when the Disciples would have called down for fire from Heaven upon the Samaritans, and alledged Elias for their precedent; Luke 9.53. Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, as Elias did? His answer was with a kind of indignation (as both his [...]. Luc. 9.55. gesture and speeches shew) Nesci­tis cujus spiritûs estis; You know not what manner of spirit you are of. E­lias was indued with an extraordinary spirit, in the freedome whereof he did what he then did: but it is not for you or others to propose E his example, unlesse you can demonstrate his spirit. And if Phinehes Act also was (as most De Phinees autem dicen­dum est, quòd ex inspiratione divina, zelo D [...]i commotus, hoc fecit. Aqui. 2.2. qu. 60. art. 6. ad 2. & The­ologi passim. think it was) such as these: it can no more justifie the usurpation of Magistracy; Then Davids act can bloo­dy Duels; or Samsons self-murther, or Moses's secret slaughter, or Ehuds King-killing, or Eliahs private revenge. I have stood the [Page 44] longer upon the discovery of this sin, that men might take right A judgement of it; and not think it either warrantable or excusable by any pretension of zeal, or of whatsoever other good: and that both such as have gone too far this way in their practice already, for the time past, may acknowledge their own over-sight, Sacerdos de­bitor est, ut ve­ritatem quam audivit à Deo liberè praedicet. 11. qu. 3. noli timere. Ex Chrysost.and be sorry for it; and others seeing their errour, may for the time to come forbear such outrages, and keep themselves within the due bounds of Christi­an sobriety, and their particular Callings. And thus much of the for­mer instance, in a matter of Commission. I am to give you another in a matter of Omission.

31 Every Omission of a necessary duty is simply evil, as a sin. But af­firmative B duties are but sometimes necessary; because they do not obligare ad semper: as, being many, it is impossible they should. And many times duties otherwise necessary, in case of Superiour reason and duties, cease to be necessary pro hîc & nunc: and then to omit them, is not to do evil. Among other necessary duties this is one, for a Mi­nister furnished with gifts and abilities for it, to acquaint Gods people with all material needful truths, as he can have convenient occasion thereunto. And (such conveniency supposed) not to do this, is sim­ply evil. Now then, to make the Case and the Question. The Case thus: A Minister hath just opportunity to preach in a Congregati­on,C not his own: where he seeth or generally heareth some errour in judgement, or outragious sin in practice to be continued in with too publick allowance: He hath liberty to make choice of his Text and Theme, and leisure to provide in some measure for it; and his con­science telleth him, he cannot pro hîc & nunc direct his speech with greater service to Gods Church, then against those errours or sins. He seeth on the other side some withdrawments: his discretion may perhaps be called in question, for medling where he needed not; he shall possibly lose the good opinion of some, with whom he hath held fair correspondence hitherto; he shall preserve his own peace the bet­ter,D if he turn his speech another way. This is the Case. The Questi­on is, Whether these latter considerations, and the good that may come thereby, be sufficient to warrant unto him the omission of that necessary duty?

32 The rule of my Text resolveth it negatively: they are not suffici­ent. The Duty being necessary, pro hîc & nunc, it is simply evil to omit it; and therefore it may not be omitted for any other good. I deny not, but a Minister may with good discretion conceale many truths from his flock; at least the opening and amplifying of them: if they be not such as are needfull for them to know, either for the E establishment of Faith, or practice of Life; as not onely many nice School-points and Conclusions are, but also many Genealogies, and Le­vitical rites, and other things even in the Scriptures themselves. Nay more, a Minister not onely in discretion may, but is even in Conscience bound, at least in the publick exercise of his Ministry, [Page 45] A to conceal some particular truths from his Auditory; yea though they be such as are needful for the practice of life, and for the setling of mens Consciences: if they be such with all, as are not fit to be pub­lickly spoken of; as are many Resolutions of Cases appertaining to the seventh Commandement (Thou shalt not commit Adultery;) and some also appertaining to the eighth (Thou shalt not steal.) Our men Moulin. Buckler of Faith, part 2. sect. 4. and not onely ours, but some of their own too: See Espenaecus ad Tit. cap. 1. justly condemn the Popish Casuists, for their too much liberty in this kind in their Writings: whereby they reduce vices into an Art, under colour of reproving them;and convey into the minds of In quibus plus proficit vitiorum igno­ratio, quàm cognitio virtu­tis. Justin. lib. 2. Hist. cap. 2.corrupt men, Notions of such prodigious filthiness, and artificiall B Legier-du-main, as perhaps otherwise they would never have dreamed on, or thirsted after. The loose writings of the unchaste Poets are butQuis veterum Poetarum plus obscoenitatis, impuritatis, fla­gitiorum, pro­fessus est, quàm docet Poeni­tentiale Bur­chardi?— Quot sunt qui ignorarent multa quae ibi leguntur, nisi ex ipso didicissent? I.R. in confut. fab. Burdon. p. 305. Qui Principum, sacerdotum, negotiatorum, ac praecipuè mulierum vitia in c [...]ncionibus suis i [...]sectentur: quae sae­pius ita depingunt; ut obscoenitatem doceant. Erasm. in Adag. [...].dull tutors of Lust, compared with the authorized Tomes of our severe Romish Votaries. There be enormous sins of this rank, which a modest man would be ashamed so much as to name, especially in publick. Now of these, onely the generalities would be touched in the publick; the specialties not unfolded, but in the private exercise of our Ministry: nor yet that promiscuously to e­very one that should out of curiosity desire satisfaction in them; but onely to such men, (and that but onely so far) as they may con­cern C in point of conscience, and of practice. Besides these there are o­ther Cases many, in which it may be more convenient to conceale, than to teach some divine truths at some times, and in some places.

But yet in the Case is here proposed, if it be a truth questioned, a­bout 33 which GODS people are much distracted in their opinions; much mistaken by some through error in judgement; much abused by sin­ful, especially publick practice; occasioning Scandals and offences a­mong D brethren; likely to be overwhelmed with custome, or multi­tude of those that think or do against it; and be otherwise of materi­al importance: I take it, the Omission of it upon seasonable opportu­nity, is a grievous sin, and not colourable by any pretence. Beloved, the Minister is not to come into the Pulpit, as a Fencer upon the Stage, to play his prize, and to make a fair [...]. 1 Cor. 9.26. flourish against sin, (Here he could have it, and there he could have it, but hath it no where:) but rather as a Captain into the Field, to bend his forces spe­cially against the strongest Troops of the Enemy; and to squander, and break thorow the thickest ranks; and to drive at the Fight neither with small nor great, save one­ly with the King of Israel. 2 King. 22.31. fairest. It E is not enough for a Prophet Esay 58.1. to cry aloud, and to lift up his voice like a trumpet, and to tell Iudah and Israel of sins, and of transgressions at large: but if he would whet them up to the battel, he must give a more If the trum­pet give an un­certain sound, who shall pre­pare himself to the battell? 1 Cor. 14.8. certain sound; he must tell Iudah of her sins, and Israel of her transgressions. If there be in Damascus, or Moab, or Ammon, or Tyrus, or Iudah, or Israel; Amos 1▪ & 2. three transgressions, or four, more emi­nent [Page 46] than the rest: it is fit; they that are sent to Damascus, and Mo­ab, A and Ammon, and Tyrus, and Iudah, and Israel, should make them hear of those three or four, more than all the rest. Sins and Errours, when they begin to get head and heart, must be handled roughly. Silence in such a case is a kind of flattery: and it is Penè idem est fidem nolle as­serere & nega­re. Fulg. l. 1. ad Thrasim. c. 1. Sicut incauta locutio in erro­rem p [...]rtrahit, ita indiscr [...]tum silentium in er­rore relinquit. Greg. in Mor. almost all one, when sins grow outragious, to hold our peace at them; and to cry Peace, Peace unto them. Our Apostle in Act. 20. would not have held himself sufficiently discharged from the guilt of other mens blood; if he had shunned (as occasion was offered) to have declared unto them Acts 20.26, 27. [...], even the whole counsel of God.

34 In my Application of this Instance and Case, blame me not, if I B do it with some reference to my self. Being heretofore by appoint­ment, as now again I was, to provide my self for this place against such a meeting as this is; as in my conscience I then thought it need­ful for me, I delivered my mind, (and I dare say, the Truth too, for substance) something freely, touching the Ceremonies and Constituti­ons of our Church. And I have now also with like freedome, shewed the unlawfulnesse of the late disorderly attempts in this Town; and that from the ground of my present Text. I was then blamed for that; I think unjustly; (for I do not yet see what I should rerract of that I then delivered:) and it is not unlikely, I shall be blamed again C for this, unless I prevent it. You have heard now already, both here­tofore, that to judge any mans heart; and at this time, that to slan­der any truth, are (without repentance) sins justly damnable: [...], they that offend either in the one, or the other, their damna­tion is just. To preserve therefore both you from the sin, and my self from the blame; consider I pray you, with reason and charity, what I shall say.

You that are our hearers, know not with what hearts we speak unto you: that is onely known to our own hearts; and to 1 [...]oh. 3.20. God who is greater than our hearts, and knoweth all things. That which you are to D look at, and to regard, is, with what [...]. Acts 17.11. Non requiritur quis, vel qualis praedicet; sed quid praedicet. Distinct. 19. Secundum. [...]. Plat. in Char­mide. truth we speak unto you. So long as what we preach is true, & agreeable to Gods Word, & right rea­son: you are not, upon I know not what light surmizes or suspicions, to judge with what spirits, or with what dispositions of heart we preach. Whether we Phil. 1.15, 16, 17, 18. preach Christ of envy, and strife, or of good will; whether sincerely, or of contention; whether in pretence, or in truth; it is our own good, or hurt: we must answer for that; and at our perill be it, if we do not look to that. But what is that to you? Notwithstanding every way, so long as it is Christ, and his truth which are preached, it is your part therein to rejoice. If anGal. 1.8, 9.Angel from Heaven should E preach any untruth unto you, [...], Let him be accursed: but if the very Devil of hell should preach the truth, he must be heard, and believed, and obeyed. So long asMat. 23.23.Scribes and Pharisees hold them to Moses's Text and Doctrine, let them be as damnedWoe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, Hy­pocrites, Mat. 23.13, 14, &c.Hy­pocrites as Scribes and Pharisees can be: yet all whatsoever they bid you observe, that you are to observe and do.

[Page 47] A Let me then demand: Did I deliver any untruth? It had been well done then to have shewn it, that I might have acknowledged, and retracted it. Did I speak nothing but the truth? with what conscience then could any that heard me say, as yet I heard some did; that I preached factiously, That I came to cast bones among them, That I might have chosen a fitter Text, That I might have had as much thanks to have kept away? For Faction; I hate it▪ my desire and 1 aim, next after the good of your souls, was, above all, the Peace of the Church, and the Unity of Brethren. For casting bones (if that must 2 needs be the phrase) they were cast in these parts long before my co­ming B by that great enemy to peace and unity, and busie sower of discord, the Devil: otherwise I should not have found at my first coming such snarling about them, and such Gal. 5.15. biting and devouring one another, as I did. My endeavour was rather to have gathered up the bones, and to have taken away the matter of difference, (I mean, the errour in judgement about, and inconformity in practice unto, the lawfull Ceremonies of the Church) that so if it had been possible all might h [...]ve been quiet, without despising or judging one another for these things; For thanks; I hold not that worth the answering▪ a­las, it is a poor aim for Gods Minister, to preach for thanks. 3

C For the choyce of my Text and Argument, both then and now:4 how is it not unequall, that men, who plead (so as none more) for liberty and plainness in reproving sin, should not allow those that come amongst them that liberty and plainness against themselves and their own sins? I dare appeale to your selves. Have you never been taught, that it is the Ministers duty, as to oppose against all errors and sins in the general, so to bend himself (as neer as he can) especially against the apparent errors and sins of his present auditory? And do you not believe it is so? Why then might I not; nay how ought I not, bend my speech, both then against a common errour of D sundry in these parts in point of Ceremony; and now against the late petulancy, (or at least oversight) of some mis-guided ones? The noise of these things abroad; and the scandall taken thereat by such as hear of them; and the ill fruits of them at home in bree­ding jealousies, and cherishing contentions among neighbours: cannot but stir us up, if we be sensible (as every good member should be) of the damage and loss the Church acquireth by them, to put you in minde and to admonish you (as opportunities in­vite us) both privately and publickly. Is it not time, trow ye, to thrust in the sickle, when the fields look white unto the harvest? Is it E not time our Pulpits should a little eccho of these things, when all the Countrey far and neer ringeth of them?

For my own part; however others censure me, I am sure, my own heart telleth me, I could not have discharged my Conscience; if be­ing called to this place, I should have balked what either then or now I have delivered. My Conscience prompting me, all circumstances [Page 48] considered, that these things were pro hîc & nunc necessary to be de­livered,A rather than any other: if for any outward inferiour respect I should have passed them over with silence; I think I should have much swerved from the Rule of my Text, and have done a great e­vil, that some small good might come of it. But many thousand times better were it for me, that all the world should censure me for speaking what they think I should not; than that my own heart should condemn me for not speaking what it telleth me I should. And thus much of things simply evil.

35 I should proceed to apply this Rule, We must not do evil, that good may come; unto evils, not simply, but accidentally such: and that both B in the generall, and also in some few specials of greatest use; name­ly, unto evils which become such through Conscience, Scandall, or Comparison. In my choice of the Scripture, I aimed at all this: and had gathered much of my provision for it. But the Cases being ma­ny and weighty; I foresaw I could not go onward with my first pro­ject, without much wronging one or both: either the things them­selves, if I should contract my speech to the scanting of time; or you, if I should lengthen it to the weight of the matter. And therefore I resolved here to make an end, and to give place (as fit it is) to the businesse whereabout we meet. The Total of what I have said, and C should say, is in effect but this: No pretension of a good end, of a good meaning, of a good event, of any good whatsoever; either can sufficiently warrant any sinfull action to be done, or justifie it being done: or sufficiently excuse the Omission of any necessary duty, when it is necessary. Consider what I say, and the Lord give you under­standing in all things. Now to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spi­rit, &c.

A

AD B CLERUM. The Third Sermon. C At a Visitation at Boston, Lincoln, 13. March 1620.

1 COR. 12.7.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man, to profit withall.4

1

D IN the first Verse of this Chapter S. Paul proposeth to himself an Argument, which he prosecuteth the whole Chapter through, and (after a profitable digression into the praise of Charity in the next Chap.) resumeth again at the 14. Chapter, spen­ding also that whole Chapter therein: and it is concerning spirituall gifts, [Verse 1. Now concerning spi­rituall gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant, &c.] These gra­cious gifts of the holy Spirit of God, bestowed on them for the edi­fication of the Church; the Corinthians (by making them the [...]. Chrys. in 1 Cor. hom. 29. fuell E either of their pride, in despising those that were inferiour to them­selves; or of their envy, in malicing those that excelled therein,) abu­sed to the maintenance of schisme, and faction, and emulation in the Church. For the remedying of which evils, the Apostle entreth up­on the Argument: discoursing fully of the variety of these spirituall gifts, and who is the Author of them, and for what end they were gi­ven, [Page 50] and in what manner they should be imployed; omitting no­thing A that was needfull to be spoken anent this subject.

2 In this part of the Chapter, entreating both before and after this verse of the wondrous great, yet sweet and usefull, variety of these spirituall gifts: he sheweth, that howsoever manifold they are ei­ther for kind, or degree, so as they may differ in the materiall and for­mall; yet they do all agree both in the same efficient, and the same fi­nall cause. In the same efficient cause, which is God the Lord by his Spirit, ver. 4, 6. [Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord; and there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all B in all.] And in the same finall cause; which is the advancement of Gods glory, in the propagation of his Gospel, and the edification of his Church; in this ver. [But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withall.]

By occasion of which words, we may enquire into the nature, con­venience, 3 and use of these gifts. First, their nature in themselves, and 1 in their originall; what they are, and whence: they are the works 2 of Gods Spirit in us, [the manifestation of the Spirit.] Secondly, their conveyance unto us; how we come to have them, and to have pro­perty in them: it is by gift; [It is given to every man.] Thirdly,C 3 their use and end; why they were given us, and what we are to do with them: they must be employed to the good of our Brethren, and of the Church; is given to every man [to profit withall.] Of these briefly, and in their order; and with speciall reference ever to us that are of the Clergy.

By manifestation of the Spirit here our Apostle understandeth none 4 other thing, then he doth by the adjective word [...] in the first, and by the substantive word [...] in the last verse of the Chapter. Both which put together, do signifie those spiritual gifts and graces whereby God enableth men (and specially Church-men)D to the duties of their particular Callings for the generall good. Such as are those particulars, which are named in the next following verses, Verse 8—10. the word of Wisdome, the word of Knowledge, Faith, the gifts of healing, workings of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, divers kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues. All which, and all other of like nature and use, because they are wrought by that one and self-same Verse 11. Spirit, which divideth to every one severally as he will; are therefore called Verse 1. [...], spirituall gifts; and here [...], the manifestation of the Spirit.

5 The word [Spirit] though in Scripture it have many other signi­fications,E yet in this place I conceive to be understood directly of 1 the holy Ghost, the third Person in the ever blessed Trinity. For first, in ver. 3. that which is called the Spirit of God in the former part, is in the latter part called the Holy Ghost: [Verse 1. I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the spirit of God, calleth Iesus accursed; and [Page 51] A that no man can say that Iesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.] Again, that variety of gifts, which in ver. 4. is said to proceed from 2 the Verse 4—6. same Spirit, is said likewise in ver. 5. to proceed from the same Lord, and in ver. 6. to proceed from the same God: and therefore such a Spirit is meant, as is also Lord and God; and that is onely the Holy Ghost. And again, in those words, in ver. 11. [Verse 11. All these 3 worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man seve­rally as he will;] the Apostle ascribeth to this Spirit the collation and distribution of such gifts according to the free power of his own will and pleasure: which free power belongeth to none but God a­lone, B Verse 38. Who hath set the members every one in the body, as it hath plea­sed him.

Which yet ought not to be so understood of the Person of the Spi­rit; 6 as if the Father, and the Son, had no part or fellowship in this bu­siness. For all the Actions and operations of the Divine Persons, (those onely excepted which are of intrinsecall and mutuall relation) are the joynt and undivided works of the whole three Persons: ac­cording to the common known maxime, constantly and uniformly received in the Catholike Church, Opera Trinitatis ad extra sunt in­divisa. And as to this particular, concerning gifts the Scriptures are clear. Wherein, as they are ascribed to GOD the Holy Ghost C in this Chapter; so they are elsewhere ascribed to God the Father, [James 1.17. Every good gift and every perfect giving is from above, from the Father of Lights: Jam. 1.] and elsewhere to God the Son, [Ephes. 4.7. Unto every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ: Eph. 4.] Yea, and it may be, that for this very reason in the three verses next before my text, these three words are used; Spirit, in ver. 4. Lord, in ver. 5. and God, in ver. 6. to give us intimation, that Ne gratia & donum divisum sit per personas Patris, & Filii & Sp. Sancti, sed indiscretae unitatis & na­turae t [...]ium unum opus in­telligatur. Am­bros. in 1 Cor. 7. c. 61. these spirituall gifts proceed equally and undividedly from the whole three Persons; from God the Father, and from his Son Iesus Christ our Lord, and from the eternall Spirit of them both the Holy D Ghost, as from one entire, indivisible, and coessentiall Agent.

But for that we are grosse of understanding, and unable to con­ceive 7 the distinct Trinity of Persons in the Unity of the Godhead, other­wise then by apprehending some distinction of their operations and offices to-us-ward: it hath pleased the wisdome of God in the ho­ly Scriptures, (which, being written for our sakes, were to be fitted to our capacities) so far to condescend to our weakness and dulness, as to attribute some of those great and common works to one person, and some to another, after a more speciall manner than unto the rest; al­though indeed and in truth none of the three persons had more or E lesse to do than other in any of those great and common works. This manner of speaking Divines use to call V. Aquin. 1. qu. 39.7. Appropriation. By which appropriation, as Power is ascribed to the Father, and Wisdome to the Son; so is Goodness to the Holy Ghost. And therefore, as the Work of Creation, wherein is specially seen the mighty power of [Page 52] God, is appropriated to the Father; and the work of Redemption, A wherein is specially seen the wisdome of God, to the Son: and so the works of sanctification, and the infusion of habituall graces, whereby the good things of God are communicated unto us, is appropriated unto the Holy Ghost. And for this cause, the gifts thus communicated unto us from God, are called [...], spirituall gifts, and [...], the manifestation of the Spirit.

8 We see now, why spirit! but then; why manifestation? The word, as most other verballs of that form, may be understood either in the active or passive signification. And it is not materiall, whether of the two wayes we take it in this place: both being true; and nei­ther B improper. For these spirituall gifts are the manifestation of the spirit Actively: because by these the spirit manifesteth the will of God unto the Church; these being the instruments and means of conveying the knowledge of salvation unto the people of God. And they are the manifestation of the spirit Passively too: because where any of these gifts, especially in any eminent sort, appeared in any person, it was a manifest evidence that the Spirit of God wrought in him. As we read in Acts 10. that they of the Circum­cision were astonished, Act. 10.45, 46. When they saw, that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. If it be demanded, But how did C that appear? it followeth in the next verse, [For they heard them speak with tongues, &c.] The spirituall Gift then is a Id est donum spiritûs, quo dono spiritus suam in homine praesentiam de­clarat. Metony­mia eff [...]cti. Pisca. in schol. hic. manife­station of the Spirit, as every other sensible effect is a manifestation of its proper cause.

9 We are now yet farther to know, that the Gifts and graces wrought in us by the holy spirit of God, are of two sorts. The Scri­ptures sometimes distinguish them by the different terms of [...] and [...]: although those words are sometimes again used in­differently and promiscuously, either for other. They are commonly known in the Schooles, and differenced by the names of V. Aquin. 1.2 qu. 111.1. Gratiae gra­tum D facientes, & Gratiae gratis datae. Which termes though they be not very proper, (for the one of them may be affirmed of the other; whereas the members of every good distinction ought to be opposite:) yet because they have been long received, (and change of termes, though haply for the better, hath by experience been found for the most part unhappy in the event, in multiplying unnecessary book-quarrells;) we may retain them profitably, and without preju­dice. Those former, which they call Gratum facientes, are the gra­ces of Sanctification; whereby the person that hath them, is ena­bled to do acceptable service to God, in the duties of his generall E Calling: these latter, which they call Gratis datas, are the Graces of Edification; whereby the person that hath them is enabled to do profitable service to the Church of God in the duties of his particular Calling. Those are given Nobis, & Nobis; both to us, and from us, that is Duplex est operatio sancti spiritús; opera­tur enim in no­bis aliud prop­ter nos, aliud propter proxi­mos. Bern. in parvis S [...]r. 55. chiefly for our own good: these Nobis, sed Nostris; to [Page 53] us indeed, but for others, that is, chiefly for the good of our bre­thren. A Those are given us Geminae ope­rationis expe­rimentum: U­nius, quâ nos primo intùs virtutibus so­lidat ad salu­tem: alterius, quá foris quo­que muneribus ornat ad lu­crum. Illas no­bis, haec nostris accepimus. Ber­nard. in Cant. Ser. 18. ad salutem, for the saving of our own souls: these ad lucrum, for the winning of other mens souls. Those proceed from the speciall love of God to the Person; and may there­fore be called personall, or speciall: these proceeed from the Generall love of God to his Church, (or yet more generall to humane socie­ties:) and may therefore be rather called Ecclesiasticall or Generall Gifts or Graces.

Of that first sort are Faith, Hope, Charity, Repentance, Patience, Humility; and all those other holy graces and Gal. 5.22. fruits of the Spirit, B which accompany salvation: Wrought by the blessed and powerful operation of the holy Spirit of God, after a most effectuall, but un­conceivable manner, regenerating, and renewing, and seasoning, and 10 sanctifying the hearts of his Chosen. But yet these are not the Gifts so much spoken of in this Chapter; and namely in my Text: E­very branch whereof excludeth them. Of those graces of sanctifi­cation first, we may have indeed probable inducements to perswade 1 us, that they are, or are not in this or that man: But hypocrisie may make such a semblance, that we may think we see spirit in a man, in whom yet there is nothing but flesh; and infirmities may cast such a fogge, that we can discern nothing but flesh in a man, in whom yet C there is spirit. But the gifts here spoken of do incurre into the senses, and give us evident and infallible assurance of the spirit that wrought them: here is [...], a manifestation of the spirit. Again, Se­condly, those Graces of sanctification are not communicated by distribution, (1 Cor. 7.7. Alius sic, alius verò sic;) Faith to one, Charity to ano­ther,2 Repentance to another: but where they are given, they are given all at once and together, as it were strung upon one threed, and linked into one chain. But the Gifts here spoken of are distributed as it were by doal, and divided severally as it pleased God, shared out in­to severall portions, and given to every man some, to none all; D for Verse 8. to one is given by the Spirit the word of Wisdome, to another the word of Knowledge, &c. Thirdly, those Graces of sanctification, though they may and ought to be exercised to the benefit of others, 3 who by the Mat. 5.16. shining of our light, and the sight of our good works, may be provoked to glorifie God by walking in the same paths: yet that is but utilitas emergens, and not finis proprius; a good use made of them upon the bye, but not the main, proper and direct end of them, for which they were chiefly given. But the Gifts here spoken of, were given directly for this end, and so intended by the giver, to be imployed for the the benefit of others, and for the edifying of the E Church; they were given to profit withall.

It then remaineth, to understand this Text and Chapter of that 11 other and latter kind of spirituall Gifts: Those Graces of Edificati­on, (or Gratiae gratis datae) whereby men are enabled in their severall Callings, according to the quality and measure of the graces they [Page 54] have received, to be profitable members of the publick body, either A in Church or Common-wealth. Under which appellation, (the very first naturall powers and faculties of the soul onely excepted, which flowing à principiis speciei, are in all men the same and like;) I comprehend all other secondary endowments, and abilities whatsoe­ver of the reasonable soul, which are capable of the degrees of more and lesse, and of better and worse; together with all subsidiary helps any way conducing to the exercise of any of them. Whether they 1 be first, supernaturall graces, given by immediate and extraordinary infusion from God: such as were the gifts of tongues and of miracles, and of healings, and of prophesie properly so called, and many other B like; which were frequent in the infancy of the Church, and when this Epistle was written, according as the necessity of those primi­tive times considered, God saw it expedient for his Church. Or 2 whether they be, Secondly, such as Philosophers call Naturall dis­positions: such as are promptnesse of Wit, quicknesse of Conceit, fastnesse of Memory, clearnesse of Understanding, soundnesse of Iudgement, readinesse of Speech, and other like; which flow imme­diately à principiis individui, from the individuall condition, consti­tution, and temperature of particular persons. Or, whether they be, 3 Thirdly, such as Philosophers call Intellectuall habits: which is,C when those naturall dispositions are so improved, and perfected by Education, Art, Industry, Observation, or Experience, that men be­come thereby skilfull Linguists, subtile Disputers, copious Orators, profound Divines, powerfull Preachers, expert Lawyers, Physicians, Historians, Statesmen, Commanders, Artisans, or excellent in any Sci­ence, Profession, or faculty whatsoever. To which me may adde in 4 the fourth place, all outward subservient helps whatsoever, which may any way further or facilitate the exercise of any of the former gra­ces, dispositions, or habits: such as are health, strength, beauty, and all those other Bona Corporis; as also Bona Fortunae, Honour,D Wealth, Nobility, Reputation, and the rest. All of these, even those among them which seem most of all to have their foundation in Nature, or perfection from Art, may in some sort be called [...], spirituall gifts: in as much as the spirit of God is the first and principall worker of them. Nature, Art, Industry, and all other subsidiary furtherances, being but second Agents under him; and as means ordained, or as instruments used by him, for the accomplishing of those ends he hath appointed.

12 And now have we found out the just latitude of the spiritual gifts spoken of in this Chapter, and of the manifestation of the spi­rit E in my Text. From whence not to passe without some obser­vable inferences for our Edification: We may here first behold, and admire, and magnifie the singular love, and care, and providence of God for and over his Church. For the building up whereof, he hath not onely furnished it with fit materialls, men endowed with the fa­culties [Page 55] A of understanding, reason, will, memory, affections; not onely lent them tools out of his own rich store-house, his holy Word, and sacred Ordinances: but, as sometimes he filled Exod. 35.30, &c. Bezaleel and Aho­liab with skill and wisdome for the building of the materiall Taber­nacle; so he hath also from time to time raised up serviceable Men, and enabled them with a large measure of all needfull gifts and gra­ces, to set forward the building, and to give it both strength and beauty. A Body, if it had not difference and variety of members, were rather a lump, than a Body; or if having such members, there were yet no vitall spirits within to enable them to their proper offi­ces, B it were rather a Corps than a Body: but the vigour that is in eve­ry part to do its office, is a certain evidence and manifestation of a spirit of life within, and that maketh it a living Organicall body. So those active gifts, and graces, and abilities, which are to be found in the members of the mysticall body of Christ, (I know not whether of greater variety or use) are a strong manifestation, that there is a powerfull Spirit of God within, that knitteth the whole body toge­ther, and worketh all in all, and all in every part of the body.

Secondly, though we have just cause to lay it to heart, when men of eminent gifts and place in the Church are taken from us, and to 13 C lament in theirs, our own, and the Churches loss: yet we should pos­sess our souls in patience, and sustain our selves with this comfort, that it is the same God that still hath care over his Church; and it is the same H [...]ad Iesus Christ, that still hath influence into his members; and it is the same blessed Spirit of God and of Christ, that still actua­teth and animateth this great mysticall Body. And therefore we may not doubt, but this Spirit, as he hath hitherto done from the begin­ning, so will still manifest himself from time to time, unto the end of the world; in raising up instruments for the service of his Church, and furnishing them with gifts in some good measure meet for the D same, more or less, according as he shall see it expedient for her, in her severall different estates and conditions: giving Eph. 4.11, 13 some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Tea­chers; for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministery, for the edifying of the Body of Christ, till we all meet in the unity of the Faith, & of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. He hath promised long since, who was never yet touched with breach of promise, that he would Mat. 28.20. be with his Apostles (and their successors) alwayes unto the end of the world.

E Thirdly, where the Spirit of God hath manifested it self to any man by the distribution of gifts, it is but reason, that man should manifest the Spirit that is in him, by exercising those gifts in some 14 lawfull Calling. And so this manifestation of the Spirit in my Text, imposeth upon every man the Necessity of a Calling. Our Apostle in the seventh of this Epistle, joyneth these two together, a Gift, [Page 56] and a Calling; as things that may not be severed? 1 Cor. 7.17. As God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one. Where the A end of a thing is the use, there the difference cannot be great, whe­ther we abuse it, or but conceal it. The Mat. 25.30. unprofitable servant, that wrap­ped up his Masters talent in a napkin, could not have received a much heavier doom, had he mis-spent it. O then up and be doing: Mat. 20.6. Why stand you all the day idle? Do not say, because you heard no voyce, that therefore no man hath called you: those very gifts you have recei­ved, are a Reall Call, pursuing you with continual restless importuni­ty, till you have disposed your selves in some honest course of life or other, wherein you may be profitable to humane society, by the exercising of some or other of those gifts. All the members of the B Body have their proper and distinct offices, according as they have their proper and distinct faculties; and from those offices they have also their proper and distinct names. As then in the Body, that is in­deed no member, which cannot call it self by any other name, than by the common name of a member: so in the Church, he that cannot style himself by any other name than a Christian, doth indeed but usurp that too. If thou sayest, thou art of the body: I demand then, What is thy office in the Body? If thou hast no office in the body, then thou art at the best but Tumor praeter naturam (as Physicians C call them) a scab, or botch, or wenne, or some other monstrous and unnaturall excrescency upon the body; but certainly thou art no true part and member of the body. And if thou art no part of the bo­dy, how darest thou make challenge to the head, by mis-calling thy self Christian? If thou hast a Gift, get a Calling.

Fourthly, we of the Clergy, though we may not ingrosse the 15 Spirit unto our selves, as if none were spirituall persons but our selves: yet the voyce of the World hath long given us the Name of the Spiritually after a peculiar sort; as if we were spi­rituall persons in some different singular respect from other men.D And that not altogether without ground, both for the name, and thing. The very name seemeth to be thus used by S. Paul in the 14. Chapter following, where at ver. 37. he maketh a Prophet and a Spirituall man all one, (and by prophesying, in that whole Chapter he mostwhat meaneth Preaching:) 1 Cor. 14.37 If any man think himself to be a Prophet, either spirituall, let him acknowledge, &c. But howsoever it be for the title, the thing it self hath very sufficient ground from that form of speech which was used by our blessed Saviour, when he conferred the Ministerial power upon his Disciples; and is still used in our Church at the collation of Holy Orders, John 20.22. Accipite spiritum san­ctum,E Receive the Holy Ghost. Since then at our admission into holy Orders we receive a spirituall power by the imposition of hands, which others have not; we may thenceforth be justly styled spirituall per­sons. The thing for which I note it, is, that we should therefore en­deavour our selves 2 Tim. 1.6. [...], so to stir up those spirituall gifts that [Page 57] A are in us; as that by the eminency thereof above that which is in ordinary temporall men, we may shew our selves to be indeed, what we are in name, Spirituall persons. If we be of the spiritualty, there would be in us another gates manifestation of the spirit, then is ordi­narily to be found in the Temporalty. God forbid I should censure all them for intruders into the Ministry, that are not gifted for the Pul­pit. The severest censurers of Non-preaching Ministers, if they had lived in the beginning of the Reformation, must have been content, as the times then stood, to have admitted of some thousands of non-preaching Ministers, or else have denied many Parishes and Con­gregations B in England the benefit of so much as bare reading. And I take this to be a safe Rule: Whatsoever thing the help of any circumstances can make lawfull at any time, that thing may not be condemned as universally, and de toto genere unlawfull. I judge no mans conscience then, or calling, who is in the Ministry; be his gifts never so slender; I dare not deny him the benefit of his Clergy, if he can but read: if his own heart condemn him not, neither do I. But yet this I say; As the Times now are, wherein learning aboun­deth even unto wantonness; and wherein the world is full of questi­ons, and controversies, and novelties, and niceties in Religion; and C wherein most of our Gentry, very Women and all (by the advantage of long Peace, and the customes of modern Education, together with the help of a multitude of English books and translations) are able to look through the ignorance of a Clergy-man, and censure it, if he be tripping in any point of History, Cosmography, Moral or Natural Philosophy, Divinity, or the Arts; yea, and to chastise his very me­thod and phrase, if he speak loosely, or impertinently, or but impro­perly, and if every thing be not point-vise: I say, as these times are, I would not have a Clergy-man content himself with every me­diocrity of gifts; but by his prayers, care and industry improve those D he hath, so as he may be able upon good occasion to Rom. 1.11. impart a spi­rituall gift to the people of God, whereby they may be established, and to speak with such understanding, and sufficiency, and pertinency (especially when he hath just warning, and a convenient time to pre­pare himself,) in some good measure of proportion to the quickness and ripeness of these present times, as they that love not his Coat, may yet approve his labours, and not find any thing therein, whereat justly to quarrell: Tit. 2.7, 8. Shewing in his Doctrine (as our Apostle writeth to Titus) uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having E no evil thing to say of him. They that are called spirituall persons, should strive to answer that name by a more than ordinary manife­station of spirituall gifts. And thus much shall suffice us to have spoken concerning the name and nature of these spirituall gifts, by occasion of the title here given them, The manifestation of the spi­rit.

[Page 58] 16 Consider we next, and in the second place, the conveyance of these A gifts over unto us; how we come to have a property in them, and by what right we can call them ours. The Conveyance is by deed of gift; the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man. Understand it not to be so much intended here, that every particu­lar man hath the manifestation of the spirit, (though that may also be true in some sense;) as that every man that hath the manifestation of the Spirit, hath it given him, and given him withall to this end, that he may do good with it. Like as when we say, Every man lear­neth to read before he learn to write; it is no part of our meaning to signifie each particular person so to do, (for there be many that B learn neither of both;) but we onely intend to shew the received or­der of the things to be such, as that every man that learneth both, lear­neth that first. As we conceive his meaning, who directing us the way to such or such a place, should tell us, Every man rideth this way; and as we conceive of that speech of the Ruler of the Feast in the Gospel, John 2.10. Every man at the beginning setteth forth good Wine, and then after that which is worse; though there be many thousand men in the world that never rode that way, or had occasion to set forth any Wine at all, either better or worse: very so ought we to conceive the meaning of the universall particle Every man both in C this, and in many other like speeches in the Scriptures; with [...] restring [...]ndum est ad praesentem hypothesin. Piscat. schol. in Luc. 20.38. Instances, see John 11.7. Ro. 5.18, &c. due limitations according to the tenour and purpose of the thing spoken of. It mattereth not then, as to the intent of this present speech (be it true, be it false otherwise,) whether every man have received a spi­rituall gift, or no: onely thus much is directly intended, that Unicuique da­tur) intellige, Unicuique cui datur. Piscat. in schol. hic. eve­ry man who hath received such a gift, hath received it by way of gift. All spirituall graces, all those dispositions, habits, and abilities of the understanding part, from which the Church of God may receive edification in any kind, together with all the secondary and inferiour helps that any way conduce thereunto; they are all the good D gifts of God. [The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man.]

17 The variety, both of the gifts meet for several offices, & of the offices wherein to employ those gifts, is wonderfull, & no less wonderful the distribution of both gifts and offices. But all that [...]. Chrys. in 1 Cor. hom. 29. 1 Cor. 12.8, &c. variety is derived from one and the same fountain, the holy Spirit of God: and all those distributions pass unto us by one and the same way, of most free and liberall donation. Have all the Word of Wisdome? Have all the Word of Knowledge? Have all Faith? Have all Prophecy? or other spirituall grace? No; they have not: but b to one the Word E of Wisdome, the Word of Knowledge to another, & to others other gifts. There is both variety you see, and distribution of these graces. But yet there is the same Author of them, and the same manner of com­municating them: For to one Ibid. is given by the spirit the Word of Wis­dome; to another the Word of Knowledge by the same Spirit, and to [Page 59] A others, other graces; but they are all from the same Spirit, and they are all given. And as the gifts, so the offices too. To that question in ver. 29. Verse 29. Are all Apostles? are all Prophets? are all Teachers? Answer may be made, as before, negatively, No; they are not: but some Apostles, & some Prophets, & some Teachers. There is the like variety, and distribution, as before: but withall, the same Donor, and the same donation, as before. For Ephes. 4.11. he gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Pastors and Teachers: Ephes. 4. And 1 Cor. 12.28. God hath set some in the Church; first, Apostles; secondarily, Prophets; thirdly, Teachers, &c. beneath at ver. 28. Both gifts and offices, as they are à Deo, for the Author: so they are ex dono, for the manner: from B God, and by way of gift. If we had no other, the very names they carry, like the superscription upon Caesars penny, were a sufficient proof, from whom we first had them. When we call them [...], Gratias gratis datas, gifts and graces, and manifestations of the Spirit; do we not by the use of those very names confess the re­ceipt? For what more free than gift? and what less of debt or de­sert than grace? Heathen men indeed called the best of their per­fections, [...] Habits: but Saint Iames hath taught us Christians a fitter name for ours, Jam. 1.17. [...], gifts. They say they had them, and looked no farther: but we must know, as that we have them, so as C well how we came by them. And therefore this Apostle above at Chap. 4. joyneth the having and the receipt together; as if he would have us behold them uno intuitu, and at once. [1 Cor. 4.7. Quid habes, quod non accepisti? what hast thou, that thou hast not received?

Possibly thou wilt alledge thy excellent naturall parts; these 18 were not given thee, but thou broughtest them into the world with thee: or thou wilt vouch what thou hast attained to by Art and In­dustry; and these were not given thee, but thou hast won them pro­prio Marté, and therefore well deservest to wear them. Deceive not thy self: it is neither so, nor so. Our Apostle in the place now D last mentioned, cutteth off all such Challenges. [1 Cor. 4.7. Quis te discre­vit? who made thee to differ from another?] Say there were (as there is not) such a difference in and from Nature as thou conceivest; yet still in the last resolution there must be a receipt acknowledged: for even Cum illius sit gratiae, quod creatus es. Hieron. Epist. 139. Attenda­mus gratiam Dei non solùm quâ fecit nos— Aug. in Psal. 144. Nature it self in the last resolution is of Grace; for GOD gave thee that. Or, say there were (as there is not) such a diffe­rence of desert, as thou pretendest; yet still that were to be acknow­ledged as a gift too: for GOD gave thee that Deut. 8.18. [...]. dictum Aga­m [...]mnonis ad A­chillem apud Homer. Ili­ad. [...]. power whatsoever it was, whereby thou hast attained to whatsoever thou hast. But the truth is; the difference that is in men in regard of these gifts and abi­lities, E ariseth neither from the power of Nature, nor from the merit of labour; otherwise than as GOD is pleased to use these as second causes under him: but it cometh meerly from the good will and pleasure of that free spirit, which bloweth where, and when, and how he listeth; 1 Cor. 12.11 dividing his graces to every man severally as he will, (at [Page 60] the eleventh) and Ibid. 18. as it hath pleased him, (at verse 18. of this Chap­ter,)A Nature is a necessary agent, and, if not either hindred by some inferiour impediment, or over-ruled by some higher power, worketh alwayes alike, and produceth the same effects in all individuals of the same kind: and how is it possible she should make a difference, that knoweth none? And as for Desert; there is indeed no such thing: and therefore it can work nothing. For can God be a debtor to any man? or hath any man Rom. 11.35. given to him first, that it might be re­compensed him again? As a lump of Esay 64.8. Clay lyeth before the Potter; so is all mankind in the hand of GOD. The Potter at his pleasure out of that Rom. 9.21. Lump frameth vessels of all sorts, of different shape, propor­tion,B strength, fineness, capacity; as he thinketh good, unto the severall uses for which he intendeth them. So God after the good pleasure of his own will, out of mankind, as out of an untoward lump of Clay, (all of the same piece, equall in nature and desert,) maketh up vessels for the use of his Sanctuary: by fitting several men with several gifts, more or less, greater or meaner, better or worse, according to the difference of those offices and employments for which he inten­ded them. It is not the Clay, but the Potter, that maketh the diffe­rence there: neither is it any thing in man, but the Spirit of God, that maketh the difference here. Whatsoever spirituall abilities we C have, we have them of gift and by grace. The manifestation of the spirit is given to every man.

19 A point of very fruitfull consideration for men of all sorts; whe­ther 1 they be of greater, or of meaner gifts. And first, all of us ge­nerally may hence take two profitable directions: the one, if we have any usefull gifts, whom to thank for them; the other, if we want any needfull gifts, where to seek for them. Whatsoever manife­station of the spirit thou hast, it is given thee: and to whom can thy thanks for it be due, but to the giver? Sacrifice not to thine own Hab. 1.16. nets, either of Nature, or Endeavour; as if these Abilities were D the manifestations of thine own spirit: but enlarge thy heart to magnifie the goodness and bounty of him who is Heb. 12.9. Pater spiritum, the Father of the spirits of all flesh, and hath wrought those graces in thee by communicating his spirit unto thee. If thou shinest as a star in the firmament of the Church whether of a greater or lesser magnitude, (as 1 Cor. 15.41 one star differeth from another in glory;) re­member thou shinest but by a borrowed light from him who is James 1.17. Pa­ter luminum, the Father and Fountain of all lights, as the Sun in the firmament, from whom descendeth every good gift, and every perfect giving. Whatsoever Grace thou hast, it is given thee: therefore be E thankfull to the giver.

20 But if thou wantest any grace, or measure of grace, which seemeth needfull for thee in that station and calling, wherein God hath set thee: herein is a second direction for thee, where to seek it, even from his hands, who alone can give it. James 1.5. If any man lack wisdome (saith [Page 61] A S. Iames) let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally; and it shall be given him. A large, and liberall promise; but yet a promise most certain, and full of comfortable assurance; provided, it be un­derstood aright, viz. with these two necessary Limitations: if God shall see it expedient; and if he pray for it as he ought. Thou mayest pray with an humble and upright affection, and put to thy best en­deavours withall; and yet not obtain the gift thou prayest for: be­cause, being a common Grace, and not of absolute necessity for salvati­on, it may be in the wisdome of GOD (who best knoweth what is best, and when) not expedient for thee, or not for his Church, at that B time, and in that manner, or measure. Necessary Graces, such as are those of sanctification, pray for them absolutely, & thou shalt absolutely receive them▪ there needeth no conditionall clause of Expediency in thy prayers for them; because they can never be inexpedient. But these may: and thefore as thou oughtest not to pray for them, but with all subjection of thy desires to his most holy and most wise ap­pointments; so thou oughtest to take a denyall from him, not onely contentedly, but even thankfully, as a gracious fruit of his love unto thee, and a certain sign of the inexpediency of the thing desired.

But if it be expedient; it will not yet come for asking, unlesse it 21 C be asked aright. Jam. 1.6, 7. But let him pray in Faith, saith Saint Iames: Who so doth not, let not that man think to receive any thing of the Lord. Now that man onely prayeth in Faith, who looketh to re­ceive the thing he prayeth for, upon such termes, as God hath pro­mised to give it: for Faith ever looketh to the promise. And God hath not made us any promise of the End other then conditionall; viz. upon our conscionable use of the appointed meanes. And the meanes which he hath ordained both for the obtaining, and the im­proving of spirituall gifts, are study and industry, and diligent medi­tation. We must not now look, as in the infancy of the Church, to D have the teats put into our mouthes, and to receive spirituall graces by immediate infusion: That Manna, as Hoskins Serm. on Luk. 12.48. one saith, was for the Wil­dernesse. But now the Church is possessed of the Land, and grown to yeares of better strength; we must plow, and sow, and eate of the fruit of the Land, in the sweat of our faces: and now he that 2 Thes. 3.10 will not labour, he may thank himself if he have not to eate. He pray­eth but with an overly desire, and not from the deep of his heart, that will not bend his endeavours withall to obtain what he desireth or ra­ther indeed he prayeth not at all. You may call it wishing and would­ing; (and we have proverbs against wishers and woulders;) rather E then Praying. Salomon accounteth the idle mans prayer no bet­ter; and it thriveth accordingly with him: Prov. 13.4. The soul of the sluggard lusteth, and hath nothing, Prov. 13.

To make all sure then, here is your course. Wrestle with GOD by your fervent prayers; and wrestle with him too by your faith­full 22 endeavours; and he will not for his goodnesse sake, and for his [Page 62] promise sake he cannot, dismisse you without a blessing. But omit A either; and the other is lost labour. Prayer without study, is pre­sumption; and study without prayer, Atheisme: the one bootlesse; the other fruitlesse. You take your books in vain into your hand, if you turn them over, and never look higher: and you take Gods Name in vain within your lips, if you cry Da Domine, and never stir farther. The Ship is then like to be steered with best certain­ty and successe; when there is Oculus ad coelum, manus ad clavum: when the Pilot is carefull of both, to have his eye upon the Compasse, and his hand at the Stern. Remember these abilities you pray or study for, are the gifts of GOD: and as not to be had ordinarily B without labour, (for God is a God of order, and worketh not ordina­rily, but by ordinary meanes;) so not to be had meerly for the la­bour; for then should it not be so much a gift, as a purchase. It was Simon Magus his errour, to think that Act. 8.20. the gift of God might be pur­chased with money: and it hath a spice of his sin, and so may go for a kind of Simony, for a man to think these spirituall gifts of God may be purchased with labour. You may rise up early, and go to bed late, and study hard, and read much, and devour the fat and the mar­row of the best Authors; and when you have all done, unlesse God give a blessing unto your endeavours, be as thin and meagre in re­gard C of true and usefull learning, as Pharaohs Gen. 41.21. leane Kine were after they had eaten the fat ones. It is God 2 Cor. 9.10. that both ministreth seed to the sower, and multiplieth the seed sowen: the Principall, and the Increase, are both his. If then we expect any gift, or the increase of any gift from him, neither of which we can have without him: let us not be behinde, either with our best endeavours to use the meanes he hath appointed, or with our faithfull prayers to crave his blessing up­on those meanes. These Instructions are generall; and concern us all, whatsoever our gifts be.

I must now turn my speech more particularly to you, to whom D 23 God hath vouchsafed the manifestation of his Spirit in a larger pro­portion 1 then unto many of your brethren: giving unto you, as unto his first-born, a Deut. 21.17. double portion of his Spirit, as 4 Kings 2.9. Elisha had of Eliah's; or perhaps dealing with you yet more liberally, as Ioseph did with Benjamin, whose messe (though he were the youngest) he appointed to be Gen. 43.34. five times as much as any of his brethrens. It is needfull that you of all others, should be eft-soones put in remembrance, that those eminent manifestations of the Spirit you have, were given you. First, it will be a good help to take down that Scientia in­flat. 1 Cor. 8.1 swelling, which, as an Aposteme in the body through ranknesse of blood, so is E apt to ingender in the soul through abundance of Knowledge; and to let out some of the corruption. It is Magna & rara virtus profectò est, ut magna licèt operantem, magnum te nescias. Bern. in Cant. Serm. 13. a very hard thing Multum sa­pere, and not altum sapere; to know much, and not to know it too much; to excell others in gifts, and not perk above them in self-con­ceipt. S. Paul, who Phil. 4.12. in all other things was sufficiently instructed, [Page 63] A as well to abound, as to suffer need, was yet put very hard to it, when he was to try the mastery with this temptation, which arose from the 2 Cor. 12.7. abundance of revelations. If you find an aptnesse then in your selves, (and there is in your selves, as of your selves such an aptnesse, as to no one thing more,) to be exalted above measure in your own conceipts; boastingly to make ostentation of your own suffici­encies; with a kind of unbecoming compassion to cast scorn upon your meaner brethren; and upon every light provocation to fly out into those termes of defiance [Hic vers. 21 I have no need of thee; and, I have no need of thee:] to dispell this windy humour I know not a more soveraign B remedy, then to chew upon this meditation; that all the Abilities and perfections you have, were given you, by one who was no way so bound to you, but he might have given them as well to the meanest of your brethren as to you, and that without any wrong to you, if it had so pleased him. You may take the Receipt from him, who himself had had some experience of the infirmity; even Saint Paul in the fourth of this Epistle. [1 Cor. 4.7. What hast thou, that thou hast not re­ceived? and if thou hast received it, why doest thou boast as if thou hadst not received it?

Secondly; Every wise and conscionable man should advisedly C weigh his own Gifts, and make them his Rule to work by: not think­ing 24 he doth enough, if he do what Law compelleth him to do, or if he do as much as other neighbours do. Indeed where Lawes bound us by Negative Precepts, [Hitherto thou mayest go, but further thou shalt not,] we must obey, and we may not exceed those bounds. But where the Lawes do barely enjoyne us to do somewhat, lest ha­ving no Law to compell us, we should do just nothing; it can be no transgression of the Law, to do more. Whosoever therefore of you have received more or greater Gifts then many others have; you must know your selves bound to do so much more good with them, and to D stand chargeable with so much the deeper account for them. Gregor. Cre­scunt dona, crescunt rationes. When you shall come to make up your accounts; your receipts will be looked into: and if you have recei­ved ten talents, or five, for your meaner brothers one; when but one shall be required from him, you shall be answerable for ten or five. For it is an equitable course, that Luk. 12.48. to whom much is given, of him much should be required. And at that great day, if you cannot make your accounts straight with your receipts, you shall certainly find that most true in this sense, which Salomon spake in another, Eccles. 1.18. Qui appo­nit scientiam, apponit dolorem: the more and greater your gifts are, E unlesse your thankfulnesse for them, and your diligence with them rise to some good like proportion thereunto; the greater shall be your condemnation, the more your stripes.

But thirdly; though your Graces must be so to your selves, yet 25 beware you do not make them Rules to others. A thing I the rather note, because the fault is so frequent in practice, and yet very rarely [Page 64] observed, and more rarely reprehended. God hath endowed a man A with good abilities and parts in some kind or other; I instance but in one gift onely for examples sake, viz. an Ability to inlarge him­self in prayer readily, and with fit expressions upon any present occa­sion. Being in the Ministry, or other Calling, he is carefull to exer­cise his gift by praying with his family, praying with the sick, pray­ing with other company upon such other occasions as may fall out. He thinketh (and he thinketh well,) that if he should do otherwise or less than he doth, he should not be able to discharge himself from the guilt of unfaithfulnesse, in not employing the talent he hath received to the best advantage, when the exercise of it might redound B to the glory of the giver. Hitherto he is in the right: so long as he maketh his gift a Rule but to himself. But now if this man shall stretch out this Rule unto all his brethren in the same Calling, by imposing upon them a necessity of doing the like; if he shall expect or exact from them, that they should also be able to commend un­to God the necessities of their families, or the state of a sick person, or the like, by extemporary prayer; but especially if he shall judge or censure them, that dare not adventure so to do, of intrusion into, or of unfaithfulnesse in their Callings: he committeth a great fault, and well deserving a sharp reprehension. For what is this else, but to C lay heavier burdens upon mens shoulders, then they can stand under? to make our selves judges of other mens consciences, and our abilities Rules of their actions, yea, and even to lay an imputation upon our Master, with that ungracious servant in the Gospel, as if he were Mat. 25.24. an hard man, reaping where he hath not sown, and gathering where he hath not strewed, and requiring much where he hath given little, and like Pharaoh's task-masters, exacting the Exod. 5.18. full tale of bricks without suf­ficient allowance of materialls? Shall he that hath a thousand a year, count him that hath but a hundred, a Churl if he do not spend as much in his house weekly, keep as plentifull a table, and bear as D much in every common charge, as himself? No less unreasonable is he that would bind his brother of inferiour gifts to the same fre­quency and method in preaching, to the same readiness and copious­ness in praying, to the same necessity and measure in the perfor­mance of other duties; whereunto, according to those gifts he fin­deth in himself, he findeth himself bound. The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man: let no man be so severe to his brother, as to look he should manifest more of the Spirit then he hath recei­ved.

Now as for you to whom God hath dealt these spirituall gifts, E with a more sparing hand; the freedome of Gods distribution may be a fruitfull meditation for you also. First, thou hast no reason, who­soever thou art, to grudge at the scantness of thy gifts, or to repine at 26 the Giver. How little soever God hath given thee, it is more then 1 he [...]. Chrys. in 1 Cor. hom. 29. owed thee. If the distribution of the Spirit were a matter of ju­stice [Page 65] A or of debt; God, we know, is no Acts 10.34. accepter of persons, and he would have given to thee, as to another. But being, as it is, a mat­ter of gift, not of debt; nor of justice, but of grace: take that is thine thankfully, and be content withall; Mat. 20.3-15. He hath done thee no wrong: may he not do as he will, with his own? Secondly, since the manifestation 2 of the Spirit is a matter of free gift: thou hast no cause to envy thy Brother, whose portion is greater. Why should Mat. 20.15. thy eye be there­fore evil against him, because God hath been so good unto him? Shall the foot envy the hand, or the ear the eye▪ because the foot cannot work, nor the ear see? If the Hic Verse 17—19. whole body were hand, where were the going? and if the whole were eye, where were the hearing? or B if the whole were any one member, where were the body? If the hand can work, which the foot cannot; yet the foot can go, which the hand cannot: and if the eye can see, which the ear cannot; yet the ear can hearken, which the eye cannot. And, if thy brother have some abilities, which thou hast not; thou art not so bare, but thou hast othersome again, which he hath not. Say, thine be meaner: yet the meanest member, as it hath his Hic Ver. 22.23. necessary office, so it is not destitute of his proper comeliness in the Body. Thirdly, if thy gifts be mean, thou hast this comfort withall, that thy accounts will be so much the 3 easier. Merchants that have the greatest dealings, are not ever the C safest men. And how happy a thing had it been for many men in the world, if they had had lesse of other mens goods in their hands! The less thou hast received, the less thou hast to answer for. If God have given thee but one single talent, he will not require five: nor if five, ten. Fourthly, in the meaneness of thy gifts thou maist read thy self a daily lecture of humility: and humility alone is a thing of more 4 value, than all the perfections that are in the world besides, without it. This think: that God, who disposeth Rom. 8.28. all things for the best to those that are his, would have given thee other and greater gifts, if he had seen it so expedient for thee. That therefore he hath holden D his hand, and with-holden those things from thee: conceive it done, either for thy former unworthiness, and that should make thee hum­ble; or for thy future good, and that should make thee also thankfull. Lastly, remember what the Preacher saith in Eccles. 10. [Eccl. 10.10. Maximum me­diocris ingenii subsidium, dili­gentia. Sen. in controv. If the Iron be blunt, then he must put to the more strength.] Many men that 5 are well left by their friends, and full of money; because they think they shall never see the bottome of it, take no care by any employment to encrease it, but spend on upon the stock, with­out either fear or wit, they care not what, or how, till they be sunk to nothing before they be aware: whereas on the contrary, in­dustrious E men that have but little to begin withall, yet by their care and providence, and pains-taking, get up wonderfully. It is almost incredible, what industry, and diligence, and exercise, and holy [...] ver. 31. hic. emu­lation (which our Apostle commendeth in the last verse of this Chapter,) are able to effect, for the bettering and increasing of our [Page 66] spirituall gifts: provided ever we joyn with these hearty prayers un­to,A and faithfull dependance upon God, for his blessing thereupon. I know no so lawfull [...]. Mat. 25.27. usury, as of these spirituall talents; nor do I know any so profitable usury, or that multiplieth so fast as this doth: your use upon use, that doubleth the principall in seven yeares, is nothing to it. Oh then, Luk. 19.23. cast in thy talent into the bank; make thy returnes as speedy, and as many as thou canst; lose not a market, or a tide, if it be possible; 2 Tim. 4.2. be instant in season & out of sea­son; omit no opportunity to take in, and put off all thou canst get: so, though thy beginnings be but small, thy latter end shall wonderfully encrease. But this meanes, thou shalt not onely profit thy self, in B the encrease of thy gifts unto thy self: but (which no other usury doth besides) thou shalt also profit others, by communicating of thy gifts unto them. Which is the proper end for which they were bestowed; and of which we are next to speak. The ma­nifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withall.

To profit whom? it may be, Himself. It is true; Prov. 9.12. If thou 27 art wise, thou shalt be wise for thy self, said Salomon; and Salo­mon knew what belonged to wisdome as well as another. For, Syrac. 14.5. Qui sibi nequam, cui bonus? He that is not good to himself, it is but a chance that he is good to any body else. When we seem to C pity a man by saying, He is no mans foe but his own, or he is worst to himself; we do indeed but flout him, and in effect call him a fool, and a prodigall. Such a fool is every one, that guiding the feet of others into the way of peace, himself treadeth the paths that lead unto destruction; and that 1 Cor. 9.27. preaching repentance unto others, himself becometh a Castaway. He that hath a gift then, he should do well to look to his own, as well as to the profit of others; and as unto doctrine, so as well and first to 1 Tim. 4.16. take heed unto himself: that so doing he may save himself, as well as those that heare him.

28 This then is to be done; but this is not all that is to be done.D In Sunt qui sci­re volunt, ut aedificent, & charitas est: sunt qui scire volunt ut aedifi­centur, & prudentiae est. Bern. in Cant. serm. 36. Wisdome we cannot do lesse; but in Charity we are bound to do more than thus with our gifts. If our own profit onely had been intended, [...] would have served the turn as well: but the word here is [...], which importeth such a kind of profit as redoundeth to Utilitatem sc. Ecclesiae. Pisc. in Schol. hic. community, such as before in the 10. Chapter he professeth himself to have sought after, [1 Cor. 10.33. Not seeking mine own profit, (he meaneth, not onely his own,) but the profit of many, that they may be saved.] We noted it already, as the main and essentiall difference between those graces of sanctification, and these graces of edification: that those, though they would be made profitable unto E others also, yet were principally intended for the proper good of the owner; but these, though they would be used for the owners good also, yet were principally intended for the profit of others. You see then, what a strong obligation lyeth upon every man that hath received the Spirit, conferre aliquid in publicum, to cast his [Page 67] gifts into the common treasury of the Church, to imploy his A good parts and spirituall graces so, as they may some way or other be profitable to his brethren and fellow-servants in Church and Common-wealth. It is an old received Canon, Beneficium propter officium. No man seetteth a Steward over his house, onely to receive his rents, and then to keep the moneys in his hand, and make no provision out of it for his Hines and servants: but it is the Luk. 12.42. office of a good and wise Steward to give every one of the houshold his appointed portion at the appointed seasons. And who so receiveth a spirituall gift, ipso facto taketh upon him the office, and is bound to the duties of a Steward; [1 Pet. 4.10. As B every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one un­to another, as good stewards of the manifold graces of God, 1 Pet. 4.] It was not onely for orders sake, and for the beautifying of his Church, (though that also) that God Eph. 4.11, 12. gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers: but also, and especially, for more necessary and pro­fitable uses; for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministery, for the edifying of the body of Christ, Ephs. 4.11, 12. The members of the body, are not every one for it self, but every one for other, and all for the whole. The stomach eateth, not to C fill it self, but to nourish the Body; the Eye seeth, not to please it self, but to espie for the Body; the foot moveth, not to exercise it self, but to carry the Body; the Hand worketh, not to help it self, but to maintain the body; every Eph. 4.16. joynt supplieth something ac­cording to the effectuall working in the measure of every part, for the fit joyning together, and compacting, and encreasing of the bo­dy to the edifying it selfe in love. Hic Ver. 27. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Now this necessity of employing spirituall gifts to the good and 29 profit of others, ariseth first from the will and the intent of the Giver: D my Text sheweth plainly what that intent was; The manifestation of the Spirit was therefore given to every man, that he might profit withall. Certainly, as Deus & na­tura nihil sa­ciunt sustra. Nature doth not, so much lesse doth the God of Nature, make any thing to no purpose, or barely for shew; but for use: and the use, for which all these things were made and given, is 1 Cor. 14.26 edification. He that hath an estate made over to him in trust and for uses, hath in equity therein no estate at all, if he turne the commodities of the thing some other way, and not to those speciall uses for which he was so estated in it. So he that employeth not his spirituall gift to the use for which it was given, to the In communem utilitatem col­latum est. E­rasm. in pa­phr. hic. profit of the Church; he hath E de jure forfeited it to the giver. And we have sometimes known him de facto to take the forfeiture; as from the unprofitable servant in the Gospel, [Mat. 25.28. See Hieron. in Agg. 2.9. Take the talent from him.] We have sometimes seen the experiment of it. Men of excellent parts, by slackning their zeal, to have lost their very gifts; and by neglecting the use, [Page 68] to have lost the Principall; finding a sensible decay in those powers, A which they were slothfull to bring into act. It is a just thing with the Jam. 1.15. Father of Lights, when he hath lighted any man a candle, by bestowing spirituall gifts upon him; and lent him a candlestick too whereon to set it▪ by providing him a stay in the Church: if that man shall then Matth. 5.15. hide his candle under a bushel, and envy the light and comfort of it to them that are in the house; either to re­move his candlestick, or to put out his candle in obscurity.

30 As the intent of the Giver, so secondly, the nature and quality of the gift calleth upon us for employment. It is not with these spirituall gifts, as with most other things, which when they are B imparted, are empaired; and lessened by communicating. Here is no place for that allegation of the Virgins, Matth. 25.9. Ne non sufficiat: Lest there be not enough for you and for us. These graces are of the number of those things, that communicate themselves by Mul­tiplication, not Division; and by diffusion, without waste. As the seal maketh impression in the wax, and as fire conveyeth heat into Iron, and as one candle tindeth a thousand: all without losse of figure, heat, or light. Had ever any man lesse knowledg, or wit, or learning, by teaching of others? had he not rather more? Eccles. 12.9. The more wise the Preacher was, the more he taught the People Knowledge, C saith Salomon, Eccles. 12. and certainly the more he taught them knowledge, the more his own wisdome increased. As the [...] King. 4.4. Widows oyle increased, not in the vessell, but by powring out; and as the Joh. 6.11. barly bread in the Gospel multiplyed, not in the whole loaf, but by breaking and distributing; and as the 2 Cor. 9.10. grain bringeth increase, not when it lyeth on a heap in the garner, but by scattering upon the land: so are these spirituall graces best improved, not by Absconsione minnitur, & communicatio­ne multiplica­tur. Cassiod. in Epist. keeping them together, but by distributing them abroad. Tutius in credi­to quàm in sudario: the talent gathereth nothing in the napkin, un­lesse it be rust and canker; but travelling in the bank, besides the D good it doth as it passeth to and fro, it ever Quò in plu­res diffunditur, [...]ò redundanti­or manet (fortè leg. manat.) & in suum fon­tem recurrit. In se enim refluit ubertas pruden­tiae; & quò pluribus flux­erit, eà exerci­tius fit omne quod remanet. Ambr. 2. Offic. 15. returneth home with increase.

Thirdly, our own unsufficiency to all offices, and the need we have of other mens gifts, must enforce us to lend them the help and com­fort of ours. GOD hath so distributed the variety of his gifts with singular wisdome, that there is no man so mean, but his ser­vice may be usefull to the greatest: nor any man so eminent, but he 31 may sometimes stand in need to the meanest of his brethren: of pur­pose, that whilest each hath need of other, each should help, none should despise other. As in a Societas no­stra lapidum fornica i [...]xi si­millima est: quae casura, nisi▪ invicem obsta­rent, hoc uno sustinetur. Se­nec. Epist. 95. building, the stones help one ano­ther,E every lower stone supporting the higher from falling to the ground, and every higher stone saving the lower from taking wet; and as in the body, every member Ephes. 4.16. lendeth some supply to the rest, and again receiveth supply from them: so in the spirituall building, and mysticall body of the Church, God hath so tempered the parts, [Page 69] A each having his use, and each his defects; Hic. V. 24, 5 [...]. that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care one for ano­ther. Such a consent there should be in the parts, as was between the Anthol. 1.4. blind and lame man in the Epigram: mutually covenanting the Blind to carry the Lame, and the Lame to direct the Blind; that so the Blind might find his way by the others eyes, and the Lame walk therein upon the others legs. When a man is once come to that all-sufficiency in himself, as he may truly say to the rest of his bre­thren, Hic Ver. 21. I stand in no need of you: let him then keep his gifts to him­self: but let him in the mean time remember, he must employ them B to the advantage of his master, and to the benefit of his brother. [The manifestation of the spirit is given to every man to profit withall.]

Surely then those men, first of all, run a course strangely exorbi­tant; 32 who instead of employing them to the profit, bend those gifts they have received, (whether spirituall or temporall) to the ruine and destruction of their brethren. Instead of winning souls to Heaven; with busie and cursed diligence Mat. 23.15. compassing Sea and Land, to draw Proselytes to the Devil: and instead of raising up seed to their elder brother Christ, seeking to make their brethren (if it were possible) ten times more the children of hell then themselves. Abusing their C Power to oppression, their wealth to luxury, their strength to drun­kennesse, their wit to Scoffing, Atheism, Prophanenesse, their lear­ning to the maintenance of Heresie, Idolatry, Schism, Novelty. If there be a fearfull woe due to those that Mat. 25.30. Intelligatur poena interver­soris ex poena pigri. Aug. in Psal. 99. use not their gifts profi­tably; what woes may we think shall overtake them, that so ungra­ciously abuse them?

But to leave these wretches: be perswaded in the second place, all you, whom God hath made Stewards over his houshold, and 33 blessed your basket and your store, to Mat. 13.52. bring forth of your treasures things both new and old; manifest the spirit God hath given you, so D as may be most for the profit of your brethren. The spirit of God when he gave you wisdome, and knowledge, intended not so much the wisdome and the knowledge themselves, as the manifestation of them, or (as it is in the next verse) Hic Ver. 8. the Word of Wisdome, and the Word of Knowledge: as Christ also promised his Apostles, to give them Luke 21.15. Os & sapientiam; A mouth, and wisdom. Alas, what is wis­dom without a mouth? but as a pot of treasure hid in the ground, which no man is the better for. Syrac. 20.30. Wisdom that is hid, and a treasure that is not seen, what profit is in them both? O then do not knit up your Masters talent in a Luc. 19.20. Napkin, smother not his light under a Mat. 5.15. bu­shell; E pinch not his servants of their due Luc. 12.42—46. provision; pot not up the Exod. 16. [...]0. Manna you have gathered till it stink, and the worms con­sume it: but above all, squander not away your rich portions by riotous living. Let not either sloth, or envy, or pride, or pretended modesty, or any other thing hinder you, from labouring to discharge faithfully that trust and duty, which God expecteth, which the ne­cessity [Page 70] of the Church challengeth, which the measure of your gifts pro­miseth,A which the condition of your calling exacteth from you. Re­member the manifestation of the Spirit was given you to profit withall.

34 Thirdly, since the end of all gifts is to profit: aim most at those gifts that will profit most; and endeavour so to frame those you have in the exercise of them, as they may be likeliest to bring pro­fit to those that shall partake them. Hic ver. 31. Covet earnestly the best gifts, saith my Apostle at the last verse of this Chapter, and you have his Comment upon that Text in the first verse of the fourteenth Chapter, 1 Cor. 15.1. Covet spirituall gifts, [...], but rather that ye may prophecy. And by propecying, he meaneth Prophetas in­terpretes dicit scripturarum Ambr. in 1 Cor. c. 63. Prophetia i. e. donum inter­pretandi, scri­pturas. Piscat. schol. in 1 Cor. 1.22. Mysticum sensum ad salu­tem audito­rum explanan­tes. Eras. in Paraphr. ad 1 Cor. 14. the Instru­ction B of the Church, and people of God in the needfull doctrines of faith towards God, Repentance from dead works, and new and holy Obedience. It is one Stratagem of the Arch-enemy of man­kind, (and when we know his wiles, we may the better be able to defeat him,) by busying men of great and useful parts in by-matters, and things of lesser consequence; to divert them from following that unum necessarium, that which should be the main in all our en­deavours, the beating down of sin, the planting of Faith, and the reformation of manners. Controversies, I confesse, are necessary, the Tongues necessary, Histories necessary, Philosophy and The Arts C necessary, other Knowledge of all sorts necessary in the Church: for Truth must be maintained, Scripture-phrases opened, Heresie confuted, the mouths of Adversaries stopped, Schisms and Novelties suppressed. But when all is done, Positive and Practique Divinity is it must bring us to Heaven▪ that is it must poise our judgements, settle our consciences, direct our lives, mortifie our corruptions, en­crease our graces, strengthen our comforts, save our souls. Hoc opus, hoc studium: there is no study to this, none so well worth the la­bour as this, none that can bring so much profit to others, nor there­fore so much glory to God, nor therefore so much comfort to our D own hearts, as this. Titus 3.8. This is a faithfull saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly (saith S. Paul to Titus) that they which have believed in God might be carefull to maintain good works: these things are good and profitable unto men. You cannot do more good unto the Church of God, you cannot more profit the people of God, by your gifts; then by pressing effectually these two great points, Faith, and good works. These are good and profitable unto men.

I might here adde other Inferences from this point, as namely, 35 since the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every one of us E chiefly for this end, that we may profit the people with it, that there­fore fourthly, in our preaching we should rather seek to profit our hearers, though perhaps with sharp and unwelcome reproofs, then to please them by flattering them in evil: and that fifthly, we should more desire to bring profit unto them, then to gain applause [Page 71] A unto our selves: and sundry other more besides these. But I will neither adde any more, nor prosecute these any farther at this time, but give place to other businesse. God the Father of Lights, and of Spirits, endow every one of us, in our Places and Callings, with a competent measure of such Graces, as in his wisdome and good­nesse he shall see needfull and expedient for us, and so direct our hearts, and tongues, and endeavours in the exercise and manifestation thereof, that by his good blessing upon our labours we may be ena­bled to advance his Glory, propagate his Truth, benefit his Church, discharge a good Conscience in the mean time, and B at the last make our account with comfort at the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. To whom, &c.

FINIS.
A

B AD CLERUM. The Fourth Sermon. C At a Metropoliticall Visitation, at Grantham, Lincoln, 22. August 1634.

ROM. 14.23.

— For whatsoever is not of Faith is sin.

ONE remarkable difference (among many other) D between Good and Evil, is this: that there must 1 be a concurrence of all requisite conditions to make a thing good; whereas to make a thing evil, a single defect in any one condition alone will suffice. Aquin. 1.2. qu. 18. art. 4. ad 3. Bonum ex causa integra, malum ex partiali. If we propose not to our selves a right end; or if we pitch not upon proper and convenient means for the attaining of that end, or if we pursue not these means in a due manner, or if we observe not exactly every materiall circumstance in the whole pursuit; if we fail but in any one point: the action, though E it should be in every other respect such as it ought to be, by that one defect becommeth wholly sinfull. Nay more, not onely a true and reall, but even a supposed and imaginary defect; the bare opinion of unlawfulnesse, is able to vitiate the most justifiable act, and to turn it into sin. [I know there is nothing unclean of it self: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean, at the [Page 74] 14 verse of this Chapter.] Nay yet more, not onely a setled opini­on A that the thing we do is unlawfull; but the very suspension of our judgement, and the doubtfulnesse of our minds whether we may lawfully do it or no, maketh it sometimes unlawfull to be done (of us,) and if we do it, sinfull. [He that but doubteth is damned, if he eat; because he eateth not of faith:] in the former part of this verse. The ground whereof the Apostle delivereth in a short and full Apho­rism; and concludeth the whole Chapter with it, in the words of the Text, [For whatsoever is not of faith, is sin.]

2 Many excellent instructions there are, scattered throughout the whole Chapter, most of them concerning the right use of that Li­berty B we have unto things of indifferent nature well worthy our Chri­stian consideration, if we had time and leisure for them. But this last Rule alone will find us work enough: and therefore omitting the rest, we will (by Gods assistance with your patience) presently fall in hand with this, and intend it wholly, in the Explication first, and then in the Application of it. For by how much it is of more profi­table and universall use for the regulating of the common offices of life: by so much is the mischief greater if it be, and accordingly our care ought to be so much the greater that it be not, either misun­derstood, or misapplyed. Quod non ex fide, peccatum: that is the C rule. Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin. In the Explication of which words, there would be little difficulty, had not the ambiguity of the word Faith occasioned difference of interpretations, and so left a way open to some misapprehensions, Faith is verbum [...], as most other words are. There be that have Marlorat. in Enchirid. reckoned up more than twenty severall significations of it in the Scriptures. But I find three especially looked at by those, who either purposely or occasio­nally have had to do with this Text: each of which we shall exa­mine in their Order.

First and most usually, especially in the Apostolicall writings, the D 3 word Faith is used to signifie that Theologicall vertue, or gracious ha­bit, whereby we embrace with our minds and affections the Lord Iesus Christ, as the onely begotten Son of God, and alone Saviour of the world, casting our selves wholly upon the mercy of God through his merits, for remission and everlasting salvation. It is that which is commonly called a lively or justifying faith: whereunto are ascribed in holy Writ those many gracious effects, ofActs 15.9.purifying the heart,Joh. 1.12. & Galat. 4.26.adoption,Rom. 3.28. & 5.1.justification,Hab. 2.4. & Gal. 2.20.life,Rom. 15.13. 1 Pet. 1.8.joy,Rom. 5.1.peace,Acts 16.34. Ephes. 1.8.salva­tion, &c. Not as to their proper and primary cause; but as to the instrument, whereby we apprehend and apply Christ, whose merits E and spirit are the true causes of all those blessed effects. And in this notion many of our later Divines seem to understand it in our present Text: whilest they alledge it for the confirmation of this Position, that All the works (even the best works) of unbelievers are sins.

[Page 75] A A position condemned indeed by the Trent-Council, and▪ that under a curse; taking it (as I suppose) in a wrong construction;Si qui [...] dixe­rit opera omnia quae ante ju­stificationem fiunt verè esse peccata, Ana­thema sit. Con-Trident. Sess. 6. Can. 7. but not 4 worthy of so heavy a censure, if it be rightly understood; accor­ding to the doctrine of our Church in the thirteenth Article of her Confession, and according to the tenour of those Scriptures whereon that doctrine is grounded, Viz. Mat. 12.33. Rom. 8.8. Tit. 1.15. Heb. 11.6, &c. Howbeit I take it (with subjection of judgement) that that Conclusion, what truth soever it may have in it self, hath yet no direct foundation in this Text. The Verb [...] to believe, and the Nown [...] faith or belief, are both of them found sundry times in B this Chapter: yet seem not to signifie in any place thereof, either the Verb the Act, or the Nown the Habit, of this saving or justifying Faith, of which we now speak. But being opposed every where, and namely in this last verse unto doubtfulnesse of judgement concer­ning the lawfulness of some indifferent things; must therefore needs be understood of such a perswasion of judgement concerning such lawfulness, as is opposite to such doubting. Which kind of Faith may be found in a meer heathen man: who never having heard the least syllable of the mystery of salvation by Christ, may yet be assured out of clear evidence of reason, that many of the things he doth are such C as he may and ought to do. And as it may be found in a meer hea­then man, so it may be wanting in a true believer: who stedfastly resting upon the blood of Christ for his eternall redemption, may yet through the strength of temptation, sway of passion, or other distemper or subreption incident to humane frailty, do some particular act or acts, of the lawfulnesse whereof he is not sufficiently perswa­ded. The Apostle then here speaking of such a Faith as may be both found in an unbeliever, and also wanting in a true believer: it appeareth that by Faith he meaneth not that justifying Faith, which maketh a true believer to differ from an unbeliever; but the word must be understood in some other notion.

D Yet thus much I may adde withall in the behalf of those worthy 5 men that have alledged this Scripture for the purpose aforesaid, to excuse them from the imputation of having (at least wilfully) hand­led the Word of God deceitfully. First, that the thing it self 1 being true, and the words also sounding so much that way, might easily induce them to conceive that to be the very meaning. And common equity will not that men should be presently condem­ned, if they shall sometimes confirm a point from a place of Scripture not altogether pertinent, if yet they think it to be so: especially so long as the substance of what they write is according E to the analogy of Faith and Godlinesse. Secondly, that albeit these 2 words in their most proper and immediate sense will not ne­cessarily enforce that Conclusion: yet it may seem deducible therefrom with the help of some topicall arguments, and by more remote inferences; as some learned men have endeavoured to [Page 76] shew, not altogether improbably. And thirdly, that they who A interpret this Text as aforesaid, are neither singular nor novell there­in; but walk in the same path, which some of the ancient Fathers have trod before them. The Though S. Au­gust. sometimes applyeth it also to prove, that all the actions of infidels (mea­ning, &c.) be sin Rhem. annot. in loc. Rhemists themselves confesse it of S. Augustine: to whom they might have added also Et omne quod non est ex fide peccatum est: ut sc. intelligat justitiā in [...]ide­liū non esse ju­stitiam: quia sordet natura sine gratia. Prosper. in E­pist. ad Rufin. V. etiam eun­dem contra Collat. S. Prosper, and (whose authority alone is enough to stop their mouthes for ever) Extra Eccle­siam Catholicam nihil est inte­grum, nil [...]l ca­stum, dicente Apostolo, Omne quod non, &c. Leo serm. 2. de jejun. Pentec. Leo Bishop of Rome, who have all cited these words for the self-same purpose.

But we are content, for the reasons already shewn, to let it passe as a collection impertinent: and that I suppose is the worst that can be made of it. There is a second acception of the word Faith: put,B either for the whole systeme of that truth which God hath been plea­sed to reveale to his Church in the Scriptures of the old and new Testament, or some part thereof: or else ( [...]) for the assent of the mind thereunto. In which signification some conceiving the words of this Text to be meant, do hence inferre a false and dan­gerous conclusion; which yet they would obtrude upon the Christi­an Church as an undoubted principle of truth: that T C l. 1 p. 59 &c. apud Hoo­ker lib. 2. men are bound for every particular action they do to have direction and warrant from the written word of God, or else they sinne in the doing of it. For (say they) faith must be grounded upon the word of God, Rom. 10.17. (Faith cometh C by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, Rom. 10.) Where there is T.C. l. 1 p. 27 apud Hooker lib. 2. Sect. 4. no Word then, there can be no Faith: and then, by the Apo­stles doctrine, that which is done without the Word to warrant it, must needs be sin, for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. This is their opinion, and thus they would inferre it.

6 I know not any piece of counterfeit doctrine, that hath passed so currently in the world, with so little suspicion of falshood, and so little open contradiction as this hath done. One chief cause where­of I conjecture to be, for that it seemeth to make very much for the honour and perfection of Gods sacred Law: the fulnesse and suf­ficiency D whereof none in the Christian Church but Papists or 7 Atheists will deny▪ In which respect, the very questioning of it now, will perhaps seem a strange novelty to many, and occasion their miscensures. But as God himself, so the Holy Word of God is so full of all requisite perfection, that it needeth not to begge ho­nour from an untruth. (Job 13.7 Will you speak wickedly for God? or talk deceit­fully for him?) I hold it very needfull therefore, both for the vin­dicating of my Text from a common abuse, and for the arming of all my brethren as well of the Clergy as Laity against a common and plausible errour, that neither they teach it, nor these receive it: briefly E and clearly to shew, that the aforesaid opinion, in such sort as some have proposed it, and many have understood it, (for it is capable of a good interpretation, wherein it may be allowed;) first is utterly devoid of truth; and secondly draweth after it many dangerous conse­quents and evil effects; and Thirdly, hath no good warrant from my present Text.

[Page 77] A The Opinion is, that to do any thing at all without direction 8 from the Scripture is unlawfull and sinfull. Which if they would understand onely of the substantials of Gods worship, and of the exer­cises of spirituall and supernaturall graces, the assertion were true and sound: but as they extend it, to I say that the Word of God containeth whatsoever things can fall into any part of mans life. T. C. lib. 1. p. 20. apud Hooker lib. 2. Sect. 1. all the actions of common life what­soever, whether naturall or civil, even so farre as to the taking up of a straw: so it is altogether false and indefensible. I marvell what warrant they that so teach have from the Scripture for that very doctrine: or where they are commanded so to believe or teach. One of their chiefest refuges is the Text we now have in hand: but I B shall anon drive them from this shelter. The other places usually alleaged speak onely, either of divine and supernaturall truths to be believed, or else of workes of grace or worship to be performed▪ as of necessity unto salvation: which is not to the point in issue. For it is freely confessed, that in things of such nature the Holy Scripture is, and so we are to account it, a most absolute and sufficient directi­on. Upon which ground we heartily reject all humane traditions, devised and intended as supplements to the doctrine of faith contained in the Bible, and annexed as Codicils to the holy Testament of Christ, for to supply the defects thereof. The question is wholly about C things in their nature indifferent, such as are the use of our food, raiment, and the like; about which the common actions of life are chiefly conversant: Whether in the choice and use of such things, we may not be sometimes sufficiently guided by the light of reason and the common rules of discretion: but that we must be able, (and are so bound to do, or else we sinne) for every thing we do in such matters, to deduce our warrant from some place or other o [...] Scrip­ture.

Before the Scriptures were written it pleased GOD by visions, 9 and dreames, and other like revelations, immediately to make D known his good pleasure to the Patriarches and Prophets, and by them unto the people: which kind of Revelations served them to all the same intents and purposes, whereto the sacred Scriptures now do us, viz. to instruct them what they should believe and do for his bet­ter service, and the furtherance of their own salvations. Now as it were unreasonable for any may to think, that they either had or did expect an immediate revelation from God every time they ate, or drank, or bought, or sold, or did any other of the common actions of life, for the warranting of each of those particular actions to their consciences: no lesse unreasonable it is to think, that we should E now expect the like warrant from the Scriptures for the doing of the like actions. Without all doubt the Law of nature, and the light of reason, was the rule whereby they were guided for the most part in such matters: which the wisdome of God would never have left in them or us, as a principall relike of his decayed image in us, if he had not meant, that we should make use of it, for the direction [Page 78] of our lives and actions thereby. Certainly God never infused any A power into any creature, whereof he intended not some use. Else, what shall we say of the Indies and other barbarous nations, to whom God never vouchsafed the lively oracles of his written word? Must we think that they were left a lawlesse people, without any Rule at all whereby to order their actions? How then come they to be guilty of transgression? for where there is Rom. 4.15. no Law, there can be no trans­gression. Or how cometh it about that their consci [...]nces should at any time or in any case either Rom. 2.15. accuse them, or excuse them, if they had no guide nor rule to walk by? But if we must grant they had a Rule, (and there is no way, you see, but grant it B we must;) then we must also of necessity grant that there is some other Rule for humane actions besides the written word: for that we presupposed these nations to have wanted. Which Rule what o­ther could it be, then the Law of Nature and of right reason, imprin­ted Rom. 2.15. in their hearts! Which is as truly the Law and Word of God, as is that which is printed in our Bibles. So long as our actions are war­ranted either by the one or the other, we cannot be said to want the warrant of Gods Word: Tertul. de coron. milit. cap. 4. Nec differet Scripturâ an ratione consistat, saith Tertullian; it mattereth not much from whether of both we have our direction, so long as we have it from either.C

You see then those men are in a great errour, who make the holy 10 Scriptures the sole rule of all humane actions whatsoever. For the maintenance whereof, there was never yet produced any piece of an argument, either from reason, or from authority of holy writ, or from the testimony either of the ancient Fathers, or of other classicall Divines of later times; which may not be clearely and abundantly answered, to the satisfaction of any rationall man not extremely fore-possessed with prejudice. They who think to salve the mat­ter by this mitigation; that at least wise our actions ought to be framed according to those generall rules of the Law of Nature, D which are here and there in the Scriptures dispersedly contained; (as viz. That we should do as we would be done to; That all things be done decently, and orderly, and unto edification; That nothing be done against conscience, and the like:) speak somewhat indeed to 1 the truth, but little to the purpose. For they consider not, First, that these generall Rules are but occasionally and incidentally men­tioned in Scripture; rather to manifest unto us a former, than to 2 lay upon us a new obligation. Secondly, that those rules had been of force for the ordering of mens actions, though the Scripture had never expressed them: and were of such force, before those Scrip­tures E were written, wherein they are now expressed. For they bind not originally quà scripta, but quà justa; because they are 3 righteous, not because they are written. Thirdly, that an action conformable to these generall rules might not be condemned as sin­full, although the doer thereof should look at those rules meerly [Page 79] A as they are the dictates of the law of nature; and should not be able to vouch his warrant for it from any place of Scripture, nei­ther should have at the time of the doing thereof any present thought or consideration of any such place. The contrary where­unto, I permit to any mans reasonable judgement, if it be not desperately rash and uncharitable to affirm. Lastly, that if mens 4 actions done agreeably to those rules are said to be of faith, pre­cisely for this reason, because those rules are contained in the word: then it will follow, that before those particular Scriptures were written wherein any of those rules are first delivered, every action B done according to those rules had been done without faith, (there being as yet no Scripture for it;) and consequently had been a sin. So that by this doctrine it had been a sin (before the writing ofMat. 7.12.S. Matthews Gospel) for any man to have done to others as he would they should do to him; and it had been a sin (before the writing of the1 Cor. 14.40former Epistle to the Corinthians) for any man to have done any thing decently and orderly; supposing these two rules to be in those two places first mentioned: because (this supposed) there could then have been no warrant brought from the Scriptures for so doing.

Well then, we see the former Opinion will by no means hold,11 C neither in the rigour of it, nor yet in the mitigation. We are there­fore to beware of it; and that so much the more heedfully, because of the evil consequents and effects that issue from it: to wit, a world of superstitions, uncharitable censures, bitter contentions, contempt of superiours, perplexities of conscience. First, it filleth mens heads with many superstitious conceits, making them to cast impurity upon sundry things, which yet are lawfull to as many as use them lawful­ly. For the taking away of the indifferency of any thing that is in­different, is in truth Superstition: whether either of the two wayes it be done, either by requiring it as necessary, or by forbidding it as D unlawfull. He that condemneth a thing as utterly unlawfull, which yet indeed is indifferent, and so lawfull, is guilty of superstition, as well as he that enjoyneth a thing as absolutely necessary, which yet indeed is but indifferent, and so arbitrary. They of the Church of Rome, and some in our Church, as they go upon quite contrary grounds, yet both false; so they run into quite contrary errours, and both superstitious. They decline too much on the left hand, denying to the holy Scripture that perfection which of right it ought to have; of containing all things appertaining to that supernatural doctrine of faith and holinesse which God hath revealed to his Church for the at­tainment E of everlasting salvation: whereupon they would impose up­on Christian people, & that with an opinion of necessity, many things which the Scriptures require not: and that is a Superstition. These wry too much on the right hand, ascribing to the holy Scripture such a kind of perfection as it cannot have; of being the sole directour of all humane actions whatsoever: whereupon they forbid unto Chri­stian [Page 80] people, and that under the name of sinne, sundry things A which the holy Scripture condemneth not: and that is a superstition too.

12 From which Superstition proceedeth in the second place unchari­table censuring: as evermore they that are the most superstitious, are the most supercilious. No such severe censurers of our blessed Savi­ours person and actions, as the superstitious Scribes and Pharisees were. In this Chapter the speciall fault, which the Apostle bla­meth in the weak ones, (who were somewhat superstitiously affected,) was their rash and uncharitable Ver. 3.4.10. & 13. judging of their brethren. And common and daily experience among our selves sheweth how freely B some men spend their censures upon so many of their brethren, as without scruple do any of those things, which they upon false grounds have superstitiously condemned as utterly unlawfull.

13 And then thirdly, as unjust censures are commonly entertained with scorn and contumely; they that so liberally condemn their brethren of prophaneness, are by them again as freely flouted for their preciseness: and so whiles both parties please themselves in their own wayes, they cease not mutually to provoke and scandalize and exasperate the one the other, pursuing their private spleens so far, till they break out into open contentions & oppositions. Thus it stood C in the Roman Church, when this Epistle was written. They Ver. 3. jud­ged one another, and despised one another, to the great disturbance of the Churches peace: which gave occasion to our Apostles whole discourse in this Chapter. And how far the like censurings and de­spisings have embittered the spirits, and whetted both the tongues and pens of learned men one against another in our own Church; the 14 stirs that have been long since raised, & are still upheld by the factious opposers against our Ecclesiasticall constitutions, government, and ce­remonies, will not suffer us to be ignorant. Most of which stirs, I verily perswade my self, had been long ere this either wholly buri­ed D in silence, or at leastwise prettily well quieted, if the weaknesse and danger of the errour whereof we now speak, had been more timely discovered, and It is indeed fully handled by M. Hooker in his second book of Eccles. Policy: but few men of that party will read his works though writ­ten with sin­gular learn­ing, wisdome, godliness, & moderation. more fully and frequently made known to the world, than it hath been.

Fourthly, let that doctrine be once admitted, and all humane au­thority will soon be despised. The commands of Parents, Masters, and Princes, which many times require both secrecy and expedition, shall be taken into slow deliberation; and the equity of them sifted by those that are bound to obey, though they know no cause why, so long as they know no cause to the contrary. Pet. Blesens. Epist. 131. Delicata est obedi­entia,E quae transit in causae genus deliberativum. It is a nice obedience in Delicata satis, imo nimis mole­sta est ista obe­dientia, &c. Bern. de prae­cept. & dispens. S. Bernards judgement, yea rather troublesome and odious, that is over-curious in Infirmae pror­sùs voluntatis indicium est, statuta lenio. ii studiosiùs dis­cutere; haerere ad singula quae injunguntur; exigere de qui­bus (que) rationem; & malè suspi­cari de omni praecepto cujus causa latuerit; nec unquam li­benter obedire, nisi, &c. Bern. Ibid. discussing the commands of superiours; boggling at every thing that is enjoyned, requiring a why for every wherefore, and unwilling to stir untill the lawfulness and expediency of the thing [Page 81] A commanded shall be demonstrated by some manifest reason, or un­doubted authority from the Scriptures.

Lastly, the admitting of this doctrine would cast such a snare up­on 15 men of weak judgements, but tender consciences, as they should never be able to unwind themselves thereout again. Mens daily occasions for themselves or friends, and the necessities of common life, require the doing of a thousand things within the compasse of a few dayes; for which it would puzzle the best Textman that liveth, readily to bethink himself of a sentence in the Bible, clear enough to satisfie a scrupulous conscience of the lawfulnesse and expediency of B what he is about to do: for which, by hearkening to the rules of reason and discretion, he might receive easie and speedy resolution. In which cases if he should be bound to suspend his resolution, and delay to do that which his own reason would tell him were presently needfull to be done, untill he could haply call to mind some precept or example of Scripture for his warrant: what stops would it make in the course of his whole life? what languishings in the du­ties of his calling? how would it fill him with doubts and irresoluti­ons, lead him into a maze of uncertainties, entangle him in a world of wofull perplexities, and (without the great mercy of God, and C better instruction) plunge him irrecoverably into the gulph of de­spair? Since the chief end of the publication of the Gospel, is to Esay 40.1, 2. comfort the hearts, and to revive and refresh the spirits of Gods people with Esay 61.1-3. the glad tidindgs of liberty from the spirit of Rom. 8.15. bondage and 2 Tim. 1.7. fear, and of gracious acceptance with their GOD; to anoint them with Psal. 45.7. the oyl of gladness, giving them beauty for ashes, and in­stead of Psal. 30.11. sackcloth girding them with joy: we may well suspect that doctrine not to be Evangelicall, which thus setteth the consciences of men upon the rack, tortureth them with continuall fears and perplexities, and prepareth them thereby unto hellish despaire.

D These are the grievous effects and pernicious consequents that will 16 follow upon their opinion, who hold, that we must have warrant from the Scripture for every thing whatsoever we do: not onely in spirituall things, (wherein alone it is absolutely true,) nor yet one­ly in other matters of weight, though they be not spirituall, (for which perhaps there might be some colour) but also in the common affairs of life, even in the most slight and triviall things. Yet for that the Patrons of this opinion build themselves as much upon the authority of this present Text, as upon any other passage of Scripture whatsoever, (which is the reason why we have stood thus E long upon the examination of it:) we are therefore [...] next place to clear the Text from that their mis-interpretation. The force of their collection standeth thus (as you heard already:) that faith is ever grounded upon the word of God; & that therefore whatsoever action is not grounded upon the word, being it is not of faith, by the Apostles rule here, must needs be a sin. Which collection could not be de­nied, [Page 82] if the word Faith were here taken in that sense which they A imagine, and wherein it is very usuall taken in the Scriptures; viz. for the doctrine of supernaturall and divine revelation, or for the be­lief thereof: which doctrine we See Articles of the Church of England. Artic. 6. willingly acknowledge to be compleatly contained in the holy Scriptures alone, and therefore dare not admit into our belief, as a branch of divine supernaturall truth, any thing not therein contained. But there is a third signification of the word Faith, nothing so frequently found in the Scriptures as the two former; which yet appeareth both by the course of this whole Chapter, and by the consent of the best and most approved in­terpreters as well ancient as modern, to have been properly inten­ded B by our Apostle in this place: namely that wherein it is put for a certain perswasion of mind, that what we do may lawfully be done. So that whatsoever action is done by us, with reasonable assurance and perswasion of the lawfulnesse thereof in our own consciences, is in our Apostles purpose so far forth an action of Faith: without any in­quiring into the means whereby that perswasion was wrought in us; whether it were the light of our own reason, or the authority of some credible person, or the declaration of Gods revealed will in his writ­ten Word. And on the other side, whatsoever action is done, ei­ther directly contrary to the judgement and verdict of our own consci­ences, C or at leastwise doubtingly and before we are in some competent measure assured that we may lawfully do it: that is it which S. Paul here denieth to be of faith, and of which he pronounceth so perem­ptorily that it is (and that co nomine) a sin.

17 About which use and signification of the word Faith we need not to trouble our selves to fetch it from a trope, either of Heming in Rom. 14.1. a Metonymie or Piscat. ibid. Synecdoche, as some do. For though (as I say) it do not so of­ten occur in Scripture; yet it is indeed the primary and native signi­fication of the word [...] faith, derived from the root [...] to per­swade. Because all kinds of Faith whatsoever consist in a kind of D perswasion. You shall therefore find the words, [...] which signi­fieth properly to believe, and [...] which signifieth properly not to be perswaded, to be opposed as contrary either to other in Joh. 3.3, 6. & Acts 14.1, 2. Iohn 1 3. and Acts 14. and other places. To omit the frequent use of the words [...] and Fides, in Greek and Latine authors in this significa­tion: observe but the passages of this very Chapter, and you will be satisfied in it. At the second verse, Hic Verse 2. [...], one believeth that he may eat all things: that is, he is verily perswaded in his conscience that he may as lawfully eat flesh as herbs, any one kind of meat as 2 any other, he maketh no doubt of it. Again at the fourteenth E verse, Verse 14. [...], I know and am perswaded that there is nothing unclean of it self. That is, I stedfastly believe it is a most certain and un­doubted truth. Again at the two and twentieth verse, Verse 22. [...]; Hast thou faith? have it to thy self before God: that is, art thou in thy conscience perswaded that thou maist lawfully partake any of the [Page 83] A good creatures of God? Let that perswasion suffice thee for the ap­proving of thine own heart in the sight of God: but trouble not the Church, nor offend thy weaker brother, by a needlesse and un­seasonable ostentation of that thy knowledge. Lastly, in this three and twentieth verse, Verse 23. [...], He that doubteth is damned if he 4 eat, because he eateth not of faith: that is, he that is not yet fully perswaded in his own mind, that it is lawfull for him to eat some kinds of meats, (as namely swines flesh, or bloodings,) and yet is drawn against his own judgement to eat thereof because he seeth others so to do, or because he would be loth to undergo the B taunts and jears of scorners, or out of any other poor respect: such a man is cast and condemned by the judgement of his own heart as a transgressor, because he adventureth to do that which he doth not believe to be lawfull. And then the Apostle proceeding ab hy­pothesi ad thesin, immediately reduceth that particular case into a ge­nerall rule in these words, For whatsoever is not of faith, is sin. By the processe of which his discourse it may appear, that by Faith no other thing is here meant, than such a perswasion of the mind and conscience as we have now declared, and that the true purport and intent of these words is but thus much in effect: Whosoever shall C enterprise the doing of any thing, which he verily believeth to be un­lawfull, or at leastwise is not reasonably well perswaded of the lawful­nesse of it; let the thing be otherwise and in it self what it can be, lawfull or unlawfull, indifferent or necessary, convenient or inconveni­ent, it mattereth not: to him it is a sin howsoever.

Which being the plain evident and undeniable purpose of these 18 words, I shall not need to spend any more breath either in the far­ther refutation of such conclusions as are mis-inferred hence, which fall of themselves; or in the farther Explication of the meaning of the Text, which already appeareth: but addresse my self rather to D the application of it. Wherein, because upon this great principle may depend the resolution of very many Cases of Conscience, which may trouble us in our Christian and holy walking: it will not be un­profitable to proceed by resolving some of the most material doubts and questions, among those which have occurred unto my thoughts by occasion of this Text in my meditations thereon.

First, it may be demanded, What power the Conscience hath, to 19 make a thing otherwise good and lawfull, to become unlawfull and sinfull? and whence it hath that power? I answer, First, that it is 1 not in the power of any mans judgement or conscience to alter the E naturall condition of any thing whatsoever, either in respect of qua­lity or degree: but that still every thing that was good remaineth good, and every thing that was evil remaineth evil; and that in the very same degree of good or evil as it was before, neither better nor worse, any mans particular judgement or opinion thereof not­withstanding. For the differences between good and evil, and the se­verall [Page 84] degrees of both, spring from such conditions as are intrinsecall A to the things themselves: which no Respectus non mutant naturā. Outward respects, (and much lesse then mens opinions) can vary. He that esteemeth any creature unclean, may defile himself, but he cannot bring impurity upon that 2 creature, by such his estimation. Secondly, that Opinio nostra nobis legem fa­cit. Ambr [...]. de paradis. mens judgements may make that which is good in its own nature, (the naturall good­nesse still remaining) become evil to them in the use: essentially good, and quoad rem; but quoad hominem, and accidentally evil. It is our Apostles own distinction in the fourteenth verse of this Chapter: Nothing unclean of it self: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, unclean to him. But then we must know withall, that it B holdeth not the other way. Mens judgements or opinions, although they may make that which is good in it self, to become evil to them; yet they cannot make that which is evill in it self, to become good either in it self, or to them. If a man were verily perswaded, that it were evil to ask his father blessing, that mis-perswasion would make it become evil to him: But if the same man should be as verily per­swaded that it were good to curse his father, or to deny him relief being an unbeliever; that mis-perswasion could not make either of them become good to him. Some that persecuted the Apostles were perswaded they John 16.2. did God good service in it. It was Saint Pauls C case before his conversion, who Acts 26.9. verily thought in himself, that he ought to do many things contrary to the name of Iesus. But those their perswasions would not serve to justifie those their actions. Saint Paul confesseth himself to have been 1 Tim. 1.13. a persecutor, and blasphemer, and injurious for so doing, although he followed the guidance of his own conscience therein: and to have stood in need of mercy for the remis­sion of those wicked acts, though he did them ignorantly, and Acts 23.3, 4. & Phil. 3.6. out of zeal to the Law. The reason of which difference is, that which I touched in the beginning, even because any one defect is enough to render an action evill; and consequently a defect in the agent may D do it, though the substance of the action remain still (as it was) good: but all conditions must concur to make an action good; and conse­quently a right intention in the agent will not suffice thereunto, so long as the substance of the action remaineth still (as it was) evill. Thirdly, that the Conscience hath this power over mens wils and 3 actions by virtue of that unchangeable Law of God, which he esta­blisheth by an ordinance of nature in our first creation: that the will of every man (which is the fountain whence all our actions immedi­ately flow) should conforme it self to the judgement of the practique understanding or conscience, as to its proper and immediate rule, and E yield it self to be guided thereby. So that if the understanding through Errour point out a wrong way, and the will follow it: the fault is chiefly in the understanding for mis-guiding the will. But if the understanding shew the right way, and the will take a wrong: then the fault is meerly in the will, for not following that guide which GOD hath set over it.

[Page 85] A It may be demanded secondly, Whether or no in every particu­lar 20 thing we do, an actuall consideration of the lawfulnesse and ex­pediency thereof be so requisite, as that for want thereof we should sinne in doing it? The reason of the doubt is, because otherwise how should it appeare to be of faith? and Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin. I answer, First, that in matters of weight and worthy of consulta­tion, it is very necessary that the lawfulnesse and expediency of them 1 be first diligently examined, before they be enterprised. And se­condly, that even in smaller matters the like examination is needfull 2 when there is any apparent cause of doubting. But thirdly, that in B such small and triviall matters, as it much skilleth not whether we 3 do them or no, or whether we do this rather than that,Ubi est suspicio, ibi discus [...]io necessaria. Ber­nard. Ep. 7. and where­in no doubt ariseth to trouble us; an actuall consideration of their law­fulnesse or expediency is so far from being requisite, that it would rather be troublesome and incommodious. True it is, that all volunta­ry actions are done with some deliberation, more or lesse: because it is the nature of the will to consult with the understanding in every act; else it should be irrationall and brutish. Yet there are many things which we daily do, wherein Ratio in re­bus manifestis non inquirit, sed statim ju­dicat. Aquin. 1.2. qu. 144. ad 2. the sentence of the understanding is so quick and present, because there is no difficulty in them; that they C seem to be, (and are therefore sometimes so termed) actus indelibe­rati: [...], &c. Arist. 1. Mag. Moral. 18. such as are to sit down and to rise up, to pluck a flower as we walk in a Garden, to aske the time of the day, or the name of the next Town as we travell by the way, or whether we eat of this or that dish at the table, [...]. Arist. 2. Eth. 5. and the like. For the doing of every of which, it were a ridiculous servility to be imposed upon men, if they should be tyed to district examination of the lawfullnesse and ex­pediency thereof. There is not in them dignus vindice nodus: and a mans time ought to be more precious unto him, than to be trifled a­way in such needless and minute enquiries. It is even as if we should tye a great learned man that is ready in his Latine tongue, to bethink D himself first of some grammar rule or example for the declining and parsing of every word he were to speak, before he should adventure to utter a Latine sentence. But as such a man is sufficiently assured out of the habit of his learning, that he speaketh congruously and with good propriety, though he have no present actuall reference to his Grammar rules: so here, an habituall knowledge of the nature and use of indifferent things is sufficient to warrant to the conscience the law­fulnesse of these common actions of life; so as they may be said to be of faith, though there be no farther actuall or particular disquisition used about them. A very needfull thing it is the whilest, for Chri­stian E men to endeavour to have a right judgement concerning indif­ferent things: without which it can scarcely be avoided, but that both their Consciences will be full of distracting scruples within them­selves, & their conversations full of unbrotherly carriage towards others.

It may be demanded thirdly, Since Whatsoever is not of faith is sin; 11 [Page 86] What measure of Faith, or what degree of Perswasion is necessary for A the warranting of our actions, so as lesse than that will not serve? I answer, that what is here demanded cannot be positively defined by any peremptory and immoveable rules. There is most an end a Latitude in such things as these are: which may be straitned or exten­ded more or lesse, according to the exigence of present occasions, and as the different state or quality of particular businesses shall require. There is a [...], a fulnesse of perswasion arising from evident in­fallible and demonstrative proofes, which is attainable for the per­formance of sundry duties both of civill Iustice and of Religion. And where it may be attained, it is to be endeavoured after, (though it B be not of absolute necessity:) for we cannot make our assurances too strong. The Apostle useth that word at the fifth ver. (Ve [...]se 5. hic. plen [...] certus sit. Heming. Let every man be fully perswaded in his own mind,) [...]: it is a metaphoricall word, and seemeth to be borrowed from a Ship under Quasi plenis v [...]lis feratur. Piscat. in Sh [...]l. ad Rom. 14.5. full saile, that hath both wind and tide with it to carry it with a straight and speedy course to the desired point, and nothing to hinder it. But as men, when they are to purchase lands, will desire and propose to have as good assurance as by learned counsell can be devised; but yet must be content to take such assurance as the sellers can make, or else they shall make but a few markets: so although we may de­sire C (ex abundanti) a full assurance of faith in every weighty action we shall enterprise; yet ordinarily and in most things we must content our selves to take up with a conjectural, probable, and moral certainty, or else we shall find very few things left for us to do. Fides Logica is not to be expected in all cases: in some and those the most, Fi­des Ethica must serve the turne. Nay I say yet further, and I beseech you (brethren) to take notice of it as a matter of speciall use both for the directing and quieting of your consciences: that ordinarily and in most things we need no other warrant for what we do than this onely, that there is not (to our knowledge) any law either of D Nature or Scripture against them. As the Lawyers use to say of mens persons, Quisque praesumitur esse bonus, &c. The Law taketh every man for a good man and true, till his truth and honesty be legally dis­proved; and as our Saviour sometimes said, Luk. 9.50. He that is not against us, is for us: so in these matters we are to believe all things to be lawfull for us to do, which cannot be shewn by good evidence either of Scripture or Reason to be unlawfull. Those men therefore go quite the wrong way to work, to the fearefull puzling of their own and other mens consciences, who use to argue on this manner. [This I have no warrant to do; for where is it commanded?] Whereas E they ought rather to argue thus, [This I have good warrant to do; for where is it forbidden?] Apply this now a little to those Ceremo­nies, that for orders sake, and to adde the greater solemnity to sacred actions, are appointed in the Church; Wearing the Surplize, bowing at the Name of the Lord Iesus, kneeling at the Holy Communion, [Page 87] A and the rest. Though I might say, and that truly, that these also are commanded even by divine authority in genere, that is to say, as they fall within the compasse of decent Ceremonies, by virtue of that grand Ecclesiasticall Canon, (1 Cor. 14.40. Let all things be done honestly and in order;) and that even in specie too they are commanded by the authority of those governors whom God hath set over us, and to whom we are bound in conscience, and by vertue of Gods comman­dement, to yield obedience: Yet I waive all this for the present, be­cause it is not so direct to the point in hand. Onely I aske, Where are any of these things forbidden? if they be, let it be shewn: B and that not by weake collections, and remote consequences, which are good for nothing but to engender strifes, and to multiply disputes without end; but by direct and full evidence either of Scrip­ture-text or Reason, which (for any thing I know) was never yet done, neither (as I verily believe) will ever be done. But if it can­not be shown that these things are forbidden; without any more adoe, the use of them is by that sufficiently warranted. He that will not allow of this doctrine, besides that he cherisheth an errour which will hardly suffer him to have a quiet Conscience: I yet see not how he can reconcile his opinion with those sundry passages of our Apo­stle, C[1 Tim. 4.4. Every creature of God is good, Tit. 1.15. To the pure all things are pure, Rom. 14.14. I know nothing is of it self unclean, 1 Cor. 6.12. All things are lawfull, &c.] From which passages we may with much safety conclude, that it is lawfull for us to do all those things, concerning which there can be nothing brought of moment to prove them unlawfull. Upon which ground alone if we do them, we do them upon such a perswasion of faith as is sufficient. Provided, that we have not neglected to inform our judgements the best we could for the time past; and that we are ever ready withall to yield our selves to better information, whensoever it shall be tendred unto us, for the time to come. 22

D It may be demanded fourthly, Suppose a man would fain do something, of the lawfulnesse whereof he is not in his conscience suf­ficiently resolved; whether he may in any case do it notwithstanding the reluctancy of his Conscience, yea or no? As they write of Herodo [...]. in Clio; Senec. 3. de ira. 21 Cyrus, that to make passage for his Army, he cut the great river Gyndes into many smaller chanels, which in one entire stream was not pas­sable: so to make a clear and distinct answer to this great question, I must divide it into some lesser ones. For there are sundry things considerable in it; whether we respect the conscience, or the Person of the doer, or the Action to be done. As namely and especially, in E respect of the conscience, whether the reluctancy thereof proceed from a setled and stedfast resolution, or from some doubtfulnesse one­ly, or but from some scruple? And in respect of the person, whether he be sui juris his own Master, and have power to dispose of him­self at his own choice in the things questioned; or he be under the command, and at the appointment of another? And in respect of [Page 88] the Action or thing to be done: whether it be a necessary thing, or an A unlawfull thing, or a thing indifferent and arbitrary? Any of which circumstances may quite alter the case, and so beget new questions. But I shall reduce all to three questions: whereof the first shall con­cern a resolved Conscience, the second a doubtfull conscience, and the third a scrupulous conscience.

23 The First Question then is, if the Conscience be firmly resolved, that the thing proposed to be done is unlawfull; whether it may then be done, or no? Whereunto I answer in these two conclusi­ons. The first conclusion. If the Conscience be firmly so resolved, and that upon a true ground, (that is to say, if the thing be indeed unlaw­full, B and judged so to be) it may not in any case or for any respect in the world be done. There cannot be imagined a higher Qui agit con­tra conscienti­am qua credit Deum aliquid prohibuisse, licèt erret, contemnit Deum. Bonavent. 2. sent. dist. 39. con­tempt of God, than for a man to despise the power of his own consci­ence: which is the highest soveraignty under heaven, as being Gods most immediate deputy for the ordering of his life and waies. Menand. [...], a heathen man could say. Wofull is the estate of those men (unlesse they repent) who for filthy lucre, or vain pleasure, or spitefull malice, or tottering honour, or lazy ease, or any other reigning lust, dare lye, or sweare, or cheat, or oppresse, or commit filthinesse, or steal, or kill, or slander, or flatter, or betray, or do C any thing that may advance their base ends: nothing at all regard­ing the secret whisperings, or murmurings, no nor yet the lowd roar­ings, and bellowings of their own consciences there against. Pers. Satyr. 5. Stat con­tra ratio, & secretam gannit in aurem. It doth so: but yet they turn a deaf eare to it, and despise it. Wonder not, if when they out of the terrours of their troubled consciences shall houle and roare in the eares of the Almighty for mercy, or for some mitigation at least of their torment; he then turn a deafe eare against them, and despise them. Jam. 4.17. To him that knoweth to do good, and doth it not, to him it is sin, James 4. sin not to be excused by any plea or colour: But how D much more inexcusably then is it sinne to him, that knoweth the evill he should not do, and yet will do it? There is not a proner way to Quod fit con­tra conscientiam aedificat ad ge­hennam. c. 28. qu. 1. Omnes. Sect. ex his. Hell, than to sinne against Conscience. Rom. 14.22. Happy is he which condem­neth not himself in that which he alloweth: but most wretched is he that alloweth himself to the practise of that, which in his judgement he cannot but condemne. Neither maketh it any difference at all here, whether a man be otherwise sui juris or not. For although there be a great respect due to the higher powers in doubtfull cases, (as I shall touch anon,) yet where the thing required is simply unlaw­full, and understood so to be, inferiours must absolutely resolve to E disobey, whatsoever come of it. Gods faithfull servants have ever been most resolute in such exigents. Dan. 3.16— 18. We are not carefull to answer thee in this matter; (belike in a matter of another nature they would have taken care to have given the King a more satisfactory, at least a more respective answer: but in this matter,) Be known to thee O [Page 89] A King, that we will not serve thy gods. c. 11. qu. 3. Qui resistit. ex Augustino. Da veniam Imperator, &c. You know whose answers they were. If we be sure God hath forbidden it, we sinne against our own consciences if we do it at the command of any mortall man whosoever, or upon any worldly inducement what­soever. That is the first Conclusion.

The second is this. If a man be in his conscience fully perswaded that 24 a thing is evil and unlawfull, which yet in truth is not so, but lawfull; the thing by him so judged unlawfull cannot by him be done with­out sin. Even an erroneous conscience bindeth thus far, that a man cannot go against it, and be guiltlesse: because his practise should B then run crosse to his judgement; and so the thing done could not be of Faith. For if his reason judge it to be evil, and yet he will do it, it argueth manifestly that he hath a will to do evil, and so be­cometh a transgressour of that generall Law which bindeth all men to eschew all evil. Yet in this case we must admit of some difference, according to the different nature of the things, and the different con­dition of the persons. For if the things so judged unlawfull be in their own nature not necessary, but indifferent, so as they may either be done or left undone without sin; and the person withall be sui juris in respect of such things, no superiour power having determined his C liberty therein: then, although he may not do any of these things, by reason of the contrary perswasion of his conscience, without sin; yet he may without sin leave them undone. As for example. Say a man should hold it utterly unlawfull (as some erroneously do,) to play at cards or dice, or to lay a wager, or to cast lots in triviall matters: if it be in truth lawfull to do every of these things, (as I make no question but it is, so they be done with sobriety and with due circum­stances,) yet he that is otherwise perswaded of them cannot by rea­son of that perswasion do any of them without sin. Yet, forsomuch as they are things no way necessary, but indifferent; both in their na­ture, D and for their use also, no superiour power having enjoyned any man to use them, therefore he that judgeth them unlawfull may ab­stain from them without sinne, and so indeed he is in conscience bound to do, so long as he continueth to be of that opinion. But now on the other side, if the things so mis-judged to be unlawfull be any way necessary; either in respect of their own nature, or by the injunction of authority: then the person is by that his error brought into such a straite between two sinnes, as he can by no possible meanes avoid both, so long as he persisteth in that his errour. For both if he do the thing, he goeth against the perswasion of his conscience, and that E is a great sinne: and if he do it not, either he omitteth a necessary duty, or else disobeyeth lawfull authority; and to do either of both, is a sinne too. Out of which snare since there is no way of escape but one, which is to rectifie his judgement, and to quit his pernicious errour: it concerneth every man therefore that unfeignedly desireth to do his duty in the fear of God, and to keep a good conscience, not [Page 90] to be too stiffe in his present apprehensions, but to examine well A the principles and grounds of his opinions, strongly suspecting that winde that driveth him upon such rocks, to be but a blast of his own fancy, rather than a breathing of the holy Spirit of truth. Once this is most certain, that whosoever shall adventure to do any thing re­pugnant to the judgement of his own conscience, (be that judgement true or be it false,) shall commit a grievous sin in so doing: [...], because it cannot be of faith, and whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

25 That is now where the conscience apparently inclineth the one way. But say the scales hang even, so as a man cannot well resolve whether way he should rather take! Now he is animo nunc huc, nunc stu­ctuat illuc. Virg. Aeneid. 10. in one mind, by B and by in another; but constant in neither: right Saint Iames his Jam. 1.8. [...], a double minded man. This is it we call a doubting consci­ence: concerning which the second question is, what a man ought to do in case of doubtfulnesse. Perfect directions here, (as in most delibe­ratives) would require a large discourse: because there are so many considerable circumstances that may vary the case; especially in re­spect of the cause from which that doubtfulnesse of mind may spring. 1 Many times it ariseth from meere ficklenesse of mind, or weaknesse of judgement; as the lightest things are soonest driven out of their place by the wind: Even as St. Iames saith, Ibid. a double minded man C is wavering in all his wayes; and S. Paul speaketh of some that were like Eph, 4.14. children, off and on,, soon wherryed about with every blast of doctrine. Sometimes it proceedeth from tendernesse of Conscience, 2 which is indeed a very blessed and gracious thing: but yet (as tender things may soon miscarry, if they be not the more choisely han­dled,) very obnoxious through Sathans diligence and subtilty to be 3 wrought upon to dangerous inconveniencies. Sometimes it may proceed from the probability of those reasons that seem to stand on either side, betwixt which it is not easie to judge which are strong­est: or from the differing judgements and opinions of learned and D 4 godly men thereabout, and from many other causes: But for some generall resolution of the Question, (what is to be done where the conscience is doubtfull?) I answer.

26 First, that if the doubtfulnesse be not concerning the lawfulnesse of any of the things to be done considered simply and in them­selves, but of the expediency of them as they are compared one with another; (as when of two things proposed at once, whereof one must, and but one can be done, I am sufficiently perswaded of the lawfulnesse of either, but am doubtfull whether of the two ra­ther 1 to pitch upon:) in such a case, the party ought first to weigh E the conveniencies and inconveniencies of both as well and advi­sedly as he can by himself alone; and to do that which then shall appeare to him to be subject to the fewer and lesser inconve­niencies. Or if the reasons seem so equally strong on both 2 sides, that he cannot of himselfe deside the doubt; then secondly, [Page 91] A if the [...]. Arist. 3. Ethic. 4.matter be of weight, and worth the while, he should doe well to make his doubts known to some prudent and pious man: (especially to his own spirituall Pastor, if he be a man meetly qualified for it,) resolving to rest upon his judgement, and to follow his direction. Or if the matter be of small moment, he may then thirdly do whether of both he hath best liking to; (as the Apostle saith in one particular case, and it may be applied to ma­ny more,1 Cor. 7.36.Let him do what he will, he sinneth not:) resting his conscience upon this perswasion, that so long as he is unfeignedly desirous to do for the best, and hath not been negligent to use 3 B allNon tibi im­putabitur ad culpam, quod invitus igno­ras. Aug. de nat & grat.requisite diligence to inform himself aright; God will accept of his good intention therein, and pardon his errour, if he shall be mistaken in his choice.

But secondly, if the question be concerning the very lawfulnsse of the thing it self, whether it may be lawfully done, or no; and the con­science stand in doubt, because reasons seem to be probable both pro 27 and contra, & there are learned men as wel of the one opinion as of the other, &c. as we see it is (for instance) in the question of Usury and of second marriage after divorce, and in sundry other doubtfull cases in morall divinity: in such a case the person (if he be sui juris) is cer­tainly C bound to Nil facien­dum, de quo dubites sit neo­ne rectè fa­ctum. Cic. l. 1. de Offic. forbear the doing of that thing of the lawfulnesse whereof he so doubteth: and if he forbear it not, he sinneth. It is the very point the Apostle in this verse intendeth to teach; and for the confirming whereof he voucheth this Rule of the Text: He that doubteth, saith he, is damned if he eat; he is [...], condem­ned of his own conscience: because he doth that willingly whereof he doubteth, when he hath free liberty to let it alone, no necessity urging him thereunto. And the reason why he ought rather to forbear than to adventure the doing of that whereof he doubteth, is; because in doubtfull cases wisdome would that the safer part should D be chosen. And that part is safer, which if we chuse, we are sure we shall do well; than that, which if we chuse, we know not but we may do ill. As for example, in the instances now proposed. If I doubt of the lawfulnesse of Usury, or of Marrying after divorce, I am sure that if I marry not, nor let out my money, I shall not sin in so abstaining: but if I shall do either of both doubtingly, I cannot be without some fear lest I should sin in so doing; and so those actions of mine being not done in faith, must needs be sin, even by the Rule of the Text, [...], For whatsoever is not of faith, is sin.

But then thirdly, if the liberty of the agent be determined by the 28 E command of some superiour power to whom he oweth obedience; so as he is not now sui juris ad hoc, to do or not to do at his own choice, but to do what he is commanded: this one circumstance quite altereth the whole case, and now he is bound in conscience to do the thing commanded; his doubtfulnsse of mind whether that thing be lawfull or no, notwithstanding. To do that whereof he [Page 92] doubteth, where he hath free liberty to leave it undone, bringeth up­on A him (as we have already shewn) the guilt of wilfull transgression: but not so where he is not left to his own liberty. And where law­full authority prescribeth in alterutram partem, there the liberty ad utramque partem contradictionis is taken away, from so many as are under that authority. If they that are over them have determined it one way; it is not thenceforth any more at their choice, whether they will take that way, or the contrary: but they must go the way that is appointed them without gainsaying or grudging. And if in the deed done at the command of one that is endued with lawfull autho­rity there be a sin, it must go on his score that requireth it wrong­fully,B not on his that doth but his duty in obeying. A Prince com­mandeth his Subjects to serve in his Warres: it may be the quarrel is unjust, it may be there may appear to the understanding of the sub­ject great likelihoods of such injustice; yet may the subject for all that fight in the quarrell; yea he is bound in conscience so to do: nay he is deep in disloyalty and treason if he refuse the service, whatsoe­ver pretensions he may make of conscience for such refusall. Nei­ther need that fear trouble him lest he should bring upon himself the guilt of innocent blood; for Is damnum dat, qui jubet dare: ejus verò nulla culpa est, cui p [...]rere ne­cesse si [...]. L. 169. F. de div. Reg. jur. the blood that is unrighteously shed in that quarrel, he must answer for that set him on work, not he that C spilt it. And truly it is a great wonder to me, that any man endued with understanding, and that is able in any measure to weigh the force of those precepts and reasons which bind inferiours to yield o­bedience to their superiours, should be otherwise minded in cases of like nature. Whatsoever is commanded us by those whom God hath set over us, either in Church, Common-wealth, or Family, (B [...]rnard. de praecept. & dis. Quod tamen non sit certum displicere Deo, saith S. Bern.) which is not evident­ly contrary to the Law and will of God, ought to be of us received & obeyed no otherwise, then as if God himself had commanded it, because God himself hath commanded us to Rom. 13.1. obey the higher powers, and to D Pet. 2.13. submit our selves to their ordinances. Say it be not well done of them to command it! Sed enim quid hoc refert tuâ? saith he; What is that to thee? Let them look to that whom it concerneth: Tolle quod tuum est, & vade. Do thou what is thine own part faithfully, and never trouble thy self further. Ipsum quem pro Deo habemus, tan­quam Deum in his quae apertè non sunt contra Deum audire debemus; Bernard still Gods Vicegerents must be heard and obeyed in all things that are not manifestly contrary to the revealed will of God.

29 But the thing required is against my conscience, may some say; and I may not go against my conscience, for any mans pleasure.E Judge I pray you what perversnesse is this, when the blessed Apo­stle commandeth thee Rom. 13.5. to obey for conscience sake, that thou should­est disobey, and that for conscience sake too: He chargeth thee upon thy conscience to be subject; and thou pretendest thy conscience to free thee from subjection. This by the way; now to the point. [Page 93] A Thou s [...]yest it is against thy conscience: I say again, that (in the case whereof we now speake, the case of doubtfulnesse) it is not against thy conscience. For doubting properly is Isidor. motus indifferens in utram­que partem contradictionis; when the mind is held Dubius, in­certus q [...]asi du­arum via [...]um. Isid. 10. E [...]m. [...]. in suspence be­tween two wayes, uncertain whether of both to take to. When the scales hang even (as I said before) and in aequilibrio, without any no­table propension or inclination to the one side more than to the o­ther. And surely where things hang thus even, if the weight of au­thority will not cast the scale either way: we may well suppose, that either the authority is made very light, or else there is a great fault B in the beame. Know (brethren) the gainsaying conscience is one thing, and the doubting conscience another. That which is done repugnante conscientiâ, the conscience of the doer flatly gainsaying it, that is in­deed against a mans conscience, (the conscience having already passed a definitive sentence the one way:) and no respect or circumstance whatsoever can free it from sin. But that which is done dubitante conscientiâ, the conscience of the doer onely doubting of it and no more; that is in truth no more against a mans conscience than with it, (the conscience as yet not having passed a definitive sentence either way:) and such an action may either be a sinne, or no sinne; accor­ding C to those qualifications which it may receive from other re­spects and circumstances. If the conscience have already passed a judgement upon a thing, and condemned it as simply unlawfull; in that case it is true that a man ought not by any meanes to do that thing, no not at the command of any Magistrate, no not although his conscience have pronounced a wrong sentence, and erred in that judge­ment: for then he should do it, repugnante conscientiâ, he should go directly against his own conscience, which he ought not to do what­soever come of it. In such a case certainly he may not obey the Ma­gistrate: yet let him know thus much withall, that he sinneth too D in disobeying the Magistrate; from which sinne the following of the judgement of his own conscience cannot acquit him. And this is that fearfull perplexity whereof I spake, whereinto many a man casteth himself by his own errour and obstinacy, that he can neither go with his conscience, nor against it, but he shall sinne. And who can help it, if a man will needs cherish an errour, and persist in it? But now if the conscience be onely doubtfull whether a thing be lawfull or no, but have not as yet passed a peremptory judgement against it, (yea al­though it rather incline to think it unlawfull: Plus est stan­dum prae epto praelati, quam conscientiae. Bonav. 2. sent. distinct. 39.) in that case if the Magistrate shall command it to be done, the subject with a good con­science E may do it, nay he cannot with a good conscience refuse to do it, though it be dubitante conscientiâ.

But you will yet say, that in doubtfull cases the safer part is to be chosen. So say I too; and am content that rule should decide this 30 question: onely let it be rightly applyed. Thou thinkest it safer, where thou doubtest of the unlawfulnesse, to forbear then to do: as for example, if thou doubtest whether it be lawfull to kneel at the [Page 94] Communion, it is safest in thy opinion therefore for thee not to kneel. So should I think too, if thou wert left meerly to thine own liberty. A But thou dost not consider how thou art caught in thine own net, and how the edge of thine own weapon may be turned upon thee point-blank not to be avoided, thus. If authority command thee to kneel, which whether it be lawfull for thee to do, or not, thou doubt­est; it cannot choose but thou must needs doubt also, whether thou maiest lawfully disobey, or not. Now then here apply thine own Rule, In dubiis pars tutior, and see what will come of it. Judge, since thou canst not but doubt in both cases, whether it be not the safer of the two,Gregor. to obey doubtingly, than to disobey doubtingly. Tene certum, de­mitte incertum, is S. Gregory his rule: where there is a certainty, and an B uncertainty, let the uncertainty go, and hold to that which is certain. Now the generall is certain, that thou art to obey the Magistrate in all things not contrary to the will of God; but the particular is uncer­tain, whether the thing now commanded thee by the Magistrate be contrary to the will of God: (I say uncertain to thee, because thou doubtest of it.) Deal safely therefore, and hold thee to that which is certain, and obey.

But thou wilt yet alledge, that the Apostle here condemneth 31 the doing of any thing, not onely with a gainsaying, but even with a doubting conscience: because doubting also is contrary to faith; C and he that doubteth is even for that condemned, if he eat. Oh beware of mis-applying Scripture! it is a thing easily done, but not so easily answered. I know not any one gap that hath let in more and more dangerous errours into the Church, than this: that men take the words of the sacred Text fitted to particular occasions, and to the condition of the times wherein they were written; and then apply them to themselves and others as they find them, without due respect had to the differences that may be between those times and cases, and the present. Sundry things spoken in Scripture agreeably to that infan­cy of the Church, would sort very ill with the Church in her fulnesse D of strength and stature: and sundry directions very expedient in times of persecution, and when believers lived mingled with Infidels, would be very unseasonably urged where the Churc [...] is in a peaceable and flourishing estate, enjoying the favour and living under the protection of gracious and religious Princes. Thus the Constitutions that the A­postles made concerning Deacons and Widowes in those primitive times, are with much importunity, but very importunely withall, ur­ged by the Disciplinarians: And sundry other like things I might in­stance in of this kind, worthy the discovery, but that I fear to grow tedious. Briefely then, the Apostles whole discourse in this Chapter,E and so wheresoever else he toucheth upon the point of Scandals, is to be understood onely in that case where men are left to their own liber­ty in the use of indifferent things: the Romans, Corinthians, and o­thers to whom S. Paul wrote about these matters, being not limited any way in the exercise of their liberty therein by any over-ruling [Page 95] authority. But where the Magistrates have interposed, & thought good A upon mature advice to impose Laws upon those that are under them, whereby their liberty is (not infringed, as some unjustly complain, in the inward judgement, but onely) limited in the outward exercise of it: there the Apostolical directions wil not hold in the same absolute man­ner, as they were delivered to those whom they then concerned; but only in the equity of them, so far forth as the cases are alike, & with such meet qualifications & mitigations, as the difference of the cases other­wise doth require. So that a man ought not out of private fancy, or meerly because he would not be observed for not doing as others do, or for any the like weak respects, to do that thing of the lawfulness B whereof he is not competently perswaded, where it is free for him to do otherwise: wch was the case of these weak ones among the Romans, for whose sakes principally the Apostle gave these directions. But the au­thority of the Magistrate intervening so alters the case, that such a for­bearance as to them was necessary, is to as many of us as are comman­ded to do this or that, altogether unlawful, in regard they were free, & we are bound: for the reasons already shewn, wch I now rehearse not.

But you will yet say, (for in point of obedience men are very loth to yield so long as they can find any thing to plead,) those that lay 32 these burdens upon us, at leastwise should do well to satisfie our C doubts, and to inform our consciences concerning the lawfulnesse of what they enjoyn; that so we might render them obedience with better cheerfulness. How willing are we sinful men to leave the blame of our miscarriages any where rather than upon our selves! But how is it not incongruous the while, that those men should prescribe rules to their governours, who can scarcely brook their governours should prescribe Laws to them? [...] Solon apud Stob. Serm. 3. It were good we would first learn how to obey, ere we take upon us to teach our betters how to govern. How­ever, what governours are bound to do, or what is fit for them to do, in the point of information; that is not now the question. If they D fail in any part of their bounden duty, they shall be sure to reckon for it one day: but their failing cannot in the mean time excuse thy dis­obedience. Although I think it would prove a hard task, for whosoe­ver should undertake it, to shew that Superiours are alwayes bound to inform the consciences of their inferiours concerning the lawful­nesse of every thing they shall command. If sometimes they do it, where they see it expedient or needfull; sometimes again (and that perhaps oftner,) it may be thought more expedient for them, and more conducible for the publick peace and safety, onely to make known to the people what their pleasures are, reserving to them­selves E the reasons thereof. I am sure, in the point of Ecclesiasticall ceremonies and Constitutions, (in which case the aforesaid allegations are usually most stood upon,) this hath been abundantly done in our Church, not onely in the learned writings of sundry private men, but by the publick declaration also of authority, as is to be seen at large in the preface commonly printed before the book of Common [Page 96] prayer concerning that argument: enough to satisfie those that are A peaceable, and not disposed to stretch their wits to cavill at things established. And thus much of the second Question, touching a doubting conscience: whereon I have insisted the longer, because it is a point both so proper to the Text, & whereat so many have stumbled.

33 There remaineth but one other Question, and that of far smaller difficulty; What is to be done, when the conscience is scrupulous? I call that a scruple, when a man is reasonably well perswaded of the lawfulnesse of a thing, yet hath withall some jealousies and fears, lest perhaps it should prove unlawfull. Such scruples are most incident to men of melancholy dispositions, or of timorous spirits; especially B if they be tender-conscienced withall: and they are much encreased by the false suggestions of Satan; by reading the books, or hearing the Sermons, or frequenting the company of men more strict, precise, and austere in sundry points, than they need or ought to be; and by sundry other means which I now mention not. Of which scruples it 1 behooveth every man, first, to be wary that he do not at all admit 2 them, if he can chuse: or, if he cannot wholly avoid them, that se­condly, he endeavour so far as may be to eject them speedily out of his thoughts, as Satans snares, and things that may breed him wor­ser inconveniencies: or, if he cannot be so rid of them, that then C 3 thirdly he resolve to go on according to the more profitable perswasi­on of his mind, and despise those scruples. And this he may do with a good conscience, not onely in things commanded him by lawfull au­thority, but even in things indifferent and arbitrary, and wherein he is left to his own liberty.

34 Much more might have been added for the farther both declara­tion and confirmation of these points. But you see I have been for­ced to wrap things together, that deserve a more full and distinct handling, that I might hold some proportion with the time. I had a purpose briefly to have comprised the summe of what I have D delivered, concerning a gainsaying, a doubting, and a scrupulous con­science, in some few conclusions for your better remembrance, and to have added also something by way of direction, what course might be the most probably taken for the correcting of an erroneous conscience, for the setling of a doubtfull conscience, and for the quiet­ing of a scrupulous conscience. But it is more then time that I should give place to other business: and the most, and most material of those directions, have been here and there occasionally touched in that which hath been delivered already: in which respect I may the bet­ter spare that labour. Beseech we God the Father of our Lord Jesus E Christ so to endue us all with the grace of his holy Spirit, that in our whole conversations we may unfeignedly endeavour to preserve a good conscience, and to yield all due obedience to him first, and then to every Ordinance of man for his sake.

Now to this Father, Son, and blessed Spirit, three persons, and one eternall God, be ascribed all the Kingdome, the power and the glory, both now and for evermore. Amen.

FINIS.
A

B AD MAGISTRATUM. The First Sermon. At a publick Sessions at Grantham, Lincoln, C 11 June 1623.

JOB 29. ver. 14, 15, 16, 17.

14. I put on righteousnesse, and it clothed me: my judgement was as a Robe and Diadem.

15. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.

16. I was a Father to the poor: and the cause which D I knew not I searched out.

17. And I brake the jawes of the wicked; and pluc­ked the spoil out of his teeth.

WHere silence against foul and false imputations may be 1 interpreted a Si, cùm mihi furta, largitio­nes— objiciun­tur, ego respon­dere soleo meis —non tàm sum existimandus de rebus gestis glo­riari, quàm de objectis non confiteri. Cic. pro domo sua. Confession; there the protestation of a mans own innocency is ever just, and sometimes Mihi de mem [...]tipso et [...]m multa dicendi necessitas quaedam imposita est ab illo. Cic. pro Syll. ne­cessary. When others doe us open wrong; it is not E now Vanity, but Charity, to do our selves open right: and whatsoever appearance of folly or vain boasting there is in so do­ing; they are chargeable with all that compell us thereunto, and not [Page 98] we. (I am become a fool in glorying; but ye have compelled me, 2 Cor.A 12.11.) It was neither pride nor passion in Iob, but such a compulsion as this, that made him so often in this book proclaim his own righte­ousnesse. Amongst whose many and grievous afflictions, as it is hard to say which was the greatest; so we are sure this was not the least, that he was to wrestle with the unjust and bitter upbraidings of un­reasonable and incompassionate men. They came to visit him as friends; and as friends they should have comforted him. But sorry friends they were, and Job 16.2. miserable comforters: indeed not comforters, but tormenters; and Accusers rather than Friends. Seeing Gods hand heavy upon him; for want of better or other proof, they charge B him with Hypocrisie. And because they would not seem to deal all in generalities (for against this generall accusation of hypocrisie, it was sufficient for him as generally to plead the truth and uprightnesse of his heart;) they therefore go on more particularly, (but as falsely) and as it were by way of instance, to charge him with Oppression. Thus Eliphaz by name taxeth him: Chap. 22.6, &c. Thou hast ta­ken a pledge from thy brother for naught; and hast stripped the naked of their clothing. Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink, and thou hast withholden bread from the hungry. But as for the mighty man, he had the earth; and the honourable man dwelt in it. Thou hast C sent widowes away empty, and the arms of the fatherlesse hast thou bro­ken.

2 Being thus shamefully, indeed shamelesly, upbraided to his face, without any desert of his, by those men, E [...]si ego dig­nus hac [...] ontu­melia, at tu in­dignus qui fa­ceres tamen. Terent. who (if he had deserved it) should least of all have done it, his Psal. 55.12. —14. neighbours and familiar friends; can you blame the good man, if to remove such false asper­sions, he do with more then ordinary freedome insist upon his own integrity in this behalf? And that he doth in this Chapter some­thing largely; wherein he declareth how he demeaned himself in the time of his prosperity in the administration of his Magistracy, far D otherwise than was laid to his charge. [When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witnesse to me. Because I delivered the poor that cryed, and the fatherlesse, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me, and I caused the widowes heart to sing for joy] in the next imme­diate verses before these. And then he goeth on in the words of my Text, I put on righteousnesse, &c.

3 It seemeth Iob was a good man, as well as a great: and being good, he was by so much the better, by how much he was the greater. Nor was he onely Bonus vir, a good man; and yet if but so, his friends E had done him much wrong to make him an Hypocrite: but he was Bonus Civis too, a good Common-wealths-man; and therefore his friends did him yet more wrong to make him an Oppressour. Indeed he was neither the one, nor the other. But it is not so useful for us to know what manner of man Iob was; as to learn from him what man­ner [Page 99] A of men we should be. The grieved spirit of Iob indeed at first uttered these words for his own justification: but the blessed spirit of God hath since written them for our instruction. To teach us from Iobs example how to use that measure of greatness and power which he hath given us, be it more, be it lesse, to his glory, and the common good. So that in these words we have to consider, as laid down unto us under the person, and from the example of Iob, some of the main and principal duties which concern all those that live in any de­gree of Eminency or Authority either in Church or Common-wealth; and more especially those that are in the Magistracy, or in any office B appertaining to Iustice.

And those Duties are four. One, and the first, as a more transcen­dent 4 and fundamentall duty: the other three, as accessory helps thereto, or subordinate parts thereof. That first is, a Care and Love, 1 and Zeal of Iustice. A good Magistrate should so make account of the administration of Iustice, as of his chiefest businesse; making it his greatest glory and delight. Ver. 14. [I put on righteousnesse, and it clothed me: my judgement was a robe and a diadem.] The second is 2 a forwardnesse unto the works of Mercy, and Charity, and Compassi­on. A good Magistrate should have compassion of those that stand C in need of his help, and be helpful unto them, ver. 15. and part of 16. [I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame, I was a father to the poor.] The Third is Diligence in Examination. A good Magistrate 3 should not be hasty to credit the first tale, or be carried away with light informations: but he should hear, and examine, and scan and sift matters as narrowly as may be for the finding out of the truth, in the remainder of ver. 16. [And the cause which I knew not I searched out.] The Fourth is Courage and Resolution in executing. A good 4 Magistrate, when he goeth upon sure grounds, should not fear the faces of men, be they never so mighty or many; but without respect D of persons execute that which is equall and right even upon the grea­test offender, Ver. 17. [And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and pluc­ked the spoil out of his teeth.] Of these four in their order: of the first, first; in these words, I put on righteousnesse, &c.

This Metaphor of clothing is much used in the Scriptures in this 5 notion; as it is applyed to the soul, & things appertaining to the soul. In Psalm 109. David useth this imprecation against his enemies; [Psal. 109.29. Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover them­selves with their own confusion as with a cloke.] And the Prophet Esay speaking of Christ and his Kingdome, and the righteousnesse E thereof, Chap. 11. thus describeth it, [Esay 11.5. Righteousnesse shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulnesse the girdle of his reins.] Likewise in the New Testament, Saint Paul in one place biddeth us Rom. 13.14. put on the Lord Iesus Christ: in another exhorteth women to 1 Tim. 2.9, 10. adorn them­selves instead of broydered hair and gold and pearls and costly aray, with shamefastness and sobriety, and (as becoming women professing godlinesse) [Page 100] with good works: in a third furnisheth the spirituall souldier with A Eph. 6.14, &c. Shooes, Girdle, Breastplate, Helmet, and all necessary accoutrements from top to toe. In all which and other places, where the like Me­taphor is used; it is ever to be understoood with allusion to one of the three speciall ends and uses of apparell. For we clothe our selves, either first, for necessity, and common decency, to cover our naked­nesse; 1 or secondly, for security and defence against enemies; or third­ly, 2 for state and solemnity, and for distinction of offices and degrees. 3 Our cloaks, and coats, and ordinary suits, we all wear to cover our na­kednesse: and these are Indumenta, known by no other but by the generall name of Clothing or Apparel. Souldiers in the warres wear B Morions, and Cuiraces, and Targets, and other habiliments for defence: and these are called Arma, Armes, or Armour. Kings and Princes were Crowns and Diadems; inferiour Nobles, and Judges, and Ma­gistrates, and Officers, their Robes, and [...]urres, and Hoods, and other ornaments fitting to their severall degrees and offices, for solemnity of state, and as ensigns or marks of those places and stations where­in God hath set them: and these are Infulae, Ornaments or Robes. It is true; Iustice, and Iudgement, and every other good vertue and grace is all this unto the soul; serving her both for covert, and for protection, and for ornament: and so stand both for the garments, and C for the armour, and for the Robes of the soul. But here I take it, Iob alludeth esecially to the third use. The propriety of the very words themselves give it so: for he saith he put righteousnesse and judge­ment upon him as a Robe and a Diadem; and such things as there are worn, not for necessity, but state. Iob was certainly a Magistrate, a Iudge at the least; it is evident from the seventh verse: and to me it seemeth not improbable that he was a Non dubito quin Iob fuerit R [...]x. Didac. Stun. in Job 1.3. King; though not likely such as the Kings of the earth now are (whose dominions are mider, and power more absolute,) yet possibly such as in those ancient times, and in those Eastern parts of the world were called Kings,D viz. a kind of petty Monarch, and supreme governour within his own territories, though perhaps but of one single City with the Suburbs, and some few neighbouring Villages. In the first Chapter it is said that he was Job 1.2. the greatest man of all the East: and in this Chapter he saith of himself, that Job 29.9. When he came in presence, the Princes and the Nobles held their tongues; and that Ibid. ver. 25. He sate as chief, and dwelt as a King in the Army; and in this verse he speaketh as one that wore a Diadem, an ornament [...], Suid. in [...]. proper to Kings. Now Kings, we know, and other Magistrates place much of their outward glory and state in their Diadems, and Robes, and peculiar Vestments: these things striking E a kind of Cultus mag­nificus addit hominibus au­thoritatem. Quintil. 8. Inst. [...] Hom. [...] Odyss. 19. Hoc Priami ge­stamen erat, cùm jura voca­tis More dabat populis. Virgil. Aen. 7. See Franc. Pollet. 3 Hist. fori. Rom. 6. reverence into the subject towards their Superiour; and ad­ding in the estimation of the people, both glory and honour, and Majesty to the person, and withall pomp and state, and solemnity to the actions of the wearer. By this speech then of putting on Iustice and Iudgement as a Robe and a Diadem, Iob sheweth that the glory [Page 101] A and pride which Kings and Potentates are wont to take in their Crowns, and Scepters, and royall Vestments, is not more, than the glory & honour which he placed in doing justice & judgement. He thought that was true honour, not which reflected from these empty marks and ensigns of Dignity, but which sprang from those vertues, where­of these are but dumb remembrances. If we desire yet more light into the Metaphor; we may borrow some from David, Psal. 109.16, 17. Psal. 109. where speaking of the wicked, he saith ver. 17. that he clothed himself with cursing like a garment: and by that he meaneth no o­ther than what he had spoken in the next verse before, plainly and B without a Metaphor, His delight was in Cursing. By the Analogie of which place we may not unfitly understand these words of Iob, as intimating the great love he had unto Iustice, and the great plea­sure and It is joy to the just to doe judgement. Prov. 21.15. delight he took therein. Joyn this to the former; and they give us a full meaning. Never ambitious usurper took more pride in his new gotten Crown or Scepter, never proud Minion took more pleasure in her new and gorgeous apparell; then Iob did true Iuris & ae­quitatis, quae virum princi­p [...]m ornant, studiosissimus eram. Vatabl. hic. glory and delight in doing Justice and Judgement. He put on righteousnesse, and it clothed him; and Iudgement was to him what to others a Robe and a Diadem is: honourable and delight­full.

C

Here then the Magistrate and every Officer of Justice may learn his first and principall, and (if I may so speak) his Master-duty, (and 6 let that be the first observation:) namely, to do justice and judgement with delight, and zeal, and cheerfulnesse. I call it his Master-duty; because where this is once rightly and soundly rooted in the consci­ence, the rest will come on easily, and of themselves. This must be his primum, and his ultimum; the foremost of his desires, and the ut­most of his endeavours, to do Justice and Judgement. He must make it his chiefest businesse; and yet count it his lightsome recreation: D make it the first and lowest step of his care; and yet withall count it the last and highest rise of his honour. The first thing we do in the morning before we either eat or drink, or buckle about any worldly businesse, is to put our clothes about us: we say, we are not ready till we have done that. Even thus should every good Magistrate do: before his private, he should think of the publick affairs; and not count himself ready to go about his own profits, his shop, his ship, his lands, his reckonings, much lesse about his vain pleasures, his jades, his curres, his kites, his any thing else, till first with Iob, he had put on righteousnesse as a garment, and clothed himself with judgement as E with a Robe and a Diadem.

Nor let any man think this affection to justice to have been sin­gular 7 in Iob: much lesse impute it to simplicity in him. For be­hold another like affectioned; and he a greater, and I may say too a wiser than Iob, for God himself hath witnessed of him, that for 3 King. 3.12. wisdome there was never his like before him, nor should come after [Page 102] him, Solomon the King. Who so much manifested his love and af­fection A to justice and judgement, that when God put him to his choyce to ask what he would, and he should have it; he asked 3 Kings. 3.5—11. not long life, or riches, or victory, or any other thing, but onely Wis­dome; and that in this kind Prudentiam regitivam, Wisdome Ibid. ver. 9. to discerne judgement, ver. 11. to discern between good and bad, that he might go in and out before the people with skill, and rule them prudently with all his might in righte­ousnesse and equity: And the Text saith, Ibid. ver. 10. The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. Magistrates should sub­scribe to Solomons judgement, who is wiser then the wisest of them: and yet for farther conviction, behold a wiser then Solomon is here; B even Iesus Christ the righteous, the God of Solomon, and the Sa­viour of Solomon, Col. 2.3. in whom are hidden all the treasures of Wisdome and Knowledge. Of whom David having said in Psal. 45. that the scepter of his kingdome is a righteous scepter, he proceedeth immedi­ately to shew wherein especially consisted the righteousnesse of the Scepter of his Kingdome: Not so much in doing righteousnesse, and punishing iniquity, (though that also;) as in loving righteous­nesse, and hating iniquity. [Psal. 45.6, 7. The Scepter of thy Kingdome is a righte­ous scepter: Thou hast loved righteousnesse, and hated iniquity; there­fore God, &c.] And you heard already out of the eleventh of Esay, C that Esay 11.5. righteousnesse was the girdle of his loyns, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. Magistrates from the examples of Iob, of Solo­mon, of Iesus Christ himself, should learn to make justice and judge­ment their greatest both glory and delight.

8 To bad things examples will draw us on fast enough; without, yea, many times against reason: but in good things, it is well if examples and reasons together can any thing at all prevail with us. And here if reason may rule us; surely good reason there is, we should be thus affectioned to justice, as hath been said: whether we respect the 1 thing it self, or GOD, or our selves, or others. The thing it self, Iu­stice, D both in the common consideration of it, as it is a vertue, is, as every other vertue is, honourable and lovely, and to be desired for its own sake: and in the speciall nature of it, as it is Iustice, is a vertue so necessary and profitable to humane society, and withall so [...]. Aristot. Eth. Nicom. 3. ex Theogn. com­prehensive of all other vertues, as that those men who labour to per­vert it, do yet honour it; and even those men [...]. Philop. in Prior. Arist. who themselves will not use it, cannot yet but love it, at leastwise commend it in o­thers. Iudgement, Mercy, and Faithfulness our Saviour Christ rec­koneth as the Mat. 23.23. weightiest matters of the Law, Mat. 23. And Prov. 24.26. every man (saith Solomon, Prov. 24.) will [...] kiss his lips that giveth a right E answer: that is, Every man will love and honour him that loveth and honoureth Iustice. Ought you to delight in any thing more then vertue: or in any vertue more then the best? and such is Iu­stice. Again, by due administration of Iustice and judgement GOD is much glorified. Glorified in the incouragement of his servants, 2 [Page 103] A when for well-doing they are rewarded: glorified in the destruction of the wicked, when for offending they are punished: glorified in the encrease, and in the peace and prosperity of his Kingdome, which hereby is both preserved and enlarged: glorified in the expression and imitation of his infinite perfections, when they who are his Mi­nisters and Deputies for this very thing, for the execution of Iu­stice, do labour to resemble him whose ministers and deputies they are, in this very thing, in being just, even as he is just. Ought you not to count it your greatest glory to seek his? and can you do that more readily and effectually, than by doing justice and judgement? B And as for our selves; What Quid est sua­vius quam benè rem gerere ho­no publico? Plaut. in Capt. 3.2. comfort will it be to our souls, when they can witnesse with us that we have even set our selves to doe 3 good, in those callings wherein God hath set us? Every man that hath a Calling, must Rom. 12.7. wait thereon, and do the duties belonging thereto, at his perill: and it will be much for his ease to be light­some and cheerfull therein. So shall he make of a Faxis ut li­beat quod est necesse. Auson. in Sent. Periand. necessity a ver­tue; and do that with pleasure, which he must do howsoever, or answer for the neglect: whereas otherwise, his Calling will be a continuall burden and wearinesse unto him, and make his whole life no better nor other then a long and lasting affliction. And besides, C we much deceive our selves, if we think our own private good to be severed from the publick; and so neglect the publick employments to follow our own private affairs. For the private is not distinguish'd from the publick; but [...]. Xenop. de ve­natione; apud Stob [...]um. included in it: and no man knoweth what mischiefs unawares he prepareth for his private estate in the end; whilest thinking to provide well enough for himself, he cherisheth in the mean time, or suffereth abuses in the publick. Ought we not by making justice and judgement our glory and delight, to reap the com­fort of it in our consciences, to Quapropter edulcare conve­nit vitam. Cn. Marius in Mi­miambis, apud A. Ge [...]l. 15.25. sweeten the miseries and travailes of our lives and callings, and to secure our private in the common safety: D rather then by or not doing Iustice, or doing it heavily & heartlesly, wound our own Consciences, make the afflictions of this life yet more afflictive, and in the decay of the publick, insensibly promote the ru­ine of our private state and prosperity? And lastly, if we respect others; what can be more glorious for us, than by our zeal and for­wardnesse 4 first to shame and then to quicken up the backwardnesse of others; that with joynt hearts and hands they and we together may aim at the peace and prosperity, and good of the Common-wealth? It is not easie to say what manifold benefits redound to the Common-wealth from the due execution of justice: or from the E slacking thereof, what a world of mischiefs! How honourable are we and glorious, if by our zeal we have been the happy instruments of those so many, so great benefits? How inglorious and vile, if by our negligence we have made our selves guilty of these so many, so great mischiefs! If we neglect Iustice, we countenance disorders, which by Justice are repressed; we disarm innocency, which by Justice [Page 104] is protected; we banish Peace, which by Justice is maintained; we A are traytors to the King and his Throne, which by justice are Prov. 16.12. esta­blished; we pull upon us Gods plagues and judgements, which by ju­stice are averted. Ought we not much rather by our forwardnesse in doing justice to represse disorders, protect innocency, maintain peace, secure the King & State, and turn away Gods judgements from our selves and others? See now if we have not reason to love Justice and Judgement, and to make it our delight; to put righteousnesse upon us, and to clothe us with judgement as with a Robe and a Dia­dem: being a thing in it self so excellent; and being from it there redoundeth so much glory to God, to our selves so much comfort, and B so much benefit unto others. The inferences of use from this first Duty, as also from the rest, I omit for the present: reserving them all to the latter end: partly, because I would handle them all toge­ther; partly also, and especially, for that I desire to leave them fresh in your memory, when you depart the Congregation. And therefore without farther adoe, I proceed forthwith to the next duty, contained in these words, [I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame; I was a father to the poor.]

Wherein Iob declareth his owne readinesse in his place and 9 Calling to be helpfull to those that were any way distressed, or C stood in need of him, by affording them such supply to his power, as their severall necessities required. And like him should every Magistrate be in this also; which I propose as the second Duty of the good Magistrate: he must be forward to [...]. Sophocl. succour those that are distressed and oppressed; and to help and relieve them to his power. Mens necessities are many, and of great variety: but most of them spring from one of these two defects, ignorance, or want of skill; and impotence, or want of power: here signified by Blind­nesse, and Lamenesse. The blind man perhaps hath his limbs, and strength to walk in the way, if he could see it: but because he D wanteth his eyes, he can neither finde the right way, nor spye the rubbes that are in it; and therefore he must either sit still, or put himself upon the necessity of a double hazard, of stumbling, and of going wrong. The lame man perhaps hath his eyes and sight perfect, and knoweth which way he should goe, and seeth it well enough: but because he wanteth his limbs, he is not able to stir a foot forward; and therefore he must have patience perforce, and be content to sit still, because he cannot doe withall. Both the one and the other may perish, unlesse some good body help them: and become a guide to the blind, a staff to the lame; leading E the one, and supporting the other. Abroad in the world there are many, in every Society, Corporation, and Congregation, there are some, of both sorts: some Blind, some Lame. Some that stand in need of Counsel, and Advice, and Direction; as the Blind: others that stand in need of Help, and Assistance, and [Page 105] A Support; as the Lame. If there be any other besides these, whose case deserveth pity, in what kind so ever it be; the word Poor com­prehendeth him, and maketh him a fit object for the care and com­passion of the Magistrate. To each of these the Magistrate must be a succourer to his power. He must be, as here Iob was, an eye to the blind, Lyra hic. ignorantem dirigendo; by giving sound and honest counsel the best he can to them that are simple, or might without his help be easily overseen. And he must be, as here Iob was, feet to the lame, impotentem adjuvando; by giving countenance and assistance in just and honest causes the best he can to them that are of meaner ability, B or might without his help be easily overborn. If there be either of these, or any other defect, which standeth in need of a supply in any other man; he must be, as here Iob was, a See Syrac. 4.10. father to the poor, in­digentem sublevando; by giving convenient safety and protection the best he can to them that are destitute of help, and fly unto him as to a sanctuary for shelter and for refuge in any misery, grievance, or di­stresse. Upon these he must both have compassion inwardly: and he must shew it too outwardly: Affectu, and Effectu; pitying them in his heart, and helping them with his hand. It is not enough for him to see the Blind, and the Lame, and the Poor; and to be sorry for them: C but his compassion must be reall. He must lend his eyes to the Blind, 10 to direct them; and he must lend his feet to the Lame, to support them; and he must pity the Poor as a father doth his children, so pity them, that he do something for them.

Princes, and Iudges, and Magistrates were not Non mihi, sed populo. AE. Adrianus Imp. [...]. Arist. in Epist. ad Alex. ordained altoge­ther, nor yet so much for their own sakes, that they might have over whom to bear rule and to It a magnae vi­res gloriae decorique sunt, si illis sa­lutaris potentia est. Nam pestife­ra vis est, vale­re ad nocen­dum. Seneca. 1. de clem. 3. dominiere at pleasure; as for the peoples sakes, that the people might have to whom to resort, and upon whom to depend for help and succour, and relief in their necessities. And they ought to remember, that for this end GOD hath endued them D with that power which others want; that they might by their power help them to right, who have not power to right themselves. [Senec. in Medea. 2.2. Hoc reges habent magnificum & ingens, &c. Prodesse miseris, supplices fido lare Protegere, &c.] This is the very thing wherein the preeminence of Princes, and Magistrates, and great ones above the ordinary sort singularly consisteth, and wherein specially they have the advantage, and whereby they hold the title of Psal. 82.6. Hoc tecū com­mune Deis, quod utrique rogati Suppli­cibus vestris ferre soletis opem. Ovid. 2. de Ponto 9. Gods, that they are able to do good and to help the distressed, more than others are. For which abi­lity how they haue used it, they stand accountable to him from whom they have received it: and woe unto them, if the accounts they bring E in, be not in some reasonable proportion answerable to the receipts. Wisd. 6.6. Potentes potenter: into whose hands Luk. 12.48. much hath been given, from their hands much will be required; and the mighty ones, if they have not done a mighty deale of good withall, shall be mightily tormen­ted. And as they have received power from God; so they do receive honours, and services, and tributes from their people for the mainte­nance [Page 106] of that power: and these as wages by Gods righteous ordinance A for their care and paines for the peoples good. God hath imprinted in the naturall conscience of every man notions of fear, and honour, and reverence, and obedience, and subjection, and contribution, and other duties to be performed towards Kings, and Magistrates, and o­ther superiours, Rom. 13.5. not onely for wrath, but also for conscience sake: and all this for the maintenance of that power in them, by the right use whereof themselves are again maintained. Now the same conscience which bindeth us who are under authority, to the performance; bind­eth you who are in authority to the requitall, of these duties. I say, the same Conscience; though not the same wrath: for here is the diffe­rence.B Both Wrath and Conscience bind us to our duties; so that if we withdraw our subjection, we both wound our own Consciences, and incurre your just wrath: but onely Conscience bindeth you to yours, and not Wrath; so that if ye withdraw your help, we may not use wrath, but must suffer it with patience, and permit all to the judgement of your own consciences, and of God the judge of all mens consciences. But yet still in Conscience the obligation lyeth equally upon you and us: As we are bound to give you honour, so are you to give us safety; as we to fear you, so you to help us; as we to fight for you, so you to care for us; as we to pay you tribute, so you to do us C right. For Rom. 13.6. For this cause pay we tribute and other duties, unto you who are Gods ministers; even because you ought to be attending con­tinually upon this very thing, to approve your selves as Rom. 13.4. [...]. Luke 22.25. the ministers of God to us for good. Oh that we could all superiours and inferiours, both one and other, remember what we owed each to other; and by mutually striving to pay it to the utmost, so endeavour our selves to Rom. 13.8. fulfill the Law of God! But in the meane time, we are still injurious, if either we withdraw our subjection, or you your help; if either we cast off the duty of children, or you the care of Fathers. Time was, when Iudges, and Nobles, and Princes delighted to be called by the name D of Fathers. The Philistims called their Kings by a peculiar appel­lative, Gen. 20.2. & 26.1. & Psal. 34. in titulo. Abimelech; as who say, The King my Father. In Rome the Senatours were of old time called Patres, Fathers: and it was after­wards accounted among the Romans the greatest title of honour that could be bestowed upon their Consuls, Generals, Emperours, or who­soever had deserved best of the Common-wealth, to have this ad­dition to the rest of his stile sed Roma parentem, Ro­ma patrem pa­triae Ciceronem libera dixit. Juven. Satyr 8. —patrem pa­triae appellavi­mus, ut sciret datam sibi potestatem patriam; quae est, temperatissima, liberis consulens, suáque post illos ponens. Senec. 1. de Clem. 14. Pater patriae, a Father to his Country. Naamans servants in 4 King· 5. call him Father, 4 Kings 5.13. My Father, if the Prophet had commanded thee, &c. And on the other side David the King speaketh unto his Subjects, as a Father to his children in Psal.E 34. Psal. 34.11. Come ye children, &c. and Solomon in the Proverbs every where, My sonne: even as Iob here accounteth himself a Father to [Page 107] A the poor. Certainly to shew that some of these had, and that all good Kings and Governours should have a Út eos quasi filios [...]erneret per amorem, quibus pater praeerat per pro­tectionem. Gloss. inter­lin. hic [...] &c. Philo, de creat. Prin­cipis. fatherly care over, and bear a fatherly affection unto, those that are under them.

All which yet, seeing it is intended to be done in bonum univer­sitatis, must be so understood as that it may stand cum bono univer­sitatis, stand with equity and justice, and with the common good. For Prov. 3.3. Mat. 23.23. Non auferat verit as miseri­cordiam, nec misericordia impediat veri­tatem. August. sent. 110. apud Prosperum. Mercy and Iustice must go together, and help to temper the one the other. The Magistrate and Governour must be a Father to the poor: to protect him from injuries, and to relieve his necessities; but not to maintain him in idlenesse. All that the Father oweth to the Child B is not love and maintenance: he oweth him too Education; and he oweth him correction. A Father may love his Childe too fondly, and make him a wanton; he may maintain him too highly, and make him a prodigall: But he must give him Nurture too, as well as Maintenance, lest he be better fed than taught; and correct him too, as well as love him, lest he bring him most grief when he should reap most 11 comfort from him. Such a fatherly care ought the civil Magistrate to have over the poor. He must carefully defend them from wrongs and oppressions; he must providently take order for their convenient re­lief and maintenance: But that is not all, he must as well make pro­vision C to set them on work, and see that they follow it; and he must give them sharp correction when they grow idle, stubborn, dis­solute, or any way out of order. This he should do, and not leave the other undone. There is not any speech more frequent in the mouthes of beggars and wanderers, wherewith the Country now swarmeth, then that men would be good to the poor: and yet scarce any thing so much mistaken as that speech in both the termes of it: most men neither understanding aright who are the poor, nor yet what it is to be good to them. Not he onely is good to the poor, that deli­vereth him when he is oppressed: nor is he onely good to the poor, that relieveth him when he is distressed: but he also is good to the poor, that D punisheth him when he is idle. He is good to the poor that helpeth him, when he wanteth: and he is no lesse good to the poor, that whippeth him when he deserveth. This is indeed to be good to the poor; to give him that almes first, which he wanteth most; if he be hungry, it is almes to feed him; but if he be idle and untoward, it is Non solùm qui dat esuri­enti cibam, siti­enti potum— verùm e [...]am & qui emendat verbere in q [...]ē postet as datur, v. l `co [...]rcet ali­quâ disciplinâ in eo quod cor­ripit, & aliquâ emendat [...]riâ poenâ pl. ctit, e­l [...]é mosynam dat, quia mise­ricordiam prae­stat. Aug. in Enchirid. c. 72. almes to whip him. This is to be good to the poor: But who then are the poor we should be good to, as they interpret goodnesse? Saint Paul would have▪ 1 Tim. 5.3. Widowes honoured; but yet those that are widowes indeed: so it is meet the poor should be relieved, but yet those that are poor indeed. Not every one that begges is poor; not every one that wanteth is E poor, not every one that is poor is poor indeed. They are the poor, whom we private men in Charity, and you that are Magistrates in [...]ustice stand bound to relieve, who are old, or impotent, and unable to work; or in these hard and depopulating times are willing but can­not be set on work; or have a greater charge upon them than can [Page 108] be maintained by their work. These, and such as these, are the A poor indeed: let us all be good to such as these. Be we that are private men as brethren to these poor ones, and shew them mercy: be you that are Magistrates as Fathers to these poor ones, and do them justice. But as for those idle stubborn professed wanderers, that can and may and will not work, and under the name and habit of pover­ty rob the poor indeed of our almes and their maintenance: let us har­den our hearts against them, and not give them; do you execute the severity of the Law upon them, and not spare them. It is Saint Pauls Order, nay it is the Ordinance of the Holy Ghost, and we should all put to our helping hands to see it kept, 2 Thess. 3.10. He that will not labour, let B him not eat. These Ulcers and Drones of the Common-wealth are ill worthy of any honest mans almes, of any good Magistrates protection. Hitherto of the Magistrates second Duty, with the Rea­sons and extent thereof, I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame: I was a Father to the poor. Followeth next the third Duty, in these words, The cause which I knew not I searched out.

Of which words some frame the Coherence with the former, as if Iob 12 had meant to clear his mercy to the poor from suspicion of partiality and injustice: and as if he had said I was a Father indeed to the poor; pitifull and mercifull to him; and ready to shew him any lawfull fa­vour:C but yet not so, as Ne credere­tur quòd save­ret cis nimis in praejudicium justitiae; subdi­tur [& cau­sam.] Lyran. hic. in pity to him, to forget or pervert justice. I was ever carefull before I would either speak or do for him, to be first assured his cause was right and good: and for that purpose, if it were doubtfull, Ne fortè mo­tu pi [...]tatis in­discretae conde­scenderem ei in praejudicium justitiae. Ly­ran. hic. I searched it out, and examined it, before I would countenance either him or it. Certainly thus to do is agreeable to the rule of Iustice; yea and of Mercy too: for it is one Rule in shew­ing Mercy, that it be ever done salvis pietate & justitiâ, without prejudice done to piety and justice. And as to this particular, the commandment of God is expresse for it in Exod. 23. Exod. 23.3. Thou shalt not countenance no not a poor man in his cause. Now if we should D thus understand the coherence of the words; the speciall duty which Magistrates should hence learn, would be indifferency: in the administration of Justice not to make difference of rich or poor, far or near, friend or foe, one or other; but to consider onely and barely the equity and right of the cause, without any respect of per­sons, or partiall inclination this way or that way.

This is a very necessary duty indeed in a Magistrate of justice; 13 and I deny not but it may be gathered without any violence from these very words of my Text: though to my apprehension not so much by way of immediate observation from the necessity of any E such coherence; as by way of consequence from the words themselves otherwise. For what need all that care and paines and diligence in searching out the cause, if the condition of the person might over-rule the cause after all that search, and were not the judgement to be given meerly according to the good­nesse [Page 109] A or badnesse of the cause, without respect had to the per­son? But the speciall duty, which these words seem most naturally and immediately to impose upon the Magistrate, (and let that be the third observation) is diligence, and patience, and care to hear, and examine, and enquire into the truth of things; and into the equity of mens causes. As the Physician before he prescribe receipt or diet to his patient, will first feel the pulse, and view the urine, and observe the temper and changes in the body, and be inquisitive how the disease began, and when, and what fits it hath, and where and in what manner B it holdeth him, and inform himself every other way as fully as he can in the true state of the body, that so he may proportion the remedies accordingly without errour: so ought every Magistrate in causes of Justice, before he pronounce sentence or give his determination, whether in matters Omnia judi­cia aut distra­bendarum con­troversiarum, aut puniendo­rum maleficio­rum caus [...] repe [...]ta sunt. Cic. pro Ce­cina. judiciall or criminall; to hear both parties with equall patience, to examine witnesses and other evidences advisedly and throughly, to consider and wise­ly lay together all allegations and circumstances, to put in quaeres and doubts upon the by, and use all possible expedient meanes for the boulting out of the truth; that so he may do that which is C equall and right without errour.

A duty not without both Precept and Precedent in holy Scrip­ture. Moses prescribeth it in Deut. 17. in the case of Idolatry,14 Deut. 17.2. &c. See also Deut. 13.14. If there be found among you one that hath done thus or thus, &c. And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and inquired dili­gently, and behold it to be true, and the thing certain that such abomination is wrought in Israel, Then thou shalt bring forth that man, &c. The offender must be stoned to death; and no eye pity him: but it must be done orderly, and in a legall course; not upon a bare hear-say, but upon diligent examination and inqui­sition, D and upon such full evidence given in, as may render the fact certain, so far as such cases ordinarily are capable of [...]. Arist. 1. Ethic. 1. cer­tainty. And the like is again ordered in Deut. 19. in the case of false witnesse, Deut. 19.17, &c. Both the men between whom the controversie is, shall stand before the Iudges, and the Iudges shall make diligent inquisition, &c. And in Iudg. 19. in the wronged Levites case, whose Concubine was abused unto death at Gibeah; the Tribes of Is­rael stirred up one another to do justice upon the inhabitants thereof; and the method they proposed was this, first to Judg. 19.20. consider and consult of it, and then to give their opinions. But the most famous ex­ample E in this kinde is that of King Solomon in 3 Kings 3. in the difficult case of the 3 King. 3.16 —28. two Mothers. Either of them challenged the living child with a like eagernesse; either of them accused other of the same wrong, and with the same allegations: neither was there witnesse or other evidence on either part to give light unto the matter: yet Solomon by that wisdome which [Page 110] he had obtained from God found a meanes to search out the truth A in this difficulty, by making as if he would cut the child into halfes, and give either of them one halfe; at the mentioning whereof the compassion of the right mother betrayed the falshood of her clamorous competitor. And we read in the Apocryphall Story of Susanna, how Daniel by Dan. 13.61. examining the two Elders se­verally and apart, found them to differ in one circumstance of their relation, and thereby discovered the whole accusation to be false. Iudges for this reason were anciently called Cognitores, and in approved Authors Si judicas, cognosce. Sen. in Med. 2. Cognoscere is as much as to doe the of­fice of a Judge: to teach Iudges that one chiefe point of their B care should be to know the truth. For if of private men, and in things of ordinary discourse, that of Solomon be true, Prov. 18.13. See Syrac. 11. 7, 8. He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him; certainly much more is it true of publick Magistrates, and in matters of Justice and Judgement: by how much both the men are of better note, and the things of greater moment. But in difficult and intricate businesses, covered with darknesse and obscurity, and perplexed with many windings and turnings, and cunning and crafty conveyances, to finde a faire issue out, and to spye light at a narrow hole, and by wisdome and diligence C to rip up a foule matter, and search a cause to the bottome, and make a discovery of all: is a thing worthy the labour, and a thing that will adde to the honour, I say not onely of inferiour Governours, but even of the supreme Magistrate, the King. Prov. 25.2. It is the glory of God to con­ceale a thing, but the honour of Kings is to search out the matter.

15 To understand the necessity of this duty; consider, First, that 1 as sometimes Democritus said, the truth lyeth Cic. 1 Acad. quaest. in fine. Involuta veri­tas in alto la­tet. Sen. 7. de benefic. 1. in profundo, and in abdito, dark and deep as in the bottom of a pit; and it will ask some time, yea and cunning too, to find it out and bring it to light. Secondly, that through favour, faction, envy, greedinesse, ambition, D and otherwise, innocency it self is often laden with false accusations. 2 You may observe in the Scriptures how 3 Kings 21.13. Naboth, Jer. 37.13. Ieremy, Acts 24.5. & 25.7. Saint Paul, and others; and you may see by too much experience in these wretched times, how many men of faire and honest conver­sation have been accused and troubled without cause: which if the Magistrate by diligent inquisition do not either prevent or help to 3 the utmost of his endeavour, he may soon unawares wrap him­self in the guilt of innocent blood. Thirdly, that informations are for the most part partiall, every man making the best of his owne tale: and he cannot but often [...]. Menand. apud Stob. Serm. 44. erre in judgement, that is easily E carried away with the first tale, and doth not suspend till he have heard both parties alike. Herein 2 Sam. 16.34 David failed, when upon Zi­ba's false information he passed a hasty and injurious decree against Mephibosheth. Solomon saith, Prov. 18.17. He that is first in his own tale see­meth righteous; but then his neighbour cometh and searcheth him [Page 111] A out, Prov. 18. as we say commonly, One tale is good, till another be told. Fourthly, that if in all other things hastinesse and preci­pitancy be hurtfull, then especially matters of justice would not be 4 huddled up hand over-head, but handled with mature Take heed what you doe, 2 Chr. 19.5. deliberation, and just diligent disquisition. Senec. lib. 2. de ira cap. 23. Cunctari judicantem decet; imo oportet, saith Seneca: he that is to judge, it is fit he should, nay it is necessary he should proceed with convenient leisure. Who judgeth otherwise, and without this due search, he doth not judge, but guesse. The good Magistrate had need of patience to heare, and of diligence to search, and of prudence to search out, whatsoever may make for the disco­very B of the truth in an intricate and difficult cause. The cause which I knew not I searched out. That is the Magistrates third Duty. There yet remaineth a fourth in these words, I brake the jawes of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.

Wherein Iob alludeth to ravenous and salvage beasts; beasts 16 of prey, that lye in wait for the smaller Cattel, and when they once catch them in their paws, fasten their teeth upon them, and teare them in pieces and devour them. Such Lions, and Wolfs, and Bears, and Tygers, are the greedy Qui pote plus urget: pisces ut saepe minutos Magnu' comest, ut aves enecat accipiter. Var­ro in Margo­poli—factus praeda majori minor. Sen. in Hippol. act. 2. great ones of this world, who are ever ravening after the estates and the livelihoods of their meaner C neighbours, snatching, and biting, and devouring, and at length ea­ting them up and consuming them. Iob here speaketh of Dentes and Molares; Teeth and Iaws: and he meaneth the same thing by both, Power abused to oppression. But if any will be so curiously subtill, as to distinguish them, thus he may doe it. Dentes, they are the long [...] of [...] acue­re. — sharp teeth, the fore-teeth; Psal. 37.4. [...]. Arist. [...] Phys. tex. 76. Dentes eorum arma & sagit [...]ae, saith David, Their teeth are speares and arrowes: Molares à mo­lendo, so called from grinding; they are the great double teeth, the jaw-teeth. Those are the Biters, these the Grinders: these and those together, Oppressors of all sorts. Usurers, and prouling Offi­cers, D and slye Merchants, and errant Informers, and such kinde of Extortioners as sell time, and truck for expedition, and snatch and catch at petty advantages; these use their teeth most, these are Bi­ters. The first, I know not whether or no the worst sort of them, in the holy Hebrew tongue hath his name from biting. [...] Nas­chak, that is to bite; and [...] Neschek, that is Usury. Besides these Biters, there are Grinders too; men whose teeth are Lapid [...]s Mo­lures, as the over and the nether mill-stone: Depopulators, and racking Landlords, and such great ones, as by heavy pressures and burdens, and sore bargains break the backs of those they deale E withall. These first by little and little Esay 3.15. grind the faces of the poor, as small as dust & powder; and when they have done, at length Psal. 14.4. eat them up one after another, as it were bread: as the Holy Ghost hath painted them out under those very phrases. Now how the Magi­strate should deal with these grinders and biters, Iob here teacheth him: he should break their jawes, and pluck the spoilē out of their [Page 112] teeth; that is, quell and crush the mighty Oppressor, and Eripite nos ex faucibus eorum, quorum crude­litas— Crass. apud Ci [...]. 1. de Ora­tore. deliver A the Oppressed from his injuries. For to break the jaw, or the cheek­bone, or the teeth, is in Scripture-phrase as much as to abate the pride, and suppresse the power, and curb the insolency of those that use their might to overbeare right. So David saith in the third Psalm, that God had saved him by Psal. 3.7. smiting his enemies upon the cheek-bone, and breaking the teeth of the ungodly. And in Psalm 58. he desireth God to Psal. 58.6. See also Prov. 30.14. & Joel 1.6. break the teeth of the wicked in their mouths, and to break out the great teeth of those young Lions. In which place it is observable, that, as Iob here, he speaketh both of Dentes and Molares, teeth and great teeth: and those wicked great ones, accor­ding B as Iob also here alludeth, he expresly compareth unto young Lions; lusty and strong, and greedy after the prey.

Now to the doing of this, to the breaking of the jawes of the wic­ked, 17 and plucking the spoil out of his teeth; there is required a stout heart, and an undaunted See Syrac. 4.9. Courage, not fearing the faces of men, should their faces be as the faces of Lions, and their visages never so terrible. And this is the good Magistrates last Duty in my Text; without fear to execute justice boldly upon the stoutest of­fender, and so to curb the power of great and wicked men, that the poor may live in peace, and keep their own by them. It was one C part of Iethro's Character of a good Magistrate in Exod. 18. that he should be Exod. 18.21. a man of courage. And it was not for nothing that every 3 Kin. 10.20. step up Solomons Throne for judgement was supported with Lions: to teach Kings and all Magistrates, that a Lion-like courage and resolution is necessary for all those that sit upon the Throne or Bench for Justice and for Judgement. When 1 Sam. 17.34, &c. Da­vid kept his Fathers sheep, and there came a Lion and a Beare, and took a Lamb out of the flock; he went out after the Lion and smote him, and took the Lamb out of his Mouth, and when the Lion rose against him, he took him by the beard, and smote D him again, and slew him: and so he did with the Bear also. Eve­ry Magistrate is a kinde of Esay 44.28. [...], saepe apud Ho­mer. shepherd: and the people they are his flock. He must doe that then in the behalf of his flock, that David did. Those that begin to make a spoyle, though but of the poorest Lamb of the flock, be they as terrible as the Lion and the Bear, he must after them, and smite them, and pluck the spoile out of their teeth: and though they shew their spleen, and turne againe at it, yet he must not shrink for that; but rather take fresh courage, and to them againe, and take them by the beard, and shake them, and never leave them till E he have brought them under, and broken their jawes, and in spite of their teeth made them past biting or grinding again in hast. He is a bare John 10.12. hireling, and not worthy the name of a shepherd, who when he seeth the Wolf coming thrusteth his head in a bush, and leaveth the poor Cattell to the spoyle. The good Magistrate must [Page 113] put on his resolution: to go on in this course, and without feare A of one or other to do justice, upon whosoever dareth do injustice, and to suppresse oppression even in the greatest.

A resolution necessary; whether we consider the Law, the Ma­gistrate, 18 or the Offender. Necessary, First, in respect of the Laws: which, as all experience sheweth, are far better unmade, then un­kept. Horat. 3. Od. 24. Quid vanae sine moribus Leges proficiunt? The life of the Law is the Execution; without which the Law is but a dead letter: of lesse use and regard then scarcrowes are in the corne fields; whereof the birds are a little afraid at the first, but anon after a little use they grow so bold with them, as to sit upon their heads and B defile them. We see the experience hereof but too much, in the too much suffered insolency of two sorts of people, (then against whom never were Lawes either better made, or worse executed) Rogues, and Recusants. Now we know the Lawes are generall in their intents, and include as well the great as the small. The Ma­gistrate therefore who is [...]. Arist 5. Ethic. 7. Lex loquens, and whose duty it is to see the lawes executed, must proceed as generally, and punish trans­gressors of the Lawes, the great as well as the small. It is an old complaint, yet groweth out of date but slowly; that Lawes are like Anacharsis, apud Plutarch in Solone: non-nulli Zaleuco tribuunt. Cobwebs, wherein the smaller flies are caught, but great ones C break through. Surely Lawes should not be such, good Lawes are not such, of themselves; they doe or should intend an Inde latae le­ges, ne fortior omnia posset. Ovid. 3. Fast. uni­versall reformation: it is the abuse of bad men, together with the basenesse or cowardise of sordid or sluggish Magistrates, that ma­keth them such. And I verily perswade my selfe, there is no one thing that maketh good lawes so much contemned, even by mean ones too at the last, as the not executing them upon the great ones in the mean time. Let a Magistrate but take to himselfe that courage which he should doe, and now and then make a great man an example of Iustice; he shall finde that a few such D examples will breathe more life into the Lawes, and strike more awe into the people, then the punishment of an hundred underlings and inferiour persons.

Againe, in respect of the Magistrate himself this courage and re­solution is necessary; for the maintenance of that dignity and re­spect 19 which is due to him in his place and calling. Which he cannot more shamefully betray, than by fearing the faces of men. Imagine you saw a goodly tall fellow, trick'd up with fea­thers and ribbands, and a glittering sword in his hand, enter the lists like a Champion, and challenge all commers: by and by E steppeth in another man perhaps much of his own size, but with­out either sword or staffe, and doth but shew his teeth and stare upon him; whereat my gay Champion first trembleth, and anon for very feare letteth his sword fall, and shrinketh him­selfe into the croud. Think what a ridiculous sight this would [Page 114] be: and just such another thing as this, is a fearfull Magistrate. A He is adorned with Considera qualia de te praest [...]s, qui tanta authori­ta [...]e subveberit. Cassiod. 6. Epist. 15. robes, the marks and ensignes of his pow­er. God hath armed him with a Rom. 13.1. sword; indeed as well to put courage into his heart, as awe into the peoples. And thus adorned and armed, he standeth in the eye of the world, and as it were upon the stage; and raiseth an expectation of himselfe, as if sure this man would doe something: his very appearance threatneth destruction to whosoever dareth come within his reach. Now if after all this braving, he should be out-dared with the big looks and bug-words of those that could doe him no harme: how justly should he draw upon himselfe scorn and contempt, Horat. de art. Poct. partu­riunt B montes! Prov. 17.16. Wherefore is there a price, saith Solomon of the sluggard, in the hands of a fool to buy wisdome, and he hath no heart? So, wherefore is there a Sword, may we say of the fear­full Magistrate, in the hands of a Coward to doe justice, and he hath no heart? You that are Magistrates, remember the pro­mise God hath made you, and the Title he hath given you. You have an honourable promise; [2 Chro. 19.6 GOD will be with you in the cause and in the judgement, 2 Chronicles 19.] If God be with you, what need you feare who shall be against you? You have an honourable Title too [Psal. 82.6. I have said ye are Gods, Psalm 82.]C If you be Gods, why should you feare the faces of men? This is Gods fashion: he 1 Pet. 5.5. giveth grace to the humble, but he resisteth the proud; he Luke 1.52. exalteth the meek and lowly, but he putteth the mighty out of their seats. If you will deale answerably to that high name he hath put upon you, and be indeed as Gods; fol­low the example of God: lift up the poore oppressed out of the mire, and tumble downe the confidence of the mighty and proud oppressour; when you Psal. 75.2.4. receive the Congregation, judge uprightly, and feare not to say to the wicked, be they ne­ver so great, Lift not up your horne. So shall you vindicate your D selves from contempt: so shall you preserve your persons and places from being baffelled and blurted by every lewd companion.

20 Courage in the Magistrate, against these great ones especi­ally, is thirdly necessary in respect of the Offenders. These wic­ked ones of whom Iob speaketh, the longer teeth they have, the deeper they bite; and the stronger jawes they have, the so­rer they grinde; and the greater power they have, the more mis­chief they doe. And therefore these great ones of all other would be well hampered; and have their teeth filed, their jawes broken, their power curbed. I say not the poore and the E small should be spared when they offend: good reason they should be punished with severity. But you must remember I now speak of Courage; and a little Courage will serve to bring under those that are under already. So that if meane men scape unpunished when they transgresse, it is oftner for want [Page 115] A of care or conscience in the Magistrate, then of Courage. But here is the true triall of your Courage, when you are to deale with these great ones: men not inferiour to your selves, per­haps your equalls, yea, and it may bee too, your Magi­stracy set aside, men much greater than your selves: men great in place, great in wealth, in great favour, that have great friends; but withall that doe great harme. Let it bee your honour, that you dare bee just, when these dare bee unjust; and when they dare smite others Esay 58.4. with the fist of vi­olence, that you dare smite them with Rom. 13.4. the sword of justice; B and that you dare use your power, when they dare abuse theirs. All Transgressours should be looked unto; but more, the grea­ter, and the greatest, most: as a Sheepherd should watch his Sheep even from Flyes and Maukes; but much more from Foxes; most of all from Wolves. Sure, hee is a sorry Sheepherd, that is busie to kill Flyes and Maukes in his Sheepe, but letteth the Wolfe worry at pleasure: Why one Wolfe will doe more mischief in a night, than a thousand of them in a twelve-moneth. And as sure, he is a sorry Magistrate, that stocketh, and whippeth, and hangeth poor Sneaks when they offend (though C that is to be done too) but letteth the great theeves doe what they list, and dareth not meddle with them: like Saul, who when God commanded him to destroy all the Amalekites both man and beast, slew indeed the rascality of both, but spared the Sam. 15.3—9. grea­test of the men, and the fattest of the cattell, and slew them not. The good Magistrate should rather, with Iob here, break the jawes of the wicked, and in spight of his heart, pluck the spoile out of his teeth.

Thus have you heard the four duties or properties of a 21 good Magistrate contained in this Scripture, with the grounds D and reasons of most of them, opened. They are, 1. a love and zeal to justice, 2. Compassion to the poor and distres­sed, 3. Paines and Patience in examination of causes, 4. Stout­nesse and Courage in execution of justice. The uses and infe­rences of all these yet remaine to be handled now in the last place, and altogether. All which for order and bre­vities sake, we will reduce unto three heads: accordingly as from each of the foure mentioned Duties, or Properties, or Rules (call them which you will) there arise Inferences of three sorts. First, of Direction; for the choyce and 1 E appointment of Magistrates according to these four properties. [...]econdly, of Reproof, for a just rebuke of such Magistrates 2 as faile in any of these four Duties. Thirdly, of Exhortation; 3 to those that are, or shall be Magistrates, to carry themselves therein according to these four Rules. Wherein what I shall speak of Magistrates, ought also to be extended and applyed (the [Page 116] due proportion ever observed) to all kinds of officers what­soever,A any way appertaining unto Iustice. And first for Di­rections.

Saint Paul saith, Rom. 13.1. The powers that are, are ordained of God: and 22 yet Saint Peter calleth the Magistracy an 1 Pet. 2.13. humane ordinance. Certainly the holy Spirit of God, which speaketh in these two great Apostles, is not contrary to it self. The truth is, the substance of the power of every Magistrate is the Ordinance of God; and that is Saint Pauls meaning: but the Specification of the circumstances thereto belonging, as in regard of places, per­sons, titles, continuance, jurisdiction, subordination, and the rest,B is (as Saint Peter termeth it) an humane ordinance, introduced by Custome, or positive Law. And therefore some kindes of Magistracy are higher, some lower, some annuall or for a set time, some during life; some after one manner, some af­ter another: according to the severall Lawes or Customes where­on they are grounded. As in other circumstances, so in this concerning the deputation of the Magistrates person, there is great difference: some having their power by Succession, others by Nomination, and other some by Election. As amongst us, the supreme Magistrate, the King, hath his Power by succession; C some inferiour Magistrates theirs, by nomination, or speciall appointment, either immediately, or mediately from the King; as most of our Iudges and Iustices: some again by the electi­ons and voices of the multitude; as most Officers and Gover­nours in our Cities, Corporations, or Colledges. The Dire­ctions which I would inferre from my Text, cannot reach the first kind; because such Magistrates are born to us not cho­sen by us. They do concern in some sort, the second; but most neerly the third kind, viz. Those that are chosen by suffrages and voices: and therefore unto this third kind one­ly D I will apply them. We may not think, because our voices are our own, that therefore we may bestow them as we list: neither must we suffer our selves in a matter of this nature to be carried by favour, faction, spight, hope, feare, impor­tunity, or any other corrupt and partiall respect, from those Rules, which ought to levell our choice. But we must con­ferre our voices, and our best furtherance otherwise, upon those whom, all things duly considered, we conceive to be the fittest: and the greater the place is, and the more the po­wer is we give unto them and from our selves; the greater E ought our care in voycing to be. It is true indeed, when we have used all our best care, and proceeded with the grea­test caution we can; we may be deceived, and make an un­worthy choice. For we cannot judge of mens fitnesse by any demonstrative certainty: all we can do is to go upon probabi­lities, [Page 117] A which can yield at the most but a conjecturall certainty, full of uncertainty. Men fere maxi­ma [...] morem hunc homines habent: quod sibi volunt Dum id impe­trant, boni sunt; sed id ubi jam penes sese habent, Ex bo­nis pessimi & fraudulentissi­ [...]i sunt. Plaut· in Capt. 2.1. Omnes candi­datos, bonos vi­ros dicimus. Senec. Epist. 3. ambitious and in appetite, till they have obtained their desires, use to dissemble those vices which might make a stop in their preferments; which, ha­ving once gotten what they fished for, they bewray with grea­ter freedome: and they use likewise to make a shew of that zeal and forwardnesse in them to do good, which afterwards cometh to just nothing. Absalom to steal away the hearts of the people, (though he were even then most unnaturally unjust in his purposes, against a father, and such a father; yet he) made shew of much compassion to the injured, and of a B great desire to do justice. 2 Sam. 15.4 O, saith he, that I were made a Iudge in the Land, that every man that hath any suite or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice. And yet I doubt not, but if things had so come to passe, he would have been as bad as the worst. When the Roman Souldiers had in a tumult proclaimed Galba Emperour, they thought they had done a good dayes work; every man pro­mised himself so much good of the new Emperour: But when he was in, he proved no better than those that had been before him. One giveth this censure of him, Tacit. lib. 1. Histor. Omnium C consensu capax imperij, nisi imperasset: he had been a man in every mans judgement worthy to have been Emperour, if he had not been Emperour, and so shewed himself unworthy. [...]di­ctum Biantis apud Arist. 5. Ethic. 3. Magistratus indicat virum, is a common saying, and a true. We may guesse upon likelyhoods what they will be, when we choose them: but the thing it self after they are chosen [...]. Plutarch. in Cicerone. sheweth the certainty what they are. But this uncertainty should be so farre from making us carelesse in our choice; that it should rather adde so much the more to our care, to put things so hazardous as neer as we can out of hazard.

D Now those very Rules, that must direct them to govern, must direct us also to choose. And namely an eye would be had to the four properties specified in my Text. The first, a Zeal of Iustice, and a Delight therein. Seest thou a man carelesse of the common good; one that palpably preferreth his own be­fore the publick weale; one that loveth his nec vulgi cura tyranni, Dum sua sit modo tuta sa­lus. Valer. Flacc. 5. Argo­naut. ease so well, that he careth not which way things goe, backward or forward, so he may sit still, and not be troubled; one that would di­vide 21 honorem ab onere, be proud of the honour and title, and 1 yet loath to undergoe the envie and burthen that attendeth E them? set him aside. Never think that mans robes will do well upon him. A Iusticeship, or other office would sit up­on such a mans back as handsomely as 1 Sam. 17.39 Sauls armour did up­on Davids: unweildy, and sagging about his shoulders; so as he could not tell how to stirre and turn himself under it. [Page 118] He is a fit man to make a Magistrate of, that will put on A righteousnesse as a garment, and clothe himself with judgement as 2 with a Robe and a Diadem. The second property is Compas­sion on the poor. Seest thou a man destitute of counsell and understanding; a man of forlorne hopes or estate, and in whom there is no help; or one that having either counsell or help in him, is yet a churle of either; but especially one that is sore in his bargaines, cruell in his dealings, hard to his Tenants, or an Op­pressour in any kind? Take none of him. Sooner commit a flock of Sheep to a O praeclarum custodem, ovi­um, ut aiunt, lu [...]um▪ custosne urbis, an direp­tor & vexa [...]or esset Antonius. Cic. Philipp. 3. Wolf; than a Magistracy or office of justice to an [...]. Iamblich. apud Stob. Serm. 14. Oppressour. Such a man is more likely to put out the eyes of him B that seeth, then to be eyes to the blind; and to break the bones of the strong, then to be legges to the lame; and to turn the father­lesse a begging, then to be a Father to the poore. The third property is Diligence to search out the truth. Seest thou a man hasty, and rash, and heady in his own businesses; a man impatient of delay or pains; one that cannot Prov. 29.11. conceale what is meet, till it be seasonable to utter it, but poureth out all his heart at once, and before the time; one that is easily possest with what is first told him, or being once possest will not with any reason be perswaded to the contrary; one that lendeth eare so much to some particular friend or follower, as to be­lieve C any information from him, not any but from him; one that, 3 to be counted a man of dispatch, loveth to make an end of a businesse before it be ripe; suspect him. He will scarce have the Conscience: or if that, yet not the wit, or not the patience, to search out the cause which he knoweth not. The last Property is, Courage to execute. Seest 4 thou a man first; of a degeneres animos timor arguit. Virgil. 4. Aeneid. timorous nature, and cowardly disposition? or secondly, of a wavering and fickle mind: as we say of children; wonne with an apple, and lost with a nut? or thirdly, that is apt to be wrought upon, or moulded into any forme, with faire words, friend­ly invitations, or complementall glozes? or fourthly, that depend­eth D upon some great man, whose vassall or creature he is? or fifthly; a taker, and one that may be dealt withall? (for that is now the pe­riphrasis of bribery) or sixthly; guilty of the same transgressions he should punish, or of other as foul? Never a man of these is for the turne: not one of these will venture to break the jawes or tuskes of an oppressing Tygre or Boare, and to pluck the spoile out of his teeth. The timorous man is afraid of every shadow, and if he do but heare of teeth, he thinketh it is good sleeping in a whole skinne, and so keepeth aloofe off for fear of biting. James 1.8. The double minded man, as Saint Iames saith, is unstable in all his wayes: he beginneth to do E something in a sudden heat, when the fit taketh him; but before one jaw can be half broken, he is not the man he was, he is sorry for what is done, and instead of breaking the rest, falleth a binding up that which he hath broken, and so seeketh to salve up the matter as well as he can, and no hurt done. The vain man, that will be [Page 119] A flattered, so he get fair words himself, he careth not who getteth foul blowes: and so the beast will but now and then give him a lick with the tongue, he letteth him use his teeth upon others at his plea­sure. The depending creature is charmed with a letter or message from his Lord, or his honourable friend; which to him is as good as a Supersede as, or Prohibition. The taker hath his fingers so oyled, that his hand slippeth off when he should pluck away the spoyl, and so he leaveth it undone. The guilty man by no means liketh this breaking of jawes: he thinketh it may be his own case another day.

You see, when you are to chuse Magistrates, here is refuse enough,24 B to be cast by. But by that all these be discarded, and thrown out of the bunch; possibly the whole lump will be neer spent, and there will be little or no choyce left. Indeed if we should look for absolute perfection, there would be absolutely no choyce at all: Psal. 14.3. There is none that doth good, no not one. We must not be so dainty in our choyce then, as to find one in every respect such as hath been charactred. We live not dicit enim tanquam in Platonis [...], non tanquam in Romuli faece, sententiam. de Catone, Cic. 2. ad Artic. 1. in Republica Platonis, but in faece seculi; and it is well, if we can find one in some good mediocrity so qualified. Amid the common corruptions of mankind, he is to be accounted a tolerably good man, that is not intolerably bad: and a­mong C so many infirmities and defects, as I have now reckoned, we may well voyce him for a Magistrate; not that is free from them all, but that hath the Vit is n [...]mo sine nascitur: optimus ille est, Qui minimis urgetur. Hor. 1. serm. Sat. 3. fewest and least. And we make a happy choyce, if from among those we have to chuse of, we take such a one as is likely to prove in some reasonable mediocrity zealous of justice, sensible of the wrongs of poor men, carefull to search out the truth of causes, and resolute to execute what he knoweth is just.

That for Direction. I am next to infer from the four duties in my 25 Text, a just reproof, & withall, a complaint of the common iniquity of these times; wherein men in the Magistracy and in offices of Iustice are D generally so faulty and delinquent in some, or all of these duties. And first, as for zeal to justice: alas that there were not too much cause 1 to complain. It is grief to speak it (and yet we all see it and know it) there is grown among us of this Land, within the space of not many years, a generall and sensible declination in our zeal both to Religion and Iustice; the two main pillars and supporters of Church and State. And it seemeth to be with us in these regards, as with decay­ing Merchants almost become desperate; who when Creditors call fast upon them, being hopelesse of paying all, grow carelesse of all, and pay none: so abuses and disorders encrease so fast among us; E that hopeless to reform all, our Magistrates begin to neglect all, and in a manner reform nothing. How few are there of them that sit in the seat of justice, whose consciences can prompt them a comfort­able answer to that Question of David, Psal. 58. Psal. 58.1. Are your minds set upon righteousnesse, O ye congregation? Rather are they not al­most all of Gallio's temper, Act. 18. who, though there were a foul [Page 120] outrage committed even under his nose, and in the sight of the A Bench, yet the Text saith, Acts 18.17. he cared for none of those things? as if they had their names given them by an Antiphrasis: like Diogenes his man; Manes à manendo, because he would be now and then running away; so these Iustices à justitia, because they neither do nor care to do Iustice. Peradventure here and there one or two in a whole side of a Countrey to be found, that make a conscience of their duty more then the rest, and are forward to do the best good they can: Gods blessing rest upon their heads for it. But what cometh of it? The rest, glad of their forwardnesse, make one­ly this use of it to themselves; even to slip their own necks out of B the yoke, and leave all the burden upon them: and so at length even tire out them too, by making common packhorses of them. A little it may be is done by the rest, for fashion, but to little purpose; some­times more to shew their Iusticeship, then to do justice: and a little more it may be is wrung from them by importunity; as the poor Luc. 18.4, 5. wi­dow in the parable by her clamorousnesse wrung a piece of justice with much ado from the Iudge that neither feared God, nor regarded man. Alas, Beloved, if all were right within, if there were generally that zeal that should be in Magistrates: good Laws would not thus languish as they do for want of execution; there would not be that C insolency of Popish Recusants, that license of Rogues and wanderers, that prouling of Officers, that enhaunsing of fees, that delay of suits, that countenancing of abuses, those carkases of depopulated towns, infinite other mischiefs; which are (the sins shall I say, or the plagues? it is hard to say whether more, they are indeed both) the sins and the plagues of this land. And as for Compassion to the di­stressed; 2 is there not now just cause, if ever, to complain? If in these hard times, wherein nothing aboundeth but poverty and sin; when the greater ones of the earth should most of all enlarge their bowels, and reach out the hand to relieve the extreme necessity of D thousands that are ready to starve: if (I say) in these times great men, yea and men of justice, are as throng as ever in pulling down houses, and setting up hedges; in unpeopling towns, and creating beg­gars; in racking the backs, and grinding the faces of the poor; how dwelleth the love of GOD, how dwelleth the spirit of compassion in these men? Are these eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, and fathers to the poor, as Iob was? I know your hearts cannot but rise in de­testation of these things, at the very mentioning of them. But what would you say, if as it was said to Ezekiel, so I should bid you Ezech. 8.6, 13, 15. turn again, and behold yet greater and yet greater abominations; E of the lamentable oppressions of the poor by them and their instru­ments, who stand bound in all conscience, and in regard of their places, to protect them from the injuries and oppressions of others? But I forbear to do that; and chuse rather out of one passage in the Prophet Amos, to give you some short intimation both of the [Page 121] A faults, and of the reason of my forbearance. It is in Amos 5. v. 12, 13. I know your manifold transgressions, and your Amos 5.1 [...], 13. fortia peccata vulg. ibid. mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turne aside the poor in the gate from their right: Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time. And as for searching out the truth in 3 mens causes, which is the third Duty: First, those Sycophants deserve a rebuke, who by false accusations, and cunningly devised tales, (Pindar. O­lymp. 1. [...]) of purpose involve the truth of things to set a faire colour upon a bad matter, or to take away the righteousnesse of the innocent from him. And B yet how many are there such as these in most of our Courts of justice? Informing, and promoting, and pettifogging make-bates. Now it were a lamentable thing if these men should be known, and yet suffered: but what if countenanced, and en­couraged, and underhand maintained by the Magistrates of those Courts, of purpose to bring Moulter to their own Mills? Secondly, since Magistrates must be content (for they are but men, and cannot be every where at once) in many things to see with other mens eyes, and to heare with other mens eares, and to proceed upon information: those men deserve a rebuke, who C being by their office to ripen causes for judgement, and to fa­cilitate the Magistrates care and paines for inquisition; doe yet either for feare, or favour, or negligence, or a fee, keep back true and necessary informations, or else for spight or gaine clogge the Courts with false or trifling ones. But most of all the Magistrates themselves deserve a rebuke, if either they be hasty to acquit a man upon his owne bare deniall or protestation (for si inficiari sufficiet, ecqui [...] erit nocens? as the Delphidius Orator contra Numerium; apud Ammian. Marcell. l. 18. Oratour pleaded before Iulian the Emperour; if a deniall may serve the turne, none shall bee guilty,) or if hasty to condemne a D man upon anothers bare accusation (for si accusasse sufficiet, ecquis erit innocens? as the Emperour excellently replyed upon that Oratour; if an accusation may serve the turne, none shall be innocent;) or if they suffer themselves to be possessed with prejudice, and not keepe one eare open (as they write of Alexander the Great) for the contrary party, that they may stand indifferent till the truth be throughly canvassed; or if to keep causes long in their hands, they either delay to search the truth out, that they may know it, or to decide the cause according to the truth, when they have found it. And as for Courage to exe­cute E Iustice, which is the last Duty: what need we trouble our selves to seek out the causes, when we see the effects so daily and 4 plainly before our eyes? whether it be through his own cowardise or inconstancy, that he keepeth off; or that a fair word whistleth him off; or that a great mans letter staveth him off; or that his own guilty conscience doggeth him off, or that his hands are mana­cled [Page 122] with a bribe, that he cannot fasten; or whatsoever other mat­ter A there is in it: sure we are, the Magistrate too often letteth the wicked carry away the spoyle, without breaking a jaw of him, or so much as offering to pick his teeth. It was not well in Davids time, (and yet David a Godly King) when complainingly he asked the Question, Psal. 94.16. Who will stand up with me against the evil doers? It was not well in Solomons time, (and yet Solomon a peaceable King) when; Eccles. 4.1. considering the Oppressions that were done under the Sun, he saw that on the side of the oppressors there was power; but as for the oppressed, they had no comforter. We live under the happy government of a godly and peaceable King; Gods holy name be blessed for it: and B yet GOD knoweth, and we all know, it is not much better now; nay God grant, it be not generally even much worse!

26 Receive now in the last place, and as the third and last inference, a word of Exhortation; and it shall be but a word. You whom God hath called to any honour or office appertaining to justice; as you tender the glory of God, and the good of the Common-wealth; as you tender the honour of the King, and the prosperity of the Kingdome; as you tender the peace and tranquillity of your selves and neigh­bours; as you tender the comfort of your own consciences, and the salvation of your own souls: set your selves throughly and cheer­fully C and constantly and conscionably, to discharge with faith­fulnesse all those duties which belong unto you in your severall sta­tions and callings, & to advance to the utmost of your power the due administration and execution of Iustice. Do not not decline those 1 burdens which cleave to the honours you sustain. Do not post off those businesses from your selves to others, which you should rather do then they, or at least may as well do as they. Stand up with the zeal of Psal. 106.30. Phinees, and by executing judgement, help to turn away those heavy plagues, which God hath already begun to bring upon us; and to prevent those yet heavier ones, which having so rightly deser­ved,D we have all just cause to fear. Breath fresh life into the lan­guishing lawes, by mature, and severe, and discreet execution. Put on Righteousnesse as a Garment; and cloathe your selves with Iudge­ment, 2 as with a Robe and Diadem. Among so many Oppressions, as in these evil dayes are done under the Sun; to whom should the fatherlesse, and the widow, and the wronged complain but to you, whence seek for relief but from you? Be not you wanting to their necessi­ties. Let your eyes be open unto their miseries, and your ears open un­to 3 their cryes, and your hands open unto their wants. Give friendly Counsel to those that stand need of your Direction: afford conveni­ent E help to those that stand need of your assistance: carry a Fatherly affection to all those that stand need of any comfort, protection, or re­lief from you. Be eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame: and be you in­stead of fathers to the poor. But yet do not countenance, no not Exod. 23.3. a poor man in his cause, farther than he hath equity on his side. Re­member [Page 123] A one point of [...]. Nervus est sa­pientiae, non citò credere. dictum Epi­charmi, apud Cic. 1. ad At­tic. 16. [...]. Eurip. in Helen. The simple believe every word. Prov. 14.15. wisdom, not to be too credulous of every sugge­stion & information. But do your best to spie out the chinks, & starting holes, and secret conveyances & packings of cunning & crafty compani­ons: and when you have found them out, bring them to light, & do exemplary justice upon them. Sell not your ears to your servants: nor tye your selves to the informations of some one, or a few, or of him that cometh first; but let every party have a fair & an equal hearing. Examin proofs: Consider circumstances: be content to hear simple men [...]. Arist. 2. Elench. 10. tell their tales in such language as they have: think no pains, no pa­tience too much to sift out the truth. Neither by inconsiderate haste B prejudice any mans right: nor weary him out of it by torturing delayes. The cause which you know not, use all diligence, & convenient both care and speed, to search it out. But ever withall remember your standing is slippery; & you shall have many and sore assaults, & very shrewd tem­ptations: so that unless you arm your selves with invincible resolution, you are gone. The wicked ones of this world will conjure you by your old friendship and acquaintance, & by all the bonds of neighbour­hood and kindnesse: bribe your Wives & Children & Servants to cor­rupt you; procure great mens Letters or favourites as engines to move you; convey a bribe into your own bosomes, but under a handsomer C name, & in some other shape, so cunningly & secretly sometimes, that your selves shall not know it to be a bribe when you receive it. Har­den 4 your faces, and strengthen your resolutions with a holy obstinacy, against these and all other like temptations. Count him an ene­my, that will alledge friendship to pervert justice. When you sit in the place of justice, think you are not now Qui indait personam judi­cis, [...]xuit amici. Cicer. Husbands, or Parents, or Neighbours; but Iudges. Contemn the frowns and the favours, and the letters of great ones: in comparison of that trust, which greater ones than they, the King & State, & a yet greater than they, the great God of heaven and earth, hath reposed in you and expecteth from you. D Chastise him with severe Rejecit alto dona nocentium vultu. Horat 4. Od. 9. indignation, if he begin: and if he continue, spit defiance in his face, who ere he be, that shall think you so base as to sell your Libertatem arguendi amit­tit, qui ab eo acc [...]pit qui ideò dat ne corriga­tur. Ambr. in 1 Cor. c. 19. freedome for a bribe. Gird your sword upon your thigh; & (keeping your selves ever within the compass of your Commissions and Callings, as the Sun in the Zodiack) go through stitch, right on in the course of Iustice, as the Sun in the firmament with unresisted violence; and as a Giant that rejoyceth to run his race, and who can stop him? Bear not the Rom. 13.4. sword in vain: but let your right hand teach you terrible things. Defend the poor and fatherless; and de­liver the oppressed from them that are mightier then he: Smite E through the loyns of those that rise up to do wrong, that they rise not again: Break the jaws of the wicked, and pluck the spoyl out of his teeth. Thus if you do, the wicked shall fear you, the good shall blesse you, the poor shall pray for you, posterity shall praise you, your own hearts shall chear you, and the great God of Heaven shall reward you. This that you may do in some good measure, the same God [Page 124] of Heaven enable you: and give you and every of us grace in our A severall places and callings to seek his glory, and to endeavour the discharge of a good conscience. To which God blessed for ever, Father, Sonne, and Holy Ghost, three Persons and one eternall, invisible and onely wise God, be ascribed all the Kingdome, Power, and Glory, for ever and ever. AMEN.

A

B AD MAGISTRATUM. The Second Sermon. At the Assises at Lincoln, 7 March 1624. at the C request of William Lister Esq then high Sheriff of the County.

EXOD. 23. ver. 1.—3.

1. Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.

D 2. Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil: nei­ther shalt thou speak in a cause, to decline after many to wrest judgement.

3. Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause.

THere is no one thing, (Religion ever excepted,) that 1 more secureth and adorneth the State, than Iustice E doth. It is both Columna, and Corona Reipublicae, as a Prop to make it subsist firm in it selfe; and as a Crown, to render it glorious in the eyes of others. As the Cement in a building, that Ius & aequi­tas vincula ci­vitatum. Cic. Parad. 4. holdeth all together, so is Iustice to the publick Body: as whereunto it oweth a great part both of its strength, (for by it the Prov. 16.12. throne is established, in the sixteenth) and of [Page 126] its height too; for it Prov. 14.34. exalteth a Nation, in the 14th. of the Pro­verbs. As then in a Building, when for want of good looking to, the A Morter getting wet dissolveth, and the wals V [...]nt [...]osi p [...] ­ri [...]t [...]s. P. Bles. Ep 85. belly out; the house can­not but settle apace, and without speedy repaires fall to the ground: so there is not a more certain symptome of a declining, and decaying, and tottering State, than is the generall [...]. Soph.. in Ajac. ubi non est pudor, Nec cura juris, Sanctitas, Pictas, Fides; Instabile regnum [...]st. Sen. in Thyest. act. 2. dissolution of manners for want of the due execution and administration of Iustice.

The more cause have we, that are Gods Ministers, by frequent 2 exhortations, admonitions, obsecrations, expostulations, even out of B season sometimes, but especially upon such seasonable opportunities as this, to be instant with all them that have any thing to do in mat­ters of Iustice, but especially with you, who are Rom. 13.4. Gods Ministers too (though in another kind) you who are in Commission to sit upon the Bench of judicature, either for Sentence or Assistance: to do your God and King service, to do your Country and Calling honour, to do your selves and others right, by advancing to the utmost of your powers the due course of Iustice. Wherein as I verily think none dare Irasci mihi nemo poterit, nisi qui antè de se volu [...]rit con­fiteri. Cie. pro lege Manil. Frequenter culpa pupuli re­dundat in prin­cipem, quasi de majorum neg­ligentia obve­niant errata mino [...]um. Pet. Blesens. Ep. 95. but the guilty, so I am well assured none can justly, mislike in us the choice either of our Argument that we beat upon these things; C or of our Method, that we begin first with you. For, as we cannot be perswaded on the one side, but that we are bound for the dis­charge of our duties, to put you in mind of yours: so we cannot be perswaded on the other side, but that if there were generally in the greater ones that care and conscience and zeal there ought to be of the common good, a thousand corruptions rife among inferiours would be, if not wholly reformed, at leastwise practised with lesse connivence from you, confidence in them, grievance to others.

But right and reason will, that Gal. 6.5. every man bear his own burthen. 3 And therefore as we may not make you innocent, if you be faulty,D by transferring your faults upon others: so far be it from us to im­pute their faults to you, otherwise then as by not doing your best to Qui non ve­tat peccare cū potest, jubet. Senec. in Tro­ad. In cu [...]us manu est ut prohi [...]t, jubet agi, si non pro­hib [...]t admitti. Sa [...]vian. 7. de provid. hinder them, you make them yours. For Iustice we know is an En­gine, that turneth upon many hinges. And to the exercise of judi­cature, besides the Sentence, which is properly yours, there are diverse other things required; Informations, and Testimonies, and Argu­ings, and Inquests, and sundry Formalities, which I am neither able to name, nor yet covetous to learne: wherein you are to rest much upon the faithfulnesse of other men. In any of whom if there be, as sometimes there will be, foul and unfaithfull dealing, such as you E either cannot spie, or cannot help; wrong sentence may proceed from out your lips, [...]. Arist. 8. Top. 111. without your fault. As in a curious Watch or Clock that moveth upon many wheeles, the finger may point a wrong hour, though the wheel that next moveth it be most exactly true; if but some little pinne, or notch or spring be out of order in or about any [Page 127] A of the baser and inferiour wheels. What he said of old, [...]. apud Stob. Ser. 44. Non fieri potest, quin Principes etiam valde boni iniqua faciant; was then and ever since, and yet is, and ever will be most true. For say a Iudge be never so honestly minded, never so zealous of the truth, never so carefull to do right: yet if there be a spitefull Accuser that will suggest any thing, or an audacious Witnesse that will sweare any thing, or a crafty Pleader that will maintain any thing, or a tame Iury that will swallow any thing, or a craving Clerk or Officer that for a bribe will foist in any thing; the Iudge who is tyed (as it is meet he should) to proceed secundum allegata & probata, cannot Ipsos justi [...]i­arios, quos vul­gariter Erran­tes, vel Itine­rantes dicimus, dum errata ho­minum dili­genter explo­rant, frequenter errare contin­git. Excessus namque homi­num abscon­duntur, &c. Pet. Bles. Epist. 25. with his best care B and wisdome prevent it, but that sometimes justice shall be perver­ted, innocency oppressed, and guilty ones justified.

Out of which consideration, I the rather desired for this Assise-Assembly, to choose a Text as neer as I could of equall latitude with the Assise-Businesse. For which purpose I could not readily think of any other portion of Scripture, so proper and full to meet with all sorts of persons and all sorts of abuses, as these three verses are. Is there either Calumny in the Accuser, or Perjury in the Witnesse, or Supinity in the Iurer, or Sophistry in the Pleader, or Partiality in any Officer; or any close corruption any where lurking amid those many C passages and conveyances that belong to a judiciall proceeding? 4 my Text searcheth it out, and enditeth the offender at the tribunall of that unpartiall Judge that keepeth a privie Sessions in each mans breast.

The words are so laid down distinctly in five Rules or Prec [...]pts, or 5 rather (being all negative) in so many Prohibitions, that I may spare the labour of making other division of them. All that I shall need to do about them, will be to set out the severall portions in such fort as that every man who hath any part or fellowship in this busi­nesse may have his due share in them. Art thou first an Accuser in a­ny D kind: either as a party in a judiciall controversie; or bound over 1 to prosecute for the King in a criminall cause, or as a voluntary infor­mer upon some penall Statute? here is something for thee, Thou shalt not raise a false report. Art thou secondly a Witnesse: either 2 fetched in by Processe to give publick testimony upon oath; or come of good or ill will, privately to speak a good word for, or to cast out a shrewd word against any person? here is something for thee too; Put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witnesse. Art thou thirdly returned to serve as a sworne man, in a matter of grand 3 or petty inquest? here is something for thee too; Thou shalt not fol­low E a multitude to do evil. Comest thou hither fourthly to advo­cate the cause of thy Client, who flyeth to thy learning, experience,4 and authority for succour against his adversary, and commendeth his state and suit to thy care and trust? here is something for thee too; Neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judge­ment. Art thou lastly in any Office of trust, or place of service in or 5 [Page 128] about the Courts, so as it may sometimes fall within thy power or A opportunity to do a suiter a favour, or a spite? here is something for thee too, Thou shalt not countenance (no not) a poor man in his cause. The two first in the first, the two next in the second, this last in the third verse.

In which distribution of the offices of justice in my Text, let none 6 imagine, because I have shared out all among them that are below the bench, that therefore there is nothing left for them that sit upon it. Rather as in dividing the land of Canaan, Levi, who had Num. 18.20, 21. Deut. 18.1, &c. no di­stinct plot by himself, having yet (by reason of the Deut. 33.10. universall use of his office) in every Tribe something, had in the whole, all things con­sidered,B a See Numb. 25.2—83. and Jos. 21.1, &c. farre greater proporrion, then any other Tribe had: So in this Scripture, the Iudge hath by so much a larger portion then any of the rest, by how much it is more diffused. Not concluded within the narrow bounds of any one; but, as the blood in the body, temperately spread throughout all the parts and members thereof. Which cometh to passe not so much from the immediate construction of the words (though there have not wanted Lyran hic. Expositors to fit the words to such construction:) as from that generall inspection, and (if I may so speak) superintendency, which the Iudge or Magistrate ought to have over the carriage of all those other inferiour ones. A great part of C whose duty it is, to observe how the rest do theirs: and to find them out, and check and punish them as they deserve, when they transgresse. So that with your patience (Honourable, Worshipfull, and dearly Beloved) I have allowance from my Text (if the time would as well allow it) to speak unto you of five things. Whereof the first con­cerneth the Accuser; the second, the Witnesse; the third, the Iurer; the fourth, the Lawyer; and the fifth, the Officer: and every one of them the Magistrate, Iudge, and Iusticer. But having no purpose to exceed the houre, (as I must needs do if I should speak to all these to any purpose;) whilest I speak to the first onely, I shall desire the rest to D make application to themselves, so farre as it may concern them, of every materiall passage: which they may easily do, and with very little change for the most part; onely if they be willing.

To our first Rule then, which concerneth the Accuser and the Iudge; 7 in the first words of the Text, Thou shalt not raise a false report, The Originall [...] verb signifieth to take up; as if we should read it, H.A. hic. Thou shalt not take up a false report. And it is a word of larger compre­hension, then most Translatours have expressed it. The full mean­ing is, Old English translation hic. Thou shalt not have to do with any false report: neither by Cons [...]nti [...]ndo vel loquendo. Gloss. interlin. hic. Ni falsi rumo [...]is author, vel adjutor esto. J [...]n. in Annot. rai­sing it, as the Author, nor by spreading it, as the Reporter, nor by re­ceiving E it as an Approver. But the first fault is in the Raiser: and there­fore our translations have done well to retain that rather in the Text; yet allowing the Receiver a place in the Margent. Now false reports may be raised of our brethren by unjust slanders, detractions, back­bitings, whisperings, as well out of the course of judgement, as in it. [Page 129] A And the equity of of this Rule reacheth even to those extrajudiciall Calumnies also. But for that I am not now to speak of extrajudiciall Calumny so much, as of that quae versatur in foro & in judiciis, those false suggestions and informations which are given into the Courts, as more proper both to the scope of my Text, and the occasion of this present meeting: Conceive the words for the present as spoken espe­cially, or at leastwise as not improperly appliable, to the Accuser. But the Accuser taken Accusatorem pro omni actore & petitore ap­pello. Cic. in partit. Orat. at large, for any person that impleadeth another in jure publico vel privato, in causes either civil or criminal, and these again either capital or penal. No not the Accused or Defendant exce­pted: who although he cannot be called in strict propriety of speech B an Accuser; yet if when he is justly accused, he seek to defend himself by false, unjust, or impertinent allegations, he is in our present in­tendment to be taken as an Accuser, or as the Raiser and Taker up of a false report.

But when is a Report false? or what is it to raise such a report?8 and how is it done? As we may conceive of falshood in a three-fold notion; namely, as it is opposed, not onely unto Truth first, but se­condly also unto Ingenuity, and thirdly unto Equity also: according­ly false reports may be raised three wayes. The first and grossest way is, when we struunt de proprio calum­ni as innocentiae. Bern lib. 1. de Consid. prope finem. feign and devise something of our owne C heads to lay against our brother, without any foundation at all, or ground of truth: creating (as it were) a tale ex nihilo. As it is in the Psalm, Psal. 35.11. They laid to my charge things that I never did: and as Ne­hemiah sent word to Sanballat, Nehem. 6.8. There are no such things as thou sayest, but thou feignest them of thine own heart. Cic. act. 2. in Verr. lib. 3. Crimen domesticum, & ver­naculum; a meer device: such as was that of Iezebels instruments a­gainst 3 Reg. 21.10. Naboth, which cost him his life; and that of Zibah against 2 Sam. 16.3. Me­phibosheth, which had almost cost him all he had. This first kind of 9 Report is false; as devoyd of Truth.

The second way, (which was so frequently used among the Roman D Accusers, that Non utar istâ accusatoriâ consuetudine, &c. Cie▪ Act. 2. in Verr. lib. 5. Custome had made it not onely excusable, but quae quoni­am accusatorio more & jure sunt facta, re­prehendere non possumus. Cic. p [...]o Flacco. al­lowable; and is at this day of too frequent use both in private and publick calumniations) is, when upon some small ground of truth, we run descant at pleasure in our own informations, interweaving many untruths among; or perverting the speeches & actions of our adver­saries, to make their matters ill, when they are not; or otherwise aggravating them to make them seem worse than they are. As tidings came to David, when Amnon only was slain, that 2 Sam. 13.30 Absalom had killed all the Kings sons. It is an easie and a common thing, by misconstru­ction to They daily wrest my words ▪ Psal▪ 56.5. —Nihil est Qui [...] malè narrando possit depravarier. Terent. in Phorm. deprave whatsoever is most innocently done or spoken. The E Ammonitish Courtiers dealt so with David, when he sent 2 Sam. 10.2. Ambas­sadors to Hanun in kindness, they informed the King as if he had sent Spies to discover the strength of the City and Land. And the Neh. 6.6, 7. & Ezra 4.12. Iews enemies dealt so with those that of devotion repaired the Temple & the Wall of Ierusalem, advertising the State, as if their purpose had [Page 130] been to fortifie themselves for a Rebellion. Yea and the malicious A Iewes dealt so with Christ himself; taking hold of some words of his, about the destroying and building of the Temple, which he un­derstood of the Ioh. 2.10.21. temple of his body, and so Mat. 26.61. wresting them to the fa­brick of the Materiall Temple, as to make them serve to give colour to one of the strongest accusations they had against him. This second kind of Report is false, as devoid of Ingenuity.

10 The third way is, when taking advantage of the Law, we prose­cute the extremity thereof against our brother, who perhaps hath done something contrary to the letter of the Law, but not violated the intent of the Lawgiver, or offended either against common Equity, B which ought to be the [...]. Epicte [...]. apud Stob. Serm. 143. nosdegem bonam [...] mala nullâ alli â nisi naturali nor­mâ. dividere possumus. Cic. lib. 1 de legib. Quod fit inju­stè, nec jure fi­eri pit [...]st. Non enim jura di­cenda sunt, vel putanda, ini­qua hominum constitu [...]. Aug. l. 9. dè Civit. 21 measure of just Lawes, or against the com­mon good, which is in some sort the Atque ipsa utilitas justi. propè [...] & aequi. Horat. 1. serm. 3—ex ae­quo & bonojus const [...]t, quod ad veritatem & util [...]tatem commun [...]m vi­detur pertinere. Cic. ad He­renn. lib. 2. measure of Equity. In that mul­titude of Lawes, which for the repressing of disorders, and for the main­tenance of peace and tranquillity among men, must needs be in every well-governed Common-wealth, it [...]annot be avoided, but that ho­nest men, especially if they have much dealings in the world, may have sometimes just and necessary cause to do that, which in regard of the thing done may bring them within the compasse of some Sta­tute or branch of a statute; yet such as, circumstances duly considered, no wise and indifferent man but would well approve of. Now, if in C such c [...]ses alwaies rigour should be used, Lawes intended for the bene­fit, should by such hard construction become the bane of humane so­ciety. As Solomon saith, Prov. 30.33. Qui torquet nasum, elicit sanguinem; He that wringeth the nose too hard, forceth blood. Guilty this way are not onely those contentious spirits, whereof there are too many in the world, with whom there is no more adoe, but a Word and an Action, a Trespasse and a Processe: But most of our common Informers withall, Sycoph [...]nts you may call them (for that was their old name) like Ver­res his Canes v [...]na­leci. Cic. in Vetrinis-s [...]epe. blood-hounds in Tully, that lye in the wind for game, and if they can but trip any man upon any breach of a penall Statute, there D they fasten their teeth, and tugge him into the Courts without helpe▪ unlesse he will dare offam Cerbero, (for that is it they look for) give them a sop, and then they are charmed for that time. Zacheus, be­sides that he was a Publicane, was it seemeth such a kind of Informer, [...], is the word Luk. 19. If I have played the Syco­phant with any man, if I have wronged any man by forged cavillation, or wrung any thing from him by false accusation. A report of this third kind is false as devoid of equity.

Luke 19 8. Si qu [...]d [...]i per calumniam [...] ­ripui. apud. Tert. 4. cont. Ma [...]c. 37.But it may be thought I injure these men, in making them raisers of false reports; and am my selfe a false accuser of them, whilst I seek E to make them false accusers of others: when as they dare appeale to the world, they report not any thing but what is most true, and what 11 they shall be well able to prove so to be. At once to answer them, and clear my self; know that in Gods estimation, and to common in­tendment in the language of Scripture, it is all one to speak an untruth, [Page 131] A and to speak a truth in undue time, and place, and manner, and with undue circumstances. One instance shall make all this most cleer. Doeg the Edomite, one of the 1 Sam. 21.7. servants of the house of Saul, saw when David went into the house of Ahimelech the Priest, and how Ahime­lech there entertained him, and what kindnesse he did for him: of all which he 1 Sam. 22.9, &c. afterwards gave Saul particular information, in every point according to what he had seen. Wherein, though he spake no more than what was true, and what he had seen with his own eyes: yet be­cause he did it with an intent to bring mischief upon Ahimelech, who had done nothing but what well became an honest man to do, David B chargeth him with telling of lyes, and telleth him he had a false tongue of his own for it, Psal. 53. [Psal. 52.2- 4. Thy tongue imagineth wickednesse, and with lyes thou cuttest like a sharp rasour: Thou hast loved unrighteous­nesse more then goodnesse, and to talk of lyes more then righteousnesse: thou hast loved all words that may do hurt, O thou false tongue.] Conclude hence; he that telleth the truth where it may do hurt, but especially if he tell it with that purpose and to that end that it may do hurt, he hath a false tongue, and he telleth a false lye, and he must pardon us if we take him for no better than the raiser of a false report.

We see what it is to raise a false report: let us now see what a fault 12 C it is: The first Accuser that ever was in the world, was a false Accu­ser: and that was the Devil. Who as he began betimes, for he was a John 8.44. liar from the beginning: so he began aloft; for the first false re­port he raised, was of the most High. Unjustly accusing God him­self unto our mother Eve in a Gen. 3.1, 4, 5 few words of no fewer than three great crimes at once, Falshood, Tyranny, and Envy. He was then a slanderous accuser of his Maker; and he hath continued ever since a malicious accuser of his Apoc. 19.6, 10. Brethren: Sathan, [...], &c. he hath his name from it in most languages. Slanderers, and Backbiters, and false Accusers may here hence learn to take knowledge of the rock whence D they were hewn: here they may behold the top of their pedigree. We may not deny them the ancienty of their descent; though they have small cause to boast of it; semen serpentis, the spawn of the old Serpent; John 8.44. children of their father the Devil. And they do not shame the store they come of; for the works of their Father they readily do. That Hellish Aphorisme they so faithfully practise, is one of his Prin­ciples: it was he first instilled it into them, Calumniare fortiter, ali­quid adhaerebit, Jer. 18.18. Smite with the tongue, and be sure to smite home; and then be sure either the grief, or the blemish of the stroke, will stick by it.

A Devillish practise, hateful both to God and Man. And that most 13 E justly; whether we consider the sin, or the injury, or the mischief of it: the Sin in the Doer, the Injury to the Sufferer, the Mischief to the Common-wealth. Every false report raised in judgement, besides that it is a lye; and every lye is a sin against the truth, Wisd. 1.11. slaying the soul of him that maketh it, and Apoc. 22.15 excluding him from heaven, and [Page 132] binding him over unto Apoc. 22.8. the second death: it is also a pernicious lye, A and that is the worst sort of lyes; and so a sin both against Charity and Iustice. Which who so committeth, let him never look to Psal. 15.1, 3. dwell in the Tabernacle of God, or to rest upon his holy Mountain: GOD having threatned, Ps. 50. to take speciall knowledge of this sin; & though he seem for a time to dissemble it, yet at lest to reprove the bold offen­der to his face.Psal. 50.19.—21. [Thou satest and spakest against thy brother: yea and hast slandered thine own mothers son. These things hast thou done, and I held my tongue, & thou thoughtest wickedly, that I was even such an one as thy self; but I will reprove thee, and set before thee the things that thou hast done.]

14 And as for the Injury done hereby to the grieved party, it is incom­parable.B If a man have his house broken, or his purse taken from him by the high way, or sustain any wrong or losse in his person, goods, or state otherwise, by fraud, or violence, or casualty: he may possibly either by good fortune hear of his own again and recover it, or he may have restitution and satisfaction made him by those that wrong­ed him, or by his good industry and providence he may live to see that losse repaired, and be in as good state as before. But he that hath his Name, and Credite, and Reputation causlesly called into question, sustaineth a losse by so much greater then any theft, by how much Prov. 21.1. a good name is better than great riches. A man may out-weare other C injuries, or out-live them: but a defamed person no acquittall from the Iudge, no satisfaction from the Accuser, no following endeavours in himself can so restore in integrum, but that when the wound is hea­led, he shall yet carry the markes and the scarres of it to his dying day.

Great also are the mischiefs that hence redound to the common-wealth. 15 When no innocency can protect an honest quiet man, but every busie base fellow that oweth him a spite shall be able to fetch him into the Courts, draw him from the necessary charge of his family and duties of his calling, to an unnecessary expence of money and time, torture D him with endlesse delayes, and expose him to the pillage of every hun­gry Officer. It is one of the grievances God had against Jerusalem, and as he calleth them abominations, for which he threatneth to judge her, Ezek. 22. Viri detractores in te. Ezek. 22.9. In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood.

16 Beware then all you whose businesse or lot it is at this Assises, or hereafter may be, to be Plaintiffs, Accusers, Informers, or any way Parties in any Court of Justice, this or other, Civil or Ecclesi­asticall: that you suffer not the guilt of this prohibition to cleave unto your Consciences. If you shall hereafter be raisers of false reports, E the words you have heard this day shall make you inexcusable ano­ther. You are, by what hath been presently spoken, disabled everlast­ingly from pleading any Ignorance either Facti or Iuris; as having been instructed both what it is, and how great a fault it is to raise a false report. Resolve therefore, if you be free, never to enter into [Page 133] A any action or suite, wherein you cannot proceed with comfort, nor come off without injustice: or if already engaged, to make as good and speedy an end as you can of a bad matter, and to desist from far­ther prosecution. Let that golden rule, (commended by the wisest [...]. apud. Stob. Serm. 2. Idque per prae­coaem, cùm a­liquem emen­daret, dici ju­bebat, Quod ti­bi fieri non vis, alteri ne fece­ris. Quam sen­tentiam usque adeò dilexit, ut & in Palatio, & in publicis operibus prae­scribi juberet. de Alex. Severo Lamprid. in Alex. heathens as a fundamentall Principle of morall and civill Iustice; yea and proposed by our blessed Saviour himself as a full abridgement of the Mat. 7.12. Law and Prophets,) be ever in your eye, and ever before your thoughts, to measure out all your actions, and accusations, and pro­ceedings thereby: even to do so to other men, and no otherwise, then as you could be content, or in right reason should be content, they B should do to you and yours, if their case were yours. Could any of you take it well at your neighbours hand, should he seek your life or live­lyhood by suggesting against you things which you never had so much as the thought to do? or bring you into a peck of troubles, by wrest­ing your words and actions wherein you meant nothing but well, to a dangerous construction: or follow the Law upon you, as if he would not leave you worth a groate, for every petty trespasse, scarce worth half the money? or fetch you over the hippe upon a branch of some blind, uncouth, and pretermitted Statute? He that should deal thus with you and yours. I know what would be said and thought: Griper, C Knave, Villain, Divel incarnate; all this and much more would be too little for him. Well, I say no more but this, Quod tibi fieri non vis, &c. Doe as you would be done to. There is your generall Rule.

But for more particular direction, if any man desire it; since in every evil, one good step to soundnesse is to have discovered the right cause 17 thereof: I know not what better course to prescribe for the prevent­ing of this sinne of sycophancy and false accusation, then for every man carefully to avoid the inducing causes thereof, and the occasions of those causes. There are (God knoweth) in this present wicked world, to every kind of evil, inducements but too too many. To this D of false accusation therefore it is not unlikely, but there may be more: yet we may observe that there are four things, which are the most ordinary and frequent causes thereof; viz. Malice, Obsequious­nesse, Coverture, and Covetousnesse.

The first is Malice. Which in some men (if I may be allowed to 18 call them men, being indeed rather Monsters) is universall. They love no body: glad when they can do any man any mischief in any matter: never at so good quiet, as when they are most unquiet. It seemeth Da­vid met with some such; men that were Ps. 120.6, 7. enemies to peace: when he spake to them of peace, they made themselves ready to battell. Take one of E these men, it is meat and drink to him, which to a well-minded Chri­stian is as Gall and Wormewood, to be in continuall suits. Virg. Eclog. 3. Et si non a­liqud nocuisset, mortuus esset: he could not have kept himself in breath, but by keeping Termes; nor have lived to this hour, if he had not been in Law. Such cankered dispositions as these, without the more than ordinary mercy of God, there is little hope to reclaime: unlesse [Page 134] very want, when they have spent and undone themselves with wran­gling A (for that is commonly their end, and the reward of all their toyle) make them hold off, and give over. But there are besides these others also; in whom although this malice reigneth not so universal­ly, yet are they so far carried with private spleene and hatred against some particular men for some personall respect or other, as to seek their undoing by all meanes they can. Out of which hatred and en­vy they raise false reports of them: that being in their judgements (as it is indeed,) the most speedy, and the most speeding way, to Quare solent inimici menti­ri? ut potenti­am cujusque m [...]nuant de quo mentiuntur. Aug. in Ps. 65. do mischief with safety. This made the Presidents and Princes of Per­sia to Dan. 6.3, 5. seek an accusation against Daniel; whom they envied because B the King had preferred him above them. And in all ages of the world wicked and prophane men have been busie to suggest the worst they could, against those that have been faithfull in their callings; especi­ally in the callings of the Magistracy or Ministery: that very faithful­nesse of theirs being to the other a sufficient ground of malice. To re­medy this, take the Apostles rule, Heb. 12. Heb. 12.15. Look diligently lest any root of bitternesse springing up trouble you, & thereby many be defiled. Sub­mit your selves to the word and will of God in the Ministery; submit your seles to the power and ordinance of God in the Magistracy; submit your selves to the good pleasure and providence of God in disposing of C yours and other mens estates: and you shall have no cause by the grace of God, out of malice or envie to any of your brethren, to raise false reports of them.

19 The second Inducement is Obsequiousnesse. When either out of a base feare of displeasing some that have power to do us a displeasure, or out of a baser Ambition to scrue our selves into the service or fa­vour of those that may advance us; we are content, though we owe them no private grudge otherwise, yet to become officious accusers of those they hate, but would not be seen so to do: so making our selves as it were baudes unto their lust, and open instruments of their D secret malice. Out of that base feare, the 3 King. 21.11 Elders of Iesreel, upon the Queenes Letter, whom they durst not displease, caused an accu­sation to be framed against innocent Naboth. And out of this base Ambition, 2 Sam. 22.9. Doeg to pick a thank with his Master, and to endeare him­self farther into his good opinion, told tales of David and Ahimelech. To remedy this, remember the service and offices you owe to the greatest Masters upon earth, have their bounds set them which they may not passe. [...]. Pericles apud Agell. 1. Noct. 3. Usque ad aras: the Altar-stone that is the Meere-stone; and Iustice hath her Altars too, as well as Religion hers. Goe as far then as you can in offices of love and service to your friends and bet­ters,E salvis pietate & justitiâ: but not a step farther for a world. If you seek to Gal. 1.10. please men beyond this, you cannot be the servants of God.

Coverture is the third Inducement. And that is, when either to 20 make our own cause the better we seek to bring envie and prejudice upon our adversaries, by making his seeme worse: or when being [Page 135] A our selves guilty, we think to Sce [...]re velan­dum est seclus▪ Sen. in Hippol. Act 2. cover our own crimes, and to prevent the accusations of others by getting the start of them, and accusing them first. As Gen. 39.17. Potiphars wife accused Ioseph, and the Dan. 13. Elders Susan­nah, of such crimes, as they were innocent of, and themselves guilty. An old trick, by which C. Verres like a cunning Colt often holpe himself at a pinch, when he was Praetor of Sicily; as Cic. in. Verr. passim. Cicero decla­reth against him by many instances, and at large. For sithence the Lawes in most cases rather favour the Plaintiffe; because it is presu­med men should not complain without grievance: we may think per­haps to get this advantage to our selves, and so rather choose to be B Plaintiffes then Defendants, because (as Solomon saith) Prov. 18.7. He that is first in his own tale seemeth righteous. To remedy this; Do nothing but what is just, and justifiable: be sure your matters be good and right: they will then bear out themselves well enough, without standing need to such damned shifts for support.

But the fourth thing is that, which causeth more mischiefe in this kind, then all the rest. That which the Apostle calleth 1 Tim. 6.10. —scelerum m [...] ­trem. Claud. 2. de laud. Stillic. Inde fer [...] scele­rum caus [...] —Juven. Sat. 14. the root of all 21 evil; and which were it not, there could not be the hundreth part of those suites, and troubles, and wrongs; which now there are, done un­der the Sun: Even the greedy worme of Covetousnesse, and the thirst C after filthy lucre. For though men be wicked enough, and prone to mischief of themselves but too much: yet are there even in corrupt nature such impressions of the common principles of justice and equi­ty, that men would not often do great wrongs Maximam partem ad in­juriam facien­dā aggrediun­tur nonnulli▪ ut adipiscantur ea qu [...] concu­piver [...]nt: In quo vitio latis­simè patet ava­ [...]o. Cic. [...]. 1. de offic. Sic vita bomi­num est, ut ad maleficium ne­mo conetur sinespe at (que) emolu­mento accedere. Gic. pro Sex. Roscio- part vilissima rer [...], Certamen mo­vistis opes. Lu­can. lib. 3. [...]. Diphilus apud Stob. serm. 8. gratis, and for no­thing. If Zibah slander his Master falsely and treacherously; it is in a hope of getting the living from him. And it was Naboths Vineyard, not blasphemy, that made him guilty. Those sinners that conspired against the innocent, Pro. 1. [Pro. 1.12, 13. Come let us lay wait for blood, let us [...]rke privily for the innocent without a cause: Let us swallow them up, &c.] They had their end in it: and what that was the next following words discover, D We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil. And most of our prouling Informers, like those old Sycophants in Athens, or the Quadruplatores in Rome; do they aime think you so much at the execution of good Lawes, the punishment of offenders, and the refor­mation of abuses, as at the prey, and the booty, and to get a piece of mo­ney to themselves? For let the offence be what it will, deal but with them: and then no more speech of Lawes or Abuses, but all is husht up in a calme silence, and no harme done. To remedy this; as Iohn Baptist said to the Souldiers in Luke 3. Luk. 3.14. Accuse no man falsly ( [...], is the word there too) and be content with your wages: E so if you would be sure not to accuse your neighbour falsly, content your selves with your own estates, and covet not Exod. 20.1 [...]. his Oxe or his Asse, his land or his money, or any thing that is his. Reckon nothing your own, that is not yours by fair and just meanes: nor think that can pro­sper with you and yours, that was wrung from another by Cavi [...] or Calumny.

[Page 136]I have now done with you that are Accusers: whose care must be,A 22 according to the Text-reading, not to raise a false report. But the Mar­gent remembers me, there are others whom this prohibition concer­neth besides you, or rather above you; whose case it must be not to receive a false report. A thing so weighty, and withall so pertinent to the generall argument of this Scripture, th [...]t some Translations have passed it in the Text. And the Original word comprehendeth it. For albeit the Raiser indeed be the first taker up [...]. Septuag. Non suscipies vocem menda­cit. Vulg. edit. Thou shalt not receive a false report. Genev. — hunc sensum sequitur Chal­daeus, Vatabl. yet the Recei­ver taketh it up too, at the second hand. As it is commonly said of stollen goods, There would be no thieves, if there were no receivers; and therefore some Laws have made the [...]. Phocyl. Receiver equal thief with B the Stealer, [...]: so certainly there would be fewer false reports raised in judgement, if they were more sparingly recei­ved. And therefore in this case also the Receiver must goe pari passu with the Raiser: who, if he give way or countenance to a false report when he may refuse or hinder it, by being an Accessary maketh him­self a Party; and becometh Non solùm il­le reus est qui falsū de aliquo profert; sed & is qui citò au­rem criminibuc praebet. Isid. l. 3. de summo bo­no. guilty of the same sins, the same wrongs, the same mischiefs with the first offender, the false Accuser. David as he inveigeth against Doeg in the Psal. 52. Psalm for telling: so he 1 Sam. 24.9. elsewhere expostulateth with Saul for hearing unjust reports of him. The Raiser and Receiver are both possessed with the same evil spirit: they have C the same [...]. Thucyd. apud. Stob. Serm. 40. Devil, the same Familiar; onely here is the difference, The Raiser hath this Familiar in his tongue, the Receiver in his eare. Whosoever then sitteth in the place of Magistracy and publick judi­cature in foro externo, or is by vertue of his calling otherwise invested with any jurisdiction or power to hear and examine the accusations of others: I know not how he shall be able to discharge himself in foro interno from a kind of Champerty (if my ignorance make me not a­buse the word) or at leastwise from misprision of Calumny and unjust accusations; if he be not reasonably carefull of three things.

First, let him beware how he taketh private informations. Men are D 32 partiall; and will not tell their own tales but with favour, and unto advantage. And it is so with most men; the Prov. 18.17. Est vitium, cu­jus si te immu­nem sentis, inter omnes quos no­vi, ex his qui Cathedras a­scendunt, sede­bis me judice sclitarius.—Fa­cilitas [...]reduli­tatis haec est: cujus callidissi­mae vulpeculae Magnorum neminem comperi satis cavisse versutias. Bern. 2. de consid. in finc. first tale possesseth them so, as they hear the next with prejudice: than which there is not a ind [...] eis ipsis pro nihilo irae multae, inde innocentium frequens addictio, inde pr [...]judicia in absentes. Bernard. ibid. sorer enemy to right and indifferent judgement. A point so ma­terial, that some Expositors make it a thing principally intended in this first branch of my Text, Lyr. hic. Ut non audiatur una pars sine alia, saith Lyra. Suiters will be impudent, to forestall the publick hearing by private informations: even to the Iudge himself, if the accesse be ea­sie; or at leastwise (which indeed maketh lesse noyse, but is no­thing less pernicious) to his servant or favourite that hath his ear, if E he have any such noted servant or favourite. He therefore that would resolve not to receive a false report, and be sure to hold his [Page 137] A resolution, let him resolve (so far as he can avoid it) to receive no report in private; (for a thousand to one that is a false one) or, where he cannot well avoid it, to be ready to receive the information of the adverse part withall; either [...]. Demosth. de cor. both or neither, but indeed ra­ther neither: to keep himself by all means equal & entire for a publick hearing. Thus much he may assure himself; there is no man offer­eth to possesse him with a cause before-hand, be it right, be it wrong; who doth not either think him unjust, or would have him so.

Secondly, let him have the conscience first, and then the patience too 24 B(and yet if he have the The righte­ous consi [...]e­reth the cause of the poor: but the w [...]cked regardeth not to know it. Prov. 29.7. conscience, certainly he will have the patience) to make search into the truth of things: and not be dainty of his pains herein, though matters be intricate, and the labour like to be long and irksome, to find out if it be possible the bottome of a business, and where indeed the fault lieth first or most. It was a great over-sight in a good King, for 2 Sam. 16.4. David to give away Mephibosheths living from him to his Accuser, and that upon the bare credit of his accusa­tion. It had been more for his honour, to have done Job 29.16. as Iob did be­fore him, to have searched out the cause he knew not; and as his son 3 King. 3.23 So­lomon did after him in the cause of the two Mothers. Solomon well C knew, what he hath also taught us, Prov. 25. that it was Prov. 25.2. the honour of Kings to search out a matter. God as he hath vouchsafed Princes and Magistrates his own Psal. 82.6. name: so he hath vouchsafed them his own example in this point. An example in the story of the Law, Gen. 18. where he did not presently give judgement against Gen. 1 [...].20, 21. quo exem­plo moniti, ne ad proferendam sententiam—aut tem [...]rè indili­genter (que) indis­cussa quaeque quoquo modo judicémus: sed exemplo Domini descendamus, videamus, & justo examine criminosos dili­genter perscru­temur. Concil. Trid. c. 22. Sodome up­on the cry of their sins, that was come up before him: but he would go down first and see whether they had done altogether according to that cry; and if not, that he might know it. An example also in the Gospel-story, Luc. 16. under the parable of the rich man: whose first work, when his Steward was accused to him for embezeling his goods, was D not to turn him out of doors, but to Luke 16.2. examine his accounts. What through Malice, Obsequiousness, Coverture, and Covetousness, counter­feit reports are daily raised: and there is much cunning used by those that raise them, much odde shuffling and packing, and combining to give them the colour and face of perfect truth. As then a plain Coun­trey-man, that would not willingly be cousened in his pay, to take a slip for a currant piece, or brasse for silver, leisurely turneth over every piece he receiveth; and if he suspect any one more than the rest, vieweth it, and ringeth it, and smelleth to it, and bendeth it, and rubbeth it, so making up of all his senses as it were one naturall touchstone, whereby to try it: such jealousie should the Magistrate use, and such E industry, especially where there appeareth cause of suspicion, by all means to sift and to bolt out the truth, if he would not be cheated with a false report instead of a true.

Thirdly, let him take heed he do not give countenance or encou­ragement,25 more then right and reason requireth, to contentious per­sons, [Page 138] known Sycophants, and common Informers. If there should be no A Accusers to make complaints, Offenders would be no offenders, for want of due Correction; and Laws would be no Laws, for want of due Execution. Informers then are Accusatores multos esse in civitate utile est, ut metu con­tineatur auda­cia: verunta­men hoc ita est utile, ut non planè illuda­mur ab accusa­toribus. Ibid. necessary in a Common-wealth, as Dogs are about your houses and yards. If any man mislike the comparison, let him know it is Nihil mali est canes ibi quamplurimos esse, ubi per­multi observan­di, multa (que) ser­vanda sunt. Cic. pro Sex. Roscio. Cicero's simily, and not mine. It is not amisse, saith that great and wise Oratour, there should be some store of Dogs about the house, where many goods are laid up to be safe kept, and many false knaves haunt to do mischief; to guard those, and to watch these the better. But if those Canes aluntur in Capitolio, ut significent si fures venerint— Quòd si luce quo (que) canes la­trent, cùm Deos salutatū aliqui venerint: opi­nor iis crura suffringantur, &c. Ibid. Dogs should make at the throat of every man that cometh neer the house, at honest B mens hours, and upon honest mens businesse: it is but needful they of the house should sometimes rate them off, and if that will not serve the turn, well favouredly beat them off, yea, and (if after all that they still continue mankeen) knock out their teeth, or break their legs, to prevent a worse mischief. Magistrates are petty Gods, God hath lent them his name, Psal. 82.6. Dixi Dii, I have said ye are Gods, Ps. 82. and false Accusers are petty Devils; the Devil hath borrowed their name, Apoc. 12.9, 10. D [...] ipso etiam nomine Diaboli delatorem. Tertul. de ani­ma. c. 35. Sathan [...] the accuser of his brethren. For a Ruler then or Magistrate to countenance a Sycophant, what is it else, but as it were to pervert the course of nature, and to make God take the Devils C part? And then besides, where such things are done; what is the common cry? People, as they are suspicious, will be talking parlous­ly and after their manner: Sure, say they, the Magistrates are sha­rers with these fellowes in the adventure; these are but their setters, to bring them in gain, their instruments and Emissaries to toll grist to their mills for the increasing of their moulter. He then that in the place of Magistracy would decline both the fault and suspition of such unworthy Collusion: it standeth him upon with all his best endea­vours by chaining and muzling these beasts to prevent them from biting where they should not; and, if they have fastned already,D then by delivering the oppressed (with Iob) Job 29.17. To pluck the prey from between their teeth, and by exercising just severity upon them to break their jaws for doing farther harm.

26 I am not able to prescribe (nor is it meet I should to my betters) by what means all this might best be done. For I know not how far the subordinate Magistrates power, which must be bounded by his Commission and by the Laws, may extend this way. Yet some few things there are, which I cannot but propose, as likely good helps in all reason and in themselves, for the discountenancing of false Accu­sers, and the lessening both of their number and insolency. Let eve­ry E good Magistrate take it into his proper consideration; whether his Commission and the Laws give him power to use them all, or no, and how far.

27 And first; for the avoiding of Malicious suites, and that men should not be brought into trouble upon slight informations: I find that a­among [Page 139] A the Cael. ad Ci­cer. 8. fam. E­pist. 8. vide l. 7. & l. 13. Sect. qui damni [...]f. de damno infect. In omnibus causis, sive— sancimus non aliter— N [...]si prius qui eas exposcunt, juramentum de calumnia prae­stiterint, quod non, &c. l. Vnic. Cod. de jure jurando propter calumn. Romans the Accuser in most cases might not be admit­ted to put in his libell, untill he had first taken his corporall oath be­fore the Praetor, that he was free from all malicious and Calumnious intent. Certain it is, as dayly experience sheweth, that many men who make no conscience of a lye, do yet take some Nam sacram [...]nti timore contentiosa litigantium instantia compesci­tur. Ibidem. [...]. Sophocl. bog at an Oath. And it cannot but open a wide gap to the raising and receiving of false reports, and to many other abuses of very noysome consequence in the Common-weale; if the Magistrate when he may help it, to enrich himself or his officers, or for any other indirect end, shall suffer men to be impleaded and brought into trouble upon Bills and Present­ments B tendered without oath.

Secondly, since Lawes cannot be so conceived, but that through 28 the infinite variety of humane occurrences, they may sometimes fall heavy upon particular men: and yet for the preventing of more ge­nerall inconveniencies it is necessary there should be Lawes (for better a mischiefe sometimes, then alwayes an Inconvenience:) there hath been left, for any thing I find to the contrary, in all well-governed policies, a kind of latitude more or lesse, and power in the Magistrates, C even in those Courts that were strictissimi juris, upon fit occasion to qualifie and to Soleo audire in potestate esse judicis mollire sententiam, & mitiùs vindi­care quam ju­beant leges. Aug. Epist. 15 [...] mitigate something the rigour of the Lawes by the Rules of Equity. For I know not any extremity of Summum jus, summa injuria. Ib. [...]. Arist. 5. E [...]h. [...]0. Wrong beyond the extremity of Right: when Lawes intended for fences are made snares, and are calumniously wrested to oppresse that innocency which they should protect. And this is most properly Existunt eti­am saepe injuriae ca [...]um [...] â [...]ua­dam, & nimis callid [...], sed ma­litiosa interpre­tatione. Cic. l. 1. de offic. Scriptum se­qui, c [...]lumnia­toris esse; boni judicis, volun­tat [...]m scripto­ris, authorita­t [...]mque defen­dere. Id. pro A. Cecin. Calumny in the prime notion of the word, for a man upon a meere trick or quillet from the Aucupia ver­borum, & lite­rarum t [...]ndicu­lae. Cic. pro A. Cecinn. letters and syllables of the Law, or other writing, or evidence, pressed with advantage, to bring his action or lay his accusation against another man; who yet bonâ fide, and in Equity and Conscience, hath D done nothing worthy to bring him into such trouble. Now if the Ma­gistrate of Justice shall use his full power, by interpreting the Law in rigour where he should not, to second the boldnesse of a calumnious Accuser: or if he shall not use his full power, by affording his lawfull favour in due time and place, to succour the innocency of the so ac­cused: he shall thereby but give encouragement to the Raisers, and he must look to answer for it one day, as the Receiver of a false Re­port.

Thirdly, since that Iustice which especially supporteth the Common-weale, consisteth in nothing more then in the right distribution of E rewards and punishments: many Law-givers have been carefull, by proposing rewards, to encourage men to give in true and needfull in­formations, and on the contrary to suppresse those that are false or idle by proposing punishments. For the Informers office, though it be 29 (as we heard) a necessary, yet it is in truth a very thanklesse office: and men would be loth, without speciall grievance, to undergoe the ha­tred [Page 140] and envie, which commonly attendeth such as are officious that A way; unlesse there were some profit mixt withall to sweeten that hatred, and to countervaile that envy. For which cause in most Penall Statutes, a moity, or a third, or Quartam ac­cusatoribus se­cundum neces­situdin [...]m l [...]gis. Tacit. lib. 4. Annal. fourth (which was the usuall propor­tion in Rome, whence the name of Quadrupla­tores, accusato­res, seu d [...]lato­res criminum Publicorū, sub poena quadru­pli [...]sive quod ip­si [...]x damnato­rum bonis quos accusaverant, quartam partem cons [...]quebantur. Ascon. in Ver. See Fest. in Quadruplato­re; Turneb. 3. Adver. 9. Lips. in Lib. 4. Ann. Taciti. Bisciol. 14. subses. 15. quadruplatores came) or some other greater or lesser part of the fine, penalty, or forfeiture expressed in the Law, is by the said Law allowed to the Informer, by way of re­compence for the service he hath done the State by his information. And if he be faithfull and conscionable in his office, good reason he should have it. For he that hath an Office in any Lawfull calling (and the Informers calling is such; howsoever through the iniquity of those B that have usually exercised it, it hath long laboured of an Quadrupla­tor, ut breviter describam, ca­pitalis est. Est enim imorobus & pestifere vis. Cic. lib. 2. ad Heren. ill name:) but he that hath such an office; as it is meet he should attend it, so it is meet it should maintain him, for 1 Cor. 9.7. Who goeth to warfare at any time of his own cost? But if such an Informer shall indict one man for an of­fence, pretending it to be done to the great hurt of the Common-weale, and yet for favour, fear, or a fee balk Aequitas in paribus causis paria jura d [...]siderat. Cic. in Top. Quis hoc statuit, quod aequum sit in Quintium, id iniquum esse in Nevium? Id. pro. Quin. another man whom he knoweth to have committed the same offence, or a greater; or if ha­ving entred his complaint in the open Court, he shall afterwards let the suite fall, and take up the matter in a private Chamber: this is Praevaricatio est accusatoris corruptela abreo. Cic. in pa [...]tit. orat—Praevaricatorem cum [...]sse [...]stendimus qui colludit cum reo, & translatit [...]è munere accusandi desungitur. Mar. in lib. 1. ff. ad Sen atusc. Turpil. Col­lusion; and so far forth a false report, as every thing may be called false C when it is partiall, and should be entire. And the Magistrate, if he have power to chastise such an Informer, some semblance whereof there was in thatV. Plin. 3. Epist. 9. lib. 1. ff. ad Senatus. V. Turpil. Rosin. 9. Antiqu. Rom. 25. Iudicium Praevaricationis in Rome, he shall do the Com­mon-wealth good service, and himself much honour, now and then to use it.

30 Fourthly, since nothing is so powerfull to represse audacious Accu­sers, D as severe Punishment is; it is observable what care and caution was used among the Romans whilest that State flourished, to deterre men from unjust Calumniations. In private and civil Controversies, for tryall of right between party and party, they had their V. Ascon. in Ve [...]tin. 3. Sponsiones: which was a summe of money in some proportionable rate to the value of the thing in Question; which the Plaintiffe entred bond to pay to the Defendant in case he should not be able to prove his Acti­on; the Defendant also making the like sponsion and entring the like bond, in case he should be cast. But in publick and criminall matters, whether Capitall or Penall, if for want of due proof on the Accusers E part, the party accused were quit in judgment; there went a tryall up­on the Accuser, at the suite of the Accused, which they called Iudicium Calumniae: v. l. 1. Sect. 2, &c. ff. ad Se­natusc. Turpil. Rosin. 9. Anti­qu. Rom. 25. wherein they examined the originall ground and founda­tion of the Accusation. Which if it appeared to have proceeded from some just error or mistake bonâ fide, it excused him: but if should ap­peare [Page 141] A the accusation to have proceeded from some left-handed re­spect, as Malice, Envy, Gain, &c. he was then condemned of Calumny. And his ordirnary punishment then was, whereunto he had virtually bound himself by subscribing his libel, Poena talionis, the same kind of punishment whatsoever it was, which by the Laws had been due to the party accused, if the libell had been proved against him. Yea & for his farther shame it was provided by Lege Rommiâ v. l. 1. sec. 2. ff. ad Senatusc. Turpil. & Go­thifred. in an­n [...]t. ibi; Rosin. 8. Antiqu. Rom. part. 2. cap. 22. literam illam ita v [...]h [...]menter ad caput affi­gent, &c. Cicer. pro Rex. Rosc. one Law, that he should be burnt in the forehead with the Letter K. to proclaim him a Calumniator to the world: that, in old Orthography, being the first letter of the word Kalumnia. The same letter would serve the turn very well with us also, though we use it to signifie another thing; and yet not B so much another thing, as a thing more generall, but comprehen­ding this as one species of it. But, as I said, I may not prescribe; e­specially beyond Law. The thing for which I mention all this, is this: If all that care and severity in them could not prevent it, but that still unjust actions would be brought, and false accusations raised, what a world of unconscionable suits and wrongfull informations may we think there would be, if contentious Plaintiffs and calumnious Syco­phants, when they have failed their proof, should yet get off easily, and escape out of the Courts without Censure or Punishment, or at the most but with some light check; and the poor injured innocent the C while be held in as in a prison, till he have paid the utmost farthing? I say not of what is due, but of what shall be demanded by every man that hath but a piece of an office about the Courts. It is a strong heartning to Accusers, and multiplieth false reports beyond belief; when they that are wrongfully accused, though the cause go with them, shall yet have the worst of the day: and shall have cause to an­swer the congratulations of their friends, as [...]. Plutarch. in Pyrrho. Pyrrhus did his after he had gotten two famous victories over the Romans, that if they should get a few more such victories, it would be to their utter undo­ing. If the Magistrate had power to make the wronged party full re­stitution, D allowing him all costs and dammages to a half-penny; nay if he had power to allow him double or treble out of his unjust adver­saries estate: it were all little enough, and but too little. Zacheus took himself bound to do more: when for this very sin of false ac­cusation he imposed upon himself, as a kind of satisfactory penance, Luke 19.8. a four-fold restitution, Luc. 19. Here was a right Quadruplator in­deed; and in the best sense: you shall not lightly read of such ano­ther.

Lastly, men have not Lucian in Hermo [...]. fenestrata pectora, that we can see them throughly and within: yet there want not means of probable disco­very.31 E Of ordinary private men we make conjecture, by their ge­stures, by their speeches, by their companions. But Magistrates and great ones, who live more in the eye of the world, and are ever as it were upon the stage, and so do personati incedere, walk under a continu­all disguise in respect of their outward deportment; are not so well dis­coverable [Page 142] by those means. They are best known by their Sira [...]. 10.2. servants A and retinue, by their favourites and officers, by those they keep about them, or employ under them. If these be plain and down-right, if these be just and upright, if these be free and conscionable: Sycophants will pluck in their horns, and be out of heart and hope to find the Masters of such servants facile to give way to their false Calumniati­ons. But if these be insolent & hungry companions, if these be impu­dent and shameless exactors: it is presently [...]. Isocr. apud Stob. serm. 44. Si innocentes existimari vo­lumus, non solū nos abstinentes, sed etiā nostros comites praesta­re d [...]b [...]mus. Cic. 2. in. Verr. 2. thought they are then but brokers for the Master; and there is no question then made, but that false reports will be received as fast as they can be raised, and en­tertained with both arms. We have learned from Prov. 29.12. Solomon. Pro. 29.B that if a Ruler hearken to lies, then all his servants are wicked: They durst not be so openly wicked, if they were not first sure of him. It was but a Nemo unquam tam reus, tam nocens adduce­tur, qui istá de­fensione non possit uti. Cic. 2. in Verr. 2. sorry one, when it was at best, but is now withall grown a stale excuse; for great ones to impute their own wilfull oversights to the fault or negligence of their servants. Caius Verres, (whom I can­not but now and then mention, because there is scarce to be found such another compleat Exemplar of a wicked Magistrate;) would usu­ally Aiunt [...]um queri solere nonnunquam, se [...]m serum, quòd non suis sed suo [...]um co­m [...]um p [...]c [...]atis & criminibus pr [...]matur. Cic. Ibid. complain, that he was unjustly oppressed, not with his own, but with the crimes of his followers. But why then did he keep such a kennel of sharks about him? why did he not either speedily reforme C them, or utterly discard them? It were indeed an unrighteous thing to condemn the Master for the Servants fault; and an uncharitable in­ference, because the servant is naught, to conclude straight the Ma­ster is little better. For a just Master may have an unconscionable Ser­vant; and if he have a In tantâ [...]eli­citate nemo po­test esse in mag­nâ familiâ, qui neminem neque servum neque libertum impro­bum hab [...]a [...]. Cic. pro. Sex. Rosc [...]o. numerous Family, and keep many, it is a rare thing if he have not some bad: as in a great herd there will be some rascall Deer. But then it is but one or a few; and they play their prises closely, without their Masters privity; and they are not a little sollici­tous to carry matters so fairly outward, that their Master shall be the Dedecus ille d [...]ús sc [...]t ul­timu [...]. Juvenal. Satyr. 10. last man shall hear of their false dealing, and when he heareth of D it, shall scarce believe it for the good opinion he hath of them. But when in the generality they are such; when they are openly and impu­dently such; when every body seeth, and saith, the Master cannot chuse but know they are such: it cannot be thought, but the Master is wel enough content they should be such. Neh 5.15. Even their servants bear rule over the people, saith good Nehemiah of the Governours that were before him: but so did not I, because of the fear of God, Neh. 5. What? did not Nehemiah bear rule over the people? yes, that he did: there is nothing surer. His meaning then must be, (so did not I; that is,) I did not suffer my servants so to do as they did theirs: implying, that E when the servants of the former governours oppressed the people, it was their Masters doing, at leastwise their Masters suffering▪ [Even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I because of the fear of God.] The Magistrate therefore that would speedily smoke a­way these Gnats that swarm about the Courts of justice, and will be [Page 143] A offering at his ear, to buzze false reports thereinto: he shall do well to begin his reformation at home; and if he have a servant that hea­reth not well deservedly, to pack him away out of hand, and to get an honester in his room. Say he be of never so serviceable qualities, and useful abilities otherwise, so as the Master might almost as well spare his right eye, or his right hand, as forgo his service: yet in this case he must not spare him. Our Saviours speech is perempto­ry Mat. 5.29, 30 Erue, Abscinde, Projice; if either eye or hand cause or tempt thee to offend, pull out that eye, cut off that hand, cast them both from thee with indignation: rather want both, then suffer corrupti­on B in either. Davids resolution was excellent in Psal. 101. and wor­thy thy imitation. Psal. 101.5, &c. Who so privily slandereth his▪ neighbour, him will I destroy: whoso hath a proud look, and high stomach, I will not suffer him. Mine eyes look to such as be faithfull in the Land, that they may dwell with me: whoso leadeth a godly life he shall be my servant. There shall no deceitfull person dwell in my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. He that will thus resolve, and thus do, it may be presumed he will not knowingly give either way to a false report, or countenance to the reporter. And so much for our first Rule; Thou shalt not raise a false report.

C My first purpose I confess was to have spoken also to the Witness, & 32 to the Iurer, & to the Pleader, & to the Officer, from the other four Rules in my text, as punctually & particularly as to the Accuser from this first; for I therefore made choice of a Text that taketh them all in, that I might speak to them all alike. But if I should enlarge my self upon the rest, as I have done in this; my meditations would swell to the proportion rather of a Treatise then a Sermon: and what patience were able to sit them out? Therefore I must not do it. And indeed, if what I have spoken to this first point were duly considered, and conscionably practised; I should the lesse need to do it. For it is the D Accuser that layeth the first stone: the rest do but build upon his foun­dation. And if there were no false reports raised or received: there would be the lesse use of, and the lesse work for, false and suborn­ed Witnesses; ignorant or packt Iuries; crafty and slie Pleaders; cog­ging and extorting Officers. But unto these I have no more to say at this time; but onely to desire each of them to lay that portion of my Text to their hearts, which in the first division was allotted them as their proper share: and withall to make application (mutatis mu­tandis) unto themselves, of whatsoever hath been presently spoken to the Accuser, and to the Magistrate from this first rule. Whereof, E(for the better furtherance of their Application, and relief of all our memories) the summe in brief is thus. First, concerning the Accuser, (and that is every party in a cause or tryall,) he must take heed he do not raise a false report: which is done, first, by forging a meer untruth; and secondly, by perverting or aggravating a truth; and thirdly, by taking advantage of strict Law against Equity. Any of which [Page 144] who ever doth; he first committeth a haynous sin himself, and se­condly A grievously wrongeth his neighbour, and thirdly bringeth a great deal of mischief to the Common-weal. All which evils are best a­voyded: first, by considering how we would others should deal with us, and resolving so to deal with them; and secondly by avoyding, as all other inducements and occasions, so especially those four things, which ordinarily engage men in unjust quarrels; Malice, Obsequious­ness, Coverture, and Greediness. Next, concerning the Iudge, or Ma­gistrate; he must take heed he do not receive a false report. Which he shall hardly avoid, unless he beware, first, of taking private informations; secondly, of passing over causes slightly without ma­ture B disquisition; and thirdly, of countenancing Accusers more than is meet. For whose discountenancing and deterring, he may consi­der, whether or no these five may not be good helps: so far as it ly­eth in his power, and the Laws will permit, first; to reject informati­ons tendred without Oath; secondly, to give such interpretations as may stand with Equity as wel as Law; thirdly, to chastise Informers that use partiality or collusion; fourthly, to allow the wronged party a li­beral satisfaction from his adversary; fifthly, to carry a sharp eye, and a strait hand, over his own Servants, Followers, and Officers. Now what remaineth, but that the several premises earnestly recommen­ded C to the godly consideration, and conscionable practice of every one of you whom they may concern; and all your persons and affairs both in the present weighty businesses, and ever hereafter, to the good guidance and providence of Almighty God: we should humbly be­seech him of his gracious goodnesse to give a blessing to that which hath been spoken agreeably to his word, that it may bring forth in us the fruits of Godliness, Charity, and Iustice; to the glory of his grace, the good of our brethren, and the comfort of our own souls; even for his blessed Son's sake, our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ. To whom with, &c.

A

B AD MAGISTRATUM. The Third Sermon. C At the Assises at Lincolne, 4. Aug. 1625. at the request of the High Sheriffe aforesaid, WILLIAM LISTER Esquire.

PSALME 106.30.

Then stood up Phinehes, and executed judgement: and the plague was stayed.

D

THe abridgement is short, which some have made of the whole Book of Psalmes, but into two words, Sect. 1. Hosannah, and Hallelujah: most of the Psalmes spending themselves,The Argu­ment cited out of Gue­vara. as in their proper argu­ments, either in Supplication, praying unto God for his blessings, and that is Hosannah; or in Thanksgiving, blessing God for his goodnesse, and that is Hallelujah. This Psalme is of the later sort. The word Hallelujah, both prefixed in the title, and repeated in the close of it, sufficiently giveth it to be a Psalm of Thanksgiving: as are also the E three next before it, and the next after it. All which five Psalmes together, as they agree in the same general argument, the magnify­ing of Gods holy name: so they differ every one from other in choyce of those speciall and topicall arguments, whereby the praises of God are set forth therein. In the rest, the Psalmist draweth his [Page 150] argument from other considerations: in this, from the consideration of A Gods mercifull removall of those judgements he had in his just wrath brought upon his own people Israel for their sinnes, upon their re­pentance.

For this purpose there are sundry instances given in the Psalme, taken out of the Histories of former times:Sect. 2. out of which there is framed as it were a Catalogue, and matter of this Psalme. though not of all, yet of sundry the most famous rebellions of that people against their God, and of Gods both justice and mercy abundantly manifested in his proceedings with them thereupon. In all which we may observe the passages betwixt God and them, in the ordinary course of things, ever to have stood B in this order. First, he preventeth them with undeserved favours: they unmindfull of his benefits, provoke him by their rebellions: he in his just wrath chastiseth them with heavie plagues: they humbled under the rod, seeke to him for ease: he upon their submission withdraweth his judgements from them. The Psalmist hath wtapped all these five together in Vers. 43, 44. Many times did he deliver them: but they provoked him with their counsels, and were brought low for their iniquity: the three first. Neverthelesse he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry: the other two.

Sect. 3.The particular rebellions of the people in this Psalme instanced in,C are many;The Cohe­rence, scope, some before, and some after the verse of my Text. For brevity sake, those that are in the following verses I wholly omit; and but name the rest. Which are, their wretched infidelity and cowardise upon the first approch of danger at the Red Sea, verse 7. 1 Their tempting of God in the desert, when lothing Manna they lust­ed 2 for flesh, verse 13. Their seditious conspiracy under Corah and his 3 confederates against Moses, verse 16. Their grosse Idolatry at Horeb in making and worshipping the golden Calfe, verse 19. Their distrust­full 4 murmuring at their portion, in thinking scorn of the promised 5 pleasant Land, verse 24. Their fornicating both bodily with the D 6 daughters, and spiritually with the Idols of Moab and of Midian, verse 28. To the prosecution of which last mentioned story, the words of my Text do appertain. The origine story it self, whereto this part of the Psalme referreth, is written at full by Moses in Numb. 25. and here by David but Breviter to­tū di [...]it: quia non hic nesci­entes docet, sed commemorat scientes. Aug. hic. briefly touched, as the present purpose and oc­casion led him. Yet so, as that the most observable passages of the History are here remembred: in three verses three speciall things, The Sin, the Plague, the Deliverance. The Sinne, with the Aggravation thereof, v. 28. [They joyned themselves also unto Baal-Peor, and ate the Sacrifices of the dead.] The Plague with the Efficient cause there­of,E both Impulsive and Principall, verse 29. [Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions, and the Plague brake in upon them.] The Deliverance, with the speciall meanes and Instrument thereof, is this 30. verse. [Then stood up Phinehes, and executed judgement, and the plague was stayed.]

[Page 151] A In which words are three things especially considerable. The Person; Sect. 4. the Action of that Person; and the successe of that Action.and Divisi­on of the Text. The Per­son, Phinehes. His Action twofold: the one preparatory, he stood up; the other completory, he executed judgment. The Successe, and issue of both; the plague was stayed. The person holy, the action zealous, the successe happy. Of each of these I shall endeavour to speak some­thing, applyably to the present condition of these heavy times, and the present occasion of this frequent assembly. But because the argu­ment of the whole verse is a Deliverance, and that Deliverance sup­poseth a plague, and every plague supposeth a sin: I must take leave B before I enter upon the Particulars now proposed from the Text, first a little to unfold the originall story; that so we may have some more distinct knowledge both what Israels sinne was, and how they were plagued, and upon what occasion and by what means Phinehes wrought their deliverance.

When Israel,Sect. 5. travelling from the Land of bondage to the Land of Promise through the wildernesse, Balac [...] plot; were now come as far as Num. 22.1. the plaines of Moab, and there encamped: Balac the then King of Moab, notIbid. 2.3. daring to encounter with that people, before whom Sihon K. of the Amorites, and Og K. of Basan. Numb. 21. two of his grea­test neighbour Princes had lately fallen; Ascitos seni­ores Madiani, qui proxi mi regno ejus e­rant, & amici, consuluit quid facto opus esset. Hist Scholast. in Num. c. 32. consulted with the Midia­nites, C his neighbours and allies, and after some advice resolved up­on this conclusion, to hire Num. 22.5.—7. Balaam a famous Sorcerer in those times and quarters, to lend them his assistance: plotting with all their might, and his art, by all possible meanes to withdraw Gods protecti­on from them; wherein they thought (and they thought right) the strength and safety of that people lay. But there is no Counsell against the Lord; nor Num. 23.23. inchantment against his people. Where he will blesse, (and he will blesse where he is faithfully obeyed and de­pended upon;) neither power nor policy can prevaile for a Curse. Ba­laam the wicked wretch, though he 2 Pet. 2.15. loved the wayes of unrighteous­nesse D with his heart; yet, God not suffering him, he could not pro­nounce a Curse with his lips against Israel, but in stead of cursing them, Num. 23.11. & 24.10. blessed them altogether.

But angry at Israel, whom,Sect. 6. when faine he would he could not curse; yea and angry at God himself,and Bala­ams policy against Is­rael. who by restraining his tongue had voided his hopes, and Num. 14.11. withheld him from pay, and honour: the wretched covetous Hypocrite, as if he would at once be avenged both of him and them, imagineth a mischievous device against them full of cursed villany. He giveth the Moabites and the Midianites Num. 31.16. Revel. 2.14. See also Joseph 4 Antiquit. Jud. 5. counsell to smother their hatred with pretensions of peace, and by sending the fairest of their daughters among them, to enveigle them E with their beauty, and to entice them first to corporall, and after, by that, to spirituall whoredome: That so Israel, shrinking frow the Love and Feare and Obedience of their God, might forfeit the interest they had in his protection; and by sinne bring themselves under that wrath and curse of God, which neither those great Princes by their Power, [Page 152] nor their wisest Counsellers by their Policy, Sect. 7. with the suc­cesse thereof; both in their Sinne. nor Balaam himself by his A Sorcery, could bring upon them.

This damned counsell was followed but too soon, and prospered but too well. The daughters of Moab come into the Tents of Israel; and by their blandishments put out the eyes, and steal away the hearts of Gods people: whom, besotted once with lust, it was then no hard matter to leade whither they listed, and by wanton insinuations to draw them to sit with them in the Temples, and to accompany them at the Numb. 25. feasts, and to eate with them of the sacrifices, yea and to bow the knees with them to the honour of their Idols. Insomuch as Israel Psal. 106.28 joyned themselves to Baal-peor, and ate the sacrifices of that dead and B abominable Idol at the least (for all Idols are such) if not, as most have thought, a quem Graecia Priapum dixit. Hist. Scolast. in Num. c. 34. & alii securi Hieronym. in c. 9. Osee; & 1. cont. Io. 12. See Vatabl. in Num. 25.3. Selden Synt. 1. d: DIS Syr. c. 5. Iael. Bisciol. 3. hor. subces. 20. beastly and obscene Idoll withall. That was their sin.

And now may Balak save his money, and Balaam spare his paines: there is no need of hiring, or being hired to curse Whoremongers and Idolaters. Sect. 8. These are two plaguy sinnes: and such as will bring a curse upon a people without the help of a Conjurer. And Punish­ment. When that God, who is a Exod. 20.5. jealous God, and jealous of nothing more then his Esa. 41.8. honour, shall see that people, whom he had made Deut. 7.6. choyce of from among all the nations of the earth to be his own peculiar people, and betrothed to him­self C by an everlasting Ezek. 16.8. Covenant, to Ibid 38. break the Covenant of Wed­lock with him, and to strumpet it with the daughters and Idols of Mo­ab: what can be expected other, then that his jealousie should be tur­ned into fury; and that his fierce wrath should Psal. 106.29. break in upon them as a deluge, and overwhelme them with a sudden destruction? His patience so far tempted, and with such an unworthy provocation, can suffer no longer: But at his command Num. 25.4, 5· Moses striketh the Rulers; and at Moses his command, the under-rulers must strike each in their severall regiments, those that had offended; and he himself also striketh with his own hand, by a plague destroying of them in one D day1 Cor. 10.8, 9. the other thou­sand (Num. 25 9) it seemeth were those that were hanged up by Moses, and slain by the Rulers. three and twenty thousand.

If that Plague had lasted many dayes, Israel had not lasted many dayes. But the people by their plague made sensible of their sinne, humbled themselves (as it should seem,Sect. 9. the very first day of the plague) in a solemn and Num. 25.6. generall assembly,Zimri's pro­vocation. weeping and mourning both for Sinne and Plague, Before the door of the Taber­nacle of the Congregation. And they were now in the heat of their holy sorrow and devotions; when loe Ibid. 14. Zimri, a Prince of a chiefe house in one of their Tribes, in the heat of his Pride and lust, com­eth openly in the Ibid. 6. face of Moses and all the Congregation, and bring­eth E his Minion with him, Cosbi the daughter of one of the Compare Nū. 25.15. with Num. 31 8. five Kings of Midian into his Tent, there to commit filthinesse with her.

Doubtlesse Moses the Captain, and Eleazar the Priest, & all Israel that saw this shamelesse prank of that lewd couple,Sect. 10. and his exe­cution. saw it with grief enough. But Phinehes enraged with a Pious indignation to see [Page 153] A such foul affront given to God, and the Magistrate, and the Congre­gation, at such a heavy time, and in such open manner, and for that very sinne for which they then lay under Gods hand; thought there was something more to be done then bare weeping: and therefore his blood warmed with an holy zeale, he Num. 25.7, 8▪ starteth up forthwith, ma­keth to the Tent where these two great personages were, and as they were in the act of their filthinesse, speedeth them both at once, and nayleth them to the place with his Javeline. And the next thing we heare, is, God well pleased with the Ibid. 11. zeal of his servant, and the exe­cution of those malefactors, is appeased toward his people, and withdraw­eth B his hand and his plague from them. And of that deliverance my Text speaketh; (Then stood up Phinehes, and executed judgement, and so the Plague was stayed.)

The Person, the instrument to work this deliverance for Israel,Sect. 11. was Phinehes. He was the sonne of Eleazar, The Person of Phinehes considered. who was then High Priest in immediate succession to his father Aaron, not long before de­ceased: and did himselfe afterward succeed in the High-priesthood unto Eleazar his Father. A wise, a godly, and a zealous man: em­ployed afterwards by the State of Israel in the greatest affaires, both of Num. 31 6. War and Jos. 22.13, 31, 32. Ambassie. But it was this Heroicall act of his, in doing C execution upon those two great audacious offenders, which got him the first, and the greatest, and the lastingst renowne. Of which Act more anon, when we come to it. In his Person, we will consider onely what his calling and condition was; and what congruity there might be between what he was, and what he did. He was of the Tribe of Levi: and that whole Tribe was set apart for the Num. 1.19, &c. service of the Tabernacle. And he was of the sonnes of Aaron, & so [...], of the Fa­mily and Linage of the High Priests: and the Priests office was to offer sacrifices and to burn incense, and to pray and make atonement for the People. Neither Levite nor Priest had to intermeddle with matters D of Iudicature, unlesse in some few causes, and those for the most part concerning matters either meerly, or mixtly Ecclesiasticall: but neither to give sentence, nor to do execution, in matters and causes meerly Civil, as by any right or vertue of his Leviticall or Priestly office.

The more unreasonable is the High Priest of Rome, to challenge to himself any temporall or Civil jurisdiction, Sect. 21. The spiritual power doth not include the Tempo­ral. as virtually annex­ed to his spirituall Power, or necessarily derived thence. Templum and Praetorium, the Chaire and the Throne, the Altar and the Bench, the Sheephook and the Scepter, the Keyes and the Sword; though they may E sometimes concurre upon the same person, yet the Powers remaine perpetually distinct and independant, and such as do not of necessi­ty inferre the one the other. Our Saviours Luke 21.26. Vos autem non sic hath fully decided the Controversie; and for ever cut off all claime of temporall jurisdiction, as by any vertue annexed to the Keyes. If the Bishops of Rome could have contented themselves to have enjoyed [Page 154] those Temporalties, wherewith the bounty of Christian Emperours A had endowed that Sea (whether well, or ill, whether too much, or no, I now inquire not,) but if they could have been content to have hol­den them upon the same termes they first had them, without seek­ing to change the old tenure; and to have acknowledged them, as ma­ny of their fellow-Bishops do, to have issued not at all by necessary derivation from their spirituall Power, but meerly and altogether from the Nec in quen­quam Presby­t [...]rum, Episco­pum, sive Pa­pam convenit co [...]ctivam in hoc seculo ju­risdiction [...]m si­bi h [...]bere; ni si ea [...]ē sibi per hu­m [...]num legis­lator [...]m conces­sa fu [...]rt, in ca­jus potestate est hanc ab ipsis semper revocare. Marsil. Patav. 2. defens. pacis. 5. free and voluntary indult of temporall Princes: the Chri­stian Church had not had so just cause of complaint against the un­sufferable tyrannies and usurpations of the Papacy; nor had the Chri­stian world been embroyled in so many unchristian and bloudy quar­rels,B as these and former ages have brought forth. Yet the Canonists, and they of the Congregation of the Oratory, like down-right flatte­rers, give the Pope the Temporall Monarchy of the world, absolutely and Papa jure divino est dire­ctè dominus O bis. Pesant de i [...]m [...]nit. Eccles. p. 45. id [...] defendunt Baronius, Bosii d [...]o, Zecchus, C [...]rerius al [...]i. directly, as adhering inseparably to his Sea, and as a branch of that Charter which Christ gave to Peter, when he made him Head of the Church, for himself and his successors for ever. The Iesuites more subtle than they, not daring to deny the Pope any part of that Power, which any other profession of men have dared to give him, and yet unable to assert such a vast power from those inconvenien­cies which follow upon the Canonists opinion; have found out a C meanes to put into the Popes hands the exercise of as much tem­porall power as they bluntly and grossely give him, and that to all effects and purposes as full and in as ample manner as they: yet by a more learned and refined flattery, as resulting from his spirituall Power, not directly and per se, but See Bellarm. 5 de Rom. Pontif. 6. obliquely and indirectly and in or­dine ad spiritualia. The Man himself, though he pretend to be su­preme infallible judge of all Controversies yet heareth both, par­ties, and taketh advantage of what either give him, as best sorteth with his present occasions, and suffereth them to fall foul each up­on other, these accounting them grosse flatterers, and they again these D adversus im­pios Politicos. Cater. de po­test. in titulo libri. wicked [...]oliticians: but dareth not for his life determine whether side is in the right; lest, if he should be put to make good his deter­mination by sufficient proof, both should appeare to be in the wrong and he lose all; which, whilest they quarrell, he still holdeth. It is a certain thing; The spirituall Power conferred in Holy Orders doth not include the Power of Temporall jurisdiction. If Phinehes here exe­cute judgement upon a Prince of Israel;Sect. 13▪ it is indeed a good fruit of his zeal, nor yet ex­clude it. but no proper act of his Priesthood.

Let it go for a non sequitur then, as it is no better; because Phi­nehes, a Priest, or Priests sonne, executed judgement, that there­fore E the Priestly includeth a Iudicatory Power. Yet from such an act, done by such a Person, at least thus much will follow, that the Priest­hood doth not exclude the exercise of Iudicature; and that there is no such repugnancy and inconsistency between the Temporall and Spiri­tuall Powers, but that they may without incongruity concurre and [Page 155] A reside both together in the same person. When I find anciently, that not onely among the i e. Regis qui­dem haec munia esse jussit, [...]ri­mùm, ut s [...]cro­rum & sacrifi­ciorū principa­tum haber [...]t. Dionys. Hali­car. lib. 2. See also Cic. 1. de divin. [...]. de Aegyptiis. Plu­tarch. lib. de I [...]. & Osir. Heathens, but even among Gods own peo­ple, the same man might be a King and a Priest, (Virgil. 3. Aeneid. Rex idem homi­num Phoebique Sacerdos,) as Melchisedec was both a Gen. 14.17. Priest of the most High God, and King of Salem: when I see it consented by all, that so long as the Church was Patriarchall, the Priestly and the Iudicatory Power were both setled upon one and the same Person, the Person of the Sacerdot [...]um fuit annexum primogeniturae usque ad legem datám per Mo­sca. Lyran. in Gen. 14.18. See also Lyran. [...]n Num. 3.12. & 8.16, &c. first-born: when I read of Eli the Priest of the sonnes of Aaron 1 Sam. 4.18. judging Israel 40. yeares, and of Samuel, certainly a Levite (though not, as Aug. 17. de civit. 4 & in Psal. 98. Sul­pit. Sever. lib. 1 Hist. sacra. some have thought, Levita Samuel nō Sacerdos, non Pontifex fuit Hieron. lib. cont. Jovin. v. Drus. not. ad Sulpi [...]. Hist. p. 154. a Priest) both going circuit, as a 1 Sam. 7.16. B Iudge itinerant in Israel, and doing execution too with his own hands upon 1 Sam. 15.33. Agag; and of 1 Chron. 26.29.32. Chenaniah and his sonnes, Izharites, and Ha­shabiah and his brethren Hebronites, and others of the families of Levi, appointed by King David to be Judges and Officers, not onely in all the businesse over the Lord, but also for In omni ne­gotio divino & humano. Va­tab in 1. Pa­rab. 26. outward businesse over Israel, and in things that concerned the service of the King: when I observe in the Church-stories of all ages, ever since the world had Christian Princes, how Ecclesiasticall persons have been imployed by their Soveraigns in their weightiest consultations and affairs of State; I cannot but wonder at the inconsiderate rashnesse of some forward C ones in these daies, who yet think themselves (and would be thought by others) to be of the wisest men, that suffer their tongues to runne riot against the Prelacy of our Church, and have studied to approve themselves eloquent in no other argument so much, as in inveighing against the Courts, and the Power, and the Iurisdiction, and the Temporalties of Bishops and other Ecclesiasticall persons. I speak it not to justifie the abuses of men, but to maintain the lawfulnesse of the thing. If therefore any Ecclesiasticall person seek any Temporall office or power by indirect, ambitious, and preposterous courses: if he exercise it otherwise then well; insolently, cruelly, corruptly, par­tially; D if he claim it by any other then the right title, the free bounty and grace of the supreme Magistrate; let him bear his own burden; I know not any honest Minister that will plead for him. But since there is no incapacity in a Clergy-man, by reason of his spirituall Calling, but he may exercise temporall Power, if he be called to it by his Prince, as well as he may enjoy temporall Land if he be heire to it from his Father: I see not but it behoveh us all, if we be good Subjects and sober Christians, to pray that such as have the power of Iudicature more or lesse in any kind or degree committed unto them, may exercise that power wherewith they are entrusted, E with zeal and prudence and equity, rather than out of envy at the pre­ferment of a Church-man take upon us little lesse than to quarrel the discretion of our Soveraignes. Phinehes, though he could not challenge to execute judgement by vertue of his Priesthood;Sect. 14. yet his priesthood disabled him not from executing judgement. Phinehes his fact exami­ned.

That for the Person. Followeth his Action: and that twofold: He [Page 156] stood up, He executed judgement. Of the former first; which, though A I call it an Action, yet is indeed a Gesture properly, and not an Action. But, being no necessity to bind me to strict propriety of speech, be it Action, or Gesture, or what else you will call it; the circumstance and phrase, since it seemeth to import some materiall thing, may not be passed over without some consideration. [Then stood up Phi­nehes.] Which clause may denote unto us, either that extraordinary spirit whereby Phinehes was moved to do judgement upon those shamelesse offenders; or that forwardnesse of zeal, in the heat where­of he did it; or both. Phinehes was indeed the High Priests sonne, as we heard; but yet a private man and no ordinary Magistrate: and B what had any private man to do to draw the sword of justice, or but to sentence a malefactor to dye? Or, say he had been a Magi­strate; he ought yet to have proceeded in a legall and judiciall course, to have convented the parties, and when they had been convicted in a fair triall and by sufficient witnesse, then to have adjudged them according to the Law; and not to have come suddenly upon them [...], as they were acting their villany, and thrust them thorow uncondemned. I have Serm. 2. ad Cler. Sect. 30. elsewhere delivered it as a collection not al­together improbable from the circumstances of the origi­nall story, that Phinehes had warrant for this execution from the C expresse command of Moses the supreme Magistrate, and namely by vertue of that Proclamation, whereby he authorized the Numb. 25.5. Under-Ru­lers to slay every one his men that were joyned unto Baal-Peor, Num. 25.5. And I since find that conjecture confirmed by the judgement of some learned men: insomuch as an eminent Writer in our Church saith, that Hall 7. Con­templ. 4. By vertue of that Commission every Israelite was made a Magistrate for this execution. But looking more neerly into the Text, and considering that the Commission Moses there gave, was first onely to the Rulers, and so could be no warrant for Phinehes, unlesse he were such a Ruler, which appeareth not; and secondly, concerned D onely those men that were under their severall governments, and so was too short to reach Zimri, who being himself a Prince, and that of another Tribe too, the Tribe of Num. 25.5. Simeon, could not be under the government of Phinehes, who was of the Tribe of Levi: how pro­bable soever that other collection may be, yet I hold it the safer resolu