A DEMONSTRATION OF THE RESURRECTION Of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; And therein of the Christian RELIGION.

Very usefull For the further satisfaction and con­firmation of all good Christians; AS LIKEWISE For the confutation and convi­ction of those that have a Jewish or Atheisticall spirit in them.

WRITTEN By RICHARD GARBUTT, Bachelour in Divinity, sometimes fellow of Sydney Colledge in Cambridge, and af­terwards Preacher of the Gospel at Leeds in Yorshire.

London, Printed for Samuel Gellibrand, at the Ball in Pauls Churchyard. 165 [...]

Rev. & Clar. Viro, DOMINO, RICHARDO MINSHULL S. S. Theologiae Doctori, & Collegii Sydn. apud Cantabrigienses Re­ctori vigilantissimo, nec non Sociis, atque adeò universae ejusdem Collegii Societati. S.P.D. harum lucubratio­num Editor.

DEmonstratio haec (Re­verende Doctor, Or­natissimi Socii, & lae­tae [Page]indolis Adolescentuli) vos insalutatos praeterire non de­buit. Collegium vestrum bi­nos aluit Garbuttos, non minus dispares, quam Rebeccae Ge­melli. Senior quidem eorum haec scripsit, ut & alia multa prelo satis digna, digna quae & perlegantur, & relegantur; quorum nonnulla saltem nostrâ opellâ obstetricante brevi fo­ras emittentur. Praeterquam enim quod dolendum est, ea publico tamdiu caruisse, adeo mihi sapiunt, ut memet tenere non queam, quin ederem. Quod eò alacriùs & confidentiùs sum facturus, modo vos, alii­que [Page]docti piique mibi fueritis incitamento.

Agite, gaudeamus invicem in Garbutto nostro et vestro. No­strum dico, quia Nostras fuit, & in publicâ ScholâVulgò Cuckold aliàs. Cox­woll. Cox­voldiae informatus, ad tem­pus usque quo Academia Can­tabrigiensis eum in gremium suum exciperet; admissus au­tem vestrae Societatis parieti­bus, per totos viginti annos adhaesit; Quibus quantam multiplicis literaturae, cum gratiâ Dei bene conditae, mo­lem congessit; testari possunt provectioris aetatis Theologi, attestatur & hoc opusculum, [Page]& quae supersunt alia, eximia certè monumenta rationis, in­genii, judicii, industriae, & pietatis non vulgarium.

Quicquid Garbutti est, olet Lampada, olit S. Spiritum. Quare meritò pro vestro ven­dicare possitis. Ast secundâ vice Noster fit, postquam e­nim vos reliquit, agrum Ebo­racensem repetiit, & in Mu­nicipioVulgò Leeds. Leedensi, nostrae Paroeciae Barviciensi conti­guo (ipso gurgite Mercaturae in tractu hujus Comitatûs Oc­cidentali) consedit,Vulgò Barwicke. ibique in officio suo valdè sedulus per­mansit usque dum — supe­ras [Page]evasit ad auras Spiri­tus —

Quare duplici nomine No­strum esse quis ibit inficias?

Tam clarum fuit Homeri nomen, ut multae Graeciae Ur­bes certatim sibi vindicarent. Secundum distichon illud Grae­cum, quod eâ de re apud A. Gellum extat.

[...].
Lib. 3. Cap. 11. Idem re­statur Ci­cero pro Arch.
[...].

At quam amica nostra conten­tio; sic enim nostram requiri­mus partem, ut vobis vestram liberè relinquamus intactam, nec invidemus. Imò charitas [Page](quae regulam hanc, Bonum quò communiùs, eò me­liùs, nobis subministrat) Garbuttum Nostrum & Ve­strum omnibus communem ex­hibgre nos jubet. Sic gratiam ineamus cum aliis, & Mag­nam Manum Optimorum, id­que sine minimo nostro dispen­dio, nobis demerebimur. Et quid est quod mihi malim? Hoc idem, Sol Astrorum prin­ceps, nos monet; nobis enim non ideo minus gratus oritur, quia toti laetus illucescit Orbi. Impingit forsan aliquis ad ti­tulum Libelli, autumans prin­cipium hoc (Christum Resur­rexisse, [Page]&c.) credi oportere, demonstrari non posse: Ho­minibus, id genus, refellendis (modo pertinaces non sint) nullis meis argumentis opus est, sufficit unicus hic Codicu. lus, ubi non solum Resurre­ctionem Christi, sed & S. Scripturae autoritatem, imò totius Christianae Religionis veritatem inviolabiliter sta­tuminat. Haec enim tria adeò indivulsè cohaerent, ut nullatenus sejungi queant.

Ante viginti & sex annos [...] nobis ereptus Garbuttus, horrendas opinio­nes, hoc seculo (omnium Se­ctarum [Page]feraci) renascituras praesensisse videatur: si au­tem ad summam aetatem per­vixisset, quantus Malleus Haereticorum exstitisset, quam commodè fanaticorum Para­logismos evacuasset, et arma­tos eorum Gigantes humi prostrasset, detrudendos de­mumIn Ge­hennam secundum interpret. J. Mede in Prov. 21.16. in domum Rephaim, utcunque hoc ipsum,

Post sua mansurum fata superstes opus magno erit usui, Et sic per me ab alio posteritati servitur.

Breve aliquod specimen vitae et mortis Authoris pro­ferre delibero, quod, instar [Page]speculi ejus, (viri verè insig­nis) imaginem quadantenus representet; et sane nullam in re ullâ praebuit impingendi causam, ne vituperetur Mi­nisterium, sed in omnibus se approbavit ut Dei Ministrum, etc.

Quam necessarii sunt hu­jusmodi tractatus, et cogentia argumenta hâc Aetate faecu­lentâ, quâ Anglia nostra (proh dolor) non solum in sentinam vitiorum, sed et officinam er­rorūm omnium conversa est indignissimè, omnes, (iis so­lummodo, quorum Religio, in­star tabi, putruit, exceptis) satis vident et dolent.

Sed manum de Tabulâ, & vos solvo à me legendo, properate ad Authorem. Deus Opt. Max. utramque Acade­miam omni benedictionum ge­nere cumulet, & quam diutis­simè salvas et florentes conser­vet, sic precatur,

Vestri studiosissimus & totius status Aca­demici Cupien­tissimus, NATHANIEL JACKSON.
Dat. Bar­viciae in Elmett, Septem. 12. A. D. 1656.

THese Sermons here ensuing speak the Authour a man both of a solid head, and of a sincere heart; both of great judgment, and of good affections. They mind me of that of Cyprian, Lo here, that which is rather powerfull, Accipe non diser­ta, sed for­tia. Cypr. ad Donat. Epis. 2. Fulmina erant lin­guae singula verba tuae. Gerhard. loc. com. de Minist. Eccles. 5. 123. Aculeos in anim is Auditorum reliquit. then eloquent. And of Melanch: ons verse, which (as Gerhard relates) he made upon the sight of Luthers picture, Every word of thine was a thunderbolt. Surely the words of this Authour have weight in them; they do not tickle the eare, but they affect the heart: And (as it was said of Peri­cles the Athenian Oratour) they leave a sting behind them in those that heare or reade them. Such force of argument, such strength of reason, such convincing demonstra­tion, I have seldome seene. These are strong lines indeed, not as to the sound of words, but as to the sense of matter. Pity it is, that [Page]any thing of this Authour (humane frailties excepted) should dye with him. So I judg both by these, and o­ther Sermons of his that I have seen.

CHR. CARTWRIGHT.

I have perused this ensuing Dis­course, and though my approbation be not of that weight & value as to add the least grain of allowance or acceptance to this or any other the like performance, yet being requested to de­liver my opinion of it, I could not but say thus much, that the learned and pious Author hath herein (at least to my apprehension) approved him­self [...]. 2 Tim. 2 8 a workman that needed not be ashamed, yeaCor. 3.10. a wise Master­builder in the Church of God, as having very solidly and judiciously stated and asserted that grand funda­mentall article, the main pillar in­deed of our Christian faith, our Sa­viour Christs Resurrection; the truth whereef he hath undeniably prov'd and demonstrated, as well by invincible arguments, and strength of reason, as also clear and evident testimonies and texts of Scripture; and that both for the further confir­mation [Page]of all true Christians, and the fuller conviction of all gain­sayers, whether Atheisticall, Jewish, or Hereticall Spirits. And truly I do not remember to have seen so much Scripture and reason, better improv'd in so narrow a compass, nor more artificially enterwoven and twisted together, and helping one another by a mutuall compliance, for the strengthening and support of so substantiall a truth. In a word, I look upon the Treatise, as verifying and performing exactly, what it pro­mises in the Title, if not more: It being a * most perfect and complete Demonstration,Demon­stratio po­tissima. or rather, a twofold Demonstration, as Logicians distin­guish, the one proving the thing [...]. & [...]. that it was so, the other the finall cause or end [...]. & [...]. why it was so; the one cleering the truth and reality of it as in it self, the other declaring the fruit and benefit of it as to believers; the one in the former, the other in the latter Point or Observation. And in both these the Authour shows himself to have been a man singularly well [Page]skill'd both in the Theory and Pra­ctice of true Christianity, of an able head and an honest heart, of a strong brain, and a gratious spirit; The Doctrinall part of the Discourse being not more solid and sinewy in con­firming the truth, and settling and informing the judgment, then the Practicall, wholsom and savoury in speaking to the conscience, and pres­sing holiness and purity of life, and the power of godliness. In which regard I heartily recommend the perusall of it to all good and sober Christians, especially in these wave­ring, warping, and back-sliding times, wherein so many have degene­rated andTurned Apostate [...]. 1 Tim. 4.1. departed from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and2 Pet. 3.17. being led away with the errour of the wicked, have fallen from their own stedfastness: and (I conceive) for want of thorow conviction, and sound instruction in these main fun­damentall truths of the Gospel.

JAMES DUPORT.
READER.

I Wondred not when I met with those expressions of holy triumphing in Gregory Nys­sen, [...]. Greg. Nys. Orat. 5. de Re­sur. [...]. Id Orat. 1. de Resur. [...], Cyril. Hier. Catech. 14. let us extol the Resurrection of the Conqueror, the joy of the world, the life of all Nations, since (as he elegantly tells us) the Divell, our de­stroyer gaping to devour the bait of Christs flesh when he dyed, was struck through, and caught with the hook of Christs Divinity when he arose from the dead, and (as Cyril expres­seth it) he who by suffering was free among the dead, by rising again manifested, that he both could and would free the living. The asser­ting of this blessed truth is the noble subject of this learned Treatise. I wish I might have been allowed, the secret tasting of its Divine deli­cacies [Page]without proclaiming to the world, how well I rellish'd them, and the rather because this excellent discourse is as far from wanting, as are our slight pamphlets from de­serving Commendation. Tis too low an Expression to say this work deserves my prayses (worth of a mid­dle size may be so commended) I rather judg that my prayses are not worthy of it, and may hope that my testimony will rather finde acceptance from it, than it from my Commendation. When first it came to my hands, it found me in such a croud of business, that I hardly could finde time to begin the reading thereof; but truly when I had once begun to peruse it, I as hardly knew how to make an end of reading, till I came to the end of the book, with such an honest delight did it rob me of the thoughts of my other em­ployments; and yet neither must I call it a robbery, it was but a change, and that an advantageous one, for it brought me more benefit, by its perusal, than I parted with by for­bearing [Page]for a time my other read­ing; And (reader,) I assure my self, if thou art a friend to Christ and thy self, thou canst not but with sweetest contentment, view the Ex­altation of thy dearest Lord and Master in his Resurrection, and thereby thine own from the grave both of sin and earth, so clearly and fully demonstrated.

The Authour of this Treatise I never knew, and he is now above the resentment of earthly Commen­dations, and therefore tentation I had none, either by receiving or expecting any friendship from him, to speak so freely of his book: but might I (dear Christian) prevail with thee to read, love, and live the truths thereof, all that good is suc­cesfully obteyned, which is (I trust) sincerely endeavoured by the testi­mony of thy servant for thy Souls good,

WILL. JENKYN, Pastor of Black-fryers London.
Nov. 27. 1656.
Christian Reader,

BEing desired to peruse this en­suing Treatise concerning the Resurrection of Christ, and to ex­presse my thoughts of it, though my testimony can adde nothing to the worth of it, and very little to its ac­ceptance in the world, yet the excel­lent contexture of Scripture, and reason, which I have found in it, re­quires me not onely to approve it, but commend it. The subject treated on is that of highest concernment, the great pillar of our faith & hope, as the great Apostle argues 1 Cor. 15. and the ma­ner of handling it is in good measure answerable to the weight, and worth of its subject. Some may possibly think that this great article of faith needs no Demonstration; And I have sometimes been of that conceipt, that some principles, were so cleare, they needed no confirming, and some opi­nions so absurd, they needed no con­futing; but I find my self deceived; [Page]for in these dayes wherein our lot is fallen, there is no truth so cleare and fundamentall, but it meets with them that doubt it, and deny it; and no errour so ridiculous, and unreaso­nable, but finds them that will em­brace and maintaine it. Therefore I cannot but judge the publishing of this worke very seasonable, both for confirming the faith of believers (for faith despises not reason but makes much of it, so long as it keeps its place) and also for convincing of Atheists, and unbelievers, with whom it deals upon their own terms; viz: those of reason; and in this tot­tering age declining so fast to Scepti­cisme, and Atheisme, there is need of both. But I will not deteine the reader from the worke it selfe, which will best speake for it selfe, wishing every Christian a rationall and fi­duciall knowledge of the truth, and an experimentall knowledge of Christs Resurrection.

EDW. BOWLES.

A DEMONSTRATION OF THE Resurrection of Christ.

1 Cor. 15.20.

But now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that slept.

CORINTH was a famous Church, if any other, plan­ted by the Apostle himself, residing among them a whole yeare and an halfe, for the preaching and setling of the Gos­pel;Acts 18.24. and afterwards watered by A­pollo an Eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures: but though it were thus planted, thus watered, yet not many years after there crept in ma­ny [Page 2]abuses into that Church, for the reforming whereof S. Paul spends most of this Epistle; and the two chiefe abuses, a dangerous schisme, and a dangerous heresy. He picks out purposely one to be medled with first of all, and the other last of all; because things spoken first and last take best impression; and nothing he desired to take deeper impression, then dehortation from schisme, and haeresy; the one brea­king the bond of charity, the other the bond of faith. Their schisme, that one said he was of Paul, ano­ther of Apollo, another of Cephas, another of Christ, is confuted thorowout the four first chapters; Their heresy, that some among them denyed the resurrection, is with great vehemency and contention of reasoning confuted thorowout his fifteeth Chapter: and good cause that the Apostle should so bestirre himself in confirming the doctrine of the resurrection, it being the very knot and tye of all Religion, and all Religion falling asunder without it; [Page 3]deny the Resurrection, and the world would soone be as bad as hell it self; if the dead rise not again, let us eat and drinke for to morrow we dye; but affirme the Resurrection, and beleeve it perfectly aright, and the world would be almost as holy as Heaven it selfe.Acts 24.15.16. My hope towards God is that there shall be a Resurre­ction of the dead, both of just and un­just, and herein do I exercise my selfe, to have alwayes a conscience void of offence towards God and towards men; therefore good reason that the Apostle should so bestirre him­self about this point The Resurre­ction of the dead is the Christians confidence. Fiducis Christia­norum Re­surrectio mortuo­rum: Ter­tull.

Now he proves the Resurrection, first more directly by plaine argu­ments unto the 35. vers. Secondly, more indirectly and underhand by answering the surmised doubts that might be against it.

But some will say, How are the dead raised up, &c? This how is not an how of enquiry, (for then he should not have answered, thou [Page 4]foole; but thou curious fellow:) but an how of objection against the very matter; How, how is it possible that the dead putrified body should rise again, that every one should have his own body; being eaten perhaps of the beasts, or the fish, or the fowle, and turned into their substance? how also is it conveni­ent that these vile bodyes of ours that were nothing but clogs and troubles to us here, should be resto­red to us? and this is the implyed Objection; How are the dead rai­sed up? &c. which the Apostle answers in all the parts of it, shewing it first, not to be impossible, because wee see the like dayly in the seed sowne, it dyes and quickens again; and also no feare of the impossibili­ty because it is God that doth it: and cannot he restore the body, and the same body too? he can tell how to sever the flesh of men from the flesh of beasts; &c. And secondly, he shewes it not to be inconvenient, because it shall be the same body for substance, yet not for irksome [Page 5]conditions; but as celestial and ter­restriall bodies differ a great deale for glory and excellency, so it from it self, dying and being raised up a­gain; It is sowne in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; and in shewing this glorious change, (thereby answering the surmised objection of inconvenience) he spends most of the rest of this Chap­ter from the fortyeth verse unto the end.

Now for the direct proofe of the Resurrection in the former part of the Chapter, it beares it selfe espe­cially upon this argument. That Christ is risen, and therefore we shall rise again too: and after that he hath a long time tossed and tou­zed and waved and argued it up and down with a great deale of zeale, that Christ is undoubtedly risen, (for it is the thing that he is long and earnest about, and troubles him most) the other, That we should therefore undoubtedly rise, would easily follow, none would much gainsay it. After therefore he hath [Page 6]so belaboured the point of Christs Resurrection, thereby to inferre ours; in my text, he casts up the summe of all, shewing what all his former reasoning had amounted un­to, namely to this to tall, But now is Christ risen from the dead, &c.

There are two things,

  • First, That Christ is risen.
  • Secondly, Not so onely, but ri­sen as The first fruits, to sanctify and hallow unto his father all the faithfull that sleep in Christ, assuring them by his Resurrection, of their blessed Resurrection at last too. As the whole harvest was blessed and sanctified and halloved in a little handfull of the first fruits dedicated to God, that blessed and hallowed the whole harvest; so Christs Re­surrection blesseth and warrants all ours.

And First, That Christ is risen; But what, you will say, needs any proving of this point? There are no Painims here to deny the Resurre­ction, there are no Thomasses here to doubt of it, we all beleeve the ar­ticle [Page 7]of the Creed, The third day he rose again from the dead?

Beloved, I would it were so; but let me tell you what our Saviour saith,Luke 18.8. When the son of man cometh shall he find faith on the earth? and what S. Paul saith,2 Thes. 3.2. Non om­nium est fides. all man have not faith; to beleeve that Christ by his Resurrection is the Resurrection and life to others, is a matter that may well have a, Beleevest thou this? set upon the head of it; let me tell you, it is not for nought that the Gospels every one of them are so large in the Demonstration of the truth of Christs Resurrection, by variety of circumstances, and varie­ty of apparitions, and that the Acts are written in effect for no other end, as Chrysostome wel observes, (Hom. 1.) then to prove Christs Resurrection by his powerfull sen­ding of the holy Holy Ghost, by his powerfull endowing them with gifts of miracles, with gifts of a more then man-like courage and forti­tude, to preach stoutly the Gospell notwithstanding all opposition, by [Page 8]the glorious successe likewise in their preaching, to convert so many of the Jews,Act. 6.7. even a great company of priests themselves; and such numbers of the gentiles unto the faith; these speake the Resurre­ction, these are not the works of one that lyeth in the power of death.

Let me tell you, there is more in that of S. Paul then every one thinks, If thou confesse with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, Rom. 10.9. and shalt be­leeve in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved;

Let me tell you further, that the paucity of good livers shews plainly the paucity of true believers for this point. If I did verily beleeve that Christ were risen from the dead, and all power now given him in Heaven and in earth; Matt. 28.18. would I so slovenly serve him as I do? my service to him is such as if he were rotting in the grave, and not sitting at the right hand of the Father; why do I therefore Cozen my selfe [Page 9]and others with a vaine conceit that I beleeve the Resurrection?

Lastly, let me tell you, that if we do in some measure believe Christs Resurrection, yet the more eviden­ces and arguments to show it, the sweeter and stronger growes our faith. The things indeed to be be­leeved cannot be demonstrated by reason; but yet this may be de­monstrated by reason, that it is ve­ry reasonable to beleeve them, or (to speake with S. Aug.) that they may be demonstrated by reason:1. Quòd non sit stultum ta­lia credere; deinde quòd sit stultum ta­lia non credere. first, that it is not a foolish thing to beleeve those things; and further­more that it is a foolish thing not to beleeve them. The more evidences and arguments therefore to demon­strate the too too reasonablenes of Christs Resurrection, the sweeter and stronger growes our faith; Forasmuch as many have taken in hand, Luke 1.1. &c. that thou mightest know the certainty of those things wherein thou hast been instructed; [...]. Though at my first Catechizing in the prin­ciples of Religion, I should simply [Page 10]beleeve the Articles of faith; yet to know the certainty of them much establisheth my faith. Hereunto tends that;Rom. 1.11. for I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end you may be establi­shed; and night and day praying ex­ceedingly that wee might see your face and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith; 1 Thes. 3. namely by further doctrine and proofe of the Gospel, more and more evidence the truth of it unto you. That therefore the Christian may know the certainty of this thing wherein he hath been Catechized, namely Christs Resurrection from the dead; the third day he rose again from the dead, these things may suffi­ciently do it;

First, the prediction or testimony of the Old Testament.

Secondly, the testimony of so many eye witnesses, especially the Grand-Jury of the Apostles to whom he often appeared in the flesh after the Resurrection.

Thirdly, the testimony of the [Page 11]spirit, which after his Resurrection and Ascension Christ sent down a­mong his Apostles and Disciples to give them extraordinary holines of life, extraordinary power to work miracles, extraordinary boldnes and zeale to preach the Gospel, extra­ordinary successe in preaching it; these things could not be done by one that was in the power and hands of death, but by one that was set down at the power and right hand of the Father.

I And first the prediction of the Old Testament is a good argument to the Christian to beleeve Christs Resurrection,Codicem portat Ju­daeus undo credat Christia­nus, libra­rii nostri facti sunt quomodo solent servi post domi­nos codices ferre, ut illi portando deficiant; illi legendo proficiant. (Aug. Ps. 56.) because he sees he is taught to beleeve no new thing, but that onely which hath been so often, and so long agoe foretold by those Scriptures which the very Jew, the maine enemy to the Resurrection cannot deny, nay zealously main­taines. The Jews carry the bookes, by which the Christians may be­lieve; they are become our book-carriers; even as servants carry their masters bookes after them, that [Page 12]whereas the one are weary with carrying, the other may profit by reading.

But where are these predictions of the Old Testament? surely had we all those places which our Sa­viour alledged to the two Disciples, beginning at Moses and all the Pro­phets, Luke 24.37. and expounding to them in all the Scriptures the things that con­cerned his passion, and his glory, we should be marvellously furnished: or had we those which it's likely S. Peter used in his Sermon:Act. 3.24. All the Prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken have likewise foretold of these dayes; or those by which Apollo so mightily convinced the Jews,Act. 19. shew­ing by the Scriptures that Jesus was Christ:Act. 28.23 and those whereby Paul continued perswading the Jews con­cerning Jesus, from morning till evening, both out of Moses and the Prophets; we should be richly fur­nished, understood we all these; But howsoever let these express pla­ces prove the Resurrection;

First, that of the sixteenth Psalm, urged by St. Peter Act. 2. My flesh shall rest in hope, because thou wilt not leave my Soul in Hell, nor suffer thy holy one to see corruption.

Secondly, that of the second Psalm, urged by S. Paul Act. 13. Thou art my Son, this day have I be­gotten thee; manifestly declared thee to be my very son now by my raising thee from the dead.Rom. 1.4.

Thirdly, that of Esay 52.14, 15. As many were astonied at thee, &c. so shall he sprinkle many nations; the Kings shall shut their mouths at him, for that which hath not been told them shall they see, &c.

And that of Esay 53.10. When thou shalt make his Soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his dayes, &c.

Fourthly, not to name more par­ticulars, all those places prove this, that show he must conquer death: for how should he conquer death for others, that were deteined by it himself?Esay 25.7. he wil destroy in this moun­taine the face of the covering cast [Page 14]over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations; Hos. 13.14. And I will ransom them from the power of the grave. Fiftly, all those places that speak of his everlasting Kingdome; Ʋnto us a child is borne, Esay 9.7. and the go­vernment shall be upon his shoulders; of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, &c. these and many other the like places may assure us against Jew or Gentile, that for the Resurrection or any other mystery about the Saviour of the world, we believe no new thing, but that onely which often and long agoe hath been foretold by those Scriptures that were highly magni­fied, not onely by the Jew, but also by the Gentile; when Ptolomy that famous King of Egypt caused them a long time before our Saviors com­ing in the flesh to be translated out of hebrew into greek, a tongue more known to the nations, that those Holy Scriptures also might be bet­ter known to the nations: our com­fort and stay of faith therefore may be, that with S. Paul we say and be­lieve [Page 15]none other things then those which the Prophets and Moses-did say should come,Act. 26.23. that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead▪ &c.

II Secondly, the testimony of so many eye-witnesses witnessing the truth of his Resurrection from his often apparitions unto them, as First, to Mary Magdalene: 2. to the women by the way going from the sepulcher to the Disciples, to acquaint them with that which had befalne there: 3. to Peter alone: 4. to the two Dis­ciples travelling to Emaus, whose eyes were a while holden that they knew him not; 5. to the Disciples gathered together, and the doores shut upon them when Thomas was away, and all these five apparitions were the first day. 6. to the Disci­ples eight dayes after, when Thomas also was among them; 7. to seven of the Disciples at the Sea of Tibe­rias, when they had that extraordi­nary draught of fishes, at his com­mand bidding then cast on the right hand, though all night they had [Page 16]fished, and catched nothing. 8. In a mountaine of Galilee as himself being alive had foretold them; and this most thinke to be that famous apparition understood here by S. Paul, when he tells us of one of his appearings to be to more then 500 brethren at once. 9 Upon Mount Olivet, from whence he ascended up to Heaven; And these appariti­ons are recorded in the Gospels; whereunto S. Paul mentioning some of these, adds also some other apparitions besides; as this of his appearing to more then 500 bre­thren at once, if it be not the same with that apparition in Galilee; also a distinct apparition to James, also another distinct one when he saies, To all the Apostles; and lastly an apparition to himself, as one borne out of time: and these are the wit­nesses chosen before of God (as Pe­ter speaks) to whom he shewed him­self openly; he shewed himself open­ly not to all the people, but to witnes­ses chosen before of God; Act. 10. and there­fore seeing wee are compassed about [Page 17]with such a cloud of witnesses, we have ground sure enough for our faith. Nothing can be objected against their testimony, but that either they were deceivers, or were deceived; Deceivers, so the Jews objected, that while the watch slept his Disciples came by night, and stole his body away, and so spread abroad the errour of his Resurre­ction, Matt. 28.13. but this is too too incredible; it is too too incre­dible that they could do this, and it is more then too too incredible that they would do it. First, too incredi­ble that they could do it, for consider a text in St. Matt. 27.62. &c. Now the next day that followed the pre­paration, &c. The High Priests said to Pilate, command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure, &c. If they had intended to steale away his body, why not the first-night before the Watch was set? for all the cir­cumstances here well considered, give it a thing too too incredible, that they could do it after so vigi­lant, diligent, and abundant Watch, [Page 18]that questionless was set, for why? they came about it even on the Sab­bath day, and that was an high day too. Secondly, the very words that our Saviour said, that within 3 dayes he would rise again, stuck in their stomacks vilely; 3. They confessed that if it should so fall out, the last errour would be worse then the first. 4. they had full leave of Pilate to do whatsoever they would for the ma­king all sure, would they not thinke you therefore set a most vigilant Watch, &c? and so it appears they did,Matt. 27.66. They went and made the sepul­chre sure, &c. they would not trust any other; how should it therefore be a thing credible, that these should or durst be so negligent as to fall a sleep, nay would be so negligent, for in all likelyhood in a thing that they had such speciall care of, they pickt out for the Watch some forward zealots, that the very zeale of the cause would keepe them waking, as well as the aw and dread of authority; espe­cially it being but one night they [Page 19]watched; how is it credible also that the poor sneaks, the Disciples, that shewed their heels so finely when their master was apprehend­ed, should now when he was in the grave, take heart of grace so coura­geously, to attempt the thing against so strong a Watch? how further is it credible, that the rowing away of the stone before the door of the sepulchre, the stone that was a very great one, when the women that came to anoint him tooke great care how to get it rowled away; how credible that this should not have waked some of the Watch hard by? how further is it credible, if the Disciples had stolne him a­way, that the winding sheet should have been left behind in the sepul­chre, lying decently in one place, and the napkin that was about his head wrapped up in another place by it self; would they not rather, if they had stolne him, not have stript him but carried him away as he was in his grave-geare? common humanity would not let them strip [Page 20]him, and carry him away in so hor­rid a manner as stark naked; and common wit would not let them thinke, that they should have had so much leisure without feare of waking any of the Watch, as to strip him, especially being wound up in linnen cloaths, with Mirrhe and other spices of a clammy and stick­ing nature like pitch; to strip him of this, and to have leisure then to wrap up the linnen cloaths, and the napkin upon his head severally by themselves, these are not signes of such as are in feare and hast, so that it is no marvell that hereat the Evangelist said,John 20.8. that the Disciple saw and believed. How (lastly) is it credible, that the Watch durst go home to the high Priests with such a fine tale in their mouths? While we slept, his Disciples came by night and stole him away; what had this been but to have pronounced sen­tence against their own Souls? when the Angel had brought Peter miraculously out of prison,Act. 12.19. the keepers were examined, and put to [Page 21]death, though innocently, for the es­cape, what could they have looked for but the like sauce? the impunity of the Watch is argument enough to any that hath but halfe an eye in his head, that there was dawbing in the matter, and casting heads about it: and lastly, that Dilemma of Aug. against this fine tale of the Watch. Either it was false that they slept,Aut falsum erat quòd dormie­rant, & mendaci­bus credere non debue­runt; aut verum erat quòd dor­mierant, & quod fa­ctum est nescierunt. in Ps. 55. Stulta in­sania! si vigilabas, quare per­misisti? si dormiebas, unde scisti? in Ps. 36. and so lyars are not to be believed; or it was true, and then how could they tell what hapned? foolish madnes! if thou wast awake, why didst thou suffer it? if thou wast a­sleep, how didst thou know it?

Secondly, it is more then too in­credible they would do it: would they that being Jews knew well what God and Religion meant, have dared to have father'd such a grosse forgery on God? it is the argu­ment, one of them, which our Apo­stle here instanceth in; If Christ be not risen, then are we found false witnesses of God, which some might thinke, (irreligious and pro­fane wretches that they are) to be [Page 22]no such great argument, yet weigh it well in these persons the Apostles, and a forcinger argument cannot be brought; for how canst thou ima­gine, that the Apostles, who being no such fooles, as appears well enough by putting the wise Jews so to it to call councell upon coun­cell against them, would of them­selves, without Divine warrant, have attempted so foolish a thing as the preaching of obedience up and down the world to a crucified man, no otherwise risen from the dead then by stealing his body out of the grave? what hope could ever they have of any successe? No hope from him whom they preached, whose own consciences told them he was yet in the power of death; no hope from God whom they so foul­ly belyed, no hope from any thing in themselves, not from eloquence and excellency of speech to perswade, they were but rude and illiterate men; not from wealth and riches to corrupt, shoos on their feet and a staff in their hand was most of that [Page 23]they had; not from authority and greatnes to awe and prejudice, they were but contemptible fishermen & the like; not from number and mul­titude to overrun and subdue, they were but eleven silly sneaks, that had all run away when their Master was apprehended, no hope therefore from any thing in them­selves: no hope further from any docibleness and inclinabliness of the parties to be perswaded, not any in­clineableness of the Jew; Not him but Barrabas, and Crucify him, Cru­cify him was the loud and joynt cry of the Jew; the Jew was hardned therefore against any such Do­ctrine; it had been as easie for these fisher men, the Apostles, to have spoken to the fishes of the Sea, to have made them follow them on the dry land, as to have spoken to the people of the Jews to have made them follow them in the Doctrine and beliefe of Christs Resurrection upon their own bare word; they that cared not for all Christs miracles when he was [Page 24]alive, but Crucified him, were they likely to have believed the bare as­sertions of fishermen for his Resur­rection? Not any inclinableness a­gain in the Gentile,Act. 17.32. it was that they mocked at when they heard of the Re­surrection; it was that that Paul was glad to qualify with this argu­ment of insinuation in the beginning when he was to speake of it to the Gentile;Act. 26.8. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead? be it a thing never so hard, why should it be thought above Gods ability to do? It was that also that when Paul was in the earnestness of his speech about the assertion of it,Act. 26.24. made Fe­stus break out with a loud voice and say; Paul thou art beside thy selfe; was the Gentile therefore likely to be inclinable to this Doctrine, es­pecially Christs suffering being pub­lick, and all seeing it, and his Re­surrection being private and under­hand, and but a few supposed wit­nesses of it? and those few opposed almost by all that nation, the nation [Page 25]of the Jews, that if there had been any such thing should have brought the knowledge thereof unto the Gentiles, would they therefore that were no stark fooles, have gone a­bout a thing of so great folly, where­in they had no hope of successe from him that they preached, as not ri­sen; no hope from God, as belyed by them; no hope from any thing in themselves, as being without elo­quence, without riches, without au­thority, without multitude; no hope from any inclinableness in the par­ties to be perswaded Jew or Gentile, as being utter enemies the one to the mention of the name of Jesus of Na­zereth, the other to the mention of the Resurrection. Either therefore they were very Idiots and stark fooles, and why then were the wisest Jews so put to it by them, to lay heads together, and to assemble councel after councel? or else they were wise enough; and why then should any thinke they would at­tempt such a foolish thing without good ground and reason?

But suppose they had been so o­verseene as not to have considered [Page 26]these things at first, yet would they not when the storme once begun to fall on them, and the world rise up in armes against them, seeing the impossibility every way of making their Legend, their lying Legend take: would they not then have desisted? would not fair nor foul means have made one of them at least, at last have bewrayed the whole busines? but that all their life long, in spite of what the world could do, they should continue eve­ry one of them in most constant asseveration of the Resurrection; certainly had they been nothing but deceivers, it is not imaginable that the world could have a pack of such, except they had been very incarnate Devils: but their writings and much more their lives shewed them to have been rather incarnate Angels. Again if they would have done this they should either have taken our Saviour for an impostor, deceiving them of his promise, that he pro­mised them he would rise again the third day, and so they should rather [Page 27]have hated him as an Impostor, then preached, him as Saviour; or else should have taken him as the true Saviour indeed, though yet deteined in the grave, and so they would never have gone about to have preached him that was Truth; by meere lyes and falshood; they could not thinke that the true Saviour would thinke well of false Apostles; and therefore it is too in­credible they could, it is more then too too incredible they would preach the Resurrection as Meere Deceivers.

Secondly, Not as deceived with any fantasme or apparition Diaboli­call;

For first, They were sure the body was not in the sepulchre, their own sense and the sense of all the Jews viewing the empty sepulchre, con­firmed them of that.

Secondly, They were sure none had privately stollen the body away and laid it elsewhere, because of the Watch that kept the sepulchre, and because of the grave-cloaths left be­hind, [Page 28]and the napkin that was u­pon his head wrapt up alone: none would have carried away a dead Ghastly body, and that so full of wounds and gored blood and Ghastly visaged (for the Napkin of his head also was taken off) none would have carried away a dead body in such an horrid manner.

Thirdly, They had a Vision of Angels that affirmed unto the women that he was risen, and withall remembred them that it was but as he had told them before, that he would rise again the third day, and therefore they need not distrust it.

Fourthly, They had (after) many corporall apparitions unto them of our Saviour himself; and still you may observe there goes alwayes al­most, with the apparition, some no­table circumstance, one or other, to be an argument to confirme the verity of it, as:

First, for the apparition to Mary, you have this observable circum­stance, that though Jesus had talked [Page 29]with her a while, and she knew him not, but thought he had been the Gardiner, yet at the speaking of one bare word (Mary) she present­ly knew him, and sayes Rabboni: this was either a plaine effect of his Divinity, so on the sudden to work on her heart; or else of his huma­nity to speake just in that familiar form which he used when he was alive, so that she knew him to be he by his voice; The Divil may sooner counterfeit a visage then a voice.

Again, for the apparition to the two Disciples by the way, you have these two circumstances,

  • First, Their hearts extraordinarily burn­ing within them while he opened to them the Scriptures, which argues his Divinity.
  • Secondly, A speciall manifestation of himselfe unto them by breaking of bread, using the same form of thanks-giving, or same form of action in breaking, or both, which he used while he was alive, and that argued the same humanity.

Again, for the apparition to the Apostles when Thomas was absent, you have two circumstances that are most demonstrative of a true living body. First this, handle me, and see me, for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see me have: Then this;Luke 24.41. Have ye here any meat, &c? Though the Divell can form a body of the Elements, a body that may be felt, yet not true live body, that can eat and digest meat, not a true live body that hath flesh and bones, that hath heat and pulse, and all the temper of a true live body; If this were so, how should we be sure one of another, that we are not fan­tasms? Nay, if handle mee, and see me, were not a good argument, how were the Jews sure that it was the true Jesus that was Crucified, the true Jesus that was laid in the se­pulcher? If they were sure they Crucified and buryed the true Jesus, the Disciples were as sure that it was the true Jesus that rose again, and appeared unto them. And this is that circumstance which after­wards [Page 31]brought Thomas off from his infidelity, when eight dayes after Christ appeared unto them, John 20.28. Thomas being with them, and thrust his hand into his side, and said, my Lord and my God. And this is so strong an argument that S. Peter cares for no more, Act. 10.41. He shewed himself openly not to all the people, but to chosen witnesses, even to us, who did eat and drinke with him after he rose from the dead: he did eat and drinke with them most familiarly, and sensibly conversed with them; even as familiarly, and sensibly as when he was alive; so that if we were sure of him then, we are as sure of him now. And this is the argument S. John beats so on, That which we have heard, which we have seene with our eyes, &c. 1 John. 1.1. Consider now further, that this was forty dayes together that he thus at severall times conversed with them, that all his speech at those times with them was not about such things as the speech of a deceiving Divell would have been, but of the [Page 32]things pertaining to the Kingdome of God, Act. 1.3. of the things whereby the Apo­stles afterwards destroyed every where the Kingdome of the Divels, and their Idolatrous worship. Consi­der also that the Disciples were so incredulous formerly of the Resurre­ction, that the words of the women that told them he was risen, seemed to them idle tales; Luke 24.11. [...]. that also our Saviour upbraided them with un­beliefe and hardness of heart, that they believed not them, (namely the women and the two Disciples and Peter) which had seene him af­ter he was risen; That Thomas also; for all that the other Disciples aver­red it unto him, yet he would be­lieve none of them all, hee would believe nothing but his own hands and fingers; would these men there­fore that were so hard of beliefe, would ever they have believed such a thing, without most infallible proofes? as it is, Act. 1.3. To whom he should himself alive after his pas­sion, by most infallible proofes, &c. and therefore neither were they [Page 33]deceived, but knew well enough what they said, when they answer­ed the High Priests, and rulers of the Jews (straightly charging them, to speake no more of Jesus and the Resurrection) with a Non possumus, wee cannot but speak the things which wee have seene, and hoard, Act. 4. 20. If therefore they could neither bee deceived, nor deceivers, there is weight enough in those words; this Jesus hath God raised up; whereof wee are all witnesses; and again they urge it, Act. 2.32. Act. 3. Act. 5. Act. 10. The testimo­ny therefore of these eye-witnesses, is in the second place assurance e­nough unto us of Christs Resurre­ction.

Thirdly, the testimony of the Spirit which Christ after his Resur­rection and ascension sent down from Heaven, to be a powerfull witnesse unto the world of his Re­surrection; by giving unto his, ex­traordinary grace of holiness, extra­ordinary grace of preaching the Gospel, extraordinary grace of [Page 34]confirming it by miracles, extraor­dinary grace of a happy successe in the busines, to draw in so short a time almost the world after them; these things shew that Christ was not in the power and hands of death, but sate down at the power and right hand of his Father. It is plaine, a King is not in hold by his enemies, when every where he does such things that makes the world ring of him; as plain that Christ was not deteined in hold by that enemy death, when every where by the Spi­rit which he sent, he did such things as made the whole world ring of him.

I Whence (first) had the Apostles and Apostolicall men that extraor­dinary grace of preaching the Gos­pel, but onely from fulfilling that promise in Act. 1.8? ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be wit­nesses unto me both in Jerusalem, &c. Hence had they their extraordinary grace of promptness, grace of dili­gence, [Page 35]grace of sincerity, grace of patience, grace of tenderest love and affection after the Salvation (if they could) of every Soul.

First, The grace of boldness, whence could they have it, but from that power of the Holy Ghost coming upon them? How timo­rous and white liver'd otherwise they were, their running all away when their Master was apprehen­ded, their hardiest mans, I meane, Peters denyall of him at the speech of a silly maid, their lurkings and underhand meetings, both before and a while after the Resurrection, meeting but onely, for feare of the Jews, in private places, and in the night, and with the doores shut upon them; these show how timo­rous otherwise they were. What transformed them therefore from such hares and harts, into such stout Lions as afterwards they showed themselves, but onely this power of the Holy Ghost coming on them? This made them, that before ran away and hid their heads in corners, [Page 36]to be bold afterwards, to preach Jesus of Nazereth to all the people, to all the priests and rulers, to all comers that would hear them; in the publick Temple, Act. 5.42. teaching and preaching Jesus Christ. See what difference there is between their former fearfulness, and their then boldness. Act. 2.14. But Peter standing up with the eleven lift up his voice, &c. all things make pur­posely for expressing their stoutness and boldnes; The standing up, the lifting up the voice, the forme of words themselves, Yee men of Judaea; &c. words of meer au­thority, words for emperours to speake, so verse 22. ye men of Israel, &c. and 36. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly; See here their boldness, and their former timorousness, and none would take them for the same men, at most but other men in the same skins. Ay but this is but a flash before the peo­ple, before that the rulers have medled with them; dare they be so bold also before them? See whe­ther [Page 37]they dare or no. Chap. 4. v. 5. They are apprehended, kept in hold a night, convented the next day be­fore an assembly that might have struck terrour into them; And it came to passe on the morrow, that their Rulers and elders, &c. were gathered together; Here was greatness enough to have dashed them, but what sayes the Story? But Peter filled with the Holy Ghost: Act. 4.8. Not without good cause is this preface, otherwise such great looks had been enough to have daunted such two poore sneakes; But Pe­ter filled with the holy Ghost, said, &c. Words of such stoutness and bold­ness, that those great ones wondered such sneakes should be so bold: When they saw the boldness of Peter and John they marvelled; verse 13. boldness to say, Bee it known unto you all, vers. 10, 11. &c. whom yee Crucified, &c. set at nought by you builders, &c.

Object. Ay but this was the first time, be­fore they had tasted of the whip, they had nothing but threats, and great words given them there; [Page 38]durst they do so the second time, and after they had smarted?

Sol. That the second and third time too they durst do so, you have it Chap. 5.17. and 29. and also af­ter they had smarted, being well beaten with rods, you have it verse 42. dayly in the Temple, and in every house they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

Secondly, Grace of promptness of speech, whence had they it, but from this power of the Holy Ghost com­ing upon them? it could be nothing but this that loosed the tongue of those stammerers, that made those lispers speake so plaine, that made those poor fishermen, (as mute otherwise almost as the fish they caught) to become on the sudden the worlds oratours, to extemporize before assemblies and congregations upon every occasion, to argue with Jew and Gentile, with Pharisee and Philosopher, and so to argue as their adversaries were driven to answer, as Stevens did him, to leave reasoning and go to suborning.Act. 6.9.11. Then there [Page 39]arose certaine of the Synagogue, &c. and they suborned men, &c.Act. 9.29. Or as Pauls him, He spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Graecians, but they went about to slay him. Whence could these mute fishermen have had this promptness, and presentness, yea and wisdom of speech; but onely from the power of the Holy Ghost coming on them?Ps. 8.2. But out of the mouth of Bades and sucklings hast thou perfected praise. And I will give you a mouth, and wisdome, Luke 21.15. which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay, nor resist. Job. 12.20. These let you see what did the deed; He removeth away the speech of the tru­sty, &c. so he giveth sometime the speech to the stammerer;Job. 32.8 [...]. but there is a spirit in man, and the inspira­tion of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Act. 4.13. [...]. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, &c. It was strange, that they should speake so roundly, and pro­foundly, [...]. of whom it could not have been expected, as being unlearned [Page 40]and ignorant men, that they could have gone on above five words toge­ther, without hacks and hawes about matters so out of their element.

Thirdly, Grace of extraordinary diligence, whence had they it; but from this power of the Holy Ghost? if you consider that they had nei­ther profit to draw them on to take that pains; for silver and gold have I none, (not so much as to give a beggar his almes) said he that was the chiefe of them; And these hands have ministred to my necessity, said he that was not his inferior; no profit therefore to draw them on. No honour neither; for they were therefore counted the filth of the world, and the offscowring of all things; If you consider also, that their breeding was a private coun­trey-breeding, and a quiet retried life, led upon lakes and rivers, not made to be the worlds posts, to trudge from City to City, from na­tion to nation, from people to peo­ple, from Kingdome to Kingdome, and there still to have no rest to [Page 41]their flesh,2 Cor. 7. but be troubled on every side, fightings without, fears within; besides their assiduity in preaching, in season and out of season, private­ly and publickly; If you consider withall, how well their successors now a dayes love their ease, when they need not trudge up and down the world as they did to preach the Gospel; it were well if they would but reside at their own cures and take a little pains there; If you consider all these, whence can you say they had this extraordinary dili­gence, but from the power of the Holy Ghost? it could be nothing but this, that made them so dili­gent, that the rulers of the Jews could say of them in a short time; Behold you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine: Act. 5.28. so diligent, that as it is in the same Chapter, dayly in the Temple and from house to house they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ; so diligent, that Peter is made as is were an Ubi­quitary, As Peter passed thorowout all quarters, Act. 9.32. &c. so diligent, that [Page 42] Demetrius could say of one of them, namely Paul, Sirs, ye see and heare, that not alone at Ephesus, Act. 19.26. but almost thorowout all Asia this Paul hath perswaded and turned away much people; so diligent, that other ene­mies of theirs could say when they came to Thessulonica, These that have turned the world up side down are come hither also; Act. 17.6. so diligent, that by their means in a small time, the sound of the Gospel went into all the earth, Rom. 10.18. and their words unto the end of the world; and that leaven of the Kingdome spoken of Mat. 13. had leavened the whole lumpe;

Fourthly, Grace of sincerity, to take all this pains for no sinister worldly respect whatsoever, but meerly for the Gospels sake, to plant it; whence could they have this sincerity, but from the same power of the Holy Ghost? How sincerely they preached the Gospel without seeking either praise or pro­fit by it, see a little;

Not praise; Act. 3.12. for when upon the cure of the lame man, the people came [Page 43]flocking about them and admiring them almost as halfe Gods, what sayes S. Peter? Ye men of Israel, why looke ye so earnestly on us, as if by our own power or holiness, we had made this man to walke? And when upon the like occasion the men of Lystra would have honoured Paul and Barnabas for Gods, they were so far from seeking their own praise, that they did all they could to hin­der it,Act. 14.14. &c. they ran in among the people, crying out and saying, Sirs, why do you these things? we also are men of like passions with you, &c. And when some magnifying Paul, and some Apollo, and some Cephas, cal­ling themselves after their great Masters, I am of Paul, &c. how doth Paul take up all pride that might arise thereupon?1 Cor. 3.5. who is Paul, and who is Apollo, but ministers by whom ye believed? And we preach. not our selves, 2 Cor. 4.5. but Christ Jesus the Lord, and our selves your servants for Christs suke. If therefore that of our Saviours be true,John 7.18. He that speaketh of himselfe, seeketh his own [Page 44]glory; but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him; then they seeking not their own glory, when it was offered them, but anothers that sent them, it must needs be that they speake not of themselves, but acted by his spirit that sent them.

So for profit, how sincerely they preached the Gospel without per­verse aime that way? Their hungry bellyes, oftentimes in hunger and thirst, (which was not voluntary ab­stinence, for that is meant after­wards, in fastings often; 2 Cor. 11.27.) Their cold backs, in cold and nakedness; Their purse penniless,Act. 3.6. silver and gold have I none: these show what a little gain they made of the Gospel. Paul would never have writ for a cloake as far as from Rome to Troas, four hun­dred miles, if, poor man, he had had that variety, or his converts had been so franke unto him, as to have furnished him with money to have bought a new one; he made but a little harvest of the Gospel, that was glad to write for an old cloake 400 [Page 45]miles to hap him against winter. The cloak that I left at Troas with Car­pus, 2 Tim. 4.13. bring with thee. And that it was for happing to his back against the cold winter, you may gather from that which followeth; do thy dili­gence to come before winter; verse 21. verily this argument if any other, that the Appostles should with that sincerity preach the Gospel, all praise and all profit set aside, this helps to confirme the truth of the Gospel, if any other, that they should take such infinite pains in that harvest (send forth La­bourers into thine harvest) and aime at no harvest at all thereby for them­selves in the world.Mat. 9.38. And therefore not without good reason does St. Paul so often stand upon this thing,Act. 20.33 1 Cor. 4.11. and 9.3. 2 Cor. 11.10. and 12.14. 1 Thes. 2.5. to stablish his converts in the truth of the Gospel which he preached, Neither at any time used we flatte­ring words: Who is there even a­mong you, that would shut the door for nought? But what a deal of pains tooke they for nought? or rather they knew well enough whom they trusted, and who it was that said, [Page 46] lift up your eyes and looke on the fields, for they are white already to harvest, He that reapeth, recei­veth wages. John 4.36 They would never have sweat so in this harvest and so little wages here, but that they knew of those other wages.

Fifthly, The grace of extraordi­nary patience, whence also could they have it, but from the power of the Holy Ghost? who were they, and what were their bodyes? was their strength the strength of stones, and their flesh of brasse,Job. 6.12. that they should be able to hold out against hunger and thirst, against cold and nakedness, stripes and imprison­ments, &c? was their Souls not like other mens, but heavenly spirits sheathed in earthly bodyes, that they should not be overcome; no not much affected with all the op­probries, reproaches, ignominies that the world could cast upon them; that all the paine, and all the shame the world could put them to, they should still continue as strong, as steddy as anvills unstirred, [Page 47]unmoved for all the blows? What can this be but the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon them? if so many strong men with Iron hammers should let drive at a piece of glass, or earthen vessel, and not be able to breake it, all men would say, it were an enchanted glass or vessel; how many let drive at those earthen vessels, the humane natures of the Apostles, with such bats and blows as would almost have broken steele and adamant? That therefore these earthen vessels were not broken with all these blows, what should be the reason, but onely that they were enchanted, enchanted with that power of the Holy Ghost com­ing upon them, that made their frail natures hold out so against dint of stroke of all persecutions? I will turn aside (saith Moses) and see this great sight, why the bush burnes with fire and consumeth not; Exo. 3.3. that was a strange thing to his con­ceit; so a strange thing it must needs be to any ones consideration, that the Apostles, who for their fraile [Page 48]humane natures were nothing but bushes, and brushwood, and com­bustiblest stuffe that could be, strange that they should continue in the fire, the fire of tribulation, and consume not, burne not, yeeld not; but as though their bodies were burnish't brasse, shine onely the brighter for the fire; surely what can be the reason, but onely because as the Lord was in the bush, and so it consumed not, so the Lord was in these bushes, these weak Apostles, and they consumed not?

In the third of Daniel, the Prin­ces, Governours, Captains, and the Kings Councellours, all flocked to­gether, to see those men upon whose bodies the fire had no power; they thought that a wonder; surely I know not whether it be a greater wonder, that the bodies of the Apostles, flesh and blood like other men,1 Peter 1.4. that fiery tryall whereof St. Peter speakes should have no power upon them, should not drive them to impatience, not to desist or de­sert their Evangelical callings, but [Page 49]hold out 20, 30, 40 years together, unto the death, and in death: Mo­ses was a godly Saint, and yet dri­ven to a little impatience, that he was weary of his calling through the vexful behaviour of the Jews; If thou deale thus with me, Numb. 11.15. kill me I pray thee out of hand. Elias was a godly Saint, yet driven to a little impatience, when the storme fell so fierce upon him; It is enough, now, O Lord, take away my life, 1 Kings 19.4. for I am not better then my fathers: Job was a Saint, who like him? and yet driven to a great deale of impa­tience; when he opened his mouth and cursed his day, Let the day pe­rish wherein I was borne, &c.Job. 3. for a whole Chapter together. But where do we ever read that all the afflictions the world could heap upon them, put the Apostles into any impatience, or that their spirits were any whit broken, or their hearts dejected with them? nay it broke their hearts when others pi­tyed them, and would have had them favoured themselves in Christs [Page 50]sufferings; What meane you to weep and breake my heart? Act. 21.13 Act. 20.22.24. for I am rea­dy not onely to be bound, but also to dye, &c. And now behold I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem; But none of these things move me, neither count I my life deare unto my selfe, &c. And I take pleasure in infir­mites, &c.2 Cor. 12.10. whence could they have this patience, nay this joy in all their tribulations, but from the power of the Holy Ghost? And therefore I marvell not that St. Paul should so often urge this for an evident proofe of the truth of his ministry, his Apostleship, his Gos­pel that he preached, namely his patience and indefatigable enduring of all misery and all affliction for the Gospels sake;2 Cor. 6.4. and 11.23 &c. Gal. 6.17. Col. 4.18. 2 Cor. 4.7. and 10. In all things appro­ving our selves as the Ministers of God, in much patience, &c. And from henceforth let no man trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus; And Remember my bonds. Well, I will conclude this with his reasoning, we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the [Page 51]excellency of the power may be of God and not of us; alwayes bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Je­sus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. That it may appeare that Jesus Christ is alive indeed, by giving such strength and power to such a frail creature as Paul otherwise of himselfe was; for that it is not to be understood of the life of glory to be manifested afterwards in the body, but so as it is already expounded, the drift and circumstances shew. That the ex­cellency of the power, &c. in our mortall body, &c. and because in the fourteenth verse he proceeds there to that sense.

Sixthly, Grace of tenderest love and affection to the Salvation (if they could) of the whole world, to the Salvation of those they never saw nor heard of before; to the Salvation of those that it cost them many a long tedious journey to come into them; to the Salvation of those, that when they came a­mong them, gave them but cold [Page 52]entertainment, even sought their death that came to bring them the word of life; such love, whence could they have it, but from this power of the Holy Ghost? Consi­der but how cold and back-ward men are in this business, to build up one another, even neighbour his neighbour, and friend his freind in their Salvations; and say if these men must not needs have been acted and moved with something in them more then flesh and blood, that made them so zealous and earnest for the Salvation of the whole world, of the unknowne world, the remote world, the injurious world, that sought their deaths as much as they did their lives:

Take a scantling of this their earnest zeale and love to every Souls Salvation in St. Paul;

First, In St. Pauls sollicitous care and feare; nothing so full of care and feare for anothers good as love; None so loving therefore as St. Paul, that had such cares, and fears, and jealousies in his heart as [Page 53]touching others Salvations;2 Cor. 7.5. Without were fightings, within were fears: Within fears, namely, lest by some means men should be tempted and drawne away again from the faith:Gal. 4.19. 2 Cor. 11.2. and 28. Col. 2.1. And I am jealous over you with a godly jealousie; And besides those things that are without, that which cometh upon me dayly, 1 Thes. 3.1. the care of all the Churches. And I wish you knew what great conflict, namely of feare and care, I have for you; And for this cause when I could no longer forbeare, namely for care and fear about you:

Secondly, See it in St. Pauls wise and studious diligence, by art and by industry,1 Col. 28. striving if he could to win every Soul; Though I be free from all men, yet have I made my self ser­vant to all, 1 Cor. 9.19. that I might gain the more; that we may present every man perfect. &c. Nothing so painfull and devicefull of any course to speede as love.

Thirdly, See it in St. Pauls ear­nest obtestations and entreaties that men would regard themselves, and that which makes for their own Sal­vations; [Page 54]no so humble a supplicant as true love: the tender mother would beg it on her knees at her sons hand, that he would reclaime, and know his own good: so St. Paul most humbly beseeches all, that they would know their own good, know the things that belong unto their own peace; Now then we are Embassadors in Christ; 2 Cor. 5.20. and 2.6. we pray you in Christs stead be ye recon­ciled to God; And we then as workers together with him, beseech you also, that ye receive not the grace of God in vaine. 2 Cor. 10.1. And Now I Paul my self beseech you by the meekness, &c. and gentleness of Christ, &c.

To name one place more for all; If there be therefore any Consolation in Christ, Phil. 2.1. if any comfort of love, &c. what would beg so hard for no o­ther boone, but onely that men would know the things that belong to their own peace; but onely Love?

Fourthly, See it in St. Pauls a­bundant thanks and prayers for those whom God hath vouchsafed [Page 55]to call unto the participation of his heavenly truth: It is no small mea­sure of love that makes him so sensi­ble of others eternall good: others that what were they to him, but onely that they were the Sons of Adam; so sensible as to be so abun­dant in thanks to God for that blessing unto them, and in prayers to God for the continuance of it. Most of his Epistles begin with these thanks and prayers; First,Rom. 1.8. 1 Cor. 1.4. Ephes. 1.15. Phil. 1.3. Col. 1.3. 1 Thes. 1.2. I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken thorow­out the world; And I thanke my God alwayes on your behalfe for the grace of God which is given by Jesus Christ.

Fifthly, See it in St. Pauls grie­ved spirit when at any time men de­clined and went backward in the way of grace; Out of much affli­ction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; And who is weake, and I am not weake? 2 Cor. 2.4. who is offended, and I burn not? 2 Cor. 11.29. And I feare lest when I come among you, my God shall humble me among you, [Page 56]and that I shall bewaile many that have sinned already. 2 Cor. 12.21.

Sixthly, See it in St. Pauls re­comforted and revived spirit again at the good news of the mens thri­ving and prospering in the way of grace;2 Cor. 7.4. I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyfull in all our tri­bulation; And,1 Thes. 3.7. When Timotheus came from you, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and di­stresse by your faith. And so St. John, 3 John 4. I have no greater joy then to heare that my children walke in truth.

Seventhly, See it in St. Pauls un­mercenariness so far that he is wil­ling, yea glad, very glad to spend and to be spent for mens Salvations, yea, those that the more abundantly he loves them, the lesse perhaps he may be beloved again; I seeke not yours but you; And, I will very gladly spend (my wordly means if I had any) and be spent (quite exhaust forth strength and spirits in laborious endeavours) for you. 2 Cor. 12.15.

Eighthly, See it in St. Pauls wil­lingness, [Page 57]not thus to spend goods, and strength, and spirits, but even life it selfe for mens Salvations, being affectionately desirous of you; 1 Thes. 2.8. and in the second to the Philip­pians, Phil. 2.17. he raiseth this willingness to dy for others Salvations into a joy to dy for them: Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and re­joyce with you all.

Ninthly, See it in St. Pauls wil­lingness not onely to dy for mens Salvations, but to be withheld for a while from fellowship with Christ in his glory, for the furtherance of others in their Salvations;Phil. 1.23. 24. and 25. I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ which is far better, nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needfull for you, &c. He must needs love much that ha­ving been in the third Heavens, and having had so many revelations of Christ, yet makes it a strait and a hard choice, whether to chuse, whether to be with Christ in blisse, or with poor lost men in misery [Page 58]for hope of his Salvation.

Tenthly, See it in St. Pauls wil­lingness not onely to be withheld a while from the fellowship of Christ in his glory, but to be accursed for ever from this fellowship of Christ in his glory; for that is his meaning, to be accursed from the fruition of his glory, not of his love. I say the truth in Christ, Rom. 9. [...], 2, 3. I lye n [...]t, my con­science also bearing me witnesse in the holy Ghost, That I have great heavinesse, and continuall sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that my self were accursed from Christ, for my brethren, my kinsmen accor­ding to the flesh. How serious and unfained, how ponderous and weighty his wish is, that it must needs be no lesse then his eternall perishing from Christ for their Sal­vations, his so solemne and sacred attestations and protestations show, I say the truth, I lye not, &c.

Whence now (thinke you) could St. Paul have this grace of tender­est love and affection to others Sal­vation, discovering it self in his such [Page 59]sollicitous holy care and feare about them, in his so studious diligence to edify (by all means that he could devise) every Soul in the way of Salvation, &c? Whence but onely from the power of the holy Ghost?

And now by this time, if you consider all these; the grace of ex­traordinary boldness, of extraordi­nary promptness of speech and wis­dome, &c. that showed themselves in the Apostles and first preachers of the Gospel, you may know why the Apostle should say, I would that yee knew what great conflict I have for you, Col. 2.1. and for them of Laodi­cea, and for as many as have not seene my face in the flesh; Why for as many as had not seene his face in the flesh? Why? because they that by Pauls corporall presence among them, had but experience of his holy boldness in the Lord, of his promtpness of speech and wisdome in the Lord, of his unspeakeable pains and diligence in the Lord, &c. they that thus saw his face in the flesh, knew all his heavenly carriage [Page 60]and consolation in the Lord, and in the word of his truth; they could not but be exceedingly perswaded of the certainty thereof; so full of arguments was St. Pauls face, his bodily presence and conversation in the Lord, to perswade unto the certaine beliefe of the Gospel which he preached. And hereupon it is from these arguments in his face especially that he saith; If our Gospel be hid, 1 Cor. 4.3. it is hid to them that perish; and that at his time of de­parture out of the world, he remem­bers Timothy of these arguments especially in his face, But thou hast fully knowne my doctrine, manner of life; 2 Tim. 3.10.14. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; viz. of him that hath made them good by so many good arguments in his face. O that our people could but see thus arguments in our faces to confirme them in the truth of the Gospel. But alas, our faces, our faces are the confusion rather and confutation of the Gospel, then the [Page 61]confirmation of it; rather enough to make infidels then converts; ra­ther enough to offend the strong, then to strengthen the weak. If the Gospel were now to be planted a­gain, all the miracles in the world (I think) would not make it take, while our moralls are that they are. A miracle may strike a little won­derment at first; but good morality it sinkes, it soakes to the heart; per­versness may fay, a miracle is from the Divel; but who can say that good morality is from the Divel? I meane, Universall good morality; for otherwise the Divel and his do­ctrine may have a shred of morali­ty, a little good morality neare the list, but he is never good thorowout the whole cloath as 'twere, the whole body of morality;Chrys. in 1 Cor. Hom. 3. and 6. but feele him a lit­tle farther neere the rig, and you shal see the Divell to be the Divell for all his good morality near the list.

2 Secondly, whence had the A­postles that extraordinory grace of confirming their doctrine by mira­cles, but from the power of the holy [Page 62]Ghost coming upon them? 'tis true indeed, that the Divell and his Disciple the magician may goe far in doing things that mans reason would wonder at, else would not God have said; If there arise a Prophet, and give you a signe or a wonder. Deut. 13.1. Nor would our Saviour have said of the false Christs, and false Prophets; that they should do such great signes and wonders, that if it were possible they shall de­ceive the very elect. Matt. 24.24. Nor St. Paul of Antichrist, that his coming should be with all powers, and signes, and lying wonders. 2 Thes. 2.9. Nor St. John of the same, that out of his mouth proceeded three uncleane spirits like frogs, which should be the spirits of Divels workings miracles. Rev. 16.13, 14. But yet though they may goe far, yet they cannot possibly reach to the height of mira­cles that our Saviour and his Disci­ples did; else would not our Sa­viour have said, Go, and show John the things you see and heare; Act. 2.22. the Blind reccive their sight, the lame walke, Mat. 11.5. &c. And, I have a greater [Page 63]witnesse then that of John, the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same beare witnesse of me; John 5.36. And, If I do not the work of my Fa­ther believe me not. And,John 10.37. believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; John 14.11, or else believe me for the very works sake. And, If I had not done among them the wirks which none other did, John 15.24. they had not had sin, &c. Nor would the Evan­gelist have said of the miracles of the Apostles, that they went forth and preached every where, the Lord, working with them and confirming the word with signes following; In my name shall they cast out Di­vels, Mark 16.17. &c. Nor St. Luke, that with great power gave the Apostles wit­nesse of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Act. 4.33. These things would not have been said of the miracles of our Saviour and his Disciples, if the Divell and his Disciple the Magician could have done as much; it had been very vaine, nay very dange­rous too for our Saviour, and his Disciples to have proved their Do­ctrine [Page 64]by no other means then which a deceiver by the help of a Divell might prove his false Do­ctrine by, and therefore some spe­cialness there was in the miracles which our Saviour and his Disciples did, over and above what the Magi­cian or the greatest Beelzebub of all could do, as it is well observed, God wrought speciall miracles by the hands of Paul; Act. 19.11. [...]. not ordinary ones, such as Mount-Bank-Magicians or Mount-Bank Divels could do.

And that there was such special­ness in them,

Consider, First, from the nature of the things, because all the Divels wonders are but delusions and jug­glements, making things appeare which are not, by corrupting some­times the imagination, sometimes the sense, sometimes the aire, some­times the object; or else if they be realities, true things such as they seeme, then they are not above the pitch of nature, but either the Di­vels sleight of hand onely, suddenly through the agility that is in him to [Page 65]bring or remove off the stage a thing that had the being elsewhere before, as he might doe with the frogs and serpents before Pharaoh; or else they are done by the secret qualities of nature, the Divell know­ing better the secret qualities and operations of all simples then man does, and being nimbler of the sud­den to lay the simples together then man can be, and so that which in­deed nature works, seemes above nature to us, because we see not the plaine and usuall course of nature effecting it; and thus the Divell may raise stormes, and do some petty cures, &c. But the right miracles, such as Christ and his Apostles wrought, surpassed all created power of nature bodily or Ghostly, so that no creature corporall or in­corporall could have done them either simply not at all, as raising of the dead, or curing some kind of incurable infirmities; or else not in an instant so, as the curing of some kind of infirmities curable perhaps in nature, with use of so­veraigne [Page 66]simples, but yet not in an instant, till the simples have time to work; whereas our Saviour and his Disciples cured with a word in an instant. I will for example sake name two miracles, one of our Sa­viours, another of his Apostles, that it shall be plaine, that neither they were any deceit but truly done, nor could be done by any art Magick of the Divels.

That of our Saviours shall be the curing of the blind man,John 9. which is plaine, that it was no imposture or deceit, but a thing truly done, by the accurate search of the Pharisees into it, who would not beleive it, till they examined it throughly, cal­ling and conjuring the parents about him; Is this your son whom ye say was borne blind? verse 19.20. and they answered, wee know that this is our son, and that he was borne blind: it was no deceit therefore, neither could it be done by any art Magick, but God must needs have a hand in it; This the very Pharisees confesse; First, in their division, how can a man [Page 67]that is a sinner do such miracles? Secondly, joyntly, when they say, Give God the praise, &c. Again, the man that was cured was bold to say before them all, contradict him who could, Since the world began was it not heard, John 10.20.21. that any man opened the eyes of one that was borne blind Again, the Jews when they were di­vided, some said that he had a Di­vell, but other replyed, Can a Di­vell open the eyes of the blind?

The example of the Apostles shall be that of their curing the lame man; And first,Act. 3. that it was not a deceit, but a thing truly done, there­fore sayes the text,verse 10. They knew it was he that sate for Alms at the beautifull gate of the Temple; Nay, he was laid dayly, that the very bearers that brought him could wit­nesse assuredly that it was he, and at a publick place the gate of the Tem­ple; nay the beautifull gate, where most company came: no deceit therefore but a thing truly done, nor nothing could do it but a power Divine, therefore doth the spirit [Page 68]of God set out all circumstances, of the lameness, of the cure, of the peo­ples behaviour upon the cure; Of the lameness, that he was lame from his mothers wombe, so lame that he could not so much as help him­self a whit with crutch, but he must even plainly be carryed; so lame that his lameness continued forty years together: Of the cure, that it was meerly by a word, In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walke; that it was im­mediately, and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength; perfectly, and he leaping up, stood and walked, &c. Of the peoples behaviour after, that it was so great a miracle, that they were fil­led with wonder and amazement, that they ran all together unto them, that as it is, Act. 4.21. all men glorified God for that which was done; they could not imagine that it could be any thing else but Gods own work; yea, so pregnant were all circumstances, that it was a thing truly done, and supernaturally done; [Page 69]that the councell casting their heads together, could not cavill at these two points;Act. 4.16. what shall we do to these men, for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them, &c? No question therefore our Saviours and his Disciples miracles had some specialness in them, else having such enemies to pry and enquire into them, they would easily have been cavill'd against and cryed down, ei­ther as nothing but fraud, or no­thing but Magick; as they the mi­racle-mongers now a dayes in Italy are not so busy to forge a miracle, as the Jew that lives among them is to find out their forgery, that either it is nothing but fraud, or nothing but Magick; I take it for granted therefore, that all the Divels in Hell could not have done the miracles.

Secondly,Mat. 11.5. Act. 5.12. and 9.33. and 14.8. and 19.11. that there was some specialness in them above all Ma­gick, consider from the prevailing with those that had been exceeding­ly bewitched with all Magick before; surely they plainly saw some spe­cialness in them above their former [Page 70]Magick, else they would not by these miracles have left it and come off to the Apostles. Samaria was a City exceedingly bewitched with the sorceryes of Simon-Magus, and that a long time, and that from the least to the greatest of them, and that in such a manner that they said of him; This man is the great power of God; And yet this so bewitched a City at the hearing and seeing the miracles that Philip did, so far were they beyond all the sorceryes of Si­mon-Magus, were converted unto the faith; Nay the great wonder-worker himself, Simon-Magus won­der'd (sayes the text) beholding the miracles and signes which were done, Act. 8.18. and himself became, or seemed to become a convert; he saw that Phi­lips miracles were far beyond all his Mount-bank trikes; his were mar­vells or farlayes for fooles, but Phi­lips were miracles, miracles indeed.

Thirdly, that there was some specialness in them above Magick, consider from the victory over the Magicians themselves; There was [Page 71]a famous Sorcerer called Elymas, Act. 13. i. e. a sorcerer for his notableness that way: Now this Elymas had tampered with Sergius Paulus the Deputy of the Country, and when the Deputy sent for Paul and Bar­nabas, this Sorcerer withstood them (namely as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses by his sorceryes) and sought to turn the Deputy from the faith; 2 Timot. 3.8. but what sayes Paul? O full of all subtility and all mis­cheife, thou child of the Divell, &c. cutting words, not fearing his sor­ceryes a whit, you see; and now be­hold the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, &c. a strange effect following; Imme­diately he was blind, stark blind, so that be sought for some to lead him by the hand. Pauls setting his eyes onely on him made the great sorce­rer lose his eyes, all his sorcery could not withstand a looke of Pauls eyes, so strange was the foile of this sorcerer seeking to them, that the Deputy when he saw what was done, believed. Was there not [Page 72]therefore some specialness in the power that the Apostles had, above the power of the Magician? when such an Arch-magician was so foiled, foiled to the striking of himself stark blind; this was like the foile of Pha­raoks Magicians by Moses; striking the Magicians themselvs with bolls; they could not save their own skins,Exo. 9.11. the boile was upon the Magi­cians, and upon all the Magicians; a thing purposely noted.

Fourthly, That there was some specialness in them as not done by any Magick, consider from the de­stroying every where by them the Kingdome of the Divels; the Di­vell should not have helped to have over-throwne utterly his own king­dome by his own wonders; More­over how should they be done by Magick, that every where where they came made all Magick be cast away; as they that were converted by Pauls preaching and speciall miracles,Act. 19.19. there spoken of, presently cashiered their Magick? They that used curious arts (Magick and the [Page 73]like) they brought their bookes toge­ther, and burned, them before all men.

Fifthly, For the Apostles mira­cles that there was some specialness in them, and not done by Magick, Consider from the holiness of the doctrine not a little; The Divell would never have confirmed such a pure and holy and heavenly Do­ctrine with his wonders, his works; the impiety, filthiness, villany which Story showes they required in their very work proves this; their very work being performed so much the more devoutly, Tantò devotiùs quantò turpiùs, Aug. of Floras de Civitat. 2.27. and 4. by how much the more filthily. And that also of Austin, shewes, asking the Gentiles why their Gods did not publikely per­swade unto life and good manners, inspiring and appointing Prophets, and teachers for the same, but wholly neglected that?Ibidem. 2.6 or if they gave rules of good life, it was but to some few speciall ones in their private (Adytis) Cabinets, but let all vil­lany be uncontrouled publikely; They did the one, that the more honest [Page 74]who are but few might be ensnared; Illud, ut honestiores qui pauci sunt, ca­piantur; hoc, ne plu­res qui sunt turpissimi corrigian­tur. Ibid. 2.26. and the other, that the most, who are dishonest, might not be reformed. The Apostles miracles therefore were not done in the Divels name, the holiness of their Doctrine showes; when some said of our Sa­viour that he had a Divell, it was well answered, These are not the words of him that hath a Divell. These, such holy and heavenly words that he had spoken hard be­fore, John 10. So if any should say, that the Apostles had Divels, & did the miracles they did in their names; read their words and their writings, and are these the words of them that have Divels, words of such holiness, such heavenlyness, such universall compleat goodness? the Divell indeed and his Doctrine may have a shred of goodness, a little good morality neare the list, &c. but thorowout from list to list, how good and just and holy is the Apostles Doctrine? Give me but such a Saint as the Apostles re­quire by their Doctrine, and let [Page 75]malice and envy pick a hole if it can.

Sixthly, that the Apostles mira­cles had some specialness in them, and were not magicall; Consider from this, that they were not won­ders onely, but mercies; as curing the sick, restoring sight to the blind &c. Whereas things done by Magick commonely had nothing in them, but a little admiration, no mercy; as for Attilius to cut a whet-stone a funder with a rasor; for a vestal virgin to draw water in a sive; for another to pull a ship up Tyber with her girdle when with Cables all the company besides could not make her stir; for Ma­homet to make the moon seeme to come in at his sleeve, &c. Such wonderments, toyish wonderments does the Divell ordinarely work; but where are his mercies, his curing the sick, &c? indeed sometimes he cures some sick,Postquam definunt laedere, & curasse cre­duntur; Tert. Apol. but it is but una ea­demque manus, &c. but healing where he hurt; when they cease to hurt, they are thought to heale: [Page 76]as if I should ease, by pulling away the pin that I thrust into another sides; it is but thus healing where he hurt; or else in some lesser dis­eases perhaps that are within his skill, healing sometimes that he may hurt; wounding the Soul to the heart, through healing the ripled skin of the body. And thus it ap­pears that the miracles of the Apo­stles had some specialness in them, and were done by no other Magick, then that of our Saviours, Yet shall receive power of the holy Ghost, &c. And if so, then that our Saviour is not in the grave, but risen indeed, that could send this power of the holy Ghost upon them.

I will end this point with St. Au­stin; If any say that these speciall miracles were not indeed wrought by the Apostles to confirme Christs Resurrection and ascension;Hoc nobis unum gran­de miracu­lum sufficit, quòd ea terrarum orbis sine ullis mira­culis credi­dit. This one great miracle sufficeth us, that the world believed these things without miracles; There are these incredible things sayes he; One, that Christ is risen from the dead, and [Page 77]ascended bodily into heaven: Ano­ther, that the world should have believed so incredible a thing; A third, incrediblest of all, that a few silly obscure meane fellows should perswade the world to this beliefe: either therefore they wrought some speciall miracles to perswade the world thereunto,Et Eloquia persuaden­tium mira fuerunt fa­cta non verba. (and their per­swasive arguments were wondrous works, not words) or else this is the miracle of all miracles, that the world should believe those few silly men without miracles.De civitat. 22.7. Quisquis ergo adhuc prodigia ut credat in­quirit, magnum est ipse prodigium qui mundo credente non credit: 22.8. John 3.2. and 12.37; Aug. de Civit. Dei: 21.6. Vide quandam auream catenam apud Chrys. in 1 Cor. Hom. 7. Whosoever therefore doth yet require miracles, that he may believe, he not belie­ving, when the world believeth, is himself a great miracle.

3 Thirdly, Whence had the Apo­stles that extraordinary grace of such happy successe in their preach­ing, in so short a time to draw al­most [Page 78]the world after them, to bring all to their lure, to make all dance after their pipe, whence but from this power of the holy Ghost com­ing on them, and making their words to be very charms unto the people? verily, verily, sayes our Saviour to his Disciples; he that believeth on me, John 14. the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works then these; now what are these grea­ter works? Our Saviour he cured all diseases, and cast out Divils, he raised the dead; what greater works did the Apostles? yes, the conversion of the world, and the subversion every where of his King­dome that is called the Prince of the world, were greater works; a farre greater work to raise up the dead world, then one dead Lazarus; Lazarus had been four dayes in the grave, and was ready to stinke, the world had stunke many and many years together in the grave of all Idolatries, impieties, lusts, wicked­nesses, &c. a farre greater work to cast out Satan every where out of [Page 79]his Temples, out of his worship, out of the hearts of men that every where he possessed, then out of the bodies of a few Corporally posses­sed; whence therefore could the Apostles do these greater works, but from the power of the holy Ghost, from the reason rendred in that text, because I go unto my Futher. &c. because I cannot be deteyned in the grave▪ but rise again to have all power given me both in Heaven and in earth?

Now consider with me from some particulars, the greatness of his worke; by twelve men such as they were, to convert a World such as it was, to embrace a Doctrine such as they preached; Consider the greatness of this work, and then say my text is proved, But now is Christ-risen from the dead, else this work could never have taken, that such a doctrine, to such a world, by such twelve men should have been effectually preached.

I First, such a Doctrine, a Doctrine that might have offended, as a new [Page 80]Doctrine, an incredible Doctrine, a Doctrine too high for the world wallowing in flesh and blood, a Doctrine bringing the crosse and persecution after it, a Doctrine that for the enduring the crosse, and for the crucifying their flesh and blood gave no present promises; but the promises to envite unto the Gospel, were future and in another world; a Doctrine that might have offen­ded thus many wayes.

First, as a new Doctrine, that should have overturned all their old Religion: no more the same rites, the same Ceremonies, the same Al­tars, the same Temples, the same Gods that they and their predeces­sors had so long time worshipped, but all must be cashierd, and a new upstart tother-day Religion about one Jesus of Nazareth, never heard of before, forsooth, must come in the roome; away with such new Doctrine. Novelty, that in other things is pleasing to the nature of man, is odious in Religion. The Divell knowes what he does when [Page 81]he seekes to cast upon us by our ad­versaryes the aspersion of novelty, of a new Gospel and new Gospel­lers, new Bibles and new every thing; even the very old cobwebs in the Temple are sacred, and super­stition is loth to have them brushed down, though they have venemous spiders in them, and webs of lawne might be hung in their roome; so odious is Novelty in Religion, and therefore first it might have offen­ded as a new Doctrine.

Secondly, as an incredible Do­ctrine; what credibleness that life and Salvation should be preached in the name of a pretended God, borne but of a poor Jewish woman, brought up like a poor Carpenters son, crucified like a wicked malefa­ctor, dead and buried like a weake man, and affirmed by almost the whole nation of the Jews to be yet under the power of death, when as but two or three obscure fishermen and the like talke of his Resurre­ction? What credibleness in this Doctrine? Is it credible that he [Page 82]that was so borne, so bred, so cruci­fied, so dead and buried; and no talke but by a few obscure Gali­laeans of his Resurrection, that he should be the onely God blessed for ever, principalities, and powers, and thrones, and dominions, and all the renowned Gods up and down the world, that our Fathers and our Preists and our Prophets have told us such strange things of should be made subject to him? Nay, is it credible that he that was this great God would be so borne, so bred, so crucified, would so dye and be bu­ried? that majesty would be cloa­thed with such vileness, that power and omnipotency would dwell with such weakness, that life and immor­tality would embrace and shake hands with death and the grave? So incredible is this Doctrine, that all the cheife heresies of old were either against the true Divinity of our Saviour, as the Arians, Photi­nians, &c. or the true humanity, as the Simonians, Manichees, Marcio­nites, &c. or the true union of Divi­nity [Page 83]and humanity into one person, as the Nestorians, Eutychians, &c. so unworthy thought they it was, that the great God in one and the same person should become man; or so overworthy that meane man should in one and the same person become God: so that you may know our Saviour had good reason to say of Peters confession,Mat. 16.17. whom do men say that I the son of man am? Quodcun­que Deo in­dignum est, mihi expe­dit, &c. Natus est, Dei Filius, non pudet quia puden­dum est; & moriuus est Dei Fi­lius, prorsus credibile est quia inep­tum est; & sepultus resurrexit, certum est, quia impos­sibile est. Tert. de Carne Christi. Thou art Christ the son of the living God; This is such high Philoso­phy, that he that was the son of man, he the same should be the son of the living God; that our Saviour might well say, Flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee. And this, that Christ crucified should be the Saviour of the world; that Paul might well say, we preach Christ crucified unto the Jews a stumbling blocke; and unto the Greeks foolish­nes. Whatsoever seemes unworthy of God, is for me expedient, &c. the son of God is borne, I am not ashamed of it, because it seemes a thing not to be ashamed of; and the son of God [Page 84]dyed, this is altogether credible, be­cause it seemes absurd; and after he was buried, he rose again, this is certaine, because it seemes impossible.

And therefore, Secondly, it might have offended as an incredi­ble Doctrine, incredible that he that seemed to be but a poore weake crucified man, should be the great God and Saviour of all; or as in­credible that he that was this great God and Saviour of all, would be a poore weake crucified man.

Thirdly, As a Doctrine too high for the world to embrace, wallow­ing in flesh and blood; what high Doctrine was it to teach the proud world, the humility of Christ Jesus? the uncharitable world the love of their very enemies? the unchast world the restraint even of an unchast looke? the revengefull world, not to resist evill, but ra­ther if one smite him on the right cheeke, to turn to him the left also? The sturdy stomackfull world to seeke reconcilement with ones bro­ther? the gripple pinch-penny [Page 85]world to be liberall in almes? the covetous carking world not to lay up treasures on earth, not to be thoughtfull about to morrow, but let to morrow take thought for it selfe? in a word, the profane disso­lute world to tuck up their loyns of their mind, and to be sober, and walke unto a precise circumspect walking in all godliness and hone­sty? Say any one now, even the best here that considers from the experience of the reliques of his own corruption yet in him, what a hard thing it is for the proud spirit to be taught the humility of Christ Jesus, &c say if the doctrine of the Gospel might not well have offended, as a Doctrine too high for the world, &c.

Fourthly, As a Doctrine bring­ing still the crosse and persecution with it. No sooner was any con­verted to the Gospel, but presently blows flew thick about his ears, and the Divell raised up a storme of per­secution against him, even a mans enemies proved they of his own houshold, the father betraying the [Page 86]son to death, &c. so insepara­ble an attendant of the Gospel in the primitive times was the crosse and persecution, that the Apostles still where they preached the Gos­pel, preached the Doctrine also of enduring tribulation; So Paul and Barnabas went through Lystra, Ice­nium and Antioch. confirming the Souls of the Disciples and exhor­ting them to continue in the faith. And that wee must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God: Act. 14.22. So your selves know that wee are appointed thereunto, to endure af­flictions, for verily when we were with you, we told you before, that we should suffer tribulation, even as it came to passe; 1 Thes. 3.3, 4. 2 Tim. 3.12. So all that will live godly in the world, shall suffer perse­cution: Say therefore, they that con­sider what the wisdom of the flesh is, namely, to thinke it good sleep­ing in a whole skin, good hearkning to S. Peters Counsell to our Saviour, telling how many things he should suffer at Jerusalem, and there be kil­led, &c. Spare thy self, [...]. let not these [Page 87]and these things befall thee.Matt. 16.22. Say if the Doctrine of the Gospel might not also have offended, as a Do­ctirne bringing the crosse with it.

Fifthly, As a Doctrine that invited to all that hard matter, and hard task of the crosse, by no other promises then future of another world; it should cost them here, if they would be right Christians, the denying of themselves, the mortifying of their pleasures, their plucking out their right eyes, their cutting off their right hands and feet, &c. Moreo­ver it would cost them the enduring the crosse, the suffering shame, the going still with their lives in their hands; but reward here they should looke for none, onely believe if they would,Matt. 5.12. Matt. 19.28. Luke 14.14. Act. 3.19. great should be their reward in Heaven; great in that regeneration, great in that Resurre­ction of the just, great in those dayes of refreshing from the presence of the Lord; great in that coming of his to be glorified in his Saints and admi­red of all them that believe; 2 Thes. 1.10. Col. 3.3. your life is hid with Christ in God. But [Page 88]in the meane time they must possesse their Souls in patience, live by faith, work all things, and endure all things, as seeing him that is invisi­ble, and looking for that reward which is invisible; what a snub and hinderance thinke you was this like­ly to have been unto flesh and blood, hankering still after the pre­sent things, and loving to believe no more then it sees? what a snub and hinderance from embracing that doctrine that invited unto such high doings, and such deep suffe­rings, upon promises onely hereaf­ter and in another world? whereof they had no other assurance then that;Heb. 11.1. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seene; and therefore whence but from the power of the holy Ghost could such a doctrine of theirs as this have taken? a do­ctrine that might have offended as a new Doctrine, &c.

II Secondly, whence not onely such a doctrine, but to such a world, a world so Captiv'd under Satan, so [Page 89]corrupted in manners, so rooted and habituate in former superstitious custome, whence could such a world have been by the preaching of this doctrine, plucked out of the hands of Satan, out of the corruption of their own manners, out of the habi­tuateness of superstitious custome, but by the power of him that was risen from the dead?

First, A world so captived under Satan; how enthralled the world was to Satan before the preaching of the Gospel, besides these texts of Scripture,Act. 26.18. I send thee to the Gentiles to open their eyes and to turn them from the power of Satan unto God; And wherein in times past ye walked according to the Prince of the power of the aire; Epes. 2.2. Ephes. 6.12. And we wrestle not against flesh and blood, 1 John 5.19. [...]. but against principalities, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, &c. And we know that the whole world lyes in wickedness. Besides these and the like texts of Scripture, how en­thralled to Satan the world was, common experience showed; eve­ry [Page 90]where he had his Temples, his oracles, they were much made of, his worship nothing was too deare for it; He eat the fatt of their sa­crifices, and drunke the wine of their drinke offerings; Deut. 32.38. nay even often­times he drunke the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sa­crificed unto Divels; how thinke you now would he bestirre himselfe still to hold possession, how loath would he be to let this embondaged world that had beene his old and good servant so long, goe out of his clutches? Consider the spirituall Pharaoh by the Egyptian Pharaoh; how loath was he to let the embon­daged Israel goe? when their deli­verance was once a foot▪ he tryes all his wits and might to keep them still, he doubles their tasks, he sets over them severall taskmasters, and if they must needs goe and sacrifice to their God, let them do it in the land; or if out of the land, then let them not goe farre; or if farre, let onely them that are men, but their little ones stay behind; or if their [Page 91]little ones must needs go, yet their flocks and herds let them stay be­hind; or if all must go not a hoofe be left behind, then the Charets of Egypt must be muster'd up, and an army royall raised to pursue them at the red Sea, and seeke to bring them back again, so loath is Pharaoh to let imbondaged Israel go. How loath thinke you then the sprituall Pharaoh would be to let the im­bondaged world goe? and how would he try all his wit and his might to have some little hold of the world still? or if they would needs goe fully out of his power, then he would raise up terrible per­secution against such as were esca­ped his hands, and seeke by fire and sword to bring them back again into their old bondage; a world there­fore so captiv'd under Satan, how could it have been brought unto the obedience of the Gospel,Luke 10.18. and 11.22. 1 Cor. 12.3. but by the power of him that was risen from the dead?

Secondly, A world so corrupted in manners; how grossely corrup­ted [Page 92]in manners the world was before the gospel so sainted many of them, let these places show;1 Cor. 6.11. And such (namely fornicatours, &c.) were some of you; but ye are sanctified, &c. And you hath he quickned who were dead in trespasses and sins. Ephes. 2.1.3. Col. 3.5.7. Among whom wee had our conversation in times past. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth, fornication uncleannes, &c. in the which ye also walked sometime when ye lived in them. 1 Pet. 4.3, 4. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have Wrought the will of the Gentiles, &c. wherein they thinke it strange that you run not with them into the same excesse of riot; A world thus cor­rupted in manners, whence could it on the sudden for a great part of it have been so changed, so sainted, but from the power of him that was risen from the dead? whence could such sinks and filthy puddles have become on the sudden clear chrystall waters? whence such rot­ten stinking dunghils on the sudden become beds of spices and all sweet [Page 93]fragrant flowers? whence such pezzled, leprous, loathsome crea­tures on the sudden become so cleane and such wonders of beauty? In the last place that I cited, you have this, wherein they think it strange, &c. Strange indeed, that you that were brothers of the same wicked crue, swine wallowing in the same mire, beetles living and feeding among the same dung; strange that you should be such altered creatures on the sudden! yesterday very swills in all brutish drunkenness, to day very paterns of all sobriety; yester­day very brothellers and stews-mates, to day very samples of chasti­ty; yesterday very muck-wormes for the world; to day very Angels for heavenlyness and contempt of the world! There are some known swills in the world old in drunken­ness, some known brothellers old in whoring and adultery, some known muck-wormes old in very very muck-mungring, and meere meere worldishness, Now if one by speak­ing but two or three words to these [Page 94]in the name of God, should so alter one of these knowne swills, brothel­lers, muck-wormes, that for ever after they should be very samples of all sobriety, chastity, liberality, & Christian contempt of the world; would not all say, that surely God had a hand in it▪ and it was done by a Divine power? it is the argu­ment which saint Aug. presseth at large to prove a Divine power in planting the Gospel;Si dicitur avaris, Nolite vo­bis condere thesauros in terrâ, &c. Si dicitur luxuriosis qui semi­nant in Carne, &c. If it be said to the covetous, lay not up for your selves treasures on earth, &c. if to the luxurious, they that sow to the flesh, &c. A world therefore so cor­rupted in manners, whence could it have been reformed but from a Di­vine power?

Thirdly, A world so rooted and habituate in superstitious custemes; they and their Fathers, and their Fore-Fathers had so many years together worshipped these and these Gods they had prayed unto them in their distresses and adversi­ties, they had blessed them in their prosperities; they had deprecated [Page 95]their anger, when any judgment was upon them, famine, sword sickness; they had magnified their goodness when the judgment was removed, they had ascribed all their good and all their ill fortune unto them; they had heard strange things of their oracles and of their miracles; They had built them long agoe, for the credit and autho­rity they gat in the world, stately Temples; Offered them rich gifts, made them goodly images, &c. they saw the [...]r very Kings and great ones bowed unto them, their very Concellours and wise men worship­ed them, their very Philosophers and learnedst Clarks adored them, their priests and and religious vota­ries were exceedingly religious about them; and must they now cashiere all these? must now twelve vagrant wandring sneakes cry downe that which for so many ge­nerations together hath been held for good in the world? must they now throw down those Temples, breake down those images, destroy [Page 96]those Altars, ungod those Gods that such antiquity hath counted venerable? must a tent-maker tell them now that their great Jupiter and Mercurius are but vanities? We preach unto you that you should turn from these vanities unto the living God; Act. 14.15. Must the tent-maker teach the very Athenians their fondness about these things?Act. 17.22. Yee men of Athens, I perceive that you are too superstitious? must the world now be taught by him that an Idol is nothing in the world, 1 Cor. 8.6. and that there is but one God the Father, of whom are all things? 1 Cor. 10.20. and that that which they sacrifice to Idols, they sa­crifice to Divels? How strong and stiffe prescription and custom is in matter of Religion?Gen. 31.34. Rachels steal­ing away her Fathers images; Nay after that,Gen. 35.2. Jacobs houshold having yet strange Gods among them; Nay after that, the Israelites wor­shipping the Gods in Egypt; nay after that also, their worshipping the same Gods when by Joshua they were brought into Canaan; [...] 24.14. show [Page 97]how strong and stiffe in matter of Religion Custome is; what was that the Samaritan woman stood upon, but this?John. 4.20. Patres no­stri in hoe monte, &c. our Fathers wor­shipped in this Mountaine; What was it that they objected against Steven, but this, That he had taught that Jesus of Nazareth should change the Customes that Moses had delivered them? Act. 6.14. What was it that they accused Paul for;Act. 16.21. but this, that he taught Customes which were not lawfull for them to receive and observe being Romans, and so of another religion? Just as our adversaries say against us; that wee teach a religion that it is not lawfull for them to receive, &c. being Romans, Romish Catholikes. What was it that the shout was lifted up for the space of two hours together; but this,Act. 19.28. Great is Diana of the Ephesians? What was it that Paul said he was so exceedingly zealous about before his conver­sion; but this,Gal. 1.14. about the tradition of his Fathers? What was it that St. Peter put the converted in mindPet. 1.18. [Page 98]of;1 Cor. 12.2. But this, that they were re­deemed by the precious blood of Christ from their vaine conversation, re­ceived by tradition from their Fa­thers. If it be so hard a thing therefore to bring men out of an old Religion into a new one, and the world was so rooted and habituated in their vaine conversations receiv­ed by tradition from their Fathers; whence could a world so rooted and habituated therein, have beene brought unto the obedience of the Gospel; but by the power of him that was raised from the dead? And so in the second place, a world so captived under Satan.

Thirdly, whence not onely such a world, but by such twelve men, for number so few, but twelve men? whereas another whole world had been little enough to have sent forth, to have subdued unto their Doctrine the present world; and for condition twelve so seemingly weake and impotent, and utterly unable for such a busines whereas twelve Angels even of the highest [Page 99]order, great in authority, mighty in power, charmfull and perswasive in speech, and not such twelve weake men as the Apostles, had been little enough for the busines. Verily, he that wist not of him that was risen from the dead, and had all power given unto him in Heaven and in earth, and so had sent forth these twelve men into the world; with Ecce, ego vobiscum, Matt. 28.20. I am with you to the end of the world; would have laughed at the conceit to have seene twelve such silly men, so appointed as they were, With nothing but staves in their hands and scrips by their sides, to goe forth beginning at Jerusalem, and so on into the whole world to subdue it unto themselves; as if twelve the silliest here should have a conceit to goe to Rome to perswade there the Pope and all his Cardi­nalls, and all the Colledges of Je­suits and Schools of Doctours and Covens of so many orders to leave all of them that Religion wherein they had been bred and brought up, [Page 100]and whereout they suck no small advantage, and to returne to their opinion: or as if twelve silly sheep should have a conceit to goe to the woods full of Wolves and Tygers and Bears and Lyons to perswade them to leave off their wildness and savageness, and become tame and gentle and harmless as themselves; these twelve silly sheep, were they not more likely to be snapt up themselves between the teeth of so many wild beasts, then to do any good upon them? and these twelve silly men, were not they likely sooner to be snapt up themselves of the Romish Inquisition, then to do any good upon that confirmed ob­stinated company? That the Apo­stles therefore, twelve silly men, like so many silly sheep, were not wor­ried presently of so many Wolves, and Tygers, and Bears, and Hell-hounds, that they met with abroad in the world, but perswaded many of them to leave their wild and wolvish natures, and drew the con­firmed obstinated world out of all their old Religion to embrace their [Page 101]Doctrine; whence could it be but from the power of him that was ri­sen from the dead, from the power of him that said, Lo, I am with you, Ecce ego vobiscum. &c? Who am I, said Moses, that I should goe to Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the Children of Israel out of Egypt? Who I?Exo. 3.11. I but one, I but slow of speech and slow of tongue, I that already have offended Pharaoh, and yet more shall offend him now by this busi­ness, to make him seeke my life; who am I, &c? So, who were the Apostles? the Apostles but twelve in number, but slow of speech and slow of tongue for any eloquence, and that by that busines should provoke and offend the whole world presently to seeke their lives; who were they, that they should goe and perswade Kings and Em­perours, Oratours and Philo [...]ophers, Scribes and Pharisees, Wise and Foolish, Noble and Ignoble, bond and free Greeke and Barbarian; in a word, Parthians, Medes, Elami­tes and the inhabitants of all na­tions [Page 102]under Heaven? What were they that they should goe, and have any hope to perswade these (setled upon the Lees of their own old su­perstitions) unto the obedience of the Gospel? if twelve men (sayes Chrysostome) unskilfull of warre, naked of armes,Hom. 4 in 1 Cor. weake in body, should set upon a huge army of tall souldiers well appointed, and run­ing with their naked bodies in the thick of them, should deale their blows so fast, and so bestirre them, that they should kill some, wound others, lead others away Captive, vanquish all, and them­selves receive no harme, would not all say that this were a work Di­vine? What were the twelve silly Apostles but these twelve men un­skilfull of warre, &c? what was the whole world but a huge, huge army of tall souldiers well appointed a­gainst them? what was the run­ning of those twelve men with naked bodies into the midst of the army, but the venturing of the A­postles upon the pikes point in the [Page 103]midst of the world up in arms against them? what was the bestirring themselves so of those twelve men, killing some, &c. but the bestirring themselves so of the twelve Apostles in the world, as to subdue a great part of it upon the field, and to foile all the rest, that they could not withstand them? what was the receiving no harm of those twelve themselves in the midst of all that garboile, but the conti­nuing of the Apostles so long unde­stroyed amidst all the uproare and garboile of the world against them? Having obtained help of God, I con­tinue unto this day (continue in spite of all the worlds being in an up­roare against me) witnessing both to small and great, &c. And,Act. 26.22. We have this treasure in earthen vessels, 2 Cor. 4. that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. What was the Apostles subduing the world and casting downe every high thing that exalted it self against the knowledge of God, but the silly Rams horns making the high walls [Page 104]of Jericho fall downe flat!Joshua. 6.20. or Gi­deons silly Barley cake tumbling in the hoste of Midian and overturn­ing the tent?Judges 7.13. And therefore to put all together, whence but from the power of him that was risen from the dead, sending the power of the holy Ghost upon the Apostles and their labours, could such a Do­ctrine, to such a world by such twelve (or thirteen men, to adde Paul to the dozen) have beene effectually preached? surely he that was set at the right hand of the Fa­ther had remembred what he had said;John 15.16. I have chosen you and or­dayned you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remaine. And this, this was that did the deed; else what hope that they should have gone and brought forth such fruit, in the conversion of the Gentiles, such plentifull fruit, such lasting fruit. Not without good cause, for one part of the mystery of Godliness, is this,1 Tim. 3.16. God believed on in the world; not without good cause that Paul [Page 105]calls the worke of the Gentiles-con­version the opening of a doore,Act. 14.27. 1 Cor. 16.9. 2 Cor. 2.12. Act. 12. Chrys. Hom. 34. and 76. in Matt. Hom. 7. in 1 Cor. if God had not miraculously opened this doore, as he made the Iron gate to open to Peter of its own accord, the Gentile had stood without for ever.

Fourthly, Whence had the pri­mitive Christians and Converts such extraordinary grace of holiness of life, but from the power of him that was risen from the dead, sending the power of the holy sanctifying spirit upon them?Act. 2. Consider those three thousand first converted.Act. 4. And the five thousand; Consider their extraordinary piety, unity, commu­nity; Their extraordinary piety 'towards God testified by their zeale in religious exercises; They continued stedfastly in the Apostles Doctrine, &c. Their extraordinary Ʋnity or agreement among them­selves, And all that believed were together, [...]. not so much in place (for three thousand one place would hardly receive them) as in affection, they were of one heart and one Soul. Act. 4.32. [Page 106]Lastly their extraordinary communi­ty; for communion of all things to the mutuall help one of another, and had all things common, &c. See but the backwardness now adays in these Christian duties, and acknow­ledge their forwardness in the same to have been the very finger and worke of Gods spirit; They con­tinued stedfastly, or indefatigable in the Apostles Doctrine, &c, we per­haps are but quarterly, or monthly, or fortnight men or women herein; or if weekly, then forenone people onely; or if so good as afternoone people too, yet our yawnings, our nods, yea, and perhaps our Naps too, argue our sluggishness in these duties; but they continued indefa­tigable, &c. Again, they, even the multitude of them, that believed (which is signanter spoken) signan­ter, that a multitude, and a multi­tude of raw converts should be so; were so united and knit in one, that they had all as 'twere but one heart and one Soul; but one heart and one Soul to act and move so many, [Page 107]many bodies; three thousand Chap. 2. nay five thousand Chap. 4. Whereas we run division, so that it were a very wonder to see now but three or five men to be that which three, nay five thousand men were then, even to have but one heart, and one Soul, laughing and weeping all together, nilling and willing all the same things; nay rather for five of us, our Saviours words, what if they proved true, that five should be divided, three against two and two against three? but they, even the multitude of them that believed, being about five thousand, were of one heart and of one Soul; Again, for outward fortunes, they had all things common, They that had goods and possessions sold them; and they sold them not to retaine the money in their own hands, to give a little as they listed; but they laid it down at the Apostles feet, alienat­ing away the right of it from them­selves, to serve for the common stock wholly; and this they did when they could looke for no other [Page 108]but present persecution: that money in their purses in their flight, when they were persecuted, would have done well. This they did also without the Apostles exhorting them thereto, as is intimated by the phrase, laid it down at the Apostles feet; namely, the Apostles being unwilling to receive it, and plainlier expressed by that of Peter to Ana­nias, While it remained, was it not thine own, &c. This (Lastly) they did, having (no doubt) some of them wives and children to take care for of their own: and were they thinke you without affection to their own that had such affection to every Christian?

Let our own hearts now tell us, whether this that they did could well be any thing else but the very finger and worke of the spirit? this, that whereas the world huncheth to give a little of that they have, they gave all: whereas the world huncheth to give these little in time of peace, they gave their all when nothing but persecution could be [Page 109]looked for; whereas the world not with all the exhortations that can be used, they without exhorta­tion at all; whereas the world thinkes wife and children enough to hinder from giving a little, they thought it not enough to hinder from giving all, and yet had affe­ctions better ordered indeed but as strong for the life as the world could to wife and children. Per­haps thou maist say, they had more zeale then wit; but take heed thou have not more wit then grace; when their zeale shall be rewarded in Heaven, take heed they wit be not punished in Hell: Consider therefore these three thousand and five thousand Christians, and whence could they have this extraordinary grace of holiness but from a Divine power, &c. so rare and admirable was this their holy conversation, that it procured them grace with all the people; nay great grace;Act. 2.47. and 4.33. and 5.13. nay so great, that they magnified them; Consider againe he writes in 1 Thes. 1.3. remembring without [Page 110]ceasing your work of faith and la­bour of love, &c. so that ye were en­samples to all that believe. Consi­der also what the very Pagans wit­nessed concerning the old Chri­stians extraordinary holiness; Pli­ny writes, that some Renegadoes, counterfeit Christians, being exa­mined about the secret but sacred conventicles of Christians, could say no more then thus of them, That they used at set dayes to meet be­fore day, and there to sing praises to Christ as God, and to bind them­selves with a holy vow not to doe any mischiefe;Sed ne fur­ta, ne La­trocinia, ne adulteria committe­rent; ne fidem falle­rent, ne de­positum ab­negarent; lib. 1o. Epis. 97. that they should not commit any theft, or robbery, or ad­ultery; nor breake their word, nor withhold that which was committed to them to keepe.

And that very wretch Julian writes thus to a Paganish Bishop; namely to study to promote the Pa­ganish Religion as the Christian Religion was at first promoted, to wit, by holiness of life, hospitality to strangers, liberality to all, &c. Turpe namque est, &c. for it is a [Page 111]shame (sayes he) that those impious Galilaeans should have enough for their own, and relieve the Jew,Tert. 6.29. re­lieve the Pagan too, and we not relieve our own. Also,Bonus Vir Cajus Se­jus, sed tantum malus quòd Christia­nus. they used to say, such an one was a good man, but onely bad in this, that he was a Christian.

Consider lastly, that the old Chri­stians in their very appeals to the Gentiles, were confident to stand upon the Christians innocency;Quis illic sicarius? quis manti­cularius? quis sacrile­gus aut corruptor? what privie murtherer (or Assassi­nate) is there among Christians? what Pick-purse? what Sacrilegious person (or Church-robber?) what cor­rupter?

And so much of the testimony of the Spirit; hereunto may be added the testimony of Josephus a Jew,John 15.26. bearing witnesse of his Resurrection the third day,Act. 5.32. and appearing to his Disciples.Antiqu. 18.4.

Lastly, Whence had the primi­tive Martyrs and Confessors that extraordinary grace of sufferings, but from the power of the holy Ghost? This wee cannot but ac­knowledge, [Page 112]if we consider the uni­versality, invincibility, patience and joy of their sufferings;

The universality, in that so many of all sorts and conditions; as well of feeble women and tender chil­dren, as men; as well of the rich, and those that were brought up in all tenderness, and delicacies, as of the poore, and those that were used to more hardships; as well of the wise and understanding, that would not have been cozened with a fable to have hazarded their lives, as of the silly and ignorant; in that so many of all sorts are registred Mar­tyrs and Confessours; so many, that (by computation) the very Martyrs that were slaine for the name Christ, are thought to equa­lize for number, or exceed all the sacrifices that were under the Law sacrificed as types of Christ; and yet there was offered at once two and twenty thousand oxen, 3 Kings 1.63. and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep;

Again, If we consider the invin­cibility of their sufferings; in that [Page 113]not all the variety of torments, not all the extremity of torments, not all the protractedness of torments, that the wit of man and the malice of man could devise (and what more ingenious then wit and malice put together) not all could overcome them, but invincibly they persisted against all; against such torments, that it were enough to strike hor­rour into the heart to heare them related; how their joynts were stretched upon the rack, drawne off one after another, how their bowels were scrued and twined out of their bodies, by little and little beginning at the Navill; how their flesh was nipped and pulled away peece-meale with pincers, how their sides were scraped till the very bare ribbs ap­peared with iron scallops or scra­pers how under their nails (one of the sensiblest places) they were peirced with sharp needles run into the root of the nails, and the flesh of the nails pickd out with little hooky instruments; how they were rosted, broiled on Gridirons, set in [Page 114]red hot iron chairs; and as for their throwing them down hard steep rocks to breake their necks, and their casting them to wild beasts, and their burning them at stakes, these gentle deaths were favours. If we consider their invincibleness in all these, what shall we say but that it was the power of the holy Ghost upon them? the power of the holy Ghost upon that Blandina, that invincibly endured all torments from morning till night, and when her tormentors that successively one after another were to inflict the torments, confessed at night they were quite tyred, shee invincible, was fresher to endure new tor­ments then they to inflict them.Euseb. 5.1.

Again, if we consider the patience of their sufferings, to take all those torments not onely so invincibly, but so patiently; so patiently, in that (first) so willingly, when they might have been rid of their tor­ment, with thanks too, if they would but in two words have denied Christ; whereas perhaps there may [Page 115]be some very wretches that may harden themselves in patience, but it is when they see there is no reme­dy, as traitours, Ravilliacks, &c.

(Secondly) So patiently, in that so meekly, so uncomplainingly, not complaining of the extremity, not crying out in that bitterness of their Soul, unsufferable, unsufferable, as meere flesh and blood would have done; but so meekly and uncom­plainingly enduring all torments without any whining or whimping, as if they had suffered in other mens bodies, or their bodies had been bodies of marble, or their flesh of brasse. This patience is above their former invincibleness; invincible one may be through resolution, and yet a little impatient when extre­mity is upon them through frailty; but to be not only so invincible, but so patient too, whence this but from the power of the holy Ghost upon them?

Lastly, if wee consider the joy of their sufferings, not onely so pa­tiently, but so joyfully to take their [Page 116]sufferings; ye became (sayes the A­postle,) followers of us & of the L [...]rd, 1 Thes. 1.6. having received the word in much affliction with joy of the holy Ghost; And St. Peter speaking of the suffe­rings of Christians, and fiery triall of their faith, what testimony gives he them? scil. this; that through their faith, though they saw not, yet believing they rejoyced with joy un­speakeable and full of glory. 1 Pet. 1.8. And they that read Ecclesiastical history, know that the Martyrs and Confes­sours went so joyfully to their suffe­rings, that divers considering it were converted all wondred, their adversaries that tormented them fretted; fretted and were full of greife to see them so full of joy, to see them goe to the stake, as if it had been but to a bonefire to be merry; also to see them burne in the flames as if they had been but beaking in the sun; to see them stretching on the rack, as if they had been stretch­ing themselves on their beds of Ivory; to see them that all the rest of their life through a Christian gra­vity [Page 117]and modesty looked like mourners, see them now have such cheerfull countenances, as if nothing but mirth and joy sat in their faces, &c. whence therefore had the pri­mitive Confessours and Martyrs this extraordinary grace of sufferings, to suffer so universally, so invincibly, so patiently, so joyfully, but from the power of the holy Ghost?

Ʋse 1 Use First, If their be such evi­dences of Christs Resurrection, then this may let us see the great necessity of Christian faith; how necessary it is to believe as we believe; how can I but believe that which the sufferings of so many Martyrs and Confessours, the lives of so many Saints, the powerfull conversion of so many Gentiles, the strangeness of so many miracles; the Aposto­likeness for extraordinary graces in the first preachers, the impossi­bleness of those eye-witnesses their being either deceivers or deceived, the harmony also and consent of the old Testament, the very record of the Jews; how can I but believe that which is witnessed unto by all [Page 118]these? If I will needs yet let in­fidelity lurke in my heart, how ma­ny things have I, may justly con­demne me? Moses and the Pro­phets that foretold these things shall condemne me; those eye-witnesses that witnessed his Resurrection, which if wilfully I shut not mine own eyes, must needs appeare to me could neither be deceivers nor de­ceived, shall condemne me; those first preachers that could not have their extraordinary grace but from the power of him that was risen from the dead, shall condemne me; those strange miracles, that strange conversion of the Gentiles, that strange sanctity and holiness of con­verts, that strange suffering of Mar­tyrs, that could none of them have been but by the power of him that was risen from the dead, shall all condemne me; if I believe not now the Gospel, how justly am I con­demned!

Wee are all ready in reading the story of the old Testament, to con­demne the Jew, that he should be in [Page 119]many things so stubborne, and unbe­lieving, notwithstanding such mani­fest declaration of Gods presence among them: but if all things were well cast up, wee shall find that we have more reason ten to one to be­lieve under the Gospel, then they had under the Law; and if an infidel-Jew may well go to Hell, an infi­del-Christian deserves to sinke far the lower there; An infidel Jew, if he believed not, it was still a thing to come that he believed not; the infidell Christian a thing past: Christs Resurrection, an infidel-Jew had no argument almost to confirme his beliefe, but the consideration of a little strange miraculous working; the infidell-Christan hath argu­ments above all miracles, and more­over miracles above all Moses his miracles; and therefore let us by the evidences of Christs Resurre­ction, and so consequently of the whole Gospel, for the Resurrection is the seale, and warrant, and com­plement of all, therefore in their choice of a twelfth, they name no­thing [Page 120]thing but onely to be a witnesse of the Resurrection; Act. 1.22. let us hereby charme and conjure out of our hearts all infidelity, and let us esta­blish our selves in our most holy faith; this, how necessary it is, not onely to believe but also to see the necessity of our beliefe, let two places teach you;Luke 1.4. [...]. (scil) That thou maist know the certainty of those things wherein thou hast been instructed; And, These things have I written to you that believe, 1 John 5.13. that ye may know that ye have eternal life; If it had not been a necessary thing, and of much use to labour to see the neces­sity of Christian faith, the one would not have rendered it for a reason in the beginning of his Gospel, why he writ his Gospel; and the other in the end of his Epistle why he writ his Epistle; and therefore (first) if there be such evidences, consider the necessity of Christian faith.

Ʋse 2 Secondly, If there be such evi­dences of Christs Resurrection, let us see the necessity of Christian life; [Page 121]if there be such compelling argu­ments to perswade me to see the ne­cessity of Christian faith then what remains but that in the next place I should thinke of the necessity of Christian life? How dare I live as an Atheist, if I cannot but professe and believe as a Christian? how dare I cast away my commandements, if I cannot but embrace my creed? how dare I make so little of the ho­liness of the Gospel, if I cannot but acknowledge the truth of the Gos­pel? Verily, this is the condemna­tion of many: that Christian faith being so cleare, Christian life is so bad; This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world (sc. not light hid under a cloud or under a bushel,John 3.19. but light appearing to be light) yet men love darkness rather then light. John 15.24. And If I had not done among them the works which none other did, they had not had sin, &c. And, When the Spirit is come, he will reprove the world of sin, John 1.7. because they believe not on mee; And, They shall receive the reward of unrighteous­ness, [Page 122]as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day-time. 2 Pet. 2.13. When the truth of the Gospel is so cleare, that if indeed there were any cause why thou mightest doubt of the truth of the Gospel, if the mouth of all infi­delity were not sufficiently stopt, if Gods truth and testimonies were not very sure,Psal. 93.3. Credibilia factanimis. then som reason there might be of thy hankering and ho­vering and back-hanging in the course of a godly life: but if the truth of the Gospel be so plaine, beware of hardning thy heart a­gainst the holiness of the Gospel; He whom the truth of the Gospel convicts, the holiness of the Gospel being neglected shall confound; The wrath of God (sayes the Apostle) is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, Rom. 1.20. who hold the truth in unrighteousness; even the truth shewing it self onely in the evidence of nature; much more in the evidence of the Gospel, must the wrath of God needs be revealed, &c. Marke the connexion of the Psalmist; Thy testimonies are very [Page 123]sure; and what then? Holiness be­comes thy house for ever. Psal. 93.5.

Well, I will wind up this with the grave speech of that good man Mirandula, Magna pro­fectò insa­nia, &c. It is (sayes he) a great madness not to believe the Gospel, the truth whereof so many things evidently speake and proclaime, the sufferings of the Martyrs, &c. but it is a farre greater madness if any doubt not of the truth of the Gos­pel, yet so to live as if he doubted not of the falseness of the Gospel; what is this but to see Hell, and yet to leap into it? to see Heaven and yet not to care for falling from it? what is it (in a word but to run ful) butt against God, with eyes wide open? and what is madness if this be not? surely such sacred majesty will not be rubbed and jurred upon by profaneness that is blind, but it shal beare the punishment; for pro­faneness, to run full butt against God with eyes wide open, what punish­ment then may be looked for? this is far worse then Balaams carriage, he would but have gone upon the [Page 124]Angel of the Lord standing in his way, with a sword drawn in his hand, and not seeing the Angel nei­ther: But to see God-standing in the way to stop the sinner, and the sinner to say, yonder he stands; yonder, that would stop me in my unlawfull gaine, stop me in my un­lawfull pleasure, stop me in my pro­fane course of life, yonder he stands, but yet have at him; what madness is this! When the pitcher flyes a­gainst the wall and breaks not, when a man runs his head full butt against a pillar and his brains dash not out, then shal he run thus ful butt against God and his known ordinances and shatter not, perish not, not utterly be confounded body and soul for ever. And therefore this also may let us see the great necessity of Christian life: consider those things that shew the necessity of Christian faith, and be an Atheist if thou canst; consider the necessity of Christian faith, and be a profane wretch if thou darest; see Hell and leap into it, see Heaven and con­temne [Page 125]it, see God in thy way and run full butt upon him with eyes wide open;Heb. 2.3. How shall we escape if we neglect so great Salvation?

Ʋse 3 Thirdly, If there be such evi­dences of Christs Resurrection, then we may know how to give a reason of the hope that is in us;1 Pet. 3.15. Be ready alwayes to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you; not to every one that asketh you a reason of any point of Christian Doctrine, or Bi­ble-bearing; that is too much for every Christian to doe: but every Christian should be able to give a reason of the Christian hope that is in him; now the hope of a Chri­stian is to be saved by Christ the Sa­viour risen from the dead, as you have it;1 Pet. 1.3. Blessed be the God and Fa­ther of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath begotten us again to a lively hope, by the Resurrection of Christ from the dead; he therefore that can give a reason of Christs Resur­rection from the dead; gives good reason of his Christian hope, he [Page 126]hath good reason to trust him for a Saviour, that hath saved himselfe, and to believe his Doctrine that God hath sealed the truth of it, with raising the Prophet that taught it from the dead. Marke the Apostle how he toucheth upon these three very same reasons here for the establishing us in our lively hope by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead: whereupon we have insisted for the proofe of the Resurrection;verse 10. First, upon the testimony of the old Testament, Of which Salvation the Prophets have enquired, verse 12. &c. Secondly, upon the testimony of the eye-witnesses; which are now reported unto you, &c. Thirdly, by the testimony of the Spirit, which the holy Ghost sent down from Heaven, &c. and what now follows, but that therefore we have good reason to stand firme in our hope?verse 13. wherefore gird up the loyns of your mind, be sober and hope to the end; hope unto the end, and let neither the fury of the unbelie­ving world persecuting you, nor the [Page 127]fleeres and jeeres of the profane world flouting you, be able to dash you in your hope; but hope to the end; for now that you know that Christ must needs be risen from the dead, you know how to give an answer to any one that shall aske a reason of the hope that is in you;Act. 26. Paul in his Apology toucheth much upon the same reasons;

Ʋse 4 Fourthly, if there be such evi­dences of Christs Resurrection; then it is evident that Christ was the right Messias, for if he had been an impostor and false Prophet, neither could he have raised up him­selfe being but a meere man, nor would God have raised him up being but a meer impostor; nor can it be said that the Divell might raise up his false Prophet, for he that can­not give sight to one borne blind, John 9. can much lesse give life to one stark dead; he cannot revive all the senses and the whole man, that cannot so much as revive one sense, the sight: if the Divell could raise up a dead man to life; he might as well make [Page 128]a man of dead matter; It will be Gods sole priviledge for ever to be a God that raiseth up the dead;2 Cor. 1.9. if therefore there be such evidences of his Resurrection, this is thought ar­gument enough by our Saviour and the Apostles to prove him to be the right Messias; this Resurrection from the dead: So when they cal­led for a signe from our Saviour to prove him that he was the right Messias, as he pretended, he instan­ceth in his Resurrection, as signe enough alone to convince them that he was the Messias;Matt. 12.38.39. Master, we would see a signe, &c. no signe but the signe of the Prophet Jonas, as he was three dayes and three nights in the Whales belly, so shall the son of man be three dayes, &c. So when the Jews (seeing him take upon himselfe the office of the Messias) asked him what signe he showed, the signe he instanceth in was onely this; Destroy this Temple, and I will raise it up in three dayes; Joh. 2.19. so when yee have lift up the son of man (sc. crucified him,John 8.28. and he be raised [Page 129]again from the dead) then shall yee know that I am be. Act. 2.36. So St. Peter Therefore (because he hath raised him from the dead) let all the house of Israel know that God hath made that same Jesus both Lord and Christ; so St. Paul,Rom. 1.4. Declared to be the son of God by the Resurrection from the dead; and so undoubted an argument is this, that the Jews saw they must either deny the Re­surrection, or necessarily grant that he was the Messias; and therefore they tooke the best way they could for hindering any supposedness of it, confessing that if the Resurre­ction was once probably blazed abroad, the last errour would be worse then the first.Matt. 27.64. and 42. Come downe now from the crosse, and wee will be­lieve, said the chiefe Priests and elders; Come up from the dead, and wee will believe; they could not but have confessed this to have been an argument much stronger, and therefore Christ was the right Messias.

Ʋse. 5 Fifthly, If Christ be risen from [Page 128] [...] [Page 129] [...] [Page 130]the dead, then he will undoubtedly also come to judgment; for why rose he from the dead but to receive all power in heaven and in earth, Matt. 28.18. and to have every knee bow unto him?Phil. 2.10. And why received he this power but to execute it, and make every knee bow unto him? and where (as yet) appears this execution, when there are so many stiffe-knees yet, that will not bow unto him, I meane disobedient ones, that will not obey him? and therefore cer­tainly he will come one day to judg­ment, when he shall make all them that will not bend now, breake; that will not bow now under his mercy, bow then under his justice; that will not now kisse the top of his golden Scepter reached out in grace and loving kindness, be crushed by that Scepter-bruising them in dis­pleasure; see the connexion which Scripture usually makes, usually joyning or subjoyning judgment to the mention of the Resurrection; him hath God raised up the third day, Act. 10.40.42. &c. and what then? and com­manded [Page 131]us to preach unto the people, &c. so Act. 17.30.31. but now he commandeth all men every where to repent, because he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world by him whom he hath raised from the dead: so 1 Thes. 1.10. and to wait for his Son from Heaven; and why? what assurance for it? why the assurance of his Resurrection, whom he hath raised from the dead; there is the assurance; If therefore Christ be risen from the dead, he will certainly also come to judg­ment, he will not suffer the world alwayes to run so upon wheels, to be so disorderly and full of confu­sion, man rebelling against his ma­ker, the godly trampled under foot by the wicked, servants riding on horseback and Princes going a foot, the tayl standing where the head should be, &c. he will not alwayes suffer this confusion, but those times of the restitution of all things shall come,Act. 3.21. when every thing shall be re­stored to its own place, when all gimmels shall be right, when all dis­order [Page 132]and confusion shall flee away, when all things that offend shall be taken out of his Kingdome;

Ʋse 6 Sixthly, If Christ be risen from the dead, then sin is conquered, for the sting of death is sin: so long therefore as death had this deadly sting in it, death could not have been conquered by any son of Adam, every son of Adam being obnoxious to death by vertue of morte morieris, thou shalt die the death, though he had no sin in him, actuall or originall, but onely the imputation of Adams disobedience; that Christ therefore, a son of Adam rose victoriously from the dead, vi­ctoriously, never to returne thither again,Act. 13.34. or death to have no more dominion over him;Rom. 6.9. (for other­wise Lazarus and others were rai­sed from the dead, but it was to re­turne thither again;) it must needs be, that sin was conquered by him; See the Scripture making this use of Christs Resurrection, the foil and conquest of sin;Act. 13.38. so Paul after he had urged and proved Christs Re­surrection; [Page 133]what infers he there­upon? Bee it known unto you there­fore, that through this man is preach­ed unto you forgiveness of sins; so, he was delivered for our sins, and was raised again for our Justification; Rom. 4.25. our Justification from sin is especial­ly given to his Resurrection, because by his Resurrection he did Demon­strate and make it plaine, that sin was conquered; his death would have done us no good, if it had been possible that he could have beene holden by the power of death; so, Who is he that condemneth? Rom. 8.34. it is Christ that dyed, yea rather that is risen again; what is the reason of this correction, of this yea rather, &c? was not Christs dying enough to free us from any condemning by sin? yes; but it was, because it was the death of him that had power also to rise again, &c. and there­fore the redemption of us from our sin, appeared especiall in his power­full Resurrection. So in the present Chapter, If Christ be not risen, 1 Cor. 15.17. then are we yet in our sins; imply­ing [Page 134]that his Resurrection is the con­quest of sin; we have therefore what to answer all the infernall powers of Hell, challenging us of sin, even to answer them with the Apostle, Who is he that condemneth? it is Christ that dyed, yea rather that is risen again; &c.

Ʋse. 7 Seventhly, If Christ be risen from the dead, then Piety and Religion comfort your selves; that hope is in a strong redeemer, and one that can deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies; he that was too hard for death, will be too hard for any of your enemies; he hath slaine the great Goliah, and is he not able then to put any weaker Philistim to flight for you? he hath broken the barres of death, and is he not able to breake the barres and gates of all the other enemies? be comforted therefore against all feare and ter­rour. Not a haire of your heads can perish without his providence; and if it be his providence, it is no great matter though yee lose your heads too; they that can take your [Page 135]heads from off your shoulders can­not take your crownes from of your heads; they may tumble your bo­dies into the grave, they cannot seale the graves mouth upon them. Well said St. Paul in comfort a­gainst all his enemies and all his af­flictions;2 Timo. 1.10. and 12. I know whom I have tru­sted (sc. him that being risen from the dead hath abolished death;) and I am perswaded that he is able to keepe that which I have committed unto him against that day; If Christ therefore be risen, yee know whom yee trust, even him that being raised from the dead, hath abolished death, and is able to keepe that which you commit unto him against that day:

Ʋse. 8 Eighthly, If Christ be risen from the dead, then profaneness and irre­ligion beware your selves? your disobedience is against as strong a revenger, and one that is of as great power to confound his foes, as to save his servants. Their terrified hearts knew this,Act. 2.36.37. who no sooner by St. Peters Sermon were they per­swaded of the Resurrection, and [Page 136]that God had made that same Je­sus whom they crucified both Lord and Christ, but presently they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and the rest, men and brethren, what shall wee doe? It made their hearts pant to thinke they had of­fended him, that now being risen from the dead was made both Lord and Christ, and so able to take what terrible revenge he would of them. Consider what is written in Matt. 21.44. There our Saviour bring­ing out the 118. Psal. (a Psalme of the Resurrection) cites this text; The stone which the builders refused, is become the head stone of the Corner; he adds, that whosoever shall fall on this stone (through disobedience offend, and stumble against it) shall be broken (it shall worke commonly his rume and confusion for this world) but on whom soever it shall fall, it shall grind him to powder; on whom soever Christ at his second coming shall with all the weight and might and vehemency of indig­nation fall, he shall then make pow­der [Page 137]and meere mish-mash of him:Comparate vos cum Judaeis; illi contempse­runt pen­dentem in ligno; vos contemnitis sedentem in coelo. Aug. de verbis Domini 45. If therefore Christ be risen, you now speake not a word nor doe a deed against the son of man, but against him that is declared to be the Son of God. Compare your felves with the Jews; they contem­ned him when he hung upon the crosse, you contemne him, when he sits in Heaven.

Obs. 2 Second Observation, That Christ is not onely risen, but risen as the first fruits to sanctify and ascertiane our Resurrection; as the first fruits under the law being offered to God, were for the sanctifying and procu­ring a blessing upon the whole har­vest: now this, that Christ is risen as the first fruits, by his Resurrection to sanctifie and warrant our Resurre­ctions, divers things confirme it:

First, The example of those that he actually brought with him from the dead when himselfe rose;Matt. 27.52.53. And the graves were opened, and many bodies of Saints which slept, arose; this little rast before hand showes what his Resurrection shall be [Page 138]powerfull unto hereafter, even unto the raising of the dead bodies of the Saints that sleepe; he set but two or three prisoners free, but the goale­delivery of all his he will performe hereafter: as he is powerfull to exe­cute so he is wise not to precipitate and hasten counsels; but stay the fulness of time.

Secondly, The vertue of his life and Resurrection to revive us, di­verse speeches of himselfe show; as that; As the living Father hath sent me, John 6.57. and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me; live by me, so that I will raise him up at the last day, as foure times in that Chapter he re­peats that phrase. Againe, that speech to Martha talking with him about her brother Lazarus his death, I am the Resurrection and the life, &c. Also that; Now is the bour come that the Son of man should be glorified; John 11.25. verily verily, John 12.23. except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and dye, it abideth alone; but if it dye, it bringeth forth much fruit.

Thirdly, The vertue of his life and Resurrection to revive us, two speciall appellations of his in Scirip­ture show, namely the appellation of an Head, and the appellation of a Captaine; of a head, he being as a head unto his Church, and the Church the very body and members of him their head; if the body and members shall not be revived, there is no life in the very head it selfe: the head would derive life unto the body: hence from this union be­tweene the head and members, are we said to be already quickned to­gether with him, raised together with him,Eph. 2.5. nay set down together with him in heavenly places;Col. 2.12. The other appellation is of a Captaine, [...]. in that he is called the Captaine of life; yee killed the Captaine of life whom God had raised from the dead, Act. 3.15. &c. It became him for whom are all things, Heb. 2.10. to make the Captaine of their Salvation perfect through sufferings; if Jesus therefore be a Captain of life, and Salvation, he is not onely to save himself, but his Companies also [Page 140]that follow his colours; he is not a Captaine of life and Salvation, but of death and dectruction, that lets his company perish in the field, though himselfe come safe off with­out any hurt.

Fourthly, So enfolded one in the othe [...], is Christs Resurrection and our Resurrection, that the one is made to imply the other; so when the Apostle preached especially Christs Resurrection, yet the Priests and Sadduces tooke it so as preach­ing our Resurrection through him; As they spake unto the people, Act. 4.1.2. the priests, &c. came in upon them, being greived that they preached through Jesus the Resurrection of the dead; So St. Paul in his Apology before the Pharisees and the Sadduces, in­stead of making his Apology for Christs Resurrection, turnes it into the generall, about our Resurre­ction, as indeed the one enfolding the other, so he might set the Phari­see and Sadducee together by the ears, that so while the Wolves fight the Lambe might escape;Act. 23.6. Men [Page 141]and brethren, I am a Pharisee, of the hope and Resurrection of the dead, &c.

Lastly, To name no more autho­rities, consider the very next verse of my text, and there you have Christ made the author of life and Resurrection, as Adam of death; for since by man came death, by man came also the Resurrection of the dead; And in the five and fortieth verse you have another comparison, that as the first Adam was made a living Soul, sc. to become the fountaine of naturall life to all his posterity; So the second Adam (Christ) was made a quickning spirit; sc. to become the fountaine of spirituall or Hea­venly life to all his; The first A­dam was made a living Soul, the se­cend Adam was made a quickning spirit.

Now before we come to the Uses, a question or two is not unseasonable to be made and answered;

Qu. 1 First, How Christ is the first fruits of all that slept;1 King. 17. seeing the widow of Sareptaes son was raised to life by Elias; 2 Kings 4. and the Shunamites [Page 142]son, and a dead man by touch of Elisha'es bones;2 Kings 13. and three by our Saviour himselfe in his life time, sc. Jairus his daughter in the cham­ber uncarried out; the widows one­ly son upon the biere carried out at the gates of the City; and La­zarus having been four dayes in the grave, how therefore was Christ the first fruits, seeing these, and those also, as it may seeme Matt. 27.52. were raised before him?

Ans. 1 For Answer, Observe first, That for all them that were raised to life, except perhaps those Matt. 27. there was no proper Resurrection, not such a Resurrection as we pro­fesse in our Creeds, not such a Re­surrection as that;Matt. 22.30. In the Resurre­ction they neither marry not are gi­ven in marriage, but are as the Ar­gels in Heaven; not a Resurrection to a state of immortality, but onely to the state of their former naturall life, subject to death again: But as for our Saviours Resurrection, he rose so as now no more to returne to corruption;Act. 13.37. and death now to [Page 143]have no more dominion over him;Rom. 6.9. and as himselfe saith, Rev. 1.18. now to be alive for evermore; I am he that liveth and was dead; and behold I am alive for evermore.

Ans. 2 Secondly, For those Matt. 27. either they rose not till after Christs Resurrection, as most thinke, so that the graves indeed opened at his death, but the dead bodies arose not till after Christs Resurrection; And the graves were opened, &c. sc. those there abouts in Mount-Calvary; or else if they rose before his Resurre­ction, then they rose either upon dispensation onely for a time, to lay down their bodies again; or if to retaine their bodies for ever as glo­rious bodies, then Christs Resurre­ction was in order of nature, though not of time, before theirs, because through the power and vertue of his Resurrection they were raised; see­ing, as he is said in the Councell and foreknowledge of God, to be a Lambe slaine from the foundation of the world, and therefore nothing hinders but that Christ was the first [Page 144]fruits; because all that rose before Christ, either rose onely to a natu­rall life; or if not, yet onely upon dispensation for a time, to lay down their bodies again; or if to retaine their bodies for ever, yet by the power and vertue of Christs Resur­rection preconceived in Gods coun­sell, as the fountaine and cause of their life and Resurrection. And so wee may see,Act. 26.23. how Christ was to be the first that should rise from the dead; and here, the first fruits of them that slept, and the first borne from the dead;Col. 1.18. because he rose onely by his own power; I have power to lay it down, &c. and be­cause never to return to corruption again.

Qu. 2 A second question is about the wicked, whether and how they are to be raised, seeing Christ cannot be said to be their first fruits? whether and how therefore are they to be raised, whose Resurrections are not hallowed and consecrate in Christ;1 Cor. 15.22. in whom are all to be made alive?

Ans. 1 First, That they shall rise, there [Page 145]is no question;John 5.28 29. The houre is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall heare his voice and shall come forth, &c.Act. 24.15. and have hope to­wards God, which they themselves also allow that there shall be a Re­surrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust.

Ans. 2 Now secondly, How they shall be raised, whether in and by Christs Resurrection or no? For this we are to know, that Christ by his Re­surrection was made Lord and onely Potentate of every creature,Act. 2.36. and therefore received power over quick and dead,Phil. 2.11. that he might be able to bring again from the dead all the wicked and disobedient, as their judge to punish them; and all his own, as their Saviour to glorify them. Wherefore by Christs Re­surrection both the wicked and the godly shall be raised; but the wicked, as the members of Satan onely to be damned, the godly, as members of his own body to be saved: The wicked by a power upon them onely from without; [Page 146]the godly by a power upon them from within, inhaerent in them, as his own members; as the head by an inward influence quickens the body: whereas the wicked shall be quickned by an outward influence onely upon them, as the sun by an outward influence upon putrified slimy matter, animates and quickens frogs and toads; and therefore those that he quickens by that in­ward influence, he shall make glo­rious like himselfe; whereas those that he quickens by an outward in­fluence only, shal not participate of his glory: like as those creatures which the sun quickens, though the sun be a glorious body, yet they are not so, but filthy, abominable, wretched creatures, frogs, toads, &c.

Well then for the cause of our Resurrections, consider first a mo­rall judiciall cause; sc. the justice of God, requiring that we should all receive in our bodies, according to that which we have done in our bo­dies, and therefore that we should be raised again. And secondly a physical effecting cause, sc. the [Page 147] Lordly soveraigne power of Christ ri­sen from the dead, effecting the Re­surrection of the wicked as their judge, to make them comformable in torments to the Divell their head; and effecting the Resurre­ction of the godly as their Saviour, to make them comformable in glory to himselfe their head; and of these he is onely said to be the first fruits, because he shall onely hallow and dedicate these unto God in a glorious Resurrection like unto his owne, bringing the whole harvest of them without losing one eare, into the same barne and Heavenly repository; whereunto he the first fruits is already come. And there­fore where it is said here, that all shal be made alive in Christ; it is meant onely of his own members, that by an inward quickning influence upon them from him their head, shall be revived to the same glorious kind of life with himselfe,Matt. 25.46. Rom. 6.23. and 8.13. which indeed is onely in Scripture phrase the proper life, and the other but an eternall living death; And that [Page 148]these are onely meant, the next verse showes, where these all that are to be made alive in Christ, are called Christs; but for the wicked they are none of his, he owns them not, they are the limbs of the Divell, and none of his members.

Ʋse. First, If Christ be risen as the first fruits to ensure the glorious Resurrection of his, then let this ad­monish every one of us, as we desire to be made partakers of this glorious Resurrection, so to endeavour to belong unto these first fruits, sc. to Christ; the first fruits doe not blesse the tares, and cockell and darnell, and all filthy weeds that grow among the Corne, but onely the good Corne; If we would be blessed therefore in Christ, the first fruits, let us not be tares, &c. in Gods field, the Church; but let us be good Corne; otherwise the pa­rable will read us our destinies; Gather together the tares, and bind them in bundles to burne them; in bundles to burne them, there is the destiny of the tares;Matt. 13.30. But gather the wheat into my barne; the wheat is [Page 149]blessed in the first fruits; but the tares, their lot is to be burned, they are nothing belonging to the first fruits to be blessed, and ensured in them; no man when he offered God his first fruits, desired a blessing upon the tares and weeds that grew in his field, but upon the good Corne: as therefore wee desire to have a bles­sed Resurrection, let us labour to belong to the first fruits. It is strange that we should thinke, to continue nothing but very tares and stinking weeds in Gods field, and thinke at harvest time to be carried home in­to his barne, as the best Corne. Be­loved, however it prove with us, that many a tare and filthy weed may be brought home among the good Corne, and many a good eare of Corne left behind in the field; yet at that harvest, the end of the world, not one tare in Gods field shall be brought home into his barn, nor one eare of good Corne left be­hind to rot in the field. Let us therefore strive to belong unto the first fruits, if we look to be blessed in the first fruits;

Secondly, If Christ be risen as the first fruits, then let this confirme all them that belong unto the first fruits, in the assured blessed hope of their undoubted glorious Resurre­ction; if the poorest despised mem­ber of Christs body shall not rise a­gain to glory, then Christ himselfe is yet in the power of death, death gnawes upon him; It is the Apostle himselfe that is thus bold; But if there be no Resurrection from the dead, 1 Cor. 15.13. then is Christ not risen; the Head is not in Heaven, if any of the members shall for ever rot in the earth. Observe how still the Scrip­ture makes the blessed hope that is in us of our Resurrections, to rest and build it selfe upon Christs Re­surrection;Job. 19.25.26. so Job, I know that my Redeemer liveth (is one that death hath no power over) and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and what then Job? what if thou knowest that? why, I know then that I shall not alwayes be wormes meat; but though after my skin wormes destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; So the A­postle [Page 151]having prayed that God would give the Ephesians enlight­ned minds, to know the excellency of the happiness that awaits them in Heaven, in these words, That yee may know what is the hope of his calling, Eph. 1.18 and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the Saints; Lest they should thinke, But how should wee ever attaine this hap­piness, wee poore mortall corrup­tible creatures, that dayly dy, and rot and putrify in the grave, and no signe of any such ensuing glory? therefore he prayes withall, that they may know the greatness of Gods power in raising up Christ from the dead, as an assurance that he will also raise up them; And that ye may know what is the exceed­ing greatness of his power to us ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead; verse 19.20. because as it follows, he raised up Christ to be the Head over all things to his Church which is his body, the fulness of him which [Page 152]filleth all in all; and therefore Christ is maimed and imperfect without his body; His body there­fore doubtles shal be assumed at last to him, body and head to make one perfect man, and one full Christ; Till we all come in the unity of the faith, Eph. 4.13. and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, &c. what firmer hope therefore of our Resur­rections, then that wee are thus to be the fulness of Christ, who should otherwise be a maimed Christ, an imperfect Christ, a halfe Christ, a head without a body? Further, for this point makes that, which the Apostle hath;Phil. 3.10. That I may know him, and the power of his Resurre­ction; and the power of his Resur­rection to me ward, to raise mee up also by an influence of the head upon the members; after all my fellowship with him in his suffe­rings;1 Pet. 1.21. Who by him do believe in God that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God, sc. nothing doubting, but that he [Page 153]would also raise you up, having rais­ed him up your first fruits;Rev. 1.18. I am he that liveth, and was dead, and have the keyes of Hell and of death: have the keyes; he slipt not out onely himselfe deceiving the keeper, but he came out powerfully with keyes in his hand, to let out also whom­soever of his he would; he did not indeed as Samson did with the door of the gate of the City Gaza, carry away the door and all, that whoso­ever would might go forth, but onely tooke away the keyes of the door to let out and lock in still whom he would:

Thirdly, If Christ be risen as the first fruits, then let this comfort us against the feare of death, if we reckon of a day wherein he that dyed for us and rose again, will for that which is sowne in corruption, raise it again in incorruption which is sowne in dishonour, raise it in glory; sown in weakness, raise it in power; which is sowne a naturall body, raise it a spirituall body; Why should we much be afraid of death? death do [...]s but spoil us of [Page 154]our rags to give us robes, does but pull downe our old ruinous house, to reare up a new one, and a stately one, in the roome; We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, 2 Cor. 5.1. we have a building of God, a house not made with hands; he that now fears death much, hath but either a little faith, or an ill con­science; and no marvaile if these two be afraid to dye; the one look­ing at death as an end of all his hopes; and the other as the begin­ning of all his misery. But a good faith and a good conscience will not feare that which it knows can neither hold it, nor hurt it; it knows that Christ is risen as the first fruits, and it knows that it belongs to those first fruits, it knows what that means;John 6.39. This is the Fathers will that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And that; and if Christ be in you the bo­dy is dead because of sin, Rom. 8.10. but the spi­rit is life because of righteousness. And that;Heb. 2.14. Forasmuch then as the [Page 155]children are partakers of flesh and blood; he also himselfe likewise tooke part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, the Divell; He knowes, that that which was spoken in a figure to the Jews, shall in the very letter be performed to him and all Christs members;Esay 26.19. Thy dead men shall live together, with my dead bo­dy shall they arise; awake and sing yee that dwell in dust, &c. and that which was a parable to them shall be a truth to the Saints; That the valley of dry bones that were very dry,Ezek. 37.5. the four winds shall blow upon them, and breath shall come into them, and they shall live, and stand up upon their feet an exceed­ing great army: he knowes that that of Esdras though it be Apo­cryphall writing, yet it is Canonicall truth,2 Esd. 4.40.42.43. Go thy way to a woman with childe, when she hath fulfilled her nine moneths, if her wombe may keepe the birth any longer within her. For as shee that is with childe, hasteth to escape the necessitie of the travell, [Page 156]so do these places haste to deliver those things that are committed unto them. That which thou desirest to see, shall be shewed thee from the beginning. and therefore if Christ be risen the first fruits; what need I feare that that can neither hold me long, nor hurt me at all; that can neither end my hopes, nor can begin my miseries?

Fourthly, If Christ be risen as the first fruits; then let this com­fort us against immoderate griefe and sorrow for the death of friends; Why should we immoderately grieve for the death of friends, whose death for their Souls is their present gaine; and for their bodies but onely a casting of the seed into the ground to rot and rest there for a while, that it may sprout and spring up a farre more glorious bo­dy, greene and fresh, and a goodlier body then it fell in, as is intimated here in verse 37? And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body which shall be, &c. but God giveth it a body as it pleaseth him; a greene▪ [Page 157]and fresh, a statelyer and goodlyer body by farre then it was sowne: and so for their Soul, death is their present gaine, if so be they can say with Paul, to me to live is Christ; for then it will follow,Phil. 1.21. to me to dy is gaine. Againe, except it be no gaine to be delivered out of a sinfull and miserable body; yea, a sinfull and miserable world, and carried into a holy and happy place, where sin and misery never peept in; It is our weakness and errour to thinke of our friends departed, as Jacob of Joseph; Joseph was in great honour in Egypt, and Jacob when he saw his bloodied coat, thought that surely an evill beast had devoured him, and Joseph was not; but Jo­seph, what bids he his brethren tell their Father to comfort him? You shall tell my Father of all my glory in Egypt. So wee, when wee see the bloodied coats of our friends as 'twere,Gen. 45.9. 2 Cor. 5.4. their dead bodies, I meane the garments of the Soul; we are ready to thinke that death, that evill beast hath made an end of [Page 158]them, and they are not; but tell my Father, &c. So let us thinke of all the glory that they have in Heaven, and be comforted. Why should we therefore immoderately grieve for our friends; whose death (for their Souls) is their present gaine, &c? Wee that do so im­moderately grieve for the death of our friends, do we not mind what is the first thing used to be read at their burials; I am the Resurrection and the life? and while the earth is cast upon the body; Forasmuch as it hath pleased, &c. do we not mind these things? If we mind these things, certainly we have either little faith in us to believe the glo­rious Resurrection of them that dy in Christ, or little hope in us to per­swade us that this our friend is dead in Christ, or little patience in us un­der the good will and providence of God wisely ordering all things. If it be impatience in us, let us consider Job, and what he said, when among other things God had taken away his seven Sons and three daughters [Page 159]at once;Job. 1.21. The Lord gave and the Lord taketh away; Blessed be the name of the Lord. If it be because that we have little hope that our friends are dead in Christ; why do we not then grieve for them, when wee see that our friends do not live in Christ? this griefe would be pro­fitable, it would make us seeke their amendment. If lastly, it be because we have little faith in us to believe the glorious Resurrection of them that dye in Christ; Let us consider that if Christ be risen the third day, then all that dy in Christ shall as undoubtedly rise the last day; If we believe (sayes the Apostle) that Je­sus dyed and rose againe, even so them also which sleep in Christ will God bring with him also; 1 Thes. 4.14. If therefore Christ be risen, &c. their graves are but their beds to rest their wearied bones in a while, till the day of the Lord dawne, and that great trum­pet sound to waken them out of their sleep; and who now that loves one another dearlyest, mournes when he bids him Good [Page 160]night, to go lye downe in his bed till next morning?

Fifthly, If Christ be risen as the first fruits; Let this comfort us a­gainst the present frailties and weaknesses and vileness of these bo­dies of ours; bodies that are so soone puling and complaining for a little excesse of cold or heat, a little defect of meat or drinke; bodies that are so soone wearied, and tyred out with a little labour and pains in the Course of ones calling; bo­dies that are so often vexing us with cramps and aches and sundry sicknesses; bodies that are soone withering and waxing old and mouldring away; bodies every way so vile, that some have irked to have any pictures made of their bo­dies, as but the picture of their shame; and indeed, were it not that they are our own bodies, and that every one have bodies alike, they would soone be seene how irk­some they are; but if Christ be ri­sen, &c. these corruptibles shall put on incorruption, and these mortalls [Page 161]shall put on immortality; and thus Job comforted himselfe when he was so struck with sores and boils from the sole of the foot to the crowne of the head, and so spent and wasted in his body with the heat and inflammation of those burning boils that he was even es­caped with the skin of his teeth; had no more left almost upon that poore carcasse of his, then on his ve­ry teeth, where is nothing at all; yet being in that case, he thus com­forted himselfe; I know that my Redeemer liveth; and though after my skin (as having almost nothing now on this back, but a little withe­red skin) worms destroy this body (this poore torne, tattered, rent, spent carcasse of mine) yet in my flesh shall I see God. And thus St. Paul also intimates comfort against the vileness and abjectness of these bodyes of ours, by considering the glory they shall have at the Resur­rection;Phil. 3.21. who shall change our vile bodies that they may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, &c.

Sixthly, If Christ be risen as the first fruits, &c. then what thankes owe we to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for so great a blessing, so great a blessing as affords this comfort against all the present frailties and vileness of our bodies, against all excessive greife for the death of our friends, against all tormenting anxious feares for our owne deaths; as being assured that Christ is not onely risen from the dead, but risen as the first fruits to ensure the glorious Resurrection of all those that belong to him? This use of thankfulness for so great a blessing, the Apostle makes; Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. 1.3. which hath be­gotten us againe to a lively hope by the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. And here St. Paul in the pre­sent Chapter, O death, where is thy sting, O grave where is thy victory! Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ; And indeed, he that con­siders what death is backed with, sin [Page 163]and the unalterable Law of God, can easily be moved to thankful­ness for victory over it through our Lord Jesus Christ, and his death and Resurrection.

Seventhly, if Christ be risen as the first fruits, &c. then let these bodies of ours be sacred and holy to him here, which we looke should be glorious and happy in him hereaf­ter; in him as glorified members of him a more glorious head; he will never make him a glorious member that is not first a holy member; ne­ver deliver him from the bondage of death, that does not seeke first to be delivered of sin; never deliver him from the corruption of the grave that does not seeke first to be deli­vered from the corruption of lust: If it were possible that any member of Christ in Heaven should either be a sinfull member, or a poor con­temptible member, sooner should it be a poor contemptible member, then a sinfull member; our Saviour sometimes here upon earth had a vile contemptible body, but never [Page 164]a sinfull body; looke we therefore that these bodyes of ours should be happy and glorious in him hereaf­ter? let them be sacred and holy to him here; Think with thy selfe, when gluttony and drunkenness dis­honours thy body, is this drunken body fit to be a member of Christs glorious body? when filthyness and uncleanness defiles thy body; is this filthy body fit to be a member, &c? thinke with thy selfe when violence, bribery, injustice, cozenage, and trading Legerdemanie cleaves to thy hand; is this hand, fit to be a mem­ber of Christs glorious body, &c? when pride, envy, avarice, adultery sits in thy eye, is this eye fit to be a member of Christs glorious body, &c? when profane, and cursed speaking, horrible swearing, slan­dering backbiting, &c. furres thy tongue, is this filthy furred tongue, fit to be a member of Christs glo­rious body, &c? How does the Apostle reason against the abusing of the body by the sinne of fornica­tion?1 Cor. 6.13. Now the body is not for forni­cation, [Page 165]but for the Lord; and is it fit that that body that is the Lords body, & looks to be raised up a glo­rious member of him already a glo­rious head, is it fit that body should be for filthyness and fornication? If we will needs so dishonour our selves as to make our bodyes the members of harlots, let us know that Christ will not so dishonour him­selfe as to make the members of harlots his own members. If there­fore Christ be risen as the first fruits, &c. he will not have, like Nebuchad­nezzars image, the head to be of gold, and any of the members, though the very feet, the lowest, to be of base clay and dirt.

Eighthly, If Christ be risen as the first fruit; then let us be bold to venture these bodies of ours, be it unto the death, in behalfe of him and his glory, who dyed for us and rose againe to ensure the glorious Resurrection of these bodies; our bodies are not so sure our owne now that we have them, and are cloth­ed with them; as when they are off [Page 166]at his bidding: he does but lay them up in a sure wardrobe, to re­store us them again, far better then we doft them off: so much deceived were those heathenish persecutours, that burning the Christians, gather­ed up the ashes of their bodies and threw them into the river Rhone to be carried away, who knowes whi­ther, that they might make the Christians without all hopes of the Resurrection; but little knew they that they had a head in Heaven that as those bones by prophecying came together bone to his bone, so by but speaking unto them could make all those ashes come together, were they never so scattered with the four winds;Euseb. 5. see how this, (the en­surement of our glorious Resurre­ctions in and by Christ) is made a speciall ground and motive in Scrip­ture for our sufferings;2 Cor. 4.14. Act. 20.20. 1 Cor. 15.32. Gal. 6.12. so we believe, and therefore speake, speake without concealment of any part of the truth of the Gospel, though thereby we procure our selves great persecution at the hands of the Jews: and what [Page 167]is the ground of his boldness? Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise up us also by Jesus; so,1 Tim. 6.13. Exhorting Timothy to constancy in the Gospel whatsoever befell upon it,2 Tim. 2.8. upon what ground does he it? sc. this, Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead, Rev. 2.8. &c. so the Lord exhorting the Church of Smyrna to endure tribulation for his names sake, upon what ground does he it? sc. this, these things saith the First and the Last, which was dead and is alive; &c. And so though you dye in his cause, feare not, he will make you alive againe; if therefore Christ be risen as, &c.

Ninthly, If Christ be risen as the first fruits, let us while we are in these bodies of ours, be constant and abundant in all good works; knowing that our labour none of it all shall be lost, but a day shal come, when if we could be sorry for any thing, it should be especially for this, that we have slugged it so much in the work of godliness. Let [Page 168]not thine heart envy sinners; Prov. 23.17, 18. for surely there is an end (even that end 1 Cor. 15.24.) and thine expectation shall not be cut off; And have hope towards God, Act. 24.15, 16. that there shall be a Resurrection, &c. and herein do I exer­cise my selfe, to have a conscience alwayes void of offence, both towards God and man. And here in this Chapter, after the Apostle hath sufficiently proved Christs Resurre­ction, and also our glorious Resurrection in him, This is the very use he makes of it in the last verse; [...]. Therefore, my beloved, be ye stedfast, setled, grounded, confirm'd, in the infallible faith of Christs and your Resur­rections; and unmoveable, not onely setled, but unmoveably setled, that nothing be able to shake you from that stedfastness, not the violence of Tyrants persecuting you, not the subtilty of Philosophers seeking to cir­cumvent you; and if you continue thus stedfast, and unmoveable in this your faith, what will then follow, but that you should abound, not be spare and scanty, but abound; and that not when you are ready to lay downe these bodies of yours onely, but al­wayes: Abounding alwayes in the work of the Lord.

FINIS.

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