XI CHOICE SERMONS, Preached upon Severall Occasions.

With a CATECHISME Expounding the Grounds and Principles of Christian RELIGION.

By WILLIAM GAY B. D. Rector of Buckland.

LONDON, Printed for Humphrey Moseley, and are to be sold at his Shop at the Princes Armes in St. Pauls Church-yard. 1655.

TO THE HONORABLE Sr Henry Frederick Thinne, Knight and Baronet, continuall increase of Honour and Happiness.


THese following papers have long been design'd to kiss your hand, where (if they now find accep­tance) I shal conceive them the better able to weather those stormes which they may expect to meet withall abroad; You are not ignorant, how the injurious malice of some men, (which though divers years are past, hath not sufficiently eva­porated its malignity) hath subjected the Author to an hard, and yet honorable [Page]suffering; his innocence may perhaps be the more conspicuous to cādid judgments, when these his meditations shal appear under the shelter of your honored Name: and (his opposers) may be lesse forward to blast his memory: It was his intention to have pre­sented it with his own hand, but death pre­vented it, and providence hath cast this as a necessary duty upon me; all his ambi­tion was to acknowledge to the world his many deep obligements, hoping this might remain as an undoubted testimony; that his earnest desires to honor and serve you could not expire but with his breath: and mine shall be no other then to have the honor to be esteemed

Your devoted Servant W. G.


The First Section: Of Catechising.

1. Quest.

WHat is the title of your common Cate­chism?

A. An Instruction.

2. Q. What doth it concern?

A. The Principles and Grounds of Religion; and it is therefore called the laying of the foundation, Heb. 6.1.

3. Q. In what manner or kind is it?

A. By Questions and Answers; and it is therefore called Catechism, which signifies resounding or an­swering again.

4. Q. Who must be the Learners?

A. Children, whether they be so in age, Prov. 22.6. or in understanding, 1 Cor. 14.20. Heb. 5.12. 1 Pet. 3.15.

5. Q. Who must be the Teachers?

A. Masters to their Families, Eph. 6.4. Gen. 14.14. & 18.19. but especially Ministers to their flocks, 1 Cor. 3.2.10. Acts 5.42. & 20.20.

6. Q. What reason can you shew that this work be­longeth to Masters of families?

A. Because they are bound to provide for their Fa­milies [Page 2]corporally, 1 Tim. 5.8. therefore spiritually.

7. Q. Have women any part or share in this work?

A. No doubt they have, whether they be Wives or Widdows, Tit. 2.3, 4. Prov. 31.1, 26.

8. Q. Is Catechising to be preferred before Preaching?

A. Yes for order, though for honour Preaching ex­celleth it, as the compleat habitation excelleth the foundation.

9. Q. What learn you out of all aforesaid?

A. To love this exercise, because it is instruction, Prov. 15.32. and the foundation of building me up to God, and the surest way for Teacher and Learner to understand one another.

Sect. 2. Of our spiritual danger or miserie.

1. Q. WHat are the chiefest parts or points of this foundation?

A. The knowledge of our danger; of our remedy; of our receiving the remedy; and of the proof of our receiving it.

2. Q. What is our common danger in our spirituall e­state?

A. That we are by nature subject to Gods wrath, Eph. 2.3.

3. Q. What is the especial effect thereof to us?

A. A threefold death, Gen. 2.17. Rom. 6.23. viz. a naturall, Gen. 3.19. spirituall, Eph. 2.1. eternal, which is called the second death, Rev. 2.11. & 20.6. and eter­nall damnation, Mar. 3.29. and eternall judgement, Heb. 6.2.

4. Q. Can you declare and expresse what that second death is?

A. No more then its opposite, or contrary (the [Page 3]joyes of heaven) can be expressed, 1 Cor. 2.9. But it is summed in poena damni, & poena sensus, both everla­sting, all included, Mat. 25.41.

5. Q. How comes this (so infinite) punishment to be due to us?

A. For Adams first sin, and for every sin of our own.

6. Q. How (in point of Justice) for Adams sin?

A. Because we were then all in him, not only as the root from which we were to spring, but as the body in which we were included and represented; hee being (though but one man, yet) that publick one that stood for all, so that both his receipt, and breach of the Covenant was ours, 1 Cor. 15.22. Rom. 5.18, 19.

7. Q. How (in point of Justice) for every sin of our own, seeing to us many sins seem light and small?

A. Because God is infinite, therefore every sinne being the transgression of his will, 1 Joh. 3.4.) deser­veth infinite punishment, Rom. 6.23.

8. Q. How came Adam by sin? was he created sinful?

A. No, but by Satans temptation to the Woman, and by her to him he fell into it, Gen. 3.1. 2 Cor. 11.

9. Q. Who, or what was Satan, and how came he to be sinfull?

A. Satan is a name implying, and including all, and every of the Devils, who being (with infinite o­ther Angels, created in glory, and Angels of light) of themselves, and through their own frailty and pre­sumption fell in sin, and became eternally reprobated Angels of darknesse, Joh. 8.44. 2 Pet. 2.4. Jude 6.

10. Q. What can you gather out of this doctrine of our danger, and fall of the creatures?

A. 1. That there is but one unchangeable Essence, one God, Deut. 6.4. Jam. 1.17.

2. That we should not be proud of ourselves, nor scornfull of others, 1 Cor. 4.7. Rom. 14.10 Gal. 6.1, 2.

3. That we can never be too watchfull or carefull of ourselves, 2 Pet. 3.11.

4. That we have no help in our selves, but must look it without us, Rom. 7.14.18. 2 Cor. 3.5.

Sect. 3. Of our Remedy.

1. Q. BY, whom are we delivered from our foresaid danger?

A. By Jesus Christ, Rom. 5.9. 1 Thes. 1.10.

2. Q. How did he deliver us?

A. By making satisfaction to God for us, 1 Joh. 2.2.

3. Q. How did he make satisfaction for us?

A. By his sufferings, Is. 53.5. 1 Pet. 2.24. and by his doings, Jtr. 23.6. 1 Cor. 1.30.

4. Q. What needed any satisfaction, seeing God is mercifull?

A. Because he is also just, and cannot deny himself, 2 Tim. 2.13.

5. Q. But how could Christs doing, and suffering (in Justice) stand and passe for ours?

A. Because he was our voluntary surety, Gal. 1.4. our head (answerable to the first Adam) Rom. 5.18, 19. Col. 1.18. our husband, Eph. 5.23, 24.

6. Q. But how could Christs satisfaction be sufficient for all men?

A. Because he was God as wel as man, therefore the virtue and value of it was infinite, Acts 20.28. Acts 3.15. 1 Cor. 2.8.

7. Q. What followeth for our instruction in point of practise, out of this doctrine of our redemption by Christ?

A. Great provocation of our love to God, to our self, and our neighbour.

8. Q. Why to God?

A. Because we are not our own, but his; bought with a price, 1 Cor. 6.20. and that a precious one, 1 Pet. 1.19.

9. Q. Why to our self?

A. Because God hath prized us so highly we should not disesteem, or sleight our selves, but carefully passe the time of our dwelling here in fear, 1 Pet. 1.17, 18, 19.

10. Q. Why to our neighbour?

A. Because God hath so dearly loved us, 1 Joh. 4.10.

Sect. 4. Of our receiving our Remedy.

1. Q. HOw doe we receive the remedy which Christ hath wrought for us?

A. Onely by Faith, Ioh. 1.12. Ioh. 3.16. Rom. 10.4.

2. Q. But doth not faith work by love? Gal. 5.6.

A. Yes, outwardly to the world, and inwardly to our self, in point of its own probation, but not up­wardly to God in point of our justification; there Works are shut out, Rom. 3.28. Eph. 2.9.

3. Q. But though our Works have no hand in recei­ving our Justification, yet do they not help to make us acceptable to God?

A. No more then the wiping with a filthy ragge would cleanse our faces, Is. 64.6.

4. Q. But is there no worth or virtue in our Faith, for which it receiveth our justification?

A. No, for we are said to be justified, or saved by Faith, Rom. 3.28. and through Faith, Eph. 2.8. but never for Faith; for the price is onely Christs satis­faction, Act. 4.12. Is. 53.5. And to say we are justified by Faith, is but a Figurative speech: for Faith doth [Page 6]justifie us no otherwise then our hand doth feed us; and that is but as a receiving, and an applying in­strument.

5. Q. And doe you (by your particular faith) receive your own justification to your self?

A. Yes, or else my faith were no better then the Devils, I am. 2.19.

6 Q. But is it not enough (at least for the ignorant) to beleeve as the Church believeth, in implicite Faith?

A. No, for the just shall live by his faith, Heb. 2.4. And in the Creed we are taught, and required every one to professe, and confess the particulars of our faith.

7. Q. And have you any assurance in your particular Faith?

A. Yes (though in much weaknesse, Mark 9.24. and reluctation of the flesh, Gal. 5.17.) For Faith is the ground of things hoped for, Heb. 11.1.

8. Q. How can you have particular assurance, ha­ving no particular warrant, or promise to you by name?

A. Because the Covenant of Grace was made inde­finitely to all beleevers, every beleever may, and must take, and apply the same unto himself in particular, as Iob 19.25. Iob. 20.28. Gal. 2.20.

9. Q. What followeth, or may be gathered out of this doctrine of our justification by Faith onely?

A. Humiliation, and Confirmation.

10. Q. How, or why Humiliation?

A. Because in our justification we are meer and bare receivers, and have nothing to boast of, 1 Cor. 4.7. Luke 17.10.

11. Q. How, or why Confirmation?

A. Because we build not on the sand of our own me­rits, but on the foundation of Gods knowledge, 2 Tim. 2.19. Gal. 4.9. and on the rock of Christs perfection. 1 Pet. 2.6, 7, 8.

Sect. 5. Of the proof of our Faith.

1. Q. WHat need is there of proving our faith?

A. None in respect of God, for he know­eth what is in man, Ioh. 2.25. and worketh whatso­ever is good in man, Iam. 1.17. but in respect of the Church, and of our selves.

2. Q. What is the proof of our faith outwardly to the Church?

A. Its good fruits, Gal. 5.6. 2 Cor. 5.17. Iam. 2, 18.

3. Q. How necessary is that good fruit (Obedience) to true faith?

A. As necessary as the soul is to the life of the body, I am. 2.26.

4. Q. What reason can you shew for this?

A. Because love is of the nature of fire.

5. Q. And what do you infer from that?

A. That the fire of Gods love (wheresoever it is received by faith) will inflame, Ps. 39.3. and purifie Act. 15.9.

6. Q. What inward proof is there to our self, and our own conscience?

A. The testimony of Gods Spirit, Ioh. 4.13. Rom. 8.16.

7. Q. How is that wrought, known, or found?

A. Descendendo, by showring down comforts, Ps. 72.6. and ascendendo, by exhaling Graces, Gal. 5.22. for so Iacobs dream, Gen. 28.12. is fulfilled in Christ, Ioh. 1.51.

8. Q. What followeth (for instruction of our practise) out of this doctrine of the necessity of good works?

A. That we must take heed of denying God our selves, Tit. 1.16. and of setting others awork to blas­pheme him, Rom. 2.23, 24. 2 Sam. 12.14.

Sect. 6. Of the helps of our Faith.

1. Q. WHat speciall help have you of, or to your faith?

A. The Sacraments, for therein Christ is offered to us both by word and action.

2 Q. How long have Sacraments been in use?

A. From the beginning.

3. Q. What Sacraments had Adam?

A. The tree of Life, pawning life to his obedience, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil, pawning death to his disobedience, Gen. 2.9.

4. Q. Had these any relation to Christ and the cove­nant of Grace?

A. No, for there was yet no need, because no sin.

5. Q. When began the Sacraments of Grace?

A. Circumcision began by Abraham, Gen. 17.9. and the Passeover by Moses, Ex. 12.3.

6. Q. Why are these ended, and taken away?

A. Partly because Christ was the end of the Law, Rom. 10.4. and the body of those shaddows, Col. 2.17. and partly because God fitteth his Church according to its age and quality, with spirituall (as the Nurse doth her child, and the Physician his patient with corporall) food and Physick.

7. Q. How many Sacraments hath Christ ordained in his Church?

A. Two onely as generally necessary to salvation, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.

8. Q What say you then to those 5 which the Church of Rome will have also to be Sacraments, Confirma­tion, Pennance, Extreme Unction, Orders, Matrimony?

A. That they be not Sacraments: First, because Christ did neither partake nor ordain them. Secondly, because they be not all alike common to all; for Or­ders [Page 9]can belong but to one profession. Thirdly, because they crosse and oppose one another, as Orders, and Matrimony, which cannot agree together (as they suppose.)

9. Q. What meanest thou by this word Sacrament?

A. I mean an outward visible sign of an inward and spiritual Grace, given unto us, ordained by Christ himself, as a means whereby we receive the same, and as a pledge to assure us thereof.

10. Q. What do you shew or touch in this answer?

A. The nature of a Sacrament, that it is an out­ward sign of an inward grace. The Author, that it is from Christ. The Effect, that it doth conveigh, and assure the Grace which it signifieth.

11. Q. Doth then the outward sign alwaies give, and confirm the grace which it signifieth?

A. Not properly of it self, and by the very action, but instrumentally where it pleaseth God to make it effectuall: for Simon Magus was in the gall of bitter­nesse after Baptism, Act. 8.13.23. Whether Judas did communicate is contro­verted. and Iudas after the Lords Supper (if he received it) was a lost child of perdition, Joh. 17.12.

12. Q. Why then doth your common Catechism say, that in Baptism you are made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of Hea­ven?

A. To teach me what I should beleeve, and endea­vour to make good.

13. Q. What do you learn out of that aforesaid of Sa­craments for your practise?

A. First to be thankfull to God for his gracious affording me such helps.

Secondly to rejoice in the use of them.

Thirdly to abhorre the Doctrine of the Romish [Page 10]Church, which doth adde so many of their own in­ventions to Gods Ordinances.

Sect. 7. Of Baptism.

1. Q. WHat is the outward visible sign or form in Baptism?

A. Water, wherein the person baptised is dipped, or &c.

2. Q. Is water alone sufficient without salt, spittle, oyle, &c.

A. Yes, for we read of nothing else used in the first Institution, Mat. 3.16. Act. 8.36, 37.

3. Q. And what is it to be dipped, or sprinckled in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?

A. It implyeth the grace of the Author, and the bond of the Receiver; to wit, that by divine right we are created into the grace and favour, and bound to the obedience, and service of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

4. Q. VVho must baptise?

A. Onely the lawfull Minister; for the Ministry of the Word and Sacraments was one joynt Commission, Mat. 28.19, 20. And no man is to undertake it with­out lawfull calling, Heb. 5.4. 1 Sam. 13.11. 2 Sam. 6.6.

5. Q. And who must be baptised?

A. Converts that are of age, and can, and will make right confession of faith, Act. 8.36.37. and In­fants of the Church, Act. 2.29.

6. Q. To what end then are Sureties or VVitnesses, if the covenant belong to children of the church?

A. Because the child cannot offer it self, therefore the Sureties in its own, and its parents behalf do offer it to the Church by confession and profession, and in [Page 11]own, its Parents, and the Churches behalf doe offer it to God by covenanting.

7. Q. But do not the Sureties goe too far in covenant­ing for the child?

A. No, for they doe not meddle with Gods secret will and counsell, but with his ordinance, whereto they have calling, Mat. 19.14. and covenant, Act. 2.39.

Secondly, their covenant is not to bind themselves to what shall be, but to bind the child to what should be, 2 King. 11.17. 2 King. 23.3.

8. Q. What is the inward and spirituall grace in Bap­tism?

A. A death unto sin, and a new birth, &c.

9. Q. Is then sin fully taken away by, or in Baptism?

A. By the virtue of Christs blood we are cleansed from the guilt of sin, 1 Ioh. 1.7. and by the power of his spirit we are freed, though not from the dispositi­on, and inclination to sin, yet from the body, reign, and dominion of sin, Rom.

10. Q. What may be gathered out of this aforesaid of Baptism for practise?

A. 1. That Infants baptism must be hastned, and not needlesly delayed, Mat. 19.14.

2. That the performance of it be in all points reve­rently observed.

3. That we should not rest satisfied with our out­ward Baptism, but labour to find, and shew the inward Baptism of the Spirit.

Sect. 8. Of the Lords Supper.

1. Q. WHat is outwardly to be received in the Lords Supper?

A. Bread and Wine.

2. Q. Why might not our eating the Bread suffice to signifie our receiving the body and blood of Christ, see­ing the Bread signifieth the Body, and the Body contai­neth the Blood?

A. Because our remembrance and comfort, is of, and in Christs blood shed out of his body.

3. Q. But doth not the dignitie of the Minister re­quire, or allow that he keep the cup to himself?

A. No, for the dignity of the Minister is in the office of ministring, not in the right of receiving.

4. Q. But is it not better the Wine should be forborne of the multitude, rather then the spilling of it should be hazarded in carrying it about?

A. No, for if the Wine be spilt, it is a breach of de­cency, not a losse of Christs blood; but the wilfull forbearing of the Cup (being a breach of Christs Or­dinance) is both.

5. Q. How much must be eaten and drunken?

A. So much Bread as is delivered, and so much Wine as may shew and prove drinking.

6. Q. May none of the Bread bee kept to sanctifie the keeper, the fire, the pot, the house?

A. No, for such use is not onely beyond Christs in­stitution, but against the nature of a Sacrament.

7. Q. What is the inward part, or thing signified in this Sacrament?

A. The Body and Blood of Christ.

8. Q. Are Bread and Wine then turned into the Body and Blood of Christ?

A. No, they keep still their own kind and nature, 1 Cor. 10.16. 1 Cor. 11.28.

9. Q. Why then doth Christ say, This is my body, this is my blood, Mat. 26.26.

A. It is a Figurative speech common to the Sacra­ments: Circumcision is called Gods Covenant, Gen. 17. [Page 13]13. & the Lamb is called the Lords Passeover, Ex. 12.11.21. and it is by Christ expounded spiritually, Jo. 6.63.

10. Q. Who may, or must receive this Sacrament?

A. None but they that are already by Baptism ini­tiated members of the Church, and are of age and reason to discern or make difference of the Lords Body, 1 Cor. 11.29. and are (at least) professors of faith and repentance, because holy things must not be given to dogs, Mat. 7.6. and are more then one or two at once, because it is a Communion.

11. Q. What may be gathered out of this aforesaid of the Lords Supper, for our practise.

A. That we have need to prepare our selves before we receive it, and to be intent in faith and zeal when we reecive it, and to be carefull to shew our growth in grace, strength, and comfort after we have received it.

Sect. 9. Of the Creed.

1. Q. WHere doe you chiefly find the sum or do­ctrine of your Faith?

A. In the Apostles Creed.

2. Q. Why is it called the Apostles Creed?

A. Because it is the summe of the Apostles doctrine.

3. Q. What needed then other Creeds to be added, or to come after?

A. To explain and confirm it against new Heresies, especially concerning the Unity and the Trinity in the Godhead.

4. Q. What doe you then when you say the Creed?

A. I make my confession of the Christian Faith.

5. Q. It it not a prayer?

A. No.

6. Q. How may that appear?

A. By consideration, first of the nature of it in its originall use, which was for converts to answer being questioned, What do you beleeve?

Secondly of its object, for it speaketh not to God, but to men.

Thirdly of its subject, for it doth neither ask, nor give thanks.

Fourthly of its gesture, or manner of utterance; for we kneel in prayer, but stand up in confessing.

7. Q. And why so?

A. To shew our humbleness in speaking to God, and our boldness in speaking to men.

8. Q. But may it not be used in, or with our prayers?

A. Yes, by way of meditation, and to the purpose of our spiritual confirmation, and consolation.

9. Q. And what is the summe of the severall parts, or points of this Creed?

A. The confession of one God in three persons, and of the Church with its prerogatives.

10. Q. Why doe we speak particularly in the Creed (I beleeve) whereas in the Lords Prayer we speak plurally, Our Father?

A. Because Charity doth require us to pray one for another, but we cannot beleeve, nor confess one for ano­ther.

11. Q. Why not beleeve one for another?

A. Because spiritually, as well as corporally each one must live by his own, and not by anothers food and physick, Hab. 2.4.

12. Q. Why not confesse one for another?

A. Because no man knows what is in anothers heart, 1 Cor. 2.11.

13. Q. What may be gathered for practise out of this aforesaid of the Creed?

A. That every one ought to learn it, and to labour, [Page 15]and desire rightly to understand it, and to make dili­gent, and right use of it.

Sect. 10. Of the first Article.

1. Q. HOw many Articles be there in the Creed?

A. Twelve in common accompt, though not alike distinguished and expressed by all men in the totall number, or the particular enumeration.

2. Q. What is the first Article?

A. I beleeve in God the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth.

3. Q. What is it to beleeve in God?

A. It is to beleeve the being of God, that he is; and the truth of God, that he is true; and the love of God to me, that he is mine, and I am his.

4. Q. What makes you beleeve there is a God?

A. 1. His power, both visible outwardly in the creation, Rom. 1.20. and sensible inwardly in every con­science, Rom. 2.14.

2. The instinct of nature ever working in the hea­then to make them rather take any thing for God, then to have no God at all.

5. Q. What is God?

A. I may rather tell what he is not, because he is in­finite, and cannot be expressed.

6. Q. But how hath he revealed himself in his Word?

A. That he is a Spirit, Joh. 4.24. and that he is of himself, Ex. 3.14.

7. Q. If God be a spirit, how is man said to be created in his image?

A. Not in regard of bodily shape, but of spirituall faculties, especially knowledge, Col. 3.10. and holiness, Eph. 4.24.

8. Q. What mean you by God the Father?

A. I acknowledge the first person in Trinity.

9. Q. Is God then more then one?

A. He is one in substance or essence, yet three in per­son, 1 Joh. 5.7.

10. Q. How is God Almighty?

A. Because he can doe all works of power, Dan. 4.35. and cannot doe any works of weaknesse, Tit. 1.2. 2 Tim. 2.13. and because all rule is his, Rom. 13.1. and because all might is his, Act. 17.28.

11. Q. What mean you by Heaven and Earth?

A. All things that are visible, and invisible.

12. Q. How did God make them?

A. Immediately of, and by himself, without mat­ter, means, or instrument, Psal. 33.6. Heb. 11.3.

13. Q. What followeth out of this aforesaid of the first Article for instruction to our practise?

A. That as I know God by his Works, so I must acknowledge him in all the use I make of them, and a­buse none of them.

Secondly, I must depend and trust on him for my preservation and salvation (in every kind) of whom I had my creation.

Thirdly, that I must fear him, knowing that he who hath power to create, hath also power to destroy.

Sect. 11. Of the second Article.

1. Q. VVHat is the second Article?

A. And in Jesus Christ his onely Son our Lord.

2. Q. What word is wanting here?

A. I beleeve: For I must beleeve in God the Fa­ther, God the Son, and in God the Holy Ghost.

3. Q. What doth the name Jesus signifie?

A. A Saviour, Mat. 1.21.

4. Q. Whom doth he save?

A. As many as doe receive him by faith, Joh. 1.12.

5. Q. VVhat doth the name Christ signifie?

A. Anointed.

6. Q. How doth this belong to our Saviour?

A. By speciall excellency, he being (as none else e­ver was) a King, Mat. 21.4. a Priest, Heb. 5.6. and a Prophet, Act. 3.22.

7. Q. Doth the name Christian imply the like in us?

A. Yes, that (spiritually) we are Kings to reign o­ver our corruptions, Rev. 5.10. and Priests to offer spiritual sacrifices, 1 Pet. 2.5. and Prophets to provoke and to exhort one another, Heb. 10.24, 25. and to di­stribute our received graces, 1 Pet. 4.10.

8. Q. How is Christ the Son of God?

A. By an unspeakable manner of everlasting gene­ration, Is. 53.8.

9. Q. But how is he Gods onely Son, when as we also are called Gods Sons, Gal. 4 6, 7. and the Angels like­wise, Job 1.6. & 38.7?

A. We are Sons by Adoption, the Angels by Crea­tion, but Christ is the onely natural Son of God, Heb. 1.5.

10. Q. And how is Christ our Lord?

A. As he is God, because he hath created us, and as he is God and Man, because he hath redeemed us, Act. 2.36.

11. Q. VVhat learn you (for practise) out of all afore­said of the second Article?

A. To be comforted and strengthned in Faith, and in Prayer, Heb. 4.15, 16.2 Tim. 1.12. Secondly, to o­bey Christ, Mal. 1.6. Thirdly, to imitate him. Joh. 13.13.

Sect. 12. Of the third Article.

1. Q. WHat is the third Article?

A. Which was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary.

2. Q. VVhat meaneth this, Conceived by the Holy Ghost?

A. His miraculous, and supernaturall Creation in the womb of the Virgin (Incarnate) saith the Nicene Creed. Secondly his sanctification, Luk. 1.35. Thirdly, his union with the divine nature, Joh. 1.14.

3. Q. VVhy was Christ conceived by the Holy Ghost?

A. That he might be without sin, 2 Cor. 5.21.

4. Q. VVhy must he be without sin?

A. Because he was to be united to the Godhead, and because he was to redeem sinners.

5. Q. VVas this conception and birth of Christ true and proper, or was it onely a miraculous passing of a mi­raculous, and heavenly body (as some have thought?)

A. It was true and proper, though supernaturall (as aforesaid) for the words are plain in the Creed, and Is. 7.14. & Luk. 2.6.

6. Q. VVhen where, and how was Christ born?

A. In the fulnesse of time, Gal. 4.4. At Bethlehem the appointed place, Mal. 2.5. In a stable, and laid in a manger, Luk. 2.7.

7. Q. VVhy was Christ born of a Virgin?

A. That he might be without sin (as aforesaid.)

8. Q. Is not Virginity hereby honoured above VVed­lock?

A. No, for this Virgin was a Wife, Mat. 1.20, 24.

9. Q. VVhat then is hereby honoured?

A. The sex of Womanhood, because as mans fall so also his recovery was thorough a woman: And a one woman was of a man alone, so one man is of a woman alone.

10. Q. Did Christs Mother continue still a Virgin?

A. It is a point of Piety, though not of Faith so to think.

11. Q. How cometh that Christs mother hath no other titles here but Virgin Mary?

A. Because the Scripture giveth her no other, Mat. 1.18. Luk. 1.27.

12. Q. Doe we then owe her no more honour then so?

A. Yes, we are bound to honour her, in praising God for her, in reverent estimation, and memory of her, and imitation of her Virtues and Graces, but without any trusting in her, or worshipping of her.

13. Q. VVhat learn you (for practise) out of this a­foresaid of the third article?

A. That seeing God hath so honoured my nature, as to unite it himself, I must take heed of dishonouring it in my self or in others.

Secondly, that I must doe good for evill, because (to redeem man that would be God) God became Man.

Sect. 13. Of the fourth Article.

1. Q. WHat is the fourth Article?

A. Suffered under Ponce Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. And some doe adde to this (as part of Christs Humiliation) He descended into Hell. Others do refer it (as part of his Exaltation) to the fifth Article.

2. Q. How could Christ suffer being God?

A. He was also man, and suffered in his humane nature; and so are those places to be understood, Act. 20.28. Act. 3.15. 1 Cor. 2.8.

3. Q. VVho was Pontius Pilate?

A. The Roman Emperours Deputy Governour, Luk. 3.1.

4. Q. VVhat doe you gather from that?

A. That the Scepter being then departed from Ju­dah, Christ was the promised Messiah, Gen. 49.10.

5. Q. VVhat manner of suffering was Christs?

A. Besides many other, he was Crucified.

6. Q. VVhat was that?

A. He was nayled in his hands and feet to a wooden Crosse.

7. Q. VVhy did he die this kind of death?

A. Partly to fulfill the foregone Signs and Figures of him, viz. the Heave-offering, Exod. 29.28. and the Brasen serpent, Joh. 3.14. and partly to undergoe the curse of the Law for us, Gal. 3 13.

8. Q. VVas Christs buriall part of his suffering?

A. Not properly, but (being part of his Humiliati­on) it is an appurtenance of his suffering.

9. Q. VVhat needed his buriall, seeing death could not hold him long?

A. Besides the charitable respect both of dead and living (alwaies had of all) in use of burying, it helped to prove and confirm the truth both of his death and resurrection.

10. Q. VVhat is Christs death and buriall to us, seeing we dye nevertheless?

A. It hath taken away the proper nature of death that is, cursednesse, Hos. 13.14. 2 Tim. 1.10. and hath turned it into a blessing, and the grave into a bed o [...] rest, Rev. 14.13.

11. How is this interpreted, He descended into hell?

A. Some take it for the locall descension of Christ soul, and some for the hellish paines he suffered in th [...] Garden, and upon the Crosse.

12. Q. VVhat is out of question, and of all sides con­fessed in, and concerning this?

A. That Christ did suffer nothing after his death [Page 21]for at his death he said, It is finished, Joh. 19.30. and he fulfilled whatsoever was necessary to redeem us, 1 Joh. 2.2. Heb. 1.3.

11. Q. What doe you gather (for practise) out of all a­foresaid of the fourth Article?

A. 1. That I must be ready to suffer for Christ whatsoever extremity, and under whatsoever autho­rity, seeing he so suffered for us, Rom. 8.17.

Secondly, that I must not fear death, nor the grave, seeing Christ hath taken away the curse and shame thereof, Ps. 4.8.

Thirdly, that I must imitate Christs death spiritu­ally, Rom. 6.4. 1 Cor. 15.31.

Sect. 14. Of the fifth Article, or next following.

1. Q. WHat is the fifth Article, or the next fol­lowing?

A. The third day he rose again from the dead.

2. Q. How could Christ properly be said to rise being dead?

A. Because it was by his own power, being God as well as man.

3. Q. What proof is there of his bodies rising?

A. Besides his many appearances, the Jews did prove it by their own lye, Mat, 28.13.

4. Q. What especiall proofs did he himself shew?

A. His palpablenesse, his wounds, and his eating, Luk. 24.39, &c.

5. Q. Was his body then still a natural body?

A. Yes, in respect of substance, though spiritual in [...]espect of accidents and qualities, 1 Cor. 15.44.

6. Q. And were his wounds still to be reserved?

A. Some think so, that they shall be for convictio [...] [Page 22]of the wicked at the last day, Rev. 1.7. Others think they were but for present purpose to confirm the Di­sciples; as (no doubt) his eating only was.

7. Q. Why did not Christ rise till the third day?

A. To confirm the truth of his death, Mat. 18.16. and to fulfill the Figure foreshewed in Jonah, Mat. 12.40.

8. Q. What use is now made of Christs rising day?

A. It is ordained to be our Sabbath, as appears both by the use of it, Act. 20.7. 1 Cor. 16.1, 2. and by the name of it, Rev. 1.10. For it is plain that Christ rose the first day of the Jews week, Mat. 28.1, 2.

9. Q. What benefit have we by Christs Resurrection?

A. We have the first Resurrection taught us, and the second warranted us.

10. Q. What mean you by the first Resurrection?

A. The rising of the soul from sin, Rev. 20.6. Col. 3.1.

11. Q. How is this taught us?

A. We are baptised into Christ, therefore into the similitude of his death and resurrection, Rom. 6.3, 4.

12. Q. What mean you by the second Resurrection?

A. The rising again of our bodies from the Grave.

13. Q. How is this warranted to us?

A. Because Christ being our Head, and we his Mem­bers, we are sure to partake of all his benefits, and there­fore to follow him in the resurrection, 1 Cor. 15.12.

14. Q. What learn you (for practise) out of this afore­said of the fift article?

A. To feed spiritually, and not carnally in the Sa­crament, because Christs body (being still substantial) cannot be in many places at once, therefore not really in the Sacrament.

Secondly, to use the Sabbath to the honour of the Son of righteousness, Mal. 4.2.

Thirdly, to dye unto sin, that I may rise unto righ­teousnesse.

Sect. 15. Of the sixth Article, or next following.

1. Q. WHat is the sixth article, or the next fol­lowing?

A. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

2. Q. What mean you by this, He ascended into Hea­ven?

A. That in his humane nature (soul and body) he left the earth, and went up into that third heaven, or Paradise, 2 Cor. 12.2.

3. Q. How then is that fulfilled, Lo I am with you al­way unto the end of the world? Mat. 28.20.

A. He is alwaies present to his by his power, pro­vidence, protection, and continuall work of his Spirit.

4. Q. When did Christ ascend?

A. Forty dayes after his resurrection, Act. 1.3.

5. Q. Why no sooner?

A. Partly for more proof of his resurrection, partly to provide for the setling of his Church in things per­taining to the order and government thereof, Act. 1.3.

6. Q. How did he ascend?

A. No doubt in glory and triumph.

7. Q. How may that appear?

A. Partly (as it is probable) in the attendance of the raised bodies, Mat. 27.52. but especially in that he led captivity captive, Eph. 4.8.

8. Q. Is there need of sitting, or use of seats in Hea­ven?

A. No, for glorified bodyes are not subject to [Page 24]weaknesse, 1 Cor. 15.43. Rev. 21.4.

9. Q. Why then is Gods throne, and his sitting thereon mentioned, Dan. 7.9. & Rev. 4.2?

A. To set forth God to our capacity by the simili­tude of a Judge.

10. Q. Is not then the right hand of God here properly to be understood?

A. No, for God is a spirit, Joh. 4.24.

11. Q. What meaneth this then, And sitteth on the right hand of God?

A. It is a borrowed, or figurative speech, signifying his supreme dignity above all creatures, and his go­vernment over his Church, Eph. 1.20, 21, 22. and his mediation, Rom. 8.34. and his power over his enemies, 1 Cor. 15.25.

12. Q. What doe you gather (for practise) out of all a­foresaid of the sixth article?

A. That I must now endeavour to ascend unto Christ in affection, Col. 3.1. and in conversation, Phil. 3.20.

Secondly, that I must hope to ascend to him at last bodily, and in person.

Thirdly, that I may not think of receiving Christ corporally in the Sacrament, because so he is in heaven, and shall be to the end, Act. 3.27.

Fourthly, that I must be constant in Gods service, seeing Christ hath triumphed over the Kingdome of darknesse.

Fifthly, That I must goe boldly to the Throne of grace, Heb. 4.16.

Sect. 16. Of the seventh Article, or next following.

1. Q. WHat is the seventh Article, or next follow­ing?

A. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

2. Q. VVho shall come?

A. Christ in his humane nature, Act. 1.11. & 10.42. & 17.31. & Ioh. 5.22.

3. Q. From whence, and whither shall he come?

4. From thence, that is, from heaven: Come, that is, to us on earth, as Act. 1.11.

4. Q. When shall he come?

A. It is not revealed, Mat. 13.32.

5. Q. How shall he come?

A. In power and great glory, Mat. 24.24, 30. Luk. 23.30.

6. Q. How, or wherein shall this judgement be?

A. Only in trying, and in rewarding or answering, 2 Cor. 5.10.

7. Q. Shall all works then be rewarded or answered ac­cording to their worth or merit?

A. Evill works shall; but good works rather accor­ding to their evidence and testimony, then according to their merit: In which sense the word (for) is to be understood, Mat. 25.35 & Luk. 7.47.

8. Q. But how shall all works be truly tried?

A. Gods knowledge, and our own consciences shall agree (as Register books) to discover all, Rev. 20.12. Gen. 4.7. Num. 32.23.

9. Q. Shall there be any other Iudgement?

A. Yes, every soul shall be particularly judged at the hour of death, Eccles. 12.17. Heb. 9.27. Luk. 16.22.

10. Q. What needeth then a second judgement?

A. Not to amend or alter any thing formerly done, Eccles. 11.3. but to confirm all publickly by the voice of all, 1 Cor. 6.2. And that the body may also be judged 2 Cor. 5.10.

11. Q. What mean you by the quick, and the dead?

A. All mankind that shall be then at Christs com­ing quick and alive, or dead and departed.

12. Q. What learn you (for practise) out of all afore­said of the seventh article?

A. To rejoyce that he who is my Saviour shall be my judge, 2 Tim. 1.12.

Secondly, to wait, and prepare for that which is so certain, and uncertain, and terrible, Mat. 13.35.

Thirdly, to avoyd secret, as well as open sinning, because all must come to light, 1 Cor. 4.5.

Sect. 17. Of the eighth Article, or next following.

1. Q. WHat is the eighth Article, or next fol­lowing?

A. I beleeve in the Holy Ghost.

2. Q. What is it to beleeve in the Holy Ghost?

A. To put my trust in him, as in my God and san­ctifier, as before in the first and second Articles.

3. Q. How can he God who is said to be sent, Joh. 14.26. & 15.26. and to be received, Joh. 20.22. Act. 19.2. and to be given, Joh. 14.16.

A. That is spoken not in respect of his person, but of his gifts or effects.

4. Q. Is the Holy Ghost then another from the Father and the Son?

A. He is another person, Ioh. 14.16. another Com­forter, [Page 27]though they be one in essence, 1 Ioh. 5.7.

5. Q. What is his personall propriety?

A. Proceeding equally from the Father, and the Son, Ioh. 15.26.

6. Q. Why is he called holy?

A. Because he is the worker of holiness, Rom. 1.4. the spirit of sanctification.

7. Q. How far doth he prevail in this work?

A. To make us spirit, that is, spirituall, Ioh. 3.6. and partakers of the godly nature, 2 Pet. 1.4.

8 Q. And is this (which is proper to the Elect) the alone and onely work of the holy Ghost?

A. No, he worketh many other works common to the reprobate in faculties both temporall (as courage, Iud. 6.34. & 14.6. and artificiall skill, Ex. 31.3. and also spirituall, as understanding the truth, Mat. 7.22: and rejoycing in it, Mat. 13.20.

9. Q. But is the work of regeneration alike in all?

A. Yes in nature and quality, if we respect Adopti­on, Justification, and the application of Christ to us; though not in quantity, if we respect sanctification, and faith, and the application of us to Christ; for in that respect it may be divers in the same person or sub­ject (at divers times) as the Sun is in his light and heat.

10. Q. May the Holy Ghost be then finally, and totally lost in the regenerate?

A. No, though in respect of sense for a time he may seem lost (as Ps. 51.10.12.) yet he never finally faileth in the elect, Pro. 24.16. Ps. 37.24.

11. Q. Hath the Holy Ghost been alwaies a worker?

A. Yea, and that not onely in creation, Gen. 1.2. and illumination, 2 Pet. 1.21. but also in sanctification, Ier. 1.5.

12. What meaneth that then, Joh. 7.39. The holy Ghost was not yet given.

A. It must be understood of the full revolution of the holy Ghost, and exhibition of his miraculous gifts after Christ.

13. Q. What doe you learn (for practise) out of all this aforesaid of the eighth Article?

A. To worship one God in three persons.

Secondly, to seek and ascribe grace and holinesse from, and to the right author, Iam. 1.17.

Thirdly, to take heed of resisting the holy Ghost, Act. 7.51. and of grieving the holy Spirit of God, Eph. 4.30. lest I disprove my regeneration, and quench the Spirit. 1 Thes. 5.19.

Sect. 18. Of the ninth Article, or the next following.

1. Q. WHat is the ninth Article, or the next fol­lowing?

A. The holy Catholick Church, the Communion of Saints.

2. Q. What word is wanting here?

A. I beleeve.

3. Q. Why not I beleeve in?

A. Because that implyeth trust and confidence, which we must yeeld to God.

4. Q. What mean you by the word Church?

A. Gods chosen and called people, Act. 20.28.

5. Q. When were they chosen?

A. Before the foundation of the world, Eph. 1.4.

6. Q. When were, or are they called?

A. In their severall times and turns.

7. Q. Whence, and whereto?

A. Out of darknesse into marvellous light, 1 Pet. 2.9. Col. 1.13.

8. Q. How?

A. Ordinarily by the Ministry of the Word, Rom. 10.14. but not onely so; for God is above means, Psa. 135.6.

9. Q. VVhy is the Church called holy?

A. Because none are to be acknowledged therein but such as are holy, at least in profession.

10. Q. VVhat is the meaning of Catholike?

A. Generall, or universal: so the Church is, in re­spect of time, place, and persons.

11. Q. VVhat do you professe in saying, The Commu­nion of Saints?

A. That the Church (that is, the faithfull) have a common share in Christ by faith, Ioh. 1.16. and one with another by charity, 1 Cor. 12.26.

12. Q. VVhat learn you (for practise) out of all afore­said of the ninth Article?

A. To ascribe my salvation wholly to Gods choosing and calling, 1 Cor. 4.7.

Secondly, to make precious accompt of the ordina­ry means, 1 Pet. 2.2.

Thirdly, to prove (what I professe) my self to be of the Church by my holiness, 2 Pet. 1.10.

Fourthly, to take heed of breaking my professed Communion by breach of charity.

Sect. 19. Of the tenth Article, or next following.

1. Q. WHat is the tenth Article, or next follow­ing?

A. The forgivenesse of sins.

2. Q. VVhat is it to forgive?

A. To accompt a thing as not done which is done, Rom. 4.7.

3. Q. Doth forgiveness then take away the punishment with the fault?

A. Yes, for Gods forgiving is forgetting, Is. 43.25. Ier. 31.34.

4. Q. But doe we not (after forgiveness of sins) suffer many punishments?

A. Not properly punishments, but chastisements, or warnings to cut off, or to prevent sin, 1 Cor. 11.32. or else tryals and proofs, Gen. 22.1. 1 Pet. 1.7. Ioh. 9.3.

5. Q. Doe our sins then go unpunished?

A. No, for they are punished in Christ, 1 Pet. 2.24.

6. Q. And doth forgiveness of sins consist onely in not imputing it?

A. Properly, and specially it doth, yet so, as that thereto necessarily belongeth infusion of grace, and im­putation of Christ, 1 Cor. 6.11.

7. Q. If we must believe forgiveness of our own, and the Churches sins, why must we pray for the same in the Lords Prayer?

A. Because Faith and Prayer must one help ano­ther.

8. Q. Is any sin veniall?

A. Not properly of its own nature, Rom. 6.23.

9. Q. Is any sin unpardonable?

A. Not that it is incident to the Elect, Mat. 16.18.

10. Q. VVho may forgive sin?

A. Onely God, whose will it transgresseth, Is. 43.25. Mar. 2.7.

11. Q. But are we not taught (in the Lords Prayer) to forgive sins?

A. Yes, so far as concerneth us.

12. Q. And have not the Ministry power to remit and to retain sins, Joh.

A. Yes, but (as the Levitical Priests) not to make, but to pronounce clean or uncleane, Levit. 13. Not [Page 31]to forgive, but to declare forgivenesse.

13. VVhat doe you learn (for practise) out of all this aforesaid of the tenth article?

A. To bear afflictions patiently, as being rather re­medies then punishments of sin.

Secondly, to take heed of renewing my sins, Rom. 6.1.

Thirdly, to abhor Popish pardoning.

Sect. 20. Of the eleventh Article, or next following.

1. Q. WHat is the eleventh article, or the next following?

A. The resurrection of the body.

2. Q. VVhat is the meaning hereof?

A. That the bodies of all mankind shall be raised again from death.

3. Q. How shall all be raised, seeing all shall not die?

A. Their changing shall be unto them in stead of death and resurrection, 1 Cor. 15.51.

4. Q. Why must we die who have forgiveness of sins?

A. Not for punishment but for finishing of sinne, Rom. 6.7. and for passage to glory, Luk 16.22.

5. Q. But shall the bodies of the reprobate, and cursed rise also?

A. Yes, Act. 24.15. for they must come to judge­ment, Ioh. 5.28, 29.

6. Q. If all must rise, what needeth care of buriall?

A. That doth not crosse, or disprove, but express, and confirm our hope of the Resurrection, in that we doe our parts to prepare thereto.

7. Q. VVhen shall this resurrection be?

A. At Christs coming to Judgement, 1 Thes. 4.16. Mat. 25.31, 32.

8. Q. How shall this resurrection be effected?

A. By no naturall power, or meanesi but by the su­pernatural force of the sound of the Trumpet, 1 Cor. 15.52. and of the Archangels voice, 1 Thes. 4.16. and of Christs voice, Joh. 5.28.

9. Q. With what body shall they come?

A. The same that dyed (in substance) Job 19.25. though much changed in quality, Phil. 3.21. 1 Cor. 15.43.

10. Q. What learn you (for practise) out of all afore­said of the eleventh Article?

A. Not to fear mine own death, for it is but a sleep, Joh. 11.11.

Secondly, not to lament inordinately for others death, 1 Thes. 4.13.

Thirdly, not to be careless of my life, as if all would be ended with death, 1 Cor. 15.32, 33.

Sect. 21. Of the last Article.

1. Q. WHat is the last Article?

A. And the life everlasting.

2. Q. What doe you confess in this article?

A. The estate of the Elect after death.

3. Q. And is it not the estate also of the reprobate?

A. No, for though they also be raised and live, yet so as it is not called life but death, Rev. 21.8.

4. Q. What is this life everlasting?

A. It cannot be expressed, nor conceived, 1 Cor. 2.9.

5. Q. What is the means of it?

A. No means but God himself, Rev. 21.23. 2 Cor. 15.28.

6. Q. But do we not read of Angels food, Ps. 78.24, 25?

A. Yes, but that is figurative, signifying either [Page 33]the excellency or the Ministry of that food.

7. Q. What is the place of this life?

A. Heaven, 1 Pet. 1.4.

8. Q. What is the company?

A. The Saints, the Angels, Christ, the Trinity, Heb. 12.22.

9. Q. What is the exercise?

A. Continuall praising God, Rev. 4.8.

10. Q. What is the continuance or endurance?

A. For ever, 1 Pet. 1.4. Mat. 25.46.

11. Q. What are the degrees and parts of it?

A. It is begun in this life by faith, as by an evidence, Joh. 5.24. it is entred by the soul at the hour of death, Eccles. 12.7. but is fulfilled and perfected at the resur­rection, 1 Thes. 4.17. Heb. 11.40.

12. Q. What learn you (for practise) out of all afore­said of the last Article?

A. To endeavour to begin life everlasting while I am here, both by faith, Gal. 2.20. and by conversation, Phil. 3.20.

Secondly, to rejoice in my change, being so much for the better, Luk. 23.43. Phil. 1.23.

Thirdly, to fear nothing after death, Rev. 14.13.

Sect. 21. Of Prayer in generall.

1. Q. SEeing Faith is to be proved by its fruits, what is the speciall fruit of it, or the chief particu­lar of good works?

A. Prayer, 2 Cor. 4.13.

2. Q. Why doe you make Prayer the principall part, or point of good works?

A. For its dignities sake, because it is drawing near to God, Jam. 4.8. and for its generallities sake, because [Page 34]serveth to all times, persons, and places, &c.

3. Q. What are the chief rules of Prayer?

A. That it be to the true God, and that it be truly.

4. Q Why to the true God?

A. Because he onely heareth all our words, Ps. 139.4. and knoweth all our wants, Is. 63.16. and seeth all our hearts, Jer. 17.9, 10. and is able to yeeld all helps, Jam. 1.17.

5. Q. What doe you imply and require in saying that it be truly?

A. That it be in humility, in charity, in faith, in knowledge.

6. Q. What humility?

A. Inward, Joh. 4.24. and outward, 1 Cor. 6.20.

7. Q. What charity?

A. Free from wrath, 1 Tim. 2.8. and from revenge, Rom. 12.19.

8. Q. What faith?

A. Absolute in spiritual things, Jam. 1.5, 6. but con­ditional in temporal things, Mat. 26.39.

9. Q What knowledge?

A. Of our want, Rev. 3.17. of our words, 1 Cor. 4.15. and of Gods will, 1 Joh. 5.14.

10. Q. What spirituall rule or form of Prayer have you?

A. The Lords Prayer, so called because it was taught and given by Christ our Lord.

11. Q. Did he teach it for its proper use, or for a pat­tern to follow?

A. Both: for Mat. 6.9. It is, After this manner pray ye, Our Father, &c. And Luk. 11.2. it is, When ye pray say, Our Father, &c.

12. Q. What learn you (for practise) out of all afore­said of Prayer?

A. To be diligent and earnest in the use of it pub­lick, [Page 35]and private, Eph. 6.18. 1 Thes. 5.17.

Secondly, to begrudge no reverence, 1 King. 8.54. Luk. 22.41. Psal. 95.6. Eph. 3.14.

Thirdly, to abhor Popish praying to Saints, and in an unknown tongue.

Sect. 23. Of the Preface of the Lords Prayer.

1. Q. HOw many parts hath the Lords Prayer?

A. Three: a Preface, a Sum of Petitions, and a Conclusion.

2. Q. What is the Preface?

A. Our Father which art in heaven.

3. Q Are we restrained, or directed in this Prayer to speak onely to the first person?

A. No: for the name or title (Father) is common to the whole Trinity, Mat. 23.9. Heb. 12.9.

4. Q. How, or why then is the first person particular­ly called God the Father?

A. For distinction, not for division sake, and in re­spect to the Son, yet the whole Trinity is our Father.

5. Q. And how is God our father?

A. By Creation, Mal. 2.10. and by Adoption, Rom. 8.15.

6. Q. Whom doe you include, and understand by this word (our?)

A. The whole Church.

7. Q. May I not then say this Prayer alone by my self?

A. Yes, in respect of bodily presence or company, yet never alone, or divided from the Communion of Saints, that they may partake of the benefit of my prayers, and I of theirs.

8. Q. But doth not the plurality of this, and the words following, direct, and invite us to pray with company?

A. Yes (no doubt) else Christ would not have so ap­proved it, as Mat. 18.20.

9. Q. May I not then call God my Father?

A. No doubt I may in my particular faith, but Christ here sets my Faith awork in the word, Father, and my Charity in the word, Our.

10. Q. Is God onely in heaven?

A. No, but every where, 1 King. 8.27. Act. 17.27.

11. Q. Why then doe we say (which art in heaven?)

A. Because there specially he revealeth, and commu­nicateth himself, Is. 66.1.

12. Q. What do you gather (for practise) out of all aforesaid of the Preface of the Lords Prayer?

A. That we ought to perform the duties of children to God, because we call him Father, and the duties of brethren one to another, because we call him, our Fa­ther.

Secondly, that alwaies (especially in prayer) I must be heavenly minded, because I professe my Father to be in heaven, Phil. 3.20. 1 Pet. 1.4.

Sect. 24. Of the first Petition.

1. Q. HOw many Petitions be there in the Lords Prayer?

A. Six.

2. Q. How may they be divided?

A. Into two equall parts; the first three concern­ing Gods due, the latter three concerning our own need.

3. Q. Which is the first Petition?

A. Hallowed be thy name.

4. Q. Hath God any proper name sufficient to express him?

A. No, for his nature is infinite.

5. Q. What may we understand here by his name?

A. Himself, and whatsoever doth declare him to us.

6. Q. Why doe you say himself?

A. Because he answereth, and putteth his nature for his name, Exod. 3.14.

7. Q. And what especially doth declare him to us?

A. His Titles, Ex. 6.3. Deut. 28.58. Secondly his At­tributes, Ex. 33.19. with 34.6. Thirdly, his Ordi­nances, as Word and Sacraments, Act. 9.15. Fourth­ly his Works, Rom. 1.20.

8. Q. Can God receive any addition to his holiness?

A. No; for he is absolute and perfect in himself, Iob 22.23. Ps. 16.2.

9. Q. How then must Gods name be hallowed?

A. By all creatures in their kind, Psal. 145.10. and Psal. 148.8.

10. Q. How are we for our parts to hallow it?

A. With our tongue, Ps. 57.8. with our heart, 1 Pet. 3.15. and with our hands, Mat. 5.16.

11. Q. Is then Gods name onely to be hallowed?

A. Yes, for holiness is to the Lord, Exod. 28.36. and becometh his house for ever, Ps. 93.5.

12. Q. What then do you ask in this petition?

A. Grace for my self, and all people rightly to glo­rifie God.

13. Q. What doe you specially learn (for practise) out of all aforesaid of the first petition?

A. First to prefer Gods respects and service alwaies before mine own.

Secondly, to direct, and intend all that I ask or doe to Gods glory, 1 Cor. 10.31.

Thirdly, to think all that I am, and have, too little for this, 1 Cor. 6.20.

Sect. 25. Of the second Petition.

1. Q. WHat is the second petition?

A. Thy Kingdom come.

2. Q. What is here meant by thy Kingdom?

A. The spirituall Government of the Church Mili­tant. Ps. 1 10.2.

3. Q. Who is King of this Kingdom?

A. Christ, 1 Cor. 15.25.

4. Q. Who are the subjects?

A. The Saints, Rev. 15.3.

5. Q. What are the Laws?

A. The Scriptures, Is. 8.20. Luk. 16.29.

6. Q. Who are the enemies?

A. Satan and all his Instruments, Eph. 2.2. & 6.12.

7. Q. What doe you ask then in saying, thy Kingdome come?

A. The preserving, advancing, and fulfilling of the Church Militant, Ps. 122.6.

8. Q. How, or wherein?

A. In the generall spreading of the Gospel, Mat. 24.14. and in the particular reigning of the spirit in every one, Luk. 17.21.

9. Q. Is not the coming of the Kingdome of glory here also to be understood?

A. In generall (no doubt) it may, as Rev. 22.20. and the fulfilling of the Church Militant implyeth it.

10. Q. But must wee not here understand our own death for speeding us to glory?

A. We are not here bound to it, for it is lawfull to preserve our own life, Mat. 10.23. and to pray for the same, 2 King. 20.2, 3, 4, 5. and the restoring of health is Gods mercy, Phil. 2.27.

11. Q. How is the coming of this Kingdom effected?

A. By the Ministry of the Word, Mat. 9.37, 38.

12. Q What doe you learn (for practise) out of all a­foresaid of the second Petition?

A. First, to acknowledge the true author of all grace, help, and comfort, Jam. 1.17.

Secondly, to do my endeavour to help to build, and not to pull down this Kingdom, 1 Thes. 5.11.

Thirdly, to abhor the Popish Headship, and Go­vernment of the Church, in the title of General Vicar.

Sect. 26. Of the third Petition.

1. Q. WHat is the third Petition?

A. Thy will bee done in earth as it is in heaven.

2. Q. Is it not idle to pray Gods will may be done, which will be done whether we will or no? Psal. 135.6. Dan. 4.35.

A. No, for we doe not pray for God in respect of his absolute will in working, but for our selves in re­spect of his will in relation to us in commanding, or requiring.

3. Q. And how far may we understand this will?

A. Both in what he will doe to, or with us, and in what he will have us doe to, or for him.

4. Q. How doe we ask the former to be done?

A. That by faith and patience we may bear what­soever his will is to lay upon us, as Mat. 26.39.

5. Q. How do we ask the latter to be done?

A. By our fulfilling the rules of his revealed will.

6. Q. Where are those rules revealed?

A. In the Scriptures, which are therefore called Gods Testaments, Gal. 4.24.

7. Q. And what are those rules?

A. They are two especially; the one of Faith, [Page 40] Ioh. 6.40. the other of holinesse, 1 Thes. 4.3.

8. Q. But how can Gods will be done in earth being changeable, as it seems by that of Abraham, Gen. 22. and of Balaam, Num. 22?

A. Gods will was not changed, but fulfilled to, and by Abraham: for it was but the tryall of his Faith, which he fulfilled, Heb. 11.17. Neither was it chan­ged to Balaam, for God withstood not simply his go­ing, but his loving the wages of unrighteousness, 2 Pet. 2.15, 16.

9. Q. Do we not pray against our selves, and the for­givenesse of our sins when we pray, his will be done, seeing he is just?

A. No; for we pray to him as to our Father, and for the fulfilling of his Fatherly will in grace.

10. Q. Why doe you say, as it is in heaven?

A. Not for equalities sake, to match the Saints and the Angels, but for similitude, that wee may imitate them in spirituall worship, Joh. 4.24.

11. Q. In what particulars?

A. Freenesse, readinesse, sincerenesse, unpartialnesse, constantnesse.

12. Q. VVhat doe you learn (for practise) out of all aforesaid of the third petition?

A. First, to deny mine own will, that I may fulfill Gods.

Secondly, to search and enquire into my heavenly Fathers will.

Thirdly, to being heaven upon earth, worshipping God in spirit and truth, Ps. 3.20.

Sect. 27. Of the fourth Petition.

1. Q. VVHat is the fourth Article?

A. Give us this day our daily bread.

2. Q. What do you understand here by Bread?

A. 1. All temporall and corporall necessaries.

2. Gods blessing upon them.

3 Q. How do you bring all temporall and corporall ne­cessaries under the name of Bread?

A. Because that is the chiefest, Gen. 28.20. Is. 55.2.

4. Q. How do you bring Gods blessings under the name of Bread?

A. Because Bread unblest hath no strength or nou­rishment, Ps. 78.30, 31. Hag. 1.6. Luk. 12.15.

5. Q. Why do you ask Bread to be given?

A. Because we doe not inherit it, we cannot earn it, nor of our selves provide it.

6. Q. Why do we not inherit it?

A. Because in Adams fall we have lost our right, 1 Cor. 15.22.

7. Q. Why can we not earn it?

A. Because that doing all that we are commanded is but our duty, Luk. 17.10. Gen. 32.10.

8. Q. Why can we not of our selves provide it?

A. Because God alone createth and prospereth, and we cannot make one hair white or black, Mat. 5.36.

9. Q. How then may Bread become ours?

A. By Gods free gift, through our Adoption in Christ, Heb. 1.2. 1 Cor. 3.22. and through his blessing upon our lawfull calling, 2 Thes. 3.12.

10. Q. Is it not lawfull to provide Bread for to mor­row, seeing we say, our daily bread?

A. Yes, for Joseph in plenty stored for Famine, Gen. 41.48. and we must provide for our houshold, 1 Tim. 5.8.

11. Q. Why then doe we so speak?

A. To shew our moderatenesse in our selves in respect of our caring, Mat. 6.25. and our confidence and de­pendance upon Gods renewing his blessings every mor­ning, Lam. 3.23.

12. Q. What do you learn (for practise) out of all a­foresaid of the fourth Petition?

A. First to apply my self chiefly to God for my ha­ving of Bread, Jam. 1.17.

Secondly, to apply my self to means of labour, and not to think to have it by bare asking, 2 Thes. 3.10.

Thirdly, to be thankfull for having it, and not to forget the giver, Deut. 6.11, 12.

Sect. 28 Of the fifth Petition.

1. Q. WHat is the fifth Petition?

A. And forgive us our trespasses as wee forgive them that trespasse against us.

2. Q. What do you understand by Trespasses?

A. Both the fault, and the punishment of our sins:

3. Q. How do you gather this?

A. Because Mat. 6.12. it is said (debts) which must needs be punishments: For we owe to God, not sinnes, but suffering for sins; but Luk. 11.4. it is said (sins) which plainly signifieth the act or fault.

4. Q. What do you understand in the word, forgive?

A. Both parts of our Justification, viz. the not im­puting our sins to us, Rom. 4.7. and the imputing of righteousnesse to us, ver. 5.

5. Q. Are we to ask forgiveness of sins onely in gene­rall?

A. No, for we are directed also to particular con­fession, Prov. 28.13.

6. Q. Who may forgive sins?

A. None but God, Mar. 2.7.

7. Q. Must we not then forgive one another?

A. Yes, as concerning our own wrongs, Mat. 18.21.

8. Q. But doth not Christ give power to the Ministers to forgive sins? Mat. 18.18. Joh. 20.23.

A. Not properly to forgive sins, but to pronounce, and declare it; as also in the Sacrament, not to give, but to sign and seal grace; as also the Levitical Priests had power to pronounce, but not to make cleane, Lev. 13.

9. Q. Must we say (as we forgive) or (for we also for­give?)

A. Either of both; for the former is given us, Mat. 6.12. and the latter, Luk. 11.4.

10. Q. Do we compare with God in the former?

A. No, but we shew our selves ready to imitate and obey him, Luk. 6.36.

11. Q. Doe we in the latter plead cause of Gods for­giving us?

A. No, but doe comfort our selves in his promise, Mat. 6.14.

12. Q. Must we then forgive all wrongs and injuries?

A. Yes, in respect of malice, and private revenge, Rom. 12.19.

13. Q. What ground then have private quarrels and duels?

A. None but natures corruption, as in Cain, Gen. 4.

14. Q. But did not David undertake a duell, 1 Sam. 17.

A. Not in his own cause, nor out of a private spirit, nor by ordinary motion.

15. Q. What doe you learn (for practise) out of all a­foresaid of the fifth petition?

A. First, to confesse my sins to God, for that is im­plyed in asking forgiveness.

Secondly, to forsake them, Prov. 28.13.

Thirdly to abhor Popish Pardons, and Auricular Confession.

Sect. 29. Of the sixth Petition.

1. Q. WHat is the sixth Petition?

A. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evill.

2. Q. Is God the author of temptation?

A. No, for God tempteth no man, Jam. 1.13.

3. Q. How then doth he lead into temptation?

A. Diversly in respect of the Elect, and of the Re­probate.

4. Q. How in respect of the Elect?

A. He doth tempt or try them, by suffering them to fall into divers occasions, Jam. 1.2. yet so as his grace is still sufficient for them, 2 Cor. 12.9.

5. Q. Why doth he do this to them whom he loveth?

A. For their outward probation, 1 Pet. 1.7. as in Abraham, Gen. 22.1. and in Iob, Iob 1. and for their inward confirmation, and consolation, Rom. 8.28.

6. Q. How in respect of the Reprobate?

A. By withdrawing his grace, Exod. 7.3. and by gi­ving them up to their own hearts lusts, Rom. 1.24. and to Satans power, 2 Thes. 2.11.

7. Q. Cannot Satan then tempt us without God?

A. No, for he could not touch Iob, nor the Swine till he had leave, Iob 1.12. Mat. 8.31.

8. Q. What is meant by deliver us from evill?

A. It is the exposition of the former part of the Pe­tition: for then he leadeth into temptation when hee doth not deliver from evill.

9. Q. Is there deliverance wrought only to, and with us?

A. No, but rather in us, by both parts of Sanctifi­cation, viz. Mortification, and Vivification which go together, Rom. 8.10.

10. Q. Is evill then here onely to be taken for sin?

A. No, but also for the author of sin, Mat. 13.19. and for the effect or issue of sin, that is punishment, Am. 3.6.

11. Q. What doe you learn (for practise) out of all a­foresaid of the sixth petition?

A. First, to watch for temptations, and not to live securely, 1 Pet. 5.8.

Secondly, to put on all the armour of God, Eph. 6.11.

Thirdly, not to trust to my self, but to seek and re­lie on Gods help that strengtheneth me, Ps. 44.6. Ps. 121.1. Phil. 4.13.

Sect. 30. Of the Conclusion of the Lords prayer.

1. Q. WHat is the Conclusion of the Lords Prayer?

A. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, and ever, Amen.

2. Q. Is this any part of the prayer?

A. Yes.

3. Q. How can it be, seeing it asketh nothing?

A. Because it is a thanksgiving, which is a kind or species of Prayer, 1 Tim. 2.1.

4. Q. How can you shew this to be a Thanksgiving?

A. Because it acknowledgeth and rendereth to God his right and due.

5. Q. Have not men also their kingdom, power, and glory?

A. Yes, but not (as God) generally, properly eter­nally.

6. Q. VVhat mean you by generally?

A. In, and over all creatures the kingdome, the power, the glory.

7. Q. What mean you by properly?

A. That it is without dependance on any other (thing.)

8. Q. What mean you by eternally?

A. That in these God hath neither beginning, nor ending (for ever.)

9. Q. Is there then nothing herein but thanks giving?

A. Yes, it is also a ground or confirmation of our asking?

10. Q. How so?

A. Because as we begin the prayer with mention of Gods lovingnesse in the name of Father, so we con­clude with his ablenesse in acknowledging his king­dom, power, glory.

11. Q. VVhat mean you by the word Amen?

A. It is my setting to my seal in point of beleeving to receive what I ask, Joh. 3.33.

12. Q. How may this appear?

A. Because it is a word not onely of wishing, but of assurance, 2 Cor. 1.20. Rev. 3.14.

13. Q. How far may we take assurance in our praiers?

A. That they shall be heard and granted directly, and indirectly.

14. Q. How may our prayers be granted indirectly?

A. By delaying, Mat. 15.22. by exchanging, 2 Cor. 12.9. by denying, I am. 4.3.

15. Q. What learn you (for practise) out of all afore­said of the Conclusion of the Lords Prayer?

A. First, to pray with humility because of Gods greatnesse.

Secondly, to pray with confidence, because of Gods ablenesse.

Thirdly, to pray with constancy, because of both.

Sect. 31. Of the Law in generall.

1. Q. YOu have set forth Prayer for the prime fruit of Faith, and the chief of good works, what more fruit hath faith necessary for the proof of it?

A. Obedience to the Morall Law.

2. Q. Why not to the Ceremonial and Judicial Law which the Jews also had?

A. Because the former being an ordinance of religi­ous service, consisting most in Types of Christ, was was ended in his coming; and the latter being an Or­dinance of Politick Government for the Jews Com­monwealth, is dissolved with it.

3. Q. How doe these differ from the Moral Law?

A. 1. In direction, or extent; that was for all, these but for the Jews. 2. In duration, that was for ever, these but for a time. 3. In dignity, these yeeld and give place to that, Mat. 12.3.

4. Q. What then is the Moral Law?

A. A brief summe of the whole duty of man?

5. Q. How can this be the summe of all, seeing it is called but ten words, Ex. 34.28. Deut. 10.4.

A. Though they be but ten words or heads of mat­ter, yet they be exceeding large ones, Ps. 119.96.

6. Q. How may the largeness of them appear?

A. By five rules especially.

7. Q. VVhich is the first?

A. In each Commandement affirmative, is contain­ed the contrary negative, and in each negative is con­tained the contrary affirmative, Mat. 25.42.

8. Q. Which is the second?

A. When any thing is commanded, or forbidden, all means or occasions thereto are likewise commanded or forbidden, Mat. 5.22.

9. Q Which is the third?

A. The breach of one Commandement is the breach of all, Jam. 2.10.

10. Q. Which is the fourth?

A. The Commandements require perfection of obe­dience inward and outward, as Adam before his fall, Deut. 6.5.

11. Q. Which is the fifth?

A. In every breach of the Commandements the Ac­cessary is guilty with the Principal.

12. Q. How may one man be accessary to anothers sin?

A. Many wayes, especially by furthering, and by suffering it.

12. Q. May the guiltiness of the accessary acquit the agent?

A. No, for such excuse is vain, Gen. 3.12, 13.

14. Q. But if a man take occasion of evill from me, when indeed it is not properly occasion of evill, shall his taking it make me guilty?

A. No; for though David in his humility confess­eth the occasioning of the death of the Priests, 1 Sam. 22.22. yet he is justified therein, Mat. 12.3.

15. Q. What learn you (for practise) out of all afore­said of the Law?

A. First, to pray, open mine eyes that I may see the wonderous things of thy Law, Ps. 119.18.

Secondly, to love and delight in every part of it.

Thirdly, to take heed of being partaker of other mens sins, 1 Tim. 5.22.

Sect. 32. Of the Preface of the Law.

1. Q. WHere and how doth the Morall Law be­gin?

A. Exod. 20.1. And God spake all these words, say­ing, I am the Lord thy God which have brought thee out of the land of Aegypt, out of the house of bon­dage.

2. Q. What doe you find in this beginning?

A. A double Preface; one of Moses (And God spake all these words saying) another of God (I am the Lord thy God which brought thee out of the land of Aegypt, out of the house of bondage.)

3 Q. What do you observe in the former Preface?

A. Four circumstances.

1. The time (and, or then.)

2. The Author (God.)

3. The manner of delivery (spake.)

4. The sum (all these words.)

4. Q What observe you in the first circumstance?

A. That the Law is holy, Rom. 7.12. for God was carefull to hallow the people for the receiving of the Law, by a great deale of preparation, as appeareth chap. 19.

5. Q. What observe you in the second circumstance?

A. That the Morall Law hath no lesse then Gods own Authority.

6. Q. What observe you in the third circumstance?

A. That God teacheth men especially by the ear.

7. Q. VVhat observe you in the fourth circumstance?

A. That each Commandement hath alike strength and bond upon us.

8. Q. Is the second place (aforesaid) pertaining to the whole Law?

A. Yes, Lev. 19.36, 37.

9. Q. Is it not rather the affirmative part of the first Commandement?

A. No, for it commandeth nothing, and it is need­lesse to expresse both parts, by the first of the aforesaid five rules.

10. Q. VVhat observe you further in it?

A. That God presseth the people to obedience by his power (I am the Lord) and by his love (thy God) and by their experience of both (which have brought thee out of the land of Aegypt.)

11. Q VVhat is this to us?

A. The same, or as much as it was to them, because hee is still the same Lord, and our God, and hath brought us out of the spirituall Aegypt of sin, death, hell, paganism, papism.

12. Q. But doth not St. Paul say, Rom. 6.14. Yee are not under the Law?

A. But he expoundeth himself, Gal. 3.13. that we are freed from the curse of the Law, not from the rule and bond of it, Mat. 5.17.

13. Q. VVhat learn you (for practise) out of all afore­said of the Preface of the Law?

A. First, to prepare my self alwaies to the receiving of God word.

Secondly, to rejoyce in the use of the ear, and to ab­hor imagery in Gods service, Deut. 4.12, 15.

Thirdly, to fear the breaking of that which had a glorious ordination, Psal. 4.4.

Sect. 33. Of the first Commandement.

1. Q. HOw many Commandements be there?

A. Ten, Ex. 34.28. Deut. 10.4.

2. Q. How are they divided?

A. Into two Tables; the former containing our du­ty to God in the four first precepts, the latter contain­ing our duty to our neighbour, in the six last precepts.

3. Q. How then doth the Romish Church make three precepts in the former Table, and seven in the latter?

A. They do wrongfully confound the two first into one, and divide the last into two.

4. Q. How may this wrong appear?

A. 1. Because in that which they make one precept, there is distinct different matter; viz. First, who must be worshipped, and secondly how.

2. Because the tenth Commandement (which they divide) runneth in one and the same word, and is so summed, Rom. 7.7. & 13.9.

3. Because Exod. 20.17. house is put foremost, and wife is between house and goods; but Deut. 5.21. wife is put first, therefore the lust of neither of them alone forbidden can be the ninth Commandement.

5. Q. What then is the first Commandement?

A. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.

6. Q. How many parts be there in this Commande­ment?

A. Three.

1. A Negative.

2. An Affirmative.

3. A Reason.

7. Q. What is the Negative part?

A. It forbiddeth our having any false God.

8. Q. How may a false God be had?

A. Outwardly by corporall Idolatry, or inwardly by setting up an Idoll in our heart, Ezek. 14.3.

9. Q Is nothing here forbidden but having of a false God?

A. Yes, all degrees of infidelity, and other issues of original corruption in our thoughts of God.

10. Q. What is the Affirmative part of this Comman­dement?

A. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, &c. Deut. 6.5. Mat. 22.37.

11. Q. What is the reason hereto belonging?

A. It is in the words (before me) because nothing can be behind him, nor out of his sight, Heb. 4.13.

12. Q. What doe you learn (for practise) out of alla­foresaid of the first Commandement?

A 1. To take heed of joyning any partner with God, I must have him solely, Is. 42.8.

2. To take heed of barring God in any thing I am, or have; he must have me wholly, Luk. 14.26.

3. To acknowledge his presence alwayes, Ps. 139.3.

Sect. 34. Of the second Commandement.

1. Q. WHat is the second Commandement?

A. Thou shalt not make to thy self any graven Image, nor the likenesse of any thing, &c.

2. Q. How many parts be there in this Commande­ment?

A. Three, a Negative, an Affirmative, and a Rea­son.

3. Q. What is the Negative part?

A. It forbiddeth false worshipping of God.

4. Q. How is it here exprest?

A. By the use of Images.

5. Q. Is all use of Images then unlawful?

A. No, for skill in such workmanship is of the spirit of God, Ex. 31.1, 2, 3.

6. Q. How far then is the use of Images unlawfull?

A. The use of any Image as an help in Gods service, Hab. 2.18. Is. 44.10. and the making or having of any Image or likenesse of God, Is. 40.18. is unlawful.

7. Q. What is the affirmative part of this Comman­dement?

A. That we worship God according to his will.

8. Q. How is that?

A. In spirit and truth, Joh. 4.24.

9. Q. What is the reason here added?

A. For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.

10. Q. How is Gods jealousie expressed?

A. By punishing the breakers, and blessing the keepers of this Law.

11. Q. How punishing?

A. The sinnes of the Fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

12. Q. How can this be just?

A. It is here exprest (in them that hate me.)

13. Q. How blessing?

A. In an unlimitted measure (unto thousands in them that love him.)

14. Q. What learn you (for practise) out of all afore­said of the second Commandement?

A. 1. To abhor Romish bowing to, and before I­mages.

2. To worship God after his will, and not after mine own will.

3. To serve him in fear because of his Justice, and in love because of his mercy.

Sect. 35. Of the third Commandement.

1. Q. WHat is the third Commandement?

A. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vaine; for the Lord will not hold him guiltlesse that taketh his name in vain.

2. Q. What are the parts of this Commandement?

A. A Negative, an Affirmative, and a Reason.

3. Q. What is the Negative part?

A. Gods name must not be dishonoured.

4. Q. What is the Affirmative part?

A. Gods name must be honoured.

5. Q. VVhat doe you especially understand here by ta­king Gods name in vain?

A. All abusing it to ill purpose (as charming, cur­sing, mocking) or to idle purpose, as vain talking, or swearing.

6. Q. Is all swearing then unlawfull?

A. No, for we must swear in truth, in judgement, and in righteousness, Jer. 4.2.

7. Q. VVhat is required to, and in the truth and righteousness of an oath?

A. That it be of a true thing, and truly.

8. Q. VVhat mean you by a true thing?

A. In respect of the time past, that nothing be affir­med which is not, or denyed which is; and in respect of the time to come, that nothing be sworn or vowed that is either wicked, as Act. 23.12. or uncertain, as Jud. 11.30. Mat. 14.7.

9. Q. VVhat mean you by truly?

A. 1. That it be not vainly, nor idlely, Jam. 5.12. Hos. 4.1, 2.

2. That it be not with false meaning to deceive the [Page 55]hearer; for an oath is called the givers, Gen. 24.8. Jos. 2.17.20. because the sense of it (before God) is as the giver, or hearer of it (and not as the taker) understan­deth it.

3. That it be by the true God, Deut. 6.13. Is. 65.16. Jer. 5.7. & 12.16. Psal. 63.11. because he alone know­eth the heart, and is able to answer all truth and fals­hood.

10. Q. VVhat is the reason added to this Commande­ment?

A. For the Lord will not hold him guiltlesse that taketh his name in vain.

11. Q. VVhat do you learn (for practise) out of all a­foresaid of the third Commandement?

A. 1. To fear an oath, Deut. 28.58.

2. To hallow Gods name in all things, Col. 3.17.

3. To abhor Popish equivocations.

Sect. 36. Of the fourth Commandement.

1. Q. WHat is the fourth Commandement?

A. Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day, &c.

2. Q VVhat are the parts in this Commandement?

A. An Affirmative, a Negative, and a Reason.

3. Q. VVhat is the Affirmative part?

A. That which is expressed, viz. That the Sabbath day must be hallowed.

4. Q. VVhat is the Negative part?

A. That which is also (partly) expressed, that the Sabbath day must not be prophaned.

5. Q. Is our Sabbath the same day of the week as it was from the beginning?

A. No, it is changed from the seventh to the first day [Page 56]of the week in honour of Christs Resurrection.

6. Q. By whom was it so changed?

A. By the Apostles, Act. 20.7. 1 Cor. 16.2. And it is probable it was by Christ himself; for they observed his commission, 1 Cor. 11.23. 1 Cor. 15.3. and it is call­ed the Lords day, Rev. 1.10.

7. Q. How could that be changed which was in the Moral Law commanded?

A. The seventh day was to the Jews typical and ce­remonial, but a Sabbath is to all men moral.

8. Q. How doth the morality of the Sabbath appear?

A. First, because it was (at first) ordained in time of innocency.

Secondly, because it was published in, and with the Moral Law.

Thirdly, because it is the employment of the Mi­nistry.

Fourthly, because it is the Law of nature to have a time set apart for own rest, and for Gods service.

9. Q. What then is here specially required?

A. Remembring the Sabbath, which implyeth our preparation; and hallowing it, which implyeth our holy resting to godlynesse, and not to idleness or sin.

10. Q. Who are herein bound?

A. Every one for himself, and every housholder for all that are of, or in his house.

11. Q. Is labour then unlawfull absolutely on the Sabbath day?

A. No, not in cases of piety, and of charity, Mat. 12.5, 12.

12. Q. What is the reason pertaining to this Comman­dement?

A. It is double. First of equity, because God hath given us six dayes. Secondly of authority, because he hallowed the seventh.

13. Q. What learn you (for practise) out of all afore­said of the fourth Commandement?

A. 1. To forecast forecast for this dayes service, that I may attend it when it cometh.

Secondly, to observe it conscionably as a Moral pre­cept.

Thirdly, to look to all under my charge for their observing it.

Sect. 37. Of the fifth Commandement.

1. Q. WHat is the fifth Commandement?

A. Honour thy Father, and thy Mother that thy daies, &c.

2. Q. How many parts are there in this Commande­ment?

A. Three; an Affirmative, a Negative, and a Rea­son.

3. Q. What is the affirmative part?

A. That which is expressed in the words, Honour thy Father, and thy Mother.

4. Q. What is the Negative part?

A. That which on the contrary is necessarily imply­ed, Thou shalt not dishonour them.

5. Q. Are we here to understand onely our naturall parents?

A. No, but also spirituall Fathers, as Ministers, 1 Cor. 4.15. and political Fathers, as Magistrates, Gen. 45.8. and oeconomical Fathers, as Masters, 2 King. 2.12. & 5.13. and Matrimonial Fathers, as Husbands, Eph. 5.22.

6. Q. And are we then only to honour our superiours?

A. Nay, but also our inferiours, our equals, and our self.

7. Q. How may this appear?

A. Because they that will receive honour must de­serve it by respective yeelding to every one his due, and because St. Peter biddeth, honour all men, 1 Pet. 2.17. and Christ extendeth the second Table to our neigh­bour, Mat. 22.39.

8. Q. What is then the honour that we are here bound to perform?

A. It is divers according to the difference of parties to whom it is due.

9. Q. Is (Mother) here added to signifie the Catholick Church?

A. No, but to quit women of contempt, 1 Pet. 3.7. and to prevent childrens ungraciousness, who are apt to turn the Mothers indulgence to their shame, Pro. 10.1, 15, 20. & 29.15.

10. Q. What is the reason added to this Commande­ment?

A. That thy daies may be long in the land, &c.

11. Q. What force hath this reason, seeing our life is full of miseries?

A. Because life is acceptable to nature, and God is able to make it a blessing, Eph. 6.2, 3.

12. Q. But doth this promise alwaies hold?

A. It holdeth generally, and for the most part in comparison of the wicked, who do not live out halfe their daies, Ps. 55.23. and if it fail, it is in exchange for the better, Is. 57.1.

13. Q. What learn you (for practise) out of all afore­said of the fifth Commandement?

A. First to give to every one his due, Rom. 13.7.

2. To be carefull of mine own honour, that I may not fail to, and in others honour.

3. To trust in my heavenly Fathers regarding me, whiles I have right regard of my earthly Fathers.

Sect. 38. Of the sixth Commandement.

1. Q. VVHat is the sixth Commandement?

A. Thou shalt do no murther.

2. Q. How many parts hath it?

A. Two; a Negative, and an Affirmative.

3. Q. What is the Negative part?

A. That which is expressed in the words, Thou shalt do no murther.

4. Q. What is the Affirmative part?

A. That which is implyed, and necessarily follow­eth on the contrary.

5. Q. Doth this murther concern only mans life?

A. Yes; for the bruit creatures are given us for nou­rishment, Gen. 9.3.

6. Q. And doth it bind onely us to, and concerning o­ther men?

A. No, but (as all the second Table doth) especially to our selves.

7. Q. Is he taking away of mans life then absolutely unlawfull

A. Our own self-killing must needs be so, but not the taking away of others life, in case of judgement, just war, and self-defence.

8. Q. Is nothing here forbidden but killing, and pro­ceeding to death?

A. Yes, even all degrees and means of wronging, or impairing our own, or our neighbours livelyhood.

9. Q. And is the bodily life here onely to be under­stood?

A. No, but also the soules, which is much more pre­cious.

10. Q. But how can the soul be killed?

A. Not properly, and naturally, Mat. 10.28. but spiritually by sin, Eph. 2.1.

11. Q. Though there be no reason here expressed, yet may there be none rendered for the equity of this pre­cept?

A. Yes, because we are Gods Image, Gen. 9.6. and because one with another we are naturally one flesh, Is. 58.7. and mystically one body, 1 Cor. 12.27. Eph. 5.30.

12. Q. What doe you learn (for practise) out of all a­foresaid of the sixth Commandement?

A. 1. To be carefull to avoid all degrees of blood­guiltynesse.

2. To be ready to sustaine and comfort life naturall, and spirituall.

3. To begin with my self.

Sect. 39. Of the seventh Commandement.

1. Q WHat is the seventh Commandement?

A. Thou shalt not commit Adultery.

2. Q. How many parts hath it?

A. Two: a Negative, and an Affirmative.

3. Q. What is the Negative part?

A. That which is expressed.

4. Q. Is nothing for bidden here but Adultery?

A. Yes, also Fornication, and all acts of unchastity.

5. Q. Are onely the acts of unchastity forbidden?

A. Nay, but also all sinfull thoughts, Mat. 5.28. 2 Pet. 2.14. and all means, occasions, and helps to it, 1 Thes. 5.22.

6. Q. What is the Affirmative part of this Comman­dement?

A. All that is contrary to that aforesaid, the sum whereof is, that we possesse our vessels in holinesse and honour, 1 Thes. 4.4.

7. Q. Is not marriage here implyed in the Affirma­tive part?

A. It is appointed for a remedy against unchastity, 1 Cor. 7.2. but not absolutely commanded, for Christ alloweth single chastity, Mat. 19.12.

8. Q. Is it not as lawfull for Ministers to marry as for others?

A. Yes, for Marriage is honourable among all, Heb. 13.4. and to forbid Marriage is a doctrine of devils, 1 Tim. 4.1, 3.

9. Q. But is there no restraint of marriage to any?

A. Yes, the respect of degrees of consanguinitie, Lev. 18.6. and of precontract, Mal. 2.15. and of parents consent, Gen. 24.49. and of the parties own consent, Gen. 24.57.

10. Q. What reason may there be to shew the equitie of this Commandement?

A. Because our bodies are the Members of Christ, and Temples of the holy Ghost, 1 Cor. 6.15, 19.

11. Q. What extraordinary reason can you shew to fright men from Adultery?

A. First, because (above other sins) it hath certain and grievous punishment in this life, Prov. 6.26, 32, 33. Eccl. 19.3.

2. Because it is a self punishment of other sins, and an effect of Gods rejecting, and giving men up to sin, Prov. 22.14. Eccl. 7.26.

12. Q. If God give up the wicked to this sin, then it followeth that he preserveth godly from it, as also it appeareth in that Text, Eccl. 7.26. can you then shew any instance hereof?

A. Yes, Sarah (though through her own, and her husbands weakness, she ran into great hazard of this sin) yet by God was preserved, Gen. 20.6.

13. Q. But is every one then falleth into this sin ab­solutely rejected of God?

A. God forbid; for he may rise and recover by re­pentance, as (David did) 1 Cor. 6.9, 10, 11.

14. Q. What do you chiefly observe and learn in all a­fore said of the seventh Commandement?

A. That (seeing not only the acts of unchastity, but also all occasions, means and helps thereto are forbid­den) I must therefore take heed of giving occasions of it to others; and of taking occasions of it from others, and of being guilty of the means of it in, and to my self by idleness, 2 Sam. 11.1. or by drunkenness, Prov. 23.33.

Sect. 40. Of the eighth Commandement.

1. Q. WHat is the eighth Commandement?

A. Thou shalt not steal.

2. Q. How many parts hath it?

A. Two: a Negative, and an Affirmative.

3. Q. What is the Negative part?

A. That which is expressed, forbidding the wrong­ing of our neighbours estate?

4. Q. What is the Affirmative?

A. That which is implyed, requiring the contrary.

5. Q. Doth this Commandement respect and concerne only our neighbour?

A. Nay, but also our selfe, as other of the second Table do.

6. Q. How may a man be a thief to, or steal from him­self?

A. 1. By idlenesse, Prov. 10.4. & 18.9. & 20.4.

2. By prodigalness in his own estate, Prov. 21.17. Luk 15.13.

3. By miserableness, in denying our self the com­fort of our labour, Eocl. 2.24. & 3.12, 13. & 4.8.

4. By indiscreet medling with others estates, 1 Thes. 4.11. Prov. 6.1.

7. Q. How may this Commandement be broken con­cerning our neighbour?

A. Directly, or indirectly.

8. Q. How directly?

A. 1. In things taken by force or by fraud, 1 Thes. 4.6.

2. In things received for, or in purpose of working, pawn, loan, or trust, Psal. 37.21. Joh. 12.6. if they be wronged, or not restored.

3. In things neither taken, nor received, but wrong­fully detained in whole, or in part, whether they be things found, Lev. 6.1, 2, 3, 4. or due by promise, Psal. 15.4. or by any other right, Rom. 13.7.

9. Q. How indirectly?

A. When we eat not our own, but others bread, by idlenesse, 2 Thes. 3.12. or unlawfull calling or practise, as Sorcery, Exod. 22.18. Act. 19.19. & 16.16. or Usury, Deut 23.19. Ps. 15.5.

10. Q. Is there yet no other kind of thefe?

A. Yes, of the heart in coveting, Mar. 7.21, 22, and of the tongue in lying and flattering, 2 Sam. 15.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

11. Q. Are we bound by this Commandement to help and relieve our neighbour?

A. Yes, Mat. 25.42. 1 Joh. 3.17. according to our ability, Act. 11.29. 1 Cor. 16.2.

12. Q. What reason may there be rendered for the e­quity of this Commandement?

A. Even that aforementioned in the sixth Comman­dement, viz. because naturally we are one flesh, Is. 58.7. and mystically we are one body, 1 Cor. 12.27. and also because we cannot live one without anothers help.

13. Q. What do you especially observe in all aforesaid of the eighth Commandement?

A. 1. That (for keeping thereof) first I must shun all wilfull wronging mine own estate, Eccl. 14.5.

2. That I must keep my heart and tongue (as well as my hands) from wronging my neighbours estate.

3. That I must not only forbear hurting, but also be ready in helping my neighbours estate in what I may.

Sect. 41. Of the ninth Commandement.

1. Q. WHat is the ninth Commandement?

A. Thou shalt not bear false witnesse a­gainst thy neighbour.

2. Q. How many parts hath it?

A. Two: a Negative, and an Affirmative.

3. Q. What is the summe of the Negative part?

A. The forbidding of falshood.

4 Q. What is the summe of the Affirmative part?

A. The requiring of truth.

5. Q. How may a man bear false witness against him­self?

A. By simulation, in making a shew of that to bee which is not, as 1 Sam. 15.13. or of that which is, to be more then it is, as Mat. 6.1. Luke 18.11. Is. 58.3.

And by dissimulation in concealing that which is, whether it be in evill, Pro. 28.13. or in good, Job 27.5. Joh. 12.42.

6. Q. How may we bear false witnesse against our neighbour?

A. Diversly in, and out of cause of judgement.

7. Q. How in cause of judgement?

A. by concealing truth when it is lawfully required, Num. 35.30.

2. By telling a false thing, 1 King. 21.13.

3. By telling a truth by half, Mat. 4.6. with Ps. 91.11.

4. By telling truth in a wrong sense, Mat. 26.6. 1 Jo. 2.21.

5. By telling truth malitiously, and in ill meaning, 1 Sam. 22.9. with Ps. 52.

8. Q. How out of cause, or matter of judgement?

A. Before his face, or behind his back.

9. Q. How before his face?

A. By flattering him, Prov. 29.5. or by mocking him, 2 Sam. 6 20.

10. Q. How behind his back?

A. To other men, or to our self.

11. Q. How to other men? A. By speaking, Gen. 39.14. or by writing, 1 King. 21.9. or by making signs, Pro. 6.13.

12. Q. How to our self?

A. By wrong suspition, 1 Cor. 13.5, 7. or by hark­ning to slanders. Ps. 101.5.

13. Q. But is not an officious lie lawfull when it is intended onely to doe good?

A. No, for lying is evill in the fountain, Joh. 8.44. therefore in every stream, Eph. 4.25.

14. Q. But are not the Egyptian Midwives commen­ded and rewarded for lying in this kind, Exod. 1.20.

A. No, but because they feared God, ver. 21.

15. Q. What say you then to the Parables, Hyper­boles, and figurative speeches common in the scriptures?

A. That in them there is truth of meaning, and of sense, though not of matter and of words, and that (at first sight) they plainly intend not deceiving, but in­forming of the reader, as in that Parable, Judg. 9.8. and that Hyperbole, Deut. 9.1. & that Metaphor, Rev. 3.16.

16. Q. What reason may be given for the equitie of this precept?

A. The same as afore in the 8th Commandement: for that is also by the Apostle applied hither, Eph. 4.25.

17. Q. What learn you (for practise) out of all said of the ninth Commandement? A. 1. To be (in my self) that [...]

2. Not to lye for any advantage of my self, or o­thers; for no evill may be done that good may come of it, Rom. 3.8.

Sect. 42. Of the tenth Commandement.

1. Q. WHat is the tenth Commandement?

A. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbours wife, &c.

2. Q. How many parts hath it?

A. Two: a Negative, and an Affirmative.

3. Q. What is the Negative part?

A. That which is expressed, forbidding inordinate desires.

4. Q. What is the Affirmative part?

A. That which is implyed, requiring purity, and integrity of thoughts, desires, and wishes.

5. Q. How far do you extend inordinate desires?

A. Even to the first motions of concupiscence, Gen. 6.5.

6. Q. What reason and proof have you that the first motions of concupiscence and originall corruption are here forbidden?

A. 1. Because consented lust is afore forbidden in the seventh and eighth Commandements, therefore there is somwhat more in this, or else this is superfluous tautologie.

2. Because the Decalogue sheweth what man should be, and requireth his originall perfection, and first purity.

3. Because resisted lust is called sin, Rom. 7.7.17.

7. Q. Are then all thoughts of evill here condem­ned?

A. Yes, all that are conceived in us, though not all [Page 67]that are apprehended by us, or inforced to us, as Mat. 4.3, 6, &c. Iob 2.9.

8. Q. And is lust absolutely evill in every kind?

A. No, for these be lawfull kinds of lusting.

1. Spiritual against the flesh. Gal. 5.17.

2. Corporal, for meat, drink, clothing, so it be mo­derate in respect of quantity, Gen. 28.20. and of quali­ty, Numb. 11.4, 5, 6.

3. Temporal for worldly wealth, so it be by, and in course of honest labour, or lawfull trading, Eph. 4.28.

4. Natural, for children; so as it be in course and state of marriage, 1 Cor. 7.2. Heb. 13.4.

9. Q. Why then was Esau taxed of prophaness, Heb. 12.16. for desiring food little in quantity, homely in qua­lity, Gen. 25.29?

A. His desire was inordinate to the contempt of his birthright, Heb. 12.16.

10. Q. Why was Ahab punished for desiring Naboths Vineyard upon valuable consideration, 1 King. 21

A. It was inordinately wilfull in him, and against the will of the owner, 1 Tim. 6.9.

11. Q. Why was Sechems desire of Dinah in marriage condemned, Gen. 34?

A. It was inordinate, not forbearing to defile her.

12. Q. How doth this Commandement differ from the first, seeing therein also you said original corruption is forbidden?

A. It is here forbidden in such parts and points as doe immediately concern God, but here in such as do immediately concern our neighbour.

13. Q. What reasons may there be rendered for the e­quity of this Commandement?

A. 1. Because (as aforesaid) man is chargeable and requirable for that original perfection which he hath lost.

2. Because God is a spirit, and his Law spirituall, Rom. 7.14. Heb. 4.12.

3. Because man is a spirit in his better part, and if he be not therein bound, he is but half bound.

14. Q. What learn you (for practise) out of all afore­said of the tenth Commandement?

A. 1. To purge my heart as well as to cleanse my hands.

2. To take heed of using lawfull desires unlawfully.

3. To hate the Romish doctrine which denyeth concupiscence to be fin without consent.

Finis Catechismi.

Trino-uni gloria.

WILLIAM GAY, Rector of Buckland, his Sermon Preached the first Sabbath day next after his setling entrance there, May 19. 1633.

Text. JOSH. 1.2.

Moses myservant is dead, now therefore arise. [And ye may adde (Joshua) for to him the speech is made, and so read or under­stand it.] Moses my servant is dead, now therefore arise Joshua.

HEE that is Almighty, by whose power we have our being, he is also Wise, All-good, All-gracious, and by his provi­dence we have our well-being: Neither was his Wisdom, Power, Goodness, Love determined and concluded in the worlds Crea­tion, but it is continued and extended, and still ex­ercised in preserving, ordering, and disposing the same even from the Stars unto the Sparrows, from the greatest to the smallest creatures: From the Stars; for he telleth the number of the Stars, and calleth them [Page 70]all by their names, Psal. 107.4. To the Sparrows; Are not two Sparrows sold for a farthing, and one of them shall not light on the ground without your Father, Mat. 10.29. How much more then (at least in our own eye; for with God there is not magis & minus, his infinitenesse admitteth no degrees of comparison) how much more, I say, is his providence exercised con­cerning that World of Worlds (his Church) wherein every Member is a little World renewed, or made new? And how much (most of all) towards those who are the Stars of that World, I mean the Ministers who are ordained to shine not onely in glory here­after (They that turn many unto righteousness, shall shine as the Stars for ever and ever. Dan. 12.3.) but also in grace here; for they are the light of the World. Mat. 1.14. Yea Stars already; The seven Stars are the Angels of the seven Churches, Rev. 1.20.

This that I have said is plainly exprest in this Text now read, wherein is shewed Gods great care and love towards his Church in fitting them with Ministers (Moses and Joshua) to guide and lead them. I call them Ministers; for though they were not properly Priests in Sacrificing, yet they were Ministers in teach­ing; they were Ministerial Magistrates, Teachers as well as Governours. Gods providence towards them (and theirs in them) appeareth in two parts of the Text, viz. In his approbation of th' one deceased (Moses my servant is dead) and in the ordination of th' other to succeed (Now therefore arise Joshua.)

His approbation of Moses is, in taking, and giving notice of his life, that he was his servant; and of his death, that he was dead.

1. He taketh notice of his life; for he calleth him his servant. Note here, God is watchfull over men, and specially over special men.

1. He is watchful over men, even generally over all; for he can neither slumber nor sleep, Psal. 121.4.

It was a mockage of the false God, It may be hee sleepeth, 1 King. 18.27. But the eyes of the Lord in every place behold the evill and the good, Prov. 15.3. Yea, and that not only for actions, but for words and thoughts; Thou art about my path, and about my bed, and spiest out all my wayes; for loe there is not a word in my tongue, but thou, O Lord, knowest it altogether, Psal. 139.3, 4.

This teacheth us to beware of hiding both before hand, and after hand.

Before hand, in respect of practise; Wo unto them that seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord, Is. 29.15. And so do all that practise evil: For every one that evill doth, hateth the light, Joh. 3.20. But in vain, for the darkness is no darkness with him, but the night is as clear as the day; the darkness and light (to thee) are both alike, Psal. 139.11. He that plant­eth the ear, shall not he hear? or he that made the eye, shall not he see? Yes, all things are naked and open to his eyes, Heb. 4.13. Walk with God then as in his presence, since out of his presence thou canst not goe. And after hand likewise beware of hiding, and not confessing: For hast thou been shameless and fearless in doing, and wilt thou be ashamed and afraid to con­fesse what thou hast done? Doest thou not see it is one wrong to God to transgress his will, and another to think thou canst deceive him by hiding it? Forget not thy self then so much at any time as to practise the works of darkness, as if God did not see thee, but if thou hast so forgotten, O remember at last thou wast mistaken, and freely open what thou canst not hide: For he that hideth his sin shall not prosper, but who so confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy, Prov. 28.13.

2. But God is especially watchfull over speciall men, generally his Elect; The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers, Ps. 34.14. And specially to the special ones, the heads and principals; and that in his Donation, Protection, Offence, Acceptance.

1. In his Donation, to whom he gives greater place, to them he gives greater grace, that he may prepare them to greater glory. Solomon having a great govern­ment had a great gift of wisdom, 1 King. 3. I say must have his lips touched with an hot coal from the Altar, Is. 6.6. Moses hath a word of warrant; I will be with thy mouth, and will teach thee what thou shalt say, Exed. 3.12. And the Disciples; I will give you a mouth and wisdome, where against all your adver­saries shall not be able to speake, or to resist, Luke 21.15.

My use of this shall be to my self: I trust God will make this good in me; that with my greater place I shall receive greater grace, gift of Ability as well as of Imployment: and the Lord grant it, not for mine, but for his own honour and glory in the good of you whom he hath given me.

2 In his Protection; Touch not mine Annointed, and doe my Prophets no harm, Ps. 105.15. The Disci­ples are warranted, there shall not one hair of your head perish, Luk. 21.18.

Beware then of opposing Gods Ordinance, and of­fer no despite nor despising to the Magistrate, or to the Minister, think not to prevail by stubborness; for ye shall therein but imagine a vain thing, Ps. 2.1. Why doe the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vaine thing? Yea ve shall be found but fighters against God, Act. 5.39. He that resisteth the power resisteth the Or­dinance of God, and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation, Rom. 13.2.

3. In Offence: For they are the apple of his eye, Zach. 2.8. He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye, Ps. 17.8. Keep me as the apple of the eye; their blemishes as well as their touches are his great offence; see it in his reckoning with David, 2 Sam. 12.7. and with his people, Mic. 6.3.

Beware then of playing the wanton with God, turn not his grace into wantonness, let not his favour im­bolden thee to sin; for the more his kindnesse is unto thee, the more unkindly he takes thy sin. Therefore grieve not the good Spirit of God; for the more he loves thee, the more offence he takes at thy lack of love to him.

4. In Acceptance: For though the Lord is generally gracious, and mercifull, loving unto every man, nigh unto all men that call upon him, Ps. 145. Yet some mens calling upon him is of speciall acceptance with him; yea not only for themselves, but also for others, insomuch that some are commanded to make use ra­ther of their, then of their own calling; Abraham must pray for Abimelech, Gen. 20.7. and Job for his friends, Job 42.8. Yea God hath ordained, and set an order and function of men to be petitioners for o­thers (even the Ministry) with promise of speciall ac­ceptance, Jam. 5.14.15. And while Moses held up his bands Israel prevailed, but when he let down his hands Amaleck prevailed, Exod. 17.11.

Learn therefore to love them whom God so accept­eth: Now we beseech you brethren to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you, and to esteem them very high­ly in love for their works sake, 1 Thes. 5.12, 13. For if you love them for their work sake, then ye will love them for their own sake, because they are workers, and for Gods sake, because they are his workers; and for [Page 74]your own sakes, because the benefit of their work ex­tendeth to you temporally, spiritually, eternally: For bodily exercise profiteth little, but godliness is profita­ble unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come, 1 Tim. 4.8. Yea love them for their presence and companies sake; for much is the benefit that secretly you may receive thereby; God blessed Laban for Jacobs sake, Gen. 30.27. and Potiphar for Josephs sake, Gen. 40.5. yea he gave Saint Paul the lives of all his fellow passengers in that despe­rate danger of shipwrack, Act. 27.24. And if ten righ­teous could have been found in Sodome, all the multi­tude of miscreants, even all the whole citty should have been spared for their sakes, Gen. 18.32. And what knowest thou whether the company and acquain­tance, the society, and near neighbourhood of one of Gods favourites may be unto thee, and all thine, both a prospering in good, and a defence from evill.

But what is the notice that God gives, and thereby shews that he took of Moses life? Even this, That he was his servant.

Behold then, God is no ungratefull Master, no man can serve him for nought: He observeth as diligently thy obedience to approve and reward it, as thy dis­obedience to reprove and punish it; yea though it bee in secret he will reward thee openly, Mat. 6.4. yea though it bee but little and of small value that thou doest; for a cup of cold water shall not lose its reward, Mat. 10.28. The Widdows Mite is not disdained but extolled, Luke 21.1. Yea he keeps a book to register every word, and a bottle to preserve every tear that true repentance shall bring forth: Put my tears into thy bottle; are not these things noted in thy book? Psal. 56.8.

O then be not weary of well doing; for in due time [Page 75]ye shall reap if ye faint not, Gal. 6.9. And say not, it is in vain to serve God, and what profit is it that we have kept his Commandements: and walked humbly before the Lord? Mal. 3.14. But be ye stedfast and unmove­able, alwaies rich in the work of the Lord, for as much as yee know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord, 1 Cor. 15.58.

But doth God give no other notice of Moses then that he was his servant? No, this was the height of his honour; for the Law afforded but Servantship, it is the Gospel that bringeth Sonship, the time of Son­ship was not yet come.

For even that Heir (the Church of Israel) differed nothing from a servant, though he were Lord of all, but was under Tutors and Governours; yea in a kind of bondage under weak and beggarly rudiments, Gal. 4. But when the Son became a Servant, then servants be­came sens: He made himself of no reputation, but took upon him the form of a servant, Phil. 2.7. From thence forth that was fulfilled to us, Thou art no more a ser­vant but a son. Now if thou be a son, thou art also the heir of God through Jesus Christ, Gal. 4.7.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with with the yoke of bondage, Gal. 5.1. The yoke of bondage of the Ceremonial and of the Moral Law.

Of the Ceremonial Law, as touch not, tast not, handle not, which were shaddows of things to come, but the body is in Christ, Col. 2.21.

Of the Morall Law: For even that also may prove an entangling yoke of bondage: Namely, if we stick to the Covenant of Works, and presume on our own meriting. Beware then (with the Dog in the Fable) ye lose not the substance by catching at the shaddow: That ye go not about to establish your own righteous­ness; [Page 76]not submitting your selves to the righteousnesse of God; for Christ is the end of the Law for righteousnes, Rom. 10.3. in him we must seek it, or else we shall ne­ver find it.

It may prove also a yoke of bondage, if we stick to the covenant of it the contrary way, namely by dis­pairing, yeelding to the force, and sinking under the burthen of the curse of it, taking no hold on that An­chor of hope which we have in Christ, Heb. 6.19. For Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law be­ing made a curse for us, Gal. 3.13.

In all these respects therefore stand fast in the liber­tie wherewith Christ hath made us free: for the sonne having made us free now are we free indeed, Joh. 8.36. even of servants we are made sons.

But how? are we made lawless sons, and hath the Law indeed no more power over us? Not so; the curse of it is taken away, not the force of it, the killing letter is blotted out, not the binding Letter: We are freed in respect of vengeance from God, not in respect of obedience to God, so that still we must doe all that ever we can, but when all is done, we must say, we are unprofitable servants, we have done that which was our duty to doe, Luk. 17.10. As free, and yet not as ha­ving your liberty for a cloak of malitiovsness, but as the servants of God, 1 Pet. 2.16. For brethren you have been called unto liberty, onely use not liberty for an oc­casion to the flesh, but by love serve one another, Gal. 5.13. For how much more priviledge God affordeth us, so much more duty we should afford him, acknow­ledging his service to be perfect freedom.

And so much of Gods notice taken and given of Moses in his life.

Of his death also he takes and gives notice, Moses my servant is dead, shewing that even Gods servants [Page 77]also must dye, from that none can be priviledged: By Adams sin death went over all men, Rom. 5.12. It is appointed to all men once to die, Heb. 9.37. Yea though Christ hath taken away his Fathers wrath in the curse of death, yet he hath not taken away his Fathers word concerning the course of death: he hath turned the curse of death into a blessing, because he is merciful: He will not alwaies be chiding, neither keepeth he his an­ger for ever; Psal. 103.9. but he hath not stopped the course of death to stay it from proceeding, because he is just and true: Heaven and earth shall passe away, but his word shall not pass, Mat. 24.35. All must dye.

Let every man therefore, from the meanest to the greatest, from the worst to the best watch and wait, yea provide and prepare for death as unavoydable: thy poornesse cannot hide thee, thy greatnesse cannot pro­tect thee, thy holinesse cannot priviledge thee: Moses Gods servant dyed, and so must thou.

Again this sheweth, that God taketh notice of the death as well as of the life of his servants, and that they who live to him cannot dye from, or without him: Right dear in the sight of the Lord is the death of his Saints, Ps. 165.15. he dearly regardeth it, he doth not slightly neglect it: Lazarus was carried by the Angels into Abrahams bosom, as Christ testifieth Luk. 16.22. and Moses his dead body was protected and defended against the Devill by an Angel, yea by Michael the Archangel, as St. Jude testifieth, Iude 9.

Behold then your happiness all yee that serve God: for when, or where, or howsoever death shall finde you, God doth not then lose you, your soul and body shall be parted, but neither of them parted from God; the one goes to joy (the soul fleeth to God that gave it, Eccl. 12.7.) the other to rest: Blessed are they that die in the Lord, they rest from their labours, Rev. 14.13. by whatsoever casualty or cruelty therefore [Page 78]thine own, or thy friends death cometh, grieve not, la­ment not, despaire not, feare not; for not onely the soules of the righteous are in the hand of the Lord, Wisd. 3.1. but their whole persons; All Saints are in thy hand, Deut. 33.3. Tyrants cannot kill the soul at all, nor yet the body without Gods observance, nor yet destroy it past his preservance, but every faithfull one in every kind of death may comfortably yeeld himself unto God as unto a faithfull Creator, 1 Pet. 4.19. with Davids assurance of safety, Psal. 4.8. I will lay me down in peace, and take my rest, for thou Lord only makest me dwell in safety. And thus much for the first part of my Text, Gods appro­bation of Moses.

Now for the latter part; his ordination of Joshua; Now therefore arise. Ye may understand Joshua's name; for it is to him spoken.

Note that God calleth Joshua, and whereto he call­eth him.

1. That he calleth him, and that Joshua stirreth not without bidding: For Great places must have great and strong calling: Moses was afraid to undertake his charge, yea even contended with God by urging his disability, Exod. 4. Jeremiah crieth out, Behold I cannot speak, for I am but a child, Jer. 1.6. And of the Priesthood it is said, No man taketh this honour to himself, but he that is called of God as was A­aron, Heb. 5.4. Yea who is sufficient for these things? 2 Cor. 2.16.

Woe be then to the corruption of our times in ri­sing to places: Doe they come without calling? No, for they call themselves; I have not sent these Pro­phets, saith the Lord, yet they ran, Jer. 23.21. But let unlookt for Guests beware of that unlookt for que­stion, Friend, how camest thou in hither? Mat. 22.12. [Page 79]Doe they rise without bidding? No, but it is in a con­trary kinde to that which should bee; for instead of Gods bidding them by the motions, and bidding for them by the gifts of his spirit, they bid for themselves by gifts and summes as the place is worth in a wordly eye: But wo be both to the receivers and givers of such biddings. To the receivers; for what difference is there between Balaams going, and their setting others to goe for reward? Or what difference between Ju­das his betraying Christ, and their betraying the Church the body of Christ for money? May not all such taking bee justly called the wages of iniquitie? To the givers: for God hath ordained that spirituall things shall buy temporall: If we have sowen unto you spirituall things, is it a great thing if we reap your carnall things, 1 Cor. 9.11. Not that temporal shall buy spirituall; they that offer that, are in the gall of bitternesse, and in the bond of iniquity, Act. 8.23. They may boldly say to their people, Dearly beloved brethren; for their charge cost them dear; it was a dear bargain, dear to their purses, dearer to their consciences, but dearest of all (without repentance) to their soules: That is the right golden hook they fish withall. And yet indeed they speake falsly in calling the people Dearly beloved; for it is not the people but the profit that they love: They cannot say with Saint Paul, I seek not yours but you, 2 Cor. 12.14. But contrariwise, I seek not you, but yours.

So much of Joshua's being called.

Now whereto he is called, Arise: This implyeth Honour and Labour.

1. Honour: For

Great places yeeld honour to the possessors: Joshua was (at first) Moses's Minister or servant, now hee [Page 80]be the peoples head or governour; Therefore he must arise, that is, take greater degree of honour. Hereto agreeth that speech of lifting up, He lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill to set him among Princes; 1 Sam. 2.8. Thou art the lifter up of my head, Psal. 3.3. and this is confirmed by that 1 Pet. 2.17. Honour the King; and by the Commandement, Honour thy Father and Mother. Let Superiours honour then bee maintained by themselves, and by others: By themselves; the higher they are raised, the more they are in the peoples sight, the more care they need to take of themselves, they are the light of the world, and as a Citty set upon a hill that cannot be hid, Mat. 5.14.

By others: For wee must give every man his due, custome to whom custome, fear to whom fear, honour to whom ye owe honour, Rom. 13.7. For God is not the author of confusion, 1 Cor. 14.33. But he will have every man known and acknowledged in his de­gree to the fulfilling whereof he requireth a kinde of strife and contention who shall doe most: In giving honour prevent or go before one another, Rom. 12.10.

2. Labour: For

Great places require great labours: To arise, ar­gueth no sleepy idlenesse, but painfull practise; ho­nos & onus cannot be divided; every honour hath its burthen: the words sound alike, and there is not much oddes in the letters, nor in the number of them, but one which is an aspiration, the peoples breath: his rising here is not as Exod. 32.6. The people sate down to eat and drink and rose up to play. It is no play game, but a matter of laborious consequence; he must arise and goe over Jordan. It was labour in leading, more in ruling, most in fighting, It is said of [Page 81]Christ, Is. 9.6. The government is upon his shoulders: and Exod. 28.12. Aaron likewise must bear the names of the twelve Tribes upon his two shoulders. And it is generally true, that Governement is a shoulder worke, a burthen requiring strength and indu­strie.

Let every one therefore, from the highest to the lowest, that hath had any rising above others, look to his labour and charge therein: for even the meanest Master or Father that is risen to be over a Family, is therein risen to labour: Hee hath others to an­swer for as well as for himself: Duxit uxorem, al­tera cura; nati liberi, altera cura: If he have mar­ried a Wife, he hath another charge: if he have chil­dren, he hath another charge, the greater his charge, the greater his place is, the greater is his labour, and therefore the greater should be his care: for hee may bee sure his accompt will bee greater, and his re­ward will bee greater if he accompt well, and his punishment greater if ill: For to whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required, Luk. 12.48.

And now I conclude with Application.

This Text fits well with this time and place, at least in the fore-part of it, Moses my servant is dead.

That my Predecessor lately dead was a Moses, and Gods servant, it is needlesse for me to tell you, that can tell so well, and doe tell me so much: even such a me­mory of him, as that a better cannot be wisht: so that I fear to speak much of him, lest my much should bee too little, lest I should faile in speaking so much good of him as others doe. I will say all then in that which may serve as an Epitaph to set upon his grave, even [Page 82]that Eze. 2.10. (as the vulgar Latine readeth it, and as I may construe it to my purpose) Lamentationes, carmen, & vae. To his death belongs lamentation, and song, and woe: Lamentation to you, and to all his friends from whom hee is parted: a song to him, who having finished his course, hath received (no doubt) the end of his faith, the salvation of his soul, and is gone into that place of heavenly singing Halle-laiahs, songs of praise to God with the Quire of Angels: But woe to his Successor, for as much as his Worth was so great, and his Memory is so good, that there is little hope left to another to match so much desert, or to find such an acceptance.

And in the other part also the Text is not unfit: For though I arrogate not to my selfe the name and worth of Joshua, yet now I must professe my selfe to be your Joshua, your Leader into the heavenly Canaan, your Guide and Captaine in your spiritual Warfare. I professe also to have had like calling with him here­unto, even to arise.

I professe like calling, though not by an audible voice from heaven (which now we must not expect, Miracles being ceased) yet by a fair and free calling as ever was any: For never did any (that asked at all, make less suit or asking then I have done for this: And if of­fers, gifts, services, friendship, kindred, could have prevailed, I could not have sped: So that you must take mee as at the Lords sending what ever I am, and I must say, It is the Lords doing, and it is marvellous in my eyes. I professe also my calling to be to arise, as in honour, so in labour: Which profession that I may fulfill and practise, I desire you every one from the oldest to the youngest, as many as can pray to help mee by your prayers, not onely weekly here in pub­like, [Page 83]but daily at home in private: For if you lack wisdom, you must ask it of God not of me: for it de­scendeth from above, Jam. 1. And if ye think it not worth the asking, yee make your selves unwor­thy of receiving: Ask therefore, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full, Joh. 16.24. Which the Lord grant, &c.

Maii 19. 1633. Trino-uni gloria.
Per me Gulielmum Gaium.

A SERMON preached at Long­leat at the Baptism of the late hopefull Spark (too bright for this World)

Text, 1 PET. 3.18.

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins.

THis Text doth give me occasion to tell you a dolefull tale, very strange, yet not more strange then true: very like in some respects, and yet also in some other re­spects very unlike to that Tragical story of the death of Absalom, recorded 2 Sam. 18.

1 In some respects it is like it: For Absalom (there spoken of) was the son of David, a great and mighty King; and Christ of whom I am to speak, was the Son of God, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

2. Absalom was the beloved son of his Father, else he would never have made so great lamentation for him as he did, crying, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom: and Christ was the beloved sonne of his Father, else he would never have given so great com­mendation of him as he did, saying, This is my be­loved son in whom I am well pleased.

3. Absalom was excellent in corporall beauty, from the sole of his foot to the crown of the head there was [Page 85]no blemish in him; and Christ was absolute in spiritual beauty, there was no spot or stain of sinne to be found upon him.

4. Absalom died hanging up in the air on the bough of a tree, and Christ dyed lifted up between heaven and earth upon the crosse.

5. Absalom was thrust through with darts, and Christs side was pierced with a spear.

6. Absalom being dead was taken down, and cast into a pit, and a great heap of stones laid upon him; and Christ being dead was taken down, and laid in a sepulcher, and a great stone rolled against him.

7. Concerning Absalom there was one souldier that answered Captain Ioab, Though I should receive a thousand sheekels of silver, yet would I not lay my hand upon the Kings Sonne: and concerning Christ, there was one woman that sent unto Lieutenant Pilate, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man.

8. When Absalom was slain, his Father withdrew himself from the cruell Captains, and shewed them no grace nor favour but displeasure; and when Christ was slain, his Father withdrew himself from the mur­thering Jews, and to this day they have his wrathfull indignation according to their own imprecation, His blood be upon us and upon our children.

But to make this Tragedy of Christ more pittifull and lamentable then that of Absalom, behold also here great difference and dissimilitude.

1. Absaloms Father had many more children, but Christ was the only begotten son of his Father.

2. Absalom was a rebellious and disobedient sonne, and wilfully ran upon his own death, contrary to his Fathers good will: but Christ was so loyall and obe­dient a Sonne, that hee would not so much as avoyd death without his Fathers good will; for so he spake, [Page 86] Not my will, but thine bee done.

3. Absalom did not only himself flee from his Father and rebell, but hee drew others away with him: but Christ did both yeeld himself unto his Father, saying, Into thy hands I commend my spirit; and with himself hee drew others also, saying to the Thief upon the Cross, This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.

4. Absalom dyed unwillingly notwithstanding he suffered no punishment but his owne deservedly due unto him: but Christ dyed willingly, notwithstanding the punishments due unto all the world, were undeser­vedly laid upon him.

5. The hair of Absaloms head fastned in the bough of a tree was strong enough to bear the weight of him: It is probable that his great bush of hair hung in a bough, 2 Sam. 14.26. but Christ was loaden with so insup­portable a burthen, that his hands and his feet nailed to the body of the Crosse were little enough to hold him.

6. Absalom hanging by his hair felt pain and torment no where but in his head, till Ioab came with his darts to dispatch him: but Christ both before he was cru­cified, and while he was crucified, was tormented and tortured in all his body.

7. It was but an Oaken bough wherein Absaloms head was entangled; but it was a sharp thorny bush wherewith Christs head was wreathed.

8. In a word; Absaloms story was a right Tragedy; for it began merrily; he invited his brethren to a Feast, but it ended mournfully, he and his followers were put to the sword; but Christs story was more, and worse then tragicall; for his birth, his life, his death, began, continued, ended with no mirth at all, but with conti­nuall mournfull misery.

But that I may proceed orderly in this my discourse, [Page 87]I propose these three chief parts or points of the Text to be observed.

1. The sufferer (Christ.)

2. His sufferings (hath suffered.)

3. The cause of his sufferings (for sins.)

Concerning the sufferer we are to consider who hee was, and what he was, who in his person, what in his office.

The former the Prophet plainly sheweth, Is. 9.6. Unto us a child is born, and unto us a Sonne is given. Parvulus a Child, that noteth his humanity: Filius a Sonne, that noteth his Deity: Parvulus a Child, even man of the substance of his Mother born in the World: Filius a Sonne, even God of the substance of his Father begotten before the World. Parvulus a Child, behold his humility; She brought forth her first born Son and wrapped him in swadling clothes, and laid him in a manger, Luk. 2.7. Filius a Son, be­hold his dignity: When he bringeth in his first begot­ten Son into the world, he saith, and let all the Angels of God worship him, Heb. 1.6. That hee was man there is proof: It is enough to the purpose to say (seeing it is a saying undenyable) he was born, he li­ved, he dyed. That he was God, there is proof; St. Peter saith, They killed the Prince of life, Act. 3.15. and St. Paul saith, they crucified the Lord of glory, 1 Cor. 2.8. Yea, that God hath purchased his Church with his own blood, Act 20.28.

That he should be man there was reason: For man had sinned, therefore man must be punished: By a man came death, therefore by a man must come the resur­rection of the dead: Man was the offender, therefore man must be the satisfier. Angels could not do it, they had no bodies to suffer; the bruit sensible creatures could not do it, they had no soules to suffer: The in­sensible [Page 88]creatures could not doe it, they had no sense to suffer; therefore man having body, soul, and sense must do it; for he had sinned in all, and he could suffer in all.

That hee should bee God, there was reason, yea double reason: First, that his sufferings might be suf­ficient; and againe, that his merits might bee suffi­cient.

That his sufferings might be sufficient: For the sin of man was infinite (I mean infinitely punishable) If not infinite in number (infinite offences) yet infinite in nature, every offence infinite, because against God, who is infinite. No creature could therefore satisfie for it, but the sufferer must be God, that so his infinite­ness might be answerable to the infiniteness of mans, yea all mens offences.

And again, that his merits might be sufficient, he must bee God: for sufficient merit for all Mankinde could not be in the person of any meer man; no not in Christ himself considered only as a man: For so all the grace he had, he did receive it, and all the good he did, he was bound to doe it: for he was made of a woman and made under the Law, Gal. 4.4. there­fore in fulfilling it hee did more then that which was his duty to doe: he could not merit by it, no not for himself, much lesse for others (considered only as man) therefore he must also be God, that the dignity of his person might adde dignity, and virtue, and value to his works. In a word, Deus potuit, sed non debuit; homo debuit, sed non potuit; God could, but he should not; man should, but he could not make the satisfacti­on; therefore he that would doe it must be both God and Man: Terris crutus ab igne (as the Prophet speak­e h Zac. 3.2.) Is not this a firebrand taken out of the fire? In a firebrand there is fire and wood inseparably [Page 89]mixed, and in Christ there is God and Man wonder­fully united. He was God, else neither his sufferings nor his merits could have been sufficient: And if his could not, much lesse any mans else: for all other men are both conceived and born in original sin, and also much and often defiled with actuall sin.

Away then with all such doctrines of prayers and Masses for the dead, and whatsoever other merit or sa­tisfaction of man: for no man may deliver his brother, nor make agreement to God for him; for it cost more to redeem their souls, so that he must let that alone for e­ver, Ps. 49.7.

He was man; even God became man by a wonder­full, unspeakable, and unconceivable union. Behold God is offended by mans affecting and coveting his wisdom and his glory (for that was the Devils temp­tation to our first Parents, ye shall be as Gods) and man is redeemed by Gods assuming and taking his frailty, and his infirmity: Man would be as God, and so offended him, therefore God becomes man, and so redeemeth him.

Away then with all pride and disdain, scorn and contempt of our brethren: despise not, hate not, re­venge not him that compares himself unto thee, or lifts himself above thee, pursue him not with fury, pro­secute him not with rage, but rather seek to reconcile and winne him with kindnesse, meeknesse, and humi­lity: so did God deal with man his proud daring, and too too high comparing creature: Because man in pride would be a God, therefore God in love became a man.

And so you have one particular concerning the sufferer, namely, who he was in his person, God and Man.

Again (as aforesaid) we are to consider what hee [Page 90]was in his office; the Text doth yeeld it in the name Christ. This name or title Christus was wont to be given to three sorts of dignities or degrees: Namely, to Kings, Priests, and Prophets, and that because the signification of that name (that is, Anointed) did be­long to them: for those three degrees were wont to be consecrated and confirmed with the ceremony of A­nointing; so was Aaron Anointed to be a Priest, Jehu to be a King, Elisha to be a Prophet: And of them all the Psalmists words may be understood, Psal. 105.15. Nolite tangere Christos meos, Touch not mine Anoin­ted. But never was this name so properly given to any as to him of whom my Text speaketh: For if any were Anointed with material oyl, hee was Anointed with spiritual oyl (the oyl of gladness) if any were A­nointed abundantly, he was Anointed superabundant­ly (above his fellows) if any were Anointed tempo­rally, he was Anointed eternally, Thou art a Priest for ever, saith the Psalmist: Whose Kingdom shall have no end, saith the Nicen Creed: If any were Anointed for any of those three dignities or degrees, it was for one of them, or but for two at the most: Samuel was a Priest and a Prophet, Melchizedek was a Priest extraordinary, though not of any kin­dred known, Gen. 14.18. Heb. 7.1. &c. Et Aug. quaest. 46. ex vet. Test. Denying Samuel to be a Priest, confesseth him a Levite. Et de civ. dei lib. 17. c. 4. saith, Samuel officio functus Sacerdotis & Iudicis. Melchi­zedek, a Priest and a King; Da­vid a King and a Prophet: onely Christ was all three together, a King, a Priest, and a Prophet: That hee was a King there is proof, Rejoice O daughter of Ierusalem, behold thy King cometh, Zac. 9.9. which words are applyed to Christ, Mat. 21.4. That he was a Priest there is proof, Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek, Ps. 110.4. which words [Page 91]are applyed unto Christ, Heb. 7.17. That he was a Prophet there is proof, The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet, Deut. 18.15. which words are ap­plyed unto Christ, Act. 3.22.

That he should be a King there was reason, his peo­ple are obnoxious to much weaknesse, many dangers, mighty enemies, who else could be able to protect and guard them? he must be their defender. That he should be a Priest there was reason, his blood was precious (the blood of Christ, saith St. Peter) who else could be worthy to have the offering of that sacrifice? hee himself must be the sacrificer. That he should be a Pro­phet there was reason, his mysteries are unsearchable (the unsearchable riches of Christ, Eph. 3.8.) who else could be able to teach and instruct, to direct and in­form his Church? [...], Who is sufficient for these things? he must be their Doctor. See how well the name Christian (in some good measure) may also agree with thee that doest professe it.

Be thou a King to subdue and conquer thy corrup­tions, and to reign and rule over thine inordinate affections, lusts, and passions: And think not this a base Kingship, or mean rule; for he that ruleth his own minde, is better then he that winneth a Citty, Prov. 16.32.

Be thou a Priest to offer spirituall sacrifices accepta­ble to God by Iesus Christ: The Calves of thy lips (as the Prophet Hosea speaketh, Hos. 14.3. The sa­crifices of praise (as the Apostle expresseth it, Hebr. 13.15.) even prayers, and praises, and thanksgi­vings.

Be thou a Prophet to exhort and encourage to vir­tue and goodnesse, to dehort and discourage from sin and wickednesse; Let the word of Christ dwell in you [Page 92]plenteously in you in all wisdome, teaching, and admo­nishing one another in Psalms, and Hymns, and spiri­tual songs, Col. 3.16. Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works, and let us exhort one another, Heb. 10.24. Otherwise if instead of reign­ing and ruling over thy corruptions thou suffer them to reign and rule over thee, making thy will thy Law, and following thine own hearts lusts even with greedi­nesse. If in stead of offering holy acceptable sacrifices to God by Jesus Christ, thou offer the uncleannesse of thy heart, the prophaness of thy mouth, the wicked­nesse of thy hands: If in stead of abetting virtue, and abating vice, thou back vice, and beat down virtue, then (whosoever thou art) thou doest but usurp the name of Christian, and in the mean time provest thy self to be Antichristian, because thy practise is contrary to Christs profession.

And so much for the first generall part or branch of the Text, the sufferer Christ, both what he was in his person (God and Man) and what he was in his of­fice, Christ, the Anointed King, Priest and Prophet of his Church.

The second generall part or branch is, his sufferings (hath suffered.)

The Apostles words here do seem to mee like to a Riddle, Christ hath suffered; as if he should say; a-read thou if thou canst what he suffered: And why Saint Peter? thou that didst follow him farther then others, canst not thou tell us? or thou that didst love him more then others, wilt not thou tell us what he suffer­ed? Surely I doubt not, thou canst tell his sufferings, but they are so many, that in this thy short Epistle thou wilt not: It may be also thou wouldest tell his sufferings, but they are so grievous, that in thy passio­nate love thou canst not; therefore thou doest content [Page 93]thy self thus abruptly to deliver them in this unperfect broken speech, Christ hath suffered: And how then, alass, how then shall I, Infandum renovare dolorem, renew this unspeakable grief, or utter this unutterable sorrow? Or (if I could doe it) Quis duri miles Ulis­si temperet à lacrymis? What hard hearted Sonne of hard heartning Satan could refrain teares, or abstaine from weeping? What woes and lamentations, what cryes and exclamations, what complaints and sor­rows, what wringing of hands, what knocking of breasts, what weeping of eyes, what wayling of tongues belong to the speaking and hearing of this dolefull Tragedy? Horresco referens & vox faucibus haeret, Even in the prologue I tremble, and at the first entrance I am as at a non plus, that I know not with what wo­full gesture to act it, with what moanfull voice to pro­nounce it, with what mournfull words, with what patheticall speeches, with what emphaticall phrases, with what interrupted accents, with what passionate compassionate plaints to expresse it. The multipli­citie of the plot, and the variety of the acts and scenes is so intricate, that my memory failes to comprise it; the matter so important, and the story so excellent, that my tongue failes to declare it: the cruelty so sa­vage, and the massacre so barbarous, that my heart failes to confider it, wherefore I must needs content my self (with the Apostle here) to speak but unperfectly of it, and think this enough to say, Christ hath suffered.

And well may I think this enough; for behold what perfection there is in this seeming unperfect speech: For to say indefinitely he suffered, without any limi­tation of time, what is it but to say that he alwaies suffered without exception of time? And so indeed the Prophet speaks of him, namely, that he was a man full of sorrows, Is. 53.3. Full of sorrows as if no part [Page 94]of his life were free from suffering. Again, to say only, he suffered, and nothing else, what is it but to say, that he alwaies onely suffered, never resisted, never rebelled? And so also of him it is said, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb dumb before the shearer so opened he not his mouth, Act. 8.32. And when he was reviled, he reviled not again, when he suffered he threatned not 1 Pet. 2.23. And again, to say precisely, he suffered, what is it but to say, that he was a right and proper sufferer? namely, that he suffered not constrain­edly what he could not choose (which is not suffer­ing, but compulsion) but voluntarily what he might refuse (which properly is to be termed suffering) that he suffered himself to suffer, and suffered the Jews to make him suffer, having power to quit himself if hee would and not to suffer? Indeed such a true, and pro­per sufferer he was; for so himself confesseth, I lay down my life, no man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of my self, I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again, Joh. 10.17. And again, to say plainly he suffered, what is it but to shew his innocencie, that he had not offended? For if hee had been a malefactor or offender, it should have been said rather, he was punished, or he was executed. And so it is most true, for so it followeth in the next words of the Text, the just for the unjust. And again, to say peremptorily he suffered, what is it but to set him forth by the way of excellency for the chief and arch­sufferer? and that not onely in respect of the manner of his sufferings that he suffered, absolutely so as ne­ver did any, but also in respect of the measure of his sufferings, that he suffered excessively so much as never did any: And so also wee may well understand and take it: For to him doth well belong that lamenta­tion of the Prophet, Lam. 1.12. O vos omnes qui [Page 95]transitis, attendite, & videte, si dolor est ullus sicut dolor meus: O all yee that passe by, attend and see if there be any sorrow like to mine.

Behold then, in saying nothing else but Christ hath suffered.

1. He implyeth that he alwaies suffered, constantly without intermission.

2. That he onely suffered, patiently without oppo­sition.

3. That he properly suffered, voluntarily without compulsion.

4. That he innocently suffered, wrongfully without just condemnation.

5. That he principally suffered, excessively without comparison.

And is it not enough then that he saith, Christ hath suffered, but will ye yet ask what? Nay, but I pray you be satisfied, and rather of the two ask what not? For what sufferings can ye think on which he suffered not? Sufferings in birth? he suffered them: Suffer­ings in life? he suffered them: Sufferings in death? he suffered them: Sufferings in body? he was diversly tormented: Sufferings in soul? his soul was heavie unto death: Sufferings in estate? he had not where to rest his head: Sufferings in good name? he was counted a Samaritane, and a devillish Sorcerer: Suf­ferings from heaven? he cryeth out, My God, my God, why hast thou for saken me? Sufferings from the earth? he findeth for his hunger a fruitlesse Fig-tree: Suffer­ings from hell? he is assaulted and encountred with the Devill himself: He began his life meanly and base­ly, and was sharply persecuted: he continued his life poorly, and distressedly, and was cruelly hated: hee ended his life wofully and miserably, and was most grievously tormented, with whips, thorns, nails, and [Page 96](above all) with the terrors of his Fathers wrath, and horrors of hellish agonies.

Ego sum qui peccavi: I am the man that have sin­ned, but these sheep what have they done? So spake David when he saw the Angel destroying his people, 2 Sam. 24.17. And even the same speech may every one of us take up for our self, and apply to Christ, and say, I have sinned, I have done wickedly, but this sheep what hath he done? Yea much more cause have we then David had to take up this complaint: For David saw them die whom he knew to be sinners; we see him dye who (we know) knew no sin. David saw them dye a quick speedy death, we see him die with lingering torments. David saw them dye who (by their own confession) was worth ten thousand of them: wee see him dye for us, whose worth admitteth no comparison. David saw the Lord of glory destroy­ing mortall men, we see mortall men crucifying the Lord of glory, 1 Cor. 2.8. How then have not wee more cause then David to say, I have sinned, I have done wickedly, but this innocent lamb what hath he de­served to be thus tormented? But let us not goe on with Davids words to adde (as he doth there) Let thy hand I pray thee be against me, and against my Fathers house. Let us not desperately offer our selves to condemnation, when we see redemption fairly, freely, fully offered unto us; rather let us sing Maries Magnificat; My soul doth magnifie the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Let us take heart of grace, courage, and comfort in faith; for Christ hath blotted out the hand-writing that was a­gainst us, and hath nailed it to his crosse, and hath spoy­led Principalities, and Powers, and made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in the same cross, Col. 2.14.

And so much for the second generall part, or branch of the Text, his sufferings (hath suffered.)

The third and last part is the occasion of his suffer­ings (for sins.)

Look how largely he spoke before of his sufferings in a generall word (hath suffered) meaning all suffer­ings, so largely he also speaketh of the occasion of his sufferings in a generall word (for sinnes) meaning all sins. But take this (all) with this restraint, namely, for all mens sins: And let this (all) againe bee thus expounded, for all mens sins competently and suffici­ently, but onely for all the Elects sins actually, and ef­fectually.

For first, it appeareth that he suffered for no sinnes of his own; for the Text here denyeth him to have any, in that it calleth him just (the just for the unjust) And it is also plain that he suffered not for lost Angels sins; for he in no sort took the Angels, but he took the seed of Abraham, Heb. 2.16. And why not them as well as us, seeing they were the more noble, and ex­cellent creatures? They were celestial spirits, we earth­ly bodies, dust and ashes: They were immediate at­tendants upon God, as it were of his privy chamber, we servants of his lower house of this world, farther remote from his glorious presence: Their office was to sing Haleluiahs, songs of praise to God in the heavenly Paradise, ours to dresse the Garden of Eden, which was but an earthly Paradise: They sinned but once, and but in thought (as is commonly held) but Adam sinned in thought, by lusting, in deed by tast­ting, in word by excusing: Why then did not Christ suffer for their sinnes as well as for ours? or if for any, why not for theirs rather then ours? Even so, O Fa­ther, for so it pleased thee, Mat. 11.26. We move this question not as being curious to search thy secret [Page 98]counsels, but that wee may the more fill our hearts with admiration of thy goodnesse towards us, and be the more tankfull for thy favour, joyfull in thy mercy, and cheerfull in thy love, acknowledging ourselves more bound unto thee for that we have received more bounty from thee then even thine Angels, thy noblest creatures.

So then, Christ hath suffered for the sinnes of Man­kind onely, and that (as aforesaid) of all Mankind (if we respect the sufficiency of his sufferings) so that if any be not benefited by it, the defect, and fault is not in it, but in their not apprehending and applying it: Else why is it thus largely said in this indefinite speech (Christ hath suffered for sins, excepting no sins) but that every one should have liberty to infer, conclude, and say, for my sins. Art thou a young sinner? Christ hath suffered for sins: Art thou an old sinner? Christ hath suffered for sins. Art thou a Jew sinner? Christ hath suffered for sins: Art thou a Gentile sinner? Christ hath suffered for sins: Art thou a bond sinner? art thou a free sinner? art thou a male sinner? art thou a female sinner? art thou a great sinner? art thou a grie­vous sinner, Christ hath suffered for sins: Who ever thou art, or whatever thy sins be, here is no exception to thee, or to them, but thou mayst safely infer, and say, Christ hath suffered for sins, therefore for my sins.

Only let thy sins be sins, and think them not to be virtues: say not, All these things have I kept from my youth up: say not, I fast twice a week, I give tythe of all that I possesse: say not, I have no sin; for then what hast thou to doe with the sufferings of Christ? be suffered for sins: The whole need not the Physician, but they that are sick: He came not to call the righ­teous [Page 99]but sinners. Therefore excuse not thy sinne as Adam did, saying, The woman which thou gavest me: Neither colour it, as Judas did, saying Haile Master: neither deny it, as Gehazi did, saying, Thy servant went no whither: neither defend it as Jonah did, saying, I doe well to be angry: But freely and penitently con­fesse it as David did, saying, I have sinned against the Lord: For then as David was, so shalt thou be an­swered, The Lord hath put away thy sin, thou shalt not die; and then thou mayst comfortably lay hold on the sufferings of Christ, and apply them to thine own soul, else thou hast no part or portion in him or them; for Christ hath suffered for sins: For sins (I say) in ge­neral; all and of all: Mr. Theoph. Thynne at Long­leat. And therefore also of this Infant whom our present busi­nesse doth concern: For all the seed of the Faithfull are within the Covenant of Grace, as is proved Rom. 4. to wit, that the promise is made to Abraham, and his seed, as well spiritual as natural; even to all the faithful; yea and to their seed also, Act. 2.39. And though Infants have not actuall faith themselves, yet being presented by the faithfull, they are accepted as faithfull, De liber. arb. lib. 3. cap. 23. as saith St. Augustin, Pie recte (que) creditur pro­desse parvulo corum fidem à quibus consecrandus offertur: It is godly and rightly beleeved that the Infant (in Baptism) is profited by their Faith by whom it is offered. And again, De ver. Apo. Ser. 10. Accommodat illis mater ecclesia alio­rum pedes ut veniant, aliorum cor ut credant, aliorum linguam ut fateantur. Our Mother the Church doth lend unto them the feet of others, that they may come, the heart of others that they may beleeve, Ser. 3. de Annun. the tongue of others that they may confesse. And St. Bernard, Sup­plet [Page 100]munus gratiae quod in eis habet natura minus possi­bile. The work of Grace supplyeth in them that which in nature is impossible. Yea they are said (in some sort) to have faith, in as much as they have the Sacrament of Faith: Aug: Bonifacio Epist. 23. And as the same Augustine speaketh, Sacramentum fi­dei fides est: Respondetur fidem habere, &c. The Sacrament of Faith is to them Faith: It is answered, they have faith in respect of the Sacrament of faith: Ipsius fidei sacramentum fidelem facit; the Sacrament of Faith makes the child faithfull, Non rei ipsi mente annuendo, sed ipsius rei sacramentum perci­piendo, not by assenting to the matter it self, but by partaking the Sacrament thereof: Doubt yee not therefore, but earnestly beleeve that this Infant also hath his part in Christs sufferings, which is thus gene­rall for sins.

And thus I have briefly run thorough the three chief parts or points of this Text, the sufferer, his sufferings, and the occasion of his sufferings.

Now considering the majesty of the sufferer, the ex­tremity of his sufferings, and the vilenesse of the occa­sion, I cannot let all this so slightly pass, but I must needs draw out of it some further use and instruction. And first, it doth justly drive me into admiration of Christs wonderfull love to us. When David heard of the death of his dear friend Jonathan, he was so rapt with passion, & so ravished with admiration thorough the remembrance of his love, that he calleth it wonder­full: Wo is me (saith he) for thee my brother Jona­than, very kind hast thou been to me, thy love to me was wonderfull, 2 Sam. 1.

But now (O David) let me tell thee thy wonder was nothing, it was but a shaddow to this love of Christ which we have to wonder at: For Jonathan [Page 101]loved thee, for that thy carriage and behaviour both toward him and his Father did deserve it, but Christ loved us notwithstanding our carriage and behaviour deserved his and his Fathers hatred. Jonathan loved thee well, for that he much enjoyed the present, and much more expected the future requitall of thy love to him, but Christ loved us when he enjoyed our pre­sent enmity, and had no hope of any future recom­pence. Jonathan bewrayed his love to thee in that he clothed thee with his ornaments (his robes and his garments, 1 Sam. 18.4.) and armed thee with his own weapons (his sword and his bow) but Christ bewray­ed (I had almost said betrayed) his love to us in that he not onely clothed and armed us with his own spiri­tuall robes, and weapons, but also took our raggs of corporall infirmity, yea our sins upon himself. Jo­nathan loved thy life and safety well, but yet he loved his own better, for when his father for anger against thee cast his spear at him, he avoyded and fled, and would not abide his Fathers fury, but Christ loved our life and safety so well, that for it hee was content to lose his own, and did not shrink his own side from the spear. If ever therefore (O David) thou hadst cause to call Jonathans love wonderfull, much more cause have wee to give the same title to the love of Christ, and to say to him, very kind hast thou been to us, O sweet Saviour, thy love to us was wonderfull. Yea needs must his love be wonderful, seeing he him­self is wonderfull, for so the Prophet speaketh, Is. 9.6. He shall call his name wonderfull. Wonderfull then is his name, and wonderfull is his love; for behold what wonders it worketh: It caused the second person be­ing God to take our nature, to become flesh, and to unite two natures (God and Man, Joh. 1.14.) in one person: behold a wonder. It caused a Virgin to con­ceive, [Page 102]breed, and bear a sonne, and to be at once a mother, and a mayd, behold a wonder: It caused an innocent person to give his life, and shed his blood not for his friends but his for his enemies: behold a won­der: It caused the Lord of life to be billed, as St. Peter speaketh, Act. 3.15. and the Lord of glory to be cruci­fied, as St. Paul speaketh, 1 Cor. 2.8. Behold a won­der; yea it is so wonderfull, that it is supra omnem creaturam, ultra omnem mensuram, contra omnem na­turam, above all creatures, beyond all measure, con­trary to all nature. Above all creatures; for it is above the Angels, and therefore above all others: Beyond all measure, for time did not begin it, time shall never end it, place doth not bound it, sinnes doth not exceed it, no estate, no age, no sex is denyed it, tongues can­not expresse it, understandings cannot conceive it. Contrary to all nature; for what nature can love where it is hated? can forgive where it is provoked? can offer reconcilement where it receiveth wrong? can heap up kindnesse upon contempt, favour upon ingra­titude, mercy upon sinne? Well therefore (and much more justly then David) may wee make use of that speech, and say to Christ, Very kind hast thou been to us, O dear Saviour, thy love to us was wonderfull.

And now I can no longer stand in admiration of this wonder, for behold another wonder offereth it self to take me off from this, and that is the wonder­ment of our lack of love to him; for his so wonderful loving us, doth make this also to be a wonder, that we should lack love to him. The Scripture saith, that in doing works of love unto our enemy, we doe heap coales of fire upon his head, Rom. 12. Love is com­pared to fire, in heaping love we heap up fire: Now the property of fire is to turne all it meets withall into its own nature; fire makes all things fire, the coale [Page 103]maketh burning coales, Prov. 26.21. And is it not a wonder then that Christ having heaped such abun­dance of the fiery coales of his love upon our heads, we should yet remain key-cold in love to him? what mettall are we made of, that Christs fiery love cannot work upon us, or enflame us: Can a man take fire in his bosome, and his cloathes not be burnt? or can a man goe upon coales, and his feet not be burnt? Prov. 6.27. And is it not a wonder then that we can take the fer­vent fire of Christs love into the bosome of our me­mories? that wee can remember it, and passe over it with the feet of our cogitations; that we can thinke upon it, and yet receive no heat or inflamation from it? Moses wondered why the bush consumed not, when he saw it all on fire, Exod. 3.3. but behold I shew you a greater wonder, we walk (like those three chil­dren in the fiery furnace, Dan. 3.) even in the midst of Christs fiery love flaming round about us, and yet (a­lass) how little true smell of that sweet fire is there to be felt upon us?

But there may be some reason rendred of this won­der, namely because we are too much overwhelmed with the love of the world; for as love is compared to fire, so the world is compared to the sea. Now the sea is a contrary element to the fire, and doth hinder the working of it: So long then as wee lye soked in the love of the world, the love of Christ cannot inflame us.

Let us therefore rouze our selves, and shake off from us this waterish worldly love, that so wee may bee fit matter for Christs fiery love to work upon, that our hearts being hot, and the fire being kindled within us, it may break forth continually in our tongues, and in our hands, in our words, and in our works, to his praise and glory.

Thirdly, the consideration of Christs sufferings; doth move us not onely to admire his love to us, nor onely to be ashamed of our lack of love to him, but it doth also move us to love those that are like him in suffering; the poor and needy, the miserable and af­flicted are lively images and resemblances; and there­fore also should be remembrances to us of Christ: When we meet a man that is like some friend of ours: we rejoyce to doe him all the love and kindnesse that we can for our friends sake whom hee doth resemble: And shall wee not also rejoyce to shew love and kind­nesse to the afflicted and miserable, seeing they doe so lively resemble their chief and best, yea indeed our on­ly true friend Christ? Yea they doe so lively resemble him, that hee speaks of them as if they were himselfe, and puts himself in their stead; I was hungry and yee gave mee no meat, thirsty, and ye gave mee no drink; for in as much as ye did it not to one of the least of these my brethren ye did it not to me, Mat. 25. It is then a great presumption, and a shrewd suspition that wee never took Christ for our friend, or that now wee have for­gotten our friendship, if we shew no love or respect to those who are so well like him: And if we shew our selves so forgetfull of him here, as to take no notice of him in his so lively images, it will be just that hee also forget us hereafter, and answer us with Nescio vos, I know you not.

Fourthly, the consideration of Christs sufferings, doth move us, not only to admire his love to us, nor onely to love him again, nor onely to love those that are like him in sufferings, but further also, to love and embrace his very sufferings themselves, cheerfully and comfortably to entertain misery and affliction, seeing it was the speciall ornament wherewith Christ was swadled at his birth, clothed in his life, and crowned [Page 105]in his death. We use to make much accompt of those robes and ornaments which our loving friends were went to wear; therefore some doe superstitiously wor­ship the reliques of Christ, and of his Saints; but be­hold, misery and affliction is the chiefest relique that Christ hath left behind him; for with it he clothed him­self at his birth, as with a garment, and wore it all his life, and never put it off until he dyed: It was the first, and the last thing that he wore; he never slept, nor waked without it. If then we love, and make accompt of Christ, we wil also love, and make much accompt of this relique which he hath left behind him, & wil think it rather a grace then any disgrace unto us. Never was Jacob more gracious, and acceptable to his Father Isaac, then when he stood before him clothed in the garments of his rough brother Esau: then the Father smelling the savour of the elder brothers garments, said, behold the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed, Gen. 27. And never are we more gracious and acceptable to God our heavenly Father, then when we stand before him clothed in the rough garments of Christs miseries and afflictions; for then especially we become noisom to our selves, and to the world, and therefore then especially we are as a fragrant field unto the Lord.

I speak not this to perswade any man wilfully to make himself miserable; for our Saviour himself hath pronounced it to be A more blessed thing to give then to receive. Neither doe I speak to commend, or justi­fie the counterfeit zeal of those that mock the world with a false shew of wilfull poverty, whiles (shutting themselves up in a Cloister, that they may seem to for­sake the world) they do indeed enjoy it in all superflu­ity: Or at the least the worst of their misery is no more then that which that holy man prayeth for, Pro. 30.8. [Page 106] Give me neither poverty nor riches, feed me with food convenient for me. If they have no excesse, they are sure to feel no want, but to be sufficiently provided for, both for back and belly so long as they live there; and are they not then very zealous think you in binding themselves to such a misery? But my speech is to hearten all those with comfort on whom God hath layd affliction, that they may bee so far from impati­ence, as rather to rejoyce in tribulation, Rom. 5.3. be­cause it was their Masters common lot and portion; for the Disciple is not above his Master, nor the ser­vant above his Lord; it is enough for the Disciple to be as his Master, and the servant as his Lord.

Yea not onely the afflictions of life, but death it self, and the grave should be welcom and acceptable to us; for Christ also hath passed them, and by suffering hath sanctified them unto us: so that the curse of death is turned into a blessing, and the grave is become a bed of rest, Rev. 14.13. and that Prophecie, Is. 11.8. is fulfilled, The sucking child shall play upon the holt of the Asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand upon the Cockatrice hole. There is now no danger to Gods children in the hole of death, that is, the Grave; for death hath lost his sting, and cannot hurt us; so that we may triumph and say, O death where is thy sting, O Grave where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law, but thanks be to God which hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Cor. 15.

In the last place, let us learn, not onely to admire Christs love to us; nor onely to love him again; nor only to love those that are like to him in suffering, nor onely to love his sufferings themselves, but withall to hate sin which was the occasion of his sufferings. Sin was the occasion of Christs sufferings: for had not [Page 107] Adam sinned, Christ had had no cause or need to suf­fer: If therefore wee love him, wee cannot chuse but hate that which was to him the occasion of such a mi­serable life, and such a shamefull, painfull, and cruell death. David, 2 Sam. 23. being an high Captaine, though he longed for the water of Bethleem, yet would not tast it when hee had it, because it cost his three souldiers the hazard of their lives thathe might have it. Much more (we being servile souldiers) though our soules long for the sweet waters of sin, yet should we forbear to tast it, because it cost our high Captaine Christ not the hazard, but the very loss of his life, that we might not have it.

God shewed Moses a tree wherewith he might make the bitter waters sweet, Exo. 15.25. but behold I shew you a tree, wherewith ye may make the sweet waters of sin to become bitter. Look upon the tree of Christ, re­member his Cross, and the pains he suffered thereon, and the false sweetnesse of sin will quickly vanish, and ye shall rightly rellish the bitterness of it. If the delight of any sinne offer it self unto you, cast Christ his Cross into it: do but remember his sufferings for sin, and all sin will presently grow distastfull: For how can it choose but be hatefull to us, if we consider how hurt­full it was to him.

The Jews would not put those thirty peeces into their Treasury, because they thought them to bee the price of blood, Mat. 27.6. but therein I must say they were deceived: for Judas for that money did rather sell himself, and his own soul, then Christ or Christs blood: For Christ was sold before, even God had sold him before to death for the sin of man: For when in the fall of man the devil offered sin unto God, then did God threaten Christ unto him, namely, That the seed [Page 148]the woman should break the serpents head, Gen. 3. And had not Christ been so sold before to death for sin, not all the treasure in Jerusalem, nor in all the world could have bought him.

Seeing then that Sin was the true and proper price for which Christ was sold, how unworthy are wee the name of Christians, yea how much worse are we then Jews, if we suffer this price of blood to come into the treasury of our hearts?

If therefore any motion of pride arise in thy mind, answer, and tell it, thou art the price of blood: If any temptation of lust be offered to thine eyes, answer, and tell it, thou art the price of blood: If any provocation of anger or revenge be urged to thy hands, answer, and tell it, thou art the price of blood: If any greedinesse of gain move thee to wrong or oppression, answer, and tell it, thou art the price of blood: And whatsoever sin thou art tempted to, answer, and tell it, thou art the occasion of my Saviours death, thou art the price of Christs blood, thou mayst not therefore come into the treasury of my heart.

O blessed Lord, and sweet Saviour, we do even with astonishment admire thy passing great love towards us; we pray thee also by the fervent fire of thy great love that is upon us, to kindle in us true love to thee again; yea to all that are like thee in thy sufferings; yea to thy sufferings themselves, that we may patiently bear them whensoever they befall us. But make us truly to hate sinne that was the occasion of thy sufferings. We beleeve, O Lord, that by thy blood thou hast washt us from the guilt of sin; wee beseech thee also make us more and more effectually find and feele that by thy spirit thou doest purge us from the love of sin, that so our consciences may be comforted in all our [Page 109]life, and especially in our death, and our soules and bodies eternally saved in the life to come, by and tho­rough thy all-sufficient sufferings and satisfactions: For which unto thee, with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, three persons, one eternall God, wee render all possible praise, and thanksgiving, and desire all honour and glory, might and majesty may be ascribed for ever and ever, Amen.

Finis Serm. 2.
Trino-uni gloria.
Per me Gulielmum Gaium.

At male si recites, incipit esse tuus.

A SERMON preached at the Visitation held at Campden, May 4. 1636.

Text. JOH. 13.17.

If ye know these things, blessed (or happy) are ye if ye doe them.

WHEN Moses was to bring his brethren the Jews into the land of Canaan, he sent spies before him to search and sur­vey the land, and to bring him notice both what the goodnesse of the land was, and what was the strength of the people that did possesse it: And those spyes (when they had gone thorough the land, and surveyed it) returned, and brought of the fruit of the Country; a great bunch of Grapes, which was so big, that they were fain to put it upon a bar, and carry it between two of them: And they brought news also of mighty enemies that possessed and defended the Country, the sons of Anack, the Canaanites, the Jebusites, as you may read in the 13th Chapter of the book of Numbers.

Not much unlike to this, Christ Jesus, our Moses, our Captain, our Deliverer, being about to bring his brethren both Jews and Gentiles into the spirituall land of Canaan, the celestiall Jerusalem, and being himself Prince of that Country, and therefore well e­nough [Page 111]acquainted with it, hee sendeth not spies to search it, but Messengers to certifie us of it, and to guide and conduct us into it.

And in this verse (now read) hee sendeth two Por­ters or Messengers, bringing of the fruit of the Coun­try between them with a barre upon their shoulders: The foremost Porter that goeth before, is knowing (If ye know) The hindermost that cometh behind, is doing (If ye doe) The fruit that they bear between them is Blessednesse (Blessed are ye) The staffe or bar whereon they bear it, is These things; If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them.

And they bring newes also of mighty enemies that doe oppose and resist us, and hinder our entrance into that good land: The foremost Porter or Messenger that goeth before (that is knowing)(If yee know) that doth seem to warn us of that subtle Gibeonite the De­vil, who doth catch and snare us in his subtile slights; therefore we have need of knowing (If ye know) The hindermost Porter or Messenger, that is doing (if ye do) that seemeth to warn us of that Sea-bordering Mer­chant the Canaanite (that is the World) whose ware and traffique is Milk and Honey, sweet, but swelling meat; ye may soon take too much of it: And of that wanton tempting Moabite, that is the flesh; and of that high inhabiting Amerite dwelling upon the Mountains, that is Pride: Of which three Enemies St. John speaketh, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life. These three enemies, not onely with deceit and subtilty, but with open violence doe stop the way of the tree of life. Therefore wee had need not to be idle, but to be doing, If ye doe them. And as those spies of Moses brought not all the fruit of the land of Canaan, but onely a tast, so these Mes­sengers of Christ doe not bring all the fruit of the [Page 112]kingdom of heaven, but onely a tast of it: Blessed are ye; but how? Inchoative non consummative, by in­choation, not by consummation; ye shall have the first fruits of it here for a tast (peace of conscience, and joy in the holy Ghost) but not the full harvest till ye come thither.

And again, as that fruit which those spies brought unto Moses was too heavy for one of them, and there­fore they put it between two of them, so that it hung equally on them both; so this fruit which Christ sen­deth by these two Messengers is too heavy for one of them: Knowing cannot bear it alone, Doing cannot bear it alone, therefore he putteth it between them, so that it hangeth equally on them both: If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye doe them.

And again, as those spies of Moses in bearing that fruit of Canaan did bear both with one staffe, though not both at one end of the staffe, but the one going be­fore, and the other coming after, so these Messengers of Christ in bearing this fruit of Blessednesse, doe bear it both with one staffe; that is (these things) For that which reacheth unto knowing (know these things) reacheth also unto doing (do them) that is, the same things: [...] and [...], all is but these and the same things. Neither can they bear both at one end of the staffe, but knowing must goe before and lead the way, and doing must follow and come after; If ye know these things blessed are ye if you doe them.

And again, as in carrying that fruit of Canaan, if either the foremost man should be too hasty, or the hindermost man too flow, their burthen then would fall down between them, and they would both of them lose it: or if the hindermost man should strive to goe foremost, it must needs be that by their winding; and turning about they must both goe backwards. So [Page 113]here, if either Knowing that goes before should bee too hasty, and run away too fast, or if Doing that comes after should be too slow and drag behind, the burthen must needs fall downe between them, and they must both of them lose it: Or if Doing should be so hare-brain'd as to strive to goe before Knowing, it might well be called a going backwards, which is preposte­rous in reason, and monstrous in nature, but if they both go soberly and orderly together, then the burthen will be most easily, and most safely, and surely born, If ye know these things, blessed are yee if ye doe them: But similitudes go not without their differences; there­fore seeing I have shewed you one part here, let the o­ther also appear.

First, those children of Israel in carrying that fruit of Canaan could not both of them look upon their burthen, but of necessity he that went foremost must needs turn his back towards it; but here these children of the holy Ghost (Knowing, and Doing) doe both look towards; and have both their faces turned to­wards their burthen of blessedness; for why should ye know these things? because blessed are ye: And why should ye doe them? because blessed are ye: They doe both look towards Blessedness. If ye know these things blessed are ye if ye do them.

Again, those enemies that kept the children of Israel out of the land of Canaan were in possession of the land, and did inhabite it; but this cursed crew, and rebelling rabble that do keep us out of the kingdom of heaven, that is, that Gibconite the Devil, which deal­eth with us by subtilty, against whom Knowing doth seem to be opposed: and that Canaanite the World; and that Moabite the Flesh, and that Amorite Pride, which deal with us by violence, against which Doing doth seem to be opposed; these enemies (I say) are not [Page 114]possession of our promised land, nor inhabiters of it, but are borderers, or rather out-laws, living by the spoyle of men (without are dogs, Rev. 22.15.) who being kept out themselves, would keep out all others with them.

But to come more directly to the matter. I observe in this Text these five points.

First, that knowing is required (If ye know.)

2. That doing is required (if ye do.)

3. What we must know and do (these things.)

4. That neither knowing alone, nor doing alone, but both together are required to make us blessed: Not blessed are ye if you know onely; nor blessed are ye if ye do only, but both, If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them.

5. The reward of our knowing, and doing, that is blessednesse (blessed are ye.)

For the first, that knowing is required.

Ratio & Oratio (saith the Heathen man) Reason and speech are the principall things that doe make men more excellent then beasts: And it is Reason especially that makes the difference: For if a man speak with­out Reason, what doth his voice differ from the voice of a beast? David saith, Man being in honour hath no understanding, but is compared to the beasts that pe­rish: Why is he compared to the beasts? Not for his want of speech, but for his want of understanding: For though a man have speech, he is neverthelesse a beast if he want reason; and if he have reason, he is never­thelesse a man though he want speech. And if we go further, and make comparison in other things, whether they be bona corporis, or bona fortunae (as hee calls them) goods of the body, or goods of fortune, as health, strength, beauty, peace, plenty, and the rest, in these things the beasts are equall, if not superiour to [Page 115]us, only it is that same bonum animi, that intellectuall faculty of the soul, apprehending things past, present, and to come, that doth set us before them, and makes them come short of us. Therefore when Solomon had the wish of his heart given him, hee desired none of those outward things of the body, or of fortune, but the onely thing that he desired was the inward good of the mind, wisdom and knowledge, because he knew that other things were common to beasts as well as to man, but onely wisdome would make him more ex­cellent then beasts, and most like unto God. Yea his wisdom indeed did make him not onely more excel­lent then beasts, but also more excellent then men: For as reason differenceth men from beasts, so wisdome differenceth men from men; according to that in the Comedy, Homini homo quidpraestat, stulto intelli­gens quid interest? What difference is there between man and man, what oddes between the wise and the foolish? A poor child that is wise (saith Solomon) is better then an old foolish King, Eccles. 4.13. Here is childhood and poverty for wisdomes sake preferred before age and dignity. Again, he saith Prov. 3.35. Fooles have dishonour, though they be exalted. Before, wisdom was honoured in poverty, and here folly is dishonoured in dignity: Fooles have dishonour though they be exalted.

But what do I lighting a candle before the Sun, and casting water into the Sea? Why doe I commend that which no man doth mislike, and why do I exhort you to goe, when as ye are voluntarily ready to run, yea (if it were possible) to fly? For there is scarce a man to be found, I say not so voyd of grace, but so mon­strous in nature, that doth not desire knowledge: If we look among the wildest savages for a man that affecteth ignorance, and doth not in some sort desire [Page 116]knowledge, we shall nodum in scirpo quaerere, we shall hardly finde this errour in the nature of man: What ventures by sea? what travels by land? what studies by day? what watchings by night doe men undertake and endure in the search and pursuit of knowledge, some in one kinde, and some in another? It was not for nought then that Christ threatned him with hell fire that called his brother fool; for there cannot be a more odious reproach given then fool; for very nature doth abhor to be ignorant. Yea so so much do men abhor ignorance, that every man doth professe himself not to be a searcher and seeker of wis­dom and knowledge, but to be a keeper and possessor of it, not a student, but a master, not to seek it, but to have it, and think it a shame to be thought to want it, and will take it in great scorn to bee told he hath it not. Every man, I say; for even the basest are ready to brag of it, as Solomon observeth, The rich man is wise in his own conceit, Prov. 28.11. And the slothfull man is wiser in his own conceit then seven men that can render a reason, Prov. 26.16. Seeing therefore that men of all, yea even the worst conditions, are thus stored and furnished with knowledge, I have more need to commend it in all, then to commend it to all. But as St. Paul in another case, so may I say in this, Shall I praise you in this? I praise you not: For this know­ledge which is so common and generall is onely in conceit, it is not in truth: And what shall I say then? that it is knowledge? Nay, but rather that it is meere ignorance, and folly, which St. Paul proveth, 1 Cor. 8.2. If any man think, he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. If he know nothing, then it must be granted that his knowledge is meer folly; yea his conceited knowledge is not only folly, but it is worse then folly, Prov. 26.12. Seest [Page 117]thou a man that is wise in his own conceit: there is more hope of a fool then of him; his knowledge is worse then folly; yea it is not onely worse then folly, but it is a cursed folly, there is a wo goes with it, Is. 5.21. Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and pru­dent in their own sight. Will yee know then what knowledge is, and what it is to be wise? St. Paul ad­viseth him that would be wise to turn fool, 1 Cor. 3.18. If any man among you (saith he) seem to bee wise in this world, let him be a fool, that he may be wise. This is strange doctrine, must wise men be fooles? how is that possible? yes, they must be fooles in the estima­tion or accompt of the world; they must embrace him who is to the Grecians foolishness: that is, Christ: They must follow the foolishnesse of Preaching, and they must conform themselves to that foolishnesse of God; for so the Apostle (in the name and person of the World) calleth it, 1 Cor. 1.25. They need not be a­shamed to be fooles in such kind, and in such com­pany: but especially they must be fooles in their own opinion, having an humble conceit of themselves: A­lii melius de te quam tu sentiant, & tibi minima vi­deantur quae feceris, ut majora quotidie possis, saith Lipsius: and Solomon doth plainly construe him, Prov. 27.2. Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. Know­ledge then appears to be necessary, and by Christ here to be required; yet in knowing we must not know (I mean in our own opinion) we must have an humble and meek conceit of our knowledge, and say with Da­vid, Lord I am not high minded, I have no proud looks, but I refrain my soul, and keep it low like as a child that is weaned from his mother, yea my soul is even as a weaned child.

And so much for the first point of the Text, viz. [Page 118]that knowing is required, If ye know. The second is that doing is required, If ye doe.

It is said of our Saviour, Act. 1.2. that he did doe, and teach; not teach onely, but doe and teach. And when the Disciples of John came to ask him, Art thou he that should come, or look we for another? he sa­tisfied them by shewing them his doings and workes: The blind receive sight, the halt goe, the Lepers are cleansed, Mat. 11.

And when he would make himself known to his Disciples, he shewed them his hands and his feet (hee did not shew them his head) Luk. 24.39. As Christ made himself known to be Christ, so should we make our selves known to bee Christians: Wee must shew our hands, and our feet, the works we doe, and the wayes wherein wee walk: For as a tree is known by his fruits, so is a Christian known by his works. There­fore Moses giveth it in charge to the people to birde the Law to their hand, Deut. 6.8. Hee doth not bid them slightly lay it to their hand that they might shake it off when they would, as St. Paul shakt off the Viper, Act. 28. as if it were a Nolime tangere, but bind it to your hand, that ye may do it, and continue doing it.

But some perhaps may say to me, why do you tell us of binding the Law to our hands? You should ra­ther tell us of binding the Gospel to our heads; tell not us of Fac hoc & vives, Doe this and thou shalt live: but tell us rather of that whosoever beleeveth in him shall never dye, Joh. 11.26. What need we take thought for doing when as Christ hath done all for us already? He is the Lord our righteousness, Jer. 23.6. Thus do many deceive themselves with a dead faith, as if Christ had redeemed us unto idlenesse, nay unto wickednesse. But though Christ hath redeemed us, [Page 119]yet St. Paul bid us, work out our salvation with feare and trembling, Phil. 2.12.

Simon did not begin to carry the Crosse out of Je­rusalem, nor Christ did not carry it throughout unto Mount Calvary; to teach us, that as without him we cannot beginne our salvation, so without us hee will not end it. Not that Popishly we should be co­meritors with Christ, but onely co workers with his grace, for the peace of our own consciences, the good example of our neighbour, and for the satisfaction of the Church.

But if Christ had left out this latter clause of words (if ye doe them) yet he had spoken enough for doing in the former words, onely in requiring knowing; for by knowing sometimes in Scripture is understood do­ing, to know doth imply to doe, as Joh. 17.3. This is life eternall, that they know thee to be the onely true God: Where that knowing doth imply doing, it ap­peareth by that, 1 Joh. 2.3. Hereby we are sure that we know him, if we keep his Commandements. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his Commande­ments, he is a lyar, and the truth is not in him: Here yee see that knowing doth imply doing, to know God is to keep his Commandements. And in this sense it is said of Christ, 2 Cor. 5.21. That he knew no sin, that is, that he did none: And of God, Mat. 25.12. I know you not, that is, I have nothing to doe with you: For he hath nothing to doe with the stoole of wickednesse, Psal. 94.20. Seeing then knowing doth imply doing, it had been enough (I say) to set us a­work, and make us be doing, if hee had said no more but this, If ye know these things, blessed are ye, though he had left out, If ye do them. But seeing he hath set down that also in plain termes, how much more are we to consider it, to remember it, and to practise it? [Page 120]But I hasten forwards, and come to the third point, viz. What we must know and do (these things.)

If yee ask mee what is here meant, and what is to be understood by these things? I answer, that if you look back into the fore-part of this Chapter, ye shall find unum necessarium one thing for all, which if yee know, and if you doe, I may say unto you, Blessed are ye: It is the example of examples, the example of Charity, which the Apostle saith, is the fulfilling of the Law; Filius Dei tam sese humiliter abjicere at (que) prosternere, ut pedes discipulorum lavet, stupendum est charitatis exemplum, Dr. Plaifore. saith an eloquent Doctor of late time, That the Son of God should so abase and prostrate himselfe, as to wash his Disciples feet, it is an astonishing example of Charity. This is that example we have here, namely, of Christs charity in washing his Disciples feet: Wherein wee have matter of learning for our knowing, and matter of example for our doing: Matter of learning for our knowing: For whereas (no doubt) he sate uppermost, or in the chief room, he riseth and leaveth his place, and putteth off his upper garment, there is his descen­sion and humiliation; he girdeth himself with a towel, there is his Incarnation; he powreth out water, there is the shedding of his blood, and the effusion of his spirit; into a bason, into all the world; peace to them that are afar off, peace to them that are near: He be­gan, there is his own inchoation; to wash or cleanse, there is outward mortification; the feet, signifying the affections, there is inward sanctification; of the Disciples, there is election; he wipeth them with the towell wherewith he was girt, there our filthiness clea­veth to his flesh, he is made sin for us: And having done, he taketh his garment, and his seat again, there is his Ascension, and Session; and being set he teach­eth [Page 121]his Disciples what he hath done, there is his conti­nuall guiding of the Church by the spirit of truth: And all this is for our knowledge and speculation.

Again, for our practise and imitation: the Master doth a good worke to his servants, there superiours have an example of charity: Peter is reproved for re­fusing, there inferiours have example of obedience. He doth the worke before them, therefore we must teach by our actions and examples: Having done, hee tells of it, and exhorts them to follow it, therefore we must teach by our instructions, and exhortations: He doth it, and telleth it to his Disciples, therefore wee must have discretion to know where to bestow exhortation; for we may not cast pearles before swine, nor give that which is holy unto dogs, Mat. 7.6. And in all the whole work we have example of so great charity, meeknesse, and humility, as is ever to be imitated, but never to be matched.

But because he saith (these things) in the plurall number, I will not therefore restrain our knowing and doing to this one last action and instruction of Christ, but rather referre them to all his actions and instructi­ons, yea to all the will of God revealed in his word: Hee that doth the will of my Father which is in hea­ven, saith Christ, Mat. 7.21. The matter (I say) wherein our knowing and doing must be exercised, is Gods revealed Will, his Will revealed in his Word: And in a word, I may refer you for the totall of it to that of the Psalmist, My hands will I lift up to thy Commandements, there's work for his hands; and my study shall be in thy statutes, there is the same work for his head. It is Gods Commandements and Statutes, Gods Will revealed in his Word that we must know and do: If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye doe them.

Here therefore some go too far, and some come too short: Some go too far; for they will not be content­ed with Gods revealed will, but they must needs dive into his secrets, as into the incomprehensible mysterie of the Trinity, into the unsearchable counsell of Re­probation, into the secret and hidden time of generall judgement. But in these, and the like things we should not enquire, but admire, and stand amazed with Da­vid and say, such knowledge is too wonderfull, and ex­cellent for me, I cannot attain unto it, Psal. 139. and cry out with St. Paul, How unsearchable are his judgements, and his waies past finding out, Rom. 11. For secret things belong to the Lord our God, but things revealed to us and to our children, Deut. 29. We must know, and doe revealed things, but leave se­cret things to God, and not meddle with them, no more then David did; I do not exercise my self (saith he) in great matters that are too high for me. Again, on the contrary part, others there are that come too short; for they will have nothing to be the revealed will of God, but what is so in plain terms, and proper words expressed, or what their private spirit interpret­eth, or conceiteth to be implyed: But if they would stand to the rule, they should lose the use of many things, because there be no plain words for them in the Scriptures, which yet neverthelesse they doe, and may lawfully use, and with a good conscience, because though not in plain words, yet by sufficient conse­quence the Scripture doth approve them. Non nostrum est tantas componere lites, I cannot think to stint this great strife, yet I may presume to give my advise as one that hath also obtained mercy, 1 Cor. 7.25. And that is, that we be not so affraid of the shaddow as to lose the substance, nor stand talking so much of the pro­portion of the doores and windows, as to forget to [Page 123]build the house: Nor to make our selves like to the Pi­cture of Justice, that is, to have ears and mouth, but no eyes nor hands, to be all for hearing and speaking, and yet be blind in knowledge, lame in good works. Or if we have eyes, that we be not like the Idols that have eyes, and see not: Nor be so troubled with the beam of blind zeal, or with the motes of dissention, or with the scales of self-conceit, as to be pore-blind, and to see but unperfectly, as he that saw men walking, and could not discern them from trees, Mar. 8.24. And if wee have hands, that they be not hands that handle not, or else withered hands that handle without feel­ing; or else (such hands as the souldiers were, Mat. 27.27.) busied in nothing but renting & tearing the body of Christ (that is, the Church) with wounds of Schism & dissention: And our learning and knowledge be not such as St. Paul saith puffeth up: And what know­ledge is that that puffeth up? ye may see it 1 Tim. 6.3. If any man consenteth not to the doctrine that is ac­cording to godliness (he saith not, to the express words of Scripture, but to the doctrine that is according to godliness) he is puft up.

Finally, that wee think the judgement of our bet­ters to be better then our own, and that we owe much to the consent and authority of the Church: Knowing this first, that no prophecie of scripture is of any private interpretation, 2 Pet. 1.20.

The fourth point observed is, that neither knowing alone, nor doing alone sufficeth unto blessednesse, but both are required; If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them.

We are mixt creatures compounded of the four E­lements, not all of the light ones, nor all of the heavy ones, but indifferently of both: we must not therefore be all levitie to ascend, nor all gravity to descend, but [Page 124]of both indifferently mixt: Not all of the fire aspi­ring beyond the Moon, hot and dry, hot in knowledge, dry in works: Nor all of the water, cold and moyst; moyst and fluent in works, but cold in knowledge: Not all of the air, nothing but a subtill lightnesse of knowledge; nor all of the earth, nothing but a grosse massie heap of actions; but having faces looking up­ward to heaven, we should ascend up to God in know­ledge; and having feet treading upon the earth, wee should descend to our brethren in our actions: For it is not enough to know onely, nor to doe only, but both must go together to make us blessed, If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them.

First, that knowing is not sufficient, I told you be­fore that knowing (if it be right) doth imply doing: And that knowledge indeed is a beleeving, and there­fore a working, and therefore a saving knowledge, and therefore it is sufficient. But knowledge (according to the common acceptance) is such as the Devils have, I know thee who thou art, saith the Devill to Christ, Mar. 1.24. And this is an unbeleeving, therefore an idle, therefore a condemning knowledge: Scientia quae illuminat intellectum non accendit affectum; A knowledge that doth lighten understanding, but doth not enflame the affection: And of this knowledge ye may read Rom. 1. That it did them no good that had it; for when they knew God, and did not glorifie him as God, God gave them up to their own hearts lasts. Nay so far is such knowledge from being suffi­cient, that it will rather accuse, then excuse us, and make our condemnation the greater. He that had five Talents delivered him, had more to answer for, then he that had but one: For to whomsoever much is gi­ven, of him much shall be required, and to whom men much commit, the more of him will they ask, Luk. [Page 125]12.48. Therefore Solomon saith, He that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow, Eccl. 1. because the more a man knows the more he must doe, and the more hee hath to answer for if he doe it not. Therefore also St. Peter saith, It had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousnesse, then after they have known it to turn from the holy Commandement, 2 Pet. 2.21. Therefore St. Augustine prayeth, Sic doce me ut agam, non tantummodo ut sciam quid agere debeam. Teach me, O Lord, so that I may do, and not only to know what to do.

And if knowing alone bee not enough, what shall we say then for doing? that may seem to be of it self all-sufficient; for if a man do the will of God, what can be more required?

Yes, it is required also that ye know it as well as do it, and if thou doe it, not knowing it, thou doest but lose thy labour: For it is an infallible rule, that with­out faith it is impossible to please God; and it as in­fallible, that without knowledge it is unpossible to have faith: For, how shall they beleeve in him of whom they have not heard? Rom. 10.13. Without know­ledge therefore there can be no faith, without faith no pleasing of God; and so it followeth necessarily, that without knowledge there can be no pleasing of God, and that he that doth the will of God, not knowing it to be Gods will, he doth but beat the air, and labour in vain; yea so far is he from pleasing God, that hee doth directly displease and offend him: for whatsoever is not of Faith is sin, Rom. 14.23. If faith doth not draw it from the will of God as the original cause, and direct it to the glory of God as the finall cause, it will prove no better then sin, Quia non actibus, sed finibus pensant ur officia (saith Mr. Calvin) because our performances of duties are not weighed by the actions, [Page 126]but by the ends. Therefore St. Augustine calleth the good works and virtues of the heathen (splendida pec­cata) sins that make a fair shew: And Cyprian writing on the Creed, wisheth rather to doe sinfull works be­ing a faithfull Christian, then virtuous works being a faithlesse Pagan: for whatsoever is done without faith and knowledge turneth unto sin. Therefore, as at first, If ye know these things, blessed are ye; but how? not unlesse ye do them; so again, If ye doe these things, blessed are ye, but how? not unlesse yee know them. Neither knowing alone, nor doing alone can be suffi­cient to make us blessed, but both must goe together: If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye doe them. And if it be not sufficient to have one of them alone, how much more insufficient is it to want them both? Some perhaps may think that it is no matter for works so long as they have no knowledge, and that the want of th' one shall excuse the want of th' other, that their ignorance shall excuse them? Indeed Christ excuseth the Jews by their ignorance; They wot not what they doe: but yet he plainly intimateth, that they were not innocent, or guiltlesse, in that he prayeth his Father to forgive them; Father forgive them, they know not what they do. And St. Peter testifieth of them, that that through ignorance they did it: but yet hee doth not therefore hold them innocent; for he bids them, amend their lives and turn, that their sins may be put away, Act. 3.17.

But this you may say was wilfull obstinate igno­rance, hear therefore that which may be understood of invincible ignorance, Luk. 12.47. That servant that knew his Masters wil, and prepared not himself to do it, shall be beaten with many stripes: His knowledge shall condemn him: but he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few [Page 127]stripes, his ignorance shall not excuse him: Or at the least, if it do somewhat excuse him in that he shall bee beaten but with a few stripes, yet it shall not quite clear him, for he shall be beaten with stripes. It shall be ea­sier for Sodom and Gomorrah (saith Christ) in the day of judgement then for that City. Easier: their igno­rance may somewhat excuse them: but yet hard e­nough, and little ease; for they suffered (no doubt) the flashes of hell in their consciences living, the fuell of hell in their bodyes dying (the Lord rained brimstone, and fire upon them from heaven, Gen. 19.) and the flashes, fuel, and fire of hell in their soules departed; for so St. Jude testifieth of them, they suffer the vengeance of eternall fire: And from such easinesse good Lord deliver us. Though therefore it be easier in the compa­rative degree, yet it is not so much as easie in the po­sitive degree; the word easier spoken there compara­tively and relatively, is not so much as the word easie spoken positively and simply. It was but little ease then that their ignorance brought them, even such as belong to them that know not God, that is, Christ shall come in flaming fire, and render vengeance to them, 2 Thes. 1.3. Ignorance then is as far from making innocent, as knowing alone, or doing alone is from making bles­sed: Ignorance cannot excuse us, knowing cannot suf­fice us, doing cannot suffice us, but ignorance being put away, knowing and doing must both come toge­ther, If ye know these things blessed are ye if yo do them.

Here are those two Sisters so loving to, and so be­loved of Christ, Martha and Mary: the one study­ing to know, if ye know these things, th' other earnest to doe them, if ye doe them: the one stuffing her head with Doctrine, if ye know these things, th' other filling her hands with practise, if ye do them: the one dili­gent in speculative contemplation, if ye know these [Page 128]things; th' other as busie in practique operation, if yee do them.

Here is Jacobs Ladder, touching heaven with the top, if ye know these things, and reaching earth with the foot, if ye do them.

Here is Aaron the Priest, If ye know these things, holding up the hands of Moses the Law, if yee doe them.

Here is St. Paul for Faith, if ye know these things, shaking hands with St. James for Works, if yee doe them.

Here is the Philosophers Arbor transversa, a Tree turned upside down; the root upwards, if ye know these things, the fruits downward, if ye do them.

Here are those two, not Meteors, but true lights, Castor and Pollux, which when they appear together are surely prosperous to all that sail in the sea of this life.

Here is calor & humor, the heat of Faith, the moi­sture of Workes, both of them so necessary to the life of the soul, that if either of them doe faile, or exceed the other, it breedeth death, or dangerous sicknesse.

Here is Oleum & flamma, the flame of Faith, the oyle of Works, if either of them be wanting, or super­abounding, the light of your conversation will soon goe out.

Here is Urim and Thummim, light and perfection, eyes and hands, faith and works, the two Cherubims, knowing, and doing, turning both their faces toward the Mercie-seat of blessedness; If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them.

Blessed are ye, which is the reward of our know­ing and doing, and is the last thing that I have before observed in the Text. [...], which I crave leave [Page 139]to read (blessed) for the Translators doe allow it, in as much as (though here they render it (happy) yet nine times together they read it blessed, Mat. 5.

Blessed are ye for your knowing, because ye do what ye know: and blessed are ye for your doing, because ye know what ye do: blessed are ye internally, for the peace of your consciences is unto you a continual feast; blessed are ye externally; for your light shineth before men, that they may see your good works, and glorifie your Father which is in heaven: Blessed are ye super­nally, for God is not ashamed of you to be called your God; for he hath prepared for you a Citty: Blessed are ye in things temporal, in things spiritual, in things eternall. In things temporall, read the 28. of Deut. Blessed shalt thou be in the City, and blessed also in the field, blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed when thou goest out. In things spirituall; for your under­standings shall be illuminated, your wills rectified, your affections sanctified, your old man mortified, your new man quickned, and ye wholly made accept­ed in the beloved. In things eternall; for there is an inheritance immortall, undefiled, and that fadeth not away reserved for you in heaven, where ye shall have joy without sorrow, health without infirmity, plea­sure without satiety, life without death, and indeed I cannot tell you what, but this I may warrant, all that ye would, and nothing that ye would not, as appear­eth Psal. 16.11. In thy presence is the fulness of joy: and Psal. 17.15. When I awake up after thy likeness I shall be satisfied with it.

Blessed (are) ye in the present Tense (which I adde as a vantage to the former Notes, as being indeed the [Page 130]speciall of all) even now already ye have obtained it: Now whiles ye dwel with Mesech, and have your habi­tation among the tents of Kedar: now whiles ye live in this vale of tears, in this sea of glasse, in this dunge­on of the flesh, now, even now blessed are ye. Blessed are ye in the unchangable decree of God the Father, who hath elected you, in the Incarnation of God the Son who hath redeemed you, in the effectual operation of God the holy Ghost who hath sealed you. Blessed are ye in the knowledge of God, who hath called and justified you, in the knowledge of the Church, who hath received and acknowledged you, in the know­ledge of your selves, your own consciences testifying, together with Gods Spirit bearing witness with your spirits that yee are the children of God. Blessed are yee: for though yee shall not take possession of it till your soules be parted from your bodies, Eccl. 12.7. and though ye shall not have the compleat per­fection of it till your bodies be raised again, and re­united to your soules, Heb. 11. yet even in this life ye have the pawn and pledge of it, 2 Cor. 1.22. (Ar­rham spiritus) the earnest of the Spirit, a pure heart, and good conscience, and faith unfeigned, 1 Tim. 1.5.

And now concerning the present busi­ness, Of the Visita­tion. which is the occasion of our meet­ing, and of my present speaking, I need say nothing of it; for my Text hath said all al­ready: If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye doe them.

To, or for our quickning to this, or any other du­ty, what need more be sayd then this, that our pro­fessed burthen of blessednesse, our hoped weight of glory dependeth equally on our knowing, and doing [Page 131]our duty. Neither can I judge any of you my hear­ers to have need of more application of this unto you. This assembly consisteth especially of three sorts, Churchwardens, Ministers, Visiters: And each of these (concerning the businesse in hand) I hope I need question no otherwise then Saint Paul questioned Agrippa; Beleevest thou the Prophets? I know thou beleevest. So I now to you; Are yee prepared and ready to doe your duties? I know yee are prepared.

To the Churchwardens why should I make other question, seeing the businesse is not new, but very an­tient, and of frequent use, and seeing they are taught their lesson not by rote, but by book, having Articles to direct them whereof to consider, and whereto to answer.

To the Ministers why should I make other question, seeing their lips are to be the preservers of knowledge, Mal. 2.7. and their foreheads the stamps of holiness, Exod. 28.38. I may say therefore for them, as the pa­rents of the born blind man answered for their sonne concerning his blindnesse and recovery, Hee is old e­nough, ask him, he shall answer for himself, Joh. 9.20. To the Visitors what need I make other question? seeing they cannot bee ignorant that hee who saith to them, I have said ye are Gods, addeth also immedi­ately, but ye shall die like men: yea and in another place professeth himself to be the Visiter of Visiters: Namely, that in case of forsaking his Law, and not walking in his Judgements, he will visit such offences with the rod, and such sinne with scourges, Psal. 89.31. What need I then say any more of this businesse? yet I remember a passage of Mr. Latimer (that man of the worn-out-age) being challenged, and taxed for some­what [Page 132]spoken by him before, and concerning the King, he answered, Would ye have me preach before a King, and say nothing of a Kings duty? This made mee to think it unfit for me to preach at a Visitation, and say nothing thereto properly belonging. To avoid this therefore, I offer to your consideration, and reforma­tion two abuses, which I take to be no small ones; for they touch our coppyhold (as I may say) or rather our Freehold, the honour and dignity of our Sacraments.

The first concerneth the former Sacrament, Bap­tism; and namely in this, that it is grown a com­mon custom to keep children from Baptism till the moneth be up for the Mothers churching sake: some for state, some to save charges. But if the childe bee dead bom, the parents grieve to look upon it, and speedily commit it to the earth, and shall not the ap­prehension of spiritual death be also grievous, and make us speedily seek the remedy? to bury that death in Christs death? Circumcision was a bloody and cruell, a tedious and grievous Sacrament, as may ap­pear by that forty years forbearing of it for journeying sake, Josh. 5.6. and by the prevailing of Simeon and Levi, two men (for there be no more mentioned) to the Massacre of all the Males in a whole City, being newly circumcised, Gen. 34.25. Yet that Sacrament might not be omitted past the eighth day. But our Sacraments (as St. Augustine observeth, Aug. Ep. 118.) are numero pancissima, observatione facilima, few, and easie, and shall wee presume then to delay Baptism (which is to us in stead of Circumcision) till the moneth bee up? The Minister is required to bee speedy in ministring it in case of danger: And doth not this also binde the people to shun delay, and to [Page 133]prevent danger? Yea the Common Prayer book in the beginning of private Baptism injoyneth, that Bap­tism be not delayed past the first Sunday or Holy day, without cause approved by the Curate: And is it not a shame that an abuse should grow to a custom, which every curate may remedy? When Demetrius called in question the dishonour of Diana, and the despising of her magnificence (as hee calls it) the multitude made an outcry no lesse then two hours long, Great is Diana of the Ephesians, Act. 19.27. And shall we see the dis­honour of God, and the despising of his magnificence and munificence (in that Image which is not from Jupiter, but of Jehovah) grow into a custom, and shall we keep silence? Enough of this, for I know to whom I speak.

The other abuse (which I complain of) is to the dishonour of the other Sacrament. Namely, it is (as it seems) a custom or fashion in these parts, to bring Joy sops (as they call them) cups of Wire and Sops to the Communion table at the time of Weddings, and to fill the same table with pots and cakes immediately af­ter the end of the marriage, that the Bridegroom and Bride and their company may eat, drink, and be mer­ry: But what hath carnal eating and drinking to doe with that table which is provided onely for the soules fast? Yea the Canon forbids any Feasts, banquets, or drinkings to be kept in the Church, Chappel or Church­yard, much more at the Communion table, except the Communion feast onely proper thereto. Yea in the Common Prayer book the Communion is appointed to be ministred and celebrated in, or with the Marriage businesse, and the Bridegroom and Bride are then also injoyned to receive the same. It is no good fashion then that Christs cup should give place, and be forgotten for Joy sops sake, and that this should come in use instead [Page 134]of that, is a soul mistake. These abuses I desire may be reformed; yet withall I crave favour that I may not be in this as an informer to bring any one in question at this time for any thing past, but that upon this war­ning there may bee future reformation: wherein if I speed, then I have not said nothing concerning a Visi­tation. The rest I leave to God and you, beseeching the Lord so to enlighten our heads, and sanctifie our hearts, and strengthen our hands, that we may both know and doe our duties effectually to the ob­taining of everlasting blessednesse tho­rough Jesus Christ, &c.

Finis Serm. 3.

Trino-uni gloria.

Three SERMONS here put together in one continued Tract upon Mat. 13.47, 48.

The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a Net that that was cast into the Sea, and gathered of every kind, which when it was full, they drew to shore, and sate down and gathered the good into ves­sels, but cast the bad away.

IT is sayd of our Saviour Rev. 3.7. that he hath the key of David, and openeth, and no man shutteth, and shutteth, and no man openeth. And it seemeth he did this much (in his time) by Parables: For in them he was most frequent and fami­liar, as appeareth here ver. 34. All these things spake Iesus unto the multitude in Parables, and without a Parable spake he not unto them. And the end and reason he sheweth ver. 11. namely, for opening to his disciples, but for shutting to others: Therefore his Parables are in this Chapter especially concerning the Kingdom of Heaven.

Now the Kingdome of Heaven is diversly taken; sometimes for the Church Triumphant, and state of glory, as Mat. 5.20. Except your righteousness ex­ceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Sometimes [Page 136]for the Church Militant, and state of Grace, as Mat. 19.14. Suffer little children to come unto me, and for­bid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven. Sometimes for the gathering of the Church, the Mi­nistry of the Word, the very Kingdom of the Gospel, as Mat. 21.43. The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation that shall bring forth the fruits thereof. And so it is in this, and most of the other Parables of this Chapter: Lutz Har. Evang. Regnum coelorum in praesenti non significat vitam & faelicitatem beatam, sed totum my­sterium, five negotium Evangelii: The Kingdom of Heaven in this place doth not signifie the life of bles­sednesse, but the whole businesse and mystery of the Gospel. Theophylact. Sagena est doctrina piscatorum: The draw-net doth signifie the Doctrine of Christs Fishermen.

Here then we have an excellent description, and expression of the publishing of the Gospel, the very Ministeriall work of Preaching. It is expressed by its dignity and honour (it is the Kingdome of Hea­ven.)

2. By its property or effect (it is a draw-net cast in­to the sea) for so the word may be read, Sagena a draw­net.

3. By its end, upshot, or issue; it hath first its ful­nesse (which when it was full) and then its tryal (they drew to shore, and sate down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.

The first part of this description of the Ministerial work is by its honour or dignity, it is the Kingdom of Heaven: Behold its honour, yea indeed its double honour. It is a Kingdom, and it is a heavenly King­dome.

First, it is a Kingdom; For it hath been the work [Page 137]of Kings, and it is still a work that worketh upon Kings.

It hath been the work of Kings; for Melchisedeck a King was also a Priest, and David a King was also a Prophet, and Solomon a great King affected, and a­dopted to himself the name of a Preacher. And it also worketh upon Kings even to subdue, and conquer them, and in a sort to depose and put them down; not temporally from their seats or thrones according to Popish presumption, but spiritually from their sins, ac­cording to Gods ordination: Not peremptorily in pride commanding (as if a Priest might beard a King) but meekly in reverence exhorting, as in the message of the King of Kings. And that it hath this force in this nature to subdue Kings, witness the many Kings and Kingdoms that have been drawn from heathenish superstition to Evangelicall profession by this silly net of simple Fishermen. All which together do cry the truth of that which the Prophet spake concerning the Church Is. 49.23. Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and Queens shall be thy nursing mothers: and of that Psal. 72.11. All Kings shall fall down before him, all nations shall do him service.

Yea not onely it hath this power in this kind to put down, but also in the same nature to set up, and make, to invest, and to ordain Kings; I mean spiritu­ally, to make spirituall Kings: so that by meanes of this our Ministry, that also is fulfilled and brought to passe Exod. 19.16. Ye shall be unto me a kingdome of Priests: and that Rev. 5.10. Thou hast made us un­to our God Kings and Priests, and we shall reign on the earth.

This is armour of proof unto the Ministers, and touch of proof unto the people.

It is armour of proof unto the Ministers, to defend [Page 138]them against the piercing of others obloquie, and a­gainst the pinching of their own industry; against outward shame, against inward pain: For seeing their calling and employment is so high and excellent, so great and honourable, as not onely themselves to be, but also to make others Kings; and in this sort to de­pose the spiritual kingdom of darknes, and to set up the kingdom of grace: what cloud of shame, what storm of pain can be sufficient to dazle the light, or to abate the heat of this sun-shining honour? or with what difficulty objected or conceited may we be dismayed? seeing God hath so honoured us, as not only to be his workmen, but co-workers with him, 2 Cor. 6.1. Yea to stand in his stead, and to act his part; We are Am­bassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you through us; we pray you in Christs stead that ye be re­conciled unto God. Yea and hath so far imparted himself unto us, as to affirm, He that heareth you, heareth me, and he that despiseth you despiseth me, Luk. 10.16. This therefore may well be our sufficit, our sufficient satisfaction against all discomforts, and dis­couragements, and make us say, The lot is fallen to me in a fair ground, yea I have a goodly heritage, Ps. 16.6.

Secondly, it is touch of proof to the people, to tell what metall they are, whether currant or counterfeit: For if they be as they should be, and receive this work of ours effectually, then they are informed in know­ledge, reformed in wickednesse, conformed in holi­nesse, they are strengthned to strive with nature, and elevated to the strain of grace: They are no more slaves to lust and pleasure, but even in all tribulation more then conquerors, Rom. 8.37. they beat downe their body, and bring it into subjection, 1 Cor. 9.27. They crucifie the flesh, with the affections and lusts, [Page 139] Gal. 5.24. they are born of God, and doe overcome the world, 1 Joh. 5.4. they are made Kings. Yea not onely they shall finde this alteration and exaltation in themselves, but we shall also find a change of their affection and disposition toward us (for it is unpossible that this great work should be wrought in them, but they must acknowledge the instruments and workers) their contempt will be turned to reverence, their neg­lect to respect, their spight to love, their grudging and murmuring into freewill offering, liberall contri­buting: Esteeming us as the Ministers of Christ, and Stewards of the secrets of God, 1 Co. 1.4.1. Even so far forth, as not onely inwardly to conceive, but even outwardly to expresse that acclamation, How beau­tifull are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things? Rom. 10.15.

And so ye see the honour of this work in respect of what it is. A Kingdom.

Secondly, the same also appeareth in regard of its quality, considering of what kind it is (an heavenly kingdom.)

It is said to be of heaven for its Kings sake, and for its kinds sake. For its Kings sake, who only is Christ the Son of God, the heavenly King. This kingdome hath no King but that Caesar who onely is semper Au­gustus, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. And for its kind sake also, being no naturall rule, or tem­porall regiment, but supernaturall and divine. This therefore must needs be great addition to that former point of honour. It is a kingdom to make men Kings: It is an heavenly kingdom to make them good Kings, which of all works is the best and greatest. Man is called a little world, yet the rule of himself is greater then of the great world; for he that ruleth his own [Page 140]mind, is better then he that winneth a City, Prov. 16.23. Alezander having subdued the great world, or at least a great part of the world, where was his ho­nour when he failed in that little rule of himself? Surely he then being in honour had no understanding, but might be compared to the beasts that perish. It is therefore more honour to have our hearts thus crown­ed spiritually, then to have our heads invested with a temporall crown, even as much as it is more to bee a good man then a great man, or as the soul is more worth then the body, or the body and soul more worth then the world, or heaven more worth then the earth. And such is the nature of this kingdom, so doth it inthrone and crown us, spiritually, not tem­porally, heavenly not earthly: My kingdom is not of this world (saith our Saviour, Joh. 18.36.)

And here both sellers and buyers, both Ministers and receivers, both Priests and people may see what kind of commodity they have in hand, and learn how to deal therein. It is a heavenly traffique, they may not be earthly or carnally minded in it.

The Minister, he may not make merchandise of the Word of God, or at least no other then free merchan­dise, as the Prophet Isaiah doth, Is. 55.1. Ho every one that thirsteth come ye to the waters; and ye that have no money come buy and eat: He may not begin it with what shall I give for it, as if the gift of God might be obtained with money: for that was Simons sin, who thereby shewed himself to be in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquttie, Act. 8.18. Nor yet with what shall I have with it? as if Christ were to be sold at a price, for that was Judas his sin, who therefore hanged himself, and burst asunder in the midst, Act. 1.18. Not but that he may rejoyce in his labour, and take his portion, Eccl. 2.24. & 5.17. For [Page 141]that in all degrees is the gift of God. And in this par­ticular, the labourer is worthy of his hire, Luk. 10.7. And thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the Oxe that treadeth out the corn, 1 Cor. 9.9. but it must be done willingly, and of a ready mind, not for filthy lucre sake, 1 Pet. 5.2. His work is heavenly, his aim and end likewise must be heavenly and holy, and voyd of earthly respect.

The people also must take it as it is a spiritual, not a carnal commodity, and therefore be contented to be discontented, and pleased to be displeased, and think it their honour to be dishonoured as concerning the flesh and the outward man, accounting the faithfull wounds of a lover better then the pleasant kisses of an enemy, Prov. 27.6. And Gods precious balms (though they break the head Ps. 114.5) yet (because they heal as soon as break) more acceptable, more comfortable, more estimable then the old serpents apples offered from the forbidden tree, because though they delight the eye, and please the tast, yet in delighting and pleasing at once they also kill and destroy.

And so much of the first part of the description of the Ministry of the Word, namely by its dignity, and honour, the Kingdom of Heaven.

The second part or point is its property, practise, or effect: It is a draw-net cast into the sea, which gather­ed of every kind.

The summe of all this together is to expresse it to be a very catching craft, a very Fishermans work, a catching of men, as Mat. 4.19. Follow me, and I will make you Fishers of men: of men, that is, of souls: For animus cujus (que) est quis (que) the soul is the man even in heathenish accompt: And in the Scripture phrase soul is usually put for person, so many soules for so many persons, Gen. 46.27. Act. 27.37.

But the particulars of this summe may bee thus sorted.

1. Its secresie, simplicitie, and unity, in that it is a Net.

2. Its force, and its lenity, in that it is a draw net.

3. Its powerfulnesse and danger, in that it is cast into the sea.

4. Its generall capacity, in that it gathereth of every kind.

First, it is a Net, and here is secresie, simplicity, and unity.

1. Secresie; for the use of Nets generally is secret, whether it be in fishing, fowling, or hunting: Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird, Prov. 1.17. But especially in fishing it is so secret, that the Fisher himself takes he knows not what, but even what the winde and tide brings in. Such secresie is in this spirituall Net of the Gospel: I mean not in secret laying (for it must be openly spread) but onely in re­gard of secret taking, wee take wee know not what: For the Net may be spread in vain, if the fish come not in; witnesse St. Peters lost labour all night, till as­saying againe at his command who commandeth windes, and seas, he inclosed a great multitude, Luk. 5.5. Little did St. Peter know what motion drew that shoale of fish into his Net: No more then the Is­raelites knew what wind blew that heap of Quailes about their camp: and yet the Text saith, There went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought Quails from the sea, and let them fall by the Camp round about, Num. 11.31▪ The same Lords holy wind it is likewise that brings fish into our Net: The wind bloweth where it lusteth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, or whither it goeth, so is e­very one that is born of the spirit, Joh. 3.8.

If then it be thy lot to come within the compasse of this Net, though it draw thee contrary to thy course, and straiten thy desired liberty, yet strive not, struggle not, snarle not, defile not the Net, bite not the Fisher, but rather humble thy self under the mighty hand of God, Jam. 5.6. acknowledge the all-disposer, it is his secret work.

Again, in that it is a Net, here note simplicitie: Here are no false enticing allurements, but plain taking, plain dealing: Hooks are covered, and hid with bait to allure the fish to be taken, but in Nets there is no baiting, no colouring, no deceiving; especially in the draw net, no skill but plain drawing. So is it in this our spiritual Net, no cosening, but a plain cast of fore-right drawing; no pleasing, but rather displeasing baits: Take up the crosse, Mar. 10.21. Suffer affliction as the good Souldiers of Jesus Christ, 2 Tim. 2.3. On­ly this is all, it promiseth safety to the taken, but losse to the not taken; For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and he that shall lose his life for Christs sake, the same shall save it, Luk. 9.24. Look not then for baits, hearken not for pleasures, this Net doth not yeeld it, here is no such kind of taking, if thou wilt be taken, thou must be crost even to the full denying of thy self.

And again, in that it is a Net, here note unity. The draw net consisteth of many lines, plummets, thrids, knots, yet all make but one Net: Yea so in this place, it is set forth singularly (a Net) whereas elswhere there is often mention made of Nets in discourse of Fishing, or Fishers in the scriptures; Mending their nets, Mat. 4.21. Washing their nets: Let slip your nets, Luk. 5.2, 4. But here it is (a net) expressing unity. Such is our spiritual Fishing-net, alwaies one, though diversly composed, diversly disposed. One in respect of [Page 144]the author; These all worketh one and the self same spirit distributing to every man severally as he will, 1 Cor. 12.11. One in respect of the matter; Ye are called in hope of your calling, one hope, one baptisne, Eph. 4.4. One in respect of the end; for the gathering together of the Saints, for the edification of the body of Christ, Eph. 4.12.

O then blessed are they that build on Christ, and after his levell; for he is the corner stone, making uni­ty, two walls to be but one, and that is strengthning, and inlarging; for peace and plenteousnesse goe toge­ther, Psal. 122.7. But wo be to them that build Tow­ers of Babel, that is division; for that also is confu­sion: Every kingdom divided against it self shall bee brought to nought, Mat. 12.25. And blessed are they who being gathered by this net, are also united in it: For, the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, Jam. 3.17. But wo be to them that have bodies and souls united in place and means, but heads, and hearts, and hands divided in life & manners: For if ye have bitter envyings, and strife in your hearts, rejoyce not, neither be ye lyars against the truth, this wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sen­sual, and devillish, Jam. 3.14. Endeavour therefore to keep the unitie of the spirit in the bond of peace, Eph. 4.3. The unity of the spirit, that's in faith; In the bond of peace, that's in life. Fulfill ye my joy that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, and of one judgement, Phil. 3.1. That ye be like mind­ed, that's for opinion; having the same love, that's for affection; being of one accord, that's for man­ners; and of one judgement, that's for doctrine: For this no doubt is the intent and end of that prayer of Christ, that they all may be one, as thou, O Father art in me, and I in thee, that they may be also one in us, Joh. 17.21.

And so much of the particulars observed, in that it is said to be like a Net.

In the second place I observed its force, and lenity, in that it is like to a draw-net; for so the word is, Sa­gena, the great net, the drag, tramel, or draw-net, and the sense implyeth it: For it is said here to gather, It gathereth of every kind, therefore it is not a net layd to lye still, but such a one as takes by drawing: Herein therefore I note both force and lenity: Force, for it draweth, there can be no resistance; Lenity, for it but draweth, there is no great violence: Fishes are caught as well with the Angle as with the Net; but in the Angle there is stronger tugging, suddener hoysing; therefore the Angle takes but one at once, but the Net goes leisurely, and gently along, so as the Fish have also their swimming, even in their taking, and so crescit eundo, it takes whole multitudes at once. So is it in this our spirituall Net: Here is force; for it is the power of the Word that first worketh the wil, and then also worketh upon it: It is he that worketh both the will and the deed, Phil. 2.13. It is Gods power that both beginneth and continueth all our motion in grace; for no man can come to me (saith Christ) ex­cept the Father draw him, Joh. 6.44.

And with this force here is also lenity; for this draught is neither violent, nor sudden.

Not violent, but mild and gentle: My yoke is easie, and my burthen is light, saith our Saviour, Mat. 11. I drew them with the cords of a man, even with bands of love, Hos. 11.4. There is indeed constraint; for, whatsoever the Lord pleaseth, that doth he in heaven, and in earth, in the sea, and in all deep places, Ps. 135.6. even in the deep of mans heart: But yet withall there is liberty, even the glorious liberty of the sons of God: even as the fishes are drawn, but not without [Page 146]their own swimming. Neither is this drawing sudden, but moderate, and by degrees. Some indeed are (as it were) angled up to heaven even by sudden motion; effectually called, as Paul from a persecutor to a Prea­cher, Act. 9. and the thief from a reviler to a confessor, Mat. 27.44. Luk. 23.40. But this is but by ones, now and then, rare examples. But the more ordinary way of Gods calling, and taking, is by leisurable knocking; I stand at the door and knock, Rev. 3.10. Gods Word is likened to an hammer that breaketh the stone, Jer. 23.29. Yet it alwaies breaketh not the stony heart at the first blow, but by degrees; Gutta cavat lapidem non vi, sed saepe cadendo: The drop of rain holloweth the stone not by force, but by often falling. And so doth Christ usually prevaile by his spirit: Hee shall come down like the rain, even as the drops that water the earth, Ps. 72.6.

Learn here, first to bee humble, to deny naturall strength and freedome of will, and to acknowledge Gods power in drawing thee; The hour cometh and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear it shall live, Joh. 5.25. Thou art but a dead thing till this voice doth quicken thee. St. Paul saith in another case, Boast not thy self, and if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee Rom. 11.18. It may be truly also said in this case: Boast not thy self, and if thou boast, thou drawest not the net, but the net thee. It is Christ that makes this beasting, and justly; for why? we have compelled him (even so to stop our presumption) to take it wholly off from us: Let him bee true therefore, and every man a lyar: for thus he boasteth, I when I am lift up from the earth, will draw all men unto me, Joh. 12.32. There's the primus, and the ultimus motor, the beginner and ender of this draught, the author and fi­nisher of our faith, Heb. 12.2.

Secondly, learn also here to bee carefull and dili­gent, and think not that the force of this draught doth priviledge thee to be idle: Thou art drawn indeed by a superiour force, and so, as (like the fish in the net) thou haste thy swimming, thine own motion: Thou art first dead, but Gods voice shall pierce thy deadness and make thee hear, and then thou shalt not be dead still, but live, that is, have thy motion. God worketh thy will indeed, but not to make it idle, but to set it on work: Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, Phil. 2.12. Take therefore the Churches resolution Can. 1.4. Draw me, and we will run after thee: and that of the Psalmist, I will run the way of thy Commandements when thou hast set my heart at liber­ty, Psal. 119.32.

Thirdly, learn here also to be fearfull, be not high minded, but fear, Rom. 11.20. Blessed is the man that feareth alway, Prov. 28.14. Thou must not think thy self to be caught at the first pull; much lesse mayst thou presume on thy taking when thou hast yet felt no pulling, or tugging, or drawing at all, but with much patience thou must endure, and with perseverance ex­pect the accomplishment of Gods work upon thee: Giving diligence to make thy calling and election sure, 2 Pet. 1.10. Proving thy self whether thou art in the faith or no, 2 Cor. 13.5. The sprouting blade of corn upon the house top comes to no timely harvest, it fill­eth not the mowers hand, nor the binders bosom, Psal. 129.7. And they that are most rash and sudden in profession, commonly prove to have no root, and to endure but a season, Mat. 7. For as not every calling to the Lord-doth make repentance, Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdome of heaven, Mat. 7. So neither doth every calling from the Lord make faith; Samuel was called the fourth [Page 148]time before he was sped of his errand, 1 Sam. 3. Yea Judas, after all his illumination proved but a lost child, Joh. 17.20. Be sober therefore in the beginning, that thou mayst hold out unto the ending, and so run that thou mayst obtain, 1 Cor. 9.24. for the hasty run­ner commonly is soonest out of breath. St. John did outrun St. Peter, and yet went last into the sepulcher, Joh. 20.4. The work of the spirit by the Ministry of the Word, is no violent, or sudden hoysing (like to Eli­jahs whirlwind, 2 King. 2.11.) but a moderate draw­ing, like to a draw-net.

And so much of the particulars observed, in that it is compared to a draw-net.

3. In the third place I observed painfulness, and danger, in that it is said to be cast into the sea.

First, painfulnesse: For the word (cast) implyeth not only the bare casting in but also the drawing, and the whole managing of the work of Fishing, which is the main matter of the Fishers labour: For though it costeth him a great deal of pains to knit his net, and to contrive it in its fashion (for he is no right Fisher­man that cannot knit his own net) yet is it much more paines and labour to exercise it in the sea, without which all is in vain. And this also is the main matter of our calling, even this very labour and exercise of spirituall fishing, I mean the very exercise of Preach­ing, it is laborious, as well in practising, as in prepa­ring: Yea without this, all skill in contriving, all art, all learning, all knowledge, is all (shall I say) nothing? yea worse then nothing, instead of honouring us, it will but condemn us: For, not to be able to labour is miserable, but not to be willing, is punishable; there­fore St. Paul confesseth, Necessity is layd upon me, and woe is me if I preach not the Gospel, 1 Cor. 9.16.

Let no man therefore that undertaketh this Net, think that he taketh a cushion, or couch to sleep on, a soft means of sweet ease, but rather a labour of little ease, a work that will require the straining of all his strength, the striving of all his power, even such a bur­then as St. Bernard saith, Ser. 2. de Asc. Dom. is Ange­licis humeris formidandum, too heavy for the Angels shoulders; and as St. Paul makes question, Who is suf­ficient for it? 2 Cor. 2.16. Presbyteri officio perfun­ctoriè acto nihil facilius, sed apud Deum nihil tristius: rectè autem acto, nihil laboriosius, sed apud Deum nihil beatius, saith St. Augustine (August. Valerio Epist. 148.) Nothing is more easie then the Ministers office if it be slightly handled, but in respect of God nothing more heavy: and being rightly done, nothing is more laborious, but in Gods sight nothing more blessed.

And if this were generally well understood, it were unpossible that our calling should finde so much con­tempt, and our labour so much begrudging of recom­pence as commonly it doth. Patrons would not give that which is holy unto dogs, Mat. 7.6. (rob Churches to maintain expences) Neither would the people re­ceive holy things as dogs, turning again against the Minister, and all to renting him in his credit with their tongues, in his profit with their hands, but rather all injuring would bee turned into pittying, if not for our labour sake, yet for our reckoning sake, for the burthen wee beare, if not for that wee doe dis­charge.

2. Again, with painfulnesse observe also danger, in that it is said to be like a Net cast into the sea: For no lesse danger then labour appears herein: For the Fisherman though he goes not far to sea, yet goes in great danger, having but a tottering boat, easie to bee overturned with the winds, apt to be filled with the [Page 150]waves: Besides, even the Fishes themselves many times do endanger him, when he meets with strong and stur­die ones, Sea-monsters; they tear his net, and tilt his boat, and take him in stead of being taken by him, and make him a prey to the prey he seeketh. Such is also our condition of danger in our spiritual fishing: Our Doctrine (which is our boat wee fish in) is subject to contrary winds, so that except wee keep very upright, and steer very strait, we are apt to totter, yea to be til­ted over-boord: our boat is also subject to be annoyed with the waves of our own lusts, the flouds of our own concupiscence, or unclean conversation: For we also are flesh, and many times, though sitting in Moses chair, and teaching things to be followed, yet doe wee things as much to be avoyded, and so our ill life pulls down more then our good learning and labour can build up, which turnes to our own danger: Besides, the Fishes themselves whom we seek to take, oft times doe en langer us: For it were well sometimes if wee could say with St. Peter, Master, we have laboured all night, and have taken nothing, Luk. 5.5. For worse then nothing (too often) we take carps, mocks, taunts, jestings, deridings. This was Ezekiels lot; My peo­ple sit before thee, and hear thy words, but they will not doe them, for with their mouths they make jests, &c. Eze. 33.31. Yea & somtimes we meet with such sharks, & sturdy jacks that do strive as much to take us, as we to take them. This was Christs own lot (besides many of his followers) who were taken and destroyed by those whom they laboured to take and save. Which may well make us wary, but not weary in our worke: We must bee wise as serpents, but innocent as doves, Mat. 10.6. Thou son of man be not thou rebellions like this rebellious house: thou son of man fear them not, though briars and thorns be with thee, and thou doefi [Page 151]dwell among Scorpions. We may not fear them which kill the body, but we must preach the Word, be instant in season, and out of season, improve, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering, 2 Tim. 4.2. Yea rather this may comfort us, and bring shame and fear upon the world, that yeeldeth such Monsters. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own, but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you, Joh. 15.9. How long may we labour before we take such a fish as St. Peters was? one that hath money in his mouth ready to discharge our debt, Joh. 15.4. or such a one as To­bias was? one that comes up voluntarily, and offers himself to be taken, yea yeelds his heart and liver to be broyled on the coals of zeal, as an incense for us; yea his very gall to be medicinable unto us, Tob. 6. Or such a one as Jonahs was? one that is ready (when storm and tempest is upon us) to receive us, and that not on his back (as Arions Dolphin in the Fiction) but in his very bowels to bear us safe to land, and to set us on safe ground, Jon. 1. No, no, the world is a sea, and worldlings are great Leviathans taking their pastime in spoyling: But the Lord shall punish such Leviathans with his sore, and great, and strong sword, Is. 27.1. And smite the heads of them in peeces, Psal. 74.15. Yea there is another deeper sea, that is hell, and another greater Leviathan, that is the Devil, of whom all devourers may justly fear to be devoured: For we to thee that spoylest, when thou shalt cease to spoyl, thou shalt be spoyled, Is. 33.1. But as for us, if we be not weary of well doing, in due time we shall reap if we faint not, Gal. 6.9. And when the chief Shepheard shall ap­pear, we shall receive an incorruptible crown of glory, 1 Pet. 5.4.

And so much of the particulars observed in the word (cast into the sea.)

4. In the fourth place I observed the generall capa­city of this Net, in that it is said to gather of every kind.

There is ready reason of the name or title (Catholick) given to the Church. It signifieth gene­rall, or universall: And so the Church is, not onely in respect of time, having its beginning continual from the beginning, but also in respect of place (for Christ saith, the Gospel shall be preached throughout the world, Mat. 24.) and in respect of persons; for he bids his Disciples Go preach the Gospel to every creature, Mar. 16.15. To every creature? This speech seemeth so Catho­like as to include all things: No, the sense cannot bear it: For it were in vain that any creature should have it that is not capable of it. To every creature then must goe with this limitation, namely, to whom it shall belong, and bee available. And who is that? Onely mankind: For the reasonless and sensless crea­tures cannot partake of it: And for other reasonable creatures besides man there are none but Angels, and to some of them it is needlesse, they being already con­firmed not onely in grace but in glory (the elect An­gels, 1 Tim. 5.21.) And to the other some it is speed­lesse, they being reprobated in sin and judgement, Ir­reparabiliter (as St. Bernard.) Reserved in everlast­ing chains under darkness, unto the judgement of the great day, as St. Jude speaketh, Jude 6.

To every creature then must needs bee onely to e­very of Mankind, who indeed is every creature, both in respect of kind, and in respect of end. In respect of kind: for he is instar omnium, as having the kind of every thing in himself: He hath the being of life­lesse things, the growing of vegetables, the sense of animals, the reason of Angels, and is there­fore not unfitly called [...] a little World, [Page 153]as having in him the Idea or modell of the great World.

And as in kind so likewise in end man is every crea­ture: For every creature hath his end of being (in some sort) in man. Not onely in subordination and subjection (thou hast put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and the beasts of the field, Ps. 8.) Yea though he were made a little lower then the Angels, yet in this union with the Son of God, and in the per­son of Christ he is exalted far above all principalities and powers, and might, and domination, Eph. 1.21. but also in obedience and service, use and ministry; all things have their end of being in man: For the Sun is to rule the day, and the Moon and the Stars to govern the night, Psal. 116. And to be for signs and seasons, and for dayes and years. What is this but to mans use and service? yea the Angels are all ministring spirits, sent forth to minister for their sakes that shall be heirs of salvation, Heb. 1.14.

And shall I speak it? hath every creature onely its end of being in man? May it not be said that it hath also its end of well-being in some sort included and implyed, though not concluded and determined in man? For it seemeth their perfection dependeth on ours: For our fall was their fall; Cursed is the earth for thy sake, saith God to Adam, Gen. 3. And our reco­very is also theirs; For the fervent desire of the crea­ture waiteth when the sons of God shall be revealed — Because the creature shall be delivered from the bon­dage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God; for we know that every creature groan­eth with us also, and travelleth in pain together unto this present, Rom. 8. Yea the very Angels perfection (though it be not I say concluded in us) yet it seem­eth much to depend upon us: for both by our conver­sion [Page 154]their joy is inlarged (there is joy in the presence of the Angels for one sinner that converteth, Luk. 15.10.) and also by our Ministry and Preaching their knowledge is perfected; for now unto principalities and powers in heavenly places is made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God, Eph. 3.10. And the things which are shewed by our preaching the An­gels desire to behold, 1 Pet. 1.12.

O honourable excellency of mankind! (let me di­gresse a little that I may admire it.) Man is every creature, all were created for him, all are included in him, all are restored with him, all are perfected through him, yea and (above all) all are reconciled by him; for it pleased God by him (even by that man Christ) to reconcile all things to himself, Col. 1.20. and to gather together in one all things both which are in heaven, and which are in earth, even in Christ, Eph. 1.10. Where then is our holy ambition answer­able to this excellency? why is not all carnall, and earthly pride swallowed up in this which is so divine and heavenly? why doe we not endeavour to walk worthy of this high calling, possessing our vessell in holyness and honour? And seeing God shutteth up all in us, making us the onely fish of his net, the onely mark whereto all his works of power, and mercy are tended and bended, that we may be all in all to him, why doe we not likewise shut up all in him, and make him the only object of all our desires, and hopes, that he may be all in all to us, even that God may be all in all? To every creature; then I say must needs be to every of Mankind. But how then shall that other charge be taken, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into the Cities of the Samaritanes enter ye not, Mat. 10.5. That charge was given in and for the time of the Jews, while their Synagogues stood firmly [Page 155]founded on Moses ceremonies: For Christ was a Mi­nister of the Circumcision, to confirm the promises made unto the Fathers, Rom. 15.8. His time was not yet come to be published to the Gentiles: Therefore to fulfill, and to hasten his work, he confineth him­self and his to the Jewish Church: But when (by the consummatum est) the foundation of Ceremonies was razed, then the partition wall was broken down, the vail of the Temple did rent, all separation was re­moved, and then was this charge given, Go preach the Gospel to every creature: and then also was the Holy Ghost given in such plenty and variety, as might suf­fice unto the fulfilling hereof, Act. 2. We see then that though the Jewish priviledge was great, yet it had an end, it was cut off at last: Which may well check them that boast of infallibility, & perpetuity, and may well warn all to beware of hardnesse and obstinacie: For (it is St. Pauls warning) through unbelief they are broken off, through faith thou standest: be not high minded but fear; for if God spared not the natu­ral branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee, Rom. 11 20.

Well then be it so: To every creature; that is, to every of Mankind, according to my Text, It gather­eth of every kind. Here is the general capacity of this Net: Here is no sex, age, state, condition or nation excepted or excluded, but all is fish that comes to this Net; it draweth all that it reacheth, it gathereth of e­very kind: For of a truth (saith St. Peter, Act. 10.34.) I perceive that God is no accepter of persons, but in e­very nation he that feareth him, and worketh righte­ousness is accepted with him.

And if God make no difference of us, why do wee make difference one of another? or any one of himself? One of another in proud disdain, or partial estimati­on? [Page 156] Having the faith of our glorious Lord Jesus Christ in respect of persons, having respect to them that wear gay clothing, being partiall in our selves, and judges of evill thoughts: Hearken my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this world that they should be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which hee promised to them that love him? but ye have despised the poor: so speaketh St. James (Jam. 2.) upbraiding our uncharitablenesse, as if therein we did [...] fight against God, opposing his will, and frustrating his ordinance.

And why doth any one make difference of himselfe as if he did not belong to this Net, nor it unto him? Is it because of thy meannesse and poverty? why? the Gospel is preached unto the poor, Mat. 11.5. The meashes of this Net are not knit so wide, as to let the small frie go, but it holdeth and draweth all; It gathereth of every kind.

Or is it because of thy greatnesse, thou thinkest to escape this Net? Why? it is not made of cobwebs, to catch small flyes onely, but rather of iron, to hold the strongest, to bind their Kings in chains, and their No­bles with links of iron, Psal. 149.8.

Or is it because of thy great wisdome and learning that thou thinkest thou hast no need of this net? why? It is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will cast away the understanding of the prudent: where is the wise, where is the scribe, where is the disputer of the world? hath not God made the wisdom of the world foolishness? 1 Cor. 1.19.

Let every one therefore submit himself to this easie yoke, and yeeld to this drawing net, lest he hear Christ complaining and threatning against him all at once: How often would I have gathered thee as the hen ga­thereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would [Page 157]not, behold your habitation shall be left unto you deso­late, Mat. 23.37.

But it seems this generality of gathering, and draw­ing is specially here intended to this, that it gathereth as well the bad as the good: For this Parable agreeth well with th' other before of the tares and the wheat: for in both is shewed the joynt-tenancy of good and bad in the Church untill the day of separation.

They therefore that will have a pure Church with­out any spots, doe make themselves wiser then God: They that will have all wickedness presently judged, doe make themselves juster then God: they that will abide no ill company in the use of holy things, doe make themselves holyer then God. In a word, this se­cret will and work of God may indeed teach us not only warynesse in our life, to walke wisely, and to be­ware of men, Col. 4.5. Mat. 10.17. but also wearinesse of our life, to say, Wo is me that I am constrained to dwel with Mesech, and to have my habitation among the tents of Kedar, Psal. 120.5. Yea, and that not without some vexation: (For just Lot was vexed with the uncleanly conversation of the wicked, 2 Pet. 2.7.) Yet so, as with all meeknesse to abide Gods pleasure, and to stay his leisure; for he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness, Act. 17.31. Be patient therefore brethren unto the coming of the Lord, Jam. 5.7.

And so much of the second generall part of the Text, viz. the property of the Church Ministry; It is like a draw-net which was cast into the sea, and ga­thered of every kind.

The third and last general part is its end or upshot; In which I have noted its fulnesse (which when it was full) and its tryal (they gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.)

First for its fulness: which when it was full they drew to shore. God, who in himself is infinite, hath set a date and stint upon all his Works; a date of time, a stint of measure; their bounds which they shall not passe: Thou hast ordered all things in measure, num­ber, and weight, Wisd. 11.17. Yea because himself is infinite, therefore indeed every thing else needs be fi­nite; for there can be but one true infinitum in rerum natura. And though he will have this work of this draw net especially above others to bee constant, and continual, yet it hath its fulnesse, which when it was full.

Conclude then, that all things have their end, and their end for ever determined with God.

First, all things have their end, yet not one and the same end, but diversly: There is an end corruptionis, of corruption, which belongeth to the bodies of men, and of all mixt creatures; When thou hidest thy face they are troubled, when thou takest away their breath, they die, and are turned again to their dnst, Ps. 104.29. There is an end perfectionis, of perfection, which be­longeth to the souls of the Elect; Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls, 1 Pet. 1.9. There is an end destructionis, of destruction, which belongeth to the reprobates, whose end is dam­nation, Phil. 3.19. And there is an end consumma­tionis, of consummation, which belongeth to all the works of God and man: I see that all things come to an end, Psal. 119.96. And this is that which my Text speaketh of: Sic erit in consummatione seculi, So it shall be in the end of the world, ver. 49.

Well then be it so, even as indeed it is, yea as it must be, so let it be, let every thing have its end: Let every thing have its end as well in and to thee, as in, and to its self: In thy intention, in thy application, in thy [Page 159]estimation, in their preparation let all things have their end.

1. In thy Intention, do nothing without an end, be­think, forecast, plot, and propose the end of what thou doest before thou begin it, take nothing in hand with­out a right end intended: Whatsoever thou takest in hand remember the end, and thou shalt never doe a­miss, Eccl. 7.36. Otherwise in your best works, even in your holy meetings, ye may be like those of Ephe­sus, The assembly was confused, and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together, Act. 19.32. Or like him who (for want of forecast of the end) subjected himself unto a mock; This man be­gan to build, and was not able to make an end, Luk. 14.30.

2. In thy Application: Let nothing bt done in vain unto thee: all Gods works of Mercy and Judgement done unto thee, or before thee, let all have a right end in thee. Rob not God of his glory, thy self of thy comfort, thy neighbour of his benefit in any thing: For Natura nihil facit frustra, Nature (and much more the God of Nature) doth nothing in vain: God hath his end in every thing, therefore receive not the grace of God in vain, in what kind soever it cometh, but make some good use of every thing: So (and not else) shalt thou attain to Davids gladness: Thou Lord hast made me glad through thy works, and I will re­joyce in giving praise for the operations of thy hands, Ps. 92.4.

3. In thy Estimation: Deceive not thy self in va­luing the things of this world as lasting things to build thy joy and comfort on as they doe that think their houses shall continue for ever, and call their lands after their own names, Psal. 49.12. but esteem them as they are mutable and uncertain, vain, ane [Page 160]transitory, subject to end; for the fashion of this world goeth away, 1 Cor. 7.31. Therefore let us take heed of abusing it, that so (rightly seeing, and acknowledging the momentany nature of these ending things) we may be lifted up to the excellency of that eternal weight of glory: and have our conversation in heaven: Looking (with Abraham, Heb. 11.10.) for a City, having a foundation, even a firme foundation, Immortall, un­defiled, and that fadeth not away, 1 Pet. 1.4.

4. In thy preparation; be thou prepared for thine own end, because (in that) all things of this world are ended to thee; for when thou art gone, all is gone: Thou fool, this night will they take away thy soul from thee, then whose shall those things be which thou hast provided, Luk. 12.20. Be thou therefore crucified to the world, and the world to thee. Crucified? not nayled, and firmly fixed to it, that thou canst not leave it, but dead unto it in regard of thy willingness to leave it; that so being alway in a readiness, and like a diligent servant waiting for his master, thou mayst say with the Apostle, I dye dayly; yea I desire to be dis­solved, and to be with Christ.

Again, as all things have an end, so an end for ever determined with God. Determined; for this work of the draw-net hath its fulnesse (When the fulness of the Gentiles shall come in, Rom. 11.25.) For ever de­termined: Known unto God are all his works from the beginning, Act. 15.18. For God seeth not as man seeth, by succession of time, and by uncertain change (with him is no variableness, Jam. 1.17.) but he is I am, Exod. 3. Having all time for ever present, and by one eternall act, seeing, and disposing all things: He hath chosen us before the foundation of the world, Eph. 1.4. Why then do the heathen rage, and the people ima­gine a vain thing? Why do any grudge, or murmar, [Page 161]or complain against God for his works? for his call­ing of some, and rejecting others; for judging some, and sparing others; for crossing some, and prospering others? Is it not lawfull for him to do as him listeth with his own goods? Is thine eye evil, because he is good? Hath not the Potter power over the same clay to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto disho­nour? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus? No, but rather cry out as Rom. 11.33. O the deepness of the riches both of the wisdome, and knowledge of God, how un­searchable are his judgements, and his wayes past find­ing out!

Or why is any man impatient in his own sufferings, or afflictions: Shall there be evill in the City (that is, evill of affliction) and the Lord hath not done it? Am. 3.6. I form the light, and create darknes, I make peace, and create evill, I the Lord do all these things, Is. 45.7. Cannot a sparrow light on the ground without God? And doest thou think that any thing that be­longeth unto thee (thy life, thy health, thy wealth, thy credit) can fall to the ground without God? Are not the hairs of our head all numbred? and are wee not of more value then many sparrows? And if it bee Gods wisdom and providence that disposeth of every thing, why then art thou grieved at any thing? Hee may doe what he will in respect of his power: What­soever the Lord pleased that did he, Psal. 135.6. Hee will do nothing for thy hurt in respect of his love: We know that all things work together for the best to them that love God, even to them that are called of his pur­pose, Rom. 8.28. Say therefore with comfort in all things, thy will be done, as well in regard of thy suffer­ings as of thy doings: Whether the Lords immediate hand be upon thee, say with David, I became dumb, [Page 162]and opened not my mouth, for it was thy doing, Ps. 39.10. Or whether he make some limb of the Devill his instrument, say also with David, Suffer him to curse, for the Lord hath bidden him, 2 Sam. 16.11. Or whe­ther he let loose Satan himself as his executioner upon thee, say (as in such case Job did) The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh, blessed be the name of the Lord: Yea howsoever thou art crossed or afflicted, let Eli's words be ready in thy mouth, It is the Lord, let him doe whatsoever seemeth him good, 1 Sam. 3.18.

Yea, why are we not also far from grudging against God in our own, or others behalf, as rather ready to give him praise and thanks in all things: Praise, else we be worse then all creatures: Thanks, else we be no better then all: for, All thy works praise thee, O God, and thy Saints give thanks unto thee, Ps. 145.10. All praise him in their being, we should thank him in our speaking: For he that is Lord over all, is rich unto all, Rom. 10.12. He hath made all things beautifull in their time, Eccl. 3.11. In wisdom hath he made them all, the earth is full of his riches, Psal. 104.24. O that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodness, and declare the wonders that he doth for the children of men, that they would offer unto him the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell out his works with gladnesse Ps. 107.21.

And so much of its fulnesse: Which when it was full.

The other point (which is the last of all) observed in the end or upshot of this spiritual Net, is its tryall, or examination; They drew it to land, and sate down, and gathered the good into, &c.

When the fulnesse of Gods time is come that this work shall cease, it shall have its tryall as well as its end. Its tryall doubly; in it self as well as in its ef­fects, [Page 163]the work as well as the things wrought, the net as well as the draught, the fishers as well the fishes: For not onely in general it is said, Every man shall be judg­ed according to his works, Rev. 20.13. but of his works also in particular, Every mans work shall be made ma­nifest, for the day shall declare it, 1 Cor. 3.13. And we watch for your soules as they that must give ac­compt, Heb. 13.17.

Which may well unite both Ministers and people here in affection, seeing they shall be so united there in condition. And may well take away all strife and contention, all judging, and censuring, all scorn and envying from among them: Why doest thou judge thy brother? or why doest thou despise thy brother, for we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, Rom. 14.10.

But to the purpose; this tryall and examination, here is expressed by way of separation, and three things herein are set forth.

1. Who shall be separated.

2. By whom.

3. To what.

First, who shall be parted: It is plain here, the good and the bad; and before, ver. 30. the tares and the wheat, & chap. 25.23. the sheep and the goats: for there shall enter there no unclean thing, neither whatsoever worketh abhomination, or lies, but they which are written in the lambs book of life, Rev. 21.27. for with­out shall be dogs and enchanters, and whoremongers, and murtherers, and idolaters, or whosoever loveth, or maketh a lye, Rev. 22.15.

This is a terrour not onely to all Gods open Ene­mies, but to all his feigned friends and false servants: Many under the vail of profession abuse Religion: But what though God endure their mockery, and suffer [Page 164]them to prophane his mysteries for a while, the time will come when he will make a separation of them, and make them known as they are. They are taken here for good men, but there they shall be taken from good men: For God will lighten things hid in dark­nesse, and make the counsels of the heart manifest, 1 Cor. 4.5.

Christ discovered one traytor in this world by giving him a sop; but God usually covereth rather then dis­covereth hypocrites, by giving them sops of spiritual, as well as of temporal blessings; but though he feed them with the childrens bread for a while, yet he cuts them off at the last, and gives them their portion with hy­pocrites; yea, the devil, who helps to hide them here, will do his best to open them there; for though he be the father of falshood, yet he differs from false men in this: they keep light and counterfeit peeces to shuffle them in, in great payments. But he, though he falsifie Gods coyn here in the particulars as much as may be, yet in that great and general Audit, hee will not have one counterfeit go undiscovered: And if he would, he could not; for all the covering wherewith he clotheth them will not hide them: For many (saith Christ) will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have not we by thy name prophecied, and by thy name cast out devils, and by thy name done many great works: And then will I professe to them, saying, I never knew you, depart from me, ye that work iniquity, Mat. 7.22. Therefore, whiles we have time let us do good: Let us be good; for as that time finds us, so it will take us: If it finde us not good, it will not make us good. Now is the time of growing; to day if ye will hear his voice, har­den not your hearts: then will be the time of gathering (And gathered the good into vessels, &c.)

2. The second thing observed in this separation [Page 165]was, By whom it is: That is expressed in the exposi­tion of this Parable, namely, that it is the Angels, ver. 49. The Angels shall go forth and sever the bad from among the just: So afore ver. 39. in the Parable of the tares, the Reapers be the Angels, The son of man shall send forth his Angels, &c. And so Mat. 24.31. Hee shall send his Angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his Elect from the four winds, and from the one end of heaven to the other. And no marvail that they have the gathering of us at the last, who have the guarding of us at the first: For that charge (no doubt) concerns not only Christ, but all that are in Christ, He shall give his Angels charge o­ver thee, Ps. 91.11. And that not only in our life, but in our death. In our life; for, the Angel of the Lord tarrieth round about them that fear him, and deliver­eth them, Psal. 34.7. whereof we have many examples in the Scriptures. In our death; for Lazarus his lot (I doubt not) shall be the lot of all the faithful, his soul was carried by the Angels into Abrahams bosom, Luk. 16.22. Which excellency of power, and exactness of knowledge in their so generall guarding here, and gathering there the elect of God, though it doth not expresse any such infinitenesse in the Angels as to make us worship them; for I doubt not this so abso­lute knowledge is not theirs properly, and alwaies by creation, but received for the present by special illumi­nation: For I read, The Lord knoweth who are his, 2 Tim. 2.19. but I read not that any Angel knoweth who are his: Yet the consideration of this their gene­ral Ministry yeeldeth us a great deal of fear, and a great deal of comfort.

A great deal of fear in our conversation, considering their watchfulness over us, and their frequent presence: for what fear, and shame, what reverence and holy­ness, [Page 166]what purity and cleanness may be sufficient for us in the presence of such holy, blessed, and glorious crea­tures? For if St. Paul propose a rule of modesty to wo­men because of the Angels, 1 Cor. 11.10. why should not the same rule hold to all upon the same reason, e­ven because of the Angels. It may be they come to guard and defend us, as they did unto Elisha, 2 King. 6.16. It may be to converse with us, as unto Abra­ham, Gen. 18.2. It may be to pluck us out of some ill company, as unto Lot, Gen. 19.15. It may be to rid ue of some captivity, as to the Apostles, Act. 5.19. It may be to try or to exercise our strength, as to Jacob, Gen. 22. It may be to bring us some good news, as to Zacharias, to the Virgin Mary, to the Shepheards: Howsoever, seeing they are ministring spirits, and have frequent commerce with us, let us fear alwaies to com­mit uncleanness that may annoy them, and seeing God thus giveth us heaven upon earth in regard of the An­gels ministring, let us so pass the time of our dwelling here in fear, that we may also on our parts make heaven upon earth by our holy conversing.

Again, without fear, here is also a great deal of com­fort offered us, in that the Angels are our continuall guardians: for though the great dragon, the old serpent the devil be come down upon the earth, and hath great wrath, Rev. 12. and walketh about as a roaring lyon seeking whom he may devour, 1 Pet. 5.8. And hath many Angels of his own kind, and instruments of our kind to annoy and vex us, yet what of that? This is Gods host, saith Jacob, when he saw the good Angels, Gen. 32.2. And if Gods host and strength be with us, no strength shall be able to hurt us: Therefore let no­thing in all our life terrifie us, no nor yet in our death: For Gods Angels are ready, not only to conveigh our souls to heaven, but even to conduct our bodies to the [Page 167]earth, as appears in that Moses body was defended and protected against the devil by the striving of Mi­chael the Archangel, Jude 9. Yea, as they guard us to our lying down in the grave, so will they gather us at our rising up from thence, and therefore against the fear of death, and the grave, and the corruption thereof, we may say with comfort, I will lay me down in peace, and take my rest, for it is thou Lord only that makest me dwel in safety, Ps. 4.8.

3. The third and last thing observed in this separa­tion, is to what end it is: And gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.

Here is a plain difference, and dissimilitude (as in most Allegories commonly there is) for the casting a­way of the refuse fish into the sea again, is their desired life and safety; and the gathering of the good fish into vessels is their death and destruction: Yet contrariwise the bad fish cast away doe here signifie the reprobate condemned, and the good fish gathered do signifie the elect saved: And gathered the good into vessels, that is, to good use and purpose, to be reserved and saved; as afore in the Parable of the Tares, Gather my wheat into my barn, but cast the bad away, that is, to utter destruction and condemnation, as it followeth in the exposition, And shall cast them into a furnace of fire. Briefly the sum is, that here are two several ends pro­posed, and answerable to the twofold condition of the subjects; the one of safety (and gathered the good into vessels) that is, into everlasting habitations, as Christ speaketh Luk. 16.9. the other of destruction (but cast the bad away) that is, into everlasting condemnation, into the furnace of fire, as the exposition sheweth.

Of which two estates or ends how shall I speak, see­ing I cannot understand? how shall I utter that I can­not comprehend? for the eye hath not seen, nor the [Page 168]ear heard, neither hath it entred into the heart of man that which God hath prepared for them that love him: and consequently, neither that which he hath prepared for them that hate him: For (which may somewhat save my labour) the greatness of th' one sets forth the greatness of th' other: the one is the fulness of joy, therefore the other must needs be the fulness of wo; the one is the enjoying of all things in the enjoying God, the other is the losing of all things in the losing God; the one is everlasting life, that's perfection of excellen­cie, the other is everlasting death, that's perfection of misery: yea, the happiness is double considering the escape of misery, and the punishment is double consi­dering the loss of felicity.

And what then? is there any need of use or appli­cation of this to be made unto you? will ye look for my sparing it? hath it not life enough to speak it self? will ye expect my pressing it? is not the weight of it sufficient to press and oppress your consciences? When Paul disputed of judgement to come, it made Felix (an Infidel) to tremble, so that he could not endure the hearing of it; and shall not all Christian hearts shake and tremble, and be astonished at the very thought of it? If you will have any use or instruction of it, take it of St. Peter, The day of the Lord shall come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a noise, and the elements shall melt with heat, and the earth with the works that are therein shall be burnt up. Seeing therefore that all these things must be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in holy conversation and godliness, looking for, and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, by the which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with heat: Wherefore beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found [Page 169]of him in peace without spot and blameless, 2 Pet. 3.10. He speaketh by way of exhortation, but the wise man speaketh by way of threatning, Rejoice, O young man in thy youth, and let thy heart chear thee in the dayes of thy youth, and walk in the waies of thy heart, and in the sight of thine eyes, but know that for all these things God will bring thee to judgement, Eccl. 11.9. As if he would (as it were) dare any man to fin, having but the remembrance of this judgement before him. Wherefore let us not dare to heap up wrath against the day of wrath, but walk circumspectly, not as un­wise men, but as wise, redeeming the time, because these daies are evill, especially because that day is so evill: And so abide in him here, by true faith, and the fruits thereof, love and fear, that when he shall appear, we may be bold, and not be ashamed before him at his coming; which the Lord grant to us all, &c.

Finis Serm. sive tract. 4.

Trino-uni gloria.

TWO SERMONS preached at the Feast of the Nativitie of CHRIST, and here set forth in one continued tract.

Text. JOH. 1.16.

And of his fulnesse have all we received grace for grace.

THis time is a speciall time of Grace, both exhibited and returned: Of Grace ex­hibited, from God to man, in, and through Christ: Of Grace returned, from man to God in piety, from man to man in charity; from man to God in piety; sanctify­ing dayes to Gods publick service, in hearing, praying, communicating; from man to man in charitie, almes to the poor, inviting neighbours, visiting friends, ho­spitality to all.

And well do we apply our selves to the practise and exercise of these two speciall duties, for this speciall time and business sake, this solemnizing, and celebra­ting of the coming of Christ: For these, Piety and Charity are twins of the Holy Ghost, never begotten one without th' other: for true faith worketh by love, Gal. 5.6. And true love must be with faith unfeigned, 1 Tim. 1.5.

What then? It is right and fit that we present him [Page 171]with this joynt issue of the spirit, from whom joyntly with the Father the spirit proceedeth, and upon us de­scended; that he should be honoured by th' effects and works of the spirit, by, and from whom we receive the gift of the spirit: When the comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the spirit of truth, Joh. 15.26.

Again, Piety and Charity are the two feet of the soul, whereon it standeth, wherewith it walketh; though feet of different nature, and divers qualitie, even like those feet of Nebuchadnezars Image Dan. 2.33. part of iron, part of clay; part of iron, strong to God-ward in the duties of the first Table (so is Piety) part of clay, plyable to man in the duties of the second Table (so is Charity) What then? we can doe no lesse then extend these footsteps in both kinds, whiles we intend the meeting, or entertaining of him that comes in both kinds: We necessarily express our right respect at once to both natures for the honour of him who comes at once in both natures in one person to visit us; for in him God was manifested in the flesh, 1 Tim. 3.16.

Again, Piety and Charity are the two hands of the soul: by the hands the body holdeth, by these the soul holdeth. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avail­eth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith that work­eth by love, Gal. 5.6. And these are well like the Spi­ders hands mentioned, Prov. 30.28. For though they work weakly, yet are they so ambitious as to take hold in the Kings Palace, yea even in the Palace of the King of Kings. What then? Now especially is it con­venient for us to stretch forth these hands, and to exer­cise this hold in the heavenly palace, because the hea­venly King (to fetch us thither) vouchsafeth to de­scend, not to a palace, but to a vile place, his humilia­tion [Page 172]opportuneth, importuneth our exaltation, our exultation: For, Behold (saith the Angels to the shep­heards, Luk. 2.) I bring you glad tidings of great joy which shall be to all people, that is, that unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Again, Piety and Charity are the two wings of the soul, whereon it mounteth even as high as heaven: For though worldly men mind earthly things, yet our con­versation is in heaven, Phil. 3.19. And though so long as we lye among the pots, and dwel in houses of clay, these wings want not earthly pollution, yet when our earthly house of this tabernacle shall be dissolved, then they shall be argent, Or, lux oriens, Perer. in Gen. 1.3. yea orient, full of lustre and splendor, even as the wings of a dove which is covered with silver wings, and her feathers like gold, Psal. 68. In the expectation whereof David (as rapt and ravish­ed) cryeth out, Psal. 55.6. O that I had wings like a dove, for then would I flee away and be at rest. What then? Very seasonably and conveniently doe we now clap both these wings together, that so with all the flock of innocent doves; with all the Elect, which from all quarters fly unto Christ, as the doves unto their windows, Is. 60.8. we may addresse our selves to make one flight in the meeting, and congratulating of our Saviour, for as much as our true Dove (the holy Ghost who is not onely the leader, but the breeder of all this brood) hath descended and lighted upon his head, gi­ving us therein our true aim and mark to what rock we should repair; Lo the heavens were opened unto him and John saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him, Mat. 3.16.

In a word, Piety and Charity is the sum of our o­bedience, the totall of the Law, Thou shalt love the [Page 173]Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, this is the first and great com­mandement, and the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self, on these two Comman­dements hang all the Law and the Prophets, Mat. 22.37. Well and wisely therefore do we now present him with this sum of our obedience during our celebration of his first coming, that so hee may make up our ac­compt, and perfect our reckoning by bringing us a qui­etus est ready drawn at his second coming: For in him indeed, the sum of our righteousnesse, and the totall of our obedience consisteth: For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that be­leeveth, Rom. 10.4. Yea, this is the name whereby we are taught to call him, the Lord our righteousness, Jer. 23.6.

Wherefore that these duties now so solemnly pre­tended may be rightly, and truly, that is understand­ingly, and conscionably, with the head, and with the heart intended and attended, and so both the receipt and the return of those graces may truly appear in us, I have chosen this Text, which sheweth the Fountain, the Stream, and the Banks of Grace: From whence, and how, and in what measure Grace doth flow.

1. The Fountain (of his fulness.)

2. The Stream (have all we received.)

3. The Banks (and grace for grace.) that so, being known how, and whence it cometh, it may be rightly received (namely, with joyfulnesse, and thankfulnesse) and rightly returned (namely) with humbleness and holyness.

1. Part. The Fountain is this, Of his fulness.

It is our Saviour Christ, the Son of God, the Son of Man, God and Man, the Redeemer of Man who is here spoken of, as plainly appeareth in all the forego­ing [Page 174]narration of the Evangelist: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, &c. Of his ful­ness have we all received.

Of his fulness.

This Text suteth very well and agreeth with other answerable Scriptures which doe set forth the gifts of Grace, the effects of the Spirit by the embleme or in­stance of water, which we find very frequent and com­mon: and no marvaile, the comparison being very right and proper, very emphaticall and significant: For,

1. Water never (naturally) ascendeth, but descen­deth, and Grace proceedeth not from Man to God, but from God to Man: Every good and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the father of lights, Jam. 1.17.

2. Water filleth the lowly valleys, so Grace reple­nisheth humble minds: For, God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble, Jam. 4.6.

3. Water purifieth, and multiplieth, or increaseth by running, but putrifyeth, and decreaseth by setling: And Grace by diligence is improved, but by negli­gence impaired: Thou evill and slothfull servant, thou oughtest to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with vantage, or usury, Mat. 25.27. Therfore the water of life that Christ giveth, is said to be springing, not set­ling, Joh. 4.14. A Well of water springing up unto e­verlasting life. And the waters that came from under the Temple, Ezek. 47.1. were first to the ankles, then to the knees, then to the loyns, and became a River that no man might pass over.

Many more particulars of resemblance might be in­stanced in this Allegory, but this one may go for all, as [Page 175]being indeed, Instar omnium, the sum of all: Namely,

Water washeth, and cleanseth the filth of the body, and so Grace cleanseth and purgeth the filth of the soul: Wash me throughly from my wickedness, and cleanse me from my sin, purge me with hysop, and I shall be clean, wash me, and I shall be whiter then snow, Psal. 51.

Let us then make some application of this to our selves, that we may not passe it without some benefit. And to that purpose let us apply it by way of tryall, making the tryall to be of the cause by the effect, of our washing by our cleansing: Whether we have re­ceived or not received; or at least whether we have in vain received the Grace of God or no? For indeed that we have received it, we all professe, and we would take scorn to be denyed it; yea, if we would deny it, God and his Church will affirm it, that we have re­ceived it even litteral and mysticall washing in the Sacrament of Baptism: Shew then the proof of it in thy cleansing: For certainly Gods Church is like a flock of sheep going up from the washing, Can. 4.2. They tell where they have been, they tell their wash­ing by their cleannesse. Be it so then indeed with us, let our cleansing prove our washing: Learn of David, I will wash mine hands in innocency, O Lord, and so will I go to thine altar, Psal. 26.6. Learn of St. James, Cleanse your hands ye sinners, and purge your hearts ye wavering minded, Jam. 4.8. Learn of St. Paul, Let us cleanse our selves from all filthiness of the flesh and spi­rit, 2 Cor. 7.1. That so we may be indeed (like the sheep coming out of the water) fair and clean: Not like the black Moor coming out of the water, never the whiter for all his washing: And if thou art come to any degree of cleansing, O then especially beware of fouling, fall not again into that which thou hast for­saken, [Page 176]but say with the Spouse, Can. 5.3. I have put off my coat, how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them? And return not with the dog to the vomit, or with the sow to thy wallowing in the mire; for else thy washing will not be according to that proverb Aethiopem lavare, the washing of a black Moor, which is but lost labour, and doth neither good nor harm, but according to that laterem lavare, the vvashing of a brick, which turnes to the worse, even to defile the washer himselfe, and to make the washed fouler then before: for, it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, then after they have known it to turn from the holy Com­mandement, 2 Pet. 2.21. And when the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, and returneth again, the end of that man is worse then the beginning, Mat. 12.43. It is a kind of despite to the spirit of Grace, and (as much as in him lyeth) he defileth his washer.

But let us come to the point: Of his fulness.

All waters (how divers soever in their rising and flowing) have one common originall from whence they flow, that is the sea; Unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again, Eccl. 1.7. And all Grace, how different soever in gifts, have one common originall, that is God himself the unmeasu­rable sea of goodnesse; God the Father, Sonne, and Holy Ghost; for opera Trinitatis ad extra sunt indi­visa, the works of the Trinity towards the creature are undivided, Grace floweth from the Trinity: And though Creation be appropriated to the Father, Re­demption to the Son, and Sanctification to the Holy Ghost, yet that is but to express the distinction of persons, not to make any division of nature, or sepa­ration of work in the Deity: But the Holy God in­deed most properly is the fountain of Grace, as being [Page 177]not onely ex natura, but ex officio (if I may so speak with reverence) the Paraclet, the comforter, the san­ctifier, the spirit of sanctification, Rom. 1.4. And yet is Christs fulnesse here properly enough made the foun­tain of Grace unto us, both because all fulnesse is his, or in him, and because onely by, and through him it descendeth unto us.

First, because all fulnesse is his; or in him, both as he is God, and as he is Man.

1. As he is God, in his divine nature all fulnesse is his; for so the holy Ghost himself is his: not onely in respect of unity of nature; for such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost, but also in respect of proceeding of person, for the Holy Ghost is of the Father, and of the Son, neither made nor crea­ted, nor begotten, but proceeding. Yea indeed as hee is God, he rather is Fulnesse of Grace then hath it: It is not so properly said to be his, as to be himself: For whatsoever is in God, it is essentially so, he therefore is Fulness it self.

2. As he is Man in his humane nature all fulnesse of Grace is his: So Gorran will have it taken here, name­ly, his fulnesse to belong to his humane nature united to his Godhead: And so is it said Col. 1.19. It pleased the Father that in him all fulness should dwel. All ful­ness? Yes all: Fulness of Prophesies that were con­cerning him, fulness of Offices that were upon him, fulness of Obedience that was in him.

1. Fulnesse of Prophecies; for he came in the ful­nesse of time, Galat. 4.4. when all that was to fore­goe, and foreshew him was fulfilled: And in his time the fulfilling of the Scriptures is diligently noted in the discourse and passage of the Gospel, but most plainly Acts 13.29. They fulfilled all things that were written of him: and verse 32. The pro­mise [Page 178]made unto the Fathers GOD hath fulfilled.

2. Fulnesse of Offices, joyntly, and severally.

Joyntly; for he had (as never other man had) those three great Offices together, a King, a Priest, and a Prophet.

Severally; for he was a Prophet full of knowledge, Col. 3.2. In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

He was a Priest, full of favour, compassion, merit.

Of favour; This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, Mat. 3.

Of compassion; In all things it became him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be merci­sull, and a faithfull High Priest, Heb. 2.17.

Of merit; for his blood was precious: Yee are not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb un­defiled, and without spot, 1 Pet. 1.19.

He was a King full of Authority, of Power, of Magnificence, or Munificence.

Of Authority: Thou hast made him to have domi­nion of the works of thy hands: thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet, Ps. 8.6.

Of Power: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth, Mat. 28.18.

Of Magnificence, or Munificence: He ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men, Eph. 4.6.

3. Fulness of Obedience both Passive and Active.

Passive: For he was a man full of sorrows, Is. 53.3.

Active: Thus it becometh us (saith he) to fulfill all righteousness, Mat. 3.15.

In a word, his particular actions were so many Em­blemes of his fulnesse: there was an expressing of his fulnesse in them: He bade, fill the water pots with wa­ter, [Page 179]that he might fill them with wine, Joh. 2.7. Hee drew a full draught of fish, so full, that it brake the Net, and filled both ships that they sunck again, Luk. 5.6. Hee filled first five thousand bellies, and then twelve baskets, with five loaves and two fishes, Mat. 14.19. He filled his Disciples with the Holy Ghost: For first, he promised, I will send the promise of my Father upon you, Luk. 24.49. and then he fulfilled it; And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, Act. 2.4.

From hence we may draw use both of Invitation, and of Imitation.

1. Of Invitation; for besides that Christ by word inviteth, making proclamation of his fulnesse, Ho e­very one that thirsteth come ye to the waters, Is. 55.1. His very fulnesse it self sufficiently inviteth us. The Proverb is, Good wine needs no bush; but this wine of Christ is both good in quality, and much in quantity, it inviteth therefore to it self. Every man delighteth in fulnesse: Dulciùs ex ipso fonte bibuntur aquae, 'Tis best drinking where we may drink our fill: Suave est ex magno tollere acervo, 'Tis good taking where wee may take enough. O then let us not mistake so much as to seek our fulnesse of content any where else but onely here in Christ, where it is truly to be found. The world hath a threefold supposed Deity, Profit, Ho­nour, Pleasure; which make shew of fulness, but can­not yeeld it: For Solomon the wisest of men (speaking not onely out of his judgement, but out of his experi­ence) concludeth the world, and all therein, to bee so far from fulnesse of content, as to be meer vanity, and vexation of spirit. But what good soever in the world we falsly intend, or is falsly pretended to us, that in Christ is truly and fully to be found: Would we have wealth? his riches are unsearchable, Eph. 3.8. Would [Page 180]we have health? he giveth water of life, Joh. 4.10. and bread of life, Joh. 6.48. Would we have liberty? If the Son shall make you free, then are ye free indeed, Joh. 6.36. Would we have honour? It is he that hath made us Kings and Priests even to reign on the earth, Rev. 5.10. Would we have pleasure? In his Garden there is Mirrh and spice, honey-comb and honey, wine and milk, and he biddeth us eat, O friends, drink and make you merry; bibite & inebriamini, drink and be drunken, O welbeloved, Cant. 5.1.

If therefore wee look for fulnesse any other where, we commit a twofold evil; one in refusing of truth, another in choosing of falshood, as it is Jer. 2.13. My people have committed two evils, they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, to dig to themselves broken pits that can hold no water. Again,

2. With Invitation here we have also Imitation of­fered, not onely that we take of his fulnesse, but that (in our measure as much as may be) we be full as hee is full: Christ is our pattern, we must learn of him (as in other things, so in this) even to be filled with the spirit, Eph. 5.18. To grow up into him which is the head unto a perfect man unto the measure of the age of the fulnesse of Christ, Eph. 4. That we may be filled with all fulnesse of God, Eph. 3.19. Our naturall Parents would not have us dwarfs in nature, our hea­venly father will not have us dwarfs in grace: For he will have us hunger and thirst after righteousness, Mat. 5.6. And bids us open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it, Ps. 81.10.

But why doe wee not Imitate Christs fulnesse of Grace? why doe we not desire it? why doe wee not thirst after it? No doubt because wee are filled other waies: for who despiseth honey but he that is full? The person that is full despiseth an honey comb, Prov [Page 181]27.7. The reason then why we long not for Christs fulnesse, is, because we have some other fulnesse, either of worldliness, or else of windiness.

Of worldlynesse: so are they filled, who when they have heard the Word, the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches choak it, and make it unfruitful, Mat. 13.22.

Of windinesse: so are they filled who boast them­selves like the Pharisee Luk. 18.11. and doth that they doe for their own love, and self-conceit, to be seen of men, not for Gods love, in truth and sincerity, and therefore are but sounding brasse, hollow windy ves­sels, Is. 26.18. And though they travail as a woman with child, yet doe they bring forth nought but wind.

Be therefore empty from such fillings, that thou mayst be filled with Christs fillings: for indeed, Nihil est vacuum, if God fill thee not, the Devil will: Dis­cas non diligere, ut discas diligere, funde ut impleris: Learn not to love, that thou mayst love, empty thy self that thou mayst be filled (saith St. Augustin, in Ps. 31.26.) Fast therefore as Gluttons doe when they are bidden to a feast: yea purge as patients doe when they prepare for physick: Macra cavum repetas ar­ctum quem macra subisti: Thou camest into the world naked and empty (corporally, temporally, spi­ritually) thou must be born again then, and come to thy first scantling, and empty condition: so, and not otherwise shalt thou be capable of Christs fulness. And so ye see all fulnesse is in Christ.

2. Now secondly, that all our fulness, all our mea­sure descendeth only by, and through him.

All is his in regard of possessing, all is his in regard of conveighing, all is his originally, all is his mediate­ly: All is both of him, and by him, from him, and [Page 182]through him: All is ours in regard of his communi­cating, our participating: All ours is his in regard of our deriving, his abounding: Hee is not onely the Fountain that yeeldeth, but the Pipe that conveigh­eth, and leadeth every drop of Grace that runneth in­to our souls: For the Church concludeth all her Prayers and Thanksgivings, through Jesus Christ our Lord, making him the onely Jacobs Ladder whereon God descendeth unto us, and we ascend unto him, Jo. 1.51. Hee is not onely the root that feedeth all his branches, but the trunck that deriveth the sap of life to every one, according to its measure and capacity: I am the vine, my father is an husband man, every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away, and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit, Joh. 15.1.

Well then, all our fulnesse is derived to us as well by him, as from him. All? yes, as well of being, as of well being.

Of being, even our substance, and existence. Ours? Yea all creatures: for all things were made by him, Joh. 1.3. By him? yea, by him, and for him were all things created, Col. 1.16. By him: for he is that essen­tiall operative Word of God, By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, Psal. 33.6. For him; for, he made him heir of all things by whom he made the worlds, Heb. 1.2. So that he may be said to be origina­lis, instrumentalis, & finalis causa, the originall, instrumentall, and finall cause of the being of all things.

And as of our being, so of our well being also, and that both in grace and in glory.

Our well being in Grace is by, and through him; both our capableness and our fulness.

Our capablenesse is by him, even that we are Vessels: [Page 183]Vessels we are indeed by nature, but vessels of wrath; We were by nature children of wrath, Eph. 2.3. How doe we then become vessels of mercy prepared unto glory? Rom. 9.23. Even through that adoption of Sons, which we have in our redemption; which work is only, and wholly his: Thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, Rev. 5.9. He hath by himself purged our sins, Heb. 1.3.

It is by him then that we are made capable of hea­venly water, of our selves we are broken pitchers, and cannot hold: for our bursting in Adam was like the bursting of a potters pot that is broken without pitty; so that in all the masse of mankind, there was not left one sheard to take fire out of this hearth, or water out of this pit (the fire of the Spirit, the water of Grace) but our capablenesse is restored by Christ.

And as our capableness, so likewise our fulness is by him, even all our measure of Sanctification, and Justi­fication; Ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justi­fied in the name of the Lord Jesus, 1 Cor. 6.11. Christ Jesus is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, 1 Cor. 1.30.

And as in Grace, so also in Glory our fulnesse is by him; for this is the sea whereto that stream doth lead, Whom he called, them he justified, whom he justified them he glorified, Rom. 8.30. And by whom? onely by Christ: The gift of God is eternall lafe by Jesus Christ our Lord, Rom. 6.23. So that Christ is still our meanes: Christ in you the hope of glory, Col. 1.27.

Well then may we conclude, that this is that Foun­tain that is opened for sin and for uncleannesse, Zach. 13.1. and that there is not salvation in any other; for among men there is given none other name un­der heaven whereby we must be saved, Act. 4.12.

Learn therefore here to shun all false means of Grace and Mercy, and earnestly to seek Christ, who onely is the truth.

1. To shun all false means, namely, which are not subordinate him: for he hath his subordinate meanes which must be sought, that he also may be found: As the Ministry and use of the Word and Sacraments.

He is the Fountain of Grace, yet hath he his Mini­sters to draw out his waters, and to sprinkle his garden therewith; I have planted, Apollo watered. 1 Cor. 3.6. He is the foundation whereon that house of living stones is builded, yet hath he his workmen to set it up: As a wise Master builder I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon, 1 Cor. 3.10.

He is the root and stock, the true tree of life into which we must be graffed, yet hath he his Gardners by whose industry we must be graffed, that we may grow, and pruned that we may bear: In Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel, 1 Cor. 4.13. (there is our graffing) The whole Scripture is profita­ble to teach, to improve, to correct, to instruct, 2 Tim. 3.16. (there's our pruning) Let us then apply our selves unto such helps as may help us unto, yea even into Christ, but let us take heed of such as are averse from him, or adverse to him: such Drawers as in stead of sprinkling the heavenly water of the Word, doe sprinkle water made holy in name, but unholy in truth by superstition, and abhominable conjuration: Such builders as build Babel, the Tower of confusion, Gen. 11. such as build with untempered mortar of their own inventions and traditions, Ez. 13. Such Gard­ners whose Vine is the Vine of Sodom, and of the Vines of Gomorrah, their grapes are grapes of gall, and their clusters be bitter, their wine is the poyson of dragons, and the cruel gall of asps, Deut. 32. These be they [Page 185]that teach us to make many Mediators by their Do­ctrine of Invocation of Saints; that teach us to make many Redeemers by their doctrine of Merit and satis­faction of Works; that teach us to receive Christ vi­sibly by the eye in the use of Crucifixes and Images; and corporally in the Sacrament by materiall Tran­substantiation. But we know there is one Mediator be­tween God and man which is the man Christ Iesus, 1 Tim. 2.5. We know that there is one satisfier, who his own self bare our sins in his body on the tree, 1 Pet. 2.24. We know that God must be worshipped in spirit, God is a spirit, and they that worship him, must wor­ship him in spirit, and in truth, Joh. 4.24. and that Christ must be received spiritually by Faith: He that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that beleeveth in me shall never thirst, Joh. 6.35. Therefore let us re­nounce all such false helps and helpers as doe wait up­on lying vanities, and forsake their own mercy, Jonah 2.8.

2 And let us seek Christ, who onely is the truth; I am the way, the truth, and the life, saith he Ioh. 4.16. Seek him for our childrens sake, seek him for our selves.

For our children, in the speedy use of Baptism: The fountain is opened, let us not be slack to come to it. Wee take care to preserve natural life in the birth, shall wee not much more to recover spirituall life in Baptism? Shall we grieve to see a child born dead in nature, and shall it be no grief to see a child kept dead in sin?

And for our selves also let us seek Christ; for what are we without him? Branches of the wild olive tree, children of wrath, dead by sins, aliens from the com­monwealth of Israel, strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope, without God in the world, Rom. 11. Eph. 2.

Seek Christ therefore; for he is our peace, Eph. 2.14. How shall we seek and find him? by Faith: for wee walk by Faith, not by sight, 2 Cor. 5.7. And how shall Faith be obtained? Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, Rom. 10. And how shall it be proved? By obedience, Shew me thy Faith by thy works, Jam. 2.18. Seek Faith then by all good means; hearing, praying, communicating; Ask and ye shall have, seek and ye shall find: And shew faith by all good fruits, Shew forth the virtues of him that hath called you out of darkness into this marvellous light, 1 Pet. 2.19. We have had our graffing already in the Sacrament of Baptism, but let us not deceive our selves therein to rest satisfied, it may be insufficient to us; for growing doth not necessarily follow every graffing, though never so orderly done, some graffes starve and dye; Every plant which my heavenly father hath not planted shall be rooted up, Mat. 15.13. There is Baptisma fluminis, and Baptisma flaminis, the Bap­tism of water, and the Baptism of the spirit, God ty­eth us to the one, we cannot tye him, neither doth he tye himself to the other; for he hath mercy on whom he will, Rom. 9.18. And the wind bloweth where it lusteth, so is every one that is born of the Spirit, Joh. 3.8. Let us then shew our graffing by our grow­ing, Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 2 Pet. 3. As new born babes desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby, 1 Pet. 2.2.

And so much of the first part of the Text, The Foun­tain of Grace: His fulnesse.

The second generall part is the Stream (have all we received.) Every fountain naturally and necessarily sendeth forth a stream: It is so in nature, it must needs be so in grace. The proverb may be turned, and stand [Page 187]true both waies, Bonum quo communius eo me lius, bo­num quo melius eo communius; Every good thing the commoner it is the better it is; the better it is the com­moner it is: This fountain therefore of goodnesse, or rather this sea of goodness, or rather this essentiall, substantiall goodness, which is God himself, ever had its streaming, and never was contented, restrained, or limited in, or to it self, but alwaies flowed. Alwaies flowed? But how could it flow out of him when as yet nothing was without him? To whom, or where could it run when there was not a who, or a where to receive it? Where was this streaming before there was any creating? Why, besides that ineffable, and uncon­ceivable eternity of the Fathers begetting, & the holy Ghosts proceedings that communicating of nature, that existing of personality, and the issuing of the pro­perties thereof, that communion of love, joy, peace, and all perfection of goodness which for ever flowed in the Trinity, intensive, and ad intra, as immanent actions, (the sea flowing in it self) there was also for ever, & e­verlastingly an ext ensive and distributive flowing of goodnesse from God even unto us, even before we were. How? not actually to us because of our not being, and yet actually in him because of his decreeing: not actu­ally in regard of our participating, yet actually in re­gard of his determining and disposing, and by purpose & decree actuall exhibiting: For Gods grace was given us in Christ before the world began, 2 Tim. 1.9. And he hath chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world, Eph. 1.4. And he hath loved us with an ever­lasting love, Jer. 31.3. No doubt both waies everlast­ing as wel without beginning, as without ending. And what shall I need to shew the continuall flowing and streaming of his goodness, when as we cannot be igno­rant, that in him we live, and move, and have our be­ing, [Page 188]Act. 17.28. Yea that by him all things consist, Col. 1.17.

O come hither and bring forth your goodnesse all ye that professe to have it, shew it by this light, mea­sure it by this rule, try it by this touch, namely, whe­ther it hath any flowing, or streaming or no: For what goodnesse was there ever lockt up, or buried in it self? The Heathen concluded virtus in actione, that virtue consisteth in action; let not us Christians then talk of goodnesse without action or expression, but let it have its course according to its kind, let the stream appear both temporally and spiritually. Temporally; for though Charity beginneth at home, yet it is not bounded, nor ended there, but rather there taketh the rule and measure of its extent, namely, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self. Spiritually; for though we must worship God in spirit, and serve him in se­cret, yet not without both lighting, and drawing o­thers: Not vvithout lighting others; for our light must so shine before men, that they may see our good works, Mat. 5.16. Not without drawing others; for we must consider one another to provoke unto love; and to good works, and to exhort one another, Heb. 10.24.

What then do those Monopolists, those inclosers of good? the Laick Cofferer, the Clerick cloysterer, who resolve to live onely to themselves, the one for this worlds sake, th' other for the next: What doe they but invert the order, and pervert the nature of good­nesse, and make it run ordine retrogrado, the quite con­trary way, nothing outwardly, but altogether inward­ly to themselves: What are they but barren trees, which suck up the substance, and the sweet juice and moysture both of earth and heaven, onely to increase their own sap, but not to bring forth fruit? and there­fore [Page 189]deserves that censure of the fruitlesse tree, Cut it down, why cumbreth it the ground, Luk. 13.7? What are they but savage monsters, and of that cruel Lyons kind, of whom it is said, omnia te advorsum, spectan­tia nulla retrorsum: He entertained all comers into his den, but let none come forth again. Yea (in a word) Judas may bee a sufficient glasse to both kinds of ingrossers, they may see themselves in him, and fear his punishment; he received much both temporally, and spiritually, hee had both kinds of income, but wanting vent, and having no right use or utterance, it brake him at the last, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out, Act. 1.18.

But what is this stream of this fountain here ex­pressed?

Have all we received.

Note here the Nature, and the Objects; how, and to whom it runneth.

1. The nature how (Received) It is not Inherited, it is not purchased, it is not earned.

1. It is not Inherited; for in Adam all dye, 1 Cor. 15.22. We are by nature the children of wrath, Eph. 2.3.

2. It is not purchased: For who hath given to him first, and he shall be recompensed? Rom. 11.35.

3. It is not earned; for when we have done all that ever we can doe, we must say we are but unprofitable servants, we have done but our duty, Luk. 17.10.

What is it then? The true property of a stream is here in Grace: It runs not compelled, not procured, but freely and voluntarily, all men (even the best men) are but receivers: so is the Text, All we have re­ceived.

It is not of our selves, but altogether of God: It is not in him that willeth, nor in him that runneth, [Page 190]but in God that sheweth mercy, Rom. 9.16. We are as meerly passive in the first receipt of Grace, as the earth is in the receipt of the running, or overflowing, or dropping water, as meerly passive in our new ma­king, as in our first making: not like the half dead man, Luk. 10.30. who had some motion in him to help himself, but like Lazarus so stark dead as even become stinking ripe: You hath he quickened that were dead in trespasses and sins, Eph. 2.1. The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live, Joh. 5.25.

Where then is our piety? where is our humility? where is our charity?

Where is our piety towards God both in tongue and hand, in word and deed, in thankfulnesse, and in all holynesse? What shall I render unto the Lord for all the benefits he hath done unto me? I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord, I will pay my vows unto the Lord even now in the pre­sence of all his people, Ps. 116.12.

Where is our humility in our selves, inwardly, and outwardly towards God, and towards man, in respect of corporall, temporall, spirituall, eternall goods and riches, prerogatives and preheminences? that no man presume above that which is written, that one swel not against another; for who separateth thee, and what hast thou that thou hast not received? If thou have received it, why boastest thou as thou hadst not recei­ved it? 1 Cor. 4.6.

Where is our charity toward our neighbour? for If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another, 1 Joh. 4.11. His free dealing with us is for our imita­tion to exercise it one to another; Be mercifull as your heavenly father is mercifull, Luk. 6.36. Freely have ye received, freely give, Mat. 10.8. Not grudgingly, [Page 191]or of necessity; for God loveth a chearfull giver, 2 Cor. 9.7.

Secondly with the nature (how) note also the ob­jects to whom this stream of Grace doth flow (all we) here is a certainty (we) and yet a generality (all) A generall certainty then, or certain generality (if ye will) ye may call it.

First certainty; for (we) implyeth a certain num­ber, it hath relation to some expresse company. This certainty may be taken both waies, both on Gods part, and on our own, both to God, and to our selves.

To God; for he is not subject to any ignorance, therefore not such ignorance, as to give he knows not to whom. No, but the foundation of God remaineth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth who are his, 2 Tim. 2.19. Whom he knew before them he predesti­nated, Rom. 8.29. Therefore to whom God affordeth not this stream of Grace, them he is said not to know, Mat. 7.23. I never knew you, depart from me ye that work iniquity.

To us also ye see this is a certainty; for St. John puts in himself (we) taking himself certainly for one: And though he saith (all we) speaking for them that are to come, as well as for them that are past, yet for certainties sake he speaks in the time past (as the Pro­phets use to speak of things to come) have all we re­ceived. And why not? for God not onely hath his seal, but affordeth us to have ours: We are sealed with the holy spirit of promise, Eph. 1.13. There's his: He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal, Joh. 3.33. there's ours; yea our certainty indeed de­pendeth upon his, even because of his immutability; be­cause whom he loveth unto the end he loveth them, Joh. 13.1. and because the gifts and calling of God are [Page 192]without repentance, Rom. 11.29. and with him is no variableness, nor shaddow, or turning, Jam. 1.17. Therefore the Apostle saith, Ye know God, or rather are known of God, Gal. 4.9. And hee laboureth to apprehend that for which also he is apprehended, Phil. 3.12.

And is there indeed a certainty to be had? why then doe we not labour to attain it? why doe we not give diligence to make our calling and election sure? 1 Pet. 2. why do we not lay hold on eternal life? 1 Tim. 6. why do we not edifie our selves in our most holy faith, Jude 20. that we may be rooted and grounded in love, that we may have boldness and confidence by faith in him, Eph. 3. And be strong in the Lord, and in the pow­er of his might, Eph. 6. No doubt but this may be done, for we see it here, and Gal. 2.20. I live by faith in the Son of God, who hath loved me, and given himself for me: Yea no doubt but it must be done; for with­out faith it is impossible to please God, Heb. 11.6. Yea no doubt but it is done of every one that beleeveth; for what is faith else but the ground and evidence even of our particular hopes? Heb. 11. For if it be not par­ticular to our self, then it is but joynt and common to, and with the devil: Thou beleevest there is one God, thou doest well, the devils beleeve, and tremble, Joh. 2.19.

Wo then to them that deny us the possibility of this comfort, the particular certainty of Faith: for herein they kill the very life of Faith (which indeed is comfort) they make so deadly a wound therein, that all their Pardons, and Indulgences, Satisfactions, and Merits can never recover, and heale it up a­gain.

And with certainty here is also generality (all we.)

But may some say, if so, what needs then care, or [Page 193]labour for certainty? for if all receive, then there is no doubt to any.

The word (all) may be taken either at the largest, or in a restrained and limited sense. If we take it at the largest, that all have received, then we must distin­guish upon their receiving (to wit) that all do receive and partake of Christ outwardly in respect of the ear, and the outward calling, No doubt their sound went out into all the earth, and their words into the ends of the world, Rom. 10.18. The Gospel shall be preached throughout all the world, Mat. 24.14. And so that may be taken, 2 Tim. 2.4. God will that all men shall be saved, namely, by his revealed will, he gives the precept, the command, the outward calling unto all.

Whereby we may see that Christ is sufficient for all, and there is no defect in the receipt, but in the recei­vers: And if we will put off the defect from our selves to God, because he gives not the inward as well as the outward calling, the effect as well as the offer, why here is his clearing, Eccl. 7.29. God made man righte­ous, but they have sought out many inventions. He made us, he is not bound to new-make us, he gave grace, he is not bound to restore it: If we had been all left in Adams perishing without any measure of mercy, yet God should be justified and clear, when, or howsoever we should presume to judge him.

But here (no doubt) the Text speaketh of the effe­ctuall receipt of Grace, and therefore the word (all) must be restrained, and limited. And that St. Augu­stine doth in his Enchirid. ad Laur. speaking of that 2 Tim. 2.4. And he restraineth it doubly. First, God will have all to be saved, that is (saith he) all that are saved God will have to be saved, and none are saved without, or against his will. And so it may bee here taken. All that doe receive Grace doe receive it of [Page 194]Christs fulnesse, there is no other fountain, pipe, or stream, from, or by which it floweth: He is fons per­ennis, a living, lasting spring: Labitur & labetur in omne volubilis aevum, his running hath been and shall be from the beginning to the end of theworld. For he was that lambe slain from the beginning of of the world, Rev. 13.8. whose goings forth have been from the beginning and from everlasting Mic. 5.2.

No doubt then that Doctrine is but a dotage and a meer fancy that affirmeth Christ to have been in­sufficient to the Fathers and Patriarks, and other faith­full before him; in this point, namely, that they could not be admitted into Gods presence and into the full­nesse of joy, before Christ was actually offered, and his sacrifice accomplished, but were kept in limbo, in a place of banishment: This I say must needs be a fancy: For seeing all have received Christ, even they as well as we, as it is plain, 1 Cor. 11.3. They did all eat the same spirituall meat, they did all drink the same spiri­tuall drink, for they drank of that spirituall Rock that followed them, and that Rock, was Christ, there­fore no doubt they had the same end and issue and be­nefit of their faith as we have, even the salvation of their souls, and that in present fulnesse of joy immedi­ately after their dissolution, and not so tedious a ba­nishment, and so long as some of their deaths were be­before Christ.

The other restraint and exposition of Saint Au­gustine is, that the word (All) must be taken for all sorts of conditions, sexes and ages, states and degrees. And this is the common received construction, that the word (all) in such speaking is to be taken, non pro singulis generum, sed pro generibus singulorum, not for every of all kinds, but for some of every kind; [Page 195]for there is no respect of persons with God: he made all, and he disposeth of all, he made all: It is he that hath made us, and not we our selves: Ps. 100. He dis­poseth of all, The Lord maketh poor and maketh rich. 1 Sam. 2.7. And as at first in the creation he found no fault with his works, but all was very good, Gen. 1. so still in his providence he hath no fault to find but all is good, therefore doth he despise the work of his hands in neither kind, but he that is Lord over all, is rich unto all, Ro. 10.12.

This may humble us, this may comfort us, this may unite us.

1. This may humble us: for God makes no diffe­rence of us in the best things; let not us therefore be proud of our difference in the worst things. God will have differences and degrees in his Church militant for orders sake (for he is the God of order, not of confusion) yea in his triumphant Church too (no doubt) degrees of glory: For one Starre differeth from another Star in glory, so is the resurrection of the dead. 1 Cor. 15. Let not then this order make disor­der, presuming in superiors, murmuring in inferiors; there it cannot be because of their fulnesse, for every one is filled alike because he is fulfilled, their filling is alike, though their measures differ; And here it should not be because of our emptinesse, we are alike empty of grace by nature, till God affords us severall degrees of filling. And if we will boast of worldly full­nesse, how little cause have we to be proud of it, when as here we see the stream of grace runs alike to all sorts and degrees?

2. This also may comfort us, that this stream run­eth unto all, for therefore it cannot fail to us, neither can we fail to it.

It cannot fail to us by length or largenesse of run­ning [Page 196]the spring is the same how many soever do drink of the stream: we cannot faile to it, by our high or low being, for it finds out all estates, it runs unto all. Despair not therefore on Gods part, his Fountain cannot be drawn dry: despair not on thine own part, for (whosoever thou art) thou art not de­barred the stream of grace: this comfort aboundeth whatsoever faileth, all sorts partake of grace, it run­neth unto all: All we have received.

3. Thirdly, this may unite us: why? God doth equall us in the best things, his grace runneth unto all: what stronger bond can there be of union? Have we not all one Father? why do we transgresse every one against his brother? Mal. 2.10. Endeavour to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, there is one body and one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all, Eph. 4.3. And so much of the second generall part of the text, viz. the stream. All we have received.

The third and last generall part is the bankes, And grace for grace. Every Fountain hath a stream, every stream hath its banks: therefore the Evangelist here sheweth not onely the Fountain from whence, and the stream how, but also bankes and bounds, how farre forth, and in what measure grace doth flow: And grace for grace.

Some will have it taken prorata portione: that there is a proportion of grace in us answerable to that in Christ; Namely, that he imparteth to his Church every of his graces, because Christ is the head, and the Church is the body, and caput in membra redundat, between the head and the body there is communion of influence, and can be no stoppage: And so (grace for grace) is, that we have a grace in us, for every grace [Page 197]grace that is in Christ, and so that we also have our fulnesse answerable to his: And so indeed the Church is called his body, the fullnesse of him that filleth all in all. Eph. 1.23. So that then this is true, (being tru­ly taken, and rightly understood, the banks observed, our measure kept) Christ communicateth unto us whatsoever he hath, even grace for grace, his fulnesse becomes ours; And that is not onely by way of impu­tation, he is made unto us wisdome and righteousnesse; and sanctification and redemption, 1 Cor. 1.30. but by the way of influence and participation, because as he is, even so are we in this world, 1 Jo. 4.17.

But his fulnesse is ours onely according to our mea­sures proportionable to our capacity: In us it is ple­nitudo sufficiens, sufficient to every man for his own salvation. The just shall live by his faith, Heb. 2.4. by this, that is, his own faith. But in him it is pleni­tudo superabundans, fullnesse abounding to others sal­vation, the precious oyntment upon our Aarons (our high priests) head, runneth down to his beard, and to the skirts of his clothing, to all his parts and mem­bers. In us it is plenitudo vafis vessell-fullnesse, we have this treasure in earthen vessells, 2 Cor. 4. but in him it is plenitudo fontis, fountain-fullnesse, They have forsaken me the fountain of living waters. Jer. 2.13. In us it is plenitudo comparata, compared-fullnesse, re­spective to each subject, or continent. My grace is suffi­cient for thee. 2 Cor. 12 9. But in him it is plenitudo absoluta, absolute fullnesse, without all respect or mea­sure, for God giveth not the spirit by measure to him, Jo. 3.34. In a word, there is plenitudo apta, plenitu­do aequa, plenitudo superfluens, an apt, an equall, and an overflowing fulnesse.

1. An apt fulnesse: as when a house, or Town, or Country is said to be full of people, meaning well [Page 198]filled, aptly or competently full: So the house of Baal was said to be full from one end to the other, 2 Kings 10. and yet Jehu bad his 80. men go in and slay them: It was full then, and yet there was room for 80. more: Such is our fulnesse here in this life, we are aptly and competently filled with grace, so much as may suffice us, but so as there is stil room for more, more may come in: for we must still grow in grace. 2 Pet 3. And mul­tiply graces, faith vertue, knowledge, temperance, pa­tience, godlinesse, brotherly kindnesse, love: 2 Pet 1. And this is like the Israelites gathering of Manna in the desert of sin: He that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack, every man gathered according to his eating: Exo. 16. God gave them their portion competent for naturall life, and so he doth give us our portion competent to each for spirituall life: none of the elect hath too much, none too little, but every one sufficient, just enough to serve his turn.

2. There is plenitudo aequa, an equall fulnesse, as when a vessell is so top-full that there is nihil vacuum, no part of it is empty, no room for more. So were the waterpots filled up to the brim, Jo. 2. so full that they could hold no more. And this is proper to the Saints in Heaven: In thy presence is the fulnesse of joy, Ps. 16. they are top full and have no more room for grace, their measure is fulfilled.

3. Thirdly, there is plenitudo superfluens, an over­flowing fulnesse: such was that of the widowes pot of oyle that never ceased running so long as there were any empty vessells to receive it: And this is Christs fountain, the stream wherof floweth unto all: Of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. So th [...]n we receive grace for grace with Christ, an answe­rablenesse of his graces, proportion of his fulnesse: [Page 199]how? to our competency and sufficiency: And there­fore it must needs be a doctrine of devills to teach that a man may fall away from saving grace and justifying faith, and be broken off from Christ: No, no, Christ hath warranted his sheep shall never perish, Jo. 10.28. And that the gates of Hell shall not prevail a­gainst his Church, Mat. 16.18. They went out from us 1 Jo. 2. (saith St. John) but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us: Our portion (we may say) is according to his: (grace for grace) yet not in equality to him, but in sufficiency to us, so that it cannot fail us.

But Chrysostome and Theophylact, and others will have Grace for grace here to be the grace of the new Testament for the grace of the old: so that (for) should signifie (in stead of) And understanding grace for grace to signifie the Gospell in stead of the Law: And this they gather out of the next words, because it followeth, for the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth come by Jesus Christ.

And this also wanteth not ground nor truth. For indeed the Law was grace, for it was given by Moses, gratis ergo gratia; free given, and therefore free grace: For was it not grace that God should covenant with man? that the Creator should in any sort or upon any termes or conditions oblige himself unto his creature? So then the very killing letter of the Law, the very covenant of works was grace. 2 Cor. 3.6. It was gra­tia illustrans or illuminans, a glasse to shew us what once we were, and what still we should be: It was gratia stimulans, a goading or spurring grace, to set us on to good: It was gratia franans, or restringens, a curbing grace to restrain us from evill: But in all this it was but gratia jubens, it was not gratia adjuvans; [Page 200]It was but a commanding, it was not an assisting grace, and so indeed but a very killing grace, the ve­ry inditement whereby we stood all condemned; For it was that every mouth might be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God; for by the Law is the knowledge of sin, Ro. 3.19, 20.

Therefore God was not content with the gift of this grace, but out of his fulnesse he streameth another: the Covenant of faith for the Covenant of works: So God loved the world, that he gave his onely begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in him him should not perish, but have everlasting life, Jo. 3.16. Hee taketh away the first, that he may establish the second, Heb. 10.9. Taketh it away? how? not the body of it, but the raile of it; not the strength of it, but the sting, not the blood, but the penalty, not the observation, but the condemnation; Christ hath redeemed us (not simply from the Law, but) from the curse of the Law. Gal. 3.13. so only we are said not to be under the Law, but under grace. Rom. 6.4.

What then? Saint Paul's use may be here applyed, Gal. 5.1. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not intangled again with the yoke of bondage: he hath freed us from the Covenant of penalty, let us not stick still to the Covenant of recompence; we are brought from the one, let us therefore renounce the other, as Saint Paul doth. Phil. 3.7. Those things which are advan­tage to me, the same I accounted losse for Christs sake, &c. that I may win Christ and be found in him, not ha­ving mine own right cousnesse which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righte­ousnesse which is of God by faith. For Dei justitiam ig­norantes, & suam constituere volentes, non nomine qui­dem, sed errore Judaizant, saith St. Augustin (Aug. [Page 201]Ep. 200.) they that are ignorant of Gods righteousness, and do set up their own, do play the Jews, though not in name, yet in error.

But Saint Augustin is the best measurer and de­terminer of these bankes, he will have it to be, not grace for (that is, according to) grace in proportion and correspondencie, as in my first exposition: Nor grace for, that is instead of grace, or by way of exchange, according to my second exposition: but grace for, that is is in rewand of grace, one grace to crown another: so he saith, Deus dona misericordiae suae coronat, God doth crown his own gifts of mercy, one grace with a­nother: so it comes to passe that we have the grace of glory in reward for the grace of faith: Ipsa fides gra­tia est, & vita aeterna gratia est pro gratia. saith he, Aug. in Jo. 1.16. Faith is grace, and life eternall is grace for grace. And to this acute Gorran consenteth, Gratia retributionis pro gratia justificationis, gratia patriae pro gratia viae: And this indeed is the strongest bank of our stream, even as the sea bank, a bound which our greatest waters may not passe: Hitherto may we come and no further, and here our proud waves must stay. Job 38.11. we can boast no further, for Qui tibi enumerat merita sua, Aug: conf. li. 9. ca. 13.quid tibi enumerat nisi muneratua? he that tells of his merits, what doth he tell but Gods gifts saith Saint Augustine. And Saint Bernard con­fesseth, Ser. 1. in Annun. merit a omnia Dei dona sunt, & it a homo propter ipsa Deo debitor est, non Deus ho­mini: Our merits are Gods gifts, which do make us in debt to him, not him to us. And to this exposition that place agreeth well, Rom. 8.29. whom he knew before, them he predestinated, whom he predestinated, them he called, whom he called, them he justifyed, [Page 202]whom he justifyed them he glorifyed. Here is no rea­son or cause of our calling, but Gods predestinating us: no reason of our justifying but his calling us: no reason of our glorifying, but onely his justifying us, he doth the one because he hath done the other, hee proceedeth from grace to grace, still crowning his own gifts. So that indeed grace is both Fountain and Stream and bank unto it self, God is both the author and finisher of our faith, Heb. 12.2. all the degrees of our happinesse from first to last, all is grace; our electi­on is grace, He hath predestinated us according to the good pleasure of his will, Eph. 1.5. Our vocation is grace. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth. Ja. 1.18. Our justification is grace. We are justifyed freely by his grace, Rom. 3.24. Our glori­fication is grace. Eternall life is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. 6. So that wee can find no other bank or limit whereby to bound this stream, but even it self.

In the measuring of bankes there must needs be ta­ken longum, latum & profundum, length and breadth, depth and height: And so indeed here in this there is length, for it reacheth from the beginning to the end: there is bredth, for it overspreadeth all the world: there is depth, for it extendeth from heaven to earth: But with what line or plumet shall we measure or take these dimensions? hear Saint Paul Eph. 3.18. when he had prayed for the Ephesians that they might be a­ble to comprehend what is the bredth and length and depth and height, he addeth as the sum of all, what? And to know the love of Christ: so that there is no measure of Gods love, but his love, no cause, rule, or reason of his will, but his will, He hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, Rom. 9.15. he loved Israel, one­ly [Page 203]because he loved them, Deut. 7.7.

Talke not then of universall grace, or power of will in all men to repent and believe, to begin, to hold, and to break at their pleasure: Talk not of inherent grace of our own, which doth gratum facere, that our own righteousnesse doth make us accepted, and hath part in the work of our justification: Away with all such conceipts, for we see here the current of grace runns as it were within it self: It is grace in beginning, and grace in proceeding, and grace in concluding, Gods will and work still and not our own.

It begins no small measure, the seed of the word, the first fruits of the spirit, but at length pro ripis littorae pulsat, It becomes an unmeasurable Sea, which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor can enter into the heart of man: Wherefore let us resolve here to set up our rest, saying with David, This shall be my rest for ever, here will I dwell, for I have a delight therein. Ps. 132. And seeing we cannot search or measure this fountain, this stream, these banks (for the love of Christ passeth knowledge, Eph. 3.19. Aristoteles non capit Euripum, Euripus capiet Aristotelem.) let us cast our selves wholly into it: seeing in following this stream of grace we are come to the Sea of glory; now in our meditation, let us rest and dwell therein constantly by our contemplation, un­till our souls (be loosed from these bonds of flesh) be carried with full wind and tide into the full fruition and eternall possession thereof. Which the Lord grant to us all, &c.

Finis Tract. 5.

Trino-uni gloria.

THere is a sermon set forth in print upon this same last text, Jo. 1.16. preached by that learned and reverend Divine Mr. Dr. Preston: which Sermon (God knowes) I never saw or heard of till long after this was finished: Neither am I any whit the more asham'd of this, notwith­standing in some few things we have met, and hit on the same or very like notes or touches.


Three SERMONS here set forth in one continued Tract or discourse upon Act. 2. ver. 1, 2.3.

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place: and suddenly there came a sound from Heaven, &c.’

WHatsoever is difficult and hard to be un­derstood and apprehended, the same is more hard to be expressed and utte­red: For the apprehension of things is the soules immediate work, she doth it her self: therefore therein she is more full and free. But the expression of things is her secondary and me­diate work, wrought by Organs, Instruments and meanes: therefore therein she must needs be more scant and weak. Tusc. quest. li: 1. Therefore Cicero (a free and fluent speaker) saith, Fieri ante potest ut recte quis sentiat, & id quod sentit po­lite eloqui non possit. A quick apprehension may be weak in expression; Now there is not any thing, no not the things that are most common and familiar to us, that do not yeeld some difficulty and hardnesse to be understood, and more to be uttered: Thine owne things, and such as are grown up with thee canst thou not know, saith the Angell to Esdras, concerning the [Page 206]wind and the fire and the day, 2 Esd. 4.10. For even in the creature the Creator hath so involved himselfe, that we cannot look readily upon those visible things, but our eyes must needs be dazeled with his invisibili­ty. And if the Sun-beams be so resplendent, what eye then can behold the body of the Sun it self? If the na­ture of the creature be so unsearchable, how shall wee be able to think of him who is the Creator of all? And if to think be so transcendent, how much more to speak rightly of him is it impossible? Wherefore Cor­nelius Mussus calleth it, Concio. in ser. 2. Pent. Antiquum & à maximis theologis celebratum adagium, an old and common adage amongst the greatest Divines, what? De deo dicere verum periculo­sum: To speak truth of God is a dangerous thing. And if this be true, indefinitely taken and in generall, how much more specially and in particular? Namely, con­cerning his personality? And if of the Trinity abso­lutely it may astonish us to think or speak, how much more respectively of this third person? For if that mystery of Father and Son be so ineffable and above relation, that the Prophet saith, Who shall declare this generation, Is. 53.8. Notwithstanding wee have the words begetting and being begotten, to help to ex­presse it, doth not the being of the Holy Ghost seeme more incomprehensible, seeing neither to be made, created, nor begotten, belongeth unto him but to pro­ceed? It may so seem, but in it self it cannot so be. For we may say there are three who are incomprehensible, the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost) but not three incomprehensibles, but one incomprehensible: there­fore not different in degree. We may not through our infirmity, tax God of infirmity, to make him subject to magis & minus: as if one person were greater or lesse then another, for they are Coeternall together and Coequal.

Be it so then: In themselves they are and must be one; and yet (unto us) I may presume with reverence to say this revelation of the third per­son is the speciall revelation, This feast con­tinued after Christ. 1 Cor. 16.8. Act. 20.16. at least suffered, and morals sur­vive Ceremo­nies. and this feast of Pentecost, the speciall feast of the Church.

First it it is the speciall reveration: For wee could not be able to be­hold that ilustrious mystery of the Trinity but by the inlightning help of this third person. That is the body of the Son, this the speciall beam to guide us thereunto. Or rather (If I may dare so to spaek, for fearfull ye see it is to speak herein) the speciall mean or medium through which we may look thereon. I say especiall, not in re­gard of God, in whom there is no difference, but in respect of us, to whom his works do differ. Especially then, (to us) the revelation of the Trinity is perfect­ed in and by this third person, the Holy Ghost.

First in him: for without him there were not a Tri­nity: God in revealing him hath fully revealed him­self. The Father was revealed by the Creation, the Son by the Incarnation: but till this fulnesse of time came, God to us was not fully come. For now and not before did his servants receive his full name in their foreheads, being baptised in the name of the Fa­ther, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. And now (be­ing made known to be [...] his triple unity revealed [...] by way of speciall excellencie) he is become to us a King, and we to him a Kingdom: For now especially hee hath vouchsafed to specifie his Church by the name of his Kingdome. Mat. 11. Hee that is least in the Kingdome of God: that is in the state of his Church, after this third revealing of him­self. This is the compleat mystery of godlinesse, God [Page 208]is manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit. 1 Tim. 3.16.

And as In him, so also By him (to us) is the Tri­nity especially perfected: For this God of order all­waies observeth order, as ad intra, in his personall proprieties, so ad extra, in his outward works: The Father creating, the Son redeeming, the Holy Ghost sanctifying. And what had the former two works been without this third? The Son of God had his two-fold marriage: one personall with his flesh, the other mysticall with his Church: and in each, the Father was the Donor & the Son the Receiver: there wanted not Bride or Bridegoom, or giver: But who could be worthy to be the minister in these holy conjunctions? None but the Holy Ghost: He was the Minister in the personall marriage: For the word was made flesh: but how? he was conceived of the Holy Ghost: Concei­ved: the flesh supernaturally formed, the Word hy­postatically united. And in the mysticall marriage likewise he is the Minister. For if any man have not the spirit of Christ, the same is none of his: But as many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the Sons of God: For this is that spirit of adoption by whom we cry Abba Father: Rom. 8. He worketh the applica­tion of Christ unto us by faith, and of us unto Christ by love, and so is that marriage made. The father is our Physitian, the Son our Physick: But the Holy Ghost is that blessed Apothecary, which applyeth of this salve to every sore, and administreth portions of this portion, distributing to every one severally e­ven as he will. 1 Cor. 12.11. The Father was the sa­crificer, the Son the Sacrifice, but where was the fire? Wis. 16. This charitas Dei, this loving spirit, this love of God, Tit. 3.4. or rather this God Love (for God is love 1 Jo. 4.8.) was that heavenly fire wherein this [Page 209]sacrifice was finished: For God so loved the world that he gave his onely begotten Son, Jo. 3.16. And through the eternall spirit Christ offered himself with­out spot to God, Heb. 9.14. The Son is the arme, the Holy Ghost is the hand: the Father the body from which they issue, or are derived: And as in the body naturall, the eye cannot say to the hand I have no need of thee, 1 Cor. 12. Yea the feeble members are so ne­cessary, that to the lesse honorable members we give more abundant honor, so in this body of bodies, this fountain of beings (the holy deity) the plurality of persons is no waies needlesse, but their perfection consisteth, not lesse in their Trinity, then in their un­ty. And lest we should think the Holy Ghost (because he is the third in order) to be the third in honor, be­hold what abundant honor we are to give him: The arm and hand work together, and at once with the body, and in and with the same strength: yet the per­fection, and consequently the honor of the work, more immediately belongeth to the arme, and most immediately to the hand. This Holy Ghost is the holy hand of God, by which all the works of God are to us most immediately perfected. With a mighty hand a stretched out arm, he brought his Israel out of cor­porall bondage: And with that stretched arme, the redemption of the Sonne, and this mighty hand, the operation of the Holy Ghost, he bringeth his Israel out of spirituall bondage. I cannot shew you all the fingers of this hand, for they abound, yet not super­fluously like that monstrous creature, who had six up­on each hand, 2 Sam. 21. but richly as it becometh the Creator, (being Lord of all) to be rich unto all: Let it suffice that some of these fingers are expressed in the Scriptures. Exo. 8.19. Pharaohs inchanters spake concerning the plague of lice, This is the finger of God: [Page 210]there is medius, the strong finger of Power: Exo. 31. Moses received the two Tables written with the finger of God: there is Index, the pointing finger of wisdom, Lu. 11.20. Christ saith, If I by the finger of God cast out Devills: there is medicus, the healing finger of mercy. These are not those writing fingers in Belsha­zars vision, Dan. 5. they write no fearfull inditement: but they are those dropping fingers, Can. 5. which droppe down pure myrrhe, blessed distillations of grace and mercie, to blot out the old handwriting that was against us. Yea, this hand enableth them on whom it resteth, to prevail with God by holy wrastling, as Jacob did, Gen. 32.28. and to make violent entry by force into the Kingdom of Heaven, Mat. 11.12. No marvell that Christ saith, It is expedient for you that I go away, Joh. 16.7. Why? that the third person might take his course and turn: that God unto us­ward might be perfected. In him, in respect of revela­tion. By him, in respect of application and ope­ration.

Again, this feast of the comming and appearing of the Holy Ghost, is to us the feast of feasts, the speciall feast. We may compare it, yea, (with reverence be it spoken) we may preferre it to the feast of the Nativi­ty, in the former respects: Namely in our own behalf, this being the consummation of that unto us, the Ca­tastrophe, the last scene of that divine act of the blessed Trinity: In that feast God (unchanged in himself) de­scended unto man: In this man changed and renewed from himself, is lifted up unto God. In that, God be­came partaker of the humane nature, in this, man is made partaker of the divine nature. In that, one man was made the Temple of God: 1 Cor. 6.19. in this every one of the faithfull, is made so feverally, and all-together jointly Eph. 2.21. That was begun secretly [Page 211]in the Virgins womb, and accomplished obscurely in a stable: This was done openly and publickly, at a great feast, and a solemn assembly. In a word, as the be­ginning without the end were vain, so the end would not be without the beginning: Therefore let no man put asunder that which God hath joyned together: Yet exitus acta probat, unto us the end and consummati­on is all in all.

Be it so then: and let Saint Bernards player teach us the use of it, Ser. 3. in Pent. (that I follow it not fur­ther:) Solemnitatem praecipuam hodie celebramus, utinam devotione praecipua. Wee celebrate a speciall feast to day, God grant we do it with speciall devo­tion: that God having now given himself wholly to us, we may also give our selves fully and wholly unto him: That, that which was the true successe of this feast in the Apostles (though wrongfully objected) may be verifyed in us: What? They are full of wine. Act. 2.13. Jam enim fuerat magnus ille bo­trus calcatus. Aug. Ser. 2. in 2. fer. Pent. & in Ps. 63.8. This is that wine that floweth from that heavenly Vine the Son of God: I am the true vine Joh. 15.1. He is the true Vine, and this is the true wine, even which truly maketh glad the heart of man. It is the true Vine, and it is the new wine, whereof that old bottle (the Jewish Synagogue) was not capable: With this holy wine (the influence and affluence or rather the superfluence of the holy spirit) were the Apostles drunken: and so should we endeavour to be. God hath fulfilled his promise, Inebriabuntur (as the vulgar hath it) they shall be drunken, or abundant­ly filled with the plenteousnesse of thy house, and thou shalt give them drink of thy pleasures, as out of the River, Ps. 36.8. It behooveth us then to fulfill this pre­cept, Comedite amici, bibite & inebriamini charissi­mi: [Page 212]Eat O friends, drink and be drunken, O well be­loved, Can 5.1. Drink and be drunken? how? Be not drunken with wine wherein is excesse (saith the Apostle, Eph. 5.18. but be ye filled with the spirit: I may adde wherein is no excesse. No excesse? No: for Amoris in Deum modus sine modo sit: the measure of our love to God must be without measure. Rise up early therefore to follow this drunkennesse, and continue till night, till this wine doth inflame thee. Is. 5. Be mighty to drink this wine, be strong to powre in this strong drink: Look upon this wine, because it is red and sheweth its colour in the cuppe, and goeth down pleasantly. For Quicquid boni in malo falso quaeritur, in Deo vere reperitur. Aug. co. li. 2 ca. 6. What good soever men falsely seek in sinne, in God it is truly to be found. Here your Carowses will be true healths; health of soul, eternall health, and that both to the giver and to the taker; and therefore the more it is used, the more tru­ly it will prove you to be true good-fellowes. Suck therefore, and soak your selves in this Divine Wine­cellar of grace: by invocation, by gratulation, by con­templation, by all holy devotion, untill the signes of true spirituall drunkennesse do appear in you: For it hath also its signes: and though they be supernaturall, yet may they go under naturall names; and namely these: Vomiting, stammering, reeling.

1. Vomiting, for there is a holy vomiting belong­eth to this heavenly drunkennesse. Namely of sin: For if thou eat at the table of the evill man, thou shalt vo­mit thy morsells, saith Solomon, Pro. 23.8. And that we all doe: In many things we sin all. And this surfet is so strong, that a little portion of this heavenly wine of grace, a little measure of this holy drunkennesse, will quickly turn our stomacks and set us a vomiting: By confession, by contrition, by reformation, by [Page 213]restitution (which implyeth all the rest.) So Zachee, when that heavenly Vine, the Son of God, had drop't a little of this his juice into him, he presently fell into this happy fit: Behold Lord the half of my goods I give to the poor, and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. Lu. 19.8. And if thou take not this spirituall, then beware of that naturall vomit, which ariseth from the surfet it self, for that is a bursting one, as that of Judas, which proceeding, not from this divine, but from his natu­rall, or rather from the infernall spirit, made him o­verstrain himself, and burst asunder in the midst, Act. 1.18.

Secondly, the stammering, or faultering, or idle talk­ing, or failing of the tongue, is a necessary token of our spirituall drunkennesse: And it is shewed some­times in fear, sometimes in joy, sometimes in ferven­cie of zeale. Sometimes in fear; as in Hezekiah. Like a Crane or a swallow, so did I chatter Is. 38.14. Sometime in joy, as in St. Peter Master (saith he) let us make here three Tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias; And wist not what he said. Lu. 9. Sometimes in fervencie of zeale: As in Moses, first making a stoppe to his words. If thou wilt pardon their sinne: and then a greater stop to himself, but if thou wilt not, I pray thee-raze me out of the book which thou hast written, Exo. 32.32. Such another kind of holy idle talking was that of St. Paul, Rom. 9.3. Pro Christo velle anathema esse a Christo: wish­ing for Christs sake to be separated from Christ: I could wish my selfe (saith he) to be separated from Christ for my brethren. And no marvell that this di­vers failing of the tongue should appear in our spiritu­all drunkennesse, for St. Paul (ravished in the spirit) heard, (conceived, apprehended) [...] un­speakable [Page 214]words not possible to be uttered, 2 Cor. 12.4. And the spirit maketh request (as for us, so no doubt in us) gemitibus ineffabilibus, with sighs and groans which cannot be expressed, Rom. 8.26.

3. A third token to be shewed of our spirituall drunkenness, is Reeling; not of the body, but of the mind: when between grace and nature, yea between grace and grace, the love of God and of our neigh­bour, we cannot go stedfastly without reeling; some­times to heaven-ward, sometimes to earth-ward; sometimes to our own advantage, sometimes to our masters and fellows advantage: sometimes wishing our work were done, that we might receive our re­ward, sometimes (for the greatness of the reward) re­joycing in the doing and continuing of our work. Such a reeling was St. Paul possest withall Phil. 1. being in a strait between two, and not knowing what to choose; desiring to depart, and to be with Christ which is far better, yet having confidence to abide and con­tinue for the good of his people. They that sail at sea are subject to reeling: but how? Not unlesse the winds doe blow; in the calm they feel it not; for at his word the stormy wind ariseth, which lifteth up the waves thereof; then they are carried up to the heaven, and down again to the deep, they reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits end. This world is our sea, and we are all sailers in it: And so long as we are becalm'd of grace, we feel no reeling, but we are as one that sleepeth in the midst of the sea, like him that sleepeth on the top of the mast, Prov. 23. But when that holy wind doth blow, then we are up and down, we know not whether heaven or earth should hold us.

All this while I have but stood at the door of my Text; and no marvail that I have stood so long, ha­ving [Page 215]so glorious a fabrick to behold: Now let us re­verently enter, as into the house of God: For we may truly use Jacobs words here, and say, This is none o­ther but the house of God, and this is the gatef hea­ven, Gen. 28.17.

Two things we may especially observe in the Text; the matter, and the manner; the substance, and the circumstance of the businesse here related.

The matter and substance is the coming and appea­ring of the Holy Ghost in sensible forms. The circum­stance is manifold, chiefly it may be referred to the time when, and the persons to whom this apparition was made. With these points of the circumstance I will begin so to make way to the substance of the mat­ter, which is the larger and weighter point and part. First then for the time: And when the day of Pente­cost was fully come.

This day (as it is commonly held) was the day of the publishing the Law upon Mount Smai: In memo­ry whereof the Jews kept a solemn feast which they commonly called The feast of weeks, Deut. 16.10. It got also this name Pentecost, because of the number of fifty; being fifty daies after their Pascha: the fiftieth day after their coming out of Egypt they received the Law, and that day they kept this holy feast in remem­brance thereof. And this day was the fiftieth after Christs resurrection: For it is plain that Christ suf­fered on the Jews preparation day of their Passeover, and that the Passeover that year fell on the Sabbath, which is therefore called An high day, or the great Sabbath, Joh. 19.31. and that they reckoned their fifty daies from the first of, or after the Sabbath, Lev. 23.11, 15. which was Christs rising day, the first day of their week. So then this Pentecost was the fiftieth day from their Passeover exclusively, and the fiftieth from [Page 216]Christs resurrection inclusively. What then?

Behold the truth answerable to the figure; that shaddow fulfilled in this substance. As on the fiftieth day after their Passeover, and their deliverance from corporall bondage under Pharoah, they received Le­gem timoris, the Law of fear upon Mount Sinai, so on the fiftieth after day the accomplishment of our Passe­over (the Lamb of God slain and risen) and our deli­verance from the spirituall bondage under Satan, we received Legem amoris, the Law of love upon Mount Sion: For Christ also is a Law-giver, even the giver of a new Law, as he himself speaketh Joh. 13.34. A new commandement give I you: What? That ye love one another. Which yet is not a new, or another Law, but the fulfilling, and consummation of the old. Love is the fulfilling of the Law, Rom. 13.10. The end of the commandement is love, 1 Tim. 1.5. This Law was given when the Holy Ghost was given: For, the fruit of the spirit is love, Gal. 5.22. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the holy Ghost, Rom. 5.5. God hath not given us the spirit of fear but of love, 2 Tim. 1.7. This is that Law of liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, Gal. 5.1. Free in regard of the out­ward man, because the inner man is accepted: In my mind I serve the law of God, though in my flesh the law of sin, Rom. 7.25. Free; not in the tie of obedi­ence which is still upon us, but in the tax of disobedi­ence (that is punishment) which he hath taken from us: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made, a curse for us, Gal. 3.13.

Well then brethren, ye see your calling; the sum of all is love; Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart; love thy neighbour as thy self: the sincerity of the in­side, Truth in the inward parts, Psal. 51.6. For he is an Israelite indeed in whom there is no guile, Joh. 3. [Page 217]47. Truth of heart supplyeth defect of hand; for, ye are called into liberty, Gal. 5.13. The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath freed us from the law of sin and death, Rom. 8.2. And where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, 2 Cor. 3.17. Stand fast therefore in this liberty of love, Gal. 5.1. As free, and not ha­ving the liberty for a cloak of malitiousness, but as the servants of God, 1 Pet 2. Not usin your liberty as an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another, Gal. 5 13. For indeed Love is the bond of perfectness, Col. 3.14. binding not onely us one to another (for, the unity of the spirit is in the bond of peace, Eph. 4.3.) but binding us unto God, and God unto us: For, he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him, 1 Joh. 4.16. and that not for a time, but for ever: For this Law is not written with ink, or in tables of stone corruptibly, but in fleshly tables of the heart, yea in the immortall table of the soul incorruptibly: For though tongues cease, or knowledge vanish away, yet love never falleth away, 1 Cor. 13. Now abideth Faith, Hope, Love, but the chief of these is Love: For Faith apprehendeth the promise, hope attendeth the matter, but Love sealeth and assureth, confirmeth and streng­theneth both.

Again; this coming of the Holy Ghost was the fif­tieth day after Christs Resurrection, and therefore the tenth day after his Ascension; for he ascended not till the fortieth day, Act. 1.3. and then he made his last promise of this which he now performed; Ye shall be baptised with the holy Ghost not many daies hence. Act. 1.5. He deferred it till the tenth day, and on the tenth day he fulfilled it.

He deferred it till the tenth day, that they might be exercised with expectation, and whetted with delay: For Gods delaies are nothing else but whettings: His [Page 218]delay of judgements to the wicked is a whetting of his anger: For, if a man will not turn, he will whet his sword, Psal. 7.13. Yea, he will fourbish it that it may consume, Ezek. 21.28. But his delay of grace to his children is a whetting to their zeal: For the Physitian by restraint of dyet gaineth stomack, health, and strength unto his patient: And God (who best know­eth what is best for us) by denying, or by deferring grace, oftentimes gives grace unto his children. Else why did not St. Pauls threefold petition prevaile for his deliverance from that buffeting messenger of Sa­tan, but that he might receive a sufficiency of grace to strengthen him? 2 Cor. 12. And else why did the pray­er of the woman of Canaan suffer likewise a threefold repulse? but even to whet her importunity and con­stancy, that at the last she might receive that acclama­tion, O woman, great is thy faith, Mat. 15.28.

Again, as untill the tenth day, so no longer then the tenth day did Christ defer his promise, but on that day he did fulfill it: for, God is not slack, as some men count slackness, 2 Pet. 3.9. Not so slack as to forget his promise: Hath he said, and shall he not doe it? hath he spoken, and shall he not accomplish it? Numb. 23.19. No, but heaven and earth shall sooner passe away, Patientia est non negligentia. Aug. de ver. ap. ser. 20. then one jot or tittle of his word shall fail. He is slow to anger, and long suffering to the wicked, to exercise his own patience. Hee may be also slow in comforting and rewarding his chil­dren, that he may exercise their patience: He may be long sometimes, but he is alwaies true, sure, and certain in his longest delay. Fear and tremble therefore thou that art forborn in sinne, thou doest but heap up wrath against the day of wrath. God hath leaden feet, but iron hands: he is slow to punish, but severe in punish­ing. [Page 219]But be not afraid in the day of grace and mercy: for, blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righ­teousness; for they shall be satisfied, Mat. 5.6. He that hath begun this good work in you will perform it, Phil. 1.6. In due season ye shall reap, if ye faint not, Gal. 16.9.

But the especiall cause (no doubt) for this time ta­ken for this great matter (the coming of the holy Ghost) was, because of the greatness of the feast, and muchness of the assembly; to the intent that the grea­ter good might be done, and with the greater speed. This was Christs common practise; he was born in private, and so indeed he lived for a while; but when his time of revealing himself was come, he frequented the solemnest assemblies, and thrust himself into the thickest throngs. What feast was there which he went not unto? Ye will say he went not up openly but pri­vately to the Jews feast of Tabernacles, Joh. 7.10. True, yet not with intent to hide, but to proclaim himself there; for, when half the feast was done, he went up into the temple and taught, ver. 14. And in the last, and great day of the Feast he stood and cryed, saying, If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink, ver. 37. He suffered at the feast of Passeover, and had his title written over him in three languages for publick notice sake. He sent the gift of the holy Ghost at the feast of Pentecost, one of the three solemn feasts of the year, when all the males must appear before the Lord, Exod. 23.17. that his Gospel might be suddenly, and largely spread. Thus Wisdom cryeth without, and uttereth her voice in the streets, Prov. 1.20. The Wis­dom, the Word, the Son of God taketh all occasions to gather many unto him, and to do publick good.

Let not this love then want acceptance, neither let his example want observance; let not his love want acceptance, but as he freely calleth, so let us freely come [Page 220]and flee, and flock unto him, as the Doves unto their windowes. Is. 60.8. And let not his example want ob­servance, To do good, and to distribute forget not, Heb. 13.16. Whiles wee have time let us do good unto all men, Gal. 6.10. Not seeking our own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. 1 Cor. 10.33.

So much of the time. The other circumstance is the persons or parties; They were altogether with one ac­cord in one place. Wee may note their quality who they were, and their exercise, whereabout they were.

1. Who they were: It appears in the whole passage of the former Chapter: Namely the Apostles & Disciples, who were to publish the Gospell, and to be pillars and foundation-stones of the Christian Church: Ye are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Pro­phets, Jesus Christ himself being the chiefe corner stone, Eph. 2.20. Behold their exaltation; behold their humiliation.

Behold their exaltation: Their calling is high; They are laborers together with God, 1 Cor. 3.9. Their indowment also is high, they are indowed with God, they have a visible receit of God the Holy Ghost: Kings do command bodies, states, lives: yea even of these that are so eminent (I mean the priestly order.) For the King is supream, 1. Pet 2.13. Therefore they are crowned with crowns of Gold, in­riched with gemms: But these were to rule, yea, to raise and revive souls, and therefore are crowned with such a Crown as never was any but the King of Kings, even the visible Crown of the Holy Ghost. The Pro­phet Elijah was carried up into Heaven by fire; whe­ther natural or supernaturall, true or seeming, it may be doubted: But these Priests, even upon earth, both [Page 221]were carried by, and did carry the true celestiall fire, the holy Ghost. God was the portion of the Leviticall priesthood by way of inheritance and remuneration: And the Holy Ghost is the portion of the Christian priesthood, by way of existence of exhibition, of in­habitation, and of operation. Behold their honor then, and deny not that the elders that rule well are worthy of double Honor. Yea though any of us (in himself) de­serve dishonor, yet let our calling be honored for this prime honors sake.

Again, behold their humiliation: For, that they might minister, they are first ministred unto: that they might give, they do first receive. They have a com­mission, but they may not put it in execution untill it be sealed. They were to give and minister the Holy Ghost, by predication, Go preach the Gospel to every Creature, Mar. 16.15. by ordination. I left thee in Creet that thou shouldest ordain Elders in eevry City, Tit. 1.5. by absolution; Whose sinnes ye remit, they are remitted, whose sinnes yee retain, they are retained, Joh. 20.23. Therefore that they might minister in this eminent manner, they must receive this excel­lent measure: they must have their mission filled, and their commission sealed with that great broad seal of Heaven. And therein is their humiliation: For it teach­eth them not to run before they are sent, nor (like Ahimaaz, 2 Sams 18.) to be importunate to be sent, when they have no word put in their mouth, nor any tidings to tell (For no man taketh this honor to him­self, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron, Heb. 5.4.) but rather to say with Moses, who am I that I should goe? Exod. 3.11. and with Saint Paul, who is sufficient for these things? 2. Cor. 2.16. and with Isaiah, to expect some of that heavenly fire, A cole from the Altar, to touch their lips, before they say, [Page 222] Here am I, send me. Is 6.6. And it may teach both them, and others for them, to acknowledge that they are but sawes and axes, instruments in the hand of the workman. And that neither he that planteth is any thing, nor he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase, 1. Cor. 3.7. Yea, that we have this treasure in earthen Vessells, that the excellencie of that power might be of God, and not of us. 2. Cor. 4.7.

And so much of their quality, who they were.

Secondly, note their exercise whereabout they were; They were all with one accord in one place.

Here is no businesse expressed, but no doubt it was not for idlenesse, much lesse for ill exercise that they were together, but for that which did belong unto their calling; as is mentioned, ver. 46. But especially (no doubt) their businesse was, the expectation of this which now was fulfilled, even to observe that charge that was given them, that they should not de­part from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, Act. 1.4. And in this businesse they sate, and the Holy Ghost came, and sate upon each of them. Be­hold then there is Unity, Quietness, Diligence, Fide­lity, Constancy.

First, here is Unitie one with another: They were all with one accord in one place: Behold the spirit of Unity rejoyceth in Unity: The spirit of wisdom is lo­ving. Wisd. 1.6. And the first fruit of the spirit is love, Gal. 5.22. This loving spirit therefore, descended upon them that were united in love; to shew if that we dwell in love, we dwell in God, and God will be rea­dy to dwell in us.

Secondly, here is quietnesse: They were in no commotion or hurly burly, but quiet in themselves, and one with another: They sate; therefore the spirit of rest, here takes up his rest. The spirit of trouble de­lighteth [Page 223]in trouble, he is a compasser, he compasseth the Earth: Job. 17. he taketh no rest, neither doth he desire to find it: but delighteth, in compassing heads, and troubled mindes, that do weary themselves in the way of wickednesse. But where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty: Peace, Quietnesse, and freedome from trouble. The Dove could find no rest for the sole of her foot, while the troubled waters endured: but the raven continued going and coming, from her first go­ing forth, Gen. 8. For the carcasses and carions tost in waters were her fittest rest. Now the wicked are the raging waves of the Sea foaming out their own shame, Jude 13. They are like the raging Sea that cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt, Is. 57.20. there­fore on them the golden feathered Dove of Heaven set­leth not, but the black devouring vulture of hell set­teth up his rest.

Thirdly, here is diligence: They give not them­selves to sleepy or idle rest, but to such exercises as be­long to their calling; therefore they receive the hope of their calling, Eph. 4.4. For as God is an austere man to idle and unprofitable servants, so to the vigilant and diligent, he is not onely liberall in honoring. Lu. 16.21. Euge, Well done good and faithfull servant; and in rewarding: Enter thou into thy masters joy. Mat. 25. but also kind and loving in ministring: He will gird himself about, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. Lu. 12. Blessed there­fore are both these, and all those servants whom their Lord when he cometh shall find so doing: even ex­ercised in the charge that their Master shal give them.

Fourthly, here is Faithfulness: They had a charge given; to that they are obedient; they had a promise made; In that they are confident. Therefore accor­ding [Page 224]to their Faith, so is it unto them: And as they be­lieve, so do they receive. Faithfull is he that promi­seth, Heb. 10.23. God is faithful, 1 Cor. 10.13. Faith­ful therfore also must he be that receiveth: Men must be faithfull, He that commeth to God must believe, not onely that God is, but that he is arewarder of them that seek hm, Heb 11.6. He that will receive, must ask in faith and waver not. Jam. 1. And he that will be received, must be received in Faith. So Philip an­swered the Eunuch, when he would be baptised. If thou believest with all thy heart, thou maiest. Act. 8.36. For Christ both in his word and in his work, is unavailable to the unfaithfull. Hee is the end of the Law for righteousnesse: How? to every one that be­lieveth, Rom. 10.4. He could there (in his owne Country) do no great works: Why? not because his giving hand failed, but because their receiving hand failed. Because of their unbeliefe, Mar. 6.5. For in giving and ministring there must be also receiving, they are relative workes, and cannot be one without the other.

Fiftly, here is Constantness: For (as asoresaid) this was the tenth day of their expectation and had it been tenfold ten, no doubt it had been but as one to them, they would have bidden without grudging unto the end; both for their loves sake, and for their trusts sake.

For their loves sake: For every Jacob thinks two apprentiships (one of the body and soul above ground, another of the body under ground) to be but a little while, for the love of his Rachel, his desired happinesse.

And for their trusts sake; because they knew that that the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, Pet. 3.9. but that all his promises are, yea and Amen. [Page 225]2 Cor. 1.20. And without repentance, Rom. 11.20. Therefore they runne not as at an uncertain thing: their labor is not in vain in the Lord: Their constancie is crowned at the last.

Be patient therefore brethren unto the comming of the Lord: behold the husbandman waiteth for the pre­cious fruit of the Earth, and hath long patience untill he receive the former and the later rain. Be ye therfore also patient, and settle your hearts, for the comming of the Lord draweth near. Jam. 5.6. And let us not be weary of well doing, for in due time we shall reap if we faint not. Gal. 6.9. Remember Lots wife, and look not back. Lu. 17. For no wan that putteth his hand to the plough, and looketh back, is apt for the Kingdom of Heaven. Lu. 9. But he that continueth to the end shall be saved. Mat. 10. Be faithfull unto the death, and I will give thee the Crown of life. Rev. 2.10.

So much of the circumstances of this businesse, the Time and the Persons, or Parties.

The second chief part or branch of this text, is the substance or matter of the businesse related: that is the comming of the Holy Chost in sensible forms.

The comming of the Holy Ghost? why? was not the Holy Ghost come till now? Indeed it is said, Joh. 7.39. The Holy Ghost was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. Yet it cannot be denyed, but that the Holy Ghost was given before: For in old time holy men of God, spake as they were inspired by the Holy Ghost. 2 Pet. 1.21. But he was not come or gi­ven in comparison of this comming or giving. Why? Not in like manner: Not in like measure: Not to like end.

Not in like manner: For before, he was given in­wardly, but now outwardly: before, secretly, now o­penly. [Page 226]Before invisibly, now visibly: Before quoad po­tentiam & efficaciam, in respect of power and effica­cie, now quoad praesentiam & apparitionem, in respect of presence and appearance. Before suddenly, now up­on promise and expectation: So that Christs words in­verted, may be hither applyed. The kingdom of God is come with observation. Lu. 7.20. So that now men might say, lee here, or loe there. For the Kingdom of God is not onely within them, but without them and upon them, totally possessing and compassing them.

Not in like measure: For before, it was here and ther, to one or to a few at once, but now to a multi­tude, and in a multitude, or magnitude. To a multi­tude: For there were 120. together, Chap. 1. ver. 15. In multitude: for they were all filled. Chap. 2. ver. 4. yea so abundantly filled, that each one was able to fill multitudes: For by Saint Peters preaching the same day there were added to the Church about 3000. soules, ver. 41. Thus this heavenly fire (hid since the world began, and from all ages. Col. 1.26.) now breaking forth, sheweth most heat and light. Thus our Zacheus (for that name whether you expound it Just or Pure, may well stand for him who is the fountain of all Justice and purity) recompenseth his former hoording and sparing, by giving fourfold. Thus the holy and precious oile of gladnesse, powred upon the head of the Church, runneth down to the skirts of his clothing, even to all his members and parts. For (saith Saint Peter here, ver. 16.) This is that which was spoken by the Prophet Joel: And it shall be in the last daies (saith God) that I will powre out of my spirit upon all flesh. And this is that which is cited. Heb. 8.11. They shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, [Page 227]Know ye the Lord, for all such know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

Thirdly, not to like end, was the Holy Ghost be­fore come or given. For before, he was given to fore­tell things to come, and to be done, now to tell and de­clare things done and finished. Before, to set forth the shadow of good things to come, now to minister the substance of the things themselves. Before, to teach men, but now (we may say in some sort) to teach Angells. For now unto principalities and powers in hea­venly places, is made known by the Church the mani­fold wisdome of God. Eph. 3.10. And in the ministry of the Gospell, the things are now shewed which the Angells desire to behold. 1. Pet. 1.12. Before it was to prepare the bride for the marriage of the Lamb; Now it is to keep the keies of the bridechamber dore, to bind and loose, open and shut. I will give thee the keyes of the Kingdome of Heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt binde on Earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on Earth shal be loosed in Heaven, saith Christ to Saint Peter. Mat. 16.19. For which causes (I doubt not) it is, that the least of the Kingdom of God; that is (as aforesaid) after this third and full revelation of the Trinity, is said to be greater then John the Baptist, whose time was but a little before it. Mat. 11.11.

What followeth then for our instruction, out of this inlargement of the holy Spirit to us? but this, that we also be inlarged in the holinesse of our spirits unto him, that as he hath abounded unto us, so we may a­bound unto him, and that as he to us, so we to him be renued. In our manner, Not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but heartily as to the Lord. Col. 3.23. In our measure, Rich in faith, rich in good works. In our end, Not minding earthly things, but ha­ving [Page 228]our conversation in heaven, Phil. 3.20.

But how was this new, and great coming of the Holy Ghost? It was in, or under signs and figures, types and emblems: For the Son came to take our na­ture, because he was to stand in our room, to act our cause: therefore his coming must be hypostaticall; he must be that he seems to be; The Word was made flesh, Joh. 1. But the Holy Ghost was to renew us into his nature, that we might be partakers of the godly nature, 2 Pet. 1.4. therefore it sufficeth that his coming be symbolicall, not becoming, or being what he shews, but shewing what he is, his properties and effects: As excellently here hee doth in three notable symboles or signs: Namely, Wind, Fire, and Tongues: And sud­denly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing and a mighty wind, &c.

To seek all the agreements between these shaddows, and their substance, were to attempt that impossibility 2 Esd. 4.5. Weigh me the weight of the fire, or measure me the blast of the wind. Expect not all then, but be content with some. And first of the wind.

The Wind hath two especiall properties, Secretness and Activeness.

First Secretness, and that both in its arising, and its working.

1. Secretnesse in its arising; It is so secret that it cannot be known: for I will rather believe Christ who telleth me that I cannot tell whence it cometh, or whither it goeth, Joh. 3.8. then I would yeeld to the wisdom of man, if all Philosophers could (as indeed they cannot) agree together, to tell me from whence it cometh: God bringeth them out of his treasures, Ps. 135.7. No doubt out of those treasures of light and and might, knowledge and power; the light which no man can attain unto, 1 Tim. 6.16.

And secondly it hath Secretness in its working too: for it unsensibly pierceth the sensible joynts and bones, Zephyrus, quasi [...]: vitam ferens. and worketh sen­sible refreshing on the unsensible herbs and plants. And to the Holy Ghost also is secretnesse proper, both in his beginning, or arising, and in his working. In his beginning; for we say he hath a beginning of personality, though not of nature: A beginning from the Father and the Son; not in time (being coeternall) but by proceed­ing: Whereof, the proceeding of the stream from the fountain, of the heat from the fire, and of the light from the sun, is all too short and weak expressions; and yet these in time we are still together.

And in his working also he is secret, Entring in to the dividing asunder of the soul and the spirit, and the joynts and the marrow, Heb. 4.12. And (as the true Zephyrus) breathing breath of lives upon all the plants which the heavenly father hath planted; and that unsensibly (as the wind) blowing when, and where, and how he listeth.

The former secresie is for our admiration; the grea­ter it is, the farther we must stand from it: For, qui scrutatur majestatem, opprimetur à gloria: He that searcheth Gods majesty, shall be oppressed of his glory: It is enough to cry out, O the deepness of this secret.

The latter is for our examination: for, we must prove our selves whether we are in the faith or no, 2 Cor. 13.5. If we live in the spirit, we must walk in the spirit, Gal. 5.25. And as many as are led by the spi­rit of God, they are the sons of God, Rom 8.14.

Again, Activenesse also is another property of the wind: It is active constantly, strongly, subtilly, va­riously.

1. Constantly; for it is alwaies in motion, its be­ing [Page 230]consisteth in action: for it is not wind if it do not blow: And though it be not in all places alwaies alike perceived, yet never can it be said to be in no place at all.

2. Strongly: for it bendeth the pliant plants, but breaketh or overturneth the stiffe and sturdy oaks.

3. Subtilly; for it findeth the chaffe in the middest of the wheat, and purgeth and scattereth it quite away.

4. Variously; for it bringeth, sometimes lightning, sometimes rain; sometimes from the East, sometimes from the West, sometimes from the North, sometimes from the South. It alwaies cooleth, and for the most part cleareth the air. And this activenesse is also proper to the Holy Ghost in all these kinds.

He worketh first Constantly: for what is true of the Son, is also true of the Holy Ghost, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work, Joh. 5.17. For in all works (ad extra) the Trinity is undivided. He was active in the Creation; The spirit of God moved upon the waters, Gen. 1.2. He is active also in the Regene­ration, Joh 3.5. Except a man be born of water, and of the spirit he cannot enter into the Kingdome of hea­ven.

2. Strongly; for he plyeth the humble to the bent of his will, and breaketh the stubborn from the strength of their own will: Is. 42.1. I have put my spirit upon him: What then? A bruised reed shall he not break: He shall but bend the humble: yet he shall bring forth judgement unto victory: he shall overthrow the stub­born. This wind breaketh the Cedars, even the Ce­dars of Lebanon, Ps. 29.5.

3. Subtilly; for he purgeth both the companies, and the consciences of men: evill persons outwardly, evill desires inwardly are the chaffe which this wind [Page 231]scattereth away: His fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, Mat. 3.12.

4. Variously: for he bringeth sometimes flashes of elevation, Elijahs Chariot: sometimes showers of hu­miliation, Peters tears: He bringeth forth the light­ning with the rain, Ps. 135.7. He bloweth with his wind, and the waters flow, Psal. 147.8. Sometimes from the East, by opening the bloody rising of originall sin: sometimes from the West, by reflecting the bloody set­ting of the Sun of righteousness: sometimes from the South, through the warm and calm gale of peace and prosperity: sometimes from the North, thorough the blustering blasts of persecution and tryall. It cooleth, and refresheth the conscience by quenching the scald­ing heat of concupiscence, and cleareth it from clouds, mists, and fogs of sin, and from ignorance, the cause, & from fear the effect thereof, by bringing in true light the Sun of Faith, the Moon of Hope, the Stars of Cha­ritie.

O hearken then for the motion of this active wind: It is not idle in it self, let it not be idle unto thee: Re­ceive not the grace of God in vain, but rather cry and call, Arise, O North, and come, O South, and blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow forth, Can. 4. that so awaiting, and desiring it, thou mayst not onely hear the sound of it, but be carried away in the force of it; yea be turned into it (for that which is born of the spirit is spirit) That thou mayst be made active as it is active: Constantly, that thou bee not weary of well doing, Gal. 6. Strongly, that in all things thou be more then conqueror, Rom. 8. Subtilly, that thou try all things, and choose that which is best, Phil. 1. Variously, that thy love may abound yet more and more, that thou mayst sowe liberally, and reap also liberally, 2 Cor. 9.

And so much of the first signe or symbole; The wind: the second is the Fire.

As in the wind, so in the fire also I observe two pro­perties well agreeing to the Holy Ghost, namely light, and heat.

First, Light, is a naturall property of the fire, of our common fire: For indeed the elementary fire in its own sphere shineth not because of its subtilnesse, and the infernal fire of hell shineth not because of its gross­nesse: yet our fire (being of a mixt nature) hath light as well as heat: Light to shew it self to us, us to our selves, others to us, us to others, and to discover and manifest all.

And this also is proper to this Heavenly fire: even Light. The holy Spirit (though in his own sphere he is so subtile) in his own nature so pure, that he can­not be visible, for No man hath seen God at any time, yet is he come down to us in light, and hath brought us Lumen superius, Interius, Exterius, Upper, Inner, Out­ward light.

1. Lumen superius: light to see God, that is Faith. The naturall light can shew to the eye but colours or superficies, not substances. But this light sheweth to the Soul him that is the substance of all things, In whom we live, and move, and have our being. Act. 27.28. In whom all things consist. Col. 1.17. For by this light Moses saw him who is invisible. Heb. 11.27. and by this light all the godly doe walk: We walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Cor 5.7.

2. Lumen interius, Inner light: that is Conscience. Ye were once darknesse, but now are light in the Lord. Eph. 5.8. Why? The reason goes before, there ver. 5. for this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater hath any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ, and of God. Ye were darknesse when ye knew not that, now are yee [Page 233]light, now yee do know it. This is that light which God sent by Saint Paul. To open their eyes that they might turn from darknesse to light, and from the power of Satan to God. Act. 26.18. This is that rejoycing light. 2 Cor. 1.12. Our rejoycing is this, the testimo­ny of our Conscience. This is that humbling light that sheweth the vileness of our condition naturall. Dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return. Gen. 3. And the miserablenesse of our condition spirituall: I was shapen in wickednesse, and in sin hath my mother conceived me. Ps. 51.

3. Lumen exterius, Outer light, that is, chari­ty: He that saith he is in the light, and yet ha­teth his brother, is in darknesse untill this time: he that loveth his brother abideth in the light. 1. Joh. 2.9. This light maketh us see all men alike, so that we have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ in re­spect of persons, Jam. 2.1. that we be ready to honor all men, and to despise none. This light helpeth us to see the necessities of our brethren, that we may relieve them, Charity is bountifull, 1 Cor 13.4. To take no­tice of the infirmities of our brethren, that wee may bear them. Restore such a one in the spirit of meeknesse, bear yee one anothers burthen. Gal. 6.1. To observe the faults of our brethren that we may reprove them: Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of dark­nsse, but even reprove them rather. Eph. 5.11. Yea, this light will guide us so to look on, and to follow the foremost, that wee our selves shall become lights and leaders of the hindmost: Phil. 3.17. Shining as lights in the world, and holding forth the word of life. Phil. 2.13. Yea, this light will keep us from glosing and colouring, and make us shine clearly and truly, even to be indeed what we seem in shew: For all things when they are reproved of (this) light, are manifest, for it is (this) light that maketh all things manifest. [Page 234]Eph. 5.13. What then? Seeing that this light is come into the world, let us not love darknesse more then light, Joh. 3.19. Ye are all the children of the light, and of the day, wee are not of the night, neither of the darknesse. 1 Thes. 5.5. Where then is our Lumen su­perius? our knowledge of God? Are we not either like owles, hiding us from this light, or like flies playing with it, or presuming too near it? Where is our Lumen interius? our knowledge of our self? Are we not like the blind Sodomites groping in our own streets? Gen. 19. like the blind Aramites, that went they knew not whither, notwithstanding, the Lords Prophet did lead them? 2 King. 6. Where is our Lumen exterius, our knowledge of our neighbour? May not St. Paul's words be inverted? Henceforth know we no man after the flesh. 2 Cor. 5.16. May we not invert it, and say, Hitherto have we known no man but after the flesh; with fleshly affections to carnall ends, and temporall turnes. O beloved let us not make so much abuse of light, but walk while we have light, lest darknesse come upon us. Joh. 12.30. For the night commeth when no man can work. Joh. 9.4. the night of persecu­tion: the night of losse of outward senses, the night of losse of inward senses, the night of age, the night of death, the night of judgement. Divers kinds of night do hang over our head, wee know not how soon our light may be put out in obscure darknesse. Pro. 20.20. Onely this wee know that no darknesse can hide us from God; for the darknesse and the light with him are both alike. Ps. 139.12. Yea wee niay well fear that if we turn his light into darknesse now, he will again turn our darknesse into light, hee will lighten things hid in darkness, and make the counsells of the heart manifest. 1. Cor. 4.5. And that's enough to our shame before men, by the present light and fiery tryall [Page 235]of the spirit and of the word. Every mark shall be made manifest, for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire. 1 Cor. 3.13. but especially to our confusion before men and Angels; When the Lord Jesus shall shew himself from heaven with his mighty Angells in flaming fire, rendring vengeance to them that know not God. 2. Thes. 1.7.

Again, Heat also is another property of the fire, and that of divers kinds and uses.

  • 1. Heat reviving.
  • 2. Heat consuming.
  • 3. Heat hardning.
  • 4. Heat softning.
  • 5. Heat drying.
  • 6. Heat moistning.
  • 7. Heat increasing and decreasing by the wind.

All these are kindes of heat and proper to the fire, and are well agreeing also to this our Heavenly fire, the Holy Ghost.

1. He yeilds heat reviving. Doth not the fire revive frozen creatures? and what cold so strong as the death of sin? And yet from that, by this heat of the spirit men are revived. You hath he quickned which were dead in trespasses and sin Eph. 2.1. Gehazi with his masters staffe could not revive the Shunamites Son, 2 King. 4. For the staffe was dead it self and cold, and had no warmth in it: But the Prophet himself coming, and his warmth applyed, the child revived; which is allegorized thus: that Moses by the Law could not, but Christ by the spirit doth revive sin; dead man­kind. Yea indeed Moses made but the smoke of this fire: The smoke must go before the fire. The smoke smothereth, the fire quickneth. So the Law must go before the Gospel; that stroke us dead, but this revi­veth us again. The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 2 Cor. 3.6.

2. Heat consuming: The fire consumeth and turn­eth all into ashes, and by ashes it is preserved, and out of ashes again revived. And the heat of this heavenly fire consumes all worldlinesse and fleshlinesse, and makes all as ashes by the memory of death. For this was Abrahams confession: I am dust and ashes, Gen. 18. Yea, this was Davids meditation. I have eaten ashes as it were bread. Ps. 102.9. And by this ashes, is this fire preserved, and out of it again revived, even as the Phoenix out of her own ashes. The fires heat consumeth drossy, and dry things; yet so as it refineth and purifieth the pretious metall: And this our God the Holy Ghost is a consuming fire. Heb. 12.29. How? To purge the corruptions of nature, I will pure­ly purge thy dross, and take away thy tinne. Is. 1.25. and to refine the perfections of nature, that they may shine as Gold in the furnace. Wis. 3.6. and as silver seven times tryed in the fire. Ps. 12.6. This is that fire that burneth onely the bonds of Gods Children, and makes them (like those three in the fiery furnace, Dan. 3.) of bound become free, and to walk at liberty, even in the glorious liberty of the sonnes of God. And this Divine fire purgeth that hellish fire of the tongue. Jam. 3.6. As Phaetons inflammation was said to be quenched by lighting: Et saevis compescuit ignibus ig­nes: one fire was striken out with another.

3. Heat hardning: Doth not the fires heat harden the potters ware, and make it of weak and limber clay to become stiffe and strong, to serve the uses of the house? And we are Gods clay, and he is our Potter: Is. 64.8. and through the fervent heat of this Heayen­ly fire, wee of weak are made strong: Heb. 11.34. Even vessells of honor sanctifyed and meet for the Masters use, and prepared unto every good work. 2 Tim. 2.21. even serviceable to the most honorable use of the [Page 237]house, even to hold in martyrdome. For so Saint Peter, before the sending down of this fire was weak clay, easily moulded (unmoulded rather) from his pro­fession by the objection of a silly maid: But he and his fellowes (after this fire had past upon them and throughly seasoned them) became so strong, that they rejoyced that they were counted worthy to suffer for Christs name. Act. 5.41.

4. Heat-softning: Doth not the fire soften the hard­est mettall, iron, and steel, and make it yield to the hammer, and to be plyable to the workmans purpose? yea to become liquid to melt, and run like wax or wa­ter? And the heat of this Heavenly fire mollifyeth the hardest hearts, that they may be wrought by the ham­mer of the word, yea, makes them even like wax that melteth in the fire: I am powred out like water (saith David) my heart is like wax, it is even molten in the midst of my bowells. Ps. 22.14.

5. Heat drying: Doth not the Suns heat dry the fields, and make them choppe and cleave, and gape for rain? And this Heavenly descending from above, ma­keth our soules dry, to thirst after righteousness: to be athirst for God; Even like a barren and dry land where no water is: untill we receive the former and latter rain. My soul gaspeth after thee (saith David) even as a thirsty land, Ps. 143.6.

6. Heat moistning: Doth not the heat of the Sun exhale moist clouds from the Earth and Waters, and dissolve the same again into showers and dewes? And doth not the heat of the limbeck, make water drop out of such things; from which (otherwise) it could hardly or never be extracted? And this celestiall heat that exhaleth cloudes of water into the head, and distilleth them in tears: even such clouds as drop fat­ness, and are as the dew of Hermon which fell upon [Page 238]the hill of Sion, and come down like the rain into a fleece of wooll: Even like that rain upon Gideons fleece which was to assure him of the Victory, Judg. 6. This exhalation, this distillation (no doubt) have many of the Saints felt: As Peter, who went forth, and wept bitterly, Mat. 26. Mary Magdalen, who washed Christs feet with her tears, Luk. 7. And David, who every night washed his bed, and watered his couch with his tears, Ps. 6.

7. Heat increasing, and decreasing by the wind. Doth not the fire increase or abate by the wind, re­spectively according to the nature or qualitie of the subject or matter wherein it is? sometimes blown in, sometimes blown out by one & the same kind of blast. And so indeed this fire of the spirit is sometimes in­creased, sometimes decreased by the Word. The Di­sciples going to Emaus hearing Christ, their hearts did burn within them, Luk. 24.32. there it was kindled by the wind. But Ahab hearing Michaiah, hated him, 1 Kings. 22. and the Jews hearing Stephen, were cut to the heart, Act. 7.54. there it was quenched by the wind.

And why? the fire worketh not alike in every sub­ject, therefore the same Word that is the savour of life unto life, is also the savour of death unto death in di­vers men, 2 Cor. 2.16.

O heat unsearchable in faculty, incomprehensible in variety, irresistible in efficacy: What pains should we take in seeking it? What joy should we make in finding it? what care should we shew in keeping it? For what comfort can we have inwardly, or yeeld out­wardly? what growth, what health, what life can there be without it? Wo be then unto us if we have no sense or feeling of it, or but falsly in a wrong kind, and the quite contrary way: Namely, if in what we [Page 239]should be revived, hardned, dryed, increased, even in that we be consumed, softned, moystned, decreased: or, if instead of gaining the heat, we have onely stoln the light of this fire, to shine onely instead of burning, and that but in the dark like gloworms, meteors, rot­ten wood. Then such lack, or abuse of heavenly fire here, will but prepare and entitle us to hellish fire here­after. If ignis fatuus, hypocrisie, be our practise here, ignis furens, tormenting fire, shall be our portion there. If light without heat content us here, heat without light shall discontent us there; even unquenchable fire in utter darkness.

3. But how doth this fire appear? In the form or shape of cloven tongues: This is the third symbole: And there appeared unto them cloven tongues.


Tongues cloven.

First, Tongues. Very notably and excellently doth the Holy Ghost expresse and exhibit himself in the figure of a Tongue, whether you respect the work, or the instrument of that work which he now in­tendeth.

1. The work? what is it? The work of Regene­ration, the making of new man, which is the making of true man. For man though true made at first, was now marr'd, and had need to be new'd, and (as I may say) tru'd again. What then? behold a lively figure of this holy work. What? A Tongue. A Tongue the figure of a true man? Yes, a more lively one cannot be devised: For, wherein consisteth the truth of a man but in his tongue? whether ye take truth properly in its naturall sense, or for the perfection of any other good: For truth it self, where is it if it be not in the Tongue? And where else also is the perfection of any good? Take the four Cardinal virtues, Prudence, [Page 240]Temperance, Justice, Fortitude, where is the perfection of each of them but in their expression? and where is that but in the tongue? Ye will say, they all (espe­cially Fortitude) seem rather to belong to the hand. No, no, the hand is but the tongues servant, and but a blind one too, it doth nothing but by command and direction from the tongue. And what act so strong or great was there ever performed by the hand, which hath not been matcht or excelled by the tongue? Cyneas plures di­cendo qua m Pyrrhus dimicando subegit. Cedant armatog, concedat laurea linguae: Strength must yeeld to eloquence, the fa­culty of the hand to the faculty of the tongue. Bring man to the touchstone, search his substance to the quick; Is it not in his tongue? For what differenceth man from beast? Ratio & oratio, reason and speech: and speech is the flower of reason, without speech rea­son is but a dumb shew. Yea what differenceth man from man but speech? Stulto intelligens quid inter­est? What's the difference between a wise man and a fool? Ask Socrates, and he will say, Loquere ut te videam, speak that I may see thee: he will find a mans substance in his tongue. Ask Solomon, and he will say, A fool when he holdeth his peace is counted wise, Prov. 17.28. He knows no difference but in the tongue. In a word, doth not David reduce a mans whole perfe­ction to his tongue, when he calleth it his glory? Ps. 59.7. Awake up my glory. If therefore all the Magi of the East, all the old Egyptian and Chaldaean Wise men were alive again to exercise their Hieroglyphick art, to make holy Sculptures, dumb shews and figures, speaking signes to tell their eye their meaning, they could not devise a more fit character to signifie a man then a tongue. A tongue is a lively hieroglyphick of a man, because by his tongue a mans substance is exprest.

Behold then this holy workmaster by this figure sheweth what work he intends, he comes to renew man into his perfection, he comes therefore in the likeness of tongues.

O come hither and consider this all ye that abuse your tongues to lying and falshood, to vanity and sin: What are ye? not men but monsters, devils incarnate: Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a de­vill? Joh. 6.20. Good mens tongues are sparks of hea­venly fire, but wicked mens tongues are sparks of hel­lish fire: The tongue is a fire, it is set on fire of hell, Jam. 3.6. Is not every man distinguished by his tongue, and known what country man he is? And do not our tongues also discover us whether we belong to heaven or hell? Away then thou prophane swearer, thou false lyar, thou ribald talker, away from Christ, and from his spirit: Have thou nothing to doe with that just man: Thou art none of them; for thy speech bewray­eth thee. Say shibboleth: Learn the language of Ca­naan, speak edifying words that may minister grace unto the hearers. Canst thou not so pronounce? then thou art a rebellious Ephraimite, thou art to be cut off from the congregation of Israel. And may I not here especially, and most properly speak to the Do­ctors of equivocation, even in the invective words of St. Stephen? Ye stiff-necked, and of uncircumcised hearts and ears, ye have alwaies resisted the Holy Ghost, as did your fathers, so do ye, Act. 7.51. The holy Ghost intendeth to make new men, and true men, therefore he comes in the shape of tongues; for hee intendeth truth: But ye make true men false men, religious men lyars: your woolfish proselytes, to main­tain their walking in sheeps cloathing amongst us, and your foxes their lurking in our vineyard, under the co­vert of equivocation. The Apostle saith, An oath is [Page 242]for confirmation, an end of all strife. Heb. 6.16. But ye teach men to take oathes without any confirmati­on, and so to continue the strife. What then? will ye plead succession from Saint Peter, who was here sea­led with an heavenly fiery tongue, an emblem of truth? No, no, ye are of your father the Devill, for he is a lyar, and the Father thereof. Joh. 8.44.

Again, as in regard of the work intended, so also the instrument of the work considered, the Holy Ghost fitly appeareth in the shape of tongues. For by what instrument is this heavenly work of regeneration wrought but by the tongue? How shall they be­lieve in him of whom they have not heard? Faith com­eth by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Rom. 10. This was the grand Commission that the Holy Ghost came now to seal: Go ye into all the World, and preach the Gospel unto every creature. Mat. 16.15. Seeing therefore he came to set tongues on work, and to work by tongues, how could he more fitly, or pro­perly appear, then in the shapes of tongues? Well then, ye may see here the Ordinance of God concerning mans happinesse: how doth he obtain it? even by his ears. God made him at first by his voice; He spake the word, and they were made, he commanded, and they were created. Ps. 148. The same order he observeth in the regeneration, he effecteth it by a voice. It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that be­lieve. 1 Cor. 1.18. There is indeed vox realis, as well as vox vocalis: A reall as well as a vocall, a visi­ble as well as an invisible voice: A voice that speaketh to the eye, that is the visibility of the creature: Their sound is gone out into all lands, and their words into the ends of the World: There is neither speech nor lan­guage, but their voice is heard amongst them. Ps. 19. [Page 243]But this voce doth but make without excuse: The in­visible things of him from the creation of the World are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternall power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, Rom. 1.20. This voice wit­nesseth rather against then with the Gentiles: For God left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from Heaven, and fruitfull seasons, fill­ing our hearts with food and gladness, Act. 14.17. But the effectuall saving voice, is that which soundeth to the ear, in the preaching of the word: Receive with meekness the word that is grafted in you, which is able to save your souls. Jam. 1.21.

  • 1. Here is a strain beyond Philosophie.
  • 2. A point against Popery.
  • 3. Comfort to the blind.
  • 4. No discomfort to the deaf.
  • 5. Shame and confusion to the obstinate and scorn­full, that stoppe their ears, or hear to mock.

1. A strain beyond Philosophy, for that will have see­ing to be the most excellent of the senses: And so in­deed (in nature) it is. But if you come to grace, and to the height of mans excellencie and perfection, then the ear bears the bell away, in as much as God hath made that the prime and speciall instrument of saving health to mens souls. Though therefore the eye excel in quick apprehending, in totall comprehending, in certain informing; yet it concerneth but nature and naturall things, and hath to do with colours, not with bodies or substances (as the Philosophers themselves confess) But the ear hath to do with spirituall and eternall things, that are truly substantiall, and available to the present and future good of the soul. And where then is the wise, where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made the wisdome of this world foolishnesse? [Page 244]1. Cor. 1.20. Yea hath he not taken the wise in their own craftiness? 1 Cor. 3.19. Whiles they most ho­nored the eye, hath not God done them most honor by the ear? They thought onely of their eyes: But God (the mean while) caught them by their ears, and by their eares light, cleared their eyes light: (for before they were blind, but now they see:) The Holy Ghost by tongues hath given them eyesight, and made them see.

2. Here is a point against Papistry: For that (even in spirituall things) preferreth, or at least giveth too much unto the eye, especially amongst the ignorant: For they teach that Images are lay-mens books. But God in revealing himself and his will, hath imployed the ear, and (in a manner) silenced the eye, and barr'd the use of it in especiall acknowledging of him and exercise of his worship. Adam in Paradise had conference with God, and heard his voice: But what use of his eyes? What did he ever fee? Moses (having a curious desire to see God) was he not taught to see best by his ears? did not God expresse himself unto him more by proclamation then by vision? Exod. 33.18, 19. & 34.6. And did not Moses warn the people to beware of eye-work, because they had onely care­work in the receiving of the Law? Take good heed unto your selves, for ye saw no image in the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb. Deut. 4.15. Yea when God sent his Son visible in the flesh, yea, when he made him most conspicuous in the transfiguration, whether did he commend him to the ear or to the eye? Not to the eye, but to the ear: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear him: It is hear him, not see him. Mat. 17.5. Away then with all teaching of Images, they be teachers of lies. Hab. 2.18. The Holy Ghost appeared in tongues, to signifie [Page 245]kind of teaching he intended, namely of the ear not of the eye. God will have no appearance from the dead, therefore no dead appearance to teach us, but this to be alsufficient for all. They have Moses and the Pro­phets, let them hear them. Lu. 16.29.

3. He is comfort to the blind: Why? For the hap­pinesse of the Soul comes by the ear, not by the eye. Their losse therefore of bodily sight doth not deprive th [...]m of spirituall light, but the ear may suffice for that. So long then as they have the benefit of hearing, the losse of sight should not be grievous. In this they lose vanity, but in that they obtain verity, this gaine may very well drown that losse. The Prophet pray­eth, O turn away mine own eyes lest they behold vani­ty. Ps. 119.37. And if in stead of being turned away, they be quite taken away, the oddes is not great, see­ing all in the world that they behold is vanity: Yea the odds may be great advantage to the Soul, even to make the ear (her especial organ) the more attentive to receive, the more intensive to conceive, the more reten­tive to keep. For the lesse the eye hath to see, the more leasure and pleasure the eare should have to hear. Which is a good Item (by the way) to old men and women, to teach them to be the more, both exercised and satisfied with their ears, when their sight begins to fail: Exercised, for their need is the greater, their speed is the easier: Satisfied, for the Holy Ghost appeared in tongues, not so much intending for that present to be seen, as for ever to be heard, and to make the care the alsufficient mouth to feed the soul though eyes be wanting.

4. Here is no discomfort to the deaf (as at first sight it may seem) For though the Holy Ghost appeared in the likenesse of a tongue, yet he is a spirit. Hee is a spirit in substance, a tongue but in appearance: there­fore [Page 246]though ordinarily he enter by the ear into th [...] soul, yet extraordinarily, he can enter though the ear be shut; even as Christ ordinarily (because he was man) did enter by opened doors, but extraordinarily (because he was God) even shut doors did not bar his entrance, Joh. 20. He spake the word, and they were made: Gods word prevailed in the creation, when as yet there was not an ear to hear: And shall it not likewise prevail in the regeneration, even of him who is deaf and cannot hear? Yes doubtless; for ejus di­cere est facere, Gods work and his word are so one, that if he speak the word it must needs be done. He that made the ear shall he not hear thee? Yes (no doubt) though thou speak never so softly. Therefore also I may say, he that made the tongue shalt not thou hear him? Yes, though thou hear never so hardly: though thy soul be dead, much more though thine ear be dead, thou shalt hear him that speaks to that pur­pose: For, the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear it shall live, Joh. 5.25. The Holy Ghost is become a Tongue, to signifie his ordina­ry entrance by the ear, but he is a fiery tongue, a spiri­tual tongue, a divine tongue, he can enter though there be no ear. There is not therefore so much dis­comfort in deafness as may seem: For though God hath tyed us to means, yet himself is above means. He is an almighty tongue, and can work as well without the ear as with it.

5. Here is shame and confusion to them that will not hear, or that hear but to mock. Such a generation are fore-prophecied to come in the last daies, stopping their ears, as the Adder doth hers, with the ground, and with her tayl, so they theirs with worldliness and fleshliness: proving oxen, seeing farmes, eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage: or else [Page 247]filling their mouthes with mockings, and setting at naught the Ministry of the Word as a mad businesse: As Jehu his companions spake of the Prophet, Where­fore came this mad fellow to thee? 1 King. 9.11. And as Festus took Paul for a mad man, Act. 26.24. Such were there in Ezekiels time (and therefore no doubt will be in all times) With their mouthes they make jests, and their heart goeth after covetousness, Ezek. 33.31. And especially in the last times; for it is so prophecied, 2 Pet. 3.3. There shall come in the last daies mockers. But let all such know, that the Holy Ghost came in tongues, shewing his intent to work by tongues: It is not therefore ye that speak, but the spi­rit of your father that speaketh in you, saith Christ, Mat. 10.20. They have not cast thee away, but they have cast me away, saith God to Samuel, 1 Sam. 8.7. He that despiseth, despiseth not man but God, saith St. Paul 1 Thes. 4.8. What then? Resist not the Holy Ghost: For they that resist, shall receive to themselves damnation, Rom. 13.2. He that speaketh against the holy Ghost shall never be forgiven in this world, nor in the world to come. Mat. 12.32. Let every man therefore be swift to hear, slow to speak, Jam. 1.19. Let the spirits gra­cious speaking prevail, and our ungraciousness be put to silence.

But what manner of tongues are they that doe here appear? Cloven tongues. This is the last note, but not the least; for it implyeth manifold mysteries, which may be thus summed and contracted. It implyeth Di­vision; it implyeth union: Division from God in re­spect of gifts and graces to be given: Union to God in respect of people and nations to be called. Division in the instruments that were to work; Union in the subjects that were to be wrought upon.

1. Division: They were to be divided in the totall [Page 248]sum, and in the severals, all one from another, and each one in himself.

First in the totall: They were to be divided in place, in degree, in gifts.

1. In place: The holy Ghost said, separate me Bar­nabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them, Act. 13.2. Crescens is gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia, 2 Tim. 4.10. They were to go into all the world, and to teach all nations, and for expeditions sake to goe severally.

O strange expedition! Single men, and simple ones too, even silly Fishermen, are called and sent to set upon Cities, Towns, yea Kingdoms and Countries, and that but with their tongues. See mans strength in God, see Gods strength in man. Mans strength of bold­ness: they feared not the faces, nor yet the hands of Kings and tyrants: Why? If God be with us, who can be against us? Rom. 8.31. I have put my trust in God, I will not fear what flesh can do unto me, Ps. 56.11. And see Gods strength of ableness; The Lord saveth not with sword, nor yet with spear: for the bat­tel is the Lords, 1 Sam. 17.47. It is not hard to the Lord to save with many, or with few, 1 Sam. 14.6. I will give you a mouth and wisdom, where-against all your adversaries shall not be able to speak or resist, Luk. 21.15.

But (no doubt) their separation was for multi­plications sake: they were singled to severall places, that the more abundant fulnesse of the Gentiles might the more speedily come in. Saint John preached in the lesser Asia, Saint Andrew in Scythia, Philip in the higher Asia, Thomas in India, Bartholomew in Ar­menia, Matthew in Aethiopia, Simon the Canaanite in Mesopotamia, Thaddaeus in Arabia, James in Jerusa­lem, Peter at Rome: So doth Panigyrola range them.

The Fathers of the former ages were permitted and tolerated in Polygamie: to have many wives, for spe­dy multiplications sake, that they might fill the world apace. But the Apostles are singled (as much as may be) every one to a severall charge, even for the same end, even for speedy increase of spirituall issue: God grant then that the spirituall Polygamie of our times, be not the cause of barrennesse: that the curse of Ephra­im come not upon it, Give them a barren womb and dry breasts. Hos. 9.14. That the more Churches severall ministers do contract, betroth and espouse to them­selves, the fewer soules they do not beget.

Secondly, They were to be divided in degree: For though there be no Popish supremacie granted to Saint Peter, And though it be granted that the twelve (for their time) challenged no superiority: Yet it will not follow that there was no superiority or difference ac­knowledged amongst them. For Saint Paul doth mention, Chief Apostles, 2 Cor. 12.11. and giveth this title (Pillers) to Peter James and John. Gal. 2.9. And it is most plain, that differences of degrees a­mongst the ministers, is an ordinance not humane but divine. For God hath ordained some in the Church, first Apostles, secondly Prophets, thirdly teachers: then them that do miracles: helps, Governments. 1 Cor. 12.28. And even of old in Saul's time, the company of Prophets, In the new Test. 12. Apostles. Lu. 6: 70 Disciples Lu. 10.1.7 Dea­cons. Act. 6.3. had Sa­muel the Prophet appointed over them. 1 Sam. 19.20. And ever since there was a Priesthood, there hath been inferiority and superiority therein.

They therefore that will have no superirrity or difference of degrees in the ministry, will have the God of order to be the Author of confusion. They [Page 250]shew not the spirit of meekness in avoiding state, but of pride in seeking it, and striving each one himself to have it.

Thirdly, They were to be divided in gifts. There are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit, wisdom, knowledge, healing, prophesie; &c. And all these worketh even the self same spirit, distributing seve­rally, to every one, even as hee will. 1 Cor. 12.4.

Behold then, diversity of gifts in men, is of necessi­ty, God will have it so: For it is no small expression of his infinitenesse, to make diversity in all kinds of things. Where do ye see two faces alike? or hear two voices alike? or finde two constitutions of body, or two dispositions of mind alike? or two mens hand­writings alike? What then? will ye have all preaching to be alike? Why, it is impossible. For every man hath his proper gift: unus autem sic, alius autem sic: one af­ter this manner, another after that. 1. 1 Cor. 7.7. Di­versity and multiplicity of gifts, sheweth the riches of Gods grace, and redoundeth to his glory.

Require not not therefore all to be alike, lest yee be found fighters against God: Neither call one onely method of preaching sanctified: For (no doubt) every mans method is sanctified to sanctifie hearers: To the clean all things are clean: And nothing is to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: The Holy Ghost appeares in cloven tongues, for the Apostles were to be divided in the totall, in place, in degrees, in gifts.

Again, as in the totall sum of them, so also in the severals, they were to be divided, even each one in his own speaking: For (tongues) implyed their intended speaking, but (cloven tongues) their divers and vari­ous speaking.

They were to speak diversly in respect of the ob­jects [Page 251]or parties to whom, and in respect of the subject, or matter what they were to speak.

In respect of the parties, they were to speak diversly: Namely to God, and to man. To God for man; to man for God. To God for man in praying, to man for God in preaching: The Apostle Saint Paul pro­fesseth and proveth both. The former, Rom. 1.9. God is my witness whom I serve in my spirit, that without cea­sing I make mention of you alwaies in my prayers. The latter, 2 Cor. 5.20. We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you thorough us, we pray you in Christs stead, that ye be reconciled unto God.

Sometimes they speak to God, sometimes to man: For Omnia tempus habent: to every thing there is an appointed time, Eccl. 3.1. The Ministers tongue must be divided, sometimes to plead for his Master, some­times for his brethren, sometimes to act Gods part, sometimes mans part: For we are bidden, pray conti­nually, 1 Thes. 5.17. And (in effect) preach continu­ally: for it is Be instant in season and out of season, 2 Tim. 4.2. But the continuance of both required, ar­gueth that neither of them alone can be continued but by turns, so as there be no thrusting out, nor yet dis­gracing of either by the other, but that they be (as the two hands) one to cleanse, and to strengthen the o­ther.

And if the Minister be thus to be divided between God and his people, even (as a Factor) to carry out their confessions and petitions, and to return his bles­sings, and to stand (as a Moses) in the gap of every dif­ference: O what a strong bond of love and unviola­ble knot of affection should this make between every Minister and his people? What care should he have of them? what desire should they have of him? what comfort and consolation should they find and take [Page 252]mutually and reciprocally in each other? St. Paul was willing to deal unto his people not onely the Gospel of God, but also his own soul, because they were dear unto him, 1 Thes. 2.8. And his people were ready, if it had been possible, to have plucked out their own eyes, and to have given them to him, Gal. 4.15. He received hie people as his joy. What is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoycing? are not even ye it, in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? yes, ye are our glory and our joy, 1 Thes. 2.19. And his people received him as their joy: For they received his preaching not as the word of man, but as the word of God, 1 Thes. 2.13. And they received him as an Angel of God, even as Christ Jesus, Gal. 4.14. He professeth his fatherhood to his people; We exhorted you, and comforted you, and be­sought every one of you, as a father his children, 1 The. 2.11. And he testifieth his peoples sonship to him: As my beloved sons I warn you, 1 Cor. 4.14. Here was true trading; this Factor was happy in his work. He felt (like that good huswife, Prov. 31.18.) that his merchandise was good. Good every way: good to the seller, God; he gained glory: Good to the buyers, the people, they were enriched with faith and works: Good to the Factor, St. Paul, he got both favour and reward of each party, both of the buyer and of the seller, on the one side temporall, on the other side e­ternall.

But (on the contrary) if instead of the Ministers dealing his own soul to the people, and their plucking out their own eyes for him, he be carelesse of their soules, and they ready to pluck out his eyes: If instead of crowning each other with joy, they brand one a­nother with shame: If instead of the neare and dear relation of Fatherhood and Sonship, there be no kin but couzenage between them, he couzening them of [Page 253]their spirituall, and they him of his temporall rights and dues, then this must needs be the devils own only market, all the gains must needs come home to him.

Againe, as in regard of their objects; so likewise of their subject or matter, they were each one to be di­vided in himself.

Their matter? how? I doe not meane, materia prima (as I may call it) their first matter, the ground and foundation of their work; for in that every one must be semper idem, no changling: For, there is one Faith, one Baptism, Ephes. 4.5. Other foundation can no man lay then that which is layd, which is Jesus Christ, 1 Cor. 3.11. Jesus Christ yesterday and to day, and the same for ever, Heb. 13.8. But I meane their matters of discourse, and treatise, their severall buildings upon this founda­tion. In that, diversity is required according to differences of times and places, companies and oc­casions. Namely, to comfort, and to threaten: to speake learnedly, and plainly, properly, and fitly as their audience shall require. The Apostle bids Ti­mothy, Reprove, rebuke, exhort, 2 Tim. 4.2. These be divers workes: And he prescribeth milk for babes, and strong meat for the strong, Hebr. 5.13. These bee divers meates: And hee knowes how both to abound, and to be abased, Phil. 4.12. these be divers measures. And to be made all things to all men, that by all means he may save some, 1 Cor. 9.22. these be divers manners.

Ye see then we are not still to be tyed to one strain, but to divide our tongues, and to use our liberty in the spirit of discretion, to all purposes: And the learned may not despise our plainnesse, for the ignorants sake, nor the ignorant begrudge our learning, [Page 254]for the learneds sake, but bear one anothers burthen for Christs sake: And not marvaile if sometimes ye hear the Law as well as the Gospell; for the Holy Ghost came in cloven tongues, intending thus to cleave and divide the Apostles tongues to severall pur­poses.

So much of their division.

But no doubt the most proper and direct purpose of those cloven tongues was, to signifie the gift of divers tongues now to be bestowed upon the Apostles: that they should bee endued with divers tongues, enabled to speak divers languages, which presently appeared to bee fulfilled. And this (as before I noted for my last point) implyeth Union: Namely, the gathering of all Nations unto Christ, that there might bee one field, and one husbandman, one flock, and one shepheard: For to that end the Gospel must be prea­ched through the whole world. And for the speeding thereof, the Apostles are instantly furnished, if not with all, yet with the most languages. What then? look how the Nations were at first divided, by the same they were now to be gathered, Gen. 11. By di­vision of tongues they were scattered and made di­vers people: By division of tongues they are to bee gathered, and made one people; and to speake one language, the language of Canaan, the profession of the Gospell. What then? Note that God work­eth by contraries, and hee worketh upon con­traries.

1. Hee worketh by contraries: that he may unite, hee divideth: that hee may gather, hee scattereth: that hee may exalt, he bringeth low, as in Joseph: that hee may bring low, hee exalteth, as in Haman. He giveth prosperity to some to befool them, Thou [Page 255]fool this night will they take away thy soul from thee, Luk. 12.20. And he taketh away riches from some to make them wise. It is good for mee that I have been in trouble, that I may learn thy statutes, Psal. 119.71. Yea, he chooseth the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, 1 Cor. 1. Yea, he maketh the means of salvation to be to some the means of con­demnation, even the savour of death unto death, 2 Cor. 2.16. And onely to serve to make them to know, that there hath been a Prophet amongst them Ezek. 2.5.

Beware then that yee measure not Gods works by outward appearance: For, no man knoweth either love or hatred of all that is before him, Eccles. 9.1. Presume not in prosperity, despaire not in adver­sitie, but pray for the right use and end of both, that whether it be rod or staffe it may comfort thee. And bee not content with outward things, no not with outward hearing, but take heed how ye hear, lest ye make your condemnation the greater: For God worketh by contraryes, even gathering by divi­sion.

Lastly, God worketh upon contraries: to turn evill into contrary evill: And again, to turn evill into good.

1. He turneth evill into contrary evill, sinne into punishment. A wicked union was turned into a cursed division: the greatest conspiracie into the great­est confusion: Namely, the builders of Babel by di­vision of tongues were scattered upon the face of the whole earth.

That Simeon and Levi (all brethren in evill) may knovv what the portion of evill union is, name­ly, division, and separation: I will divide them [Page 256]in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel, Genesis 49.7. Yea that all rebellious practisers against God may know, that there is neither wisdome, nor un­derstanding, nor counsell against the Lord, Prov. 21.30.

But the last is the best of all, to wit, that hee draweth good out of evill, and turneth cursing into blessing.

What evill was there ever so great, wherein Gods goodnesse hath not appeared? The very sinne of Adam, what abundance of goodnesse hath it drawn from God? The malice of Joseph's brethren, what a deale of good did God worke by it, to him, and them, and to their families? The cruel­tie of the Jews to Christ, did not God turne it to the accomplishment of mans salvation? That cur­sed confusion of Tongues at the building of Babel, is it not now recompenced with a blessed division of Tongues, whereby to make a spirituall building of living stones, an holy temple unto the Lord our God?

What then? Let us not contend with GOD for his suffering, or for his punishing of evill in us, but let us glorifie him for that he hath made every thing beautifull in its time, Eccles. 3.15. Yea, that his mercie rejoiceth over his justice: He will not al­way be chiding, neither keepeth hebis anger for e­ver: Yea, that as all natnrall motions are strongest at last, so likewise his goodnesse increaseth with con­tinuance (like the Moon) till it come to the full. Old curses are turned into new blessings, Behold all things are become new.

The Old Testament endeth with cursing, Malach. 4.6. but the New with blessing, Revelat. 22.21. [Page 257]God hath fully revealed himselfe in grace, and shall shortly in glory. In that therefore let us settle with glory to him, and joy to ourselves, even in that Amen of the Gospell, which giveth grace, and promiseth glory: Even so Amen, come Lord JESUS.

Finis Serm. sive tract. 6.
Trino-uni gloria.
Per me Gulielmum Gaium.


Text. Luk. 12.1.

Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisie.

OF Truth and Righteousnesse God is the onely Author, but deceit and falshood spring from the corrupted heart of man: Onely loe this have I found (saith Solo­mō, Eccl. 7) that God made man righteous, but they have sought out many inventions. God made man righteous; and while that garment lasted, he needed no other covering: For having not as yet by any a­buse dishonoured his body, or any part thereof, he had no need to be ashamed thereof; for all was holy. But Sathans thorny temptations having rent his robe of righteousness, and made him sinfull, he presently be­came shamefull; and then he seeketh other coverings: Fig-tree leaves, slender coverings for his outside: Shifts and excuses (more slender coverings for his inside. So was simplicity turned into subtilty, and the cleare stream of sinceritie (perspicuous to the bottom) mud­ded with the filth of false and foul hypocrifie. So be­gan it in him, and so it continueth in all us. In all us; for so saith St. Bernard, super Cant. serm. 82. Omnem posteritatem hereditarium hypocrisis virus infecit: [Page 259]The hereditary poyson of Adams hypocrisie hath in­fected all his posterity. Quem dabis (saith he) de filiis Adami qui quod est, non dico velit, sed vel patiatur videri? Whom canst thou shew me amongst the sons of Adam, which hath (I say not a will) but so much as the patience to be seen as he is. And (if his witnesse be not enough) hear what David also saith, namely, that All men are lyars, Psal. 116.10. Thus wretched man is fallen from his honour, and hath lost his un­derstanding, and is made comparable to the beasts that perish: For as the beast that is taken in a snare, ham­pereth and strangleth himself the more by his own strugling to get loose, so man insnared in sin, the more intangleth himself therein, by endeavouring to make e­vasion: for when he sinneth he is trapped, but when he hideth or excuseth his sin, then he is wrapped in the snare of Satan, and in the wrath of God. In the for­mer he disobeyeth, but in the latter he mocketh and derideth God, as if he might be deceived. But be ye not deceived; for God is not mocked, he knows all our deceivings: And as he knows them, so he hates them: Yea, it hath a twofold degree of his hatred, because it is a twofold sin. Therefore Christ giveth many sharp reproofs thereof in the Gospel. Among which this Text is one: Take heed to your selves of the lea­ven, &c. Which though it be but one single precept, yet for orders sake we may consider it in two parts.

The first is a warning, Take heed to your selves.

The second is, the thing forewarned, the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisie.

First, for the warning it self: Beware ye, or take heed to your selves.

This may be doubly taken, or admit a double con­struction: the one passive, the other active: the one of suffering hurt, the other of doing hurt: the one of be­ing [Page 260]infested, and molested outwardly, the other of be­ing infected and tainted inwardly: Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees: that is, that they mischief not you by it. Beware ye of the leaven of the Phari­sees; that is, that ye mischief not others by it. Take heed of it both in respect of their practise, and of your own.

The former construction I gather from the pre­mises, or precedence: Namely, because in the end of the former Chapter, the malice of the Pharisees is ex­pressed, how they layd wait for Christ, and sought to entangle him: whereupon this precept follow­ing so immediately to the Disciples implyeth (no doubt) that they should bee carefull to avoyd that danger.

The other construction I gather out of the conse­quence, or words next following: For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed. Whereby it appea­reth that Christs warning is, that they should take heed of doing or saying any thing which they would not have to be revealed.

And the rather may I presume upon this double in­terpretation, because it suteth with that which Christ elswhere uttereth: Namely, Mat. 10.16. Be ye wise as serpents, and innocent as doves. Wise as serpents, that ye take no harm: Innocent as doves, that ye doe no harm. Wise as serpents, that ye be not beguiled by others. Innocent as doves, that others be not beguiled by you. Wise as serpents, to shun offence that may be offered to you. Innocent as doves to shun offence that may be offered by you.

From which interpretation do arise two doctrines to be observed.

First, we may see that it is not an unlawfull, but a necessary and needfull thing for Christians to provide [Page 261]for their temporal estate, and worldly wel-being, both by shunning of evill, and seeking of good.

1. By shunning of evill: this the Text expresseth (being so understood as aforesaid) Namely, as a warn­ing against temporal danger. And Mat. 10.23. Christ bids his disciples, when they are persecuted in one city to flee to another. And Prov. 22.3. A prudent man seeth the plague and hideth himself, but the foolish goe on still and are punished.

2. By seeking of good. This followeth out of the former; for the shunning of evill implyeth and inclu­deth the seeking of good; for one cannot be done with­out the other. And yet more plainly, Rom. 12.17. Pro­vide things honest in the sight of all men.

Here then the heresie of the Familists that would have no proprietie, but all things common, is repro­ved: We are taught to love our neighbour as our self; therefore we must love our self, and provide for our self. The Scripture plentifully exhorteth us to giving, and that implyeth a necessity of possessing: there can be no giving where there is no owning. A man cannot give that which he hath not. What though the Di­sciples in time of persecution had all things common? their community did not extinguish propriety: Or if it did, it was but voluntary, not of necessity: For St. Peter tels Ananias, that his land before he sold it pertained unto him; and the price after he sold it was in his own power, he might have kept it if hee would, Act. 5.4.

2. This condemneth also the superstitious conceit of Popery, that maketh wilfull poverty a work of per­fection, yea of superfection (if I may so speak) that is, of supererogation (as they call it) We have many ex­hortations and precepts to make us exercised in gi­ving, but none to move us to make an exercise of re­ceiving. [Page 262]Yea Christ hath pronounced it to be a blessed thing to give rather then receive, as it is witnessed Act. 20.35. What though he bade the young man sell that he had, and give unto the poor if he would be per­fect; that was to discover to him his imperfection in having, not any perfection in wanting of riches. What though he affirmeth it to be easier for a camel to goe thorough the eye of a needle, then for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of heaven: That is to shew us our great corruption, that we cannot of our selves make them good in our using, not to prove any such corruption in them, as if they could not be made good to us by Gods blessing. No, the contrary to that is cleared by Gods giving them (as to many others) so expresly to Solomon, in the name and nature of a blessing, 1 King. 3.13. and by that generall charter made unto godlinesse, entailing to it the promises, as well of the life present, as that which is to come. 1 Tim. 4.8

3. This also condemneth the idleness of the sluggard, who hideth his hand in his bosom, and it grieveth him to put it again to his mouth, Prov. 26.18. And thinketh one handfull better with rest then both the hands full with travel, Eccl. 4.6. Christ urgeth the example of the Lilies, not to weaken, but to hearten us to labour: For, if God so cloath the grass of the field (which laboureth not, nor can use means) how much more will he cloath you? (which do labour and use means) for we are not otherwise to take it, as if he would preserve us by miracle. No, but he ordaineth the contrary, namely, that the sleeper shall be cloathed with rags, Prov. 23.21. Yea, that he that will not la­bour should not eat, 2 Thes. 3.10. Yea, he ordaineth, that each man should labour not onely for his owne sustenance, that he may eat his own bread, 2 Thes. 3.12. [Page 263]but for others sustenance also, that he may have to give to him that needeth, Eph. 4.28.

4. Lastly, this also condemneth the wastefulness of carelesse unthrifts, who of all Solomons lessons doe think but one worth the learning, that is, that it is comely to eat and to drink, and to take pleasure in all our labour, Eccl. 5.17. Yea this they have so over­learned, that they draw it to the Epicures conclusion, Let us eat and drink, for to morrow we shall die: as if all their labour were but for their own mouth, and that but for the present. What though Christ biddeth, care not for to morrow, yet he forbiddeth not provi­dence but diffidence, doubtfull distrust. As for honest provision it is requirable of us both for our selves and others: If there be any man that provideth not for his own, and namely for them of his houshold, he denyeth the faith, and is worse then an infidel, 1 Tim. 5.8.

But I may not omit a second doctrine which (be­fore) I noted to be here observable, that is the great corruption and depravation of mans nature, not only in the particular practise of malice, but in the generall inclination to all sin. Christ bids his Disciples Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. Behold the Pharisees (Doctors of the old Church) subject to teach mischief, and the Disciples (Doctors of the new Church) subject to learn it. Moses disciples in the highest nature (so were the Pharisees) apt to shew evill examples. And Christs disciples in the highest nature (so were the A­postles) likely enough to follow them. The Disciples in taking heed to the Pharisees must take heed to themselves.

1. For the particular infection of malice, that it is bred (as I may say) in the bone of mans nature: If the Pharisees condition, and the Disciples danger bee not a glass bright and big enough to shew it, then hear [Page 264]the Wisemans outcry, Prov. 20.6. Who can find a faithfull man? And the Prophets complaint, Jer. 9.4. Let every one take heed of his neighbour, and trust you not in any brother; for every brother will use deceit, and every friend will deal deceitfully, and every one will deceive his friend, and will not speak the truth. And Mich. 7.5. Trust you not in a friend, neither put confidence in a Counsellor, keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom, for the son revileth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law, and a mans enemies are the men of his own house. What mischief was there ever so great, what cruelty so savage which the brains of men have not hatched, and their hands exercised one towards another? David chooseth ra­ther to be punished by the immediate hand of God his creator, his judge, his offended angry avenger, then by the hand of man, with (whom happily) he might have pleaded both equality and comparative innocen­cie; Let us fall (saith he) into the hands of the Lord, for his mercies are great, and let me not fall into the hand of man, 2 Sam. 24.14.

Let me turn Use and Application here, into Expo­stulation, and Exprobation, that we may be every one ashamed of this monstrous unnaturalness. Why should wee breake that law of nature which the bruitish sa­vages do observe? savis inter se convenit ursis, the savage beasts are sociable & succourable, why should we be hurtfull and banefull one to another? The Sto­ick acknowledged all things to be for man, and homi­nes hominum causa, that man is especially for mans sake and behalf: Why then should we frustrate that purpose which nature it self observeth and intendeth? We would not, yea indeed wee cannot live one without another, why then doe we live one against another? [Page 265]The saying is true (intentione by intent and purpose) Homo homini deus, Ps. 82.6. I have said ye are Gods: O let us not make the contrary true (actione by perfor­mance) Homo homini daemon: Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? Joh. 6.20.

As for our general inclination to evill (which is in­deed the main point of natures corruption) If this warning here to the disciples (wherein our common weaknesse is argued) be not enough to prove it, then hear St. Pauls confession, Rom. 7.14. I am carnal, sold under sin: And the Disciples inquisition upon them­selves concerning that horrid sin of treason, Master, is it I? Mat. 26.22. And David in both kinds speaking Ps. 19. Who can understand his faults? Cleanse me, O Lord, from my secret faults. All which places both jointly, and severally do prove, that Facilis descensus Averni, Hells passage is an easie, and downhill way, we are naturally apt to run it.

This is a strong meditation (if at least we would strongly meditate it) both to humble and to quicken us. To humble us; for how can pride possesse us, or self-conceit so much as touch us, when as we see our nature is the seed-plot of sin, the sink of iniquity, the very common shoar into the which the devil emptieth all hellish uncleanness, and out of which he produceth the same again in most lothsom and noysome issues? What good thought can we entertain of our selves, when as we must confesse, we are not of our selves suf­ficient to think a good thought, 2 Cor. 3.5. but that all the imaginations of the thoughts of our heart are onely evil continually? Gen. 6.5.

And this is strong also to quicken us. What waken­eth the sluggard, what hearteneth the coward but ex­tremity of danger? But what care, what diligence, what providence can be sufficient to match our dan­ger? [Page 266]What guard strong enough? what watch strict enough? what search deep enough? what confession large enough? what contrition tart enough to serve our turnes? How should we wrastle with flesh and blood to beat it down? I beat down my body and bring it into subjection. 1 Cor 9.27. and with Satan to re­sist him, Resist the Devill and he will flee from you, Jam. 4.7. And with God to get a blessing from him, I will not let thee go except thou blesse me. Gen. 32.26. Precisenesse is a common reproach to vilifie men, but let us answer it with Davids resolution; I will be more vile then so. 2 Sam. 6.22. even for Saint Peters conclusions sake, What manner of persons ought yee to be in holy conversation and godlinesse? 2 Pet. 3.11.

And so much of the former general part of the text, the warning it selfe, Beware ye, or take heed to your selves. Now for the latter part, that is, the thing fore­warned or spoken of against; The leaven of the Pha­risees which is Hypocrisie. This is here doubly set forth. 1. Figuratively by a similitude, The leaven of the Pharisees: then literally by its owne proper name, which is Hypocrisie. The later is fit first to be conside­red: First what it is, and then what it is like.

First what it is, Hypocrisie. Saint Augustine doth thus describe it, de temp. ser. 59. Hypocrita Graeco ser­mone, simulator, interpretator, qui cum intus malus sit, bonum se palam ostendit: An Hypocrite is nothing else but a dissembler, who would seem to be what hee is not.

If I should go about to describe unto you this evill to the full, and to set out all the parts of it, I should not onely exceed my hour, but go beyond my self, and undertake what I could not perform: It is so copious and various, that it hath more colours then the rain­bow; [Page 267]what pensill can paint it? more shapes then Proteus, what knot can hold it? I may compare it (for fruitfullnesse) not to Danaus who had fifty Daughters (a breeding brood) but to that many headed monster which could supply the losse of every head with sudden issue of many in the room of it. But (that I may containe my selfe within my times limit and mine own measure) let me bring all the particu­lars of it into 2. summes: Simulation and Dissimulati­on, faming of good, and hiding of evill. These be two in name, but one in practise: like Janus, they have two faces but one body. To us they are distinguished, but in themselves never divided: For on the one side, good can not be pretended falsely shewed, but it argu­eth defect of what should be: and that is dissimulati­on. And on the other side, evill can not be covered but by pretence and shew of good: and that is simulation. Every false shew of good is a hiding of evill: and eve­ry hiding of evill is a false shew of good: So yee see what necessary relation and dependance there is be­tween them, Mutuo se ponunt & auferunt: the one cannot be without the other. Though therefore many have taken worthy and profitable paines in handling them severally, yet let my present paines for your pro­fit be to speak of them jointly: And as it is said of those whom God hath united, Let no man put them a­sunder: so let me say of these which Satan hath united, for this time let them go together.

Briefly then, the summe of all here is, that Christ here forbiddeth his Disciples, all falshood: and there­in sheweth, that sincerity is the practise of a Christian, yea, the perfection of a Christian: For he strikes not at a branch, but at the root of sinne: hee speakes not here against against any single or severall evill, but a­gainst that which is Lernamalorum, the sum of all e­vill: [Page 268]that which truly turneth good into evill, and falsely maketh good of evill: So that in avoiding here­of, a man may seem to have attained his perfection. For it is indeed onely Christs perfection to be free both from sinne and guile (who did no sin, neither was there guile found in his mouth. 1 Pet. 2.22. But it is a Christi­ans perfection to be free onely from guile. Behold an Israelite indeed in whom there is no guile. Joh. 1.47. And therfore it is that David is said to be a man after Gods own heart, and that Noah, Job, Lot, Zacharie, and Elisabeth, are said to be perfect, just, righteous, or the like, not because they were no sinners, but be­cause they were no dissemblers: For what doth God require? Loe (saith David) thou requirest truth in the inward parts Ps. 51.6. This is Gods portion: My Son give me thy heart Pro. 23.26. For if there be truth within, there may be failing and falling, but not falsifying without.

O then how strongly should we strive hereunto? and how fearfull should wee be to fall into the contrary? For seeing on the one side, by obtaining we reach the height of our perfection, it must needs follow, that by failing on the other side, we fall into the depth of imperfection: For as sincerity is to God most accep­table, so hypocrisie is to him most abhominable: Witnesse the earnest passion which Christ expresseth in inveighing against this evill more then any other, as in many places, so especially, Mat. 23. denouncing eight woes immediately one after another upon it, and not so content, concludeth yet more bitterly; Yee serpeats, yee generation of vipers, how should yee es­cape the damnation of Hell? Serpents and Vipers? why? are there no other creatures that may resemble the hypocrite but these? Yes many. The swan is alwaies washing her feet, yet never makes them white: And though she be white in feather, yet her flesh is black to [Page 269]the eye, bitter to the tast, and heavy to the stomack: so the hypocrite is alwais waving in the water of fair profession, and yet his laies are never the cleaner; ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth: And though his appearances be white, yet are his performances black to the eye, if yee look upon them, bitter to the tongue if yee speak of them, and cloying to the conscience if ye follow them. The fox is a subtile creature, and so running to hide himselfe, that he will not be found without labour, and when he is found, he yeilds nothing but a stinking savour: except it be his case, which indeed is better then his body: neither is there any use to be made of him, but onely to take his stink, which is accounted medicina­ble for the shaking grief: And such is the hypocrite, cunning to hide, hard to be discovered: And if you find him, he yeelds you nothing but noysomnesse, ex­cept his case, his covering, his profession: that's all he is worth: Neither is there any use to be made of him, but onely to take his stink, that is, to hate and abhor him. For that is medicinable, to stay the shaking of faith, hope and love. Of love. 1. Joh. 3.18. Let us not love in word, nor in tongue, but in deed and verity, truth maketh love strong. Of hope. Iob 8.13. The hypocrites hope shall perish, therefore the sincere mans hope shall stand: truth makes hope strong. Of faith, Eph. 6.14. First, gird your loines with verity, and then take the shield of Faith: Truth makes faith tstrong.

The Crocodile faineth weeping when he intendeth murthering: So the hypocrit maketh long prayers to de­vour widowes houses. Mat. 23. Ishmael entertained those with tears, whom by and by he put to the sword, Ier. 41.6.

The Basilisk kills if he first espy, not if hee be first seen; so the hypocrit doth mischief whiles he is undis­cryed, but not if he be first discovered.

The Camelion that changeth his colour: The Silk­worm that changeth his shapes. Many other creatures might fitly resemble and rightly expresse the hypocrite. But Christ insisteth upon none but only the Serpent and the Viper. Astutia eorum non est bono sed in malo. Chrys. oper imperf. in Mat. 23. sed in malo, the the wittiest in evill doth best set forth the wickedest in evill. The Viper, the most monstrous of all creatures, both in their ingendring (which is at the mouth) in which act the female suffocateth or strang­leth the male: And in their procreating, for the young ones eat their way thorough their damms belly, and so come to life by the death both of their begetter and breeder. Their teeth are hidden in their gumms, and yet the least touch of their biting is present death: as may appear by that, Act. 28.6. when the Barbarians saw the Viper on Paul's hand, they looked for his sudden falling down dead, which because they could not see, they said he was a God.

Behold then what emblems our Saviour useth to set forth the hypocrit: even the most hatefull things to set forth the hatefullnesse of the evill. Wherefore let it be as hatefull to us as it was to him: or at least so hate­ful, that he may not hate us for not hating it.

The Israelites were forbidden to wear Linsey-Woollsey, garments made of linnen and woollen: there is (no doubt) a mystery in it: The linnen is of the earth, which may signifie uncleannesse, the woollen is of the sheep, which is an emblem of innocencie. Greg. Mor. 8. Per lanam simplicitas, per linum subtilitas designatur: the wooll figureth simplicity, the linnen subtlety. And again, the wooll is a covering and hi­ding to the linnen that it can hardly be seen. All is for our instruction, that our conversation should be one [Page 271]and the same in substance and in appearance: No cove­ring of sinfullnesse with holinesse: No dsfiguring the face that we may appear holy: For disfiguring the face is worse then painting the face, for this is but the mock­ing of nature, and that but in seeking to mend it: but the other is the mocking of grace, and that in seek­ing to marre it. Chrys. in Mat. Ho. 45. Si bonum est esse bonum, ut quid non vis esse quod vis apparere? Si vero malum est esse malum, ut quid vis esse quod non vis apparere? Nam quod turpe est apparere turpius est esse: quod autem formosum est apparere, formosius est esse: ergo aut esto quod appares, aut appare quodes. If it be good to be good, why wilt thou not be what thou wilt appear to be? But if it be evill to be evill, why wilt thou be that thou wilt not appear to be? For that which is foul in seeming, is fouler in being: And that which is fair in seeming is fairer in being: Therfore ei­ther be thou what thou appearest, or appear that thou art. So doth Saint Chrysostome upbraid the hypocrits of his time.

But we have another evill in our time, as much if not more to be cryed out upon: which is another ex­tream, not in too much, but in too little hiding: Hy­porcisis non est quae latere prae abundantia non valet, prae impudentia non quaerit: That is not hypocrisie which cannot be hid hy reason of abundance, and will not be hid by reason of impudence saith Bernard, Super Cant ser. 33. Absolon put down his brother Amnons lust in punishing it, but he more put it down in practi­sing it: For Amnon betrayed his sister secretly in his owne Chamber. 2. Sam 13.6. but Absolon went in unto Fathers concubines openly in the sight of all Is­rael. 2. Sam 16.22. Such is the outrage and madness of many, that what they condemn in others, hiding it, the same they boast in themselves, shewing it: So [Page 272]that (as Stella saith, in Lu. 12.1.) Opus est ut ad hypocrisin invitemus, we have need now adaies to in­vite men to hypocrisie, and to perswade them to hide their sinnes. For the hypocrit (though he doth all­waies hurt himself, yet sometimes he doth good to o­thers, by shew of good, giving good occasions and provocations. But by open, impudent and boasted evil, no good but much hurt is ever done; Yea, he that is come to that degree, to boast himself in sin, he hath no other degree nor farther step to tread forwards but in­to hell.

And so much of this sinne in generall, as it is here litterally set forth in its proper name Hypocrisie:

Now for the figurative description of it, The lea­ven of the Pharisees.

Leaven is diversly taken and used in the Scriptures: sometimes on the bad part, sometimes on the good, Mat. 16.6. It is put for false doctrine, Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees: The Disciples (after Christs reproof of their mistaking him) do at last understand him by leaven to mean the Doctrine of the Pharisees ver. 12. But Mat. 13.33. It is put for true doctrine, the doctrine of the Gospell; The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till all was leavened. And here in my text it is put for Hypocrisie, which concernes rather the evill of practise then of Doctrine: And so 1 Cor. 5.8. The leaven of maliciousness and wicked­nesse. Now there is one reason may stand for all: Namely, that as leaven (though it be but a little) diffuseth and imparteth it self into a great quantity, and ceaseth not its secret working, untill it hath filled all the heap about it, with its own nature; so a little falshood whether in life or in doctrine, and likewise [Page 273]a little sincerity growes and steales (as it were) by degrees into a great quantity, and ceaseth not to work whiles it hath any thing to work upon. A little lea­vea leaveneth the whole lump. 1 Cor. 5.6. that for e­vill. A woman hideth leaven in three measures of meal till all be leavened, Mat. 13.33. that's for good.

From whence we may learn not to despise small be­ginnings, whether in good or evill. Not in good, for the greatest fires begin of small sparkes, Behold how great a matter a litle fire kindleth. Jam. 3.5. When (therefore) the hammer of the word, striking thy stone heart shall fetch some sparkes out of it, neglect them not, but cherish them, that they may grow unto a melting heat that thou maist be mollified; unto a re­fining heat that thou maist be purified; unto an exha­ling heat that thou maist be elevated; unto a sacrifi­cing heat that thou maist be accepted. Noe, nor let the means be neglected, though perhaps it be but mean and small: No matter with what cattell the field be plowed, whether with the Oxe or the Asse, the clean or unclean beast, so that the ground and the seed be good. God taught Balaam by an Asse before he taught him by an Angell. Num. 22. And the sowing upon or beside all waters (that is in all lowly grounds) is blessed, whether the feet of the Oxe or of the Asse be driven. Is. 32.20.

And as not in good, so neither in evill should small beginnings be neglected or passe unregarded. For the serpents body is so shaped, that it will all easily slip after his head: Give him but his inch and he will quickly have his whole ell. Ahab first looked, then liked, then lusted, then sickned for Naboths Vineyard. David not checking his first view, proceeded to affect­ing, effecting, accumulating lust with murther. Saint Peter first following a far off, and shrinking, grew [Page 274]to denying, cursing, forswearing. The vastest grants Giants are at the first small embryoes: the foulest sinns even the Children of Babylon, begin in weak imagina­tions: Blessed therefore shall he be that taketh all those children Ps. 137. (even in their first conception) and dasheth them against the stones.

But some in stead of dashing them do defend them: For they will not have lust to be sinne untill it be ripe and ready to fall. But Christ saith, Out of the heart proceed evill thoughts, murthers, adulteries. Mat. 15.19. And Gen. 6.5. The imaginations of the thoughts of the heart are said to be evill. And what is evill to or with God but sinne? All his workes are good, and hee makes all but sinne: therefore that which is evill with him, must needs be sinne: Sinne is sinne as well in the first conceit, as in the last consent. The Cocatrice is venemous in the egge, as well as in the bird: Take heed therefore of hatching it: the egge is laid low, thou maist crush it with thy foot, but the bird will mount up over thy head, and above the reach of thy reformation.

The spiders first thred is a very slender one, yet be­ing drawn, it holds the frame of all her work: And our first motions are commonly weak and slender, but being once firmly fastned, they quickly grow to a whole web of mischief: let it be therefore their and not ours which is objected. Is. 59.5. They hatch Cocka­trice egges, and weave the web of spiders.

But besides the swelling and spreading, leaven hath also another propertie, and that is sowring: which in­deed is most proper in this place, where it is stronger to in the evill sense. For of all evills none is stronger to sour good, and to make it turn the stomack of almigh­ty God (If I may so speak) then this one of Hypocri­sie. For (to shew how he loatheth it) it pleaseth God [Page 275]to threaten the punishment of it, in such kind of loathsome phrase, even that he will spue the hypo­crit out of his mouth. Rev. 3.16. For the hypocrit is fitly compared to a brazen vessell: For brasse is apt to sowr the liquor which it holdeth. And such is the hy­pocrite: the Poets sincerum befits him best: it is a word most proper to living vessells. Sincerum est nisi vas quodcunque infundis acescit: If the vessell be not sin­cere, whatsoever you power into it, it sowreth. What­soever? yes whatsoever. For though I have prophecie and all knowledge, and all faith to move Mountaines: and all bounty to give all my goods to the poor, and all patience to give my body to be burned: And though I speak with the tongues of men and of Angells, and have not love, (good affection, truth in the inward parts) I am but as sounding brasse: that is but a sowring Vessell. 1 Cor 13. But (that I be not tedious) let me leave the Genus of this metaphor in Leaven, & fall up­on the Species or particular of it, as it is here expressed, namely in the Pharisees: The leaven of the Pharisees.

It will not be much materiall to make question or discourse of the order, calling, condition, or professi­on, of these Pharisees: It may suffice that Saint Au­gustine tells us, they were Nobiliores & doctiroes, the nobler and the learneder sort of the Jewes: which is confirmed Ioh. 5. where Nicodemus the Pharisee is called both ruler of the Jewes, ver. 1. and also A master or teacher of Israel. ver. 10. The most doe fetch their title from division or separation: And that not onely Habitu, they were severall and divided from others in their habits, but Observantiis too, they were singular in their performances: which Saint Paul's speech implyeth Act. 26.5. where he calleth this profession the chiefest sect of their religion. In a word, the Jewes were Populorum separatissimi a the [Page 276]choicest of all people: and the Pharisees were Iudaeo­rum separatissimi, the choicest of all the Jewes.

Note therfore here the vanity of worldly state and dignity: Not many mighty, not many noble are called. Note the insufficiencie of learning and knowledge: Where is the wise, where is the disputer of this world? Note the debility of free will and naturall strength: It is not in him that willeth, nor in him that runneth. Note the deficiencie of all strictest outward obser­vance. He is not a Iew which is one outward. But es­pecially to the purpose, note, that the strongest wine makes the sharpest vinegar: the sweetest things in smell and in tast are most loathsome and noisom in their putrifaction. The tongue (if it be good) is the best member, but if it be naught it is the worst. Strength in a lion is most outragious: Wisdome in a serpent is most mischievous: knowledge in an hypocrit is most pernicious. The Pharisees (those precisest separatists) were most abhominable hipocrites. They were noble, and so was their hypocrisie too; even Nobilitata: by by Christ himself fet forth to be most notorious. And that especially in these 4. particulars: To wit, that their justice or righteousnesse was 1. verbalis 2. for­malis, 3. partialis, 4. vanè gloriosa: It was verball, for­mall, partiall, and vainglorious. Either they did but talke: or if do; it was but outwardly, or if inward­ly, it was with foolish partiality, and preposterous difference: And in all it was with much pride and vain glory.

First, their righteousnesse was Verball, in word onely: they were good speakers, they could talke well, but bad doers, they did live ill. Whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and doe, but do not yee after their works, for they say and do not. Mat. 23.3. [Page 277]A very dangerous evill both waies, both inwardly and outwardly, both to themselves and to others.

Inwardly to themselves: For he that speaketh well beareth witnesse against himself for doing ill: that out of his own mouth shall the evill servant be judged without farther witnesse: They give evidence against themselves, and make up their own condemnation be­fore God, as the messenger of Saul's and of Ishbo­sheths death did before David. 2 Sam. 1.16. & 4.10.

Outwardly also to others it is dangerous, for it makes men afraid of goodnesse. For by speaking that which thou dost not do (saith Saint Chrysostome, Ho. 38. ad pop. de humilitate & quiete.) opus mihi reddis impossibile: thou makest me think it impossible to be done. For I cannot think but if it were possible to be done, thou who art so earnest in speaking of it, wouldest not faile in performing it. Yea, it makes men hate goodnesse, and blaspheme the author of it: Thou that maketh thy boast of the Law, thorough breaking the Law dishonorest thou God? for the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles thorough you. Ro. 2.23. Indeed we should be all teachers: Let the word of God dwell in you plenteously in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing your own selves in Psalmes and Hymnes, and spirituall songs. Col. 3.16. Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works, and let us exhort one another. Heb. 10.24. But facilior est per exempla quam per praecepta docen­di via, the easier, the stronger, and indeeed the more (generally) required way of teaching is by examples, rather then by precepts. Fire and water are said to be good servauts, but bad masters: Now fire and water are emblems of the holy spirit: whose work if it make thee docible in respect of obeying to be a good servant, [Page 278]it is to thy profit and and benefit: But if it make thee docible onely in respect of commanding, onely to be a good master, it is to thy hurt and damage. The Pharisees were good masters, requiring much of o­thers: They bind heavy burthens and grievous to be born, and lay them on mens shoulders. But they were bad servants practising little themselves, They them­selves will not move one of those burthens with one of their fingers. Mat. 23.4. They turned the work of the holy Ghost the quite contrary way: they were not like Christ, who did both do and teach, for they taught much and did little: Their righteousnesse was Verball.

2. It was also formall, only in outward appearance, woe be to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrits, for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the plat­ter, but within they are ful of extortion and excess. Mat. 23.25. This must needs be a hainous evill and high­ly offensive unto God, for as much as it goes about to mock and deceive him: which is impossible, because hee sees the heart as well as the hand: and therefore in vain do we cleanse our hands if we do not also purge our hearts from wickednesse. The Apostle forbids eye­service to be done to our bodily masters, but happy are wee if to our heavenly master wee rightly perform it: For then we will do it with heart as well as with hand, because his eye is equally on both.

The Syrians thought the Israelites God to be the God of the mountaines, and not of the vallies. 1 Kings 20.23. Belike they thought he could not see them there. Yes, he seeth the lowest vallies of the heart (Thou un­derstandest my thoughts long before. Ps. 139.) as well as the loftiest mounting of the hand (According to the cleannesse of my hands in his eye-sight. Ps. 18.24.) Yea as a curious prayer regardeth not the matter [Page 279]or forme of the window through which he looketh, but onely the businesse that is done within, so God may be said to look carelesly on the outward appea­rance, in comparison of his earnest observation of the substance: For many times he takes no notice of out­ward uncleannesse, when he sees inward cleannesse: As also certainly never any other notice of outward cleanness, when he sees inward cleanness, For God se­eth not as man seeth, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but God regardeth the heart. 1. Sam. 16.7. Strive therefore rather that thy leprous hand may be cleansed then thy clean hand lepred by putting it into thy bosome. Exod. 4.6. The lack of this inward truth makes the Hypocrit that he can endure no try­all; For he makes a fair shew in the fair sunshine of of prosperity, but is blown away (like chaffe) before the wind of affliction: And why? he hath no root, therefore he cannot endure the Crosse: Or, if he bear it, Lu. 23.26. it is but (as Simon) either for another to suffer, or but half way: he will bear it, but not be fastened to it: he is a good doer, but a bad sufferer: he can be patient when he hears no reviling, thankfull when he endures no crossing, humble (even to despair himself) when other men honor him: but sincerity is patient in reproach, thankfull in losse, semper idem, even like mount Sion which cannot be removed; Else (alas) what do we but beat the air? It is not the good fight of faith when we fight without opposition. A whited wall is not thoroughly discerned till it be digged: Ezekiels digging the wall brought him to see the inner abhominations. Ez. 8.8. The hypocrits keep their conscience like Isaiahs closed book. Is. 29.11. It is sealed no man can read it: but the time will come, when the bookes shall be opened, and the dead shall be judged ac­cording [Page 280]to things that are written in the book, Rev. 20.12. Yea when Isaiahs sealed book shall be turned into Zachariahs flying book, filled with the curse of God, Zac. 5.1. Jacob got a blessing by counterfeiting his elder brother Esaus hands: but beware of counterfeit­ing our elder brother Christs hands, for God is not blind (as Isaac was) therefore it will surely bring a curse upon us, and not a blessing. Wee may (with the Gibeonites) beguile the Church for a while with a shew of old bottles (ripenesse of wisdome) Clouted shooes (reformation of affection) Old clothes and mouldy bread (humblenesse and abstinence in conver­sation) as if our Kingdome were not of this world, as if our conversation were no nearer then Heaven, when (notwithstanding) our hearts are nearer then our heeles unto the Earth, when we are of the earth earthly, and wholly earthly minded; and so we may be spared for a while, and keep a room in the Church, but onely as hewers of wood, heapers up of wrath a­gainst the day of wrath, increasers of fuell for that flame of Tophet, the burning whereof is fire and much wood, the breath of the Lord like a river of brimstone doth kindle it. Is. 30.33.

Thirdly their righteousness was partial, with nice & and foolish and preposterous difference: For they did not onely call some commandents little, as may be gathered by that, Mat. 5.19. whosoever shall break one of the least of these Commandements: And by that, Mat. 22.36. Which is the greatest Commande­ment? But farther (contrary to all sense and reason) they made least account of the greatest, and greatest of the smallest matters: Ye tyth, mint, and cumin, and have left the weightier matters of the Law, Judgment, [Page 281]mercie and faith. Mat. 23.23. Behold their hypocri­sie in both.

First in the former: For can any thing be little that concerneth him who hath no measure? Can the offence of his infinitenesse be lyable to lesse the nan infinite punishment? Or can he love God that stroketh him on the one cheek, and striketh him on the other? or that imbraceth his body and spurneth his feet? No, no, but Quicquid propter Deum fit, aequaliter fit: Hee that serves God aright, serves him with an equall mind, and saith with the Psalmist, I have respect un­to all thy Commandements. Ps. 119.6. and resolves with Saint James, that he who faileth in one point of the Law is guilty of all.

But in their later falshood ye may behold and won­der that they should be precisest in smallest matters: O but there was great skill and cunning in that; for thereby, they stayed the world from looking after their greatest businesses: For it could not be easily imagined or suspected, that they who were so consci­onable as to tyth herbes, yea, the basest and vilest of their herbs, would be unconscionable in the greatest matters of judgement and mercie: that they which did strain at a gnat, could possibly swallow a Cammell. Let the discovery of this evill be enough (of it self) to make us not to learn it but to loath it, & to learn that of Christ, This ought ye to have done, and not to have left the other undone. The greatest duties are first to be respected, and the least after not to be neg­lected.

4. Lastly, their righteousnesse was vainglorious: Yea, this was that whereof all their other services did relish, and whereby, their imperfections were (as it were) perfected and made up: For why was their [Page 282]righteousnesse verball? why formall? why partiall? but for vainglory sake. And if this sauce sowreth the best service (as indeed it doth) how tart then did it make their services which were every one so harsh in themselves? and how fulsome a messe did they make, being all put together. Yea, in their vain-glory wee may observe (which indeed is naturall to all pride) not onely the advancing of themselves: but the aba­sing of other. This I say is prides propertie: for every ascent is by pressing or treading somewhat down. This no doubt the Pharisees were guilty of, else Christ would never have taxed and charged them with such a boasting, as Lu. 18. to set them forth, speaking so proudly (to the contempt and condemning of all o­thers) I am not as other men are. Whereupon Saint Augustine, De ver. Dom. ser. 36. Diceret saltem sicut multi homines: Quid est caeteri homines nisi omnes prae­ter ipsum? He might have said, not as many men: but now he saith, not as other men, what is it but that he condemneth all men? And that not in a few or light things, but many and great: Extortioners, Unjust, A­dulterers. Yea he is not content with indefinite or ge­nerall speaking, but dares touch upon particular, say­ing, Or even as this Publican. Whereupon again Saint Augustine, Insulat non exultat, Hom. 44. Hee doth but insult upon his fellowes, hee doth not rightly re­joice in himself. There is a holy rising of the soul, a rising by humility (as the Eagle is said to rise highest out the lowest Valley) So the virgin mothers rising was: My soul doth magnifie the Lord (saith she) and my spirit hath rejoyced in God my Saviour, for he hath regarded the low linesse of his hand mayden: but the Pharisees rising was both presumptuous and con­temptible, to rise by trampling on the necks and crowns of others.

Thus yee see how still they dip their soules in a double die of sinne, breaking the rule of faith, which saith, Christ came into the World to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 1 Tim. 1.15. And breaking And breaking the rule of of faith, which willeth that every man esteem another better then himself. Phil. 2.3. Acquitting where they should condemne, I know that in me, that is in my flesh dwelleth no good thing. Rem. 7.18. and condemning where they should acquit; Charity thinketh not evill, believeth all things, hopeth all things. 1 Cor. 13. Beware therefore as of double sin in every kind (for in one sin shalt thou not be unpunished) so especially of this swelling and trampling pride. For every one that exalteth himself shall be brought low, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Finis Serm. sive tract. 6.
Trino-uni gloria.
Per me Gulielmum Gaium.

Two SERMONS upon Ps. 8.4. The former of them (for a Fune­rall farewell to the late Honorable the Conutesse of Manchester) preached in my place in Manchester house in Ca­non Row, Westminster, in a Right Hono­able presence Ian. 8. 1653.

Text. Psa. 8.4.

What is man that thou art mindfull of him!

IT is a naturall thing to naturall men to affect knowledge, therefore our first parents in Paradise could not be content with all the trees in the Garden, but they must needs have a tast of the tree of Knowledge, though God himself had forgiven them. But it is a supernaturall thing to regenerate men to affect the Knowledge of themselves. Therefore though the hea­then men had that excellent saying among them, [...] know thy self; Yet they had it as from the Oracle of Apollo, and they held it for no humane but for a Divine precept. Therefore also when Adam forgetting himselfe, desired that high Knowledge which was forbidden him, God himself came and told him his own, and what he was. Dust thou art, and [Page 285]dust thou shalt return. Upbraiding his pride and con­demning his folly, that he would presume to desire so high Knowledge, which was too wonderfull and excellent for him, and in the mean time neglect that Knowledge which was more proper and sutable to him, namely the knowledge of himself.

Indeed Saint Paul saith, Knowledge puffeth up, 1 Cor. 8.1. but (no doubt) hee meaneth outward Knowledge of things without us, which is called Sci­entia: as for the knowledge of our self, which is rather to be called Conscientia (if it be right and true) it can not puffe us up, it will rather beat us down and hum­ble us. For he that knoweth himself, knoweth that he is a creature, therefore that he hath a creature; that he is not of himself, nor by himself, nor for himself; but that his creation is from God: his preservati­on by God, and his whole being in God: And so the knowledge of a mans self brings him to the knowledge of God. So that as Saint John saith of Love. 1. Joh. 4.2. How can he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, love God whom he hath not seen? So may I say of Knowledge. How can hee that knoweth not himself whom he hath seen, know God whom he hath not seen? Hugo lib. 3. de Anima. Frustra cordis ocu­lum erigit ad Deum, qui nondum idoneus est ad vi­dendum seipsum. Hee doth in vain lift up his eyes to see God, who is not yet fitted to see himself. Chrys. Est primum hominis sapientiam affectantis contemplare quod ipse sit. It is the chief property of a man that affecteth wisdome, to contemplate what himself is.

Wherefore this holy Prophet David was very care­full in seeking for this knowledge, and very diligent in searching the state and condition of himself: And howsoever (no doubt he studied other faculties, and acted other exercises, yet in the Psalmes we find him [Page 286]very frequent in the meditation, and contemplation, and examination of mans estate and condition, which indeed was the knowledge of himselfe. And it seemes, he had studied this point so far, that he was gone be­yond himself in it, and had learn'd more then he was able to utter. But hee doth set it forth as far as possibly he can, and as far as words may significantly expresse it. For in the 144th Ps. ver. 4. he saith, Man is like unto Vanity. And in the 39th Psa. ver. 5. he goes far­ther, and saith, Every man at his best state is altoge­ther vanity. And yet farther in the 62. Psa. ver. 9. he goes farther, and spares neither high nor low, but saith, Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid on the ballance, they are altogether lighter then vanity. Like vanity: At the best altogether vanity. Altogether lighter then vanity. And yet farther and beyond all, in this Psalme, and in this verse of the Psalm, hee goes far­ther; for he doth not here say what man is, but hee makes a question of it, he brings it to a question: As if he could not tell what to say of it, as if it were a thing not possible to be told, What is man that thou art mindfull of him?

This passionate exclamation of the Prophet, con­cerning man, groweth and ariseth from his conside­ring, the Heavens, the Moon, and the starrs, as ap­peareth in the verse next foregoing. And it so ariseth necessarily, and by good consequence. For in those admirable and excellent creatures, whether he consi­dered their place and situation, or their influence and operation, or their uncessant and untired motion, or their long undecaying durance and continuaation, very just cause had he to say, What is man? And on the other side, whether hee considered that they are all made for mans use and service, the Sun to rule the day, [Page 287]the moon, and the Starres to govern the night. Psa. 136. or whether he considered that man shall one day be placed higher then they, and be advanced in glory above them all, very just cause had he then to adde the other words also, and say, that thou art mindfull of him.

Here therefore (I take it) we have three things offe­red to our consideration. 1. The vilenesse or baseness of man. 2. The unworthinesse of man. 3. The provi­dence of God. For in that, out of the consideration of the heavens, the moon and starres, he raiseth the question, What is man? we may gather that he inti­mateth mans vilenesse in respect of their excellencie. And in that he makes the question with mention of Gods providence, wee may gather that he aimeth at mans unworthinesse, in reference to Gods goodnesse and mercie. And in that hee makes mention of Gods mindfulnesse, we may plainly see he sets forth Gods good providence to man, notwithstanding, his vilenesse in himself, and his unworthinesse towards God.

To begin with the first: mans vilenesse or baseness.

This will be discovered in a twofold consideration, namely, of what we are, or belongs unto us in our cor­porall, and what in our temporall state and conditi­on; each of them again have a double reference or re­spect.

First for our corporal state and condition: our vile­nesse therein will appear in respect both of our be­ginning and of our ending. First for our beginning: If I should speak of our next and nearest natural beginning (I mean our conception and birth) I fear I should then make it too plain, and more offend your eares then edifie your soules: I should scarce (I doubt) find words modest and civill enough to bring me off with [Page 288]good manners: It is a subject so unseemly for dis­course, that it may be enough (if not too much) for my present purpose onely to have named it. Passing therefore that, let us look I pray you on our first and primary beginning, namely in Adam; or rather on A­dams beginning. For though he was the beginning of all us, yet he was not the beginning of himself: No, he had his beginning as well as other men. And whence was it? yee may see, Gen. 2.7. The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground. Loe then here is our noble parentage, our high descent of dignity, our ho­norable house. Yea, this is the very foundation of the house: we dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust. Job 4.19. And what can be more vile and contemptible then the dust of the earth? which is trod­en under foot of all creatures, which is scattered a­broad of every blast of wind: which beareth no herb, nor fruit; which serveth for no use to any creature, unlesse for meat to the most cursed creature, that is the serpent: Thou art cursed above all cattell, upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat, saith God to the serpent, Gen. 3.19.

But if any man or woman in the pride of their beauty or other excellencie, will not apprehend their vilenesse by considering from whence they came; yet let them apprehend and own, and acknowledge it by considering whereto they shall shortly return. What can be more odious to a living man then the carcasse of a dead man? what can be more loathsome to his slight? more noisome to his smell: more infectious to his body? And yet such we all are: I may say we are: For indeed we are so by natures judgement, disposi­tion and inclination. I may say such we are: for cer­tainly such we shall be: and onely God knowes how soon; such must every man and womans body be: be it never so strong and able, never so sound and healthful, [Page 289]never so fair and beautifull. And as the genera­tion of man originally was from the dust, which is serpents meat, so (for farther expresse of our vile­nesse, as some naturalists note) the corruption of a man is the seed or generation of a serpent: For so they write, Ex spina humana corrupta; out of the corrupted Carcas of a man is ingendred a ser­pent. And Aug. de morib. Manic. ca. 17, saith, Sca­rabaeus ex fimo, aper ex bove, anguis vel scorpio ex homine, other things and other corruptions, but of mans corruption comes a snake or scorpion. I may therefore well cry out with the Son of Sirach, Why is Earth and ashes proud? For when a man is dead, he shall inherit creeping things, beasts, and worms. Why doth not this teach us rather to be humble and lowly, and not to have so proud a con­ceit of our bodies (as too commonly we have) nor to be so excessively curious in the delicate feeding and pampering of them, in the soft and tender lodg­ing of them, in the superfluous trimming and ador­ning of them: For it is but dust, for the feeding whereof so many creatures suffer death: It is but dust, for the lodging whereof wee spend so much time in building tabernacles: It is but dust, for the clothing whereof we teare both surface and bow­els of the Earth, we flea the backs of beasts, we pluck the plumes of birds. And when we have searched both sea and land for dainties to feed it, at last it self must be meat for worms. And when wee have built stately Castles wherein to lodge it, at last it must lie in a narrow grave or stinking toomb: And when wee have rob'd all creatures for rich orna­ments, wherewith to cloth it, at last it self must put on corruption.

If then (with the Peacock) we would turn our eyes from our plumes, and behold our black legges, that is, consider our foundation, or if with that proud King, Dan. 2. we would take notice as well of the clay feet, as of the golden head, and silver bo­dy of our image, we should easily perceive that it is subject to falling, and that all our glory and pride must come down to the dust.

And so much of the first consideration expressing mans vilenesse, namely, the consideration of his cor­porall estate or condition, both in respect of his be­ginning and of his ending.

Again, mans vilenesse also appears in considera­tion of his temporall estate and condition, and that both in respect of the miseries of his life, and al­so of the shortnesse of his life. First, for the miseries of his life, they be so many, that I cannot propose to speak of them all: I will but touch upon his de­fects, wants, and failings, in the chiefe supplies of life; that is food and rayment, which will the more appear, if we compare our selves with the bruit and unreasonable creatures. For in both those kinds of things, how easily and readily are other creatures sped and furnished? and how hardly doth man get them.

First for food: Consider the Ravens (saith our Saviour) they neither sow nor reap, they have nei­ther storehouse nor barn. Lu. 12.24. But this is mans portion, Gen. 3.19. In the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat bread. He must sweat for his bread before he hath it; he must plow before he can sow, and sow before he can reap, and reap, and thrash, and winnow, and grind, and Bake, and all before he can eat. Such a world of work hath hee with a little [Page 293]grain of Wheat, before he can make it fit suste­nance to his body. And for his raiment, the case is much alike: For whereas all other creatures are na­turally clothed every one with his own coat, some with wooll, some with hair, some with fur, some with feathers, onely man (poor naked creature) hath nothing of his owne to put on, but must be ber holding to other creatures for every thing that he doth wear: to the earth for his linnen, to the sheep for his woollen, to the wormes for his silkes, to the birds tailes for his choisest and daintiest feathers that come so near the incest noses. And indeed if every bird should take his own feather, if every creature should exact and take from us what we have taken from them, the sheep his woollen, the Earth its lin­nen, and so the rest, then should man be left like Ae­sops Crown: Moveat cornicula risum furtivis nuda­ta coloribus. All creatures may laugh at our naked­nesse, when we are stript of our borrowed feathers. Neither do wee onely borrow our clothing of other creatures, but we must take a great deal of paines with that which we do borrow, before it will be fit for our use: as may appear in the wooll (our most or­dinary wearing) which requires as great plenty and as much variety of labour before it comes to our backs, as the wheat doth before it comes to our mouths. Thus is man born to labour as the sparks fly upward. Job. 5.7.

To which difficulties of getting, if yee will add the consideration of the hazard of keeping, and the disquietnesse of losing, which all are subject to in all temporall things, then I doubt not but yee will be ready to subscribe to that of the preacher, Eccles. 1.14. I have seen all the works that are done under [Page 292]the Sun, and behold all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Vse 1. And (that we passe not this without some use and benefit) let us in the first place consider, what should be the cause thereof, and what hath brought man so much below other creatures: for in his Creation he was the King of creatures, and therefore no lesse happy then they: what then should be the cause of this alteration? It was sinne (beloved) it was sinne (that cursed offspring of hell) that was the bane of all our blessedness: It was sin that made a separation between God & us: It was sin that tum­ed our glory into shame, our joy into sorrow, our quiet into trouble, our happinesse into misery, our immortality into mortality. For as soon as Adam had sinned, the curses came over his head like waves in a stormy Sea: Cursed is the earth for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the daies of thy life, thornes also and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee; and dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt re­turn. Thus ye see that sin was the mother of all our mischief, sin was the bane that poisoned us, sin was the serpent that stung us, even unto death; for the wages of sin is death. Rom. 6.23.

And yet (such is our foul folly and monstrous madnesse) we are not yet out of love with this ug­ly monster of Hell, that hath wrought us all this woe and misery; We are more foolish then the silly sheep, for though they feed upon their own bane, yet they do it ignorantly, not knowing that it will poison them; but wee draw on sin with cart ropes. Is. 5.18. and drink iniquity like water Job. 15.16. and yet we know it is most deadly bane and poyson to our soules. We are more mad then Aesops Hus­bandman, who finding a snake in the cold weather [Page 293]frozen in the field, brought it home and warm'd it it at the fire; For he did it before he was stung or had received any harm. But we do not warm and revive, but hatch and cherish, not a snake, but sin that is a serpent worse then Hydra, not at our fires, but in our brests and bosoms, not that onely will sting us, but that hath already stung us (as aforesaid) unto death. They say, that burnt children fear the fire: and yet we ripe enough in age, yet too childish in understanding, cannot beware of the fire of sin which hath already burnt down the house of our happinesse, and consumed our glory, and laid all our honor in the dust: but (like the frantick Sa­tyr) we be in love with this fire, and fall to imbracing it: (like the foolish fly) we play with this flame till both our wings of faith and love be scorched, and our soules fall headlong into Hell. Flee therefore and avoid all manner of sin, for it is the bane that poysoneth us, it is the serpent that stingeth us, it is the fire that will utterly consume us, unlesse it be quenched by the tears of repentance, and the blood of Christ.

2. Vse. Again, seeing our miseries are such in our temporall condition, in respect of getting, keeping & losing, why then I may justly say, what is there in this vale of tears that may deserve our love, or be worthy of our affection? Vanity of Vanities, all is Vanity, saith Solomon, and wee our selves know that we are cer­tain in nothing here, but in an uncertain course of things, and a continuall interchange of joy and sor­row. Why then should these vanities and vexations (like so many bewitching Cirees) transform us in­to swinish quality, that we should delight rather to ly wallowing in the miry mudde and puddle [Page 296]of worldlinesse, then to be translated into the glory and blisse of Paradise? why should they (like so ma­ny Sirens) with their deceitfull musick and me­lodie, stop our course and stay our journy, when we should be travelling into our own country? why should they intice us to lie floating on the troublous and dangerous waves of this world, when we should be striving to get into the Haven and Harbor of rest? why should they so much deceive us, as to make us make this our Paradise where wee find no­thing but misery? and here to settle our hearts where there is nothing that can satisfie our desire? Love not the world (saith Saint John) nor the things of the world, if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Here is the privative use, here is that we must not do? what is the positive use, what is that we must doe? Our Saviour teacheth both together Mat. 6.19. Lay not up for your selves treasures upon Earth, ther's that we must not do: but lay up for your selves treasures in Heaven: there's that wee must do. It is Heaven that is our Country and inheritance, on earth wee are but pilgrims and strangers: It is Heaven where we shall have the ful­nesse of joy, there all our comforts are crost with cares. Learn therefore of Saint Phil. 3.8. to count all things loss, and to judge them to be dung that wee may win Christ. Or if ye can not reach that perfecti­on to despise the world, yet at least labour and strive that yee may be able to use the world as though yee used it not, and to have your conversation in Hea­ven.

And so much of the discovery of mans vileness, out of the consideration of his temporall estate and condition, in respect of the miseries of his life.

The same also will appear in respect of the short­nesse of his life. For mans dignity and honor in his creation, was in his being the Image of God: and that was (partly) in his immortality, whereof (du­ring his innocencie) he was capable: Potens non mori, having a possibility not to die. His immortality therefore, and length of life being then his honor and excellencie, it must needs follow (by the rule of contraries) that his mortality and shortness of life is his dishonor and vilenesse.

But out of the Scriptute also it may bee shown, that long life is an honor, and short life a dishonor, a re­proach and vilenesse unto man. For in the ninteenth of Lev. ver: 32. it is said, Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man. And in the Commandements, Ex. 20. the only pro­mise of reward (expressed) is that of long life: That thy daies may be long in the land, &c. And as this is a reward and honor, so (on the contrary) short life is a punishment and dishonor. For, 1 Sam. 2.32. when God would execute judgement and justice up­on Eli, one of his greatest punishments was, that there should never be an old man in his house, but his seed should be cut off before it should be ripe. And oft­en in the Scriptures we find long life as a blessing to the god, ly and short life, as a curse to the wicked, on the one side promised, on the other side threatned. Let us look then upon the shortnesse of our life, and consider the vileness of our condition there­in.

Ye know Moses his accompt. Ps: 90.10. The daies of our years are threescore years and ten, and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet in their strength labour and sorrow. He accounts [Page 296]it the utmost of our age but a little: For to that purpose he closeth therewith this, for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. It is soon cut off; as if he should say, It is a time of no considerable endurance. But as touching the shortnesse of mans life, the heathen man, Tully, by the twilight of nature, could see to say thus, Lib. de senect. Quid est in vita hominis diu? what length is there in the life of man? Mihi quidem ne diuturnum quidquam videtur in quo est aliquid extremum: me thinks there's nothing long or lasting which hath an end. For indeed when that is once come, then 'tis all nothing. But Saint Au­gustine goes farther and saith, (Conf. lib. 11. cap. 15.) that the life of man is neither long nor short, but that it is not at all. Quo pacto illud longum est aut breve, quod omnino non est? How can that be long or short which at all is not? Praeteritum enim jam non est, & futurum nondum est: For the time past is not now, and the time to come is not yet: So that then we can count our life nothing but the same to [...] that same instant present moment of time (Now) which the Philosophers make an end of the time past, and the beginning of the time to come: which is indeed so near to nothing, that wee can hardly make any thing of it. For, now we live, and now again that time is past: And again, Now we live: and now again that time is past. Dum loqui­mur fugit invida aetas, saith the Poet: whiles we speak, our envious time flies away. Yea, sooner then we are able to pronounce that one syllable (Now) it is a hazard, a doubt and question whether we live or no. So short and swift, and slippery is that time which wee may boldly venture to call our life, that it is gone before we can speak it, yea before we can [Page 397]think it; It is even swifter then conceit. And there­fore (to shew the shortnesse and swiftnesse of our life) the Scriptures do set it forth by the shortest and swiftest things: as namely a weavers shuttle, Job 7.6. a Post, Job 9.25. a tale that is told Ps. 90.9. And yet these shadowes and types (short and swift as they are) they are too long to measure the shortnesse of mans life. For though the shuttle flyeth swiftly, yet sometimes it lyeth still before the quil of yarn be quite spent: though the Post rideth or runneth speedily, yet sometimes hee baites and rests before he comes to his journies end: though a tale passe quickly, yet it hath some stops and pauses be­fore it comes to the last full point. But the life of man flyeth swiftly, and never lyeth still till the quill of breath be quite wasted: the life of man post­eth speedily, and never baits nor rests till it comes to its last Inne of death: the life of man passeth quickly, and admitteth no stops nor pauses, till the last gasp make a full period.

For when the shuttle lyeth still, the weavers life flyeth on: when the Post baiteth, his life keepeth on its journey: when the tale-teller pauseth, it is no stop to his life: Nay, when time, or at least the mea­surers of time, the sun and moon stood still in the dayes of Josuah, yet then there was no stay in the course of life, but many mens death were hastned, and they ran to their ends faster then they could run from their Enemies, as yee may read in the tenth of Jos. Nay, when the sun went backwards in the daies of Hezekiah, even then no doubt mens lives went forward. 1 Kin. 20. for wee not read that God brought backe any mans mans life when hee brought back the shadow; he did onely adde some [Page 300]time to Hezekiahs life: he gave him a longer jour­ney to go, he did not give him leave to goe it at his own leasure and pleasure, but it was with Hezekiah as it is with all mens else, there is no manner nor measure of stop or stay in the course of life, but whe­ther we wake or sleep, eat or drink work or play, still our glasses run, and every moment we draw nearer and nearer to our ends. My life is but a wind, saith Job, Job 7.7. Thou hast made my daies as it were a span long saith David. Ps. 39.5. What is your life? it is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away saith St James, Ja. 4.14. And herein (I doubt not mans vilenesse is also much discovered, namely in the shortness as well as in the miseries of his life.

And from hence I pray take out a twofold use: First, somewhat concerning God, then concerning our selves.

1 Vse. Concerning God: wee have here a disco­very both of his mercie and of his justice. I say of his mercie as well as of his justice; for though indeed shortnesse of life came upon man at the first, Nomine poenae in the name of a curse, yet now (Rebus sic stantibus, the case standing as it doth) the children of God may take it for a blessing. For they en­dure many crosses and afflictions in this world, but let them be comforted, their life is but short, they shall not endure them long, and hereis Gods mer­cie. Again, for the wicked they prosper and flourish, but let them fear and tremble: their life is but short. They spend their daies in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave, Ps. 1.21. And here is Gods justice. The godly are Pilgrims and strangers upon Earth, but they have an inheritance incorruptible, undefi­led, [Page 301]and that fadeth not away, reserved for them in heaven 1 Pet. 1.4. therefore their life is but short that they may not long be kept from it. Behold a work of mercie. But (on the contrary) the wicked have their portion here, and all their felicity in this world (as they are set forth speaking, Wisd. 2.9. Come let us enjoy the good things that are present. For this is our portion, and our lot is this) therefore their life is but short, that they may not long enjoy it. Behold a work of justice. And I hold it to be worth the observing, that as the strength of sin hath increased, and the times grown worse and worse, Aetas parentum prior avis, &c. our fathers age worse then our grandfathers, ours worse then theirs; so the age of man hath decreased and grown lesse and lesse. In so much that now adaies we do scarce reach to the tenth part of the time that the Fathers in the first ages did live. To the end that the more iniquity doth abound, and the more sin, mischief, and evill there is in the world, the lesse the Saints of God might be incumbred with it, & might not be constrained to dwell with Mesech, and to have their habitation a­mong the tents of Kedar: Ps. 120: therefore the age of man is shortned: and here is Gods mercie. Again, the more that wicked men do solace themselves in sin, and take pleasure in unrighteousnesse; the lesse time they might have to delight and rejoyce therein. And here is Gods justice, Mercie and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each o­ther. Ps. 85.10. In this one action of setting so short a date and stint upon the life of man, both the hands of God ( [...] may so speak with reverence) his mercie [...] justice are exercised together. And so ye have [...] concerning God. viz. the discoverie of his mercie, and justice.

2. Vse. Again, concerning our selves. Seeing our life is so short, swift and slippery, that it flyeth faster then imagination. O then, I may cry out unto you in the words of Saint Peter, what manner of persons ought we to be in holy conversation and godlinesse? what a monstrous madness is it for men still to live as if they should never dye? and never to prepare for the entertaining of death, untill they hear him knocking at their dores. Indeed 'tis true, death is a great man, and a guest of Kings: and therefore commonly hee sendeth one of his harbingers before him (sicknesse or old age) to take up his lodging: But yet many, yea very many times, he rideth alone (like an ordinary guest) and comes unlookt for: yea (like a thiefe in the night) at an hour when wee are most secure and unaware. And therefore it cannot be denyed, but that it is a good and godly prayer, which we were wont to have in our Letanie: From sudden death good Lord deliver us: though indeed properly in it self death cannot be said to be sud­den to them that ore of ripe age: For how can he be said to die suddenly, who having lived 50. or 40. or but 20. years hath had all or most of all that time to make himself ready? death therfore cannot be said to be sudden, unlesse it take us in our infancie, before wee have had any time to prepare and make us ready; for the very short and swift condition of our life is, or should be a sufficient Item, warning or notice of death. Let us therefore remember the fearfull cen­sure and judgement pronounced upon that servant that said in his hetar, my master will defer his com­ing: That servants master will come in a day when hee looketh not for him, and in an hour when he is not a­ware, and shall cut him off, and appoint him his porti­on with hypocrits, there shall be weeping and gnash­ing [Page 301]of teeth. Mat. 24.48. And now my hour being out, and requiring an end of my present discourse, I pray give me leave to press upon you the duty of preparing for death, by the sad occasion that is now offered to us, and is so strong upon us, namely the death of our late honorable Lady. Wee little thought (but a little before the beginning of this festival of the Nativity) that we should have kept it in so sad colours as wee have done. But God hath much fulfilled on us that threatning Am. 8.10. I will turn your feasts into mourning, and your songs into lamentation. I have there-fore now produced this text of mortification to conclude and close our festivall (as suitable to our occasion) that I may bring you to that, Jam. 4.9. Be afflicted and mourn, and weep, let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into heaviness. Yet not in reference to her that is gone, but to our selves: according to that of our Saviour (which we may apply as spo­ken by her) weep not for me, but weep for your selves. And I also think it my duty (though her funerall be already past) to give her this funerall farewell: yet not to ingage to her praises (as in such services the manner is) For that is simply needlesse, and especi­ally in this place where she was so well known & so much honored. I will give her no more praise then that which St. John gives to that Lady to whom he writes his second Epistle, whom he calls the elect Lady. So might our late honorable Lady also have been called, for her life and death did plentifully confirm it: And truly if that title were set upon her tombe, it would be no scant or slight epitaph, for the height of all honour is in being the elect of God. But I may not insist in her praises: yet [Page 304](though I may not praise her) I may praise God for her: And therein I pray you to joine with me Praise God both for giving her and for taking her; For gi­ving her, to be a mother both natural & spiritual. A mother natural: for she was given to two Honorable husbands (in their turns) for fulfilling of that bless­ing, Ps. 128.3. Thy wife shall be as the fruitful vine, &c. so that she hath seen two honorable houses set up, and well filled by two sonnes of her own body: and a third house of honor planted with two hope­full plants of her daughters body: and hath left a possibility of a 4th house to be set up in Gods good time by her third and youngest son. And I may say also that she was given to be a spirituall mother as well as a natural mother, even a mother in Israel: though not in that sense, as some dames, even ma­dames in this our age make themselves, by taking on them the ministeriall work of preaching; yet in some degrees beyond that of winning of souls by conver­sation, recommended to women by Saint Peter, 1 Pet. 3.1. For not onely to her family, but upon all occasions to all commers and visiters (who were not a few) she had alwaies in a readinesse words edi­fying, and ministring grace unto the hearers: being able by the light of Orthodox truth, to dazle and quench false lights (now too common) as oft as she met with them. And she might be called a spi­rituall mother, in that she was a fosterer and che­risher of the spirituall fathers and ministers: as many as had any relation to her, or occasion to be known of her (they were not a few) yea, shee did not one­ly foster and cherish them with her purse, but also in­courage by her presence, in visiting the publike con­gregation, at least once every sabbath day: By which [Page 305]constancie of her (it seems) her heavenly master whom she served, took occasion to take her off from her work, & to bring her to her wages. For (not for­bearing on a cold foggy day) shee was stricken with cold, or some ill aire, or both, so strongly, that she soon apprehended it to be her last summoner. And accordingly it proved: for in a few daies it brought her to her end.

And as for giving her, so also for taking her; God is to be praised. For taking her in a good time: not in that sense as is said of many, he died in good time, when all the world were willing to be rid of him: but she died in that good time when all that knew her would have been glad to have enjoyed her. In a good time, even in a time of gohd old age, she having lived to her 72 year. In a good time when she knew her masters calling, and was in a right readinesse to open & come unto him, not taken suddenly, nor with any violent distempering disease. In a good time: even in a time of peace. It was a blessing to Josiah that he should not live to see the evill of wrath and judge­ment upon his nation, but should be gathered to his grave in peace, before trouble began. 2 Chron. 34.27, 28. but this our good Lady hath had a grea­ter blessing, even to outlive troubles, and to be pre­served through times of wrath, and to die in peace, and to leave all hers in prosperous peace and safety. But how shall we praise God for her? truly not in word alone, but in work and life also. Awake up my glory saith David, Ps. 157.8. he sets his tongue a work, but with condition that his whole selfe shall not be idle: For so it followeth there: I my self will awake right early: True praising God is not a bare word matter, but a life matter, a whole selfe matter: [Page 304]And truly we cannot better praise God for this our deceased Lady, then in applying and conforming our whole self to her, our whole life to hers: our eyes to her eyes, our mouth to her mouth, our hands to her hands (as the Prophet Elisha did his to the Shunamites son, 1 Kin. 4.34.) I mean in point of imitation. Not for any intent to revive her, (as that prophets intent was to that dead son) but to the intent of quickning our soules, as the lot was of that dead man who was cast into the sepulcher of Elisha. 2 Kin. 13.21. that so living the life of the righteous (which it seems Balaam for­got, for he made no mention of it, Num. 23.10.) We may also die the death of the righteous, and our last end may be like hers.

And so much of the first genenerall part or branch of this text, namely the basenesse or vilenesse of man. In that out of the consideration of the Heavens the moon, and the starres; this question is raised. What is man?

The second SERMON up­on the same text, Ps. 8.4. conclu­ded in the same place and pre­sence, Jan. 15. 1653.

THE first chiefe part or point of this text being before spoken of, I come now to the second: which is mans unworthi­nesse, which I gather here to be im­plyed, in that the question (what is man?) is made and moved in and with reference and comparison to Gods mindfulness. What is man that thou art mindfull of him?

This point (of mans unworthinsse to Godward) may be discovered by a twofold consideration: namely of his indisposition to good, and his disposi­tion or or proneness to evil: each of which are such and so great, that it may be said, The best man cannot do one work perfectly good, but the best man doth many works absolutely evill. I say the best man: For if it be true of the best, then it must needs hold true of all the rest. And though Saint August. (upon this Psalme) by man (in the first place) doth un­derstand the old man, the naturall man. And by fili­us hominis, the Son of man) doth understand the new man the regenerate man; yet (his purpose be­ing far enough from mine, and yet not contrary to mine) I may safely enough take man in the former place, at large and indefinitely, so as including all men even the best man. And yet though I say, the best man. I do not include our Saviour Christ, to [Page 306]whom I know this text is applyed, and of him un­derstood. Heb 2.6. he was more then a man; God and man: but I speak of man naturally and properly: the best meere man cannot do one work perfectly good: the best man doth many works absolutely evill.

First, the best man cannot do one work absolutely or perfectly good. This may sufficiently appear, by the many expressions which the scripture hath to that purpose, as that Ps. 143.2. In thy sight shall no man living be justified: and that Ps. 62.9. surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: and Rom. 3.11. They are all gone out of the way they are altogether become unprofitable, there is none that doth good, no not one. And Rom. 7.18. I know that in me, that is in my flesh dwelleth no good thing. But that one place is instar omnium, Is. 64.6. we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righte­onsnesses are as filthy rags. This Isaiah was a Pro­phet, and therefore if not the best man, yet to be ranked and reckoned in the number of the best: And yet his workes, yea his best works, his righteous­nesses, yea not onely his, but all other mens we may take here to be included. All our righteousnesse, hee affirmeth to be defiled, and so defiled that the trans­lators have (for modesty) have waived that foulness which is in the propriety of the originall, and have given it but that indefinite expression of filthy raggs.

And to this plain evidence of scripture, reason it self must needs subscribe. For all our good works and righteousnesse do arise and flow from our faith, hope and love: But our faith, our hope, and our love, being (in this life) but in part and unperfect. 1 Cor. 13.9. It must needs be that all that proceed­eth [Page 307]from them must be likewise unperfect. And how­soever the holy Ghost (who is in himselfe most per­fect) be the originall Author of all our goodnesse, yet is our goodnesse in it self but unperfect. For as a young scholler in his writing discovers his owne de­fect and unskilfulnesse, though a skilful master hold­eth his hand, so we in all our righteousnesse, do dis­cover our own imperfection, though the Holy Ghost (that perfect workmaster) be our Author and guide. And as water proceeding out of a pure Fountain, & passing through a filthy channel, loseth its purity, and becomes defiled, so our holinesse and righte­ousnesse (though it proceed from the pure fountain of grace) yet passing through our corrupt will and affections, doth lose its purity, and becomes defiled: according to that, Job. 14.4. who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.

I shut up this point therefore with the saying of Saint Augustine, Aug. conf. lib. 9. ca. 13. vae eti­am laudabili vitae hominum si sine misericordia dis­cutias eam: Woe be even to the laudable life of man, if thou (meaning God) shouldst search and examine it. Which saying is confirmed and made up by that of the Psalmist, Ps. 130.3. If thou Lord shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord who shall stand?

Again, our unworthinesse to Godward appeares, as our indisposition to good, in that we cannot do one work perfectly good, so also in our disposition to evill, in that the best man doth many absolutely and truly evill, many sinnes.

If I should goe about to make proofe of this, I should but light a candle to the Sun, or cast water into the Sea, I should take but a needlesse work in hand, So plentifull and pregnant is the Scripture in [Page 308]this case, and so powerfull is every ones conscience, (even as a thousand witnesses) that we have every one cause enough to cry out with Manasses in his prayer, I have sinned above the number of the sand of the Sea, my transgressions O Lord are multiplyed, my transgressions are exceeding many. And with David, Ps. 38.4. Mine iniquities are gone over mine head as an heavy burden, they are too heavy for me. And with Saint Paul, Rom. 3.23. All have sinned and come short, or (as some read it) are de­prived of the glory of God: deprived of glory, and in­vested with shame: for to us belongeth confusion of face. Dan. 9.7.

Vse. This may make us all to start at the fight of our selves, as of the most terrible and fearfull thing: for what can be more terrible then to be under the power of sin, and consequently of death and con­demnation. And such an one shall the best man see himself to be, if with a single eye hee look simply on himself: And at his best, he cannot see himself clean without sinne. For who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sinne? Prov. 20.9. The holy man Job, because of the grievous sores that were upon his body, cryed out, factus sum mi­himet ipsi gravis: I am become a burden to my selfe, Job 7.20. And shall not we (being all over-spread, not in body onely, but also in soul, not with sores, but with sinnes) shall not wee much more cry out and say, I am become a burden to my self? Did the le­prosie of his body make him so grievous to himself, and shall the leprosie of our soules nothing disquiet us? Was he so oppressed with a pestred carcasse, and shall we feel no weight of a festred conscience? His body was not himself, yet he saith, the sores of that [Page 309] make him a burden to himself: our soul is our selfe, (Anima cujusque est quisque, every mans soul is himself) & shall not we say, the sinns of that do make us a burden to our self? Flie therefore from thy self, and run away from thy selfe: and never leave running till thou hast run out of thy self, and run in­to Christ: till thou hast lost thy selfe and found Christ; till thou hast put off thy selfe, and put on the Lord Jesus; till thou hast gotten thy worthinesse of hell, laid upon his Crosse, and his worthinesse of Heaven laid upon thy back. So Saint Paul in doing what he would not, and willing what did not, became a burden to himself, and cries out, Rom. 7.24. O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death. And so run­ning out of himself, hee runs into Christ, saying, I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

And so I come to the third and last generall part of the text, viz. Gods providence towards man, not­withstanding his vilenesse, notwithstanding his un­worthinesse. That thou art mindfull of him?

That old and well worn sentence so often used in oratories, was never more justly taken up by any then now it may be me, Rerum copia verborum ino­pem facit, plenty of matter makes me scanty of words: I have a feast here set before me furnished with such varieties, that I know not which to tast first. A subject so large, a discourse so copious, that I know not how either to begin or end it. For how shall I begin that which hath no beginning? or how shall I end that that hath no ending? The time would faile me, yea my wits and understanding too, if I should go about at full to declare it. But somewhat I must say of it, that ye may see it, though but as in a [Page 310]glasse darkly, and that ye may know it, though but in part and unperfectly. Thou art mindfull of him.

Gods mindfulnesse of man was before time; Is in time; It shall be after time. It was before time in elect­ing him. It is in time many waies; in creating him, in preserving him, in redeeming him, in raising him: It shall be after time in eternall and everlasting glorifying him.

First it was before time in electing him. Before time? yes, before time reall. Nunc initiativum times beginning as to the creature. There was imaginary time for ever, which was Gods eternity. But our time reall began (with the Creation) to have its notion to us, and its distinction and constitution by the motion of the celestiall luminaries, Gen. 1.14. And before this our time I say, was God mindful of man in electing him. For we have it. Eph. 1.4. Hee hath chosen us in him (that is in Christ) before the foundation of the world. Before the world or any creature therein, was God mindfull of man: And so mindfull, that he not one­ly purposed to make man, but in his infinite alknow­ledge foreseeing, that man being made, would marre, destroy, and cast away himself again, hee chose some whom he would save, restore, and recover out of that masse of perdition and confusion.

He chose therefore, but not according to works foresseen: for that had not been (properly chosing) if there had been any preexisting cause or provocati­on, for choosing is a most free action. And if God had chosen according to works foreseen, hee must needs have chosen all or none at all: For all) once lost in Adam) were alike in disposition, or rather in in­disposition to good works: God could see no more [Page 311]of good in one then in another. He may bee said to [...] all beings, as well past, and future, as present. Ye [...] (in a notionall sense) he may be said to see in him­self many works that never were or shall be, but one­ly might be if he so pleased to work, for he knoweth (and he onely) the extent of his own power. But to say God seeth (in the creature) that which is not, is a contradiction. And what good was or is there in Adam, or any of his children fallen? Even as much good (that is as much of spirituall life) as is of naturall life in a dead body. For, In Adam all die. 1 Cor. 15.22. Now if a man should go into Golgotha, a place of dead mens sculs, or could goe down into the bottome of the Sea to looke among the drown'd bodies in a sunk ship, in which of those sculs or bodies should hee finde more disosition to to life then in another. Indeed the resurrection shall raise them all: And God by the first resurrection doth raise whom he will. But there is no more dis­position to the first in the dead soul, then is to the second in the dead body, but God in each acteth powerfully and freely. And so may be concluded in his electing also to have done. According to that, Eph. 1.5. Having predestinated us according to the good pleasure of his will.

Again, He chose some, a few, a small number, a a little flock. Not simply, but comparatively in re­ference to the greater number of the reprobate: O let us admire his mercie, that hee would vouchsafe to choose any (all being lost) let us not call his justice in question, why he would not choose all. For hee hath mercie on whom he will have mercie, Rom. 9.15.

Again, he chose, not indefinitely, or at peradven­ture, [Page 312]but a certain number of certain persons: A cer­tain number, for hee will not make them mere or lesse. Of certain persons: for hee will not alter or change them. And because he will not, it may be said he cannot: having once decreed, hee cannot de­ny himself, 2 Tim. 2.13. With God there is not yea and nay, 2 Cor. 1.20. but his foundation remaineth sure. 2 Tim. 2.19. It is not to be altered. His name is Jehovah: his name is, I am; names of conscience, names of continuance, names of perfection: Yesterday and to day, and the same for ever. Heb. 13.8. with whom is no variableness or shadow of turning. Ja. 1.17

Again, he chose them whom he did choose, not to beidle, not to be secure, not to think it needlesse for them now to take care how they live, because of the infallibility and immutability of their choosing, but he hath chosen us that we should be holy and with­out blame before him in love. Eph. 1.4. And that we should be conformed to the image of his forme. Ro. 8.92.

From hence (as from a fountain) do flow all the other works of mercy. For why were we created? because we were elected? why were we redeemed? be­cause we were elected. Why were wee called? why are we sanctified? why are we justified? why shall we be glorified? because we are elected.

O fountain of grace! O welspring of life! O un­speakable mercie! What is man O Lord, that thus beforetime thou wert mindfull of him!

Secondly, God is mindfull of man in time, and many waies. I have named four. In creating him: In preserving him: In redeeming him: In raising him.

First, in creating him. He made all things, but man in a speciall manner: hee made man (as I may [Page 313]say) with a witnesse: other things by his word, He spak the word and they were made, hee commanded and they were created; but man was made by his counsell, faciamus hominem, let us make man, Gen. 1.26. And no marvell: for the reason there follow­eth, he was to be a speciall piece, hee was to be Gods image: Let us make man in our image. He made him in his own image, in knowledge, in righteousnesse, and true holinesse. In his own Image: for he gave him a body potens non mori, and a soul non potens mori, (in respect of his decree) a body that might, a soul that must live for ever. In his own image, for the soul is three in distinct properties or faculties, vege­gation, sense, reason, and yet but one in her unsepa­rable essence. In his own image: for the soule is in man, the Microcosme, the little world, somwhat a­like as God is in the great world: Totum in toto, & totum in qualibet parte: whole in the whole, and whole in every part, and yet not In loco, not included in place.

2. Again, (in time) God is mindfull of man, se­condly in preserving him: For God is not like a Shipwright or Carpenter, who leaveth his work or building to it self as soon as he hath set it up: but God is mindfull of man, as well in preserving as in creating him. Yea, this also (to the expresse of Gods perfection) may be said that he cannot do, he cannot make any thing to be or subsist of it selfe, without him. For so there should be something where at his power should be limited, and whereto his strength should not extend: And so hee should not be infinite, he should not be almighty, he should not be himself: he should not be God: therefore 'tis of ne­cessity that to every work which God maketh, hee [Page 314]adde also a butteresse, a prop, or supporter of his of his power to sustain it: which whensoever he ta­keth away the work (what ever it be) soon decayeth and perisheth: For in him we live, and move, and have our being. Act. 17.28. And when thou hidest thy face, they are troubled, when thou takest away their breath they die, and are turned again to their dust. Ps. 109.29. And in that Psalme, we have a large discourse of the mindfulnesse of God towards man in providing him wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oile to make him a chearfull coun­tenance, and bread to strengthen mans heart. Yea, his providence extendeth to the least things that do concern us: There cannot a tear fall from our eyes, but he doth bottle it up: Put my tears into the bottle. P. 56.8. there cannot an hair fall from our heads, but he doth take notice of it, for even the hairs of our head are all numbred. Luk. 12.7. Yea, (which is of us more considerable, because to us more terrible) there cannot a word fall from our mouths, but he doth register it, for every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account hereof in the day of judgement. Mat 12.36.

3. Again, God is mindfull of man, thirdly (in time) in redeeming him. And this work hath many parts; too many for me to speak of at this time: I can but name them. His miraculous incarnation, his charitable life and peregrination, his painfull and shamefull death and passion, descension, resurrection, his ascension. And hereto also pertaineth his calling us, his sanctifying us, his justifying us, and his pawning and pledging everlasting life unto us.

4. Again, fourthly and lastly, God is mindful of man in time, in raising him, hee is mindfull even of [Page 315]our very dust and ashes, when we be dead and rotten. For (saith Job) I shall see God in my flesh. Job. 19.26. And he shall change our vile body, and make it like to his glorious body saith Saint Paul, Phil. 3.21. And this corruptible must put on incorrupti­on, and this mortall must put on immortality. 1 Cor. 15.53. And then shall Ezekiels mysticall or para­bolicall vision be literally fulfilled, Every bone shall come again to his bone, and the flesh and sinewes shall grow upon them, and the skin shall cover them. Ezek. 37. And Saint Aug. de Gen. ad lit. lib. 3. ca. 17. is very punctuall and emphaticall upon this point. Quasi vero quicquam intersit ad nostram utilitatem ista caro jam examinis per quos transitus eat, &c. As though (saith he) it were any thing considera­ble what becomes of our body being dead, seeing that by whatsoever passages it shall go; It shall thence be drawn out again by the almighty power of the Crea­tor to be new formed. And again in another place, Enchirid. ad Laur. cap. 88. Non autem perit Deo, terrena materia de qua mortalium creatur caro, the earthly matter of mans body is never lost to God: sed in quemlibet cinerem pulveremve solvatur: but into whatsoever dust or ashes it be dissolved: In quoscunque halitus aurasve diffugiat, Into whatso­ever, spirits, or airs it fly away: In quorumcunque aliorum corporum substantiam vel in ipsa elementa vertatur: Into whatsoever substance of other crea­tures (be it into the very elements) it be turn'd: In quo­rumcun (que) animalium etiam hominum cibum cedat unto whatsoever food of other creatures (be it of mankind) it be converted: Illae humanae animae puncto temporis redit, It shall at last in a monent of time return to that soul: Quae illam primitus ut homo fie­ret [Page 316]cresceret, viveret, animavit: which did at first it that it might be made a man, and live and grow.

3. As before time, & in time so also 3ly. and last­ly after time, God is or shall be mindfull of man, in or by eternal & everlasting glorifying him. After time I say, after nunc finiens or terminationum, the end or consummation of created time. For the day of judg­ment is called the last day. Jo. 6.39, 40. and Rev. 10.6. the angell sweareth that time shall be no more. Yet then I say when all distinction of time shall grow up into one perfect constant day of eternity, then shall God be mindfull of man in bringing him to, and preserving him in the fulnesse of joy and plea­sure for evermore. For, we shall be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we be ever with the Lord. 1 Thes. 4.17. O infinite love, O unmeasurable mercie, O beginlesse, O endlesse providence, what is man, O Lord, what is man, that thus before time, in time, and after time, thou art mindfull of him?

I shall include this point (and so the whole text) with a brief touch of a twofold use. This last Doctrine of Gods mindfulnesse of man, teacheth us to be thankfull: and it teacheth us not to be care­full.

1. Vse. First it teacheth us to be thankfull. For seeing Gods providence is such and so great toward us, and it is all Gratis. It is but our thankfulnesse that hee requireth for all (for he saith) who so offereth praise, glorifieth me. Ps. 50.23. And David saith, My goodnesse extendeth not to thee, Ps. 16.2.) what a shame will it be for us then to be found unthank­full? Praise him therefore for thy soul, and for spi­rituall blessings: praise him for thy body, and for [Page 361]temporall blessings: according to that Ps. 101.1. Blesse the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me, blesse his holy name. Blesse the Lord O my soule and forget not all his benefits; which forgiveth all thine iniquities; theres for the soule and for spirituall things; And ver. 5. which satisfieth thy mouth with good things, so that thy youth is renewed like the Eagles: ther's for the body and for temporal things.

2. Vse. Again it teacheth us not to be careful. This is our Saviours teaching, Mat. 6.35. I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink &c. And why? ver. 26. behold the foules of the air, they sow not, neither do they reap, &c. And ver. 30. If God so cloath the grasse of the field, shall he not much more cloth you, Oye of little faith? Hee argueth à majore ad minus, from the lesse to the greater. I may therefore doubt­lesse in this argue a majore ad minus, from the great­er to the lesse. He doth the lesser (saith Christ) there­fore he will much more do the greater (may I in my sense say) therefore he will much more do the lesser. He provideth for the soul spirituall things here, and eternall things hereafter. And if he deal so freely and liberally in those greater matters, shall he not much more do the same in these viler earthly things? what man having received wine of his friend, will be doubtfull whether he would afford him water or no? What man seeing his friend send his son to help him, will make question whether hee would spare him his servants or no? What man seeing his friend offer his life for him, will suspect or be jealous whether hee would impart unto him his goods or no? And see­ing God hath given us the wine of spirituall joyes, shall we be doubtfull whethether hee will afford us [Page 318]the water of temporall comforts? Seeing God hath sent his son to help us, shall we make question whe­ther he will spare us his servants, his creatures to serve us? Seeing our Saviour hath given his life to redeem us, shall we be jealous that he will not impart to us his goods, his corne and wine, and oile to sustain us? No, no, but cast all our care upon him, because he careth for us. Yet cast it in humility, acknowledging our vilenesse, acknowledging our unworthinesse. For so humbling our selves, we shall be sure to be exalted.


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