A SERMON AGAINST MURDER: By occasion of the ROMANISTS putting the PROTESTANTS to death in the Dukedome of SAVOY.


Cyprian. Ep. 6. Martyribus, & Confissoribus.

O Beatam Ecclesiam nostram, quam sic Honor Divinae Dig­nationis Illuminat! quam Temporibus nostris, glo­riosus Martyrum sanguis illustrat!

LONDON, Printed for Humphrey Mosely, at the Princes Armes in Pauls Church-yard. 1655.

TO The Persons both of secular Quality, and of solid Piety, in the beliefe and Practice of Gods true Religion in his Church truly Reformed, Sir HUMPHREY TRACY, Baronet. and his excellent Lady.

Right Worshipfull,

LEt it, I beseech you, be esteemed no fault, that I do, what God has done, Joyn you together; that I do it in this Dedication, I have much of reason for it; This was the last Sermon preacht in your Church, before I finally understood, that after all the endeavours of you both, and my own frequent atteudance upon others, I may not ob­tain Countrey leave to be a constant preacher there: and what should I after doe, but make my publick acknowledgments to you both, for your hearty and costly endeavours? and let my hinderers know that though they have pre­judic't [Page]me, in my best desires, of serving those whom I much desir'd to serve, because of their mutual desires that I should do it, in my great hopes, of making Gods service to prosper un­der such Religious Patronage, whose present lives would not only be notes upon my Sermons, but better Sermons then mine; and notes to me, out of which to make Sermons; that though I might take it unkindely, that a Protestant of England is deny'd (I know not why) by his fellow Protestants, a Son of the Church, by Sons of the same Church (for sure neither they nor I are Romanists:) yet I do not, both because they ahve testify'd to your worship, under their hands, that they have no exception against me, unlesse a suspicion that I differ in judgement, (and yet I know not theirs, nor they mine; or, if I do, have we not leave to differ? they from me, and I from them:) and because they so kindly deny me, as if the Emolument were too small for me; and yet is any thing small, which is most intensely aim'd at? qui sic Amas (I am Gall'd, and pincht, and must wince and speak) Quomodo Osurus es?

Next to my confessions to both your wor­ships, and Acquittances to them all, and [Page]Gratitude to the great civility of one of them, I have more reasons why I print on this sub­ject.

First, to desire all, to joy with me, that Authority does (not only do it, but publish, and professe to do it,) loath murther, and detest Po­pery; O, may it ever abound, with more and more Clemency at home and abroad, and shut out Romanisme by the certain Rule of Orderly reformation!

Secondly, to intreat all my ministerial bre­thren, to joyn their forces of Tongue and pen, and prayer, against the Common enemy to all the Reformed Churches; that we would not make way for them Dissidiis nostris Vires su­as augendi; that we would be wisely suspeci­ous, that the present many-headed differences amongst us, are contrived, and rais'd, and fomented, by the Adversarie of us all, to o­pen many Gates, at which the one Head with three Crowns upon it, to enter; this Authori­ty has taught us to fear, requiring us cha­ritably to do for them that suffer, and Mag­nanimously to suffer with them when God calls us to it; our own sins, and the old arts [Page]and Ambushes, and frauds of Rome may teach us this fear; if that Authority would give me leave to beseech, that differences at home, might be reconcil'd by the Standing Rule (at least, in this way of necessity and dread) the Church of England would yet produce abler men against all her enemies, then she (I am almost afraid to call her whore) who has made us enemies against our selves can produce a­gainst us: a strong and Chosen man, when his augry and merry Passions were over, when he had somewhat more to doe with the Holy Ghost, seem'd to remember the end of another Verse, that of Ovid: — Virtus, & in hoste, Probatur, when we acknowledg'd oue to be a very learned man, who I am confident, would bend all his force against Rome (I, and batter her too) did he not believe it conscientiously necessary, to set himselfe in the Gap, against some fallings out at home: And when, with all humble mrdesty, I have beseech Authori­tie, I may take leave to beseech my own bre­thren one, in the Faith which was once de­liver'd, sadly to consider what the meaning of some new lights are; light should be so cleare [Page]as to declare it self; but some are still in dark­ness and Ignorance; they cannot tell what is the ground; and fountain, and first fire that kindles these lights; only they are wary e­nough to suspect, that it is some Purgatory­fire has done it; may it not be a Notion obtru­ded from subtil Rome? and unawares swal­low'd in the simplicity of some mens hearts? who when they are a while, injur'd in the matter of this expression, and believe it to be the word of God in their Conscience, may at length, be brought to interpret it by Tradi­tion (that must not appear, too soon, and im­maturely, in it's own face) which some call the unwritten word of God? and yet Scrip­ture, and the word of God are, in Scripture, which is Gods word synonima, significative of the same thing, and convertible; and then the unwritten word of some, what is it but a Romish Bull, the unwritten Scripture?

Thirdly, that my suspecters may know, he whom they lay aside loves the Errours of Rome as little as they do, (not Popishly affe­cted at all) and would himself bring straw, if their better abilities were at leasure, to hew [Page]out stone, to make a wall against her.

I must conclude, more particularly to both your worships, with my humble requests to you, to pardon my misery, that I must not en­joy my own liberty, in serving you: and with my heartie prayers to God for you, that you may so exceptablie serve him here, as to Reign with him in Heaven.

Though not at Stanway, Your most Faithful Servant, every where else, WILLIAM TOWERS.

A Sermon against Murder.

EXOD. 20.13.

Thou shalt not Kill.

THough I have design'd to be brief upon the ten Commandements, not handling them now, Ex Instituto, as they are set down by Moses, but Rap­tim, in a more large acceptation of them, as they are all of them comprehended in those few words of S. John, the Commandements of God. 1. Epist. 5.2. and there­fore, though for this reason, I ran through the four first Com­mandements, in one Sermon, and made the fifth alone the entire Subject of an other, because of the multiplicity of mat­ter in it; which yet I did not so much as summarily dispatch, having spoken but half a word of the duty of Disciples to their Teacher (my own interest compel'd me to speak no more) and not half a syllable of the duty of the younger to the Aged, of the Instructed (any otherway) to the Cousellour, of the scholar (that peculiar way) to the Master; (want of time infoc't me not to speak of these at at all) all of these, He that is the School-master. He that gives Counsel, and he that is the Aged man, being com­prehended under the notion of Father, and a several respective Honour being due to the several kinds of Fatherhood in each of these; yet, at this time, I shall intirely insist upon this one short text, and large Command, Thou shalt not kill; Providence having so order'd it, that this Prophibition is next to be [Page 2]spoken of, on this very day, on which Authority has appointed those to be releiv'd by the collection of your liberality, who so miserably suffer by the barbarous inhumane breach of this sixth Commandement, in all the branches of it, as it relates to the very act of murther.

All those several branches I shall briefly enquire into, and make them the Division of my Text, that when you have seen how disobedient and Rebellious to God it is, to inflict all these degrees of sufferings, how sad, and greivous, how wretched, and almost insupportable it is for man to endure them all, your hearts may be the more enlarged to supply their needs, and thereby to defend and maintain the lives of the survivours.

This also is part of this Command. Every Negative pre­cept of God, has it's Positive duty incumbent upon man; not onely, thou shalt not kill, not take away life, That's the Nega­tive part of this duty, and it is but part; but also, thou shalt as much as in thee lies, succour and support life; That's the positive, and both these are the whole.

So many other Branches there are, which grow out of this root, thou shalt not kill, that I dare not so much as Name them before the Sermon, because I can do no more then name them in the Sermon; you shall meet with them in their Order; First and cheifly, of the root that beares them, thou shalt not kill, not take life away.

Thou shalt not do it, unworthily, illegally; that interpre­tation must run through every part of the Text; Else, there will be no just power left, to take his life away, who wrong­fully takes away another mans; else one Scripture will thwart another. How many Commands are there, in the Word of God to take life away, upon special and due occasions! but then they are the Judges, Publick persons, men in Authority, that may, that must do this; and when they do this, take life away, though they do Kill, yet they doe no murther, provi­ded still that they do it upon just and due occasions; else, murther may, sometimes, and unadvisedly, be Committed with the very sword of Justice; and when they thus kill, they doe not so much take life away, as preserve life; they kill the [Page 3]murtherer, that neither he, nor others, by his unpunisht ex­ample, may murther more; take away this sword, and there is nothing else left but sword; what shall we be without his protection, but spelunca latronum & Homicidaram? what shall we do, and suffer, but Rob, and be Rob'd, Kill, and be Kill'd! The Officer may do this; but Thou shalt not Kill, thou the Private man must not do it; I will not so much as name (though many good men do it) a se defendendo, to tolerate this act of private-killing; both, least this excuse may be pretended where Really it is not, and beeause a better Christian has well taught me that a good perfect Christian, D. H. H. in his Practic. [...]a [...]. out of the abundance of Christ Commanded Charity, will rather Die then Kill; and, therefore, may the Officer do this, with­out breach of this Command; because, elsewhere, He is com­manded to do it; and, therefore too, must the unworthily, the illegally be interpreted of the Prohibition in this Text, those many other plaine and evident Texts in Scripture giving light and lustre thus to expound this.

Thou shalt not Kill; the inhibition is plaine, against the murther of any private man in any Nation; and 'tis as plaine against one Nation Invading Another, to kill and Massa­cre there; for, though it be a Pope, who is Bishop of Rome, and, perhaps, supreme There in Cathedra non-Catholica, yet Rome is not Savoy; though it be a Duke, who, perhaps, is Prince and Cheife in Savoy, yet Savoy is not England; and the Pope has no more Power to Massacre There, or the Duke Here, then a Private man has power to do it, either here, or there; and that, because, be he Pope, or be he Duke, as great as he is at Home, where he Raigns, yet out of his Jurisdiction he is but a Private man Abroade: nay, let me say it, neither Pope, nor Prince, can at all Travel out of their own Dominions; when they are once past their Bounds, the Pope and the Prince stay behinde, their Pompe and Power are left upon the shoare; and only the Man, in each of them, crosses the Seas; and whenever they shall do so, God in his mercy preserve us from their malice, that neither they may be so outragious, to Massacre any of the people of God in this Land, nor that any [Page 4]the people of God in this land may ever he so beguil'd and be­sotted with superstition, as to beleive they have any power and Right to do it, to break this Command of God, Thou, thou that hast no title at all to this Nation, Thou shalt not Kill here.

Nay, any the greatest Potentates, in any their own Domi­nions, have not any the least power, (power I mean of Right, though they have of Force) to take away the life of any their meanest subject, unlesse according to the law of that place; much lesse upon their own meer Arbitrarinesse, to slay some Thousands upon the Spot, and to drive out other Thousands up­the Mountaines; this is such a spot, which they will never be a­ble to wipe off from their bloody soules, whilest they con­tinue either to practice this with their hands, or to believe in their soules that they may practice this: Against all such Exor­bitancies, and irregular Illegal Cruelties, even of the Greatest, this Text stands in full force, thou (thou, O mighty man, who boastest thy self in mischief) shalt not Kill; not Thus, not thus unworthily Kill; what ailed ye, ye mighty men, that of late ye made the poor Protestants to flie? ye inferiour Souldiers, that ye drave them back? ye Great persons, that ye skipped over them like Rams, and ye little ones, like lambs? Tremble, all of you, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of this command of the God of Jacob, Thou shalt not kill; above all, do not break Gods Command for Gods own sake; Tempt us not by any more of these savagenesses to apply that prophesie of Christ to you, The time Commeth, that whoso killeth you, will think that he doth God service, Ioh. 16.2. 'Tis necessary that all Christs prophesies Come to passe, but woe to that man by whom they thus come; 'tis a Zeal indeed this, but, like their Ignorant obedience, a Blinde one, First, to put out their own eyes, and then the Eyes of the Protestants body, his Soule; 'tis that a­lone which sees; Aristot. Oculus non videt, sed videt Anima; open their eyes, O God, that they may no longer be the mis-guided and dutiful sons of destruction; that they who call themselves by the name of Jesus, [...]suites. may learn some of his Meeknesse, to suffer rather then to put to death; that they would endea­vour [Page 5]to plant Religion only as Christ did, with perswasion, and not with blood, unlesse of his own true Disciples, not of those who oppos'd his Doctrine, that they would, as Christ ever did, Teach only openly, and not Creep into houses, lea­ding silly ones Captive (but, alas, then, the dissemination of their Errours would be prevented) that they would, as Christ did, say plainly, It is I, and not put off their own name, and put on another, not put off the Priests Coat, and put on the souldiers, not pretend one false Religion, that they may in­troduce another false Religion, and especially, not to sowe that Religion in the foule blood, as they take it to be, of He­reticks as they call them; Still to this purpose, may I not aske of them, Is it enough whereby to Kill, because he, I know not who, commands them to do it, that has no Scripture Authority to command it, unlesse such words as these, of that usurper, whom God was offended at, Marke, and when I say smite, then Kill; fear not, have not I commanded you? 2 Sam. 13.28. and is it not enough to refrain them from killing, by the clear words of that God whom we know, and whom they say, they know? thou shalt not kill. Will they upon this score, take gifts to shed blood, Ezeck. 22.12. smite, and kill, for Pay, and under Command? will there, because of this, be a Conspiracy amongst their very Prophets, divining lyes, unto them? will they, because of Treasure, and precious things, shar­pen their Appetites to devoure soules? and their swords, to make many widowes? verse 25.

I am loth to tell them of the Ignorant folly of one of their side, who would needs finde expresse Text, wherewith to kill any Heretick, and therefore made use of that of Paul to Titus, ch. 3. v. 10. Him that is an Heretick, de vita, reject; fuge saies another translation, flie from him; but he, poor soul, would not flie from him, but rather out of his blinde Zeal to the Roman Heresie, First, cut the verbe in two peices, De vita, and then flie upon him, and cut the very throat of him; 'tis true, the word of God is a two-edged sword; but this word of his, thus inexpertly weilded, is too Blunt a weapon, where­with to draw blood from any; had he prosper'd in this, what [Page 6]strange shift, by some such like wilde adventure, would he have been put unto, to prove a Protestant to be an Heretick! and truly, his after-friends, though they have better Latine, have no better Religion, wherewith to wound us.

By this time it appeares, if Great ones, without their own precincts, or within them, have no priviledge, Papal or Dukal, no Prerogative Royal, to set themselves above the commands of that greater God who is higher then they, much more does this Text lay an Incruental obligation, a bond of peace upon all subject people, upon all private persons, in their Townes, and Nations, and Travels.

To every of you it is said, on a more palpable eviction, thou shalt not kill; and well it is said so; for, God said it, and providentially is it said so; for, the merciful God said it; said; no more then this, thou shalt not kill.

In favour to Meak capacities, (and many such there are a­mongst Vulgar Subjects) it is not said, thou shalt not kill thy Brother, lest they might be misperswaded of the lawfulnesse to kill an Egyptian, quà such; to slay him that is of a different perswasion, of a Religion thwarting theirs, as not being a Brother to them in the same Faith of Christ: let Rome be as seduc'd, as she is willing to be, I would rather, were it possible, a Papist should take away a hundred lives from me, all but (what is impossible) the life eternal, then that I should take away his one life from him, upon that shadow of reason (for, it is too dark to appear to be reason) because he is a Papist; what if he misbelieves he may do this to me? shall I, who disprove, and condemn his misbeleif, misbelieve with him? no; I am sustain'd against the mischeif, by Thou shalt not kill, and a­gainst that seduction by Vindictamihi, avenge not your selves; for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord, Rom. 12.19. And yet, had it been written, in this ve­ry Text, thou shalt not kill thy Brother, S. Austin would some­where, have told thee the due extent of this command he would have given thee to understand, that not only the Roma­nist, but the very Turke is thy Brother (and if so, a Protestant, sure, is a Brother to the Romanist, and should not be, as some [Page 7]of them would make him, only a Brother in bloody when he saies, that Adam and Eve are the Parents of us all, and we all, in them, are Brethren.

It is not said, Thou shalt not kill thy Neighbour, lest some shallow conceptions, should thence extort a bloody doctrine, that they might, Deo non obstante, nay, perhaps further yet, [...], with Gods own leave, slay a Forrainer; And yet, the same S. Austm, who is sibi constans, will, elsewhere, tell thee, Homo Homini proximus, that every one man is neigh­bour to every other man, and therefore no one man may slay another; nay, the Text of Christ will tell you as much; which thinkest thou of these three was neighbour to him that fell among thieves? Luke 10 36. and he, who thus fell, he, to whom one of the three shew'd himself a neighbour, and the other two should have done likewise v. 37. by what other name is he no­tify'd and Characteriz'd, but by that of man, [...], a Certain man went, and fell, v. 30. so certain it is, that he who is a man, is a neighbour (he and she too, for, [...] is of both Genders) and neither of them may be slaine.

Nay, 'tis not said, thou shalt not kill thy enemy (thy enemy) lest some desperate zelot might thereupon undertake to kill Gods, though he spar'd his own enemy; and yet does not Da­vid say, Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those, that rise up against thee? I hate them with a perfect hatred, I count th [...]m mine enemies. Psa. 139.21.22. the enemies of God, are to be esteem'd the enemies of the Dis­ciples of God too; not only the Haters of God, but the very lovers of God, shall be found liars, if they esteem them other­wise; and yet, in neither of these capacities, as haters of God, or, as enemies of the people of God, do they make a forfeiture of their lives: would you know then, how you may hate such enemies? David has intimated to you how; it must be with a perfect hatred; and what that perfect hatred is, you may learn out of that meekly pious ancient Father, and Martyr, Ignatius ep. ad Philadelph. By his counsel, if you follow it, the Lord will deliver you from blood-guiltinesse, or, as it sounds in the Hebrew, and as Doway her self translates it, from Bloods, With Doway, Ps. 50. v. 16. [Page 8]from the massacring of many, Psal. 51.14. [...], you must indeed hate them who hate God; but then, he will presently bound your hatred, the Remainder of your wrath he will restrain, he will tye up your hands behinde you, [...], you must not so much as smite an enemy, though of Gods; if you do, you do it with the fist of wickednesse, Is. 58.4. you must not persecute him, so much as out of his estate, much lesse may you smite away his very life from him, and persecute his body out of his skin, or his soul out of his body, [...], enemies you may still account them, and seperate from them, from Communion with their sins, but not with their persons, not from advising them, if they are of your Acquaintance and Neighbourhood, not from prea­ching to them, if they are of your Parish; Inclusively even to this last purpose, does it follow in that grave Religious Father (if that word be not dislik't by those, who are unwilling to be Sons) [...], you must Admonish them of their ill manners, and labour to re­duce, (to recall) them to Repentance. And did not this After-runner of Christ, learn this Demeanour, think you, from Christs fore-runner? John the Baptist preacht Mat, 3.1. the subject of his Sermon was Repentance, v. 2. when the Pha­risees and Sadducees came to him, though he knew them to be what he call'd them, a Generation of Vipers, v. 7. yet he did not un-Church them for all that, he did not Excommunicate them from his Congregation, he renew'd his Sermon and preacht even to them also, on the same subject; he said unto them (and yet, not he, but the holy Ghost in him, an example high enough to follow) bring forth therefore fruits meet for repen­tance, v. 8. I will not now aske, Are those, who are separa­ted from, more Hypocritical then the Pharisees? do not others more loudly pretend to Holynesse then they? are those, who are separated from, more Heretical then the Sadducees? do not others more boldly deny the Resurrection then they? this I wil not aske; I will but give this reason for my short digression in these very few words; it is, what I may, if it be possible, as God [Page 9]shall enable me; (and if he enable me, possible it is: His bles­sed spirit can work with five words utter'd with understanding and Charity as powerfully, as with a Folio) it is, that I may, by any meanes, save some, by reducing them from the Errour of their way.

And is not all this instead of Stabbing him to the heart, a nobler, a worthier, a more generous, a more Christian car­riage towards an enemy? is not this the Perfection of Hatred? nay, is not this the perfection of that love, which Christ him­self enjoyns towards enemies, Love them, Blesse them, Do good to them, Pray for them, Mat. 5.44. such a perfect hatred, such a perfect love, which will Cast out all fear from the man we thus love, from the enemy we thus hate?

Hence, it easily appears, that though it had been said, thou shalt not kill thy Brother, thy Neighbour, thy Enemy, no private man of what Nation or language soever has any excuse whereby to palliate his spleen of killing another Private man, much lesse of assassinating a Publick person; and that too, because of the immediate subnexion of this command, to that of Honouring thy father, (which if it be not the very next here in Exodus, as some contend, who follow the Greek coppies, which place the Commandement concer­ning Adultery betwixt that of Parents, and murther, yet those very Greek coppies, in the book of Deuteronomy place that Commandement which forbids murther, before that which forbids Adultery; as also the Hebrew in both those books) and hence, it much more appears, that this may not be done by any Private man, because the Prohibition is Absolute, unli­mited, nothing else but Thou shalt not Kill. We have seen the extent and latitude of this killing, how universally it is forbid; see we next the heynousnesse of the guilt, the sinful­nesse of this sin of committing murther.

Though it might be enough, to testifie the iniquity of it, that, not to do it, is a moral law, written in the very heart of man, by the finger of God himself; that it is forbiddn even by Nature, and that, to every one man in the behalf of every o­ther man; so that, indeed, he who is but Compos mentis, who [Page 10]has reason enough, not only in Radice, by a candid Interpre­tation to denominate him, but, in Fructu, exerted reason, to evidence and demonstrate him to be a man, cannot choose but know it: yet, to how much higher pitch and degree is this transgression inhanc't and elevated, in that this command, which was before a command of God, is once again a com­mand of his, written by himself, in a Table of Stone!

This indeed is too much the fault of worldly-wise man­kind, to measure good or bad, either by their own warinesse or indiscretion, and not to impute it to the Performance or vio­lation of the command of God, either positive or Negative; he who kills a man, because he shall not be known to have done it, or because he knows, that he shall escape when he has done it, breaks the command of God twice over; First, in killing, to satisfie his own rage, and then in despising the command of God, because of his present security; this im­prints the deepest stigma, 'tis a mark with the blackest coale upon the hellish murtherer, that he sets the Command of God at nought.

See we yet more of the sinfulnesse of this man-slaying, 'tis abominable before God, and it is odious to man: Philo does so abhorre this sin, that he is not content to call him that kills, a murtherous, unlesse he call him a Sacrilegious person too, because he puts to death that man who is the Image of God; 'tis not in this sense said by our Saviour, when he askt whose Image the penny bore, Give unto Caesar the things which are Caesars, and unto God the things which are Gods, that thou shouldst therefore send the soul of man, which is the I­mage of God, to the God of that soul, the father of spirits, from off the point of thy sword.

He sins against humane Society, to which we are born (in Coetum geniti sumus, saies Seneca) which society cannot be up­held, whilest the lives of Innocents are in danger.

He sins against the law of the land, who slaies though a Nocent person, that has deserv'd to dye, because he snatches into his own hand that power which is the right of the law, and ties it upon the hilt of his sword.

This, at large, may sufficiently implead the murtherer of guilt, unlesse (if it may not be accounted too curious a search) we raise the guilt higher then all this, from the practise of those female-murtherers, who destroy the un-born Infants which are yet in their womb; and thereby, what they can, kill bo­dy and soul too, (I fear, their own) by hindring them from the benefit of baptisme, who themselves will be more asham'd of their spurious child, then their child shall be Asham'd of the Crosse of Christ; Such early murthers as these, stories tells us of, and Chronicles tell us of practises quite out as savage; that, when a Great-belly'd Martyr has been burnt for an Here­tick, and the childe at once leapt out of the mothers belly, and the Adversaries fire, the childe was thrust back with a spiteful spear into the flame that it might dye the second death, because it was Baptiz'd only with fire: Deus, posthac, meliora.

Here is sin upon sin; and what excuse, what cloak for any of these? what Apology can any red murtherer make for him­self? 'tis not enough, that when he dyes for killing, he shall perhaps, have a red name in the Callender: That, which a Philosopher of the Garamants said (like a Philosopher) boldly enough to Alexander when he came to Conquer them, were there truth in it, would never bear him out, If thou couldst by thy bloody Victories, enjoy their lives, whom thou killest, to prolong thy own, as thou dost inherit their goods to augment thy Revenue, it were more tolerable, though not at all, be­cause still wicked; Vivitur ex Rapto would be a sin, were it to live another mans life, which himself might live; as well as to live by another mans Acres whilest the owner starves to death, and no pretence would make this pardonable, unlesse the kind-heartednesse of that brother in the Poet, who could no longer live his own life. Vive meo, frater, tempore, vive tuo. Mart.

We have seen the latitude of the Command, and the Ini­quity of the disobedience to it; see we yet more of the Bar­barousnesse of murther, from the miseries which it inflicts on man.

It seperates two of the dearest friends that ever were, [Page 12]two that part which the greatest greif, that ever any did; soul and body; friends they are, and such friends as are ne­ver well alone; the very beatified soul whilest it is in Hea­ven, is sensible of the Incompleatness of her joy there, till the body Partakes with it; they were labourers together in the Vineyard of Christ, and the soul when she is got up to the heaven of Christ, does almost suspect her self of guilty Injustice, even in that most unsinful place, because she alone Reapes all the Joy which her body Sowing in tears helpt her to climb up unto; though it was the soul that believed, yet, that un-lipt soul does now of herself confesse, that when she was on earth, she confessed with her mouth unto Salvation; and in Equity, as well as Compassion, she longs to kisse that mouth, by a re­union to the body; though it was the soul that lov'd God and the Saints of God, yet, the soul worshipt God with the Head, Breast, and Knees bow'd down; with the hands, eyes, and Heart lifted up and the soul minister'd to the Needs of the Saints with the hands of the body; upon these accounts Theodoret pre­sumes, the soul in heaven does thus beseech God, [...], [...]. good God hasten a Resurrection to my body, and let us not be seperated in the Crown who were together Militant in the warfar.

The love of these is so inseparable each to other, even when themselves are separated, each from other, that some will needs fancy this to be the reason, why the body of the murthered person bleeds afresh when the murtherer draws nigh, because the soul in hate to him, that divorc'd her, and in love to the body about which she still hovers, disturbs the body, and stirs the blood to the betraying of the man.

This, though it be pretended from Natural reason, yet because I finde it in the writings of a learned person of Qua­lity of the Romish perswasion, who is yet alive (and long may he be so, not to draw any to the Errours of his, with how pi­ous a minde soever, Erras, sed bono ammo; Erras Honesta Mente. Se [...]eca. but himself again to return to the truth of our Church) and because I suspect, it may be a snary founda­tion, upon which to erect another snare of Purgatory, I shall therefore indeavour modestly, to refute this opinion, and to [Page 13]substitute another to examination in the place thereof, by asking two questions.

The one; Is not the departed soul immediately (for, what can stop the passages of a spirit, in Heaven, or Hell? or (as some dream) in Purgatory? if in heaven, it there knows so much of the will of God, that it will not dare to offer a Re­entry into its body, before the general resurrection; if in hell, it is there so sensible of its already torments, and so jea­lous of more additional torments by such a re-union, that it will never be so self-malicious, as to desire so troublesome an Associate; if in Purgatory, that also (if a place it be) is a place of Torments; and the force of the reason recurres.

The other; may not the Devil himself, by the appoint­ment of God himself, be the instrument of Gods justice, though he only designs mans ruine, in causing the blood to break forth, to the discovery and execution of the murtherer? we know, by Gallows-Confessions, how false the Devil hath been in his promises to witches, and does he not leave them to the Gibbet, and discover other malefactors, and this very mur­therer, only with this bad purpose, that they may all die be­times and have no more space to repent?

This I insist upon because it pretends a general truth, (though it failes in the particular Application) that the soul loves the body (whether in the body, or out of it) and this aggravates the crime of the killing man.

The soul and body love more then any; and they are more grieved to part, then any; the Italian saies well, Malvezzi. There must be a great grief in any death (much more in such a vi­olent unwilling death) in that a very great sin is the cause of every death; and does not this make his crime the greater, who with so many, and sharpe pangs of each, divides two such loving friends.

In doing this, he makes them utterly uncapable of all the benefits and pleasures of this world; he robs them of the use of all their estates, they shall enjoy them no more; he de­prives them of the comfort of all their friends, they shall see them no more; he perhaps surpriseth them out of this world [Page 14]before they are prepar'd for the Next; such shall never see God; and what Devil can do worse to man, then such a cruel Soul-murtherer as this.

The time would fail me, if I should speak any more of this command, in this extreamity of it, as it touches life; or if I should speak any more then one word of the other Branches and degrees of it.

As murther is forbid, so all that conduces to it is forbid, there is a murther of the tongue in cursing to death, and of the heart in wishing to death, as well as of the hand in putting to death; he that hateth his brother, is a murtherer, 1 Iohn. 3.15. 'tis the heart that hates, the tongue that utters, and the hand that executes that hatred, so that one man may be three mur­therers at one time, when he murthers him whom he both reviles and despises.

In every command of God, that which makes way to the very last breach of it, is equally forbid as that last breach it self; Bishop of Peterburgh. give me leave to confirm this by a religiously subtle ob­servation of a piously learned Prelate of our Church (who was twice a father to my self, Natural, and Diocesan) Eve in her state of Innocency when her knowledge was perfect, knew this full well; she tells Satan, (and she could not tell a lye, before she fell) God hath said ye shall not touch the tree, Gen. 3.3. and yet God only said Thou shalt not eat of it, Gen. 2.17. yet because touching must go before eating as the Preparation to it, to touch was forbid by God when he forbad to eat. In this very case, that all the degrees which lead up to such a breach are forbid, I have the Testimony of Christ himself; He first repeats the command, thou shalt not bill, Matt. 5.21. and then presently expounds it, thou shalt not be Angry, not say Ra­cha, not Fool unto thy Brother v. 22. By this Authority we must also exclude Surfeiting and Drunkenesse and Effeminacy, which fore-run Dropsies, and Consumptions, and Deaths, which murther estates, and bodies, and souls; in a word, every sin is the bane of mans spirit, and the Banisher of Gods, and we must practise all the contrary vertues, live tem­perately to our selves, peaceably and Charitably with all men, [Page 15]defend as occasion serves, the reputation, livelihood, life of our Neighbour: I preach it now, and we must all practise it anon, in our several contributions to those poor Pro­testants, who so much need to be succour'd by us, against those who strive one way more to break this sixth Com­mandement, by starving them to death.

God by his wisedome teach us, and by his grace help us, to avoid those and all other sins, to perform these and all o­ther vertues, that we may be blessed here on Earth, in the Integrity of Conscience, to our satisfaction, and blessed here­after in heaven, in the vision of God, to our admiration; and that for his sake upon whose most precious body the Jewes broke this Commandement of God, even upon God himself; Jesus Christ our ever living Lord, and only Savi­our. To whom be glory, &c.


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