The Curse of Corne-horders: WITH The Blessing of seasonable Selling. In three Sermons, on PRO. 11. 26. Begun at the general Sessions for the County of Cornwall, held at Bodmyn, and continued at Fowy. By CHARLES FITZ-GEFFRIE.

D. Cyprianus ad Demetrian. §. 8.
Miraris in poenas generis humani iram Dei crescere, cum crescat quotidiè quod puniatur.—De sterilitate aut fame quereris, quasi famem maiorem siccitas quàm rapacitas faciat, quasi non de captatis annonarum incrementis & pretiorum cu­mulis flagrantior inopiae ardor excrescat. Quereris cludi imbribus coelum, cum sic horrea cludantur in terris.
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Printed atLondon byI. B. forEdward Dight dwelling inExcester. 1631.

To the truly ennobled and rightly honored, Sir REGINALD MO­HVNE, Knight and Baronet: Grace, Mercy, and Peace be multiplied.

SIR,

THE end of Gods punishments is to bring sinful man vnto Repentance. In afflicting vs he intends not our affliction, but our reformation. Hee who delights not in the death of sin­ners, takes no pleasure in their suffe­rings, but in compassion causeth some­times temporall suffering to preuent e­ternall aking; according to that of the Apostle,1 Cor. 11. 32. We are chastened of the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. If [Page] he attaine not this end by one rod, he vseth another. If the Pestilence preuaile not, he sends the sword; if that workes not, he inflicteth Famine, and like a good Physitian, by diuers medicines he tendeth to the same cure. If the same crosse haue not effected the end for which it was sent, he sends it the second time, as a man doth his seruant who hath not fully done his errand at first. Thus doth he with particular persons, thus doth hee with whole Nations, whose good he intendeth. He visited our sinnes with the Pestilence, this wrought not a sound recouery; he lan­ced vs with the Sword, there yet remai­ned many peccant humours, those hee sought to cure by Famine,Veteres om­nes morbos inediâ cura­bant. as the anci­ent Physitians vsed to cure all diseases by Abstinence. We seemed to be on the mending hand, but we relapsed, and God was faine to go to work with vs a­gain; as we renewed our old sins, so did he his old iudgements. He sent the Plague [Page] the second time, threatned it the third. About seuen yeeres sithence the creature suffered and we by it, for our abuse of it, and for our vn­thankefulnesse to the Creator. The same pu­nishment hee hath inflicted this yeere on sun­dry places of the land. Thus is God enforced to re-assume his rods, when we renew our sins; and as wee vse to take from our children their Bread when they doe wanton with it; so by want he correcteth our former wantonnesse, taking from vs that which wee abuse, thereby teaching vs to vse it better when wee haue it, that by want we may know how to vse abun­dance. These two yeeres of dearth (in some di­stance) called from mee these three Sermons. That which in the first was summarily deliue­red in one, vnto the eares of that Bench on which you haue sate sundry yeeres as chiefe, is vpon this yeeres occasion enlarged into three, and now sent abroad into publike, for the be­nefit of many, is first presented vnto your eies. In this Dedication I craue not patronage, but onely acceptance. The Kings command, my calling, the necessity of the times are sufficient [Page] to patronize it. Neither haue I cause to doubt of your acceptance; your care for your Coun­tries good, and your endeuour in this particu­lar doe assure me that you will approue his la­bours, who, according to his calling, addeth the best aduancement hee may vnto yours▪ Whereunto hee will not cease to adioyne his continued prayers to the fountaine of Grace, for all gracious blessings on your person, on your publike imployments, on your noble Family; who is, and will be (while he is)

Your worships in all Christian dutie and seruice most ready, Charles Fitz-Geffry.

A briefe view of the ensu­ing Sermons.

Concio prima.
  • THe occasion of the choyce of this Text. page 1
  • The diuision thereof into two parts. In the former part are considered, 1. The sinne, 2. The sequel. p. 3
  • 1ma. me. The sinne, with-holding Corne. ibid.
  • All conseruation of Corne, not vnlawfull. What is vnlawfull herein. ibid.
  • Vnder the word Corne, euery publike commodity comprehended. p. 4
  • Doct. 1. It is a grieuous siune to procure or further famine, by seeking to raise the price of Corn. ibid.
  • Reasons. 1. It is odious vnto God. The detaining of other commodities not so necessary for the life of man, as Corne, forbidden by God. Much more of this, without which, the life of man can hard­ly, yea, not at all be sustained. The necessity of bread vnto mans life. p. 5, 6
  • 2. It is opposite to Nature, vnto which Corne­horders are traytors. For, 1. That which Nature [Page] most desireth, they doe most detest, that is, plenty. p. 7, 8
  • 2. And that which Nature most detesteth, they most desire, namely, Dearth and scarcity. ibid.
  • 3. Condemned by the Lawes of Nations. p. 9
  • Application. Three sorts of people guilty here­in. p. 11
  • 1 The greedy Farmer, who sometimes with-holdeth Corne, euen in selling it. ibid.
  • 2 The couetous Merchant. p. 13
  • 3 The Hucksters, or Badgers of Corne. p. 14
Concio secunda.
  • SEcunda primae, The sequell; The curses of the People. p. 17
  • A Common sinne drawes on a common curse. p. 18
  • Doct. 2. The peoples curse, iustly procured, is a fear­full iudgement. p. 19
  • The peoples curse twofold, 1. Causelesse or vniust; this not to be feared nor regarded. ibid.
  • Exhortation to Magistrates and Officers to doe their duties, though the people doe causelesly curse them. For such curses God will blesse them. ibid.
  • 2 The iustly caused curse of the poore and oppressed, this curse very fearefull. p. 20
  • Vse. Terror to all kinde of Oppressors. p. 21
  • Especially to Corne-horders. p. 22
  • That these curses are not effectlesse in this life, shew­ed by examples. A story out of Matthew Paris [Page] of Walter Grey, Archbishop of Yorke, a co­uetous Corne-horder, Anno Dom. 1234. p. 23
  • Another of a German Bishop deuoured by Rats, An. 930. p. 24
  • The effect of these curses, in latter times, wherein some of these Nabals haue hanged themselues, when the price of Corne hath fallen. ibid.
  • The greatest curse of all at the day of iudgement. p. 25
  • Obiections answered. 1. May I not doe with mine owne what I list? p. 26
  • Answer. Christ onely may both say and doe so: Man cannot (without limitation) who can cast nothing his owne properly, but his sinne. ibid.
  • Men may not vse their owne, to the hurt of others. ibid.
  • It is damnable to with-hold our owne, when our brethren are ready to perish for want of that which we may well spare. p. 27
  • Two other Obiections, Ioseph and Gedeon, their examples answered. p. 30, 31
  • Famine, a grieuous punishment. p. 31
  • It is proper to God alone to punish a sinfull Nation with famine, or any other iudgement. p. 32
  • We haue deserued to be thus scourged. But this fa­mine is not inflicted immediately by the hand of God, but enforced by the cruell couetousnesse of men. p. 33
  • An inuectiue against couetousnesse. p. 35
  • These Corne-horders worse than Vsurers. ibid.
  • The pittifull estate of poore labouring-men in these [Page] times, deplored. p. 36
Concio tertia:
  • THe second part of the Text, wherein is consi­dered; 1. The duty to be performed; Sel­ling. p. 39
  • 2. The recompence, Blessing. p. 40
  • Doct. 3. There is a charity sometimes in selling, as well as in giuing. ibid.
  • Vse 1. To teach vs to acknowledge Gods goodnesse in accepting any seruice done at his command, though for our owne aduantage. p. 41
  • God sometimes accepteth selling, where there is abi­lity of giuing. ibid.
  • Vse 2. To incite those who are of ability, to this duty of selling. p. 42
  • Foure things required in charitable selling. p. 43
  • 1 To sell that which is good for quality, conueni­ent graine, ibid.
  • 2 To sell for conuenient gaine, at a reasonable price. ibid.
  • 3 To sell in conuenient season. p. 44
  • 4 With measure conuenient. p. 45
  • 2da. 2de. The recompence, Blessing. ibid.
  • Obseruat. The reward more emphatically layd downe, than the iudgement threatned. p 46
  • Doct. 4. God will blesse him who selleth charita­bly in time of extremity, though men bee vn­thankfull. ibid.
  • [Page] Two sinnes of the poore: 1 Murmuring, 2 Vn­thankfulnesse. ibid.
  • Neither of these should discourage vs from chari­table actions, for though men be vngratefull, yet God is not forgetfull. p. 47
  • Application. 1. Vnto Magistrates, exhorting them to doe their duties in this behalfe, accor­ding to his Maiesties Orders. ibid.
  • And to draw on others by their examples. p. 48
  • Dehortation from with-holding iustice, and from selling it. p. 50
  • 2. To Ministers, to be carefull and and faithfull in distributing spirituall Corne for the bread of life, especially in these dangerous dayes. ibid.
  • 3. To the poore. Here is no warrant for them to re­uenge their wrongs with cursings, as commonly they doe. p. 51
  • But rather to accuse their owne sinnes, the causes of all their calamities. p. 52
  • 4. Encouragement and comfort to charitable sel­lers. p. 54
  • God shall crowne them with blessings, Externall, Internall, Eternall. p. 55, 56.

THE CVRSE OF Corn-Horders.

The first Sermon.

PROV. 11. 26.‘Hee that with-holdeth Corne, the people shall curse him: But blessing shall be vpon the head of him who selleth it.’

THe extremity of the times do euen extort from me this Text,The occasion of the choice of this Text. together with the Ex­plication and Application thereof, as God shall enable me. Our gracious Soue­raigne, like a prouident Io­seph, hath endeuoured to pre­uent the famine, or to pro [...]ide remedies against it. To this end he hath sent [...]orth his Proclamations, and hath authorized his Hands in these remote places, the Iustices of Peace, to draw forth the poore imprisoned graine out of [Page 2] priuate Barnes, and to afford it the freedome of the Markets. The Iustices haue done their endeuours, and the best of them doe continue so doing. But co­uetousnesse careth for no Lawes, being like the law­lesse Iudge, Luk. 18. 2. Who neither feared God, nor regarded Man. Hence it is that Lawes are eluded, the Kings edicts not regarded, the Magistrates endeuours frustrated, and the hopes of the poore disappoin­ted. The deafe Adder will not bee charmed; the greedy Farmer will not enfranchize his Corne, though the Country doe curse him, and those curses be ratified in heauen. But let not vs cease to doe our duties though others doe not theirs. Let Aaren and Hur support the hands of Moses; Ministers. let Ministers (as his Maiesty commandeth) ioyne their forces with the Magistrates against this monster,Et quae non prosunt singula, iuncta iuuant. Auarice. The good effect which the one cannot produce a­lone, may (by Gods blessing) ensue vpon the reli­gious endeuours of both together. I come there­fore to publish a Proclamation from the King of heauen, penned by the wisest King on earth, against all ingrossers of the fruits of the earth, the terour whereof is this,

Hee that with-holdeth Corne, the people shall curse him, but blessing shall be on the head of him who sel­leth it.

Most of Salomons Prouerbs are a Commentary vpon that one sentence of his Father Dauid, Psal. 37. 27. Is­ [...]hew euill, and doe good; and commonly they are bipartite, one part disswading from some euill, the other exhorting to the contrary vertue. His Ar­guments are those which are most powerfull, Pu­nishment, and Reward; dehorting from some sinn by punishment threatned, exhorting to Vertue by some reward proposed: Such is this sentence, re­sembling the two Hils,Deut. 11. 29. 27. 13. the one of Curses, the o­ther [Page 3] of Blessings: Iosh. 18. 33. Hee that with-holdeth Corne, the people shall curse him; Diuision of the Text into two parts. there is Ebal, the Mountaine of cursing: But blessing shall be on the head of him that selleth it; there is Gerizin, the Mountaine of blessing.

In the former wee are to consider,In the former part consider, 1. The sinne, 2. The sequel. 1. The sinne, 2. The sequel. The sinne, hiding or with-holding Corne; the sequel, the curses of the people. In the latter, we haue, 1. the duty, 2. the benefit or reward: The duty, selling; the benefit, blessing: But blessing shall be on the head of him that selleth it. Of these (God willing) in their order; and first of the first part,Prima primae. The sin with­holding Corne. and first branch thereof; namely, the sinne condemned, which is, with-holding of Corne.

He that with-holdeth Corne.

All conseruation or keeping vp of Corne,All keeping of Corne not vnlawfull. is not al­waies vnlawfull. Ioseph, in the seuen yeers of plenty, gathered and kept Corne against the seuen yeeres of scarcity. Sundry Cities haue their Magazins, where­in they prouidently doe store vp Corne and other prouision, the better to endure the extremity of an assiege or famine.Paruula na [...] exemplo est magni formica laboris, Ore trahit quod cun (que) potest, ac­que addit acer­uo quem struit, haud igna [...]a e [...] non incauta fu­turi Horat. Hyemis memo­res tect (que) repe­nunt Virgil. 4. Aenid. Parcum genus est patiens (que) laboris. Ouid Metam. 7. Videatur Plinius. lib. 11. cap. 30. et Ambros. Hexam. l. 6. c. 4. item Aelian. de var. histor. l. 1. Indè di­ctum Granigerum agmen, Nature hath taught the silley Ant this lesson of husbanding her prouision,a See Pro. 6. 6, 7, 8. and she by her example readeth the same Lecture vnto man, by the mouth of Salomon.

b But then to with-hold Corne when publike necessity doth call for the venting it, vpon hope to enhance the price, thereby to make a prey of the poore, who haue then most need to bee releeued, this is a crying sinne, causing the people with bit­ter cries to complaine to God against such dete­stable couetousnesse, and to pursue the same with bitter curses.

[Page 4] The ancient latine reading doth well expresse the meaning; Captans pretia frumenti, (soAmbr. Offic. l. 3. c. 6. Saint Am­brose alleageth the place.) Hee that catcheth at all aduantages by the price of Corne, and endeuours to raise it higher, being more greedy of his priuate gaine, than affected with the publike good, euery one that doth so, commeth within the compasse of this curse. So that not onely hiding or hording, but selling and buying too, in some cases, are here for­bidden; when they are so done in priuate, as that the price is thereby enhanced in publike: whereof we shall haue occasion to say more (God willing) in prosecution of this Text.

Vnder the word, Corne euery publike commodity is comprehen­ded. I doubt not but that vnder this one word, Corne, is comprehended any other Commodity, vsefull for the Countrey; but the Times doe con­fine my intendements to that particular which my Text doth here assigne; namely, against all auariti­ous horders or hucksters, who pinch the guts of the poore, to fill and extend their owne purses; ta­king aduantage by the dearth of Corne, to make it more deare: on which ground I may safely lay downe this doctrinall Position.Doctr. 1.

It is a grieuous sinne to procure a Dearth, or further a Famine,
A grieuous sin to procure or further fa­mine by rai­sing the price of Corne.
by seeking to raise the price of Corne.

When publike necessity doth require, and our owne ability doth permit vs to send abroad our Corne by reasonable and seasonable selling, then to with-hold it in hope of greater Dearth, this is a great sinne: For it is odious vnto God, opposite vnto Nature, iniurious vnto mankinde, and there­fore condemned by the Lawes of Grace, of Nature, and of Nations.Reasons.

First,1. It is odious vnto God. it is odious vnto God, as being directly a [Page 5] breach of his Law, a rebellion against his Ordi­nance. Otherwise hee would neuer haue inueighed against these Corne-horders so bitterly as he doth, by his Prophet Amos, saying,Amos [...]. [...], 5, 6 Heare ye this, ô yee that swallow the poore, and make the needy of the Land to faile, saying, When will the new Moone be gone, that we may sell Corne; and the Sabbath, that wee may set forth Wheat; and make the Epha small, and the Shekel great; and buy the poore for siluer, and the needy for shoes, and sell the refuse of the Wheat? If any doe except and say, What is this against horders? this is ra­ther against sellers of Corne: I intimated at first, that there may be as great a sinne, in some kinde of selling, as in keeping: and those Iewes who sold at last, they did hord vp Corne at first, to this pur­pose: that when the time serued their turne, they might sell it at their owne pleasure and price:Dod ad Text. and now the time is come, they must sell it in all haste, lest the price should fall againe: They were now so eager after selling, that they thought the dayes of Gods Seruice too tedious till they were at it. They kept it in while it was good, and sold it when it was worse, they abated the measure and augmen­ted the price; they made the people pay for the best, when they sold but the refuse; and so instead of selling to the poore, they enforced the poore to sell themselues at a vile rate for necessary sustenance, and so to become their slaues.vers. 8. The Lord threat­neth a fearefull iudgement on the whole Nation, for this inhumane cruelty of some particular persons towards their poore brethren.The detai­ning of other commodities not so neces­sary for the life of man a Corn, forbid­den by God.

Lesser sinnes than this in comparison, the ingros­sing of commodities not so necessary for the life of man as Corne is, are threatned with heauy iudge­ments in the word of God. The imprisoning of coyne in Coffers, when it should bee dispersed [Page 6] abroad vnto pious and charitable vses, is condem­ned by the holy Ghost, who saith by Saint Iames Iam. 5. 1, 2, 3., that The very rust thereof shall be a witnesse against the keepers, and that the canker of their siluer shall eat vp their flesh as fire. The like iudgement is denounced in the same place against those who keep their gar­ments close in their ward-robes to clothe the Moaths,Much more of bread-Corne, with­out, which the life of man can hardly, yea, not at all, be sustai­ned. rather than they will produce them to clothe Christ his naked members. What then shall become of them who are kinder to Rats and Mice, than to their Christian brethren, being con­tented that vile vermine shall deuoure that for no­thing, which poore Christians cannot get of them for money.The necessi­ty of bread vnto mans life. Bread is called in Scripture theIsa. 3. 1. Leuit. 26. 26. Ezech. 4. 16. 5. 16. 14. 13. stay and staffe of life, because life is thereby sustained as by a Staffe: and when God doth threaten one of his heauiest punishments on a Land for sinne, hee doth threaten to breake the staffe of Bread; So ne­cessary it is for this life, that all necessaries are com­prized vnder this one, Giue vs, this day, our daily bread. Christ calleth himselfe the bread which came downe from heauen: his Word is called the bread of life. All which doe shew how necessary bread is for the vse of man: so necessary, that nei­ther body nor soule can well bee fed without it; not the body without common bread, nor the soule (in those of discretion) without Sacramentall bread: so necessary, that although a man haue di­uers varieties of meats, and doe want bread, the best is failing, because the binder of all the rest is wanting: other meats, without bread, are but bee­somes without a band, they cannot sweepe away hunger from nature;Satis est homi­ni fluuius (que) Ceres (que). but if a man haue onely bread and water, sufficient for quantity, and conuenient for quality, hee may liue and doe well: so that to with-hold Corne, and thereby to breake the staffe [Page 7] of bread, is not onely sinfull, but sauage; not onely against the Law of God and grace, but against the Law of Nature.

Nature teacheth men to seeke good and shunne e­uill, to pray and striue to auert those publike pu­nishments,2. It is opposite to nature. Sword, Pestilence, and Famine. Nature teacheth vs that wee are not borne onely for our selues, and that publike vtility is to be preferred be­fore priuate commodity. This could Cicero say out of Plato, one heathen out of another. It was the praise of Cato Hi mores, haec duri immota Catonis secta f [...]it, scr [...]are modum, finem­que tenere, Na­turamque sequi patriaeque im­pendere vitam. Nec sibi, sed toti genitum se cre­dere mundo. Lucan l. 2. that he was, In Commune bonus, good for the Commonalty, being resolued, that hee was borne, not for himselfe, but for all mankinde.

But these Antipodes to Nature as well as vnto Grace, these Man-haters, opposite to the Common good, as if the world were made onely for them, would appropriate the earth, and the fruits thereof, wholly to themselues, thinking that they can neuer haue enough, vnlesse they haue all; and that while others haue any thing, they themselues haue nothing. Wherefore as Quailes grow fat with Hem locke, which is poison to other creatures, so these grow full by Dearth, which is the fami­shing of others. Their whole study and endeuour is to trouble the pure streames of publike plenty, that they may haue the better angling for their priuate commodity.Eccle. 5. 9. The profite of the earth is for all (saith Salomon) and the King himselfe is serued by the field. But these, as if the earth, and the profits thereof, were proper to them alone, as if they were the Kings of the field, and the whole tribute thereof were to be payed into their insatiable Exchequer,, doe study how they may dry vp the publike foun­taine, or draw the whole streame thereof into their owne Cisterne.Corn-hor­ders traitours to nature. Traitors they are vnto Nature; for thatThat which Nature most desireth, they detest; that is, Plenty. which Nature most desireth, they detest; [Page 8] and that which Nature teacheth most to detest, that doe these most desire: Plenty is desired by euery well minded man, naturally, and Grace doth al­low such desire; for Plenty is a sweet effect of Gods goodnesse and fauour, therefore called by Dauid, the Crowne of the yeere: Psal. 65. 11. Thou crownest the yeere with thy goodnesse, and thy steps drop fatnesse. But these desire to pull the Crowne of Plenty from the head of the yeare, and instead thereof, would put thereon a crowne of thornes, as the miscre­ant Iewes did on the head of Christ. Plenty is one of Gods chiefest earthly blessings; but these enui­ous children doe thinke that their poore brethren haue too much of their heauenly Fathers blessing. Againe,And that which nature teacheth most to detest, they doe most de­sire, namely, Dearth and Scarcity. that which Nature teacheth most to detest, they doe most desire; namely, Dearth and Scar­city: that which Nature teacheth to preuent, they endeuour to procure; they pray for that which all men else doe pray against; angry, in their mindes, at our Leiturgie for hauing prayers against Dearth and Famine, and thanksgiuings for seasonable wea­ther, which they cannot endure saue in their owne fields; ready to chide God because he is so prodigall of his temporall fauours, as to causeMat. 5. 45. his Sunne to arise on the euill as well as on the good, and his raine to fall on the iust and on the vniust; whereas these, by their wils, would haue the Sunne to warme, and the raine to moisten no fields nor gardens, but of the euill and vniust, that is, their owne. What then can we thinke of them but as enemies both to God and man, opposite both to Grace and Nature? Salomon at the consecration of the Temple1 King. 8. 38. ma­king way for the peoples prayers by his owne, for the remouing of common calamities, setteth Fa­mine in the fore-front of them, as the first and worst of all. What shall we thinke of them who pray for [Page 9] tht which Salomon prayed against, esteeming that a benefit to them, which is one of the greatest curses that can fall on a Nation? When God threat­neth foure heauy iudgements on a Land, wherein if these three Worthies, Noah, Iob, and Daniel were, Ezech. 14. 13, 14. they should deliuer none but their owne soules, he giueth the precedence vnto Famine. What then shall wee thinke of those who care not though Iob, Noah, and Daniel, and all the righteous men in the Country starued, so they may be filled? When God by his Prophet makes a briefe Catalogue of the crying sinnes of Sodome, this comes in at last, not as the least of them,Ezec. 16. 49. Manum pauperis & egentis non confirmauit; Shee did not strengthen the hands of the poore and needy: It is not not said that shee weakned, but that she did not strengthen; & that not the heart, but the hand of the poore and needy; and yet God rained hell out of Heauen, fire and brimstone on her to consume her. What then shall become of them who doe not strengthen, but enfeeble, not the hands, but the hearts of their poore brethren, by with-holding from them that which is the staffe of their hands, and (vnder God) the strength and life of their hearts?

And that these Cormorants are such enemies to the publike good,3. Condemned by the Lawes of Nations. all wise men who desired to pro­cure it, haue perceiued. Therefore this cursed pra­ctice of imprisoning the Countries prouision, hath euer beene condemned by the Lawes of Nations. These Cankars of the Common-wealth were by the ancients branded with odious appellations, commonly called by the old Romans, Dardanarians, vexers, scourgers, torturers, of the store of the yeare.Annonam vexare et ten­tare vel maxi­mè Dardanarii solent, quorum auaritia itum est tam man­datis quàm costitutionibus. Vlpian. in leg. Annon. D. de extraordinar. criminio. These Dardanarians (saith Vlpian their great Ciuilian) are they who chiefly doe vex and perse­cute the annuall prouision, against whose Auarice [Page 10] Princes and States haue alway opposed the barres of edicts and constitutions.

There is extantan Epistle or Edict of Apollonius, an ancient Gouernour, against those scourgers of the Country, by enforced Dearth and scarcity; the beginning whereof, in effect is this; Terra com­munis omnium mater est, prop­terea iusta; vos autem iniusti, qui eam dun­taxat vestram matrem esse voluistis; quod nisi ab huius­modi incepto destiteritis, di­utiùs vos in ea permanere non sinam. Epistol Apol­loniꝭ ad a [...]nona vex [...]tores in princip. The Earth (saith hee) is the common mother of all, and therefore iust, but you are vniust who would ingrosse her wholly to your selues, and make a monopoly of the Common mother, as if shee were bound to be a mother onely to you, and a step-mother to all her children besides: but if you desist not from your doings, I will take order that she shall not long be a mother vnto you, but I will root you out of her, as being vnworthy to be a burthen vnto her.

I speake nothing of our Nationall Lawes, because I speake before them, who can better informe mee herein, than I can others. The last Proclamation, together with the booke, published by authority, for fuller declaration of his Maiesties minde and purpose, for preuenting the Dearth by punishing these Dardanarians, hath breathed some life into the poore Countrey, from whom these doe labour to take away life, by with-holding the stay there­of. God put it into the hearts of Gouernours to act, as well as to enact; to performe, as well as to pro­claime; that the Proclamation against these hor­ders and hucksters be not like that Senatus consultum against the Mathematicians in Rome,De Mathema­licis Italia pel­end is factum Senatus consul­tum atrox et irritum. Tacit. Annal. l. 12. c. 52. Atrox at ir­ritum, fierce, but effectlesse: and that these may not be among vs,Genus homi­num quod in Ciuitate nostra & vetabitur semper & reti­nebitur. Tacit. hist. l c. 22. as the Historian complained, the o­thers were among them, a kinde of people alway con­demned, but euer repriued, if not acquitted. Afflicti­on is euer fearefull, and misery still mistrusteth the worst: No maruell then if the poore people doe misdoubt, because there seemeth a doore left open to these their oppressors, that they shall not carry [Page 11] their life from them without license: wherefore finding after so much thunder by edicts, little light­ning by effects, no lightening of their afflictions: they feare that they haue cause to complaine, We are all the worse for licenses. These feares would soone be remoued, and peraduenture these afflictions too, if but one or two of the offenders in a Country were punished for terror to the rest,Tacit, Annal. l. 2. c. 31. as Pituanius and P. Martius were, when all the Mathematicians and Magicians were banished out of Italy.

Three sorts of people are found among vs,Application. Three sorts of people guilty of this sinne. guilty of this sinne, and consequently lyable to the ensu­ing Curse: 1. the greedy Farmar: 2. The couetous Marchant: 3. The cunning Huckster, or Badger, as they are called. I adde these Epithites to distin­guish between the guilty and the guiltlesse in euery profession.

The greedy Farmar sometimes with-holds Corne by selling it;1. The greedy Farmer, who sometimes with-holds Corne euen in selling in. with-holding it from those who need it, to sell it to those who will make greater profit by it; so that the needy shall more need it: For who so selleth at a price too high for the poore, hee with-holds it from the poore, as he doth meat from a childe, who sets it on a shelfe whereto hee cannot reach. Now what is this, but Captare pretia frumen­ti, to make the price too heauie, when either hee will not send it to the Market, or if hee send, will not sell but at his owne price?

Thou sayest, I thresh out my Corne as fast as I can, and doe fell it, and therefore I am not guilty, I am no with-holder of Corne. Thou sellest, but to whom? to the poore? No, vnlesse as the Iewes did, of whom Amos complained, that they sold the re­fuse of the Wheat, and yet at the price of the best, as if thou wouldest adde to the badnesse of the graine, and want of measure, the greatnesse of the [Page 12] price, to make a sorry satisfaction. Thou sellest it, but to whom? to them who helpe thee to sell the rest the deerer, to the Merchant or Badger, who by exporting or transporting it farther, doe cause it to be scarser and deerer at home. Thou sellest it, but where? at home, in priuate, and so causest the Mar­kets to be vnfurnished. For how canst thou haue time to thresh for the Market, when all is too lit­tle to thresh for the Merchant, whom thou hast pro­mised to furnish with so many scores of bushels by such a day. The Markets are the Commons of the common people, and of many who vse good hospi­tality; let them be inclosed, soone will these grow leane: The Markets are their Magazines; if the poore buyers be not there prouided, how shall their wants be supplied? The Markets are their Wels, if the couetous Farmers dry vp these, as the enuious Philistims did the Wels of Isaac, these poore sheepe must needs perish. Thou sellest, but in what man­ner? In grosse, or by such quantities as the poore cannot accomplish; whereas if thou wilt shunne the curse threatned, and obtaine the blessing promi­sed, thou must doe as the Word importeth in the second part of my Text, Perfringere fru­menta, breake it out from the heape by small par­cels, as the poore doe need for the present and are able to compasse. Breake thy Bread to the hungry; so breake thy Corne by halfe bushels, by peckes, by gallons to the needy, as their ability meeteth with their necessity. To set a whole loafe before a childe who hath neither strength to breake, nor knife to cut, is not to feed him, but to famish him.

I am not vancquainted with some of their Apo­logies: I haue made a Purchase, or taken a Lease, or bought so much at a suruey to be paid on such a day, and I must sell many Bushels together to make vp a good summe of money, I cannot tarry the lea­sure [Page 13] of these lingring Markets. All this while I heare no arguments but drawne from the common place of thine owne profit; and thou maiest remem­ber that the buying of a Farme, and a yoke of Oxen excluded the vnworthy guests from the great mar­riage Feast; these excuses are worse. Thou hast made a purchase, and the calamity of the Countrey must pay for it: thou hast bought a bargaine, and thy poore brethren, their wiues and children must pinch for it. A bad bargaine (bare-gaine it may well be called) to buy the curses of God and man. Say not that I condemne purchasing, because I am no purchaser, God grant I neuer bee in such manner. Buy Farmes, take Leases, make bargaines for Oxen, Cattell, Corne, or what you will, as long as you wrong not your own soules, which you can­not chuse but doe, if you wrong or pinch the poore members of the Sauiour of soules.

The couetous Marchant is also free of the com­pany of these Corne-catchers.2. The couetous Marchant. Hee with-holds Corn from the poore, by drawing it from Markets, to export it, or transport it into other parts or pla­ces whether neerer or more remote; especially out of the Land, and that without regard of Religion, or charity, or any thing else, saue his owne gaine, which to him is godlinesse. Tros, Tyrius (que), Prote­stant, Papist, Mahumetan, English, French, Spanish, Barbarian, all are alike to him, so hee may gaine by them. The sauour of lucre is sweet to him, though raked out of the puddle of the most filthy professi­on in Europe, or in all the world. Mistake me not, I traduce not the calling, not onely lawfull, but lau­dible, I may adde, honourable, the second supporter of the Kingdome. Not the Lyon and the Ʋnicorue, but the Plough and the Ship, vnder God, are the supporters of the Crowne. The Marchants by their [Page 14] trauels and aduentures ioyne together forraigne Na­tions which the Sea hath set farre asunder; they make remote Countries to bee ours vpon the mat­ter, causing their commodities to bee ours; casting with their Ships such a Bridge ouer the Ocean, that the chiefest, profits of both the Indies doe come home to our houses. I haue often yearned that they haue beene no better considered of, but suffered to be a prey to Dunkers abroad, and to as bad at home. I know that it is lawfull to transport our commo­dities, particularly our Corne into other Nations, vpon some conditions, as other Nations doe make vs partakers of their profits: yea, this sometimes may be done to those who are of another, that is, of an euill Religion. Nature teacheth this: The Aegyptians releeued the Israelites in the Famine, Gen. 43. 32. though it were an abomination to the Aegyptians, in their peeuish superstition, to eat bread with the Hebrewes, yet they would, in common humanity, afford them bread to eat by themselues. But this I affirme; to famish English, and to feed French or Spanish; to starue brethren, and to nourish enemies; to pinch the members of Christ, to preserue the limbs of Antichrist; to thriue by the death of Saints, and life of reprobates; this cannot possibly escape a curse; and all Marchants that vse such courses, I can say no better of them, than a blessed Saint said at least three hundred yeares sithence,Basil. They are all Mercatores humanarum calamitatum [...] Merchants of mens calamities.

The third sort are these whom we call Badgers of Corne,3. Hucksters, or Badgers of Corne. who were not to be condemned for con­ueying Corne from those places where it may well be spared, to other places within the Countrey where there is more want, if they did not procure want in those places where it doth abound, nor [Page 15] forestall the Markets, but would take that which the Markets doe leaue, nor raise the price to make the poore to smart for it.

Sufficient hath beene said (I hope) to shew the impietie, the inhumanity, the iniustice of this sin of procuring a Dearth by with-holding Corne; and that it is a lawlesse rebell against the laws of Grace, of Nature,The sinne of with-holding Corne, more hamous in our land, than in others. of Nations. Let this be farther added and considered, that this oppression is the more cru­ell, and this cruelty the more heauy in our Land, where Corne serueth both for Bread and Drinke; whereas other Countries by the benefits of the soile doe abound with wine; or because of the heate of the Climate, are contented with water. But among vs these with-holders of Corne doe doubly plague the poore people, staruing them with hunger, and choaking them with thirst; depriuing them of that which they should both eat and drinke. Our chil­dren doe not say vnto their mothers,Lament. 2, 12, Where is Corne and Wine? Keepe you the Wine, giue vnto their Mothers Corne, and they will finde in it both bread and drinke that shall content them as well as wine. But denie them Corne, you take from them bread, drinke, life and all. Wherefore the curses of these Corn-mungers are likely to be doubled; for that is the recompence they must expect for their cursed couetousnesse, namely, curses: and as the mischiefe is common, so it is iustly pursued with a common curse, the curses of the Commons, ‘The People shall curse him.’

THE SECOND SERMON.

PRO. 11. 26.‘The People shall curse him.’

THE sinne and the odiousnesse thereof to God and Man, hath beene (in part) discouered, that it may be shunned; and shunned it will be the sooner, if the iudge­ment threatned be seriously con­sidered; which iudgement is ex­pressed in these words: ‘The People shall curse him.’

Populares] So Iunius with some others,The sequell. The curses of the people. doe ren­der the word, the Commons; or Popul [...], as most doe reade, the People, implying a collectiue curse; as if there were a gathering of curses ouer the whole Countrey, and none (saue such as himselfe) refused to contribute curses towards him. Not one man, not a few, but the whole Countrey (as with Hue-and-Cry) shall pursue him with curses. Execra­buntur, shall curse and banne him; or Maledicent, [Page 18] shall say all euill of him, and pray that euill may be­fall him. The Originall word is very Emphaticall, Persodient, they shall digge, or stab, or runne him thorow with curses. A Metaphor borrowed from digging or stabbing; as who should say, the people with their curses shall digge on him, as with Mat­tockes, or runne him thorow, as with Rapiers.

A common crime still drawes on a common curse.A common sinne drawes on a common curse. God, in iustice doth vse to proportion the punish­ment to the offence. Who so hurteth or oppres­seth many, must looke to bee cried out against, and to be cursed by many. The wings of their punish­ment shall spread as farre as the tallands of their op­pression, their iudgement shall be of equall dimen­sions with their transgressions. Our Dearth-mongers, as they are procurers of a common calamitie, must looke to be pursued with a common out-cry, the whole Country shal stab them with cursings, as they seeke to stab it with staruing.

But is this such a punishment to be hunted with the clamours and curses of the people? Doubtlesse it is, when those curses are iustly caused by wrongs done vnto the people. In such cases we may safely lay downe this assertion,Doct. 2. that ‘The Peoples curse, iustly procured, is a fearefull iudgement.’

Hardly can there be a greater plague,A fearefull thing to be iustly cursed by the peo­ple. then to be pursued by the clamours and curses of the people for oppressing them. Here we must distinguish, that we may the more safely teach: The peoples curse is two-fold,The peoples curse two-fold. either caused, or causelesse; iust, or vniust; either iustly procured by some reall wrong insticted on them;1. Causlesse or vniust, this not to be fea­red or regar­ded. or vniustly vented out of error or malice, where no iust cause hath been giuen. Salomon himselfe affordeth vs this distinction, saying,Pro. 6▪2. As the Bird by wandring, and the Swallow by flying, doe e­scape, [Page 19] so the causelesse curse shal not come to passe. Sciendum est quòd scriptura sacra duobus modis maledi­ctum memorat, aliud videlicet quod approbat, aliud quod damnat. Aliud enim maledi­ctum profortur iudicio iustitiae, aliud liuore vindictae Greg. Moral. l. 4. c. 5. Where he sheweth, that there is a causelesse curse, which is not to be feared: when people out of spleene, or because their corrupt humors are not satisfied, doe flye to the fooles Asylum, or shelter of execrations or curses. Such are the curses of some impudent and insatiable beggars: such are the curses of some desperate malefactors against the Iudges, when they are sentenced according to Lawes and their deseruings: such are the curses of Roarers, sonnes of Belial, against zealous Ministers, for discharging their duties. Hence Ieremy complained, that hee was causelesly cursed;Ier. 15. 10. I haue not lent on vsury, nei­ther haue men lent to mee on vsury, yet euery one doth curse mee.

Exhortation to Magistrates and Officers to doe their duties though the people do causlesly curse them. And it is not vnprobable that some of you (wor­thy Magistrates) for diligence in doing your du­ties, and for your laudable endeuours to furnish the Markets by drawing forth the Corne out of the bands of horders, and the hands of hucksters, shall carry away some curses from the mouches or in the mindes, of these mizars. 'Tis not vnlikely, but that some of them (such is their charity) will reward you with curses, euen for this your care to preuent the curses of the people vpon them. But be not dis­couraged, Salomon hath secured you against such airie execrations. These breath-bullets shall not pierce you; these Speares of Reed, and Swords of Bull-rushes shall not so much as pricke your repu­tations, much lesse your consciences.Such curses shall not hurt their credits or conscien­ces, but rebound on those who do vse them. The bubbles of such curses shall fall into the faces and eyes of those who blow them vp: like mad-men they runne at you with the hilt, but the point of the sword run­neth into their owne brest. Let that bee your re­fuge which was Dauids in the like case, euen flying vnto the Lord,Psa. 109. 28. Let them curse, but blesse thou. Say [Page 20] you by them as he did by Shimei, when hee cursed him,2 Sam 16. 12. For such cur­ses God will blesse them. God will requite good for such cursing. If for doing Iustice, you bee vniustly pursued with viru­lent tongues, the same promise appertaineth vnto you, which the fountaine of blessednesse hath made vnto vs:Mat. 5. 11. 12 Blessed are yee when men reuile you, and say all manner of euill against you falsely. Reioyce and be glad, for great is your reward in heauen. Their curses are but like the Popes Bruta fulmina, his banning Buls, which the more lowdly they bellowed against Queene Elizabeth, of blessed memory, the better she prospered, the more she was blessedBeati super quos talis ma­ledictio cadit. Vtinam vt su­per nos ista ma­ledictio veniat. Euseb. Emis. seu. ser. 4. post. 4, Domini.

Therefore,I [...]ai 51. 7. Feare not the reproach of men, neither be afraid of their reuilings; but,lsai 8. 13. Sanctifie the Lord of Hoasts himselfe, let him be your feare, let him bee your dread. Rest in the blessing of the Lord,Ephe. 1. 3. Who hath blessed vs with all Spirituall blessings in heauenly things in Christ. Let these causelesse curses be so farre from hindering or disheartning you in your lawfull cour­ses, as that you doe rather reioyce in them, and binde them as crownes to your heads; and be you assured that the promise God made to Abraham, belongeth to euery childe of his, continuing in his faith and obedience, and so particularly vnto you, Gen. 12. 3. I will blesse them that blesse thee, and will curse him that curseth thee.

Contrariwise, formidable is that curse which is extorted by oppression,3. The iustly caused curse of the poore & oppressed, this is very fearefull. and vented forth from a brest surcharged with vexation. No Iron Bullet, driuen by the strongest powder, from the mouth of a Cannon, is more terrible and tearing. Such a curse being shot from earth, mounteth vp to hea­uen; and being sent vp from man, is sealed by God. It is true, that the common people doe commonly erre and offend herein; their curses, many times are their fooles-bolts, shot without ayme, and fal­ling [Page 21] without hurt, saue to themselues. But many times they are enforced, by grieuous pressures, to shoot these arrowes against their oppressors; and then they hit surely, and wound deepely. In this case the people haue a legatiue power like the Pa­stors, What they binde on earth, is bound in heauen. Here the voyce of the people, especially of the poore, the people of God, is the voyce of the God of the people. Therefore wee finde in Scripture, that the curse of the people, and a woe from God, are all one vpon the reckoning. Our Wise man saith, in this booke,Prou. 24. 24. See Pro. 17. 15 Hee that saith vnto the wicked, thou art righteous, the people shall curse him. The Pro­phet Isay, inueighing against the same sinne, saith, Isai 5. 30. 23 VVoe to him that iustifieth the wicked for a reward. Here you see that God addeth a woe to that sinne whereon the people doe affix a curse: a curse extor­ted from them is sealed with a woe denounced by Him; p whose curses, as they are neuer discharged without iust cause, so they neuer returne without effect.

Heare and tremble all ye Nimrods, Vse. all you rough­handed Esawes, Terrour to all oppressors of the poore. grinders of the poore, oppressors of the people. Thinke not to fillip off these curses which your cruelties haue squeised from them,Vt quidam memoratur A­thenis sordidus & diues vulgi cont [...]mnere voces Sic soli­tus, Populus me sibilat ac mihi plaudo Ipse domi quo­ties nummos contemplor in arca. with Tush, what care I what the people say? The Fox, the more he is cursed, the better he fares. Maledictio diuina sicut nunquam te­merè emittitur ita nunquam re infecta re­uertitur. Cart­w [...] ad Text. Let them curse and spare not, as long as such curses doe fill my Coffers. Know you, that the curse of the people, iustly caused, is a vapor exhaled from earth; or rather indeed a thunder, which causeth a thunder-bolt to be cast downe from heauen. Let the oppressor poste from it as fast as he can, it shall ouertake him (r as the arrow of Iehu did Iehoram) and smite him be­tweene his armes,Horat. l 1. sat. 1 [...] 2 King. 9. 24 and runne thorow his heart; let him fence himselfe with the best amunition that [Page 22] hee may, it shall pierce him thorow. No coate of male shall rebate the edge, no armour of proofe shall beare off the stroke of the peoples curse, when it is edged with iustly conceiued passion and bac­ked by the Almighties approbation. Wise men therefore will hearken vnto the counsell of wise Syrachides; Ecel 4 2, 3, 5, 6. Make not an hungry soule sorrowfull, nei­ther prouoke a man that is in distres. Adde not more trou­ble to an heart that is vexed, defer not to giue to him that is in need. Turne not thine eyes from the needy, and giue him no occasion to curse thee; for if he curse thee in the bitternesse of his soule, his prayer shall be heard of him that made him.

And among all grinders of the poore,Especially to Corne hor­ders. tremble you who with-hold from them that which they should grinde for the necessary sustenance of life, and so grinde them the more, because you keepe them from grinding. You rurall Tyrants, who, by with-holding your Corne, doe enforce the misera­ble people to flie to their for lorne hope of ringing a peale of curses, against your couetousnesse, in the eares of the Almighty. IfIam. 5. 4. the hire of the labourers, who haue reaped downe your fields, being by fraud kept backe, cryeth, and those cries doe enter into the eares of the Lord of Sabboth: then doubtlesse, the deserued curses of those who are ready to perish, because you will not so much as fell vnto them that which they laboured to reape, and to saue for you, and which without the sweat of their browes, and gal­ling of their hands, you could not haue saued, doe sound like a volley of shot in the eares of the God of mercies, and will awake him to take vengeance on your cursed cruelties.Exod. 2 [...]. 22, 23, 24. If any widdow or fatherlesse childe be afflicted by thee (saith the Lord) and in their affliction doe at all cry vnto me, I will surely heare their cry, and my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with [Page 23] the Sword, and your wiues shall bee widdowes, and your children fatherlesse. Will God heare the cry of one widdow, of one fatherlesse childe, being afflicted, and can his eares be shut at the generall cry of the whole multitude, among whom are so many wid­dowes, so many Orphans, and some of them (doubt­lesse) his owne children, the sonnes and daughters of his deare Saints, the linely members of his one­ly begotten sonne Christ Iesus?

And that these enforced curses are not alwayes effectlesse in this life,That these curses are not effectlesse in this life, shewed by examples. witnesse the fearefull iudge­ments which God hath inflicted on some Nabals for terror vnto others. I could tell you old Chro­nicle-stories out of Matthew Paris, and others, of terrible examples in our owne Land, vpon offen­ders in this kinde.A story out of Matthew Pa­ris, of Walter Grey, Arch­bishop of Yorke, a co­uetous Corn-horder. As that of Walter Grey, an Arch­bishop of Yorke, in the yeare of grace, 1234. Who hauing fiue yeares Corne vnder-hand, would not thresh it out for the releefe of the poore in three yeeres famine, hoping still that the price would encrease. Being aduertised by his Officers that it was greatly to be feared, lest the Corne were consumed by Mice,An. Dom. 1234. he willed them to deliuer it to the Husband-men, who dwelt in his Mannor, vp­on condition that they should pay him as much new Wheat for it after Haruest. They attempting to take downe a great mow of Corne which hee had at Rippon, saw the heads of many Snakes, and Toads, and other venemous creatures peering out at the end of the sheaues. This being related to the Archbishop, hee sent his Steward with diuers of good credite to enquire the truth thereof, who see­ing what others had seene, enforced, not withstan­ding, certaine poore men to goe vp to the top with ladders. They were scarcely vp, when they saw a great smoake arising out of the corne, and felt with­all [Page 24] a loathsome stinke, which compelled them with all haste possible to hye them downe againe: More­ouer, they heard an vnknowne voyce saying vnto them, Let the Corne alone, for the Archbishop and all that he hath, belongeth to the Diuell. In fine (saith the Story) they were faine to build a wall about the corne, and then to set it on fire, fearing lest such an huge number of venemous creatures should empoi­son, at least annoy the whole Country. I could tell you out of forraine Authors, of aAnother of a German Bi­shop deuou­red by Rats. Anno 930. German Bishop, who in time of dearth kept in his Corne, and called the poore which came about him begging reliefe, the Rats and Mice which deuoured his Corne. But God retorted his malicious scomme vpon his owne head;Hatto Episco­pus Mogunti­nensis.—Nomineq i­dem Episcopus et Pastor, sed reipsa Lupus. Scribunt qui­dam quòd mu­res quo (que) [...]o men eius de­tentes a parie­tibus et tapetibus aebraserint.—Inde & in hodiernum diem turris ipsa, turris mu­ri [...]m vocatu. Iob Fincel. Andr. Hous­dorphius. Phil. Laui [...]er. in theat. histor. Theod. Zuinger. in Theat. vit. human. l. 18. Rauisius Textor. for he himselfe was soone after deuoured a­liue by Rats and Mice, notwithstanding that he im­mured himselfe in a strong Tower, which is repor­ted to be yet standing, and in the name it beareth to retaine a memoriall of the strange Iudgement.

I had rather preferre to your consideration the pious action ofy Ethelwald, a Bishop of Winchester, before the Conquest, who in a great Dearth, did breake vp all the Plate belonging to his Church, and gaue it to the poore, saying, that the Church in good time might be prouided of necessary ornaments, but the poore that perished for want of food, could not be re­couered.

But these examples of ancient times doe lesse af­fect, and may be held fabulous.z That God hath made the curses of the poore effectuall vpon such couetous Corne-horders, euen in recent remem­brance, may appeare by this, that some of this cur­sed [Page 25] crue haue become their owne executioners, and in kindnesse haue saued the Hang-man a labour by haltering themselues, when contrary to their expe­ctation, the price of corne hath sodainly fallen: and this both in other Countries, and among vs, asLauater, Cartwright ad Text. Di­uines of good reputation haue deliuered vpon their owne knowledge.

But worst of all will be,The greatest curse of all, at the day of Iudgement. when Christ at the great and terrible day of his comming shall adde vnto all these the insupportable weight of his heauie and in­tolerable curse, when he shall say vnto these, as vnto others (in some respects more excusable then these) Mat. 25. 41, 42. Depart ye cursed into euerlasting fire, prepared for the Diuell and his Angels; for I was hungry, and yee gaue me no meate, I was thirstie, and you gaue mee no drinke: nay, you would not so much as sell mee meate and drinke for ready money, and at a deere rate, when by relieuing mee you might haue enriched your selues; by feeding me, you might haue filled your owne purses. Oh what shall be said to them who will not sell for money, when Depart from me ye cur­sed, is the mildest word that Christ shall afford them, who would not giue freely? What Hell shall be hot enough for those that will not sell, when Hell fire is prepared for those who would not giue?

Shall I speake now vnto the deafe Adder, who will not heare the voyce of the Charmer? shall I loose my sweet words by spending them on stones or stony hearts, who regard not the Law of God, the command of the King, the cry of the Country, the curses of the people, the teares distilling downe the widdowes cheekes, the sighes exhaled from Orphants fainting tongues, the ruthfull spectacles of hunger-starued scellitons, whose very sight-might dissolue eyes of adamant into teares? they who are [Page 26] not moued by any of these, by all of these, what hope is there that they will be mollified by my weake words? But a necessity is laid vpon vs, and wee must speake; for if wee should be silent, the stones would euen cry out against these, whose hearts are harder then the nether Milstone. If they will not heare vs, let them yet tremble at this determinate speech of God himselfe by Salomon, Captans pretia frumenti maledictus est in plebe: Hee is cursed by the people who catcheth at aduantages by the price of Corne. The sentence is peremptory (Definita est sententia, ni­hil disputatio­ni relinquens. Ambros. Offic. l. 3. c. 6. saith a Saint) leauing no place for disputation. If thou doest so, pretend what thou wilt, fill thy mouth with argu­ments, cast the best colour on the matter that thou canst, all thy fig-leaued Apologies will not fence thee from the curse.

Thou wilt say peraduenture,Obiections answered. I do no man wrong, I keepe but mine owne, I may sell mine owne when I please; Is it not lawfull for me to doe with mine owne what I list?1. May I not do with mine owne as I list?

But know, first, that thou abusest the words of Christ, Answ. He onely (because he is Lord of all) may doe with his own what pleaseth him.Christ onely may doe with his owne as he list. Man cānot, because he is not absolute owner of any thing; for what hath he that he hath not receiued: He must there­fore doe with his owne, that which pleaseth the Supreme owner of all things.Man cannot, who can call properly no­thing his own saue his sin. Againe, call it thine owne; it is not lawfull for thee to doe with thine owne what thou wilt, vnlesse thou wilt doe that which is lawfull and right. Thou mayst not vse thine owne to the hurt of another man.Men may not vse their own to the hurt of others. Thou mayest not murther with thine owne sword, nor make men drunke with thine owne drinke, nor burne thy neighbours house with thine owne fire. God, who is the owner of the earth, telleth thee that thou mayest not with-hold his (which thou vn­properly [Page 27] callest thy) Corne, thereby to famish and impouerish thy brethren.It is damna­ble to with­hold our own when others are ready to perish for want of that which we may well spare. The purple Glutton fries in hell fire for with-holding his owne bread from poore Lazarus, lying at his gate. It cost Nabals life, for denying his owne bread and victuals to Dauid and his followers, when he kindely craued it in his need. What canst thou expect then, who wilt rather be cursed by the poore, than sell thine own to them at a reasonable rate in their necessity? Know this therfore, that this Corne is not thine own, but it be­longeth rather to the poore when they need it, and thou canst well afford it. Thou takest from them that which is theirs, by with-holding from them that which thou callest thine. Thou doest wrong e­nough, in not doing right; thou exercisest cruelty, in not shewing mercy; thou killest all, from whom thou keepest that which should keepe them aliue. Is he a theefe that takes from a man his owne, and makes him to be in want? What is hee lesse, that will not sell a poore man his owne when hee is in want? It is the worst kinde of couetousnesse (saith aVideatur D. Basilius ser. 1. in Auaros. Saint) not to giue to those who are ready to pe­rish, that which otherwise will perish; what is it then not to sell it vnto them? Thou sayest (saith the same) To whom doe I wrong, if I keepe mine owne? I demand of thee againe (in the words of that blessed man) What are those things thou cal­lest thine owne? Thou answerest, why? my Coine, my Clothes, my Corne. But how came these things to be thine owne? Didst thou bring them with thee into the world? Didst thou not come naked out of thy mothers wombe? Shalt thou not re­turne naked againe? Whence then hast thou these things? If thou sayest, I got them by chance, or it is my good fortune that I haue them; thou doest not acknowledge the author and disposer of all [Page 28] things, thou art vnthankefull, thou art no better than an Atheist. If thou confessest thou hast them from God, that he gaue them vnto thee; then tell me, why did God giue them vnto thee rather than vnto another? For God is not vniust, or one that knoweth not how to diuide his owne gifts in equall proportions. Why then hath God giuen thee so much, and him so little? Why art thou rich, and hee poore? Certainely for no other cause, but that thy fulnesse might supply his want, and that both might, doing their duties, obtaine of him a re­ward; thou of faithfull distributing, and hee of his patient enduring. If all were rich, what praise were there of patience? If all were poore, who should be able to shew charity? If there were, in this kinde, an equality, two pretious vertues would be vile or not at all, Charity and Patience. There­fore the most prudent disposer of all things, hath most prouidently ordained this inequality, that as the patience of the poore is exercised in wanting, so the charity of the rich may be shewed in relee­uing. But thou, griping all in the tallands of thine insatiable Auarice, and thereby depriuing so many of their portions, saist thou keepest but thine owne, and thou wrongest no man. Thou doest herein (saith the same blessed Bishop) as if entring into a Theatre, thou keepe, or driue out all other specta­tors, as though those shewes, which were proui­ded for all, were proper to thee alone: or, as if in­uited to a feast by a great friend, together with ma­ny other guests as good, or better than thy selfe, thou shouldest sit downe at the table, and keepe all the dishes to thy selfe, excluding the rest, as if the whole dinner were prouided for thee alone. Yet still thou sayest, I keepe but mine owne, I doe no man wrong. But tell mee sadly, Who is a couetous [Page 29] man? Hee who is not contented with that which is sufficient, but still craueth more. Tell mee a­gaine, who is a theefe? Hee who takes away that which is another mans. Art not thou then coue­tous, who art not contented with that which is too much, and which would well content an hun­dred men, as good, and as dearely bought by Christ, as thou art? Art not thou a theefe, who keepest that to thy selfe which thou hast receiued of thy Lord and Master to distribute and diuide among thy fellow-seruants, thine owne portion (and that double, treble, yea seuen to one of theirs) being allowed thee? Shall hee who takes away a mans garment from him, be called a robber, and shall not he who will not clothe the naked, if hee bee able, be also a spoiler? Shall hee who kils a man with a sword, be called a murtherer, and shall hee bee any better that with-holdeth from him that whereof the want will shortly kill him? Doth not hee put out the Lampe that powreth not oyle into it, as well as he that blowes it out? Doth not he put out the fire that puts not on wood, as well as hee that throwes on water? What's the oddes, but that which the murtherer doth suddenly, thou doest it leasurely and lingringly, and so art the more cruell murtherer of the two; because thou doest not quickly dispatch, but doublestTristior est laetho, laethi mora. Death by delay­ing, andProb saeuior ense Parcendi rabies conces­sa (que) vit [...] dolori. Claudian. extendest life onely for greater torment; not so mercifull as a courteous hangman, that leaps on the shoulders, or puls by the heeles, to put out of paine; but rather as cruell as thatLutum san­guine. macera­tum. Caligula [...] Tyrant, who was said to be nothing but morter made of bloud, not contented to put innocents vnto deathIta ferivt sentiant se me­ri, Sueton. vnlesse the Executioner did so strike them, that they might be sensible of their dying. Neuer say then that thou keepest but thine owne. It is the bread of the hun­gry [Page 30] which thou detainest; it is the garment of the naked which thou sufferest to lye Moath-eaten in thy presse; It is the gold and siluer of the needy, which rusteth in thy Coffer: It is the Corne of the poore, ready to dye with hunger, which thou suf­ferest to moulder in thy Mow or Barne. Neuer say, thou doest no man wrong. Thou wrongest so many as thou doest not releeue, being able. Cal­lest thou thy selfe a Christian, and arguest thou thus, quite contrary to the rules of Christianity? Answer once an Heathen who neuer knew Christ and his Gospell, vnto his short question: ‘Cur eget indignus quisquam te diuite?Horat.

Why seest thou any one to want; who is vnwor­thy, while thou doest abound? Art thou not vn­naturall, who sufferest that which nature cannot endure, vacuity? Art thou worthy to breathe the ayre, who wilt not endeuour to doe as the ayre doth, shift some of it selfe from places that are o­ner-full, to others that are empty? How canst thou call thy selfe a Christian, when the members of Christ doe quiuer with cold for want of that which doth clothe the Moaths in thy presse? Or to want necessaries, for lacke of that which the rust consumes in thy bagges, or starue for need of of that which releeueth Rats and Mice in thy Barnes? Hee is a bad seruant who will flaunt it in silks himselfe, gotten by his masters goods, and glut himselfe with the choicest food, and see his Masters children, (yea the Master himselfe in them) goe naked, or ready to starue for want of bread.

But did not religious Ioseph in the yeares of plenty,Obiect. 2. gather and keepe vp Corne, which he sold afterward in the yeares of famine?Iosephs exam­ple answered. He did so, and that lawfully; for you haue beene told that there is a lawfull storing vp of Corne, when it is done, as [Page 31] Ioseph did, not to procure a Dearth, but to preuent it, or to be the better prouided against it.Fortasse di­cet. Et Ioseph in abundantia frum [...]nta col­legit, in carita­te vendidit. Ioseph sanctus omnibus aperu­it horrea, non clausit, nec pretia captauit annonae, sed perenne sub­sidium colleca­uit, nihil sibi acquisiuit, sed quemadmodum fames etiam in posterum vinceretur prouida ordi­natione dispo­suit. Ambr. Offic. l. 3 c. 6. Godly Ioseph opened his Garners in the yeares of famine he did not shut them; his intent was not to raise the price, but to prouide a supply against the time of want. He gathered and kept not for himselfe, but for others, euen for strangers: thou with-hol­dest it from neighbours, and wilt suffer vile vermin to feed on it, rather than thy brethren. Shamest thou not to alleage the example of Ioseph, whose care for the common good so directly condemneth thy couetousnesse, who carest for none but for thy selfe.

Obiect. 3. Gedeons ex­ample. Iudg. 6. 11. Answered, B. o [...] Exon. Contemplat. vol. 3. l. 9. Gedeons cal­ling. But doe wee not read that Gedeon threshed out his Corne, not to sell it, but to hide it, and yet is not blamed for so doing?

He did. But when did hee hide his Corne? in time of inuasion by the enemy. His Garner might be closer and safer than his Barne. And from whom did he hide it? not from his neighbours, but from his and their enemies, the Midianites. Thy course is quite contrary. Then the Israelites threshed out their corne to hide it from the Midianites: but our Midianites will not thresh out theirs, or if they doe, it is to hide it from the Israelites. The Sword of the Lord and of Gedeon (the godly Magistrate) bee against such mercilesse Midianites.

Famine, a­grieuous iudgement. Dearth and Famine is one of the most grieuous Iudgements which God inflicteth on a sinfull Na­tion. Ezech. 6. 11 Thou shalt fall by the Sword, by Famine, and by the Pestilence. These are the three rods wherewith God vseth to scourge a wanton and wicked people. I know that some graueB. Cowper on Rom. 8. 35. Diuines doe affirme Fa­mine to bee the easiest of the three, because God, who best knowes the waight of his owne rods, accounteth three daies Pestilence, and three months [Page 32] of the sword, equall with seuen yeeres famine. But this to me seemeth no sufficient reason: sure I am, that Dauid, in his hard choice, preferred pestilence before it;2 Sam. 24. 14, 15. and it is not probable, that hee would choose the heauiest punishment. Besides, the Pro­phet Ieremie saith,Lamen. 4. 9. Dira fames semper magno­rum prima ma­lorum 1st co­mes [...] Lucand [...]. They that be slaine by the sword, are better then they that be staine by hunger. Moreouer, this scourge of famine is the worse and the more intolerable for the miseries and mischiefes that doe commonly attend it. Pestilence often is the com­panion of it, robberies, rebellions, outrages and o­ther enormities are the Pages that doe wait vpon it. Dire famine! thou hast taught tender-hearted Mothers to turne Cannibals, and to become Butch­ers, cookes, caruers, eaters of their owne children: Thou hast taught men to exceed Cannibals, and for want of other food to deuoure their owne flesh, and as much as they might, to eat vp themselues. For this Ieremie most lamenteth, as for the most lamen­table iudgement,Lam 2. 11, 12 Mine eye doth faile with teares, my bowels are troubled, my liuer is powred vpon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because the children and sucklings doe swowne in the streets of the Catie. They say vnto their Mothers, where is corne and wine? They swowned as the wounded in the streets of the Citty, their soule is powred out into their Mothers bo­some. That which followes is most patheticall; Lam. 2. 20. Shall the women eat their owne fruit, and their children of aspan long?

Now it is proper to the Lord alone to punish a sinfull Nation.It▪ is proper to God alone to punish a sinfull Nation with famine or any other iudgement. He knowes when it is fittest to whip a people with famine, and he hath wayes enough to bring such a calamitie on a Country whensoeuer it pleaseth him:Psal 107. 34. A fruitfull land he turneth into bar­rennesse, for the wickednesse of the people that dwell there­in. SometimesLeu. 26. 29. he makes the heauens aboue as brasse, [Page 33] and the earth beneath as iron: so that albeit men doe labour and sowe, yet they receiue no increase. Some­times againe,Deut. 11. 14. he giueth the former and the later raine in due season, so that the earth yeeldeth abundance; but the Lord sending blasts, rusts, Mel-dewes, Ca­terpillars, Canker-wormes, doth cause the hope of the yeere to faile: as if such worthlesse creatures were more worthy to enioy the fruits of the earth, then sinfull and vnthankfull man: sometimes euen when the Corne is not yet reaped, but expecteth the hooke, or while it standeth in the field awaiting to be housed in the Barne, God sends airie thresh­ers, violent windes, to beat it out of the eare; the furrowes of the field doe become the threshing-floore; the Wheat is sowed where it grew, and that without the helpe of hand, plow or harrow: thus haruest, threshing, and seed-time doe vntime­ly meet together, as they did some few yeers since. Our crying sinnes,We haue de­serued to be thus scourged particularly the vile abuse of the creature by Drunkennesse and riot, haue called for vengeance, and we haue deserued to be scourged, not only with famine, but with the other two rods, with sword also and with pestilence.

But this Dearth is not inflicted immediately by the hand of God,But this Fa­mine is not inflicted im­mediately by God, but en­forced by the cruell coue­tousnesse of Men. but enforced by wicked mens cruell couetousnesse. God hath not broken the staffe of bread, but churlish Nabals haue gotten it into their owne fists, and with-hold it from the people who should be supported by it. We cannot com­plaine, Ioel 1. 10. The field is wasted, and yet the Land mour­neth; the Corne is not wasted, but with-held. God hath not sent want of bread, but couetousnesse hath caused cleannesse of teeth. God hath not smitten vs with blasting, nor sent Caterpillers, nor Canker­wormes, but the Diuell hath raised vp Caterpillers and Locusts, thoseFrumentarii pretii captato­res, Amb Offic. [...]. 3. c. 6. Catchers at the Dearth of Corn [Page 34] (as the Father stileth them) and these doe make a priuate gaine of a publike detriment, improuing that as a profit to themselues, which God ordai­ned as a plague for sinners;Hos. 2. 21, 22 The Lord hath heard the heauens, and the heauens haue heard the earth, and the earth hath heard the corne; but those earth-wormes will not heare the voice of the Lord, nor the crying complaints of the poore. The earth hath answered the expectation of the sower, but cannot answer the vnsatiable greedinesse of the seller. Many Mens Barnes are full of Corne, but their brests are emp­ty of compassion: their Garners are stuffed and sto­red; two yeeres graine vnder hand in many mens keeping, yet they still gape for a greater dearth, and doe their best, or rather worst to procure it. They suffer their Mow-hayes to stand laden with corne neere the high-wayes, in the open view of the poore, the more to anger their hunger. Thus they bring vpon their brethren on earth a torment, much like that which Poets deuised for Tantalus in Hell, to haue faire apples at his lips, and yet to pine with hunger; and in the midst of faire water vp to the chinne, to perish with thirst.Ezech. 5. 16. These arrowes of fa­mine that haue wounded our sides, had lesse afflicted vs, had they beene shot directly from the iust hand of God; him wee could haue entreated with our prayers, mollified with our teares, pacified with our repentance; But nothing can preuaile with im­penitrable Auarice:Sam. 24. 14 O let vs fall into the hands of God (for his mercies are great) but let vs not fall into the hands of mercilesse men. If our sinnes must needs be scourged, let not greater sinners be the Beadles: Who hath giuen you commission to be the Coun­tries hangmen? where is your warrant to thrust your selues into the seat of Gods iustice; or to take his quiuer and to shoot against his children those [Page 35] arrowes which hee keepeth against his enemies? You may indeed, for a while, be the rods of Gods wrath (as Ashur was to Israel) but vpon our true re­pentance, God will turne his wrath from vs, vpon you: and the childe being humbred, the rod shall be cast into the fire.

O insatiable Auarice!An inuectiue against coue­tousnesse. Doth not the earth yeeld thee sufficient encrease? what meanest thou to plow and harrow the very guts of thy poore brother for greater gaine? Now it is farre worse then they said it was in the beginning of the iron-age; for then CouetousnesseItum est in viscera terrae. went but into the bowels of the earth; but now menItum est in viscera fratrum digge into the bowels of their brethren, yea,Itum est in viscera Christi. they delue into the bowels of Christ himselfe for coyne.

Call ye me this Ʋsurie, or rather Fellonie? These Corn-horders worse then Vsurers. Latrocinium hoc an foenus appellem? Cap­tantur tanquā latrociniꝭ tem­pora quibus in vis [...]era homi­num clarus in­sidiator obrepas Ambr▪ vbi supr. Vsury it selfe is charitable in respect of this. Vsury yet sends abroad money for money; this rurall sacri­ledge will not sell corne for coyne. Vsury indeed biteth, but this killeth by keeping away that which should sustaine life. Vsury by money stealeth mo­ney out of mens purses (as one by powring a little water into a dry Pumpe, forceth out a great deale more) but this Burglary breaketh into mens bow­els, and robbeth them of that which should main­taine them. Is not this gaine more odious, more base then that of the Emperour, who extracted gold out of Vrine? I perceiue, that among our Pagan-Christians, it holds as currant as it did among the Pagans;Lucri bonus est odor ex re Qualibet—Iuuenal Sweet is the scent of Siluer, out of what sinke soeuer it be raked: seeing to these Horse-leeches gaine is sweet, though sucked out of the bowels of their brethren.

Oh, if you haue any bowels your selues, or haue not drunke vp that obdurate riuer,Flumen ha­bent Cicones quod potum saxea reddit Ʋiscera, quod tactis inducit marmora rebus Ouid. M [...]tam. which is re­ported to turne the bowels of the drinker into [Page 36] hard marble; looke once ouer the threshold of your poore neighbour, some poore coater, some daily labourer, for his groat or three pence a day, gro­ning vnder the burthen of an heauy house-rent, with a house full of small children on the bargaine; and if you will not enter in, yet stand without a while, and become officious Eues-droppers, listen to the pittious complaints that are among them. There may you see,The pittifull estate of poore labou­rers in these hard times, deplored. or heare the wofull mother, with her eldest daughter, the one carding or knit­ting, the other spinning a sorry threed, and singing to her turne an heauy tune of some sorrowfull Psalme; as, O Lord consider my distresse; or, O Lord how are my foes increast; or, Helpe Lord, for good and godly men doe perish and decay: Then awakes the poore sucking Infant, and crying, interrupts both worke and musicke: The mother takes it vp, and giues it sucke with teares, for with milke she cannot. Alas! how can the infant draw milke from the breast, when the Nurse cannot get meat for the belly: Mo­ther, saith another childe, when shall we eat? Mo­ther, saith another, where is bread? O mother, saith another, I am so hungry I know not what to doe. Thus the feeble children doe call vpon the wofull mother, shee complaines to the sad father, he answers her with pittious complaints against the pittilesse neighbours; Alas! What shall I doe? I haue beene at goodman—such a ones house; from him I went to goodman—such a one (good men with a mischiefe, that haue not a mite of good­nesse in them, because no compassion on their mise­rable fellow-members,) I haue beene ouer the Pa­rish, I haue beene out of the Parish, with money in my hand, and cannot get a pecke of Barley: they haue it, but they say they cannot spare it. O mise­rable condition! the poore man is put to a double [Page 37] labour; first, to get a little money for Corne, and then to get a little Corne for money, and this last is the hardest labour: he might haue earned almost halfe a Bushell, while hee ruunes about begging to buy halfe a pecke. Thus doe our Country-Pharaohs make their brethren bondslaues, enforcing them to make Bricke, and denying them Straw; crying, Hang them, hang them if they steale, yet not set­ting them on worke, nor releeuing them when they haue wrought, and so enforcing them either to steale or to starue.

Remember, O ye Palmer-wormes remember, your predecessour, the rich foole in the Gospell. Luk. 12. 16. Quid faciam? Nonne haec pauperis vox est, non haben­tis subsidia vi­uendi?—Quid faciam (inquit) quòd non habeo? Clamat sediues non habere; Paupertatis hic Sermo est, de inopia queritur abundans fru­ctibus.—Et dixit, Hoc fa­ciam, horrea mea destruam. Diceret potius, Aperiam hor­rea mea, ingre­diantur qui tolerare famem non queunt, veniant inopes, intrent pauperes, repleant sinus suos. Desiruantur parietes qui excludunt esarientes. Vt quid ego abscondam cui Deus facit ab indare quod l [...]rgior? Ambros. l de Nabuth c 6. Id. ibid. c. 7. Dam incrementa pretiorum aucupor, amisi vsum beneficiorum. Quantas anni superioris frumento ani­mas pauperum reseruare possem? Haec me magis delectarent pretia, quae non num­mo aestimantur sed gratia:—Tu verò non h [...]c ditis, sed ais. De ruam horrea mea Recte destiues ea quibus nullus pauper onustus reuertitur, &c. The ground of a certaine rich man brought forth plen­teously. And hee thought with himselfe, What shall I doe, because I haue no roome to bestow my fruits? What shalt thou doe, man? Hast thou so much that thou knowest not what to do with thy goods? I will tell thee what thou shalt doe: Giue to the poore out of thine abundance; if thou wilt not doe so, yet sell to them at a reasonable price. What shalt thou doe? why? make the guts of the poore thy Gar­nors; their bowels, thy Barnes; their empty mawes, thy Mow-hayes; so shalt thou bee sure that both thy substance and thy soule shall bee safe. How? no, I'le none of that. Why? what wilt thou doe then? I know what I will doe: I will pull downe my Barnes, and build greater. Nay, soft and faire, thou mayest saue charges and labour; for, O foole, this might shall they take away thy soule from thee. [Page 38] So let thine enemies perish, O Lord, euen all these who are enemies to those whom thou most be­friendest, the poore and indigent: vnlesse it rather please thee (which wee most desire) to giue them grace to turne mercifull, that so thou mayest haue mercy vpon them: and vnlesse it please thee to giue them wisdome from aboue, to flye from the curse, by forsaking the cursed sinne which procu­reth it, and to buy a blessing at so cheap an hand, as by selling the superfluity of their Corne, hauing re­serued sufficient for their owne prouision: For, ‘Blessings shall be on the head of him who selleth it.’

THE THIRD SERMON.

PRO. 11. 26.‘But blessing shall be vpon the head of him who selleth it.’

I Haue almost beene tired on Mount Ebal, The second part of the Text, wherin it is to be con­sidered. the Mountaine of Cursing; Whereunto the first part of my Text necessarily tasked mee. I doe therefore (after some pause) the more willingly climbe the Mount Gerizim, the Mountaine of blessing, whereunto the second part doth lead me; and glad I am to follow, because the ascent is easie, and the top excellent. The ascent I call the Duty, which is selling, than which, what more easie? By the top I vnderstand the recompence, which is no lesse than Blessing; than which, what more excellent?

But blessing shall bee on the head of him who sel­leth it.

Consider wee first,1 The Duty to be performed▪ Selling. the duty, which is selling of Corne, opposite to the sinne of with-holding it.

[Page 40] That selleth.] Perfringentis Metaphora à rebus fractis▪ Cartwright ad locum. The Originall word importeth brea­king, or diuiding. The meaning is, that Corne must be broken from the heape, and by small por­tions distributed abroad among many, according to the necessity and ability of the buyer; that they who cannot reach a Bushell, may haue a Pecke, or halfe a Pecke, for their money. The like phrases are frequent in Scripture: Breake thy bread vnto the hungry.—Giue a portion vnto seauen—As a loafe of bread is broken and diuided among many, that e­uery one may haue some, and not one all; so Corne is to be broken from the heape, and not to bee sold by the heape to ingrossers, and to such as will make a commodity by retailing it at a dearer rate, but in smaller portions to bee diuided and subdiuided to the poorer sort of people who doe buy for necessi­ty. Thus to sell (especially in such seasons as these) is a worke of charity, and shall not want a reward; for it shall receiue a blessing. So that ‘There is a Charity sometimes in selling.Doct. 3.

There are three principall deeds of Charity:There is a charity in sel­ling, as well as in giuing. 1. Giuing, 2. Lending, 3. Selling. Giuing is the chiefest and most noble; It is more blessed to giue, than to receiue; and therein man doth most resemble God,1 Tim. 6. 17. Who giueth vs abundantly all things to enioy. Lending is next, if it be free lending;Psalm. A good man is mercifull and lendeth, saith the Psalmist. Selling is the last, yet this also (rightly performed) wanteth not a blessing. The holy Ghost in Scripture pre­scribeth rules for selling, giuing a charge, that1 Thes. 4. 6. No man doe circumuent or defraud another in bargaining. Act. 16. 14. Lydia, a seller of purple, is praised, and said also to be a worshipper of God. In the last Chapter of this booke, the godly Matron is commended, not onely [Page 41] (though chiefly) for her bounty in giuing,Prou. 31. 20 Pro. 31. 20. She stretcheth forth her hands to the poore, yea, shee spreadeth them out to the needy; but also for her sel­ling; Shee maketh fine wooll, Vers. 24. and selleth it, and deliue­reth girdles to the Merchants.

Behold herein,Vse 1. and acknowledge the gratious in­dulgence and great kindenesse of our heauenly Fa­ther,To teach vs to acknow­ledge Gods goodnesse in accepting any Seruice done at his com­mand, though for our owne profit. and Master to vs his poore children and ser­uants. He imposeth no hard taske vpon vs. Christ may well say,Mat. 11. 30. My yoke is easie, and my burthen light: If there bee any hardnesse in any of his pre­cepts, it is mollified againe with some milde quali­fication. Chrysost. ad pop. Antioch. hom. 65. Canst thou not (saith a Saint) keepe vir­ginity? God giues thee leaue to marry: Canst thou not fast? God giues thee leaue to eat: Hast thou a great charge, many of thine owne to be prouided for, so that it is not for thine ease to giue? Behold, God giueth thee leaue to sell, yea, promiseth a bles­sing where thou makest a benefit.

Luk. 12. 33. Sell that you haue, and giue almes, saith our Saui­our: Is that somewhat hard to sell and giue all? Why, then sell some, and giue almes of a part, yea, giue almes euen by selling some part of that which you may well spare to your poore brethren; that 2 Cor. 8. 14. now at this time your abundance may supply their want, that [at another time] their abandance may supply your want, that there may be an equality. Yea, where there is ability of giuing,God accep­teth some­times selling, euen where there is abili­ty of giuing. there God accepteth sel­ling at some times, such times as these. Hee who selleth to preuent a Dearth, doth a good worke, as well as hee who giueth in the time of Dearth. A few Bushels sent to the Market, and sold indiffe­rently to the needy, doe please God, as well as mo­ny or bread giuen at the doore: by this, one or a few are, for the time, refreshed; by the other, ma­ny are weekely releeued; by giuing at the doore, [Page 42] many times, idle bellies, loose lozels, lewd loyte­terers are pampered, whose backes had more need to be punished; but by reasonable and seasonable selling, many poore painefull families are maintai­ned, which hauing laboured hard all the weeke, must not onely pray, but fast the Sunday, if they caunot buy a little Corne the Satterday. So that the way to heauen is not so narrow, nor the gate so strait, but that a courteous Farmer, with his Cart­load of Corne may enter into it, who is ready to re­leeue the Countrey by charitable selling.Vse 2. Behold how God esteemes that mercy to others,To incite those who are of ability, to this duty of selling. which brings a commodity to our selues; and saith, in ef­fect, to you that are of ability, in these extremities; Thy neighbour hath need, yea, I my selfe, in him, doe suffer want, now enrich thy selfe. At other times (and so now too especially)Prou. 19. 17. Hee that giueth to the poore, lendeth vnto the Lord; at this time, Hee that selleth vnto the poore, giueth vnto the Lord, and the Lord will repay him with a blessing on the bargaine. Doth Dauid say of him,Psal. 112. 9. 2 Cor. 9. 9. Who hath disper­sed and giuen to the poore, that his righteousnesse remai­neth for euer? Behold, his righteousnesse also re­maineth, and a blessing is layd vp for him who di­sperseth and selleth to the poore. Did that blessed Saint say truly in one sense,Nemo dicat, Non habeo; Charitas de sacculo non erogatur. Augustin. in Psal. 103. Charitas de sacculo non erogatur, Charity is not drawne out of a Sacke: we may as truly (in this sense) affirme the contrary, Charity is drawne out of a Sacke. When a man ope­neth the Sacke and selleth as he ought, he dealeth charitably. To sell, in Latine, is,Vendere qua­si venum dare. To giue to sale; so that to sell to him that needeth, is a kinde of gift. The charitable seller shall haue his reward, as well as the charitable giuer.

Not euery one who sel­leth, but hee who selleth charitably, hath the re­compence. I say, The charitable seller: for, Not euery one that selleth, nor that selleth at euery time, must ex­pect [Page 43] the blessing. Euen those whom the people doe curse for not selling at this time, doe meane to sell at another time. But he who will so sell as that hee may buy a blessing, must sell charitably. How is that? He must sell,

Fourethings required in charitable selling. 1. Conuenient graine, 2. For conuenient gaine, 3. In season conuenient, and 4. Measure conue­nient.

To sell that which is good for quality, conuenient graine. First, hee must shew charity in selling, in re­gard of the matter; he must sell that which is good for quality. He must not sell the refuse of the wheat, lest instead of a blessing, hee come within compasse of the curse denounced by Amos Amos 8. 6., against such sel­lers. Some will sell indeed, but it shall bee the orts and fragments of Rats and Mice.Plerum (que), hoc homines ne­queunt quod vendere do­nant. Faern in fab. Many will giue that which they cannot sell.Haec hodie porcis come­denda relin­ques. Horat. But many are worse than the Calabrian host, who, if his guests would not accept his profered Peares, hee would tell them that the swine should eat them. Many will not sell to their brethren but that which is almost too bad to be cast vnto the swine.

For conue­nient gaine. Secondly, conuenient graine must bee sold for conuenient gaine, otherwise there is no charity, but iniury and oppression in selling. Gold may bee bought too deare, and so may graine. Wherefore, as Saint Iohn Baptist counselled the Publicans, so doe we the popular Publicans, the Farmars,Luk. 3. 13. Exact no more than is appointed. Men say that light gaine makes heauy purses; some shall finde that their light ware and heauy price wil make guilty consciences, & hea­uy hearts at the last. Too many doe catch their poore neighbour, the buyer, as, they say, men doe vse to catch the Panther, by placing the prey on a Tree in his sight, so farre aboue his reach, that hee breakes his heart-strings in leaping at it: so, many doe bring into the Market good Corne, but as a bait in the [Page 44] sight of the buyer; for they pitch such an high price on it, that the poore Coater, though hee stretch his purse-strings till they breake againe, is not able to reach vnto it. And if they cannot haue their owne price, home it must againe, or bee hou­sed vntill the next Market; and if the price doe fall in the meane time, they are ready to hang them­selues, because they neglected their first aduan­tage.

Thirdly, selling (especially in this) cannot bee charitable,3 In conueni­ent season. vnlesse it bee also seasonable. God giueth euery thing food in due season; so will the godly afford their poore brethren that which must feed them in the fittest season. Tempestiuity in doing, addeth weight and worth to euery good deed. What is a pardon worth, that commeth after execution? As much as the Cardinals Cap which the Pope sent to B. Fisher, when the head was off that should haue worne it. Farmers will sell (for­sooth) but not yet, not in haste, the price is not yet high enough for their purpose. They haue learn'd the language of the Iewes in Haggaies times, and doe say, by releeuing the spiritual Temples of the Lord, as they did by repairing his materiall Temple.Haggai 1. 2. The time is not yet come, the time that the Lords house should be built. The time is not yet come that wee should sell; it will bee dearer a great deale, and that ere long. What is this but to delay a blessing, vntill it turne to a curse; like the reprieuing of a good dish of meat till it be moulded, and full of worms? You who desire a blessing vpon your selling, remember that of the Apostle, and take it as spoken to you in this particular, [...] Cor. 6. 2. Now is the acceptable time, now is the day of saluation. Now is the time (you who haue Corne to sell) now is your time to sell it; now that Corne is deare, now bring it forth, furnish the Mar­kets, [Page 45] bring downe the price; now take your time, that you may bring a blessing on your soules.

Lastly, as the matter must be good, so the mea­sure must be iust;4 Conuenient measure. there must bee a conueniency as well in regard of quantity as of quality, otherwise, charity and a blessing will be absent from your sel­ling. Prou. 11. 1. False ballances are abhomination vnto the Lord; and are not false Bushels and false Peckes also? Leuit. 19. 36 Deut. 25. 15. Ezech. 45. 10. Iust Ballances, iust weights, a iust Ephah, and a iust Hin shalt thou haue. Amos 8. To make the Ephah small, and the Shekel great, and to sell the refuse of the Corne: bad ware, and as bad measure, this is not to sell vnto the poore, but to sell the poore, or to buy them for so base a price as a paire of shooes, saith the Prophet. Such Merchants are some of our mizars, who bring good graine and great measure to the Market, onely to fetch vp the price, and doe sell worse Corne and lesse measure to their poore neighbours at home at the same price, swearing that they sold it for so much at the Market, and so by a mentall reseruation, reserue their soules (with­out repentance) for the Diuell. What can this bee, but a manifest breach of that strict iniunction, Deut. 25. 13, 14. Thou shalt not haue in thy bagge diuers waights, thou shalt not haue in thine house diuers measures, a great and a small; Vers. 16. and marke what followes, and tremble all yee that practise such craft, All that doe such things, and all that doe vnrighteously, are an abhomination to the Lord. And how can abhominable selling expect a blessing? It is the charitable seller, for whose head this Crowne is prepared, as a reward, not of merit, but of mercy; which that it may the more feruently affect vs, let it be a little more punctual­ly considered by vs, ‘Blessing shall bee on the head of him who sel­leth it.2da, 2de.

[Page 46] Here it is obseruable,Obseruat. that the reward promised, is larger and more emphatically laid downe,The reward more empha­tically layd downe, than the iudgment threatned. than the punishment threatned. For whereas the Antithesis requires that it should be said, The people shall blesse him, as it was of the cōtrary, The people shal curse him, it is not so said, but, Blessing shal be on his head, which is more emphaticall. For hereby it is signified, that God taketh on him to be the bestower of the bles­sing, he will not entrust the multitude therewith, he will doe it himselfe to preuent failing. In naming the head, (the sublimest and noblest part of the whole body) he intimateth that God, who is the fountaine of blessednesse, will streame downe bles­sings vpon him plentifully and comfortably. That which is powred downe vpon the head, must needs proceed from something that is aboue the head. Now there is none higher than the head of man, that can conferre a blessing on man, but God alone. Hence therefore it must needs follow,Doct. 4. that ‘God will crowne with blessings that man who charita­bly selleth his Corne in times of extremity,God wilblesse him who sel­leth charita­bly in time of extremity. thereby to mitigate or abate the Dearth.’

These are two sinnes especially reigning among the poorer sort of people;Two sinnes of the poore. 1. Murmuring, and 2. Vn­thankfulnesse: If they want, and be not presently sa­tisfied,1 Murmuring they murmure against God and man;2 Vnthank­fulnesse. they cry out on the hardnesse of the times and of mens hearts. This Dauid, long sithence, obserued in some of that kinde;Psal. 59. 15. They wander vp and downe for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied. And yet being satis­fied, commonly they are vnthankefull both to God and man. They haue mouthes full of cursing against them who with-hold Corne; but not a breath of blessing (too many of them) for those who releeue [Page 47] them, either by giuing, lending, or selling. This makes mens hearts to bee harder than they would be; and this causeth God to punish such murmu­ring, such vnthankfulnesse, by encreasing their wants,Neither of these should discourage vs from charita­ble actions. and remouing the supplies. But let neither of these discourage good Christians from doing their duties; let no man bee disheartned from cha­ritable beneficence by the peoples vnthankfulnesse: For though man be vngratefull,For though men bee vn­gratefull, yet God is not forgetfull. yet God is not for­getfull. Good men in doing good, doe looke vp chiefly to the fountaine of goodnesse, to God and his glory. Be ye assured therefore, that though men doe neglect their duty, yet God can as soone forget himselfe as his mercy. If the people, who are ready to curse when they want, be not as ready to blesse when their wants are supplied, yet God, who hath powred charity into your hearts, will powre down blessings vpon your heads, and so crowne in you his owne gifts.

I must reserue some time for Application,Application. and so much the more, because my Text (rightly applied) surroundeth the whole Temple, and bespeaketh all Auditors here present, of whatsoeuer condition, e­uen from the Chancell to the Church-doore, as well for application as attention.

And because Salomon saith, Blessing shall be vpon the head, 1 To the Magi­strates, ex­horting them to carefulnes in doing their duties in this behalfe, ac­cording to his Maiesties orders. let me first beginne with the head of this assembly, and prepare them to receiue the blessing, which afterward (like Aarons ointment) may from the head distill vnto the beard, and thence runne downe to the hem of the garment.

To you (right Worshipfull) doth Salomon speake in this Proclamation, as Proclamations are first ad­dressed to the chiefe Officers, that by them they may be published to the People. If you be failing in doing your duties, if you discharge not that trust [Page 48] which God hath imposed and his annointed hath reposed on you, how will you answer it? how will you escape the curse of God and man. But (praised be God) the Country doth witnesse, and we thankful­ly acknowledge, that hitherto (some of you especi­ally) haue not beene failing. Proceed in the name of God; all the praise and recompence is paid vnto perseuerance: feare not, faint not, be resolute, be couragious; you haue God, the King, the Cleargie, the Country on your sides: onely a few scarabees, whose element is dongue, may assay to scare you from your commendable courses. But let not their buzzing out-braue your worthy proceedings: let not the murmurings nor reproaches of a few, wor­thier to be punished then regarded, daunt you in the seruice of God and your Country. I haue heard strange language from some of their lips; The Mar­kets are worse furnished, and the price of Corne more ri­sen since the Iustices haue beene so industrious. Strange inferences! iust like Teuterton Steeple the cause of Goodwin sands. As if Iudges were the cause of so many fellonies, as Physitians (in some places) are of so many funerals, and Attornies of so many Law­sutes. These are but bubbles blowne vp by malice or couetousnesse; let them not be Lyons to stop you from going on couragiously in the way of Iustice. Though the people do sometimes curse where they should blesse, yet God will surely blesse, where he findeth obedience. As blessing shall be on the head of them who sell their Corne willingly, so shall it be on your heads, who cause them, or compell them to sell, who are vnwilling. The blessing that might haue beene on their heads, if they had sold willing­ly, shall bee taken from theirs,And to draw on the people by their ex­ample. and placed on your heads, for enforcing them to doe their duty. And doubtlesse, this blessing shal be doubled, if you draw [Page 49] them on by example, as well as by authority. If blessing shall be on the head of the seller, how many blessings shall bee on the bountifull giuer and relee­uer of the poore? If it be more blessed to giue than to receiue, then, doubtlesse, it is more blessed to giue than to sell. Let me incite you (Worthies) to an ho­ly ambition, a godly enuy, or (to auoyd the odious­nesse of the terme, stile it rather) zeale. Disdaine, disdaine that your Tenants should carry away from your heads, such a Crowne by selling, when you may anticipate the blessing by bountifull giuing. Or let those Earth-wormes be so base, that they will not buy heauen by selling, be ye more generous (Noble Bereans) buy it you by giuing.O quae stulti­tia est! Deus e­mit sanguine seruos, Merca­ri paruo nos piget aere De­um. Christ was contented to be sold himselfe at a vile price, that he might buy vs at so deare a price as his owne blood. How can we call our selues Christians, if wee will not buy Christ for a little siluer, or a morsell of bread? Hospi­tality at all times commendable, in these hard times is Royall. Learne of Noble Nehemias, to make your houses Hospitals for the poore. Away with that mock-chimney, or rather poyson of Hospitality, en­tertaining of Nimrods, Esaus, Ismaels, and those de­uouring Dromedaries, their followers. If euer, now, now follow your Sauiours counsell of inuiting and entertaining your poore neighbours at your ta­bles; if not at your tables, yet in your houses; if not in your houses, yet at your doores; or if you will not haue them come to your owne houses, yet send sometimes to see how they are prouided at their owne. Your Ouer-seers for the poore, in many Pari­shes, are poore Ouer-seers: It is a worthy worke for a Iustice of Peace, in his Parish, to ouer-see them, and if need be, to be a Deacon in ministring and di­stributing to the necessities of the brethren. Christ hath descended to baser seruices for vs. If any say, I [Page 50] talke of cost and charges; I will soone shew how that may be saued, at least quitted. Stop somewhat of the streame in your Butteries and Sellars, and o­pen it rather at your doores. Rescue your Wine and your Beere from the tyranny of Rorers, and turne it into bread for the necessary releefe of your hungry neighbours. Plucke your drinke from the throats of them that waste it, that you may the better bestow your morsels on those who want it. How many a hungry family might feast it a week, on the healths that are wasted in some Gentlemens houses in a night?

One word more,Dehortation from with­holding Iu­stice, & from selling it. I pray you, at parting: you haue mysticall Corne, as well as materiall. Iustice and E­quity is your Corne; if you with-hold this, the peo­ple will curse you, and God will adde the weight of a woe to their curses. Onely, this Corne of Iustice is not for the Market; it must not be sold, take heed of that, it must be equally diuided, and distributed freely. Iustice must not be sold by the basket, as Corn is by the Bushell. Though in Cities, commonly, Merchants be Iustices, yet neither in City nor Coun­try must Iustices be merchants, especially of Iustice. The sellers of this kinde of Corne, are liable to a curse, equall with the with-holders of the other. Blessing shall be on the head of them who vprightly doe administer it, and freely doe distribute it.

I see here are Ministers present,2 To Ministers. To be careful and faithfull in distribu­ting spirituall Corne for the bread of life. as well as Magi­strates, and shall I dismisse my brethren without a blessing? Were this a Visitation (as in some kinde it is) here were a Text for a Concio ad clerum, Hee that with-holdeth corne, the people shall curse him. As for materiall Corne, our neighbours will exempt vs from the curse by keeping our Corne from vs, not allowing vs (by their wil [...]) sufficient to serue our owne turnes, much lesse to be sellers. But (blessed [Page 51] and beloued Brethren) let vs remember that we are Gods Husbandmen,Hieronym. Hu­go Cardinal. et aly. and Iosephs (as I may say) for spirituall Corne: some of the ancients doe take this Text in a mysticall sense, and by Corne doe here vn­derstand the Preaching of the Gospell. O let vs not be hiders and with-holders, but stewards and ds­posers of that graine whereof is made the bread of life. Neuer had wee more need to be bountifull in breaking it to the People, then in these dangerous dayes: see we not how the seeds-men of sathan, the Diuels farmers and Proctors, Iesuites and secret Se­ctaries doe bestirre themselues? They are not spa­ring in threshing out their tares: they sell, yea, they giue abroad their Romish graine, they impose it on the people, and doe presse them to take it: Shall we be with-holders and hiders of Gods graine, when so many are ready to perish for want of knowledg? It may be the common people, who care not much for this mysticall corne, will not curse vs, though we keepe it from them: but though they doe not, God will; for if he be cursed who with-holds cor­porall bread, how shall he escape who with-holds the bread of the foule? And if blessing shall be on his head who in a needfull time produceth his corn, that the people may haue the food which perisheth, how blessed shall he be who in so needfull times as these, is bountifull in bestowing on them the food that endureth to euerlasting life?

Let mee now speake to them,3 To the poore. Here is no warrant for them to re­uenge their wrongs with cursings, as commonly they doe. for whom I haue spoken all this while; namely, the poorer sort of people, who are therefore the poorer and more mi­serable, because they care so little to repaire to the Temple, and to heare what God saith vnto them. Though the peoples curse be the curse of Corn-hor­ders, yet this is no warrant for you, O ye Poore, to be impatient, & to reuenge your wrongs with exe­crations [Page 52] and curses. Vengeance is mine, and I will re­compence, saith the Lord. When Saint Iames had bit­terly inueighed against couetous rich men for kee­ping in their coyne, and their cloathing, and for detaining from the labourer his hire, though hee said thatIam. 5. The rust of their siluer should bee a witnesse a­gainst them, and that the moaths of their garments should at their flesh as fire, and that the cries of the laborers en­tred into the eares of the Lord; yet hee doth not coun­sell the labourers to cry, much lesse to curse, but ex­horting them to patience, aduiseth them to commit their case to the Supreme Iudge, saying,Vers. 7, 8, 9. Be pati­ent therefore, brethren, till the comming of the Lord.—Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest yee be con­demned. Behold the Iudge standeth before the doore.

But rather to accuse and curse their owne sins, the cause of that sufferings. Malorum om­nium n [...]o­rum casa est pecc [...]um. Nihil impute­rus astris; sa­crilegio annus Exaruit. Sym­mach. Rather, looke into your selues, accuse your selues, and if you will needs curse, banne and aban­don your owne sinnes, for they are the causes of all your calamities. Your grudging, your murmuring, your vnthankefulnesse, these, and the like, haue cau­sed God to harden the hearts of men against you. Sinne, sin is the procurer of Dearth, and of all other disasters besides.Psal. 107. God turneth a fruitfull land into bar­rennesse: why doth he so? For the wickednesse of the people that dwell therein. Onely for sinne, Bethleem, which was an house of Bread, became an house of famine; and that land, which abounded with milke and honey, was abandoned to Dearth and scarcity. In the Caldean languageLingua pa­tria Caldaei nuncuparunt Sodomam et Gomorram coe­citatem et ste­rilitatem. Am­brso. l. de Noe et Arca. c. 19. (saith blessed Ambrose) So­dome and Gomorra doe signifie blindnesse and barren­nesse. Particularly that common sinne of the vulgar, who are more carefull for materiall bread than for the word, the bread of their soules. Consider with your selues, whether among your other sinnes, your affected blindnesse be not a cause of this inflicted barrennesse. Alas! you doe not feele your greatest famine: miserable is your ignorance: I haue knowne some of you that haue not knowne whether Christ were a man or a wo­man. [Page 53] How sollicitous are you for corporall, how carelesse of Spiritual sustenance? crying out that you are ready to dye for want of a crust, and not percei­uing that you doe daily perish for want of know­ledge? Psal. 59. 15. You wander vp and downe for meat, and grudge if you be not satisfied; you may bee fed at home with the food that endureth to euerlasting life, and will not come to receiue it. If your neighbour deny you Wheat or Barley, you complaine, you cry, you are ready to curse him. But if God doe send a famine, not of bread, but of (that which is much more preti­ous) the word of God, or if the bread of life be with­holden from you, by those who should breake it vn­to you, you are nothing grieued thereat, you neuer complaine of that want. These, and the like, your pe­culiar sins haue caused vnto you this Dearth. Accuse not so much the couetousnes of others, as your own corruptions: not the constellations or courses of the heauens, but euill men, euill minds, euill manners, do make the times euill.Mala tempora facit nobis con­temptus Dei, temporum cur­sus non facit. Chrysologus. De orat. et [...]e­iunio ser 43. Amend them, and these will soone be amended. And amend, if not for loue of God and godlinesse, yet for feare of iudgements. Re­pent, if not inuited thereunto by goodthings, yet enforced by these things which you account euill, What you haue lost by sin and negligence, redeeme, recouer by true repentance. Learne you once to seek first the kingdome of God and his righteousnes, and then you haue a most sure word of promise, thatMat. 6. 33. all these things shall be added vnto you God will turn stones into bread, make the most stony-hearted Mammonist relent and yeeld you bread, or he will raine downe bread from heauen, or cause the Ra­uens to feed you, or worke any miracle rather than you shall perish. Or if it please God to correct you with this rod, and to exercise you with this afflicti­on, yet despaire not; for euen these publike calami­ties [Page 54] are sanctified to Gods children. To them, this very scourge of famine (as well as other curses) haue their natures altered, as the bitter waters of Mara, were turned into sweetnesse, and a stinging serpent changed into a flourishing rod. No extremity of fa­mine (no more then any other temptation) can turne the loue of God from his children; as is cleere by that bold challenge of the Apostle to all afflictions and crosses, and to this as well as to any of the rest,Rom. 8. 35. Who shall separate vs from the loue of Christ? shall tribulation, or distresse, or persecution, or FAMINE? No, for in all these things wee are more then conquerors, through him that loued vs.

Can I quit the Mountaine of blessing, without be­queathing a blessing? I cannot; and to whom should I bequeath it,4 Encourage­ment and comfort vnto sellers. rather then vnto them on whom my Text doth bestow it, the Sellers? We who are the Preachers of Peace, may, and ought sometimes en­courage men vnto contention, so it be against sinne, and the courses of sinners. Contend you therefore (charitable breasts) against these hard-hearted hor­ders: Be you as couetous for your soules, as they are for perishing substance: While they heape vp cur­ses on themselues by with-holding, striue you for blessings by charitable selling. Now is your haruest, take aduantage of these hard times to store your selues with the best riches; see how God makes ma­ny to want, that you may abound, and suffers others to be miserable, that you may be blessed by relieuing them. Neglect not this opportunity, but now by seasonable selling buy vnto your selues an assured blessing; you see with what a faire offer God pre­sents you, to get heauen without loosing any thing on earth. That blessing which others attaine vnto by free giuing, you may get by profitable selling.

Blessed shall you be in your outward estate, you [Page 55] shall neuer be the poorer at the yeeres end;God shall crowne them with blessings Externall. you shal finde as much coine in your purses, as the greedy cormorant that sharketh after all aduantages. God will blow on his store, and boare holes in his bags, while yours shall hold, and be encreased: A little that the righteous hath, is more then all the riches of the wicked. Blessed shall you be in your names and re­putations; you shall be praised and well reported of by all men (all good men) and by the truth it selfe: the precious ointment of a good name shall perfume the places of your aboad: The righteous shall be had in euerlasting remembrance.

Blessed shall you be in the loue of the people. The daily labourer shall daily pray for you; and Magi­strates shall praise you; godly Ministers shall re­ioyce & take comfort in you; widdowes & orphanes in their hearty prayers shall send letters of commen­dation in your behalfe vnto heauen, to the King of heauen, their speciall protector and assured friend to all that doe befriend them.

Blessed shall you be in your husbandry, and in your fields; this yeeres selling shall be the next yeeres sowing and reaping: the earth which was cursed for Adams sinne, shall be blessed vnto you: No worthing, no marle, no manuring shall procure you more plenty of Corne, then this your selling of Corne; yea, a blessing shall be on your children, and on your posterity after you, as is promised vnto the faithfull.

God shall crowne you with spirituall blessings:Internall. Psal. 4. 7. He shall put gladnesse into your hearts, more then they haue, when their corne and their wine is increased, and the prices with them: you shall haue peace of con­science, ioy in the holy Ghost, greater treasures then all full coffers and barnes can afford.

You shall be blessed in your sicknesse. God him­selfe [Page 56] shal be your Physitian, your keeper,Psal. 41. 3. your atten­der: The Lord will strengthen you vpon the bed of lan­guishing, he himselfe will burne all your bed in your sicknes. You shall be blessed in that houre wherein others are most distressed, in your Death; with old Simeon you shall depart in peace, your eyes before-hand seeing your saluation.

But most blessed shall you be after Death, [...]all. when God shall crowne you with euerlasting blessednesse in heauen; then shall the head of blessings be on your head, when you shall be most neerely and eternally ioyned vnto your head Christ Iesus, who is blessed­nesse it selfe, Who is God blessed for euer. O how ioy­full shall you be at that day, when others shall be most sorrowfull: how blessed, when these Corn-holders shall be cursed▪ for when they shall be sent away with the Goates on the left hand, with that wofull word, Depart ye cursed into euerlasting fire, pre­pared for the Diuel and his Angels: then shal you stan­ding among the sheepe on the right hand heare that happy call, Come ye blessed Mat. 25. 34. of my father, inherit the Kingdome prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

To which Kingdome he bring vs who hath pre­pared it for vs, and to him one God in three per­sons, blessed for euer, be ascribed all praise, power, might, maiesty, glory, and Dominion, now and for euer. Amen.

FINIS.

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