THE SACRIFICE OF Thankefulnesse.

A Sermon preached at Pauls Crosse, the third of December, being the first Aduentuall Sunday, Anno 1615.

By THO. ADAMS.

Bern. in Cant. Serm. 35.
Gratiarum cessat decursus, vbi recursus non fuerit.

Whereunto are annexed Fiue other of his Sermons prea­ched in London, and else-where; neuer before Prin­ted. The Titles whereof follow in the next Page.

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LONDON, Printed by Thomas Purfoot, for Clement Knight, and are to be sold at his shop in Pauls Church-yard, at the Signe of the Holy Lambe. 1616.

❧The Titles of the Fiue Sermons.

  • 1. Christ his Starre, or the Wise mens Oblation. Math. 2. verse 11.
  • 2. Politicke Hunting. Genesis 25. verse 27.
  • 3. Plaine-Dealing, or a Precedent of Honesty. Genesis 25. verse 27.
  • 4. The Three Diuine Sisters. 1. Cor. 13. verse 13.
  • 5. The Taming of the Tongue. Iam. 3. verse 8.

❧To the Right Worshipfull, Sir Henry Mountague Knight, the Kings Maiesties Serieant for the Law, and Recorder of the Honourable Citie of London.

Worthy Sir;

WHere there is diuersitie of helpes, leading to one Intention of good, the variety may well be tolerated. Who findes fault with a Garden, for the multitude of flowers? You shall per­ceiue heere different kinds; whereof (if some to some seeme bitter) there is none vnwhole­some. It takes fire at the Altar of God, and beginnes with the Christians Sacrifice: the flame wherof (by the operation of the blessed Spirit) may both enlighten the vnderstanding, and warme the affections of good men: and in others consumingly waste the drosse and rust of sinne,Mat. 3. 11. 12. which must eyther be pur­ged by the fire of Grace heere; or sent to the euerlasting fire to be burned. The Wisemens Oblation seconds it: what is formerly commaunded in Precept, is heere commended in Practise. The Politicke Hunters of the world are discoue­red: and Plaine-Dealing encouraged. One (almost forgotten vertue) Charitie is praised; and a busie vice is taxed. In all is intended Lux Scientiae, Pax Conscientiae; Peccati ru­ina, aedificatio Iustitiae.

Your noble endeuours are obserued by all eyes, to bee distin­guished [Page] into this method: from your vertues there is a resultance of shining Light to information, from your Office to reformation of others. Goe forward so still, to menage your Place in that ho­nourable Citie: and let the fire of correction eate out the rust of corruption. You may punish, euen whiles you pitie. The good Magistrate, like a good Chirurgion, doth with a shaking hand search vlcers; more earnestly desiring Non inuenire quod quaerit, quàm inuenire quod puniat. The God of mercie and saluation wrappe vp your soule in the bundle of Life; and (when the Lust of the earth shall to the Dust of the earth) fixe you in the blessed Orbe of Glory.

Your Worships in all faithfull obseruance. THO. ADAMS.

Ad Lectorem.

Senec. epist. 59. ‘Cupio, si fieri potest, propitijs auribus quid sentiam, dicere▪ sin minùs, dicam & iratis.’

THE SACRIFICE OF THA …

THE SACRIFICE OF THANKFVLNESSE,

Psal. 118. 27.‘God is the Lord, which hath shewed vs Light: bind the Sacrifice with Cords, euen vnto the Hornes of the Altar.’

THE first and the last wordes of this Psalme are, O giue thankes vn­to the Lord, for hee is good: because his mercy endureth for euer.

Thankesgiuing is the prescript, and the postscript. Hee that is Alpha and Omega; the first and the last, requires that our be­ginning and ending should be, Prayse to the Lord.

You see the head and the foote: the bulke, body, members are not dissonant. There is scarce any Verse in the Psalme, that is not either an Hosanna, or an Halle­luia; a prayer for mercie, or a praise for mercie.

I haue singled out one; let it speake for all the rest. God is the Lord, that hath shewed. &c.

Heere is somewhat receiued; somewhat to be retur­ned. God hath blessed vs, and wee must blesse God. His Grace, and our Gratitude, are the two Lines, my Discourse must runne vpon: They are met in my Text, let them as happily meete in your Hearts; and they shall not leaue you, till they bring you to Heauen.

The summe is, God is to be Praysed. The particulars [Page 2] are

  • Wherefore, hee is to be Praysed.
  • Wherewith, hee is to be Praysed.

Wherefore: God is the Lord, that hath shewed vs light.

Wherewith: Binde the Sacrifice with Cords, euen vnto the Hornes of the Altar.

In the For what we will consider

  • the Author.
  • his Blessing.

The Author: God is the Lord.

His Blessing: That hath shewed vs Light.

The Lord, the Light. The Author is called God and Lord: which lead vs to looke vpon his

  • Goodnesse.
  • Greatnesse.

GOD and Good.

LOe, I begin with him, that hath no Beginning, but is the Beginning of all other Beeinges, God: And would onely tell you (for I must not loose my selfe in this Mysterie) that this God is Good. In himselfe Good­nesse;Psal. 100. 5. Good to vs. Psal. 100. The Lord is Good: his mercie is euerlasting. In Orat. Dom. He is True Life, saith August. A Quo aucrt [...], cadere: in Quem conuerti, resurgere: in Quo manere, vinere est. From Him to turne, is to fall: to Him to returne, is to rise: in Him to abide, is to liue for euer.

Dauid in the 59.Psal. 59. 10. Psalme calls him, his Mercie. Deus meus misericordia mea: my God, my Mercie. Whereupon Augustine sweetely discourses.

If thou hadst sayd my Health,Aug. in Psa. 58. Si dicas Salus mea, intelligo [...]quia Deus [...]al salutem. &c. I know what thou hadst meant; because God giues health. If thou hadst sayd my Refuge▪ I vnder­stand, because thou fliest vnto him If thou hadst said my strength, I conceaue thy meaning; because he giues strength.

But Misericordiamea; quid est? Totum, quicquid sum, de misericordia tuá est. My Mercie, What is it? I am by thy Mercie, whatsoeuer I am.

Bernard would haue vs speake of God in abstracto; Serm. 80. in Cant. [Page 3] not onely to call him Wise, Mercifull, good: but Wise­dome, Mercie, Goodnesse; Because the Lord is with­out accidents at all: For as hee is most Great without quantitie;Ardens. so he is most Good without qualitie: Nil ha­bet in se, nisi se, He hath nothing in him, but himselfe.

God then being Good; not onely formaliter, good in himselfe: but also effectiuè, good to vs; teacheth vs to loue him. Wee should loue goodnesse for it owne sake: but when it reflects vpon vs, there is a new inuitation of our loue.

The LORD.

WEe haue heard his Goodnesse; listen to his Greatnesse. In this Title we will consider his Maiestie, as wee did in the other his Mercie.

Lord implies a great State [...] the Title is giuen to a great man vpon earth. But if an earthen Lord be great; Quantus est Dominus, qui Dominos facit? Aug. How great is the Lord which makes Lords? yea, and vnmakes them two at his pleasure.

This is an absolute and independant Lord. 1. Cor. 8. There may be many Gods, and many Lords. But this is Ille Dominus. The Lord, or that Lord; 1. Cor. 8. 5. that commaunds and controlls them all. They are Domini titulares; this is Dominus tutelaris. They are in title and name, this in deed and power.

There are Many, saith St. Paul. Many in Title many in Opinion. Some are Lords and Gods ex authoritate; so are Kings and Magistrates.Psal. 82. [...]. God standeth in the congrega­tion of Lords: he is Iudge among the Gods. Others will so stile themselues ex vsurpatione; as the Canonists say of their Pope Dominus Deus noster Papa. Our Lord God the Pope. But he is but a Lord and God in a blind and tetrycall Opinion.

The Lord is onely Almighty; able to doe more by his absolute power, then he will by his actuall. Able [Page 4] for potent, not impotent workes. He cannot lie, he can­not die.Aug. de Ciuit Dei. Lib. 5. Cap. 10. Diciter omnipotens faciendo quod vult, non patiendo quod non vult. He is called Almightie in doing what he pleaseth not in suffering what he pleaseth not.

This is his Greatnesse. As his Mercie directs vs to loue him, so let his Maiestie instruct vs to feare him. I will briefly touch both these affections; but Loue shall goe formost.

LOVE.

OVr God is Good, and good to vs; let vs therefore loue him. 1. It is an Affection, that God principally requires. 2. It is a Nature, wherein alone we can an­swere God.

For the former, God requires not thy Wisedome to direct him, nor thy Strength to assist him, nor thy Wealth to enrich him, nor thy Dignitie to aduance him; but onely thy Loue. Loue him with all thy heart.

For the second; Man cannot indeed answere God well in any other thing. When God iudgeth vs, wee must not iudge him againe: When hee reprooues vs, wee must not iustifie our selues. If he be angry, wee must answere him in patience; if hee commaunde, in obedience: But when God loues vs, wee must answere him in the same nature, though not in the same measure; and loue him againe. Wee may not giue God word for word: wee dare not offer him blow for blow: wee can not requite him good turne for good turne: yet wee may, can, must giue him Loue for Loue. Nam cum amat Deus, Bern. Serm. 83. in Cant. non aliud vult quàm amari,

Now because euery man sets his foote vpon the free­hold of Loue, and sayes, it is mine; let vs aske for his Euidence whereby he holdes it? We call an Euidence, a Deed; and Deedes are the best demonstration of our right in Loue. If thou loue God for his owne sake, shew it by thy deedes of Pietie: If thou loue Man for Gods [Page 5] sake, shew it by thy deedes of Charitie. The roote of Loue is in the Heart; but it sendes foorth Veines into the Hands, and giues them an actiue and nimble dexte­ritie to good Workes.Ioh. 14. 15. If you loue mee, sayth Christ, keepe my Commandements. 1. Ioh. 3. 17. If you loue man, shew your Com­passion to him: Obedience to our Creator, Mercie to his Image, testifie our Loues. Hee that wants these Euiden­ces, these Deedes; when that busie Informer the Diuell sues him, will be vnhappily vanquished.

FEARE.

LEt vs pàsse from Loue to Feare. we must Loue our good God: we must Feare our great Lord. It is obiected a­gainst this passage of vnion,1. Ioh. 4. 18. that perfect loue casteth out feare. It is answered, that feare brings in perfect loue; as the Needle drawes in the Thread. And it is not possible, that true Loue should be without good Feare; that is, a filiall Reuerence. For slauish feare, be it as farre from your hearts, as it shall be from my discourse.

Now this Feare is a most due and proper affection: and (I may say) the fittest of all to be towards God. In­deed God requires our Loue: but we must thinke, that then God stoupes low, and bowes himselfe downe to be loued of vs. For there is such an infinite inequalitie betwixt God and vs, that without his sweet dignation, and descending to vs, there could be no fitnesse of this affection. But looke we vp to that infinite glory of our great Lord: looke we downe on the vilenesse of our selues, sinfull dust: and we will say, that by reason of the disproportion betweene vs, nothing is so sutable for our basenesse to giue so high a God,Psal. 34. 11. as Feare. There­fore, Comeye Children hearken vnto me: I will teach you the feare of the Lord. Psal. 31. 23. Feare the Lord all ye his Seruants; as well as Loue the Lord all ye his Saints.

Now this Feare hath as many Chalengers as Loue had. When this Booke is held out, euery mans lippes are [Page 6] readie to kisse it; and to say and sweare, that they feare the Lord.Psal. 2. 11. Loue had the Testimonie, Charytie: and Feare, must haue his Seruice. Psal. 2. Serue the Lord with feare.

It is mans necessitated condition to be a Seruant. Happy they, 1. Ioh. 13. 13. that can truly call Christ Maister: Yee call mee Lord and Maister, and ye say well; for so I am.

Hee that serues the Flesh, serues his fellow: And a Beg­gar mounted on the backe of Honour, rides post to the Diuell. This is a cholericke Maister; so fickle, that at euery turne, he is ready to turne thee out of dores. Wee may say of him, as of the Spaniard, Hee is a bad Seruant, but a worse Maister.

Hee that serues the World, serues his Seruant; as if Chams curse was lighted on him, Seruus seruorum; a Drudge to Slaues, a Slaue to Drudges.

He that serues the Diuell, serues his Enemie; and this is a miserable seruice. Sure it was a lamentable pre­posterous sight,Ec [...]l. 1 [...]. 7. that Salomon saw. Eccle. 10. I haue seene Seruants vpon Horses, and Princes walking as Seruants vpon the Earth. And Agur numbers it among those foure things,Pro [...]. 30, 22. whereby the World is disquieted: A Seruant when he raigneth, and a Foole when he is filled with Meate: an odious woman, when she is marryed, and a handmaid that is heire to her Mistres.

Iudge then how horryble it is, that men should set (as the Sauages of Calecut) the Diuell, or his two In­gles, the world and the flesh in the Throne; whiles they place God in the foote-stoole. Or that in this Common-wealth of man, Reason which is the Queene, or the Princes the better powers & graces of the Soule, should stoupe to so base a Slaue, as sensuall lust. De­light is not seemely for a foole: Pro▪ 19. 10. much lesse for a Seruant to haue rule ouer Princes.

St. Basil (not without passion) did enuie the Diuells happynesse: Who had neither Created vs, nor redee­med vs, nor preserueth vs; but violently Labours our destruction; that yet he should haue more seruants, [Page 7] then God, that made vs, then Iesus Christ that with his owne precious Blood, and grieuous sufferings bought vs.Psal. 116 16. Well, hee is happy, that can truly say with Dauid; I am thy Seruant, O Lord, I am thy Seruant, and the Sonne of thy Handmayde. This Seruice is true Honour: for so Kings and Princes; yea the blessed Angels of heauen are thy fellowes.

God is Good, that we may loue him: the Lord is Great that wee may Feare him. Wee haue heard, both seueral­ly; let vs consider them ioyntly, and therein the secu­ritie of our owne happinesse. It is a blessed confirma­tion, when both these, the Goodnesse and the Greatnesse of GOD meete vpon vs. His Greatnesse, that hee is able▪ his Goodnesse, that he is willing to saue vs. Were hee neuer so Great, if not Good to vs, wee had litle helpe. Were hee neuer so Good, if not Great, and of abilitie to succour vs, wee had lesse comfort. Hee would stand vs in small stead, if either his Will or his Power was defectiue; if either hee could not, or would not saue vs.

His Goodnesse without his Greatnesse, might fayle vs: His Greatnesse without his Goodnesse, would ter­rifie vs. It is a happy concurrence,Psal. 85. 10. when Mercie and Truth meet togeather: when Righteousnesse and Peace kisse each other. Psal. 116 5. So sweetly singes the Psalmist: Graciou [...] is the Lord, and righteous: yea our God is mercifull. Where­vpon S. Ambros. Orat. de ob [...] Theodo [...]. Bis misericordiam posuit, semel iustitiam. He is once sayd to be Righteous; but twice in one verse, to be Gratious: It is sweete when both are conioyned, as in the first and last verse of this Psalme: O giue thaenkes to the Lord, for hee is good: for his Mercie endureth for euer. The Lord is Good; though Great, yet also Good: and his Mercie (so well as his Iustice) endures for euer. Man hath no such assurance of comfort in God, as to meditate, [Page 8] that his great Power, and good Will; his Glory and Grace, his Maiestie and Mercie met togeather.

These be Gods two Daughters; Iustice and Mercie: Let vs honour them both; but let vs kisse and imbrace Mercie. But alas, wee haue dealt vnkindly with them both. God hath two Daughters, and we haue rauished them.

There is a Storie of a man, that meeting in a Desart with two Virgin-sisters; hee did rauish both of them: Afterwards on his apprehension, the former desired, that he might iustly die for it. The other did intreat as ear­nestly, that he might liue, and that she might enioy him for her Husband.

Man is that rauisher, and those two Virgins are the Iustice and Mercie of God. Against his Iustice we haue sinned, and prouoked his indignation to strike vs: yea, euen his Mercie we haue abused. For her sake we haue been spared, and a longer day of repentance giuen vs: yet we haue despised the riches of this Mercie; and pre­suming on Mercie, haue dared to multiply our trans­gressions. Iustice pleades to God that we should die; vrgeth his Law: Who so euer sinneth, shall die: And, Death is the wages of sinne. Mercie intreats beseecheth, that wee may liue; and produceth the Gospell, Who so euer repents, shall be pardoned: Who so euer beleeues, shall be saued: And for further assurance, brings foorth that blessed Pardon, sealed in the Wounds and Blood of Iesus Christ. God hearkens to Mercie for his Sonnes sake: though wee haue rauished and wronged his Mercie; yet for Mercies sake, we shall be forgiuen. But then we must be marryed to Mercie; marryed in our Fayth, beleeuing on Christ: marryed in our good life, being merci [...]ull vnto men.

The Blessing.

WEe see the Author, let vs looke on his Blessing [...] Light. Hee hath-s [...]wed vs Light. Wee are come into the [Page 9] Light, and therefore haue light enough of an ample Discourse. But my purpose is onely to shew you this Light, (as the word is in my Text) not to dwell on it; though I pray, that all you and my selfe may for euer dwell in it.

LIGHT.

SVch as the Giuer is,1. Ioh. 1. 5. lam. 1▪ 17. such is the Gift. 1. Ioh. [...]. God is Light, and in him is no Darknesse at all. And S. Iames cals him the Father of Light. God is

So Glorious a Light, that as the Sunne dazeleth the eyes too stedfastly fixed on it: so his incomprehensible Ma­iestie confounds all those, that too curiously pry into it.

So Cleare a Light, that hee sees into all corners. The eyes of God are in euery place,P [...]o. 15. 3.beholding the euill and the good. Hee searcheth more narrowly then the beames of the Sunne: Hee sees Briberie in the Office, Adulterie in the Closs [...]t, Fraude in the Shoppe, though the Pent-house makes it as darke as a roome in Bedlam.

So Good a Light, that in him is no darknesse; not so much as a shadow. There is none in him; there comes none from him. Indeed hee made outward Darknesse of Hell, the wages of sinne: But he neuer made the inward Dark­nesse of the Soule, which is sinne.

So Constant a Light; that though the Sunne be vari­able in his Course, somtimes shining bright, often Clouded: yet God is without change as the Moone, without Eclipsing as the Sunne, without Setting as the Starres.

So Spreading a Light, that he communicates it to vs. This is the true Light, Ioh. 1. 9. which Lighteth euery one that commeth into the world. Without whom we should haue beene wrapped in an eternall miserable Darkenesse: but that he sent one To giue Light to them that sate in Darkenesse, Luk. 7. 79. and in the shadow of Death, to guide their feete into the way of Peace.

[Page 10] And this is the Light, which he here sheweth vs. By the consent of all Expositors in this Psalme is Typed the comming of Christ, and his kingdome of the Gospell. This is manifested by an Exaltation, by an Exultation, by a Petition, by a Benediction.

The Exaltation. Ver. 22. The stone, which the builders re­fused, is become the head stone of the Corner. The Iewes refused this Stone, but God hath Built his Church vp­on it.

The Exultation. Ver. 24. This is the day which the Lord hath made: wee will reioyce and be glad in it. A more blessed Day, then that Day was, wherein hee made man, when he had done making the world, Reioyce we, and be glad in it.

The Petition. Ver. 25. Saue now I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee send now Prosperytie. Thy Iustice would not suffer thee to saue without the Messias: he is come, Saue Now, O Lord I beseech thee. Our Sauiour is come, let mercie and saluation come along with him.

The Benediction makes all cleare. ver. 25. Blessed be hee that commeth in the name of the Lord. For what Dauid here prophecied,Math. 21. 9. the people after accomplished. Math. 21. Blessed is he that commeth in the name of the Lord.

The Corollary or Summe is in my Text. ver. 27. God is the Lord that hath shewed vs light: bind the Sacrifice with Cordes to the Hornes of the Altar.

It was truly sayd, Lex est Lux: the Law is Light. But vnable to light vs to Heauen; not through it owne, but our deficiencie. Hereon it did not saue, but condemne vs. Lex non damnans est ficta et picta Lex: Luth in Ga­late. That Law that doth not condemne vs, is a faigned and painted Law. The Apostle calles it the Ministration of death.

Let then the lesse Light giue place to the greater. Legalia fuerunt ante passionem Domini vina, Aug. Statim post pas­sionem mortua, hodie sepulta: The Legall rites were before [Page 11] the Passion of Christ aliue, straight after his Passion dead, now buried. Or as another; The Ceremonies of the Law were in their prime Mortales, in Christes age Mortuae, in our time Mortiferae. They were at first Dy­ing, in our Sauiours time Dead, in ours Deadly. The Law was giuen by Moses, Ioh▪ 1. 17. but Grace and Truth came by Iesus Christ.

We haue now found out the Light, and (blessed be God) aboue these fiftie yeares we haue found it: That if any should say (as Philip to Christ. Ioh. 14. Lord shew vs the Father, Ioh. 14. 8. and it sufficeth vs. To whom Iesus answers. Haue I been so long with you, and yet hast thou not knowne mee? Philip, hee that hath seene mee, hath seen the Father: So if any should say) Shew vs the Light, and it sufficeth vs. I answere; Hast thou been so long in the Light, and hast thou not knowne it? Art thou one of that Country that, Appollonius writes of, that can see nothing in the day, but all in the night. Hath the Light made thee blind? If no other, the vicissitude of this Exercise Shewes, that the Light is among vs.

I should tris [...]le time to prooue by arguments to the care, a thing so visible to the eye: and waste the Light of the day, to demonstrate the euidence of this Light being amongst vs. Meditation and Wonder better be­come this subiect, then discourse.

It is the Blessing of Gods Right hand. Prou. 3. 16. Prou. 3. Length of dayes is in her Right hand; and in her Left hand Riches and Honour; sayth Salomon of Wisedome, he meant it of Christ. This Light shall procure to a man blessed eternitie. All those blessings of the Left hand, as Riches and Honour, are frayle and mortall: Nothing lastes long in this World, except a sute at Law. But this Light, if our selues fault not, shall out-shine for countenance, and out-last for continuance, the Sunne in the Firmament. Therefore our Psalmographer. ver. 15. hauing shewed, that The voyce of reioycing and saluation is in the Tabernacles of the righteous [Page 12] hee addes, The Right hand of the Lord hath done valiantly. yea he doubles and trebbles it.ver. 16. The Right hand of the Lord is exalted: the right hand of the Lord hath done valiantly. This is the God of Lights, Reue▪ 1. 16. That had the seuen Starres in his Right hand. This Light must enlighten vs to some dueties.

1. Reioyce in this Light, ver 24. This is the Light-day that the Lord hath made: let vs Reioyce and be glad in it: Not for a spurt,Iath 13. 20. as the Stony ground▪ Math. 13. that with Ioy receiues the Sermon; but goes home as stony-hearted, as Iudas after the Soppe. Nor as the Iewes, to whom Iohn Baptist was a burning and a shining Lampe: Ioh. 5. 35. and they for a sea­son, reioyced in his light: But afterwards neuer rested, till they had eclipsed the Sunne on the Crosse, and slaine his Morning-starre in the Prison. Nor as Children, that come abroad to play in the Sunshine, and make no more account of it. Nor as a people, that neuer saw the Sunne, steppe out of their doores to gaze vpon it, and then turne their backes on it. But Reioyce with a solid ioy, as they whom God hath brought out of darknesse, into his marueylous light.

2. Walke worthy of this Light. This was St. Pauls request to his Ephesians, Ephe. 41. that they would Walke worthy of the vocation wherewith they are called. Rom▪ 13. 12. The Night is past, the Light is come: let vs therefore cast off the workes of dark­nesse, and put on the armour of Light. Be children of the Light. As the Light shines on thee, let it shine in thee. Thou hast small comfort to be in the Light, vnlesse the Light be in thee. Saith the Prophet to the Church; Esa. 60. 1. Arise, shine: for thy light commeth, and the glory of the Lord is risen vpon th [...]e▪ As God hath shewed his Light to you: So let your Light shine before men; Math. 5. 16. that they may see your good workes, and gloryfie your Father, which is in Heauen. There are some that boast their Communion with God: against S:▪ Iohn reasons Anatura Dei. 1. Ioh. 1. 5. 6. God is Light: if we say we haue fellow­ship with him, and walke in darknesse, we lye & doe not the truth [Page 13] St. Pauls argument is of the same fashion, what Communion hath Light with darknesse? The holy writte calls all sinnes. Opera tencbrarum, the workes of darknesse. Because,

1. They are perpetrated against God, who is the Father of Lights. Iam. 1. 17.

2. They are suggested by the Deuill, who is the Prince of darknesse Eph. 6. 12.

3. They are most vsually committed in the da [...]ke Male agens odit Lucem. They that sleepe, sleepe in the night: and they that be Drunken, be Drunken in the night. 1. Thess 5. 7.

4. They are the effects of blindnesse of minde: and Ignorance is a greeuous inward Darknesse. Their fool sh heart was Darkned: and hence issued those deadly sinnes Rom. 1. 21.

5. Their reward shall be vtter Darknesse. Cast that vn­profitable seruant into vtter Darknesse. Mat. 25. 30. And Iud▪ Ver. 13. To them is reserued the blacknesse of darknesse for euer

If then God hath shewed thee Light; shew not thou the deeds of Darknesse: but walke honestly as in the day Rom. 13. 13.

3 Take heed of sore eyes. Pleasures, lusts, and va­nities, make the eyes sore that are dotingly fastned on them. The Vsurer with telling his Gold: the haughti [...] with contemplating his greatnesse: the Drunkard with looking at the Wine laughing in the Cup: the lustfull with Gazing on his Painted damnations; make their eyes so sore, that they cannot looke vp, and behold this Light.

4. Take benefite of this Light, whiles it shines. It may be clouded, as it was in the dayes of Poperie. Ei­ther this Light may be set to thee, or thou be set to it. That to thee by Remouing the Candlesticke: thou to that by the hand of Death, which shall send thee to the Land of forgetfull Darknesse. Our Sauiour taught vs this (not onely in precept, but) in practise.I [...]hn. 9. 4. I must worke the work of him that sent me, whiles it is day: for the night commeth [Page 14] wherein no man can worke. Let vs not doe like some Cour­tiers, that hauing Light allowed them, Play it out at Cardes, and goe to Bed darkling.

5 Lastly, helpe to maintaine this Light, that it goe not out. If you would haue the Lampes of the Sanctuary shine, powre in your Oyle. Grudge not a litle cost, to keeke this Light cleare. The Papists haue their Candle­masse: they bestow great cost in Lights about a Seruice of Darkenesse. Repine not you then at a litle Charges, for the euerlasting Lampe of the Gospell: Some of you I beare you witnesse, doe not Grudge it. Goe on and pro­sper: and whiles you make the Church happy, make your selues so.

Wherewith.

I must now steppe from Heauen to Earth: I passe from the For what, to the With what God is to be praysed.

He hath shewed you his Light: shew him yours. He hath giuen vs an inestimable blessing, what shall we re­turne him? What? Bind the Sacrifice with Cordes euen to the Hornes of the Alter.

This is mans Thankfulnesse, for Gods Bountifulnesse. We will first cast ouer the particulars, and then summe them.

  • 1. Here is Sacrifice to be offered.
  • 2. This Sacrifice must be bound. Bind the Sacrifice.
  • 3. This Sacrifice must be bound with Cordes Bind the Sacrifice with Cordes.
  • 4. This Sacrifice must be bound with Cordes to the Alter. Bind the Sacrifice with Cordes to the Alter.
  • 5. This Sacrifice must be. 1. Bound. 2. With Cordes.
  • 3. To the Altar. 4. Yea euen to the Hornes of the Alter, you see the Totum is Thankefullnesse; and the Bill hath fiue particulars.
    • 1. The Sacrifice is Deuotion.
    • 2. Binding the Sacrifice, constant Deuotion.
    • [Page 15] 3. With Cordes, seruent Deuotion.
    • 4. To the Altar, rectified Deuotion.
    • 5. To the Hornes of the Altar, confident Deuotion. Deuotion is the Mother and she hath foure Daughters.
      • 1. Constancie, Binde the Sacrifice.
      • 2. Feruencie. Binde it with Cordes.
      • 3. Wisdome. Binde it to the Altar.
      • 4. Confidence. Euen to the Hornes of the Altar.

Sacrifice.

Is the act of our Deuote Thankefulnesse. I might here (to no great purpose) trauell a large field of discourse for Sacrifices. But it were no other, but where the Scrip­ture offereth vs the companie a Myle, to compell it to goe with vs twaine.

All Sacrifices are either Expiatorie, or Gratulatorie. Ex­piatory for the condonation of sinnes; Gratulatory for the Donation of graces. So in a word, they were ei­ther Sin-offerings, or Peace-offrings.

The Sin-offrings of the Iewes had two maine ends.

1. To acknowledge Peecat [...] stipendium mortem; that Death was the wages of sinne due to the Sacrificers, layd on the Sacrificed.

2. Mystically & simbolically to prefigure the killing of the Lambe of God, that taketh away the sinnes of the world. So Caluin. Semperillis ante oculos simbola proponi oportu [...]t. They had euer neede of signes, and types, and figura­tiue demonstrations before their eyes.

But those Saecrifices are abolished in Christ who offered one Sacrifice for sinnes for euer; H [...]b▪ 10. 12. and that such a one, as was a sweete smelling Sauour to God. Ephe. 5. 2. It was a prettie obseruati­on, that the last Character of the Hebrew Alphabet, was a plaine Figure of Christs Crosse; to shew that his Sa­crifice ended all theirs.

[Page 16] Ours is the second kind; a Gratulatorie Sacrifice. Our Prophet heere speaking of the dayes of the Gos­pell. Then, Bind this Sacrifice with Cordes, &c. Christ is our Altar, let our selues be the Sacrifice: the Fire that kindles it, the Loue of God; the Smoake that goes vp, the consumption of our sinnes.

That this Sacrifice may be acceptable, I will shew you how it must be done, how it must not be done.

  • 1. What is to be excluded.
  • 2. How it ought to be qualified.

Exclusiuely.

IT must be sine Pelle, sine Melle, sine Felle, sine Macula.

1. Sine Pelle, without the Skinne of Ostentation; which indeed makes them not Sacrificia, but Sacrilegia, Not Sacrifices, but Sacriledges: They are so Opera muta, Dumbe deedes: nay, rather Opera mendacij, Loude lying workes; as if they told God a good tale how they lo­ued him, when they meant to deceiue him. God will require all vntruthes betweene man and man; but fal­lacies and falsehoods done betweene the Porch and the Altar, in the shadow of the Church, and vnder the pre­tence of his seruice, he will sorely reuenge.

The casting vp of the Eyes, the bowing downe of the Knees, the vncouering the Head, moouing the Lippes, knocking the Brest, sighing and crying, what meane they? are they not symptomes and demonstratiue wit­nesses of an inward compunction? Are they not a pro­testation, that the Soule is speaking to God? If there be not an honest Heart within, this is but the Skinne of a Sacrifice: And they that giue God the Skinne for the Bo­die, God will giue them the Skinne for the Body; the sha­dow of Blessings for the substance.

It is storied of one that solde his wife Glasses for Pearles: Imposturam faecit, et passus est, Hee cossened, and was cossened. They that sell the Lord of Heauen [Page 17] (how so euer they may deceiue his Spouse, the Church on earth) Glasses for Pearles, Shelles for Kernels, Cop­per for Gold, Barke for Bulke, Shew for Substa [...]nce, Fansie for Conscience; God will be euen with them, and giue them Stones for Bread, Images of Delight for substantiall Ioyes: Imposturam faci [...]t [...]t patienter, They deceiue, and shall be deceiued.

2. Sine Melle: There must be no Honey of selfe-com­placencie in this Sacrifice. Psal. 51. 17. Psal. 51. The Sacrifices of God are a broken Spirit: a broken and contrite Heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. A true Sacrifice consistes not onely (Faciendo, but Patiendo,) in doing, but in dying, or suffering for Christ.

In the Law, Beastes appoynted for Sacrifice, were first slaine, and so offred. In the Gospell, Christians must first mortifie their earthly members, and crucifie their carnall lustes, and then offer vp themselues. As Death takes away the Naturall lif [...]; so Mortification must take away the Sensuall life.Aug. Serm. 141. de Temp. Moriatur ergo homo, ne moriatur: Mutetur ne damnetur: Let a man die, that he may not die: let him be changed, that he be not damned. Onely the mortified man is the true liuing Sacrifice. It must not then be Honey to our Palates; but bitter: euen so bit­ter, as Abnegare suos, sua, se: to deny our Friendes, to de­ny our Goods, to deny our selues, for Christ his cause.

3. Sine Felle: There must be no Amarulentia, no Gall of bitternesse in this Sacrifice. Math. 5. If thou bring thy gift to the Altar,Math. 5. 23. and remembrest that thy Brother hath ought against thee; leaue there thy gift, and goe thy way: first be re­conciled to thy Brother, and then offer it. If thy Brother hath ought against thee, God hath more. If thou haue some­what against thy Brother, God hath somewhat against thee. Math. 9. 13. Goe ye and learne what that meaneth; I will haue Mercie, and not Sacrifice.

[Page 18] Whiles you trippe vp mens heeles with Fraudes. lay them along with Sutes, tread on them with Oppressi­ons, blow them vp with Vsuries, Iniuries: Your Sacri­fice is full of Gall. It was said in wonder; Is Saul among the Prophets? So, what makes a Slaunderer, a Defrau­der, an Vsurer, an Oppressor, at Church? They come not sine Felle, without the Gall of Vncharitablenesse: they shall returne siue Melle, without the Honey of Gods Mercies.Heb. 13. 16. To doe good, and to communicate, for­get not, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased: Mer­cifull workes are Pro sacrificijs, imo prae sacrificijs: Equall to Sacrifices, aboue Sacrifices in Gods ac­ceptance.

4. Sine Macula. Leuit. 22. God commaunds, that his Sacrifice be without Blemish; Leuit, 22. 20. &c. nor blinde, nor broken, nor maymed, nor infected, &c. Therefore a Lambe without spotte was offered for a morning and an euening Sacri­fice. And the Lambe of God in an antitypicall relation, is truly sayd,1. Pet. 1. 19. Immaculatus, a Lambe without spotte, without blemish.

The Drunkard is without a head, the Swearer hath a Garget in his throat, the Couetous hath a lame hand, hee cannot giue to the poore: the Epicure hath a gor­belly, the Adulterer is a scabbed Goate, the Worldling wants an eye, the Ruffian an eare, the Coward a heart: these are Mutila Sacrificia, lame, defectiue, luxate, vn­perfect Sacrifices.

The Prophet Esay begins and endes his Prophecie with a denuntiation of Gods contempt, and refusall of such Oblations; Who will forget those to be the sonnes of grace, that forget his Sacrifices to be the Sacrifices of a God.Esa. 66. 3. Hee that sacrificeth a Lambe, is as if hee cut off a Dogs necke.

Comprehensiuely.

IT must bee Cum Thure, cum Sale, cum Sanguine, cum In­tegritate.

1. Cum Thure: The Frankincense is Prayer and In­uocation. Psal. 141. 2. Let my Prayer be set foorth before thee as In­cense: and the lif [...]yng vp of my handes as the Euening sacrifice.

These the Prophet calles Vitulos Labiorum, The Cal [...]s (not of our Fouldes, but) of our Lippes: Whereof the Lord more esteemeth, then of the Bullocke that hath Horn and Hoofe.

This is the speciall Sacrifice heere meant. God ex­pectes it of vs:De Noah. cap. 22. Non vt auarus, (as Ambros.) Not as if hee were couetous of it; but ex debito. Yet as hee must giue the Beast to vs,Ioel. 2. 14. before wee can giue it to him. Ioel 2. For the Lord must Leaue a Blessing behinde him; euen a Meate Offering, and a Drinke Offering for himselfe: So this spirituall Sacr [...]fice of Prayers and Prayse, must be Datum as well as Mandatum; Conferred, as Required. Tribuat Deus, vt homo retribuat: Let God giue it to man, that man may giue it to God: Hee that commands it, must bestow it.

2. Cum Sale: There must be Salt to season this Sacri­fice. Leuit. Leuit. 2. 13. 2. With all thine Offeringes thou shalt offer Salt.

Salt hath been vsually taken for Discretion. What S. Paul speakes of our Wordes, should hold also in our deedes.Coloss. 4. 6. Coloss. 4. Powdred with Salt. The Prouerbe is true; an Ounce of Discretion, is worth a pound of Learning.Bern. Serm. 49 in Cant. Tolle hanc, et virtus vitium erit: Banish this, and you shall run Vertue into Vice, blow Heate into a Flame, turne Conscience into a Furie, and driue Deuoti­on out of her wittes: Zeale without this, is like a keene Sword in a madd hand.

[Page 20] 3 Cum Sanguine. Not literially, as in the Sacrifices of the Law.Heb 9. 22. Almost all thinges by the Law are purged with Bloud. But spiritually, to make them acceptable, they must be dipped in our, the Bloud of Iesus Christ.

Without this they are not holy: as one expounds Sanctum, quasi sanguine consecratum. Here is then the neces­sitie of a true fayth, to sprinkle all our Sacrifices with our Sauiours Bloud; No Sacrifice otherwise good. For what­soeuer is not of fayth, Rom. 14. 23. is sinne. Therefore if any man comes to the Church, more for feare of the Law, then loue of the Gospell, he offers a thanklesse Sacrifice.

4. Cum Integritate. And this in respect

  • Sacrificij,
  • Sacrificantis.

1. Of the Sacrifice God reproues the Iewes,Mal. 1. 7. 8. that they had layd polluted Bread vpon his Alter. If ye offer the Blind for Sacrifice, is it not euill? If ye offer the Lame and the sicke, is it not euill? The Lords Sacrifice must be fatte and faire; not a leane, scraggling, [...]tarued Creature.

Paul beseecheth his Romans, that they would present themselues a Liuing (or quicke) Sacrifice to God: Rom. 12. 1. When in­firmities haue Craz'd it, and age almost raz'd it, then to offer it: alasse; it is not a liuing, but a dying; not a quicke, but a sicke Sacrifice. This must be a whole and holy Oblation.

2. Of the Sacrificer. The life a [...]d soule of a Sacrifice, is not the outward action, but the inward affection of the Heart. Mens cuiusque, is est quisque: As the Minde is, so is the Man: as the Man is, so is his Sacrifice. If wee bring our Sheepe to Gods Altar, and them alone; wee had as good haue left them behind vs, as an vnprofita­ble Carriage. Mica. 6. 6. Wherewith shall I come before the Lord? With burnt offerings, and Calues of a yeare old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of Rammes, or with ten thousand riuers of Oyle? Shall I giue my fyrst borne for my transgression, the [Page 21] fruite of my body for the sinne of my soule? No, learne an other Oblation. God hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth hee require of thee, but to Doe iustly, and to loue mercy, and to walke humbly with thy God?

The Poet could aske the Priest,Pers. In Templo quid facit aurum? Hee bids them bring Compositum ius, fas (que) ani­mi, &c. Put these into my hands, et farre litabo. Lay vp­on the Altar of your Heart Fayth, Repentance, Obedi­ence, Patience, Humilitie, Chastitie, Charitie; Bona pig­nora mentis, and cons [...]crate these to the Lord.

When the searcher of the Reynes shall finde a carkas of Religion without a quickning Spirit, hee will turne his countenance from it. Beastes dyed when they were sacrificed: Men cannot liue vnles they be sacrificed.

The Oracle answered, to him that demaunded what was the best Sacrifice to please God.

Da medium Lunae, Solem simul, et Canis iram: Giue the halfe Moone, the whole Sunne, and the Dogges anger: Which three Characters make COR, Greg. the Heart. Deus non habet gratum offerentem propter munera, sed munera prop­ter offerentem: God values not the Offerer by the Gift, but the Gift by the Offerer. Let not then thy Heart be as dead, as the Beast thou immolatest.

So Peter Martyr expounds Pauls liuing Sacrifice. In Rom, 12. Those things that can moue themselues, are liuing and quicke: they are dead, that cannot stirre themselues, but by o­thers violence. Compelled seruice to God; as to keepe his Statutes, for feare of Mans Statutes, is an vnsound Oblation, not quicke and liuely. God loues a cheare­full giuer, and thankes-giuer. Non respicit Deus munera, nisi te talem praestes, qualem te munera promittunt: God regards not thy Giftes, vnlesse thou dost shew thy selfe such a one, as thy Giftes promise thee. Ad te, non munera spectat.

You see the Sacrifice, Deuotion. The Mother hath held vs long: we will deale more briefly with her Daughters.

Constancie.

THe first borne is Constancie. Bind the Sacrifice. Grace is like a Ring, without end; and the Diamond of this Ring is Constancie.Deut. 6. 8. Deut. 6. T [...]ou shalt bind my Statutes for a signe vpon thy hand, and they shall be as frontlets betweene thine eyes. It is the aduice of wisedome Let not mercie and truth forsake thee:Pro. 3. 3. Bind them about thy necke, and write them vpon the Table of thy heart.

The Leafe of a Righteous man neuer fadeth, saith the Psal. If it doth, then Lapsus foliorum, mortificatio arborum, sayth the Glosse. The fall of the leaues will be the death of the Tree. It is to small purpose, to steere the vessell safe through the maine, and splitte her within a league of the Hauen. To put your hand to the Plow, and thriue well in the best husbandry; and with Demas to looke backe.

Vincenti dabitur; and fulfilled Holin [...]sse wear [...]s the Crowne. Some haue deriued Sanctum, Ren. 2. & 3. quasi sancitum; an establi­shed Nature. All Vertues run in a race: onely one win­neth the Garland, the Image of eternitie, happy Constan­cie. Wisedome is a tree of Life to them that lay hold on her: and blessed is hee that retaines her: Pro. 3. 18. Therefore, Make sure your Election; Fast bind, fast find: Bind the Sacrifice.

Feruencie.

THe next D [...]ughter of this righteous generation, is Fer­uencie. Binde the Sacrifice with C [...]rdes. Thou canst not make Heauen too sute. Men vse to bind the World to them, faster then the Philistines Sampson, or the Iaylor his f [...]gitiue Prisoner, with Cordes, with Cordes of Yron; that it may not start from them, and run away.

Riches is knowne to be wild Bedlam; therefore they will keepe it in Bonds. They bind their Lands with In­tailes, their Goods with Walles, their Monyes with Obligations, that on no condition they may giue them the slippe: But they care not how loose the Conscience [Page 23] be: they that giue libertie enough, euen to licentiousnes.

But the Sacrifice of Deuotion must be bound with Cords: a Corde of loue, a Corde of feare, a Corde of fayth; and this threefold Coard is not easily broken. Eccle 4. 12.

Wisedome.

A third Daughter, and one of the beautifullest, is Wise­dome. Bind the Sacr [...]fice with Cords to the Altar. Recti­fied Deuotion, is specially acceptable.

A man may be deuoute enough: too much, when their zeale is like the horne in the Vnicorns head: it doth more hurt then good. You would not haue wished Baal Priests doe more for their Maister: loe, the gashes and mouthes of their selfe-giuen wounds, speake their forwardnesse: they wanted a Lampe of direction, to Guide it to Gods Altar.

Aristotl [...] e [...]lls Discretion,Eth Lib. 6. Cap. 5. virtutum normam et form [...]m: the eye of the soule, the soule of vertue. I would to God, some amongst vs had one Dramme of this grace, ming­led with their whole handfuls of zeale. It would a little Coole the preter naturall heate of the slng-brand frater­nitie; as one wittily calleth them.

Hollerius writes of an Italian, that by often smelling to the herbe Basil, had Scorpions bred in his braine. Proud Faction is the weed they so much smell on, and make poesies of, that the serpents bred in their braines, doe stinge and wound the bosome of the Church. These Binde, and with Cordes, but not to the Altar, Deuotion is not their scope, but distraction. O may the spirit of meeknesse Binde their Sacrifice to the Altar: direct their zeale with Discretion, to the glory of God. And let vs euery one say resolutely with Daui [...]: I will wa [...]h my hands in innocencie, Psal. 26. 6. O Lord; and so will I compasse thine Altar. Wise­dome is a faire Daughter in this Progenie. Bind the Sa­crifice with Cords to the Altar.

Confidence.

THe youngest Daughter of this faire Sister-hood, is Fayth. Copious matter of Discourse might heere be offred mee, about the site, matter, fashion, of the Altar; and to what purpose these foure Hornes of the Altar ser­ued: Binde the Sacrifice with Cordes to the Hornes of the Altar.

Perhappes many precious Mines of mysteries might here be found out, which I digg not for. Among diuerse other ends I find, that these Hornes of the Altar were for Refuge; & guilty men did flie vnto them for feare of the Law.1. King. 1. 50. Adoniah feared because of Salomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the Hornes of the Altar. So Ioab in the next Chapter,ver. 28. Fled to the Tabernacle of the Lord, and caught hold on the Hornes of the Altar. They fled thither in a hope­full confidence of mercie.

Christ is our Altar, Hebr. 13. 10. Heb. 13. his Merites the Hornes of the Altar. By him therefore let vs offer the sacrifice of Prayse to God continually, ver. 15. that is, the fruite of our lippes, giuing thankes to his name. Our Fayth must catch hold on these Hornes, Christes merites, that is, our Sacrifice may be acceptable.

The Law of God shall surprise vs, and the Sword of eternall death shall kill vs, if wee bind not our Sacrifice to the Hornes of the Altar: if wee rest not vpon the all-suffi­cient Merites of Iesus Christ.

This is the Mother of her, whose Daughter shee is. It may be sayd of these, as the Poet of Yce and Water; the Mother bringes foorth the Daughter, & the Daugh­ter bringes foorth the Mother.

All her Sisters are beholding to her: Neuer a Damo­s [...]ll of Israel dares enter Ahashuerosh Court, but she; She alone must bring all graces to the Hornes of the Altar. O blessed Fayth: Many Daughters haue done vertuosly, but thou excellest them all. Pro. 31. 29. Bind then the Sacrifie with Cordes, euen vnto the Hornes of the Altar.

[Page 25] YOu heare the Mother and her Children: These are the Daughters that true Deuotion bringeth foorth. Compare wee our Progenie with these, and wee shall find, that we bring foorth Daughters of another coun­tenance.

Distinguish this Land of ours (let the word Diuide, be held heresie in manners) into foure CC: Court, Citie, Countrey, Church.

The Court may be sayd to haue three Daughters; as Fulco boldly told Richard the first:Acts & Monu pag. 252. which are vicious, & of a wicked disposition. The King answered, He had no Daughters at all. Fulco sayd, hee cherished three in his Court that were no better then Strumpets; and there­fore wished him timely to prouide them Husbands, or else they would vndoe him, and his Realme. The angry King would haue them named. Fulco told him, they were Pride, Auarice, and Luxurie. The blushing, peni­tent, and discreet Prince confessed, and resolued to be­stow them. So he gaue Pride to the Templars, Auarice to the Cistercians Monkes, & Luxurie to the Popish Prelates: the like matches, as fitter then in England could not be found for them.

The Citie hath foure Daughters too: Fraude, Hypocri­sie, Vsurie, Sensualitie. Let mee say; the breeding and in­dulgence to such Daughters, shame you. Shall I tell you how to cast them away vpon Husbands? Marry Fraude to the profest Cheaters. Bestow Vsurie vpon the Brokers. Banish Sensualitie to the Forrest, to see if any Beast will take it vp. And for Hypocrisie, wedde it to the braine-sicke Separatist, though you send it to them with a letter of Mart to Amsterdam.

The Countrey hath three Daughters; Ignorance, Vncha­ritablenesse, and Ill-custome: Ignorance they might bestow on the Papistes, they will make much of it. Let them send Vncharitablenesse to the Sauages and Saracens. And Ill-custome to the Iewes, who will rather keepe their [Page 26] Customes, then their Sauiour.

For the Church; wee haue but two Children, and those none of our owne breeding neither; though wee are faine to bring them vp with patience, Pouerti [...], and Contempt: and take'hem who will, so wee were ridde of them.

These are not the Daughters of Deuotion, but the wret­ched brood of our Indeuotion.

There are amongst vs,

  • 1. Some that will not Bind.
  • 2. Some that will Bind, but not with Cordes.
  • 3. Some that will Bind with Cordes, but not the Sa­crifice.
  • 4. Some that will Bind the Sacrifice with Cordes, but not to the Alter.
  • 5. Some that will Bind the Sacrifice with Cordes to the Altar, but not to the Hornes of the Altar.

1. Some will not Bind; nay they will not be bound. There are so many Religions in the world, that they will be tyed to none of them. Such a one is like a loose Tooth in the head, of litle vse, of much trouble. Their trepidations are more shaking then cold Ague-fi [...]tes: their staggers worse then a Drunkards.

A Fether in the Ayre, a Fane on the House, a Cock­boate in the Sea, are lesse inconstant. The course of a Dolphin in the Water, of a Buzzard in the Ayre, of a Whore in the Citie, is more certaine. They are full of farraginous and bullimong mixtures: powre them foorth into libertie, and they run wilder then Quick sil­uer on a table.

But let a good man be (as Iohn Bap was commended by our Sauiour) No Reed shaken with the Winde: Let our Actions haue ballace, our Affections ballance: bee wee none of those, that will not Binde.

[Page 27] 2. Some will Binde, but not with Cordes: they will take on them an outward profession, but not be feruent in it. they will not binde themselues to Deuotion, as the Philistines bound Sampson, Iud. 16. with new Withes, or with new Ropes; but onely with a Rush, or a Haire, or a twine Threed of coldnesse.

A Sermon or a Masse, is all one to them; they come with equall deuotion to either. All the Religion in the World with these Gergesens, is not worth a slitch of Bacon:Ier. 44. 17. For handfulles of Barley, and morselles of Bread, you may winne them to worship the Queene of Heauen.

Their lukewarmenesse is so offensiue, that they trou­ble all stomaches: GOD shall sp [...]e them out of the Church: the earth shall spue them into the Graue, and the Graue shall spue them into Hell.

3. Some will Binde, and with Cordes; but not the Sa­crifice. Such are the vtterly irreligious, the openly pro­phane. They haue their Cordes to binde; but they will not meddle with the Sacrifice, Deuotion. The Prophet Esay giues them a Vae for their labour.

Woe vnto them that draw Iniquitie with cordes of Vanitie; Eay. 5. 18. and sinne, as it were with a Cart-rope. But in a iust quit­tance for their strong-haled wickednesse, they draw on their owne destruction with Cordes, and damnation, as it were with a Cart-rope. Pro. 5. 22. So those Funcs peccatorum, that Salomon speakes of, shall be rewarded: His owne iniqui­ties shall take the wicked himselfe, and he shall be holden with the Cordes of his sinnes. There is such a concatenation of their wickednesse, rioting, swearing, drunkennesse, whoredome, that at last the Cordes end reaches to Hell.

Their whole life is but like a Fire-worke, that runnes along the Rope of wickednesse, till at last it goes out in the Graue, and is rekindled in the slaming Pitte. [Page 28] They bind sinne sure to them selues with Cordes; and with the same Cordes the Deuill Bindes them as fast to him: they shall speed as himselfe doth, and be at last Bound with the Cordes, or Chai [...]es of darknesse.

The Magistrate should doe well (in meane time) to Bind them with Materiall Cordes, of seuere punishments. Chaine vp their feete from Brothell-houses, Manacle their hands from slaughters; giue them the Cordes of Correction, least at last by a Corde they depart the world.

The three spetiall Twists of this Corde, are Drun­kennesse, Whoredome, Cossenage. If you could vn­twine these three, and seperate them; there were some hope of breaking them all. You say, on their deprehen­tion they haue sure punishment: be as carefull to finde them out. But it is reported, you haue rowsed these sins from their old nests, and sent them home to your owne houses. Cheating winds into some of your owne shops: Adulterie creepes into some of your owne Chambers. And I know not how, somtimes Iustices & Magistrates haue whipt Drunkennesse out of the Alehouse into their owne Cellers.

There is one amongst vs that is a terrible Binder; and that's the vsurer. Hee Binds strangely, strongly, with the Cordes of obligations. You know he that enters into obligation, is sayd to come into Bonds; it is all one, in­to Cordes. This mans whole life is spent in tying of knots: his profession is Cordage. And for this cause he is belou'd of the Cord-makers, for setting them on worke; and of no body else.

This fellow Bindes, but he'l neare Bind the Sacrifice: his conscience shall be loose enough. I could say much to this Binder, if there were any hope of him. But I re­member a true story, that a friend told me of an Vsurer. There was a Godly Preacher in his Parish, that did beate downe with all iust conuictions, and honest re­proofes that sinne. Many Vsurers flocked to his Church, [Page 29] because he was a man of note. Among the rest, this Vsu­rer did bid him often to dinner, and vsed him very kind­ly. Not long after this Preacher began to forbeare Vsu­rie; not in any conniuence or partiallitie; but because he had dealt plentyfully with it; and now his Text led him not to it.

Now begins the Vsurer to be heauy, sorrowing and discontent; And turned his former kindnesse into ful­lennesse. The Preacher must needs obserue it, and bold­ly asked him the reasons of this sodaine auersion. The Vsurer replyed. If you had held on your first Course to in [...]eigh against Vsurie, I had some hope you would ha [...]e put all the Vsurers downe; and so I should haue had the better Vent and Custome for my Mony. For my part, say what you will, I neuer meant to leaue it: But I should haue been beholding to you, if you could haue made me an Vsurer alone. You see the hope of an Vsurers Conuersion.

But I would to God, that euery one thus bound with the Corde of his Wickednesse, would consider, that so long as a Corde is whole, it is not easily broken: but vn­twist it, & lay it threed by threed, and you my quickly snappe it a sunder. Beloued, first vntwine the Corde of your sinnes by serious consideration, and then you may easily breake them off by Repentance.

4. Some 1. will Binde, 2. with Cords, 3. yea and the Sacrifice, 4. but not to the Altar. There are many of these in our Land: they binde the Sacrifice exceeding fast to Themselues, not to the Altar. All the Altaragia, the dues that belong to them that serue at Gods Altar, and which the Lawes of God and man Bound to the Altar, they haue loosned, and Bound to themselues, and their heires.

These Bind the Sacrifice, and with Cordes; but not to the right place. Nay, I would to God, they would Binde [Page 30] no more; But now the fashion is to hold God to Cu­stome: & if a poore Minister demand those remanents, which are left to the Altar, he is ou [...]rthrowne by Cu­stome. Oh the pittie of God, that England-should haue any such Custome:

And for you, that neuer thinke your selues well, but when you haue Bound the Sacrifice to your selues: and imagine that the Milke or Fleece of your Flocks, which God hath tyth'd for himselfe, is too good for the Minister; and will either act [...], or armis, with force of Law, or craft of Coosening, keepe it to your selues; that will plead the rate of a penny in Law, for a pound in concience: Chop and change your Sheepe, to defraude Christ of his Tenth sleece: know that as you Bin [...]e the Sacrifice from the Altar, so you shall haue no comfort by the Altar, but the Iustice of God shall Binde you from his mercie. Though you may repent: which if you re­store not, is impossible: and your restitution is impro­bable; yet for the present, the Deuill hath Eleuen poynts of the Law against you; that is, Possession.

5. Lastly, some. 1. Binde. 2. The Sacrifie. 3. With Cordes. 4. To the Altar. 5 But not to the Hornes of the Alter. These are deficient in a spetiall degree of Deuotion, Fayth. They haue many good morall vertues; but they want that, which should make both their vertues and themselues acceptable to God; Fayth in his Sonne Iesus Christ. It is a vaine Deuotion, whence this is excluded: The Law finds no workes righteous. But Quod Lex operum min [...]do im­perat, L [...]x s [...]dei credendo impe [...]rat: What the Law of Workes commanded with the threatning, the Law of Faith ob­taines by beleeuing: Affie we then the merites of our blessed Sauiour, who is our only Re [...]u [...]e; and take fast hold on the Hornes of the Altar. Bind the Sacrifice with Cordes euen vnto the Horn [...] of the Altar

The Summe.

TO gather these scattered Branches to their Roote; now wee haue cast ouer the particulars, let vs Summe them. The Summe is our Thankefulnesse: Binde the Sacri­fice with Cordes, &c.

Ingratitude hath been euer held a Monster, a preter­naturall thing: one of those priuations and def [...]ciencies which God neuer made, but the deuill thrust in vpon the absence of the positiue and primitiue vertues. Here vp­on wee call an Ingratefull person, an vnnaturall man.

No man wonders at Dogges, and Wol [...], and Foxes; but at Satyres and Centaures, and such Monsters in na­ture, all gaze vpon. Ebrietie, Adulterie, Auarice (though equally hainous) are lesse odious; because they haue Nature and Custome on their sides. But an Vnthankefull person named, we all detest, as a sole [...]isme in sense, a pa­radoxe in maners, a prodigie in nature.

To demonstrate this sinne to be so farre from huma­nitie, that the very Beastes abhorre it. There is a St [...]ry of a poore man, that went often to a Forrest to gather Stickes; where sodainely one day, hee heard the voyce of a man in distresse: making towards it, hee found a rich Neighbour falne into a deepe Pitte; and togeather with him an Ape, a Lyon, and a Serpent: hee made his moane, being endangerd both of the Pitte, and of the Beastes: Pittie and Charitie mooued the poore man to helpe the rich, and that seldome mooues the rich to helpe the poore; Hee lets downe the Corde, wherewith hee bound his Stickes, and vp comes the Ape: Againe hee puts for the man, and the Lyon ascendes: A third offer hee makes, and the Serpent takes the aduantage: last hee draweth vp the man; who freed by his helpe from instant death, promised him a bountious requitall, [Page 32] if on the next day he did visit him. The poore man af­fying his word, came to him accordingly, in a hopefull expectation of reward. But now the rich man would not know him; hee hath forgotten that euer hee stood in any need of him, and impudently denies him any recompence. The discomforted poore man is faine to trauell the Forrest againe for his Fuell, where the Ape spying him, had ready broken with his teeth and nailes, Stickes enough for his burden: there was his vtmost Gratitude. Another day comming, the Lyon appro­cheth him, prese [...]ting to him diuers laden Camelles; which driuing home, and disburdening, hee found pre­cious Treasure, that enriched him. A third time vpon other occasions trauelling the Forrest, the Serpen [...] cree­ping salutes him with a Precious stone in her mouth, letting it fall at her sauers feete. The intent of the Fable is to demonstrate, that Beastes and Serpents condemne Man of Ingratitude.

You will say, this is but a fiction: then heare a truth. Esay 1.Esay 1. 3. The Oxe knoweth his owner, and the Asse his Maisters Scrippe: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. The very Beast looketh to his Maisters hand that feeds him.

This vice is so horrible, that God need not sit to iudge it; the Diuell himselfe will condemne it: When hee reasoned with God about Iob, Iob. 1. 10. hee pleades that God had set a Hedge about him, and blessed the worke of his hands: And therefore implies, Doth Iob serue God for naught? If hee will be Vnthankefull to a God so kind, Satan him­sel [...]e will censure him. It must needes be a horred sinne, that the Diuell taxeth and abominates. If wee be vn­thankefull, wee are sure to be condemned: for if God would not condemne it, the Diuell will. An V [...]grat [...]full man then (in some sort) is worse then the Diuell.

Men and Brethren, let vs be Thankefull: Let our Me­ditations trauell with Da [...]id in the 148.ver. 1. Psalme, first vp [Page 33] into Heauen. Euen the very Heauens and heights prayse him. Psal. 14 [...]. 2. And those blessed Angels in his Court sing his Glory. Descend we then by the celestiall bodyes, and we shall find the Sunne, ver. 3. Moone, and all the Starres of light, praysing him. Passe we by the Waters, which the Makers decree hath confined there,4. and wee shall heare those Praysing him. A litle lower, we shall perceiue the Mete­ors, and vpper Elements;8. the Fire and Hayle, Snow and Vapour, magnifying him: euen the Winde and Storme, fulfil­ling his wo [...]d. Fall we vpon the Center, the very Earth; wee shall heare the Beastes and Cattle, Mountaines and Hilles, fruitfull Trees and all Cedars, extolling his Name. The chirping Birdes sing sweete Psalmes and Carols to their Creators prayse, euery Morning when they rise, euery Euening ere they goe to rest. Not so much as the very Creeping thinges, sayth the Psalmist; the noy­some Dragons, and crawling Serpents in the deepes, but they doe, in a sort, blesse their Maker. Let not then Man, the first fruites of his Creatures, for whose seruice all the rest were made, be vnthankfull. If these, much more let all Kinges of the earth, ver. 11. 12. and all people: Princes, and all Iudges of the World: Young men and Maydens, Old men and Chil­dren, prayse the Name of the Lord.

There are some,Iob. 31. 27. that Kisse their owne handes, for euery good turnes that befalls them. God giueth them bles­sings, and their owne witte or strength hath the praise. Other receiue them but as due debt, as if God were ob­liged to them. But alasse! What hast thou (O man, that is good) that thou hast not receiued? Thou hast not a ragge to thy backe, nor a bitte to thy Belly, nor a good haire on thy head, nor a good thought in thy heart, but God gi­ueth it.

Our euils are properly our owne.Hug [...] Omnia mea mala p [...] ­re sunt mala, et mea sunt. Omnia mea bona pure, suut bona et mea no [...] sunt: All my euills are truly euill and mine owne. All my good things are truly good, but none of my [Page 34] owne. Now is not the Authour of all good, good en­ough to be remembred? When the Benefites are gotten, must the benefactor be forgotten? And shall Thankes waxe old, whiles giftes are new? Boni siquid habeo, a Deo sumpsi, Aug. non a me proesumpsi. Shall we then set the receauers in the place of the Giuer, and worship our selues?

This is a Sacrilegious theft. The stealing of tempo­rall goodes may be requited with restitution: but the purloyning of Gods glory can neuer be answered. These are subtle Theeues: for though Heauen be sure and se­cure enough from violent robbers, yet these by a wylie insidiation enter into it, and robbe God of his Honour. Other Theeues steale for necessitie; and but from their equals, men. These filch from God his holy right, and that out of a scornefull pride.

It would heere be examined, whether England hath any ground in it guilty of this barren Ingratitude? If I should fall to discoursing the fauours of GOD, rained in such plentifull showers vpon vs; our peace, plentie, tranquilitie, and all those giftes of his Left hand; togea­ther with that grace of his Right, which blesseth all the rest, and without which they were but a Summer with­out a Spring; full of heate, but infertile; the Gospell: you would say, Satis haec, wee haue heard this often enough. Ad nauseam vsque: A Sermon of such repeti­tion is but like a sute of the old make. Your curious eares are too fine for such recognitions. You thinke wee neuer speake of these things, but for want of other matter.

The wonders, which God wrought in Egipt by Mose [...], in Canaan by Iosuah, were commanded to be proclaimed to all succeeding generations. How many Psalmes did this sweet Singer of Israel compose of this subiect? How many excellent Sermons did the Prophets preach when they had no other ground or Text, but those principles? [...] did the people sling away from before [Page 35] the Pulpits, with; Wee haue heard these thinges often enough: they are tedious.

Gods mercies to vs shall vie waight and number with theirs. We are if not their paralell; yet their second in the fauours of Heauen. God hath hedged vs in with his pro­uidence, and compassed vs about with songs of deliuerance. We are the Plant of his owne hand, & he continually waters vs with the sauing shewers of his Gospell. Wee need not trauell to our neighbours Cisterns; euery man hath his owne Well; and such a Wel, as yeelds the Water of life, if we would bring Buckets with vs; Eares of attention, and Hearts of retention to draw it out withall. What Nation so farre as the World is Christned, hath so many learned Diuines? Neither is this Learning like a Coale burning to themselues, but a bright Lampe shining to vs: Euen those reuerend Fathers, that sit at the Sterne of the Church, and charge their mindes with her greatest troubles, are yet continually preaching to some parti­cular Congregation. It cannot be denied, but the Lord hath shewed vs Light.

Now where be the Fruites that he must looke for? I dare scarcely enter into this search; as the Elephant re­fuseth to drinke in a cleare Water, least he should see his owne deformitie. I feare to finde the respondencie of the deedes of Darkenesse. I know, God hath his number amongst vs; I hope it is not small. God euery day in­crease it, to his glory, and the Churches comfort. Let mee haue freedome to speake generally.

Beloued, our liues shame vs. If men and Angels should hold their peace, our owne open, and manifest iniqui­ties will proclaime vs vnthankefull. Fraude in our houses, Drunkennesse in our streetes, Oppression in our feelds Adulterie in corners, Iniustice on seates, Impietie in our Temples, Rapine vpon our Temples, deuastation of our Temples; at least, of the meanes that God hath giuen them. These, these are the fruites, too many of [Page 36] vs returne for Gods mercies. Thus, thus doe wee adorne the Gospell.

The greatnesse of Gods kindnesse to vs, we striue to match with our vnkindnesse to God. He that in his owne person stood for our defence, and bore the heate and burden of the day for vs, hath this requital [...], to haue his cause put off to others. Wee dare not stand for his glory. Could we else brooke his holy dayes profaned, holy name abused, holy Church despised, his [...]e [...]ants impouerished; if we were as kind to him, as he is to vs?

Whereas euery man hath a Charge for Gods glory, we put it off from one to another. The poore man to the Rich, and sayes he should looke to these disorders: the Rich man to the Minister: the Minister after a hearty dehortation to the Magistrate. But still wickednesse holds vp the head, and the heate of rebellion is not qua­lyfied.

It is storyed of a Certaine King, that fighting a des­perate Battaile, for the recouerie of his Daughter, iniu­riously stolne from him; found ill successe, and the day vtterly against him. Till by the faythfull vallour of a strange Prince, disguised in the habit of a meane Soul­diers, (that pittied his losse, and bore loue to his Daug­ter) he recouered both her, and victorie: The Prince in­terposing himselfe to hazard of death, & many wounds, for the others redemption. Not long after this Prince re­ceiued some wrong concerning his Honour, which he deseruedly prized: He made his complaint to the King, and besought him to giue a just censure of his cause. The forgetfull King put him ouer to a Iudge. The Prince re­plyes; O King, when thou wast lost, I endangered my selfe for thy rescue: I did not bid another saue thee, but I saued thee my self. Loe, the skarres of those wounds I bore, to free thee and thy state from ineuitable ruine: And now my sute is before thee, dost thou shuffle me off to, another?

[Page 37] Such was our case; Sathan had stolne our deare daugh­ter, our soule: in vaine we labourd a recouerie: princi­palyties and Powers were against vs, weakenesse and wretchednesse on our sides. Christ the Sunne of God tooke pittie on vs: and though hee were an eternall Prince of Peace, disguised himselfe in the habite of a common Souldier; Induens formam serui, putting on him the likenesse of a Seruant, Psal. 2. 7. vndertooke this Warre against our two strong enemies; set himselfe betwixt vs and death, bore those woundes, which should haue lighted on vs. By no Angell, nor Saint; by no Gold or preci­ous Minerals, did hee redeeme vs; but by his owne grieuous sufferings. Now his Glory is in question: his Name, his Honour is abused, deare to him as his owne Maiestie: Wee stand by, and behold it; hee appeales to our censure, remembers vs of the Wounds, Passions, Sorrowes, hee endured for vs: Wee put him off from one to another, and let the cause of him that saued vs, fall to a losse. Who shall plead for our Ingratitude? Heauen and earth, Sunne and Starres, Orbes and Ele­ments, Angels and Deuills will cry shame vpon vs.

If we aske now, as the Wicked will at the latter day; Lord, Math 25. When saw wee thee hungry, and did not feed thee? When naked, and did not cloth thee? When was thy cause before vs, which wee defended not? I answere; any day, euery day. When wee heare Swearers wound and teare his holy Name in peeces: when wee see Idolaters giue his Honour to Carued or painted Blockes: When Ruffi­ans speake contemptibly of his holy rites; when his Saboths, Sacraments, word, Ministers are vilipended; our selues standing by with a guiltie silence. Oh which of vs hath not beene Guiltie of this Ingratitude?

It was the exprobation of Athens, that shee suffred those men to die in exile, ignominie, obliuion, that with their vertuous endeauours had reared her vp on the Pillars of Fame. Miltiades, Aristides, Solon, Phocion; Vbi [Page 38] vixerunt, Vbi iacent? Where liued they? where lye they? Their worthy Actes gaue glory to that Citie, and that Cittie couerd them with the inglorious dust of obscuri­tie. So the Lord Iesus had made vs liue that were dead, and we doe, what we can, to let his lining name dye a­mongst vs.

The Grecians had a Prouerbe amongst them, against them.

Pro meritis male tractarunt Agamemnona Gra [...]i. Aga­memnon for the Honour of Greece, had done great ser­uice to the conquest and subuersion o [...] Troy. And when he came home, was Slaine by his owne Wife Clitemnestra, by the helpe of Aegistus the adulterer. Christ loued vs as his Wife, endowed vs with all his owne Riches; Con­quers Troy for vs, subdues all our Enemies and retur­ning home, when he expects to finde peace, and kind entertainment in our hearts; we fall to vexing and wounding him; forsaking his loue, and cleauing to the world in a Cursed Adulterie. So

Dulcem pro meritis tractamus acerrime Christum., So bitterly doe we requite our sweete Sauiour, for his mercies.

Scipio had made Rome Lady of Affricke And comming home with Triumph ouer that and Hanibal, the Senate banished him into a bace village. where dying he com­manded this sculpture to be engrauen on his Tombe. Ingrata Patria, ne ossa quidem mea habes. Vnthankfull Countrey, thou hast not so much as my very bones. Many and mightie deliuerances hath the Lord gi­uen vs.

From furious Amal [...]kites, that came with a Nauy as they bragg'd, able to fetch away our Land in Turues.

From an angry and raging Pestilence that turned the popular Streetes of this Cittie into solitude.

From a Treason wherein men conspired with De­uils: for Hell was brought vp to their coniurations; [Page 39] and a whole brewing of that salt Sulphure was tunn'd vp in Barrels for vs to drinke.

Behold, and kisse the feete of his Mercie, wee are de­liuered by Iesus Christ from all these miseries and mis­chiefes. Oh let vs not voluntarily call vpon ourselues, a worse then all these, our owne Vnthankefulnesse. Let not Christ say, Ingrat [...] Anglia, ne ossa quidem mea habes: Vn­thankefull England, thou hast not so much as (my bones) the prints, and sensible impressions of these fauours in thy memorie. Thou hast shut thy Sauiour out of thy minde, and buried him in neglectfull obliuion. Take heed, least in a iust quittance, hee exclude thee from his thoughts, and forget to do thee any more good: Least he take away his Name, his Glory, his Light, his Gospell, from thee; and bestow it on those vnchristned borders, where now his great Maiestie is not adored.

How iustly might hee leaue vs in our former wret­chednesse? There is a pretty Fable, the morall of it will profitably fitte our present Discourse. A Serpent acci­dentally inclosed, betwixt two great Stones, that hee could no way es extricate himselfe; made his moane to a man passing by to deliuer him. The man with much force remooued the Stone, and set him free. The Serpent now, feeling his libertie, thus bespake his deliuerer. I confesse, you haue done mee a kindnesse in helping me out, being almost famished: But now I am out, my hun­ger is so violent, that I must needes take the benefite of my fortune, and deuoure you. The man vrged his Ingra­titude; but to no purpose, for the Serpent would eate him. Instantly hee spied an Asse comming, and desi­red the Serpent to put it to his iudgement. The Serpent was contented, knowing that the Asse durst not but condemne the man for his prey, least hee endangered himselfe. The case was pleaded on both sides; the Man vrging his kindnesse, the Serpent his hunger: But the Asse gaue iudgement on the Serpents side; who is now [Page 40] ready to set on the Man. Hereupon flyes by an Eagle, to whom the Man appealed for Iudgement in this con­trouersie. The Eagle hearing the cause debated, deman­ded of the Serpent, if hee could haue freed himselfe, without the mans ayde? The Serpent answered affirma­tiuely, and sayd, it was onely his policie, by this tricke to get the Man within his reach. The Eagle desires to see the place: the Man shewes it. The Eagle bids the Serpent goe into the hole againe for more certaine de­monstration. The Serpent doth so; and the Man re­mooues the other Stone, as it was before, and reinclo­seth the Serpent. The Eagle now bids the Serpent de­liuer himselfe: Hee replied, hee could not. Then (quoth the Eagle) this is my iudgement: The next time the Man lets thee foorth, doe thou take him for thy prey, and eate him.

It cannot be denyed, but wee were once surer in Sa­tans hold, then this Serpent is imagin'd to be betweene the Stones. The Man Christ Iesus in pittie redeemed vs, and gaue vs libertie: Wee are no sooner out, but we fall to deuoure him; to make his poore members, his poore Ministers our Prey; to wound his Name with Blasphemies, to steale his Goods with Sacriledge; and to giue his Honour either to other Creatures, or to our owne Wittes [...] as if we could haue deliuered our selues. Let any be Iudge but the Asse, our owne flesh & blood; and we are sure to be condemned for Ingratitude But if Christ should in his Iustice, put vs againe into our for­mer hole; leaue vs in the power of Satan, Who would not say with the Eagle, The next time hee sets vs free, let vs take him for our bootie, and deuo [...]e our Re­deemer.

It is recorded of Alexander, an Emperour famoused for his liberalitie: and of Iulius Caesar, no lesse commen­ded for his patience: that the former would neuer giue, nor the other forgiue an Ingratefull person. Wretched [Page 41] were wee, if the Lord should with-hold from vs either of these Mercies. If he should shut vp the Flud-gates of his Bountie, and cease giuing: or locke vp the Treasure-house of his Mercie, and leaue forgiuing. If hee should neither Donare bona sua, nor Condonare mala nostra; woe vnto vs: Wee might curse our Births, or rather our In­gratitude.

Wee hope still, God will be mercifull to vs for Christ his sake: So God of vs, hee hopes wee will be obedient to him for Christ his sake. Petimusque, damus (que) vicissim: As wee expect, God should saue vs for the merites of his Sonne: So God expectes, wee should serue him for the merites of his Sonne. If the bitter sufferings, and heart-blood of Iesus, cannot get of vs the forbearance of Iniquitie; How shall it get for vs the forgiuenesse of Iniquitie? As wee intreat God, for his Mercie, to bee good to vs: So God intreats vs, for his Mercie, to bee good to him; and therein most good to our selues.

O let that Goodnesse, that reconciles vs both, pre­uaile with vs both. With God, to blesse vs by his boun­tifulnesse: With vs, to blesse God by our Thankefulnesse. What should I say? For Iesus Christ his sake, let vs be Thankefull. It is a good thing to giue thankes to the Lord, saith our Psalmist. Psal. 92. [...]. Good for the vertue of the action: Good for the excellencie of the obiect: Good for the happi­nesse of the retribution.

For the Action; it is better to Blesse, then to curse. Rom. 12.Rom. 12. 14. Blesse them that persecute you: Blesse, and curse not.

For the Obiect; our Prayses are sung to a most glori­ous God: one that is Beautie it selfe; and onely worthy to inhabite the prayses of Israel. Psal. 27. 4.

For the Retribution: If wee blesse God, God will blesse vs: As one notes, that all Dauids Psalmes, were either Hosanna, Gueuat. or Halleluiah; that is, God blesse, or God be blessed. Either a Prayer for Mercie, or a Prayse for Mer­ci [...]. Ascendat [...]rgo gratia, vt descendat gratia: Fem. For, Grati­arum [Page 42] cessat decursus, vbi recursus non fuerit: Grace will not come downe, vnles Gratitude goe vp. All Riuers runne backe to the Sea, whence they were first deriued.

Let vs send vp our gifts to God, that hee may sende downe his gifts to vs. Let vs not Vti datis, tanquam innatis: But remember that we hold all in Capite, and are sutors to the Court of Heauen; worthy to forfet our estates, if we pay not the quit-rent of Thankefulnesse; acknowledge not Gratitude and Obedience.

God will not long Catulis indulg [...]r [...]. Luporum, pamper the Wolues whelps, as the Prouerbe: But he will forget them, that forget him. Wee haue a saying from Aristotle. Nec in puerum, nec in senem collocandu [...] esse beneficium: That our beneficence should not be fixed vpon a Child, or an Old man: for the Child before he comes to age, will forget it; and the Old man will die, before he can requite it. Are wee all either Children or Old men, that wee either not remember, or not returne Thankefulnes to God for his mercies?Psal 148. 12. Yet saith the Psalmist: Old men, and Chil­dren, prayse the Name of the Lord.

With him let vs then say;Psal. 116. 12. What shall we render to the Lord, for all his Benefites towardes vs? Dauid was inward with God; yet he studied what Present he should offer him. Hee lights vpon that, which hee was onely able to giue, and God most willing to receaue; Thankefulnesse. I will take the Cuppe of Saluation, and blesse the Name of the Lord. Pray wee then to GOD, to giue vs Thankefull­nesse, that wee may giue it him. For of our selues wee haue not what to giue, vnlesse the Lord giue vs, where­with to giue.

Let vs Shew foorth his louing kindnesse in his Morning, and his faythfulnesse euery Night. Psal. 92. 2. Morning and Euening let vs prayse him, that hath made the Day for our labour, and the Night for our rest: And that not ex vsu, magis quam sensu, but with a heartie humilitie Giue vnto the Lord the Glory due to his Name: Ps [...]l. 96. 8. Bring your Sacrifi [...]e, and come into [Page 43] his Courts. Let no opportunitie steale by neglected: but Reioyce in the Lord, yee righteous: and giue thankes at the re­membrance of his Holynesse. Psal. 97. 12. No Garment better becomes you; though you haue almost put it out of fashion, then to Prayse the Lord: For,Psal. 33. 1. Prayse is comely for the righteous.

Thanksgiuing is the best Sauce to our Meate; and bles­seth all the Dishes on the Table.Deut. 8. 10. When thou hast eaten, and art full, thou shalt blesse the Lord thy God. Whether we eate or drinke, worke or rest, let vs set that golden Poesie on all our labours,Zach. 4. 7. which the Angel to Zachay gaue of the Head-stone: Grace, grace vnto it. Hee spake pleasant truth, that said: He that riseth from the Table without giuing of thanks, goes his way, & owes for his Ordinary. He is vnthankefull, that is vnmindfull of a benefite: vnthankeful that requites it not: vnthankefull that dissembles it: but most vnthankefull that denies it. Though wee cannot re­quite Gods fauour, we will neither forget it, nor dissem­ble it, nor denie it.

I haue purposely been liberall in this doctrine: neither beg I pardon for prolixitie: It was necessary for the Text; no lesse for our times. God hath shewed vs his Light, and wee bring foorth the workes of Darknesse.

We say, we al are thankefull. Our Words will not passe with God, without our Deeds. Our Words are so fickle and false, that wee dare not trust one another without manuscrips: Scriueners must be employed in al our com­merce. And shall God take our words, with whom we haue broke so often? No beloued, wee must sette our hands to it: and to speake to our capacitie in the Citie; seale it, and deliuer it, as our act and deed: wee must worke that which is good.

I appeale from mens Lippes, to their Liues: Verba rebus probate, sayth Seneca: The forme, the life, the Soule of Thankefulnesse is Obedience. Wee, like blinde Isaac, cannot see your Hearts; but say, Let mee feele thee. my sonne. If your Liues be rugged, like the Hands of Esau, [Page 44] we dare not trust your Voyce, for the Voyce of Iacob. If your deedes be rough, and sensible of rebellion, in vaine you tell vs, you are Thankefull. It is somewhat that you Enter into his Courts, Psal. 100. 4. and speake good of his Name: But you must also doe good for his Name, and you shall be blessed. I haue begun, and will end with a Psalme: O come then,Psal. 95 1, 23. let vs fing vnto the Lord; let vs reioyce to the Rocke of our saluation. Let ve come before his presence with Thankesgiuing, and make a ioyfull noyse to him, with Psalmes. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King aboue all Gods. God is the Lord, that hath shewed vs Light: binde the Sacri­fice with Cords euen to the Hornes of the Altar.

FINIS.
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POLITICKE HVNTING: OR, A Discouerie of the cunning Esauites of our times. And, Plaine Dealing: or, A president of Honesty.

The Text. Genes. 25. 27.‘Esau was a cunning Hunter, and a man of the field: and Iacob was a plaine man, dwelling in Tents.’

WHen God hath a long while deferred his actuall Blessings to the importunate suppliants, and extended their desires; at last hee doubles on them the expected Mercie: So hee recompenceth the dilation with the dilatati­on and enlarging of his fauours. Rebecca had been long barren; and now the Lord opens her Wombe, and sets her a teeming, she conceaues two at once.

It is obserueable, that many holy Women, ordained to be the mothers of men specially famous and worthy, were yet long barren. Sara the wife of Abraham, that bore Isaac: Rebeccah the wife of Isaac that bore Iacob: Rahel the wife of Iacob, that bore Ioseph: Anna the mother of Samuel, Elizabeth the mother of Iohn the Baptist: Hereof may be giuen some reasons. [Page 44] [...] [Page 45] [...]

[Page 46] 1. One Chrysost. Hom. 49. in Gen. giues, Vt ex mirabili partu stirilium[?], praestrueretur fides partui virginis: That by the miraculous Child-bearing of barren Women, a way might be made to beleeue the birth of Christ by a Virgin.

2. To shew that Israel was multiplyed, not by N [...]tu­rall succession, Q [...]est 7 [...]. in Gen. but by Grace. So Theodoret.

3. To exercise the Fayth; Hope, & Patience of such as notwithstanding a Promise, had their issue delayed.

But now Isaa [...] prayes, God heares, Rebecca conceaues: she conceaues a double burden; a paire of Sonnes strug­ling in her wombe. Her body is no lesse disquieted with this plenty, then her minde was before with the lacke of Children. Esau and Iacob are borne: brethren they are, not more neere in birth, then different in disposition: For Esau was a cunning Hunter, a man of the Field: but Iacob was a plaine man, dwelling in Tents.

These two are the Subiect of my Discourse: wherein I will regard their Nomina, Omina; Names, and Procee­dings. Their Names, Esau and Iacob: note their condi­tions for opposite. The one a cunning Hunter: the other, a Plaine man. Of both whom I will be bold to speake literally, and liberally: literally, of their indiuiduall per­sons: liberally, as they, were figures and significations of future things.

For herein is not onely regardable a meer [...] Historie, but a Mysterie also. And as S. Paul applied the true Sto­rie of Isaac the sonne of the free, and Ish [...]ael the some of the bondwom [...]; that by these thinges was another thing meant Gal. 4. 24. So I may conclude of these two Bro­thers in the same manner. ver 29. As then, hee that was borne after the Flesh, persecuted him that was borne after the Spirit; euen so is it now. So it is now, and so it shall be to the end of the world.

A Discouerie of the cunning Esauites of our times.

Genes. 25. 27.‘Esau was a cunning Hunter, and a man of the field:’

I Must speake first of the first borne Esau. It is probable, hee was called Esau in regard of his manner of birth. ver. 25. Hee that came out first, was redde all ouer like an hayrie Garment: and they called his name Esau.

Some deriue it from the Hebrew word, Quasah, which signifieth, To make: and taken passiuely, it implies a Perfect man. For he came forth redde, and hayrie: Redde, to betoken his bloody disposition: Hayrie, to shew his sauage and wilde Nature. Other Children are borne with Haire onely on the Head, Eye-lids, and Browes: but hee was hairy all ouer; promising extraordinarie crueltie.

Hee had three names. 1. Esau, because hee was com­plete. 2. Edom, because he was red of complexion; or because he coueted the red Pottage.Perer. 3. Seir, that is, Hayre.

You heare his Name, listen to his Nature. Gods Spirit giues him this Character: Hee was a cunning Hunter, &c. A Name doth not constitute a Nature: yet in holy Writ, very often, the Nature did fulfill the Name, and answere it in a future congruence.

The Character hath two Branches: noting his

  • Dition.
  • Condition.

His Condition or Disposition was Hunting: his Dition, [Page 48] Portion, or Segniory was the Field: he was a Field-man.

The first marke of his Character is, A cunning Hunter. Wherein wee haue expressed his

  • Power.
  • Policie.

His Strength, & his Sleight: his Brawne, and his Braine. His Might; hee was an Hunter. His Witte; hee was a Cunning Hunter.

His Strength: A Hunter.

Hunting, in it selfe, is a delight lawfull and lawdable: and may well be argued for, from the disposition that God hath put into creatures. Hee hath naturally incli­ned one kind of Beastes to pursue another, for mans profite and pleasure. Hee hath giuen the Dogge a secret instinct to follow the Hare, the Hart, the Foxe, the Bore: as if hee would direct a man by the finger of Nature to exercise those qualities, which his diuine Wisedome created in them.

There is no Creature but may teach a good soule one step toward his Creator. The World is a Glasse, where­in we may contemplate the eternall power and maiesty of God. For the inuisible things of him, from the creation of the World, Rom. 1. 20. are clearely seene, being vnderstood by the thinges that are made, euen his eternall power and God-head. It is that great Booke, of so large a Character, that a man may runne and read it. Yea, euen the simplest man that can­not read, may yet spell out of this Booke, that there is a GOD. Euery Shepheard hath this Calendar, euery Plough-man this ABC. What that French Poet diuine­ly sung, is thus as sweetly english'd,

The World's a Schoole; where in a gen [...]rall Story,
God alwayes reades dumbe Lectures of his Glory.

But to our purpose: This practise of Hunting hath in it. 1. Recreation. 2. Benefite.

Delight. Though man by his rebellion against his [Page 49] Creator, forfeited the Charter which he had in the Crea­tures: and hereon Adams punishment was, that hee should worke for that Sudore vultus, which erst sprung vp naturally beneficis Creatoris: Yet this lapse was reco­uered in Christ to beleeuers, and a new Patent was sea­led them in his Blood; that they may vse them not only ad necessitatem vitae, but also in delectationem animi. So God giues man not onely Bread and Wine to strengthen his Heart, but euen Oyle to refresh his Countenance. Let thy Garments bee alwayes W [...]ite, Eccle. 9. 8. and let thy Head lacke no Oynt­ment. When Salomon had found men pulling on them­selues vnnecessary vexations in this world, and yet not buying Peace in Heauen with their trouble on Earth; hee concludes: Then I commended Mirth, Eccle. 8. 15. because a man hath no better thing vnder the Sunne, then to Eate, and to Drinke, and to be Merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour, the day, of his life that God giueth him vnder the Sunne.

But there is a Liberty, the bounds whereof because mens affections cannot keepe, it is better their vnder­standings knew not: For, Melius est nescire centrum, quam non tenere circulum. I may say of too many, as Se­neca: Nihilfaelicitati eorum deest, nisi moderatio eius: They haue happinesse enough, if they could moderate it. Nothing is Magis proprium materiae, (say Philosophers) more proper to matter, then to flow; nisi a forma sistitur, vnles the forme refraine and stay it. Nothing is more peculiar to Man, then to run out, and to erre exorbi­tantly, if Grace direct not.

Men deale with Recreation, as some Trauellers doe with anothers Grounds: they begge passage through them in Winter, for auoydance of the Miry wayes; and so long vse it on sufferance, that at last they plead Pre­scription, and hold it by Custome. God allowes De­lights to succour our infirmitie, and we sawcily turne them to habituall Practises. Therefore Salomon con­demnes [Page 50] it in some, as he commendes it in others. Reioyce in thy youth, Eccle. 11. 9. and follow thy vanities: but know, that for all this, God will bring thee into Iudgement. And our Sauiour denounceth a Vae ridentibus, for they that will laugh, when they should weepe; shall mourne, when they might haue reioyced.

Wee often read Christ weeping, neuer laughing: ta­king his creatures for sustentation, not for recreation. Indeed hee afforded vs this benefite; and what wee had lost, as it were ex postliminio, recouered to vs. But it were strange, that Haeres succedens in defuncti locum, should doe more, then the Testator euer did himselfe, or allowed by his graunt: Or that Seruants and Sinners should challenge that, which was not permitted to their Mai­ster and Sauiour. But thus wee preuent our libertie, as the Pharises did the Law, in sensum reprobum. These Hunt, but keepe not within Gods Pale; the circum­ferent limits, wherein hee hath mounded and bounded our libertie.

Benefite. Recreations haue also their profitable vse, if rightly vndertaken.

1. The Health is preserued by a moderate Exercise. Sedentariam agentes vitam; They that liue a Sedentarie life, so find it.

2. The Body is prepared and fitted by these sportiue, to more serious labours, when the hand of Warre shall set them to it.

3. The Minde, wearied with grauer employments, hath thus some coole respiration giuen it, & sent backe to the seruice of God with a reuiued alacritie.

His Policie. A Cunning Hunter.

But wee haue hunted too long with Esaus Strength, let vs learne his Sleight: A cunning Hunter. Hunting requires tantum artis, quantum martis: Plaine Force is not enough, there must be an accession of Fraude. There [Page 51] is that common sense in the Creatures, to auoyde their pursuers. Fishes will not be taken with an empty hooke: nor Birdes with a bare Pipe, though it goe sweetly: nor Beastes with Briareus strength onely, though he had an hundred hands. Heere Actus pollentior armis. Fishes must haue a Baite, Birdes a Nette; and hee that takes Beastes, must be a cunning Hunter. Can a Bird fall into a Snare vpon the earth, Amos. 3. 5. where no Ginne is for him? Nay, often both Vises & Deuices, Toyles and Toylings, Strength and Stratagems, are all too little.

A cunning Hunter.

It appeares, that Esaus delight was not to surprise tame Beastes, that did him seruice; but wilde: For, a­gainst the former, there needed no such cunning. How easily is the Oxe brought to the Yoake, the Horse to the Bitte, the Lambe to the Slaughter? His intention and contention was against wild and noxious creatures.

This Obseruation teacheth vs to doe no violence to the Beastes, that serue vs. Salomon stampes this Marke on the good mans Fore-head, that hee is mercifull to his Beast. And the Law of God commanded, that The mouth of the Oxe should not be mussled, that treadeth out the Corne. God opened the mouth of an Asse to reprooue the fol­ly of Balaam; who strucke her vndeseruedly for not going forward, when Gods Angell stood ad oppositum.

Those sports are then intollerable, wherein we vexe those Creatures, that spend their strengths for our bene­fites. God therefore often iustly suffers them to know their owne power, and to reuenge themselues on our ingratitude. The Romane Southsayers diuined; that when Bulles, Dogges, and Asses, (Beastes created for vse and obedience) grew madd on a sodaine, Bellum ser­uile imminebat, it boded some seruile Warre and Insur­rection. But wee may truly gather, that when God [Page 52] suffers these seruiceable and domesticall Creatures, to make Mutenie and Rebellion against vs; that God is angry with our sinnes: and that they no otherwise shake off our seruice, then wee haue shaken off the ser­uice of God. So long as wee keepe our Couenant with the Lord, he makes a League for vs, with the Beastes of the field: but when wee fall from our Aleagiance, they fall from theirs; and (without wonder) quit our Re­bellion against God, with their Rebellion against vs. Wee see what wee get by running from our Maister; wee loose our Seruants.

But if they that flie from God by Contempt, shall thus speed, What shall become of them that flie vpon God by Contumacie? If wicked Nabal could blame the Seruants, qui fugiunt Dominos, that run from their Mai­sters; how would he condemne them, qui persequuntur, that run vpon them with violence? But if we band our selues against God, hee hath his Hostes to fight against vs. Fowles in the ayre, Fishes in the sea, Beastes on the earth, Stones in the street, will take his part against vs. So long doth the Henne clocke her Chickens, as shee takes them to be hers: but if they flie from the defence of her Winges, she leaues them to the prey of the Kite. So long as wee obey GOD, Heauen and Earth shall obey vs; and euery Creature shall doe vs seruice: But if we turne Outlawes to him, wee are no longer in the cir­cle of his gracious custodie and protection.

A cunning Hunter.

AS Cunning as hee was to take Beastes, hee had litle cunning to saue himselfe. How foolish was hee, to part with his Birthright for a messe of Lentile Pottage? And since there is a necessary discussion of his Folly, as well as of his Cunning, I will take here iust occasion to demonstrate it: and that in fiue Circumstances.

[Page 53] 1. Hee had a rauenous and intemperate desire. This appeares by three phrases he vsed.ver. 30. 1. Feed mee, I pray thee; Satisfie, saturate, satiate mee: or, let mee swallow at once, as some read it: The words of an appetite in­sufferable of delay. 2. To shew his eagernesse, hee dou­bles the word for haste: With that Red, with that Red Pottage. Red was his colour, Red his desire: Hee coue­ted Red Pottage, hee dwelt in a red soyle; called thereon, Idumea: and in the Text, Therefore was his name called Edom. 3. Hee sayes, I am faint: and ver. 32. at the poynt to die, if I haue it not: Like some longing soules, that haue so weake a hand ouer their appetites, that they must die, if their humour be not fulfilled. Wee may here inferre two Obseruations.

1. That Intemperance is not onely a filthy, but a foo­lish sinne. It is impossible, that a rauenous Throate should lie neere a sober Braine: There may be in such a man, vnderstanding and reason; but he neither heares that, nor followes this. A Citie may haue good Lawes, though none of them be kept. But as in sleepers and mad-men, there is Habitus rationis, non vsus et actus: Such men haue reason,Sen. ep. 21. ad Lucil. but want the actiue vse. Venter prae­cepta non audit: The belly hath no eares. Though you would write such mens Epitaphs whiles they are liuing, yet you cannot;Id. ep. 60. for Mortem suam antecesserunt, they haue antedated their death, and buried themselues aliue: as the French prouerbe sayes, They haue digged their Graue with their Teeth. The Philosopher passing through Vacia the Epicures grounds, sayd; Hic suus est Vacia: not heere hee liues, but heere hee lies; as it were dead and sepulcherd. The parcimonie of ancient times hath been admirable. The Arcadians liued on Acornes: the Argiues on Apples:Elian [...]. hist. lib. 3. the Athenians on Figges: the Tyrinthians on Peares: the Indians on Canes: the Carma­nes on Palmes: the Sauromatians on Millet: the Persians nasturtio, with Cresses: And Iacob heere made daintie [Page 54] of Lentil [...]s.

2. That a man may epicurise on course fare: For Lentile Pottage was no extraordinarie fine dyet. But as a man may be a Crassus in his Purse, yet no Cassius in his Pottes: So on the contrary, an other may be (as it is said of Iob) Poore to a prouerbe; yet be withall, as volup­tuous as Esau. Men haue talem dentem, qualem mentem: Such an Appetite as they haue Affection. And Esau may be as great a Glutton in his Pottage, as those greedy Dogges. Esa. 56. 12. (Esay 56.) that fill themselues w [...]th strong Wines: or those fatte Bulles (Am 6.)Amos. 6. 4. that eate the Lambes and Calues out of the Stall. Thus the poore may sinne as much in their Throate, as the rich: and be Epicures tam Latè, though not tam lautè, in as immoderate, though not so daintie Fare. Indeede Labour in many bodies requires a more plentifull repast, then ease: and the sedentarie Gentleman needes not so much Meate, as his drudging Hind: But in both this Rule should be obserued; Quan­tum naturae sufficiat, non quantum gulae placeat; Not what will please the Throate, but what will content Nature: to eate what a man should, not what hee would. The Poore man that loues delicate Cheare, shall not bee Wealthy: and the Rich man that loues it, shall not be Healthy. As cunning as Esau was, heere is one instance of his folly, An intemperate Appetite.

2. His Folly may be argued, from his base estimati­on of the Birthright; that he would so lightly part from it, and on so easie conditions, as Pottage. It seemes, hee did measure it onely by the pleasures and commodities of this life, which were affoorded him by it. ver. 32. I am ready to die: and what profite shall this Birthright doe m [...]e? Which words import a limitation of it to this present World, as if it could doe him no good afterwards. Whereupon the Hebrews gather, that he denyed the Re­surrection. [Page 55] For this cause the Apostle brands him with the marke of Prophanesse. Heb. 12. 16. Heb. 12. that he changed a Spi­rituall Blessing for a Temporall Pleasure.

And what, O yee Esauites, Worldlings, are momen­tany Delights compared to Eternall? What is a messe of Gruell, to the Supper of Glory? The Belly is plea­sed the Soule is lost. Neuer was any Meate, except the forbidden Fruite, so dearely bought, as this Broth of Iacob: A Curse followed both their feedings. There is no Temporall thing without the trouble, though it be farre more worthy then the Lentile-Pottage. Hath a man good things, hee feares to forgoe them: and when hee must, could either wish they had not been so good, or a longer possession? Hath he euill, they bring griefe; and hee either wisheth them good, or to be rid of them? So that good things trouble vs with feare, euill with sor­row. Those in the future, these in the present. Those, be­cause they shall end: these, because they doe not end. Nothing then can make a man truly-happy, but Eter­nitie. Pleasures may last a while in this world; but they wil grow old with vs▪ if they doe not die before vs. And the Staffe of Age is no Pole of eternitie. Hee then hath too much of the sensuall and Prophane blood of Esau in him, that will sell euerlasting Birthrights and Com­forts, for transient Pleasures.

3. Another Argument of his folly, was Ingratitude to God; who had in mercie vouchsafed him, (though but by a few minutes) the priuiledge of Primogeniture: Wherewith Diuines hold, that the Priesthood was also conueyed. The Father of the Family exercised it du­ring his life; and after his decease the first borne succee­ded in that with the Inheritance. And could Esau be ingratefull to a God so gracious? Or could he possibly haue aspired to a higher dignitie? Wretched Vnthank­fulnesse, how iustly art thou branded for a Prodegie in [Page 56] Nature? There are too many, that in a sullen neglect, ouerlooke all Gods fauours, for the want of one of their Affections long after. Non tam agunt gratias de Tribuna­tu, quam queruntur, quod non sunt euecti in Consulatum: It is nothing with them to be of the Court, except they be also of the Councell.

4. His Obstinacie taxeth his Follie; that after cold blood, leasure to thinke of the Treasure he sold, and di­gestion of his Pottage, hee repented not of his Rashnes; But ver. 34. Hee did eate, and drinke, and rose vp, and went his way: Filled his Belly, rose vp to his former Customes, and went his way without a Quid faeci? Therefore it is added, Hee despised his Birthright. Hee followed his Plea­sures without any interception of Sorrow, or interrup­tion of Conscience. His whole life was a circle of sin­full Customes; and not his Birthrights losse can put him out of them. A circular thing implies a perpetuitie of motion, according to Mathematicians. It begins from all parts alike, et in seipso definit, endes absolutely in it selfe, without any poynt or scope obiectuall to moue to. Earth was Esaus home; hee lookes after no o­ther felicitie: therefore goes his way with lesse thought of an heauenly Birthright, then if hee had missed the Deare hee hunted. It is wicked to sell Heauenly things at a great rate of Worldly: but it is most wretched to vilipend them.

5. Lastly, his Perfidious nature appeareth, that though hee had made an absolute Conue [...]ance of his Birthright to Iacob, and sealed the Deed with an Oath; yet hee seemed to make but aiest of it, and purposed in his heart not to performe it. Therefore chap. 27. 41. [...] said in his heart, the dayes of mourning for my Father are [...]t hand, then will I s [...]ay my br [...]ther Iacob. Hee tarryed but [...] the Funerall of his Father, and then resolued to sende [Page 57] his Brother after him; as Cain did Abel▪ because hee was more accepted. It is hard to iudge, whether he was a worse Sonne or a Brother: Hee hopes for his Fathers death, and purposeth his Brothers; and vowes to shed bloud in stead of Teares.

Perhappes from his example, those desperate Wret­ches of England drew their instuction. They had sold their Birthright, and the Blessing which Iesus Christ, like old Isac dying, bequeathed in his Will to all belee­uers, and all the interest in the truth of the Gospell, to the Pope for a few Pottage, red Pottage, dyed in their owne blood for seeking to colour it with the blood of Gods Annoynted, and of his Saints. And now in a ma­licious rancour, seeing the Children of Truth to enioy as much outward peace, as they were conscious of an inward vexation: they expected but Diem Luctus, the dayes of Mourning, when God should translate our late Queene of eternally-blessed memorie, from a King­dome on Earth, to a better in Heauen: and then hoped, like Busterds in a Fallow field, to rayse vp their heauy Fortunes, [...]' [...] turbinis, by a Whirlewind of Commotion. But our Pacator Orbis, (which was the reall attribute of Constantine) beguiled their enuious Hopes. And as Pa­t [...]rculus said of the Romane Empire after Augustus death, when there was such hope of Enemies, feare of Friends, expectation of trouble in all; Tanta suit vnius viri Ma­iestas, vt nec bonis, neque contra malos opus foret armis: Such was the maiestie of one man, that his very presence tooke away all vse of Armes. Our royall Iacob preclu­ded all Stratagems, preuented all the Plots of these ma­licious Esauites, and setled vs both in the fruition of the Gospell, and peace with it. But in meane time, God did punish their persidious machinations; as hee will doe Periurie and Treason, wheresouer hee finde them. For hee will naile vpon the Head of the Periurer, his Oath trayterously broken.

[Page 58] IN all these circumstances it appeareth, that though Esau was subtile to take Beastes; hee had no cunning to hunt out his owne Saluation. From all which scatte­red Stones brought togeather let mee raise this building of Instruction.

The wisest for the World are most commonly Fooles for Celestiall blessings. Wicked men can Sentire quae sunt carnis, not, Sapere quae sunt spiritus, Sauour things of the Flesh, not of the Sp [...]rit. The Prophet Ieremy com­pounds both these, and shewes, how Wisedome and Folly may concurre in one man. Ier. 4.Ier. 4. 22. They are Wise to doe euill: but to doe good they haue no knowledge. Let them Warre, they haue their Stratagems: Let them plot in Peace, they haue their Policies. Hunting, they haue Nettes: Fowling Ginnes: Fishing Baites: not so much as euen in Husbandry, but the professors haue their reaches: they know, which way the Market goes, which way it will goe. Your Tradesmen haue their Mysteries: Misteries indeed, for the mysterie of Ini­quitie is in them: they haue a stocke of good Wordes, to put off a stocke of badde Wares: in their particular qualities they are able to schoole Machiuell.

But draw them from their Center Earth, and out of their Circumference Worldly policies; and you haue not more simple Fooles: They haue no acquaintance with Gods Statutes, and therefore no maruell, if they misiudge Vices for Vertues; as Zebul told Gaal, that hee mistooke Vmbras montium, pro capitibus hominum. A man may easily run his soule vpon the rockes of Rebellion, whiles he neither lookes to the Card of Conscience, nor regardes the Compasse of Fayth.

A man of the Field.

WEe haue taken the first branch of his Character, the maine proportion of his Picture: Hee was a cunning Hunter. There is another colour added: Hee was a man of the Fielde. But because I take it for no o­ther then an explanation of the former attribute, an ex­position of the Proposition, sauing it hath a little larger extent, I doe no more but name it.

Wee doe not thinke, because hee is called, A man of the Field, that therefore hee was a Husbandman: but as the Septuagint call him, A Field-man, in regard that hee was continually conuersant in the Field: There was his sport, there was his heart. Therefore (ver. 28.) did Isaac loue Esau, because he did eate of his Venison: Hee loued his Venison, not his Conditions. Some would read it thus, Because Venison was in his mouth; and so turnes his Hunting into a Metaphore: as if by insinu­ation hee wound himselfe into the fauour of Isaac: But the other reading is better; sauing that by the way, wee may giue a reprehension to such Mouth-hunters.

If you would know who they are: they are the Flat­terers. Of whom wee may say, as Huntsmen of their Dogges, They are Well-mouth'd; or rather, Ill-mouthd▪ For an ordinary Dogges byting doth not ranckle so sore as their licking. Of all Dogges they are best likened to Spanyels; but that they haue a more ve­nemous tongue: They will fawne, and fleere, and leape vp, and kisse their Maisters hand: but all this while they doe but hunt him; and if they can spring him once, you shall heare them quest instantly, and either present them to the Falcon, or worrey and prey on them themselues: perhaps not so much for their flesh, as for their Fethers. For they loue not Dominos, but Dominorum; not their Maisters Good, but their Maisters Goods.

[Page 60] The golden Asse got into sumptuous Trappinges, thinkes hee hath as many Friends, as hee hath Beastes comming about him: One commendes his Snoute for sayrer then the Lyons; an other his Skinne for richer then the Leopards; an other his Foote for swifter then the Harts; a fourth his Teeth for whiter and more pre­cious then the Elephants; a last, his Breath for sweeter then the Ciuet-beastes: And it is wonder▪ if some doe not make him beleeue, hee hath Hornes, and those stronger then Bulles, and more vertuous then the Vni­cornes. All this while they doe but hunt him for his Trappings; vncase him, and you shall haue them baffle and kicke him.Prou. 19. 4. This doth Salomon insinuate, Prou. 19. Riches gather many Friends: But the Poore is seperated from his Neighbours. Hee sayes not the Rich man, but Riches. It is the Money, not the Man, they hunt.

The Great-one bristles vp himselfe, and conceats himselfe higher by the head then all the rest; and is proud of many Friends. Alas, these Dogges d [...]e but hunt the Bird of Paradise for his Fethers: These Waspes doe but hoouer about the Gally-pot, because there is Hony in it. The proud Flie sitting vpon the Charriot-wheele, which hurried with violence huff'd vp the Sand gaue out, that it was shee, which made all that glo­rious dust. The Asse carrying the Egiptian Goddesse, [...]well'd with an opinion that all those crouches, cryings, and obeysances, were made to him: But it is the Case, not the Carcase, they gape for. So may the chased Stagge boast how many Hounds hee hath attending him: They attende indeed, as Rauens a dying Beast: Acteon found the kind truth of their attendance. They runne away as Spiders from a decaying House; or as the Cuckoe, they sing a scuruie note for a moneth in Summer, and are gone in Iune or Iuly: sure enough be­fore the Fall. These Hunters are gone; let them goe: For they haue brought mee a litle from the strictnesse [Page 61] and directnesse of my intended speach. But as a Physi­tian comming to cur [...], doth sometimes receiue some of his Patients infection: So I haue been led to hunt a litle wide, to find out these cunning Hunters.

Bee pleas'd to obserue two generall Notes, and then I will come to the Application.

1. These two Brethren were borne togeather, were brought vp togeather; yet how great difference was there in their composition of Bodyes, in their disposi­tion of Mindes, in their euents of Life; or as they say, in their Fortunes?

1. For Bodyes: One was rough and Hairy, the other was smooth and Plaine. This is seldome seene in Chil­dren begot and borne of the same Parents; but seldom [...] or neuer in two borne at one birth. And wee may goe so farre with the Physiognomer to say, That Complex­ion (though not guides,) yet inclines the inwarde Dis­position.

2. For Disposition of Minde; this Text shewes a wide and opposite difference: Esau was a cunning Hun­ter, a man of the Field: But Iacob a plaine man, dwelling in Tents. And Gregory obserues from this example,Lib. 5. moral the re­motenesse or contrarietie of Worldlings & Holy mens delights. Men of the World hunt after the pleasures of the World as Esau: Men of Grace giue themselues to the contemplation and studie of Vertue, as Iacob.

3. For Euents or Successe in this World, there was such Distance, as greater could not be imagined: For it is heere sayd, the Elder shall scrue the Younger. The priuiledge of Primogeniture belonged to Esau; yet both that, and the Blessing went to Iacob. If among vs, the eldest Sonne sell all his Lands to a younger Brother, many are ready to blesse his Starres, and to say, Hee is borne to better Fortunes. But this Presiedent will besot [Page 62] that speach: diuers things are heere figured.

1. Literally heere is intended, that the Idumeans, the seed of Es [...]u, should be subiect to the Israelites, the poste­ritie of Iacob. So wee read 2 Sam 8. that they were sub­dued to Israel by Dauid. 2. Sam. 8. 14. All thoy of Edom became Dauids seruants; and so continued to the raigne of Iotham. This gaue the Iewes not onely a superioritie in tempo­rall Dominions, but in spirituall Blessings; the Grace and Mercy of God▪ for they were the visible Church, and Edom was cut off.

2. Mystically, this signifies the carnall Iewes sub­dued to the Christians; though the other were the elder people:Aug. de [...]x [...]it. Dei. lib. 16. c. 25. Therefore it is obseruable, that in the Genealo­gie of Christ Math. 1. many of the first borne were left out.Luk. 3. 38. Luke. 3. Seth is put in for the sonne of Adam▪ yet his eldest sonne was Cain. So Math. 1. 2. Abraham begate Isaac; yet his eldest sonne was Ishmael. Isaac begate Iacob; yet heere his first borne was Esau. Iacob begate Iudah; yet his first borne was Reuben. And Dauid begate Salomon in Mathewes Genealogie, Nathan in Lukes; yet both younger brethren by Bethsheba. Exod. 4. 22. Exod. 4. Israel is called Gods first borne, and his chosen people, his appro­preation. Populus Iudaeus adumbratus fuit in his primo­genitis: The Iewes were figured in these first borne; and wee the Gentiles, that were the younger Brothers, haue got away the Birthright. Rom 11. They are cast off, wee grafted in: so that now the Elder se [...]eth the younger.

Which teacheth vs to looke well to our Charter in Christ: for it is not enough to bee borne of belee­uing Parents, but wee must also be beleeuers. Iob may sacrifice for not expiate his sonnes sinnes. It is sinfull for men on earth to depriue the first borne: but God may,Ge [...] 48. 14. and doth it. Gen. 48. Israel stre [...]ched out his right hand▪ and laid it vpon Ephraims head, who was the younger: and his left hand on Manass [...]hs head, guiding his handes wi [...]tingly: though M [...]n [...]sseh was the first borne. And ver. 18 When [Page 63] Ioseph sayd to him, Not so my Father. Iacob answered, I know it my Sonne, I know it. Thus Generation may be cut off, Regeneration neuer. A man may be lost, though borne in the Fayth, vnlesse he be borne againe to the Fayth. Neither is it enough for Ishmael, to plead himselfe the Sonne of Abraham, vnlesse he can also plead himselfe the Sonne of God, and an heire of Abrahams fayth.

2. Commende me here to all Genethliackes, casters of Natiuities, Star-worshipers, by this token, that they are all Impostors, and heere prooued Fooles. Heere be Twinnes conceaued togeather, borne togeather; yet of as different natures and qualities, as if a vast locall distance had sundred their Births; or as if the originary blood of enemies had run in their Veines. It is S. Au­gustines Preclusion of all Star-predictions out of this place.De cu [...]it. D [...]i lib. 4. cap. 5. And since I am falne vpon these Figure-casters, I will be bold to cast the Destinie of their Profession, and honestly lay open their Iuggling in sixe Argu­ments.

1. The falshood of their Ephimerides. The Progno­sticators, as if they were Midwiues to the Celestiall bodyes, plead a deepe insight into their secrets: or as if like Physitians they had cast the Vrine of the Clouds, and knew, where the fitte held them; that it could nei­ther raine nor hayle, till some Starre had first made them acquainted with it. Demonstration hath proo­ued these so false and ridiculous, that they may rather Commouere nauseam quàm bilum, and risum more then both.

Perhaps when some appoynt Raine on such a day, some Frost, others Snow, a fourth Winde, a last calme and faire weather; some of these may hit, some of these must hit: But lightly hee that against his knowledge told true to day, lyes to morrow: and hee that lyed [Page 64] yesterday, may happen right next day; as a blinde Archer may kill a Crow.

For this cause (I thinke) some were called Erring, or Wandring Starres: not so much that they were vncer­taine in their owne seates and motions, as because they caused to erre their Clients and gaping Inquisitors. And so they are called Erring in the same phrase and sense,Pallidamors as Death is called Pale; not that it is Pale it selfe, but because it makes those Pale it seasseth on: And Winter durtie, not formaliter, but secundum effectum, be­cause it maketh the Earth durty. So that rather their owne speculations by the Starres, then the Starres, are erring: both Decepto sensu cum iudicio, et corruptis or­ganis.

Therefore some of the subtler, haue deliuered their opinions in such spurious, enigmaticall, dilogicall termes, as the Diuell gaue his Oracles; that since Hea­uen will not follow their Instructions, their Constructi­ons shall follow Heauen. And because the Weather hath not fallen out, as they haue before tolde, they will now tell as the weather falles out. So that reading their Bookes you would thinke, as the Beggars haue their Canting, they had got a new Language out of the Ele­ments, which the poore Earth neuer did or shall vnder­stand: And it is thought, that Canting is the better Lan­guage, because it is not so ambitious, as to meddle with the Starres: Whereof the Prognosticators head comes as short, as his tongue doth of the Beggars elo­quence.

2. The state of Fortune-tellers, and Prophecie-vsur­pers: which is not onely poore and beggarly, as if the enuious Earth refused to relieue those, that could fetch their liuing out of the Starres; but also ridiculous.

Nil habet infaelix paupertas durius in se,
Quàm quòd rìdiculos homines facit.

This is not all; but they are vtterly ignorant of their [Page 65] owne destinies. Now Quisibi nescius, cui praescius? Hee that is a Foole for himselfe, how should hee be wise for others? Thracias the South sayer, in the nine yeares drought of Egipt, came to Busiris the Tyrant;

Monstrat (que) piari
Hospitis effuso sanguine posse Iouem.

and told him, that Iupiters wrath might be appeased by sacrificing the Blood of a Stranger. The Tyrant asked him, What Country-man he was, of Egipt, or an aliant? Hee told him, a Stranger.

Illi Busiris;
Quid. Am. lib. 3. & in Ibin.
fies Iouis hostia primus,
Inquit, et Aegipto tu dabis hospes aquam.

Thou, quoth the Tyrant, art that lucky guest,
Whose Blood shall wet our soyle, and giue vs rest.

It is reported that Biron, that French Martiall, came to an Astrologer, to know the future successe of his Plots; which because hee gaue disastrous, the angry Duke be­gun to his mischieuous intendments, in the Fate-tellers blood. Can they read other mens Fates in the Starres, and not the [...]s owne? Therefore one wittily wrote on such a Booke, after throwing it into the fire:

Thy Authour foretels much: alas! weake frend:
That hee could not prognosticate thy end.

3. The quicke moouing of the Celestiall bodies, and their remotenesse from our eyes: Both our sense is too weake to pierce into those Fires; and those Fires are too quicke in motion for our apprehension. Therefore sayth S. Aug. Si tam celeriter alter post altaerum nascitur, De ciu. D. lib. 5. cap [...]. vt eadem pars Horoscopi manea [...], paria cuncta quaero, quae in nullis possu [...]t geminis inueniri: If one of the Twins be so immediatly borne after the other, that the same part of the Horoscope abide, I require likenesse and equalitie in them both; which can in no Twins be found. Wee see here two Brethren borne togeather (it is most likely) vnder the raigne of one Planet or Constellation; yet as different in Natures, as the Planets themselues.

[Page 66] To this they answere, that euen this cause, the swift motion of the Planets, wrought this diuersitie: because they change their Aspectes and Coni [...]ctions euery mo­ment. This would one Nigidius demonstrate, who vpon a Wheele turning with all possible swiftnesse, let dropat once two aspersions of Incke, so neere togeather as pos­sibly he could: yet Stanterota, &c. the Wheele standing still, they were found very remote & distant. Where­by hee would demonstrate, that in a small course of time, a great part of the celestiall Gloabe may be turned about. But this S. Austin soundly returns on them: That if the Planetarie courses, and Celestiall motions be so swift, it can not be discerned vnder what Con­stellation any one is borne.Hom. 10. sup. Eu [...]ng. And Gregory wittily de­rides their folly, that if Esau and Iacob were not there­fore borne vnder one Constellation, because they came foorth one after another. By the same reason, nei­ther can any one be borne vnder one Constellation, because hee is not borne all at once, but one part after another.

4. Vitabreuis hominum: Mans short and brittle life. If our age were now, as it was with the Patriarches, when the Stagge, the Rauen, and long-liu'd Oake, com­pared with mans life, dyed very young: They might then obserue and vnderstande the motion and reuolution of the Starres, and behold their effectes: when if any Starre had long absented it selfe from their contemplation, they could stay two or three hundred yeares to see it againe: But now as an English Nigh­tingale sung;

Who liues to age,
Fitte to be made Methushalem his Page?

On necessitie this Astrologer must liue so long, as to haue obserued the life of such a man, borne vnder such a Planet: and after him of another borne in the like maner. Nay, he must ouertake the yeares of Methusoalem in the [Page 67] successiue contemplation of such experiments. But this life is not giuen, therefore not this knowledge.

5. The infinite number of the Starres take from them all possibilitie of infallible predictions. They cannot giue their generall number, and can they giue their singular natures? To attempt it, is Imprudentia caecissima; to affirme it, Impudentia effrontissima, blinde dotage, shamelesse impudence.

6. The various Disposition, Conditions, Natures, and Studies, coaetaneorum, of such as are borne togea­ther. So Gregory reasons of these Twinnes:Hom. 10. in Euang. Cum eodem momento mater vtrumque fuderit, cur non vna vtrius (que) vitae qualitas (vel aequalitas) fuit? When the Mother brought them both foorth at one instant, How comes it to passe, that they haue not the same qualitie and equa­litie in their liues? Are not many borne at the same time, and vnder the same Constellation, Quorum processus et successus various et saepe contrarios videmus: Whose proceedinges and euents wee beholde so dif­ferent?

If we may giue credite, that Romulus and Remus were both borne of a Vestall (defiled by a Souldier) at one birth, both exposed togeather to a wide Desert, both taken togeather and nourished of a shee-Wolfe, both building and chalenging Rome; yet Romulus slew his brother, and got the Kingdome of that Citie, and after his owne name called it Rome.

Fraterno primi maduerunt sanguine muri. If Castor, Pol­lux, and Helena, were got by Iupiter, and hatch'd by Laeda out of one Egge, How came they to so various fortunes?

Cur fratrem Pollux alterna morte redemit? Aenead. b. Cicero men­tions it for the Chaldean follie,De Dininat. lib. 2. that they would haue Omnes eodem tempore ortos, all that were borne (whereso­euer) togeather, eâdem conditione nasci: to be borne to the same condition.

[Page 68] But were all the Infants slaine at one time by Herod, borne vnder one Constellation? Or all the old World, drowned in the Deluge, vnder one Starre? Or all Soul­diers slaine in one field, vnder the same Signe? The Mathematicians were wont to affirme, that all borne vnder the Signe Aquarius, Greg. Hom 10. in Euan. would be Fishers: But in Getulia there are no Fishers; was neuer any there borne vnder the signe Aquarius? The Cretians, (saith Paul) were alwayes Lyers: What, were they all borne vnder Mercu­rie? The Athenians greedy of Nouelties: had they all one predominant Starre? The Belgick [...]s Warriours: Were they therefore all borne vnder the raigne of Mars?

But I haue spent too much breath about this folly of Prognosticators. Of whom it may be sayd, that not onely The Children of this world are wiser in their generation, then the Children of Light: Luk. 168. But they would be wiser ipsa Luce, then the Light it selfe. They would know more then Saints and Angels, and search out the inuestigable things of the Lord.Pacuv. Nam si qui, quae euentura sunt, praeuide­a [...]t, aequiparent Ioui: If they could foresee future things, they would bragge themselues equall to God: But Se­cret things belong to GOD, reuealed to vs. The other is both arrogant in man, and derogant to God. And Greg. sayes well: If such a Starre be a Mans Destenie, then is Man made for the Starres, not the Starres for Man. The Diuels know not future euents: and will these boast it? Sus mineruam scilicet.

THey grew vp togeather: and presently, Esau was a cun­ning Hunter, Iacob a plaine man. Wee see that euen Youth doth insinuate to an obseruer, the inclination and future course of a man. The Sprigge shooting out of the Tree, bendes that way it will euer grow. Teach a Child a Trade in his youth, and when hee is old, hee will not forget it, [Page 69] sayth Salomon. Esau entred quickly into the blacke way, which leades to the blacke Gates, that stand euer ready open for blacke soules. Palet atri ianua Ditis: As if hee should want rather time for his sport, then sport for his time, hee begins early; at the very threshold of his life, and morning of his yeares. Nequitiae cursus ce­lerior quam aetatis: His wickednesse got the start of his age.

And did hee euer stay his course; that foolish parents should be so indulgent to their childrens licentiousnes? nay, ready to snibbe and checke their forwardnesse to Heauen with that curbe, A young Saint, an old Diuell: and, Wild youth is blessed with a stayed Age. But in­deed most likely, a young Saint prooues an old Angell: and a young Esau, an old Diuell.

And hence followes the ruines of so many great Hou­ses; that the young Maister is suffered to liue like an Esau, till hee hath hunted away his Patrimony; which scarce lastes the Sonne so many yeares, as the Father that got it had Letters in his name. But what cares hee for the Birthright: when all is gone, hee like Esau, can liue by the Sword: Hee will fetch Gold from the Indies, but hee will haue it. But hee might haue sau'd that iour­ney, and kept what hee had at home. If the Vsurer hath bought it, though for Porredge, hee will not part with it againe, though they weepe Teares. It is better to want superfluous meanes, then necessary moderation. Inse magnarunt, summisque negatum est, Stare diu: espe­cially when the huge Colosses haue not sound feete. Vast Desires, no lesse then Buildings, where Foundati­ons are not firme, sinke by their owne magnitude. And there comes often Fire Ex Rhamno, Iudg. 9. 20. out of the Bramble, that burnes vp the Men of Shechem, and sets on fire the Eagles nest in the Cedars.Psal. 37. 16. Psal. 37. Parumiusto, A litle that a righteous man hath, is better then the riches of many wicked. And a plaine Iacob will prosper better, then a prophane [Page 70] Hunting Esau. Let a man beginne then with God. Wherewithall shall a young man clense his way? Psal. 119. 9. by taking heed thereunto according to thy word.

Thus literally: Let vs now come to some morall ap­plication to our selues.

Hunting is for the most part taken in the holy Scrip­ture in the worst sence.Gen. 10. 9. So Gen. 10. Nimrod was a Hun­ter, euen to a Prouerbe: and that Before the Lord, as with­out feare of his Maiestie Now if it were so hatefull to hunt Beastes, what is it to Hunt-men? The wicked op­pressors of the world are here Typed and Taxed: who employ both Arme and Braine to Hunt the poore out of their Habitations; and to drinke the Bloud of the op­pressed. Herein obserue the

  • Persons Hunted.
  • Maner of Hunting.
  • Hounds.

The Poore.

Are their Prev: any man that either their witte or vi­olence can practise on. Not so much Beggars; yet they would be content to Hunt them also out of their Coasts: but those that haue somewhat worth their Gaping af­ter; and whose estates may Minister some Gobbets to their Throtes. Aquila non Capit muscas: the Eagles hunt no Flyes, so long as their be Foules in the Ayre. The Commonaltie, that by great Labour haue gotten a little stay for themselues; these they Hunt, and lay along, and Prey on their prostrate Fortunes.

If they be Tenantes, woe is them. Fines, Rents, Car­riagas, slaueries shall drinke vp the Sweat of their Browes. There is law against Coyners; and it is made treason iustly to stampe the Kings Figure in Mettalles: But what is Mettall to a Man, the Image of God? And we haue those that coyne Money on the poores Sinnes: Traytors they are to the King of Kings.

[Page 71] The whole Countrey shall feele their hunting. They hunt Commons into Seueralles; Tilled grounds into Pastures, that the Gleaning is taken from the Poore, which God commaunded to be left them; and all suc­cour, except they can grase in the High-wayes. And to others, to whom their Rage cannot extend, their Craft shall: for they will hoyst them in the Subsidies, or ouer­charge them for the Warres, or vexe them with Quar­rels in Law, or perhaps their Seruants shall in direct tearmes beat them. Naboth shall hardly keepe his Vin­yard, if any nooke of it disfigures Ahabs Lordship: If they can not buy it on their owne price, they will to Law for it; wherein they respect no more, then to haue a [...]sam querelae, a colourable occasion of contention: for they will so wearie him, that at last hee shall be forced to sell it:Lib. 4. in uer. But Tully sayes of that sale; Ereptio non emptio est: It is an Extorting, not a Purchasing.

Thus the Poore man, is the Beast they hunt: who must rise early, rest late, eate the Bread of sorrow, sitte with many a hungry meale, perhaps his Children crying for Food, whiles all the fruite of his paines is serued in to Nimrods Table. Complaine of this whiles you will, yet as the Orator sayd of Verres: Pecuniosus nescit dam­nari. Indeed a Monny-man may not be damnified, but hee may be damned. For this is a Crying sinne, and the wakned eares of the Lord will heare it: neither shall his prouoked hands forbeare it. Si tacuerint pauperes, loquentur Lapides: If the Poore should hold their peace, the very Stones would speake. The Fines, Rackinges, Inclosures, Oppressions, Vexations, will cry to God for vengeance.Hab. [...]. The Stone will cry out of the Wall; and the beame out of the Timber shall answere it.

You see the Beastes they hunt: Not Foxes, not Wolues nor Boares, Bulles, nor Tygers. It is a certaine obserua­tion; no Beast hunts the owne kind to deuoure it. Now if these should prosecute Wolues, Foxes, &c. they [Page 72] should then hunt their owne kind: for they are these themselues; or rather worse then these: because here Homo homini Lupus. But though they are Men they hunt, and by nature of the same kind; they are not so by qua­litie: For they are Lambes they persecute: In them there is Blood, and Flesh, and Fleece, to be had: and therefore on these doe they gorge themselues. In them there is weake Armour of defence against their cruel­ties; therefore ouer these they may domineere. I will speake it boldly: There is not a mighty Nimrod in this Land, that dares hunt his equall: But ouer his inferiour Lambe hee insultes, like a young Nero. Let him be graced by High ones, and hee must not be saluted vn­der twelue score off. In the Countrie hee proues a Termagaunt: his very Scowle is a Prodegie, and breeds an Earthquake. Hee would be a Caesar, and taxe all: It is well if hee prooue not a Caniball. Onely Macro salutes Seianus so long as hee is in Tiberius his fauour: Cast him from that Pinacle, and the Dogge is ready to deuoure him.

You heare the Obiect, they hunt; attende the Manner. And this you shall finde, as Esau's, to consist in two things: Force, and Fraude. They are not onely Hunters, but cunning Hunters.

1. For their Force, they are Robusti latrones, and haue a violent impetuous, imperious Hunting.Esay 59. 7. Desolation and destruction are in their Pathes. We may say of them, as Ter­tullian sayd of the Montanists. Nontam Laborant vt aedifica­rent sua, quam vt destruerent aliena. They seeke not somuch their owne encreasing as the depopulation of others. Philosophers hold the world to be composed of three concurrent principles, Matter, Forme, and Priuation: holding the last, to be rather a principle of Transmu­tation, then of Establishment. Oppressours besides the [Page 73] Matter, which is the Common-wealth; and the Forme which is Iustice; haue deuised to make necessarie also Priuation.

There are sinnes, which striue onely Intra orbem suum urere[?]: Sen. which haue no further latitude then the Consci­ence of the Committer: They are Priuate and Domesti­call sinnes: the sting whereof dies in the proprietary. Such are Prodigality, Enuie, Sloth, Pride. Though euill example may doe somewhat, they haue no further ex­tention. But some are of so wild a nature, that they are Mallets and Swords to the whole Country about them. And these are districtly, the sinnes of the Hand. So Micah. 2.Mic 2. 2. They couet Fieldes, and take them by Violence: and Houses, and tàke them away: so they òppresse a man and his house, euen a man and his Heritage. Why doe they all this, but because Manus potest. ver. 1. It is in the power of their Hand. And they measure their power, sayth Seneca, by the Span,De Benef. lib. 1. by the reach of their Hands. Iniurijs vires me­tuntur. Anaxagoras thought man the wisest of all Crea­tures, because he hath Handes, whereby he can expresse all signes. He might haue concluded him the Wickedest of all Creatures, quia manuatus, because he hath Hands. For no Tyger or Vulture vnder Heauen is more hurt­full with his Clawes and Tallents, then Man with his Hands. Achilles asked Palamedes going to the Troyan Warres, Why hee went without a Seruant? Hee shewed him his hands, and told him they were Loco seruorum, in stead of many seruants. Manus organum organorum. Their dexteritie and aptnesse chargeth them with sinnes, whereof the other parts are no lesse Guilty.

For the most part, those Beasts haue least immanitie that haue most strength. Oxen and Horses and Ele­phants are tame and seruicable, but Bees and Hornets haue Stings. So wisely hath the Creator disposed, that there may not be a Coniunction et Potentiae et Maleuolen­tiae: that might and malice may not meete. So they are [Page 74] suffered to haue Will to hurt, & not Power; or Power, and not will. The curst Cow hath short Hornes: But these Hunters haue got both. The Poet sayth:

That Lyons doe not prey on yeelding things,
Pittie's infeoffed to the blood of Kings.

Posse et nolle, nobile: That thou mayst harme and wilt not, is laus tua, thy prayse: that thou wouldest and canst not, gratia Dei, is Gods prouidence. Haman would hang Mordecai and cannot: hee is a villaine in Hell for his intent. Dauid, when hee had Saul in the Caue, could hurt and would not: hee is a Saint in Heauen. Shimei would, but can not kill (though rayle on) Dauid: Dauid can, and will not kill Shimei. The hote Disciples would haue Fire from Heauen to destroy the Samaritans, and could not: Christ could commaund it, and would not. How rare is a man of this disposition among vs? If ad­uantage hath thrust a Bootie into his hands, the Lambe is in the Wolues Caue with more securitie. Plead what thou wilt, prostrate thy owne innocence, aggrauate the Oppressors crueltie: hee answeres as Esopes Wolfe an­swered the Lambe; Thy Cause is better then mine, but my Teeth are better then thine; I will eate thee. Aud this is a shrewd inuincible argument, when the cause must be tryed out by the Teeth. Pactum non pactum est,Plaut.non pactum pactum est; quicquid illis lubet: Bargaine or not bargaine; the Law must be on their sides: Nemo potentes tutus potest aggred [...]: Hee comes to his cost,Sen. in me­dea. that comes to complaine against them.

2 For their Fraude; they are Cunniug Hunters. They are Foxes as well as Lyons to get their Prey. Nay the Fox-head doth them often more stead, then the Lyons Skinne. Mical. 7.Mic. 7. [...]. They hunt with a Net. They haue their politicke Ginnes to catch them. Gawdy Wares and darke Shoppes, (and would you haue them loue the light, that liue by darknesse, as many Shopkeepers) [Page 75] draw and tole Customers in: where the craftie Lea­ches can soone feele their Pulses: if they must buy, they shall pay for their necessitie. And though they plead, Wee compell none to buy our Wares; Caueat emptor: yet with fine voluble Phrases, damnable Pro­testations, they will cast a mist of errour before an Eye of simple Trueth; and with cunning deuises hunt them in. So some among vs haue feathered their nestes, not by open violence, but politicke circum­uention. They haue sought the Golden Fleece, not by Iasons Merite, but by Medeas Subtiltie, by Medeas Sorcerie.

If I should intende to discouer these Hunters Plottes, and to deale punctually with them, I should afford you more matter, then you would afford me time. But I limit my selfe,De vit. et morib. Christ and answere all their Pleaes with August. Their tricks may hold in iure fori, but not in Iure poli: in the Common-pleas of Earth; not before the Kings bench in Heauen.

Neither doe these Cunning Hunters forrage onely the Forrest of the world. but they haue ventured to enter the Pale of the Church, and hunt there. They will go [...] neare to emparke it to themselues, and thrust God out. So many haue done in this Land: and though it be dan­ger for the poore Hare to preach to Lyons & foxes, I am not afrayd to tell them, that they Hunt; where they haue nothing to doe. Poore Ministers are deare to them; for they are the Deare they Hunt for: How many Parishes in England (all most to the number of halfe) haue they empayled, to themselues, and chased the Lords Deare out? Yea now, if God lay Challenge to his owne Ground against their Sacrilegious impropriations, for his owne Tithes; they are not ashamed to tell him, They are none of his: and what lawes soeuer he hath made, they will hold them with a Non obstante. They were taken into the Church for Patrons, defenders; and they [Page 76] proue offenders, Theeues; for most often Patrocinia, latrocinia.

You haue read how the Badger entertain'd the Hedg­hogge into his Cabine, as his inward friend: but being wounded with the Prickles of his offensiue guest, hee manerly desired him to depart in kindnesse, as he came. The Hedge-hog thus satisfies his iust expostulation; that hee for his part found himselfe very well at ease, and they that were not, had reason to seeke out another place, that likes them better. So the poore Horse, intrea­ting helpe of the Man against the Stagge; euer after Non equitem dorso, non fraenum depulit ore: They haue ridde vs, and bridled vs, and back'd vs, and spurr'd vs, and got a tyranny ouer vs, whom wee tooke in for our fa­miliar friends and fauourites.

3. Now for their Houndes: besides that they haue long Noses themselues, and Hands longer then their Noses, they haue Dogges of all sorts.

Beagles, cunning Intelligencers. Eó laudabilior, quò fraudulentior: The more crafty they are,Aug. Confes. lib. 1. the more com­mendable.

Their Setters, prowling Promoters; whereof there may be necessarie vse, as men may haue of Dogges; but not tollerable for their purposes.

Their Spanyels, fawning Sycophants, that lick their Maisters handes, but are brawling euer at poore stran­gers,

Their great Masti [...]es; surely and sharking Bayliffes, that can set a Rankling Tooth in the poore Tenants Ribbes.

They haue their Bandogs, corrupt Soliciters, Parrat-Lawyers; that are their properties, and meere Trunkes, whereby they informe and Plead before Iustice, against Iustice. And as the Hounds can somtimes smell out the Game, before their Maister; as hauing a better Nose, [Page 77] then he an Eye: so these are still Picking-holes in poore mens estates, and raking vp broken Titles: which if they iustly be defended; Actio fit non Lustralis, sed secu­laris: Whereif (because Iustice doth somtimes preuaile) it goe against them; yet Maior est expensarum sumptus, quam sententiae fructus: The cost is more Chargeable then the victorie profitable.

Some of them, whose Pale is the Burse, haue their Bloud-hounds;AElian. lib. 9. Cap. 18. long-nosd, hooke-handed Brokers, that can draw the sinking estate of poore men, by the bloud of necessitie. If they spie Pride and Prodigalitie in the streets, they watch ouer them as Puttocks ouer a dy­ing Sheepe. For Pascuntur scelere: they are not Doues but Rauens, and therefore sequuntur cadauera, follow Carcases. O that some blessed medicine could ridde our Land of these Warts and Scabbes; free vs from these Currs. The Cunning Hunters could not doe so much mischeefe, without these Lurchers, these insa­ [...]iate Hounds.

Thus I haue shewed you a Fielde of Hunters: what should I adde, but my Prayers to Heauen, and desires to Farth, that these Hunters may be hunted. The hunting of harmefull Beastes is commended; the Wolfe, the Boare, the Beare, the Foxe, the Tyger, the Otter. But the me­taphoricall hunting of these is more prayse worthy: the Country-wolues, or Cittie-Foxes deserue most to be Hunted. Non est meae Paruitatis, &c. I am to shallow to aduise you Demodo: I onely wish it might be done: they that haue authoritie to doe it, know best the meanes, I will but discouer the Game, and leaue it to their Hun­ting: naming the persons they should Hunt: they know the Hounds where withall.

1 There is the wilde Boare, that breakes ouer Gods mounds and spoyles his Vineyeard.Psal. 80. 13. Psal. 80. The Boare [Page 78] out of the Wood doth waste it: and the wild Beast of the Field, doth deuoure it. This is the depopulator, that will for­rage and lay all waste, if he be not restrained. What; Doe you call him a wasting Boare? hee rather enclo­seth all, breaketh vp none. Yes, hee layes waste to the Common-wealth, though hee encloseth to himselfe. Hee wasteth Societies, Communitie, Neighbourhood of people; turnes them out of their auncient Dores, sendes them to the wide World to begge their Bread. Hee is a bloody Boare, and hath two damnable Tuskes: Money to make him Friendes, and to charme conni­uence: And a wicked Conscience, that cares not to swimme to Hell in Blood. The brawny Shield of this Boare, whereby hee beares off all blowes of Curses, is the securitie of his owne dead Heart: Hee thinkes the Cryes and Vlulations of Widdowes and Orphans, the best Musicke. When the hand of God strikes him, (as strike him it will, and that fearefully) hee euen rouseth and rageth on him; and dyes like an angry Boare, foa­ming at mouth, as if hee were spitting defyance at Hea­uen. Let this Beast be Hunted.

2. There is the Foxe, the craftie Cheater, that steales the Grapes. Cant. 2. Take in the Foxes, &c. Cant. 2. 15. It is Gods charge to hunt him. Hee turnes Beastes out of their Dennes by defyling them. Hee sold his Conscience to the Diuell for a stocke of villanous Witte. Hee hath a stinking Breath;Plin. corrupted with Oathes and Lies: and a rauenous Throat to prey vpon mens simplenesse. If all tricks fayle, hee will counterfeit himselfe dead, that so drawing the Fowles to feed vpon him, hee may feed vpon them. The Defrauder puts on a semblance of great smoothnesse; you would take him for a won­derfull honest man: Soft, you are not yet within his clutches; when you are, Lord haue mercy on you, for hee will haue none.

3. There is the bloody Wolfe; the profest cutthroat [Page 79] the Vsurer. Hunt him, sease on his Denne; it is full of pooremens Goods. What a Golden Law would that bee, which were called a Statute of Restitution: Such a one as Nehemiah enacted. Neh. 5. that Lands and Vine­yards,Nehe. 5. 11. Houses and Goods, morgag'd into Vsurers hands, should be restored. When hee sealed it with a sacramentall Oath, and made them sweare consent to it. And hee shooke his Lappe, and sayd. So God shake out euery man from his house, and from his labour,ver. 13.that performeth not this Promise; euen thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the Congregation sayd, Amen. But if they will not re­store by themselues, they shall by their posteritie. For, as Plinie writes of the Wolfe, that it brings foorth blind Whelps: so the Vsurer lightly begets blind Children, that cannot see to keepe what their Father left them. But when the Father is gone to Hell for gathering, the Sonne often followes for scattering. But God is iust. A good man leaueth his Inheritance to his Children Children:Pro▪ 13. 22.and the Wealth of the sinner is laid vp for the iust.

4. There is also the Badger, a Beast of rapine: Wee haue his fellowes among vs, the Ingrossers of Corne, the Raysers of the price, sweeping away whole Mar­kets: Wee call these Badgers. The Poore that comes with a litle Money, cannot speed; but at an vnreasona­ble rate: they ingrosse all. And by their Capacitie, or rather Rapacitie, hauing so much in their hands, they sell it at the place of their transporting, at their owne price.

5. The Dromedarie would also be better hunted: I meane the vagrant Rogues, whose whole life is no­thing but an exorbitant course: the maine begging, the by's silching and stealing: Onely they are not so seruiceable as the Dromedary; which is a Beast of quicke feete, and strange speed. The reason is giuen by Aristotle, because the extreame heate of Nature doth waste all the vnctuositie and fatnesse, and thereby giues [Page 80] greater agilitie. But these Dromedaries are not swift: Let one charitable Constable amongst a hundred light on him, and giue him correction, and a Pasport to his (false-named) place of birth, and hee will not trauell a­boue a Mile a day. Let them alone, and they will tra­uerse their way [...]; Ier. 2. 23. which are no wayes: for they cannot keepe the beaten path: let them be where they will, they are neuer out of their way. They boast themselues of the broode of Cain [...] for they are perpetuall Runnagats. If the Stoks and Whip-post can not stay their extraua­gancie, there remaines [...]nely the Gal-house.

6. Let the roring Bull be hunted; the Bulles of Ba­san, the Bulles of Rome; sent ouer by the Pope ad interi­tum, either of vs or themselues: For their end is not implere Ecclesiam, but c [...]miterium; to fill Church-yards with dead bodyes, not the Church with liuing soules. No Seruice would be so welcome to them, as the Sicilian Euensong, or the Parisian Mattens. But since no Drugge is currant in their Shoppes, but Diacatholican, Treason and Ruine; let it be first ministred to themselues to purge their burning Feuers. And since the Pope sends his Bulles into England so thicke, bellowing to call his Calues togeather, and to excite their reuolting from their Soueraigne; let them speed no otherwise then those Bulles once did, that cald in an other Bull, which was Bull the Hang-man: to dispatch them all.

If you be disposed to hunt, hunt these Beastes that hauocke the Common-wealth: Let the Lambes alone, they doe you much good, no hurt. And to this chase vse all your skill: in this worke it shall be your com­mendation to be cunniug Hunters. The Lord shall em­parke you within the Pale of his owne mercifull Pro­uidence, and restraine the sauage furie of your Enemies. Let those, whom God hath made Maisters of this seri­ous game, and giuen Commission to hunt vicious per­sons: [Page 81] Let euery particular man hunt Vice out of his owne heart. If there be any violence to get the King­dome of Heauen, vse it: if any policie to ouerthrow Satan and his complices, against whom we wrastle, exercise it. This Warre shall be your Peace. You shall helpe to purge the Land of noxius Beastes; and clense your owne hearts from those lustes; which if you hunt not to death, shall hunt you to death; as the morall of Acteon. And God that giues you this commaund and courage, shall adde for it a mercifull recompence; taking you at last from this militant Chace to the Parke of his trium­phant Rest. Amen.

FINIS.
[figure]

CHRIST HIS STARRE: OR, The Wise-mens Oblation.

Matth. 2. II.‘When they were come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary his mother, and fell downe, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their Treasures, they presented vnto him gifts, Gold, and Frankincense, and Myrrhe.’

THE Feast of the Epiphanie, or manifestation of Christ, as it is this dayes momorie; so I haue purposed this dayes exercise. As Relatu traditionis instruimur, There were three principal and notable Appearings of Christ on this Day. All which, Eodem die contigisse feruntur, sed alijs at que alijs annis, fell out the same day in diuers yeares, as they write.

So Maximus Episc. Hom. 1. in Epiph. Hodie stella Magos duxit ad praesepium Hodie aquae vertuetur in vinum. Hodie baptizatus est Christus. Tribus miraculis ornatum diem sanctum seruamus. &c. wee keepe this Day Holy and Feastiuall, being honoured with three Wonders. This Day Christ led the Wise-men to himselfe by a Starre. This Day hee turned the Waters into Wine at the Marriage. This Day hee was Baptized of Iohn in Iordan.

[Page 84] According to these three distinct Manifestations of himselfe, they haue giuen this Day, three seuerall names.

1. Epiphania: Because Christ did appeare to certaine M [...]gi, by the direction of a Starre: and was by their re­port, made knowne to the Foxe Herod, and his Cubbes, many enemies in Ierusalem▪ (ver. 3.) Hee was troubled, and all Ierusalem with him.

2. Theophania: Because there was a Declaration of the whole Trinitie. Math. 3. 16. (Math. 3.) Of God the Father, whose voyce was heard from Heauen. Of GOD the Sonne to be Baptised; of whom was the testimonie giuen, This is my beloued Sonns, in whom I am well pleased. Of GOD the holy Ghost, who descending like a Doue, lighted on him.

3. Bethphania: Because, (Ioh. 2.) he shewed the power of his Deitie, at the Wedding, in changing their Water into Wine: So the Text (ver. 11.) This beginning of Mira­cles did Iesus in Can [...] of Gal [...]le, and manifested his glory.

4. Some haue added a fourth name from a fourth Wonder, that they say was wrought on this Day: Pha­gi [...]phania; Because Christ relieued Famem triduanam, Boski [...]er Ara. Caeli. Con [...]. the three dayes hunger of fiue thousand, with fiue Barley Loaues, and two litle Fishes.

I confesse, this Historie hath many obseruable poynts in it. It entreates of Wise-men, of a tyrannicall King, of troubled People, and of the King of Kings lying in swadling clothes. To discourse all these,

Virtutesque, virosque, et tanti incendia bell [...]; would ex­ceed the limites of one cold houre.AE [...]ead. 1. I would therefore confine my short speach, and your attention, to the verse read.

Wherein mee thinkes, I finde a miraculous Wonder: That extraordinary Men, by an extraordinary Starre, should finde the King of Heauen in so extraordinary a place. Wise-men seeking a Starre, shewing a Sauiour [Page 85] lying in a Manger: But cernere oculis, docenter oraculis, the eye of Flesh sees somewhat; the eye of Fayth shall see more.

I may distinguish all into a

  • Direction.
  • Deuotion.

The Direction of God, the Deuotion of Men. By the Di­rection, they are brought to the Messias. By their Deuo­tion, they Worship him, and present him Giftes, Gold, Frankin­cense, and Myrrh. For the Direction, wee will borrow a litle of the Premisses; and therein consider

  • Gods Leading.
  • Their Following.

Gods Leading was by a Starre. They that delight to cast Cloudes vpon the cleare Sunne, haue heere mooted many Questions about this Starre.

1. Whether this Starre were singular, or an heape of Starres. Our Romane aduersaries, to bring wilfull trou­ble on themselues and vs, haue coniur'd a fiction from one Albumazar a Heathen; that the Signe in the Zodi­acke, call'd the Virgin, is composed of so many Starres, as may aptly pourtray Virginem gestantem inter brachia filium, a Virgin bearing an Infant in her armes: And some of them haue thought that, this Starre.

Let Albumazar be the father of this opinion; and for a litle better authoritie, they haue motherd it on a Prophecie of Tiburtine Sibylla when Augustus boasted his super-humane Maiestie, Sibylla shewed him Virginem in coelo Infanti portam, a Virgin in Heauen bearing a young Child in her armes; with these wordes: Hic Puer maior te est, ipsum adora, Yonder Infant is greater then thou art, O Cesar, worship him.

But because the Father of this toy was an Ethnicke, and the Mother thought a Sorceresse, they haue (as somethinke, spight of his teeth) brought in Chrysostome Op. imperf. hom. 2. in 2. Math. for a God-father to it; or to an opinion, if differing [Page 86] from it, yet also exceeding the truth of this Historie. Whether of himselfe, or on their teaching, he sayes thus. This Starre appeared to them descending vpon that victoriall Mountaine, hauing in it the forme of a little Child; and aboue him the similitude of a Crosse. But I confesse, (and loe the great vaunts of their vnitie) that many of them are of another minde.

Howsoeuer, the Text is plaine against it. (ver. 2.) [...]. Vidimus Stellam eius. Aster and astrum differ, as Stella and Sydus. Aster and Stella signi­fie one Starre: Astrum and Sydus, a knot of Starres; as any Signe in the Heauen, coacted and compounded of many Starres. The Euangelist heere vseth the singular and indiuiduall word; Wee haue seene his Starre, not Starres.

2. They question, whether this was a new Starre, created for the purpose; or one of those co-euall to the World. Chrysostome, Damaseen, Fulgentius, Chrys. Hom. 7. in Math. Dam. [...]ib. 2. de [...]fide. cap. 2. Fulgen. le Epiphan. with most o­thers, are perswaded it was a new Starre. Houdemius an English man so sung of it,

Nouâ caelum Stellâ depingitur,
Dum Sol nouus in terris oritur.

T'was fitte a new Starre should adorne the Skies,
Lib. 1. Christi­ados quatem. 38.
When a new Sunne doth on the Earth arise.

It is called by Augustine, Magnifica Lingua coeli: The glorious Tongue of Heauen.Serm. 3 in loc. It appeares, this was no ordinary Starre, ex

  • situ,
  • Motu,
  • Tempore Lucendi.

1. By the Site: The place of it must be (In aere terrae vicino, non ipsius meditullio[?]) in that part or Region of the Aire,Thom. part. 3. quaest. 35 art. 7 that was next to the Earth; otherwise it could not so punctually haue directed these Wise-men, that tra­uelled by it.

2. By the Motion. The course of other Starres is cir­cular: [Page 87] this Starre went straight forward, as a guide of the way: in the same manner,Exod▪ 13. 21. that the Pillar of Fire went before Israel, when they passed out of Egipt.

3. By the Time of Shining. Other Starres shine in the night onely, this Starre gaue light in the broad day; as if it were a Starre appoynted to waite on the Sunne.

Stella Luce vincens Luciferum[?],
Houd. vbi supra.
Magos ducit ad Regem Syderum.

Of this Starre did that Coniurer prophecie.Numb. 24. 17. (Num. 24.) There shall come a Starre out of Iacob, &c. It was a true Starre, it was a new Starre; created by God in Heauen for this purpose: Not that the birth of Christ depended on this Starre, but this Starre on his birth. Therefore it is called Christs Starre, (ver. 2.) His Starre.

This Starre serued

  • To them Ad Ducendum.
  • To vs Ad Docendum.

It led them really, let it also lead vs figuratiuely to Christ: Them Per visum, vs Per fidem.

By the consent of Diuines this Starre did prefigure the Gospell. And indeed: For what other Light directs vs to Christ?

Not the Starre of Nature: Did not euery steppe it taught vs to tread, bring vs further off? If it heard of him, it sought him, as Laban sought his Idols in the Tents: or as Saul sought his Asses in the Mountaines: or as Ioseph & Mary fought him among their Kinsfolks: Either in the Tents of soft ease and securitie: or in the Mountaines of Worldly dignitie: or among the Kin­dred of the flesh, friends and company.

Not the Starre of the Law: for this told vs of a per­fect obedience, and of condemnation for disobedience; of Gods anger, our danger; of sinne and death. This Starre would haue lighted vs to Heauen, if we had no Cloudes of Iniquitie to darken it to our selues. And that which S. Paul speakes (Gal. 3.)Gal. 3. 24. The Law was our Schoole-maister to bring vs vnto Christ; is to be vnder­stood [Page 88] of the legall Tipes and Sacrifices. Where, by an Oblation of the blood of Beastes, was prefigured the Blood of that Lambe, which should expiate all our sinnes.

The Gospell is this Starre; and blessed are they, that follow it: It shall bring them to the Babe Iesus. God hath fixed this Starre in our Orbe: but how few are so wise as these Wise-men, to follow it? That Starre was somtimes hidden, this shines perpetually. It is horror and shame to speake it; wee no more esteeme it, then if wee were wear [...]e of the Sunne for continuall shining.

I am loth to part with this Starre; but other Obser­uations call mee from it. You heare Gods Leading, marke their Following. This is described Ex

  • Aduentu,
  • Euentu.

by their

  • Accesse.
  • Successe.

Veniunt, Inueniunt: They Come, they Finde.

Their Accesse.

Some haue thought that these Magi, hauing so pro­found skill in Astrologie, might by calculation of times, composition of Starres▪ and S [...]ellations of the Heauens, foreknow the birth of the Mes [...]ias. But this opinion is vtterly condemned by Augustine, De ciuit. Dei. lib. 5. and all good men. And it shall onely helpe vs with this Obseruation.

God purposed so plentifull a saluation by Christ that he calls to him at the first those, who were farre off. Farre off indeed; not onely in a locall, but cere [...]oniall Di­stance. For place they were so farre; as Persia from India: from thence most Writers affirme their comming. For the other respect, he calls those to Christ, who had runne furthest from Christ; and giuen themselues most ouer to the Diuell. Magi [...]ans, Sorcerers, Coniuri [...]s con­sederates with Sathan in the most detestable arte of [Page 89] Witchcraft. These that had set their faces against heauen' and blasphem'd out a renuntiation of God and all good­nesse: euen at those Doores doth Gods spirit Knocke, & sends them by a Starre to a Sauiour.

Be our [...]innes neuer so many for number, neuer so haynous for nature, neuer so full for measure, yet the mercie of God may giue vs a Starre; that shall bring vs, not to the Babe Iesus in a Manger, but to be Ch [...]ist a King in his Throne. Let no penitent Soule despaire of mercie.

Christ manifested himselfe to two sortes of people in his swathing Cloutes; to these Magitians, and to Shep­heards: the latter simple and ignorant, [...]erm. 2. De Epiph. the other lear­ned and wicked. So August▪ In rusticitate Pastorum impe­ritia proeualet, in Sacrilegijs magorum imp [...]etas. Yet to both these, one in the day of his natiuitie the other in this Epiphanie, did that Sauiour, with whom is no respect of of persons manifest his sauing mercie. Whether thou be poore for Goods of the world, or Poorer for the Riches of grace, be comforted; thou mayest one day see the saluation of God.

2. Obserue their obedience: they Come instantly on Gods call. They haue seene his Starre, and they must goe to him. They regard not, that Herod was an enemie to the King of Persia their Maister; they come to his Court to enquire for Christ. When they are there, let Herod be neuer so troubled about the name of the true and new-borne King of Iewes; they haue the inward dire­ction, the record of an ancient prophecie added by the Priests. ver. 6. from Micah. 5. 2. Thou Bethlem Ephratah, though thou be litle among the thousands of Iudah, yet out of thee shall hee come forth vnto me, that is to be ruler in Israel. Here­upon they goe.

Obedience, when it hath the warrant, goes vpon sound and quicke Feete Necfal [...]a fingit, nec vera metuit impedimenta. No obstacles can stay it, no Errors stray it, [Page 90] nor Terrours fray it: it is not deluded with toyes, nor deferred with ioyes. It [...]arries not with the young man in the Gospell, to kisse his Friends; nor with the Old man, to fill his Barnes: but Currit per saxa, perignes, through all dangers and difficulties, with a faythfull eye bent vpon the Callers promises. And this is that o­ther Vertue remarkable in these Wise-men.

3. Fayth. They come to the Priests made acquain­ted with the Oracles of God, to inquire of this King. The Priestes resolue the place of his birth from the Pro­phet: but though told of his Starre, they will not stirre a foote towardes him: Perhappes it might cost them their Honours or liues by the Kings displeasure; there­fore they will poynt others, but disappoynt their owne soules.

Heere is a strange inuersion,Leo serm. 3. in Loc. cap. 3. Veritas illuminat Magos; Infidelit as obcoecat Magistro [...]: Trueth guides the Magiti­ans, Vnbeliefe blindes the Priestes. They that were vsed to Necromanticke Spelles and Charmes, begin to vnderstand the truth of a Sauiour: whiles they that had him in their Bookes, lost him in their Hearts. Vtuntur paginis, quarum non credunt eloquijs: They turne ouer the leaues, and beleeue not their Contents. To what end were all their quotidian Sacrifices? If they were not types and figures of a Mes [...]ias, what other thing made they their Temples, but a Butchers shambles?

Now the Mercy and Grace of our Lord Iesus, keepe vs from this apostate wickednesse. Let Trueth neuer speake it of vs, that wee haue the Booke of the Lord in our Hands, not the doctrine in our Consciences. That wee haue Gods Seales, yet vn-marked Soules. That De virtutibus vacui loquim [...]: Greg. dial. lib. 3. cap. 37. Wee speake of the Graces, wee haue not.

It was once spoken of Greece, in regard of the ruines, ( [...]ea of the vtter extinction, for Etiam periere ruinae) Gr [...]ciam in Graecia quaerimus, non inuenimus: Wee seeke [Page 91] for Greece in Greece, and can not find it. Let it neuer be sayd of vs in respect of our recidiuall disobedience; Angliam in Anglia quaerimus; et non inuenta est: Wee seeke that famous Church of England in England, and finde it not. Many loue to liue within the circumference and reach of the Gospell, because it hath brought Peace, and that Peace Wealth, and that Wealth Promotion: But if this Health or Quiet might be vpheld or augmented by that Romane Harlot, they would be ready to cry, Great is Diana of the Ephesians; and Christ might lodge long enough at Bethleem, ere they would goe to vi­site him. Our liues too prodigiously begin to pretend this: But, ‘O faxit Deus, vt nullum sit in omine pondus.’ And for our selues, Bel. Let vs not like the Priestes, di­rect others to a Sauiour, and stay at home our selues: nor like the Trumpeter, that encourageth others to the Battaile against the enemies of God, and our saluation, Nihil ipse nec ausus, nec potuit: our selues being Cowards,AEnead. and giuing neuer a stroke. It is not enough to tell the people of a Sauiour in Bethleem: Opus est etiam praeitione, aut saltem coitione, et pari congressu: Wee must goe before them, or at least goe with them.

For this cause I commend the Fayth of these Magi: Seeing the Priestes doctrine concurres with the Starres dumbe direction, though Herod will not leaue his Court, nor the Scribes their ease, nor the People their trades; yet these men will goe alone to Christ. When thou art to imbrace Religion, it is good going in company, if thou canst get them; for the greater blessinges [...]alles vpon a multitude: but resolue to goe, though alone: For thou shalt neuer see the Lord Iesus, if thou tarry till all Ierusalem goe with thee to Bethleem.

[Page 92] WEe haue heard their Aduent or Accesse; listen to the Euent or Successe. They saw the young Child, with Mary his Mother.

God hath answered the desire of their hearts: they had vndertooke a long Iourney, made a diligent inqui­rie; no doubt their Soules longed with Simeon to see their Sauiour. Loe! he that neuer frustrates the faythfull affection, giues abundant satisfaction to their hopes. They saw the young Child with Mary his Mother. Obserue

  • Whom.
  • With whom.
  • Where.

they saw him.

Whom? The young Child▪ Meditate and wonder. The Ancient of dayes is become a young Child. The Infinitely great is made Litle. The sustainer of all things Suckes. Factor terrae, factus interra. Creator coel:, creatussub coelo. Aug ser. 27. de­lemp. He that made Heauen and Earth, is made vnder Hea­uen vpon Earth. The Creator of the world is Created in the world, Created Litle in the world; they saw the young Child.

With whom? With Mary his Mother. Mary was his Daughter, is she now become his Mother? Yes; he is made the Child of Mary, A [...] de Temp. Ser. [...]. who is the Father of Mary. Si­ne quo Pater nunquam fuit, sine quo mater nunquam fuisset. Without whom his Father in Heauen neuer was; with­out whom his Mother on Earth had neuer beene.

Where? It is euident in S. Lukes Gospell, they found him lying in a Cratch. He, who sits on the right hand of the Maiestie on high,Esa. 40. 12. was lodged in a stable. He that Measures the Waters in his Fist, and Heauen with a Spa [...]ne▪ was now Crowned in a Manger, and swadled with a few Ragges. Here they finde neither Gard to defend him, nor tumults of people thronging to see him; neither Crowne on his Head, nor Scepter in his hand; but a young Child in a Cratch: hauing so litle externall [Page 93] glory, that they might haue saued their paine and seene many in their owne Countrey farre beyond him. Our instruction hence is, that.

God doth often strangly and strongly exercise the Fayth of his; that their perswasion may not be guided (Oculis, but Ora [...]ulis) by their Sight, but his Word. The eye of true Fayth is so quicke sighted, that it can see through all the Mistes and Fogges of difficulties. Here­on these Magi doe confidently beleeue, that this poore Child, lying in so base a manner, is the great King of Heauen and Earth. The fayth of man, that is grounded on the promises of God must beleeue, that in prison there is libertie, in trouble peace, in affliction, com­fort, in Death life, in the Crosse a Crowne, and in a Manger the Lord Iesus.

The vse of this teacheth vs not to be offended at the basenesse of the Gospell; lest we neuer come to the Ho­nour to see Iesus. It was an argument of the Deuils breaching. [...]. 7. [...]8. Haue any of the Rulers, or Pharises beleeued on him? The great, the learned, the wise giue him no cr [...] ­dence. But this people that knoweth not the Law is Cursed: None but a few o [...] the rascall companie follow him. [...] hereof Simeon resolued his mother Mary. [...] set for the fall, as well as the risi [...]g againe of many [...] for a Signe which shall be spoken against. He should [...] but woe vnto them that so esteemed [...], to worke his will by [...] should apply a medicine contrary to [...] of the patient, he would haue litle [...] the disease. But such is Gods m [...]raculous working that he subdues Crownes to a Crosse, ouercomes [...] pouertie, ouerthrowes the [...] of the [...], by [...] Folishnesse of the Spirit and sets knees a [...] in a Manger.

[Page 94]YOu see their Accesse, and the Euent or Successe; which poynts determine their Direction: Let vs come to their

Deuotion.

Herein wee shall find a triplicitie; to follow the me­thod of Augustines Glosse,Serm. [...] Adorant corporibus, vencran­tur officijs, honorant muneribus: Christ had bestowed on these Magi three sorts of giftes; Goods Corporall, Spi­rituall, Temporall: And all these in a deuout thanke­fulnesse they returne to Christ.

In Falling downe, they did honour him with the Goods of the body.

In Worshipping him, with the gifts of the Minde.

In Presenting to him guiftes, Gold, Frankincense, & Mirrhe; with the goods of the World.

The Body and Minde, I will knit togeather, (They fell downe, and worshipped him.) It is fitte they should be partners in repentance, that haue been confederates in sinne. It is questioned, whether in transgressing, the body or the soule be most culpable? I am sure, either is guiltie. It is all one: a man that wants Eyes, carries a man that wants Feete: the lame that cannot goe, spies a Bootie; and tels his blind Porter of it, that cannot see: Hee that hath Eyes directes the way; hee that hath Feet trauels to it; but they both consent to steale it. The Bo­die without the Soule wants Eyes: the Soule without the Body wants Feete; but either supplyes the other to purloine Gods glory: Discusse, whether more, that list; I am certaine, both the blind and the lame are guiltie. Both haue offended, both must in a repentant Oblation be offered to God. Therefore sayth Paul, not onely Present your Bodyes [...] Sacrifice; Gal [...]. 2. but also, Bee transfor­med by the renewing of your Mindes. Bodily labour profites [...]tle, without the Soule; and it is a proud Soule that hath stiffe Knees. These Magi therefore giue both; Proci­dentes ador [...]uerunt eum.

[Page 93] Heere is one thing sticks horribly in the Papists sto­mackes; and like a Bone in the throat, will neither vp nor downe with them. They fell downe and worshipped him: Not her. This same leauing out of (Her) hath much vexed them. How much would they haue giuen the Euangelist, to put in (Illam.) They saw Him with his Mo­ther: yet they Worshipped Him, not his Mother.

They haue troubled vs and themselues with many Arguments, that though this was concealed, it was not omitted. And they are resolued to beleeue it, though they cannot prooue it; and that, though it be not so good, shall be as ready. Howsoeuer? they will confute the Magi in their practise: for they still Adorare eam, when perhaps they forget eum, and giue the Mother more honour then her Maker. It was but manerly in Bellarmine, to post-scribe two of his Tomes, with Laus Deo, virgini (que) matri Mariae: Prayse to the Lord, and his Mo­ther the virgin Mary. Some (setting the Cart before the Horse) haue written (Laus beatae virgini, et Iesu Christo,) Prayse to the virgin Mary, and Iesus Christ: And they haue enioyned ten Auemaries, for one Paternoster. It is to be feared at last, they will adore her for their Sauiour, as they doe for their Mediatour, and shut Christ quite out of dores.

But let mee come out of Babel into Gods Citie. They fell downe, and worshipped Him. Let our Instruction hence be this.

God did euer so strangely qualifie the basenesse of Christ, that though hee seemed in mens eyes a contemp­tible obiect,Esay. 53. 3. and abiect; (Esa. 53.) yet hee was beautified with some certaine marke of his Diuinitie; that hee might be discerned to be more then Man. Heere when hee had an Oxe-stall for his Cloath of estate, hee had a Starre from Heauen to shine foorth his Glory. Now, when generally in the world there was as much thought of the man in the Moone, as of Christ the Sonne of Righte­ousnesse, [Page 94] behold Magitians come from the East, and pro­strate themselues before him.

The eye of their Flesh, saw his ragges of Pouertie: the eye of their Fayth, saw his robes of Glory. Instead of the cold Stones and Pauement, they saw his Saphyres, Iaspers, Chrysolites. Instead of his Manger, they saw his Throne. For the Beastes about him, they saw armies of Angels attending him. For his base Stable, they saw Palatium centum sublime columnis; a Palace of many Turrets. They behelde Magnu [...] in paruo latere; that this little Child was a great King, yea a great GOD, yea a great King aboue all Gods. Thus, as Thomas in one of his Himnes.

Quod non capis, quod non vides,
Animosa firmat fides,
Praeter rerum ordinem.

What wee neither feele nor see,
Powerfull Fayth beleeues to bee.

When Christ was first reuealed to poore Shepheards, hee was not without a Qu [...]re of Angels singing his Glo­rie.Luk. 3. Let him be in the Wildernesse among wild Beastes,Math. 4. euen those glorious Spirits are his Pensioners, and mi­nister to his wants.Math. 11. Hee comes hungry to a Figtree, to demonstrate his natural infirmitie: but finding no fruite on it, hee curseth the Figtree; Neuer Fruite grow on thee hereafter, to declare his Power. Must hee pay tri­bute? Yet the Kings Sonne should pay none: but hee is content to be a Subiect; hee will pay it: but hee bids Peter goe to the Sea,Math. 17. and take it out of a Fishes mouth. To shew his Humilitie, hee will pay it; but to shew his Diuinitie, he bids the Sea pay it for him. He that vnder­tooke the Miserie to be whipped;Math. 26. did also to prooue his Maiestie, whip the Buyers and Sellers out of the Tem­ple: Mark. 11. Which was no lesse then a miraculous Wonder, that a priuate man should doe it without resistance. Yea, when hee was dying betweene two Theeues, hee [Page 95] so qualifies the basenesse of the Crosse, that hee workes in the heart of one,Math. 27. to call him Sauiour, and to desire re­membrance in his Kingdome. When his Soule was lea­uing his Body, as a man; euen then hee rent the Vaile of the Temple, shooke the Earth, tore the Rocks, opend the Graues; to prooue that hee was GOD.

Thus in his greatest humiliation, God neuer left him without some testimony of his diuine power that as be­holding him hungry, thirsty, weary, weeping, bleeding, dying; wee say, O homo certè sure hee was a Man: So, seeing him to calme the Seas, commaunde the Winds, heale the Sicke, rayse the Dead, cast out Diuels, wee may say, O Deus certè, sure hee was GOD. Thus these conuerted Magitians behelde him, Hominem verum, though not hominem merum; a litle Child, a great GOD. To borrow a distich of a diuine Poet.

O strangest eyes, that saw him by this Starre,
Who, when by-standers saw not, saw so farre?

Men are especially taken with three things, Submission, Honour, Gifts. These Wise-men, therefore hauing Falne downe and worshipped him, doe now open their Treasures and present him Gifts; Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrhe.

Diuers of the Fathers haue diuersly gloss'd these Wise-mens Giftes.

Bern. They did offer Gold, to relieue Maries necessity; Frankincense, to sweeten the Stable; Myrrhe, to comfort the swadled Babe. Others thus.

They did offer Gold to Christ, as being a King: Fran­kincense, as being God: Myrrhe, as being Man, to die for the redemption of the World.

Ambros. An [...]bros. lib. 2. in. Lu [...]. Aurum Regi, Thus Deo, Myrrham Defuncto, or Morituro. Gold for a King, Incense for God, Myrrhe for a Man, that must die: a speciall Vnguent to reserue the Body from corruption.

So Basil.Basil de homChristi[?] gene­rat. Vt Regiaurum, vt morituro Myrrham, vt Deo thus obtulerunt.

[Page 96] The same Hillary:H. lar. con. 1. in Matth. In auro Regem, in thure Deum, in Myr­rha hominem confitentur.

All the Fathers, and other Writers, harpe on this string,Naz. orat in Christ natiu. Cypr. Ser. de stella et Magis, Aug. serm.[?] de Epip Iero. lib. 1. com. in Math. Fulg. ser. vnico de Epiph. and sing the same note. Nazianzen, Cyprian, Au­gustine, Hierom, Gregory, Fulgentius; that in Gold, they acknowledged him a King; by Incense, God; by Myrrhe, a passible and mortall Man. So the Christian Poets haue sung.

Aurea nascenti fuderunt munera Regi:
Thura dedere Deo: Myrrham tribuere sepulehro.

So another. Sedul lib. 1. Aurum, Thus, Myrrham, Regique, Deoque, Hominique, Dona ferunt.

In generall learne two profitable Instructions.

1. They come not to Christ empty-handed. It was Gods charge to Israel (Deut. 16.) but wee thinke now,Deut. 16. 16. wee are deliuered from that Law,) Non apparebis in con­spectu meo vacuus: Thou shalt not appeare before mee emptie. You plead, God cares not for our Sheepe and Oxen, or the fatte of our Rammes: for all the World is his. Hee requires it not for himselfe, though due to himselfe. Giue it then to his poore Ministers, to his poore mem­bers heere.

I know not how happily, I am falne into that I would neuer be out of, Charitie. Most men now-a-dayes (as it is in the Prouerbe) are better at the Rake, then at the Pitch-forke; readier to pull in, then giue out. But if the Lord hath sowne plentifull Seed, hee expects plentifull Fruites; an answerable measure, heapen, and shaken, and thrust togeather, and running ouer. If God hath made the Bushell great, make not you the Pecke small. Turne not the bountie of Heauen, to the scarcity of Earth. Wee loue the retentiue well, but our expul­siue is growne weake. But as God hath made you Diui­t [...] in arca, so beseech him to make you Diuites in consci­entia. Accept not onely the distributiue vertue from Heauen, but affect the communicatiue vertue on Earth.

[Page 97] As in a state politicke, the lieger Ambassadours that are sent abroad to lie in forraine Kingdomes, secureth our peaceable state at home. So, that wee dispearse a­broad, makes safe the rest at home. The Prayers of the Poore by vs relieued, shall preuaile with God for Mer­cie vpon vs. The happy solace of a well pleased Con­science shall reioyce vs: and the neuer fayling Promi­ses of God, shall satisfie vs. Wee heare many Rich men complaine of losses, by Sea, by Debters, by vniust Ser­uants: wee neuer heard any man complaine of want that came by Charitie: No man is the poorer, for that hee giues to the Poore: Let him summe vp his Bookes, and hee shall find himselfe the richer. As God there­fore hath layde vp for you In terra morientium, in this World: so lay vp for your-selues Interra viuentium, in the World to come. As you are rich in the Kinges Bookes, be rich in Gods Booke. If it were possible, all the World should miscarry, your Treasure in Heauen is in a sure Coffer: no Thiefe, Rust, Moth, Fire, shall consume that. You shall find God the best Creditor; hee will pay great Vsurie, not ten in a hundred, but a hundred, a thousand for ten.

2. Their Giftes were not slight and triuiall, leane, meager, staruelings; but Opimat, optima; euery one the best in their kinds. Gold is the best of Metals, Frankin cense of aromaticall Odours, Myrrhe of medicinall Vn­guents.

Match these Wise-men, O yee miserable times of ours. Rarò reddentem, rarissimè optima reddentem profertis. You seldome bring foorth a man that will giue; but almost neuer, one that will offer the best Gifts. Our lame Sonne must be Gods Clerke, our starued Lambe, our poorest Fleece, our thinnest Sheafe must fall for Gods Tenth. If wee giue him the Shales, the Huskes, the Sheards, the Shreds, of our Wealth, wee iudge him beholding to vs.

[Page 98] God heares the Heauens, and the Heauens heare the Earth,Hos. 2. and the Earth heares the Corne, Wine, Oyle, and they heare vs. Our valleys stand thicke with Corne, our Trees grone with the burden of Fruites, our pastures abound with Cattell & we returne God either nothing, or the worst we can picke out. Take heed, least God cursè our Blessings; Mal. 2. 2. and whiles our Barnes and Garners be Fatte, he withall send leannesse into our Soules.

Neuer thinke, ye miserable worldings, without open­ning your Treasures, and Presenting the Lord with liberall giftes; euer with these Magi to see the face of the Lord Iesus. Goe home now, and make thy selfe merry with thy wealth, whiles Christ stands mourning in the streets: applaud thy Wardrobe, whiles he goes Naked: satu­rate thy selfe with thy Fatte morsells, whiles he begges (vnrelieued) for the Crummes: beake thy Pamperd limbes at the Fire, whiles hee shakes through Cold: thy miseries is to come; thou shalt not behold thy Sauiour in his glory.

Generally their example hath taught vs somewhat; to be Charitable, 1. Tim. 18. to be Ritch in Charytie. More specially they shall intruct vs to particular Gifts.

Some haue alluded these three, Gold, Myrrhe and Fran­kincense, to the three Theologicall vertues; Fayth, Hope, and Charitie.

Auro virtus perhibetur Amantis:
In Myrrha bona Spes; Thure beata Fides.

By Incense they vnderstand Fayth: because as that is to be offered, so this is, to be reposed in God alone.

By Myrrh, Hope: that though death lay the body in the Cold earth, and send it to Putrefaction; yet Hope shall (as it were) embalme it with Myrrh, and giue it ex­pectance of a better Resurrection.

By Gold, Loue and Charitie; the vse of it being such, as it can procure them to whom we giue it, necessary [Page 99] thinges to the sustentation of their liues. Et quid non ven­ditur auro?

Others haue resolued it thus.

Pro Myrrha Lachrymas; Auro cor porrige purum.
Pro Thure, ex humili pectore funde precet.
Pure Heart thy Gold, thy Myrrhe be Penitence:
And deuout Prayer be thy Frankincense.

In a word:

1. Offer vp to God thy Frankincense, Supplication and Thanksgiuing.Psal. 141. 2. Psal. 141.) Let thy Prayer be set foorth before him as Incense, and the lifting vp of thy Hands as an Eue­ning Sacrifice. Put this into Christs Censor, and it will make a sweete smoake in Gods Nosthrils.Psal. 50. 23. Whoso offereth mee Prayse, glorifieth mee. It shall perfume thy Soule, qua­lifie the stench of thy iniquities, and vindicate thy Heart from the suffocating Plague of sinne. Say then, (Psal 54.) I will freely sacrifice vnto thee: Psal. 54. 6. I will prayse thy Name, O Lord, for it is good. Freely, for this must be Frank­incense.

2. Next, present to him thy Myrrhe, a chast and mortified Li [...]e. Let thine Eyes, like the [...] of the C [...]urch (Cant. 5. 5.) droppe downe sweete-smelling Myrrhe: Let them gush foorth with pen [...]tent Teares, and thy Soule powre out flouds of sorrow for thy offences Wee haue sinned, we haue sinned: O let the Lord behold our Oblation of Myrrhe accept our Repentance.

3. Lastly, thou must giue thy Gold also: a pure Heart, tryed in the Furnace of Affliction and sublim'd from all corruption. And because God onely knowes the Heart, and the World must iudge by thy Fruites; giue thy spiri­tuall Gold to Christ, and thy temporall Gold to his poore members. Here take with thee three Cautions.

1. That all these Gifts be deriued from an honest Heart. It is said of these Magi, They opened their Treasurs, and presented vnto him Gifts. Mans Heart is his Treasurie: thou must open that, when thou presentest any Gift to [Page 100] the Lord. He that comes with an open Hand, and a shut Heart, shall be answerd of God, as Belshazzar was of Daniel; Keepe thy Rewards to thy selfe, and giue thy Giftes to another.

2. That thy Gifts obserue the true latitude of Deuo­tion; which endeuours to extend it selfe to the glory of God, the good of thy Brother, and the saluation of thy owne Soule. And to all these three, may these three Gifts of the Wise-men be preferred. The Incense of Prayer, respects God: the Gold of Charitie respects our Neigh­bour: and the Myrrhe of Mortification respects our selues.

3. That you offer not onely one, but all these. It hath been question'd, Whether these Magi did offer Singuli singula, or singuli tria: But the consent of Diuines is, that they gaue euery one all, Semel et fimul. Thy Oblation will not be welcome, if any one of the three be missing; Giue then all.

Some will giue Myrrhe, but not Frankincense: Some will giue Frankincense, but not Myrrhe: and some will giue Myrrhe and Frankincense, but not Gold.

1. Some will giue Myrrhe, a strict Morall life, not culpable of any grosse eruption, or scandalous impiety: but not Frankincense. Their Prayers are thinne sowne; therefore their Graces cannot come vp thicke. Perhaps they feele no want; and then you know, Rarae fumant faliorbus Arae: In their thought, they doe not stand in any great need of God: when theydoe, they will offer him some Incense. These liue a morally honest life, but are scant of religious Prayers: and so may be said to of­fer Myrrhe without Frankincense.

2. Some will giue Frankincense: Pray frequently, perhaps tediously; but they will giue no Myrrhe, not mortifie or restraine their Concupiscence. The Phars­ses had many Prayers; but neuer the fewer sinnes. These mocke God, when they so often begge of him, that his [Page 101] Will may be done, when they neuer subdue their affecti­ons to it. There are too many such among vs, that will often ioyne with the Church in common Deuotions, who yet ioyne with the world in common vices. These make great smoakes of Frankincense, but let not fall one droppe of Myrrhe.

3. Some will giue both Myrrhe and Frankincense, but by no meanes their Gold. I will giue (sayth the World­ling) a Sober life; there's my Myrrhe: I will say my Prayers, there's my Frankincense: but doe you thinke I will part with my Gold? This same Gold lyes closer in mens Hearts, then it doth in their Purses: You may as well wring Hercules Clubbe out of his Fist, as a Penny from their heapes, to charitable vses.

You haue read (2. Sam. 24. 24.) how Areunah, like a King, gaue to the King Oxen for Sacrifice, and the Instruments for Fuell: But Dauid answered, Shall I offer burnt Offerings vnto the Lord my God, of that which doth cost mee nothing? These men will giue God Oblations, and enough; pro­uided they cost them nothing. The Vsurer must saue his Gold for his idolatrous Eye, the Drunkard for his Host, the Lustfull for his Whore, the Proude for his Backe, the Epicure for his Belly: Can you hope they will part from their Gold?

Aurum omnes, pulsaiam pietate, colunt,

O this damn'd sinne of Couetousnesse; how many it keepes from the Grace of God, and the Gates of Hea­uen? Men thinke they can neuer haue Gold enough. They write of the Toad, that shee eates of nothing but the Earth; and thereof no more, then shee can hold in her foote at once: and the reason they giue is, that shee feares the Earth would be wasted, and none left. A fitte embleme of the Couetous, who feare to take their Por­tion of the thinges God hath giuen them vnder the Sunne, least they should want: when the vnrauelling the bottome of their Patrimonie, would last to ten fru­gall [Page 102] Generations.

How this Sicknesse grouels a man! how it stoupes him into Earth, into Hell! This Disease lyes in mens Bones. I haue read of a Beggar, that passed by a com­pany of Rich men, and earnestly besought their Almes, complayning that hee had a secret Disease lying in his Bones, that hee could not earne his lyuing: They in charity gaue him somewat, and let him goe. One a­mong the rest following him, would needes know of him, what that secret Disease should be, seeing that out­wardly hee seemed to ayle nothing. Quoth the Beggar, you cannot see it, for it lyes in my Bones; and some call it Idlenesse. You see many a Rich man, whose cuppe of Wealth runnes ouer: you wonder to see him so mi­serable, both to himselfe and others. Why, there is a Disease that lyes in his Bones; that keepes him from working the workes of Charitie, from relieuing his di­stressed Brethren: you may call it Couetousnesse. They will part with any thing, so they may keepe their Gold. But we must giue our Gold too, with the rest: If wee of­fer not all, Christ will accept none.

I will ende with a Consolation; for who can shutte vp this Storie with aterrour? The Lord will so graci­ously prouide for his, that in their greatest ext [...]emitie they shall not be destitute of comfort. Though Mary trauell in her Trauell; for shee was deliuered in Beth­leem, whither shee came to be taxed (Luk. 2.) and (like­ly) wanted necessarie prouision for her Infant and her selfe: beholde GOD will relieue their pouertie, and send them Gold from the East. As hee once in a Dearth, prouided for Iacobs Familie in Canaan, by a store of Bread in Egipt. Comfort shall come when, and whence wee least expect it. Rockes shall yeelde Water, Rauens shall bring Meate, rather then wee shall perish; euen our Enemies shall sustaine vs. I haue [Page 103] been young, Psal. 37. 25. and now am old; yet haue I not seene the Righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging Bread.

By whom all things were made, and since haue stood:
By him they all shall worke vnto our good.

To whom be prayse for euer. Amen.

FINIS.
[figure]
PLAINE-DEALING, OR, …

PLAINE-DEALING, OR, A Precedent of Honestie.

PSAL. 37. 37.
Marke the perfect man, and beholde the vp­right: for the end of that man is peace.
August. in Ioh. Hom. 2.
Simplex eris, site mundo non implicaueris, sed ex­plicaueris. Explicando enim te à mundo, sim­plex; implicando, duplex eris.
[figure]

LONDON, Printed by Thomas Purfoot, for Clement Knight, and are to besold at his shop in Pauls Church-yard, at the Signe of the Holy Lambe. 1616.

PLAINE-DEALING, OR, A PRECEDENT OF HONESTIE.

GEN. 25. 27.‘Iacob was a Plaine man, dwelling in tents.’

THE world (I take it in Pauls sense, Rom. 12. 2.) is growne at once deformed and suttle. And, as it is commonly seene, that mishapen trunckes are houses of the sharpest wittes: as it was said of the Emperour Galba, Ingenium Galbae male habitat; because he had an a­cute witte, with an vncomely body: nature recompen­cing her defection one way, with perfection another way. So the world is become ill-fauoured, and shrewd­pated; as politike in braine, as it is stigmatike in limbs. Honestie, though it be elder then fraud, yet hath lost the priuiledge in mens estimation: It may keepe the priori­tie, [Page 4] the superioritie is gone; and it must be faine to serue the yonger.

Plaine-dealing was held a good cittisen, a good towns­man: but Double-dealing, since hee came blustring in, hath thrust him sedibus, aedibus; out of house and home; out of repute among men, out of succour of friends; out of Commons, and almost out of Canons; out of his house in the Towne, and seate in the Church.

I will therefore call backe antiquitie, and present to your eyes the puritie of the Primitiue times. For I may say with Tertullian; Perfectiora prima: the neerer the spring-head, the purer streames. Men, quo minus ab or­tu aberant, might more perfectly discerne, and more constantly follow the truth. Iacob is our exemplar, and patterne of Plaine-dealing. He was a plaine man, dwel­ling in tents.

Iacob,

TAken in the proper sense, signifieth to supplant. In­deed Esau abuseth it, Gen. 27. 36. Is he not rightly na­med Iacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times. Hee tooke away my Birth-right, and behold, now hee hath taken a­way my Blessing. But Iacob did not steale away his birth­right; but onely tooke the aduantage to buy, what carelesse Esau was willing to sell. And hauing the Birth­right, the Blessing did iustly belong to him: for the birthright and the blessing were not to bee separated. But this name was a prediction of that fell out after­wards, for Iacob indeed supplanted and ouerthrew his brother.

The Character giues him a Plaine man, dwelling in tents. This is a manifest description of Iacobs

  • Conuersation.
  • Profession.

[Page 5] For his Life, he was a Plaine-dealing man; simple, and without fraud. Though some autithetically op­pose it to Esau's roughnesse. That Esau was an hairy man, but Iacob was Plaine & smooth; without any semblance to his brothers ruggednesse. We deny not, that Iacob was so: that exposition is true, but not enough. It falls short of that praise, which Gods spirit heere meanes him. He was a Plaine man; without craft or subtiltie.

For his delight and profession, Hee dwelt in tents. Which though the Hebrewes expound of frequenting the tents of Sem and Heber for knowledge; is indeed onely a description of such as liue in the fields, and em­ploy themselues about cattell: and this wee frequently finde to be Iacobs desire and practise. The good Patri­archs were plaine men: plaine in their clothes; no seas crossed for strange stuffes and fashions: plaine in their houses, which were meere Tents; not gorgeous parlors without hospitalitie: plaine in their dyet, as Iacob heere, that fed on Lentil-pottage.

But hauing thus proposed Iacob for a Precedent of Plaine-dealing: it is primarily necessary to prooue him clearely so. Otherwise the Originall beeing faultie, there can hardly be taken a good copy out of it. There are exceptions made against Iacobs Plainesse; and that in regard of his dealing, both with his

  • Owne brother, Esau.
  • Father in law, Laban.

I will briefly examine eyther; and how farre he may be iustified. In regard of Esau, it is obiected, that hee stroue against him

  • Before
  • At
  • After

his birth.

Before.

It is said, verse 22 The children struggled together with­in their mothers wombe. Neuer brothers begunne so earely a liti [...]ation. These two were the Champions of two mightie Nations, successiuely to bee deriued from [...] [...]omes: and they beginne this opposition in a du­ell, or single combate: when the field was their mothers wombe: the quarrell, precedencie and chiefedome.

This was not a pleasant and merry contention; as some would reade it.De ciuit. D [...]i lib. 16. cap. 33. Ambrose, Hierome, Augustine so giue it: exultare, gestire, ludere: to leape, skip, or play: but it was an earnest struggling, as we translate it; the word signifying to beate, hurt, or bruse one another.

It was not a naturall strife, or ordinary motion. A­ristole affirmes,De histor. animal, lib. 7. cap. 3 that male twinnes do striue in the right side vpon the 40. day; and females in the left, on the 90. day. But by Aristotles leaue, what woman, except Rebeccah, euer complayned of so strange and earely a contention! Nature was not heere alone, if at lest shee was heere at all.

Nor yet was this struggling voluntary and conside­rate. They did not striue scientia certandi, with a know­ledge capable of what they did: or with any skill of wrastling. No, it was extraordinary, moued by a high­er cause, not without the presage and signification of a great effect. It portended the future concertation of two great people: neither if it had beene pleasant, na­turall, or vsuall, would Rebecca haue beene so strangely affected, or troubled with it; as to cry out Why [...]m I thus? or to solicite God by prayer, to kno [...] what it mea [...]t.

And is it any wonder,Aug. Ser. de Temp. 78 that Iacob and Esau wrastle in their mothers wombe; when their seed, especially af­ter a spirituall signification, must for euer wrastle in the world? Shall the wombe of the Church on earth be e­uer free from ca [...]nall professors mingled with holy? [Page 5] And is it possible these should liue together in perfect peace, that are of so contrary natures? The wolfe shall sooner dwell with the lambe, and the leopard play with the vntroubled kid, and chil [...]ren sit vnstu [...]g at the holes of aspes The sonnes of Behel will not [...] sonnes of God liue in quiet: that enmite, which was once put betweene the seed of the Woman, and of the Serpent, will not so easily be reconciled. Indeed the seed of Esau is the greater, but they serue the lesse. They are moe in number, stronger in power; et cannot ex­tend it further then the permitting hand of heauen [...] it. And euen whiles they doe persecute the righteous, Quibus nocere volunt, prosunt plurimum, sibi autem ipsi ma­xime nocent: they hurt onely themselues, and benefite those to whom they intended nothing lesse. They are our Apothecaries, to minister vs bitter pilles, but so, that they cannot put in one ingredient more then the Lord allowes them.

Origen drawes from this a mysticall sense;Hom 12. in Genes. and vn­derstands these two combatants to be within vs. As if it had presignified what Pavl affirmeth, Galat. 5. The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other. Rebecca Galat. 5. 17 may well thus figure the state of a regenerate soule; wherein, till this mortall shall put on [...]ortalitie, and glory swallow vp corruption, there must be a perpetuall co [...]flict. In men vnconuerted on earth, in Saints glorified in hea­uen, there is no such vnquietnesse: the former being without a Iacob, the latter without an Esau: these ha­uing no flesh. the other nothing but flesh. But in men called and iustified by the blood of Christ, yet in a m [...] ­litant estate, there is a necessitie of this combate. No strife, no christian. Before sanctification there is all peace in the soule. How should there chuse, when there is no enemy to resist? The vnregenerate heart ha [...]h [Page 8] onely an Esau in it: what strife can there be without a Iacob? Nature can very easily agree with it selfe. Di­sturbance is a signe of sanctification: there is no grace, where there is all peace. No sooner is the new man for­med in vs, but suddenly beginnes this quarrell. The remaining corruption will fight with grace, and too often preuaile against it. Indeed it hath lost the domi­nion, but not the opposition; the soueraignetie, not the subtletie:Rom 7. it will dwell, though it cannot raigne. Ne­uer any Rebecca was so happy, as to conceiue none but a Iacob: Esau, the flesh will be there also, to giue triall and exercise. If grace alone sate in the heart, the hope­lesse deuill would forbeare his tentations: hee knowes, he hath a friend in our house, that will bee ready to let him in. So long as there is a Iudas with Christ, hee will not despaire of betraying him. It is our corruption he workes vpon: if it were not for this Esau, he would not proffer assault. Wee see our combat; let vs fight, and conquer. Our flesh is the elder brother; grace is borne after nature: but when this Iacob comes, he will get the superioritie: the elder shall serue the yonger. This strife be­ginnes betimes: there is no Israelite, but must be con­tent to commence this warre with his being. Regene­ration and contention salute vs at once: wee cannot en­ter our names into Christs muster-booke, but we must fight. Let the secure worldling liue at his cowardly ease, we must looke for a skirmish. Herein stands our com­fort,Rom. 8. 37. Wee shall be more then Conquerours, through him that loued vs.

At his Birth.

THe strife is not ended at once; but continues, or ra­ther is renewed at the birth. Afterward came his bro­ther out, and his hand held Esau by the heele: Lest Esau [Page 7] should out-runne his brother into the world, Iacob catcheth fast hold of his heele. So that though Esaus body haue the primogeniture, yet Iacobs Hand was borne before his Heele. Razi hath a conceit, that thogh Esau was first borne, yet Iacob was first conceiued: and therefore the Birthright did of right belong vnto him. But it is without question, that Esau had the start of na­ture, though Iacob of grace: and therefore Iacob holdes him by the heele, as if hee would stay him from posses­sing that priuiledge, which Nature (God afterwards disposing otherwise) bestowed on him.

After the Birth.

ANd herein there are two impeachments laid to Ia [...]cobs plaine-dealing. Hee is accused with fraudulent stratagems concerning the

  • Birthright.
  • Blessing.

For the Birthright.

ESau is by some few minutes the elder; and that was enough to giue him iust title to the Birthright. That Iacob therefore might haue the better claime to it, hee buyes that which hee could not winne: and by an ho­nest art redeemes the losses of nature. But this action smells of cunning, and seemes to marre the credite of his Plaine-dealing.

1. Iacob is accused for cruell and vncharitable dea­ling with his brother. Esau comes hungry from the field, he is ready to die for want of sustenance; he sees his brother (in no such exigent) with food in his hand; he breakes forth into an earnest complaint, intreating [Page 8] his commiseration: now, shall a brother deny reliefe to his brother being ready to die, except vpon such intol­lerable conditions? Sure it could be no lesse then a hard measure, to take such aduantage of a brothers necessi­tie. But it is answered, that there could not be any such necessity of Esaus coueting Iacobs pottage; for there was (if not lentile pottage) store of as good meate in the house; able to haue giuen satisfaction to his hun­ger, and ready enough at his request, being the elder sonne. It was not then distressed needinesse, but insa­tiate greedinesse, that wrought Esaus lust to Iacobs pot­tage. And it is not vnfit, that the luxurious appetite should pay for his follie.

2. But Iacob cannot be excused of couetousnesse; that would set no lower a price on his pottage, then the Birthright. Which comprehended many priuiledges; prioritie, gouernement of the brethren, a double por­tion to the rest, the Priesthood and right to sacrifice, and (what yet further commended it) a type and figure of euerlasting life. And will Iacob require such a Birth­right, including all these priuiledges for a messe of pot­tage? what tyrant could set such an Impost on a mar­chandise! what citizen such a price on his engrossed commodities? Heere was an exaction beyond the tax­ing of Tiberius: an extortion more extreame then an Vsurers. We answere, Not as the Hebrewes conceit, that Iacob afterwards gaue a greater summe, and payd this but as an earnest: the Scripture neyther expressing directly, nor inferring by consequence any such mat­ter▪ But we say, that Iacob, by the instruction of his mo­ther, knew that the Birthright did iustly belong to him, by the preordination of God: therefore now wisely ta­keth this opportunity to r [...] couer that to himselfe, wher­of his brother was but an vsurper: For though Esau could pleade the right of Nature, Iacob could the right [Page 9] of grace; and hee knew this would at last preuaile. Nei­ther yet must this particular fact of Iacob be drawne in­to a generall imitation. His warrant was a diuine reue­lation; the silence whereof in these dayes sends vs for direction to the written Truth,Esay 8. 20 To the Lawe, to the Te­stimonie: let this resolue and instruct thee.

3. But this Birthright was a holy thing, and there­fore the Apostle calles him a Profane person for selling it:Hebr. 12. 16 Now there is no profanenesse in selling a thing not sa­cred. But if sanctified things cannot bee solde without sinne, can they be bought without sinne? Did not Ia­cob offend as much in the one, as Esau in the other? It is well answered, that Iacob intelligi potest suam redemisse vexationem: he did but buy his owne vexation. He buies not simply a thing, wherunto he had no right; but only taketh this occasion to recouer his owne: whereof the appointment of God had made him a possible, yea cer­tainely future proprietary. It was neuer held Simonie, for a spirituall man to buy his owne peace. Many things are detained from the cleargie vniustly, which Gods law hath made sacred and theirs: they may therefore without touch of Simoniacall dealing, redeeme their owne quietnesse, and purchase a peaceable possession. I say not, that any man may buy a spirituall endow­ment before hee hath it; but when he hath it in right, he may purchase his owne peaceful and quiet enioying it. All that can be said, is this: Esau preferred his belly before his Birthright: Iacob his Birthright before his belly. The one solde spirituall things for temporall, the other with temporall things bought spirituall.

And who will not part with transient benefites for e­ternall blessings? If eyther by suite, or strife, or pur­chase we can attaine Heauen, wee are happy. For suite, there is no houre vnseasonable, no prayer vnwelcome, no importunitie troublesome. The vniust Iudge could [Page 10] giue reliefe to the importunate widow:Luke 18. 5. and shal not our iust God giue eare and ease to our incessant plaints? Spare to speake, and spare to speed: the timorous re­quester teacheth the inuocated a deniall. For strife; we know who taught vs, that the Kingdome of Heauen suf­fers violence, and must bee attained by a holy kinde of force. Iacob must wrastle for the Blessing before hee hath it: and so wrastling hee shall haue it, though he bee sent halting to his graue. The Lord knowes our strength, yet hee loues our violence and importuni­tie: and therefore hath so conditioned the gate of hea­uen, that without our Striuing, we must not looke to enter it. For purchase, had a farre higher rate beene set on the Birthright, Iacob would not haue grudged to giue it. He hath too much of the blood of Esau in him, that will not forgoe all the world, rather then the Birth­right. The wise Merchant, when hee knew the field wherein lay that hidden treasure, solde all hee had to buy it. Hee is a besotted Cosmopolite, that refuseth to purchase such spirituall Friends by his riches, as may procure him a place in the celestiall habitations. Grudge not him a portion of thy temporall wealth, that is able to minister euerlasting comfort to thy con­science. Thou art no looser, if thou mayest exchange earth for heauen.

For the Blessing.

WHat hath secure Esau lost, if hauing solde the Birthright, he may reserue the Blessing? Behold, of this hee assureth himselfe: his Father hath sent him for venison,Genes. 27. 4. that his soule might blesse him. To hun­ting hee is gone in haste; meaning to recouer that a­gaine by his owne venison, which hee had lost by his brothers pottage. Isaac being now blinde in his eyes, [Page 11] but yet blinder in his affections; forgetting what de­cree and sentence God had formerly passed of his two sonnes for some temporall regard doth fauour Esaeu, and intends to bequeath vnto him, that spirituall and happy legacie of the Blessing. God had said, that the el­der shall serue the younger; yet forgetfull Isaac purposeth to blesse his first borne Esau. How easie is it euen for a Saint, to be transported with naturall affections! hee could not but remember, that himselfe (though the yoonger) was preferred to his elder brother Ishmael: hee knew that Gods commaund preuailed with his Fa­ther Abraham aboue nature, when hee bound him for a sacrifice: he saw Esau lewdly matched with the daugh­ters of Heathens: yet hee will now thinke on nothing, but Esau is my first borne; and if it bee possible, hee will poure the benediction vpon a wrong head.

But God is often better to vs then wee would; and with his preuenting grace stoppes the precipitation of erring nature. So sweete is the ordination of the Di­uine prouidence, that we shall not doe what we would, but what wee ought; and by deceiuing vs, turnes our purposed euill into euentuall good. We are made to do that good, which wee not intended. God hath ordai­ned the superioritie to the yonger; hee will therefore contriue for him the Blessing. Whatsoeuer Isaac affe­cted, this God will haue effected.

To bring the Lords will to passe there neuer wanted meanes. Sinnefull man may haue his hand in this: the iust de [...]ree of God stands vntouched. He determined the death of his Sonne, without fauour to their guilt that murderd him. The affections of Parents are heere diuided: Isaac loues Esau, and Rebeca Iacob: this diffe­rence shall make way to the fulfilling of the Promise. Neyther parent neglected eyther sonne: but Rebeccah remembred the Lords purpose better then Isaac. Ney­ther [Page 12] is it enough what Ambrose heereon saith,Lib. 2. de Iac. cap. 2 Mater affectum, pater iudicium indicat: mater circa minorem te­nera pictate propendit, pater circa seniorem naturae honorifi­centiam seruat. The mother shewes affection, the fa­ther iudgement: shee tenderly loues the yonger, hee giues the honour of nature to the elder. Nay rather, the mother shewes iudgement, and the father affection. For what was Iacob to Rebecca more then Esau? or why should shee not rather loue her first borne? It is God that inclines the mothers loue to the yoonger against nature, because the father affects the elder against the promise. Heereupon shee will rather deceiue her owne husband, then he shall deceiue his owne chosen sonne of the decreed blessing. The wife will be subtle, when the husband is partiall: her honest fraud shall answere his forgetfull indulgence. Isaac would turne Esau into Iacob: Rebecca doth turne Iacob into Esau.

The discourse or contemplation of the prouident mother, and her happy sonnes passages in this action, I finde set downe by so diuine and accurate a pen;D. Hall Con­temp. volum. 1. libr. 3 that despairing of any tolerable imitation, I shall without distaste to the Reader, or imputation to my selfe, deli­uer it in his owne expresse words. Rebecca presuming vpon the Oracle of God, and her husbands simplicity, dares be Iacobs suretie for the danger, his counseller for the carriage of the businesse, his cooke for the dyet; yea dresses both the meate and the man. And now puts dishes into his hand, words into his mouth, the gar­ments on his backe, the goates haire vppon the open parts of his body, and sends him in thus furnished for the blessing. Standing no doubt at the doore, to see how well her lesson was learned, how well her deuice succeeded. And if olde Isaac should by any of his sen­ses haue discerned the guile, shee had soone stept in, and vndertaken the blame, and vrged him with that [Page 13] knowne will of God, concerning Iacobs dominion, and Esaus seruitude; which either age or affection had made him forget And now she wisheth, that shee could bor­row Esaus tongue as well as his garments, that she might securely deceiue all the senses of him, which had suffe­red himselfe more dangerously deceiued with his affe­ction. But this is past her remedy: her son must name himselfe Esau with the voyce of Iacob.

We see the proceeding: it is now examinable, whe­ther this doth not somewhat impeach the credite of Ia­cobs Plaine-Dealing. There haue beene vndertakers of Iacobs iustification, or at least excusation in this fact. Let vs heare what they say.Hom. 6. in Ezek. 1. Gregorie thus excuseth it: that Iahob did not steale the Blessing by fraud, but si­bi debitam, accepit, tooke it as a due to himselfe, in re­spect that the primogeniture was formerly deuolued to him. The truth is, he that ought the Birthright, might iustly chalenge the Blessing: but this doth not wholly excuse the fact.Hom. 53. in Genes. 2. Chrysostome thus mitigates it; that non studio nocendi contexit fraudem, hee did not deceiue, with a minde to hurt; but onely in respect of the pro­mise of God. But this is not sufficient; for there was an intention of hurt, both to Isaac in deceiuing him, and to Esau, in depriuing him of the Blessing. But what­soeuer may bee pleaded for the defence of Iacobs dissi­mulation in outward gesture, there is no apologie for the words of his tongue. The meaning of the speach is in the speaker; therefore his tongue cannot be guilt­lesse, when it goes against his conscious heart: but the meaning of the gesture, is in the interpreter, who giues it a voluntary construction. Gesture is more ea­sily ruled then speach: and it is hard, if the tongue will not blabbe what a man is, in spite of his habite. Isaacs eyes might be deceiued, they were dimme: his hands, by the roughnesse of the garments: his nosthrills by [Page 14] the smell of them: his palate, by the sauour of the meat. All these senses yeeld affiance, what then shall driue I­saac to a suspition or incredulitie? None but this, the eare stickes at the iudgement; that sayes, the voyce is the voyce of Iacob. To helpe forward this deceit, three lies are tumbled out, one in the necke of another. 1. I am Esau thy first borne. 2. I haue done as thou badst me. 3. eate of my venison. To cleare him of this sinne of lying, hath beene more peremptorily vndertaken, then soundly performed.

1. Chrysostome, Hom. 5. in Genes. with diuers others, thinke that thogh he did lie, hee did not sinne; because hee did it by the reuelation and counsell of God. So that God willing to haue the prediction fulfilled, dispensing and dispo­sing all things, is brought in as the preordainer of Ia­cobs lie, that I say not the Patron. But not without de­rogation to his diuine Iustice. For first, it appeares not that this was the counsell of God, but onely Rebeccaes deuice, verse 8. Heare my voice my sonne, in that which I commaund thee. My voice, not Gods; what I command, not what GOD approoues. 2. If Iacob had receiued any oraculous warrant for this proiect, hee would not haue had so doubtfull an opinion of the successe. The matter was forseene of God; not allowed: for God neuer inspireth lies. Gods wise disposition of this meanes, affords no warrant of his approbation. He or­dereth many things, which hee ordayned not. The means were so vnlawfull, that Iacob himselfe doth more distrust their successe, then hope for their blessing. He knew that good Isaac beeing [...]o plaine-hearted himselfe, would seuerely punish deceit in his sonne. Men in of­fice truely honest, are the sorest enemies to fraudulent courses in others. Hee therefore carries his meate in trembling hands; and scarce dares hope, that God will blesse such a subtletie with good euent. Yet he did; but [Page 15] how! Heere was prodigall dissembling: a dissembled person, a dissembled name, dissembled venison, dis­sembling answere; yet beholde a true blessing; to the man, not to the meanes. Thus God may worke his owne will out of our infirmities; yet without approuall of our weakenesse, or wronging the integritie of his owne goodnes.

2. Some haue confessed it a lie, but a guiltlesse he; by reason of a necessitie imagined in this exigent; as if GOD could not haue wrought Isaacs heart to blesse Iacob in this short interim, whiles Esau was gone a hun­ting for venison. Origen sayes, that Necessitie may vrge a man to vse a lie, as sawce to his meate: Another; as Physi­cians vse Hellebora. But that which is simply euill, can by no apologie be made good. Causa patrocinio non bona, peicr erit.

3. Some take from it all imputation of alie, and directly iustifie it. Augustine thinkes Iacob spoke my­stically, and that it is to bee referred to Iacobs bodie, not to Iacobs person; to the Christian Church that should take away the Birthright from the elder. But wee may better receiue, that Iacob fell into an infirmi­tie, then the colour of an allegorie. Neyther doth the successe iustifie the meanes. As some Philosophers haue deliuered, that Prosperum, scelus vocatur virtus; luckie wickednesse merites the name of goodnesse. But Iacobs one act of falshoode, shall not disparage wholly that simplicitie the Scripture giues him; Hee was a plaine man. To bee vniust condemnes a man, not the dooing of one singular act vniustly: therefore God casts not off Iacob for this one infirmitie: but makes vse of this infirmity to serue his owne purpose. If Esaus and Iacobs workes bee weighed together in a ballance; one would thinke the more solide vertue to bee in Esau's.

[Page 16] Esau obeyeth his fathers will, painefully hunts veni­son, carefully prepares it: heere is nothing but praise­worthy. Iacob dissembles, offers kids flesh for venison, counterfets Esau, beguiles his father: here is all blame­worthy. I will not heereon speake as a Poet:

Committunt eadem diuerso crimina fato,
Ille crucem sceleris pretium tu [...]it, hic diadem.

But inferre with the Apostle. Rom. 9. 11 The purpose of God shall remaine by election; which standeth not in workes, but in grace. Therefore, howsoeuer Iacob got the Blessing against Isaacs will; yet once giuen, it stood: neyther did the father recant this act as an errour, but sawe in it the mercie of God, that preuented him of an errour: so verse 33. I haue blessed him, therefore hee shall bee bles­sed. When afterwards Esau came in, Isaac trembled: his heart tolde him, that hee should not haue intended the Blessing where hee did; and that it was due to him, vnto whom it was giuen, not intended. Hee sawe now that hee had performed vnwilling iustice; and executed Gods purpose against his owne. He rather cries mercy for wrong intending, then thinkes of reuersing it.

Yet then may Iacob stand for our precedent of Plaine-Dealing; notwithstanding this particular weakenesse. Who hath not oftener erred without the losse of his honest reputation? Not that his fact should embolden an imitation: let vs not tell Iacobs lie, to get Iacobs bles­sing. It would be presumption in vs, what was in him infirmity: and God that pardond his weaknesse, would curse our obstinatenesse. There is yet one cauill more against Iacobs integrity concerning

Laban,

ABout the parti-coloured sheepe; whether it were a fault in Iacob, by the deuice of the pilled and stra­ked roddes to enrich himselfe. The answere is three­folde.

[Page 17] 1. This was by the direction of God, Genesis 31. 11. who being an infinite and illimited Lord, hath an ab­solute power to transferre the right of things from one to another: as he might iustly giue the Land of Cana­an to the Israelites, from the vsurping Cananites.

2. Iacob apprehends this meanes to recouer his owne; due vnto him by a double right: first, as the wages of twenty yeares seruice, Genesis 31. 7. yet vn­payd. Secondly,Gen. 31. 15 as the dowry for his wiues; whom mi­serable Laban had thrust vppon him without any com­petent portion. Thirdly, especially Gods warrant con­curring; it was lawfull for him to recouer that by poli­cie, which was detained from him by iniury. So did the Israelites borrow of the Egyptians, their best goods, ie­wells, and ornaments; and bore them away as a iust re­compence of their long seruice.

3. Lastly, hee is quitted by that saying, Volenti non fit iniuria. Laban sees that hee was well blessed by Iacobs seruice: the encreasing his flockes makes him loath to part. But Iacob hath serued long enough for a dead pay; somewhat hee must haue, or be gone. His hard vnckle biddes him aske a hire: you know Iacobs de­maund: Laban readily promoues this bargaine; which at last made his sonne in law rich, and himselfe enuious. So sayth Caluine, Tractatus est prosuo ingenio; Laban is handled in his kinde. Hee thought by this meanes, to haue multiplyed his owne flockes: but those few spot­ted sheepe and goates, vpon this couenant, as if they had beene weary of their olde owner, alter their fashi­on, and runne their best yoong into party-colours; changing at once their colour, and their maister. So that this meanes, which Iacob vsed, was not fraudu­lent or artificiall, but naturall; not depending vpon mans witte, but Gods blessing: who considering his tedious and painfull seruice, payes him good wages out [Page 18] of his vnckles foldes. For foureteene yeares the Lord hath for Iacob enriched Laban: therefore for these last six he will out of Laban enrich Iacob. And if the vnckles flocke be the greater, the nephews shall be the better. Most iustly then is Iacob cleared from iniustice; and no aspersion of fraud with Laban can be cast to discredite his Plaine-Dealing.

He dwelt in Tents.

TWo things are obseruable in the holy Partriarchs, and commendable to all that wil be heires with them of eternall life.

1. Their contempt of the world. They that dwell in Tents, intend not a long dwelling in a place. They are mouables, euer ready to be transferred at the occa­sion and will of the Inhabiter, Hebr. 11.Hebr. 11. 9 Abraham dwelt intents with Isaac and Iacob, the heires with him of the same Promise. The reason is added. For hee looked for a Citie which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is GOD. These Saints studied not to enlarge their barnes, as the rich Cosmopolite, Luke 12. or to sing Requiems to their soules,Luke 12 in the hoped perpetuity of earthly habita­tions. Soule liue; thou hast enough laid vp for many yeares: Foole! he had not enough for that night. They had no thought, that their houses should continue for euer,Psal. 49. 11and their dwelling places to all generations; thereuppon calling their lands after their owne names. God conuinceth the foolish security of the Iewes, to whom hee had promised (by the Messias to be purchased) an euerlasting royalty in heauen;Ierem. 35. 7 by the Rechabites; who built no houses, but dwelt in Tents; as if they were strangers, ready on a short wa [...]ning for remouall. The Church esteemes Heauen her home, this world but a Tent. A Tent, which we must all leaue, build we as high as Babel, as strong as Babi­lon. When wee haue fortified, combined, feasted, death comes with a Voyder,Ierem. 22. 15. and takes away all, Dost thou [Page 19] thinke to raigne securely because thou closest thy selfe in Cedar? Friends must part, Ionas and his gourd, Nebuchadnez­zar and his pallace, the couetous churle and his barns. Arise, Micah 2. 10 and depart, for this is not your rest. Though you depart with griefe, from Orchards full of fruits, grounds full stocked, houses dightly furnished, purses richly stuffed; from musicke, wine, iunkets, sports: yet goe; you must goe, euery man to his owne home. Hee that hath seene heauen, with the eye of Fath, through the glasse of the Scripture, slippes off his coate with Ioseph, and springs away. They that liued thrice our age, yet dwelt in Tents; as Pilgrims that did not owne this world. The shortnesse and weakenesse of our dayes, strengthens our reasons to vilipend it. The world is the field, thy body the Tent, heauen thy free-holde. The world is full of troubles; windes of persecutions, storms of menaces, cold of vncharitablenesse, heate of malice, exhalations of prodigious terrours, will annoy thee. Loue it not: 1. Iohn 2. 15 Who can affect his owne vexations? It is thy through-fare; God loues thee better, then to let it be thy home. Euery misery on earth should turne our loues to heauen. God giues this world bitter teats, that wee might not sucke too long on it. Satan, as some doe with rotten nutmegs, guildes it ouer, and sends it his friends for a token. But when they put that spice into their broth, it infects their hearts. Set thy affections on heauen, where thou shalt abide for euer. This life is a Tent, Iohn 14. 2 that a Mansion. In my Fathers house there are many mansions. Hebr. 12 This casuall, that firme: a kingdome that cannot be shaken. This troublesome, that full of rest. This assuredly short, that eternall. Happy is he that heere e­steemes himselfe a Pilgrim in a Tent, that hee may bee heereafter a citisen in a stable kingdome.

2. Their frugallitie should not passe vnregarded. Heere is no ambition of great buildings; a Tent will [Page 20] serue. How differ our dayes and hearts from those! The fashion is now, to build great houses to our lands, till wee leaue no lands to our houses: and the credite of a good house, is made, not to consist in inward hospi­tality, but in outward walls. These punkish out-sides beguile the needy Traueller: hee thinkes, there cannot be so many roomes in a house, and neuer a one to har­bour a poore stranger: or that from such a multitude of chimneis, no meate should be sent to the gates. Such a house is like a painted whoore: it hath a faire cheek, but rotten lungs; no breath of charity comes out of it. We say, frustra fit per plura, quod fieri potest per pauciora. What needes a house more roomes, then there is vse for? A lesse house, and more hospitablenesse would doe a great deale better. Are not many of these glorious buildings set vp in the curse of Iericho: the foundation laid in the blood of the eldest, the poore: the walls reared in the blood of the yoongest, the ruine of their owne poste­rity? This was one of the Trauellers obserued faults in England; camini mali; that we had ill clockes, and worse chimneis; for they smoaked no charity.

We see the Precedent: the application must teach vs to Deale plainely. Here is commended to vs Plainesse in

  • Meaning
  • Demeaning.

Which instructs vs to a double concord and agreement: In Meaning be­twixt the heart and the tongue. In Demeaning betwixt the tongue and the hand.

In Meaning.

THere should be a louing and friendly agreement be­tweene the heart and the tongue. This is the minds herald, and should onely proclaime the senders mes­sage. [Page 21] If the tongue be an ill seruant to the heart, the heart will be an ill maister to the tongue; and Satan to both. There are three kindes of dissimulation held to­lerable, if not commendable: and beyond them, no [...]e without sinne.

1.1. Sam 21 When a man dissembles to get himselfe out of danger, without any preiudice to another. So Dauid fained himselfe madde, to escape with life. So the good Physician may deceiue his patient, by stealing vppon him a potion which he abhorreth, intending his reco­uerie.

2. When dissimulation is directly aymed to the in­struction and benefite of another. So Ioseph caused the money to bee put in his brethrens sackes, thereby to worke in them a knowledge of themselues.Luke 24 So Christ going to Emaus with the two Disciples, made as if he would goe further; to try their humanity.

3. When some common seruice is thereby perfor­med to the good of the Church. Such are those strata­gems and policies of warre, that carry in them a direct intention of honesty and iustice, though of hostillity; as Iosuah's, Ioshua 8 whereby he discomfited the men of Ai.

Further then these limits no true Israelite, no Plaine-Dealing man must venture. Plato was of opinion, that it was lawfull for Magistrates,Lib. 3. de rep. Hosium vel Ciuium causa mentiri; to lie, eyther to deceiue an enemy, or saue a ci­tisen, I might against Plato set Aristotle; Ethic. li. 4 c. 7 who sayth ex­presly, that a lie in it selfe, is euill and wicked. And ano­ther Philosopher was wont to say,Pithag. ex Aelian lib. 12 That in two things a man was like vnto God; in bestowing benefites, and telling the truth. Nor will we inferre with Lyranus, be­cause there is a Title in the Ciuill Law, De dolo malo, of euill craft, that therefore it is graunted, there is a craft not euill. But let vs know, to the terrour of lyers, that the deuill is the father of lying;Iohn 8. 44 and when hee speaketh a [Page 22] lie, hee speaketh of his owne. And beyond exception, they are the words of euerlasting veritie;1. Iohn 2, 2 No lie is of the truth. Therefore into that heauenly Hierusalem shall enter none,Reuel. 21. 27 that workes abhomination, or maketh a lie. A lie must needes be contrary to the rule of grace, for it is contrary to the order of nature: which hath giuen a man voyce and words to expresse the meaning of the heart. As in setting Instruments, they referre all to one tune: so the heart is the ground, which all our Instru­ments should goe by. If there were no God to search the heart, he was a foole that would not dissemble: since there is,Iob 27. 3 he is a foole that doth. Therefore Iob excel­lently, All the while my breath is in mee, and the spirit of God is in my nosthrills: my lippes shall not speake wickednesse, nor my tongue vtter deceit. Psal. 45. 1 The sweetest Psalmist insinu­ates no lesse. My heart is inditing a good matter, my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. When the heart is a good Se­cretary, the tongue is a good pen: but when the heart is a hollow bell, the tongue is a lowd and a lewd clap­per.Reuel. 4. 5 Those vndefiled Virgins, admitted to follow the Lambe, haue this praise. In their mouth was found no guile.

In Demeaning,

WHich is the good harmony betwixt the tongue and the hand. The righteous man, to whom Gods celestiall Tabernacle is promised, speaketh the truth in his heart: Psal. 15. 4 and when he hath sworne, though to his owne hurt, he changeth not. The paucitie of these men makes the Church of God so thinne of Saints, and the world so full of Dissemblers. As the tongue must not speake false, so the hand must not doe vniustly: iniu­stice is the greatest dissimulation. We liue vnder Libra, Iustice and Equitie: who knowes whether the nights or the daies passe ouer his head more happily: we feare [Page 23] not Taurus the Bull, that shoots his hornes from Rome: nor Scorpio, that sends his venemous sting from Spaine: nor the vnchristned Aries of Infidels, profane and pro­fest enemies to engine and batter our walls: if the Sagit­tarius of heresie do not wound vs in the reines: nor the Gemini of double-dealing circumuent vs in our liues. The world is full of trickes: wee will not doe what wee ought, yet defend what we doe. How many spend their wittes to iustifie their hands? Through the vnluckie and vnnaturall copulation of fraud and malice, was that monstrous stigmatike Aequiuocation ingendred: a dam­ned egge, not couerd by any faire bird; but hatched, as Poets faine, of Osprayes, with a thunder-clap.

I will now onely seeke to winne you to Plaine-Dea­ling, by the benefites it brings: the successe to God.

1. The principall is to please God; whose displea­sure against double dealing, the sad examples of Saul for the Amalekites, of Gehezi for the bribes, of Ananias for the inheritance, testifie in their destruction. Whose delight in Plaine-dealing himselfe affirmes. Behold an Is­raelite indeed,Ioh. 1. 17in whom is no guile.

2. The credite of a good name, which is a most wor­thy treasure, is thus preserued. The riches left thee by thy Ancestors may miscarry throgh others negligence; the name not, saue by thy owne fault. It is the Plaine-dealers reward; his name shall bee had in estimation: whereas no faith is giuen to the dissembler; euen spea­king truth: euery man is more ready to trust the poore Plaine-dealer, then the glittering false-tongued gallant.

3. It preuents and infatuates all the malicious plotts of enemies. God, in regard to thy simplicitie, brings to naught all their machinations. Thou, O Lord, hadst respect to my simple purenesse. An innocent foole takes fearelesse steps; and walkes as securely, as if it stood girt with a wall of brasse.

[Page 24] 4. It preserues thy state from ruine. When by sub­tiltie men thinke to scrape together much wealth; all is but the Spiders web, artificiall and weake. What Plaine-dealing gets, stickes by vs; and infallibly deriues it selfe to our posterity.Psal. 25. 13 Not onely this mans owne soule shall dwell at ease: but also his seed shall inherite the earth. Wic­ked men labour with hands and wittes, to vndermine and vndoe many poore; and from their demolished heapes to erect themselues a great fortune: but GOD bloweth vpon it a Nonplacet: and then, as powder doth small shot, it scatters into the ayre, not without a great noise; and they are blowne vp. If thou wouldst be good to thy selfe and thine, vse Plainesse.

5. It shall somewhat keepe thee from the troubles and vexations of the world. Others, when their double dealing breaks out, are more troubled themselues, then erst they troubled others: for shame waits at the heeles of fraud. [...] But blessed are the meeke, for they shall inherite the earth.

6. The curses of the poore shall neuer hurt thee. Though the causlesse curse shall neuer come; yet it is hap­py for a man so to liue, that all may blesse him. Now the Plaine man shall haue this at last. Gallant prodiga­litie, like fire in flaxe, makes a great blaze, a hote shew: but Plaine hospitality, like fire in solide wood, holds out to warme the poore: because God blesseth it. So I haue seene hote-spurres in the way gallop amaine; but the I­uy-bushes haue so staied them, that the Plaine traueller comes first to his iournies end.

7. It shall bee thy best comfort on thy death-bed; Conscientia benè peractae vitae, the conscience of an inno­cent life. On this staffe leanes aged Samuel: Whose Oxe er Asse haue I taken? To whom haue I by fraud or force done wrong? On this pillow doth sicke Hezekiah lay his head.Esay. 38. 3 Remember Lord, that I haue walked before thee [Page 25] in truth, and with a perfect heart, and haue done that which is good in thy sight. So Iob solaceth himselfe. My heart shall not condemne me for my dayes. When no clogges of vsury with their heauy pressures, nor foldes of iniustice with their troublesome vexations, disquiet our peace-desi­ring sides, or lie vpon our consciences. When thou hast no need to say to thine heire, Restore this or that which I haue fraudulently or vniustly taken away. You see how false the Prouerbe was; Plaine-dealing is a Ie­well; and hee that vseth it shall die a begger: But it is well returned in the supplement; he that will not vse it, shall die a dishonest man.

8. Lastly, thou shalt finderest for thy soule. Thou hast dealt plainely, so will God with thee; multiplying vpon thee his promised mercies. If thou hadst beene hollow, not holy; fraudulent, not plaine; thy por­tion had beene bitter; euen with hypocrites. But now of a plaine Saint on earth, thou shalt become a glorious Saint in heauen.

FINIS.
THE THREE DIVINE SIS …

THE THREE DIVINE SISTERS.

IOHN. 13. 34.
A new commandement giue I vnto you, That you loue one another: as I haue loued you, that yee also loue one another.
AVGVST.
Domus Dei fundatur credendo, sperando erigitur, di­ligendo perficitur.
[figure]

LONDON, Printed by Thomas Purfoot, for Clement Knight, and are to be sold at his shop in Paules Church-yard, at the Signe of the Holy Lambe. 1616.

THE THREE DIVINE SISTERS.

1. COR. 13. 13.‘Now abideth Faith, Hope, Charitie, these three: but the greatest of these, is Cha­titie.’

WHen those three Goddesses, say the Po­ets, stroue for the golden ball, Paris ad­iudged it to the Queen of Loue. Heere are three celestiall graces, in an holy e­mulation, if I may so speake, striuing for the chiefedome; and our Apostle giues it to Loue. The greatest of these is Charity.

Not that other Daughters are blacke, but that Cha­rity excels in beauty. Wee may say of this Sister, as it was sayd of the good Woman,Pro. 31. 29. Prou. 31. Many daughters haue done vertuously, but thou surpassest them all. Paul doth not disparage any, when he sayth, Charity is the greatest. All starres are bright, though one starre may differ from another in glory. 1. Cor. 15. Wee may say of graces, as [Page 2] of the Captaines of the sonnes of Gad; the least can resist a hundred, the greatest a thousand. Or as the song was of Saul and Dauid. Saul hath slaine his thousand, Da­uid his ten thousand. Faith is excellent, so is Hope; but the greatest of these, is Charitie.

Mee thinkes these three Theologall Vertues may not vnfitly bee compared to three great Feastes, which wee celebrate in the yeare; Easter, Whitsuntide, and Christmas. Faith, like Easter, beleeues Christ dead for our sinnes, and risen againe for our Iustification. Hope, like Pentecost, waites for the comming of the holy Ghost, Gods free Spirit of grace to come into vs, and to bring vs to Heauen. And Charitie lookes like Christmas, full of loue to our neighbours, full of hospitality, and mercy to the poore.

These are three strings often touched; Faith, where­by wee beleeue all Gods promises to bee true, and ours: Hope, whereby we waite for them with patience: Charitie, whereby vee testifie, what wee beleeue and hope. Hee that hath faith cannot distrust: hee that hath hope, cannot bee put from anchor: he that hath charity, will not lead a licentious life; for, Loue keepes the commandements.

For Methods sake, wee might first conferre them all, then preferre one. But I will speake of them ac­cording to the three degrees of comparison. 1. Posi­tiuely. 2. Comparatiuely. 3. Superlatiuely. The greatest of these is Charitie.

Faith

IS that grace, which makes Christ ours, and all his benefites.1. Cor. 12. 9. God giues it.Rom. 10. 17. 1. Cor. Phil. 1. 29. 12. Faith is giuen by the spirit. By the Word preached. Rom. 10. Faith comes by hearing. For Christ his sake. To you it is giuen [Page 3] for Christ his sake, to beleeue in his name. This vertue is no sooner giuen of God, but it giues God. So soone as thou beleeuest, Christ is thine and all his. For he that giues vs Christ, Ro. 8. 22. will also with him giue vs all things.

Without this, Heb. 11. 6. it is impossible to please God: Let vs not otherwise dare to come into his presence. There is no­thing but wrath in him, for sinne in vs. Ioseph charged his brethren, that they should come no more in his sight, vnlesse they brought Beniami [...] with them. Wee come at our perill into Gods presence, if wee leaue his beloued Beniamin, our deare Iesus behind vs. When the Philosopher heard of the inraged Emperours menace, that the next time hee saw him▪ hee would kill him; he tooke vp the Emperours little sonne in his armes, and saluted him with a potes ne? Thou canst not now strike mee. God is angry with euery man for his sinnes; hap­pie is hee that can catch vp his sonne Iesus: for in whose armes soeuer the Lord sees his sonne, he will spare him. The men of Tyre are faine to intercede to Herod by Bla­stus. Act. 12.Act. 12. 20. Our intercession to God is made by a higher and surer way; not by his seruant, but by his sonne.

Now this Mediator is not had without a medium, Faith. Fides medium, à quo remedium. Faith is that meanes, whereby wee lay hold on this Christ. Diffi­dence shall neuer haue Iesus for the Aduocate. Though euerie man may say; I beleeue, Lord helpe my vn­beleefe.

Saint Paul vseth one word, that very significant­ly expresseth Faith; calling it the Euidence of things not seene. Heb. 11. 1. Heb. 11. Fides est credere quod non vides; cuius merces est videre quod credis, Faith is to beleeue what thou seest; whose reward is to see what thou beleeuest. Now the Metaphore may be extended thus.

1. Christ dying, made a Will or a Testament, sca­ling [Page 4] it with his owne bloud, wherein hee bequeathed a certain Legacie of Inheritance to his brethren with himselfe. Ioh. 17.Iohn. 17. 24. Father, I will that they whom thou hast giuen mee, bee with mee where I am, that they may be­hold my glory which thou hast giuen me. This is the sub­stance of his Will and Testament.

2 The Conueyance of this Will is the Gospell, Who­soeuer beleeues, and is baptized, shall bee saued. A large Patent, a free and full grant. There is no exception of persons; eyther in regard of state, quality, or Country. There is neyther Iew nor Greeke, Galat. 3. 28. bond nor free, male nor fe­male: for yee are all one in Christ Iesus. The conueyance is of an ample latitude.

3. The Executor or Administrator of this Will, if I may so speake, is the holy Ghost: that Comforter which Christ promised to send, Ioh. 14. 16. that should lead vs into all truth. This Spirit begets faith & sanctification in our hearts, puts Abba into our mouthes, applyes the merites of our Sauiour to our soules; and indeed seales vs vp to the day of redemption. Eph. 4. 30. Without his assistance wee could appropriate no comfort by his Will; nor challenge any Legacie therein bequeathed.

4. Lastly, the Euidence, whereby euery particular man apportions to himselfe this title and interest, is his Faith. Thou vnregenerate soule pleadest a Legacie in this Will: Goe to, let vs ioyne issue, & come to try­al. Where is thy Euidence? Here it is, my Faith. This Euidence, as all other, must haue some witnesses: pro­duce thine; and before the Barre of the great Chiefe Iustice, the Kings Bench of Heauen, let them not lie.

The first is thy Conscience. Alas! giue this leaue to speake without interruption (and one day it shal not flatter thee.) This sayth thy Euidence, is false & counterfeit; forged by a wretched Seriuener, flesh [Page 5] and bloud: for thy heart trusts in vncertainely good riches, or in certainely bad vanities, more then in the li­uing God.

The next, is thy life. Alas! this is so speckled with sinnes, so raw and sore with lusts: that as a body broken out into blaines and biles, argues a corrupted liuer or stomacke within: so the spottes and vlcers of thy life demonstrate a putrified heart. Loe now thy wit­nesses. Thou art gone at the common Law of Iustice: It is onely the Chancerie of mercy that must cleare thee. What wilt thou now doe? What, but humble thy selfe in repentance for thy false faith; take prayer in thy company, for pardon of former errors; goe by the word preached; for the Minister is, as it were, the Register, to ingrosse the deed; and desire God on the humbled knees of thy soule, to giue thee a new and a true Euidence. Let this instruct vs to some vses.

1. Be sure that thy Euidence is good. Satan is a sub­till Lawyer, (and thou doest not doubt of his ma­lice) and will soone picke holes in it; find out tricks and cauils against it. He will winnow and sift thee, grain after graine: take heed, lest thou run not all to chaffe. There is a Faith of Saints.Gal. 2. 20. Gal. 2. Now liue not I, but Christ liueth in mee: and the life that I liue, I liue by the Faith of the Sonne of God. And there is a faith of De­uils. Iam. 2.Iam. 2. 19. Thou beleeuest, thou doest well: the Deuils beleeue and tremble. There is a faith, which cannot pe­rish. Ioh. 3.Ioh. 3. 15. Whosoeuer beleeueth in him, shall not perish. And there is a faith, that in the time of temptation fals away. Luk. 8.Luk. 8. 13 The rockie ground receiues the Word, and for a while beleeueth, but in the time of temptation fall away. There is a faith which the world ouercommeth; such was the faith of Demas. And there is a faith that ouercommeth the world. 1. Ioh. 51. Ioh. 5. 4. This is the victorie whereby wee ouercome the world, euen our faith. There is a dead, [Page 6] idle, and infructuous faith, Iam. 2. 14. And there is a liuely, actiue, working faith. Gal. 5.Gal. 5. 6. Faith worketh by loue. Bee sure then, that thy faith will endure the toucheuen the fiery tryall.

2 Doe not loose such a Legacie, as Christ hath be­queathed, for want of faith. Glorious is the inheri­tance, but where is thy Euidence? Flatter not thy soule with hope of this possession, without the assurance of faith. Christ giues his life for his sheepe: What is this to thee that art a Wolfe, a Swine, a Goate? God dres­seth his Vineyard, pruneth it, watereth it, is prouident ouer it: What's this to thee, that art a thorne, and no branch of the Vine? Looke thou to be weeded vp, and throwne out. The bloud of Christ runnes fresh: but where is thy pipe of faith, to deriue it from his side to thy conscience? Say, it should showre mercy, yet if thou wantest faith, all would fall besides thee. There would be no more fauour for thee, then if there was no Sauiour.

Let then no miseries of earth, much lesse pleasures, quench thy faith. Satan seeing this sparke of fire kin­dled in thy heart, would blow it out with stormes, or worke thee to smother it thy selfe with vanities, or to rake it vp in the dead embers of cold security: but be­leeue against sight and sense. As Dauid prophesied, that hee should be a King. Eo plus habet fides meriti, quo minus argumenti. Faith shall haue so much the more recompence, as it had the lesse argument to in­duce it.

Hope.

IS the sweetest friend, that euer kept a distressed soule company: it beguiles all the tediousnesse of the way, all the miseries of our Pilgrimage.

[Page 7]
Iam mala finissem letho; sed eredula vitam
Spes fouet, & melius cras foresemper ait.

Therefore dum spiro spero, sayes the Heathen: but dum, expiro spero, sayes the Christian. The one, whilest I liue, I hope; the other, when I dye, I hope: so Iob, I will hope in thee, though thou killest [...]ee. It tels the soule such sweet stories of the succeeding ioyes; what comforts there bee in heauen; what peace, what ioy, what triumphes, mariage-songs, and Halleluiahs, there are in that Country, whether shee is trauelling; that shee goes merrily away with her present bur­den.

It holds the head whilst it takes, and giues invisible drinke to the thirsty conscience. It is a liberty to them that are in prison, and the sweetest Physicke to the sicke. Saint Paul calles it an Anchor. Let the windes blow, and the stormes beat, and the waues swell, yet the Anchor stayes the shippe.Heb. 6. 19. It breakes through all difficulties, and makes way for the soule to follow it. It teacheth Abraham to expect fruit from a withered stocke; and Ioseph in a dungeon, to looke for the Sunne and Starres obeysance. It counsels a man, as Esdras did the woman;2. Esd. 10. 17. that hauing lost her sonne, would needs dye languishing in the disconsolate fields. Goe thy way into the City to thine husband. Mourne not wretch for the losse of some worldly and perishing de­light: sit not downe and die, though the fruit of thy wombe bee swallowed into the earth. But goe home to the citie, the City of mercy; to thine husband, euen thy husband Iesus Christ; let him comfort thee: This is the voyce of hope.

Though misery be present, comfort absent, though through the dimme and waterish humor of thy heart, thou canst spie no deliuerance; yet such is the nature of Hope, that futura facta dicit: It speakes of future [Page 8] things, as if they were present. Rom. 8.Rom. 8. 24. Wee are saued by hope. Yet sic liberati, vt adhuc speranda sit haereditas, po­stea possidenda. Nunc habemius ius adrem, nondum inre. Wee haue our inheritance, in hope; which giues vs the right of the substance, though not the substance of the right: assurance of the possession, though not pos­session of the thing assured. This tels vs, that Nemo valde dolebit & diu, no man should grieue much and long. God making our misery, aut tolerabilem, aut bre­uem, eyther sufferable or short.

These are the comforts of Hope. Now, that you may not bee deceyued, there is (as I sayde before of Faith) a thing like Hope, which is not it.

There is a bold and presumptuous Hope, an igno­rant security, and vngrounded perswasion, the very il­lusion of the Diuell; who, when hee cannot preuaile with downe-right euill, cozens with the shadowes of goodnesse: that how wickedly and wretchedly soeuer a man shall liue, though hee sucke the poisonous dugs of lust, though hee surres himselfe warme with poore mens hearts, though hee forbids his braines (as on couenant) one sober houre in the yeaae to thinke of heauen, though hee thirst for carowses of bloud, though he striues to powder a whole Kingdome with the cornes of death and massacre, though hee carries halfe a dozen impropriate Churches on his sacrilegi­ous backe, though hee out-thunder heauen with blas­phemies, though hee trample vnder his profane foote the precious bloud of Gods sonne; yet still hee hopes to bee saued by the mercy of God. But wee will soo­ner cast pearles to swine, and bread to dogges, then the comforts of Sion to such. Wee say not, Reioyce & trem­ble, but tremble without reioycing. Wee sing not to them, with the Lord is mercy, that hee might bee feared: but with the Lord is iudgement and vengeance, with [Page 9] him is plague and pestilence, storme and tempest, hor­rour and anguish, indignation and wrath, that hee may bee feared. Against this Hope, wee shut vp the bosome of consolation, and the promise of safety by the merites of Christ; and so farre as wee are charged, the verie gates of euerlasting life.

There is an Hope, sober, faithfull, well grounded, well guarded, well assured. This is like a house built on a rocke. The rocke, is Gods promised mercy; the buil­ding, Hope in Christ: it is (as it were) moted or in­trenched about with his bloud, bulwarked and ram­pirde with the Sacraments, assured by the sweet te­stimonie of Gods Spirit to the Conscience: knowne by the Charity of the Inhabitants; for it keeps bread for the hungrie, clothes for the naked, entertainment for strangers. To this Hope wee open the dores of the kingdome of Heauen; and so farre as the Commission of the Keyes Ieades vs, wee vnlocke the gates of eter­nall life, and allow entrance. Wee call this the Blessed Hope.

Charitie

IS an excellent vertue, and therefore rare: if euer in this contentious age; wherein Fratrum quo (que) gratia rara est: the vnfained loue of brothers is strange. Wo is mee; before I am come to define what loue is, I am falne into a declamation against the want of it: what is heere chiefly commended, is chiefly contemned: as if wee had no need of mutuall succour; nor could spare a roome in our hearts to entertaine Charitie, lest wee should expell our old loued guests, fraud, malice, and ambition. Loue hath two proper obiects, the one immediate and principall; the other, mediate and limitted.

[Page 10] The proper and immediate obiect of our Loue, is God. This is the great Commandement, Thou shalt loue the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, with all thy soule, with all thy strength. As if hee would not leaue out the [...]east sinew or string of the heart, the least faculty or power of the soule, the least organ or action of the strength. So Bern. With all the heart, that is, affec­tionately. With all the Soule, that is, wisely. With all the strength, that is, constantly. Let the zeale of thy heart inflame thy loue to God, let the wisedome of thy soule guide it, let the strength of thy might confirm it. All the affection of the heart, all the election of the soule, all the administration of the body. The Soule iudgeth, the Will prosecutes, the strength executes. God can brooke no riualles: no diuision betwixt him and Mammon, betwixt him and Melchom, betwixt him and Baal, betwixt him and Belial. Causa dilige [...] ­di Deum Deus est, modus sine modo. The cause and mo­tiue to loue God, is God: the manner, is without mea­sure. Minus amatte, qui aliquid amat praeterte, quod non amat propter te, Hee poorely loues God, that loues a­ny thing besides him, which hee doth not loue for him.

The subordinate obiect of loue, is man: and his loue, is the effect of the former cause; and an actuall demonstration of the other inward affection. Waters comming from the sea, boyle through the veines of the earth, till they become springs, and those springs ri­uers, and those riuers runne backe to the sea againe. All mans loue must be carried in the streame of Gods loue. Blessed is hee that loues Amicum in Domino, ini­micum pro Domino; his friend in the Lord, his enemy for the Lord. Rom. 13.Rom. 13. 8. Owe nothing to any man, but this, that yee loue one another. Other debts, once truely payde, are no more due: but this debt, the more we [Page 11] pay it, the more wee owe it; and wee still doe acknow­ledge our selues debters to all, when wee are cleare with all; proverbially: I owe him nothing but loue. The com­munication of this riches doth not impouerish the pro­prietary: the more hee spends of his stocke, the more hee hath.Pro. 1 [...]. 24. There is that scattereth, and yet encreaseth. But hee that will hoord the treasure of his Charity, shall grow poore, empty, and bankerout. There is that with­holdeth more then is meet, but it tendeth vnto pouerty. Loue is the abridgement of the Law, the new precept of the Gospell. Luther cals it the shortest, and the longest Diuinitie: short for the forme of words; long, yea, e­uerlasting for the vse and practise; for Charity shal ne­uer cease.

Thus for the first degree of compariion, Positiuely. The second is Comparatiue; where, though it be sayd, Vertues and great men must not bee compared, yet we may without offence, bring them to a holy conference; els how shall wee perceyue the Apostles intended scope, the transcendency of Charity? I will therefore first con­ferre Faith with Hope; and then with them both Charity.

The distinction betweene Faith and Hope, is nice, and must warily bee discouered. I will reduce the dif­ferences into three respects, of Order, Office, and Obiect.

For Order, Paul giues Faith the precedencie. Hebr. 11. Faith is the ground of things hoped for. Faith al­wayes goes before, Hope followes after; and may in some sort bee sayde to bee the daughter of Faith. For, it is as impossible for a man to Hope for that which hee beleeues not, as for a Painter to drawe a picture in the ayre. Indeed, more is beleeued then is hoped for; but nothing is hoped for, which is not beleeued. So that on necessity, in respect of order, [Page 12] Faith must precede Hope.

For Office; Faith is the Christians Logicke, Hope his Rhetorike. Faith perceiues what is to bee done, Hope giues alacritie to the doing it. Faith guides, ad­viseth, rectifieth; Hope couragiously encounters with all adversaries. Therefore Faith is compared to a Doctor in the Schooles, Hope to a Captaine in the warres. Faith discernes the truth, Hope fights against impatience, heauinesse of Spirit, infirmitie, deiected­nesse, desperation. Divines haue alluded the diffe­rence betweene Faith and Hope in Divinity, to that be­tweene wisedome and valour in Philosophie. Valour without wisedome, is rashnesse: wisedome without va­lour, is cowardice. Faith without Hope, is knowledge without valour to resist Sathan: Hope without Faith, is rash presumption, and an vndiscreet daring. You see their different Office.

For Obiect; Faithes object is the absolute word, and infallible promise of God; Hopes obiect, is the thing promised. Fides intuetur verbum rei, Spes verò rem verbi: Faith lookes to the word of the thing, Hope to the thing of the word. So that Faith hath for the ob­iect,Alsted Systē. Theolog. lib. 3. Loc. 17. Aug. the Truth of God, Hope the Goodn [...]sse of God. Faith is of things both good and bad, Hope of good things onely. A man beleeues there is a hell, as truely as he beleeues there is a heaven; but he feares the one, and hopes onely for the other. Faith hath obiected to it things past, present, future. Past, it beleeues Christ dead for our sinnes, and risen againe for our Iustifica­tion. Present, that hee now sits at the right hand of his Father in heauen. Future, that hee shall come to iudge quicke and dead. Hope, onely respects and ex­pects things to come. For a man cannot hope for that which hee hath. You see how in some sense, Hope excels Faith. For, there is a faith in the Deuils; they [Page 13] beleeue the truth of God, the certainety of the Scrip­tures, they acknowledge Christ the Iudge of quicke and dead, therefore cry, Why tormentest thou vs before the time? They haue faith ioyned with a Popish pre­paratory good worke, Feare; the Deuils beleeue and tremble: yea, they pray: they beseech Christ not to send them into the deepes; what then want they? Hope, a confident expectation of the mercy of God: this they can neuer haue. They beleeue, they cannot hope. This is the life of Christians, and the want makes De­vils. If it were not for this hope, 1. Cor. 15. 19. wee of all▪ men were most miserable.

Charity, differs from them both. These three di­vine graces, are a created Trinity; and haue some glimmering resemblance of the Trinity vncreate. For, as there, the Sonne is begotten of the Father, and the holy Ghost proceedes from them both: so heere, a true faith begets a constant hope, and from them pro­ceedes Charity. Thus is Gods Temple built in our hearts, sayth August. The foundation whereof is Faith, Hope the erection of the wals, Charity the per­fection of the roofe.

In the godly all these three are vnited together, & cannot bee sundred. Wee beleeue in Gods mercy, wee hope for his mercy, and we loue him for his mercy. Faith sayes, there are good things prepared: Hope sayes, they are prepared for me: Charity sayes, I endevour to walke worthy of them. So that, what good Faith beleeues, shall bee, Hope expects for her selfe, and Charity aymes at the way to get it, by keeping the commandements. Faith apprehends both reward and punishment: Hope onely lookes for good things for our selues: Charity desires the glory of God, and the good of all our Bre­thren.

The second degree, giues way to the third, last, [Page 14] best; the Superlatiue. But the greatest of these is Cha­rity. Time will not afforde mee to answere all the ob­iections, which subtill wits haue inconsequently dedu­ced from these words. Neyther were it to other pur­pose, then to write Iliades after Homer: they haue been so soundly and satisfyingly answered already. I will on­ly mention two, and but report a responsiue So­lution.

1 The principall promises are made to beleeuers. Whosoeuer beleeues, and is baptized, shall bee saued. So no lesse a promise is made to Louers, Rom. 8. 28. Rom. 8. All things shall worke together to the best, to those that loue God, &c. God, sayth the Psalmist, is neere to those that call vpon him. Hee is close by all those that suffer for him: but he is within those that loue him. Heere is Prope, [...]uxta, In­tus. This same Intra, within is of the highest degree. 1. Ioh. 4. God is loue, and hee that dwelleth in loue, dwel­leth in God, 1. Ioh. 4. 17. and God in him. O vnspeakable fe­licity!

2 If Charity be greater then faith, then is not man iustified by faith onely. Inconsequent illation. Saint Paul commends not loue for the vertue of Iustificati­on: it may fayle in that particular action, yet receiue no impeachment to the excellency of it. By demonstra­tion. A Prince doth excell a peasant: shall any man therefore inferre, that hee can plow better, or haue more skill in tillage. A Philosopher doth excell a Me­chanicke; though he cannot grinde so well as a Miller, or lim so cunningly as a Painter. A man is better then a beast: who but a mad-man will therefore conclude, that hee can runne faster then a horse, draw more then an oxe, or carry a greater burden then an Elephant. Though he fayle in these particular arts, yet none will deny, but hee is better then a beast.

The truth is, that in Fàith stands originally our fel­lowship [Page 15] with God. Into that hand he powreth the ri­ches of his mercy for salvation: and were the actions of Charity neuer so great, and (foolishly thought) meri­torious; yet, if not the effects of a true sauing Faith, they are lost, and a man may for his Charitie goe to the Deuill. And though they would plead from the forme of the last iudgement, Math. 25. that God accepts men to life for their deeds of Charitie: feeding, clothing, re­leeuing. Yet the Scripture fully testifies, that God nei­ther accepts these, nor our selues for these, further then they are the effects of a true faith. Our persons being first iustified by faith in Christ, then God will crowne our works. Yet a Christian must worke: for no nudifidi­an, so well as no nullifidian, shall be admitted into hea­uen. Therefore sayth the Apostle, Gal. 5. 6. Faith worketh by loue. For Faith is able to iustifie of it selfe, not to vorke of it selfe. The hand alone can receiue an Almes: but can­not cut a peece of wood without an axe or some instru­ment. Faith is the Christians hand, and can without helpe receyue Gods giuen grace into the heart: but to produce the fruits of obedience, and to vorke the actu­all duties required, it must haue an inst [...]ument; adde Loue to it, and it worketh by loue. So that the one is our Iustification before God, and the other our Testifica­tion before men. Wherein then consists this high tran­scendency of Charity? In two priviledges, incommuni­cable to Faith and Hope; Latitude and Perpetuity.

1. For Latitude, Loue is the greatest. Faith and Hope are restrayned within the limits of our particular per­sons. The iust man liues by his owne faith: and hopes good to himselfe; but Loue is like the Vine, which God brought out of Egypt, Psal. 80. 8. and cast out the heathen to plant it, which coue­reth the mountaines with the shadow of the boughes, & spreads the branches vnto the sea and the riuers: It is like the Sunne in the skie, that throwes his comfortable [Page 16] beames vpon all; and forbeares not to warme euen that earth that beareth weeds. Loue extends to earth & heauen. In heauen it affecteth God the Maker and mo­ver: the Angels, as our Guardians; the triumphant Saints, for their pious sanctitie. On earth, it imbraceth those that feare the Lord especially: it wisheth conver­sion to those that do not: it counsels the rich: it com­forts the poore: it reverenceth superiors, respecteth in­feriors: doth good to friends, no evill to foes: wisheth well to all. This is the latitude of Charity. The pro­perty of faith, is to receyue into it selfe: the property of loue, to lay out it selfe to others. So that faith hath but narrow limits, but the extent of Loue is vniversall, not bounded with the world. Faith beleeues for thy selfe, but Charity deriues, & driues the effects of thy faith to others. Thy faith relieues thy self, thy charity thy brother.

2. For perpetvity and continuance. Faith laies hold on Gods gracious promise for everlasting salvation: Hope expects this with patience: but when God shal ful­fil his word, & vs with ioy, then Faith shall be at an end: hope at an end: but Loue shal remain between God & vs, an everlasting bond. Therefore sayth the Apostle, Now abideth faith, &c. Now. Now three, then one: and that is Charity. When wee haue possession of those pleasures, which we hoped and beleeued, what longer vse is there of Faith or Hope? But our loues shall not end with our liues. Wee shall euerlastingly loue our our Maker, Saviour, Sanctifier, Angels, & Saints; where no discontent shall breed any iarre in our Halleluiahs. If the vse of loue bee so comfortable on earth, what may wee thinke it will be in heaven!

Thus sayth Chrysost: Onely loue is eternall. Now Faith and Hope hold vp the hands of Charity, as Aa­ron and Hur helde vp the hands of Moses: but then their vse and office shall cease. Tunc non erit spes, quando [Page 17] erit spes. Hope shall not bee, when the thing hoped is. Hope shall bring in possession, possession shall thrust out Hope. Therefore sayth Augustine, is Charity grea­ter; Et si non propter eminentiam, tamen propter permanenti­am; If not for the excellency, yet for the perpetuity.

Thus to iustifie a man, Faith is greater, but in a man iustified, Charity is greater. Let Faith alone with the great worke of our salvation: but that finished, it shall end, & so yeeld superiority to Loue, which shall endure for euer.

Thus you haue commended to your soules these three sisters, Faith, Hope, and Charity. Faith wee must haue, or we are reprobates; Hope, or wretches, Charity, or not Christians. There is a promise made to Faith, that it shall haue accesse to God. Heb. 11.Heb. 11. 6. To Hope, that it shall not be ashamed, Ro. 5. 5 Rom. 5. But to Charity, that it shall dwell in God, and haue God dwelling in it, 1. Ioh 4. 16. 1. Ioh. 4.1. Ioh 4. 16.

I should now tell you, that as these three fayre Si­sters come downe from heaven; so in a crosse con­trariety, the Devill sends vp three foule fiends from hell. Against Faith, Infidelity: against Hope, Despera­tion: Against Charity, malice. He that entertaines the elder sister, vnbeleefe, I quake to speake his doome, yet I must; Hee is already condemned. Hee that embraceth the second vgly Hagge,Ioh. 3. 18. Despaire, barres vp against himselfe the possibility of all comfort: because hee of­fends so precious a nature, the mercy of God, & tram­ples vnder his desperate feete that bloud, which is helde out to his vnaccepting hand. He that welcomes ma­lice; welcomes the Devill himselfe: hee is called the Envious, and loues extremely to lodge himselfe in an envious heart. These be fearefull, prodigious sisters; flie them, and their embraces: and remember, O yee whom Christ concernes, the commandement of your Saviour; Loue one another.

[Page 18]I will end with our Apostles exhortation to his Phi­lippians. Ph [...]l 2. 1. If there bee any consolation in Christ; and there is consolation in him, when the whole world cannot af­ford it: If any comfort of loue; and hee that knows not the comforts of loue, knowes no difference betwixt man and beast: If any fellowship of the spirit, by whome wee are all knit into one Communion, and enriched with the same treasures of grace: If any bowels and mer­cies; if vncharitablenesse and avarice hath turned our intrals into stone and yron; if wee haue not forgotten the vse and need of mercy. Fulfill my ioy, that yee be like minded, and haue the same loue. Fulfill the Apostles ioy onely? the ioy of the Bride and Bridegroome, of the Church on earth, of the Saints in heauen; of the ioy of the blessed Angels; the ioy of the Father, Sonne, & holy Spirit; and last of all, the ioy of your owne hearts; that you Loue one another. Forget not that trite, but true saying.

They shall not want prosperitie,
That keepe Faith, Hope, and Charity.
FINIS.
THE TAMING OF THE TO …

THE TAMING OF THE TONGVE.

MATH. 12. 37.
By thy wordes thou shalt bee iustified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
BERN.
Lingua, quae facilè volat, facilè violat.

TP

LONDON, Printed by Thomas Purfoot, for Clement Knight, and are to be sold at his shop in Paules Church-yard, at the Signe of the Holy Lambe. 1616.

THE TAMING OF the Tongue.

IAM. 3. 8.‘But the tongue can no man tame: it is an vnruly euill, full of deadly poyson.’

HEre is a single Position, guarded with a double reason. The Position is, No man can tame the Tongue. The Reasons, 1. It is vnruly. 2. Full of deadly poyson. Heere is busie dealing with a wilde member: a more difficult action, and intractable nature could not haue met. Tongue is the Subiect (I meane in the discourse;) and can you euer thinke of subiecting it naturally to reason, or taming it to Religion? Goe leade a Lyon in a single haire, send vp an Eagle to the skie to pecke out a starre, cope vp the thunder, and quench a flaming City with one wid­dowes teares: if thou couldest doe these, yet nescit mo­do lingua domari: the Tongue can no man tame. As the Proposition is backed with two reasons; so each rea­sons; [Page 22] so each reason hath a terrible second, The Euill hath for the second vnrulines: the Poisonfulnes hath dead­ly. It is evil, yea vnruly euill: it is poyson, yea, deadly poyson. The Fort is so barricadoed, that it is hard scaling it: the refractary Rebell so guarded with Euill and Poyson, so warded with vnruly and deadly; as if it were with Gyants in an vnchanted Towre, as they fabulate; that no man can tame it. Yet let vs examine the matter, and finde a stratagem to subdue it.

In the Proposition.

Wee will obserue, 1. The Nature of the thing to bee tamed. 2. The difficulty of accomplishing it. The insubiectible subiect is the Tongue: which is, 1. a mem­ber, and 2. an

  • Excellent
  • Necessary
  • Little
  • Singular

Member,

It is a Member.

Hee that made all, made the Tongue: he that craues all, must haue the Tongue. Quicreavit necessariam, postu­lat creatam. It is an instrument, let it giue Musicke to him that made it. All creatures in their kind blesse God. Psal. 148. They that wanttongues, as the hea­uens, Sunne, Starres, Meteors, Orbes, Elements; prayse him with such obedient Testimonies, as their insensible natures can afford. They that haue tongues, though they want reason, prayse him with those natu­rall Organs. The birds of the ayre sing, the beasts of the earth make a noyse; not so much as the hissing Serpents, the very Dragons in the deepe, but sound out [Page 23] his praise. Man then, that hath a tongue, and a reason to guide it, (and if more, a religion to direct his rea­son) should much, much more blesse him. Therefore sayes the Psalmographer, that for the well tuning of his Tongue, is called the sweete Singer of Israel, I will praise the Lord with the best Instrument I haue; which was his Tongue.

Not that praises can adde to Gods glory, nor blas­phemies detract from it. The blessing Tongue cannot make him better,Aug. in Psal. 134 nor the cursing, worse. Nec melior si laudaueris, nec deterior si vituperaueris. As the Sunne is neither betterd by birds singing, nor battered by dogs barking. He is so infinitely great, and constantly good, that his glory admittes neyther addition, nor diminu­tion.

Yet we that cannot make his name greater, can make it seeme greater: and though wee can not enlarge his glory, we may enlarge the manifestation of his glory. This both in words praysing, and in workes practi­sing. We know it is impossible to make a new Christ, as the Papists boast the almightinesse of their Priests: yet our holy liues, and happy lippes (if I may so speak) may make a little Christ, a great Christ. They that be­fore little regarded him, may thus be brought to e­steeme him greatly: giuing him the honour due to his name, and glorifying him, after our example.

This is the Tongues office. One member, without arrogating any merite, or boasting the beholdingnesse of the rest vnto it, is to doe that duetie which is assig­ned it. The eye is to see for all, the eare to heare for all, the hand to worke for all, the feete to walke for all, the knees to bow for all, the Tongue to praise GOD for all. This is the Tongues office, not vnlike the Towne­clarkes, which if it performe not well, the Corporation is better without it. The Tongue is mans clapper, and is [Page 24] giuen him, that hee may sound out the praise of his maker.

Infinite causes draw deseruingly from mans lippes, a deuout acknowledgement of Gods praise. Quia

  • Creator ad esse.
  • Conseruator in esse.
  • Recreator in bene esse.
  • Glorificator in optimo esse.

He gaue vs being that had none; preserued vs in that being;Hug. Cardin. restored vs voluntarily fallen, vnto a better be­ing; and will glorifie vs with the best, at the day of the Lord Iesus. August. Then let the Tongue know, Si non reddet Deo faciendo quae debet, reddet ei patiendo quae debet: If it will not pay God the debt it owes him in an actiue thanke­fulnes, it shall pay him in a passiue painefulnes. Let the meditation heere of put our tongues into tune. A word fitly spoken,Prou. 25. 11is like Apples of golde in pictures of siluer.

It is a member you heare: we must take it with all the properties; Excellent, Necessary, Little, Singular.

1. Excellent. Abstractiuely and simply vnderstood, it is an exceeding excellent member, both Quoad

  • Maiestatem.
  • Incunditatem.

For the Maiestie of it, it carries an imperious speech: wherein it hath the preeminence of all mortal creatures. It was mans Tongue, Genes. 2. 19 to which the Lord gaue licence to call all the liuing creatures, and to giue them names. And it is a strong motiue to induce, and to beget in o­ther terrene natures, a reuerence and admiration of man. Therefore it is obserued, that God did punish the ingratitude of Balaam, when hee gaue away some of the dignity proper to man, which is vse of speech, and imparted it to the Asse, man alone speakes. I know that spirites can frame an aeriall voyce, as the Di [...]ell [Page 25] when he spake in the Serpent that fatall temptation, as in a Truncke; but man onely hath the habituall facul­tie of speaking.

For the Pleasantnesse of the tongue; the generall consent of all giues it the truest Melos, and restraines all musicall organs from the worth and praise of it: Ec­cles. 40.Eccl. 40. 21 The pipe and the Psalterie make sweete melodie: but a pleasant tongue is aboue them both. No instruments are so rauishing, or preuaile ouer mans heart with so power­full complacencie, as the Tongue and voyce of man.

If the Tongue be so excellent, how then doth this Text censure it for so euill? I take the Philosophers old and trite answere. Linguanihil est, vel bona melius, vel ma­la peius. Then a good Tongue, there is nothing better; then an euill,Hieron. nothing worse. Nihil habet medium: aut grande bonum est, aut grande malum. It hath no meane; it is eyther exceedingly good, or excessiuely euill. It knowes nothing but extreames: and is or good best of all, or bad worst of all. If it be good, it is a walking gar­den, that scatters in euery place a sweet flower, an hearb of grace to the hearers. If it be euill, it is a wilde Bed­lam, full of gadding and madding mischiefes. So the Tongue is euery mans best, or worst moueable.

Heereupon that Philosophicall seruant, when hee was commanded to prouide the best meate for his Ma­sters table, the worst for the family: bought & brought to either, neates tongues. His Morall was, that this was both the best, and worst seruice; according to the good­nesse or badnesse of the Tongue. A good Tongue is a spe­ciall dish for Gods publike seruice. Parsoptima hominis,Prud.digna quae sit hostia. The best part of a man, and most worthy the honour of sacrifice. This onely, when it is well seasoned. Seasoned, I say, with salt; as the Apostle admonisheth: not with fire. Let it not be so salt as fire,Coloss. 4. 6. as that Prouerbe, which no man liuing hath tasted. [Page 26] There is a Citie of salt, mentioned, Ioshua 15. Let no man be an Inhabitant of this salt-citie. Iosh. 15. 62 Yet better a salt-tongue, then an oily. Rather let the righteous reprooue mee, then the precious balmes of flatterers breake my head; whilst they most sensibly sooth and supple it. We allow the Tongue salt, not pepper: let it be well seaso­ned, but not too hote. Thus a good Tongue is GODS dish, and he will accept it at his owne table.

But an euill Tongue is meate for the Diuell, accor­ding to the Italian Prouerbe: The Diuell makes his Christmasse pie of lewd Tongues. It is his daintiest dish, and he makes much of it: whether on earth to serue his turne as an instrument of mischiefe, or in hell to an­swere his fury in torments. Thus saith Salomon of the good Tongue. Pr. 10 20, 21 The tongue of the iust is as choice siluer, and the lippes of the righteous feede many. But Saint Iames of the bad one: It is an vnruly euill, full of deadly poison,

2. It is Necessary; so necessary, that without a tongue I could not declare the necessitie of it. It conuerseth with man, conueying to others by this organ that ex­perimentall knowledge, which must else liue and die in himselfe. It imparts secrets, communicates ioyes, which would be lesse happy suppressed, then they are expres­sed: mirth without a partner, is hilaris cum pondere foeli­citas. But to disburden griefes, and powre foorth sor­rowes in the bosome of a friend, O necessary tongue! How many hearts would haue burst, if thou hadst not giuen them vent! How many soules fallen groueling vnder their loade, if thou hadst not called for some supportance! How many a panting spirit hath sayd, I will speake yet ere I die; and by speaking receiued com­fort! Lastly, it speakes our deuotions to heauen, and hath the honour to conferre with God. It is that In­strument which the holy Ghost vseth in vs, to cry Ab­ba Father. It is our spokesman: and hee that can heare [Page 27] the heart without a tongue, regardeth the deuotions of the heart better, when they are sent vp by a diligent messenger, a faithfull tongue.

3. It is Little. As man is a little world in the great▪ so is his tongue a great world in the little. It is a little mem­ber, saith the Apostle, verse 5. yet it is a world; verse 6. yea prauitatis vniuersitas, a world of iniquitie. It is par­num, but prauum; little in quantitie, but great in ini­quity. What it hath lost in the thickenesse, it hath got in the quickenesse: and the defect of magnitude is re­compenced in the fortitude: an arme may bee longer, but the Tongue is stronger; and a legge hath more flesh then it hath, besides bones which it hath not, yet the tongue still runnes quicker and faster; and if the wager lie for holding out, without doubt the Tongue shall winne it.

If it be a talking tongue, it is mundus garrulitatis, a world of prating. If it be a wrangling tongue, it is mun­dus litigationis, a world of brabbling. If it be a learned tongue, it is as Erasmus sayd of Bishop Tonstall, mundus eruditionis, a world of learning. If it be a petulant tong, it is mundus scurrilitatis, a world of wantonnesse. If it be a poysonous tongue, it is mundus infectionis, sayth our Apostle, verse 6. it defileth the whole body. It is Little.

So little, that it will scarce giue a Kite her breakefast, yet it can discourse of the Sunne and Starres, of Orbes and Elements, of Angells and D [...]uells, of Nature and Artes: and hath no straiter limites, then the whole world to walke through. Homuncio est, gigantea iactat, verse 5. It is a Little member, yet boasteth great things.

Though it be Little, yet if good, it is of great vse. A little bitte guydeth a great horse, adequitis libitum, to the Riders pleasure. A little helme, ruleth a great vessell: though the windes blowe, and the floudes oppose, yet the helme steares the shippe. Though little, yet if euill, [Page 28] it is of great mischiefe. A little leauen sowres the whole lumpe. 1. Cor. 5. 6 A little Remora dangers a great vessell. A little sickenesse distempereth the whole body. A little fire setteth a whole citty on combustion, verse 5. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

It is Little in substance, yet great ad affectum, to pro­uoke passion; ad effectum, to produce action. A Semi­naries Tongue, is able to set Instruments on worke, to blowe vp a Parliament. So God hath disposed it among the members, that it gouernes or misgouernes all; and is eyther a good King, or a cruell Tyrant. It eyther precedes to good, or peruerts to euill; purifieth, or pu­trifieth the whole carcasse, the whole conscience. It be­trayeth the heart, when the heart would betray God: and the Lord lets it double treason on it selfe, when it preuaricates with him.

It is a little leake that drowneth a shippe, a little breach that looseth an army, a little spring that powres foorth an Ocean. Little; yet the Lyon is more troubled with the little Waspe, then with the great Elephant. And it is obseruable, that the Aegyptian Sorcerers fay­led in minimis, that appeared skilfull and powerfull in maioribus. Exod. 7. 22 Doth Moses turne the waters into bloud? the Magicians did so, with their Inchantments. Doth Aaron stretch out his hand ouer the waters,Exod. 8. 7and couer the Land with Frogges? The Magicians did so with their Inchantments. But when Aaron smote the dust of the Land, and turned it into Lice, Verse 17. 18 the Magicians could not effect the like. Nor in the Ashes of the Fornace turned into boiles and blaines. In Frogges and Waters,Chap. 9 they held a semblance, not in the Dust and Ashes turned into Lice and soares. Many haue dealt better with the greater members of the bo­dy, then with this Little one. Defecerunt in minimis: Virtus non minima est, minimam compescere linguam.

4. It is a singular member. God hath giuen man [Page 29] two eares, one to heare instructions of humane know­ledge, the other to hearken to his diuine precepts; the former to conserue his body, the latter to saue his soule. Two eyes, that with the one hee might see to his owne way, with the other pitty and commiserate his distres­sed bre hren. Two hands, that with the one hee might worke for his owne liuing, with the other giue and re­lieue his brothers wants Two feete, one to walke on common dayes to his ordinary labour:Psal. 104. 23 Man goes foorth in the morning to his labour, and continues till the euening: the other on sacred dayes to visite and frequent the Temple, and the congregation of Saints. But among all, hee hath giuen him but one Tongue: which may in­struct him to heare twice so much as he speakes; to see twice so much as he speakes: to worke, and walke twice so much as he speakes.Psal. 139. 14 I will praise thee (O Lord) for I am fearefully and wonderfully made: maruaillous are thy workes, and that my soule knoweth right well. Stay, and wonder at the wonderfull wisedome of God.

1. To create so little a peece of flesh, and to put such vigour into it: to giue it neyther bones nor nerues, yet to make it stronger then armes and legges, and those most able and seruiceable parts of the body.1 Cor. 12. 23 So that as Paul sayth, 1. Cor. 12. On those members of the body, which we thinke lesse honourable, we bestow more abundant honour: and our vncomely parts haue more abundant comelinesse. So on this little weake member hath the Lord conferred the greatest strength; and as feeble as it is, wee finde it both more necessary, and more honourable.

2 Because it is so forcible, therefore hath the most wise God ordayned, that it shall be but little, that it shall be but one. That so the parvity and singularity may a­bate the vigour, the rigour of it. If it were paired, as the armes, legges, hands, feete, it would be much more vnruly. For he that cannot tame one tongue, how would [Page 30] he be troubled with twaine! But so hath the Ordinator prouided, that things of the fiercest and firyest nature, should be little, that the malice of them might be some­what restrayned.

3. Because it is so Vnruly, the Lord hath hedged it in, as a man will not trust a wilde horse in an open pasture, but prison him in a close pownd. A double fence hath the Creator giuen to confine it, the lips and the teeth; that through those mownds it might not breake. And hence a threefold instruction for the vse of the Tongue, is insinuated to vs.

1. Let vs not dare to pull vp Gods mownds; nor like wilde beasts, breake through the circular limites, wherein hee hath coped vs.Eccl. 28. 24 Looke that thou hedge thy pos­session about with thornes, and binde vp thy siluer and golde. What, doth the wise man intend to giue vs some thrif­tie counsell, and spend his inke in the rules of good hus­bandry, which euery worldling can teach himselfe? No; Yes: he exhorteth vs to the best husbandry, how to guyde and guard our Tongues, and to thriue in the good vse of speech. Therefore declares himselfe; Weigh thy words in a ballance, and make a doore and barre for thy mouth. Let this bee the possession thou so hedgest in, and thy precious golde thou so bindest vp. Beware thou slide not by it, lest thou fall before him that lyeth in waite. Commit not [...]urglary, by breaking the doores, and pulling downe the barres of thy mouth.

Much more, when the Lord hath hung a locke on it, doe not picke it with a false Key.Psal. 51. 15 Rather pray with Dauid, Psal. 51. O Lord open thou my lippes, and my mouth shall shew foorth thy praise. It is absurd in building, to make the Porch bigger then the House: it is as mon­strous in nature, when a mans words are too many, too mighty. Euery man mockes such a gaping boaster, with Quid feret hic dignum tanto promissor hiatu? Saint [Page 31] Bernard giues vs excellent counsell. Sint tua Verba

  • rara
  • vera
  • ponderosa

contra

  • multiloquium
  • falsiloquium
  • vaniloquium.

Let thy words be few, true, weighty, that thou maist not speake much, not falsely, not vainely. Remember thy bounds, and keepe the non vltra.

2. Since God hath made the tongue one, haue not thou a tongue and a tongue. Some are double-tongued, as they are double-hearted. But God hath giuen one tongue, one heart; that they might bee one indeed, as they are in number. It is made simple, let it not be dou­ble. God hath made vs men, we make our selues mon­sters. He hath giuen vs two eyes, two eares, two hands, two feete. Of all these we will haue, or at lest vse but one. We haue one eye to pry into others faults, not an other to see our owne. Wee haue one eare to heare the Plaintife, not the other for the Defendant. We haue a foote swift to enter forbidden paths, not another to leade vs to Gods holy place. We haue one hand to ex­tort, and scrape, and wound, and not another to re­lieue, giue almes, heale the wounded. But now where­as God hath giuen vs, but one tongue, and one heart, and bidden vs be content with their singularity; we will haue two tongues, two hearts. Thus crosse are wee to God, to Nature, to Grace: monstrous men; monoculi, monopedes; bicordes, bilingues: one-eyed, one-footed; double-tongued, double-hearted. The slaunderer, the flatterer, the swearer, the tale-bearer are monstrous (I dare scarce adde) men: as mis-shapen Stigmatickes, as if they had two tongues, and but one eye: two heades, and but one foote.

3. This convinceth them of preposterous folly, that put all their malice into their tongue, as the Serpent all her poyson in her tayle. And as it were by a chymicall [Page 32] power, attract all vigor thither, to the weakening and enervation of the other parts. Their hands have chira­gram; they can not stretch them foorth to the poore, nor give reliefe to the needy. Their feete podagram, they can not goe to the Church. Their eyes opthalmiam, they can not behold the miserable and pitty-needing. Their eares surditatem, they can not heare the Gospell preached. Oh how defective and sicke all these mem­bers are! But their Tongues are in health; there is blith­nesse and volubillity in them. If they see a distressed man, they can give him talkative comfort enough;Iam. 2. 16 Be­warmed, be filled, be satisfied: they can fill him with Scrip­ture-sentences; but they send him away with an hun­gry belly. Whereas the good mans hand is as ready to give, as his tongue to speake. But the fooles lips babbleth foolishnesse; volat irrevocabile verbum. Words runne like Hazael; but good workes, like the Creeple, come lag­ging after.

We see the nature of the thing to be tamed, the tongue: let vs consider the difficulty of this enterprise. No man can doe it. Which wee shall best finde, if wee compare it with other

  • members of the body.
  • creatures of the world.

With other members of the body: which are various in their faculties and offices; none of them idle.

1. The eye sees farre, and beholdeth the creatures in coelo, solo, salo: in the heavens, sunne and starres: on the earth birds, beasts, plants, and mineralls: in the sea, fishes and serpents. That it is an vnruly member, let our Grand-mother speake; whose roving eye lost vs all. Let Dinah speake, her wandring eye lost her virginitie, caused the effusion of much blood. Let the Iewes speak concerning the daughters of Madian; what a fearefull [Page 33] apostacie the Eye procured. Yea let Dauid acknow­ledge, whose petulant eye robbed Vriah of his wife and life, the land of a good souldier, his owne heart of much peace. Yet this eye, as vnruly as it is, hath beene tamed. Did not Iob make a couenant with his eyes, Iob 31. 1 that hee would not looke vpon a maide? The eye hath beene tamed, but the tongue can no man tame; it is an vnruly, &c.

2. The eare yet heares more, then ever the eye saw: and by reason of the patulous admission, derives that to the vnderstanding, whereof the sight never had a glaunce. It can listen to the whisperings of a Doeg, to the susurrations of a Divell, to the Boyse of a Syren, to the voyce of a Delilah. The Parasite through his win­dore creepes into the great mans favour: hee tunes his warbling notes to an enlarged eare. It is a wilde mem­ber, an Instrument that Sathan delights to play vpon. As vnruly as it is, yet it hath beene tamed. Mary sate at the feete of Christ, and heard him preach with glad at­tention. The eare hath beene tamed, but the Tongue can no man tame, &c.

3. The foote is an vnhappy member, and carries a man to much wickednesse. It is often swift to the shed­ding of blood: and runneth away from God Ionahs pace; flying to Tharshish, when it is bound for Niniueh. There is a foote of pride, Psal. 36. a sawcie foote,Psal. 36. 11 that dares pre­sumptuously enter vpon Gods free-hold. There is a foote of rebellion, that with an apostate malice kickes at God. There is a dauncing foote, that paceth the mea­sures of circular wickednesse. Yet as vnruly as this foote is, it hath beene tamed. David got the victory over it. I considered my wayes,Psal. 119. 59and turned my foote vnto thy testimo­nies. The foote hath beene tamed, but the Tongue can no man tame, &c.

4. The hand rageth and rangeth with violence, to take the bread it never sweat for, to enclose fields, to de­populate [Page 34] Townes,Micah 2. 2 to lay waste whole countries. They couet fields, and houses, and vineyards, and take them, because their Hand hath power. There is a hand of extortion, as Ahabs was to Naboth; the greedy landlords to the poore tenant. There is a hand of fraud, and full of Liegerdu­maine, as the vsurers to his distressed borrower. There is a hand of bribery, as Iudas, with his Quantum dabi­tis; what will you giue me to betray the Lord of Life. There is a hand of lust, as Ammons to an incestuous rape. There is a hand of murder, as Ioabs to Abner, or Absolons to Ammon. O how vnruly hath this member beene! yet it hath beene tamed: not by washing it in Pilates basin, but in Davids holy-Water, Innocence. I will wash my hands in innocencie, and then, O Lord, will I com­passe thine altar. Heereuppon hee is bolde to say; Lord, looke if there be any iniquitie in my hands. God did repudi­ate all the Iewes sacrifices,Psal. 7. 3. because their hands were full of blood. Davids Esay 1 hands had beene besmeared with the as­persions of lust and blood; but hee had penitently ba­thed them in his owne teares: and because that could not get out the staines, he faithfully renseth and clean­seth them in his Sonnes and Saviours fountayne, the all-meritorious blood of Christ. This made them look white:Psal. 18. 24. whiter then Lillies in Gods sight. Therefore hath the Lord recompensed mee according to my righteousnesse: ac­cording to the cleanenesse of my hands in his eye-sight.

Thus the eye, the eare, the foote, the hand, though wilde and vnruly enough, have been tamed; but the tongue can no man tame: it is an vnruly evill, &c.

With other creatures of the world; whether we find them in the earth, ayre, or water.

1. On the earth, there is the man-hating Tyger; yet man hath subdued him; and (they write) a little boy hath led him in a string. There is the flocke-devouring wolfe, that stands at grinning defiance with the sheep­heard; [Page 35] madde to have his prey, or loose himselfe; yet he hath beene tamed. The roaring Lyon, whose voice is a terror to man, by man hath beene subdued. Yea, serpents, that haue to their strength two shrewd addi­tions, subtilty, and malice; that carry venime in their mouths, or a sting in their tayles, or are all over poy­sonous; the very basiliske, that killes with his eyes, as they write, three furlongs off. Yet all these savage, furi­ous, malicious natures have beene tamed, but the tongue can no man tame: it is an vnruly evill, &c.

2. In the sea there be great wonders.Psal. 108. 24 They that goe downe to the sea in shippes, and doe businesse in great waters. These see the workes of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. Yet those naturall wonders have beene tamed by our artificiall wonders, shippes. Even the Leviathan him­selfe; Out of whose mouth goe burning Lampes, Iob 41. 19 and sparkes of fire. Out of his nosthrils goeth smoke, as out of a boyling Cal­dron. Squama squamae couiungitur; the flakes of his flesh are ioyned together; they are firme in themselves, and cannot bee moved. Yet we know, that this huge creature hath been tamed; but the tongue can no man tame, &c.

3. In the ayre, the Birds flie high aboue our reach, yet we have ginnes to fetch them downe. A lure stoops the highest-soaring hawke. Nay, Art makes one foule catch another, for mans delight and benefite. Incre­dible things, if they were not ordinary. Snares, lime­twigges, net [...]es tame them all: even the Pellican in the Desart, and the Eagle amongst the cedars. Thus saith our Apostle, verse 7. Every kinde (not every one of eve­ry kinde, but every kinde or nature of all) of beasts, of birds, of serpents, and of things in the Sea, is tamed, and hath beene tamed of the nature of man: but the Tongue can no man tame, &c.

Thus farre then Saint Iames his proposition passeth without opposition. The tongue can no man tame. The [Page 36] tongue is too wilde for any manstaming. It would be a foolish exception, (and yet there are such profane tongues to speake it) that woman stands without this compasse and latitude: and to inferre, that though no man can tame the tongue, yet a woman may: It is most vn­worthy answere. Woman, for the most part, hath the glibbest tongue: and if euer this impossibility preclude man, it shall much more annihilate the power of that weaker sex.Prou. 7. 11 and 9. 13 She is lowd, sayth Solomon: a foolish woman is euer clamorous. She calls her tongue, her Defensiue weapon; she meanes offensiue: a fire brand in a fran­ticke hand doth lesse mischiefe. The Prouerbe came not from nothing; when we say of a brawling man, he hath a womans tongue in his head.

The tongue can no man tame. Let vs listen to some weightier exceptions. The Prophets spake the oracles of life, and the Apostles, the words of saluation; and many mens speech ministers grace to the hearers. Yielde it; yet this generall rule will haue no exception: no man can tame it: man hath no sterne for this shippe, no bri­dle for this colt. How then? God tamed it. We by na­ture stammer as Moses, till God open a doore of vtte­rance.Esay 6. 5 I am of vncleane lippes, sayth the Prophet, and dwell with people of vncleane lippes. God must lay a coale of his owne altar vpon our tongues, or they can not bee tamed.

And when they are tamed, yet they often haue an vnruly tricke. Abraham lies, Moses murmurs, Elias for feare of a Queene and a queane wisheth to die, Io­nas frets for the Gourd, Dauid cries in his heart, All men are lyers: which speech rebounded euen on God himselfe; as if the Lord by Samuel had deceiued him: Peter forswears his Master, his Sauiour. If the tongues of the iust haue thus tripped, how should the profane goe vpright? The tongue can no man tame.

[Page 37] The instruction hence riseth in full strength; that God onely can tame mans tongue. Now the principall actions heereof are: first, to open the mouth, when it should not bee shut: secondly, and to shut it, when it should not be open.

To open our lippes when they should speake, is the sole worke of God, Psalme 51. 15 O Lord open thou my lippes, and then my mouth shall be able to shew forth thy praise. God must open with his golden key of grace, or else our tongues will arrogate a licentious passage. We had bet­ter holde our peace, and let our tongues lie still, then to set them a running, till God bids them goe. God commaunds euery sinner to confesse his iniquities: this charge, Dauid knew, concerned himselfe:Psal. 32. 3 yet was Da­uid silent; and then his bones waxed olde with anguish. His adultery cryed, his murder cryed, his ingratitude cryed for reuenge: but still Dauid was mute; and so long, day and night the hand of the Lord was heauy vppon him. But at last God stopped the mouth of his clamo­rous aduersaries, and gaue him leaue to speake. I ac­knowledged my sinne vnto thee, and mine iniquitie haue I not hid. I said, I will confesse my transgressions vnto the Lord, and thou for gauest the iniquity of my sinne. It is Christ, that must cast out this dumbe Diuell. The Lord is the best opener. He did open Lidia's heart, to conceiue.Acts 16 2 Kings 6 Esay 50. 5 Coloss. 4. 3 He did open Eli­shaes seruants eyes, to see. He did open the Prophets eares to heare. He did open Pauls tongue, to speake.

To shut our lippes, when they should not speake, is onely the Lords worke also. It is Christ that casts out the talking Diuell: he shuts the wicket of our mouth a­gainst vnsauoury speeches. Wee may thinke it a high office (and worthy euen Dauids ambition) to be a doore­keeper in Gods house, Psal. 84. when God vouchsafes to be a doore­keeper in our house.

Thus all is from God. Man is but a locke, Gods Spi­rit [Page 38] the key; that openeth, and no man shutteth; that shut­teth, and no man openeth. Reu elat. 3. 7. Hee opens, and no man shuts. I must speake, Ierem. 20. 9▪ though I die, saith Ieremy: his word is like fire in my bones, and will make mee weary of forbearing. He shuts,Luke 1. 22 and no man opens; so Zachary goes dumbe from the Altar, and could not speake.

Away then with arrogation of works, if not of words. Whē a man hath a good thoght, it is gratia infusa; when a good word, it is gratia effusa: when a good worke, it is gratia diffusa. If the man cannot produce words to praise God, much lesse can he procure his workes to please God. If he cannot tune his tougue, he can neuer turne his heart. Two vsefull benefites may be made heereof.

1. It is taughtvs, whether wee haue recourse to tame our tongues. Hee that made the tongue, can tame the tongue. He that gaue man a tongue to speake, can giue him a tongue to speake well. He that placed that vnruly member in his mouth, can giue him a mouth to rule it. He can giue Psalmes for Carrols; the Songs of Si­on for the ballads of hell. Man hath no bridle, no cage of brasse, nor barres of yron to tame it: God can. Let vs moue our tongues, to intreate help for our tongues: and according to their office, let vs set them on worke to speake for themselues.

2. Wee must not be idle our selues: the difficultie must spurre vs to more earnest contention. As thou wouldest keepe thy house from theeues, thy garments from mothes, thy golde from rust; so carefully preserue thy tongue from vnrulinesse,Psal. 141. 3. As the Lord doth set a watch before thy mouth, and keepe the doore of thy lippes, Psal. 141 So thou must also be vigilant thy selfe, and not turne ouer thy owne heart to securitie.Math. 12. 34. How can yee being euill, speake good things: for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Looke how farre the heart is good, so farre the tongue. If the heart beleeue, the tongue will con­fesse: [Page 39] if the heart bee meeke, the tongue will bee gentle: if the heart bee angry, the tongue will bee bitter. The tongue is but the hand without, to shew how the clocke goes within. A vaine tongue discouers a vaine heart. But some haue words soft as butter, when their hearts are keene swords: bee they neuer so well traded in the art of Dissembling, sometime or other the tongue, Iu das-like, will betray the Maister: it will mistake the hearts errand, and with stumbling forgetfulnesse trip at the doore of truth.Eccl. 21. 26. The heart of fooles, is in their mouth: but the mouth of the wise, is in their heart. To auoyde ill communication, hate ill cogitation: a polluted heart makes a fowle mouth. Therefore one day, Ex ore tuo, Out of thine owne mouth will God condemne thee.

I haue with some prolixity insisted on the Position; the reasons shall bee but lightly touched.

1. It is an vnruly euill.

The difficulty of taming the tongue, one would thinke were sufficiently expressed in the euill of it: but the A­postle seconds it with an other obstacle, signifying the wilde nature of it, vnruly. It is not onely an euill, but an vnruly euill. I will set the Champion and his Second together in this fight; and then shew the hardnesse of the combat.

Bernard sayth: Lingua facile volat, & ideo facile vio­lat. The tongue runnes quickly, therefore wrongs quickly. Speedy is the pace it goes, and therefore speedy is the mischiefe it does. When all other mem­bers are dull with age, the tongue alone is quicke and nimble. It is an vnruly euill to our selues, to our neigh­bours, to the whole world.

1. To our selues.Erasm. Ver. 6. It is so placed among the members, that it defileth all. Though it were euill, as the [Page 40] plague; and vnruly, as the possessed Gergeseus, Math. 8 yet if set off with distance, the evill rests within it selfe. A Leaper shut vp in a Pesthouse, ranckleth to him­selfe, infects not others. A wild Caniball in a prison, may onely exercise his savage cruelty vpon the stone wals, or yron grates. But the tongue is so placed, that being euill and vnruly, it hurts all the members.

2. To our Neighbours. There are some sinnes that hurt not the doer onely, but many sufferers. These are districtly the sinnes of the tongue and the hand. There are other sinnes private and domesticall: the sting and smart whereof dyes in the o [...]ne soule; and without fur­ther extent, plagues onely the person of the commit­ter. So the Lavish is sayde, no mans foe but h [...]s own: the proud is guilty of his owne vanity: the slothfull beares his owne reproch: and the malicious wasteth the marrow of his owne bones, whiles his envied obiect shines in happinesse. Though perhaps these sinnes in­sensibly wrong the common-wealth, yet the principall and immediate blow lights on themselues. But some iniquities are swords to the Countrey; as oppression, rapine, circumvention: some incendiaries to the whole land; as evill and vnrnly tongues.

3 To the whole world. If the vastate ruines of an­cient monuments, if the depopulation of Countries, if the consuming fires of contention, if the land manured with bloud; had a tongue to speake, they wold all accuse the Tongue for the originall cause of their woe. Slaugh­ter is a lampe, and bloud the oyle; and this is set on fire by the tongue.

You see the latitude and extention of this vnruly evill; nor evnraly then the hand. Slaughters, massacres, op­pressions are done by the hand: the tongue doth more. Parcit manus absenti, lingua n [...]mini. The hand spares to hurt the absent, the tongue hurts all. One may avoid [Page 41] the sword by runni [...]g from it; not the tongue, though he runne to the Indies. The hand reacheth but a small compasse, the tongue goes through the world. If a man wore coate of armour, or maile of brasse; yet, Penetra­bunt spicula linguae; The darts of the tongue will pierce it.

It is evill, and doth much harme; it is vnruly, and doth sudden harme. You will say, many wicked men haue often very silent tongues. True, they know their times and places, when and where to seeme mute. But Ieremy compounds the wisedome and folly of the Iewes: That they were wise to do evill, Iere. 4. 22 but to do good they had no vn­derstanding. So I may say of these, they haue tongue e­nough to speake euill, but are dumbe when they should speake well.

Our Sauiour in the dayes of his flesh on earth,Luke 11. 14 was of­ten troubled with dumbe Deuils: but now he is as much troubled with roaring Deuils. With the fawning Sy­cophant, a pratling Deuill. With the malicious slaun­derer, a brawling Deuill. With the vnquiet peace-ha­ter, a scolding Deuill. With the auarous and ill-con­scious Lawyer, a wrangling Deuill. With the factious Schismaticke, a gaping Deuill. With the swaggering ruffian, a roaring Deuill. All whom Christ by his mi­nisters doth coniure, as he once did that crying Deuill; Hold thy peace, and come out. These are silent enough to praise God, but lowd as the Cataracts of Nilus to ap­plaud vanitie.Psal. 32. 3 Dauid sayth of himselfe, Psalme 32. that when he held his peace, yet he rored all the day long. Strange! be silent, and yet roare too, at once? Gregory answeres; h [...]e that daily commits new sinnes, and doth not peni­tently confesse his olde, roares much, yet holdes his tongue. The Father pricked the pleurisie-vaine of our times. For wee haue many roarers, but dumbe roarers: though they can make a hellish noyse in a Ta­uerne, and sweare downe the Deuill himselfe; yet to [Page 42] praise God, they are as mute as fishes.

Saint Iames heere calles it fire. Now you know fire is an ill maister: but this is vnruly fire. Nay, hee calles it the fire of hell; blowne with the bellows of malice, kind­led with the breath of the deuill. Nay, Stella hath a con­ceit, that it is worse then the fire of hell: for that tor­ments onely the wicked, this all, both good and bad. For it is Flabellum, invids, and Flagellum, iusti. Swea­rers, railers, scoldes haue hell-fire in their tongues.

This would seeme incredible, but that God sayth it is true. Such are hellish people, that spet abroad the flames of the deuill It is a cursed mouth that spets fire: how should wee auoyde those, as men of hell! many are afraid of hell fire, yet nourish it in their owne tongues. By this kinde of Language, a man may know who is of hell. There are three sorts of languages obserued. Ce­lestiall, terrestriall, and infernall. The heauenly lan­guage is spoken by the Saints, Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: Psal. 84. 4 they will be still praising thee. Their discourse is habituated, like their course or co [...]uersation; which Paul saith is heauenly. Philip. 3. 20. The earthly tongue is spoken of worldlings, He that is of the earth, is earthly: and speaketh of the earth. Iohn 3. 31 Worldly talke is for worldly men. The in­fernall language is spoken by men of hell; such as haue beene taught by the deuill: they speake like men of Be­lial. Now, as the Countrey man is knowne by his lan­guage: and as the Damosell tolde Peter; Sure thou art of Galile, for thy speech bewrayeth thee: so by this rule, you may know heauenly men by their gracious confe­rence: earthly men by their worldly talke: and hellish, by the language of the lowe Countries, swearing, cur­sing, blasphemy.

Well the efore did the Apostle call this Tongue a fire; and such a fire, as sets the whole world in combustion. Let these vnruly tongues take heede lest by their roarings [Page 43] they shake the battlements of heauen; and so waken an incensed God to iudgement.Zechar. 5. 4 There is a curse that go­eth foorth, and it shall enter into the house of the swearer, and not onely cut him off, Iere. 23. 10 but consume his house with the tim­ber, and the stones of it. It was the Prophet Ieremies com­plaint; that for oathes the Land mourned. No maruaile, if God curse vs for our cursings; and if the plague light vpon our bodies, that haue so hotely trolled it in our tongues: no wonder if wee haue bl [...]sterd carcases, that haue so blisterd consciences; and the stench of conta­gion punish vs for our stinking breaths. Our tongues must walke, till the hand of God walke against vs.

2. Full of deadly poyson.

POison is h [...]omini i [...]imicum, loathsomely contrary to mans nature: but there is a poison not mortall; the venime whereof may bee expelled; this is deadly poyson. Yet if there was but a little of this resident in the wicked tongue, the danger were lesse; nay, it is full of it; full of deadly poyson.

Tell a blasphemer this, that he vomites hell fire, and carries deadly poison in his mouth; and hee will laugh at thee. Beloued, we preach not this of our owne heads; we haue our infallible warrant:Psal. 14 God speakes it. The poi­son of Aspes is vnder their lippes, sayth the Psalmist. It is a loathsome thing, to carry poison in ones mouth: wee would flie that serpent, yet willingly conuerse with that man. A strangely hated thing in a beast, yet customa­ble in many mens tongues. Whom poison they? First, Themselues; they haue speckled soules. Secondly, They sputte their venime ab [...]oad, and bespurtle o­thers: no beast can cast his poyson so farre. Thirdly, Yea, they would (and no thankes to them that they can not) poison Gods most sacred and feared nam [...]. Let vs [Page 44] iudge of these things, not as flesh and blood imagineth, but as God pronounceth.

It is obseruable, that which way soeuer a wicked man vseth his tongue, he cannot vse it well. Mordet detra­hendo, lingit adulando. He bites by detraction, lickes by flattery; and eyther of these touches ranckle: he doth no lesse hurt by licking, then by biting. All the parts of his mouth are instruments of wickednesse. Logici­ans in the difference betwixt vocem, and sonum, say that a voice is made by the lippes, teeth, throat, tongue.

The Psalmographer on euery one of these hath set a brand of wickednesse.Psal. 120 2 1. The lippes are labia dolosa, lying lippes, Psal. 120. 2. The teeth are frementes, frendentes, g [...]ashing teeth. Psal. 120. 3 3. The tongue, lingua mendax, lingua mor­dax. What shalbe done vnto thee, Rom. 313 thou false tongue? 4. The throat patens sepulchrum. Their throat is an open sepulcher. This is a monstrous and fearefull mouth: where the porter, the porch, the entertainer, the receiuer are all [...]icious. The lippes are the Porter, and that's fraud: the porch the teeth, and there is malice: the entertay­ner, the tongue, and there is lying: the receiuer, the throat, and there is deuouring.

I cannot omit the Morall of that old Fable. Three children call one man Father, who brought them vp. Dying, he bequeaths all his estate only to one of them, as his true naturall sonne; but which that one was, left vncertaine. Heereupon euery one claimes it. The wise Magistrate for speedy decision of so great an ambigui­tie; causeth the dead father to be set vp as a marke; pro­mising the chalengers, that which of them could shoot next his heart, should enioy the Patrimony. The elder shootes, so doth the second, both hitte: but when it came to the yongers turne, he vtterly refused to shoot: good nature would not let him wound that man dead, that bred and fed him liuing. Therfore the Iudge gaue [Page 45] all to this sonne, reputing the former bastards. I he scope of it is plaine, but significant. God will neuer giue them the Legacie of Glory, giuen by his Sonne Will to children; that like bastards shoot through, and wound his blessed Name. Thinke of this, ye swearing and cursing to [...]gues

To conclude, God shall punish such Tongues in their owne kinde: they were full of poison, and the poyson of another stench shall swell them. They haue beene en­flamed, and shal be tormented with the fire of hell. Bur­ning shall be added to burning; saue that the first was actiue, this passiue. The rich glutton, that when his belly was full, could loose his tong to blasphemie, wan­ted water to coole his tongne. His tongue sinned, and his tongue smarted. Though his torment was vniuer­sall, yet he complaines of his tongue. That panted, that smoked, that reeked with sulphur and brimstone: that burnes with the flame of hell dead, that burned with it liuing. For a former tune of sinne, it hath a present tune of woe. It scalded, and is scalded: as it cast abroad the flames of hell in this world, so all the flames of hell shall bee cast on it in the world to come. It hath fired, and shall bee fired, with such fire as is not to bee quen­ched.

But blessed is the sanctified tongue. God doth now chuse it as an instrument of musicke, to sing his praise; hee doth water it with the sauing dewes of his mercie, and will at last aduaunce it to glorie.

FINIS.

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