I will sing mercy and iudgment: &c *

KING DAVIDS VOW FOR REFORMATION of Himselfe. his Family. his Kingdome *

Deliuered in twelue ser­mons before the Prince his Highnesse vpon Psalm 101 *

By George Hakewill Dr. in Diuinity *

London printed for Mathew Lownes 1621 *

TO THE PRINCE his Highness, my gra­cious Lord and Master.

WHat hath heeretofore been presented to your High­nesse eare, I heere make bolde (with some little change) to present afresh to your eye: that you may beholde at one view the entire body of those discourses which were delivered dis­iointly and by peece-meale; as al­so that you may revise that at lea­sure (if ought therein shall be thought worth revising) which was sometimes [Page] of necessi [...]y shuffled up in haste, though I must confesse to mine owne comfort and your honor, never heard but with singular attention; and lastly, that I may serve your Highness in somwhat, as well absent as present▪ specially now that your frequent presence with his Majesty enforceth your often absence from your Familie.

I adventure then, most noble Prince, to unfolde and lay before your view the Vow of DAVID (as seasonable I hope to the times, as suitable to the person) for the reformation and go­vernment of himselfe, his housholde and State; whether made before his comming to the Crowne, or newly upon it, it is not certaine to define, nor very materiall to know: once wee are sure, it was DAVIDS Vow: which one Motive me thinks were of weight suffi­cient to stirre-up all Christian Princes (specially such as professe the defence of the Christian faith) to a serious medita­tion thereon, even in that it was DA­VIDS Vow; who so lived and so died, [Page] as never Prince (I thinke, before him nor perhaps since him) so joyned to­gether Valour and Vertue, Courage and Humility, Policy and Piety, Thrift and Bounty, Solemnity and Devotion, Greatness and Goodness.

Without flattering the present times, I might safely and justly say unto you, ‘Et Pater Aeneas, & avun [...]ulus excitet Hector.’

The former of which (as the world well knoweth) hath added to his pra­ctice singular precepts of this kinde; by which hee as much surpasseth other Kings, as Kings doe ordinary men, or men the brute creatures. Yet I thought it not amisse to adde therunto the pra­ctice and precepts of that King who received such a testimony from the mouth of God as never did any; and farre surpassed that, in reall acts, which Xenophon of Cyrus conceived onely in imagination.

This King then if you please to pro­pose to your selfe as a paterne, and his [Page] Vow as a rule, we may by Gods helpe one day promise to our selves another Charlemaine, or rather the perfections of all the Edwards & Henries, & Iameses your renowned progenitors united in one Charles: and, your proceeding and ending answering your gracious beginnings and vertuous disposition (which wee all hope and pray for) wee may rest assured thereof.

For the effecting of which, you can­not doe better than performe in deed what you have chosen for your word, Si vis omnia subijcere, teipsum subijce rati­oni; which is truely to be a King. For, in so doing you will valew Sove­raignetie, not by impunity of doing e­vill, but power of doing good; and in attayning it▪ onely be enabled for the doing of that good which before you desired.

And if this poore Worke of mine, or any my endeavours, either have or shall any way conduce to the fur­therance of that publike and impor­tant [Page] worke, I shall therein reape a suf­ficient reward both of my service and travailes; accounting it my greatest happinesse on earth to have been coun­ted worthy to be

Your Highnesses first-sworne Chaplain, ever attending your Commands, GEORGE HAKEWILL.

To the PRINCE his Family.

YOV, it was, mine Honourable and worthy Friends, to whom (next after our Gracious Ma­ster) these ensuing Sermons were first and chiefly directed: You may iu­stly then claime a part in them: and I wish they may prove as fruitfull unto you, as they were intended. Sure I am, they wil not prove unfruitfull, if you compose your selves to the Glass they hold forth, striving to present you such to your Master, as they represent to you; that is, such as seek not to rise, save to get the vantage-ground for the doing of more good: such, as preferre their Masters good before their owne gain; their Masters safety before [Page] their owne ease, their Masters credit before their owne advancement: such, as in prefer­ring sutes aim not at their private ends th [...] ­rough the sides of the Publike, nor use faire pretenses for the compassing of foule proiects or the smothering of honest motions; nor, la­stly, look so much to the purse and power of Petitioners, as to their worths and necessi­ties.

A Master you have, born (I hope) in a happy houre for the good of the Christian world: of whom it may bee truely said,

Antevenit sortem meritis, virtutibus annos,
Ingenio formam, relligione genus▪

Who not onely rewards and cherishes ver­tue, but traceth out the path therof before you with his own steps; best deserving that place, by his ingraven courtesie and many Princely endowments, which hee houlds by lineall des­cent. Why then should any seek that favou [...] in the way of basenes and sycophancie, which may more easily bee won in the plain and safe way of vertue and honesty?

Provocations to vice (I knowe) are not wanting in the place wherein [...]on live: yet, [Page] seeing a religious Nehemiah may be found in Artaxerxes Court, [...] Daniel in Nebu­chadnezzars, a Ioseph in Pharaohs, and some faithfull Christians even in Neroes house; what may wee there expect, where from the Chiefest are so many encourage­ments to piety? in that Family, whose Head (I dare say) rather glories in being a member of the true Church, than the Second in the Kingdome; rather in beeing baptized into the religion hee professeth, than in beeing descen­ded from the royall stock of so many famous Kings: and where religion is built up (be it spoken without disparagement of other mens labours, or relation to mine owne) by as suf­ficient Master-workmen in their kindes▪ as the Land affords; not thrusting themselves into the Place, but all of them culled out and called thither: not posting to Preferment by indirect means; but, like sacred Lamps, spending themselves to give you light, well testified by your singular respect towards them.

Of my self, or this ensuing Worke, I will say nothing. By the grace of God I am that I am: and I hope it will appear in this Worke, [Page] and the effects therof in you, that his grace in me was not altogether in vain. Whatsoever it bee, it is for your use: and whatsoever I am, I am for your service; ready to bee imployed by the meanest of that Family, for which I da [...]ly pray as for myself

A poor member thereof, GEORGE HAKEVVIL [...].

The 101. PSALMS, according to our last and most approoved Translation: which I chiefly follow in my ensu­ing Exposition.

I Will sing of Mercy and Iudgement: un­to thee, O Lord, will I sing.

2 I will behave my selfe wisely in a per­fect way: O when wilt thou com unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

3 I will set noHeb. thing of Belial. wicked thing before my eyes: I hate the work of them that turne a­side, it shall not cleave to me.

4 A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not knowe a wicked person.

5 Whoso p [...]ivily slandereth his neigh­bour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look, & a proud hart, wil I not suffer.

6 Mine eyes shall bee upon the faithfull of the Land, that they may dwell with mee: he that walkethOr, perfect in the way. in a perfect way, he shall serve mee.

7 He that worketh deceit, shall not dwel within my house: he that telleth liesHeb. shall no [...] be [...]sta­bl [...]shed. shall not tarry in my sight.

8 I will early destroy all the wicked of the Land, that I may cut off al wicked doers from the City of the Lord.

Buchanani Paraphrasis.
PSALMVS CI.

1 TE salus rerum cano, qui precanti
Lenis irarum es, facilisque flecti,
Impiorum idem tetricus rebelles
Frangere fastus.
2 Huc meae vires vigilant, labores
Huc ferent omnes, opis in tuae spe [...]
Semper ut castis domus institutis
Culta nitescat.
3 Si salutarem mihi tu serenus
Porrigis dextram, tibi corde puro
Serviam; fraudum scelerísque pura
Serviet aula.
Nec mihi exemplum statuam sequendum,
Litibus siquis miseros iniquis
Vexet, aut causam tenuis clientis
Prodidit hosti.
4 Sponte qui pravis studiis inhaeret,
Sit procul: saevi sceleris minister
Candidos nunquam mihi censeatur
Inter amicos.
5 Quisquis incautum lacerat sodalem,
Clam venenato iaculatus ictu,
Persequar, plectam, penitúsque ab ima
Stirpe revellam.
Nec meae mensae dapibus fruetur
Mentis elatae tumor, arrogánsque
Vultus, & cunctos veluti minores
Lumine spernens.
[Page] 6 Veritas [...]mplex quibus est amori,
Hos amo, amplector, video libenter:
His mihi [...]eros sociis senectus
Impleat annos.
Integer vitae mihi sit minister:
7 Tecta non intret mea fraudulentus:
Nemo mecum intra mea commoretur
Limina mendax.
8 Impios longè (mora nulla) terrae
Finibus pellam: procul omne monstru [...]
Civitas sancta ut Domini releget
Flagitioru [...].

The Analysis of the Psalme.

[figure]

The principall Contents of the severall ensuing Sermons.

  • THe first
    1. Sermon vpon the first vers. fol. 1.
    treates chiefly of the preheminence of the booke of the Psalmes, of the Nature & Conditions of a Vow, of the antiquity & excellency of mu­sick, of the diuerse kindes of Church-musick, of the abuse & good use of Songs & singing, of Mercy and Iustice, requisite in a Prince. Of the person to whom both Songs and Vowes are to bee devoted, and to whose glory both Mercy and Iustice are to be administred.
  • The second,
    2. Vpon the former part of the 2. vers. fol. 38▪
    of the necessity of a Magi­strates beginning Reformation from his owne person, of Wisedome required in him both Civill and Spirituall, of his patience [Page] in waiting for the performance of Gods pro­mises, of his imploring the assistance of Gods Spirit of his Meditation of Mortality.
  • The third,
    3. Vpon the later part of the 2. vers. fol. 72.
    of Idlenesse, of progresse in good duties, of moderation, of the al [...]ow­ance of our owne hearts in all our actions, of the perfection of the heart unfoulding it selfe in Integrity and Sinceri [...]y, of the try­all of a mans sufficiency for publique im­ployment by the menaging of his housholde affaires, of being the same abroad and at home.
  • The fourth,
    4. Vpon the former part of the 3. vers. f. 101.
    of presumptuous sinnes, of the sense of the word Belial, of the vn­lawfulnesse of Images for religious vse, of sundry temptations and intisements by the sense of Seeing.
  • The fift,
    5. Vpon the later part of the 3. vers. fol. 120.
    of the good vse of naturall af­fections in the soule, so they bee rightly mo­derated and applyed; of a twofolde hatred of malice and zeale, of the hatred of mens euill vvorkes, not of their persons, of the hatred of Apostates and Apo­stasie.
  • The sixt,
    6. Vpon the 4. vers. fol. 139.
    of the frowardnesse of the heart, in rebellion & repining against God, [Page] in harshnesse and bitternesse towards men: of shunning euill company for feare of Sus­picion, Infection, Malediction.
  • The seauenth,
    7. Vpon the former part of the 5. vers. f. 162.
    of the vertues and vices of the tongue; of slaunder in generall, of priuy slander, of pri [...]y slander of a mans pre­tended friend or fellow servant of the put­ting backe and punishing thereof.
  • The eightth,
    8. Vpon the later part of the 5. vers. fol. 188.
    of the affinitie between slan­der and pride, of discouering the secret af­fections of the heart by outward actions and gestures; in special, the pride of the heart by proud lookes, of the proud heart it selfe, and wherein it consists, of our Proph [...]ts not suf­fering it as a reasonable man, as a member of the Church, as the Father of a family, as the Soveraigne of a kingdom: of his owne freenesse from it, notwithstanding his great and manifolde gifts; and the reasons there­of.
  • The ninth,
    9. Vpon the 6. vers. fol. 220.
    of domination and service, of fidelity in servants; in actions, vvhen a servant doth that vvhich tends not so much to the satisfying of his Masters sensuall appetite as his reall good; when he preferres his Masters gaine, his ease, his liberty, his [Page] safety, before his own: secondly, in speeches, by concealing his Masters secrets and im­perfections, by giving him (if occasion serve and hee be called to it) wholesom and free counsaile; of godlinesse required in a servant as well in regard of his Master as himself: where, by occasion of the proper sig­nification of the word to serve, vsed in the Text, is added a discourse of the disorder of States by the corruption of Iudges & vnder-Officers, even when there are good Kings: and lastly, it concludeth with the choise and reward of good servants.
  • The tenth,
    10. Vpon the 7. vers. fol. 250.
    of deceitfulnesse in generall; of deceitfulnesse of servants in speciall; how pernicious it is both to themselves and their Masters: of lying; in which are han­dled the nature and severall kindes of Lies, the greatnesse of the offence how [...]lightly so­ever wee esteem of it, together with the pu­nishment alwayes due vnto it, and many times inflicted on it.
  • The eleventh,
    11. Vpon the former part of the 8. vers. fol. 279.
    of diligence, dispatch and constancy in punishing malefactors, at his very entrance to the Crowne; yet not with­out advisement and discretion: of three ca­ses [Page] which by some are held vnlawfull, in which it is lawfull to destroy; in defence of a mans owne person, in a iust and lawfull warre, and by the sword of the publique Ma­gistrate.
  • The twelfth,
    12. Vpon the later part of the 8. vers. fol. 308.
    of three vnlawfull kindes of destroying, by some held lawfull: namely selfe-homicide, in Duell, for reason of State without due order of law, or course of iustice: of the right obiect and vnpartiality of his iustice; and lastly of his vowing to purge the Citie of the Lord (whereby is meant Ie­rusalem) first, for example to the whole Realme, it being the Metropolis and head Citie of the Kingdome, as also and princi­pally by reason of the service of God and ex­ercise of religion, which by divine ordinance was in a speciall manner tied vnto it.
  • I have the rather noted the distincti­on of these Sermons, because the third and sixt are not sufficiently distanced from their next precedents.

ALia sunt quae Prophetae tradunt, alia quae Historia, Lex quoque alia, Prover­biorum etiam alia commonitio: Psalmo­rum verò liber quaecun (que) utilia sunt ex om­nibus contin [...]t. Futura praedicit, veterum gesta commemorat, [...]egem viventibus tribu­it, gerendorum statuit modum; &, ut bre­viter dicam, communis quidam bonae do­cotrinae thesaurus est, apte singulis necessa­ria subministrans. Aug. in prologo in librum psalmorum.

THey bee of one kinde which the prophets de­liver, of another which the History, of ano­ther which the Law, and of another which the proverbs warn us of: but, the book of the psalms contains in it whatsoever is profitable in anie of them. It foretels things to come, it records acts past, it sets a law to things present, and prescribes an order for things to bee done; in a word, it is the common tr [...]asury of wholesome doctrine, pro­perly administring necessaries to each particular.

Psal. 101. ver. 1. I will sing mercy and iudgement: unto thee, O Lord, will I sing.

AS the whole Scripture is by inspiration from God: so this Booke of the Psalmes seemeth to challenge a kinde of preheminence above the rest; inasmuch as the Au­thour of it was not onely a Prophet and a King, but a man after Gods owne heart, a Figure of Christ; or, as Euthymius speaks, primi regis & [...]or, & lingua, & calamus, the tongue, and pen, and heart, of the King of Hea­ven.

The several passages of this book are more frequently and particular­ly [Page 2] quoted by Christ and his Apo­stles, then of any other of the ould Testament. It was, and still is, more usually both sung and read, not one­ly in the Iewish Synagogues, but Christian Assemblies, as well by the People as the Minister; & that with more outward reverence then any other part of holy Writ. It is put for al the Books of the old Testamēt, as they are differenced from the law of Moses and the Prophets, Luke 24. 44. And lastly, more Sermons, Commē ­taries, Meditations, Expositions, E­narrations, upon it have been made and published, as well by the Iewish Rabbins, as by the Doctors of the Christian Church, then upon a­ny other scripture whatsoever. Nay, the very Turks themselves swear as solemnly by the Psalms of David, as by the Alcoran of Mahomet. And in truth, hee that hath either practical­ly tried, or shall duly consider, what a rich store-house it is of all manner of Prayers, Precepts, Exhortations [Page 3] and Comforts, how this one celesti­all Fountaine yeeldeth all good ne­cessarily to bee knowne, or done, or had; what a familiar introduction it is to beginners, a mighty augmenta­tion of vertue & knowledge in such as are entred before, a strong confir­mation to the most perfect; may easily conceive the reason why it hath in all Ages bin esteemed even of the best and most learned, as a rare and precious Iewell, worthy to be laid up in that Persian Casket im­broidered with gould and pearle, which Alexander reserved for Ho­mers Iliads. In regard whereof, our good King Alured translated the Psalter himself into his Saxon tong: and one of the Emperours caused this Book to bee bound up in a little volume by it self, for the special and daily use of himselfe and his atten­dants, to serve them as a Manuall, & alwaies to attend them in their run­ning Library. And as I would not sooner commend the reading of a­ny [Page 4] book to a Courtier then this: so would I specially commend this Psalm to the carefull reading and se­rious meditation both of my Gra­cious Master the Prince, and his re­ligious Followers. They shall both finde their duties lively expressed in it, as in a mirrour, howbeit it were indeed first composed rather to ex­presse the former then the later, and my present choice of it bee chiefly intended and directed to that pur­pose.

This Psalme, by the consent of Writers, is a vow of David: whether made before or after his comming to the Crowne, it is not certain, nei­ther skilleth it much; but, that it is a vow, all agree. Since then, for the Person, the maker of it was both of understanding and power to make it; since, for the Matter, the thing therein vowed is both lawfull and possible; since, for the Manner, hee made it both deliberately and free­ly with advice and without con­straint; [Page 5] and lastly, since the End of it was to serve both as a bridle to prevent and redresse sinne, and as a spur to stirre him up and incite him to vertue, and keep him close to the duties therein promised: we are to hould it not onely for a warrantable but a commendable vow; nor only commendable in David, but with like commendation imitable by us in like case. And as David made this vow, so had hee speciall care to pay it, 2. Sam. 8. 15. willing others to do the like, Psal. 50; it beeing indeed better (as his Son tells us, Eccles. 5. 5) not at all to vow, than to vow and not perform. Yet in wicked vowes, as that of the Iewes, Acts 23. or in rash vows, as that of Herod & Iephte, that of the Canonists houlds true; In malis promissis rescinde fidem, in tur­pi voto muta decretum: In wicked pro­mises hould not thy word, in shame­ful vows change thy purpose: wher­upon St. Hierome worthily censures Iephte, that hee was in vovendo stul­tus, [Page 6] in praestando impius; naught in ma­king such a vow as he did, but worse in performing it.

The thing heer vowed is either generall, in the first verse: or particu­lar, touching his own Person, from the second verse to the fift; tou­ching his Attendants, Counsellers and Officers, from the fift to the eight; and lastly, touching the Church and Common-wealth, in the last.

The matter by him vowed in ge­nerall is contained in the first verse; I will sing mercy and iudgement: unto thee, O Lord, will I sing. Wherein, without any curious descant or divi­sion, wee may observe first the man­ner of expressing this vow: it is by way of singing, which implieth cheerfulnesse and alacrity: for, Is a­ny merry, let him sing? Iames 5. And, How should wee sing the Lords song in a strange land? Psal. 137. As God loves a cheerfull giver: so doth hee a cheerfull vower. Secondly, the dit­ty, [Page 7] or rather the burden of this song: Mercy and Iudgement. Thirdly, the Person to whom hee both sings and vowes: it is the Lord.

First then of his maner of expres­sing this vow; I will sing. As anci­ent and manifold as is the use of Mu­sick,Gen. 4. 21. so excellent was David in the use thereof; a thing which deligh­teth all Ages, and beseemeth all e­states; a thing as seasonable in grief as in joy; as decent being added to things of greatest weight and solem­nity, as beeing used when men most sequester themselves from action. It is apt both to quicken the spirits, & to allay that which is too eager; a­ble both to move and moderate all affections: yea, such is the force and efficacy thereof upon that very part of man which is most divine, that some have beene thereby indu­ced to think, that the soule of man is composed of harmony. Which be­ing (to speak properly) of high and lowe in sounds, a due proportiona­ble [Page 8] disposition, whether it be by in­strument or by voice; our Prophet, the sweet Singer of Israel, having singular knowledge in them both, as also in the art of Poetry, judged them all, as very usefull in civill af­fairs, so in sacred actions and religi­ous exercises even in the house of God it selfe not unusefull; leaving behinde him to that purpose a num­ber of divinely indited poems (howbeit their metre in the originall bee now unknowne) and adding unto his poetry melody, both vocall and in­strumentall, by ordaining some of the Levites skilled in musicke to praise the Lord by singing and play­ing on instruments, to the number of foure thousand, 1. Chro. 23. 5. who, divided into severall companies, by course served the Lord in his Sanc­tuary for the raising up of mens hearts, and sweetning their affecti­ons towards God.

The instruments they used in praising the Lord are most of them [Page 9] reckoned up in the last Psalm: all which may be reduced to two sorts, whereof one is called Negenoth, such as made a sound by touching; the o­ther, Nechiloth, such as being hollow made a sound by breathing. Some­time the musicall instrument began, and the singing voice followed, and then the song was called Canticum Psalmi: somtime again the song was first sung with the voice, and the musicall instrument followed, and then it is called Psalmus Cantici: of which sort it seems was this Psalm, both sung privately by David for his better remembrance therof, and by him appointed to bee sung publike­ly in the Congregation; as for the good of others, so thereby to oblige himself the more strictly to the per­formance thereof.

Before Davids time this singing of sacred hymns was in use, as may ap­pear by the songs of Moses and Miri­am, Exod. 15. and of Deborah and Ba­rach, Iudg. 5. After him, his Sonnes [Page 10] songs were no less then a thousand and five, 1. Kings 4. 32. And one spe­ciall one of his we yet enjoy at this day, by the name of Canticum canti­corum, the Song of songs; setting forth unto us the mystical union be­tween Christ & his Church. Christ himself and his Disciples, according to the custome of the Iewes, sung a Psalme, Mat. 26. 30. Paul and Silas sung in prison, Acts 16. 25. And, to shew that it was a duty to conti­nue in the Church,Eph. 5. 19. both S. Paul and S. Iames not onely exhort us to it,Col. 3 16. but give us rules for the practice of it.Iames 5. 13. In consideration whereof, the Church of Christ doth likewise at this present day retain it as an orna­ment to Gods service, and an helpe both to our edification and devoti­on: neither can they well bee excu­sed from profanenesse, who eyther scorn to doo it themselves, or scorn others for the dooing of it. I will shut up this point with an excellent speech of S. Basils, touching this use [Page 11] of singing psalms in Christian Fami­lies or Congregations. Whereas (saith he) the holy Spirit saw, that man­kinde is unto vertue hardly drawen, and that righteousnes is the lesse accounted of, by reason of the pronenesse of our affecti­ons to that which delighteth; it pleased the wisedome of the same Spirit to borrow from melody that pleasure, which, min­gled with heavenly mysteries, causeth the smoothnesse and softnesse of that which toucheth the [...]are, to convay as it were by s [...]ealth the treasure of good things into mans minde. To this purpose were those harmonious tunes of the Psalmes devised for us, that they which are either in years but tender and greene, or touching perfe­ction of vertue as yet not growne to ripe­nesse, might, when they think they sing, learn. O the conceit of that heavenly Tea­cher! which hath by his skill found out a way, that, dooing those things wherein we delight, we may also learn that wher­by wee profit. And so I com from our Prophets manner of expressing his vow (I will sing) to the burden of his [Page 12] song, Mercy and Iudgement. I will sing Mercy and Iudgement.

The ditty or subject-matter of his song hee promiseth should bee mo­dest, and grave, and useful; not light and vain, or unsavory and fabulous, much less filthy and unclean, fit for nothing; but, as a sacrifice offred to the Divell, to defile the mouth and hart of the singer, to corrupt others, and to offend chaste ears. For, if e­vill words corrupt good manners, much more lewd songs; which, the more artificiall they are, the more dangerous and pestilent are their ef­fects; the pleasantnes of their tune with more facility and less suspici­on convaying their poison unto the soule. Vse not the company of a woman that is a singer and a dancer, neither hear her, lest thou bee taken by her craftinesse, Ecclus. 9. 4. To which purpose it was not unfitly spoken by the Roman Historian touching Sempronia a gen­tlewoman of Rome,Salust. that shee was taught psallere & saltare elegantiùs [Page 13] quàm modestam decebat, to sing and dance more gracefully then becam a modest woman. Besides, these a­morous and wanton songs and son­nets, as they serve the Divels turn to convay poison into the minde: so doo they abate the edge of the mas­culine vigour thereof, bending and turning it by degrees from a manly martiall disposition to an effeminate softness.

Enervant animos cytharae, cantus (que), lyrae (que).

Witnes the great Alexander; who among other monuments of Troy being presented with Paris his Lute, replied, Achillis cytharam mallem. Witnes Themistocl [...]s that famous war riour; who, beeing desired at a ban­quet to touch a Lute, answered, that hee could not fiddle, but he could make of a little Town a great City. And lastly, let Nero himselfe bee a witnes heer­of; who, seeing apparant death be­fore his eyes, cryed out, Qualis arti­fex per [...]o, in regard of his extraordi­nary [Page 14] skill in singing.

Now, as the matter of our Pro­phets song was not fabulous or wan­ton: so was it not diffamatory or li­belling stuffe, impeaching any mans reputation, such as the drunkeards made upon him, Psal. 69. 12; a lash which the greatest Princes cannot avoid, and the best sometimes feel: but the knowne authors thereof are by so much the more severely to be censured, as they deeply wound, and are hardly discovered. Finally, the matter of his song was not his own triumphs and victories, though they were many and glorious, aswel against strangers abroad, as rebels at home; hee left that to others, Saul hath slain his thousand, and David his ten thousand. And thus having taken a brief view what the matter of our Prophets song was not, though too too rife now-adaies both in Court, and City, and Country; let us now consider what it was: Mercy & Iudge­ment. And first take them jointly: not [Page 15] Mercy without Iudgement, nor Iudgement without Mercy, but Mercy and Iudgement both toge­ther, like Rahel and Leah, which twain did build the house of Israel; or like Moses and Elias at the transfi­guration of Christ, whereof the one was the meekest man upon earth, and the other the most zealous of the Prophets.

As the badge of the Ship S. Paul [...]ailed-in was Castor and Pollux, two twinnes; so the badge of this Psalm is Mercy and Iudgement, inseparable companions: of whom it may bee said, as our Prophet sometime spake of Saul and Ionathan, they were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their deaths they were not divided. The two brightest Stars they are in the firma­ment of Majesty; the two fairest Flowers, and choicest Iewels in the Imperiall Crown; like the Carnati­on and the Lilly, the Ruby and the Saphire, or the Carbuncle and the Diamond, yeelding a mutuall and [Page 16] interchangeable Iustre each to o­ther, They resemble not unfitly the two supporters of the Kings armes, or the two Seraphins stretching out their golden wings over the Propi­tiatory; or the white and red Rose in the same Escutchion.

We read,1 Kings 7. that Salomon set up two goodly pillars in the porch of the Temple, the one called Iachin, the other Boaz; which signifie Stability and Strength: such pillars of the State are Mercy and Iudgement. The Throne of the King is borne up by them, as Salomons was with Lions of Ivory on each side. Therefore, as in one place it is said, that the Throne is established by iustice, pro. 16. 12. so in another, that it is upheld with Mercy: pro. 20. 28. Iustice beeing as the bones and sinewes in the bo­dy politicke, and Mercy as the veins & arteries. They are the two hands of Action, the two eies of Vertue, and the two wings of Honour. And as the eyes, if they bee rightly set, doo both look one way: so do Mer­cy [Page 17] and Iudgement; how-ever in the ap­prehension of the vulgar they seem to look contrary waies. And as the Trebble and the Base accord best in Musick: so do they in managing the Common-weal [...]h. Wherefore Da­vid promiseth to make them both [...]ound tuneable in his song without jarre or discord: I will sing Mercy and Iudgement.

The answer of Apollonius to Ves­pasian is full of excellent instruction. Vespasian asked him what was Nero's overthrowe: he answered; Nero could touch and tune the Harp well, but in government sometimes hee used to winde the pinnes too high, and sometimes to let them down too lowe; thereby in­timating, that hee applied Causticks and Corrosives where gentle Leni­tives would have served the turne, & again he applied Lenitives where Corrosives were needfull. Some­times hee administred Iustice with­out Mercy, and sometimes Mercy without Iustice; Iustice without [Page 18] Mercy beeing nothing else but cru­elty, like Esau red and rough, bitter as wormwood; and Mercy without Iustice, but fond pity & foolish par­tiality. As Mercy then serves to a­bate the edge and rigour of Iustice: so doth Iustice, to quicken the slow­nes, and sharpen the dulness of Mer­cy. As Mercy without Iustice is cō ­temned: so Iustice without Mercy is hated.

Astronomers conceive, that the Crystalline Sphear, which they sup­pose to be the waters above the hea­vens (mentioned in the first of Gene­sis) is set next the first Mover, for al­laying the heat thereof; which, by reason of the incomprehensible swiftnes of its motion, would other­wise set the whole world on fire. This I take to bee but a fancy of theirs: but Mercy, I am sure, is set so neer Iustice, for the cooling and tempering of it. Hee that iustifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the righ­teous, they are both an abomination to the [Page 19] Lord, Pro. 17. 15. Now, he that pre­tends Mercy, but without Iustice, will bee sure to justifie the wicked; and again, hee that pretends Iustice, but without Mercy, cannot but con­demne the righteous: but the right mixture and true temper of both, ju­stifies the righteous, and condemns the wicked. Which temper is by S. Paul commended to the publique Magistrate, Rom. 13: If thou doo well, hee is the Minister of God for thy good; but, to take vengeance of thee, if thou do evill. And by S. Peter in his first E­pistle and second chapter, They are sent of God for the punishment of evill doers, and the praise of them that do well. All precepts touching supream Go­vernours are in effect comprehen­ded in these two Remembrances; Memento quod es homo, and Memento quod es Deus, or vice Dei: Remember thou art a man, remember thou art a God, or in stead of God; the one to bridle their power, the other their will. From the former of which is­sue [Page 20] the acts of Mercy, and from the other of Iustice: nay, the verie re­membrāce that they are vice-gods, is sufficient to put them in minde of both, inasmuch as Gracious and righ­teous is the Lord, and all his paths are Mercy and Truth, Psal. 25. Hee hath not one path of Mercy, and another of Truth: but all his paths are Mercie and Truth; like Crimsin and White Silk twisted together, or woven one within the other. His red Cross of Iustice is ever set in the white strea­mer of Mercy; as the rod of A [...]ron and the pot of Manna were by his commandement laid up in the same Ark.

Through the thickest & blackest cloud of his Iustice alwaies appears some beams or sparks of Mercy: and the clearest sunshine of his Mercy is overshadowed with showres of Iu­stice. What infinite Mercy did hee shew in the redemption of mankind, when he might justly have tumbled them down, as hee did the Apostate [Page 21] Angels to the bottomless pit of hel [...] and yet withall, what infinite Iustice did hee express in the same action, in laying the sinnes of the whole world, and the punishment due to sinne, upon the shoulders of his in­nocent, best-beloved, and only-be­gotten Son! And thus did his wise­dom finde out a way for the making of his Mercy and Truth one path: much like Zal [...]uchus, who shewed his Iustice in causing one of his sons eyes to bee put out for comitting adultery, according to a law newly before made by himselfe; and his Mercy, in putting out one of his owne for the sparing of the other of his sons, which the law also requi­red to have been put out. Hence S. Peter represents God unto us both as a Father and as a Iudge, in one & the same verse, 1. 1. 17; to shew, that he is mercifull as a Father, and righ­teous as a Iudge. So ought his Vice­gerents heer on earth; having there­fore a sceptre given them to putte [Page 22] them in minde of Mercy, & a sword that they forget not Iustice; Scar­let and Purple to think upon Iustice, and white Miniver or Ermins to remember Mercy: that so the peo­ple committed to their charge may sing with joyfull & thankfull harts, Mercy and Truth are met together; [...] psal. 85. Righ­teousnes & Peace have kissed each other. And themselves at last may finde Sa­lomons saying true; Hee that followeth after Righteousnes and Mercy, pro. 21. 21. shall finde life, righteousnes and glory: as holy Iob did, who in his prosperity did not onely put on Iustice as a robe and as a crowne, by breaking the iawes of the un­righteous, and plucking the prey out of his teeth; but, expressed works of Mercy, in beeing eyes to the blinde, and feet to the lame, and a father to the poor, Iob. 29. 14. 15. 16. 17.

Having thus handled these two Vertues jointly together, let us now take a view of them single & apart: for, though they neither be, nor can be, really and in action severed each [Page 23] from other, yet may they by con­ceit and imaginary abstraction. First then of Mercy, because it is both heer and elsewhere set in the first place: and that not casually, but of purpose, and by due desert; as Peter is commonly first named of the A­postles, like the Fore-man of the Iu­ry, having a primacy of order before them, though not a supremacy of Iu­risdiction over them. And as Mer­cy is heer set in the first pl [...]ce: so shall the Sentence of Mercy & Ab­solution bee first pronounced at the last Day. And it is a laudable custom of Princes, at their first entrance to their Kingdoms, to shew Mercy, by hearing the mourning of the Priso­ner, and delivering the children of death, by loosing the bands of wic­kednes, by taking off the heavie bur­dens, by letting the oppressed goe free, and by breaking every yoke of former extortions. Thus, our Pro­phet himself, as soon as the Crowne was settled on his head, made en­quiry [Page 24] if there remained yet alive a­ny of the house of Saul, on whom he might shew Mercy, 2. Samuel 9. O how fair a thing is this Mercy in the time of anguish and trouble! It is like a cloud of rain that commeth in the time of drouth. But this Mercy, heer spoken of in the first part of our Prophets song, stretcheth further; unfolding it self in Clemency, in Cour­tesie, and in Compassion: In Clemencie, by pardoning malefactors; in Com­passion, by releeving the afflicted; in Courtesie, towards all. Of this la­ter I shall heerafter have occasion to speak, in handling those words, A froward heart shall depart from me. For the present then it shall suffice to commend unto your consideration and practice the two former; Com­passion and Clemency.

Compassion is a vertue, saith A­quinas, non quâ mo [...]us est sensitivi ap­petitussed intellectivi, a ratione directus & dirigens inferioris appetitus motum; not as it mooves the sensitive appe­tite [Page 25] but the rationall, being directed by reason, and directing the moti­on of the inferiour appetite. It con­sisteth in releeving the afflicted, and righting the oppressed; by recei­ving their petitions, by hearing their grievances, by granting their reasonable sutes, by dispatch of Iu­stice,Cap. 32. 11. by beeing unto them (as the Prophet Esay speakes) a hiding place from the winde, a refuge from the tem­pest, as rivers of waters in a dry place, and as the shadow of a great rocke in a wearisome land. It was well said of Augustus, that Petitions should not bee given to a Prince, as meat to an Elephant that one is afraid of.

To these hero [...]call works of Mer­cy, may bee added, as peculiar to a Prince, the easing of the Subject from the burden of immoderate tribute; the protecting of them frō the rapine and spoil as wel of home­bred Pirats and Robbers, as forren nations; the redeeming of poor cap­tives, especially from the slavery of [Page 26] the professed enemies of IESVS CHRIST; the erecting of Hospi­tals for fatherlesse children, woun­ded souldiers, decayed tradesmen, and aged or impotent people. In which regard, Iames the fift, King of Scotland, was worthily tearmed, The poor mans King.

Now, as Compassion thus shewes is self in releeving the afflicted, and righting the oppressed: so dooth Clemency, in winking at some faults, in pardoning others where is hope of amendment, in providing the pu­nishment exceed not the proporti­on of the offense; and, lastly, in pro­nouncing Sentence of death with a kinde of reluctancy and unwilling­nes, casting a severe eye upon the example, but a pitifull upon the per­son: And heerin doth Clemency in­clude Compassion.

It is an ungentle and inhumane thing for a Prince, delectarisono cate­narum, to delight in the rattling of of chaines and fetters; as a Carter, [Page 27] that is never well, longer then he is hearing the lash of his whippe. But a right noble disposition it was in Augustus, quem dare poenas apparebat cum exigeret, who seemed himself to suffer when he inflicted punishment on others; and in Vespasian, qui neque caede cuiusquam laetatus, iustis supplicijs illacrymavit etiam & ingemuit, who was so far from delight in the death of any, that he often wept and groa­ned even at just and necessary exe­cutions; and of Nero himselfe at his first comming to the Empire, if hee dissembled not: who beeing impor­tuned by Burrus to signe a warrant for the execution of certain malefa­ctors, his answer was, O utinam lite­ras nescirem! I could wish I had ne­ver learned to write or read. But a­bove all, Nihil quicqu [...] gloriosius prin­cipe impune laeso, ther is nothing more honourable for a Prince, than some­times to passe over injuries against his owne Person. The patience of Augustus heerein was rare and sin­gular: [Page 28] probrosis in se dict is arrisit, hee made himself merry with reproach­ful speeches touching himself; ther­in manifesting as his Clemency, so also his Wisedome: in as much as convitia si excandescas agnita videntur, spreta exolescunt: railings, where they move choler, seem acknowledged; but contemned, they vanish. That memorable speech of our late fa­mous Queen to this purpose wil ne­ver bee forgotten; that, next the Scriptures, shee knew no Book did her so much good as the often rea­ding of Se [...]eca de Clementia: wherein shee was taught like a good Chirur­gion not to cutte off any member, whē any other remedy would serve the turn; and then to do it not with­out sighes and tears.

These bee the diverse tunes and strains, the severall notes and steps of Mercie's Song; then which nothing is more pleasing in the ears of Men and Angels, nothing more accepta­ble unto God. For, though he pro­fesse, [Page 29] that he preferreth Iustice be­fore Sacrifice, Pro. 21. 3; yet of Mer­cy hee pronounceth, that Sacrifice is no way comparable unto it: I will have Mercy & not Sacrifice, Mat. 9. 13. Nay, of Mercy S. Iames testifieth, that it reioyceth or glorieth against iudge­ment. And our Prophet, that as the Faithfulnesse of God, which is a part of his Iustice, reacheth to the Clouds; so doth his Mercy to the Heavens, farre a­bove the Clouds, Psal. 36. 5. Where there is no Mercy to bee hoped for, there men growe obstinate and des­perate: but, where Mercy is expec­ted, there is Reverence and a filiall Fear. Ther is Mercy with thee that thou maist bee [...]eared, Psal. 130. 4.

And if Mercy breed Feare, much more Love, the most kindly & pro­per fruit thereof, the surest guard of Princes persons and estates. Castles and Fortresses, walled Towns, sto­red Arcenals and Armories, a Navy of Ships, Troopes of Horse, thou­sands of Foot, a masse of Treasure, [Page 30] Ordinance and Artillery, cannot af­ford him so safe a defence in the day of trouble, as the Love & Pray­ers of his Subjects, purchased by dealing mercifully with them. As then he expects Mercy at the hands of God: so let him deal mercifully with those whom God hath put in­to his hands. And as the Mercie of God is over all his works: so let the mercy of his most lively image heer upon earth shine above all his other vertues; above them, I say, but not without them: for, though Mercy bee heer set in the first place, yet is it coupled with Iudgement, as milk and blood that mingled stood. Iudgement, like another Iacob, layes hould upon Mercie's heel: and though Mercy, like Pharez, bee first borne, yet instantly followes Iudgement, like Zarah, with his red thread about his arme. Nay, without Iudgement, Mercy cānot sub­sist; in as much as by due execution of Iustice upon particular members Mercy is shewed in preserving the [Page 31] whole body. And as filiall Feare is procured by Mercy; so is unfained Love by such Iustice. As Mercy then is the more beautiful, the more comely and amiable Vertue: so is Iustice at times the more necessary.

It hath long been, and still is, a Question controversed between Physicians and Philosophers, whe­ther the Braine or the Heart be the more principal member; in as much as the one is the fountain of life, the other of sense: so mee thinks, when I compare these two Vertues toge­ther, Mercy is like the Brain qualify­ing the immoderate heat of those spirits that are bred in the heart; but Iustice, like the heart it self, the foun­tain of those spirits. Now, because I am to speake of the administration heerof in handling the last verse of this Psalme, I will pass to my third and last part proposed in my Text; the Person to whom this Song and this Vow are addressed, and that is the Lord: Tibi O Iehova psallam, to [Page 32] thee, O Iehovah, will I sing.

This Name Iehovah, anciently tearmed Nomen tetragrammaton, the name of foure letters, was to the Iewes so venerable, that they never durst pronounce it (as fearing to pol­lute it with their lips) but Adonai (which also signifieth Lord) in stead thereof. Of all the Appellations gi­ven to God in holy Scripture, it is a­lone reserved as peculiar to himself, and never imparted to any Crea­ture: neither doo we finde it given to God till hee had created man; thereby to teach us, that as man was by him made a subordinate Lord of the other Creatures: so was he the independent and absolute LORD both of him and them.

To this great Iehovah then, this most Soveraigne Lord, this Lord of lords it is, that David addresseth his Song and his Vow. Hee was him­selfe a great Lord, the grand Com­mander of a mighty and populous Nation: yet he acknowledgeth this [Page 33] Lord to bee by infinite degrees higher and greater than himself, and himself to be but a worm in comparison of Him. First then, of his singing to this Lord, then of his vowing unto him, and lastly of his vowing and singing unto him Mercy and Iustice.

Wee ought in our singing n [...]t so much to respect the delighting of our selves or others with the sweet tunea­blenesse of the voice, as to do worship to God by it, and to edifie our consci­ences. It is both ryme and reason,

Non Vox, sed Votum; non chordula Mu­sica, sed Cor;
Non Clamans, sed Amans, cantat in aure Dei.
The Heart, not Harp; Devotion, not the Voice;
The Lover, not the Lowd, GOD's ears rejoice.

Not so much the Lute-string, as the Heart-string; nor so much the shrill Voice, as the zealous Affection, sounds in the ears of God. And heerunto ac­cords the Apostle; Singing and making [Page 34] melody to the Lord in your hearts, Eph. 5. 19. And againe; Singing with a grace in your hearts to the Lord, Colos. 3. 16: not to your selves, but to the Lord; or, at leastwise, rather to the Lord, than to your selves.

Now, as hee addresseth his Song, so doth he his Vow unto the same Lord, ac­cording to his owne Counsell; Vow & perform to the Lord your God, Psal. 76. 11. The reason is, because all Invocation is due unto God; and a Vow is alwaies joyned with invocation, either for the obtaining the good wee desire, or the avoiding the evill wee fear. Besides, it is God only that knows the secret mo­tions of the heart. As then in that re­gard we pray unto him alone: so unto him alone are wee to direct our Vows, who alone is able either to punish us if wee break them, or to reward us if wee keep them.

Lastly, a Vow beeing nothing else but a promissory oath: as wee are to swear by none but God; so are wee to vow to none but God. And, as the pro­perties of an oath are, Truth, Iudgement [Page 35] and Iustice: so are they also of a Vow: Iudgement, for the avoiding of rash vows; Iustice, for the avoiding of wic­ked vowes; and Truth, for the perfor­mance of such as are neither wicked nor rash, but are made upon good ad­vice, and tend to good ends.

Finally, our Prophet both sings and vows Mercy and Iudgement to the Lord; thereby acknowledging GOD, as his guide both in the entrance and accom­plishment of all actions, so in speciall of Mercy and Iustice; and that he would exercise these imperiall Vertues not so much to content himself, or to gratifie men, as to please and glorifie God: not so much because men expected it, or commended it, as because God com­manded it, and would take account of it. Concerning actions of like nature done for humane respects, the Lord hath said, they have their reward, Mat. 6. 2; that is, acceptance, honour and reve­rence from men, because they are done to men: but the Iustice & Mercy, that have God for their object, and are re­ferred [Page 36] to his glory, and set him before them who is the searcher of hearts; they, I say, receive their recompence from God. Many times it falleth out, that the Prince causeth a wicked per­son to bee executed: the deed is good; but perhaps he is moved thereunto ra­ther with desire of revenge, or impor­tunity of suters, then with the detesta­tion and vileness of the fact: this work, I say, in it selfe is just; for, the malefa­ctour by his sinne deserved the punish­ment: yet hee that doth it is notwith­standing unjust. So much doth vertue desire to be cherished for her own sake, or rather so much is God, the fountain of all vertue, jealous of his honour, and jealous also of our love, that hee will have every thing, to the end it may bee good indeed, referred unto himselfe, and to the ends that he hath appointed: as indeed all is taken and cometh from him alone, and therefore should be re­ferred to him and his glory onely; as the rivers, derived from the sea by se­cret veins & chanels, disburden them­selves [Page 37] with full mouth into the same a­gain, Eccles. 1. 7.

To bee short: the Prince above all should referre and approve his actions to God, seeing that God alone, and not man, hath set him up; and seeing also, that hee is not to bee judged by men, but by God. And now to conclude this point: great and excellent things, as wee see, are comprehended under these two tearms, Mercy and Iudgement: which are indeed the very summe and abridgement of all that Kings should either learn or doo. And, seeing they are of so deep reach, and extend so far as they doo, wee may thereby plainely perceive, that it is no light charge To be a King; neither is it an art easily lear­ned, To rule well.

Let not Mercy and Truth forsake thee: binde them on thy neck, and write them upon the table of thine hart: so shalt thou finde fa­vour and good understanding in the sight of God and man, Pro. 3. 3.

Verse 2. I will behave my self wisely in [...] perfect way. O when wilt thou com unto me! I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

AS, before, hee promised cheerful­nes in singing; so heer hee pro­miseth wisdome in behaviour: so that hee would bee both merry and wise. In the former verse wee have the generall of his Vow: heer hee coms to the par­ticulars; and begins first with himself, in this verse and the two next ensuing, what hee would bee in respect of his owne life and conversation. Neither is it to bee omitted without observati­on, that, before he come to deal more specially about his publike Charge, he first promiseth the orderly government of his owne Person. He knew full well, that it was the duty of such as have the guidāce of others, to guide themselves aright, if they meant by their counsell and authority to keep them in good or­der. For, as Poësie is a speaking kinde [Page 39] of painting, and painting a dumb poë­sie: so is the law a dumbe Magistrate, and a good Magistrate a speaking law. And indeed this is the common course: Men desire to finde occasions, where­upon to refuse or withstand the means ordained for their good: if they can espy any faults in such as teach or go­vern them, they presently imagine, that such should neither reproove nor pu­nish them. And, to say truth, with what countenance can we rebuke or chastise that in others, which our selves make no conscience to commit▪ Quintilian defines an Orator to bee vir bonus dicen­di peritus, an honest man skilfull in spea­king: and we may define a good Prince vir bonus regendi peritus, an honest man skilfull in governing: which as it pro­cures a reverēce & credit to his place and person; so doth it strength and au­thoritie to his lawes and admonitions.

Tum pietate gravem, [...]ut meritis, si forte virum quem
Conspexêre, silent, arrectis (que) auribus ad­stant.
[Page 40]Ill eregit dict is animos, et pector a mulcet.

To which effect, Iob speakes of him­selfe not vauntingly or vainely, but to comfort himself in his bitter affliction, and to clear himself from false accusa­tion; The young men saw mee, and [...]idde themselves, the aged arose and stood up unto mee: Men gave eare and waited, and held their tongue at my counsell. After my words they repl [...]ed not, and my talke dropped upon them: and they waited upon mee as for the rain and they opened their mouth as for the later raine. Which power hee got in mens mindes, not so much by his great­nes as by his goodnes. The Evangelists tell us of our Saviour, that hee spake as one having authority; and the rather, no doubt, because hee did as he spake: whereas the Pharises lost their authori­ty, because they tought and did not. Hee then that expects and desires, the people should doo as hee adviseth or commandeth, must command in the stile of Abimelech, Iudg. 9: What you haue seen me doo, make haste, and doo like mee; and advise in the stile of Iosuah, I and my [Page 41] house will serve the Lord, Iosuah 24. 15.

When Alexander would have puni­shed one for his Piracy, hee tould him to his face, that himselfe was the Arch-pirate of the world. Princes as they act their parts upon an high [...]stage, so is the least errour in their action pre­sently discerned; it beeing in every mans eye. A small fault in them is as a mole or wart in the midst of the face, which cannot be hid. And as men most greedily gaze upon the Sunne when it is eclipsed: so doo the multitude more willingly discourse of the imperfecti­ons and vices of their Leaders, then of their vertues; thereby hoping to justi­fie themselves, & to scape unpunished. The best way then to have a Law well executed, is for the Author of it first to keep it himselfe in his owne Person.

—Tunc observantior aequi
Fit populus, nec ferre negat, cum viderit ipsum
Authorem parêre sibi:—
—nec sic inflectere sensus
Hum [...]nos edicta valent, ut vita regentis.

[Page 42]There the people readily obey, and follow after; willingly yeelding their necks to the yoke, where they see the Magistrate goe before in the observati­on of his owne Edicts. Neither do any perswasions or threats prevaile with them so much as that; it beeing the na­ture of man rather to be led thē drawn: to bee led by reason or example, then to bee drawne by penalty and force of law. And because it is to the Vulgar difficult to conceive the reason even of reasonable Commands, the greatest part have ever bin led rather by exam­ple then by reason; the Lives of their Superiours beeing by them esteemed the fairest & safest Copy they can rule their actions by. Vita principis (saith Pli­ny the younger) censura est, ea (que) perpetua; ad hanc dirigimur, ad hanc convertimur: Hee might have said, in stead of Censu­ra, Cynosura; in as much as the life of the Prince is the load-star of the Com­mon-wealth, upon which all men fix their eyes, and shape their course by it. I will conclude this point with the [Page 43] grave speech of the heathen Oratour, not unworthy a Christian penne: Qu [...] perniciosius de republica merentur vitosi principes, quòd non solum vitia concipiant ip­si, sed ea infundant in civitatem; ne (que) solum obsunt, quòd ipsi corrumpuntur, sed etiam quòd corrumpunt, pl [...]sque exemplo quàm peccato nocent: By so much the worse do vitious Princes deserve of the State they govern, in as much as they are not onely corrupted themselves, but con­vay the poison thereof into the bowels of the State; dooing more harme by their example, then their sinne. Vpon which considerations, no doubt, our Prophet promiseth to begin at the wel­head, & to set in order the first wheel, by the reformation of himselfe. I will behave my self wisely in a perfect way.

The first thing hee vowes touching himselfe, is wise behaviour; prudence, not sapience; not wise contemplation, but wise action. It is not wise thoughts, or wise speaking, or wise writing, or wise gesture & countenance, will serve the turn; but wise behaviour: the for­mer [Page 44] are gracefull, but the other need­full. For, as the Apostle saith of godli­nesse, Having a shew of godlinesse, but de­nying the power therof: so certainly there are in point of wisdome and sufficiency that doo little or nothing throughly, but magno cona [...] nugas, they make much adoo about small matters; using all the perspectives of shifting they can devise to make an empty superficies seem a bo­dy that hath depth and bulk.

It hath been an opinion, The French are wiser then they seem, the Spaniards seem wiser then they are: and pity it is they should bee sundred; but, if they must needs, better it were to make choice of a wise behavior without see­ming, than of seeming wise without behaviour suitable thereunto. The rea­son is, because as the conceptions, so also the affections of the soul are more lively and effectually charactered and unfoulded in deeds than in words; in as much as words may more easily bee dissembled than deeds: and true vertue consists not in knowledge, but in prac­tice; [Page 45] at least as oft as occasion and op­portunity are offred, and means affor­ded. The hearers of the law are not iustifi­ed, but the dooers thereof, saith the Apo­stle, Rom. 2; opposing doing to simple hearing. And, Blessed are yee if yee knowe these things, and doo them, saith our Savi­our; opposing dooing to bare knowe­ledge. The end then both of hearing and knowing, is dooing: it is the badge of our Profession, the pledge of our E­lection, the assurance of our effectuall Vocation, the fruit of our Iustification, a special part of our Sanctification, and the high-way to our eternal Salvation: Faith, without it, beeing but a vain spe­culation; and Hope, but a vaine pre­sumption; and Charity, but a vaine o­stentation. Therefore, saith our Pro­phe [...], as some Latine Copies reade it, Prudenter agam, I will doo wisely. It is a received axiome in Schooles; Deus est remunerator adverbiorum, non nominū: God is a rewarder of Adverbs, not of Nouns. Their meaning is, that hee re­gardeth not so much a good action, as [Page 46] the dooing of it well. For, a man may do that which is good, either by chāce, or by compulsion, or by starts: but, to the well-doing of it, it is requisite, that hee doo it both wittingly, and willingly, and constantly. As then we have action implied in the Verb: so have wee wit­ting, and willing, and constant action implied in the Adverb. And as such ac­tion is the life of religiō: so is wisdom, of such action; being as it were the knot in the string, the meddall in the chain, the gem in the ring of Christian Ver­tues: sitting as an Empress in the midst of them, consulting, judging, comman­ding, ordering things present, and pro­viding for the future, by comparing them with the by-past, prescribing cir­cumstances of time, and place, and per­sons, and manner, and measure, to eve­ry severall vertue; by failing in the least of which, they lose both their name & their nature: Humility, not seasoned with Wisdome, beeing but basenesse; and Patience, dulnesse; and Zeal, fury; and Obedience, slavish subjection; and [Page 47] Bounty, wastefull; and Courage, des­perate: but, above all, Mercy and Iu­stice require Wisdom. And therefore our Prophet having tould us, I will sing Mercy and Iustice; hee presently addes, I will doo wisely; Mercy and Iustice be­ing as the two scales of the balance, & Wisdome as the beam between them: Mercy and Iustice like the two eyes, and Wisdome like the Optike nerve in which they both meet.

A good Chirurgion, as they say, should have three properties; a Ladies Hand, a Lyons Heart, and an Eagles Eye: which may well serve as a fit Em­bleme of these three Vertues, like the three Sister-Graces ever dancing hand in hand. But, of the three, Wisdome is the more excellent, in asmuch as it mo­derates both the other two, and all o­ther vertues, in publike, in private, in war, in peace, in adversity, in prosperi­ty, in health, in sicknes, in diet, in ap­parell, in speech, in action. Which Sa­lomon knew right well, when he prayed not for riches, or honor, or a long life; [Page 48] but for Wisdome, In whose right hand is length of daies, and, in her le [...]t, riches and honour: the merchandise thereof is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof is better than gold. It is more preti­ous than pearles: and all things that thou canst desire are not to bee compared unto her: shee is a tree of life to them that lay hould on her; and blessed is hee that retaineth her.

As Wisdome is a singular ornament to all: so is it in a manner essentiall to Kings, in as much as by it they raigne, Pro. 8. There are few things presented to their view in their proper shapes and colours: which requires in them the greater Wisdome to finde them out; it beeing the Kings honour to search out a thing [...] as it is the glory of God to con­ceal it, Pro. 23. 1. 2. 25. 3. The Wise-men of the East, who brought our Saviour Presents, are therefore (as I conceive) specially thought to have been Kings, because they were wise: and, Rexillite­ratus, said a King, what other is he, quam bos coonatus. It was the speech of Lewis, the eleventh of France, to his sonne, [Page 49] Charles the Eight, that hee should learn no more Latin but this, Qui nescit dis­simulare, nescit regnare. But surely, had himselfe learned more than hee did, it may well bee thought, he would ne­ver have taught him that Lesson; lear­ning, especially in morall philosophy and history, joyned with judgement & experience, beeing the best mistress of Wisdome, which ever hath beene and will be justified of her owne children.

To let go the Living, for fear of flat­tery; I will onely instance in Augustus and Charlemain, both well learned, and both very wise and happy Emperours, great rewarders of learning, and advan­cers of their Teachers. It will be said, that many Princes have attained to rare Wisdom, without learning: yet can it not be denied, but that learning wisely used would have added both grace and strength unto their Wisdome.

Quale manus addunt ebori de [...]us, aut u­bi [...]lavo
Argentum pariusve lapis cum cingitur auro.

[Page 50]For, as expert men can best execute, so learned men are fittest to judge or censure. And as the Sciences are con­temned by the crafty, and admired by the simple, and by some abused to sloth or affectation: so wise-men onely use them aright, not onely for delight and ornament, but for ability. As then that State is happy which enjoyes both a learned and a wise Prince: so is that most unhappy, Cuius Rex est Puer, whose King is neither learned nor wise. Yet is it not all kinde of learning or wise­dome which is availeable for the true happinesse of a King or Kingdome (as may appeare in the miserable ends of Herod, and Iulian the Apostate, both in their kindes wise and learned) but wise behavior in a perfect way, that is, Wis­dom mixed with Piety, guided by Re­ligion, and sanctified with Grace. Whence our Prophet addes, I will be­have my self wisely in a perfect way: I will so make use of the Wisdom of the Ser­pent, that I forsake not the Innocency of the Dove.

[Page 51]The cursed Atheist thinks himselfe a jolly Wise-man, and all others fooles that make conscience of any religion: but our Prophet is bold to put the fool upon him; The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God, Psal. 14. 1. The Philo­sophers of the Gentiles thought them­selves the only wise-men of the world: but, while they professed themselves wise, they became fools, and their foolish heart was full of darknes, Rom. 1. 21. The covetous Worldling applauds his own wisdom, and laughs at others for their simplici­ty: but, before hee sleep, hee hears his Doom; Thou fool▪ this night shall they take thy soule from thee. The Galathians thought themselves wiser than the o­ther Gentiles, for the observation of the legall Ceremonies: but St. Paul in his Epistle to them, calls them fooles for their labour. And likewise the Phari­ses were held the wisest of all the Iew­ish Nation: but our Saviour tels them to their faces, they were but formal fools. True Wisdome is then to bee found, and only to be found in the perfect way.

[Page 52]There is a Divellish wisdome, rather craft then wisdome, maintained by dis­simulation, and lying, and perjury: such as was that of Boniface the eight Bishop of Rome, who entred like a Fox, raigned like a Lion, and died like a Dog; of Iezabell and Achttophel in practice, and Machivell in precepts. This wisdome runs a contrary biass to this perfect way: it is directly opposite unto it, and fights against it. Again, there is a Humane or rationall wisdome, enlightned at the torch of right reason, yet left amongst the remainders of Gods image in man: and this, though it be beside the perfect way, yet may it bee reduced unto it; good use (no doubt) may bee made of it. And lastly, there is a Divine, holy, and heavenly Wisdome, whose begin­ning is the fear of God, whose crowne is the favour of God, whose guide is this perfect way, the word of GOD: which is therfore called a way, because it leads us to our journeyes end; and a perfect way, because the Authour of it is the abstract of all perfection; because [Page 53] it sufficiently containes in it all things requisite to bring us to perfection both of body and soule, both of grace and glory; and lastly, because it makes those perfect that walk in it, at least in regard of endeavour, and the severall parts of perfection, though not the degrees: as, a childe may bee said to bee a perfect man, in that hee hath all the parts of a man, though hee want the growth and strength of a man. And if this way were thus perfect in Davids time, what is it by the addition of so many parcels of Scripture since? If it then gave wis­dome to the simple, Psal. 19. 7; if it made David, beeing brought up but as a Shepheard, wiser than his enemies, than his ancients, than his teachers, Psal. 119; as an Angell of God in dis­cerning right from wrong, 2. Sa. 14. 17; able to guide the people by the skilful­nesse of his hands, Psal. 78. 72; what kinde of wisdome is there, which wee may not now gather from thence?

What depth of naturall Philosophy have we in Genesis and Iob? what flowrs [Page 54] of Rhetorique in the Prophets? what force of Logick in Saint Pauls Epistles? what Art of Poëtrie in the Psalmes? what excellēt morall Precepts, not on­ly for Private life, but for the regiment of Families and Common-weales, in the Proverbs and Ecclesiastes? to which may be added in a second rank as very usefull, though Apochryphall, the book of Wisedome and Ecclesiasticus? what reasonable and iust lawes haue wee in Leviticus and Deuteronomy? which mo­ved the great Ptolomey to hire the Sep­tuagints to translate them into Greek: what unmatchable antiquitie, variety, and wonderfull events, and certaintie of storie, in the books of Moses, Iosuah, the Iudges, Samuel, the Kings and Chro­nicles, together with Ruth and Ester, Ezra and Nehemiah, and since Christ, in the sacred Gospels and Acts of the Apostles? and lastly, what profound mysteryes have we in the Prophecies of Ezekiel and Daniel, and the Revelation of Saint Iohn? But in this it infinitely ex­ceeds the Wisedome of all humane [Page 55] writings, that it is alone able to make a man wise unto salvation, 2. Tim. 3. 15. Vpon these considerations, Charles the fift of France, surnamed the Wise, not onely caused the Bible to be translated into French, but was himselfe very stu­dious in the holy Scriptures. And Al­phonsus, King of Arragon, is said to have read over the whole Bible fourteen se­verall times with Lyraes notes upon it: though he were otherwise excellently well learned, yet was the law of God his delight, more desired of him than gold, yea then much fine gold, sweeter also than hony and the hony-combe.

I will end this point with the Com­mandement of God himselfe to the King, Deuteronomie 17: When he shall sit upon the throne of his kingdom, hee shall write him a copy of this Law in a booke, out of that which is before the Priests, the Le­vites: and it shall bee with him and hee shall reade therein all the dayes of his life, that hee may learne to feare the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this Law, and these Statutes to doe them, that his heart be not lifted up a­boue [Page 56] his brethren, and that he turne not aside from the Commandement, to the right hand or to the left, to the end that hee may prolong his dayes in his kingdome, hee and his chil­dren in the midst of Israell. And looke what was there given in charge to the King in generall, was afterward com­manded Iosuah (a worthy Leader) in particular, Iosuah 1. 8. This booke of the lawe shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayst obserue to do according to all that is written therein: For then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou Or doe wisely. have good success. It followeth, O when wilt thou come unto me!

The comming of God unto his children, is, either by the performance of his promises, or by the speciall as­sistance of his Spirit, or by the recei­ving of them unto himselfe. Such as thinke this Psalme was penned before Davids comming to the Crowne, un­derstand these words, of the perfor­mance of Gods promise in setting it upon his head and settling him in the [Page 57] regall Throne, and then this to be the meaning; O Lord I will tarry thy leasure, and keep my selfe within the bounds of my dutie, till thou hast accomplished that which thou hast promised unto mee; though thou delay the matter, and put me off, I will bee content to walke in the perfect way, and not once presume to step aside out of it, to compass that which thou hast sayd thou wilt give me. And according to this promise of his, we may see how hee carried himselfe: for, although there were a great space betwixt his anoynting, whereby hee was by Gods owne mouth proclaimed heire apparant to the Crowne, after the death of Saul, and his comming to it; notwithstanding he had the hearts of the Subiects, insomuch as the wo­men in their songs extolled him above the King; though the soule of Ionathan the Kings eldest sonne were fast linked to him, and so hee might haue concei­ved hope to have made a strong party against Saul, who daily provoked him by most cruell and unjust persecution: yet David kept himselfe in his upright­ness: [Page 58] hee hasted not by any indirect at­tempt (as did his sonne Absolon after­wards against himselfe) to seeke his owne revenge, nor to displace the King and his seed, which hee knew in time were to be remoued; but patient­ly waited upon God, doing his will: yea, when God two severall times had put Saul into his hands (once in the Cave where David and his men were hidden; another time in Sauls owne Tent, where with such courage hee had adventured) hee was so farre off from taking away his life (which easily hee might have donne) that his heart checked him for cutting off the lap of the Kings garment, at the one time; & he sharply rebuked Abner for guarding the Kings person so weakly, at the o­ther. Thus did this holy man wisely carry himselfe in the perfect way of pa­tience and loyalty to his cruell Prince, and persecuting father in law, till God himselfe (by the way that he appoin­ted) had set him in the Kings seat.

The contrary is reported of Don Car­lo, [Page 59] Infant of Spaine, if the relation bee true; that hee through impatience and ambition practiced against his Father, and for that cause suffered in the yeare of the Lord made up in the numerall letters of this old verse,156 [...]. Filius ante diem patrios inquirit in annos. Once we are sure that our late neighbour King, the soo­ner to get the quiet possession of that Crowne, to which hee had unquestio­nable right (if their Salique lawe be in force) forsooke that religion in which hee was brought up; and such as were disposed to play with his name, found in it while he stood out, Bonus Orbi, Borbonius. but afterward, Orbus boni: but God dallied not with him, suffering him to be dan­gerously stricken in the mouth upon the first abjuring of his religion; and af­terwards in or neer the heart, in the midst of his Triumphes, Nobility, and imperiall Citie, to the great astonish­ment of the Christian world.

Indeed, it was a speech borrowed frow Euripides, and often repeated by Caesar,

[Page 60]
Si violandum est ius,
Violandum est propter imperium:

But, rather befitting the mouth of a Heathen, then a Christian: yet are our owne Chronicles but too plentifull in Examples in this kinde, of such as be­ing heirs apparant to the Crowne, ra­ther snatcht it before their due time, then received it when it fell.

Among others, we read that Richard, eldest sonne then living to King Henry the second, approaching the corps of his Father as it was carrying to bee in­terred (adorned according to the man­ner of Kings, with all royall ornaments open faced) the blood gushed out at the nostrils of the dead, a signe usually noted of guiltiness; as if nature yet af­ter death retained some intelligence in the veines, to give notice of wrong, and check the malice of an unnaturall of­fender: at which sight Richard, surpri­sed with horror, is saide to have burst ou [...] into extreame lamentations. Nei­ther was Edward the fourth free from this imputation: who when his father [Page 61] and himselfe had voluntarily and so­lemnly sworne, to suffer Henry the sixt quietly to enioy the Crowne during his life; yet did hee (as thinking the time long till hee had it on his owne head) set his brother of Glocester to dis­patch King Henry, teaching him by the same Art to kill his owne sonnes and successors, Edward and Richard. For those Kings that sell the blood of o­thers at a lowe prize, doe but make the market for their enemies to buy theirs at the same rate.

On the other side, it is recorded in the French History, to the eternal com­mendation of Robert eldest sonne to Hugh Capet the first King of their last race, that being by his fathers consent and desire crowned King, and proclai­med his Lieutenāt General in the king­dome, hee notwithstanding still conti­nued a sonne without waywardness, a com­panion without iealousie, & a King without ambition.

And wee may speake it without flat­tery, that his Maiesty now living and [Page 62] long to live, hath left to posterity a worthy paterne in this kinde, by recei­ving this crown of England even from the hand of God: having patiently wai­ted the due time of putting it on, how­soever hee were provoked to hasten it, refusing the assistance of her enemies, that wore it as long with as great glory as ever Princesse did; not entring by a breach or by blood, but by the ordina­ry gate which his owne right, and di­vine providence, set open. Neither would hee, for the settling of his right, admit the toleration of any other reli­gion, then that which hee heer found, and himselfe professed; protesting o­penly, that hee would chuse rather, if hee were forced to it, to spend the last drop of his blood, than to enter upon such conditions. But, God would not suffer one drop of that sacred blood to be spilt, which was so ready to be pou­red out for his sake.

Now those, who thinke this Psalme was penned by David after his coming to the Crown, conceive that at his en­trance [Page 63] thereunto hee▪ thus prayed for the speciall assistance of Gods Spirit, aswell in the private carriage of his owne Affairs and Person, as in gover­ning the people committed to his charge; well knowing, that without it hee could not observe this Vow to which hee had bound himself, nor ad­minister Mercy and Iustice, nor behave himselfe wisely in a perfect way, nor per­forme any duty belonging to the office of a King, or a good man, as he ought. Hee therefore desires of God, that as hee had set him in the Kings Throne, so hee would indue him with all maner of graces and royall vertues fit for so high a place; and not onely so, but to assist and direct him in the exercise of those graces and vertues.

The Heart of the King is in the hand of God, hee turneth it as the rivers of waters, Pro. 21. 1: hee turneth it to his good, if hee flee to him for assistance; but, to his confusion, if he stand upon his own strength. It behooves all men to im­plore the aid of G O D, but specially [Page 58] [...] [Page 59] [...] [Page 60] [...] [Page 61] [...] [Page 62] [...] [Page 63] [...] [Page 64] Kings and Princes; as in all their acti­ons, so principally in negotiations and treaties of greatest Consequence. That of King Salomon then chiefly concerns them; Trust in the Lord with all thine hart, and leane not to thine owne wisdom; in all thy waies acknowledge him, and hee shall direct thy waies Pro. 3. 5. 6. Princes have few­er then private men, that dare freely tel them the truth (which is indeed one of the great mischiefes of great places) whereas, on the other side, their temp­tations are many and strong, and their actions of weight & importance, draw­ing after them either much good or much evill. It behooveth them then, above all, not to presume too much up­on themselves, upon their owne policy and forecast; but rather upon the pro­vidence and assistance of him whose substitutes they are. Th [...]ir Vice-Roys dare doo nothing of moment, without consulting with them: so neither ought they enterprise any thing of impor­tance, without consulting with the O­racle of God, by religious invocation [Page 65] of him, for the illuminating of their understādings, & guiding of their wils; following therein the example of the Wise man, who treating of the excel­lēcy of true wisdom, & acknowledging it to be the special gift of God, crav'd it at his hands, & withal notably set forth the weaknes of mans wit & judgement, with the reason therof, in these words: Give mee that wisedome, which sitteth by thy throne, and put mee not out from among thy children: for, I thy servant and sonne of thine handmaid am a feeble person and of a short time, and yet less in the under­standing of iudgement and the lawes: and though a man bee never so perfect among the children of men, yet if thy wisedome bee not with him he shall bee nothing regarded: for the tho [...]ghts of mortall men are fearfull▪ and our forecasts uncertaine, because the corruptible body is heavie unto the soule, and the earthly mansion keepeth downe the mind that is full of [...]ares. Wisedome 9.

Seeing then the infirmity of mans fore-sight and determinations, toge­ther with the uncertainty of humane [Page 66] affaires and events; it were good for all religious Princes to take that as their Posie which our late renowned Prin­cesse made the inscription of her Coine, Posui Deu [...] adiutorem meum. Be­sides: it hath beene noted, that those who ascribe too much to their owne wisdome and policie, end unfortunate­ly. As, Caesar Borgia (whom Machiavell mak [...]s the mirror and paterne of his Prince) his Motto was, A [...]t Caesar, a [...]t nullus: but, in the end he proved both; Et Caesar, & nullus. And Timotheus the Athenian after hee had, in the account given to the State, of his gouernment, often interlaced this speech [and in this fortune had no part] was observed ne­ver to have prospered in any thing hee undertooke afterwardes. Now, looke what Fortune was to them, the same is Gods Providence unto us: whereas on the other side, the most prosperous in their enterprises, have ever most wil­lingly ascribed their victories, their de­liverances, their success-full Counsels, and happy issues, rather to the good­ness [Page 67] of divine Providence, than their owne valour or wit.

And surely, hee that shall consider how a day, an houre, a moment is e­nough to overturne the deepest plots of the gravest Senates, that seemed (as one speakes) to have been founded and rooted in Adamant, cannot but withall acknowledge it as exceeding folly and ingratitude in any man, so to dote upon and admire the sufficiencie of his owne gifts, as to forget the Giver; so much to rely upon the arme of flesh, that hee neglect the direction of Gods holy Spirit: which is, as if a man should set to Sea without a Pilot, or undertake a journey through a dangerous Forrest in a dark night, without a guide. I will then conclude this point with that prayer of the People for their Prince, and the Prince for himselfe; Give thy iudgements to the King O Lord: and thy righteousnesse to the Kings sonne, Psalme 72. 1.

A third sort understand these words of our Prophet, When wilt thou come un­to [Page 68] mee] of Gods comming to David to receive him to himselfe: thereby im­plying that hee would so behave him­selfe, as he would alwayes have an eye to the maine chance; not onely to the end of his actions, but of his life: which indeed is an excellent meanes both to walke wis [...]ly, as he promis [...]th before; and uprightly, as hee voweth immedi­atly after: When Princes look not so much upon their plumes and traines, their present power and magnificence; as upon their future condition, when their bodies shall become the like prey to worms and rottennesse, and their soules shall vndergoe the like strict ex­amination, as the bodies and soules of their meanest Subjects: When this great game at Chesse is heere ended, they must with others be laid up toge­ther in the common bagge of Nature; and then shall th [...]re bee no difference betweene their dust, and that of the poorest Begger.

The rememberance hereof is like a bitter pill, to purge out the malignity [Page 69] of many wanton and vaine [...]umors; or like a strainer, all our thoughts & spee­ches and actions, which pass through it, are thereby cleansed and purified. As the bird guideth her body with her traine, and the ship is steered with the rudder: so the course of mans life is best directed with a continual recourse unto his end. It is hard for a man to think of a short life, and to thinke evill; or to thinke of a long life, and to thinke well. Therefore when Salomon had spoken of all the vanities of men, at last hee opposed this Memorandum, as a counterpoi [...]e against them all, Remem­ber for all these things thou shalt come to iudgement, Eccles. 11. As if hee should say, men would never speake as they speake, nor doe as they doe, if they did but thinke that these speeches and deeds should shortly come to judge­ment.

But an hard thing it is for them, who fare delicio [...]sly every day, who glister like Angels, whom all the world ad­mires, and sues and bowes to, which [Page 70] are called Sacred, Gracious, and migh­tie Lords, to remember the approach of Death. They have no leasure to thinke of it, but chop into the earth be­fore they bee aware; like a man that walketh over a field cover'd with snow, and sees not his way, but while hee thinks to run on, suddenly falls into a pit: so they which have all things at their will, and swim in pleasure, which as a snow covereth their way, & daze­leth their sight, while they thinke to live on and rejoyce still, suddenly rush upon death, and make shipwrack in the calme Sea. As it is good therfore for them to heare they are gods: so it is meet they remember they are mortall gods, They shall die like men, Psal. 82. For when they forget they shal die like men, they also forget to live and raigne like gods.

Had they with Ioseph of Arimathea, their tombes hewed out in their gar­dens, where they use of solace them­selves, it would make them so to num­ber their dayes, that they would apply [Page 71] their hearts unto Wisedome. O that men were wise (saith Moses) then would they consider their latter end, Deutr. 32. 29. So that Wisdome brings a man to con­sider his end, and the consideration of his end makes him more wise; As, on the other side, it is noted as a point of folly in Gods people, that they minded not, nor remembred their end, Lament. 1. 9. Now, as the remembrance of death made the Prophet walke more wisely: so did the remembrance of judgement after death, make him walke more up­rightly; as well knowing hee was to render an account to a higher Iudge, who could neither bee terrified with stout lookes, nor ledde with respect of persons, nor perswaded with eloquēce, nor blinded with gifts; But, as hee was in greater place then others, so should his reward be greater, and his Crowne more glorious, if he did well: but his punishment greater, and his torment more grievous, if hee did ill. There­fore, hee presently addes, after, this e­jaculation cast in betweene, I will walke [Page 72] within mine house with a perfect heart.

I will walke within my house with a per­fect heart. Walking is a word often u­sed in holy Scripture, and specially by our Prophet in this book of the Psalms; yet more often figuratively than pro­perly. It shall not be amiss then, out of the property and nature of it, to consi­der the duties included and implied in it. The natural acts of it then are three; motion, progress, and moderation. As it in­cludes motiō, so is it oppos'd to lying, or stāding, or sitting: as it includes progress in motion, so is it opposed to jumping, or capring up & down in the same place: as it includes moderation in a progressive motiō, so is it opposed to violē [...] running.

Motion is the common effect of all naturall bodies: they all either move in their place, or to their place. The hea­vens, & ayr, and birds move above us; the sea, [...]ivers, fishes, and worms, move under us; the beasts beside us; and our own harts day & night within us; And shall we alone stands still in the midst of so many movers round about us? Eve­rie [Page 73] one of these Creatures seem to cry unto us, Qui fecit me propter te, fecit te propter se, He that made me to move for thee, made thee to moove for him­selfe.

Why then stand yee heer all the day idle, saith our Saviour to those loy [...]e­r [...]rs in the Gospell: and I wish I might not justly say the like to many here pre­sent; Idleness beeing commonly the best mark of a Gentleman and a Cour­tier: whereas imployment and action was injoyned man, even in the state of innocēcy, Gen. 2. 15. but, then for recre­ation; afterward Gen. 3. 19. for necessity. To which the Apostle seemes to al­lude, He that will not worke and exer­cise himselfe in some lawfull kinde of imployment, is to be held Telluris inu­tile pondus, not so much as worthy to eate, 2. Thes. 3. 10. Diogenes, that hee might not seem idle in the midst of bu­siness, would needs bee doing, though it were but by rowling of his Tub: and these men to shun the imputation of sloathfull persons become busie bo­dies, [Page 74] and so walke indeede, but inordi­nately, v. 11. Like those walkers in the third to the Philippians, who [...]e end is dam­nation, or like that Arch-ranger, vvho vvalkes about seeking whom hee may de­vour, they wholly spend their time ei­ther mal [...] agendo, or aliud agendo, or nihil agendo, in dooing naught, or imperti­nences, or nothing, which will quickly bring them to the other two; The minde of man being of such an active disposition, that if it be not set aworke in goodness, it will quickly set it selfe aworke in mischiefe: if it be not ma­nured with good seeds, it will soon be fertill in weeds.

Pittie it is, that three such good mo­thers, as Truth, Familiarity, and Peace, should by the viciousness of our nature bring forth three such bad daughters, as Ha [...]red, Contempt, and Idlenesse; the daughter indeed of Peace, but the mo­ther of Discord and Warre: of the war of the sensuall appetite against reason, as appeared in the filthy Sodomites, Eze­kiel 16. 49. Of the Subject against the [Page 75] Soveraigne, as hath often appeared in the rebellious Irish. It were good then for a Prince to keep his Subjects in mo­tion, either by imployment of trades, or discoveries, or some such action: which, as it tends to the ornament and wealth of his Kingdome, so doth it to the safety of his person; and the rather, if himselfe bee of a stirring humour: whereas, on the other side, his standing still is like the standing of the Sunne in the firmament; which, as it cannot but breed admiration, so neither can it well bee without dangerous effects: it bee­ing knowne, that the two first Races of the French Kings were extinct by put­ting off their Affairs of the State upon the Majors of the Palace, that so they might betake themselves to a retired kinde of life. Industry hath ever raised and enlarged Empires, but idlenesse ru­ined them. As then Princely State doth not become the Monkes Cool: so nei­ther doth Monkish retirednes, the Prin­ces Crown. As the Lord hath called eve­ry one, so let him walk, 1. Cor. 7. 17.

[Page 76]Secondly, as walking implyes moti­on, so doth it progress in motion; when by his motion a man gets ground & goes forward. It is truly sayd even in Civill affaires, that the mind of man is more cheered and refreshed by profiting in small things, then by standing at a stay in great: but▪ in the course of piety and religion, Not to get ground, is to lose ground. Wherefore, H [...]b. 6. 1 leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let vs go on to perfe­ction. And forgetting the things behind, and reaching-forth to those which are before, Phil. 3. 13. let us press toward the mark. Turpis & ridicula res est elementarius senex, Tis a shamefull thing to see an old man in his Ab [...]e; but, dāgerous for a Christian not to go for­wrad in the gaining of knowledge and practice of sanctification. His first be­ginning is as the dawning of the day, his proceeding as a faire sun-shine mor­ning, his ending as the Sunne at high noone in the middest of a Summers day; according to that of Salomon, Pro. 4. 18. The path of the Iust is as the shining light, that shi­neth more and more untill it be perfect day.

[Page 77]Now the steps by which we mount this Meridian, are eight; answerable to the eight steps going up to the Tem­ple.Ezek. 40. 31 Adde to your faith vertue, and to ver­tue knowledge, and to knowledge temperāce, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godlines brotherly kindnes, and to brotherly kindnes charity, 2. Pet. 2. 5. The lowest step in this Christian Pro­gress is Faith: and the highest, Charity; faith being the ground-work, and cha­rity the [...] roofe of our spirituall buil­ding. In the world, the ambitious man never leaves his aspiring to honor, nor the covetous man his scraping up of ri­ches, nor the voluptuous man his hun­ting after pleasure, nor the curious man his prying into the secrets of God and the bowels of nature▪ they all either do or desire to goe forward, though it be to the Confines of hell; And shall we then bee less active in our progresse to heaven? Ad quod multi potuerunt per­uenire, nisi se putassent peruenisse, unto which many vndoubtedly might have arrived, had they not sate downe in the [Page 78] mid-way, and thought their condition for Travellers good enough: whereas the exhortation, 2. Pet. 3. 18, Growe in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Iesus Christ, still hath and will have its place and vse so long as we so­iourne here belowe in this valley of teares, vntill our faith be turned into vision, and our hope into fruition; un­till we come to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, Eph. 4. 13; who being a child encreased as in age and stature, Luke 2. 52 so in wisedome and fauour with God and men: which as all are to labour for, so speci­ally they that sit in his throne & beare his name, in that they are his anointed.

Thirdly, as walking implyes motion and progresse, so doth it moderation, as it is opposed to violent running; which is more subject both to falling and ti­ring, then moderate walking. Mode­ration is the salt that maketh all our a­ctions relish to our selves, beneficiall to others, and acceptable to God: with­out which, businesse is rather burthen­some then profitable, and exercise ra­ther [Page 79] a toyle than recreation. As a man may eate too much honey, so pleasure it selfe growes loathsome and distaste­full by immoderate vse. Nempe volupta­tem commendat r [...]ri [...]r vsus. Besides: mo­deration is the mother of duration; it is like the steddy burning of a taper, or the fire upon the Altar which never went our: whereas head-strong vio­lence like a squib or flash of lightning dazles the eyes for a moment, but is in­stantly extinct.

The great Maister of morality held it a great indecency in a Magistrate, to be seene running in the market place: because he, who is to moderate others, should himselfe observe a stayed mo­deration and gravity, even in his pase and gesture, and countenance; much more in his actions. The Lyon, they say, is seldome or never seene to runne; yet is he for courage and wisedome the King of beasts: and the higher the Ce­lestiall Spheres are in situation, the slower they are in their proper motion. It is commonly the fault of youth, by [Page 80] reason of their strong passion and little experience, to make more haste than good speed: and therfore it was good counsell of a Father to his Sonne, Parce puer stimulis, & fortius u [...]ere loris: to bee sparing of the spur, and to make use of the bridle. Generally it is better to hal [...] in the right way, than to ride a-gallop out of it. And howbeit in the way of godliness a man cannot make too much haste, nor come too soone to heaven; yet it were fit to remember that of our Prophet, I will runne the way of thy com­mandements, when thou shalt have enlarged my heart, Psal. 119. 32; there beeing not a few, who will undertake to runne and flee too, before they are well able to go or stand.

Lastly, the ordinary effects of bodi­ly walking, are, the quickning of the ap­petite, the refreshing of the spirits, the warming of the blood, and the exerci­sing of the body: In like manner, by this spirituall walking in the paths of Gods commandements, is the appetite of our soul quickned to spiritual things, [Page 81] the spirit comforted and refreshed, our zeal warmed, and our benummed affe­ctions made more nimble and pliant.

Now followes the Rule of his wal­king; which is, the integrity of his hart. So Tremelius renders it, Ambulabo in integritate animi mei: our last Translati­on reads it, with a perfect heart. That same which hee heere promiseth for himself, he elsewhere enjoins his Son; And thou, Salomon my Son▪ knowe thou the God of thy Fathers, and serve him with a perfect heart, and a willing minde, 1. Chr. 28. 9. First then hee voweth, that the Rule of his actions should bee the Dic­tate of his owne heart; not the fancy of other mens brains, nor the example of other mens lives, nor the report of o­ther mens tongues: which is as uncer­tain and variable as are the passions of their mindes; some, speaking out of fear; some, of [...]lattery; som, of malice; and some, of faction. The best way then for a man to examine his actions, is, To examine his heart; there beeing no man living that knowes or possibly [Page 82] can knowe thee so well as thou doost thine owne self. For, what man knoweth the things of man, save the spirit of man that is within him? 1. Cor. 2. 11. Though all the world acquitte thee, if thine owne heart condemne thee in that thou dost, thou art guilty before God: & though the whole world condemn thee, if thy owne heart acquit thee, thou art either guiltless, or therby less guilty. For, as whats [...]ever is not of faith, is sin, Rom. 14. 23 (that is, whatsoever is don against con­science, though good in it selfe, yet to mee is made sin): so, on the other side, if our heart condemn us not, then have wee confidence towards God, 1. Ioh [...] 3. 21. In a doubtfull cause, then, howbeeit per­chance the applause of all men, the rea­sons of Statists, together with the opi­nion of great Clerks, should give thee allowance; yet, if thou canst not re­solve thy self of the lawfulnesse there­of, attempt it not. For, as it is good for a man to begin with his owne heart, for consultation: so is it also, to conclude with it, for resolution; yet so, as other [Page 83] good meanes ordained to informe the conscience (as, advice with discreet friends, and conference with the Lear­ned, if the matter bee of moment, and the cause difficult) bee not neglected. Let thine heart then be the Line of thy walking; and the perfection of thine heart, the Levell of that Line. I will walk with a perfect heart.

Perfection implies two things, In [...]egri­ty and Sincer [...]ty: Integrity, that it bee whole and sound; Sincerity, that it bee single and upright. Sincerity is oppo­sed to that double heart mentioned by our Prophet, Psal. 12. 2, With flattering lips and with a double heart doo they speak: (the Original is, with a hart and a hart) Integrity, to that divided heart, where­of the Prophet Hosea, Their heart is divi­ded, cap. 10. 2; when a part is bestowed on God, and a part on our owne profit or pleasure. First then hee promiseth to walk with a perfect heart, that is, in the singlenesse and simplicity, the up­rightnes and sincerity of his heart, as God commanded Abraham, Gen. 17. 1▪ [Page 84] Walk before mee, and bee thou perfect; or, as the Margent reads it, upright and sin­cere; a word borrowed from hony, as the Grammarians will have it: which, the purer it is, sine cerâ, without wax, the more pleasant and wholesome it is; as they likewise draw simplicity, which signifies the same, from a garment, sine plicis, without pleats or foulds. Now, this sincerity or simplicity is therfore cal­led perfection, because it is the greatest perfection wee can possibly arrive unto in this world. For, absolute perfecti­on, in fulfilling every point of the Law in that exact manner and degree as is required, neither doth our Prophet un­dertake, neither could he by any means perform.

He wel knew, all that God expected, and himselfe could safely promise, was but sincerity: without which, many good services are not accepted; and with which, many great imperfections and infirmities are covered, as with a mantle. How many infirmities escaped from our Prophet himselfe! his num­bring [Page 85] the people, his counterfeiting madness, his collusion with Achish, his rash anger, and furious swearing, and vowing the death of Nabal, and his un­just dealing with good poore Mephibo­sheth: these things were sinnes; yet sin­cerity was a vaile unto them, because it was not so shaken in these, as in his murther and adultery. God that tooke some speciall notice of this last, would take none at all of the other: The heart of David (saith the Scripture) vvas up­right in all things, save in the matter of Vri­ah, 1. King. 15. 5. In like manner, some of Asaes infirmities having been men­tioned by the holy Ghost, as that the high places were not taken away; yet the Conclusion is, Nevertheless his heart vvas perfect with the Lord all his dayes. Loe, how all his infirmities are covered with the mantle of sincerity, 1. King. 15. 14. Contrariwise, in Iehu, wee may observe, how the holy Ghost, after a large description of many excellent things done by him, doth at last drawe as it were a cross-line, and dash out all [Page 86] spoken before, with this Conclusion, But I [...]hu regarded not to walke in the law of the Lord vvith all his heart. Loe, how all his other graces are buried in the grave of an unsound heart, 2. King. 10. 31.

Great vertues, not sweetned with sincerity, are no ornament unto us: & great infirmities not sowred with hy­pocrisie are no great deformities: those God acknowledges not, these he imputes not. The reason is, because where sincerity is, there in the meanest workes that are, together with them the heart is given to God▪ & the more a man gives of his hart to God, the more acceptable is his worke. The widowes mite could weigh but little, but her heart weighed heavy: and so her heart being put to her mite, gave it weight a­bove the greater (but farre more heart­less) largess of the Pharisee. Sincerity is to our works, as spirit is to our bodies; which maketh it far better then where there is more [...]lesh, but less spirit. O rare and excellent vertue of sincerity! which can make light drams and bar­ley corns as massie and ponderous, as [Page 87] the huge talents: whereas contrarily, the want of sincerity maketh talents as light as feathers. Hypocrisie (such is the filth of it) imbaseth the purest me­talls, and turneth very gold, yea preti­ous stones, into rust [...]y iron: whereas sincerity by a divine kinde of Alchy­mie turneth iron into gold.

As in the naturall body, to use Saint Augustines comparison, the case of the sound finger is safer than of the blin­dish eye: the finger indeed is but a lit­tle small thing, and cannot do such ser­vice as the eye, it is not of that admira­ble nimbleness and quicknes, nor can it guide and direct the whole bodie as the eye doth; and yet is it better to be a finger & sound, than to be an eye and dim or dark, ready to fal out of the soc­ket. And Chrysostom sayes well, that she is a worse woman that in hypocri­sie blurs her face with tears, that shee might be judged an hūble Penitētiary, than she that beautifies it with painted colours, that shee might be reputed a faire and lovely creature.

[Page 88]Finally, sincerity as it is of all vertues the girdle, Ephe. 6. 14. & of all other the most acceptable to God: so is it to us the most profitable in all dangers, tryals & temptations; begetting in us that Li­on-like boldness spoken of in Pro. 28. 1. It is not put out of countenance with false accusatiōs of sland [...]rous tongues: it throweth them off as Paul did the Viper, unhurt; yea, in a holy scorne it laugheth at them. No, no: the brest-plate of righteousnes, the brazen wall of a good conscience feareth no such arrowes. It saith with Paul, 1. Cor. 4. 3. I pass not for mans iudgement: And with Iob, 31. 35. Though mine adversary should write a booke against me, I would take it up­on my shoulder and binde it as a crowne unto me. That which made him thus con­fident, was the sincerity of his heart. My righteousness I holde fast, and will not let i [...] goe: my heart shall not reproach mee so long as I live, Iob 27. 5. And as it bred confidence in Iob, in his tryals, so did it minister comfort to Hezekiah, beeing now stricken with the thunderbolt of [Page 89] the sentence of death. O Lord, thou know­est (saith he) I have walked vvith an up­right heart, Esa. 38. 3. Though those good works hee had done, were in re­gard of his calling, of the highest note, the restoring of the true worshippe of God, the purging of the defiled Tem­ple and Priest-hood: yet hee doth not comfort himselfe with these so worthy works; O Lord, thou knowest I have cleansed thy Sanctuary, erected thy worship, repaired the decayed wals of Ierusalem, renewed the glory & beau­ty of thy Sion. No: but, without instan­cing in any particulars he had done, he mentions onely the sincerity of his af­fection in doing them; I have walked with a perfect or upright hart: which is the same our Prophet here promiseth, I will walk with a perfect heart.

Perfect, as in regard of sincerity, op­posed to a doubl [...] heart; so likewise in regard of integritie, opposed to a clo­ven or divided heart. The former im­plies an unfained; the later an univer­sall obedience: for the shunning as of [Page 90] hypocrisie in respect of others, so of partiality towards himselfe. Blessed are they that seeke him with their wh [...]le heart, Psal. 119. 2. And therefore are they blessed, because it is commanded, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, Deut. 6. 5. Those false har­lots, the World, & the Divell, and the Flesh are content to share with God in thy heart: but God, like the true mo­ther, will have all or none. The gods of the Heathen were goods fellows, they could well enough endure inter-com-communing and partnership: but the true God is the jealous God, who can­not away with halfes or parts. As him­selfe and the light (which of all visible things comes nearest his nature) are in­divisible: so is he most delighted with the Holocaust of an intire and undivi­ded heart. And as in nature, Solutio con­tinui, the division of any member, is the mayme and griefe of the bodie, but the division of the hart is the present death of it: so the division of the affections of the heart betweene the love of God [Page 91] and the love of our selves, is undoub­tedly the death of the soule.

With what face can we come before God, when with Ananias and Saphira we keep back pa [...]t from him? when with Zachary and Elizabeth wee walke not in all the commandements of the Lord? Doubtless, the old and sure way, not to be asham'd when we present our selves befo [...]e him,Psa. 119. [...] is, to have respect to all his cōmandments. Though we cānot keep all nor any one indeed as wee ought, yet we may and must have regard unto all, and that equally without respect or difference of any. For, he that failes in one point, is guilty of all, Iames 2. 10. His meaning is (sayes the most learned Interpreter) Deum nolle cum exceptione coli, that God will not bee served with exceptions and reservations. As his lawe is one intire rule, though consi­sting of many peeces: so ought our ac­tions and affections intirely to be squa­red thereunto. If wee will goe out of Egypt, we must not leave so much as an hoofe behinde us. If we leave but one [Page 92] gate of our soule o [...]n, our spirituall e­nemies (who ly in ambush for all ad­vantages) may as well, by that, rush in upon us to our perdition, as if no gate were shut, no breach made up. If the Bird bee taken but by the claw, the Fowler is as sure of him, as if hee had his whole body in his hand. And the Ship is oftner sunk by some little insen­sible leak, than by the violent dashing­in of the waves unto it. Look, then, as to the sincerity, so to the integrity of thy heart in Gods service.

Hee forbiddes us not to love other things besides himselfe; but wee may love nothing but for his sake: and so dooing, wee can love nothing in that degree wee love him. Above all, let us beware of the sinnes of our particular vocation, and of our naturall constitu­tion, and of the times and places in wch wee live: for, These, most men make their Idols, and are ready to say with Naaman, The Lord be mercifull to me in this. But, this is not to walk with a perfect heart: which strives against all [Page 93] knowne sinne, because it is sin; and en­deavours the keeping of all the com­mandements, because they are com­manded: and if wee so doo, for sinnes of pure ignorance and meer infirmity, God doth graciously vouchsafe us a daily pardon of Course. Who can under­stand his errours? Keep thy servant from presumptuous sinnes; then shall I be upright, Psal. 19. 12.

To conclude: how-ever the damna­ble Politicians of our Age would per­swade their Prince, that the practice of outward Piety and civill Hon [...]sty is sufficient for him; yet our Prophet and Prince promiseth to walke with a pe [...] ­fect heart, and performed what he pro­mised, so as hee dareth for that to ap­peal to Gods examination and censure: Iudge mee, O Lord: for, I have walked in mine integrity, Psal. 26. 1. And againe: Search mee, O God, and knowe my heart, try mee, and knowe my thoughts, and see if there bee any wicked way in mee, and lead mee in the way everlasting, Psal. 139. [...]3. And, lest wee should think This, presumpti­on [Page 94] in him, the holy Ghost doth him this honour, that those Kings who tru­ly feared God, and raigned well, are said to have walked in the waies of David their Father, 2. Kings 22. 2; but, those that raigned ill, because they feared not God, not to have walked in his waies, 1. Kings 15. 3. So that hee is not onely commended for his sound and single heart, but is therein proposed as a rule to succeeding Ages, for the tryall ei­ther of the straightnes or crookednesse of his Successors.

Now, in the last place followes the Place of his Walk: which is, within his house; or, as Arias Montanus hath it, in interiori domus meae, in the inmost part of my house. Hee would make a tryall in the very managing of his Family and houshould-affaires, of his ability and sufficiency for the government of the Kingdom; as the Queen of the South made a ghess of Salomons Wisdome by the government of his house, 1. Kin. 10. Every house-houlder is parvus Rex, a little King in his owne Family: and [Page 95] the greatest Monarch, upon the matter, is but magnus Pater-familias, a great house-houlder, or a common Father of the publique Family of the State. As then a man may see the coasting of the whole world represented in a little map as well as a gr [...]at; the degrees of the Sunnes motion, as well in a little Diall, as a great; the figure and colour of a visage, as well in a little picture or loo­king-glass, as a great; and the convay­ance of a building, as well in a little frame or modell, as a great: so may a mans desert and sufficiency, for the go­verning of a Kingdome, bee seen and made knowne in the wel-ordering and disposing of his private house.

And, as it is a tryall, so is it also a pre­paration to greater matters; it beeing not safe committing a vessell of burden to his charge, who never guided a bark or pinnace; nor to make him Generall of an Army, who never had experience of an under-Captains place: But, hee that first shewes himselfe faithfull in a little, is both thereby counted the wor­thier, [Page 96] & is indeed the fitter to be made Ruler over much, Luke 19. 17. where­as, on the other side, If a man knowe not how to rule his owne house, how shall he take care of the Church of God? saith the Apo­stle, 1. Tim. 3. 5. Hee speaks indeed of a Bishop; but so, as his words are appli­able to the civill Magistrate, who is charged with the government both of Church and temporall State. Quid au­thoritatis poterit habere in populo, quem pro­pria domus reddit contemptibilem? How shall the people reverence him, whom his owne family respects not, and his owne behaviour therein makes him re­spectless?

Again: In that he promiseth to walk uprightly within his house, i [...]ra priva­tos parietes, as Iunius doth paraphrase it, within his private walls; his meaning is, that hee would bee no changeling: that amongst his houshould-people (where few beheld him) he would be the same that hee was abroad, where many eyes saw him: hee would bee as godly in his Chamber, as in the Tem­ple; [Page 97] in his Closet, or Grove, or Galle­ry, as in the great Congregation: it beeing indeed the truest signe of an in­genuous spirit, to practise the same a­lone which he professeth in company; and of a false hart, to be devout abroad, and profane at home; an Angell in the Church, and a Divell in the house: such as they, who in open place, where they may have praise of men, will doo som good; but after they are more pri­vate, they discover themselves in their kinde, and runne freely to their owne race, as the horse rusheth into the bat­tell, ler. 8. 6.

I knowe, there is a time even for pri­vate men, much more for Princes▪ whose bu [...] then is greater, to unbinde the boaw of their serious thoughts; and to give the minde some relaxation and refreshment from publike imploimēts, that so they may bee the fitter to return to them again: but, no time or place is there in which they may loose the reins to their unbridled appetite, or secure­ly sinne because they are private. No, [Page 98] Hee that is present with them sitting in their Thrones, is likewise present with them lying in their Beds: as he is with them in their Chappels, so is he in their most secret Cabinets and withdrawing roomes. Like a well-drawne picture that eyeth each in the room, hee eyeth in that manner each one in the world; and all the waies of each one, as if his eye were upon him alone. Hee seeth all things, himself unseen of any; beeing so without all things, as that hee is not excluded from any; and so within all things, as that hee is not included in a­ny. It is hee, of whom our Prophet speaks in another Psalm▪ Thou knowest my down-sitting and my [...]p- [...]ising, thou un­derstandest my thought a-far-off, th [...]u com­passest my path and my lying downe, and art acquainted with all my waies: unto whom the day and the darknes, the light and the night are both alike, 139. In whose sight the very intentions of the heart are na­ked and open, Heb. 4. 13. The Greek word signifieth so opened, as the entralls of a man that is anatomized, or of a beast [Page 99] that is cut up and quartered. Quare, sit peccar [...] vis, qua [...]re ubi te non videat, & fac quod vis, saith Saint Augustine; If then thou wilt sin securely, seek ou [...] a place where hee sees thee not, and there doo what thou list: but, if his eye p [...]y into [...]very corner, then hast thou reason ra­ther to stand in awe of the presence of the immortall God, than of a mortall man. So, doo whatsoever thou doost, saith the heathen Philosopher, [...], as if severe Cato stood by & lookt on: but, if in stead of Ca [...]o, he had put Deus (as if God stood by and lookt on) his advice might well have passed for [...]ight Christian Doctrine: which was the Counsell of Another, save tha [...] hee named gods for God;

Quaecunque capesses,
Testes factorum stare arbitrabere divos.

What availeth it to have no creature privy to our evill acts, when wee have him privy to them, who must one day judge them?

The forgetfulness heerof makes ma­ny men, and especially great ones, dig [Page 100] deep, as if they would hide their coun­sell from [...]he Lord; and contrive in se­cret those things, which afterward be­ing brought to light, cast shame in their faces, a burden upon their consciences, a blot upon their name, and (without repentance) everlasting confusion both upon body and soule. It were good, then, to write upon their walls, and to engrave upon their windowes, that short Mo [...]to (which as short as it is, yet our memories are shorter); Cave, Deus videt, Take heed, God sees it. But then should wee chiefly call it to minde, and make use of it, when, beeing inclosed within our wals, sequestred from com­pany, occasion and oportunity invite us to sinne.

Verse 3. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turne aside, it shall not cleave to mee.

THe Originall hath it, if wee will render it word for word, I will set no word of Beliall before mine eyes. But▪ Word is there figuratively put for Thing; as likewise, Psal. 41. 8: and so is it ren­dred both by Montanus in the Margent, and in the Text by [...]unius; howbeit, in his comment upon this Psalm, hee pre­cisely follow the Originall, applying it against sycophants and flatterers, the mice and moaths of Court. But, of these I shal find or take occasiō to speak heerafter, and for the Present make choice rather to follow the beatē track of all the Translations, and other com­ments which I have seene; specially considering, that (to speake properly) a Word cannot bee the object of the ey, but a Thing. Well then: one speciall point of that Wisdom which our Pro­phet [Page 102] had promised in the verse going before, appeares in not setting these things of Belial, or wicked things, be­fore his eyes.

As wee turne away our eyes from that, or remove that from our eyes which we like not: so, what wee most delight in, wee commonly set before our eyes, or at least wee fixe and set our eyes upon that. True it is, that the eyes of the Lord are sayd to be in eve­ry place, beholding the evill and the good, Pro. 15. 3: yet are they in a special manner set upon those places and per­sons that hee hath a tender care of and respect unto, and loves in a speciall ma­ner. Such a place was the Land of Canaan▪ A Land which the Lord thy God [...]areth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are upon it from the beginning of the yeare, to the end thereof, he never took off his eye from it, Deut. 11. 12. Such a person was David: I vvill instruct thee and teach thee in the way that thou shall goe: I vvill guide thee with mine eye; or as the Originall, Mine eyes shall bee upon thee, Psalme 32. 8. [Page 103] Such are all those of whom Saint Peter speakes, The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, 1. Pet. 3. 12: and they are so o­ver them that hee withdrawes not his eyes from them, Iob 36. 7. Now then, as they are alwayes sette before Gods eyes, whom he loves: so is God alway set before their eyes who love him. I have set the Lord alwayes before mee, Psalme 16. 8. Vnto thee lift I up mine eyes, Psal. 123. 1. And as long as hee thus set his eyes upon God, and God before his eyes, hee could not well set any wicked thing before them. Hee could not at once intend two such di­stant objects; hee might glance, or squint upon both: but directly fix his eyes upon both hee could not. This made him so confident, I will set no wic­ked thing before mine eyes.

A bird may light upon a mans house; but he may choose whether shee shall nestle or breed there, or no: And the Divell or his instruments, may repre­sent a wicked object to a mans sight; but hee may choose whether he will enter­taine [Page 104] or imbrace it, or no. So that upon the matter, for a man to set wicked things before his eyes, is nothing else, but to sinne of set purpose, to set him­selfe to sinne, or to sell himselfe to sin, as Ahab did, 1. King. 21. The best a­mong us, God helpe us, are subject to sinne. For if we say we have no sinne, we deceive our selves, and the truth is not in us: yet by the grace of God we may be kept from presumptuous sins, that they have no dominion over us, Psal. 19. 13. And though wee doe the evill which we would not doe, yet wee endeavour to doe the good which wee doe not; and we delight in the lawe of God after the inner man, though wee feele in our members another law war­ring and rebelling against the lawe of our mind, and bringing us into captiui­tie to the lawe of sin, Rom. 7. In such, sinne ever goes with some unwilling­ness, with some wrastling and striving, with some remorse of heart and check of conscience: whereas the unrepen­tant sinner sets wicked things before [Page 105] his eyes, hee seekes out provocations, and hunts after occasions of sinning, he goes on with an high hand and a stiffe neck, and is carried with a swinge, as a ship under full saile: hee drinkes-in ini­quity as the beast licks up the water, or the fish catches at the bait: hee cannot sleep nor rest quietly in his bed, before hee have done some mischiefe: his on­ly study is, to fulfill the desires of the flesh: and, having his conscience seared with an hot iron, and being past feeling, he gives him selfe over to vvorke all manner of unclean­ness, and that with greediness: hee returnes to his former sinnes, as the horse rusheth in­to the battell, Ier. 8. 6. He makes haste, he runs to all excess of ryot, I. Pet. 4. 4. And being come to this pass, hee gets him a brow of brass, a strumpets forehead that canon blush, Ier. 3. 3. He declares his sin like Sodome, and hides it not, Esa. 3. 9. And then, Peccator cum in profundum ve­nerit, contemnit, when he is thus plun­ged in the gulfe of sinne, hee growes desperate, hee neither feares God, nor cares for man. Take heed then of set­ting [Page 106] wicked things before thine eyes, that is, of sinning ex destinata malitiâ, of set purpose, say alwaies, and practice with our Prophet: Mine eyes are ever to­ward the Lord, Psal. 25. 15. And that shal keepe thee safe, or cure thee beeing wounded; as the looking upon the bra­sen Serpent did the Israelites, stung with the fiery Serpents, Num. 21. 9.

N [...] vvicked thing] The originall is a thing of Belial: which word, because we do not often meet with, I thought it not amisse at this time to open the sense and nature of it, so far as it makes for our present purpose. It is not un­likely in my judgement, that it alludes to Baal, the common Idoll of the Na­tions, bordering upon the Iews, whom the Patriarchs, and Prophets, and Pen­men of holy Scripture, changing some letters by way of scorne, called it Belial. As the Prophet Hos [...]a, chap. 4. 15. calles Bethel, which signifies the house of God, Bethaven, which signifies the house of an Idol; because there Ierobo­am had set up one of his goldē Calves, [Page 107] 1. King. 12. 29. And to express a further hatred to this Idol, and in it to all Ido­larrous worshippe, they applyed this name of Belial to the Divell: and thus is it taken, 2. Cor. 6. 15. What harmony or concord hath Christ with Belial? They can never fall-in, or make musick together in one Quire.

The word is, by diverse, diversely derived. Some fetch it from a roote which signifies, not to profit; by reason of the great hurt and losse hee brings & intends to mankinde, 1. Pet. 5. 8. Others from a roote, that signifies, not to rise or mount upward; because he seeks the fall of mankinde, and to keepe those downe that are fallen into his snares, 2. Tim. 2. 26. But Saint Hierome, who stu­died the holy Lauguage, in the holy Land it selfe, for many years together, and had a skilfull Iew to his Master, fetches it from a roote that signifies, without a yoke, or lawless: and there­fore the Septuagint commonly translate it [...], as a man would say, alto­ther irregular. And this I take to be the [Page 108] most probable; in as much, as where wee reade of a sonne or a childe, or a man of Belial, through the Scriptures, for the most part, it is in regard of some notorious disobedience, in casting off the yoake of subiection. Thus the sons of Eli are called the sonnes of Belial, 1 Sam. 2. 12: and the reason is given, be­cause they hearkened not to the voyce of their Father. In the tenth of the same booke, verse 27. a band of men, whose hearts God had touched, went with Saul: but the children of Belial saide, How shall this man save us? and they des­pised him, and brought him no presents. In the 2. of Sam. 20. 1. There was a man of Belial, Sheba the sonne of Bichri, that blew a trumpet, and sayd, Wee have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Ishi, Every man to his tents, O Israel. In the 2. of Chron. 13. 7. those who stuck to Ieroboam, against Rehobo­am the sonne of Salomon, are tearmed vaine men, the children of Belial. And Saint Paul as I thinke, alluding hereto, 2. Thes. 2. 8. cals Antichrist, Satans el­dest [Page 109] sonne, [...], because at his plea­sure hee shakes off the yoke of obedi­once to the lawes, both of God and man; and such, as go about to advance his kingdom by inciting men to serve other Gods, are called the children of Belial, Deut. 13. 13.

Now as there are sonnes of Belial, so are there things of Belial, of which we reade, Deut. 15. 9. And here in this place, I will set no wicked thing, or thing of Belial, before mine eyes: whereby may be understood any dive­lish thing, tending to withdraw us frō sobriety and godliness, whether it bee so in its owne nature, or by our cor­rupt nature it be made so to us: as, las­civious spectacles, wanton pictures, ei­ther dead or living, or images for reli­gious use, which som good Divines are of opinion our Prophet heere meant. Nothing more different from Beliall than God, than Christ, than a glorified Saint; and yet than the representation of God, or of Christ, or of a Saint for religious use, nothing more a thing of [Page 110] Belial, be it never so curiously wroght, never so artificially graven or carved, never so lively coloured, or richly at­tired: nay, be it of massie silver & gold, garnished with jewels and precious stones; yet beening put to religious use, it is still a thing of Belial. And the more divine the person is whō it represents, and the more artificiall the representa­tion, the more dishonour it doth him who is adored in it; and the more it in­snares him who doth adore by it: and consequently, it still proves the more a thing of Beliall.

Now, the best way for a man to keep himselfe free from this offence, is, To keep him free from the society, at least the domestick and familiar society, the inward bosom-acquaintance of those, who think it a main part of their religi­on, to set such things before their eyes. The Ark and Dagon will not stand to­gether: neither can a Crucifix, ordai­ned to such an use, and Christ himselfe well dwell together under the same roof.

[Page 111]I read in the second of Samuel 16. 7, that Shimei called David a man of Beli­all: and beeing then guilty to himselfe of setting a thing of Beliall before his eyes, in the matter of Bathsheba, though Abishai would presently have taken Shimei his head from his shoulders, yet would not David suffer him so much as to touch a hair of his head: hee took it as patiently as hee did the reprooving of Nathan the Prophet; though the one came to gall him, and the other to cure him. Hee saw the hand of God in it, that, having set a thing of Belial before his eyes, one should not be wanting to tell him that hee was a man of Beliall. It was malice in Shimei, patience in Da­vid, justice in God. The malice of Shi­mei was afterward justly punished, the patience of David rewarded, and the justice of God ever admired. Nay, heerein againe appeares the justice of God, that, if wee set wicked things be­fore our eyes for the commit [...]ing of sinne, God in his season sets the guilt of it before our eyes; beeing committed [Page 112] for the conversion of som: as, Psal. 51. 3, I knowe my transgressions, and my sinne is ever before mee; but, for the confusion of others, I will reproovet [...]ee, and set be­fore thee the things that thou hast done, Psal. 50. 21. Therefore saith our Prophet, I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.

Before mine eyes. More danger there is of setting wicked things before this sense, than any other: and therefore our Prophet, having prayed GOD to turn his heart to the keeping of his te­stimonies, immediately addeth, Turne away mine eyes, O Lord, from regar­ding vanity, Psal. 119. 37; as supposing this later the readiest meanes and best way for attaining the former. But Iob steppeth yet one degree further, from a Praier to a Vow, I have made a cove­nant with mine eye: why then should I look on a maid? 31. 1. And which is more, from a Vow to an Imprecation. If mine heart have walked after mine eye, let me sowe, and let another eat, yea let my plants be rooted out, verse 7. This was the Vow and the Im­precation of this holy man; howbeit [Page 113] the common practice of men bee that of Salomon; Thine eyes shall looke upon strange women, and thine heart shall speake lewd things. I remember, I have read a Dialogue betwixt the Eye and the Heart, which of them should worke most mischief; and the conclusion of it was,

Ratio litem dirimit
Definitivo calculo,
Cordi causam imputans,
Occasionem oculo:

Reason takes up the matter, and de­cides the controversie, by imputing the cause to the Heart, and the occasion to the Eye; the Eye beeing as it were the Pandar or Broker, but the Heart the Strumpet: though S. Peter seem to im­pute it to the Eye, Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease to sin, 2. Pet. 2. 14; or, as the Originall reads it, full of an adulteress. Where we see (by a figurative manner of speech) the very chair and throne of wantonnesse to bee seated in the Eye; how [...]it it be in truth but the passage & pipe to con­vay [Page 114] it to the soule: yet such a passage as the Fathers generally understand of it, those passages of Ieremy, Death hath cli­med up by the windowes, 9. 21. And again, Lament. 3. (as the Vulgar reads it) Ocu­lus meus depraedatus est animam meam, mine ey hath made a prey of my soule.

Which, the very Heathens well un­derstanding, in the dedication of the severall parts of mans body to their se­verall gods and goddesses (as, the cars to Minerva, the tongue to Mercury, the arms to Neptune) they leave the eye to Cupid, their god of lust, as being the fit­test for his use; the proverb houlding alike in inordinate lust, as in ordinarie love, Out of sight, out of minde: Vbi dolor, ibi digitus; ubi amor, ibi oculus: as the finger alway waits on grief, so doth the eye on lust. Whence it may bee in the Greek, the same word (only by the change of a vowell) signifies both to see and to love. Valerius fitly cals the eyes the spies which ly in ambush for the un [...]lermining of other mens maria­ges. And Alexander, using a different [Page 115] phrase, shot at the same marke, when hee called the Persian maides dolores o­culorum, griefes of the eyes; and there­upon in my iudgement, hee wisely re­fused, that Darius his wife (whose beauty the Macedonians so much ad­mired and commended) should bee once brought into his presence; as fea­ring lest hee who had manfully subdu­ed so many nations, should himselfe be shamefully conquered at the sight of a woman: but on the other side, the Comedians, saith Clemens Alexandri­nus, bring-in the wanton Sardanapalus, sitting in an ivory chaire, and casting his eyes in every corner.

Dinah goes a straggling through the country: whom when Sichem, heire to the Lord of the countrey, sawe (sayes the text) he tooke her and lay with her, and deflowred her. It is noted of Poti­phars wife, that she first cast her eye on Ioseph, before she inticed him to folly; and of our Prophet, that from the roof of the Kings Palace (their houses be­ing square and flat on the top) he sawe [Page 116] a woman washing herselfe. And what followed upon it you know: first goes videt hanc, then quickly comes after, visamque cupit, and instruments will not be wanting for potiturque cupita.

—vidit sine veste Dianam,
Praeda fuit canibus nec minùs ille suis.

This irregular glancing, or inordi­nate gazing, is that which metamor­phosies a man into a beast, and makes him a prey to his owne brutish affecti­ons.

The Divell knew full well the dan­ger of this sense, when hee presented before our Saviours eye all the king­domes of the world, and the glory of them; and Hezekiah learned it to his griefe, when he stirred up such coales in the Babylonish Ambassadors by shew­ing them his treasure, that they never left, till they came and fetcht it away. I saw among the spoyle a goodly Babylonish garment, saith Achan, and two hundred shekles of silver, and a wedge of gold, and I coveted them, and tooke them. Thus as it is the instrument of wantonness, so is [Page 117] it of covetousne [...]s, and of gluttony and drunkenness too. Looke not thou (saith Salomon) upon the wine when it is red, and when it shewes his colour in the cup; in the end thereof it will hurt like a Serpent, and bite like a Cocatrice, Prov. 23. 31. So is it of pride; looking-glasses being nothing else but the artificiall eyes of pride, as our naturall eye is a kinde of living loo­king-glasse, by which so many staines and blemishes are not discovered in the face, as imprinted in the soule: and lastly, so it is of Idolatry; the Prophet Esay in his twentith chapter, stiling the Idols of Egypt the abomination of the eyes, twice within the compass of two verses, ver. 7. 8. Whence it is, in my iudgement, that among all those idola­trous nations which worshipped false gods, and went a-whoring after their owne in ventions, the greatest part have ever consented in worshipping the host of heaven, the Sunne, the Moone or the Starres, which among all crea­tures the eye most admireth and de­lighteth in. Good reason then had our [Page 118] Saviour, to say, If thine eye bee evill, all the body is darke, Mat. 6. 23: and Saint Iohn, 1. Epist. 2. 16, to make the lust of the eyes one of those three fountaines from which all other vices streame.

The sonn [...]s of God saw the daugh­ters of men that they were faire: and then followes that mischiefe which drew on the flood on the olde world. The first woman sawe the fruit of the tree of knowledge, that it was plea­sant to the eye: and from thence issued that first sinne, the mother of all the e­vill which wee both doe and suffer. Whence it may be, in the Hebrew the same word signifieth as well an eye, as a fountaine; to shew that from it, as from a spring or fountaine, did flowe both sinne it selfe, the cause of sinne, and misery, the punishment of both. And if our first parents were thus be­witched by the eye, and thereby recei­ved their bane in the state of innocen­cy, when their appetite was yet subor­dinate to reason, and their reason to God, what can wee promise to our [Page 119] selues, Qui animas etiam incarnavimut, who have made our very spirit a lump of flesh, prone to entertaine vice; but, weake God knowes, to resist it? They are in a manner composed of flax or tinder, apt to conceiue fire, and to bee inflamed by the least sparke admitted by this sense: except it be speedily re­pelled or quenched by grace.

Great reason then had our Prophet to pray, and wee with him, Turne a­way mine eyes, O Lord, from behol­ding vanitie: great reason had hee to promise and we with him, I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: the one, for the imploring of Gods assi­stance, and the other for the quickning of our owne endeavours.

I hate the worke of them that fall away, or turne aside: it shall not cleave to me.

BEcause, such as set wicked things before their eyes, commonly turn aside after their owne inventions and desires; therefore our Prophet having in the former part of this verse, pro­mised not to set any wicked thing be­fore his eyes, here hee professeth to hate the worke of them that turne aside or fall away.

I hate] It is but Stoicisme and vanity, to think that all passions either may be or should be utterly rooted out of the soule. They cannot, beeing as naturall to the soules sensitive power, as the will and unsterstanding are to the rea­sonable: they should not, in that Saint Paul, censures it as a fault, to be without naturall affection, Rom. 1. 30 in that being qualifi­ed and corrected by reason, they be­come usefull for the executing of that which reason directs (they are good servans being kept under, but bad com­manders, [Page 121] having gotten the mastery) and lastly, in that they are found even in the glorified Saints, in the blessed Angels, in Man before his fall, in Christ as Man, and are in holy Scriptures at­tributed to God himself.

It is a good conclusion of Thomas; Animae paessiones malae moraliter dicend [...] non sunt, sed quae contra & praeter rationis iudicium sunt: The passions of the mind are not to bee tearmed morally evill, but in that they are either against or be­side the dictate of reason: And of Au­gustine before him, Interest qualis sit vo­lunt as hominis: qui [...] siperversa est, perver­sos habebit hos motus; si autem recta est, non soluminculpabiles, sed etiam laudabiles erunt. It availes not a little, how the will of man stands affected: which if it be per­verse, these affections will likewise bee irregular; but if it bee straight, they will not onely bee without fault, but deserve commendation.

The [...]ost universall, the most opera­tive, and the most durable passions of the soule, are Love and Ha [...]red: they [Page 122] spread farthest, they pearce deepest, they last longest. Now, as all the other passions flowe from love as their foun­tain, so doth hatred too. It may seem a strange assertion, yet is it certainely a true one, Cum nihil odi [...] habeatur nisi quod adversatur bono convenienti & quod ama­tur, omne odium ex amore nasci necesse est: since we hate nothing but what is con­trary to the good wee love, it cannot bee, but hatred must spring out of love. Fear ariseth from some danger appre­hended of losing the thing wee love; grief, from the sense of the loss of that wee love; and hatred, from the impa­tience of opposition against that wee love: so that the more our love is, the more is our fear to lose that wee love, the more our griefe if wee lose it, and the more our hatred to that which op­poseth against it.

Since then our Prophets affection was such towards God, that his soule thirsted for him as a dry land where no water is; that his heart panted after him, as the Hart brayeth after the wa­ter-brooks, [Page 123] that his favour was better to him than life it selfe, and his words sweeter than hony, more pretious than thousands of gold and silver; it cannot bee, but his hatred should answer in proportion to that which is opposite to Gods law, & derogatory to his glo­ry. No mervail then, that hee not on­ly mislikes, or dis-affects, or approoves not; but detests, abhorres hates the work of them that fall away.

An hatred there is of malice, and an hatred of zeal; the one profane & car­nal, the other holy and divine: the one, as a stinking and poysonsome weed, shoots up every where through the field of the world: the other, as a pre­tious herbe or rare outlandish flowre, comes up thinne, and that but in a few mens gardens, neither prospers it long without much tending and cherishing. The one is sowen in our hearts by that envious man, who hates the light, because his deeds are evil; the other, planted by that good Spirit, who hates all the workers of iniquity, Psal. 5. 5. Of it speaks our Savi­our, [Page 124] The world hates mee, because I testifie of it, that the works thereof are evill: And our Psalmist, the type of our Saviour, They that hate mee without a cause, are more in number than the hairs of my head.

To hate those that hate us, is heathe­nish; to hate those that are harmelesse and innocent, is brutish; but to hate those that love us, and seek our good by telling us the truth, that is divelish. Am I therefore your enemy, because I tell you the truth? saith S. Paul to the Galathians: And Ahab to Eliah, Hast thou found mee, O mine enimy? Yet this enemy of his it was, that brought him at last to an outward and seeming repentance at least, and consequently to the turning away of Gods wrath in his daies. This kinde of hatred is one of those three bad daughters, born of three good mo­thers: Contempt beeing commonly the birth of Familiarity; Idleness, of Peace; and Hatred, of Truth. But, this is not of kin to the hatred our Prophet heer speaks of▪ So far was he from hatred of the truth, that (I think) hee loved and [Page 125] honoured the Propher Nathan the bet­ter while he lived, for telling him the truth, when others flattered him. Once I am sure, that afterwards he gave him free accesse into his bed-chamber, and named him a Commissioner for the declaring of his Successor:1 King. 1 but the ha­tred here spoken of, is of vice and su­perstition, arising frō the love of truth and vertue: without which, hee that is hottest in matters of religion, can bee but luke-warme; and hee that walkes most upright, must needs halt between two opinions. This hatred then as it is commended in private men; so is it ne­cessary in Magistrate; just anger be­ing the whetstone of courage, and this hatred, of justice: which, as one truly sayes, delights not so much to see men severely punished, as justice duely ex­ecuted; that is▪ hates the worke, but loves the person: therefore saith our Propher, I hate the worke of them that turne aside; not the persons but the work, that is the object of his hatred, and the second thing I am to speake of.

[Page 126] The worke.] As wee are not to love the vice for the mans sake, so neither are wee to hate the man for the vice. It is proper to God alone, who as Crea­tor hath ius vitae & necis, an absolute dominion over all his creatures (dispo­sing of them at his pleasure) to affect or reject, to love or hate them, as he will; his will beeing indeed the measure of right, and the rule of justice. Vnto Cain and his offering, hee had no respect, Gen. 4. 5. First, hee had no respect to Caine, his person; and then to his work, his offering: and yet hee did him no wrong. Iacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated: and the Apostle addes, the children beeing yet unborne, nei­ther having done any good, or evill. What shall wee say then, Is there un­righteousnesse with God? God for­bid. Hath not the Pot [...]er power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessell to honour, and another to dishonour? Shall the thing formed, say to him that formed it, why hast thou made mee thus? Now, be­cause we are to conforme our wills to [Page 127] Gods will, that is, his revealed will (in as much as wee cannot conforme our selves to that we know not, and hee re­serves to himselfe) we may therefore safely and justly hate those, whom God hath namely and particularly expres­sed that hee hates; but, for others, wee may and we ought to hate their lying & their fal [...]e wayes, as our Prophet speakes: but for the Lyers themselves, and those that walke in such wayes, wee have no warrant that I know, to hate them.

There is a perfect hatred mentioned by our Prophet, Psal. 139: which Saint Augustine understands to be, when a man hates the manners, but loves the man; when hee hates the action, but loves the person. False witnesses did rise up against mee▪ they layd to my charge things that I knew not, saith hee, Psal. 35; there is their action, that hee hated: never­thelesse when they were sick, I put on sackcloth, and humbled my selfe with fasting; there's his love to their persons. 2. Sam. 15. He praies against the wicked policie of Achitophel: O Lord, I pray thee [Page 128] turn the counsel fo Achitophel into foolishnes; but against Achitophel himselfe, wee finde not that hee prayed: howbeit, David had advanced him to honour, and hee now sided with those Rebels that had taken up armes against him. It is to this purpose good advice of Saint Augustine, Hominem Deus fecit, praevari­catorem ipse se fecit; ama in illo quod De­us fecit, persequere in illo quod ipse sibi fe­cit; God made man upright, but they have found out many inventions to make themselves crooked: Love that in him which God made, but hate that in him which himselfe made. And in another place, Nec propter vitium oder is hominem, nec ames vitium propter hominē, sed oder is vitium, ames hominem. Many thinke they may love God, and yet hate their brother: but Saint Iohn is bold to put the lye upon such, 1. Iohn 4. 20; If any man say, I love God, & hates his brother; he is a lyer. If any man like not the phrase, let him chalenge him for it. Others thinke they may hate their brother, and yet God love them [Page 129] well enough: but them he tels, Who­soever hateth his brother is a murthe­rer; and yee knowe that no murtherer hath eternall life abiding in him: and if not eternall life, then not the love of God, 1. Ioh. 3. 15. The object then of our hatred, must be the worke, not the man: we must learne ‘Parcere personis, dicere de vitijs.’

It is the commendation of the An­gell of the Church of Ephesus, Revel. 2. 6. This thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicholaitans, which Ialso hate: not the Nicholaitans, but their deeds; and for those imprecations wee reade of in di­verse Psalmes, or else-where in holy Scripture, seeming to inferre or in­clude hatred to the persons, of those a­gainst whom they be poured out, they are all either Indefinite, or Conditionall, or Propheticall. Indefinite, without naming or ayming at any particular person: or if they be definite, naming some parti­lar person, then are they Conditionall; intending in the first place, if God have so ordained it, Conversion; if not, in [Page 130] the second, Confusion: or if they bee both definite and absolute, then are they Propheticall, non tam vota quam vati­cinia, speeches of men inspired, not so much wishing what they foretell, as certainely foreseeing and foretelling that which of themselves they wish not, Vt in verbis quasi mal [...] optantis intel­ligamus praedicta prophetantis, saith Saint Augustine: or if they with it, it is ei­ther because they knowe by revelation it is the will of God, or tht it makes for the glory of God. And thus Mo­ses wished his owne name to bee razed out of the book of life, and Saint Paul himselfe accursed from Christ, and both rather then Gods glory should be blemished by the scandalous impu­tation of the Gentiles in the rejection of the Iewes, his chosen people, To whom pertained the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the service of God, and the promises. This was it likewise that troubled our Prophet: he was not so much moved for his owne sake, as for Gods cause: hee doth not so much [Page 131] hate the work of them that forsake him selfe, as of those that forsake God: not so much of those who turned aside, or fell away from his friendship, as from the course of a vertouous and religious life, or from th service of the true and living God.

I hate the worke of them t [...]at fall away. Whether in doctrin or in mariers, whe­ther in convesation or in opinion, whether by impure life or false wor­ship. His zeale in this case (an affecti­on equally compounded of love and anger) was such, that it consumed him, and (as his owne phrase is) ate him up: which though it were mystically spo­ken of Christ, yet is it literally to bee understood of David; and yet withall his excessive griefe, such that his eyes poured out rivers of waters, because men kept not Gods lawe. Thus zeale kindled a fire within him, and his grief resolved him into teares; to teach us that in our heate to Gods cause, we for­get not to be tenderly affected towards men, but to joyne pittie with our ear­nestness, [Page 132] and with our fervency, com­passion; and to our compassion, must be added knowledge and discretion: otherwise, shall wee be no better than those reprobate Iewes, who had zeale; but not according to knowledge: and out of this perfect composition, fervency, compassion, and discretion, ariseth that perfect hatred touched before; but here falling into its proper place, Doe I not hate them, O Lord, that hate thee, & am I not grieved with those that rise up a­gainst thee? I hate them with a perfect ha­tred, as if they were mine enemies, Psa. 139. 21. David would scarce have accoun­ted them good Subjects, who should not have shewed thēselves enemies to them, who were enemies to him, and the State; but reason then, if him­selfe would be reputed a good Subject unto God, or his Vice-gerent on earth, he should proclame them his enemies, who had proclaimed themselves ene­mies to God and religion.

When Croesus was assaulted in the sight of his dumbe sonne,Herodotus. they write, [Page 133] the force of Nature wrought so pow­erfully in him, that it unloosed the strings of his tongue, and hee cried out, Homo ne perimas Croesum. The truth of of the story I leave to bee defended by the Authours of it: but this am I sure of, that scarcely any outward action more cleares our inward grace of a­doption, arguing us to bee indeed the sonnes of God, then when wee are truely sensible of dishonour offered to our fathers name, when we imbark our selves in his quarrels, and (as our Psal­mist speakes in another place) The repro­ches of them that reproach him, fall upon us. It argued a righteous soule in Lot, to be vexed, or as the Originall hath it, to be tortured, or racked, not so much with the opposit on, as the uncleane conuersa­tion of the Sodomites: and it argueth in a Chrihian man the renewing of the i­mage of God, stampt upon him in his Creation, and in a Christian Magistrat the acknowledgement of his Lieute­nantship to be held from God, when he shewes himselfe as forward to make [Page 134] lawes, and draw his sword for the pu­nishing of sacrilege as theft, blasphemy as murder, idolatry as treason, atheism as rebellion; finally, when by his acti­ons it appears, that he is as zealous and carefull of the honour and service of God, as of his owne either gain or glo­ry. How many have vainely spilt their blood for the defence of their mistres­ses beauty, or their owne imaginary re­putation! which had they done in de­fence of God and religion, against a­theisme, idolatry, or blasphemy, they had undoubtedly purchased both the renown and reward of Martyrdom.

Now, as our Prophet professeth to hate the work of al those that set them­selves against God and godliness; so of those most specially, who turn aside frō the right path in which they have som­time trode, or fall away from that truth which they have formerly professed. It is true, that where true justifying and sanctifying grace is once throughly seated and settled in the hart, it can ne­ver utterly be rooted out: the degrees [Page 135] and measure of it may be impaired and abated, but the habit cannot bee ex [...]in­guisht: the sense and feeling of it may be interrupted, but the essence & being cannot be abolisht: the act and exercise of it may be for a time suspended, but the character remains indeleble: wch, being once imprinted upon the soule, can never afterward bee blotted out or wiped away; inasmuch as Christ whom hee loves, hee loves to the end, Iohn 13. 1. his gifts & calling being without repentance, R [...]. 11. 29. So then, this we must hold for a sure ground, Stella cadens non est stella, cometa fuit: A starre that falls was never indeed a star, it was but a blazing Me­teor. There may be an outward profes­sion of doctrine, and participation of the sacraments; nay, more than so, in regard of the understanding, an inward inlightning in som measure; and a taste of the powers of the world to come, in regard of the affections, Heb. 6: yet all this but a counterfeit blaze. No mar­vell, then, if such not onely turne, but turne aside; not onely fall, but fall a­way: [Page 136] They go out from us, because, though for a time they were among us; yet indeed and in truth, they were never of us, 1. Iohn 2. 19: but, it had been better for them not to have knowne the way of righteousnes, than after they have knowne it, to turne from the holy commandement delivered unto them, 2. Pet. 2. 21. And better had it beene for the Church, never to have brought forth or brought up such grace-lesse children. These then it is, that David as a Prophet must hate, and as a Prince must punish; as beeing most injurious to the truth, most scandalous to the Church, most dangerous to the State, and most odious to God: but, above all, he must take heed that they proove not infectious to himself.

Shall not cleave to mee. No work of them that fall away; but chiefly, their worke of Aposta [...]ie and falling away, That shall not cleave to mee. As like­nes is the cause of love; and That, of u­nion: so dissimilitude is the cause of hatred; and That again, of seperation. That which wee hate, we suffer not to [Page 137] come, or at least not to abide neer us: but either wee remove it from us, or our selves from it; nothing beeing more hatefull in it self, and in the sight of God and good men, than to enter­tain and imbrace that in our selves, Wch wee professe wee hate in others. David then having professed, that hee hates the work of them that turne aside, hee could do no less than promise, it should not cleave to him. Were their argu­ments never so plausible, their power or number never so great, their neer­nesse by friendship or kinred never so inward; though Israel play the harlot, yet let not Iudah offend: though Saul turn aside and fall away, yet that is no warrant for David; nay, rather let Sauls falling away serve to warn David. The one fell away and lost his Kingdome by it: but the other would not fall away, though it were to the gaining of a Kingdom, nay, all the Kingdoms of the world and the glory of them: they beeing temporall; but the sting, which followes upon this defection and finall [Page 138] apostasie, eternall. Witnes that despe­rate voice of cursed Iulian: who, sprin­kling his blood in the air, cryed out; Vicisti Galilaee, vicisti; O Galilean, thou hast overcom.

Now, the way to keepe us that this damnable work of apostasie cleave not to us, is, to keepe us from cleaving to the Apostates themselves, or suffering them to adhere or cleave to us; and withall, to cleave fast to God. This was Davids practice. For the first, Their drink-offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names within my lips, Psalme 16. 4. So far was hee from cleaving to them, or suffering them to cleave to him. And for the second, It is good for mee to hould fast by God, Psal. 73. 27. And againe, I have stuck to thy testimonies, O Lord, put mee not to shame, Psal. 119. 31. This his utter disclaiming of the one, and sticking close to the other, was it that made him so bold in another Psal. Mine heart is fixed, O God, mine heart is fixed, 57. 7; and so confident heer, It shall not cleave to mee. I conclude with [Page 139] the exhortation of the Apostle, Saint Paul, Take heed, brethren, lest at any time there bee in any of you an evill heart and un­faithfull, to depart away from the living God, Heb. 3. 12. And with the praier of S. I [...]de, verse 23. 24, Now unto him that is a­ble to keep you that ye fall not, and to present you faultlesse before t [...]e presence of his glory with ioy, that is, to God onely wise, our Sa­viour, bee glory and maiesty, and d [...]minion, and power, both now and for ever.

Verse 4. The froward heart shall depart from me: I will know none evill; or, I will not knowe a wicked person.

HEe had promised in the second verse to walk with a perfect hart: and heer he promiseth, A froward heart shall depart from him. Now, though that part of his Vow bee set before this in place, yet hath this the precedency of that in order: scales must first fall from S. Pauls eyes, before he can see clearly; and Naaman must first be cleansed of his leprosie, before his flesh com again as the flesh of a young childe. We must first deny our selves, before we can fol­low [Page 140] Christ; and the heart must first leave to bee froward, before it beginne to bee upright: as the distemper of the body must first bee remooved, before health can bee restored; and darknesse first chased away, before the light break forth.

In the Verse immediately going be­fore, hee professed hee hated the work of those that fall away, or lepart from God. Now, the best way to provide, that himself might not bee found faul­ty in that which hee hated in others, was, to strive that a froward heart should depart from him. For, the more this frowardnes decreaseth in us, the neerer wee draw to God; and the clo­ser it sticks unto us, the farther we wan­der from God. True indeed it is, that it can never utterly depart our soules, till our soules depart our bodies, and both body and soule depart this vale of tears. While the heart lives its naturall life, it will also live in our hearts: and, as the heart is among the bodily mem­bers the first that lives, and the last that [Page 141] dies; so is this amongst all the corrupt affections of the heart: yet must wee still labour to mortisie it, that though it remaine, yet it raigne not in vs; though it live, yet the strength of it be broken, and the head of it crushed.

Againe, in that hee speakes of par­ting with a froward heart, hee freely acknowledges, that though hee were by grace a man after Gods owne hart; yet by nature beeing without God as well as others, hee could not bee with­out this froward heart; neither his Calling, nor his Crowne could privi­ledge him in that Case: unless in be­comming a King, hee should leaue to be a man; and being advanced in dig­nity, he should shake-off nature: which being voyde of grace, rather serves to deprave nature farther, than any way to correct it.

Once in this Psalme hee promised a reformation of his eyes, twice of his heart: therefore a double watch is to be set over the heart, in regard of any other member. Salomon begins with it, [Page 142] Prov. 4. 23, Keepe thy heart with all dili­gence; or as the Originall reades, abo [...]e all keeping, as a man would say with double diligence: for out of it are the issues of life. And from the heart he comes to the mouth, ver. 24. Put away from thee a froward mo [...]th; and from the mouth to the eyes, ver. 25. Let thine eyes looke right on; and from the eyes to the feet, ver. 26. Ponder the path of thy feet; and from the feet to the hand, ver. 27. Turn not to the right hand, nor to the left: there­by shewing us, that the heart is as the first wheele of the Clock: if this bee either righ [...], or disordered, so are the rest. For, as out of the aboundance of the heart the mouth speaketh; so the eyes looke, the feet walke, the hand moves.

As the heart is the shop of the vitall spirits, and they againe the food of the naturall life: so is it likewise the foun­tain of new birth, and That the begin­ning of our spirituall life. Those sacri­fices, in which no heart was found, were by the Heathen counted omi­nous.

[Page 143]Their conceit therein might bee superstitious; but I am sure tis true, that those religious exercises in which the heart is wanting, cannot be accep­table unto God. Hear, then, with thine [...]res, but with thy heart too; pray [...]th thy lips, but with thy heart too; receive the [...] Sacrament with thine hand, but with thy heart too: other­wise, thy hearing, thy praying, thy re­ceiving, being heartless, will in the end proove f [...]uitless. Therefore doth our [...]rophe [...] so often beat upon this heart-string, A froward heart shall depart from mee.

Frowardnes is sometimes universal­ly extended to the whole corruption of the heart: as, Psal. 58. 3, The ungod­ly are froward, even from their mo­thers wombe: and so it includes both Ieremies deceitfull heart, 17. 9, The heart is deceitfull above all things, who can know it? and Ezekiels stony heart, 11. 19. I will take from them their stony heart, and give them a heart of flesh: and Saint Ste­phens uncircumcised heart; Acts 7. 51. [Page 144] Yee stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and eares: and Saint Pauls foolish heart, Rom. 1. 21. They became vaine in their ima­ginations, and their foolish heart was full of darkness. And thus our froward heart is both stony, and uncircumcised, hard, an [...] impure, in regard of it selfe; deceitfu [...] full of windings and turnings, in regard of men; and lastly, foolish, voyd of all true knowledge and understanding, in regard of God. Now, to this hard wee must oppose a tender heart, compassio­nating the miseries of men, relentin [...] at the threatnings of God, and blee­ding in the consideration of its owne naturall hardness. To this impure wee must oppose a cleane heart, Create in me O God a cleane heart; cleane, though not from all stain, yet frō the foule blots of gross sinnes; though not from all im­puritie, yet from hypocrisie. To this deceitfull we must oppose a simple heart, sine plicis, without pleits and foldes, speaking as we thinke, and doing as we speake: and lastly, to this foolish wee must oppose a wise heart; wise I meane [Page 145] in things appertaining to saluation, and the mysteries of godliness.

More specially, frowardness against God, in holy Scripture, is contracted either to stubbornness and rebellion, in not submitting our necks to the yoke of his law; or to repining and murmuring, in not submitting our backs to the rod of his chastisement. The first is peruers­nesse and obstinacy, and it shewes it selfe either in preferring the traditions of men before, or equalling them to the Oracles of holy Scripture, and the ordinances of Christ▪ or which is as bad, if not worse, in preferring the de­vices and desires of our hearts before the express injunction or inhibition of Gods commandements: faire preten­ses may be made for the former; but for the later no colour, no excuse at all. I will instance onely in the two last precepts of the first table, because they immediately concerne the honour of God. Thou shalt not take my name in vaine, saith God: if then I speake of him jestingly or inconsiderately, or [Page 146] sweare by him rashly or falsly, know­ing what he commands, and my selfe practice; Doth not this argue a froward heart?

Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day, saith God. If then I spend it in gaming or idleness, in glut­tony and drunkenness, in chambering & wantonness, knowing what he com­mands and my selfe practice; Doth not this argue a froward heart? This froward heart it is, that our Prophet doth heer promise to put away. And surely not without great cause; since hee had learned (no doubt) out of the 26. of Levit. ver. 24, If yee will not be re­formed, but wil walk stubbornly against me, I will also vvalke stubbornly against you, I will punish you yet seuen times: that is, in the highest degree. Neither could he be ignorant or forgetfull of the message of Samuel to Saul, yet fresh in memory, To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of Rams: but re­bellion is as the sinne of witch-craft, and stubbornness as idolatry; Because [Page 147] thou hast reiected the word of the Lord, he hath also reiected thee from beeing King, 1 Sam. 15. 22. 23. Nay, himselfe had told vs in another Psalme, Psal. 18. 26 speaking of God, With the pure thou wilt shew thy selfe pure, and with the froward thou wil [...] shew thy self froward: or as the Originall beares it, Thou wilt wrastle with the fro­ward. Now, if God come to wrastle with man, though with the stoutest of men, the commander of heaven & earth with dust and ashes, it cannot but proue impar congressus, as the wrastling of a Giant with a Dwarfe; wee shall make no match with him: Hee it is that looseth the bond of Kings, and powreth con­tempt vpon Princes, if they contemne him, Iob 12. As severe as they are towards their inferiors, if they carry them­selves frowardly towards them; so se­vere is hee to them if they carry them­selves frowardly toward him. Let them alwayes then remember, that ‘Omne sub regno graviore regnum est:’

Every earthly kingdome must yeeld an account to a higher. And let them [Page 148] deale with God, as they would haue o­thers to deale with them: the same o­bedience which they expect from o­thers, themselves must first performe to God. And the more and greater blessings they have received from him, the stronger is their obligation of obe­dience to him: specially considering that God demands it at our hands, as a thing not any way beneficiall to him­selfe (For, our goodness extendeth not to him, Psalme 16. 1) but onely as profi­table to our selves. Neither doth hee binde vs to any blinde obedience as the Padres doe their novices; nor exacts at our hands the sacrificing of our sons and daughters, and the passing of them through the fire, as the Divels did of the Heathen: but onely tyes us to his will revealed in his worde. The exe­cution whereof is no lesse comfortable for this present life, then necessary for that which is to come. The first thing then, and the chiefe, in abandoning this frowardnesse, is, the submitting of our necks with all forwardnesse to the [Page 149] yoake of Gods lawe; which though it seeme at first to be burdensome to flesh and blood, yet that being once maste­red, His commandements are not grievous, 1 Iohn 5. 3. Nay, his yoake is easie, and his burden light, Mat. 11. 30.

The next is the submitting our backs to the rod of his chastisement; and as the former required our obedience, so doth this our patience. For, after we have by our obedience done the wil of God, yet even then wee have need of patience for the finishing of the race that is set before us, Heb. 10. 36. It is a fair step to perfection & victory, when a man can say with the Church in the 44. Psalm, Though all this become upon us, yet forget we not thee, nor behaue our selues frowardly in thy covenant. And with Mau­ritius the Emperor, when he felt the ut­most of misery, Iustus es Domine, & iusta sunt iudicia tua, Righteous art thou O Lord, & upright are thy judgements: & with that noble Lord of Plessis, when hee had lost his eldest and his only son, and as I take it, his only childe, a Gen­tleman [Page 150] of marvelous great hope, Tacui & non locutus sum, quia tu Domine fecisti: I held my peace and opened not my mouth, because it was thy dooing O Lord. I deny not but the best may at times, when they feele the hand of God heavy upon them, growe pettish, and breake out with Iob, Let the day pe­rish wherein I vvas borne; or with Eliah, It is enough, now O Lord take awaey my life; or with Ionah, I doe well to be angry even unto death: (though that were indeede an high degree of impatience) or with our Prophet, Hath the Lord forg [...]tten to be gracious, and will hee shut up his loving kindnesse in displeasure.

These motions may suddenly arise in their hearts, and they may speake un­advisedly with their lippes: yet they take care that frowardnesse doo not possesse their hearts. And when they come to themselves, they are as ready to say with one of them, Though hee slay mee, yet will I trust in him, Iob 13. 15. And with another, Though I walke through the valley of the shadowe of death, I will [Page 151] feare none evill: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staffe they comfort me, Psalme 23. 4. When a man is once growen to this assurance, that God loves him; hee takes every stroke at Gods hand as a severall pledge of his love, & kisses the very rod that strikes him; as knowing that the rod of Aaron, and the pot of Manna must goe together: but, when that assurance wants, if God strike a man for his disobedience, it makes him fret with impatience, till that provoke another stroke: and the more he is st [...]c­ken, the more impatient hee growes; and againe, the more impatient hee growes, the more is hee st [...]cken: till in the end, insteed of confession and sub­mission, he breake out into open defi­ance and rebellion against his striker, challenging his Maker of injustice, and from that to indignation and gnashing of teeth; which is nothing else, but a kinde of frowardnes proper to Divels & damned spirits. Now, the higher we are in place, the more impatient we cō ­mōly are of crosses, supposing we shold [Page 152] have God at our beck, as we have men, & being apt to say, with Pharaoh, Who is the Lord that hee should thus cross me: but let such take heed, lest while they imitate Pharaoh in his rebelli­on, they partake with him in his con­fusion.

Now, as from the love of God flowes the love of man: so from this frowardnesse of obstinacy and impati­ence towards God, for the most part issues a frowardness of ha [...]shnes & bit­terness towards men, opposite to that meeknesse which Christianitie, and that sweetnesse of disposition which morall Phylosophie teacheth us. The symptomes of it are, a bended brow, a frowning eye, a sharpe tongue, a a hanging lip, a clowdy and lowring countenance; the ca [...]ses, self-conceit, and sco [...]e of others, an overvaluing o [...] our selves, & a dis [...]steeming o [...] others; the eff [...]ts, di [...]iculty in acc [...]sse, and roughness in [...]n [...]tainement, and in re­gard of others both [...]eare and hatred, two inseparable companions.

[Page 153] Absolo [...]s faire speech, and stretching forth of the hand, was it that stole the hearts of the men of Israell: as on the other side Rehoboams crabbedness was it that forced the people to say, What portion have vvee in David, neither have wee inheritance in the sonne of Iesse, to your tents O Israel. One gentle word, one gra­cious look would then have won them for ever, whereas his dogged answer [...] wrought him a deep and irrecoverable losse. Vt ameris, amabilis esto, the way to be beloved, is to be lovely in carriage, and amiable in condition: and the best guard of Commanders, is the love of inferiors.

Non sic excubiae, non circumstan [...]ia pil [...],
Quam tutatur amor:—

All the poleaxes and halberds in the world, cannot so safely guard the per­son of a Soveraigne, as the love of his Subjects. Who can find in his heart to lift up his hand against such a Prince, Qui neminem à se dimisit tri [...]tem, who never dismis [...]d any Petitioner with a teare in his eye, or a heavie heart; nay, [Page 150] [...] [Page 151] [...] [Page 152] [...] [Page 153] [...] [Page 154] hee counted that day as lost, in which hee had not done some bodie some speciall favour: which made him stiled Deliciae generis humani, the darling of mankinde while he lived; and beeing dead,Sueton us, of Titus. Senatus tantas mortus gratias egit, la [...]desque congessit, quantas ne viuo quidem vnquam atque praesenti, The Senate gaue him more thanks, and loaded him with more praise being dead, then ever they did living and present. This vertue then of affability and curtesie (a word derived as it seemes, from the Court) as it is commendable in private men; so in a Magistrate, such as David, is it in a manner necessary: as the contrary vice of frowardness, which in private men is uncomly and unchristian, in them is both dishonourable and dan­gerous. Let churlish Laban then deale discurteously with Iacob; and Nabal (the same name by inversion of let­ters) with David and his followers, in­somuch as one of his owne family shall testifie against him, Hee is such a sonne of Belia [...] that a man cannos speake to him, [Page 155] 1. Sam. 25. 17; yet shall he be held but a froward foole for his labour, he shall be cursed and hated of all men, as a disastrous Comet: when such as with David put away a froward heart, and crooked behaviour shall be honoured as luckie planets.

It followes, I will know none evill.] or as both our vulgar English and last Translation reade it, [I will not know a vvicked person] the Originall beares both: & if we take it the first way, it is to be referred to things; if the second, to men▪ Evill, in as much as it hath no Entitie or Beeing it in self, but in good, and nothing can be farther knowen then it hath a Beeing, consequently it cannot be knowen of us in it selfe, but onely by the knowledge of good; as darknes is by the knowledge of light, & sickness by the knowledge of health. Rectū est index sui et obliqui, the evenness of a straight line, is the best way to dis­cover the unevennesse of a crooked; and the knowledge of true syllogisms, the deceit of fallacies. This know­ledge [Page 156] of evill then arising by reflexi­on frō good, is not in it self unlawfull; in as much as God thus knowes the ut­most extent and possibilitie of evill, though never acted, or to be acted, and yet remaines altogether untainted in himselfe, as the Sunne-beames which glaunce upon sinks or dunghils. Yet this very knowledge, though not un­lawfull in it selfe, in regard of our cor­rupt nature to us it is dangerous; like a sparke cast upon flax or tinder, which easily conceives fire. Adams eating of the tree of Knowledge of good and e­vill, was it that brought all that ensu­ing miserie upon himselfe and his po­sterity, yet was hee then in the state of innocency. To know evill that we may runne the farther from it, or hate it the more, is good: but now, there is such a sympathie between us and it, that for the most part the more wee knowe it, whether it be by reading or by relati­on, or experience, the more are we in­amoured of it.

Ign [...]ti nulla cupid [...].

[Page 157]We need not then go seek it in books, or farre countries: it will comesoone enough and fast enough of it selfe, it will come home to us, and find us out. Let us resolve then with our Prophet, that wee will not seeke so much as the knowledge of evill, farther than for the better practice of good.

But I rather fasten upon our vulgar and last translation, I will not know a vvicked person.] For a Magistrate to know wicked persons that hee may pu­nish them, is a part of his dutie. And for a private man to know them, that he may shun their company, is a signe both of honestie and discretion. Take away the drosse from the silver,Pro. 25. 4. 5 and there shal come foorth a vessell for the Finer: take away the wicked from be­fore the King, and his throne shall be e­stablished in righteousness; and this doth our Prophet promise in the last verse of this Psalme. But for a Magi­strate or private man to know thē, that is, to entertain them, to credit or coūte­nance them, to admit them into their [Page 158] friendship or service, to lodge them in house with them, or place them in of­fice under them; is that which our Pro­phet, and with him all good men, spe­cially all good Magistrates, utterly dis­avow: considering the three-fold ha­zard from thence manifestly incurred of Suspicion, of Infection, of Malediction. Of suspicion from others, of infection in themselves, of malediction and punish­ment from God.

The hazard of Suspicion from others, in as much as wee commonly ghesse at a mans inclination by the disposition of his servant or company, because (for the most part) birds of a feather will together. 1. Thes. 5. 22, the Apostle wils us to abstaine from all appearance of evill: whereof this surely is one.

The second hazard is of Infection; such beeing both the corruption of our nature, and the nature of our corrupti­on, that, if the good and bad meet, the good is rather soiled by the bad, than the bad any way bettered by the good. It is written of Mezentius the tyrant, [Page 159]Corpora corporibus iungebat mortua vivis:’

Hee bound the dead and the living together; but the dead did not revive by the living: the living rather putrefi­ed by reason of the dead. The fresh wa­ters, running into the Sea, do not swee­ten it, but are made brackish by it. It is but madnes for a man to presume upon an Antidote in going to the Pest-house, when hee may keep himselfe from it. It is indeed the property of oyle, bee­ing poured into other liquors, to swim on the top, and keep it selfe unmixed; and of the Salamander, to ly in the fire and not bee burnt: but, this quality is rare. Even in Paradise, the woman, whom God himselfe gave to the man, beeing infected by the Serpent, infects the man, and that at the first assault: and shall any man, now beeing shut out of Pardiase, and stript of those supernatu­rall helps and graces wherewith Adam was invested, think himselfe more able to resist, than hee? No, no: Evill words corrupt good manners; much more a con­tinuall [Page 160] evill conversation. Reiterated importunity will at length make a breach upon the soule, though in our judgement never so throughly fensed: as the long playing of the Cannon bat­ters the wall, and a continuall drop­ping pearceth the stone. Samson held out long against Dalilah; so did Salomon against his outlandish wives: but, in the end, neither the wisedome of the one, nor the strength of the other, could priviledge or secure them; the grace of Perseverance (as his Majesty well inferres thereupon) not being a Flow­er that growes in our garden.

The third hazard is of Malediction from God. For, as the blessing of God fals upon a whole society or familie many times for one mans sake; as it did upon all that sailed with Paul for his sake, and for Iosephs sake upon [...]otiphar and his house: so the plague and curse of God sometimes pursues a whole company for one mans offense; as it did all that sailed with Ionas for his rebelli­on, and the whole host of the Israelites [Page 161] for Achans theft. S. Iohn would not abide under the same roofe with Ebion and Cerinthus, for feare it should fall down about their ears. And, touching Babylon, hee heard a voice; Goe out of her, my people, that yee bee not partakers of her sinnes, and that yee receive not of her plagues, Revel. 18. 4: Like that of Moses to the Israelites, in the sixteenth of Nū ­bers, verse 26, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest yee perish in all their sins. Nei­ther is it injustice in God, if wee incou­rage or countenance sinners with our presence or approbation (though wee partake not with them in their sinnes) to wrap us in the same vengeance.

Verse 5. Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart, will I not suffer.

OVr Prophet having, in the la [...]er part of the verse going before, professed in generall, that hee would not kn [...]we a wicked person, that is, enter­taine him in his family & service, much less admit him unto his familiaritie and friendship; he comes in this verse, and in the seaventh, to shewe in particular, what wickednes it is hee meanes, and specifies foure kindes; Slander, Pride, Deceit, Lies: Slander and Pride, in this verse; Deceit and Lies, in the seaventh. To these foure severall vices, he threa­tens foure several censures: to the first, cutting off; to the second, not suffering; to the thi [...]d, not dwelling within his house; and to the fourth, not tarryi [...]g in his sight. The first and worst vice is Slander, and with it is joyned the greatest punish­ment; [Page 163] destroying, or cutting off. First then, of the vice, which is bad enough in it selfe; but is heere aggravated by two circumstances, the A [...]iunct and the Subiect: the one as an Vsher makes way for it; and the other as an atten­dant, beares up the traine. Slander is a Divelish Sinne, but privie slander makes it worse, and privie slander of a mans neighbour (that is, as I take it, of a pre­tended friend) worst of all. And the more neerely it touches him in his li­berty or his life, in his goods or his good name: the greater the person is to whom it is brought, and upon whō it is cast: and the more confidently it is affirmed; the more damnable it is. I will begin with the naked vice it selfe, stript out of the Circumstances.

Slaunder is a vice of the tongue, which is but a little member; yet is it (as Aesop truely said) the best or worst meate that comes to the market: being well or ill used, it becomes the instru­ment of great good or much mischief. Being used to the glory of God, and [Page 164] the edification of our neighbour, it is the crowne and glory of a man; as our Prophet calles it, Psal. 30. 12; To the end my glory may sing praise to thee, and not bee silent, that is, my tongue. But on the other side, being abused to the dis­honour of God, or the hurt of our neighbour, it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of Na­ture. This made our Prophet to pray, in one place, Set a vvatch O Lord, be­fore my mouth, keep the doore of my lippes, Psal. 141. 3. And to promise in another, I will keep my mouth with a bridle, or with a muzzell; I will take heed to my waies▪ that I sinne not with my tongue, Psal. 39. 1. Which one lesson Pambus a famous professour in the Primitive Church, plying hard nineteen whole yeares to­gether▪ (as himselfe witnesseth in the fourth booke and eighteenth chapter of Socrates Ecclesiasticall story) yet could hee not learne it so perfectly as to take forth a new: which the Author impu­teth not so much to the dulnesse of the scholler, as to the difficulty of the les­son, [Page 165] in as much as if there be any man that offends not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able to bridle the whole bodie. For every kind of beasts, & of birds, and of serpents, and things in the Sea, i [...] tamed▪ and hath been tamed of man­kinde: but the tongue can no man tame, It is an unruly evil ful of deadly poyson, Iam. 3.

The vices of this member are, Blas­pheming, Swearing▪ Cursing, Dissembling, Reviling, and those two named heer in my Psalme, Slandering, and Lying: but of the two, Slander named in my Text, is the worse, in as much as it includes a Lie; it is a lie cum additamento▪ a lie and somewhat else. And againe, a lie though it be in it selfe alwayes naught, yet doth it not alwayes tend to harme, but slander doth; it being as the School hath rightly defined it, denigratio alienae famae, the smutting of a mans good name. As flatterie daubs white upon black, so slander sprinkles black upon white; it is a false report (whether it be by speaking, or by writing and libel­ling) wounding a man in his good name: [Page 166] false, either by denying, disguising, les­ning, concealing, misconstruing things of good report; or else, in forging, in­creasing, aggravating, or uncharitable spreading things of bad report; which though they bee true, yet if I spread them, not knowing them to be true, to mee tis sinne: nay, though I knowe them to be true, and blase them abroad not for any loue to the truth, nor for respect to justice, nor for the bettering of the hearer, or the delinquent, but onely to disgrace the one and incense the other, I cannot avoide the imputa­tion of a slanderer.

Secondly, it is said to be a wounding instrument, and that justly; [...]t being com­pared by our Prophet sometimes to keene and cutting razors, sometime to sharp and pearcing arrowes, sometime to naked drawen swords, sometime to the poyson of Asps and Adde [...]s, some­time to speares and the teeth of wilde beasts, and sometimes againe, to hot burning coales; & by Iob, to a scourge, Thou shal [...] hide mee from the scourge of the [Page 167] to [...]g [...]e, 5. 21. And yet none of these commonly make such a wound, but a cunning Surgeon will cure them with­out any great signe: whereas the rule of the Slaunderer is, Calumniare a [...]da­cter, semper aliquid h [...]ret, Lay on loade boldly, somwhat will alwaies stick by it: Many that heard the slander, shall never heare the truth; all men by their [...]aturall corruption, being more apt both to beleeve, and to publish the one than the other. The stroke of the rod maketh marks in the flesh, Ecclus. 28. 17, but the stroke of the tongue breaketh the bones.

Besides, those other instruments wound cōmonly but one at one stroke, whereas a slanderous tongue strikes & wounds no lesse than three at a blowe. The first and worst blow, hee gives his owne soule, infecting it with slander, and making his conscience guilty of a lie. The second lights on the soule of him, to whom he brings the false tales; for as wee shall hereafter heare, the plausible and willing hearer, is as farre [Page 168] forth lyable to censure, as the [...]ale-bea­rer. The third and last stroke, lights on the reputation of the party slandered: which though it bee of the three the least; yet is it a very grievo [...]s wound, and the third part of my definition, tis a false report, wounding a man in his good name.

The Latines call it Detractio, be­cause it is a kinde of theft, in that it stealeth from a mans good name; in in which sense our Saviour may bee thought to have called them theeves, whom he whipped out of the Temple; because by their buying and selling in it, they robbed God of his honour, profaning the place consecrated to his worship. As then the Sl [...]nderer is a murtherer, by wounding a man in his reputation; so is he a theefe in stealing from his good name: nay, theft it is in the highest degree, and a degree be­yond the highest kinde of theft, pro­perly so called▪ and therein I affirme no more, than the Prince of Schoole­men hath done before me. Vitium de­tractionis [Page 169] quo proximi l [...]ditur honor ex ge­nere suo gravius est quam [...]urtum: and his reason is; first, because restitution may more easily bee made of goods than of good name: which, being once lost, for the most part is unrecoverable. Secondly, because a good name is dea­rer to a man of understanding, than his goods; in as much as it hath a nea­rer affinitie with our spirituall good: And a good name (saith Salomon▪ Prov. 22. 1.) is rather to bee chosen than great ri­ches, being better than precious oyntment, Eccles. 7. 2. Idest amplissimis & gra [...]osissi­mis bonis corporeis, saith Iunius, Oynt­mēts are there named, because in those Eastern parts they were laid up among the most precious things, even in the Kings Treasurie, as appeares Esa. 39. 2, and were of all sorts highly este [...]med; not onely for civill use in anoynting their faces and bodies, as well living as dead; but for sacred use in anoynting their Kings, Priests, and Prophets. And this oyntment is it, which in the 30. of Exodus is called the holy anoynting [Page 170] oyle, compounded of oyle olive, and Myrrh, and Cinnamon, and Calamus, and Cassia, after the art of the Apo­thecary or the Perfumer: and whoso­ever compounded any like to it, or put any of it upon a stranger, by Gods ordinance hee was to bee cut off from his people. Even before this rare and costly oyntment, doth Salomon prefer a good report; and not without cause, since the one cannot keepe the body from putrefying, as the other doth the memory from rotting. Well then, by how much more excellent and divine a good name is, by so much more dā ­nable and pestilent is this vice of de­traction.

The Proverb is, Oculus & fama non patiuntur iocos, There is no good spor­ting with the eye, or with a mans good name; the least aspersion cannot but be offensive to either: and a wise man is as tender & sensible of the least touch upon the one as the other. He was no foole, at least in morall matters, who hath tolde us, that Negligere quid de se [Page 171] quisque sentiat, non solum arrogantis est sed & dissoluti, To be careless what men thinke or speake of him, is the part not onely of a proud but of a loose minde. And hee was no foole either in morall or spirituall, who exhorts us, What­soever things are of goodreport, if there be any vertue, any praise, to thinke on those things, Phil. 4. 8. Whereof Saint Augustine yeelds the reason, Propter [...]os conscientia nostra sufficit nobis, propter vos fama nostra non pollui, sed pollere debet in vobis. In regard of a mans owne self the keeping of a good conscience is sufficient, if he be clear to God-ward: but in regard of doing good to men, specially in publique places, a good re­putation is no lesse necessary: which hee that by slander takes away, not on­ly wrongs him from whom he takes it, but others with whom hee communi­cates in vertue, and to whom he might prove beneficiall; whereas standing in their opinion guilty of that whereof he is accused, though wrongfully, nei­ther his speeches nor his actions can be [Page 172] so acceptable; and consequently, not so profitable unto them, as otherwise they might bee. To which purpose is that of Thomas, Auferre alicui famam valde grave est, per cuius defectum impedi­tur homo à multis bene agendis. And like­wise, that forenamed good Doctour & Pillar of the Christian Church, duely weighing these dangerous effects, cau­sed these two verses (as Possidius reports it in his life) to bee written in capitall Letters over the Table where hee took his ordinary repast;

Quisquis amat dictis absen [...]ûm rodere vitam,
Hanc mensam vetitam no verit esse sibi.

Hee that loves to detract from such as are absent, let him knowe, that his presence at this table is not desired.

Another thing, which much aggra­vates this vice and the foulenesse of it, is, that the Divell hath his name from slandering, and a nature nothing dissen­ting from his name: hee slanders God to man, and man againe to God, as his instruments doo man to man. God hee [Page 173] accuseth of envy to man, Gen. 3. 5, God doth knowe, that in the day yee eat thereof, your eyes shall bee opened, and yee shall bee as Gods, knowing good and evill. And as hee accuseth God, to man, of envy: so doth hee man, to God, of hypocrisie; Doth Iob serve God for nought? hast thou not made an hedge about him, & about his house, and about all that hee hath on every side? thou hast blessed the works of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land: but, put [...]orth thine hand now, and touch all that hee hath, and hee will curse thee to thy face.

The Herbalists write of a certaine Plant, which they call Divels-bit; so named (as they say) because, beeing of soveraign use for mankinde, the Divell is thought (by simple people) of malice to bite off the root of it, which is found very small, or none at all. Now, the root of the union betwixt God & man, is the love of God to man, and the du­ty of man back again to God: and this root I am sure wee may truely call Di­vels-bit; not that he can ever bite it off, but because hee never leaves nibbling [Page 174] at it. This is hee that stands before the woman, Rev. 12, clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet, and upon her head a Crown of [...]welve Stars, be­ing now ready to bee delivered of her childe, and hee as ready to devo [...]re it beeing delivered. His endeavour is, either by temptation to make a good purpose abortive, and to sti [...]le it in the womb or birth, if hee may: or if not that, by slander to deuoure it beeing brought into the light. Let the slande­rer then remember, as often as hee o­pens his mouth to that end, whether it bee simply to disgrace another, or by his disgrace the more to commend and justifie himselfe; that, as it is a divine property, To cover sin, where is hope of amendment, with the mantle of cha­rity: so, To fain a fault where it is not, or to amplifie and extend it beyond truth where it is, is a divelish condition: yet that which makes it worse, is, the dooing of it in secret, Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour.

This is the Adiunct that go [...]th be­fore [Page 175] it, the Vsher that makes way for it: which notwithstanding is so inwardly essentiall unto the nature of it, that som put it in the very definition, as a master­peece; making open false accusation (whether in judgement or otherwise) to bee Calumnie or Sycophancy; but se­cret, Obloquie or Detraction: the ground of the former being commonly anger or revenge, hope of reward or favour; but of the later, Emulation or Envy, which is nothing else but an overgrown and inveterate anger.

And in regard of this quality of see­king corners, it may well bee ranged a­mong the workes of darknes; and the slanderer himselfe, among those crea­tures which delight in darknes. With the Mole, hee alwaies workes under ground; and, with the Owle, he shuns the light: in which regard, in our Lan­guage is it cald back-biting, in as much as the Author of it loves not to stand to it, or to be brought in question for the avouching of it; but, like a coward, not daring to look a man in the face, nor to [Page 172] [...] [Page 173] [...] [Page 174] [...] [Page 175] [...] [Page 176] give him time to draw in his defence, hee assaults him behinde at unawares, and thrusts him through: like a dog, he bites a man by the shinnes, before hee bark; and hurts, before his malice bee espied: as some kindes of lightning melt the blade in the scabberd, it re­maining sound and entire.

These secret whisperings (as the Apo­stle cals them, Rom. 1. 29, and sets them downe as one of the marks of a repro­bate minde) like the winde, which creeps-in by the chinks and crevises in a wall, or the cracks in a window, prove cōmonly more dangerous than a storm that meets a man in the face upon the Champain. And the saying is, Aven­to percolato & inimico reconciliato libera nos, Domine; from such kind of whisperers, good Lord, deliver us: which are so neer of kinne to backbiters, that, in the place before alleaged out of the Romans, they are set immediately before them; and, in the 2. Cor. 12. 20, immediately after them. Yet Calvin, therein following Thomas, puts this distinction betweene [Page 177] them, that the Backbiter intends the impeachment of a mans good name, but the whisperer breach of friend­ship, Obloquutor intendit infamiam, susur­r [...] discordiam: which is the worse of the two, in as much as friendship as farre exceeds reputation, as reputation doth riches; reputation beeing referred to friendship, as riches is to reputati­on.

There be six things (saith Salomon, Pro. 6. 16.) which the Lord hates, yea seven are an abomination vnto him; among which the last and worst is, He that soweth dis­cord. I will shut up this point with the exhortation of the Apostle Rom. 16. 17, Now I beseech you brethren marke them which cause divisions, specially by these kindes of slanderous whisperings, con­trary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them.

The second thing, which in my text aggravates this offence, is the person offended, a mans neighbour: Hee that privily slandereth his Neighbour. In the largest sense, Proximus tuus est qui tecum [Page 178] natus est ex Adams & Eva, saith Au­gustine, Hee is thy neighbour, who is borne of the same race with thee of A­dam and Eve. Thus is it taken in the ninth and tenth Cōmandements, Thou shalt not bear false witnesse against thy neigh­bour: Thou shalt not coet thy neighbours house. And by our Saviour in the tenth of Saint Lukes Gospel. And I deny not, but it may thus be understood, and be as generally extended heer in my text: Yet because our Prophet heer chiefly intended the ordering of his houshold, I thinke this word is heer to be contra­cted to such as dwell together under the same roofe, and converse together in the same family: which is favoured by Montanus his Translation, Obloquen­tem socio suo, him that slaundereth his fellow.

It is a bad bird, they say, that defiles his owne neast: and surely it is a signe of little grace, when a man slaunders those that should bee nearest and dea­rest unto him; when Cham uncovers his fathers shame; when Siba by pre­sents [Page 179] and false suggestions obtaines his Masters inheritance, 2. Sam. 16; when the Mistris of the house by slander & wrongfull accusation shall cause her servant, her faithfull servant Ioseph, to be cast into prison. It was the blow of Bru [...]us that struck deepest into Caesar; & tis the slander of a pretended friend that gives the most dangerous wound.

Such are excellently described by Bernard, in his 24. Sermon upon the Cantitles, Detractores autem quodam simu­latae verecundiae fuco, &c. The Slanderers, under the colour of feined modestie, labour to shadowe that malice which they cannot keepe in: you shall see them send forth deep sighes; and with a kinde of gravitie and slaiedness, with a sadde look and whining voyce, to poure forth their slander: which passeth by so much the more plausibly, as it is thought by those that heare it, to proceed not from any [...]nvious, but a condoling affe­ction. I am very sorry (saith hee) for him, because I love him, and have often ad­monished him thereof, but could never re­claime him: the thing was knowne unto me [Page 180] before, but it should never have been publi­shed by mee; yet now that it is blowen abroad by others, I cannot denie the truth, indeede it is so. Hitherto Bernard. And who would thinke that a contemplative Ab­bot, living within the cloisters of a Mo­nastery, shold be so perfect in the tricks of the Court? And so I come from the vice to the Censure, from the slan­derers cutting & wounding of others, to the cutting of him off; Him that pri­vily slandereth his neigbour, him will I destroy, or cut off.

He promiseth of other offences, he would not suffer them, they should not dwell within his house, or tarry in his sight; but of this, like a rotten incurable mē ­ber when no other remedie will serve the turne, off they must. Hee would not himselfe raise slanders upon innocents, that hee might enter upon their posses­sions, and then cut them off; as Iezabel dealt with Naboth: but hee would ra­ther right the innocent, by cutting off the slanderer.

Now, a double kinde of cutting off [Page 181] there is; either from favour, or friend­ship or service, & thats for private per­sons: or from the participation of re­ligious exercises with the Church: and thats for the Magistrate Ecclesiastical; or from liberty, by banishment; or la­stly, if the case so require, from life it selfe, by inflicting of death; and thats for the Civill Magistrate: and this case in the Leviticall Law was onely when the slander reached to the life of him, upon whō it was raysed, Deut. 19. 19. He that testifies falsely against his brother, yee shall doe to him as hee thougth to have done to his brother: eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, life for life. But for private men, all the cutting off they can use, is the shutting of their doores, and the stopping of their cares against them; making demonstration, by speech or countenance, of distasting their base practice; according to that wholesom advice of the Apostle, Ephes. 5. 11, Have no fellowship with the unfruitfull vvorks of darkness, but rather reproove them. And surely all honest men have reason to do [Page 182] it, not onely in that they have reason to conceive, that he who brings a slan­der upon another to them, will bee as readie upon occasion to carry a slander upon them to another; but withall be­cause Salomon tels vs, that the wicked giveth heed to false lippes, and a lyer hear­keneth to a naughty tongue, Prov. 17. 4. It it a shrewd signe that a man is that way disposed himselfe, when he giveth way to others without any checke or con­troule. And besides, it is a conclusion a­greed upon by the best Divines, Audi­ens detrahentem cui possit resistere, sed ei placet detractio, eiusdem detractionis reus est: Hee that heareth the slaunderer quietly whē he may resist him, so as the slander seemeth to please him, he is be­comne guilty of the same offence. Wherewith that of Bernard in his se­cond booke de Consideratione ad Eugeni­um accords, Detrabere aut detrahentem audire quid horum damnabilius sit non facile dixerim: To de [...]ract, or to listen to the detraction, which of these two is the worse I cannot easily define: the one [Page 183] having, as he addeth, the Divell in his tongue; the other in his eare. And of Isidore, in his third booke de Summo bo­no, Non solum ille reus est, qui falsum de alio profert, sed & is qui citò aurem crimi­nibus praebet: Hee is not onely guilty, that raises a false report of another, but hee also who readily listens thereunto. The ground heerof is taken from the last verse of the first to the Romans, Not onely they which commit such things are worthy of death, but they also that consent vnto them that doe them. Now consent is either indirect, when a man resists it not being in his power; or direct, in advising or inti­cing to the dooing of it, or in abet­ting of it, or delighting in it beeing done.

It is the Receiuer that makes the theefe, and a smiling countenance and open eare that makes and maintaines a Slanderer: Whereas on the other side, As the North winde driveth away the raine; so doth a frowning looke the slande­rous tongue, Pro. 25. 23. It is like the ca­sting [Page 184] of a dart, or the shooting of an arrow against a flint, or peece of brass, it reflectenth back againe upon the face of the shooter. Et discit non libenter di­cere, quod videt non libenter audiri; Hee learnes not to speake that willingly, which hee findes to bee unwillingly heard. Therefore it is that our Prophet ioynes both together, Psal. 15. Who shall abide in thy tabernacle, or who shall dwell in thy holy hill? Hee that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor receiueth a false report against his neighbour: And so doth the Poet:

—Absente [...] qui rodit amicum,
Qui non defendi [...] alio culpante.

They both are guilty of

Denigratio alienae famae.
Hic niger est, hunc tu Romanc cavet [...].

Thus farre a Magistrate may & must goe with private men: but hee must not stand heer, hee must proceed one step further, and that is to punishment. It was none of the worst sayings of Do­mitian, though himselfe none of the best Emperours, Princeps qui delatores [Page 185] non castigat, irritat: His meaning I take to bee, not so much of lawfull infor­mers, as wrongfull accusers: For, righ­teous lips are the delight of Kings, and they love him that speaketh right. Prov. 16. 13. Though they bee the chiefe of men, yet men they are: and having their per­sons confined to places, they cannot see and heare all things themselves. Many things they must of necessity see by other mens eyes, and heare by o­ther mens eares: Yet requisite it is, that such as they either imploy, or permit to be their eyes or ears, should be men of knowen trust and tryed faithfulness; & even then too, are they to keep one eare open for the defence of the party accused.

Qui statuit aliquid parte inauditâ alterâ,
Aequum licet statuerit, haud aquus fuit.

As it is true, Si sufficiat negasse, nemo erit nocens, If a bare deniall were suffi­cient, no man would bee guilty: So is it as true, Si sufficiat accusasse nemo erit in­nocens, If a bare accusation were suffici­ent, no man should be innocent. A na­ked [Page 186] information, or that which the Lawyers cal Clamorosa insinuatio, a com­mon fame, is enough to give iust oc­casion to a farther inquiry: but not to a finall Sentence.

Descendam & videbo, I will goe downe and see, saith God himselfe, of Sodome it selfe, whether they have done altogether according to the cry which is comn unto me. The phrase of de­scending to see, is not so proper to God, whose eye pearceth thorough the bowels of all things, as it is a kind of descending to our capacities, and for our instruction, specially his depu­ties and vicegerents on earth; who ex­cept somtimes they descend from their majesty & throne of State, to a familiar search of truth, themselves will often be carried on the wrong side, & wrong others.

I conclude what I have to say at this time, with the grave and wise ex­hortation of the Apostle, Galat. 5. 15. If yee bite and devour one another, take heed yee be not consumed one of another; I [Page 187] take him specially to be understood of byting by a slaunderous tongue; of which our Propher heer, Hee that pri­vily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off.

Him that hath an high look and a proud heart, will I not suffer.

AFter Slander, our Prophet rankes Pride in the next place: and sure they are so neer of kin, that hee could not well set them far asunder; Pride be­ing commonly both the mother and the nurse of Slander. For, when wee have once a good conceit of our selves, we are apt for the slandering of others, that thereby either our vices may in some sort bee justified, or our vertues shine the clearer. I deny not, but Slan­der (as you have heard it proved in o­pening the former part of this verse) sometimes ariseth out of malice, and seeking revenge, or breach of friend­ship; sometimes out of covetousnes, in seeking to gain by it; sometimes out of ambition, in seeking to rise by it; but, more often out of pride, in seeking cre­dit to our selves, either by forging false reports, or by inlarging true, tending to the discredit of others. Hence is it, that [Page 189] the Apostle, in 2. Cor. 12. 20, sets swel­lings next to whisperings; the one bee­ing a branch of Pride, as the other is of Slander. And Salomon, in the sixt of the Proverbs, ver. 17, couples together hau­ty eyes and a lying tongue; they being the two first of those seaven which the Lord hates, and his soule abhors: nay, our Prophet himself joyns them in one verse, Psa. 40. 5, Blessed is the man that hath set his hope in the Lord, and turned not to the proud, and such as goe about with lies: insinuating, it may bee, that the slande­rer, who goeth about with lies, as a ped­ler with his pack, is as the broker; and the proud man, as the marchant or chapman to whom he vents his wares: for, as the slanderer is as ready to re­ceive lies, as to coine them; so is the proud man as ready to receive slāders, as to raise them.

The way, then, to purge the tongue from Slander, is, to keep the heart from Pride: and the best means to free a fa­mily from the one, is, to rid it of the o­ther. Therefore, our Prophet having [Page 190] promised, in the former part of this verse, to cut off him that privily slande­reth his neighbour; heer hee voweth, not to suffer him that hath an high look and proud heart; or, as some Translati­ons, have it, a proud looke and a high heart. Elatumoculis & latum pectore, sai­eth Musculus: vastum corde, or turgid [...] corde, saith Arias Montanus: tumentem a­nime, saith Iunius. The phrases are som­what different, but they all aime at the same mark, and are all sufficiently war­rantable by the Originall. Wee are, then, in the first place to consider of the vice heer censured; It is Pride, both outward in the look, and inward in the heart. Secondly, of the censure oppo­sed unto it; It is▪ not suffering: so insuffe­rable a vice it is. Him that hath an high look and proud heart, will I not suffer.

Had our Prophet said, I will not suf­fer a proud heart; the question might have been, How wee should come to knowe it: hee therefore, to [...]ase us of that doubt, takes the right way to dis­cover it by an high look; God having [Page 191] so both ordained and ordered it, that our secret thoughts and hidden affecti­ons should be manifested to the world by outward acts. What man knoweth the things of man, save the spirit of man which is in him? saith the Apostle, 1. Cor. 2. 11. But, there hee speaks of a direct and im­mediate, of a primary and infallible knowledge, which is proper to God, and God alone; in as much as hee it is, and hee alone that searcheth the heart, and trieth the reins, Ier. 17. 10. No man, no divell, no Angell, no created sub­stance, can possibly attaine to that, ex­cept it be by divine dispensation, by re­velation supernaturall. The ordinary knowledge then which we have of the heart, is gathered by discourse of rea­son, by observation of marks & effects; as the physician ghesseth of the disease, by the Symptomes. We judge of the weather, by the face of the sky; of the motions of the wheels of a clocke or a watch, by the pointing of the Index: wee judge of the motion of the Sunne, by the progress of the shadow in the [Page 192] diall: wee judge of the motion of the heart, by the beating of the pulse: wee judge of the fountaine, by the streame which issues from it: and, lastly, wee judge of the depth of the foundation, by the height of the building which is raised upon it: and as justly may wee gather the pride of the heart from an high look. Iudge not, lest yee bee iudged, saith our Saviour, Mat. 7. 1. And his A­postle, Iudge nothing before the time untill the Lord come, who will lighten things that are hid in darknes, and make the counsels of the heart manifest, 1. Cor. 4. 5. But they both speak of an uncharitable, unadvi­sed peremptory and finall judgement; not so much touching the present dis­position of men what they are, as their future state what they shall bee.

This then notwithstanding, as wee lawfully may and usually doo judge of the passions of the minde (of feare, of hope, of griefe, of joy, of hatred, of love, of anger, of jealousie) by outward signes: so may wee as lawfully judge of the vertues or vices of the soul by out­ward [Page 193] effects; as it were of the goodnes of the tree by the fruits, or of the value of coin by the stamp set upon it. And more safe it is to judge of vices than of vertues; in as much as few are so despe­rately wicked, but they desire at least to appear good. Vertue may be coun­terfeit, and that so cunningly, as the i­mitation shall seem to exceed the co­py; the counterfeit, the truth: but yet I think was never man so madde as to counterfeit a vice; wee labour rather by all means to conceal it: yet we can­not do it so cunningly, but that it shews it self at times, as it were in a glasse, ei­ther in our speech, or in our apparell, or in our gait, or in our countenance, or in our actions, or in all. And doubt­lesse the wise observation of these, is beyond all the rules that either judicia­ry Astrology by casting nativities, or Physiognomy by inspection of faces, or Chyromancy by behoulding the lines of the hand, can afford. Of these then it may bee truely said, ‘Qui bene conijciet, vates hic optimus esto.’

[Page 194]But, amongst all vices, there is none (onely drunkenness excepted) that dis­covers it self sooner than pride. For the speech, wee read of a bragging & boa­sting mouth, a mouth of pride, Iude ve. 16: for the gait, wee read of a foot of pride, Psal. 36. 11: for apparell, of a crown of pride, Esay 28. 1; of a chaine of pride, Psal. 73. 6. So that pride in the heart can no more hide it self, than fire that lies in the bosome, or oyle that is wrung in the fist. Many that know not the man, yet point at him as hee walkes the streets, and say, There goes a proud fellow: which, men usually pronounce of no vice beside, but the drunkeard; because these two chiefely bewray themselves: and therfore doth the pro­phet Habbacuc join them both together, 2. verse 5.

When a man shall see a cloak imbro­dered over with woods, and parks, and Lordships, and lined within with obli­gations, and bands, and statutes; may wee not justly say, that such a man is so farre from cloaking his pride, that hee [Page 195] proclaims it in his cloak? It was said of old, that soft raiment was the weare in Kings Courts; whereas, now a-daies, it is so bedaubed with gold and silver, so loaden with pearle and pretious stone, as it is hard to judge, whether it more burden their bodies, or lighten their purses. The Poet could say of the wo­men of his time; ‘Matrona incedit census induta nepotum.’

And another: ‘—Pars minima est ipsa puella sui.’

But, what would they say? or, rather, what would they not say, if they lived in these our daies, and saw that we see; when, for apparell, a man can see little or no difference betwixt the Lord and the Tenant, the Master & the Servant, the Prince and the Subject?

But, what a marvellous thing, yea what a madnes is it, To see a man, crea­ted according to the image of God, & Lord of all the visible workes of his hands, to growe proud upon the furres of beasts; upon silkes, the excrements of worms; upon gemmes, or gold, or [Page 196] silver, somewhat better concocted and finer part of the earth; or, as the Pro­phet cals it, thick clay? Hab. 2. 6. Yea, to growe proud of that which hee car­rieth about him, as a prisoner doth his manacles or fetters, in token of his of­fence; our raiment beeing both the ef­fect and the badge of the fal of our first parents, and of our fall in them. Had they stood in their first integrity, and wee in them, we should no more have been ashamed of our nakednes in our age, than in our infancy: wheras now, beeing disrobed of originall justice, we are driven to seek these coverings, part­ly for defence, and partly for hiding our shame.

If the clothing of Salomon in his roy­alty (who had the rarities of the known world at his command) were inferiour to that of the Lilly; why should wee think the better of our selves for a gay coat, or a quaint fashion, or a fringed rose, or a fine feather? All that we can get by it, is this, that in covering our bodies, wee discover to the world the [Page 197] humour of our mindes: by proud ap­parell wee disclose a proud heart, but yet more by a proud looke; and there­fore sayes our Prophet, Him that an high looke and proud heart.

As we finde a man in what Inne hee is lodged by the signe: so wee knowe whether pride have taken up her lod­ging in the heart, by the signe of the looke. As a wanton looke is a signe of a lustfull heart, and a sober looke of a chaste heart, and a sad looke of a heauy heart, and a cheerfull looke of a merry heart, and a modest looke of an humble heart: so is an high looke of a proud heart. By this, as one truely sayes, a proud heart is traced unto, as a Deere or Hare are traced to the place where they be, by their footing.

A difference I finde in holy Scrip­ture betwixt Oculus elevatus, and elatus oculis: the one implies a looke lifted up to God; the other, lifted up above our brethren. The former our Prophet professes Psal. 121. I vvill lift up mine eyes unto the mountaines, from vvhence [Page 198] mine helpe shall come: and our Saviour practised it, Iohn 11. 41. Iesus lift up his eyes & said, father I thank thee, because thou hast heard mee: and so did Stephen, Acts 7. 55. Being full of the holy Ghost, hee loo­ked stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Iesus standing at the right hand of God. Now, this kinde of lifting up the looke, in as much as it serves or helps to lift up the soule, either in an holy confidence, or heavenly, contem­plation, or both; is not onely lawfull but commendable, and tis a token of a lowly minde. But this high superci­lious looke, this lifting up of the eyes heer spoken of, is when a man beholds those that are under him with a scor­full and disdaining countenance; like one that lookes downe from an high Tower, to whom, men walking under, seeme to be but crowes in com­parison of himselfe: and this elatus o­culis is that doth manifest la [...]um corde; and therefore doth our Prophet joyne them both together: againe, Psal. 131. 1. Lord I am not high minded. But how [Page 199] doth that appeare? I have no proud looks; and so doth Salomon, Pro. 21. 4. An hau­ty looke and proud heart, which is the light of the wicked, is sinne. When a man by facing, and strouting, and bearing his head aloft, would have all men that see him take notice of his noble des­cent, of his honourable place, of his great estate, of his comly personage, or some singular quality, or admirable excellency that is in him, or hee thinks to be in himselfe; his hauty looke is an evident signe, an argument infallible of his proud heart: and heerein is the looke more offensive than the heart; in that, though the pride of the heart bee more odious to God, yet is the hauti­nesse of the looke more scandalous to men. Nay, in the 6. of Prov. It is one & the first of those six & seaven things which God hateth, and his soule ab­horreth; & therefore will he also with such severity punish it, as he threatneth by his Prophet, The high looke of man shal be humbled, and the loftinesse of men shall be abased, and the Lord alone shall be exal­ted [Page 200] in that day, Esa. 2. 11.

Thus much of outward pride, spe­cially in the looke, and the discove­ring of the pride of the heart by it: we now come to the proud heart it selfe, the true cause and fountaine of all out­ward pride; and howsoever outward pride cannot be without this, yet this may bee, and sometimes is without it.

An high looke and proud heart will I not suffer. By some it is rendred, Latum corde, a large heart. Now, the heart may be enlarged, either by knowledge as Salomons was: God gave him wisedom and understanding exceeding much, & la­titudem cordis, and a large heart, even as the sand upon the Sea shore. 1. King. 4. 29. Or by sanctifying grace, whereof our Prophet, Psal. 119. 32. I will run the way of thy Commandements, when thou shalt have enlarged my heart: or by covetous­nesse, whence some render it, Insatis­bili corde; or by joy, for as sadnesse con­tracts and drawes it together, so joy dilates and enlarges it: or lastly, by pride, not containing it selfe within its [Page 201] owne bounds; but swelling like the Sea, and being puft up like the stomack that is filled with winde. And as the swelling of the spleene is very dange­rous for impairing the health & strēgth of the bodie, and of the sailes for the overbearing of a little vessell: so this swelling of the heart is, of all spirituall diseases, the most dāgerous to the soule; whether it arise from the gift of tem­porall blessings, of riches, of beauty, of birth, of power, of eloquence, of knowledge; or from an opinion that we have those vertues in us, which indeed wee have not; or that we have them in a greater measure and perfection, than indeed we have; or that we have them from our selves and our owne industry, not from God: or that we have obtai­ned them from God, but by our owne merit: or lastly, that by reason of them wee over-value our selves, and despise others.

And herein lies the great danger of this vice, that it arises out of vertue it selfe, though not of it selfe, but by rea­son [Page 202] of our corruption; and by that meanes, the Divell both staines the worke, and steales away the reward. It is impossible to have good parts and not to know it: & a very difficult thing it is for a man to know so much touching himself, & not thereupon to be the bet­ter opinioned of himselfe: with the ve­ry increase of sanctification, if we take not good heed this creeps-in; & which is strange, is noted to spring even out of humility. A secret pride is some­times occasioned by not being proud: and then is it more deformed, than if it appeared in his own proper colours. As Saint Hierome noted long since, Mul­to deformior est superbia quae sub quibusdā humilitatis signis latet: And as it occa­sionally springs out of the life and flower of vertue: so doth it out of the ashes of dead vices, the carcases of mortified sinnes; as wormes doe of rot­ten timber.

Cum bene pugnaris, cum cuncta subacta putaris,
Quae magis infestat vincenda superbia restat.

[Page 203]It is like the shirt, the first thing wee put on when we come into the world, and the last we put off when we go out of the world. It runnes through all e­states: it infects the Artificer, the Sol­dier, the Lawyer, the Citizen, the Schollar, the Courtier, the Counsel­ler, and hath Vniversalem quandam in­fluentiā in omnia vitia, saith the School-man, an universall kinde of influence into all vices; in as much as it is an a­version from God, which is the first essentiall part of all vice. It infected the Angels in heaven, unto whom that of the Babylonian King is applyed by the Antients, I will ascend into heaven, and exalt my throne aboue the starres of God: I will ascent above the height of the clowds, Esay 14▪ 14. It infected our first parents in Paradise. Primi hominis peccatum pri­mum superbia fuit, qua quoddam spirituale bonum supra mensuram suae conditionis ap­petivit. The first sinne of the first man, was pride, by which hee longed for a certaine spirituall good, above the reach and capacity of his condition. It [Page 204] is the conclusion of Aquinas, and seems to answer rightly to the Serpents sug­gestion, God doth know that when ye shall eate thereof, yee shall bee as Gods, knowing good and evill.

Lastly, Pride, by Divines is ranged among the seaven captaine or capitall sinnes; so called, because from them the rest stream, as from their wel-heads. Nay, by Gregorie it is made the Queene and Mistris of the capitall vices them­selves. Ipsa vitiorum Regina superbia, saith hee, cum devictum plenè cor ceperit, mox illud septem principalibus vitijs quasi quibusdam suis ducibus devastandum tra­dit, ex quibus vitiorum multitudines oriun­tur: Pride the Queen of vices, having once taken full possession of the heart, delivers it over to the seaven principall sinnes, as it were to her chiefe Leaders, by them to bee laide waste, and from hence all the following troopes of en­ormities ensue. And so I come from the Vice to the Censure; Him that hath an high looke and proud heart, I will not suffer: or as some Translations have it, more [Page 205] literally therein agreeing with the O­riginall, Ipsum non potero, I cannot suf­fer.

Now the reasons which chiefly mo­ved him not to suffer this vice, tou­ched him partly as hee was a reasonable man, endued with intellectuall and mo­rall vertues; partly as hee was a member of the Church, and the childe of God, inspired with the spirit of God; partly as hee was an housholder, the father of children, the master of servants, the head and governour of a family: and lastly, in part as hee was a King the So­veraigne of a populous and mighty na­tion.

First, then as a reasonable man, hee knew there was nothing in man, which could in reason make him proud.

Vnde superbit homo? cuius cōceptio turpis,
Nasci poena, labor vita, necesse mori.

Whence should a man grow proud? whose conception is shamefull, his birth painefull, his life toylsome, his death necessary. The dayes of his pil­grimage heere on earth are few and e­vill: [Page 206] and yet even in those few, subject he is to infinite infirmities in his body, partly by casualties from without, and partly, by diseases from within; to in­finite error & ignorance in his mind, to infinite perversnes & distraction in his wil: he comes whining into the world, & departs groaning out of it; he shoo­teth forth as a flower and is cut downe, he vanisheth as a shadow, & continueth not; his flesh is but as grasse, the winde bloweth over it, and it is withered, and the place therof shall know it no more; his breath goeth forth, and hee retur­neth to his earth, and then all his thoughts perish.

Secondly, as a member of the Church and childe of God, hee had reason to op­pose pride. As a member of the Church, in as much as schisms and heresies, sects & separations, which rent and molest the Church, spring for the most part out of a vain affectation of singularity: as a member of the Church, hee knew that man in his best estate was moulded out of the dust of the earth; that after the [Page 207] fall, his soule was spotted with the le­prosie of sinne; to which, by the daily adding of infinite actual transgressions, if God should enter into judgement with him, hee were not able to answer one for a thousand.

Againe, as Gods deare childe, hee had great reason to oppose against those, who are of all the greatest Rebells a­gainst God. The Prodigall is an enemy directly to himselfe, indirectly to God: the Covetous an enemie di­rectly to men, indirectly to God: but the Proud is a direct enemie to God himselfe. For whereas other sins arise, some out of infirmitie, some out of ignorance, some out of a desire of profit, or pleasure, or honour, or ease, or revenge; the proud man hath no cause to be proud, but Pride it selfe, which saith like Pharaoh, I will not O­bey. Superbia (saith Aquinas) habet a­versionem [...] Deo, ex hoc ipso quod non vult Deo & eius regulae subijci: Pride hath an aversion from God, even for this very cause, because it will not be subject to [Page 208] God and his law: and thereupon hee quotes that of Boëtius, Omnia alia vitia fugiunt à Deo, sola superbia se Deo opponit; all other vices flie from God, pride a­lone stands out, and makes head against him.

And as pride resists God in a speciall manner, so God in a speciall manner resists it; as both Saint Peter tels us in his first Epistle, the fift Chapter, and fift verse: and Saint Iames in his fourth chap. and sixt vers. Which he manife­steth to the worlde in punishing this vice in a speciall manner, by letting a man fall into other sinnes, for the cor­recting or curing of Pride. Hee lets a man fall into in continency, into drun­kennesse, into murther, into theft, that so hee may learne to blush at his pride. The Philosophers of the Gentiles whē they knew God, and yet in the pride of their heart would not glorifie him as God, God gave them up to vile af­fections for their punishment: but for the cure of his blessed Apostle, lest he should be puffed up with abundance [Page 209] of revelations, hee sent him the mes­senger of Satan to buffet him: which was either a sinne, or doubtlesse a strong solicitation to sinne. When the Israelites were to possesse the Land of Canaan, the inhabitants were not ut­terly driven out; lest the wilde beasts should devour them: and God hath left the reliques of Originall sinne in the best, while we are heer in warfare upon earth; lest it being utterly vanquished, we should be made a prey to self-love, which is a branch of pride; it beeing either Amor illicitus propriae excellentiae, or appetitus celsitudinis illicitae: An un­lawfull love of our owne worth, or a longing for an unlawfull height.

That sinne then must of necessitie be very odious in the sight of God, which hee prevents, or scourges, or reformes with other grievous sinnes: and being so odious to God, it cannot but be ve­ry displeasing to the sons of God. If God denounce warre against any man, all the creatures are ready to serve him in their course: those then that he pro­claimes [Page 210] Rebels, the least that we can do (if we would shew our selves good and faithfull Subjects) is, To professe that wee may not, wee must not, we cannot suffer them; in as much as To lodge a knowne traitor in our house, or to give him countenance, or to converse fami­liarly with him, and then to give out that we carry as sound and loyal a heart to our Soveraign as the best, is a matter that rather deserves laughter, than be­leef.

Thirdly, our Prophet had reason thus to oppose Pride, as hee was the head of a family. Disobedience in chil­dren towards their parents, stubborn­nesse in servants towards their masters, envy in brothers one towards another; name Pride, and you have named the mother and nurse of them all. The least thing that is spoken to a man of this hu­mor, to range him into order, is as bur­ning coales cast upon flax: it presently sets him on fire. Hee envies his superi­ours, and scorns to be commanded by them: his equals hee disdains, & scorns [Page 211] to converse with them: and for his in­feriours, if hee could, hee would tram­ple them under feet. Hee commonly sets-going, in pursuing his vanities and pleasing his fancy, within lesse than a quarter, the allowance of a whole year: then must he with unjust dealing, either at home or abroad, to the dishonour of GOD, and the scandall of the house where hee serves, make up that breach, and repair those ruines which his owne proud humour hath caused. I will bee bould to say it (though it bee not com­monly held so) that, all things conside­red, drunkennesse or incontinency, or theft is more tolerable, and lesse trou­blesome in a family, than Pride.

Fourthly and lastly, our Prophet had reason to oppose this vice, as hee was a King: not onely, because the pride of great ones must be maintained & born-out by exaction, extortion, and rapine from the lower Subject; but because it never leaves pearching and pushing forward, till it set it selfe higher than is meet: whence issue divelish and dam­nable [Page 212] practices, in ridding such out of the way, as they think bee likely to hin­der them. If Mordecai will not bow to Haman, a whole nation must bee rooted out for it. Finally, Only by pride man ma­keth contention, Pro▪ 13. 10: wheresoever strife goeth, there is pride, at least in one of the parties contending, if not on both sides. Sometimes, it stirreth up men, and imbouldeneth them to offer wrongs: somtimes, it imbittereth men, and maketh them weyward against the right: sometimes, it causeth the one to be carelesse of dealing according to e­quity, and the other to be impatient of bearing any injuries. The best use then for pride in a Common-wealth, is, To make work for the jayler or hang-man, or at least to keep the Lawyer from i­dleness.

The last thing which I will speak of in the handling of these words, is, that if David would not suffer pride in o­thers, hee would much less allow it in himselfe. Many gifts indeed hee had, which were able to puffe up flesh and [Page 213] blood; yet none of them all could moove him. For beauty, hee was of a lovely countenance, & comely visage; his strength such, as he was able to break a boaw of steel; his bouldnes and courage such, that hee had the heart of a Lion: beeing but green in years, but a boy in a manner, hee encountred and slew a Bear, a Lion, a Giant of six cubites and an hand-breath of height. Hee was ta­ken from the sheepfolds, and from fol­lowing the Ewes great with yong, and from thence advanced to feed Gods people in Iacob, and his inheritance in Israell. Hee was so gracious before his comming to the Crown, that the soule of Ionathan (Sauls eldest son) was knit to him: and the very women sang in their courses, Saul hath slaine his thou­sand; and David, his ten thousand. Hee happily escaped the stratagems and perse­cutions of Saul, and his Counsellers, and men of warre: hee found courteous entertainment even among the enemies of God and his nation.

After hee came to the Crowne, hee [Page 214] obtained victories upon the Iebusites, the Moabites, the Edomites, the Ara­mites, the Ammonites, and upon the Philistines, many a time and often. At home, hee suddenly suppressed the re­bellions of Ishbosheth, of Sheba, of Ab­solom, of Adoniah. His Wisdom was such, that by Gods assistance hee drave A­chitophel (who was held in those daies, for his wisdom, as the Oracle of God) to hang himself with his owne hands: his favour with God such, that he was ac­knowledged to bee a man after Gods owne heart: so skilfull was hee in Mu­sick, that hee was stiled the sweet Sin­ger of Israel; so expert in Poetry, that his Psalms were even then during his life publiquely sung in the Congrega­tion, as they are at this day; his prophe­ticall spirit such, that he cleerly foresaw and foretould more particulars of the Person, the Office & Kingdom of the Messias (of whom hee was a type, and from whom Christ was to come) than any one of the Patriarchs or Prophets that went before him; his Power such, [Page 215] that hee had under his command many renowned and worthy Leaders, and to the full number of thirteene hundred thousand strōg men that drew swords; his riches such, that hee left his Son to­ward the building of the Temple an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver, [...]spans [...] and of brass and iron passing waight; a matter, were it not for the testimony of Scripture, beyond beleef.

Besides all this, his Patience was such, that hee waited Gods leasure many yeares betwixt the time of his anoin­ting, and his investing in the Throne; his thorough & found Repentance such, that tis left as a patern to all succeeding ages; his Charity such, that he prayed for his enemies; hee caused the Ama­lechite to be put to death, that gave out hee had slain Saul; and the servants of Ishbosheth, who indeed slew their ma­ster Sauls son; and for the death of Ab­solon hee sorely lamented, though his owne life and state were endangered by his practices: his Loyalty such, that [Page 216] hee spared Saul twice, when hee might have dispatched him and made a way to his owne advancement. His Pietie such, that hee desired rather to bee a doore-keeper in the house of God, than to live at ease in the Kings Palace. And lastly, a Promise was made him, that his sonne Salomon should succeed him, and that his seed should bee esta­blished in the throne.

Were not these strong motives to puffe up flesh and blood, to make him­selfe conceited and proud of his owne worth? Yet heare what himselfe pro­fesseth of his humility, the ground­worke of all his other vertues and abi­lities: Psalme 131, I am not high min­ded, I have no proud lookes, I doo not ex­ercise my selfe in great matters which are too high for mee: but I refraine my soule and keepe it lowe, like as a childe that is weaned from his mother, yea my soule is e­uen as a weaned childe.

But, what was it that kept him so lowe, notwithstanding his greatnesse, and so many rare excellencies and per­fections [Page 217] wherewith he was endowed? The first no doubt was the grace of God: for, as he gives his grace to the humble, so it is his grace which makes them humble. The second, was those Crosses and a [...]lictions, both outward & inward, wherewith God̄ fro time to time had exercised him; From my youth upward, thy terrors have I suffered with a troubled minde. The third, was the con­sideration both of his naturall corrup­tion, I was borne in iniquity, and in sinne hath my mother conctived mee; as also of his actuall transgressions, They are moe than the haires of my head, and mine heart hath failed mee. The fourth, was the ac­knowledgement of his owne frailty, Hee knoweth whereof we are made, hee re­membreth that we are but dust. The fift, was the contemplation of Gods great­nesse; the greatest among the sonnes of men, being lesse in comparison of him, than the silliest worme that crawles on the face of the earth, in comparison of them. The sixt, was the often exercising of himselfe with fasting, with prayer, [Page 218] with divine meditations and holy soli­loquies, with sackcloth and ashes, with making his teares his drinke, and min­ling his bread with weeping. The sea­venth, was his studying day and night in Gods lawe (according to the com­mandement given to the king, Deut. 17. 20, that his heart might not bee lifted vp above his brethren) and esteeming it above the hony and the hony comb, above gold an silver, yea much fined gold, and precious stone. The eightth and last, was a full assurance & free con­fession that God was privie to all his thoughts, that hee would reward him according to his works; that hee was both the Author, Maintainer, and Fi­nisher of whatsoever good, either in his bodie, or in his soule, or in his estate: according to that memorable speech of Saint Paul, l. Cor. 4. 7. What hast thou, which thou didst not receiue? and if thou didst receive it, why doost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? Let our conclusion then still be, in regard of all the good we either haue or doe, [Page 219] Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini t [...]o da gloriam: Not unto us O Lord, not vnto us, but unto thy Name give the praise.

Verse 6. Mine eyes shall bee upon the faithfull of the Land, that they may dwell with mee: hee that walketh in a perfect vvay, hee shall serve me.

OVr Prophet having, in the verse going before, made knowne in part, what they were whom he would not receive into his family and seruice; Hee comes in this verse to tell us of what condition they should be, whom hee purposeth to admit, Mine eyes shall [...]e to the faithfull of the Land, &c.

It is not good that man should bee alone, sayes God himselfe, Gen. 2. 18. And, Woe be to him that is alone, saith the wise Sa­lomon, Eccles. 4. 10. And, Solus, vel De­us, vel Daemon, saith Aristotle, He that desires to be alone, is either of a more base, or divine metall, than men com­monly are made of. Vpon this foun­dation of mans sociable nature, King­domes and Cōmon-wealths are built, consisting of cities, and townes, and [Page 221] parishes; and they againe of housholds and families; and they againe of hus­band and wife, parents and children, Masters and Servants: of which last re­lation I am chiefly to speake at this time.

Though the name and nature of a Servant were first brought into the world by the ungratiousnesse of Cham, Gen. 9. 25: Yet is the impression of su­periority and subjection so universally stampt upon the face of Nature, that it reacheth up to heaven; there being a greater light to rule the day, and a les­ser light borrowed from and subordi­nate to the greater, to rule the night. If wee ascend higher to the Angels, there are among them principality & domination: nay, more than so, it pearceth downe to hell, where wee reade of Beelzebub a Prince of Divels. And experience hath farther observed, that even among unreasonable crea­tures, this forme is kept; The birds be­ing by a naturall instinct subject to the Eagle, the beasts to the Lion, and the [Page 222] Bees marvailously obeying and reve­rencing their Master. But, this truth shines yet more clearely in man him himselfe, a little map or module as it were of the great world; his members being subject to the head, his body to the soule, his appetite to reason. And this principle is so deeply ingraven up­on the conscience of all, that the very barbarous nations, who retaine any sparke of civility, willingly subscribe vnto it.

Whether then wee looke upward to heaven, or downeward to hell, or out­ward to the creatures, or inward to our selves, we shall every where finde cha­racters imprinted of superiority and subjection, command and obedience, domination and service. To take it then as granted, to bee a thing not lawfull onely, but commendable; nor com­mendable onely, but as the case now stands, in a manner necessary; I will proceed to the unfolding of the words themselves. And first, of the former part of the verse, Mine eyes shall be to the [Page 223] faithfull of the Land, that they may dwell with mee.

Faithfulnesse in holy Scripture is ta­ken in diverse senses: Sometimes for steadfastnes and assurance of beleefe; Put forth thine hand, and put it into my side, and bee not faithless, but faithfull, Iohn 20. 27: Somtimes for truth of speech; Fi­delis est hic sermo, This is a true & faith­full saying, 1. Tim. 4. 9: Sometimes for the profession of Christian religion; If any faithfull man or faithfull woman have widowes, let them minister unto them, 1. Tim. 5. 16: Sometimes for certainty & constancy in performing what a man promiseth; Let us keep the profession of our hope without wavering, for hee is faithfull that hath promised, Heb. 10. 23: Sometimes for perseverance in the truth; Bee thou faithfull unto the death, and I will give thee the crown of life, Rev. 2. 10. And, lastly, sometimes for a carefull and conscio­nable discharge of ones duty in that place whereto he is called: thus Christ is said to have been a mercifull and faith­full high Priest, in things concerning God, [Page 224] Heb. 2. 17. And Paul testifies of Tychicus, that he was a faithful minister in the Lord, Ephes. 6. 21. And in this sense I take this word specially to bee understood heer in my Text: Mine eyes shall be to the faith­full of the land, that they may dwell with me.

As the Art of navigation is most pro­per to a Mariner; courage, to a Soul­dier; arithmetick, to a Merchant; ut­terance, to an Oratour: so is fidelity, to a Servant. Wee commend a ship, not so much for the fine shrowds and tack­ling, or for the gilding or painting of it, as for the sayling; and a horse, not so much for the rich bosses, the trap­pings & caparisons, as for the running; and a sword, not so much for the han­dle or pummell hatcht or inameld, or for a velvet scabberd imbroidered with pearl, or set with pretious stone; as for the temper of the blade and cutting: so we commend a servant, not so much for his strength, his nimblenesse, his comelinesse, his parentage, his bravery in clothes, or invention of fashions, his court-like behaviour, or gracefull [Page 225] speech, his pleasant wit or merry dis­position, his subtle and crafty fe [...]ches, his knowledge of foraine States & lan­guages; as for his fidelity: Any of the rest, nay all the rest without it, serving only to make a servant more disposed & more able too, as well for the plotting as the acting of villany; wheras fidelity, having joyned with it but some few of the rest in a mediocrity, makes him ser­viceable in a good degree.

This is the commendation of Moses, Heb. 3. 5. Moses verely was faithfull in all his house, as a servant. And it is required in Stewards, that a man bee found faithfull, 1. Corinthians 4. 2. And our Saviour de­mandes the question,Mat. 24 [...] 45 Who then is a faith­full servant and wi [...]e, whom his Master hath made Ruler over his house: They all thereby implying in my understan­ding, that faithfulnesse is one of the Cardinall properties, if not the princi­pall, required in a good servant. Servus fidelis protectio fortis, munitum palatium, vivus thesaurus, saide Nazianzen; A faithfull servant is a strong protection, [Page 226] a fenced palace, a living treasure. And therefore the great Alexander, being enquired where his treasure was, poin­ted with his finger to his domesticke servants.

Now, faithfulness presupposeth knowledge and diligence, and shewes it selfe either in deeds or vvords, in actions or in speeches: In actions first, when a ser­vant doth that which tēds not so much to the satisfying of his Masters vain humour and sensuall appetite (which is sometimes wanton and lascivious, and sometimes againe malicious and bloo­dy) as the advancement and furthe­rance of his true and reall good. And thus doe I take Saint Paul to bee understood, 1. Cor. 7. 23. Yee are bought vvith a price, bee not the servants of men. And againe, in the second of Titus, the 9. and 10. verses, Let Servants be subiect to their Masters, and please them in all things, not answering again▪ neither pickers, but that they shew all good faithfulnes (all good faithfulnes) adorning the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. In both [Page 227] which places (as it seems) he would put a difference betwixt Christian servants and the bondslaves of the Heathen: their Masters having over them ius v [...]tae & necis, absolute power of life and death; and they being instrumenta ani­mata, living Engines, not so much re­specting the justness and equitie of that which was commanded, as the wil and pleasure of the Commander; such as Tigillinus and Petronius were to Ner [...]: But in these Cases better obey God than man. The Masters turne is to bee served vsquead aras, as far as honesty and pietie will give leave; and no fur­ther.

Againe, fidelity shewes it selfe in deeds, when the servant preferres his Masters good before his owne; his Masters gaine, his ease, his liberty, his safety before his owne: but as Salomon askes the question, Pro. 20. 6, Many men will boast everyone of his good­ness, but who can finde a faithfull man? So may wee justly demand, Where shall a man finde such a faithfull servant? [Page 228] Surely he is a pretious jewell, and ther­fore hard to bee found: yet such a ser­vant was our Prophet to his Master Saul, who sought him as a flea, or as one would hunt a Partridge in the mountaines: yet when Abishai would have nayled him whiles he slept, with his speare to the earth, David would not suffer him; hee spared his Masters life, though it were to the indangering of his owne, when hee might have se­cured his owne by taking away his: and therefore, by Gods blessing, him­selfe afterwards found the like affected to him; Thou shalt not goe foorth, for thou art now worth ten thousand of us, 2. Sam. 18. And againe, Thou shalt goe no more out vvith us to battell, lest thou quench the light of Israel, 21. of the same booke.

Fidelity in words shewes it self, part­ly in concealing of secrets and imper­fections, and by laying the finger upon a mans mouth, and sealing up his lips in such a case, whereof Salomon speakes, Prov. 11. 13. Hee that goeth about as a tale­bearer, discovereth a secret: but hee that is [Page 229] of a faithfull heart, concealeth a matter. And for this speciall quality it was, that Augustus so highly esteemed and re­warded Mecanas; it being the property of a foole to be full of leakes, Plenus ri­m [...]rū hac at (que) illac diffluens, No sooner is any secret poured into his eare, but it drops out at his tongue; he is in paine till hee be delivered of it, as a woman that is great with childe, or a stomach that is full of winde. Yet two things have often drawne secrets even out of the bosome of those who have beene otherwise held wise men; the intice­ments of women, and the strength of wine: Whereas on the other side it is found by experience, that a sober and chaste heart is the surest Casket to cō ­mit the jewell of a Secrecy unto.

Besides, fidelity shewes [...] selfe in words (if occasion serve, and a man bee called unto it) in giving such counsell as hee conceives to be not most accep­table and passable, but most profitable and wholesome; Such hearty counsell as Salomon speakes of, Prov. 27. 9. As oyntment [Page 230] and perfume reioyce the heart: so doth the sweetnes of a mans friend by hear­ty counsell: and in the multitude of such Counsellers there is health, 24. 6. And therefore one speciall thing which the Primitive Christians ever mentioned when they prayed for the Emperor (as Tertullian in his Apolog [...] tels us) was this, that God would send him Senatum sidelem, faithfull Counsellers. And it seems our Prophet alluded heerunto; in as much as where our English reads it, To dwell with me; Arias Montanus, rende­ring word for word, translates it, Ad sedendum mecum: and Tremelius a Iew borne, Vt consideant mecum, That they may sit with me, as it were at Counsel­table: and Iunius hath this note upon it, Bonos consiliarios, mihi adhibebo, I will procure me faithfull Counsellers.

Now as counsell is the life of action and authority; so is discreet liberty the life of counsell: which being once remooved, for mine owne part, I finde no difference betwixt a friend and a flatterer, a parasite and a Counseller; [Page 231] such as Ionadab, Amnons Counseller & friend, to whom he no sooner disclo­sed his unnaturall affection to his sister Tamar, but Ionadab presently findes out, and shewes him a trick how hee might compass his desire, and satisfie his unlawfull lust, 2. Sam. 13. Where­as had hee beene a faithfull Counseller indeed, hee would have laboured by all meanes to have reclaimed him from his mischievous purpose, & have stopt such a villanie, as afterwards brought shame to Tamar, griefe to David, death to Amnon.

Somewhat better was Ioab: who though hee wickedly gave way to Da­vids cruelty, in making away Vriah, according to the tenor of the letter sent unto him, 2. Sam. 11; Yet afterwards he did him the office of a faithfull Coun­seller, when David retyred himselfe unseasonably upon the death of Abso­lon: I sweare by the Lord (saith hee) ex­cept thou come out, there will not tarry one man with thee this night, 2. Sam. 19. 7. And again, in the 24. of the same book, [Page 232] when the King in the pride of his heart would needs have his people to bee numbred, The Lord thy God, saith Ioab, increase thy people an hundred folde more than they bee, and that the eyes of my Lord the King may see it; but why doth my Lord the King desire this thing? Which howbeit at that time David hearkened not unto, yet I [...]ab therein did his part: and I make no doubt, but the King himself afterward, when hee felt the hand of God heavie upon him, wished he had followed that advice.

The counsell of a grave and wise man, who speakes not out of passion or private respects, but out of a zeale of the publique good, & of the person of him to whom hee gives it, should bee entertained and reverenced as the O­racle of God. And though it bee true, that bookes written in former ages (which are justly called dead Counsel­lers) be for the most part more faith­full, in regarde that they speake with­out blushing or feare, to the present [Page 233] times: Yet as true it is, that Counsel­lers (which are or should bee living bookes) if they bee faithfull, are un­doubtedly the more usefull, in regard they best know the disease, and should seek out the remedy of the times wher­in they live.

It is not alwaies easie & gentle phy­sicke which is the best; neither is it al­waies crossing coūsell wch is the worst: desperate is that mans case and past all cure, whose eare judgeth all to be harsh that is wholesome; and nothing profi­table, but what is pleasing. Our Pro­phet was of another minde, when hee spake, out of deliberation, Psal. 141, Let the righteous smite mee; for that is a bene­fit: and let him reprove mee, and it shall bee a precious oyle that shall not breake my head. And so was Salomon, Prov. 27. 6. Faith­full are the wounds of a friend, but the kis­ses of an enemy are deceitfull. And it com­monly proves true, that hee who re­proves not out of vaine affectation of singularity, but with discretion and out of an honest heart, shall commonly [Page 234] finde more favor, certainly more com­fort at the last, than hee who flattereth with his lips.

But Counsell is best sought for at their hands, who either have no part at all in the cause whereof they instruct; or else are so far engaged, that them­selves are to beare the greatest adven­ture in the success of their owne coun­sels. Vpon that counsell which Rehobo­ams Counsellers gave him, are set the two marks whereby bad counsell is for ever best discerned; that it was greene for the persons, and violent for the mat­ter.

Principis est virtus maxima, Nosse suos.

It is a great part of princely vertue, to observe the humours of his subjects in generall, but chiefly of his Counsel­lers; the greatest trust between man & man, being the trust of giving counsell. For, in other confidences, men commit the parts of their life, their lands, their goods, their childe, their credit, some particular affaire: but, to such as they make their Counsellers, they commit [Page 235] the Whole; by how much the more they are obliged to all faith and inte­grity. Neither need the wisest Princes think it any diminution to their great­nes, or derogation to their sufficiency, to rely upon Counsell; since the anci­ent times doo set forth in figure both the incorporation and inseparable con­junction of Counsel with Kings, in that they say, Iupiter did marry Metis, which signifieth Counsell: so as soveraignty or authority is married to Counsell.

The second condition which our Prophet proposeth, to bee found in such as he meant to entertain in his ser­vice, is, Walking in a perfect way, or wal­king perfect in the way: it comes both to one; and the meaning of it is, The ta­king of a godly and religious course, as hath already been shewed in opening the sense of the former part of the se­cond verse, I will doo wisely in the perfect way; so heer, Hee that walketh in a perfect way, hee shall serve mee. These two then must go together, Faithfulness and God­linesse, Piety and Fidelity, civill Honesty & [Page 236] Religion: neither indeed can they bee, as they should, either thrifty for them­selves, or trusty to their masters, who bee not first religious towards God. It was the memorable speech of Constan­tius, father to the great Constantine, to such as forsook their religion, that they might please and serve him.

Godliness, then, is requisite in the ser­vant, first in regard of himself, and then in regard of his Master: in regard of himself, because by that means he is sure of a reward, either from his master, or from God, or from both. The generall promise they have, 1. Tim. 4. 8, Godliness is profitable unto all things, having the pro­mise of the life present, and of that that is to come. But, a more speciall one they have directed to themselves in particular, in Ephes. 6. 8, Knowe ye, that is, ye servants (for, unto them hee begins to addresse his speech in the fift verse) Knowe yee, that whatsoever good thing any man doth, the same hee shall receive of the Lord, whe­ther hee bee bond or free. And yet more expresly in Colos. 3. 23. 24, Whatsoever yee [Page 237] doo, doo it heartily as to the Lord, and not to men; knowing, that of the Lord yee shall re­ceive the reward of the inheritance: for, yee serve the Lord Christ.

And many times it falles out, that those, who beeing faithfull and godly, receive the least reward at their ma­sters hands, receive the greater from God, and that even in this world by his gracious blessing. This, Iacob found: hee was so religious towards God, that though his Master were an Idolater, he still kept himselfe free from it; and yet so faithfull was hee to his Master, that, for the space of twenty yeers, hee was in his service consumed with heat in the day, and frost in the night; and if any of the flocks were either stolne, or torne by beasts, hee made it good him­self, he set it not on his Masters accoūt. Yet for all this, could not his Master af­ford him a good look, much less a good word: hee changed his wages tenne times, sought to eat him up, & to raven all hee could get from him. This was the reward he had from his Master for [Page 238] his faithfull service. But now God so blessed him for his sincerity in religion, that the very Presents he sent his bro­ther Esau were able to make a rich mā, Gen. 32. And of himself hee professeth in the same chapter, verse 10, With my staff came I over this Iordan, and now have I gotten two bands.

In regard of men, it fared worse with Ioseph: though God prospered his Ma­sters house for his sake, neither would he hearken to the impudent and impor­tunate su [...]e of his mistresse; yet his re­compense was disgrace and imprison­ment, they put his feet in the stockes, and the iron entred into his soule. But God, in stead of the stocks, set him in the seat of Iustice; and, in stead of his fetters, put a chaine of gold about his neck. I will conclude this point with the exhortation of St. Peter, Servants, bee subiect to your Masters with all feare; not onely to the good and courteous, but also to the froward: for, this is thank-worthy, if a man for conscience towards GOD endure grief, suffering wrongfully, 1. Pet. 2. 18.

[Page 239]Secondly, as godliness is requisite in a servant, in regard of himself; so is it in regard of his Master. First, because, if hee feare his Master and not God, all that hee doth will bee but eye-service; hee will certainely intend his Masters good no further, than hee sees it may sort with his owne: whereas if God & the fear of him bee before his eyes, hee is the same man when his Master is ab­sent, as if hee were present; hee desires and endeavours his best advantage, as much though he were a thousand mile off, as if hee stood by and lookt on. If Gehezi had thought that his Master had been so far indued with a propheticall spirit, that hee could have tould him what hee did in so great a distance from him, hee would never have taken such paines to run after the Syrian Captaine for a bribe, to the disgrace of his Ma­ster, and the undooing of himself. And if Iudas had beleeved our Saviour to have been God, and consequently that hee had knowne the thoughts of his heart, undoubtedly hee would never [Page 240] have hatched against him such a foule treason within his breast. It was no­thing that made Achitophel to side as a Rebel with Absolon, and to plot against his Master David, and Ziba against Me­phibosheth; but worldly respects, and want of true religion.

Besides, as ungodliness in the servant cannot but put the Master in continuall fear, both of his estate and person: so it serves to infect as wel the children of the house, as his fellow-servants; wher­as on the other side, the godliness of one, beeing countenanced and incou­raged therein, serves to shame the lew­der sort, and to draw-on the well-dis­posed. Thus Daniel, beeing admitted into the King of Babylons Court, was an instrument for the reforming and converting even of the King Nebuchad­nezar himselfe. And Ioseph was admit­ted into the King of Egypts Court, that hee might inform his Princes, and teach his Senatours wisedom, Psal. 125. 22. In the second of Kings and the fift, wee read of a poore silly maid, but a [Page 241] Iewesse by Nation (the onely people of God at that time) who being taken captive by the Aramites, and serving Naamans wife, tolde her Mistris, of the Prophet Elisha in Samaria; and by that meanes gave occasion to her Lord of going thither, and cleansing him­selfe from the leprosie both of his bo­die, and his soule.

Lastly, a godly and religious servant will ever be praying unto God, to send a blessing on that worke which he is set about; as Abrahams servant did, Gen. 24; and so God prospered his journey, and the business he was intrusted with accordingly. All which considered, great reason had our Prophet to say, and to double it, to promise and to vow it, He that walketh in a perfect way, he shal serve mee: He, he.

Now, because the word heer used, to Serve, in the Originall, signifies a free and liberall kind of service; it may well bee thought that our Prophet in­tended not only the admitting of faith­full and godly servants into his family, [Page 242] but the advancing of such to the high­est offices, & the placing of them in the chiefest roome of government under him. And surely this consideration and promise was no less (nay, more) necessarie then the former, in regarde that the good which frō hence might arise is more publique. They that bee of high calling (if they bee good, and desire their goodness may spread a­broad and reach unto others) for this purpose may not un [...]ily bee likened to great Cisterns or ponds full of cleare and wholesome water, that might bee beneficial to many, if there were sound and sweet pipes to convay it: whereas on the other side, it yeeldeth no bene­fit at all, if the pipes bee stopt; nay proves hurtfull, if they bee poysoned and corrupted. Whereof it commeth to passe, that even when there be good Princes, yet things doe still continue out of frame: as wee see in the dayes of Iosiah, a most excellent and care­full King, who feared God betimes, & twice in his dayes reformed religion; [Page 243] his remembrance is as the perfume made by the Art of the Apothecarie, and as musick at a banquet of wine; there was no King before him, either after him, that like Iosiah turned to God with all his heart, as hee did: yet were there in his dayes, even in the time of his raigne, horrible abomina­tions, atheisme and contempt of God, pride in apparell, oppression and cruel­ty, yea much damnable Idolatry, not­withstanding the good King by his laws had taken as good order against these as possibly he could. The cause of all was, that such as were under him in the Common-wealth, and in the Church, did not that which hee willed, and be­longed to their place; According to that complaint of Zophonie, That the Princes were as roaring Lions, the Iudges as Wolves in the Evening, which leave not the bones till the morrow; the Prophets were light and wicked persons, and the Priests such as polluted the Sanctuary, and had wrested the lawe of God to serve their owne turne: And so what marvaile though in [Page 244] a rare Kings daies iniquity overflowed and abounded.

Esay in like manner prophecied un­der good Kings, Vzziah and Iotham, and Hezekiah: yet he justly and sorely com­plaines, how farre all things were even then out of order, their silver vvas be­come drosse, and their wine mixt with wa­ter, Cap. 1. 22; and hee addes the reason hereof in the verse following, because their Princes, that is, their chiefe Offi­cers under the the King, vvere rebelli­ous and companions of theeves, They loved gifts and followed after rewards, they iudged not the fatherless, neither did the widowes cause come before them. The people them­selves do so sensibly see and feele this, that they reioyce vvhen the righteous bee in authority, Prov. 29. 2; whereas cleane contrariwise, they sigh and mourne when the wicked are set up, and beare rule; as it followes in the same place. Thus when Mordecai came out from the King in royall apparell, of blew & white, and with a great Crowne of golde, and with a garment of fine lin­nen [Page 245] & purple, the whole citie of Susan rejoiced and was glad, Ester 8. 15. The counsell therfore of Iethro (Exo. 18. 21.) was very good, and not without just cause approoved of Moses, when hee gave advice, that not onely his higher Officers, Rulers over thousands and hundreds, but the inferiours too, over fifties and tennes, should bee men of courage, fearing God, dealing truely and ha­ting cov [...]t [...]usnesse. Their fearing of God was a meanes for them in good causes to put on courage; and their hating of couetousness to deale truely, which in case they did not, the Cōmon-wealth should not onely suffer, but Moses should be sure to hear of it. For though to private men it bee sufficient, if them-selves doe no wrong; yet a Prince must provide that none doe it a­bout him or under him; the neglect hereof being the chief imputation that was layde to Galbaes charge, and tum­bled him out of the Empire, as being unworthy of government, Omnium con­sensu dignus imperio, nisi imperasset.

[Page 246]Hitherto of the Conditions which our Prophet r [...]quires in those whom hee proposed to admit and entertaine as Servants about him, as Counsellers to him, as Officers under him: Now for himselfe, he purposes his eyes should bee upon them; and that, as I take it, first, for Choyce, and secondly for Vse. There is an eye of Search, and an eye of Favour: the one is for the seeking and finding them out, that they may serve; the o­ther for the countenancing of their persons, and rewarding of their service. First then, for the eye of search and choyce; He would not take them up at haphazard, nor upon the bare report and commendation of others, hee would not presently entertaine them who most importunately sued or made the greatest friends, or largest offers; these being for the most part sure signes of little desert, and lesse conscience in the parties themselves, in discharging the duties of those places they sue for. Hee that buyeth is thereby shrewdly provoked, nay, is after a sort openly [Page 247] dispensed withall to sell againe. If hee have to doo with the treasure, hee will rob and spoyle; if with justice, he will take bribes; if with Church affaires, with matter of warre, or Civill govern­ment, it may be hee will goe farther: Such will make small account to sell a State, or to deliver up a Kingdome. Now the King, our Prophet speaketh of, will for avoyding these mischiefes, rather become a suter himselfe to suf­ficient and able men, for the accepting and undergoing of such charges as he knew them fit for: neither would hee advance any to the highest roomes of dignity, but such as himselfe by expe­rience had found to bee conscionable and faithfull in lower places; and if he could not finde such neare him, hee would seeke them farther off; his eyes should runne through the Land from the one end to the other, for the fin­ding of them out. Oculi mei ad [...]ideles terrae, Mine eyes shall bee to the faithfull of the Land.

Now, as his eyes were to them for [Page 248] choyce and entertainement: so were they upon them for encouragement & reward. Lord, saith hee, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle, or who shall rest upon thy holy hill? Among other properties this is one, Hee that maketh much of them that feare the Lord, Psal. 15. 4. And therefore in the very next Psalme vers. 3, hee pro­tests that all his delight was upon the Saints that are on the earth, and upon such as ex­cell in vertue. And againe, in the 119. 36, I am a companion of all them that feare thee, and keep thy precepts: And in speciall of servants, of Kings and Princes, sayes Salomon, in the 14. of Proverbs, at the last verse, The pleasure of a King is in a wise servant, but his wrath shall be toward him that is lewd.

Neither is it sufficient to make much of them by lookes and countenance, and to feed with good words and faire promises: but to speake and doe really for them, as occasion shall serve & they deserve. Let thy soule loue a good seruant, and defraud him not of his liberty, neither leave him a poore man, Ecclus. 7. 21. And [Page 249] the reason is given in the 33. of the same booke, vers. 29. If thou have a faithfull servant, intreate him as thy brother, for thou hast need of him as of thy selfe. Such a Master it seemes Naaman was to his servants: which made them call him father; Father, if the Prophet had comman­ded thee a great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? Such was that Centurion in the Gospell,Compare Mat. 8, with Luke 7. who when his servant was sick, intreated our Savior to come to him and heale him, calling him by the same name which signifies a sonne; thereby shewing that good seruants should be as sonnes to their Masters, in dutifull obedience; and good Masters againe, as kinde fathers in loving affec­tion to their servants, as remembring that themselues have a father in hea­ven, to whom they must one day ren­der an account of all their actions, and with him there is no respect of persons.

Verse 7. Hee that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.

OVr Prophet in the fift verse had promised to banish Slander and Pride: heer hee promiseth to take the like order with Deceit and Lying; two vices contrary to those two vertues which before hee had vowed to enter­tain; Deceit beeing opposite to Faithful­ness, and Lying to Godliness. These two vices are so common and generall, and yet withall so close and subtile, that he could not promise utterly to abolish and extinguish them; but to deale with them as Physicians doo with pestilent diseases, to expell them from the vitall parts: upon discovery, they should not lodge in the Court, nor remaine in the Presence. Hee could not alwaies pre­vent their entrance and abode there for a while; deceitfull men beeing as cun­ning to cover, as to work their deceit: [Page 251] yet would hee as narrowly as he could seek them out; and, when he had found them, cast them out too.

Indeed the saying is, Turpius eijcitur, quàm non admittitur: It is more shame­full to cast out a servant, than not to ad­mit him: But it is as true, Tutius eijcitur, like a raw morsell that sitteth ill in the stomach, he is more safely cast out than retained: or, if hee be a Retainer, non habitabit, hee shall not bee in ordinary; or, if hee bee, hee shall not bee of such as ly under my roof; or, if hee doo, non habitabit in interiori domus meae, saith A­rias Montanus, hee shall have no place in my privy-chamber, or bed-chamber.

And for the Lier, hee may chance to come into my sight, but non prosperabi­tur, saith Musculus, hee shall not build his neast there: non firmabitur, saith A­rias Montanus, hee shall take no rooting there; non stabilietur, saith Iunius, hee shall not set up his rest there.

It was great Wisdom in our Prophet that hee would not have his house a mingle-mangle, to consist pel-mel of [Page 252] diverse dispositions, as Hannibals army did of severall nations: hee would not have his family like a motley cloth, or a meddly colour; some of his servants being of one Die, and some of another: but hee would have all to goe in one Livery, uniforme and suitable; that so, all agreeing and according together, they might all walk, and look, and draw one way in the service of God & their Master. For, had hee chosen some re­ligious, and others profane or idola­trous, some honest and sober, others swaggerers and unthrifts, some civil & peaceable, others cut-throats and rake­hels; lastly, some faithfull and godly, as in the verse next going before; and some deceitfull and lying, as in this verse; like fire and water, they would never have given over striving to expell and chase away, or to supplant and un­dermine one another: so that the Ma­ster, in stead of an orderly and comfor­table service, should have found no­thing but controversie and complaint, faction and brawl: for, What fellowship [Page 253] hath righteousnes with unrighteousnes? what communion hath light with darknes? what concord hath Christ with Beliall? what a­greement hath the temple of God with Idols? 2. Cor. 6. It was indeed Machiavels rule, Si vis regnare, divide; If thou wilt rule in safety, sowe discord, and set division betwixt those that are under thee: but this is a point of the divels policy, hee never learned it in the school of Christ; and, for the most part, the practice of it prooves most dangerous to the Au­thors of it.

Hitherto in the generall for so much as concernes both these vices taken jointly together; now to the particu­lars, as they ly in order heer in my text: and first of working deceit, and then of telling lies. Deceit is commonly by the Latines exprest by one of these three words; Astutia, Dolus, or Fraus: be­tween which, the Schoolmen put this difference, Prudentia directè opponitur a­stutia, To true Wisedome craft or wili­nesse is directly opposed: executio autem astutiae est propriè per dolum in verbis, per­fraudem [Page 254] fraudem in factis: but the execution of craft is properly by cosenage in words, and by guile in deeds. Wec are after­wards to speake of cosenage in words. The thing then heere intended, as I think, is guile in deeds: which howbe­it it bee now-adaies almost generally esteemed the essentiall point of a Law­yer, the proper passion of a Merchant, and the complement of an absolute Courtier; yet our Prophet held it so o­dious, as in two severall places he ioins it in the same verse with bloodthirsti­nesse: The Lord will abhorre the bloodthir­sty and deceitfull man, Psal. 5. 6. Vpon which words, saith Aquinas, Verbo ab­ominand: denotatur odium irreconciliabile; By the word, Abhorre, is implied an ir­reconcileable and implacable hatred: and indeed so it seemes, in as much as our Prophet tels us again, Psal. 55. and the last verse, The bloodthirsty and deceit­full men shall not live out half their daies.

Our Saviour, when hee would set out Herod in his colours, cals him a fox; Goetell that fox, Luke 13. 32: and when [Page 255] hee would commend Nathanael, hee calles him an Israelite, in whom was no guile, Iohn 1. 47. The Divell is in holy Scripture named a Serpent, not onely because hee took that shape upon him when hee deceived our first parents in Paradise, but because the Serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field, Gen. 3. 1. As a Serpent, he is full of win­dings and turnings, which are called his depths, Rev. 2. 24, Neither have knowne the depths of satā, that is, his deep fetches: wherupon S. Paul, having reproved Ely­mas the Sorcerer, that hee was full of all subtilty and mischiefe; hee present­ly addes, Thou childe of the divell, and eni­my of all righteousnes, Acts 13. 10. Now, as the Divell appeared in the shape of a Serpent, which is of all beasts the most subtile and crafty; so did the H. Ghost in the shape of a Dove, which is of all birds the most simple and innocent: and Iohn the Baptist tearms our Saviour a Lamb, Behold the Lamb of God, that ta­keth away the sinnes of the world, Iohn 1. 29. And again the next day, as hee saw him [Page 256] walking by, Behold the Lamb, or, as the Original and our last Translation reads it, that Lamb of God: not onely because he was so prefigured in the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb, and foretold by the Prophets, Hee was ledde as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb dumb before the shearer, so opened hee not his mouth, Esay 53. 7; but also because hee had the pro­perties of a Lamb, and those specially of a native innocency and godly sim­plicity; according to that of the same Evangelicall Prophet, cited by S. Peter, 1. 2. 22, Hee did no sin, neither was there a­ny guile found in his mouth.

There is a blockish simplicity, or ra­ther stupidity, arising out of a naturall defect; When a man deceives not ano­ther, because hee wants wit to doo it: and this is no more praise-worthy, than continency in one that is an Eunuch by nature, or sobriety in him that hath no means to exceed. And ther is a god­ly simplicity, when a man hath wit suf­ficient; yet so, as, being corrected and qualified by grace, hee restrains it from [Page 257] such mischievous and guilefull plots; as his naturall corruption would draw him unto. And this indeed is that sim­plicity, and none but this, which is cō ­mended in Scripture, and accepted of God. Posse & nolle, nobile.

And the vice contrary to this, is that which the Civilians call dolus malus, by them opposed to bona fides, and defined to bee Machinatio quaedam alterius decipi­endi causa, cum aliud agitur, & aliud simu­latur, A device for the deceiving of a man, where one thing is done, and ano­ther is dissembled. Whereunto agrees that of Cicero, in the first book of his Of­fices, where hee approves the reply of Aquilius his familiar friend: who be­ing demanded, Quid esset dolus, what de­ceit was; he answers, Vbialiud est actum, & aliud simulatum, where one thing is practised, and another pretended: And of Augustine in his seaventh Tract up­on Iohn, expounding those words of Christ, touching Nathanael, Behold an Is­raelite, in whom is no guile: Tum dolus est, [...]aith hee, cum aliud agitur, & aliud fingi­tur; [Page 258] when one thing appears in the fact, and another thing is hid in the heart. Yet even this, if it bee for the good of some, and the hurt and hinderance of none, I dare not pronounce to be sim­ply unlawfull. Such a deceit is that which Nurses use for the stilling of their children; or Physicians, for the healing of their Patients. Such did our Prophet himselfe use, when for the sa­ving of his life hee fained himself mad, among the Philistines, 1. Sam. 21. 13. And hitherto are those words of S. Paul by some referred, For as much as I was crafty, I took you by guile, 2. Cor. 12. 16.

Nay, though it tend to the outward hinderance and hurt of some, I cannot alwaies utterly condemn it. It was by a cunning sleight, that the Israelites robbed the Egyptians, that Ehud slew Eglon, and Iehu Baals priests: yet they being warranted by Gods counsell, and excited by his Spirit, what therin they did was in right justifiable. Nay, more than so: in a just and honorable warre, where it is lawfull to kill, it is not un­lawfull [Page 259] by stratagems to deceive.

Dolus an virtus quis in hoste requirit!

It was the speech indeed of a Hea­then, yet approoved by St. Hierome in his Exposition upon Ezek. 17; but with this caution, that it be practised without the violating of an oath, the breach of pro­mis, or the making of a lie.

W [...]ich notwithstanding, the world too well knoweth, and with griefe fee­leth it to bee both the doctrine and the practice of the Church of Rome, that Faith plighted to Hereticks is not to bee held. Which position while she houlds, I see not how those whom she accounts He­retiques can either with safety and se­curity, or without just fear and manifest danger, any way rely upon the con­tracts made with her or her adherents. Their morall or civill honesty may chance ty them to the performance of such oaths: but (I am sure) their religi­on, the strongest bond of conscience, doth not. Nay, if it bee for the good of their Church, it dispenseth with the breach, and (which is more) cōmands [Page 260] them to break it. It is written by an Ita­lian, no stranger to the Court of Rome, that the Proverb is, Mercatorum est, non regum, stare iuramentis, It is for Mer­chaunts, not Kings, to stand to their oathes: but from such Merchants of mens soules, Libera nos Domine, Good Lord de­liver us.

Now, the inconveniences and mis­chiefes which accompany this deceit­fulness, specially in a servant, are these: First, himself seldome or never thrives by it; hee enjoyes not the benefit of that which hee gets by falshod, accor­ding to that of Salomon, Proverb. 12. 27. The deceitfull man rosteth not that which he tooke in hun [...]ing: and of our Prophet, Psal. 58. 9. Or ever their pots bee made hot with thornes, so shall indignation vex them as a thing that is raw. It shall fare with them as with hunters, who many times when they take a prey, yet themselves taste not of it; or as with meat, which, the thornes being consumed under the pot, is left unsodden: and so all their plottes and enterprises become as the [Page 261] untimely fruit of a woman, which ne­ver sees the sunne. And if they come not to publike shame amongst men, which for the most part they doe (the vizard of their hypocrisie being pluckt off) yet God in his due time will not forget them. According to that of the Apostle, 1. Thes. 4. 6, Let no man oppresse or defraud his brother, for God is the aven­ger of all such things. If a man be so migh­ty to oppresse, that the Magistrate wil not lay holde on him, or so cunning to defraude that the lawe cannot take holde of him, then where man and his lawe cease, there God and his lawe begin; though they dazle the eyes of men, yet the eye of God they cannot; and the lesse they feele at the hands of men, the heavier shall they feele the hand of God, either in their states, or in their bodies, or in their soules, or in their posterity, or in all. Such a one may flourish for a while, like a greene Bay tree; but, I went by, and loe hee was gone; I sought him, but his place could no vvhere bee found. Keepe innocencie then [Page 262] and take heed to the thing that is right, for that shall bring a man peace at the last, Psal. 37. It is the surest, and fairest, and like­liest way to bring him to riches and ho­nour, in as much as all men desire to deale with him whom they repute ho­nest, though themselves bee not such: but the undoubted way it is to bring him Peace, peace with himselfe, and peace with his God; without which, his riches and honour will doe him lit­tle good: Nay, they will in the ende prove his bane and confusion.

Another mischiefe, that arises from the deceitfulness of a Servant, is to his Master (specially if hee be a great per­sonage, and of eminent note) either by bringing-in unjust accounts, or by be­traying him to his enemies; who som­times preferre a servant, that they may thereby worke villany and get intelli­gence of secrets; and so it may come to passe, that under a velvet or silke or scarlet cloake, a Iesuite or Priest may be entertained: or lastly, in deceiving others, by using his Masters name, [Page 263] though without his knowledge or con­sent, yet hee cannot but by that means breed in mens minds an ill conceit, & in their tongues an il report of his Master. It very much then imports great men & Princes, not onely to observe narrow­ly such servants as they suspect, but for examples sake to punish them severely being detected. Such were some of them about the good Emperour Aure­lian, who by Monopolies and imposi­tions, by projects and perquisites en­enriched themselves, to the impove­rishing of the estate, and the disho­noring of their Master: Nay, of him they made a Monopoly too; who, being let to know no more then what they pleased to informe him, was of them by that meanes even bought and sold. But Alexander Severus tooke another course with them: who understanding that Vercovius had greatly abused his fa­vour, taking much money of diverse to preferre their sutes, and dooing no­thing for them, hee caused him to bee hanged up in a chimney as some write, [Page 264] or as others, to bee tied in publique to a stake, and there to bee stifled with smoake; an Herauld proclaiming to the people, Fumum vendidit, & fumo pereat, Smoak he solde, and with smoak let him perish. And, if it be observed, the greatest Marchants of smoak have ever been found to be the greatest sla­terers of their Masters, Having mens persons in admiration because of advantage, Iude 16. I have dwelt somewhat the longer upon this point, because the Court is generally held the Shop, the Forge, nay, the Schoole and Theater of this vice: not without good cause then doth our Prophet vow, it shall not dwell with him.

As in the first place hee excludeth working of deceit; So doth he in the se­cond, telling of lies: Hee that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.

Servum nolle mentiri nova religio est,
Saith one of the antient Comikes;

And another,

Is cliens frugi habetur, qui neque leges,
neque aequum bonum unquam colit.

[Page 265]But this is heathenish divinity: or as it may well bee thought, they rather spake what men commonly did, then what they should doe. Once, our Pro­phet I am sure was of another minde: though he were an old servant, though never so usefull and profitable to him, though never so neare and deare, as his right hand, or his right eye; yet if hee fell to lying, away he must; hee would would bee so farre from shewing him any favour, that hee should not so much as enjoy the sight of his counte­nance.

A wonder it is to consider that the imputation of a lie should bee so odi­ous, and yet the practice so frequent a­mong men (specially those who stand most upon their reputation) the name so hatefull, and the use so common: that men should be so tender, and sen­sible of the giving of the lie, as to think it presently worthie the stabbe or the chalenge; and yet to be so careless and unconscionable in the making of it: a strange kinde of vanity, I say it is, and [Page 266] a marvailous repugnancy and contra­diction in the nature of man, to bee so hot in the pursuite of the one, and so colde in the other. Wherefore either seeme to bee as thou art, or be as thou wouldst seeme: either have a care and conscience that thou make not a lie, or bee content that a man call a Spade a Spade, a Lier a Lier.

This vice of all other is so univer­sally spread over the face of the world, not onely among servants, but all sorts of men, that what our Prophet spake in his haste, I said in mine haste, all men are Liers, Psalm 106. 10, that the Apostle spake advisedly, Rom. 3. 4, Let God bee true, and every man a lyer. But we must know it is one thing to lie, and another to make a trade or custome of lying: one thing to slip into it unawares; ano­ther, deliberately to forge and con­ceive it, and which is worse to defend it, and stand in it being done. The one may proceed from the common frailty incident to mankinde; yet not without some striving against it, and repentance [Page 267] for it, in such as are sanctified by Gods spi [...]it: but the later is onely proper to the unbeleeving and unregenerate. Therefore sayes our Prophet, not Lo­quens mendacium, in the singular num­ber; but mendacia, in the plurall.

Now in the handling of this point, wee may first consider the nature, and diverse kindes of a Lie. Secondly, the greatnesse of the offence, how slight­ly soever we esteeme of it. And lastly, the punishment alwaies due unto it, & many times inflicted upon it.

A Lie (to speak properly) is the spea­king of an untruth with an intent to deceive. For the clearer unfolding of which de­finition, we are to call to mind a foure­folde truth mentioned in holy Scrip­ture: of Iudgement, of Affection, of Action, of Speech. The truth of Iudge­ment is opposed to Error, of Affection to Hypocrisie, of Action to Dissimulati­on, and of Speech to Lies or Falshood. If a man speak that which is false with­out an intent to deceive, supposing it to be a truth, it is a material lie. If he speak [Page 268] a truth with an intent to deceive, sup­posing hee spake a falshood, it is a for­mall lie: But if hee speake a falshood, knowing it to be a falshood, with an in­tent to deceive, this is a full, a flat lie; it hath the whole essence, the matter & the forme, the soule and the bodie of a lie.

The materiall lie is lyable to the censure of men, but excusable before God, at least à tanto, though not à toto; in as much as it proceeds out of igno­rance, the tongue agreeing with the understanding, but the understanding disagreeing from the thing. The for­mall lie is punishable by God, though acquitted by men; in as much as the un­derstanding disagrees from the speech, though the speech agree with the thing: but the full lie including both the matter and the forme, deserves pu­nishment both from God and men; in as much as in it both the understan­ding disagrees from the speech, and the speech from the thing. Which ground being laid, I see not how the most cun­ning [Page 269] Sophisters in the world can free their equivocations, and mentall reser­vations, at leastwise from the formality of a lie: which is indeed the life of it, if there may bee life in such a dead work. For, to grant that the thing wch they speake is true, yet they cannot de­nie but they speake it with an intent to deceive: and then Linguam ream facit mens rea, It is a guilty minde that makes a guilty tongue; according to that of Augustine, Ex animi sui sententia non ex rerum ipsarum veritate aut falsitate menti­ens aut non mentiens iudicandus est: A Ly­er is to bee iudged not so much by the truth and falshood of things, as by the purpose and intent of his minde.

It matters not then, whether my lye be iocosum onely for sport and merri­ment; or officiosum, for the pretended good of some, without the hurt of a­ny; or malitiosum, out of a mischievous designe: if it be an untruth uttred with an intent to deceive, it comes all to one for the unlawfulnesse of it; howbeit, the one bee sinfull in a higher degree, [Page 270] more divelish and damnable than the other: and beeing once unlawfull in it self, as being a direct breach of the law, none other respect but onely the dis­pensative power of the Lawgiver him­self can possibly make it lawfull. When Thespis, the first stage-player, was asked if he were not ashamed to utter so ma­ny untruths in so worthy an audience; hee answered, that hee did it in sport: but wise Solon replied, if wee approve and commend this sport, we shall finde it in earnest, in our contracts & affaires. And even so indeed by just judgement it befalles a man, who, using to ly in sport, gets an habite of lying in earnest; and with his jesting lies raiseth such a suspicion of him, that, bee he in never so good earnest, hee cannot bee belee­ved. And for officious lies, since wee cannot make a lie for God cause, as Iob testifies, 13. 9; much less may we ly for the behoof of our selves or other men. Vse not then to make any manner of lie: for, the custome thereof is not good, Ecclus. 7. 13. No good and honest means are to bee [Page 271] neglected, which tend to the refreshing and cheering of their spirits who beare the burden of the State: yet the Pro­phet Hosea 7. 3, reproves those that make the king glad with their wickednesse, and the Princes with their lies: neither is it anie way warrantable to doo evill, that good may come thereof, Rom. 3. 8. As righteous­nes then and peace, so truth and charity are inseparable companions. And therfore the Apostle, 1. Cor. 13, puts downe this a­mong other marks of charity, that it re­ioyceth in the truth, verse 6.

And for those examples registred in holy Scripture of the Mid-wives to save the male-infants of the Hebrews, of Rahab to save the spies, of Mich [...]l and Ionathan to save David from Sauls fury, and the like of that kinde, either com­mended or not discommended; I an­swer, that we must distinguish betwixt the deeds of the faithfull, and their ma­ner of dooing them. Their facts in sa­ving David, the children, the spies, were commendable, and argued the fear of God and love of his children: [Page 272] but the manner of putting them in ex­ecution is neither approoved in holie Scripture, nor was in it selfe justifiable, nor is to bee imitated of us; it beeing no more lawfull to save a mans life by a lie, than by theft: both which, with­out repentance, in themselves deserve death eternall. Et quomodo non perver­sissimè dicitur (saith S. Augustine) ut alter corporaliter vivat, debere alterum spiritua­liter mori? How can it be but a perverse assertion, to say, That one should incur the death of the soule, to free another from that of the body? And not farre off in another place, Quanto fortius, quā ­to excellentius dices, Nec prodam, nec men­tiar, ut Firmus Episcopus Tagastensis? How much more courage and constan­cy doth it shew, for a man to say, I will neither betray the truth, nor my friend; as did Firmus Bishoppe of Tagastum, Firmus nomine, firmior autem re; Firm in name, but more firm indeed.

The truth heerof will the better ap­pear, if we consider the greatnes of the offense, the second thing which I propo­sed: [Page 273] in as much as it is first directly a­gainst God himselfe; secondly, against the Scriptures, the Oracles of GOD; thirdly, against nature, the workmanship of God; and fourthly, against civill so­ciety, the ordinance of God. Against God it is both essentially and personally taken. Against God the Father; This is eternall life, that they knowe thee to bee the onely true God, Iohn 17. 3: Against God the Sonne; I am the way, the truth, and the life, Iohn 14. 6: Against God the ho­ly Ghost; When hee is comne, who is the Spirit of truth, he will lead you into all truth, Iohn 16. 13. And as God is the Father of truth; so is the Divell the father of Lies: when hee speaketh a Lie, then hee speaketh of his owne; for hee is a lier, and the father thereof, Ioh. 8. 44. No marvell then, that one of those seven things which the Lord hates, and his soule abhorres, is a lying tongue, Pro. 6. 17.

Secondly, it is against the Scriptures, the Oracles of God. And therefore are they truely called Verbum veritatis, the [Page 274] word of truth, Eph. 1. 13; not onely be­cause they were indited by the Author of all truth, or because they contain so much supernaturall truth as is requisite for our salvation, but withall because they excite us to the imbracing & pra­ctising of truth. Cast off lying, and speake every man truth unto his neighbour, Ephes. 4. 25. Ly not one to another, Col. 3. 9. Lord, who shall dwell in thy Tabernacle, saith our Prophet? Even he that speaketh the truth from his heart, Psal. 15.

Thirdly, it is against nature, the work­manship of God. It is the priviledge of Mankinde above all Creatures, that hee is [...], a creature capable both of reason and speech: and as rea­son was ordained to bee the guide and directer of our speech; so was our speech, to be the expounder and inter­preter of reason. And therefore the Grammarians make [...], which signi­fieth speech, to be [...], that which gives light to the notions of the under­standing. If, then, wee speak one thing and think another, if wee expresse one [Page 275] thing with our lips, and conceive ano­ther thing in our hearts, it is against the end for which God created speech.

Fourthly and lastly, it is against Civill society, the ordinance of God; a maine part wherof consisting in Conference, in Consultation, in Contracts, Fractavel leviter imminuta authoritate veritatis, omnia dubia remanebunt, saith Saint Au­gustine; The credit and soverainty of truth, being never so little crackt, or the practice of lying never so little coū ­tenanced, a man can build upon no­thing, but all things will bee full of doubt and distrust. Rightly then saith the same good Father, Nunquam errare tutius existimo, quam cum in amore nimio veritatis & reiectione nimia falsitatis erra­tur: A man cannot lightly erre more safely, then in too much love of truth, & hatred of lies. Truth is a salt which serveth for the seasoning of every acti­on, and maketh it favorie both to God and man: and in the 6. to the Ephes. it is compared to a girdle, or a Souldiers belt, whereby they knit together and [Page 276] close vnto their middle the upper and lower peeces of their armour. And these belts, as they were strong, so were they set with studs, being faire & large. There is then a double use of them: one, to keepe the severall peeces of ar­mour fast and close together, & to hold the loynes of a man firm & steddy, that hee may be able to stand the surer, and holde out the longer; the other, to co­ver the ioynts of the armour, that they might not be seene. The first use was for strength, the second for ornament: and thus truth is both an ornament to a Christian souldier, and also an excel­lent meanes for strength to uphold and assure him in the day of trial. Therfore wisely doth Solomon advise us, To buy the truth, but in no case to sell it, Pro. 23. 23.

The last thing which I promised, is the punishment: and that surely cannot but much aggravate the grievousnesse of the sinne. It is both the punishment of other sinnes, and other sinnes the pu­nishment of it. When God would pu­nish Ahab for his wickedness, present­ly [Page 277] the Divell offers himselfe for the execution of the service; I will goe and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his Pro­phets, 1. King. 22. And those that would not beleeve and love the truth, he punisheth with strong delusions that they should beleeue lies, 2. Thess. 2. And as it is the punish­ment of other sinnes, so did hee punish it with other sinnes in those Philoso­phers of the Gentiles, who because they turned the truth of God into a lie, therefore God gaue them up unto vile affections, Rom. 1. 25. And the rule is general, The mouth that lieth slayeth the soule, Wis. 1. 11. Thou shalt destroy them that speake lies, Psal. 5. 6. And Revel. 22. 15, Without shall bee dogs▪ and enchanters, and whoremongers, and murtherers, and Idolaters, and whosoever loveth or maketh lies. And if God thus shutte them out of his presence; not without cause doth our Prophet pro­mise, They shall not tarry in his sight. It is the prayer of Salomon, Prov. 30. Remoue from mee vanity and lies; and his position in the 29. of the same book, ve [...]s. 12, Of a Prince that hearkeneth to lies, all his ser­vants [Page 278] are wicked. And if wee are to shun the practice of lies, much more the doctrine of lies, Teaching lies through hy­pocrisie, 1. Tim. 4. 2. One effect whereof is the confident relation of their lying miracles, and that Golden Legend compi­led by a leaden braine, and published by a brazen forehead. I will conclude with Saint Augustines conclusion of his two Treatises de mendacio ad Consentium, Aut cavenda sunt mendacia recte agendo, aut confitenda sunt poenitendo; non autem, cum abundent infeliciter viuendo, augenda sunt & docendo. Lies are either to be shund by speaking truth, or to be confest and bewailed with sorrow; or if they a­bound by ill living, they are not to bee multiplied by teaching them as law­full.

Verse 8. I will earely destroy all the wicked of the Land, that I may cut off all wicked doers from the citie of the Lord.

OVr Prophet, having in the former verses of this Psalme, vowed the reformation of his owne Person, of his housholde Servants, of his Counsellers & inferior Magistrates; Heere in this last verse he vowes in generall the reforma­tion both of the Church and of the Com­mon-weak, of the Civill and Ecclesiastical State. In the handling of which words, I will follow the method proposed in the Text. The first word is, In matuti­nis, as Arias Montanus; or Singulis ma­tutinis, as Tremelius renders it: In the mornings, or morning by morning▪ Every morning: wherin he notably expresseth his diligence and dispatch, in that it should bee his mornings worke; and then his Constancy and perseverance, in that it should bee his worke euery morning, The second thing is, the worke it sel [...][Page 280] I will destroy, I will cut off; his meaning is, when no other remedy will serve the turne. The third is the Obiect, the persons upon whom this severe ju­stice is to be done; not petty offenders, much lesse the innocent, but notorious malefactors: The vvicked of the Land, wicked doers. The fourth is, the unpar­tiality of his proceeding without re­spect of persons, All the wicked of the Land, all wicked doers; twice repeated, that we might take notice of it. As he wold cut off none but notorious male­factors, so would he as near as he could cut them all off: Neither his heart nor his eye should pitie, nor his hand spare any of them. The fift and last is, the End hee proposeth to him selfe of this worke; the purging of the Citie of the Lord, by which is meant Hierusalem: first, for Example to the whole Realme, it being the Metropolis and head Citie of the kingdome; as also and principally, by reason the service of God and the exer­cise of religion was in a speciall manner by divine ordinance tyed unto it. First [Page 281] then of the first, In matutinis: wherein his diligence in the carefull performing of this worke comes first to bee ob­served.

The saying is common, and in some cases no lesse just, Odi nimium diligen [...]es: but where the businesse is weighty, and the fayling dangerous, a man can hard­ly be too, diligent. The life of man is precious, and the preservation of the State and Church important; and di­ligence in such a case is not onely com­mendable, but necessary. The search of truth is hard, specially being disgui­sed by the colourable shifts of cunning heads: and in such a case, as it is the glo­rie of god to conceal a thing, so it is the Kings honour to search out a matter, Prov. 25. 2. And no time so fit for this search as the morning, when mens wits are freshest, and their mindes after repose least di­stracted: Therefore Iosuah rose early in the morning for the discovery of A­chans theft, 7. 16. And besides, the drin­king of wine often makes men after meales to forget the lawe, and pervert the [Page 282] iudgement, Pro. 31. 5. Therefore is there a woe pronounced against that Land, whose Princes or chiefe Magistrates eate in the morning, Eccles. 10. 16; that is, take up that time which is specially al­lotted for matters of justice, with in­temperate and unseasonable eating and drinking. As then he is cursed that doth the worke of the Lord negligently: so is hee blessed that doth it diligently and watchfully, In matutinis.

The second thing implyed in this word, is speed and dispatch: therefore it followes in the same place of the Pro­phet Ieremy, Cursed bee hee that keepeth backe his sword from blood, 48. 10; that deferreth to doe justice when occasion and oportunity is offered, when reason and religion requires it. Delayes in o­ther things are not good: but in this they are starke naught, because by de­lay great offences many times get ei­ther friends for protection, or meanes for evasion; according to a saying of the Italians, Give mee time, and give mee life. Againe, by delay and connivence, [Page 283] small offences growe great: a little fire which at first might have beene put out with a spoonfull of water, being let to burne, turnes townes and cities into ashes, and cannot bee quenched with whole rivers. Punishments are as me­dicines, which if they be kept too long, hazard the Patient, and lose their ver­tue; And Magistrates as Physicians, who must not let a disease go too long, left by sufferance it proove incurable; which might haue beene holpen by timely ministring. Lastly, as by delay the offender growes bolder, to the far­ther indangering and oppressing of the innocent, the infecting of the good, the hartening and hardning of the wicked: So hee that should cut him off, many times by tract of time growes colder in his zeale to justice.

If Ioab had received condigne pu­nishment according to his deserts at his killing of Abner, he would never have growen so audaciously insolēt to mur­ther Amasa in such a treacherous man­ner. And had Absolon beene taken [Page 284] short, when by his command his bro­ther Amnon was slaine, there had bin no danger of his ensuing rebellion a­gainst his Soveraigne, his Father. It is good then to launce an ulcer betimes, before it growe to a Gangrene; and to kill a Tetter before it spread to a Ring­worme. That which God comman­deth Fathers of families, that if they love their children, they correct them be­times, and chastice them whiles there is hope, Prov. 13. 24, is also required of the fa­thers of the Common-wealth: Whose­ever will not doe the lawe of God and the King, let iudgement be executed speedily up­on him, Esra, 7. 26. And the reason hereof is yeelded by Salomon, Eccles. 8. 11. Be­cause sentence against an evill worke is not executed speedily, the heart of the sonnes of men is fully set on mischiefe.

Yet is there not more haste to be made than good speed. The celestiall spheares, the higher they are in situation, the slower are they in their proper moti­on: and the supreame Iudge of the world useth much forbearance & long [Page 285] suffering toward sinners, that so by the riches of his goodnes hee might draw them to repentance; or because hee foreseeth, that they will doo some no­table good worke to the advancement of his glory, & the good of his church: Much like, saith Plutarch in that golden Booke of his, De sera Numinis vindicta, as the lawes ordain that a woman, con­demned to death for some hainous of­fense, bee neverthelesse reprived and spared, if shee be with childe, untill she bee delivered: which beeing done, the Law is executed upon her. As then the supreme Iudge in heaven inflicts pu­nishments on offenders without al pas­sion, and with all patience, in due man­ner, place and season: so should his Vice-gerents on earth, not so much out of desire of revenge, as zeal of justice; For, the wrath of max worketh not the righ­teousnes of God, Iames 1. 20.

And as hee, which hath no skill in Physick, cannot with reason controule a skilfull Physician, because hee draw­eth blood from his Patient rather to [Page 286] morrow than to day: so neither ought men to censure the proceedings of God, whose judgemēts are many times secret, but alwaies right; having feet of lead, but hands of iron: and though hee bee long a-striking, yet he strikes home at last; tarditatem gravitate compen­sat, he makes amends for his sloweness with the waightiness of his blow. Nor, among men, ought inferiours too farre to censure the proceedings of their su­periours; who many times stop the ex­ecution of Iustice, for causes just and reasonable in themselves, though un­knowne to us. The Heaven for height, & the earth for depth▪ and the heart of the king, is unsearchable, Pro. 25. 3.

The Law enacted by Theodosius, at the instance of S. Ambrose, cannot bee misliked: that because, being transpor­ted with choler, hee had caused many Innocents of Thessalonica to be put to the sword; from thenceforth thirtie daies should passe betwixt the sentence of death and the execution thereof: in as much as the guilty, though spared [Page 287] for a time, might notwithstanding af­terwards bee executed; but the guilt­lesse, beeing once executed, could not again bee restored. Yet can it not bee denied, but upon evident proofe and a fair triall, so way bee not given to rash & unadvised anger, for many & waigh­ty reasons already touched, it were for the most part better, that expedition in punishing great offenses, and cutting off notorious malefactours, were rather used, than slacknes.

Some others there are, who, by this Betimes heer mentioned in my Text, understand our Prophet as vowing the execution of Iustice at his first entrance to the Crowne, in the morning of his raign. Like a cleane soule comming out of the hands of the Creator, & placed in a Kingdom left by Saul, as in a body altogether unclean, hee promiseth, not to draw pollution from it, as the soule doth from the body; but rather to en­deavour to cleanse it from those foule impieties wherewith it swarmed: heer­in resembling the Sun in the Heavens, [Page 288] which as soon as it riseth, or before it appear, chaseth the darknes before it, and is clothed with glory, as with a robe.

Heer, reason of State objecteth the danger of sudden innovation, feare of the multitude; and I knowe not what a number of doubts and difficulties it forecasts: but our Prophet, though doubtlesse not ignorant of these, yet in a holy resolution casts them behinde him; as well knowing, that the princi­ples of humane policy are as uncertain as the braine wherein they are forged; beeing perswaded in conscience, and his heart telling him, The action it self was good, the throng and thickness of difficulties should not discourage him, but rather make him the more stoutly to plucke up his spirits, and to buckle himself more roundly to the businesse. It was a sore task he had in hand, a long journey hee had to goe; and therefore hee had need to set forth betime, if hee meant to arrive at the end thereof be­fore the night of death should overtake him.

[Page 289]They were memorable peeces of ju­stice which Salomon did, as soon as God had put the scepter into his hand. Iehu, at his first entrance into the Kingdom, roots out the house of Ahab, and the worship of Baal▪ Iosiah, when hee was now but twelve yeeres old, beganne to purge Iudah and Ierusalem, 2. Chro. 34; that men might knowe what they were to trust unto in the succeeding course of his government.

Yet I take not our Prophets meaning to bee, that the Prince at his first en­trance should unwisely and without ad­vice destroy and cut off; for so, perhaps, by seeking to make a way for godliness and vertue, and to banish impietie and vice, he might chance to fall into a mis­chief more intolerable thā the present condition: the remedy might proove worse than the disease.

In nature wee see, that such a body there may bee, in which all the blood shall bee so corrupted, that, before a man should find any good blood ther­in, hee might (if he would use phlebo­tomy [Page 290] draw out & take away both the life and last drop together: in such a case, when the corruption is so grosse and infinite, a skilfull Physician will use Epicrasis, as they call it, labouring to bring the body to a better tēperature. He will draw from it at diverse times and by diverse means; but yet hee will take no more but what is needfull to unburthen nature: which, beeing dis­charged, gathereth vigour to it selfe a­gain; and evacuateth, by sweating and other good meanes, the malignant hu­mours, & at length cleanseth the blood it self: so may [...] Prince, in these abun­dant and superfluous humours of the State, not presently open a vein, lest so perhappes the spirits depart with the blood, and the life goe away with the strength, but by degrees; as hee may displace corrupt Officers and Iudges, and substitute better in their roomes: and by this discretion, and Gods bles­sing upon it, he shall see in a short time a conversion of the body of the Com­mon-wealth, [Page 291] without any subversion or trouble to it or in it; a new King­dome, and yet without any great no­velty or change.

The shippe of Delos, so renowned in antiquity for lasting many years and a­ges without renewing, whence got it that fame? but because, as soone as a plank was in danger or beganne to rot, they presently provided a new & sound one in the room thereof: And the sa­fest way to restore a decayed State, is, To proceed by the same course; but then there needs constancy and perseve­rance, singalis matutinis, morning after morning every morning.

It is not one mornings work: but, as Speed is required for such a work with­out delay, and Diligence without remis­nes; so is Constancy, without intermissi­on. It is a common saying, that A new besome sweepsclean; but it is a true one, that The end crowns the work: for, to be­gin well and then to give over, or to go on by starts, and not with a constant hand, is the next way to draw on a re­lapse; [Page 292] which many times proves more dangerous than the originall sicknesse. Many, to win applause, or the better to settle themselves in their regall or im­periall Thrones, have begunne with wholesome Lawes, and strict executi­on of them: but, within a while they have growne weary, either by despai­ring the event would answer their pur­poses, or by giving themselves over to ease and pleasure; and so have lost both their honour with men, and their re­ward with God. But, as naturall moti­ons gather strength in moving: so a re­formation begun aright out of a con­science of duty, and a zeal of goodnes, though it finde some rubs and oppositi­ons at first; yet the farther it wades, the more easie it findes the passage, and the means more ready for the compas­sing of what it intends.

Had our King Henry, the last of that name, continued the same course at the last as at first he began with, in the wor­thy execution of Empson & Dudley, two caterpillers of the State; he had doubt­less [Page 293] left more honour to his name, and happely more treasure in his Coffers. Had Nero held-out the residue of his government suitably to his first five years, hee might well have marched in equall rank with the best Emperours: but, beginning with an head of gold, & ending in feet of iron & clay, hee now stands registred amongst the monsters of mankinde. It was constancy which made Augustus truely to affirme of Rome at his death, Lateritiam inveni, marmoream reliqui; I found it Brick, and left it Marble. It was constancy that e­rected in every corner so many monu­ments of honor to the memory of Tra­ian, that the great Constantine, succee­ding in the Empire about two hundred years after, was wont to call him Her­bam parietariam, Pellitory of the wall. And lastly, constancy it was, and houl­ding on in an upright course to the end, that made al Iudah and Ierusalem sore­ly to mourn at the funerals of the good King Iosiah; and the singing men and women continually in succeeding ages [Page 294] to remember his name in their lamen­tations; Whereas it is recorded of some other of that race, who had faire & glorious beginnings, but clowdy & durty endings, that they dyed without being desired of the people: no man so much as shed a teare at their funerals, or wished them in beeing againe.

I come from our Prophets diligence, dispatch, and perseverance, to the worke it selfe; I will destroy, I will cut off: where a question offers it selfe, Whether it bee lawfull, or no, to destroy; in what case it is lawfull, and to whom it belongs? For the commandement seemes to be generall, Thou shalt not kill: and so doth the rule, grounded upon the law of Nature, and given before the Morall lawe, Who-so sheddeth mans [...]blood, by man shall his blood be shed: and the reason is added; For, in the image of God made hee man, Gen. 9. 6. And to the lawe Naturall and Mo­rall is added the Evangelicall, All that take the sword shall perish with the sword, Mat. 26. 52: Which passages, notwith­standing the peevishness of Anabapti­sticall [Page 295] interpretations following the letter and not the sense, the rinde and and not the pith, are not to be expoun­ded without many limitations and di­stinctions. For the resolution then of the question, we are to knowe, that in three cases, which by some are held unlawfull, it is lawfull to destroy; and in three other cases, by othersome held lawfull, is is unlawfull to destroy. It is lawfull for a man to destroy another, either Se defendenda, in defence of his own person, or in a iust and lawfull warre, or by the sword of the publique Magistrate.

In defence of his owne person, in as much as charity begins at home: and being to love our neighbour but as our selves, the love of our selves is the rule of the love of our neighbour, and con­sequently before it in nature; the rule by which a thing is ruled and ordered, being ever in nature before that which is ruled and ordered by it. If then my person bee violently assaulted, and my life wrongfully indangered, it is not onely lawfull but commendable, to in­danger [Page 296] or take away the assailants life, for the preservation of mine owne: but, if I can by any other meanes save mine owne life without the taking a­way of his; though it bee in the worlds account reputed disgracefull, yet am I in Christian charity to make choice of that; which as it teacheth a man to pre­ferre his owne life before anothers: so doth it also to preferre another mans life before mine owne pretended or i­maginary reputation.

Secondly, it is lawfull to destroy in a just and lawfull warre: which is then presumed so to be, when it is comman­ded by the supreame Magistrate, either for the revenging of outrages commit­ted, or for the repairing of injuries re­ceived, or for the recovering of right detained, or for defending of our own countrey or religion, by the enemy threatned. And though it were to bee wished, that, among those who joyntly professe the glorious name of Iesus, none occasion were offered of destroy­ing one another and spilling of Chri­stian [Page 297] blood, but that they might all joyne their hearts and hands together in destroying the professed enemies of that name: yet as long as covetousness and ambition are admitted to Counsel, as long as right is measured by might, and private respects are made publique quarrels; as long as the Bishop of Rome the eldest sonne of that Abaddon or A­pollion, Revel▪ 9▪ which indeed signifies a Destroyer, proudly challenges to him­selfe those words of Ieremy, 1. 10. I haue this day set thee over the nations, and over kingdomes, to root out, to pull downe, and to destroy, as Pius Quintus expresly doth in his declaratory Bull against Queene Elizabeth of blessed memory, and is therein not checked, but applauded by Christian Princes; So long I say▪ such a wish may well passe for an honest and religious desire, though in reason it be never likely to take effect: nay, wee are sure that the grand Destroyer himselfe is at last to be destroyed, even by those Christian Princes whom he imployed as instruments for the destruction of o­thers. [Page 298] The ten hornes which thou sawest up­on the beast, are they that shall hate the whore, and make her desolate, and naked, and shall eate her flesh and burne her with fire, for God hath put into their hearts to ful­fill his will, Revel. 17. 16. 17. Wee are then to follow peace with all men; but none otherwise then as peace is joyned with holiness: for what peace can there bee as long as the whoredomes and witchcrafts of that Iezabel remaine yet in such abundance? War then is to be preferred to such a Peace, where a Land may justly complaine,

—Longae pacis patimur mala: Saevior armis,
Luxuria incumbit—

The third sort of Lawfull destroying is, by the sword of the publique Magi­strate, in the execution of justice upon notorious malefactors; for he beareth it not in vaine, but is the minister of God to take vengeance upon him that doth evill, Rom. 13. 4. And of this it is that our Prophet (being then by Gods or­dinance designed to be his Vice-gerent on earth) chiefly speakes in this place, [Page 299] I will destroy, I will cut off. And with him agrees the wise Salomon, Prov. 20. 26, A wise King scattereth the wicked, and brin­geth the wheele over them. It is not onely justice but wisedome, sometime to cut off and destroy: First, that others may thereby bee admonished to walk more warily. Thus the disobedient sonne must bee brought foorth and ston'd to death, That all Israel might heare and fear, Deut. 21. As the thunderbolt falleth with the danger of fewe, but with the feare of all: So Poena ad paucos, metus ad omnes: the terror of publique ex­ecutions reacheth farther than the pu­nishment; for the feare extends to all, but the punishment to few: and how­soever it be true, that the better sort be directed by love, yet the greater sort are corrected by feare. A man that stands by, and sees one that is woun­ded, seared, or launced, is therby made more carefull of his owne health: and in like manner the beholding a malefa­ctor to be brought to deserved punish­ment, makes men more wary how they [Page 300] runne into the like courses. It was a true saying in the generall of the Pro­consull to Cyprian at his martyrdome, though ill applyed to him in particu­lar, In sanguine tuo caeteri discent discipli­nam; In thy blood the rest will learne discipline.

Secondly, the cutting off of the wic­ked causeth the good to leade a more quiet and peaceable life in godliness and ho­nesty: who if they should be permitted to live and enjoy their liberty, wee should neither meet quietly in our as­semblies, nor dwell quietly in our hou­ses, nor walke quietly in our streets, nor travaile quietly in our wayes, nor la­bour quietly in our fields. In better tearmes stands that State where no­thing, then where all things are lawful: and it is no lesse cruelty to spare all, than to spare none. For, he that spares one bad, thereby injuries many good: which gave occasion to the Proverbe, Foolish pitie marres the Citie; and to the saying of Domitius, that hee had ra­ther seeme cruell in punishing, than [Page 301] dissolute in sparing.

Many, saith Saint Augustine, call that cruelty, when for love of disciplin the fault committed is revenged by the punishment of the offender; where­as the Sentence of him that punisheth satisfieth the lawe, and redoundeth to the good not onely of them that are present, but even of them that are yet unborne. So that severity used in this case, Vtilitate publica rependitur, is payed home and recompensed with publike benefit. Yea, but though hee be a ma­lefactor, say some, yet is hee a perso­nable man, of an excellent wit, and good parentage; and is it not pitie to cast away such a man? To which may justy be replyed, Is it not more pitie, that a proper man should undoe a pro­fitable man, that a witty man should hurt an honest man, that hee who hath good parentage should spoile him that hath good vertues to serve the Com­mon-wealth? To cut off such a wic­ked person then by the stroake of ju­stice, is not to castaway a man; but to [Page 302] preserve mankinde: and better it is, Vt unus pereat quam ut unitas; that one single person should suffer, than a whol Society:

—Truncatur & artus,
Vt liceat reliquis securum viuere m [...]bris.

Thirdly, as by sparing wicked and wilfull transgressors, the wrath of God is provoked, and his judge­ments pulled downe vpon a Nati­on: So by cutting them off, as by an acceptable sacrifice his wrath is appea­sed, and his favour procured. If blood were shed in the Land, and the mur­therer not put to death, the whol Land was thereby defiled, and made lyable to Gods displeasure, Num. 35. 33. When Achan had stoln the consecrated thing, the wrath of the Lord was so kindled against all the Hoast of Israel, that they could not stand, but were discomfited before their enemies: but as soone as Achan with those that belonged unto him were stoned to death, the Lord turned from his fierce wrath against Is­rael; so that wheras, before, their ene­mies [Page 303] chased and smote them, now they atchieved many great and famous vic­tories, Ios. 7. So long as the murther committed by Saul upon the Gibeo­nites was unpunished, there was sent a grievous famine upon the Land of Is­raell three yeares together: but as soon as Sauls seaven sonnes were hanged at the motion of the Gibeonites, God was appeased with the Land.

Two notable examples to this pur­pose we have recorded by Plutarch: the one in the life of Romulus, the other of Camillus. When Romulus K. of Rome, & Tatius K. of the Sabines, after cruell war had made their cōposition to governe the Romans & Sabines joyntly, there fell a strange kinde of plague and famine in the Cities of Rome and Laurentum, for two murthers committed by the Ro­mans and Laurentines: the one by the kinsmen of Tatius upon certaine Em­bassadours of Laurentum; which mur­der Tatius neglected to punish: and the other by the friends of the saide Em­bassadours upon Tatius in revenge of [Page 304] the injustice done by his kinsmen, and suffered by him. Whereupon it being noted that the plague and famine in­creased strongly in both Cities, and a common opinion conceived that it was a punishment of God upon them for those murthers committed and not punished, they resolved to doe ju­stice upon the offenders: which being once done, the plague ceased presently in both places.

The same Author likewise ascribeth the Sack of Rome by the Gaules, to the just judgement of God upon the Ro­mans, for two injustices done by them: the first was the unjust banishment of Camillus; the second, the refusall to pu­nish certain Ambassadors of their own, who beeing sent to treate peaceably with the Gaules, on the behalfe of the Clusians, committed acts of hostility a­gainst them, contrary to the lawe of armes: And when the Gaules sent to Rome to demand reparation of the in­jury, the Romans not onely refused to give them satisfaction; but also made [Page 305] made their Ambassadours, who had done the injurie, Generals of an Army to assist the Clusians against them, not­withstanding that the Foeciales (officers ordained by Numa Pompilius to deter­mine of the lawfull causes of Peace and Warre) made great instance to the Senate, that the Ambassadours might be punished, lest the penalty of their fault might otherwise fall upon the Common-wealth: as indeede it did. For the Gaules, giving battel to the Am­bassadors, overthrew them; and pro­secuting their victory, spoyled and sac­ked Rome it selfe, under the conduct & command of Brennus, their chief Lea­der, and as some write a Brittain.

Wherein I wish to bee noted, how grievous a sinne it is in the opinion of the very Paynims themselves, and how dangerous to the Common-wealth, to neglect and omit the punishment of notorious malefactors, whereby the offences of particular men are made the sinnes of the whole State, and draw the wrath and punishment of God up­on [Page 306] the same: And as upon the whole State, so chiefly upon his person and posterity to whose place and office it belongs to see justice done. It is a true saying, Iudex damnatur, cum nocens abs [...]l­uitur, the Iudge is condemned when the guilty is absolved; and Qui non ve­tat peccare cum potest, iubet: He that doth not restrain a man (when it is his duty, and it lies in his power) doth command him to sinne. He that saith to the wic­ked, thou art righteous, him shall the people curse, Prov. 24. 24. And in a­nother place, Hee that justifieth the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, 17. 15. So that whereas they thinke by this meanes to winne estimation with men, they make themselves odious both to God and men. Saul was puni­shed with the losse of his kingdome, for not punishing Agag with death, 1. Sam. 15. And Ahab, for sparing Ben­hadab, had a sharpe greeting sent him, 1. King. 20. Because thou hast let goe out of thine hand a man whom I appointed to die, thy life shall goe for his life, and thy people for [Page 307] his people. And many times wee see by experience, that a desperate wicked man, reserved from due punishment, proves a continuall vexation vnto him that hath spared him: As, the nations that inhabited the Land of Canaan, be­ing not cast out and destroyed by the Israelites as God had commanded them, became by his just judgement a snare & destruction unto them▪ a whip on their sides, and a thorn in their eyes, Ios. 23. 13. Iudges 2. 3.

Verse 8. I will earely destroy all the wicked of the Land, that I may cut off all wicked doers from the Citie of the Lord.

HItherto of the three kindes of law­full destroying, by some phanta­sticall and Anabaptisticall spirits held unlawfull. Now, it remaines, that I speake of three other unlawfull kindes of destroying, by some irreligious and profane spirits held lawfull; whereof, the first is selfe homicide, the destroying of a mans selfe, the cutting off the threed of his owne life with his owne hands. The second is, destroying of another by Duel, in single combate; whether hee send or accept the cha­lenge, it matters not. The third, is the destroying of a subject by the sword, and at the command of a civill Magi­strate, onely for reason of State, or poli­tique respects, without due order of law, or course of justice.

First, then of the first; of the unlaw­fulness [Page 309] of a mans destroying himselfe, whether it bee for the shunning of shame, or griefe, or misery, or sinne. Our Prophet himself was often broght into great distress, marvailous streights & plunges, both bodily and ghostly, as may appear by his dolefull complaints through-out this booke of Psalmes: Yet would hee not destroy himselfe thereby to bee ridde of them. Saul, who would not destroy Agag, de­stroyed himselfe: but David vow­eth to destroy the wicked; himselfe hee would not destroy. Paul, though he had fightings without, and terrors within, and desires to bee dissolved; yet dissolve himselfe, or hasten his dis­solution hee would not. Iob, though scourged with unmatchable chastise­ments, yet he would not moove from his station without his Generalls com­mand, he would not change himselfe, but patiently wait all the dayes of his appoin­ted time, untill his changing came, 14. 14.

It was a worthy speech which Iose­phus the Iew made to his Souldiers, be­ing [Page 310] in a cave, where they lay hid after they lost the City Iotapata, taken by Vespasian; they, rather than they would bear the disgrace of being taken by the enemy, would needs make an end of themselves: like Fannius, of whom the Poet, ‘Hîcrog [...], Non furor est ne m [...]riare m [...]ri?’

Yet some might perhaps commend this resolution: but what saith the good Iosephus, to perswade them to the con­trary? The Almighty hath given unto us our life as a most precious iewell: hee hath shut it and sealed it up in this earthen vessel, and given it us to bee kept, till hee himself [...] ask for it againe: wee are neither to deny it when hee shall require it, nor to cast it forth till hee command it. Among other rea­sons for which the Books of the Mac­cabees are held Apocryphall, this is not the least, that they commend [...] his destroying of himself, as a manfull and noble act; whereas indeed it is the tru­est signe of a minde truely [...], like a Cube to stand upright in all for­tunes.

[Page 311]Fortiter ille facit, qui miser esse potest.

The second kinde of unlawfull de­stroying, by too many held lawfull, is the killing of another in Duel: not such as our Prophet himself undertook with Goliah the Philistine, by publike autho­rity from the State, and for the publike good of the State; but when men for private revenge, & righting their con­ceived or pretended wrongs, either send or accept a chalenge for single combate, all the Sope and Niter in the world cannot wash away the guilt of blood from this practice: whatsoever men pretend heerin, either for the tri­all of man-hood, or the putting-by the imputation of cowardise, or for the maintenance of reputation, it cannot excuse in this case. And howsoever the world applaud it many times with tearms of worth, of gallantry, of brave spiritednes, and the like; yet is it doubt­less no better than murder in Gods ac­count; and disloyalty to the civill Ma­gistrate, by wresting the sword out of his hand, and taking his office from [Page 312] him. Sin then against God is more to bee feared, than shame amongst men; and true Christianity to bee preferred before the opinion of such fool-hardy courage.

Think not, I read a Lecture of base­nesse: since true valour consists not in quarrelling & brabbling for private in­juries, or in stabbing for a word of dis­grace; but in maintenance of Gods ho­nour, in preserving thy alleageance to thy Prince, in safe-garding thy Coun­trey. Hee may well bee reckoned a­mong Martyrs, who upon conscience and knowledge engageth himself upon these occasions.

Was Augustus Caesar a coward in the repute of the Heathen, when, receiving a chalenge from Anthony, he returned him this answer; that, if Anthony had a disposition to dy, or were weary of his life, there were waies enow else to death besides that? The chalenge was rejected, and yet his honour untainted.

I will shut up this point with an ex­cellent speech of Bernards concerning [Page 313] unjust fightings; and in that number I esteem these: If in thy fighting thou hast a minde to kill another man, and then art slain fighting, thou diest a murtherer: if thou pre­vail, and kill the other, thou livest a murthe­rer. Whether then thou live or dy, beest con­quered or Conquerer, it is not good to bee a murtherer. So that the conclusion is, that, which way soever it fall out, mur­ther it is before God. Miserable for a man to bee slaine, and so to goe to his reckoning while hee is malitiously la­bouring to take away anothers life: as miserable, if hee kill, to bee continually haunted with the guilt of blood. All the fame and commendation of doing it upon fair tearms, cannot countervail that vexation.

I have the rather touched this point, for that it is one of the evils of our times; many scarce accounting them­selves men, till they have made a braul, and (like the Youngsters of Helketh­hazzurim) sheathed their swords in their fellowes bowels: whereby the Land is becomne a very Acheldama, a [Page 314] Field of blood. The more are wee to blesse God, who hath put it in the mind of our David, not any way to counte­nance these Cutters, but to range them among those wicked ones whom hee hath vowed to destroy and cut off.

The third kinde of unlawful destroy­ing, by some held lawfull, is the cut­ting off of a Subject by the sword, or at the command of the civill Magistrate, for politick or private respects, without just cause and due desert. Almightie God, who out of the earth moulded man, and breathed into him the spirit of life, might (as an absolute Lord of life and death) take that breath againe from him, & turn him into dust, or into nothing, at his pleasure: but his Vice­gerents on earth have no such transcen­dent power; their commission beeing confined to the rules of justice and reli­gion: the observation whereof is un­doubtedly the fairest and safest course they can take. Vriah was Davids Sub­ject: yet when the King had cunning­ly caused him to bee placed by Ioab in [Page 315] the forefront of the battell, and upon a sudden retreit to fall by the sword of the Ammonite; in sense of this unjust act hee afterwards cries out, Deliver me from blo [...]d-guiltiness, O God. Naboth was Ahabs Subject: yet, because Letters were written in the Kings Name, and his Seal was set to them for the putting of Naboth to death, the Prophet Eliah is bid to charge him with the murther; Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? Neither doth Ahab plead his power o­ver Naboth, or Naboths subjection unto him; but, by humbling of himselfe, seems to acknowledge his guiltiness.

There is nothing that makes a man to bee more accounted of amongst all men, than, beeing accountable to no man for his actions, so to carry himself (specially in the destroying and cutting off of men) as if he were ready to yeeld account of his proceedings to all men. There is nothing that wins more hear­ty affection, and inward both reverēce and obedience, than when a man may uncontrouleably and without checke [Page 316] doe what hee list, to doe no more than what is lawful and justifiable.

Nee tibi quid liceat, sed quid fecisse de­cebit,
Occurrat, mentemq [...]e domet respectus honesti.

And as the Panegyrist speakes of The­ [...]d [...]sius, Idem es qui fuisti, & tantum tibi per te licet quantum per leges antea licebat: ius summum facultate & c [...]pia commodan­di▪ non securitate peccandi, experiris. Wher­unto the strongest motive to induce a minde possessed with the sense of reli­gion and the feare of God, is, that no earthly throne is so high, but that it hath a superior throne in heaven, from which it was derived, to which it is sub­ordinate, and by which it must bee jud­ged: and the lesse it is lyable to humane censure, the more strict and severe ei­ther in this world, or in the next, or in both, must it in reason expect the di­vine.

Si genus humanum & mortalia temnitis arma,
At sperate Deum memorem fandi at que nefandi.

[Page 317]Therfore our Prophet ads, I will de­stroy, I will cut off: but whom? the wicked of the Land, the workers of iniquity: which is my third generall part, the Obiect up­on whō this severe justice is to be don.

It is as great abomination, saith Sa­lomon, Prov. 17. 15, In the sight of God to condemne the just, as it is to justifie the wicked: And the Prophet Esay 5. 23, pronounceth as great a woe against him that taketh away the righteousness of the righteous from him, as against him that iustifieth and absolveth the wicked for a reward. As then speciall care must be had, that the innocent do not suffer with the guilty, or as the guil­ty: So specially that their blood be not spilt, and their life uniustly destroyed. Know for certaine (saies the Prophet Ie­remy) that if yee put mee to death, yee shall bring innocent blood upon your selves, and upon this Citie, and upon the inhabitants thereof, 26. 14. Thereby implying that God would avenge his blood, not one­ly upon the murtherers themselves, but upon the people; the whole Land should be guilty of it.

[Page 318] Manasses was a [...] murtherer, hee shed innocent blood exceeding much, till hee replenished Ierusalem from cor­ner to corner, 2. King. 21. But marke how fearfully God revenges this sinne in his posterity. In the dayes of Iehoa­chim, the Lord sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Ara­mites, and bands of the M [...]abites, and bands of the Ammonites, and hee sent them against Iudah to destroy it; For the sinnes of Manasses, and for the inn [...] ­cent blood that hee had shed: as it is exprest in the 24. of the same booke. Manasses was dead and rotten long before this time, yet wee see God had not forgot­ten that sinne; but the whole Land smarted in the third generation after him. So likewise Ioash most unkindly caused Zachariah the sonne of good Ie­hoiada to be stoned to death, because he reproved him for his Idolatry. But see what followed. When the yeare was out, the Hoast of Aram came uppe a­gainst him, and they came against Iu­dah and Ierusalem, and destroyed all the [Page 319] Princes of the people, and sent all the spoyle of them to the King of Damas­cus: though the army of Aram came with a small company of men, yet the Lord delivered a very great army into their hands. After this, the King him­selfe was smitten with great diseases, and at last his owne servants conspired against him, and slew him in his bed. And the reason of all these fearefull judgements is given there by the holy Ghost, For the blood of the children of Ie­hoiada the Priest.

It is memorable, that which Procopi­us an Historian reports, touching The­odorick King of the Gothes; how that ha­ving slain Bo [...]thius and Symmachus, two both noble and innocent persons, the guilt of that horrible fact cleaving close to him, hee had a strong imagina­tion that the head of a certaine fish which was set upon his table, was the head of Symmachus, gaping and yaw­ning upon him: The very conceite whereof struck him into such a qua­king fit, as was the beginning of an ex­treame [Page 320] sickness, upon which he short­ly died.

Now, as hee vowes to destroy the wicked, and none but them: so doth he all them; my fourth generall part, His indifferent and unpartiall proceeding, I will destroy all, I will cut off all. Not that he thought it possible to root out all; but that hee would doe his best to leave none.

The magistrate herein is to imitate God, whose deputy he is, & whose per­son he represents: And as he communi­cates with God in his name, so shold he in his nature; Who without respect of per­sons iudgeth according to every mans work, 1. Pet. 1. 17. Though Coniah were as the signet upon his finger, yet would hee pluck him thence, Ieremy 22. 24. And as his practice is, so is his precept: Ye shall haue one lawe, it shall be as well for the stranger, as the borne in the countrey. The stran­ger if hee deserve favour, must have it as much as if hee were borne in the countrey: and hee that is borne in the countrey must be punished as severely [Page 321] as if hee were a stranger.

Tros Tyriusue mihi nullo discrimine a­get [...]r.

If a sonne be stubborne and disobe­dient, the Parents themselves must bring him forth to the Iudges, that they may sentence him, & the people stone him, Deut. [...]1. If a brother, if a daugh­ter, if a wife offend in some cases, they are not to be spared, Deut. 13. And ther­fore Asa, King of Iudah, is commen­ded for his uprightness in this respect, that when Maacha, his owne mother, committed Idolatry, hee would not spare her, but deposed her from her Re­gency, 1. King. 15. And indeed it is tru­ly said, Iustitia non novit patrem, non novit matrem, veritatem novit: Iustice neither knoweth father, nor mother, but onely the truth.

It is reported by a late Traveller, that in Zant over the place of judge­ment, where all causes both Crimi­nall and Civill are decided, there are these two Latine verses written on the wall, in letters of gold:

[Page 322]
Hic locus odit, amat, punit, conservat, h [...] ­norat,
Nequitiam, pacem, crimina, i [...]ra, bonos.

This place hateth wickedness, loveth peace, punisheth offences, preserveth the lawes, honoureth the good; im­plying that there should be no partiali­ty used, but every man should be pro­ceeded withall according to his de­serts.

To which purpose, was that memo­rable speech of our King Henry the fourth of that name; who when his el­dest son, the Prince, was by the L. chief Iustice, for some great misdemeanors, commanded and committed to prison, hee thanked God that hee had both a sonne of that obedience, and a judge of such unpartiall and undanted courage.

But Agesilaus was as much to blame, who when hee commended a friend of his to the Iudge, hee mooved him that if his cause were good, hee would absolve him for justice sake; if not, at his motion: but howsoever the world went, absolved hee must be bee; an ill [Page 323] example of dangerous consequence, in him who was to be a paterne of indif­ferent justice to his inferiour Iudges: among whom wee finde that too often true, which the heathen Orator com­plained of, in his times; Omnium Ser­mone percrebuit, It is rife in every mans mouth, In his iudiciis quae nunc sunt, pecu­niosum hominem quamvis sit nocens, nemi­nem posse damnari: That in these judge­ments which are now-adayes, a moni­ed man though hee bee guilty, cannot be condemned. Nihil tam sanctum quod non violari, nihil tam munitum quod non expugnari pecuniâ possit, There is no­thing so holy that may not be violated, nothing so well fenced, that may not bee overthrowne with money; the lawes being made like unto cobwebs, which catch and holde little [...]lyes, but the great ones breake through them. Blasphemy, and perjury, & sacriledge, and symonie, and extortion, and op­pression, and vsury, and exeessive bri­bery passe currant; when petty theeve­rie in case of extreame necessity is most [Page 324] severely punished.

The fif [...] and last point I proposed, is the End our Prophet proposeth to him selfe of this great work heer vowed, It is the purging of the Citie of the Lord: whereby is meant Ierusalem. First, for example to the whole Realme, it being the Metropolis and head Citie of the Kingdome, as also and principally by reason the service of God, and the exercise of religion, was in a speciall mann [...]r by divine ordinance tied unto it: in which regard he cals it the Citie of the Lord, as the Evangelist doth the ho­ly Citie, Mat. 4.

This Citie was so large, that it con­ [...]ed of foure quarters▪ every one of them by walles divided from another. The first and highest was mount Sion: in it was the Citie of David, called by [...]osephus the superiour Citie, excee­ding strong in regard of the naturall situation thereof. The second was called the Daughter of Sion, because it seemed to come out as it were of the bosome of the other; and in this was [Page 325] mount Moriah, whereupon the Tem­ple stood: This Citie was compassed with a stronge wal [...], wherein stood threescore Towres. The third was beautified with many ample streets, & faire buildings, compassed with a wall wherein were fourteen Towers. The fourth was inhabited by all sorts of Ar­tificers, compassed with the third wall which was twenty five cubits high, and had in it fourescore and tenne strong Towers. So populous withall it was, that during the siege of the Romans in the space of five monthes there were slaine and died, as Iosephus there present reports it, to the number of eleven hundred thousand. Now, albeit in our Prophets dayes this Citie was not yet brought to this perfection, yet was it then very spacious and populous: not­withstanding which greatness of the place and disordred multitude of the inhabitants, yet by Gods helpe he un­dertakes the reformation.

It is a thing which we ought to bear away: for, it meeteth with the idle [...]ess [Page 326] and litherness of many, who imagine that it is impossible to reforme a great City: yea, if it bee but a little market-town, it is impossible (say they) that all should bee well there. Yea, this excuse is pretended by such as have but small families in comparison: and so, under a colour of this impossibility to reform all, they doo almost just nothing; no, not so much as the lawes put into their hands, and command them to do. Yet these men have but as it were a posterne gate in Ierusalem to keep: what thinke you would they doo, if they had the charge of so great and large a City? True it is, let Officers doo their best, there will be much disorder: what wil it bee then when they doo little or no­thing, in respect of any care to weed out sinne? but rather bolster it out, take part with leud companions, give them countenance, speak and write for them, yea keep them company; men fitte ra­ther to bee overseen and guided conti­nually by others, than to bee in autho­rity to see or guide any. But let such as [Page 327] bee in office doo their duty, executing the good lawes put into their hands by higher authority, and then not doubt of the impossibility of reforming abu­ses in their lesser charges; seeing Da­vid, trusting upon the help of God, is so confident touching this great & po­pulous City. Let them but put-to their endeavours, and they shall finde such success in the advancement of godlines and suppressing of impiety, many times even beyond hope and expectation, as they wil see cause to rejoice in the per­formance of their dutie, and to praise God for his blessing upon it.

Again: David, vowing to reforme this City, meaneth not to stay there, but to proceed to the cleansing & pur­ging of the whole Land. This no doubt hee might think, that if Ierusalem were reformed, it would be a great light and direction to the whole Kingdome: as wee see how it falleth out; lesser pla­ces look to those that be [...] greater, and the meaner sort look to those that be [...] higher, frō whom also there is [...] [Page 328] force to draw inferiours either to good or evill.

Above maiori discit ar are minor.

A great towne or a great house well ordered may fitly bee compared to a great garden ful of sweet flowrs, which yeeldeth much good [...]avour and pro­spect to the neighbours: if they bee ill ordered, they bee like great dunghills, noysome and contagious to such as dwell about. A great towne or a great Personages house, if they bee good, do much good to the Countrey: but, if they bee naught and sinfull, the poison of them is strong, and the infection dā ­gerous.

It is then a work worthy a King, to beginne the reformation of his State, with purging the head-city of his Kingdome: where, by reason of the confluence of forren nations & all sorts of people, vice must needs abound; but specially, because head-cities (for the most part) by Monopolies, and Com­panies, and Corporations, and I knowe no [...] [...]hat devices, labour to drawe to [Page 329] themselves the whole treasure of the Land: and if the blood should all bee drawn from the other members to the head, it would both distēper the head, and starve the members. The head-ci­ty then is so to bee respected, that infe­riour cities and towns bee not neglec­ted; but an indifferent hand to bee ex­tended to them al, lest one in time swal­low the other, as the greater fishes de­vour the lesser.

The last thing wee are to observe, is, that hee would begin his reformation in the City of the Lord. Of the Lord. His meaning is, with matter of religi­on; it beeing therefore called the City of the Lord, because, as hee had cho­sen the Land of Canaan out of all the world to bee the portion of his people▪ so out of all Canaan hee chose Ierusa­lem, to place his Name and Taberna­cle there (the Temple beeing not yet built) and in the Tabernacle the Arke of the Covenant; a speciall sacrament of his presence. This, our Prophet ex­presseth yet more cleerely in another [Page 330] Psalm, 122. 9, Because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seeke to d [...]o thee good. Among other main and waighty mat­ters then pertaining to the Princes charge, the care of GOD's truth and Church must bee the chiefest. For, should the bodies, goods and credits of men bee preserved; and the honour and glory of GOD bee neglected? Should earthly ease bee so much in re­quest; and heavenly bliss so little in de­sire? Feare wee the ruine of all things, where injuries and violences by men are not repressed by the princes sword; and doubt wee no danger where idola­try, heresie, ath e [...]sm and blasphemie a­gainst God, goe unpunished? Is Gods hand shortned, that hee cannot strike? or his will altered, that hee will honour those that dishonour him, and blesse them that hate him?

It is a Romish errour, repugnant to the word of God, and to the examples of the best Kings and Monarchs before and since Christ, to restraine Princes from protecting and promoting the [Page 331] true worship of GOD within their Realms. Neither hath the man of sin more grosly betraid his pride and rage in any thing, than in abasing the honor, and abusing the power, and impugning this right of Princes, by making them his Bailiffs and Sergeants to attend and accomplish his will, and not meddle with supporting the truth, or refor­ming the Church farther than hee li­steth; that, whiles they command their subjects bodies, hee might command their soules, the better half: which, commanding the body, wil quickly up­on occasion draw that after it; as reason shewes, and experience teacheth.

It is rightly observed, that, after the Bishop of Rome had once fully en­grossed the Imperiall power, there was never since Emperour of strength, or Pope of vertue: so they lost both by it. And indeed, as the blood, if it fall any way out of the veins too much, there is some danger; but, if it fall into the bo­dy extra vasa, there is more danger, for it will corrupt and putresie: so was it [Page 332] with the supreme authority of Princes, when they suff [...]red it to fall into the Clergy, as it were extra vasa: but their Scepters and Thrones, allowed them by God, are sufficient proofs that they may and must make lawes and execute judgement, as well for godliness and ho­nesty (which by the Apostles rule are within the compass and charge of their Commission) as for peace and tranquil­lity. God hath given them two hands, to be Custodes utriusque tabulae; Vphol­ders of both the tables: from observing this, no man may drawe them; since for neglecting this, no man shall excuse them.

They must not be careful in humane things, and carel [...]sse in divine: God ought to be served and honoured by them, that is, by their Princely power and care, as much afore men, as his truth and glory excelleth the peace and w [...]lfare of men. It wanteth many de­grees of a Christian government to look to the keeping of things that must perish, and to leave the soules of men [Page 333] as an open prey to impiety and irreli­gion. And if Princes provide not this for their Subjects, peace, and traffique, and such like makes no better provision for them, then is made for Oxen in good pasture; nay, not so good. For an Oxe hath therein all hee needeth; but a man without this left altogether unprovided in his farre nobler and bet­ter part.

And as Princes without this Care provide not well for their people: so they provide but ill for themselves, in as much as they can have no certaine assurance of the loyalty and allegeance of their subjects without it; since no­thing can cast a sure knot on the cōsci­ence for the firme binding of it, but the true knowledge and feare of God. So that where Princes advance the good of Gods house, they establish the good of their owne all in one.

Lastly, it is to be observed, that in all the Kings of Israel and Iudah, their sto­ries beginne with this observation, as with a thing worthy to be chronicled [Page 334] in the first place, how they dealt in mat­ter of religion. Such a King, and such a King: and what did he? Hee did that which was right in the sight of the Lord; and such a King, hee walked in the wayes of Ieroboam the sonne of Ne­bat. I spare to cite places: but it is the generall observation of those books of Kings and Chronicles; as they that reade them knowe: yea farther, it may bee marked, that God hath alwaies hum­bled Princes, & even powred contēpt upon them, when they have contem­ned the messengers and forsaken or for­gotten the house of the Lord.

For the preventing whereof, it shall not be amisse for them to consult with Church-men, specially in Church af­fair [...]s; as the wise, the good King Da­vid in all his weighty businesses, but specially in matters touching religion and the service of God, still used the counsell and direction either of Gad or Nathan, Prophets, or of Abiathar and Hiram, chiefe Priests. It went wel with Ioash, as long as Iehoiada his trusty Coun­seller [Page 335] lived: but when Iehoiadah died, the Kings goodnesse dyed with him. Then came the Princes of Iudah, and made obeisance to the King, and the King hearkened unto them, and they left the house of the Lord God of their Fathers, and served Groves and Idols, and wrath came upon Iudah and Ierusa­lem, because of this their trespasse, 2. Chron. 24. 17. 18.

Give the King thy iudgements O God, and thy righteousness unto the Kings Son.

FINIS.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.