A SERMON OF DELIVERANCE. Preached at the Spittle on Easter Monday, 1626.

Vpon Entreatie of the Lord Maior and Aldermen. Published by Authoritie. And Dedicated to the Citie of London.

By HENRY KING D. D. One of his Maiesties Chaplaines in Ordinarie.

LONDON, Printed by IOHN HAVILAND, for Iohn Marriot. 1626.

A SERMON OF Deliuerance.

PSAL. 91. 3.‘For he shall deliuer thee from the snare of the Hunters, and from the noysome Pesti­lence.’

I Stay not vpon vnneedfull Preface, to shew with what accord the Text suits this Time. The Israelites Passe­ouer, and the Christians Ea­ster, wherein Christ our Passeouer was slaine, beare record that this Festiuall was foun­ded [Page 2] on two most memorable Deliueran­ces, the first from Aegypt, the last from Sinne. To which Generall Deliuerance what Title you make, common Religion and Faith must teach. But the particular Interest you haue in the latter part of my Text: Your Cities happy recouery from her late mortall Sicknesse, and your Grati­tude instruct you.

The Argument of the Text is Deliue­rance. Diuision. Liberabit, Shall deliuer.

The Author. He shall deliuer.

The Subiect on whom it is wrought, Thee.

The Danger from which He deliuers, which is twofold:

  • 1. From the Snare of the Hunters.
  • 2. From the Noysome Pestilence.

I take the Text in the Method it lies.

It is no flat or low expression to disci­pher God by a Pronoune rather than a Name, 1. He. but the most eminent forme of speech that may be. He that can take the iust dimensions of this [...], He, shall finde it a word of an exalted sense, capable of [Page 3] none but the worthiest constructions: A word fit to blazon Honour without diminution of the least title, and able to reach the highest superlatiue, Him that sits aboue the Heauens. I finde no higher glory at which Pythagoras sometimes aimed but to possesse himselfe of this poore Pro­noune, nor could his Schollers who so much admired him, speake his worth in a fuller stile, or make a nobler mention of him in any Attribute then [...], He. That Pythagorean [...], He said it, being of as indubitable truth as the Pythian Ora­cle, not to be doubted or disputed but be­leeued. What euer claime He or his Schol­lers for him could lay to this word, I am sure was only vsurpation, since the right belongs properly to God, who is He [...], that prime Actiue power who made Heauen and Earth: whose Ipse dixit, was of such Authority, that it proclaimed Him not only the God of Truth but Power too: For you see the whole Creation waited on his word, Dixit & facta sunt, He said the word, and all which he said was [Page 4] done. We need not then search for other Attributes to speake Him. In this one sil­lable He, all that we can thinke of Him, is spoken. If the whole World be a Booke penn'd and composed by God: If all the seuerall sorts of Creatures be the Pages of that Booke, this [...], He, is the Index that points and directs vs vnto euery Leafe Twas He that made this firme Masse on which we tread, laying the foundations so sure, it cannot be moued: Twas He that lighted those great Tapers in the firma­ment, whose successiue gouernment di­stinguishes our Times, our Dayes, and our Nights. Twas He that leuied those bright Powers in Heauen, which like a ranged Battell march and moue in their order: Tis He that regulates the Influence of the Starres, restraining the Pleiades, Iob 38. 31. or enlarg­ing them as he thinks good. Tis He that brings the winds out of his treasures, Arise O North, Cant. 4. 16. and come O South, and blow vpon this garden of the Earth. Tis He who keeps the Snow and Haile as it were in Banke, and hath a Magazin in the Clouds, where [Page 5] his Munition, his Artillery, the Thunder, and the Lightning, which he darts against his Enemies, are laid vp. Tis He that shuts vp the Sea with doores, bounding the Waue with a Banke. Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further, Iob 38. 8. 11. Here shall it stay thy proud waue. It was Hee that epitomiz'd this large Vo­lume of his Creation, abridging the grea­ter World in the lesser World, which is Man, his Master-piece, drawne from no meaner Copie than the Originall, God himselfe, whose Image he beares. And last, It was He that when the workmanship of the Deuill vpon a perswasion to make him better, had blurred the Image of God which was pourtrayed in Man, renewed this defaced Picture, and by a gratious De­liuerance freed him from that hand vnto which his owne Disobedience had surren­dred him.

See how iust a Report this [...] makes of him, how it trackes and followes him through the whole catalogue of his works, euen to my text. All which though it be perfectly able to name, yet it is not able to [Page 6] name Him. In Iob 38. where God ac­quaints that seruant of his with his greatest Workes, yet when He comes to discouer himselfe that did all those, He speakes out of the Whirlewind that which Iob no more vnderstands, than he sees the spea­ker, that which rather poseth then resolues him, Quis est? Who is He that hath done all this? And certainly when the busiest search hath beene made after Him, the best information is takē from this [...], 'Tis He, that Almighty, Verse 1. most high, that Cause of Cau­ses, Primitiue Essence, from whence all Be­ing is deriued: That He whom we can ex­presse in no English but God: nor can we define that sacred Stile by any thing but Himselfe. He that is Himselfe, according to his owne Message, I am that I am. He who from our inability to vtter Him raises this Trophee to Himselfe, that He is too great for our expression, an Argument fitter for our Faith than our Words, with more ease beleeued then spoken.

Thrice happy we, if we had still looked on Him at that holy Distance, if prophana­tion [Page 7] had not trenched vpon his Honour so far, as to dare inuoke that Sacred Power, whom all Attributes are too narrow to containe, in an Imprecation, or an Oath, who neuer should be mentioned but in our prayers. And in stead of offering a de­uout violence to Heauen in those prayers, offred a literal violence, setting our mouths against Heauen, like Cannons planted for Battery, to discharge nothing but Blasphe­mies against the Lord of Heauen and Earth, from whence we purchase a lucklesse vi­ctory, whilest we thus besiege Heauen, we winne Hell. The Iewes bare that reuerence to their Tetragrammaton, the Name of God, that they neuer named it but in the Tem­ple: But how many are there amongst vs, who are more familiar with God in a Ta­uerne than a Temple, where the intempe­rate heat of Wine inflames those Tongues to violate Him, which ought to be infla­med with holy zeale to confesse and praise Him? How many be there whose sinnes are their best Catechismes, that apprehend no knowledge of God, but to sweare by; [Page 8] that neuer Take that Name into their mouthes, but to breake a Law by taking it in vaine, Inuerting their Creed, in stead of Credo in Deum, I beleeue in God, into Iuro per Deum, I sweare by God.

O wretched familiarity of man with his Maker, where God is growne so cheape to be despised! Such acquaintance as it be­gins in an vngratious boldnesse, so must it end in forgetting; For as Christ told those that intruded vpon his knowledge, with a Domine in nomine, Matth. 7. 12. Lord in thy name wee haue cast out Deuils, so shall hee dismisse those who by their Diabolical Blasphemies haue cast out God; Depart from me, I know you not. Neuer must they be acquainted with any other kinde of Deliuerance than that in the Gospell, to be deliuered ouer to Iudgement.Act. 25. 12. Festus tould Paul He should goe that way his Appeale lay. They haue Appealed vnto Iudgement, in calling God as a Witnesse to their Oaths, and therefore cannot without a speedy repentance make title to his Mercy, or lay claime to that De­liuerance which speakes him a louing Fa­ther, [Page 9] as well as a powerfull God, Liberabit, He shall deliuer &c.

There needs no Cōment,Shall Deli­uer. nor doth this 2 Dialect require an Interpreter beyond it selfe. At this word Deliuerance, as at a La­bell, the Seales of Gods loue to Mankind are affixed. Seales so authenticke, that they need no hand to signe the Instrument. This word like a loud Herauld proclaimes the Author. Mercy speakes God in a shriller, more audible accent, than Power. For His mercy is aboue all his workes, or attributes. The pennons of the Cherubins that stret­ched their wings ouer the Propitiatory,Exod. 25. 20. and were a couering to the Mercy-seat, would want Extension to shadow the vn­confined Mercy of their Maker, which co­uers them, and like a coole comfortable shadow, shelters vs from the scorches of the last Iudgement, which will breake out in fire and brimstone. The Creation of Man was a large Euidence of his Power, but the Deliuerance hee wrought in repai­ring the Decayes of Nature, a worke be­yond the Spheare of Power,Leo Ser. 11. de Pass. Quia plus est [Page 10] reparâsse quod perierat, quàm à Principio creâsse quod non erat, It was a harder taske to saue a sinner, than to make a Man.

He that before might doubt what per­son this [...] denoted, in the next word Liberabit, He shall deliuer, takes his full re­solution. Gods Titles are his Workes, and the best of those Titles is his best Worke, Deliuerance. Tis Gods fashion (saith Saint Ambrose) Non respondere nomen sed negoti­um, rather to declare himselfe by the busi­nesse he Acts, than a Name; which is of little vse, when the Description is Radicall, and so essentiall as this Liberabit, He shall deliuer. I finde seuerall Readings of the word, He hath deliuered, so the Arabique, and Aethiopick, which Lorinus professes to follow. Others reade it in the Present, He doth deliuer; but the Septuagint is [...], He shall, or he will deliuer. From which I only note vnto you, that Gods fauours are not circumscribed within the limits of any Time. Saluation belongs to our God in all Places at all Times, and in euery Tense, wherein the Grammar can forme, or Reli­gion [Page 11] inuoke it. Wee must not so interpret the word, as if his Deliuerance lay yet vn­der Promise, not wrought, nor performed amongst vs; as if it were only future, expe­cted, but not come, He shall deliuer: nor yet Liberauit, He hath deliuered, take it as a past act now out of Date, which he hath once done, but wil no more. Though his Iudge­ments stand as single Presidents, recorded to haue bin once done, but disauowed for euer being done againe, as doth the Deluge after which God is said to repent Him, and then contracts with Man neuer to destroy him againe by water; yet his Mercies are Leading cases, which God is well content we should still vrge: They are Patternes by which Hee is often pleased to worke. Like fruitfull Copies that multiply by Imitation, they disperse themselues through all successiue generations of Time. And though men allow it not, God giues vs leaue to draw his fauours in­to Example, emboldning vs to prescribe vpon his goodnesse; bidding vs bee assu­red that if He did formerly bestow his bles­sings [Page 12] on vs, He is still able to paire and fel­low those blessings againe. That He is the God of Succession, as well as of our Fore­fathers; vnto whom if his hand of boun­tie were liberally extended, it is not closed to vs. His mercy is not shortned, nor the Arme of his Deliuerance reseruedly shut vp within his Bosome: That Arme is stretched out still, Esay 43. 6. ready to embrace Filios è longin­quo, The Children from farre, that is, the last remotest Generations of the World, as well as the first. What in the Method of his Goodnes He hath Once Done, He did it to act ouer againe, Sicut erat in Principio sempèr erit: There is no change in his Mercy no more than in Himselfe, who is Yesterday and to day, Hebr. 13. 8. and the same for euer­more. He hath, He doth still, He will de­liuer.

It was a speech of Seneca, being to treat of an Argument, though vnlike this, Rem faciam non difficilem causam agens Dei. It was an easie taske to report Gods Story; We haue heard with our Eares, and our Fa­thers haue declared the Mercies he hath [Page 13] wrought for his people. Knowledge, Ex­perience report, Tradition and Histories are full fraighted with the Annals of his Deliuerance. Deliuerance of all kindes by an Inuasiue Armie, or single combat, as in the Duell betwixt Dauid and Goliah. Deliuerance in all Sexes, wrought by the hands of women as well as men. Iaels hammer was no lesse victorious than Ge­deons sword; and the Naile she draue into the Temples of Sisera, as deadly as the speare of Ionathan: Iudith the widow of Bethulia, stands in the triumphant list of Conquerors as well as Iudas Maccabeus, who like a Lion, neuer turn'd his backe to the pursuit of any Enemy: And the head of Holofernes by her strucke off, proued as terrible to the Assirian Host, as the head of the Gorgon worne in the shield of Perseus, which turn'd all that look't vpon it, into amazement and stone.

And since I am in the Catalogue of fe­male Wonders, let it not seeme a Digres­sion, but a glory both to our Nation and our God whose Instrument shee was, to [Page 14] say that our Elizabeth, that vnpatterned Mirrour of her Sex, that onely Example of masculine hereoick Vertue, which the latter or indeed any times produc'd, hath as many Pennons, as many Streamers hung about her Hearse, as many Trophees of Conquest to adorne her pretious memo­rie, as any of those names, who whilst they liued were wedded to victorie, the Ed­wards or the Henries; They that ran the hazard of so many dreadfull Battels, they that stood the shocke of Warre against so many enemies, forraine and domesticke, making from euery place their Retreits with Honour to themselues and aduan­tage to their Kingdome.

But I lose my selfe in this vast subiect of Gods mercy, acted in so many shapes and by such various wayes, that they re­quire a Chronicle to giue you informa­tion rather than a short discourse. Let me carry you once more backe, and leaue you vpon the holy Story of the Scriptures, and from thence you will soone con­clude, that Deliuerance is Gods Title, con­firm'd [Page 15] to Him, not only by the confession of those records, but by the Obedience of euery Element.

Which to serue his purposes haue chan­ged and altered their properties. The fire hath laid by his heat, and the churlish ele­ment of water growne tame, that it might be a preseruatiue to such as God was plea­sed to saue.Dan. 3. His three seruants walked in that Vault of flames as in an Arbour, the fire hauing no more power to hurt them, than the gentlest breath of Aire that nou­rishes, not kills those that take it in. When He led his people out of Egypt He was not only their Leader but their Hoast too, both their Captaine and their Army. He was their Vaunt & He was their Reregard. Whil'st they were vnder March He went before them in the Pillar of Smoake and Fire, Exod. 13. 21. both to discouer and cleare their pas­sage. But when Aegypt had them in Chase He came behind them, interposing Him­selfe betwixt the Armies as a trench or stronger Bulwarke to keepe them asunder. And when He brought them to the Red [Page 16] Sea, the obedient Floud recoiled against its owne streame, flowed backe against it selfe to giue them way, making the waues a solid Wall, whilst they recouered the o­ther Shore.

Which Deliuerance referr'd to an higher. For Egypt was figuratiuely the Captiuitie of Sinne, and Christ our Sauiour was ty­ped by the Paschall Lambe. So that the whole storie of that deliuerance was not consummate till Christs passion, whose Consummatum est concluded all the prece­ding types, fulfilled the Law and the Pro­phets, and put a Period to the great worke by Him vndertooke for Mankind.

To warrant which Digression of mine from the first Person of the Trinity to the Second; it is the Opinion of some,Petr. Galatin▪ de Arcanis Cathol. verit. l. 3. c. 14. that this whole Psalme pointed at the Incarna­tion of the Sonne of God; taking that Ha­bitabit in vmbra &c.Psal. 90. 1. to signifie the wombe of the blessed Virgin, where the Diuinitie lay veyled and shadowed in flesh. And Sadai in the Hebrew mentioned vers. 1. to be one of the Names of the Messias, [Page 17] denoting Him, as the sense of the word carries it. Qui solus pro humano genere sa­tisfacere sufficit, who was the only suffici­ent sacrifice for the sin of Mankind.

But my purpose is not to dispute his Title to this Psalme; I only plead his right to my Text, so far as the Title of Deliue­rance enforces it. Which was His by the full allowance of Faith and Scripture. It is a Rule in Diuinitie, that Opera Trinitatis ad extrà sunt Indiuisa, in an externall con­sideration; The works of the whole Tri­nitie which looke outward are vndistin­guished and common. What one Person does, all doe, because all are but one and the same God. Our Creed attributes the Creation properly to God the Father, and yet you see Gen. 1. the whole Trinitie ex­ercised both in the Act and in the Consul­tation when Man was created. Faciamus, Let vs make man. By the same latitude of speech we communicate Saluation to the whole Trinitie, though the peculiar right and strict proprietie of the Idiome belong to the Second Person, at whose comming [Page 18] Saluation arriued vpon the Earth. [...],Habac. 3. 8. (saith the Prophet) His Chariot brought Deliuerance into the World, Himselfe being not only [...], a Sa­uiour, but Saluation in the Abstract; Who of God is made vnto vs wisdome and righ­teousnesse and sanctification and redemption. 1 Cor. 1. 30. He that was a Deliuerer by an early pro­mise, so soone as the first Mans ruine made him capable of Redemption, being that Seed of the woman which should bruise the Serpents head. Gen. 3. 15. He that was the Soule of euery Sacrifice, all which were but Hosta­ges of that greatest Propitiation by his bloud. The Prophet Esay gaue him Li­uerie and Seizin in this Title; Ecce Sal­uator tuus venit: Esa. 62. 11. Behold thy Sauiour com­meth. And Luc. 1. the Angell which pro­claimed Him puts Him in the full possessi­on, To you a Sauiour is borne.

A Title vnto which He was iustly fit­ted, in euery Action of his Life declaring that He was not only the Sauiour of the Soule in forgiuing sins, but of the Bodie too, in curing the diseased, in cleansing the [Page 19] Leprous, in dispossessing such as were pos­sest of Deuils; In opening the doores of euery sense, Eares barr'd vp with deafe­nes, and Eyes that had neuer bin acquain­ted with any thing but Night and Dark­nes. He was a Sauiour Actiuely and Pas­siuely; a Deliuerer by way of Purchase and Redemption; a Deliuerer by way of Rescue, and a Deliuerer by way of Conquest too: He purchased vs from the wrath of God, and rescued vs from the iawes of Death and Hell in his Passion; and He tri­umphed ouer those Enemies in the victo­rious Act of his Resurrection.

When the first Man had sold himselfe to sin, & in that luckles bargaine cōcluded vs his wretched posteritie, passed vs away into the power of the Deuill, who bought him from all Obedience▪ He then stood forfaited to the wrath and iustice of God, as hauing violated the conditions vnto which God at first bound him: For so runs the Indenture,Gen. 2. 17. Quô die comederis &c. In that day thou eatest of it thou shalt die the Death.

[Page 20] Vpon which trespasse his Charter was cancelled, and the priuiledge of his birth reuersed, God now seizing backe into his hands the possession of that happines wherein at first he was instated.Gen. 3. The Earth was cursed out of her plenty into weeds and barrennes, his wife doomed vnto the sorrowes of trauell, and himselfe bound to preserue life by a perpetuitie of sweat and labour. So that since his happines and whole being was now confiscate, he had no possibilitie to discharge the debt, but like a miserable Debtor, must haue langui­shed in his imprisonment, had not the Son of God become his Surety; had not he vn­dertaken to satisfie the offended Creditor. Which He did, and with no meaner Sum than the vnualued drops of his bloud, ten­dered at six seuerall payments. The first at his Circumcision, which was the opening of that Exchequer, which neuer shut vp till the full ransome was paid. The second in the Garden, where in his painfull Agony He sweat more bloud for vs, than we euer wept teares for our selues. The third at his [Page 21] Scourging, Psal. 129. 3. when his backe was plowed vp in furrowes, and his whole flesh which was now Caro discontinua, indeed (as Caietan calls it) had not so much skin to fence it, as would distinguish one wound from ano­ther, the heauy chastisement of our peace now vpon him, Esay 53. 5. hauing made his whole body but one wound. The fourth was at his sad Coronation, which proclaimed Him not only virum dolorum, Esay 53. 3. a man of sorrowes, but a King of sorrowes; when the sharpe thorny Crowne, not fitted, but beaten to his head, opened so many weeping issues at his Temples, that He was now vnctus sanguine vulneratorum (as Dauid spake of Saul) anointed with his owne bloud in stead of Oile. The fift was on the Crosse, where vpon a most vniust Statute enacted by the clamour and importunity of the Iewes, who still cried Crucifie him, Crucifie him, his whole body was extended for the Debt, his hands and feet forcibly entered by hammers and nailes, which possessed themselues of his whole stocke of life, and almost all the treasure of his bloud, sauing [Page 22] only so much as was reserued for the Sixt and last payment, wch his side pierced with the Speare powred out when he was dead. Wherein to shew that he had fully perfe­cted his bloudy Audit, without collusion or reseruation, that he had paid [...], the vtmost farthing, euen to the last drop, That he was not onely Exinanitus, emptied and deuested of his Diuine Attri­butes, but Euacuatus, in a literall, corporeal sense Euacuated and Powred out, He sent forth that thin watrish moisture which lodgeth with the bloud, in so much that his witnes saw at one Wound a double current of water and bloud flowing out.Ioh. 19. 34.

This was the fearefull Method of his Redemption, at this bloudy Rate did he repurchase Gods fauour which wee had lost.Col. 1. 20. Pacificans per sanguinem suum, making our peace with God, and redeeming vs to God by his bloud Reu. 5 9. (that is) as well re-ensta­ting God in vs, as vs in His Fauour. Which was a true Redemption, a payment so full, that the Apostle auowes the bargaine, as purchased for a valuable Consideration, [Page 23] Pretio empti estis magno, 1 Cor. 6. 20. Yee are bought at an high rate.

But yet, though by this payment the iu­stice of God was satisfied, the malice of the Deuill, more vnsatiate then Hell or Death, vnder whose arrest's Man now lay, would not bee satisfied, nor would he giue con­sent that the Prisoner should be released, though the Ransome were paid. Therefore our blessed Sauiour by way of Rescue, as well as Purchase, was faine to deliuer him from his vniust Iaylor.

Pharaoh held out an obstinat siege a­gainst Gods Commands, and in that Re­bellion stood the danger of Nine Plagues. He did not thinke the Destruction of his Cattell, or Famine of his Land valuable Plagues to ransome such a Nation as Israel from his bondage, and therefore would not be induced to let them goe, till the im­mediate Arme of God rescued them, and then forced to it by his sword, that had the whole Land vpon an ExecutionExod. 12. 30. (for there was no house wherein there was not one dead.) He did not only dismisse, but vrge [Page 24] them to a departure: Of such Rescue as this did man stand need of, Treatie or Composition would not preuaile with the deafe Graue, which vses not to let out any that lie vnder his silent ward, but still calls for more. And therefore see how our Sa­uiour prepares himselfe for this Combat, encountring the Enemie vpon the euenest termes that might be, for he engaged only his Humanity in this quarrell, not bringing his Diuinitie in sight till the Battell was wonne.Leo Serm. 5. de Pass. Si, pro peccatoribus sola se opponeret Deitas nō tam ratio Diabolum vinceret quam potestas (saith Leo.) To let them see Hee did not contest with them vpon apparant disaduantage, He would not fight against them with the Power of his Godhead, which must needs ouer-match them, and keepe himselfe vnhurt, but entered the lists for Man, as Man, not Impassible, not In­vulnerable, but with a body subiect to all that man is, Sinne and Corruption onely excepted.Psal. 15. 10. This holy one could not taste cor­ruption (saith Dauid) though He was woun­ded and killed for vs; Esay 53. 5. as Esay and Daniel [Page 25] prophesied of Him. And that they might not complaine of the disaduantage of ground, Hee inuaded Death in his owne Quarters.Matth. 27. 33. In Golgotha was his Battell pit­ched, which is the Field of death. In which Field the most eminēt but indifferēt peece of groūd was chosen out, Mount Caluary; wch by the opinion of some Fathers, Iustin Martyr & others, was the very graue where Adams body was interred.Matth. 24. 28. Vbi Cadauer ibi Aquilae: where should Eagles congregate but where the Carkase lies? Where could Christ better combat for Adams Libertie, than at the Prison doore, vpon the Tombe where Adams Body was shut vp? There did our Sauiour meet Death, and in a Pas­siue Defensiue Warre, suffered him to pre­uaile vpon his Bodie, seeming to giue ground at first, that so he might foile him by a greater Stratagem.

He knew that Caluary was but the Out­workes of Death, from which slight Fort, raised only with dead mens bones, if He should haue beaten Him, He well vnder­stood there were other lower workes, [Page 26] stronger Redoubts vnto which Death might haue retired, and therefore that He might be sure to get within him, to be ad­mitted into the strongest of Deaths fortifi­cations, like Souldiers that sometimes sur­prize an Aduerse Towne by putting them­selues into the Enemies Colours, Hee dis­guised Himselfe in the wan pale Colours of Death, He died, that so getting his Ac­cesse into the Graue, He might beat Death in his owne Trenches.

Which hee performed, and hauing by this defeat rescued the Prisoners from their bondage, the third day proclaimed his Victory and Resurrection. Three daies he lay in Earth, like sleeping Samson in the lap of Dalilah, Ioh. 19. 40. linteis inuolutus, manicled and bound with linnen cloathes, as you reade in the Gospell. He might truly say, Cinxerant mee funes Mortis, Psal. 116. 3. The snares or cords of Death compassed me, Act. 2. 24. but it was im­possible for him to be holden with those cords (saith another Scripture.) And therefore [...], loosing the sorrowes or Bands of Death Lorinus. (so the Syriack reades it) he came [Page 27] out. His incorruptible body lay indeed like a dangerous surfet in the Stomacke of Earth, which was vnable to digest it, or by assimilation to turne it into its own sub­stance, as by that common chyle of putre­faction ordinary courses conuert into Earth; and therefore it must needs cast Him vp againe, or perish by that distemper.

And cast Him vp it did, as Aegypt eje­cted Israel, laden with their owne spoiles. In that Triumph He disarm'd Death, broke off the sharpe point of his dart, tooke out his sting. O mors vbi aculeus? He led captiuitie captiue, and by this Ascent, gaue gifts, liberty and enfranchisement, to Men.

His glorious resurrection which most properly we now commemorate, stiled his Deliuerance in the loftiest key, that glory or conquest could be strain'd vp to; A Deliuerance wrought by a high hand to manifest his Godhead & cleare our Faith; which though it were sorely shaken by his Death, (Before that we trusted (saith Cleo­pas) that it had bin He who should haue de­liuered Luc. 24. 21. [Page 28] Israel) yet it recouered againe and was established by his resurrection. A De­liuerance by which he quitted Himselfe as well as vs,Ephes. 5. 23. Saluator corporis sui (that I may vse S. Pauls phrase, though in another sense) by repossessing the power he put off, as well as by releeuing vs▪ His Passion spake him Man, His Resurrection God; Euery circumstance of his Arising, raising vs by so many steps and staires to the con­fession of his Diuinitie. How well did He interpret that Text of S. Iohn, Iohn 2. 20. Habeo potestatem ponendi animam & reassumendi, when in a most powerfull manner He re­assumed that life which was not rauish't from Him by the Iewes Tyrannie, but laid downe by Himselfe. Mat. 27▪ 66. The strong guard that was set to make good his Monument, nor the Monument which was sealed vp to make Him safe, being vnable to resist his passage. In a God-like disdaine of the vigilant Malice of the Iewes, He made a dead sleepe, like that which fell vpon the first Man when his Rib was taken forth,Gen. 2. 21. lock vp the senses of his drowzie watch­men, [Page 29] that thought to haue lockt Him vp, and kept his Body like a Relike cased vp in Marble. And though the iawes of his Tombe were close shut vpon Him, with­out any externall helpe to wrench them open, or to remoue that weighty stone which lay at the mouth of the Graue,Mat. 27. 60. He issued out, making his Escape as subtile, as vnconceiueable.

For Aire to breath out at the least cran­ny and vent it selfe when it is imprisoned, is Naturall; but for one bodie to passe through an other (I say not by Penetration of the Dimensions, but a Miraculous Cession) is aboue the Power of Nature. For flesh and bones thus to make way through the solid Rock, is euen more then Miracle, and not lesse than Diuinitie; Cui peruium est omne solidum, to which Na­ture,Leo Serm. de Quadrages. though to her owne preiudice, giues way.

It was very much, I confes, Propriâ vir­tute, by his owne Power to raise His Bo­dy from Death, but to raise it in this fa­shion by such a proud vnpractised expe­riment, [Page 30] for a close Prisoner to Baile Him­selfe, to quit the Iayle, yet be beholding to no Key to let Him out, saue his owne Power, which is the True Key of Dauid, must needs aduance the Dignity of the Deliuerance, and of Him that wrought it. Thus did our blessed Sauiour arise from his Graue,Gregor. Nazi­anzon. [...], He came forth of Himselfe, when the Vault was shut. For though we reade that the stone was rolled away from the mouth of the Graue by the Angell;Mat. 28. 2. Yet saith Hierome, Non putamus Angelum ideo venisse vt aperiret sepulchrum Christo; Hieron. We must not thinke the Angell came to open the Sepulchre and helpe Christ out: That stone was not remoued by the Angell till he was gone, (saith Iustin Martyr) and the cause why it was remoued this only, vt declararetur spectantibus Resurrectio, Iustin. Mart. to declare the truth of his Resurrection. An Action worthy of Him, and most sutable to his Birth (as Athanasius infers)Athanasius. Ille qui per portam clau­sam Matris suae virginis Mariae in carne na­tus fuit, saluà virginitate Matris, Ille ex [Page 31] visceribus Terrae per sigilla viuus & corpo­raliter surgit. He that through the Virgin doores of his Mothers wombe came into the world without impeachment to her Virginitie; He at his second Birth came from the Wombe of the Earth without any violation of the Seales that closed Him in. This glorious, though scorne­full Triumph, did He make ouer His Ene­mies, to let them see that it was His owne sentence, not their Power, which made them His Executioners; and that when He was pleased to reuoke their Commissi­on, no Fetters could bind, or Prisons im­mure Him, being,Psal. 87. 6. as the Psalmist speaks, Solus inter mortuos liber: And also to con­firme vs, that He who being bound was without other help able to vnloose Him­selfe, is much more able to enlarge vs when He is free.

This Act of His Resurrection was but as a Tutor to indoctrinate our Faith, an Ex­emplary Act to assure our Arising; Resur­rexit in exemplum spei nostrae. Tertullian. And not only to be the Example of our Rising, but [Page 32] the Cause too. For His owne dignity was He Primitiae Mortuorum, 1 Cor. 15. 20. the first-fruits of the Dead, the first that rose, twas fit His sacred Body should haue the Precedence from Death to Life: and it was necessarie for vs, that He should be first, vt nostrae Resurrectionis causa esset, Tho. Aquin. part. 3. quaest. 53. art. 1. that so He might be the cause of our Resurrection: according to that rule giuen vs by Aristotle, Arist. Metaph. 2. Illud quod est primum in quolibet genere est causa om­nium quae sunt post.

As therefore the fruit of this Deliuerance by his Resurrection was wholly ours, so should the acknowledgment too; as it was the greatest victory, so it should haue the largest Panegyrick. I read that the Grecian Churches, in memory of our Sauiours Re­surrection, were continually wont from Easter to Whitsontide, to vse no comple­ment when they met but only this, [...], Christ is risen from the dead. It was the salutation which past betwixt them, in stead of a God saue, or giuing the good time of the day, Christ is risen. And the others were wont to make no Reply, [Page 33] to thanke them in no other Phrase then this, [...], tis true, to his Glory, and our Comfort, Christ is risen. O that this happy Meditation might so incorpo­rate with our thoughts, that our sleeps and our wakings, our dayes & our nights, our studies and whole discourse might be nothing else but Resurrection.

We cannot in any lower gratitude dis­charge the obligation we owe Him, then to remember and mention this his Deliue­rance hourely, which was performed for his Glory, but our Good. God said he would get him honour vpon Pharaoh, but Israel had the spoile, the fruit, the Deliue­rance: so Christs was the War, but ours the Peace setled by that War. Peace with God, & Peace within our selues, to calme all those distractions which from the ap­prehension of Death might arise to trou­ble vs. Quare tumultuaris anima? Where­fore then shouldst thou be disquieted, O my soule? trust in God, for He is thy Defender, thy Saluation. Why shouldst thou be afraid to meet with that death which thy Sa­uiour [Page 34] hath so tamed and corrected for thy sake, thatDebemus mor­tem peccato pri­mi hominis, sed per eam perueni­emus ad vitam aeternam. Aug. Tom. 10. it is not now so much a pu­nishment, as an Entrance to a better Life. ‘—Lex est, non paena perire.’ Thou canst now no sooner cry with Saint Paul, Rom. 7. 24. Quis liberabit? Wretched man that I am, who shall deliuer me from the Body of this Death? but thy Faith will make a sweet reply from this Text, Ipse liberabit, He shall deliuer thee.

Mercy presupposes Misery, 3. Thee. for Mala est causa quae misericordiam requirit, Augustin. and a De­liuerance presumes a danger. Both which misfortunes met in this one subiect, to make Mans condition wretched and ha­zardous at once. I stand not to repeat the priuiledges which Man lost. Since the ru­ine of our first Father, we haue no Story that is memorable but our Woes, wherein as we haue much to grieue, so we haue somewhat to boast of euen from them. For they qualified vs, they gaue vs a capa­citie to exercise the mercy of our Sauiour. Filium Dei de Coelo traxerunt non nostra bona merita sed mala. Leo ser. 3. de Pentecost. They were our mi­series, [Page 35] our sins which drew downe Christ from Heauen to Earth. O happy Day, when such a blessing as the Son of God ar­riued! and (I had almost said) Happy misfortune, which occasioned that Arri­uall! It had bin a kind of pity (pardon the speech, which not enuy to our well-being, but Honour to my Redeemer vr­ges) for Man not to haue bin miserable, for then the rich mines of Christs loue ne­uer had bin discouered, but like hid trea­sures, lyen buried in ignorance, whereas now their discouery hath enriched Mans Fall with that Priuiledge, which the Angels that fell were denied. Those collapsed Spirits, like dying Stars, vanish't into sul­phur and darknes. Their ruin'd condition had no help from Christ to raise them vp againe; Whether it were because their sin was more vnexcusable then Mans, who was Passiue in his Mischance, being sedu­ced by the Serpent, whereas they had no Seducers but Ambition, and Themselues: Or whether because as Pet. Lombard out of S. Augustine giues the reason,Petr. Lom. lib. 2. dist. 21. Quia An­gelica [Page 36] Natura non tota perierat, because the whole Angelicall Nature fell not; though many fell in that Apostasie, yet many stood: whereas the whole Nature of Man was lost in Adams deprauation, I will not dispute. Certaine I am Christ suffered not for the Angels that fell, but only for vs Men and for our Saluation. The Angels that stood had this benefit by Christs Passion, that they were confirm'd in their blessed State, so that they could not fall (as some hold.) Passio Christi hominibus redempti­onem, Angelis confirmationem in suo statu de­dit. Homo lapsus erigitur, Angelus stabilitur ne cadat. But those that fell away receiued none at all.Psal. 8. 6. The Psalmist sayes, God in his Creation made Man a little inferiour to the Angels; but Christ by his Redemption aduanced Him aboue many that once were Angels. He suffered those that fell to conuert into Deuils, choosing out of Mans ruines to repaire and make vp their Number againe. As he tooke not Angels, but the seed of Abraham; Hebr. 2. 12. so he deliuered not Them but Man. Hebr. 1. 13. For vnto which of the [Page 37] Angels did he at any time say, that which he daily speakes to the meanest soule that sues to Him, He shall deliuer thee from the snare of the Hunters.

From Snares and from Hunters? From the Snare of the Hunters. Ergo­ne 4 nos Bestiae? Tis Saint Bernards Quaere, Are we turned Beasts? Bestiae prorsus, yea (saith he) vndoubtedly Beasts, both by the confession of the Psalmist, who com­pares Man to the Beasts which perish; and by the euidence of our owne Nature. The Verdict of our own Sinnes finds and con­cludes vs Beasts. Our wild vntamed Ap­petite which neuer yet could be empaled within the bounds of Reason or Religion, by any Lawes of God or Man: Our bru­tish Affections, and head-strong Passions haue transformed vs into all the Sauage shapes which the world euer produced. [...] &c.Isidor. Pelus. l. 2. Ep. 135. Rebellious as the vnyoaked Oxe, and like the Horse (in Ie­remy) neighing after forbidden Beds; like the Lion in Fury, the Ape in Affection, the Wolfe in Rapacitie, the Beare in Gluttony, [Page 38] and the Swine in Drunkennes. Certainly when man hath thus metamorphosed him­selfe, when He is become a wildernes sto­red with such strange beasts, it is not strange, when his Vices haue made him such store of game, if Toyles be pitched to take, or Hunters pursue him.

Tis Hieroms Obseruation that this word Hunter is euer taken in the worst sense thorow the Scripture: They were the worst Men who were reputed the best Hunters, Nemrod whose stile is a Great Hunter, Esay 32. 2. and Lamech, and Ishmael, and E­sau. The Prophet could not find a fitter Appellation for Tyrants, then to call them Hunters, and in Ieremy God threatens his disobeying people that he would submit them to many Hunters. Ierem. 16. The Ring-leader of which Band is the Deuill. He is the chiefe Ranger, and his circuit or walke the whole World,1 Pet. 5. which he compasses, seeking whom he may deuoure. The Prey he hunts for is the very best and choisest the world yeelds, Cibus eius electus, Abacuc. 1. 16. the soules of Men, whose destruction is his Sport. A Murtherous [Page 39] sport,Iohn 8. 44. worthy of him who was a Murtherer from the beginning. To which purpose his Bowes are bent, and his Arrows ready vpon the string to shoot at such as are vpright in heart. Psal. 10. 2. The Dogges accustomed to this Chase, are, the same that worryed Actaeon, our owne violent passions and Sins. Saint Ambrose names the whole Packe:Ambros. Ser. 11. in Psal. 118. Perse­quitur auaritia, persequitur Ambitio, Luxu­ria, Superbia, Fornicatio: Ambition, Ryot, Pride, Lasciuiousnes, and Auarice; These are the Dogs of Chase that neuer suffer vs to rest. To make good which Metaphor, he brings the Apostles Text, Flee Fornica­tion, Nàm quâ causâ fugeres, si nullus te perse­queretur? Saint Paul would neuer bid thee Flee,1 Cor. 6. 18. did not these make hot pursuit after thee, being still maintained and encoura­ged by the Deuill as their Huntsman.

It was this same Hunter, who vpon the old quarrell betwixt the Serpent and the Seed of the Woman, followed our blessed Sauiour from the day of his birth, first ca­sting off Herods Bloudhounds, that drew all Iudaea for Him; to auoid whose cruell [Page 40] Inquisition, He was faine to flie to Aegypt, and take couer there: By which auoidance, when that Crie was at fault, when that Persecution ended with Herod, vpon whose death Hee returned from Aegypt into his owne Countrey, the Deuill singled him out againe in the Wildernes, where Three dayes he tempted him, Matth. 3. 1. seeking to surprise or winne Him by promises. Which failing, he attempted to circumuent Him by the wit and fallacie of the Rabbins,Matth. 22. 15. Sophisters of his own instruction. But when both these, and all else he could doe, was defeated, He finally vnkennelled the whole multitude of the Iewes; Psal. 21. 17. Circūdedêrunt me canes multi, Many Dogs then came about Him, whose mad, vnsensible malice being set on by the Priests and Scribes, neuer gaue Him ouer, but like Hounds in full cry, whose mouths had learn't no note but Crucifige, Crucifie him, Crucifie him, they ran Him from the Common Hall to Caluary, where they kil­led Him in view; Hanging Him vpon the accursed Tree, as a sad Spectacle to God, and Angels, and Men.

[Page 41] The very same Hunter who in this ma­ner Butchered Him, seeks hourely to make his Prey of vs, arming the hand of euery Persecution, and suborning all the Temp­tations, Wit or Inuention can presse, to make vs, who are the members of Christ, tast the same Cup of bitternes which He our Head then did. Only here is our comfort, that as the Deuill in pursuing Him, foiled himselfe, was taken in his owne malitious snare, so the Protection of God will arme vs so, that all his fiery Darts, like harmeles drops of dew, shall fall from vs; that He, who hath sealed his seruants in their fore­heads, Reu. 7. 3. hath imprinted also that victorious Motto on their soules, Non preualebunt, The gates of Hell shall not preuaile against you. Matth. 16. 18.

Doe but obserue how in euery Action performed vpon our Sauiour, the Deuill wounds himselfe: In admitting His Body into the Earth, he contriu'd and let in his owne ruine. As the Troianes made them­selues guilty of their Cities Sacke, by recei­uing the Horse within their Walls, which [Page 42] powred out so many armed Bands into their streets. In wounding Him he healed vs:Esay 53. 5. For by his stripes are we healed. In that bargaine and sale which Iudas made, hee signed the Acquittance for Receit of our Ransome. In the Crowne of Thornes, and Robe of Purple He delcared our Triumph. In giuing him the Vineger tempered with Gall, Psal. 69. 21. He fulfilled the Prophecie. And with the Speare piercing his side, let out two Sa­craments, Baptisme, and the Sacrament of his Bloud, as sure Seales to confirme vnto our soules the Truth of our Deliuerance. Magna potestas, magna gratia, quae imperat Diabolo vt se ipse destruat! Ambros. lib. 1. de Poenit. cap. 15. Tis Saint Am­brose his holy Extasie. O wonderful power, but more wonderfull mercy of our Redee­mer, who thus retorts the Deuils malice, making him in his owne Assaults destroy himselfe! Well may he persist to inuade our frailty by his Temptations, which wee cannot decline, our whole life being no­thing but a long temptation (as Saint Chry­sostome calls it,) but yet he shall not capti­uate, or conquer vs by them, Gods grace [Page 43] hauing instill'd this fortitude into vs, that wee may say Disrumpamus vincula eorum, We will breake the bands in sunder, Psalm. 2. where­with he would entangle vs, He shall deliuer Thee from the Snare of the Hunters.

This Snare Snare. is our sinnes, and those sins 1 weau'd and made vp by the practise of the Deuill, who by suggesting the delight and opportunities of sinne takes vs in our owne Net.Marc. Eremita. One cals it [...], a Net wrought with many subtile threads, made of as many cords as there are Vices. Funi­bus peccatorum suorum vnusquis (que) constrin­gitur. These are Cords (saith Salomon) Cords to bind vs hand and foot,Prou. 5. 22. and make vs sa­crifices for the pit of Darknes. It is the mi­sery of Man that in no place is he secure from these Snares. Destruction like a war­der lies at his doores, and rather then Hee will want danger, hee lyes in ambush for Himselfe, for Corpus ipsum laqueus, Bern. in Psal. 90. His owne body is like a Net cast ouer the soule, which intangles her, & restraines the free­dome of her faculties. When Man sins, and by excuse striues to diminish or defend [Page 44] the sinne, like a Flie caught in the Spiders web, the more he struggles to get out, the more he implicates himselfe; He that hopes to make good one sin by another, does ill, and seekes to mend it by a lye, drawes E­sayes woe vpon himselfe,Esay 5. Iniquitie with Cords, and ties the knot so fast, that nothing but Iudgement and the Sword can cut it asunder.

A beleaguered Citie is not so streitly hem'd in, as Man is enuironed at euery Port of his Fiue Senses, which are attemp­ted by seuerall Assaults of the Diuell. Ligat omni vitiorum genere, ebrietatis, consuetudine voluptatum desiderijs &c.Hilarius in Psal. 118. pag. 47. He seekes to in­uolue vs, not only by habitual sins, whose long custome hath made vs familiar with them, but vpon all emergent Occasions brings vs acquainted with new Crimes. Hee bribes the Eye to wound the Heart, and by those windowes of our bodies He throwes in Lust like wild-fire; For the cure of which Feuer in the bloud, he sends vs to such a strange Physitian, whose remedy is worse then the Disease. You may find [Page 45] her Character taken by the Wise-man,Ecclesiastes 7. 28. In­ueni amariorem morte mulierem &c. A wo­man whose Heart is a snare, and her Armes like chaines, to captiuate the sinner; Thus the bed is a snare, and the boord too, Men­sa laqueus, Our Table is become a snare, Psal. 69. 22. to betray vs to riot and excesse: Our Ambi­tion intangles vs in those affaires which oft-times ruine vs. And our Abundance, our Wealth, is but a vitious Steward to take vp sin at any rate.Tho. Aquin. in 1 Tim 6. Tentant & inducunt in alia peccata: Riches ill employed are but like Bauds, to procure those costly Vi­ces which meaner fortunes cānot purchase.

It was not therefore without iust cause that Salomon termed Riches a Snare. The A­postle calls them a Temptation, 1 Tim 6. 9. and a Snare too. The desire of them bewitches and en­snares the soule in the cares of the world, and the indirect waies by which they are oft-times compassed, are as Giues and Fet­ters to clog the Conscience.

How many be there, that to compasse an inheritance on Earth to bequeath to their Posteritie, sell away their interest in Hea­uen? [Page 46] How many be there that liue by Co­senage, and thriue by Oppression, that like Plagiaries make it their trade to hunt and catch men; building their owne fortune, like a Citie founded in Bloud, vpon the ruine of others? yet are so far from recognition of their sin, that with those in the Prophet, They sacrifice vnto their Net. Habac. 1. 15. They glory in their Art of Circumuention, taking all wayes that lead to profit for safe and Legal.

I pray God that within this Citie there be not too many of this sort, that there be not amongst her seuerall Mysteries too many Nets of this making. Tis Saint Am­brose his rule,Ambros. in Psal. 118. Ser. 14. Laquei sunt vbi est vsura & dolus; Wheresoeuer Extortion or Deceit harbour, there are Snares. (A learned Spa­niard interprets the Snare here to be no­thing else but Cosenage E [...]ganno.) And the Prophet Dauid makes his Report,Psalm. 54. Vidi laqueos iniquitatis & contradictionis in Ciui­tate; I haue seene these Snares of Iniquitie and Deceit in the Citie. I would faine be­leeue (as I wish) this Citie were no part of his Suruey. For I come not to vpbraid, [Page 47] much lesse to accuse you, no not so much as vpon the common fame. Though some may be guilty, God forbid I should preiu­dicate all; I dare say many are not. The vt­most of my scope is onely Admonition, that they, which practise such Arts, desist. Et Resipiscant à Diaboli laqueis, 2 Tim. 2. 26. and by a Repentance vntwist those Nets which the ancient Deceiuer of Mankind hath wrought to deceiue them with.

I am glad for your sakes (as Christ told the Disciples vpon the death of Lazarus,) that I may truly vse that language to your Citie, which the Spirit did to the Church of Thiatira, Though I could say some things against Thee, Yet I can say some things for Thee too,Reu. 2. 20. Noui opera, I know thy workes, and thy loue, and thy seruice, and thy deeds of piety, that they are more at the last, then at the first. Your good workes daily amplified by the addition of Benefactors, stand to your Honour, not only vpon Re­cord, but publique view, all eyes being a­ble to beare you witnes, that you haue not beene only carefull to see the bountie of [Page 48] your Predecessors employed the right way, according to the pious meaning of the Doners, but as Heires to their good­nes, as well as to their fortunes, you haue adorned their Monuments, and prouoked by their happy Examples, vpon their foundations you haue raised more stories of Charity, enlarging your owne fame no lesse then you haue enlarged your Muni­ficence.

Your Bridewels for the employment of idle persons.

Your Hospitals for the entertainment of the Aged and Nurserie of Orphans.

Your Spittles for cure of the diseased.

Your Bethelem for the distracted.

Your Pesthouse for the separation of the sicke: as necessarie a seruant to your Ci­tie as any; though the narrowest peece of all your Beneficence, considering the number which in an infected time throng thither.

All these, as they haue ennobled you to the whole Christian world, so, I trust, they haue endeared you and your Citie to [Page 49] the care and preseruation of God, who no doubt will largely repay vpon your suc­ceeding Generations the charity in these kinds expended for his sake.

Since therefore your goodnes is im­printed in so faire a letter, that men not only may see and read, but haue cause to glorifie Him who is the Author of all goodnes, for you his Instruments, since your good deeds are growne into such a storie, twere much pity, but more shame, that any foule notorious sin should deface or blot so faire a Catalogue; That any loud clamorous sin of Oppression, or the cries of Men vndone by Extortion, should drowne the prayers of those many Or­phans, and distressed people, vnto whom your liberall Alimony giues iust cause to sollicite Heauen for all blessings vpon you.

Let me then beseech you for your owne sakes, as you regard your owne peace and the prosperitie of this Citie, that if any where amongst your treasures you finde Pretium sanguinis, any vniust vnconscio­nable [Page 50] gaine, wrung from the throats, or extorted from the calamities of others; If you there find the Orphans Patrimony, or the Widowes Dower, throw it out, as the Priests did the wages of Iudas, for these are also the price of bloud. Mat. 27. 5, 6. The liuing of the poore is his life.Ambros. lib. 2. offic. cap. 16. Caue ergo ne intra lo­culos tuos includas vitam pauperum, & tan­quam in tumulis sepelias. Take heed there­fore how you make your chests Cemete­ries to burie men quick, lest they become Gulfes to swallow you too; and like true Tombes, cause the golden body of that Saint which lies there enshrined to crum­ble into Dust, and become nothing before the next Generation comes to possesse it. Vpon such Tombes as these S. Iames hath wrote the Epitaph, Diuitiae vestrae corruptae; Howle and lament yee rich, Iac. 5. 2, 3. for your riches are corrupt, your gold is cankerd. There is a secret Iudgement which like an East wind blasts the Owners and dissipates ill gotten gaines: like a worme at the Root, it smites both the Tree and the Branch, causing the fruit to become like the Ap­ples [Page 51] of Gomorrah, which posteritie shall no sooner touch but it shall fall into ashes. For to speake truth, how can that Father thinke the inheritance he leaues should be long liu'd, when together with the estate, the sin by which he got it is entaild vpon his Heire?

And againe, Not as a Party, but meerly an Aduiser, let me beseech you vpon no lesse obligations then God & your Soules; as you tender the fauour of God and peace of your Soules; If when with Peter, you let slip your Nets vpon those waters, where you may freely trade for profit, you chance to enwrap amongst the common Shoale of gaine, Quae Dei sunt, (as Christ calls them) any thing that belongs to God, any part of his or his Churches due, let not any such gaine land at your houses, enter it not into your Audit, nor account that amongst your Supers, which is your Onus, and will proue a burthen to your Conscience. If by mishap any such light into your Net, throw it out againe, it is Merces operarij, Iac. 5. 4. The hire of the Labourer, the wages of your [Page 52] Minister, restore it backe to its owne natu­rall current. As Fishers when they haue taken any Royall game present it to the King,Luc. 20. 25. so Reddite Deo, redeliuer it to God, for ‘—Res fisciest vbicun (que) natat.’ The deteining of it may proue dangerous,Iuvenal. and in the end confiscate you. Certainly, the aduantage by it is not sufficient to counterballance the damage. A little of this leauen may sowre your whole lumpe; and but one foot of Churchland taken into your estate, like the Kings Waste, may al­ter your Tenure in Gods blessings, and bring your whole fortune into Wardship. Those that be peccants in this kind, let them not euer trust to their smooth sai­ling. Though their aduanced Prow beat off all suits that dash against them, like wa­ter, yet let them know, the least defrauda­tion of God is Sacriledge, and Sacriledge is a lading which in the end will sinke the best and ablest Bottome. Vndoubtedly as God for the iust payment of his Tithes pro­mises a plentifull Haruest and full bles­sings, Inferte omnem Decimam &c.Malac. 3. 10. & pro­bate; [Page 53] Bring yee all the Tithes and proue me &c. so the wilfull deteining may exaspe­rate Him, in stead of freeing you from Snares, Psal. 10. 6. Ezec. 38. 22. to raine Snares vpon you, and to plead against you with Pestilence and bloud, (as he threatens by Ezekiel) bringing that dan­ger vpon you, which else he will surely deliuer you from, the Snare and the Noysome Pestilence.

The Greeke is [...], literally 2 from the terrible Word. Symmachus reads,And from the Noysome Pestilence. Calumniarum sermonem, the speech of Ca­lumnie; and Euthymius, verbum perturba­tionum, for there is no greater perturbation to the mind then slander. Death attired in his vgliest shape appeares louely to De­traction. How many be there that with more equall temper could endure the sword of the Executioner, then the sword of the Tongue to wound and traduce their Fame? How many be there vnto whom a burning Feuer is not so torrid, as [...], the scalding tongue of a Rayler?Iac. 3. 6. The sting of the Scorpion is mercy to the blacke tooth of a Backbiter, whose fangs [Page 54] are like enuenomed Arrowes, and vnder whose lips the poyson of Asps. No disease is so incurable as this, no Plague more dan­gerous. S. Augustine plainly calls a De­tractor the Pestilence. Pestilentia est hamo malus de­tractor. Aug. Hom. 10. The burnt vnwhol­some Aire which corrupts the bloud whilst the Dogstar raignes, is not so pernicious as the rotten breath of slander, which casts a leprous skurfe vpon the whitest reputa­tion, and bespeckles euen Innocence it selfe.

Hoc verbum asperum tu sustinuisti Do­mine. (Tis S. Bernards sweet Meditation.)Bernard. in Psal. 90. Ser. 3. This sharpe killing word didst Thou blessed Sauiour sustaine for our sakes. By falshood wast thou betrayed, and by periurious witnesses belied to the most shamefull Death, that Thou mightest deliuer our soules from that which is verbum asperri­mum, the most killing word, the voice of Iudgement pronounced vpon impeni­tent sinners, Goe yee cursed into euerlasting fire.

I fixe not vpon this Interpretation, though very warrantable, but follow our [Page 55] English Translation, which iustly agrees with the Hebrew, From the noysome pesti­lence; which literally imports that conta­gion a Schooleman defines to be Morbus venenosus vel lues bominum, a sicknes which vsually is to all and hath lately bin to vs so mortall. Thus Lormus also out of Authen­tique Copies reads it, A peste pessima seu quâlibet pestilenti, or de peste aerumniosissi­mâ. The Chaldee paraphrase is,Chald. Paraphr. de Morte atque Tumultu, from Death and Tumult, which I take to be a iust Periphrasis of the Plague, that being of all others the most tumultuous kind of Death. Since, like a furious Torrent that beares downe trees and houses, it sweeps whole Families, whole streets, nay whole Cities, insomuch that the liuing haue not bin sufficient to burie the dead.Tho Walsing. Hist. Angl. Ed. 2. p. [...]8. A [...]nal. Stow pag. 218. Such a Mortalitie as this was there in the ninth yeere of Edward the second. Nor is it only tumultuous in regard of the Numbers that die, but in regard of their Buriall too. When euery Churchyard is made vallis Mortis, the valley of Death, and the bodies piled and built one vpon [Page 56] another,Iob 5. 26. make (in Iobs phrase) a rick ra­ther then a Graue, where, for want of earth, one coarse is couered with another.

Which must needs beget this Epithet, Noysome, putrifie the Aire so much, that (as Solinus reports of the Lake Avernus and the dead Sea, whose steame kills all that draw it in) birds flying ouer those Ce­meteries haue dropt downe, and Men that suckt it vp, like children ouerlayed by their Nurses, haue bin impoysoned by that Aire which nourished them.

Kingdoms and States are called Bodies, because Metaphorically they are so: The King is the Heart, the Counsell the Braine, the Magistrate the Hand. And there is this true Accord betwixt those Politicall and the Naturall Bodies, that they haue di­stempers like vs, their Agues that shake them, their sicknesses and their Deaths too. As there is an appointed Time for Man vpon Earth, so for all Man is Lord of. Empires haue their Periods, and those Periods to them as Graues to vs. Babylon, and Persia, and Greece, and Rome, which [Page 57] successiuely buried one another, the last Suruiuer, as Executor to the rest, inheri­ting all that the Three first had, shew that Monarchies sicken, & like Men die, some­times of Age, oftner of Wounds. It hath bin obserued that one whole part of the Earth hath bin sick at once. For in the yeres Walsingham Histor. Aug. Ed. 3. pag. 168. 1349. andStow Annal. pag. 664. Euagrius Histor. Eccles. lib. 4. cap. 29. 1579. an Epidemicall sicknes ran thorow all Europe. But Euagrius writes of a Plague that ouerspread the whole World. To speake more directly, some di­ligent Obseruers haue deliuered it as Dog­maticall, that particular Cities haue their Criticall Dayes, their Climactericall Yeares, and that most constantly.

Euery third yeare (saith Boterus) is aBoterus de orig. Vrbium lib. 2. cap. 7▪ & 11. climacterick, dangerous and fatall to the Grand Cairo in Aegypt, in which three hundred thousand commonly die of the Plague: And the fift or seuenth to Con­stantinople, the Mortalitie costing her scarcely fewer then two hundred thou­sand. Our Land, and in it our Metropolis, London, our Mother Citie hath, like Ieru­salem, mourned in the Dust for the cala­mitie [Page 58] of her Children, and death of her In­habitants. We haue had our Climacteri­call yeares, as well as other places. Some haue noted the Twentieth or thereabouts to haue bin mortall to vs, which though it hath held currant for these two last Vi­sitations, I draw not into conclusion that it should still hold. I thinke rather the whole Land sensible of the losse of her DEBORAH, and our late most gratious SALOMON of euer blessed Memorie, whose Exequies deseru'd a lamentation not lesse then that which was made for Iosiah in the valley of Hadadremmon, Zach. 12. 11. to performe rites worthy such Funerals mourned in Death, shedding Liues in stead of Teares.

For any other cause, certainly I am per­swaded, it is not in the discretion of Na­ture to dyet her selfe, to set out her sicke dayes, no more then to appoint her well, but meerly in the direction of God, who vses her but as his handmaid, to effect his purposes, when and how He pleaseth.

It was one of Manes his PhanaticallEpiphan. [Page 59] dreames amongst many others, that a cer­taine Spirit in the aire called Messor, diffuses that contagion which breeds the Pestilence. His drift was only to establish that Diabolicall conclusion of his concerning his Two beginnings, Aug. one whereof produ­ces good, the other bad, and so to ioyne an other Power in commission with God. And surely they that impute Gods iudge­ments to Nature, and because they are able to trace an Infection to the first Body that died, or can distinguish betwixt a con­tagion receiued Per contactum, from other bodies, or occasioned by an infected Aire, conclude a Pestilence to be nothing else but a Malignitie of course, proceeding from an ill coniunction of Planets, or the concurrence of some other disaffected causes in Nature, derogate from God, and are in a faire way to Atheisme.

I can by the helpe of Philosophie and obseruation assigne some probable reason of the Earthquake or Thunder, defining the one to be a vapour included in the bodie of Earth, which with strugling to get out [Page 60] shakes it; and the other to be but the col­lision of two Clouds, and in them the contestation of two repugnant qualities, whose strife begets that fearefull Blow. But yet if I looke not beyond Nature, if I apprehend no Power beyond these that directs and formes those fearefull Iudge­ments, I might iustly feare to be the next marke at which those Iudgements should aime, to be swallowed vp, or to be Thun­derstrooke. Let not Sophistrie or Philoso­phie deceiue you, let them not lull you into a securitie to make you feareles of Gods anger, by fathering his Iudgements vpon Chance and Nature. There is no Iudge­ment, as there is no Mercy, wherein you may not discerne Digitum Dei, the hand of God directing it, be it Wind, or Storme, or Haile, Psal. 103. 21. or Lightning, or Infection, all are but his ministers to fulfill his will.

The Pestilence is his Arrow. Tis called Sagitta noctu volans; Vers. 6. directed against his People either for disobedience and breach of his Lawes, as Deuteron. 28. 21. or for Pride. For Dauids presumption to num­ber [Page 61] the people,2. Sam. 24. 15. God abated Seuenty Thou­sand of his number by the Pestilence. Or for vniust Auarice, Ezek. 7. 15. for Extortion or Simony. Or for Lasciuiousnes, by the example of Sodom drown'd in Mari pestilentico, and turn'd into a Lake. Or for Gluttonie and Excesse, as Numb. 11. 33. Whilst the flesh was yet betweene their teeth, the wrath of the Lord kindled, and smote the people with an exceeding great Plague.

Nay it hath yet a neerer dependance vpon His will, insomuch that it is called Manus Dei, the hand of God; so Exod. 9. 3. 15. and Ieremy the 21. 5, 6.2 Sam. 24. 14. And Dauid making choise of the Pestilence rather then of any of the two other punishments there proposed vnto him by the Prophet Gad, accepts it in this Phrase, Let vs fall into the hand of the Lord. Now as none but his bow can shoot this Arrow, none but his hand manage this heauy Iudgement, so no hand but His can cure the Wound which it makes: He woundeth, Iob 5. 18. and he bindeth vp againe: Ipse liberabit, He shall deliuer Thee from the Noysome Pestilence.

[Page 62] Pliny writes that Locris and Crotone were neuer infected with any Plague; other Hi­storians and Trauellers,Mr. G. Sands Relation, lib. 2. pag. 97. that as the Plague in Aegypt and Barbary rage their fixt Time, so also they decrease at their day. It com­monly slakes in Aegypt when Nilus ouer­flowes, at Aleppo, when the Sunne is ente­ring into Leo. Dier. Genial. lib. 1. cap. 6. Alexander ab Alexandro re­ports, That a great Mortality was stayed in Rome by the Inuesting of a Dictator. And Thucidides saies,Thucid. lib 2. Bel. Pelopones. the greatest Contagi­on which euer brake out in Greece, was cured by the aduice of Hippocrates the Physitian, who caused them to cut downe all their woods and burne them, by which Action the Aire was purified, and vpon that successe they would haue made Hip­pocrates a God.Lactant. lib. 2. de Orig. Erroris. cap. 8. Lactantius mentions a like Cure performed by Aesculapius the Physi­tian, vpon Rome, sicke of this Mortality.

I know Physicke and Industry haue wrought admirable effects amongst the Heathen, and amongst vs. But I shall ne­uer Deifie the Physitian for the Medecines sake. Tis Gods permission to the one, Gods [Page 63] Blessing vpon the other which enables all meanes of recouery. Salubrity of Aire is His Gift; shift of Places, smells to prepos­sesse the Senses, but for Him had been vn­beneficiall. Our best Cordialls and Anti­dotes, should His Mercy contribute no­thing to their working, would inuert their Nature, and become Poisons. Helpe I am sure they could not, nor had they helped vs, wee had still languished vnder the ty­ranny of this Noysome Disease, had not He made Mans industry prosperous for reco­uering of some, and for the generall safety of all,2 Sam. 24. 16. said vnto his Angell, It is enough, stay now thy Hand. Iust cause then haue we all to praise Him in this Panegyrick, Ipse libe­rauit, He hath deliuered vs from the snare of the Hunters, and from the Noysome Pesti­lence.

That I may now looke towards my Conclusion.Conclusion.

You see how copious the Redemption of the Lord is, how his Deliuerance extends it selfe ouer all dangers; there is no Buckler either to beare off the Darts of Satan, or [Page 64] fury of an Enemie but this: there is no Amulet to resist or cure infection but this. So that Deliuerance is a title of which God hath iust cause to be iealous. No Riuall must share in this glory; He is the prime Actor, other Men or Meanes but meerely his Instruments, his subordinate Ministers. Mihi vindicta, Hebr. 10. 30. is Gods Motto, Vengeance is mine, I will recompence, and He speakes it in as loud a phrase, Mihi misericordia, Mer­cie is mine,Rom. 9. 15. I will haue mercy on whom I will haue mercy. I can neuer then sufficiently wonder at that Church, who hath not on­ly Mangled His Titles to distribute them amongst the Saints, but haue done that which the barbarous Souldiers would not, Diuided the seamles Coat of his Passion, and with Saints Merits Patch't the entire Gar­ment of our Saluation. Imparting the highest Deliuerāce that euer was wrought, that Deliuerance to effect which Hee was deliuered into the hands of sinners; That Deliuerance which with many stripes and wounds He purchased; That Deliuerance which He earned as Adam did his bread, [Page 65] by the sweat of his brow, and the labour of his hands: Hee sweat for it in the Gar­den, and Hee bled for it vpon the Crosse. This Act of Deliuerance haue they mai­med, some amongst them daring to af­firme, that Christ hath not so satisfied for all, Rhem. Test. An­not. in Rom. 8. [...]7. but that each Man must suffer and satisfie for himselfe in particular, so the Rhemists, which must either conclude Inualiditie and Insufficiencie in Christs sufferings, or iniustice in God, who for one Offence will be paid twice, first by the Surety which is Christ, & then by vs who are the Principall Debtors.Iesuit. Catechis. lib. 1. cap. 10. Others broching it for truth that Christ died not for both Sexes, was not the Sauiour of Women, but Men only. An Asserti­on of Postellus the Iesuit, who in Paris put forth a booke entituled the Victory of Wo­men, wherein he writes that one Iane was sent from God to be the Sauiour of Women. Contrary to the purpose of Christ, who Died for All, gaue himselfe for All: and di­rectly opposite to the meaning of God,Leuit. 14. who at the cleansing of the Leaper com­manded them to offer Lambes of both [Page 66] kinds,Isych. lib. 4. in Leu. cap. 14. Male and Female: Ex vtroque ge­nere proptereà sacrificium Offerri praecepit vt ostendat quia Christus pro nobis occisus simul Masculum Foeminamque saluabit: To shew (as Isychius excellently inferres) that Christ died for both Sexes, Women no lesse then Men. But a third sort to iustifie their praying vnto Saints, by a learned trick Diuide the Office of Christs Mediation a­mongst them, and by this Distinction of Mediator, Intercessionis and Redemptionis, defeat Him of halfe his right. They con­fesse that Christ only died for vs, and so be­came our Redeemer, but euery Saint is an Intercessor to sollicite God on our behalfe. A Position which the Apostle plainly con­tradicts. Our Redeemer and Intercessor are both one.1 Ioh. 2. 2. We haue but one Intercessor (saith he) one Aduocate with the Father, Iesus Christ the Righteous, and he is our Redeemer, the Propitiation for our Sinnes.

If they haue parted this great Streame of Deliuerance, which concernes the salua­tion of our Soules, you cannot wonder if with more cōfidence they multiplie De­liuerers [Page 67] for the Body, if they cut that Riuer by which Health and Temporall safetie are conueyed vnto vs, into as many lesser Currents as the Thornes opened Riuelets of bloud in our Sauiours head, certainly I think they haue exceeded the comparison. Old Rome had Tutelar Gods for euery Pro­uince, and Houshold Gods for euery Fami­ly. Gods for euery Office, for the Farme and for the Field, for Warre and Peace, for Sea and Land, for Disease and Health. And New Rome hath created as manyHinc nòn mi­nor ferè extitit Diuorum famu­lantium turba, quàm Deorum quondam apud Romanus. Riuius l. 1. ae Superf [...]it. Saints to fill those Offices, as formerly they had Gods. They haue a Guardian Saint for eue­ry place; for their Sellar and the ouersight of their Ale, Lewis a MinoriteRiuius loc. cit.: for euery Season, for euery Trade, for Fullers and Coblers. For euery Creature, euen for their Heur. Steph. Apolog. Herocot. cap. 38. Hogges. For euerySohn. de Cultu Dei Thes. 90. Disease, euen to the Toothache, for that cure Apollonia: for the Falling-sicknes S. Valentine. And as if there were no Balme in Gilead, they fly to S. Roche and Sebastian for remedy frō the Pestilence

Blessed be God that neither their Sauiours, nor Sauiouresses, nor the efficacie of [Page 68] strange Mediation is any part of our Creed. We digge no new Cisternes (like those in Ie­remiah) but fill our Pitchers at the Well of Life Christ Iesus: Imputing our Mediation and Redemption, our Deliuerances Temporall and Eternall to Him alone.

Though by many seducements Rome like the Bramble in Iothams Parable,Iudic. 9. 15. hath inuited vs to repose vnder Her Shadow, yet by the mercy of God we haue not yet be­taken our selues to any other shelter but of Him and His Christ. We yet dwell (and I beseech God we still may) sub vmbrâ Altis­simi, vnder the shadow of the most High. Psal. 90. vers. 1. Bles­sed is that People that abide vnder it. Thou shalt not be afraid for any Terror by Night, Vers. 5. nor for the Arrow that flyeth by Day; Vers. 6. for the Pestilence that walketh in Darknes, Quoni­am Ipse Liberabit &c. For He shall Deliuer Thee.

Should we forsake this Shelter, of all o­ther Nations we were the most vnthank­full. Neuer did any People, since his Elect Israel, receiue such liberall Testimonies of his Loue, or taste so many Deliuerances as [Page 69] we haue. Whether I vnderstand by the Snare, Clancularias inimicorum machinas (as Marlorat Marlorat. interprets it) Priuie Conspiracies plotted by Domesticke Traytours to sup­plant vs; or publique Inuasions by forrein Enemies, the Literall Plague of Disease and Noysome Pestilence, or the Metaphoricall Plague of Sinne, Dangers of the Body, or of the Soule,Caluin. Siue clàm occultis artibus insidie­tur nobis Sathan, siue aperto Marte nos op­pugnet paratum fore Dei auxilium. Amidst all these difficulties we haue found that his Faithfulnes and Truth hath beene our Shield and Buckler. Vers. 4.

We may iustly engraue vpon the Pillars of our State, the Prophets Inscription; When thou passest thorow the waters I will be with Thee,Esay 43. 2. that they doe not ouer-flow Thee, and when thou walkest thorow the very fire, Thou shalt not be burnt, nor shall the flame kindle vpon thee.

When Spaine rose vp like a Floud (as Ie­remy Ierem. 46. 8. speaks of Aegypt) and like a Dragon in the Sea (it is Ezekiels comparison) troubled the waters with his Fleet;Ezek. 32. 2. when euery ship [Page 68] [...] [Page 69] [...] [Page 70] was ballasted with destruction, and the pregnant sailes swelled with fury more then wind.Esay 43. 14. Thus saith the Lord your Re­deemer, the holy One of Israel; for your sakes haue I brought downe (that Sea-built) Babel. They were all fugitiues, and the Chaldaeans cried in their Ships. He smote that Multi­tude, whose pride was higher wrought then the Seas that bare them, and by the Breath of his rebuke made them fly like dust before the Whirle-wind. Esay 17. 13. Euery Billow chasing them, and as it were, hauing them vpon the Execution, till at last the Rockes became their Monument, and the fierce Northerne Sea, their Graue.

Againe, when the malice of some Eng­lish Iesuited Pioners sought to vndermine the Kingdome, to blow vp both Prince and People with Gunpowder, He snatcht vs like Brands from the mouth of the Fur­nace, and by discouering the bloudy Trap, Deliuered vs from the snare of those Fow­lers,Psal. 124. 7. The Net is broken, and we are escaped.

And now lastly, when a contagious Sicknes, like a vultur, fed on many parts [Page 71] of the Land, but chiefely on your Citie, a Disease which I cannot better describe then in Cyrils words,Cyrill. Alexandr. Glaphyr. lib. 3. de Leprâ. [...]. A Disease greedy and cruell, that deuour'd all ages and Sexes without pitie or distinction; making a pro­miscuous Prey vpon the Shepherd as well as the Flocke; and in contempt of Cure, with the same wound striking the Physiti­an into the graue with the Patient. In this late dreadfull Time when Death held his solemne Triumphs amongst you, and the Graue euē glutted with the dead, like a bad stomack, sent vp vnwholesome smels to annoy the Aire, finding her selfe vnable to ouercome the bodies shee had swallowed, so narrow was the stomack (I meane the burying Places) and so great the Multitude that daily cloyed it. When euery house was endorsed with Death or Desolation, the Inhabitants either extinguisht, or fled; and the Sanguine Crosse set vpon the doore, Not like the sprinckling of the Paschall Lambes bloud vpon the Israelites gates, Exod. 14. in Aegypt, for that was a Couenant of life, but [Page 72] like a fatall Kalendar bare witnes of the sad dayes, which the miserable dwellers were forced to compute, shut vp from the comforts and society of Men, and Lying at the Mercy of such an Enemie as would allow no Quarter; but oft-times emptied the whole house. Who was it that Deliue­red you from this Enemie? Was it an Arme of Flesh, or was it any other then that Power in my Text? No. Ipse liberauit, He was the Deliuerer.

He deliuered you from that Danger, and that beyond Hope; A very few weekes saw Deaths Computation abated from Fiue Thousand Two hundred and fiue to One. Though the storme were very violent, yet it lasted not long. Though it tooke away Great Numbers, yet compa­red with what it had done formerly, and (vnlesse thus happily preuented by God) might haue done now; it will appeare a gētle Visitation. Our Chronicles mention a Plague An. 21. of Edw. 3rd,Tho. Walfingham Histor. Anglic. Edw. 3. pag. 168. Annal. Stow. pag. 245. so violent that it made the Country quite void of Inhabi­tants, there being scarcely any left aliue: [Page 73]

—Funestos reddidit agros
Virgil. Georg. 3.
Vastauit (que) vias exhausit ciuibus vrbem.

Neither did He accompany this Visitation with those Calamities which haue wasted other parts. Eusebius relates a Plague in Greece, in the Time of Maximinus, which bred such Desolation, that the empoue­rish't Countrey endured a Famine more grieuous then the Plague, Euseb. Eccles. Histor. l. 9. c. 8. such a Famine, as constrained the Noble Matrons to goe a begging for reliefe, and so enfeebled the wofull Inhabitants, that they lay gas­ping in euery Angle of the Streets, Ad solam hanc vocem proferendam validi, Esurio, Ha­uing no strength, nor voice, nor spirits left, but only to professe their Hunger.Histor. Angl. Edw. 2. pag. 108. Tho. Walfingham mentions such a Famine that accompanied the Plague in this Land.

But God was more mercifull then to scourge You with Whips strung with these Two Scorpions at once, Plague and Famine. Neither did he prolong your punishment, making you Lye long vnder his fearefull strokes, as other Places haue done. Philo­stratus reports a Plague in his Time, which [Page 74] lasted Fifteene yeares; Euagrius lib 4. Histor. cap. 28. but Euagrius trebles the Time. He writes of one that continued Two and fifty yeares. I may aske with the Prophet,Nah. 3. 8. Numquid melior est Alexandria? Is London better then Alexandria? or Eng­land lesse sinful then Greece? No, but Gods Mercy was more abundant, more speedie to vs, Dating his heauie Iudgements to as few weekes, as the least of those Contagi­ons lasted yeares. He hath Deliuered you, And He hath Deliuered you so soone.

Not to weary you (yet how should you grow weary at the Repetition of Gods De­liuerance towards you) He Deliuered ma­ny of you that staied at home. And where­as Volateran treating of the Cures of Pesti­lence out of Titus Liuius, Volateran. l. 24. pag. 579. deliuers this Maxime, Nullum huic vnquàm remedium adhibitū praeterquàm fugae at (que) secessus; That nothing could keepe off the Plague but shift of Place; He controlled that Position, making your owne infected houses safer to you, then others Country houses, or the clearest Aire to which they could retire.

And yet He Deliuered you that fled too, [Page 75] by staying the hot pursuit of your Enemy. For though you went from the infected place, you could not haue outgone his Iudgement, that could haue ouertaken you. I told you the Pestilence was cal­led the hand of God, and Gods hand could haue reach't you at any distance, had not He sanctified your flight.Euagrius loc. cit. It was obser­ued that in the great Plague at Greece, if any to auoid the Infection had remoued into some Citie of safety and better Aire, they only died that thought by flight to shun it. But God dealt not so with you, He blest your Flight, your Secession, your Remoues.

Neither hath He in them only blest you, but in your returne also, bringing your Tribes backe againe into your Citie, vniting all her scattered Lines vnto their proper Center; and assembling them in this very place, from whence the growing sicknes this last yeare frighted you, ma­king you translate the solemnitie to ano­ther Place.

And He doth still deliuer you by conti­nuing [Page 76] this His Deliuerance, whose fruits are Health and Safetie vnto vs all. For though the Mortality be now happily stayed, yet let me tell you, it is rather as yet Slumbred then Extinguished.Seneca. Non desunt venena sed torpent. There are bad relicks enough to awake it againe. In bedding or garments infected there is Contagio resi­dua, a lurking, residuous contagion, able to cause a Relapse no lesse fearefull then the late Disease. Though it be raked vp in Ashes, yet amongst these Ashes there be some sparks, which now and then dis­couer themselues, that may raise the Flame as high as euer. God grant that ei­ther our owne Securitie, in aduenturing too soone vpon Things or Places that yet may retaine Infection, or especially our foule sins, which shew we haue forgot God so soone as his Rod is taken off vs, doe not kindle His Anger freshly against vs, lest we be vtterly consumed.

Last of all, that I may trace Gods mer­cifull Deliuerance euen as low as the Graue, He hath deliuered those that died [Page 77] by this contagion; some of them from their pressing wants and exigencies, more grieuous then Death, A peste aerumnarum, (as Iunius and Tremelius read it.) Others from Toile and Seruitude, but all of them from a wretched sinfull life, so putting a Period to many calamities, many for­rowes, many discontentments, by one Death.

And He hath yet a future Deliuerance for vs, later then that which was their last; not only from Disease, which is the Bay­liffe of the first Death, but from Sin which exposes vs to the danger of the second Death. That greatest Deliuerance in whose purchase He bled, and for whose Assurance He rose againe. The Deliuerance first of our Soules from our sinfull Bodies, when Death by giuing Nature a Bill of Diuorce, shall seuer them from each other, and they must take seuerall Sanctuaries, one aboue in the Bosome of Abraham, the other in the Bosome of Earth. And then the finall Deliuerance of those Bodies from the Earth againe, vnto whose custodie they were [Page 78] committed, when by a new indissoluble vnion, they shall be remarried one to ano­ther, and both together vnited to their Head Christ Iesus, by which vnion they shall be married to the Ioyes of His King­dome, vnto which in their Election they were contracted.

On this Assurance, as on a Rock, rest all our comforts. We shall not need to feare, what can become of this Earthy stuffe we beare about vs in our Bodies, since our Soules like Gedeons lamps shall burne bright when these earthen Pitchers are broken. And what euer Fate shall break these Pitchers, these Bodies of ours, whe­ther the violent hand of an Enemy, or a fiercer Disease, an Higher hand will recol­lect the scattered Relicks of our Frailtie, and by infusing nobler qualities of Glory and Incorruption, 1 Cor. 15. 33. (for this corruptible must be invested with incorruption) make them in stead of Clay, vessels of Honour, fit for his Kingdome. So long as by our Faith we are allowed a recourse vnto this preti­ous Balsam, Death can looke grim in no [Page 79] dresse, nor Deaths most fearefull Executio­ners affright vs. The very name of Re­surrection so sweetens the bitternes of Death, that enamoured on the Ioyes it leads to, we haue rather cause to court, then feare it. Whether we perish by the sword, a Peace softer then Rest shall close our Wounds: Or whether by the Pesti­lence, this thought shall abate the horrour of that Noysome Disease. Petrarch. de Re­med. vtriusque fortu: lib. 2. Dia­leg. 92. Quid est quod pestis nomen exhorreas? cum potius solatij genus sit vt comitatior moriaris. It may ap­peare a Comfort, rather then a Calamity, to fall with a Multitude. That company, that cōmunion in Death shew's vs, through a sad Perspectiue, the ioyfull communion of Saints, vnto which we in the next life shall be admitted. And although like a tem­pestuous Autumne, it shakes vs by heaps into our Graues, our Extraction will be more orderly, in better Method then was our Buriall. For vnusquisque suo ordine, we shall Arise in Order. 1 Cor. 15. 23. That confused tumultuous kind of Death, shall not dis­guise vs from the knowledge of our Ma­ker, [Page 80] who will distinguish each Bone, and giue it to the right Owner. Nor can the deepest dungeon of Earth, the lowest Graue deteine vs, since our Deliuerer will be our Baile. He that hath the Keyes of Dauid, keeps also the Key of our Prison. By that Master-key He will vnlocke our Graues, those doores of Mortalitie, and with it will He open the euerlasting doores, gi­uing vs our entrance into Heauen. After which happy Resurrection, we shall liue, not sub vmbrâ altissimi, vnder the shadow, but in the bright Sunshine of Gods pre­sence, and the comforts of his Spirit, and the fruition of our Redeemer, who is both our Resurrection and our Life. Amen.


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