THE MYSTERIE OF MANKIND, Made into a Manual, OR THE PROTESTANTS Portuize, reduced into Explication Application, Inuocation, tending to Illumination, Sanctification, Deuo­tion, being the summe of seuen Sermons, Preached at S. Michaels in Cornehill, London. By William Loe, Doctor of Diuinity, Chaplaine to his sacred Maiesty, and Pastor Elect, and allowed by autho [...]ity of Superiours of the English Church at Hamborough in Saxonie.

1 Cor. 3. 23. All are yours, and yee Christs, & Christ God.

LONDON, Printed by Bernard Alsop for George Fayerbeard, and are to be sold at his shoppe at the North side of the Exchange. 1619.

[...]

TO THE MOST CATHOLIKE and most Christian Mo­narch, IAMES, by Gods especiall appoint­ment of great B [...]it­taine, France & Ireland▪ King, Defendor of the faith.

DRead Soue­raigne. The blessed cō ­pany of holy ones, that hou­should of faith, that [Page] Spouse of Christ, and Church of the liuing God (which is the pillar and ground of all truth) is so grieuously gastered, and so continually infested with hellish Athisme, mis­led Papisme, and misper­swaded Separa [...]isme, espe­cially in these last & worst ages of the world, that had not God of his exuberant mercies, set vp your High­nesse among vs, for a bles­sing, as another Ioshua to succeede Moses, and as an­other Solomon, to sit vpon the throne of Dauid, to the supportatiō of the Church of England. It is verily be­leeued of many wise, and iuditious, that the doctri­nall principles of Christi­an Religion, had not onely [Page] beene sore-shaken with­in your Maiesties Realmes (as they are to the hearts-griefe of many thousands among your bordering neighbours) but also a most wofull and lamenta­ble distraction,Witnesse the Remonstrants monstrous opi­nions in West-Freezeland▪ and open diuision, would before this time haue broken forth to to the vtter ruine, and ra­zing of the verie foundati­ons of the blessed peace, and established discipline of the church, within these your Maiesties Territo­ries.

But magnified for e­uer be our God, who hath remembred vs in mercy, and hath directed your Maiesties royall and en­larged heart, not onely to take care of things, Quae [Page] sunt ante pedes: but also, amidst other your Highnes many and manifold cares of your most Christian go­uernment, longe prospicere, as to haue an eye what manner of growth your Seminaries of Marchants haue beyond the Seas, at Hamborough, Middlebo­rough, and other places; for asmuch as they are the men in all likelyhoode, who are to bee of your Maiesties great Chamber, the Citie of London, and to sit neere about the Sterne in future ages.

Therefore (most dread Sou [...]raigne) It beeing al­most a whole year sithence I was by the worthy and auncient Companie of Merchant-Aduenturers e­lected [Page] and by the most re­uerend Archbishoppe of Canterbury allowed to be Pastor of the English Church at Hamborough. I thought it my bounden duty before I departed, and in some part of recom­pence for my long stay to leaue behinde mee a to­ken of that seruice, o [...]ser­uance, duty, loue, and al­leagia [...]ce, which I owe vn­to your Maiestie, and vnto the Church of England, wheresoeuer the Lord di [...] ­pose [...]h of me.

The doctrine and dis­cipline of which Church, I shall endeauour to main­taine (pro modulo meo) euen to my last breath, & think my selfe an happy m [...]n, to bee the sonne of so famous [Page] and Christian a Catholike Church. Some of the com­pilers of whose deuout Le­tu [...]gie haue shed their bloud for the testimony of the Lord Iesus, which bloud I haue alwayes thought to bee the best bloud in the world.Bonus san­guis non mentitur. A measure of which modell of mine, I here humbly prostrate at your Highnes feet, heartily beseeching Almighiy God to preserue your Highnesse, and your most royal seede, to be glo­rious instruments of his Church, & to crown your Maiesty, and your Princely Progenie with his sauing mercies in Christ Iesus.

Your Maiesties most humble s [...]ruant. and Subiect, WILL: LOE.

1 TIM. 3. 16.

Without controuersie, Great is the mysterie of God­linesse, God manifested in the flesh, Iustified in the Spirit, S [...]ene of Angels, Preached vnto the Gentiles, Beleeued on in the world, and recey­ued vp in glory.

A PREFACE OF Pacification to all Chri­stian Tearmers and Trauel­lers, from the reuerend Iudge Itinerant, Iustice of Oier, and Determiner, vnto the poorest Clyent that iournyeth within the foure seas of Great Britaine, Mercie be multi­plied in Ch [...]ist Iesus:

BLessed, and beloued in the Lord, (for I cannot giue you a more honourable title if I should studie to giue you ten thousand be of what ranke or condition your will.) Hearken. Vpon the Lords day, beeing the third day after our Saui­ours sufferings, two disciples [Page] trauelling from Ierusalem to a village called Emaus as they walked on their way, they talked of Iesus. And as they thus communed, Iesus him­selfe drew neere, and went with them,Luc. 24. 13. and afterward questioning with them, ope­ned vnto them the Scriptures tarries with them, sits witb them, blesseth their meat, eats with them, giues them a su­per substantial blessing, for he openeth their eyes, and they, know him. A perf [...]t president for you, beloued in the Lord, and a blessed direction as you tra [...]aile, for we aree all Via­tores, looke as big as we will; not comprehensores; if wee haue company to conf [...]rre and talke of the Lord Iesus, for you see if you bee but two in company hee will make the third, if you commune concer­ning [Page] him in feare and reue­rence, yea your conference shall not bee fruitlesse. For what is the sequell? Eu [...]n knowledge of the holy Scrip­tures, they shall bee opened vppon such conference, Christ his comfortable company by the holy Ghost will be affoor­ded, for albeit according to his Es [...]e Naturale, he is in hea­uen; yet secundum esse per­sonale he is euery where, by his breath and fauour in his chosen. Moreouer, hee will sit with you vpon the throne of Iustice, to direct your hearts aright, you shal partake of his blessings with healtb and sal­uation: hee will blesse you in your store, hee will enlighten your minds, encline your wils rec [...]ify your desires, and you shall know him whom to know is eternall l [...]fe.

[Page]For this cause I haue often bowed the knees of my heart vnto the God of heauen for you all, and haue presumed to reduce the summe of all into this little Manuall, as the Protestants portuize to carry in his hand, in his bosome, and to accompany him in your trauels, as Paul had his parch­ments with him, which casu­ally he left at Troas, and whereof it seemed hee had an especiall care. Let not the prudent Iudge disdaine or despise that I become his re­membrancer, for the time is come that wee must looke to our Christian principles, see­ing many are gone so farre to question long receiued truthes in the spirit of subtiltie and error, as if the Metempsyco­sis of the Pythagorists were [Page] reuiued, and the soule of Iohn Duns Scotus were en­tred into the bodyes of sur­uiuing schollers, to trouble the world with nicities, and to lose themselues in misera­ble extrauagant wandrings. It was a good rule therefore that Irenaeus gaue, That we should diligently heede neuer to bee transported beyond the limits of Do­ctrinall Principles, which indeede is a glosse of that of the Apostle, Sapere ad so­brietatem. The iolly Coun­celler that learnedly argues titles of land, pleas of debt, dammages of clyent, & cause, may hereby bee counselled to call to minde what claime, or challenge he hath to heauen, what plea hee ought to make for his owne debt, which hee [Page] oweth to his Creator, and if the damnage or wrong of his Clyent were his owne, what plea, what care, what dili­gence would [...]e vse to redres himselfe. The disturbed, yea oft times the poore miserable distracted Clyent, that is de­layed, crossed, encumbred, snibbed, & many times ouer­borne, may herewithall ende­uour to qualifiè and settle his wearyed and perplexed heart and looke vp vnto the master of requests in heauen, and to referre his cause vnto the Iudge of the world Christ Ie­sus who iudgeth righteously. And if his cause goe well with him, yet hereby h [...]e may bee caused to remember in what passe his case is with God, and to know who it is [Page] that lets a man see his desire vpon his enemies.

All what soeuer they be, if they will be pleased to be ad­uised, may herein see (as in a viewe) what Creation is, that tendeth to saluation. And so to abandon from their holy intentions all needelesse con­trouersies, and fruitlesse con­tentions, according to the re­ference of the prefixed con­text.

For the lamentable Con­trouersies about Religious Godlinesse, An abridgement of controuer­sies. raysed from the word of the Context, [...], rendred without controuersie. are so many in number, and so intr [...] ­cate in nature, that the stu­dious labours of any one man (were he neuer so well qualified) cannot sufficiently (no not all the time of his life) so much as enter [Page] into all the ambiguous labo­rinths thereof, much lesse bee euer able to compose, or con­clude them. For it falleth out in this kind, as it doth in the quirks and quiddities of law cases, and thats a thousand pitties, for the more lawyers retained oft times the more suites, pleas, counter pleas, de­murrers in Law, and many o­ther such like quaint deuises so the morewriting of contro­uersies, the more subtil [...]ies, e­uasions, distinctions, perso­nall aspersions, mistakings with all maleuolent stirrings, and striuings to make good either part. Such also hath beene the rotten condition of mankinde, that when one hath once hatched, & brought foorth neuer so absured an opinion, yet he findeth wits [Page] in the world ready to deuise trickes and shifts by nice di­stinctions, and doubt full dif­ferences to mainetaine with­all possible glosses the absur­dities, and shadowes thereof. Besides, if we consider the im­possibilitie of composing, and reconciling the controuersies of the setimes, by reason of the auerse, and setled resistance of the opponents, both foraine and domestick, together with the irreconciliable natures of the things controuerted, and questioned, and the little hope of any meanes to bee expected either from them that striue, or from others their well­wishing neighbours, or from both to reconcile, and pacifie the furiousrage of either par­tie, wee may euen despayre of [Page] expecting any certaine and setled ende of these miseries, vntill the Lord Iesus come himselfe from heauen in his second and most glorious ad­uent, and Consume with the spirit of his mouth all the gaynesayers and impostors of his sacred truth, and abolish with brightnes of his com­ming all the mistie fogges of misperswasion and mis-be­leefe.

Doubtlesse therefore in the meane while, the best, and most assured way for vs (that loue, and looke, and long for Christs comming) to finde rest to our distressed soules amidst such perplexed distractions and laborinths, is, to haue recourse to the pil­lar and foundation of all [Page] Christian faith, the director to heauen, which is the writ­ten word of God, the one and onely way to the word be­gotten, wherein, many pla­ces wee shall finde couched in in few words the summe and substance of all our hope, and happinesse in Christ, both in nature grace, and glory, and that summe of Christianitie in so compendious an abridg­ment oft times reported, that the shortest memorie may re­count it, and so playnely set downe that the weakest capa­citie may conceiue it. Such is this Scripture prefixed, in which as in a running stream in some place the Elephant may swim for deepenes, and in other the Lambe may wade for shall ownesse.

[Page]Leauing therfore behind vs the hellish afronting of all Godlinesse to the damned A­thiest, that sayth in his hart, There is no God, which some Achrists of Spaine (I would they were not in Eng­land) most Lucian-like, and Iulian-like haue tearmes to the griefe of many good harts their Peccadillos, or little sinne, and appropriating the circular Diuinity of Tempo­rizers-who goe in a Maze to painted Hypocrites, Who are euer learning, and ne­uer come to the acknow­ledgement of the Trueth, because they feele not the power thereof, nor endeauour to practise it together with all, neutralizing staggerers, and Cassandrian Courtiers, who neyther cleaue to God, [Page] nor to Baal, but are like Ephraim, a cake on the harth not turned, which needes must be dough on the one side, and burnt on the other, hote in their singed zeale, and lue warm in their fringed hypocrisie, & lastly, abandoning from vs all no­uell sectaries, who eyther with the [...]nostiques and Do­natists challenge to themselus an impropriation of all re­formed doctrine and disci­pline, or with the Cathari boast of a Monopolie of per­fect sincerity, or with the rare illuminates of the world, the Iesuites, Iesuini, Scofiot­ti, Presbyteri, Sanctae Luciae, Reformati, Sa­cerdotes, or by what other titular denominations soe­uer they bee tearmed, who [Page] vndertake to haue the onely direction for all Christen­dome, in ordine ad Deum, or with the Capucini, who aspire the onely mortification (forsooth) in a patched Ca­pouch, and with them vtter­ly forsaking all other rabbles, and swarmes of monasticall, and secular nominals, who neglect the truth, and the light thereof, Let vs flie homeward with the distres­sed doue into the Arke, which is the holy Scriptures to saue our selues from the general deluge and cataclisme of am­biguities, questions and o­uerflowings of vngodlinesse, which assault vs here in this life, the Ocean and sea of sor­row, and hide from vs the brightnesse of Iesus Christ, with the mists of impietie, [Page] and fogs of vanity.

And let vs call to minde that all vnderstanding in Godlinesse is eyther Opnion Faith, or perfect Knowledge.

Opinion beeing like the Twilight, neyther certaine▪ nor euident. Faith, as the dawning, certaine but not euident and perfect.

Knowledge as the Sunne­shine both certaine and eui­dent.

Opinion beeing the Conduite pipe of all contro­uersies, the mother of here­sies, the seede of schisme, and the heade of a Foxe, and perfect knowledge, onely pro­per to our triumphant and glorious estate in Heauen: wee must here in this Life walke by faith. This faith [Page] must haue a foundation to build vpon, Whats that? must it bee built on the Church? thats to generall: so the Sarazens, or Hagarens rather (as Zozomene ob­serued a thousand yeares a­goe, haue their Masters. Vp­pon the Fathers? thats too rusticall, so the Iewes haue their Rabbins. Vpon the Pope, thats too Phythagorical? so the Gentiles had their Phi­losophers of their seuerall sects, Vpon suddaine and fancifull reuelations, thats meerely Anabaptisticall, God in an engine. Vpon what then? Euangelical Esay the Lordes Prophet tels vs, That our faith must bee founded vppon Gods Ora­cle the Scriptures, and Christ [Page] the sonne of God biddes vs Search the Scriptures, and Saint Peter a chiefe pillar of the Church, sayeth, Wee shall doe well to heede that certaine end of Pro­phesie, as vnto a light that shineth in a darkplace vntill the day dawne, and the day starre arise in our hearts.

But stay, who then shalbe iudge of the scripture? that our faith may bee set­led with iudgement: for as much as most Heretikes a­uouch scripture.

Shall Christians iudge betweene Christians in cases of controuersie? no they are too partiall, because they are parties. Shal Pagans? no, they are not capable of holy myste­ries, shall Iewes? no they are [Page] enemies of Christ. What then? Shall wee knocke at heauen gates, that Christ Iesus may come downe and decide these doubts, What neede that? Wee haue him in the Gospell, sayth Cyprian, wherein if we ex­ercise our selues diligently by conferring scripture with scripture, and expounding according to the Analogie, and rule of our faith, beeing guided by the iudgement of holy reformed Church, which acknowledgeth no other guid, but onely the Euangelicall and Apostolicall writings, nor any other rocke to builde vpon but Iesus Christ, nor a­ny other City of refuge, to flie vnto then the word of God, which as Dauid sayth, is a Lampe vnto our pathes for our liues & a light, as S. Peter [Page] sayth, in darkenesse for our knowledge, a ballance for our decision, to weigh the light from the ponderous, sayth S. Augustine, a touch stone for our tryall, as sayth S. Chry­sostom, to discern the currēt from the counterfeite, and in a word as Constantine in the Nicene counsell, sayde of all sufficiencie for our ful sa­tisfaction, and the onely de­uoyment of all controuersies for our resolution wee shall doe well. This being added, that we pray earnestly with Dauid, That God would open our eies that we may see the wōders of his Law, Otherwise, they that are con­ceyted in their owne singula­rity, and priuat spirite, either for doctrine of faith, or direc­tion for manners. Sathan [Page] stands at their right hand, and the thinges that should haue beene for their good, are occasion of their falling.

These thinges beeing so, what meanes the cursed ma­lignants of our Church of England to trouble mens mindes with niceties, the breeders of controuersies, whence many monsters of o­pinion, and thousand of fan­cies doe dayly arise, which entangle the simple in many wofull Laborinthes, as to de­maund of vnsetled soules, where was your Church hid vntill of late, some hundred yeares since? What Emperor raigned when it came forth? or on what day was it hatch­ed? What age did the Religi­on you professe, arise in? [Page] What is become of our Fore­fathers? These and the like interrogatories are as intro­ductions and preambles to insnare and entangle the sim­ple with needlesse questions, and quiddities. As if Petrus Valdus Lugdunensis, Iohn Wicleefe, Husse, Luther, and others such reformers, did at any time endeauour to beget, or set vppe a new Church, whereas the truth is, they onely diligently labo­red by the word of God, and by the power thereof, to re­forme that Church, which by mens traditions and deui­zes, was most miserably de­formed and defaced, and to reduce it to its former splen­dor, and integrity. Alwayes saluting that church, though much deformed by the louing [Page] Sister. And doubtlesse wee know many pious and chaste Matrones, who iustly may be ashamed of their owne sisters enormious courses, and exor­bitant conditions. Neyther did they vse any other means in seeking reformation, but by yeelding onely, and lamen­ting sayd, Oh how is that faithfull City become an harlot? It was full of iudge­ment, and iustice lodged therein, but now they are murtherers. Thy siluer, O sister, is become drosse, thy wine is mixed with water: For these and the like impor­tant consideratiōs of the great defect, miserable reuolt, and dāgerous obliquities of those times they had learned Apo­stolicall counsel, To haue no fellowship with such do­ings, [Page] but to reproue them rather. Were these and their followers then to bee accoun­ted enemies, and to be scorne­fully branded with the names of Waldenses, Wicklefiās, Hussites, Lutherans, and other the like disgracefull tearmes, as if they had beene Nouelists, because they tolde the truth, God forbidde? George Cassander the choyce diuine of his time said well and iuditiously, when he gaue his sentence of the dis­sentions of the Church, both to Ferdinand and Maximi­lian the Emperours, acknow­ledging that in the beginning many were iustly stirred vp by a godly zeale, earnestly to reproue, and reforme some apparāt abuses in the church, and that the principall cause [Page] of the Churches calamity, and distraction, was not to bee imputed to those who sought reformation, but ra­ther to such as ruled the stern, who beeing puffed vp with disdaine, and scorned to be rebuked, proudly, and per­emptorily despised, and dis­dayned those that modestly, meekely, and iustly did but admonish and aduertise them.

And hee thought that there could bee no firme, nor constant concord in the Church, vnlesse they bee­ganne to reforme, who first gaue the occasion of distraction, to witte, that those of the Churches Go­uernement must abate theyr rough rigor and sternnes, & [Page] yeeld somewhat for the peace of the church, and by liste­ning to the petitions, and counsels of many godly and well disposed men, should re­forme the apparent errors and abuses crept into the church, and conforme them according to the rule of Gods word and the primitiue integritie from which they were in many things decli­ned.

If the case were come to this, who would not embrace that sacred peace of the church wherewith the an­gells of heauen congratula­ted mankinde in the incar­nation which Christ left as his legacie to his pecu­liar people when hee was to [Page] forsake the world, and the Apostles as their principall doctrine enioyned to the Christian Church.

Euery one (you say) is ready for peace, but what if we cannot haue it? Then must we make peace as Saint Iames speaks) by our diligence, by our sufferance. What if wee make peace once, and it depart? Then must wee follow peace (as Paule commands.) What if it a­bandon vs (Peter wisheth vs) to seeke it, and ensue it. What if it will not come? (as Abrahams seruant sayde of Rebecca) after wee haue sought it and ensued it? Sure­ly then must wee studie to bee quiet.

For what good Christian [Page] is not of worthy Constan­tines minde, who desired of God to passe his dayes free from trouble and vexation. And of Iouians who sayd this by chance, touching a que­roulous libel of the Macedo­nians, I hate contentions and strife, and those that are giuen to peace and concord, I deerely loue and reuerence.

Oh what hellish furie hath enraged the malignant Church to stirre vp strife, and controuersie against vs, not onely all the day long, but euen for time, and times, euen many ages. The Arrians and Circumcellians neuer more raged against the Ortho­doxe, then Rome hath against vs.

For beholde and see, if [Page] there were any damnable he­resie of olde wherewith they haue not endeuoured by all the wit and strength of skill they could to brand vs with­all, which is all the issue (for ought I can see) of all these controuersies.

They tearming vs Simo­nians, for once mentioning of grace, and saluation, Eu­nomians, and Pepusians, for attributing (as they say) too much vnto faith, & to woman [...]for that a woman was our dread Soueraigne. Ori­ginists, and Proclians for teaching that the Image of God by sin is extinctin man, and that the fume of concu­piscence is not vtterly ex­tinct.

Sabellians, Eutichians, [Page] Swinkefeldians, yet let the indifferent reader iudge whe­ther wee partake in one iota with these heretickes? They terms vs Donatists; for ad­mitting the iust onely into the elect Church of God, Mani [...]chees, for abandoning all free will in our selues to worke well of our selues.

Arrians, for neglecting hu­mane traditions. Nouatians for refusing Popish penance. Aetians, for omitting obla­tions, and feasts for the dead. Iouianists, for cashee­ring a slippery and perplexed faith. Vigilantians for not admitting the adoration of reliques. Nestorians for not keeping the consecrated hosts. Xenaits, for abolishing Ima­ges. Lampetians for putting [Page] from vs the bondage of vowes and indeede what not? to to make vp a bead-rowle of rablement against. vs.

Thus they do fat & please themselues with these, and the like as persions of slander, and reproch, as if they had vowed neuer to sacrifice vnto their Idoll Iupiter Latialis, Papa Turcissimus, but as the Lin­dians did to Hercules with curfning, and raylings. Thus the tongues of our aduersa­ries who hate peace, hath bin a furnace to refine vs in.

Besides many cart loades of Pamphlets frought with these and the like obliques, what riuers of bloud: what burnings, both of the liuing and of the dead, hath the Christian Catholicke world [Page] in these dissentions of that bloudy and Antichristian Sy­nagogue, bot [...] by wofull ex­perience knowne, and by bar­barous crueltie endured. And haue they (thinke you) who haue beene neuteralizing se­questrators taking part on no side, but standing by, and looking on, endeuouring onely a Cassandrian pacifi­cation, haue they (I say) esca­ped their virulencie? Let Cassander himself, Fricius, the Adiaphorists, Interi­mists, and the nameles Apo­logists of France, who haue sought peace and an end of controuersies, tell if it hath not happened vnto them a­midst these garboyls, as it did vnto the foolish shepheard, that interposed himselfe be­tweene [Page] two rammes furiously raging, and running with all might and violence the one at the other. Neither suffi­seth it to compose these con­trouersies that wee admit as absolute Catholickes, the whole sacred booke of God, the three Catholike Sym­boles or Creedes, to wit, that of the Apostles, that of Atha­nasius and that of Nice, euē in the very leturgy of our Church together with all the holy diuinity cōprized in the fower first generall cousels, vnlesse wee also receiue from thē Transsubstantiatiō, Pur­gatorie, and the Popes trans­cendent supremacy, with all other nouelties hatched from the Conuenticle of Trent, in this dotage of the world, [Page] which strange proiects were then deuised, that the holy Fathers of Italie might no way bee inferiour to the Apo­stles, nor the Pope of Rome, to Christ Iesus himselfe.

The fire of God sayth Basil affoordeth light without bur­ning, but hell fire burneth without light. Hell fire there­fore is the portion for those that despise the glorious light of Gods truth, and de­sire like the Salamander to noozell themselues in the flames of furious contenti­ons, and continuall contro­ [...]er [...]ies.

But without controuersie sayth the Context, Great is the Mystery of Godlinesse. And confest it is on al hands that vnles we beleeue the Ca­tholike [Page] faith we cannot be saued: a summe whereof is this mo­dell of Scripture prefixed.

Let vs therfore be wise now at the last to lay aside all di­stracting controuersies both transmarine and domesticke and let vs studie to bee quiet, For wee see by many wofull experiences what is the mi­serable issue of calling in que­stion long receiued tr [...]thes.

And how at the first this hellish fire of Contention may be more easily put out, before it breake foorth into such scorching flames, as now in fest the Church of God in West Frizeland.

Oh England bee thou wise by the lamentable and wofull example of thy b [...]rdering neighbours, and remember [Page] that God cōmāds loue & peace on al hands in Prince, Peers, Priests and people. It is the new and eleuenth commandement giuen from mount▪ Sion as a supplement to the tenne­from mount Sinai: Leuit. 9. 16 nay as their complement:Luc. 6. 31.. for true E­uangelicall concord and loue,Rom. 13, 9. is the fulfilling of the Lawe.Ioh. 13. 34 See the Patriarch [...] loue, A­braham yeelds to Lot. It is indeed no great maruell,Gen. 13. sayth a father, if the seruant become any thing for the loue of the brethren, seeing the Lord of life became a curse for the seruant.Origen. lib. 7 ad Shall we not loue that which is good and pleasant,Rom. 9. where God promises his bles­sing,Psal. 133. 1. and life for euermore as the Psalmist speaketh.

Shall not wee detest that [Page] which hindereth true and cleare interpretation of the Scriptures, that rayseth sects, that giues offence to weake ones, and doth vtterly dash and [...]uinate all church polli­cie and gouernment? Shall not wee hate that which im­peacheth and hindereth our valour that we fight not cou­ragiously the Lords battayle against Antichrist? Doth not the Apostle reade us a lecture in our own bodyes of the mē [...]bers of consent.1. Cor. 12. 12. Let vs assure our selues that wee can neuer be owners of Christ his seam­lesse coate, if we rend and de­uide the church of God by needles and fruitles factions. The harmony of other refor­med churches vrge vs to con­formitie in our owne if wee [Page] haue grace. And the spirits of all well disposed will euer wish with Paule, Vtinam abscindantur qui nos in­quietant. Gal. 5. 12. The ignorance also of many thousand who vn­derstand not the things con­trouerted, no not their names much lesse their natures doth admonish vs to bee wise, at the last lest they of Gath and Askalon laugh at our singu­lar folly. And the degrees of scandall which follow these outrages as vnaduised an­ger,Mat. 4. 22. subiecting vs to the danger of iudgment,1 Ioh. 3. 15 because we are mansl [...]yers: mutuall hatred making vs lyable to the censor of a councell, and shewing vs to be carnall: and mutuall detraction cast [...]g vs into the fire of Gehenna. [Page] should deterre euery honest heart from kindling or stir­ring and the least sparke ei­ther publikely or priuately that should disturbe the Churches sacred peace.

Besides the wounding of our owne consciences in such garboyles by hindering ofSit procul a Christi dis­cordia saeua ministris, Namque Deus pote­rit non nisi pace coli. Nullalues ouibus tan­tum, non vlla venena, Quantum pastorum dissidia ipsa nocent. Phil. Melanct▪ in Epigram. our prayers and Preachings in the worke of Christs mi­nisterie bids vs beware (if e­uer we will bee warned) of such scandalous courses. For how can we preach peace, or perswade mutuall reconcilia­tion betweene others, when wee our selues are the fire­brands of contention to stir vp the coales of factions and sidings among the poore ig­norants. And whiles one says he is Pauls, another sayes he is Apollos, are yee not car­nall? [Page] Let vs therefore neuer li­sten to,Non ego Caluimum magnnm nec curo Lutherum, Venus vter­que placet, falsus vter­que iacet. This I say, this thou sayest: but lot vs all heare what the Lord sayeth, and let that [...] bee our religious Ephod to put vpon vs. Let them speake that haue liued in contentious striuings, if in all that time they were not betweene the hammer and the Anuelle in eminent pe­rill of beeing dashed into peeces, and haue been at last constrayned for releefe to creepe into houses, and there ledde captiue seely women laden with sinnes, and carri­ed with diuers lusts, which are euer learning, and neuer could attaine the knowledge of the truth.

Consider therefore Bre­thren what hath beene said [Page] and God giue vnto vs vn­derstanding in all things that concerne our saluation, and Gods peace.

Comm [...]ne with your owne heart, whether the motiues that stirre you vp to contentions and strifes, waigh more then these direc­tions of Gods Spirit. But looke that you p [...]ize them by the measures of the Sanc­tuarie, Light of God, Sight of Faith, Charitie, Construc­tion, not by Faction, Singu­larity, Preiudice: for doubt­lesse,Mat. 15. 13. whatsoeuer our heau [...] ­ly Father hath not planted, shall bee r [...]oted vp.

Thus onely seeking hereby to procure the peace of mens Consciences, that they may with cleare sight, behold this mystery of God­linesse, [Page] and endeauouring the quiet of the Church, that euery holy one may possesse his soule in patience. I shall euer pray to God where euer I am, that the peace of God, may bee euer vpon the Israel of God.

Yours much obliged in the Lord Iesus, William Loe.

Errata sic corrigantur.

Pag. 21. lin. 26. for Tearchers, reade Teachers. Pag. 48 in the mar▪ [...]eade [...]. ibidem. [...]. ibid. [...]. Pa. 50. 1. 25. for iuslice reade iustice. pag. 59. ma. reade [...]. pag. 82. lin. 11. into which I had falne. pag 86. lin. 1. for Manifested, reade was iustified. pag. 114. in the mar. r. Ex. se. pag. 126. in the mar. reade [...], ibidem for spera [...]e reade spirare. p. 152 line 21. for assist, r. assist vs. page 178. l. 25 for would read could. pag. 184. li. 10. for hae, reade hee. page 116, for expecting read expect page 206. l. 26 for Chrst ienioyned read [...] Christ enioyned.

Great is the Mystery of Godlines. 1 Tim. 13. 16.
EXPLICATION.

GReat is the misery of mankind,The Lords day Rom. 5. both by o­riginall at­tainder,Psal. 51. m [...] being con­ceiued,Iac: 1. bred,Apoc. 21. and borne in sinne; and also by actuall transgressions of thought, word, and deed, whereby man becommeth more and more euery day the misera­ble bondslaue of Sath [...]. A figure of this wofull estate was represented vnto vs in [Page 2] the twofold bondage of Gods Children,Exod. [...]. the people of Israel, 2▪ Reg. 23. the one in the sla­uery of Egypt, the other, in the captiuity of Babylon. Into the first; the Israelites were plunged in the pers [...] of their Ancestors, in whose loynes they discended into Egypt, & were thereby subiected to the crueltie of Pharaohs tyranny, and needed a deliuery to rid them thence. Into the se­cond, their own actuall fresh bleeding sinnes cast them, for thereby they prouoked God to wrath, who in his iust iudgement deliuered them to the rage and force of their enemies, who led them away Captiue; and in that wret­ched estate had they remay­ned, if they had not also from them beene graciously deli­uered.

Semblable was the wofull estate of Mankind, had not [Page 3] Iesus Christ the eternall Son of God deliuered vs both from the one and the other. This deliuerance of Man­kind, from out this wofull and lamentable condition, whereunto wee were plun­ged in the loines of Adam o­riginally, and by our owne sinnes actually, is the greatest mysterie that euer the world knew, and is therefore called the Great mysterie of Godlines. For wee beeing now deliue­red by the life and death of Christ Iesus, from this origi­nall attainder of high trea­son, and by holy grace pur­chased by the power of his Passion, Resurrection, and as­cension, beeing restored to our bloud, and freed from the rule, raigne, and rage of sinne, this great misery of mankind, is turned into a great mysterie of Godlines; and wee once wretches, and [Page 4] miserable miscreants, are now become good, godly, and a choice company of ho­ly ones.

This mystery the [...]efore is called the mysterie of Gods will; for it is Gods will wee should bee good.2 Thes. 4, 3: This is the will of God,Col. 1:euen your Sanctifi­cation. Act. 15, Sometimes it is cal­led the mysterie of faith, as the meanes of becomming good; for our hearts are pu­rified by faith; otherwise it is a mistie, and misled faith, that bringeth not forth goodnes. And here it is called the Great Mysterie, as the ende of our godly profession, which is the greatest blessing that euer could come to man, which is our Vnion with God in Christ, and thereby life euerl [...]sting. And assuredly, this Vnion with Christ, can neuer bee obtained but by godlines, without the which, [Page 5] no man shall see God.

Great then is this mystery,Heb. 12. for the Reuelation of this openeth vnto vs all other mysteries, and therefore it is Great.

It sheweth vnto vs the mystery of the great WhoreApoc. 17. the mysterie of iniquitie, (e­uen the historie of the Papa­cie as noble and▪ memorable Philip Morney stiles it) which misguideth so many thou­sand soules, and plungeth them into the misery of er­ror and vngodlinesse, euen into the deepe darkenesse of Sathan,Apoc. 2. lewdnesse of life, and finall despaire in death. It sheweth also vnto vs the my­stery of the last day, which is that, Wee shall not all dye, but wee shall bee all changed, 1 Cor. 15. and that in a moment, in the twinck­ling of an eye, by Gods last trum­pet.

Godlinesse then is a myste­rie? [Page 6] yea surely, for it is an hidden and vnknowne se­cret to the wise and prudent, that is, to those that thinke themselues wise and are not, and it is a reuealed & known mysterie to babes, and suck­lings: that is,Mat, 18. to those that as little children subiect and submit themselues to the wise and learned in God. For he that wil be somwhat with God, must be nothing in him self;Gal. 6, for, He that thinketh him­selfe somewhat, when he is no­thing, he deceiueth himselfe.

Godlinesse is a mysterie, be­cause it hath beene hid with God from the worlds foun­dation, who they are that in time should be godly, and should come to the true knowledge of this mysterie. And it is a mysterie, because it was not made knowne to some ages of the world in full reuelation, but was reserued [Page 7] for the glory and greatnesse thereof vnto the last times, e­uen vntill the reuelation of Iesus, that the Sonne of God, whose pretious bloudshed­ding hath made so many ho­ly ones,Sancti ceu sanguine tincti. in the sight of God the Father. And lastly, it is a mysterie, for that it is euen yet hid in Gods iust iudge­ment, to them that are lost, 2. Cor. 4. in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that beleeue not, l [...]st the light of the glorious Gospell of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine vnto them.

This sacred mysterie is al­so called Great, both in re­spect of the matter thereof, which is maruellous, and in respect of the manner which is miraculous. The matter maruellous, that we for lorne wretches, and dust creeping wormes, blinded in our own vnderstandings, hardned in [Page 8] our hearts, and infected in our affections, should euer become coheires with Christ the Sonne of God, taken out as a remnant from among all other creatures; which God seemed to passe ouer, and to neglect, in respect of vs, for God hath not communica­ted this mysterie in such neer­nesse, no not to the blessed Angels: for, To which of the Angels sayde God at any time, Sit on my right hand, Heb▪ 1. vntill I make thine enemies [...]hy foote­stoole.

The manner miraculous, that flesh [...] and bloud should become such holy seruants, enlightned in their vnder­standings, mollified in their hearts, reformed in all their desires, yea sanctified throughout, both in spirit, & soule, and body, and should become such resolute soul­diers in Gods battels, vpon [Page 9] such hard tearmes of inter­tainement as were proclay­med by Christ to his follow­ers, beeing conditions so of­fensiue, and contrariant to the nice nature of men and women: which were, That if they followed Christ, and would liue godly in this present world, 2 Tim. 3. they should suffer persecution: they should be hated of all men, Mat. 10. they should be whipped and mur­thered,Luc▪ 6.yea they should fare as Lambes among Wolues. In a word, their swords of Re­uenge, must be euer words of Grace and Edification; their fightings, patience; their wealth, ofttimes greeuous want; their feasting, fasting; their whole life very misera­ble in respect of others, they being abridged of many out­ward things, and their ende, (in the sight of men) oft­times most lamentable.

Great, therefore doubtlesse [Page 10] is this mystery of godlinesse, which (for all these hard con­ditions, or whatsoeuer here­sie, schisme, apostasie, the world, the flesh, or the diuell, could doe to crosse it) discer­neth truth from falsehood by Euangelicall reuelation, the effect of Preaching, and by doctrine the effect of know­ledge, which Saint Angustine calleth Christian Doctrine, & by the patient sufferings of Gods Saints in the bloudie butcheries and persecution of the Christian Church.

Great is the mysterie of godlinesse,Ioh▪ 1. yea so Great, that God became man, and man be­came God, that this God-man was manifested in the flesh, so great was it, that it was iu­stified by the spirit, both of power and puritie, so bright that the Angels desire to be­hold it, so great that the Iles a farre off heare it preached, [Page 11] the harts of men are subdued, there with to beleeue it, and the nature of man in the per­son of the Sonne of God is receiued vp in glory.

Great is this holy mysterie that m [...]n therby should haue a new birth by Regeneration, Tit. 3. a new heart by Sanctification, Ioh. 3. new desires by holy Resolu­tion, and become good, godly and piou [...] men, from out all obliquities,Psal. 51▪ defects, and euills of their sinfull nature, which is wholly corrupted, as of infidels to become beleeuers, of vncleane persons to be­come chaste, of drunkards so­ber men, of lyars truth loue­uers, and (in a word) of sin­full and sensuall miscreants, to become fast and faithfull Christians. Yea it is so Great, that it is miraculous, for in despight of Sathan, and all the powers of darkenesse, it worketh miraculous effects [Page 12] in our weake and feeble na­tures.

It enlightneth our vnder­standings with the sight of God,Act. 15. by faith in the mirrour of Iesus Christ,Mat. 5. for being pu­ [...]ified in heart,Mendacii multiplex diuortium. Aug. wee shall see God. It abandoneth all mul­tiplicitie of gods in Paganism for in vntruthes there is no end of lying. It detecteth all Turkish impostures, and all Mahumetan dreames of their Miscelanian mongrill, Al­caron. It cleereth the ora [...]cles of Gods will, the sacred Scriptures from all the Tal­mudicall muddie glosses of the Iewish Rabinicall Sanhe [...]drim.

And in a word it refuteth all Popish innouations and misguiding traditions,Dan. 7. and whatsoeuer else dependeth thereon. For the Antiquitie of this godlinesse is the Ancient of dayes, and wee may easily [Page 13] answer all our opposits brags of Antiquitie with this, It was not so from the beginning. The counsels of this Godlinesse are Apostolicall, & Orthadoxe, Mat. 19. not Trentall, or Lateran, for the voyce frō heauen was, Heare him. Mat. 17. The fathers hereof Saint Paul, and Saint Peter, and others the fathers of the fa­thers. This is a mysterie in­deede, and a great mysterie, and more then that, the my­sterie of Godlinesse, not the curious querees of mans vain greatnesse, to wit, the secret mysteries of nature, either of the firmamentarie orelemen­tarie world, for abstruse knowledge we leaue to Ari­stotle, Lemnius, Cardanus, Cornelius Agrippa, Albert us, Auerhoes, Trismegistus & such like, the searchers & inquisi­tors of natures niceties, the end whereof (for the most part) is vaine Phylosophy, & [Page 14] they that spend their dayes in such triflings, eyther fayle of this happy end to bee Godly, like those that seeke with the expence of witte, and wealth the Elixar of the Philoso­phers stone (the Worlds woodcocke) or fal away from God in Astrologicall calcu­lations, with the curious, Chaldeans, and Egyptians.

But this Godlinesse is the Great Riches; for albeit it hath nothing of the World; 2. Tim. 6. yet it possesseth all the thinges of God. Thats a mysterie in­deed. It dignifieth vs with the grace of Sanctification a­boue our wretched nature, and diefieth vs with the hap­pinesse of Glorification aboue the visible Heauens. That is a great mysterie.

It is the salt of the earth seasoning vs, and all the acts wee doe, that we, and they may bee rationall sacrifices, [Page 15] acceptable to God in Christ: yea, and it is the fauour of Heauen, breathing into vs the breath of eternall life, where­by wee are made partakers of the Diuine nature, 2 Pet. 1. in belee­uing on God in this Worlde, and in louing him shall liue for euer in the other world.

This Godlines must needs be great, when the great God by his holy Spirit is the wor­ker thereof; for who can re­paire the ruines of our rotten and corrupt nature, but the God of nature? Hee it is who onely can take away the stony heart, and giue vs a fleshie, plyable, and peni­tent heart, that onelie can rid vs out of sathans snares &2 Tim. 2. re­store vs to a sound mind.

Great is this Godlinesse, seing nothing could moue God to doe this for vs, but his owne great loue to mankind,Iohn 3. and the death and Resurrection [Page 16] of that great Prophet Christ Iesus the Sonne of God. Great in respect of the means,Act. 7, wher­by God conuayed this Godli­nesse vnto vs, for the faith of this Godlines conuerteth vs by the doctrine of the Law to know our selues, & our sins, by the preaching of the Gos­pell, to know our selues in Christ Iesus to bee saued, and oft times by afflictions, wee are weaned from the World, and are made to take liking of God and godlines.

So wee see that in the first act of our becomming good, wee are meerely passiue; for what can a dead man doe to quicken himselfe, and wee were all dead in sinnes, and trespasses;Eph. 2▪ but after wee are thus quickned by Gods acte, wee know that we are aliue, and reioyce in our godly wel doings. At the first, to worke this great [...],1 Cor. 15. the grace [Page 17] of God is in vs, but when we once feele this sacred power wee are willingly ledde on to goodnes, for the grace of God is with vs; yet in all this wee haue here no abso­lute perfection, but expect the consummation thereof in glory. Tell mee then (Be­loued in the Lord) is not this a mysterie, a g [...]eat mysterie, & the Great Mysterie of Godli­nesse, the end whereof ten­deth to the glory of God, who hereby regenerateth his children, prescribeth them Lawes, they obey them, and promiseth them Heauen, and they are sure of it. Is not this Mysterie Grea [...], and excellent that assureth them that know it, that they are elected, is a declaration to our selues and others, that wee doe beleeue, and is a performance of our dutie in part: And lastly, is not that Great, the end wher­of [Page 18] tendeth to the Conuersi­on of vnbeleeuers,Luc. 22. who see­ing our good workes in this profession of Godlines, Rom. 14. glorifie our heauenly Father, and is the confirmation, and setling of our brethren that doe be­leeue. Oh sacred mysterie of celestiall happines!

Thrice happy are they ther­fore,Application who vnderstand this Mysterie of Godlinesse. For Without controuersie (for that is the preamble of this Scripture) Great is the My­sterie of Godlinesse, and such as are of the generation of those that seeke the Lord, will with all diligence, modesty, sobri­ety, meekenesse and peace, search to know this Mysterie, laying aside all contentions, quarrels, strifes, and enuyings, which distract, and disturbe mens hearts, and hinder men from beeing good. Let God­lines be our Helena, and the [Page 19] truth will assuredly appeare vnto vs, as the learned Earle of Mirand wrote to Hermo­laus Barbarus in this case. For it seuereth from it all the He [...]trogenean, and mongrill boastings of curious specula­tions, the specious glitterings of mans abstruse wisedome, as humane traditions, fanatical Enthusiasmes, and grosse com­mixtures of Moses rites with Christianisme.

And they that know this Mysterie of Godlines, lay aside all spleanie Controuersies, & seeke onely to know God, & whom he hath sent, Christ Iesus, whereby they shall find themselues by the power thereof changed from the fa­shions of the World, the olde man, the first Adam, 1 Cor. 15. into the blessings of the new man,Eph. 4. Christ Iesus the second A­dam, that is clothed with righ­teousnesse and grace.

[Page 20]They shall find that God­linesse is the richest treasure, yea to bee more excellent, & more magnificent then all Maiesty enriching them with those blessings, that many Kings and Monarches of the earth could neuer attaine vn­to. Because Godlinesse shall secure them f [...]om all vexati­ons and incursions of the Di­uell whatsoeuer: for God will tender them,Psal. 91. 11, Zach. 2, As the apple of his owne eye, and commaund his Angels to pitch their tents round about them. There is the safety of this Godlinesse, e­uen a wall of fire to keepe out their enemies. Godlinesse shal beautifie them, for they shall be decked with Grace, where­by God shall accept them. For his people, his sonnes, and daugh­ters for his Spouse, Psal. 34. and fer his exceeding great delight: Cant. 3. There is the grace of this Godlinesse, euen the rayes of Sion.

[Page 21] Sat [...]an, and all the powers of darkenesse shall bee subiect Luc. 19. vnto them that are godly, their memorials shall bee written in Gods Register? And all things shall worke together for their good; Rom. 28. yea, euen their sinnes (as Saint Augustine noteth) There is the victory of this Godlinesse, euen a glorious conquest which many Kings and Monarches neuer atchie­ued. Godlinesse shal enlighten their darkenesse, (as Saint Au­gustine sayeth) For it is the Mirrour of the purified s [...]ule: And Dauid testifieth,psal. 119. That God is his light,psal. 27.and sure saluati­on. There is the light of this Godlinesse in Gods light, euen a verie view of Heauen. If we be ignorant, Wee shall all bee taught of God, [...]oh. 6. yea our know­ledge in the very seeking of this Mysterie shall surpasse, psal. 119. our Tearchers shall surpasse, our Ancients. There is the true [Page 22] wisedome of this Godlinesse. Godlinesse, Psal. 31. 19. shall comfort vs in despaire. O how great is the good­nes he hath layde vp for the that trust in him euen before the sons of men. There is the fauour of this Godlinesse.

The voyce of ioy and gladnes is in the dwellings of the righte­ous. Psal. 118. 15 There is the sound solace of this Godlinesse.

No maruell then if Peter sayd,Mat. [...]7. It is good being here mai­ster. Indeede there is no good being any where else. For ho­linesse becommeth his house for euer. For what euill can come vnto vs,Ca [...]t. 2. when Gods left hand is vnder our head, and his right hand doth embrace vs. There is the protection of this God­linesse.

This Mysterie of godlinesse quieteth the distresses of con­science.Prou. 14. The godly man is as confident as a Lion, Pro. 30. for the name of the Lord is his strong tower, [Page 23] he runneth vnto it and is safe. There is the securitie of this godlinesse. Not carnall securi­tie, such as the custome of the world, and the vse of sinne doth oftimes besot, aud infa­tuate the hearts of Worldlings withall. For vnlesse I were Cleane either indeede, or in desire or indeuour, I should suspect the feare of God had neuer once come into my heart, how soeuer the subtiltie of Sathan and sinne had se­cured me,Psal. 19. for the feare of the Lord is cleane.

But when a Christian feeles in himselfe first Aversion from euil, whereby he hateth sinne, and of that hatred a double sorrow to proceede: One of the world working death, when wee are plunged in de­uouring feares and sorrowes,2. Cor. 7. through the sight of our sin,Eph. 4. and an apprehension of Gods iust iudgements for the same, [Page 24] by the rigour of the Law, the other a godly sorrow, wor­king repentance by the spirit of adoption,Rom. 8. and deliuering vs from the spirit of bondage to feare any more, wee are not idle, or luld in securitie, but straightway wee fall to crie Father, and labor after a most godly sort, to rest in this so holy a resolution. By careful­nesse to looke more warily to our wayes, [...]. Cor. 7. 11 by cleering of our selues to keepe a good con­science in all things, by indig­nation to disdaine euer to bee brought againe vnto the for­mer slauery of Sathan, by Feare to dash out all relapses, and backslidings, lest our ends be worse thē our beginnings, by vehement desire to set our affections aboue, by zeale to draw others out of the fire, and by reuenge to ab [...]idge our selues of many things. we impotently, and foolishly, [Page 25] seeke, and search after in this world.

And hauing thus approued our selues, that we are turned from the euill in a true dete­station thereof, wee go on in our conuersion to the good which is the other part of our Godlines, euen the quickning of our spirits by Gods grace, by illumination of our minds in the sight of those things which leade vs on to heauen, by renouation of our minds, in the obedience of our once sul­len and froward hearts, but now plyable and penitentiall hearts to Gods counsell, by reformation of all our disorde­red affections, in setling them to the minde, and thinke of nothing but whatsoeuer things are True, Phil. 4. honest, iust, pure, louely, of good report, of ver­tue, or of praise which wee haue learned, receiued, and seene in [Page 26] Gods children, these things they thinke on, and doe, that are the Lords.

Indeed hypocrites, and the reprobate are sayde in Scrip­tureHeb. 6. 4. 10. 29. to be sanctified in respect of their outward calling, and in their partaking of the ex­ternall preaching of the word and Sacraments receiued, but the godly onely who are in­wardly renued by the power of the Spirit haue this s [...]ncti­fying grace to expell all full consent from their hearts to offend God, and to labour & striue after righteousnesse.

Yet whiles the godliest liue in this world they cannot at­taine to a full expulsion of the euill, and introduction of the good▪ but these two remaine like to opposite parties in a pittched field combating,Gal. 5. and skirmishing the one with the other, that the most holy can­not do what they would.

And as in the twilight, or [Page 27] dawning of the day, the light that we see is not vtterly voi­ded of darknesse neither is the darkenesse altogether without light, and as in warm water the heate is mixed with cold; so the reluctations of the flesh and spirit that the godly haue in this world, haue no fellowship the one with the other, no more then those different qualities, yet they may remaine in one sub­iect, either acting his owne part, not seuerally, albeit di­stinctlie. Sarah the wife of A­braham is a president in this kinde, who beleeued the pro­mise of God made vnto her concerning her issue, being moued thereunto by the holy Ghost, yet being impatient of delay, enforced thereunto by the flesh, shee giues her mayde vnto her husband, so that one and the same worke euen in the deerest of Gods [Page 28] children, may in respect of the spirit be praise worthy, & in respect of the flesh bee blameable. Sanctification in it selfe is most perfect, but when it is considered in the man that is sanctified, it is imper­fect, and varies by degrees, and encreases by reason of the dayly slips, and slidings of the best, whereby their good­nesse is ofttimes greatly hin­dered, and neuer in this life perfected, which is the reason that the Scripture calleth this our Godlinesse, sometimes a pledge of the spirit, to assure vs Gods fauour, and somtimes an earnest, which is to be made vp, neuer to be taken away. So that wee see this God [...]ines in Gods children, albeit it bee ofttimes verie weake, and feeble in respect of their many infirmities, yet it is rea [...]ll, because it is rooted in the inward parts, and God re­quireth [Page 29] trueth from thence,Psal. 51. whereas the vnregenerate haue formes and fruites al­so of holynesse, but their fruites are like those Apples that growe about the bankes of the dead Sea, or Asphal­tique Lake, looke on the inside and you shall see no­thing but earthlynesse, sensu­alitie, and diuellishnesse.

But those that haue this name of Godlinesse written in their hearts by the fin­ger of God, are iustified by their faith, and this God­linesse is a fragrant flower, and holy fruite of that their holy faith.

Thy euer looking after the sequell of this Holines, which is Happinesse, reser­ued for them in the hea­uens, for God bringeth his children by this way of Holinesse to the life of Hap­pinesse, [Page 30] there being great diffe­rence betwixt the Way that leadeth vnto the kingdome of heauen, and the cause of our attaining both the way, and eternall life, which is the gift of God through Iesus Christ our Lord. What now can disturbe or distract the peace of Gods holy ones, see­ing they haue such pledges, assurances, and earnests of Gods fauour; that they shall neuer vtterly faile, or fall away from God. Oh this blessed securitie, and happy peace of conscience Is more to bee desired then gold, Psal. 19. yea then much fine gold, sweeter also then the honey, and the honey Combe, called of the most wise, the Continuall Feast. There is their absolute con­tentment of this Godlinesse. Thus Godlinesse benefiteth vs in this life, and blesseth al­so in our death, yea after [Page 31] death.Psal. 11. Pretious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his Saints. Luk. 16. They are carryed of Angels into the euerlasting ha­bitations. Blessed are the dead which dye in the Lord, Apoc. 14. for they rest from their labours. Most blessed therefore are the people that are in such a case, Psal 144▪ that know this My­sterie, and practise this God­li [...]sse, for in themselues, al­beit not of themselues, they are the vesselles of honour by Illumination, 1. Thess 4. their life the rule of Christianisme by san­ctification, their pedigree i [...] in descent from the royall Priesthood by deuoute inuo­ [...]ation;1, Pet. 2. 9. their practise is to Purge themselues for the hope of heauen by Mortification, 1. Ioh. 3. 3. their reputation is not to runne to the same excesse of ryot with others, in hope of Glorification, but their whole life is Euangeli­licall, [Page 32] yea Angelicall (as the Apostle speaketh)Phil. 3. For theyr Conuersation is in Heauen: Yet for all this, wee see wise men seeke Greatnesse, few Godli­nesse: For, if wee bestowed but halfe the diligence to bee godly, as wee doe to be great; wee should haue more pietie, and lesse wicked policie. And thats the reason why Mam­mon hath so many Schollers, and Christ so few Followers; For most men desire to know the mysterie how to be great; but few desire to know how to bee good. Machiauels Prince, Lipsius Politeques, Bodins Commentaries, and Bookes of such subiects, are matters preciously accounted of by some, whereby they i­magine to become great in practizing these principles, whiles the booke of God, and other meanes to reduce them to bee good, are neglected. [Page 33] Many men bind themselues for terme of time to learne a mystery how to thriue, and rise in the World, and oft­times with much hardnes & intollerable bondage endure the attainement thereof: But wee see how few t [...]ere are, that can endure, (I will not say, seuen years Apprentiship, no scarce seuen hou [...]es seruice to vnderstand and know this Mysterie of Godlines in Christ, to whose seruice all Christian men are bound by the law of God, and their vow of Bap­tisme to bee as obliged Vo­taries all their life long.

A thousand woes then must needes attend them, that are not acquainted with this Mysterie of Godlinesse, who are eyther plunged into the Deepe [...]esse of the Diuell, Apoc. 7. being so chained and fettered by him in their vngodly courses, that they cannot [Page 34] rayse themselues out of this bottomlesse pitte, or else are misled by the mysterie of ini­quity, which busily worketh euen amidst the Church,2. Thes. 2 Both by lying, wonders, and wonder­full lies, being strong delusions to beleeue lyes, as was long before prophesied, or else are besot­ted with the vanity of the world,1. Ioh. 5. which is Alt [...]g [...]ther set vpon wickednesse: For there bee many Antichrists in the World, and in a Countrey, where all, or the most part be Negroes, It is no blemish there to be blacke. And thats the cause of our dulnesse in thi [...] point, that wee liue so se­cure and wicked without any desire to know & vnderstand how to bee godly. Such are they that haue Iacobs voice in prating of Godlinesse, but E­s [...]us hands in practising vn­happinesse. Such are they that professe a Linzie wool­s [...]y [Page 35] Religion, beeing hatefull to God, because they are not reall, hatefull to the World, because they are religious, al­beit they be but in shew, and hurtfull to themselues, because they are hypocrites, and de­ceyue themselues with see­ming Godlinesse: These are such as are misled with the mysterie of iniquity; such a one was Pope Paul the third, who at his end, sayde. Now shall I know three things, whereof I doubted all my life; to witte, whether there bee a God; or Hel, or whether the soule be immortall, (O damned Infidell!) Such another was Leo the te [...]th, who accounted the Gospell of Christ a Fable, and shew­ing his Fauouri [...]es, (saide) See what heapes of treasure I haue gathered by that fable of Christ (O wretched misc [...]e­ant.) The doctrines that plea­seth [Page 36] those that are thus misled with the mystreie of iniqui­ty, are traditions, amphibo­lous equiuocations, mentall reseruations, and the like deui­ses. Their Religion is policy, their faith eyther implicite, or wauering; like that of Lucius consisting of words or won­ders, with Moses Egyptius, as Ruffinus recordeth, would not admit of, nor endure, that Lucius should lay his handes vpon him, but tolde him, that hee would rather beleeue his eyes then his eares; that is, he would rather embrace the Religion which is seene, then that which is only heard. And for them that without blush­ing say,Psal. 14. There is no God, and blot out all Religion with one dash, or with Zenaherib, Ho­lofernes, and Ph [...]raoh, scoffe at Godlinesse, or with Rufus en­tertaine the Religion of the place where they liue, what e­uer [Page 37] it be, or turne Religious godlinesse into worldly poli­cie, by practising (as I sayde) Machiauels Prince, Bodins Commentaries, Lipsius Poli­tiques, and such like Discour­ses: That of Saint Paul is ve­rified of them:2 Cor. [...]. 4. For if o [...]r Gospell be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the God of this world hath blinded the eyes of them that beleeue not, lest the light of the glorious Gospell of Chrict, who is the Image of God should shine vnto them: For to these it is euen yet a hidden mysterie; And in such feare­full case are all light headed Zebuls, scoffing Iebusites, scorning Cains, vile Iulianists, impious Lucianists, and con­temners of all piety, religion, and godlinesse: But Belee­uers consider, That the vn­godly shall bee turned into hell, Psal. 9. and all the Nations that know not god, Rom. 9. and the whole creati­on [Page 38] on groneth to bee deliuered from such burthens as these miscreāts are,Heb. 10. Who tread vnder foot the son of God, and account the bloud of the new testament as an vnholy thing, whereby they are sanctified, and do despite the spirit of grace. And Beleeuers see euen by the ve [...]y glimpse of right reason, that nothing but man maketh account of greatnes, God doth not, for with him is no respect of per­sons;Act. 10. Nature doth not, for the children of Princes are borne naked,Mors aequo pede pulsat▪ pauperum taberna: Regumque turres Horat. as wel as the Cottagers, and death assayleth the Court as well as the cart. Good­nes onely is that wherein God delighteth, and good men tender it as their breath: Godlinesse beeing the graci­ous mother, and goodnesse the holy daughter.

Lastly, they that beleeue, know that godlinesse hath the promise of this Life, to be [Page 39] gracious in Christ, and of that to come, to bee glorious in Christ, and therefore it is the onely thing they desire to know, It is the one thing ne­cessa [...]ie,Luk. 10. they practise, it is the Manna of their soules, the ioy of their hearts, the touch­stone of their actions, the Gynosura of their affections, the Dauids harpe for their [...]ares, the Word for theyr mouthes, the Mirrour for their liues, the path for their feet, the station for theyr watch, the salue for theyr griefes, the Key of Heauen, and the Heauen on Earth: To thee therefore O Lord, doe I lift vp my heart in the mercies of thy Sonne Christ Iesus.

Doubtles,Inuoca­tion. O holy and hea­uēly father, man disquiet [...]th him selfe in vain; for thou didst make him righteous, but he after the vanity of his owne hart which is [Page 40] falne from thee, haue sought ma­ny inuentions. Thou O God canst not please vs with thy patiēce, nor humble vs with thy present and future iudgements, nor allure vs with thy gracious promises. Such is the peruersitie of our in­firm natures, such is the p [...]euish­nes of our corrupt condition, such is the euil of guilt & action that we haue in vs, Thy lessous are al of peace, and w [...]e runne counter into controuersies, euery day deui­sing to our selus an opinion, a fan­cie, a faction, and to make good these, what stone do we not mou [...]? what corner do we not ra [...]s [...]ck [...]? what earnestnes and acrimonie do we not apparantly reueale? or else like some stupid or dul beast we haue no sence or feeling at al of thee, or of thy greatnes, but liue onely to liue, and to del [...]ght our selus with our selus in our grosse mistakings. If we pretend religion Satan tempteth vs with faction, if puritie, with hypocrisie, if [Page 41] zeale, with vncharitable ioalo [...] ­sie. O Lord some yeares haue I liu [...]ed, wretched man, that I am among other of thy seruants, & knew not whether there were a Iesus, a Christ, an holy Ghost or no? So besotted haue I bin with the loue of the world, so befooled with mine own fancie, so plunged into the darke deepeues of the diuel, and so transported with the fashions of others, who know as little, and vnderstand as little, or lesse then my selfe. But now O Lord God, lo [...]king backe into the misery of my selfe, I shudder and tremble, seeing a far of a mystery wherof as yet I could neuer attain the knowledge, albeit I haue ob­serued many of my brethren with great diligence, and zeale to abound in all Godlinos, forward­nes, & sācti [...]ony, gladly hearing, frequenting, conferring, following after the light, that shined vnto them in the darkn [...]s of this Life, yea aduenturing their liues, their liuelyhoodes, their credite and [Page 42] esteeme among the sonnes of men, and accompting all things else as dung in respect of the knowledge and seruice of their heauenly Maister. To me O Lord, among other the rest of thy seruants, this is a great mysterie, that haue felt in my selfe no minde, no meaning thereunto. What shall I doe, O Lord, in this my misse led, and misperswaded est [...]te? I now perceiue, O Lord, by that glimpse of right reason, which maketh e­uery man vnexcusable, and by that sparke of light, which en­lightneth euery one that cōmeth into the world, that my sinnes, my sinnes, my great and gri [...]uous sinnes, like to some huge moun­taine, haue vpreard themselues betweene me and this most glo­rious light, dimming vp mine eyes that I cannot see, and dam­ming vp that heauenly splendor which should enlighten mee, and haue set such a controuersie be­tweene thee and me, that my [Page 43] soule is like vtterly to bee diu [...]r­ced from thy loue, vnlesse thine eye of pittie consider me. O looke vpon mee deere and tender hear­ted Father in the face and fauor of Iesus Christ my Sauiour, and for his sufferings sake, dispell the mystie clouds of my wreatched nature, with the light of thy coun­tenance, and shew me this My­sterie of Godlinesse. Illuminate mine vnderstandings with the glorio [...] rayes of Sion. Blesse mine imagination that I m [...]y thinke of no euill, but of goodnesse continually. Incline my will that it may bow it selfe to the obedi­ence of thy commandements. Put this Mysterie of Godlinesse into my heart, by the invisible singer of thy sacred Trinitie, that it may make me good by shining vpon mee, and piercing into mee, that I may be sanctified thereby, both in body, soule, and spirit. O Lord, let not the Mysterie of iniquitie misleade me, nor the [Page 44] deepenesse of Sathan deceiue me, nor the deceitfulnes of sinne by flesh and bloud carry me away to forsake or neglect thy goodnes, but let this light of thine O Lord be euer more pretious vnto mee then the balme of Gilead, more magnificent then the royaltie of Solomon, and more deare then the apple of mine eie. That thereby I may be acceptable vnto thee, in thy Christ, in whom thou art well pleased. That my seruice in this sacred Mysterie of Godli­linesse, may bee as Physicke for to cure mi [...]e vngodlinesse, as my Counseller to direct me in the affayres of my life, and as my casuist to resolue the cases of my distressed conscience: So shall I euer magnifie thy name, O Lord, that hast shewed mee such louing kindnesse in a strange cittie, in reuealing to me, to me I say the vnworthyest of many thousands, the Mysteries and light of the kingdome of heauen, [Page 45] in the darkenesse and shadow of death, So shall I be euer telling of thy truth, and mercy to the as sembly of thy Saints, and to the generations which a [...]e yet for to come. Grant these fauours vnto me O King of heauen, God of all peace, Father of mercies, Foun­taine of wisedome and goodnesse for the vnspeakeable merits and sufferings of Iesus Christ our onely Mediator and Redeemer. Amen.

GOD MANIFE­sted in the Flesh.
Explication.

GOD is the height of this Mysterie,2 The first day of the weeke. God in the flesh, is the depth of this Mysterie, God manifested in the flesh, is the length and breadth of this Mysterie. Of God it is reuea­led that hee is one in nature, and three in persons, Father, Sonne, and holy Ghost, that is a Trinitie in Vnitie, & an Vnitie in Trinitie. Euen as in the nūber of three are one number, and yet three vnities, in a triangle are three angles, yet one figure, in the Sunne are body, brightnesse, and heate, yet one Sunne, in the fire, light, flame, and heate, yet the fire cannot bee [Page 47] diuided, in the soule our me­morie, vnderstanding and will, and yet one soule; all these shewing, that three may bee one, and one three. So likewise in God, are three persons, Father, Sonne, and holy Ghost; and yet one God, who is blessed for euer­more: For vnlesse I vnder­stand (when I heare the name of God) that it is meant of the holy and vndeuided Trinity, wherby I am sau [...]d, mine vn­derstanding shall content me nothing.

The supereminency of which Mysticall Beeing of God passeth mans vtterance,August. l. 7. cap. 4. de Trin. and therefore wee can better thinke, then speake of God. Let vs not then be ouer curi­ous to search out this myste­rie: For God is ex [...]ellent, Iob. 6. 26. and wee know him not, (sayeth E­lihu in Iob) Our thoughts com­prehend him not, Ier 32. 19. sayeth Iere­mie, [Page 48] And his wayes are past fin­ding out (saith Saint Paul) These secrets belong vnto the Lord our God, Ro. 11. 33. and the reuealed things thereof belong vnto vs,Deut. 29. 29.and to our children for euer. Let vs then here content our selues with a touch rather then with a taste of this secret of the es­sence and will of God: For God the Father in himselfe is the Fountaine of the Dei [...]ie, which no curiositie can finde out:Dyonys. Areopag. [...]Epiph. [...]Origén, Iust Mart [...] Perfection of himself, which no man can comprehend: God of himselfe, whom all a­dore, and Life of himselfe, in whom we all liue. God the Sonne in himselfe is the very engrauen forme of his Father, in whom the whole Godhead dwelleth bodily. And God the holy Ghost, is in himselfe the fulnesse of them both by procession. God (I say) whose power is all puissance, whose sense is all knowledge, whose [Page 49] essence is the principal good; whose worke is euery good, whose scites beneath al things without substractiō, aboue all things without elation, within all things yet not included. without all things yet not ex­cluded: aboue al things as pre­sident, beneath all thinges as sustinent, within all things as cōplement, without all things as comprehēdent. The first mouer yet notmoued in local scite, yet not circūscribed, or­dering al times, yet not chan­ged, in Essence infinite, incō ­prehensible in Maiestie, in goodnes soueraigne, in wise­dom wonderfull, in counsels terrible, in iudgmēt righteous in cogitations secret, in works holy, in mercy rich, in pro­mise true, alwayes the same, e­ternal, immortal, vnchangea­ble, not to bee expressed by speech, not conceyued by thought, of whom al the An­gels [Page 50] of Heauen doe stand in feare, whom all dominations and thrones doe adore, at whose presence all powers do shake.

God, I say, being thus of himselfe, is also reuealed to­wards vs to bee of power in­comprehensible, creating all things by his owne power, or­dering all things by his owne will, directing all things to his owne ends of his owne good pleasure: of wisedome vn­searchable, by which hee spreade the heauens,Psal. 103. diuided the waters, & setled the earth; for in wisdome hath he made them all: of mercy vnspeak­able, by creating vs of no­thing, and by redeeming vs when wee were worse then nothing: And of iuslice vn­controuleable, leauing no good vnrecompensed, no e­uill vnpunished.

This then indeede is a sur­passing [Page 51] incomprehensible mistery, that thus God should bee manifested in our weake flesh, that God and Man should be in one person. And that of the same God, the ho­ly Scripture should say, in re­spect of this his manifestation in the flesh:Luk 2. The child increa­sed in wisedome and knowledge, and in fauour with God and man: And Emanuel, God with vs, should say of himself, The Father is greater then I: And of the same God in re­spect of his Dietie,Ioh. 14. he h [...]mself sayth;Ioh. 8. Before Abraham was borne, I am, and that hee was the first begotten of euery Crea­ture. And further in respect of the vnion of both natures in the person of the Sonne of God (the sacred word sayth) That God redeemed his Church with his bloud, Act. 2. That the Iewes crucified the Lord of glorie▪ 1. Cor. 2. and that he gaue his life for vs: 1. Ioh. 3. So [Page 52] that the Catholike conclusion of all, is this, That Christ Iesus Emanuel consisting of two distinct Natures in the person of the Sonne of God, without confusion was incarnate, and became our Mediator, accor­ding to both Natures, that the same hand that wrought the institutiō of the world, should also worke the restitution of the same: For it was impossi­ble that the World should be saued without the Incarnati­on of the Sonne of God: For God in Christ reconciled the world vnto himselfe: And by taking vnto himself our flesh by Incarnation, made it his owne flesh, that so of his own (albeit from vs) hee might haue what to offer to God for vs.

And without this our flesh hee could not suffer, for the manhood is the proper subiect of passion, compassion [Page 53] and feeling pitty, which cau­seth the regiment of Christes Kingdome to bee most ami­able, exercising dominion o­uer all men, with a true, na­turall and sensible touch of mercy▪

The second person there­fore of the glorious Trinitie; was sent to performe this great worke: not the Father, who being of none, could not be sent: Not the holy Ghost, who albeit he proceed, yet he is not the first that procee­deth: And forasmuch as a double Mission was requisite, the first person that procee­deth, was fittest for the first Mission, and the second for the second, who also more fitte, to make vs the sonnes of God by grace, then hee that was the sonne of God by nature: And who more fit to repaire the images decayed in vs, then he that was the engrauē form [Page 54] of his Fathers person. And this was done that man with more assurance, and without danger of euer erring, might come neare vnto the presence of sacred truth it selfe, and set­tle therein by this manifesta­tion of the Sonne of God. And God became man, that he whom man was to follow, might shew himselfe vnto man, and bee seene of him. Besides it was done, that the humane nature might be ad­uanced to such an high digni­tie and excellencie, that no man should any more so much forget himselfe, as to defile the same with sinfull impurities. Lastly, it was done that man might bee deliuered from the slauery and bondage of sinne, whereinto hee was plunged; For man was puni­shed as Iustice vrged: That was p [...]rformed which God had threatned, as Truth re­quired [Page 55] The offender was pittied as Mercy entreated, & God and Man reconciled, as Peace desired. Thus Mercie and Truth met together, Righte­ousnesse and Peace kissed each other.

The manner of this is the astonishment of Heauen, and Earth; but our holy faith makes it more true then plain vnto vs; yet some resemblan­ces may in some part expresse this vnion vnto vs.

The vnion of soule and body maketh one man a fla­ming and fiery sword, makes one sword one man may haue two accidentall formes, Phi­sicke and Law, and a branch engraffed, and a tree is one tree: so Christ is one, and yet hath two different Natures, & in them performeth the di­stinct actions pe [...]tayning to eyther of them. Condemned then be all hereticall cauils of [Page 56] Arr [...]us Macedonius, Apollo­narius, Panlus Samofatemus, Sabellius, Photinus, Aetius, to­gether with the whole swarm of Dimiarr [...]ans, and the like damned heretiques, who ey­ther impeach the truth of Christs Incarnation, and Na­tiuity, or the vnion of his na­tures in one person, or his line of Dauid, Rom. 1. according to the flesh, that is, according to the weake flesh,Ioh. 1. 14. but not cor­rupted flesh: For the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt among vs. There is the whole Na­ture of man. And Christ in the dayes of his flesh offered vp prayers and supplications with strong crying and teares vnto him, Heb. 5. 7: that was able to saue him from death, and was heard in that he feared. There is the true affection of our nature: So then,1 Iohn 4. 2. He that confesseth that Iesus is come in the flesh is of God, and he that confesseth it not is of the Diuell. There is the [Page 37] triall of our faith. For this ma­nifestation of God in the flesh is to vnbeleeuers as the cloud that stood betwixt the Israe­lites and the Egyptians at the red sea, which to the Israelites was a bright shining cloud, but to the Egyptians a dark, dangerous, and portentous Commet.

And is not this then a Great Mysterie? That God, who is without beginning and end, should haue a beginning with vs by birth, and an end by death. That God who nei­ther changeth nor altereth, should encrease in stature: That God who is without commixture or defect, should eate and bee an hungry. That God who could be no more then he was, should take vpō him the shape of a seruant, & be that he was not, that could haue no more then hee had, should bee lesse then he was, [Page 58] and could know no more thē he knew, and yet would feele our infirmities, and taste our miseries. What tongue, what pen can expresse this myste­rie? that God should bee vni­ted vnto man, not onely in loue & grace, but in one per­son: for we must obserue that the humane nature of Christ is not a distinct person by it selfe, as Peter, Iohn, and such like, but to our vnspeakeable comfort is so vnited to the diuine nature that did assume it, as they both make but one person: so that all that is in it, is truly said to be Gods, and al that was don by it, to be done by God, as Christs bloud was Gods bloud, Christs death was Gods death, as hath been sayd. And the God of glorie may as well be sayd to suffer death, as to rayse the dead frō their graues, and the sonne of man as well to haue made, as [Page 59] to haue redeemed the world.

Who would euer haue thought that so great a woūd as mans sinneful defect from God, should euer haue beene thus healed? or that God, and a wretched sinner should bee thus reconciled, or that heauē and earth should bee thus in­corporated, or that the veritie of God,Ita celebe­rima illa concilia Nicenum contra Arrianum, [...] Constant. cont. Apol. [...]. and the compleate substance of man should bee vnited in one Christ,Ephel. cont Nestor. [...]. who is truly God,Calcedon. contra Eutichen. [...].perfectly man, God and man indiuisibly, and both in that one distinctly.

But yet behold this Great Mysterie of Godlinesse, as it is not to be ascēded vnto in the exaltation therof▪ for it is God; and as it is vnutterable in the humiliation; for it is God in the flesh: so it is vndoubted & infalible in the demonstratiue manifestation thereof; for no­thing is more euident to the faith of christian beleeue [...]s. It [Page 60] being not onely prophesied, shadowed and portrayed out vnto vs in the old Testament vnder diuers types, and sun­dry formes, but also substan­tially, and really performed, fi [...]ished, and consummated in the new testament. Mark but the diuine paralels of this ma­nifestation in some few parti­culars,Hoc myste­rium in ve­teri Testa­mento fuit velatum. in nouo Reue­latum. and note whether they doe not touch each other, and point out to euery beleeuing soule, the whole frame and for me thereof from the cir­cumference to the Center: Pharaoh kileth the Hebrewe children, Exod. 1. Mat. 2. Herod the true Pha­roah killeth the children of Bethelem. Both stirred vp by Sathan to murther the Mes­sias (if they could) and to fal­sifie the promise of this mani­festation, purposed before of God from euerlasting.1 Reg. 3. Salo­mon at twelue yeeres decideth the question between the 2. [Page 61] women for the liuing childe: Christ the true Solomon at 12.Luc. 2. yeares is found admidst the Doctors, posing and questio­ning them, doubtlesse of the Iewish Synagogue then dead and of the true Christian Church, the liuing child. Mo­ses fasted fortie dayes at the giuing of the Law; Christ fasted forty dayes at the com­mencement of the Gospell▪ Twelue Patriarches the fa­thers of the Law; Twelue A­postles the Patriarches of the Gospel. Ten commandemēts giuen on mount Sinay. Exo. 20. Ten petitiōs on moūt Horeb. Mat. 4. Iudah the Patriarch selleth Ioseph, Iu­das the Apostle & traytor sel­leth for thirtie peeces the true Ioseph, Iesus Christ. Christ is taken in a garden by the Brooke Cedron: Man sin [...]ed in the Garden of Eden. Ioseph the inno­cent is imprisoned: Pilate im­ [...] [Page 62] prisoneth the innocent Lord Iesus. At noone Christ suffe­red, at noone man sinned. The first Adam by transgres­sion shuts vp heauen, the se­cond Adam by his passion o­peneth heauen to all belee­uers. Ioseph the Patriarch bu­rieth Iacoh: Ioseph of Arima­thea burieth the true Israel. Daniel is sealed vp in the Ly­ons denne▪ the true Daniell Christ is layde in his sepul­cher, and the Magistrates seale the stone: yea the very cir­cumstances of this manifesta­tion are most exactly set downe.

The time limited, to wit, When the scepter shall depart from Iuda; Gen. 49. the place designed, At Bethlem in Iudaea. The mi­raculous manner published. A virgine shall conceiue a sonne. Mich. 5. 2. His presentation in the Tem­ple verified,Esa. 7. 14. The Lord whom ye seeke shall suddenly come into hisZac. 11. 13.[Page 63] Temple. His price valued. A goodly price was I prized at of them, saith the Lord. The trea­son against him foretold. That his owne familiar friend in whō he trusted, Psal. 41. 9. and did eate his bread should list vp his heele against him. In a word, all things (e­uen to the very vineger and gal in his last suffrings) were at sundry times, & in manifold maner long before certainly prophesied of, as they were ma­nifestly in their determinate times of Godperformed. So that this manifestation was the accomplishment of vision and prophesie, the body of type, and shadow, the ende of Law, and Priesthood, the per­fection of Sacrifice and Sa­crament, and the vnion of mankind with God in Christ and thereby life euerlasting.

Is God then thus abased in [...] our flesh?Application. Oh the great boun­tie [Page 64] of Gods fauor vnto vs. Oh then let vs submit our selues vnto God. For the Lord will haue an eye to none but to such as are of a broken, and contrite heart, and trembleth at his word. But if wee bee meeke and lowly in heart, We shall finde rest vnto our soules. Mat. 11. Yea our chife seruice consists in this, To humble our selues to walke with our God. Mic 6. Remem­bring the excellent dignity of our sanctified nature, beeing now vnited to our God, and pertaking of his holy nature, by filiation according to the Euangelicall precept,Mat. 5. Be mer­cifull as your heauenly father is mercifull. See God is become our father by sanctificatiō. For if wee being wretches can giue good gifts vnto our children, how much more shall our heauenly father giue graces and blessings to them that all vpon him. By adoption, For to as many as re­ceiue [Page 65] him, he hath giuen power to become the sons of God. Ioh. 1. Let not the vnbeleeuing Iewes demād how this vnion should be? or how God could bee manife­sted in our flesh? But let them tell how the dead rod of A­ron could beare blossomes? how a virgin should conceiue and beare a son? how a bush could burne & not consume? how Gedeons fleece could be wet at one time in the floore, & all the floore about it dry, and another time dry and all the ground about it wet, & in answer of these, this vnion wil be euē vnto thē manifest: [...]or all these things they v [...] ­doubtedly beleeue. Let not the damnable Atheist dis­cusse this mysterie asking reasons how, and which way? but let him tell me, this one thing, how the Sun beames pierce through the glasse, and yet the glasse remains whole? [Page 66] And if he cannot tell this, let him adore and reuerence in sacred silence, & not explore in curiositi [...] this secret My­sterie.

And let all Infidels and miscreants know, that both heauen, and earth, and hell, doe all witnes against them, and doe manifest this myste­rie which is God in the flesh InIn earth. earth, besides the trembling thereof at Christs passion, the rage of the Sea qualified by a word of his mouth, the crosse that had the ordinances, and hand writing that was against vs fastened vnto it, and the life and the death of the Lord Iesus so famoused through­out the Christian world, which was as wonders in hea­uen and earth, filling both with the sweet odours there­of, the very heathen Empe­rour Augustus the then Mo­narch of the world, when this [Page 67] manifestation was in the ful­nesse of time accomplished' made a decree in the Senate of Rome, not to be saluted by the name of Lord, as if he had been taught by some diuine inspiration (for the holy ghost ofttimes hath spoken by the mouth of his enemies, as in Balaam, Caiphas, and others) that now there was manife­sted in the earth one, that was indeede the Lord of Lords.

In heauen also appeares at the time of this manifestation,In heauen. as Albertus Magnus citeth out of A [...]bumaser the great Astro­loger, in the first aspect of the sign of Virgo, a faire and chast virgin, hauing two eares of corne in her hand, and a childe in her arms, which child some natiōs do call Iesus, not as if he that made the starres were any way subiect to the motion of the starres, but that he which stretcheth out the heauens as a scrole of parchment, [Page 68] where he wrote the booke of na­ture, Apollo Collopho­nius quae­renti (Quis aut quid de­u [...]) respon­dit. might not want witnesse out of the booke of nature of that which was contained before in the booke of Eternitie, [...]. L [...]ctan. de de fals. vill. cap. 7.which was his secret decree: That a virgin should bring forth a child, and so he should be described to vs to be a naturall man, albeit not borne after a naturall manner. Thus heauen and earth wit­nesse apparantly this myste­rie. Yea the very diuels of hell beleeue this and tremble; con­fessing in the Gospell, Iesus I know, and Paule I know, but who are ye? at what time some counterfeyt exorcists tooke vpon them to call ouer the possessed the name of the Lord Iesus.

And the Oracle of Del­phos beeing the diuels mouth did at the time of this mani­festation take their last fare­well in these words, Me [...]puer Hebraeus diuos Deus [Page 69] ipse gubernans cedere sede iubet, tristemque ridere sub­orcum, Aris regno dehin [...] ta­citus aboedito nostris. And in steede of the darkenesse of this kingdome, Sathan which had almost ouer spred the whole world, this glo­rious Sunne-shine of Gods manifestation with vs, ap­peared, which was so effectu­all, that euen as in the spring time when the Sunne re­turneth all things beginnes, to waxe greene, the earth brings foorth, the trees are cloathed with leaues, and the whole surface of the earth is renued: so at the manifestation of Christ the Sonne of righteousnesse, the whole frame, and fabrique of the world was spiritually al­tered.

For then arose out of the former Hellish darke­nesse, quires of holy ones, [Page 70] men, women, virgins, mar­tyrs, confessors, Preachers, holy people, whole nations, countries, and tongs declare the wonderfull mercies of theCan. 2. Lord in the reuelatiō of Iesus Christ: Who is the Rose of the field, and the Lillie of the vallies. Moses of old posed the whole world with this question. En­quire of the dayes of olde which were before thee and frō the day that God created man vpon the earth, yea euen from the height aboue to the depth beneath, Deut. 4. if e­uer the like thing were knowne. That a people should heare the voyce of the Lord speaking out of the middest of the fire. But now we may pose Moses, & say, O Moses, then God spake by an Angell out of the mid­dest of the fire, but now (O man of God) was euer the like as this heard, That God himself in the nature of man should sit a­midst his disciples and teach the. [Page 71] This is that the spirit of God so magnifieth. That at sundry times, and in diuers manner God spake heretofore in his Prophets, Heb, 1. but in these last dayes by his only Sonne, And if the word deliuered by an Angell was stedfast, Heb. 4. what shall become of them that refuse and neglect the Sonne of God now speaking vnto them?

O most ingratefull, and brutish are the sonnes of men, who seeke not to vnderstand this mysterie so anciently pro­phesied of, so fully perfor­med, and so manifestly de­clared. Me thinkes I heare all other creatures of heauen and earth say. Oh that God had vouchsafed vs such a blessing, such a tie, such a fauour, for then had wee had beene most happy. The quires of An­gels say, Oh that God had ordayned to vs so vnspeakea­ble a fauour, as to haue beene vnited to our nature. But [Page 72] Christ tooke not vpon him the nature of Angels, but tooke vpon him the nature of children, that being tempted himselfe, and suf­fering, Heb. [...]. hee might succour them that suffer, and are temp­ted. Who would not then in consideration hereof giue himselfe a whole burnt offe­ring vnto his God, and con­secrate his whole life (if the terme thereof were euen from the first Adam, vnto the ende of the world) as a votiue ser­uice vnto the glory of this God. Oh vncircumcised hearts and eares of those who neither care to heare, nor to vnderstand this▪ blessed my­sterie. For if they would dili­gently seeke, they should find that God would manifest himselfe vnto them euen in their indiuiduall flesh, by the sanctifying power of his ho­ly Spirit,Apoc. 3. and by pertaking of his diuine nature,Io [...]. 14. 2. Pet. 1. whereby [Page 73] they should see with open face (as in a mirrour) the glo­ry of the Lord, and be chan­ged into the same image from glory to glory,2. Cor. 3. euen as the spi­rit of the Lord. In no wise shold they be as those wretch­es in whose flesh Sathan, and not God is manifested, who are indeed incarnate diuels (as the prouerb is) whom Sathan hath so sifted to the bran, and winnowed to the chaffe, that no remainder of any godli­nesse, or goodnesse is leaft in them, in whom Sathan is To­tus in toto, & totus in qualibet parte (as Aquinas saith) of the soule.

Their imagination euill, their minde ill, their meaning ill, their will obstinate, their vnderstanding darkned, their eares itching after vanities, their eyes adulterous, which cannot choose but sinne, their mouth blasphemous, their [Page 74] an open graue of fulsome slanders, their hands rough, and cruell, their feete swift to shed bloud, their whole bo­dy a cage of vncleane birdes, their life and conuersation a stye of stinking swines flesh, an Acheldema of oppression, a Caluarie of dead spoyles, & their ende a puddle of loath­some impieties.

But those that secke God, doe vnderstand this myste­rie, and shew forth this mani­festation in themselues, ha­uing lift vp their heads as gates, & their minds as dores, and the king of glory is come in vnto them,Psal. 24. and is manife­sted in them by their faith in Christ by their good workes among men,Mat. 5. by all the fruites of his gra [...]ious spirit, and by their ioyfull departure hence being assured of a farre better rest, and happinesse in their maisters kingdome.

[Page 75]The custome of the Aethi­opian Church, which liue vn­der Prester Iohn, is to obserue the feast of the Epiphany as their chiefe and principall fe­stiuitie, at which time God shewed himselfe both to Iew and Gentile in this manifesta­tion by a starre. Thereby ac­knowledging, and that most truly, that this blessing, is the beginning and fountaine of all other blessing in Christia­nitie whatsoeuer, and ought most sollemnly to bee obser­ued, and most diligently to be considered, especially of vs that were Gentiles.

Goe foorth therefore yee daughters of Sion (euen all re­ligious and denoute soules) and behould King Solomon (your Christ) with the crowne where­with his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals,Cant. 3. and in the day of the gladnesse of his heart.

[Page 76]Go foorth (I say) from out the fashions and fancies of this world, both with rea­dinesse and resolution, as men do to meete their new king. If you be malefactors, he will pardon you vpon re­pentant reconciliatiō throgh Christ Iesus, and will receiue you to fauour. If you bee al­ready his seruants and citi­zens of the citie of God, goe foorth to meete him with your presents of good workes and holinesse, as your homa­ges of fealtie. If you be friends and allyance, as are all deuout Soules, doe that often which hee hath bidde you doe, in remembrance of him, that is, offer the sacrifice of thanke­fulnesse, receiue the cup of sal­uation, & call vpon the name of the Lord, that so you may shew the Lords death all your life long, vntill his comming againe. So shall your eyes [Page 77] b [...] opened, that you shall not onely vnderstand this Great mysterie of Gods manifestation in the flesh, but also see it Iusti­fied in the Spirit.

Oh blessed Emanuell encrease our faith.

O Eternall and most mightie Iehouah Elohim,Inuocation. whose seate is in heauen, whose footestoole is in earth, whose chariots are the clouds, whose might is in the great waters, whose power is euery where, whose displayed glory is in heauen, where angels are they at­tendants, and where all the bles­sed dominations and thrones doe thee dayly homage, where the in­numerable company of elected Saints, doe vncessantly prayse thee, where thine habitation is light, that none can ap­proach vnto, thy cloathing Maiestie, and honor, thy wisdome incomprehensible, thy mercy vn­speakeable, [Page 78] and thy iudgements past finding out, Looke downe looke downe most mercifull Fa­ther in Christ from thine holy place, the seate of mercie, vpon me a most miserable & distres­sed wretch. O hearken thou to my prayers which I sinfull soule powre out from an vnfained heart. Open vnto my soule this great mysterie of thy ma­nifestation in our flesh, that I may know, and comprehend with all Saints, the height, length, breadte, and depth of the vn­searchable riches of thy grace in Christ Iesus our Lord. For thou diddest so loue the world that thou gauest thine onely begotten Sonne, that who so beleeueth in him should not perish, but haue euerlasting life.

This diuine loue of thine is in­comprehensible, this gift inesti­mable, this deliuerance vnutte­rable, and this felicitie incompa­rable. My heart burneth with [Page 79] in me, and the sparkes of deuotiō arise from the center of my soule, in musing on this so holy [...], and so happy a mysterie which I doe a­dore in the retirednesse of my spirit continually, and the fire of thy zeale, O Lord, encreaseth in my heart [...], and the flames thereof bursts forth, and I crie to thee O King of heauen, and of earth, that thy goodnesse would vouchsafe me a blessing among thine holy ones, in whose flesh thou art manifested by the power of thy spirit of sanctification, and other graces of thy goodnesse. For, O my God, I haue percei­ued sinne and Sathan a long time to haue ruled and raigned in my flesh, In my heart, by a­uersenes from thee, in my vnder­standing, by misled iudgments, in my wit by wayward purposes, & froward desires, in my fancie by foolish imaginations & designes, and my thoghts by rebellious af­fections, in mine eyes by adulte­rous [Page 80] wanderings, in mine eares by itching after vanities, in my forhead, as in the whores brow, by impudent outfacings, in my mouth by blasphemous swearings and curses, and in my whole masse of nature by lewde and loose con­ditions.

Now therefore I come vnto thee, O Sauiour of mankind, the Phisition of soule and body, and lie groueling in mine owne dust before thy footestoole, humbly praying thy goodnesse for thy Christ his sake, that thou woul­dest vouchsafe to manifest thy selfe by thine almighty power in my flesh, in my wretched flesh, in my rebellious, and rotten flesh, in mine haughty naughty and hellish flesh.

That it may by thy thy power become a vessell of holinesse, of puritie, of grace, and of glory.

To this blessed ende mortifie in me, O Lord, the deedes of the flesh, adulterie, fornication, vn­cleanesse [Page 81] laciuiousnesse, Idola­trie, witchcraft, hatred, variance emulation, wrath, strife, sedi­tion, heresies, enuyings, murders, drunkennesse, reuellings and suc [...]h like, and in stead thereof mani­fest in me, O God, thy selfe by bestowing vpon me a principall portion of thy Spirit, in loue, ioy, peace, long suffering, gentlenesse, goodnesse, faith, meckenesse, tem­perance, and what else thy holy wisedome knowes fit for me in my vocation and ranke.

Restraine sinne that it may not raigne in my mortall body, and Sathan that hee may not rage ouer me,

Set vp thy selfe, O God, aboue the heauens, and thy glory a­boue all the earth.

That thy beloued in whom thou art manifested by thy gra [...]ious spirit of sanctifica­tion, may euer praise and magnifie thy Great name amiddest the Congregati­gations. [Page 82] And I the vnworthyest of all thy creatures, shall euer bee telling of thy goodnesse to­wards me, for redeeming me with thy bloud, for sanctifying mee by thy grace, for vniting thy selfe mystically vnto mee thine hum­bled Votarie, and for sauing mee from those many, and manifold euills of the flesh, whereinto thou­sands are faine also, had not thy gratious assistance, O Lord, vpheld my weake and feeble flesh.

[...]N Lord, there hath no sinne beene committed since Adams fall vnto this day, by any the sonnes and daughters of men, but I had done the like, if thy sweete fauour in Iesus Christ had not preuented mee, O Lord, then let mee liue in thee, let mee wholly resigne my selfe vnto thee that neither sinne, nor Sathan, nor shame, nor confusion may come neere my dwelling: but that thou mayest dwell in mee [Page 83] here by thine owne spirite of ho­linesse, that hereafter I may ob­tain the happinesse of thy glorious kingdome through Iesus Christ mine onely Lord and Sauiour, Amen.

GOD IVSTIFI­ed in the Spirit.
Explication.

GOD manifested in the Spirit, 3. The se­cond day of the weeke. not as man iusti­fied, whose sinnes are remit­ted for Christ his sake, whose vnrighteousnesse is couered with Christ his merits, whose wretchednesse is not imputed for Christ his obedience, as Saint Augustine diuinely di­scanteth vpon the 32 Psalme but iustified in the spirit by diuine iustice, such as is pro­perly to God only. In which sence his iudgements are sayde to bee iustified, that is, they are true and righteous al together, albeit to vs they are secret and vnsearchable,

[Page 85] His wisedome is sayde to bee iustified of her children, that is, it is knowne to bee true and infallible wisdome.

In this phrase spake Da­uid to God saying,Psal. 51. That thou mightest bee iustified when thou speakest, and cleare when thou iudgest, That is, that no liuing creature could taxe, implead, or touch the resolutions, and performances of Gods de­crees with any the least pre­iudice or impeachment of in­iquitie, for they were euer most iust, and sacred; albeit they are vnknowne to vs, Is there any vnrighteousnesse with God, sayeth Paul.

In this phrase also Saint Pe­ter vrgeth the Iewes, that they had denyed The holy one, and inst, Act: 2. and desired a murthe­rer to be giuen them.

The manner of this Iusti­fication was in the spirit, that is to say; Hee was iustified in [Page 86] that, which was in his sacred person diuine, and a­boue the humane nature. So S. Paul teacheth the Church of Rome, affirming, that albeit hee was the sonne of Dauid according to the flesh, yet was hee declared to bee the Sonne of God, with power according to the Spirit of san­ctification, Rom. 1. 2. by the resurrection from the dead, which seemeth vnto mee to intend two ar­guments to this purpose. The first is, that neuer any in our flesh liued spotlesse, and voide of sinne, but Christ onely. There is the iustifying Spirite of Sanctification.

The second is, that neuer any of himselfe, but Christ Iesus loosed the bandes of death, and arose from the fetters of the graue. There is the Iustifying Spirite of po­wer in the Resurrection; and euen in this very phrase A­thanasins [Page 87] speaketh, to witte, That Christ was iustified, Non hu­mano more sed diuina puritate. not af­ter the manner of men, but by diuine puritie,

To this end, that he should bee honoured and worship­ped, not as a meere man, al­beit hee was truly man, but as the eternall God in our flesh. This therefore is the Catholique Faith which, whosoeuer doth not beleeue, cannot bee saued. That Ie­sus Christ is knowne by his power in the spirite, to be the very son of God against the Ma [...]cionites, Gods sonne by nature, not by grace against the Arrians, that hee was be­gotten of the Father against the Bonosians, & that frō euer­lasting, against the Natiuitari­ans; that hee was God of himselfe, against the Donatists, and that hee was coequall with the Father, and consub­stantiall against the Macedo­ans. [Page 88] This Iustification of the Sonne of God was declared in the spirit of power, and in the spirite of purity, as I haue sayde out of Saint Paul to the Romanes.

In the power of the Spirit it was declared against al the powers of darkenesse, which flesh and bloud could not a­bandon. For besides the ge­nerall cessation of Oracles at his comming, the particular Idols were euery where de­faced and confounded. Asto­rah of the Sydonians, Mel­chom of the Ammonites, Che­mosh of the Moabites, Belzebub of Ekron, Remphan of the Si­rians, Dagon of the Philistines, Moloch of the Egyptians, and many others, were in all pla­ces of the world put to vtter confusion: Because the God of this world, which is the di­uell was cast out, and the strō ­ger man surprised the strong [Page 89] man, dispossessed him, dispoi­led him, and vtterly vanqui­shed him. Insomuch that the very diuels cry, Torment vs not before our time: and aske leaue to goe euen into sordid swine. Thus was he iustified in the power of the Spirite, in [...]anquishing the powers of darkenes.

His Iustification was also declared by the spirit of pow­er against his enemies, as ap­peared by the fower Herods, As [...]alonita, Archelaus, Antipas, and Agrippa, who being Ty­rants, and persecutors of Christ in his infancy, and of some of his followers, there appeared vppon them the strong hand of God, that brought them to pittifull and lamentable confusions. But most notably and most noto­riously the Iustification of the same God, Christ Iesus our Lord in the Spirit of power [Page 90] appeareth most euidently, e­uen at this day to the viewe of the whole christian world, in his continued iudgements vpon the whole nation of the Iewes, who were subuerted, and vtterly ouerthrowne by the Romans, at the very time of the yeare wherein they crucified Christ, which was about Easter: For at that ve­ry time of their great festiui­ty, the Roman [...]s came, and besieged Hierusalem.

And as from Mount Oli­uet they apprehēded Christ; so from that Mou [...]t was their City entered, and surprised: And as they hurried the Lord Iesus from Pilate to Herod; so they were hurried vp and downe during the siege, from Iohn to Simeon, and from Simeon to Iohn, two no­table villaines that did muti­nize within the City to their vnspeakeable torment, vexa­tion, [Page 91] and vtter subuersion. And as they whipped the Lord of Life, and attired him in despicable maner, in con­tempt and scorne; Euen so they were whipped vp and downe the holy City in great villany and reproach by the Romane souldiers.

And as the Lord Iesus was solde for thirty peeces of sil­uer by Iudas a Iew; euen so thirty of the Iewes in the sac­king of the City were solde for one peece of siluer by the Souldiers. And euen yet the hand of Gods power to iustifie his sonnes innocency, is not shortned, but stretched out against them still.

The holy bloud of Christ crying against them, and a­gainst their children (as they themselues desired) for ven­geance. They liuing as a forlorne and scattered peo­ple vpon the surface of the [Page 92] earth without Priest or Pro­phet, King or Scepter, com­fort or compassion.

In a word tell me, who did euer striue against the Messias and did prosper, or band himselfe against Christ, or Christian, and was not confounded? Christ was al­so iustified by the spirit of san­ctifying puritie; beeing pure, and spotlesse in himselfe, both in body and soule, for there was not any guile in him, and also pure in his redeemed people effectually. In himselfe pure, his conception pure by the holy Ghost, his birth pure of a Virgin, his life pure, both in word and deed, in life and death pure, for hee offended not, no not so much as in his tongue, and he is perfect that so offendeth not.

In his redeemed peo­ple pure, by the effects of the same iustifying spirite: For [Page 93] whereas all the whole world else is set vpon wickednesse, hunting eyther with profite, as with a bloud-hound, or else beeing befooled or be­sotted with pleasures, as theyr Helena (these two beeing, as it were, the two Poles wher­on the whole world else is turned) the spirite of Christ hath wrought in those that are his, [...]uch a measure of sanctification, that they minde and breath nothing but Hea­uen, and heauenly things. If it thūder that (say they) is the voyce of our heauenly Fa­ther; If they cast their eyes to those visible heauens, there (say they) is the curtaine, or base court of our inheritance among the Sa [...]nts.

If they heare musicke, Oh (say they) what harmony do the Angels make in Hea­uen? If they behold the earth and the glory therof, they say,

[Page 94]If God haue prouided such a place of pleasure for vs on earth in this our prison; What glory is that hee hath layde vp for vs in heauen.

In all occurrences of their life, they sauour nothing but of God and goodnesse. In a Word, they liue not, but Christ liueth in them. Gal. 2. 20. For this is indeed the true beeing of Christians, wholy to giue o­uer themselues to bee guided by Gods holy iustifying Spi­rite.

Their life is to liue in the Spirite, their passages are to walke in the spirite, If they resolue, their station is in the spirite. If they bee deuoute, They pray in the Spirite.

Al their whole seruice of God,Iohn 6. is to Worship him in spirit and truth. Otherwise, those that haue not this spirite, that is, are not guided thereby, are none of his: Rom. 8. For as in the crea­tion [Page 95] of the World,Gen. 1. The spirite of God moued vpon the waters; So certainely now in the Re­generation, and new birth of the Christian World: the Spi­rite of God moueth vpon the affections of our harts, to turn the riuers in the south, that is, to turne the streame of our actions and courses of our life to the Ocean, the liuing God, For hee hath made vs for him selfe, and therefore our hearts are neuer quiet,Aug. lib. 1. Confess. vntill wee re­turne vnto the Lord our God againe.

When Christ therefore speaketh,Application hee speaketh by the spirit to the Churches for the Scripture sayth,Apoc. 3 Let him that hath an eare to heare, heare what the spirite sayth to the Churches.

The Comforter also of Gods Church is the spirite, which is Gods gift vnto his, [Page 96] and doth Witnesse with the spi­rite, Rom. 8. That wee are the sonnnes of God.

There is the certainty of the subiect of our Faith, The spirite doth make intercession for vs, with sighes vnutterable.

There is the breath of our prayers, and doth helpe our infirmities, There is the stay and pillar of all our hap­pinesse,Cor. 15. The first Adam being a liuing soule, but the second A­dam a quickning spirite: For they are quickned, in whom this blessed spirite dwelleth, both toward God in the spi­rite of faith, and holy vnion, and in the spirite of zeale be­ing rauished for the hope of Heauen, as appeared in the blessed Martyres, and also quickned towardes others in the spirite of charity, keeping the vnity of the spirite in the bonde of peace, in the spirit of meekenesse, and placabilitie [Page 97] being easie to bee entreated for Christs sake. Quickened in themselues in the Spirit of sanctification,1 Ioh. 3. purging them­selues for their assured hope of Heauen, and in the spirit of sinceritie,Mich. 6. Doing iustly in all their actions with all men.

To this purpose, the ear­nest of the Spirit is giuen the Elect, euen in this life, neuer to be taken away, but to bee made vp (for that is the [...] of an earnest) and the pledge of the spirite, as an ho­stage to secure them; the seale of the promise to sanctifie them, and the spirit it selfe be­ing the Doctor of trueth, to leade them into all truth, that their sensuall part may bee guided by right reason, theyr reason ordered by faith, and their faith illuminated, san­ctified, and ledde on by the Spirite of God. Indeede to them that seeke, not after [Page 98] God, this directiō of his most holy spirite is hateful, and the reason is very plaine. Euen because this sacred spirite of the eternall God,Iohn 16, Rebuketh the world of sinne, of righteousnes and of iudgement.

It rebuketh the world of sinne, because the wicked world beleeueth not, which is the Sinne of Sinnes, as I may so say, but is fraught with fu­rious spirits of blind ignorāce, and desperatefolly, which cast thousands into fires, and waters of misperswasion, and misbeleefe, and these world­lings are caught away with vnpure spirites of sensuall se­curity; which possesse them both with dumbnes & deafe­nesse, that they can neyther speake of God, but in their blasphemous cursinges and swearings, nor heare of God, without great wearisomnesse and discontent,

[Page 99]This sacred spirite also rebuketh the world of righ­teousnesse, because, sayeth Christ, I goe the right way vnto the Father; but the world is ledde by witte worshippes, will worships, and other such deuises of singularity & con­ceited righteousnesse of mans many inuentions.

Some with Anabaptisme,Eccles. 7. which is the diuell in an An­gell of light, and some with Iesuitisme, which is a subtil & slie Antichrist in the Church And this holy spirit rebuketh the world of Iudgement, because the Prince of this world is iudged already, and the vn­beleeuers his vassalls, and slaues, are iudged with him, and are reserued for the fur­ther iudgement, and vtter darkenesse of these vnpure spirites, that are already in chaines to be brought forth in the great audite of Christ, and [Page 100] end of the world. For what deuoute soule trembleth not? yea shuddereth not with hor­ror, to know that Sathan is the God of this world,2 Cor. 4. 4. and to conceiue that seuen spirites of euil, yea Legions of vncleane spirites. may obsesse, possesse, and hellifie the soule, and bo­die of one man, or of one wo­man.

I wonder that the whole frame and fabrique of nature, shaketh and quaketh not to beare, and heare those hellish and diuelish miscreants, that when the seruants of GOD preach solemnely, soberly, & seriously, in the power, zeale and abundance of their spirit, say to them, as Festus sayd to Paul, This man is beside him­selfe, much learning makes him mad; and say to others, as the Iewes to the Apostles, when they had receyued the gift of the holy spirit.

[Page 101] These men are drunke with wine; or else take vpon them in the diuelish and damnable pride of their owne hearts, to direct the whole world, in the misperswasion of their own singular and priuate spi­rite, not in order to God, as they pretend, but in confusi­on to the diuell, as the ende shewes.

So did Iohn of Leidon, Nipper Doling, Chreiton, and others of that crew of wretch­ed miscreants, who at Mun­ster in their enraged and re­bellious route cryed out (be­ing led by a cursed spirite of their owne) nothing but De­pose, kill, murther, meaning those sober and moderate Christians, that withstoode their brainesicke fury, and A­nabaptisticall fanaticall folly, and in all that outrage pre­tended nothing; but that they were guided thereunto by the [Page 102] spirite. So doe those that are engaged into the spirite of Antichrist, and enraged with the poysoned cup of the strū ­pet of Romish Babylon, her spi­ritual fornication, who speak, write, and practise prepensed wickednesse, as did Cardinal Como to Parrie the traytor,This Re­cord re­maines in the acts of Parrie his arraignmēt. what time hee intended; nay receyued their consecrated host with the saide Cardinall to kill our late Queene Eli­zabeth of pretious memorie, signifying by letter vnto him, that the then Pope Gregorie the thirteenth, as by the Credentiall note included in the letter, he might see, doub­ted not but that the same spi­rite, which moued him to so good a worke, as to kill the Queene, would certainely assist him to the performance thereof.

Oh barbarous spirite of brutish Popery, So do those [Page 103] that scoffe at the gifts of the Spirite in their brethren, say­ing to those whom they see reuearing, and yeelding o­bedience to the power of Gods grace, and counselling others to be guided & gouer­ned thereby. Oh Sir, you are so full of the spirite that it runs out of your nose. Oh sir, the spi­rite moueth you.

This and the like hellish language, I say, is an amaze­ment vnto good men, to thinke there should be any fo damnably prophane, and so desperately wicked, especial­ly among Christians, who professe in their holy Creede, to beleeue in the holy spirite, and acknowledge that in the power of that spirit, They liue, moue, Act 16. and haue their being, yea and they feele themselues oft times quickned from the dulnesse of sinne by the same spirit, vnto the motion, and [Page 104] life of grace,Rom. 2. wherby they are made vnexcusable.

And professe further, that they beleeue that they shall bee raysed vppe out of their dust, and from the bands and fetters of the graue, by the operation of this powerfull and blessed spirite vnto eternall glory, by that mighty working where­by it is able to subdue allPhil. 3. things vnto it selfe.

This (I say) is a great con­sternation and amazement vnto a Christian heart, and causeth oft times many good soules to quake and shudder to see, and behold such despe­rate scornings, and reprochful contumelies among such, as professe they beleeue in God.

The serious considera­tion whereof (I am perswa­ded) would eftsoones trouble the mindes of ma­ny [Page 105] other, with grieuous di­stractions and disturbances, had not the holy booke of God in two most pregnant places of the new Testament, set foorth to the life, both of the Apostacie of faith, and ir­regularity of good manners, which the spirit of God pro­phesyeth should happen in these last and worst ages of the world. For Saint Paul teacheth the Bishoppe of E­phesus, That the spirite spea­keth euidently,1. Tim. 4. 1. That in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, and shall giue heede to spirites of error, and doctrines of Diuels.

The spirites of error are such, in whome there is no sound trueth of GOD, but mingled and mangled with humane traditions, no conscience of good, but iustifyings of their owne in­uentions.

[Page 106]The doctrines of diuels are prohibitions of marriage, and superstitious abstaining from meates, as the Text spea­keth, And I take those spirits of errors, and doctrines of di­uels, are no where to be foūd in the Christian Church more pregnant, for we must not looke for them among Turkes and Pagans, because this Prophesie reuealeth what shall happen in the Church, and amongst professors of Christ, but in the Papacy on­ly, which in the later times, that is, some sixe hundred yeares agoe, or thereaboutes, vtterly fell away from the ve­rity of the faith of Christ, and gaue heede to the spirites of errors, & doctrines of diuels, intending nothing else there­by but the subuersion of the Primitiue purity of Religion, and conuersion of the inter­nall beauty of the Church of [Page 107] Christ, into an externall, and pompous lustre of humane policie.

And againe Saint Paul sheweth by the euidence of the same spirite,2. Tim. 3. That in the last dayes, which are these worst dayes of ours, should come perillous times, wherein men should bee louers of them­selues, couetous boasters, proud, cursed speakers, disobedient to parents, vnthankefull, vnholy, without naturall affections, truce breakers, false accusers, intem­perate, fierce, no louers at all of them that are good, traytors, beady, high minded, louers of pleasure more then of God, ha­uing a shew of Godlinesse, but haue denied the power thereof, from which Saint Paul counsel­leth to turne away.

These (Men and Breth­ren) These, I say, are the faithlesse and fruitlesse spirites of vanity, the dissolute chil­dren [Page 108] of disobedience, and cloudes without water, who despite the spirite of grace, Quench the light of the Gos­pell, Act. 19. and know not whether there bee an holy Ghost or no.

But (Men and Brethren) Hearken, whosoeuer offen­deth of infirmity, offendeth against God the Father, who is power and strength, and whosoeuer offendeth of igno­rance, sinneth against God the Sonne, who is wisedome, and these finnes are pardona­ble, but who so sinneth a­gainst the Holy Ghost, the spirite of truth and charity, his sinnes are irremisible.

Let him therefore that hath an eare, heare what the Spirite sayth vnto the Chur­ches: For the Spirites of the Prophets are subiect to the Prophetes. Bee men neuer so profoundly learned, or so [Page 109] well conceyted of them­selues.

Christ Iesus who was our Reconciliation on earth, by his Incarnation, Life, and Passion, is now our Aduo­cation in heauen, at the right hand of God the Father, by his continual Mediation, and is our dayly Comforter, (as Saint Bernard speaketh) by mouing,In occulto, ait Bernard. stirring, and in­clining our harts to beleeue, and our wils, and conscien­ces to the obedience of faith, and to the endeauour, care and study of all sacred du­ties. Are not they then in a most desperate and wofull e­state and condition, thinke you, who despise and despite this Reconciliation, Aduoca­tion, Mediation, & Consola­tion of Gods spirit, who con­tinue in that sinne, for which there is neyther sacrifice, no [...] oblation to bee offered, [Page 110] that can doe them, or theirs any good who resist the Spi­rite of Christ, albeit it stand at the dore of their hearts and consciences, and craue for en­trance, who grieue the spirite of God by their vile and beastlie liuing, and quench out the light thereof by their ouer-flowings of malitious­nesse, which otherwise would shine and glitter, like the spar­kles of a diamond in the mid­dest of our naughtie Natures; and in a word, who haue in them no gifte, grace, condi­tion, qualitie, sparke or re­semblance of Gods spirite whatsoeuer they may brag, and boast thereof, out of their owne deceiueable seemings, but only this, that their good­nesse, so Anabaptistically are they besotted, cannot be seen as the holy Ghost is inui­sible.

And no lesse lamentable [Page 111] are the cauils of those which obiect, That the Iesuites (whom wee so vilifie) boast also that they are led by the spirite, as if most damnable heretiques did not make the same plea; but the practise of the Nobles of Baroa is a satis­factory answere for that, and all other cauils of that frie: for they searched the Scriptures:Act. 17. To see whether or no the thinges were so that they heard the A­postles preach; but the spirite of Iesuitisme dare not abide that triall, nor any other like spi­rit of error.

Another saith, there bee so manie that vaunte of the spi­rit, that I knowe not which I should adhere vnto, but Saint Paul giueth a rule for that. Neuerthelesse (saith he) where­vnto wee haue already attained, Let vs march by the same rule, Phil. 3. 16. (which is the sacred Scriptures) that wee may minde the same [Page 112] thing.

This plainely sheweth vs, that we must adhere to none, for our direction to God, but such as adhere to Gods Ora­cle, the Sacred scriptures, and are guided thereby.

Yea, but another vrgeth fur­ther (and saith) wee see that those that professe themselues to bee guided by the Scrip­tures, and by the spirit there­of, doe differ. What then? All men haue not Faith, albeit in number and profession they be of the Church, (as S. Austine spea­keth:) & hence it is that they cannot accord: For what communion hath light with darknes [...]: or Faith with infi­delitie? Yea, euen amongst them that haue Faith, some haue a greater, and some a lesser portion thereof, accor­ding to their knowledge, by Gods dispensation: & hence it is oft times that they can­not [Page 113] accord in all things, at all times, for there is a processi­on from faith to faith, yet all may holde the Fundamentall grounds, and principles, in blessed diuinitie: albeit they differ in some particulars, be­cause some haue already attai­ned to that measure of grace, which another [...] may attaine vnto in some time after.

This therefore is an infall [...] ­ble rule of S. Iohn: 1. Ioh▪ 4. We are of God, hee that knoweth God, hea­reth vs: Hee that is not of God, heareth not vs: Hereby knowe we the [...] spirite of Error, and the spirite of Truth. That is as S. Augustine expounds it, If any man take vppon him to expound the scriptures, A se. albeit it bee euen by himselfe, with inuocation of GOD, who assists by his holie spirite, and the spiritual man dis­cerneth all things,1. Cor: 2. the internall vnction, directing him in all things, and leading him into all [Page 114] truth: To this man wee are bound to hearken, and his doctrine to embrace, albeit thousands gaine say it, as the Councell of Nice hearkened to Paphnutius being but one man against the whole route, and rabble of Pseudo Catho­liques.

But if any man vndertake to doe it of himselfe, of his owne priuate, and singular spirite without warrant, and directiō of Gods spirit which counselleth and guideth by the word onely: It is the Spiders webbe, the Cockatrice egge, the fome of the sea, the fume of the bottomlesse pitte, & wee may vndoubtedly disa­uow it, and defie it.

I conclude then, that this foundation standeth firme & sound, and may satisfie the soule of any beleeuer, to wit, that God is manifested in the flesh, by beeing baptized as [Page 115] man: Iustified in the Spirite, by forgiuing sinnes as God: Manifested in the flesh, by being tempted as man, Iusti­fied in the spirite, as God by ouercomming for vs the world, the flesh and the Di­uell.

Manifested in the flesh, by beeing hungry as man, Iusti­fied in the spirite, as God, by feeding thousands aboundāt­ly with a very small pittance: Manifested in the flesh, by enduring thirst as man: Iu­stified in the spirite, as God, by calling those that are thir­stie vnto the waters of Life, that they might neuer thirst any more. Manifested in the flesh, by praying as man, Iu­stified in the spirite, by hearing the prayers of others as God. Manifested in the flesh, by wee­ping as man: Iustified in the spirite, by wiping all teares f [...]om our eyes as our God. [Page 116] Manifested in the flesh, by be­ing sold for thirty peeces of siluer, as a man, Iustified in the Spirite as God by redeeming the world with his bloud, a price pricelesse, peerelesse. M [...] ­nifested in the flesh, beeing led as a sheepe to the slaughter, as man, Iustified in the spirite, by triumphing ouer death and hell, and by leading captiuity captiue, as God [...] Manifested in the flesh, by dying as man, Iu­stified in the spirit, as God, by rising againe from the dead, by ascending into heauen, by sitting at the right hand of the Father, whence we expecting him to come againe in the end of the world with Maie­stie and great glory, to iudge both the quicke and the dead.

Come Lord Iesus, Come quick­ly. O holy spirit of purity and power, assist my weake and fee­ble spirit, to bee lift vp vnto thee in prayer.

[Page 117]Oh righteous God,Inuocation. and most merciful Father in Iesus Christ, to whome the spirites of the iust are always, and euery where lift vp, remember mee in thy great goodnes. For I acknowledge and confesse vnto thee my many and manifolde infirmities, wretched­nesses, and wickednesses, both in the sinnes of my body, and also in the sinnes of my soule.

Now a long time O Lord I haue bin grieuously tēptead with the spirits, not of infirmitie only which dwell in my flesh, but with foule & filthy spirits, of pride, ambi­tion, enuie, worldly pollicie, & o­ther vile & vaine deceitfulnes of mine own heart, and oft times with lothsom and vgly spirits of lust, adultry, gluttony, drūkenes, wantonesse, & many other such like euills, which haunt me daily eyther in thought, word, or deed, and seeke to har [...]our, in my pol­luted flesh, giuing me no rest, nor [Page 118] respite, but are still seeking, and daily assayling to ruinate and run ouer me: and are dayly fighting and troubling me. I haue sinned O Lord, I haue sinned, I haue done euil in thy fight, and these euills are punishments vnto mee for the same.

It is I Oh Lord, it is I, and it seemeth to me that it is none but I that euer sinned so hainously a­gainst thee, I seeme to my selfe of all others to be the most misera­ble, most distressed, and most wretched creature on the earth.

What shall I doe, O Creator of heauen and of earth? Thou pre­seruer of mankinde, whether shal I flye from these vgly Monsters, that thus pursue my soule, and daylie seeke to preuaile against me? I know not where to be safe from them, but onely to flye vnto thee, Oh Lord, who onely canst still the raging and the roaring of the great waters when they a­rise and swell: who onely canst [Page 119] chaine the Diuell when hee is [...]rampant, and ready to deuoure; and who onely canst cast out the vncleane spirite with a worde, that they neuer enter any more.

Now therefore come I to thee, O King of Saints, shewing to thee my malady, my misery, my mo [...]rning, how I lye here a­mong the graues of the deade, and torment my selfe, being pos­sessed with the rage, and hell of my misdeedes, and crie after thee, O sonne of Dauid, haue mercy vpon mee, and deliuer mee by the power of thy might, by thy stretched out arme, and by one touch of thy sacred goodnesse, that it may dispossesse Sathan, the strong man of his hold, that it may heale me, and cast out the vncleane spirites, and may vt­terly abandon sinne, shame and Sathan farre from me, and from my dwellings.

[Page 120]Take from mee for Christ his sake mine owne wretched spirit of infidelitie, pride, mallice, and vnconstancie, and grant vnto me O Lord, in steed thereof thy bles­sed spirit of truth, humilitie, cha­ritie, and perseuering constancy. Oh take from me, O Lord, mine owne spirit of vncleanenesse, co­uetousnesse, flouthfulnesse, and bestow vpon me in steed thereof, thine holy spirit of purenesse, libe­ralitie, and of all carefull, and Christian circumspection.

Take from me, deare Father, mine owne spirit of crookednesse wherwith I haue beene vexed, and bowed together for many yeares, and grant mee thy Spirit of power to raise me vp, and thy strength that I may resist sinne in these dayes of my combating, that I may so resolutely deuoute my selfe to the [...], and to thy sacred seruice, that I may neuer more hearken to subtill and enticing spirits of pleasure, of errors, of [Page 121] impietie. O sacred spirit that didst moue vpon the waters in the creation of the world, now moue the streames and fountains of my life, in my regeneration, and new birth.

Shake the very foundations of my soule, that the image of Christ Iesus may bee repayred in me, which I vile wretch by my sinnes haue miserably deformed and defaced O blessed spirit help mine infirmities, heale my im­perfections, compassionate my miseries, and make intercession for me, with sighes vnutterable, which will haue no nay. That I may feele my selfe comforted by thee, the spirit of consolation in all the wayes of godlinesse, that I may perceiue my selfe to bee led on into all truth and veritie and may at the last assure mine owne spirit by thy blessed testi­mony, that I am a child of thy gratious adoption.

O blessed Iesus that wast de­clared [Page 122] mightely to be the son of God, by the powerfull spirit of sanctification, and by rising from the dead, that didst vanquish & vtterly abandon all the powers, all the houres of darkenesse, and spirits of error and misbeleefe, remoue farre from mee all hea­thenish, Pagan, and Popish ido­latrie, all confidence in any crea­ture, all flattering of mine own­selfe, that the pure light of thy re­uealed truth may shine into my heart, that I may euer worship thee in spirit and truth, as thou hast commanded. And, O God, make my life holy, innocent, mo­dest, and honest in thy sight, that I may see my heart repayred, and renued by thy spirit of grace, to walke before thee in godly and sincere integritie of conuersation, all the remainder of my wretched dayes. So am I assured Sathan shall neuer circumuent me, nor the world deceiue me, or mine owne flesh intice mee, or enforce [Page 123] me from thy holy and sacred di­rections, but if I fall, I shall rise againe, if I turne away at any time, I shall returne againe. So shall I euer magnifie thy name, and multiplie prayses vnto thy maiestie, and ascribe vnto thee honor, and praise all my life long.

Grant these mercies vnto me O father of comfort, and power, for thy couenants sake made vn­to mankinde in the iustification of thy Sonne Christ Iesus, both for the sanctitie of his life, for the suffering of his death, and for the continuall intercession, and mediation of his eternall priest­hood, hee now sitting at thy right hand for vs in Mai [...]stie and great glory, and remaining a Priest for euer after the order of M [...]lchisedech.

Behold vs wretches, O holy Ghost, whose soules cleaue vnto the ground, quicken vs with thy might, and lift vs vp from the grossenesse of our corruption, to [Page 124] our spirituall beeing in Iesus Christ, that wee may liue in the spirit, loue in the spirit, pray in the spirit, and bee led thereby continually into all good actions, being thereby purged and puri­fied, both in our spirits, soules, and bodyes, from all dead and dam­nable workes of the flesh, the world and the diuell. That so at the last wee may through thy fa­uour, O God, bee perfectly vnited vnto thee in the spirit of sancti­fication, in this life, and in the e­uerlasting spirit of thy power be brought to our glorification in the other life, through Iesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

GOD SEENE of Angels.
Explication.

THis Manifestation of God in the flesh, and iustifica­tion in the Spirit, The third day of the weeke. was so apparant, and the glory there­of so great that it filled hea­uen and earth with the bright­nesse of it, for it was as well seene of Angels as of men. Seene of Angels, that is, knowne of good Angels, and acknowledged of euill Angels, who felt the power thereof. Of Angels those hea­uenly souldiers, whose crea­tion, both for the time and place, whose apparition, whe­ther it be reall, or imaginary [Page 126] onely, whose motion, whe­ther it be in time, or at an in­stant, whose locall sight, whether it bee definitiue, or may bee in many places at once,Haec cryp­ta magis Platonico­rum, [...] quam Chri­stianorum. [...], theologiam sperare iudi­camus. whose tongue, whether it bee a proper and peculiar Idiome among themselues onely, or communicable to others, whosetuition, whether it be (according to the Egyp­tian and Platonicall deuises seuerally limited ouer parti­cular Countries, Prouinces, & cities, whose number whether it be deuided into three Hie­rarchies, and into nine orders and other such like curious Queeres: if any desire to know, I referre the in quisitors thereof to Abbas Tritemius, Agrippa, Dionysius, and others.

My purpose in this dis­course, beeing not to make knots, but to endeauour to vntie them rather, and not so much to satisfie the brain with [Page 127] curious contemplacions, as to desire to sanctifie the heart with diuine meditations, shall endeauo [...]r and tend to open more profitable lessons, and therefore first I shew vnto you, that Angels are spirituall essences created of nothing, for­med most neere to the [...]mage of God, ordayned of God to minister to himselfe, to take care of his elect people, and to enioy eternall happinesse with him, be­ing endued with most royal robes of excellent wisedome, righteous­nesse, and sanctitie.

The Scripture both Cano­nicall and Apocripha notifie their natures by certaine pro­per names attributed vnto thē

The sacred Canonicall Scripture, note [...]h two of most eminent imployment, Gabriel signifying the power of God imployed in the message of this manifestation, and Mi­chael, signifying, Who is as [Page 128] God, imployed in the debella­tion of gods, & our enemies

The Apocrypha Scripture hath these fowre, Raphael, which is power of healing, Vriel named so of the light, Ieremiel called so of the mer­cie of God, and Shealtiel de­signing the prayse of God.

The Canonicall Epistles of Saint Paul to the Chur­ches of Ephesus, Eph. 3. 10. and Colossi, Col. 1. 16. declare their nature by fiue tearmes of puissance, calling them Thrones, as attendants on Gods tribunall to doe, and execute his decrees, domina­tions, as being authenticall, & hauing powerfull warrant for what they do, principalities, as guiding & guarding their se­ueral limited, & especially ap­pointed princedoms, powers, as hauing effectuall working ouer inferiors, Mights as being Gods great guard, who is the Lord of hosts, & angels [Page 129] generally in the whole body of the Scripture, which noteth their generall imployment, being Gods nuntioes, emissa­ries, & messengers,Dan. 7. 10. A thousand thousand of which stand before him, & 10000. minister vnto him. Such are their names, such are their natures, & such are their general imploymēts.

And as for their conceited hierarchies of angels, assisting Seraphins, Cherubins, & thrones Angels cōmanding dominati­ons, principalities, powers, angels executing, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, are rather fancies thē verities, rather imaginations then conclusions of diuinity.

As for their number, wee are sure it is numberlesse. For Daniel saith,Iunius in Io­cum. Dan▪ 7. A thousand thou­sand stand before him, and ten thousand minister vnto him: where a difinite number is put for an indefinite. Christ himself also testifies it saying.

[Page 130] I can euen now pray vnto my Father, and he will giue me more then twelue legions of Angels; Mat. 26. and the spirt of God witnes­seth, That wee are come to innu­merable company of Angels. Heb. 12. 22. Oh this is a singular comfort vn­to vs, for hence we know that more are with vs, then against vs, as Elisha sayd to Gihazi.

This Misterie of Godlinesse, is sayde here to bee seene of these glorious spirits the An­gels, so that wee see Godlines is Angelicall.

Seene, that is, perfectly knowne, for what we see we auerre confidently against all gainesayers to be true, for we auouch with asseueration,Vident ani­mo eloque­re (mi fili) vt te videam Senec. that we saw it with our eyes.

Seene intellectually, as the Lattins speake, they see in their mindes: Speake on my son that I may see thee.

In which sence also the Angels who are childrens [Page 131] Gardians, are fayde alwayes to behold the face of their Fa­ther in heauen. Mat. 18.

Vnto naturall sight three things are required. First the power of seeing, then the light, as the meanes of seeing, and a visible forme for the obiect.

To this intellectual, Ange­licall knowledge or fight are three things also requisite.

First, their intellectuall po­wer of knowledge giuen thē by their Creator in their crea­tion; then the reflection of Gods light, as the meanes of their knowledge, and the sa­cred body of Christ Iesus as the visible obiect to delight them.

The knowledge then of Angells is twofold, the one naturall whereby they see, and know God in the vndeuided Trinitie (to wit) the Father, Sonne, and holy [Page 132] Ghost) one in essence, and three in existence, and all the creatures of God in this blessed vision.

The other knowledge of things is two fold: First, by a matutine knowledge, as Saint Angustiue calleth it, knowing, and seeing all things in the Word, by whom all things were made, and afterwards by a view of the creatures in themselues. For the Angells see the creatures in God, and men see God in the creatures.

Playnely thus, Euclides, Archimides, or some such like skilfull Mathematitian, first seeth, and knoweth the length, and breadth, and all the demensions of the lines, and euery turning, tryangle, and particular parcell of his draught and circle in his minde and [Page 133] cogitation, and afterwardes seeth and knoweth the same lines, angles, and Circles, in the table, dust or earth, wherein hee draweth those proportions; semblably the Angels see, and know all things reuealed vnto them: First in God, and then in the Creatures; in God, as in their mindes, in the Creatures, as in the reuealed obiects, For Angels haue a naturall know­ledge, wherein they were created, euen as many as continued their stations in the truth and seruice of their Creator, and they haue also reuealed knowledge from God in seuerall particulars, as to the Angell Gabriel was made knowne in particular the Incarnation of the Messi­a [...]. And they haue also an experimentall knowledge of Gods wisdome in the myste­rie of his sonnes Inca [...]nation, [Page 134] euen by the reuelation of preaching in Gods church, as Paul witnesseth, Vnto mee (sayth he) who am lesse, then the least of al Saints, Eph. 3. 10. is this grace giuen, that I should preach a­mong the Gentiles the vnsearch­able riches of Christ, and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mysterie which from the beginning of the world hath beene hid in God, who crea­ted all things by Iesus Christ, to the e [...]tent that now to the princi­palities and powers in heauenly places might bee knowne (by the Church) the manifolde wisdome of God.

And this is most apparant in the sight, and certaine knowledge, that the Angels of Heauen had of the particu­lars touching this blessed my­sterie; for before Christs in­carnation, the time of the sixtie two weekes, which was the time, from that prophe­sie [Page 135] to his passion was seene▪ and known to an Angel,Dan. 9. 24. that reuealed it by Gods appoint­ment to Daniel.

Christs name was fore­tolde by an Angell before hee was conceiued in the womb;Mat. 1. his conception reuealed by an Angell,Luk. 1. and both to the blessed Virgin;Luk. 2. his birth was proclamed to the shepheards by a troupe of Angels;Mat. 2. his flight into Egypt from He­rods butcherie; his returning out of Egygt, and turning a­side into the confines of Gali­lee, all directed and ordered by an Angell, that God espe­cially imployed in that mes­sage.

In his temptation in the wildernesse,Mat. 4. Angelles mini­ster vnto him,Luk. 22. in his agonie, an Angell from heauen com­forteth him,Mat. 26▪ in his apprehen­sion hee testifieth to his ene­mies teeth, that hee could [Page 136] haue a guarde of more then twelue Legions of Angels, if he should desire them of his heauenly Father.

While he was in the graue an Angell descendeth,Mat. 28. and rouled away the stone from the dore of the monument.

After his Resurrection, two Angels sate one at the head, and the other at the feet,Ioh. 20. 20. where Iesus body had layne, and declared that hee was rise [...] from the dead, they beeing imployed by God to bring that message to the then mournfull and sorrow­full Disciples, for the late death of their heauenly ma­ster.

In his Ascension two An­gels spake vnto the people, that gazed vp into Heauen,Act, 1. 11 after him, and certified them of his comming againe to iudgement in the end of the world.

[Page 137]Yea the very euill An­gels saw and knew the pow­er of the sonne of God in this manifestation to their great terror and torment.

Insomuch that they crie in the possessed;Mat. 8. Oh Iesu, what haue wee to doe with thee? Art thou come to torment vs before our time? And when they were forced to depart out of the possessed, they roare and yell, yea they fell downe, and confesse saying,Luke 8. Thou art the Sonne of God: and at the last being driuen by extremit [...]es, they desperately attempt to coniure Iesus Christ by God himselfe, not to torment them.

Moreouer, after Christ departure into Heauen,Mar. 5. his very Name was, and yet is most dreadfull vnto them, and most powerfull against them: For S. Paul by the power of Christs name cast [Page 138] out an euill Angell out of a Damsell that had a spirite of diuination.Act. 16.

And the Disciples of Christ came vnto him reioi­sing, that euill Angels were madeLuk. 10. 17. subiect vnto them through his Name.

Whereby it appeareth to our vnspeakeable com­fort that the God whom we serue, was knowne and ac­knowledged of the blessed Angels, yea, and that euill Angels also felt his power, and know him to their fa­ster and deeper despayre, and are now, and alwayes made subiect to Gods elect.

[Page 139]What vnspeakeable com­fort is the knowledge of this vnto vs?Applicatiō. What excellent di­rection doth this Angelicall knowledge affoord vs in our Euangelical seruice, and what diuine incitement is this to stir vp in vs Angelical zeale? Comfort it is vnspeakable.

For all these blessed Spi­rites are the attendants of our Lord Christ, and are his E­missaries and Nuntioes, sent out by him for the good of them that shall be saued.Heb. 1.

Not that euery particular person hath a peculiar Angell designed vnto him to bee his Guardian (as the Pope­lings would haue it) but hence wee know,Psal. 91. that not one Angell, but many are ordayned by God to suc­cour and safeguard vs in all necessities and distresses what soeuer.

[Page 140]And without controuer­sie, this is more comfort a thousand times, then to know that one Angell onely is ap­pointed to bee our assistant, In our life, in our death, and in the day of iudgement, they are appointed of God to bee our assistants. In our life, yea in all our life: In childe­hoode, Christ sayth,Mat. 18. Take heed yee despise not one of these little ones, for I say vnto you, that in Heauen their Angels doe alwaies behold the face of my Father which is in heauen.

In affliction Hagar is comforted by an Angell.Gen. 16. In the warres Angels fight for Israel against the Assiri­ans.Es. 38.

In prison Peter is loosed out of prison,Act. 12. and out of the fetters by an Angell, albeit hee slept betweene two soul­diers that tooke vpon them to be his keepers.

[Page 141]In all our waies the An­gels haue charge to bee our Conuoy towardes Hea­uen.Mat. 4. Psal. 91.

At sea in shipwracke, an Angell comforteth Paul, Act. 27. and sheweth vnto him what wold be the issue of that voyage.

On land, Iacob in his iourney to Mesopotamia, Gen. 28. is guided by an Angell.

In death they transport vs into Abrahams bosome,Luc. 16. and keep watch ouer our interred bodies vntill the Resurrecti­on. And in that great haruest at the end of the world, they are the Reapers in that great solemnity, and exceeding Maiesty, They are the Har­bengers, Heraldes and Trum­peters,1 Cor. 15. and in the sentence of that iudgement they shall bee the deuiders that shall separate the good from the bad.Mat. 1 3

Oh that our seruice of God then were practised byMat. 25. [Page 142] vs according to our prayers: For wee pray, Thy will be done O Lord, euen on earth, as it is in Heauen, that is by vs Chri­stians on earth, as by holy an­gels in heauen. The Angels seeing and beholding this great and wonderfull sacred mystery, Prayse God conti­nually, crying Holy, Es. 6▪ Holy, Ho­ly Lord God of Saboth; should not wee also both by prayers and praises magnifie our God vncessantly.

The Angels most readily exceute Gods will, should not we with King Dauid say, Our hearts are prepared, we are ready to doe thy wil, O Lord.

The Angels loue God a­boue all things: why do we esteeme any thing in the World but for him, and for his sake, as helpers to leade vs towards him.

The Angels long after our saluation, and much [Page 143] ioy therein: Why doe wee thrust one another into Hell; and heauinesse by our lewd­nesse, misperswasion, and e­uill example?

The Angels desire yet further to see the perfection, and finall consummation of this glorious mystery of Christs Kingdome, why do wee wretches neglect the blessed meanes thereof, which are offered vnto vs e­uery day?

Thus the blessed An­gells doe, because they are a part of the Ch [...]rch vniuer­sally considered, whereof our Lord Christ is the head, and they much ioy for our association with them, whereby the ruine of those Angells that fell, is repay­red, and for the Incarnati­on of the Son of God, wher­by they are in grace most [Page 144] assuredly confirmed for euer­more.

Why should not wee, hauing so cleare a reuclation and so displayed a sight, both' in Gods workes, in Gods word, and in the face of Ie­sus Christ; Why should not wee, (I say Men and Breth­ren) endeauour that we may doe Gods will, in some mea­sure on earth, as the blessed Angels do in Heauen, seeing God hath placed vs in the middest, creating vs neyther Angels nor beasts, but affor­ding vs the meanes by the preaching of the Gospell, that by Regeneration: wee might become as glorious as the an­gels of Heauen, and not by degeneration become worse then brute beasts: For God hath giuen vs the sparkes of right reason to surpassebeasts, and holy grace to surpasse our selues.

[Page 145]Is it not then a thousand sorrows to euery good belee­uing heart to conceyue, that albeit God in his aboundant mercies hath thus reuealed himselfe vnto vs in the mani­festation of our flesh, among vs by the power of this Al­mighty spirite aboue vs, and by the testimony of Angels about vs, yet there should bee of them that professe Christianity, such as are worse then the Sect of the Saduces, for the Sadduces yet acknowledge that An­gels were the good motions stirred vp in vs, but these nei­ther acknowledge God, good motions, nor diuels, but are copartners with the Diuell a­gainst Michael, and his An­gels, and are become Com­batantsApoc. 12 against Christ, and his Christians.

Hath not Sathan (thinke you) sifted such to the bran, [Page 146] and winnowed such to the chaffe by his damned moti­ons, that he hath made them good for nothing, and left in them nothing but the dregs, and remnants of himselfe, as namely, the eagernesse, and greedy desire of hauing, and the cursed sins of despite and malice: for they haue taken the Diuell at his word, when he shewed them the Worlde, and the glory therof, and said vnto them.Mat. 4. All this will I giue you, they immediately fall downe and worship him. Or else shew themselues to be of the diuels pedegree by the grosnes of lying,Iohn 4. by the ful­nes of impurity, by the subtil­ty of sorcery, or as was sayde by the mischiefe of helsish malice.

All which dregs of the di­uel. hide the sonne of God from those children of diso­bedience, and nothing re­maineth [Page 147] for thē (except they repent) but the fearefull sen­tence of Depart from mee yee Mat. 25 cursed into hell fire, prepared for the Diuel and his Angels.

Whereas if the sonnes of mē would consider but what losses they sustaine hereby, me thinkes it should recall euery good mind, but of an ordina­ry vnderstanding to a far bet­ter dispositiō: For we Christi­ans lose by such wickednesse the honour of beeing such e­uill Angels Iudges;1 Cor. 6. Why doe not yee know that we shall iudge the Angels? that is, doe ye not know that we shall be assessors with Christ in the day of iudgment, and condemne the di­uell and his angels?

We lose the sight of Christs mysticall body in the glory of his Saints,2. Pet. 1. Which the Angels of heauen desired to behold.

We loose the victorious triumph of Gods Saints, for [Page 148] shortly Sathan shall bee beate 1. Thess 4. downe vnder our feet.

Let vs then rayse vppe our selues to his glorious asso­tiation of the Angels, in our seruice of God, knowing, that there are more with vs, then against vs, and that our Lord (Christ Iesus shal appeare in the end of the world with this holy Angels in Maiesty,Mat. 25. and great glory to iudge all mankind.

And I adiure you before Iesus Christ, and his Elect Angels, Tim. 21. that yee diligently and duely consider these things, Heb. 12. For yee are not come vnto the mount which might not bee touched, and that burned with fire, nor vnto blacknes and darknesse, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voyce of words which voyce they that heard entreated that the Word should not bee spoken vnto them any more.

[Page 149]But yee are come vnto Mount Sion, and vnto the City of the liuing God, the heauenly Ierusa­lem, and to aninnumerable com­pany of Angels, and to the gene­rall assemblie, and Church of the first borne, which are written in heauen, and to God the iudge of all, and to the spirites of iust men made perfect, and to Iesus the Mediator of the New Test [...] ­ment, and to the bloud of sprinck lings, which speaketh better thinges then that of Abell.

Oh blessed Lord, let mee see thy face, for thy face Lord will I seeke.

[Page 150]Incomparably blessed are those sacred Spirtes (O holy & Inuocation [...] heauenly Father) who euer at­tend thy glorious Maiesty, and stand before thee [...]ight & day to behold and see thee in thy displai­ed glory. They are in the fulnesse of ioy, and at thy right hand, where are blessings for euermore They are euer delighted with the sight of thin [...] vnsearchable wise­dome, of thine vnutterable glory, and vnspeakable mercy. They are free from the assaults of sinne or Sathan, for no euill commeth neere thy dwelling.

O miserable, wretches that wee are on earth, subiect to Sa­thans sl [...]ights, the fleshes frailety, and the worlds wickednesse. De­barred are we from thy glorious light (O King of Heauen) and shut vp h [...]e in the darkenes of our own ignorance, and lye in the very shadow of death. Re­strained are wee from the ioyfull fruition of the companie of those [Page 151] stiall attendants the Angels & Saints that euer doe thee seruice without ceasing.

O blessed Lord, how happy were wee the miserable inhabitants of thy footstoole, if thou wouldest vouchsafe vs that fauour for Christ his sake, as to deliuer vs out of the prison of this body, out of the fetters of sinne, and out of the snares of the Diuell, that wee might serue thee without feare in thy Court of Heauen continu­ally.

Consider good Father our miserie, and forasmuch as in Christ Iesus thou hast giuen vs a light of thy selfe, in the mir­ror of thy mercy, and mystery of Christian godlinesse. Leaue vs not comfortlesse, but grant vs for his passion sake a glympse of thee, euen in this Life, while wee are here, that our soules may be rauished with holy desires, and neuer be satisfied vntill we come vnto thee our God to enioy thy [Page 152] selfe in glorious maiestie.

To this blessed end, Oh tender hearted Father, arme vs with helpe from heauen in all the occasions of our life. For thou knowest: O Lord, that wee war not against flesh and bloud one­ly which are intestine and home­bred enemies, but against prin­cipalities, powers and spirites of errors, and darkenesse in high places.

Thou knowest O Lord, that they are many, mighty and ma­litious: Thou knowest our fraile­ty, our feeblenesse, and our folly.

Helpe vs then, deare Father, out of all the temptations and snares of the diuell. Let thy guard of good Angels, and holy ones stand with vs to assist, stād ouer vs, to protect vs, & giue thē a charge, O Lord, to keepe vs in all our wayes. Let them stand at our right hand to guide vs for the best: Let them goe before vs dayly with thy preuenting mercy, [Page 153] as they did before the hoast of thy Israel. Let them comfort vs in the good, as they did thy Iosuah. Let them supplie our wants, if neede require, as they did thy Eliah.

Let them deliuer vs out of prison as they did thy Peter: saue vs in shipwracke as they did thy Paul.

Let them alwayes be ayding vnto vs in our sicknesse, and in all the weakenesse and temptati­ons thereof, yea in the last breath of our life, and a [...]ter death: Let them trāsport vs into Abrahams bo [...]ome, as they did thy La­zer [...].

And graunt vnto vs O Fa­ther, for Christs sake this grace that while wee liue here, we may endeauour to do thy blessed will, as the angels doe in heauen, That wee may euer [...]praise thee for thy goodnesse, sing vnto thee for thy mercies, magnifie thee for thy graces, and multiplie [Page 154] our daily thankefulnes, for thine vnspeakeable fauours, both to­wardes our bodies, and towards our soules, sowards our selues and children in this lise, and in that to come.

Cause vs, O Lord, to trem­ble at thy fearefull iudgements, that didst not spare the Angels that sinned, but hast reserued them in chaines of darknesse vn­to the iudgement of the great day, O Lord if thou diddest not spare them for one sin, what shall become of vs that haue sinned dayly against thee, and do mul­tiplie our iniquities as the haires of our head, and as the sands of the sea shores which is innume­rable.

O Father haue pitty vpon vs, forgiue vs sweete Father, forgiue vs for Christs sake, and giue vs thy grace, that wee may con [...]ert and turne vnto thee, with all our hearts, that those blessed spirites the Angels may [Page 155] haue ioy in our conuersion, and repentance, and we may ioy [...]e with them in the celebration and honour of thy great and glori­ous name for euermore. O let vs bee partakers of that grace, with thy blessed Angels, which winneth infallibly, holdeth inse­parably, and leadeth indeclina­bly into the wayes of eternall blessednesse.

Grant vnto vs these mercies, O God of mercies, for Christs sake, our onely Mediator.

So shall wee that are thy peo­ple of thy pasture, sheepe of thy flocke, and Church of thy Re­deemed, as thy holy ones of hea­uen, be euer telling of thy praise, and magnifying thy goodnesse in Christ Iesus world without end, Amen.

GOD PREACHED vnto the Gentiles.
Explication.

THis Mystery of Godlines, you see, hath been Mani­festedin the flesh, The fourth day of the weeke. Iustified in the Spirit, Seene of Angels, that is, It hath bin manifested vnto vs in the persō of Christ in the power of Christ, and in the knowledge seruice, and ministration of the blessed Angels of Christ. What can we then say for our selues? Haue not wee heard of this great mystery of godlines? Hath it bin hidde in a corner from vs? or whispered in the eare, or beene knowne to a few, or published to a handful of people in some angle or corner of the world.

[Page 157]Haue the Iewes onely had this made knowne vnto thē? Assuredly God hath beene Preached. There is the pro­mulgation or proclamation of this mysterie. God hath beene Preached to the Gentiles. There is the large extent of this promulgation God prea­ched vnto the Gentils. 1. Cor. 1. For it hath pleased God by that which the world calleth the foolishnesse of Preaching to make knowne vnto the world his vnsearchable wis­dome, and the riches of his glo­rious grace in Christ.

Preaching being the gift of the holy Ghost, the spirit of prophesie, the glad tydings of peace, of good things, and of saluation, caused Esayas an E­ [...]angelicall Prophet of the Lord, to say, That the very feet of them that brought this newes vnto the world were beautifull.

Preaching being the embas­sage of our reconciliation­with [Page 158] God in Christ, the holy ordinance of God,2. Cor. 5. for the or­dinary meanes of our sancti­ficatiō by grace in this world, and the cleeare publication of our assured glorification in the other world, caused Paul to say, Woe is me if I preach not the Gospell: so necessary it was for him and all beleeuers.

Preaching to youth is,Ezec. 16. as E­zechiel his cleane water to as­swage the heate of their con­cupiscence, and to purge the old leauen of malitiousnesse.

It is as Solomon his wine to strengthen and glad the hartsCant: 1. of the ancient.

It is as Saint Peter his milke for children, to nourish and feede them vp to godlinesse.

It is as a soueraigne bath to heale all beleeuers, with what disease of sinne soeuer they be ill affected, and it is an anti­do [...]e, or counterpoyson a­gainst all the venome of our rottennes.

[Page 159]For Preaching is the cele­ [...]all chariot, wherein the gra­ [...]es, and gifts of the holy ghost [...]e continually conueyed [...]nto vs.

So Christ testifieth when [...]e prayeth thus.

Sanctifie them O, Father [...]rough thy truth,Ioh. 17. thy Word is [...]uth. And that we may not [...]oubt what this Word is, Saint Peter preacheth it. That we are [...]orne againe, not of corruptible [...]eede,1. Pet. 1. but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liueth and [...]bideth for euer.

For all flesh is grasse, and all the glory of man is as the flower of the field, the grasse withereth, and the flower thereof falleth a­way, but the word of the Lord endureth for euer, and this is the word which by the Gospel is prea­ched vnto you.

Moreouer, this Mysterie of Godlinesse (God preached [Page 160] vnto the Gentiles) Saint Pe­ter had shewed vnto him in his practise of preaching. For it is sayd, While Peter yet prea­ched these words, Act. 10. the holy Ghost fell on all them that hard the Word. Obserue this saying:

The gift of the holy Ghost fell on the auditors, as Peter was a preaching.

Out of doubt preaching is the heauenly talent left vnto the ministers of the Gospell by their Maister Christ,Mat. 26. where withall they must negotiate, and wherein they must imploy themselues vntill hee come againe vnto his great audite in the end of the world. And the preach­ing of this mysterie is the power of our God, the glory of our Preachers, to the salua­tion both of Preachers and people. Preaching hath the power of edification through God in Christ, and worketh, [Page 161] [...]ightily in those that God [...]ath set apart and designedRom. 1. [...]o that businesse, for the buil­ [...]ing vp againe of those ruines which hath beene battered downe by sinne and Sa­ [...]han.

For the brused reede it must not breake, nor the smo­king flaxe it must not quench if God in Christ direct it, but whereas knowledge puf­feth vp,1. Cot. 13. this buildeth vp vnto eternall life through Iesus Christ our Lord.

Preaching is the voyce of God, whereby hee preacheth, and publisheth his holy will, and last testament by men, vn­the sonnes of men.

In a word, Preaching is the Manna from heauen to feede our soules, the dewe of Her­mon to water our barren­nesse, the lampe and light of God in the darke­nesse of this world for our [Page 162] direction, the sword of truth to cut asunder the Gordian knots of heresie, schisme, and controuersie for our satisfac­tion, the wall of fire by Gods promise to encompas vs from enraged beasts, for our prote­ctiō, the reuelatiō of the rock of our faith to build vpon, for thetestification of our ful assu­rance in Christ, the touchstone of our cōuersatiō, for our try­alls in all cases of conscience, the key that openeth heauen to the [...]eleeuers, and shutteth heauen to impenitents, by Gods dispensation.

It is the Dauids harpe, the musicke thereof so delighteth the soule, that it doth not faint, neither is altogether wearyed with the tediousnes of our banishment in this world: It is the pricelesse an­tidote; more pretious then Nepente, or Mol [...], so much famoused by the ancient, for [Page 163] [...] expels by the power of [...]e spirit which accom­ [...]nyeth it, all euills and [...] diuells.

It followeth next to whom his Mystery was preached,Preached vnto the Gentiles. [...]uen to the very heathen Gen­ [...]les, Preached vnto the Gen­ [...]iles.

Now it comes to be consi­ [...]ered, that the time was, when [...]he dewe of heauen fell onelyIud. 6, [...]on the fleece of Gideon, and [...]he earth round about it was [...]rye: that is, The [...]ime was when the world consisted of Iewes, Rom. 3. that onely had Gods blessed fauours,Eph. 3. and the Gen­tiles which were without God.

The Iewes were Gods pe­culiar to whom he cōmitted his sacred oracles of trust,Rom. 2. they were Israelites as preuayling with God more then any o­ther nation. To whom onely were granted the priuiledges [Page 164] of Priesthood, and the arke of the couenant. Of whom came the Patriarkes, the Prophets, and Iesus Christ our Lord ac­cording to the flesh.Rom. 9.

Concerning the priuiled­ges of those people, Moses challengeth the whole earth besides, and saith, What nation is so great? who hath the Lord so nigh vnto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that wee call vpon him for?

And Dauid concludeth it saying: God sheweth his word vnto Iacob, and his iudgements vnto Israel. Hee hath not dealt so with any nation, neither hath the heathen, that is the Gentiles, knowledge of his iudgements. That the Sonne of God should be preached vnto the Iewes thus priuiledged, and e­steemed with God is no great mysterie, or maruell, but that he should bee preached vnto the Gentiles, and that Gide [...]ns [Page 165] [...]eece should be dry, and all [...] ground round about itThe Iewes reiected. [...]et, that indeed is the Great [...]ysterie of Godlinesse, and the [...]nspeakeable riches of Gods [...]ercie, and the exuberance of [...]is goodnesse, and the glory [...]f the treasure, of his grace [...]owards vs Gentiles. For the Gentiles were Atheists, A­ [...]hrists, strangers from the [...]ommon wealth of Israell, a­ [...]ants from the promise of God, and without hope in the world. They were Idolaters [...]n the woful alienation from God. For they made thē Gods of the hosts of heauen of sin­full man, like vnto themselues of mens qualities, as Iustice, and Prudence and the like, of mens perturbations as of Feare, and Loue, of mens de­fects (for they had theirMuta de [...]. dumbe Goddesse, their Bac­chus for their Drunkards, their Venus for their gallants. [Page 166] yea euen for their very limi [...] of their grounds, they ha [...] their Terminus, and that whic [...] is vnseemely to bee spoken their very Iaxe house mu [...] haue a patronesse Cloacina.

The word of God tellet [...] vs sufficiently of Astora [...] Melchom, Chemosh, Beelze bub, and other such like Ido­latrous rable among the gen­tiles, & how that euery nati [...] made them gods of their owne.

The men of Babylon, made Succoth Benoth, and the men of Cuth, made Nergall, and the men of Hameth made Ashim [...] and the Anites made Nibhaz▪ and Tirt [...]cke, and Adramme­lech, and Anammalech were the gods of Sepharuaim.

These indeede were those dogges the Scripture mentio­neth, & therefore holy things were forbidden to bee giuen to such dogges.

[Page 167]These were those hogges, [...]efore whom the pearles of [...]eaching must not bee cast, [...]ea these were those Cymme­ [...]an wretches against whom [...] mandate was enioyned [...] the Apostles. That they [...]ould not so much as goe into the [...]ay of the Gentiles, nor once en­ [...]er into the citie of the Samari­ [...]ns who were Gentiles.

[...]ā it be imagined by the wit [...]f the wisest man, that these [...]hould euer haue a redeemer: [...]hat they should haue a GodMat. 10. [...]o be good vnto them. For neither Iupiter Optimus Max­ [...]mus, Iupiter Hammon, Iupiter Capitolinus, nor Apollo the O­ [...]acle of wise dome (for his [...]mouth was stopped) nor great Pan (for a voyce was heard, Pan is dead) nor the Heca­tombes of Caesar, no nor Pluto himselfe, albeit he might har­row hell, as some speake, could help or doe these Cym­merian [Page 163] wretches any good But with our Lord Iesus Christ there is plenteous re­demption.

He Prophesieth this bles­sings vnto them, he performes it. He prophesieth it long be­fore by Esayas his Euangeli­call Prophet:Es. 2. 2. But in the last dayes, it shall come to passe, that the mountaine of the house of the Lord shall bee established in the top of the mountaines, and it shal be exalted aboue the hils, and the people shall stowe vnto it, and many nations shall come and say. Come let vs goe vp vnto the mountaine of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Iacob, and he will teach vs of his wayes, and we will walke in his pathes. For the Law of God shall goe foorth of Sion, and the word of the Lord from Ierusalem.

And againe, I am sought of them that asked not for me, Es, 5. 5. and I am sound of them that sought [Page 169] me not. I sayde, Beholde mee, Esa. 65. Behold mee vnto a nation that was not called by name.

And yet againe, God sayth vnto his Son, Aske of me and I will giue thee the [...]ea­then for thine inheritance, Psal. 2. and the vtmost parts of the earth for thy possessiō. Did God pro­mise this, and did hee not performe? Performed this was in Melchisedecke king of Salem; in Abimilech, in Ruth the Moabitish, in Rhahab the Cananite, in the Queene of Sheba, in Hiram King of Tyre, in Naaman the Assi­rian, in Iob the Easterling, and in the King of Niniute the Sprians chiefe Cittie, as in the first fruites of the Mes­sias purchased by his bloud vnto God the Father.

This redemption of the Gentiles was also Prophe­sied in the New Testament, to wit,

[Page 170]That they should come from the East and West, and sit downe with Abraham, Isaack, and Ia­cob in the kingdome of heauen, and that the Gospel should bee preached to all the world.

This was performed,Mat 2: as in the first fruits thereof in the wise men that came to adore;Mat. 9. in the Centurion, in the de­signement of Saint Paule toAct. 9. be the minister, and doctor of the Gentiles; and in Peters vi­sion wherein hee was taughtAct. 10. to call nothing common, or vncleane that God had clean­sed, at what time hee was sent to preach this mysterie vnto Cornelius, and to his friendes being Gentiles.

[Page 171]Yet men and brethren be­hold & see with amazement,Application how vile Preaching & Prea­chers are esteemed with ma­ny miscreants.

For to a Iewish spirit prea­ching is a scandall, to a Greek Phylosopher it is folly, to an Atheist babling, to a Papist praching, to an Infidell intol­ [...]erable tediousnesse, to the de­sperately damned a scarre-Crow, and to the worldling, and hypocrite a cloake of dis­honestie.

And as the Preaching of the Gospell is thus vilified, so Preachers also are contem­ned.

But vouchsafe (Blessed in the Lord) to cast downe your eyes vpon the Preachers, and consider well, that albeit their high Commission is from the Lord, yet obserue their contemptible, despicable, and [Page 172] meane condition among the sonnes of men.

By office, Preachers are the Angels of God, and the Angels of the Church ap­poyntedMal. 2. interpreters of God to his people,Apoc. 2. & of the people to God.

Of God to the people in the explication, and applica­tion of his reuealed will, wherein the Preacher is the mouth of God vnto the people. He is also the peoples remembrancer to their God, when he confesseth for them, and when hee prayeth for them, and herein hee is the mouth of the people to their God.

The end of his Ambas­sage is to deliuer himselfe, and his hearers from hell.

God indeede hath sayde, to the Artizan, Build man an house: To the Phisition, heale this man: To the Souldiour, [Page 173] [...]ight for man: To the King, Gouerne thy subiects: To the Maister, Defend and [...]rouide for thy family.

But to which of the sonnes of men hath God sayd, Deli­ [...]er thy brother from hell?

Surely to none but to the Preacher, and that this is the Preachers high Commission [...]t playnly appeareth.

For Iob sayth,Iob. 33. If there bee a messenger with him, an in­preter one among thousands to shew vnto man his vprightnesse, then hee is gratious vnto him, and sayth, Deliuer him from going downe to the pit, I haue receiued a ransome.

And Saint Paule shew­eth, that to Preachers God hath delegated the Myste­rie,2. Cor. 5. & Ministerie of our re­conciliation, with God in Christ, and committed vn­to them the word of attone­ment, to be as his Ambassadors [Page 174] to pray, and beseech men in Christ steede, that they would be reconciled to God, whereby they might be saued.

Well for all this, let their Commission be what it will, their Ambassage neuer so di­uine, neuer so Euangelicall, neuer so Angelicall; I am sure their condition of all other mens is oft times most mise­rable, most lamentable. Piti­full experience sheweth it to view of the whole Christian world, that none interessed in that businesse bee qualified how they will, can please.

For Esay is too long, Obe­diah is too short, Daniel too hard, Amos too playne, Mi­cheah too milde, Hoshea too sharpe, and Ieremie too que­rulous. This was the condi­tion of the Prophets.

Peter is reputed a drun­kard, Paule a Sectary and a mad man, all the residue of [Page 175] the Apostles esteemed the riffe raffe of the world, and the of­scowring of all things vnto this day.

This was the condition of the Apostles.

Hence the holy ones of God became complaynants. Ieremie sayth, The word of the Lord was made a re­proach and derision vnto him dayly, and therefore through the anguish of his soule, though vn­aduisedly, he cursed the day of his birth, Ier. 20. and the partie that brought his father the tydings where he was borne, and beway­leth, that his mother bare him a man of strife, and contention to the whole world. For hauing neither lent nor borrowed vp­pon vsury: yet euery one did curse him.

Paule also laments the case, that God had set foorth the A­postles last, as it were appointed to death: For we are made, saith [Page 176] he, a spectacle to the world, and to Angels, and to men. Wee are fooles for Christs sake; but yee are wise: we are weake, but yee are strong, ye are honourable but we are despised, being reuiled, we blesse,1, Cor. 4. being persecuted, wee suffer it, being defamed, wee en­treate, wee are made as the filth of the world, and are the off cow­ring of all things vnto this day.

In all this thinke not much of it (blessed Brethren) for it is the verie case and con­dition of them that now liue, who are the sincere prea­chers of the Gospell of Iesus Christ, and liue conformable to the Church wherein they were bred.

For what betweene the common aduersary the Pa­pist, the diuels mouth the A­theist, and the intestine fire­brand the Separist, the poore Conformitant doth ofttimes more suffer then euer did any [Page 177] fugitiue Seminarie in Wisbich Castle.

But Christ was crucified be­tweene malefactors, and or­thodoxe Christians haue euer beene tortured betweene the spirits of extremes.

The Iewes obtruded to the Lord of life, (when they had nothing else to say) his meane parentage. Is not this the carpenters son? Are not such and such his sisters?

The obiecting then either of basenesse of birth, or po­uertie of estate vnto the prea­chers of the Gospell, is the spirit of Iudaisme, and let men be ware in this case, lest the Iewish plagues befall them.

And the challenging of singularitie, is the spirite of Iesuitisme, and let men take heed of the spirites of errors and darknes of diuels, for the diuel can transport himselfe [Page 178] into an Angell of light, and such men might proue light Angels.

But the sonnes of true wis­dome know, that the most abiect, and meanest things of the world, if God take them into his handes may worke rare and wonderfull effects.

Salt beeing taken into the hand of God maketh the bit­ter waters of Iericho to be­come sweete. In humane rea­son the salt should make the waters more brackish, but behold,2. Reg. 2. comming through Gods hand, as being Gods or­dinance, it causeth sweete­nesse.

The washing in the ordi­nary riuer of Iordan at Gods command cureth the Syrian Captaine of Leprosie, which the famoused waters of Aba­nah and Pharphar would not doe.

What is more vaine then [Page 179] a dreame? yet Pharoah, Nebu­chadnezar, and Gideon, had great strength, and potent directions by dreames pre­sented vnto them by God? What is more meane, and and more vnlikely then clay? especially to cleere ones eyes,Ioh. 9. yet this being taken into the hand of Christ maketh blinde eyes see playnly?

What more vnlikely to heale then touching? yet the be­leeuing woman touched but the hemme of Christs gar­ment, and was cured?

What more vnlikely to worke miracles then a voyce? yet the vncleane spirits were cast out by the voice of Christ and his Apostles, yea with a voyce the very dead wereIoh. 11. raised to life.

What more vanishing then a shadow? yet the sha­dow of Peter had effectuall power of doing wonders.Act. 5.

[Page 180]Let Preachers then bee but Salt, yet they are the Salt of the earth, but ordinarie water, yet as Apostles they may water your drye hearts,Mat. 10. and make them fruitfull to God, but a Dreame, yet they may awake you from the slumber of sinne, and present vnto you truth, and puri [...]ie, but dust, and clay, to bee trodde vnder your feete, so that they make you see they care not, but a voyce in the wildernesse of this world, yet they are the forerun­ners of the great iudgement, but shadowes, yet will they haunt your ghosts vn­till they haue preuayled with you, if you belong vnto God.

And this is not of their owne worth, & strength, but (as I said) because God vouch­safeth [Page 181] to take them into his hands, whereby hee wor­keth out this great worke of our saluation, as appeareth in the vision to Saint Iohn, where it is sayd,Apoc. 1, That God held seuen stars in his right hand; and in the last verse of that Chapter these seuen stars are expoun­ded to be seuen Ministers of the Churches of Asia. There­fore Preachers God holdeth in his hand, and so their la­bours become powerfull.

But cursed Cauillers, like Iannes and Iambres, who withstood Moses, stand vp, and obiect.

Wee confesse (say they) this is most true, if God take this businesse into his hand: But alas, we see this practise of preaching is in the hand, & handling of many a sinnefull man, such as are oft times more enormious, and exor­bitant in their conuersations, [Page 182] then those that are no Prea­chers.

Well, what then? The word preached eyther by a good or bad man remayneth the Word of God still. For if the wordes of the scripture reade, or Preached bee but a meere and deade letter, why is it called the Spirite of God?

And when wee preach, if it bee but the sound of a mans voyce onely, why doth God vpbraid the world That Prou. 6. hee hath called (when men haue but preached) and yet ye haue refused, and why doe the Prophets when they preached, in­ [...]ulcate so often in all their wri­tings. Thus sayeth the Lord of Hosts, when notwithstan­ding the Prophets onely in the voyces of men, spake, and preached vnto the people.

Yea, but sayth a second: If it were Gods worke, it [Page 183] would not bee fruitlesse, and vneffectuall in the issue ther­of. As if that were not as good seed which fel among thorns as that which fell on good ground? and as if Paul did not testifie, That to some Prea­ching is the oder of Life, vnto life, and vnto some the sauour of death vnto death?

And Euangelicall Esay tels you, That as the raine commeth downe, and the snow from Hea­uen, and returneth not thither, Es. 55. but watereth the earth, and ma­keth it to bring forth and budde, that it may giue seede to the sow­er, and breade to him that ea­teth. So shall my Word bee, that goeth out of my mouth, it shall not returne vnto me voyde, but it shall accomplish that which I will, and it shall prosper in the thing, whereto▪ I sent it, sayeth the Lord God almighty. Nei­ther is this all, for a third puts in his obiection, and sayeth: [Page 184] If indeed Paul and Peter did preach, there were no doubt to be made of the happie issue thereof. I answere,

Yet we know that some say d [...] to Paul, and Peter his Master, euen Christ Iesus, when hee preached vnto thē thus,Iohn. 8. Thou hast a Diuel, At what time hae rebuked them of sinne, but these were cru­cifiers. And Peter they sayde was drunkē whē he spake out of the plenty of Gods spirite,Act. 2. which he had lately receyued; but they that sayde so, were Infidels;Act. 26. and Paul was accoū ­ted mad when hee preached of righteousnesse, of tempe­rance, and of iudgement to come, but he that so esteemed him was but a Pagan.

Therefore wee may see, that all such cauils as these, are but the suggestions of flesh, and bloud; and the delusions of the Diuell of hell.

[Page 185] [...]agans shall condemne such [...]espisers in the iudgement. For the people of Lystra and [...]erbe, Cities of Lycaonia re­ [...]eyued Paul and Barnabas, as [...]f they had been Gods from Heauen, calling the one Iupiter, and the other Mer­curius. But beleeuing soules entertain these Messengers of saluation, as Angelles sent from God. So did the belee­uing Galathians receiue Saint Paul, albeit he preached a­mong them in great infirmi­ty (as he himselfe confesseth) yet had not the Law of God, and nature for bad them, they would haue pulled out theyr own eyes to haue pleasured Paul. Oh what is becom of the kind acceptance of the former ages that left all the endow­ments now visibly to bee seene in the Christian world, for the continuance and propagation of Religious [Page 186] preaching for the seruice, and ordinance of God, for the proclamation of this myste­ry, and for the dissemination of the blessed seede of godli­nesse into all the world.

Surely, the entertainement of our forefathers of the wod­den Priests of Babylon (who were indeede but Balaytes) will rise vp and condemne the sonnes, of their irreligious profane, and base contempt of the cleare & earnest prea­chers▪ of this sacred My­stery.

But we will cease to vrge our owne case, and appeale from our condition among the sonnes of men, to our Master which is in Heauen, to whom we eyther stand or fall. Bles­sed bee his goodnesse for e­uer, and his inheritance shall neuer fayle, that we are assu­red of.

Oh the vnspeakable ri­ches [Page 187] and bounty of Gods fa­ [...]our, that did thus reueale it [...]t self vnto vs miserable wret­ [...]hes that were Pagans.

And now that wee may [...]ot err [...], or bee ignorant, we must vnderstād that we (we I say) of the English Nation a­mong others were these Gen­tiles.

To vs (to vs I say) that in­habite the vtmost westerne Isles of the World is the dore of holy faith opened, and Christ the expectation of the Gentiles reuealed, our hearts being purified by faith, wee are now become the sheepe of Christs pasture, and hee is become the chiefe Bishoppe and Shephearde of our Soules.

Our English Nation being at the first deliuered from the blacknesse and darkenesse of Gentilisme by their preach­ing of this mystery of Godli­nes, [Page 188] eyther by Ioseph of Ari­mathia, or by Philip the E­uangelist, or as some recorde by Priscilla and Aquila, or by all of these.

A remainder of that wret­chednesse, wherein we were then plunged is continued, yet amidst our Nation: for the dayes of the weeke, (which our children name) retayne yet the brandes of infidelitie, wherwith our whole nation was then marked.

The Heathen Saxons (and such were we once) had gods for euery day of the weeke. The Sunne for the Prime day of the weeke, and thereof called it Sonday. The se­cond of the Moone, Moon­day. The third of Tuisch, for so they called Mars, Tuisch day. Of Wooden, theyr Idoll, Woodensday. Of Thor, their Iupiter, or Thur, another Panim god, Thurs­day. [Page 189] Of Freer, Of Woo­den that Heathen I­doll remayneth at this day in some shires of England, a [...]rench called VVansditch which was their Venus, Freersday, now Fryday. And the last day of the Weeke, they named of the slowest Planette, Sa­tursnday, or after some Se­ [...]ersday, another Saxon I­doll.

From out of this Hea­thenish infidelity, and bot­tomlesse misery of blinde­nesse and impiety.

Loe the mercy of God hath deliuered vs by this preaching of this mysterie of Godlinesse, the Gospell of Christ, and hath made vs Citizens of the Saints, the family of Faith, and light in the Lord, from out of the bondage of sinne and sathan, from out the confusion of I­dolatrie, and darknesse of of extreame ignorance.

That the promise of GOD made to Abra­ham, as Tertullian reasoneth [Page 190] might bee performed, which was, That in him all the Nati­ons of the earth should be blessed; and the prophesie of Reb [...] ­caes twinnes might come to passe, of whom it was sayde: The elder should serue the youn­ger; which was indeed fulfil­led, (whereof Esau his seruice to Iacob was a figure) when the Iewes were reiected, and serued the Gentiles, their yon­ger brethren.

The vse of this Saint Paul doth largely exemplifie in the ninth to the Romanes. The Iewes were the true vine, we the Gentiles were the wilde branches of a wild Oliue. Are they eiected, that wee might bee receyued, are they bro­ken off; that wee might be en­graffed.

Then let vs feare, for if God spared not his own true vine, questionlesse, he will not bee indulgent to vs that are wild [Page 191] [...]liues. And let vs know' [...] when the fulnesse of the [...]entiles is accōplished, God [...] againe receyue his owne [...]ople, and remoue the can­ [...]sticke, that both Iew and [...]entile that beleeue may bee [...]ued by the Lord Iesus [...]hrist, euery one in his ac­ [...]ptable time.

Now is our time, now is [...] time of the Gentiles salua­ [...]on, now is the time that by his preaching of this Gospell [...]nd misterie of godlinesse, God will bee reuealed vnto [...]s, that wee may beleeue and [...]e saued.

God therefore perswade Ia­ [...]heth to dwell in the tents of [...]em, Amen.

[Page 192] O Lord God,Inuocation. and most gr [...] ­tious Father in Iesus Christ, how wonderfull are thy workes in all the world: For out of the mouthes of Preachers, sometimes very babes and suck [...] lings thou hast ordained strength that thereby thou mightst make thy power the more to be knowne in suppressing the rage and fu­ry of Sathan, the enemie of all mankind, by such weake and fee­ble instruments.

And this thou hast done O Lord of thine vnspeakable mer­cy in Christ, considering that we are but dust, and cannot endure the presence of an Angel to speak vnto vs, much lesse are wee a­ble to behold thee in thy glorious brightnesse.

Nay O Lord, no man can see thee and liue: Eternally therefore blessed be thy goodnes, O God, for ordaining so sacred and so [...]afe a meanes, for our [Page 193] [...]nowledge, and acknowledge­ [...]ent of thee, and of him whome [...]hou hast sent, Christ Iesus our Lord: For it hath pleased thee [...] put thy word into the mouthes [...] men, to publish it vnto vs.

Thou hast clothed their hearts [...]ith thy righteousnesse, to fur­ [...]sh them with grace. Thou [...]ast added the power thereof, [...] thy sacred spirite to guide vs to all truth, thou hast shew­ [...] the effects thereof in the san­ [...]itie of our liues & good works [...] thy great glory.

Thou hast giuen vs the ioye [...]ereof in the songs of holy ones, [...] our sola [...]e, and the end there­ [...], in the saluation of our sinfull [...]ules and bodies to our eternall [...]licitie in heauen,

O Lord, who can sufficiently [...]toll thy Maiesty for this thy [...]rpassing fauour towards vs? [...]et vs entreate thy goodnesse for Christ his sake to stirre vp, and [...]uicken [...]our dull hearts to a [Page 194] thankefull acceptance of this thy blessing. Make vs to loue the preaching of thy word, that sa­cred Ambassage from heauen, that wee may bee throughly re­conciled vnto thee. Make it the sauour of life vnto vs, and let i [...] in no wise bee the sauour of death vnto vs, or any of v [...].

Make vs to thinke reuerent­ly of these whom thou hast sepe­rated, and sent to be the lighte [...] and guide of this world, cause vs to esteeme of them preciously to loue them heartily, to pray for them effectually, and to heare them with all possible respects fulnes, as people knowing that [...] that hearet [...] them, heareth thee, hee that receyueth them, recey­ueth thee, hee that regardeth them regardeth thee, and hee that doth for them, doth for thee, as people knowing it is thy Word they preach, thy holy will they teach, thy heauenly worshippe and diuine seruice they entreat [Page 195] [...]s to embrace, as people know­ [...]g that the glorie thereof is [...]ine, the good thereof is ours, [...]en to the sauing of our selues, [...]d children in both worlds.

O King of Heauen, giue vs [...]ermore of this Manna, the [...]ngels foode, of this water of [...], of this celestiall treasure, of [...]is fruite of life, of those songs [...] Sion, of this speech of Cana­ [...], of this salt of the earth, of [...]is light of life, of this dew of [...]ermon, of this name of Iesus, [...] this eternall Gospell by the [...]eaching of thy holy will. As [...]e heare it O Lord, let it di­ [...]ill into our soules as thy holy [...]ction, Let it stirre our harts [...] thy power: Let it bowe our [...]ils to thy obedience, as thy [...]unsell: Let it sanctifie our [...] as thy ordinance, let it [...]epare vs throughout for thee [...] Lord, and for the glory of thy [...]ace for euer.

Humble our hearts with [Page 196] the remembrance what wretches we were without this reuelation of thy Sonne. Say vnto vs, you were dogs and might not ea [...] the childrens breade, you were hogges, and might not haue these pretious pearls cast vnto [...] you were as vncircumcised P [...] ­listines, as cursed Can [...]anit [...] as diuelish Samaritans, as He [...] theni [...]h Pagans, as Turkish I [...]dels: But I haue washed, purg [...] purified and sanctified you wi [...] my grace, I haue called you my name, and I will blesse yo [...] for euer.

O Lord God, Graunt th [...] wee may eate but the crum [...] vnder thy table, that wee [...] touch but the hemme of thy v [...] sture, that thou wilt but spea [...] the Word onely, and we wretches shall liue, shall bee heale [...] shall bee happie to thy prayse [...] euer.

Say Lord vnto our soules, am your saluation▪ So shall [...] [Page 197] [...] and bee gladde all our [...], so shall wee study to set [...] thy honour, and will vow [...] sacrifices of thankefulnesse [...] of soule and body, in our [...] and children for euer.

O heare vs King of Hea­ [...], and grant these blessinges [...] thine to be continued vnto vs, [...] to our seed to al our generati­ [...] for the merites of thy deare [...]ne Christ Iesus our most [...]acious Redeemer, Amen.

GOD BELEEVED. on in the World.
Explication.

THat the World should beleeue in God,The fift day of the weeke. is the mystery of mysteries. First, that the World should beleeue in GOD, in the vnitie of his essence, and Tri­nity of existence, Then to be­leeue God in the verity of his written word: And lastly, to relye vpon God in the assu­rance of his loue for his pro­mise sake: this (I say) to know is eternall life, and for the World to know it, is a world of wonders.

For how should the World come by this sauing know­ [...]edge? [Page 199] [...] Take the World as in [...]oly writ it sometimes signi­ [...]ies the reporbate, of whome Christ sayth, I pray not for the [...]orld, Iohn 17: that is, for the reprobate of the world, these beleeue not. Take it Cosmographi­cally for the frame of heauen, and of earth, contayning the firmamentary, and elementa­ry regions, these parts are not [...]apable of such mysteries: [...]ut vnderstand it of the E­ [...]ect people of God, inhabi­ [...]ing within the limites of the knowne Christian world, and [...]else where dispersed and scat­tered vpon the surface of the whole earth (as it is taken in this place) and then this my­stery will bee reuealed vnto vs.

For otherwise as the world [...] more generally taken for the people of the world. It is altogether set vpon wicked­nesse.1 Iohn. 5.

[Page 200] The World receyues not the Spirite of truth, I oh. 14. The Worlde knownes not God, The world is at defiance with God, as may plainely appeare by the con­trariety betwixt God and the wo [...]ld.

The spirit of God being loue, ioy, peace, long suffering, gentle­nesse, goodnes,Gal. 5. faith, meekenesse, and temperance. The Spirite of the World being adulterie, forni­cation, vncleannes, lasciuious­ [...]es, idolatrie, witchcraft, ha­tred, variance, emulation, wrath strife, seditions, hypocrisies, enuy­ings, murthers, drunkennesse, & reuellings.

How could it euer be thought that these thinges so contrariantly opposit, should euer accord? Yet behold this great mysterie, for this malignant, contrariant, ex­orbitant, refractory World is conquered by holy saith in the bloud of Christ, and mul­titudes [Page 101] of millions in the World, (albeit not of the World) Liue, loue, and be­ [...]eeue in God amidst the furi­ous, cruell, and deadly rage, [...]atred and bloudy cruelty of many miscreants, and infidell worldlings.

So that now God hath purchased by faith a world of people to himselfe, called out of the vniuersall masse, and multitude of people in the World, to know, and ac­knowledge him to be their God and Sauiour.

This is the sence of these words. And the sacred scrip­tures call those the Worlde, whom God hath thus cal­led out of the world, because for their sakes onely this world was made,2. Pet. 3. and this world is as yet preserued, and all things continue as from the beginning.

But when God hath [Page 202] his full number of these his chosen people out of the world, then this world shall haue an end, and there shall bee a new Heauen, and a new earth, wherein shal dwell righteousnesse.

To these his redeemed people in the world, God made his promises, both of the promulgation, extension, and augmentation of this Kingdome of Iesus Christ his Sonne.

First, that the extention thereof should be as large, as is the expansion of the Hea­uens, and so great, that it should encircle, and surround the earth.

Secondly, that the domini­on thereof should bee from sea to sea. And from the riuers vnto the end of the world. Psal. 72. The kings of Tharsis, and of the [...]sles should bring presents, yea all Kings should fall downe before [Page 203] him, at nations should serue him.

Thirdly, Apoc. 7. that Christ should [...]edeeme vs to God by his bloud, [...]ut of euery kindred and tongue and people, and Nation.

Fourthly, that there should [...]ee so great a multitude of be­leeuers of all Nations, Kindreds people and tongues which standApoc. 7. before the throne, and before the [...]ambe that no man should bee [...]ble to number them.

The performance of which [...]rophesies, and promises God shewed most power­ [...]lly in the very commence­ment of this conquest of faith: [...]or Peter conuerred in one [...]ermon three thousand,Act. 2. and [...] another Sermon, fiue thou­ [...]and soules that beleeued, and [...]rned to God from their in­ [...]quities.Act. 4.

So mightily, yea so [...]uddenly grew the word of God, and preuayled, yea, [...] is ttuely obserued both [Page 204] by Suetonius in the life of Ne­ro. and by Tacitus in the first booke of his Historie, beeing enemies to Christ & Christians, and also by Ter­tullian a friend to Christians, in his Apologeticall exhorta­tion to the Gentiles, that the multitude of beleeuers was so great in the Prim [...]tiue Church, euen amidst those furious, bloudy butcheries, and wofull persecutions, that their strength and puissan [...]e, (if they should haue, waged warre) was oft times a feare and terror, euen to the ve [...]ry persecuting Emperours themselues.

This was exceeding strange, that a World of people so dissonan [...], so dissolute, so aliant, so repug [...]nant to God, and to good­nesse, should become so ply­able, so flexible, & so obediēt [Page 205] [...] submit, and subiect them­ [...]lues to the yoke of Gods ce­ [...]estiall direction.

And albeit this very acte [...]f beleeuing, may seeme very [...]aruellous vnto vs in it selfe, [...]et the strange means where­ [...]y this victorious conquest was wrought by Christ in [...]educing the world to the act [...]f faith, was indeed incompa­ [...]ably wonderfull, and aboue mans capacitie to conceiue.

For Christ Iesus the Sonne of God, when hee made this conquest of the World by faith, did not proclaym to the world (as king Cyrus did whē he intented his conquests) great pay, worldly promo­tions, magnificent titles, and honourable entertainements for his voluntaries and Fol­lowers, neither did Christ proffer as the diuell did, All this will I [...] thee (shewing all the king [...]omes of the world) if [Page 206] thou wilt fall downe and worshi [...] me: nor as the licentious Turk doth, grants libertie of wiue­ving, to what number of wo­men men will, & of thriuing by what callusions, and deui­ses men can (so they doe no violence) to all that embrace his Mahumetanisme,Turcissimus Papa, ait▪ Luth. nor yet as the most Turkish Pope v­seth, who grants pardons, and indulgences from all kinde of punishments, to all his Pec­cadilloes whatsoeuer.

For then Christ doubtlesse might haue had followers on a sudden more then enough. But behold, and consider the iniunctions, motions, and perswasions that Christ vsed to moue the world to beleeue and then tell me (Beloued in our Lord) if this be not a secret and hidden Mysterie. The very first mandate that Christ ienioyned to those that meant to follow him was, Re­ [...]nt [Page 207] yee: that is, Bee of another [...]inde, and leade another life [...] you haue done hereto­ [...]re:Mat. 3. Become new creatures; [...]at is, leaue off to doe euill, [...] learne to do good.

This was no lesson for the [...]lfe louers of the world to [...]arne, and of these there is an [...]finite number.

By this doctrine Christ [...]ight lose all the nice of the world, and all that were wed­ [...]ed to their owne selfe li­ [...]ings.

Another iniunction was, [...]n the world (if you will bee mine) you shall haue augariation Ioh. 14. and your hearts shall bee pierced [...]hrough with many sorrowes. This was no coppie to bee taken out by the effeminate, delitious, and delicate persons of the world.

A third was, You shall bee hated of all men for my names sake (saith Christ.) This was [Page 208] no condition to obligue faint and false hearted cowards of the world.

A fourth was, He that loues his life shall lose it. This was not the way to winne a worldling: notwithstanding all these, and other such like more conditions and enter­tainments, euen to exquisite torments, ye [...] I say, what euer could be sayd or done to the contrary by the infidell party, in all the bloud and but chery of Gods Saints, behold yee the power of God in this wonderfull conquest of the world by faith.

For a Centurion beleeue [...] euen to life, albeit Christ is absent from doing any act, & speakes this in the words of a beleeuer. Say the word onely O Lord, Mat 8. and my seruant liueth.

A Canaanitish woman be­leeues to health, if she might eate but the crums th [...] fall [Page 209] [...]om the table, or touch but [...]he hemme of Christ his ve­ [...]ure.

The good theefe beleeues [...] saluation in Christ Iesus,Luc. 23. [...]hom he beheld fastened to [...]rosse laden with disgrace­ [...]l reproches, and scoffings, forlorne and forsaken of the [...]hole world, strugling in his [...] dolours, gasping, gaping [...] weltring in his owne [...]oud. Oh wonderfull power [...] faith! Oh maruellous work [...]f God! Is there any reason [...] bee yeelded hereof? Are [...]ere any causes of this so rare [...] maruellous a change in the [...]eart, and resolution of man.Ier. 14. [...] [...]o surely, Mans reason in this [...]ynt is but as a beast, (as Iere­ [...]ie sayth.) But Almightie [...]od hath his reasons for it, [...]ost preg [...]ant, & most pow­ [...]full.

For this beleeuing in [...]hrist being an act of the vn­derstanding, [Page 210] assenting to Gods diuine truth, at the com­mandement of the will, so moued by the grace and spi­rit of God, sheweth that it is the power onely, and spirit of God that inclineth our hearts to beleeue,1 Spirit [...]s SS. causa fi­d [...]procatar­ctica. as the first mouing cause thereof.

This was the reason why Lydia the Thyatirian, hearkned to Paules preaching, which many other did not, that heard the word notwithstan­ding,Sp. est qui sensum dat, & assensum mouet. Bern. Act. 16. as well as she. For the Text saith, God opened the heart of Lydia, that she attended the the words of Paule, that is to say, She attended not, vn­till God openeth her heart.

The inuisible finger of God being as you see a golden key to vnlocke our steely hearts, that may see, perceiue, and be moued to seeke after God for our saluation.

And this is the reason why [Page 211] [...]he Scripture calleth this cause The spirit of faith, 1. Cor. 4. or the spirite [...]f beleeuing.

Gods second cause of our [...]eleeuing is his blessed,2. Verbum praedica­tum est causa demi­vrgica, & via ad verbum ge­nitum. and [...]oly word read and preached [...] the ordinarie means of our [...]ith, which worketh vpon [...]wo forcible, and perswasiue [...]enses the eye, and the eare, [...]he one for the reader of the word, the other for the hearer of the word preached, or read.

For the eare, God hath or­dayned a voyce to call vpon [...]s by the paynes of preach­ing.

For the eye, his sacred word is written, or printed, that it may be read, and vnderstood of vs and our children, and this is the cause of our belee­uing which is called,1. Tim. 4. The word of Faith.

Aske a Christian then why he beleeues the Trinitie in [Page 212] Vnitie, and Vnitie in Trini­tie: his answer is, be­cause the Scripture records it, there is the word of faith, but reply vpon him, and aske him why he beleeues the scrip­tures, his reason is, without reason in himselfe, for he saith The finger of God is there. If you vrge and say. Why doest thou beleeue, and I do not, I heare the word as well as thee? Saint Paule will answer with an out crie, O depth! That is a matter of amazement, not of argument, saith S. Ambrose. But what might be the cause that stayeth and vpholds the hearts of the sonnes of men along the misery of this life in this word of beleeuing? Surely eternall life the salua­tion of our soules, the last ar­ticle of our Christian faith,3 Vita aeter­na causa fidei teleio­t i [...]a. is the finall cause,1. Pet. 1. and anchor­holde of out beleeuing in Christ Iesus.

[Page 213]For the hope whereof, the holy ones of God purge thē ­selues,1. Ioh. 3. both in soule and bo­dy, that they may be accepta­ [...]le vnto God through Iesus Christ our Lord. And there­ [...]ore S. Peter calleth eternall [...]ife the end of our beleeuing [...]uen the assured glorification [...]f soule and body, which by [...]aith wee expect in the other world. In respect whereof al­so it is that this faith goeth not alone, like some bankrupt, but is royally attended with a troupe of good works, sem­blable to the causes thereof. For the spirit of faith is not barren, but is in continuall motion in stirring and quick­ning vp the harts of gods chil­dren euery day to goodnes.

Neither is the word of faith verball onely,Heb. 4. But liuely and mightie in operation, and sharper then any two edged sword, & en­ters throgh, euen to the diuiding [Page 214] of the soule, and the spirit, and of the ioynts, and the ma [...]row, and is a discerner of the thought, and the intents of the heart.

The people of God there­fore whose hearts are thus po­werfully moued by the spirit of faith to beleeue, and thus effectually counselled by the word of faith, to liue well,Act. 15. endeauour nothing else but that their liuing may be an­swerable to their beleeuing, that so their soules might bee saued. For this sacred faith of Christ, first of all purifieth the heart; now if the fountaine be cleare and cleane, the whole streame that issueth thence will be cleane also.

Secondly, this faith of Christ worketh by loue, and bring­eth foorth good workes. I should euer therefore distrust that I neuer was a true belee­uer, vnlesse I felt my heart sanctified by grace, and my [Page 215] and working the deedes of haritie. This doubtlesse was [...]he faith of the primitiue [...]orld, while the bloud of Christ was yet warme in the [...]earts of those beleeuers.

Witnes all those Churches [...]olledges, Hospitalls, En­ [...]owments, Rents, Reuenews [...]ands, Liuings, Pensions, and [...]l other such donations, and [...]onsecrations appropriated, [...]nd giuen to the maintenance of religion and learning, to [...]he succour of the poore, and [...]o the perpetuating of Gods worship here on earth, vntill [...]he second comming of Christ.

For the people then liued, and beleeued, as men know­ing that the faith of Christ is not fruitlesse, and that by the fruites therof, they are assured of their election past; and of their perfection by Christ to come: that their good deedes [Page 216] should follow them where nothing else [...]ould,Apoc. 14. and that according to the proportion of their workes, wrought in earth by grace in Christ, they should through the mercie of God, and not of merit bee al­lotted a portion of happines hereafter in the heauens.Act. 2. And therefore vnderstanding their weldoing here, to be necessa­rie to their well being for e­uer, they studyed nothing else but to goe on in that race of goodnesse, that they might attaine at the last the blessed end thereof, euen the reward of mercy promised vnto them by the word of faith writ­ten vnto them in the bloud of our faith, sealed, & as­sured vnto thē by the death of our faith, stirred vp & moued herevnto by the spirit of faith Christs vicegerent on earth, whose they were, encouraged thereunto by the bloud of so [Page 217] [...]any faithfull beleeuers that [...]yed for the faith of Christ, [...]nd continue therein vnto [...]heir liues end, by the exube­ [...]ant, and abundant riches of Gods mercy in Christ Iesus their Ruler, and Redeemer.

[Page 218]O Blessed Paule, Application faithfull and beleeuing was the world, when as yet the bloud of Christ was warme in me [...]s hearts, and when the faithfull beleeuers inflamed with the loue of God, and ouerioyed with the glad tydings of the Gospell, thus bespake. Gods seruants that preached th [...] faith vnto them. Blessed in th [...] Lord, Act. 4. will our goods pleas [...] you? Gal. 3. Behold we lay them dow [...] at your feete, will our eyes [...] you good? Take ought of ou [...] that is neere, and deere vnto [...] euen our right eyes. Apoc. 12. Will our liues steede you? Wee esteeme the [...] not for the testimonie of the fait [...] of Iesus Christ, as for all man­ner of tribulations that can happen for Iesus Christ sake, We accompt them not worthy [...] the glory that shall bee recei­ued.

A blessed and beautifull [Page 219] [...]ace of time it was (O Paule) when▪ the prime beleeuing Christians had no other fault [...]ound in them, no not by [...]heir verie enemies (as Plinius [...]ecundus an heathen testifieth [...] Traian the Emperour) but his was all hee could certifie [...]gainst them to the state, that [...]hey oft times assembled [...]emselues together before [...]ay in the caues, and holes of the earth to sing Psalmes, [...]nd prayses to the Lord of [...]ife, Christ Iesus, which ser­uice for feare of persecution they durst not performe pub­likely.

O then was the time (ho­ [...]y Paule) that faith wrought [...]y Gods loue, and not by selfe loue, by good workes, and not by goodly wordes, what time the beleeuing Christians were knowne not [...]o bee of the tribe of Naphta­ [...], giuing goodly wordes,Gen. 49. but [Page 220] of the tribe of Ioseph beeing fruitfull boughes, euen fruit­full boughes by a Well, whose branches run ouer the wall.

When Placilla the wife of Theodosius a beleeuing Em­presse, would resort vnto the Almes houses, and Hos­pital [...]s of the poore to see them succoured and relee­ued, and when her nice Gentlewomen that wayted o [...] her, would dehort and disswade her not to debase her selfe to come into such meane places, and neere such nastie people, shee with teares in her eyes would re [...]ply, and say:

O I wou [...]d not doe thi [...] ▪ and this onely, but so, and s [...] yea much more for the loue [...] beare to my Sauiour Christ, an [...] to his blessed members [...] meane soeuer they bee, for I [...] him my selfe and all I haue, [...] thousand wayes.

[Page 221](O sacred Paule) that was [...]etime when men beleeued, [...]nd loued God so sweetely, [...]at they would not bee allu­ [...]ed by the enticements of the [...]orld to fall from the faith [...]f Christ, as did couetous [...] [...]mas, they beleeued, and lo­ [...]ed him so wisely that they [...]ould not bee deceiued with [...]he vanitie of wretchednesse [...] fayle in their sacred seruic [...] [...] did prowd hearted Diotre [...]es that loued the prehemi­ [...]ence, they beleeued and lo­ [...]ed God so resolutely that [...]ey could neuer bee vtterly [...]an quished either by sinne, [...]eath, or Sathan as many mil­ [...]ons of vnbeleeuing, and [...]isbeleeuing Christians are.

But O blessed God of hea­ [...]ē, & earth, how is the case in [...]ese ourdaies altered. For the [...]iuell hauing heretofore ray­ [...]d vp diuers heresies, and [...]hismes in all ages to hinder, [Page 222] peach, and vtterly to o­uerthrow this sacred acte of beleeuing and true seruice of God, as first against the faith of Gods creating the world, he raysed vp the Mar­cionites, Carpocrations, and Nicolaita [...], against the word of grace and redemption of man by Christ, he stirred vp the Ebionites, Gnostiques, Ar [...] rian, and Sabellians, and a­gainst the assurance of glory for his Saints, hee enraged the auncient Cathari, Pepusi­ans, and Anabaptists, and ma­ny other such like damnable miscreants, against all the ar­ticles of our Christian faith, but now in this dotage of the world, he like cursed Caligu­la (that monster of men) wi­sheth this holy people that beleeue in Christ had but one head, that hee might strike it off at once, euen with this one blow, and hellish blast, [Page 223] [...]here is no God, Psal. 14. to the vtter [...]olishing of all the ground [...]orke of our Christ [...]an faith. Oh that the diuell could but [...]ish this onely, as hee desired [...]nce to sift and winnow [...]eter.

But it is a thousand pitties [...]o see and behold how much [...]e hath preuayled with mil­ [...]ions of thousands, euen in the Christian world. Else how [...]urst so many damned mis­ [...]reants insult, euen ouer God [...]imselfe. Let him make speede [...]nd hasten his workes that wee may see it. Yea that dare breath defiance, and out face Gods [...]udgments by denying them, [...]nd saying:

There is no plague, this pro­ [...]hesying is but words, this prea­ching is but winde, and in the ende fall away from all that [...]s called God, as did Pharaoh, saying:

Who is God that I should serue [Page 224] him? and what is Iehouah that I should yeeld vnto him? These are such against whom there is no law in England, which is to bee feared will bee the prouoking of Gods iudge­ments vpon this our Land, and state in particular, where­in there is so much care taken; and so many good laws made and that most worthily, for the preseruation of the kings crowne and dignitie, that whosoeuer speaketh against it is held a cursed Tray [...]or, and that most iustly, and is worthy to die an ignomi­nious and cruell death, and that most deseruedly, yea particular and priuate mens cases, their lands, liuings, titles, pleas, and wrongs are by good, and whole­some lawes redressed, yet there is no extant and posi­tiue Law, Statute or Ordi­nance [Page 225] against these impea­ [...]hers of this holy faith, and against the open cursed, and damnable Blasphem [...]rs, de­ [...]ier [...], and defiers of the e­ternall God.

Oh England, this is a worke worth the best intend­ments, consultations, and determinations both of thy Princes, Peeres, and people that such hellish roaring Boyes, and such damned crues may not once bee na­med within the territories where thy renowned king is stiled the defendor of the faith.

For wee see that of such as make profession of faith, the Oracle of faith telleth vs,1. Thes. 4. All haue not faith.

God sent Noah in the worlds infancie to preach this faith of the Messias, Abraham in the [Page 226] worlds childhood had the signe of the couenant of this faith for the same purpose, Dauid in the worlds youth beleeued, and defended the same. The Prophets in the worldes middle age guided the beleeuers vnto it, Gods owne Sonne in his first com­ming preached it to the worlds old age, his Apostles and Preachers, to this our age, the worlds dotage, and all these found vnbeleeuers, and missebeleeuers in all their times. And last of all, when Christ shall come a­gaine to iudge the liuing and the dead: Shall he finde faith on the earth?

In his first aduent hee had not (as he himselfe affirmeth) where to lay his head, but when he commeth againe to iudgement, hee will not haue where to set his foote, if the [Page 227] world continue as it hath [...]one along time, eloyning [...]rom Christs Church, and [...]poyling it of the meanes of [...]he Gospells preaching, those [...]acred donations & endow­ments which the faith of the [...]ormer and better ages con­ [...]ecrated, as the lands and re­ [...]enewes of Iesus Christ the Sonne of God heere on earth, [...]or the perpetuating of his ministerie and seruice. No [...]eloued these are the dayes of [...]inne, and wherein sinne a­ [...]oundeth, because the loue of God in the world waxethMat. 24. [...]old.

These are the dayes where [...]n such a faith is professed by [...]any, that is, no where to bee [...]eene by good workes but [...]ard onely in some certaine [...]oodly wordes, such a faith [...]s I told you before was the [...]ith of Lucius learned Par­ [...]ot like, and tunable to the [Page 228] eare, hauing no semblance, or qualitie of Gods spirit in it, but onely this, that not working by loue it is inui­sible.

Africa was accounted in auncient time the mother of monstrous shapes, but Europe, Christian Europe is become the grandmother of many strange wonderments. For, as Saint Augustine sayth, Hee that beleeueth not now, seeing the world beleeueth, is aprodigious, and portentous amazement to himselfe.

And many there are who albeit they liue in the profes­sion of this holy beleefe, yet they profite not in it, because they abuse the holy meanes thereof, neither doe they pra­ctise the religious manner, and methode of attaining vn­to it.

For first [...], they abuse the meanes, by comming [Page 229] [...]reuerently and irreligiously [...]ot as beleeuers to heare the Word of this faith prea­ [...]hed.

Elias Gods Prophet when [...]ee comes where he heareth1 King. 19. God, hee couereth his face, with his mantle in reuerence of Gods Maiestie: For be­leeuers, the nearer they come to God, the more modest they are.

Ezechiel hearing GOD speake vnto him, wanting a vayle, falles with his face toEzech. 1. the earth, making the earth his mantle, to shew his reue­rence, and fea [...]e to Gods ma­iestie.

Peter seeing Christ com­ming towards him, cryeth out, Depart from mee for I am a sinnefull man, as acknowled­ging he was not worthy to breath in the place where Christ was.

Abraham, when hee [Page 230] talkes with God about So­dome, sayth thus, Let not my Lord bee angrie, if I dust, and ashes speake vnto him. Gen. 8.

And the Syrophenician comming to receiue comfort from Christ, stands behind him daring not to speake, but enten­deth onely to touch, not his body, nor his garment, but e­uen the very hemme of his vesture, and shee receyued a comfortable compellation from Christ, for hee owned her, and sayde, Daughter, bee of good cheare, thy beleefe hath saued thee.

For the more vereeundi­ous and modest wee are in this our hearing of God, and in our comming vnto him, the more bright and beautiful wee are in his sacred sight. If wee would thus serue the Lord in feare, and reioyce be fore him with trembling, wee should not goe so often to [Page 231] Church, and so often return againe neuer the better, oft­times the worser, wee should not so often heare in vain, nor so often see, and not discerne.

But the manner is now with many to come, as sathan did (for company or custom, or worse) came also when the sons of God were assem­bled before him to the diuels Chappell, according to our English Prouerbe, Where God hath his Church, the Diuell hath his Chappell

For euen in the great as­semblies while some are there hearing the word attentiuely, others sleepe profoundly, while some reade, others prate, while some lift vp their eyes to heauen, others point out the finger to note some vanity in the next pue, while som pray, othe [...]s scoffe, while some sing others curse, while some sigh for their sinnes, o­thers [Page 232] laugh at sinne, & while others sit hearkening to the Sermon vnto the end, others make hast to bee gone, and thinke euery houre two, vn­till they heare the Peace of God, which they will scarce vouchsafe to take with them, nor the Grace of GOD nei­ther.

Cease therefore to mar­uell at our fruitlesse hearing the Word, if this bee our de­meanour: when we present our selues before our God; were we perswaded of God, as wee ought, (and surely, hee that will come to God, must beleeue that God is) and of his sonne Christ Iesus, of whom the voyce from Hea­uen (and not from men) was this, Heare him; wee could not thus abuse our time,Mat. 17. when wee assemble our selues to heare this Word of faith prea­ched vnto vs.

[Page 233]But those that thus de­ [...]mean themselues, the Prophe­ [...]ie of Esay is fulfilled, which God in his iust iudg [...]ment [...]ringeth vpon them for their neglect of him in making their hearts fat, Their eares heauie, and their eyes dimme, that they may not see with their eies,Esay. 6. nor heare with their eares, nor vnderstand with their hearts, and should bee conuerted, and God should heale them, These are such that come into the house of God without feare, and offer the sacrifice of fooles, for albe­it they liue wickedly, yet they imagine that they haue made GOD beholding vnto them for sitting an houre or two in his seruice.

It was otherwise in Saint Iohn the Diuine,Apoc 1. who in hea­uenly meditations and ser­uice of God, was rauished in the Spirite, on the Lordes [Page 234] day, and in that holy extasie, heauen was opened vnto him, and hee saw God, the Angels, the Elders, and the soules of the Saints clothed in white robes; whereas these diuelish hearers are ready to faint for water; yet sit (as Ha­gar Abrahams bondmaide did) by the fountaines of wa­ters, and doe not see them, & are ready to perish for foode, and yet doe not see the hea­uenly Manna that is reached out vnto them.

And as they thus abuse the holy meanes of their belee­uing▪ so also they vse not the heauenly and orderly procee­ding in the practise of their beleefe. For a true Beleeuer at his very first awaking in bedde, is present with God in his thoughts, words and me­ditations, as Dauid speaketh: and after hee is vp, hee taketh vnto him blessed wordes as [Page 235] [...]head directeth eyther publike­ [...]y or priuately,Hosh. 14. and offereth [...]God his morning sacrifice in [...]prayer, and then addresseth and addicteth himselfe to his calling, and therein abideth, performing his earthly voca­tion with an heauenly mind.

And if a true beleeuer happen into any company, he sits oft times still, and retired to himselfe, watching and wai­ting oportunity when hee may speake words, that may minister grace vnto the hea­rers.

And if a true Beleeuer haue any leysure (not that hee will bee at any time idle) he sayth to himselfe, Now will I re­tire myselfe into my closet, and there will I powre out my heart vnto my God.

If a true beleeuer prosper in the worke of his handes, he is thankefull, and not proude. If hee suffer aduersity, hee [Page 236] makes his patience knowne vnto all men, without mur­muring or repining, assuring himselfe that it proceedeth not of Gods hatred, but of his singular loue t [...]ward him that hee is afflicted, for God delighteth not in the misery of his Creatures, for if hee did, hee would neuer haue made man a Paradise to liue in, euen in his inno­cency, but God knoweth in his wisedome, that by afflic­tions his dearest children are weaned from the loue of the World, and take liking of the other world.

And thus hauing past the day, recalling to mind Gods great mercies, recounting his owne many and manifold infirmities and imperfections, magnifieth Gods fauours in all, craueth pardon for his great vnthankefulnesse, and so reposing himselfe in bedde [Page 237] in his Sepulchre, hauing now made, as it were, his last will to God, acknowledging him­selfe a stranger, and Pilgrime here, as all his Fathers were, and beleeuing that the time will come, that as he is awa­ked, and riseth from bedde in the morning: so shall he bee raysed from his graue, and sleepe of death, to liue with GOD in Christe­ternally.

But the vnbeleeuers and fruitles professors in their car­riage, are quite contrary. For their awaking is to euill, and that is euer present with them. Their morning Mat­tens is cursing and swearing, and that shall distill one day into their bowels as water, & like oyle into their bones.

Their vocation is to bee busie bodies in other mens matters. Their society is to seeke out the riotous [Page 238] to runne with them to ex­cesse, their retirednesse is to study out mischiefe, to com­plot against their brethren, & to circumuent by politique stratagems their harmelesse associates▪

If these prosper, no man is able to endure their pride, their disdaine, their curiosity, their statelinesse. If they bee afflicted, the whole Countrie shall ring of their impatience, murmuring, rauing and blas­phemie.

And thus hauing lost the day, they couch themselues in their beds of beastlinesse at night; as if they had made a couenant with death, and the diuell neuer to be good; This is the fruit of infidelitie, and thus godlesse professors demeane themselues, as if Barrahas had suffered, and Christ had beene let goe, as if Christ were yet in his graue [Page 239] [...]nd that Caiphas should bee [...]udge of quicke and dead.

But true beleeuers, know that without faith it is impos­sible to please God (let vs prate what wee will) and whatsoeuer is not of faith is sinne, (let vs doe what wee will) and this faith must worke by loue, or else all is in vaine, let vs liue how we will, let vs then begge this blessed boone of God, that wee may beleeue, and that hee would helpe our beleeuing, that wee may haue both theSaluific [...] fidei tribu­untur hi quatnor Tituli. 1 [...] 2 [...] 3 [...] 4 [...]. groundworke of faith to builde vpon, the trust of faith to resolue vpon, the boldnes of faith, to approach neere vnto God, and the full per­swasion of faith to die in, that so wee may goe on from faith, to faith, vntill wee haue our perfect blisse in Christ for euer. Albeit our condi­tion be, that wee liue in these [Page 240] last and worst times, as Lot in Sodome, and as Abraham in Vr, of the Chaldes, yet ha­uing the rocke of our faith in Heauen,1. Ioh. 5. the Father determi­ning, the word directing, the holy Ghost mouing, and these 3. are one, hauing the records of our faith on earth, the Spi­rit witnessing to our Spirite, that wee are the sonnes of God, the water of Baptisme, the seale of our Redemption in Christ, the bloud of the holy Martyres, as the signes of the power of faith in weakenesse, and these three a [...]gree in one, wee may bid de­fiance to the Diuell, and quiet our conscience in Christ for euermore.

Concluding, that wee can be iustified no other way in the sight of God, but onely by this holy faith in the bloud of Iesus; but beeing there by onceiustified, wee are in di­rect [Page 241] order towardes God, wee are through the gate, and in the happie way that leadeth to Abrahams bosom, euen eternall life.

For God can direct vs in the best way vnto him­self, that leadeth to euerlasti [...]g felicitie, in turning vs from [...]ur euill wayes, and retur­ [...]ing vs to himselfe by re­ [...]entance, and so on to good workes, the assurance to our [...]elues, of our election in CHRIST, from good workes to Gods mercy, and [...]rom thence to glory, where­ [...]nto this faith teacheth vs, [...]hat CHRIST is already [...]ntered, and whether hee [...]ill vndoubtedly bring all [...]hat loue him, that looke [...]nd long for his comming, [...] consummate and perfect [...]is our holy seruice in the Heauens, where is the fulnes [...]f ioy, and happinesse in [Page 242] the presence of God for euer­more.

O Lord, I beleeue, helpe my vnbeleefe, and encrease my Christian faith.

[Page 243]WOnderfull art thou,Inuocati­on. O Lord God in thy ma­nifold works, maruel­lous in thy Almighty power, and vnsearchable in thy diuine se­cretes. The goodly frame of hea­uen and of earth shew shy power, the disposition of all things there­in tell of thy great wisedome, and the passages of so many millions of particulars, point out this gra­cious prouidence in all, and yet the workes of thy mercies surpasseth all this: For which, O heauenly Father, wee magnifie and praise thy name, and multiplie our thankefulnesse vnto the in Iesus Christ from day to day: For it hath pleased thee, good Father, to elect vnto thy selfe, and to call [...]ut of this Worlde, out of this world, (I say) beeing [...] sincke of sinnefulnesse, a deepe [...]den of despayre, an Asphatites of [...]ll filthinesse, a dead sea of sensu­ [...]lity, the vale of the children of Hinnon, a Babylon of beast. [Page 244] linesse, a Sodome of sorrow, a Gomorrah of vngodlinesse, a Seboim of security, an Ada­mah of Adulterie, and a world of wickednesse: to chose (I say) one of this route a remnant of people to bee thy beloued Spouse, and wife of the Lambe, to bee a royall Priesthood, an holy Nation, a peculiar people, the loue of Christ, all faire vn­defiled, and without spotte, the onely Doue, to bee like an Or­chard inclosed, a well sealed vp, a fountaine of liuing water, a Paradise of all pretious, delecta­ble, and desirable fruites, and to be the mysticall body of Christ, which hee doth quicken with his owne spirite.

And these heauenly Father, thou hast sealed with thine owne fignet, dignified with thine owne fauours, and as it were di [...]sied by thine effectuall and sauing grace, in giuing them the holy faith of thy Christ, and our Iesus [Page 245] thine onely sonne, and our Sauior, to purifie their hearts, to purge their consciences from dead workes, to serue thee the Father of light, and life, and so to be bles­sed by thee with light and life e­uerlasting. O Lord now behold mee poore silly wretch, that lyes here beneath in this miserable world, creeping in the dust, and crawling in mine owne infirmi­ties, My soule cleaueth vnto the ground, my belly vnto the earth: I haue nothing in mee but sinne, sensuality a [...]d shame. Blind I am in mine owne vnderstanding: for I know thee not, obstinat in my will, for I little [...] regarde thy Counsels, corrupted in mine affections: for I haue no minde vnto thee. My parents were of this world, I am borne in the world, and the world is all, my silly selfe looketh after, I cannot attaine to so much, at to know my selfe, how then shuld I know, and discerne thinges [Page 246] aboue my selfe? much lesse vn­derstand the things that apper­taine vnto thee (O Father) and to the glory of thy Kingdome. Euery good and perfect gift commeth feom thee, who art the Father of lights. O bowe downe thy goodnesse then vnto mee, most mercifull Father, and extend thy bounty vnto me poore wretch, that most humbly desires thy grace and fauour, that thou wouldest bee pleased to giue mee a portion and measure of thy blessings in the faith, and fauour of thy sonne.

Grant vnto mee faith, O Lord, without the which, I can­not please thee, without the which I cannot hope for any good, nor haue any euidence of these things which are not yet euident, without the which I cannot come to Christ, nor doe any good works, nor bee raysed from sinne, nor know thee O God, nor resist the Diuell, nor ouercome the world, [Page 247] nor be iustified, nor bee saued.

O blessed Father, grant this mercy vnto mee, without the which I desire not to be, with­out which I cannot bee, but a Cimmerian wretch, a stranger vnto thee, an Atheist, a profane person, an Infidell, a cast away, and a Firebrand of Hell.

What prayse can bee to thee, O Lord in the deepe, in the land of obliuion, in the place of the damned? Shall the dead praise thee?, shall the bottomlesse pitte celebrate thee? shall the damned sing vnto thee? no, no, The beleeuing, the repenting, the sorrowfull soule for sinne, whome thou shalt shine vpon with the light of thy countenance, in the faith of Christ, that soule (O God) that soule shall euer bee magnifying thy mercies, extol­ling thy goodnesse, and celebra­ting thy greatnesse fro age to age

What euer I doe, what e­uer I thinke, what euer I say, [Page 248] without it hee seasoned with this grace of faith, it is sinne. O blessed plant of Paradise, O heauenly Iewell of incomparable valuation.

Deare Father, bestowe this blessing vpon me, shut not vp my life with vnbeleeuers, which shall neuer see thy face, but rectifie me in al parts, to the right vse of the sacred meanes of obtayning this fauour of faith. It commeth by hearing of thy Word,

O sanctifie mee throughout, that I may attentiuely hearken what the Lord will say: For hee will speake peace vnto my soule, and loue to his Saintes, that they returne not to folly.

O holy Lord, Looke backe vpon mine humbled Suite, & signe my petition for thy tender mercies sake in Christ. So shall my Sacrifices bee alwayes ac­ceptable vnto thee, as Abels, my conuersation holy as E­nochs, [Page 249] my preaching power­full as Noahs, my offeringes delectable, as Abrahams, so shall I contemne the World in respect of this, as did Moses the powers of darkenesse, and the gates of hell, as the walles of Iericho shall fall downe before mee, as those did before thy Ioshuah. I shall subdue all mine enemies, bee they neuer s [...] many, neuer so mighty, neuer so malitious, as did Dauid, & his Worthies, and shall sancti­fie all my corrupted actions, & affections, healing that which halted, and binding vp the broken parts, as did thine Holy Prophets. So shall I triumph o­uer hell, vanquish [...]death, and liue with thee for euer. O Lord, thou art not wont to quench smoaking flaxe, nor to breake a brused reed, nor to let a repen­ting soule goe pensiue from thy presence. O looke vpon me with one glimpse of thy counte­nance, [Page 250] and enflame mine heart with zeale, that feeles it selfe touched with the fire of thine Alter.

Oh saue me for thy pitty sake, and take mee ou [...] of the multitude of vnbeleeuers, that I may seeke, and serue thee for euer.

Distill thy heauenly dewe into my bowels, Let it runne like oyle into my bones.

Let it bee as a fruitful, and effectuall plantation in mine hart, that I may not be one of the number of those, that say they haue faith, and professe it also, but without fruite, but of those who with neuer altering reso­lutions, treade the trace of that sacred faith that worketh by loue, ouercommeth the world, holdeth alwayes the sacred truth, and leadeth into the wayes of eternall ioy, and happi [...]nesse, by thy effectuall and sa­uing [Page 251] grace.

Grant this O Father of Heauen, for Christ Iesus sake thy blessed Sonne, and mine eter­nall Sauiour, Amen.

GOD RECEIVED vp in Glory.
Explication,

THis Mystery of Man­kind (you see) hath now led vs from Gods humi­liation in the flesh,The sixt day of the weeke. to GOD iustified in the Spirit, from vision of Angels, to reuelati­on vnto men, from thence to beleeuing, and now are wee come to the exaltation ther­of, for God was receyued vp in Glory. That is, Christ Iesus, God and man, in our nature is ascended vp into heauen, to take possession in our na­ture of that glory, which hee had in himselfe from all eter­nity, but hath purchased it [Page 253] for vs his redeemed Church, with his most precious bloud For it was necessary that Christ [...]hould suffer, aud so enter into [...]lory. Not that this was of [...]bsolute necessity that he must needs suffer. For in respect of himselfe this glory was his [...]rom euerlasting, but was ne­cessary, he should enter into [...] by suffering, onely in re­ [...]pect of vs; that the humilia­ [...]ion of the Sonne of God be­comming Man might be the [...]ause of the exaltation of the [...]ature of Man. For when he [...]ersonally assumed the na­ [...]ure of Man, and became Man, Man became God [...]lmightie, hauing all pow­ [...]r, and a name aboue all [...]ames, that the abasing of [...]e diuine Maiestie and per­ [...]on of the Sonne of God [...]ight bee the high aduan­ [...]ng, and exaltation of the [...]rme of a seruant.

[Page 254]For when God began to be Man, and Man began to be God, God began to be a Man in subiection and hu­militie, and man to be God in the height of perfection.

For if God were humbled as much as hee might be in that he became Man, was not Man exalted as much as hee might be, in that he became God? Herein vndoubtedly appeared the wisdome, and power of our God that his Sonne in obedience to the Father beeing abazed to the lowest degree of humiliation for vs, should by his owne power (and not as Enoch and Elias were by anothers pow­er) be exalted to the supreme height of exaltation in the sight of all the world both of men and Angels.

Therefore we beleeue that hee which Ascended is the same that Descended first in­to [Page 255] [...]o the lowest parts of the [...]arth. Descended, when his [...]ody was layde in the graue; Descended, when his soule separated from the body went [...]o the place where the soules departed were; Descended when his Deitie exhibited [...]t selfe into the lowest pit to [...]he terror of the diuels, and [...]urther despayre of the dam­ [...]ed: Descended, when the power of his passion did ex­ [...]end it selfe euen to those ex­ [...]reme parts: Descended when [...]e suffered those extreme an­guishes and torments which for our sakes by his Fathers will he was willing to endure. Descended when he deliue­red those that deceased before his resurrection, and brought them by the power of his sufferings into the place where they now are. And he that thus Descended, is the same that Ascended farre a­boue [Page 256] all heauens to fulfill all things. Euen hee our Lord Christ, that in our nature was accompted but a most despi­cable man, yea a worme, and no man, that vndertooke our sinnes the cause of his suf­frings, that endured a cur­sed death, the punishment due for our transgressions, e­uen he that in the entrance of this bottomlesse sorrow had his soule heauy vnto the death, and made strong cries, and teares to bee deliuered, and in the progresse thereof, had clods of bloud breaking from him, and when he was deepest in, vttered that dread­full clamor expressing a most horrible passion, My God my God why hast thou forsaken me? Euen hee (I say) now t [...] ­umphes ouer all the powers of hel, and the heauens stoope downe, and receiue him vp in glory.

[Page 257]And this the power and mighty hand of our God hath wrought for vs to the glory of his great name, which be praysed and blessed for euer.

By God wee vnderstand [...]he hypostaticall vnion of the diuine, and humane natures [...]n the person of Christ Iesus. By Receiued vp, wee conceiue not a momentany but by de­grees of time a locall motion ascending from an inferiour place to an higher, and by Glory, is meant that hee was exalted aboue these visible heauens, and receiued throgh the spheares, the cataracts of heauen opening vnto him, e­uen that hee might sit at the right hand of God in great Maiesty and highest glory for euermore in the heauēs of the blessed. The circūstāces of this article of our Christian faith, is most euidently in all the particulars set down in holy w [...]it.

[Page 258]The place where he was re­ceiued vp, was mount Oliuet neere to Ierusalem, the cittie where he was so abased, euen there (there I say) was hee ta­ken vp into the glory of the father in the sight of his cur­sed enemies.

The manner of his ascent was,Act. 1. a cloud receiued him vp. The heauens stoope downe to doe homage vnto the heire of heauen and earth. For by the same power whereby he made all things in the begin­ing, hee also lift vp himsele a­boue all things that are crea­ted.

His passage naturall with­out either change or diffusion of his natures. His Session also actuall. For according to his true naturall being, hee sits at the right hand of God, and according to his personall be­ing he is euery where.

The time of his ascent was [Page 259] [...]ortie dayes after his resurre [...]tion from the graue. For so [...]ong was he conuersing with [...]is people after his passion, [...]hat they might bee the more [...]scertayned of the truth of his [...]rising from the dead, and [...]ight be informed, and con­firmed the more in his do­ctrines, both of grace, and glory.

Sixescore witnesses were present at the place in whose [...]ight he was receiued vp.

Two Angels from heauen spake vnto them that were present, and preached his re­turne to iudgement. The words were specified which [...]e, and the Angels vttered at [...]is departure. The sequell [...]hereof related at large, to wit, whither, the multitude went which saw him ascend, and [...]nd what they did, and many [...]ther things which followed [...]re as a cloude of witnesses [Page 260] to the confirmation hereof For as the truth of his ascen­sion is irrefragable, so the ef­fects thereof are vnutter­able.

For first, by his ascention he hath opened heauen vnto vs, that was shut against vs,Eph, 1. and hath Made vs sit toge­ther with him in heauenly pla­ces.

Secondly, hee hath taken possession of heauen for vs in our nature,Ioh. 14. and in our names as he told his disciples before▪ Saying, I goe to prepare a place for you, and I will come againe, and take you vnto me.

Thirdly, hee hereby ac­complisheth our Christian comfort in triumphing ouer Hell, all the powers of darke [...]nesse hauing led Captiuitie captiue, and giuen gifts vnto men, by sending downe his holy spirite the informer and [Page 261] [...]omforter of his cho­ [...].

And lastly, his Receiuing [...] hath filled all things (as the [...]postle speaketh) the earth [...]ith his mercie, hell with his [...]stice, heauen with the ma­ [...]festation of his glory euen the blessed Angels.

And now there hee is [...]r aduocate with the Fa­ [...]er, our intercessor in all [...]r necessities, our master of [...]quests in all our suits, there [...]e turneth away the eyes of [...]d the Father from our [...]nes, to looke vpon his [...]edience, and meritori­ [...]s righteousnesse, and day­ [...] prepareth a way for vs [...] to the throne of grace.

For these causes hee is [...]scended into the height [...] that Maiestie where [...]d vouchsafeth to display [Page 262] his glory to the view of men, and Angels in the face of Ie­sus Christ.

The perfect knowledge of the superexcellency of which place of happines we cā in no wayes attain vnto in this life, but in possessing it in the other world we shall fully enioy it. In the meane while our holy faith is confirmed hereby, which for the corporall pre­sence of Christ, embraceth the spirituall, that we may not be troubled with doubtings, and say in our hearts, Who shall as­cend for vs into heauen? Rom. 10. Our hope is ascertained of obtay­ning heauen, and of the perfe­ction of our ioy therein, and our loue is enflamed that our conuersatiō tending towards heauen where our treasure is our heart may be there also.

[Page 263]MAnifold is the vse of this his glorious exalta­tion.Application Let therefore the [...]ealous soule come hither, & [...]earne to forsake the world, [...]nd to be receiued vp on high [...]or where the head is of nece­ [...]sitie there must the members [...]e also. Let vs ascend the de­grees of this great mysterie, [...]rom the manifestation there­of in the flesh, let vs go on to [...]e iustification in the spirite. [...]rom iustification spirituall, [...]o vision Angelicall. Frō An­ [...]elicall reuelation to Prophe­ [...]call promulgation. From the [...]reaching thereof to praying [...] faith, and so to the exalta­ [...]ion in glory. For thus it was [...]eete, that Christ by these [...]eanes of suffering might [...]ring his chosen to rest. For [...] he had gone any other way [...]ee might haue entered him­selfe, but could not haue [Page 264] brought vs in with him.

Let vs then stand as it were vpon the poynt of the pro­montorie of Nebo, and looke into the holy land, and re­vew the lowest step in this Iacobs ladder which is Christs exinanition in the flesh: and see how the power of God hath made it knowne vnto A [...]gels, by celestiall vision, and vnto men by degrees of holy Christian faith, vntill it hath brought vs vp vnto the supereminent glory.

Goe (I say) from his hu­manitie in the flesh to his diui­nitie, a glimpse whereof was seene in his transfiguration on the mount, from his pas­sion on the crosse in his hu­miliation, to his power in his resurrection, from his mino­ritie in respect of his Father, to their qualitie in the height of glory. Not that the deitie in his ascent could bee exal­ted, [Page 265] but that our nature in the person of the Sonne of God was first raysed vp from the dead, and then receiued vp in to euerlasting glory.

When therefore we reade that Christ was receyued vp by a cloude, wee vnder­stand the cloudes of obsequi­ousnesse, not any helpe it afforded him (as the fierie chariot did Elias) wee conceaue the clouds seruice, not any ayde it yeelded, the cloudes ministery not a­ny assistance that it occa­sioned.

For the matter or subiect that ascended, is [...]properly the humane nature of Christ, for the deitie is neither con­tayned in place, nor subiect to motion.

So the auncient Fathers spake, The Sonne of God had of ours whereby hee hanged on the [Page 266] crosse, and of his owne, where­by he ascended into heauen. For the humane nature ascen­ded, and the ascent was wrought through the power of the diuine nature.

And this is the cause that Tertullian calleth Iesus the se­questrator of God and man, for of either party he had, that was committed vnto him, and he keepeth the pledge of the flesh in himselfe the ear­nest of all mankinde. For as he hath left vnto vs the earnest of the spirit, so he hath taken from vs the earnest of the flesh, & carryed it into heauen as a pledge of the whole fami­ly which hereafter shall bee brought thither also.

Thus is Christ our trea­sure in heauen, and assured­ly where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also.

If Christ bee our treasur [...] [Page 267] let vs follow him in heart, where hee is in body, let vs follow him with paces of loue, because his returne in the iudgement day will bee terrible.

The hand writing that was against vs is now cancel­led,Gen. 1. the curse was, Earth thou art, and to earth thou shalt re­turne.

But the blessing is purcha­sed,Luc. 23. This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.

Christ therefore in this life by his grace doth ascend vnto our hearts, when the feare of the Lord of hoasts re­ceiueth therein plantation, hee descendeth into our hearts when wee take his counsels to heart, hee is­sueth from our hearts when wee runne afrer him in our affections in the sweete per­fume of his pretious oynte­ments [Page 268] feeling our owne de­fects, and againe, he ascen­deth aboue our hearts, when by the eyes of holy fayth wee see as with an Eagles eye the prey a farre of (as Ste­phen Act 7. did) euen Iesus stan­ding at the right hand of God.

Let the sanctified soule come hither, and see it selfe in heauen three manner of wayes whiles it is on earth. First, in conuersation, for, Our conuersation is in heauen, saith the Apostle.Phil. 3.

Secondly, in our affe [...]ctions.1. Ioh. 4. For they that a­bide in charitie, abide in God.

Thirdly, by right of possession. For Christ is as­cended to prepare vs a place. Ioh. 14.

Let the oppressed, and distressed soule come hither, [Page 269] and looke vp, Seeing wee haue an high Priest which is passed into the heauens, Ie­sus the Sonne of God, let vs hold faste our pro­fession.

For wee haue not an high Priest that cannot bee tou­ched with our infirmities, but was in all partes temp­ted like as wee are, without sinne.

And albeit▪ wee reade that Moses, and Samu­el, Noah, Daniel, and Iob those holy men were not powerfull to preuayle with God in some cases for others, yet no where can it bee found that our Lord Iesus Christ had euer the repulse for his chosen.

For hee is the Sonne, in [...]hom the Father is well [...]leased.

[Page 270]Let the curious questio­ner come hither, and if hee aske,Mat. 28. How is Christ with vs vnto the end of the world, as he promised, if he be recei­ued vp in glory.

I answer, that hee who Was before Abraham, Ioh. 8. is with vs by his grace, and power of his holy spirit, that liue in the faith of Abra­ham.

His departure hence in­to heauen beeing for our ex­ceeding great Comfort, and benefite.

For where should an ad­uocate bee, but before the Iudge pleading his Clyents cause? where should a Cap­taine bee, but fighting with the enemies without the Citie.

And the father of a great family doth not alwayes re­side at home, but trauelleth [Page 271] into a farre country about his affayres, to prouide for his houshold.

So Christ himselfe testifies,Ioh. 14. That vnlesse he depart the Com­forter should not come.

Not vnlike the glorious sunne of the firmament, which when it is furthest from vs in locall distance, it is neerest vnto vs in power, and effect, as appeareth in the Summer season. For then the beames of the Sunne are more p [...]ercing, al­beit it bee further of, be­cause then they are direct, and perpendicular, which in the Winter though the body of the Sunne bee nee­rer, yet the rayes thereof are oblique and aside: Sem­blably the bodyly presence of Christ on earth wrought not so effectually in his Apo­stles, and other the faithfull, [Page 272] as his holy spirit did after his departure, which hee powred out on them in great measure, as hee promised, for then were their hearts throughly resolued, their willes fully purposed, and their zeales feruently onfla­med.

Yea let the most Seraphi­call and most Cherubicall soules that liue, come hither, and see what the Angels of heauen admire at, who be­holding Christ Iesus ascen­ding with this glorious con­quest of his redeemed church say but by way of admira­tion.

Who is shee that looketh foorth as the Morning,Cant. 6. bright as the Sunne, pure as the Moone, terrible as an Armie with en­signes.

Nay blessed soules to which of the Angels sayde [Page 273] God at any time, as hee doth to our Lord Christ Emanu­ell: thou art my sonne: And a­gaine, I will bee thy Father and thou shalt bee my Sonne: yea, the Angels are comman­ded to adore him, and the son is bid to sit down at the right hand of the Father in the glory of heauen.

Lastly, l [...]t the simple and honest soule come hi­ther, and learne not to seeke Christ on earth in a Wafer Cake (as the Popelings doe) but as the Apo­stle counselleth in heauen, saying:

If you bee risen with Christ seeke those things that are aboue where Christ sit­teth at the right hand of God,Col. 3. and where hee must bee vntill the times of the restitution of all things which [Page 274] God hath spoken by the mouth of his holy Prophets since the world beganne. Set therefore your mindes on heauen, and heauen­ly things, and not on earth, and earthly things.

Heauen is now opened, enter thou into the holy of holyest: for thou art, O my soule, past the vtter and in­ner Court. Thy Mediator is in heauen, pray thou here in earth, that hee may heare in heauen, and speake for thee.

Our [...] flesh is in heauen in the person of Christ, whereby wee see that the glory wee haue won by Christ, is greater then the disgrace and curse, that the malice of the diuell, brought vpon vs by Adam.

The diuels malice [...], and our sinne cast vs out of Para­dice, but Christs loue and [Page 275] sufferings for sinne, makes vs sit in heauenly places with him.

In a word, our triumph is in heauen, who would not fight the battaile manfully a­gainst the flesh, the world, and the diuell, being assured by the captaine of the victorie.

Wee may also hence per­ceiue how God tenderly,1. Cor. 5. and louingly dealeth with vs, e­uen as Moses sayth hee dealt with his owne people the Is­raelites.

And how was that? e­uen as the Eagle, sayth hee doth with her young. The Eagle couereth her young with her winges, so God doth with the winges of his safe protection. She some­times perceiuing her young ones dull, and drooping, gently peckes them with her becke, to stirre them vppe, [Page 276] so God by afflictions doth quicken his children, yea sometimes the Eagle taketh away her young ones meate and flyeth vp into the ayre, to entice and prouoke them to practise, and en­deuour to soare on high-e­uen so God the Father hath receiued vp Christ Iesus our heauenly Manna into glo­ry, that wee should learne to aspyre and soare vp­wards, that where, hee is, there wee might bee also.

And to this ende the two Angells tolde vs at his receiuing vppe into this glory, that hee should in the same manner descend to iudgement in the ende of the world, which wee exp [...]ct with patience, nay long, and looke for, and crye in our hearts, Com [...] Lord Iesus, Apoc. 22. Come quickly, and [Page 277] wee doe nothing more seri­ously, while wee are on earth. but call to minde in holy meditations the Lords death, and shew it to the eyes of our faith vntill his comming againe, in parta­king of his blessed body & bloud in the Sacrament; that by the power thereof wee may bee established, that we turne not this great grace in­to wantonnesse, nor neglect our Lord Iesus, who is thus exalted into the highest glo­ry. not for himselfe, (for he had that glorie before the world was) but for vs his redeemed people: so that now here is the exaltation and su­pereminent height of faith, euen euerlasting life.

The Being whereof is called Glorie, and our Estate there Glorification. To this doe all the goldly aspire, that they may bee where Christ [Page 278] Iesus is, to beholde his Ma­iesty, and his glory in the Kingdome of GOD the fa­ther.

The Metropolis of which Kingdome is the Heauen of the blessed, the Confines are Eternity, the chaire of Estate is the thrones, the houses of the Courtiers are the visions of Angels and Saints, God is there as the King, Christ as the Prince, the Church as the Queene, the Virgines as the Handmaides, the Nobles are the Patriarkes and Pro­phetes, the Notaries are Euangelists, the Prelates are the Doctors of the Church, the Souldiers are Martyres, and the Subiects are all the blessed.

In which Kingdome are all things to bee desired.

Desire you riches? Glorie & riches are in his house. Desire you gold? The Citie [Page 279] it selfe is of pure gold? Desire you honour? O God, Apoc. 21. such honor as this glorie haue all thy saints: Desire you pleasures? At Gods right hand are plea­sures for euermore. Desire you knowledge? In Christ are al the treasures of wisedom, and knowledge. Desire you Li­bertie? Ierusalem which is a­boue is free. Loue you peace? My people (sayth GOD) shall sit in the beauty of peace, and in the Tabernacles of my protection. Desire you dain­ties? You shall be satisfied when his glory shall appeare. Desire you wine? You shall bee filled, with the plentie of this house: and shall drinke of the riuers of gladnesse. Doth Musicke de­light you? Here Cherubin & Seraphin continually doe crie, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Saboth.

In a word, what delecta­ble thing soeuer can come [Page 280] into mans imagination. It is here in full aboundance to be found: For God hath spoke it, Come, and I will shew thee all good. O wretched sonnes of men, whose teeth are sette on edge, with the crudities of this world, that they cannot taste of the deli­cacies of that other world.

For the Fathers haue ea­ten sowre grapes, and the chil­drens teeth are set on edge, as E­zechiel speaketh.Ezech. 16. Wee must therefore abstaine from the rawe and vnwholesome thinges of this Life, if wee meane to confirme our teeth, and conforme our taste to sauour Heauen, and these glorious thinges of God.

The best of Gods peo­ple that euer were in the world, could expresse the glory of this place, but by Ne­gatiues, albeit they had an [Page 281] extraordinary inspection in­to it. Aske the Prophet E­saias, and Saint Peter the A­postle, they will tell you, That the things which eye hath not seene, neyther hath eare heard, neyther came it into mans heart, are which God hath prepared for them that loue him.

And Saint Augustine sayeth, That the things which God hath prepared for them that loue him. Our faith can­not conceyue, our hope can­not comprehend, our charitie cannot apprehend: for it sur­passeth our thoughts, our vn­derstanding our desires.

Let this bee our com­fort, that this glory may be obtayned: expressed, or con­ceyued, it cannot be.

Augustine sayeth, that he can tell sooner, what is not there, then what is there.

[Page 282]When the Queene of Sheba came to Solomons Court and heard his wisedome, saw the house which hee had built, obserued his dyet, viewed the dwellings of his seruants, noted what seruants robes, & the manner of their service, and recounted the whole burnt offerings which were offered in the house of the Lord euerie day. The text sayth, that shee stood amazed, and there was no Spirit in her, and when shee came to her selfe, shee vttered these words.

It is true that I heard in mine owne land of thee, O King, howbeit I beleeued not the re­port vntill now I see it, but the one half was not told me, for thou hast more wisedome and prospe­ritie then I heard by report.

Right so, O my soule, shalt thou say, when thou commest into this heauenlie [Page 283] Court, and beholdest and knowest God, as he is known and seest the new Hierusa­lem, the Feast of the Lambe, the Mansions prouided, the milke white roabes of the Saintes, their attendants vp­on God, and the continuall Alleluiah sung by the quire of Heauen, thou wilt say: O it was not the least parti­cle of this glorie, that wee heard of beneath, when we were in the earth, for this glo­rie farre surp [...]sseth all that e­uer wee heard or could ima­gine, neyther indeed could wee beleeue the same, but now O King of Heauen as­suredly they are fully blessed that alwaies stand before thee and behold this thy Maiesty, and surpassing glory.

Hence was it, that Holy men of God oft sighed, and earnestly desired when they meditated of this glory to be [Page 284] with Christ. I desire to bee dissolued, and to bee with Christ, sayeth Paul. Aye mee that I am constrayned to dwell with Mesech, Psal. 120. sayeth Dauid. And in another place.

When shall I come and appeare before the presence of the Lord,Psal. 42. If I haue found grace in thy sight, O Lord, shew mee thy face, sayth Moses.

And to this purpose God sendeth his dearest children bitter pilles of affliction oft­times in this life, to weane them from the pleasures of this world.

The world troubleth mee, saith S. Augustine, and yet I loue it, what would I doe, if it did not afflict me? Surely it would befoole vs, as it doth too many, who ra­ther then they would for­sake any part or parcell of the World, they will desperate­ly and diuelishly forsake [Page 285] their God, and the glory of heauen, and in their hearts wish God to keepe it for him selfe, and let them enioy their pleasures and pastimes in this present life.

O blinde and barbarous folly of the sonnes of Adam, who hath bewitched you? Would you see the inuisible things of God? They are seene sayth Paul, by the visi­ble God, being considered in his workes. Christ is recey­ued vp in glory,Rom. 1 ascend thou by these degrees vnto Christ, O my soule, that he hath reuealed vnto thee.

Say vnto thy selfe, when thou viewest the world, and the glory there­of both in the frame of Hea­uen, and in the fabrique of the earth.

If O Lord, thou gran­test vnto vs such goodlie thinges in this our prison: [Page 286] what hast thou prepared for vs in thy pallace of Heauen. If here thou affoordest so li­berally thy blessings, both to friendes and foes, what hast thou prouided in heauen for friendes onely?

When thou beholdest the surpassing beauty of the hea­uens, say, O my soules, How delectable are thy dwellings, O Lord of Hosts, my Spirite fain­teth for desire to dwell in the Courts of thy house for euer­more. For all Nations are be­fore thee, as nothing, and they are accounted lesse then nothing and vanity.

When wee consider a­gain that there are three prin­cipall places in this vniuerse, to witte, Hell, the World, and Heauen.

The first vnder the earth, the second aboue the earth, the third aboue the visible heauens. The first a place of [Page 287] darkenesse, the second a place mixt both with light & dark­nesse, the third is altogether. light. The 1. a dungeon of de­spayre, the second a vale of teares, the third a Paradise of incomparable delights, and delicacies, whose heart de­sireth not after those water­brookes? whose soule seeketh not after those ioyes of Hea­uen, where is the fulnesse of ioy? and happinesse for e­uermore.

For there is health with­out sicknesse, youth without age, fulnesse without famine, plenty without penury, g [...]ory without infamy, peace without warre, and in a word all good without euill.

Now therefore O yee sonnes of men, Marke Sayth Saint Augustine, Heauen is to bee solde, and God requires no other price for thee to buy it, but thy selfe, it is worth [Page 288] so much as thou art, giue God thy selfe, and thou shalt haue it.

But obserue, thou must not present thy selfe to God in this exchange a worldling, a sinner, a cast-away, but thou must become iust, good, holy, and worthy of the same, not of thy selfe, but beeing iustified, sanctifi­ed, and bettered by the ho­ly faith, and Spirit of thy God in Christ Iesus, in whom wee all are accounted worthy, so shalt thou by his merites obtaine a Kingdom, where the fire dooth not burne, nor the ayre infect, nor the water drowne, no [...] the earth tremble vnder thee, where there is no com­met to presage thee euill, no thunder to terrifie thee, no lightning to daunt thee, no thunderbolt to consume thee no tempest to affright thee, [Page 289] no colde [...]o molest thee, no heate to offend, no plague to kill thee, no calamity to afflict thee.

O Christian soules en­deauour to ascend to your Christ Iesus, vnto, and into this glorie, and bee not dis­couraged eyther with the long distance from you, or with the maruellous height aboue you.

For with as much faci­ [...]itie as the Diuels, were de­ [...]ected from Heauen in Gods [...]ispleasure you shall be lifted [...]p to Heauen by the fauour of Christ.

The hand of the Lorde of Hostes that cast them out [...]nto the bottomlesse pitte, [...]hall bee stretched foorth to [...]eceyue you vp into glorie, [...]nd that in a moment,1 Cor. 15. in the winckling of an eye.

Oh how amiable are our [Page 290] goings towardes the Lorde of Hostes Sanctuarie? in the progresse of diuine ver­tues.

Humility doth lift vs vp aboue the earth. Pouertie in Spirite aboue the water. Contrition aboue the ayre. Good workes aboue the fire: Faith, Hope, Loue, Discreti­on, Constancie, Temperance, Righteousnesse aduanceth vs a­boue the seuen Planets, our conuersation aboue the Em­periall Heauens, Purity of heart, dooth bring vs vp to the sight of God, and vnto the glory of the blessed,

For three places God hath appointed h [...] Children to liue in, the Wombe, this Earth, the Heauens. In the wombe, in a narrow place, for a short time, some nine monethes.

In the earth a place [Page 291] of greater extent, and a lon­ger season, some seauentie yeares.

And lastly, in Heauen a place of extent, without li­mit, and for terme without time, euen for euer and e­uer.

And as the second place farre exceedeth the first, both in largenesse of Extent, and in continuance of time, so the third place of our most hap­pie being, incomparably sur­passeth the second in both; for it is without limmit of lo­call scite, and without all de­terminatiō of time for length of dayes.

O Christ come vnto vs, and into vs with these thy graces, that wee may come to thee, and into that glory where thou ru­ [...]est, and raignest with God the Father, and the Holy [Page 292] spirite for euermore.

O Lord lift vp mine heart vnto the [...],

[Page 293]O Eternall God, and most mercifull Father in Christ Iesus,Inuoca­on. who dwellest in the thrones of immortality, and blisse, vouchsafe to looke vpon vs thy humbled Creatures, that lye here beneath, and groane to bee deliuered from the bondage of our corruption into the free­dome of thy goodnesse.

Thou hast taken vp from vs our Lord Iesus, and hast set him at thy right hand in Maie­ [...]ty and great glorie.

O when shall wee come, [...]nd behold the beautie of thine [...]ouse, and the blessednesse of thy Saintes.

L [...]sten Lord vnto our sup­ [...]lications, and for our Aduocates [...]ake that pleades our cause be­ [...]ore thee in heauen,

Let vs be dissolued, that we [...]ay bee with thee, and with our [...]eloued Iesus, Who for vs men [...]me downe from Heauen, and [...]as humbled to de [...]th, that wee [Page 294] might liue with thee for euer. Behold, O Lord God, how wee runne after him in the sweet sa­uour of his diuine perfumes. Whē hee liued here with vs on earth, he disdayned not Mat [...]e [...] a pub­lican, hee abandoned not Peter a denyer of him, nor cast away Paule a per [...]ecutor, nor despised Marie Magdalen a courtezan, nor refused to hear a Cananaatish woman, the blinde, the lame, the dumbe, the deafe, yea the pos­sessed with diuels hee had com­passion vpon.

Therefore now wee wretches here beneath, albeit our con [...] ­tion is farre worse then any of those, yet wee conceiue comfort that now in his glorified estate he will also grant vs his pittie, and compassion, and by the power of his grace, whereby hee is able to subdue all things vnto him­selfe, will conquer our stubborn, and disobedient hearts, and mak [...] them plyable and conformable [...] [Page 295] to his sacred Lawes.

That we may not reason in our vnderstanding, nor encline [...] our affections downewards, but as he is receiued vp in glory, so we may set our selues and soules to seeke and search after him in all heauenly things.

O Lord the dead prayse thee not, they that goe downe into the pit doe not remember thee, what benefit is there in our blood, what glory is there to thee in the land of obliuion, where thou art not once thoght vpon? O God let the deuouring and despayring gulfe bee the portion for the di­uels and the damned that neuer seeke thee in thy beloued. Let that vale be for the children of Hinnon that bottomlesse pit for the Locusts, that lake of brim­stone for thy Christs enemies, that second death for the despe­rate, that weeping and wayling for the heathen that hath not knowne thee, that hell for the d [...] ­spisers [Page 296] of thy Sonn [...], that euer­lasting fire for the Abaddon, and his seruants, but as for those that sue for fauour vnto thee and lye at thy mercy gate for grace, and beg but the crums, let them be deliuered because of thy beloued, let them reioyce on thy saluation, let them see the sight of thy saints, and bee glad with the light of thy countenance for euer. O speake comfortably vnto their soules, and let their hearts euer­more reioyce before thee.

Oh tender hearted Father giue them a tast in this life of the happinesse of the other, and a glimpse of that glory whe [...] into Christ Iesus is receiued. That so our hearts may bee enflamed, our wills enclined, our affections setled, and our whole selues knit vnto thee, that neither sinne nor Sathan, life nor death, things pre­sent, nor things to come may sepa­rate vs from the loue and excee­ding thirst and desire of beeing [Page 297] where Christ our treasure is. Let not the diuell with any of his subtill and slie delusions carrie vs downeward in tempting vs with our vnworthinesse, our euill, our wretchednesse, in putting into our mindes, that we are predestinate, and ordayned of old to destruc­tion, and that whatsoeuer we do, [...]r say, or pray, it auailes not, for [...]t cannot alter thy decree, and so [...]y this meanes cast vs into des­ [...]erate carelessenesse. But O Lord [...]each our soules to reason, and [...]ommune with our owne hearts [...] going vpwards where Christ [...]esus is receiued vp in glory, that [...]e beleeuing, and louing thee our God, liuing in thy grace & calling [...]pon thee dayly, may worke out [...]ur saluation with feare, and [...]embling.

And do thou O God ascertain [...]ur conscience that these things [...]re the actions and affections of [...]ose that are ordayned to blisse, [...]d life euerlasting in the merits [Page 298] of thy deare Sonne Christ Iesus our Lord.

To this blessed purpose assist vs O God in all the occurrences of our life at home, and abroade, in businesse, and in leasure, in prosperitie and aduersitie, in sickenesse and in health, that we may still haue our minds lift, vppe vnto thee through the power of our Prince of peace Christ Iesus, and euer vse these things of this life to fur­ther our saluation in him, that at the last when wee shall come [...] our fatall, and finall dissolution i [...] this world, the way of all flesh, we may bee receiued vp by thy goodnesse, and ministerie of thy blessed Angels into those euerla­sting habitations, and tabern­cles of thy triumphant Church where Christ our head is. To whom with thee and the sacred spirit bee all glory, and houour, might and maiestie ascribed of [Page 299] Angels in heauen, and men on [...]arth throughout all generati­ons in thy Church for [...] more, Amen.

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.