AN APOSTOLICALL Injunction for Unity and Peace.

Or, a Sermon Preached by George Downame Master of Arts of Christs Colledge in Cambridge, to the Parishioners of Saint Stephens in Walbrooke, at his departure from them.

1 Cor. 1. Verse 10.

I beseech you Brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that yee all speake the same thing, and that there be no division among you: but that yee be perfectly joyned together in the same mind, and in the same judgment.

LONDON: Printed by I. Okes dwelling in little S. Bartholmews. 1639.

TO THE RIGHT Honourable, my very good Lord and Patron, Edward Lord Newburgh, Chancellour of the Dutchy of Lancaster, one of his Majesties most Honourable Privy Counsell. And to his Reli­gious and Vertuous Lady, all Peace and Happinesse.

Right Honourable:

PArdon (I beseech You) my boldnesse, in presuming to present your Lordship with such a mite, as not being a brag of my ability, but a Testimony of my loyalty and gratefulnesse to your Honour, to whom I owe my selfe. And if your Lordship shalbe pleased to accept these first Fruits of my la­bours in this kind, as a testimony, how much I deservedly honour You; let the World Pa­raphrase upon me what it will: for where I owe a iust Service, I had rather undergo the Cen­sure of vaine-glory, by being too forward in hasting to the Presse; than unthankful­nesse [Page] to Your Honour, to whom I am so deeply obliged by Your noble Favours. My Lord, this is a Sermon Preached at my de­parture from the Parish of St. Stephens Wall-brooke, where I lived and laboured in another mans field, for the Inning of his Harvest, till it pleased your Lordship out of your most undeserved Grace and Fa­vour, to Present me to a Living of greater value, and more certainty, in respect of my owne Propriety and independant Interest; whither now (by Gods assistance) I am ha­sting: Only I make bold, before I goe, humbly to intreate your Lordships Patronage of this weake Worke; hoping that the Time will come, when I may present unto your Lord­ships view, some Thing of greater weight and worth. In the meane while, humbly desi­ring pardon for this my bold intrusion on your Honour, I commend your Lordship with your vertuous Consort to the Lord of Lords, wishing you the Glory of both Ages: which shalbe the daily Prayer, of

Your most Humble Servant and most Thankfull Beneficiary George Downame.

AN Apostolicall Injunction for Unitie and Peace.

2 CORINTH. 13.11.

Finally, Brethren, farewell; be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one minde, live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

IN these words the Apostle St. Paul taketh his leave of the Corinthians, The division. whom he intitles Brethren: finally, Brethren farewell; yet ere he leaves them, he admonisheth them of cer­tain duties to bee performed, which are in number foure:

  • First, Be perfect.
  • Secondly, be of good comfort.
  • Thirdly, be of one minde.
  • Fourthly, live in peace.

[Page 2] Upon the performance whereof, hee annexeth a promise of Gods blessing upon them, in those words; And the God of love and peace shall be with you.

First, in taking of his leave, he useth his usuall word, Finally, the word in the originall is, [...], which is expounded two wayes,

First, postremo, lastly. Secondly, quod su­perest, or quod reliquum est, for that which re­mayneth.

Finally.First, it is taken for lastly, and so it may be ta­ken here. Saint Paul concluding his Epistle, saith Finally, lastly, to conclude. But I will rather follow Oecumenius, Oecum. i [...] locum. who takes it the second way, for quod superest, or that which yet remayneth: quasi diceret, (saith hee) as if he should say, post­quam ego quod meum est, feci, hoc est, consilium de­di ac minatus sum, reliquum est, ut & vos, quae vestra sunt, confera [...]is: After that I have per­form'd my duty, in admonishing and threatning you, it remaynes that you also doe your duty in obeying that doctrine that I have delivered you.

In vaine doe the Ministers of Gods Word cry aloud, and lift up their voices like trumpets in preaching to you, except you also do conforme your selves in obedience to what is taught you. God requires of you knowledge and sanctification, according to the measure of means, that He hath afforded you: much, where he hath given much, more of those that have meanes, than, of those that have none, and more of those where the [Page 3] Gospell of Christ is openly and freely preached, than of those, who living in times of persecuti­on, have it only by stealth, and with many diffi­culties and dangers.

Lord what a measure then of knowledge and sanctification doth he require of us, who live in such a flourishing Church as ours is! where Hee hath planted the most faithfull Ministery; where wee have praying without ceasing (some thinke too much;) where wee have reading the Scrip­tures without interruption (a priviledge denied unto our neighbours) and where we have preach­ing without contradiction. God hath planted us like a tree by the rivers of waters. Psal. 1.3. Luke 13.8. Hee hath dig'd about us and doung'd us, He hath used fair means, and foule means, and all means possible, to make us fruitfull: but what's the end of all this la­bour? I am affraid God fails of his expectation, I am affraid that he looks for more fruit from us, than he is like to finde: and I have cause to feare it, seeing the poore successe of all our labour in your practice: for which of you have attained more knowledge and sanctification than you had ten, twenty yeeres ago? Which of you have mortified and subdued any sinfull corruption since that time? which of you were covetous then, and are not covetous still? which of you were slande­rers then, and are not slanderers still? which of you were lyars then, and are not lyars still? which of you were swearers then, and are not swearers still? which of you were unchast, untemperate, uncharitable, ungodly then, and do not remayne so to this very houre?

[Page 4]Thus, thus is that excellent and honourable calling of the Ministery made most miserable; whilest wee play labour in vain, preaching again and again, this week and the next, and all the yeer long, and all to no purpose.

I remember a story of Tyresias the Southsayer. whom, when Iuno, (for the giving his verdict a­gainst her) had stricken blinde, Iupiter to make him recompence, gave him the eyes of his minde, and made him a Prophet; then Iuno, inveterate­ly malicious (the fault of most of that sex where they once fall out with any) being not able to un­doe, what Iove had done, gave him this curse withall, that, although he prophecied the truth, yet whatsoever he should say, it should not be be­lieved. This is just our case: after that wee have spent all our time in the University, in studying the Arts and Sciences, in learning the tongues, in turning over the Fathers, in searching the Scrip­tures; in comparing places together, after all this pains and industry, we may cry out with the Pro­phet, Quis credit praedicationi nostrae? Esay 53.1. Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arme of the Lord revealed?

What a partiall age is this we live in? men care not what burdens they lay upon the Ministers backs; they must preach and preach, once, twice a week, or else they plainly tell them, as Pharaoh told the Israelites, Exod. 5.17. 1 Cor. 9.16. Desides est is, desides, yee are idle, yee are idle and Wo be to you if you preach not the Gospell, but what's the end of all this preaching? that's nothing to them; when wee [Page 5] have done, all's done. Thus like Scribes and Pha­risees, they binde heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, Matth. 23.4. and lay them on our shoulders, but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers, they teach us our duty, when to preach and how to preach too, but they will not learne their own to practise what is taught them; they care not for a quod superest, for a Finally, for any thing to come, they have enough already.

Wee'll leave them therfore in their plenty, and proceed to the next thing considerable, which is the title by which the courteous Apostle salutes the Corinthians: Brethren. Brethren, quod superest fratres; Finally, my brethren.

It was well noted by Saint Hierome against Helvidius, that Brethren in Scripture, were so na­med foure manner of wayes.

  • First, ab utero, from the wombe as Cain and Abel.
    Gen. 4.9.
    Where is Abel thy brother, saith the Lord, Gen. 4.
  • Secondly, A consanguinitate, from the kind­red. As Abraham and Lot: Let their be no strife I pray thee betweene mee and thee, and betweene my herdmen and thy herdmen, for wee be brethren, Gen. 13.
  • Thirdly,
    Gen. 13.8.
    A Patriâ, from the Countrey, so Saint Paul called the Iews Brethren, because they were his Countrimen I could wish (saith he, that my selfe were accursed from Christ for my brethren,
    Rom 9.3.
    Rom. 9.
  • Fourthly, A professione, from the profession of the same Religion. So all Christians are Bre­thren, [Page 6] all Turks, Brethren; all Papists, Brethren; all Protestants Brethren. Now Saint Paul called the Corinthians Brethren, not the first way from the wombe; nor the second from the Kindred: nor the third, from the Countrey, but the fourth and last from their profession, because they with him did professe the same Religion, and did believe the same Gospel of Jesus Christ. Whereby we are taught, to hold none so neere and deere unto us, as those that professe the true Religion.

I say not, but that wee are to love, and to do good to all, we must love our brethren, love our Kindred, love our Country, we are bound by the laws of God and Nature, to observe all these;

First, you must love your naturall brethren, for you are sprigs of the same stock, you are branches of the same root; you are rivolets of the same fountain; and Charity to each particular is the preservation of the whole.

Very Heathens by the instinct of nature have felt the strength of this bond: for so I read of two brothers in the Roman Civill Wars, and one of them having slaine the other, and perceiving by taking off his Helmet that it was his brother, cryed out, Victor victo infoelicior, The Con­querour is more wretched then the conquered, [Atque illi [...]o pectus suum gladio transverberans, Liv. & Flor. simúlque lachrymas & sanguinem fundens, super fraternum sese cadaver abjecit. and forthwith running himselfe thorow with his sword, shed­ding teares and bloud together, hee cast himselfe upon his brothers carkasse. And, no doubt, but [Page 7] the sinne of Cain was hereby greatly aggravated, in that he slue not a man only, especially they be­ing then so scarce that hee was the fourth part of the world whom he killed, but because hee was his brother, and part of his own flesh.

Yet you must go further, and do good to those of your owne house, your kindred according to the flesh.Gen. 13. This was the bond that bound Abra­ham to Lot, because hee was his brothers sonne, Gen. 13. And, for this cause Saint Paul counselled the widowes by Timothy first,1 Tim. 5.4. to shew piety at home to nephews and kindred, 1 Tim. 5.4.

And no question to this our Saviour had re­gard, in choosing so many of his kinsmen to be his Apostles.

Go further yet; you must do good to those of your own Country: which we may learn likewise from the very heathen: for Plato said, and Tully after him,Plato. Cicero. Non nobis solum sumus nati, ortusque nostri partem patria vindicat, partem parentes, partem amici wee are not borne for our selves a­lone; our Country will challenge one share with us, our parents a second, our friends a third: and very rare examples have been shewed by Hea­thens, of their love to their Countrey: as that, of Innius Brutus, Livius. in putting to death his owne sonnes for the love of his Countrey: and of Man­lius Torquatus, who, when it was told him, that that Army should winne which should have the Captaine slaine; rushed furiously into the midst of his enemies, and so gained victory to his Countrey by his owne overthrow. [Page 8] And of Marcus Curtius who when there was a great gulfe opened in Rome, that sent forth most noysome and unwholsome vapours, that destroyed the Countrey; when he heard, that no­thing could stop it, but that only wherein the Ro­mans most gloried in; armed himself Cap-a-pe, and leapt in horse and man, and so the gulfe became shutup.

That I may not speake of Codrus, Camillus, Regulus, Cicero, and infinite others, who shall all rise up in judgment at the last day, against our Faux'es, Digbies, Catesbies, Garners, and the whole brood of English Jesuits; who most unnaturally seeke the Death of that which gave them Life, and the destruction of them, that gave them Education.

Yet although we are bound (as you see) to love our Brethren, our Kinsmen, our Country, both by the Law of God and Nature: Yet especially wee must love and doe all the good wee can to those that are of the houshold of faith: to the true professours of Religion: all others are strangers in comparison, they chiefly are your Brethren. The carnall fraternity is strong, but the Spiri­tuall fraternity is a great deale stronger:St. Aug. de di­vers. Ser. 9. Sangui­nis enim fraternitas similitudinem tantum cor­poris refert, Christi autem fraternitas unanimi­tatem cordis animaeque demonstrat. The fra­ternity or brotherhood of blood only represents the likenesse of the body, but the fraternity of Christ, (as we are knit together in him) doth de­monstrate the unanimity of the heart and soule.

[Page 9]Therefore our blessed Saviour preferred his Disciples, that did the will of his Father, before his mother and his brethren; Who is my Mother (saith he) and who are my Brethren, behold who they be, Whosoever doth the will of my Father which is in Heaven, Matth. 12. ult. the same is my mother, my si­ster and brother, Matth. 12.

Est enim sanctior copula cordium, quam corpo­rum; the bond of hearts is more holy than the bond of bodies: even, Mary herselfe was better accepted,S. August. Profitendo fidem Christi, quam concipi­endo carnem Christi; For conceiving the faith of Christ in her heart, rather then for conceiving the flesh of Christ in her wombe.

Let the same minde therefore be in you which was in Christ Iesus our Lord: Phil. 2▪5. And love them best, that come neerest unto him.

Love your Brethren, love your Kindred, love your Country, Gal. 6.10. but especially love those that are of the houshold of Faith. Love your Friends, but those especially that are friends with God, chuse them not for profit, but for piety: Illa vera & perfect a amicitiâ in Christi Gratiâ sundata. That is true friendship that is grounded, upon the grace of Christ. Many a man useth his friends, as Dionysius did his bottles, suck them out when they are full, and hang them up when they are empty; this comes to passe, because wee love not in verity, that is, in the truth of the Christian profession.

So, for your children, love them most that de­serve best; not like some fond parents, that affect [Page 10] one above another, not regarding their good­nesse, but their handsomenesse, or some outward toy: bedecking one, as if he were Ioves Gani­mede, and neglecting another, as if hee belonged to Tryphons den. If any difference be made, let it be in respect of their quality and condition; and this will beget in them a holy emulation, and they will all strive to out-strip one another in goodnesse, seeing you preferre those that deserve best. To contract this Quos Deus conjunxit, nemo separet, Those whom God hath joyned together, let no man put asunder: those whom the Spirit of Christ hath made one, let no man separate; but as the wicked multitude run in a knot to hell; so, let us go hand in hand to Heaven: for we are all branches of the same stock, wee are all links of the same chaine, wee are all members of the same body: wee are all subjects under the same Soveraigne, servants under the same Master, Brethren under the same Father. Quod superest fratres, Finally, brethren. And when I have said that word, I have said all I can; for I know no neerer relation, as the Ety­mologie of the word will tell us. The word is [...] which comes from [...], uterus a wombe, & [...] significante, [...], simul, together, together in one belly; or from the word [...], which in the ancient Greeke tongue signifieth unum, one, so neere is the relation between Bre­thren. I am loth to leave this sweet subject of love to Brethren, but because I shall meet with it anon again, I will here leave it, and come to the [Page 11] next thing considerable, which is the Apostles valediction to his brethren, Finally, Brethren, Farewell. Farewell.

The word in the originall is [...]; which signifies three things, salvere, valere, & gaudere. First, salvere, God save you, a word of greeting or salutation at a meeting: Thus the Angell sa­luted Mary by that word,Luke 1.28. [...], Haile Mary, Luke 1.

So Croesus in Xenophon saluted Cyrus, [...], Save you my Lord, whom Cyrus an­swered, [...], and you also ô Croe­sus: but that is not heer meant, for the Apostle is not now comming to them, but taking his leave of them; therefore the second is more pro­bable, as it is taken for valere to bid farewell, as [...],Homer. Od. Farewell youngmen, so Erasmus. yet Iunius and Tremelius, and generally all the Greek Interpreters do expound it, Gaudete, re­joyce, which seemes to contradict the former, for at a farewell-taking we do not use to rejoyce but mourne, yet if wee consider is rightly, wee shall finde, that they signifie the same thing, for what else do I say when I say, Fare you well, but rejoyce, I wish you good health, Or, as our English Proverbe hath it, in our taking leave of friends, Sit you merry, valete, gaudete, the very same. Whereby wee are taught to pray for the welfare of our brethren.

Thus Rebecca's Family blessed her before her departure from them;Gen, 24.60. Gen. 24. And they blessed Rebecca, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, [Page 12] be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possesse the gate of those which hate them. Thus Isaac blessed Iacob, Gen. 28.3. Gen 28. God Almighty blesse thee and make thee fruitfull▪ and multiply thee, that thou mayst be a multitude of people, &c. Thus Aaron and his sonnes were commanded to blesse the people;Numb. 6.24, 25, 26. Numb. 6. The Lord blesse thee and keep thee: The Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. Thus Iacob blessed all his sonnes,Gen. 42. Deut. 32. Ruth. 2.4. Gen. 49. Thus Moses blessed all the ten Tribes, Deut. 33. Thus Boaz blessed the reapers, Ruth. 2. The Lord be with you, and they answered him, The Lord blesse thee. Thus the Apostles concluded their Epistles, al­wayes with a blessing;Ephes. 6.23. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith from God the Father, and the Lord Iesus Christ. 1 Thes. 4. ult. Grace be with you, Amen. The Lord Iesus Christ be with thy spirit. 2 Tim. 4. ult. 1 Pet. 5. ult. Jude 3. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Iesus. Mercie peace and love be multiplied.

How much unlike these men are the Goliah's and the Shimeies of these times, that are conti­nually belching out curses against their brethren? Their mouthes are full of cursing, Psal. 10.7. and deceit, and fraud; under their tongues is mischiefe and vanity: as the Psalmist speaketh.Rom. 3.14. So the Apostle, The poy­son of Aspes is under their lips, and their mouth is full of cursing and bitternesse.

Every childe hath learn'd to vomit out his in­toxicate poyson of anger and discontent against his fellow in bitter cursing: This is not to ob­serve [Page 13] the Apostles charge, Benedicite, & ne im­precamini, Blesse and curse not, Rom. 12.14. Rom. 12. For as thou lovest cursing, so shall it come unto thee, and as thou delightest not in blessing, so shall it be farre from thee. Psal. 109.17.

But you will object against it, the examples of the Prophets, that did often denounce woes, curses, and judgements against the people. To which I answer, that it is not the same, to raile or curse, out of one's private corrupt affection, as Shimei did David, 2 Sam. 16. as to pronounce a curse in the name of the Lord; for this is no imprecation of evill, as the other is, but only a prediction of their just punishment: Saint Ambrose yieldeth one reason for this,In Psal. 119. Non maledicit Propheta (saith he) sed quasi medicus vult illos sanare, ut de pro­priis flagitiis erubescant: The Prophet doth not curse the people, but as a Physician hee would heal them, that they may be ashamed of their sins.

And St. Ierom rendreth another,S. Hieron. ad Demetriada. answering unto a cavill of wicked Porphyrie, who objected that S. Peter did curse Ananias & Saphira to death, not so (saith he) Sed Dei judicium spiritu annun­ciat, ut paenaduorum hominum sit doctrina mul­torum. But with a Propheticall spirit hee de­clares Gods iudgment, that the punishment of two, might be a warning to many.

But may we do as much now? no: but we are bound in Charity and Piety to wish well to all, and to curse none: the reason is because now, that gift, [...], the discerning of spirits, whereof the Apostle speaketh,1 Cor. 12.10. 2. Cor. 12. [Page 14] is ceased: by the which Saint Peter could say to Simon Magus, Act. 8.20. Pecunia tua tecum pereat, Thy mony perish with thee. And unlesse we did see a man sinne a sinne unto death, that is, to sinne a sinne against the Holy Ghost, for which wee are forbid to pray,1 John 5.16. 1. Iohn 5. which case is very rare, and hard it is to say, who is guilty of that sinne: Otherwise then in these cases, wee in Christian Charitie (which thinketh not evill, but hopeth the best of all) must pray for all men: yet making a difference, preferring alwaies the Church of Christ, as the Apostle prayeth heere for the Corinthians, valete, fare you well.

Secunda pars.And so we passe the valediction, and come to speake of those Dutiea which he injoyneth the Corinthians, which are in number foure. First, Be perfect. Second, Be of good comfort. Third, Be of one mind. Fourth, Live in peace.

Be perfect.First, Be perfect. The word is [...], which signifies two things, Compingere vel componere, & complere, proficere, absolutum reddere; either to compound or put together, or to make a thing absolute and compleat. I will let goe the first heere, because I shall meet with it again, and I will here fasten upon the latter, as Saint Chryso­stome and Oecumenius, Aquin. in Matth▪ 5. ult. and divers others doe ex­pound it: And this Aquinas divides again, there is (saith hee) perfectio gloriae, & perfectio viae, the one absolute and perfect, the other imperfect: of both which the Apostle speaketh evidently: of the absolute perfection he saith; not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, [Page 15] Phil. 3.12.Phil. 3.12. and of the other immediatly after, Let us therefore as many as be perfect be thus mind­ed. Verse 5. Saint Paul denied that hee had the one kinde of perfection: and well he might, since there was never any that have attained it in this state of im­perfection.

For the whole law is required of every one, in so much that,Jam. 2.10. Jam. 3.2. Whosoever offendeth in any one point is guilty of all, but in many things we offend all: though many things wee know, yet many more wee do not know:Psal. 19.12. Deut. 6.5. Who can tell how oft hee offendeth? O cleanse thou me from my secret sinnes. The Law requireth the whole man, all his heart, all his minde, all his soule, all his strength, but we,Legem implere, id est, non con­cupiscere; quor­sū ergo hoc qui vivit, &c. S. Aug. de tem­pore serm. 49. as we know but in part, so we love but in part, we do but in part, yea and the least part too of what we ought. Wee may happily delight in the law of God after the inner man, but still there is another law of our members warring against the law of our minde, which often brings us into cap­tivity to the law of sinne.

The Law is spirituall and perfect, Rom. 7.14. but we are partly carnall, and therefore imper­fect: We have the heavenly treasure in earthen ves­sels, 2 Cor. 4.7. 2 Cor. 4.7. Whereby wee faile in our best actions; wee are corrupt in our best works, all our goodnesse is as the morning dew, Hos. 6.4. All our righ­teousnesse as polluted rags, Esay. 64, 6. Job 1.1. If I wash my selfe, saith righteous Iob (whom God himselfe proclaimed perfect and upright) with snow water, Job 9.30.31. and make my hands never so clean, yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shal make me filthy.

[Page 16] Ipsa iustitia▪ [...]o­stra ad examen diuinae iustitiae deducta in iu­sticia est: & sordet in rar [...] ­bus Iudicis quod in aestimatione fulg [...]t operātis. Greg, mor. l. 5. cap. 8.What is this Ditch but Natures corruption, drawne by a perpetuall trench through all man­kind, from the loines of our first Parents? and what are those filthy cloathes, but the carnall motions, which being fashioned to our corrupt hearts, do, like our garments, Easily beset us, and can never be cleane put off, untill Nature it selfe be dissolved? This, this was that which made the blessed Apostle to crie out, Aerum nosus ego homo, O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?Rom. 7.24. The wise man puts the question to all men living, Quis dicere possit, who can say, I have made my heart cleane,Prov. 20.9▪ I am pure from sinne? The best that are, have Levia breviaque peccata, little and small sins, At quamvis parva, quamvis pauca, non tamen nulla: St. August. though they be little, though they be few, yet, they are not none at all. There was (I thinke) as much said of Zachary and Eli­zabeth, as could be said of any, that, They were both righteous before God, Luke 1.6. walking in all the Commandements and Ordinances of the Lord, blamlesse: Yet all this while they were but walk­ing. The Spouse in the Canticles was faire a­mong women, Cant. 1.5. and yet her beautie was not such, but that the iustly complaineth of her Blacknesse. In one word, There is not a just man upon Earth, that doth good and sinneth not. Eccles. 7.20.

Sed cur praecipitur homini ista perfectio, cum in hac vita eam nemo habeat? Pet. Lomb. l. 3. sent. dist. 27. Peter Lombard asketh the question, why are we commanded in the Scripture to be perfect, if no man in this life [Page 17] can attain unto it?Matth. 5. ult. Aquin. in locum Be yee perfect as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect. Aquinas answers him; That same, Sieut, As, imitationem notat, non aequalitatem, it noteth imitation and not e­quality: though it be impossible for us to be ab­solutely perfect as our heavenly Father is, yet we must all imitate Him as neere as we can, alwayes striving and labouring after more perfection, and this is that second perfection, which is here in­tended, called by Aquinas, In locum. Perfectio viae.

Saint Chrysostome and Oecumenius jumpe upon the same words, Be perfect, that is, [...]: make up that which is wanting, & Mi­nisterio & Ministro: both to the Ministery and to the Minister.

First, Complete quae desunt Ministerio;Complete quae desunt mini­sterio. Make up that which is wanting in the Ministery.

Hee that is righteous, let him be righteous still, and he that is holy, Apoc. 22.11. let him be holy still: not stand­ing at a stay, but increasing more and more in righteousnesse and holinesse.1 Thes. 4.10. So Saint Paul exhor­teth the Thessalonians, I beseech you, Brethren, that yee increase more and more, & verbum [...], non tam est abundare, quam excellere, & se ipsum quotidie in bene operando superare, Sal in 1 Thes. cap. 4. saith Salmeron. The word signifies not only to abound, but also to excell, and goe beyond ones selfe every day in well doing. There is no stand­ing still in the way to Heaven, but with Saint Paul wee must be alwayes pressing forwards to­wards the mark, Phil. 3.14. for the price of the high calling of God in Iesus Christ. Non progredi, est regre­di; [Page 18] Not to go forwards,Sicut navis in flumen posita per aquae mo­tum descendit, nisi remige­tur in contra­rium: sic anima ex corruptione carnis & pra­vitate ad ma­lum cont [...]nuò descendit a profectione, nisi conetur in con­trartum, Nich. Lyra in lo­cum. is to goe backward; like a Vessell upon the water, if it go not up, it must needs fall down; there is no standing in the midst betweene Heaven and Hell. Never forget then the words of the Apostle: Perfecti estote, Be yee perfect, never stand at a stay, contenting your selves with what you have already; much lesse go backward, but be alwayes bettering, be alwayes increasing in grace and godlinesse, till you come unto perfection.

God saith unto us now, as hee said at first unto his creatures▪ foetificate & augescite, be fruitfull and multiply.Gen. 1.28. 2 Pet. 3.18. Increase and grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Iesus Christ. My dearly beloved Brethren, be ye steadfast, immoveable, al­wayes abounding in the worke of the Lord, for as much as you know that your labour shall not be in vain in the Lord. 1. Cor. 15.58. Content not your selves with small beginnings; thinke not your selves well e­nough, if you have out-stript the hainous and enormous sinner, but labour to excell the best of men. To this end, call your soules into question every day, that you may know, how they have profited in grace: say with that young-man in the Gospell,Matth. 19.20. What lacke I yet? What corruptions have I already abolished? and what yet remayne in me unmortified and unsubdued? What graces of the Spirit have I already attained, and what do I yet stand in need of? So, the longer wee live, the more wee shall learne; the more yeeres upon our heads, the more grace in our hearts: so shall wee increase and multiply every day more and [Page 19] more in grace and goodnesse, and like the trees of the Sanctuary, shall bring forth most fruit in our age: so shall wee adde unto our faith vertue, 2 Pet. 1.5, 6, 7. unto our vertue knowledge, unto our knowledge temperance; unto our temperance, patience; unto our patience, godlinesse: unto our godlinesse bro­therly kindnesse, unto our brotherly kindnesse cha­rity, that so continually going forwards from one degree of grace and godlinesse to another, we may at length come to the unity of the faith, Ephes. 4.13. and of the knowledge of the Sonne of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulnesse of Christ.

Again,Complet. quae desunt mini­stro. if you would be perfect, you must com­plere ea quae desunt Ministro, make up that which is wanting to the Minister. So the Apostle, Let him that is taught in the Word, Gal. 6.6. communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things, Gal. 6. and be not deceived, God is not mocked, but whatsoever a man soweth, Verse 7. that shall he also reape: Mark, God will not be mocked; the injury is not done to man, but unto God himselfe: He will not be moc­ked: if you wrong us, you wrong Him; if you rob us of our Tithes, which are our due by the lawes of God and Man, you rob God himselfe: He that despiseth you, Luke 10.16. despiseth mee, saith Christ, and therefore the Hebrews called the Priests, be­cause they were anointed, Christs; they beare the name of Christ himselfe, and Christ doth beare the name of them: They are Christs under Him, and He is High Priest over Them.

If you did but see the fat cheeks of the Jesuits, [Page 20] and the sowlne sides of the Masse-priests, you would be asham'd to see, the Ministers of the Gospell of Christ, to want their daily bread: The Priests of Baal sit at Ahabs table, but the Priests of the Lord, are put into a Cave or Den, fed pane arido, with bread and water. So that we may truly invert that saying of our Saviour: The harvest is plenteous (said Hee) but the labou­rers are but few; Matth. 9.37. but the labourers are plenteous (say we) and the harvest is but small. Happy were many Ministers if they had but the gleaning of the Vintage, if they had but one handfull of e­very heap, one eare of every sheafe, one grain of every eare.

But lest it should seeme unseemly for us to plead our own causes, let me referre you to Saint Paul, who spends a whole Chapter in defending the cause of the Minister, which hee doth by divers strong and undeniable arguments: although hee himselfe, was as little beholding to them, to whom he preach't as any man; for rather then be burthensome, you may read, how hee laboured with his own hands.

Be of good comfort.And so much for the first admonition, be per­fect, we come now to the second, be of good com­fort, Graeca vox adhortationem & consolationem comprehendit. Gualther in locum. The word in the originall com­prehendeth two things, exhortation and conso­lation. Vbi nota, where note (saith hee) utroque opus esse, that there is need of both: first of ex­hortation: Multa enim remo [...]antur jam ingressos viam, Idem. opus est igitur stimulo tum publice, tum [Page 21] privatim. There be many things that stop and hinder us, when wee are entred the way to Hea­ven, therefore we have need to spurre on one an­other both in publique and private, by zealous exhortations and admonitions. So the Apostle counselleth the Hebrews, Heb. 3.13. Take heed, brethren, left there be in any of you an evill heart, of unbeliefe in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called to day, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulnesse of sinne. So shall we uphold those that are ready to fall, and such as are through frailty and infirmity al­ready falne, we shall raise up again. So the Apo­stle admonisheth the Galathians, Brethren, if any man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spirituall, restore such a one in the spirit of meeknesse▪ Gal. 6.1. consi­dering thy selfe, lest thou also be tempted. But I ra­ther cleave to the latter interpretation of the word, as Iunius and Tremelius and our English Translation renders it, consolationi fruimini, be of good comfort. As if the Apostle should have said to them, notwithstanding you have beene faulty in many kindes, and have beene threatned and chastised for your faults divers and sundry wayes, yet comfort yourselves in the mercies of God; for though yee be troubled on every side, yet yee are not distressed; though perplexed, yet not in despaire,2 Cor. .4.9. though persecuted, yet not for­saken; though cast downe, yet not destroyed; therefore, consolatione fruimini, be of good com­fort.

Thus is God wont to send faire weather after [Page 22] foule, the Sunne after raine, the day after night, Summer after Winter, comfort after sorrow; ac­cording to the Psalmist: Weeping may endure for a night, Psal. 30.5. at mane adest cantus, but joy commeth in the morning. Deut. 3 [...].13. Thus doth he make us suck honey out of the rock, and oile out of the flinty rock. Thus are wee made whole by being wounded and hea­led by our stripes; thus [...] become [...], nocumenta, documenta, our crosse becomes our crown, our destructions, our instructions, our corrections, our directions. God would not al­wayes have his Prophets to be like Boanerges, sonnes of Thunder, but sometimes like Barna­bas, sonnes of consolation.Esay 40.1▪ Comfort yee, comfort yee my people, saith your God, speake yee comfor­tably to Ierusalem and cry unto her, that her war­fare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, for she hath received double of the Lords hands for all her sins. Esay 42.3. A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoaking flax shall He not quench, He shall bring forth judgement unto truth.

It is true indeed, the wound must be launched before we can expect a cure,Aretius. At qui vulnus sauciat & non obligat, carnifex & latro potius est quam medicus. Hee that openeth a wound and bindeth it not up again, is a hangman and a robber, liker then a Physician. There must be the oile of com­fort, as well as the wine of terrour powred into our wounded soules. There was a great and strong winde, which rent the Mountains, and brake in pieces the Rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the winde: and after the winde an [Page 23] Earthquake, 1 King. 19.11, 12. and after the Earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire, and after the fire a still small voyce: and there was the Lord. They that are continually thundring out threatnings, preaching nothing else but hell and damnation, doe preach without the Lord, and without his Spirit,2 Cor. 1.3. [...] Cor. 4.21. Heb. 10.29. Revel. 11.11. Gal. 5.22. for the Lord is the God of mercy, and the Father of all consolation: and his Spirit is the Spirit of meeknesse, the Spirit of Grace, the Spirit of Life, and the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentlenesse, goodnesse, meek­nesse, &c. Thus the Saints of God have been al­wayes wont, in converting sinners to God, wise­ly and discreetly to temper and mingle mercies with judgements, promises with threatnings; as being like the Sun and the light, like the fire and the heat, unseperable. Thus Nathan the Prophet did to David, first, hee strikes terrour into his soule, by laying his hainous and crying sins unto his charge, with a Tu es homo, Thou art the man, but he leaves him not long troubled, but imme­diatly upon his confession,2 Sam. 12.7, 13. peccavi, I have sinned, he administred comfort, the Lord also hath put a­way thy sinne. So Saint Peter when he had terri­fied the people,Act. 2.37, 38. untill they were pricked in their hearts, and cryed out, men and brethren what shall we do? hee tels them presently, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Iesus Christ, for the remission of sinnes, and yee shall re­ceive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Thus when Saint Paul had brought the Keeper of the prison into a strait, so that hee came in trembling and cryed [Page 24] out, Sirs, what shall I do to be saved? hee strait­way eased his minde,Act. 16.30.31 Believe on the Lord Iesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And so did he here with the Corinthians, after that he had wounded them with many menaces and threatnings, and laying many grievous things unto their charge, hee here applyes the playster for the cure, Consolatione fruimini, be of good comfort.

Be of one minde.Yet hee would have them goe upon good grounds too, they must amend their faults, which hee formerly had told them of, they must lay aside all discord and dissention, and live in Unity and Peace: and so might they comfort themselves with the expectation of Gods blessing upon them, that the God of love and peace should be with them.

Idem sapite, in pace agite: be of one minde, live in peace.

Erasmus in ocum. Vt à pace exorsus, in pacem desinit, vir vere A­postolicus. As he began with peace, so hee ends with peace, a man truly Apostolicall: for you may observe, how aptly do agree, those things that are spoken in the end of this second Epistle, with those that are spoken in the beginning of the first: There hee faith, I beseech you, brethren, by the Name of our Lord Iesus Christ, that yee all speake the same things, and that there be no divisi­ons among you, but that you be perfectly joyned together in the same minde and in the same judge­ment: which is here repeated in fewer words, Be of one minde, live in peace. These are two distinct [Page 25] things to be of one minde, and to live in peace, and so I will handle them.Benedict. Iustinian. in locum. Id ipsum sapite, de fidei dogmatibus accipiendum est, pax vero seditiones toll it; to be of one minde, is to be understood in matters of faith, or in those things which con­cerne Religion, but Peace is opposed to discord and dissention.Gualther. in locum. Sunt enim qui quoad fidem, idem sentiunt, tumultuantur autem aliis de causis: there be some that are of the same minde,Vnanimit as fi­dei induobus attenditur; in intellectu & affectu; Cor u­num in intelli­gendis & cre­dendis, & A­nima una in af­fectibus, id est, in volendis & operandis. Hu­go Card. in locum. in matters of Religion, yet are together by the eares for other things: wee will take them therefore se­verally.

First, the Apostle wisheth them to be all of one minde, that is in matters of Religion: which is opposed to two things, Heresie and Schisme, Hae­resis errorem fundamentalem in fide tuetur. Here­sie mayntaineth some fundamentall errour in the Faith: Schisma unitatem Ecclesiae ob minuta di­scindit. Schisme doth cut in sunder the unitie of the Church for small and triviall matters.

First,Hereticks a­gainst unitie. for Hereticks that doe mayntaine some fundamentall errour in the Faith: of whom St. Peter prophecieth,2 Pet. 2.1. saying, There shall be false teachers among you, which privily shall bring in damnable Heresies, 2 Pet. 2. And of such Saint Paul chargeth the Romans to beware, Rom. 16.17.Rom. 16.17. I beseech you Brethren, mark them diligently which cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine, which yee have received, and avoid them; for they that are such, serve not the Lord, but their owne bellies, and with faire speech and flattering deceive the hearts of the simple. This is the ma­lice [Page 26] that Satan beareth the Church of God, by suborning Hereticks and false Teachers to bring in damnable Doctrine to seduce men from the true Religion, this his practice from the be­ginning; for no sooner had God finished his work and perfected man, but Satan sets himselfe incontinent to pervert him: In the two first Chapters of Genesis, you shall finde God alwayes speaking; Deus dixit, God said, thus and thus: but in the beginning of the Third there comes in, & Serpens dixit, and the Serpent said; The Devill will have a word for evill, for every word that God shall have for good: yet it is to be marked, that howsoever errour be old, yet truth is elder; for first, Deus dixit, and then Serpens dixit, first, God said, and then the Devill said.

If then the Devill were so malicious at the be­ginning, Then how much more now, since his time is so short? like the birds of Norway, that because the dayes there are so short, make the more haste in flying: even so doth Satan, because his time draws on,Jude 6. when hee shall be bound in e­verlasting chains under darknesse; he doth there­fore with the more rage and fury seeke to worke our destruction. Therefore since Satan is so busie▪ to rayse up his wicked instruments, that hold not the doctrine of Christ in truth, but mayntain er­rours against the tenour of holy Scripture, and the profession of the Church, how should wee labour to mayntain faith and a good conscience, and not suffer our selves to be withdwrawn there from. And if thou finde thy judgment weak, that [Page 27] thou art not able to answer the cavils of these Se­ducers, these Brownists, Familists, Anabaptists, Papists, and the like, take my counsell, and give no eare at all unto them, lest thou▪ be perverted and brought to believe lies; and if thou woul­dest increase in knowledge, and be bettered in thy judgement, that thou mayst not be seduced, let me advise thee, to search the Scriptures dili­gently, and compare one place with another, not in private study only, but by conferring with the Godly. With all, pray unto Almighty God in true humility of heart, for the illumination of his holy Spirit, whereby thou mayst in minde rightly conceive of the truth, by Faith embrace it in thy heart, and by obedience honour it in thy life. If thou shalt thus do constantly and faith­fully, thou shalt be sure to be preserved from er­rour both fundamentall and finall, and in due time shalt know the truth: for the promise is, Aske and you shall have, Matth. 757. Jam. 1.5. seek and you shall finde, and, If any man want wisdome, let him aske it of God, and it shall be given him.

And so much for the first sort of men,Schismaticks against unitie. that do infringe the Apostles charge, to be of one minde, and they are Hereticks. We come now to the se­cond, and they are Schismaticks; that do cut in sunder the unitie of the Church for small and tri­fling matters: because, forsooth, there are imper­fections and blemishes in the Church; because Holy Discipline is not restored to the manner of the Apostles: because the Eldership, the Presby­try, the Brother-hood, or Seniory is not re-esta­blished: [Page 28] which when it shall be done after their desire, look for a masse of mischiefe, a Chaos of confusion presently to follow. These are the new-fangled fantasticall fashionists of these times, who for the most part illiterate and unlearned, take upon them to censure the Scripture, and perversly defend and hold their own judgments, rejecting all other interpretations. These are they, that leave the Society of the Saints, and the appointed places of Gods Worship and Service, and call assemblies themselves, in private houses, in secret corners, in solitary places, in fields, in woods, in barns, and other unseemly places, as unholy as themselves. Surely these people are not of Hierusalem, Psal. 122.3. that is, a Citie that is at unitie in it self. They seem rather to come from Babylon, they are so confounded among themselves: they are not such as keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of Peace, Ephes. 4 3. but they follow the directions of a turbulent and fiery spirit in strife and discord. They may bragge of the Spirit what they will, but this I know, that the holy Spirit did not de­scend upon the Disciples,Acts 2.1. & 4.32. till they were all with one accord in one place: till the whole multitude of them that beleived, had all but one heart, and one soule. And St. Iude saith plainely,Jude 19. that They that thus separate themselves, have not the Spirit. No, no, it is the spirit of errour, it is the spirit of ig­norance, it is the spirit of rebellion: It is the spirit of the Divell, I was going to say, but then I had wrong'd him, for he is wiser than so, hee knows full well, that if his kingdome were divi­ded [Page 29] within it selfe, it could not stand. Matth. 12.26. The bar­barous Souldiers themselves had this wit with them,Mat. 27.35. Not to divide Christs seamelesse coate, but rather to cast lots for the whole: None, but a ja­dish Harlot will say,1. Kings 3.26 Scindite puerum, Divide the Child: None but an enemy to the Church, will seeke the division of the Church, for that is one. In Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart, to doe the commandement of the King and of the Princes, 2. Chron. 30.12. Ezek. 11.19. by the word of the Lord: and I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spi­rit within them: And We being many, are one bo­dy in Christ, Rom. 12.5. and every one members one of ano­ther: And the multitude of them that went before, and that followed after, Matth. 21.9. cryed, saying: Hosanna to the sonne of David, blessed is he that commeth in the Name of the Lord, Hosanna in the Highest. They that went before, and they that followed after, sang the same Tune: would to God that we were of that mind once, that there were no divisions amongst us, but that wee all spake the same things. The Ministers that goe before, and the people that follow after, would wee were all of the same minde, would we were but one body, Ephes. 4.4. and one spirit, even as we are called in one hope of our calling: For what becomes of the member that is cut off from the body? What becomes of the branch that is cut off from the Vine? What becomes of the River that is cut off from the head? you all know, that the member dyeth, that the branch withereth, that the Ri­ver dryeth up: even so shall they that separate [Page 30] themselves from the Church of Christ, perish, and come to a fearefull end.

Herodotus.I remember a Story of Cyrus, who going to fight against Scythia, and comming to a broad River, and not able to passe over it, hee be­thought himselfe, and cut and divided it into di­vers armes and sluces, and so made it passable for all his Army. This is the Divels policy; comming to invade us, and finding his passage stopped by the over-flowing streames of Love, Unity, and Concord, he then labours to divide and separate us into divers Sects and Factions, and so hee will easily overcome us. Would to God therefore that we were but as wise as those barbarous people,Quintus Curti­us. of whom Quintus Curtius re­porteth, who though they were continually jarring and falling out, and banding in Armes amongst themselves, yet when Alexander the great came among them, the equality of the danger wherein they all were, joyned their hearts and forces together against their common enemy. When Moab was against Ammon, and Ammon against Moab, and Edom against both, sheathing their swords each into others sides, Ie­hosaphat and the Iewes need not strike a stroke. To this St. Paul alludes,Gal. 5.15. when he saith, If you bite and devoure one another, take heed that you be not consumed of one another. How have the Kingdomes of Israel and of Iudah beene weak­ned, but through divisions among themselves? How could the Turke have ever made such in­rodes into Christendome as he hath, if Chri­stians [Page 31] had not been divided among themselves? I have read of a Stone called Tyrhenus, which, being whole, swimmeth above water; but be­ing broken, every part thereof sinketh to the bottome: In like manner will it be with us; if we remaine whole and undivided, having but one heart, and one soule, and one minde, we shall swimme above water; all the boysterous surges and raging billows that our enemies can raise up against us, shall not be able to over­whelme us; but if wee be once broken and divi­ded in our opinions, if wee have divers hearts, and divers soules, and divers minds, we shall incontinent sinke, perish, and come to nought. I'le conclude this with that prayer of the A­postle St. Paul for the Romans: Now the God of Patience and Consolation, grant you to be like-min­ded one towards another, according to Christ Ie­sus; that yee may with one minde, Rom. 15.5, 6. and with one mouth glorifie God, even the Father of our Lord Iesus Christ. Id ipsum sapite, Be of one mind.

And so much for that unity and unanimity in matters of Faith:Live in peace. wee come now to that exter­nall Peace and Concord, which is required of all Christians, in those words, In pace agite, Live in peace: where the Apostle gives us to under­stand, that there had beene divisions and con­tentions among the Corinthians, as may appeare in divers places: as 1. Cor. 1.11.1. Cor. 1.11. It hath beene de­clared to me of you my brethren, by them which are of the house of Cloe, that there are contentions a­mong you. 1 Cor. 3.3, 4. So, Chap. 3. verse 3, 4. For yee are yet [Page 32] carnall; for whereas there is amongst you envy­ing, strife, and divisions, are ye not carnall, and walke as men? For while one saith I am of Paul, and another I am of Apollo, are ye not carnall? Once more,1. Cor. 11.18. 1. Cor. 11.18. When you come toge­ther in the Church, I heare that there be divisions among you, and I partly beleeve it. Now, the blessed Apostle, to cure this Intemperancy, brings this as a soveraigne Antidote, In pace a­gite, Live in peace. O quàm bonum & jucun­dum, &c. Psal. 133.1. O how good and pleasant a thing it is for Brethren to live together in Vnity! There be some things that be Bona, sed non jucunda; Good, but not pleasant, as Patience in Adversi­ty; there be other things that be Iucunda, sed non bona; Pleasant, but not good, as voluptu­ousnesse in prosperity; there be other things that be Nec bona, nec jucunda; Neither good, nor pleasant, as envy and worldly sorrow: and there be some things that be Et bona, & jucunda, Both good, and pleasant; and such is that Peace that is here commended, O how good and pleasant a thing it is! Verse 2. It is like the precious oyntment upon the head, that ran downe upon the beard, even Aarons beard, and went downe to the skirts of his garments. This Oyntment is Peace, and it is upon the Head of Aaron, that is, Christ, who is the the Head of the Body, Col. 1.18. the Church; and from thence it ran downe to the Beard, that is, to his Apostles; the Beard being a signe of Virility, and neere the Head, as They were to Christ. And it went downe to the Skirts of his garments; His [Page 33] garments,Esay 49.18. that is, the Church, As I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them to thee as a Bride doth. And by the skirts of this garment is meant every inferiour Saint. Such is the large extent of this precious ointment, Unity and Peace.

What then shall wee thinke of the wrangling and brawling spirits of these dayes, that are of such a salt fiery humour, that they can live peace­ably with no man? like flax or gun-powder, the the least sparke will catch them: that will strive and contend in law like the Frog and the Mouse for the marish ground, till the Kite sweep them both away, I mean, till the Lawyer hath eaten them both up: Surely, these must needs be the last dayes, since Love and Charity is grown so cold, for you shall scarcely finde a Parish which is not divided; you shall hardly come into a family, that is not disjoynted, rare are the friends whom we dare put trust in: but wee are all in pieces, all divided, like Iacobs troop, into divers compa­nies, like Labans sheep, of divers colours; some white, some black, some speckled, some of this minde, some of that, some of one opinion, some of another; we are a Chaos of confusion; a Tohu and Bohu, like the people scattered over the land of Egypt to gather stubble, and to pick up straws. You may reade,Judg. 5.15. Iudg. 5. That for the divisions of Reuben, their were great thoughts of heart: That was but for one Tribe scattered from the rest; what thoughts of hart then may there be for the division of a whole Kingdome, nay, of King­domes? [Page 34] What thoughts of heart, when Nation shall rise up against Nation, Matth. 24.7. and Kingdome against Kingdome? The Heathen were wont to say of the Christians of the Primitive Church, Ecce, ut se invicem diligunt: See, how they love one ano­ther, Love was then the badge and cognisance of a true Christian; but now it may be trulier said, Ecce, ut se invicem oderunt: see how they hate one another, see how they malice, and enuy, and contend with one another. I wonder where we may now finde a David and a Ionathan, an Eusebius, and a Pamphilus, a Ruth and a Naomi, where shall we now seek, Vnam animam in duo­bus corporibus inclusam, one soule shut up in two bodies? where shall we looke for such as where the Apostles, that had but one heart and one soule? No, no, those golden dayes are past, and now are dog-dayes come, every one biting and barking at his Neighbour, not like Christians, not like Bre­thren, not like Saints, but like Beares and Tygres wee teare one another, like Scythians and Cani­bals we eat up one another, as void of all naturall affection.

O my beloved, is this Christianity? Is this to bee members of the same body? Is this to bee sonnes of the same Father?Mal. 2.10. Have we not all one Father, hath not one God created us? Why then do wee deale treacherously every man against his bro­ther?

But I hope better things of you, and let not I beseech you, my hopes be frustrate, but follow you peace with all men, especially with those that [Page 35] are of the houshold of Faith,1 Pet. 3.9. Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as Brethren, be pitifull, be courteus, not rendring evill for evill, or rayling for rayling, but contrariwise blessing, knowing that you are thereunto called that you should inherit a blessing. John 9.50. Have salt then within your selves, and have peace one with another: re­membring that God is the God of Peace, Christ is the Prince of Peace, the Angels are the Mes­sengers of Peace, the Ministers are Preachers of Peace, the Magistrates are Defenders of Peace. This, This was Christs legacy that he left his De­sciples. Pacem relinquo vobis, My Peace I leave with you. John 14.27. It was bequeathed from Christ to his Apostles, and from his Apostles to us, for so com­monly they conclude their Epistles, Grace be un­to you and Peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Iesus Christ. Peace, it is the language of Heaven; the Angels speake no other, then, Glory be to God on High, Luke 2.14. on Earth Peace. The second thing in the World is Peace; one only thing be­fore it, the Glory of God; yet Glory and Peace must be sung together, no Glory on High will be admitted without peace upon earth: no Gift on His Altar will be accepted, before Peace be made in the earth: first go your way and make peace on earth, and that done, come againe, and you shall be accepted to give glory to Heaven, and not be­fore. Have Peace therefore with all men, especially with those that are of the houshold of Faith: with all men? not absolutely, but upon these conditions. The Apostle tels us the first,Heb. 12.14. Follow peace (saith [Page 36] he) and holinesse, they must go still together; ne­ver purchase peace with the losse of holinesse▪ If I must by keeping peace with men, warre with my God, and offend my Conscience, and betray the Truth, I will resolve to be contentious still, and so farre from following of peace, that I will proclaime open warre, and hang out my flags of defiance against all the world; I will refuse and defie that peace, that cannot be had but upon such hard tearms. I am sure I have a good warrant for't: the Prophet David was of this minde: hee accounted Peace a good and a comely thing, but it must be among Brethren, those that hate God, he will hate; they that are Gods enemies, shall be his Enemies. Doe I not hate them, O God, that hate thee, Psal. 139.21, 22. and am I not grieved with those that rise up against thee? Yea, I hate them with a perfect hatred, I account them my enemies, Psal. 139.21, 22 And yet cum odio habemus vitia, Pet. Mart. personas prose­quimur charitate, saith Peter Martyr, Though we hate their Vices, we must love their Persons; otherwise it will prove a devillish malice, and not a Godly hatred, hate therefore the Sin, but love the Man.

Secondly, Harken to the Apostle, Rom. 12.18. If it be possible, and as much as in you lies, live peaceably with all men. Rom. 12.18. Theodoret. Fac qaod tuum est, ostende alacritatem, & animi promptitudinem. Do what lies in you, shew your cheerfulnesse and readines of minde to entertain Peace: It's true, it is not in you to put into other men a peaceable dispo­sition, but see that there be no stand on your [Page 37] behalfe, and then your dutie is discharged.

Lastly, This must be understood as meant in a private or personall cause, that we are thus ea­gerly to follow and pursue after peace. Other­wise if the cause be publique, or doe concerne o­thers, if it tend to the undoing or betraying of our neighbour, in such cases as these, a man hath a Sanctuary provided him, even the Law, which hee may lawfully flie unto: yet so as hee still re­member to ensue Peace, and be as ready upon any reasonable termes to lay hold on it.

This is a Doctrine never out of season, but especially at this time, when Kingdomes halfe disjoynted are united (I pray God continue it) especially at this time, when all the World are to­gether by the eares, and wee in safety; especially at this time, when you are to receive the commu­nion of the body and bloud of our Saviour Christ; which is the Sacrament of Peace, and a Seale of our union and communion with Christ our Head, and with one another; where you are all to eat of the same spirituall meat, where you are all to drink of the same spirituall drink: when then should you be friends and at peace among your selves, if not now? I require and charge you before him that knoweth the hearts and try­eth the reins of all men, that if any of you have a grudging against me against him, against anyone, that you doe not dare to approach that holy Ta­ble, before you disgorge your stomacks,Matth. 5.24. lay down your malice and be friends, First, goe and be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and of­fer thy Gift.

[Page 38] Tertia pars. And the God of love, &c.Thus if you performe the Apostles precept, you shall not faile of his promise: Be of one minde and live in peace, and the God of Love and Peace shall be with you. Some take this for a blessing, o­thers for a promise: it may be either, or both: for first not only the power to Pray, to Preach, to give the Sacraments, but also the power to blesse you that are Gods people, is annexed and is a branch of Ours,Numb. 6.23, 24, 25, 26. of the Priests office. Thus God commanded Aaron and his sonnes to blesse the people, Numb. 6. Thus our blessed Saviour, blessed his Disciples at his departure from them. Luke 24.Luke 24.50. He lift up his hands and blessed them, and this was the custome in the Primitive Church,B. Andrews. at the end of the Liturgie ever to dis­misse the assembly with a blessing: before which was pronounced, not a man of them would stir: like good Iacob, Gen. 32.26. Non demittam te nisi benedixeris mihi, I will not let thee go till thou hast blessed me: Esau himselfe lift up his voice, and wept for a blessing;Gen. 27.34. yea, He cryed with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his Father, blesse me, even me also, O my Father. Such a vertue held they in it; but an evil custome hath prevailed with our peo­ple, away they go without blessing, as if it were not worth the taking with them. I marvell how they will be inheritors of the blessing hereafter, that seeme to set so little by it now: if they ever intend to heare, Come yee blessed, me thinks, they should not now runne from the blessing: none of the Apostles did so but one, and that was Iudas, and you know what followed, hee went out and hanged himself.

[Page 39]But as this is a wish or blessing of the Apostle, so it is likewise a promise upon the performance of those duties: where you may observe, that as God is wont to proportionate mens punish­ments to their sins, so doth he heer, their rewards to their vertues, if wee live in love and peace, the God of Love and Peace wil live with us. I would we were but truly possest of the greatnesse of this blessing, I would we did but know what it were to have God to be with us: not as hee was with Moses in a fiery Bush, not as he was with the Israe­lites upon Mount Sinai in Thunder and Light­ning, but as hee was with Elias in a still small voice; in Love and Peace. And, contrariorum ea­dem est ratio; If it, be so great a blessing to the godly to have God with them, then what an in­effable curse is it, to the wicked, to have God from them: and so have all they that live in strife and discord; they are without God in the world here, and they shall be without him hereafter, if you will credit Saint Paul, who saith, that they that live in hatred, Gal. 5.21. variance, emulations, strife, se­ditions, heresies, envyings, &c. shall not inherit the Kingdome of God.

If it be possible therefore, and as much as in you lies, live peaceably with all men; yea, seeke peace and ensue it, what ever it cost you, whither whether pleasure or profit, or credit, or what­ever else, slack not, nor give over till thou hast at­chieved it. So will I make bold to make good the promise of the Apostle to you, and it shall be my finall Benediction, Deus Charitatis, the God [Page 40] of Love and Peace shall be with you. He shall be with your bodies, they shall be satisfied; He shall be with your souls, they shall be in peace; He shall be with your estates, they shall be secure; He shall be with your good name, that shall be inviolable, He shall be with you in this life, you shall live in Peace, and you shall die in Peace, and He shall be with you in the life to come, where you shall e­ternally enjoy the beatificall Vision of the Prince of Peace. Grant this O Father, thou God of Love and Peace, for thy Sonnes sake Jesus Christ the Righteous, to whom with the Father & the holy Spirit, three persons, and one God, be ascribed all Honour and Glory, Prayse and Thanksgi­now and for ever. Amen.

FINIS.

Mandetur-typis haec Concio, cui Titulus An Apostoli­call Injunction for Vnity and Peace.

Sa. Baker.

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