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fore happy, because we were unworthy of thee; but they have robbed us of our happiness in thee. O our treacherous sins, that have offered this violence to that sweet, hopeful, sacred person ! And do they not yet still conspire against him, that is yet dearer to us; the root of these goodly branches, the breath of our nostrils, the anointed of God?
Brethren, let me speak it confidently: as every sin is a traitor to a man's own soul, so every wicked man is a traitor to his king; yea, every of his crying sins is a false-hearted rebel, that hides powder and pocket-dags for the precious life of his sovereign. Any statesman may learn this even of Machiavel himself; which I confess when I read, I thought of the Devil confessing Christ; That the giving of God his due, is the cause of the greatness of any state; and, contrarily, the neglect of his service, the cause of ruin *. And, if any profane Zosimus shall doubt of this point, I would but turn him to Evagrius †, his discourse to this purpose, where he shall find instances of enough particulars. Whatever politic philosophers have distinguished, betwixt bonus vir and civis, i say,
that as a good man cannot be an ill subject, so a lewd man can no more be a good subject, than evil can be good. Let him sooth, and swear what he will, his sins are so many treasons against the prince and state : for, Kuin is from iniquity, saith Ezekiel ; vij. 19. Alas, what safety can we be in when such miscreants lurk in our houses, jet in our streets; when the country, city, court, is so full of these spiritual conspiracies?
Ye, that are Magistrates, not for God's sake only, but for your King's sake, whose deputies ye are, as he is God's; not for religion only, but for very policy: as you tender the dear life of our gracious sovereign; as you regard the sweet peace of this state and kingdom; the welfare of this Church; yea, as you love your own life, peace, welfare; rouse up your spirits, awaken your Christian courage, and set yourselves heartily against the traitorly sins of these times, which threaten the bane of all these. Cleanse ye these Augean stables of our drunken taverns, of our profane stages, and of those blind vaults of professed filthiness, Whose steps go down to the chambers of death, yea, to the deep of hell; Prov. vii. 27. ix. 18.
And ye, my Holy Brethren, the messengers of God, if there be any sons of thunder amongst you, if ever you rattled from heaven the terrible judgments of God against sinners, now do it: for, contrary to the natural, the deep winter of iniquity is most seasonable for this spiritual thunder. Be heard above, be seen beneath. Outface sin, out-preach it, out-live it. We are stars in the right hand of God : let us be like any stars save the moon, that hath blots in her face; or the star wormwood, whose fall made bitter waters; Rev. viii. 11; or St. Jude's planets, that wander in irregularities; Jude 13. Let the light of our lives shine in the faces of the world ;
* Osservanza del culto divino e cagione della grandezza delle : cosi il dispregio diqua, &c. Discor. I. i. c, 11. + Evagr. I. iii. c. 41.
and dazzle them, whom it shall not guide. Then shall we with authority speak what we do, when we do that which we speak *. We can never better testify our thankful and loyal respects to so good a king, in whose favour is our life, and by whose grace we are upheld against the unworthy affronts of this sacrilegious age; than by crying down, by living down, those sins, which threaten our happiness in him.
And ye, Beloved Christians, whose faces seem worthily to congratulate the joy of this day, if ye would approve yourselves good subjects to our king, labour to be good subjects to His King, the King of Heaven. Away with those rebellious wickednesses, which may be prejudicial to our peace. In vain shall we testify our loyalty, by these outward ceremonies of rejoicing, if we be faulty in the substance. To what purpose shall we ring our bells, if, in the mean time, we hold fast Solomon's funes peccatorum, cords of sin; Prov. v. 22. yea, the prophet's cart-ropes of iniquity ; and thereby pull down judgment upon our heads ? To what purpose shall we kindle bonfires in our streets, if we kindle the flame of God's displeasure against us by our sins ? To what purpose shall ye feast one another in your houses, if you shall feast the fiends of hell with your wilful sins ? Dæmonum cibus ebrietas ; Jerome † saith well, “Drunkenness, luxury, fornication, and every sin is the very diet and dainties of the Devil.” For God's sake therefore, for our king's sake, for your own soul's sake, be good, that you may be loyal. O my Brethren, let us not, with old Toby, suffer our eyes to be blinded with the swallow's dung of this world. Let us not dare to make a willing shipwreck of conscience, for the venture of a little ballast of gain. Away with our pride, usury, oppression, false weights, false oaths, false faces; Do no more wickedly, that we perish not.
They are our sins, which, as they threaten to lose us our best friend above, the God of our Salvation; so they hearten our adversaries against us on earth. Their hopes, their designs, their wickedness to us, hath been profest to be built upon ours to God. If they did not see we did evil, they durst not hope we could perish. Authority hath wisely and seasonably taken order for disarming of wilful recusants. What should weapons do in the hand of disloyalty ? Oh, that it could take order to strip us of our sins, which will else arm God and his creatures against us! The gates of Rome, the gates of Hell, could not hurt us, if we did not hurt ourselves. Oh, that we could so love ourselves, as to part with all our plausible and gainful evils ; that we would this day renew our holy covenants with God, and keep them for ever ! 'How would he still feed us with the finest of the wheat! How would he, that, as this day, when we feared a tempest, gave us a happy calm, pre
* Cum imperio docetur quod prius agitur quàm dicatur. Greg. 23. in Job.
+ Hier, de filio prodigo. Dæmonum cibus ebrietas, luxuria, fornicatio, et universa vitia, VOL. y.
vent a tempest in our calm, when we fear not! How safely should our children play, and we feast in our streets! How memorable a pattern of mercy should this Island be to posterities! What famous trophies of victory would he erect over all Antichristianism amongst us! How freely and loud should the Gospel of God ring, every where, in the ear of the generations yet unborn! How sure should we be, long and long to enjoy so gracious and dear a Sovereign, so comfortable a peace, so happy a government! even till this Eve of the Annunciation of the first coming of Christ, overtake the day of the Annunciation of the second coming, for our redemption. Which God for his mercy's sake, for his Christ's sake, vouchsafe to grant us. Amen.
* Dum non timet in sereno patitur tempestatem. Ilier. Dial. advers. Pelag.
THE RIGHTEOUS MAMMON:
A HOSPITAL SERMON, PREACHED IN THE SOLEMN ASSEMBLY OF THE
CITY, ON MONDAY IN EASTER WEEK, 1618.
TO MY MUCH HONOURED FRIEND,
many, to whom my poor labours owe much for their acceptation, I know none, that can challenge so deep a debt as yourself. If others have tasted of my well-meant papers, you have fed heartily on them; and so made them your own, that your memory may compare with others' eyes, and your practice with the speculation of others, Neither have your hand or tongue been niggardly dissemblers of your spiritual gain. Unto you, therefore, to whose name I had long since in my desires devoted my next, do I send this mean present ; a Sermon importunately desired of many. That, which the present Auditors found useful, the Press shall communicate to posterity : the gain of either, or both, is no less mine. I doubt not, but you have already so acted that part of this discourse which concerneth you, that the direction I give to others is but a History of what you have done. And go on happily, Worthy Sir, in those your holy courses, which shall lead you to immortality; and so use your riches, that they may be made up into a Crown for your head in a better world. My hearty well-wishes shall not be wanting to you and your virtuous Lady, as whom you have obliged to be justly
l'ours, Worcester, April 14.
1 TIMOTHY, vi. 17, 18, 19. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high
minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate. Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against
the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. Those things, which are excellent and beneficial in their use, are dangerous in their miscarriage. It were lost labour, for me to persuade you how good riches are: your pains and your cares are suf
of it yours,
ficient proofs of your estimation; and how deadly the abuse of them is, many a soul feels, that cannot return to complain. There is nothing more necessary therefore for a Christian heart, than to be rectified in the managing of a prosperous estate; and to learn so to be happy here, that it may be more happy hereafter: a task, which this Text of ours undertakes; and, if ye be not wanting to it and yourselves, will be sure to perform. What should I need to entreat your attention, Right Honourable, Right Worshipful,
and Beloved, to a business so near concerning you? The errand is God's; the use
. I never held it safe, to pull Scripture in pieces: these words fall alone into their parts. Timothy is set upon the spiritual Bench, and must give the Charge. A CHARGE, to whom Of what? To whom? TO THE RICH.
Of what? WHAT THEY MUST AVOID, WHAT THEY MUST ENDEAVOUR. What must they avoid? High-mindedness, and Trust in wealih : what are the duties they must labour unto? Confidence in God; Beneficence to men. And every one of these is backed with a Reason to enforce it: Why should they not be high-minded? Their wealth is but in this world: Why should they not trust in riches? They are uncertain. Why should they trust in God? He is a living God, and a liberal God: Why should they extend their beneficence to men? By this they lay up to themselves a sure foundation. Here is work enough, you see, for my discourse, and your practice. The God of Heaven bless it in both our hands.
1. The CHARGE hath, Janus like, a double aspect: one, that looks up to St. Paul; the other, that looks down to Timothy, and from him to the Rich.
In the first, there is Apostolical Superiority; for ompéyyerde CHARGE THOU, refers to nepavykdaw gol, v. 13. I charge thee: so Paul charges Timothy, to charge the Rich. He, that gives the Charge, if he be not the chief of the Bench, yet he is greater than the Jury. The first foundation of the Church is laid in an inequality, and hath ever since so continued. There can be no harmony, where all the strings or voices are of one tenor.
In the latter, as it looks on Timothy, it carries in it Episcopal Power, Evangelical Sufficiency.
Episcopal Power: for this Charge is by the Vulgate turned, and the Translation of the Syriac, Precipe, command; and so do we translate it in the first of this epistle, and the third verse: Timothy was left at Ephesus, ivc tupeyyeinn, to commard. The rich are commonly great. Nobility, in the account of God, is joined with wealth; Curse not the king in thy thought, nor the rich in thy bed-chamber, saith Solomon *. So Dives, at whose gates Lazarus lay, is, by some no mean ones, guessed to be Herod, or some other king; and so are Job's friends termed by the Seventy. Yea, the rich is not only a little king among his neighbours, but Dives, quasi dirus; as a petty god to his underlings: and yet even the rich man, that, as Solomon notes, speaks with command unto others, he must be spo
* Alaidonat could incline to that: in locum.