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Sermon I

SERMONS

PREACHED ON CHRISTMAS DAY.

SERMON I.
PREACHED AT ST. PAUL'S, 1622.

ColossiAns i. 19, 20.

For it pleased the Father, that in Him should all fulness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto himself; by Him, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

The whole journey of a Christian is in these words; and therefore we were better set out early, than ride too fast; better enter presently into the parts, than be forced to pass through them too hastily. First, then, we consider the collation and reference of the text, and then the illation and inference thereof. For the text looks back to all that was said from the twelfth verse. For the first word of the text {for), which is a particle of connexion, as well as of argumentation, is a seal of all that was said from that place. And then the text looks forward to the twentythird verse, where all these blessings are sealed to us, with that condition, If ye continue settled in the gospel. This is the collation, the reference of the text; for the illation, and inference, the first clause thereof, For it pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell, presents a double instruction; first, that we are not bound to accept matters of religion, merely without all reason and probable inducements; and secondly, with what modesty we are to proceed, and in what bounds we are to limit that inquisition, that search of reason in matters of that nature. When the apostle presents to us here the great mystery of our reconciliation to God, he, in whose power it was not, to infuse faith into every reader of his epistle, proceeds by reason. He tells us, That the Father hath translated us into the kingdom of his Vol. I. n

dear Son, the Son of his love'. That were well, if we were sure of it; if our consciences did not accuse us, and suggest to us our own unworthiness, and thereby an impossibility of being so translated. Why no, says the apostle, there is no such impossibility now, for, Now we have redemption, and forgiveness of sins". Who should procure us that I If a man sin against God., who shall plead for him3? What man is able to mediate, and stand in the gap between God and man? You say true, says the apostle, no man is able to do it; and therefore, He that is the image of the invisible God, he by whom all things were created, and by whom all things consist, he hath done it*. Hath God reconciled me to God; and reconciled me by way of satisfaction? (for that I know his justice requires.) What could God pay for me 2 What could God suffer i God himself could not; and therefore God hath taken a body that could. And as he is the Head of that body5, he is passible, so he may suffer; and, as he is the first-born of the dead, he did suffer; so that he was defective in nothing; not in power, as God, not in passibility, as man; for, Complacuit; It pleased the Father, that in him, allfulness (a full capacity to all purposes) should dwell. Thus far we are to trace the reason of our redemption, intimated in that first word, for. And then we are to limit and determine our reason in the next, Quia complacuit, because it was his will, his pleasure to proceed so, and no otherwise. Christ himself goes no farther than so, in a case of much strangeness, That God had hid his mysteries from the wise, and revealed them unto babes6; this was a strange course, but ita est, quia, even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight. I would fain be able to prove to myself that my redemption is accomplished; and therefore I search the Scriptures; and I grow sure that Christ hath redeemed the world; and I search the Scriptures again, to find what marks are upon them, that are of the participation of that redemption, and I grow to a religious and modest assurance, that those marks are upon me. I find reasons to prove to me that God does love my soul; but why God should love men better than his own Son, or why God should love me better than other men, I must end in the reason

1 Ver. 13. s Ver. 14. 3 1 Sam. ii. 25. * Ver. 15.
8 Ver. 18. 6 Matt. xi. 25.

of the text, Quia complacuit, and in the reason of Christ himself, Ita est, quia, It is so, O Father, because thy good pleasure was it should be so.

To pass then from the collation and reference, by which the text hath his coherence with the precedent and subsequent passages, and the illation and inference, by which you have seen the general doctrine, that reason is not to be excluded in religion, but yet to be tenderly and modestly pressed, we have here the person that redeemed us, and his qualification for that great office (That all fulness should dwell in him). And then we have the pacification, and the means thereof (Peace was made through the blood of his cross). And then the effect, the application of all this, to them for whom it was wrought (That all things in earth and heaven might be reconciled to God by him). In the qualification of the person, we find plenitudinem, fulness, and omnem plenitudinem, all fulness, and omnem plenitudinem inhabitantem, all fulness dwelling, permanent. And yet, even this dwelling fulness, even in this person Christ Jesus, by no title of merit in himself, but only quia complacuit, because it pleased the Father it should be so. In the pacification (which is our second part,) (Peace was made by the blood of his cross,) we shall see first, quod bellum, what the war was, and then quw pax, what the peace is, and lastly quis modus, how this peace was made, which was strange; per sanguinem, by blood; to save blood, and yet by blood. And per sanguinem ejus, by his blood, his who was victoriously to triumph in this peace; and per sanguinem crucis ejus, by the blood of his cross, that is, his death; the blood of his circumcision, the blood of his agony, the blood of his scourging, was not enough; it must be, and so it was, the blood of his cross; and these pieces constitute our second part, the pacification: and then in the third, the application, (That all things might be reconciled to God,) we shall see first what this reconciliation is, and then how it extends to all things on earth (which we might think were not capable of it); and all things in heaven (which we might think stood in no need of it). And in these three parts, the person and his qualification, the thing itself, the pacification, the effect of this, the reconciliation, the application, we shall determine all.

First, in the person that redeems us we find fulness. And there had need be so; for he found our measure full of sin towards God, and God's measure full of anger towards us; for our parts, as when a river swells, at first it will find out all the channels, or lower parts of the hank, and enter there, but after a while it covers and overflows the whole field, and all is water without distinction; so though we be naturally channels of concupiscencies, (for there sin begins, and as water runs naturally in the veins and bowels of the earth, so run concupiscencies naturally in our bowels,) yet, when every imagination of the thoughts of our heart is only evil continually1; then (as it did there) it induces a flood, a deluge, our concupiscence swells above all channels, and actually overflows all; it hath found an issue at the ear, we delight in the defamation of others; and an issue at the eye, if we see a thief we run with him8; we concur in the plots of supplanting and destroying other men; it hath found an issue in the tongue, our lips are our own, who is lord over us"? We speak freely; seditious speeches against superiors, obscene and scurrilous speeches against one another, profane and blasphemous speeches against God himself, are grown to be good jests, and marks of wit, and arguments of spirit. It finds an issue at our hands, they give way to oppression, by giving bribes; and an issue at our feet, they are swift to shed blood; and so by custom sin overflows all, omnia pontus, all our ways are sea, all our works are sin. Th'is is our fulness, original sin filled us, actual sin presses down the measure, and habitual sins heap it up. And then God's measure of anger was full too; from the beginning he was a jealous God, and that should have made us careful of our behaviour, that a jealous eye watched over us. But because we see in the world that jealous persons are oftenest deceived, because that distemper disorders them, so as that they see nothing clearly, and it puts the greater desire in the other to deceive, because it is some kind of victory and triumph to deceive a jealous and watchful person, therefore we have hoped to go beyond God too, and his jealousy. But he is jealous of his honour, jealous of his jealousy, he will not have his jealousy despised, nor forgotten, for therefore he visits upon the children,

7 Gen. vi. 5. 8 Psal. L. 18. 9 Psal. xii.

to the third and fourth generation; when therefore the spirit of jealousy was come upon him, and that he had prepared that water of bitterness which was to rot our bowels10, that is, when God had bent all his bows, drawn forth and whetted all his swords, when he was justly provoked to execute all the judgments denounced in all the prophets, upon all mankind, when man's measure was full of sin, and God's measure full of wrath, then was the fulness of time, and yet then complacuit, it pleased the Father that there should be another fulness to overflow all these in Christ Jesus.

But what fulness is that? Omnis plenitudo, all fulness. And this was only in Christ. Elias had a great portion of the spirit: but, but a portion Elizseus sees that that portion will not serve him, and therefore he asks a double portion of that spirit11; but still but portions. Stephen is full of faith"; a blessed fulness, where there is no corner for infidelity, nor for doubt, for scruple, nor irresolution. Dorcas is full of good works18; a fulness above faith; for there must be faith before there can be good works; so that they are above faith, as the tree is above the root, and as the fruit is above the tree. The Virgin Mary is full of grace, and grace is a fulness above both; above faith and works too, for that is the means to preserve both; that we fall not from our faith, and that dead flies corrupt not our ointment, that worldly mixtures do not vitiate our best works, and the memory of past sins, dead sins, do not beget new sins in us, is the operation of grace. The seven deacons were full of the Holy Ghost, and of wisdom; full of religion towards God, and full of such wisdom as might advance it towards men; full of zeal and full of knowledge; full of truth, and full of discretion too. And these were fulnesses, but they were not all, all fulness. I shall be as full as St. Paul, in heaven; I shall have as full a vessel, but not so full a cellar; I shall be as full, but I shall not have so much to fill. Christ only hath an infinite content and capacity, an infinite room and receipt, and then an infinite fulness; he would receive as much as could be infused, and there was as much infused as he could receive.

But what shall we say I Was Christ God before, and are

10 Numb. v. 14. 11 2 Kings ii. 9. 18 Acts vi. 5. 13 Acts ix. 36.

these accessory, supplementary, additional fulnesses to be put to him? A fulness to be added to God? To make him a competent person to redeem man, something was to be added to Christ, though he were God; wherein we see to our inexpressible confusion of face, and consternation of spirit, the incomprehensibleness of man's sin, that even to God himself there was required something else than God, before we could be redeemed; there was a fulness to be added to God, for this work, to make it all fulness, for Christ was God before; there was that fulness; but God was not Christ before; there lacked that fulness. Not disputing, therefore, what other ways God might have taken for our redemption, but giving him all possible thanks for that way which his goodness hath chosen, by the way of satisfying his justice (for howsoever I would be glad to bp discharged of my debts any way, yet certainly, I should think myself more beholden to that man who would be content to pay my debt for me, than to him that should intreat my creditor to forgive me my debt,) for this work, to make Christ able to pay this debt, there was something to be added to him. First he must pay it in such money as was lent; in the nature and flesh of man; for man had sinned, and man must pay. And then it was lent in such money as was coined even with the image of God; man was made according to his imago: that image being defaced, in a new mint, in the womb of the blessed Virgin, there was new money coined; the image of the invisible God, the second person in the Trinity, was imprinted into the human nature. And then, that there might be all fulness, as God, for the payment of this debt, sent down the bullion, and the stamp, that is, God to be conceived in man, and as he provided the mint, the womb of the blessed Virgin, so hath he provided an exchequer, where this money is issued; that is his church, where his merits should be applied to the discharge of particular consciences. So that here is one fulness, that in this person dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily14. Here is another fulness, that this person fulfilled all righteousness, and satisfied the justice of God by his suffering; there was no sorrow like unto his sorrow; it was so full that it exceeded all others. And then there is a third

14 Coloss. ii. 9.

fulness, the church", (which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all;) perfect God, there is the fulness of his dignity; perfect man, there is the fulness of his passibility; and a perfect church, there is the fulness of the distribution of his mercies and merits to us. And this is omnis plenitudo, all fulness; which yet is farther extended in the next word, Inhabitavit, It pleased the Father, that all fulness should dwell in him.

The Holy Ghost appeared in the dove, but he did not dwell in it. The Holy Ghost hath dwelt in holy men, but not thus; so, as that ancient bishop expresses it, Habitant in Salomone per sapientiam He dwelt in Solomon, in the spirit of wisdom; in Joseph, in the spirit of chastity; in Moses, in the spirit of meekness; but in Christo, in plenitudine, in Christ, in all fulness. Now this fulness is not fully expressed in the hypostatical union of the two natures; God and man in the person of Christ. For (concerning the divine nature,) here was not a dram of glory in this union. This was a strange fulness, for it was a fulness of emptiness; it was all humiliation, all exinanition, all evacuation of himself by his obedience to the death of the cross. But when it was done, (as the apostle speaks in another case,) lest the cross of Christ should be evacuated, and made of none effect17, he came to make this fulness perfect by instituting and establishing a church, The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, says the prophet of Christ. There is a fulness in general for his qualification: the spirit of the Lord; but what kind of spirit I it follows the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and power, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; we see the spirit that must rest upon Christ is the spirit in those beams, in those functions, in those operations, as conduce to government, that is, wisdom, and counsel, and power. So that this is Christ's fulness, that he is in a continual administration of his church; in which he flows over upon us his ministers, (for of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace": that is, power by his grace, to derive grace upon the congregation ;) and so of his fulness, all the congregation receives too, and receives in that full measure, That they are filled with all the

15 Eph. i. 23. 18 Remigius. 17 1 Cor. i. 17.

18 John i. 16.

fulness of God"; that is, all the fulness that was in both his natures, united in one person, when the fulness of the Deitydwelt in him bodily, all the merits of that person, are derived upon us in his word, sacraments, in his church; Which church being to continue to the end, it is most properly said, in him, (in him, as head of the church,) all fulness, all means of salvation, dwell, and are to be had permanently, constantly, infallibly.

Now how came Christ by all this fulness, this superlative fulness in himself, this derivative fulness upon us? That his merits should be able to build, and furnish such a house, to raise and rectify such a church, acceptable to God, in which all fulness should dwell to the world's end? It was only because it pleased God, (for this personal name of the Father (it pleased the Father J is but added suppletorily by our translators, and is not in the original,) it pleased God to give him wherewithal to enable him so far, for this complacuit is, (as we say in the school,) vox beneplaciti, it expresses only the good will and love of God, without contemplation or foresight of any goodness in man; first, we are to consider this fulness to have been in Christ, and then from this fulness arose his merits; we can consider no merit in Christ himself before, whereby he should merit this fulness; for this fulness was in him before he merited anything, and but for this fulness he had not so merited. Ille homo, ut in unitatem filii Dei asmmeretur, unde meruit30? How did that man (says St. Augustine, speaking of Christ as of the son of man,) how did that man merit to be united in one person with the eternal Son of God? Quid egit ante? Quid credidit? What had he done? nay, what had he believed? Had he either faith, or works, before that union of both natures? If then in Christ Jesus himself there were no prwvisa tnerita, that God's foresight that he would use this fulness well, did not work in God, as a cause to give him this fulness, but because he had it of the free gift of God, therefore he did use it well and meritoriously, shall any of us be so frivolous, in so important a matter, as to think that God gave us our measure of grace, or our measure of sanctification, because he foresaw that we would heap up that measure, and employ that talent profitably? What canst thou imagine he 18 Eph. iii. 19. 80 Augustine.

could foresee in thee? A propenseness, a disposition to goodness, when his grace should come? Either there is no such propenseness, no such disposition in thee, or if there be, even that propenseness and disposition to the good use of grace is grace, it is an effect of former grace, and his grace wrought before he saw any such propenseness, any such disposition; grace was first, and his grace is his, it is none of thine. To end this point and this part, non est discipulus supra magistrum; the fulness of Christ himself was rooted in the complacuit, it pleased the Father; (nothing else wrought in the nature of a cause,) and therefore that measure of that fulness which is derived upon us from him (our vocation, our justification, our sanctification,) are much more so; we have them, quia complacuit, because it hath pleased him freely to give them; God himself could see nothing in us till he of his own goodness put it into us. And so we have gone as far as our first part carries us, in those two branches, and the fruits which we have gathered from thence. First, those general doctrines, that reason is not to be excluded in matters of religion; and then, that reason in all those.cases is to be limited with the quia complacuit, merely in the good pleasure of God. In which first part you have also had the qualification of the person that came this day to establish redemption for us, that in him there was fulness, (infinite capacity, and infinite infusion,) and all fulness, defective in nothing, (impassible and yet passible, perfect God and perfect man,) and this fulness dwelling in him, in him as he is head of the church, that is, visible, sensible means of salvation to every soul in his church. And so we pass to our second part, from this qualification of the person, (It pleased the Father that in him allfulness should dwell,) to the pacification itself, for which »it pleased the Father to do all this, that peace might be made through the blood of his cross.

In this part St. Chrysostom hath made our steps our branches. It is much, says he, that God would admit any peace; magis, per sanguinem, more that for peace he should require effusion of blood; magis, quod per ejus, more, that it must be his blood, his that was injured, his that was to triumph; et adhuc magis, quod per sanguinem, crucis ejus; that it must be by the blood of his cross, his heart's blood, his death; and yet this was the case; He made peace through the blood of his cross. There was then a war before, and a heavy war; for the Lord of Hosts was our enemy; and what can all our musters come to, if the Lord of Hosts, of all hosts, have raised his forces against us? There was a heavy war denounced in the Inimicitias ponam, when God raised a war between the devil and us. For if we could consider God to stand neutral in that war, and meddle with neither side, yet we were in a desperate case to be put to fight against powers and principalities, against the devil. How much more when God, the Lord of Hosts, is the Lord even of that host too? when God presses the devil, and makes the devil his soldier, to fight his battles, and directs his arrows, and his bullets, and makes his approaches and his attempts effectual upon us. That which is fallen upon the Jews now for their sin against Christ, that there is not in all the world a soldier of their race, not a Jew in the world that bears arms, is true of all mankind for their sin against God; there is not a soldier amongst them able to hurt his spiritual enemy or defend himself. It is a strange war where there are not two sides; and yet that is our case; for God uses the devil against us, and the devil uses us against one another; nay, he uses every one of us against ourselves; so that God, and the devil, and we, are all in one army, and all for our destruction; we have a war, and yet there is but one army, and we only are the country that is fed upon and wasted; from God to the devil we have not one friend, and yet, as though we lacked enemies, wo fight with one another in inhuman duels; Ubi morimur homicidw", (as St. Bernard expresses it powerfully and elegantly,) that in those duels and combats, he that is murdered dies a murderer, because he would have been one; occisor lethaliter peccat, occisus wternaliter perit; he that comes alive out of the field comes a dead man, because he comes a deadly sinner, and he that remains dead in the field is gone into an everlasting death. So that by this inhuman effusion of one another's blood, we maintain a war against God himself, and we provoke him to that which he expresses in Isaiah", "My sword shall be bathed in heaven; the sword of the Lord shall be made drunk with blood; their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat

with fatness." The same quarrel which God hath against particular men, and particular nations, for particular sins, God hath against all mankind for Adam's sin. And there is the war. But what is the peace, and how are we included in that? That is our second and next disquisition, That peace might be made.

A man must not presently think himself included in this peace, because he feels no effects of this Avar. If God draw none of his swords of war, or famine, or pestilence, upon thee, (no outward war,) if God raise not a rebellion in thyself, nor fight against thee with thine own affections, in colluctations between

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the flesh and the spirit; the war may last for all this. Induciarum tempore, bellum manet, licet pugna cesset33; though there be no blow stricken, the war remains in the time of truce. But thy case is not so good; here is no truce, no cessation, but a continual preparation to a fiercer war. All this while that thou enjoyest this imaginary security, the enemy digs insensibly under ground, all this while he undermines thee, and will blow thee up at last more irrecoverably than if he had battered thee with outward calamities all that time. So any state may be abused with a false peace present, or with a fruitless expectation of a future peace. But in this text there is true peace, and peace already made; present peace, and safe peace. Pax non promissa, sed missa, (says St. Bernard, in his musical and harmonious cadences,) not promised, but already sent; non dilata, sed data, not treated, but concluded; non prophetata, sedprwsentata, not prophesied, but actually established. There is the presentness thereof; and then made by him who lacked nothing for the making of a safe peace; for, after his names of counsellor, and of the mighty God, he is called, for the consummation of all, princeps pacis; a counsellor, there is his wisdom; a mighty God, there is his power; and this counsellor, this mighty God, this wise and this powerful Prince, hath undertaken to make our peace; but how, that is next, per sanguinem, peace being made by blood.

Is effusion of blood the way of peace? effusion of blood may make them from whom blood is so abundantly drawn, glad of peace, because they are thereby reduced to a weakness. But in

83 Gellius.

our wars such a weakness puts us farther off from peace, and puts more fierceness in the enemy. But here mercy and truth have met together; God would he true to his own justice, (blood was forfeited, and he would have blood,) and God would be merciful to us, he would make us the stronger by drawing blood, and by drawing our best blood, the blood of Christ Jesus. Simeon and Leviwhen they meditated their revenge for the rape committed upon their sister, when they pretended peace, yet they,required a little blood; they would have the Sichemites circumcised; but when they had opened a vein, they made them bleed to death; when they were under the soreness of circumcision, they slew them all. God's justice required blood, but that blood is not spilt, but poured from that head to our hearts, into the veins and wounds of our own souls; there was blood shed, but no blood lost. Before the law was thoroughly established, when Moses came down from God, and deprehended the people in that idolatry to the calf, before he would present himself as a mediator between God and them for that sin, he prepares a sacrifice of blood45, in the execution of three thousand of those idolaters, and after that he came to his vehement prayer in their behalf. And in the strength of the law all things were purged with blood, and without blood there is no remission86. Whether we place the reason of this in God's justice, which required blood, or whether we place it in the conveniency that blood being ordinarily received to be sedes animw, the seat and residence of the soul; the soul for which that expiation was to be, could not be better represented, nor purified, than in the state and seat of the soul, in blood; or whether we shut up ourselves in an humble sobriety to inquire into the reasons of God's actions, thus we see it was no peace, no remission, but in blood. Nor is that so strange, as that which follows in the next place, per sanguinem ejus, by his blood.

Before, under the law, it was in sanguine hircorum, and vitulorum; in the blood of goats and bullocks; here it is in sanguine ejus, in his blood. Not his, as he claims all the beasts of the forest, all. the cattle upon a thousand hills87, and all the fowls

84 Gen. xxxiv, *5 Exod. xxxii. 28, and 32. !6 Heb. ix. 22.

*7 Psal. L. 10,

of the mountains, to be his; not his, as he says of gold and silver, the silver is mine, and the gold is mine88; not his, as he is Lord and proprietary of all by Creation; so all blood is his; no, not his, as the blood of all the martyrs was his blood, (which is a near relation and consanguinity,) but his so as it was the precious blood of his body, the seat of his soul, the matter of his spirits, the knot of his life, this blood he shed for me; and I have blood to shed for him too, though he call me not to the trial, nor to the glory of martyrdom. Sanguis animw mew voluntas mea, the blood of my soul is my will; scindatur vena ferro compunctionis, open a vein with that knife, remorse, compunction, ut si non sensus, certe consensus peccati effluat, that though thou canst not bleed out all motions to sin, thou mayest all consent thereunto. Noli esse nimiumjustus; noli sapere plus quam oportet; St. Bernard makes this use of those counsels, Be not righteous overmuch, nor be not overwise"; cuiputas venwparcendum, sijustitia et sapientia egent minutione, what vein mayest thou spare, if thou must open those two veins, righteousness and wisdom? If they may be superfluously abundant, if thou must bleed out some of thy righteousness, and some of thy wisdom, cui venw parcendum, at what vein must thou not bleed? Now in all sacrifices, where blood was to be offered, the fat was to be offered too. If thou wilt sacrifice the blood of thy soul, (as St. Bernard calls the will,) sacrifice the fat too; if thou give over thy purpose of continuing in thy sin, give over the memory of it, and give over all that thou possessest unjustly and corruptly got by that sin; else thou keepest the fat from God, though thou give him the blood. If God had given over at his second day's work, we had had no sun, no seasons; if at his fifth, we had had no being; if at the sixth, no Sabbath; but by proceeding to the seventh, we are all, and we have all. Naaman, who was out of the covenant, yet, by washing in Jordan seven times30, was cured of his leprosy; seven times did it even in him, but less did not. The priest in the law used a sevenfold sprinkling of blood upon the altar; and we observe a seven-fold shedding of blood in Christ; in his circumcision, and in his agony, in his fulfilling of that prophecy,—I gave my cheeks to them that plucked off the

TM Uag. ii. 8. 89 Eccles. vii. 16. 80 2 Kings v. 14.

hair31,—and in his scourging, in his crowning, and in his nailing, and lastly, in the piercing of his side. These seven channels hath the blood of thy Saviour found. Pour out the blood of thy soul, sacrifice thy stubborn and rebellious will seven times too; seven times, that is, every day; and seven times every day; for so often a just man falleth3*; and then, how low must that man be at last if he fall so often, and never rise upon any fall? and therefore raise thyself as often and as soon as thou fallest. Jericho would not fall33 but by being compassed seven days, and seven times in one day. Compass thyself, comprehend thyself, seven times, many times, and thou shalt have thy loss of blood supplied with better blood, with a true sense of that peace which he hath already made, and made by blood, and by his own blood, and by the blood of his cross, which is the last branch of this second part.

Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friend3*, yet he that said so did more than so, more than lay down his life, (for he exposed it to violences and torments,) and all that for his enemies. But doth not the necessity diminish the love? where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator35; was there then a necesssity in Chrises dying? simply a necessity of coaction there was not; such as is in the death of other men, natural or violent by the hand of justice. There was nothing more arbitrary, more voluntary, more spontaneous than all that Christ did for man. And if you could consider a time, before the contract between the Father and him had passed, for the redemption of man by his death, we might say that then there was no necessity upon Christ that he must die; but because that contract was from all eternity, supposing that contract, that this peace was to be made by his death, there entered the oportuit patiTM, that Christ ought to suffer all these things, and to enter into his glory. And so as for his death, so for the manner of his death, (by the cross,) it was not of absolute necessity, and yet it was not by casualty neither, not because he was to suffer in that nation which did ordinarily punish such malefactors, (such as he was accused to

31 Isaiah L. 6. 38 Prov. xxiv. 16. 33 Joshua vi.

54 John xv. 13. 35 Heb. ix. 16. 36 Luke xxiv. 26.

be,) seditious persons, with that manner of death, but all this proceeded ex pacto, thus the contract led it, to this he was obedient, obedient unto death37, and unto the death of the cross. By blood, and not only by coming into this world, and assuming our nature, (which humiliation was an act of infinite value,) and not by the blood of his circumcision or agony, but blood to death, and by no gentler nor nobler death than the death of the cross, was this peace to be made by him. Though then one drop of his blood had been enough to have redeemed infinite worlds, if it had been so contracted and so applied, yet he gave us a morning shower of his blood in his circumcision, and an evening shower at his passion, and a shower after sunset, in the piercing of his side. And though any death had been an incomprehensible ransom for the Lord of life to have given, for the children of death, yet he refused not the death of the cross; the cross, to which a bitter curse was nailed by Moses88 from the beginning; he that is hanged is not only accursed of God, (as our translation hath it,) but he is the curse of God, (as it is in the original,) not accursed, but a curse; not a simple curse, but the curse of God. And by the cross, which besides the infamy, was so painful a death as that many men languished many days upon it before they died; and by his blood of this torture, and this shame, this painful and this ignominious death, was this peace made. In our great work of crucifying ourselves to the world too, it is not enough to bleed the drops of a circumcision, that is, to cut off some excessive and notorious practice of sin; nor to bleed the drops of an agony, to enter into a conflict and colluctation of the flesh and the spirit, whether we were not better trust in God's mercy for our continuance in that sin, than lose all that pleasure and profit which that sin brings us; nor enough to bleed the drops of scourging, to be lashed with viperous and venomous tongues, by contumelies and slanders; nor to bleed the drops of thorns, to have thorns and scruples enter into our consciences with spiritual afflictions; but we must be content to bleed the streams of nailings to those crosses, to continue in them all our lives, if God see that necessary for our confirmation; and if men will pierce and wound us after our deaths in our good name,

87 Phil. ii. 8. 88 Deut. xxi. 23.

yea, if they will slander our resurrection, (as they did Christ's,) if they will say that it is impossible God should have mercy upon such a man, impossible that a man of so bad life, and so sad and comfortless a death, should have a joyful resurrection, here is our comfort, as that piercing of Christ's side was after the consummatum est, after his passion ended, and therefore put him to no pain, as that slander of his resurrection was after that glorious triumph; he was risen and had showed himself before, and therefore it diminished not his power; so all these posthume wounds and slanders after my death, after my God and my soul shall have passed that dialogue, Vent Domine Jesu, and Euge bone serve, that I shall have said upon my death-bed, Come Lord Jesu, come quickly, and he shall have said, Well done good and faithful servant, enter into thy Master's joy, when I shall have said to him, In manus tuas Domine, Into thy hands, 0 Lord, I commend my spirit, and he to me, Hodie mecum eris in Paradiso, This day, this minute, thou shalt be, now thou art with me in Paradise; when this shall be my state, God shall hear their slanders and maledictions, and write them all down, but not in my book, but in theirs, and there they shall meet them at judgment, amongst their own sins, to their everlasting confusion, and find me in possession of that peace made by blood, made by his blood, made by the blood of his cross, which were all the pieces laid out for this second part, with which we have done; and pass from the qualification of the person, (it pleased the Father in him all fulness should dwell,) which was our first part, and the pacification, and the way thereof, (by the blood of his cross to make peace,) which was our second, to the reconciliation itself, and the application thereof to all to whom that reconciliation appertains, that all things, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven, might be reconciled unto him.

All this was done; he in whom it pleased the Father that this fulness should dwell, had made this peace by the blood of his cross, and yet, after all this, the apostle comes upon that ambassage86, we pray ye, in Christ's stead, that ye be reconciled to God; so that this reconciliation in the text is a subsequent thing to this peace. The general peace is made by Christ's death, as a general

39 2 Cor. v. 20.

pardon is given at the King's coming; the application of this peace is in the church, as the suing out of the pardon is in the office. Joab made Absalom's peace with his father40; Bring the young man again, says David to Joab; but yet he was not reconciled to him, so as that he saw his face, in two years. God hath sounded a retreat to the battle, As I live, saith the Lord, I would not the death of a sinner; he hath said to the destroyer, It is enough, stay now thy hand; he is pacified in Christ; and he hath bound the enemy in chains. Now let us labour for our reconciliation; for all things are reconciled to him in Christ, that is, offered a way of reconciliation. All things in heaven and earth, says the apostle. And that is so large as that Origen needed not to have extended it to hell too, and conceive out of this place a possibility that the devils themselves shall come to a reconciliation with God. But to all in heaven and earth it appertains. Consider we how.

First then, there is a reconciliation of them in heaven to God, and then of them on earth to God, and then of them in heaven, and them in earth, to one another, by the blood of his cross. If we consider them in heaven to be those who are gone up to heaven from this world by death, they had the same reconciliation as we; either by reaching the hand of faith forward to lay hold upon Christ before he came, (which was the case of all under the law;) or by reaching back that hand, to lay hold upon all that he had done and suffered when he was come, (which is the case of those that are dead before us in the profession of the gospel.) All that are in heaven and were upon earth, are reconciled one way, by application of Christ in the church; so that, though they be now in heaven, yet they had their reconciliation here upon earth. But if we consider those who are in heaven, and have been so from the first minute of their creation, angels, why have they, or how have they, any reconciliation I How needed they any, and then how is this of Christ applied unto them? They needed a confirmation, for the angels were created in blessedness, but not in perfect blessedness; they might fall, they did fall. To those that fell can appertain no reconciliation, no more than to those that die in their sins; for quod homini

40 2 Sam. xiv. 21.

mors, angelis casus"; the fall of the angels wrought upon them as the death of a man does upon him; they are both equally incapable of change to better. But to those angels that stood, their standing being of grace, and their confirmation being not one transient act in God done at once, but a continual succession and emanation of daily grace, belongs this reconciliation by Christ, because all matter of grace, and where any deficiency is to be supplied, whether by way of reparation, as in man, or by way of confirmation, as in angels, proceeds from the cross, from the merits of Christ. They are so reconciled then, as that they are extra lapsus periculum, out of the danger of falling; but yet this stability, this infallibility, is not yet indelibly imprinted in their natures; yet the angels might fall if this reconciler did not sustain them; for if those words, that God found folly44 (weakness, infirmity,) in his angels, be to be understood of the good angels that stand confirmed, (as without all doubt they43 cannot be understood of the ill angels,) the best service of the best angels, divested of that successive grace that supports them, if God should exact a rigorous account of it, could not be acceptable in the sight of God; so the angels have a pacification and a reconciliation, lest they should fall.

Thus things in heaven are reconciled to God by Christ; and things on earth too. First, the creature, as St. Paul speaks; that is, other creatures than men. For at the general resurrection, (which is rooted in the resurrection of Christ, and so hath relation to him,) the creature shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption44 into the glorious liberty of the children of God ; for which the whole creation groans and travails in pain yet. This deliverance, then, from this bondage, the whole creature hath by Christ, and that is their reconciliation. And then are we reconciled by the blood of his cross, when, having crucified ourselves by a true repentance, we receive the seal of reconciliation in his blood in the sacrament. But the most proper and most literal sense of these words is, that all things in heaven and earth be reconciled to God, (that is, to his glory, to a fitter disposition to glorify him,) by being reconciled to another in Christ; that in him, as head of the church, they in heaven, and we upon earth,

41 Augustine. 48 Job iv. 18. 43 Calvin. 44 Rom. viii. 21.

be united together as one body in the communion of saints. For this text hath a conformity and a harmony with that to the Ephesians, and in sense, as well as in words, is the same, That God might gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him"; where the word which we translate, to gather, doth properly signify recapitidare, to bring all things to their first head, to God's first purpose; which was, that angels and men, united in Christ Jesus, might glorify him eternally in the kingdom of heaven. Then are things in heaven restored and reconciled, (says St. Augustine,) cum quod ex angelis lapsum est, ex hominibus redditur, when good men have repaired the ruin of the bad angels, and filled their places. And then are things on earth restored and reconciled, when God^s elect children are delivered from the corruptions of this world to which even they are subject here*6. Cum humiliati homines redeunt, wide apostatw superbiendo ceciderunt, when men by humility are exalted to those places from which angels fell by pride, then are all things in heaven and earth reconciled in Christ.

The blood of the sacrifices was brought by the high priest, in sanctum sanctorum, into the place of greatest holiness; but it was brought but once, in the feast of expiation; but in the other parts of the temple, it was sprinkled every day. The blood of the cross of Christ Jesus hath had his effect in sancto sanctorum, even in the highest heavens, in supplying their places that fell, in confirming them that stood, and in uniting us and them in himself, as head of all. In the other parts of the temple it is to be sprinkled daily. Here, in the militant church upon earth, there is still a reconciliation to be made; not only toward ono another, in the band of charity, but in ourselves. In ourselves we may find things in heaven and things on earth to reconcile. There is a heavenly zeal, but if it be not reconciled to discretion, there is a heavenly purity, but if it be not reconciled to the bearing of one another's infirmities, there is a heavenly liberty, but if it be not reconciled to a care for the prevention of scandal, all things in our heaven and our earth are not reconciled in Christ. In a word, till the flesh and the spirit be reconciled, this recon

45 Ephes. i. 10. 46 Gregory.

ciliation is not accomplished. For neither spirit nor flesh must be destroyed in us; a spiritual man is not all spirit, he is a man still. But then is flesh and spirit reconciled in Christ, when in all the faculties of the soul, and all the organs of the body, we glorify him in this world; for then, in the next world we shall be glorified by him and with him in soul and in body too, where we shall be thoroughly reconciled to one another, no suits, no controversies; and thoroughly to the angels; when we shall not only be as the angels47 in some one property, but equal48 to the angels in all; for non erunt duw societates angelorum et hominum", men and angels shall not make two companies, sed omnium beatitudo erit, uni adhwrere Deo, this shall be the blessedness of them both, to be united in one head, Christ Jesus.

And these reconcilings are reconcilings enough; for these are all that are in heaven and earth. If you will reconcile things in heaven and earth with things in hell, that is a reconciling out of this text. If you will mingle the service of God and the service of this world, there is no reconciling of God and mammon in this text. If you will mingle a true religion and a false religion, there is no reconciling of God and Belial in this text. For the adhering of persons born within the church of Rome to the church of Rome, our law says nothing to them if they come; hut for reconciling to the church of Rome, by persons born within the allegiance of the king, or for persuading of men to be so reconciled, our law hath called by an infamous and capital name of treason, and yet every tavern and ordinary is full of such traitors. Every place from jest to earnest is filled with them; from the very stage to the death-bed; at a comedy they will persuade you as you sit, as you laugh, and in your sickness they will persuade you, as you lie, as you die. And not only in the bed of sickness, but in the bed of wantonness they persuade too; and there may be examples of women that have thought it a fit way to gain a soul by prostituting themselves, and by entertaining unlawful love, with a purpose to convert a servant, which is somewhat a strange topic to draw arguments of religion from. Let me see a Dominican and a Jesuit reconciled in doctrinal papistry, for freewill and predestination; let me see a French

47 Matt. xxii. 30. 48 Luke xx. 36. 49 Augustine.

papist and an Italian papist reconciled in state papistry, for the pope's jurisdiction; let me see the Jesuits and the secular priests reconciled in England, and when they are reconciled to one another, let them press reconciliation to their church. To end all, those men have their bodies from the earth, and they have their souls from heaven; and so all things in earth and heaven are reconciled: but they have their doctrine from the devil; and for things in hell there is no peace made, and with things in hell there is no reconciliation to be had by the blood of his cross, except we will tread that blood under our feet, and make a mock of Christ Jesus, and crucify the Lord of Life again.