PREACHED UPON WHITSUNDAY.
[Part of the Gospel of the Day.]
John xiv. 20.
At that day shall ye know, that I am in my Father, and you in me, and
I in you.
The two volumes of the Scriptures are justly, and properly called two Testaments, for they are Testatio Mentis, The attestation, the declaration of the will and pleasure of God, how it pleased him to be served under the law, and how in the state of the Gospel. But to speak according to the ordinary acceptation of the word, the Testament, that is, the last will of Christ Jesus, is this speech, this declaration of his, to his apostles, of which this text is a part. For it was spoken, as at his death-bed, his last supper: and it was before his agony in the garden, so that (if we should consider him as a mere man) there was no inordinateness, no irregularity in his affections; it was testified with sufficient witnesses, and it was sealed in blood, in the institution of the sacrament. By this will then, as a rich, and abundant, and liberal testator, having given them so great a legacy', as a place in the kingdom of heaven, yet he adds a codicil, he gives more, he gives them the evidence by which they should maintain their right to that kingdom, that is, the testimony of the spirit, The Comforter, the Holy Ghost, whom he promises to send to them*;
30 Obad. i. 21.
1 Ver. 3. » Ver. 16.
and still more and more abundant, he promises them, that that assurance of their right shall not be taken from them, till he himself return again to give them an everlasting possession, That he may receive us unto himself, and that where he is, we may also be". The main legacy, the body of the gift is before: That which is given in this text, is part of that evidence by which it appears to us that we have right, and by which that right is maintained, and that is knowledge, that knowledge which we have of our interest in God, and his kingdom here; At that day ye shall know, &c.
And in the giving of this, we shall consider, first, the legacy itself, this knowledge, Ye shall know; and secondly, the time when this legacy grows due to us, At that day ye shall know; and thirdly, how much of this treasure is devised to us, what portion of this heavenly knowledge is bequeathed to us, and that is in three great sums, in three great mysteries; first, ye shall know the mystery of the Trinity, of distinct persons in the Godhead; That I am in my Father; and then the mystery of the incarnation of God, who took our flesh, That you are in me; and lastly, the mystery and working of our redemption, in our sanctification, That Christ (by his Spirit, the Holy Ghost) is in us.
Nequitia animoe ignoratio, says Trismegistus; he doth not say it is the infirmity of the soul, or the impotency of the soul, but the iniquity, the wickedness of the soul consists in this, that we are ignorant of those ways, and those ends, upon which we should direct, and by which we should govern our purposes: and if ignorance be the corruption, and dissolution, certainly knowledge is the redintegration, and consolidation of the soul. From this corruption, from this ignorance God delivered his people at first, in some measure, by the law; that is, he gave them thereby a way to get out of this ignorance; he put them to school; Lex pwdagogus, says the apostle, The law was their schoolmaster. But in the state of the Gospel, in the shedding of the beams, of the streams of his grace in the blood of Christ Jesus we are graduates, and have proceeded so far, as to a manifestation of things already done, and so our faith is brought in a great part, to consist in matter-of-fact, and that which was bi}t matter of prophecy
3 Ver. 3.
to them (in the Old Testament, they knew not when it should be done) to us in the New, is matter of history, and we know when it was done: in the old times God led his people, sometimes with clouds, sometimes with fire, some lights they had, but some hidings, some withdrawings of those lights too, the mysteries, of their salvation were not fully revealed unto them: to us, all is holy fire, all is evident light, all is in the Epiphany, in the manifestation of Christ, and in the presence of the Holy Ghost, who is delivered over to us, to remain with us, Usque ad consummationem, Till the end of the world. God hath buried and hidden from us the body of Moses; he hath removed that cloud, that veil, the ceremony, the letter of the law. Yea he hath hidden that which benighted us more, and kept us in more ignorance of him, our infinite sins, which are clouds of witnesses to our consciences, he hath hidden them in the wounds of his Son our Saviour, so that there remains nothing but clearness, evident clearness; the Gospel being brought to us all, in that Christ is actually and really come, and Christ being brought to me, in that he is appliable in the church to every particular soul; so that this legacy that is given in this text, is not only in a possibility, and in a probability, and in a verisimilitude, but in an assurance, and in an infallibility, in a knowledge, we know it is thus, and thus.
We shall therefore consider this knowledge, first, as it is opposed to ignorance, secondly, as it is opposed to inconsideration, and thirdly, as it is opposed to concealing, to smothering: first, we must have it, and then we must know that we have it, and after that we must publish it, and declare it, so that others may know that we know it. Now as there is a profitable, a wholesome, a learned ignorance, which is a modest, and a reverent abstinence from searching into those secrets which God hath not revealed in his word, (whereupon St. Augustine says usefully, Libenter ignoremus, quw ignorare nos vult Deus, Let not us desire to know that which God hath no will to reveal) so also there is an unprofitable, an infectious, indeed an ignorant knowledge, which puffs, and swells us up: that, of which the prophet says, Stultus factus est omnis homo, a scientia*; Every man^s
4 Jer. x.
knowledge makes him a fool, when it makes him undervalue, and despise another. And this is one strange and incurable effect of this opinion of wit and knowledge, that whereas every man murmurs, and says to himself, such a man hath more land than I, more money than I, more custom, more practice than I, (when perchance in truth it is not so) yet every man thinks, that he hath more wit, more knowledge than all the world beside, when, God knows, it is very far from being so. When the prophet in that place, calls this confident believer in his own wisdom, fool, he hath therein fastened upon him a name of the greatest reproach to man, which the Holy Ghost, in the mouth of a prophet, could choose; as it appears best in those gradations which Christ makes, where, Whosoever is angry, is made culpable of judgment, whosoever says Racha, (that is, expresses his anger in any contumelious speech) is subject to a council, but whosoever shall say, Fool, shall be worthy to be punished in hell fire6. For, by calling him fool, says St. Chrysostom there, he takes from him .that understanding, by which he is a man, and so, says he, despoils him of all interest in the creature, in this life, and all interest in God, in the life to come. It is the deepest indignation, the highest abomination that Job in his anguish conceived, Stulti despiciebant me*, They that are but fools themselves, despised me; and after that again, They are the children of fools, and yet I am their song, and their talk: and in that comparison which God himself instituted, and proposed in Deuteronomy, They have moved me to jealousy, with that which is not God, and I will move them to jealousy, with those who are no people, I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation7, God intimates so much, that a fool is no more a man, than an idol is a god.
Now this foolishness which we speak of, against which God gives us this legacy of knowledge, is not that bluntness, that dulness, that narrowness of understanding, which is opposed to sharpness of wit, or readiness of expressing, and delivering any matter, for very many very devout and godly men, lack that sharpness, and that readiness, and yet have a good portion of spiritual wisdom, and knowledge. Neither is this foolishness, that
weakness, or inability, to amass and gather together particulars, as they have fallen out in former times, and in our times, and thereby to judge of future occurrences by former precedents, (which is the wisdom of statesmen, and of civil contemplation, to build up a body of knowledge, from reading stories, or observing actions) for this wisdom Solomon calls vanity, and vexation; nor is this foolishness, that precipitation, that over-earnestness, that animosity, that heat which some men have, and which is opposed to discretion; for sometimes zeal itself hath such a heat, and such a precipitation in it, and yet that zeal may not be absolutely condemned, but may be sometimes of some use; the dull man, the weak man, the hasty man is not this fool, but (as the wise man", who knew best, hath told us,) The fool is he that trusteth in his own heart. And therefore, against this foolishness of trusting in our own hearts, of confiding, and relying upon our own plots and devices, and from sacrificing to our own nets, (as the prophet Habakkuk speaks) from this attributing of all to our own industry, from this ignorance, that all blessings, spiritual and temporal too, proceed from God, and from God only, and from God manifested in Christ, and from Christ explicated in the Scriptures, and from the Scriptures applied in the church, (which is the sum of all religion) God hath given us this legacy of knowledge, At that day you shall know, as knowledge is opposed to ignorance.
As it is opposed to inconsideration, it is a great work that it doth too: for, as God hath made himself like man in many things, in taking upon him, in Scriptures, our lineaments and proportion, our affections and passions, our apparel and garments, so hath God made himself like man, in this also, that as man doth, so he also takes it worse to be neglected, than to be really injured; some of our sins do not offend God so much, as our inconsideration, a stupid passing him over, as though that we did, that which we had, that which we were, appertained not to him, had no emanation from him, no dependence upon him. As God says in the prophet, of lame, and blemished, and unperfect sacrifices, Offer it unto any of your princes, and see if they will accept it at your hands; so I say to them that pass their lives thus
u Prov. xxviii.
inconsiderately, Offer that to any of your princes, any of your superiors; dares an officer that receives instructions from his prince, when he leaves his commandments unperformed, say, I never thought of it? Dares a subject, a servant, a son say so?
Now beloved, this knowledge, as it is opposed to inconsideration, is in this, that God by breeding us in the visible church, multiplies unto us so many helps and assistances in the word preached, in the sacraments, in other sacramental, and ritual, and ceremonial things, which are auxiliary, subsidiary reliefs, and refreshings to our consideration, as that it is almost impossible to fall into this inconsideration. Here God shows this inconsiderate man, his book of creatures, which he may run and read; that is, he may go forward in his vocation, and yet see that every creature calls him to a consideration of God. Every ant that he sees, asks him, Where had I this providence, and industry? Every flower that he sees, asks him, Where had I this beauty, this fragrancy, this medicinal virtue in me? Every creature calls him to consider, what great things God hath done in little subjects. But God opens to him also, here in his church, his book of Scriptures, and in that book, every word cries out to him ; every merciful promise cries to him, Why am I here, to meet thee, to wait upon thee, to perform God's purpose towards thee, if thou never consider me, never apply me to thyself I Every judgment of his anger cries out, Why am I here, if thou respect me not, if thou make not thy profit, of performing those conditions, which are annexed to those judgments, and which thou mightest perform, if thou wouldest consider it? Yea, here God opens another book to him, his manual, his bosom, his pocket-book, his vade -mecum, the abridgment of all nature, and all law, his own heart, and conscience: and this book, though he shut it up, and clasp it never so hard, yet it will sometimes burst open of itself; though he interline it with other studies, and knowledges, yet the text itself, in the book itself, the testimonies of the conscience, will shine through and appear; though he load it, and choak it with commentaries and questions, that is, perplex it with circumstances, and disputations, yet the matter itself, which is imprinted there, will present itself: yea though he tear some leaves out of the book, that is, wilfully, yea studiously forget some sins that he hath done, and discontinue the reading of this book, the survey and consideration of his conscience, for some time, yet he cannot lose, he cannot cast away this book, that is so in him, as that it is himself, and evermore calls upon him, to deliver him from this inconsideration, by this open and plentiful library, which he carries about him. Consider, beloved, the great danger of this inconsideration, by remembering, that even that only perfect man, Christ Jesus, who had that great way of making him a perfect man, as that he was perfect God too, even in the act of deepest devotion, in his prayer in the garden, by permitting himself, out of that human infirmity, which he was pleased to admit in himself (though far from sin) to pass one petition in that prayer, without a debated and considered will, in his transeat calix, If it be possible, let this cup pass, he was put to a re-consideration, and to correct his prayer, Veruntamen, Yet not my will, but thine be done. And if then our best acts of praying, and hearing, need such an exact consideration, consider the richness, and benefit of this legacy, knowledge, as this knowledge is opposed to inconsideration.
It is also opposed to concealing and smothering; it must be published to the benefit of others. Paulum sepultw distat inertiw celata virtus, says the poet; Virtue that is never produced into action, is scarce worthy of that name. For that is it, which the apostle in his Epistle to that church, which was in Philemon's house, doth so much praise God for, That the fellowship of thy faith may be made fruitful, and that whatsoever good thing is in you through Jesus Christ, may be known": that according to the nature of goodness, and to the root of goodness, God himself, this knowledge of God may be communicated, and transfused, and shed, and spread, and derived, and digested upon others. And therefore certainly, as the philosopher said of civil actions, Etiam simulare philosophiam, philosophia est, That it was some degree of wisdom, to be able to seem wise; so, though it be no degree of religion, to seem religious, yet even that may be way of reducing others, and perchance themselves: when a man makes a public, an outward show of being religious, by coming ordinarily to church, and doing those outward duties, though this be hypocrisy
9 Philem. vi.
in him, yet sometimes other men receive profit by his example, and are religious in earnest, and, sometimes, appropinquat et nescit, (as St. Augustine confesses that it was his case, when he came out of curiosity, and not out of devotion, to hear St. Ambrose preach) what respect soever brought that man hither, yet when God finds him here, in his house, he takes hold of his conscience, and shows himself to him, though he came not to see him. And if God do thus produce good out of the hypocrite, and work good in him, much more will he provide a plentiful harvest, by their labours, who having received this knowledge from God, assist their weaker brethren, both by the example of their lives, and the comfort of their doctrine.
This knowledge then, which to work the intended effect in us, is thus opposed to ignorance, and to inconsideration, and to concealing, (which were the pieces that constitute our first part) in the second part, which is the time when this legacy accrues to us, is to be given us, at that day, At that day shall ye know, &c. It is the illumination, the illustration of our hearts, and therefore well referred to the day; the word itself affords cheerfulness. For when God inflicted that great plague, to kill all the first-born in Egypt, that was done at midnight1": and when God would intimate both deaths at once, spiritual, and temporal, he says, 0 fool, this night they will fetch away thy soul". Against all supply of knowledge, he calls him fool; and against all sense of comfort in the day, he threatens night.
It was in die, and in die illo, in the day, and at a certain day, and at a short day. For, after Christ had made his will at this supper, and given strength to his will, by his death, and proved his will by his resurrection, and left the church possessed of his estate, by his ascension, within ten days after that, he poured out this legacy of knowledge. For though some take this day mentioned in the text, to be Tanquam unins diei tenor a dato Spiritu, ad resurrectionem1*; From the first giving of the Holy Ghost, to the resurrection; and others take this day, to be from his resurrection, to the end of his second conversation upon earth, till his ascension13; and St. Augustine refer it, Ad perfectam xisionem in
caelis, To the perfect fruition of the sight of God in heaven; yet the most useful, and best followed acceptation is, this day of the coming of the Holy Ghost.
That day we celebrate this day; and we can never find the Christian church (so far as we can judge by the evidence of story) to have been without this festival day. The reason of all festivals in the church, was, and is, Ne volumine temporum, ingrata subrepat obliviou, Lest after many ages involved, and wrapped up in one another, God's particular benefits should be involved, and wrapped up in unthankfulness. And the benefits received this day, were such, as should never be forgotten: for, without this day, all the rest had been evacuated, and ineffectual: if the apostles by the coming of the Holy Ghost had not been established in an infallibility in themselves, and in an ability, to deal with all nations, by the benefit of tongues, the benefit of Christ's passion had not been derived upon all nations. And therefore, to this day, and to Easter day, all public baptisms, in the Primitive church, were reserved; none were baptized (except in cases of necessity) but upon one of these two days: for, as there is an exaltation, a resurrection given us in baptism, represented by Easter; so there belongs to us a confirmation, an establishing of grace, and the increase thereof, represented in Pentecost, in the coming of the Holy Ghost. As the Jews had an Easter, in the memory of their deliverance from Egypt, and a Pentecost in the memory of the law given at Mount Sinai; so at Easter we celebrate the memory of that glorious passover when Christ passed from the grave, and hell, in his resurrection, and at this feast of Pentecost we celebrate his giving of the law to all nations, and his investing and possessing himself of his kingdom, the church : for this is Festum adoptionis, as St. Chrysostom calls it, The cheerful feast of our adoption, in which, the Holy Ghost conveying the Son of God to us, enables us to be the sons of God, and to cry, Abba, Father.
This then is that day, when the apostles being with one accord, and in one place ", (that is, in one faith, and in one profession of that faith, not only without heresy, but without schism too) the Holy Ghost as a mighty wind, filled them all, and gave them utterance;
H Augustine. 14 Acts ii.
as a wind, to note a powerful working; and he filled them, to note the abundance; and he gave them utterance, to infer that which we spoke of before, the communication of that knowledge, which they had received, to others. This was that Spirit, whom it concerned the apostles so much to have, as that Christ himself must go from them, to send him to them; If I go not away, says Christ, the Comforter will not come to )you. How great a comfort must this necessarily be, which must so abundantly recompense the loss of such a comfort, as the presence of Christ was? This is that Spirit, who though he were to be sent by the Father, and sent by the Son, yet he comes not as a messenger from a superior, for he was always equal to Father and Son: but the Father sent him, and the Son sent him, as a tree sends forth blossoms, and as those blossoms send forth a sweet smell, and as the sun sends forth beams, by an emanation from itself; He is Spiritus quem nemo interpretari potest, says St. Chrysostom; He hath him not, that doth not see he hath him, nor is any man without him, who, in a rectified conscience, thinks he hath him: Illo prophetw illustrantur, illo idiotw condiuntur, says the same father, The prophets, as high as their calling was, saw nothing without the Spirit, and with this Spirit, a simple man understands the prophets. And therefore doth St. Basil attribute that to the Holy Ghost, which seems to be peculiar to the Son; he calls him Verbum Dei, because, says he, Spiritus interpres Filii, sicut Filius Patris, As the Son hath revealed to us the will of the Father, and so is the word of God to us, so the Holy Ghost applies the promises, and the merits of the Son to us, and so is the word of God to us too, and enables us to come to God, in that voice of his blessed servant, St. Augustine, 0 Deus, secretissime, et patentissime, Though nothing be more mysterious than the knowledge of God in the Trinity, yet nothing is more manifest unto us, than, by the light of this person, the Holy Ghost, so much of both the other persons, as is necessary for our salvation, is.
Now it is not only to the apostles that the Holy Ghost is descended this day, but, as St. Chrysostom says of the annunciation, Non ad umam tantum animam, It is not only to one person, that the angel said then, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and overshadow thee, but says he, that Holy Ghost hath said, i" will
VOL. I. 2 0
pour out myself upon all menTM, so I say of this day, this day, if ypu he all in this place, (concentred, united here in one faith, and one religion) if you be of one accord, (that is, in perfect charity) the Holy Ghost shall fill you all (according to your measure, and his purpose) and give you utterance, in your lives and conversations. Qui ita vq^cat orationibus, ut dignus fiat ilia vehementi Spiritu, semper habet diem Pentecostes11: He that loves the exercise of prayer so earnestly, as that in prayer he feels this vehemence of the Holy Ghost, that man dwells in an everlasting Whitsunday: for so he does, he hath it always, that ever had it aright: Odit eos Deus, qui unam putant diem, festum Domini, God hates that Man, says Origen also, that celebrates any holyday of his but one day: that never thinks of the incarnation of Christ but upon Christmas day, nor upon his passion, and resurrection, but upon Easter, and Good Friday. If you deal so with your souls, as with your bodies, and as you clothe yourselves with your best habits to-day, but return again to your ordinary apparel to-morrow; so for this day, or this hour, you divest the thought of your sins, but return after to your vomit, you have not celebrated this day of Pentecost; you have not been truly in this place, for your hearts have been visiting your profits, or pleasures; you have not been here with one accord, you have not truly and sincerely joined with the communion of saints -r Christ hath sent no comforter to you this day, neither will he send any, till you be better prepared for him. But if you have brought your sins hither in your memory, and leave them here in the blood of your Saviour, always flowing in his church, and ready to receive them, if you be come to that heavenly knowledge, that there is no comfort but in him, and in him abundant consolation, then youare this day capable of this great legacy, this knowledge, which is all the Christian religion, That Christ is in the Father, and you in him, and he in you.
We are now come to our third part, Our portion in this legacy, the measure of the knowledge of these mysteries, which we are to receive: of which, St. Chrysostom s,ays weU, Sciential magnum argumentum est, nolle omnia scire, It is a good argument, that that man knows much, who desires not to know all; in pur
suing true knowledge, he is gone a good way, that knows where to give over. When that great Manichean Felix would needs prove to St. Augustine, that Manes was the Holy Ghost, because it was said that the Holy Ghost should teach all truths, and that Manes did so, because he taught many things that they were ignorant of before, concerning the frame, and motion, and nature of the heavens, and their stars, St. Augustine answered, Spiritus Sanctus facit Christianas, non mathematicos, The Holy Ghost makes us Christians, not mathematicians. If any man think, by having his station at court, that it is enough for him to have studied that one book, and that if in that book, the knowledge of the court, he be come to an apprehension, by what means and persons businesses are likeliest to be carried, if he by his foresight have provided perspective glasses, to see objects afar off, and can make almanacs for next year, and tell how matters will fall out then, and think that so he hath received his portion, as much knowledge as he needs, Spiritus Sanctus facit CAristianos, non politicos, he must remember that the Holy Ghost makes Christians, and not politicians. So if a man have a good foundation of a fortune from his parents, and think that all his study must be, to proceed in that, and still to add a cipher more to his accounts, to make tens, hundreds, and hundreds, thousands, Spiritus Sanctus facit Christianos, non arithmeficos, the Holy Ghost makes Christians, and not such arithmeticians. If men who desire a change in religion, and yet think it a great wisdom, to disguise that desire, and to temporize, lest they should be made less able to effect their purposes, if they should manifest themselves; but yet hope to see that transmutation of religion, from that copper, which they esteem ours to be, to that gold, which (perchance for the venality thereof) they esteem theirs: if others, who are also working in the fire, (though not in the fire of envy and of powder, yet in the fire of an indiscreet zeal, and though they pretend not to change the substance of the metal, the body of our religion, yet they labour to blow away much of the ceremony, and circumstances, which are vehicula, and adminicula, if not habitacula religionis, they are, though not the very fuel, yet the bellows of religion) if these men, I say, of either kind, they who call all differing from themselves, error, and all error damnable; or they, who, as Tertullian expresses their humour, and indisposition prophetically, Qui vocant prostrationem disciplinw, simplicitatem, Which call the abolishing and extermination of all discipline and ceremony, pureness and holiness; if they think they have received their portion of this legacy, their measure of true knowledge, in labouring only to accuse, and reform, and refine others, Spiritus Sanctus facit Christianas, non chymistas, the Holy Ghost makes men Christians, and not alchymists. To contract this, if a man know ways enow to disguise all his sins, if no exchequer take hold of his usurious contracts, no high commission of his licentiousness, no star-chamber of his misdemeanors, if he will not to sleep, till he can hold up his eyes no longer, for fear his sins should meet him in his bed, and vex his conscience there, if he will not come to the sacrament, but at that time of the year, when laws compel him, or good company invite him, or other civil respects and reasons provoke him, if he have avoidances, to hide his sins from others, and from himself too, by such disguises, this is all but deceptio visus, a blinding of his own internal eyes, and Spirtus Sanctus facit Christianos, non circulatores, the Holy Ghost makes men Christians, and not jugglers.
This knowledge then which we speak of, is to know the end and the way, heaven and Christ, the kingdom to which he is gone, and the means which he hath taught us to follow. Now, in all our ways, in all our journeys, a moderate pace brings a man most surely to his journey's end, and so doth a sober knowledge in matters of divinity, and in the mysteries of religion. And therefore the fathers say, that this coming of the Holy Ghost upon the apostles, this day, though it were a vehement coming, did not give them all kind of knowledge, a knowledge of particular arts, and sciences; but he gave them knowledge enough for their present work, and withal a faithful confidence, that if at any time, they should have to do with learned heathens, with philosophers, the Holy Ghost would either instantly furnish them, with such knowledge, as they had not before, (as we see in many relations in the ecclesiastical story, that men spoke upon the sudden, in divers cases, otherwise, than in any reason their education could promise or afford) or else he would blunt the sharpness of the adversaries' weapons, and cast a damp upon their understandings, as we see he did in the Council of Nice, when after many disputations, amongst the great men of great estimation, the weakest man in the council rose up, and he, of whom his own party were afraid, lest his discourse should disadvantage the cause, overthrew, and converted, that great advocate, and defender of Arius, whom all the rest could never shake; for though this man said no more than other men had said, yet God at this time disposed the understanding, and the abilities of the adversaries, otherwise than before; sometimes God will have glory, in arming his friends, sometimes in disarming his enemies, sometimes in exalting our abilities, and sometimes in evacuating or enfeebling theirs.
And so, as the apostles were, as many of us, as celebrate this day, as they did, are filled with the Holy Ghost, that is, with so much knowledge, as is necessary to God's purpose in us. Enough for ourselves, if we be private men, and enough for others, if we have charge of others: private men shall have knowledge enough where to seek for more, and the priest shall have enough to communicate his knowledge to others. And though this knowledge were delivered to the apostles, as from a print, from a stamp, all at once, and to us, but as by writing, letter after letter, syllable after syllable, by catechisms, and sermons, yet both are such knowledges, as are sufficient for each. As the glory of heaven shall fall upon us all, and though we be not all of equal measure and capacity, yet we shall be equally full of that glory; so the way to that glory, this knowledge, shall be manifest to us all, and infallible to us all, though we do not all know alike; the simplest soul that hears me, shall know the way of his salvation, as well as the greatest of those fathers, whom he hears me cite; and upon us all (so disposed) the Holy Ghost shall fall, as he did here, in fire, and in tongues; in fire, to inflame us in a religious zeal, and in tongues, to utter that in confession, and in profession, that is, to glorify God, both in our words and actions. This then is our portion in this legacy, a sober seeking after those points of knowledge which are necessary for our salvation, and these, in this text, Christ derived into these three, That I am in my Father, That you are in me, That I am in you.
The first of these is the knowledge of distinction of persons, and so of the Trinity. Principale nmnus scientiw est, cognoscere Trinitatem, saith Origen: The principal use and office of my knowledge, is to know the Trinity; for, to know an unity in the Godhead, that there is but one God, natural reason serves our turn: and to know a creation of the world of nothing, reason serves us too; we know by reason, that either neither of them is Infinite, if there be two Gods, (and then neither of them can be God) or if both be infinite, which is an impossibility, one of them is superfluous, because whatsoever is infinite, can alone extend to all: So also we can collect infallibly, that if the world were not made of nothing, yet that of which the world shall be pretended to have been made of, must have been made of nothing, or else it must be something eternal, and uncreated; and whatsoever is so, must necessarily be God itself. To be sure of those two, an unity in the Godhead, and a creation of the world, I need no Scriptures; but to know this distinction of persons, that the Son is in the Father, I need the Scriptures, and I need more than the Scriptures, I need this Pentecost, this coming, this illustration of the Holy Ghost, to inspire a right understanding of these Scriptures into me. For, if this knowledge might be had without Scriptures, why should not the heathen believe the Trinity, as well as I, since they lack no natural faculties which Christians have? And if the Scriptures themselves, without the operation of the Holy Ghost, should bring this clearness, why should not the Jews and the Arians conform themselves to this doctrine of the Trinity, as well as I, since they accept those Scriptures, out of which I prove the Trinity to mine own conscience I We must then attend his working in us; we must not admit such a vexation of spirit, as either to vex our spirit, or the spirit of God, by inquiring farther than he hath been pleased to reveal.
If you consider that Christ says here, You shall know that I am in the Father, and doth not say, You shall know how I am in the Father, and this to his apostles themselves, and to the apostles after they were to be filled with the Holy Ghost, which should teach them all truth, it will cut off many perplexing questions, and impertinent answers which have been produced for the expressing of the manner of this generation, and of the distinction of the persons in the Trinity; you shall know that it is, you shall not ask how it is. It is enough for a happy subject to enjoy the sweetness of a peaceable governthent, though he know not Arcana Imperii, The ways by which the prince governs; so is it for a Christian to enjoy the working of God's grace; in a faithful believing the mysteries of religion, though he inquire not into God's bed-chamber, nor seek into his unrevealed decrees. It is Odiosa et exitialis vocula, Quomodo, says Luther, A hateful, a damnable' monosyllable, How, how God doth this or that: for if a matt come to the boldness of proposing such a qtldStidrt to himself, He will not give over till he find some attswer: and then others will not be content with his answer, but every man will have a several Ohe. "When the church fell upon the Quomodo in the sacrament, How, in what manner the body of Christ was there, we see what att Ihcohvenient answer it fell upon, that it was dorte by transubstantiation; that satisfied not, (as there was no reason it should) and then they fell Upon others, in, sub, and cum, and none could, none can give satisfaction. And so also have Our times, by askihg Quomodo, How Christ descended into hell, prdduced so many answers, as that some have thought it nd article at all, some have thought that it is all one thing to have descended into hell, and to have ascended into heaven, and that it amounts to no fnOre, than a departing into the state of the dead. But Senate depositum, Make much of that knowledge which the Holy Ghost hath trusted you withal, and believe the rest. No man knows' how his soul came into him; whether by infusion from God, or by a generation from parents, no mart knows so, but that strong arguments will be produced On the other side; and yet rto mart doubts but he hath a soul. No mart knows so, as that strong arguments may Hot be brought on the other side, how he sees, whether by reception of Species frbm without, or by emission of beams frorrt within; and yet no mart doubts whether he see or rto. The Holy Ghost shall tell you, when he tells you the most that ever he shall tell you, in that behalf, that the Son is in the Father, but he will not tell you how.
Our second portion in this legacy of knowledge, is, That we are in Christ; and this is the mystery of the incarnation. For since the devil had so surprised us all, as to take mankind all in one lump, in a corner, in Adam's loins, and poisoned us all there in the fountain, in the root, Christ, to deliver us as entirely, took all mankind upon him, and so took every one of us, and the nature, and the infirmities, and the sins, and the punishment of every singular man. So that the same pretence which the devil hath against every one of us, you are mine, for you sinned in Adam, we have also for our discharge, we are delivered, for we paid our debt in Christ Jesus. In all his tentations, send him to look upon the records of that process, of Christ's passion, and he shall find there, the names of all the faithful recorded: that such a day, that day when Christ died, I, and you, and all that shall be saved, suffered, died, and were crucified, and in Christ Jesus satisfied God the Father, for those infinite sins which we had committed: and now, second death, which is damnation, hath no more title to any of the true members of his mystical body, than corruption upon natural, or violent death, could have upon the members of his natural body.
The assurance of this grows from the third part of this knowledge, That Christ is in tis; for that is such a knowledge of Christ's general redemption of mankind, as that it is also an application of it to us in particular. For, for his incarnation, by which we are in him, that may have given a dignity to our human nature; but Quw benefaiorum magnitudo fuisset erga nos, si hominem solummodo, quem assumpserat, salvaret1"? What great benefit (however the dignity had been great to all mankind) had mankind had, if Christ had saved no more than that one person whom he assumed? The largeness and bounty of Christ is, to give us of his best treasure, knowledge, and to give us most at last, to know Christ in me. For, to know that he is in his Father, this may serve me to convince another, that denies the Trinity; to know that we are in Christ, so as that he took our nature, this may show me an honour done to us, more than the angels; but what gets a lame wretch at the pool, how sovereign soever the water be, if no body put him in? What gets a naked beggar by knowing that a dead man hath left much to pious uses,
if the executors take no knowledge of him? What get I by my knowledge of Christ in the Father, and of us in Christ so, if I find not Christ in me!
How then is Christ in us I Here the question De modo, How it is, is lawful: for he hath revealed it to us. It is, by our obedience to his inspiration, and by our reverent use of those visible means, which he hath ordained in his church, his word and sacraments: as our flesh is in him, by his participation thereof, so his flesh is in us, by our communication thereof; and so is his divinity in us, by making us partakers of his divine nature, and by making us one spirit with himself, which he doth at this Pentecost, that is, whensoever the Holy Ghost visits us with his effectual grace: for this is an union, in which, Christ in his purpose hath married himself to our souls, inseparably, and Sine solutime vinculi, Without any intention of divorce on his part: but if we will separate him a meusa et toro, If either we take the bed of licentiousness, or the board of voluptuousness, or if when we eat or drink, or sleep or wake, we do not all to the glory of God, if we separate, he will divorce.
If then we be thus come to this knowledge, let us make Ex scientia conscientiam, Enlarge science into conscience: for, Conscientia est syllogismus practicus, Conscience is a syllogism that comes to a conclusion; then only hath a man true knowledge, when he can conclude in his own conscience, that his practice, and conversation hath expressed it. Who will believe that we know there is a ditch, and know the danger of falling into it, and drowning in it, if he see us run headlong towards it, and fall into it, and continue in it I Who can believe, that he that separates himself from Christ, by continuing in his sin, hath any knowledge, or sense, or evidence, or testimony of Christ's being in him? As Christ proceeds by enlarging thy knowledge, and making thee wiser and wiser, so enlarge thy testimony of it, by growing better and better, and let him that is holy, be more holy. If thou have passed over the first heats of the day, the wantonnesses of youth, and the second heat, the fire of ambition, if these be quenched in thee, by preventing grace, or by repenting grace, be more and more holy, for thine age will meet another sin of covetousness, or of indevotion, that needs as much resistance. God staid not in
any less degree of knowledge towards thee, than in bringing himself to thee; do ndt thou stay by the way neither; not M the' consideration of God alone, for that Cwli enarmni, all creatures declare it; stay hot at the Trinity; every coming to church, nay thy first being brought to church, at thy baptism, is, arid wag a profession of that; stay not at the incarnation; that the devil 'knows, and testifies: but come to know that Christ is in thee, and express that knowledge in a sanctified life: for though He be in us all, in the wdrk of his redemption, so as that he hath poured out balm enough in his blood, to spread over all mankind, yet Only he can enjoy the cheerfulness of this unction, and the inseparableness of this union, who, (as St. Augustine pursues this contemplation) Habet in memoria, et servat irt vita, whd always remembers that he stands in the presence of Christ, and behaves himself worthy of that glorious presence; Qui habet in sernwnibus, ei sermt in operibtis, That hath Christ always at his tongue's end, and always at his fingers' ends, that loves to discourse of him, arid to act his discourses; Qui habet audiendo, ei servat faciehdo, That hears God's will here ill his house, and does his* Will at home in his Own house; Qui habet faciendo, et sermi perseverando, who having done well from the beginning, perseveres in Well doing to the end, he, and he only shall find Christ in him.