Sermon LXVII

178

The Third Of My Prebend Sebmons Upon My Five Psalms. SERMON LXVII.

PREACHED AT ST. PAUL'S, NOVEMBER 5, 1626.

Psalm Lxiv. 10.
And all the upright in heart shall glory.

I Have had occasion to tell you more than once before, that our predecessors, in the institution of the service of this church, have declared such a reverence and such a devotion to this particular book of Scripture, the Psalms, as that by distributing the hundred and fifty Psalms (of which number the body of this book consists) into thirty portions, (of which number the body of our church consists) and assigning to every one of those thirty persons, his five Psalms, to be said by him every day, every day God receives from us (howsoever we be divided from one another in place, the sacrifico of praise, in the whole book of Psalms. And, though we may be absent from this choir, yet wheresoever dispersed, we make up a choir in this service, of saying over all the Psalms every day. This sixty-fourth Psalm, is the third of my five. And when, (according to the obligation which I had laid upon myself, to handle in this place some portion of every one of these my five Psalms) in handling of those words, of the Psalm immediately before this, in the seventh verse, (Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings I will rejoice) I told you, that the next world, heaven, was (as this world is) divided into two hemispheres, and that the two hemispheres of heaven, were joy and glory (for in those two notions of joy and glory is heaven often represented unto us) as in those words which we handled then, we sailed about the first hemisphere, that of joy, (In the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice) so, in these which I have read to you now, our voyage lies about the hemisphere of glory, for, All the upright in heart shall glory. As we said then of joy, we say of glory now; there is an inchoative joy here, though the consummative joy be reserved for heaven; so is there also such a taste, such an inchoation of glory in this life. And as no man shall come to the joys of heaven, that hath no joy in this world, (for there is no peace of conscience without this joy) so no man shall come to the glory of heaven, that hath not a holy ambition of this glory in this world; for this glory which we speak of, is the evidence, and the reflection of the glory from above; for the glory of God shines through godly men, and we receive a beam and a tincture of that glory of God, when we have the approbation, and testimony, and good opinion, and good words of good men; which is the glory of our text, as far as this world is capable of glory. All the upright in heart shall glory, that is, they shall be celebrated and encouraged with the glory and praise of good men here, and they shall be rewarded with everlasting glory in heaven.

In these words we propose to you but two parts; first, the disposition of the persons, Omnes recti corde, All the upright in heart, and then, the retribution upon these persons, gloriabuntur, They shall glory, or, (as it is in the Vulgate, and well) laudabuntur, they shall be celebrated, they shall be praised. In the first, the qualification of the persons, we shall pass by these steps; first, that God in his punishments and rewardings proposes to himself persons, persons already made, and qualified. God does not begin at a retribution, nor begin at a condemnation, before he have persons, persons fit to be rewarded, persons fit to be condemed. God did not first make a heaven and a hell, and after think of making man, that he might have some persons to put in them; but first for his glory he made man, and for those, who by a good use of his grace preserved their state, heaven, and for those, who by their own fault fell, he made hell. First, he proposed persons, persons in being; and then, for the persons, as his delight is for the most part to do, in this text he expresses it; which is, rather to insist upon the rewards, which the good shall receive, than upon the condemnation and judgments of the wicked. If he could choose, that is, if his own glory, and the edification of his children would bare it, he would not speak at all of judgments, or of those persons that draw necessary judgments upon themselves, but he would exercise our contemplation wholly upon his mercy, and upon persons qualified and prepared for his gracious retributions. So he does here; he speaks not at all of perverse, and froward, and sinister, and oblique men, men incapable of his retributions, but only of persons disposed, ordained, prepared for them.

And, in the qualification of these persons, he proposes first a rectitude, a directness, an uprightness; declinations downward, deviations upon the wrong hand, squint-eyed, men, splay-footed men, left-handed men, (in a spiritual sense) he meddles not withal. They must be direct, and upright; and then, Upright in heart; for to be good to ill ends, (as in many cases a man may be) God accepts not, regards not. But let him be a person thus qualified, upright; upright because he loves uprightness, Upright in heart; and then he is infallibly embraced, and enwrapped in that general rule, and proposition, that admits no exception, Omties recti corde, all the upright in heart shall be partakers of this retribution: and in these branches we shall determine our first part; first, that God proposes to himself persons; persons thus and thus qualified; he begins at them. Secondly, that God had rather dwell himself, and propose to us the consideration of good persons, than bad, of his mercies, than his judgments, for ho mentions no other here, but persons capable of his retributions; and then, the goodness that God considers, is rectitude, and rectitude in the root, in the heart; and from that root grows that spreading universality, that infallibility, omnes, all such are sure of the reward.

And then, in our second part, in the reward itself, though it be delivered here in the whole bar, in the ingot, in the wedge, in bullion, in one single word, gloriabuntur, laudabuntur, They shall glory, yet it admits this mintage, and coining, and issuing in lesser pieces, that first we consider the thing itself, the metal in which God rewards us, glory, praise; and then, since God's promise is fastened upon that, (we shall be praised) as we may lawfully seek the praise of good men, so must we also willingly afford praise to good men, and to good actions. And then, since we find this retribution fixed in the future, (we shall be praised, we shall be in glory) there arises this consolation, that though we have it not yet, yet we shall have it, though we be in dishonour, and contempt, and under a cloud, of which wo see no end ourselves, yet there is a determined future in God, which shall be made present, we shall overcome this contempt, and gloriabimur, and laudabimur, we shall glory, we shall be celebrated; in which future, the consolation is thus much farther exalted, that it is an everlasting future; the glory, and praise, the approbation, and acclamation, which we shall receive from good men, here, shall flow out and continue, to the Hosannas in heaven, in the mouth of saints, and angels, and to the Euge bone serve, Well done, good and faithful servant^, in the mouth of God himself.

First then, God proposes to himself, (in his rewards and retributions) persons; persons disposed and qualified. Not disposed by nature, without use of grace; that is flat and full Pelagianism; not disposed by preventing grace, without use of subsequent "grace, by antecedent and anticipant, without concomitant and auxiliant grace; that is semi-Pelagianism. But persons obsequious to his grace, when it comes, and persons industrious and ambitious of more and more grace, and husbanding his grace well all the way, such persons God proposes to himself. God does not only read his own works, nor is he only delighted with that which he hath writ himself, with his own eternal decrees in heaven, but he loves also to read our books too, our histories which we compose in our lives and actions, and as his delight is to be with the sons of men*, so his study is in this library, to know what we do. St. Paul says, That God made him a minister of the Gospel, to preach to the Gentiles, to the intent that the angels might know the manifold wisdom of God by the church*; that is, by that that was done in the church. The angels saw God; did they not see these things in God? No; for, These things were hid in God, says the apostle there; and the angels see no more in God, than God reveals unto them; and these things of the church, God reserved to a future, and to an experimental knowledge, to be known then when they were done in the church. So there are decrees in God, but they are hid in God; to this purpose and intendment, and in this sense, hid from God himself, that God accepts or condemns man secundum allegata et probata, according to the evidence that arises from us, and not according to those records that are hid in himself. Our actions and his

records agree; we do those things which he hath decreed; but only our doing them, and not his decreeing them, hath the nature of evidence. God does not reward, nor condemn out of his decrees, but out of our actions. God sent down his commissioners the angels to Sodom4, to inquire, and to inform him how things went. God goes down himself to inquire, and inform himself, how it stood with Adam and Eve5. Not that God was ever ignorant of anything concerning us, but that God would prevent that dangerous imagination in every man, that God should first mean to destroy him, and then to make him, that he might destroy him, without having any evidence against him. For God made man ad imaginem suam, To his own image. If he had made him under an inevitable, and irresistible necessity of damnation, he had made him ad imaginem diabolicam, To the image of the devil, and not to his own. God goes not out as a fowler, that for his pleasure and recreation, or for his commodity, or commendation, would kill, and therefore seeks out game that he may kill it; it is not God that seeks whom he may devour3: but God sees the vulture tearing his chickens, or other birds picking his corn, or pecking his fruit, and then when they are in that mischievous action, God takes his bow and shoots them for that. When God condemns a man, he proposes not that man to himself, as he meant to make him, and as he did make him, but as by his sins he hath made himself. At the first creation, God looked upon nothing; there was nothing; but ever since there have been creatures, God hath looked upon the creature: and as Adam gave every creature the name, according as he saw the nature thereof to be; so God gives every man reward or punishment, the name of a saint or a devil, in his purpose, as he sees him a good or a bad user of his graces. When I shall come to the sight of the book of life, and the records of heaven, amongst the reprobate, I shall never see the name of Cain alone, but Cain with his addition, Cain that killed his brother; nor Judas's name alone; but Judas with his addition, Judas that betrayed his Master. God does not begin with a morte moriendum, some body must die, and therefore I will make some body to kill; but God

came to a morte morieris, yet thou art alive, and mayest live, but if thou wilt rebel, thou must die. God did not call up fevers, and pestilence, and consumptions, and fire, and famine, and war and then make man, that he might throw him into their mouths, but when man threw down himself, God let him fall into their mouths. Had I never sinned in wantonness, I should never have had consumption; nor fever, if I had not sinned in riot; nor death, if I had not transgressed against the Lord of life. If God be pleased to look upon me, at the last day, as I am renewed in Christ, I am safe. But if God should look upon me, (as he made me) in Adam, I could not be unacceptable in his sight, except he looked farther, and saw me in mine own, or in Adam's sin. I would never wish myself better, than God wished me at first; no, nor than God wishes me now, as manifold a sinner as he sees me now, if yet I would conform my will to his. God looks upon persons; persons so conditioned as they were, which was our first branch, in this first part; and our second is, That he delights to propose to himself persons that are capable of his rewards; for he mentions no others in this place, All that are upright in heart.

The first thing that Moses names to have been made, was heaven, In the beginning God made heaven and earth. And infinite millions of generations before this heaven was made, there was a heaven, an eternal emanation of beams of glory, from the presence of God. But Moses tells us of no hell made at the creation; and before the creation, such a hell, as there was a heaven, there could not be; for the presence of God made heaven; and God was equally present everywhere. And they who have multiplied hells unto us, and made more hells than God hath made, more by their two limboes, (one for fathers, another for children) and one purgatory, have yet made their new hells more of the nature of heaven than of hell. For in one of their limboes, (that of the fathers) and in their purgatory, there is in them who are there an infallible assurance of heaven; they that are there, are infallibly assured to come to heaven; and an assurance of salvation will hardly consist with hell; he that is sure to come to heaven, can hardly be said to be in hell.

7 Levit. xxvi. 16.

God was loath and late in making places of torment; he is loath to speak of judgments, or of those that extort judgments from him. How plentifully, how abundantly is the word Beatus, Blessed, multiplied in the Book of Psalms! Blessed, and blessed in every Psalm, in every verse; the book seems to be made out of that word, blessed, and the foundation raised upon that word, blessed, for it is the first word of the book. But in all the book, there is not one vw, not one woe, so denounced; not one woe upon any soul, in that book. And when this vw, this woe is denounced in some other of the prophets, it is very often vox dolentis, and not increpantis, that vw, that woe, is a voice of compassion in him that speaks it, and not of destruction to them to whom it is spoken. God, in the person of Jeremiah3, weeps in contemplation of the calamities threatened, Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people. It is God that was their father, and it is God, their God that slew them; but yet, that God, their father weeps over the slaughter. So in the person of Esay3, God weeps again, I will bewail thee with weeping, and I will water thee with tears. And without putting on the person of any man, God himself avows his sighing, when he comes to name judgments, Heu, vindicabor, Alas, I will revenge me of mine enemies"; and he sighs, when he comes but to name their sins, lieu abominationes, Alas, for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel11. As though God had contracted an irregularity, by having to do in a cause of blood, he sighs, he weeps when he must draw blood from them. God delights to institute his discourses, and to take, and to make his examples, Irom men that stand in state of grace, and are capable of his mercies, and his retributions, as here in this text, he names only those, who are Recti corde, The upright in heart, they shall be considered, rewarded.

The disposition that God proposes here in those persons, whom he considers, is rectitude, uprightness, and directness. God hath given man that form in nature, much more in grace, that he should be upright, and look up, and contemplate heaven, and God

there. And therefore to bend downwards upon the earth, to fix our breast, our heart to the earth, to lick the dust of the earth with the serpent, to inhere upon the profits and pleasures of the earth, and to make that which God intended for our way, and our rise to heaven, (the blessings of this world) the way to hell; this is a manifest declination from this uprightness, from this rectitude. Nay, to go so far towards the love of the earth, as to be in love with the grave, to be impatient of the calamities of this life, and murmur at God's detaining us in this prison, to sink into a sordid melancholy, or irreligious dejection of spirit; this is also a declination from this rectitude, this uprightness. So is it too, to decline towards the left hand, to modifications, and temporising in matter or form of religion, and to think all indifferent, all one; or to decline towards the right hand, in an overvehement zeal, to pardon no errors, to abate nothing of heresy, if a man believe not all, and just all that we believe; to abate nothing of reprobation, if a man live not just as we live; this is also a diversion, a deviation, a deflection, a defection from this rectitude, this uprightness. For the word of this text, jashar, signifies rectitudinem, and planitiem; it signifies a direct way; for the devil's way was circular, compassing the earth; but tho angels" way to heaven upon Jacob's ladder, was a straight, a direct way. And then it signifies, as a direct and straight, so a plain, a smooth, an even way, a way that [hath been beaten into a path before, a way that the fathers and the church have walked in before, and not a discovery made by our curiosity, or our confidence, in venturing from ourselves, or embracing from others, new doctrines and opinions.

The persons then, whom God proposes here to be partakers of his retributions, are first recti, (that is, both direct men, and plain men) and then recti corde, this qualification, this straightness, and smoothness must be in the heart; all the upright in heart shall have it. Upon this earth, a man cannot possibly make one step in a straight, and a direct line. The earth itself being round, every step we make upon it, must necessarily be a segment, an arch of a circle. But yet though no piece of a circle be a straight line, yet if we take any piece, nay if we take the whole circle, there is no corner, no angle in any piece, in any entire circle. A perfect rectitude we cannot have in any ways in this world; in every calling there are some inevitable temptations. But, though we cannot make up our circle of a straight line, (that is impossible to human frailty) yet we may pass on, without angles, and corners, that is, without disguises in our religion, and without the love of craft, and falsehood, and circumvention in our civil actions. A compass is a necessary thing in a ship, and the help of that compass brings the ship home safe, and yet that compass hath some variations, it doth not look directly north; neither is that star which we call the north-pole, or by which we know the north-pole, the very pole itself; but we call it so, and we make our uses of it, and our conclusions by it, as if it were so, because it is the nearest star to that pole. He that comes as near uprightness, as infirmities admit, is an upright man, though he have some obliquities. To God himself we may always go in a direct line, a straight, a perpendicular line; for God is vertical to me, over my head now, and vertical now to them, that are in the East, and West Indies; to our Antipodes, to them that are under our feet, God is vertical, over their heads, then when he is over ours.

To come to God there is a straight line for every man everywhere: but this we do not, if we come not with our heart. Prwbe mihi fili cor tuum", saith God, My son give me thy heart. Was he his son, and had he not his heart? That may very well be. There is a filiation without the heart; not such a filiation, as shall ever make him partaker of the inheritance, but yet a filiation. The associating ourselves to the sons of God, in an outward profession of religion, makes us so far the sons of God, as that the judgment of man cannot, and the judgment of God doth not distinguish them. Because, then when the sons of God stood in his presence, Satan stood amongst the sons of God; God doth not disavow him, God doth not excommunicate him, God makes his use of him, and yet God knew his heart was far from him. So, when God was in council with his angels, about Ahab's going up to Ramoth Gilead, a spirit came forth and offered his service", and God refuses not his service, but employs him, though he knew his heart to be far from him. So, no doubt, many times.

18 1 Prov. xxiii. 20. "1 Kings xxii. 22.

they to whom God hath committed supreme government, and they who receive beams of this power by subordination, and delegation from them, they see Satan amongst the sons of God, hypocrites and impiously-disposed men come into those places of holy convocation, and they suffer them, nay they employ them, nay they prefer them, and yet they know their hearts are far from them; but as long as they stand amongst the sons of God, that is, appear and conform themselves in the outward acts of religion, they are not disavowed, they are not ejected: by us here, they are not. But howsoever we date our excommunications against them but from an overt act, and apparent disobedience, yet in the records of heaven, they shall meet an excommunication, and a conviction of recusancy, that shall bear date from that day, when they came first to church, with that purpose to delude the congregation, to elude the laws in that behalf provided, to advance their treacherous designs by such disguises, or upon what other collateral and indirect occasion soever men come to this place: for though they be in the right way, when they are here, at church, yet because they are not upright in heart, therefore that right way brings not them to the right end.

And that is it which David looks upon in God, and desires that God should look upon in him; According to thine own heart, saith David to God, hast thou done all these great things unto w*14: for sometimes God doth give temporal blessings to men, upon whom he hath not set his heart; and then in the 27th verse he says, Therefore hath thy servant found in his heart, to pray this prayer unto thee: if he had only found it in the Liturgy, and in the manner of the service of that church, to which he came with an ill will, and against his heart, he would not have prayed that prayer, nay, he would not have come to that church. For, though David place a great joy in that, That he can come to praise God in the congregation", and in the great congregation"; and though David seem even to determine God's presence in the church, (for he multiplies that expostulation, that adprecation many times, When shall I come, in conspectum tuum, into thy presence? And, restore me, OLord, conspectui tuo, to thy presence.

he was not right, not in the right way, if he came not to church) yet there is a case in which David glories in, though (as he saith there) In corde meo abscondi eloquium tuum, Thy word have I hidden, locked up, in my heart11. Though in another, in many other places, he rejoice in that, / have not hid thy righteousness in my heart, I have not concealed thy truth from the great congregation 19 ,- yet here he glories in his Abscondi, I have hid it. Which (as both St. Hilary, and St. Ambrose refer it to a discreet and seasonable suppressing of the mysteries of religion, and not to cast pearls before swine) may also infer this instruction; that a man were better serve God at home, (though not in so right a way, if he think it right) than to come hither against his heart and conscience. Not but that there is better means of receiving good here, than at home in private prayer, though made the right way; but his end in coming is not to make this means his way to that good; and therefore his very being here, (though he be thereby in the right way) because it comes not from an upright heart, as it is a greater danger to us, who are~deluded by their hypocritical conformity, so is it a greater sin to them, who come so against their conscience. David prays thus, Incola sum, ne abscondas, I am a stranger, hide not thy commandments from me**, (let me not be a stranger at church, at thy service.) And so it behoves us to pray too, that those doors, and those books may always be open unto us; but yet I will say with David too, Abscondam eloquium, where I am a stranger, and in a place of strange, and superstitious worship, I will hide my religion so far, as not to communicate with others, in a service against my heart; it is not safe for us to trust ourselves at a superstitious service, though curiosity, or company, or dependency upon others draw us thither; neither is it safe to trust all that come hither, if their hearts be not here. For the retribution of our text, that is, thanks and praise, belong only to them, who are right, and right of heart, and to them it is made due, and infallible, by this promise from God, and made universal, Omnes, all the upright in heart shall glory.

How often God admits it into his own name, this addition of

universality, Omne, all, as though he would be known by that especially. He is omnipotent, thero he can do all; he is omniscient, there he can know all; he is omnipresent, there he can direct all. Neither doth God extend himself to all, that he may gather from all, but that he may gather all, and all might meet in him, and enjoy him. So God is all centre, as that he looks to all, and so all circumference, as that he embraces all. The sun works upon things that ho sees not, (as mines in the womb of the earth) and so works the less perfectly. God sees all, and works upon all, and desires perfection in all. There is no one word so often in the Bible, as this, Omne, all. Neither hath God spread the word more liberally upon all the lines of this book, then he hath his gracious purposes upon all the souls of men. And therefore, to withdraw God's general goodness out of his general propositions, that he would have all repent, that he came to save all, is to contract and abridge God himself, in his most extensive attribute, or denotation, that is, his mercy: and as there is a curse laid upon them, that take away any part, any proposition out of this book, so may there be a curse on an ill affection, and countenance, and suspicion from God, that presses any of his general propositions to a narrower, and less gracious sense than God meant in it. It were as easily believed, that God looks towards no man, as that there should be any man (in whom he sees, that is, considers no sin) that he looks not towards. I could as easily doubt of the universal providence of God, as of the universal mercy of God, if man continued not in rebellion, and in opposition. If I can say, by way of confession, and accusing myself, Lord, my ways have not been right, nor my heart right, there is yet mercy for me. But to them who have studied and accustomed themselves to this uprightness of heart, there is mercy in that exaltation, mercy in the nature of a reward, of a retribution; and this retribution expressed here, in this word glory, constitutes our second part, all the upright in heart shall glory.

This retribution is expressed in the original, in the word halal; and halal, to those translators that made up our Book of Common Prayer, presented the signification of gladness, for so it is there, They shall be glad; so it did to the translators that came after, for there it is, They shall rejoice; and to our last translators it seemed to signify glory, They shall glory, say they. But the first translation of all into our language (which was long before any of these three) calls it praise, and puts it in the passive, All mm of rightful heart shall be praised. He followed St. Hierom, who reads it so, and interprets it so, in the passive, laudabuntur, They shall be praised. And so truly jithhalelu, in the original, bears it, nay requires it; which is not of a praise that they shall give to God, but of a praise, that they shall receive for having served God with an upright heart; not that they shall praise God in doing so, but that godly men shall praise them for having done so. All this will grow naturally out of the root; for the root of this word is Ulcere, splendere, to shine out in the eyes of men, and to create in them a holy and a reverential admiration; as it was John Baptist's praise, that he was A burning, and a shining lamp. Properly it is, by a good and a holy exemplary life, to occasion others to set a right value upon holiness, and to give a due respect for holy men. For so, where wo read, Their maidens were not given in marriage80, we find this word of our text, Their maidens were not praised, that is, there was not a due respect held of them, nor a just value set upon them.

So that this retribution intended for the upright in heart, as in the growth and extension of the word, it reaches to joy, and glory, and eminency, and respect, so in the root it signifies praise; and it is given them by God as a reward. That they shall he praised; now, praise (says the philosopher) is Sermo elucidans magnitudinem virtutis; It is the good word of good men, a good testimony given by good men of good actions. And this difference we use to assign between praise, and honour, Laus est in ordine ad finem, honor eorum qui jam in fine; praise is an encouragement to them that are in the way, and so far, a reward, a reward of good beginnings; honour is reserved to the end, to crown their constancy, and perseverence. And therefore, where men are rewarded with great honours at the beginning, in hope they will deserve it, they are paid beforehand. Thanks, and grace, and good countenance, and praise, are interlocutory encouragements, honours are final rewards. But, since praise is a part of God's retribution, a part of his promise in our text, They shall be

*0 Psalm I.xxviii. 63.

praised, we are thereby not only allowed, but bound to seek this praise from good men, and to give this praise to good men; for in this coin God hath promised that the upright in heart shall be paid, They shall be praised.

To seek praise from good men, by good means, is but the same thing which is recommended to us by Solomon, A good name is rather to be chosen, than great riches, and loving favour, than silver and gold". For, Habent ct mores colores suos, habent et odores"; our good works have a colour, and they have a savour; we see their candour, their sincerity in our own consciences, there is their colour; (for in our own consciences our works appear in their true colours; no man can be an hypocrite to himself, nor seriously, deliberately deceive himself) and, when others give allowance of our works, and are edified by them, there is their savour, their odour, their perfume, their fragrancy. And therefore St. Hierom and St. Augustine differ little in their manner of expressing this, Non paratum habeas Mud e trivio", Serve not thyself with that trivial, and vulgar saying, As long as my conscience testifies well to me, I care not what men say of mo; and so says that other father, They that rest in the testimony of their own consciences, and contemn the opinion of other men, Imprudenter agunt, et crudtliter**, they deal weakly, and improvidently for themselves, in that they assist not their consciences with moro witnesses, and they deal cruelly towards others, in that they provide not for their edification, by the knowledge and manifestation of their good works. For, (as he adds well there) Qui a criminibus vitam custodit, bene facit, He that is innocent in his own heart, does well for himself, but Qui famam custodit, et in alios misericors est, He that is known to live well, he that hath tho praise of good men, to be a good man, is merciful, in an exemplary life, to others, and promotes their salvation. For when that father gives a measure how much praise a man may receive, and a rule how he may receive it, when he hath first said, Nee totum, nec nihil accipiatur, Receive not all, but yet refuse not all praise, he adds this, That that which is to be received, is not to be received for our own sakes, sed propter illos, quibus consulere

iwn potest, si nimia dejectione vilescat, but for their sakes, who would undervalue goodness itself, if good men did too much undervalue themselves, or thought themselves never the better for their goodness. And therefore St. Bernard applies that in the Proverbs to this case; Hast thou found honey? eat that which is sufficient". Mellis nomine, favor humance laudis, says he, by honey, favour, and praise, and thankfulness is meant; Meritoque non ab omni, sed ab immoderato edulio prohibemur, Wo are not forbid to taste, nor to eat, but to surfeit of this honey, of this praise of men. St. Augustine found this love of praise in himself, and could forbid it no man, Laudari a. bene viventibus, si dicam nolo, mentior, If I should say, that I desired not the praise of good men, I should belie myself. He carries it higher than thus; he does not doubt, but that the apostles themselves had a holy joy, and complacency, when their preaching was acceptable, and thereby effectual upon the congregation. Such a love of praise is rooted in nature; and grace destroys not nature; grace extinguishes not, but moderates this love of praise in us, nor takes away the matter, but only exhibits the measure. Certainly, he that hath not some desire of praise, will be negligent in doing {■.' praise-worthy things; and negligent in another duty intended here too, that is, to praise good men, which is also another particular branch in this part.

The hundred and forty-fifth Psalm is, in the title thereof, called a Psalm of praise; and the rabbins call him Filium futuri seculi, A child of the next world, that says that Psalm thrice a day. We will interpret it, by way of accommodation, thus, that he is a child of the next world, that directs his praise every day, upon three objects, upon God, upon himself, upon other men. Of God, there can be no question; and for ourselves, it is truly the most proper, and most literal signification of this word in our text, jithhalelu, that they shall praise themselves, that is, they shall have the testimony of a rectified conscience, that they have deserved the praise of good men, in having done laudable service to God. And then, for others, that which God promises to Israel in their restauration, belongs to all the Israel of the Lord, to all the faithful, / will get thee praise, and fame in every land, and I will

85 Prov. xxv. 16.

make thee a name, and a praise amongst all the people of the earth". This God will do; procure them a name, a glory: by whom? When God binds himself, he takes us into the band with him, and when God makes himself the debtor, he makes us stewards; when he promises them praise, he means that we should give them that praise. Be all ways of flatterings, and humourings of great persons precluded with a protestation, with a detestation; be Philo Judarus his comparison received, his coquus, and his medicus, one provides sweetness for the present taste, but he is but a cook, the other is a physician, and though by bitter things, provides for thy future health; and such is the honey of flatterers, and such is the wormwood of better counsellors. I will not shake a proverb, not the ad corvos, that we were better admit the crows, that pick out our eyes, after we are dead, than flatterers that blind us, whilst we live; I cast justly upon others, I take willingly upon myself, the name of wicked, if I bless the covetous whom the Lord abhorreth, or any other whom he hath declared to be odious to him. But making my object goodness in that man, and taking that goodness in that man, to be a candle, set up by God in that candlestick, God having engaged himself, that that good man shall be praised, I will be a subsidy man so far, so far pay God's debts, as to celebrate with condign praise the goodness of that man; for in that I do as I should desire to be done to, and in that I pay a debt to that man, and in that I succour their weakness, who (as St. Gregory says) when they hear another praised, Si non amore virtutis, at delectationt laudis accenduntur, at first for the love of praise, but after for the love of goodness itself, are drawn to be good. For when the apostle had directed the Philippians"7 upon things that were true, and honest, and just, and pure, and lovely, and of a good report, he ends all thus, If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. In those two, says St. Augustine, he divides all, virtue, and praise; virtue in ourselves, that may deserve praise; praise towards others, that may advance and propagate virtue. This is the retribution which God promises to all the upright in heart, gloriabuntur, laudabuntur, they shall glory, they shall have, they shall give praise. And then it is so far from diminishing this

"Zephan. iii. 19, 20. *> Phil. iv. 8.

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glory, as that it infinitely exhalts our consolation, that God places this retribution in the future, gloriabuntur, if they do not yet, yet certainly they shall glory, and if they do now, that glory shall not go out, still they shall, they shall for ever glory.

In the Hebrew there is no present tense; in that language wherein God spake, it could not be said, The upright in heart, are praised; many times they are not. But God speaks in the future; first, that he may still keep his children in an expectation and dependence upon him, (you shall be, though you be not yet) and then, to establish them in an infallibility, because he hath said it, (I know you are not yet, but comfort yourselves, I have said it, and it shall be.) As the Hebrew hath no superlatives, because God would keep his children within compass, and in moderate desires, to content themselves with his measures, though they be not great, and though they be not heaped; so, considering what pressures, and contempts, and terrors, the upright in heart are subject to, it is a blessed relief, that they have a future proposed unto them, that they shall be praised, that they Bhall be redeemed out of contempt. This makes even the expectation itself as sweet to them, as the fruition would be. This makes them, that when David says, Expecta viriliter, Wait upon the Lord with a good courage"; wait, I say, upon the Lord, they do not answer with the impatience of the martyrs under the altar, usquequo, How long, Lord, wilt thou defer it"? But they answer in David's own words, Expectans expectavi, I have waited long30, and, Expectabo nomen tuum, still I will wait upon thy name31; I will wait till the Lord come; his kingdom come in the meantime, his kingdom of grace, and patience; and for his ease, and his deliverance, and his praise, and his glory to me, let that come, when he may be most glorified in the coming thereof. Nay, not only the expectation, (that is, that that is expected) shall be comfortable, because it shall be infallible, but that very present state that he is in, shall be comfortable, according to the first of our three translations, They that are true of heart, shall be glad thereof; glad of that; glad that they are true of heart, though their future retribution were never so far removed; nay,

58 Psalm xxvii. 14. M Rev. vi. 10.

30 Psalm Xl. 1. •1 Psalm lii 9.

though there were no future retribution in the case, yet they shall find comfort enough in their present integrity. Nay, not only their present state of integrity, but their present state of misery, shall be comfortable to them; for this very word of our text, halal, that is here translated joy, and glory, and praise, in divers places of Scripture, (as Hebrew words have often such a transplantation) signifies ingloriousness, and contempt, and dejection of spirit**; so that ingloriousness, and contempt, and dejection of spirit, may be a part of the retribution; God may make ingloriousness, and contempt, and dejection of spirit, a greater blessing and benefit, than joy, and glory, and praise would have been; and so reserve all this glory and praising to that time, that David intends, The righteous shall he in everlasting remembrance". Though they live and die contemptibly, they shall be in an honourable remembrance, even amongst men, as long as men last, and even when time shall be no more, and men no more, they shall have it in futuro wterno; where there shall be an everlasting present, and an everlasting future, there the upright in heart shall be praised, and that for ever which is our conclusion of all.

If this word of our text, halal, shall signify joy, (as the service book, and the Geneva translation render it) that may be somewhat towards enough, which we had occasion to say of the joys of heaven, in our exercise upon the precedent Psalm, when we sailed through that hemisphere of heaven, by the breath of the Holy Ghost, in handling those words, Under the shadotc of thy wings I will rejoice. So that, of this signification of the word, Gaudebunt in wterno, They shall rejoice for ever, we add nothing now. If the word shall signify glory, (as our last translation renders it) consider with me, that when that glory which I shall receive in heaven, shall be of that exaltation, as that my body shall invest the glory of a soul, (my body shall be like a soul, like a spirit, like an angel of light, in all endowments that glory itself can make that body capable of, that body remaining still a true body) when my body shall be like a soul, there will be nothing left for my soul to be like but God himself; / shall be partaker of the Divine nature", and the same spirit with him".

"Psalm Lxxv. 4: Isaiah xi.iv. 25: Job xii. 17.
** Psalm cxii. 6. "2 Pet. i. 4. "1 Cor. vi. 17.

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Since the glory that I shall receive in body, and in soul, shall be such, so exalted, what shall that glory of God be, which I shall see by the light of this glory shed upon me there? In this place, and at this time the glory of God is; but we lack that light to see it by. When my soul and body are glorified in heaven, by that light of glory in me, I shall see the glory of God. But then what must that glory of the essence of God be, which I shall see through the light of God's own glory? I must have the light of glory upon me, to see the glory of God, and then by his glory I shall see his essence. When St. Paul cries out upon the bottomless depth of the riches of his attributes, 0 the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God3*! How glorious, how bottomless is the riches of his essence? If I cannot look upon him in his glass, in the body of the sun, how shall I look upon him face to face"? And if I be dazzled to see him as he works, how shall I see him, Sicuti est, As he is33, and in his essence? But it may be some ease to our spirits, (which cannot endure the search of this glory of heaven, which shall show us the very essence of God) to take this word of our text, as our first translation of all took it, for one beam of this glory, that is praise; consider we therefore this everlasting future only so, How the upright in heart shall be praised in heaven.

First, the militant church shall transmit me to the triumphant, with her recommendation, that I lived in the obedience of the church of God, that I died in the faith of the Son of God, that I departed and went away from them, in the company and conduct of the spirit of God, into whose hands they heard me, they saw me recommend my spirit, and that I left my body, which was the temple of the Holy Ghost", to them, and that they have placed it in God's treasury, in his consecrated earth, to attend the resurrection, which they shall beseech him to hasten for my sake, and to make it joyful and glorious to me, and them, when it comes. So the militant church shall transmit me to the triumphant, with this praise, this testimony, this recommendation. And then, if I have done any good to any of God's servants, (or to any that hath not been God's servant, for God's sake) if I have but fed a

hungry man, if I have but clothed a naked child, if I have but comforted a sad soul, or instructed an ignorant soul, if I have but preached a sermon, and then printed that sermon, that is, first preached it, and then lived according to it, (for the subsequent life is the best printing, and the most useful and profitable publishing of a sermon) all those things that I have dono for Goers glory, shall follow me, shall accompany me, shall bo in heaven before me, and meet with their testimony, that as I did not serve God for nothing, (God gave me his blessings with a large hand, and in overflowing measures) so I did not nothing for the service of God; though it be, as it ought to be, nothing in mine own eyes, nothing in respect of my duty, yet to them who have received any good by it, it must not seem nothing; for then they are unthankful to God, who gave it, by whose hand soever.

This shall be my praise to heaven, my recommendation thither; and then my praise in heaven shall be my preferment in heaven. Then those blessed angels, that rejoiced at my conversion before, shall praise my perseverance in that profession, and admit me to a part in all their hymns and Hosannas, and Hallelujahs; which Hallelujah is a word produced from the very word of this text, halal; my Hallelujah shall be my halal, my praising of God shall be my praise. And from this testimony I shall come to the accomplishment of all, to receive from my Saviour's own mouth, that glorious, that victorious, that harmonious praise, that dissolving, and that recollecting testimony, that shall melt my bowels, and yet fix me, pour me out, and yet gather me into his bosom, that Eugebone serve, Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into thy Masters joy 40. And when he hath sealed me with his euge, and accepted my service, who shall stamp a vw quod non, upon me? Who shall say, Woe be unto thee, that thou didst not preach, this or that day, in this or that place? When ho shall have styled me Bon e et f i delis, Good and faithful servant, who shall upbraid me with a late undertaking this calling, or a Black pursuing, or a lazy intermitting the function thereof? VVhen he shall have entered me into my Masters joy, what fortune, what sin can cast any cloud of sadness upon me? This is that that makes heaven, heaven, that this retribution, which is

future now, shall be present then, and when it is then present, it shall be future again, and present and future for ever, ever enjoyed, and expected ever. The upright in heart shall have, whatsoever all translations can enlarge and extend themselves unto; they shall rejoice, they shall glory, they shall praise, and they shall be praised, and all these in an everlasting future, for ever. Which everlastingness is such a term, as God himself cannot enlarge; as God cannot make himself a better God than he is, because he is infinitely good, infinite goodness, already; so God himself cannot make our term in heaven longer than it is; for it is infinite everlastingness, infinite eternity. That that we are to beg of him is, that as that state shall never end, so he will be pleased to hasten the beginning thereof, that so we may be numbered with his saints in glory everlasting. Amen.