PREACHED AT COURT, AND ELSEWHERE, UPON SEVERALl OCCASIONS.
PREACHED AT WHITEHALL, APRIL 8, 1021.
Proverbs Xxv. 16.
Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.
Thehe is a temporal unsatiableness of riches, and there is a spiritual unsatiableness of sin. The first covetousness, that of riches, the apostle calls the root of all evil, but the second covetousness, that of sin, is the fruit of all evil, for that is the treasure of God's wrath, as the apostle speaks, when he makes our former sins, the mother of future sins, and then our future sins the punishments of former. As though this world were too little to satisfy man, men are come to discover or imagine new worlds, several worlds in every planet; and as though our fathers heretofore, and we ourselves too, had been but dull and ignorant sinners, we think it belongs to us to perfect old inventions, and to sin in another height and excellency, than former times did, as though sin had had but a minority, and an infancy till now. Though the pride of the prince of Tyrus were ever in some tyrants, who says there, / am a god, and sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas, and am reiser than Daniel1; Yet there is a sea above these seas, a power above this power, a spiritual pride
1 Ezek. xxviii. 2.
above this temporal pride, one so much wiser than Daniel, as that he is as wise as the Holy Ghost. The world hath ever had levities and inconstancies, and the fool hath changed as the moon8; the same men that have cried Hosanna, are ready to cry crucifige; but, as in Job's wife, in the same mouth, the same word was ambiguous, (whether it were bless God, or curse God, out of the word we cannot tell) so are the actions of men so ambiguous, as that we cannot conclude upon them; men come to our prayers here, and pray in their hearts here in this place, that God would induce another manner of prayer into this place; and so pray in the congregation, that God would not hear the prayers of the congregation; there hath always been ambiguity and equivocation in words, but now in actions, and almost every action will admit a diverse sense. And it was the prophet's complaint of old, You have multiplied your fornications, and yet are not satisfied3; but we wonder why the prophet should wonder at that, for the more we multiply temporally or spiritually, the less we are satisfied. Others have thought, that our souls sinned before they came into the world, and that therefore they are here as in a prison; but they are rather here as in a school; for if they had studied sin in another world before, they practise it here, if they have practised it before, they teach it now, they lead and induce others into sin.
But this consideration of our insatiableness in sin, in my purpose I seposed for the end of this hour; but who knows whether your patience, that you will hear, or who knows whether yours, or my life, that you can hear, shall last to the end of this hour! And therefore it is an excusable anticipation, to have begun with this spiritual covetousness of sin, though our first payment be to be made in the literal sense of the text, a reprehension, and in it, a counsel, against our general insatiableness of the temporal things of this world. Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.
In which words, there being first a particular compellation, tu, hast thou found it? It remembers thee, that there be a great many, that have not found it, but lack that which thou aboundest in; and invenisti, thou hast not inherited it, nor merited it, thou
hast but found it; and for that which thou hast found, it is honey, sweetness, but it is but honey, which easily becomes choler, and gall, and bitterness. Such as it is, comede, thou mayest eat it, and eat it safely, it is not unwholesome; but comede tuffieientiam, eat no more than is sufficient; and in that, let not the servant measure himself by his master, nor the subject by the king, nor tho private man by the magistrate, but Comede sufficientiam tuam, Eat that which is sufficient for thee, for more than that will fill thee, over-fill thee; perchance not so full as thou wouldest be, yet certainly so full, as that there will be no room in thee for better things; and then thou wilt vomit, nay perchance thou must vomit, the malice and plots of others shall give thee a vomit, and such a vomit shall be evacuans, an exinanition, leave thee empty; and immundum, an uncleanness, leave thee in scorn and contempt; and periculosum, a danger, break a vein, a vein at the heart, break thy heart itself, that thou shalt never recover it. Hast thou found honey? eat so much,as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be fiiled therewith, and vomit it.
First then, for that compellation tu, hast thou found it? It is a word first of familiarity, and then a word of particularity. It is a degree of familiarity, that God hath notified himself to us in several persons; that he hath come so near to our comprehension, as to be considered not only as an universal, and infinite God, but as a father, and as a son, and opened himself unto us in these notions, Tu Pater, Tu Fili, Thou 0 Father, and Thou 0 Son, have mercy upon us. A constable, or beadle will not be spoke to so, to be thoud, and any person in the Trinity, the whole Trinity together is content with it; take God altogether, and at highest, Tu altissimut, Thou Lord art most high for evermore4; take him from before any beginning, Tu a, seculo, Thy throne is established of old, and thou art from everlasting*; take him from beyond all ending, Tu autem per manes, Thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end3.
In which, we go not about to condemn, or correct the civil manner of giving different titles, to different ranks of men; but to note the slipperiness of our times, where titles flow into one
another, and lose their distinctions; when as the elements are condensed into one another, air condensed into water, and that into earth, so an obsequious flatterer, shall condense a yeoman into a worshipful person, and the worshipful into honourable, and so that which duly was intended for distinction, shall occasion confusion. But that which we purpose, in noting this tu, is rather the singularity, the particularity, than the familiarity; that the Holy Ghost in this collects man, abridges man, sums up man in an unity, in the consideration of one, of himself. Oportet hominem fieri unum1, Man must grow in his consideration, till he be but one man, one individual man. If he consider himself in hiimanitate, in the whole mankind, a glorious creature, an immortal soul, he shall see this immortal soul, as well in goats at the left hand, as in sheep at the right hand of Christ, at the resurrection; men on both sides: if he consider himself in qualitate, in his quality, in his calling, he shall hear many then plead their prophetavimus, we have prophecied, and their ejecimus, we have exorcised3, and their virtutes fecimus, we have done wonders, and all in thy name, and yet receive that answer, Nunquam cognovi, I do not know you now, I never did know you3. Oportet unum fieri, he must consider himself In individuo, That one man, not that man in nature, not that man in calling, but that man in actions. Origen10 makes this use of those words, as he found them, Erat vir umis, There was one man, (which was Elkanah) he adds, Nomen ejus possessio Dei, This one man, says he, was, in his name, God's possession; Nam quem damwnes possident, non unus sed multi, For he whom the devil possesses, is not one. The same sinner is not the same thing; still he clambers in his ambitious purposes, there he is an eagle; and yet lies still grovelling, and trodden upon at any greater man's threshold, there he is a worm. He swells to all that are under him, there he is a full sea; and his dog that is above him, may wade over him, there ho is a shallow, an empty river. In the compass of a few days, he neighs like a horse in the rage of his lust over all the city, and groans in a corner of the city, in an hospital. A sinner is as many men, as he hath vices; he that is
7 Clem. Alex. 8 The folio edition has " exercised."
• Matt. vii. 22. 10 Origen Homil. unica in lib. Reg.
Elkanah, Possessio Dei, Possessed by God, and in possession of God, he is Unus homo, One and the same man. And when God calls upon man so particularly, he intends him some particular good. It is St. Hierome's note, That when God in the Scriptures speaks of divers things in the singular number, it is ever in things of grace; and it is St. Augustine's note, that when he speaks of any one thing in the plural number, it is of heavy and sorrowful things; as Jephtha was buried In civitatibus Gilead", In the cities, but he had but one grave; and so that is, they made Aureos vitulos, golden calves, when it was but one calf.
When God's voice comes to thee in this text, in particular, tu, hast thou found, he would have thee remember, how many seek and have sought, with tears, with sweat, with blood, and lack that, that thou aboundest in. That whereas his evidence to them whom he loves not, in the next world, shall be, esurivi, I was hungry, and ye gave me no meat" ,- and his proceeding with them whom he loves not in this world, is, si esuriero, If I be hungry, I will not tell thee", I will not awaken thee, not remember thy conscience wherein thou mayest do me a service; he does call upon thee in particular, and ask thee, nonne tu, hast thou not fortune enough, to let fall some crumbs upon him that starves? and nonne tu, hast not thou favour enough, to shed some beams upon him that is frozen in disgrace? There is a squint eye, that looks 6ide-long; to look upon riches, and honour, on the left hand, and long life here, on the right, is a squint eye. There is a squint eye, that looks upwards and downwards; to look after God and mammon, is a squint eye. There are squint eyes, that look upon one another; to look upon one's own beauty, or wisdom, or power, is a squint eye. The direct look is to look inward upon thine own conscience; not with Nebuchadnezzar, Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty1*? But with David, Quid retribuam? for if thou look upon them with a clear eye, thou wilt see, that though thou hast them, thou hast but found them, which is our next step.
Now, if you have but found them, thou hast them but by chance, by contingency, by fortune. The emperor Leo15, he calls money found, Dei beneficium, it is a benefit derived from God; but the great lawyer, Triphonius18, calls it Donum fortunw too, an immediate gift of fortune. They consist well enough together, God and fortune. St. Augustine in his retractations, makes a conscience of having named her too oft, lest other men should be scandalized; and so the prophet complains of that, (as the Vulgate reads it) Ponitis mensam fortunw11, You sacrifice to fortune, you make fortune a god; that you should not do; but yet you should acknowledge that God hath such a servant, such an instrument as fortune, too. God's ordinary working is by nature, these causes must produce these effects; and that is his common law; he goes sometimes above that, by prerogative, and that is by miracle, and sometimes below that, as by custom, and that is fortune, that is contingency; fortuno is as far out of the ordinary way as miracle; no man knows in nature, in reason, why such, or such persons grow great; but it falls out so often, as we do not call it miracle, and therefore rest in the name of fortune. Wo need not quarrel the words of the poet, Tu quamcunqite; Deus tibi fortunaverit horam, Grata sume manu, Thank God for any good fortune, since the apostle says too, that Godliness hath the promise of this life; the godly man shall be fortunate, God will bless him with good fortune here; but still it is fortune, and chance, in the sight and reason of man, and therefore he hath but found, whatsoever he hath in that kind. It is intimated in the very word which we use for all worldly things; it is inventarium, an inventory; we found them here, and here our successors find them, when we are gone from hence. Jezebel had an estimation of beauty, and she thought to have drawn the king with that beautyls, but she found it, she found it in her box, and in her wardrobe, she was not truly fair. Achitophel had an estimation of wisdom in council, I know not how he found it; he counselled by an example, which no man would follow, he hanged himself. Thou wilt not be drawn to confess, that a man that
hath an office, is presently wiser than thou, or a man that is knighted, presently valianter than thou. Men have preferment for those parts, which other men, equal to them in the same things, have not, and therefore they do but find them; and to things that are but found, what is our title? Nisi reddantur, rapina est, says the law, If we restore not that which we find, it is robbery. St. Augustine hath brought it nearer, Qui alienum negat, si posset, tolleret, He that confesseth not that which he hath found of another mans, if ho durst, he would have taken it by force. For that which we have found in this world, our calling is the owner, our debts are the owner, our children are the owner; our lusts, our superfluities are no owners: of all the rest, God is the owner, and to this purpose, the poor is God.
St. Augustine" puts a case to the point: he says when he was at Milan, a poor usher of a grammar school found a bag of money, ducentorum solidorum; let it be but one hundred pounds; he set up bills; the owner came, offered him his tithe, ten pounds; he would none; he pressed him to five, to throe, to two; he would none: and then he that had lost it, in an honourable indignation, disclaimed it all; Nihilperdidi, says he, it is all your own, I lost nothing: Quale certamen! Theatrum mundus spectator Deus, Out of importunity, he that found it, took it all, and out of conscience, that it was not his, gave it all to the poor.
The things of this world we do but find, and of the things which we find, we are but stewards for others. This finding is not so merely casual, as that it implies no manner of seeking; we must put ourselves into the way, into a calling. The word is mated-, and that word is allowed us; but a word like it, is not allowed us; matza is, but matzah*0 is not; if there be an H added, an H, as it is an aspiration, a breathing, a panting after the things of this world, or an ache, as it is a pain, that it make our bones ache, or our hearts ache, or our conscience ache, it is a seeking, or a finding, not intended in this word. Our prosecution and seeking must be moderate, our title and interest is but a finding; and what hath the most fortunate found? Honey; it is true, but yet but honey.
"Aug. Serin, xix. de verb. Apost. >0 Matzah, Exsuxit, vel expressit.
That which Solomon may justly seem to intend especially by honey in this text, is that which the poets, and other masters of language, have called Magnat amicitias, and Magnas clientelas, dependance, and interest, and favour in great persons. It appears by the next verse, which depends upon this, and paraphrases it; Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbours house. Where that which we read, withdraw, is in the original hokar, which is fac pretiosum, make not thyself cheap, not vulgar, have some respect to thyself, to thine own ingenuity, but principally to the other, to thy great friend: be not importune and troublesome by any indiscreet assiduity, to them who are possessed with business, though at some times they descend to thee; this is this honey, where thou hast access, yet do not push open every door, fling up every hanging, but use thy favour modestly.
But in this honey is wrapped up also all that is delightful in this life; and Solomon carries us often to that comparison: in the chapter before this, (ver. 13,) for wisdom; My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; so shall the knowledge of wisdom be to thy soul; and in the seven-and-twentieth verse of this chapter, he uses it for glory; It is not good to eat much honey; so for men to search their own glory, is not glory. In the sixth chapter of this book, when Solomon had sent us to the ant, to learn wisdom, between the eighth verse and the ninth, he sends us to another school, to the bee: Vade ad apem et disce quomodo operationem venerabilem facit, Go to the bee, and learn how reverend and mysterious a work she works *. For, though St. Hierome acknowledge, that in his time this verse was not in the Hebrew text, yet it hath ever been in many copies of the Septuagint, and though it be now left out in the Complutense Bible, and that which they call the King's, yet it is in that still, which they value above all, the Vatican. St. Hierome himself31 takes it into his exposition, and other fathers into theirs. So far therefore we may hearken to that voice, as to go to the bee, and learn to work by that creature.
Both St. Basil" and St. Chrysostom" put this difference iu that place, between the labour of the ant, and the bee, that the ants work but for themselves, the bee for others: though the ants
•This verse is not in the English translation. "In Ezek. iii. 3. "Basil. Horn. viii. in Hexa. * Chrysost. in Psalm ex. have a commonwealth of their own, yet those fathers call their labour, but private labour; because no other commonwealths have benefit by their labour, but their own. Direct thy labours in thy calling to the good of the public, and then thou art a civil, a moral ant; but consider also, that all that are of the household of the faithful, and profess the same truth of religion, are part of this public, and direct thy labours for the glory of Christ Jesus, amongst them too, and then thou art a religious and a Christian bee, and the fruit of thy labour shall be honey. The labour of the ant is sub dio, open, evident, manifest; the labour of the bee is sub tecto, in a house, in a hive; they will do good, and yet they will not be seen to do it; they affect not glory, nay, they avoid it. For in experience, when some men curious of natural knowledge, have made their hives of glass, that by that transparency, they might see the bees' manner of working, the bees have made it their first work to line that glass-hive, with a crust of wax, that they might work and not be discerned. It is a blessed sincerity, to work as the ant, professedly, openly; but because there maybe cases, when to do so, would destroy the whole work, though there be a cloud and a curtain between thee, and the eyes of men, yet if thou do them clearly in the sight of God, that he see his glory advanced by thee, the fruit of thy labour shall be honey.
Pliny names one Aristomachus Solensis, that spent threescore years in the contemplation of bees; our whole time for this exercise is but threescore minutes; and therefore we say no more of this, but vade ad apem, practise the sedulity of the bee, labour in thy calling; and the community of the bee, believe that thou art called to assist others; and the secresy of the bee, that the greatest, and most authorised spy see it not, to supplant it; and the purity of the bee, that never settles upon any foul thing, that thou never take a foul way to a fair end, and the fruit of thy labour shall be honey; God shall give thee the sweetness of this world, honour, and ease, and plenty, and he shall give thee thy honey-comb, with thy honey, that which preserves thy honey to thee, that is, a religious knowledge, that all this is but honey; and honey in the dew of the flowers, whence it is drawn, is but cceli sudor", a sweaty excrement of the heavens, and siderum
saliva, the spittle, the phlegm of the stars, and apum vomitus, the casting, the vomit of the bee. And though honey be the sweetest thing that we do take into the body, yet there it degenerates into gall, and proves the bitterest; and all this is honey in the antitype, in that which it signifies, in the temporal things of this world; in the temporal things of this world there is a bitterness, in our use of them; but in his hand, and his purpose that gives them, they have impressions of sweetness; and so comede, eat thy honey, which is also a step farther.
Here is liberty for any man to eat honey, if ho have found it, and Jonathan the king's son found honey upon the ground, and did but dip his staff in it", and put it to his mouth, and he must die for it. Of forbidden honey the least dram is poison, how sweet soever any collateral respect make it. But Jonathan knew not that it was forbidden by the king: ignorance is no plea in any subject against the king's laws; and there is a King, in breach of whose laws, no king, no king's son can excuse themselves by ignorance, if they do but dip their sceptre in forbidden honey, in any unlawful delight in this world; for they do, or they may know the unlawfulness of it. But for the honey which God allows us, whether God give it in that plenty, Terram fluentem", that the land flow with milk and honey, nay torrentes mellis, rivers and streams of honey", that great fortunes flow into men, in this world; or whether God put us to suck honey out of the rock", that that which we have, we dig, and plough, and thresh for, yet when thou hast found that, comede, use it, enjoy it, eat it; He that trill not work, shall not eat"; he that shuts himself up in a cloister, till the honey find him, till meat be brought to him, should not eat.
Christ himself ate honey, but after his resurrection*0; when his body needed not refection; when our principal end in worldly things, is not for the body, nor for the world, but that we have had a spiritual resurrection, that we can see God's love in them, and show God's glory by them, then invenisti, thou hast found; (for invenire, est in rem venire, id est in usum") to find a thing is to make the right use of it, and invenisti mel, thou hast found
"1 Sam. xiv. 24 "Exod. iii. 8. 47 Job xx. 17
TM Deut , xxxii. 13. "2 Thess. iii 10.
"Luke xxiv. 41. 01 Festus.
honey, that which God intends for sweetness, for necessities, conveniences, abundances, recreations, and delights; and therefore comede, eat it, enjoy it; but to thee also belongs that caveat, Comede ad mfficientiam, Eat but enough.
That great moral man Seneca, could see, that nihil agere, to pass this life, and intend no vocation, was very ill; and that aliud agere, to profess a vocation, and be busier in other men's callings, than his own, was worse; but the super-agere, to overdo, to do more than was required at his hands, he never brought into comparison, he never suspected; and yet that is our most ordinary fault. That which hath been ordinarily given by our physicians, by way of counsel, that we should rise with an appetite, hath been enough followed by worldly men; they always lie down, and always rise up with an appetite to more, and more in this world. An office is but an ante-past, it gets them an appetite to another office; and a title of honour, but an ante-past, a new stomach to a new title. The danger is, that we cannot go upward directly; if we have a stair, to go any height, it must bo a winding stair: it is a compassing, a circumventing, to rise: a ladder is a straight engine of itself, yet if we will rise by that, it must be set aslope; though our means be direct in their own nature, yet we put them upon crooked ways; it is but a poor rising, that any man can make in a direct line, and yet it is ad sufficientiam, high enough, for it is to heaven. Have ye seen a glass blown to a handsome competency, and with one breath more, broke? I will not ask you, whether you have seen a competent beauty made worse, by an artificial addition, because they have not thought it well enough before; you see it every day, and every where. If Paul himself were here, whom for his eloquence the Lystrians called Mercury", he could not persuade them to leave their Mercury; it will not easily be left; for how many of them that take it outwardly at first, come at last to take it inwardly? Since the saying of Solomon, Be not over righteous", admits many good senses, even in moral virtues, and in religious duties too, which are naturally good, it is much more appliable in temporal things, which are naturally indifferent; be not over
fair, over witty, over sociable, over rich, over glorious; but let the measure be sufficientia tua, So much as is sufficient for thee.
But where shall a man take measure of himself? At what age, or in what calling shall he say, This is sufficient for me? Jeremy says, Puer sum, I am a child, and cannot speak at all; St. Paul says, Quando puer, When I was a child, no bigger, / spake like a child; this was not sufficientia sua, sufficient for him; for since he was to be a man, he was to speak like a man: the same clothes do not serve us throughout our lives, nay not the same bodies, nay not the same virtues, so there is no certain gomer, no fixed measure for worldly things, for every one to have. As Clemens Alexandrinus saith, Eadem drachma data nauclero, est naulum, The same piece of money given to a waterman, is his fare; publicano vectigal, given to a farmer of custom, it is impost; mercatori pretium, to a merchant it is the price of his ware; operario merces, mendico eleemosyna, to a labourer it is wages, to a beggar it is alms; so on the other side, this which we call sufficiency, as it hath relation to divers states, hath a different measure. I think the rule will not be inconveniently given, if we say, that whatsoever the world doth justly look for at our hands, we may justly look for at God's hands: those outward means, which are requisite for the performance of the duties of your calling to the world, arising from your birth, or arising from your place, you are to pray for, you are to labour for; for that is sufficientia tua, so much is sufficient for you, and so much honey you may eat; but eat no more, says the text, Ne satieris, Lest you be filled.
He doth not say yet, lest thou be satisfied; there is no great fear, nay there is no hope of that, that he will be satisfied. We know the receipt, the capacity of the ventricle, the stomach of man, how much it can hold; and we know the receipt of all the receptacles of blood, how much blood the body can have; so we do of all the other conduits and cisterns of the body; but this infinite hive of honey, this insatiable whirlpool of the covetous mind, no anatomy, no dissection hath discovered to us. When I look into the larders, and cellars, and vaults, into the vessels of our body for drink, for Mood, for urine, they are pottles and gallons; when I look into the furnaces of our spirits, the ventricles of the heart and of the brain, they are but thimbles"; for spiritual things, the things of the next world, we have no room; for temporal things, the things of this world, we have no bounds. How then shall this over-eater be filled with his honey? So filled, as that he can receive nothing else. More of the same honey he can; another manor, and another church, is but another bit of meat, with another sauce to him; another office, and another way of extortion, is but another garment, and another lace to him. But he is too full to receive anything else; Christ comes to this Bethlem, (Bethlem which is Domus panis) this house of abundance, and there is no room for Christ in this inn; there are no crumbs for Christ under this table; there comes Boanerges, (Boanerges, that \s,jilius tonitrui, the son of thunder)and he thunders out the vas, the comminations, the judgments of God upon such as he; but if the thunder spoil not his drink, he sees no harm in thunder; as long as a sermon is not a sentence in the Starchamber, that a sermon cannot fine and imprison him, he hath no room for any good effect of a sermon. The Holy Ghost, the spirit of comfort, comes to him, and offers him the consolation of the Gospel; but he will die in his old religion, which is to sacrifice to his own nets, by which his portion is plenteous; he had rather have the God of the Old Testament, that pays in this world with milk and honey, than the God of the New Testament, that calls him into his vineyard in this world, and pays him no wages till the next: one Jupiter is worth all the three Elohims, or the three Jehovahs (if we may speak so) to him. Jupiter that can come in a shower of gold, outweighs Jehovah, that comes but in a shower of water, but in a sprinkling of water in baptism, and sells that water so dear, as that he will have showers of tears for it, nay showers of blood for it, when any persecutor hath a mind to call for it. The voice of God whom he hath contemned, and wounded, the voice of the preacher whom he hath derided, and impoverished, the voice of the poor, of the widow, of the orphans, of the prisoner, whom he hath oppressed, knock at his door, and would enter, but there is no room for them, he is so full. This is the great danger indeed that accompanies this fullness, but the danger that affects him more is that which is more
"In the folio edition it stands, " They are not thimbles."
It is not a vomiting for his ease, that he would vomit; but he shall vomit; he shall be forced to vomit. He hath swallowel down riches, and he shall vomit them up again; God shall cast them out of his belly3*; but by what hand? whether by his right hand, by the true way of justice, or his left hand, by malice, under colour of justice, his money shall be his antimony, his own riches shall be his vomit. Solomon says, he saw a sore evil under the sun36; but if he had lived as long as the sun, he might have seen it every course of the sun, Riches reserved to their owners for their own hurt; rich men perish, that should not have perished, or not so soon, or not so absolutely, if they had not been rich. Their confidence in their riches provokes them to some unjustifiable actions, and their riches provoke others to a vehement persecution. And in this vomit of theirs, if we had time to do so, we would consider first, The sordidness, and the contempt and scorn that this evacuated man comes to in the world, when ho hath had this vomit of all his honey; that because there can be no vacuity, he shall be filled again, but Saturabitur ignominia, lie shall be filled with shame for glory, and shameful spewing shall be upon his glory*1. He magnified himself against the Lord, and therefore was made drunk, and shall wallow in his vomit, and be had in derision". His honey was his soul, and that being vomited, he is now but a rotten and abhorred carcass; at best ho was but a bag of money, and now he is but the bag itself, which scarce any man will stoop to take up: and as in a vomit in a basin, the physician is able to show the world, what cold meat, and what raw meat, and what hard and indigestible meat he had eaten; so when such a person comes by justice, or malice to this vomit, every man becomes a physician, every man brings indictments, and evidence against him, and can show all his falsehoods, and all his extortions in particular.
In these particulars we would consider the scorn upon this vomit; and then the danger of it in these, that nothing weakens
Job xx. 15.
37 Habak. ii. 16.
30 Eccles. v. 12. 88 Jer. XLviii. 26.
the eyes more than vomiting; when this worldly man hath lost his honey, he hath lost his sight; he was dim-sighted at beginning, when he could see nothing but worldly things, things nearest to him, but when he hath vomited them, he hath lost his spectacles; through his riches he saw some glimmering, some colour of comfort, now he sees no comfort at all: and a greater danger in vomiting is, that oftentimes it breaks a vein within, and that is most commonly incurable; this man that vomits without, bleeds within; his fortune is broke, and his heart is broke; and he bleeds better blood than his own, he bleeds out the blood of Christ Josus himself; tho blood of Christ Jesus poured into him heretofore in the consolation of the Gospel, and in the cup of salvation in the sacrament (for so much as concerns him) is but spilt upon the ground; as though his honey, his worldly greatness, were his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and prince, and friends, and all, when that is lost by this vomit, he mourns for all, in a sad and everlasting mourning, in such a disconsolate dejection of spirit as ends either in an utter inconsideration of God, or in a desperation of his mercies. This is that incipiam te evomere (as the Vulgate reads it") in this vomit of worldly things, God does begin to vomit him out of his mouth; and then God does not return to his vomit, but leaves this impatient patient to his impenitibleness. But we must not launch into these wide seas now, to consider the scorn, or the danger of this vomit, but rather draw into the harbour, and but repeat the text, transferred from this world to the text, from temporal to spiritual things.
Thus far we have been In melle, in honey, upon honey; but now Super mel, above honey. The judgments of the Lord are Dulciaprw melle, Sweeter than honey, and the honeycomb"; and the judgments of the Lord are that, by which the Lord will judge us, and this world; it is his word. His word, the sincerity of the Gospel, the truth of his religion is our honey and honeycomb; our honey, and our wax, our covenant, and our seal; wo have him not, if we have not his truth, if we require other honey; and we trust him not, if we require any other seal, if we think the word of God needs the traditions of men. And in
venisti tu, hath God manifested to thee the truth of his Gospel? Bless thou the Lord, praise him and magnify him for ever, whose day-spring from on high hath visited thee, and left so many nations in darkness, who shall never hear of Christ, till they hear himself, nor hear other voice from him then, than the ite maledicti; pity them that have not this honey, and confess for thyself, that though thou have it, thou hast but found it; couldst thou bespeak Christian parents beforehand, and say, I will be born of such parents, as shall give me a title to the covenant, to baptism? Or couldst thou procure sureties, that should bind themselves for thee, at the entering into the covenant in baptism? Thou foundest thyself in the Christian church, and thou foundest means of salvation there; thou broughtest none hither, thou broughtest none here; the title of St. Andrew, the first of the apostles that came to Christ, was but that, Invenimus Messiam, We have found the Messias. It is only Christ himself that says of himself, Comedi mel meum, I have eat my honey41, his own honey. We have no grace, no Gospel of our own, we find it here.
But since thou hast found it, Comede, Bat it; do not drink the cup of Babylon, lest thou drink the cup of God's wrath too: but make this honey (Christ's true religion) thy meat; digest that, assimilate that, incorporate that: and let Christ himself, and his merit, be as thy soul; and let the clear and outward profession of his truth, religion, be as thy body: if thou give away that body, (be flattered out of thy religion, or threatened out of thy religion) if thou sell this body, (be bought and bribed out of thy religion) if thou lend this body, (discontinue thy religion for a year or two, to see how things will fall out) if thou have no body, thou shalt have no resurrection; and the clear and undisguised profession of the truth, is the body.
Eat therefore this honey ad sufficientiam; so much as is enough. To believe implicitly as the church believes, and know nothing, is not enough; know thy foundations, and who laid them; other foundations can no man lay, than are laid, Christ Jesus; neither can other men lay those foundations otherwise than they are laid by the apostles, but eat ad sufficientiam tuam,
41 Cant. v. l.
that which is enough for thee, for so much knowledge is not required in thee in those things, as in them, whose profession it is to teach them; be content to leave a room still for the apostle's JEmulamini charismata meliora, Desire better gifts; and ever think it a title of dignity which the angel gave Daniel, to be vir desideriorum; to have still some farther object of thy desires. Do not think thou wantest all, because thou hast not all; for at the great last day, we shall see more plead catechisms for their salvation, than the great volumes of controversies, more plead their pockets, than their libraries. If St. Paul, so great an argosy, held no more but Christum crucifixum, what can thy pinnace hold? Let humility be thy ballast, and necessary knowledge thy freight: for there is an over-fulness of knowledge, which forces a vomit; a vomit of opprobrious and contumelious speeches, a belching and spitting of the name of heretic and schismatic, and a loss of charity for matters that are not of faith; and from this vomiting comes emptiness, the more disputing, the less believing: but Saturasti nos benignitate tua, Domine, Thou hast satisfied us early with thy mercy", thou gavest us Christianity early, and thou gavest us the Reformation early: and therefore since in thee we have found this honey, let us so eat it, and so hold it, That the land do not vomit her inhabitants, nor spew us out", as it spewed out the nations that were before us, but that our days may be long in this land, which the Lord our God hath given us, and that with the ancient of days, we may have a day without any night in that land, which his Son our Saviour hath purchased for us with the inestimable price of his incorruptible blood. To which glorious Son of God, &c.