PREACHED TO THE EARL OF CARLISLE, AND HIS COMPANY,
Mahk xvi. 16.
He that believeth not, shall be damned.
The first words that are recorded in the Scriptures, to have been spoken by our Saviour, are those which he spoke to his father and mother, then when they had lost him at Jerusalem, How is it that you sought me? Knew ye not that I must be about my Father's business'? And the last words, which are in this evangelist recorded to have been spoken by him, to his apostles, are then also, when they were to lose him in Jerusalem, when he was to depart out of their presence, and set himself in the heavenly Jerusalem, at'the right hand of his Father: of which last words of his, this text is a part. In his first words, those to his father and mother, he doth not rebuke their care in seeking him, nor their tenderness in seeking him, (as they told him they did) with heavy hearts: but he lets them know, that, if not the band of nature, nor the reverential respect due to parents, then no respect in the world should hold him from a diligent proceeding in that work which he came for, the advancing the kingdom of God in the salvation of mankind. In his last words to his apostles, he doth not discomfort them by his absence, for he says, / am with you always, even unto the end of the world*: but he encourageth them to a cheerful undertaking of their great work, the preaching of the Gospel to all nations, by many arguments, many inducements, of which, one of the weightiest is, that their preaching of the Gospel was not like to be uneffectual, because he had given them the sharpest spur, and the strongest bridle upon mankind; Pramium et pwnam, authority to reward the obedient, and authority to punish the rebellious and refractory man; he put into their hands the double key of heaven, and of hell; power to convey to the believer salvation, and upon him that believed not,
1 Luke ii. 49. 1 Matt, xxviii, 20.
to inflict eternal condemnation; he that believeth not, shall be damned.
That then which man was to helieve upon pain of damnation, if he did not, being this commission which Christ gave to his apostles, we shall make it our first part of this exercise, to consider the commission itself, the subject of every man's necessary belief; and our second part shall be, the penalty, the inevitable, the irreparable, the intolerable, the inexpressible penalty, everlasting condemnation, He that believeth not, shall be damned. In the first of these parts, we shall first consider some circumstantial, and then the substantial parts of the commission; (for though they be essential things, yet because they are not of the body of the commission, we call them branches circumstantial) first, An sit, whether there be such a commission or no; secondly, the ubi, where this commission is; and then the wide, from whence this commission proceeds; and lastly the quo, how far it extends, and reaches; and having passed through these, we must look back for the substance of the commission; for in the text, He that believeth not, is implied this particle, this, this word this, He that believeth not this, that is, that which Christ hath said to his apostles immediately before the text, which is indeed the substance of the commission, consisting of three parts, ite prwdicate, go and preach the Gospel, ite baptizate, go and baptize them, ite docete, go and teach them to do, and to practise all that I have commanded; and after all these which do but make up the first part, we shall descend to the second, which is the penalty; and as far as the narrowness of the time, and the narrowness of your patience, and the narrowness of my comprehension can reach, we shall show you the horror, the terror of that fearful intermination, Damnabitur, He that believeth not, shall be damned.
First then, it is within this crediderit, that is, it is matter of faith to believe, that such a commission there is, that God hath established means of salvation, and propagation of his Gospel here. If then this be matter of faith, where is the root of this faith? from whence springs it? Is there any such thing writ in the heart of man, that God hath proceeded so? Certainly as it is in agendis, in those things which we are bound to do, which are all comprehended in the Decalogue, in the Ten Commandments, that there is nothing written there, in those stone tables, which was not written before in the heart of man, (exemplify it in that commandment which seems most removed from natural reason, which is the observing of the Sabbath, yet even for that, for a Sabbath, man naturally finds this holy impression, and religious instinct in his heart, that there must be an outward worship of that God, that hath made, and preserved him, and that is the substance, and moral part of that commandment of the Sabbath) and it is in agendis, that all things, that all men are bound to do, all men have means to know; and as it is in sperandis, in petendis, of those things which man may hope for at God's hand, or pray for, from him, there is a knowledge imprinted in man's heart too; (for the Lord's Prayer is an abridgement of all those, and exemplify also this in that petition of the Lord's Prayer, which may seem most removed from natural reason, that we must forgive those who have trespassed against us, yet even in that, every natural man may see, that there is no reason for him, to look for forgiveness from God, who can, and may justly come to an immediate execution of us, as soon as we have offended him, if we will not forgive another man, whom we cannot execute ourselves, but must implore the law, and the magistrate to revenge our quarrel) as it is in agendis, in all things which we are bound to do; as it is in petendis, in all things which we may pray for, so it is in credendis, all things that all men are bound to believe, all men have means to know.
This then, that God hath established means of salvation, being inter credenda, one of those things which he is bound to believe, (for he that believeth not this, shall be damned) man hath thus much evidence of this in nature, that by natural reason we know, that that God which must be worshipped, hath surely declared how ho will be worshipped, and so we are led to seek his revealed and manifested will, and that is nowhere to be found but in his Scriptures. So that when all is done, the Ten Commandments, which is the sum of all that we are to do; the Lord's Prayer, which is the sum of all that we are to ask; and the Apostles' Creed, which is the sum of all that we are to believe, are but declaratory, not introductory things; the same things are first written in man's heart, though dimly and sub-obscurely, and then the same things are extended, shed in a brighter beam, in every leaf of the Scripture; and the same things are recollected again, into the Ten Commandments, into the Lord's Prayer, and into the Apostles' Creed, that we might see them altogether, and so take better view and hold of them. The knowledge which we have in nature, is the substance of all, as all matter, heaven and earth were created at once, in the beginning; and then the further knowledge which we have in Scripture, is as that light which God created after; for as by that light, men distinguished particular creatures, so by this light of the Scripture, we discern our particular duties. And after this, as in the creation, all the light was gathered into the body of the sun, when that was made; Bo all that is written in our hearts radically, and diffused in the Scriptures more extensively, is re-amassed, and reduced to the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and to the Creed.
The heart of man is hortus, it is a garden, a paradise, where all that is wholesome, and all that is delightful grows, but it is hortus conclusus3, a garden that we ourselves have walled in; it is fons, a fountain, where all knowledge springs, but fans signatus, a fountain that our corruption hath sealed up. The heart is a book, legible enough, and intelligible in itself; but we have so interlined that book with impertinent knowledge, and so clasped up that book, for fear of reading our own history, our own sins, as that we are the greatest strangers, and the least conversant with the examination of our own hearts. There is then myrrh in this garden, but we cannot smell it; and therefore, All thy garments smell of myrrh, saith David4, that is, God's garments; those Scriptures in which God hath apparelled, and exhibited his will, they breath the balm of the East, the savour of life, more discernibly unto us. But after that too, there is fasciculus myrrhcB, a bundle of myrrh8 together, fasciculus agendorum, a whole bundle of those things which we are bound to do, in the Ten Commandments ; fasciculus petendorum, a whole bundle of those things, which we are bound to pray for, in the Lord's Prayer; and fasciculus credendorum, a whole bundle of those things, which we are bound to believe in the Apostles' Creed; and in that last bundle of myrrh, in that Creed, is this particular, ut
credamus hoc, that we believe this, this, that God hath established means, of salvation here, and He that believeth not this, that such a commission there is, shall be damned.
In that bundle of myrrh then, where lies this that must necessarily be believed, this commission? In that article of that Creed, Credo ecclesiam Catholicam, I believe the holy Catholic Church; for till I come to that grain of myrrh, to believe the Catholic Church, I have not the savour of life; let me take in the first grain of this bundle of myrrh, the first article, Credo in Deum Patrem, I believe in God the Father, by that I have a being, I am a creature, but so is a contemptible worm, and so is a venomous spider as well as I, so is a stinking weed, and so is a stingingnettle, as well as I; so is the earth itself, that we tread under our feet, and so is the ambitious spirit, which would have been as high as God, and is lower than the lowest, the devil himself is a creature as well as I; I am but that, by the first article, but a creature; and I were better, if I were not that, if I were no creature, (considering how I have used my creation) if there were no more myrrh in this bundle than that first grain, no more to be got by believing, but that I were a creature: but take a great deal of this myrrh together, consider more articles, that Christ is conceived, and born, and crucified, and dead, and buried, and risen, and ascended, there is some savour in this; but yet, if when we shall come to judgment, I must carry into his presence, a mcnstruous conscience, and an ugly face, in which his image, by which he should know me, is utterly defaced, all this myrrh of his merits, and his mercies, is but a savour of death unto death unto me, since I, that knew the horror of my own guiltiness, must know too, that whatsover he be to others, he is a just Judge, and therefore a condemning Judge to me; if I get farther than this in the Creed, to the Credo in Spiritum sanctum, I believe in the Holy Ghost, where shall I find the Holy Ghost? I lock my door to myself, and I throw myself down in the presence of my God, I divest myself of all worldly thoughts, and I bend all my powers, and faculties upon God, as I think, and suddenly I find myself scattered, melted, fallen into vain thoughts, into no thoughts; I am upon my knees, and I talk, and think nothing; I deprehend myself in it, and I go about to mend it, I gather new forces, new purposes to try again, and do better, and I do the same thing again. / believe in the Holy Ghost, but do not find him, if I seek him only in private prayer; but in ecclesia, when I go to meet him in the church, when I seek him where he hath promised to be found, when I seek him in the execution of that commission, which is proposed to our faith in this text, in his ordinances, and means of salvation in his church, instantly the savour of this myrrh is exalted, and multiplied to me; not a dew, but a shower is poured out upon me, and presently follows Communio sanctorum, the communion of saints, the assistance of militant and triumphant church in my behalf; and presently follows Remissio peccatorum, The remission of sins, the purifying of my conscience, in that water, which is his blood, baptism, and iu that wine, which is his blood, the other sacrament; and presently follows carnis resurrectio, a resurrection of my body; my body becomes no burthen to me; my body is better now, than my soul was before; and even here I have Goshen in my Egypt, incorruption in the midst of my dunghill, spirit in the midst of my flesh, heaven upon earth; and presently follows vita wterna, Life everlasting; this life of my body shall not last for ever, nay the life of my soul in heaven is not such as it is at the first. For that soul there, even in heaven, shall receive an addition, an access of joy, and glory in the resurrection of our bodies in the consummation.
When a wind brings the river to any low part of the bank, instantly it overflows the whole meadow; when that wind which blows where he will, the Holy Ghost, leads an humble soul to the article of the church to lay hold upon God, as God hath exhibited himself in his ordinances, instantly he is surrounded under the blood of Christ Jesus, and all the benefits thereof; The communion of saints, the remission of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting, are poured out upon him. And therefore of this great work, which God hath done for man, in applying himself to man, in the ordinances of his church, St. Augustine says, Obscurius dixerunt prophetw de Christo, quam de ecclesia, The prophets have not spoken so clearly of the person of Christ, as they have of the church of Christ; for though St. Hierome interpret aright those words of Adam and Eve, Brunt duo in carnem mam, They two shall be one flesh, to be appliable to
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the union which is between Christ and his church, (for so St. Paul himself applies them0) that Christ and his church are all one, as man and wife are all one, yet the wife is (or at least, it had wont to be so) easilier found at home, than the husband; we can come to Christ's church, but we cannot come to him; the church is a hill, and that is conspicuous naturally; but the church is such a hill, as may be seen everywhere. St. Augustine asks his auditory in one of his sermons, do any of you know the hill Olympus? and himself says in their behalf, none of you know it; no more says he, do those that dwell at Olympus know Giddabam vettram, some hill which was about them; trouble not thyself to know the forms and fashions of foreign particular churches; neither of a church in the lake, nor a church upon seven hills; but since God hath planted thee in a church, where all things necessary for salvation are administered to thee, and where no erroneous doctrine (even in the confession of our adversaries) is affirmed and held, that is the hill, and that is the Catholic church, and there is this commission in this text, means of salvation sincerely executed; so then, suoh a commission there is, and it is in the article of the Creed, that is the ubi.
We are now come in our order, to the third circumstantial branch, the unde, from whence, and when this commission issued, in which we consider, that since we receive a deep impression from the words, which our friends spake at the time of their death, much more would it work upon us, if they could come and speak to us after their death; you know what Dives said, Si quit ex mortuis, If one from the dead might go to my brethren, he might bring them to any thing7. Now, primitiw mortuorum, the Lord of life, and yet the first born of the dead, Christ Jesus, returns again after his death, to establish this commission upon his apostles; it hath therefore all the formalities of a strong and valid commission; Christ gives it, Ex mero motu, merely out of his own goodness; he foresaw no merit in us that moved him; neither was he moved by any man's solicitations; for could it ever have fallen into a man's heart, to have prayed to the Father, that his Son might take our naturo and die, and rise again, and settle a course upon earth, for our salvation, if this had not first
risen in the purpose of God himself? W ould any man ever have solicited or prayed him to proceed thus? It was Ex mero motu, out of his own goodness, and it was Ex certa scientia, he was not deceived in his grant, he knew what he did, he knew this commission should be executed, in despite of all heretics, and tyrants that should oppose it; and as it was out of his own will, and with his own knowledge, so it was Ex plenitudine potestatis, He exceeded not his power; for Christ made this commission then, when (as it is expressed in the other evangelist) he produced that evidence, Data est mihi, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth*; where Christ speaks not of that power, which he had by his eternal generation, (though even that power, were given him, for he was Deus de Deo, God of God) nor he speaks not of that power which was given him as man, which was great, but all that, he had in the first minute of his conception, in the first union of the two natures, divine and human together; but that power, from which he derives this commission, is that, which he had purchased by his blood, and came to by conquest; Ego vici mundum, says Christ, I have conquered the world, and coming in by conquest, I may establish what form of government I will; and my will is, to govern my kingdom by this commission; and by these commissioners, to the world's end; to establish these means upon earth, for the salvation of the world.
And as it hath all these formalities of a due commission, made without suit, made without error, made without defect of power: so had it this also, that it was duly and authentically testified; for, though this evangelist name but the eleven apostles to have been present, and they in this case might be thought testes domestic!, witnesses that witness to their own, or to their master's advantage; yet, the opinion which is most embraced is, that this appearing of Christ, which is intended here, is that appearing, which is spoken of by St. Paul*, when he appeared to more than five hundred at once; Christ rests not in his teste meipso, that himself was his witness, as princes use to do, (and as he might have done best of any, because there were always two more that testified with him, the Father, and the Holy Ghost) he rests not in calling some of his council, and principal officers, to witness,
* Matt, xxviii. 18. *1 Cor. xv. 6.
as princes have used too; but in a parliament of all states, upper and common house, spiritual and temporal apostles, disciples and five hundred brethren, he testifies this commission.
Who then can measure the infinite mercy of Christ Jesus to us? Which mercy became not when he began, by coming into this world; for we were elected in him before the foundations of the world; nor ended it when he ended, by going out of this world, for he returned to this world again, where he had suffered so much contempt and torment, that he might establish this object of our faith, this that we are therefore bound to believe, a commission, a church, an outward means of salvation here; such a commission there is, it is grounded in the creed, and it was given after his resurrection.
In which commission (being now come to the last of the circumstantial branches, the extent and reach of this commission) we find, that it is omni creatureo, before the text, Preach to every creature, that is, means of salvation offered to every creature; and that is large enough, without that wild extent that their St. Francis gives it, in the Roman church, whom they magnify so much for that religious simplicity, as they call it, who thought himself bound literally by this commission, To preach to all creatures, and so did, as we see in his brutish homilies,frater asine, and frater bos, brother ox, and brother ass, and the rest of his spiritual kindred; but in this commission, omnis creatura, every creature, is every man; and to every man this commission extends; man is called omnis creatura, every creature, as Eve is called mater omnium viventium1*, though she were but the mother of men, she is called the mother 0f all living, and yet all other creatures live, as well as man; man is called every creature, as it is said, Omnis caro, All flesh had corrupted his ways upon earth", though this corruption were but in man, and other creatures were flesh as well as man; man is every creature, says Origcn, because in him, Tanquam in officina, omnes creature? conflantur, Because all creatures were as it were melted in one forge, and poured into one mould, when man was made. For, these being all the distinctions which are in all creatures, first, a mere being which stones and other inanimate creatures have;
10 Gen.iii. 20. "Gen. vi. 12.
and then life and growth, which trees and plants have; and after that, sense and feeling, which beasts have; and lastly, reason and understanding, which angels have, man hath them all, and so in that respect is every creature, says Origen: he is so too, says Gregory, Quia omnis creaturw differentia in homing, Because all the qualities and properties of all other creatures, how remote and distant, how contrary soever in themselves, yet they all meet in man; in man, if he be a flatterer, you shall find the grovelling and crawling of a snake; and in a man, if he bo ambitious, you shall find the high flight and piercing of the eagle; in a voluptuous sensual man, you shall find earthliness of the hog; and in a licentious man, the intemperance, and distemper of the goat; ever lustful, and ever in a fever; ever in sicknesses contracted by that sin, and yet ever in a desire to proceed iu that sin; and so man is every creature in that respect, says Gregory. But he is especially so, says St. Augustine, Quia omnis creatura propter hominem, All creatures were made for man, man is the end of all, and therefore man is all, says Augustine. So that the two evangelists have expressed one another well; for those whom this evangelist St. Mark calls all creatures, St. Matthew calls omnes gentes, all nations; and so, that which is attributed to Christ by way of prophecy, It is a small matter, that thou shouldestbe my servant, to raise up the tribe of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel, I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou maijest be my salvation unto the end of the earth"; that which is attributed to Christ there, is fulfilled in this commission, given by Christ here; that he should be preached to all men; in which, we rather admire than go about to express his unexpressible mercy, who had that tenderness in his care, that he would provide man means of salvation in a church, and then that largeness in his care, as that he would in his time impart it to all men; for else, how had it ever come to us? And so we pass from the circumstances of the commission, that it is, and where it is, and whence it comes, and whither it goes, to the substance itself.
This is expressed in three actions; first, Ite prwdicate, Go and preach the Gospel; and then, Baptizate, Baptize in the name of
1! Isaiah Xlix. 6.
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and Doeete servare, Teach them to observe all those things which I have commanded you; for that hoc, qui non crediderit hoc, He that believes not this, (which is implied in this text) reaches to all that; as well, Qui non fecerit hoc, He that does not do all this, as Qui non crediderit hoc, He that believes not this, is within the penalty of this text, damnabitur: the first of these three, is the ordinance and institution of preaching the Gospel; the second is the administration of both sacraments; (as we shall see anon) and the third is the provocation to a good life, which is in example as well as in preaching; first preach the Gospel, that is, plant the root, faith; then administer the sacraments, that is, water it, cherish it, fasten and settle it with that seal; and then procure good works, that is, produce the blessed fruit of this faith, and these sacraments: Qui non crediderit hoc, He that does not believe all this, shall be damned.
First then, Qui non crediderit, He that hath this apostleship, this ministry of reconciliation, he that is a commissioner for these new buildings, to erect the kingdom of God by the Gospel, and does not believe, and show by his practice that he does believe himself to be bound to preach, he is under the penalty of this text. When therefore the Jesuit Maldonat pleases himself so well18, that, as he says, he cannot choose but laugh, when the Calvinists satisfy themselves in doing that duty, that they do preach; for, says he, Docetis, sed nemo mint, You do preach, but you have no calling; if it were not too serious a thing to laugh at, would he not allow us to be as merry, and to say too, Missi estis, sed non docetis, Perchance you may have a calling, but I am sure you do not preach? For if we consider their practice, their secular clergy, those which have the care of souls in parishes, they do not preach; and if we consider their laws, and canons, their regular clergy, their monks and friars should not preach abroad, out of their own cloisters14. And preaching was so far out of use amongst them, as that in these later ages, under Innocentius the Third, they instituted Ordinem prwdicaniium, An order of preachers; as though there had been no order for preaching in the church of God, till within these four hundred
13 In Matt, xxviii.
14 Cheppinus de Jure Monast.
years. And we see by their patent for preaching, what the cause of their institution was; it was because those who only preached then, that is, the Humiliati, (which was another order) were unlearned, and therefore they thought it not amiss, to appoint some learned men to preach: the bishops took this ill at that time, that any should have leave to preach within their dioceses; and therefore they had new patents, to exempt them from the jurisdiction of the bishops; and they had liberty to preach everywhere; Modo non vellicent papain, As long as they said nothing against the pope, they might preach. It is therefore but of late years, and indeed, especially since the Reformation began, that the example of others hath brought them in the Roman church to a more ordinary preaching; whereas the penalty of this text lies upon all them who have that calling, and do it not; and so it does upon them too, who do not believe, that they are bound to seek their salvation from preaching, from that ordinance and institution.
I cannot remember that in any history, for matter of fact, nor in the framing or institution of any state, for matter of law, there hath ever been such a law, or such a practice, as that of preaching. Everywhere amongst the Gentiles, (particularly amongst the Romans, where there was a public office, to be conditor precum, according to emergent occasions, to make collects and prayers for the public use) we find some resemblance, some representation of our Common Prayer, our Liturgy; and in their ablutions, and expiations, we find some resemblance of our sacraments; but nowhere any resemblance of our preaching. Certain anniversary panegyrics they had in Rome, which were coronation sermons, or adoption sermons, or triumph sermons, but all those, upon the matter, were but civil commemorations. But this institution, of keeping the people in a continual knowledge of their religious duty, by continual preaching, was only an ordinance of God himself, for God's own people; for, after that in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, It pleased God (says the apostle) by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe
What was this former wisdom of God, that that could not
151 Cor. i. 21.
save man? It was twofold; first, God in his wisdom manifests a way to man, to know the Creator by the creature, That the invisible things of him might be seen by the visible". And this gracious and wise purpose of God took not effect,- because man being brought to the contemplation of the creature, rested and dwelt upon the beauty and dignity of that, and did not pass by the creature to the Creator; and then, God's wisdom was farther expressed, in a second way, when God manifested himself to man by his word, in the law, and in the prophets; and then, man resting in the letter of the law, and going no farther, and resting in the outside of the prophets, and going no farther, not discerning the sacrifices of the law to be types of the death of Christ Jesus, nor the purpose of the prophets to be, to-direct us upon that Messias, that Redeemer, Ipsa, quw per prophetas locuta est, sapientia, says Clement, The wisdom of God, in the mouth of the prophets, could not save man; and then, when the wisdom of nature, and the wisdom of the law, the wisdom of the philosophers, and the wisdom of the scribes, became defective and insufficient, by man's perverseness, God repaired, and supplied it by a new way, but a strange way, by the foolishness of preaching; for it is not only to the subject, to the matter, to the doctrine, which they were to preach, that this foolishness is referred. To preach glory, by adhering to an inglorious person, lately executed for sedition and blasphemy; to preach salvation from a person, whom they saw unable to save himself from the gallows; to preach joy from a person whose soul was heavy unto death, this was scandalum Judans, says the apostleeven to the Jews, who were formerly acquainted by their prophets, that some such things as these should befall their Messias, yet for all this preparation, it was scandalum, the Jews themselves were scandalized at it; it was a stumbling-block to the Jews; but Grwcis stultitia, says the apostle there, the Gentiles thought this doctrine mere foolishness. But not only the matter, but the manner, not only the Gospel, but even preaching was a foolishness in the eyes of man; for if such persons as the apostles were, heirs to no reputation in the state, by being derived from great families, bred in no universities, nor sought to for learning, persons not of the
"Bom. i. 20. if 1 Cor. i. 23.
civilest education, seamen, fishermen, not of the honestest professions, (Matthew but a publican) if such persons should come into our streets, and porches, and preach, (I do not say, such doctrine as theirs seemed then) but if they should preach at all, should not we think this a mere foolishness; did they not mock the apostles, and say they were drunk, as early as it was in the morning" I Did not those two sects of philosophers, who were as far distant in opinions, as any two could be, the Stoics, and the Epicureans, concur in defaming St. Paul for preaching18, when they called him seminiverbium, a babbling and prating fellow? But the foolishness of God is wiser than men, said that apostle80; and out of that wisdom, God hath shut us all, under the penalty of this text, if we that are preachers, and you that are hearers, do not believe, that this preaching is the ordinance of God, for the salvation of souls.
This then is matter of faith, that preaching is the way, and this is matter of faith too, that that which is preached, must be matter of faith; for the commission is, prwdicate evangelium, preach, but preach the Gospel; and that is, first, evangelium solum, preach the Gospel only, add nothing to the Gospel, and then evangelium Mum, preach the Gospel entirely, defalke nothing, forbear nothing of that; first then, we are to preach, you are to hear nothing but the Gospel; and we may neither postdate our commission, nor interline it; nothing is gospel now, which was not gospel then, when Christ gave his apostles their commission; and no man can serve God and mammon; no man can preach those things, which belong to the filling of angels' rooms in heaven, and those things which belong to the filling of the pope^ coffers at Rome, with angels upon earth: for that was not gospel, when Christ gave this commission. And did Christ create his apostles, as the bishop of Rome creates his cardinals, Cum clausura oris? He makes them cardinals, and shuts their mouths; they have mouths, but no tongues; tongues, but no voice; they are judges, but must give no judgment; cardinals, but have no interest in the passages of businesses, till by a new favour he open their mouths again: Did Christ make his apostles his ambassadors, and promise to send their instructions after
18 Acta ii. 13. "Acts xvii. 18. *> 1 Cor. i. 25.
them? Did he give them a commission, and presently a supersedeas upon it, that they should not execute it? Did he make a testament, a will, and refer all to future schedules and codicils? Did he send them to preach the Gospel, and tell them, you shall know the Gospel in the epistles of the popes and their decretals hereafter? you shall know the Gospel of deposing princes, in the Council of Lateran hereafter; and the gospel of deluding heretics, by safe conducts, in the Council * of Constance hereafter; and the gospel of creating new articles of the Creed, in the Council of Trent hereafter? If so, then was some reason for Christ's disciples to think, when Christ said, Verify, I say unto you, there are some here., who shall not taste death, till they see the son of man come in glory*1; that he spake and meant to be understood literally, that neither John nor the rest of the apostles should ever die, if they must live to preach the Gospel, and the Gospel could not bo known by them, till the end of the world: and therefore it was wisely done in the Roman church, to give over preaching, since the preaching of the Gospel, that is, nothing but the Gospel would have done them no good to their ends: when all their preaching was come to be nothing, but declamations of the virtue of such an indulgence, and then a better indulgence than that, to-morrow, and every day a new market of fuller indulgences, when all was but an extolling of the tenderness, and the bowels of compassion in that mother church, who was content to set a price, and a small price upon every sin; so that if David were upon the earth again, and then when the persecuting angel had drawn his sword, would but send an appeal to Rome, at that price, he might have an inhibition against the angel, and have leave to number his people, let God take it as he list; nay, if Sodom were upon the earth again, and the angel ready to set fire to that town, if they could send to Rome, they might purchase a charter even for that sin (though perchance they would be loath to let that sin pass over their hills:) but not to speak any thing, which may savour of jest, or levity, in so serious a matter, and so deplorable a state, as their preaching was come to, with humble thanks to God that we are delivered from it, and humble prayers to God, that we never return to it, nor
towards it, let us cheerfully and constantly continue this duty of preaching and hearing the Gospel; that is, first the Gospel only, and not traditions of men; and the next is, of all the Gospel, nothing but it, and yet all it, add nothing, defalk nothing; for as the law is, so the Gospel is, res Integra, a whole piece; and as St. James says of the integrity of the law, Whosoever keeps the whole law, and offends in one point, he is guilty of all"; so he that is afraid to preach all, and he that is loath to hear all the Gospel, he preaches none, he hears none. And therefore, if that imputation, which the Roman church lays upon us, were true, that we preach no falsehood, but do not teach all the truth, we did lack one of the true marks of the true church, that is, the preaching of the Gospel; for it is not that, if it be not all that; take therefore the Gospel, as we take it from the school, that it is historia, and usus, (the Gospel is the history of the Gospel, the proposing to your understanding all that Christ did, and it is the appropriation of the Gospel, the proposing to your faith, that all that he did he did for you) and then, if you hearken to them who will tell you, that Christ did that which he never did (that ho came in, when the doors were shut, so that his body passed through the very body of the timber, thereby to advance their doctrine of transubstantiation) or that Christ did that which he did, to another end than he did it, (that when he whipt the buyers and sellers out of the temple, he exercised a secular power and sovereignty over the world, and thereby established a sovereignty over princes, in his vicar the pope) these men do not preach the Gospel, because the Gospel is historia et usus, the truth of the history, and of the application: and this is not the truth of the history; so also if you hearken to them, who tell you, that though the blood of Christ be sufficient in value for you, and for all, yet you have no means to be sure, that he meant his blood to you, but you must pass in this world, and pass out of this world in doubt, and that it is well if you come to purgatory, and be sure there of getting to heaven at last; these men preach not the Gospel, because the Gospel is the history, and the use; and this is not the true use.
And thus it is, if we take the Gospel from the school; but if
** James ii. 10.
we take it from the schoolmaster, from Christ himself, the Gospel is repentance, and remission of sins; for he came, That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name"; if then they will tell you, that you need no such repentance for a sin, as amounts to a contrition, to a sorrow for having offended God, to a detestation of the sin, to a resolution to commit it no more, but that it is enough to have an attrition, (as they will needs call it) a servile fear, and sorrow, that you have incurred the torments of hell; or if they will tell you, that when you have had this attrition, that the clouds of sadness, and of dejection of spirit have met, and beat in your conscience, and that the allision of those clouds have brought forth a thunder, a fearful apprehension of God's judgments upon you; and when you have had your contrition too, that you have purged your soul in an humble confession, and have let your soul bleed with a true and sharp remorse, and compunction, for all sins past, and put that bleeding soul into a bath of repentant tears, and into a bath of blood, the blood of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament, and feel it faint and languish there, and receive no assurance of remission of sins, so as that it can levy no fine that can conclude God, but still are afraid that God will still incumber you with yesterday's sins again to-morrow; if this be their way, they do not preach the Gospel, because they do not preach all the Gospel; for the Gospel is repentance and remission of sins; that is, the necessity of repentance, and then the assuredness of remission, go together.
Thus far then the crediderit is carried, we must believe that there is a way upon earth to salvation, and that preaching is that way, that is, the manner, and the matter is the Gospel, only the Gospel, and all the Gospel, and then the seal is the administration of the sacraments, as we said at first, of both sacraments; of the sacrament of baptism there can be no question, for that is literally and directly within the commission, Go and baptize, and then Qui non crediderit, He that believes not, not only he that believes not, when it is done, but he that believes not that this ought to be done, shall be damned; we do not join baptism to faith, tanqiiam dimidiam solatii causam, as though baptism were equal to faith, in the matter of salvation, for salvation may be had in
13 Luke xxiv. 47.
divers cases by faith without baptism, but in no case by baptism without faith; neither do we say, that in this commission to the apostles, the administration of baptism is of equal obligation upon the minister as preaching, that he may be as well excusable if he never preach, as if he never baptize; we know St. Peter commanded Cornelius and his family to be baptized**, we do not know if he baptized any of them with his own hand; so St. Paul says of himself, that baptizing was not his principal function; Christ sent not me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel", saith he; in such a sense as God said by Jeremy, / spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them concerning burnt offerings, but I said, obey my voice", so St. Paul saith, he was not sent to baptize; God commanded our fathers obedience rather than sacrifice, but yet sacrifice too; and he commands us preaching rather than baptizing, but yet baptizing too; for as that is true, In adult is, in persons which are come to years of discretion, which St. Hierome says, Fieri non potest, It is impossible to receive the sacrament of baptism, except the soul have received sacramentum fidei, the sacrament of faith, that is the word preached, except he have been instructed and catechised before, so there is a necessity of baptism after, for any other ordinary means of salvation, that God hath manifested to his church; and therefore quos Dern conjunxit, those things which God hath joined in this commission, let no man separate; Except a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven*1; let no man read that place disjunctively, Of water or the Spirit, for there must be both: St. Peter himself knew not how to separate them, Repent and be baptized every one of you", saith he; for, for any one that might have been, and was not baptized, St. Peter had not that seal to plead for his salvation.
The sacrament of baptism then, is within this crediderit, it must necessarily be believed to be necessary for salvation: but is the other sacrament of the Lord's Supper so too? Is that within this commission? Certainly it is, or at least within the equity, if not within the letter, pregnantly implied, if not literally expressed: for thus it stands, they are commanded, To teach all things that
M Acts x. 48. 15 1 Cor. i. 17. ** Jer. vii. 22, 23.
John iii . 5. ** Acts ii. 38.
Christ had commanded them"; and then St. Paul saye, / have received of the Lord, that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus took bread33, &c. (and so he proceeds with the institution of the sacrament) and then he adds, that Christ said, Do this in remembrance of me; which is not only remember me when you do it, but do it that you may remember me; as well the receiving of the sacrament, as the worthy receiving of it, is upon commandment.
In the primitive church, there was an erroneous opinion of such an absolute necessity in taking this sacrament, as that they gave it to persons when they were dead; a custom which was grown so common, as that it needed a canon of a council31, to restrain it. But the giving of this sacrament to children newly baptized was so general, even in pure times, as that we see so great men as Cyprian and Augustine, scarce less than vehement for the use of it; and some learned men in tho reformed church31 have not so far declined it, but that they call it, Catholicam consuetudinem, a Catholic, an universal custom of the church. But there is a far greater strength both of natural and spiritual faculties required for the receiving of this sacrament of the Lord's Supper, than the other of baptism. But for those who have those faculties, that they are now, or now should be able, to discern the Lord's body, and their own souls, besides that inestimable and inexpressible comfort, which a worthy receiver receives, as often as he receives that seal of his reconciliation to God, since as baptism is tessera Christianorum, (I know a Christian from a Turk by that sacrament) so this sacrament is tessera orthodoxorum, (I know a Protestant from a Papist by this sacrament) it is a service to God, and to his church to come frequently to this communion; for truly (not to shake or affright any tender conscience) I scarce see, how any man can satisfy himself, that he hath said the Lord's Prayer with a good conscience, if at the same time he were not in such a disposition as that he might have received the sacrament too; for, if he be in charity, he might receive, and if he bo not, he mocked Almighty God, and deluded the congregation, in saying the Lord's Prayer.
There remains one branch of that part, docete servare, preach the Gospel, administer the sacraments, and teach them to practise and do all this: how comes matter of fact to be matter of faith? Thus, qui non crediderit, he that does not believe, that he is bound to live aright, is within the penalty of this text. It is so with us, and it is so with you too; amongst us, he that says well, presents a good text, but he that lives well, presents a good comment upon that text. As the best texts that we can take, to make sermons upon, are as this text is, some of the words of Christ's own sermons: so the best arguments we can prove our sermons by, is our own life. The whole week's conversation is a good paraphrase upon the Sunday's sermon; it is too soon to ask when the clock struck eleven, is it a good preacher? for I have but half his sermon then, his own life is the other half; and it is time enough to ask the Saturday after, whether the Sunday's preacher preach well or no; for he preaches poorly that makes an end of his sermon upon Sunday; he preaches on all the week, if he live well, to the edifying of others; if we say well, and do ill, we are so far from the example of God's children, which built with one hand, and fought with the other, as that, if we do build with one baud, in our preaching, we pull down with the other in our example, and not only our own, but other men's buildings too; for the ill life of particular men reflects upon the function and ministery in general.
And as it is with us, if we divorce our words and our works, so it is with you, if you do divorce your faith and your works. God hath given his commission under seal, preach and baptize, God looks for a return of this commission, under seal too; Believe, and bring forth fruits worthy of belief. The way that Jacob saw to heaven, was a ladder; it was not a fair and an easy staircase, that a man might walk up without any holding. But manibus innitendum, says St. Augustine, in the way to salvation there is use of hands, of actions, of good works, of a holy life; servate omnia, do then all that is commanded, all that is within the commission: if that seem impossible, do what you can, and you have done all; for then is all this done, cum -quod non fit ipwscitur, when God forgives that which is left undone; but God forgives none of that which is left undone, out of a wilful and vincible ignorance. And therefore search thy conscience, and then Christ's commandment enters, scrutamini Scriptural, then search the Scriptures; for till then, as long as thy conscience is foul, it is but an illusion to apprehend any peace, or any comfort in any sentence of the Scripture, in any promise of the Gospel: search thy conscience, empty that, and then search the Scriptures, and thou shalt find abundantly enough to fill it with peace and consolation; for this is the sum of all the Scriptures, Qui non crediderit hoc, He that believes not this, that he must be saved by hearing the word preached, by receiving the sacraments, and by working according to both, is within the penalty of this text, Damnabitur, He shall be damned.
How know we that? many persons have power to condemn, which have not power to pardon; but God's word is evidence enough for our pardon and absolution, whensoever we repent we are pardoned; much more then for our condemnation; and here we have God's word for that; if that were not enough, we have his oath; for it is in another place, God hath sworn, that there are some, which shall not enter into his rest**, and to whom did he swear that, says St. Paul, but to them that believed not? God cannot lie, much less be foresworn, and God hath said and sworn, Damnabitur, He that believeih not, shall be damned. He shall be; but when? Does any man make haste? Though that be enough that St. Chrysostom says, It is all one when that begins, which shall never end, yet the tense is easily changed in this case, from damnabitur to damnatur; for he that believeth not, is condemned already**. But why should he be so? condemned for a negative? for privative I Here is no opposition, no affirming the contrary, no seducing or dissuading other men that have a mind to believe, that is not enough; for, He that believeth not God, hath made God a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son". Here is the condemnation we speak of, as St. John says, Light was presented, and they loved darkness; so that howsoever God proceed in his unsearchable judgments with the heathen, to whom the light and name of Christ Jesus was never presented, certainly we, to whom the Gospel hath
» Heb. iv. 3.
John iii. 18.
1 John v. 10.
been so freely, and so fully preached, fall under the penalty of this text, if we believe- not, for we have made God a liar in not believing the record he gives of his Sou.
That then there is damnation, and why it is, and when it is, is clear enough; but what this damnation is, neither the tongue of good angels that know damnation by the contrary, by fruition of salvation, nor the tongue of bad angels who know damnation by a lamentable experience, is able to express it; a man may sail so at sea, as that he shall have laid the north pole flat, that shall be fallen out of sight, and yet he shall not have raised the south pole, he shall not see that; so there are things, in which a man may go beyond his reason, and yet not meet with faith neither: of such a kind are those things which concern the locality of hell, and the materiality of the torments thereof; for that hell is a certain and limited place, beginning here and ending there, and extending no farther, or that the torments of hell be material, or elementary torments, which in natural consideration can have no proportion, no affection, nor appliableness to the tormenting of a spirit, these things neither settle my reason, nor bind my faith; neither opinion, that it is, or is not so, doth command our reason so, but that probable reasons may be brought on the other side; neither opinion doth so command our faith, but that a man may be saved, though he think the contrary; for in such points, it is always lawful to think so, as we find does most advance and exalt our own devotion, and God's glory in our estimation; but when we shall have given to those words, by which hell is expressed in the Scriptures, the heaviest significations, that either the nature of those words can admit, or as they are types and representations of hell, as fire, and brimstone, and weeping, and gnashing, and darkness, and the worm, and as they are laid together in the prophet", Tophet, (that is hell) is deep and large, (there is the capacity and content, room enough) It is a pile of fire and much wood, (there is the durableness of it) and the breath of the Lord to kindle it, like a stream of brimstone, (there is the vehemence of it:) when all is done, the hell of hells, the torment of torments is the everlasting absence of God, and the everlasting impossibility of returning to
his presence; Horrendum est, says the apostle, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.*1 Yet there was a case, in which David found an ease, to fall into the hands of God, to escape the hands of men: Horrendum est, when God's hand is bent to strike, It is a fearful thing, to fall into the hands of the living God; but to fall out of the hands of the living God, is a horror beyond our expression, beyond our imagination.
That God should let my soul fall out of his hand, into a bottomless pit, and roll an unremovable stone upon it, and leave it to that which it finds there, (and it shall find that there, which it never imagined, till it came thither) and never think more of that soul, never have more to do with it. That of that providence of God, that studies the life of every weed, and worm, and ant, and spider, and toad, and viper, there should never, never any beam flow out upon me; that that God, who looked upon me, when I was nothing, and called me when I was not, as though I had been, out of the womb and depth of darkness, will not look upon me now, when, though a miserable, and a banished, and a damned creature, yet I am his creature still, and contribute something to his glory, even in my damnation; that that God, who hath often looked upon me in my foulest uncleanness, and when I had shut out the eye of the day, the sun, and the eye of the night, the taper, and the eyes of all the world, with curtains and windows, and doors, did yet see me, and see me in mercy, by making me see that he saw me, and sometimes brought mo to a present remorse, and (for that time) to a forbearing of that sin, should so turn himself from me, to his glorious saints and angels, as that no saint nor angel, nor Christ Jesus himself, should ever pray him to look towards me, never remember him, that such a soul there is; that that God, who hath so often said to my soul, Quare morieris? Why wilt thou die? and so often sworn to my soul, Vint Dominus, As the Lord liveth, I would not have thee die, but live, will neither let me die, nor let me live, but die an everlasting life, and live an everlasting death; that that God, who, when he could not get into me, by standing, and knocking, by his ordinary means of entering, by his word, his mercies, hath applied his judgments, and hath shaked the house, this body, with agues and
87 Heb. x. 31.
palsies, and set this house on fire, with fevers and calentures, and frightened the master of the house, my soul, with horrors, and heavy apprehensions, and so made an entrance into me; that that God should frustrate all his own purposes and practices upon me, and leave me, and cast me away, as though I had cost him nothing, that this God at last, should let this soul go away, as a smoke, as a vapour, as a bubble, and that then this soul cannot be a smoke, a vapour, nor a bubble, but must lie in darkness, as long as the Lord of light is light itself, and never spark of that light reach to my soul; what Tophet is not paradise, what brimstone is not amber, what gnashing is not a comfort, what gnawing of the worm is not a tickling, what torment is not a marriage-bed to this damnation, to be secluded eternally, eternally, eternally from the sight of God? especially to us, for as the perpetual loss of that is most heavy, with which we have been best acquainted, and to which we have been most accustomed; so shall this damnation, which consists in the loss of the sight and presence of God, be heavier to us than others, because God hath so graciously, and so evidently, and so diversely appeared to us, in his pillar of fire, in the light of prosperity, and in the pillar of the cloud, in hiding himself for a while from us: we that have seen him in all the parts of this commission, in his word, in his sacraments, and in good example, and not believed, shall be further removed from his sight, in the next world, than they to whom he never appeared in this. But vincenti et eredenti, to him that believes aright, and overcomes all temptations to a wrong belief, God shall give the accomplishment of fulness, and fulness of joy, and joy rooted in glory, and glory established in eternity, and this eternity is God; to him that believes and overcomes, God shall give himself in an everlasting presence and fruition, Amen.