PREACHED AT ST. PAUL'S CROSS, 6th MAY, 1627.
Hosea iii. 4.
For the children of Israel shall abide many days, without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim.
Some cosmographers have said, that there is no land so placed in the world, but that from that land, a man may see other land. I dispute it not, I defend it not; I accept it, and I apply it; there is scarce any mercy expressed in the Scriptures, but that from that mercy you may see another mercy. Christ sets up a candle now here, only to lighten that one room, but as he is lumen de lumine, light of light, so he would have more lights lighted at every light of his, and make every former mercy an argument, an earnest, a conveyance of more. Between land and land you may see seas, and seas enraged with tempests; but still, say they, some other land too. Between mercy, and mercy, you may find comminations, and judgments, but still more mercy. For this discovery let this text be our map. First we see land, we see mercy in that gracious compellation, children (the children of Israel) then we see sea, then comes a commination, a judgment that shall last some time, (many days shall the children of Israel suffer) but * there they may see land too, another mercy, even this time of judgment shall be a day, they shall not be benighted, nor left in darkness in their judgments; (many days, all the while, it shall be day) then the text opens into a deep ocean, a spreading sea, (They shall be without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim.) But even from this sea, this vast sea, this sea of devastation, we see land; for in the next verse follows another mercy, (The children of Israel shall return, and shall seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and shall fear the Lord, and his goodness in the later days.) And beyond this land, there is no
more sea; beyond this mercy, no more judgment, for with this mercy the chapter ends.
Consider our text then, as a whole globe, as an entire sphere, and then our two hemispheres of this globe, our two parts of this text, will be, first, that no perverseness of ours, no rebellion, no disobedience puts God beyond his mercy, nor extinguishes his love; still he calls Israel, rebellious Israel his children; nay his own anger, his own judgments, then, when he is in the exercise thereof, in the execution thereof, puts him not beyond his mercy, extinguishes not his love; he hides not his face from them then, he leaves them not then, in the dark, he accompanies their calamity with a light, he makes that time, though cloudy, though overcast, yet a day unto them; (the children of Israel shall abide many days in this case.) But then, as no disobedience removes God from himself, (for he is love, and mercy) so no interest of ours in God, doth so privilege us, but that he will execute his judgments upon his children too, even the children of Israel shall fall into these calamities. And from this first part, we shall pass to the second; from these general considerations, (that no punishments should make us desperate, that no favours should make us secure) we shall pass to the particular commination, and judgments upon the children of Israel in this text, without king, without prince, &c.
In our first part, we stop first, upon this declaration of his mercy, in this fatherly appellation, children, (the children of Israel) he . does not call them children of Israel, as though he disavowed them, and put them off to another father; but therefore, because they are the children of Israel, they are his children, for, he had married Israel; and married her to himself for ever'. Many of us are fathers; and, from God, here may learn tenderness towards children. All of us are children of some parents, and therefore should hearken after the name of father, which is nomen pietatis etpotestatis*, a name that argues their power over us, and our piety towards them; and so concerns many of us, in a double capacity, (as we are children, and parents too) but all of us in one capacity, as we are children derived from other parents. God
is the father of man, otherwise than he is of other creatures. He is the father of all creatures; so Philo calls all creatures sorores suas, his sisters; but then, all those sisters of man, [all those daughters of God are not alike married. God hath placed his creatures in divers ranks, and in divers conditions; neither must any man think, that he hath not done the duty of a father, if he have not placed all his sons, or not matched all his daughters, in a condition equal to himself, or not equal to one another. God hath placed creatures in the heavens, and creatures in the earth, and creatures in the sea, and yet, all these creatures are his children, and when he looked upon them all, in their divers stations, he saw, omnia valde bona, that all was very well; and that father that employs one son in learning, another to husbandry, another to merchandize, pursues God's example, in disposing his children, (his creatures) diversely, and all well. Such creatures as the rain, (though it may seem but an imperfect, an ignoble creature, fallen from the womb of a cloud) have God for their father; God is the Father of the rain*. And such creatures as light, have but God for their father. God is Pater luminum, the Father of lights4. Whether we take lights there to be the angels, created with the light, (some take it so) or to be the several lights set up in the heavens, sun, and moon and stars, (some take it so) or to be the light of grace in infusion by the spirit, or the light of the church, in manifestation, by the word, (for all these acceptations have convenient authors, and worthy to be followed) God is the Father of lights, of all lights; but so he is of rain, and clouds too. And God is the Father of glory5; (as St. Paul styles him) of all glory; whether of those beams of glory which he sheds upon us here, in the blessings, and preferments of this life, or that weight of glory6, which he reserves for us, in the life to come. From that inglorious drop of rain, that falls into the dust, and rises no more, to those glorious saints who shall rise from the dust, and fall no more, but, as they arise at once to the fulness of essential joy, so arise daily in accidental joys, all are the children of God, and all alike of kin to us. And therefore let us not measure our avowing, or our countenancing
3 Job xxxviii. 28. 4 James i. 17.
5 Eph. i . 17. 6 2 Cor. iv. 17.
VOL. V. M
of our kindred, by their measure of honour, or place, or riches in this world, but let us look how fast they grow in the root, that is, in the same worship of the same God, who is ours, and their Father too. He is nearest of kin to me, that is of the same religion with me; as they are creatures, they are of kin to me by the Father, but as they are of the same church, and religion, by father and mother too.
Philo calls all creatures his sisters, but all men are his brothers. God is the Father of man in a stronger and more peculiar, and more masculine sense, than of other creatures. Filius particeps et condominus cum patre: as the law calls the son, the partner of the Father, and fellow-Lord, joint-Lord with the Father, of all the possession that is to descend, so God hath made man his partner, and fellow-Lord of all his other creatures in Moses's dominamini1, when he gives man a power to rule over them, and in David's Omnia subjecisti*, when he imprints there, a natural disposition in the creature to the obedience of man. So high, so very high a filiation, hath God given man, as that, having another son, by another filiation, a higher filiation than this, by an eternal generation, yet he was content, that that son should become this son, that the Son of God should become the Son of man.
God is the Father of all; of man otherwise than of all the rest; but then, of the children of Israel, otherwise than of all other men. For he bought them; and, is not he thy Father that hath bought thee? says God by Moses9. Not to speak of that purchase, which he made by the death of his Son, (for that belongs to all the world) he bought the Jews in particular, at such a price, such silver, and such gold, such temporal, and such spiritual benefits, such a land, and such a church, such a law, and such a religion, as, certainly, he might have had all the world at that price. If God would have manifested himself, poured out himself to the nations, as he did to the Jews, all the world would have swarmed to his obedience, and herded in his pale. God was their father; and, as St. Chrysostom, (that he might be sure to draw in all degrees of tender affection) calls him, their mother too. For, Matris mitrire, patris erudire; It was a
mother's part to give them suck, .and to feed them with temporal blessings; it was a father's part to instruct them, and to feed them with spiritual things; and God did both abundantly. Therefore doth God submit himself to the comparison of A mother in the prophet Esay10, Can a woman forget her sucking child? But then, he stays not in that inferior, in that infirmer sex, but returns to a stronger love, than that of a mother, Yes, says he, she may forget, yet will not I forget thee. And therefore, when David says, Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits11; David expresses that, which we translate in a general word, benefits, in this word, gamal, which signifies ablactationes; forget not that God nursed thee as a mother, and then, ablactavit, weaned thee, and provided thee stronger food, out of the care of a father. In one word, all creatures are God's children; man is his son; but then, Israel is his first-born son; for that is the addition, which God gives Israel by Moses to Pharaoh, Say unto Pharaoh, Israel is my son, even my first-born1*. Why God adopted Israel into this filiation, into this primogeniture, before all the people of the world, we can assign no reason, but his love only. But why he did not before this text, disinherit this adopted son, is a higher degree, and exercise of his love, than the adoption itself, if we consider, (which is a useful consideration) their manifold provocations to such an exhaeredation, and what God suffered at their hands.
The ordinary causes of exhaeredation, for which a man might disinherit his son, are assigned and numbered in the law, to be fourteen. But divers of them grow out of one root (undutifulness, inofficiousness towards the father), and as, by that reason, they may be extended to more, so they may be contracted to fewer, to two. These two, ingratitude, and irreligion. Unthankfulness, and idolatry were ever just causes of exhaeredation, of disinheriting. And with these two, did the Jews more provoke Almighty God, than any children any father. Stop we a little our consideration upon each of these.
He is not always ungrateful, that does not recompense a benefit, but he only that would not, though he could make, and
10 Isaiah XLix. 15. 11 Psalm ciii. 1. 18 Exod. iv. 22.
though the benefactor needed a recompense. When Furnius, upon whom Augustus had multiplied benefits, told him, that in one thing he had damnified him, in one thing he had undone him, Effecisti ut viverem et morerer ingratus, You have done so much for me, (says he) that I must live, and die unthankful, that is, without showing my thankfulness by equivalent recompenses: this which he calls unthankfulness, was thankfulness enough. There are men, (says the moral man) qui quo plus debent, magis oderuntTM, that hate those men most, who have laid most obligations upon them. Leve ws alienum debitor em facit, grave inimicum; For a little debt he will be content to look towards me, but when it is great, more than he can pay, or as much as he thinks he can get from me, then he would be glad to be rid of me. Acknowledgment is a good degree of thankfulness. But, ingratitude at the highest, (and the Jews' ingratitude was at the highest) involves even a concealing, and a denying of benefits, and even a hating, and injuring of benefactors. And so, Res peremptoria ingratitudo, says Bernard significantly, Ingratitude is a peremptory sin; it does perimere, that is, destroy, not only all virtues, but it destroys, that is, overflows all other particular vices; no vice can get a name, where ingratitude is; it swallows all, devours all, becomes all; Ingratum dicas, omnia dixisti, If you have called a man unthankful, you have called him by all the ill names that are: for this complicated, this manifold, this pregnant vice, ingratitude, the holy language, the Hebrew, lacks a word. The nearest root that they can draw ingratitude into, is caphar, and caphar is but tegere, to hide, to conceal a benefit; but to deny a benefit, or to hate or injure a benefactor, they have not a word. And therefore, as St. Hierome found not the word in the Hebrew, so in all St. Hierome's translation of the Old Testament, (or in that which is reputed his, the Vulgate edition) you have not that Latin word, ingratus; curious sinners, subtile self-damners; they could not name ingratitude, and in all the steps of ingratitude, they exceeded all men, all nations. From the ingratitude of murmuring, upon which God lays that woe, Woe unto him that says to his father, What begettest thou? Or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth11? A dog murmurs not
13 Seneca. "Isaiah Lv. 10.
that he is not a lion, nor a blind-worm without eyes, that he is not a basilisk to kill with his eyes; dust murmurs not that it is not amber, nor a dunghill that it is not a mine, nor an angel that he is not of the seraphim; and every man would be something else than God hath made him, from this murmuring for that which he hath not, to another degree of ingratitude, the appropriation of that which he hath, to himself, JJti datis tanquam innatis, (as St. Bernard speaks in his music) To attribute to ourselves that which we have received from God, to think ourselves as strong in nature as in grace, and as safe in our own free-will, as in the love of God; as God says of Jerusalem, (that he had given her her beauty, and then she played the harlot, as if it had been her own") by these steps of ingratitude to the highest of all, which is, rather than to confess herself beholden to God, to change her God, and so to slide from ingratitude to idolatry, Jerusalem came, and over-went all the nations upon the earth.
Their ingratitude induced idolatry in an instant. As soon as they came to that ungrateful murmuring, (As for Moses we cannot tell what is become of him") they came presently to say to Aaron, ( Up and make us gods that may go before us) which is an impotency, a leprosy, that derives itself far, spreads far, that as soon as our sins induce any worldly cross, any calamity upon us, we come to think of another church, another religion, and conclude, that that cannot be a good church, in which we have lived in. Now, against this impious levity, of facility in changing our religion, God seems to express the greatest indignation, when he says, They sacrificed unto gods whom they knew not, to new gods'7. Men, amongst us, that have been baptized, and catechized in the truth, and in the knowledge thereof, fall into ignorant falsehood, and embrace a religion which they understand not, nor can understand, because it lies in the breast of one man, and is therefore subject to alterations. They sacrifice to gods whom they know not, (says God) and those gods new gods too; the more suspicious, for their newness; and, (as it is added there) unto gods whom their fathers feared not. Men, that fall from us (whose fathers were of that religion) put themselves into more
bondage and slavery to the court of Rome now, than their fathers did to the church of Rome then; they sacrifice to gods, whom they know not, and whom their fathers feared not, so much as they do. But, they have corrupted themselves; (as God charges them farther) they are fallen from us, whom no example of their fathers led that way; fathers have left their former superstition, which they were born and bred in, and the sons, which were born, and bred in the truth, have embraced those superstitions; Their spot is not the spot of children, (so it follows in the same place) a weakness that might have that excuse, that they proceeded out of a reverential respect to their fathers, and followed their example; (for their fathers have stood, and they are fallen). (Their spot is not the spot of children). And, because kings are pictures of God, when they turn upon new gods, they turn to new pictures of God too, and with a foreign religion, invest a foreign allegiance. Did not I deliver you from the Egyptians, says God, and from the Ammonites, and from the Amorites, and PhilistinesTM? From a succession of enemies, at times, and from a league of enemies at once, Yet you have forsaken me, and served other gods, says God there; and therefore (to that resolution God comes), Therefore, I will deliver you no more. And yet, how often did God deliver them after this I Ingratitude, idolatry, are just causes of exhaeredation; Israel abounded in both these, and yet, after all these, in this text, he calls them children, The children of Israel, and therefore his children.
God is kind even to the unthankful, saith Christ himself, and himsolf calls Jerusalem, The holy cityTM, even when she was denied with many and manifold uncleannesses, because she had been holy, and had the outward help of holiness remaining in her still. Christ doth not disavow, not disinherit those children which gave most just cause of exhferedation; much less doth he justify, by his example, final and total disinheriting of children, occasioned by single and small faults in the children, and grounded in the parents, upon sudden, and passionate, and intemperate, and imaginary vows, they have vowed to do it, therefore they will do
18 Judges x. 11. "Luke vi. 35; Matt. iv. 5.
it; for, so they put a pretext of religion upon their impiety, and make God accessary to that which he dislikes, and upon colour of a vow, do that which is far from a service to God, as the performance of every lawful, and discreet vow is. God calls them his children, (which is one) and then, though as a father he correct them, yet he shows them his face, in that correction, (which is another beam of his mercy) he calls their calamity, their affliction, not a night, but a day, (many days shall tho children of Israel suffer this).
We find these two words often joined together in the Scriptures, Dies visitationis, The day of visitation; though as it is a visitation, it be a sad, a dark contemplation, yet as it is a day, it hath always a cheerfulness in it. If it were called a night, I might be afraid, that this night, they (I am not told who) would fetch away my soul10; but, being a day, I have assurance, that the sun, the sun of righteousness will arise to me. At the light of thine arrows, they went forward, saith the prophet Habakkuk81. Though they be arrows, yet they are torches too, though they burn, yet they give light too; though God shoot his arrows at me, even by them, I shall have light enough to see, that it ia God that shoots. As there is a heavy commination in that of Amos88, / will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth, in clear day; so is there a gracious promise, and a constant practice in God, that he will (as he hath done) command light of darkness, and enable thee to see a clear day, by his presence, in the darkest night of tribulation. For, truly, such a sense, I think, belongs to those words in Hosea83, that when God had said, The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence are come, God adds that, as an aggravating of the calamity; yea, woe also to them, when I depart from them; as though the oppression of the affliction, the peremptoriness of the affliction, were not in the affliction itself, but in God's departing from them, when he afflicted them; they should be visited, but see no day in their visitations, afflicted from God, but see no light from him, receive no consolation in him. In this place we take it, (for the exaltation of your devotion) as a particular beam of
» Luke xii. 20. 81 Hab. iii. 11.
"88 Amos viii. 9. 83 Hosea ix. 12.
his mercy, that though the children of Israel were afflicted many days, yet still he affords them the name of children, and still their dark and cloudy days were accompanied with the light, and presence of God, still they felt the hand of God under them, the face of God upon them, the heart of God towards them.
Those then, which have this filiation, God doth not easily disinherit; because they were his children, after natural disobediences, he avows them, and continues that name to them. But yet, this must not imprint a security, a presumption; for, even the children here, are submitted to heavy and dangerous calamities; when Christ himself saith, The children of the kingdom shall be cast into utter darknessTM, who can promise himself a perpetual, or unconditioned station? We have in the Scriptures two especial types of the church, paradise, and the ark. But, in that type, the ark, we are principally instructed, what the church in general shall do, and in that in paradise, what particular men in the church should do. For, we do not read, that in the ark Noah, or his company, did weigh any anchor, hoist any sail, ship any oar, steer any rudder; but, the ark, by the providence of God, who only was pilot, rode safe upon the face of the waters. The church itself, (figured by the ark) cannot shipwreck; though men sleep, though the devil wake, The gates of hell shall not prevail against the church". But in the other type of the church, where every man is instructed in his particular duty therein, paradise, Adam himself was commanded to dress paradise, and to keep paradise And when he did not that which he was enjoined to do in that place, he forfeited his interest in it, and his benefit by it. Though we be born and bred in God's house, as children baptized, and catechized in the true church, if we slacken our holy industry in making sure our salvation, we, though children of the kingdom, may be cast out, and all our former helps, and our proceedings by the benefit of those helps, shall but aggravate our condemnation. Alpha and Omega make up the name of Christ; and, between Alpha and Omega, are all the letters of the alphabet included. A Christian is made up of Alpha and Omega, and all between. He must begin well, (embrace the
"Matt. viii. 12.
** Matt. xvi. 18.
26 Gen. ii. 15.
true church) and live well according to the profession of that true church, and die well, according to that former holy life, and practice. Truth in the beginning, zeal all the way, and constancy in the end make up a Christian. Otherwise for all this filiation, children may be disinherited, or submitted to such calamities as these which are interminated upon the children of Israel, which constitute our second part, They shall be without a king, and without a prime, and without a sacrifice, and without an ephod, and without a teraphim.
Disobedient children are not cast off; but yet disobedience is not left uncorrected. Be merciful, but merciful so, as your Father in heaven is merciful; be not so merciful upon any private respect, as to be thereby cruel to the public. And be just; but, just, as your Father in heaven is just; hate not the vice of a man so, as thereby to hate the man himself. God hath promised to be an enemy to our enemies, an adversary to our adversaries"; but God is no irreconcilable enemy, no implacable, no inexorable adversary. For, that hatred which David calls Odium perfectum, I have hated them with a perfect hatred*3, is not only a vehement hatred, but (as St. Hilary calls it) Odium religiosum, A hatred that may consist with religion: that I hate not another man, for his religion, so as that I lose all religion in myself, by such a hating of him. And St. Augustine calls it Odium charitativum, A hate that may consist with charity; that I hate no man for his peremptory uncharitableness towards my religion, so as to lose mine own charity; for, I am come to one point of his religion, if I come to be as uncharitable as he. God and kings are at a near distance, all gods; magistrates, and inferior persons are at a near distance, all dust. As God proceeds with a king, with Jehoshaphat", in that temper, that moderation, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? So men with men, magistrates with inferior men, learned men with ignorant men, should proceed with St. Paul's moderation, If any man obey not (but be refractory, unconformable) note that man, saith the apostle, and have no company with him, but yet count him not as an enemy30. The union of the two natures in Christ, gives us a
87 Exod. xxiii. 22.
*9 % Chron. xix, 2.
88 Psalm cxxxix. 22. 30 2 Thess. iii. 14.
fair example, that divinity and humanity may consist together. No religion induces inhumanity; no piety, no zeal destroys nature; and since there is a time to hate, and a time to love", then is love most seasonable, when other civil contracts, civil alliances, civil concurrences, have suppled and intenerated the dispositions of persons, or nations, formerly farther asunder, to a better possibility, to a fairer probability, to a nearer propinquity of hearkening to one another, That Christ might reconcile both unto God, in one body, by the cross, having slain the enmity therebyTM. Civil offices may work upon religious too; and where that may follow, (that our mildness in civil things, may prevail upon their obduration in religion) there is the time to love. But in cases, where civil peace and religious foundations are both shaked, that the state and the church, as they are both in one bottom, so they are chased by one pirate, I hate not with a perfect hatred, not perfect towards God, except I declare, and urge, and press home, the truth of God, against their errors in my ministry, nor perfect towards man, except I advance, in my place, the execution of those laws against their practices, without which, they are enabled, nay encouraged, nay persuaded, nay entreated to go forward in those practices. God himself proceeds against his own children so far, (and dearer than those children were to God, can no friends be to us, no allies to any prince) that they should be without king, without prince, without sacrifice, without image, without ephod, without teraphim; that is, without temporal, without ecclesiastical government.
First, then, we presume, we presuppose, (and that necessarily) every piece of this part of our text, to fall under the commination; they were threatened with the loss of every particular, and therefore they were the worse for every particular loss. Not the worse only because they thought themselves the worse, because they had fixed their love and their delight upon these things, but because they were really the better for having them, it was really a curse, a commination, that they should lose them; as well that they should lose their ephod, and their image, and their teraphim, as that they should lose their sacrifices. But first, (though that other fall also within the commination, that they should be
without a settled form of religion, without sacrifice, and ephod, and the rest), the first thing that the commination falls upon, is, that they should be without a civil form of government, without king, and without prince. For, though our religion prepare us to our bene esse, our well-being, our everlasting happiness, yet it is the state, the civil and peaceable government, which preserves our very esse, our very being; and there cannot be a bene esse, without an esse, a well and a happy being, except there be first a being established. It is the state, the law, that constitutes families and cities, and propriety, and magistracy, and jurisdiction. The state, the law preserves and distinguishes, not only the meum et tuum, the possessions of men, but the me et te, the very persons of men; the law tells me, not only whose land I must call every acre, but whose son I must call every man. Therefore God made the body before the soul; therefore there is in man a vegetative, and a sensitive soul, before an immortal, and reasonable soul enter. Therefore also, in this place, God proposes first the civil state, the temporal government, (what it is, to have a king and a prince) before he proposes the happiness of a church, and a religion; not but that our religion conduces to the greater happiness, but that our religion cannot be conserved, except the civil state, and temporal government be conserved too.
The first thing then that the commination falls upon, is the loss of their temporal state. But the commination doth not fall so fully upon the exclusion of all forms of government, as upon the exclusion of monarchy; it does not so expressly threaten an anarchy, that they should have no government, no governors; it is not sine regirnine, but sine rege, if they had any, they should not have the best, they should be without a king. Now, if with St. Hierome, and others that accompany him in that interpretation, we take the prophecy of this text, to bo fulfilled in that dispersion which hath continued upon the Jews, ever since the destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews have been so far from having had any king, as that they have not had a constable of their own, in any part of the world; no interest at all, in any part of the magistracy and jurisdiction of the world, anywhere, but they are a whole nation of Cains, fugitives, and vagabonds33. But howsoever it be, the heat, and the vehemency of this commination falls upon this particular, sine rege, they shall be without a king. It was long before God afforded the Jews a king; and he did not easily do it, then when he did it. Not, that he intended not that form of government for them, but because they would extort it from him, before his time, and because they asked it only in that respect, that they might be like their neighbours, to whom God would not have had them too like: and also, because God, to keep their thankfulness still awake, would reserve, and keep back some better thing, than he had given them yet, to give them at last. For, so he says, (as the coronation of all his benefits to Israel, of which there is a glorious inventory in that chapter) Thou didst prosper into a kingdom"; till the crown of glory be presented, in the coming of the Messias, thou canst not be happier. Those therefore that allow but a conditional sovereignty in a kingdom, an arbitrary, a temporary sovereignty, that may be transferred at the pleasure of another, they oppose the nolumus hoc, we would not have, we would not live under this form of government, not under a temporal monarchy, nolumus hoc. Those that determine allegiance, and civil obedience only by their own religion, and think themselves bound to obey none, that is of another persuasion, they oppose the nolumus hunc, We will not have this man to reign over us; and so, make their relations, and fix their dependences upon foreign hopes, nolumus hunc. Those that fix a super-sovereignty in the people, or in a presbytery, they oppose the nolumus sic, we would not have things carried thus; they pretend to know the happiness of living under that form, a kingdom, and to acknowledge the person of the king, but they would be governed every man according to his own mind. And all these, the nolumus hoc, (they that desire not the continuance of that form, of a kingdom in an independency, but would have a dependency upon a foreign power;) and the nolumus hunc, (they that are disaffected to the person of him that governs for the present;) and the nolumus sic, (they that will prescribe to the king, ends, and ways to those ends:) all these assist this male
33 Gen. iv. 12. 34 Ezek. xvi. 13.
diction, this commination, which God interminates here, as the greatest calamity, sine rege, they shall be without a king; for this is to canton out a monarchy, to ravel out a kingdom, to crumble out a king.
There is another branch in this part, which is of temporal calamities, that they shall be sine principe, without a king, and without a prince. The word in the original is sar; and take it, as it sounds most literally in our translation, the prince is the king's son; so, this very word is used in Esay; Sar salom; the Son of God, is called the Prince of peace". And so, the commination upon the Jews is thus far aggravated, that they shall be without a prince, that is, without a certain heir, and successor; which uncertainty, (more than anything else) slackens the industry of all men at home, and sharpens the malice of all men abroad; fears at home, and hopes abroad, discompose and disorder all, where they are sine principe, without a certain heir. But the word enlarges itself farther; for sar signifies a judge; when Moses rebuked a malefactor, he replies to Moses, Who made thee a judgeTM? And in many, very many places, sar signifies a commander in the wars. So that where the justice of the state, or the military power of the state fail, (and they fail, where the men who do, or should execute those places, will not, or dare not do, what appertains to their places) there this commination falls, they are without a prince, that is, without future assurance, without present power, or justice.
But we pass to the spiritual commination; that is, they shall be without sacrifice, without ephod, without image, without teraphim. It is not that their understanding shall be taken away, no, nor that the tenderness of their conscience, or their zeal shall be taken away; it is not that they shall come to any impiety, or ill opinion of God; they may have religious, and well-disposed hearts, and yet be under a curse, if they have not a church, an outward discipline established amongst them. It is not enough for a man to believe aright, but he must apply himself to some church, to some outward form of worshipping God; it is not enough for a church, to hold no error in doctrine, but it must have outward assistances for the devotion of her children, and
35 Isaiah ix. 9. 86 Exod. ii. 3.
outward decency for the glory of her God. Both these kinds are intended in the particulars of this text, sacrifice and ephod, image and teraphim.
First, it is a part of the curse, to be without sacrifice. Now, if according to St. Hierome's interpretation, this text be a prophecy upon the Jews, after Christ's time, and that the malediction consist in this, that they shall not embrace the Christian religion, nor the Christian church entertain them; if the prophet drive to this, they shall be without sacrifices, because they shall not be of the Christian church, certainly the Christian church is not to be without sacrifice. It is a miserable impotency, to be afraid of words; that from a former holy and just detestation of real errors, we should come to an uncharitable detestation of persons, and to a contentious detestation of words. We dare not name merit, nor penance, nor sacrifice, nor altar, because they have been abused. How should we be disappointed, and disfurnished of many words in our ordinary conversation, if we should be bound from all words, which blasphemous men have profaned, or unclean men have defiled with their ill use of those words? There is merit, there is penance, there is sacrifice, there are altars, in that sense, in which those blessed men, who used those words first, at first used them. The communion table is an altar; and in the sacrament there is a sacrifice. Not only a sacrifice of thanksgiving, common to all the congregation, but a sacrifice peculiar to the priest, though for the people. There he offers up to God the Father, (that is, to the remembrance, to the contemplation of God the Father) the whole body of the merits of Christ Jesus, and begs of him, that in contemplation of that sacrifice so offered, of that body of his merits, he would vouchsafe to return, and to apply those merits to that congregation. A sacrifice, as far from their blasphemous over-boldness, who constitute a propitiatory sacrifice, in the church of Rome, as from their over-tenderness, who startle at the name of sacrifice. We do not, (as at Rome) first invest the power of God, and make ourselves able to make a Christ, and then invest the malice of the Jews, and kill that Christ, whom we have made; for, sacrifice, immolation, (taken so properly, and literally as they take it) is a killing; but the whole body of Christ's actions and passions, we sacrifice, we
represent, we offer to God. Calvin alone, hath said enough, Non possumus, Except we be assisted with outward things, we cannot fix ourselves upon God. Therefore is it part of the malediction here, that they shall be sine sacrificio, without sacrifice; so is it also in inferior helps, sine ephod, they shall be without an ephod.
The ephod amongst the Jews, was a garment, which did not only distinguish times, (for it was worn only in time of divine service) but, even in time of divine service, it distinguished persons too. For we have a pontifical ephod, peculiar only to the high priest87; and we have a Levitical ephod, belonging to all the Levites38; Samuel ministered before the Lord, being a child, girded with a linen ephod. And we have a common ephod, which any man that assisted in the service of God might wear; that linen ephod, which David put on, in that procession, when he danced before the ark89. But all these ephods were bound under certain laws, to be worn by such men, and at such times. Christ's garment was not divided; nay, the soldiers were not divided about it, but agreed in one way; and shall we, the body of Christ, be divided about the garment, that is, vary in the garment, by denying a conformity to that decency which is prescribed' When Christ divested, or suppressed the majesty of his outward appearance, at his resurrection, Mary Magdalen took him but for a gardener". Ecclesiastical persons in secular habits, lose their respect. Though the very habit be but a ceremony, yet the distinction of habits is rooted in nature, and in morality; and when the particular habit is enjoined by lawful authority, obedience is rooted in nature, and in morality too. In a watch, the string moves nothing, but yet it conserves the regularity of the motion of all. Ritual, and ceremonial things move not God, but they exalt that devotion, and they conserve that order, which does move him. Therefore is it also made a part of the commination, that they shall be sine ephod, without these outward ritual, and ceremonial solemnities of a church; first, without sacrifices, which are more substantial and essential parts of religion, (as we consider religion to be the outward worship of
God,) and then, without ephod, without those other assistances, which, though they be not of God's revenue, yet they are of his subsidies, and though they be not the soul, yet are the breath of religion. And so also is it of things of a more inferior nature than sacrifice or ephod, that is of image and teraphim, which is our next, and last consideration.
Both these words, (that which is translated, and called image, and that which is not translated, but kept in the original word, teraphim) have sometimes a good, sometimes a bad sense in the Scriptures. In the first, image, there is no difficulty; good and bad significations of that word, are obvious everywhere. And for the other, though when Rachel stole her father's teraphim41, (images) though when the king of Babylon consulted with teraphim", (images) the word teraphim have an ill sense, yet, when Michal, David's wife, put an image into his bed, to elude the fury of Saul43, there the word hath no ill sense. Accept the words in an idolatrous sense, yet, because they fall under the commination, and that God threatens it, as a part of their calamity, that they should be without their idols, it hath been, not inconveniently, argued from this place, that even a religion mixed with some idolatry, and superstition, is better than none, as in civil government a tyranny is better than an anarchy. And therefore we must not bring the same indisposition, the same disaffection towards a person misled, and soured with some leaven of idolatry, as towards a person possessed with atheism. And yet, how ordinarily we see zealous men start, and affected, and troubled at the presence of a papist, and never moved, never forbear the society and conversation of an atheist: which is an argument too evident, that we consider ourselves more than God, and that peace which the papist endangers, more than the atheist, (which is, the peace of the state, and a quiet enjoying our ease) above the glory of God, which the atheist wounds, and violatesmore than the papist; the papist withdraws some of the glory of God, in ascribing it to the saints, to themselves, and their own merits, but the atheist leaves no God to be glorified. And this use we have of these words, images, and teraphim, if they should have an ill sense in this place, and signify idols.
41 Gen. xxxi. 19. 18 Ezek. xxi. 21. 43 1 Sam. xix. 13.
But St. Hierome, and others with him, take these words, in a good sense; to be the cherubim, and palms, and such other representations, as God himself had ordained in their temple; and that the commination falls upon this, that in some cases, it may be some want, to be without some pictures in the church. So far as they may conduce to a reverend adoring of the place, so far as they may conduce to a familiar instructing of unlettered people, it may be a loss to lack them. For, so much Calvin, out of his religious wisdom, is content to acknowledge, Fateor, ut res se habet hodie", &c. I confess, as the case stands now, (says he, speaking of the beginning of the Reformation) there are many that could not be without those books, (as he calls those pictures) because then they had no other way of instruction; but, that that might be supplied, if those things which were delivered in picture, to their eyes, were delivered in sermons to their ears. And this is true, that where there is a frequent preaching, there is no necessity of pictures; but will not every man add this, that if the true use of pictures be preached unto them, there is no danger of an abuse; and so, as remembrancers of that which hath been taught in the pulpit, they may be retained; and that was one office of the Holy Ghost himself, that he should bring to their remembrance those things, which had been formerly taught them. And since, by being taught the right use of these pictures, in our preaching, no man amongst us is any more inclined, or endangered to worship a picture in a wall or window of the church, than if he saw it in a gallery, were it only for a reverent adorning of the place, they may be retained here, as they are in the greatest part of the reformed church, and in all that, is properly Protestant. And though the injunctions of our church", declare the sense of those times, concerning images, yet they are wisely and godly conceived; for the second is, that they shall not extol images, (which is not, that they shall not set them up) but, (as it followeth) they shall declare the abuse thereof. And wheh in the twenty-third injunction, it is said, that they shall utterly extinct, and destroy, (amongst other things) pictures, yet it is limited to such things, and such pictures, as are monuments of
feigned miracles; and that injunction reaches as well to pictures in private houses, as in churches, and forbids nothing in the church, that might be retained in the house. For those pernicious errors, which the Roman church hath multiplied in this point, not only to make images of men, which never were, but to make those images of men, very men, to make their images speak, and move, and Weep, and bleed; to make images of God who was never seen, and to make those images of God, very gods; to make their images do daily miracles i to transfer the honour due to God, to the image, and then to encumber themselves with such ridiculous riddles, and scornful distinctions, as they do, for justifying Unjustifiable, unexcusable, uncolourable enormities, Vw idololatris, woe to such advancers of images, as would throw down Christ, rather than his image: but Vw iconoclastis too, woe to such peremptory abhorrers of pictures, and to such uncharitable oondemners of all those who admit any use of them, as had rather throw down a church, than let a picture stand. Laying hold upon St. Hierome's exposition, that falls within the vw, the commination of this text, to be without those sacrifices, those ephods, those images, as they are outward helps of devotion. And, laying hold, not upon St. Hierome, but upon Christ himself, who is the God of love, and peace, and unity, yet falls under a heavy, and insupportable vw, to violate the peace of the church, for things which concern it not fundamentally. Problematical things are our silver, but fundamental, our gold; problematical our sweat, but fundamental our blood. If our adversaries would be bought in, with our silver, with our sweat, we should not be difficult in meeting them half way, in things, in their nature, indifferent. But if we must pay our gold, our blood, our fundamental points of religion, for their friendship, a fortune, a liberty, a wifet a child, a father, a friend, a master, a neighbour, a benefactor, a kingdom, a church, a world, is not Worth a drachm of this gold, a drop of this blood. Neither will that man, who is truly rooted in this foundation, redeem an impoverishing, an imprisoning, a disinheriting, a confining, an excommunicating, a deposing, with a drachm of this gold, with a drop of this blood, the fundamental articles of our religion. Blessed be that God, who, as he is without change or colour of change, hath kept us without change, or colour of change, in all our foundations; and he in his time bring our adversaries to such a moderation as becomes them, who do truly desire, that the church may be truly Catholic, one flock, in one fold, under one Shepherd, though not all of one colour, of one practice in all outward and disciplinarian points. Amen.