PREACHED AT ST. DUNSTAN'S, APRIL 11, 1624.
The fir't Sermon in that Church, as Vicar thereof.
Deuteronomy xxv. 5.
If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without, unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.
From the beginning God intimated a detestation, a dislike of singularity; of being alone. The first time that God himself is named in the Bible, in the first verse of Genesis, he is named plurally, Oreavit Dii, Gods, Gods in the plural, created heaven and earth. God, which is but one, would not appear, nor be presented so alone, but that he would also manifest more persons. As the Creator was not singular, so neither were the creatures; first, he created heaven and earth; both together; which were to be the general parents, and out of which were to be produced all other creatures; and then, he made all those other creatures plurally too; Male, and female created he them; and when he came to make him, for whose sake, (next to his own glory) he made the whole world, Adam, he left not Adam alone, but joined an Eve to him; now, when they were married, we know, but we know not when they were divorced; we hear when Eve was made, but not when she died; the husband's death is recorded at last, the wife's is not at all. So much detestation hath God himself, and so little memory would he have kept of any singularity, of being alone. The union of Christ to the whole church is not expressed by any metaphor, by any figure, so oft in the Scripture, as by this of marriage: and there is in that union with Christ to the whole church, neither husband, nor wife can ever die; Christ is immortal as he is himself, and immortal, as he is the head of the church, the husband of that wife: for that wife, the church is immortal too; for as a prince is the same prince, when he fights a battle, and when he triumphs after the victory: so the Militant, and the Triumphant church is the same church. There can be no widower, there can be no dowager, in that case; he cannot, she cannot die. But then this metaphor, this spiritual marriage, holds not only between Christ and the whole church, in which case there can be no widow, but in the union between Christ's particular ministers, and particular churches; and there, in that case, the husband of that wife may die; the present minister may die, and so that church be a widow; and in that case, and for provision of such widows, we consider the accommodation of this law. If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without, unto a stranger, &c.
This law was but a permissive law; rather a dispensation, than a law: as the permitting of usury to be taken of strangers, and the permitting of divorces in so many cases, were. At most it was but a judicial law, and therefore lays no obligation, upon any other nation, than them, to whom it was given, the Jews. And therefore we inquire not the reasons of that law, (the reasons were determined in that people) we examine not the conveniences of the law; (the conveniences were determined in those times) we lay hold only upon the typic signification, and appliableness of the law, as that secular marriage there spoken of, may be appliable to this spiritual marriage, the marriage of the minister to the church: If brethren dwell together, &c.
From these words then, we shall make our approaches, and application, to the present occasion, by these steps; first, there is a marriage, in the case. The taking, and leaving of a church, is not an indifferent, an arbitrary thing; it is a marriage, and marriage implies, honour: it is an honourable estate, and that implies charge, it is a burdensome state; there is honos, and onus, honour, and labour, in marriage; you must be content to afford the honour, we must be content to endure the labour. And so in that point, as our incumbency upon a church, is our marriage to that church, we shall as far, as the occasion admits, see what marriage includes, and what it excludes; what it requires, what it forbids. It is a marriage, and a marriage after the death of another: If one die, says the text; howsoever the Roman church in the exercise of their tyranny, have forbidden churchmen to marry, then when they have orders, and forbidden orders to be given to any, who have formerly been married, if they married widows, God is pleased here, to afford us, some intimation, some adumbration, a typical and exemplar knowledge of the lawfulness of such marriages, he marries after the death of a former husband; and then farther, a brother marries the wife of his deceased brother; now into the reasons of the law, literally given, and literally accepted, we look not; it is enough, that God hath a care of the preservation of names and families and inheritances in those distinctions, and in those tribes, where he laid them then; but for the accommodation of the law to our present application, it must be a brother, a spiritual brother, a professor of the same faith, that succeeds in this marriage, in this possession, and this government of that widow church. It must be a brother, and frater cohabitans, says our text, a brother that dwelt together, with the former husband; he must be of the same household of the faithful, as well as profess the same faith; he must dwell in the house of God, not separate himself, or encourage others to do so, for matter of ceremonies, and discipline; idolaters must not, separatists must not be admitted to these marriages, to these widow churches. And then it is a surrendering to a brother dead without children: in this spiritual procreation of children, we all die without children of our own; though by our labours, when God blesses them, you become children, yet you are God's children, not ours; we nurse you by his word, but his Spirit begets you by the same word; we must not challenge to us, that which God only can do. And then being thus married to this widow, taking the charge of this church, he must, says our text, perform the duty of a husband's brother. He must, it is a personal service, not to be done always by proxy, and delegates; he must; and he must perform; not begin well, Vol. v. s
and not persist, commence and not consummate, but perform the work; and perform the work, as it is a duty; it is a mere mercy in God, to send us to you, but it is a duty in us, to do that which we are sent for, by his word, and his sacraments, to establish you in his holy obedience, and his rich, and honourable service. And then our duty consists in both these, that we behave ourselves, as your husband, which implies a power, an authority; but a power and authority rooted in love, and exercised with love; and then that we do all as brothers to the former husband, that as one intentation of this law was, that inheritances, and temporal proprieties might be preserved, so our care might be through predecessor, and successor, and all, that all rights might be preserved to all men, that nothing not due, or due only in rigour, be extorted from the people, nothing that is in truth, or in equity due, be withheld from the minister; but that the true right of people, and pastor, and patron be preserved, to the preservation of love, and peace, and good opinion of one another.
First then, that which we take upon us, is a marriage. Amongst the Jews, it was almost an ignominious, an infamous thing, to die unmarried, at least to die without children, being married. Amongst the Gentiles it was so too, all well-governed states ever enlarged themselves, in giving places of command and profit, to married men. Indeed such men are most properly said to keep this world in reparations, that provide a succession of children; and for the next world, though all that are born into this world, do not enter into the number of God's saints, in heaven, yet the saints of heaven can be made out of no other materials, but men born into this world. Every stone in the quarry is not sure to be employed in the building of the church, but the church must be built out of those stones; and therefore they keep this world, they keep heaven itself in reparation, that marry in the fear of God, and in the same fear bring up the children of such a marriage. But I press not this too literally, nor over persuasively, that every man is bound to marry; God is no accepter of persons, nor of conditions. But being to use these words in their figurative application, I say, every man is bound to marry himself to a profession, to a calling: God hath brought him from being nothing, by creating him, but he resolves himself into nothing again, if he take no calling upon him. In our baptism we make our contract with God, that we will believe all those articles there recited; there is our contract with him; and then, pursuing this contract, in the other sacrament, when we take his body and his blood, we are married to him. So at the same time, at our baptism, we make a contract in the presence of God, and his congregation, with the world; that we will forsake the covetous desires of the world, that is, the covetous proprieting of all things to ourselves, the covetous living only for ourselves, there is our contract with the world, that we will mutually assist, and serve our brethren in the world; and then, when we take particular callings, by which we are enabled to perform that former contract, then we are married to the world; so every man is duly contracted to the world, in baptism, and lawfully married to the world in accepting a profession. And so this service of ours to the church is our marriage.
Now in a matrimonial state, there is onus and honos, a burden to be borne, an honour to be received. The burden of the sins of the whole world, was a burden only for Christ's shoulders; but the sins of this parish, will lie upon my shoulders, if I be silent, or if I be indulgent, and denounce not God's judgment upon those sins. It will be a burden to us, if we do not, and God knows it is a burden to us, when we do denounce those judgments. Esay felt, and groaned under this burden, when he cried Onus Babylonis, onus Moab, and onus Damasci, O the burden of Babylon, and the burden of Damascus, and so the other prophets groan often under this burden, in contemplation of other places: it burdened, it troubled, it grieved the holy prophets of God, that they must denounce God's judgments, though upon God's enemies. We read of a compassionate general, that looking upon his great army, from a hill, fell into a bitter weeping, upon this consideration, that in fifty or sixty years hence, there will not be a man of these that fight now, alive upon the earth. What sea could furnish mine eyes with tears enough, to pour out, if I should think, that of all this congregation, which looks me in the face now, I should not meet one, at the resurrection, at the right hand of God! And for so much as concerns me, it is all one, if none of you be saved, as if none of you be saved by my help, my means, my assistance, my preaching. If I put you upon miraculous ways, to be saved without hearing, or upon extraordinary ways to be saved by hearing others, this shall aggravate my condemnation, though you be saved: how much more heavy must my burden be, if by my negligence both I and you perish too! So then this calling, this marriage, is a burden every way. When at any midnight I hear a bell toll from this steeple, must not I say to myself, what have I done at any time for the instructing or rectifying of that man's conscience, who lieth there now ready to deliver up his own account, and my account to Almighty God? If he be not able to make a good account, he and I are in danger, because I have not enabled him; and though he be for himself able, that delivers not me, if I have been no instrument for the doing of it. Many, many burdens lie upon this calling, upon this marriage; but our recompence is, that marriage is as well an honourable as a painful calling.
If I be a Father, where is mine honour*, saith God: if you can answer God, Why, you have it in your prophets, they have it, that satisfieth him, that dischargeth you. For, he that receiveth them, receiveth him: but if Christ, who repeats that complaint, in every one of the four evangelists, find it repeated in every one of his prophets too, in every one of us, That a prophet hath no honour in his own country, that a pastor is least respected of his own flock, you have not your quietus est, for the honour due to God; God never discharges the honour due to him, if it be not paid into their hands, whom he sendeth for it, to them upon whom he hath directed it. Would the king believe that man, to honour him, that violateth his image, or that calumniateth his ambassador? Every man is the image of God; every creature is the ambassador of God; the heavens, (and as well as the heavens, the earth) declare the glory of God; but the civil magistrate, and the spiritual pastor, who have married the two daughters of God, the state and the church, are the images and ambassadors of God, in a higher and more peculiar sense, and for that marriage are to be honoured. And then honour implieth that, by which honour subsisteth, maintenance; and they which withdraw that inju
] Malachi i. 6.
riously, or withhold that contentiously, dishonour God, in the dishonour of his servants, and so make this marriage, this calling only burdensome and not honourable.
So then the interest of your particular minister, and the particular church, being such as between man and wife, a marriage, we consider the uses of marriage in God's first intention, and apply them to this marriage. God's first intentions in marriage were two. In adjutorium, for mutual helpers, and in prolem, for procreation, and education of children. For both these are we made husbands of churches; in prolem, to assist in the regeneration of children, for the inheritance of heaven; and in adjutorium, to be helpers to one another. And therefore if the husband, the pastor, put the wife, his flock in a circumcision, to pare themselves to the quick, to take from their necessary means to sustain their families, to satisfy him; the wife will say, as Zipporah said to Moses, Sponsus sanguinum, A bloody husband art thou, that exactest and extortest more than is due, in that case the husband is no helper. But if we be always ready to help your children over the threshold, (as St. Augustine calls baptism, Limen ecclesiw) always ready to baptize the children; if we be always ready to help you in all your spiritual diseases, to that cordial, that balsamum, the body and blood of Christ Jesus; if we be always ready to help you in all your bodily distresses, ready even at your last gasp to open your eyes then, when your best friends are ready to close them; ready to deliver your souls into the hands of God, when all the rest about you are ready to receive into their hands, that which you leave behind you, and then ready to lay up the garments of your souls, your bodies, in the wardrobe the grave, till you call for them, and put them on again, in the resurrection, then are we truly helpers, true husbands; and then if the wife will say, as Job's wife to the husband, Curse God and die, be sorry, that thou hast taken this profession upon thee, and live in penury, and die in poverty. In a word, if he press too much, if she withdraw too much, this frustrates God's purpose in making that a marriage ; they are not mutual helpers to one another. These were God's two principal intentions in marriage, in adjutorium, in prolem. But then man's fall induced a third, in remedium, that for a remedy against
burning, and to avoid fornication, every man should have his own wife, every woman her own husband. And so in remedium, for a remedy against spiritual fornication, of running after other men in other places, out of disaffection to their own pastor, or over affecting another, God hath given every wife, her own husband, every church her own pastor. And to all these purposes, our function is a marriage.
It is a marriage, it deserves the honour, it undertakes the burden of that state; and then it is a marriage of a widow, of a church left in widowhood by the death of her former husband. In the law literally God forbad the high priest to marry a widow*. The Roman church continues that literally, and more; they extend it; that which was in figure, enjoined to the high priest only, they in fact extend to all priests; no man that ever married a widow, may be a priest, though she be dead, when he desires orders. There is no question but there is a more exemplary sanctity required in the priest, than in other persons, and more in those, who are in high places in the church, than in those of inferior jurisdictions, and the name and title of virginity, hath ever been exhibited as an emblem, as a type of especial sanctity. And as such the apostle uses it when he saith, That he would present the church of Corinth, as a chaste virgin to Christ3; that is, as chaste as a virgin, though married, for so he saith in the words immediately before, that he had espoused them to a husband: as marriage is an honourable state, though in poverty, so is the bed undefiled with strange lust, a chaste bed even in marriage. And in the accommodation of the figure to the present occasion, our marriage to several churches, if we might marry no widows, (no churches, which had been wives to former husbands) we should find few virgins, that is, churches newly erected for us. But when the wife of a former husband is left a widow, Nubat in Domino, saith the apostle, In God's name let her marry4.
But the former husband must be dead: the husband's absence makes not the wife a widow; nor doth the necessary, and lawful absence of the pastor, make the church vacant. The sickness of
• Levit. xxi. 13. 8 2 Cor. xi. 2. 4 1 Cor. vii. 39.
the husband makes not a widow; the bodily weakness, nay the spiritual weakness of the pastor in case that his parts and abilities, and faculties, be grown but weak, do not make his church vacant. If the pastor be suspended, or otherwise censured, this is but as a separation, or as a divorce; and as the wife is not a widow, upon a divorce, so neither is the church vacant, upon such censures. And therefore for them that take advantages upon the weaknesses, or upon the disgrace, or upon the poverty of any such incumbent, and so insinuate themselves into his church, this is intrusion, this is spiritual adultery, for the husband is not dead, though he be sick. Nay if they would remove him by way of preferment, yet that is a supplantation; when Jacob had Esau by the heel, whether he kept him in5, till he might be strong enough to go out before him, or whether he pushed him out, before he would have gone, Jacob was a supplanter. Some few cases are put when a wife becomes as a widow, her husband living; but regularly it is by death. In some few cases, churches may otherwise be vacant, but regularly it is by death. And then Esto vidua in domo patris, saith Judah to Thamar, Remain a widow at thy father's house": then the church remaineth in the house, in the hands of her father, the bishop of that diocese, till a new husband be lawfully tendered unto her: and till that time, as our Saviour Christ recommended his most blessed mother, to St. John, but not as a wife, so that bishop delivers that church, to the care and administration of some other during her widowhood, till by due course she become the wife of another.
Thus our calling is a marriage; it should have honour; it must have labour; and it is a lawful marriage pon a just and equitable vacancy of the place, without any supplantation; upon death; and then it is upon death of a brother; If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife, &c. As well St. Gregory, as St. Augustine before, interpret this of our elder, our eldest brother Christ Jesus. That he being dead, we marry his wife, the church, and become husbands to her. But Christ, in that capacity, as he is head of the church, cannot die. That to which, the application of this law, leads us, is, that predecessor, and successor, be brethren of the same faith, and the
5 Gen. xxv. 28. 0 Gen. xxxviii. 11.
same profession of faith. The Sadducees put a case to Christ of a woman married successively to seven men: let seven signify infinite; still those seven were brethren. How often soever any wife change her husband, any church, her pastor, God sends us still a succession of brethren, sincere, and unfeigned preachers of the same truth, sons of the same Father; Who is that Father I God is our Father; Have we not all one Father1? says the prophet. Yes, we have, and so a worm, and we, are brethren, by the same father, and mother, the same God, the same earth. Hath not the rain a Father'? The rain hath; and the same that we have. More narrowly, and yet very largely, Christ is our Father; one of his names is, The everlasting Father"; and then after these, after God, after Christ, the king is our father; See, my father, the skirt of thy robe, in my hand10, says David to his king Saul; now if any husband should be offered to any widow, any pastor to any vacant church, who were not our brother by all these fathers, in a right belief in God, the Father of all men, in a right profession of Christ Jesus, the Father of all Christians, in a right affection, and allegiance to the king, the father of all subjects, any that should incline to a foreign father, an imaginary universal father, he of whom his vice-fathers, his junior fathers, the jesuit11 (for all the jesuits are fathers) says, That the fathers of the church are but sons, and not fathers, to him; they that say to a stock, to the image of the beast, Thou art my fatherTM, who, (not in a sense of humiliation, as Job speaks the words13) but of pride, say to corruption, Thou art my father, that is, that prostrate themselves to all the corruptions of a prostitute church: if any so inclined of himself, or so inclinable if occasion should invite him, or rather tempt him, be offered for a husband to any widow, for a pastor to any vacant church, he is not within the accommodation of this law, he is not our brother, by the whole blood, who hath not a brotherhood rooted in the same religion, and in the allegiance to the same sovereign.
He must be a brother, and frater cohabitans, a brother dwelling with the former brother. As he is a brother, we consider the unity of faith: as he dwells in the same house, we consider the
"> Matt. ii. 10. 8 Job xxxviii. 28. 0 Isaiah ix. 6. 10 1 Sam. xxlv. 11. 11 Bellarmine. 1! Jer. ii. 27. 13 Job xvii. 14.
unity of discipline; that as he believes, and professes the same articles of faith, so by his own obedience, and by his instructing of others, he establish the same government; a schismatic is no more a brother to this purpose, than a heretic. If we look well, we shall see, that Christ provided better for his garments, than for his flesh; he suffered his flesh to be torn, but not his seamless garment. There may be, in many cases, more mischief, in disobeying the uniformity of the discipline of the church, than in mistaking in opinion, some doctrine of the church. We see in God's institution of his first church, whom he called brethren: those who were instructed, and cunning in the songs of the church, they are called brethren"; to oppose the orders of the church solemnly ordained, or customarily admitted, for the advancement of God's glory, and the devotion of the congregation, forfeits this brotherhood, or at least discontinues the purpose and use of it; for, howsoever they may be in a kind, brothers, if they succeed in the profession of the same faith, yet we see where the blessedness is settled, Blessed are they that dwell in thy house"; and we see, where the goodness, and the pleasantness is settled, Behold, how good, and how pleasant a thing it is, for brethren to dwell together in unity18: so that, if they be not brothers in the same faith, and brothers in the same household of the faithful, and brothers in the same allegiance, if they advance not the truth of the church, and the peace of the church, and the head of the church, fomenters of error, and of schism, and sedition, are not husbands for these widows, pastors for these churches.
He must be a brother; a brother dwelling in the same house of Christ, and then brother to one dead without children, as Tertullian expresses it in his particular elegancy, illiberis; that is, content to be his brother, in that sense, in that capacity, to claim no children, no spiritual children of his own begetting; not to attribute to himself that holy generation of the saints of God, as though his learning, or his wit, or his labour, had saved them; but to content himself to have been the foster-father, and to have nursed those children, whom the Spirit of God, by over-shadowing the church, hath begot upon her, for, though it be with the word
u 1 Chron. v. 27. 15 Psalm Lxxxiv. 4. 16 Psalm cxxxiii. 1.
of truth, in our preaching, yet of his own will begot he us, though by the word, says the apostle". St. Paul might say to the Corinthians, Though you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the GospelTM; and he might say of his spiritual son Onesimus, That he begot him in his bondsTM; those, to whom he first of any presented the Gospel, that had not heard of a Christ, nor a Holy Ghost, before they, into whom, he infused a new religion, new to them, might well enough be called his children, and he their father; but we have no new doctrine to present, no new opinion to infuse, or miracles to amaze, as in the Roman church, they are full of all these: we have no children to beget of our own : Paul was not crucified for you, nor were you baptized in the name of Paul, says Paul himself80; as he says again, Who is Paul? but a minister by whom ye believed", and that also not by him, but as the Lord gave to every man; not as Paul preached to every man, for he preached alike to every man; but as the Lord gave to every man; I have planted, says he, it is true, but he thatplanteth is nothing, says he also; only they that proceed, as they proceed in the Roman church ex opere operato, to tie the grace of God, to the action of the man, will venture to call God's children, their children in that sense. My prayer shall be against that commination, that God will not give us a miscarrying womb, nor dry breasts**; that you may always suck pure milk from us, and then not cast it up, but digest it, to your spiritual growth; and I shall call upon God with a holy passion, as vehement as Rachel's to Jacob, Da mihi liberos, Give me children, or I die83: That God would give me children, but his children; that he by his Spirit, may give you an inward regeneration, as I, by his ordinance shall present to you, the outward means, that so being begot by himself, the Father of life, and of light, you may be nursed, and brought up, in his service by me. That so, not attributing the work to any man, but to God's ordinances, you do not tie the power of God, nor the breath of life, to any one man's lips, as though there were no regeneration, no begetting, but by him; but acknowledging the other to be but an instrument, and the weakest to be that, you may
"James i. 18. 18 1 Cor. iv. 15. 10 Phil. 10. 80 1 Cor. i. 13.
"1 1 Cor. iii. 5. 88 Hosea ix. 14. 83 Gen. xxx. I
remember also, that though a man can cut deeper with an axe, than with a knife, with a heavy, than with a lighter instrument; yet God can pierce as far into a conscience, by a plain, as by an exquisite speaker.
Now this widow being thus married, this church thus undertaken, he must perform the duty of a husband's brother: first, it is a personal office, ho must do it himself. When Christ shall say, at the judgment, / was naked, and ye clothed me not, sick, and ye visited me not, it shall be no excuse to say, When saw we thee naked, when saic we thee sickM? for we might have seen it, we should have seen it. When wo shall come to our account, and see them, whose salvation was committed to us, perish, because they were uninstructed, and ignorant, dare we say thon, We never saw them, show their ignorance, we never heard of it? That is the greatest part of our fault, the heaviest weight upon our condemnation, that wo saw so little, heard so little, conversed so little amongst them, because we were made watchmen, and bound to see, and bound to hear, and bound to be heard; not by others, but by ourselves; my sheep may be saved by others; but I save them not, that are saved so, nor shall I myself be saved by their labour, where mine was necessarily required.
The office is personal, I must do it, and it is perpetual, I must perform it, says the text, go through with it. Lot's wife looked back, and God never gave her leave to look forward again. That man who hath put his hand to the plough, and looks backTM, Christ disables him for the kingdom of God. The Galatians who had begun in the spirit, and then relapsed, before whose eyes Christ Jesvs had been evidently set forth",, as the apostle speaks, fall under that reproach of the apostle, to be called, and called again, fools, and men bewitched. If I begin to preach, amongst you, and proceed not, I shall fall under that heavy increpation from my God, You began, that you might for your own glory, show that you were in some measure, able to serve the church, and when you had done enough for your own glory, you gave over my glory, and the salvation of their souls, to whom I sent you. God hath set our eyes in our foreheads, to look forward, not backward, not to
be proud of that which we have done, but diligent in that which we are to do. In the creation, if God had given over his work, the third, or fifth day, where had man been? If I give over my prayers, due to the church of God, as long as God enables me to do it service, I lose my thanks, nay, I lose the testimony of mine own conscience for all. My office is personal, and it is perpetual, and then it is a duty. He must perform the duty of a husband's brother unto her.
It is not of courtesy, that we preach, but it is a duty, it is not a bounty given, but it is a debt paid: for, Though I preach the Gospel, I haw nothing to glory of, for a necessity is laid upon me, says St. Paul himself It is true, that as there is a Vw si non, Woe be unto me, if I do not preach the Gospel, so there is an Euge bone serve, Well done good and faithful servantTM, to them that do. But the vw, is of justice, the euge is of mercy; if I do it not, I deserve condemnation from God; but if I do it, I deserve not thanks from him. Nay, it is a debt, not only to God, but to God's people, to you: and indeed there is more due to you, than you can claim, or can take knowledge of. For the people can claim but according to the laws of that state, and the canons of that church, in which God hath placed them; such preaching, as those laws, and those canons enjoin, is a debt which they can call for: but the pastor himself hath another court, another bar in himself, by which he tries himself, and must condemn himself, if he pay not this debt, perform not this duty, as often, as himself, knows himself, to be fit, and able to do it.
It is a duty, and it is the duty of a husband's brother. Now the husband hath power, and authority over the wife. The head of the woman is the manTM; and when the office of this spiritual husband is particularly expressed, thus, reprove, rebuke, exhort3", you see, for one word of familiarity, that is, exhort, there are two of authority, reprove, and rebuke. But yet, all the authority of the husband, secular, or ecclesiastical, temporal, or spiritual husband, is grounded, rooted in love: for, the apostle seems to delight himself, in the repeating of that commandment, to the Ephesians, and to the Colossians, Husbands love your wives. Moses extends
himself no farther, in expressing all the happinesses, that Isaac and Rebecca enjoyed in one another, but this, she became his wife, and he loved her. If she had not been his wife, Moses would never have proposed that love for an example; for so it is also between Elkanah, and his wife Hannah, (1 Sam. i. 5.) Unto Hannah he gave a double portion, for (says the text) he loved Hannah". If the pastor love, there will be a double labour; if the people love, there will be double respect. But being so, ho thought he said all, when he said they loved one another; for where the congregation loves the pastor, he will forbear bitter reproofs, and wounding increpations, and where the pastor loves his congregation, his rebukes, because they proceed out of love, will be acceptable, and well interpreted by them.
It is a duty, and personal, and perpetual; a duty, of a husband, and lastly, of a husband that is brother to the former husband; in which last circumstance, we have time to mark but this one note, that the reason of that law, which drew the brother to this marriage, was the preservation of the temporal inheritance, in that family. Even in our spiritual marriages to widow churches, we must have a care to preserve the temporal rights of all persons; that the parish be not oppressed with heavy extortions, nor the pastor defrauded with unjust subtraction, nor the patron damnified by usurpations, nor the ordinary neglected by disobediences; but that people, and pastor, and patron, and ordinary, continuing in possession of their several rights, love being the root of all, the fruit of all may be peace, love being the soul of all, the body of all may be unity; which the Lord of unity, and concord, grant to us all, for his Son Christ Jesus' sake, Amen.