A LENT SERMON PREACHED TO THE KING, AT WHITEHALL,
FEBRUARY 12, 1629.
Matthew vi. 21.
For, where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
I Have seen minute-glasses; glasses so short-lived. If I were to preach upon this text, to such a glass, it were enough for half the sermon; enough to show the wordly man his treasure, and the object of his heart (for, where your treasure is, there will your heart be also) to call his eye to that minute-glass, and to tell him, there flows, there flies your treasure, and your heart with it. But if I had a secular glass, a glass that would run an age; if the two hemispheres of the world were composed in the form of such a glass, and all the world calcined and burnt to ashes, and all the ashes, and sands, and atoms of the world put into that glass, it would not be enough to tell the godly man what his treasure, and the object of his heart is. A parrot, or a stare, docile birds, and of pregnant imitation, will sooner be brought to relate to us the wisdom of a council-table, than any Ambrose, or any Chrysostom, men that have gold and honey in their names, shall tell us what the sweetness, what the treasure of heaven is, and what that man's peace, that hath set his heart upon that treasure. As nature hath given us certain elements, and all bodies are composed of them; and art hath given us a certain alphabet of letters, and all words are composed of them: so, our blessed Saviour, in these three chapters of this Gospel, hath given us a sermon of texts, of which, all our sermons may be composed. All the articles of our religion, all the canons of our church, all the injunctions of our princes, all the homilies of our fathers, all the body of divinity, is in these three chapters, in this one sermon in the Mount: where, as the preacher concludes his sermon with exhortations to practice, (whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doth them1) so he fortifies his sermon, with his own practice,
1 Matt. vii. 24.
(which is a blessed and a powerful method) for, as soon as h came out of the pulpit, as soon as he came down from the Mount, he cured the first leper he saw*, and that, without all vain glory: for he forbade him to tell any man of it.
Of this noble body of divinity, one fair limb is in this text, Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Immediately before, our blessed Saviour had forbidding us the laying up of treasure in this world, upon this reason, that here moths and rust corrupt, and thieves break in, and steal. There, the reason is, because the money may be lost; but here, in our text it is, because the man may be lost: for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also: so that this is equivalent to that, What profit to gain the whole world, and lose a mans whole soul3? Our text, therefore, stands as that proverbial, that hieroglyphical letter, Pythagoras's Y; that hath first a stalk, a stem to fix itself, and then spreads into two beams. The stem, the stalk of this letter, this Y, is in the first word of the text, that particle of argumentation, for: Take heed where you place your treasure: for it concerns you much, where your heart be placed; and, where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. And then opens this symbolical, this catechistical letter, this Y, into two horns, two beams, two branches; one broader, but on the lefthand, denoting the treasures of this world; the other narrower, but on the right-hand, treasure laid up for the world to come. Be sure ye turn the right way: for, where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
First then, we bind ourselves to the stake, to the stalk, to the staff, the stem of this symbolical letter, and consider in it, that firmness and fixation of the heart, which God requires. God requires no unnatural things at man's hand: whatsoever God requires of man, man may find imprinted in his own nature, written in his own heart. This firmness then, this fixation of the heart, is natural to man: every man does set his heart upon something: and Christ in this place does not so much call upon him, that he would do so, set his heart upon something; as to be sure that he set it upon the right object. And yet truly, even this first work, to recollect ourselves, to recapitulate ourselves, to
2 Matt. viii. I. » Matt. xvi. 26.
assemble and muster ourselves, and to bend our hearts entirely and intensely, directly, earnestly, emphatically, energetically, upon something, is, by reason of the various fluctuation of our corrupt nature, and the infinite multiplicity of objects, such a work as man needs to be called upon, and excited to do it. Therefore is there no word in the Scriptures so often added to the heart, as that of entireness; Toto corde, omni corde, pleno corde: Do this with all thine heart, with a whole heart, with a full heart: for whatsoever is indivisible, is immoveable; a point, because it cannot be divided, cannot be moved: the centre, the poles, God himself, because he is indivisible, is therefore immoveable. And when the heart of man is knit up in such an entireness upon one object, as that it does not scatter, nor subdivide itself; then, and then only is it fixed. And that is the happiness in which David fixes himself; not in his Cor paratum, My heart is prepared, O God, my heart is prepared; (for so it may be, prepared even by God himself, and yet scattered and subdivided by us:) but, in his Cor fixum, My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; awake my glory, awake my psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early, and praise thee, O Lord, among the people*. A triumph that David returned to more than once: for he repeats the same words, with the same pathetical earnestness again5. So that his glory, his victory, his triumph, his peace, his acquiescence, his all-sufficiency in himself, consisted in this, that his heart was fixed: for this fixation of the heart, argued and testified an entireness in it. When God says, Fili, da mihi cor; My son, give me thy heart; God means, the whole man. Though the apostle say, The eye is not the man, nor the ear is not the man'; he does not say, the heart is not the man: the heart is the man; the heart is all: and, as Moses was not satisfied with that commission that Pharaoh offered him, that all the men might go to offer sacrifice7; but Moses would have all their young, and all their old; all their sons, and all their daughters; all their flocks, and all their herds; he would have all; so, when God says, Fili, da mihi cor, My son, give me thy heart, God will not be satisfied with the eye, if I contemplate him in his works: (for that is but the godliness of the natural man) nor satisfied with the ear, with hearing many ser
mons: (for that is but a new invention, a new way of making beads, if, as the papist thinks all done, if he have said so many aves, I think all done, if I have heard so many sermons.) But God requires the heart, the whole man, all the faculties of that man: for only that that is entire, and indivisible, is immoveable: and that that God calls for, and we seek for, in this stem of Pythagoras's symbolical letter, is this immoveableness, this fixation of the heart. And yet, even against this, though it be natural, there are many impediments: we shall reduce them to a few; to three; these three. First, there is cor milium, a mere heartlessness, no heart at all, incogitancy, inconsideration: and then there is, cor et cor, cor duplex, a double heart, a doubtful, a distracted heart; which is not incogitancy, nor inconsideration, but perplexity and irresolution: and lastly, cor mgum, a wandering, a wayfaring, a weary heart; which is neither inconsideration, nor irresolution, but inconstancy. And this is a trinity against our unity; three enemies to that fixation and entireness of the heart, which God loves: inconsideration, when we do not debate; irresolution, when we do not determine; inconstancy, when we do not persevere: and upon each of these, be pleased to stop your devotion, a few minutes.
The first is, cor nullum, no heart at all, incogitancy, thoughtlessness. An idle body, is a disease in a state; an idle soul, is a monster in a man. That body that will not work, must not eat3, but starve: that soul that does not think, not consider, cannot be said to actuate, (which is the proper operation of the soul) but to evaporate; not to work in the body, but to breathe, and smoke through the body. We have seen estates of private men wasted by inconsideration, as well as by riot; and a soul may perish by a thoughtlessness, as well as by ill thoughts: God takes it as ill to be slighted, as to be injured: and God is as much slighted in corde nullo, in our thoughtlessness and inconsideration, as he is opposed and provoked in corde malignc, in a rebellious heart. There is a good nullification of the heart, a good bringing of the heart to nothing. For the fire of God's Spirit may take hold of me, and (as the disciples that went with Christ to Emmaus, were affected) my heart may burn within me, when the Scriptures are
8 2 Thess. iii. 10.
opened, that is, when God's judgments are denounced against my sin; and this heat may overcome my former frigidity and coldness, and overcome my succeeding tepidity and lukewarmness, and may bring my heart to a mollification, to a tenderness, as Job found it; The Almighty hath troubled me, and made my heart soft9: for there are hearts of clay, as well as hearts of wax; hearts, whom these fires of God, his corrections, harden. But if these fires of his, these denunciations of his judgments, have overcome first my coldness, and then my lukewarmness, and made my heart soft for better impressions; the work is well advanced, but it is not all done: for metal may be soft, and yet not fusile; iron may be red-hot, and yet not apt to run into another mould. Therefore there is a liquefaction, a melting, a pouring out of the heart, such as Rahab speaks of, to Joshua's spies10; (As soon as we heard how miraculously God had proceeded in your behalf, in drying up Jordan, all our hearts melted within us, and no man had any spirit left in him.) And when upon the consideration of God's miraculous judgments or mercies, I come to such a melting and pouring out of my heart, that there be no spirit, that is, none of mine own spirit left in me; when I have so exhausted, so evacuated myself, that is, all confidence in myself, that I come into the hands of my God, as pliably, as ductilely, as that first clod of earth, of which he made me in Adam, was in his hands, in which clod of earth, there was no kind of reluctation against God's purpose; this is a blessed nullification of the heart. When I say to myself, as the apostle professed of himself, I am nothing*1; and then say to God, Lord, though I be nothing, yet behold, I present thee as much as thou hadst to make the whole world of; O thou that madest the whole world of nothing, make me, that am nothing in mine own eyes, a new creature in Christ Jesus: this is a blessed nullification, a glorious annihilation of the heart. So is there also a blessed nullification thereof, in the contrition of heart, in the sense of my sins; when, as a sharp wind may have worn out a marble statue, or a continual spout worn out a marble pavement, so, my holy tears, made holy in his blood that gives them a tincture, and my holy sighs, made holy in that Spirit that breathes them in me, have
* Job xxiii. 16.
10 Josh. ii. 11; and v. 1.
11 2 Cor. xii. 11
worn out my marble heart, that is, the marbleness of my heart, and emptied the room of that former heart, and so given God a vacuity, a new place to create a new heart in. But when God hath thus created a new heart, that is, re-enabled me, by his ordinance, to some holy function, then, to put this heart to nothing, to think nothing, to consider nothing; not to know our age, but by the church-book, and not by any action done in the course of our lives, for our God, for our prince, for our country, for our neighbour, for ourselves, (ourselves are our souls;) not to know the seasons of the year, but by the fruits which we eat, and not by observation of the public and national blessings, which he hath successively given us; not to know religion, but by the conveniency, and the preferments to be had in this, or in the other side; to sit here, and not to know if we be asked upon a surprise, whether it were a prayer, or a sermon, or an anthem that we heard last; this is such a nullification of the heart, such an annihilation, such an exinanition thereof, as reflects upon God himself; for, Respuit datorem, qui datum deserit1*, He that makes no use of a benefit, despises the benefactor. And therefore, A rod for his back, qui indiget corde, that is without a heart13, Without consideration what he should do; nay, what he does. For this is the first enemy of this firmness and fixation of the heart, without which, we have no treasure; and we have done with that, cor nullum, and pass to the second, cor et cor, cor duplex, the double, the divided, the distracted heart, which is not inconsideration, but irresolution.
This irresolution, this perplexity is intended in that commination from God, The Lord shall give them a trembling heart14: this is not that cor milium, that melted heart, in which there was no spirit left in them, as in Joshua's time; but cor pavidum, a heart that should not know where to settle, nor what to wish; but, as it follows there In the morning he shall say, Would God it were evening; and in the evening, Would God it were morning. And this is that which Solomon may have intended in his prayer, Give thy servant an understanding heart": Cor docile, so St. Hierome reads it, a heart able to conceive counsel: for that is a
"Deut. xxviii. 65.
13 Prov. x. 13. 3 1 Kings iii. 9.
good disposition, but it is not all: for, the original is, Leb shemmeany", that is, Cor audiens, A heart willing to hearken to counsel. But all that, is not all that is asked; Solomon asks there a heart to discern between good and evil; so that it is a prayer for the spirit of discretion, of conclusion, of resolution; that God would give him a heart willing to receive counsel, and a heart capable to conceive and digest counsel, and a heart able to discern between counsel and counsel, and to resolve, conclude, determine. It were a strange ambitious patience in any man, to be content to be racked every day, in hope to be an inch or two taller at last: so is it for me, to think to be a dram or two wiser, by hearkening to all jealousies, and doubts, and distractions, and perplexities, that arise in my bosom, or in my family; which is the rack and torture of the soul. A spirit of contradiction may be of use in the greatest councils; because thereby matters may be brought into farther debatement. But a spirit of contradiction in mine own bosom, to be able to conclude nothing, resolve nothing, determine nothing, not in my religion, not in my manners, but occasionally, and upon emergencies; this is a sickly complexion of the soul, a dangerous impotency, and a shrewd and ill-presaging crisis. If Joshua had suspended his assent of serving the Lord, till all his neighbours, and their families, all the kings and kingdoms about him, had declared theirs the same way, when would Joshua have come to that protestation, / and my house will serve the Lord? If Esther had forborne to press for an audience to the king, in the behalf, and for the life of her nation, till nothing could have been said against it, when would Esther have come to that protestation, / will go; and if I perish, I perish? If one mill-stone fell from the north pole, and another from the south, they would meet, and they would rest in the centre; nature would concentre them. Not to be able to concentre those doubts, which arise in myself, in a resolution at last, whether in moral or in religious actions, is rather a vertiginous giddiness, than a wise circumspection, or wariness. When God prepared great armies, it is expressed always so, Tanquam unis vir, Israel went out as one man11. When God established his beloved David to be king, it is expressed so; Uno corde, he sent
16 yDW 2b "1 Sain. xi. 7
them out, with one heart to make David kingTM. When God accelerated the propagation of his church, it is expressed so; Una anima, The multitude of them that believed, were of one heart, and one soul". Since God makes nations, and armies, and churches one heart, let not us make one heart two, in ourselves; a divided, a distracted, a perplexed, an irresolved heart: but in all cases, let us be able to say to ourselves, This we should do. God asks the heart, a single heart, an entire heart; for, whilst it is so, God may have some hope of it. But when it is a heart and a heart, a heart for God, and a heart for Mammon, howsoever it may seem to be even, the odds will be on Mammon's side against God; because he presents possessions, and God but reversions; he the present and possessory things of this world, God but the future and speratory things of the next. So then, the cor nullum, no heart, thoughtlessness, incogitancy, inconsideration; and the cor duplex, the perplexed, and irresolved, and inconclusive heart, do equally oppose this firmness and fixation of the heart which God loves, and which we consider in this stem and stalk of Pythagoras' symbolical letter: and so does that which we proposed for the third, the cor vagum, the wandering, the wayfaring, the inconstant heart.
Many times, in our private actions, and in the cribration and sifting of our consciences, (for that is the sphere I move in, and no higher) we do overcome the first difficulty, inconsideration; we consider seriously: and sometimes the second, irresolution; we resolve confidently: but never the third, inconstancy: if so far, as to bring holy resolutions into actions; yet never so far, as to bring holy actions into habits. That word which we read deceitful, (The heart is deceitful above all things; who can know it*0?) is in the original gnacob; and that is not only fraudulentum, but versipelle, deceitful because it varies itself into divers forms; so that it does not only deceive others (others find not our heart the same towards them to-day, that it was yesterday) but it deceives ourselves: we know not what, nor where our heart will be hereafter. Upon those words of Esay", Redite prevaricatores ad cor; Return, 0 sinner, to thy heart: Longe eos mittit, says St.
Gregory, God knows whither that sinner is sent, that is sent to his own heart: for, where is thy heart? Thou mayest remember where it was yesterday; at such an office, at such a chamber: but yesterday's affections are changed to day, as to-day's will be, to-morrow. They have despised my judgments; so God complains in Ezekiel"; that is, They are not moved with my punishments; they call all, natural accidents: and then it follows, They have polluted my sabbaths; they have come to a more faint, and dilute, and indifferent way, in their religion. Now what hath occasioned this neglecting of God's judgments, and this diluteness and indifferency in the ways of religion? That that follows there, Their hearts went after their idols: Went? Whither? Everywhither: for, Quotvitia tot recentes deosn: so many habitual sins, so many idols: and so, every man hath some idol, some such sin; and then, that idol sends him to a further idol, that sin to another: for every sin needs the assistance, and countenance of another sin, for disguise and palliation. We are not constant in our sins, much less in our more holy purposes. We complain, and justly, of the church of Rome, that she would not have us receive in utraque, in both kinds: but, alas! who amongst us, does receive in utraque, so, as that when he receives bread and wine, he receives with a true sorrow for former, and a true resolution against future sins? Except the Lord of heaven create new hearts in us, of ourselves, we have cor nullum, no heart; all vanishes into incogitancy. Except the Lord of heaven concentre our affections, of ourselves, we have cor et cor, a cloven, a divided heart, a heart of irresolution. Except the Lord of heaven fix our resolutions, of ourselves, we have cor vagum, a various, a wandering heart; all smokes into inconstancy. And all these three are enemies to that firmness, and fixation of the heart, which God loves, and we seek after. But yet how variously soever the heart do wander, and how little awhile soever it stay upon one object; yet, that that thy heart does stay upon, Christ in this place calls thy treasure: for, the words admit well that inversion; Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also, implies this; where your heart is, that is your treasure. And so we pass from this stem and stalk of Pythagoras' symbolical letter, the firm
'» Ezek. xx. 16. » Hierome.
ness and fixation of the heart, to the horns and beams thereof: a broader, (but on the left hand) and in that, the corruptible treasures of this world; and a narrower, (but on the right hand) and in that, the everlasting treasures of the next. On both sides, that that you fix your heart upon, is your treasure; For, where your heart is, there is your treasure also.
Literally, primarily, radically, thesaurus, treasure, is no more but Depositum in crastinum, Provision for to-morrow; to showhow little a proportion, a regulated mind, and a contented heart may make a treasure. But we have enlarged the signification of these words, provision, and, to-morrow: for, provision must signify all that can any way be compassed; and, to-morrow must signify as long as there shall be a to-morrow, till time shall be no more: but waiving these infinite extensions, and perpetuities, is there any thing of that nature, as, (taking the word treasure in the narrowest signification, to be but provision for to-morrow) we are sure shall last till to-morrow I Sits any man here in an assurance, that he shall be the same to-morrow, that he is now? You have your honours, your offices, your possessions, perchance under seal; a seal of wax; wax, that hath a tenacity, an adhering, a cleaving nature, to show the royal constancy of his heart, that gives them, and would have them continue with you, and stick to you. But then, wax, if it be heat, hath a melting, a fluid, a running nature too: so have these honours, and offices, and possessions, to them that grow too hot, too confident in them, or too imperious by them. For these honours, and offices, and possessions, you have a seal, a fair and just evidence of assurance; but have they any seal upon you, any assurance of you till tomorrow? Did our blessed Saviour give day, or any hope of a to-morrow, to that man, to whom he said, Fool, this night they fetch away thy soul? Or is there any of us, that can say, Christ sayed not that to him?
But yet, a treasure every man hath: An evil man, out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is evil, says our Saviour": every man hath some sin upon which his heart is set; and, Where your heart is, there is your treasure also. The treasures of wickedness profit nothing, says Job"; it is true: but yet,
"Luke vi. 45. 85 Job x. 2.
treasures of wickedness there are. Are there not yet treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked"? Consider the force of that word, yet; yet, though you have the power of a vigilant prince executed by just magistrates; yet, though you have the piety of a religious prince, seconded by the assiduity of a laborious clergy; yet, though you have many helps, which your fathers did, and your neighbours do want, and have (by God's grace) some fruits of those many helps; yet, for all this, Are there not yet treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked? No? Are there not scant measures, which are an abomination to God, says the prophet there; which are not only false measures of merchandise, but false measures of men: for, when God says that, he intends all this; Is there not yet supplantation in court, and misrepresentations of men? When Solomon, who understood subordination of places which flowed from him, as well as the highest, which himself possessed, says, and says experimentally for his own, and prophetically for future times, If a ruler (a man in great place) hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked": are there not yet misrepresentations of men in courts? Is there not yet oppression in the country? A starving of men, and pampering of dogs? A swallowing of the needy? A buying of the poor for a pair of shoes, and a selling to the hungry refuse corn**? Is there not yet oppression in the country? Is there not yet extortion in Westminster? A justifying of the wicked for a reward, and a taking away of the righteousness of the righteous from him"? Is there not yet extortion in Westminster? Is there not yet collusion and circumvention in the city? Would they not seem richer than they are, when they deal in private bargains with one another? And would they not seem poorer than they are, when they are called to contribute for the public? Have they not increased their riches by trade, and lifted up their hearts upon the increase of their riches30? Have they not slackened their trade, and lain down upon clothes laid to pledge31, and ennobled themselves by an ignoble and lazy way of gain? Is there not yet collusion and circumvention in the city? Is there not yet hypocrisy in the church? In all parts thereof? Half-preachings, and half
88 Micah vi. 10. 87 Prov. xxix. 22. w Amos viii. 5.
29 Isaiah v. 23. 30 Ezek. xxviii. 5. 31 Amos ii. 8.
hearings? Hearings and preachings without practice? Have we not national sins of our own, and yet exercise the nature of islanders, in importing the sins of foreign parts? And though we better no foreign commodity, nor manufacture that we bring in, we improve the sins of other nations; and, as a weaker grape growing upon the Rhine, contracts a stronger nature in the Canaries; so do the sins of other nations transplanted amongst us. Have we not secular sins, sins of our own age, our own time, and yet sin by precedent of former, as well as create precedents for future? And, not only silver and gold, but vessels of iron and brass, were brought into the treasury of the Lord88; not only the glorious sins of high places, and national sins, and secular sins; but the wretchedest beggar in the street, contributes to this treasure, the treasure of sin; and to this mischievous use, to increase this treasure, the treasure of sin, is a subsidy man. He begs in Jesus' name, and for God's sake; and in the same name, curses him that does not give. He counterfeits a lameness, or he loves his lameness, and would not be cured; for his lameness is his stock, it is his demesne, it is (as they call their occupations in the city) his mystery. Are there not yet treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, when even they, who have no houses, but lie in the streets, have these treasures?
There are: and then, as the nature of treasure is to multiply, so does this treasure, this treasure of sin; it produces another treasure, Thesaurizamus iram, We treasure up unto ourselves wrath against the day of wrath33: for it is of the sins of the people that God speaks, when he says, Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up amongst my treasures**? He treasures up the sins of the disobedient: but where? In the treasury of his judgments. And then, that treasury he opens against us in this world, his treasures of snow, and treasures of hail35, that is, unseasonableness of weather, barrenness and famine; and he bringeth his winds out of his treasury3', contrary winds, or storms and tempests, to disappoint our purposes; and, as he says to Cyrus, I will give thee (even thee Cyrus, though God cared not for Cyrus, otherwise than as he had made Cyrus his scourge) / will
38 Josh. vi. 19. 33 Rom. ii. 5. 34 Deut. xxxii. 34.
35 Job xxxviii. 22. 36 Psalm cxxxv. 7.
give thee the treasures of darkness, and the hidden treasures of secret places*1. God will enable enemies (though he loves not those enemies) to afflict that people that love not him. And these, war, and dearth, and sickness, are the weapons of God's displeasure; and these he pours out of his treasury, in this world. But then, for the world to come, he shall open his treasury, (for, whatsoever moved our translators to render that word, armoury, and not treasury, in that place38, yet evidently it is treasury, and in that very word, otzarTM, which they translate treasury, in all those places of Job, and David, and Isaiah, which we mentioned before, and in all other places) he shall open that treasury, (says that prophet) and bring forth the weapons, not as before, of displeasure, but in a far heavier word, the weapons of his indignation. And, in the bowels and treasury of his mercy, let me beseech you, not to call the denouncing of God's indignation, a satire of a poet, or an invective of an orator: as Solomon says, There is a time for all things; there is a time for consternation of presumptuous hearts, as well as for redintegration of broken hearts; and the time for that, is this time of mortification, which we enter into, now. Now therefore, let me have leave to say, that the indignation of God is such a thing, as a man would be afraid to think he can express it, afraid to think he does know it; for the knowledge of the indignation of God, implies the sense and feeling thereof: all knowledge of that, is experimental; and that is a woeful way, and a miserable acquisition, and purchase of knowledge. To recollect, treasure is provision for the future: no worldly thing is so; there is no certain future: for the things of this world pass from us; we pass from them; the world itself passes away to nothing. Yet a way we have found to make a treasure, a treasure of sin; and we teach God thrift and providence: for, when we arm, God arms too; when we make a treasure, God makes a treasure too; a treasure furnished with weapons of displeasure for this world, and weapons of indignation for the world to come. But then, As an evil man, out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is evil; so, (says our Saviour) the good man, out of the good treasure of his heart,
bringeth forth that which is good": which is the last stroke that makes up Pythagoras' symbolical letter, that horn, that beam thereof, which lies on the right hand; a narrower way, but to a better land; through straits; it is true; but to the Pacific Sea, the consideration of the treasure of the godly man in this world, and God's treasure towards him, both in this, and the next.
Things dedicated to God, are called often, The treasures of God; Thesauri Dei, and thesauri sanctorum Dei: the treasures of God, and the treasures of the servants of God, are, in the Scriptures, the same thing41; and so a man may rob God's treasury, in robbing an hospital. Now, though to give a talent, or to give a jewel, or to give a considerable proportion of plate, be an addition to a treasury; yet to give a treasury to a treasury, is a more precious, and a more acceptable present; as to give a library to a library, is more than to give the works of any one author. A godly man is a library in himself, a treasury in himself, and therefore fittest to be dedicated and appropriated to God. Invest thyself therefore with this treasure of godliness: What is godliness \ Take it in the whole compass thereof, and godliness is nothing but the fear of God: for, he that says in his first chapter, Initium sapiential, The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom"; says also, in the twenty-second, Finis modestiw, The fear of God is the end of modesty; the end of humility: no man is bound to direct himself to any lower humiliation, than to the fear of God. When God promised good Hezekias all those blessings, wisdom, and knowledge, and stability, and strength of salvation; that that was to defray him, and carry him through all, was this, The fear of the Lord shall be his treasureTM. And therefore, Thesaurizate vobis fundamentum, Lay up in store for yourselves a good foundation against the time to come14. Do all in the fear of God: in all warlike preparations, remember the Lord of hosts, and fear him; in all treaties of peace, remember the Prince of peace, and fear him; in all consultations, remember the Angel of the great council, and fear him: fear God as much at noon, as at midnight; as much in the glory and splendour of his sunshine, as in
40 Luke vi. 45. « Prov. i. 7.
41 1 Chron. xxviii. 12.
43 Isaiah xxxiii. 6. 44 1 Tim. vi. 19.
his darkest eclipses: fear God as much in thy prosperity, as in thine adversity; as much in thy preferment, as in thy disgrace. Lay up a thousand pound to-day in comforting that oppressed soul that sues; and lay up ten thousand pound to-morrow, in paring his nails that oppresses: lay up a million one day, in taking God's cause to heart; and lay up ten millions next day, in taking God's cause in hand. Let every soul lay up a penny now, in resisting a small temptation; and a shilling anon, in resisting a greater; and it will grow to be a treasure, a treasure of talents, of so many talents, as that the poorest soul in the congregation, would not change treasure with any plate fleet, nor terra-firma fleet, nor with those three thousand millions, which (though it be perchance a greater sum than is upon the face of Europe at this day, after a hundred years embowelling of the earth for treasure) David is said to have left for the treasure of the temple45, only to be laid up in the treasury thereof, when it was built: for the charge of the building thereof, was otherwise defrayed. Let your conversation be in heaven": Cannot you get thither? You may see, as St. John did47, heaven come down to you: heaven is here; here in God's church, in his word, in his sacraments, in his ordinances; set thy heart upon them, the promises of the Gospel, the seals of reconciliation, and thou hast that treasure, which is thy viaticum, for thy transmigration out of this world, and thy bill of exchange for the world thou goest to. For, as the wicked make themselves a treasure of sin and vanity, and then God opens upon them a treasure of his displeasure here, and his indignation hereafter: so the godly make themselves a treasure of the fear of God, and he opens unto them a treasure of grace and peace here, and a treasure of joy and glory hereafter. And when of each of these treasures, here, and hereafter, I shall have said one word, I have done.
We have treasure, though in earthen vessels, says the apostle48. We have; that is, we have already the treasure of grace, and peace, and faith, and justification, and sanctification: but yet, in earthen vessels, in vessels that may be broken; peace that may be interrupted, grace that may be resisted, faith that may be
15 Villalp. Tom. ii. par. 2. li. 5. Dip. 3. cap. 43. fol. 503.
46 Phil. iii. 20. 47 Rev. xxi. 2. 48 2 Cor. iv. 7.
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enfeebled, justification that may be suspected, and sanctification that may be blemished. But we look for more; for joy, and glory; for such a justification, and such a sanctification, as shall be sealed, and riveted in a glorification. Manna putrefied if it were kept by any man, but a day; but in the ark, it never putrefied. That treasure, which is as manna from heaven, grace, and peace, yet, here, hath a brackish taste: when grace, and peace, shall become joy and glory in heaven, there it will be sincere. Sordescit quod inferiori miscetur naturee, etsi in suo genere non sordidetur": Though in the nature thereof, that with which a purer metal is mixed, be not base; yet, it abases the purer metal. He puts his example in silver and gold; though silver be a precious metal, yet it abases gold. Grace, and peace, and faith, are precious parts of our treasure here; yet, if we mingle them, that is, compare them with the joys, and glory of heaven; if we come to think, that our grace, and peace, and faith here, can no more be lost, than our joy and glory there; we abase, and over-alloy those joys, and that glory. The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure, says our Saviour50. But is that all? Is any treasure like unto it? None: for, (to end where we begun) treasure is Depositum in crastinum, Provision for to-morrow. The treasure of the worldly man is not so; he is not sure of any thing to-morrow. Nay, the treasure of the godly man is not so in this world; he is not sure, that this day's grace, and peace, and faith, shall be his to-morrow. When I have joy and glory in heaven, I shall be sure of that, to-morrow. And that is a term long enough: for, before a to-morrow, there must be a night; and shall there ever be a night in heaven? No more than day in hell. There shall be no sun in heaven*1; therefore no danger of a sun-set. And for the treasure itself, when the Holy Ghost hath told us, that the walls and streets of the city are pure gold, that the foundations thereof are all precious stones, and every gate of an entire pearl; what hath the Holy Ghost himself left to denote unto us, what the treasure itself within is? The treasure itself, is the Holy Ghost himself, and joy in him. As the Holy Ghost proceeds from Father and Son, but I know not how; so there shall some
thing proceed from Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and fall upon me, but I know not what. Nay, not fall upon me neither; but enwrap me, embrace me: for, I shall not be below them, so as that I shall not be upon the same seat with the Son, at the right hand of the Father, in the union of the Holy Ghost: rectified by the power of the Father, and feel no weakness; enlightened by the wisdom of the Son, and feel no scruple; established by the joy of the Holy Ghost, and feel no jealousy. Where I shall find the fathers of the first age, dead five thousand years before me; and they shall not be able to say they were there a minute before me. Where I shall find the blessed and glorious martyrs, who went not per viam lacteam, but per viam sanguineam; not by the milky way of an innocent life, but by the bloody way of a violent death; and they shall not contend with me for precedency in their own right, or say, We came in by purchase, and you but by pardon. Where I shall find the virgins, and not be despised by them, for not being so; but hear that redintegration, which I shall receive in Christ Jesus, called virginity, and entireness. Where all tears shall be wiped from mine eyes; not only tears of compunction for myself, and tears of compassion for others; but even tears of joy, too: for, there shall be no sudden joy, no joy unexperienced there; there I shall have all joys, altogether, always. There Abraham shall not be gladder of his own salvation, than of mine; nor I surer of the everlastingness of my God, than of my everlastingness in him. This is that treasure, of which the God of this treasure, gives us those spangles; and that single money, which this mint can coin, this world can receive, that is, prosperity, and a good use thereof, in worldly things; and grace, and peace, and faith, in spiritual. And then reserve for us the exaltation of this treasure, in the joy and glory of heaven, in the mediation of his Son Christ Jesus, and by the operation of his blessed Spirit. Amen.